Laura Kennedy | WGLT

Laura Kennedy

Features Reporter/All Things Considered Host

Reporter, content producer and All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. Presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.

Astonishingly pale and a tad goth, Kennedy tends to sizzle if left in the sun too long.

In her spare time Kennedy nurtures her worrisome passion for cashmere, plays zither in her imaginary garage band, Dowager Hump, and sits slack-jawed in front of the television watching Turner Classic Movies.

Ways to Connect

Andy Roberts / Flicker via Creative Commons

The Twin City Theater Company in Champaign-Urbana is staging the award-winning music "Billy Elliot," featuring a young performer who goes to school at Metcalf by day and by night dances the title role in the heart-warming musical.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

An ancient invention that was used for spying, rescuing and military communications eventually evolved into a popular toy—the kite. Now that toy is proving it's more that just for fun at an event that allows families to play together while raising money for a good cause.  

Abigail Batchelder / Flickr via Creative Commons

Summer is slowly winding down, and with the approach of autumn it's time to make plans to transplant trees and shrubs in your yard. Host Patrick Murphy has this advice.

Staff / WGLT

The recent budget crisis in Illinois created real problems for college students across the state, some of whom opted to find less uncertainty in colleges in other states.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Those who highlight the work of the artists of central Illinois are now taking their turn in the public eye.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

What was once a stopping place on the Mother Road has found new life, thanks to a partnership between a local Route 66 scholar and the Town of Normal.

Stonescape / Flickr via Creative Commons

You can add some serious beauty to your yard and not have to worry about watering or fertilizing.

After Hours

Barbershop quartets aren't just for squares and old movies. The music style is alive and kicking in the 21st century, thanks to a recent resurgence and young vocalists like Tim Beutel.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artists Jan Brandt and Jeannie Breitweiser have teamed up in a new space that will allow them to create and also celebrate the creativity of others.

Jereme Rauckman / Flickr via Creative Commons

White pines in America are vulnerable to several diseases.

Warner Bros. Pictures / The Associated Press

"It's intense. It's brutal. It's a strong film."

Sarah Ackerman / Flicker via Creative Commons

Prairie Fire Theatre is staging "The Most Happy Fella," a musical set in Napa Valley with a plot that's future forward.

Alan Levin / Flickr via Creative Commons

Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. And, of course, dogs gotta bark. But what does it mean when your pooch barks?

Germanny / Flicker via Creative Commons

The first-ever Healthy Pet Expo combines useful, hands-on information with goofy fun.

John Loo / Flicker via Creative Commons

For every iris, lily or rose that you plant in your garden, you put out a welcome mat for bunnies and other critters to come and dine at the leisure.

Joel Ryan/Invision / The Associated Press

The world's most famous time traveler is about to undergo a change that, for some, is shocking and disturbing.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A pair of Bloomington-Normal entrepreneurs with an eye to the future and a strong sense of humor have launched a Kickstarter campaign for an intriguing new product.

Esther Max / Flicker via Creative Commons

A pair of grants will allow Illinois State University's Mennonite College of Nursing to address the diversity of the nursing workforce and help nurses find a place where they are most needed.

Liz West / Flickr via Creative Commons

Stress is not only bad for humans. It can have a negative impact on your trees as well.

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center / Advocate Healthcare

Nine months ago an exciting event took place that made thousands of people wildly exuberant and happily exhausted. Oh, and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series too. And now, it's a Cubs baby boomlet.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The latest exhibition in the Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College features works by an artists whose brand is Romance, and who believes that art and beauty have the power to evoke change.

Kostandin Minga / Flickr via Creative Commons

Spaying or neutering your pets can result in great health benefits and longer lives for your animals. But the timing of that operation is crucial.

Ted / Flicker via Creative Commons

The Community Cancer Center in Normal is hosting a release of scores of butterflies as a celebration of hope and peace.

The event is Saturday, July 22. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

Lucy Meskill / Flicker via Creative Commons

When the heat is on and the rains are not, lawns can shut down. But does dormancy mean death for your grass?

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After almost a decade of dormancy, there's new life on the north Normal hotel landscape.

Holiday Inn failed. So did Sheraton Inn. And Staywood Inn, as well. Now the new Radisson Hotel hopes to rise from their ashes on the north side of Normal to turn the location into a success story.

Nicole Radja

"I somehow chose the only profession in the world that has fewer chances of employment than professional wrestler."

Family walks inside Hancock Stadium
Courtesy / Easter Seals Central Illinois

At an upcoming Easter Seals event, you not only get a chance to walk to raise money to help kids with disabilities, you get a chance to walk with a champion.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

With energy, humor and hip hop verse, Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece Romeo and Juliet moves to a new rhythm created by the Q Brothers Collective for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

impatiens flowers
Jim the Photographer / Flickr via Creative Commons

Impatiens downy mildew is a growing problem in gardens across America. Defoliation and flower dropping are two signs your plants are infected.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

When Shakespeare first wrote Cymbeline in 1623, it was well received. But by the 18th century, the play had fallen out of favor.

Audiences found it difficult to pin down and classify, plus it was darkly comedic and just had a whole lot going on from curtain up to curtain down. But there's a new adaptation afoot at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival that puts the problems of the play in their place and sets the action under the big top.  

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