Female professor wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirt
Nikita Richardson / NDR Communications

The Black Lives Solidarity Day at Illinois State University started with a campus visit from a Seattle educator a couple of weeks ago and it sparked an effort to join his initiative to raise awareness of the need for systemic changes to guarantee equality. 

Tari Renner

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner flew south last week to reconnect with Caibarien, Cuba and Remedios, Cuba, which were originally established as Sister Cities to Bloomington and Normal in the early 2000s.  

Emma Shores / WGLT

Future development could someday trigger the need for an East Side Highway. But a new, detailed study of the environmental impact of the possible highway route located approximately a mile east of Towanda Barnes road includes suggestions that could push off the need for decades.  

Mindfulness, meditation, non-violence, non-attachment. These are all key practices of Buddhism.

In fact, Buddhism has been described as a practice rather than a religion.

In Bloomington- Normal, there are are not Buddhist temples where people can go to practice their faith in community. But individuals manage to practice the principles of the faith on their own, said Illinois State University Professor Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon.

The Black Crowes founder Chris Robinson formed his latest incarnation “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood"  in 2011.  Since then, the group has 5 albums to its credit, including the well-received self-produced "Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel."  Robinson said the band wasn’t looking to forgo an outside producer for the July 2016 release so much as band members felt they had a grip on the sound they were looking for.


A formal request has come for the McLean County Board to consider initiatives to make county government more open and accessible. 

The issue will go to the Rules Committee.

Members Carlo Robustelli and Josh Barnett drove the letter submitted to the board it, but received several other signatures including those of Chuck Erickson, Katherine Metsker, and Victoria Harris.


The head of the Bloomington School District is thanking State Farm Insurance for a donation of close to a thousand laptop computers.

A State Farm Insurance company gift of about a thousand laptop computers to District 87 fast tracks a number of initiatives.

Michael Hill / WGLT

A proposal to phase-in upgrades to the Creativity Center is receiving support from the Bloomington City Council. However, Aldermen want to use privately-raised money to pay for the project.

Alderman Amelia Buragas said she supports a resolution that says the council supports the Activity Center and will engage in a public-private partnership, but it doesn't commit city funds to it.

Ralph Weisheit

A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into travel expenses filed by a member of the Normal Town Council.

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers declined to look into the matter, citing his previous service on the Council as a barrier and forwarded  the issue to the Appellate Prosecutor's office.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A group of six McLean County Board members has asked for formal consideration of initiatives they claim would enhance transparency and public involvement in county government.
Signees of a letter to the board include Carlo Robustelli, Chuck Erickson, Josh Barnett, Victoria Harris, Katherine Metsker, and Erik Rankin. 

Michael Hill / WGLT


Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner agrees with some council members who say that the city should focus on older neighborhoods before newer parts of town when it comes to sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure. Aldermen met Monday to discuss the five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

Jasmine Bejar

As longtime Chicago Cub fans wait for the inevitable shoe to drop on a dream season, Illinois State University graduate and former GLT announcer Zach Bernard is preaching optimism.  Bernard is a reporter and local host for NPR's All Things Considered at WBOI in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and writes and edits for the online baseball site He said the Cubs had the better and more complete team coming into the National League Championship Series.

“It’s just a matter of beating their (Dodgers) best guys, which for game two, the Cubs couldn’t do” said Bernard.  “But the good news for the Cubs is that Clayton Kershaw can’t play every day.” 

Bloomington High School Teacher Arrested For Murder

Oct 17, 2016
Booking Photo / Woodford County Jail

A Bloomington High School Spanish teacher has been arrested for the stabbing death of her husband during a weekend camping trip. 

According to Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger, 30 year-old Sarah Mellor was at a private campsite just outside of Carlock when she and her husband, 31 year-old Mark Mellor, argued early Sunday morning. 

Family members took Mark Mellor to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center where coroner Kathy Davis pronounced him dead from a single stab wound to the chest.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Some Bloomington Aldermen want to work on improving sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure in the older parts of town before moving on to newer parts.

Illinois State University

The head of sexual assault prevention and survivor services at Illinois State University said Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump's comments and the videotape of him talking about grabbing women's genitals is causing a lot of conversation among women students at ISU.

Gail Trimpe-Morrow said the idea that this is reflective of all men has an impact for both men and women.


About two thousand five hundred students in District 87 schools will be getting city public library cards.

Bloomington Library Director Jeanne Hamilton said sixty five percent of the student body already had cards.

Creative Commons

Historic Route 66 was not only a highway, it was a pie-way.

Let's hear about food on the mother road. Rob Dirks is a retired food anthropologist at Illinois State University.

Oberhelman To Retire From Caterpillar

Oct 17, 2016
RogerW / Flickr via Creative Commons

Caterpillar says CEO Doug Oberhelman will retire from the company next year and will be replaced with Jim Umpleby, an executive who has worked at the company for more than three decades. 

Oberhelman, 63, will leave the company at the end of March. He has been CEO since 2010 has been with Caterpillar Inc. for more than 41 years.

Renjishino / Wikipedia

Route 66 conjures up nostalgic memories for many white's of a certain age in the United States. Television, print, and other media often invoke the highway as a symbol of freedom in a simpler time.  For black Americans of that time, memories of traveling Route 66 are likely to evoke different symbols, as summed up by music legend Aretha Franklin's brother Cecil in the June 28, 1968 Time Magazine profile on Soul music.

"Driving eight or ten hours trying to make a gig, and becoming hungry and passing restaurants all along the road, and having to go off the highway into some little city to find a place to eat because you're black - that had its effect."

Harry Pherson / Flickr via Creative Commons

The mother of all roads is turning 90 this year.  To celebrate nine decades of travel across the wide open spaces of America, Route 66 lovers are converging on the Twin Cities later this week.  The 2nd Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference is Thursday through Sunday, featuring a variety of speakers, historic tours and more.  

City of Bloomington

Bloomington Alderman will discuss a plan to use mostly private funds to renovate the Creativity Center, north of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, during a committee meeting Monday.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Witches and ghosts populate the plays of William Shakespeare, so it's natural that they'll be called upon to headline in what's become a new Halloween favorite in the Twin Cities.

Jim Larrison / Flickr

Gov. Bruce Rauner is ordering a former youth prison be re-opened as a center designed to reduce recidivism in an ongoing plan to reform criminal justice in Illinois.

The Republican announced Friday that the closed youth center in Murphysboro will be renovated as a "life skills and re-entry facility." It will be a minimum-security prison focused on helping offenders live successfully outside of prison.

Inmates will receive educational, vocational and life-skills training. Rauner says Illinoisans "believe in second chances."


The Chicago Tribune has endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth for the U.S. Senate, arguing that incumbent Republican Mark Kirk is unable to fully do the job after recovering from a stroke.

The newspaper said today  that "due to forces beyond his control, Kirk no longer can perform to the fullest the job of a U.S. senator."

Kirk spokesman Kevin Artl called it "a low-blow and cheap shot" that's "not based on fact or reality."

Emma Shores / Staff

There's another chapter in the controversial management history of Bloomington's downtown arena, the Coliseum.

VenuWorks has fired Curtis Webb, who had been serving as the arena's executive director since shortly after the Iowa-based firm secured management rights earlier this year. A statement released by the city indicates Webb used  a company debit card for personal purchases.


One central Illinois state representative says he's confident Connect Transit will receive state funding appropriated to the bus system in time to avoid a shutdown of the bus fleet in January.

Republican Dan Brady of Bloomington spoke following a meeting this morning with Heartland Community College President Rob Widmer. Brady says he's puzzled as to why the $5 million appropriation hasn't been sent to Connect Transit.

Mike Thomas / Illinois Public Media

The candidates for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District found some areas of agreement in their first debate,  like lowering interest rates on student loans,  and criminal justice reform. 

But incumbent Republican Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Mark Wicklund have different solutions for high healthcare costs.

John Schattel

Late bloomers can add some delightful color to our yards this time of year.  But a sudden turn in the weather can put the flowers in danger. Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, said you've got to have your plant in the right space to avoid such problems.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Some observers have said House Speaker Paul Ryan has the worst of both worlds in saying he will not defend Donald Trump, but not rescinding his endorsement following the controversy over a video tape of Trump advocating sexual assault recorded in 2005.

This leaves Ryan open to criticism from Trump supporters and from Democrats seeking to eliminate the GOP majority.

Edith Castro Roldán, Oscar Manuel Luna Nieto / Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump declared during Sunday’s debate that remarks about sexually groping women were – as he put it – “just words” but at Illinois State University, there is a concerted effort to change the campus culture so students, faculty and staff chose their words more carefully.