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

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP/File

The poverty rate has inched slightly lower in Illinois but still remains well above the rate that existed before the Great Recession began in 2008.

Di Ann Sanchez

For many Americans, Sept. 11, 2001, remains an indelible date. It is an especially traumatic memory for Di Ann Sanchez.

Jenn speaks to crowd
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A Bloomington police detective who has worked with YWCA McLean County’s Stepping Stones program for sexual assault survivors said he will no longer help with its trainings in part because of the YWCA’s support for a citizen-led police advisory board.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

It’s the noon hour on a warm, sunny spring day in downtown Bloomington. Cars and buses move along Front Street. Delivery trucks unload their contents on side streets.

Associated Press/Charles Rex Arbogast

McLean County residents facing home foreclosure will no longer be able to receive free help from a legal clinic sponsored by the University of Illinois.

Courtesy of Charlene Carruthers

Community activist and author Charlene Carruthers says she believes in asking questions that challenge people and might even make some feel uncomfortable.

Courtesy of Douglas Tallamy

Environmentalist Douglas Tallamy believes every person with a patch of front or back yard can be a conservationist.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Having grown up in Brussels, Belgium, American artist and illustrator Chas Fagan says he was keenly interested in U.S. history, particularly its presidents.

Associated Press

Sexual harassment claims. Nondisclosure clauses. Gender discrimination in the workplace. All have been in the news lately.

Courtesty of YWCA McLean County

Women earn on average 79 cents for every dollar men earn. Because more women head households than ever before, the continuing gender pay gap has become a "family issue," says Kyle Ciani, a women's and gender studies professor at Illinois State University.

Associated Press

On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader’s legacy continues to loom large through such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as well as affirmative action hiring and educational practices.

Judith Valente / WGLT

Hundreds of McLean County residents on parole or probation attended a fair Tuesday at the Salvation Army, offering advice on jobs, housing, health insurance, counseling services and how to get a criminal record expunged.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts helped establish the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Its role has been to investigate complaints by citizens against banks, mortgage servicers, credit card companies and other large financial institutions. The CFPB gave consumers added clout to sue those companies.

Judith Valente / WGLT

With the American flag flying in the background, a group of about 30 Illinois State University students demonstrated Monday in front of the Hovey Hall administration building to press university officials to make ISU an official "welcoming campus."

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The number of Democrats turning out for Tuesday's primary more than tripled over the number that voted in 2014.

Courtesty of Valarie Kaur

Activist Valarie Kaur acknowledges that many people "want to gag" when she starts talking about love as the spark for social change. She tries to convince them she is advocating for a "revolutionary love" that is the best answer to solving many of society's problems.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Shayna Watchinski declared victory Tuesday over Democratic incumbent Paul Segobiano in their McLean County Board primary race.

Toby Talbot / AP

Andrew Dewey once had a good job as an assistant manager of a department store. He was married with a son, and had saved a nest egg. All that changed after his doctor began prescribing potent painkillers.

Judith Valente / WGLT

With tears, a moment of silence and the release of pale blue balloons into a nearly cloudless sky, members of the Normal West high school softball team paid tribute to Olivia Sonetz on Thursday.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Bloomington Fire Department said Wednesday the blaze that left 29 people in an apartment building homeless last month was caused by an accidental cooking fire.

Courtesy of Community Players

What happens to Cinderella after she marries her prince? Who is Rapunzel’s real mother? Is every witch bad? Is every hero good?

Courtesy of Illinois State University

Scientists call them the "unsung heroes" of the human body. They are B cells—white blood cells that help ward off viruses and infection. But as our bodies age, so does the effectiveness of these cells.

Google Maps

The city of Bloomington on Wednesday condemned a townhouse owned by the same landlord whose apartment building at a different location burned earlier this month, and had been cited for more than 200 code violations before the fire.

Courtesy of University of Illinois

The teaching of America's multicultural history has come a long way from the largely white, Euro-centric version students were taught for decades. Most of that progress has been at the university level.

Normal Local 2442 Facebook Pages

In the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school, some local firefighter organizations are coming under criticism by community activists and on social media for raffling off firearms during fundraisers.

Growmark / Twitter

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday brought his sales pitch for a state tax cut to Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A Bloomington apartment building that caught fire earlier this month had 226 building code violations, including non-working smoke detectors, Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday.

John Minchillo / AP

Illinois State University politics and government professor Lane Crothers has long been an observer of the American democratic system. Political events of the past year, he said, have caused him to question whether the country is experiencing the beginning of the end of democracy.

A 30-year-old Bloomington woman was stabbed to death with a butcher knife—allegedly by her husband—earlier this month. She was packing to leave what relatives say was an abusive relationship.

Jae C. Hong / AP

One in three women worldwide will experience a form of physical abuse, violence experts say.

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