Wednesday, March 30, 2016

St. Joseph Church of Pekin Golf Classic

Chamber Connection

Read this weeks Chamber Connection here!

Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University
will be offering a workshop, Starting a Business in Illinois, on Tuesday, April 12
from 3pm - 5:30pm, at the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center, 801 West Main Street, Peoria.
This workshop is free to the public.
To learn more visit:
or call 309-677-2992 to register.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University and
Miller, Hall & Triggs, LLC: Attorneys at Law, Peoria, will be offering a
workshop, "From Self-Employed to Employer: The Legal
Challenges and Requirements of Hiring and Employing Others" on Thursday,
April 14, 2016 from 7:30am - 12pm, at the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center,
801 West Main Street, Peoria.  For more information or to register,

National Doctors' Day

Pekin Business Showcase

Be a "First Friend"

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council recently launched the “First Friend” program, which acts as a first personal connection to help newcomers to the area build a social and professional network. The GPEDC is looking for individuals who are passionate about Greater Peoria and willing to take time to help newcomers. Visit for more details—and to learn how you can help.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sunset Hills Golf Experience

Experience your finest Golf Tournament ever...
We know you have plenty of golf courses to choose from in the area to hold your event...

BUT, I assure you, there are none that will do a better job of providing your group a first-class golf experience. Our "whatever it takes" service attitude will make your event the most enjoyable.

Sunset Hills is fast becoming the most popular choice for area golf tournaments and outings. Whether it is a Golf Tour, a 144 player charity event or 16 guys or gals on a golf get-together, we work hard to ensure your complete satisfaction.

Many corporations, associations, and private groups already plan to host at The Clubs of Sunset Hills each year. Many returning year after year! 

Good Old Fashion Hospitality

Sunset Hills is dedicated to providing what we refer to as... good, old-fashioned service. We consistently provide a quality experience at a great value with a sincere thank you.  We are committed to providing you with friendly and professional service from the planning phase through the production of your event.

We will be glad to customize a tournament or outing to your exact needs.
Yours sincerely,

Sunset Hills & Mashie's Pub Team

PS. If you would like a personal tour of our facility and golf course, please call me to make an appointment. I would welcome the opportunity to meet you and show you our club!

Illinois Central College Workshops Focus on Parenting Today's Kids


This spring Illinois Central College’s Professional Development Institute (PDI) will host several workshops aimed at providing parents the tools they need to parent children in specific age groups. “Your Parenting Tool Kit” workshops are facilitated by Lisa Gentry, a public school teacher and private practice counselor with more than 20 years of experience working with children and families.
The following workshops are scheduled for April and May with specific age groups in mind:
·         For parents of preteens aged 10 to 12 years: Saturday, April 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
·         For parents of teens aged 13 to 17 years: Saturday, April 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
·         For parents of young children (up to age 5): Saturday, May 21 from 8:30 to 10:30 am
·         For parents of children aged 6 to 9 years: Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
All classes will be held in Hickory Hall on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria.
Topics include: how to conduct a family meeting, why children misbehave, effective ways to communicate with your children, effective parenting styles, the difference between discipline and punishment, how to parent during difficult times, and much more.
Cost is $30 per person per session. Registration required and is available by phone at (309) 690-6900 or online at


Statement from State Representative Mike Unes

State Representative Mike Unes
Regarding Scheduled AFSCME Protest on HB 580

For Immediate Release                                                                                     Contact: Rep. Mike Unes
         March 29, 2016                                                                                                                                (309)620-8631

The “all or nothing” arbitration in HB 580 takes away collective bargaining, and I don’t believe that is fair to anyone. The best approach is and always has been for both sides to collectively bargain a contract that is fair to all concerned.

Last fall, both sides signed a tolling agreement, which is a binding contract that established a path to resolution in the event that the parties believe the other side is not negotiating in good faith—and that’s the point they’re at right now.  Therefore, there is already a clear and mutually agreed upon path forward via a signed contract by both AFSCME and the administration. A contract is a contract—and that’s exactly the position I took previously in supporting our teachers and state employees against unconstitutional pension bills, as well as when their current retiree health care agreements were called into question.

I believe that ultimately, both sides will end up back at the bargaining table, and when they do, I will continue to implore them each to engage this effort in good faith to obtain an outcome that is fair and suitable to all concerned.


Bullets in the Bathtub Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hanson’s Peoria office celebrates 50th anniversary

Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office is celebrating 50 years.Hanson, a company founded in 1954 in Springfield, Illinois, by Walt Hanson, established its first branch office in Peoria in 1966. At the time, the company was providing structural design services for Peoria architectural firm Phillips Swager Associates.

The Peoria office has been involved in projects including the Bob Michel Bridge, the new westbound span of the McClugage Bridge, improvements to Interstate 74, the Warehouse District revitalization, the Washington Street roundabout, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center’s helipad, Peoria Civic Center’s exhibit hall expansion, the skywalks at Caterpillar’s corporate headquarters, Bradley University’s Field House, various projects for Illinois Central College and the Peoria Air National Guard Base and Heddington Oaks, a nursing home in West Peoria.

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The Peoria office is located at 7625 N. University St., Suite 200, Peoria, IL 61614. The office may be reached by phone at (309) 691-0902.  


YWCA Pekin is accepting nominations for outstanding leadership and achievement awards to be presented at its 35th Annual Women’s Recognition Day luncheon on Thursday, May 5th at the Pekin Country Club.  The event will begin with a social from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed immediately by the luncheon program.

Nominations to honor outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service are being accepted at the YWCA office through April 20th.  To qualify, nominated women must have residence or employment in Tazewell County and meet specific criteria for the nominating category.  Women may be nominated as outstanding employee or for contributions to the arts, business, professions, sports, or community service.

The arts award is given to a woman displaying skill in drama, dance, music, painting, literature, sculpting, the graphic arts, or other artistic endeavors.  An accomplished banker, realtor, agent or other businesswoman, business owner or partner will receive the business award.  The professions award is bestowed on an outstanding educator, lawyer, doctor, aviator, social worker, or other professional with special licensing or training.

Sports award nominations may include women who either pursue sports as a hobby or a career, or promote sports in the community.  A volunteer or community leader for a nonprofit agency or other community organization will receive the community service award, and the outstanding employee award will be presented to a woman who has exhibited on-the-job excellence and loyalty to her employer.

YWCA Pekin’s Board of Directors will also select the Mission Award recipient for dedication to achieving the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In addition, Tazewell County schools will have the opportunity to honor a female student for outstanding academic, extracurricular, and volunteer leadership.  Winners will be recognized at the luncheon.

Women’s Recognition Day was established in 1982 to honor the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service.  Luncheon reservations are open to the public and must be made by Friday, April 29th. Nomination and luncheon reservation forms are available at YWCA Pekin during regular business hours or on the YWCA website.  For more information, call the YWCA at 347-2104 or visit

3rd Annual Diversity Festival

2016 Annual Meeting & Reception

3rd Annual Clay Shoot

Savant Capital Management Recognized in Barron’s Top Financial Advisor List

Brent Brodeski, chief executive officer for Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm, has been named to Barron’s 2016 Top Financial Advisor List. For the third year in a row, Brodeski has landed a spot among the top financial advisors in the state of Illinois.

Brodeski is a co-founder of Savant, which manages more than $4 billion in assets and employs more than 130 team members. Headquartered in Rockford, IL, Savant also has 11 offices in the following locations: Chicago, IL; Freeport, IL; Geneva, IL; Hoffman Estates, IL; Naperville, IL; Peoria, IL; Sterling, IL; Wilmette, IL; McLean, VA; Madison, WI; and Park Falls, WI.  Savant also has an affiliate office in St. Charles, IL, Savant Tax & Consulting, which provides tax, accounting, payroll and consulting services. 

Barron’s reports weekly on current American financial information, market developments and relevant statistics. Annually, Barron’s publishes America’s Top Financial Advisor List basing its rankings on assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. The list identifies the top 1,200 financial advisors by state. Click here to view the complete list. In 2014, Barron’s featured Savant as one of the nation’s top teams for financial-advisory organizations. 

About Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management is a leading independent, nationally-recognized, fee-only firm, serving clients for 30 years with more than $4 Billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Capital Management offers investment management, financial planning and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant is regularly recognized among the top wealth managers in the United States. Savant was the recipient of the 2015 Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™, part of Schwab’s IMPACT Awards® program to recognize excellence in the business of independent financial advice. Savant has consistently received other industry recognitions such as being named a top RIA firm by Financial Planning magazine, Financial Advisor magazine and Investment News and being recognized by Barron’s magazine as a top advisor in the United States.

Savant Capital Management is a Registered Investment Advisor. Savant’s marketing material should not be construed by any existing or prospective client as a guarantee that they will experience a certain level of results if they engage Savant’s services and may include lists or rankings published by magazines and other sources which are generally based exclusively on information prepared and submitted by the recognized advisor. For more information about Savant or to view our Important Disclosures, go to

Savant Capital Management and its employees are independent of and are not employees or agents of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Schwab does not prepare, verify or endorse information distributed by Savant Capital Management. The Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™ is not an endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral to Savant Capital Management with respect to its investment advisory and other services.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Timbercreek Rehab and Healthcare and Employees Receive Company’s High Honors

Each year, the parent company of Timbercreek Rehab and Health Care, Petersen Health Care holds an annual banquet to recognize the achievements of its individual facilities. This year’s banquet was held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the company’s Mason Point facility in Sullivan, IL.

Timbercreek Rehab and Health Care, Pekin, IL, was honored to receive a fourth place award for the best net profit per facility bed, third place recognitions for the most outstanding census and most improved census as well as, second place awards for the most overall admissions, highest dietary productivity and the facility of the year.

After the morning session of standing facility awards, lunch and a special speaker, the major awards were announced. Among the recipients was Ms. Sharon Rigler of Pekin who was presented with the CNA of the Year Award and Activity Director, Ms. Robbin Harrison of Pekin, who was recognized with Petersen’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her 35 years of service. “It is such an honor to have teammates like Sharon and Robbin,” said Administrator Lisa McCoy. “The passion and dedication they exude for the residents they serve is inspiring to those around them. They are both very worthy recipients!”

Additionally, Timbercreek received the 2015 Most Improved Facility of the Year award. “To say that we are thrilled to receive this recognition is an understatement,” said McCoy. “Our team has worked so hard to build Timbercreek into the place it is today and the love and care our staff provides for our residents is extraordinary; I’m ecstatic for them to receive the recognition they are so deserving of, and am hopeful it provides the continued motivation for us to build on that success.”

Petersen Health Care was founded in 1974 when James D. and Robert L. Petersen, both registered physical therapists, purchased Kewanee Care Home in Kewanee, IL and Robings Manor in Brighton, IL. In the three decades since, Petersen Health Care has had holdings is Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada. Petersen Health Care currently owns and operates 95 homes in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including 75 Rehabilitation and Health Care facilities, 2 Developmentally Disabled homes and 15 Assisted/Independent living complexes. The corporate headquarters is located in Peoria, IL

Timbercreek Rehab and Healthcare Easter Egg Hunt

Timbercreek Rehab and Healthcare, 1120 State St., Pekin, will hold its Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. for ages 1-13. In addition to the Easter Egg Hunt, there will be a special visit from the Easter Bunny, pictures, candy, prizes and snacks. For additional information, please call 309.347.1110.

Timbercreek Rehab and Health Care is part of the Petersen Health Care group. Petersen Health Care was founded in 1974 when James D. and Robert L. Petersen, both registered physical therapists, purchased Kewanee Care Home in Kewanee, IL and Robings Manor in Brighton, IL. In the three decades since, Petersen Health Care has had holdings is Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada. Petersen Health Care currently owns and operates 95 homes in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including 75 Rehabilitation and Health Care facilities, 2 Developmentally Disabled homes and 15 Assisted/Independent living complexes. The corporate headquarters is located in Peoria, IL. 

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for $16 Million Medical Office Building in Pekin

Progressive Health Systems and the City of Pekin hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on March 23rd for the new $16 million ProHealth Medical Office Building to be located at the corner of Griffin Avenue and Veterans Drive in Pekin, Illinois.

The 62,000-square-foot building will house multiple providers in Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Basic lab and x-ray services will be included in the new facility.

“I think today is a great example of what can happen when public and private sectors work together to support something very special for the whole community,” said Pekin Mayor John McCabe. “It is our hope that this new medical facility will not only advance the medical community but will serve as an anchor for future development, which will benefit this entire region.”

The project is a collaboration between the City of Pekin and Progressive Health Systems, the parent organization for ProHealth Medical Group. Construction on the new building is expected to begin later this spring with completion targeted for the fall of 2017.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to this important community project, including our generous donors,” said Bob Haley, CEO of Progressive Health Systems. “The new facility will expand medical services throughout the region and allow us to recruit additional physicians and medical professionals to Pekin.”

You can see more pictures from this event at:

For more information visit

Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory Grief Support at First United Methodist Church

Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory will offer grief support  at First United Methodist Church 1315 Court Street across the street from Pekin Hospital as part of its aftercare program. The group is for those who are “Learning to Live Again” after the loss of a loved one.  This is designed to give grief support and will be presented in four consecutive one hour sessions April 21 & 28 and May 5 & 12.  Sessions will be in the church chapel room at 6:30 p.m.  Sessions will cover the nature of grief, making choices in grieving, finding your way through the second year of grief and building memories.  Sessions will be led by Aftercare Consultant, John Plunkett, a retired pastor, with  49 years of experience helping families through their times of grieving.  For more information email or call 309-346-2176.

IDNR Hunter Safety Class Scheduled at Pekin Park District

Area residents will have an opportunity to learn basic principles of hunting safety at an upcoming, two-night workshop to be held at Pekin Park District’s Soldwedel Program Center.  The program will be held Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 5 to 10 p.m. 
Who must take the course?  On January 10, 1995, a State law was passed that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 may not be issued a hunting license unless he or she presents a valid Hunter Education Certificate of Competency, issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division or another state.
The Illinois Hunter Education Program consists of a minimum of ten hours of instruction.  The education material is based on a sixth-grade reading level.  The course covers the basics of: hunter responsibility and ethics; tree-stand safety; firearms and ammunition, field safety, first aid; bow hunting; muzzle loading; wildlife conservation and identification; and state regulations. Persons completing the minimum 10 hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency and a graduate patch.
The course is open to boys, girls, men, and women of all ages.  Children under 10 years must be accompanied by a guardian 16 years or older.  There is no charge to take the course, and all materials are furnished.  Participants MUST BE REGISTERED IN ADVANCE, as space is limited.  Participants should also plan to bring their own sack-supper to eat during the class.

This course will be taught by Carl Powell, a certified volunteer instructor for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  For further information, or to register for this course, call the Parks and Recreation Office at 309-347-PARK (7275). The Soldwedel Program Center is located just off Illinois Route 98, adjacent to McNaughton Park Road and the Rockin’ “P” Riding Stables.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Illinois Central College’s English, Humanities, and Language Studies Department will host Former Army Ranger Rory Fanning  for “Fighting to End the Unending Wars,” a discussion about the realities of the U.S.’s role in former and ongoing conflicts around the world. The presentation will be held on Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m., in the Student Lounge on the East Peoria Campus.
Fanning authored a book titled Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America, which explores the emotional and social consequences of rejecting the mission of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. He draws upon his experiences in the military to ask key questions, such as “Who are we fighting in Afghanistan, and why are we fighting?” He pushes back the myths surrounding U.S. Special Forces as perpetuated by movies and books such as Zero Dark Thirty, Blackhawk Down and Lone Survivor.
This special event is free and open to the public and is underwritten by a generous grant from the ICC Educational Foundation.

            For more information, contact Paul Resnick at (309) 694-9568.  

Speakeasy Calendar of Events for April is now Available!

Visit the Speakeasy Art Center's website to view their April calendar of events!!!

Independent Beachbody Coach Leaderboard

Independent Beachbody Coach - Teresa Mack recently recognized the following TEAM MEMBERS!

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!!

Run A Muck

Monday, March 21, 2016

VFW Road Closed Starting March 28

The construction of Veterans/VFW Drive will resume on Monday March 28th. In order to complete the new construction of five lanes, VFW Road will be closed to through traffic from Towerline Road to 14th Street. Property owners located in this section will have access to either Towerline or 14th Street depending on constructions staging.

It is anticipated that it will take several months before Veterans Drive will be reopened to through traffic as this is the final stage of construction. Once construction is complete the entire roadway will be opened for traffic.

Veterans Drive from Commercial to Towerline and from 14th Street to 5th Street will remain open to traffic. Veterans Drive from 5th Street to IL 29 will remain closed pending installation of the grade crossing with the railroad.

Please refer to the City website at for further information and project updates.

Easter Egg Hunt

20th Annual John M. Evans Scholarhsip Golf Tournament

The 20th Annual John M. Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament has been scheduled at Lick Creek Golf Course in Pekin, IL on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016.

This tournament is specifically designed to raise money to perpetuate this scholarship fund so Laborers' Local 231 can continue to give financial assistance to qualified recipients. Last year's tourney netted approximately $13,000 from which Laborers' Local 231 was able to award 10 scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year. Non of this would be possible without your help. Please consider participating in this Golf Tournament to make it as successful as last year's. As always, your generosity is appreciated!

For more information on this outing please contact Kate Beckman at Laborers' Local 231  
(309) 347-7106.

A Girls Night Out

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Illinois Green Office Challenge

Join us for the second year of the
Illinois Green Office Challenge of Greater Peoria

Learn how participating in the Illinois Green Office Challenge can take your business’ sustainability efforts to the next level!

The Illinois Green Office Challenge of Greater Peoria, a friendly competition amongst organizations looking to save money by conserving energy and water, while reducing waste within your office building. If you haven’t played before, the Challenge is played like a game, where participants can score points for fulfilling or issuing specific sustainability challenges to colleagues and competitors. The Challenge website provides participants with the information and tools they need to compete, and participants can share best practices and ideas with their peers at fun networking events held within the Greater Peoria Community. Participants will be acknowledged for their hard work through media, peer recognition and year-end awards.

The Illinois Green Office Challenge has expanded across the entire state this year, with the help of local champions such as the University of Illinois Extension in Peoria. Training and program support is being provided by Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Local sponsors include Peoria County Office of Sustainability, Greater Peoria EDC, and University of Illinois Extension.

There is still time to join the Challenge! Businesses have until April 30th to register

Area Hospitals to Host Community Events on Advance Care Planning

Pekin Hospital, OSF HealthCare and UnityPoint Health Methodist-Proctor are partnering to host two interactive events on advance care planning during the month of April.
“The ABCs of Advance Care Planning” is a program designed to inspire, educate and empower the public about the importance of making and communicating end-of-life decisions.
The program is being offered at two different times and locations:
·         April 12th—Pekin Hospital; Park Court Conference Center; 600 South 13th Street; Pekin, IL; 1 p.m.
·         April 21st—Proctor Professional Building; Classroom #1; 5409 N. Knoxville Avenue; Peoria, IL; 5 p.m.
“The ABCs of Advance Care Planning” will feature local medical professionals and advance care planning experts to provide resources, lead discussion and answer questions. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is appreciated. For more information or to pre-register, call 309-308-5953, 309-672-5696 or 309-353-0685.

Leadership Graduation

Congratulations to the 23 graduates of the 2016 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.
State Rep. Mike Unes offered his congratulations during the graduation banquet held at the Speakeasy Art Center. Class speakers included Dawn Wilde-Burgess, Amy Wilson, and Ben Thomas.  You can see a few more pictures at:

The list of graduates include: Ed Betzelberger, Brandon Burling, Shannon Cox, David B. Craig, Cord Crisler, John Dossey, Lenora Fisher, Michelle Greene, Tim Harris, Heidi Hutchison, Ashley Ingles, Matt Keech, Kate Legge, Mike McClain, Ryan Morris, Katie Pena, Alyssa Pilgrim, John Plunkett, Theresa Ruder, Amelia Schureman, Ben Thomas, Dawn Wilde-Burgess, and Amy Wilson.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chamber Connection

Weekly Chamber Connection!

IL 9 Lane Closures in Pekin

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that lane closures are in place on IL 9 (Court St.) in Pekin between Stadium Dr. and Reservoir Rd. and will continue until Friday, April 22.

The lane closures are necessary for utility crews to relocate a water main.

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at

For updated traffic information and views from dozens of traffic cameras in Peoria and surrounding areas, visit


KeyStart Application Deadline is Thursday

What is KeyStart?

KeyStart is an idea submission and pitch competition which will award a $5,000 investment to one new business idea per bimonthly program cycle. The purpose of this program is to provide entrepreneurs with fast access to capital in order to turn ideas into real companies.

How the program works:

We will accept all applications online. Applications will be screened and evaluated by a steering committee. The three strongest applicants will be considered finalists and will be invited to participate in the KeyStart pitch competition. The committee will also select three semifinalists who will have the chance to earn their way into the pitch event finalist group by way of community choice voting.
Details and application available online at

Monday, March 14, 2016

Residents Invited to Rate Quality of Life

Local area health departments in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties invite residents to rate their quality of life issues in a new online survey, available through April 30. The survey is an effort to include community members in the year-long process of identifying strategic public health initiatives. Individuals will rate factors that influence a healthy community such as safe neighborhoods, affordable housing, the environment, and healthy living. The survey is available online at

Melissa Adamson, Director of Community Health Policy and Planning at Peoria City/County Health Department, explains the public health approach. "The survey is one of four parts to a strategic planning initiative based on MAPP, or Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, a tool developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will help us identify strategic community strengths and the issues that the public thinks we should address in the next four years." 

“The survey attempts to gauge the community’s awareness and concern about diseases including cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and about behaviors like drug and tobacco use, underage drinking, and domestic violence,” states Amy Fox, Administrator for Tazewell County Health Department. "We will be reviewing results for the region and then drilling down for results in each County.  We want a better understanding of exactly what our residents view as a healthy community.”

Hillary Aggertt, Administrator for Woodford County Health Department adds, “The goal of the strategic planning process is to create a much stronger infrastructure for communities to work collaboratively on difficult public health challenges. The survey will help guide us in identifying those challenges, working together, and improving population health in our region.”

The survey is available online:

For more information on public health issues, visit your local county health department website:

Peoria City/County Health Department,

Tazewell County Health department,

Woodford County Health Department,

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following employers and organizations who recently renewed their annual investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

Classic MVP Members
CJ's Café
Command Center
Grace United Methodist Church of Pekin
Greg's Garage Door Service
Griffin-Rahn Insurance
Sam Leman Auto Stop
The Parlour

Martha Herm Honored for Her Work as Center for Prevention of Abuse Executive Director

The long-time Executive Director of the Center for Prevention of Abuse was honored for her years of dedicated service on Friday. Martha Herm was the recipient of a 2016 Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Community First Award at a luncheon at the Double Tree Hotel in Bloomington.

Martha was nominated for the Pioneer Award by South Side Trust and Savings Bank. The Pioneer Award recognizes a career of achievements of an individual who has demonstrated an ongoing dedication to investing their time and improving their surrounding through community or economic development activities.

Martha Herm is a well-deserving recipient of this award.  She retired as Executive Director of The Center in May 2015 after 25 years of dedicated service.  During that time she worked to fulfill The Center’s mission of helping every woman, man and child live free from violence and abuse. Highlights of her leadership include:

·         The organization’s name was changed from Tri-County Women Strength to The Center for Prevention of Abuse
·         Services were added to help seniors and adults living with a disability who were victims of abuse
·         A Long-Term Care Ombudsman program was implemented to protect the rights and safety of residents in long-term care facilities
·         The domestic violence shelter at 720 Joan Court was expanded to centralize programming
·         The Carol House of Hope, a domestic violence shelter in Pekin, joined The Center
·         The annual Duck Race fundraiser was established
“I'm very honored to be chosen by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago for their Pioneer Award,” said Herm.  “This recognition really needs to be shared with an amazing staff who were willing to join with me in trying new projects and programs which we believed, would help the people we served in a more effective way.  The award also needs to be shared with Board members, volunteers and the community in general, all of whom supported our innovations and expansions.”

Another initiative created during Martha’s time as Center Executive Director was the Next Step Transitional Housing Program. It is long-term housing for women and their children. They can make one of The Center’s apartments their home for up to two years.

“The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, itself, helped us develop a transitional housing project which has been a most successful program.  We learned through that initiative that, with enough time and support, people can fundamentally change their lives for the better,” said Herm.

The award came with a $10,000 check from Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago to the not-for-profit of Martha’s choice.  She designated those funds to The Center for Prevention of Abuse.

Illinois American Water to Install 3,500 Feet of Water Main in Pekin

— Illinois American Water will replace approximately 3,500 feet of 16-inch water main along Court Street in Pekin.  The work will begin on Monday, March 14, 2016 on Court Street from Stadium Drive to Reservoir Road and continue for a short distance on Reservoir Road.  

This investment of about $600,000 is related to the Company’s effort to bring a new booster station online.  Last year, the booster station project uncovered some weak spots in the water main on Court Street.  

Cord Crisler, operations superintendent for the Pekin District, said, “We worked with our engineering team on this solution.  Our expectation is that we will be able to complete the booster station project this summer.”

In order to complete the main installation, intermittent lane closures will be needed throughout the project.  Detour signs will be posted for the alternate route.  Motorists should use caution, obey traffic signs and follow detour routes when driving in the area. If possible, for their safety and that of the crews working on this project, motorists should avoid the area.

Weather permitting, the work is expected to be completed by mid-April.  Once completed, customers in the area will have their water service transferred to the new main.  The scope of this work and any impact to water service will be communicated directly to the approximately 12 customers affected.  

Crisler said, “We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we complete this critical work.”  

For more information about Illinois American Water please visit

Illinois American Water and EPA Can Help You Cut Down on Leaks During Fix a Leak Week

Free materials and information available to help reduce the trillion-plus gallons of water lost in residential leaks every year

— Illinois American Water has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote the eighth annual Fix a Leak Week, which runs from March 14-20. The national campaign, part of the EPA’s WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste that may be occurring within homes.

Considering there are more than 110 million households in this country, a seemingly minor leaky faucet or running toilet collectively results in a tremendous amount of wasted water -- more than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with the average residence losing 10,000 gallons a year this way. However, through initiatives like Fix a Leak Week, local utility companies like Illinois American Water, are hoping to significantly reduce that amount.

“Ten percent of U.S. homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day, and just one leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is the amount of water needed to take close to 200 showers,” said Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water President.  “Being proactive in checking for leaks, and fixing them in a timely manner not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer of one of the world’s most valuable resources, but also saves money on your water bill.”

Illinois American Water does its part, too, by finding and fixing leaks in the water distribution system and replacing aging infrastructure. Each year, Illinois American Water invests between $70 and $100 million across the state to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure.

To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, Illinois American Water has produced a helpful infographic as a quick guide for finding and fixing common, and some not-so-common, indoor and outdoor water leaks. A downloadable leak detection kit is available in the Learning Center of American Water’s website,

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 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  Marking its 130th anniversary this year, the company employs 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

Pekin Park District Easter Break Escape


If you are looking for ways to keep your child’s imagination fueled while on school break, our Easter Break Escape is the place to be.  Children participate in activities with experienced counselors including, crafts, games, field trips, nature hikes and lots of playing outdoors.  Field trips, breakfast and snacks are included in the fee, but please bring a lunch.

Dates:  Friday, March 25 and Monday – Friday, March 28 – April 1, 2016.  Ages:  Kindergarten – 13 years. Times: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Fees:  $34 per day or $144 for the entire camp.  Non-residents add $3 per day.  Location:  Soldwedel Program Center, McNaughton Park off  Route 98.

For more information regarding registration or Pekin Park District programs, call us at (309) 347-PARK (7275) or visit us online at

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182nd Airlift Wing Breakfast with the Boss Breakfast and Flight

Monday, March 7, 2016

Free Veterans Workshops

The Retail Project

Morton Community Bank to Merge with Heritage Bank of Central Illinois

                                      Hometown Community Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Morton Community Bank, today announced a merger with Trivoli Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Heritage Bank of Central Illinois.  The subsidiary banks will be merged following the completion of the parent company merger.

“This merger will bring together two community banks with a long and proud history of serving our region,” said Jim Mamer, Co-CEO and President of Morton Community Bank.  “Customers from both banks will benefit from having access to convenient locations throughout the greater Peoria market and beyond,” said Mamer.

Scott Hedden, Chairman of Heritage Bank of Central Illinois, noted that “We are pleased to be able to join forces with one of the premier community banks in the entire state.  Employees at both banks have a track record of providing outstanding customer service and being actively involved in the communities we serve.” Tim Krueger, CEO and President of Heritage Bank said, “Our customers will gain access to additional financial resources and the combined assets of the merged companies will substantially increase the available lending limit.”

Mamer said the total assets of Morton Community Bank following completion of the merger will be approximately $3.3 billion.  “This merger will be a seamless transition for customers.  We look forward to welcoming Heritage employees and customers to the Hometown Community Banks’ family.  People will see the familiar faces they are used to seeing.  The combined synergy of our employees will enhance the services we offer to our customers,” said Mamer.

The merger is subject to regulatory approval and approval of Trivoli Bancorp shareholders.  Completion of the parent company merger is anticipated in the second quarter of 2016, and the merger of the subsidiary banks is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2016.

Morton Community Bank has more than 30 locations throughout Central Illinois.  Morton Community Bank offers comprehensive banking services for both business and personal clients as well as electronic and online banking services.  For more information, visit

Founded in 1920, Heritage Bank of Central Illinois is a locally-owned community bank with six branches located in Trivoli, Hanna City, Peoria, Peoria Heights and East Peoria. The company offers a wide range of business and personal financial solutions.  For more information, visit


Jim Mamer                                                                                         Tim Krueger                                                      
Co-CEO & President                                                                        CEO & President                                                                              

309-284-3890                                                                                     309-681-3929