Miami bluesman Albert Castiglia returns to central Illinois early next month, and this time he's touring on what critics are calling his finest album.  Castiglia says he agrees with with what his critics are saying about the album titled "Big Dog," and credits the albums producer Mike Zito.

"Because Mike and I are cut out of a similar cloth musically, and we both grew up listening to blues and rock music made it a good pairing. There's an edge to this album.  Mike dialed in my guitar sound. When we met at the studio, he brought his trailer full of all the equipment he owns.  We experimented with sound and he really got my guitar sound to what I sound like live.  And vocally he pushed me to heights I never thought possible."

Illinois State University

Illinois State University Police Chief Aaron Woodruff was among about 70 law enforcement officers from around the nation invited recently to the White House to discuss critical issues facing the police.

The meeting focused on the findings of a May 2015 report by The President's Task Force on 21rst Century Policing.

It was the fourth meeting the White House had called, each with a different group of officers and community leaders. It was the first since the fatal shootings of several police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

The Twin Cities outdoor musical theater season comes to a close with a production of a quintessential show about adolescent angst.

Tony-winning "Bye Bye Birdie" is the summer musical offering this year at Bloomington's Miller Park.

The show opened on Broadway in 1961, a time when teens didn't "hook up," they "went steady." They telephoned instead of texting.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board of Trustees approved proposed fee changes as part of a system overhaul that takes effect in three weeks. Beginning on August 15, riders will be able to purchase one day and seven day passes for fixed routes as well as 10-ride and 20-ride cards for Connect Mobilitity routes. 

Gender Important to ISU Student at DNC

18 hours ago
Erik Rankin

An ISU student at the Democratic National Convention is now committed to Hillary Clinton, after first supporting Bernie Sanders. Speaking during GLT's Sound Ideas, Haley Kosick said gender does matter in this election.

"For years and years women have been shutdown, saying like, 'oh they don't have what it takes to be in politics and to rule the country.' That's not the case," said Kosick

Steven Depolo / Flickr

Saving money makes sense, but it's tough to do if you don't have a plan in place. During Sound Ideas, Edgar Norton, Director of the Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis, said there are two primary approaches:

  • Top Down
  • Bottom Up

Norton said no matter which method you use, you should start now, and continue tweaking.

"It's better to start making decisions now, then adjust along the way, " Norton said.

Sherrie Snyder

  Two miles east of the city limits of Bloomington, not far from Ireland Grove Road and  at the origin of Kickapoo Creek, are 85 acres of restored prairie known as "The Grove."

The Grove is part of unique project in Illinois that combined construction of a housing subdivision with a prairie restoration.

"It's a quiet, almost monastic setting," said Jim Bortell, a member of the Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists, a group dedicated to caring for McLean County's natural areas.

Erik Rankin

Bernie Sanders has the large task of speaking to his supporters at the Democratic National Convention, while also working to unify the party for Hillary Clinton, according to an ISU political scientist.

Illinois State University Politics and Government Professor Erik Rankin is in Philadelphia with ISU students for the convention this week. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Rankin said Sanders has to make sure people don't forget about his revolution within the Democratic party. 

Ralph Weisheit

The new executive director of the Downtown Bloomington coliseum expects a multi-million dollar economic impact on the community from the arena and says an adjacent hotel and conference center would only help.

State Rep. Ron Sandack Abruptly Quits

Jul 25, 2016
Ron Sandack /

Top-ranking Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack from suburban Chicago has resigned from the Illinois House, citing ``cyber security issues.''  

The House Republican floor leader from Downers Grove issued a statement late Sunday that said he began to ``re-evaluate his continued public service'' his role ``after some cyber security issues arose.''

LBJ Library / Creative Commons

The Reverend Jesse Jackson says it is a crisis that leaked emails show the Democratic National Committee may have favored Hillary Clinton.

But Jackson told reporters at the party convention that Democrats will move past it. 

Senator Raoul

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has already said he plans to run for re-election in two years.

Democrats don’t have a single obvious candidate for governor. But there’s a lot of talk at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia about the possibilities.

Ralph Weisheit

Realtors in Bloomington-Normal are seeing signs to get a little excited about more newly-constructed home options for buyers.

Karen Stailey-Lander, president of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors, says there was a 12.8 percent decrease in the number closings of newly-built homes during June compared to last year. But she says pending sales during the month were up slightly.

"Those, actually year-to-date, exceed what we had last year. Just by one percent, but we were just hoping to catch up with last year and hopefully exceed it this year," Stailey-Lander said.

Judith Valente / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will vote on spending $107 thousand on engineering services to look at the costs of installing water supply wells near Lake Bloomington and Evergreen Lake.

Jim Browne / WGLT

An Illinois State University Professor of Economics does not support a move by the McLean County Board last week that prevented a change to the wind farm siting ordinance, sending the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review.


Ben Ben Ami of Haifa in Israel had absolutely no exposure to multicultural experiences when, as a then 17-year old, he was asked to serve on a Friends Forever trip to the United States. The global peace initiative designed to unite young people of different backgrounds by living, working, playing and serving together, thousands of miles away from home.

Tom McClure

It's our regular recap of the week's top local news stories. Last week:

  • Police Arrested two men for allegedly drugging and raping a woman during ISU Preview.
  • An ISU professor and a group of students gave live updates during the Republican National Convention.
  • The Normal Town Council approved funding for the Raab Road project and lighting for the Normal Theater.

Catch up on these stories and more in just five minutes.

Wrote / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sunday, August 7 is Friendship Day.  In honor of that, The Tea Ladies have organized a special event at the Vrooman Mansion in Bloomington.  'Treasure Thy Friend - Celebrating the Joy of Friendship' is at 3:30 PM and reveals the special meaning of friendship in the Victorian Era.

Ralph Timan

This weekend marks a year since Mitsubishi Motors told the community and its workers the auto plant in Normal would close.

Many workers have had tremendous changes in that year. Among them Ralph Timan and his wife Mitzi.

Amanda Vinicky / IPR

Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the GOP convention was a litany of problems he said the country faces. 

It was nothing like Ronald Reagan's famous slogan "It's morning in America."

Required Listening: The First Half of 2016

Jul 22, 2016

2016 has been a year of major loss in the music community. But halfway through the year, an incredible array of music has been released to help the healing process. WGLT's Taylor Bauer takes a look at five releases that caught his eye in the first half of 2016.

Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool

Michael Hill / WGLT

Illinois State University president Larry Dietz commented on an alleged rape that happened during an ISU Preview orientation program. Speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier today, Dietz said this is the first time this has happened since the event was founded in 1966.

Radomir Cernoch / Flickr via Creative Commons

Timing is everything in the garden, and for Karen in the Twin Cities, it's all about her boxwoods and yews. Should it be spring?  Fall? Summer? Murph has some timely advice.

Elliot Brown / Flickr via Creative Commons

A supernatural film comedy classic lives again in a reboot that's thrilled some and annoyed others.  When the Ghostbusters reboot was announced with an all female cast, a cry of foul arose from the internet as fans of the original film felt a reboot with women was akin to movie heresy. But GLT's culture critic, Shari Zeck has some advice for the outraged:  Chill out and enjoy.

Straying From GOP Message May Have Little Impact

Jul 21, 2016
Tom McClure

The Republican national convention was designed around presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign theme, "Make America Great Again," with different subtitles such as Make America Safe Again, Make America Work Again and so on. ISU politics and government professor Tom McClure said during Sound Ideas, podium speakers at the Cleveland event have done a poor job of sticking to the theme.

Illinois State University

A father and son are accused of drugging a prospective ISU student and sexually assaulting her in a university dormitory.

It allegedly happened during the orientation program called Preview. ISU Chief of Staff Jay Groves said the situation is unprecedented in the half century of successful summer offerings.

Dave Kindred Collection / Illinois Wesleyan University

Hall of Fame sportswriter and McLean County native Dave Kindred is donating a substantial portion of his writing collection to his alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University.

Kindred, who has spent more than a half-century writing about sports, is donating some 45 boxes of articles, audio recordings, letters, press passes and books to IWU. Much of the content deals with his coverage of the late boxing great Muhammad Ali.

Research from Illinois State University's Department of Economics is being used to support legislation increasing the statewide requirement for renewable energy sources, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS.


Country music is changing in just about every way. A more pop-friendly sound, sold out stadium tours, and a fresh batch of new talent is challenging tradition and moving the genre to new heights. Don't panic; the classic country style is still alive and well.