News | WGLT

News

A subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co. is opening a facility in the research park at the University of Illinois' Champaign-Urbana campus. Indianapolis, Indiana-based Dow AgroSciences and the university have announced the Dow AgroSciences Innovation Center is joining the Dow Chemical Company Innovation Center, which opened in the school's research park in 2013. Dow Chemical is based in Midland, Michigan.  

Jose Marti: Why He Matters

Sep 28, 2015
University of Texas Press

One of the most influential men in the western hemisphere is poorly understood by many, including those who grew up in his shadows. WGLT's Jim Browne talks an author (Alfred Lopez), who's finally written a biography of the contemporary of Abraham Lincoln.

Alfred Lopez' appearance was facilitated by Illinois State University's Latin American and Latino/Latina studies program

Navy Pier Getting New Ferris Wheel

Sep 28, 2015

The Ferris wheel at Chicago's Navy Pier has taken its last spin before getting replaced with one that's nearly 50 feet taller. The wheel installed in 1995 had its final go-around last evening, its dismantling began this morning. About 30,000 people lined up to ride the Ferris wheel this past weekend. Navy Pier Incorporated spokesman Nick Shields says the Ferris wheel is expected to be gone by the end of October, with the new 196-foot structure scheduled to be in place by mid-2016.

Illinois is about to enter its fourth month without a budget. One of the state's top Democrats says the problem could be resolved within days ... if the governor moved off his insistence that other laws pass first.  IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports. 

A McLean County Jury has convicted a 19-year old Bloomington man of murder in the kicking and beating death of a homeless man. Anthony Davis-Dickson will be sentenced to up to life in prison for the death of Ronald Smith in White Oak Park on Bloomington's west side. State's Attorney Jason Chambers says the extended term is possible because of the wanton cruelty and callous nature of the crime.

Compass Records

Everybody in Nashville recognizes the name of fiddle virtuoso and singer Andrea Zonn. A native of Champaign/Urbana, she's backed up George Jones, George Strait, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, and for the last 12 years has been a member of James Taylor's band. This month, she's released her second solo CD, "Rise." It features a stellar cadre of singers like Gill and Taylor, and a set of songs catalyzed by the medical travails of Zonn's son Leonard. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with Zonn about the new release.

Excitement is still building as the visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. continues with a mass in Philadelphia tomorrow. GLT's Judy Valente is on the way to Philadelphia with a group of Catholics from Central Illinois. The trip began with the rising of the moon over Roanoke, Illinois. Valente tells us they are tired and excited after traveling all night. There are ten in a van for twelve and she says they saw the sun rise in Pennsylvania this morning.

Experimental fiction is emerging from the thickets of post modernism. ISU English Professor Chris Breu has a new book out addressing this shift, Insistence of the Material. In this conversation with GLT's Charlie Schlenker, Breu argues for the value of attending to the material world and how that physical world sets limits on social and individual life.

As the Normal Sesquicentennial celebration kicks off, GLT begins a series of interviews with the people who are offering lectures as part of Normal 150 events. Today, the topic is the early years of Normal. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with retired ISU Historian Paul Holsinger and asks why Normal was a good place for settlement in the first place. Holsinger says the answer was not obvious.

William Wesen / Wikimedia Commons

In  the development of Normal, transportation has been a key theme. WGLT's Charlie Schlenker is interviewing all of the lecturers for the "Normal 150" celebration.  Terry Ryburn and Mike Matejka share their thoughts on why Normal developed the way it did.

Esther Bubley / Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

As the Town of Normal observes its sesquicentennial, there are things in its history that should be recognized but not celebrated. In our continuing series of "Normal 150" interviews, GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with a retired ISU historian about racial segregation. Mark Wyman says the division of whites and blacks in Normal was similar to other cities in Illinois.

 

Blood Moon Eclipse Sunday Evening

Sep 25, 2015
fleurmach.com

If the weather cooperates, you'll be able to view an impressive event. This Sunday evening, the moon will pass into the earth's shadow, a lunar eclipse.

A recent agreement means that -- despite the budget impasse -- Illinois WILL fund services for babies with disabilities. But as IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, therapists and children who rallied at the Statehouse today say their worries aren't over.


LendingMemo.com / Flickr via Creative Commons

Bloomington-Normal's unemployment rate declined last month compared to a year ago. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the jobless rate dropped 1.2% to 4.5%.

That remains the lowest metro unemployment rate in the state. Peoria's rate went from 7 to 6%, but the area lost 2,600 jobs. Other areas seeing job losses last month were the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, Springfield, Kankakee, Decatur and East St. Louis.

Department Director Jeff Mays says that a portion of a decline in unemployment rates occurs when people drop out of the labor force.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

There was a bit of commotion in the Illinois Capitol when an activist hijacked a committee hearing. He called for the impeachment of Governor Bruce Rauner. IPR's Brian Mackey has more.


Durbin Likes Pope's Message

Sep 24, 2015
(flicker)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is impressed by Pope Francis' joint address to congress. Durbin calls the pope an inspiration not just through his words, but his actions.

Caterpillar Eliminates 10,000 Jobs

Sep 24, 2015

Buffeted by poor sales, Peoria based Caterpillar says it'll reduce its workforce by 10,000 by the end of 2018, with nearly half of those jobs being eliminated by the end of this year. Rachel Potts, spokesperson for the heavy equipment manufacturer, says the jobs will come from throughout the company:

"We are contemplating restructuring actions that could impact more than 20 facilities, and we are not saying specific locations today we are looking at those facilities around the world."

Bird Missing Right Eye
vetmed.illinois

A University of Illinois clinic is looking for a bird of prey that escaped from its handler. The University of Illinois Wildlife Clinic says the American kestrel named Thistle has one eye and can't survive in the wild. The bird escaped Wednesday morning, and was last seen flying west from the veterinary complex in Urbana. Thistle came to the clinic in May 2012 with an eye injury, and College of Veterinary Medicine spokeswoman Chris Beuoy says they have a state permit to keep her as an educational bird.

Applications are available to replace Darin LaHood in the Illinois Legislature. LaHood resigned from the Illinois Senate and recently won a seat in Congress, replacing former US Rep. Aaron Schock. Schock resigned earlier this year after questions about spending. Republican Party leaders from the ten counties in the state Senate district have created a formal selection committee. LaHood is a Republican. Henry County GOP leader Jan Weber is leading the selection committee, which tentatively set Oct. 4 as the day to meet and choose a replacement.

An Iowa-based telepharmacy company is opening a location in the northern Illinois village of Mount Morris and is in talks with other communities. The privately owned TelePharm has an off-site pharmacist inspect and verify prescriptions, which on-site technicians dispense. Customers order in person or online and then pick up prescriptions. Customers also can speak with the off-site pharmacists. TelePharm representative Greg Janes says the company is talking with officials in Ashton in Lee county and Erie in Whiteside County.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

For some, the body is a temple.  For other, it's a canvas...a way to express a unique point of view.  A new exhibit at Illinois State University's Milner Library explores the various ways people can express themselves with tattoos and piercings, and how body art has gone from the underground to mainstream.

Occasionally we send Jon Norton out to local record stores to listen to what customers are hearing as they browse the bins.  Norton's trip to Uptown Normal this week pumped some new heavy metal in his hear holes.

IPR's Brian Mackey

Labor unions are going on the road to make their case against Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda. The latest in a series of events took place in Springfield. IPR's Brian Mackey has more.

Hugs Of Hope At NIU Campus

Sep 23, 2015

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. IPR's Jenna Dooley reports on a small effort by college students to reach out to those who may be struggling.

Smiling faces greet rushed students at Northern Illinois University’s MLK Commons.

"If someone doesn’t want to get a free hug, that's okay, just tell them to have a wonderful day and move on to the next person who maybe does want one. We are also giving out high-fives, not everyone likes hugs."

Court Gives Enbridge Pipleline Green Light

Sep 23, 2015

Construction of the controversial Enbridge Pipeline in McLean County has moved closer to completion. An Illinois Appellate Court upheld a lower court's ruling allowing the work to proceed. This, despite outstanding legal issues between the pipeline company and local property owners. Earlier this year, landowners filed suit seeking to halt construction until financial terms with Enbridge could be reached. The Appellate Court upheld McLean County Circuit Court Judge Paul Lawrence's ruling allowing construction to proceed while the property owners' lawsuit is pending.

The clock is ticking down on the number of days left to visit one of the foremost Native American archeological sites in the U.S. The Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, IL is scheduled to close under Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts. Archeologist Alan Harn has spent the past 53 years studying the Native American human remains and artifacts there for clues about these early settlers.

The Guardian

Rhiannon Giddens performed at Bloomington's Castle Theatre on September 18th. She's touring behind her new CD, "Tomorrow is My Turn," produced by T Bone Burnett. Giddens is the co-founder of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her first solo CD is a convincing collection of diverse American styles, from country to gospel to blues. From her home in southern Ireland, Giddens spoke with GLT's Bruce Bergethon.

Hundreds Of Federal Inmates Headed To Thomson Prison

Sep 22, 2015
Courtesty Peoria Public Radio

A once-abandoned Illinois prison in Thomson, in northwestern Illinois, is on track to house hundreds of federal inmates. IPR's Amanda Vinicky has details.

Illinois spent millions to build a then state-of-the-art correctional center in 2001; but budget cuts meant it never actually opened. More than a decade later, the federal government bought it. Some 90 minimum security inmates arrived this summer; more are expected.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office is warning lawmakers that the Republican will veto a $3.8 billion spending bill pending in the Illinois House. The measure approved by the Senate this month would provide funds for breast cancer screenings, autism treatment, lottery payouts and more during the state budget stalemate.

Unionized workers in several state agencies were set to lose their jobs in a week. But they'll keep them, at least for awhile longer. IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports.

Governor Bruce Rauner's office confirms: layoffs of unionized state employees are on hold. That's due to a lawsuit filed by a trio of unions.

"While it's within the authority of the governor to initiate a layoff, under the contract they can only do so for a legitimate reason." Anders Lindall is the spokesman for AFSCME, which represents some 107 workers affected by the news.

Pages