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.

Students standing in front of Ames Library
Illinois Wesleyan University

Religious scholars and philosophers are among those encouraging Illinois Wesleyan University President Georgia Nugent and the board of trustees to preserve academic programs.

beer tap room
Lil Beaver Brewery

The pandemic has hurt so many businesses in central Illinois. But not, apparently, some alcohol producers.

The two candidates for the 13th Congressional District say they want to improve healthcare and lower costs, but their preferred methods are very different.

PATH headquarters
Staff / WGLT

The McLean County coroner and the head of a crisis hotline and information center in central and other parts of Illinois sounded a warning note about people in mental crisis on Friday.

Coroner Kathy Yoder and Providing Access To Help (PATH) Director Karen Zangerle said four recent suicides in central Illinois highlight the need to raise awareness that there are resources for those in crisis.

Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University
Staff / WGLT

Some faculty members at Illinois Wesleyan University are questioning a process that could lead to further program changes and cuts next month. The stakes could be as high as their jobs. Some faculty also frame the discussion as a defining moment for the culture and identity of the 170-year-old liberal arts institution.

The more-than-yearlong effort to help IWU adjust to a new reality in higher education has created winners and losers, some yet to be determined, and more than a little heartache and grief.

Green Top Grocery owners look at their new store
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Following weeks of disputes that included social media flame wars, allegations of misfeasance, and even allegations of death threats on a Facebook members group, the entire board of the Green Top Grocery Co-op in Bloomington has resigned. It follows at least two previous board resignations.

police tape
WGLT file photo

UPDATED 9:10 p.m. | Citations have been issued after a semitrailer truck driver was struck and killed while on the shoulder of Interstate 74 on Tuesday, authorities said.

Town of Normal

The Normal City Council on Monday night signed off on using motor fuel tax money for a portion of a $9.35 million improvement project on West College Avenue.

police tape
WGLT file photo

The McLean County coroner has identified Kaleb Roberts, 28, of Gibson City as the man who died in a one-vehicle crash on a rural road near Colfax early Wednesday morning.

Unit 5

The Unit 5 school district will buy nearly 8,000 tablets, laptops and Chromebook computers and try to get them into the hands of students and teachers for the new school year.

Kwame Raoul
Seth Perlman / AP

The Illinois Attorney General has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a plasma collection company that has a location in Normal.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in the complaint the policies of SCL Plasma, Inc. and parent company CSL Behring LLC prevented people from providing plasma because of their disabilities.

CSL Plasma has 14 locations around the state, including Normal, Champaign, Peoria, Decatur, and Springfield in central Illinois.

Map of the project area
Town of Normal

Town staff is asking the Normal Town Council to approve a speedy application for the state's Rebuild Illinois Public Infrastructure grant money to improve a deteriorating West College Avenue near the Rivian auto plant.

A special council meeting to consider the proposal is set for Monday evening.

Kelly Cookson (mscaprikell) / Flickr

Three complaints have been filed against Pizza Ranch in Bloomington for opening indoor food service ahead of the end of the month target in the Restore Illinois pandemic recovery plan.

Kelly Cookson (mscaprikell) / Flickr

Some Twin City restaurants have not waited until the recommended end of June to reopen indoor dining.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Recent looting in Bloomington-Normal and in many states since the death of George Floyd may have something in common with race riots of the 1960s.

Working with kids aside the pool
Mary Cullen / WGLT

A complaint filed last week with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) over resuming activity in pools ahead of Stage 4 of Restore Illinois may already be moot, according to the agency.

Tari speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said he was pushed to the ground and a man tried to hit him with his fist near Kohl’s about 10:30 p.m. Monday. Renner said he had tried to engage a group of people in dialogue.

kohls entrance
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Vandalism and looting continued for a second straight night in Bloomington-Normal, as police confronted crowds and made several arrests late Monday near the Kohl's store at Eastland Mall.

Looters carry electronics
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal's bus service will halt service early the next two days. Connect Transit said public and employee safety drove the decision to suspend service at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

UPDATED 2:50 a.m. | Looters rushed into the Target and Walmart stores in Normal early Monday, capping an evening that began with a peaceful protest but soon turned dark.

Sheriff leans into conversation with demonstrators.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a demonstration and injury of a marcher, dozens of demonstrators gathered Sunday night outside the McLean County sheriff's department on the west side of the Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington.

Town of Normal

A decaying, unfinished industrial property in Normal could become viable again if a development agreement is approved with a Milwaukee-based firm.

For Rent sign
Nati Harnik / AP

Janis Hollins is a landlord who knows what it’s like to be on hard times.

Hollins and her husband, Andrew, were literally homeless for four days after losing their jobs and their house during the real estate crash of the Great Recession.

Larry Dietz speaks to crowd
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Up to 1,000 Illinois State University students who would normally live in residence halls may have to rent apartments for the fall semester. ISU President Larry Dietz said Thursday that's one social-distancing goal.

Delta Airlines is suspending service to Peoria International Airport as part of a larger scaling-back of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who wish to fly the airline locally will have to drive over to Bloomington-Normal.

Connect Mobility
Connect Transit / Connect Transit

Bloomington-Normal's public bus system will cut fares for people with disabilities and raise them for everybody else.

an old house with an antique ambulance driving up to it.
McLean County Museum of History

The influenza pandemic of 1918 claimed the lives of some 600,000 Americans and perhaps more than 50 million people worldwide. Bloomington-Normal also felt profound effects.

McLean County Museum of History Librarian and Archivist Bill Kemp said you could hardly think of a worse year for that flu disaster to happen.

Bloomington Police said someone shot a 25-year-old man early Sunday.

McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday. Both are women, one in her 20s, the other in her 30s. People in their 20s continue to be the most impacted age group in McLean County.

Madigan in a mask
Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool

The Illinois General Assembly passed a $40 billion state budget along party-line votes Saturday night in the House and early Sunday morning in the Senate: 68-44 in the House and 37-19 in the Senate.