McLean County news briefs

The Normal Community Jazz Ensemble will be presenting Jazz @ the Gallery on Thursday, April 25 at the Eaton Gallery in Bloomington.  (Photo courtesy of Normal Community Jazz Ensemble)


Enjoy jazz music and local artwork at gallery        

The Normal Community Jazz Ensemble will be presenting Jazz @ the Gallery with a performance of a variety of selections across all jazz styles on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Center St., Bloomington.

The Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble that performs at numerous events and festivals. They have been the pre-concert performers for the Doc Severinsen Band as well as having been selected as one of only four groups statewide to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) annual conferences in 2014 and 2018.

They were the 2017 Grand Champions at the ISU Jazz Festival and recently were named First Place in class at both the EIU and Danville Jazz Festivals. The band is under the direction of John Larson.

Jazz @ Eaton Gallery has become an annual spring event for the NCHS Jazz Ensemble. This event is free and open to the public.  Free on-street parking or in Market Street deck.

Free spring bulk waste collection in May

City of Bloomington Public Works crews will be collecting bulk waste from May 1 through May 14 for the free spring bulk waste collection. In response to public feedback, Public Works will collect bulk waste on regularly-scheduled brush pickup days to prevent large piles of bulk waste on the curb during the collection process.

City of Bloomington Public Works crews will be collecting spring bulk waste in the first few weeks in May.

Keep in mind that the volume of waste may delay pickup, but all bulk waste for the spring bulk waste collection must be placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on regularly-scheduled brush pickup days. Keep bulk waste at the curb until it is collected. To view brush pickup days, visit to use Recycle Coach online or download the Recycle Coach app from the Google Play Store or the App Store.

Users will not be charged for any amount of household bulk waste placed at the curb by the deadline on their regularly-scheduled brush pickup day.

After the Free Spring Bulk Waste Collection is complete, Public Works will charge: $25 per bucket (about 2.5 cubic yards) for household bulk waste and $100 per bucket for sod, dirt, concrete, rocks and shingles. This year’s Free Fall Bulk Waste Collection will take place in October.


 IEMA says emergency preparedness starts at home

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if weather warnings are issued.

“The first line of defense against any emergency or hazard is personal preparedness,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau.  “Take this time now to prepare your family for severe weather.  Personal preparedness lessens the impact on families, workplaces and our communities.”

Follow these four steps to better prepare you family for severe weather:

  1.  Ensure each member of your family can receive emergency alerts and notifications.

In this day and age of families on the go, it is critical that you have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather.   Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your location, even if you’re traveling outside your home county or state.

FEMA offers a FREE mobile app that provides fast and reliable weather alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS).  The app can be tailored to offer alerts for up to five different locations nationwide.  The mobile app can also help you locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you in the event of an emergency.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county. The tone alarm provides a 24/7 alert to approaching hazards, even during the overnight hours when many people are sleeping.

  1. Identify your shelter location at home, work and school

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement underneath the stairs or a sturdy piece of furniture. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room without windows, get under sturdy furniture and use pillows or cushions to protect your head and neck.

  1. Develop and practice a family communication plan

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes.  Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated during a storm or other emergency.  Remember, during a disaster, phone lines may be overwhelmed by emergency calls.  To let loved ones know you are safe, consider a check-in on social media or send a text.

  1. Review your emergency supply kit

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for work, home and your vehicle.  Remember to consider the needs of all your family members, including your pets. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies.  To find a list of basic disaster supplies, visit

For more information about what to do before, during and after a storm, please visit   There you will find a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, developed by IEMA and NWS, which provides tips on how to prepare for all weather emergencies.  Additional tips and information are available on the Ready Illinois Facebook page ( and Twitter page (


Civic Chorale presents spring concert series

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Joseph D. Henry and with featured soloist Dimitri German, will present its spring concert series A Little Night Music on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Five Points Washington.

The concert will feature a wide variety of songs centered around the elements of the night such as “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from “State Fair,” “Tonight” from “West Side Story.” Also included will be  “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer,” Cole Porter’s “In the Still of the Night,” Hoagy Carmichael’s “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” and “The Nearness of You.”

Brahm’s “Der Abend (Evening),” and popular favorites such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Mr. Sandman”  are also on the program.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale Youth Chorus will perform a set nightly and will join the adult singers for “Buffalo Gals.” The audience will also be invited to join in a sing-along at the concert’s end.

The chorale continues its efforts to feature “homegrown” central Illinois talent with special guest Dimitri German. German, a 2009 graduate of Peoria’s Richwoods High School, is now a Chicago-based baritone with a bachelor of music in vocal performance from the Moody Bible Institute and a graduate degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Special to Friday night’s performance will be a festival chorus of 60 children from local community schools and a cake reception sponsored by Bob Lindsay Honda and Acura.

Tickets for A Little Night Music are $20 for adults, with students through college at $8 and are available at 309-693-6725, online at or at the door. The concert is sponsored by CEFCU, Parsons Manufacturing, Heights Finance and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.