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

Judith Valente / WGLT

GLT is reporting this week on why west Bloomington is a food desert and how different community organizations are working to fill the gap. This is part three in the series.

For many west Bloomington families, putting food on the table isn’t a necessity. Too often it’s a choice.

Judith Valente / WGLT

GLT is reporting this week on why west Bloomington is a food desert and how different community organizations are working to fill the gap. This is part two in the series.

Green Top Grocery is lowering prices on produce and other staples and trying a variety of other strategies to reach more lower-income customers from Bloomington's west side.

Judith Valente / WGLT

There’s an acre and a half of land adjacent to Sunnyside Park on the west side of Bloomington that, come summer, will transform into plots of garden-grown vegetables. Colleen Connelly, one of the garden's curators, surveys the scene.

Judith Valente / WGLT

There have been a number of changes at the McLean County Circuit Court, including revisions to drug laws and the bond-setting structure, aimed at keeping low-level offenders out of jail. Earlier this month, the court established a new, mandatory electronic filing system.

AP/Jon Chase

Bloomington-Normal has a gap in services to the dying. It has no residential hospice facility where people can receive 24-hour care at the end of life. Kevin Moore wants to change that.

Associated Press

Calling themselves the "Bloomington-Normal Resistance," dozens of local women are planning to take to the streets at this Saturday's March to the Polls in Chicago.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Nearly five months after a Category 5 hurricane rampaged through Puerto Rico, most residents still lack electricity and face shortages of health care items and basic necessities, according to Bloomington-Normal residents who have relatives on the island.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The president of the Illinois chapter of the NAACP says that more than 50 years after the federal Fair Housing Act was enacted, African-Americans still face housing discrimination, predatory mortgage lending practices, and other obstacles to moving into racially diverse and affluent neighborhoods.

Charlie Schlenker/GLT News

Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago has a history of welcoming immigrant students. Now it is trying to become a model in offering services to undocumented students.

Dania De La Hoya

When this 21-year-old Illinois State University senior walks anywhere, he says he constantly looks around him to see if there are any law enforcement officers nearby.

Associated Press/Will Sanjuan

Millions of women responded to allegations of sexual harassment against entertainment industry figures, members of Congress and prominent male journalists through the hashtag #MeToo. Workplace experts say the focus on sexual harassment has yet to spotlight another common problem affecting mostly women: bullying bosses. 

Judith Valente / WGLT

Children across the country suffering from life-threatening and chronic illnesses risk losing their health insurance unless Congress acts soon.

James Plath

Poet James Plath says some contemporary poetry can seem overly academic, inaccessible and off-putting to readers. He wants none of that. 

Courtesy of the Television Academy

One of the nominees at this Sunday's Golden Globe Awards traces the roots of his acting career to the student stage at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Ryan Denham/GLT News

Continuing a trend that began last spring with the Normal Township election, a number of first-time candidates who are women are running for local office.

Judith Valente / WGLT

The Midwest Food Bank is teaming up with Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee to provide food to the youth who attend programs at the community center she founded in her hometown of East St. Louis.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

It’s a Sunday morning service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington. About 200 people gather before a simple, unadorned altar to sing hymns, pray, listen to a sermon and share communion in a long tradition of Lutheran worship.

Courtesy of Don Munson

Popular Bloomington-Normal broadcaster Don Munson signed off for the last time from his morning show on WJBC in January 2000, telling his thousands of loyal listeners, “I’ve become such a part of so many people’s lives, generations of people in some households, and I only got it through my thick skull in recent years how much all of you have become a part of my life.”

Courtesy of St. John's University

The St. John's Bible is the first hand-painted, hand-written Bible created since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago.

Courtesy of Laura Sandoval

The number of illegal immigrants taken from the McLean County jail and sent to immigration detention centers has more than doubled in the past year, from 15 to 39.

International Crane Foundation

Whooping cranes have long captured the imagination of poets and painters. They are the tallest birds in North America, avid dancers and can live and breed well into their fifties.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Every day, an estimated 140 people die of opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to health officials. President Donald Trump recently declared opioid addiction a public health emergency.

Charles Rex Arbogast / The Associated Press

The enrollment period for obtaining health insurance through the Affordable Care Act on the Illinois exchanges begins Nov. 1, but signing up might prove more daunting this year than in the past.

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station told students at Chiddix Junior High School and the Challenger Learning Center Summer Space Camp that he never tires of looking out into deep space and what he misses most about earth when he's on a mission is a "big juicy bacon cheeseburger."

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months for Moesha Tyner and her six children.

Judith Valente / WGLT

In September, the GLT investigative series Landlord v. Tenant revealed increasing tensions between landlords and lower income tenants, who are often forced to rent substandard housing.

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.

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