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

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Jeff Dunn / Flickr via Creative Commons

A Grammy award-winning jazz superstar is making an appearance this weekend in central Illinois to give  the second-ever performance of a new work that combines jazz with classical music. The Ramsey Lewis Trio is appearing with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Saturday at 8 PM in the Peoria Civic Center Theater to perform Lewis' Concerto for Jazz Trio and Orchestra.

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One of the most common eye problems for dogs is cataracts, which can impact canines of all ages and breeds and be brought on by disease, old age and trauma.  While cataracts are not painful, they can lead to even worse eye problems, such as eye loss, said Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal 

Autism McLean

The annual Peace, Love, Autism Walk is Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 9 AM in Bloomington's Tipton Park.

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Trees are supposed to lose their leaves in fall.  But when it happens in the summer time, it's not a good sign.  Does that mean the end is near?  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow helps a listener who fears losing a tree.

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We all love a good laugh.  But can that laughter help us in our career? One local career counselor thinks so.  Humor is a great communication tool, said Becky Mentzer , and it creates a great work environment.

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 On Sept. 8, 1966, a new television series debuted, telling a tale of exploration and adventure in a space saga that, while only lasting three seasons, has gone on at warp speed to inspire an entertainment empire.

Heartland Theater

The tragic tale of a young boxer and his impact on the women in his life takes center stage at Heartland Theater. Welsh boxer Johnny Owen died shortly after his attempt win the WBC World Bantamweight title in 1980.  The story inspired playwright Sunil Kuruvilla to tell the tale through the prism of three women from a mining town in Wales.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Labor Day holiday traditionally signals the end of the summer holidays.  But when something ends, something else begins.  Autumn is fast approaching, and the Illinois State University Horticulture Center invites the community to come out to enjoy the fruits of their harvest and engage in traditional activities of the fall.

Steve p2008

As young folks head off for a new school year, many of them do so in buildings with ivy covered walls.  This most collegiate of plants looks gorgeous against a brick building, but it takes some work to maintain.  If you're willing to put in the effort, it's worth it, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.

Marian Willitts

There are many, many animal rescue groups that help cats, dogs and other domestic animals find a home.  Fewer still are the rescue groups that help farm animals find sanctuary.  In central Illinois, there's KARA, Kickapoo Animal Rescue Alliance, a place where domestic and farm animals can find sanctuary in a no kill shelter. 

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The new season at Community Players kicks off with a comedy that asks, 'Coffee, tea or me?'  It's Boeing, Boeing, a classic French farce from the swinging '60's.  The show has a preview Thursday, Sept. 1, with the opening on Friday the 2nd.  The show runs through Sept. 11.

Twin City Trivia

You can test your movie trivia mettle each Monday night at 7 PM  at Ovation Cinema in Bloomington as Twin City Trivia hosts a movie trivia night for all ages.  Quiz master Pete Moore said the trivia night has a wide range of questions for both aficionados and for the casual film fan.

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Drainage problems in your yard can cause all sorts of problems, both for your house and plants.  So grab your umbrella on a rainy day and go out to your yard to check out the situation.  It could save you from costly difficulties down the road.

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A piece of home entertainment technology has gone into the light after revolutionizing how we view our favorite movies and TV shows.  Let us bow our heads in remembrance of an old tech friend, summoned to the other side after a battle against pernicious obsolescence. 

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Uptown Normal hosts not-your-average harvest festival, Saturday and Sunday, August 27 & 28.  It's the Sweet Corn Blues Festival, featuring over 20 tons of fresh sweet corn and two days of live blues on the CEFCU stage.

Google Images via Creative Commons

Just like people, plants need nutrients to stay healthy.  However, unlike people, plants can't do a Target run to grab a bottle of multivitamins to stay in the pink.  With a sharp eye, you can maintain the health of your plants, and they'll thank you by looking great.

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