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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.

  • Normal Council member Karyn Smith says allegations against the city manager aren't about ethics, they're about gender bias. Six council members chastise the seventh, Stan Nord. Plus, the insurance industry workforce is about to become scarce. A lot of retirements coming up in the next few years. District 87 teachers say a pr campaign to score political points by protesting black history curriculum is way off base. And McLean County's legal community and housing advocates have a new plan lessen a spike in evictions once the statewide moratorium goes away in August.
  • The pandemic may have eased in Bloomington Normal but a lot of residents are still frantic about the danger to family members in India. Listen to south Asian community concerns about what's still a global problem. Plus the retiring head of the Center for Human Services in Bloomington says need for mental health services in the community outpaces supply by more than two to one. A week long series of activities marking Juneteenth begins. And legislators and advocates hope to make Illinois the second state to permit marriage certificate name changes for trans people.
  • The pace of vaccinations has slowed dramatically in McLean County and the health department may soon end mass clinics. It's still a long road from the current 40 percent inoculation rate in McLean County to herd immunity at 70 or 80 percent. Plus, it's garlic season in central Illinois. Learn about the ancient nutritious, even antiseptic herb and how to save your taste buds and tummy from the smelly thing. The identities of creative people can never truly be separated from the things they create, but Black artists often find themselves pigeonholed by White curators. Go behind a Bloomington Normal exhibition highlighting Black freedom of creative expression.
  • Illinois and Bloomington Normal businesses prepare for phase five...with no capacity limits for stores. The new legislative map splits up Bloomington Normal into five house districts and several senate seats. Some think that'll help community interests in Springfield. Others say no. The Miller Park Zoo has survived not one but two pandemics and 130 years. It's celebrating an anniversary this weekend. The State of Illinois is giving the town of Normal $1.2 million to extend the Constitution Trail along Gregory Street to Maxwell Park.
  • There's a shortage of bicycles in Bloomington Normal. Stores can't keep mid-range bikes in stock for more than an hour. From aluminum shortages and other supply chain issues to vastly increased demand, it's touch and go for bicycle shop owners right now. Plus, expansion of pediatric services by Marcfirst could help school districts and reduce service needs for children with autism when they grow up. There has been a lot of news about labor shortages in the region. Eric Stock reports on who's hiring. The new Illinois State University Athletics Director plans for a fall season that won't have crowd size limits. And yes, there will be tailgating.
  • Just because people CAN go out for arts events after they are vaccinated might not mean they WILL. The notion of accessibility is shifting for arts patrons who worry about breakthrough infections or a need for boosters. Plus, retiring ISU President Larry Dietz joins us for a goodbye interview. Metronet has closed the digital divide in Bloomington Normal a bit and built out its urban infrastructure. Bedroom communities are next. The Mayor of Normal says the long discussed underpass project in Uptown will likely finally appear in next year's town budget.
  • A central Illinois native with PTSD finds healing through art. Hear about the organization CreatiVet. Plus, business is coming back to hospitals in central Illinois, but it's not all the way back. The head of Carle BroMenn says the feds are making up only 60% of the loss. Insurers are looking at new ways to gauge safe driving and who is doing it. Here's the world according to telematics. The Bloomington Normal band The Something Brothers have a new album, or two, no wait: make that three.
  • A survey of attitudes toward police in the city of Bloomington came back with a lot of skewed data, but the comments were worth reading. Not In Our Town Co-Chair Mike Matejka unpacks the useful parts of the survey. Plus, County Administrator Camille Rodriguez shares perspectives on her time in McLean County as she prepares to leave for Colorado. Governor JB Pritzker talks about energy policy and compromise. Everyone gets a little something in a proposed energy bill; environmentalists, nuclear utilities and even coal burning plants. And hear from a Bluegrass Band doing more than the old Bill Monroe stuff in central Illinois.
  • Congressman Rodney Davis asks why many fellow House Republicans voted against a January 6th commission when they originally supported an investigation. Davis says Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also needs to answer why Capitol security was unprepared. Plus, Illinois State University will require COVID testing for unvaccinated students. President Larry Dietz has more. The new head of Mid Central Community Action forges ahead while honoring the legacy of the late Deb White who died of Covid. And McLean County Administrator Camille Rodriguez gives you the early look at how the county will place federal pandemic relief money.
  • Republicans in Congress like Darin LaHood don't like the Biden administration definition of infrastructure. They don't think it should include public housing, healthcare related or energy projects. A central Illinois lawmaker says he could back a trillion dollar bill, but not the two trillion proposal from Democrats. Plus, McLean County's sheriff recounts his three decade career. Jon Sandage says he won't run for a third term. And if you thought tales of Dickensian privation were just from big cities of the Victorian era, listen to the next episode of McHistory. The McLean County Poor farm was a horror show.