Politics and Government

Staff / WGLT

Several groups of students at Normal Community High School are working on a project to promote positivity under President Donald Trump's administration.

NCHS Senior Ryan Watkins said he is leading his classmates in making a video based on kindness and acceptance within the school and community.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Television personality Dr. Marc Lamont Hill spent time answering questions from a group of Illinois State University students before speaking at the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Dinner Friday night.

Hill is a distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College and host of BET News and VH1 Live.

Farragutful / Wikimedia Commons

Two Illinois State University political scientists agree that Trump will be a President like none other. They also both agree the incoming President is "thin skinned" and that the world needs to get ready for a "new abnormal."

WGLT Staff

Bloomington's Finance Director said the City is working efficiently to fund the Police and Fire pension plans.

Facebook

Among the Springfield-area women traveling to Washington D. C. to take part in the women's march Saturday is the sister of a U. S. Representative that serves part of McLean County.

The rally is set for Saturday, the day after Donald Trump is sworn in as president.  Organizers say while it's a protest, it will also be used to send a message to the new administration. 

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington City Council members will see a presentation on the status of FY 2017 during the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night.

City Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva will also talk about what the city can expect with budget balances when the fiscal year ends on April 30. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

During a Bloomington mayoral forum, one candidate said he didn't have to fight against the current mayor, while another candidate said he was ready to fight for Bloomington residents. 

Four of the five candidates spoke at the McLean County Republican Party's breakfast Monday morning. 

Candidate Kevin Lower said even though he disagrees with Mayor Tari Renner's ideals, he doesn't think the candidates need to fight each other. Ian Bayne said candidates need to fight for residents to survive.

Staff / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities may notice more signs popping up, but they aren't promoting political candidates.

The welcome signs are printed in three languages with the same message: No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayoral candidates are pushing platform ideas with about a month until the primary election.

The McLean County Democratic Party hosted a forum at which retired Firefighter and life-long Bloomington resident Robert Fike said the city needs to focus on strong infrastructure.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The arena that's not being called U.S. Cellular Coliseum may have a new name soon. 

"U.S. Cellular's contract ended, and they're no longer in this market so they are not going to renew their contract. We're working hard to get a new title sponsor and hopefully we'll have an announcement soon," said Lynn Cannon, on the job as the coliseum's executive director since Dec. 1.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says city finances are strong.

Renner gave his State of the City address at the start of the City Council meeting Monday night.

Renner said the city has become a model for others to follow and has the second highest bond rating possible.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner will hold his State of the City address at the start of tonight's Council meeting.

Renner's speech comes just over a month before he will face four other candidates in Bloomington's Mayoral Primary election.

Bloomington Police Department / Twitter

Many Bloomington residents are concerned about the proposed police substation in a now-vacant house on the City's west side.

Residents were able to ask questions during the regular Bloomington Police Chief focus meeting Wednesday night, but some feel they didn't get all the answers.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Members of the West Bloomington Housing Collaborative want to hear more from residents about a proposed police substation at 828 West Jefferson Street. 

Matt Drat is Director of Resource Development and Community Engagement for Mid Central Community Action, the collaborative's lead agency seeking input. 

He spoke at the regular Bloomington Police Chief focus meeting Wednesday night, and took questions from those opposed to using it as a substation. Drat said the agency is looking for more community input into what it refers to as the "Jefferson Street Community House."

Staff / WGLT

Normal residents will see Division Street reconstruction in the Spring. The Town Council has approved a $190,557 contract for Roe Construction to repair the road and sidewalk on Division Street between Lee and Adelaide streets. 

Staff / WGLT

Town of Normal staff are asking the Council to approve sidewalk and road construction along a stretch of Division Street. 

The Council will vote this evening on a $190,557 contract with Rowe Construction Company for Division Street roadway and sidewalk construction across the Main Street corridor. 

Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington is working with consultants Houseal Lavigne Associates to create a new playbook that governs the types of businesses and structures can be located in different parts of the city. The new rules would also govern the appearance of those buildings. Alderman approved a contract with the consultants in August.

Illinois Passes New Gun Ownership Law

Dec 28, 2016
Illinois State Police

A new law meant to clean up confusion about who is eligible to buy a gun in the state goes into effect in January.

The new law is meant to ensure that FOID cards are taken away from residents who have lost their firearm licenses because there is an order of protection against them.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington Ward 3 hopeful J Balmer said there are a number of disturbing things he found with the recent petition challenging process.

The Bloomington Election Commission dismissed all of the petition challenges earlier this week. 

Balmer said he thinks there is a concerted effort by a small group of people to subvert Bloomington elections.

Staff / WGLT

Skepticism and opposition surfaced quickly on social media after economic incentives were announced to attract Rivian Automotive to the former Mitsubishi auto manufacturing plant.  The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, the Town of Normal, and Mayor Chris Koos helped lead the effort to pass an incentive package which includes property tax abatements from area taxing bodies. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The McLean County Board will keep their monthly meetings scheduled at 9 a.m. despite multiple board members voting against it. 

District Nine Representative Erik Rankin said board members received a large number of phone calls and emails from constituents concerned about the meeting time. 

A petition from residents in the Spring Ridge subdivision influenced the Bloomington City Council to reduce the speed limit on a section of Hershey Road.

WGLT Staff

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner believes the Twin Cities may work toward a shared tax agreement following the next mayoral election.

WGLT STAFF

The owner of a typical home in Normal will pay an extra $13 a year to the town of Normal next year.

That's an increase of less than 2 percent. The benchmark home has a value of $165,000.

WGLT Staff

District 87 is working to enhance the quality of education for students from all economic backgrounds. 

WGLT Staff

The $1.8 million tax rebate to developers of a popular Chicago-based restaurant is high, but reasonable for one projected to bring in $8 million in annual sales. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

A hearing to review an objection to Mayor Tari Renner's nominating petitions has been delayed to later this week.

The original hearing Monday morning was stopped after multiple citizens called out the Bloomington Election Commission for violations of the Open Meetings Act.

WGLT Staff

McLean County Board Chairman John McIntyre said the selection of committee members is based on their experiences.

As Cuba moves on from the late dictator Fidel Castro, Illinois State University Professor of Languages, Literature, and Cultures Jim Pancrazio looks at events leading up to the Cuban Revolution to contextualize the how and why of Castro's rise to power.  

According to Pancrazio, Castro was an outgrowth of the 19th century nationalist leader Jose Marti', and the Castro-led revolution that toppled the government of President Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, was a vindication of the struggle for independence began by Marti'.

City of Bloomington

Waste collected in Bloomington will need a new destination in the near future.State regulators expect the McLean County landfill to run out of space next year.

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