News

As the kids polish their lists to Santa this year, the dogs, cats and other furry and feathered creatures at the Humane Society of Central Illinois have a list of their own.

House that is the site of a planned police substation.
Courtesy of the city of Bloomington website

The group Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal is asking its members to call Bloomington aldermen this weekend to delay a vote on whether to open a police substation on West Jefferson Street. BLM leaders say the community has not been properly engaged and there is no consensus that a substation would be welcome. They want to delay a vote for more conversation but initially view the substation as an increased police presence that, "violates any commitment to community policing, " according to...

The Mayor of Normal said twin cities officials checked into negative news reports about Rivian Automotive and there is nothing there.
Koos made the case for proceeding with a million dollar cash grant and five year tax abatement to encourage Rivian to buy the former Mitsubishi plant.

Hearings Open Into Additional Mayoral, Aldermanic Petition Challenges

Dec 9, 2016
Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington Election Commission continues to conduct hearings on challenges to nominating papers filed by Mayor Tari Renner and mayoral candidate Diana Hauman. Some of the challenges were considered during opening hearings at the Government Center Friday. Bloomington resident Bruce Meeks challenged the petitions alleging they are invalid because of alleged improper notarization. Meeks says he believes this is a necessary discussion to have.

Staff

Union organizers from Chicago descended on the Illinois State University campus Friday, seeking help from students in spreading the word about what it considers global exploitation of workers in Mexico and the moving of union jobs from a Nabisco plant in Chicago.

Frank Heinz / Flickr via Creative Commons

Going to the Christmas tree lot can prove overwhelming unless you know your way around the variety of trees there. Knowing what look you want to achieve is a great place to start, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The 2017 season for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival marks the 40th anniversary for the summer theater event, and in order to celebrate the ISF is filling the season with magic.

Emma Shores / WGLT

A candidate for Bloomington mayor wants to sell the U.S. Cellular Coliseum and is willing to sell it for less than appraised value to "get out from under the yearly subsidy." Robert Fike is a 58-year-old retired firefighter. He says the annual subsidy amounts to $900,000. Information from the City of Bloomington shows an unaudited $1.87 million bond payment and a $1.4 million transfer of funds to the coliseum in fiscal year 2016. Any deal to sell the facility would have to consider the bond...

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington Police will open a substation on the city's west side. According to a release from Mid-Central Community Action, the two groups are partnering on opening a new community substation at a home owned by Mid-Central at 828 West Jefferson Street. In the release, police Chief Brendan Heffner said, "The new community substation reflects the Bloomington Police Department's commitment to strengthen community relations and enhance public safety. (It) will reduce officers' response time,...

Rivian Automotive.

State and Bloomington Normal Economic Development officials have found a probable buyer for the former Mitsubishi Auto plant.

Centers For Disease Control

There have been a half dozen recent cases of Whooping Cough reported in McLean County in recent days.

Lisa Slater is a Health Department spokeswoman.

jgullo / Flickr

It wasn't just Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, and Earth, Wind & Fire that caught the ear of a young Karl Denson in the 1970's. "The jazz was really funky too," said Denson. "Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis and all that stuff was going on. It was a pretty fertile time."

11th Judicial Circuit

Judges in the 11th Circuit have retained Kevin Fitzgerald as Chief Judge of the circuit that includes Bloomington-Normal. Fitzgerald was first elected Chief in 2014 and will serve another one year term.

Portillo's

Champaign Urbana will get a new Portillo's restaurant before the one in Normal opens. The Chicago area chain has announced a new location in Champaign which will open next spring.

Smart Phone screen shot showing location of AED at a building location
Photo courtesy of Pulse Point website

The holidays are stressful but nothing is apparently more stressful than Christmas day. That's the day when researchers in the American Heart Association's publication Circulation say there are more deadly heart attacks than any other day of the year, followed by Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. With that in mind, the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation is pushing area residents to download the free smart phone app Pulse Point . Kathi Franklin of the Foundation says there were three "saves" from quick use...

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Prosecutors have now filed a formal charge of theft of government property against a former manager of U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. Back in July, Curtis Webb told GLT one of his goals was to be a good public steward of funds and to reduce the operating deficit at the venue.

Staff / WGLT

There are far more candidate petition challenges in Bloomington than usual this year . A total of six were filed before the Monday evening deadline.

They all came from conservative critics of Bloomington government who have spoken or published about their desire to remove existing office holders.

Adrian Barr poses
Ryan Denham

Even if you’ve never been arrested yourself, anyone who’s watched reruns of Law & Order knows that you have the right to an attorney when you’re charged with a crime. But that’s not the case when you face civil legal issues, which can derail your life with the same force as a criminal charge. Facing foreclosure? Seeking an order of protection against an abuser? Unless you have the money to hire an attorney, you might be on your own. That’s where Adrian Barr comes in. He’s the managing...

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Dick Folse ventures into imaginary worlds when he sets out to paint a landscape. His latest works are currently on display in the show Abstracted Landscapes at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Republicans and Democrats worked at grass roots democracy in Normal Township slating candidates for local offices. There were several new faces on the Democrat side including Arlene Hosea who is running for Township Trustee.

Illinois State University

It's a mistake to think of central Illinois before significant European settlement as solely native American.

That's according to a historian and Illinois State University Professor who is out with a new book on the transformation of the region between 1762 and 1825.

Sarah Grammer

There will be a contest for the office of Normal Township Supervisor. Sarah Grammer is currently serving on the Normal Library Board and has announced plans to run as a Democrat.

Grammer said she hopes to improve public assistance.

Staff / WGLT

State Farm Insurance has lost its fraud case in a long running dispute involving claims from Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling against the Bloomington-based company.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Circumstances on the existing plot of land targeted for a Portillo's requires public participation to draw the restaurant that is one of "the most talked about things in the last 3 or 4 months in the community," according to the Town of Normal Mayor.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

The chief lobbyist at the Illinois Farm Bureau still thinks the nation will see comprehensive immigration reform. But, it may take several more years because the incoming Trump administration may not take on the entire question right away.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Looking to venture into reptile ownership? A good place to start is with a corn snake -- a great animal for the first-time snake owner.

Normal Plans For Portillo's, Community's Future

Dec 6, 2016
WGLT Staff

The 1.8 million dollar tax rebate to developers of a popular Chicago-based restaurant is high, but reasonable for one projected to bring in 8 million dollars in annual sales.

DrGarcia / Flicker

An acclaimed home Christmas-light show in suburban Chicago features purple lights this year in a tribute to the rock star who sang "Purple Rain." The Grant-Grusecki home in Park Ridge decided to add the Prince tribute shortly after the Minnesota-based artist died of an opioids overdose in April. Among Prince's many hits was the song "Purple Rain." Tina Grusecki says the family spends much of the year designing the elaborate show. It includes flashing lights synchronized to music that passing...

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Illinois' new comptroller says she will continue the practice of waiting to pay public officials' paychecks. Democrat Susana Mendoza took the oath of office for comptroller Monday in the statehouse rotunda. She's taking over as a handful of legislators from her party are suing her office to be paid on time. "I hope my former colleagues in the legislature will understand my decision to continue to prioritize the most vulnerable people in our state over payments to legislators. Unless a court...

Ian Bayne

Talk radio host Ian Bayne says city of Bloomington spending has spiraled out of control. So the unsuccessful 2014 Congressional candidate wants to unseat incumbent Tari Renner as the city's mayor.

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