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.

Records show the recovery rate for stolen guns in Springfield is far lower than the national average. 

STAR Program helps cancer patients

Nov 18, 2014

Care for cancer patients is expanding, from a focus on the cancer itself, to the after-effects that patients experience due to cancer and its treatment. 

Amtrak is looking to start a pilot program next year that would bus residents from Peoria to the passenger rail service in Bloomington/Normal. The company says a bus service would generate more than 27,000 riders. The City is looking at Bradley University and the CityLink Center on Adams as two sites for the proposed Amtrak bus terminal.  Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich says the bus service makes more economic sense than to bring passenger rail directly to Peoria:

Bloomington Pantagraph Owner Revenue Continues Slide

Aug 7, 2014

The parent company of Bloomington's Pantagraph Newspaper lost $9.7 million in the most recent quarter. Lee Enterprises reports that compares to a $1.8 million profit in the quarter ending in June of last year. And even though revenue of $163 million fell 2.3%, CEO Mary Junck said during a conference call that revenue trends are favorable:

FedEx moving airport operations out of Peoria

May 9, 2014

FedEx is terminating its operations from the Peoria International Airport. The company is reportedly moving its operations to the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. FedEx business is just under half of total air cargo flights out of the Peoria airport.  Airport Director Gene Olson says FedEx is moving to make their operations more efficient. The Peoria Airport Authority is working to find a replacement service to occupy the FedEx space at the airport. It’s unclear when FedEx will move its cargo plane services to Bloomington.

Investors plan to keep Rivermen in Peoria

May 13, 2013

The Peoria Rivermen Hockey Team is set to remain in the city, but local investors are applying to operate in a different league. The Vancouver Canucks told the Civic Center it won’t run its American Hockey League team in Peoria leaving the city without a team. Now the owners of the Bloomington U-S Cellular Coliseum team are asking the Southern Professional Hockey League for the rights to have another team in Peoria. Bart Rogers is a former Rivermen executive and a manager of the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. He says the move aims to keep Peoria’s hockey tradition alive:

Young girl dies from flu in McLean County

Feb 18, 2013

Influenza has killed an eight year old girl in McLean County. This is only the second child death related to flu in the state this season. Kera Simon is a spokeswoman for the McLean County Health Department: