Charlie Schlenker | WGLT

Charlie Schlenker

News Director

GLT News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio and has won numerous state and national awards for journalism. He lives in Normal with his family.

Picture of a building holding HCC classrooms
Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College is switching its location in Lincoln.

Finding the middle on gun control is not easy. Joe Miller of Central Illinois Precision shooting says the media are full of the extremes on the gun issue. GLT's Ryan Denham also talks with young shooters about what they find fulfilling in using guns. Plus, ISU Galleries Director Barry Blinderman is stepping down after decades of helping shape the twin cities arts scene. Laura Kennedy has more. And Jon Norton talks with the Poster Children, out with a new album after more than a decade away for parenting.

The scorched corner of a home
Normal Fire Department

You probably thought the only danger from puffy cottonwood seeds drifting in thick clouds as they do this time of year was a nasty allergy attack. Not so.

Firefighters in Normal said someone flicked a cigarette onto a carpet of cottonwood fluff Thursday afternoon. The seeds acted like tinder, according to the fire department. Hot air from the fires caused the light seeds to lift off and float across the yards at 1703 and 1705 Taft, igniting several small patches of flame.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A test program the state treasurer is promoting could increase the rate at which Illinoisans save for retirement.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Direct contributions to the United Way continue to decline as companies nationwide and in McLean County reduce the number of workplace campaigns and allow workers to make individual choices where their money goes.

Retiring City Engineer Gene Brown (center left) receives the congratulations of the Normal Council for his decades of service.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Town of Normal will test a program to turn a parking place or two into cafe tables and chairs for businesses.

Congressman Rodney Davis at a microphone.
Staff / WGLT

Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis made his comments Thursday afternoon. The House voted Friday morning against the Farm Bill. The vote was 198 to 213. All Democrats voted against the measure, and were joined by 30 conservative Republicans. The GOP lawmakers, members of the House Freedom Caucus, voted no after failing to get concessions on spending and a future vote on immigration in exchange for their support.

John Stark is in his first year as the Artistic Director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and the Chicago Tribune ranks the festival number one in summer must see events. Nothing like pressure! More on the summer season with Laura Kennedy. Plus, Ryan Denham looks at the competitive pressures State Farm Insurance is facing. Plus, the Blues and roots music of Samantha Fish is refreshing and varied. Jon Norton has more.  And it's GLT's Grow.

Staff / WGLT

Amid the many moves by State Farm Insurance comes a hiring fair.

Unit 5 district offices
Staff / WGLT

Starting teachers in the Unit 5 school district will do a little better next year under a new contract approved by the school board.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The new Bloomington police chief will be the current assistant chief.

:  Faculty Association Lead Sean Colcleasure and Board Chair Gregg Chadwick sign the new 3-year agreement.
Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College and its faculty union have agreed on a three-year contract.

An architectural rendering of the new eye care facility planned in Bloomington.
Eye Surgical Associates

Thirteen eye doctors and a spectacle boutique are coming together to create a new $10 million eye center.

Homecoming parade at ISU
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The Illinois State University administration is recommending no increase in room and board rates for the next school year. And the proposal going to trustees on Friday includes a 3.75 percent increase in tuition.

A map of  Uptown with the TIF District highlighted.
Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal said the extension and enlargement of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district won't hurt schools and other taxing bodies.

Oscar Salinas / Flickr

It’s graduation season. Illinois Wesleyan University is sending 424 students into the world this academic year, and 386 of them will participate in ceremonies at the Shirk Center on Sunday, IWU officials said.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

A new manufacturer is coming to town.

Speakers hold signs and stand in front of Bloomington City Hall
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the proposed ordinance has been released. You can read it here.

The Normal Town Council will take up a Welcoming City ordinance at its meeting on Monday.

Mayor Chris Koos said there might be some last-minute tweaks to the proposal, but the measure leans on the language in the town's Comprehensive Plan and Visioning Report.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Incoming Heartland Community Community President Keith Cornille on Tuesday signaled an optimistic view of state funding for higher education, even as he suggested a need for “more creative” local partnerships.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The cost of saving a row of historic buildings in Uptown Normal may come into play when the Town Council reviews a design concept for the Trail East project next month.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

School districts are showing interest in children's cognitive development before age 5.

Illinois State University

With state lawmakers fresh off a major shakeup to K-12 school funding, there’s no shortage of big ideas floating around for higher education too.

Autism McLean / Facebook

A local group has made several moves in the last two years to make Bloomington-Normal friendlier to people with autism.

Alvaro Barrientos / AP

From recent airstrikes on Syria to President Trump’s immigration policies, human rights issues are a constant in today's headlines.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

One of the keys to minimizing financial losses at the McLean County Nursing Home will be forming partnerships with hospitals.

Police and Fire
WGLT

A west-side intersection was reopened Tuesday after a semitractor trailer carrying agricultural chemicals crashed, authorities said.

a map of the intersection at Fairway and Empire in Bloomington
City of Bloomington

The Bloomington City Council will consider a $4 million summer street resurfacing program at its meeting Monday evening.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz told lawmakers Thursday that money is being wasted on the old College of Fine Arts building.

Tazewell County sheriff's police killed a man near Mackinaw Friday morning. The 18-year-old was at a residence at 34368 State Route 9 and had shot at a deputy.

Jeff Chiu / AP

Bloomington Police are on the verge of a wide rollout of body cameras.

Pages