Bloomington, Illinois – JUNE 6, 2019 – Relay For Life of McLean County is pleased to announce Normal resident Pattie Taylor been selected as Honored Survivor for 2019. This year’s 16 1/2-hour event will take place at Bloomington High School from 4:30p.m. Friday, June 21 until 9a.m. Saturday, June 22. This year’s Relay theme is “Relay Reunion” because Bloomington High School was the location of the first Relay For Life of McLean County event in 1995.

Pattie’s Story: For Normal resident Pattie Taylor, smoking wasn’t an activity she ever engaged in. Yet, her journey surviving cancer started with a routine chest X-Ray, preparing for a medical procedure on her spine to correct a bulging disc in her neck. That was in 2015.

In March of that year, what should have been a routine step in preparing for that upcoming surgery changed when her doctor asked for a biopsy of her right lung because he detected the presence of a spot on that lung. As a result of that biopsy, Taylor was told she had cancer.

“They told me it was smoker’s cancer,” explained Taylor, 69, and a mother of two and grandmother of six. ”The biopsy said I had smoker’s cancer. I was never a smoker.” Taylor said that meant her cancer was all the result of exposure to second hand smoke.

Prior to this experience, her now adult son contracted and survived cancer at age 4.

Her cancer is in remission and she continues to have regular appointments to monitor her progress. In March 2018, Taylor and her husband were involved in a do-it-yourself project laying hardwood for an all-season room at their house. That involved being on her hands and knees for three days to complete the task.

But a nagging pain in her knee from working the project turned out to be more than just soreness from the labor-intense project. A trip to the doctor showed the cancer had returned and spread to her femur. In September 2018, CAT scans and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs, showed Pattie had new tumors. The cancer had metastasized to her brain and left hip. She underwent radiation treatment initially, but now takes chemotherapy in the form of a pill to combat the cancer and will for the rest of her life.

Part of her treatment for that took place at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where doctors put a rod in her right leg to bolster its strength. Without that rod, any kind of fall or injury to that leg could have caused Pattie to lose the leg. In addition, she also underwent radiation treatments at the Community Cancer Center in Normal, and is currently going through follow-up appointments at Illinois Cancer Care in Bloomington.

For Pattie, there is a lesson she said she learned from the experience she wants to pass along: “Don’t let things be left unchecked,” she said. “I can’t emphasize how important it is to get something checked out rather than think it’s nothing.”

Dede Verplaetse (Pronounced VER-plates), co-chair of this year’s Relay For Life of McLean County campaign couldn’t agree more with Pattie about that. “Cancer can and sometimes does start out with something not feeling right. We would encourage people to see a doctor to determine if there is something more to whatever pain is bothering them. If it turns out to be cancer or cancer-related, the sooner treatment is sought, the better the chances of eliminating it and becoming a cancer survivor.”

LOOKING TO REACH 2019 GOAL OF $275,000: Relay For Life of McLean County hopes to raise $275,000 in 2019 and have at least 85 teams and 400 survivors and 400 caregivers at their annual Relay event. Relay For Life of McLean County will be held from 6 p.m. June 21 to 9 a.m. June 22, 2019, at Bloomington High School. When Relay For Life of McLean County held its inaugural event in 1995, it was held at BHS.

SURVIVOR/CAREGIVER DINNER STARTS AT 4:30 P.M.: A dinner for Survivors and caregivers will take place starting at 4:30p.m.

RADIOTHON TO RAISE MONEY TO BE HELD JUNE 21: Since it began in McLean County in 1995, Relay For Life of McLean County has raised over $8.5 Million to fight cancer. We are looking for more teams to join us in the fight!

On June 21, Radio Bloomington stations WJBC AM 1230, WBWN FM 104.1, and WJBC FM 93.7 will conduct a Radiothon event to help raise money for Relay For Life of McLean County.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: Relay For Life wishes to gratefully acknowledge this year’s Sponsors, Bloomington High School, State Farm Insurance, Cumulus Media, Country Financial, and Avanti’s Italian Restaurant, along with all of the other sponsoring businesses and organizations for their dedication to helping us win the fight against cancer.

More information may be obtained by contacting either Dede Verplaetse at 309-261-5521 or Steve Robinson at 309-242-7838.

Bloomington, Illinois – JUNE 6, 2019 – Relay For Life of McLean County is proud to announce it’s welcoming its Relay teams to a reunion for our annual event – our 25th – which will be held on the track around Fred Carlton Field at Bloomington High School. BHS was the very first location where Relay For Life of McLean County’s inaugural event was held in 1995. This year’s event will be run from Friday, June 21 beginning at 4:30p.m. until Saturday, June 22 at 9a.m.

The annual Survivors’ Dinner for cancer survivors and caregivers will take place at 4:30p.m. Our formal opening ceremony, which includes a “Survivors’ Walk,” will begin at 6p.m. Other activities planned include a silent auction and a youth activities area.

Our annual Luminaria ceremony honoring those who have survived and those we’ve lost to cancer will begin at 9p.m. on the track surrounding the football field. Overnight, there will be activities such as Bingo, board games, and other activities.

RADIOTHON TO RAISE MONEY TO BE HELD JUNE 21: On June 21, Radio Bloomington stations WJBC AM 1230, WBNQ FM 101.5, WBWN FM 104.1, and WPBG FM 93.7 will conduct a Radiothon with donations going to Relay For Life of McLean County, explained Dede Verplaetse (VER-plates), one of the event’s co-chairs.

“We are thrilled to be returning to where Relay For Life of McLean County began in 1995,” Verplaetse said. “We love the idea of celebrating our 25th year back where it all began and will celebrate and fight back for the loved ones, friends, and family who are fighting and have lost the fight.”

Currently, there are 35 teams of 12-15 people each signed up to take part in this year’s event, Verplaetse said, adding more folks wanting to help continue the fight are welcomed.

You can learn more about and sign up to get involved at: www.relayforlife.com/mcleanil.

LOOKING TO REACH 2019 GOAL OF $275,000: Relay For Life of McLean County hopes to raise $275,000 in 2019 and have at least 85 teams and 400 survivors and 400 caregivers at their annual Relay event. Relay For Life of McLean County will be held from 6 p.m. June 21 to 9 a.m. June 22, 2019, at Bloomington High School. When Relay For Life of McLean County held its inaugural event in 1995, it was held at BHS.

Since it began in McLean County in 1995, Relay For Life of McLean County has raised over $8.5 Million to fight cancer. We are looking for more teams to join us in the fight!

RADIOTHON TO RAISE MONEY TO BE HELD JUNE 21: On June 21, Radio Bloomington stations WJBC AM 1230, WBWN FM 104.1, and WJBC FM 93.7 will conduct a Radiothon event to help raise money for Relay For Life of McLean County.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: Relay For Life wishes to gratefully acknowledge this year’s Sponsors, Bloomington High School, State Farm Insurance, Cumulus Media, Country Financial, and Avanti’s Italian Restaurant, along with all of the other sponsoring businesses and organizations for their dedication to helping us win the fight against cancer.

More information may be obtained by contacting either Dede Verplaetse (VER-plates) at 309-261-5521 or Steve Robinson at 309-242-7838.

NORMAL – Four Normal residents spoke before Normal Town Council members at the governing body’s regularly scheduled meeting in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station Monday night. Their topics ranged from recent changes in rates and routes proposed by the Town’s public transportation provider, Connect Transit, to making a change in Town Policy concerning how often members of the public may address the Council and the method for seeking approval to do so.

And it was a change in the Town’s Public Comment Policy which generated conversation among Council members before a vote to finalize approval for that policy change which became a central component of the meeting which lasted nearly two hours. The policy concerned how much time members of the public had before a Town Council, Board, or Commission to notify the governing body they wanted to speak.

Council members unanimously approved a proposed resolution which deletes a pair of rules for members of the public seeking to address such elected or appointed officials at meetings which had been previously used. Those rules were: Any person wishing to address the Council needed to notify the office of City Manager Pam Reece up to two hours before the meeting they wished to address; and the public comment period could not exceed 20 minutes. Under this rule, a lottery would be used to determine who would get to speak before the Council. Speakers are each given three minutes to state their concerns before Council members.

Council members unanimously approved a change which would allow any person to register to address the governing body up to 15 minutes to the start of the Council, Board, or Commission meeting. Under the revised rule, registering to speak can be done by completing forms provided by the Town for that purpose or by contacting the City Manager’s office.

But two amendments proposed by two new recently-elected Council members, Stan Nord and Karyn Smith, generated discussion but were ultimately both voted down. First, Smith proposed an amendment shortening the time citizens had to sign up to ask to speak from the proposed rule change of 15 minutes to one minute. Nord seconded Smith’s motion. She was informed by Mayor Chris Koos that cutting the time limit down that much could interfere with other things that could be on a meeting agenda, such as presentations of proclamations, or scheduled Town Liquor Commission meetings, which generally precede Council sessions.

The Council vote on Smith’s amendment was voted down by a 4-3 vote with Smith, Nord, and Council Member Scott Preston voting in favor, while Mayor Chris Koos, and Council Members Chemberly Cummings, Kathleen Lorenz, and Kevin McCarthy voted against it.

Smith, also concerned that some issues on the agenda aren’t always a priority for some residents, proposed an amendment allowing residents to speak on matters not on the agenda for a particular meeting. Nord seconded the motion for that amendment, but by a 5-2 count, only Smith and Nord voted in favor of it, with the rest of the Council voting against it.

Harmon Arts Grant Approved: Council members unanimously approved a motion to approve recommended Harmon Arts Grant Awards. A total of $25,000 in grants were awarded to local groups, the money for the grants earmarked from the Town’s general fund. A total of 28 groups applied for grants from the program, with the projects seeking money totaling $71,827. That amount of money to be distributed is down from the $74,000 in grants distributed last year. The maximum amount a group could receive is $5,000, and the programs or projects receiving the money would need to take place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The grant program is named for former Normal Mayor Paul Harmon and his dedication to the arts and was created in 1993 to help promote various art forms in the community. Among the criteria used to determine which applicants are awarded are: Programs takes place in the Town of Normal; Programs are administered by non-profit groups; and programs are administered by organizations with a stated purpose to promote the arts.

Winners, and their grant dollar amounts awarded, are: Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra, $2,000; Illinois Symphony Orchestra, $2,000; Illinois Prairie Theatre, $2,000; ISU – Gelli Printing at Sugar Creek, $1,565; Twin City Ballet, $1,500; USA Ballet, $1,500; McLean County Arts Center, $1,500; ISU’s University Galleries Field Trip Program, $1,500; Shakespeare Festival at ISU, $1,500; Further Jazz, $1,500; Illinois Chamber Music Festival at Illinois Wesleyan University, $1,400; Heartland Theatre Company, $1,200; ISU for 2019 Concerts On The Quad, $1,200; Brass Band of Central Illinois, $1,100; ISU-PUB.UNUT Presents Aditi Machado, $1,000; Crossroads Area Student Theatre. $875; Share The Music, $660; McLean County India Association, $500; and Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra, $500.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the minutes of the Council’s regular meeting held May 20, 2019.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of May 29, 2019.

• A motion to approve recommended Harmon Arts Grant Awards.

• A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement for technical planning services with the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.

• A resolution authorizing the purchase of a John Deere 2019 Model 85G Excavator from Goodfield, Ill.-based Martin Equipment in the Amount of $43,000.

• A resolution waiving the formal bidding process and authorizing the purchase of two additional Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillators from Zoll Medical Corporation in the amount of $48,780.32.

• A resolution authorizing a contract with Culy Contracting, LLC for the 2019 Manhole Rehabilitation and Replacement Contract in the amount of $164,940.

• A resolution accepting bids and awarding a contract for the Ridgemont Area Water Main Replacement Project to Bloomington-based George Gildner Inc. at a total cost of $891,570, including additive alternates #1 & #2, plus up to a potential $15,000 bonus for early completion.

• A resolution conditionally approving the final plat of the O’Reilly Auto Enterprises, LLC Subdivision (1315 S. Main).

By Steve Robinson | June 2, 2019 - 10:19 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Cornbelters, The Normalite

After splitting a pair of games with the DuPage Pistol Shrimp to mark their debut as members of the Prospect League, the Normal CornBelters dropped their first home game at The Corn Crib Saturday night. The Pistol Shrimp pounded Normal, 11-1 before a crowd of 800 fans. DuPage’s victory exacted revenge on the CornBelters for their road win over the Pistol Shrimp on May 30 in what was Normal’s debut with the league, 10-1.

The only run of the night for the CornBelters came in the bottom of the first inning as with one out, right fielder Jeremy Drudge’s single helped lead-off man Thomas Parker score from second base to give Normal (1-2 after this game) a quick 1-0 lead. Parker doubled to open the inning. But that would turn out to be the only run to cross the plate for Normal on the night.

DuPage (3-1) would take the lead in the top of the second inning scoring four runs as a single by catcher Hogan McIntosh’s single emptied a bases loaded situation, putting the visitors up, 2-1, allowing shortstop Garrett Goetz and Matt Waznis to score. Third baseman Kyle Kolb followed McIntosh with a single giving DuPage two men on base. After right fielder Anders Davidson struck out for DuPage’s second out, leadoff man Paul Kunst’s single scored McIntosh and Davidson, pushing the visiting team’s lead to 4-1 before Normal fielders would get their third out on DuPage center fielder Steven Hamer to end the inning.

DuPage would go on to score four more runs in the third inning, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to complete the victory.

“We didn’t play very good at all today,” CornBelters head coach Rick White said. “Our bats have gone dead since opening night. We’re going to come out here and keep working harder and try to get this thing turned around real quick. The good thing is we’re only four games into the season, so I think once we get the right lineup figured out and all that, we’re going to be fine.”

“I don’t know if it was opening night jitters for the home team, but I know how Normal is feeling right now because we were on the short end just a few days ago,” said DuPage head coach John Jakiemiec afterward. Like Normal, DuPage is also an expansion team in the Prospect League this season. Jakiemiec credited CornBelters catcher Tyler Burthay’s throwing arm with keeping many Pistol Shrimp players from advancing to second once they got on or past first base. “Play like that helps pitchers control the running game when you see a kid like that with a cannon like that. You didn’t see us stealing a lot. We’ve got a lot of respect for what he can do behind the plate.”

‘Belters Missing Players Involved In College Postseason Play: White said with some of his players currently away from Normal because they are involved in postseason college play that has hampered the manpower available to the team. Those players are: Illinois State University pitchers Jack Anderson and Jackson Bronke, and outfielder Jack Butler who are with the Redbirds at the NCAA tournament; Outfielder Mike Addante, who is with University of Nebraska at NCAAs, and Pitcher Lucas DeGarmo, who is with his Northern Oklahoma University at Enid team at the national JUCO World Series.

White said that as a result of those players being absent, it has given the team an opportunty to see how other players can play. “We’ve gotten to see quite a bit in the first few days,” White said.

CornBelters Beat Visiting Springfield Sunday Night: Normal’s debut season in the Prospect League saw an improvement on Sunday night as the CornBelters defeated the visiting Springfield Sliders, 5-4. Outfielder Joey Allen got the scoring off to a proper start with his first inning home run. The win improved the ‘Belters record to 2-3 as of Monday morning. Following a road game at Springfield Tuesday and hosting Hannibal Wednesday, the CornBelters will host DuPage Thursday and Friday, and Hannibal again Saturday before playing at Danville Sunday.

BLOOMINGTON – Normal Community West High School and Edwardsville looked to be evenly matched and still trying to size one another up, each side managing to score two runs in the opening inning to tie the contest to determine the Class 4A Sectional Champion at the contest played at Jack Horenberger Field on Illinois Wesleyan University’s campus Saturday.

But a five-run second inning and three more in the fourth inning by the Tigers was what it took to close out Normal West’s season as the Tigers beat the Wildcats, 12-8. The loss helped close out Normal West’s season at 30-7.

A single by senior pitcher Austin Collinson started the top of the first inning, followed by a put-out on junior center fielder Will Kafer. Junior catcher Cole Hernandez was walked, and a double by senior right fielder Brandon Roth emptied the bases, putting West up, 2-0.

Collinson seemed unsettled against the first two batters for Edwardsville (34-5), walking leadoff hitter and sophomore center fielder Hayden Moore and second batter Blake Burris before forcing a put-out on third batter Drake Westcott. But with two on, a double by senior left fielder Joe Copeland scored Moore and Burris, tying the game at 2-2 before setting down the next two batters, senior shortstop Josh Ohl and senior third baseman Max Ringering to end the inning.

Normal West batters C. J. Lewis, Sean Shook, and Alec McGinnis went down in order to open the second inning, Edwardsville added to their lead in the bottom of that inning, starting with a double by junior first baseman Logan Cromer, who doubled scoring senior catcher Dalton Wallace who opened the Tigers’ half of the inning with a double. Cromer’s run batted in gave Edwardsville a 3-2 lead. A walk of Moore followed, and a single by Burris loaded the bases for junior first baseman Drake Westcott who blasted a grand slam home run over the right center field wall for a grand slam, pushing the Tigers in front, 7-2.

Collinson led off the top of the third with a double, was followed by center fielder Will Kafer striking out, and scored on a double by junior catcher Cole Hernandez, making the score, 7-3. Hernandez advanced to third from courtesy of an Edwardsville fielding error and crossed the plate during an out made on first baseman Evan Hutson, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 7-4.

Edwardsville went scoreless in the bottom of the third inning and Normal West fans saw their team open the fourth on a walk to Lewis followed by single by Shook. With two on, McGinnis hit a sacrifice fly to advance the runners to second and third, and a single by Collison allowed the pair to score, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 7-6.

Moore opened the bottom of the fourth inning with a single for Edwardsville and was followed by a put-out at first on Burris. With one gone, Westcott and Copeland each singled loading the bases. Shortstop Josh Ohl emptied the bases with a single, putting the Tigers up, 10-6.

Roth opened Normal West top half of the fifth inning by being hit by a pitch and advancing to first. After junior first baseman Evan Hutson struck out, senior designated hitter Brennan Diedrich walked and Lewis struck out for the team’s second out. Roth and Diedrich scored on a two-run double from Shook, cutting Edwardsville’s advantage to 10-8.

Edwardsville (34-5) failed to score in the bottom of the fifth as did Normal West in the top of the sixth. But after Burris singled in the bottom of the sixth, Westcott smacked his second home run of the day over the right field fence to push Edwardsville up, 12-8.

Diedrich led off Normal West bottom of the seventh inning hitting to second base for a put-out at first. With one gone, senior catcher Whitton Rice singled. But the Wildcats’ next batter, Shook hit the ball to Edwardsville shortstop Ohl who turned a double play to end the game and the Wildcats’ season.

Senior pitcher Grant Schaefer took the win for Edwardsville while Collinson took the loss.

Edwardsville head coach Tim Funkhouser was complimentary of Westcott’s two-homer performance on the day. “He’s got that real special ability to square up balls,” he explained. On facing Normal West, he added, “We knew there was a reason why they have won 30 games this year, and that came out very evident on film, so we knew their lineup was going to be really tough to pitch to. We also knew they had team speed throughout the lineup. Normal West played great quality defense in the two games we’ve seen. They’re a fundamentally sound team, so we knew they wouldn’t give us much at all.”

“Both teams kept punching,” explained Normal West head coach Chris Hawkins. “It was a heavyweight bout for a while.” He credited Collinson’s staying power throughout the game, exhibited by hit three hits in the contest. “He’s a warrior,” Hawkins said of his 5 foot-11, 170 pound senior.

Hawkins summed up the season by saying, “These guys did what they were asked. “We lost four games in March, one in April, and one in May. You know, we lost three games in March, one game in April, and one in May. We have been in the Sweet 16 game three straight years. We just have to keep grinding and get better. We’re right there. We’re knocking on the door.” His team this year had 10 juniors, Hawkins said, adding he hopes they find their way to the door to the playoffs again next year. The previous Sweet 16 losses were twice to Edwardsville and once to O’Fallon.