Monday, February 27, 2017


Along with the Peoria Ballet, ICC Vocal Jazz and Hard Bop Band, the Penguin Project, Central Illinois Youth Symphony Orchestra, the family of former Peoria Mayor, Jim Maloof, and others will join forces and talents to raise money in a one-of-a-kind showcase of entertainment for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Mon., April 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Performing Arts Center on the ICC East Peoria Campus.

This one-night only event, “ICC Presents:  Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts in Central Illinois,” is a family-friendly entertainment extravaganza designed to promote the performing arts in Central Illinois and highlight former Mayor Maloof’s local and national legacy with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The entire event is planned and executed by ICC students each year.

Tickets for the event are $7 each. Tickets are required and limited to the first 500 people. They can be purchased online at, by phone at (309) 694-5136, or in person at the Box Office prior to the event. Box Office hours are 10 am to 4 pm Mondays through Fridays and one hour prior to public events in the Performing Arts Center.
All proceeds from ticket sales this year will directly benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Special guests include ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, members of the Maloof family, and ardent supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  A cookie and punch reception will be offered at the close of the program, and participating organizations will showcase upcoming and past performances through interactive displays located in the lobby.

For more information, please contact Brent Goken at (309) 694-5107, or Rilee Harrmann at (309) 472-3731.  Visit the event's Facebook page at ICC Presents: Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts.

February Biz Barometer

Meet the Millennipreneurs

March 16: Ask The CPA 2017: Tax Advice for Small Businesses

You have tax questions. We have tax answers! Certified CPA and small business tax expert Micah Fraim will field your tax-related questions. April 15th will be here sooner than you think. 
In this webinar, Micah will only answer audience questions, so come prepared with your concerns. You can submit questions during registration and during the LIVE webinar. He will also offer tax advice you can implement throughout the year.


Ya’ll come out to see our 43rd Annual Ice Show on Friday, March 3, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. or Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at Pekin Veteran’s Memorial Ice Arena.  There will be performances by all Learn To Skate levels as well as solos, duets and ensembles. There will be a special performance by your award winning Precise Ice Team.  Admission is $8 per person.
Skater Jenna Buhs practicing for the Annual Ice Show

Public Hearing for McClugage Bridge Project

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will hold a public hearing to present the study for the removal and replacement of the eastbound McClugage Bridge (U.S. 150) over the Illinois River.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
5-7 p.m.
Washington Gifted School Gymnasium
3706 N. Grand Blvd
Peoria, Ill.

The meeting will be conducted on an informal basis. No formal presentation is planned. Representatives from IDOT will be available to answer questions and receive comments. Comments can be submitted in writing, orally to a court reporter or electronically. Comments received at this meeting or sent in by April 15, 2017, will be included in the official project record.

This meeting will address the need for the project, location of the new bridge, bridge type and potential impacts to the communities and cultural/environmental resources including wetlands and floodplains. A previous environmental assessment, as well as engineering reports, exhibits, drawings and aerial photos, will be available at the public hearing. The environmental assessment also will be available for review and inspection at IDOT’s District 4 office, 401 Main St., in Peoria.

The proposed improvement includes the removal of the existing eastbound bridge, which is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The public hearing will provide an opportunity to provide comments about potential impacts to cultural resources, in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended and to assist in consultation with the Illinois State Historic Preservation Officer.

Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Mr. Michael Lewis by Friday, March 10, 2017, at 309-671-3333, by fax at 309-671-3498, by telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY), 309-671-3450, or in writing to IDOT District 4 re: Eastbound McClugage Bridge Project, 401 Main St., Peoria, IL 61602.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Eating disorders can kill the spirit and the body. Everybody knows somebody with an eating disorder!

In conjunction with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 26-Mar 4), The Mansion on Walnut and Crossroads Programs for Women present the work of two outstanding area photographers, Lori Wenzel of Yellow Lily Photography, and Amber Autry of AmberLynn Photography. The body-positive movement is rooted in ideals such as self-love and appreciation; it’s a backlash against a diet culture that defines beautiful as slim and encourages us to continually strive for “better” bodies.   This is a free event open to the public.  “This is a wonderful example of how art and emotional health initiatives can intersect to create a quality life.  This was one of our visions when we relocated to the Mansion on Walnut, sharing the building with Crossroads Programs for Women. This is the first of the Mansion’s Fourth Friday events as part of Central Illinois Artists Organization,” says Shannon Cox, Executive Director of The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts and Managing Director of the Mansion on Walnut.
“We hope a lot of folks from Pekin and surrounding communities will join us on Friday, Feb 24th from 5:30-8:30 at the Mansion on Walnut for an evening of art, music by Logan Nickerson, and a celebration of self-acceptance!  Crossroads Programs for Women will provide information on eating disorders and disordered eating. These serious diseases are not fads--they are killers of the spirit and the body. This open house features art celebrating the spirit and reality of the female experience beyond physical appearance and looking at authentic beauty. An informative video on eating disorders will be presented in the living room. Another video will feature mannequin art from a national body image art contest from iaedp™​ (The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals),’  says Bonnie Harken, Founder and CEO of Crossroads Programs for Women and Managing Director of iaedp™.
What:                  Love Yourself:  Uniquely and Wonderfully Made Body Image Art Show
When:                Friday, February 24th, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Where:                The Mansion on Walnut, 420 Walnut St, Pekin, IL
Cost:                   Free – open to the public

Sponsors:           Fourth Fridays at The Mansion on Walnut (CIAO) and Crossroads Programs for Women        


Navigating the Road to Recovery
                                Part 1:
WHEN: Friday, March 17, 2017, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
WHERE: Fondulac Bank, 201 Clock Tower Drive, East Peoria, IL 61611
FOLEPI Room, 2nd Floor
1)      Understand the 12-Steps as a guiding philosophy for recovery from addictions and other problems.
2)      Identify practical applications of key terms in Steps 1-3.
3)      Discuss ways to confront and correct misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the steps.
4)      Learn, share and discuss activities and metaphors that illustrate the meaning of the first steps for any individual or group of clients, regardless of their background.
5)      Application to IAODAPCA has been accepted for 2 CEU’s!
Presented by Ed Betzelberger, LCSW, CRADC, PCGC
Register for CEUs (by 3/16/17): Contact Brenda Franklin at (309) 477-5526/ or Ed at (309) 477-5548/!

Chamber Connection!

Check out this week's Chamber Connection here!

Pekin Times Advertising Special

The Pekin Daily Times will again publish an NCAA bracket page.  Businesses can support the page with their logo assigned to a team.  The cost is just $65.

But, it's also a contest for advertisers!  There will be a random drawing from the  teams, and the advertising sponsor for that team will receive free full-page ad.  Second place will get a 1/2 page ad, the final four a 1/4 pg. and the sweet sixteen get an 1/8 of a page!

Deadline is March 8 and the bracket will run on March 15th.

Contact your sales rep today at 346-1111.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5th Annual "Deaf Idol 2017"

 Illinois Central College S.I.G.N. Club will host its 5th Annual “Deaf Idol 2017” on Sat., April 1, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, in the ICC Performing Arts Center on the East Peoria Campus. The event features contestants from the deaf community performing songs, stories, poetry, skits and more in American Sign Language for a grand prize. Judges will select the top five contestants to present to the audience to determine the top three winners.
This year, nationally recognized music interpreter Amber Galloway Gallego, from Houston, Texas, will service as celebrity judge; along with Juan Bernal, an ASL teacher from Chicago; and Angela Botz, a Community Outreach Coordinator and Disability Rights Advocate from IMPACT CIL.
“We are excited to have Amber, as well as Juan and Angela, with us to celebrate our milestone fifth year,” said ICC Adjunct Faculty and S.I.G.N. Club Advisor DiAnn Sances. “We feel so fortunate to share this unique opportunity to promote and enrich the deaf community and allow people to experience ASL culture in the diverse backgrounds of the contestants.”
ICC’s Interpreter Prep Program students also will be performing their special projects with songs and stories in ASL. There will be two voice interpreters available for the hearing fans in the audience, and “I Love You” pillows, t-shirts and more will be available for purchase in the Performing Arts Center lobby beginning at 1 pm.
Advanced tickets may be purchased from any S.I.G.N. Club officer for $5 per adult and children ages 13 and up. Ages 12 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the door for $7 for adults and children ages 13 and up. Tickets for children age 12 and under are free. Doors open at 1 pm.

For more information, email the S.I.G.N. Club at

Food Fight 2017

More food from the chefs!   Drink tickets!   Wine Tasting!   Dessert!

Thirteen local chefs will descend on kitchen stadium to battle it out with a mystery bag of ingredients.  Before the battle, guests will get to try signature items from all the chefs.  2016 winner Chef Amanda Pyle will bring her winning pork and gnocchi skewer with bacon jam on cashew and kiwi greens.  Guests will also enjoy a wine and craft beer tasting during the first hour, drink tickets, and dessert.  

Do you want to compete against the chefs?  You can bid on a chance to be a guest chef during our live auction.  We will also auction off private dinners with the chefs.

Food Fight helps Neighborhood House feed over 1100 people a day.

Ticket Information
Get your ticket(s), last year we sold out!
$75 per ticket

$750 for a table of 10

VIP tickets are available for $150 per ticket and includes 1st time ever opportunity to taste the food from the chef battle.  VIPs can also attend meet and greet with the chefs inside the kitchen stadium.  

Neighborhood House 1020 S. Matthew St.  Peoria, Il  61605   309-674-1131

2017 Competing Chefs
Dustin Allen, Edge by Chef Dustin Allen
Mike Bencher, Hy-Vee
Seth Colvin, Holiday Inn & Suites
Golda Ewalt, OSF
Adam Fife, Biaggi’s
Jeff Foster, Par-A-Dice
Jonathan Scrivner, Table 19
Ian Hocker, The Chef and The Baker
Jeff Madden, Kemp 208
Amanda Pyle, The Cookery
Tommy Schafer, Publik House
Josh Sumner, Country Club of Peoria
Andrea Wildey, Creve Coeur Club of Peoria

Special Needs Cheer & Dance Team Fundraiser

Be sure to attend this breakfast fundraiser for your local special needs Cheer & Dance Team.  IRVSRA.ORG will be hosting an all you can eat breakfast at the Pekin Moose Lodge this Sunday, February 19th 8am-11am.  This event is open to the public, will cost $8.00 per person, and 40% of proceeds go towards the IRVSRA.ORG Cheer & Dance Team’s annual expenses.  The Cheer & Dance team will be performing cheer and dance routines on stage periodically throughout the morning.  So tell your friends, family, and neighbors to join you for this great cause!

Day:            Sunday
Date:           February 19th
Time:          8:00am—11:00am
Fee:             $8.00 per person
Location:     Pekin Moose Lodge
                   2605 Broadway St.
Main Entrance: Dining Hall 

Photo: (left to right) Maliya Haynes, Madison Haynes, Natalie Phillips, Bella Bishop pose of a photo after a half -time performance at Edison Jr. High. 

Savant Capital Management Named One of Chicago’s Best Financial Advisors

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm with 12 offices in three states, announced today it has been named one of the Top 9 Best Financial Advisors in Chicago for the second consecutive year.

The selection process was conducted by AdvisoryHQ and was based on a wide range of criteria including fiduciary duty, independence, transparency, level of customized service, history of innovation, fee structure, quality of services provided, team excellence, and wealth of experience. Review and rankings were 100 percent independently researched and written. Firms were unaware they were being reviewed by AdvisoryHQ until after the reviews had been completed and published to the public.

Savant was touted as standing out from the crowd of financial advisors in Chicago with its transparency and focus on client successes, in addition to being a Certified Investment Steward and a Certified Investment Advisor by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX). The firm also was recognized for its wide range of services, involvement in the community, for being the longest tenured firm in Chicago, and being a co-founder and member of the Zero Alpha Group, a nationwide network of advisory firms that are committed to providing objective, long-term private wealth management solutions to investors.

“Often our clients know where they want to be, and we help them work toward their goals by planning a roadmap to their vision of an ideal future. They are the reason we come to work every day,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “We are honored to be ranked by AdvisoryHQ for our commitment to our clients’ long-term success and well-being.”

AdvisoryHQ is a review and ranking news media organization for the investment and financial advisory industries across the U.S., U.K. and Canada. To view the complete list of rankings, click here.
About Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management is a leading independent, nationally-recognized, fee-only firm, serving clients for 30 years with more than $4.8 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Capital Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan 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 including recently being included on the Forbes top 200 financial advisors list, the Barron’s top 20 independent advisory firms list, being named the #9 rated RIA firm by Financial Planning magazine, and included in additional top advisors lists by Financial Advisor magazine and InvestmentNews.

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.


Grammy-nominated singer Angela Brown will present a master class on Fri., Feb. 24 from 3 to 5 pm in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center Studio Theatre, located on the East Peoria Campus. Admission to this event is free.

In addition, Brown will hold a recital titled Watch and Pray on Sun., Feb. 26 at 4 pm at the First United Methodist Church, located at 116 NE Perry Avenue in Peoria. Admission is free; a reception will follow the recital.

Opera, pop and gospel come together to create Brown’s voice. She has performed with symphonies and in opera houses all around the world. Her Watch and Pray recital will include spirituals, sacred arias and arts songs.

She received her bachelor degree in music from Oakwood University in Alabama. She also attended the Indiana University School of Music and in 2006 was awarded the inaugural Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award by the Indiana University African American Arts Institute. The award is given annually to alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the arts.

Following her debut in the starring and title role of Aida, Brown captured attention from around the world, allowing her to perform on some of the most prestigious opera stages across the globe in cities such as San Francisco, Paris, Moscow, Vienna and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Brown has been featured by several prominent media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Oprah magazine, Essence magazine, Ebony magazine, Classical Singer, Reader’s Digest and Psychology Today.

Brown’s visit to Central Illinois is sponsored by the FUMC Foundation.

For more information on Friday’s master class, visit or call the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office at (309) 694-5136. To learn more about the Sunday event, visit or call (309) 673-3641.


The Illinois Central College Theatre Program presents the psychological thriller The Bone House, opening on February 24 for six performances over two weekends in the main stage theatre of the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria campus.
The show is directed by Robin Berkley and is rated R for mature themes and language. No one under 16 years of age will be admitted.
Written by Marty Chen, The Bone House is a chilling and suspenseful immersive thriller which delves into the public’s fascination with serial killers. Rather than a show with a traditional stage and set, the show is an immersive experience, with the performance being conducted as if the audience is attending a lecture about serial killers. Featured speaker and self-proclaimed mind hunter Eugene Crowley takes the audience on a journey into the mind of the world’s most notorious serial killers such as Dahmer, Bundy and Gacy. In addition, Crowley wants to alert, convince and provide proof to the audience that there is a serial killer on the loose who has eluded capture and taunts authorities. The show is not for the faint of heart and is a true psychological experiment about the nature of fear, imagination and insight into our fascination and deification of serial killers. WARNING: could cause nightmares.
Cast members include Amilia Dierks of Morton, Frank Drew of Peoria, Andrew Gray of Washington, and Brentan Pfaff of Washington.
The show takes place February 24 and 25 and March 3 and 4 at 7:30 pm. Matinee performances on February 26 and March 5 begin at 2:30 pm.
Tickets for all performances cost $7 for the general public and $5 for students and senior citizens.
The show is produced by special arrangement with Playwrights Guild of Canada.
The show is presented by the ICC Theatre Program and the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

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

Taste of Africa

The Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC), the Illinois Central College (ICC) Culinary Institute, and the ICC International Education Program celebrate African cuisine with the special dinner program "Taste of Africa" on Thursday, March 2, 2017. The event begins at 5:30 PM at the Culinary Institute located in Dogwood Hall on the ICC - North campus.

"Taste of Africa" features a three-course meal specially made by students and staff of the Culinary Institute. Diners will receive copies of the North African cuisine selected and learn cooking techniques by watching the expert chefs prepare menu items throughout the evening. Tours of the Culinary Institute's state-of-the-art facilities are also available. The evening concludes with details of the many international programs available at Illinois Central College. This honors ICC's dinner two Fulbright scholars from Africa; Letshwiti Tutwane from Botswana and Nahed Shata from Egypt. They will be the featured speakers. In addition, Dr. Barbara Burton will briefly highlight the ICC international program.

Tickets are $35.00 for Peoria Area World Affairs Council members; $40.00 for the general public. The menu features both meat and vegetarian options. Online purchasing information is available via Seating is limited, so order today!

Enjoy the cultural journal to North Africa throughout the evening:
5:30 PM to 6:00 PM - Opening Reception / Culinary Institute Tours
6:15 PM to 7:30 PM - Dinner with Exclusive Viewing of Meal Preparation
7:30 PM to 8:00 PM - Post Dinner Presentation by ICC's Fulbright Scholars from Egypt and Botswana, as well as Dr. Barbara Burton, Director of International Programs at ICC

All proceeds from "Taste of Africa" benefit ICC's Culinary Institute and international education programs and the Peoria Area World Affairs Council's education programs.

The Peoria Area World Affairs Council promotes a better understanding of world affairs among members, students, and the community through public programs in Central Illinois. PAWAC is nonprofit and nonpartisan. For additional information, contact the Peoria Area World Affairs Council at 309-677-2454 or email Information is also available via


                High school juniors and seniors and their parents are invited to “Discover ICC” on Tuesday, March 21, from 5─7 p.m., in the ICC Cafeteria located on the East Peoria Campus. The “college fair” event offers information about the college and its programs and includes quick presentations, including a “How to Enroll” presentation at 6 p.m.
                Students can learn about the application and financial aid processes as well as career planning and opportunities to transfer from ICC to a four-year college or university. Students can visit with ICC representatives to learn about all of the programs of study as well as ways undecided students can find a program of study or career area that fits their interests.
                Campus Housing, the on-campus apartment-style residences, will also offer tours from 5 to 7 pm. Tours will begin at the Information Desk.

                The event is free to both students and parents. For questions, please call (309) 694-5422 or email

ICC “Chopped-Style” High School Competition

(Preliminary Round) Fri., Feb. 24 from 9 am to 12:30 pm and
(Final Round) Sat., Feb. 25 from 10 am to 11:30 am
Culinary Arts Institute
Dogwood Hall
ICC Peoria Campus
5407 N. University St., Peoria

ICC Culinary Arts Institute will host a “Chopped-Style” High School Competition to foster a love of the culinary arts among high school students who’ve shown interest in cooking professionally. This is the first year for the event.
Some of the teams participating include Pekin, East Peoria, Woodruff, Dunlap and Midland High Schools. Each school is asked to send three students to compete.
The competition is organized by a bracket system, with the winners of the 1st round moving to the final round.
Available for media interviews:
·         Chef Charles Robertson – ICC Associate Professor, Culinary Arts Institute

·         Students participating in the competition


Illinois Central College’s popular College for Kids program will offer “Club Code” classes beginning in March for students currently in grades 7 and 8 who are interested in computers and learning to write code, build websites, apps, games and more. 

                The clubs meet on Tuesdays from March 7 through April 11, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at Hickory Hall, located on the ICC North Campus, 5407 N. University in Peoria.

Club Code participants will learn to write code, build websites, create mobile apps, games and more. Meetings are geared toward group learning and team projects based on the presented material. Club members must be self-motivated and disciplined, and able to work well with others, as well as independently. Independent work and learning at home will be necessary to the success of this course level.  The club helps beginners to gain experience in coding while allowing more advanced students to strengthen their skills. Club Code is taught by Brandy Thatcher, Business Intelligence Analyst for the department of Institutional Research at Illinois Central College.  

Cost of the club is $115, which includes all classroom materials and a coding t-shirt.

To register please call 690-6900 or visit our website at For questions, please contact ICC Youth Programs Coordinator Bryan Blanks at

Pekin Park District Kickball Registration Now Open

Pekin Park District Registration is now open for new kickball teams.  2017 kickball season starting soon.  For more information or to register your team call DeDe @201-4007.  “Everyone deserves to play like a kid once a week!!!!”

Congrats to the 2016 Kickball Champions!  


Illinois public high schools are now required to administered the SAT to high school juniors instead of the ACT or PARCC exams. Illinois Central College will offer a series of four, three-hour review courses to help students prepare for the SAT test, as well as informational sessions for students and their parents or guardians on this transition. All SAT Prep course sessions and the Introductory Night will be held at Hickory Hall on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria. Participants must register to take the SAT exam separately.
The sessions meet in the two weeks prior to each of the SAT test dates scheduled throughout this spring. The next session is scheduled to begin on March 21. Illinois public high schools will administer the SAT test to area high school juniors on April 5, 2017. However, students may wish to take the test more than once to try to improve their scores.
SAT Prep course participants will learn strategies for building test-taking skills and improving their test scores and will practice taking short tests in all of the SAT core subject areas. The prep courses will cover the Reading, Writing and Math sections of the SAT exam. SAT Reading prep will include questions based on reading passages and quantitative information in the Information and Ideas, Rhetoric, and Synthesis categories. The Writing prep portion will include practice answering multiple-choice questions regarding rhetoric, grammar, and English usage. The Math prep will cover specific algebra, geometry, and trigonometry application and analysis strategies, with an emphasis on problem-solving, modeling, using tools strategically, and using algebraic structure.
In addition to these sessions, ICC will offer an Introductory Night for students and their parents or guardians on March 20 to learn more about the State of Illinois’ transition from using the ACT test to the SAT test, as well as college admission considerations.
Cost of the SAT Prep courses, including Introductory Night, is $108. To view the full schedule of prep and introductory night, or to register for the prep courses, visit Please note that students must register for the SAT exam separately.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Illinois 29 Lane Closures in Pekin

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces the following lane closures on IL 29 in Pekin: 

  • One lane of southbound IL 29 at IL 98 is scheduled to be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20. 
  • Intermittent lane closures on IL 29 at Powerton Road are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.   This intersection will be a four-way stop, with flashing red signals controlling traffic, during this time.
The lane closures are necessary for traffic signal repair work to be completed.  IDOT reminds everyone to please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.


By all accounts, Matt Goodyear, of Morton, Ill., has a bright future ahead, full of opportunities he wouldn’t have ever imagined a few years ago.

After graduating from Morton High School in 1994, Goodyear enrolled at Illinois Central College but soon ran out of motivation and dropped out. Though he worked as an over-the-road truck driver for several years, Matt knew there had to be more he could do with a better education. Years later, armed with life experience and motivation to earn a better wage and finish his degree, he enrolled again at ICC. He earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Mechatronics in 2015.

Last October, he earned a spot as one of 250 students chosen from thousands of applicants to participate in NASA’s Community College Aerospace Scholars program in Huntsville, Ala. There he worked with a team of 10 students from across the nation to build a Mars rover out of Legos and sell it to NASA. Today, Goodyear is concurrently working on a second associate’s degree at ICC while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management in Applied Engineering from Southern Illinois University Carbondale through weekend classes he takes at ICC. Recently, he was asked to interview for a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“The classes at ICC gave me a very good foundation to build that career on. Just like when you build a house, you want to have a good foundation first. The instructors (at ICC) want to see their students succeed,” Goodyear said. “I was given a second chance, and I want to take advantage of that.”

ICC joins community colleges throughout the state in recognition of success stories like Goodyear’s during Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in February. These programs offer students a wide variety of options for coursework that translates into good job opportunities without the four-year commitment. Many CTE programs build upon each other, meaning a student can complete a certificate or degree and use that credential as the educational foundation for the next level degree.

At ICC, roughly one in five students is pursuing a CTE credential in a given semester. More than half of the degrees awarded from ICC in 2015 were awarded to students earning certificates or applied science degrees, both of which are CTE credentials.
“CTE education is the key to ensuring our students are qualified for middle skills jobs which offer family- sustaining wages. Be it a nurse, web designer or diesel technician, our occupational graduates are job ready and become the bedrock of our local economy,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “These programs offer career ladders and pathways to allow students like Matt to launch their careers and realize their dreams.”

The Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University noted in a recent report that “occupational choice can trump degree level. People with less education in high-paying occupations can out-earn people with more education in less remunerative occupations.” According to Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), last year roughly two-thirds (65.3%) of all Illinois community college graduates earned a CTE degree or certificate.
“CTE programs are investing in students and providing them with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders,” said ICCB executive director Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson.

For more information about postsecondary career and technical education programs and services at ICC, visit  For information on career and technical education throughout Illinois visit

Pekin Insurance Holds Annual Meeting

The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association held its annual meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at their Home Office in Pekin, Illinois.

The following directors were elected for three year terms: Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois; Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois; and Brian K. Lee, Pekin, Illinois.

Subscribers elected Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois; and Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois, to the Advisory Committee.

Pekin Insurance officers elected include; Scott A. Martin, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer; Steven R. Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board; Daniel V. Connell, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary; Todd A. Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Property/Casualty; Brian K. Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Life; Curtis A. Eeten, Vice President - Claims; Gregory L. Feller, Vice President - Sales; Joel M. Jackson, Vice President - Marketing; Subhasis Mukherjee, Vice President - Chief Information Officer; Edward A. Mulvey, Vice President - Personal Lines Underwriting and Assistant Secretary; Kimberly S. Remmert, Vice President - Human Resources; Joseph C. Ricigliano, Vice President - Commercial Lines Underwriting and Assistant Secretary; Diane K. Steiner, Vice President - Life Underwriting and Assistant Secretary; Michael A. Zabinski, Vice President - Controller; Amber J. Stenger, Assistant Treasurer; Michele E. Ginther, Assistant Treasurer; and Aaron Z. Potacki, Assistant Secretary.

Pekin Insurance is a group name adopted to designate the combined operation of The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association, Pekin Insurance Company, PAC, Inc. and Pekin Life Insurance Company.

Pekin Insurance has been in business since 1921, and is one of the leading insurers in the State of Illinois, providing multiple lines of insurance. Pekin Insurance offers insurance coverage in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin through its growing agency force which now totals 1,109 independent agencies and 8,392 insurance producers in the six state area. The company is headquartered in Pekin, Illinois, with service offices at Phoenix, Arizona; Mount Vernon, Rockford, and Warrenville, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Ohio; and Appleton, Wisconsin.


Illinois Central College’s visiting Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Egypt, Nahed Shata, will offer a class in conversational Arabic and Middle Eastern and Islamic Cultures with a focus on Egypt. The program will be offered Monday evenings, read Monday, March 20 through May 8, from 4:30 to 6 pm in Hickory Hall on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria.
The class is specifically designed for social science and language teachers but is open to the public as well. PD units are available for completion of the course.
The series will focus on the interface between language and culture and will help prepare teachers to offer more in-depth content in this content area.
Cost of the program is $55.

For more information or to register for the course, please contact ICC’s Adult Community Programs at (309) 690-6900. Registration also is available online at

Pekin Women Business Owners Working Together to Promote Services

Dedicated to helping each other, informing, and serving the Pekin community

A group of women who own businesses in Pekin started meeting recently, joining efforts to inform the public of high quality personal services available in Pekin.  Participating in the group are:  Kellie Branch-Dircks LCSW, EZ Dreamin’ Therapeutic Equine Assisted Counseling Services; Kim Brooks-Miller, owner of Your Story; Lenora Fisher of Innovative Medical Technologies; Shannon Cox, Executive Director of The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts and Managing Director at the Mansion on Walnut; Brigitte Krieg, Owner of Events 309; and Bonnie Harken, Crossroads Programs for Women and owner of The Mansion on Walnut.  Their common bond is that all their businesses are service providers and they each have a passion and commitment to their businesses and the Pekin Community.  It is their belief that a group of women committed to helping others can impact a community when they join together to promote their services and serve the needs of their community.

“Our services are complimentary to each other”, says Bonnie Harken as a spokesperson for the group.  We want the community to know that many of the services that they drive to Peoria, Bloomington or further to get are offered in Pekin.  Our services offer excellence and quality as well as convenience.  Whether it is fine art lessons for children or adults, art shows, laser skin treatments, advanced microdermabrasion for younger looking skin, feminine rejuvenation, online therapy and coaching, individual therapy, special therapeutic workshops focusing on specific issues, intensive outpatient mental health services, professional trainings for mental health care providers, life and recovery coaching, or a beautiful 1862 historic mansion to host a social event or business meeting--all of this and much more is available right here in Pekin!  In January as a service to our community we offered a free program to others in business on promoting their businesses using social media.

Many of the services we offer are usually only available in larger communities but we are committed to providing them right here in Pekin!  Our purpose is to encourage residents of Pekin and surrounding communities to look to Pekin first!”

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mansion On Walnut Upcoming Events

Check out The Mansion On Walnut's upcoming events here!

21st Annual John M. Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament

Mark your calendar for this special event! Our outing will be held, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Look for more information being sent to you around March 15th. We appreciate your continued support and are looking forward to seeing you on June 7th.

IDOT Seeks Additional Input for Long Range Transportation Plan

The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking for additional input from the public in developing its Long Range Transportation Plan. The plan will identify policies to provide Illinois residents and businesses with innovative, sustainable and multimodal transportation solutions that support local goals and grow the economy.

Feedback and comments can be provided at between Feb. 8 and March 8. 

"We really want this plan to drive how we operate as an agency and how we are making investment decisions," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "By working together with members of the public and our industry partners, we are confident we can develop a solid vision for how we are going to invest in transportation in Illinois over the next 10 to 20 years."

Last year, IDOT received more than more than 700 survey responses during the initial comment period. More than a quarter indicated that safety was their top priority. Respondents also expressed that maintaining Illinois' infrastructure is critical to improving the state's economy and that a need exists for a multimodal transportation system.

Based on feedback received to date, and to assist in prioritizing the plan's strategies and objectives, IDOT is seeking the additional round of input. The new online survey allows participants to work through more than 50 strategic objectives to inform IDOT's drafting of the plan. 

Visit here to learn more about IDOT's long-range planning process. 

Emiquon project wins Honor Award from ACEC of Illinois

Maurer-Stutz Inc. and Hanson Professional Services Inc. won an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL) in recognition of Emiquon Preserve’s water control system, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Maurer-Stutz and Hanson were honored for the project Feb. 9 during the ACEC-IL’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards in Lisle, Illinois.
Emiquon Preserve, one of the largest floodplain restoration projects of its type in the Midwest, is located near Havana, Illinois. The floodplain had been farmland that was separated from the Illinois River by a levee. To keep the 5,500-acre wetland in the preserve from degrading, TNC teamed with Maurer-Stutz and Hanson to create a water control system that reconnects the floodplain to the river for the first time in nearly a century. The team designed a multipurpose, gated water control structure; a pump station; and an elevated control building. 
The water control structure provides adequate drainage and flood control for adjacent agricultural lands and infrastructure, connectivity between the floodplain and the river, control of the movements of sediment and fish and opportunities for scientific monitoring and research. It also allows for the management of water levels, which will benefit aquatic species in the habitat and the river. The water control structure is named Ahsapa — which means “web” in Myaamia, the language used by Native Americans who had been the land’s early inhabitants — to represent the reconnection of Emiquon and the Illinois River. 
Maurer-Stutz served as the project manager and main point of contact with TNC; completed design, plans and specifications for the pump station and control building; developed bid documents; facilitated bid review and contractor selection; and led construction observation efforts as the engineer of record. Hanson provided complete design services, plans and specifications for the water control structure, as well as foundation design of the pump station and control building.
ACEC is a professional organization of 51 state and regional councils with members from more than 5,000 engineering firms across the U.S. The annual Engineering Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding achievements from member firms. ACEC-IL Honor Award winners are eligible for the national competition.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, the Conservancy develops on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_org on Twitter.
Maurer-Stutz is a full service, multi-discipline firm with offices in Peoria and Canton in Illinois and in Muncie, Indiana. Its headquarters is located at 3116 N. Dries Lane, Suite 100, Peoria, IL 61604. The office may be reached at (309) 693-7615. For more information, please visit

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The firm’s corporate headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. The office may be reached by phone at (217) 788-2450. For more information, please visit

UnityPoint Health – Pekin Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Unity Point Health – Pekin Auxiliary is now accepting scholarship applications from local students enrolled in a health care professions program.

Each year the Auxiliary’s scholarship committee reviews applications and awards funds based on course of study, scholarship achievements, course requirements, letters of recommendation and financial need. The committee awarded a total of $3,500 to seven students in 2016.

Any student residing in the Pekin area is eligible to apply. Priority is extended to those students who intend to return to the community to practice their professional skills.

Scholarship applications are available at or under the “Foundation” tab. Completed applications must be returned to UnityPoint Health – Pekin’s Volunteer Services Department no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 14, 2017.

The UnityPoint Health – Pekin Auxiliary is comprised of 130 volunteers who donate their time and raise needed funds in support of the hospital’s mission of service. For more information about the Auxiliary and the annual scholarship program, please call 309-353-0445.

UnityPoint Health – Pekin is a 107-bed medical center serving Tazewell, Peoria and Mason Counties since 1913. 

Mashie's Valentine Special

What's In Your Water?

“STRANDED BY THE STATE” documentary spotlights impact of Illinois budget crisis

Two-part series puts a human face on the budget impasse and will broadcast on statewide public television stations

Stranded by the State—a two-part documentary special presented by Illinois Public Media focusing on the long-term toll the Illinois budget crisis has had on everyday people across the state—will begin broadcasting on public television stations with a the familiar voice/face of Yvonne Greer as the host.

Illinois has not passed a budget in over a year, and this historic stalemate has proven to be the longest period that any state in the nation has operated without a budget since the Great Depression. Directed, edited, and produced by Kartemquin associate Liz Kaar, Stranded by the State was originally conceived as a multi-part web series, which launched in November 2016.

"There's been plenty of coverage of the politics behind the budget stalemate in Springfield, but not enough on the impact to families and communities,” said Moss Bresnahan, CEO and president of Illinois Public Media. “As Illinois starts its twentieth month without a full budget, this special reveals what the crisis means for ordinary citizens all around the state."

“The Illinois budget impasse is unprecedented. Now a new question emerges—not just when or if a budget will finally pass— but how long will it take to reverse the damage done?” said Kaar, who hopes to take Stranded by the State on a screening and discussion tour across Illinois in the spring. “We want to give communities a chance to comment and have a productive discussion on how to move forward. The stories we presented show that the repercussions of the budget impasse will be felt for a very long time.”

Using the cinéma vérité style favored by Kartemquin—the Chicago-based non-profit documentary production collaborative behind fifty years of classic documentaries, such as Hoop Dreams and The InterruptersStranded by the State offers intimate and empathetic insight into the many ways the budget crisis is affecting Illinois families.

For one particular Heyworth family, it means less support from a home visitation program for at-risk mothers to teach prenatal care and early childhood development. And for Charleston, it means mounting concerns about Eastern Illinois University, in particular tuition increases and a declining student population—which is of growing concern for local business, as well.

Broadcast in two 30-minute parts, the documentary focuses on six different aspects of the crisis in total: Higher education, at-risk youth, homelessness, seniors, adult literacy, and early childhood development. The documentary explores how the situation in Illinois connects to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large and demonstrates how such measures can ultimately cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Find out more at and follow the hashtag #StrandedIL.


Contact your local public television station for further information about airdates and future broadcasts.

     Peoria (WTVP-TV)
Friday, February 17, 7:30PM (Part 1)
Friday, February 24, 7:30PM (Part 2)

     Urbana-Champaign (WILL-TV)
Tuesday, February 14, 7-8PM CT

This series was produced with funding from the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, a project of The Voqal Fund administered by Chicago Filmmakers.