WGLT's Sound Ideas | WGLT

WGLT's Sound Ideas

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

WGLT'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.

This hourlong radio news magazine is produced Monday through Friday.

opera singers on stage

MIOpera draws on a pair of monster classics for the 2019 season. 

Matt Chastain and Dan Muller
Eric Stock / WGLT

Both Illinois State basketball teams will soon be traveling to Italy in preparation for the upcoming season.

Doris Houston
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A child welfare expert at Illinois State University said she’s encouraged by the latest attempts to better fund and reform the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services.

DCFS has been under intense public scrutiny this year following the high-profile deaths of several children in its orbit, including an 8-year-old girl from Normal.

Gleason chats with a woman
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason said he's proud of the work he and the city council has accomplished in his first year on the job.


Riccardo Rosselló, the Governor of Puerto Rico, resigned this week after 12 days of protests and demonstrations. Puerto Ricans had already displayed dissatisfaction over the lack of government performance during Hurricanes Maria and Irma, but the tipping point was Rosselló’s chat room transcripts, which were recently published. The transcripts included hateful comments towards women, the working class, the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized groups in Puerto Rico that were made by Rosselló and members of his small governing clique.

Recycling cart
Staff / WGLT

After years of lobbying and waiting, Illinois State University students will finally have access to recycling at their off-campus apartments starting next month.

Turns out, the timing is still not great.

Combine harvests corn
Nati Harnik / AP

Central Illinois farmers produce a lot of corn and soybeans. But they also produce tons of data.

Tari Renner at podium
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday he’ll do “everything I can” to find a solution that avoids the demolition of State Farm’s historic building in Downtown Bloomington.


Every month, a handful of people gather on Bloomington’s east side to make music together. The tunes they produce aren’t headed to the top of the charts, but the sounds are likely to improve their lives.

The Darts play Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night
Chris Barber

A judge and prosecutor ... a sports medicine teacher ... an orthodontist office administrator. That doesn't scream "all-female horror-punk/garage-rock band that tours the world."

Kari Sandhaas the artist
McLean County Museum of History

The old Laborers' Local 362 union hiring hall is being demolished this week. The building featured a mural created by Kari Sandhaas in the 1980s, which displayed Bloomington-Normal’s historical relationship with labor and unionizing.

Person on a high-wheeler bike
Willis Kern / WGLT

The term "scorcher" took on new meaning at Bloomington's David Davis Mansion Saturday.

John O'Connor as Abraham Lincoln
McLean County Museum of History

This weekend is the 10th annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 in Bloomington. One of the main attractions will be Herbert Mitgang’s one-man play “Mr. Lincoln,” which will be performed by John O’Connor on Saturday, July 20, at 7 p.m.

McLean County Museum of History

Last year, “Green Book” hit the big screen and shocked the world with an accurate depiction of what life was like for African Americans in the U.S. before the Civil Rights Act.

Dorothy tree carving at cemetery
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery / Courtesy

"The Wizard of Oz" was first published in 1900. It's an American classic, with many knowing the story by heart.

Social media and the 24-hour news cycle are the battlefields of political warfare in "Caesar," a modern take on the classic tragedy by Shakespeare, now running at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Tony Young, center on vocals, and Baaad Boyz play Jazz UpFront tonight
Baaad Boyz

The leader of Springfield's soul/R&B/funk mostly cover band Baaad Boyz said a special ingredient separates them from other area bands.

YouthBuild members Amarion Cleveland and Megan McClure
Courtesy / YouthBuild McLean County

When Megan McClure and Amarion Cleveland attended public school, they felt the environment didn’t support their goals. Feeling out of place and overlooked, they decided to take an alternative route to success and found safe haven ‒ plus a trip of a lifetime to Washington D.C. ‒ through a program known for shaping future leaders: YouthBuild McLean County.

Normal Mayor Chris Koos
U.S. Conference of Mayors / Flickr

U.S. mayors want to make sure the rollout of faster 5G wireless service doesn't clutter up their communities.

Denise LaGrassa at the piano
Mark Gordon

Denise LaGrassa is known best in the Central Illinois area and in Chicago for her jazz-blues sound.

8-Man Football is gaining a following in Illinois
Illinois High School Association

The Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland football team last year didn't score on its opponents until its 6th game, when it tallied 8 against Minonk. It went scoreless the rest of the year after barely having enough students to finish the season due to injuries and players quitting.

 Jaci McCormack with Reggie Redbird
Illinois State University

A former Illinois State University basketball star is using her talents to empower Native American youth.

Challenger Learning Center
Heartland Community College

A half century after the first lunar mission, a space educator said we have plenty of reason to go back to the moon.

Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Illinois is likely to lose at least one and possibly two congressional seats in the 2020 Census because of population loss.

Connect Transit buses
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal's bus system ended its budget year with a 9.2% increase in riders.

Brandt Industries
Bloomington-Normal EDC

The Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council has picked the economic development manager from the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park to head the EDC. 

Charlie Schlenker

It’s summertime, meaning it’s time to learn about ... snowmobiles?

Illinois Rail play the Bluegrass and Brass Summer Concert tomorrow
Illinois Rail

A steamboat cruise on the Illinois River seems an unlikely first gig for a gospel-tinged bluegrass band.

Woman carrying food at pantry
Seth Perlman / AP

McLean County added nearly 5,000 people to the poverty rolls in one year. That's one of the reasons McLean is on Heartland Alliance's poverty watch list. 

work on display
Inside Out: Accessible Art Cooperative

Art and nature meet up at the Inside Out Arts Fair, coming up Saturday, July 20. This day-long event offers opportunities to acquire art, as well as a chance to become a better artist yourself.