Ryan Denham

Ryan Denham started his career as a copy editor and later business and city government reporter at The Pantagraph in 2006. He later worked for WJBC radio in Bloomington. He now works in website development for Illinois State University and is a freelance reporter for WGLT.

Whether you work in an office, drive a forklift or teach kindergarten, the more confident you are in your training, the better you’ll perform. Confidence can make it more likely you’ll try harder or conquer adversity. A lack of confidence can make you skittish and impair decision-making.

It’s the same with police officers.

UPDATED 2 p.m. | Two freshmen have filed a lawsuit claiming Illinois State University did not refund enough of their mandatory student fees after abruptly shifting to online-only classes because of COVID-19.

Gov. JB Pritzker has ordered schools throughout the state to remain closed for the rest of the semester because of the threat of the coronavirus.

More people will be able to be tested for COVID-19 at an underutilized Central Illinois drive-up site after federal officials relaxed testing criteria on Saturday.

The dean of Illinois State University’s nursing college says she supports a plan being considered to temporarily allow graduating seniors to enter the workforce early to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATED 6:45 p.m. | Authorities are investigating after a small plane registered in Bloomington crashed Tuesday along Interstate 55 near Lincoln, killing all three people on board.

This month over a million Illinois workers who make the minimum wage got a pay increase, with another raise coming July 1. It was Illinois’ first minimum-wage increase in nearly a decade.

Illinois’ two senators are calling on the USDA to rework its massive trade aid program to fix what they see as inequities and a lack of transparency into how payments are doled out.

The top federal prosecutor for central Illinois says a new anti-gun violence initiative will improve coordination between law enforcement agencies and keep more illegal weapons off the streets.

Editor's note: This is part of a five-story series reported at the Housing Action Illinois conference in Bloomington on Oct. 24-25. The stories ran Wednesday, Oct. 30, on WGLT's Sound Ideas.

Enrollment declined at Illinois community colleges again this fall, driven in part by a strong economy and low unemployment.

A Central Illinois lawmaker said he’s encouraged by first steps taken by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the its director’s pledge to “re-focus on safety.”

A 9-year-old accused of setting a fire that killed five people in Goodfield struggled Monday to understand the murder and arson charges against him during his first court appearance.

The chair of the Federal Election Commission said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis was trying to “intimidate” her by asking for an ethics investigation into her public criticism of President Trump.

Democratic congressional candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan said she supports the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump and doesn’t think it should stop other work from getting done in Washington, D.C.

The Democrat-controlled House is moving ahead with its impeachment inquiry, prompted by President Trump asking the Ukrainian president for an investigation of his political rival.

The retail giant Amazon announced Thursday it plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian as part of a larger effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

With the public clamoring for action to reduce gun violence, Congress may soon create a federal grant program that would offer incentives for states to pass so-called “red flag” laws. Those make it easier to take firearms away from unstable people.

Illinois has a teacher shortage, and policymakers are trying some big ideas to fix it. That includes raising the minimum teacher salary and getting rid of the Basic Skills Test requirement.

UPDATED 5:15 p.m. | Illinois State University freshman enrollment jumped nearly 5% this fall—its largest freshman class in 33 years.

Kathleen O’Gorman spent her summer on the front lines of America’s broken immigration system.

An economist with the American Farm Bureau visiting Normal this week said the trade dispute with China has shown how “dangerous” overreliance on one customer can be.

RYAN DENHAM / WGLT

A child welfare expert at Illinois State University said she’s encouraged by the latest attempts to better fund and reform the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services.

Twenty years ago, Adam Kinzinger was a college kid navigating the politics of the McLean County Board, pushing for fiscal discipline, evening meeting times, and merging the Bloomington Election Commission into the county clerk’s office.

Greg Snodgrass started at Steak ’n Shake as a bus boy in 1979 in Bloomington-Normal.

Behind a tall security fence and countless coded keypads, the future of the Delavan economy is growing under bright lights.

UPDATED 4:05 p.m. | Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan conceded Wednesday in her closely watched race against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis after it became clear his 2,700-vote lead would hold.

The federal government’s top mass transit official stopped in Bloomington on Friday to tout $12 million in grants won by Connect Transit and other Illinois agencies which she says will help chip away at the country’s aging fleet of buses.

The first drug court began in 1989 in Miami, offering those with addiction issues an alternative route through—and hopefully out of—the criminal justice system.

Health care, trade, and the tax overhaul are three of the biggest issues in the race for the 13th Congressional District between incumbent Rodney Davis and challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

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