Willis Kern

Willis is a Bloomington, IL, native. During his senior year at Bloomington High School, he finished third in the "Radio Speaking" division of the state speech contest, the only year he competed.

Willis began his radio career in 1975 at a now-defunct station in Normal. He worked swing shifts at WJBC in Bloomington while attending ISU. He served a 14-year stint as the nighttime announcer. Willis joined WGLT in 1993 and was named news director in 1997. He has won numerous awards for reporting and news writing and has been named Downstate Best Reporter four times by the Illinois Associated Press, once in 2004 and three consecutive years 2007-2009.

Willis volunteers at his church and is involved in prison ministry. He is married with two sons and loves the St. Louis Cardinals.

Nearly to the day 139 years after making his major league baseball debut on May 5, 1880, a tree carving of Bloomington's Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn was dedicated not quite 60 feet, 6 inches from his final resting place.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin greeted about 500 central Illinois residents at a town hall meeting in Bloomington Friday with the words, "There was good news from Washington today."

Durbin was referring to the failure of the U.S. House to pass a Republican-backed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

The independent candidate for Congress in Illinois' 13th district has appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court in an effort to finally get his name back on the ballot.

David Gill's fourth bid for Congress almost didn't happen. The Bloomington emergency room physician had turned in more than 11,600 petition signatures to the Illinois Board of Elections to run as an independent in Illinois' winding 13th district.

With payroll rules set to change possibly within weeks, central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood wants the Obama administration to consider phasing in new overtime regulations.

The Dunlap Republican worked a McDonalds drive-thru lane in Bloomington as a way to illustrate what he says will be an undue burden on small businesses.

Governor Bruce Rauner has taken his turnaround agenda campaign to Bloomington calling for workers' compensation reform to save Caterpillar jobs that are moving to Arizona. During a mid-day stop at Nord Outdoor Power on Hamilton Road, Rauner used Caterpillar Incorporated's announcement this week it is moving its mining division operations from Illinois and other states to Arizona.

ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

One year ago today, an Illinois State University assistant basketball coach and an associate athletic director were among seven who died when a small Cessna crashed just north of the Central Illinois Regional Airport. Killed in the crash were Associate head men's basketball coach Torrey Ward and Deputy Director of Athletics Aaron Leetch, businessmen Andy Butler, Scott Bittner, and Terry Stralow, financial advisor Woodrow 'Jason' Jones, and pilot Tom Hileman.