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Charlie Schlenker

News Director

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WGLT 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.

  • The first crop of students have begun a course of study at the Heartland Community College Electric Vehicle Energy Storage training program. Eventually they will go out to repair the growing number of electric vehicles in the community.
  • llinois Gov. JB Pritzker came to Bloomington-Normal Thursday to celebrate the start of the Electric Vehicle Energy Storage worker training program at Heartland Community College.
  • Instructors at Heartland Community College's new Electric Vehicle Energy Storage training program say they're thrilled to be doing cutting edge work preparing techs for the future. They also say it's nice to see auto training programs come back after high schools and colleges phased them out when they were younger. Suspensions don't help minority students. An ISU scholar says schools are punishing kids who are already suffering and doing so disproportionately. The Masonic Lodge in Normal has survived many decades when many fraternal and social groups across the nation have not by recruiting younger people. The Masons in Normal are celebrating 150 years.
  • One of the oldest continuously operating organizations in Bloomington-Normal is celebrating its sesquicentennial. The Masonic Lodge in Normal is 150 years old.
  • The Bloomington Fire Department said Wednesday the apartment fire at 603 W. Market St. that killed a 62-year-old man Monday night involves suspicious circumstances. Bloomington police have joined the investigation as has the State Fire Marshal's office.
  • Housing advocates say the pace of rental aid distribution has picked up, but they are still not sure enough people are applying. That's true in the immigrant community as well as you hear from the Immigration Project. The Democratic Party controlled remap is designed to make sure GOP Representatives Mary Miller and Darin LaHood will have to run against each other. It's not clear who will survive. One expert says LaHood is stronger in a general election, but Miller could take him out in a primary. And the music of the neo new wave band Fantastic Plastics has gorgeous melodies that often frame pointed critiques OF technology and modern society.
  • The new Midwestern Regional Rail plan from 12 states and the federal government would take billions of dollars to achieve. But Rick Harnish of the High Speed Rail Alliance said the price tag is a fraction of the cost of building Interstate 55 from scratch.
  • During the fall veto session, Illinois lawmakers will talk about revising how the state offers economic development incentives that could help lure companies like Samsung to the state.
  • The new Midwestern Regional Rail Plan for the future includes hourly passenger trains through Bloomington Normal and 200 mile per hour service. One advocate for high speed rail says he's pleased the four decade investment blueprint treats the region like a transportation network instead of discrete routes. Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe says there are some misconceptions about the process for filling that Ward 6 vacancy. A conversation about representation as the October 30th deadline looms. And a former head of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity takes us behind the curtain to see how the state lured Rivian to the twin cities.
  • After a $75 million candy plant expansion goes into operation in Bloomington, Heartland Community College will expand a program to train workers for Ferrero North America.