Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pekin Park District Adult Golf Clinics

Pekin Park District Junior Golf Camp

Pekin Park District Junior Golf Clinics

i3 Broadband Proudly Receives Six Nationwide 2019 Internet Provider Awards from BroadbandNow

i3 Broadband is Pleased to be Recognized with Four Residential Awards and Two Business Awards from Online Consumer-Based Internet Search Service

i3 Broadband, the only independent and local provider of fiber optic Gigabit high speed internet service in Peoria, Champaign, and Urbana, IL, has proudly received numerous 2019 Internet Provider Awards from consumer internet search service, BroadbandNow. i3’s Residential and Business Services both received winning rankings and recognition in the following categories for “Mid-Sized” service providers:

1.       Top 2 Fastest Internet Providers Nationwide
2.       Top 3 Fastest Fiber Providers Nationwide
3.       Top 3 Customer-Rated Fiber Service Nationwide
4.       Top 3 Customer-Rated Business Fiber Service Nationwide
5.       Top 5 Customer Approval Rating Nationwide
6.       Top 10 Customer Rating for Business Service Nationwide

“We are extremely pleased to have received BroadbandNow’s awards for our best-in-class internet access service, both in terms of providing the fastest internet speeds, as well as providing our customers leading, local customer service” said Grier Raclin, CEO of i3 Broadband. “Our outstanding team works hard every day to earn our customer’s business, and it’s extremely gratifying for them to be recognized in this way,” Raclin states. 

About i3 Broadband
Locally-based i3 Broadband provides Internet, TV, and Voice services through a 100% fiber-optic network in the Greater Peoria, Champaign, and Urbana, Illinois markets. i3 Broadband is committed to providing the best customer experience possible through local operations, exceptional staff, and community involvement. For more information visit i3broadband.com or call (309) 689-0711.

About BroadbandNow
BroadbandNow is a leading online search tool that allows consumers to search for the best internet service in their area. BroadbandNow analyzes governmental and proprietary data to give specific results on over 4,000 residential and business internet providers of all sizes. Consumers who visit the BroadbandNow website enter their zip code to search for services offered in their area. They can compare providers, plans, and prices. BroadbandNow’s mission is to simplify the broadband shopping experience while bringing transparency to the millions of consumers who don’t have real competition when it comes to broadband service. For more information, visit broadbandnow.com.

Illinois Central College Named One of the “2019 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges”

Illinois Central College recently was named one of the “2019 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

The designation recognizes ICC and 18 other institutions from among all NISOD two-year community and technical colleges nationwide for their commitment to “Promising Practices” in the areas of workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment. A web-based survey approach was used to examine categories such as family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development opportunities, to name a few.

Profiles of the winning institutions were released in the May 16, 2019, edition of the publication and are available online at diverseeducation.com.

For more information about ICC and its programs, visit icc.edu.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Illinois Central College Board of Trustees Seeks Candidates for Open Seat

               Illinois Central College Board of Trustees has determined the process it will follow to fill the seat formerly held by Frank Mackaman and is now seeking interested candidates.
               Mackaman was elected to the Board in 2015. His current term would have expired in April 2021. The College owes Trustee Mackaman a debt of gratitude for his exemplary service over the last four years and is saddened by his need to step down due to personal and scheduling conflicts.   
               Those interested in applying for the position must be a U.S. citizen aged 18 years of age or older and a resident of Illinois and of Illinois Community College District #514 for at least one year immediately preceding the appointment.
               Applicants must apply by noon on Monday, June 3, 2019, in order to be considered.
               The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires the Board to make a decision to fill the vacancy within 60 days. The Board will discuss the selection for the appointment at its June 20, 2019, meeting during closed session. The new trustee will be seated at the July 18, 2019, Board of Trustees meeting.
               The successful candidate will complete Mackaman’s term from July 18, 2019, through April 6, 2021. The new trustee will be required to submit an Economic Statement of Interest with the Tazewell County Clerk and to take the Trustee Professional Development Leadership Training within the first year of the term of office.
               ICC Board of Trustees meetings are typically held the third Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. on the East Peoria Campus.
               For more information or to apply, icc.edu/board. For questions or to request a paper application, contact ICC Board of Trustees Secretary Sue Bulitta at (309) 694-5522 or email trustees@icc.edu.


Pekin Life Insurance Company held its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at the Company’s Home Office in Pekin, Illinois.

The Company reported net income of $3.4 million. Premium income decreased by 7.4 percent to $184.5 million. Life Insurance in force exceeded $18.2 billion in the year 2018.
At the meeting, shareholders elected directors Thomas C. Hornstein, Pekin, Illinois; Scott A. Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois; and Christine A. Schwartz, Pekin, Illinois, to three year terms to expire in May 2022.

Other directors whose terms continue are: Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois; Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois; Daniel V. Connell, Tremont, Illinois; Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois; John S. Heller, East Peoria, Illinois; and Brian K. Lee, Pekin, Illinois.
Pekin Life Insurance Company is an integral part of the Pekin Insurance® group of companies.
Pekin Life Insurance Company stock trades under the symbol “PKIN” and is listed on the OTC Pink Marketplace.

A multi-line company, Pekin Life Insurance Company offers individual life which includes term life, whole life, universal life, as well as medicare supplement, annuity, credit insurance, debt protection, and pre-need coverages.
Other products offered by the Pekin Insurance group include personal automobile, homeowners, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, boatowners, personal umbrella, commercial automobile, businessowners, commercial property and liability, workers compensation, commercial umbrella and bonds.

Information about Pekin Life Insurance Company can be obtained by visiting our Internet website at www.pekininsurance.com.

Pekin Park District Miller Center Senior Transportation Service

Better Business Bureau Study Shines Light on Prevalence of Counterfeit Products in Online Retail


Peoria, IL (May 14 2019) An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds that fraudulent consumer goods are ubiquitous, difficult to tell apart from the legitimate products they are counterfeiting, and stem from a large network of organized criminals and credit card processing mechanisms that are willing to support them.

                Research shows that eight in 10 Americans shop online, and the dominance of online retail means nearly anything can be bought online, sometimes at discounts that seem too good to be true. However, nearly anything available online can be counterfeited, and research also shows that one in four people have bought something online that turned out to be counterfeit.

                The investigative study – “Fakes Are Not Fashionable: A BBB Study of the Epidemic of Counterfeit Goods Sold Online” – looks at the prevalence of counterfeit consumer goods and the criminal systems that circulate them. It digs into the scope of the problem, who is behind it, the multi-pronged fight to stop it and the steps consumers can take to avoid it.

                The risk of encountering counterfeit goods can affect any online shopper. These goods range from brand-name sunglasses and handbags to golf clubs and consumer electronics, as well as many other kinds of products. BBB’s report finds that any shippable item with a reputation for quality and sizable markup is a candidate for counterfeiting. While counterfeit goods often are reputed to be deeply discounted, in reality, counterfeit sellers regularly use selling prices that are close to the price of the real product, so the prices offered are no longer a signal that the product is counterfeit.

                The cost of counterfeiting affects not only consumers who lose money by receiving products not as advertised, but also the broader U.S. economy. BBB’s report finds that counterfeiting and intellectual property piracy cost the U.S. economy $200-$250 billion and 750,000 jobs annually.

                In the last three years, BBB has received more than 2,000 complaints and more than 500 Scam Tracker reports from people who have shopped for goods online and received counterfeits instead of what they ordered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) processed 2,249 complaints about counterfeit goods (including pirated goods) in 2018, while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) processed 552 complaints representing a total financial loss of more than $752,000. That being said, many victims do not file complaints, making it difficult to get a firm grasp on how often people pay for goods that are counterfeit or not as advertised.

                A St. Louis man told BBB he saw a Facebook ad for a popular drone with a reputation for quality. The website on which it was advertised looked professional, contained pictures and videos from a well-known drone company, and included many positive comments and reviews. He purchased the drone he was interested in for about $200 as part of a clearance sale. The man told BBB a week later, he received a cheap, plastic toy drone whose value he estimated at about $10. He emailed the company to complain, but said the company never responded.

                According to BBB’s report, 88% of counterfeit goods come from China and Hong Kong, with their smuggling and their online sale via fraudulent websites widely thought to be coordinated by international organized crime groups. Customs agents seized $1.2 billion in counterfeit shipments in fiscal 2017, the most current year for which data is available; however, shipping and smuggling methods vary widely, creating major headaches for customs officials. Inasmuch as counterfeit goods are almost always paid for with a credit card, the fraudulent websites that process these sales make extensive use of the credit card and banking system, with a small number of Chinese banks and an extensive network of intermediary payment processors responsible for the vast majority of processing for these purchases.

                Active efforts are being made to fight the flood of counterfeit goods. BBB attempts to identify and report on bogus businesses, especially if they claim to be located in the U.S. and Canada. Trademark holders also do a great deal of work and spend a considerable amount of money trying to fight counterfeits. This is a major priority for customs officials and law enforcement as well; U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased its seizures of counterfeit goods by 125% over the last five years, and the White House recently issued an executive order directing government agencies that work with brands to examine counterfeiting and make it an enforcement priority.

The report recommends:
·     BBB urges the credit card payment processors to engage their full efforts in combating those that provide merchant accounts to sellers of counterfeit goods.
·     U.S. consumers would benefit from a program to help counterfeit victims with chargebacks like the one operated in Canada by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). Such a program could help identify fraudulent credit card merchant accounts, bogus websites, and possibly locations from which such goods are being shipped.
·     Law enforcement agencies could make better use of complaint information obtained by BBB, the FTC, and IC3.
·     More study and investigation is needed for websites in China that deliver nothing or where goods are sold deceptively – even if there is no trademark or copyright involved.
·     BBB recommends consumers check the reputation of the seller before making payment at bbb.org and contact the manufacturer for a listing of authorized sellers.

What to do if you believe you have unwittingly purchased counterfeit goods:
·     Ask for a refund. Victims who don’t receive anything when buying online with their credit card, or who receive goods that are counterfeit or not as described, should call the customer service number on the back of their card and request a refund. The report goes into great detail about the process of obtaining a refund and the remedies available to victims.
·     Report counterfeit goods. Contact one or more of the following:
·     National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asks victims of counterfeit goods to file a complaint with the IPR Center here.
·     Better Business Bureau: Victims can file complaints at bbb.org about online sellers that claim to be in the U.S. or Canada. BBB tries to resolve complaints and may help in getting a refund. There is no cost for this service. BBB also looks for and reports patterns of complaints. Consumers can report scams to BBB Scam Tracker.
·     Online markets: Victims can complain directly to eBay, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram or other online marketplaces. In addition, Amazon has an “A-Z guarantee” for goods sold by third parties on their site; victims who have purchased counterfeit items from a third-party seller can seek a refund here.
·     Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IC3): The FBI takes complaints about counterfeit goods. Complain here.
·     Federal Trade Commission: You can complain to the FTC by calling 877/FTC-Help or file a complaint online.

Illinois American Water Engineer Chosen for Water Environment Federation’s Water Leadership Institute

Illinois American Water’s Padma Paan is one of only 54 individuals accepted into the Water
Environment Federation’s (WEF) Water Leadership Institute (WLI). The intensive program was developed by WEF for emerging water industry leaders from across the world, allowing them to engage in management training and leadership development.

WEF and its global network of 35,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations provide water quality professionals around the world with the latest in water quality education, training and business opportunities. WEF uses this collective knowledge to further a shared goal of improving water quality around the world. The WLI curriculum will be delivered by high-caliber guest instructors from water and wastewater utilities and companies active in the sector. Guest
lecturers from government agencies, communication firms and financial groups will also share their knowledge and experience.

Paan, a planning engineer with Illinois American Water, was chosen for the program through a competitive application process. She said, “It’s an honor to be chosen. I look forward to partnering with other like-minded water industry experts to tackle challenges and develop viable solutions, so we can ensure safe drinking water and reliable wastewater services for today and future generations.”
Paan will participate in the program via opportunities created to enable developing and emerging leaders to build strong lasting relationships within the water industry. WLI offers a blended learning approach that includes the examination of complex challenges facing the water and wastewater industries. Participants are expected to build skills and knowledge needed to affect change within their organizations.

The 2019 WLI class includes participants from the United States, Canada, Grand Cayman Island and San Salvador. The graduation will take place at WEFTEC 2019 on September 22, 2019 in Chicago.
To learn more visit https://www.wef.org/resources/water-leadership-institute.

About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to over 14 million people in 45 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep
their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Illinois Central College Athletics Director Sue Sinclair retiring June 30

            Illinois Central College Athletics Director Sue Sinclair has elected to retire, effective June 30, 2019.
            “During her nearly 30-year career at ICC, Sue has not only served as athletics director, but also as assistant athletics director, assistant softball coach, director of physical education, and head volleyball coach,” said Dean of Students Dr. Emily Points.

            “Sue is such an integral part of the Athletic program that it is hard not to see this as a loss for ICC, but we are happy for Sue and her family. Sue’s legacy is found in the enduring contributions she has made through the leadership of the many students whose lives she has touched.”

            Sinclair’s teams have enjoyed phenomenal successes throughout the years under her leadership, including two national championships for volleyball and softball. In total, she has coached 17 teams to qualify for Nationals, and 85 players have moved on to play at the next level (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, and NAIA).

            Sinclair also has received many individual accolades, including her induction into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018, the 25 Women in Leadership Award in 2018, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Junior College/Community College Central Athletic Director of the Year 2005-06, and the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004, just to name a few.

            “I am very grateful to ICC for the many opportunities I’ve had over the years while leading the athletic program and coaching these talented student athletes,” Sinclair said.
            “While I elected to retire at this particular time due to family responsibilities, I am remaining in the area and have every intention of continuing to be active in the program as both a fan and volunteer. Once a Cougar, always a Cougar.”  
            ICC plans to appoint an interim athletic director prior to Sinclair’s retirement, with a search for a permanent replacement slated for the March-April timeframe. The College immediately will begin a search for the head volleyball coaching position.              

Pekin Post Office Renaming Ceremony

Friday, May 17, 2019

E-Commerce on a Shoe-String Budget

Come learn from small retailers in the area who are using social media to sell their products.  Maybe you have a strategy to share that works for you! Free to attend.

Regional Economy Continues Favorable Performance

The Composite Index of Business and Economic Indicators for the Peoria-Pekin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA; Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark and Marshall counties) continued its favorable (above 100) performance in the first quarter of 2019, with an Index value of 102.8, similar to one year earlier.

Faculty and staff of the Departments of Economics and of Management and Leadership in the Foster College of Business at Bradley University review over 30 diverse business indicators in the preparation of these quarterly assessments.

A complete analysis of these data may be here.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Miller Center Games

Neighborhood House Senior Nutrition Program

Miller Center Culver's Fundraiser

Miller Center Walk for a Ride 2019

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard


May and June Vineyard News

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Bring Mom out to relax this weekend.

 SUNS UP FUNS UP and we have lots of FUN this SUMMER
for you and your friends & family!


International Music, Wine and Craft Beer Festival
May 25 & 26
Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday Noon to 6pm
This year’s festival this year will feature over 50 wines and 60+ Craft beers for tasting and purchase from around the world. 
·     The Lions Club food concessions
·     Artisan cheese sampling and sales will be by Ropp Jersey Cheese
·     Hometown Banks festival Wine Glass sponsor!
·     Music Schedule
11-3 Up the Creek,
3-6:30pm Greg Williams,
7-11pm The Brazilionaires
12-3 Pocket Mouse,
      3-6pm Emilele
$10pp admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and 5 tasting tickets for ages 21 and over, $5pp admission ages 13-20, age 12 and under free
Concerts in JUNE 
7-11pm, $5

6/01 West McQueen St
6/08 Jammsammich
6/15 Bogart Jones
6/22 Jury's Out 
6/29 Captain Quirk 

FRIDAY, 8-11pm, $10
6/28 Brushville

Mandala Stemless Wine Glass Painting Class

June 6, 6:30-8pm
Wine Pairing Dinner
at Starved Rock Lodge
June 2, 6-8pm

Enjoy a fine dining experience with great food paired with Mackinaw Valley Vineyard wines.

 Drum Circle and Concert June 21, 7-11pm
Come Drum With Us!

for The Heller Center for Kids with Cancer at
OSF Children's
Hospital of Illinois

Drum circle 7-8:30pm
Coco Loco Concert 8-11pm
*tickets available at door too

Father's day at the Vineyard 
June 16

Beer Stein Stoneware Painting Class 2-4p

and also

Open Fishing Day!

Free and Family Fun!