McLean County news briefs

Retired Bloomington police chief Clay Wheeler


City manager announces interim police chief

In wake of the recent retirement of Chief Clay Wheeler on June 21, the City Manager Tim Gleason has announced the current Assistant Chief Greg Scott and current Assistant Chief Dan Donath will split the time serving as interim chief equally until the Gleason selects a permanent hire.

A national search is currently being conducted by the city and is anticipated to be completed later this summer.

Scott will serve as interim chief for the first approximately four weeks of the vacancy. Scott has served over 20 years with the force, becoming assistant chief in 2016. Prior to that, he was a lieutenant in the criminal investigations division.

Donath will serve as interim chief for the second approximately four weeks of the vacancy. Donath joined the Bloomington Police Department in 1994. Prior to becoming assistant chief in 2018, he served as first shift sergeant.

“We are very fortunate to have Greg Scott and Dan Donath as assistant chiefs, both ready and willing to serve the department and community in this Interim capacity,” said Gleason. “I feel confident both of them will be able to lead the department well as we continue to look at all possibilities for permanent Police Chief.”

Wheeler retired after serving 31 years in law enforcement, 28 with the City of Bloomington.


Normal community clinic hosts diabetes program

University of Illinois Extension invites you to join them for the two-part “Vivir Bien con La Diabetes/Living Well with Diabetes” series. The program runs from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, July 2 & 9 at the Community Health Care Clinic, 900 N Franklin Ave., Normal.

This exclusive program will be provided in both English and Spanish.

“Vivir Bien con La Diabetes/Living Well with Diabetes” is a two-part series aimed at anyone who wants to prevent or manage diabetes, including families or caretakers. The program will provide research-based information to help participants understand diabetes and learn to live well with diabetes.

Participants will receive diabetes-friendly recipes, watch cooking demonstrations, and taste full, delicious meals each week that meet their dietary needs.

The program is open to anyone interested in learning more about prevention. “Vivir Bien con La Diabetes/Living Well with Diabetes” is taught by University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian Jenna Smith.

The program is free to attend. Participants will receive two full meals and a binder of educational materials and recipes. To register, call the Community Health Care Clinic at 309-0888-5531. For more information, contact Jenna Smith at 309-663-8306 or email her Jenna at

ICC hosts Ready to Work Expo July 11 and 12

Illinois Central College will host a Ready to Work Expo for potential students to learn about educational opportunities to retool their job skills.

The expo will take place on Thursday, July 11 from 5-7 p.m. and Friday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to noon on the ICC East Peoria Campus.

The open house style event provides potential students and their families the opportunity to speak individually with faculty and staff from a wide range of career and technically based programs.

It is free and open to the public.

Programs expected to participate include welding, machining, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), electrical, graphic communication, agriculture, horticulture, automotive and GM ASEP, and Diesel Powered Equipment Technology (DPET), mechanical engineering technology, to name a few. Labs and classroom spaces in some areas will be open for tours.

Information regarding ICC Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship-Ready programs, which include solar pipeline training, highway construction careers training, GED Bridge, truck driving training, industrial maintenance, and secure software, will be available. For a full listing of programs, visit

Enrollment Services, Admissions Office, and Advising staff also will be on hand to answer questions regarding applying to the College and specific program admittance requirements, as well as testing information and financial aid options.

For questions, visit or call ICC Workforce Development at 309-690-6863.

Nine counties in Illinois have reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus this year.

Advocate BroMenn class teaches lifesaving skills

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center will offer a Heartsaver® CPR/AED/First Aid class Wednesday, April 10, from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at the Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center, 1111 Trinity Lane, Bloomington.

Heartsaver CPR/AED/First Aid is a “first responders” course for anyone who wants to learn basic CPR and First Aid skills, as well as proper AED use.

It is approved by DCFS for day care providers.

It covers how to recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies, including cardiac arrest and choking for adults, children and infants; how to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke in adults; and breathing difficulties for children.

Certification is valid for two years.

This class is not intended for health care professionals. A CPR certification card will be emailed after successful completion of the hands-on first aid skills and manikin practice.

Class fee is $65, and registration is required. Please visit to register.


 Department of Public Health expands newborn screenings

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is rolling out today a test for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) for all newborn babies statewide.  ALD is a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system, and adrenal gland.  It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births.

“Babies born with adrenoleukodystrophy have normal brains at birth.  However, progression of the disorder without treatment can be fatal,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “By adding ALD to the Illinois newborn screening panel, every baby born in Illinois will be tested for ALD.  Babies who test positive for this disorder can then receive therapies during the early stage of the disease.”

Early diagnosis of babies with ALD can lead to potentially life-saving interventions, including adrenal steroid replacement and stem cell transplantation.  These therapies are only effective during a narrow window, which is often missed.  Through universal screening and early diagnosis, treatment options can be evaluated by the baby’s health care providers and initiated in some cases before symptoms develop.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added ALD to the national Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in February 2016.  Implementing ALD screening required the purchase of new equipment, development of new test methods, Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments lab test validation, and computer system modification to provide laboratory results and facilitate follow up tracking.

Illinois is now the 14th state in the U.S. to screen for ALD.  Additional information can be found on the website.

 Flooding, warmer temps often means more mosquitoes

The months of rain and flooding have created conditions ripe for floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans).  Fortunately, floodwater mosquitoes, often called nuisance mosquitoes, are not known to carry disease.

“It is important to protect yourself from insect bites, even if they are not known to cause disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer hot, dry conditions, even the mosquitoes that flourish in cooler, wet weather bring the potential for infection if you scratch a bite and create a wound.  Taking some simple precautions can help keep you healthy.”

Many counties in Illinois are currently experiencing flooding conditions.  Water that stands in flooded areas for more than 10 days has the potential to produce large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes.  Floodwater mosquitoes can travel up to 10 miles from where they breed.

If we start to see drier weather with higher temperatures as we head into summer, we will start to see more mosquitoes, often referred to as house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), that can carry West Nile virus.

Nine counties have already reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus.  House mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins, ditches, empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly.  In stagnant water, house mosquitoes can multiply rapidly.