Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Hundreds of demonstrators marched from the old courthouse building to Bloomington City hall singing and chanting.

"Ice in our drinks but nowhere else," and "Immigrants are welcome here. No hate. No fear," they called out.

Grumbling Normal Council Grants More Time To Africano

May 2, 2017
Emma Shores / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has decided to give the owner of a deteriorating building more time to tear it down.

Nicholas Africano is missing a Tuesday deadline to demolish the administration building of the old Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School at One Normal Plaza.

Charlie Schlenker

Three Town of Normal Council members and the Mayor were sworn in by Town Clerk Wendellyn Briggs on Monday, May 1. Chemberly Cummings was elected to her first term. She's the first African American elected to the Normal Town Council. She replaces Cheryl Gaines who stepped down.  Council members Kevin McCarthy and Scott Preston were reelected to second terms.  Mayor Chris Koos was reelected to his fourth term. 

Cristian Jaramillo

Newly elected and reelected Bloomington aldermen and mayor were officially seated after taking the oath of office, officiated by City Clerk Cherry Lawson. Those sworn in were elected in the April 4 municipal election. 

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

An expert on the proposed revision to the school funding formula says educators are on board with the idea even if politicians aren't there yet.

LeRoy School Superintendent Gary Tipsord spoke during a recent Town Hall on school funding at Heartland Community Colege about the so-called evidence based funding model.

Alachua County / Flickr

March unemployment in Bloomington Normal was down more than a full point from the same time last year.

According to the State Department of Employment Security, the jobless rate in the twin cities in March was 4.3 percent.

Judith Valente / GLT News

You don't normally expect to hear the words cancer and gift in the same sentence. But that is how Marcia O'Donnell, a Community Cancer Center patient, describes her life since her diagnosis of advanced breast cancer.

O'Donnell is a former mental health professional and mother of two small children.

She credits her positive outlook, in part, to being able to share her questions, fears and sometimes overwhelming emotions with Cancer Center chaplain Cheryl-Peterson Karlan.

Initially, though O'Donnell didn't even want to meet with the chaplain. 

Judith Valente / GLT News

Cheryl Peterson-Karlan, the chaplain at the Community Cancer Center in Normal, says her job is about listening to people, meeting them where they are, and if possible, helping them find hope.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The owner of the dilapidated administration building at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School wants more time to tear it down.

Nick Africano is going to miss this week's deadline to start demolition under an agreement with the Town.

Town of Normal

A developer is planning to create a duplex development on South Cottage Avenue in Normal. It's a departure from a previous development plan and requires the Town to make some zoning changes. 

The Town Council Monday evening will consider revoking a Planned Unit Development and rezoning the land at 1000 South Cottage.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Two days after withdrawing his nomination to the state Board of Higher Education, Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed John Bambenek to a similar panel.
The governor has named the University of Illinois cybersecurity lecturer to the Illinois Community College Board.

Justin Brocke / Flickr

Illinois legislators have voted against letting people with drug-related convictions receive welfare benefits.

Supporters said when drug offenders lose welfare benefits, it punishes their children, who did nothing wrong, but still rely on public assistance. Among those supporters was State Representative Carol Ammons of Urbana.

“This bill does change eligibility for those who come out of institutions with little to no resources or support,” said Ammons.
Despite the growing heroin epidemic in the state, members of both parties did not buy the argument.
Representative David Reis is a Republican from Willow Hill.

CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

A flight on its way from Chicago to Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington was reportedly struck by lightning Saturday. No injuries were reported.

American flight 2885 landed safely at CIRA after the reported strike, airport officials said in a Facebook post Saturday night. CIRA said that 32 passengers and three crew members were on board.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy / Flickr via Creative Commons

For a Better Tomorrow is looking to honor the young people of McLean County who are making their mark on our community.

Carlos R / Pexels

How much skin is too much skin to show at school?

That's a question swirling around Kingsley Junior High School in Normal after the principal sent out a dress code edict prohibiting clothing that reveals bare shoulders, bra straps, midriff or cleavage.

Clyde Robinson / Flickr

State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington has honored a fallen soldier from Bloomington on the House floor in Springfield.

Brady spoke of 22-year old Joshua Rogers, a 2013 graduate of Normal Community High School, who became an Army Ranger Sergeant.

Children's Home and Aid Society

A LeRoy woman whose ex killed her two children and himself is calling for people to support the Children's Home and Aid Family Visitation Center.

Amy Liechtenberg said supervised visitations are very important.

Illinois State University

One of the world's leading authorities on climate change says we're in a mess.

Jon Smol founded the Paleo Ecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, or PEARL at Queens University in Ontario.

Bloomington Fire Department

Bloomington Fire Department officials are investigating the cause of a west Bloomington house fire.

Firefighters responded at around 4:30 AM and found fire showing from all sides of the home. They quickly called in backup, including the Town of Normal Fire Department.

Crews were unable to enter the building and knocked down flames from the outside of the home. No one was home at the time of the fire. Damage to the structure, which was being remodeled, is estimated at $100, 000.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police say they have made no arrests yet in connection with a shooting on Springfield Road.

The gunfire happened about nine o'clock Thursday evening in a parking lot of the 1700 block of Springfield Road.


Hospice Chaplain Kerry Egan says she doesn't know if listening to people's life stories as the confront death can make a person wise.

"I do know it can heal your soul. I know this because the stories healed mine."

Zakk Fairley / Vigilant Studios

This weekend,  Normal Theater hosts the debut of the latest short film from Vigilant Studios -- Black Book.

Andrew Malone / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sure, you could go to the grocery store to buy fruits to bake into a lovely pie or tart.  But wouldn't it be more satisfying to grow your own fruits for your baking needs?

Architect's drawing of a park and railroad tracks south of Uptown Station in Normal.
Drawing courtesy of Ratio Architects

A little more than two years after the town of Normal included a nearly $13 million underpass in its Uptown 2.0 plan based on community feedback,  a consultant hired to look at the feasibility is also recommending a wide underpass and park as the safest and best option for accessibility and economic development.

Mclean County Government

McLean County will break ground on its $40 million jail expansion May 5.

Inmate capacity will double to 400.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Destihl Brewery is nearing completion of its new location at 1200 Greenbriar Drive in Normal, Illinois. The facility includes several miles of custom stainless steel pipe and will have capacity to produce up to 150,000 barrels a year. Its taproom will feature 36 draft beers for sampling. The company also plans to offer tours. The brewery will replace Destihl's current brewing facility on GE Road in Bloomington and opens to the public May 27. 

What's In Your Wallet?

Apr 27, 2017
MpegMan / Flickr

You've probably seen the Capital One TV commercials, where celebrities Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Garner ask, "What's in your wallet?" More and more people are keeping less and less cash in their wallets, but is what's left over in your wallet something that should be there?

McLean County administrators say a mailing service messed up 4,000 property tax bills and sent them out a week ago.

Those bills went to the individuals or entities who own more than one piece of taxable land in the county.

Redbird Scholar

The possibility of legal pot being available in Illinois has left one drug and crime expert 'stunned.'

Proposed legislation in Illinois would make recreational use of marijuana legal. The proposal would allow possession of up to one ounce by people 21 and over. Smoking in public would be prohibited, and driving under the influence would remain illegal.

Bloomington Police Department

It has been four years since Bloomington resident Haleigh Eichhorn disappeared.

Her body was found in rural Stanford on May 7, 2013 ten days after she was last seen.