Politics and Government

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Some choices for committee chairs on the McLean County Board caused votes against the package. The Chair's picks for panels usually pass without dissent.

Board member Laurie Wollrab is not fond of Chair John McIntyre's choice of Dave Selzer to head the transportation committee.

Provided by Tom McClure

In spite of divisions in the Republican Party over the Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, an ISU Professor of Politics and Government said he doesn't foresee a splintered party. Tom McClure said during GLT's Sound Ideas the short term is secure.

Gravity Aided / Wikimedia Commons

The Normal Theater could see an upgrade to its lighting system, allowing it to be used for more live performances and community events. The town council will consider spending $57 thousand on the energy efficient upgrade for the venue.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington's Mayor is painting a picture of a failed downtown  hotel and conference center proposal as a process that is working.  A consultant has recommended against moving forward because the developer partnership has not put $40-million dollars in financing into place.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

If you drink and drive, you have a higher risk of getting caught in the Town of Normal than in most cities in the state.

Data from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists show Normal police make more DUI arrests per officer than all but two other cities in Illinois.

Creative Commons

Police in Normal have arrested two men in what could be the overdose death of a 17-year old girl.

Officers aren't saying anything about the cause of death, but Chief Rick Bleichner implied it when he said there can be immunity from offenses if there is a good faith effort to call for medical help or to save a life.

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Police in Normal have arrested a man they believe is a one-man car burglary wave.

Officers say they found 22-year old Marquel Butler of Bloomington in the 1500 block of Torrey Pines Road early Tuesday morning.

Michael Vadon / Flickr

Some Illinois delegates for Donald Trump say they’ll skip next week’s political convention in protest of their own state Republican Party.

Rich Nordstrom won election in the Republican primary to go to next week’s Republican National Convention as a delegate, and officially vote for Donald Trump to be the party’s nominee.

J.P. Mueller / Creative Commons

The Mayor of Normal is giving Congressional testimony on the merits of high speed rail.

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.

Clinton Warns Of Trump Danger

Jul 13, 2016
Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Hillary Clinton said the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln has been transformed into "the party of Trump."

Ratting off a series of attacks against her GOP rival during an appearance in Springfield, Clinton said Trump is "dangerous," "divisive," "fear-mongering" and is "pitting American against American."

Henry Lawford / Creative Commons

The stopgap spending measure approved by lawmakers and the Governor at the end of last month did nothing to fix the structural deficit or the backlog of bills State government owes in Illinois. Take dentists for instance.

There are about 18,000 dentists in Illinois. The state owes them 150 million dollars.

Michael Hill / WGLT

People from different parts of Illinois are agreeing to "mend the gaps" when it comes to issues such as healthcare, taxes, education and pay inequality. Residents from Bloomington, Normal, the Chicago area and other Illinois communities attended a discussion called the "Caucus to Mend the Gaps." The event is part of the "Nuns on the Bus" tour.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The City of Bloomington could have a final five-year capital improvement plan by the end of the year. Aldermen and city staff will work together in the coming months to finish up the proposal, which was presented in draft form during a city council work session.

WGLT

Joining Charlie Schlenker for a round table discussion on issues affecting the homeless are Tricia Stiller, the Executive  Director of the Downtown Bloomington Association, Jordan Collins, outreach coordinator of PATH, an agency that tries to match the homeless with services, and Matt Burgess, the Chief Operating Officer of Home Sweet Home Ministries which operates a shelter and provides meals on Oakland Street for adults and children.

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For the last half century  the courts have moved to a jurisprudence of law and order instead of one of individual rights.

That's according to Michael Gizzi, an Illinois State University Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, who spoke with GLT's Charlie Schlenker. Gizzi has co-authored a new book on the fourth amendment to the constitution, the portion of the bill of rights preventing unreasonable searches and seizures so people can be secure in their property and possessions.

Jim Browne / WGLT

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce urban violence in Illinois.

Il. Dept. Corrections / Facebook via Creative Commons

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys face a midnight deadline for motions regarding the sentence they'd like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to receive when his case returns to court for a resentencing hearing next month. 

Decatur police say a black man shot by a white officer was armed with a BB gun that resembled a real firearm. The 40-year-old Decatur man is listed in serious condition after being shot in the chest early Monday. The Associated Press is not yet identifying the man because he has not been charged with a crime.  
 
Officers responded to a report of a man with a gun around 1 a.m. Interim Police Chief James Getz said during a news conference that Officer Andrew Wittmer fired one round during the encounter that "ended the threat." 
 

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider spending an additional $25 thousand this year to help with operational costs for the Route 66 Visitors Center at the entrance of the McLean County Museum of History.

GLT's Sound Ideas: 7/8/16

Jul 8, 2016

The law enforcement community reacts to the ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas. Hear from the Bloomington, Normal, and Bartonville Police Chiefs. GLT also continues its exploration of homelessness in Bloomington with part three of our series, focusing on an attempt to help the chronic homeless in downtown. Plus a panel discussion of stakeholders on the issue.

Ralph Weisheit

Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos is considering another run for Mayor.

During Sound Ideas Koos told GLT's Mike McCurdy he'd make a decision in "the next two to three weeks."

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

Construction on the One Uptown  Circle project in Normal should begin in August. The three story building will house a restaurant on the first floor, office space on the second, and high-end apartments on the top floor.  The Normal Town Council approved nearly $70,000 in design work from Eckenhoff Saunders Architects for its offices which will occupy the second floor.

Steve Petteway / Staff Photographer Supreme Court

The absence of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a big difference in the last session of the high court. That's according to ISU scholar Meghan Leonard. Leonard told Charlie Schlenker not only were the four to four cases a big deal, but some of the 5-3 decisions would have had different emphasis if Scalia were there.

The death of not only affected the decisions handed down in the just completed term of the court, it is shifting what will happen next year too. Leonard said the court has not picked chosen many, if any, blockbuster cases to hear next term.

Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council will vote Tuesday on whether to take the next step in relocating four department offices to a new development in Uptown Normal. Engineering, Inspections, Planning, and Facilities Management are slated to move there in late summer or early fall 2017.

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The U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on its consideration whether President Obama has authority to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

This leaves unresolved big questions whether states have standing to sue the administration and whether the administration has the authority to issue such broad executive orders.

Connect Transit Announces Fee Restructure

Jun 29, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

People in Bloomington are reacting to fee changes proposed by Connect Transit. Under the plan, fixed route fares for one way riders, people with disabilities and senior citizens would remain the same along with one way fares for the Connect Mobility door-to-door service.

Justin Brocke / Flickr

There's intense pressure on Illinois lawmakers to pass a budget before Friday, when a new fiscal year begins.  Governor Bruce Rauner spent hours meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday morning and negotiations are expected to continue throughout the day.  

After a year without a state budget, word is an agreement may be shaping up between the Republican governor and the Democrats who control the General Assembly.

Staff

A six-month pilot project that will test limited bus service in northern Normal and southwestern Bloomington was approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The plan is to provide morning and afternoon service in those areas beginning in mid-August. Those areas would have been cut off by the route restructure slated for the fall.

U.S. Rep. LaHood

There's a lot Donald Trump says and does with which Congressman Darin LaHood doesn't agree.  He said voters will have a stark choice this November.

When asked during GLT's Sound Ideas, about Trump's response to the Orlando shooting, statements about a federal judge of Mexican descent, and a ban of people of the Muslim faith from entering the U.S., the Illinois 18th District U.S. Representative said "all of those things you mentioned are not necessarily things I agree with, with Donald Trump."

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