Reconstruction project on highways 51, 150 taking place this spring
Reconstruction work on highway 51 and 150 began this week, according to officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation. The project includes Highway 51, or Center Street, from Division to Locust streets and Highway 150, or Clinton Street, from Empire Street to North Oakland Avenue. According to the IDOT, the work will include patching, milling and resurfacing. The project is expected to cost $1.1 million. Throughout construction, at least one lane will be open in each direction. Weather permitting, the project will wrap in May. For updated information on construction activities, visit gettingaroundillinois.com.
Bloomington-Normal’s tourism economy strong, official says
Bloomington and Normal’s local tourism economy is bolstered on two fronts — leisure activities and convention-related activities — Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, reported at a recent Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council event. The local region excels in spotlighting such attractions as Route 66, Jobe reported, in addition to serving as a magnet location for the youth sports market and meetings.
Multiple shots fired on Rainbow Avenue; one injury reported
A 26-year-old man sustained injuries from a gunshot wound to the leg in the evening hours of April 4, according to Bloomington Police. The incident occurred in the 2100 block of Rainbow Avenue at about 9:31 p.m. Eyewitnesses reportedly saw two black men, each brandishing handguns, at the scene, according to a department news release. The eyewitnesses told police they heard yelling and subsequent gunshots before the men fled the area. Police canvassed the area and reportedly retrieved a handgun and several shell casings. At press deadline, no suspects were in custody, and the investigation is ongoing. Bloomington Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Jeffrey Engle at 309-434-2371.
Monthly solid waste collection fees to increase next month
Solid waste cart fees for Bloomington residents will increase, beginning next month. User fees will rise from $21 to $25 for residents with 65-gallon carts and from $25 to $29 per moth for users with 95-gallon carts. Public works crews will still collect free bulk waste twice annually — once in the spring and once in the fall — when the city’s new fiscal year budget begins. For information on additional changes, visit the city’s website, www.cityblm.org.
Parks department conducts analysis of trees across city
The city of Bloomington’s parks department recently completed an inventory and assessment of 8,519 trees in parks, trails and public spaces across the community. The goal, according to department officials, is to better manage trees, minimize the effects of future storm damage and work toward ensuring the community has a healthy, sustainable urban forest. “In addition to the benefit of immediate safety risk reduction, the inventory of our park trees will provide information to maximize the long-term benefits of the urban forest for increasing the quality of life in our community,” David Lamb, assistant superintendent of parks maintenance, said in a statement. Specific information on the trees analyzed can be found online at www.bloomingtonparks.org or by calling the city’s parks department at 309-434-2260.
Registration for city’s park and rec programs begins this week
Registration for summer recreation programs begins April 11 for city residents and a week later —April 18 — for nonresidents. This year also marks the department’s 50th anniversary, and officials are asking users to submit photos of their experiences in the past five decades. For information on summer registration or the 50-year anniversary, visit the department’s website, www.bloomingtonparks.org, or call 309-434-2260.
Koos taking leave of office as mayor, following cancer diagnosis
Normal Mayor Chris Koos is stepping away from his elected leadership duties for about a month. Koos, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, announced at a recent Town Council meeting he had to take a leave of absence to undergo surgery. Council member Kevin McCarthy is taking over Koos’ duties for the foreseeable future. Koos is expected to step back into his mayoral role in early May.
ISU hosting Create Your Space event April 16-20 on campus
Illinois State University’s School of Communication will host a public event, Create Your Space, from April 16-20. More than 80 professionals, the majority ISU alumni, are slated to take part in the program, which is designed to show how entrepreneurial goals can apply to a cross-section of professions. For a full itinerary of the program, visit https://casit.illinoisstate.edu/sites/comweek/.
–McLean County News Briefs–