Sarah Nardi | WGLT

Sarah Nardi


Sarah Nardi previously worked for the Chicago Reader covering Arts & Culture. She joined WGLT as a correspondent in 2020.

Ways to Connect

The Hoefler Family

In late October, Adam and Nia Hoefler of Normal and their two children got the news that we’ve all come to dread: the entire family had tested positive for COVID-19. But despite having the same virus, the Hoeflers each displayed very different symptoms.

The Great Plains Shelter Project of the 1930s was a massive government undertaking designed to help the Plains states recover from the devastation of the Dust Bowl.

On today's episode of WGLT's Grow, our resident expert Patrick Murphy tells co-host Sarah Nardi more about the great wall of trees.

Exterior of Unit 5 offices
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Unit 5 Superintendent Kristen Weikle is advising parents and students to be prepared for a possible return to 100% remote learning due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Chicken shop signage

As McLean County enters the second week of indoor dining restrictions, restaurant owners are facing increasingly difficult decisions.

Justice Tom Kilbride of Illinois’s 3rd Judicial District has apparently come up short in his bid retain his seat on the Illinois Supreme Court for a third term.

“Though votes continue to be counted, I am disappointed in the apparent outcome. I want to thank the voters of the Third Judicial District for twice placing their faith in me to uphold the sacred principles that guide our judicial system," said Kilbride in prepared remarks.

The Illinois High School Association voted on Wednesday to carry on with the high school basketball season despite a recent statewide surge in COVID-19. The decision comes just a day after the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) elevated basketball to a high-risk category.

Connect Transit will undergo yet another leadership change as interim General Manager Martin Glaze is leaving the public transit agency.

WGLT File Photo

As Unit 5 prepares to bring students back to the classroom next week, Superintendent Kristen Weikle sought to assure parents that bilingual learners would continue to be supported.

Last week, Unit 5 announced plans to introduce hybrid learning starting Oct. 19. Parents were informed of the decision via email and video messages, and given until Sept. 28 to decide to move their students into the hybrid plan or stick with remote instruction.

Sarah Nardi/WGLT

Unit 5 Superintendent Kristen Weikle announced Wednesday night a planned return to in-person learning, saying the district hopes to bring students back to the classroom beginning in October “assuming that the metrics are such that we’ll be able to do so.”

Carla Pohl presides
Sarah Nardi / Sarah Nardi

The McLean County Board of Health began its meeting Wednesday night with a barrage of public comment.

The demolition of Central Illinois Regional Airport’s old terminal building is slated to begin this month.

The site is the former location of CJ’s Restaurant, which closed in 2018.

In a virtual meeting with the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority on Tuesday, CIRA Deputy Director Javier Centeno said work will begin on Sept. 14 and is projected to last 85 days.

Kristen Weikle

Wednesday's Unit 5 school board meeting got off to an emotional start when some parents expressed their frustration with remote learning. 

Carla and Jessica at the meeting
Sarah Nardi / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is gearing up to expand contract tracing efforts in response to rising cases of COVID-19.

In a virtual meeting on Tuesday night, the Normal Human Relations Commission heard a presentation from Prairie State Legal Services about fair housing issues.

Attorney Emily Petri outlined the protections guaranteed to renters and homebuyers under the federal Fair Housing Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and local ordinances.

Designed to protect people from unfair housing practices, the laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of characteristics like race, religion, sexual orientation, family status, and disability.

Laptop is handed off to parent
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Unit 5 says government trade restrictions will delay the arrival of Chromebooks and tablets it planned to distribute to elementary students to help with remote learning.

Exterior of Unit 5 offices
WGLT file photo

At Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Unit 5 officials appeared to brace for a barrage of public comment.

Fist raised at event
David Goldman / AP

Not In Our Town (NIOT) hosted a virtual event on Monday evening designed to spur community conversations around race.

CDM Misses You on the ground
Facebook / Children's Discovery Museum in Normal

This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. For more stories about the effect of COVID-19 on museums, please visit the Prairie State Museums Project at

Better Bus Stop campaign progress
Connect Transit / Facebook

In a meeting with the Bloomington City Council Monday night, Connect Transit board chair Ryan Whitehouse pledged the public transportation service will become completely ADA compliant by 2024.

Linda Foster

On Thursday night, the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the NAACP began its monthly town hall meeting with a sobering statistic.

Council members in Bloomington
Mark Pickering/WGLT

UPDATED 11:50 a.m. | The Bloomington City Council voted Monday night to approve the reappointment of a Connect Transit board member, though not without discussion, with alderman Jeff Crabill moving to exclude the selection of Ryan Whitehouse.

Jeremy in the cemetery walk

This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. For more stories about the effect of COVID-19 on museums, please visit the Prairie State Museums Project at

Byron Craig

As violent images of the recent deaths of black citizens proliferate the media, some scholars and activists sense an opportunity to pursue lasting change.

Donovan G. Muldrow

“You probably don’t know this, but a broken tail light is a black man’s biggest fear.”

Around the table, people were silent as Otis Evans Jr. described what it’s like to be a black man in America.