Accident Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin The only reason I FOIAd’s the State Police report for the accident involving the Normal West student who died earlier this year was because of a tip from a reader. If you didn’t know, the driver of the vehicle who hit her was the son of Bloomington’s Fire Chief, Brian Mohr.  Mitchel […]

Epidemic of at risk kids

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Council meeting last night did not produce much to report.  We did learn from a lady during public comment that Bloomington has an epidemic of at risk kids.  Holly (didn’t catch the last name) volunteers many hours at the Boys and Girls Club.  They currently serve almost 1000 kids and […]

No money in it: Recycling

By:  Diane Benjamin If money could be made from recycling, Normal wouldn’t have stopping funding drop off locations.. Midwest Fiber wouldn’t let the drop off boxes get stuffed to capacity creating a mess when people just leave the junk outside the bins. I have been dropping of recycling for years behind Walmart in Normal.  These […]

Update: Mother’s Day Bail

She wasn’t allowed to be released without bail because she had an arrest in Springfield for retail theft that will go to trial in June.  It wasn’t because she was black.  See that arrest information here:   http://records.sangamoncountycircuitclerk.org/sccc/DisplayDocket.sc By:  Diane Benjamin Black Lives Matter Blono has been raising money to bail a mother out of jail […]

College Free Speech Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin I just found a story proving people are tired of University tactics to silence free speech.  A lawsuit was filed against the University of Michigan Tuesday: The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit civil rights group Speech First, alleges that the university’s apparatus to investigate incidents reported as bias and enforce disciplinary measures creates […]

ISU: Teaching Tribalism

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is it impossible to talk to each other these days?  Many times it’s because people retreat to their corner and refuse to listen to any points of view that conflict with what they were taught or what they think they believe.  Common sense and rational thoughts must be attacked if doesn’t […]

Downs: TIF Tensions

By:  Diane Benjamin This is yet another case of TIF abuse.  I don’t know if the Village of Downs is at fault or the engineers they hired – Farnsworth.  Maybe Mayor James can explain.  (Side note:  Liberal California has banned TIFs) The owner of the property pictured is Roger Reynolds.  It is located east of […]

Bloomington-Overtime, Pension Spiking, etc

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17676 Bi-Weekly Overtime!  (hours/payment – PDF page 6) Weekly employees Overtime: Two entries for Sick Leave Buy Back. Pension Spiking: More expenses for the Coliseum? They haven’t gotten to the elevator yet. Consultants – Administration How many downtown properties aren’t paying taxes because Bloomington bought them?  Maybe […]

Another one bites the dust

By:  Diane Benjamin YMCA, State Farm, and now Specs Around Town are just some businesses who have or will be leaving downtown Bloomington. City of Bloomington:  Whatever you are doing is causing flight from downtown. Downtown is for bars, restaurants, lawyers, and government.  Until Bloomington quits trying to make downtown something it isn’t, the few businesses […]

UPDATE: Setting Wedges

See bottom of story for update. By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when City hall was packed with people wanting citizens to oversee the Police?  Remember this new Board supposedly only had the power to review cases after all other remedy within the Police Department was exhausted? The Public Safety Community Review Board was the first wedge […]

Will Bloomington pass a Welcoming Ordinance?

By:  Diane Benjamin Social media is full of outrage over Normal passing the “Welcoming Ordinance”.  The Pantagraph turned off comments to their story. Is Bloomington next? Will LEGAL immigrant Alderman Mboka Mwilambwe cave?  Will Alderman Karen Schmidt approve an ordinance like Normal’s that does nothing other than empower the radicals? We know the supporters will […]

The Garbage Spring

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington posted a link yesterday so citizens can track the progress of The Great Garbage Spring:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/6899/ I’ve heard potholes aren’t being filled, 2 additional trucks have been rented, and it might take a month to remove all the curb junk.  Scrappers and curb shoppers are removing some and […]

Wrong side of the tracks

By:  Diane Benjamin In March I posted a story concerning the “luxury” apartments in the new building on Uptown Circle:     https://blnnews.com/2018/03/17/more-on-uptown-circle/ At that time Zillow showed 16 apartments for rent.  It now shows 14 ranging from $1650 and month to $4200:     https://www.zillow.com/b/1-uptown-circle-normal-il-9J8XNH/ Public Comment on items other than the Welcoming Ordinance was at […]

Participation Trophy

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal passed the “Welcoming Ordinance” last night that does nothing.  Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen voted against it.  The supporters declared victory anyway, they got the Town to kneel before them even if only for one night.  The radical pep rally lasted for over 3 hours so everyone who wanted to speak […]

When Radicals run your Town:

By:  Diane Benjamin If Normal passes the Welcoming Ordinance tonight, they are empowering leftist radicals. Bloomington and Normal are chasing people out of town by giving into radicals.  It started with citizens second guessing the actions of the police.  It continues with laws ignored via a Welcoming Ordinance.  Now they think they should pick the next […]

10 Minute Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin Today’s paper has an article listing every organization that will receive a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.  They are handing out $157,347 to 73 programs. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/foundation-awards-k-in-community-grants/article_15fc82c0-e843-5927-b376-ed42c1b68707.html Since the Pantagraph has a policy against investigative journalism, I did it for them. The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation tax return for the year ended […]

Normal’s handouts tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2958 This is the guy running Normal: On 4/16 he was paid $20,658.49   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ These payments total $24,994.08 More non-profit give-ways: (website:  https://forbettertomorrow.org/ ) Even more give-away (You pay taxes to Normal so they can give it to Heartland who also taxes you) So you don’t forget how much rent […]

UPDATE: Normal: Don’t do it!

  It passed with 2 no votes by Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen.  Video you won’t want to miss tomorrow! By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” for people who have no legal right to be in this country. We pass laws to protect law breakers? We pass law for specific […]

No bid, Uptown TIF, Welcoming Ordinance

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal is spending $ 1,271,428 on 4 garbage trucks and waiving the bids.  How do they know the cost is competitive without bids: They will get $420,000 for the four trucks they are trading in. The Welcoming Ordinance does nothing: The open border crowd wanted an ordinance making it illegal for […]

The latest in “Laws Don’t Matter”

By:  Diane Benjamin On May 1, 2018, the Village of Mackinaw held a retirement party for their fake cop. Robert Davies collected a police officer salary and now a police officer pension without being qualified to be a police officer in the State of Illinois. It looks like the State’s Attorney for Tazewell County is […]

Anonymous tip results

By:  Diane Benjamin Every so often I receive anonymous tips in the mail.  In order for me to investigate I have to believe the allegations are credible and have enough information to confirm the allegations. A couple of weeks ago I received one of these.  It concerned a former County employee named Jody Cooper who […]

The Rumors are:

By:  Diane Benjamin Just rumors – some based in a lot of facts Bloomington’s Water department director resigned – Bob Yehl OSHA regulations were violated at Lake Bloomington yesterday as City employees destroyed a boat dock, If you are a buying a house at Lake Bloomington that has a boat dock, get a copy of […]

You will never know the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this Pantagraph story, the charges in the Coliseum case have been dropped against one of the 5 defendants and three others are in negotiations for a plea deal: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/arena-defendants-involved-in-talks-with-state/article_db37d3a5-218c-5fb4-8d6a-812671ec0118.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Can anybody guess why comments aren’t allowed to this story? The LAST thing any level of government in McLean County wants is […]

Normal’s Pension Problem (and Bloomington)

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to pay into three pension funds:  IMRF, Police, and Fire. The funding for IMRF isn’t horrible, Police and Fire are.  What does that say about who the Town management and Council respect and who they don’t? I’m sure you remember property taxes being raised year after year […]

Update: Normal to codify: Laws don’t matter

The resident radical attempting to throw Karen Schmidt off the Bloomington Council will be leading the charge in Normal: By:  Diane Benjamin According to WGLT, Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” Monday night:    http://wglt.org/post/normal-consider-welcoming-ordinance-monday Considering RC McBride is WGLT’s General Manager and he’s on the Normal Town Council, they would know.  It must be nice […]

Yes there are free lunches!

By:  Diane Benjamin In yet another attempt  to turn the library into something it was never meant to be:     http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/SRPprogramguide.pdf I wonder where the tables and chairs will be set up?  How are they going to keep the jelly fingers off the books?  Will the library staff have to wash kids hands after lunch? […]

Tossing Money – Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington has done nothing to stop employees from “spiking” their pensions.  Besides collecting a higher pension for life at taxpayer expense, taxpayers are forced to pay penalties to cover the increased cost. The “spiking” comes from accumulating unused sick days.  Bloomington has changed the policy for new hires, but they refuse to […]

Normal Township’s fuzzy math

See the comments, they borrowed money.  More debt!   By:  Diane Benjamin Continuing this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/30/townships-the-hidden-government/ The WAREHOUSE was created by the Illinois Comptroller’s office to give citizens access to local government financial information.  It is much easier to read than whatever local units of government call financial statements.  It would be a […]

Downs Fire: Extra Pay not authorized

By:  Diane Benjamin I finally received the rest of the information I FOIA’d from the Downs Fire Protection District late yesterday. One request was for complaints filed against any employees or Board members.  I did not receive any “official complaints”, just heavily redacted memos recapping events with all names redacted.  I received ZERO complaints about […]