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by Steve Robinson

Normal Council Approves Changes To Community Design Standards

Normal Town Council members unanimously passed a motion to make amendments to regulations known to most businesses as Normal’s Community Design Standards. Community Design Standards concern themselves with, among other things, aesthetics as far as how a business looks from its outside appearance.
A number of the amendments were concerned with landscaping, parking, and outside lighting. Highlighted among the changes were:
• Current Town Code divides properties into less than five acres and greater than five acres in order to determine the number of trees and shrubs required on the site. A revision proposed by the Town suggests one tree and five shrubs per every 100 feet on property of one acre or less; One tree and five shrubs per every 50 feet on property of greater than one acre but less than five acres; And one tree and five shrubs every 33 feet on property that is five acres or larger.
• An increase in the minimum landscaping island size in a parking lot, increasing it to 175 feet from the currently allowed 150 feet.
• Limiting decorative fence or wall specifications to masonry walls or masonry pillars with decorative metal fencing. Another change made by the Town is to eliminate the current option of using wood fencing.
Another change recommended dealt with waivers concerning landscaping and property lighting. The Town proposes that waivers concerning these matters now can go directly to Normal Zoning Board of Appeals for final approval, rather than first to ZBA and then a final nod from Normal Town Council. Under the revision, Council members would only make final decisions if the Zoning Board’s decision on a matter were appealed.
Potential State Legislation Riles Council Member: Toward the close of the meeting, Council Member Jeff Fritzen criticized a bill being considered in Springfield which would make fire department staffing levels subject to arbitration. The Illinois Fire Chiefs Association opposes the legislation being considered by both State Representatives and State Senators due to concerns that using arbitration could wind up determining staffing levels at firehouses.
“This bill proposes how many firefighters can be hired,” Fritzen explained. “That’s not a State issue. It’s a local issue. Those kinds of legislation have to stop. It just has to stop. It’s time for Springfield to wake up.”
Proclamation Issued: Prior to the meeting starting, Mayor Chris Koos read a proclamation declaring April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in the Town of Normal. As he read the proclamation, he was joined by Judy Brucker, Chief Executive Officer of the Child Protection Network, an advocacy group, and Rachel McFarland, a board member of the Child Protection Network.
Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:
• Approval of minutes of the Public Hearing of March 17, 2014.
• Approval of minutes of the Regular Council meeting held March 17, 2014.
• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of April 2, 2014.
• A motion to waive bids and approve the purchase of two Mitsubishi Outlanders from Normal-based O’Brien Mitsubishi through the Cooperative Fleet Purchasing Program in the amount of $38,684.54.
• A motion to waive the formal bidding process and approve a quote from Bloomington-based SCADAWare to update the SCADA system software.
• A motion to award the bid for the Northtown Road and Stewart Water Main Replacement Project to Bloomington-based Gildner, Inc. at a total cost of $1,329,172 including additive alternate.
• A motion to initiate a zoning map amendment – 1025, 1027, 1029, and 1031 Decoy Ct. (Vineyards).
• A motion to initiate a zoning map amendment – 1600, 1602, 1604, 1606, 1608, 1610, 1612, 1614, 1616, 1618, 1620, 1622, 1624, and 1626 Bryan St.
• A resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with McLean County for animal shelter services.
• A resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with McLean County for animal warden services.
• A resolution authorizing the filing of the Town’s 2014-15 annual action plan for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
• A resolution authorizing execution of a conditional right of entry – Dan Kelley.
• A resolution authorizing execution of an amended license agreement – Uptown Circle Development, Inc.

McLean County Board Report

Enterprize Zone expanded in downtown Bloomington
Matt Sorensen, Chairman
Recording Secretary:  Judith A. LaCasse

No meeting this week

Heartland Theatre Co. opens ‘Iron’ April 17, with a Pay-What-You-Can Preview
 Heartland Theatre Company opens IRON by Rona Munro, Thursday, April 17th on a Pay-What-You-Can Preview donation basis.  The play continues through May 4 and is sponsored by Marilyn & Robert Sutherland.
The play is directed by Christopher Connelly, features Lori Adams, Ashley Donahue, Alyssa Ratkovich and Marcus Smith.
Performances will be held on April 17, 18, 19 and 24, 25, 26, 27 and May 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Sunday, April 27 discussion after the matinee
(open to the public at no charge)
Panelists are Mary E. Campbell, Associate Professor Emeritus ISU School of Social Work with Labyrinth Outreach Services, Dr. Dawn Beichner, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, Women’s and Gender Studies faculty affiliate, and co-director of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies; Sherrin Fitzer, who has been teaching incarcerated prisoners since 1991, Women and Family Administrator at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.
Ticket Prices: General Admission - $15, Senior Discount - $12, Student Discount - $5
Curtain Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees
Location: 1110 Douglas St, One Normal Plaza, Community Activity Center (Print out a user-friendly map from our website)
 For reservations call 309 452 8709 or email Reservations recommended for all performances, except Pay-What-You-Can. No reservations taken on that night only for other than season ticket holders.
 Check out our website:

HCE to host Disaster Preparedness Event May 3 in Bloomington
McLean County Association for Home & Community Education will host a special community event highlighting Disaster Preparedness on Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Interstate Center  (McLean County Fair Site) 1106 Interstate Drive, Bloomington. There is no charge for admission.
Captain Brad McCollum of the Bloomington Fire Department will present a puppet show from 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Saxby, The Readiness Squirrel with his Tree House, from Chasing4Life organization is making his 2nd appearance in McLean County from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Guest Speaker Eddy Weiss will appear from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. He is a disaster preparedness expert and educator and the founder of Chasing4Life, an internationally known organization involved in training, teaching and disaster response. He will speak about Severe Weather and Severe Weather Safety. Their website is:
Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make an appointment: Kathryn McNeely, 309-473-2283. Walk-ins are welcome.
Responders from local and area emergency services agencies, as well as fire and rescue units from local fire and police departments will be on hand with equipment, emergency vehicles, and educational displays for all ages. There will be children’s games and activities and door prizes
Lunch will be available for purchase.

NCHS Jazz Ensemble to play at Eaton Art Gallery Tuesday, April 22
The Normal Community Jazz ensemble will present their annual “Jazz at the Gallery” in partnership with the Eaton Art Gallery, 411 North Center, Downtown Bloomington at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 22. The concert is free and open to the public. The concert will feature the jazz ensemble with guest artist, Dale Rideout on Trumpet.   Selections will include repertoire from the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Count Basie as well as a selection of contemporary big band literature.
The NCHS Jazz Ensemble was one of only four high school jazz ensembles in the state chosen to perform at the 2014 Illinois Music Educators State Conference. The group was also invited to perform as the pre-concert for this year’s Doc Severinsen Orchestra performance at the BCPA. They are under the direction of John Larson.
Ensemble members are:
Saxophones: Lexi Kahwaji, Courtnee Madson, Mariah Taylor, Meredith Peebles
Trombones: Garrett Watts, Jay Spader, John Robinson, Carter Burns
Trumpets: Ethan Peebles, Kaitlin Buhler, Hunter Watts, Alex Salazar, Julia Hughes                                                                                  
Rhythm Section: Brian Vasilou - Guitar, Matt Krawcyk – Piano, Madison Dong – Piano, David Ying – Piano, Maddie Wilson – Piano, Sawyer Henderson - Drums, Parker Meadows – Bass/Drums, Patrick Welsh – Bass

Matthew Merz to perform at St. John’s Lutheran Church Sunday, April 27
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1617 E. Emerson Street, Bloomington, presents Matthew Merz, a senior at Illinois State Unveristy, majoring in Music Performance, in concert on Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.  He will perform works by Lowell Liebermann, Liszt, Ravel, Beethoven and others.
Matthew has been the Director of Music at St. Mary Catholic Church, Downs, since August 2010.  At ISU, he has played for Concert Choir, Men’s Glee, Symphonic Band and various music theater and conducting events.  Matthew is an active accompanist and collaborator at ISU and works with  many undergraduate and graduate voice majors each semester.  Matthew and Dr. Michelle Vought, professor of voice and opera t ISU, present various clinics to multiple high schools in Central Illinois and the Chicago area each year and often Matthew performs at various Chicago cabaret venues.
Matthew frequently collaborates with legendary coach-accompanist Martin Katz, considered the “gold standard of accompanists” by the New York Times, at the University of Michigan.  Matthew plans to pursue a master’s in collaborative piano, hopefully at the University of Michigan or Julliard.
The performance is free, open to the public and will be followed by a reception to meet the artist.

Midwest Institute of Opera presents Puccini’s Suor Angelica April 19
The Midwest Institute of Opera (MIO) will present Giacomo Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, in Illinois State University’s Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Tickets for the performance are $10 at the door (cash of check only, no credit cards).
The title role of Suor Angelica will be sung by soprano Tracy M. Koch. The opera’s large cast will also include mezzo soprano Debra Austin from Illinois State’s School of Music, as well as Illinois State students and community members. The production, sung in Italian with English supertitles, will be conducted by School of Music faculty member John Koch, with stage direction by School of Theatre and Dance professor Kim Pereira. The pianist for the performance will be Lauren Koszyk.
The Midwest Institute of Opera gives emerging professional musicians from across the globe an opportunity to perform complete operatic roles in their original language under the guidance of professional opera staff. Professor John M. Koch, Illinois State University School of Music, and Tracy M. Koch, soprano, are the opera company’s artistic directors and co-founders. For more information on performances, cast and staff, visit the MIO website at

In The April 10 2014 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
To Africa with Pain

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
Do You Have Slugs?

The Spectator by Jim Bennett
Where will Smokers Hide?

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Democrats War on Taxpayers Continues

They Call me Spence
Oh brother, where art thou? Right here, you numbskull!

Classic Colcalsure
Pit Row Bar & Grill

Normal Town Council Report
 by Steve Robinson

Normal Council Approves Chages to Community Design Standards

Unit 5 School Board Report
 by Steve Robinson
No meeting this week

McLean County Board Report

No meeting this week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
Chicago Pension Bail-Out Halted in House

"We need fewer electionyear promises, more jobs"

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Too yopung to die

Chimperscage - by Alan Look
IWU Titans move to final 8


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Mystery Photo, Legal Notices, Obituaries, Service Directory, School and Senior Information, and Classified advertisements

Pick up a copy for these stories and more.

Unit 5 School Board Report

by Steve Robinson

No meeting this week

Check out Best Look Magazine!
February 15th issue now available

HCE Units study cutting food costs in April
 McLean County Association for Home and Community Education Units will learn about cutting food costs in their April unit meetings. The fact find will be on fenugreek, a plant of the legume family.
 HCE county programs and workshops are as follows: Apr 8, 9-noon, Card Making class, free, 309-242-6187; Apr 21, 9-noon, HCE Comfort Quilts and 1-4 p.m. and Children’s dresses and shorts workshop, 309-533-1135; Read & Share, Playing with the Enemy by Gary Moore to be discussed, LaVonne, 309-661-6391. County programs are held at Evergreen FS Auditorium, 402 N. Hershey Rd,  Bloomington. A free cultural enrichment activity will be Apr 15, 1-4pm, “History at the Museum,” McLean County Museum, 200 N Main, Bloomington, Eileen, 309-533-1135.
 All programs are open to the public and individual units meet as follows:
Downs Unit: 9:30a.m. Apr 1, Downs United Methodist Church. meeting followed by lunch; program-Becky Toohill; hostesses-Marie Copley, Wanda Cotner; 309 962 2121.
Eastsiders Unit: 9a.m. Apr 4; Evergreen FS Auditorium, 402 N Hershey Rd, Bloomington; 309 533 1135.
Normal Unit: 9:15a.m. Apr 7; Evergreen Place, Gregory & Adelaide, Normal.; sweet rolls before meeting; program, Betty Ohlenkamp; 309 452-6750.
Dale Unit: 10:30a.m. Apr 8; Olive Garden, 1701 E Empire, Bloomington; meeting followed by lunch; program, Lois Thompson; 309 829 8975.
Dry Grove Unit: 9:30a.m. Apr 9; Denny’s in Normal; brunch follow by meeting; program, Marjorie Martin; 309 963 5552.
Money Creek Unit: 11:30 a.m. Apr 14; Lexington Community Center; bag lunch followed by meeting; 309-365-4681.
Towanda Unit: 7p.m. Apr 14; Towanda Community Building; program, Kathleen Emery; hostesses-Leatha Poshard, Cindy Jacobs; 309 728-2374
Night Owls Unit: 7 p.m., Apr 16; home of Rosemary Martin, Heyworth; hostess- Cheryl Gebhardt, program, Mary Jane Wood;  309 473 2736.
Lexington Unit: 10a.m. Apr 21, Lexington Church of Christ Uniting; meeting with bag lunch to follow; program, Alice Wick; hostess, Glenda Underwood; 309 365-8055.

Can pesticides and pollinators co-exist subject of April 16 program
Pollinate Your Mind — Get to Know the Bees
University of Illinois Extension and Illinois State University of Illinois are partnering to present a “Pollinate Your Mind: the buzz on bees” by Nicholas Naeger. Naeger is a doctoral candidate working with honey bee genomes and an entomology expert. He will impart his knowledge on the recent native pollinators concerns.
Nicholas studies the honey bee genes involved in the dance language of the honey bees. To see Nicholas   in an online interview describing the dance language and his research please go to
On Wednesday, April 16th at 6:00 p.m., Illinois State University will be hosting a program at the Ropp Agriculture Building (Room #108G) on the ISU campus in an effort to present information valuable to the future of the horticulture industry and community advocates. All of the public is invited to participate in this event because honey bees and native bees affect us all. Following the 50-minute presentation, a pizza dinner will be provided by the Illinois State University Horticulture Club.
The big question: “Can pesticides and pollinators co-exist?” will be discussed by a panel consisting of Illinois State University Horticulture Professor Dr. David Kopsell, University of Illinois Extension Educators Kelly Allsup and Bill Davison, local Arborist Lyn Ash, local bee keeper Joe Sibley, and our entomology expert from the University of Illinois, Nicholas Naeger. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussion by asking questions. No question is irrelevant. 
Naeger also participates in the overall education efforts. He gives talks at the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, which is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators.
“Why do plants and pollinators merit such special attention?” asks Horticulture Educator Kelly Allsup. The ecological interaction between pollinators and plants is vitally important because most terrestrial life on Earth depends in one way or another on pollination for survival. Because so much depends on pollination, the University of Illinois Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination, a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service. You can also see the summer Pollination Fascination series! Visit the UI Pollinarium every Sunday at 2 p.m., June through August for information about bees. For more information, the Pollinarium link is

Pratt Music Foundation Scholarships available
Every year, the Pratt Music Foundation searches out talented youth with financial need as candidates for the Pratt Music Foundation Scholarships for 2014-2015.
The Foundation grants scholarships to the Illinois Wesleyan University Music Preparatory Program. Instruction is available in piano or strings (violin, viola, cello, or bass). Each scholarship covers one school year of instruction as well as summer lessons (2015).
Scholarships are awarded based on financial need, motivation, and talent. While most scholarships are awarded to students who have already had some instruction, students with no previous musical instruction may also apply.
Any student in grades K - 12 and capable of regularly attending instruction will be considered. (As a practical matter, most students are drawn from the Bloomington-Normal area.)
Applications are due on or before June 1.
To receive an application or for more information, or for answers to specific questions, contact Marc Miller: or call 827-5534.
Downloadable applications are also available: Go to

Town of Normal Solicits Harmon Arts Grant Applications

The Town of Normal is seeking applications for arts-related projects, programs or events to be funded through the 2014 Harmon Arts Grant Program. Applications will be accepted through May 16th. The grant application form is available on the Town of Normal website,
Harmon Arts Grants are available to art organizations for programs or events taking place between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Priority will be given to programs within the Town of Normal and proposals that make a program or event more accessible to the public particularly seniors, students and low income residents.
The Harmon Arts Grant Program, named to honor former mayor Paul Harmon, was created in 1993 to help promote art in the community. In 2013, Normal awarded 16 grants to local art organizations including $4,000 to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra to provide free performances and transportation for Unit 5 students. The Community Players were awarded $1,200 for special performances of The Diary of Anne Frank in area schools, and a Harmon Arts Grant helped offset the cost of the popular Concerts on the Quad, a summer series of free outdoor performances.
The maximum grant award is $5,000. Grant applications will be reviewed by the Harmon Arts Grant Committee which will make recommendations to the Normal Town Council. The Council will select grantees in June with awards presented on July 7th.

Homefield Energy to Continue as Normal’s Aggregation Supplier
The Town of Normal will enter a new contract period with electric power supplier Homefield Energy later this year. The Town’s first aggregation contract with Homefield will end with the June billing cycle, and the new contract will take effect with June meter readings payable in July. The new 24-month agreement with Homefield locks in a rate of 4.64 cents per kilowatt hour and mandates that Homefield supply 100% of power from renewable sources or purchase renewable energy credits. More than 12,500 Normal customers, including 745 small businesses, have taken advantage of rates offered through the program since Town residents approved municipal aggregation in 2012.
As the current contract period ends, residents will receive solicitations from other alternative energy suppliers in the mail, by phone and door-to-door. Suppliers other than Homefield are not associated with the Town’s municipal aggregation program. Residents who wish to consider other suppliers should compare rates offered by these alternative providers to Homefield’s aggregation rate of 4.64 cents per kilowatt hour fixed for the duration of the 24-month contract. Many electrical suppliers offer a variable rate including a low rate for a short introductory period. When comparing, residents should ask if the rate is variable or fixed for the life of the contract.
All eligible Ameren and Homefield residential and small business customers will receive an “opt out” letter from Homefield prior to May 1. Customers who do not want to participate in aggregation with Homefield as their supplier should return the postage paid, self-addressed reply card to Homefield. Customers who do not return the card will receive a second notice from Ameren giving them an additional opportunity to opt out of the program. Normal customers who choose not to opt out will be charged the new Homefield rate on their bills for June meter readings. Customers who have electric supply contracts with suppliers other than Ameren or Homefield will not receive opt out letters, but may elect to participate in Normal’s aggregation program upon cancellation or expiration of their current power supply contracts.
Aggregation is not available to Normal residents served by Corn Belt Energy, an electric cooperative.
For more information about Homefield Energy and Normal’s electric aggregation program, contact Homefield Customer Service at or 866-694-1262.

Town of Normal and City of Bloomington Announce #myblonotrail Photo Contest
In celebration of the Constitution Trail’s 25th Anniversary, the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington are asking the community -- how do you use the Constitution Trail?
Community members are invited to share how they use the trail by posting a photo on their Instagram or Twitter accounts using #myblonotrail. The five photos with the most likes/RTs/Favorites will be posted for a community vote, and the top scoring photo will win a bike from Vitesse Cycle Shop.
The contest will open for photo submissions Monday, April 14 and continue through Sunday, April 20. The top five photos on Instagram and Twitter with the most likes/RTs/Favorites will be posted for community voting Monday, April 21 through Sunday, April 27.
The winning photo will be announced from the stage at the Connie Link Amphitheatre at the May 10, 25th Anniversary of the Constitution Trail Celebration. Winner does not need to be present to win.
For real time updates on the contest, follow the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington on Twitter. For more information on the May 10, 25th Anniversary event, visit or

Illinois RiverWatch Offering Training Workshop at Sugar Grove Nature Center
The Illinois RiverWatch Network is offering Illinois residents the chance to train to become citizen scientists and join the network of more than 750 volunteers throughout the state who monitor water quality of Illinois streams. A workshop will be held Saturday, April 26 at the Sugar Grove Nature Center located at 4532 North 725 East Road in McLean.
RiverWatch is a statewide partnership of organizations and individuals working to protect Illinois streams and waterways. Established in 1995 as a sub-program of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Eco Watch Network, certified volunteers called “Citizen Scientists” examine indicators like stream habitats and diversity of macroinvertebrate species to provide reliable water quality data that can be used by scientists to determine how the conditions of streams are changing over time.
Today RiverWatch is a program of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, a partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Since its founding in 1995, more than 1,700 individuals have received certification through RiverWatch, and 750 stream sites have been established for annual water quality sampling.
A series of volunteer training workshops will be held throughout the state this spring. The workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and combine both lecture/classroom time with field training in a local stream.
Registration is $50 per person and must be paid in advance of the workshop. A limited amount of scholarships for students may still be available.
Training workshops are for volunteers who have received no training or partial training through RiverWatch programs and who wish to become a part of the certified network of volunteers throughout the state. Anybody can become a volunteer, but registrants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
To register for a workshop, contact Young at 618-468-2784 or For more information about RiverWatch visit

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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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Unit 5 Lunch Menus

Elementary Schools

Jr. High Schools

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Menu subject to change.

Menus subject to change.  White or chocolate milk offered with all meals.

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coming next to the Historic

Normal Theater

All seats $6 • Refreshments $1
Doors open 6:30 pm • Showtime 7:00 pm
Prize drawing every night
Great cartoons before classic movies
Hotline: 454-9722

Thurs - Sun • April 10 - 13
(2013) Oscar winner- a spectacular drama set within the nightlife of Rome, which follows a gentleman of the old guard as he seeks new meaning in his playboy life-style. Reminiscent of Frederico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. R/142 min/A Beyond Normal Films’ Choice!

Thurs - Sun • April 17 - 20
(2013) A documentary - six people walk the Camino, a 500 trek across Spain for spiritual satisfaction or just to see if they can. It’s a fascinating look at human fortitude. PG/90min.


February 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 subscriptions and single issues availble.
Electronic issue is free!

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Alan Look Fine Art Canvas Gallery Wraps farm scene

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Nauvoo bus tour to be offered by Davis Mansion Foundation
A visit to an Illinois community where passionate beliefs and community sensibilities collided in some of the more unusual chapters in state history will be sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation for the next Roadways to the Past tour. “They Came in Great Numbers... A Journey to Historic Nauvoo, Illinois” is scheduled for Tuesday, May 6.
The rich cultural, religious and political history of Nauvoo is a tale of many facets. The Mormons, under the leadership of Joseph Smith, settled in the community prior to their epic journey west. Bloomington resident Sarah Davis wrote about a visit to Nauvoo in 1844. Another group, the Icarians, established a Utopian society in Nauvoo after the Mormons departed. One of the Icarians was Alfred Piquenard, an architect who later designed Clover Lawn, known today as the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington.
Registration is $65 per person and includes motorcoach, entry fees, buffet lunch, and snacks. Space is limited, and the deadline to register is April 29. Brochures are available at the David Davis Mansion Visitor Center at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington. Details are also on the events tab at: Call (309) 824-8779 for more information.

Second-Annual ‘Hardly Normal’ Talent Show April 14 at Redbird Arena
On Monday, April 14th, the Illinois State Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) will host the second-annual ‘Hardly Normal’ Student-Athlete Talent Show at Redbird Arena, beginning at 7 p.m. Admission to the event is free, while donations will be accepted and will benefit The Baby Fold.
The two-hour event will include acts from various Redbird teams, which will be announced at a later date. The skits will be judged by a panel of VIP’s from the Illinois State campus and the Bloomington/Normal communities.
“We are excited to host the “Hardly Normal” talent show for the second year,” SAAC president and women’s basketball player Chloe Nelson said. “The Baby Fold has been a wonderful organization to work with, and we hope that the Redbird community comes out to support this great event.”
The donations for the event will benefit The Baby Fold in Normal, Ill. The Baby Fold was born out of one woman’s desire to care for others and originally started in 1902 by Nancy Mason. The faith-based orphanage for infants and young children has grown in to a multi-service agency, specializing in the care of today’s most vulnerable children. They focus on improving the lives of children and families by building safe, loving, healthy environments through adoption services, foster care, residential care, special education and family and community services.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and concession stands will be open during the talent show. Come out and cheer on the Redbird student-athletes, as they raise awareness for a great cause.

ISU School of Theatre and Dance presents Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles’
April 17 through April 26
The School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University will present William Shakespeare’s magical adventure Pericles, April 17 through 26 in Westhoff Theatre.
Opening weekend performances take place at 7:30 p.m. April 17 to 19. The show continues the following week at 7:30 p.m. April 22 to 26, with a 2 p.m. matinee on April 26. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, by phone at (309) 438-2535, or online at
Written around 1607, Pericles is considered by most scholars to have only been half-penned by The Bard, himself. The play traverses six different kingdoms of an exotic land as the roguish Prince of Tyre encounters storms and famine, pirates and courtesans, the waking of the dead and a reunion with his lost love.
“This is a story set ‘once upon a time,’ with all the fun and adventure of a George Lucas film or the magic and fantasy of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel,” said the show’s director David Ian Lee, a Master of Fine Arts candidate. “There’s no fourth wall in our production. Patrons who attend Pericles in Westhoff Theatre should expect to be interacted with, as this performance promises to be up-close at times.”

Heartland Idol Returns April 25
Vote for your favorite
“Comeback Contestant” now
Heartland Idol returns for a fifth year to showcase the singing talents of area residents in a competitive format while raising money to benefit the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Heartland Idol will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the Astroth Community Education Center Auditorium on Heartland’s Normal campus at 1500 W. Raad Road.
The event will also feature raffles including a chance to win two VIP tickets to the Tim McGraw concert at the Corn Crib on September 12, as well as tickets to a select CornBelters baseball game in Heartland’s exclusive suite. College Station Apartments and Radio Bloomington are sponsoring the event.
A new addition this year-The Comeback Contestant - The show will feature two contestants vying for the last spot in the competition. The performer whose  submission video receives the most “likes” on the Heartland Alumni Facebook page at will win the slot.  Heartland student Brie Weaver and Illinois State University student Rachel Tatar’s videos are up now. Voting continues through Monday, April 7.
Pre-show - The doors open at 5:15 p.m. for general admission seating.  Concessions from Avanti’s will be available with a $4 special that includes a Gondola, chips and drink.  A pre-show will begin at 6 p.m. The line-up includes local band Toocan playing fun tropical-style music for the whole family.  Last year’s Critic’s Choice winner Katie Campos will also sing a number before the competition begins.
The Competition - The competition will feature 11 performers in an American Idol-style format.  The singers will compete for a “Critics’ Choice” award from a panel of local judges.  Singers will also compete for a “Crowd Favorite” award, determined by audience members voting with their dollars for their favorite performers. Both winners will receive prizes from Start Music Productions, Uptown Normal, and Casey’s Garden Shop.  The Critics’ Choice winner will also get to sing the national anthem at Heartland Night at the Corn Crib Friday, August 1.
Tickets for the April 25 competition are available in advance for $5 and can be purchased from the Heartland Cashier at the Normal campus or online by clicking on the Heartland Idol banner at Tickets also can be purchased for $7 at the door the evening of the event. For more information about Heartland Idol, call (309) 268-8188.


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