Cheers

.... to separate efforts to further honor Army Ranger Sgt. Joshua Rodgers, who was killed in April while fighting Afghan forces.

One measure, sponsored by Congressman Darin LaHood, would officially rename the federal post office on Towanda Avenue in Bloomington in Rodgers' name.

The second, spearheaded by state Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington, would designate the main stretch of Veterans Parkway in honor of Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington. It would be ceremonial and not change the addresses of businesses along the stretch.

Cheers

...to several local sports teams that continue to impress.

While the U High girls' volleyball season is over, the Pioneers captured third place in the recent Class 3A state tournament at Redbird Arena.

Meanwhile, the undefeated GCMS Falcons continue their quest for a state championship when they play Saturday at home against Sterling Newman in the Class 2A semifinal.

And, helmets off to the No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan Titans, who will play No. 5 Case Western Reserve Saturday at Tucci Stadium in a first-round NCAA Division III playoff game.

Good luck to both teams!

Cheers

...to the city of Bloomington for holding the line on property taxes, making the tough decision to reduce spending to maintain a balanced budget next year.

The 2017 tax levy for taxes payable in 2018 is proposed to remain at $20.06 million.

Interim City Manager Steve Rasmussen said the City Council has no "appetite" for raising the tax rate, adding, "We will seek to balance the budget in other ways, but not by raising the tax levy."

That's something a lot of people want to hear. 

Cheers

....to The Baby Fold and its annual Festival of Trees that opens a three-day run Friday morning at the Interstate Center.

The 24th annual event, which continues through Sunday,  is the largest fundraiser of the year for Normal-based The Baby Fold, which provides a variety of services, including adoption, foster care, residential care and special education.

The festival has become the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season in the Twin Cities. Organizers expect 9,000 to 11,000 people to attend the event and, most importantly, it will raise $200,000 to $250,000 for agency.

Cheers

... to another worthy local agency, The Salvation Army of McLean County, that last week kicked off its Make a Difference campaign that includes the Red Kettle program — another sure sign that the holiday season has arrived.

Bob and Julie Dobski of Bloomington are this year's honorary campaign chairs and have announced a campaign goal of $515,000 — $255,000 from the Red Kettles and $260,000 through mail and online contributions.

"There is a major need in this community for people who don't have a traditional family unit," said Bob Dobski.

As we say a lot this time of year, give if you can.

 

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