Monday, April 25, 2016

Stand Against Racism


Illinois Central College will offer “Express Enrollment” Monday through Wednesday, May 23, 24, and 25 from 8 am to 4 pm, on the East Peoria Campus. Those interested in enrolling at ICC can complete the process of applying and enrolling in just one day. No appointment is necessary, and free parking is available in Lots A and B and in the Visitors Lot. Classes for the summer semester begin Monday, June 6, and fall classes begin Monday, August 15.
“Express Enrollment” can be completed in just a few hours’ time. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 1 pm in order to complete all of the steps leading to enrollment in one day. For advising or testing completion only, participants must arrive by 2 pm.
               The process includes: Completing and processing an ICC application, completing placement testing, meeting with an advisor to develop a class schedule, filling out financial aid paperwork and setting up a payment plan, and getting an official ICC identification card.
Potential students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) three days prior to coming on campus. ICC Financial Assistance staff is available to answer questions about completing the FAFSA.
In order to complete all of the steps of admission and enrollment, participants should be prepared to bring the following items with them:
·        A valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or other government issued ID).
  • Check book or credit card to set up a payment plan.
  • In addition, potential students wishing to fill out a FAFSA also should bring with them: previous year’s tax transcripts issued by the IRS, W-2 forms and current bank statements. (If the participant is aged 24 or younger, the parents’ social security cards, previous year’s tax transcripts, W-2 forms and current bank statements also are necessary.)
“Express Enrollment” is provided on a first come, first-served basis. The total time needed to complete all of the steps depends on the participant’s individual needs. Advisors will be available to help students wishing to enroll on a full-time basis (12 hours or more) in most majors and those students wishing to enroll on a part-time basis. However, follow up appointments with an advisor may be necessary in some cases. Some programs require restricted enrollment; therefore, only general education or prerequisite courses will be available to students interested in those programs.
For those interested in financial assistance, ICC still has scholarships available for the 2016-2017 academic year. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must first apply to ICC online at Remaining scholarships will be listed online after July 15 for 2016-17 at

For more information or for any questions, please call Illinois Central College at (309) 694-5-ICC or visit

Illinois American Water Announces Environmental Grant Recipients in Conjunction with Earth Day $15,000 Awarded for Water Source Protection Projects

Illinois American Water announced today that five watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding through the company’s 2016 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $15,000 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds. 

This announcement is being made in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22, 2016, to remind consumers of the vital need to protect our precious resource every day for future generations.  “At Illinois American Water, Earth Day is every day.  Our team works hard to not only provide water for life, but for our communities to thrive,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.   

Illinois American Water awarded the 2016 Environmental Grants as follows: 
- The Alton Community School District #11’s Rock Spring Park Watershed Restoration Project will receive a $4,000 grant.  A bio retention system and rain garden will be constructed in an outdoor classroom area of Rock Spring Park to remediate storm water accumulation and resulting stagnant pools. Middle School students will be involved in the project based learning on the design, construction and maintenance. This storm water capture technique will provide education to students and public about best management practices as well as beautification program. 
- The City of South Beloit will receive a $3,000 grant for the community’s Nature At the Confluence Stream Team Programming which will educate and engage residents in clean water and community revitalization.  Programming will include citizen science stream monitoring, rain barrel & container gardening, watershed interpretive signage and more.  An educator workshop will also be held. Illinois American Water Project Wet certified instructors will introduce WET curriculum to surrounding schools. 
- Urbana Park District Douglas Creek Restoration Project will receive a $4,000 grant.  The project will restore native plants, trees and shrubs in the wetland and creek channel.  Interpretative signing will be installed to educate Meadowbrook Park’s visitors about the important and impact of local waterways. 
- Peoria Park District’s Illinois River Sweep will receive their full grant request of $1,500 to fund supplies for the annual Illinois River clean-up effort.  Over 100 volunteers are expected to attend the event which removes trash and debris from the river shorelines.  Illinois American Water also donates radio advertising to the River Sweep. 
- The Pekin Park District will receive a $2,500 grant for the Lick Creek Watershed Invasive Species Control and Restoration project.  This project focuses on invasive species control and restoration along the Lick Creek corridor of McNaughton Park.  Volunteers will be trained to remove invasive species along 15 acres of the Lick Creek Corridor. 

Customers can make a difference by getting involved in these projects as well as using water wisely.  On Earth Day, customers are reminded that they can help protect our precious resources through the following actions: 
• Be conscious of daily water use and take the necessary steps to be water smart. 
• Be sure that leaking pipes and faucets — indoors and outdoors — are repaired. 
• Take care in garden, lawn, garage or other home product use and ensure they do not impact groundwater. 
•Dispose of chemicals or other potentially harmful products properly by not pouring them directly into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn. 
•Learn more about water through the annual local water quality reports. American Water customers can access their report by zip code on the company’s website at under the Water Quality tab. 

To learn more about the Environmental Grant Program, Water Quality and Wise Water Use, please visit 

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         

Sunset Hills Jr. Golf Academy

Bike Safety Rodeo


               In action tonight, the Illinois Central College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the selection of Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey to be the fifth president of the College. Dr. Quirk-Bailey’s appointment requires the finalization of her contract by a vote of the Board, scheduled for their next meeting on May 19.
               Sue Portscheller, retiring board chair and chair of the presidential search committee, said, “After in-depth consideration of a pool of very fine finalists, we came to the decision that Dr. Quirk-Bailey was the best candidate to lead Illinois Central College forward. Not only will she bring a breadth of community college experience to our school, but she is well acquainted with the Illinois Community College System. Her focus on student success, data-driven decision making, and workforce development will be key in sustaining the successes ICC has experienced in its first 50 years.”
               Don Brennan, incoming Board Chair added, “We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Quirk-Bailey into the ICC family and the greater Peoria community. Not only does she have strong ties to downstate Illinois which gives her a special perspective of our unique challenges, but she also has across-the-board experience in administration that will serve the College well. The Board is excited that she will be joining us before the next school year begins.”
               Illinois Community College Board procedures require the publication of administrator contracts and a vote on those contracts in an open meeting. The contract vote will be on the agenda for the May board of trustees meeting.
               “Serving as Illinois Central College’s fifth president will be a great honor.  ICC is an excellent institution, and I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to support its future successes. I am looking forward to working with all of the outstanding people I met during the interview process and establishing relationships with our students, employees, partners and community stakeholders. I especially want to thank the search committee and the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me,” Dr. Quirk-Bailey said. 

               Dr. Quirk-Bailey holds a Doctorate of Management in Community College Policy and Administration from the University of Maryland University College; a Master of Arts in Communications from Northern Illinois University; and a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Bradley University. Her current position is Chief of Staff/Vice President of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Ill.

Unes Bill Offering ACT Test Option to Illinois School Districts Passes House

With broad support from area school districts, a bill sponsored by Representative Unes (R-East Peoria) requiring the State of Illinois to provide the ACT test to any school district that wishes to employ it for purposes of measuring and demonstrating college readiness, passed  by 73-36 votes in the Illinois House of Representatives today despite opposition from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).   This proposed legislation comes after ISBE’s unexpected decision to abandon its successful and well-established history with the ACT by instead entering into a three-year contract with SAT.  The ACT has long been the preferred college-readiness exam in states like Illinois. 

“I was surprised and disappointed when the State Board of Education announced last fall that it was ending its partnership with ACT in favor of SAT-- a shift that has been largely opposed by local school districts while at the same time offering no obvious net benefit to our state.  I believe that the consequences of marginalizing our local school districts and our students in this manner far outweigh any of the immediate and narrow cost-saving benefits cited by ISBE in their decision to enter into an exclusive contract with the SAT,” said Rep. Mike Unes.

By law, the Illinois State Board of Education must provide each high school student with the opportunity to take one college-readiness exam.  The Board cites a modest cost-savings benefit in their decision to enter into a contract with SAT, amounting to just over $5 per student, or about $450,000 annually.  Students may choose to take the ACT exam on their own, however without this legislation proposed by Representative Unes, they will have to individually bear the cost of around $39-$57 per test.  With Unes’ legislation however, the State would uphold their statutory requirement to provide just one test to each student, but would give school districts the choice to administer either the ACT or SAT, based on a preference that supports their existing curriculum. 

“I am incredibly pleased to have received this degree of bipartisan support for the legislation.  I am encouraged to see that despite the currently toxic environment in Springfield, there remain ways in which we as a legislative body can come together to affect some moderate, positive change while we continue to work toward resolution to the larger, more serious issues that plague our state.  I sincerely hope that days like this will represent to us all that we do in fact have the ability to find common ground on challenging issues, and that we will continue to apply that attitude moving forward,” said Rep. Mike Unes.

For more information on this legislation, please contact Representative Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.

Kangatraining at The Speakeasy

Join the Speakeasy Art Center for a Kangatraining open house at The Speakeasy Art Center, 353 Court St. Pekin, Il, on April 27th, at 6:00 PM. Stephanie Keller will explain Kangatraining, teach you about the differences in your body postpartum, show you what carriers are allowed in Kangatraining, and then give you the opportunity to sign up for classes starting on Wednesday May 11th at 6.00 PM..

Stephanie Keller is a Postpartum Doula and Kangatraining instructor in Central Illinois. This event will give mothers interested in finding a way to be active after having a baby, the chance to learn more about Kangatraining. Kangatraining is a complete workout during which both cardiovascular endurance/flexibility and muscular capacity/strength are enhanced. Unlike traditional exercise classes, new moms don't need to worry about finding a babysitter because the babies are worn in carriers/wraps and get to be part of the action! Not only for the physical benefits, but also the opportunity to meet other local moms in a fun, relaxed environment which boosts their emotional wellbeing.
The pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as well as correct posture are given special attention. Kangatrainers are also trained in healthy babywearing and can help moms ensure the safest and most comfortable carrying positions for their babies.
You can begin Kangatraining once you have been given the “green light” from your OB/GYN or midwife to resume exercising postpartum. This can be anywhere from 6-10 weeks or slightly longer following a caesarean section. Join us for this free event. Fruit and.water will be served.


               Finding time to read for pleasure is sometimes a challenge during the school year. In fact, with our numerous online entertainment options, it can be difficult to carve time to read at all. With summer just around the corner, the ICC English, Humanities and Language Studies Department’s “Between the Lines” Program has suggestions for reading options to suit a variety of tastes ─ from fiction and fantasy, to biography and horror.
               Join ICC Professor Margot Vance and other faculty and staff for “What Should I Read?” on May 3 at 7 p.m., in the Arbor Auditorium on ICC’s North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria, to get a jump start on a commitment to read at least one book for pleasure, relaxation or enlightenment this summer.           
“Between the Lines” is a lecture series presented by the faculty members of the English, Humanities and Language Studies Department at ICC.  The goal of the series is to offer literary presentations which will interest students and people in the community as well as promote reading literacy and scholarly study.
               The programs are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Jen Hopp at or

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pekin Business Showcase

A great crowd turned out at the Avanti's Dome on April 16th for the Pekin Kids Fest and Pekin 
Business Showcase.  You can see all the pictures at:

Sears Hometown Grand Opening

The Sears Hometown Store kicked off their grand reopening weekend with a ribbon cutting. Representatives from the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce were on-hand to congratulate the Sears employees on their recent remodeling.
The Sears Hometown Store now offers home appliances, furniture, and mattresses.  They now offer an expanded selection of furniture for every room of the home, as well as an expanded mattress selection.                                                                                  
The Sears Hometown Store is located at 3247 Court Street.  They can be reached at 347-0037 or  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Welcome To Our Newest Member!

Vinyl Art Studio
412 Court St 
Pekin, IL 61554 
vinylartstudio@gmail.comCindy Bonnette, Owner
Danny Bonnette, Owner
Open Wednesday - Friday 10AM - 5PM, Saturday 10PM - 3PM By Apppointment only Sunday- Tuesday
Vinyl Art Studio offers Sign Making Parties/Workshops, wood signs painted and/or with vinyl lettering, wall vinyls, car decals, up cycle'd windows and cabinet doors. Vinyl Art Studio customizes orders for most occasions. They also cut custom Bible verses in vinyl for walls or signs.

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

Welcome To Our New Member!

Rocky Top Inc. 
Pekin, IL 61554 
309-620-3413 Alice Neville, President
Mike Neville, Vice President 
Darrell Neville, Sales
Open Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 6:00PM On Call On Weekends
Rocky Top, Inc. replaces and repairs your roofing, siding, windows, fencing, decks. Rocky Top Inc., also specializes carpentry, tree removal and remodeling.

Welcome To Our Newest Member!

Pekin York Rite Masons 
338 Elizabeth St. 
Pekin, IL 61554 
Charles Robertson, Secretary
Charles Marivzza, Treasurer 
Fraternal organization - Making good men better. The two main charities are the Mason's state charitable foundation which supports Autism Awareness and Support and the Mason's state Nurses Training Scholarship.

House Passes Unes Legislation to Release Federal Dollars to Community Colleges in 112-0 Vote

Monday, April 18th, the Illinois House of Representatives provided essential long-term assurance to community colleges in the state by passing HB 4675, which would ensure that all future federal dollars distributed to the State of Illinois for Adult Education and Career and Technical Education are timely appropriated to community colleges, even in lieu of a state budget.  Currently, these funds are coded within the Comptroller’s Office as “special funds” rather than “federal funds,” which had previously compromised their ability to be distributed in lieu of a higher education budget.  Other similar technicalities within the fund distribution process were addressed by previous bills, but did not include the funds outlined specifically by HB 4675.

“While achieving a full and comprehensive state budget remains my highest priority as a legislator, I am very much committed to doing what I am able in the meantime to alleviate the burden of this current impasse, such as sponsoring and promoting legislation like HB 4675 so that institutions and organizations can continue to acquire as many of the resources they are entitled to as possible.  I am especially proud to have had this opportunity to assist our community colleges in this way, as I have always been a tireless advocate for higher education in Illinois.  There should be no reason for the state to delay the delivery of these federal dollars to their rightful owners, even in the midst of our own financial dysfunction,” said Unes (R-East Peoria).

Community colleges in Illinois have been especially impacted by the now ten-month absence of a state budget.   In Representative Unes’ District, these colleges include Illinois Central College (East Peoria) and Spoon River College (Canton). 

“Having these federal funds not  be held up by other budget discussions allows our community college to plan for future offerings of Adult Education and Literacy Programming.  In addition, we are better able to budget for expansion and enhancement of our Career and Technical Education programs.  Each of these programs has a direct impact on our regional economy and enhances Spoon River College’s ability to have an educated workforce available for our region’s employers.  Not having a hold on these funds allows us to put those federal dollars to work immediately,” said Curt Oldfield, President of Spoon River College.

Currently, 45% of Spoon River College’s budget for its Adult Education programs is comprised of federal dollars, and amounts to about $65,000 annually.  They also receive approximately $79,965 in federal Perkins funds, which support their Career and Technical Education programs. 

According to Illinois Central College (ICC) Interim President Bruce Budde, ICC receives roughly $400,000 annually in federal subsidies for its own programs of this kind

Franks Elected to Lead Chamber

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting on April 18 at the Pekin Country Club. 140 attendees representing 42 businesses and organizations enjoyed the reception and short business meeting. The keynote speaker was Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Three members of the Board of Directors completed their terms and were recognized for their service. The retiring members were: Larry Crouch, Monge Crouch & Mahoney; Zak Ehrmantraut, Springleaf Financial Services; and Frank Shearer, Covenant Heating & Air. Also recognized was Aindrea Balagna who completed her service on the board as Past President.

New board members elected by the chamber membership in March were introduced: Becky Eubanks, Sound Choice Hearing Clinic; Dan Pfeifer, Dan Pfeifer State Farm; and Dennis Short, Pekin Community Bank.

Other returning directors on the chamber’s board include Crystal Elliott, Pekin Hospital; Lynzie Gruden, Velde Ford; Dave Vaupel, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory; Josh Bradshaw, Advanced Medical Transport; Baylee Gambetti, Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell; Brigitte Harper, Pekin Insurance; and John McCabe, Mayor of the City of Pekin.

The newly seated board then elected officers for the coming year. They are President, John Franks III, Pekin-Peoria Yellow Checker Cab; Vice President, Becky Saban, BodyWealth Massage; Treasurer, Scott Kriegsman, Elliff, Dancy and Bosich, PC; and, Past President, Gregg Ratliff, Busey Bank.

The chamber’s executive director, Bill Fleming, highlighted some of the organization’s achievements during the past year. In particular he noted the progress that was made under the chamber’s strategic plan.

Before thanking the chamber members for their commitment to the organization, Ratliff emphasized the value of chamber membership and the efforts made through the strategic plan to improve that value.

Franks continued that same theme, outlining pieces of the chamber’s strategic plan that will be the focus of the coming year. He also shared a personal anecdote about the impact the chamber had on his life.

Maisch spoke about the challenges facing the business community in Illinois. He shared his thoughts on the budget impasse and possible solutions, and the importance of renewing investments in economic development and transportation infrastructure.

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has represented the business interests and promoted the growth of the Pekin area since 1893.

You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Monday, April 18, 2016

York Rite Masonic Sporting Clay Shoot

Pekin York Rite 2nd Annual Dart Tournament


Illinois Central College is seeking qualified adjunct faculty to teach its subject areas of high need. The College will host a webinar, “ICC Adjunct Faculty Job Fair: A Webinar and Virtual Recruitment Event” on three separate occasions for the convenience of those interested in learning about teaching part-time at ICC.

Candidates must have a master’s degree or minimum of 18 hours of graduate-level courses in the discipline to be considered. Some disciplines have additional requirements.

Participants may choose from one of the following sessions:

·         Thursday, May 12, from noon to 1 p.m.
·         Thursday, May 12, from 5 to 6 p.m.
·         Wednesday, May 18, from 12: 30 to 1:30 p.m.

To participate go online to, select your preferred webinar session, and sign in.

Pre-registration is recommended. To register or for more information on candidate requirements, contact Faculty Recruiter Margie Lawler at (309) 690-6929 or email                                        


Be sure to register for one of our fun programs at Pekin Park District.   Programs that you can register for now are Rec Soccer, Tot Soccer, Boy’s and Girl’s T-Ball, Canine Obedience, Water Dragons Swim Team, Larry’s Casting Kids and our Summer Camps.

Rec Soccer, for ages 6 – 10, begins April 11 and Tot Soccer, for ages 3 – 6, begins on May 3.  T-Ball and Swim Team begin June 6.  We have three Canine Obedience sessions per year, so check in to see which time will be better for you and your pet.  Summer Camps begin May 25, 2016!

For more information about any of these programs that will keep your child active all summer, please see our Play Guide at or contact Program Manager, Dawn Wilde-Burgess at or (309)201-4006.


High school juniors and seniors and their parents, as well as community members, are invited to “Discover ICC Pekin” on Tuesday, April 26 from 5─7 p.m., at the Illinois Central College Pekin Campus, located at Riverway Business Park, 225 Hanna Dr., in Pekin.
ICC representatives will be on hand to assist with questions related to admissions, financial aid, testing and advising and will offer brief presentations at 5:15 and 6 pm on the Pekin Campus’ fall semester 2016 course offerings. Information on English, CNA, and welding summer classes also will be available.
The College recently revised the Pekin Campus’ class schedule to allow students to complete general education courses in a more streamlined format. The summer semester begins Monday, June 6, and the fall semester begins on Monday, August 15.
“The open house is an opportunity for residents of Pekin and surrounding communities to discover the benefits of the ICC Pekin Campus to the community and to learn more about the newly expanded and revised general education course schedule,” said Dr. Tracy Morris, vice president of student services. “Participants also will learn more about the variety of programs ICC offers at each of its campus locations and how ICC Pekin, in particular, can help students reach their educational and career goals.”
The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

For more information, call ICC at (309) 694-5-ICC.

Busey Named 2016 Best Places to Work in Illinois

  Awards program identifies, recognizes and honors the best places of employment

Champaign, IL – First Busey Corporation is honored to be among the 2016 Best Places to Work in Illinois. The survey and awards program identifies, recognizes and honors the best places of employment in Illinois—benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses.

The Best Places to Work in Illinois is presented in partnership by The Daily Herald Business Ledger, the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group. Busey is among 18 companies recognized in the large employer category (500 or more U.S. employees).

To determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois, companies were nominated in a two-part process. First, organizations were evaluated on their workplace policies, practices and demographics—representing 25 percent of their total score. The second part, worth approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation, consisted of an employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

Busey will be recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony coordinated by The Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 26 and will be profiled in a special publication on June 27. The final rankings will be announced at the event and on the Business Ledger website (

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Illinois program, visit or contact Katie Smith at 877-455-2159.

Faith Baptist Christian School Faithfest

SUN Foundation's Clean Water Celebration!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Customer Appreciation Block Party at Sprint by Wireless Express Store

On Saturday, April 23rd, Sprint is hosting a Customer Appreciation Block Party at their Pekin Location. This will be an indoor/outdoor event, with fun games for the kids, free chair massages from 2 licensed massage therapists, free food, and a live remote from Energy 102.3 radio station! This event is open to the public, Sprint customer or otherwise. The event runs from 11am to 2pm, and the address is 3506 Court Street, Pekin IL 61554.

For more information contact Store Manager, Jeff Vedas

Sprint by Wireless Express, Pekin

309-202-1637 mobile

309-353-2555 office


The Illinois Central College Music Program presents The Sounds of Formosa, a recital featuring award-winning pianist Dr. Pei-I Wang on Monday, April 18 at 7:30 pm in Lecture/Recital Hall Room 127F, located on the East Peoria Campus.
The event features a selection of Taiwanese composers’ piano compositions performed by Wang and rising artist Meng-Chun Chien. Wang was the winner of the 2011 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition, and Chien took first prize in the 2016 Kankakee Piano Concerto Competition.
The concert will include works for piano solo, piano duet, and piano duo music. Compositional styles include character pieces, suite, waltz, transcriptions/arrangements of Taiwanese folk tunes, the atonal work, and the delightful Western-Chinese synthetic medleys.
Music selected for this event was chosen in tribute to two prominent Taiwanese composers who passed away in 2015 ─ Shui-Long Ma and Tyzen Hsiao. Both composers were highly respected in the Taiwanese music society, leaving a lasting legacy and musical heritage along with their dedication and efforts in music education, which were invaluable to following generations. Pieces chosen for this recital were written by other composers who also received Western musical training and adapted the Taiwanese or Chinese folkloric influences in their compositions, including Su-Ti Chen, Yen Lu and the Wille-Yeh Piano Duo. In acknowledging those wonderful composers and their works, the concert will not only bring the audiences to enjoy Taiwanese cultural and musical traditions through the classical medium of piano but also will reflect their accomplishments on the viewpoints of ethnomusicology and recognize them as major contributors to the Taiwanese composition leagues and music society.
The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Box Office at (309) 694-5136.


Moving into its second year, the Illinois Central College Penguin Players program is set to take flight and aims to give more students with special needs, along with their mentors, opportunities to perform on stage and earn college credit.
"We are very excited to once again be offering the Penguin Players program this summer,” said Kari Schimmel, dean of ICC’s Arts and Communication Department. “Last year's production was a great learning experience for everyone involved.”
The Penguin Players was created last year as a collaboration involving Illinois Central College and the Penguin Project, the highly successful local program which gives participants with special needs performing arts opportunities.
ICC’s Penguin Players is patterned after the Penguin Project. However, to allow new children to enter the program, the Penguin Project has an upper age limit. ICC’s Penguin Players program does not have an upper age limit. Participants must be at least 16 years of age and academically accepted to ICC.
"We support the goals of the Penguin Project and recognize the tremendous impact that participation in a theatre production can have on individuals with special needs,” Schimmel said. “We're happy to help these young adults develop their creativity and teamwork skills and want to meet the needs of those individuals who have either aged out of the Penguin Project or are simply seeking additional creative endeavors."
Last year, nearly 20 individuals enrolled and participated in putting together a show as part of the Penguin Players. In addition to cast members, the productions include peer mentors who work with the artists and are present with them on stage during productions. Peer mentors are responsible for knowing all lines, songs and blocking for their partners.
“This year, we are trying to widen our reach by soliciting mentors from areas beyond theatre, such as special education,” Schimmel said. “We recognize that this experience is a compelling learning opportunity for all participants, artists and mentors."
The Penguin Project traditionally holds its performances during the winter. ICC’s Penguin Players program runs during the summer term to avoid conflicts in scheduling. This summer, participants in the ICC program will work with several instructors in the preparation, rehearsing, staging and presentation of a musical in the ICC Performing Arts Center. The Penguin Players program begins with rehearsals on May 4 and culminates with four performances in July.
All participants in Penguin Players productions must be accepted for enrollment at ICC and register with department approval in ICC’s Theatre 220 course, a three credit hour summer semester course. Registration is now open at ICC. To view ICC’s current catalog online, visit Complete 2016 class schedules also are available online at
Schimmel administers the Penguin Players program. Dr. Andrew Morgan, founder of the Penguin Project, serves as a consultant for the Penguin Players. For more information about ICC Penguin Players, contact Schimmel at (309) 694-5113 or
This year’s production is Fame, Jr., which was conceived and developed by David DeSilva. It is an adapted version of Fame set during the last years of New York City's celebrated High School for the Performing Arts in the early 1980s. The show is the bittersweet but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students who commit to four years of grueling artistic and academic work.
            Fame, Jr. is based on the book by José Fernandez. Music for the show is by Steve Margoshes and lyrics are by Jacques Levy. The play is being produced with special arrangement by Music Theatre International.
The ICC production is directed by Sarah Salazar.

            Performances of Fame, Jr. by the Penguin Players are July 21 through 23 at 7:30 pm and July 24 at 2:30 pm. Tickets cost $10 for all ages and can be purchased online at or through the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office.

Unes Bill Offering ACT Test Option to Illinois School Districts Passes Education Committee

With broad support from area school districts, a bill sponsored by Representative Unes (R-East Peoria) requiring the State of Illinois to provide the ACT test to any school district that wishes to employ it for purposes of measuring and demonstrating college readiness, passed through committee today despite opposition from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).   This proposed legislation comes after ISBE’s unexpected decision to abandon its successful and well-established history with the ACT by instead entering into a three-year contract with SAT.  The ACT has long been the preferred college-readiness exam in states like Illinois. 

“I was surprised and disappointed when the State Board of Education announced last fall that it was ending its partnership with ACT in favor of SAT-- a shift has been largely opposed by local school districts, while at the same time it offers no obvious net benefit to our state.  The consequences of marginalizing our local school districts and our students in this manner far outweigh the immediate and insignificant cost-saving benefits of providing an alternative test, as cited by ISBE” said Rep. Mike Unes.

By law, the Illinois State Board of Education must provide each high school student with the opportunity to take one college-readiness exam.  The Board cites a modest cost-savings benefit in their decision to enter into a contract with SAT, amounting to just over $5 per student, or about $450,000 annually.  Students may choose to take the ACT exam on their own, however without this legislation proposed by Representative Unes, they will have to individually bear the cost of around $39-$57 per test.  With Unes’ legislation however, the State would uphold their statutory requirement to provide just one test to each student, but would give school districts the choice to administer either the ACT or SAT, based on a preference that supports their existing curriculum. 

“We must never forget that our children are our most precious resource, and that it is our responsibility as a state to empower rather than to limit a school district’s ability to effectively manage their education.  This sudden change in how our students are assessed for college-readiness represents yet another unnecessary and undue burden upon our already struggling school systems, and I am hopeful that this legislation can offer some relief to them by restoring the ability to utilize their preferred testing methods.” said Rep. Mike Unes.

For more information on this or any other State issue, please contact Representative Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.


Illinois Central College Health Careers Department is accepting students in its Respiratory Therapist and Medical Laboratory Technician programs for fall 2016. The fall semester begins Monday, August 15.
Registration is now available. More information on eligibility requirements, the selection process and how to apply to the Health Careers Program is available at

For questions or for more information, please call the ICC Health Careers Department at (309) 999-4600 or email


Illinois Nature Conservancy Deputy Director of River Conservation Jason Beverlin will kick off ICC’s Student Sustainability Presentation Contest with a presentation on “Emiquon: The Nature Conservancy’s Floodplain Restoration Project” on Tuesday, April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Lecture/Recital Hall on the East Peoria Campus.

            Beverlin will discuss his role at Emiquon and the importance of water conservation. A graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, he brings his more than 20 years of experience in conservation to the topic of sustainability. Beverlin has served as deputy director at the Nature Conservancy, ecosystems administrator with the Department of Natural Resources and as curator of education at Peoria’s Glen Oak Zoo.

            ICC students will present projects relating to a variety of sustainability topics immediately following the discussion. The ICC Sustainability Committee was established in 2007 and sponsors student presentation contest bi-annually. Topics address all three aspects of sustainability – society, economics and the environment – and are limited to four to six minutes.
The presentation and Sustainability Presentation Contest are free and open to the public.

            For more information, contact ICC at (309) 694-5-ICC.


Illinois Central College presents a week of concerts, events and exhibits as the Arts and Communication Department presents Arts Week 2016 from April 18 through April 22 on the East Peoria Campus.
                The week kicks off April 18 with several activities, demonstrations and events at various locations, highlighted by the 4th Annual Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts in Central Illinois event at 6:30 pm in the Performing Arts Center. These activities are the first of more than 20 different events scheduled throughout the week, including several performances, art gallery displays, concerts, lectures and more.
                Among the scheduled events:
·         Vagabond Art Club’s unique The Art of Ice Cream sale, in which the ice cream is sold, served in a bowl made by an ICC art student and the purchaser keeps the bowl
·         A demonstration by the ICC Theatre Program’s make-up class
·         An exhibit of works by ICC architecture students
·         A guest recital, entitled The Sounds of Formosa, featuring Taiwanese Piano Compositions performed by Dr. Pei-I Wang with Meng Chun-Chien
·         ICC student and faculty art shows open April 20
                All events are open to the public. A full, updated listing of the schedule for the week is available at

For more information, call the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office at (309) 694-5136.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Puttin' On Pekin Recap

Seventy-five business and community leaders attended the April 8th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at Mashie's Pub & Eatery inside Sunset Hills Golf Club. Tim Coan from TLC Fosters won the early prize, while Rob Brandenburg from Sears Hometown won the late prize.  Chad Roepenack accepted the Spotlight on Business Award for Jimmy John's.  John & Therese Hiller accepted the Blue Ribbon Award for their work at Hiller Automotive and Steve Thompson accepted the Sunshine award presented to the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.  Dr. Bill Link, Josh Norman, Lynn Brown and Debbie Denning spoke about Pekin Public Schools District 108 and the Blue Ribbon Award won by Scott Altman Elementary School.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pekin Glass & MIrror Opens Gift Shop

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin congratulated Pekin Glass and Mirror on their recent opening of a Gift Shop in their showroom at 332 Derby Street.  Pictured from left to right are Earl Riley, Ron Harlan, Gregg Ratliff, Holly Payne, Dan Sullivan, Teresa Mack, Brigitte Sullivan, Mayor John McCabe, and Leigh Ann Brown.

Hopedale Medical Complex Job Fair

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Illinois Central College English students will perform eight-minute idea exchange presentations in the “A Way with Words” event on Friday, April 29, from 1-4 pm, in the Academic Building Lecture/Recital Hall, Room 127F, on the East Peoria Campus. This is the second edition of the event, which played to a full house and enthusiastic crowd in 2015.
Students from 12 sections of ICC’s English 111 will choose one peer’s semester capstone presentation to represent their class for the event. Students from ICC’s Interpreter Preparation Program will provide a signed interpretation of the presentations as part of their semester internship.
The presentations will feature the student’s original idea for making the world a better place and will cover a broad range of topics, including education, technology, agriculture and social justice.
The event is free and open to the public.
For questions or for more information, contact Andrew Bonvicini at

ProHealth Medical Group Welcomes New Pulmonologist

ProHealth Medical Group, Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems are pleased to welcome Dr. Housam Soukieh to ProHealth Pulmonary Specialists in Pekin, Illinois.
Dr. Soukieh comes to ProHealth from Landmark Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, where he consulted on pulmonary and critical care cases. He is a board-certified pulmonologist with more than 18 years’ experience in pulmonary medicine.

Dr. Soukieh graduated from the Damascus School of Medicine in Damascus, Syria. He completed the internal medicine residency program at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the pulmonary fellowship program at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers eight practices throughout the Pekin area. For more information visit

Mueller celebrates 15 years at Hanson’s office in Peoria, Illinois

Paul Mueller, P.E., a civil engineer at Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office, recently celebrated 15 years of service at the firm. 
Prior to joining Hanson in 2001, Mueller was a project manager for Daily and Associates Engineers Inc. in Peoria. At Hanson, he has provided services for civil and site design and construction plans for numerous projects, including HeartCare Midwest, the Illinois Eye Center and the OSF St. Francis Medical Center’s Milestone Project, all in Peoria; an expansion of Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal facility in Marion, Arkansas; new public library facilities in Dunlap, Farmington, Williamsville and Chatham; building and parking additions at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in Edwards; student housing at Illinois Central College; building additions, parking and athletic fields at high schools in East Peoria, Metamora and Washington, Illinois; Heddington Oaks Nursing Home in West Peoria; various projects at several power plants; and construction-phase engineering services for drilled pier foundation construction for high voltage electrical transmission lines around Illinois. 
Mueller earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois.

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.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Registration is now available for convenient day and evening class scheduling options for both the summer and fall semesters at ICC Pekin, located at Riverway Business Park, 225 Hanna Drive. Classes for the summer semester begin Monday, June 6, and classes for the fall semester begin Monday, August 15.
Students can choose from several core general education courses for fall, including English, communication, several levels of math, psychology and music. Classes in nurse assistant training, GED preparation, and business also are available. Summer classes include English, CNA training and welding.
Students attending the ICC Pekin location will benefit from smaller class sizes, “smart” classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, free academic placement testing, and convenient, free parking. Enrollment and student accounting services also are available at ICC Pekin. Service hours are from 8 am to 3 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays. A computer station is available during these hours for students applying online to ICC, and staff will provide assistance in completing the application.
Those interested in enrolling for either semester should first apply online to ICC at and then should follow the steps to enroll, including setting up an appointment to see an academic advisor. Information requested on the application form includes the student’s social security number, mailing address, phone numbers, email address, emergency contact information and intended program of study. Applicants also may download and mail the form to ICC Enrollment Services.
Applicants also should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at and list ICC on the form in order to be fully considered for federal student aid opportunities.
To view ICC’s current catalog online, visit Complete summer and fall 2016 class schedules also are available online at ICC also has launched a new mobile app, MyICC Mobile, where students may plan their schedules in real time. It is available using your mobile browser at, or in the App Store for iOS.

               For more information, call Illinois Central College’s main information line at (309) 694-5-ICC or ICC Pekin at (309) 642-6601.

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Yoga Happens Here 
405 Court St. 
Pekin, IL 61554 
Paula Bayer, Owner
Open Monday Through Saturday. 
Learn how to relax with yoga

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Membership Renewal

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

4-Star Members
Pekin Community Bank

2-Star Members
Unland Companies
Winpak Heat Seal Corporation

1-Star Members
Associated Bank
Bond Eye Associates
Comcast Business
First Pekin Savings Bank
R.A. Cullinan & Sons
Sears Hometown & Outlet
Servpro of Peoria & North Central Taz Co 

Classic MVP Members
125 Salon
Advanced Energy Diagnostics
Avanti's Dome Events & Sports Center
CT Gabbert Remodeling & Construction
Dreamscapes Landscaping LLC
Elliff, Dancey & Bosich, PC
Faith Baptist Christian School 
Holiday Inn Express 
Kiwanis Club of Pekin
Lange Animal Clinic
Military Uniform Supply Outlet Store
P/L/R Insurance Services, Inc. 
Peoria International Airport
Richardson Counseling & Wellness Center
Sonic America's Drive-In
Sun Loan Company
T-Shirt House

Individual Members

Carol Shields