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.

Bus in Uptown Normal
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Illinois State University students, faculty and staff are at risk of losing universal access to Connect Transit bus service starting in January.

Learn how a central Illinois meteor crater two and a half miles wide came out of a big bump in outer space. Charles Monson is with the State Geological Survey. Plus, the McLean County Board Finance Committee gets a legal opinion on who sets financial accounting policy the board or the county auditor. Dame Judy Dench talks Shakespeare and Lady Macbeth. And a bit of Hogwarts is happening at a Bloomington elementary school.

A panel of people in a meeting
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County state’s attorney has given the County Board Finance Committee a legal opinion that effectively backs the Board and the County Treasurer in a dispute with the County Auditor.

One of Rivian's new investors hopes to help the company with more than just money. Cox Automotive mobility group president Joe George talks about the give and take of the company's 350 million dollar stake in Rivian. Plus, Eric Stock reports Bloomington police are seeing the same increases reported nationally in on line child sexual violence crimes. Many Minor League baseball teams are taking a hit as Major League teams drop affiliations. Hear about some of them in Illinois. A remembrance for a long time central Illinois broadcaster who has passed on. And the Mayor of Normal stops by.

McLean County Government Center
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Political candidates have begun filing petitions for ballot access in the primary election next March.

The 1973 farm bill promoted soybeans and removed habitat for pheasants. This still hurts hunting. Jared Duquette of the Department of Natural resources talks hunting on the first day of deer season. Plus, Laura Kennedy previews the new season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Connect Transit
Staff / WGLT

The Illinois attorney general’s office is investigating a complaint related to Connect Transit and whether it’s violating state accessibility laws.

Kevin Woodard stands at podium.
Woodard campaign

There are now four people from three political parties who want the job of McLean County auditor in next year's elections.

man at podium speaking.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Chinese consul general in Chicago said talks to end the trade war are at a critical point. During a speech at Illinois State University, Zhao Jian said the world's two largest economies are interdependent.

People at rally holding signs
Izzy Carroll / WGLT

Advocates for immigrant children held in detention centers on the country's southern border are ramping up efforts in Bloomington-Normal to protest the Trump administration family separation policy.

Chiko Russo
Campaign photo

A McLean County Board candidate from Bloomington’s west side said he now wants to be a “positive force in my community” after being convicted of attempted murder over 20 years ago.

Underpass location
Staff / WGLT

Normal Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich said there is still a long complex road ahead before an underpass could connect Uptown and Uptown South.

The head of the McLean County Republican Party says the GOP is responding to the Democratic Party surge in candidates for next year's election. Connie Beard says she doesn't think efforts to flip McLean County blue will work. Plus, Eric Stock looks at a retirement community that started the evolution of the industry in Bloomington Normal into it's present day appearance. We'll update you on how the county is using sales tax money to bolster mental health and other behavioral health programs. The Cynthia Baker trial is headed to a jury.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen
archbishopfultonsheen.com

An early televangelist with ties to Central Illinois is one step closer to sainthood.

The Illinois General Assembly has wrapped up work for the fall veto session. We bring you a special analysis of that. It's Illinois Lawmakers, produced by the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council. The session began with low expectations that not much would happen. But, it turned out to be an interesting period with everything from the corruption investigation to attempts to move Chicago casino legislation. The big news is that Governor Pritzker achieved one of his top priorities, consolidating the state's municipal fire and police pension funds.

Man stands in front of a harpsichord.
Ken Lam

Some instrumental film scores can instantly invoke a feeling in the listener, regardless whether they are watching the movie or doing something else. The Imperial March from "Star Wars" creates a sense of foreboding, the theme of 1978’s "Superman" is uplifting and powerful, and who doesn’t get a shiver when hearing John Carpenter’s theme for "Halloween"?

The Bloomington Planning Commission recommends the city council allow cannabis cafe's in town. Eric Stock reports. Black Lives Matter Bloomington Normal sees recreational marijuana business location as a matter of drug war reparation. Plus, Laura Kennedy tips her hat to a new group in town...Nomad Theater. Their first production happens this weekend. The falling leaves drift by my 'snow filled' window and into our gardening podcast Grow. And Jon Norton traces the musical line from vaudeville to jazz to funk with performer Michael Mwenso.

Dan Brady speaks
Courtesy / House Republicans

House Republicans have put an ethics reform package on the table in Springfield.

UPDATED 7:20 a.m. | A long-serving Democrat on the McLean County Board is getting a primary challenger.

Hear how imprisoned mom Ann Simmons found out about her daughters death. Ryan Denham and Edith Brady Lunny report on the case of eight year-old Rica Rountree. Plus, the group Stand Up for Social Justice has been demonstrating every month for the last three years in Bloomington-Normal. Eric Stock talks to them about protest as lifestyle and the difference they hope to make. The Illinois Politics Roundtable dives into ethics reform measures that might advance. And we'll have a report on electric car range anxiety and a move to address it along a major U.S. interstate.

It's a show full of heroes, fictional and real. An art installation offers a wish for peace as it honors Americans who have fallen in combat. Army Veteran Bob Carney and other tell Laura Kennedy about the healing cranes of Heartland Community College. Eric Stock talks to Veterans about how they reintegrate into civilian society and the reception they get nowadays. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra plans a concert full of Super-heroes with a salute to veterans. And Darnysha Mitchell tells about heroes of a different sort; those with autism and those who teach them.

When a Bloomington resident began an abolitionist society before the civil war it did not sit well with community leaders. Susan Hartzold is the curator of a new exhibit at the McLean County Museum of History on times of conflict. She talks with WGLT. Plus, Children's Home and Aid beefs up its Adopt a Family program for the holiday season. Mary Cullen reports on heroes of habitat for humanity, And its a noteworthy anniversary for world famous explorer John Wesley Powell with a Bloomington Normal Connection. The ISU Horticulture center observes it.

A person died at the intersection of Fort Jesse Road and Veterans Parkway in Normal on Wednesday evening.

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal will be just fine in today's changing media landscape. But no one is talking about the small towns. Emmy winning journalist Soledad O Brien talks with Eric Stock. Plus Normal Town Council member Karyn Smith takes exception to the conventional wisdom on calculating public benefit and outside investment in Uptown Normal. And WGLT Correspondent Breanna Grow tackles artificial intelligence and its potential to transform the future.

Uptown before development.
WGLT / Staff

If the past is prologue, there is disagreement on what the past means for Uptown Normal.

A recent report on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Normal drew praise from some council members who have seen the area go from dumpy and run down to a vibrant district. The report went to the council without a chance for members to read it beforehand because the TIF administrator was still finishing it up.

Every time our nation goes into a period of torturing opponents, it seems like an extraordinary need. Historian Fitzhugh Brundage talks with Charlie Schlenker about the American tradition of torture. Plus, community college enrollment fell again this year. Ryan Denham talks with the director of the Illinois Community College Board. And Laura Kennedy brings us a story of hedonism, apathy, and totalitarianism that still has legs, Cabaret.

man smiles at camera
Grant Halverson

America has a long history of torture. From enhanced interrogation during the Iraq War all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials, torture has featured prominently in the story of the country.

The question of why it happened is a question of power and fear.

Housing Action Illinois

Editor's note: This is part of a five-story series reported at the Housing Action Illinois conference in Bloomington on Oct. 24-25. The stories ran Wednesday, Oct. 30, on WGLT's Sound Ideas.

Kyle Gann
Kyle Gann

To accommodate the piano keyboard, the Western world created 12 intervals as a mathematical compromise.

Normal City Hall
Staff / WGLT

Town of Normal staff estimate increased retirement contributions could cost the owner of the typical home an extra $37 in property taxes next year.

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