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.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

An LGBTQI+ poet and scholar looks to indigenous people in North America for broader gender definitions that can help modern society as the current culture struggles over accepting multiple identities. Qwo Li Driskill of Oregon State University is the featured speaker at Illinois State University's 24th annual Women's and Gender Studies Symposium. Driskill says the term two-spirited or two spirit includes different gender identities and terms amid native peoples in North America and how they functioned in those societies.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

High school youth activists in the Twin Cities are focusing this year on reducing local gun violence.

Last year, the group responded to the Parkland, Fla. shooting by speaking and marching on legislative issues.

Normal West Junior Gavin Cunningham said this year they want to look at the causes of gun violence among young people including having healthy social outlets.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Growing up in Springfield, African-American violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore was one of few people of color around him playing classical music. Penrose-Whitmore has gone on to a career in music, winning prizes in the Sphinx competition and performing with noted groups such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

potholes
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Debate over gasoline tax increases to fund road repairs in Bloomington and Normal is more complex than the question of keeping the amount the same in both cities.

City Hall
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen gave little indication Monday whether they are likely to approve a 4-cent per gallon increase in a local gasoline tax during a committee of the whole meeting that included the topic.

Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel
Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board that will be elected this spring will face some unpleasant policy choices.

Three county officials seated at a table in the county government complex.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A mental health triage center is on pace to open this spring in the building housing the McLean County Health Department on West Front Street in downtown Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

ISU President Larry Dietz said campus leaders will meet soon with McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael about improving election service for the April municipal contests.

Dave Bentlin
Staff / WGLT

GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks to Dave Bentlin from the Prairie Pride Coalition, a Bloomington-Normal LGBTQ advocacy organization, about this week's United Methodist Church decision on same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian clergy. Listen to the full interview below.

Renato Mariotti speaks
Merlin Mather / Courtesy

CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said those who oppose President Trump should not count on a special prosecutor's report or Congress to get rid of the president.

Tari and Joni
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said he’s no fan of video gambling but may still veto the city’s newly extended moratorium on new machines.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he's in favor of better communication with student landlords.

Dietz said he will meet next month with apartment owners concerned the university is building up to 1,200 new student beds in a pod format.

Staff / WGLT

State Police have made what is considered the third largest cocaine bust in McLean County history. Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Horve said troopers pulled over a semi on I-55 Thursday north of Bloomington Normal for inspection.

J.B. Pritzker
Gov. Pritzker/Facebook

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is proposing raising more than $1 billion in state revenue by legalizing recreational marijuana and sports betting.

Jim Tosh holds his book
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Poetry comes out in all of us from time to time. And its subjects come from both heart and history.

A woman carrying fruit and dressed in African garb  speaks during s TedX talk.
TedX Normal

It is a cruel irony that the first Christian church in what is now the country of Ghana is built in a coastal fort directly over the holding pens for the slave trade.

The design for the new Trail East building in Uptown Normal
Farnsworth Group

Designs for the Trail East project submitted to the town of Normal are close to what the developer promised earlier, according to town staff.

City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington has suspended its business registration program.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Bloomington Planning Commission on Wednesday passed concerns to the city council over housing density in areas just outside downtown.

Two electric scooters parked on a sidewalk
Tim Evanson / Flickr

The Town of Normal is considering an electric scooter program.

West view of the U.S. Capitol
Phil Roeder / Flickr

With paychecks for federal workers in Bloomington-Normal still lagging, the Central Illinois Regional Airport has opened a food pantry and support center.

Facebook

McLean County received about 3 inches of snow in most places, but travel difficulties were out of proportion to the amount of precipitation. As dusk came Saturday, winds picked up, creating whiteout conditions in rural areas.

Earlier Saturday State Police in central Illinois reported numerous cars sliding off roads, and a couple of jackknifed semis and accident reports continued late in the day.

Temperatures dropped to single digits overnight and into Sunday with sub-zero wind-chill factors.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal said Tuesday that increased town incentives for the Trail East project in Uptown are worth the money.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

If the Town of Normal has to move a brick wall containing a mural in Uptown, it might charge the former tenants of an art co-op for the cost of the move.

State Farm HQ building
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

In spite of community worries over the number and average pay of State Farm employees in Bloomington-Normal, the company said the number of jobs is closing the year steady.

Phillip Taylor / Flickr

November home sales rose slightly in Bloomington-Normal, though the average price of a home sold was the lowest since last spring.

backlit branches with shadows on a wall.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Many people will be flying for the holidays. Here's a story about airplanes, the way they used to be, taken from a recent Next To Normal Story Slam held at the McLean County Arts Center and produced by Devon Lovell.

Kathy Davis is a former flight attendant. She's writing a book about her 35 year career called "Coffee, Tea, or Peas."

Normal City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The mayor of Normal acknowledges the development of new State Farm hubs across the south and west has changed the distribution of talent in the community.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Nine people have died in Bloomington-Normal in gun violence this year. More than that tally have survived bullet wounds.

Salvation Army red kettles
Kristen Wyatt / AP

UPDATED 1:15 p.m. | Leaders of a leading local gay rights organization say concerns about the Salvation Army’s historic stance on LGBTQI+ issues shouldn’t stop Bloomington-Normal residents from contributing to the local chapter or prevent someone from seeking assistance.

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