News

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin greeted about 500 central Illinois residents at a town hall meeting in Bloomington Friday with the words, "There was good news from Washington today."

Durbin was referring to the failure of the U.S. House to pass a Republican-backed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Garry Knight / Flickr via Creative Commons

Gardening is a popular hobby and loads of fun, but beware!  Danger lurks behind every shrub and tree!

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

On a recent Friday evening at the Herb Eaton Gallery, Sara Quah stepped onto a stage to do what loves and feels most comfortable doing - singing the songs she composes.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón says people should take advantage of a low-carbon economy in the fight against climate change.

While speaking at Illinois Wesleyan University Thursday night, Calderón said too many of us look at the horrible aspects of climate change.

Staff / WGLT

A new mobility program in the community has “great potential,” according to the Town of Normal Mayor. Bike Share 309, operated by Zagster, launched on Monday. Zagster provides bike share services to small and medium sized populations across the nation.

EMily Butler Photography

The viral 2013 video of Puddles Pity Party covering Lorde's "Royals" (see below) propelled the "sad clown with the big voice" to national and international prominence. The man who channels Puddles and his operatic voice is Big Mike Geier, who makes an appearance at the Castle Theater in Bloomington March 26. At 6' 8", Geier IS big, something he acclimated to at an early age.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The two candidates for Normal Township supervisor have opposing views on making the public assistance program more efficient.

Township duties are to determine the value of property for taxation, to take care of roads not maintained by other government entities, and to distribute welfare to the local poor who are not eligible for other public aid.

Sol and Taunia pose at WGLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A longtime district volunteer will face off against a professional educator in the only head-to-head matchup for Unit 5 school board in the April 4 election.

Taunia Leffler and Solomon "Sol" Roberts-Lieb, both of south Bloomington, are vying for one of three 4-year terms on the Unit 5 school board. Because of limits on how many board members can reside in certain areas of the district, either Leffler or Roberts-Lieb can win—but not both.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

There's been a transformation at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal with a new installation that is slowing evolving through a series of artist collaborations.

Emma Shores / Staff

The second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate will host a town hall in Bloomington on Friday and GLT will broadcast the event live. 

Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin will host the event 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall at Illinois Wesleyan University, at 1210 Park St. 

City of Bloomington

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has welcomed two bundles of furry cuteness. Parks and Recreation Director Jay Tetzloff said the baby otter pups were born about a month ago.

Their eyes are now open, but Tetzloff said they do not yet know how to swim.

Woman with mic in red Black Lives Matter shirt
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Two key members of the Minority and Police Partnership are reacting differently to Bloomington police pedestrian stop data analyzed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Illinois Wesleyan University Professor Julie Prandi.

Black Lives Matter

Editor's Note: This post includes updated information, 

 The case of a 10-year-old handcuffed by Bloomington police, whose photograph caused controversy on social media, has been resolved for the time being. 

A spokesman for Black Lives Matter said an agreement was reached which allows the 10-year-old to  complete the community service he was supposed to perform in connection with a 2016 charge of destruction of government property.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Long Range Transportation survey conducted by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC)  late last year is providing direction for the organization's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The eventual blueprint will help guide transportation planning in the county for the next two decades.

Tyler Zoller

The line "I just want to make music and friends/Been that way since I was 12 years old" is from "Music and Friends" off Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band's recent "So Delicious" album. Hearing the words fed back to Josh"Reverend" Peyton elicits a smile from the trio's founder.

Staff / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board has completed the hire of an Interim Director.

Former Chief Operating Officer Isaac Thorne will take over for Andrew Johnson until a permanent replacement can be chosen.

Staff / WGLT

Normal Town Council candidates said they find the idea of combining the Bloomington and Normal public libraries an intriguing one.

At a GLT candidates forum held at ISU's University Galleries, candidate Chemberly Cummings embraced a question about merging library services rather than building a new library in Uptown South in Normal and an expansion in downtown Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Board has signed off on a labor agreement with jail guards.

It's a two-year contract that expires at the end of this year. County Administrator Bill Wasson said they will head right back into negotiations.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A Facebook group called "Bloomington Deserves Better Than Kevin Lower" is attacking the mayoral candidate for a 3-year-old response to an alleged racist post on a page titled the Marcus Garvey Society.

On the page was a comment suggesting that "if African Americans really wanted to escape racism, it might be time for them to move to the land of the ancestors."

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

The 11th annual One Voice contingent of McLean County elected officials, business, social service and education leaders is preparing to head to Washington, D.C.

Wikimedia Commons

Former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón will address climate change at the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series at Illinois Wesleyan University March 23.  His lecture is titled “Better Growth or Better Climate: Do We Need to Choose?”

Staff / WGLT

The Normal town council has altered some public comment rules and retained others.  Following an Illinois Attorney General's Office ruling that a 45 day wait between comments violated the Open Meetings Act, council agreed to waive any wait time. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss is joining a growing field of Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018.

During a stop in Normal Monday night, the former University of Chicago math professor called for a movement of ordinary people to take on money and "the machine."

Black Lives Matter

Note: This post has been revised to reflect new developments.

The mother of a 10-year-old boy who was handcuffed by Bloomington police and photographed in an image that went viral on social media last week is speaking out about the incident.

Anntionnetta Simmons said her son suffers from attention deficit disorder. He was charged last week in West Bloomington with disorderly conduct. His mother said the charge is the result of a misunderstanding.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

An online auction of equipment formerly part of the Mitsubishi manufacturing plant is being organized by Maynard's Industries for Rivian Automotive.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Illinois State University Creative Writing Program and Department of English present @Salon 2017, which marks the centennial of the birth of poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

Project Love The Ladies

What does a poor woman do when it's that time of the month? It's a difficult question when most available cash goes to putting food on the table.

There is an answer for some in Bloomington Normal. It's called Project Love the Ladies.

David Wilson / Flickr

Nearly 6,000 people were out of work in Bloomington-Normal in January and looking for a job.

The state Department of Employment Security reported unemployment rates increased in most major metro areas in the state including the Twin Cities.

Caterpillar Hires Big Name Legal Help

Mar 17, 2017
IPR

Caterpillar Inc. is hiring a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its headquarters in central Illinois.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer.

He'll help Caterpillar review and address issues relating to Caterpillar SARL, a Swiss parts subsidiary, and tax-saving practices.    

Issues with Caterpillar SARL have dogged the company for eight years, sparking a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits, and proposed taxes and penalties totaling $2 billion.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council will consider a new public comment policy to replace one the Illinois Attorney General has called illegal.

The Town currently prevents members of the public from addressing the council more than once every 45 days.

The Public Access Counselor for the Attorney General's Office said that violates the Open Meetings Act.

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