Politics and Government

Video gaming fees won't be coming to Bloomington businesses anytime soon- if ever. The Bloomington Council chose to table the discussion for at least a year. Details such as an exact cost of the fee were not finalized before the council chose to table the issue. Alderman David Sage said he doesn't see the issue resurfacing in the future.

  "If we can, more legitimately and more credibly say here are costs associated with the video gaming terminals, and therefore we have to recover additional money to address that, I mean I suppose that could be a scenario that would prompt a follow up conversation but, at this point I don't think there's much interest in bringing it back up" said Alderman Sage.

Normal Police Department

Police in Normal and Bloomington are looking for a man they believe has committed child sexual abuse. 24-year old Deondre A. Watts is believe to have left the state for now.

Friends of Riverfront Park / Facebook

On the 325-year anniversary of a settlement that was founded on the shores of Peoria Lake, a group of citizens is calling for the withdrawal of the City of Peoria's plan to sell Riverfront Park for an apartment development.

Dietz: ISU Enrollment Keeping Up With 2015

Jun 15, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

The continuing budget impasse in Springfield is not affecting fall enrollment at Illinois State University. During Sound Ideas, President Larry Dietz said ISU will have the same number of students as fall 2014, despite a decrease in the statewide high school graduation rate.

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington's mayor said a sales tax sharing proposal is "dead, in the short term at least" after a majority of aldermen decided against further discussions. 

However, Mayor Tari Renner said the proposal could resurface after the April 2017 municipal elections.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Connect Transit is asking for feedback on a proposal that would provide limited service to people that will be cut off when new routes and schedules are put in place this August. The plan would provide morning and afternoon service during peak times in northern Normal and southwestern Bloomington.

McLean County Board Member Owens Resigns

Jun 14, 2016
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Republican Benjamin Owens will resign from his post at the McLean County Board. Owens has represented District 10 on the east side of Bloomington since 2000, but former county Republican Party Vice Chairman Josh Barnett defeated him with over 68% of the vote during the Illinois primary last March.

Owens is Chairman of the Finance Committee and also serves on the Executive and Property Committees. He submitted his Letter of Resignation during an Executive Committee meeting, with plans to leave office June 30.

YouTube

After the attack in Orlando, the focus should not be exclusively on whether the shooter is Muslim or an Islamist, according to the Chair of the Illinois State University Politics and Government.

Dr. Ali Riaz says there are other factors that should be examined.

brownpau / Flickr

The Bloomington City Council chose to put off a vote on video gaming machine fees for one week. 

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

The Bloomington City Council will continue its discussion and make a decision on charging up to $500 per gambling machine at businesses in the city.

WGLT

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has returned to the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since his resignation.

Staff / WGLT

The library board in Normal recently agreed to study a potential new location in Uptown south of the train tracks. Library Director Brian Chase said the analysis will be complex but the end result will be much different than the current library.

Staff / WGLT

Discussion of establishing a sales tax sharing agreement for Bloomington and Normal will slow down over the next couple of weeks, according to Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos.

"Bloomington council has been very clear. They want to have a public discussion at either the 13th or 20th  meetings (of June)," said Koos.

Staff / WGLT

If schools don't open in the fall because of a lack of state funding, children will be hungry. That's according to school superintendents reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner's speech in Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker

After a speech to school superintendents at the regional alternative school in Bloomington, Governor Bruce Rauner told one of them "hang on, it's going to get rocky." Rauner was referring to the lack of authorized school funding, something he used in the speech to blast House Speaker Mike Madigan. Rauner several times remarked he refused to bail out Chicago Schools

Town of Normal

Two properties in a historic Normal neighborhood are being converted back to single family homes. The houses were previously rented by university students, and there were numerous noise complaints from surrounding neighbors.

Creative Commons

New court documents provide a window into how the Independent Maps Coalition is trying to fend off a legal challenge. A lawsuit scuttled a similar redistricting effort two years ago.

Brian Mackey / IPR

More than a dozen school superintendents have written a letter to Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner accusing him of playing politics with education funding. 

Staff

The question of the moment among some political observers is does the rise of Donald Trump signal a new fascism in development. For an Illinois Wesleyan University political scientist the answer is no. Kathleen Montgomery tells GLT’s Charlie Schlenker Fascism is a full ideology that Donald Trump does not have. 

Town of Normal

Two houses located in the Old North Normal Historic District could see renovations in the coming years. The Town of Normal purchased them last year in a move to convert them from multi-family homes to single family homes. Two buyers who each plan to purchase one of the buildings and surrounding land agree to take steps to prevent multiple families from living on the properties.

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The economic impact of the potential closure of the Clinton Nuclear plant begins now, not in a year when the plant actually shuts down. Plant Spokesman Brett Nauman says the announcement also means the end of infrastructure improvements and outside work, which involves a significant workforce in the community.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois legislature has sent the governor legislation amending the state law that decides when doctors can object to caring for a patient based on moral principle.

WGLT

More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast, a fraud case involving State Farm Insurance will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices have agreed to hear arguments in the Bloomington-based company's appeal of 758,000 dollars in damages.

Staff / WGLT

Some drivers might think a street with curbs, a center line, and plenty of room for traffic is a complete street. But a specific policy adopted by more 730 agencies across the U.S. involves much more.

Both Bloomington and Normal could have such a policy in place this summer that would change how the two communities view a street's uses and users.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he is really disappointed lawmakers have failed to approve a budget for the second consecutive year. The spring session of the General Assembly ended Tuesday night without any viable spending plan. Dietz said this has been bad news for eleven months.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is spending Wednesday and Thursday taking his budget message on the road.  The legislature finished its spring session Tuesday evening without sending him a spending plan. 

Ralph Weisheit

An ad-hoc committee of elected officials from the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington is still working on developing a sales tax sharing agreement.

Jacob DeGeal

The Democratic Party in McLean County has slated a couple County Board candidates for the November election. Jessielee Hinshaw will face GOP incumbent George Wendt in the southwest side district 3. That district tends to favor Republicans.

Hinshaw lives on a farm and works for the Illinois Network for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. Hinshaw says in a party news release she wants to focus on transportation infrastructure, government transparency, and mental health services. Hinshaw says the Illinois Policy Institute ranks McLean County low in government transparency.

Connect Transit Launching New App

May 29, 2016
Staff

A new app is in the works for Connect Transit. The bus system has been using DoubleMap for the last four years, but will switch to another app. General Manager Andrew Johnson said the goal is to have it ready by mid-August when new routes and schedules are put in place.

A 22-year-old man from Heyworth has drowned as part of a dirt bike crash. McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis said Andrew Johnson sustained a blunt force head injury during a dirt bike crash in a wooded area north of 510 North Buchanan in Heyworth late Saturday afternoon. Davis said the crash likely rendered him unconscious when he entered the water. The case remains under investigation by the coroner's office and the McLean County Sheriff's Department.

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