McLean County news briefs

The David Davis Mansion hosts program about 19th century Thanksgiving traditions through Nov. 16.


 Learn about Thanksgivings past at Davis Mansion

“The Blessings of the Table: Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn,” a recreation of the festive Thanksgiving celebrations of the 1870s, is being featured through Nov. 16 at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington.

The Mansion will be decorated for Thanksgiving, and each day the bountiful foods, family celebrations and charitable customs of the period will be featured. Tours of the Davis Mansion are free and open to the public, and are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, built in the 1870s for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah.

 City accepting CDBG Partner Program applications

The City of Bloomington is accepting applications for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Partner Program. The Partner Program provides funding for community partners engaging in public service, housing, public facility and infrastructure projects that benefit low- and moderate-income residents.

This application will support projects conducted during the May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021 funding cycle.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm Friday, Dec. 6. Paper applications will not be accepted. The application and grant resources can be accessed via the City’s website at Contact the Grants Coordinator at or 309-434-2342 for more information.

Knitters/crocheters helping out Foster Care to Success

This quarter’s featured knitting/crocheting charities are the Foster Care to Success and The Giving Fence.

The group will be making red scarves for care packages that will be sent to college students who are in the foster care system, and hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves that will be donated to the Giving Fence, located on West Washington Street in Bloomington, for people in need this winter.

Registration is required for this free program as space is limited. Contact the Education Department at 309-827-0428 or via email at to register to participate. Beverages will be provided, but feel free to bring a snack.

Knitters and crocheters are welcome to create an item for the featured charities or to work on their own project. The event will be from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Green Top Grocery, 921 E. Washington St.  Bloomington, in Green Top’s kitchen classroom.

Local knitters and crocheters will be making red scarves for care packages that will be sent to college students who are in the foster care system. (Courtesy of McLean County Museum of History)


Exhibit examines how conflict and change form history

Since the time that people first occupied the land that would become McLean County, conflict has been part of its history. The McLean County Museum of History, 200 N. Main St., Bloomington, has new and permanent exhibit.

“Challenges, Choices, & Change: A Community in Conflict” examines such instances of conflict. Beginning with native peoples’ struggles for sovereignty and continuing through fights for equal rights for women and minorities, the exhibit asks the question, “Who had the power?” — the power to have a voice, to gain respect, to define morality, to instill fear, and more.



Most hunting incidents involve elevated tree stands

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding hunters to make safety their first priority as they head to the field for the state’s firearm deer, upland game, waterfowl and other busy hunting seasons.

“We want hunters to enjoy all the opportunities available here in Illinois, with hopes for a safe and successful hunting season this fall,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan. “While we enjoy and celebrate Illinois’ hunting heritage, we want everyone – from experienced, veteran hunters to those who may be new to hunting – to always think safety first.”

The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the state’s Hunter Safety Education Program, has investigated six hunting incidents so far during 2019, three of which involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.

In 2018, there were 19 hunting incidents reported in all hunting seasons in Illinois. Among the hunting incidents reported last year, 14 involved tree stands.

“Hunters should use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness, no matter the type of elevated stand they are using,” said Jerry Costello, director of the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “Statistics show that in most of the mishaps involving elevated stands, hunters were not using a fall restraint system.”

When utilizing a tree stand, hunters should check that their stand is installed properly. They should check the harness and straps and replace worn straps if needed; and, check the ladder and other equipment before use to make sure they are in working order. They also should be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery. Hunters should have their cellphones within easy reach to call for help, if needed. Hunters can review tree stand safety online at

Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded;
  • Always point a firearm in a safe direction;
  • Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target; and
  • Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot.

Other safety considerations include ensuring heating sources are properly ventilated in hunting cabins and boats, wearing appropriate, high visibility clothing while hunting and being familiar with the area being hunted.

Illinois’ busiest hunting season, the seven-day firearm deer season, begins on Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22-24, and will conclude Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5-8.

The Illinois Archery Deer Season opened Oct. 1 and continues through Jan. 19, 2020. Archery deer season is closed during the firearm deer weekends except in those counties where firearm deer hunting is not permitted.

For more details on Illinois deer, waterfowl, upland game, furbearer and other hunting seasons this fall and winter, check the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations at