More alleged victims have come forward to accuse a Bloomington piano teacher of sexually abusing them as Bloomington police continue interviewing other potential victims.Aaron Parlier was handed three more indictments charging him with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of two minors. Parlier now faces a total of 13 charges involving three alleged victims.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal invites you to enroll in the popular TSA Pre✓® expedited screening program March 5-9, 2018. The enrollment event hours are 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. each day in Conference Room 1 on the second level of the terminal building at 3201 CIRA Drive, Bloomington. TSA Pre✓® is an expedited screening program that enables identified low-risk air travelers to enjoy a smart and more efficient screening experience. For TSA Pre✓® travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, light outerwear or belts.
If you live in Bloomington, you will pay more to have your trash hauled and you will see a reduction in bulky waste pickup as part of a plan approved Monday to close a $1.1 million annual deficit in the solid waste disposal program. The City Council voted 6-3 to levy a $4 increase for the two larger trash carts, effective May 1st, but the $16 per month fee for the 35-gallon cart remains unchanged. Beginning May 1, 2019, the per-cart monthly fee will increase 3 percent a year for every cart size.
Bus managers in Bloomington-Normal aren't giving up hope on a downtown Bloomington hub. Connect Transit leaders last night said that they are looking for a new site, after city leaders in Bloomington scuttled the idea of a combo library/bus station earlier this month. Connect Transit GM Isaac Thorne told city leaders last night that he'd rather that they tell him where to build, so they can all avoid another site selection that ends-up nowhere.
One of the nation's Supreme Court justices says he cannot believe the state of Illinois is defending the public sector unions that are draining state resources and demanding ever-higher pensions, paychecks and perks. Justice Anthony Kennedy yesterday blasted assistant Illinois Attorney General David Franklin for defending AFSCME in its attempt to continue to force all state workers to pay a fee to the union, which Kennedy says supports the union's political action. Kennedy said that by siding with the union, the state is siding with higher wages, massive government, increasing bonded indebtedness and increasing taxes. The sharp questions came during oral arguments in the Janus case, which could undue union fees and protections for public sector jobs across Illinois and the rest of the country.
Monday, February 26, 2018
Bloomington Police Department are searching for answers after officers on patrol discovered a man's body in the Market Street parking deck, 202 W. Market just after 6 a.m. Monday. Officers on patrol found the body of an adult male and the McLean County Coroner pronounced the man dead at 6:45 a.m. The name of the man is being withheld pending family notification. Police said there is no indication the death is suspicious in nature. A forensic pathologist will make a final determination. Anyone with information is asked to contact BPD.
There's good news for drivers. GasBuddy.com says gas prices in Illinois are down from a week ago. The average price for a gallon of unleaded in the state is two-dollars and 51-cents. The lowest price in the state is two-dollars and 17-cents a gallon in Effingham.
Despite the high water on some rivers around Illinois, forecasters say this spring flood season shouldn't be that bad. The National Weather Service released its 2018 Spring Flood Outlook last week. Forecasters say there wasn't enough rain or snow last fall and this winter, so there won't be much water coming down the Mississippi River. The report goes on to say that many parts of Illinois are still too dry, so farm fields and ponds will be able to absorb any rain that does fall or water that comes down the river.
The Bloomington city council members will meet in special session to discuss a possible downtown location for a Transit Connect bus transfer station. Connect Transit last week received a $250,000 grant from IDOT for a feasibility study and plan for a transfer station.
Friday, February 23, 2018
The Town of Normal says it is diligently working to fill those troublesome potholes. Town officials say they have received lots of calls asking how to report damage to roads. With recent weather making roads worse, the public works crews have been filling potholes with cold patch fills. It's a temporary fix until they can permanently fill them in the spring. If you want to report a pothole in Normal, fill out the public works form on the towns official website.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state is still sliding into the economic abyss. The governor delivered his message to a group of farmers and agriculture industry insiders in Bloomington yesterday. Rauner said Illinois is still struggling with high taxes, particularly high property taxes. But the governor didn't have any new ideas as to how to lower those tax burdens except for his campaign answer to "fight for change" in Springfield.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback who led the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl victory in 2011 will headline the American Red Cross Evening of Stars that will begin at 6 p.m. April 24 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in uptown Normal. Tickets are $150 and are available beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday at www.redcross.org/EOStickets or by calling the Red Cross at 309-662-0500. Evening of Stars, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Red Cross in the Bloomington-Normal area, funds Red Cross disaster response, preparedness training, support for military families and collection of blood and blood products.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
They are not going to do it--for now. Most of Bloomington's aldermen are not interested in levying a video gambling machine fee and raising the city utility tax to replace the O'Neil Park pool. Furthermore, they don't want to raise your fuel taxes to increase street repair work. But that's not to say that they oppose a scaled back verion of the replacement of the pool or a slightly smaller raise in your fuel taxes.
Normal could get a new sports facility in the next few years. The town council voted unanimously to approve a resolution Monday night that would fund a feasibility study. The study would reveal whether or not Normal is capable of bringing a multi-sport facility to the area, and evaluate its proposed economic impact. Council officials and some community members believe the complex would bring in more people to stay in hotels, eat local food, and provide more jobs, resulting in a boost in the economy.
Monday, February 19, 2018
The Normal City Council will consider Monday a contract with Florida-based Sports Facilities Advisory for a proposed $47,000 study over the next three months to look a potential Twin City outdoor s
A special session of the Bloomington city council tonight at 5:30 features Fire Chief Mohr updating the council on emergency response times and the council being asked to provide direction on some Downtown Task Force recommendations minus the one to move the library to the Market Street parking ramp site.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Members of the O'Brien Auto Team are being recognized for their acts of heroism. On Thursday, three of them were recognized with hero awards. When 20-year-old Jordan Turner collapsed in cardiac arrest on the job about 4 months ago, Romy Williams and Cathy Napoline jumped in and did the only thing they knew how. The three administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth until paramedics arrived with an AED. Turner has since returned to work. The dealership is partnering with the American Red Cross, to get over 75% of their staff CPR certified, and get an AED put in each Bloomington-Normal location.
Local school leaders across the state say Governor Bruce Rauner's budget could undo any progress from the state's new school funding formula. The governor on Wednesday proposed a cost shift that would have local schools pay more for their pension costs as the centerpiece of his new spending plan. But local superintendents say those costs would erase any new money that their schools are supposed to see from the new funding formula.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Troopers say in addition to three students, they took the bus' drivers to the hospital.
"For the bus sliding off into, and turning on its side, we could have had many more injuries, and perhaps even a level of severe injuries," said Dr. Mark Daniel, Unit 5 Superintendent.
Unit 5 schools, which operate the bus, say their preliminary investigation suggests that the bus driver was not at fault.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is going to need to find a bit more than a billion-and-a-half new dollars to make ends meet in his new budget. The governor is set to deliver his budget address today at noon. In addition to the lingering eight-and-a-half-billion-dollars in unpaid bills, the governor is going to have to find 350-million for new school funding, 500-million more for pensions and over 750-million-dollars to make the debt payment on a series of old state loans for next year. No one is saying how the governor hopes to find the new money.
Prosecutors in Peoria say they aren't filing charges yet against a local high school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Richwoods High School teacher Phillip Earhart walked out of jail yesterday without being charged. Peoria County States' Attorney Jerry Brady said that doesn't mean charges won't be filed. Earhart is on paid leave while police and Peoria school leaders look into the allegations against him.
A Bloomington-Normal drive-thru worker is out of a job after yelling at an Illinois State trooper. The local McDonald's managers fired a young woman Monday after they say they learned that she cursed at the trooper over the weekend. Owner Jack Millan said he apologized to the trooper and reminded his staff of what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Millan says he's always supported law enforcement and that the one former employee doesn't represent his entire staff.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Bloomington leaders are looking at changes to the city's residential solid waste program. The public works department had three potential resolutions. Looking at having a private company take over the program, changing solid waste fees, and changing solid waste service levels, like eliminating free bulk item pick up. Having a private company take over solid waste services was a non-starter with staff. The city council voted on a recommendation, combining motions 2 and 3, so staff can come back with a resolved hybrid motion.
A determined group of about 100 local residents supporting protection for immigrants regardless of their legal status say they will keep fighting for Bloomington to pass a welcoming-city ordinance. A special meeting to discuss the ordinance Monday night was canceled last week at the request of five aldermen. Those aldermen said the ordinance would be redundant because it covers the same territory as the state's Trust Act.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Illinois taxpayers are going to get a look at what the governor wants to spend this week. Governor Bruce Rauner is set to deliver his budget address on Wednesday. There are several lingering questions about Illinois' finances this year, including nearly nine billion-dollars in unpaid bills, how much money Illinois actually has to spend, and whether the politics of this fall's race for governor will mean that lawmakers punt on crafting a balanced budget this spring.
The suspect in the killing of a Putnam County teenage won't be in court for another couple of weeks. Prosecutors last week agreed to push back Richard Henderson's preliminary hearing til March. Henderson is the prime suspect in the death of Diamond Bradley, who disappeared last month. But so far Henderson is only being charged with concealing Bradley's dead body.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Bloomington Police say a murder suspect there says he killed his wife because of what she was doing on her cell phone. Investigators told a judge in McLean County yesterday that Monroe Elbert admitted to stabbing his wife to death after they fought on Monday. Prosecutors are pushing ahead with murder charges, Elbert is due back in court next week.
A two-week old baby girl who was taken without permission from her mother Wednesday morning has been found safe. Bloomington Police tell us the child’s father, Darien Davis, brought the baby to the Bloomington Police Department Wednesday afternoon after becoming aware of a social media post from the department about the abduction. An investigation found that Davis took the infant and announced plans to leave the state. Police said he did not possess any child care supplies or food for the baby girl. No word yet on what, if any, charges Davis might face.
Area firefighters were kept busy Wednesday with a couple of blazes--one in Bloomington and one in Normal. The Bloomington fire, at 1301 Alexander Road started just before 1p.m. in a multi-unit garage before destroying that building and spreading to a nearby two-story house.At least two vehicles also were destroyed in the fire. 13 units from Bloomington Township, Bloomington, Heyworth and Downs fire departments were at the scene. Meanwhile, Normal firefighters were called about 1:30 p.m. to The Lodge on Willow where smoke was coming from a third-floor window. Heat activated the sprinkler system there and put that fire out according to NFD adding that he fire was “contained to the room of origin,” but the apartment “had significant water damage. The cause of both blazes are under investigation.