McLean County news briefs

Dan Donath


City names new police chief

City Manager Tim Gleason announced Dan Donath as his selection for Bloomington’s next Police Chief on Aug. 28.

Dan Donath began his career with the Bloomington Police Department in 1994 and has served in a variety of roles. He became an assistant chief in 2018 and most recently split the duties of interim Bloomington Police Chief.

The police chief recruitment process began earlier this summer and included a community forum hosted by the Public Safety and Community Relations Board and interviews by a selection committee made up of, alphabetically: City Manager Tim Gleason; U.S. Marshal for the Central District of Illinois Brendan Heffner; City of Bloomington Economic Development Director Melissa Hon; McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp; Public Safety and Community Relations Board Chairman Art Taylor; and Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus. A community meet-and-greet with the final two candidates was held two weeks ago.

“I am very pleased with this process and its outcome,” explains City Manager Gleason. “We had a group of very strong candidates to consider, and I truly know Mr. Donath is ready to lead and excel in his new role. I thank the community for their participation in the selection. It is up to all of us to offer our support to the new Chief and the entire Bloomington Police department.”

Donath will assume the duties of Police Chief immediately, with a formal swearing in ceremony to follow on Monday, Sept. 9.


Self-service electronics recycling open monthly

Self-service electronics recycling drop off for McLean County residents is available Saturday, Sept. 7,  from 8 a.m. to noon and on the first Saturday of each month at the  Town of Normal Public Works, 1301 Warriner St.,

This is in addition to the regular self-service electronics recycling drop off available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Self-Service Electronics Recycling hours for McLean County residents changed to 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Sept. 4.

Utilize the town’s new Electronics Recycling Building. Signage indicates where each type of electronics should be placed in the building.

Drop offs may include computers, monitors, electronic keyboards, televisions, scanners, fax machines, copiers, cell phones, video recorders, cameras and more. The items do not need to be in working order to be recycled. Items containing Freon, such as mini refrigerators and dehumidifiers are not accepted.  An up to date list of acceptable items can be found on our website at  Do not drop off equipment outside of our published open hours.

Drop off is not available for businesses and residents outside of McLean County.

For more information on the Town of Normal’s electronics’ recycling program visit our website at or contact the Public Works office at 309-454-9571, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Self-service electronics recycling drop off is available the first Saturday of each month at the Town of Normal Public Works, 1301 Warriner St.


Small Wonders Walk benefits OSF neonatal unit

Every year, hundreds of critically ill newborns are cared for in the neonatal unit at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Many of them spend days, weeks, even months receiving life-changing and lifesaving treatment.

The 13th annual Small Wonders Miracle Walk benefiting the OSF Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.

Families will enjoy a 3K walk, silent auction, face painting, bounce houses, and a fun concert by Julie K.

Participants gather to celebrate, reconnect and remember all of the families who’ve received care in the neonatal unit. The event, organized by patient families, raises funds for family programming, educational classes, activities and medical equipment.

Learn more and register You can also register by calling the OSF HealthCare Foundation at 309-566-5666. Register by Sept. 4 for guaranteed t-shirt size. Online registration closes Sept. 18.

Illinois River Sweep scheduled at Forest Park

Meet at Forest Park Nature Center, 5809 N Forest Park Drive, Peoria Heights, for this annual Illinois River cleanup day from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14. Gloves and trash bags are provided.

Call Forest Park at 309-686-3360 to register yourself, your family, or your group.  Registration begins at 8 a.m., cleanup begins at 9 a.m.

New year begins this month for Illinois 4-H

4-H clubs will be organizing soon for the 2019-20 4-H year.  Most clubs have their first meeting of the new year in September or October.  4-H is the youth education outreach of University of Illinois Extension.

Kids who like having fun, meeting new people, developing new skills, and getting involved in community projects will want to join 4-H.

Those who are at least 8 years old by Sept. 1, 2019, and not yet 19, can join a 4-H club, get involved in camps, workshops, and special events.

A 4-H club has five or more members and one or more volunteer leaders. Club members elect their own officers, plan club programs, and conduct six or more meetings and other events during the 4-H year.  Each member enrolls in at least one 4-H project. Some clubs also participate in group activities or community service projects.

For those who like traveling, 4-H offers camps, conferences, trips, the Illini 4-H Summer Academies at the U of I, and more.  Countywide and multi-county events such as 4-H workshops, recreational outings, and the many summer county 4-H shows offer plenty of ways for kids to belong to a positive group, develop new skills, become a leader and be around positive mentors and caring adults.

While 4-H is very proud of its agricultural background, it’s much more than that now. There are over 100 projects from which to choose, covering virtually every subject imaginable.

There are 4-H clubs located throughout Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties. Youth are eligible to join whatever club works best for them and their family schedule. There is a $20 4-H program fee, but no one is denied membership because of inability to pay.

The 4-H program is open to all youth, regardless of place of residence, race, creed, national origin, gender, physical or mental disability, or marital status.

A list of clubs is available on our website, within each county’s section. We encourage you to reach out to the club leaders listed or the local 4-H staff to learn more about the clubs.

Adults who would be interested in becoming a volunteer are also encouraged to call the local Extension office to find out more about applying for a 4-H volunteer role.


Coverage for mammograms, breast cancer screenings expanded

Gov. J.B.Pritzker signed legislation expanding health insurance coverage for mammograms and other breast cancer screenings.

“When it comes to breast cancer in the United States, its frequency, proper screening, and mortality vary vastly across racial and ethnic groups. We cannot and should not tolerate the disparities that come from institutional failures,” said Pritzker. “At a time when too many states — and the federal government — are in the business of destabilizing women’s health care, Illinois will stand on the side of patients. From breast cancer to youth Epi-Pens to Lyme disease, we’re making Illinoisans’ coverage better suit their needs.”

The new law expands both private insurance and Medicaid to cover several preventative measures to help women detect breast cancer. Mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs will now be covered when deemed medically necessary by a physician, advanced practice nurse or physician assistant. Senate Bill 162 takes effect on Jan. 1.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, upwards of ten thousand women in Illinois are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and the risk of getting breast cancer has increased for black women and Asian and Pacific Islander women over the last decade. With the new law increasing access to preventative care, early detection and treatment can help save lives.

“Everyone should have the ability to access life-saving health care,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.