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University of Illinois

The federal government has issued emergency use authorization for a coronavirus saliva test developed by the University of Illinois for broader use around the state.

Jason Barickman / Courtesy

Illinois Republicans continue to criticize what they say is an unbalanced budget proposal from Gov. JB Pritzker. The Senate Republican floor leader is no exception.

Sign calling for mask compliance
Eric Stock / WGLT

The strain on Bloomington-Normal hospitals eased slightly over the weekend due to an apparent drop in the number of COVID-19 patients.

Bill and Taylor
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

As Taylor Mathews lit the forge in his family’s metalworking shop in rural Bloomington, just behind him was an anvil from the ’80s. The 1880s.

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An Illinois Wesleyan alum’s work is up for a Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). The movie “The Prom” is based off Bill Damaschke’s Broadway musical comedy of the same name.

mosaic of Ida B. Wells
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Journalism is the first rough draft of history. In newsrooms across the country, that first draft has historically been written mostly by white men.

picture of David Davis
McLean County Museum of History

Most people in Bloomington-Normal know David Davis as the campaign manager for Abe Lincoln. Most know him as the guy who had a big mansion built on the near east side of Bloomington. Most know him as a judge in the legal circuit where Lincoln rode before his rise to national prominence.

State Farm HQ building
Staff / WGLT

Even with pandemic-driven refunds and rate decreases, State Farm made a lot of money in 2020.

The Bloomington-based company's annual financial report showed net income of $3.7 billion. That's well into positive territory, but down by more than a third from 2019. State Farm's net worth rose by 8.5%—thanks to stock market gains—to $126.1 billion.

Carle BroMenn hospital
WGLT file photo / WGLT

The Carle Center for Philanthropy said Friday its VISION 2020 campaign is a success, bringing in more than $36.9 million--above the $35 million goal for the seven-year effort.

Tiki bar
"The Tiki Bar" by Heritage Vancouver is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The weather is finally taking a turn for the not-so-frigid here in central Illinois. So let's talk tiki.

Murph and Sarah talk about options for incorporating tropical elements into your garden and home, even in the chilly Midwest.

WGLT's Grow is your source for gardening advice and down-to-earth tips. Murph and Sarah are ready to take on all your gardening questions, so submit yours today.

Three suspects
Jail Booking Photos

A 20-year-old Bloomington man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to murder for his role in the April 2019 death of Juan Nash at an outdoor party in Bloomington.

microscopic image of COVID-19
NIAID-RML / AP

UPDATED 4:55 P.M. | The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) plans to resume some first-dose vaccinations next week.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

From the police killings of Black Americans to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the events of the last year have forced Americans to grapple with some difficult questions. 

Man rolling up sleeve for a vaccination
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A Bloomington church is hosting a COVID vaccination clinic specifically for Black and brown populations in Bloomington-Normal.

street photo
Jason Reblando

Poetry and photography meet in a new Twin City exhibition that highlights the struggles of refugees through the story of a German Jewish intellectual who, in order to escape Nazi persecution, undertook a perilous journey across the Pyrenees mountains. 

sign at vaccination clinic
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The state of Illinois is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday, but people with underlying medical conditions will likely still have a difficult time getting the vaccine in McLean County.

McLean County’s hospital bed capacity continues to constrict, even as the county’s testing positivity rate and active caseload remain low.

Bloomington voters this spring will choose their first new mayor in eight years. The choice is between a low-key veteran city council member and two political newcomers with very different backgrounds. One of them will replace Tari Renner, who is not seeking a third term.

Black people too often have been associated with only crime and racial trauma in pop culture. But one film that defies the stereotypes and gives power to the Black community is “Black Panther,” which three years after its release continues to stimulate dialogue.

About 50% of Unit 5 employees have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far. 

Speaking to the school board Wednesday night, Superintendent Kristen Weikle said staff vaccinations are “one more step to help us in the return to have more of our students return to in-person learning.”

Weikle said the district has been working with the McLean County Health Department (MCHD) to hold clinics exclusively for Unit 5 employees; 200 district employees received a shot last week, with 200 more scheduled for Thursday. 

Students wearing masks
Illinois State University / Facebook

Illinois State University plans for a “more traditional campus experience” starting next fall after the coronavirus pandemic pushed most classroom instruction online since last March.

Robert Eglet
John Locher / AP

Class action lawsuits were filed in Nevada against 10 major auto insurance companies on Tuesday, including State Farm, contending that the companies charged excessive insurance premiums during the pandemic by failing to account for a drop in driving and crashes.

Rodney Davis speaks
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package is set for a vote on the House floor at the end of the week. But U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said more attention is needed on the money that’s already been approved—and whether it’s all been put to good use.

Home Sweet Home Ministries

Home Sweet Home Ministries is using a $75,000 grant to relocate and renovate its Bread For Life Food Co-op.

Carle BroMenn hospital
WGLT file photo / WGLT

UPDATED 12:10 P.M. | Hospital bed capacity in Bloomington-Normal remains limited despite a steady decline in coronavirus cases.

Bloomington police car
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Months after a Bloomington police officer was involved in a racially-charged dispute, the City of Bloomington has released officer body camera footage of the incident.

Unofficial results show Kelby Cumpston and Mollie Ward have won Tuesday's primary election for Bloomington's Ward 7 seat.

Police and prosecutors in McLean County Board room
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County prosecutors call it an unprecedented time in their office.

Exterior of the Pantagraph building
Google Maps

The Connect Transit board has approved the former Pantagraph building in downtown Bloomington as the preferred location for a new $18-20 million bus transfer center.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Gov. JB Pritkzer has signed a criminal justice reform bill spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. But questions linger among activists, lawmakers and law enforcement officials over the effects of the bill.

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