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Bloomington, Illinois

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of McLean County, United States. It is adjacent to Normal, is the more populous of the two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area; the 2010 Census showed the city had a population of 76,610, making it the 12th most populated city in Illinois, the fifth-most populous city in the state outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Combined with Normal, the twin cities have a population of 130,000. Bloomington is home to the corporate headquarters of State Farm Country Financial. Bloomington is located at 40°29′03″N 88°59′37″W; the city is at an elevation of 797 feet above sea level. According to the 2010 census, Bloomington has a total area of 27.229 square miles, of which 27.22 square miles is land and 0.009 square miles is water. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Bloomington have ranged from a low of 14 °F in January to a high of 86 °F in July, although a record low of −23 °F was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 114 °F was recorded on July 15, 1936 during the 1936 North American heat wave.

Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.71 inches in February to 4.52 inches in May. The Bloomington area was at the edge of a large grove occupied by the Kickapoo people before the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the early 1820s. Springing from the settlement of Keg Grove called Blooming Grove, Bloomington was named as county seat on December 25, 1830, when McLean County was created; when the County of McLean was incorporated, a county seat was established. However, the legislation stated the site of Bloomington "would be located later." James Allin, one of the new county's promoters, offered to donate 60 acres of his land for the new town. His offer was accepted, Bloomington was laid out, its lots were sold at a well-attended and noisy auction on the 4th of July 1831. At this time there were few roads, but rich soils brought new farmers who began commerce by conducting their business in the newly formed county. People came from all over to trade and do business at the town's center, known today as Downtown Bloomington, including Abraham Lincoln, working as a lawyer in nearby Springfield, Illinois.

In 1900 an officer on patrol discovered a fire in a laundry across the street from the old city hall and police station. He sounded the alarm but the fire destroyed the majority of the downtown the areas north and east of the courthouse. However, the burnt area was rebuilt from the designs of local architects George Miller and Paul O. Moratz. During the first two decades of the 20th century, Bloomington continued to grow. Agriculture, the construction of highways and railroads, the growth of the insurance business all influenced the growth of Bloomington and its downtown area; the downtown area became a regional shopping center attracting trade from adjoining counties. Labor unions grew in strength; this trend has continued to the present day, where expansion has included many restaurants and other businesses. As of the census of 2010, there were 30,454 households within the city; the population density was 2,814.8 people per square mile. There were 34,339 housing units at an average density of 1,261.5 per square mile.

The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 10.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 7.0% Asian, 1.42% from other races, 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population. The City of Bloomington and McLean County comprise the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Illinois; the area's population has grown 28% from 1990 through 2006. The fastest growth has been in Bloomington, as the U. S. Census Bureau conducted a special census of that city in February 2006, showing a population of 74,975, a 15.7% increase in less than six years. In 2010, there were 34,339 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.1% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.12. In the city, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 20, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 45, 23.8% from 45 to 64, 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older.

The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $58,662, the median income for a family was $81,166. Males had a median income of $56,597 versus $39,190 for females; the per capita income for the city was $32,672. About 5.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over. According to Bloomington's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the area's top employers are: Bloomington is home to a convention center at the McLean County Fairgrounds, Grossinger Motors Arena, Beer Nuts. Interstates 39, 55 and 74 intersect at Bloomington, making the city a substantial transportation hub. US highways 51 and 150 and Illinois state route 9 run through Bloomington; the legendary highway U. S. Route 66 once ran directly through the city's downtown and on a bypass to the east; the Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System operates Bloomington-Normal's internal bus system, several intercity bus lines operate north–south and east–west service through the city.

Bloomington is serviced by passenger rail, bus service, several airlines. Amtrak

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous is a 2004 Star Wars novel written by Sean Stewart and published by Del Rey. It is set in the Star Wars expanded universe during the Clone Wars conflict between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith; the Clone Wars have raged across the galaxy for two years, when the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, receives a message from Separatist leader Count Dooku. In the message, Dooku concedes to Yoda. Dooku invites Yoda to meet him on the planet Vjun. After conferring with his fellow Jedi Masters from the Council, principally Mace Windu, Yoda judges that if the meeting at Vjun were a feint, the chance to end the war far outweighs the perils of a trap. Yoda decides to send a decoy impersonating himself to a different planet, while he secretly slips off to Vjun, he contracts Palleus Chuff, to pull off the bluff. Disguised as Yoda, Chuff leaves on a public mission to Ithor; when Chuff's fighter is captured by Dooku's minion Asajj Ventress, unaware of the switch, the apparent loss of Yoda comes as a sad blow to the morale of the Republic.

Jedi Masters Jai Maruk and Maks Leem journey towards Vjun, accompanied by their Padawans, the under-achieving Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy and Whie. They make their way travelling under the false identities of a refugee family, with Yoda disguised as their faithful R2 unit. During one Spaceport layover, Ventress catches the quintet, unleashes a dangerous new type of battle droid. While the other Jedi fight the droids and Ventress, Yoda seeks to rescue Chuff. Both Jai Maruk and Maks Leem fall to the terrible droids and Ventress' lightsaber. Yoda, diverts Ventress' attention before she gets a chance to kill the young Padawans, the three Jedi escape. Meanwhile, on Vjun, Count Dooku awaits Yoda in the Château Malreaux, the manor of the long since waned aristocratic clan Malreaux; as the group of Jedi land on Vjun they are forced to separate: Yoda goes to meet with Dooku, the Padawans follow mysterious disruptions in the Force felt by Whie. Soon, Ventress captures the Padawans, she reveals to Whie that the Château is in fact his house, the insane house-woman was his mother, Lady "Whirry" Malreaux.

Meanwhile, Yoda meets with Dooku, discovers that Dooku's summons is indeed a feint. The two masters engage in a tense debate about the ways of the Force, reminiscence about Dooku's childhood in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. In the end, Yoda encourages his former apprentice to leave Darth Sidious forever. Dooku, hands shaking, is on the verge of answering when an assistant informs him of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi's arrival in the mansion, dispatched there by the Jedi Council, on behalf of Palpatine. Convinced that the legendary duo are replacements for him, Dooku is overcome by jealousy and throws his assistant out the window. Yoda is forced to save Whirry from falling to her death, parry Dooku's follow-up lightsaber attack. Though Dooku wounds him, unfazed, does not yield to the dark side. Yoda recovers, a short lightsaber battle ensues. Before leaping from the window to escape, Dooku tells Yoda of a missile approaching from space, aimed at the house, everyone in it. Yoda stops the missile allowing Dooku and Ventress time to escape.

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Yoda: Dark Rendezvous on Wookieepedia, a Star Wars wiki

Paul Hall (footballer)

Paul Anthony Hall is a retired footballer. He is an EDS Under 23's lead coach at Championship club Queens Park Rangers. During his career, Hall was a striker who could play on the right wing. Born in Manchester, England, he represented Jamaica internationally. Hall began his career as an apprentice at Torquay United, turning professional on 9 July 1990, although he had made his league debut the previous season, he helped the Gulls to promotion via the play-offs playing as a winger, made a total of 93 league appearances, before a £70,000 transfer to Portsmouth on 25 March 1993. Hall was to spend five seasons with the Fratton Park outfit, after some impressive displays he gained a call up to the Jamaica national football team to participate at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After some impressive performances at the World Cup, Hall moved to Coventry City for a fee of £300,000. Within four months at Coventry he had been told by manager Gordon Strachan that he did not fit into his plans, but Hall chose to stay and fight for a place, turning down a move to Port Vale in late November 1998.

On 18 February 1999, he joined Bury on loan, but again returned to Highfield Road to fight for a first team place. The following season chances were sparser, with loan moves to Sheffield United on 17 December 1999, to West Bromwich Albion on 10 February 2000, neither of which resulted in permanent deals, he scored once during his spell at Coventry against Southend United in the League Cup. On 17 March 2000, Hall left Highfield Road, joining Walsall on loan until the end of the season, in the summer joined the Saddlers permanently on a free transfer, he helped the club to gain promotion to the Football League First Division via the play-offs, but found himself out of manager Ray Graydon's plans for the 2001–02 campaign. Port Vale attempted to take him loan on 20 September, but were told by Walsall that only a permanent deal would suffice; the following week, he again returned to Walsall. On 10 October 2001, he left the Bescot Stadium, joining league newcomers Rushden & Diamonds on a free transfer, playing alongside fellow former Torquay forwards Scott Partridge and Duane Darby.

Hall spent three seasons with Diamonds, making 112 appearances and scoring 26 goals. In the Third Division play-off final, Hall scored a superb solo goal straight from kickoff after Cheltenham scored; when financial problems forced Rushden to offload several players, he signed for Tranmere Rovers where he played 55 times and scored 13 goals. For the 2005–06 season Hall signed on a free for Chesterfield, for whom he was the top scorer with 15 goals in 47 league and cup starts. On 4 June 2007, Hall returned to his former club Walsall, he scored once in his second spell at the club. On 11 January 2008, Hall and fellow Saddlers teammate, Danny Sonner both joined League Two strugglers Wrexham, however Hall's deal was only a loan deal. Hall scored his first goal for Wrexham on 9 March, the opening goal in a 2-0 win at local rivals Chester City. For Hall he suffered an injury, returned to Walsall. In July 2008, Hall signed for Conference South club Newport County under manager Dean Holdsworth. Hall's contract with Newport was cancelled in October 2008 by mutual consent.

He joined Stratford Town of the Midland Football Alliance in November 2008. In July 2010, Hall was named youth team coach at Mansfield Town, but left the club just two months when financial trouble forced the club to shut down their youth team, he subsequently joined Spalding United as a player, made his debut for the Tulips on 2 October 2010 in a 3-0 defeat. Hall returned to Mansfield on 19 November 2010 when he was hired as Duncan Russell's assistant manager. On 30 March 2011, Hall was registered as a player to help ease the injury crisis at Mansfield Town, after the club could only name three healthy substitutes in the match against Crawley Town the day before. Hall left his assistant manager role on 7 June 2011. Although born and raised in England, Hall was eligible to play for Jamaica because of family connections, he made his international debut for the "Reggae Boyz" in 1997, helped Jamaica qualify for the 1998 World Cup. He subsequently started all three games in the World Cup. In total, he scored 15 goals for Jamaica.

Hall holds a UEFA'A' coaching licence. In 2009 Hall coached at Soleil College. In November 2010, he was named assistant manager at English Conference side Mansfield Town. Hall joined up with Marcus Law at Conference National side Tamworth, ihelped with coaching the team. Hall lives local to the Tamworth area, passed on his experience to a young squad, he has been the Senior Professional Development Coach at Queens Park Rangers since 2015. Walsall Football League Second Division play-off winner: 2001 Hall studied at Staffordshire University for a degree in Sports Journalism, graduating in 2015. Paul Hall at Soccerbase Paul Hall on Twitter