Ryan Denham

Reporter

Ryan Denham started his career as a copy editor and later business and city government reporter at The Pantagraph in 2006. He later worked for WJBC radio in Bloomington. He now works in website development for Illinois State University and is a freelance reporter for WGLT.

Ways to Connect

Sol and Taunia pose at WGLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Some new faces will be joining the Unit 5 and District 87 school boards after Tuesday’s election.

In Normal-based Unit 5, longtime district volunteer and parent Taunia Leffler defeated newcomer Sol Roberts-Lieb in its only contested school board race.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped with my campaign,” Leffler, a State Farm employee, posted on her Facebook page. “I'm so excited to represent Unit 5. It was a pleasure running this race for the benefit of our kids and community.”

Tari Renner speaks at podium
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

Mayor Tari Renner won a second term Tuesday over conservative challenger Kevin Lower, as incumbents also held on in three wards across the city.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County voters head to the polls Tuesday, and for many it will be the first time at the ballot box since the election of Donald Trump.

Sol and Taunia pose at WGLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A longtime district volunteer will face off against a professional educator in the only head-to-head matchup for Unit 5 school board in the April 4 election.

Taunia Leffler and Solomon "Sol" Roberts-Lieb, both of south Bloomington, are vying for one of three 4-year terms on the Unit 5 school board. Because of limits on how many board members can reside in certain areas of the district, either Leffler or Roberts-Lieb can win—but not both.

Erik Bush at GLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

There is now only one contested race for Unit 5 school board in the April 4 election.

Erik Bush of north Normal withdrew his candidacy Wednesday, citing personal reasons. That means his opponent, incumbent Joseph Cleary of Normal, is now uncontested for one of three 4-year positions open on the board.

Normal water tower
Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal lifted its boil order early Saturday evening. Officials said testing showed that the town's water quality was not compromised in the wake of a water main break late Thursday.

Tari Renner, Kevin Lower, and Robert Fike
WGLT Staff

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday as primary voters chose which two candidates for Bloomington mayor will advance to the ballot on April 4.

GLT is proud to partner with the League of Women Voters McLean County to bring our community a series of candidate forums for Bloomington and Normal mayoral candidates, Bloomington city council candidates and Town of Normal council candidates.

Each forum will be broadcast live from ISU's University Galleries at 6 p.m. on the date scheduled and will be rebroadcast the following day on GLT's Sound Ideas at noon. These forums are open to the public.

Here is a quick recap from the first forum, featuring the Bloomington mayoral candidates:

GLT is proud to partner with the League of Women Voters McLean County to bring our community a series of candidate forums for Bloomington and Normal mayoral candidates, Bloomington city council candidates and Town of Normal council candidates.

Each forum will be broadcast live from ISU's University Galleries at 6 p.m. on the date scheduled and will be rebroadcast the following day on GLT's Sound Ideas at noon. These forums are open to the public.

Here is a quick recap from the first forum, featuring the Bloomington mayoral candidates:

Adyson poses with her dad
Ryan Denham / WGLT

When you play dodgeball against Adyson Slayback, good luck trying to actually dodge the ball.

Jason and Donna pose together
Ryan Denham

The 23 players on the Bloomington Thunder roster compete night in and night out, holding their own in one of the top hockey minor leagues in the country.

John Yates poses niside Arcadia
Ryan Denham

Most entrepreneurs use their passion to try and make a buck. John Yates is only looking for your quarters.

Yates is the creator of the Arcadia Playable Arcade Museum in McLean, less than 20 miles southwest of Bloomington-Normal. Yates has turned his massive collection of vintage arcade games and pinball machines into a destination for nostalgic visitors.

Adrian Barr poses
Ryan Denham

Even if you’ve never been arrested yourself, anyone who’s watched reruns of Law & Order knows that you have the right to an attorney when you’re charged with a crime.

But that’s not the case when you face civil legal issues, which can derail your life with the same force as a criminal charge. Facing foreclosure? Seeking an order of protection against an abuser? Unless you have the money to hire an attorney, you might be on your own.

Brandon Hepner and Brian Taylor
Ryan Denham

Bloomington-Normal is a large metro area that’s home to several college campuses and plenty of Chicago transplants. So how did Republican Donald Trump still manage to win McLean County?

Donald Trump speaks at a podium
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Amid a closer-than-expected national race for president, Republican Donald Trump narrowly edged out Democrat Hillary Clinton among local voters in McLean County.

With all but one precinct reporting at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Trump edged Clinton with 45.7 percent of the total McLean County vote, compared to her 44.6 percent. Trump’s victory was by just 860 votes.

James Matthew Anderson poses at WGLT studio
Ryan Denham

Every day for the past few months, a presidential candidate has visited Bloomington-Normal. But don’t be surprised if you missed the motorcade.

His name is James Matthew “Matt” Anderson of Mahomet, who commutes every day to Bloomington where he works as an attorney. Anderson is a registered write-in candidate for president in McLean County, an easier-than-it-sounds decision he made as a disgruntled voter.