Tuesday, January 28, 2020

R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy Week 3: TCRC & City Tour

Week 3 of the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy started on Tuesday with a visit to TCRC located on Rt. 9. Jamie Durdel, President & CEO and Greg Cassidy, Senior VP of Program Services, explained the mission and vision of TCRC and the services they provide to our community as well as their clients. TCRC offers a wide array of programs and services that benefit persons with developmental disabilities and visual impairments who live and work in our community. Tazewell County is fortunate to have this service available to our residents.  photos available here

Thursday the class climbed on a school bus for a City Tour. This tour included the Waste Water plant, the Pekin Municipal Airport, Pekin Street Department and the Communication Center. Todd Dugan was able to showcase the hanger at the Pekin Airport and explain the importance of this local asset. photos available here

Monday, January 27, 2020

Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” Lecture Series Announces Spring Schedule

Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” program is a free, open-to-the-public lecture series presented by faculty members of the ICC English, Humanities and Language Studies Department. The goal of the series is to offer literary presentations that interest students and people in the community, as well as promote reading literacy and scholarly study.
The spring topics include 1) the enjoyment surrounding biographies, 2) the Norse gods in current American pop culture and 3) the fascination with true crime and its revival in the past few years.
On Wednesday, February 5, Paul Resnick will present “The Joy of Biography” in Room 210A on the East Peoria Campus from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. We love to read about people. What makes them tick? How did they survive the good times and the bad? Who surrounded them? How did they advance or delay the human race? Attendees will discuss the joys of reading biographies and the lessons we learn. Please feel free to bring a favorite biography you’ve read or plan to read.
On Tuesday, March 10, Melissa Grunow will present “True Crime Fandom: Ethical Justice or Grotesque Entertainment?” in Arbor Auditorium on the Peoria Campus from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. True crime has experienced a revival in the past five years with so many popular podcasts and Netflix docuseries. Although humankind’s fascination with crime can be traced back to cave paintings 30,000 years ago, the latest surge in old murder cases, kidnapped children and felonious celebrities has become an all-consuming pastime. It gives pause to wonder if the popularity of true crime is somehow perverse and harmful to victims whose trauma is our entertainment. On the other hand, true crime fixation provides a platform for a national conversation about key social justice issues and serves as a catalyst for change. Those attending will learn the socio-historical evolution of true crime fascination, the psychological appeal of gruesome violence and ethical conundrums associated with the genre.
On Thursday, April 16, Jim Sullivan will present “Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman” in Room 210A on the East Peoria Campus from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. This lecture will dive in to why so many people love tales about the Norse gods. Thor, Odin, and Loki inhabit not just the legends of the frozen North, but also current American pop culture. Neil Gaiman’s recent book retells some of those legends for a twenty-first century audience who can’t get enough of this barbaric content.
For more information, please contact Jim Sullivan at betweenthelines@icc.edu or (309) 694-5357.

WTVP Says Reception Issues in Pekin Area Likely to Continue Until Mid-February

Some WTVP viewers in the Pekin area will have to wait just a little longer to once again watch all of their favorite PBS and local programming. Delays caused by the availability of tower crews and less-than-favorable weather mean it will be a couple of weeks before the station’s free, over-the-air signal is available again in parts of Tazewell County. Although frustrated by the delay, station officials say there is little they can do to accelerate the process.

“We cannot apologize enough to our loyal viewers for this unforeseen delay,” said Lesley Matuszak, WTVP President and CEO. “It all comes down to supply and demand. Increased demand for broadcast antennas has caused delays in manufacturing, but the biggest delays are due to the availability of crews that climb the towers and do the work. Originally our antenna was scheduled to be replaced in mid-December, but the crew was delayed due to issues at other job sites and by the weather. Every winter storm that hits the Midwest can cause further delays.”
Matuszak said that, depending on weather and crew availability, full-powered broadcast of WTVP’s signal is expected in mid-February. At that time, viewers who have not been able to locate WTVP’s new signal should be able to do so.

On January 17, WTVP officially switched on a new broadcast transmitter, as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But because there has not been a crew available to install a new antenna atop the tower, a temporary side-mount antenna with reduced power has been installed as an interim solution. Unfortunately, the temporary antenna faces away from Pekin and is mounted lower on the broadcast tower, so some TVs are unable to receive the signal.

Meanwhile, thousands of others in the WTVP viewing area are now receiving over-the-air programming at a new location on the broadcast spectrum, even though they are still tuning their TV to 47.1, 47.2 or 47.3. The change is part of an FCC “repacking” of the broadcast spectrum to make room for expanding wireless services. Nearly 600 stations nationwide have been affected by the move. The federal government is paying for about 90% of the cost of replacement.

Viewers who watch WTVP via satellite or cable have not been impacted and do not need to take any action. Service providers have already taken care of the rescan and service has returned to normal.
Questions about how to rescan a TV or control box and project updates are at wtvp.org/rescan or call the WTVP Rescan Hotline 1-800-837-4747.

WTVP is a treasured and valued part of the Central Illinois community. Our goals of curiosity, education, and inspiration are more essential than ever in our community and world. Community support is what helps ensure the door to our shared world is always open for everyone. Become a member and invest in your public television station, WTVP! Donate at WTVP.org or call 309-495-0547!

January Biz Barometer





Wednesday, January 22, 2020

GOODWILL FINDS JOBS FOR 1081 PEOPLE IN 2019

Goodwill of Central Illinois provided or placed 1081 people into jobs in 2019. This number reflects both the individuals assisted by Goodwill in finding employment and employees hired in 2019.
In addition, Goodwill provided 39,121 free services to the people of Central Illinois. The total number of individuals who received free services from Goodwill in 2019 was 4,719. These include employment services, veterans support services, and youth mentoring.

“These numbers are possible because of our donors, shoppers and community partners,” said Don Johnson, Goodwill president and CEO. “We are administrators of the community’s generosity and we take that job very seriously. We base our success on impact and outcomes and will continue to be a leader in employment services.”

Each Goodwill throughout the world is operated independently and governed by a local board of directors as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Annual reports and audited financials can be found on Goodwill of Central Illinois’ website. The revenue generated stays local with 99 cents of every dollar supporting the people of Central Illinois.

Goodwill’s free programs are possible through the sale of your donated items. Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois serves 21 counties within Central Illinois. Goodwill offers employment services, veterans’ support services, operates a 15-bedroom veterans’ home and employs more than 300 people. For more information visit Goodwill’s website at www.goodwillpeo.org.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pekin Park District Facilities Unite Under One Cohesive Brand



Pekin Park District (PPD) is excited to announce a new and modern brand for its organization, parks, golf courses and district run facilities in Mineral Springs Park with eight new logos that will unite its diverse programs and services. Included in the rebrand are the following: Pekin Park District, DragonLand Water Park, Magic Dragon Mini Golf, Parkside Fitness, Miller Center, Lick Creek Golf Course, Parkview Golf Course, and Veterans Memorial Arena.

“Pekin Park District offers our residents so many programs and services, but prior to the new brand launch, they may not have known these facilities were part of the PPD family,” said Cameron Bettin, Executive Director for the Pekin Park District. “This redesign modernizes the look of the Pekin Park District as a whole yet still honors the traditions of our 117-year history with the incorporation of our iconic Pavilion.”

“This is one important step the Park District is taking to achieve our new strategic vision. All our diverse offerings are now tied to one easily identifiable and iconic brand. We also retain our strong sense of tradition while progressively meeting the changing needs and desires of our valued users. We look forward to showcasing all that we will provide residents in 2020 and beyond as our planning process continues,” said Gary Gillis, Commissioner, Pekin Park District Board.

Pekin Park District is one of the largest park districts in Illinois acreage wise, encompassing over 2,275 acres of land with 17 parks and 2 golf courses. In addition to its water park, ice arena, golf courses, fitness center and senior activity center, PPD also offers numerous hiking trails and open spaces for residents and families from all over Central Illinois to enjoy. Over 150 activities, programs and classes for the community are also available including: fishing, horseback riding, archery, group camping, indoor and outdoor tennis and pickleball courts, disc golf, racquetball and wally-ball courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, football fields, baseball and softball diamonds, competitive swim, competitive hockey, ice skating, tumbling, dance, cheer, exercise classes, senior programs, camps, community events, birthday parties, and many more.

Northwestern Mutual






Northwestern Mutual




Is a 7-Year Auto Loan a Good Idea?



Is a 7-Year Auto Loan a Good Idea?



It’s not always a bad idea if you can get rock-bottom interest rates, but if you don’t qualify is it worth it?



























Contact Anne Elizabeth Schutt for more information



Let's talk about your financial plan to help make it happen, and I’ll be here to guide you at every step so you can live your best life.








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Anne Elizabeth Schutt
Financial Representative








Neighborhood House Food Fight



BBB Scam Alert



The Explosion of Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams


The FBI recognizes at least six types of activity as Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud. The types differ by who appears to be the email sender:

1.  The CEO directing the CFO to wire money to someone.
2.  Vendors or suppliers asking that invoice payment be made to a different bank account.
3.  Executives requesting copies of employee tax information such as W-2 forms in the U.S.
4.  Realtors, title companies or lawyers redirecting proceeds from sales of homes or other real estate into a new account.
5.  Senior employees seeking to have their pay deposited into a new bank account.
6. An employer or clergyman appealing to the recipient to buy gift cards on their behalf.


How often does BEC occur

BEC fraud is the biggest source of losses reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and has been for several years. 

IC3 receives complaints from all 50 states and 150 countries, but most come from U.S. victims. Canada’s Competition Bureau has also warned about BEC fraud. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects complaints on this subject. The complaints received may be only the tip of the iceberg; much of this fraud is not reported. 


Anatomy of a Business Email Compromise Fraud

There are essentially three steps to operating a BEC fraud.
1.  Fraud gangs need the names of people within an organization, their job function and their email username and password.
2.  They must send emails directly to people, impersonating a trusted superior or partner and seeking money.
3.  They need a way to obtain money sent by victims. Each of these are specialized functions, and fraud gangs may even hire third parties to help them with these efforts.


What can you do to protect your organization from BEC fraud?

All organizations face a serious risk of BEC fraud, and the fraud gangs are very smart and innovative. They need only succeed in a small number of their attempts to make this fraud profitable. And organizations that have not suffered a loss may believe the steps they have been taking are effective, even though the frauds are evolving and increasing.

Some businesses may be concerned that money spent on IT precautions is simply additional overhead. But BEC fraud prevention is just as important as door locks, fences and other efforts to protect physical assets.

However, we can’t rely solely on technology to prevent phishing emails. We need to learn how to recognize and avoid responding to them. Fortunately, there are several key steps that are free or cost very little and that will go a long way in preventing BEC fraud.


What should you do if your organization has lost money to a BEC fraud?
·     If an organization finds that it has been a victim of a BEC fraud, it needs to immediately call its bank to stop the payment and report it to the FBI in the U.S. or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in Canada. If a report is filed within 48 hours, there is a chance the money can be recovered.
·     Complain to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. IC3 also asks people to report unsuccessful BEC attempts as well. Information from attempts may help establish patterns or identify mule bank accounts.
·     Complain to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: 1-888-495- 8501.
·     Report fraud to BBB Scam Tracker

To the read the full BBB article, which includes stories of businesses who have been impacted by BEC as well as the full list of recommendations to protect your business click here!

To check out an additional resource on how to protect your business for scams check out the article"Protecting Small Business from Imposters" from the Fedral Trade Commssion here!