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by Steve Robinson

Council Approves Redevelopment Agreement To Begin Bringing Portillo’s To Town

Despite protests from a few local citizens, Normal Town Council members voted unanimously to increase the Town’s 2016 Property Tax levy by 5.77 percent. The 2016 Property Tax Levy that was recommended by Town Staff was $12,174,800. The percentage increase amounts to an additional $663,800 citizens will be putting into Town coffers.
It wasn’t a simple decision, as at a public hearing held before the vote, Council members heard from a few members of the public who objected to the increase. Because the increase was for an amount of five percent or greater, State law mandated a public hearing be held before Council members voted on the issue.
Doug Fansler told Council members he wasn’t going to pay for something he felt the Town ought not to have agreed to, citing snow removal for the new Portillo’s restaurant which will debut next summer. Snow removal by the Town is part of the incentive package the officials used to bring the suburban Chicago hot dog eatery to town. Fansler argued such services by the Town for such businesses aren’t needed.
Resident Craig Stimpert said he objected to the increase saying he had heard of a family wanting to take a job in Normal until the head of household learned the property taxes were more here than they were where he was living out of state.
“More needs to be done to lighten the belt,” Council members were told by Mayoral Candidate Marc Tiritilli.
Making sure the Town funded the Police Pension fund was the primary reason for the increase, audience members in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station learned during Council discussion that preceded their vote. Doing nothing in terms of adding money to the pension fund without a tax increase could mean the Town might have to make up its contribution in other ways, like making cuts to the Town’s general fund or increasing other taxes.
The Town needs to contribute $500,000 to the Police Pension fund annually. “Any alternative we choose to get that done will have a significant impact,” Peterson told Lorenz. That could include cutting services, something Council Member Jeff Fritzen said, adding to the discussion, “isn’t something you want to do cavalierly.”
 “We’re not flippant in raising taxes,” Fritzen added. “But there are people in this community who appreciate how our dollars are spent.”
Costs to operate the Town go up annually, Council Member Kevin McCarthy added. He said the Town was asking for the increase in property tax “because costs go up and not because the money isn’t being spent properly.”
There isn’t going to be an increase in the Town’s general fund courtesy of this tax increase, Council Member Scott Preston said.
Property Tax Abatement Approved: With their next action following that discussion, Council members unanimously approved ordinances authorizing abating 2016 property taxes for debt service. Ten ordinances required to abate $7,525,379 as a result of abatement being approved. State law requires the county to levy property taxes for the payment of these bonds. Communities can abate the tax provided enough funds are available to handle principle and interest payments. The three largest bonds were $1,560,000 (2007), $1,075,209 (2016 refunding bond Issue A, 2006), and $1,045,875 (2009 refunding bond Issue 2003).
Bonds From 2007 Refunded: Without discussion, Council members unanimously approved an ordinance providing for issuance of an amount not to exceed $23.5 million in General Obligation refunding bonds Series 2017(A) and (B) which would be used to refund the Town’s Series 2007 fixed rate bonds.
The Town currently has a chance to refund the 2007 bonds, issued in March of that year, bringing in $24.7 million at a fixed rate of interest of 4.56 percent. With market conditions currently as they are, doing this now, Town officials estimate they have saved Normal $2.25 million in interest costs over the life of the bonds.
Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:
• Approval of minutes of the regular meeting on Dec. 5, 2016.
• Approval of minutes of the special meeting on Dec. 12, 2016.
• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures as of Dec. 14, 2016.
• A motion extending participation in the Diabetes Disease Management Program for one year.
• A motion to authorize an amendment to the FY 2016-17 Social Security budget for the General Fund.
• A resolution approving a project change order from Bloomington-based George Gildner, Inc. in the amount of $142,421.20 for the College Ave. Railroad Main Encasement Project and approval of a budget adjustment from the water fund reserve account of $135,321.20.
• A resolution to appropriate $50,000 of the Town’s allotment of Motor Fuel Tax funds for a tree removal contract for the improvement of Greenbriar Drive from approximately 900 feet north of Shepard Rd. to Hershey Rd., and of Hershey Rd. from Shepard Rd. to Raab Rd.
• A resolution accepting dedication of right-of-way (ROW) from Country Acres Land Corporation for Greenbriar Drive extension and Hershey Rd. improvement projects.
• A resolution accepting right-of-way (ROW) from iDev, LLC for the improvement of Hershey Rd. from Shepard Rd. to Raab Rd.




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

At the regular meeting of the McLean County Board on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, the Board approved a Resolution authorizing execution of a Property Tax Abatement and Economic Incentive Agreement with Rivian Automotive with location and operation of an Automobile Manufacturing Facility at the former Mitsubishi Property in Normal, Illinois.
The Board voted to set the calendar for County Board meetings for 2017 as the third Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am.
The Board approved several contracts with Attorneys who assist the Public Defender’s office and a contract with the State of Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Office which assists with the work load in the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The Board passed Intergovernmental Agreements for centralized booking with ISU, the City of Bloomington and Town of Normal and approved a Collective Bargaining Agreement between Illinois FOP Labor Counsel and County of McLean/McLean County Sheriff.






In the December 22 2016 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
They Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
How much should I water in Winter?

The Spectator
by Jim Bennett
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Next Governor’s race will be very expensive

Classic Colcalsure
A visit from St. Nicholas

Normal Town Council Report
Council Approves Redevelopment Agreement To Begin Bringing Portillo’s To Town

Unit 5 School Board Report
by Steve Robinson
  Unit 5 Joins Other Governing Bodies; Okays Rivian Agreement

McLean County Board Report

by Steve Robinson

Regular Meeting

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
News from the Capitol
Dear Friends

News_from_State_Rep._Dan_Brady

Statehouse Update from Jason Barickman
Budget Negotiations to Continue

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Merry Christmas to all!





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Unit 5 School Board Report

by Steve Robinson

Unit 5 Joins Other Governing Bodies; Okays Rivian Agreement

In order for Rivian Automotive to be able to move into the former Mitsubishi Motors North America assembly plant on Normal’s west end, it’s necessary for the Town’s seven taxing bodies to agree to the deal worked out with the Town.
Since presenting its proposal at a Dec. 12 special meeting of Normal Town Council, the Council and Heartland Community College’s Board of Trustees have signed on to the necessary property tax abatement agreement in order for the agreement to go forward.
That would leave members of McLean County Board’s Executive Committee, Dry Grove Township Board, Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) Authority, and Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District remaining to decide the agreement’s fate.
Also needing to decide the agreement’s fate were members of Normal-based Unit 5 School Board, who met Dec. 14 at district headquarters. Dr. R. J. Scaringe, Chief Executive Officer for Rivian Automotive, addressed Board members at the meeting, explaining the company looks to have 1,000 employees in the plant by 2021. Also by that point, he said the company would be looking to invest $500 million by 2024.
Board Member Gail Ann Briggs asked Scaringe who the company’s investors were. Scaringe wouldn’t identify them, citing confidentiality, but said they are from both inside and outside the United States.
Briggs added she wanted Scaringe and local Economic Development Council CEO Kyle Ham, who also spoke during the presentation to Board members, to understand the district has financial constraints which, at times, cause the district to make moves which can involve cutting personnel.
When MMNA closed the plant earlier this year, Unit 5 was receiving $390,000 annually in property taxes while the plant was operating. District Business Manager Marty Hickman said that without a company operating at the former MMNA facility, the amount of tax dollars earned drops sharply – to 447,000.
Normal City Manager Mark Peterson attended the meeting and told Board members seeing the deal fall through would result in the facility being torn down, a point he also made note of at the Council session. District Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel, Board Member Joseph Cleary, District Business Manager Marty Hickman, and District Director of Operations Joe Adelman attended the special Town Council session to discuss Rivian.
Following the discussion, Briggs motioned and Board Member Joseph Cleary seconded a resolution to approve the agreement with Rivian, but in the discussion that followed before the vote, Board Member Mike Trask stated he objected to the speed at which the matter was proceeding. Before the discussion began, Peterson told Board members all taxing bodies needed to come to a decision by the end of the month. Board members unanimously approved the agreement.
2016 Tax Levy Approved: Board members unanimously approved their tax levy for 2016 at this session in the amount of $89,851,070. The items getting the most money of that total were $60,918,257 for the district’s education fund, $11,198,209 for its operations and maintenance budget, and $5 million for tort liability. Unit 5, as well as other taxing jurisdictions must submit their approved levies to the county by Dec.27.
Improvements For Parkside Junior High School Approved: Board members unanimously approved awarding a contract to Bloomington-based Mid-Illinois Mechanical, Inc. for work needing to be done to the school’s ground source heating system and replacement of water pipes. Mid-Illinois Mechanical, Inc. was among four companies bidding for the project and submitted a bid of $2,722,000.
Evans Junior High School Doubles Up On “Good News”: Learning and athletics are supposed to mix in the school setting, with kids learning what they need to in order to compete – both on the field and in the classroom. George L. Evans Junior High School scored in both respects recently and were recognized for it during the meeting’s “good news” segment.
First, EJHS associate principal and athletic director Christopher McGraw introduced Board members to eighth grader Foster Baird. Baird competed in the 2016 Illinois Elementary School Association Cross Country Tournament in October, placing second in the two-mile course in the Class 3A event with a time of 10 minutes, 32 seconds. It was a speed that put him .4 seconds behind the winner. Baird also finished this season as the individual Sectional champion, placing second at the annual Parkside Junior High School Invitational. His parents are Jesse and Lori Baird of Bloomington.
EJHS’ next “good news” report moved from the track into the library, as IMC Specialist Michelle Glatt was recognized for her having been named 2016 Librarian of the Year by Illinois School Library Media Association. The award is given to recognize outstanding service and leadership contributions to the librarian’s organization during the previous school calendar year.
McGraw noted Glatt must divide her time between EJHS and Chiddix Junior High School, and despite this manages to give focus to students at both schools.  
District’s “Good News”: For its efforts to help students who are helped by the Unity Community Center, funded by University of Illinois Extension Service, Unit 5 was recognized by members of the center, being added to the Center’s “Hall Of Fame.”
Next Board Meeting On Jan. 18: The Board’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at district headquarters, 1809 W. Hovey Ave., beginning at 7p.m




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Heartland C.C. offering free continuing education classes at CommunityScope Jan. 7
Heartland Community college is inviting the public to sample free continuing education courses during CommunityScope. The event takes place Saturday, January 7 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Workforce Development Center on Heartland’s main campus in Normal, 1500 W. Raab Rd.
CommunityScope offerings include painting, wellness, cooking, financial planning and more. Each session is 35 minutes in length. Director of Continuing Education Angie Coughlin says it’s the community’s chance to try a class before registering for the full version.
“The event offers a variety of our best courses taught by our high-quality instructors,” she said. “Plus, participants can see our facilities and experience our comfortable learning environment.”
The Challenger Learning Center (CLC) will also be open to give youth and adults the chance to partake in a mini mission. According to Lead Flight Director Stacey Shrewsbury, participants will get an up-close look at a comet as it streaks its way across the galaxy. “We partner with NASA, ISU Physics Department, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and others to provide state-of-the art simulated space missions and science programs. CommunityScope is a great opportunity to experience the CLC,” Shrewsbury said.
Registration is required. Participants can register the day of or ahead of time at heartland.edu/continuingEd or by calling 309-268-8160. Same-day registration and check-in occurs at 8:30 a.m. on January 7 at the Workforce Development Center.
The College is also offering a 25 percent discount on the full version of select continuing education courses during CommunityScope. For more information, visit heartland.edu/continuingEd or call 309-268-8160.


Downtown Bloomington Artists Encourage the Making of Art for January 6th First Friday
The artists’ studios and galleries in Downtown Bloomington invite everyone to start the New Year by engaging your creativity and making your own special piece of art for First Friday, January 6th from 5 pm to 8 pm throughout the Downtown area.  “Hands on Art” will feature opportunities for all participants to make personal art cards, jewelry, and crafts.  Artists will have their studios and galleries open with art making stations complete with all materials needed.  Unless otherwise noted these activities are free to the public and family friendly.  Space is limited for some activities so patience is requested.
Art Vortex Studio, 101 W Monroe, Suite 210--Make Your Own Artist Trading Card. Drawing paper cut to 2 1/2” x 3 1/2” will be provided along with markers, crayons and colored pencils. Drawing materials can also be combined for mixed media creations.
Joann Goetzinger Gallery, 313 N. Main, Suite A —Communal drawing on large paper on which visitors can make images, words, or any marks.  Martha Burk will provide a variety of findings and beads so attendees can make their own earrings.
Eaton Gallery, 411 N. Center —Working on a 12th night theme the gallery presents a “Hands on Performances” opportunity for the night.  Attendees can perform a song, read a poem, or play a piece on the piano.  Costumes are encouraged..
Three Square Studio, 104 W. Monroe—A large assortment of items will be provided to make small collage and found object pieces of art. 
Inside Out: Accessible Art, 200 W. Monroe St #102-- will be making hand cut fancy snowflakes with their guests along with guidance in using them in other creations.
Main Gallery 404, 404 N. Main St.—Stations will be set up to create your own art.  Susan Mendenhall will offer “make your own aluminum pendant (while supplies last) and Ken Kashian will have a printer available for customers to print and purchase a photo.  Ken Kashian will be offering the opportunity to make prints at $15 each from a selection of 20 of his favorite images. Once selected, the 4” X 6” prints will be printed in about a minute. Selections will include photos from “The Mackinaw River Project”, “DETAILS of Downtown Bloomington Historical Architecture”, and abstract botanical and architectural photographs.
Other studios and galleries will be open as well for opportunities for the public to view, discuss, and purchase artwork from local artists. More information is available at the Downtown Bloomington Artists-Illinois facebook page.



HCE units to study Super Foods in January
McLean County Home and Community Education groups will be learning about Super Foods in their January unit meetings.  The Fact Find is “Facts and Function of Prebiotics, Probiotics and Symbiotics.”  Other programs and workshops:  1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 9, Huck Weaving at Culvers on Hershey Road, Bloomington—reservations, fees by January 3, 309-821-1266;  9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 16, Community Service Day, Hats, Mittens and Scarves, Farm Bureau Building, near Interstate Center Dr., Bloomington, 309-826-9559; 1-3 p.m., Jan. 24, a free program, “Coloring – It’s Not Just for Kids,” by Denise O’Brien, Farm Bureau Building, 309-532-0314.
The public is welcome at all meetings and programs.  Individual units meet as follows:
Normal: 9:15 a.m. Jan. 2, rolls and coffee at Evergreen Place, Gregory & Adelaide, Normal, lessons by Doris Kurtock; 309-452-6750.
Downs: 9:30 a.m. Jan 3, Downs Fire Station Community Room, lesson by Ruth Hood and fact find by Fran Burns, lunch following the meeting; 309-661-9251.
Eastsiders: 9 a.m. Jan. 6; McLean County Extension office, 1635 Commerce Dr., Bloomington, lesson by Phyllis Wallace, fact  find by Linda Kobs; hostesses are Sandra Graning, Sheila Wells, Marlene Brown and Judy Crist; 309-310-9205.
Money Creek: 11:30 a.m. Jan. 9, bring sack lunch, Lexington Community Center, lessons by Helen Leake; 309-365-4681.
Towanda: 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Towanda Community Building, lessons by Cindy Kelley, hostesses are Valerie Dotson and Linda Conder; 309-728-2118.
Dale:  9:30 a.m. Jan. 11; breakfast at Shannon’s Restaurant, 1305S. Mercer Ave, Bloomington,  lessons by Joan Calabrese; 309-829-2975.
Dry Grove: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 12; breakfast at Denny’s in Normal; 309-452-7059.
Lexington: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16; Lexington Community Center, lesson by Doris Beck, hostess is Dorothy Myers; 309-365-8055.
Night Owls:  7 p.m. Jan. 18; Community Room, Parmon House, 2012 E. Lincoln St., lesson by Rosemary Martin, hostesses are Kathryn McNeely and Arlene Sieg; 309-275-8898.





Women to Women Giving Circle awards grants
The Women to Women Giving Circle of Illinois Prairie Community Foundation has selected six grant recipients for 2017 for programs that empower and inspire girls and young women to reach their highest potential.
Receiving grants are: Cabrini Green Legal Aid for Second Chance and Family Connections Summit, Girls in the Game for the after school program, Girls on the Run of Central Illinois for McLean County expansion, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois for the Be a Friend First program, Music Connections Foundation for Kindermusik at Neville House, and Normal Community West High School for the Girls Who Code Makerspace. The total amount awarded is $40,000. Women to Women received 13 applications totaling $123,024 in requested funding.
The Women to Women Giving Circle has disbursed $245,000 in grants since 2011. The group’s goals are to increase the life skills, healthy development, and personal authority of women and girls, educate and increase awareness of the needs of women and their families, and expand philanthropy among local women. All gifts to the fund are split between a pass-through fund for current grants and an endowment that will fund grants in future years. More information about Women to Women is at http://www.ilprairiecf.org/women-to-women/.




2nd Annual C.H.A.R.M. Inc. Community Christmas Dinner Dec. 25
by Arthur Haynes
C.H.A.R.M. INC. will be hosting their second annual Community Christmas Dinner on Sunday, December 25 from 3 pm until 6 pm at the Salvation Army located at 611 W. Washington Street Bloomington. The dinner is open to anyone in the community. This year C.H.A.R.M. INC. has partnered with Mid Illini Credit Union, Good Fellas Motorcycle Club, Recycled Furniture For Families, The Salvation Army of McLean County and The West Bloomington Housing Collaborative which is comprised of funded partners Mid Central Community Action, West Bloomington Revitalization Project, and Habitat for Humanity of McLean County. The University of Illinois Community Preservation Clinic, City of Bloomington, Wesleyan Action Research Center, State Farm Bank and Remax Rising are also members of the WBHC Partnership Council.
The Community Christmas Dinner is intended to provide a warm and inviting environment for the homeless, elderly or less fortunate individuals in the community. The goal is to provide those who may not have family in the area an environment that is reminiscent of that home for the holidays feel. This event will provide a seven course meal prepared by local chefs, an opportunity to mingle with neighbors, friends, community leaders and information about how to access resources offered by Mid Illini Credit Union, Recycled Furniture For Families and the West Bloomington Housing Collaborative. There will also be coats, hats, gloves, scarf’s, toiletries and toys handed out to anyone in need. Last year we provided coats, hats, gloves, scarf’s, toiletries and toys to 50 residents in need. This year we anticipate over 150 attendees.
“The dinner is a great opportunity not only for residents to share in the holiday spirit, but for them to learn more about the resources our community has to offer,’ explains Arthur Haynes C.H.A.R.M. Inc’s founder, “The organizations participating in the event will have another opportunity to partner and connect with area residents, something that is important to our community as well,” Haynes adds.
C.H.A.R.M. Inc. - Community, Humanitarianism, Assistance, Revitalization, Mentorship Inc. is a community enrichment organization founded in 2009 by Arthur Haynes and Kiasha Henry of Bloomington. The goals of C.H.A.R.M. Inc. is to collaborate with local organizations and build a network of individuals who advocate for social equality and community development within low income communities in Bloomington/Normal. C.H.A.R.M. Inc’s mission is to build a community of one through collaboration, education, engagement and outreach.
To learn more about this event, please contact Arthur Haynes, (Founder) or Kiasha Henry (Co Founder) Office: (309) 287-1873, 702 West Mill St., Bloomington IL 61701 or at mrandmscharm@gmail.com

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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
 
White Christmas
Thursday, Dec. 22, 7:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 24, 1:00 PM
Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys’ commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what’s the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that’s sure to put Waverly and his business in the black! Unrated / 120 min.

It’s A Wonderful Life
Fri & Sat, Dec. 23 & 24, 7 PM
After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there. PG / 135 min.




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Marc Lamont Hill to address Martin Luther King Jr./Cultural Dinner January 20
Author, activist, and television personality Marc Lamont Hill will be the speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Dinner at 5 p.m. Friday, January 20, in the Brown Ballroom at Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center. The title of Hill’s talk will be “Building Community in an Hour of Chaos.”
Registration is available online at the Presidential and Trustee Events website<http://illinoisstate.edu/president/events.php>. Prices are one meal swipe for Illinois State University students with meal plans, $15 for students without a meal plan, and $35 for the public. This event is pre-registration only.
Known for his commentaries on culture, politics, and education, Hill is the host of HuffPost Live, BET News, and VH1 Live, as well as a political contributor for CNN. He is the former host of the nationally syndicated television show Our World With Black Enterprise and a political contributor to Fox News Channel. An award-winning journalist, Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.


West Beaufort Lane Closure in Uptown
Due to construction of One Uptown on the Circle, the westbound lane of W. Beaufort Street is closed to all traffic from Uptown Circle to the ingress/egress of the Uptown Station parking deck.  The closure is anticipated to be in place until Fall 2017.  Eastbound W. Beaufort will remain open and the Uptown Station parking deck will be accessible.






Martin Luther King Awards Luncheon to be held January 14 at ISU
The 41st Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, January 14 at Bone Student Center on the campus of Illinois State University. This year’s guest speaker will be broadcast journalism pioneer Monica Pearson, who in 1975 became the first minority and first woman to anchor the evening news in Atlanta, Georgia.
Over a 37-year career with WSB, the CBS network affiliate in Atlanta, Ms. Pearson won numerous journalism and humanitarian awards, including 33 local and regional Emmy Awards.  In March 2012, the bipartisan Georgia delegation to the U.S. Congress honored her on the floor of the U.S. House as “a true pioneer and a trailblazer in television news.”
Tickets for the 2017 luncheon honoring Dr. King are available from City of Bloomington and Normal Human Relations Commission members. Tickets may also be purchased at the Bloomington and Normal city halls. Single tickets are $20. Reserved tables are available.
Each year, the Bloomington and Normal Human Relations Commissions honor the legacy of Dr. King by recognizing two local high school students and two adults for their efforts to promote tolerance and understanding among people of diverse backgrounds. Winners will be announced during the annual awards luncheon on January 14, 2017.



Notice of Door-to-Door Electric Aggregation Scam in Normal
It has come to the Town’s attention that door-to-door solicitors have recently been sharing incorrect information regarding the Town of Normal Electric Aggregation program. This is a scam. Residents participating in the Town’s aggregation program should be aware that there has been no change to the current program or electric supply provider, Constellation Energy. Neither the Town of Normal nor the current provider are currently engaged in any door-to-door solicitation activity.
Solicitors operating in the Town of Normal are required to register with the Town of Normal Police Department and provide proof of permit when operating in the community. If you encounter a solicitor claiming to falsely represent the Town of Normal or the electric aggregation program, you should ask to see a valid permit, document the individual’s name, and contact the Town of Normal Police Department at (309) 888-5030.
As a reminder, all communication regarding the aggregation program is done through mail and information regarding the Town’s Electric Aggregation Program is available on the Town’s website: https://www.normal.org/1103/Electric-Aggregation
If you believe you have been misled and signed up for an alternative energy supply program, please contact Ben McCready at (309) 454 -9504 for additional assistance.




Town of Normal Holiday Refuse Collection Schedule
Friday, December 23, 2016 Collection Schedule
Residential garbage and recycling WILL be collected on Friday, December 23. Bulky waste and brush will NOT be collected.
Monday, December 26, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 Collection Schedule
Residential garbage and recycling WILL be collected on the above dates. Bulky waste and brush will NOT be collected. Bulky waste and brush may be collected for Monday’s route later in the week, as time permits.
Landscape Waste Collection Season Ending
Landscape waste collection will end on Thursday, December 22, 2016 and will resume approximately Monday, April 3, 2017. After this date, Normal residents who have leaves or other vegetation to dispose of (no woody materials) may bring them to the Public Works landscape waste drop site at 1301 Warriner Street. It is open 24/7.
Self-Service Electronic Recycling Drop-off Schedule
The self-service electronics recycling drop off site at 1301 Warriner St. will be closed on Friday, December 23, Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2. Except for the above dates, self-service electronics recycling is available for McLean County residents Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and the 1st Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. – Noon.
Christmas Tree Collection
Christmas trees will be collected by the brush crews. Please place Christmas trees at the curb without ornamentation or plastic bags after 6:00 p.m. on the day before your regular collection day or prior to 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection for brush collection.






Hurley Receives Illinois State University Award
Matt Hurley, Assistant Principal at Olympia High School, was one of the recipients of the 2016-2017 Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA’s) given by Illinois State University’s College of Business during the Illinois State Homecoming week this past October.
The ECAA’s recognize younger graduates of the Illinois State University College of Business who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership, the potential for future distinction, and a commitment to serving others.   A winner often demonstrates exemplary professional capabilities through entrepreneurial success, rapid promotions, industry recognitions, or innovative practices that lead to measurable outcomes.   Winners continue to embody the five core principals outlined in the College of Business Standards of Professional Behavior and Ethical Conduct: responsibility, honesty, respect, fairness, and trust. 
Matt received a Bachelor of Science in Business Teacher Education from Illinois State University in May 2006 and taught business courses at Olympia High School from 2006-2011.   He also coached 7th grade boys’ basketball and high school girls’ basketball.   In May 2011, Matt completed a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Foundations at ISU and was hired as the assistant principal of Olympia High School.   His primary responsibilities include tracking attendance, handling student discipline, evaluating teachers, and acting as a positive role model and leader in the Olympia community.  
Matt is currently enrolled in the superintendent endorsement cohort program at ISU and is an active member of the Illinois Principals Association.   He is a parish member at St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington and a 2016 attendee of the Cursillo retreat.   Matt lives in Danvers with his wife and two daughters.




Heartland Board of Trustees seeks applicants to fill vacancy
A vacancy exists on the Heartland Community College Board of Trustees. Mr. John A. “Jac” Copes’ resignation was accepted at the December 13, 2016 board meeting. Copes is moving out of district.
The Heartland Community College Board will appoint a person to fill the vacancy until a successor is elected at the regular election for board members in April 2019. The Board will accept letters of interest from now until 4:30 p.m. Monday, January 9, 2017. The vacancy will be acted upon as soon as possible.
Applicants must submit a letter of interest that includes a brief biography, a statement outlining their interest and commitment for serving on a community college board, and the reasons they feel they would make a strong candidate. Additionally, the letter should indicate the applicant’s intention on running in April 2019 for the remainder of the term, which lasts until 2021. Applicants will be interviewed based upon their letters of interest.
Any U.S. citizen who is 18 or older and has lived in District 540 for one year is eligible to be a trustee. District 540 covers parts of DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean and Tazewell counties.
Please submit a letter of interest to: Ms. Laura Mai, Board Secretary, Heartland Community College, 1500 W. Raab Road, Normal, IL 61761. The letter must be received by 4:30 p.m. on January 9, 2017.












 

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