News | WGLT


Katie Bell and artwork
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Katie Bell stood smiling among the collection of materials she’d gathered around town for her exhibition at University Galleries. It looks like a construction site, but the materials are on the verge of being formed into the visual landscape of a deconstructed painting.  

WGLT file photo

A Bellflower woman died in a house fire early Sunday morning, according to McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage.

CIRA Touts Good Numbers in Annual Report

Jun 14, 2019
CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

The Central Illinois Regional Airport annual report noted a significant increase in passenger traffic last year.

Airport Director Carl Olsen reported a 9% increase in passenger traffic and an 18% increase in fuel sales, along with a new nonstop carrier to Denver and Orlando. He said he believes this increase is in both business and leisure flights. Additional growth came during the first two months of this year, when Olsen said passenger traffic is typically at its lowest. Early to mid-summer is the period of highest travel traffic, which should provide another increase in passenger traffic and fuel sales, he said.

WIU President Resigns

Jun 14, 2019
Western Illinois University / Facebook

The president of Western Illinois University is resigning at the end of June after eight years in the post.

Jack Thomas has told an audience of about 200 people that Western Illinois "would best be served by new leadership" at a "pivotal time" for the school.

Thomas has been under fire from alumni and others. The Quad-City Times reports that enrollment has dropped 35% in the last decade, although administrators say it's due to many factors, including population trends and cuts in state support.

Eric Stock / WGLT

A new McLean County initiative hopes to assist in young adults’ transition from psychiatric hospitalization back into the community.

Illinois State Police

Illinois State Troopers seized 143 pounds of cannabis just south of Bloomington this week and a lot more.

Amber Widner of Bozeman, Mont., was stopped on I-74 Wednesday after committing a traffic violation. During the stop, a state police canine alerted to the odor of illegal drugs.

Troopers also recovered 14 pounds of mushrooms, and 9 pounds of cannabis wax. That's a concentrate of cannabis that has the consistency of ear wax. It is also known as butane hash oil because it is made with a butane extraction.


A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit filed by a pregnant police officer in Hudson who claimed her former boss and the village discriminated and retaliated against her.

Katrin Paehler
Illinois State University

Nazi Germany was a complicated militaristic machine with many gears.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The McLean County Law and Justice Center is an important place. It’s where our community hashes out the way we treat each other, and how the system treats all of us.

#MeToo McDonald's sign at a protest
Richard Vogel / AP

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said Wednesday that new sexual harassment policies at McDonald’s don’t go far enough because franchise locations are not required to follow them.

Colleen speaks to a crowd
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

In the 90 days since Gov. JB Pritzker appointed her head of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Colleen Callahan said she’s gained an understanding of just how big an impact the state’s two-year budget impasse had on the agency.

Zoo entrance
Staff / WGLT

The head of Miller Park Zoo said the zoo has received plenty of hate mail over the recent death of a flamingo at the hands of a child who hit it with a rock.

Unit 5 Board Members in their meeting room
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Heartland Community College said high school students across central Illinois have saved $4.9 million in community college tuition and fees with dual credit courses through their high schools over the last five years. Sixteen high schools participate in the program with HCC.

Signing the paperwork
West Market Street Council / Facebook

Ending the food desert that stretches from the west Bloomington Walmart to the Main Street Kroger is a priority for the West Market Street Council.

Crowd at PSCRB meeting in Bloomington
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Bloomington’s Public Safety and Community Relations Board provided the stage Wednesday for public input on the city’s next police chief.

Firefighters point water at fire
Normal Fire Department

UPDATED 11:30 a.m. | McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder has identified the victim of a fatal house fire in Normal on Wednesday. 

Pritzker speaks
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a bill to expand abortion protections in Illinois, a move that comes while some Republican-led states try to restrict the procedure.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and City Councilmember Jenn Carillo.
Breanna Grow / WGLT

An online dustup that later spilled over into the Bloomington City Council chambers was a learning experience for everyone, according to a downtown business owner who took exception to a council member's threatened business boycott.

Four San Clemente Island Goat kids
Miller Park Zoo

Two rare breed goats gave birth to four kids at Miller Park Zoo earlier this month.

Hovey Hall entrance
Illinois State University

Illinois State University's Redbirds Rising fundraising campaign has reached its $150 million goal more than a year ahead of schedule.

Mural and Beaufort buildings
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A federal judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to stop demolition at the Trail East site and ordered the mural’s artists and the Town of Normal to return to court for settlement talks.

Normal Police Department Facebook

It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. Under legalized cannabis, one Normal police officer suspects police K9s will not be imprinted with the scent.

Normal K9 Officer Shane Bachman said it’s a lot easier to introduce a new scent later on than to try and extinct it from a dog.

“Also, I believe that would open us up in court as far as any type of court proceedings, anything like that, as to where we would have to testify if the dog had ever been trained on the odor of cannabis,” Bachman said.

St. Thomas More girls state champions
Heather Coit / AP

The Illinois high school basketball finals are where the term March Madness was coined.

Dr. Eugene Covington
McLean County Museum of History

Dr. Eugene Covington was the first and only African American physician in McLean County in the early 20th century.

Cristen Monson and Sandra Zielinski
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Everything’s coming up roses at Prairie Fire Theatre with the staging of “Gypsy,” the classic musical which is based on the memoirs of famous strip tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee.

Herbert and McNabb mugshots
McLean County Sheriff's Department

Bloomington Police are asking for the public's help finding an 18-year-old murder suspect who is considered armed and dangerous.

Tari Renner at podium
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday he opposes a plan to reject Connect Transit’s budget, calling it the “nuclear option that might blow up in our face.”

Jackson and Thornton mugshots
Bloomington Police Department

UPDATED 5:10 p.m. | There have been dozens of incidents of gunfire in Bloomington-Normal in the past 18 months. But court records suggest it's a relatively small number of suspects in many of those incidents—including several involved in a hybrid gang dispute.

Code red sign at Springfield business
John O'Connor / AP

Viewers and businesses are defending a popular meteorologist who has been absent from local television newscasts since he criticized a corporate weather-alert brand.

Jack Thomas
Rich Egger / Tri States Public Radio

A group that represents alumni at Western Illinois University is urging the president to resign.