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

Actresses around a cauldren.
Heartland Theater

Heartland Theater in Normal presents the 10-Minute Play Festival, debuting not only new, short works of theater, but a new listening system for the hearing-impaired.

Fell Hall on ISU campus
Illinois State University

The wonderful array of plantings on the Illinois State University campus can provide inspiration for new landscaping ideas in your yard.

Steampunkers
taymetayme / Flickr via Creative Commons

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening is back for a second year of elaborate costuming, outrageous gadgetry and history—both real and imagined.

Child reading Harry Potter.
Seth Wenig / AP

Twenty years ago, a bespeckled young boy captured the imaginations of readers young and old, becoming a cultural force that influenced the idealism of a generation.

The Penguine Project of McLean County

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Pengin Project of McLean County.

Row of palm trees.
David Prasad / Flickr via Creative Commons

Careful landscape architecture uses spatial composition to help create good bones in your yard.

University Galleries Director Barry Blinderman
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After 31 years guiding the University Galleries, the director is heading into retirement.

Dog on couch.
jqpubliq / Flickr via Creative Commons

As medical marijuana becomes more accepted across the country, some are finding the substance can help not only humans, but their companion animals.

Sprinkler on lawn.
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr via Creative Commons

Water, water, everywhere. But are you getting the most out of it for your plants?

Trees and prairie grasses.
ParkLand Foundation

The ParkLands Foundation is hosting an open house event to highlight the delights of Letcher Basin.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

This season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival deftly combines the thrill of both a battle and a heart won, familiar faces revisiting cherished roles, and a chance to imagine "what if" about The Bard.

Nancy Steele Brokaw
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Prairie Fire Theater teams up with theater students from Illinois Wesleyan University to stage an original children's opera that aims to be fun as well as thought-provoking.

seed pod
Annelieke B / Flickr via Creative Commons

A great way to preserve genetic diversity of plants is with a seed bank.

Cute puppy
cvatrok77 / Flickr via Creative Commons

Reports of raccoons behaving strangely in Illinois and Ohio this spring revealed a problems that can kill both wildlife and domestic pets.

Zombies
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

When George Romero brought "Night of the Living Dead" to the screen 50 years ago, he kicked off a trend for zombie narratives that viewers can't get enough of.

 Sarah Smelser and Jerry Antonini
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

You can celebrate art, music, theater, and dance at the annual Gala at the Gallery fundraiser.

Spring flowers
Robbie Sproule / Flickr via Creative Commons

Now that spring has finally put in an appearance, time to get out in the garden and get some things done.

Actors Ruth Gordon (L) and Mia Farrow
AP

"Rosemary's Baby" is not your everyday monster-on-the-loose kind of horror film. Actually, it may not even be a horror film at all.

Kite flying at Hancock Stadium
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Kite Fest 2018 on Sunday, May 6, combines family fun with raising awareness of nonprofits in the community.

Mandolin players rehearsing.
WGLT

Just over 100 years ago, mandolin mania swept across the United States, inspiring people of all ages to pick up the instrument and even form their own amateur groups.

Beans in collander.
Saiberiac / Flickr via Creative Commons

Don't grow just any old bean in your garden. Go with the beautiful and tasty dragon tongue bean.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After 21 years at the helm of LIFE Center for Independent Living, Gail Kear is retiring.

Dogs in carrier in front of plane
Mitch Stacy / AP

According to AAA, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their dogs and cats with them when they travel. It can be fun, but it can also be dangerous—even deadly.

Gamers playing Halo.
Matt Sayles / AP

Rick Valentin would like you to join him at the intersection of film and video games.

John Poling
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Community Players in Bloomington is staging a biting comedy/drama of family relations.

Prairie verbena flowers.
Sonal Patil

Sonal in Texas has the right idea about using native plants in her yard. She's tempted to transplant the prairie verbena she sees on the roadside right into her garden. Is that a good idea?

Jar of buttons
Vintage Fairy Tale / Flickr via Creative Commons

For as long as humans have needed to keep clothing fastened, we've counted on buttons to do the heavy lifting. But more than being simply useful, buttons have become highly collectable.

Circus performer's rings.
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

For the very first time, the Circus Fans Association of America is holding its annual convention this week in Bloomington-Normal, a community that was once called the Trapeze Capital of the World, owing to the number of flyers who originated in the Twin Cities.

Mike McNeil and Madonna Courtright
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Golden K Kiwanis organization is planning a fundraiser to help kids on our community.

Foxtail barley
Matt Lavin / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you want a garden that's true to its American roots and flourishes no matter what Mother Nature throws at it, then you need to add native plants to your yard.

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