State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

At the Orr Building at the corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Lisa Scacco — sporting an “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” sticker — spends the observation period after her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Bloomington City Council will have a special meeting on Monday to talk about censuring council member Jenn Carrillo.

Kelly Stogner of Normal saw a social media post from someone asking for a kidney, and saw herself in April Post: a single mom, about her age, with a young kid, turned out it was a match. Hear that and other organ donor stories. Plus, restaurant owners say the price for a dinner out might go up because of a worker shortage. There is no beer in outer space, but the Challenger Learning Center in Normal has a beer-related science puzzle game on a virtual space station.

On this week's episode of WGLT's Grow, you'll learn about a weed that can be dangerous or delightful, depending on how you handle it.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that $1.6 billion in federal funding will be allocated toward early childhood education and child care providers in Illinois.

The funds will be provided through the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March, Pritzker announced at a news conference in Aurora, and will include $140 million in direct grants for child care providers to be dispersed over the next three weeks.

This week saw the release of video and other evidence of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13 year old Adam Toledo.  Several top Illinois and city officials have weighed in.  Chicago's mayor promised a new policy on how and when officers engage in foot chases.  

Also, is the latest surge in coronavirus cases leveling off?

Our panel includes Rachel Hinton of the Chicago Sun-Times. 

The Town of Normal may spend about $353,000 to dig a new water well. That's among the proposals going before the council 0n Monday.

The leader of the independent oversight organization for Illinois prisons says the state is in "uncharted territory" as the Department of Corrections works on starting in-person visits again.

UPDATED 4:05 P.M. | The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) has announced its first Spanish language virtual town hall to address COVID vaccine hesitancy.

Like many bands, the Bloomington-based quintet Old Smoke used downtime during the pandemic to write and record a new album.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, April 16, 2021. You'll hear from Bloomington's new fire chief, and get an update on the Bloomington-Normal restaurant scene.

Copyright 2021 WGLT. To see more, visit WGLT.

After the atrocities against people of color in 2020, Chicago-based experimental sound artist Allen Moore wanted to find a way to mark the moment.

McLean County government will soon hold its first in-person meetings in more than a year as the county begins its once-a-decade remapping of County Board districts.

The pandemic forced government to take action to prevent foreclosures and evictions.  But that intervention won't last forever.  We talk with researchers who have looked back at the 2008 housing crisis to see what lessons can be learned. 

Illinois remains behind on renewing firearm owner identification cards and concealed carry permits.  We'll hear why there's a backlog and what some are proposing to solve the problem.  

And a car John Dillinger used to make a daring escape has been brought home.  

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

Automakers can't sell directly to customers in Illinois because of decades-old rules to protect mom and pop auto dealers from the Big Three in Detroit, but auto dealers aren't so mom and pop any more and the old economics might not apply in the case of Rivian. Plus, the Bloomington based quintet Old Smoke offers new music.

When Democrats in the Illinois House voted in a new Speaker in January, many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were optimistic a new era would follow.

But three months later, Republicans claim they’re still being treated unfairly by Democrats who hold supermajorities in both the Illinois House and Senate.

The unemployment rate for the McLean County area labor market may have been 5.1% last month, but it’s a lot lower in certain job sectors. Restaurants, for instance, have had difficulty finding enough people to staff operations.

After her passing in 2015, Irene Mischler left a trust in memory of her brother Charles Mischler to be used for economics and history materials. The Bloomington Public Library has used the proceeds to buy access to a tool that’s helping to keep veterans’ history alive.

Fold3 by Ancestry provides convenient access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.

Bill Kennedy, a retired Illinois State University softball coach and longtime educator, has died, according to the university's athletic department. 

Car and truck drivers honked their horns as they passed the large gathering on West Jackson Street in Macomb Thursday morning. Usually such horn honking is done to show support for demonstrators. But in this case, drivers honked in support of the grand opening for the city's first adult-use marijuana dispensary.

Three Illinois Wesleyan University students who allegedly injured a classmate during a fraternity hazing incident could be suspended or expelled, according to IWU Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall. 

The Illinois car dealer lawsuit against electric automaker Rivian is the latest chapter in a nationwide debate over the options consumers have to buy cars.

McLean County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and death toll continue to climb.

One Human Family Macomb is asking people to participate in a survey as the group decides on a direction for the next year.

The Burlington City Council decided against taking action on a request to stop doing business with F&M Bank.

Copyright 2021 WGLT. To see more, visit WGLT.

Heartland Community College’s Challenger Learning Center is tapping into local beermaking expertise for a unique immersive Escape Room experience this weekend.

WGLT's The Leadoff is everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, April 15, 2021.


Apr 14, 2021

It's Oscar season and Front Row Classics is taking a look at the Best Picture winner of 1958: Gigi. The movie was the winner of our Best Picture poll on our Facebook page back in February. This original film musical won 9 Oscars and is famous for its melodic score and gorgeous sets & costumes. Yet, our hosts explore the outdated plot and archaic themes which hold the film back from aging well. Allison Means joins Brandon and Eric for what may be our most polarizing episode yet.