Samantha Hill | WGLT

Samantha Hill

Intern

Samantha Hill is an audio production intern at WGLT. She started in 2020.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Hear about the back-to-school plan in District 87, and listen for an interview with the new McLean County Democratic Party chair.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. McLean County's top Republican thinks it was a bad idea for Congress to impeach President Trump for a second time. 

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Hear why State Farm's federal political action committee (PAC) is suspending campaign contributions.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Hear from local law enforcement about a criminal justice reform bill pending in Springfield.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Hear about a rise in meth cases in McLean County, and get a look at the process to replace state Sen. Bill Brady. 

Small businesses traditionally haven't been good at selling on line. During the pandemic small retailers HAVE TO compete with internet merchants. Plus, Congressman Darin LaHood assesses the latest pandemic relief package. Small hospitals are having trouble getting bigger health institutions to take patients that need a higher level of care. hear from the small hospital in Monticello. A Bloomington Normal man who has devoted his professional life to helping others get strong and fit feels his own strength fail in medical complications.

Some main street Republicans in Bloomington Normal say they think President Trump took the GOP in the wrong direction. Others worry what a Biden administration might mean. A report on business Republicans in the twin cities. Plus the show runners of Fargo recently picked a central Illinois location for one of their episodes a historic mansion near Towanda. There's a new grant opportunity for people who need health relief from the pandemic in Bloomington Normal. Researchers in Illinois find more people are dying of NON COVID related factors this year.

Retirements are soaring during the pandemic, which cuts against conventional wisdom. Many baby boomers have been delaying retirement because they haven't saved a lot. Retirements are a third higher than average in the U.S. this year. Plus GOP state representative Dan Brady says it's time for President Trump and the rest of the nation to move on from the November election. A central Illinois Opera singer snags an international award. And the Mayor of Normal stops by.

Rivian has leased the Phoenix Investors warehouse in North Normal. It's 500,000 square feet for parts sorting and staging for the electric vehicle plant. Plus, Congressman Rodney Davis says he does not have much hope for a pandemic relief package drafted by centrists. And Democrats on the McLean County Board don't like losing committee chair positions. Hear why that happened.

Teachers say the usual ABC grading system does not fit when a pandemic has traumatized students and forced them from the classroom. Thinking outside the box in student assessment. Plus, Bloomington Normal Mayors say even amid the pandemic there is economic development. They tell the chamber of commerce about success stories. Enrollment at Colleges in Bloomington Normal is down for the spring semester, so far at least. Front line healthcare workers have been running flat out for months. Are they running out of steam the way hospitals are running out of space?

Most congregant living places in Bloomington Normal have had COVID outbreaks. Not homeless shelters. Safety comes at a cost at a crowded time of year. Plus, hear from Bloomington Mayoral candidate Jackie Gunderson. This year's America’s Best College Poet comes from Illinois State University. And singer songwriter Leah Marlene of Normal has a new album out a ballad-heavy introspective, full of doubts and the stress of expectations.

The mother of an abused and murdered little girl says the state child welfare system failed her daughter. Ann Simmons has started a not for profit to advocate for reform after the death of Rica Rountree. Plus Illinois State University is closer to the start of rapid saliva testing for the Coronavirus. Hear from a write in candidate for Mayor of Bloomington. And a central Illinois entrepreneur is trying to create an app to translate American sign language to the spoken word.

TUE - Bloomington Mayoral candidate Mboka Mwilambwe says he's voted for new parks and a number of other must have projects for the city. Mwilambwe says that fiscal responsibility has made it more possible for the city to weather the pandemic. Plus, OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center is putting in a ten million dollar cancer center. It's world AIDS Day. Hear a comparison of the HIV crisis and the pandemic...they're more similar than you'll be comfortable with. And listen for an update on Illinois Wesleyan University's response to the pandemic.

Mon - Hospitals that treat COVID patients aren't the only health care facilities strained for space and staffing during the pandemic. Long term care facilities are in a pinch as well. Plus, State Senator Jason Barickman suggests Medicaid is one of the cuts that needs to be made to balance the state budget now that the progressive tax measure has failed. Hear an update on Bloomington Public Library expansion plans. And a central Illinois Univerity is helping NASA get back to the moon.

A central Illinois LGBTQ advocacy group is a quarter century old and it wasn't easy getting protections in Bloomington Normal. Hear about progress and challenges for the Prairie Pride Coalition. Plus, Rivian is part of a new lobbying group that is welcoming the Biden Administration emphasis on environmentally friendly energy and transportation. If you must travel for Thanksgiving, Tim Shelley reports on how to do it safely. For the first time in decades Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan is in Jeopardy of losing control of the house.

A central Illinois LGBTQ advocacy group is a quarter century old and it wasn't easy getting protections in Bloomington Normal. Hear about progress and challenges for the Prairie Pride Coalition. Plus, Rivian is part of a new lobbying group that is welcoming the Biden Administration emphasis on environmentally friendly energy and transportation. If you must travel for Thanksgiving, Tim Shelley reports on how to do it safely. For the first time in decades Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan is in Jeopardy of losing control of the house.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz says a question about lessons from the pandemic at a student recruitment session kicked off introspection that has led to a retirement announcement. ISU gets ready to look for new leadership. Plus, not for profit groups sometimes have trouble attracting people for on line charity auctions. One group is creating a hybrid, see it online first then check it out in person in a distanced way. And If your business is stress management, then 2020 is your year. Eric Stock  has more.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz says a question about lessons from the pandemic at a student recruitment session kicked off introspection that has led to a retirement announcement. ISU gets ready to look for new leadership. Plus, not for profit groups sometimes have trouble attracting people for on line charity auctions. One group is creating a hybrid, see it online first then check it out in person in a distanced way. And If your business is stress management, then 2020 is your year. Eric Stock  has more.

An escaped slave with a central Illinois connection grabbed the colors from a falling comrade and charged the cannons in a Civil War battle. Hear how Andy Jackson Smith won the Medal of Honor more than a century after his bravery. Plus, hospital staffing is tough in Bloomington Normal. Eric Stock reports it's difficult to find enough people as the case numbers climb. And brain scans of modern humans taken while they flake stone tools might help tell us how language developed in early or pre humans. Learn about the exciting field of bio-anthropology.

Climate change is changing the insurance industry. One analyst says it reminds him of the financial crisis more than a decade ago. If you have three 1 in 10,000 year events on consecutive days, there's something wrong with your models. How to account for increased numbers of severe weather events in property and casualty coverage. Plus, The Mayor of Normal says the upward trajectory of Coronavirus cases has made him eat his words. And what's next for state government and its budget now that there's no graduated income tax change.

On today's episode of Sound Ideas, you'll hear Jon Norton's tribute to "Delta Frank" Black, the longtime WGLT blues host who died over the weekend from COVID-related complications. Dana Vollmer reports on the evolution of COVID in pop culture. And Part 2 of our interview with State Farm's senior vice president on diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Immigrants have spent four years worrying about hardline deportation efforts. They're not breathing easy after the election. Hear from Charlotte Alvarez of the Immigration Project. Plus, the head of COVID enforcement in McLean County says he'd like to see municipalities - and the public - play a larger role in keeping scofflaw restaurants and other businesses in check. And One Bloomington Normal restaurant group just laid off dozens of people because it's following the rules and doesn't expect much business at least until the spring. 

Hear about Tina Sparkle's first album in nine years. Jon Norton talks with the Central Illinois trio about the album Southern Hospitality. Plus, State Farm just improved its benefits package to try to keep employees from moving to those other places: Geico, Progressive, those folks. Ryan Denham looks at the competition for talent in the insurance game. A Eureka College scholar studies conservative and progressive belief tendencies on conspiracy theories.

30 year old Danielle Kater died from Coronavirus complications. She is the youngest McLean County pandemic death. She had no underlying health conditions. In an extended interview, Dana Vollmer talks with Kater's parents and husband about their loved one and the message they want to send; take the virus seriously. 

Bloomington High School Junior Dawson Marshall says the community wide virtual theater festival he's working on is just as cool as non pandemic theater. All the world is indeed a stage. Plus, a Republican lawmaker says Governor JB Pritzker's high handed handling of the pandemic makes him vulnerable in two years. And central Illinois school districts are pulling back from in person classes as community COVID cases continue to rise. 

It's quarantine opera. Producers send recorded music to the singers who stage, act, and perform in their homes and send the footage in to combine with other singers. MIO Opera offers YouTube Donizetti with emerging central Illinois artists. Plus, stop feeling guilty about putting all the food packaging and waste food into the landfill. You can do something about it with a new Bloomington Normal composting service. And a social worker is going back to school so she teach others who want to follow that career path.  

As Coronavirus mitigation efforts hit Bloomington Normal the Chamber of Commerce says it's time to support struggling restaurants. Chamber of Commerce board chair Nate Hinch reacts to a halt of indoor food service by urging people to bundle up and eat outdoors. Plus, if music soothes the heartache of pandemic isolation, what's on your turntable? Jon Norton has more. In spite of adverse weather conditions in the spring and late summer McLean County farmers say the crop was alright, not fantastic, but alright. And internet sermons aren't enough for some churchgoers. 

Restaurant owners in Mclean County are not happy with Governor JB Pritzker's mitigation order limiting service. There's a rising protest. Plus, hear a report on why Democratic Congressional Candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigen lost bigger than last time out against Representative Rodney Davis. The head of the McLean County Republican Party offers her take on turnout and Trump. And Political scientist Lane Crothers notes a lot of people underestimated the passion of Republican voters in this cycle. 

It's the job of law enforcement to plan for scenarios after the election that include unrest. Eric Stock has a report. A family from LeRoy says the trope that young people don't get hurt by the Coronavirus is tragically wrong. Plus, the Mayor of Normal says the latest Covid mitigation efforts hurt bars and restaurants disproportionately AND too much. And the new diversity officer for the city of Bloomington says he wants to remove systemic inequities in city government. 

It's the two sentence horror story competition. We'll scare you like it's the year 2020. Plus Eric Stock tells you about the fight to control the McLean County Board. A public policy journalist examines the progressive income tax proposal for the state of Illinois. And Laura Kennedy goes meta meta on the next Community Players Theater production. 

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