McLean County news briefs

The Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts department has early bird registration for the annual Hill of a Race event to be held Saturday, Sept. 21. (Photo courtesy of city of Bloomington)

McLean County

New ISU grant aims to infuse diverse books

A student group on the Illinois State University campus has announced a program aimed at bringing more diverse books to high school teachers.

The Representation Project, spearheaded by the English Education Student Advisory Committee, will award a set of books to an Illinois high school teacher for classroom use.

The books can include novels, nonfiction, plays and collections of poetry. Applications are available via ISU’s website, For information, email Maggie Morris Davis at


ISU to feature free Black Music Showcase

The public is invited to Black Music: A Showcase and Community from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in the Kemp Recital Hall on the Illinois State University campus, 353 S. School St., Normal.

The free event is co-sponsored by the ISU’s School of Music and Colors International, which is a student organization on campus.

The family-friendly concert involves audience participation of diverse, black music styles, ranging from work songs to hip hop. For information, call music professor Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum at 309-438-7340.

County Museum to review 2019 History Makers         

The McLean County Museum of History will soon reveal the recipients of this year’s History Makers award. The four honorees will be celebrated at the museum’s eighth annual History Makers Gala, to be held Wednesday, June 19.

Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum will be one of the artists performing at the Black Music Showcase at Illinois State University. (Photo courtesy of ISU)

Each year, the museum’s History Makers Gala recognizes older adults whose outstanding, lifelong contributions of time and talents have helped to make McLean County the thriving community it is today.

Past honorees have been recognized for positive contributions to civil rights, economic development, education and healthcare. For information, contact Director of Development Divah Griffin at or call 309-827-0428.

Advocate BroMenn to host CPR course        

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center will host a Family and Friends CPR course from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, April 1, at the organization’s fitness center, 1111 Trinity Lane, Bloomington.

This course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult hands-only CPR, adult CPR with breaths, child CPR with breaths, adult and child AED use, infant CPR and mild and severe airway blockage for adults, children and infants.

The program is geared specifically toward people who want to learn CPR, but do not need a CPR course completion card to meet a job requirement. The fee to participate is $25, and registration is required. For information, visit



 Vehicle struck by gunfire on West Mill Street

Bloomington Police are seeking suspects involved in firing multiple rounds of ammunition into a parked, unoccupied vehicle in the 600 block of West Mill Street. According to BPD officials, the incident occurred at 6:34 p.m. Monday, March 11.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found damage to a vehicle, in addition to other evidence of a shooting. No one was injured during the incident, according to the agency. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Jared Roth at 309-434-2379 or


City to host open house on economic development         

The city of Bloomington will host an open house to introduce the community to its new economic development department.

The event will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the council chambers at Bloomington City Hall, 109 E. Olive St. A brief presentation will be held immediately at 6 p.m., followed by a meet-and-greet with Melissa Hon, the city’s newly named economic development director.

Early bird registration open for Hill of a Race            

The Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts department has announced early bird registration has begun for this fall’s Hill of a Race event. The outdoor fitness challenge, entering its third year, will be held Saturday, Sept. 21.

The program involves running, lifting, carrying, climbing, crawling and tests of agility and balance. “Hill of a Race has become a signature event for the Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department,” Denise Balagna, athletics program manager, said in a statement.

“We’re excited that this year’s event will feature an updated layout, new obstacles and more ways to save on registration fees.” For information, visit



‘Thirsty Land’ doc director to attend screening

Illinois State University’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning will host a free screening of the documentary film, “Thirsty Land,” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Normal Theater, 209 W. North St. Conrad Weaver, producer and director of the film, will give a talk immediately after the screening.

“Thirsty Land” is a film chronicling extreme drought, agriculture and the water crisis in the western U.S., and how these challenges impact farmers, communities and the environment.