Ryan Denham | WGLT

Ryan Denham

Digital Content Director

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.

Ryan joined WGLT full-time in 2017 as Digital Content Director.

Ways to Connect

David Proeber / The Pantagraph/Pool

Too much prison time, or not enough?

Former Bloomington High School teacher Sarah Mellor was sentenced to eight years in prison last week for murdering her husband, Mark. That sentence has lead to second-guessing from all sides, with some arguing that a history of verbal and physical abuse warranted a lesser sentence for Mellor. 

Courtesy

A seventh Democrat has announced plans to challenge Republican Rodney Davis in the 13th Congressional District.

G-Jun Yam / The Associated Press

Unit 5 in Bloomington-Normal has enough money to stay open around 70 days this coming school year—maybe less—if lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner can’t reach an agreement on school funding.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The new Destihl Brewery in northeast Normal has put Bloomington-Normal on the craft beer map. But another smaller but growing brewery is taking off across town—inspired in part by Destihl’s success.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A task force looking for ways to reinvigorate downtown Bloomington is circling a bold idea—closing off a portion of Main Street and making it for pedestrians only.

Courtesy / McLean County Sheriff's Office

A jury took about two hours Wednesday to convict a 30-year-old man of opening fire on a rival on Bloomington’s east side—a shooting that put several nearby vehicles and a store in the crossfire.

A Chenoa retirement community faces a $25,000 fine after someone allegedly posted unauthorized photos and videos of residents on social media.

David Proeber / The Pantagraph/Pool

A former Bloomington High School teacher was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for stabbing her husband to death during a fight at a Woodford County campsite.

Shelby Dietz and boyfriend Drew Ison
Courtesy

Like many couples who decide to buy their first house, Shelby Dietz and her boyfriend, Drew Ison, were sick of throwing away their money on rent.

Now in their mid-20s, secure in their jobs at ISU, and ready to build some equity in a starter home, Dietz and Ison were eager to buy in Bloomington-Normal. But they ran into an unexpected problem: There weren’t a lot of options.

WGLT

The owners of the Hyatt hotel in Uptown Normal have withdrawn their request for a tax break that the Normal Town Council was expected to vote on Monday night.

Courtesy

A Democrat from Saybrook has announced plans to challenge McLean County Board vice chairman Jim Soeldner in next year's election.

Democrat David Siebert said in a Facebook post Tuesday that he plans to run for the McLean County Board District 2 seat currently held by Soeldner, a Republican from Ellsworth.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m. | Bloomington Police blamed miscommunication Friday for a press release that asked for the public's help identifying a man who asked about children at O'Neil Pool.

Bloomington Police issued a revised statement late Friday afternoon:

After a further investigation with a social service agency, we learned there were several communications errors made by the involved parties.
 

A 22-year-old Bloomington man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for receiving child pornography, prosecutors said Thursday.

Green Top Grocery owners look at their new store
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Last week when lawmakers finally passed a state budget, their counterparts in local government cheered.

A day or two later, mayors and city managers across the state got the bad news—that the hard-fought budget package included a sales tax surprise that will further strain municipalities.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

UPDATED 10 a.m. | Bloomington City Manager David Hales is one of five finalists for a similar position in Topeka, Kansas.

Hales and the other four finalists will be in Topeka for interviews on July 21-22, according to a statement issued by Topeka on Friday.

Travis Cornwall in Police HQ
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Last month, when Snapchat rolled out a new feature that automatically shared users’ locations on a map, alarm bells went off for Heyworth Police Chief Mike Geriets.

Hockey player on skates
Courtesy / Bloomington Thunder

The city-owned arena in downtown Bloomington has new managers and a new name. Does it deserve a new chance to win over its critics?

Christine Roush pictures
Courtesy

Two suspects in the Funks Grove slaying remained jailed Sunday as authorities again raised the possibility of more arrests and the victim’s daughter—now charged with murder—came into sharper focus.

Mugshots
Courtesy / McLean County Sheriff's Office

A 22-year-old Washington woman allegedly plotted to kill her mother before bringing her to Funks Grove and stabbing her to death, prosecutors said Saturday.

Mugshots
Courtesy / McLean County Sheriff's Office

The 22-year-old daughter of a woman whose body was found Sunday near a nature trail in Funks Grove was arrested Friday on murder charges, authorities said.

Children smiling in a classroom
Courtesy / YWCA of McLean County

For the first time in a long time, Bloomington-Normal’s social service agencies have a reason to applaud state lawmakers. 

ISU residence halls
Staff / WGLT

Rape charges were dropped Thursday against a 19-year-old who was accused of sexually assaulting an incoming Illinois State University student during orientation last summer.

Teresa A. Poehlman
Courtesy / Illinois Department of Corrections

A 47-year-old from East Peoria was identified Wednesday as the woman whose body was found over the holiday weekend near a nature trail northeast of McLean.

Bruce Rauner speaks at event
G-Jun Yam / The Associated Press

The speaker of the Illinois House has scheduled a vote for Thursday to override the governor's veto of the budget package.

Leo's Lady tattoo
Courtesy / McLean County Sheriff's Office

McLean County authorities are seeking the public’s help identifying the woman whose body was found Sunday near a nature trail northeast of McLean.

Police cars in the forest
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Authorities are investigating after a woman's body was found Sunday night by two people walking a nature trail northeast of McLean. Police called her death "suspicious."

3 shoppers look at products
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The first thing you notice when you walk in the new Green Top Grocery store in Bloomington is just now normal it looks.

CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

A flight on its way from Chicago to Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington was reportedly struck by lightning Saturday. No injuries were reported.

American flight 2885 landed safely at CIRA after the reported strike, airport officials said in a Facebook post Saturday night. CIRA said that 32 passengers and three crew members were on board.

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.

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