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Unit 5 Schools
Illinois State University
University High School
Illinois Wesleyan University
Heartland Community College
Lincoln College


State Farm Holiday Classic
McLean County Arts Center
(sugar creek arts festival)

McLean County Fair

Civic/Non-Profit Organizations

Boy Scout Troop 3
Boy Scout Troop 19
W.D. Boyce Council (B.S.A)
Crossroads District
Girl Scouts of Central Ilinois
Illinois Special Olympics
Normal Kiwanis Club
Habitat for Humanity of McLean County
U of I Extension - McLean County
Bloomington-Normal Macaroni Kid

About the community

Uptown Normal
Economic Development Council


Town of Normal
Normal Police Department
McLean County

Places of Interest

Children's Discovery Museum
US Cellular Coliseum
Interstate Center
Miller Park Zoo

Click here for the Normalite Sports Photos Galleries

HCE Units to study Pass the Pink Packet
McLean County Home and Community Education groups will be learning about “Pass the Pink Packet” during their January meetings. The Fact Find is Care for Christmas Plants. Other programs and workshops: 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 11, Arm Knitting by Lynda Kobs, Culvers on Hershey Road, Bloomington—RSVP/fees/supply list to Edna by Jan. 5, 309-662-5520; 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 18, Community Service Day, Making bags for walkers and hats, scarves and mittens, Farm Bureau Building, near Interstate Center Dr., Bloomington, 309-826-9559- free and no RSVP needed.
On Jan. 26 at 1p.m., a free program, “History/Mysteries of McLean County” will be presented by Don Meyer at Christ Lutheran Church, 311 Hershey Rd, Normal.  Contact Delilah Finnegan at 309-532-0314 for more information.
Public is welcome at all meetings and programs. Individual units meet as follows:                   
Eastsiders: 9 a.m. Jan. 8, Extension Office; program, Jane Griffin and Fact Find by Lynda Kobs; hostesses-Joan Brucker, Phyllis Cellini, Lynn Fox, and Marlene Brown; 309-310-9205.
Money Creek: No meeting is scheduled.
Towanda: 7 p.m. Jan. 12, Towanda Community Building; program, Sandy Whalen; bring or wear snowman related items for show & tell; 309-663-4796.
Dale: 10 a.m. Jan. 13, Shannon’s, 1305 S Mercer, Bloomington; 309-829-8975.
Dry Grove: No meeting is scheduled.
Lexington: No meeting is scheduled.
Night Owls: 7 p.m. Jan. 20, United Methodist Church, Heyworth; program by Carol Hanafin; hostess is Cheryl Gebhardt; 309-275-6723.

Terri Ryburn Comedy Performance Jan. 28; Concert and Route 66 Film Jan. 29 & 30
Terri Ryburn and her friend, Kathi Davis, are bringing to Bloomington a concert called The Best of Hank and Rita:  A Barroom Operetta.  One of Ryburn’s former students, Ann Rosenquist Fee, is in a Minnesota singing duo called “The Frye” with Joe Tougas.  At their performances, people began to ask if they were married.  (They were but not to each other.)  Rosenquist Fee and Tougas started answering, “No, not anymore.”  From that, Tougas wrote the lyrics and music for the concert.  The show has gotten rave reviews in Minnesota.  The concert will be filmed for a short movie that Ryburn and Davis will submit to film festivals and use to raise funds for a full-length feature film, following the duo from Illinois to California, along Route 66.
A Night of Stand-up Comedy with Terri Ryburn is a fundraiser for the project.  Her “clean, but edgy” comedy happily takes on friends, the workplace, some ex-husbands, and other absurdities on Thursday, January 28 at the Eagles Club, 313 S. Main Street, Bloomington.  (Parking in the Eagles lot south of the building, on the street, or in the parking deck one block north.)  Doors open at 6:30 pm (cash bar, snacks, and bar food available); show starts at 8pm.  Tickets are $10 at the door.
The Best of Hank and Rita:  A Barroom Operetta presents a fictional husband-wife country-pop duo who hit the Top 10 briefly in the 1970s but whose career is in decline.  It’s 1986 and they’ve been performing their show in small town after small town for years.  Hank doesn’t know it, but Rita is leaving him after the show.  She’s done waiting for things to change, in their career and their marriage, but she’s giving herself one last good show.
Performances are on Friday, January 29, and Saturday, January 30, at the Eagles Club, 313 S. Main Street, Bloomington.  (Parking in the Eagles lot south of the building, on the street, or in the parking deck one block north.)  Doors open at 6:30 pm (cash bar, snacks, and bar food available); show starts at 8 pm.  Tickets are $15 in advance at hankandrita.com or $20 at the door (if available).
For more information, go to hankandrita.com, email Ryburn at tlrybur@ilstu.edu, or call 309-452-5325.

News from the Capitol
by State Sen.Bill Brady, 44th District

June 13, 2017
Dear Friends,
It has been nearly two weeks since the regularly scheduled spring legislative session ended without a real budget. Throughout the spring session, Republicans called for a balanced budget and reforms to boost job-creation and economic growth. We remain focused on achieving those goals.
A recent study from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights how stagnant personal income continues to be a contributing factor in thousands of Illinoisans deciding to flee the state every year. According to the report, between 2007 and 2016, Illinois’ personal income growth crawled at a pace of only 0.8 percent per year, ranking it amongst the worst states for personal income growth. Only by passing real reforms that help to bolster our economy, can we hope to reverse this trend and turn our state around.
There is still time to get this done before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, but we have to get back to the table, and soon, to find that bipartisan compromise that we were so close to reaching this spring.
I hope that you will reach out to me, or my office with any questions or concerns you may have. Hearing your thoughts and opinions on the most important issues facing Illinois today is vital to the work I do representing the 44th District in Springfield.
And as always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our offices in Bloomington or Springfield.  Sincerely,
Senator Bill Brad

Statehouse Update
from Senator Jason Barickman 53rd District
 Historic Barickman-sponsored school funding reform signed into law
Illinois schools will soon begin receiving state aid payments through a school funding formula that sends education dollars where they are needed most, thanks to legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and signed into law by Governor Rauner.
“This is truly a historic moment for Illinois, for our schools and most importantly for our children,” said Senator Barickman. “This represents a historic shift toward a new education funding system where the quality of a child’s education will no longer be dependent on where they live. Today is an opportunity to show how we can come together in a divided government to accomplish great things and to find a way to build on that success.”
The new formula was the result of years of negotiations between the education community, lawmakers, and other stakeholders. It utilizes an evidence-based model to distribute funding to schools, a requirement of the recently passed budget. The legislation was signed into law during a ceremony in Chicago attended by Senator Barickman and other lawmakers from both parties, representatives of the education community, and the Governor.
“I represent roughly 40 school districts in my Senate District, there are more than 800 school districts in the state, and we finally have a system that understands their differences and funds them accordingly,” said Senator Barickman. “This moves us to a system where data and best practices determine where money goes instead of arbitrary political decisions.”
Senator Barickman introduced the evidence-based school funding model to the General Assembly in 2015. The legislation was an attempt to fix the state’s woefully outdated funding mechanism with a system that sends dollars to where they are needed most, and where the funding has the best chance of ensuring the success of students.
“We now have a funding system that offers a new level of transparency for taxpayers, that will allow lawmakers to see what funding levels actually mean for individual schools,” said Senator Barickman.
Schools will now have significant mandate relief, a particular cause championed by Senator Barickman, so they can save money and put more resources into in-classroom learning. In addition, it also creates a mechanism where taxpayers can, via referendum, initiate property tax relief in overtaxed districts. The new law also contains a system to help families with children in struggling districts to have an opportunity to send their children to a school of their choice.
“This is a win for the families in every single school district across this state,” said Senator Barickman. “Historic levels of funding will now be headed to their schools through a more equitable and adequate funding mechanism. This has been a worthwhile fight.”

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News from State Rep. Dan Brady
Guest Editorial by State Rep. Dan Brady
105th Legislative District
Visit Rep. Brady’s Website for Budget, Education Funding and other Legislative Session Details
Area families can read more about the state’s stopgap budget, state funding increases for local school districts and other important issues from this year’s legislative session on State Representative Dan Brady’s website, www.rep-danbrady.com. Rep. Brady has posted a Session Review on his website to keep local residents up to date without the costs associated with a mailed newsletter.
“Throughout the summer I have attended events across the district giving updates on our budget situation, school funding, funding for our colleges and universities and other major challenges we have worked on this year. Posting the Session Review on my website will make updated information even more accessible to local families.” Rep. Brady said.
Representative Brady said the Session Review is readily accessible on his website by clicking the Session Review 2016 icon in the top right hand margin of the homepage. The Review is also printable.
“Anyone with computer access can read and print the Session Review. I do understand that there are some without computer access who may be interested in the information and they are welcome to contact my district office at 309-662-1100 or stop by at 104 W. North Street in Normal for a copy,” Rep. Brady said.

Sugar Grove Nature Center Happenings

Sugar Grove Nature Center is located in beautiful, historic Funks Grove, just south of Bloomington-Normal.  For a map and directions to the Nature Center, membership and program information visit us on-line at

For more information phone 309.874.2174 or email info@sugargrovenaturecenter.org. Sugar Grove Nature Center is located in beautiful, historic Funks Grove, just south of Bloomington-Normal. For a map and directions to the Nature Center, membership and program information visit us on-line at www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Association for Women in Communications hosts annual Fall Workshop
(Normal, IL) The Bloomington-Normal chapter of the Association for Women in Communications will host their annual Fall Workshop Mirror of Success: Progress Begins with Reflection on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Illinois State University, Alumni Center, 1101 North Main Street, Normal.
This year’s workshop will include discussions on themes of self-motivation, wellness, and how to better yourself for your professional life.
The full-day event starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. and is open to both AWC members and non-members. The day includes a sit-down lunch, networking, and full access to sessions.
Keynote speaker Aaron Schoenherr will share his point-of-view on personal growth and fulfillment in the opening session titled “The Chase.” This entertaining and interactive discussion will emphasize practical techniques grounded in scientific research and good old common sense. In this session, attendees will learn what science tells us about happiness, and how we can understand the foundations of our own happiness to better engineer it; discover the importance of daily rituals and how to develop and focus them; and hear how the way that we start our mornings is the most important change we can make in our lives. Schoenherr is the co-founder of the strategic public relations firm Greentarget.
Additional sessions will include:
•    Lessons in Leadership presented by The Center for Professional Excellence
•    Gender Communication Differences presented by Shirley Stelbrink of the Learning Alliance Company
A look at our assumptions, potential barriers, and why we say it the way we do (female and male communications), plus strategies and tips to enhance our communication.
•    Handling Toxic People in the Workplace presented by Chuck Rice of Brio Employee Development
Learn how self-awareness and self-control drive self-esteem.
•    First Impressions: How to Navigate Initial Conversations presented by Joe McDonald of Dale Carnegie Training of Greater IL

Learn how to navigate initial conversations in a more engaging and memorable way and discover techniques for becoming a professional that others gravitate to. 
Over lunch attendees will also hear from James Almeda of Illinois State University Health Promotion and Wellness in a session titled  The Art and Science of Mindfulness: How it Can Help the Workplace.
Registration (through September 14) is $55 for AWC members, $65 for non-members, and $20 for students.
For more information about the Association for Women in Communications visit the website or Facebook page.


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