Sound Ideas | WGLT

Sound Ideas

Chris and Marc

This story is about debt, specifically Town of Normal debt; what’s healthy and what’s not. It’s a campaign issue in this year’s mayoral and city council contests.

Staff / WGLT

A new community project aims to take a snapshot of life in McLean County during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mary Crompton handling COVID tests
ISU Athletics

Illinois State University women’s basketball player Mary Crompton is on the five-year plan, but not the one many college students employ to get through school.

The candidates for Mayor of Bloomington have different views of the most pressing issue facing Bloomington-Normal. Mboka Mwilambwe thinks it is the division in society that needs to be addressed. Mike Straza feels it's business development. Jackie Gunderson says the city should put more effort into solving homelessness and affordable housing deficits. Hear what the candidates have to say about this and other issues in an excerpt of a candidates' forum.

Rape crisis centers are facing many hardships during the pandemic. Many are struggling to maintain services their clients rely on and balance budgets. Center leaders say it’s a repeat of what they went through during the Illinois budget impasse.

During the height of the Bruce Rauner budget standoff, it was very bad for Illinois rape crisis centers. Many still have not fully recovered. Plus, hear more of the three minute thesis competition at Illinois State University. The anniversary of the pandemic is coming up and the McLean County Museum of History has a way to mark it. High school sports play to limited audiences these days; there's a workaround though. Finally, Black journalists will tell the next first draft of history.

WGLT File Photo

Business development and revenue generation are big parts of city government. Candidates for Bloomington City Council offer different ideas on how to achieve that.

A high-quality hand crafted knife just has a better balance and feel in your hand. Hear from a Bloomington-Normal custom knife maker. Plus, Bloomington City Council candidates talk about economic development incentives. State Senator Jason Barickman pokes at Governor Pritzker's budget. Finally, there's still a long road to equality for LGBTQ+ people. 

Jason Barickman / Courtesy

Illinois Republicans continue to criticize what they say is an unbalanced budget proposal from Gov. JB Pritzker. The Senate Republican floor leader is no exception.

Bill and Taylor
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

As Taylor Mathews lit the forge in his family’s metalworking shop in rural Bloomington, just behind him was an anvil from the ’80s. The 1880s.

picture of David Davis
McLean County Museum of History

Most people in Bloomington-Normal know David Davis as the campaign manager for Abe Lincoln. Most know him as the guy who had a big mansion built on the near east side of Bloomington. Most know him as a judge in the legal circuit where Lincoln rode before his rise to national prominence.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

From the police killings of Black Americans to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the events of the last year have forced Americans to grapple with some difficult questions. 

The race for mayor of Bloomington is on and candidates have their priorities. Hear a report on what Bloomington Mayoral candidates want to emphasize coming up. Plus, Illinois Wesleyan University graduate Bill Damaschke is up for a Golden Globe this weekend; hear an interview about his movie The Prom. Finally, a startup meal prep service and delivery company is creating new partnerships with food producers. 

Bloomington voters this spring will choose their first new mayor in eight years. The choice is between a low-key veteran city council member and two political newcomers with very different backgrounds. One of them will replace Tari Renner, who is not seeking a third term.

Black people too often have been associated with only crime and racial trauma in pop culture. But one film that defies the stereotypes and gives power to the Black community is “Black Panther,” which three years after its release continues to stimulate dialogue.

The City of Bloomington has finally released police body cam video of a racially fraught incident from last July involving an officer and two African American residents. We'll have a report on why the release took so long and analysis of what happened. Plus, WGLT's consideration of Black History month continues with the empowering effect of the movie Black Panther. Elementary classroom teachers in Unit 5 and District 87 tell you how they approach Black history education.

Posters and bulletin boards for Black History Month

Teachers have encountered many challenges during the past 12 months, and the craft has been evolving because of the pandemic. Now it is Black History Month, and for many teachers Black history is more than just a one-month exercise.

Rodney Davis speaks
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package is set for a vote on the House floor at the end of the week. But U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said more attention is needed on the money that’s already been approved—and whether it’s all been put to good use.

Trump adversary and GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger took to politics from childhood. Hear the origins of a Bloomington-Normal native son who has set foot on the national stage. Plus, hear from two U.S. Representatives from central Illinois. Rodney Davis talks on immigration reform. Darin LaHood opines on COVID vaccines. Finally, Unit 5 School District Superintendent Kristen Weikle says Governor's Pritzker's proposed steady funding of schools is, in effect, a cut. 

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Gov. JB Pritkzer has signed a criminal justice reform bill spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. But questions linger among activists, lawmakers and law enforcement officials over the effects of the bill.

John Milhiser
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois

When John Milhiser took over as U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois in 2018, he had several priorities for the office, including plans to build working relationships with 365 law enforcement agencies dotted across the sprawling 46-county federal district.

Milhiser leaves office on Feb. 28, a departure he knew was possible when he moved into his Springfield office. Milhiser and other prosecutors who were appointed during the Trump administration, or confirmed by the Senate, were asked to resign recently as part of the Biden transition.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood said the Biden administration should negotiate with COVID-19 vaccine makers to boost production.

Kristen Weikle
Staff / WGLT

Flat funding for Illinois schools is effectively a cut. That's Unit 5 Superintendent Kristen Weikle's thought on Gov. JB Pritzker's budget proposal.

Adam Kinzinger speaking at House committee hearing
Kevin Deitsch / Pool via AP

Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s support for impeachment of former President Donald Trump helped make Kinzinger a national political figure. He's also taking heat from many within his own party and even his own family.

The Bloomington City Council race in Ward 7 is crowded and some of the candidates say they're frustrated at the slow pace of change in city government. Hear a preview of next Tuesday's primary election. Plus, a Bloomington artist indulges in a little romance as the two halves of his nature entwine in a dance of new works. Central Illinois had a couple stops on the underground railroad; learn about one in a Black History Month interview. Finally, Bloomington Junior High Students continue to overcome the pandemic odds to make beautiful music. 

Performing arts students continue to overcome pandemic hurdles in a big, complicated way.

Facebook / Immigration Project

The Immigration Project is taking a new holistic approach to services.

Traditionally, the project has offered legal services, but now has expanded offerings with a new Welcoming Center on Landmark Drive in Normal. Hannah Mesouani manages the center with two caseworkers.

Photos Courtesy Facebook / Kelby for Ward 7, Mollie Ward For Bloomington City Council Ward 7, June Peterson-Middlebrooks, Coretta Jackson for Ward 7, Daniel Freburg

Five candidates are vying for the Ward 7 seat on the Bloomington City Council. But only two will appear on the ballot in the April 6 municipal election. This week, voters will determine who those finalists will be.

Republican lawmakers are quick to point out what they see as flaws in Governor JB Pritzker's proposed budget. State Senator Sally Turner says the proposal doesn't address the root causes of the state fiscal pickle. Plus, Black history in Bloomington-Normal provides some uncomfortable moments. Hear from some unsung heroes of the pandemic in the twin cities. Finally, we bring you new music from the Bloomington-Normal hop hop artist known as V8 Vast Change. 

Donovan Muldrow prepares meals
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

A startup meal prep service and delivery company is creating new partnerships with food producers and now a major grocery chain in Bloomington-Normal.