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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.

  • Meet the new President of Illinois State University. After nineteen men before her Terri Goss Kinzy becomes the first woman in that job. Plus, no one knows how many cops, city workers, and public facing employees have had the Coronavirus vaccine in Bloomington Normal. The chief clinical officer for OSF HealthCare, talks about what new guidance on masks means for you in central Illinois. And arts correspondent Breanna Grow brings a group of young artists to you.
  • The world of farming is a place where mental health issues can be difficult to tackle. So much of what farmers experience is out of their control. Plus Bloomington's new Mayor says the federal infrastructure bill could be important for the city. And businesses can require workers to get vaccinated or say whether they have received the vaccine, but in Bloomington Normal most are leery of doing that.
  • District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly says he's pleased with the response to vaccinations. Reilly says 93% of District 87 teachers are now vaccinated. Plus, supply chain problems are slowing the pace of new home construction in central Illinois. After a big broil, the McLean County Board stays with 10 board districts and two members per district ... the hard part of the re-map comes next. And Illinois State University will announce its 20th president on Friday, though not too many people have been introduced so far.
  • Obstetrics experts say the evidence points to the idea pregnant women should get the coronavirus vaccine. But it's not an official recommendation. Plus, baby boom or baby bust? The evidence is now clear on the impact of the pandemic on birth rates in the twin cities. Hear from the first woman to drive a garbage truck for a living in the town of Normal. And Jon Norton brings you music of Bloomington singer/songwriter Nolan Kelly from Kelly's new 6-song album "It's Gonna Be OK."
  • A Republican McLean County Board member is calling shenanigans on his own party about redistricting. Josh Barnett says a plan he believes was long in the works to cut the number of districts is supposed to suppress rising Democratic representation on the board. State Democratic and Republican Senate leaders don't have a whole lot of specifics to suggest how to get out of the big budget deficit. Hear about cuts and the possibility of a sales tax on services. And if you're getting married, you should book a hall fast as pandemic restrictions ease. There's a lot of pent-up demand.
  • Blues artist Brandon Santini says he gets side eye from some traditionalist blues people when he plays contemporary blues. Santini chats before his outdoor Bloomington concert. Plus, learn about the patent medicine business in a new episode of our feature McHistory. Dozens of collages have given a Bloomington-Normal artist the interior space to stave off the social deprivation of the pandemic. And Tim Shelley reports on a rare thing: a truly open seat election for Congress in Illinois.
  • An escaped slave with a central Illinois connection grabbed the colors from a falling comrade and charged the cannons in a Civil War battle. Hear how Andy Jackson Smith won the Medal of Honor more than a century after his bravery. Sen. Dick Durbin comes to Normal to push for electric vehicle infrastructure as part of the Democratic party effort to build support for the Biden jobs and infrastructure bill. And the Illinois House Speaker and Republican leader talk about the state budget.
  • Cars connect to phones all the time now and Normal City Manager Pam Reece says that has implications, having emergency vehicles talk to traffic signals, for instance. Hear how Normal plans to be a smart city. Plus Dewitt County has a new wind farm under construction. There's more about that and the wind power industry. And in past decades McLean County Board redistricting has been a quiet exercise controlled by the dominant Republican party. This year there are enough Democrats on the board to make it a very noisy process indeed.
  • A lot of dogs will lose their humans when people go back to the office to work after getting vaccinated. Some will even have anxiety about it. A lot of pets will be left alone again. Plus, a quarter century of changes to District 87 buildings is what facilities director Colin Manahan has seen. Manahan reminisces. And Normal Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McCarthy talks about annexing west side farmland and street repairs.
  • On today's episode, McLean County government looks at solar energy savings. You'll hear from long-term care staff on engaging with their isolated residents. And you'll hear from an Illinois State music professor.