McLean County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

McLean County

Frontier Airlines returns to Central Illinois Airport      

After a three-year hiatus, Frontier Airlines is returning to the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, company officials announced this past week.

Frontier had offered service through 2015 at CIRA. Frontier executives cited a new business model that spurred the decision to re-emerge in Central Illinois.

Frontier will begin offering its service locally in late September. CIRA currently hosts three other airline carriers: Allegiant, American Airlines and Delta.


Easterseals opens new autism learning center in Bloomington      

The Central Illinois chapter of the national Easterseals organization has announced the opening of an autism learning center in Bloomington.

The center opened in early June and, according to organization officials, is at full capacity. At the new center, Easterseals staffers and volunteers offer one-to-one and small group services in the areas of comprehensive applied behavior analysis and speech and occupational therapy.

Bloomington is the second locale for a Easterseals Central Illinois autism learning center. The initial facility, opened in 2012, was in Peoria.   

Revitalization Project reaches 10-year milestone      

The West Bloomington Revitalization Project reached a decade-long milestone in June. Since its inception in 2008, WBRP organizers have embarked on a series of revitalization efforts.

The group’s origins trace back to a task force created out of city government. In 2010, WBRP became an official nonprofit organization. A block party recently was held in the community to mark the project’s 10-year existence.

A new litter of red wolf pups were recently born at the Miller Park Zoo.  (Photo courtesy of Miller Park Zoo)

Litter of red wolf pups born at Miller Park Zoo      

A second litter of red wolf pups were born at the Miller Park Zoo, according to a news release from the Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.

The litter is notable, zoo manager Jay Tetzloff said, because the red wolf is considered a critically endangered species. It once reached full extinction in the wild, but has since made a small recovery.

At the local zoo, the introduction of the three new pups will give visitors a glimpse into how a family of nine red wolves lives together.

New TIF district created to spur development     

A new tax-incremental financing, or TIF, district has been created in the hopes of spurring new development and revitalizing areas of the city’s downtown corridor.

The Bloomington City Council and Mayor Tari Renner have jointly approved the district’s creation, which primarily encompasses East Washington Street.


New local smoking ordinance implemented

A new smoking-related ordinance is under review in Normal.

Town officials are considering an extension to existing designated smoking areas from buildings.

Requiring smokers to inhale further from buildings is designed to promote better air quality around public spaces, City Manager Pamela Reece said.

The planned extension syncs up to leadership in energy and environmental design standards, which already are in place at each of the town’s municipal buildings. 

Portions of Fell Avenue closed through mid-July

Motorists traversing Fell Avenue will be met with detour signs for the next several weeks to accommodate underground utility work.

The closures along Fell Avenue run between Beaufort and North streets. The town’s public works crews are directing motorists to Broadway Avenue within the impacted areas.

Weather permitting, the work is expected to wrap in mid-July.

The Sugar Creek Arts Festival  returns this weekend. Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15.

This year’s Sugar Creek Arts Festival set for July 14-15

The town of Normal’s long-running Sugar Creek Arts Festival is returning this month for its 35th year along the streets of Uptown Normal.

The two-day event will be held Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. The free event showcases local and traveling artists and includes shows from Illinois State University’s planetarium and live music.

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–McLean County News Briefs–