Sound Ideas | WGLT

Sound Ideas

TUE - Bloomington Mayoral candidate Mboka Mwilambwe says he's voted for new parks and a number of other must have projects for the city. Mwilambwe says that fiscal responsibility has made it more possible for the city to weather the pandemic. Plus, OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center is putting in a ten million dollar cancer center. It's world AIDS Day. Hear a comparison of the HIV crisis and the pandemic...they're more similar than you'll be comfortable with. And listen for an update on Illinois Wesleyan University's response to the pandemic.

Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University
Staff / WGLT

The head of Illinois Wesleyan University’s coronavirus response said COVID-19 compliance on campus was generally good during the fall semester, but it was a learning process for both students and staff.

Mon - Hospitals that treat COVID patients aren't the only health care facilities strained for space and staffing during the pandemic. Long term care facilities are in a pinch as well. Plus, State Senator Jason Barickman suggests Medicaid is one of the cuts that needs to be made to balance the state budget now that the progressive tax measure has failed. Hear an update on Bloomington Public Library expansion plans. And a central Illinois Univerity is helping NASA get back to the moon.

Advocate Bromenn Hospital
Emma Shores / WGLT

COVID-19 has created a health care logjam as new cases rise, but hospitals aren't the only ones strained for space and staffing.

Senator Jason Barickman on the Senate floor.
Seth Perlman / AP

Now that voters have rejected the income tax amendment to the State Constitution to create a progressive tax structure, Illinois faces hard choices to balance the budget during the spring session of the General Assembly.

Rica and Ann
Family Photo

When Ann Simmons last saw her daughter Rica Rountree alive on April 20, 2018, with obvious signs of abuse, she knew she had to change her life for the better if she was going to save her daughter’s life.

Dana Vollmer / WGLT

'Tis the season of giving and all around McLean County, nonprofits hope generosity is living.

Organizations that rely on community dollars say they've been fortunate throughout the pandemic—and hope that continues into the busiest time of year for fundraising: the holidays.

A Hudson family is counting its blessings this year even though its Thanksgiving plans are still up in the air.

The Hoefler Family
Courtesy

In late October, Adam and Nia Hoefler of Normal and their two children got the news that we’ve all come to dread: the entire family had tested positive for COVID-19. But despite having the same virus, the Hoeflers each displayed very different symptoms.

A central Illinois LGBTQ advocacy group is a quarter century old and it wasn't easy getting protections in Bloomington Normal. Hear about progress and challenges for the Prairie Pride Coalition. Plus, Rivian is part of a new lobbying group that is welcoming the Biden Administration emphasis on environmentally friendly energy and transportation. If you must travel for Thanksgiving, Tim Shelley reports on how to do it safely. For the first time in decades Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan is in Jeopardy of losing control of the house.

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal
Staff / WGLT

Hospital officials in Bloomington-Normal are plotting what do once their beds are full as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise. 

New library entrance
Bloomington Public Library

Bloomington Public Library patrons would see more parking, meeting space, new rooms for teens and sensory-friendly visitors, and a pharmacy-style curbside pickup window if a scaled-down $20 million expansion plan comes to fruition.

A central Illinois LGBTQ advocacy group is a quarter century old and it wasn't easy getting protections in Bloomington Normal. Hear about progress and challenges for the Prairie Pride Coalition. Plus, Rivian is part of a new lobbying group that is welcoming the Biden Administration emphasis on environmentally friendly energy and transportation. If you must travel for Thanksgiving, Tim Shelley reports on how to do it safely. For the first time in decades Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan is in Jeopardy of losing control of the house.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz says a question about lessons from the pandemic at a student recruitment session kicked off introspection that has led to a retirement announcement. ISU gets ready to look for new leadership. Plus, not for profit groups sometimes have trouble attracting people for on line charity auctions. One group is creating a hybrid, see it online first then check it out in person in a distanced way. And If your business is stress management, then 2020 is your year. Eric Stock  has more.

Biden Tesla
Damian Dovarganes / AP

All sorts of industries are bracing for change, as we move from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

Downtown Bloomington
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

McLean County is one of only 77 counties in the United States to flip the presidential party preference from four years ago. McLean County went for Joe Biden and last cycle it went for President Trump.

Larry Dietz at news conference
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said Friday he plans to retire in June after more than seven years of leading the institution.

Twelve Bloomington bars go before the liquor commission hearing Friday over alleged violations of the ban on indoor service to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, there wouldn’t be violations without customers.

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. Plus, hospital staffing is tough in Bloomington Normal. Eric Stock reports it's difficult to find enough people as the case numbers climb. And brain scans of modern humans taken while they flake stone tools might help tell us how language developed in early or pre humans. Learn about the exciting field of bio-anthropology.

William Caisley and George Gordon seated at board meeting
WGLT file photos

Two of McLean County's longest-serving elected officials are set to exit the stage.

Heroes sign outside Carle Bromenn
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The head of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington says staffing remains "solid" despite the need for increased personnel to care for more coronavirus patients.

Climate change is changing the insurance industry. One analyst says it reminds him of the financial crisis more than a decade ago. If you have three 1 in 10,000 year events on consecutive days, there's something wrong with your models. How to account for increased numbers of severe weather events in property and casualty coverage. Plus, The Mayor of Normal says the upward trajectory of Coronavirus cases has made him eat his words. And what's next for state government and its budget now that there's no graduated income tax change.

AP Photo / Ted S. Warren

COVID-19 is now so entrenched in daily life that some may not have noticed how it's bled onto the screen. From subtle mask wearing to celebrations of essential workers, the coronavirus pandemic has made its way into commercials and entertainment alike—sending different messages along the way.

Chris Koos
Cindy Le / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said he's had to eat his words from a couple weeks ago when he argued McLean County didn't need mitigation efforts that were as stiff as those in counties with higher COVID-19 testing positivity rates.

Man standing on roof watching fire
Jae C. Hong / AP

Raging California wildfires on one coast and the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history on the other are just two examples of how our climate is changing. It's also changing how the insurance industry prepares for increased risk of property damage and in some cases, in trying to prevent it.

On today's episode of Sound Ideas, you'll hear Jon Norton's tribute to "Delta Frank" Black, the longtime WGLT blues host who died over the weekend from COVID-related complications. Dana Vollmer reports on the evolution of COVID in pop culture. And Part 2 of our interview with State Farm's senior vice president on diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Immigrants have spent four years worrying about hardline deportation efforts. They're not breathing easy after the election. Hear from Charlotte Alvarez of the Immigration Project. Plus, the head of COVID enforcement in McLean County says he'd like to see municipalities - and the public - play a larger role in keeping scofflaw restaurants and other businesses in check. And One Bloomington Normal restaurant group just laid off dozens of people because it's following the rules and doesn't expect much business at least until the spring. 

Frank Black with WGLTs trophy for the Blues Foundation 'Keeping the Blues Alive' Award
Jon Norton / WGLT

Listen at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, for an hourlong special dedicated to Delta Frank, our legendary blues host. Listen on 89.1 FM or stream at WGLT.org.

WGLT Hall of Famer and longtime blues host Gilbert Frank Black died Sunday of COVID-19-related complications. He was 79. Black served as a blues music host from 1985 until he retired in 2013.

front of old Bloomington Fire Station that is now a restaurant
Epiphany Farms / Facebook

Epiphany Farms Restaurant Group in Bloomington laid off more than 80 people Friday. Three of its four restaurants are effectively closed.

Hear about Tina Sparkle's first album in nine years. Jon Norton talks with the Central Illinois trio about the album Southern Hospitality. Plus, State Farm just improved its benefits package to try to keep employees from moving to those other places: Geico, Progressive, those folks. Ryan Denham looks at the competition for talent in the insurance game. A Eureka College scholar studies conservative and progressive belief tendencies on conspiracy theories.

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