City of Bloomington

Coliseum Naming Rights Sold for $850,000

Jun 22, 2017
Kae Mason / WGLT

The Coliseum in Bloomington will now be called the Grossinger Motors Arena. Facility manager VenuWorks has sold Grossinger Motors naming rights for the stadium. The $175,000  per year contract will last five years. Company owner Caroline Grossinger said she's excited.

"You know, investing in a facility is an enormous investment, but when we did that we did that with the thought that we're here to stay. We're here to build that community and the overall communities around us," said Grossinger.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A solid majority on the Bloomington City Council favors creating a citizen review board for police complaints.

There's less certainty about one provision community groups are pushing. Alderman Joni Painter said during a council work session it is an absolute no go for her.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council has given a clear signal to the Library Board as it considers a new or expanded library; stay in the current location. 

Bloomington Planning Commission Signs Off On Bike Lanes

Jun 15, 2017
Bike BloNo

The Bloomington Planning Commission supports bike lanes along Washington Street. Residents testified on both sides of the amendment to the Bloomington bike plan during a public hearing.

Images from performers who'll appear at the BCPA during the 2017-2018 season.
Image courtsey of the city of Bloomington

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts’ new season was booked under a mandate from City Manager David Hales to generate more money as the center faces a half-million dollar deficit.

Unit Five Questions Proposed Low Income Housing Location

Jun 13, 2017
Google

Unit Five Schools has helped postpone a decision on a low-income housing development in southwest Bloomington. The city council is asking for a financial impact study.

Squad car with lights flashing blocking entrance to the 500 block of north Center in downtown Bloomington.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

It's been six months since the city of Bloomington came up with a plan to address safety concerns for bar patrons and police officers trying to handle as many as 1,600 people pouring into the streets on busy weekends.  The solution appears to be having the desired effect but so far, it comes with a price tag of $80,000 because police officers used for the additional downtown detail are considered "hire backs," and not part of the regular schedule, therefore they are paid time-and-a-half.

Staff / WGLT

The Illinois Attorney General has ruled the City of Bloomington violated the Open Meetings Act. Mayor Tari Renner said the city is likely to appeal the ruling.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Another shooting in Bloomington, and another leg wound. Police don't believe the wound locations in each of the four shootings since April 28th is significant. 

'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.

Ralph Weisheit

Editors note: This is the first of a series of interviews with newly elected council members in Bloomington and Normal. 

There are a "ton of details to work out," but a Bloomington Alderman is standing by campaign statements about a shared sales tax agreement between Bloomington and Normal. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Developers of the Grove subdivision and other community stakeholders are pushing back against the idea the City of Bloomington should not oversize a sewer line for an undeveloped area north of the Grove.

Opposition to the $300,000 project stems from a desire to return to compact development.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police said they want to look at a next generation body camera product because the first one under review doesn't have enough battery life.

Cameras are supposed to have eight hours of recording time. But, some batteries are lasting only three hours. Chief Brendan Heffner said the law is ambiguous because it's not clear whether ten hours refers to recording capacity or battery life.

Sergeant Clayton Arnold is overseeing the pilot project of 12 officers using body cams. Sergeant Arnold said there are procedural hurdles to clear as well, such as deciding how much time to allocate for report writing with access to body camera footage.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen will again discuss and eventually vote on a budget amendment to strike a controversial sewer oversizing project on the city's far east side. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A citizen review board for police will not be a slam dunk in Bloomington, if early council discussion is a guide.

Several Aldermen said they wanted to learn more about the options during a work session on the issue. A couple want to move ahead and have staff draft an ordinance. Alderman David Sage said he sees no case for the panel.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington City Council members have signaled possible approval for a transportation commission. A final decision will come later this month.

A commission would give residents a bigger voice in traffic issues by creating or reviewing proposals, holding public hearings and discussing transportation issues with staff and the council.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider initiating the rezoning process for several properties on the city's west side during Monday night's meeting.

The properties are single-family homes and a mixed use development with second floor apartments near the intersection of W. Washington and Allin Street.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington police say someone shot a teenager near Miller Park early Thursday morning.

That is the second shooting in the last week.

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.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Mayor of Normal is not enthusiastic about a formal welcoming cities ordinance. Area groups marched on Bloomington City Hall this week asking for an ordinance to limit local government cooperation with federal immigration and customs enforcement, or ICE.

Mayor Chris Koos of Normal said he supports keeping immigrant families together, but not through that method.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Miller Park Zoo / City of Bloomington

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has replaced its Sumatran Tiger. The 10 year old male named Rojo comes from the Topeka Zoo.

The Zoo said Sumatran Tigers are a critically endangered species because of habitat destruction.

Julian Westerhout

The City of Bloomington will investigate repairing a 100-year-old section of Monroe Street with brick instead of paving it over. 

The Council agreed unanimously Monday night to direct staff to design, plan, and bid the repair of brick or replacing the street with new brick.  The move likely saved the 800 block of Monroe from being paved over with asphalt. 

Staff

Obtaining and doing away with property will occupy Bloomington aldermen when they meet in regular session tonight.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The changing nature of retail is affecting cities' ability to provide basic services. As an increasing number of people discover the convenience of online shopping, cities are losing essential sales tax revenue, something internet sellers don't pay.

Staff / WGLT

A proposed east-side Bloomington sewer project is contrasting the issue of suburban sprawl with the city's own 2015 comprehensive plan, which focuses on infill development.

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