SI Full Podcast | WGLT

SI Full Podcast

There are three candidates for Mclean County Board District 5 in Normal. Libertarian Jo Litwiller says she has a unique point of view that sees both sides of the spectrum. Republican incumbent and County Board Chair John McIntyre says he has always thought himself fortunate to be able to work with so many good people both Republicans and Democrats. And Rachael Lund says it is time to elect a new generation of leadership. Election 2020 coverage continues with a joint interview of the candidates.

The McLean County Nursing home factors into all eight of the competitive races for McLean County Board Seats. Hear two of the candidates for District 7 as part of WGLT coverage of Election 2020.

Domestic violence cases are up. Way up possibly because the pandemic makes everyone feel a little lost. And family violence incidents are getting more serious in McLean County. Plus, an epidemiologist says schools like Illinois State University that don't have clear guidelines on when to shut down or interim steps are running a risk. A Bloomington candy maker takes steps to prevent or limit COVID-19. And Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner talks about buying marijuana on Veterans Parkway.

McLean County Board candidates sometimes tout how they fight for principles. Others avoid righteous stands and talk about peacemaking. Hear the candidates in District 9. Plus, the pandemic has made child welfare agency problems worse.

A Bloomington-based long-term care company joins a drug trial that could prevent COVID-19 infection. McLean County's sheriff weighs in on a controversial ordinance proposal. And a Normal family is growing an unusual crop in its front yard.

Hear the candidates for McLean County Board District 8 talk about their solutions to the issues facing the county.

Governor JB Pritzker says college campuses like Bradley University that require self isolation and campuswide quarantines are doing a good thing to limit the pandemic  Hear more about the Governor's visit to Bloomington Normal. Plus, it takes a lot to keep faculty and student tech up and running during on line learning. Hear from one of the squad members who does that at Illinois State University. Against some odds Colleges and universities in Bloomington Normal now feel pretty good about their fall enrollment numbers.

Until recently not many bodies in McLean County have had an appetite to enforce pandemic safety measures. Health department environmental health director Tom Anderson says it only takes a little enforcement to send a message. Plus, the pandemic has brought what Mclean County Chief Circuit Judge Mark Fellheimer thinks will be permanent changes to the courts. Minnesota, Georgia, now Wisconsin - police violence against Blacks is enough to create a sense of hopelessness in African Americans. And what do service clubs do during a pandemic when they can't get together to serve the community?

People are driving less, flying less, burning less in fossil fuels. That's nice, but it might be too late to avoid climate change. Hear how that plays out in a documentary on a sustainable farm in Woodford County. Plus, art and science merge in vivid, chromatic works that excite the eye and show the basic building blocks of life. Student environmentalists fighting climate change say their campaign blends well with racial justice efforts, though it's tough to make process right now. And sometimes its OK to be not OK. Relentless positivity can be toxic.

Bloomington Normal Rapper Grill Billyenz says his new album stems from the darkness of an overnight shift and the lightness of a childhood experience. Hear about the album metamorph. Plus Town of Normal Mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli drops by. And --a nice thing during an awful year. Sometimes you just have to get out and ride a bike.

Newly digitized documents of Abraham Lincoln show the world view of the young man who would become President of the U.S. Hear about the latest chapter in the decades long Lincoln Papers Project from Director Dan Worthington. Plus, Illinois State University Athletics Director Larry Lyons tells you about his really bad joke that all redbird lives matter ... a joke that has prompted athlete boycotts and protest marches. The latest on disaster recovery loans from recent central Illinois flooding and storms.

The political race for McLean County auditor includes debate on why it should be an elected office at all. Rob Fazzini and Kevin Woodard are two of the three candidates in the Auditor's race. They join us for a forum. Incumbent Auditor Michelle Anderson is on medical leave and did not participate. Find all of our coverage of Election 2020 at wglt dot org.

Illinois State University is setting up a Coronavirus testing lab that could do 10,000 tests per day. The Shield Illinois facility will cover one of eleven regions around the state. Plus, human resource administrators are having a tough time navigating the many needs employees have during the pandemic. Keeping the 'humane' in human resources. ISU student athletes are not happy with university Athletic Director Larry Lyons' flip remark that all redbird lives matter.

Artist Venice Keys says black and brown communities find spirituality in the commonplace. Hear about Key's latest exhibit at Illinois State University. Plus, a Bloomington Normal woman tells you about raising a voice against patriarchy and for women's self determination. Another new Normal Town Council candidate shares thoughts on leadership and community service. And outgoing Bloomington Police Chief Dan Donath talks about the impact of de-funding police and transferring the money to human services.

Some candidates are already looking past the November election and to the city and town council contests next year. AJ Zimmerman is early out of the gate for Normal Town Council. Plus, the Mayor of Normal is on four and a half terms and wants one more. A family affected by COVID-19 talks about the emotional toll of the disease. A chat with the new host of NPR's 1A about the national discourse.  And ISU Athletic Director Larry Lyons says budget cuts yes...job and sports cuts no because of the pandemic.

The Vice President of the Bloomington Normal NAACP says hospitals in particular need diversity and inclusion departments because minorities are often disenfranchised. Carla Campbell Jackson says this would help minimize biases. Plus, the City of Bloomington will get a lot of money back from former Coliseum operator John Butler and Butler has pled guilty to theft. And Mayor Tari Renner of Bloomington drops by.

Find out how a black dwarf star can explode even without a fuel source. ISU Astrophysicist Matt Caplan says maybe what happens once all the stars have burned out quadrillions of years from now won't be cold dead and silent. Plus, 273 ISU students have tested positive for the Coronavirus after a little more than a week of classes. ISU President Larry Dietz tells you how he'll decide whether to close the campus. Some students remain in Normal even though all their classes are online. Hear why.

The pandemic has created some unanticipated consequences for political campaigns and they're not all bad....Hear more on pandemic politics from ISU Professor Kerri Milita. Plus, Plagues, Pandemics, and People - it's a new course offered at Illinois State University. It's a mystery how much the Governor's new order on masks will be enforced. Eric Stock reports. And Heartland Community College enrollment is down, and down more for African Americans and other minorities.


Critics of online school plans like to talk about the bad effects of screen time on kids.  An ISU scholar says it's not the time it's the quality that matters.  Hear about remote learning from Illinois State University education expert Anna Smith.  Bloomington considers ditching the Columbus Day holiday for Indigenous People's Day.  Changes ahead for the Illinois Arts Station.  And Normal Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McCarthy stops by.  

As WGLT's series "Living Black In Bloomington-Normal" concludes, hear some of the series' most significant interviews. 

Bloomington-Normal parents turn to learning "pods" to help solve the back-to-school puzzle. A first-generation American from Bloomington talks about the significance of Sen. Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic vice presidential nominee. And Brandon Bell shares his story for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-Normal.

School leaders react to a demand from Black Lives Matter to remove school resource officers. An advocate for tenants' rights shares information about local and state rental assistance programs. And Mike Jones has an update on the future of the Western Avenue Community Center on Bloomington's west side.

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael talks about voting-by-mail. Jen Brooks shares her story for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-Normal. And an update on traffic trends at Bloomington's airport.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner talks about the potential for a local mask ordinance. Student reporter Tiffani Jackson brings you the sounds of a Black liberation event in downtown Bloomington. And University High social studies teacher Kate Pole talks about how to teach the big moments of 2020.

Legal experts weigh in on what colleges and universities can and can't disclose about on-campus coronavirus cases. Brianna Rivera-Thompson shares her story for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-Normal. And money is running out to give those experiencing homelessness a place to quarantine.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly explains the shift back to remote learning for the start of the fall semester. Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason reacts to the surprise retirement of his police chief. And a 21-year-old from Normal shares her experience contracting COVID-19 and the social stigma that came with it.

Illinois State University faculty and students react to the shift to mostly online classes this fall. Lisa Thompson from Project Oz explains a troubling trend in youth housing insecurity. And Joel Johnson shares his story for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-Normal.

Illinois State University's provost talks about a shift in reopening planning. Normal Mayor Chris Koos discusses the future of One Normal Plaza. And Kevin Graham shares his story for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-Normal.

You'll hear about how jails and homeless shelters are trying to keep COVID-19 at bay in central Illinois. An update on ending a food desert in Logan County. And Peoria artist Preston Jackson talks about carrying the weight of racial inequality, always.

The Heartland Community College board chair talks about how the coronavirus has impacted his institution. Christie Vellella shares her story for WGLT's Living Black in Bloomington-Normal series. And you'll hear about the similarities and differences in trying to keep COVID-19 away from homeless shelters and jails.