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WGLT's Sound Ideas
Weekdays 5-5:30 p.m.

WGLT's Sound Ideas is our flagship news program. Every weekday, WGLT reporters go beyond soundbites for deeper conversations with newsmakers, musicians, artists, and anyone with a story to share.

This 30-minute newsmagazine is produced Monday through Friday.

  • Some residents of Bloomington say they feel betrayed by the city in their flooded hour of need. A Bloomington Council member wants the city to offer money to help. And a lawyer says some of his clients may sue over sewage. Being an ER nurse during a pandemic is really really stressful, but they say they take a breath and get their game face on. ER nurses say they'd love to answer questions for those who are vaccine hesitant, but rarely get the chance. And craft beer and jazz is a nice combination. It's happening in Uptown Normal this weekend.
  • Bloomington Normal is in the hunt for a massive economic development project...a billion dollar electric battery factory on the west side of Normal. It could bring 32-hundred jobs to the twin cities. There have been rumors for a couple years about what extra business Rivian might bring to Bloomington Normal. Last week there was a hint the community is in the running for a big get. Then today Dick Durbin named the prospect, Samsung. Hear reaction from Bloomington Normal Mayors, economic development and transportation leaders, and a state lawmaker for the community.
  • It may not be an impossible dream, but a McLean County man is certainly dreaming a very difficult dream, restoring an old railroad sleeper car to become a business. And there's a new book on backyard prairies. Up to 50 percent of court cases have at least one side representing themselves. A new grant for courts in McLean and neighboring counties will help offer road maps to the courts for those without a lawyer. And, Amazon will build a distribution center near Pekin. Yes, it's hundreds of jobs, but the pay rate makes a difference.
  • On today's episode, regional schools superintendent Mark Jontry talks about another unusual back-to-school period. A leader with the Back 2 School Alliance talks about this year's school supply giveaway. Carle Health's CEO explains their new vaccine requirement. And a new book explores the musical genre of Americana.
  • The drenching downpours of Sunday brought anguished howls of 'not again!' from some Bloomington Normal residents who haven't fully cleaned up from sewage backups and flooded basements in June. And restoration company backlogs mean there's not much help available . The Regional Superintendent looks at how and who will enforce the mask mandate in schools. A very smart dog learned to take the train to go all over central Illinois in the early part of the last century. Rags was a dog of uncertain pedigree and affable character. Hear the story of a long ago dog's journey into Bloomington, Springfield, and other towns in the latest episode of McHistory. And learn about the entwined history of chocolate and racism from an ISU Fulbright scholar.
  • Nationally ranked disc golfers come to central Illinois for a big tourney. For the record, fon't call it frisbee golf or even worse FROLF. The Illinois Arts Station is close to opening its new home in Normal. At certain long term care facilities in Bloomington Normal less than a quarter of the staff have taken the Coronavirus vaccine. Dive into why that is. Plus, a big long term care facility operator backtracks on its requirement that staff get vaccinated. Heritage Health would love it if the government took the question of mandates out of company hands.
  • Healthcare leaders in Bloomington Normal say they don't worry too much about having half the hospital beds the World Health Organization recommends for a community this size, they're confident they can pivot in a pinch. Besides, they say, if you add beds, they get filled. Meet the new director of the Western Avenue Community Center and hear how she learned to love multiculturalism. Recent house flooding in Normal was far less than in Bloomington, but that doesn't mean there are no lessons to be learned there. And getting rid of household hazardous waste in an approved way is difficult, expensive, and rare. The Ecology Action Center has an option coming up this fall.
  • Governor JB Pritzker says he's disappointed so many school districts had planned to make masks optional for the fall. He's taking that choice out of their hands. There's now a statewide mask mandate - daycare through high school. It's tough to put out a car fire in an electric vehicle because you have to keep the battery cells that aren't on fire cool enough so they don't go up. Normal firefighters say it takes ten times the usual amount of water to put out an EV car fire. They're studying up for a lot more EVs on the road. And Team Mercury is on the road. Illinois State University's solar car racing team has a very quiet engine.
  • The Mayor of Normal warns looming federal limits on water system phosphorus emissions could be a development killer if area residents have to pay for 160-million-dollars in improvements without federal help. There are a lot of pets turned in to shelters in McLean County right now. But the reason for the furry glut might not be post pandemic pet purging after all. And a soon to be abolished tent city on Bloomington's west side raises the profile of the homeless in the twin cities.
  • The City Manager of Normal tries to ease council nerves that the $24 million underpass project will cost more. And the present furor over critical race theory aside, it's not a new thing for politics to shape the material taught in social studies classes. Liberation Colorized is an online journal launched to give students a voice during a particularly turbulent time in Bloomington Normal politics. These young people are not just listening to adults, they're telling. And a famed McLean County dairy family gets a memorial in a new book.