Todd Ryburn / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A new Lincoln exhibit at the McLean County Museum of History explores the 16th president's earlier life as a lawyer and his political activity in Bloomington.

 The exhibit opening May 21 examines Lincoln's work as an attorney in McLean County and the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit. 

walter_bean / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Veterinarians in central Illinois say canine influenza has sickened dozens of dogs in the Bloomington and Normal area over the past few days. 

Veterinarians are urging dog owners to keep their animals away from other dogs and take their dogs to the veterinarian if they show symptoms.

 Dr. Kirsten Pieper of the Animal Emergency Clinic of McLean County says the most important thing pet owners can do is keep their dogs at home until the outbreak is under control. 

Taaalia / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Active and retired firefighters in central Illinois are working to locate and honor the graves of 75 firefighters. 

Bob Willis and others combed Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington on Saturday and marked the location of certain graves with a GPS device. Willis, a retired Bloomington firefighter, recently took over project started by the Bloomington-Normal Firefighter Club 25 years ago. He is working to update grave locations at several cemeteries in the area.

The Illinois Supreme Court says the case against a shoplifter who lived in Normal is absurd, illogical and unjust.  

Jesse Bradford was arrested in 2012 for stealing two DVDs, a hat, shoes and a bottle of Dr. Pepper from a Walmart in Bloomington. He was convicted of burglary,  a felony that carries three to seven years in prison.

U.S. Cellular Coliseum

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - The city of Bloomington has chosen an Iowa company to operate the city-owned, 7,000-seat U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

 City Manager David Hales on Wednesday said Ames, Iowa-based VenuWorks was chosen for the job. He recommended the city council vote Monday to hire the firm. It would replace Central Illinois Arena Management, which didn't seek to renew its contract. That company managed the coliseum since it opened a decade ago. Its contract expires April 1. 

There have been ongoing disputes between Central Illinois Arena Management and the city.


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Several central Illinois residents say people headed to a rally in Bloomington for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump drove over graves and headstones. 


The Trump rally on Sunday at the Synergy Flight Center was across the street from East Lawn Memorial Gardens.

More than 3,000 people attended the rally. Charlotte Twyford of Downs said she has two relatives buried in the cemetery. She said headstones were broken and noting some people attending the rally had "a total disrespect for the graves." 

storyvillegirl / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A birthing center is under construction in Bloomington-Normal that would be the second in Illinois and the first outside of the Chicago area.

The Bloomington-Normal Birthing Center is to have prenatal education, yoga and exercise classes, two exam rooms, a nurses' station and three birthing center rooms. Each of those will have a labor and birth tub and bathroom.

A group of child care providers from the Chicago area descended on the Illinois Child Care Resource and Referral Agency in Bloomington to push for more money. During an Illinois Department of Human Services public hearing, the group pushed for what it calls a "fair" wage of $15 an hour. Sharon Norwood of Chicago, one of the child care providers speaking at the hearing, says the state budget stalemate is cutting into her wages.

Indiana Public Media / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Police say Bloomington had a second consecutive year of record-low numbers of serious crimes in 2015. 

There were no homicides last year - the first year without one since 1997. 

Police Chief Brendan Heffner says "we will keep working hard" to keep the number low. The percentage of serious crimes in 2015 was 11.6 percent lower than a year earlier. There were 232 fewer reports of serious crime than the 2,001 in 2014.  The 2014 decrease was 13.3 percent from 2013.  

leighannemcc / Flickr/Creative Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Officials in Central Illinois say the mild winter is helping their local governments' bottom line.  

The  cities of Bloomington and Normal and McLean County are saving money because temperatures since November have been above normal and there's been little snowfall.

 Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch says it's been the most tame winter he's seen in seven years on the job. 

The Bloomington City Council is considering turning over management of the city's three golf courses to a private company.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - The Bloomington City Council is considering turning over management of the city's three golf courses to a private company. 

The  council will begin discussions Monday to determine if outsourcing operations could save the city money. A community budget task force recommended last year that the city explore selling one or all three municipal courses. The panel also suggested using an outside firm. 

A new cyber-security squadron will be headquartered with the Illinois National Guard.  The 39-person unit will be based in Springfield with Illinois team members also in Bloomington and Chicago. 

A Bloomington woman has pleaded guilty in the middle of her bench trial on charges that she didn't obtain medical care for her young son who died from physical abuse.

Some Bloomington landowners with property in the path of a planned oil pipeline will receive up to $30,000 each. But that decision by a central Illinois judge means the landowners won't get the jury trial they sought. Pipeline company Enbridge Inc. had asked the judge to rule rather than send the case to a jury. Landowners say they'll appeal. 

The provost of a university in Minnesota has been named the new president of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. 

Police in Bloomington say two people were stabbed and a third assaulted in attacks in the business district today.

Bloomington-Normal reacts to Mitsubishi closure

Jul 24, 2015

Officials from the town of Normal, city of Bloomington, McLean County, and several other stakeholders held a news conference this afternoon about Mitsubishi Motor of North America's decision to close its auto plant here.

Mayor Chris Koos says it's time to move ahead:

"We need to embrace this decision by Mitsubishi as a new opportunity for our community, and to aggressively engage key local, state and federal leaders to help us develop an aggressive strategy to find a new owner for the local Mitsubishi facility."

City of Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Bloomington police investigating the slaying of an accountant found shot to death in her office have charged her ex-husband with murder. 

McLean County officials say an inspection found no malfunctions in an elevator involved in a deadly accident earlier this week.

A psychiatrist has testified that a 35-year-old Bloomington man who has been in a state treatment program for sexually dangerous people since he was 15 is eligible to be released. 

 Authorities say a maintenance mechanic has died in a central Illinois elevator accident.

The lone seal at Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo now has company.  Zoo officials say two harbor seals went on exhibit this week.

A preliminary report on the airplane crash that killed seven people near Bloomington confirms the pilot unexpectedly changed course as he approached the airport.

Zalcman out in 18th Congressional race

Apr 13, 2015

Bloomington attorney Marc Zalcman is withdrawing his bid to fill the 18th Congressional District seat. Zalcman, a Republican, says the timeline to get 1,000 petition signatures in about three weeks is too tight to successfully achieve.  Zalcman called the timeline unfair, and says he plans to run in the 2016 Republican primary. Zalcman was the only other declared Republican in the race, running against state Senator Darin LaHood in the July primary

The Bloomington Police Department has hired a youth intervention specialist.  Michael Donnelly is the community impact manager for United Way of McLean County. He will work part time with Bloomington police to identify at-risk young people and mentor them. 

  A National Transportation Safety Board investigator says a private plane that crashed in near Bloomington early Tuesday, killing seven, climbed and turned in an unexpected direction before plunging into a farm field.  Investigator Todd Fox said Wednesday the twin-engine Cessna 414 appeared to miss its approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. If that happened, the plane should have turned west to try again. Fox said instead, the plane climbed and turned east before crashing. He said the pilot's last radio communication didn't indicate any distress.

Willis Kern / Illinois Public Radio

McLean County officials confirm seven people died when a Cessna 414 crashed into a field sometime overnight northeast of Bloomington. 

Bloomington businessman considers run for Congressional seat

Mar 25, 2015

Another prominent Republican is looking at running for the open Congressional seat being vacated by the scandal plagued Aaron Schock. 

Social service providers and city officials in Bloomington have discussed building tiny houses of about 350 square feet to help the homeless.