McLean County news briefs

Beth Kraft received the Individual Excellence in Outstanding Programming award at University of Illinois Extension’s Illinois Nutrition Education Programs annual Fall Training. Pictured (left to right) are sassociate dean and director of Extension & Outreach Shelly Nickols-Richardson, SNAP-Ed community worker Beth Kraft, and assistant dean of Family and Consumer Sciences Jennifer McCaffrey. (Photo courtesy of U of Illinois Extension)


City changes hours at Citizen Convenience Center

The City of Bloomington is reducing the operating hours for the Citizen Convenience Center for the winter.

The Citizen Convenience Center will now be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed Saturdays, Sundays, and municipal holidays.

The Citizen Convenience Center is located at the corner of East Street and Jackson Street, south of the Bloomington Public Library. The facility enables people who participate in the Solid Waste Program to take their bulk waste, brush, and other acceptable items to a central location for processing rather than waiting for curbside collection.

In addition, anyone can use the Citizen Convenience Center to find out information about local charities that accept donations and find out how to dispose of waste in a sustainable manner. The City provides all of these services at no additional charge to Solid Waste Program users.

For more information on the Solid Waste Program, c or call Public Works at 309-434-2225.

 Illinois Weslyan theater presents “The Life”

The School of Theatre Arts presents “The Life” in the Jerome Mirza Theatre, with evening shows Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 through Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., plus an afternoon performance on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.

The Life” is a musical –– intended for mature audiences –– which takes a gritty, dark, and vibrant look at the inhabitants of 1980’s Time Square. The Life features emotionally revealing songs, with a jazz and pop-inflected score, and realistically conflicted characters. Trapped in a location and situations most would avoid at all costs, Fleetwood, Memphis, Jojo, Sonja, Queen, Mary, and Lou struggle to survive and maybe, to get out.

Illinois Wesleyan’s production of “The Life” is directed by associate professor of Theatre Arts Scott Susong, with music direction by Instructor and music coordinator Charlie Berggren ’10. Ian Coulter-Buford ’12 co-choreographed IWU’s production along with Adjunct Instructor Jessica Riss-Waltrip. Theatre arts major Madisen Debord ’20 serves as the stage manager.

Tickets are available at the Jerome Mirza Theatre Box Office located at 2 Ames Plaza East in Bloomington, or by calling the box office at 309-556-3232.

The box office is open Monday through Friday 12:30 to 5 p.m. General admission is $12 on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and $14 on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $2 for students with a valid I.D., and seniors receive $1 off. This is a show intended for mature audiences due to its language and themes.

“The Life” is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music is by Cy Coleman, lyrics are by Ira Gasman, dance and vocal arrangements are by Coleman, and the original book is by David Newman, Gasman and Coleman.

Ian Coulter-Buford, a 2012 graduate of Illinois Weslyan University, took a break from his professional career in New York City to coach, teach and mentor current students while co-choreographing Illinois Wesleyan’s upcoming musical “The Life.” (Photo courtesy of IWU)

  Heartland offers scholarships to home-schooled students

The Heartland Community College Foundation is extending the eligibility of the Trustee Scholarship to home school students.

The Trustee Scholarship award is for tuition and fees for 12-18 credit hours per semester and a maximum of 36 credit hours per academic year for up to 4 semesters at Heartland Community College.

Traditionally one Heartland Trustee Scholarship is awarded to a high academic student from each of the District 540 area high schools.

Eligible home schooled students must submit a completed Trustee Scholarship Application by March 1 prior to the Fall semester of full-time enrollment in Heartland. Applications are available online at

Incorporated in 1992, The Heartland Community College Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation dedicated to the enhancement and support of student learning and success at Heartland Community College. The Foundation annually awards over a half-million dollars in scholarship assistance to 280 students or more in District 540.


Community worker honored for SNAP education

Beth Kraft received the Individual Excellence in Outstanding Programming award at University of Illinois Extension’s Illinois Nutrition Education Programs annual Fall Training.

Kraft is a community worker who provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education in McLean County.

She was honored for being an exemplary employee that consistently exceeds programming goals and is respected and valued by both colleagues and community partners.

Kraft has volunteered to participate in several pilot projects, such as the healthy text message program.

The Individual Excellence in Outstanding Programming award is given to a team member who demonstrates excellence in overall work performance by reaching limited resource individuals and families and in nutrition education program delivery.

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that those eligible for the Supplemental Food Assistance Program will make healthy food and lifestyle choices that prevent obesity. SNAP-Ed is provided in all fifty states and is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. In Illinois, SNAP-Ed is part of the Illinois Nutrition Education Programs with University of Illinois Extension.

For more information, contact University of Illinois Extension McLean County at or contact the office at 309-663-8306.


 Department on Aging recognizes National Caregivers Month

The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) would like to highlight its supportive dementia gap filling initiative, Caregiver Support Program, and the resources available for people who are caring for older Illinoisans.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 83 percent of care provided in the community is conducted by unpaid caregivers, primarily family members. In Illinois, there are over 590,000 family caregivers providing an estimated 671 million hours of unpaid care during any given year. Additionally, it is projected that the number of individuals age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease will increase to 18 percent by 2025.

Because of this, $1 million in new funding was included in IDoA’s 2020 budget to enhance the Caregiver Support Program adding additional educational programs for family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD).

The 13 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) have developed specific policies for implementing service in their area.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 5 Illinois adults are caregivers. Of these caregivers, about 16 percent are 65 years of age or older themselves, and almost a third provide care for at least 20 hours per week.

The Caregiver Support Program, managed by IDoA in partnership with the Area Agencies on Aging and local community-service providers, provide information to family caregivers about available services, individual counseling, support groups or caregiver training; assistance in gaining access to services.

For more information on the Caregiver Support Program, visit, and click on the Caregiver Support Program tab.