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.

Chris Koos at a meeting
Staff / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said regional efforts to pull together on economic development have never really happened.

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

The executive director of the Ecology Action Center in Normal said there are signs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is emerging from years of financial constraints and government deadlock.

lines of cars at the old Mitsubishi plant.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Ecology Action Center is optimistic a household hazardous waste collection event can happen this fall in Bloomington-Normal. The center is asking for private donations to help offset expenses.

Unit 5 district offices
Staff / WGLT

Unit 5 schools are still in a deep financial hole, even with some increased state budget stability.

Amy Louise Wood poses with her book
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Jim Crow at first glance seems like the past, but Illinois State University history professor Amy Louise Wood's new book reminds us how it lives on today in our legal system.

CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

The Central Illinois Regional Airport annual report noted a significant increase in passenger traffic in 2018.

Katrin Paehler
Illinois State University

Nazi Germany was a complicated militaristic machine with many gears.

Unit 5 Board Members in their meeting room
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Heartland Community College said high school students across central Illinois have saved $4.9 million in community college tuition and fees with dual credit courses through their high schools over the last five years. Sixteen high schools participate in the program with HCC.

Signing the paperwork
West Market Street Council / Facebook

Ending the food desert that stretches from the west Bloomington Walmart to the Main Street Kroger is a priority for the West Market Street Council.

Rodney Davis speaks
Jeff Roberson / AP

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said Thursday he’s opposed to President Trump’s plan to impose new tariffs on Mexican goods as a way to reduce illegal immigration.

Here is a story of hooligans, pranks, and university hijinks from the early part of the last century. It's part of McHistory, GLT's occasional series using letters, articles, and diaries from McLean County citizens written in times gone by.

Woman speaks to Normal council
Breanna Grow / WGLT

The Normal Town Council will consider making it easier for the public to comment at meetings of the council and other town boards and commissions.

People dressed in bustles and goggles, carrying jetpacks made with what appear to be ceiling fan blades. Yes, it's Steampunk.

From the Industrial Revolution to the Wild West, Steampunk is a creative way to picture what history could’ve been. It’s a re-imagining of history with art, science, and modern technology.

Vasudha Gadhiraju
MCRPC

Vasudha Gadhiraju will be leaving the McLean County Regional Planning Commission to become director of innovation and technology for the Town of Normal.

And now, one of GLT's recurring features during Sound Ideas using letters, articles, and diaries from McLean County citizens written in times gone by.

Today's McHistory is about the Civil War Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which took place Dec. 7, 1862.

Next month, the Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield for its annual fall veto session in which it considers whether to override the governor's rejections and changes to bills passed by lawmakers.

At the turn of the 20th century, a certain woman journalist put out four columns a week. She was a prolific writer turning in 2,000 words at a crack, a wonderful interviewer, and nobody's fool.

Madam Annette talked with everyone from businessmen and public officials to jail inmates. During GLT's recurring series McHistory we hear portions of one of Madam Annette's columns as she explores a coal mine under Bloomington. McLean County Museum of History Development Director Beth Whisman reads the column with comment from Archivist Bill Kemp.

In 1824 the area that would become McLean County had only 15 settler families. By 1830 when the county came into being the population was still very sparse.

We dip into a half century of diaries of life in McLean County by a carpenter and handyman who wrote fiction and poetry and a log of his daily rounds in Bloomington-Normal. Charles Morgan wrote of freight hopping to Kansas City, going to Nickelodeon movies in the 1910s, the 1918 flu which killed more than 3% of the world population.

An early Bloomington settler and one time friend of Abe Lincoln was also a southern sympathizer. Sarah Withers wrote on May 4th 1861, "This day our nation is to be disgraced by the inauguration of Abe Lincoln as President. How Humiliating!"

A selection from the Withers Diary is part of this episode of GLT's recurring series, McHistory.

In this Black History Month edition of our Sound Ideas recurring series McHistory, you'll hear from a Spanish American War Soldier from Bloomington who writes home from eastern Cuba.

Julius Witherspoon returned to Bloomington after the war, but he was not well, perhaps because of a tropical disease. Witherspoon died a few years later at the age of 46.

McHistory is a co production of GLT and the McLean County Museum of History. This episode included the voices of Museum Marketing Director Jeff Woodard, and Librarian Bill Kemp, and was produced by GLT's Charlie Schlenker.

Lobbying days in Springfield happen every year in which interest groups throng to the state capitol to push for certain legislation. As part of GLT's joint project with the McLean County Museum of History, we take you back more than a century to hear what was an important issue of 1909.

This McHistory starts with a Chicago and Alton Railroad Trip.

The hamlet of Danvers once hosted a sanatorium for those struggling with addiction to alcohol. As part of GLT's joint project with the McLean County Museum of History, McHistory examines this particular cure and the era that lead to it.

America's most successful woman playwright is all but unknown today.

Jessica Chambes poses with mudpuppy
Ryan Denham / WGLT

If you had to rank the most interesting living creatures that can be found in Central Illinois, the mudpuppy would be near the top of the list.

Police and Fire
WGLT file photo

Federal prosecutors have charged two Peoria men with stealing nearly 100 guns from Farm King in Galesburg and the Tac Shack in Monmouth.

Barickman on the Senate floor
senatorbarickman.com

State Sen. Jason Barickman said he went public against Gov. JB Pritzker's bill on legalizing recreational use of marijuana even though he knows it will make it more difficult to get a compromise bill.

Students walk in the quad
Cindy Le / WGLT

The cost of attending Illinois State University in the fall would rise about 1.3%, according to a proposal going to the Board of Trustees on Friday.

Stephen Ondra
Illinois Wesleyan University

As Illinois Wesleyan’s 2019 graduates take their first steps into the working world Sunday, a fellow Titan alum will tell them their liberal arts degree will be key to their success.

Ken Lam in action
Ken Lam

The lure of the symphony and the timelessness of classical music comes from the power and images invoked in the listener.

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