McLean County news briefs

The sculpture “Release” by Kendall Welch will be part of the “Bronze – Young & Old” exhibit at Eaton Gallery in Bloomington. (Photo courtesy of Eaton Gallery)


 Eaton Gallery  hosts “Bronze–Young & Old”

Eaton Gallery, 411 N. Center, Bloomington will exhibit selected bronze works that were created and poured in the Bradley University Sculpture program at the school’s foundry 2019-20 by these young women.

The artist reception is part of downtown Bloomington’s March First Friday event on Friday, March 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Works will be exhibited on the first floor gallery along with some of gallery sculptor Herb Eaton’s pieces. The works of  three young female artists will be part of the exhibit in recognition of Discovering Young Artists and  International Women’s Month.

Illinois Weslyan raises funds for Children’s Hospital

A record-setting $22,284.49 was raised for the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois during Illinois Wesleyan University’s annual TitanThon .

The year-long fundraising effort culminated with TitanThon’s main event on Saturday, Feb. 1 in the Young Main Lounge.

TitanThon, whose slogan is “For The Kids,” is a registered student organization (RSO) with a mission to provide monetary and emotional support to the children and families of the OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

The student organization decided to donate the funds to OSF’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

TitanThon, which partnered with Greek Life organizations and other RSOs across campus, spent hours each week during the summer and first semester planning the Feb. 1 main event. During the event, which lasted from 4-10 p.m., participants pledged to stand on their feet for the entirety of the evening in honor of Children’s Hospital patients and families.

The event, which is a celebration of the year’s fundraising efforts, also included many activities that encouraged people to donate to the Children’s Hospital.

One of the events included painting rocks to donate to the Children’s Hospital garden. Other events included Zumba, choreographed dances, as well as activities that encouraged students to fundraise.

TitanThon is nationally affiliated with the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a national organization on more than 300 U.S. college campuses that fundraises for their local Children’s Miracle Network Children’s Hospital.

Most programs conclude with a big event ranging from four to 46 hours in which the participants hear stories from Miracle Families, participate in activities, and fundraise for their local children’s hospital.


Early voting underway for March 17 primary

Early voting for the March 17 general primary is open at multiple locations throughout the county.  Voting is available Monday through Friday, now through March 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Monday through Friday, March 9-13 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the County Clerk’s Office, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington.

Weekend voting hours at the clerk’s office are Saturday, March 7, 8:30 a.m. to noon, and Sunday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, March 14, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Last day for early voting at the clerk’s office is Monday, March 16, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be weekend hours at Eastland Mall (Northwest entrance), 1615 E. Empire St., Bloomington.  Those times are Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 26-March 1 and March 7-8, noon to 6 p.m.

There is also early voting times at Illinois State University at Bone Student Center, 100 N. University St., Normal, Monday through Friday, March 2-6, and March 9-13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at Watterson Tower, 301 S. Fell Ave., Monday through Saturday, March 2-7, and Monday through Friday, March 9-13, noon to 7 p.m.

For more information, go to

School districts referendums on ballot

The LeRoy Community Unit School District 2, serving residents in McLean and DeWitt counties, has placed a question on the March 17 primary ballot, asking if voters want the district to issue bonds of valued at more than $8.3 million to pay for an addition onto LeRoy Elementary School and to make improvements onto existing buildings.

The El Paso-Gridley Community Unit School District 11, serving residents in Woodford, McLean and Livingston counties, is asking voters if the district should issue $20 million in bonds for making renovations and repairs and equipping school facilities.


Heartland reports enrollment increase for 2020

Heartland Community College is showing an increase in both headcount and credit hours from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020.

Enrollment numbers at Spring 20 Census Day (the 10th day of classes) show an increase of 3.2 percent in the number of Heartland undergraduate students and a slight increase of 0.3 percent in number of credit hours they are taking.

“One promising trend in these Spring to Spring comparisons is the number of returning students we are seeing this semester,” said Sarah Diel-Hunt, vice president of Enrollment and Student Services. “These are students who have returned to Heartland after a gap of three or more semesters in their enrollment. Acknowledgement should go to enrollment services staff for their efforts to design strategies to reach out to this group of students and facilitate their return to complete certificate and degree programs.”

College seeks nominees for Distinguish Alumni Award

The Heartland Community College Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the Distinguished Alumni award. The award recognizes notable Heartland alumni who demonstrate exceptional achievement in their profession and make a positive impact on their community.

“The purpose of the award is to recognize alumni who are making a difference in their community,” said Foundation Executive Director Chris Downing. “We encourage co-workers, family members, friends and professors to consider taking a few minutes to nominate a former Heartland student who deserves to be honored.”

Last year’s award winner was Chris Marx, owner of Redbird Plumbing. Marx earned his Associate of Arts degree from Heartland in 2000. He opened Redbird Plumbing in 2004 after completing his bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University. The business has received multiple service awards in the region.

Nomination forms are available at

Nominations are due Friday, March 27, 2020 and can be emailed to

Diabetes Clinic: Exploring Current Diet Trends

Join University of Illinois Extension for the March Diabetes Clinic: “Exploring Current Diet Trends” class. March’s program will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 at the Woodford County Extension Office, 109 E. Eureka Ave., Eureka.

Dieting is nothing new to the U.S., but various diets fly in and fade away. So what’s trending? What really works? Learn the pros and cons, the evidence and the safety of these diets, and walk away empowered to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes clinics are informal but informational walk-in programs with a different topic each month designed especially for persons living with diabetes. There is no cost to attend this program and no registration is necessary.

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