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Should Normal give away $800,000 in tax breaks to a shopping center owner so that the town can reap $4.8 million in projected new tax revenue?

Evan Vucci / The Associated Press

The relentless hurricane season is keeping Bloomington-based insurers busy.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

It’s no secret that more and more children are being diagnosed with autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 1 in 68 children has autism spectrum disorder. That jumps to 1 in 42 for boys—almost five times more common than in girls.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Eastland Mall in Bloomington is moving forward with its redevelopment plans, with Planet Fitness now slated to open in a space formerly occupied by JCPenney.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

State Farm’s plans to realign its IT operations include a voluntary buyout for some employees.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal home sales ticked back up again in August as more buyers closed deals toward the end of the busy selling season.

Brooke Palmer / Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

The end of summer marks the end of the worst summer box office for Hollywood in over a decade, thanks to an especially floppy parade of sequels.

taxcredits.net / Flickr

Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate continued to fall in August, as the local economy added around 1,700 jobs in the past year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The most famous red door in Bloomington-Normal will be closing for the last time next month.

WGLT

An internal announcement this week at State Farm won’t have a major impact on the size of the insurer’s overall workforce in Bloomington-Normal, the company said Friday.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal bars and restaurants aren’t the only ones happy to see the college students back in town.

Mark Lennihan / The Associated Press

Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate continued its decline in July, as the local economy added more jobs in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

There will soon be another place to drink local in Bloomington-Normal.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal home sales dipped in July as fewer buyers closed deals during the busy summer selling season.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

You may like Portillo’s. But Peter Robinson loves Portillo’s.

He left his home in Waterman (near DeKalb) at 3:30 a.m. to be one of the first in line for Tuesday’s much-anticipated opening of the new Portillo’s in Normal. That’s a 90-minute drive, then another 5-hour wait, before the 10:30 a.m. opening. (By 9 a.m. there were around 12 people already in line in Normal, including Robinson.)

It’s time for a serious, data-driven look at hot dogs and chocolate cake shakes.

The new Portillo’s opening Tuesday in Normal is widely considered one of the most—or the most—anticipated restaurants openings in this community’s history. (Sorry, Chick-fil-A.)

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

A local entrepreneur is shedding light on the hardships of starting a small business as a woman or minority.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

More than 1,000 Bloomington-Normal homes have already signed up for MetroNet, with 12,000 residences and businesses ready for installation, a company spokesperson said.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

President Donald Trump’s top agriculture official stopped in Central Illinois on Monday to talk with farmers about the next farm bill and other federal programs.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Several breweries from across the state will compete during a new attraction at this year's Illinois State Fair that's tied into Illinois’ upcoming birthday.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The wafting smell of a Cinnabon. The madness of Black Friday shopping. Getting dropped off by your parents so you can meet your friends at the arcade. Your first job as a 16-year-old.

For many Americans, malls aren’t just a collection of stores. They’re a collection of memories. And so when malls struggle—or close—it hits harder than, say, when a Circuit City goes under.

Bloomington-Normal Restaurant Scene / Facebook

Bloomington-Normal is known as an area where people like to dine out ... a lot. And that's inspiring a rash of entries into the Bloomington-Normal restaurant scene.

bytemarks / Creative Commons/Flickr

Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate fell again last month, with the area adding more jobs than other metro areas in the state, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The new Destihl Brewery in northeast Normal has put Bloomington-Normal on the craft beer map. But another smaller but growing brewery is taking off across town—inspired in part by Destihl’s success.

Shelby Dietz and boyfriend Drew Ison
Courtesy

Like many couples who decide to buy their first house, Shelby Dietz and her boyfriend, Drew Ison, were sick of throwing away their money on rent.

Now in their mid-20s, secure in their jobs at ISU, and ready to build some equity in a starter home, Dietz and Ison were eager to buy in Bloomington-Normal. But they ran into an unexpected problem: There weren’t a lot of options.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After almost a decade of dormancy, there's new life on the north Normal hotel landscape.

Holiday Inn failed. So did Sheraton Inn. And Staywood Inn, as well. Now the new Radisson Hotel hopes to rise from their ashes on the north side of Normal to turn the location into a success story.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Editors note: This article is part of a series of interviews with newly elected council members in Bloomington and Normal. Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy was interviewed May 25. 

A new downtown task force is setting priorities. The group has three more meetings before an initial report is due on Aug. 31. 

'BN Advantage' Works To Build BN Excitement

Jun 6, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Normal has a lot going for it in the competition for a stable and perhaps growing economy. That's according to the head of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives. Mick Fleming spoke during a B-N Advantage event at the Rivian Automotive Plant.

Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington Downtown Task Force, approved Monday evening by aldermen, will look at economic development, infrastructure, and more, according to the task force chair. Amelia Buragas, who also serves as Ward 1 Alderman, said during Sound Ideas that it's important to keep in mind what the task force will not do.

McLean County Museum of History

Route 66 Tourism grew by 50 percent in Bloomington last year.

That's according to attendance figures for the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center in the McLean County Museum of History.

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