Patrick Grogan | WGLT

Patrick Grogan

Intern

Patrick Grogan is an intern at WGLT. He joined the station in 2021.

Patrick is also a student at Illinois State University.

Ways to Connect

Kelly Stogner of Normal saw a social media post from someone asking for a kidney, and saw herself in April Post: a single mom, about her age, with a young kid, turned out it was a match. Hear that and other organ donor stories. Plus, restaurant owners say the price for a dinner out might go up because of a worker shortage. There is no beer in outer space, but the Challenger Learning Center in Normal has a beer-related science puzzle game on a virtual space station. Finally, oral histories of Black McLean County residents have inspired a new musical performance.

Automakers can't sell directly to customers in Illinois because of decades-old rules to protect mom and pop auto dealers from the Big Three in Detroit, but auto dealers aren't so mom and pop any more and the old economics might not apply in the case of Rivian. Plus, the Bloomington based quintet Old Smoke offers new music. Finally, a lover of history and economics has left a legacy to the Bloomington Library that helps people discover the military past of their ancestors.

Sean Sherman is a chef who tries to revive Native American Foodways by NOT using colonial ingredients. That includes dairy, beef, pork, chicken, and wheat flour. Sherman says it's gluten free and every other healthy diet you might think of. Plus, the African American community in Bloomington-Normal reflects on revived trauma and skepticism about the coming verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota. Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason slow rolls a search for a new police chief. Finally, the shortage of restaurant workers in Bloomington-Normal grows oh so much worse.

Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason says he hopes a council member's promise to make lives of new council members a living hell is just a reaction to allies losing. Gleason says you can talk about social agendas, but the nuts and bolts come first. Bloomington's mayor says there's still need for a water shutoff moratorium. Plus, the Medical Director at OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington says pulling the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is the right move for now.

Bloomington-Normal defense attorneys analyze the Derek Chauvin murder trial in Minnesota and how it would be handled if it happened in central Illinois. Plus, Bloomington-Normal landlords say deadbeat tenants aren't accepting available help on water fees and the property owners are getting stuck with the bill. Finally, it's the WGLT fund drive. If you're listening, you should be supporting WGLT with your financial contribution at WGLT.org.

ISU still can't do a big spring commencement ceremony, but can you still do a bunch of really teeny-tiny commencement ceremonies? Hear from Jill Benson on ISU's commencement team on the new, out-of-the-box Redbird Stage Crossings program. Plus, District 87 has expanded summer offerings after a year disrupted by COVID. Illinois lawmakers are looking at what some other countries do to prevent overdose deaths; create legal injection sites to shoot up. Finally, Gamma Phi Circus still welcomes you under the big top, only on a small screen at home.

On today's episode, a look at what the federal election bill does and doesn't do, and what U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis thinks of it. Plus, the progressive People First Coalition plots its next move after their Election Day losses. Finally, a nursing home resident advocate has a progress report on COVID vaccinations in McLean County.

The election results are in for cities and towns after sometimes heated campaigns. The incumbent moderates won in Normal over a conservative bloc. A slate of progressive candidates in Bloomington could not seal the deal and lost in Bloomington. Bloomington will have its first Black Mayor. We'll bring you the winners and losers. Plus, a political scientist says those who claim virtue for their campaign from a higher than average voter turnout fail to reckon with the fact it was still abysmally low. Finally, the annual day of Holocaust Remembrance begins at sundown.

Homebuilder Tom Armstrong says Rivian has made a big difference in business. Rivian hiring hundreds makes it a great realty market for sellers, but not so much for buyers. Plus, a new book edited by central Illinois educators chronicles the teen LGBTQ+ experience. Hear about the central Illinois meeting between the Great Agnostic and one of the foremost abolitionist voices of the 19th Century and what it means for today. Finally, we have poetry. Listen to the winner of Illinois's statewide high school poetry contest.

Vaccines, warm weather, and cabin fever mean more business for the Central Illinois Regional Airport, but it's not business as usual. Airport Director Carl Olson says usually there's an even split between business and leisure travel; now its three quarters leisure. Plus, working OUT from home has become just as much a thing in central Illinois as working FROM home. Central Illinois claims a master storyteller who put a little swash in that buckle. Johnston McCully put the mark of Zorro on Chillicothe. Finally, an ISU scholar writes a sci-fi film script.

There are some oddities in this year’s Bloomington and Normal elections, including a whole lot of money. Find out more about expected endorsements that didn’t happen, odd political bedfellows, and a political action committee that avoids those on the wings. Plus, there are two camps of candidates for Normal Town Council and their opinions on creating pandemic relief moving forward. One set blasts enforcement actions. The other points to fee waivers, small business loans, and housing assistance.

Heartland Community College is offering help after personal data for up to several thousand people was stolen in a cyberattack last fall. The college says it's beefing up security. Plus, the community says goodbye to another former Mayor of Bloomington. Hear about the long and 'twining' road for hemp growers. Finally, a central Illinois biochemist holds forth about the effort to combat superbugs, antiobiotic resistant bacteria.

Issues of diversity and equity are top of mind for many candidates, including ones for school board. Hear Unit 5 school board candidates talk about enhancing teacher diversity. Plus, one of Governor J.B. Pritzker's executive orders has put a chill on malpractice lawsuits; Eric Stock has a graphic report. A mentorship program in Bloomington-Normal provides new opportunities. Finally, the Illinois State University Food Recovery Network is receiving national recognition.

The review of controversial statues in Chicago includes some of President Abe Lincoln for racism. Lincoln College President David Gerlach says if Chicago doesn't want the statues, he'll come collect them himself. Plus, State Senator Jason Barickman says Democrats should wait for the census data they so dearly wanted ...before redistricting. LGBTQ+ groups in Bloomington-Normal are having a conversation with Republican lawmakers about legislation on sex ed for children as young as Kindergarten and how tough it is for trans people to change gender on a birth certificate.

Even at the city and town level, politics have become more strident. Hear Bloomington council candidates say how they think they can get along. Plus, the Normal Town Council candidates tell you their top priorities. Illinois State University President Larry Dietz hopes the state will make student vaccination mandatory. Finally, not too many Mclean County Jail inmates want to be vaccinated.

District 87 voters don't have a lot of choice for school board candidates, but there are some recommended qualities for a board member including understanding the needs of a diverse district. District 87 school board candidates introduce themselves. Plus, hear what the McLean County Health Department hasn't been able to do while it deals with the pandemic. The first electric school buses have come to central Illinois. Finally, WGLT Arts Correspondent Laura Kennedy retires... again... after telling you about the What's so Good about Good Friday art exhibition.

A Bloomington attorney who focuses on legal aid in elder abuse cases says they see a lot of consumer issues. Megan McGlothlin Wood is tasked with addressing a gap in civil legal aid. Plus, all public colleges and universities in Illinois will start using what's called The Common Application for students to gain admission; it'll save time and money. The Illinois Senate President talks about what the term Fair Maps means to him as legislative redistricting begins.

One state representative says he wants an open and transparent redistricting process. Republican Tim Butler talks about a redistricting commission and other fair map ideas. Plus, a winner of the Bloomington Human Relations Commission Black History Essay Contest shares their thoughts about a prominent African American that it's important to remember. Adhrut Kulkarni tells you about Jesse Owens. You can listen to new music from Dan Hubbard. Finally, find out how tadpoles behave just like baby birds. According to ISU research, they beg.

There are six candidates running for two positions on the Unit Five School Board. Hear a report on the School Board races. Plus, a winner of the Bloomington Human Relations Commission Black History Essay Contest shares their thoughts about a prominent African American that it's important to remember. Aaliyah Trice tells you about Ruby Bridges. Finally, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner stops by to say how happy he is that the O'Neal Pool And Park Project is finally going forward.

Hear from a Bloomington High School student who says too often that the things emphasized during Black History Month don't show the full scope of their contributions to America. Aleeya Hussemen shares her thoughts in a contest-winning essay. Plus, hate crimes against people of Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander backgrounds are rising. Hear from some in central Illinois on how they try to be safe. Finally, the recent end of publication of several books by Dr. Seuss shows how children's literature has changed in the last thirty years.

WGLT brings you the Black History Essay Contest winners, including one on the complicated civil rights figure Eldredge Cleaver. Listen for winners of the contest sponsored by the Bloomington Human Relations Commission. Plus, a report on the candidates running for Heartland Community College Board. Debate continues over the impact of a new criminal justice bill passed last month. Supporters and critics weigh in. Finally, artist Ashley Jude Jonas shares her appreciation for the quotidian objects of life.

The first openly gay drag queen candidate for the United Methodist ministry in this part of the state says he'll stay in a denomination that does not want him. Bloomington-Normal resident Isaac Simmons says so many queer people have been driven out of homes; he won't be driven out of the house of God. Simmons shares his story. Plus, the McLean County Regional Planning Commission has a blueprint to cut down on injury accidents in Bloomington-Normal. McLean County's homeless population is getting vaccinated for the Coronavirus, slowly. There are challenges.

Music venues in Bloomington-Normal are still waiting for federal Save Our Stages relief money three months after the bill passed. Many are hoping to resume live music in the summer or fall. Listen to an update on the live music scene. Plus, Bloomington Council candidates tell you where they are on social action issues. Finally, an Illinois State University Philosopher has written a new book on the weight of whiteness - a feminist perspective.

Vaccinations are picking up pace and the Governor says there are many reasons for optimism. In an interview, J. B. Pritzker also shares his lowest moments of the last year. Job prospects look pretty good for the second round of COVID graduates. Those leaving college are looking for work in places they can't easily visit. Plus, Bloomington City Manager and former cop Tim Gleason projects the look of police training under a new law taking effect in July. Finally, a Bloomington-Normal group helps the tech-challenged sign up for vaccination.

The new Baby Fold Director of Family Services explains how the pandemic has provided more effective ways to communicate with some families. Bloomington's citizens advisory board for public safety wants to know what the public wants in a new police chief. One of Central Illinois' Underground Railroad conductors has been recognized with a new marker to herald his secret work freeing people from slavery, and the co-author of C.T. Vivian's memoir explains how he finished the book after the civil rights icon died. 

On the anniversary of the start of the pandemic, WGLT takes a look at changes it has brought. The pandemic-caused spread of video meetings might mean less needs for office space in Bloomington-Normal. Planners say that could promote creative redevelopment and limit green field construction. The amount of vacant commercial space in Bloomington-Normal is also up significantly over the last year. Plus, researchers are only now starting to get a hold of the amount of growth in domestic violence, its severity, and the pandemic pressures that affected it.

Some Bloomington Council candidates want any budget surpluses to go to direct pandemic aid. Others say the city should prepare for lean times itself. Plus, teaching civics in a time of polarization makes that important task all the more challenging. Into the classroom we go. Legislation to ban violent video games pops up in Springfield fifteen years after the last attempt failed. Finally, hear the people's choice winner from Illinois State University's three minute thesis competition.

The candidates for Mayor of Bloomington have different views of the most pressing issue facing Bloomington-Normal. Mboka Mwilambwe thinks it is the division in society that needs to be addressed. Mike Straza feels it's business development. Jackie Gunderson says the city should put more effort into solving homelessness and affordable housing deficits. Hear what the candidates have to say about this and other issues in an excerpt of a candidates' forum.

During the height of the Bruce Rauner budget standoff, it was very bad for Illinois rape crisis centers. Many still have not fully recovered. Plus, hear more of the three minute thesis competition at Illinois State University. The anniversary of the pandemic is coming up and the McLean County Museum of History has a way to mark it. High school sports play to limited audiences these days; there's a workaround though. Finally, Black journalists will tell the next first draft of history.

A high-quality hand crafted knife just has a better balance and feel in your hand. Hear from a Bloomington-Normal custom knife maker. Plus, Bloomington City Council candidates talk about economic development incentives. State Senator Jason Barickman pokes at Governor Pritzker's budget. Finally, there's still a long road to equality for LGBTQ+ people. 

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