McLean County News Briefs

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McLean County

Head of  economic development council resigning   

Kyle Ham, CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, announced Friday, March 9, he is resigning from his leadership post for a position in the private sector.

Ham has been named vice president of client services with Core Construction. He will continue as the council’s CEO through the end of April. In a statement announcing the resignation, Ham said intends to stay in the area.

“My family and I look forward to many years in the community, and I will remain a passionate advocate for economic development in McLean County,” Ham said in the statement.

Reality show winner to keynote ISU talk

Nyle DiMarco, a winner on past seasons of “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model,” will speak on making universities accessible to persons of all walks of life at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Bone Student Center of the Illinois State University campus, 100 N. University St., Normal.

DiMarco, whose ISU talk has been dubbed, “Living Out Loud,” has been an advocate for the deaf community and frequently speaks on overcoming obstacles. The event is free and open to the public.   

Kristin Harding has been named executive director of alumni engagement at Illinois State University.

ISU names new head of alumni engagement

Kristin Harding has been named executive director of alumni engagement at Illinois State University. Harding, who will assume her position Monday, March 26, earned a master’s degree from ISU in educational administration and foundations at ISU in 1994. Since graduating, she has assumed various rules at the university, including academic advisement, communications specialist and constituent relations.

“Kris’ background in higher education, program development and implementation and relationship skills have her ready to lead our alumni engagement efforts,” Pat Vickerman, vice president of university advancement, said in a statement. “She will help us connect alumni and further elevate engagement at Illinois State.” Harding succeeds Doris Groves, who retired in February.  

State Farm Insurance will be cutting its information technology workforce by 890 positions at its Bloomington-based corporate headquarters. (Photo courtesy of


State Farm to cut nearly 900 IT jobs at HQ

State Farm Insurance has announced plans of trimming its information technology workforce by 890 persons at its Bloomington-based corporate headquarters.

The decision, according to company officials, comes on the heels of a restructuring of IT functions across State Farms’ footprint. Nearly a third of the 890 cut positions will be filled in other State Farm offices, including Atlanta and Dallas.  

Police chief in the running for U.S. Marshal post  

Brendan Heffner, chief of the Bloomington Police Department, is a nominee for an open U.S. Marshal position for the Central District of Illinois, according to recently released information from President Donald Trump’s administration.

It remains uncertain when representatives in Trump’s cabinet will announce the law enforcement representative tapped to helm the local U.S. Marshal’s office. Heffner has been Bloomington’s police chief since 2013. He previously retired from Illinois State Police in 2010.  

Garbage fees to increase to close budget deficit  

The Bloomington City Council on Monday, Feb. 26, voted to increase garbage fees as one of several steps aimed at closing the deficit in the municipality’s upcoming fiscal year budget.

The ripple effects of the decision, however, will not reach most residents until next year. As part of the decision, plans are in motion for a 3-percent, across-the-board increase on all users next spring.

The council as part of its decision did agree to continue free bulk waste pickup. The service will still be provided two times a year — once in spring and again in fall.


Town’s water utility will begin monthly billing

Local utility Normal Water will begin invoicing customers on a monthly basis, rather than every other month, beginning in April.

The effort, according to town officials, is designed to have a number of benefits, such as more expeditious detection of leaks and other possible deficiencies in a home’s infrastructure.

For information on the change, visit the town’s website,

Public comment sought on block grant funds  

Town of Normal officials will hold a public hearing on the municipality’s use of federal community development block grant, or CDBG, funds for the upcoming fiscal year. About $396,000 in entitlement grant funding could go toward improvement projects throughout Normal.

The hearing has been scheduled for the next Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Uptown Station, 4th Floor, 11 Uptown Circle.


–McLean County News Briefs–