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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
July 14 2016
Wind farms issues back in the news
The McLean County Board will be considering some changes to the zoning text for wind farms when they meet Tuesday, July 19 at 9:00 a.m. in the Government Building in downtown Bloomington.  Case ZA-16-01 will be under consideration.
Wind farms have created lots of controversy over the years.  Two companies are competing for lease agreements in Chenoa, Lawndale, Lexington and Yates townships.
The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved some changes in their June meeting. The matter then goes to the County Board which was originally scheduled to vote on it in their June meeting but was delayed to give board members more time to study the changes.
Two of the important issues that concern residents in those areas are the setbacks from the wind turbines. A spokesman for the Farm Bureau said the setback of 1,500 feet from a family home was not changed. She said that is the most common setback statewide and some are as low as 1,000 feet.
Many property owners affected by the turbines feel this is not enough setback and the noise and affect on peoples’ health is more serious.
Another issue is what happens after the turbines’ useful life is spent?  Who restores the land to its pristine life?
The competing companies will still have to go through a long, public hearing process. They have not filed for a permit with the county and it could take a long time for approval.
Let’s hope something can be worked out for the satisfaction of all those involved.

Cowboy AlFrom the ChimpersCage
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June 23 2016
Eventful week in Normal
This has been a very eventful week in Normal. After the Normal West girls softball team took second in state Class 4A tournament they held a reception at the school on Sunday. I was really impressed with the outpouring of respect and love the players have for their coach, April Schermann
She has been head coach for 13 years and compiled an amazing record of 350 wins and 108 losses. The 2009, 2010 and 2013 teams won at least 30 games. This year’s team had many injuries before putting together a great run that left them with a 29-10 record and they came within one strike of a state title. Congratulations to the West coaches and team members and thanks for the thrills.
Largest History Makers dinner
We attended the McLean County History Museum History Makers Gala last Thursday at the Bone Student Center honoring four outstanding individuals who have made a difference in McLean County. Honored were former ISU womens basketball coach Jill Hutchison, Father Ric Schneider, O.F.M. from St. Mary’s Parish, Bloomington, State Rep. and former Illinois Director of Agriculture Gordon Ropp and community organizer and attorney Jack Porter.  A record 554 tickets were sold. Carolyn Yockey, museum board chairman, announced the fund-raising goal of $3 million has been reached. Watch for more permanent exhibits.
Radisson Hotel coming
The long awaited news on the shuttered hotel in North Normal came this week. It will be a Radisson Hotel and renovated by the Swift Family of Freeport, Ill. and should be done in 8-10 months. The hotel has been closed since 1999. It was a popular spot for banquets and weddings and it should be once again.


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