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SATURDAY, March 16, 2013

Mark Pickering, managing editor, 309-829-9000, ext. 252, email:

Gary Niehaus

Unit 5 reaches its goals he McLean County Unit 5 school district always works to provide students with outstanding educational opportunities. This past year was no different, despite some unusual challenges. Academic excellence, security, growth and technology are, and will continue to be, priorities. The goal is for every student to have the best academic experience possible. Reading and writing workshops are a vital part of the literacy framework, and are a major focus in all elementary and junior high schools. This model takes the students from where they are academically and provides opportunities for growth. It is proving successful, as our students continue to excel academically. Grove, Hudson, Northpoint and Prairieland elementary schools each received the state’s Academic Excellence award, which recognizes high performance on state exams for at least three years. Fox Creek and Oakdale elementary schools were recognized as Spotlight schools, an honor awarded to high-poverty, high-performing schools that are overcoming the achievement gap. The district is preparing students for the 21st century in which technology will continue to play an everincreasing role. This past fall, Unit 5 rolled out a 1–to-1 laptop program for all sixth-grade students. The computers can facilitate inquiry based instruction, problem solving and communication. Students can access textbooks, news, blogs, interactive maps, virtual experiments and other resources as they investigate and master new content and skills. The 1-to-1 program has gone so well, the district will expand it to include seventh grade next fall. If money is available, eighth grade will also be included. Growth — as always — is an issue. This year, we have added more than 360 students. Much of this growth is coming on the east and southeast side of Bloomington, which is stretching the capacity of some of our elementary schools. To help balance the population, Unit 5 is engaged in the emotional process of redistricting. We appreciate the community support as we work through this process. A growing district provides a variety of challenges, particularly within transportation. In an effort to improve service, Unit 5 contracted with First Student to operate its transportation department. It has proven to be the right decision, as this was the best year we have had in transportation in recent memory. The move also saved approximately $1.5 million. Every year also brings challenges and opportunities, and this year had a few. Last spring, when a miniscule amount of asbestos was discovered at Chiddix Junior High School, Unit 5 followed the recommendation of the state health department and closed the



The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Normal's Uptown Station has exceeded the expectations of planners as the number of passengers for Amtrak and buses have grown.

New look Uptown Normal’s transportation hub meeting expectations By Mary Ann Ford

NORMAL — Uptown Station, one of the key components to the first phase of the uptown redevelopment plan, opened in July and so far has met all expectations. “It’s attracted more riders to Amtrak and local and regional buses,” said City Manager Mark Peterson. “It’s all we hoped for but it won’t meet full potential until high-speed rail is implemented.” When that happens in a couple of years, Peterson expects to see an “exponential increase in activity on the first floor” of Uptown Station. The town’s administrative offices are on the second- through fourth floors. The station, which received $22 million from a federal Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery grant, already is Amtrak’s most popular downstate Illinois station, said Marc Magliari, Amtrak’s media relations manager. “It is a showcase for Amtrak,” he said. “We’ve installed an automated announcement system that displays train arrival times and even where to stand on

Bus traffic has increased passenger utilitzation at Normal's Uptown Station. the platform for business class boarding. This system is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and is the first such installation outside the East or West coasts.” Other modes of transportation also are increasing their presence at the station.

Peoria Charter already has added more trips from Peoria to Normal and Champaign, said Uptown Development Director Wayne Aldrich, and the town is working with Greyhound and Burlington Trailways to attract buses to the station. SEE UPTOWN / PAGE 2

Area economy showing signs of rebound By Karina Gonzalez

BLOOMINGTON — The McLean County economy began to show signs of a comeback in 2012 and area experts expect the trends to continue through 2013. “We’re bouncing back,” said Mike Seeborg, economics professor at Illinois Wesleyan University. “The local economy is showing signs of health.” Among the signs was a drop in the area’s unemployment rate, said Seeborg. Greg Rivara, spokesman for Illinois Department of Employment Security, said McLean County’s unemployment rates began to improve last year, inching closer to the rates of 2008, just before the recession hit Illinois. In December 2008, McLean County’s jobless rate was 5.1 percent. In 2012, the December rate settled at 6.3 percent, down from 6.9 percent in December 2011. December 2012 represents the sixth consecutive time that McLean County saw a drop in its year-over-year jobless data. Rivara said the outlook for 2013 is for continued improvement in the jobs sector. “That’s encouraging because it shows the economy continues to move forward,” said Rivara. “There’s no debate that the econ-

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Jake Bozarth, a carpenter for Gentes Construction in Bloomington, cuts up lumber while building the walls of a new home at Kilborn Court and Fiona Way in the Royal Links Subdivision. omy is improving and certainly everyone wishes it would improve in a more dramatic way. But that is simply not what this recovery looks like.” Hospitality and leisure was one of the sectors that experienced a growth in jobs during 2012. Rivara

said the total number of jobs added in McLean County during 2012 is not yet available because data is now under review by analysts. But December’s data showed that the leisure and hospitality sector added 300 jobs that month.

The sector includes restaurants, hotels and shopping centers in the Twin Cities, which all benefit from visitors to the area. Last year, visitors to the Twin Cities spent a total of $294 million. That’s a 9 percent increase from SEE ECONOMY / PAGE 2


2 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013

Changes reorder local art scene Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare Festival get new leaders By Dan Craft

Thanks to changes at the top, two key Twin City arts institutions headed in new directions in 2012. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra spent the year’s first half completing the tryout process in which five finalists vied for the position of music director, a post vacated after 11 seasons by Karen Lynne Deal, the second conductor in the ISO’s history. In May came the announcement that Alastair Willis would be maestro. The 41-year-old Massachusetts native, who grew up in Moscow and England, enjoyed an international musical career that placed him in front of orchestras from Seattle to China. Willis is the first ISO director with a Grammy nomination on his resume: a 2009 nod for Best Classical Album courtesy of a concert version of Ravel’s opera, “L’enfant et Les Sortileges,” featuring the Nashville Symphony Orchestra under Willis’ direction. The maestro’s first post-tryout appearance was conducting the annual Labor Day weekend concerts in Bloomington-Normal and Springfield. Also impacted by a changing of the guard was the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, headed into its 36th season with a new artistic director at the helm. Kevin Rich succeeded Deb Alley, who stepped down at the end of the 35th season to pursue “other artistic directions.” Rich is best known for his work as a festival actor in recent years, including his Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Porthos in “The Three Musketeers” and the title performance in “Richard III.” This summer, he’ll oversee the festival’s three main-stage productions: “The Comedy of Errors,” “Macbeth” and the downstate premiere of Philip Dawkins’ “Failure: A Love Story.” Among the most apparent changes will be a later opening for the festival, with all three productions premiering the same mid-July weekend (July 12-14).



Alastair Willis was named music director of The Illinois Symphony Orchestra in May. The post was vacated after 11 seasons by Karen Lynne Deal, the second conductor in the ISO’s history. In the past, two shows opened in late June, with the third in midJuly. Elsewhere, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts hosted a poignant stop for Glen Campbell’s “farewell tour” — a last hurrah in the face of the veteran pop singer’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It was the tour’s lone downstate date. Meanwhile, the digital revolution in the movie exhibition sector threatened several “mom and pop”-style cinemas. Forced to replace increasingly obsolete film projectors with expensive digital projection equipment, LeRoy’s Princess Theater and Gibson City’s Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In spearheaded fundraising campaigns to help foot the bills.

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Hanna Supanich, stage manager for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, marches as Queen Elizabeth during the Memorial Day parade in 2012 in downtown Bloomington. Kevin Rich was named new artistic director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in 2012.




school for the remainder of the year. Within two hours, students packed all of their belongings and moved out. Just days later, they were back in class at three separate schools. Unit 5 not only removed the asbestos, but also renovated the entire school with new carpet, lighting and furniture. The most disturbing event occurred on Sept. 7, when a student walked to the front of a classroom with a gun and fired shots into the ceiling at Normal Community High School. Thanks to the courage of teacher Derrick Schonauer and students in his class, the gunman was disarmed and no one was injured. Unit 5 had prepared for a situation like this and that practice proved invaluable as the process played out. The entire community learned from that day and Unit 5 has been involved in debriefing statewide. We are continuing to improve on our security measures, our evacuation drills and staff training. In an effort to better communicate with students, Unit 5 collected student phone numbers so officials can text students during a crisis. An anonymous hotline for students to share information and concerns about bullying was also implemented this past year. Unit 5 staff appreciates the support of our students, parents, faculty, staff and community members as we work together to educate every student to achieve personal excellence.

Uptown Station also serves Connect Transit buses and taxi cab service. As with any new building, Peterson said there have been some issues to overcome or change. Town staff still is learning the heating and air conditioning unit and is trying to work through some technology issues in conference rooms and the City Council chambers on the fourth floor. There also are problems with some of the millwork, Peterson said. “We’ve had productive conversations with the general contractor,” he said. “They are committed to resolve them.” Aldrich said the town may change the entrance gate at the accompanying parking deck. Some vehicles have trouble negotiating the curve to get the required parking deck ticket. The deck also has some leaks. Uptown Station and the accompanying Gateway Plaza between the station and the Children’s Discovery Museum were the biggest uptown projects completed in 2012. A long-awaited development on the north side of Beaufort Street is moving toward reality. In December, the City Council approved an agreement with Tartan Realty Group and Harlem Irv-

— Niehaus is superintendent of McLean County Unit 5 school district.

The indoor Princess has remained open; the outdoor Harvest Moon’s fate was revealed in late February with the news that the theater has raised the necessary funds to complete the digital makeover and will open for the 2013 season March 29. Making a comeback of sorts in 2012 was Illinois State University’s Braden Auditorium, which had been in a state of semi-dormancy as a major concert venue in recent years. Beginning in the fall, the sound of music filled Braden again, courtesy two big concerts — AllAmerican Rejects in October and Rick Springfield in November. They were followed by the wellattended Matchbox Twenty/Philip Phillips doubleheader last month.

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

An architect's drawing projects how the landscape of Uptown Normal will change once construction is completed on the west side of the traffic circle. ing Cos. for a $32 million development that will include a Hyatt Place Hotel, high-end apartments and a swimming pool and spa along the north side of Beaufort Street and west of Uptown Circle.


2011, according to the Illinois Office of Tourism data. Commencement ceremonies at both Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University are among the major events that bring in visitors from outside of the area every year, according to the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau. Home sales also showed improvement in 2012, completing their best year for sales in the Twin Cities since 2007, according to the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors.

The town agreed to float a $7.35 million, 20-year bond for the project. The bond will be paid off through tax increment financing money, sales tax, food and beverage taxes and the hotel/motel tax.

A total of 2,459 homes sold last year, a more than 20 percent jump from the 2,048 homes sold in the Twin Cities during 2011, according to BNAR data. Of those, 2,253 were existing homes, a 21 percent jump from the 1,856 sold in 2011. The sale of new homes also rose more than 7 percent, from 192 new homes sold in 2011 to 206 new homes sold in 2012. “I’d say (that’s a result) of the emergence of low-interest rates and more first-time homebuyers coming into the market,” said BNAR president Thom Jones, adding that home inventories in the Twin Cities remain low. As of February, 986 homes were listed for sale in Bloomington-Normal, according to BNAR data. That’s a drop from the peak of about 1,700 in 2011, said Jones. The area’s av-

The project is expected to start this spring. Work also has started on a 39unit apartment building attached to the south side of the College Avenue parking deck.

erage number of homes on the market is about 1,200, said Jones. And because interest rates remain low, it is still a good time to purchase a home, said Jones. Seeborg said the Twin Cities have had a stronger comeback than other cities of similar size in part because of large employers in the insurance and higher education sectors. Continued growth locally depends on how politicians at the national level handle the federal debt, he said. “Although our economy is doing relatively well compared to other cities, we still live in a national economy and it’s really important for the federal government to handle the budget,” said Seeborg.


The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 3

Normal weathers economic storms s I reflect over the 10 years I have served as mayor of Normal, there are many community milestones of which I am proud. However, the manner in which our organization has weathered the recent national recession probably gives me more satisfaction than any other of our many community accomplishments during my tenure. Fortunately, Normal entered this recession in a strong financial position. A well-maintained infrastructure, conservative budgeting practices, prudent financial reserves and sound financial management put Normal in position to withstand the cyclical patterns of our nation’s economy. The severity of The Great Recession was impossible to anticipate and difficult to withstand even for a municipality as wellpositioned financially as Normal. In the short term, the town was forced to use some fund reserves


signs of recovery. During this time, while most cities continued to reel from the aftermath of the recession and faced downgrades in their credit ratings, Normal’s bond rating was upgraded to AAA. This is the highest financial rating that a municipal government can earn. This enviable rating is shared by only Chris Koos about 7 percent of all municipalito cushion the impact of this grave ties nationwide. economic challenge. Hard deciToday, Normal’s major revenue sions were thrust upon the Town sources have stabilized and are Council in 2008 and 2009 in orgrowing as they were prior to the der to stabilize Normal’s financial recession. The town has not only house. fully replenished its budget reWorking closely with our proserves, but has increased the level fessional staff, my colleagues and of those reserves in accordance I on the council worked as a team with the council’s new reserve to adopt a series of spending cuts policy. Normal is also investing and revenue enhancements that record amounts in improving and maintained Normal’s positive fimaintaining its infrastructure, nancial direction in the face of de- such as road repair, water, sewer teriorating economic conditions. main replacement and bridge reIn 2010, Normal’s key income construction. sources were rebounding and the The council is proud of the local economy began to show quality of the professional man-

agement team charged with keeping a steady hand on the town’s financial systems. This team includes a very professional Finance Department, consisting of 13 staff members. Six of them are certified public accountants. The finance team annually assembles a Financial Trend and Condition Report that is presented to the council at the start of the budget process. The report examines key financial trends of the town, providing staff and council with insight into potential future financial concerns and challenges. By identifying these issues early, we have ample time to develop strategies before they become real problems. Todd Krzyskowski, managing director of public finance for Mesirow Financial in Chicago, said: “As a municipality with strong credit ratings from all three municipal rating agencies, including a ‘AAA’ rating from Fitch Ratings, the Town of Normal con-

tinues to distinguish itself by the cooperation exhibited between the administration and the council, and by its ability to maintain the core infrastructure on a primarily pay-as-you-go basis. By maintaining its infrastructure and fund balances, this allows the town to pursue more aggressive, longer-term projects, like uptown renewal, which always have certain risks, but provide greater opportunities for future revenue streams that can be reinvested in the community.” The Town of Normal’s financial health continues to be excellent and well-managed. A strong local economy, well-maintained infrastructure, professional financial management systems, and the ability to react quickly to changing conditions have served us well and will continue to keep Normal on solid financial footing long into the future. Koos is mayor of Normal.

District 87, Unit 5 beef up technology offerings By Phyllis Coulter

BLOOMINGTON — On a recent school day, sixthgraders in Jessie Nicoson’s Bloomington Junior High School class designed their own limericks using laptop computers from a District 87 pilot project. Using technology to improve learning is a priority for the Bloomington school district, but the pace has slowed because of a deficit blamed on falling property taxes and late payments from the state and federal governments. “We are slowly rolling out more devices,” said Superintendent Barry Reilly. Students won’t get take-home computers until all students have equal access to the Internet. Kids using the laptops at school are happy to have them. “It helps make us want to learn more. It’s more fun that textbooks,” said sixth-grader Grace Sanders. Nicoson said, “They (students) know how to use what they know how The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY to use. They still need Bloomington Junior High School teacher Jessie Nicoson uses a smart board during the Uknighted program at the school in August. fundamentals about using technology in education.” McLean County Unit 5 School District rolled out a program giving small laptop computers to all its 1,100 sixth graders. Adults and kids both learned lessons about durability of devices that will be used in the future. “The professional development for faculty members, distribution to the students and beginning with digital content is a process, not a destination,” Superintendent Gary Niehaus said. “We have learned and feel comfortable with the progress.” If the 2013-14 budget allows, the program may expand to seventh and eighth grades, Niehaus The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER said. Unit 5 Superintendent Gary Niehaus explains how asbetos-related building materials were reBudgets moved from classrooms during a tour of Chiddix Junior High School in June. District 87’s projected $2.7 million deficit is The other pivotal point blamed on less state and in 2012 came in Septemfederal money, a drop in ber, when a 14-year-old property taxes and less student with a gun was 20513998 205 20513 2 205139 0513 51 5139 139 13 399 98 8 state aid reimbursement subdued at Normal Comfor poor children. munity High School. No In response, the district one was physically inis raising fees, transfer- jured. Following the inciring money between ac- dent, Unit 5 had in-depth counts, spending re- discussions with the City Great Food Specials! s! serves, and cutting ex- of Bloomington, Town of penses — including some Normal and area police Great Drink Specials! s! jobs. agencies about what was Great Sports! Unit 5’s budget was bal- done right and what could anced halfway through be improved. Every Seat is the the school year, having Since then, Unit 5 has Best Seat in the House!! spent slightly less than improved its two-way half its total $98.3 million communication, changed budget, Niehaus said. evacuation sites, looked As for next year, “it all at reunification proce“Like” us on hinges on what happens dures and has made pracwith the (state) pension ticing for a crisis a priori102 W. Washington, The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER reform,” Niehaus said. “It ty, he said. Bloomington could help or drastically “We are better pre- Oakland Elementary School third graders Casson Ogilvie, left, 309-828-0142 and Taliayah Madari, draw cubist influenced leaves in October. hurt us for 2013-2014.” pared,” Niehaus said.



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4 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013


Inspiring voices are all around us if we listen s I sat down to write this column, I immediately started thinking about all of the negative things going on in our communities, our state and our nation: the economy; the business climate; political bickering with no action; and children getting murdered in our schools. The pages of this newspaper cover them every day. Which one to complain about? Then, outside my office door, I hear voices. They are the voices of clinic patients. Appreciative, calm voices. They are thankful and for the most part, positive. Don’t get me wrong, I hear plenty of negative voices outside my door, too, but it is the appreciative, calm voices I hear most often. These are the voices that keep my life in perspective — in balance, if you will. You see, patients of the Community Health Care Clinic face challenges in their daily lives that are beyond the comprehension of most of us. My daily struggles pale in comparison to the struggles of others. A bad day for most of us is when we are running late to that meeting, or computer issues get in the way of our work. But if you’ve been unemployed, you know the feeling of wishing you had a meeting to go to. Being a few minutes late doesn’t sound so bad. Many of us have come to accept bickering and finger pointing as status quo for elected officials and community leaders. In the big scheme of things, what do we really have to complain about? For most people reading this, you are more “wealthy” than most people on earth — whether you feel like it or not. I once read that if you are a female born in the United States, you are one of the wealthiest 1 percent of women in the world — just for being born here. Most of us have a safe roof over our heads, adequate food to feed ourselves and our children, we live in violencefree homes and neighborhoods. If you don’t have these things, then you can keep right on complaining. For the rest of you … keep reading. I am not saying we don’t have our


The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

University High School pitchers Dylan Farney, left, and Jacob Hendren celebrate after defeating Alleman High School 5-4 in the IHSA Class 2A state baseball championship on June 2 at O'Brien Field in Peoria.

Area schools produced several state champions By Randy Sharer

On the list of problems facing high schools, finding adequate state trophy storage space isn’t usually one of them. At University High School, however, 2012 proved to be a strain. U High’s baseball team (29-10) joined LeRoy’s wrestling squad (27-1) and Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s volleyball team (381) as Pantagraph area state champions in 2012. The Pioneers also picked up state runner-up trophies in boys basketball (28-5), boys golf and girls cross country. The U High girls soccer team (19-7-1) landed a fourthplace trophy. The boys golf team was led by Class 2A champion Adam Baracani. U High freshman Hannah Boyd won the 200-yard freestyle in a state-winning 1 minute, 49.05 seconds. In 1A boys golf, El PasoGridley landed the second-place trophy. Five area individuals won state titles last year, but none more than Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley track star Sydni Meunier, who helped her team place second in Class 1A. Before heading to University of Notre Dame, Meunier won the state 800-meter run in 2:11.30 and prevailed in the 1,600 in 5:07.88. She also joined Angel Gaesser, Jordyn Nettleton and LaToya Baillie to win the 1,600 relay in 3:59.22. Other track champions were Vanderbilt-recruit Sarah Bell of Central Catholic in the Class 2A pole vault (12 feet) and Tremont’s Amelia Glueck in the 1A long jump (178¼). Two-time 1A state 400 champ Kalla Gold of Eureka couldn’t land a third title after battling injury and illness, but her sixthplace effort helped her finish with 18 career state medals between track and cross country. Those medals and the fact she was the Pantagraph Area Female Basketball Player of the Year helped make her the Pantagraph Female Athlete of the Year for all sports. In basketball, she averaged 19 points for a 24-7 Class 2A Elite Eight squad. The Male Athlete of the

Angie McLaughlin own personal and community problems. Of course we do. But often, our potential and opportunities get lost in the negativity that surrounds us. If we could only put our struggles into perspective of the larger world view, we might begin tackling tough issues. When our priorities are in perspective, challenges don’t seem so overwhelming. The concept of inaction seems much less appealing than problem solving. Having a positive outlook on things allows you to think creatively, to seek solutions and provide leadership to implement those solutions. We end the list of everything we can’t do and start making plans for the things we can do. We begin looking at how we can leave a positive, lasting legacy in this world. Why shouldn’t we? Maybe I sound too much like a Pollyanna: I was once told that I was “puking rainbows.” Perhaps, but I can’t help believing that if everyone could change their perspectives on the challenges we face, we might actually begin to make headway on the political messes we have created. Keeping things in perspective is quite simple to do — you just have to listen to the right voices. For me, I am lucky enough to hear those patient voices outside my office every day. If you listen closely, you’ll find inspiring, appreciative voices around you, too. If not, give me a call and you can come over to hear mine. I promise you, they will change your perspective. McLaughlin is executive director of the Community Health Care Clinic in Normal.

The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

Deer Creek-Mackinaw's Cayley Meiners (5) dives for a spike with Lauren Anderson (3) in the second of two sets against Dakota in the Class 2A Championship State Final at Illinois State University's Redbird Arena in November.

Herald & Review/LISA MORRISON

Justin Meyers of Leroy defeated Maurice Wilson of Walther in the second round of IHSA individual state wrestling. Year was Normal West’s Austin Stewart, who averaged 18.3 points and 5.5 rebounds for a 23-8 Class 4A regional championship basketball team. His efforts earned a scholarship to Central Michigan. Mount Pulaski’s powerhouse volleyball program

(33-9) took second in Class 1A for the third time in four years and the eighth time in school history. Bloomington (24-4) landed its first state wrestling trophy by taking third in 2A. Likewise, the best basketball showing in Illini Central (17-14) history was its third in 2A. State trophies eluded area football teams, but LeRoy fans were blessed with a season full of highlights as the Panthers (111) reached the 1A quarterfinals behind Pantagraph Area Player of the Year Shane Bruning, a 6-foot1, 200-pound fullback. The Minnesota-Duluth recruit ran for 2,141 yards and 35 touchdowns. U High (10-1) earned its share of football headlines while posting its first unbeaten regular season since 1989. LeRoy fans got used to cheering after their 27-5 girls basketball team earned 1A’s fourth-place state trophy. 2051 20512742 2 205 205127 20 20512 0512 05 0 05127 051 51 5127 512 5 127 1 12 274 742 42


The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 5

Illinois Wesleyan made great strides in 2012 am pleased to report that 2012 was a very good year for Illinois Wesleyan. We made progress in a number of important areas, saw our students engage and succeed both inside and outside of the classroom, and we look forward to continued success as the academic year concludes in 2013. In academics, there were many accomplishments and noteworthy events. Here are a few from a very long list: A significant gift received from former President Robert S. Eckley and his wife, Nell, established the Eckley Scholars and Artists Summer Undergraduate Research Program. The program funded summer stipends for five students to work with faculty mentors on scientific, scholarly and artistic projects. Our faculty received a major grant from the Mellon Foundation for an initiative we have named Re-Centering the Humanities. As part of this pro-


Richard Wilson gram, we will use interdisciplinary seminars engaging faculty from the sciences, ethics, politics, sociology and environmental studies to tackle problems facing our community. We have introduced an academic minor in informatics enabling students to enroll in courses that will prepare them to compete for jobs in these exciting business areas and we have entered into an agreement with China’s Beijing Union University to conduct faculty exchanges and collaborate on scholarly research.

Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” was the featured speaker for the President’s Convocation and provided the perfect inauguration for a yearlong set of activities devoted to human rights and social justice. Several important capital projects have been completed or are at an advanced stage of completion. A special point of pride is that gifts from alumni and friends have covered the cost of all of these building projects. Last May, we completed a beautiful rotunda entryway and addition to the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art, thanks to a major gift from Chuck Ames, Class of ’50, and Jay Ames, Class of ’49. Hanging in the rotunda of the Ames School of Art is a spectacular glass and steel sculpture by noted Arizona artist Lyle London, made possible by local alumna Flo Armstrong, Class of ’43.

The Shirk Athletic Complex began a series of refurbishments and upgrades, including an indoor track surface, thanks to an endowment established by the Shirk Family Foundation. Last spring, we broke ground for our main classroom building, which has been named State Farm Hall in recognition of our deep and enduring relationship with State Farm Insurance. The construction, managed expertly by local contractor Johnston Construction, is on schedule for classes to begin this fall. Finally, we began construction on two apartment-style housing structures on Empire Street between McLean Street and Fell Avenue, which we are calling The Gates at Wesleyan. These buildings will accommodate 96 students in 24 four-bedroom apartments. Our athletic teams had a wonderful year, highlighted when both the men’s and women’s basketball teams reached the

NCAA Division III Final Four tournament on the same weekend. The Titan women took home their first-ever national championship and the men’s team tied for third in the 61team national tournament. Our students have a long tradition of being active in the community. The Student Volunteer and Resource Center matches student passions and talents with local needs. It also facilitates campus opportunities for local and national service that particularly align with the university’s commitment to diversity, social justice and environmental sustainability. Our Action Research Center brings students together with local not-for-profit organizations to work on projects. The Hart Career Center connects local businesses and not-for-profits with student interns. Wilson is president, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington.

Illinois State, IWU face endings and beginnings By Lenore Sobota

NORMAL — The theme of endings and beginnings at Illinois State University is carrying into the new year. President Al Bowman announced in December that he would end his 10 years as the university’s leader. He will stay on the job until his successor is named later this year. Hamilton-Whitten and Atkin-Colby ended their roles as residence halls. The buildings were decommissioned at the end of the school year. Cardinal Court began a new approach to university housing with apartment-style accommodations for undergraduates in August. The year also marked the beginning of a major renovation of the home of the football Redbirds, Hancock Stadium. The project is expected to be completed in time for the next football season. State support continued to fall. State funding now represents only 18 percent of the university’s budget, according to Jay Groves, ISU chief of staff. On the positive side, fundraising reached the $15 million mark, Groves said. To deal with the financial challenges, “you’ve got to be innovative,” Groves said. As examples, he noted Cardinal Court was built without public money and the Hancock renovation project is being done without increasing student fees. On the academic front, spokesman Eric Jome said the university is “quite proud” of its students’ success and the recognition its faculty and programs. Psychology professor Gary Creasey was named Illinois Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jome said it was the second time in four years that the state’s top professor was from ISU.

Illinois Wesleyan University There were new endings and beginnings at Illinois Wesleyan University this year, too. “It’s hard for anyone to come on the campus without noting we’ve done a lot of capital construction,” President Dick Wilson said. The rotunda entry to the Ames School of Art and upgrades at the Shirk

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Erin Minne, vice president of University Advancement and Janet Krejci, dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing, walk to the dedication of the new Cardinal Court in 2012. University officials and contractors marked the completion of the facility that will house 900 students.

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Sculptor Lyle London documents Triple Helix after it was installed into the rotunda at the Ames School of Art at Illinois Wesleyan University last January.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month • Colorectal cancer is not associated with any one specific symptom • Early detection by screening colonoscopy beginning at the age of 50 saves lives • Screening colonoscopy is the most effective screening test as endorsed by the American College of Gastroenterology

Contact your physician about Screening Colonoscopy or for symptoms which can be associated with colorectal cancer, such as... Unexplained Weight Loss • Change in bowel habits Blood in the stool • Abdominal pain The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Illinois State University president Al Bowman looks back at Jay Groves, assistant to the president, after Groves arranged a fake meeting to allow a crowd of more than 1,000 students and faculty to gather for a surprise to thank the retiring Bowman for his contributions to the school in December. Athletics Complex were completed in 2012. Substantial progress was made on newly named State Farm Hall, IWU’s classroom building that is scheduled to open in the fall semester. The Gates at Wesleyan, the university’s apartmentstyle residence halls, also are to open then. “The future is challenging. One of the things I’ve been talking to the faculty and staff about is the importance of having a long-range plan,” Wilson said. He is pleased with the increasing involvement of students in the community through such programs as the Action Research Center. An academic highlight of 2012 was the beginning of the Eckley Scholars and Artists Summer Undergraduate Research Program, with an inaugural class of five students who

spent the summer working under the supervision of faculty members. A $515,000 gift from former IWU President Robert Eckley, his wife Nell, and the Eckley Family Foundation supported creation of the program. Eckley died in April. The university also entered into an agreement with China’s Beijing Union University that will foster collaborative research as well as faculty exchanges between the two institutions.


Thomas M. DeWeert, M.D. Gastroenterologist

Vijaya Misra, M.D Gastroenterologist

Philip M. Koszyk, M.D. Gastroenterologist

Kenneth R. Schoenig, M.D. Gastroenterologist

Darryl Fernandes, M.D. Colorectal Surgeon

1302 Franklin Ave., Suite 1000, Normal

(309) 268-3400 Located in the Advocate BroMenn Medical Office Building 20513503


6 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who’s Who in Real Estate Prudential Snyder Real Estate At the heart of my success lies the great satisfaction I get from helping people. I always have my clients’ best interests at heart; I am honest and truthful and always try to stay in touch with them. I was #1 in the state of Illinois for a previous company in 2009 for GCI. I have had the #1 Team in McLean County and Bloomington - Normal in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and continue to strive to hold that position. Service is my top priority. In addition to being a Realtor with Prudential Snyder, I am a developer, having developed the rural subdivision named “Cloverhill.” I greatly enjoyed developing Cloverhill and certainly gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in that endeavor. Developing also has enhanced my knowledge and experience in working with new construction and builders. A personal note before I close - I am a farm girl from Armington, a small town near Bloomington/Normal. I like to think my local knowledge and my love of this community, McLean County and the surrounding counties in Central Illinois shows in my energetic approach to my profession. I have also been a teacher in the community and surrounding areas and I have a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois. My husband, Tom, grew up in Bloomington and is an attorney at State Farm. We have two daughters, Molly and Cally. I’m excited because Cally is on my team! My family supports me tremendously. I’m very fortunate. Contact Cindy today at 309532-1616, or by email cindy@ 2012 Prudential AwardsTeam of the Year Commercial Team of the Year Team Listing Leader Team Sales Leader 2012 Prudential Chariman’s Circle - Platinum #1 Volume Agent in BNAR

TretterGlenn HomeMatchTeam

Al Legg

Anne Fleer

RE/MAX Choice

Keller Williams

AL LEGG Broker, CRS, CSP, RMM, QSC. He started as a Full-Time Real Estate Professional in 1976 and became a Broker in 1982, placing him with RE/MAX Choice for over 37 years.

Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors

Buying or selling a home can be a challenge, which is why you want an agent who has KNOWLEDGE of the market and proven SUCCESS. Combining over 22 years of real estate experience, SUE TRETTER and JUDY Sue GLENN of the Tretter TretterGlenn HomeMatchTeam, are consistent production leaders – ranking in the top 5% of all BNAR agents. They credit their success to AWARENESS of market trends, continued EDUCATION, exceptional SERVICE and client REFERRALS. “We LISTEN and CARE about your needs and desires!” Sue and Judy Judy are FULL-TIME Glenn agents, COMMITTED to helping their buyers and sellers reach their real estate goals. “We pride ourselves on superior SERVICE, practical SOLUTIONS, and client SATISFACTION!” BUYERS – we work WITH and FOR you to find your home. SELLERS – our professional STAGER and ambitious marketing deliver RESULTS. Experience the DIFFERENCE with the TretterGlenn HomeMatchTeam! Call Sue Tretter at 309-287-7962 or Judy Glenn at 309-261-7333. Visit us at 20513913

The Lane Realtor Team Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors


Becky Gerig RE/MAX Choice


Frankie and Lois Team RE/MAX Choice

You DREAM the DREAM. We have the TEAM that makes your DREAMS come true. Call FRANKIE or LOIS, the TEAM that WORKS for YOU. Frankie Thornton, Broker 309-824-0714 Lois Brennan, Broker 309-825-8892 20514075

The Lane Realtor Team offers advantage of knowledge and experience while keeping pace with current technology. Joe has 15 years’ experience in the real estate profession combined with 20 years’ of banking experience in the Bloomington/Normal area. He takes pride in providing professional, extraordinary customer service. Joey has 11 years’ experience in the computer retail and repair business and has been selling real estate since 2009. Allen Fry our newest member of The Lane Realtor Team was born and raised in Bloomington/Normal. Allen has 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry. He is married and the father of two children. Allen looks forward to providing exceptional customer service to his clients. Check out our website at and let us help you find your dream home. Joe 275-0743 Joey 825-6609 Allen 826-4137 20514065

AL has earned the title of #1 RE/MAX Sales Agent in All of 2012, 2011, 2010 & 2008 in S. Illinois/MO Region. He also acquired the title of 2012 RE/MAX Choice “Sales Associate of the Year” and achieved this title since 2002, 10 solid years demonstrating his Enthusiasm to be a true Top Professional. He received the Certified New Home Sales Professional Designation through his hard work and Dedication. AL works with Clients in any price range either Buyers including 1st Time Home Buyers, Sellers, Families Relocating either into or out of the area and is also involved in New Construction. AL’s Real Estate knowledge shines through as he reviews the Marketing Conditions to inform his Clients and strives for a successful transaction. He goes above and beyond just to provide 110% Customer Satisfaction to all of his Clientele. You can’t go wrong with AL LEGG. 20514076

Liliana Taimoorazi

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors

Sheryl is a multi-million dollar producer and brings over 24 years in sales experience and business management. She has been a native of McLean County for most of her life, and a Realtor/Broker for the past 20 years. Expertise in creating luxurious homes has created a new company known as Executive Homes, Inc. She is consistently recommended for tremendous results in residential sales. Sheryl has used her design skills to help her clients make their homes “market ready” and more competitive in todays market. Her premier marketing package repeatedly produces success stories for Seller’s in even the most difficult market situations. Sheryl has a long list of past clients who readily refer her to friends and family. Creative thinking, a positive attitude and excellent service are the keys to her success. Sheryl was the first agent in Bloomington/ Normal to post her business on the Internet over 18 years ago, and continues to offer state-ofthe-art marketing technology. Sheryl has mentored new agents to successful career results. For proven results, call Sheryl when buying, selling, or building. or 309-825-1096 20513879

RE/MAX Choice

Century 21 Aper Realty About Us... I started my construction business in 1973 and received my real estate license in 1974. Since then, I have built, owned, single, multi-family, retail office, churches, warehouse, agricultural and development properties. Candy is a licensed Broker and assisting Larry Foster construction and real estate management and accounting since 1981. We feel with our vast knowledge and experience that we will be an asset to buyers, Candy Foster sellers and investors. Call Larry at 309-824-2700 or Candy at 309-838-1032

A native of Bloomington, Anne is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Degree in Business Administration/ Marketing. She is familiar with the area, the schools, and the community – all important factors if you are relocating to McLean County. Prior to joining Coldwell Banker Heart of America, she worked in the financial industry and held positions in mortgage lending, marketing, and was also the comptroller of a financial institution. She then was asked to join a Marketing/ Sales team for a Fortune 50 Communications Company supporting one of their largest customers, where she was recognized as being in the top 1% of the company’s sales force. She has experience in lending, marketing, contract negotiations, advertising, and customer service – all important facets of a real estate transaction. Anne has been actively involved in the community having served on the Boards of The United Way and The Arthritis Foundation. In addition she has worked with the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, The Children’s Advocacy center, her church, and the schools in the area. She loves real estate and is committed to her clients. She pledges honesty, integrity, and that she will prioritize her clients needs. She measures her success by delighting her customers. She can be reached at 309-826-2178,, or via her website at

Sheryl Scott

Nancy Brady

Larry & Candy Foster


Becky is a life time resident of BL/NL. She attended University High School and Illinois State University. She is married to Doug Gerig who is from the Gridley area who sells Commercial Real Estate for Douglas R. Gerig Commercial Properties. They have eight wonderful children and their family attends Heartland Community Church. Becky is very passionate about her Real Estate career. She has been selling Real Estate for 27 years and as a Veteran Agent she has earned many accomplishments and awards over the years. In 2012 she was in the top 50 agents in the community and made the 100% Club with RE/MAX International. She prides herself in enjoying all aspects of the business. She is a specialist in many areas: first time home buyers, relocation buyers, listing of existing homes and new construction. She is very comfortable in the New Construction arena because of her father and brother being in the business as Gannaway Construction. She provides a one hour consultation free for discussing any of your Real Estate needs. Please call her at 309-212-4120 or text her the same number or email her at Becky’s spiritual belief is John 3:16!

AL was born and raised in Pontiac, Illinois. He has been married to Jan for 34 years. Their daughter Anne is married to Matt Steinman. On November 5, 2012, Al and Jan became the proud grandparents of Kaelyn Harper Steinman.

Seth Couillard & Bryan Dillow


Cindy Eckols

Nancy Brady is a full-time REALTOR® with 26 years of experience. A native of Bloomington-Normal, she has always been active in the community, especially with Easter Seals and St. Joseph Hospital. She has sold over $175,000,000 in real estate. She is very involved with her 13 grandchildren. Nancy enjoys golf and her time with friends. She appreciates the loyalty of all the new friends she has had the opportunity to work with and feels fortunate to have them as her best source of referrals. Nancy really cares about your needs and wants to find the best home for you. If you are selling, she will work very hard to make it easy for you. She will always call you back with a smile. 309-242-1311 309-664-8517 20513902

Working hard with dedication pays off; Being a successful Real Estate Broker is just the proof of how I have earned my Clients’ trust, loyalty & referral. I have the privilege of loving my job and dedicating all my resources to provide the best Customer Service to my Clients with professionalism and knowledge of the market. I have Multi-cultural Background, and know several languages such as Italian, Persian, understand Spanish and Russian. Graduated from ISU in Business Information Systems and have kept investing in education and technology to help me accomplish my Clients’ objectives in buying or selling their houses for the best possible value and in a timely manner. See for yourselves and let me assist you through the whole process to make your move to be a smooth and a pleasant one working hard but smart for you! Please call, text or email me at any time for all your Real Estate needs! Mobile:309-826-5559 Office: 309-664-3615 Email: 20514314

Don & Lorna Ray Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors Don and Lorna Ray, Realtor Associates of Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors, 802 S. Eldorado Rd., Bloomington, are committed to giving you the highest level of service whether you are selling your current property or buying a new home. They are both ready to go the second mile to assure that your home buying or selling experience is as smooth and pleasant as possible. As frequent corporate movers themselves Don and Lorna understand the needs and emotions involved in a move and will be with you through each step, taking care of the many details involved and guiding you towards a successful conclusion of your transaction. Give them a call today at: 309-532-1624 – Don Mobile 309-830-0163 – Lorna Mobile 309-664-3601 – Office or 20513891

Dan Kniery

Keller Williams

Prudential Snyder Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Realty is the name you need to know in real estate. We specialize in Buyers, Sellers, First Time Home Buyers, Investors, REO, Foreclosures, and Investment Properties. Our team, Seth Couillard & Bryan Dillow, will help you every step of the way from getting your home listed, marketed Seth and SOLD. Couillard Our unique marketing approach allows us to gain your home more exposure than the norm. Both Bryan and Seth are hometown agents... born and bred here in Bloomington/ Normal. Seth Couillard has been in the business for nearly 8 Bryan years and has Dillow become one of the top producing agents in the Bloomington Normal area. Bryan Dillow has been in marketing and sales for nearly 15 years and has extensive knowledge from web marketing to traditional marketing. When you combine the experience & knowledge of Seth & Bryan, the Bloomington Homes Team is a top notch team of down to earth guys that know what they are doing! Contact Info: Seth Couillard–309-530-1442 Bryan Dillow–309-531-8309

Dan is a lifetime resident of Bloomington/Normal. He is the past owner of Mike’s Market, a family owned and operated specialty meat and bakery grocery store. Dan is an alumnus of Central Catholic High School, former President of CCHS Booster Club, and past youth coach for basketball and baseball. Dan is married to Subie Patel Kniery and they have three sons: Michael, Patrick, and Kevin. Dan is celebrating his 20th year serving real estate community. Dan is a former president of the Bloomington/ Normal Association of Realtors. While helping residents find and sell their homes, Dan has received awards and recognition for top Yearly Sales, Monthly Sales Leader, Buying/Listing Leader, and Sales/Production Leader from Prudential. Dan is a supporter of local businesses and charities. The greatest compliment Dan receives to this day stems from the fact that most of his business is referred from satisfied clientele and friends. If you want a knowledgeable, hardworking real estate agent, then Dan is the agent for you. Give Dan a call at 309-826-2473. You can visit E-mail him at Dan is employed at Prudential Snyder Real Estate, #1 Brickyard Drive, Bloomington, IL 61701.

Tom Krieger

The Haas Sisters Tracy Haas Riley & Kristen Haas Oliver


Prudential Snyder Real Estate


Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Meet Tom Krieger, Relocation Specialist for Prudential Snyder Real Estate. He has specialized in residential New Construction and Relocation, and Luxury Home Sales for the past 35 years. He is an 8 time Chairman’s Circle Gold Award Winner with the Prudential companies world wide. Tom was named “Listing Agent of the Year” and also “Realtor of the Year” for Prudential Snyder Real Estate 2006 and 2007. In 2009, Since relocating to the area in 1996, Tom has enjoyed working in Bloomington-Normal’s excellent market. Tom is currently a member of the BNAR Board of Directors. Tom’s sales volume exceeded 15 million in 2012. Tom believes that buying or building a new home should be an enjoyable experience. He feels that buyers need someone with the background and “know-how” to take care of the details so that it can be enjoyable. Tom offers that expertise and exceptional service. You can contact Tom at (309) 275-0659 or (309) 664-1854.

Meet the Haas Sisters: Tracy Haas Riley and Kristen Haas Oliver of Prudential Snyder Real Estate. These sisters of real estate bring high energy and a strong commitment to their business. They are dedicated to providing a positive experience for their clients whether they are buying or selling. In addition to their over 25 years combined real estate experience, both sisters are graduates of Illinois State University. This Sister Team always strives to do their best to get you the very best home at the very best price! And if you are selling, you won’t be disappointed in their marketing commitment to your home! They welcome new clients to call or e-mail them to see for themselves the dedication and results that they provide. They also want to thank loyal clients for their business and are grateful for their referrals. Both are really appreciated! Visit them at their web site at: or call Tracy at 309-275-6590 or Kristen at 309-838-6082

Sue Strang

Deb Connor

Sue Strang Realty Group

Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors


CRP-- Certified Relocation Professional, CRS — Certified Residential Specialist, GRI — Graduate Realtors Institute, PMN — Performance Management Network, SFR — Short Sales Foreclosure Resource. All advanced real estate education designations that Sue has earned which separate her from most other local REALTORS. Sue was the 2010 President of Illinois CRS Chapter. Less than 4% of REALTORS have earned the CRS designation. Sue served as State President for Women’s Council of REALTORS® in 2004. A veteran of 26+ years working with buyers and sellers has resulted in consistant multi-million dollar production. Referrals from satisfied customers and friends contribute to her experience and success. Past performance is no guarantee of future success...but what else can you go by. Please call Sue at 309) 824-0002 for experienced, honest service. 20514324


# 1 Agent in 2012 #1 Company in McLean County Deb Connor gets results! Call 309-531-1912. Deb is a top producer and has been providing real estate services to our community for over 20 years. She is well established in the community and has many satisfied clients and an extensive network of professional and local clients. Deb is a full service agent. She is associated with many relocation companies and universities. Deb advertises your property on several websites, including and Email: 20513888 CALL DEB TODAY!


The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 7

McLean County Board members made progress in 2012 he McLean County Board added new faces in December after the November general election, welcoming Rich Buchanan (District 7), Sally Pyne (District 4), Julie Brandt (District 3) and Victoria Harris (District 7). We said goodbye to hardworking public servants Diane Bostic (16 years), Bette Rackauskas (10 years), John Butler (six years), and Ed McKibbin (two years). McLean County owes a sincere thank-you to each for their service. Last year was the first since 1985 in which real property values decreased, showing that the normally isolated McLean County


Matt Sorenson economy has felt the state and nationwide economic challenges. Unemployment rates in the county have been better than most areas of the state and home sales have begun to rebound. McLean County government reduced its property tax rate for 2013, resulting in a small break for homeowners. The county analyzed space needs and — with support from the McLean-Livingston-DeWitt County Regional Office of Education — moved the ROE offices to the county’s building. That allows the county to evaluate options for the Fairview

building. Through the strong commitment of all of McLean County’s justice-related agencies and the leadership of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the county completed a 12month period without having to house inmates in another county for the first time since 1993. At the end of 2012, working with the Sheriff’s Department and other county agencies, the National Institute of Corrections completed a “jail mental health assessment� to assist the county and the community in addressing mental health challenges within and outside of the criminal justice system. The Highway Depart-

ment worked with township road districts and Illinois State University to widen, resurface and upgrade County Highway 23 (Meadows Road) by 1.2 miles, as well as 1.4 miles of Lexington Township Road and a half mile of Chenoa Township Road. The upgrades allow year-round, 80,000-pound access to the ISU Farm Composting Facility that takes food waste from several public and private facilities around McLean County. This $935,000 project was funded with $500,000 from Illinois Jobs Now! and $320,300 from Truck Access Route Program, with the local share at $114,700. The county also com-

pleted two major bridge replacements in 2012, including the heavily traveled County Highway 31 bridge over Lake Bloomington and Money Creek, near Carver’s Corner. The Highway Department coordinated two township bridge replacements and widened, resurfaced and increased to 80,000pound load rating an additional 9.8 miles of county highways. In 2012, the County Board extended the McLean County Enterprise Zone into Ford County to help our neighbors to the east and to ensure the continued annual purchasing of 9.5 million bushels of McLean County corn for

ethanol production. We used the Enterprise Zone tool earlier in the year to facilitate renewal investment in the Bridgestone plant, resulting 80 new jobs in McLean County. The McLean County Board appoints residents to more than 220 positions on more than 65 various boards and commissions. Residents interested in serving can visit to review the responsibilities and appointment opportunities. All of the board’s meeting agendas, minutes and information also are on the website. Sorenson is chairman, McLean County Board.

Who’s Who in Real Estate Janet Jurich

Mike & Jean Hutson Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Mike and Jean Hutson Mike and Jean bring buyers and sellers together using the latest technology. Whether you are moving across town or across the country-our aim is to make your move as stress free as possible. We can assist you with re-designing your space before you list your property; and research the properties you may want to see for your next purchase. THE DREAM OF HOME OWNERSHIP IS ALIVE AND WELL! Looking for a New Address... we can help. 825-6894 20513856

Lynn Lister Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors LIST WITH LISTER A resident of BloomingtonNormal for over 30 years, Lynn knows the community, schools, and neighborhoods. First time home buyers have so many questions and Lynn works hard to get all the answers. Lynn uses the right tools to price your home for sale too! Member of Coldwell Banker Diamond Societiy, Marketing Specialist, Relocation Specialist, GRI. Call 309-287-6610 today! 20513894

Belinda Trunell

Georgean Fish

Margie Simmons

Keller Williams

RE/MAX Choice

Janet Jurich is a full time Broker and RealtorÂŽ specializing in the residential market in Bloomington/Normal and the surrounding areas. She also works with Homes for Heroes.

BELINDA TRUNELL is an outstanding RE/MAX Agent/ Broker that takes pride in helping clients. She strives to exceed their expectations by providing personable service. Belinda is a RE/MAX 100% Club, Executive Club, and Above the Crowd member. She is recognized as one of the top leaders in relocation, new construction, and overall sales. If you appreciate downhome southern hospitality, please contact Belinda for all of your real estate needs. And don’t forget, she is never too busy for your referrals! Please contact Belinda by email at or by phone at 309-287-6105.

Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Janet’s designations include Graduate of Realtor Institute (GRI) and ePro. Match this with her marketing strategy for Sellers and Buyer assistance and you’ll be glad you chose Janet Jurich to assist you with your real estate needs. Call her today at (309) 825-2078 and Make Your Move With Janet Jurich. Selling real estate is what I do‌..Caring for my customers is how I do it. 20514077

Kathy DiCiaula

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Sandy moved to B/N in 1965 and has been a Realtor since 1993. U of W, Madison B.S., and ISU, M.S. and has continued her education by obtaining a GRI designation. With 30 years of teaching experience, 28 at Chiddix Junior High School, Sandy knows the value of doing her homework. Educating her clients about buying and/ or selling is second nature to her. She has the knowledge and experience to help you make your decisions easier. Buying or selling, Sandy makes the grade. Call Sandy today! Mobile 309-824-3652.

Kathy has been a resident of McLean County since attending ISU with her husband Guy, Project Manager for Kaisner Homes. As a former teacher, Kathy knows the value of helping her clients understand the buying and selling processes. Honesty, responsiveness, knowledge, and communication are her priorities. She knows how to work through the details and is committed to the best interests of her clients. Just call Kathy D. Ph. 309-824-4242

Valerie Curry

Jack Ruch

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Valerie has been a life long resident of Bloomington Normal. She and her husband have 3 grown children and 3 grand children.Valerie was recently awarded New Realtor Of The Year For 2011 from Prudential Snyder. Valerie enjoys working with ST JUDE RIDES. Valerie prides herself in making your home buying and selling experience the best in everyway possible.Next time your thinking of buying or selling call Valerie. Ph 309-319-0565 Email Website

Jack Ruch has been in the Real Estate business since 1971. He moved to the Twin Cities in 1987, sold Real Estate and has been a Home Builder, giving him the edge when selling homes knowing the ins and outs of construction. He also manufactures custom moldings for homes. He enjoys working with people and finding them the home of their dreams. Call him today at 309-824-0293.

Mary Love



Prudential Snyder Real Estate Since she began her career in 2002 Mary has consistently achieved recognition as a multimillion dollar producer. She believes success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well! (309) 287-0266


Sandy Slingsby


I’m Always Available (309) 825-7355 A 30 year resident of Bloomington-Normal and a consistent multi-million dollar producer Georgean is an experienced professional full time Broker. Illinois State University graduate. She is also an accredited buyer representative (ABR), Graduate of Realtors Institute of Illinois (GRI) a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) and most recently Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB)



Margie is a life-long resident of Bloomington-Normal. She and her husband, Tim, have 5 adult children and 4 grandchildren. She has been a REALTORÂŽ for over 24 years, graduated from GRI and is now a Broker. She has consistently been a multimillion dollar producer. Margie is active in her church and the Bloomington-Normal Board of Realtors serving on numerous committees and also involved with local charities. Margie prides herself in top quality service and invites all past and new clients to give her a call. Ph. (309) 531-2477.

Dan Slagell RE/MAX Choice As a Managing Broker for RE/MAX Choice, Dan has over 20 years of finance and real estate experience. He is anxious to assist new and past clients and sincerely appreciates the opportunity to have served many friends, neighbors and new community members with their real estate needs. Dan is a Certified Agent for Real Estate Investors and a CDPE/Certified Distressed Property Expert. He specializes in new construction, relocation, commercial and agricultural investments. Give Dan, a dedicated full-time professional, a call for all your real estate needs. 309-261-3026



Ivey Weaver

Greg Zavitz

Keith Troutman

RE/MAX Choice

Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors

Prudential Snyder Real Estate

Why choose Ivey Weaver, G.R.I., C.R.S? With over 45 years as a full-time licensed REALTOR, a recipient of the BNAR Hall of Fame “Lifetime Achievement Award� and RE/MAX International Hall of Fame. “She has discovered that caring for clients is the most important aspect of her job.� She has an abundance of energy and enthusiasm and loves to find the perfect match for both the Seller and the Buyer. Ivey and Ed have two sons, Mark and David, four grandchildren and 6 greatgrandchildren. For all your real estate needs call Ivey at (309)825-6012 or visit her website at www.iveyweaver. 20514319

I am a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University. I use a team approach with the help of 2 licensed agents and 1 unlicensed office manager. I have averaged over $10 million in sales and 60-70 homes sold each of the last 10 years. Hire a knowledgeable professional with 28 years’ experience and the tools to get the job done. I will give your home more internet exposure than any other agent in town. Call me and I will show you my sales system...309-275-4734

Keith Troutman is a long time resident of the Bloomington/ Normal area. Since becoming a Real Estate agent in 2004 he has consistently put his clients first. Keith’s dedication, attention to detail, and passion for real estate has contributed to his success! His commitment to providing prompt, personal service to his clients has earned him a reputation for quality within the community. You can call or text Keith at (309) 826-1737 or email You can also visit Keith at his website 20513886



NEW HOME? Home Market


Home Finder





8 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013

Honor Roll of area businesses  1872 Early 1800s 1837 1837 ESTABLISHED




For Youth Development • For Healthy Living For Social Responsibility

First Christian Church

(Disciples of Christ)

301 W. Washington St. Bloomington, IL

(309) 827-6950

401 W. Jefferson Bloomington 829-9327












Morris Tick Company Recycling • Aluminum Cans • Scrap Metal & Iron Tick Steel Fabrication • Steel Sales • Custom Fabrication • On Site Welding

BLOOMINGTON TENT & AWNING “Always a Shade Better” Since 1890


812 I.A.A. Dr., Bloomington, IL 61701 20512997


All types of Repairs... Watch, Clock & Jewelry New & Antique

600 West Side Square - Clinton 20513158


Box 47, Graymont 815-743-5951 314 Crittendon, Chenoa 815-945-7871


1100 W. Howard, Pontiac 815-844-4433

First State Bank of Forrest Member FDIC “A strong friend for your family” 133 E. Krack St., Forrest, IL (815) 657-8248 603 W. Oak Street, Fairbury, IL (815) 692-4321 115 N. Chestnut, Onarga, IL (815) 268-7351

Costigan & Wollrab, P.C. 308 E. Washington Street Bloomington, IL 61701



82 Great Years Residential • Commercial Fully Insured Illinois State License #1

“A Step Ahead in Foot Care” 20513795


Bloomington - Ph. 309-828-2741 Chenoa - Ph. 815-945-2141 Pontiac - Ph. 815-842-1627 Fax: 815-945-7066

View all our inventory at

1507 E. Vernon, Normal

309.662.2886 • Expert Auto Service • Expert Advice • ASE Certified Technicians 20512999

1811 Eastland Drive 801 W. Market Street (Inside the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church)

Bloomington | 661.1166

(309) 662 7272 20512980





“Woodford County’s Only Independent Locally Owned Bank!”



Our Founder, Dr. Watson Gailey, opened the first Gailey Eye Clinic in Bloomington, Illinois in 1941. He was a nationally renowned specialist and a true pioneer in ophthalmology that was devoted to providing world class eye care. Gailey Eye Clinic continues to uphold Dr. Gailey’s vision, providing our patients with the most advanced treatments and highest quality eye care. We have grown to include 13 Ophthalmologists, 6 Optometrists, and 16 locations in the Central Illinois region, each living up to the impeccable reputation of the Gailey name. To schedule an appointment, please call 800-325-7706.

Barbershop Chorus Meets Every Tuesday Night 7:00 - 9:30 PM

(309) 846-7123 20513875





Goodfield 309-965-2221 Eureka 309-467-2747 Metamora Coming soon



814 IAA Drive, Bloomington, Illinois, 61701

1201 N. Hershey Rd. Bloomington, IL 61704 (309) 662-0461



Locally Owned & Operated American-Made Vacuums!! “Like” us on



• Child Care • Hallmark Programs • Home Care Services • Medivan • RSVP • Stepping Stones • Wheels to Work



2708 McGraw Drive., Bloomington 800-475-5977 • 309-663-2306

(309) 664-1800

307 E. Grove St., Bloomington



Business, Personal Life & Health

STOP IN AND SEE OUR NEW SHOWROOM! • Full Service Coffee Bar • Children’s Activity Center • Comfortable Customer Lounge Complete line of Pre-owned vehicles too!










2030 Ireland Grove Rd, Bloomington

(309) 828-4310



Attorneys at Law


Member FDIC “A Full Service Bank Where Friendliness Prevails”

501 E. Stewart St. • Bloomington, IL 61701 Scrap 828-6084 • Steel 829-0655 20512995




1104 N. Main St. Bloomington, IL 61701 (309) 828-2422

1 Brickyard Dr. Bloomington



Bloomington-Normal YMCA 602 S. Main St. Bloomington, IL 61701 309-827-6233


Ph. (309) 663-0355

• Back Lit Awnings • Custom Made • Retractable Fabric Products Awnings • Pool & Boat Covers • Canopies • Tent Sales




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The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 9

Honor Roll of area businesses  1971 1971 1971 1971 1971 ESTABLISHED






McLean County’s Choice Since 1971


Dairy ry Delight MIKE FLYNN



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Mon.: 9 – 6 • Tues. – Fri.: 9 – 5 Saturday: 9 – 3




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663-4444 Always Fresh, Always Original! 20513798 20513344


10 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bus system undergoes big changes By Rachel Wells

BLOOMINGTON — From the agency’s name and look of its equipment to the location of a major transfer station, the Twin Cities’ bus system saw waves of change in 2012 as its general manager completed his first full year at the helm. For passenger convenience, the most significant change at Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System, renamed Connect Transit, was the introduction of GPS software that allows riders to use their smart phones to see real-time locations of buses along their routes, said General Manager Andrew Johnson. Johnson was hired in 2011 to run the $9.8 million annual operation that saw record use of its buses, with more than 2 million rides, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. “The one thing we have seen a sharp decrease in is the number of phone calls we get asking ‘Where’s my bus,’” Johnson said. “We were able to give them the tool to see exactly where their bus is.” Connect Transit also worked to “re-brand” itself by changing its name, adopting a logo and color scheme and developing rider guides. The system also moved a major transfer station into Uptown Station in Normal. Though implementation was originally expected early this

The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

Katie Clothier, volunteer coordinator at Children's Home + Aid, left, photographs a bus with staff and Connect Transit volunteers, prior to unloading Friday outside Children's Home & Aid. Connect Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 572 collected donations to benefit the Children’s Home + Aid Crisis Nursery. year, Connect Transit pushed back a major overhaul of its bus routes, which remain largely unchanged over the previous few decades. After elderly and disabled riders raised accessibility and safety concerns about the proposed changes, Connect Transit regrouped and in February of

this year held listening sessions to help inform its riders about changes. Mick Ferrell, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 752, said Johnson since has formed a task force that involves union leaders to provide input. “I’m very pleased with the

direction it’s going. The union leadership is involved in the restructuring and we hope to reach a favorable consensus for the riding public as well as the system itself,” he said. Though the union supports modernizing the routes, in a separate matter it pushed to include more employees under

the bargaining unit. A non-union employee also filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights alleging discrimination due to age and health when she was demoted from a supervisory position. Both matters were still pending early in 2013.

Honor Roll of area businesses  1997 1997 1996 1994 1995 1994 ESTABLISHED






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It’s Like Getting a Bedroom And Bath For Free! At $695 (plus utilities) our 3br/2bth row home Perfect for couples, families and roommate sharing. Come by and see why. Certain income restrictions apply. 309.451.5555 711 W. Orlando, Normal, IL. 61761 Weekdays 9 to 5 Sat. 10 to 2 Sun. Closed


A local family-owned shop specializing in beer brewing and wine making supplies and equipment. 604 Dale St. Suite A1 • Normal (309)862-0700 20513625

Mickey Little, Owner 1012 S. Main St., Bloomington Ph. (309) 829-9800

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©2013 Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. An independently owned and operated broker member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license. Equal Housing Opportunity.


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The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 11

Heartland Community College keeps up with times O

ne of the most enjoyable things about Heartland Community College is our enthusiasm for the future. We are energized by students’ success and excited to play a key role facilitating economic growth in our communities. HCC spent the past year updating its vision, mission and values statements, which include our foundational commitments and enduring strategic goals. This exercise confirmed our dedication to the many exemplary things our talented team already does and allowed us to reexamine our priorities to ensure we’re meeting our most critical obligations. Today’s vast and rapid societal changes are particularly relevant in HCC’s most current and focused efforts: HCC Value No. 4: “We are all partners in the success of the organization, boldly embracing current and future options that

spects, these changes are moving us toward an exciting and somewhat undefined future. In other respects, they are returning us to our roots. Community colleges were forged in the post-World War II era to blend academic transfer degrees with career-oriented training. Our society needs Allen Goben both, and we all benefit from an will empower our students and educated citizenry whose peocommunities.” ple possess relevant and emFoundational Commitment ployable skills. Community colNo. 2: Collaborating Effectively leges are in the middle of soci– “HCC will champion collabo- ety’s educational pipeline, partration among internal and exnering with pre-K and K-12 ternal constituents to stimulate schools, universities and emsocial, economic, and environployers. The education and mental advancements.” training we provide is a primary HCC and other community vehicle for American prosperity. colleges are shouldering an even Today, we’re seeing these areas larger responsibility for our na- blend into a seamless and flexition’s workforce training. This ble design, custom-built around includes helping 60 percent of individual learners’ needs. It is Americans earn a degree, ceran exciting and constructively tificate or other employable cre- challenging time as we adapt dential by 2025. In some reand tune our approaches to

meet current and emerging demands. We value our role as a collaborative leader that can adapt quickly, helping all boats rise through an educated and relevantly trained citizenry. Data strongly links educated citizens with meaningful employment and increased income that boosts the economy; lowers crime and criminal justice system costs; and improves health with correspondingly lower healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare costs. More than 90 percent of Heartland graduates remain in our district, and their contributions to our communities’ vibrancy and prosperity are significant. Each year, the college serves thousands of learners seeking jobs or planning transfer to universities. Hundreds of current high school students are earning college credits through HCC’s College Now program.

Employees seeking industry certifications and displaced workers are finding personalized paths to success at Heartland. Each enjoys the sustained support necessary to reach his or her career, college and life goals. Heartland has become a nationally recognized center of excellence for outstanding education and meaningful community collaboration. The college’s unique position allows us to create pathways to the American Dream through exemplary local results. It is our pleasure to continue supporting personal, family, community, state and national success. We thank our many community partners for their support, encouragement and interest in elevating HCC’s role as an architect of personal success and economic growth. Goben is president, Heartland Community College, Normal.

Health care providers fill growing need in community By Paul Swiech

tient privacy. Barb Nathan, the center’s executive director for NORMAL — As the 16 years, resigned in NoCommunity Cancer Center vember to lead Westminprepares to break ground ster Village, Bloomington. for a major expansion, clinics that focus on serv- Community ing low-income residents Health Care Clinic also are growing. The clinic at 902 N. Community Cancer Franklin Ave., Normal, Center serves low-income residents who are uninsured or The outpatient center at underinsured. It began a 407 E. Vernon Ave., Nor- program, called Care Plan, mal, has raised more than to more holistically treat $4.3 million of the $9.6 its sicker and costlier pamillion needed for an ex- tients. The clinic anticipansion that would more pates an increase in pathan double the size of the tients because of the Afcancer center, interim Ex- fordable Care Act and is ecutive Director Roger considering expanding. Hunt said. When more than half of Chestnut Health the campaign total is in Systems hand, Hunt wants to break Chestnut Family Health ground for the expansion The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY and hopes that happens in Center, 702 W. Chestnut Breast Cancer Conference members examine a patient’s mammography in September during an early morning meeting held at St., Bloomington, a part of the Community Cancer Center in Normal. June. The expansion would Chestnut Health Systems, add 35,000 square feet to is receiving $1.3 million in the 27,000-square-foot federal grants over 24 center as the number of months to fund the health patients served at the cen- center. It is Bloomingtonter continues to grow. The Normal’s first federally center is operating at ca- qualified health center to pacity and expects its serve people on Medicaid. number of patients (220 a day) to grow 7 percent each Immanuel Health Center year for the next decade. The expansion would inA dream by Dr. Trina clude a two-story addition south of the existing build- Scott and supporters to ing for medical oncology open a doctor’s office that Save The Date and a conference center; a offers spiritual support one-story addition to the should be realized soon in a southwest for radiation renovated part of the Marioncology; a chapel and an Wing of the old St. Summer Launch food area; an expanded li- Joseph Hospital building, Come check it out! brary and new entrance. 502 S. Morris Ave., BloomThe project calls for small- ington. Immanuel Health group spaces for Center plans to open this chemotherapy instead of spring, offering health care one large room, more exam primarily for children and rooms and improved pa- adults on Medicaid.


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needs! 20513791 205 20513 205137 2 05 05137 5137 379 91 1 20514047

12 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013


Annual Report by the numbers (all statistics are for 2012)

Police Bloomington


Total calls for service


62,568 Serious crimes


1,419 Minor crimes


4,176 Traffic accidents


1,427 Traffic tickets


13,375 DUI arrests


310 The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

Jacki DallaValle of Lincoln walks past one of the Walldog's painted signs on a brick building at Sangamon and Pulaski streets in downtown Lincoln.

Historic Lincoln looks to the future City officials begin creating downtown revitalization plan By Kevin Barlow

Public Works Bloomington


Garbage collected 18,100 tons 8,650 tons Percent of waste recycled 15 percent 33 percent Tons recycled 3,252 tons 3,865 tons

Public libraries Bloomington


Summer reading program enrollment 7,840 4,603 Materials circulated 1,544,634 610,256

Swimming pool attendance Bloomington’s Holiday Pool 33,690 Bloomington’s O’Neil Pool 25,145 Normal’s Anderson Aquatic Center 39,501 Normal’s Fairview Aquatic Center 73,580

Special attraction attendance Bloomington’s Miller Park Zoo 107,082 Normal’s Children’s Discovery Museum 141,859

Golfing (number of rounds played) Bloomington courses (Highland, The Den and Prairie Vista) 72,349 Normal course (Ironwood) 24,844

LINCOLN — For a county that looks on its history with pride, Logan County has not forgotten about the future. Leaders in Lincoln are in the preliminary stages of a five-year downtown revitalization and redevelopment plan that they hope will change the look of the 25-block downtown area and bring in businesses. The city received word in 2012 of a $675,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The city added another $100,000, but leaders say more grants will be needed. “Everyone has a different idea and many of those are really good ideas,” said city engineer Darren Forgy. “A lot of money goes for the preliminary work for studies, designs and it can go quickly.” City leaders spent much of 2012 sorting through resumes and conducting interviews before hiring former Mattoon administrator Sue McLaughlin as the first-ever city administrator. She started her duties Feb. 1. “It’s been hectic,” McLaughlin said. “But the people here have been very gracious and we are all eager to see how this is going to work. There is a different challenge when it’s a new position and so that adds an element of stress because the materials you need, such as computer programs, might not be available right off the bat. But I have a very good feeling about how we have started.” While the city gained an administrator,it lost two aldermen due to redistricting following the 2010 census. The city now has eight wards instead of 10. Logan County emergency management officials met with leaders throughout the county to

The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

David Webb of Walton, Ore, stops in Atlanta to photograph a Walldog's Mural highlighting Springfield's Reisch Beer. identify potential threats following a major storm or natural disaster. A list of critical infrastructure needs will be identified. Grants will then be requested and work will begin to eliminate as many of those threats as possible. “The easiest time to identify a threat is after it happens, but then it’s too late to correct it,” said Terry Storer, deputy director of Logan County Emergency Management Agency. “Our focus is to identify those areas and find money to make changes before they impact our residents.” In May, leaders at Abraham Lincoln Memor-

ial Hospital sealed two time capsules that will be on display in the hospital lobby. A 1954 time capsule, opened last year, was resealed; it included a glass syringe, an obstetrics stethoscope, a scalpel and several other items. The 2012 time capsule included several historical artifacts relative to the opening of the new hospital building in 2011. “Not only did many of these items tell a story about healthcare today, they also revealed our hospital’s dedication to our mission to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve,” said hospital CEO Dolan Dalpoas.

DeWitt County hopeful of economic turnaround By Edith Brady-Lunny

CLINTON — DeWitt County leaders are optimistic that small but positive economic growth, coupled with untapped resources for developers, will bring a more robust economy in 2013. The key to widespread development may lie in 80 acres given to the county in 2002 by Clinton Power Station owner Exelon, said Ruth Stauffer, executive director of the DeWitt County Development Council. The council plans to ask for proposals from developers. The property overlooks the marina, also given to the county by the energy firm. An improved outlook for the hotel industry could bring interest for commercial projects, said Stauffer. “We’ve been watching the economy and it looks like things are beginning to open up. We’re trying to find something that will enhance the area and make money for the county,” said Stauffer. Further east in DeWitt County is a 20-acre site along Interstate 74 owned by Farmer City that holds potential, said Stauffer. Clinton has seen some retail growth in the past year with the sale of the former County Market building on Cedar Square. Jeff Moore, owner of J &S Roofing, purchased the shopping center several months ago and has rented space to Round Again Sports, CrossFit Influence, Sav-More Pharmacy and Le Nails.

The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

Exelon Generation's Clinton Power Station is shown from the Illinois Route 54 bridge in July. The decision by Richland Community College to build a 4,000-square-foot facility in the Douglas subdivision points to the school’s commitment to students on the northern edge of its district but also shows that the city has a solid economic base, said Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters. In health care, city and county leaders worked on a plan to retain ambulance service after the city-

owned Dr. John Warner Hospital voted in 2011 to disband the hospital-based ambulance service. Voters approved a referendum to help subsidize the operation, now operated by Paramedic Services of Illinois on the city’s east side. Hospital CEO Earl Sheehy said the ambulance transition “turned out to be seamless.” With about 160 employees, the hospital with its adjacent Rural

Health Center remains one of the county’s largest employers. The hospital expects to break even at the close of its fiscal year in May, said Sheehy. One of the major challenges facing the rural hospital is the $1.5 million anticipated cost of shifting from paper to electronic medical records. The hospital is evaluating whether to hire a private vendor or to complete the work in-house, said Sheehy.


The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 13

Car dealerships have big year in 2012 By Kenneth Lowe

BLOOMINGTON — Several Twin City car dealerships had a big year in 2012, with a number of sellers breaking ground on facilities and their sales providing a notable boost to the local economy. Ken Springer, director of research and client services for the Economic Development Council of Bloomington-Normal, said increased sales could be an indication the overall economy is getting back on its feet. “Second to a house or a college education, a new vehicle is one of the biggest financial investments individuals make, so obviously the fact we’ve seen some rebound in automotive sales is good for the economy,� Springer said. State sales tax revenue for automobiles and gas station sales showed third quarter 2012 figures higher than the same period in 2011 by 50 percent in Bloomington and 32 percent in Normal, Illinois Department of Revenue data show.

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

A worker cleans glass for the new showroom and customer service area at Barker GMC Buick Cadillac in August. Alec McKean, general manager of Extreme Hyundai, echoed another of Springer’s comments: that “pent-up demand� for new cars and less restrictive conditions at banks made 2012 a good year for sales, and should continue to do so in 2013. “The average age of the cars around the road is the oldest it’s been in recent

history, so people have to trade at some point,� McKean said. “Another thing that’s contributed to the increase (in sales) has been that banks’ interest rates have dropped dramatically and they’re lending to more people. There’s more money available for people to buy a car.� Extreme Hyundai moved to Normal from Blooming-

ton in June, opening in a renovated building at 600 Greenbriar Drive. The move marked a major expansion for owner Dan O’Brien, who has three auto dealerships in the Twin Cities. Hyundais previously were sold at his combined Hyundai-Kia location, 1608 Morrissey Drive, Bloomington; he also owns Extreme Nissan,

2029 Ireland Grove Road, Bloomington. The Sam Leman Automotive Group had a historic 2012, opening a new 50,000-square-foot facility at Leman’s Chevy City in Bloomington and a new 10,000-square-foot BMW dealership nearby. The Chevy City site opened in mid-July, replacing the original dealership that had been at 1602 Morrissey Drive for more than 40 years. The new BMW site opened about the same time at 1602 Commerce Parkway and is home to Leman’s Mazda, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram models. The changes at Chevy City were dramatic: a consolidated parts department; an indoor climatecontrolled area where customers get delivery of their cars; a service lounge with computer desks so customers can work while they wait for service; and stateof-the art service equipment, the dealership’s changes aren’t merely cosmetic, with in-ground hoists and alignment bays among the latest in service

technology. Branding changes from General Motors led Barker Motor Co. to build a $1.5 million facility adjacent to its decades-old showroom at 2030 Ireland Grove Road, Bloomington. Open since August, the facility allowed Barker to reintroduce the Buick line under a 2011 agreement with GM. Petersen Chevrolet Buick in Fairbury also saw major changes after several months of renovation that ended last March, adding a new sign, flooring, furniture, lighting and paint. For all three, the changes reflect the amenities expected by customers. In addition, Barker and Extreme Hyundai have drivein service areas, waiting areas with kids’ play spots and free wi-fi. “We’ve seen a trend in the last five years with a lot of the manufacturers asking their dealers to upgrade their facilities, and amenities are huge,� Extreme’s McKean said. “When I first got in the car business, we had plastic chairs and a TV that sometimes worked. It’s a lot different now.�

Community opens wallets, hearts for charities BLOOMINGTON — If not for the last minute, as someone once said, nothing would get done, and last-minute donations were a key to 2012 successes for Bloomington-Normal area social service agencies. Thanks to 11th-hour pledges, United Way of McLean County surpassed its campaign goal of $4.35 million by a scant $1,000. More than 10,000 people supported the campaign, said Gina Mandros, United Way senior director of resource development, and campaign chairwoman Barb Baurer said that’s also what sets McLean County apart. “We worked a little harder as a community and dug a little deeper,� said Baurer, “and as a result I think we really can say the future is a little brighter because of the dollars we were able to raise.� “We were not surprised that the community was able to come together to help us make our goal,� said Mandros. “McLean County residents are very generous and they genuinely care about each other.� Sixty-one human services programs benefit from United Way. Via its $4,351,038 collection, its 2012 campaign also collected $50,000 more than in 2011. At The Salvation Army of McLean County, the “Make a Difference� campaign — via its holidaytime Red Kettles and yearlong direct-mailing efforts — exceeded its $451,000 goal and made a difference of $21,000. Donors to 26 kettles across the Twin Cities contributed $233,000 — nearly $9,000 per kettle — and the direct-mail campaign added another $218,000. Money collected

supports local Salvation Army programs, such as Safe Harbor homeless shelter, community food pantry, and rent and utility assistance programs. Alyson Wrezinski was named the Salvation Armyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development director, responsible for fundraising and public relations, replacing Steve Schroeder. He left at the end of 2012 to become development director at Easter Seals. September superstorm Sandy dominated news of the American Red Cross of the Heartland. The agency sent more than a dozen volunteers to storm-ravaged and waterswollen areas in New York and New Jersey, including Janet Bremner, Mackinaw; Lorraine Pflaumer, Danvers; Janice Miller, Clinton; Shaila Simmons, Colfax; Jack Montgomery, FairThe Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER bury; Mike McKnight, A large crowd gathers under a tent in August during the 2012 United Way campaign kickoff at the Illinois Farm Bureau building. Vickie Eckhardt and Parker and Sharon Lawlis, all of Normal; and James Kaiser, Nancy Slattery, Emily Barr, Auction House Sue Kiley and Norma Pilk,%*:A^cXdacHi# ington, all of Bloomington. 7addb^c\idc!>A+&,%& An annual fundraiser for  the American Red Cross of <dihij[[4Ijgc^i^cidXVh] the Heartland â&#x20AC;&#x201D; its annual LZVgZcdliV`^c\ gala â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will feature musiXdch^\cbZcih cian Amy Grant on April 17  at the Marriott Hotel & 8Vaa9gZlVi Conference Center in Uptown Normal. '&,",++",(%Meanwhile, the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advocacy Center of McLean County and its CASA program â&#x20AC;&#x201C; services Auctions & Appraisals #7%6+105'48+%' that provided support and Chenoa Auction Gallery protection for abused and 264 Richland Rd. foster children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; had an 215 Owlsey â&#x20AC;˘ Chenoa, IL equally good year. Lacon, IL 61540 Real Estate â&#x20AC;˘ Farmland â&#x20AC;˘ Estates The organization that 7Z]^cY Antiques â&#x20AC;˘ Collectibles uses those â&#x20AC;&#x153;blue kidsâ&#x20AC;? as @D8=ÂźH9:EDI Phone: 309-246-6575 309-261-4537 its symbol in yard signs in Jeff 2012 helped 160 kids (all Prochnow Cell: 309-696-9019 AZm^c\idc!>A Auctioneer told, 369 in McLean, LivRealtor ingston and DeWitt coun(%."-')"(-'. 20513079 ties) with volunteers doing 9,746 hours of work, financed in part by an annual fund-raiser event at the SELLING WITH RESPECT uptown Marriott that brought in $106,000. Central Illinoisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premiere estate sale company! Managed by Pam & John Newby. Let Tamaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Estate Sales 40+ years of experience in selling go to work for you! Bloomington, IL Ph. 309-825-7279







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The Pantagraph/STEVE SMEDLEY

As her father, Salvation Army Captain Paul James speaks, Ellen James, 4, runs across the floor chasing a ceremonial coin she will soon drop as part of the Salvation Army of McLean County Red Kettle campaign.The campaign kickoff took place at Eastland Mall in Bloomington in November.



â&#x20AC;˘ 20513915

14 • The Pantagraph • Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dennis Wentworth of rural Downs shows the effects of the drought on an ear of corn last July. Reduced ear size can result in the ear failing to be picked up by the combine at harvest.

Boaters fish in Evergreen Lake in Comlara Park as stumps are exposed showing how water the water level had fallen with the onset of the drought last June.

The Pantagraph/DAVID PROEBER

Cows at the Deering Country Farms eat hay from a feeder after grass in their pasture languishes due to the drought last July. Central Illinois continued to live under drought conditions in 2012 and the effects of that drought were felt far and wide.

DROUGHT Central Illinois ran out of water

Story and photographs by David Proeber

The irony that central Illinois has some of the best farmland on the planet is not lost on anyone when they consider that the area continues to suffer from occassional droughts. The effects of the drought were everywhere. Those living in the city put up with brown lawns. Those living in the country saw corn cobs dwindle. Some who lived in rural areas ran out of well water and were forced to have water trucked to their homes. All are hoping we don’t see a repeat of 2012.

Above: Richard Twait, superintendent of water purification for the City of Bloomington, takes a sample

from a plume of sediment in a water processing tank at the city's water treatment plant at Lake Bloomington. Controlling particulates in reservoir water can be more difficult in times of drought. Left: Water fell below the top of the dam at Lake Bloomington last summer.

Above: Chad Atherton connects a hose to a city of

Bloomington water station before filling his water delivery truck last August.The water was to be delivered to an area farmer whose livestock and well had run dry. Right: Atherton connects a hose to his tank truck before

running a delivery of water to an area farm family.

Annual Report 2013 Part 1  

Annual Report 2013 Part 1

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