News

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A new partnership in the Twin Cities aims to help the next generation by forging new bonds and friendships.

Andy Rogers / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sometimes the nature that shows up in our backyard is beautiful, but uninvited.  Wildlife can set up shop on your property, and it's best if you know how to handle your uninvited guests.

Human Milk Depot Begins In McLean County

Feb 10, 2017
Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes

A new group is issuing a call for human milk donors in McLean County.

The first milk depot is opening at the health department in Bloomington next week.

Pre-screened lactating women can donate excess breast milk to help medically fragile babies.

JWolff-STL / Flickr

Next week a downstate judge is scheduled to hear arguments whether Illinois state workers should be paid if there’s still no budget. The result could shut down state government.

Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan says if a judge rules employees cannot get paid, the threat of a shutdown could force a budget agreement.

Rauner Madigan Mediator Failed

Feb 10, 2017
Dave Gray / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner says an undisclosed third party tried to help strike a budget deal between the Illinois governor and his main political rival, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The Governor was asked on Chicago Public Radio whether he has tried a mediator with Democratic House Speaker Madigan.

Rutgers University

In the era of smart phones and smart cars, empowering women can be a gender smart way to achieve economy wide gains.

That's according to this year's Eckley lecturer at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

The Normal Public Library Board and staff, Town of Normal officials, and citizens providing input are all considering a library that could be one of the most environmentally friendly in the nation.  However, a Normal Town  Council member says it all depends on the cost.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

One of the most beautiful places in Bloomington-Normal during a snowfall is the Constitution Trail. The Trail consists of former converted railroad lines and other designated right of way and totals around 50 noncontiguous miles.  The multi-use path turned 25 years old in 2015. All of the photos in this gallery are from the Connie Link/Allers Shelter area, commonly referred to as the "Y." 

Illinois State University

In this time of tension over immigration here is an example of how one group of Latinos created its own sense of community and belonging in a town in rural Indiana.

The book 'Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest,' is widely available in the community. Author Sujey Vega will speak at ISU the evening of February 23rd and at the McLean County Museum of History Saturday the 25th at 1 p.m.

ISU's Latin American And Latino Studies Program want to make it an example for everyone and are teaming up for a community reading group. 

Staff / WGLT

Since the November election protests have erupted across the U.S. involving a broad swath of issues. many have attracted surprising numbers of supporters.

With Republicans controlling both the legislative and executive functions of the Federal government, traditional Democratic constituencies are increasingly turning to the streets to register their feelings.

Sharvelle Bullock / WZND

Life-long Democrat Jerry Springer says, for the first time in his 73-years, the very idea of what America stands for is being challenged.

Pictures of Money / Flickr

Even with 2017 well under way, there still some chances to hit the reset button.

This includes updating your personal finance situation. During Sound Money, WGLT's Willis Kern talked with Edgar Norton, Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is asking the public to voluntarily limit hospital visits due a recent increase in influenza.

Sue Grant is a registered nurse with the department. She said February is often a peak month for flu activity.

"People bring the disease with them when they travel at the holidays, and people are in parties and bigger events and this time of year, everyone is inside and cooped up together. So you have close contact with more people  and it's an easier spread for the flu that way," said Grant.

McLean County Unit Five

Normal Community High School's new principal is a familiar face in Unit 5 schools.

The school board announced Trevor Chapman as the next principal during Wednesday night's meeting. Chapman has served as the head of Evans Junior High School since 2014.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Politicians of all parties often sidestep awkward questions.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner followed that tradition during a stop at Heartland Community College in Normal on Wednesday.

Tahnee Lee Lathrop

A flat gray, slightly rusted chain link fence along a vacant gravel lot at the corner of Morris and Washington streets on Bloomington's West Side has been spruced up a bit. While no one has power washed it or painted it, the fence is attracting more than the leaves caught at its base, with winter wardrobe items hanging from the links. 

Staff / WGLT

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are using Heartland Community College in Normal to kick off a statewide tour focusing on best practices in government efficiency.

Heartland has a dual credit program with area high schools to allow them to take courses for college credit while still in K-12 schools.

Staff

A parking ban is in effect in both Bloomington and Normal.

In Normal, the ban is for all cars parked on the street. In Bloomington, major roads and secondary streets, those designated as snow routes, and Downtown get top priority. They are plowed and salted. As a second priority, residential streets get plowed. Salting for the most part is limited to intersections and hills.

Trevor Basham

GLT's Jon Norton likes to stop by local record stores to hear what's on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  He recently dropped in on Jared Alcorn at Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal to hear a sound that flashed him back to the 1980's.

Youtube

Democratic businessman Chris Kennedy said Wednesday he will run for Illinois governor in 2018, bringing the instant name recognition of his family's political legacy to what will likely be a sharply contested race to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.  

In an email and video sent to supporters, Kennedy said he's running because Illinois is heading ``in the wrong direction.''  

ParkLands Foundation

For 50 years, the ParkLands Foundation has been preserving and protecting historic natural lands in the Mackinaw Valley, helping to sustain biological diversity of native plants and wildlife while providing pristine areas for recreation.

Staff

 A new issue could be emerging in the primary election for the city of Bloomington and Town of Normal as the pressure mounts to find a replacement for soccer fields along Ireland Grove Road which host youth soccer leagues and Bloomington High School students.

Staff / WGLT

A new phenomenon on Twitter is further blurring the lines between real and fake news.  Illinois State University's School of Communication SMACC is tracking around 80 different so called "alt" or "rogue" Twitter accounts. Nate Carpenter is the assistant director of media convergence and runs the SMACC lab.  While the so-called rogue accounts may provide factual information, Carpenter said to "pay attention to the message" to judge the reliability of the Tweets.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

After 19 months without a state budget, Illinois senators Tuesday were not yet ready to move forward on a compromise plan intended to end the impasse.

Democrats and Republicans spent hours behind closed doors, arguing about whether the deal negotiated by their leaders was good enough to end Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight.

It came a day after Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, made the case for his so-called grand bargain in a speech Monday in Chicago.

“If not this plan, then what? If not now, then when?" Cullerton asked.

Not today, apparently.

Staff

Sen. Tammy Duckworth was one of 50 senators who voted against President Trump's nominee for education secretary Tuesday morning.

Duckworth said she felt DeVos performed “very poorly” during her confirmation hearings, especially when DeVos was asked about laws concerning access for education for all students, regardless of disability.

Facebook

Bloomington-Normal broadcasting pioneer Don Newberg has died.

He was one of the early hosts of Problems and Solutions on Bloomington station WJBC. That program is believed to be the first call-in show among U-S radio stations when it debuted in the 1950s.

Newberg later went on to become the station's news director, and an executive within the corporate organization that owned the station, moving in the 1970's to Tennessee. He returned later to manage the operation's country station.

Judith Valente

Sporting a life-size photograph that asked "Where's Rodney?" about a hundred demonstrators gathered outside Republican Rep. Rodney Davis' district office in Normal to urge the congressman to speak out against much of the Trump administration's agenda.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is providing more detailed guidance to consultants studying a proposed pedestrian railroad crossing at Uptown Station. 

McLean County Health Department

McLean County's top health official is announcing his retirement after eight years leading the department.

Walt Howe joined the health department in 1991 as an assistant administrator, and succeeded Bob Keller as director in 2009. During Howe's tenure, the department conducted a mass vaccination of 20,640 residents when the H1N1 threat appeared.

Howe's term was marked by controversy in late 2015 when he recommended a nearly 50% cut in funding for the county's drug court. Much of those funds were restored by the county administrator.

Ralph Weisheit

A teacher’s union leader in central Illinois is concerned about charter schools and school vouchers. It is likely the U.S. Senate will vote this week on voucher proponent Betsy Devos as Education Secretary.

Unit Five Education Association President Karl Goeke said taking taxpayer money and making it available to private schools on a per student basis, hurts public schools.

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