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

Clare Black / Flickr via Creative Commons

With the end of Daylight Savings Time, our bodies are expected yet again to adapt to a shift that could disrupt our sleep-wake cycle for days.  Even though the time shift happens only twice a year, many people suffer from ongoing sleep problems that can critically impact our health.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A pair of artists shared not only studio space but a creative impulse in creating works that are currently on display at heartland Community College.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr via Creative Commons

Having raspberry bushes in your backyard is a real bonus -- they produce a healthy and delicious treat that's versatile in the kitchen.  But, according to Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, keeping the plant healthy in the yard takes some work.

Gordon Vayo

A Twin Cities native is the runner-up in the World Series of Poker, which wrapped up play early this morning in Las Vegas. 

j van cise / Flickr via Creative Commons

Many, many years ago, prairie grasses covered much of the Midwest.  The grasses lost the battle to cultivated crops -- corn, wheat, soybeans.  But now everyday gardeners are trying to bring prairie grass back where it belongs.

mcfarlandmo / Flickr via Creative Commons

Season seven of The Walking Dead just started, returning a terrifying vision of a zombie apocalypse to the small screen.  It's quite a departure from TV 40 years ago, when the supernatural was often depicted as funny and cute, like on the show, Bewitched.  At least that what it seemed on the surface. 

MillsBaker / Flickr via Creative Commons

While you're lining up flu vaccinations for yourself and your family, don't forget about the furry members of your family.  The highly contagious canine flu that's infected thousands of dogs, leading to some deaths, is expected to return this season.  This time, forewarned is forearmed, said Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal.  You can take steps to protect your pet from H3N2.

Kim McCord

Being a rock musician isn't just a young person's game.  An Illinois State University music professor wants to help people of all ages live the rock n' roll dream.

Debroah Carr Senger

A noted local medium and ghost tour guide has just published a book about the lively dead of the Twin Cities.  Deborah Carr Senger is the author of Haunted Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, just available on Arcadia History Press.

Ray Johnson

Our attention is going to the leaves this time of year as they change into their glorious colors of autumn.  But Ray in Bloomington isn't concerned with the changing hues, but with some mysterious holes that have appeared in the leaves of his otherwise healthy Canadian Red Cherry tree.

Harry Pherson / Flickr via Creative Commons

The mother of all roads is turning 90 this year.  To celebrate nine decades of travel across the wide open spaces of America, Route 66 lovers are converging on the Twin Cities later this week.  The 2nd Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference is Thursday through Sunday, featuring a variety of speakers, historic tours and more.  

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Witches and ghosts populate the plays of William Shakespeare, so it's natural that they'll be called upon to headline in what's become a new Halloween favorite in the Twin Cities.

John Schattel

Late bloomers can add some delightful color to our yards this time of year.  But a sudden turn in the weather can put the flowers in danger. Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, said you've got to have your plant in the right space to avoid such problems.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A hometown musician has returned to the Twin Cities to share an extraordinary musical instrument that, despite a series of unfortunate events, he managed to bring back to life.  Last year, GLT's Laura Kennedy produced a story we called 'How Do You Mend A Broken Harp?' It detailed the long road that musician Ted Nichelson took to restore a rare 86-year old Lyon and Healey harp.

White Chapel Press

Today is World Mental Health Day.  It's also the birthday of Rhoda Derry, who was born in 1834 and is the subject of a new biography entitled 44 Years in Darkness:  A True Story of Madness, Tragedy and Shattered Love.   A local author relates the painful tale of the Illinois woman who suffered through decades of mental illness and disfiguring self-abuse while institutionalized.  

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Normal Editions Workshop  is celebrating 40 years of work.  A professional print research facility located within the School of Art at Illinois State University, the workshop exists to bring students together with visiting artists so that they may collaborate on projects.

Chris_Parfitt / Flickr via Creative Commons

Autumn is the perfect time of year to put a new tree in the ground.  With milder weather, your new addition has a fighting chance to put down roots and firmly establish itself as a star in your yard.  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, has some advice on tree planting.

jvoves / Flickr via Creative Commons

Montreal has enacted a new breed-specific legislation in response to a recent deadly pit bull attack in the city. A 55-year old woman was mauled to death by a dog that was described as a pit bull.  Officers shot and killed the animal, and the tragedy has spurred the city into action.  

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After forty years, and Illinois State University graduate and acclaimed artist Wonsook Kim has returned to campus to share her work in a new exhibition, and to lend a hand to the next generation.

BOjangles / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois State University Homecoming is October 3 through 9, with A Normal Tradition as the theme for this year's festivities.  

Liz West / Flickr via Creative Commons

Autumn offers many pleasures, from crisp weather to colorful leaves.  But one favorite thing about fall that Patrick Murphy can't get enough of is fall fruits.  There's plenty to enjoy, and now is a wonderful time to get planting.

anax44 / Flickr via Creative Commons

The organizers of a traditional Indian dance festival in the Twin Cities are throwing the doors to the event open wide in order to make this an event for the whole community.  What's more, they're putting a Bollywood spin on the traditional Indian festival dance forms known as Dandiya and Garba.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

We've gone far beyond just ordinary kibble when we feed our pets.  There's ample options out there, but could there be danger lurking within the list of ingredients?  Laura Kennedy has more in this edition of Animal House.

ISU School of Theatre and Dance

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance has a diverse collection of plays to run this season, from old favorites to new and exciting works.  The  emphasis this season is on international playwrights.  

Nina Gordon

The Downtown Bloomington Artists present the second annual Art Scavenger Hunt for grade school children on Friday, Oct. 7 beginning at 5 PM in downtown Bloomington.  As part of the First Friday festivities, the scavenger hunt encourages kids to learn about art in their own community.

Thales / Flickr via Creative Commons

Autumn has arrived, and it brought with it a to-do list that you shouldn't ignore.  Fall is prime time for planting, reviving a lawn and adding a splash of color.   No putting your feet up just yet, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.

Mike Mantin / Flickr via Creative Commons

The pages of children and young adult's literature are strewn with the corpses of many a mother.  A new collection of essays examines the role of the mother in books for young people and finds that moms can be so much more than what is currently portrayed in a lot of popular fiction.

Easter Seals Central Illinois

The Bloomington Country Club hosts the 22nd Annual Grape Soiree, which raises funds for Easter Seals Central Illinois.  It's Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 5:30 PM and features art, wine and jazz.

Kamil Gopaniuk / Flickr via Creative Commons

You work hard on your lawn and garden, and you deserve to reap the benefits of a beautiful landscape.  But there's nasty weeds out there that are bent on invading and ruining your yard.  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, has advice for dealing with the top three weeds you don't want in your yard.

Ben Smith / Flickr via Creative Commons

The hugely popular Netflix documentary true crime series, Making a Murderer,  just nabbed four Emmy Awards in the nonfiction category.  The much-streamed show tapped into the on-going national fascination with true crime stories, and a local professor's research indicates some interesting reasons for our lust for true crime, especially women's thirst for the stories.

Pages