McLean County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

McLean County

Area notched state’s lowest unemployment rate

Bloomington-Normal recorded the state’s lowest unemployment rate as 2017 came to a close, according to recently released figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Officials within the state agency said more than a thousand non-farming jobs were created in Bloomington-Normal last year.

Unemployment news was positive across the state. All of Illinois’ metro areas notched jobless reductions in yearly comparables.   

Officials continue review of wind energy farm

The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals is in the midst of reviewing details associated with a proposed 100-turbine wind farm that could stretch across 13,000 acres within four townships. Invenergy, an alternative energy provider, filed application materials with the county for its proposed operation.

Last week, members of the Zoning Board of Appeals held a series of public hearings before a forthcoming decision is handed down and received mixed reaction. Proponents cited the wind farm’s economic benefit, while opponents were concerned with the turbines’ impact on the surrounding area.

Popular Abe Lincoln sculpture vandalized

A popular sculpture depicting Abraham Lincoln was given some TLC this past week after it was vandalized by an unknown substance. The 900-pound, bronze sculpture — a common tourist attraction — depicts Lincoln sitting on a park bench along Route 66. The substance was removed promptly, and the sculpture underwent a thorough cleaning late this past week. 


Murder case on hold until appeals are resolved

A hearing in the Kirk Zimmerman murder case has been postponed indefinitely, Judge Scott Drazewski ruled Thursday, Jan. 25.

Two state-issued appeals have been filed in the 2014 case, each pertaining to evidence. Zimmerman has been charged with killing his wife, Pam Zimmerman, in Bloomington. After Drazewski’s postponement, it is uncertain if a trial will be held this year. 

Former motel property may become low-income housing

Fifty new housing units geared toward low-income persons could occupy the former city-owned Coachman Motel property in the 400 block of East Washington Street.

A three-story complex could take the place of the motel. The Illinois Housing Development Authority is in the process of reviewing the proposal.


Fire truck engulfed in flames along I-74

Normal Fire Department officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed one of the agency’s engines in the morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 24.

The incident occurred along Interstate 74, near Knoxville. According to a social media post from the agency, a mechanical failure is believed to have been the culprit of the damage, which has been deemed a total loss.


–McLean County News Briefs–