McLean County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

YICU Individual Service award winner and  McLean County 4-H Teen Teacher Akhila Mattapalli with Teen Teacher Advisor Laura Holland at YICU Awards Ceremony in Bloomington.

McLean County

Jobless rates dips slightly across county

Joblessness across Bloomington, Normal and other areas of McLean County stood at 3.5 percent at the end of September, according to data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

In September 2017, joblessness in the county was 3.6 percent, resulting in a 0.1 percent decrease year-over-year. The Bloomington-Normal metro area had a labor force of 94,300 persons, according to the state agency.

Unity Community Center receives YICU recognition        

Why I See You (YICU), a service awards organization, recently recognized youth associated with the Unity Community Center for their role in ensuring people across the Bloomington-Normal area have their most basic needs met.

The YICU Team Award was given to the Bloomington-Normal Little Free Pantry, a program launched two years ago and serves as a mechanism toward raising awareness of the hunger struggle in nearby communities.

Unity Community Center was recognized as this year’s YICU Advocates for Youth
organization this fall in Bloomington. Pictured (left to right0 are  Liz Repplinger, Afiwa TETE, Alcha Corban, and Laura Holland, University of Illinois Extension

4-H teen teachers Avani Rai, Anagha Arla, Akhila Mattapalli, and Arjun Kale, along with other local youth, have been credited with growing the program to the point it is at today with more than 30 active youth. YICU also has given out individual recognition to 4-H teen teachers Avani Rai, Anagha Arla, Sky Holland, and Akhila Mattapalli for being recognized as YICU Individual Service Award nominees.

Local organizations holding annual Stuff the Bus event        

Several organizations, including Connect Transit and Amalgamated Transit Unit Local 752, will co-host the 16th annual Stuff the Bus event from Monday, Nov. 26, to Saturday, Dec. 1.

The six-day event will restock the Children’s Home and Aid and Crisis Nursery’s pantry for the year with a range of critically needed supplies.

Donations for non-perishable food, clothing, toys and similar items will be accepted at a series of locations throughout Bloomington and Normal throughout the drive. For information, call 309-834-5260 or visit


Rasmussen resigns as assistant city manager      

Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen has resigned from his position in Bloomington, officials announced this past week.

Rasmussen’s last official day on the city payroll is Monday, Nov. 12, though he has already ceased working within city hall as he uses up remaining vacation time.

“I enjoyed working for the city of Bloomington,” Rasmussen said in a statement. “Now is the right time for me, professionally and personally, to explore another opportunity.” Rasmussen began working for Bloomington in November 2014.

City Council OK’s $1 million for  Miller Park Zoo   

Plans are in motion to allocate $1 million toward several improvements and upgrades at Miller Park Zoo, following a decision by the City Council on Monday, Oct. 23.

The capital items receiving the green light include additional parking and a new roof at the zoo’s main entrance.

The funds also will go toward the creation of a concession area, which MPZ officials have frequently stated has been a lacking amenity.

District 87 considering $44.5 million tax levy  

A proposal to collect nearly $44.5 million via a property tax levy is on the table in Bloomington District 87 for the next budget cycle in 2019.

Superintendent Barry Reilly and the School Board discussed the proposal at a meeting Wednesday, Oct. 24. Although final figures are still pending, Colin Manahan, District 87’s chief financial facilities officer, said he projects the tax rate staying flat for the upcoming year.

The School Board will hold a hearing on the levy proposal in December.


Police investigate ‘shots fired’ calls near ISU

Normal Police are in the midst of investigating an incident involving gunshots being fired in the 800 block of South Fell Street, near Illinois State University’s campus. According to the NPD, officers were called to the scene after 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.

While canvassing the area, officers did uncover an undisclosed number of shell casings. No injuries have been reported. NPD officials are asking anyone with information to call 309-454-9535.

Town, Unit 5 applying for Safe Routes grant  

Town of Normal officials, in conjunction with the McLean County Unit 5 School District, are in the midst of applying for a Safe Routes to Schools grant in the hopes of building a hard-surface trail.

If plans proceed, the grant funding would go toward a trail connection from the Karin Street sidewalk, across Anderson Park to Chiddix Junior High School. It also would serve as a link to the College Avenue sidewalk and to Dewey Street. Town officials have indicated they plan to submit the grant in mid-November.  



–McLean County News Briefs–