GLT's Sound Ideas | WGLT

GLT's Sound Ideas

Weekdays 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

GLT's Sound Ideas is newsmakers. It's gardening, science, the arts, and a central Illinois music calendar. It's pet care, blues, poetry, and jazz. It's the sounds of your life and your places. And there's room for your opinion when the phone lines are open. This hour-long radio news magazine is produced Monday through Friday.

35 year old Canadian JW-Jones has released 8 blues albums in just over a decade.  His latest is titled Belmont Boulevard.  It's his first album with producer Tom Hambridge, who has guided a slew of albums for many artists, including blues legend Buddy Guy.  On this Talkin' Blues excerpt, Jones tells GLT's Jon Norton that Hambridge's guidance was invaluable in the making of his new album.

Gage Skidmore

Iowa gets a breather from the Presidential campaign spotlight. New Hampshire is next and soon South Carolina gets its turn. It's a moveable feast of politics, a royal progress of campaigns.

Illinois Wesleyan University

It's not a public policy issue like immigration, trade or national defense, but religion is playing a prominent role in the presidential race. It's likely to become even more of an issue now that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas won the Iowa caucuses largely through support from fellow evangelical Christians and is seeking their support in upcoming primary contests. Illinois Wesleyan University chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger says the religion factor in presidential politics is probably here to stay.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Shopping is a London based trio that contrasts its extremely danceable post punk rhythms with sharp commentary on consumerism, and the omnipresent electronic devices we use to interact with other humans.  Trevor Basham of Waiting Room Records (pictured) says the catchy "Why Choose" is one of his favorite albums of the last six months.  On this edition of "What's On Your Turntable," Basham gives a sample of what he calls a "must listen" album.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

You know that old chair or rusty lawnmower by the side of the road that you  passed by?  Well, you may have missed the potential that artist Doug DeWitt thrives on.  DeWitt uses found objects to create original sculptural compositions, and his work is currently on display at the McLean County Arts Center.

Ryan Johnson

The Mayor of Normal says the police department in his town has reinvigorated community policing efforts in the last year. Speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas, Chris Koos says the effort can result in better understanding of law enforcement by the general population. "Ideally in the next generation we are going to have more people looking at police as a career," Koos said.

The City of Bloomington is not the only area town looking at a body camera pilot program. Speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas, Mayor Chris Koos says the town of Normal will also do one. "It wouldn't surprise me if we do it cooperatively with the city of Bloomington, so we all have the same equipment," Koos said.

Lindsay D'Addato / Wyofile

McLean County Election officials say early voting will start on time this week after all. The start date of Feburary 4th had been in doubt because of objections to Presidential race petition filings. But, those have been resolved.

minntz / Flickr via Creative Commons

You want your home to be a comfortable, welcoming place.  Well, it can be hard to achieve that if the place reeks of cat pee...or dog poo...or barf.  But don't despair -- there's plenty you can do about it!

Portland Oregon based blues vocalist and songwriter Karen Lovely has a commanding stage presence that matches her equally powerful voice.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Lovely tells Jon Norton how she has learned to channel stage fright into that commanding stage presence.  She also talks about
her brand new album, titled "10 Miles of Bad Road."

Judith Valente

Three months after the Mitsubishi automotive plant in Normal closed, many workers are still struggling to find fulltime employment. WGLT has been checking in periodically with some of the those workers, like former car assembler Mick Hannah. Hannah has now found part-time work with a private Internet firm that monitors student content on school computers. But that job will end when the school year is over.

Joe King / Flickr via Creative Commons

Polish up that bowling ball to aid a local nonprofit organization that helps folks of all ages who have developmental disabilities!

Liz West / Flickr via Creative Commons

Larry in Shirley, IL needs advice on when he should trim his apple trees, and Murph is ready with a time table.


As a young girl, Brooklyn native Alexis P. Suter says she listened almost exclusively to gospel music.  That is, until a chance meeting with the Mills Brothers at age 9 opened up a new musical world for her.  She says from there she sang in school choirs and eventually found her way as a vocalist for House and Dance music in the early 1990's. Today she's the leader of the band that bears her name, and has opened for some of the bigger names in blues music.  Her latest album is "Love The Way You Roll." 

Challenger Learning Center

30 years ago the space shuttle Challenger blew up as it was reaching for the sky, killing its crew. Charlie Schlenker talks with Stacey Shrewsbury, the Director of the Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College, and Libby Norcross, the Flight Director at the center about the anniversary.

Illinois State University Helps Women Become Cops

Jan 28, 2016
Department of Criminal Justice Sciences / Illinois State University

There are not a lot of female cops. Only 13% of police in the US are women. A program at Illinois State University is changing that, one cop at a time. WGLT's Jim Browne has the story.

On April 1, 1908, 48-year old Lola Baldwin was sworn in as a "female detective to perform police service" for Portland, Oregon. It's believed she was the first female law enforcement officer hired by an American city or town.

The BCPA and its front lawn.
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington's Mayor is vowing to veto any effort to close the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA). When asked about closing it, Tari Renner told Mike McCurdy during GLT's Sound Ideas "that's not happening."  Renner also said he would veto closing the BCPA's Creative Center.

United Way of McLean County
United Way of McLean County

It appears unlikely the annual McLean County United Way drive will hit its goal of raising 8% more in funds and resources than the most previous campaign, which concluded a year ago. During an appearance on GLT's Sound Ideas, campaign co-chair Scott Preston said about $3.5 million has been raised since the effort kicked off in August. The previous campaign raised over $4 million, but recently extra last-minute corporate gifts have been needed to make the goal.

To peg San Francisco based Kim Nalley as just a vocalist and songwriter would be selling her short.  She's also an actor, a featured writer in various Bay Area publications, a former club owner, and a PhD candidate in history at UC-Berkeley.  Nalley covers some of that ground with GLT's Jon Norton on this edition of GLT Jazz Next.  She begins by talking about her new album "Blues People," which was inspired by the famous book by LeRoi Jones.

The close of  the year has resulted in a number of restaurant closings. Larry Carius joins Charlie Schlenker for a periodic update on the Bloomington Normal Restaurant Scene.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner is commending 4th Ward Alderman Amelia Buragas for looking out for her constituents. She tabled an ordinance on December 21st prohibiting water well drilling because of a pollution plume near the corner of Linden and Emerson in order to learn more about the situation. The ordinance was approved last night. In this Sound Ideas interview excerpt, Tari Renner tells WGLT's Mike McCurdy the likelihood of further pollution is low.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Time, light and nature figure prominently in Melanie Scott-Dockery's work.  The artist is showing an exhibition entitled "Then and Now" at the Joe McCauley Art Gallery at Heartland Community College.  Though her work is continually evolving, Scott-Dockery relies on one constant:   the ever-changing landscape in her own yard.

Mrluckypants / Wikipedia

Small towns that experience disasters often have to fight very hard to get a federal disaster declaration and accompanying aid to restore things after tornados or floods. Pontiac, Illinois had trouble after floods a decade ago. More recently, Washington, Illinois had no luck. But, the authorizing bill for the governing agency FEMA is up this year in Congress.

And in this interview with Charlie Schlenker, Congressman Rodney Davis has hope that one mechanism or another will come through.

Charlie Schlenker

Mitsubishi Workers have not been taking great advantage of education workshops on worforce issues since the layoffs of about a thousand workers at the plant in Normal last year. But, Charlie Schlenker finds out there is a lot still being offered. Lindsay Thompson is a customized training coordinator at Heartland Community College.

Bread on a floor
McLean County Health Department

Bloomington-Normal is ranked 80th in the U.S. by Nielsen as one of the best places in the country to open a restaurant, in part because of disposable income and our proclivity to dine out. According to Nielsen, Bloomington is also ranked 9th in sales per restaurant, with establishments raking in nearly 1.2 million dollars on average. The nearly 400 restaurants in Bloomington-Normal, in addition to those in other McLean County communities are inspected twice or more per year by the McLean County Health Department and now those inspections are online.

Ann Rosenquist Fee

A new stage show depicts the disintegration of a musical marriage.  Terri Ryburn is co-producing the live show, as well as filming it for the silver screen.


Seven months into the year without an Illinois state budget, there's no sign things are changing. But, State Senator Bill Brady of Bloomington says in this conversation with Charlie Schlenker that after a year in office Brady's fellow Republican, Governor Bruce Rauner has taken the right course.


One of the many painful parts of the state budget deadlock has been the uncertainty over state support for low income people attending college, so called MAP funding. Universities have floated that commitment so far.  It's unclear whether that continue. Some colleges and universities have said it cannot.

Sonny Abesamis / Flickr via Creative Commons

You can be the ruler of your own little world by creating a terrarium.  And according to Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, it's easy to create.


Congressman Rodney Davis is back in the district campaigning before the March party primary. We start with a political discussion about the impact of Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump  on the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary.