McLean County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Rochelle Gridley will deliver a presentation, “The Orphan Train in McLean County,” at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the Circus Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University.  (Photo courtesy of MCMH)

McLean County

Former board chair completes prison sentence        

Matt Sorensen, former chair of the McLean County Board, has completed a 10-month sentence in federal prison.

In early 2016, allegations of Sorensen’s involvement in wire fraud arose, and he stepped down from his elected position as the investigation got underway.

Sorensen eventually was charged with defrauding State Farm Insurance for consulting work he performed. County officials reportedly conducted an investigation into Sorensen’s dealings in local government, but never uncovered any fraudulent activity.

Sorensen, who was serving his time at a federal intake facility in Marion, reportedly has relocated to a halfway house in Chicago as he begins transitioning back into the community. He will be under supervision for the next year.

Local historian to speak at ISU on orphan trains      

Rochelle Gridley, local resident and a member of the McLean County Museum of History, will deliver a talk, “The Orphan Train in McLean County,” at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the Circus Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University, 100 N. University St., Normal. Gridley’s presentation will explore the work of the New York Juvenile Asylum and how its efforts impacted McLean County.

According to an ISU news release outlining the event, Normal was the hub for a network of social workers deployed throughout Illinois for nearly two decades.  


City Council creates business registration program        

The Bloomington City Council on Monday, Oct. 8, adopted an ordinance setting in motion a business registration program.

The effort, proponents say, is aimed at cataloging the different businesses operating within the city, which is believed to range from 3,500 to 4,500 entities across all sectors. The ordinance has been met with opposition, namely from the business owners, who will have to pay a one-time mandatory $50 registration fee.

Proponents within city hall, however, say the program will result in more accountability on the part of persons transacting business within the community.

City sets new docking requirements for Lake Bloomington        

Bloomington residents docking boats and other watercraft on Lake Bloomington will need to adhere to new protocol, following a decision reached last week.

The City Council on Monday, Oct. 8, approved a plan to toughen the construction standards for the docking sites. Officials also approved implementing a one-time $250 permit fee when new docks are constructed, in addition to an annual $50 fee in the following years to maintain the dock.

City sets official trick-or-treat date, time        

The city of Bloomington’s official hours for trick-or-treating will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.

City officials and local law enforcement have passed along a number of pieces of advice for parents and children taking part in the time-honored tradition, including calls to have adults accompany younger children, setting parameters of where older, unsupervised children are canvassing for treats and creating or purchasing costumes that are short enough to prevent tripping.

For more tips, visit the city’s website,, or call the Bloomington Police Department at 309-434-2360.


Police investigating case of missing teen girl    

Normal Police are seeking information leading to the whereabouts of resident Mya Crutcher, 14, who was missing at press deadline.

According to the department, Mya was last seen at her home in Normal about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10. According to information provided from the department, the girl is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs about 170 pounds and has brown eyes and hair.

She was last seen wearing a white sweatshirt with the word, “hustle” and dark pants. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Normal Police at 309-454-9535.

Council member to speak on local government’s role   

R. C. McBride, a member of the Normal Town Council, will speak on the importance local government plays in a range of issues at a talk slated from 3:35 to 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Room 106 of Schroeder Hall on the Illinois State University campus, 403 W. College Ave. McBride’s talk is in conjunction with an effort underway at ISU known as the American Democracy Project. Its goal is to promote civic engagement between ISU students, faculty, staff, administration and the community at large.



–McLean County News Briefs–