Missing Data – McLean County Deaths

By: Diane Benjamin I am purposely refraining from using percentage increases in the data below. I believe that would distort the actual numbers. For example, I could tell you confirmed suicides increased 40% between 2019 and 2020. The actual number increase was 9, very tragic but 40% sounds far worse than 9. There are a […]

Normal budget – in short

By: Diane Benjamin If you want to watch the almost 7 hour budget session you can do so below. You won’t be able to see the slides discussed by the Finance Director because they aren’t on the video. You have to see those here: https://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/19621/Budget-Summary-Proposed—Jan-2022-Budget-Worksession Get your two devices ready, get popcorn, and then fall […]

Fly on the Wall: Local GOP accountability

Flying around I heard the local GOP has a new committee: Accountability Committee. This committee was formed to hold GOP elected officials feet to the fire. If they don’t believe in the principals of the GOP they shouldn’t call themselves Republicans. Anybody else know about this committee? Is it a secret? Is accountability to party […]

Normal’s Houdini Act

By: Diane Benjamin Normal did not have last Wednesday’s budget meeting (1/26) posted on their website. It also wasn’t on the the Town calendar, magically it has now appeared. The first screen shot was taken Tuesday, that would be the 25th. The second screen shot was taken today: https://normal.org/calendar.aspx?view=list&year=2022&month=1&day=26 Look at the 26th on both. […]

Bloomington Budget

By: Diane Benjamin Unlike Normal who only spends one day presenting the budget, Bloomington is rolling their’s out. Last Monday was the first look. You can see see the slides on the video or at this link: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/27448/637786270147270000 See 1:28:40 on the video below. The City of Bloomington anticipates having a General Fund Balance of […]

Losing more money in 3 mths than most people earn in a lifetime: Connect Transit

By: Diane Benjamin I am WAY behind on stories, so you readers have homework. Contract Transit didn’t meet and report their loses for months, so this board packet includes reports for 3 months. It also includes minutes from the retreat they held. It is way past time for all of you to see what they […]

Why Citizens in Normal will be paying more for water

By: Diane Benjamin Water rates go up 2% every year without a Council vote. That isn’t enough money for the Town however. 1:08:15 – Chris Koos tells Stan Nord to quit bringing up past Council actions. This story is for you Mr. Mayor because past Council actions are why the Town wants to increase water […]

Normal meets anyway

By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2022/01/25/illegal-meeting-normal/ Introduction to the Open Meetings Act Law: (5 ILCS 120/1)(from Ch. 102, par. 41)    Sec. 1. Policy. It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and that the people have a right to be informed as to […]

Fly on the Wall: Government Center theft

There is NO security at the Government Center in downtown Bloomington. Yesterday someone walked into an office, got into purses, and stole credit cards from a County office. The City of Bloomington offices in this building have security cameras, the County has cameras that don’t work. The building is wide open. Anyone could walk in, […]

Illegal meeting Normal

By: Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act requires notice of a meeting is posted 48 hours in advance. Normal just posted the notice of the budget meeting TOMORROW: https://normal.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=47 I know math is tough for Normal, but today isn’t 48 hours notice. I have pictures and screen shots from this morning without the meeting posted. […]

Normal’s proposed budget

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal will be holding an all day budget meeting soon, nothing is posted yet saying when. I’ve heard the meeting is tomorrow, that would violate the Open Meetings Act which requires posting 48 hours in advance. I FOIA’d the proposed budget so you can see it: Highlights: The proposed […]

Bloomington tonight, tune in!

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1152&Inline=True PDF page 10 is a proclamation declaring the first week of February: National Gun Violence Survivors’ Week. Has Mboka figured out Chicago has moved downstate? This is part of the declaration: That is probably true in Chicago where crimes aren’t prosecuted and kids are frequently shot and die because criminals with […]

More info and Summary of the National Fitness Champaign Scam

By: Diane Benjamin The National Fitness Campaign installation was not bid out. I previously posted a picture of equipment from another company who courted Normal: https://blnnews.com/2022/01/21/want-to-see-what-a-scam-looks-like/ The FOIA I received had yet a third company: No mention was made at the Council meeting about these two other companies. It appears Doug Damery, head of Parks […]

Requiring vaccinations will hurt you

By: Diane Benjamin To Community Players who only want vaccinated people at their shows, and Marcus Theaters who are doing shows just for the vaxed: Being vaccinated doesn’t prevent hospitalization, death, or even getting Covid: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine/vaccine-breakthrough.html Illinois hospitalizations and deaths in fully vaccinated people: Those are only the serious breakthrough cases, many more still get […]

Damery costs Normal taxpayers while working his second position

By: Diane Benjamin The FOIA request I received from the Town of Normal is 417 pages long. So far I’ve only read 96 pages. This is story #2 from the FOIA, I can’t believe anyone missed #1, but if you did read it first: https://blnnews.com/2022/01/21/want-to-see-what-a-scam-looks-like/ The latest revelation is National Fitness Challenge has a contract […]

Want to see what a SCAM looks like?

By: Diane Benjamin Below is a clip from the January 4, 2022 Normal Council meeting where the National Fitness Campaign project was discussed. The speaker is Doug Damery, head of Parks and Recreation for Normal. Remember the $25,000 grant Normal received? Damery details how difficult the process was to get that grant: (less than 1 […]

Truth Revealed: Koos used a false site for information

By: Diane Benjamin Do I really need to re-tell the whole SAGA of Chris Koos and Pam Reece misleading the Council about the tax status of National Fitness Campaign? I’m not going to, WGLT finally did a story that will refresh your memory: (did they write it because of my story yesterday or because they […]

Fact-Checking Rodney Davis’ Claims of 31 County Republican Central Committee Chairmen Endorsements

By: Diane Benjamin Rodney Davis claimed endorsements on his campaign website: https://electrodney.com/rodney-davis-announces-2022-re-election-campaign-to-congress-in-new-il-15/ In case Rodney decides to “revise” his website, below is part of the list he has on his website now: Rodney probably thought he wouldn’t be fact checked, unfortunately for him he was. Of the County Party Chairmen who were contacted either by […]

Community Players goes woke

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Did you hear the UK will no longer require masks anywhere, including schools? https://www.india.com/news/world/uk-to-lift-additional-covid-restrictions-from-next-week-says-boris-johnson-5194531/?fbclid=IwAR0YbCYFx_sis73chTIP2kRw4Pi0unJwUNsYHLFiHP_ooIbbVE8s150920M Anybody who remotely follows the news knows Omicron has been very short lived in countries that got it first. (South Africa and UK) Some people haven’t heard being vaccinated doesn’t prevent getting Covid. Community Players […]

Clear example of media only reporting what they want to report

By: Diane Benjamim Both the WGLT reporter and I watched the same Normal Town Council meeting last night. Nothing in the story I wrote this morning was mentioned in their story. Mine: https://blnnews.com/2022/01/19/message-to-trustee-mccarthy/ Theirs: https://www.wglt.org/local-news/2022-01-19/normal-new-public-data-portal-puts-more-information-at-your-fingertips Media picks and chooses what to report, obviously fraud isn’t something WGLT cares to cover if the Normal Town Council […]

District 87 and Southern Poverty Law Center

By: Diane Benjamin I’m only using NPR as a source because leftists would think any other source is bias: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/17/713887174/after-allegations-of-toxic-culture-southern-poverty-law-center-tries-to-move-for The article is from 2019, the organization had to dispose of the founder and top people over charges of a toxic workplace, discrimination, and sexual harassment. If you Google Southern Poverty Law Center many articles […]

Normal is taking today off, meeting tomorrow

By: Diane Benjamin Normal is taking MLK Day off, the Council meeting is Tuesday night. https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4204 Were you invited? Get your gift card? Pam Reece keeps paying the ridiculous rent at 1 Uptown Circle 2 years after the council told her to fix it: Chemberly Cummings continues to feed kids at your expense: Think Normal […]

Normal has a fraud problem, the only question is by who?

By: Diane Benjamin Remember the year around (cough cough) fitness court the Normal Council voted to proceed with? https://blnnews.com/2022/01/06/conflict-of-interest-by-mccarthy-sure-looks-like-it/ Scott Preston appears to have only voted YES because he was told the National Fitness Challenge is a nonprofit. Just hit play below to hear Pam Reece state it “appears” they are a nonprofit, then Scott […]

Celebrate! Will Josh Barnett be gone in November?

Barnett decided not to run again! By: Diane Benjamin That question is hard to answer since MANY voters see a familiar name and vote for them. Low information voters are a huge threat to good government. Barnett is frequently an obstruction to keeping the County government as small as possible with low taxes, he sides […]

Found while looking for something else

By: Diane Benjamin How’s this working for you? High taxes and corruption are driving people out of Illinois. Those who stay get to pay more because (of course) spending can’t be cut. Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois_state_executive_official_elections,_2022?fbclid=IwAR3bOBB-_NDPHbvxDjtloVYKHMcQ7Nvh4hAAjxFrelVp_Q2pKGdYrtKqvGg . . . . . .