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by Steve Robinson

Contract Approved For Engineering Work For Proposed Uptown Station Railroad Crossing Work

Normal Town Council members unanimously approved a resolution for the Town to select and negotiate a contract with the Chicago-based of WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff for the first phase of engineering services needed relating to the proposed pedestrian railroad crossing in Uptown Normal.
Town officials have been in discussions with officials from Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad concerning this matter, according to a memo from Wayne Aldrich, Town director of public works to City Manager Mark Peterson which was part of Council members’ meeting materials for Monday night’s regularly-scheduled meeting in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station.
Aldrich informed that IDOT now supports either postponing construction or elimination of a pedestrian overpass while the Town looks into an alternative for crossing the tracks.
In a scheduled meeting in November 2013, Council members entered into an intergovernmental agreement with IDOT in which the Town was obligated to design and construct the pedestrian overpass, a boarding platform at the south end of the tracks, and make improvements to the old Amtrak station in preparation for high speed rail. The total price for the project was $5,704,000. A total of $5,589,920 would be provided by IDOT, with the Town paying $114,080. An additional $1.25 million in Grade Crossing Protection Funds were also acquired for the project.
At the governing body’s Feb. 1 meeting, Council members unanimously authorized a supplemental agreement with Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects to modify plan documents which would remove the overpass from the project. In April, Council members unanimously authorized a contract with East Peoria-based River City Construction totaling over $2.5 million for construction of the south platform, canopy, and making improvements to the old Amtrak Station at the south end of the tracks.
But in May, Council members amended an agreement with IDOT which eliminated the overpass, and adjusted the cost of the overall project as a result.
Aldrich told Council members as a result of approving this contract, they will see three phases of the construction of a project which, barring substantial delays would take five years from start to finish. Phase one would involve creating technical documents and conceptual plans which would be presented to the Council. Phase one from start to conclusion would take about two years.
Phase two would follow, Aldrich said, which would be the design phase of the project, a process that would be completed in a period between eight months to a year later. Phase three of the project, the actual construction would follow should Council’s approval be received. That final phase would take two years barring delays.
Having agreed to the contract with WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff “will put you all in a very well-informed decision about this project,” Peterson told Council members.
“WSP will look at all possibilities,” Aldrich said, whether they come back a recommendation for an overpass, an underpass or no final decision.
Peterson said the project “will raise substantial Federal support. This information will not just be essential for Council, but it will also be essential for trying to attract Federal dollars for this project.”
Council Member R. C. McBride told Council members public support for this project is important, and more importantly, public input.
Metronet Granted Cable TV Franchise For Normal: Without discussion, Council members unanimously passed an ordinance granting a Cable TV franchise for the Town to Evansville, Ind.-based Metronet.
The franchisee license for Metronet is good for 10 years and gives Metronet the right to install equipment in the Town. They will pay a franchise fee to the Town which totals five percent of their gross revenues from its operations.
Currently serviced by Comcast Cable, the Town has had cable service since TeleCable first began operations in 1969. A Town Staff report to Council members explained that before an additional cable franchise can be granted, the Town must notify current franchisees, and a public hearing must be held.
That public hearing was held prior to the Council session but no one spoke on the matter. Comcast Cable currently provides service to the Twin Cities and has had a current operating license with the Town since 2003. That license is up for renewal in 2018.
Commission And Board Appointments Announced: Council Member Cheryl Gaines announced to Council members that Pamela Reece, Normal’s deputy city manager, has been named as the Mayoral appointee to the Town’s Fire Pension Board. She replaces Steve Mahrt, who resigned from the position. Mahrt had served on the Board since his retirement from his job as Town Corporation Counsel in 2014. There is no defined term for Mayoral appointees to the Fire Pension Board.
Christopher Niebur has been appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission. He will be filling the unexpired term of Bob Ward, an original member of the Historic Preservation Commission. Ward will be assigned emeritus status having served on the Board for more than 25 years. Ward recently retired from his job as an architect at Illinois State University. Niebur and his family have been Town residents since 2010. He is employed by Catalyst Construction. His appointment on the Board will expire March 31, 2018.
Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included
• Approval of minutes of the regular meeting on Aug. 1, 2016.
• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures as of Aug. 10, 2016.
• A resolution to accept a proposal from Bloomington-based Mid-Illinois Mechanical for the replacement of a heating boiler at the Community Activity Center in the amount of $94,237, and authorize a contract with Houston, Texas-based Dynamic Systems, Inc. for building automation controls in an amount not to exceed $11,000, and to approve an associated budget adjustment.
• A resolution authorizing the renewal of the Employee Group Health, Dental, Life/AD&D Program.
• A conditional resolution partially approving the tenth addition to the Vineyards subdivision.
• An ordinance amending Section 17.3-2 of the Town’s Municipal Code regarding the prohibition of possession of Cannabis and Cannabis paraphernalia. There was some discussion on this matter. After this matter had been pulled from the agenda for discussion, Council Member Jeff Fritzen expressed appreciation for the Town opting to impose fines which were higher than those established by the State for those persons convicted of possessing it.



McLean County Board Report
????, Chairman
Recording Secretary:  Judith A. LaCasse

At the regular meeting of the McLean County Board on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, the McLean County Board appointed Mr. Josh Barnett to the District #10 County Board Seat. The County Board also passed a Resolution approving the new Committee structure.
The Board approved the appointment of Jerry Stokes as County Engineer.
The County Board passed an Ordinance extending the area covered in the Enterprise Zone to include the Destihl Brewery site in Normal.






Heartland Bank Community Shred Day to be held August 27
Heartland Bank and Trust Company will host a Community Shred Day  on Saturday, August 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Heartland Bank is offering this shred service free of charge at its 405 N. Hershey Rd. office in Bloomington. Local residents and businesses are invited to bring personal documents for secure, onsite shredding.
COPS, a service provider of document storage and disposal, will have its mobile shred unit on hand to destroy documents onsite. People will be able to watch their documents being shredded through the unit’s observation window. Items with staples and paperclips can also be shredded.
Properly disposing of personal documents is one way for people to protect themselves from identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission recommends shredding sensitive documents such as charge receipts, old utility bills, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, unused checks, bank statements, and expired charge cards.
For more information on how to prevent or report identity theft, visit: www.ftc.gov/idtheft. For more information on Heartland Bank Shred Days, visit: www.hbtbank.com.





Sugar Grove Nature Center Happenings
ummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration
Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hummingbird Banding
from 10 a.m.-Noon.
What is pollination and why are pollinators important? Join us to find out! All ages are encouraged to learn about hummingbirds, monarchs, bees, and other pollinators from experts during programs, guided hikes, and garden tours. Browse an assortment of products available from Wild Birds Unlimited of Normal. Learn about Monarch butterfly tagging, tour our Monarch WayStation, and visit with Wild Ones members to learn more about the incredible value of planting native plants, especially milkweed, on your property.   FREE for ALL AGES!  No registration required.

Certified Interpretive Guide Training
Thursdays, Sept. 8, 15, 22, & 29; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. - Adults Only
The National Association for Interpretation is offering an interpretive guide course for people who will be delivering programs at interpretive sites.  This course includes: history, definition, and principles of interpretation; making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic; presentation and communication skills; certification requirements; and all materials and workbook.
Fee: By August 29: $258; after August 29: $283; add certification: $150.
To register and for more information, visit www.interpnet.com/certification, or contact course instructor, Bob Carter, at bob@interpworld.com or 815.238.7930

Leopold Bench Building Workshop
Saturday, Sept. 24; 10 a.m.-noon
Adults and Families
When the famed conservationist and father of the modern environmental movement Aldo Leopold wanted a place to sit down, he built himself a simple bench with timeless appeal.  Join us to make your very own Leopold Bench - the perfect addition to any yard, garden, porch, or trail!  The Central Illinois Woodworkers Club has created pre-cut bench kits for assembly by individuals and families.
No carpentry skills are needed.  The benches are 48” long and are made of treated yellow pine. All participants will also receive a copy of Aldo Leopold’s classic, A Sand County Almanac.
Fee: $60/bench members; $75/bench non-members. One kit per family please. 
To register, please contact register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org or call 309-874-2174. Registration and pre-payment required by September 19th




Barn Quilts Heritage Trail opening event to be held Saturday, August 27
The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County highlights the agricultural heritage of the county, along with the history, arts, Route 66, and quilting. The opening event for 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, August 27, celebrating 50 barn quilts installed in McLean County. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the David Davis Mansion Historic Site. Admission is free and coffee and donuts will be available.
In your travels throughout rural McLean County, you may have noticed the decorative squares that resemble quilt blocks adorning barns and farm structures. Each of these pieces of art have a story behind them and are part of the larger McLean County Barn Quilt Heritage Trail.
A barn quilt is an 8x8 foot wooden structure, painted with designs reminiscent of geometrical quilt patterns—made unique by colors choice and design, and frequently incorporating imagery telling the story of their owner.
In 2012, a group of volunteers came together on a project incorporating arts and poetry to celebrate agriculture, the beautiful barns in the area, and the history of our farming communities. What started as a small project in rural areas is now in its fifth year, and closing in on 50 quilts. Currently, most pieces are hung on private barns and other farm structures; however, barn quilts can also be found at local museums, the Corn Belters Baseball Stadium, the David Davis Mansion carriage barn, Funks Grove Maple Sirup barn, Ropp Cheese Shop, Rader’s Family Farms, and Sugar Grove Nature Center. Each barn quilt site, public or private, welcomes sightseers.
Twelve new quilts were created for the 2016 season. A tour book is available to provide travelers with a brief history of each site, plus a poem written by a local poet, for each quilt. Each year, an updated tour book is published and distributed at the opening events at the David Davis Mansion. A map is included with detailed driving instructions, and committee members occasionally provide “step-on-guide” tours for bus groups. The route has proven to be a great opportunity to tourism dollars to smaller communities in McLean County.
Though similar quilt trails are growing in popularity in Illinois and surrounding states, the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail is the only trail in the United States that features poetry written about each installation.
Words on Quilts, original poems about McLean County quilts, are written by local published poets. This year’s poets include Kathleen Kirk, Peg Kirk, Ardis L. Stewart, M. Irene Taylor, and Bill Morgan, all affiliated with Illinois Voices Theatre. They will share those poems at 10:15 a.m.
An auction of 2x2-foot barn quilts will follow the poetry reading. Gordon Ropp, auctioneer and member of the quilt committee, will run the auction. Proceeds of the auction will go towards maintenance of structures and promotional materials.
For more information, please contact Reid Young at ryoun@illinois.edu, call 309-663-8306, or visit www.mcleancountybarnquilts.org




In the August 18 2016 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
August Reunion

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
How to make your cut flowers last longer

The Spectator
by Jim Bennett
We Didn’t Need Shirley Jones

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Turnaround Illinois, Inc. Spends Over $1 Million On Ads for Term Limits

Classic Colcalsure
The Dog Days of Summer

Normal Town Council Report
Contract Approved For Engineering Work For Proposed Uptown Station Railroad Crossing Work

Unit 5 School Board Report
 
First day of classes were Wednesday, Aug. 17

McLean County Board Report

by Steve Robinson

Regular Meeting this week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
News from the Capitol

News_from_State_Rep._Dan_Brady

Statehouse Update from Jason Barickman

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
96th Sweeney Reunion


Chimperscage - by Alan Look



Best Look Magazine



 

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Mystery Photo, Legal Notices, Obituaries, Service Directory, School and Senior Information, and Classified advertisements

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Unit 5 School Board Report

by Steve Robinson

First day of classes were Wednesday, Aug. 17

Maybe the kids attending Unit 5 schools won’t admit it to Mom and Dad, but it’s a certainty a number of them are ready for another school year. And from the items mentioned at the Aug. 10 meeting of Normal-based Unit 5 School Board, the district appears enthused for the new year to get underway.
Transportation was among the top items discussed at the meeting as Dr. Mark Daniel, district superintendent, informed Board members that buses ferrying students to and from school will have 121 routes to cover and enough drivers to cover them as the year begins. He also indicated that, in order to avoid confusion, buses will have placards in the windows indicating the vehicle’s final destination.
Daniel said the district is looking at the possibility of providing bus transportation home for fifth grade students who end their day at a band practice at one of the junior high schools. Last year, Daniel admitted, there had been some confusion on that matter.
The 2016-17 school year will be the first in which Elementary students will have their school day run from 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., junior high students will be in class from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and high school students will see their day run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The district’s first day of classes was Wednesday, Aug. 17.
In his opening comments for the meeting, Daniel advised parents to make sure their children had received the required vaccinations and were registered with the district prior to entering the school year.
Evans Junior High School’s “Good News”: Financial security is something every family strives for, especially when they have kids. One Unit 5 family has a better understanding of how their future will be secured after taking the COUNTRY Financial “Own Your Future Challenge.” Kimberly Smith of Bloomington not only took the challenge with her 13-year-old son, Kobe, but their video they produced telling what they would do with the cash won, securing $5,000 for the family and another $5,000 for Kobe’s school,  Junior High School. The Smith family also includes father Vernon Smith, Sr., and 17-year-old Vernon Smith, Jr.
As COUNTRY Financial sees it, “The Own Your Future Challenge” is geared toward getting people to think about doing the necessary planning for their financial future. For this contest, the Smith family created a candid video where Kobe appeared on camera, answering questions about he would he spend $5,000 to help his school’s and his own its future. He was also asked how he would you spend $5,000 to help himself and his family’s future.
Kobe’s answer to the second question revolved around his desire to help fund his older brother, Vernon Jr., pay for his college education. His brother will be a senior this fall and is already considering his options including a state school in northern Illinois.
Such selflessness did the trick as far as COUNTRY Financial was concerned. On July 1, Kobe was surprised with a giant check during his basketball practice. The next day, Kobe helped COUNTRY Financial present George Evans Junior High School Principal Trevor Chapman with a check for his school. Kobe is an 8th grader at EJHS.
Kobe and Principal Chapman are now the focus of an online digital commercial that will debut this month on various websites and social media platforms.


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Virginia Ave. at BroMenn to close for street widening
Virginia Ave. between University Street and Franklin Ave. will be closed to all traffic from Monday, August 15 until approximately Wednesday, September 21 for Stage 1 of the reconstruction of Virginia Ave. from University St. to just east of Franklin Ave.
Access to Advocate Bromenn Medical Center main entrance will be available only from the driveway off of Virginia Ave. east of Franklin Ave.  Access to the parking deck will only be available form Franklin Ave.



Connect Transit Formally Unveils New Routes
by Steve Robinson
Changes in public transportation in the Twin Cities were recognized at Uptown Station as Connect Transit, the Twin Cities’ public bus service, announced the start of a redesigned system.
Connect Transit officials held a news conference Monday morning amid travelers going to trains and buses in Uptown Station to formally welcome the changes that had been implemented as of 5a.m. that morning.
As part of the new system, the following routes will stay but have been reworked according to new maps Connect Transit has released: Red, Green, Teal, Aqua, Orange, Purple, Blue, Brown, Pink, and Yellow. Joining those routes are three new routes signified by the new colors of Gold, Tan, and Olive.
Andrew Johnson, general manager of Connect Transit, called the revamped system “a game changer for Bloomington-Normal. It has simple and easy-to-understand routes, Sunday service, and buses that are much more frequent – some as often as every 15 minutes.
“Today, Connect Transit becomes a far more convenient option to get to work, to school, and to shopping,” Johnson added, as roughly 50-70 local dignitaries or their representatives, residents, and interested citizens listened in.
Johnson said the changes passengers will experience is “the result of years of discussions,” including 18 months of research and analysis the company did. He said the hours of research done by the company were done with the thought that “the system belongs to the community and has to work for the community.” He said financial assistance from Federal, State, and Twin Cities governments helped make the changes Connect Transit implemented possible.
Mike McCurdy, vice president of Connect Transit’s Board of Trustees explained to the gathering a Comprehensive Operational Analysis done by the company was among the factors that brought forth the new routes. McCurdy said the transit company held more than 100 public meetings to address bus patrons’ concerns.
McCurdy said the new routes were approved by Connect Transit’s Board of Trustees in a unanimous 7-0 vote.
U. S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-18th Dist.) addressed the news conference and credited Johnson and his staff at the transit company “for continuing to be proactive, and to continue to think outside the box, and continue to come up with ideas.”
Toward the end of the news conference, Johnson was asked about future placement of shelters at bus stops. Johnson said Connect Transit is looking at installing 25 shelters throughout the community, and that placement of the shelters would be   determined by frequency of use. He said shelters come with a price tag that ranges between $10,000-$12,000.
Johnson added State and Federal funding is covering the cost of Sunday service, which costs around $1.5 million. He said 27 new full-time staff, most of them drivers, have been hired to help with the additional hours.      
As for having a seventh day of service, Johnson said, “Everybody we’ve talked to is thrilled to have it.”
Johnson said Connect Transit has an average daily ridership of 9,000 people. He said the company is anticipating an increase in ridership of 19 percent once people get used to the new routes.
The news conference concluded with the dignitaries and members of the media taking a ride on the Green route out of Uptown Station on a round trip up through Bloomington, into its downtown district, past the outskirts of the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University, back into Normal’s city limits.
Green Route Buses Replace ISU “Nite Ride”: With Illinois State University students back to begin the fall semester, they will notice the familiar “Nite Ride” buses that have been used, mostly for late excursions to Bloomington pubs since the late night service began a dozen years ago, will now be serviced by buses running on the Green route. Those Green Route buses will keep later hours.




Good Grief! It’s The Great Corn Maze, Charlie Brown!
Rader Family Farms will host a custom-designed Peanuts-themed maze during the fall season, reaching more than 50,000 visitors
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of one of the most beloved, quotable, and unforgettable Peanuts television specials of all time, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Peanuts Worldwide and Rader Family Farms are preparing a once-in-a-lifetime celebration: the creation of a unique corn maze, custom-designed to feature Peanuts themes.
The corn maze at Rader Family Farms, which will feature Sally and Linus in their Pumpkin Patch, will cover 20 acres on the farm. It will be open from September 10th to October 30th.  Also, a one-acre “kiddie maze” will be part of the many activities offered at Rader Family Farms.  The kiddie maze features the outline of Snoopy in his googles and scarf.  Rader Family Farms would like to thank Beck’s Hybrids and Precision Planting for their partnership in creating the 2016 corn maze. 
In addition to the maze, Rader Family Farms will host a special one-time outdoor screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Saturday October 8th at 6:00pm.
Rader Family Farms is one of more than 90 farms in North America selected by Peanuts Worldwide to create a Great Pumpkin maze this year. Collectively, the farms—which are part of The MAiZE network and span North America in two countries and 39 states, from California to New York, Canada to Florida—will reach more than 3.5 million visitors during the Fall season.
 “The Great Pumpkin and cornfield mazes are two of the world’s greatest fall traditions, eagerly anticipated by fans every single year, and we’re so excited to bring them together for this landmark anniversary,” said Jill Schulz, daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. “As we prepare to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, it’s only fitting that we should find a tribute that’s both joyful and visually compelling, just as my father’s characters have been for more than 65 years.”
“We’re thrilled to work with Peanuts Worldwide and The MAiZE, Inc. as we customize our corn maze to celebrate It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” said Shannon Rader, Marketing & Events, Rader Family Farms. “Corn mazes are all about providing a fun and interactive experience for our visitors—even the adults feel like kids again! And that’s exactly what Peanuts does: Aren’t we all kids again when we see Snoopy and Charlie Brown? This is the perfect match of holiday traditions.”
“It’s been a huge pleasure for us to collaborate with Peanuts Worldwide and corn farms across North America to design these unique, custom corn mazes,” said founder Brett Herbst, The MAiZE, Inc. “We’re all fans of Peanuts and the Great Pumpkin, and we’re delighted to honor the 50th Anniversary by having the Great Pumpkin, this one time only, rise out of a corn maze!”
Admission to the 20-Acre Corn Maze ranges from $6.00 to $8.00. For more information, visit www.RaderFamilyFarms.com or www.Facebook.com/RaderFamilyFarms



11th Annual Barn Keepers Barn Tour To Be Held Saturday, Sept 10
Barn Keepers has organized a barn tour featuring 12 sites, including barns, a remodeled 128 year old farm home with other items being added.
The event is Saturday, September 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration being from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The Welcome Center for purchasing the Barn Tour History Booklet and map is located at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 550 N. 200 East Rd., McLean.  Directions are as follows:  from Stanford travel south through town on Co. Rd 59 (250 E.), go two miles  and turn right on 800 N. Rd. go ½  mile and turn left on 200 East Rd. to the Ebenezer Church located on the corner of 550 N. and 200 East Rd.
Barn information and census maps will be available as well as the opportunity to talk with a barn restoration contractor. 
The church will have coffee and donuts available in the a.m. as well as a light lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At 1 p.m. you won’t want to miss a talk given by Bill Kemp who is the Librarian at the McLean County History Museum in Bloomington.  His topic will be” The History and Highlights of Allin Township”.
The tour is self-guided and barns can be viewed on the interior.  Someone will be stationed at each barn to answer questions.
The event will be held rain or shine.
Parking is available near all the barns. Bicyclists are welcome.  Admission is $20 per carload and $15. For members and extra books are available for $5.00.
Barn Keepers promotes the restoration, preservation, and repurposing of barns. Additional information is available at www.barnkeepers.org or 309-475-6951 or 309-963-4915. Title sponsor is Bates Commodities and supporting sponsors: Drake Zimmerman, Twin Groves Wind Farm and The Stanford Grain Co..



Three named WCTU National Contest Winners
The Normal Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is pleased to announce that three contestants from this area have received national awards!  Each year the Normal WCTU sponsor’s Coloring, Poster, and Essay Contests for both McLean County and Tazewell County that promote abstinence and present a message about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.  Each of the following students won first place at the county and state levels before advancing to the national contest:
Asia Quizon-Colquitt, of Parkside Junior High School, has received 2nd Place in the 2016 WCTU Division II (grades 7-9) National Essay Contest, and has earned a total of $185.00 for her essay.  The title of Asia’s 300-500 word essay was, “To Be All I Can Be, I’ll Stay Alcohol-free”.
Paige Kinzinger, of Cornerstone Christian Academy, has received 3rd Place in the 2016 WCTU Second Grade Coloring Contest, and has earned a total of $44.00 for her coloring entry.
Gabriella Strong, of St. Patrick School, Washington, IL, has received 1st Place in the 2016 WCTU Division I (grades 4-6) National Essay Contest, and has earned a total of $145.00 for her essay.  The title of Gabriella’s 200-300 word essay was, “Being Tobacco-free is Best for Me”.

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Images from recent games are available for viewing and purchase

Normal Community Ironmen, Normal Community West Wildcats, Ridgeview Mustangs, University High School Pioneers, Central Catholic Saints, Lexington Minutemen, ElPaso Gridley Titans, Illinois State University Redbird, Illinois Wesleyan Titan, State Farm Holiday Classic, McLean County Tournament, HOI Conference, Heart of Illinois


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Historic North Street




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coming next to the Historic
Normal Theater
All seats $7• Refreshments $1
Doors open 6:30 pm • Showtime 7:00 pm
Prize drawing every night
Great cartoons before classic movies
Hotline: 454-9722

The Music of Strangers
Thur & Sat, Aug. 18 & 20 • 7:00 PM
THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, the latest film from the creators of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 FEET FROM STARDOM and the critically-hailed BEST OF ENEMIES, follows an ever-changing lineup of performers drawn from the ensemble’s more than 50 instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution. Blending performance footage, personal interviews and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind. PG-13 / 96 min.

Galaxy Quest
The Friday Night Late Show
Friday, August 19, 10:30 PM 
The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show - now scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions - are beamed aboard an alien spacecraft. Believing the cast’s heroic on-screen dramas are historical documents of real-life adventures, the band of aliens turn to the ailing celebrities for help in their quest to overcome the oppressive regime in their solar system. PG / 102 min.
Adam’s Rib
Fri & Sun, Aug. 19 & 21, 7:00 PM
A courtroom rivalry finds its way into the household when prosecuting lawyer Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) faces off against his wife, Amanda (Katharine Hepburn), who happens to be a defense attorney. Working on opposite sides of a lawsuit where a woman (Judy Holliday) has shot her cheating husband (Tom Ewell), Adam and Amanda are both determined to win the case, and their home becomes the setting for comical showdowns, with neither spouse willing to relent. Unrated / 101 min.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Sunday, Aug. 21, 1:00 PM
From the legendary Hayao Miyazaki comes the beloved story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and set out into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her life journey with her chatty black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a sea-side village, where a bakery owner hires her to make deliveries. Rarely has the animator’s art been so brilliantly rendered as in this delightfully imaginative film – a beautiful and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world. English language version (dubbed). G / 103 min. This film will also be presented on Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00pm in Japanese w/ English subtitles.


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August
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Best Look Magazine is a quarterly sports and leisure magazine featuring sports, events, and people primarily from McLean County.  Every story has a photo and every photo has a story. The magazine is published by Alan Look Photography.  Please check it out at your convenience at http://bestlookmag.com.
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Updated Railroad Construction Road Closures in Normal
The Town of Normal received a revised schedule of road closures related to the Illinois High Speed Rail project. 
The closures are required to complete the work on the railroad tracks and to replace the roadway crossings. A detour route will be marked for each closure.
Below is the current closure schedule:
Linden Street: July 19  thru  September 10    
Fell Avenue: July 20 thru August 15           
Fort Jesse Road: August 1 thru September 3
College Avenue/Mulberry Street: September 11 – October 17
Beech Street/Broadway: October 17 – November 19
*Above schedule subject to change.
Maps detailing the closure location and marked detours are available at www.normal.org.
For more information regarding this project or the proposed work, please contact the Project Hotline: 1-855-IDOT HSR (1-855-436-8477) or visit www.idothsr.org.



Delinquent Tax Properties To Go On Sale; Deadline Aug. 26
McLean County, as Trustee, has completed their tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2012 and prior real estate taxes. The County, as Trustee, will now offer for sale the real estate obtained to the public. They will offer approximately 25 items through a sealed bid auction sale. All sealed bids must be in the McLean County Treasurer’s Office located in the Government Center, 115 E. Washington Street, Room Ml 01, Bloomington, Illinois 61702 no later than the close of business on August 26, 2016.
The sale of these lots should be a major benefit to both the Taxing Districts and the neighboring property owners. This sale will place the properties into the hands of individuals who have an interest in owning them. The County, as Trustee, hopes that these new owners will both maintain the property and keep the real estate taxes paid. By eliminating abandoned properties, the appearance of the neighborhood should improve and the value of adjoining properties should increase.
The required minimum bid is between $483.00 and $633.00 per item. All items will be sold to the highest sealed bid received on or before August 26, 2016. Complete bidder’s packets and sale catalogs are now available at the McLean County Treasurer’s Office or online at www, iltaxsale. com.
For further sale information, contact the Auction Sale Department of the McLean County Tax Agent’s Office. The telephone number is 1-800-248-2850 or 618-656-5744 or visit us at www.iltaxsale.com. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Fridays.




State Fair Sale of Champions nets $248,175 for junior producers, 4-H and FFA
The Governor’s Sale of Champion has always been the crown jewel of agricultural events at the Illinois State Fair, and this year was no exception. For the second year in a row, the sale was held in the Coliseum.  This grand venue serves as the pinnacle forum for an ag exhibitor.
Area winners were:
Jacob Hinshaw of McLean County for his Grand Champion Poultry Meat Pen bought by Congressman Rodney Davis, Davis Family McDonald’s for $4,000.
Sadie Ropp of Livingston County,  for her Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion Dairy Cow Print bought byPrairie Farms Dairy for $3,000
Adam Miller of Livingston County, for his  Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer bought by Brandt Fertilizer for $36,250
Capping the night off was the sale was the Grand Champion Steer owned by Lucas Wisnefski. Wisnefski’s steer sold for a record $104,000 to Governor and Mrs. Bruce Rauner and Friends of Wisnefski.  When asked about what advice he would give to future state fair exhibitor, Wisnefski said, “Keep your dreams. I had a dream to win the State Fair, and now my dream has come true.” He credits his win to hard work and dedication. Wisnefski plans to use the prize money to further his education.
The money raised at Tuesday night’s auction helps to support Illinois agriculture.  The junior exhibitors who raised the champion animals receive 80 percent of the funds with the remaining 20 percent to be split equally between the Illinois 4-H Foundation and Illinois FFA.




AVTT Memorial Wall coming to Bloomington’s Evergreen Memorial Cemetery August 24 - 28
An “Honor, Respect and Remember” event will be held Aug. 24-28 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington. The AVTT Memorial Wall is different than the Memorial Wall which was in LeRoy last year. It is quite a bit larger than the one which was in LeRoy - 80 percent of the size of the actual Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. The Memorial Wall is being sponsored by Evergreen Memorial Cemetery and Cargill.
Escort
The wall escort with meet at Road Ranger in Minonk, Exit 121, at 1 p.m. on Aug. 24. The route will be 39 south to 55 north. The wall and escort will exit Veteran’s Parkway to Lincoln Street turning right on Lincoln Street and continue to Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
Local volunteer, Steve Vollmer, emphasized this is a police escorted run. He added that those who want to take part in the escort do not need a motorcycle to be part of the escort. They don’t care what type of vehicle you drive.
Set up will begin as soon as the wall arrives and volunteers hope to be finished by noon. As soon as the wall is set up it will be open to the public. The Memorial Wall is free and is open 24 hours a day. There is no parking in the cemetery, but plenty of street parking. Organizers ask that drivers respect the neighboring houses when parking. Volunteers will run golf cart shuttles to help those who cannot walk to the exhibit.
Speakers and Displays
Vollmer said there are some really good speakers scheduled for each night. There will also be more displays than last year in LeRoy. Some of the displays are the Quilt of Tears, Through the Eyes and a display by Gary Simpkins of Heyworth. Timothy P. Irvin is scheduled to sing Friday night.
Saturday night will feature a candlelight reading of names. As the name of each person killed in action is read, a volunteer will carry an LED candle to the Wall.
The Wall won’t be dismantled until Monday morning, so it will be up Sunday night.
Volunteers needed
Volunteers are still needed. Vollmer said even if you have only a couple of hours to spare it will help because it gives a break to those who are volunteering throughout the event. He said there are a number of tasks for volunteers, including distributing water, carry candles and setting up chairs.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the Wall can contact Dawn Reiman, 309-660-7905 or dawn.m.reiman1970@gmail.com.
Schedule of events
Wednesday, Aug. 24    AVTT Memorial Wall escorted into Bloomington
Thursday, Aug. 25    Open for viewing at noon
Welcome to Wall Ceremony    6 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies    Doug Bowers
 National Anthem    Sylvia Anderson
Posting of Colors    Local Veterans Groups
Invocation    Pastor Billy Newell
Mansions of the Lord    Tom Fatten
Wreath Laying    Veterans and active military with Bagpiper Steve Riesenberg
Keynote Speaker    Curt Hawks
Patriotic Vocals    Gaye Nichols
Guest Speaker    State Rep. Dan Brady
Benediction    Pastor Billy Newell
Taps    Tom Fatten
Friday, Aug. 26
Opening Ceremonies    6 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies    Doug Bowers
National Anthem    Ronnie Jones
Invocation    Rev. Jeffrey Windy
Keynote Speaker    Hal Fritz, Medal of Honor
Vocals    Sound of Illinois
Guest Speaker    Mayor Terry Renner, Bloomington
Speaker    VFW Post 454
Speaker    Roy Jones American Legion Post 56
Patriotic Music    144th Army Band
The Vietnam Era    Tri-Valley Reenactment
After the War    Timothy P. Irvin
Benediction    Rev. Jeffrey Windy
Taps at dusk    Kirby Reese
Fly-over
Saturday, Aug. 27 - Show Your Colors Day
Bring your flag and fly it over the Wall, Certificates will be issued
Evening Events    6 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies    Doug Bowers
National Anthem    Stacy Shawbock
Invocation    Mike Marvin
Speaker    Gene Lorch
Speaker    Tom Laskowski, American Legion 635
Vocals    Hudson Grade School
POW Table    Red Bird Battalion
Guest Speaker    Cathy Rutledge/Rich Shea AMVETS
Tiger Cage Presentation    Gerald McCullar
Women on the Wall    Ladies Auxiliary Post 454 with Bagpiper Ted Kern
Vocals/Music    Stacy Sawbock/Lora Gates
Benediction    Mike Marvin
Taps    Vicky Pletsth
Candlelight Reading of Names    8 p.m. with Bagpiper Ted Kern
Sunday, Aug. 28
Closing Ceremonies    2 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies    Doug Bowers
National Anthem    Ellie Dew
Invocation    John Brown
Keynote Speaker    Judge Robert Freitag
Patriotic Music    NCWHS Band
Guest Speaker    Mayor Chris Koos, Normal
Walk the Wall with Bagpiper    Roger Troxel
21 Gun Salute    American Legion, VFW
Retire the Colors    American Legion, VFW
Benediction    John Brown
Echo Taps    Steve Turvett, Thomas Rutherford


 

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