Judith Valente | WGLT

Judith Valente

News Reporter

After traveling the country for PBS-TV for the past 15 years, Judy Valente was looking for a new challenge. She is delighted to have found one WGLT as a member of the GLT news team, allowing her to grow here in Normal where she is planted. Judy is also an award-winning poet and the author of two poetry collections. She recently completed a memoir of her regular visits to Mount St. Scholastica, a Benedictine monastery in Atchison, Kansas, called "Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith." She is often invited to speak on how to slow down and live a more contemplative life.

In her free time, this New Jersey native likes to traverse the Illinois prairie and is a member of the Illinois Master Naturalist program. She enjoys theater, especially Broadway musicals and Heartland Theater's 10-Minute Play Festival. She is also a lay associate of the monastery in Atchison, having taken vows to live out the monastic values of listening, humility, hospitality, simplicity and stability in her life as a married woman – and as a professional writer and journalist.

Ways to Connect

Pete Marovich / Getty Images

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington has begun offering medication abortions for the first time.

Judith Valente / WGLT

There are some new faces in the prairies around McLean County—ceramic faces, that is.

GLT News

Planned Parenthood of Illinois calls a new Trump administration rule allowing additional employers to opt out of providing birth control coverage a further "attack" on reproductive rights.

Joan Brehm

Illinois State University scholars, from biologists to sociologists, have been working for years on individual projects involving water.

Liliana Wang

Professional football players aren't the only ones taking a knee during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Judith Valente / WGLT

At the end of the month, eighth-graders at Chiddix Junior High School in Normal will get a chance of a lifetime.

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Donald Trump ran for president touting his outsider status and record as the leader of a vast real estate empire. He promised to apply business expertise to government.

Associated Press

A majority of evangelical Christians threw their support to President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, as did a large number of conservative Catholics and mainline Protestants who agreed with candidate Trump's positions on abortion and the economy.

Judith Valente / WGLT

The Village Board of Hudson received a petition Tuesday night signed by nearly 1,450 residents in support of a female police officer who was fired after becoming pregnant.

Courtesy of David Haskell

You might have heard about people who talk to trees. But can trees speak?

Gerald Herbert / The Associated Press

Hurricane Maria devastated most of the infrastructure of the island of Puerto Rico, leaving residents scrambling for food, water, gasoline and other necessities. Because communication lines were destroyed, information is slowly trickling out from the U.S. island territory, and the news is not good.

Dave Martin / The Associated Press

Here in the U.S., if you have to go to the bathroom, chances are there’s a toilet just a few steps away. That’s not the case for some 4.5 billion people across the world who don’t have access to toilets and safe sanitation systems.

Cindy Le/GLT News

The Catholic Church in Illinois played a large role in defeating passage of an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in the 1980s. However, the church's lobbying group in the state doesn't plan to take a stand this time around.

Courtesy of Bradley University

It's a position with a grand title, but no job description, no budget, no staff, and no salary.

Yet, poet and Bradley University Professor Kevin Stein calls being Illinois Poet Laureate one of the best jobs in the state.

WGLT

Lead levels that surpass state guidelines have been found in six Unit 5 elementary schools.

Jeff Robertson / Associated Press

The acquittal last week of a white former St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a 24-year-old African-American suspect has its roots in a 1989 Supreme Court decision.

Michael Jeffords

Most people would shrink from an opportunity to walk through the woods at night. All that darkness. All those strange insect sounds, not to mention the screeching owls.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

McLean County Circuit Court Judge David Butler signs dozens of orders of evictions each year as the judge who hears the bulk of landlord tenant cases for the county. 

He said it is rarely easy.

"When you put a single mother out who has one or six kids, it is always hard. I've had numerous cases where it's hard to enter an order of possession that tells somebody you have seven days to move everything you own out of this apartment or this house without knowing where to put it," Butler said.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The first thing you notice about the rental home at 705 S. Center Street is that the front door doesn’t lock.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

On a sunny afternoon, Bloomington housing inspector Gayle Price walks up a driveway to a wood-framed home on South Western Avenue.

Judith Valente / WGLT

On the morning of July 1, Brad May and his roommate woke to a situation no one relishes: a stopped-up toilet.

Judith Valente / WGLT

On the day Candace Gailes moved into her apartment at 610 South Linden in Normal, she says she sat down on her front step and wept.

Facebook

Flanked by local Republican legislators and school officials, Gov. Bruce Rauner stopped by Bloomington High School on Thursday to tout the state's new school funding formula.

Eastview Christian Church

Pastor Mike Baker stands on a large stage at Eastview Christian Church that serves as a pulpit. He is dressed casually in a summer suit, open collar shirt, and loafers with no socks. Behind him, lit up in stage lights, are the letters: S E X.

The Associated Press

Normal Mayor Chris Koos is lending his support to a national effort by mayors to allow so-called Dreamers—young people who were brought to this country without documents as children—to remain here legally.

Staff / WGLT

Call it the case of the disappearing welcome signs.

A number of Bloomington-Normal residents are reporting that their corrugated plastic lawn signs offering a message of welcome in three languages have gone missing.

Elyse Shoenig

It’s the 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass at Epiphany Catholic Church in Normal. This used to be the parish’s “Life Teen Mass,” but it isn’t any longer. White-haired and middle-aged people fill the pews—even some couples with children. But there are few teens or young adults. That concerns Father Eric Powell, Epiphany’s pastor.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / The Associated Press

Should journalists report everything the president or other public officials say, even if it's rude, crude or proves to be untrue? 

Courtesy of Jordan Becker

Bloomington resident Jordan Becker joined the Army National Guard in 2008 as Jordan Elizabeth Becker, a woman. In 2014, he dropped Elizabeth from his name, began hormone therapy and underwent surgery to become a man.

Associated Press

Illinois is once again in the spotlight as advocates seek to revive efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution after it narrowly missed being ratified in the 1970s.

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