Keegan Johnson | WGLT

Keegan Johnson

Intern

Keegan Johnson is an Illinois State University student. He's an audio production intern for WGLT, supporting our daily newsmagazine Sound Ideas.

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State Farm, Rivian, AutonomouStuff central Illinois has a lot of big players in the automated mobility space. But are they working together? Illinois Autonomous Vehicles Association Executive Director Jerry Quandt talks to WGLT's Ryan Denham about getting everyone on the same page. Plus, Bloomington Council member Jenn Carillo takes the temperature of her ward on what to do with the State Farm building GLT's gardening podcasters Patrick Murphy and Mike McCurdy find out palm trees are not out of place in the humid Midwest.

Gloria Hursey didn't just work in public housing. She lived there. And now she's calling it a career after nearly 30 years. Hursey talks about the changing face of public housing during her career at the Bloomington Housing Authority. Plus, a new restaurant is opening soon in Bloomington Normal We'll talk with Bob Dobski, owner of Rob Dobs about the place of restaurants in society. And Charlie Schlenker talks with Dr. John Vozenilek,  the vice president and Chief Medical Officer of the Jump Trading and Simulating Center in Peoria about medical futurism.

The mother of murder victim Haileigh Eichhorn is still waiting; still hoping police will solve the case. Ryan Denham reports on the six year old murder near Stanford and a perhaps coincidental drowning death of a man about that time. Plus, a new health needs study of McLean County shows people are getting less healthy. Eric Stock reports. Laura Kennedy interviews author Jim Plath about his new book of important literary characters. And, the McLean County Relay For Life is trying to recoup from a rainout.

Hear whether Illinois farmers can count on Trump administration efforts to soften trade war effects with deals for new exports. American Farm Bureau economist Veronica Nigh speaks with Ryan Denham. American birth rates are falling. This is international Child Free Day celebrating those who choose to not parent. Dana Vollmer talks with a Bradley University Scholar about the reasons people make that decision. The Islamic Center of Bloomington Normal is partnering with the west market street council to help low income kids get ready for school.

Coming soon distracted human drivers will interact with autonomous vehicles. Ryan Denham gets State Farm's best guess on how that's going. Planning for the 2020 election cycle is already under way and it will be an expensive one to run. Colleen Reynolds talks with McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. Hear from the Philly based pop punk band the Menzingers. They're not overtly political...overtly. Vocalist and guitarist Tom May talks with Jon Norton. And sometimes it's better not to handle a home gardening problem by yourself.

We like to think class distinctions are silly. But, if so why do people still have fun watching HMS Pinafore. Bob Mangialardi invites us to join in the silliness of Gilbert and Sullivan as the Prairie Fire Theater production gets under way later this week. Plus, Normal City Manager Pam Reece updates us on a variety of projects and potential initiatives from the Trail East Project to the Uptown Underpass, to road repair season. Eric Stock has more on the Italian Odyssey of the ISU Men's basketball team.

Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason is deep into interviews for a new police chief and he has a panel of community leaders right along with him. Eric Stock talks about the first year on the job for the Bloomington City Manager. Plus, Ryan Denham delves into the huge transition the state's child welfare agency is going through. He talks with Doris Houston, director of Illinois State University's Center for Child Welfare and Adoption Studies. Tim Shelley reports on gun stores going out of business because state police are not putting out licensing rules.

The multi resident complex recycling ordinance is going into effect in Normal in just a few days. GLT's Ryan Denham checks into whether Mayor Chris Koos of Normal is right. It's harder to tell than you might think. Plus, the Governor of Puerto Rico has resigned after massive protests. ISU's head of Latin American Studies unpacks that movement. And Laura Kennedy brings us grand opera on the prairie.

WGLT's Ryan Denham talks to an Illinois Corn Growers Association scientist about a new Farmer Data Cooperative initiative involving NASA. Another episode of McHistory looks back at a trailblazer in the General Assembly. And Adam Fox from the Normal Theater talks about the influence of 1979's "Alien" ahead of this weekend's screenings.

New U.S. Citizen Mauricio Sadicoff of Bloomington says there's a lot of bureaucracy in becoming a citizen. He even had to leave a legal job once because of hoop jumping. More than a hundred central Illinois residents became citizens last week. Plus, some teenagers who feel out of place in the regular school environment turn to Youth Build of McLean County. GLT Correspondent Willis Kern is not a blowhard, but he reports on some people who are blowing hard to keep lung capacity healthy with Harmonica Therapy. The Mayor of Bloomington stops by.

President Trump is showing signs of making the election about immigration. Congressional Candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan says it's healthcare. Ryan Denham has the interview. Plus, Willis kern reports on the history of bicycles. River communities in Illinois are getting studies back after spring flooding showing why flood walls failed. IPR reports on problem gambling. And the Illinois Politics Roundtable chews over new federal restrictions on public health funding designed to limit abortions, and the response from Governor JB Pritzker.

The State Farm building in downtown Bloomington will be torn down. Commercial Realtor Greg Yount says there are opportunities for that downtown location. An in depth report on the startling development coming up. Plus, Great Caesar's Ghost. Laura Kennedy presents a modern political take on Shakespeare's classic. John Norton has something from Baaad Boyz ahead of their concert. And a thoughtful discussion about the disappearance of a mural in the community (No, not THAT mural) and what murals say about us as a society.

WGLT's Mary Cullen reports on the newly named Normal Citizen of the Year, Dodie Dunson. Correspondent Steve Fast chats with musician Denise LaGrassa ahead of her weekend show in Uptown Normal. And learn all about Bloomington's connection to the "Wizard of Oz."

Connect Transit is doing better than many other bus systems. Connect Transit Manager Isaac Thorne says gas prices have a lot to do with recent ridership trends.  Mary Cullen has an episode of McHistory dealing with Bloomington Normal favorite son Presidential Candidate Adlai Stevenson. And, the Mayor of Normal stops by. 

Poverty and child poverty continue to drag at the state of Illinois even in an expanding economy... because the social service support network remains badly eroded. The Heartland Alliance Social Impact Research Center tells Eric Stock what that means in central Illinois. Plus, the Challenger Learning Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. And a look at poverty and child poverty in Bloomington Normal.

Back in the 70s Russell "Huck" Willis didn't think much of snowmobiles. Too cold. Then someone gave his son one. 150 plus snowmobiles later, welcome to the Willis Snowmobile museum in Hopedale, Illinois. Plus, Adam Kinzinger was a very very young Mclean County Board member. Then he was a very young Congressman. Now the U.S. Representative might be on the way to becoming a U.S. Senator. Ryan Denham has more. Meet the new head of the Bloomington Normal EDC, Patrick Hoban. Jon Norton has the music of Illinois Rail. And Laura Kennedy brings us the Inside Out Arts Fair. 

WGLT's Eric Stock reports on the rise of discount stores in rural Illinois, and their impact on the rest of the economy. And Mike and Murph bring you another episode of WGLT's Grow.

McLean County State's Attorney Don Knapp talks about why he wants to sue drugmakers and distributors over the opioid epidemic. WGLT's Ryan Denham visits the Iron Spirit Pro independent wrestling company based in Normal. And WGLT correspondent Steve Fast talks to Snow & Snow about their album being released this week.

WGLT's Eric Stock reports on the changing dynamics on the Normal Town Council. You'll meet a competitive eater from Bloomington who just lost to Joey Chestnut in the famous Fourth of July competition in New York. And WGLT Student Reporter Tiffani Jackson talks to local youth outreach director Andrew Held about his new role at Western Avenue Community Center.

Bloomington City Council member Kim Bray talks about Connect Transit's future, marijuana legalization, the search for a police chief, and more. WGLT's Ryan Denham chats with local youth soccer players about the U.S. women's World Cup run. And Laura Kennedy visits a new exhibit showing off the permanent collection at ISU's University Galleries. 

WGLT's Ryan Denham talks to Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors President Danell Moberly about trends in the local housing market. WGLT correspondent Brenna Grow reports on more homeowners turning to solar power. And the Illinois Politics Roundtable unpacks the newly signed $45 billion state capital bill.

Half of the hotel rooms in Bloomington Normal sit empty. And Hotel Motel Association head Ray Ceresa says average room rates are down three dollars from last year. Ryan Denham reports on the lowest metro area hotel occupancy rate in the state. Plus, Tim Shelley reports on how much the loss of grocery stores hurts rural communities and how four small central Illinois towns are trying to recover those community centers. Mary Cullen talks with McLean County Democrats about how in the world they will wade through 24 candidates to decide who they want.

Barb Dallinger says she was considered the Mom of her Illinois State University dorm floor until someone found out she was gay. Other students assaulted her, tied her up, gagged her, and then locked her in her dorm room. Things are better, but Dallinger says discrimination still happens. Plus, there's a new not for profit in town dedicated to getting women ready for apprenticeship programs and jobs that give them a sustainable wage. Katie Seelinger has more. And Jon Norton has the music of Lauren Jenkins.

Art by adolescents and an exhibit curated by adolescents gives you unexpected depths. 17 year old Jordan Davis says he is surprised at the darkness in some of the children's works in the exhibit at the ISU galleries. Laura Kennedy has more. Plus Eric Stock reports on how municipalities use social media. We have the view from France; a 16 year old French High School student reflects on U.S. Culture and community. And Mary Cullen runs down the economic indicators in Bloomington Normal by the numbers.

The 1970s saw the dawn of the gay rights movement, even in Bloomington Normal. Dave Bentlin of the Prairie Pride Coalition says poet Allen Ginsburg even came to town. History comes out of the closet with GLT Reporter Mary Cullen. Plus, Correspondent Breanna Grow has a story of love at first sight, one sided love, at any rate. Persistence pays off in the end. This month is the 100th anniversary of Illinois women getting the right to vote. And Bloomington's Mayor stops by to talk sales taxes and connect transit.

Police, fire, even city hall, hey are just like us when it comes to social media. They are looking for ways to get your attention. Bloomington Police officer John Fermon is putting his marketing degree from ISU to use as the department's public information officer. Plus, the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council has been focusing on several issues among teens in the twin cities. It's adding  one, gun violence. Ryan Denham reports. And State Senator Jason Barickman tells us now that the budget is done, what's next. Could it be pensions?
 

GLT's Charlie Schlenker chats with the Heartland Community College president and CFO about their latest budget and enrollment efforts. You'll hear about former Illinois Wesleyan basketball player Jack Sikma's latest run with the NBA champs. And Jon Norton previews the inaugural Black Dirt Music Festival in Downtown Bloomington. 

Paul De Jong is perhaps the most accomplished Illinois State University baseball player to make it in the major leagues. He has advice for his former teammates. De Jong could have ISU company in the majors. Five Redbirds were drafted this spring. More with Eric Stock. Plus, Ecology Action Center Director Michael Brown joins us to talk about planning for a household hazardous waste collection event. And Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch has the skinny on Smart Trucks.

Behavioral Health Coordinating Council advisor Trisha Malott says McLean County needs to figure out who its frequent flyers are in mental health services. Mary Cullen interviews Trisha Malott about the new triage center and other service startups. Plus, Eric Stock talks with an NBA player from Bloomington Normal who is stumping for more medical devices in public places. And Ryan Denham gives us "More Of That Please."