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.

OSF St Joseph Medical Center
Eric Stock / WGLT

OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington is adding a $10 million cancer center. The move follows the August exit of OSF from the Community Cancer Center in Normal that used to be a joint venture with Carle BroMenn. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is getting closer to its target of having enough contact tracers available to deal with the rise in novel coronavirus infections in Bloomington-Normal and around the region.

Fraudulent unemployment claims are skyrocketing across Illinois as scammers try to access jobless benefits using employees' Social Security numbers.

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.

Justin Grimes / Flickr

There are three candidates for mayor of Bloomington plus a write-in, and two for mayor of Normal. The filing period for the municipal elections next year ended at 5 p.m. Monday.

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.

Larry Dietz at news conference
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said Friday he plans to retire in June after more than seven years of leading the institution.

Chris Koos
Cindy Le / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said he's had to eat his words from a couple weeks ago when he argued McLean County didn't need mitigation efforts that were as stiff as those in counties with higher COVID-19 testing positivity rates.

Connect Transit buses
Staff / WGLT

The state transportation department is giving Bloomington-Normal's public bus system $9.9 million.

Tim Evanson

The dust has hardly settled from the last election and candidates already are preparing to file for the next one, the municipal consolidated contests next year.

front of old Bloomington Fire Station that is now a restaurant
Epiphany Farms / Facebook

Epiphany Farms Restaurant Group in Bloomington laid off more than 80 people Friday. Three of its four restaurants are effectively closed.

Exterior of NCHS signage
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 5:35 p.m. | Unit 5 schools will move to all-remote learning starting next Wednesday because of rising coronavirus infection numbers.

Performers on stage
University High School

Actors act, even in a pandemic. But what high school students are doing now is more subtle than the way they usually tread the boards.


A longtime public servant who fought against intolerance in Bloomington-Normal has died.

Those who expected a blue wave in Tuesday's election had a grave disappointment. Those who hoped for a ratification of the Trump presidency and for Republican gains likewise ended up unsatisfied.

image of State Senator Bill brady
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

State Sen. Bill Brady has hinted at another run for statewide office, and has told other Republican senators he will step down as Senate party leader.

Rodney and Betsy
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

If you were surprised by size of U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’ margin of victory over his two-time Democratic challenger, you aren’t alone. So was Davis. 

Republican McLean County Auditor Michelle Anderson was not hampered by a history of contention with county officeholders of her own party, or a medical leave that took her away from a portion of the campaign.

Anderson defeated Democrat Rob Fazzini and Libertarian Kevin Woodard on Tuesday to win her third full term.

A battle between two nurses for the office that investigates deaths in McLean County ended in a win for incumbent Republican Kathy Yoder.

Medici restaurant entrance

The mayor of Normal and central Illinois lawmakers say the state should reconsider COVID-19 mitigation efforts set to go into effect on Wednesday.

Sign outside polling place
Jacob DeGeal

McLean County and City of Bloomington election officials said Monday they have received more than 42,457 ballots through early voting and vote by mail. That is about 37.7% of the roughly 112,600 registered voters in the county, even before polls open Tuesday morning. Just 10 days ago, the votes cast figure was closer to 20%.

RJ, Charlie, and Derek
YouTube / Zoom

McLean County Board District 3 takes in the western part of the county and portions of west and south Bloomington. Participating in a WGLT forum were Democrat RJ McCracken and Libertarian Derek Evans.

image of State Senator Bill brady
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady is calling again for Senate hearings on mitigation rules as coronavirus positivity rates spike statewide.

Jason Barickman speaks
Staff / WGLT

A Republican state senator from Bloomington said Tuesday that suburban Chicago candidates need to localize their elections.

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.

McClintock, Nick

A political newcomer has announced a run for mayor of Bloomington. He is 29-year-old Nick McClintock, a radio technician for the Illinois Farm Bureau. He also has been a part-time producer and show host for various radio stations in Bloomington-Normal.

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.

State Rep. Dan Brady faces a challenge from Democrat Chemberly Cummings this fall in an Illinois House district that includes parts of Bloomington-Normal.