Town of Normal

Photos: Demolition Begins at ISSCS Administration Building

Jul 18, 2017
Ruthie Cobb

A crew from Stark Excavating has begun tearing down the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School Administration Building.

Above is a slideshow of photos from the progress of the demolition. The photos were taken from the north end of the structure.

Artist Nick Africano became involved in the property in 1986. Thirty years later, Africano said he believes the teardown will improve the neighborhood and property values.

Normal Council Approves Insurance Changes

Jul 18, 2017
Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has approved a new insurance package for workers.

The plan approved Monday will remove a $50 deductible and increase benefits. Deputy City Manager Pam Reece said it will encourage employees to participate in the town wellness program. 

"We just don't want employees to become complacent. So it made sense to us to bump up the wellness incentive. Really, if you look at it, it applies as a penalty. Because, if you don't participate, then you pay more towards your insurance," said Reece.

WGLT

The owners of the Hyatt hotel in Uptown Normal have withdrawn their request for a tax break that the Normal Town Council was expected to vote on Monday night.

Ron Blemler standing on bridge
Courtesy / Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal is praising a former Parks and Recreation director for his deep impact on the town.

Normal Council Mulls Lawsuit Over Fire Trucks

Jul 6, 2017
Town Of Normal

The Normal Town Council voted Wednesday to move ahead with a potential lawsuit against a fire truck maker.

Mayor Chris Koos said Pierce Manufacturing's trucks have a 50-year warranty but suffer from corrosion.

Fire Destroys Cars, Car Repair Business

Jun 29, 2017
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A late morning fire at a car repair business in Normal sent black, oily smoke towering into the air. The plumes were visible miles away.

The building was "fully involved" when firefighters arrived at 604 Orlando Avenue. The Normal Fire Department said the incident was escalated to a second alarm and off duty Normal firefighters were called in. A Bloomington Fire Department Rapid Intervention team responded as well. 

Staff / WGLT

The percentage of McLean County solid waste diverted to recycling and away from the landfill has pushed past a goal set in 2007.  

Normal Council Okays Underpass Option

Jun 19, 2017
Farr Associates/Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council has approved an underpass option between Uptown and Uptown South. 

Council member Kevin McCarthy said he supports the construction of the underpass. He said he hopes the project will allow a safe way for people to cross the railroad tracks.

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.

'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.

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.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Fire Chief Mick Humer guided the Normal City Council on a tour Monday evening of a new Normal fire station that's still under construction.

This station is located on Main Street between Osage and Dale streets and includes nearly 30,000 square feet. Headquarters will move from the station at College Avenue and Blair Drive and a fire station at the corner of Gregory and Adelaide streets. Seven firefighters, three officers, and one battalion chief will work at the new facility. Amenities such as a training room, kitchen, and workout room will be provided.

Staff / WGLT

The police chief in Normal said he's pleased with crime trends.

Rick Bleichner said so-called index crimes reported to the FBI declined modestly while the overall crime rate was down 8 percent last year.

Isabella Rodriguez / WGLT

The first day of a discovery recount for the Normal mayoral race revealed no dramatic change in the result.

Candidate Marc Tiritilli had requested a recount of a quarter of the precincts in the town after losing to incumbent Chris Koos by 11 votes. 6,336 voters went to the polls in the Mayoral race April 4, 2017.

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.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Defeated Normal Mayoral Candidate Marc Tiritilli has begun examining voter registration rolls and comparing them to signatures of people who voted in seven precincts during the April municipal election. 

Staff / WGLT

While the Town of Normal has narrowed choices to connect Uptown Normal with future development south of the railroad tracks, construction of an underpass could still be years out. 

Grumbling Normal Council Grants More Time To Africano

May 2, 2017
Emma Shores / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has decided to give the owner of a deteriorating building more time to tear it down.

Nicholas Africano is missing a Tuesday deadline to demolish the administration building of the old Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School at One Normal Plaza.

Charlie Schlenker

Three Town of Normal Council members and the Mayor were sworn in by Town Clerk Wendellyn Briggs on Monday, May 1. Chemberly Cummings was elected to her first term. She's the first African American elected to the Normal Town Council. She replaces Cheryl Gaines who stepped down.  Council members Kevin McCarthy and Scott Preston were reelected to second terms.  Mayor Chris Koos was reelected to his fourth term. 

Emma Shores / WGLT

The owner of the dilapidated administration building at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School wants more time to tear it down.

Nick Africano is going to miss this week's deadline to start demolition under an agreement with the Town.

Town of Normal

A developer is planning to create a duplex development on South Cottage Avenue in Normal. It's a departure from a previous development plan and requires the Town to make some zoning changes. 

The Town Council Monday evening will consider revoking a Planned Unit Development and rezoning the land at 1000 South Cottage.

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.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean Count State's Attorney's Office will not represent the County Clerk in the upcoming recount of the vote in the race for Mayor of Normal.

State's Attorney Jason Chambers said he has named a special prosecutor from the Appellate Prosecutor's Office to handle the job.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The longest serving Town of Normal council member says he was deeply troubled by the recent municipal election.

During a news conference at Uptown Station Wednesday morning, Councilman Jeff Fritzen said he believes Normal mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli's campaign  was damaging to what many had worked on within the community.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Residents in the Town of Normal will see a slight hike in their water bill next month. 

The council approved a two percent increase for the water rate in a 4-3 vote Monday night with council members Kevin McCarthy, Scott Preston, and Kathleen Lorenz voting "no." 

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.

Destihl Brewery

Destihl Brewery will open its new $14 million facility in Normal May 27.

The 47,000 square foot brewery will also have a 6,300 square foot beer hall attached for tasting and with a limited a la carte menu.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The number of mail in ballots received in the Town of Normal Mayor's race is up to eighteen, according to the McLean County Clerk's office.

13 came in the day after the election and another five on Thursday.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Thirteen mail in ballots for Town of Normal races have already arrived at the McLean County Clerk's office the day after the election out of a total of thirty four remaining requested mail in ballots.

Sarah Grammer smiles
Mike Miletich / WGLT

A wave of political involvement sparked by the election of Donald Trump in November has resulted in big changes in Normal Township.

After decades of Republican strength, Democrats took the township supervisor's job and three out of four trustee positions in Tuesday's election.

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