News

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider initiating the rezoning process for several properties on the city's west side during Monday night's meeting.

The properties are single-family homes and a mixed use development with second floor apartments near the intersection of W. Washington and Allin Street.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

If you drove through Bloomington-Normal this week, you undoubtedly saw a large number of American flags in front of houses and on the side of roads.

Hundreds of people visited Eastview Christian Church Saturday morning to pay respects to the family of Army Ranger and Sergeant Josh Rodgers. 

Rodgers was killed from small-arms fire in Afghanistan last week. The 2013 Normal Community High School graduate and another soldier who died in the same battle were members of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Georgia.

ParkLands Foundation

Put on your hiking shoes for an event that celebrates one of the natural gems of central Illinois.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

A Grammy Award winning guitarist is performing with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Bloomington Friday evening.

Jason Vieaux will give his interpretation of the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. Music Director candidate and conductor Andrew Sewell joined us to talk about that work and the Carnival Overture by Antonin Dvorak, composed when Dvorak was 50 and just about to take a position at the head of a conservatory in New York.

Home Is The Hero

May 5, 2017
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Hundreds of people gathered at the Central Illinois Regional Airport to welcome home the body of Army Ranger and Sergeant Josh Rodgers.

Rodgers was killed in Afghanistan last week. An honor guard escorted the casket from the aircraft that landed at the old section of the airport grounds.

Monica Elizabeth / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump signed an executive order this week he said would ease restrictions on the political activities of churches.

Although the order was signed to much fanfare in front of an array of faith leaders, and was touted as protecting religious freedom, it will have little effect.

That's according to Illinois State University politics and government Professor Meghan Leonard. Leonard said Congress decades ago prohibited tax exempt religious groups from endorsing political candidates

DelmarBrown.com

Bloomington lost a major musical son when Delmar Brown passed away last month from cancer at age 62. The diminutive keyboard player who wowed fellow central Illinois musicians later did the same with some of the most recognizable names in music.

Gatsy 40 / Flickr via Creative Commons

The huge flower heads of the hydrangea bring a burst of color—pink, blue, lavender—to your garden.

Woman at church podium holding a photo of children in each hand.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly took to the podium at First United Methodist Church in Normal last night and joked the budget situation must be really bad because he's now meeting regularly with other superintendents and local college presidents.  "I don't remember that ever happening in my 27 years in education ... that presidents of universities and community colleges all get together in a room to have these discussions.  That tells you how serious it is," he told a community gathering organized to share stories and pray for the victims of the state budget impasse.  

Staff / WGLT

State Farm Insurance says it will move 4,200 Mutual Automobile Insurance Company workers to Bloomington Normal and its large hubs in Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix over the next four years.

Some jobs will also move to other existing locations.

Spokesman Justin Tomczak says they are consolidating eleven smaller facilities in nine states to the headquarters and the hubs.

Davis And LaHood Vote For Obamacare Repeal

May 4, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Both Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis voted for the bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

This is not a complete repeal of Obamacare. But, Congressman Davis said it fixes health care to provide more affordable choices and more accessibility.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Progressives in Bloomington Normal made a point of going out in the rain to area Congressional offices to protest the House vote on the GOP healthcare repeal.

The measure passed the house and moves to the Senate, which has decided to work on its own bill and not take up the House version.

Staff / WGLT

61 social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court on Thursday.

An attorney for the agencies told Illinois Appellate Court judges the agencies are political hostages because of the budget impasse. Those groups are suing the state to get paid what they’re owed.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The State Board of Elections said hackers gained access to the information of 80,000 Illinois voters, including their Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses.

Elections officials said hackers had access to Illinois’ system for nearly three weeks before they were detected. They did get access to personal information, but officials said that’s about it.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington police say someone shot a teenager near Miller Park early Thursday morning.

That is the second shooting in the last week.

New Route Theater

The second year of a New Route Theatre festival keeps the goal of the first year: attract an audience that reflects the diversity of the community. 

The Voice of Pride: 2nd Annual Festival of New Plays features four staged readings through May 7. New Route Theatre Artistic Director Don Shandrow said during Sound Ideas there was a call for submissions, and readers for the theatre narrowed down the final list.

Woman holding board with four peices of school memorabilia.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

A school building that stood out on the barren landscape of Normal when it was constructed as part of the Works Progress Administration will be celebrated as Unit Five marks the building's 80th anniversary.

Community Players

A classic thriller jumps from the screen to the stage in the latest production from Community Players.  Based on the film by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps takes a comedic twist in the footlights, but it still has Hitchcock's fingerprints all over it. 

Gail Franklin / Western Avenue Community Center

Many social service workers burn out long before the quarter century mark. Not so Socorro Alvarez, the Hispanic Outreach director for the past 25 years at Bloomington's Western Avenue Community Center.

Attorney General Office

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said it's particularly appropriate to highlight the fourteenth amendment in 2017

Madigan gave a Law Day speech to the McLean County Bar Association meeting at Illinois State University in Normal.

McLean County Museum of History

Route 66 Tourism grew by 50 percent in Bloomington last year.

That's according to attendance figures for the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center in the McLean County Museum of History.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Mayor of Normal is not enthusiastic about a formal welcoming cities ordinance. Area groups marched on Bloomington City Hall this week asking for an ordinance to limit local government cooperation with federal immigration and customs enforcement, or ICE.

Mayor Chris Koos of Normal said he supports keeping immigrant families together, but not through that method.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Defeated Normal Mayoral Candidate Marc Tiritilli has begun examining voter registration rolls and comparing them to signatures of people who voted in seven precincts during the April municipal election. 

Bicyclists Can Call AAA Too

May 3, 2017
Simon Law / Flickr

Triple A has found an appropriate way to celebrate National Bicycle Safety Month.

Roadside assistance is now available in Illinois for members who are bike riders.

Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington says its next Provost comes from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Mark Brodl is currently Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Trinity. He's a biologist whose Phd. is from Washington University in Saint Louis, Mo. He has also chaired the Biology Department at Knox College, in Galesburg, Il.

Staff / WGLT

While the Town of Normal has narrowed choices to connect Uptown Normal with future development south of the railroad tracks, construction of an underpass could still be years out. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

In a dusty old bookshop, three tech obsessed young people face a perilous task to save all the books in the world from a dark force known as The Blank.

3 shoppers look at products
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The first thing you notice when you walk in the new Green Top Grocery store in Bloomington is just now normal it looks.

Mary Jo Adams

Two years ago, a female eagle was found shot dead in Normal. Her mate soon died -- killed apparently by another bird. Then their three orphaned eagles died. Bird watchers feared it would be the end of eagles in McLean County. But there is good news.

A new pair of the white-topped, hooked-beak creatures has taken up residence in the nest the dead eagles left behind and they are raising three eaglets there.

Sheryl Clark Productions

"This is very much a partnership," said Sara Quah, glancing sideways at the man who produced her upcoming "Taking Me Back" album. I don't think the album would be what it is, if it was just my vision."

Quah was referring to Tony SanFilippo, owner of Oxide Lounge Recording Studio in Bloomington. Quah enlisted SanFilippo to produce her first full length album, and credits him as the person who put meat onto the bones of the lyrics and musical song skeletons she had written over the previous year.

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