Politics and Government

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal will be filling in gaps of the sidewalk system close to Illinois State University. 

The Town Council has approved using over $270,000 of Motor Fuel Tax Funds for sidewalk improvements on Beech Street, Fell Avenue, and University Street. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Just before the Senate Judiciary voted to forward President Trump's Supreme Court nominee to the full senate, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois announced his expected opposition.

The Illinois Democrat said federal Judge Neil Gorsuch favors big business and big money over ordinary people in nearly all cases.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may move to lower the speed limit on a southwest-side road. 

Aldermen discussed reducing the speed on Fox Creek Road from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court during a non-voting work session Monday night. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

On a recent Friday evening at the Herb Eaton Gallery, Sara Quah stepped onto a stage to do what loves and feels most comfortable doing - singing the songs she composes.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón says people should take advantage of a low-carbon economy in the fight against climate change.

While speaking at Illinois Wesleyan University Thursday night, Calderón said too many of us look at the horrible aspects of climate change.

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.

Emma Shores / Staff

The second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate will host a town hall in Bloomington on Friday and GLT will broadcast the event live. 

Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin will host the event 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall at Illinois Wesleyan University, at 1210 Park St. 

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Long Range Transportation survey conducted by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC)  late last year is providing direction for the organization's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The eventual blueprint will help guide transportation planning in the county for the next two decades.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal town council has altered some public comment rules and retained others.  Following an Illinois Attorney General's Office ruling that a 45 day wait between comments violated the Open Meetings Act, council agreed to waive any wait time. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss is joining a growing field of Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018.

During a stop in Normal Monday night, the former University of Chicago math professor called for a movement of ordinary people to take on money and "the machine."

Staff / WGLT

Illinois People's Action and local faith leaders are calling for the Bloomington and Normal councils to keep families together. 

IPA held a news conference at Bloomington's Unitarian Universalist Church Thursday focusing on a welcoming ordinance for the Twin Cities. 

Staff / WGLT

A Pontiac Correctional Center Officer says mainstreaming prisoners who belong in solitary confinement has created an extremely violent atmosphere inside the prison.

According to prison worker union data, there were 247 inmate assaults on staff at Pontiac during 2016.

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.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington Fire Department continues to lobby for a northeast side fire station. 

But, Fire Chief Brian Mohr said Monday night he doesn't expect that to happen soon. Mohr told the city council response times are too long to the northeast side, which puts stress on other parts of the system.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will receive the FY 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report tonight. 

Baker Tilly LLC were awarded the audit contract by Bloomington last year.

WGLT Staff

District 87's Superintendent Barry Reilly said Bloomington should maintain staffing levels next school year.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner has named two new members of the Liquor Commission.

They are Realtor Jack Bataoel and Lindsay Powell, who works in Marketing at Growmark.

Google Images

Illinois State University is not officially a "sanctuary campus," but plans to remain a safe haven for undocumented students.

That's according to education administration Professor Beth Hatt and Latin American studies Director Maura Toro-Morn. The two are co-founders of CAUSA, the Committee Assisting Undocumented Student Achievement.

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal later this month may loosen its rules on public comment at council meetings. During Sound Ideas, Mayor Chris Koos elaborated on his proposal to end the 45-day limit on individual appearances, and expanding the total time for comment per meeting from 10 to 20 minutes.

Staff / WGLT

Members of the Normal Town Council say the City of Bloomington needs to reconsider their move to terminate the Metro Zone agreement in order to regain trust. 

During Monday night's meeting, Mayor Chris Koos said the contract isn't terminated yet because both municipalities need to negotiate before any changes are made.

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.

Vote Today sign on a sidewalk
Ken Chui

There will be two candidates left for Bloomington Mayor by the time polls close in today's primary election. 

Incumbent Mayor Tari Renner is being opposed by current council members Diana Hauman and Kevin Lower, as well as retired fire-fighter Robert Fike, and former talk-radio host Ian Bayne.

Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon said there were just over 5,800 total voters by 4 p.m. 

Michael Hill / WGLT

The city of Bloomington budget may increase by about three percent, but the increase comes with some cuts.  Council got a first look at the 600 page budget totaling $213.8 million during their meeting Monday evening. 

Kevin Burkett/Creative Commonc/Flickr

Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will deliver the Democratic Response to President Trump’s address. NPR will have the following transcript of Beshear’s remarks and journalists across the NPR newsroom will also be annotating his remarks. Refresh this page when Beshear's speech begins.

NASA HQ / Flickr

President Trump delivers his first speech to a Joint Session of Congress tonight at 8 PM CT. GLT is broadcasting the speech. NPR is offering the following live transcript of the remarks, and NPR journalists with expertise in politics, immigration, business, law and more will offer their analysis and annotations. Refresh this page when the speech begins.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The City of Bloomington has officially ended its participation in the Metro Zone with the Town of Normal.

Aldermen voted 7-2 Monday night to approve the move toward a new process of joint collaboration within the Twin Cities. 

Judith Valente

By the time Jenn Carrillo crossed into the U.S. illegally from Mexico,  her family had already tried for years to to obtain legal status.

The family's original petition was filed in 1996. That application is still pending.

"We still haven't heard back from that petition. I can look it up and track it and see where it is in the stack," Carrillo, who came here at age 10, said on GLT's Sound Ideas.

"For a lot of us, there is no legal remedy."

Alisdare Hickson/Creative Commons

"Even though I don't have documents, this is my country and I will do whatever to defend it," said a 30-year-old undocumented immigrant who wants to be called Victor because he fears being deported under new Trump administration policies.

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:

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