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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

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

Regular meeting this week

At the regular meeting of the McLean County Board on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the McLean County Board approved Resolutions of Congratulations to the following schools:
Central Catholic High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team on winning the IHSA Class 2A State Championship;
Heyworth High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team on finishing as State runner-up in the State Class 1A Basketball Championship.
The County Board approved a Resolution of Appreciation of the McLean County Board to agencies assisting the County with the March 31, 2014 County Highway Department fire.
The County Board approved two items, namely an Ordinance amending the 2013 Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for the reappropriation of outstanding purchase orders; and an Ordinance amending the 2014 Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for the reappropriation of outstanding purchase orders.  An amended Ordinance was distributed at the meeting, which incorporated the results of the Finance Committee Stand-up meeting prior to the Board meeting.
The County Board approved the McLean County Solid Waste Management Technical Committee Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program Agreement.

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.

High-Flying Farce Takes Off at Conklin’s
Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre brings to its boards the Broadway revival version of the hilarious sex farce “Boeing Boeing,” opening April 24 and playing for an eight-week run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and Sunday brunches through June 15.
“Boeing Boeing” is the classic 1960’s French farce by March Camoletti. The English language adaptation, translated by Beverley Cross, was first staged in London and ran for a total of seven years. In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world. The play was revised by Frances Evans and became a huge hit in London’s West End in 2007 and on Broadway in 2008, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. The Barn has been trying to obtain performance rights for the new version for 6 years, and they finally became available for this season.
“Boeing Boeing” is the hilarious tale of Paris playboy Bernard, who has three stewardess fiancées from three different airlines, all running on a precisely-calculated schedule to ensure they never run into each other. With invaluable assistance from his long-suffering housekeeper Berthe, Bernard is living the lush life until the introduction of the Super Boeing aircraft puts Bernard’s timetables in jeopardy. Adding to the chaos, Bernard’s old school friend Robert pops in for a visit and gets hopelessly enmeshed in the comical chaos.
Bob Lane Jr. stars as Bernard, with Mary Simon as Berthe, his put-upon domestic and Dan Challacombe as the befuddled Robert. The trio of lovely stewardesses are April Bieschke as Gretchen, the German from Lufthansa; Terri Whisenhunt as Gabriella, the Italian from Alitalia; and Barn newcomer Samantha Zobrist as all-American girl Gloria from TWA.
The production is directed by Mary Simon with set design by April Bieschke and publicity by Pat Gaik. Local costumer Eddie Arteman created the fetching stewardess uniforms. Conklin’s Barn II is known for its delicious buffet which, on evening performances, includes four main entrees featuring the Barn’s renowned prime rib and fried chicken, with salad, homemade soup and cheese spread, and a choice of four taste-tempting, homemade desserts. Prices for dinner and show are $33.00 on Thursday evening, $35.00 on Friday evening and Sunday brunch, and $37.00 on Saturday evening, including tax. No advance payment is required. For reservations, call 309-965-2545. For more information, visit the Barn on the internet at

Heartland Bank Community Shred Day is Sat., April 26
Heartland Bank and Trust Company will host a Community Shred Day
on Sat., April 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Heartland Bank is offering this shred service free of charge at its  405 N. Hershey Rd. office in Bloomington. Local residents and businesses are invited to bring personal documents for secure, onsite shredding.
COPS, a service provider of document storage and disposal, will have its mobile shred unit on hand to destroy documents onsite. People will be able to watch their documents being shredded through the unit’s observation window. Items with staples and paperclips can also be shredded.
Properly disposing of personal documents is one way for people to protect themselves from identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission recommends shredding sensitive documents such as charge receipts, old utility bills, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, unused checks, bank statements, and expired charge cards.
For more information on how to prevent or report identity theft, visit: For more information on Heartland Bank Shred Days, visit:

Connect Transit to Host Public Listening Session April 23 in Normal
Connect Transit is hosting a public listening session in Uptown Normal on April 23. Topics of discussion will include bus service frequency, expansion of service area and hours, new technology opportunities and passenger transfer points. The session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm in the Town of Normal Council Chambers at Uptown Station, 11 Uptown Circle in Normal.
“The successful service changes that Connect Transit implemented last year were the result of a great deal of constructive public input received through listening sessions,” said Andrew Johnson, General Manager of Connect Transit. “As our community continues to grow, Connect Transit relies more than ever on citizen input to help us provide the best public transportation possible in Bloomington-Normal.”
The sessions are designed to provide a convenient forum for community members to ask questions, voice opinions or concerns and learn more about Connect Transit. All members of the community are encouraged to attend.

Mackinaw Watershed to be subject of April 24 presentation
McLean County Soil & Water Conservation District & Friends of EverBloom to host educational meeting “Investing in Water: The Nature Conservancy and the Mackinaw Drinking Watersheds Program”
The McLean County SWCD and Friends of EverBloom are hosting a meeting on Thursday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Davis Lodge, Lake Bloomington. The featured speaker for the evening will be Krista Kirkham from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Krista will be presenting “Investing in Water: The Nature Conservancy’s and the Mackinaw Drinking Watersheds Program.” She will also be talking about the great work TNC and the McLean County SWCD are doing to improve our water and our watersheds. The meeting is free of charge and open to the public. For more information about the meeting please contact the SWCD office at 309-452-0830 ext 3.

25th Annual Women of Distinction Nominees Named

An eight-year-high, 37 McLean County women have been nominated for consideration to receive a Woman of Distinction Award. The awards will be presented on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at the 25th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Banquet.
Each woman was nominated in one of six categories – Business, Creative Arts & Entertainment, Education, Professions, Social Services and Volunteer Service – that highlight her achievements and contributions to their respective fields and to McLean County.
 A panel of judges, including local community leaders and executive staff from one other Illinois YWCA, will review the nominations and select one winner in each category. Selection will be based on qualities of leadership, areas of achievement, and demonstrated commitment to improving McLean County through work and/or volunteer activities.
This year’s nominees are: Lexy Adkins, Bloomington; Donna Anhalt, Normal; Stephanie Barisch, Bloomington; Laura Berk, Normal; Gail Dobbins, East Peoria; Cheryl Eash, Bloomington; Sherrin Fitzer, Bloomington; Faye Freeman-Smith, Bloomington; Mary Guinane, Bloomington; Linda Healy, Bloomington; Cheryl Jackson, Bloomington; Erin Kennedy, Normal; Jonell Kehias, Bloomington; Dr. Janet Krejci, Bloomington; Cindy Lawson-Kester, Normal; Bonnie Kae Lentz, Bloomington; Deb Lesser, Bloomington; Nancy Lind, Normal; Glenda Masingale Manson, Bloomington; Kimberly McCormick, Bloomington; Jan Meadows, Bloomington; Gayle Miller, Normal; Ann Perry, Bloomington; Lindsey Powell, Bloomington; Felicia Shaw, Normal; Elaine Shung, Bloomington; Barbara Sims-Malone, Bloomington; Barbara Taft, Bloomington; Deann Thomas, Danvers; Jennifer Troyanovich, Normal; Patricia Turner, Normal; Phylis VerSteegh, Bloomington; Patsy Webber, Bloomington; Alaina Winters, Normal; Diane Wolf, Heyworth; Cathy Woods, Bloomington; and Carolyn Yockey, Normal.
YWCA McLean County also received 19 applications for the WINGS award, a scholarship set-up and funded by previous Women of Distinction winners. Those being presented with WINGS awards will also be recognized at the banquet.
The keynote speaker for this milestone event will be YWCA USA CEO, Dara Richardson-Heron, MD. Reservations are available until Friday, May 9 for $55 each or a table of eight for $440. To make reservations please visit or call (309) 662-0461.

In The April 17 2014 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
Pictures On The Wall

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
Deadheading, pruning, cutting back and rejuvenating

The Spectator by Jim Bennett
Are you a Baseball Old Timer?

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Madigan up to more tricks on taxpayers

They Call me Spence
The ultimate memorial

Classic Colcalsure

Normal Town Council Report
 by Steve Robinson

No meeting this week

Unit 5 School Board Report
 by Steve Robinson
Ferguson's Resignation From Board Prompts Unit 5 to Seek Successor

McLean County Board Report

Regular meeting this week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
Brady Sponsored Bill for Disaster Relief Passes Senate

"We need fewer electionyear promises, more jobs"

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Proud to be inducted into Vidette Hall of Fame

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

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Unit 5 School Board Report

by Steve Robinson

Ferguson’s Resignation From Board Prompts Unit 5 To Seek Successor

Members of Unit 5 School Board formally accepted the resignation of Board member Todd Ferguson at the group’s regularly scheduled meeting at District Headquarters on April 9. Ferguson, an employee of State Farm Insurance, had announced in November that he anticipated a job-related move out-of-state by March, forcing him to resign from the Board.    
In a resignation letter to District Superintendent Dr. Gary Niehaus; Board President John Puzauskas; and Board Clerk Donna Evans dated Feb. 24, Ferguson wrote, “I have truly enjoyed my time on the board and would like to thank everyone for their support. It has been a wonderful experience working with my fellow board members, the administration, teachers, support staff, students and the Bloomington-Normal community. Providing a quality education for all of our students is essential in today’s changing world and I am proud of how the district and the community are working to meet this objective.”   
Under State Education statutes, Board members had 45 days from the date of Ferguson’s resignation to fill the vacancy. As a result, Board members will hold their first regular May meeting on May 7 in order to fill the vacancy within the 45-day limit. There next meeting in May would be held, as scheduled, on May 28.
Applications to fill the vacancy left by Ferguson’s departure were accepted by the district until April 16, after which time, they would be reviewed and candidates interviewed.
Officers Elected: Board members held their annual election of officers as part of the meeting. John Puzauskas was elected to serve another one-year term as Board President, a post he has held since April 2011. Meta Mickens-Baker was re-elected vice-president, serving in that post for another year; and Board Member Mike Trask was re-elected secretary.
Normal Community West High’s “Good News”: The Normal West boys swim team placed 9th in the State Swimming and Diving meet in Evanston. This is the first time Normal West has ever placed at the State meet. The Boys Swimming and Diving Team is coached by Becky McGrew.
West senior Tyler deDianous placed 9th in both the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 21.68 seconds, and a time of 46.61 in the 100 freestyle. His medal in the 50 meter event was the first ever earned by a Wildcat swimmer. Senior Justin deDianous placed 3rd in the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.78 seconds. That finish in an event was also the highest finish a Wildcats swimmer has ever registered at the State meet.
Justin and Tyler deDianous joined sophomores Andrew Loy and Austin Hartke to place 7th in the 200 meter free relay with a time of 1:26.59. It was the first time a Normal West swim team placed in that event in school history.
The Wildcats placed 8th in the 400 meter free relay with the deDianous brothers, junior Kyle Kiper and Loy with a time of 3:09.25.
District’s “Good News”: The District recognized Mary Jefferson for her numerous efforts on behalf of the district, most recently as part of the District’s Diversity Advisory Committee, serving for the past decade as that group’s president. Prior to that assignment, Jefferson served on the district’s Citizen Advisory Council.
Other roles Jefferson has fulfilled within the district were as president of the Oakdale Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization for a number of years and was a founding member of the PTO for Parkside Elementary School when it first was opened by the district over 20 years ago. And even with all of these assignments, Niehaus told Board members, Mary Jefferson put as her top priority being a loving and involved parent.
New Principal Hired For EJHS: Board members unanimously approved the hiring of Trevor Chapman as principal of Evans Junior High School, effective July 1. Chapman has been with the district for nine years, moving to his new position after having recently been associate principal at the school since 2012. Chapman graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Education and also a pair of Master’s degrees from there, as well, one in Curriculum And Instruction and one in Education Administration.
Chapman is married to Rita Chapman, a Consumer Sciences teacher at Normal Community High School. The Chapmans have two young daughters. Chapman replaces Vincent Turner, who was hired last June by the district, and resigned to seek other opportunities. 
Circle Your Calendars: As the school year winds down, there are a number of dates to keep in mind in the coming days. The last day of school has been designated as Monday, June 2. That day, elementary school classes will dismiss at 11:45 a.m., junior high classes will dismiss at 10:45 a.m., and high school classes will dismiss at 10:15 a.m.
A retirement reception for Niehaus will be held from 4 p.m.-5:30 Sugar Creek Elementary School on Wednesday, May 28. The Board will hold its regularly-scheduled meeting that night at the school, beginning at 7p.m.
Citizen Advisory Council Recaps Annual Study Topics: The district’s Citizen Advisory Council presented Board members with the results of their annual reports on four subjects they researched for Study Topics over the past school year. Those subjects included:  Standards-Based Grading, Bringing One’s Own Electronic Device Into Classrooms, Pros And Cons Of Two Or Three High Schools, and Bilingual Education. Board members voted unanimously to accept the reports turned into them by CAC. Craig Bertsche served as CAC President this past year.
Contract Awarded For NCHS Pool Lighting Project: Board members unanimously approved awarding a project for lighting of Normal Community High School’s swimming to Bloomington-based Illinois Prairie Electric, Inc. The company was one of two companies bidding for the project, and submitted a winning bid of $94,129.

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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:

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.

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.

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

Alan Look Photography Logo Alan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography
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

 Uptown Normal image - Turnabout

Historic North Street

Unit 5 Lunch Menus

Elementary Schools

Jr. High Schools

High Schools

Menu subject to change.

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

**Food may contain Pork**

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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 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.

Thurs & Fri • April 24 & 25
(1993) Our salute to Harold Ramis includes this comedy- one of his best – starring Bill Murray. PG/101min.

Sat & Sun • April 26 & 27
(1981) Harold Ramis wrote and starred in this comedy about two bosom buddies who join the army for, uh, fun. Co-starring Bill Murray. R/106 min

Thurs - Sun • May 1 - 4
(2013) From Chile - A middle-aged woman rejoins the dating scene and finds (perhaps) a suitable companion in a former naval officer. R/110 min/Subtitled. A Beyond Normal Films choice!


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.

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.

Local Sons Of American Revolution Honor Students At Scholarship Banquet
by Steve Robinson
A total of 20 high school seniors from schools throughout McLean and Woodford Counties were presented with Citizenship awards by the local chapter of the Sons of The American Revolution during a luncheon at Bloomington Country Club on April 10. The honors were presented to the students during the Chapter’s 15th Annual SAR Good Citizenship and Scholarship Banquet.
During the event, the General Joseph Bartholomew Chapter of SAR presented a $1,000 scholarship to one of those students. That student was Zachary Schaidle from Eureka High School, whose plans after graduation include entering the U. S. Naval Academy.
Of the 20 students honored, there were seven from schools within the Twin Cities; one from El Paso Gridley High School; one from Heyworth High School; one from LeRoy High School; one from Lexington High School; and one from Ridgeview High School.
Dr. Larry Dietz, President of Illinois State University, delivered the keynote address to the students, informing the gathering of honorees and guests, numbering 100 people, that part of his career in education was spent as a high school Social Studies teacher.
Dietz told the honorees they have “set high standards of excellence and charted a course, not only for yourselves, but for your peers to follow and emulate.”
“You’re setting an example for the person down the street, the person across the street, and the person in the next neighborhood,” Dietz told the students. “I want to congratulate you in that role.”
Dietz joked “it would bring me great delight if you became Redbirds,” referring to ISU’s mascot. Of the 20, just one student has plans to fulfill that goal after high school.
Dietz also congratulated “the family members, teachers and staff, and friends who are also enjoying today’s celebration, and I want to thank all of you for doing that.”
Dietz explained all colleges and universities have core values they live by as they mold students through their education. But he cautioned the students to be wary of institutions that do not publicize their core values. He also encouraged the students to “become active within the environments of the institution where you will study.”
“This ceremony is also our acknowledgement that you are the leaders of tomorrow,” Dietz told the students. “All you have to do is read a newspaper to know that a lot of us are ready for you to take over, to improve things. We look forward to the contributions that you’re going to make as leaders.”
Each student was introduced to the audience, and received from the local SAR Chapter a Pin, a certificate of achievement, and a copy of the U. S. Constitution. The General Joseph Bartholomew Chapter of SAR was founded in 1975, and over the years has honored 2,200 high school students. Those students have gone on to 85 different colleges and universities. The Chapter has awarded $11,800 in scholarships.  
Students who were honored and are attending Twin City schools (and where they will attend college in what field of study) are: Demi Fritz, University High School (either Georgia Tech or Texas Christian University for either Business or Engineering); John Roop, Normal Community West High School (Bradley University for Civil Engineering); Eleanore Kate Trunk, Normal Community High School (Liberty University to major in American Sign Language/Interpreting and Ministry); Gautami Galpalli, Bloomington High School (Undecided on a college as yet, but wants to major in either Mathematics or Pre-Med); Connor Gentry, Calvary Christian Academy (Hope College in Michigan to study Mechanical Engineering); Hans F. Noyes, Cornerstone Christian Academy (Liberty University to major in Political Science); and Ryan Pagan, Central Catholic High School (United States Air Force to study Aerospace Engineering).
  Students who were honored and are attending schools within McLean County (and where they will attend college in what field of study) are: Caroline Eastman, El Paso Gridley High School (ISU to major in Special Education); Kelsey Nicole Thompson, Heyworth High School (University of Illinois to study Kinesiology); Natalie Pliura, LeRoy High School (Southern Methodist University to major in Business); Tessa Walcott, Lexington High School (Aurora University to major in Athletic Training); and Trey McCormick, Ridgeview High School (Undecided on a college as yet, but wants to major in Psychology).
Students who were honored and are attending schools outside McLean County (and where they will attend college in what field of study) are: Zach Alden, Fieldcrest High School (either Stanford or Wisconsin to major in Bioengineering); Elizabeth Blanchard, Lowpoint-Washburn High School (Illinois Central College to major in Digital Photography/Small Business Management; Caroline James, Metamora Township High School (Southern Illinois University to major in Animal Science/Pre-Vet Medicine); Cynthia Jo Tackett, Olympia High School, Stanford (either Millikin University or ISU to major in Nursing): Carter Ryan Frambes, Prairie Central High School (University of Illinois to major in Sports Management and Marketing); Logan Patrick Woodward, Roanoke-Benson High School (Illinois Central College, and transfer later to Illinois to major in Chemistry); Nicholas E. Saulcy, Tri-Valley High School (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana to major in either Engineering or Business); and Schaidle.

McLean County awarded ‘County of the Year’ at HCE Annual Conference
by Jan Strawser
McLean County enjoyed a lot of recognition for receiving the “County of the Year” award in addition to many other awards at the 90th Illinois Association for Home and Community Education Annual Conference (IAHCE) held in Decatur March 18 – 20th.  The conference was attended by about 370 women from all over the state.  The theme was titled, “Been Cookin’ 90 Years.”
Among other activities at the conference, women enjoyed attending share shops that covered a wide variety of topics such as making your own cleaners, family issues, vehicle maintenance and safety, gardening, women’s health, avoiding scams, as well as many others. They also had the opportunity to listen to speakers, learn about the long history of Home and Community Education (HCE), and view the winning entries for the state Cultural Arts competition.
McLean County received the IAHCE Grand Award for the Health Smart program in Health, Food and Nutrition, Organized Healthy Diet, and Exercise and Weight Loss Program.  Other awards received were:  the Education Award in Cultural Enrichment for our program in Heritage Skills; the Certified Volunteer Award for the county with the highest % of members participating in District 5; the Certified Volunteer Award for the county with the highest number of members participating in District 5;  the Education Award in Community Outreach for an Outstanding Program in Safety; the Education Award in Public Relations for the monthly promotion of lessons and events featuring several ways to get information out to members and non-members;  the Education Award in Family Issues for an Outstanding Program in the category of Special Activity for the Disaster Preparedness Program;  the Education Award in Family Issues for an Outstanding Program in the category of Family Growth and Development, and also received the Great American Family Award for Lynn and Linda Rader. But, the best award was the COUNTY OF THE YEAR AWARD!
McLean County HCE members meet once a month during the months of September through August.  In addition, interested members can enjoy many educational and fun workshops along the way that cover a variety of topics. They also have opportunities to take interesting trips, meet new friends, and develop leadership skills.  Perhaps you’d like to find out for yourself why there are so members having so much fun in McLean County.  For more information, please call Kathleen Emery at (309) 824-2784 or visit the website at


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