Catrina Petersen | WGLT

Catrina Petersen

Intern

Catrina Petersen is an intern at WGLT focused on reporting and online writing. She is also a student in Illinois State University's School of Communication.

Ways to Connect

Kevin Bersett

A new year means new ideas, and Bloomington-Normal is generating some big ones.

Brodie Hurtado

The pandemic has caused substantial need throughout the community, so State Farm decided to not sell five passenger vans and instead give them to Bloomington-Normal nonprofits.

The need for donated blood doesn’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic.<--break->

Drew Brown

The need for donated blood doesn’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic. 

Bloomington-Normal and Peoria, like the rest of the nation, are experiencing a blood shortage.

“There is a national convalescent plasma shortage, and health emergencies, they don't stop there during the holidays, the game days, or even the pandemic, and blood product is needed every two seconds for someone in the U.S. battling injury and illness,” said Red Cross Regional Communications Manager Drew Brown.

Beth Whisman

The Children’s Discovery Museum will partner with more than 12 other museums and science centers in Illinois and Indiana to continue its annual tradition of providing local children with a Noon Year’s Eve countdown.

Water birth
Courtesy

Some areas of the country have had declines in pregnancy rates because people don't feel secure economically or otherwise. But Bloomington-Normal may see a baby boom rather than a baby bust.

AAA Facebook

Central Illinois demand for gasoline has softened since the beginning of November, declining for four consecutive weeks. Prices also are down, and usually that’d be great for holiday travelers. But this year it makes no difference because fewer people are going places.

A Civil War regimental flag
Sharon MacDonald

Andrew Jackson Smith was born a slave in Kentucky in 1842, the probable son of a slave holder. He escaped to the Union Army, became the servant of an officer from central Illinois, and later a soldier who distinguished himself for bravery "even in the cannon’s mouth."

Packing supplies
Mike Matejka / Facebook

For 38 years, the Bloomington-Normal Trades and Labor Assembly and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce have sponsored the “Christmas for Kids” party for low-income families. This year looked a little different due to COVID-19.

Larry Apfelbaum

Wish Bone Canine Rescue is seeking the community’s help in finding a new home for its shelter.

For three years, the non-profit rescue leased space on Bunn Street, but the property owner now has other plans for the site. 

Dave Howell

If you watched the mostly black-and-white Episode 9 of FX’s “Fargo,” you might have recognized a historic Italianate farmhouse where some of the action was set.

Kate Tombaugh performs
Kate Tombaugh

A central Illinois opera singer has won a prestigious singing competition.

Adam Stephey

Two Normal residents are a long way from where they were in 2017 with their Toilet Timer, when they first visited WGLT.

Drive-through virus testing
Lynne Sladky / AP

Illinois State University plans up to 20,000 rapid coronavirus tests per week with the help of a new lab.

Senator Jason Barickman on the Senate floor.
Seth Perlman / AP

Now that voters have rejected the income tax amendment to the State Constitution to create a progressive tax structure, Illinois faces hard choices to balance the budget during the spring session of the General Assembly." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Staff / WGLT / WGLT

The Town of Normal is using federal funds to launch a Small Business Relief Program that will offer companies with 50 or fewer full-time employees up to $15,000 in grants.

The town has received $450,000 from the Local CURE Economic Support program that uses federal dollars allocated to Illinois through the CARES Act. The City of Bloomington has a similar program.

Staff / WGLT

Heartland Community College in Normal is adding a certification program with an eye on the area’s growing need for mental health support professionals. 

Behavioral health continues to be one of the top three issues in McLean County’s Community Health Improvement Plan through 2022.

The new certificate program will allow students to advance into the workplace directly from Heartland.

Downtown Bloomington
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

McLean County is one of only 77 counties in the United States to flip the presidential party preference from four years ago. McLean County went for Joe Biden and last cycle it went for President Trump.

Twelve Bloomington bars go before the liquor commission hearing Friday over alleged violations of the ban on indoor service to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, there wouldn’t be violations without customers.

Facebook

The time of giving is upon us, and this year the pandemic has caused local families to need even more support. That’s why The Baby Fold is moving ahead with a hybrid version of its annual Festival of Trees fundraiser, using a new auction website that allows supporters to browse, bid, and buy items safely.

Recyclable items will be making it into Peoria residents’ carts Sunday for America Recycles Day. 

Facebook

The Holocaust began 82 years ago this week with Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass.” Moses Montefiore in Bloomington on Monday participated in a worldwide remembrance of that night by illuminating its temple.

Watterson Towers residence hall at ISU
WGLT

The road to the presidency was not straightforward. And it has shaken some Illinois State University students, who have some of the same divisions and misinformed beliefs the rest of America has shown during voting.

Composting just got a whole lot easier in Bloomington-Normal.

The Ecology Action Center’s new community compost kiosk is more inclusive than your average backyard-composting setup. 

Bob Loy
District 87

The legacy of Bloomington High School’s swimming coach began in 1979 and will continue long after his sudden death this week. 

Person blows leaves
Elaine Thompson / AP

Bloomington-Normal residents have several options to avoid harming the environment as they get to work raking or blowing their leaves to the curb this fall.

a downtown Bloomington Building that will house a restaurant.
Larry Carius / Facebook

The pandemic limits dining out, but nine restaurants are under construction and more have just opened in the Twin Cities.

prison cell
Miss_millions / Creative Commons

There have been multiple lockdowns in a Pekin federal prison to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the facility, with many inmates losing contact with families during the times they are confined to their cells.

And the family of one inmate said the impact on the family and the inmate is high.

deer approaching a road
Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A study done by two Illinois Wesleyan University professors and a Bloomington veterinarian shows 48% of ground venison packets sampled had lead contamination.

Linda Foster standing in front of mural
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Injustices to the Black community have gripped the nation for many months now. The creators of a new mural on Bloomington’s west side say they hope it will permanently remind people to continue the dialogue around racial injustice.

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