News

Barry Morse

The Illinois State University Planetarium hosts the Wu-Morse Duo, Jan. 20 and 21 for performances of soundscape improvisations set against celestial projections.

Emma Shores / WGLT

U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington lost $674,000 in operations in the last seven months. That's according to new operator VenuWorks.

Red ink had been expected for some time.

When VenuWorks took over from Central Illinois Arena Management, the firm noted that CIAM had done little to fill out bookings after it became clear its contract would not be renewed.
   
The operating loss for FY 2016 was a half million dollars, or about $174,000 less than the new deficit.

 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois State University's Board of Trustees recognized three outgoing long-term members during their quarterly meeting Friday.

Trustees Jay D. Bergman, Anne Davis, and Betty Kinser will leave the Board when their terms expire on January 16.

Staff / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities may notice more signs popping up, but they aren't promoting political candidates.

The welcome signs are printed in three languages with the same message: No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor. 

Lina Smith / Flickr

Central Illinois Institutions are preparing for Winter Storm Jupiter.

Heartland Community College has announced it will close all weekend.

Jason and Donna pose together
Ryan Denham

The 23 players on the Bloomington Thunder roster compete night in and night out, holding their own in one of the top hockey minor leagues in the country.

Jellyl Dude / Flickr via Creative Commons

Winter has quite the arsenal it can throw at us -- and our yards, noted  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.  But understanding the full wrath of winter weather can help us treat, and possibly, prevent damage.

McLean County Museum Of History

  

Today's Connect Transit bus system can trace its roots in Bloomington-Normal back more than 130 years. 

A new form of transportation connected Bloomington residents in the late 1800's, a horse railway.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

A state insurance fund created to protect Illinois farmers who store grain at failed facilities has seen its first claims in years.  

Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Clark says the state's Illinois Grain Insurance Fund has had its first claims since April 2012. The claims stem from the state's revocation last week of the operating license of Keller Grain Co., which operates in Anna and Jonesboro in southern Illinois.  

Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

It involves Urbana-based Carle hospital and clinics,  though it could affect health systems across Illinois.

At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes. Laurel Prussing, the mayor of Urbana, said losing that tax money cost the city 11 percent of its tax base.

Ryan Kindig

Brandon DaZ recalls playing beats and singing by the time he was barely one-year-old.  As the son of legendary Bloomington-Normal DJ Joe Beck, who has also been a drummer for a number of central Illinois bands over the last three decades, it's not surprising the apple fell close to his father's tree.

"From my Dad practicing with his bands and me going to his gigs, it was always music," said DaZ

Judith Valente/GLT News

As a teenager, Robert McLaughlin would go to the public library in the small town in upstate New York where he grew up and check out the cast albums of Broadway musicals. 

One of those musicals was Stephen Sondheim's "Company" from 1970. 

"I knew his name from "West Side Story," but I didn't know this musical, "Company." It started with all these voices overlapping, calling out the name of the main character. I'd never heard anything like that. It was one of those moments when your heart goes whoo. And I was hooked from then on."

Now McLaughlin has a new book out that looks at the artist and the man, called "Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical." 

vyla / Flickr via Creative Commons

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire features an uneasy - and eventually explosive -- chemistry of class, gender politics and sex. Community Players is staging the iconic show beginning this weekend.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayoral candidates are pushing platform ideas with about a month until the primary election.

The McLean County Democratic Party hosted a forum at which retired Firefighter and life-long Bloomington resident Robert Fike said the city needs to focus on strong infrastructure.

Staff / WGLT

State Senator Bill Brady, (R) Bloomington, is now on a higher rung of Senate leadership.

Minority Leader Christine Radogno has picked Brady as Deputy Leader, his first time in that role.

CASA of Peoria County

CASA of Peoria County is aiming to help a growing number of neglected children in 2017 with the "I Am For The Child" national campaign.

Court Appointed Special Advocates has been an active organization in the county since 2005. CASA is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization advocating for the best interests of abused children within the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Court system. 

Milner Library / Illinois State University

Emma Shores / WGLT

The arena that's not being called U.S. Cellular Coliseum may have a new name soon. 

"U.S. Cellular's contract ended, and they're no longer in this market so they are not going to renew their contract. We're working hard to get a new title sponsor and hopefully we'll have an announcement soon," said Lynn Cannon, on the job as the coliseum's executive director since Dec. 1.

Staff / WGLT

The end of an era in Bloomington Normal education is fast approaching.

Unit Five School Board member Gail Ann Briggs is stepping down from the board in April.

She began her service in 1976. 

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The Illinois General Assembly Tuesday voted to expand sick leave rights.

Under the change, people would be entitled to paid time off to care for stepchildren and domestic partners.

State Representative Peter Breen is a Republican from Lombard. He has opposed same-sex marriage, but says adding domestic partners was simply about keeping Illinois consistent with federal law.

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The Illinois House has approved a plan meant to help victims of crime in some of the state's most violent neighborhoods.

The idea is that today's victims often become tomorrow's perpetrators, and early intervention by people trusted in the community could stem the cycle of violence.

It's sponsored by Democratic state Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, from Peoria, whose stepson was shot and killed nearly three years ago.

Flickr user Justin Brocke

Illinois lawmakers have approved a four-month extension of a corporate tax incentive program amid an ongoing budget standoff.  

The Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, program was set to expire at the end of last year. It offers businesses tax breaks in exchange for agreements on creating and maintaining jobs.  

The House and Senate approved the measure Tuesday with wide support. A spokeswoman says Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign the extension, but he's urging support of a Republican-backed plan to overhaul the program.  

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University is soon to lose a lot of experience on its Board of Trustees. Oil Company owner J.D. Bergman, former teachers union head Anne Davis, and ISU lifer Betty Kinser are all leaving at the end of their term.

In this interview with GLT's Charlie Schlenker, ISU President Larry Dietz says there isn't enough time to tell all those three have achieved.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says city finances are strong.

Renner gave his State of the City address at the start of the City Council meeting Monday night.

Renner said the city has become a model for others to follow and has the second highest bond rating possible.

Flickr user Justin Brocke

Details of a massive, bipartisan compromise meant to end Illinois' budget stalemate emerged Monday in the Illinois Senate. But, the plan has been put on hold.

Rube Goldberg would be impressed by this budget plan. It's got cuts to government pensions, six new casino licenses, and a gradual minimum wage hike.

Flickr user Justin Brocke

The Illinois Senate has moved legislation to the floor that would address the long-running state budget stalemate.  

The Assignments Committee has approved eight measures that include an increase in the income tax rate to 4.95 percent, up from 3.75 percent.

WGLT

The Appellate Prosecutor's Office has declined to file charges against Normal Town Council member Scott Preston for inaccurate travel expense reimbursement reports.

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers had referred the matter to a special prosecutor because of his relationship with Preston and his former tenure on the Council.

Illinois State University

Three members of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees are ending long service on that panel.

ISU President Larry Dietz said businessman J.D. Bergman and former educators Betty Kinser and Anne Davis are stepping down.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner will hold his State of the City address at the start of tonight's Council meeting.

Renner's speech comes just over a month before he will face four other candidates in Bloomington's Mayoral Primary election.

Jon Norton / WGLT

GLT's Jon Norton occasionally drops by local record stores to hear what's playing on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  This week, Trevor Basham of Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal introduced him to a quirky Australian who both conceptually and physically adopts the persona of a failed lounge singer.

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