McLean County news briefs

Medici in Normal presents Oktoberfest! on Saturday, Sept. 21 for an evening of traditional German food, music, and drink. The event will take place on 11 Uptown Circle from 4 to 10 p.m. (Photo courtesy of


State Farm gets offer for former headquarters building

A potential buyer has expressed interest in the former State Farm Headquarters building in Bloomington, according to the company.

Reportedly,  Urban Equity Properties LLC, a Rockford-based company, has signed a purchasing agreement with State Farm including plans to close the deal in early October.

If the sale goes through, it can save the building that once housed up to 400 to 500 employees from demolition.

UEP has plans for converting the building into 230 luxury apartments, at an estimated cost of $40 million, according to published reports.

The company said it believes the Bloomington-Normal is a good market for such high-end apartments.

State Farm has been shopping the building since spring 2018 and by July of this year the plans switched to having the building demolished.  But, residents and some civic leaders went into action to form the preservation group called Save Our State Farm Building.

A public hearing regarding S-4 consideration for the Downtown State Farm building originally anticipated for the Thursday, Sept. 19 Historic Preservation Commission meeting will not take place now with the news of the pending sale.

The nominating form was submitted by Greg Koos

“Given Friday’s great news regarding the building’s pending sale, this is absolutely the right move,” said City Manager Gleason. “It is the City’s wish to support the sale and redevelopment of this building however is appropriate, and this meets that goal.”


BroMenn Medical Center has CPR skills testing

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center has a BLS (Basic Life Support) Health Care Provider CPR skills testing session on Monday, Sept. 23, at the hospital, 1304 Franklin Ave., Normal.

Participants can arrive anytime between 6 – 7 p.m. The session is skills testing only, not the full class.

This testing session is appropriate for nursing students, EMT students and other types of health care professionals who have first completed the online “Heartcode” portion of the class at

The session at the hospital is a structured, hands-on session with an AHA Instructor that focuses on meaningful skills practice, debriefing, team scenarios, and skills testing. Participants must present their successful completion certificate of the online program to the instructor prior to testing.

There is a $25 fee, and registration is required. For more information or to register, please visit 


Program topic: Eating to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

University of Illinois Extension and El Paso Public Library invites the public to attend their upcoming program, “Eating to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes”. The class is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the El Paso District Library, 149 W. First St., El Paso.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults have prediabetes, and 90 percent of them are unaware of it. Higher than normal blood glucose levels raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as type 2 diabetes.

Learn about small steps you can take to lower your diabetes risk in the program, “Eating to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes” taught by University of Illinois Extension registered dietitian Jenna Smith.

During the program, attendees will enjoy sample food tastings and receive a packet of recipes and diabetes information to take home.

The cost of the program is $3/person to cover the cost of food. Register in person at the El Paso Library or by calling the library at 309-527-4360.

For more information on this program or upcoming Extension events, visit us at or contact University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator & Registered Dietitian, Jenna Smith at 309-663-8306 or email her at

The descendants of Peter and Anna were honored as the 2019 Illinois 4-H Foundation Family Spirit winners during a ceremony held Aug. 13 at the Illinois State Fair. (Photo courtesy of Illinois 4-H)


Mohr descendants claim 4-H family award

In the earliest beginnings of 4-H, the children of Peter and Anna Mohr were leading generations of youth through 4-H club work. Peter came to America from Germany in 1857 and married Anna. Their seven children; Jacob, Anna, Emmanuel, Maggie, William, Iva, and Elmer; were raised in McLean County.

The descendants of Peter and Anna were honored as the 2019 Illinois 4-H Foundation Family Spirit winners during a ceremony held Aug. 13 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The award recognizes Illinois families who have benefited from 4-H and continue to advocate for the Illinois 4-H program over multiple generations. In addition to length of 4-H membership, families advocate for the county and state 4-H programs through their community service and philanthropy.

Jacob’s daughters, Laura and May Mohr, born in 1896 and 1906 respectively, served as leaders of the Silver Leaf Let’s Go Girls 4-H Club in McLean County for 40 years. Jacob’s daughter-in-law, Alyce Mohr, also led a club for 15 years.

In total, 75 family members with roots to Peter and Anna are affiliated with 4-H. Combined, they share 530 years of membership, 303 years of club leadership, and 368 years of volunteer service to 4-H.

“We have learned, first hand, that 4-H teaches youth many valuable life skills,” a family spokesman said, “and we all enjoy sharing our time and talent to help empower the next generation of youth by teaching them they can make the best better.”

The Illinois 4-H Foundation’s mission is to build relationships to generate financial resources for Illinois 4-H, said Angie Barnard, Foundation executive director. “Funding from individual donors, our Illinois 4-H Project Partners, companies, and friends of Illinois 4-H help the foundation support statewide programming initiatives along with scholarships, assistance to national events, grant opportunities, and filling funding gaps.”