courtesy of Stephanie Castillo

When saxophonist Thomas Chapin died of leukemia at age 40, his obit in the New York Times hailed him as "one of the few musicians to exist in both the worlds of the 'downtown' experimentalist scene, and mainstream jazz."  Chapin died in 1998 just as his musical talent was emerging in mainstream jazz circles. Independent filmmaker and producer Stephanie Castillo was Chapin's sister-in-law. Her new film "Night Bird Song" documents Chapin's prodigious talent, creativity, and vision. After a screening at Canne, the film shows at the Normal Theater August 27. Castillo said while Chapin was alive, even SHE wasn't aware of his musical abilities, or the revered status he held in the "downtown" New York jazz scene.

Twin City Trivia

You can test your movie trivia mettle each Monday night at 7 PM  at Ovation Cinema in Bloomington as Twin City Trivia hosts a movie trivia night for all ages.  Quiz master Pete Moore said the trivia night has a wide range of questions for both aficionados and for the casual film fan.

Woodlywonderworks / Creative Commons

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

  • ISU announced record early enrollment numbers.
  • Parents addressed concerns about new bus routes and school schedules for Unit 5.
  • Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner announced his bid for re-election.

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


Michael Hill / WGLT

People honked their horns to show their support as they passed a demonstration in front of the Pontiac Correctional Center. Organizers estimated that more than 100 protesters, including people from around the state and members of AFSCME Local 494, held up signs and shouted demands for increased safety and input on policies and procedures.

Staff / WGLT

Proponents of a health care clinic in central Illinois designed to meet the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex population say such a facility could help limit discrimination against those individuals.

James Plath

Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike often groused about giving interviews. Yet he gave hundreds of them over his long literary career.

Illinois Wesleyan Professor James Plath said Updike was often at his most forthright and "playful" speaking with interviewers from the area where in grew up in Pennsylvania. 

Now Plath has mined that territory in a new book called, "John Updike's Pennsylvania Interviews."

oddharmonic / Flickr via Creative Commons

Drainage problems in your yard can cause all sorts of problems, both for your house and plants.  So grab your umbrella on a rainy day and go out to your yard to check out the situation.  It could save you from costly difficulties down the road.

Tribute Wall Helps Vietnam Veterans Heal

Aug 26, 2016
Two Vietnam Soldiers look at moving wall to find names of friends lost in the war.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Vietnam veterans, vets from other wars, school children and other community members turned out yesterday for the first day of the American Veteran’s Traveling Tribute Memorial Wall which will be up through 2 p.m. Sunday at Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a Phoenix-based pharmaceutical company for alleged deceptive marketing of an opioid drug meant for cancer patients.  

Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

A divided Illinois Supreme Court put out an opinion Thursday rejecting a potential change to the state constitution. 

The question would have asked voters if they wanted to take away legislators’ power to draw their own district boundaries and give that authority to a commission.

A half million Illinois residents signed a petition in support of putting the question on the November ballot.

Illinois Department of Public Health

For the second time in a week, the McLean County Health Department reports positive detection for the presence of West Nile Virus in the 61705 area code outside of Bloomington.

Last Friday, the department reported three indicators for the mosquito-borne disease west of Bloomington in a bird, mosquito and a probable human case. The latest notification is for a mosquito pool that tested positive. Department officials say a second positive test in the same area code indicates an increased risk of possible human infection.


A Bloomington doctor running for Congress has successfully sued to keep his name on the ballot.

David Gill is running as an independent, and failed to file the number of valid signatures required by Illinois law.

He went to court because the signature requirement is much higher for independents than it is for Democrats and Republicans.

He explained his position after a hearing Wednesday in Springfield.

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hosptial

Local advocates are raising funds to open a clinic in Bloomington-Normal that will address the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

It would be the first such clinic in central Illinois.  

One model might be the Ann and Robert H. Lurie (LURE-ee) Children's Hospital in Chicago. The hospital has what is considered  one of the most comprehensive clinics in the state for treating health issues involving gender and sexuality.

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

The Unit 5 School Board last night heard parent concerns about new bus routes. More students are riding fewer buses due to a change in school start times, and budget cuts.

Some routes have children spending two hours on a bus when they only live ten minutes away. Parents and First Student bus drivers said buses are overcrowded and routes are confusing.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The sounds of Connect Transit buses and workers going to lunch in downtown Bloomington were drowned out by a crowd of people in front of the Route 66 Visitor's Center. More than 50 supporters of Mayor Tari Renner weathered the humidity and wind to hear the announcement that he is running for re-election in 2017.

Illinois State University

Early enrollment numbers have Illinois State University leaders smiling.

More than 21,000 students are on campus, an increase of about three hundred, based on first day enrollment numbers.

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Bottled water is a $14 billion-dollar business. Americans consume about eight billion gallons of packaged water each year. But is the water you sip out of the bottle really any better for you than what comes out of your tap? 

James Christopher

At this time last year, Walter Trout was still re-gaining his strength following a liver transplant the year prior.  Today Trout sounds strong and happy to be alive.  When a 16 year old recording of a performance at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival was brought to his attention, specifically his aside saying he was appreciating his mortality more than ever as friends and family were beginning to die, Trout took a deep breath and said "I feel right now even more that every day is a bonus, every breath is beautiful.  Like 'there's another breath, I got to do that again'."

McLaren Photographic LLC / Facebook

U. S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth says recent remarks by her Republican opponent are "beyond the pale."

Congresswoman Duckworth, a Democrat, is trying to unseat Republican U. S. Senator Mark Kirk. Kirk recently said President Obama was acting "like the drug dealer in chief" by authorizing a $400 million payment to Iran.

The Obama administration says it was leverage, as the U-S worked to get American prisoners released.  But Republican critics like Kirk say it's akin to paying ransom. Tuesday, Duckworth and other Democrats called for Kirk to apologize.

Dennis Jarvis / Creative Commons

International interest in the U.S. Presidential election is keen, even in relatively remote places like the northeastern Scandinavian country of Finland.

Lane Crothers is an ISU Professor of Politics and Government who has just returned from a ten month Fulbright fellowship in Finland.

Creative Commons

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a vehicle in Normal.  The crash occurred around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Grandview.

Normal Police and Fire Departments found the pedestrian pinned under the vehicle. McLean County Coroner Kathleen Davis has identified the victim as 74-year old Lanny Lobdell of Normal. Davis says Lobdell died from multiple blunt injuries to the chest after being pinned. He was initially taken to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center where he later died.

Marc Murphy

Chicago native Greg Murphy has been a fixture on the New York City jazz scene since the 1980's, performing and recording with numerous jazz luminaries.  Ahead of his show at The Promontory in Chicago August 25,
the one time Illinois State University computer science student talked with GLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Summer Breeze."  Murphy said among  the songs he recorded for the album were originals he wrote nearly 30 years ago.

DRs Kulturarvsprojekt / Flickr via Creative Commons

A piece of home entertainment technology has gone into the light after revolutionizing how we view our favorite movies and TV shows.  Let us bow our heads in remembrance of an old tech friend, summoned to the other side after a battle against pernicious obsolescence. 

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council has agreed to move forward with an October 10 public hearing for a Tax Increment Financing district in downtown. 

Creative Commons

Housing sales in Bloomington Normal appear to be reflecting the economy as a whole; growing over last year, but increasing slower than at this time last year.

Association of Realtors President Karent Stailey-Lander is pleased with the results through July. / Flickr

Many baby boomers are ready to retire, or are planning for retirement. There are some do's and dont's when it comes to how to spend your savings.

Edgar Norton, Director of  Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis, said the average 65-year old couple will spend about $250,000 on health care. (More on health care expenses coming in part 2.)

Miss_millions / Creative Commons

Illinois prisons officials say six employees who were assaulted by five inmates have been released from the hospital.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the workers suffered non-life threatening injuries in the incident yesterday at Pontiac Correctional Center.


For the first time, the Bloomington Criterium will allow open alcohol for spectators enjoying the series of bicycle races downtown Saturday, August 27.

"People will get a wristband when they go into our licensed establishments along the race route. It's beer and wine only in plastic cups, and they can come on out and stand on the sidewalk and cheer for their favorite riders," said alderman Karen Schmidt during Sound Ideas.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Meet Joch. He's the latest addition to the Children's Advocacy Center and the McLean County State's Attorney's office.

Joch will be there to make it easier for children to be in a courtroom or to give testimony or interviews to officials in what can sometimes be a scary setting.

Stefan Powell / Flickr

The latest Statistical Composite of the Peoria area Economy (SCOPE) report for April, May and June shows some ups and downs that, in effect, extend a level of consistency established in the first three months of the year.

The report is compiled by Bernard Goitein, Director of the Center For Business and Economic Research at Bradley University in Peoria. During Sound Ideas, Goitein said. Some of the highlights of this second quarter report: