McLean County News Briefs

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McLean County

Local museum receives high ranking in survey

The McLean County Museum of History earned high rankings in a recent online poll that asked respondents to weigh in on their favorite statewide attractions in the category.

The organization Illinois Top 200 is helming the effort in conjunction with the state’s bicentennial, asking respondents to share opinions about various aspect of life in the Land of Lincoln. McLean County’s museum wound up in the top 10, alongside such well-known Chicago-based attractions as the Art Institute, Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Health dept. receives grant for HIV/AIDS research

The McLean County Health Department is one of 11 statewide agencies receiving grant funding for HIV and AIDS research, according to a recent announcement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The MCHD is receiving $50,000 for a variety of initiatives, including HIV testing, in addition to counseling and education services. Grant proceeds also are designed to assist persons who are underinsured or lack access to healthcare. The Illinois Lottery is providing the grant funding through its Red Ribbon Cash game.

Patching work on I-74, I-55 begins this week

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced patching work on interstates 74 and 55 is underway in the Bloomington area. The work on I-74 runs from Carlock to Bloomington’s northwest side, while the I-55 construction runs from the border of McLean and Logan counties to Bloomington’s southwest side.

Throughout the project, multiple lanes will be closed in both directions. IDOT officials said the work is expected to wrap by the end of the month, weather depending. To keep tabs on this and other statewide projects, visit

County Board panel recommends changes to positions

The county auditor post could be trimmed as much as $25,000 annually, beginning in 2021, under a plan proposed by the County Board’s Finance Committee.

Panelists have floated other adjustments as well, including a call to keep the circuit clerk position flat in upcoming years and increase the county coroner’s annual compensation.

Members of the Finance Committee have stated their recommendations are not based on any of the current seat-holders’ performance; rather, they said the proposal is intended to focus on specific job responsibilities.

Alabama-based Hibbett Sports is coming to Bloomington’s Eastland Mall.


Alabama sporting goods store coming to Eastland Mall

Alabama-based Hibbett Sports has announced plans of coming to Bloomington’s Eastland Mall, according to executives with CBL Properties, the firm managing the regional enclosed shopping complex.

Hibbett, which has more than 1,000 stores across the U.S., is assuming inline store space formerly occupied by clothier Charlotte Russe. Hibbett Sports’ arrival comes after the departure of a similar retailer, MC Sports, last year.

Committee seeking nominees for beautification award

The Bloomington Citizens Beautification Committee has announced it is accepting applications to this year’s awards program. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, June 22, for all properties — residential and commercial.

The city has hosted a beautification awards program for more than 30 years in the hopes of spotlighting persons who play a role in making Bloomington a better place to live, work and play.

“Each year, we are surprised by the number of excellent nominees, and I expect 2018 to be no different,” Robin VanDermay, beautification committee chair, said in a statement. “From a small home with simple, but tasteful, landscaping, to a large home with a professionally manicured lawn, we always have wonderful diversity in nominations and winners.”


Former police substation being repurposed

Unity Community Center will assume a building that once served as a substation for the Normal Police Department. Plans call for repurposing the building, 632 Orlando Ave., into a youth center featuring such amenities as a new commercial kitchen and space for teen programs. The building was vacated earlier this year as town of Normal officials grappled with a series of budget cuts and decided to close the substation.

Matt Potts, founder and CEO of Normal-based Destihl Brewery, has been named entrepreneur of the year by Illinois State University officials. (Photo courtesy of Destihl Brewery)

Destihl Brewery named entrepreneur of the year

Matt Potts, founder and CEO of Normal-based Destihl Brewery, has been named entrepreneur of the year by officials within Illinois State University’s College of Business. Potts opened Destihl’s microbrewery and beer hall last year, though his influence locally stretches back to 2007, when he opened his first restaurant in Normal. Potts will be recognized for his latest accomplishment at a recognition dinner this fall.



–McLean County News Briefs–