City of Bloomington

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.

Empty field
Staff / 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.

Staff / WGLT

Residents on the southwest side of Bloomington will have to drive slower on a section of Fox Creek Road.

The City Council has approved lowering the speed limit on Fox Creek to 30 miles per hour from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court.

ladrachok / Flickr via Creative Commons

Election coordinators in McLean County are forecasting only a slight turnout increase from four years ago, in spite of a larger than usual number of candidates and contested races.

But there are pockets of very high turnout. The Village of Lexington is one. There is a mayoral race there.

City of Bloomington

VenuWorks will take over management of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, at least on a temporary basis.

A retired vice president for VenuWorks has been named Interim Director of the BCPA.

Ken Chui

The surge in contested races and candidates running for municipal offices in the April Consolidated Elections has not translated into an equal increase turnout in McLean County, though there will likely be some improvement over four years ago.

Following the November election, significant political activity began to happen among some constituencies in McLean County.

Google

The Bloomington City Council is discussing lowering the speed limit on another road and the Mayor thinks it may be time to move forward on revised commission to address transportation issues.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may move to lower the speed limit on a southwest-side road. 

Aldermen discussed reducing the speed on Fox Creek Road from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court during a non-voting work session Monday night. 

Staff / WGLT

A new mobility program in the community has “great potential,” according to the Town of Normal Mayor. Bike Share 309, operated by Zagster, launched on Monday. Zagster provides bike share services to small and medium sized populations across the nation.

City of Bloomington

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has welcomed two bundles of furry cuteness. Parks and Recreation Director Jay Tetzloff said the baby otter pups were born about a month ago.

Their eyes are now open, but Tetzloff said they do not yet know how to swim.

Staff / WGLT

Normal Town Council candidates said they find the idea of combining the Bloomington and Normal public libraries an intriguing one.

At a GLT candidates forum held at ISU's University Galleries, candidate Chemberly Cummings embraced a question about merging library services rather than building a new library in Uptown South in Normal and an expansion in downtown Bloomington.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A Facebook group called "Bloomington Deserves Better Than Kevin Lower" is attacking the mayoral candidate for a 3-year-old response to an alleged racist post on a page titled the Marcus Garvey Society.

On the page was a comment suggesting that "if African Americans really wanted to escape racism, it might be time for them to move to the land of the ancestors."

Staff / WGLT

Department store options continue to shrink in Bloomington-Normal.

J.C. Penney is closing its store at Eastland Mall in Bloomington.

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