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.

a wall of campaign signs.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A year ago, Erik Rankin took over as Chair of the McLean County Democratic Party. In that time, Democrats have added County Board seats, elected city council members that have party values and built party infrastructure. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

We are already a water-challenged planet. As global climate change continues, we are likely to become more so, according to Vandana Shiva, a noted environmentalist.

photo of man at microphone
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The future of newspapers is in more and deeper local coverage, according to a prominent former Illinois State University student.

Town Council chambers
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Democrats challenged state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Normal, during a sparsely attended town hall meeting Tuesday about a proposal for a graduated income tax.

A view of the creativity center building.
BCPA

The Friends of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts has announced a $5 million capital campaign to finish the Creativity Center across the street from the BCPA on Locust Street.

Londrigan with a crowd of people and signs
Dirksen Londrigan campaign

Only five months after she lost an election for the U.S. House, Springfield Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan announced Thursday she is running for Congress again in the 13th District.

A page in the music score of Gate of Horn
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra premieres a new piece of music Friday evening at the BCPA in Bloomington.

Jenn celebrates
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

A well-known community organizer unseated a five-term incumbent in Tuesday’s election, meaning four new faces will be joining the Bloomington City Council next month.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker recaps the April 2 municipal elections, which unseated two incumbents (R.C. McBride and Karen Schmidt) on Bloomington-Normal city councils. This aired Wednesday on GLT's Sound Ideas.

Kathleen speaks
Sean Newgent / WGLT

Mayor Chris Koos struck an optimistic tone Wednesday that the Town Council won’t become too divisive following the election of two new members who beat his preferred candidates.

RC, Dave, and Jill
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Two challengers who’ve criticized the direction of Uptown Normal redevelopment knocked off an incumbent Normal Town Council member Tuesday as they emerged as the top vote-getters in a crowded eight-way race.

Keith greets candidates
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Two candidates for a seat on the Heartland Community College Board both said they want to be careful to keep property taxes as low as possible, as did a third who is running uncontested.

Nicole Kelly sitting on a rock
Nicole Kelly

One of the few women with disabilities to compete in the Miss America pageant said the conversation about people like her is changing in the United States.

Picture of an H2 hotel
Town of Normal

The Normal Planning Commission will take up a proposal for a new hotel in the Constitution Trail Center on the north side of town.

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.

gavin and allie hug dameca
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

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

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.

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