McLean County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The Omaha, Neb.-based Gordmans will close its Normal store at 306 S. Towanda Ave.

McLean County

Museum names history maker award recipients

The McLean County Museum of History recently announced its 2017 History Makers award recipients. After combing through applications, museum staffers are naming five persons to this year’s awards program: Craig Hart, Charles Morris, Jeanne Morris, Jesse Smart and Judy Stone. History Makers, a longtime award program, puts the spotlight on senior citizens who have made a positive impact on the community over an extended period of time.

The five honorees will be recognized at a gala on Thursday, June 15. Tickets to the gala will go on sale Monday, May 1. For information, visit or call (309) 827-0428.

New volunteers ends enrollment ban at Faith in Action

Nonprofit social services agency Faith in Action has lifted its temporary ban on care receivers after an influx of new volunteers. The Normal-based organization, which primarily serves persons in the Twin Cities, had to place a halt on new care receivers in March because demand grew, and the number of volunteers did not keep pace.

Recent publicity on the organization’s need for volunteers has mitigated the challenges, organization leaders have confirmed. As a parochial organization, Faith in Action, located at 600 E. Willow St., does not receive state or federal funds and subsists through a variety of donations. For information on the agency, visit


Man drives under influence of drugs; accused of causing accident   

A 33-year-old Washington man has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs this past week — an action that has been linked to a single-vehicle crash.

McLean County Associate Judge David Butler on Wednesday, April 12, charged Joshua Brewster with multiple offenses: aggravated DUI causing bodily harm, aggravated DUI causing injuries to a person under age 18 and endangering the life of a child.

Brewster was driving his vehicle about 5 p.m. Monday, April 10, at a high speed and collided with a utility pole near Airport Road and College Avenue.

At the time of the incident, Brewster had four passengers in the vehicle: his wife and their three children, ranging in age from 4 to 2.     

Teen arrested for firing gun in densely populated area   

A 15-year-old Bloomington boy was arrested for firing a gun in the early evening hours of Monday, April 15. No injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

According to Bloomington Police, the boy is suspected of firing the weapon near Howard and Market streets.

Witnesses called police with the boy’s description. He was located a short time later and was taken into custody. The boy is suspected of stealing the gun. He is awaiting further sentencing in the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center.

City reviewing speed limit on Fox Creek

The Bloomington City Council could soon reduce the lawful speed limit along portions of Fox Creek Road, from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court. The overarching goal of the change, according to city officials, is uniformity.

Portions of the area of review have 40-mile-per-hour speed limit signs posted; other areas are 30 miles per hour. Under the proposal, the entire stretch would be 30 miles per hour.

Pepsi Ice Center named venue finalist in upcoming hockey competition     

The Pepsi Ice Center, 201 S. Roosevelt Ave., has been named a top 10 finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville USA competition.

The venue receiving the grand prize will be privy to a $150,000 upgrade and an opportunity to host a 2017-18 NHL preseason game. In a statement, Michael Hernbrott, manager of the Pepsi Ice Center, said, “This is a great honor and a testament to the support and passion that the Bloomington hockey community shows every single day, all year long.” Voting for the competition is underway at


Ground broken on new restaurant on Landmark Drive  

Ground on the new Portillo’s restaurant building has been broken as company leaders eye an August opening. The eatery, known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, announced last year it was entering the Bloomington-Normal market.

A new restaurant will be constructed in Normal at 202 Landmark Drive. The 9,000-square-foot building will include a double drive-thru lane and seat up to 250 persons inside.  

Gordmans to close store amid financial struggles  

Gordmans will close its Normal store as the department store chain struggles to stay afloat amid slumping sales and an ever-changing retail environment. The Omaha, Neb.-based company has not announced when exactly the store at 306 S. Towanda Ave. will close, but it is on a list of 50 locations across the U.S. slated to cease operations in the near future.

Gordmans, which has posted consistent losses, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Stage Stores Inc. of Houston has since purchased Gordmans and is paring down the company’s fleet of stores amid a sweeping restructuring.

–McLean County News Briefs–