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Holy smoke!: Other day at Illinois State University was spotted a "suspicious-looking" package, wrapped in a black garbage-bag, planted next to a fence, just off University Street. The ISU Police got calls, and authorities were called in, and an investigation was launched, and the package was analyzed, and later the police thanked those on campus for the attention — a great reminder, a police spokesman said, that "if you see something, say something!"

Oh — the contents of the package?

It was a box of Gideon Bibles to be given away to students the next day.

Second-guessing: When Travis Guess was a referee at Friday's annual Intercity football grudge match, Bloomington vs. Normal Community High, one of the fans saw his name and said, "Isn't that what fans think the officials do most of the time anyway?"

Two times two times two times … : There are those who worry, with Mitsubishi Motors gone and State Farm transferring jobs from Bloomington-Normal, that the population of Bloomington-Normal may wane.

Not to worry.

At Advocate BroMenn Medical Center’s Mother Baby Unit last week, they had the birth of five sets of twins — in only seven days.

In fact, the unit’s nurse manager, Stephanie Wollenberg, says she can’t ever remember so many twins in such a short amount of time.

Or, as Eric Alvin, a spokesman for the hospital, later mused, “Perhaps people got the ‘free delivery’ promotion that we did recently with Tobin’s Pizza mixed up with a 2-for-1 deal.”

Out of (and into) the mouths of babes …: Manning a Midwest Dairy Association game booth at this summer's Illinois State Fair, aimed at sharing the importance of having dairy products in a diet each day, was Virginia Lowery of Towanda.

That’s when one youthful sort walked up and told Virginia he didn’t drink milk because he was lactose intolerant.

As Virginia mulled an answer to that, the young man quickly went on to say, “But ya know, every once in a while a big bowl of ice cream is worth the diarrhea.”

Virginia says that's when she went from deep-in-thought to speechless.

Yet another subtle difference between Bloomington and Normal: Normal recently spent more than $300,000 to purchase three older homes in the town for their historic significance and also is rehabbing an old gasoline station along Pine Street that once served cross-country drivers as they passed through Bloomington-Normal. In the meantime, one recent day, without any fanfare, Bloomington quietly tore down the L&L Motel along Morrissey Drive, first opened in 1947, and listed as one of the oldest roadside hotels in downstate Illinois.

And speaking of twins ... : A few weeks ago, we mentioned here that Henry Koetters, a son of Michelle and Matthew Koetters, of Bloomington, set a record of sorts at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, weighing in at birth at 11 pounds and 15 ounces, a nice record for him and a definite relief for his mom.

Now we have an even bigger tale.

Giving birth the other day, also at Advocate BroMenn, was Rainey Miller, of Decatur, who with husband, Andrew, welcomed twins. Together, they weighed in at a combined weight of (not a typo) 15 pounds, 13 ounces at — shall we say — unloading time.

They also were three weeks early.

As a friend, Teresa Gurley, of Heyworth, puts it, "Can you imagine the birth weight had they gone full term?"

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