Staff / WGLT

Members of the community are worried about the future of Connect Transit services due to the lack of funding for public transportation. Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson said there have been no transfers from the state's general revenue fund into the transportation fund since June. 

Johnson said the company can still provide 25 percent of their services without state funding. Transit rider Elizabeth Griuber said she would like to see those services go toward the handicapped or residents with low income. 

ilovebutter / Flickr

The University of Illinois has reverted back to an early-notification option for admissions after a two-year experiment with only one application deadline.  

Students who apply to the university by Nov. 1 will qualify for ``early action,'' in which applicants will know by Dec. 16 whether they're admitted, denied or deferred for consideration until Feb. 3.  

Those who apply to the university by Dec. 1 will find out their status Feb. 3, too.  

Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Supreme Court is committing to a redesign of pretrial justice procedures, the system in place to deal with individuals from the time they're arrested, until their case is resolved.

The state is working with the national Pretrial Justice Institute, which is trying to get 20 states on board. Its CEO, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, said Illinois is the second. Fanno Burdeen said one aim is to replace the cash bail system.

She said risk should be based not just on the charge someone was arrested for but also their criminal history.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The unemployment rate in Bloomington Normal rose a half point last month.

The State Department of Employment Security says the five-point-one-percent jobless rate for the twin cities is the fourth lowest of the major cities in the state behind Champaign-Urbana, Lake County, and Springfield.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Nobel Committee recently named musician Bob Dylan as the winner of this year's prize in literature.

The songwriter and sixties icon is known for his distinctive voice and delivery as much as for his lyrics and activism.

ISU Professor of English Jan Susina is a Dylan fan from way back and thinks this year's prize is a great choice.

Susina joined GLT's Charlie Schlenker to talk about Dylan's work. Susina says he and his tolerant family recently got to geek out on Dylan...

mcfarlandmo / Flickr via Creative Commons

Season seven of The Walking Dead just started, returning a terrifying vision of a zombie apocalypse to the small screen.  It's quite a departure from TV 40 years ago, when the supernatural was often depicted as funny and cute, like on the show, Bewitched.  At least that what it seemed on the surface.

State of Illinois employees have always had a pretty good package to rely on as they consider retirement. But that may no longer be the case.

During Sound Money, Edgar Norton, director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis said there are ways employees can guard against the effects of a possible bankrupt State University Retirement System (SURS).

Earlier this year, SURS' Chief Investment Officer Daniel Allen said the state will run out of assets to pay retirement costs within ten years.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Transportation provider First Student has less than a week to fix the multiple busing issues affecting students in Unit 5 schools. The school board voted Wednesday night to give the company until November 1 to reach an agreement with concessions for the problems, including financial compensation.

Superintendent Mark Daniel said there can't be inconsistency on the definition of late buses between Unit 5 and First Student. 

Election judges and a visitor to a table at Eastland Mall for early voting.
Courtesy of Bloomington Election Commission Facebook page

At least one local election official predicts voter turnout for the presidential election could hit a record 90 percent. Bloomington Election Commission Director Paul Shannon expects 8,000 city residents will vote early, almost twice that of the last election.

Justin Timberlake in a voting booth
Courtesy of Instagram

A prosecutor in Tennessee backed off a statement he made earlier in the day yesterday in which he said he was considering whether Justin Timberlake should be prosecuted for taking a selfie in a voting booth.  Tennessee last year made it a misdemeanor crime, punishable with a one-month jail sentence, to use a phone in a polling place for anything other than looking up information. 

Emma Shores/WGLT

Traffic stops in Normal have increased dramatically since the police department began a policy requiring officers to have a minimum off two contacts with citizens during each shift.

Police made 19,637 traffic stops last year compared to 12,961 in 2014 -- an increase of 51 percent.

That amounts to an additional 21 stops a day, according to Illinois State University Criminal Justice Professor Michael Gizzi, who analyzed the traffic stop data.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a year plus at the helm of State Farm Insurance, CEO Michael Tipsord took his act public in McLean County with a guided q and a at an Economic Development Council dinner. Tipsord repeated what his predecessor, now retired Chairman Ed Rust Junior said often in his closing years.

"The corporate headquarters of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company will remain in Bloomington-Normal," said Tipsord.

Staff / WGLT

Interest in converting dilapidated downtown Bloomington buildings into a potential hotel and conference center could be renewed now that the city has bolstered the area as a Tax Increment Financing district. 


Former Congressman Aaron Schock has admitted illegally soliciting a large campaign donation for a candidate in the 2012 GOP primary contest.

Schock has agreed to pay a ten thousand dollar civil penalty.

RogerW / Flickr

Caterpillar Inc. on Tuesday reported third-quarter net income of $283 million.

The Peoria, Illinois-based company said it had net income of 48 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 85 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 75 cents per share.

The construction equipment company posted revenue of $9.16 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $9.8 billion.

ilovebutter / Flickr

University of Illinois officials are reporting new cases of hand, foot and mouth disease among students on the Urbana campus.  

Dr. Robert Palinkas said about 10 new cases bring the total to a little more than 70 since the beginning of the semester.  

He said campus housing units are focusing on sanitation and some affected students have been isolated.  

Michael Bentley / Flickr

The major party candidates running for Illinois comptroller are set to square off in their only televised debate.

Republican incumbent Leslie Munger and Democrat Susana Mendoza are scheduled to appear together Tuesday evening on Chicago's WTTW.

Munger, a businesswoman, was appointed to the post last year after Republican Judy Baar Topinka died shortly after her 2014 re-election. Mendoza, a former state lawmaker, is Chicago's city clerk.

The winner of the Nov. 8 election will finish out the last half of the four-year term.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services / Facebook

Illinois has created a network of emergency foster care homes.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says these homes are places youth in the state's care can be sent in lieu of emergency shelters.

Sheldon told a legislative panel Tuesday that there's currently capacity for 36 kids.  His goal is to have room for 50.

"Frankly, this state had a series of emergency foster homes a decade or so ago. I don't know why that was abandoned. I think it's a much more appropriate facility," he said.

MillsBaker / Flickr via Creative Commons

While you're lining up flu vaccinations for yourself and your family, don't forget about the furry members of your family.  The highly contagious canine flu that's infected thousands of dogs, leading to some deaths, is expected to return this season.  This time, forewarned is forearmed, said Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal.  You can take steps to protect your pet from H3N2.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Alderman Jim Fruin recieved a standing ovation following his announcement that he will retire from representing Ward 9. Fruin made the announcement at Monday's council meeting. He said he'll finish up his term that ends in April.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr/Creative Commons

The budget standoff in Illinois may be contributing to the same voter anger that gave rise to Donald Trump's campaign.

That's according to State Senator Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat.

LBJ Library / Creative Commons

Tom Hayden, the famed 1960s anti-war activist who moved beyond his notoriety as a Chicago 7 defendant to become a California legislator, author and lecturer, has died. He was 76.

Hayden made headlines in the 1960s with his radical activism, his marriage to actress Jane Fonda and his trips to North Vietnam during the Vietnam war.

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The leader of Illinois' largest utility is appealing to lawmakers’ competitive spirits to get them on board with overhauling energy regulations.

Com-Ed CEO Ann Pramaggiore says many Fortune 500 companies have committed to meeting sustainable energy goals.

Kim McCord

Being a rock musician isn't just a young person's game.  An Illinois State University music professor wants to help people of all ages live the rock n' roll dream.

Michael Hill / WGLT

A Tax Increment Financing District in downtown Bloomington could receive approval from the city council Monday.

Daniel Hartwig / Flickr

When Chess Records co-founder Phil Chess died October 18 at age 95, it was another opportunity to wax nostalgic about a fertile era of independent U.S. record companies.  From the early 1950’s through the late 1960’s, the Chicago based blues label and its peer independents Atlantic, Sun, and Stax Records, produced and sold millions of recordings of some of America’s greatest roots music.

Debroah Carr Senger

A noted local medium and ghost tour guide has just published a book about the lively dead of the Twin Cities.  Deborah Carr Senger is the author of Haunted Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, just available on Arcadia History Press.

Atul Gawande

The end of life is automatically a stressful time for those who are dying and their families. And people in today's society are often more removed from death than those in foregoing generations.

A documentary film about medicine and end of life issues shows Tuesday evening at the ISU Alumni Center. It's called "Being Mortal:,Medicine and What Happens at the End."

Alan Ferguson / Creative Commons

The Peoria area has recorded an earlier than usual seasonal slowdown in home sales.

Realtors Association President Jana Heffron said third quarter sales dropped more than ten percent, but overall market fundamentals remain sound.

Jasmine Bejar

When the Chicago Cubs lost back to back games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series earlier this week, even optimistic Cubs fans including Zach Bernard began to feel the jitters.

“I remember between the last pitch of game 3 and the first pitch of game 4 there was a general uneasiness going through the day talking to people about the Cubs.  You just didn’t know. There was a significant difference to tying the series in game 4 or being down 3 to 1 in game 5” said Bernard.