Friday, April 28, 2017

Man Injured In Gunfire Incicdent

Police say an unidentified man was wounded in the lower extremities in a gunfire incident Thursday night at the Highland Hills Apartments complex in the 1700 block of Springfield Road in Bloomington. He was driven by others at the scene to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal. The nature and severity of his injuries are not known at this time.

BPD Seeks New Tips on Old Case

Bloomington Police are looking for new tips in an old case. Investigators yesterday asked for leads in the 2013 murder of Haileigh Eichhorn. Police say she was last seen alive four years ago today, her body was found 10 days later in a field in rural Stanford

Local Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

The shock of a Bloomington soldier's death is still fresh. The Pentagon says soldier Josh Rodgers died Wednesday in a raid in Afghanistan. Rodgers graduated from Normal Community in 2013. Friends and family are remembering Rod
gers as a special soldier who wanted to serve his country

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Normal Recount Update

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael says she should know by the end of the day tomorrow when Marc Tiritilli will get to look at the ballots in the race for Normal Mayor. Michael yesterday said her office must set a date for a discover recount. Tiritilli is 11 votes behind mayor-elect Chris Koos. A discovery recount allows him to look at just some of the ballots. If he finds evidence that he could win, Tiritilli has to then ask a judge for a full recount.

Sheriff Defends Cell Phone Ban at the Law and Justice Center

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage is defending the order to ban cell phones from the Law and Justice Center. Sandage yesterday told Cities 92-point-9 that he made the call after a few people recorded court proceedings. Sandage says there's a difference between the cameras and microphones that record trials and someone filming with their phone. Sandage says he hasn't heard too many complaints The change takes effect June 1st.

Illinois' Mr. Basketball Picks University of Illinois

Illinois' Mr. Basketball is staying home to play college ball. Edwardsville High School standout Mark Smith, yesterday signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at the University of Illinois. Smith says he wants to be a part of something special at the school. The U of I's new coach Brad Underwood says landing Smith is a big win for the Illini.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rauners Talks Jobs, Economy at Beer Nuts

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says there are almost as many people working in Illinois today as there were in 2000. The governor used a stop at Beer Nuts yesterday to hammer home the idea that the government of Illinois is holding back the economy in Illinois. Illinois is dead last in the Midwest in job growth. And number one in the number of people leaving the state.

Normal to Get a Starbucks

Uptown Normal is about to get a Starbucks. The coffee giant is expected to move into a space at the Uptown Hyatt later this summer or early this fall.

Tiritilli Files for Discovery Recount in Normal's Mayoral Race

Normal mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli has officially filed papers requesting a discovery recount for the Normal mayoral election. Last week, incumbent Mayor Chris Koos was declared the winner by 11 votes. McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael confirmed Tuesday that Tiritilli is requesting a recount that will allow him to review ballots from seven of the 30 precincts. Michael says her office will receive more information about the review later. After the discovery recount, Tiritilli has until next month to file for a full recount with the courts.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Historic Street in Bloomington Gets a Facelift

An historic street in Bloomington is getting a face lift. East Monroe Street is paved with bricks. Due to time and sewer construction, the road is full of concrete patchwork and potholes. On Monday, the city council decided to move forward with repaving the street with bricks, rather than asphalt. Estimated costs put the project between $300,000 and $500,000, but supporters say brick streets are built to last about 100 years, saving money in the long run

Repairs at College Ave in Normal to Take Longer

The tracks on College Avenue aren't finished. And may not be for another month. I-DOT yesterday said it could be the end of May before the high speed rail upgrades are finished. The tracks closed last October and the work was supposed to be done last week. Drivers will continue to have to detour out of Uptown and cut along East Willow on their way to Fort Jesse Road.

Bloomington City Council Votes City Mgr Hales Another Raise

City Manager David Hales is getting another raise. Bloomington's city council last night approved a nearly two-percent raise. Hales' salary alone will jump to over 188-thousand dollars a year. Outgoing alderman Kevin Lower was the only council member to vote 'No.'

Monday, April 24, 2017

Normal Mayor's Race Update: Tiritilli Raising Funds for Recount

Marc Tiritlli likely isn't done with campaign fundraising. The challenger in Normal's mayor's race says he doesn't have enough money to pay for a recount. Tiritilli is down just 11 votes. But he has less than two-thousand dollars in his campaign account. A recount will likely cost at least five-grand. Tiritilli says he's going to look for support to make sure all of the ballots get counted once again.

IL Lawmakers Return to Springfield to Work on a State Budget

Illinois lawmakers are returning to the statehouse this week with one very big item still on the to-do list. Lawmakers are supposed to have a budget in place by the end of May. But few people at the Capitol seem to think that will happen. Illinois hasn't had a budget in nearly two years, the latest effort to craft a spending plan is bogged down in the Illinois Senate.

Senator Duckworth's Town Hall at IWU

A couple of hundred people joined U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth was at Illinois Wesleyan University for a town hall meeting Sunday moderated by Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner to express some concerns about the current administration. Topics ranged from Amtrak funding to environmental issues and the affordable care act.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Schock's Lawyers Seek Dismissal of Charges

Aaron Schock's lawyers says Congressional rules about buying furniture are so vague they don't know if it's okay to buy a chandelier. And if the rules aren't clear, they say their client shouldn't be facing corruption charges. Schock's lawyers yesterday asked a federal judge to dismiss the case against the former Congressman. Prosecutors say Schock stole from taxpayers and lied on campaign and Congressional expense reports

AARP Pleads with Lawmakers to Keep Law Mandating Land Lines

AARP is begging state lawmakers to keep a decades old law in place that requires AT&T to provide landline telephones. AARP yesterday said taking away the landline mandate could put lives at risk. AT&T is asking the state to end the costly requirement. The phone company says 90-percent of people in the state no longer use traditional landlines, and the state's law costs them millions of dollars a year.

IL Job Numbers

Illinois' unemployment rate is below five-percent for the first time in a decade. But not necessarily because more people are working. The state's Department of Employment Security released the numbers yesterday. Illinois' jobless rate is at its lowest point since May of 2007. But the report also shows the state still has 20-thousand fewer people working than in the fall of 2000.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Limelight Eventplex, Bud Light Concert Series and Tailgate N’ Tallboys: Ready to Bring Music and Money to the Peoria Area

With the Bud Light Concert Series and Tailgate N’ Tallboys Music Festival ready to kick off their 2017 lineup, the Peoria Area is looking to see big money come from the two events. According to economic impact calculations from the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, each of the fourteen concerts is expected to bring in around $500,000 for the local economy. Which calculates to $7,000,000 (million) to the local economy between May 19 and Sep 30. This calculation is based on ticket sales from the estimated concert attendance. 5,000 to 7,000 people are expected for each concert. The calculations take into consideration money spent in our area on food, retail, fuel, accommodations and entertainment outside of the event.

The Bud Light Concert Series kicks off on May 19 with rock bands Skillet and Alter Bridge. Other acts include Nelly (with Juvenile), Trace Adkins, Fitz and the Tantrums, Goo Goo Dolls (with Phillip Phillips), Cheap Trick and 38 Special, Jonny Lang and KC and the Sunshine Band (with Here Come the Mummies)

The Tailgate N’ Tallboys Music Festival is a six-day country music festival spread out throughout the summer. It begins June 16 with Jake Owen. The festival also includes Turnpike Troubadours, Kane Brown, Chris Janson, Cody Jinks, Cole Swindell and many more.

The Bud light Concert Series and Tailgate N’ Tallboys Music Festival were organized by Limelight Eventplex, Inked Entertainment, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peoria Park District and PACE. The goal of the two festivals is to bring life back into the music scene in Peoria and beyond.

Federal Prosecutors Want Schock Informant Kept Secret

Federal prosecutors in Aaron Schock's corruption case want to keep information about their informant in his office secret. Prosecutors asked a judge late on Tuesday to keep information about their informant away from Schock's legal team.  The prosecutors say the former Congressman's lawyers are looking for anything that could point to government misconduct. Schock is facing a July trial on charges that he stole from taxpayers and lied on campaign and Congressional expense reports.

LaHood Faces Angry Crowd In Town Hall

Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood won his district with 72-percent of the vote. But very few of his supporters turned out for LaHood's town hall meeting last night. Instead a crowd of 700 unfriendly faces shouted, jeered, booed, and heckled LaHood over Obamacare and President Trump's taxes. LaHood says disagreements are part of American democracy.

U Of I Student Sets Himself On Fire

Authorities are investigating a possible suicide after a University of Illinois student set himself on fire on campus.  The 21-year-old's burnt body was discovered yesterday morning at the outdoor amphitheater of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  A gas can was found next to him.  The victim's identity hasn't been revealed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Normal Mayoral Race Heads to a Recount

The race for mayor in Normal isn't over yet. The votes have been counted, and Mayor Chris Koos is up by 11 votes, but the race looks to be headed to a recount. Challenger Marc Tiritilli told Cities 92-point-9 yesterday that he's planning on asking for a discovery recount. Just like he planned on Election Day two weeks ago. Tiritilli says he has to prove his case to get to a full recount. If he goes down that route, the mayor's race could remain in limbo til May.

Unit 5's Mark Daniel: A Matter of Time Before Schools Can't Open

Unit 5's superintendent says it may take a missed week of football to get lawmakers' attention. Mark Daniel told Cities 92.9 yesterday that he truly believes it's a matter of time before schools in Illinois can't open. Daniel says his district has been spending money it doesn't have on things that the state of Illinois is supposed to pay for, like school buses. Daniel says lawmakers must get something done before the end of the year. He said Unit 5 schools have just half a year's cash on hand.

Illinois' Universities Facing Possible Credit Downgrades Due to Lack of State Budget

Illinois' universities are the latest to be looking at a credit downgrade. Moody's Investors Service yesterday said it plans to review most of the state's public universities for a potential downgrade. University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and Governors State University could all see their credit rating lowered because of the lack of a state budget.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Koos Wins Normal Mayoral Race by 11 Votes After Absentee Ballots Counted

Normal mayor Chris Koos wins a fourth term after the absentee ballots were counted Tuesday morning. Election night ended with Koos leading challenger Marc Tiritilli by seven votes. Tiritilli on election night said he would ask for a recount if the votes did not go in his favor.

NPD Seeks Information in Home Invasion Robbery

Normal Police are looking for a man they say robbed a woman at knife point. It happened Saturday at the College Station Apartments. NPD investigators say the suspect knocked on the woman's door, when she opened, he pushed inside and robbed the woman. No one was hurt. Police say the suspect has a medium build and light colored skin. Normal Police are asking for tips in the case.

Normal Votes For Sewer and Water Rate Hikes..And it Won't Be the Last

It's not the last time your water or sewer bill is going up in the town of Normal. Town leaders last night approved a pair of rate hikes that will have homeowners paying 13-dollars more per year. Normal says the fee increases will last them for a little while til they can find a permanent rate structure.

Rauner Talks State Budget

If Illinois is going to get a state budget, the Illinois Senate is going to make the deal. Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday told a crowd in the Quad Cities that he doesn't have any faith in Democrats in the Illinois House. Rauner said Mike Madigan and his lawmakers aren't interested in changing the system in Illinois.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Route 66 Supporters Looking For More Money

There's some worry up and down Route 66 in Illinois.  Supporters say they expect Congress to end a program that's pumped millions of dollars into projects along the road.  Landmarks Illinois' Frank Butterfield says without federal help, a lot of little towns along Route 66 won't be able to save their old landmarks.  Butterfield says that will be a huge loss, with the 100th Anniversary of Route 66 coming up in 2026.

State Of Illinois To 'Tweak' New License Plates

Illinois' brand new license plates are already being changed.  The Secretary of State's Office last week said it plans to tweak the plates.  Drivers and some police departments say the new plates are tough to read.  Illinois stared rolling out the new plates earlier this year.

Governor's Race Getting Expensive

The race for Illinois governor is already a multi-million-dollar affair, and it's only April of 2017. Democrat JB Pritzker late last week donated seven-million dollars to his campaign.  Pritzker is a billionaire, and many Democrats hope he can compete with Governor Bruce Rauner's millions.  The governor donated 50-million dollars to his campaign late last year.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Governor Rauner Taps New Commission To Cut Red Tape

Illinois' governor says 260-thousand regulations on business in the state are way too many.  Governor Rauner yesterday tasked a new commission, the Illinois Competitiveness Council, to trim regulations by 20-percent. The governor says government red tape often stifles business innovation job growth in the state.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Video: Portillo's Ground-Breaking Ceremony in Normal

Portillo's top brass and members of the Normal Town Council along with Mayor Koos and others participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking on Landmark Drive where the Motel 6 once stood.

Portillo's plans to hire over 200 workers when it open in mid-August.

Click link to see video

The Town of Normal provided $2 million worth of incentives to Tartan Realty Group to make the deal happen.

Portillo's is also opening a location in Champaign. No monetary incentives were reportedly involved in that deal.

Money Concerns for Unit 5

Normal schools' superintendent says it's just a matter of time before they close their doors. Superintendent Mark Daniel told parents last night the state's on-going budget crisis will force their hand. Daniel says it's just a matter of time before Unit 5 schools run out of money and are forced to close. But he didn't say when he thinks that will be.

Bloomington DUI Suspect has a Long Rap Sheet

The DUI charges for Joshua Brewster are just the latest in a long line of run-ins with the law. Prosecutors yesterday said Brewster, who's accused of smashing his SUV into a light pole at Airport Road and College Avenue, has a warrant out for his arrest in four states and in under investigation in a fifth. They also say Brewster was charged with a DUI in Woodford County one day before the Bloomington wreck. Brewster is still in McLean County jail. He's due back in court next week.

School Funding Plan Announced

The latest plan to change how Illinois pays for schools focuses on tweaks rather than large scale changes. State Senator Jason Barickman yesterday presented a plan to hand-out state money to schools based on need. He also wants to end some state mandates. But Barickman says his plan doesn't touch property taxes or pensions, which are the most expensive parts of school funding in Illinois.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Man Who Crashed into Utility Poles and Cut Power to Thousands Was High at the Time

33-year-old Joshua Brewster of Washington is accused of driving under the influence of drugs in a one-vehicle crash that took out two utility poles Monday and shut down an east Bloomington intersection for about 18 hours. Brewster was jailed Tuesday on preliminary charges related to the crash at College Avenue and Airport Road.

Normal Man Charged with Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

21-year-old Eddine Dalton of Normal will be allowed to leave McLean County jail on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond after being formally charged with reckless discharge of a firearm for allegedly firing shots at glass bottles at a home in the 400 block of West Vernon Avenue in Normal Sunday evening

Young Pekin Shooting Victim Dies

Friends and family are saying goodbye to an eight-year-old Pekin girl.  Doctors say Halyee Garrison died yesterday, four days after police say her cousin shot her in the throat.  Garrison never regained consciousness.  The Garrison family say they made the difficult decision to donate Haylee's organs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bloomington City Council Approves Budget, Lowers Speed Limit on Fox Creek Road

Bloomington city leaders say they have a 'balanced' budget. But it is a budget that spends more than last year, and is 14-million dollars larger than just two year ago. The Bloomington City Council approved the 105-million dollar day to day budget last night. Most of the new overall spending in Bloomington will be on roads. But there are about a half-million dollars set aside for new salaries and raises. In other council business, the speed limit on Fox Creek Road in Bloomington is going down to 30 miles per hour. The council unanimously approved the ordinance stretching from West Oakland Avenue to Stoneheadges Court Monday after
a presentation from the city manager

Bloomington Power Outage Attributed to an Alleged Drunk Driver

An SUV hits two utility poles at the intersection of Airport Road and College Avenue in Bloomington knocking out power to 27-hundred customers. It happened around 5 p.m Monday night. According to the Pantagraph, the damage to the power poles left live power lines on the street. Traffic was diverted away from the scene for some time and power was restored at about 9 p.m.  Police say one person was taken to the hospital. The driver is being investigated for possibly driving under the influence. The condition of the other passengers is unknown.

Teen Arrested on Gun Charges

A teenager is behind bars after he was arrested in Bloomington for firing a gun. Police were in the area of Market Street and Howard Street when they heard multiple gunshots. A short time later, officers found a male matching a descripton of the suspect, who left the area. Police arrested the teenager for aggravated discharge of a gun, possession of a stolen gun and unlawful possession. He was transported to the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center. No injuries were reported.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Normal Police Seek Information in Weekend Shooting

Police in Normal are investigating an early morning shooting that injured one. It happened Saturday morning around 1:13 a.m. A 20-year-old male was shot at a big party on the 600 block of S. Fell Street. He was immediately taken to Advocate Bromenn Medical Center and taken to surgery with non-life threatening injuries. Police say many party goers fled the scene when the gun was fired. The Normal Police Department is asking anyone who attended the party or witnessed the shooting to contact

Pekin Eight-Year-Old Recovering From Gunshot Wound To Throat

Prosecutors aren't talking about charges in the case of an eight-year-old Pekin girl shot in the throat. Investigators say they're instead focusing on Haylee Garrison's recovery.  Police in Pekin say it looks like the girl's cousin shot her in the throat last week while they were playing.

Lawmakers Have To Convince Gaming Regulators On Fantasy Sports

The country's biggest fantasy sports leagues are on-board with a plan at the Illinois Capitol to regulate and tax their games.  But the state's Gaming Board is fighting the proposal.  The Gaming Board last week said it'd be almost impossible to regulate a game that is played in people's living rooms on servers that aren't housed in Illinois.  Lawmakers who support the proposal say other states have worked it out, and Illinois can as well.

Friday, April 7, 2017

IL House Democrats: $800-Million Stopgap Measure

Democrats in the Illinois House are on-board with a plan to spend 800-million dollars to get universities and social service providers through the next few months. Lawmakers yesterday approved a new stopgap spending plan. Illinois still doesn't have a budget, and the spending plan leaves most of the rest of state government without any certainty. The Illinois Senate still needs to take-up the proposal.

JB Pritzker to Run for Governor

JB Pritzker is no longer on the sideline for Illinois' race for governor. The billionaire Democrat yesterday officially entered the race to unseat Governor Bruce Rauner. Pritzker says he's more than just 'another rich guy,' Pritzker says he's a successful businessman with progressive values

Deadly Workplace Accident

Workplace investigators are still looking for answers after a deadly accident at a central Illinois metal shop. DeWitt County's Coroner yesterday said it appears a palate of roofing sheet metal fell on the still unidentified man while he was working at the McElroy Metal Manufacturing plant in Clinton. The coroner is planning an autopsy today.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

McLean Co. Clerk Seeks Permission to Publicly Release Absentee Votes in Normal Mayor's Race

We could know later today more about Normal's mayoral race. McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael yesterday told Cities 92-point-9 that she has at least 13 absentee ballots for Normal mayor in her office. Michael isn't saying who the ballots are for. Michael says she's checking with Illinois election officials if she can publicly release those votes. Normal Mayor Chris Koos ended Election Day with a seven vote lead over challenger Marc Tiritilli.