Colleen Reynolds | WGLT

Colleen Reynolds

Correspondent

Colleen has spent most of her adult life working the streets and beats of Bloomington-Normal for WJBC-AM where she won numerous reporting awards for hard news, feature writing, and breaking news coverage.

Reynolds was twice named the Associated Press’ Best Downstate Radio Reporter in Illinois. She was recently nominated for an Outstanding Communicator Award from the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of the American Women in Communications, a distinction she also received in 2013. Her love of dining out also prompted her to write a weekly food blog called “Food for Thought” at WJBC. Reynolds and interim GLT General Manager R.C. McBride were part of the team at WJBC awarded the NAB’s Marconi Award for National Radio Station of the year in 2005 and 2009, when McBride served as program director there.

Reynolds is also Director of Alumni Relations-Donor Engagement for Heartland Community College. She was hired by the College in 2008 to create Heartland’s first-ever Alumni Relations program and to improve the College’s outreach in the community.

 

Ways to Connect

Former mayor with theater director and Actor & Alum Gary Cole
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Illinois State University Alumnus Actor Gary Cole '77 has an IMDB profile that’s longer than a gang member’s rap sheet so you might be surprised he is often asked by random people if he’s famous because they recognize him from somewhere. Cole is among the busiest actors in the business. He’s currently on six TV shows and he has at least two movies coming out this year. 

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.  

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.

Architect's drawing of a park and railroad tracks south of Uptown Station in Normal.
Drawing courtesy of Ratio Architects

A little more than two years after the town of Normal included a nearly $13 million underpass in its Uptown 2.0 plan based on community feedback,  a consultant hired to look at the feasibility is also recommending a wide underpass and park as the safest and best option for accessibility and economic development.

Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee at the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

A six-time Olympic medal winner told attendees at last night's Women's Health Night  they can overcome obstacles because she was able to achieve her dreams despite losing her mother at age 18 and being diagnosed with severe asthma.

Security checkpoint at airport with two travelers in line.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

If you're planning your summer vacation, you might want to make a stop next month at the Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA). The airport is launching a pop-up enrollment center for the government's TSA Pre-Check pre-screening security program, which is now available at 180 airports across the country.

Two young men and one is handcuffing another
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Following a year that saw increased tensions in Bloomington-Normal between police and minorities, an event designed to help community members experience what police officers encounter every day did not appear to attract any more interest than past years. But, the third annual Behind the Badge event at Horton Field House at Illinois State University seemed to leave a lasting impression for those who attended.  The event was sponsored by police agencies, Illinois State University and the Minority and Police Partnership (MAPP).

Staff / WGLT

The new contract manager for the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts will start his job next week with a looming deadline of less than two months to get the fall season’s acts signed plus a nearly half-million dollar projected budget deficit.

Chris Koos watches results
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

When all the votes to be counted Tuesday were in, Normal Mayor Chris Koos held a slim seven-vote lead over challenger Marc Tiritilli.

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.

Cristian Jaramillio / WGLT

With the city of Bloomington and town of Normal embroiled in a dispute over the west-side Metro Zone, some say the sport of soccer may help thaw relations, similar to how ping-pong helped U. S. and Soviet leaders bridge differences in the early 1970s.

Vote Today sign on a sidewalk
Ken Chui

There will be two candidates left for Bloomington Mayor by the time polls close in today's primary election. 

Incumbent Mayor Tari Renner is being opposed by current council members Diana Hauman and Kevin Lower, as well as retired fire-fighter Robert Fike, and former talk-radio host Ian Bayne.

Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon said there were just over 5,800 total voters by 4 p.m. 

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington and Normal are headed for a showdown over a 30 year old agreement that shares tax revenue from the west side of town.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

By the end of the year, 21 soccer fields on airport-owned land along Ireland Grove Road will be off limits due to FAA regulations and so the debate is ramping up about whether to seize the opportunity and go big, as in a multi-sport complex in one location, or to update existing fields and green space at schools and parks to fill the void. 

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.

Man using an e-cigarette with vapor swirling around his face.
Courtesy of patrisyu/Shutterstock

The city of Bloomington has banned the use of e-cigarettes in public buildings and two organizations want other governments to do the same. E-cigarettes have been around for almost a decade, but in the past few years their popularity has soared, making them the-most used tobacco product among middle-school and high-school aged young people.

Logo with three women cheek against cheek and details about the Women's March on Washington D.C. Jan. 1
Courtesy of Instagram

Voters upset with the election of Donald Trump have been finding ways to direct their anger either through Facebook pages, personal blogs, even filing petitions for local offices.  A big display will come the day after President-elect Trump is sworn in with the Women’s March on Washington, aimed at making sure the new administration knows women's rights are human rights.

Former UAW President Ralph Timan
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Mitsubishi Workers have not been taking great advantage of education workshops on workforce issues since layoffs of about a thousand workers at the plant in Normal last year.  But, Ralph Timan, who for nine years was president of the UAW local representing workers, thinks more would jump on re-training for specific skills needed by new, start-up Rivian  to produce an electric vehicle with self-driving capability,  if the company buys the now-closed Mitsubishi plant.

Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner agreed to a few changes requested during a standing-room-only, Black Lives Matter forum aimed at holding police accountable for strategies it says have unfairly targeted blacks and left some residents fearful to even drive the city streets. 

Two auto industry executives talk with two local leaders in Normal Council chambers.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

After agreeing that it is a low-risk, high reward proposition Normal council members last night unanimously approved an incentive package to lure a start-up electric car manufacturer to the former Mitsubishi plant.  Rivian is an automotive technology company developing vehicles and services to advance the shift to sustainable mobility which would include automation and car-sharing models.

House that is the site of a planned police substation.
City of Bloomington website

The group Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal is asking its members to call Bloomington aldermen this weekend to delay a vote on whether to open a police substation on West Jefferson Street. BLM leaders say the community has not been properly engaged and there is no consensus that a substation would be welcome.  

Smart Phone screen shot showing location of AED at a building location
Photo courtesy of Pulse Point website

The holidays are stressful but nothing is apparently more stressful than Christmas day. That's the day when researchers in the American Heart Association's publication Circulation say there are more deadly heart attacks than any other day of the year, followed by Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.  With that in mind, the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation is pushing area residents to download the free smart phone app Pulse Point.

A man and woman marching in parade holding a banner for Democratic Party
Courtesy of McLean County Democrats Facebook page

Leaders in the McLean County Democratic Party are gathering tonight for what they’re calling a re-organization meeting and they're putting out an open call for anyone interested.  They hope to capitalize on the anger and interest so many people have following Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential election.

Stylist using curling iron on client's hair while she sitsin salon chair
Bobbie Vie / Flickr via Creative Commons

A new law taking effect in Illinois Jan. 1 will put hair stylists on the front lines to combat domestic violence. Illinois will be the first state in the nation to require hair stylists receive training to spot if their clients might be victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The law does not make salon workers mandatory reporters but encourages them to direct clients to resources.

A group of students and their teacher standing outside the Humanity Summit at Illinois Wesleyan University
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

As many as 75 community members, including high school and college students, teachers, social workers, retirees and activists pledged to fight oppression during a day-long Humanity Summit sponsored by the McLean County YWCA yesterday.

Election judges and a visitor to a table at Eastland Mall for early voting.
Courtesy of Bloomington Election Commission Facebook page

At least one local election official predicts voter turnout for the presidential election could hit a record 90 percent. Bloomington Election Commission Director Paul Shannon expects 8,000 city residents will vote early, almost twice that of the last election.

Justin Timberlake in a voting booth
Courtesy of Instagram

A prosecutor in Tennessee backed off a statement he made earlier in the day yesterday in which he said he was considering whether Justin Timberlake should be prosecuted for taking a selfie in a voting booth.  Tennessee last year made it a misdemeanor crime, punishable with a one-month jail sentence, to use a phone in a polling place for anything other than looking up information. 

Female professor wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirt
Nikita Richardson / NDR Communications

The Black Lives Solidarity Day at Illinois State University started with a campus visit from a Seattle educator a couple of weeks ago and it sparked an effort to join his initiative to raise awareness of the need for systemic changes to guarantee equality. 

Staff

One central Illinois state representative says he's confident Connect Transit will receive state funding appropriated to the bus system in time to avoid a shutdown of the bus fleet in January.

Republican Dan Brady of Bloomington spoke following a meeting this morning with Heartland Community College President Rob Widmer. Brady says he's puzzled as to why the $5 million appropriation hasn't been sent to Connect Transit.

Edith Castro Roldán, Oscar Manuel Luna Nieto / Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump declared during Sunday’s debate that remarks about sexually groping women were – as he put it – “just words” but at Illinois State University, there is a concerted effort to change the campus culture so students, faculty and staff chose their words more carefully.

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