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Chenoa Town Crier
Gridley Times
Ridgeview Review
Heyworth Buzz
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Every Photo has a Story, every Story has a Photo
A publication by Alan Look Photography
McLean County's Sports and Leisure Magazine
Published Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15

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Pick up a copy of the current Normalite for Senior and Normal Township event listings.

by Steve Robinson

No Meeting This Week

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

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Sugar Grove Nature Center Happenings

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, or contact course instructor, Bob Carter, at or 815.238.7930

September 1 is Start of Low Income Energy Assistance Program Enrollment
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistance announced today that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.
LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.
LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1, 2016.
Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:
Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
 A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
 Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
 Proof that their household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD); or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.
A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,485; a two-person household up to $2,003; a family of three can earn up to $2,520; and a family of four can earn up to $3,038. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent. These households must provide proof that their rent is more than 30% of their income in order to qualify for LIHEAP benefits.
Disconnected households and families with children ages 5 or under (includes all children who are not yet 6 years old, that is, up to 5 years and 364 days old) can begin applying for LIHEAP assistance beginning October 1, 2016. Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment can apply beginning November 1, 2016.
PIPP will also be available starting September 1, 2016 for LIHEAP eligible households who are customers of one of the following utilities: Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas utilities. Under PIPP, eligible households pay a percentage of their income towards their utility bill, supplemented by a monthly benefit. Participating households are eligible for a reduction in outstanding bills for every on-time payment they make. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to, or call the energy assistance toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM

Women to Women to host Sept 13 screening of ‘The Empowerment Project’
‘“What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?”  Five young female filmmakers asked this question on a cross-country journey to find ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Their film The Empowerment Project will be screened Tuesday Sept. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the ISU Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main St. in Normal. The event is free and open to the public.
Following the screening, a panel of local women will discuss their own journeys. The panel includes Nikki Bruno, detective with the Normal Police Department, Anita Moore, Dean of Student Success at Heartland Community College, and Kelsey West, Youth Advisory Board Coordinator for State Farm.
Information on the film is available at The film is sponsored by the Women to Women Giving Circle of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. This Fall Forum begins their 2017 grant program cycle.
About the 2017 W2W Grants: The Women to Women group has $40,000 available for 2017 grants. The focus is on local programs that seek to inspire and empower girls and young women to achieve their highest potential. Women to Women will be accepting grant applications from September 26 through October 27, 2016 for the 2017 calendar year.
About the Women to Women Giving Circle: In the last six years, the Women to Women Giving Circle has granted over $205,000 to local programs and projects that encourage advancement and opportunities for women and girls. The group creates community conversations on issues that impact women and children through twice-yearly Forums. More information is available at under the Women to Women tab.

Booth Brothers concert to benefit Midwest Food Bank
September 9th concert to be held at Calvary Baptist Church
The Booth Brothers are coming to Normal.  This trio, known for their harmony-drenched vocals and warm, easy voices, are coming for an exciting musical event on September 9 to benefit Midwest Food Bank of Bloomington.   Ronnie Booth, Michael Booth and Paul Lancaster make up this award winning trio.  Their God-given talent has garnered them numerous awards including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Trio of the Year, Song of the Year and many others.  The Booth Brothers have a unique ability to communicate through song and humor.  They appreciate the opportunity to meet their friends and fans through their appearance on the Bill Gaither Homecoming tours and their own touring schedule.
Make plans now to join the Booth Brothers at Calvary Baptist on Sept. 9 at 7:00 with doors opening at 6:00 for an awesome event filled with a life changing message and an opportunity to support Midwest Food Bank with 100% of the tickets proceeds going to the Food Bank.
Tickets may be purchased and printed off prior to the concert by going to  They can also be purchased by calling Midwest Food Bank of Bloomington at 309-663-5350 or Calvary Baptist Church, Normal, 309-452-4479.  Ticket prices are $15 and $20.  A love offering will be taken at the concert.  Note: Children living at home can attend free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Midwest Food Bank of Bloomington serves around 320 non-profit agencies monthly, 70 of those in McLean County and the others in surrounding communities.  Over 200,000 people are fed monthly.   Midwest Food Bank supports a School Backpack Program serving 30 schools and over 2500 students weekly by providing food that can be easily opened and/or microwaved on the week-ends when many underprivileged children do not eat well.   Midwest Food Bank was voted by Charity Navigator as #1 Food Bank in the United States that relies solely on private contributions.  Ninety-nine cents of every dollar donated goes toward feeding the less fortunate.   That is due to our more than 2700 different volunteers donating over 30,000 volunteer hours last year.  In 2016, Midwest Food Bank is on track to distribute close to $60 Million in food, free of charge, to our 320 not-for-profit agencies/food pantries which is over a 20% increase from the previous year. 
We are blessed to have such an organization in our vicinity so please come out and show your support.

12th Annual CIDSO Buddy Walk to be held Saturday, Sept. 17
The Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization is will be holding the 12th Annual CIDSO Buddy Walk on Saturday, September 17 at Carden Park & Prairieland Elementary, 1300 Raab Rd., Normal.
The morning begins at 9:00 am with event registration, food, games, and entertainment.  There will also be a photo booth available along with face painting, “balloon art”, a “bouncy-house”, “Paws Giving Independence” (group of service dogs), the IWU basketball team, the Normal Community West Dance Team, plus a “meet and greet” table for parents.
The Service Dogs and the “meet and greet” table for parents are new features in this year’s event.  The photo booth and balloon art are activities that are returning to the event after an absence of several years.
Prior to the start of the walk, Bob and Julie Dobski (owners of local McDonald’s restaurants and Little Jewels Learning Centers) will receive the Partners in Progress Award for “exceptional effort in promoting the inclusion and acceptance of individuals with developmental disabilities”. Individuals with Down syndrome have been or are employed at Little Jewels and McDonalds
The walk steps-off at 10:30 am and will follow the paved path behind Prairieland and into the adjacent neighborhood before returning to Prairieland along the sidewalk the north side of Raab Road (where they are cheered on by members of the Normal Community West cheer-leaders).
The cost to register for the event is $5. Registration can be paid in advance or at the door or paid at the event.   To register early go to
Following completion of the walk, there is a silent auction held in the Prairieland gym which features donated gifts and prizes.   Participants “bid” on the prizes by placing raffle tickets in jars located in front of each prize.
Get a buddy and join the fun on Sept. 17!

Sen Barickman hosting new offices open house with Congressman LaHood August 29
State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) are hosting an Open House at their new Bloomington District Offices on Monday, August 29th, from 2:30 to5:00pm.
State Senator Jason Barickman has moved his district office to a new location in the same building that also houses Congressman Darin LaHood’s new Bloomington office. The two are inviting the public to visit the new offices. Light refreshments will be served.
The new office is located at 3004 GE Road, Suite 1B, Bloomington.

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.

In the August 25 2016 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
August Reunion

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
Taking care of your Japanese Maple

The Spectator
by Jim Bennett
It’s Not Easy Being Green

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Softness on Crime an issue in this year’s election

Classic Colcalsure
Malt Shop Memories

Normal Town Council Report
No Meeting This Week

Unit 5 School Board Report
No Meeting This Week

McLean County Board Report

by Steve Robinson

Regular Meeting this week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
News from the Capitol


Statehouse Update from Jason Barickman

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Sad day for IWU and Octavia

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

No Meeting This Week

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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 or

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 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..

Home & Community Education Scholarship Committee awards scholarships
Madisen Law of Heyworth and Jill Parrent of Normal are each recipients of a $500 scholarship awarded by the McLean County Association for Home and Community Education(HCE).  Scholarships are awarded to McLean County 4-H members who exhibited projects from the Home & Family or Food, Nutrition & Health areas at the 2015 4-H fair and 4 other years in their 4-H career. Scholarships were presented at the McLean County HCE 98th Annual Meeting in July.
Madisen Law is a 9 year member of the Home Spun and Stylistics 4-H clubs, and will be a freshman at Taylor University in Indiana, studying Intercultural Studies. Madisen developed a heart for missions and hopes to use her skills to help others. She is the daughter of Amy and Steve Law of Heyworth.
Jill Parrent is a 11 year member of the Greenleafers 4-H Club. She will be a freshmen at Iowa State University hoping to gain a bachelors degree in Agriculture and Society and a minor in Food and Society. She hopes to promote the agriculture industry by building greater relationships between those in agriculture and the rest of society. Jill is the daughter of Susan and Tom Parrent of Normal.

International Seminar Series to focus on U.S. Presidential election
The Fall 2016 International Seminar Series will focus on the November national election. Titled “The U.S. Presidential Election: Global Implications and Comparative Perspectives,” the seminar series will take highlight everything from foreign policy problems the new President will face, to why women are being seen so prominently in international politics. The talks will be held at noon on Wednesdays at the Bone Student Center’s First Floor West Lounge throughout the semester. They are free and open to the public.
Upcoming presenters for the seminar series will include: (All faculty speakers are from Illinois State University, unless otherwise noted).
August 31 - “Radical Populism in the 2016 Elections: Global Perspectives” from Bob Hunt and George Gordon.
September 7—“Women in High Office: Why Now?” Professor of Politics and Government Julie Webber
September 14— “News in a Post-Truth Era: Journalism and the 2016 Presidential Election,” Associate Professor of Communication John Huxford
September 21—“In Search of a New National Story? The Workings of the U.S. and French Presidential Elections,” Associate Director Maxime Larive of The European Union Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
September 28—University Professor of Politics and Government Ali Riaz, “Foreign Policy: What Challenges Will the New President Face?”
October 5—“East Asian Agenda for the Next U.S. President,” Professor of Politics and Government T.Y. Wang
October 12—“Inside an American Immigrant Family: The Presidential Elections of 2016,” Professor of Asian American Studies and History Augusto Espiritu at the University of Illinois
October 19—“Foreign Policy and Issues Relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa: What Can Be Expected from the Next American Administration,” Assistant Professor of Politics and Government Osaore Aidyean,
October 26—“Implications of the Election on the Middle East,” Associate Professor of History Kenneth Cuno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
November 2—“The Rise of Donald Trump: The Pathologies of Politics in a Global Age,” Professor of Politics and Government Lane Crothers
November 9—“The World Response to the U.S. Election Results,” Assistant Director of Convergent Media Nate Carpenter
For additional information, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs at 438-5276.

HCE Units to study ‘Someday is Today – Live Your Bucket List’
McLean County Home and Community Education groups will be studying ”Someday is Today – Live Your Bucket List” during their September meetings. The fact find is Harvesting, Drying and Storing Herbs. 
Upcoming activities are: HCE Bake Sale booth, 4-6 p.m. August 31 and September 14, Downs Village Farmers Market, 309-275-8898;  Cultural Arts Project:  Making a Drawstring Plate Carrier, 1-4 p.m. September 12, Extension Auditorium, 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington, for fees, supplies and RSVP call 309-821-1266; Community Service Day Workshop,  9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. September 19, making Christmas stockings for soldiers, Farm Bureau Building, near Interstate Center Dr., Bloomington, 309-826-9559; Read & Share, 2-3:30 p.m., September 19, Extension Office, discussion of Best Girl by Anita Diament; 309-452-7190; Local  leader lesson, “Health Insurance for People 65+ Years,” 1-3 p.m. September 27, Farm Bureau Auditorium, 309-532-0314.
The public is welcome at all meetings and programs.  Individual units meet as follows:
Eastsiders: 9 a.m. September 2; Extension Auditorium; 309-310-9205.
Downs: 9:00 a.m. September 6; 309-962-2121.
Dry Grove: 9:30 a.m. September 8; Denny’s in Normal, coffee and rolls; lessons by Judy Mohr; 309-452-7059.
Normal: 9:15 a.m. September 12; Evergreen Place, Gregory & Adelaide, Normal, lesson by Bea Olson; 309-452-6750.
Money Creek: 11:30 a.m. September 12; 309-365-4681.
Towanda: 7 p.m. September 12, Towanda Community Building; lesson by Sandy Whalen; 309-728-2118.
Dale: 9:30 a.m. September 14; 309-829-8975.
Lexington: 1:30 p.m. September 19; Lexington Community Center; 309-365-8055.
Night Owls: 6:30 p.m. September 21; salad supper at the home of Donna LaMar 308 Fieldcrest Ct, Normal; lesson by Joan Leitzen and fact find by Rosemary Martin; 309-275-8898.

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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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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
Fri & Sun, Aug. 26 & 28 • 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. PG-13 / 96 min.

Batman: The Killing Joke
The Friday Night Late Show
Friday, August 26, 10:30 PM 
The newest film entry in the DC Animated Universe, adapted from the controversial graphic novel by Alan Moore. To prove that one bad day can make any man as insane as he is, the Joker wages a psychological war on Batman that catches Commissioner Gordon and his daughter in the crippling crossfire and leaves scars on the Dark Knight that even time won’t heal. R / 77 min.
Night Bird Song:
The Thomas Chapin Story
Sat., August 27, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thomas Chapin, an alto sax and flute master, was nearing the pinnacle of his meteoric rise when leukemia took him at the age of 40 in 1998. This documentary draws an intimate portrait of this musical explorer who pushed the boundaries of jazz. Join us before the film for a live concert featuring Glenn Wilson & Frends, celebrating the music of Thomas Chapin. The concert begins at 6:00pm, and the film will start at 7:00. This event is free to attend, and is supported by a Harmon Arts Grant.


issue of Best Look Magazine  Available
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
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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
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

Make Your Own Redbird ‘George’ Mug on August 31 or September 14

Third-year ISU School of Art graduate student George Barreca has recently been covered in local news for his project Build where he gave away 200 handmade mugs (all of which he crafted himself) at the Coffee House in Uptown Normal to spread the idea of generosity and conversation. ISU alumni and friends will now have the opportunity to make their own brick clay, glazed mug with this interactive workshop at the Illinois State Ceramics Studio, Centennial West, Room 101 from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, August 31 and due to popular demand the added date of September 14th.
George will lead a workshop through demonstration and hands-on assistance on how to assemble the “George” mug within the Illinois State Ceramics Studio. Although some may already own a “George” mug, the mugs crafted at Pottery in the Making will be one-of-a-kind as it will include a special Redbird logo! The hope is that this special Redbird “George” mug will continue to build conversation among Redbirds and the community.
After guests have finished their mugs, there will be opportunities to work on the pottery wheels and reconnect with Redbirds. The mugs will be fired at the studio and will be available for pick up within the days following the program.
Cost is $15 per person. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.
Space is limited in the ceramic studio. Registration is open until seats are full. Please register online at or contact Alumni Relations at (309) 438-3204 or (800) 366-4478.

Evergreen Cemetery Walk tickets go on sale September 6
Tickets to this year’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk will go on sale, Tuesday, September 6. After twenty-two years the program is going strong. The eight McLean County individuals featured this year will share stories of how they helped shaped not only our history, but in some cases helped shape the landscape upon which we walk.  A signature event, this outdoor history theater program held amid a beautiful backdrop of fall color each October features professional actors. 
The stories featured in the six minute vignettes illustrate the impact the people of McLean County have had on history – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the impact of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk can be felt throughout the state and nation. The characters have been named for this year’s performances. An award-winning program, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk brings the voices of McLean County’s history to life.
2016 Characters
Weekend Only Performance Samuel White (1847-1917) and Paul Moratz (1866-1939) A contractor from Indiana, Samuel White began erecting schools and homes throughout the county soon after moving here in 1870. White’s crowning glory came in 1898 when he transformed a cow pasture into one of the most desirable areas of the city, today known as White Place. White partnered with one of the leading architects of the area, Paul Moratz, to help him develop White Place. Moratz contributed designs for several residences and the iconic entry gate that still exists today.
Ethel Murray (1917-1990) As a schoolgirl subjected to segregation, Murray disliked the subject of history. She observed that “Blacks and Indians” never seemed to “win or be successful.” Though her mother routinely had to pack lunches in shoeboxes since restaurants that served Blacks were uncommon, such prejudice was not enough to suppress Murray’s belief in the innate goodness of people. During her childhood, the Ku Klux Klan often met in an old mine near her home. But rather than hiding in fear, Murray took it upon herself to befriend the young son of one of the Klansmen!
Hamer Higgins (1840-1902) and Jacob Jung, Sr. (1850-1933) After the end of the Civil War, Hamer Higgins headed west to seek his fortune and arrived in Bloomington in 1868 with only $10.00 in his pocket. That same year he began working for James Haldeman as a marble cutter’s apprentice, and in less than 10 years, acquired the business. Two years later, Higgins partnered with Jacob Jung, who had also begun work as a marble cutter’s apprentice for Haldeman. Together, these two men owned and operated a very successful monument company. Later known as Higgins, Jung, and Kleinau, the company remained in business for 80 years.
Jennie Thompson (1860-1924) Born in Canada, this charitable woman immigrated to the U.S. in the 1860s. When Thompson was only 19 years old, her mother’s death left her to look after her six siblings, and so began a life of physically ministering to the sick and infirm. During the flu epidemic of 1919, Thompson worked tirelessly to provide care to the dying while also assisting mothers in childbirth. The last 16 years of her life were spent as a field worker for the Day Nursery and Settlement Association, whose purpose was to provide a safe place for children of women required to work outside the home.
John Jackman (1816-1896) Energetic and well-liked, Jackman spent over 40 years in railroading, working in Massachusetts and Ohio and eventually moving into the machinery side of the business. Arriving in Bloomington in 1864, he took a position as Superintendent of Machinery for the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops and there he remained until his resignation almost 15 years later. Amazingly, Jackman’s impressive career would see the railroad link states from coast to coast, and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Richard Shipley (1903-1973) Stories are often told of restless youths running away to join the circus. But, at the age of 16, young Richard Shipley actually did. And while he may have only spent a year with the Ringling Brothers Circus before returning home to his family, it was enough time for him to develop an enduring passion for life under the big top. So great was this passion that 20 years later, Shipley returned to the circus as an elephant trainer; an occupation he would hold for the rest of his professional life.
Put on your walking shoes and bring your family to this fascinating outdoor theatrical program.
Weekend tours are held at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on October 1-2 and 8-9.  Advanced ticket sales begin Tuesday, September 6 and tickets will be available for purchase at the following locations: the Museum, The Garlic Press in Normal, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and Casey’s Garden Shop in Bloomington.  Tickets are $17 for the general public, $14 for Museum members, and $5 for children & students w/ID. A special $2.00 pre-sale discount is available for general and Museum member tickets if purchased at least 24 hours before the day of the performance.
There is no discount available on children/student tickets. For more information contact the education department. or call 1.309.827.0428.


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Normal, IL 61761

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