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Bloomington

A photo taken inside the McLean County Home for Colored Children in October 1935
McLean County Museum of History

The care of orphaned, abandoned, and rejected African American children in Bloomington Normal has not always been kind or good, or even wanted in certain parts of town.

This episode of McHistory offers an unflinching perspective of Bloomington-Normal's past.

Louise Calimese and her husband Napoleon led the McLean County Home for Colored Children for nearly three decades.

WGLT's Mary Cullen produced this episode of McHistory, featuring Bill Kemp of the McLean County Museum of History and Jennifer Rusk with the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Walk.

Andy Birkey
Mary Cullen / WGLT

He’s not a craftsman or guilder, nor artist or tradesman. Andy Birkey makes his living carving, casting, and decorating traditional gothic furnishings for Catholic churches, but he said he struggles to consider himself part of Bloomington-Normal's community of artists.

Woman sits in a chair.
US Department of State

Sojourner Truth made a stop in Bloomington in 1879 to hold a speaking engagement on women’s suffrage and equal, just treatment of former slaves like herself. 

Trisha James Davis of Springfield will portray Truth  at Second Presbyterian Church's Sojourner Truth Celebration,  honoring the 140-year anniversary of that speech. When discussing her approach to portraying the iconic figure, Davis emphasized the vocal aspects. 

“She had a heavy voice,” Davis said. “When I’m doing a presentation on her I will affect a heavier voice with a twinge of an accent.”

State Farm downtown
Eric Stock / WGLT

The Historic Preservation Commission had been set to hold hearings on two historic landmark nominations for the downtown building State Farm is offloading.

But Mayor Tari Renner said those won’t be needed.

Kari Sandhaas the artist
McLean County Museum of History

The old Laborers' Local 362 union hiring hall is being demolished this week. The building featured a mural created by Kari Sandhaas in the 1980s, which displayed Bloomington-Normal’s historical relationship with labor and unionizing.

2019 Youth Mural Project Participants
Illinois Art Station / Facebook

A new mural will be unveiled Sunday on Bloomington's west side that will tell stories of the young artists who created it.

Woman with cat
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Vicky Edwards travelled over 800 miles from Arlington, Texas, to show her 14-month-old Maine Coon, Brutus, at the Cat Fanciers’ Association All Breed Cat Show at the Interstate Center in Bloomington this weekend.

People dressed in bustles and goggles, carrying jetpacks made with what appear to be ceiling fan blades. Yes, it's Steampunk.

From the Industrial Revolution to the Wild West, Steampunk is a creative way to picture what history could’ve been. It’s a re-imagining of history with art, science, and modern technology.

Women and members of underrepresented groups are at a disadvantage in STEM fields across the globe.

Police are investigating an armed robbery Monday afternoon at a convenience store in Bloomington’s southwest side.

Moses Montefiore Temple

Last weekend’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is only the latest in a recent increase in threats toward the Jewish community. That's according to the Anti-Defamation League, which says antisemitic incidents rose 60 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Laurie Bell and Arthur Haynes
Eric Stock / WGLT

A group of business owners and west Bloomington advocates has launched an effort to bring a full service grocery store and shopping plaza to that part of the community.

Tree stump with a cone on top
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The death of a tree on Washington Street shall remain a mystery.

Amtrak
Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington and McLean County are seeking the same quiet-zone designation that Normal received earlier this year.