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Schools

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


Events

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
Centrillio Council (G.S.A)
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

Government

Town of Normal
Normal Police Department
McLean County

Places of Interest

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

Alan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography
Images from recent games are available for viewing and purchase





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 

March 7
April 4, 2016
I recently introduced legislation that would create a privately-funded Illinois State Fairgrounds Foundation to aid funding for the state fairgrounds facilities in Springfield and DuQuoin.
The legislation (Senate Bill 2903) would allow the State Fairgrounds to be financed by donations and contributions from citizens and businesses, rather than relying solely on taxpayer funding for needed improvements. The Illinois State Fairgrounds are a tremendous asset to the state of Illinois, and lawmakers need to ensure resources are available to maintain the fairgrounds at a high level. The state fairgrounds are vitally important to local communities and to the entire state of Illinois. Creating a private foundation enables private citizens and businesses to donate money that will directly go to improving and maintaining the grounds so that we can ensure the sustainability of the fairgrounds while reducing the burden on Illinois taxpayers.
By enabling private funding we will allow additional taxpayer funds to go towards other state programs.With Illinois in a precarious financial situation, we need to do everything we can to spend taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible.
The bipartisan proposal has received support from Governor Bruce Rauner. Earlier this week Governor Rauner said that with a foundation, “we can improve the fairgrounds, enhance the fair experience and use it as a showcase for agriculture and the entire state.”
In other news, efforts to turnaround Illinois’ information technology “IT” services received a much-needed boost with the Governor’s new “DoIT” group to provide greater value for taxpayers. Illinois is the third leading state in terms of spending on “IT” infrastructure, but comes in the bottom third of states when it comes to return on “IT” investments.
A downstate Senate Republican is working on legislation to crack down on potential ethical lapses by elected officials.  Additionally, Site Selection Magazine has recently ranked Illinois near the top of its ratings categories, which could spell good news for the state’s somewhat sluggish economy.

Statehouse Update
from Senator Jason Barickman 53rd District
Illinois begins its 10th month of a budget stalemate, lawmakers returned to Springfield April 4 to begin the final two months of the 2016 spring legislative session.
Senate Republicans have continued to put forward proposals that would reform and fund critical state programs, such as K-12 education. They are calling on Democrat lawmakers to stop with the political partisan games and work on the compromises needed that will move Illinois forward.
Also during the week, efforts to turnaround Illinois’ information technology “IT” services received a much-needed boost with the Governor’s new “DoIT” group to provide greater value for taxpayers. Illinois is the third leading state in terms of spending on “IT” infrastructure, but comes in the bottom third of states when it comes to return on “IT” investments.
A downstate Senate Republican is working on legislation to crack down on potential ethical lapses by elected officials.  Additionally, Site Selection Magazine has recently ranked Illinois near the top of its ratings categories, which could spell good news for the state’s somewhat sluggish economy.
Barickman ethics proposal introduced
To bring greater honesty, transparency, and public trust to Illinois government, State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) has introduced legislation that would tighten rules for constitutional officers and legislators.
Senate Bill 2764 would enhance the state’s grant-making process by preventing elected officials from abusing their power when awarding grants. The legislation would impose a blackout period on constitutional officers and legislators from announcing grants close to an election; require a merit-based review of how grant recipients are selected, which will require documentation of award decisions including evaluation and scoring of applicants; and authorize a state agency to stop payments to any grant recipient that is not in compliance with the agreement.
Barickman’s proposal is in response to the months-long audit review of former Gov. Quinn’s controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI). Many questioned Quinn’s political motives when he awarded more than $50 million in NRI grants in the weeks leading up to the 2010 general election.


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McLean County's Sports and Leisure Magazine
Published Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15




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News from State Rep. Dan Brady
Guest Editorial by State Rep. Dan Brady
105th Legislative District
A Real Funding Option for Higher Education is still on the Table
On Friday, Governor Rauner rejected the so-called ‘funding’ bill for Map grants sent to him by the Democrat majority in the General Assembly. He vetoed it because it was a sham. It was a “funding bill” that contained no actual funding, and so the Governor rejected it as he said he would. It’s maddening that with students’ and universities’ budgets stretched beyond crisis point, the majority party in the General Assembly chose to send the Governor a false promise instead of a real funding option that was on the table.
I am the chief House sponsor of a proposal which will adequately fund higher education for the remainder of this fiscal year and fully-fund MAP grants for students at the FY 2015 level utilizing existing revenues. Specifically, House Bill 4539 would provide: approximately $1.68 billion that would come from general revenue to fund community colleges and universities, and students’ MAP grants. This bill would work in tandem with legislation affording the Governor the ability to manage monies in existing state funds to adequately fund programs including higher education.
House Bill 4539 doesn’t merely promise funding, it specifies a plan to actually deliver it for students, community colleges and four year universities. But Speaker Madigan thus far has chosen not to allow the bill due process in the House.
House Bill 4539 is a realistic compromise, and it’s still on the table. For the sake of our students, our universities and our communities, I respectfully ask the Speaker and all my Democratic colleagues to come together and work with me to pass this bill!
Representative Dan Brady is the Minority Spokesman on the House Higher Education-Appropriations Committee




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
www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org.



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.



  

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