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.

Wonsook Kim as a student.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

“Illinois State University is where I started. Why ISU? Because this is where my heart is at.”

Wonsook Kim earned three degrees at Illinois State in the 1970s and experienced her first dates, first job, and first experience with dorm life there. Her love for her alma mater is why she and her husband decided to give the school a $12 million donation last Thursday, the largest individual donation in the school’s history. For her generosity, ISU President Larry Dietz announced that the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art will both be renamed after Kim.

Normal West signage
Staff / WGLT

Normal Community West High School is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation.

State Farm downtown
Eric Stock / WGLT

The Historic Preservation Commission had been set to hold hearings on two historic landmark nominations for the downtown building State Farm is offloading.

But Mayor Tari Renner said those won’t be needed.

Two electric scooters parked on a sidewalk
Tim Evanson / Flickr

The Town of Normal is pulling back on a pilot project to allow E-scooters into the community. Talks with Illinois State University and a scooter company began in January, but town planner Mercy Davison said that is now on hold.

University communities around the country have been targeted by E-scooter companies who see an audience for the motorized vehicles. But Davison said that after looking into the ordinances of other communities in Illinois, the town found that scooters would not be a possibility anytime soon.

Rivian plant from the sky
Rivian

Rivian has attracted another large investment, this time $350 million from Cox Automotive.

people collecting waste from cars as they drive through a holding area at the Rivian Auto plant.
Michael Brown / Ecology Action Center

Appointments to drop off household hazardous waste Saturday at the Rivian auto plant in Normal are running below what organizers hoped would come in.

a parade route with tumblers and a banner
Illinois State University

Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University will celebrate its 90th year with a parade: the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on the $30 million mixed-use building that will rise on the northeast arc of Uptown circle. It is known as Trail East.

Curt Richardson
WGLT

A new law aims to create a safer school environment for students.

PGAV Planners

An analysis of the tax increment financing (TIF) district in Uptown Normal indicates the effort to spark development in the city center begun in 1999 has been a good value for taxpayers, according to a consultant.

Council members sit at a dais.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has approved a development agreement with an Uptown business to create a two-story brewpub and rooftop dining establishment using the old Bill's Key and Lock shop property.

Pianos being delivered
Twitter / Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University Tuesday had a lawn and sidewalk full of Steinway & Sons pianos.

Man stands in front of GLT logo.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Education researcher and Illinois State University professor Charles Bell said that the difference in school discipline given to white and black students can lead to a minority exodus from certain districts.

Man sits in front of mic
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

In an increasingly busy world, there is one constant: advances in technology making life easier.

The Community Health Care Clinic in Normal, which partners with local hospitals and colleges, understands that its patients cannot always make room in their schedules for regular visits. Director Mike Romagnoli says his clinic will test a smart phone app that will remedy this problem.

Hear about the impact of a law that's supposed to reduce race based disparities in student discipline in Illinois Schools. It has not been all that successful. Illlinois State University Professor Charles Bell says his research shows the differences in discipline make absenteeism, drop out rates and educational attainment worse for blacks than whites. Plus, late summer is not too late to have your garden bloom. Patrick Murphy and Mike McCurdy tell you how in WGLT's gardening podcast Grow. Mary Cullen chats with new Economic Development Council CEO Patrick Hoban. And we have a report on books and barbers in West Bloomington.

Web picture of Dean of Students web site.
ISU

The college school year is young, yet already three Illinois State University students have applied for emergency aid after coming out to their family as LGBTQ.

the county government complex
Staff / WGLT

McLean County government is in the early stages of talks to move more Bloomington city offices into the county government complex.

Gavel and GLT logo
WGLT

A federal judge in Peoria has sentenced a Washington, Ill., man to more than 13 years in prison for child pornography.

Brian Otto speaks to the council
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Normal Town Council on Monday approved more than $792,000 in late summer road repairs.

City Engineer Brian Otto said the town had considered using concrete instead of asphalt on Cottage Avenue between Gregory Street and Barton Drive, but the money didn't work out.

A studio picture of Mike Romagnoli
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The head of the Community Health Care Clinic said six months into operations of the new dental clinic they are only scratching the surface of filling the need for tooth care for low-income people in the Twin Cities.

picture of ISU Center for the Performing Arts
Illinois State University

Illinois State University will name its College of Fine Arts and School of Art for graduate Wonsook Kim.

State Senator Jason Barickman concedes a new law he co-sponsored to prevent further trauma to some sexual assault victims might not be enough to assuage victims' concerns.

Jason Barickman
Seth Perlman / AP

State Sen. Jason Barickman said a new law to prevent further trauma to some sexual assault victims might not be enough.

The Bloomington Republican said the YWCA in Bloomington told him several McLean County women who reported sexual assaults when they went to the hospital for treatment ended up getting arrested because they had outstanding warrants. He said the problem does not happen often, but there have been incidents statewide.

Barickman on the Senate floor
senatorbarickman.com

State Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington said the problem of violent rhetoric in American politics spans both parties.

A view of the 2017 HHW collection event
Michael Brown / Ecology Action Center

The Ecology Action Center is changing its collection model for the household hazardous waste collection event Sept. 7.

Dhruv Rebba
Hari Rebba / WGLT

Amateur radio, or ham radio, can be a fun hobby for some, but it can also open many doors for the future.

Crews building beds
West Bloomington Revitalization Project

Every child deserves a bed to sleep on, according to Robert Bosquez from the West Bloomington Revitalization Project (WBRP).

Rob Dob's artist's rendering
Facebook / Rob Dob's

Bob Dobski was a franchise owner of Bloomington-Normal McDonald’s for 35 years. But instead of retiring, he decided to leap into the world of fine dining.

Jump ARCHES

One of the leaders of an expanding health care technology partnership in Illinois says their work will lead to better outcomes for patients in rural areas.

Glenn exterior with Hovey's mugshot
Google Maps, McLean County sheriff's department

On Friday police arrested a longtime first-grade teacher at Glenn Elementary School in Unit 5 for allegedly molesting female students. Unit 5 pulled the teacher, Jonathan Hovey, from class back in April when the district learned of a new allegation.

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