Showing posts from February, 2019

Illinois Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grades Reported by American Society of Civil Engineers; Billions in Infrastructure Investment Needed for Public Health

Illinois American Water invested about $122 million in 2018 to install or rehabilitate more than 42 miles of water and sewer main. The Illinois Section of American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) latest Report Card for Illinois’ infrastructure rates the state’s water and wastewater systems each with a C- grade. According to The Report Card, infrastructure is graded based on eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. The C- grades for water and wastewater systems falls between C and D ratings which are defined respectively as mediocre, requiring attention and poor, at risk. According to report findings, a trend of underinvestment in recent years threatens Illinois’ competitive advantage and the health, safety and welfare of citizens. This isn’t the case for Illinois American Water’s service areas according to Beth Matthews, Director of Engineering for Illinois American Water, though The R


               Two new exhibits open in March in the Illinois Central College art galleries, located on the East Peoria Campus.                On March 9, the ICC Performing Arts Center Gallery hosts a reception from 4 to 5:30 pm as one of seven Peoria area sites for the 37th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, the second-longest running juried print and drawing competition in the country.              In addition, Fem Scapes , a mixed media exhibit by Mica Lilith Smith, opens March 20 in Gallery 336B, located in the Academic Building.                Smith is a visual artist and educator who earned her master of fine arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in 2012. Her work is comprised of fabric installations, paintings, works on paper, and video. She currently lives and works in Huntsville, Texas, where she teaches fine arts foundations, drawing and painting at Sam Houston State University.      

Goodwill to Hold Google Event

Goodwill will hold an event showcasing its collaboration with Google. Attendees can learn about Goodwill’s free computer educational services, Google’s job search tools and Google’s digital skills curriculum. WHAT: Grow with Goodwill & Google WHEN: Thursday March 21, 2019 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM WHERE: Goodwill Commons 2319 East War Memorial Dr., Peoria Goodwill funds their free services through the sale of donated goods. These services include: job placement assistance and training, veterans’ support services, a 15-bedroom veterans’ home, youth mentoring and youth career planning programs and more. Goodwill of Central Illinois is a non-profit organization supporting individuals and families who are working to better their lives. For more information on retail stores, donation centers and free services, visit the website at or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.

February Biz Barometer


CASA Ribbon Cutting

To effectively serve abused and neglected children in Tazewell County, CASA opened a new branch office in Pekin. The Court Appointed Special Advocate of the Tenth Judicial Circuit have staffed the Pekin office since July of 2018.  Ryan Lacerna and Matt Collins have been working full-time to establish program services and address the need in the area. To celebrate the new Pekin office and presence in the community, the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the CASA office located at 351 Sabella Street on Thursday February 28 at 4:30 PM. Please join us to mark the grand opening of the office! The parking lot and entrance are on the north side facing Busey Bank. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, CASA will host an optional information meeting for those interested in volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the abuse and neglect court system.

Leadership Class Visits Springfield

The student's in the 2019 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy visited the Illinois State Capitol on February 21st.  They heard legislative updates from Senators Bill Brady and Dave Koehler, and Representatives Mike Unes, Tim Butler, and Keith Sommer.  They also spent additional time with Representative Unes on the House floor, and with Senator Koehler in the leadership offices.  Before arriving at the Capitol, the class visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.   You can see more pictures from this event at:

23rd Annual John M. Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament

Mark your calendar for this special event! Our outing will be held, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Look for more information coming out March 15th.

Seventh Annual “ICC Presents: Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts in Central Illinois” Returns to the East Peoria Campus April 15

Along with the Peoria Ballet, ICC Vocal Jazz and Hard Bop Band, the Penguin Project , Youth Music Illinois, and Peoria Players , 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. The 7 th Annual “ICC Presents:  Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts in Central Illinois,” takes place on Mon., April 1 5 at 6:30 pm, in the Performing Arts Center on the ICC East Peoria Campus. The doors will open at 6 pm. This one-night only event 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 and is the kick-off event to ICC Arts Week. Tickets for the event are $ 8 each. Tickets are required and limited to the first 500

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Teen Challenge Illinois - Peoria 2400 N. 8th St. Pekin, IL 61554 309-673-3735  Website  Randy Atchley , Executive Director Joe Rogers, Director of Operations Teen Challenge Illinois endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. They also desire to enrich the lives of our students by providing actual work experience so they can improve their work ethic and become productive members of society.

Illinois Central College Hosts Home Educators and High School-Aged Students for Informational Session

               Illinois Central College will host an informational session for home educators and their high-school-aged students on Fri., March 8 from 8 am to noon on the ICC East Peoria Campus. The event provides an overview of ICC and its programs, as well as discussing ways in which the College can partner with home educators to supplement and/or extend their home school curriculum.                Topics will include information on financial aid and admission, including ICC’s home school admission policies, as well as an overview of student activities and other ways of getting involved on campus. Students also will have the opportunity to complete surveys at the Career Center to see how their interests align with career options. The event is free, but space is limited. Reservations are required, as breakfast will be provided. For more information or to make a reservation, visit or contact Mandy Hidden at (309) 694-5228 by Fri., March 1.

Miller Center Resources


Miller Center Upcoming Trips


Miller Center Ballroom Dancing


Miller Center Game Night



Well-known professionals Connie Barr and Beth Jones have joined MCB Trust & Wealth Management.  “Beth and Connie have been building relationships with people in Central Illinois for years,” said Darrin Autry, President of MCB Trust.  “Both are highly-regarded for their skills in assisting their clients with long-term management of their assets.” Connie Barr has been a Senior Private Banking Relationship Manager for the last 15 years, helping her clients maximize their assets and leading a team of experts.  A graduate of the Peoria Chamber’s Community Leadership School, Connie has devoted many hours and much talent to nearly a dozen not-for-profit organizations in our area.  Connie is a lifelong Peoria resident and currently lives in Peoria Heights.  She and her husband Jim enjoy traveling and spending time with family, friends and their beloved dog, Bodhi.  Beth Jones has been a Private Banking vice president and loan officer for the last 14 years.  She currently volun


Join us for the 2nd annual SENIOR DAY IN THE PARK! This is a senior resource fair that provides education, health screenings, bingo, prizes, entertainment and a FREE lunch for seniors! This year we have added a Cruise In, as well as a ceremony to honor our Veteran's. DATE: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 TIME: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Vendor set-up is Monday April 22nd from 3:00 - 4:00 PM or Tuesday April 23rd from 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM) LOCATION: Veteran's Memorial Arena, 250 Red Bud Drive, Pekin Vendor tables are available for the resource fair portion of this event. Registration is required and payment is due by April 5th. Please bring a door prize and your own table coverings. You can collect names at your table, or pull one out of our bucket. Lunch is available to vendors for purchase of $8.00 and includes Avanti's spaghetti, salad and bread. This event is hosted by the Pekin Park District Miller Center, Farmington Country Manor and John Evans Suppor


The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association held its annual meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at their Home Office in Pekin, Illinois. The following directors were elected for three-year terms: Scott A. Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois; and Thomas C. Hornstein and Christine A. Schwartz, both of Pekin, Illinois. Subscribers elected, Scott A. Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois; and Thomas C. Hornstein and Christine A. Schwartz, both of Pekin, Illinois, to the Advisory Committee. Pekin Insurance officers elected included: 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 and Chief Financial Officer; Todd A. Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Property/Casualty; Brian K. Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Life; Amy M. Darling, Vice President - Life Claims; Curtis A. Eeten, Vice President - Claims; Gregory L. Feller, Vice Presi

Debbie and Keith are excited to share the update from Dennis Triggs, Methodist Health Services Corporation (MHSC) Board.

Today, we are privileged to announce an important and exciting change for UnityPoint Health in Central Illinois. Later this year, Debbie Simon, who has positively impacted healthcare in the Greater Peoria area for more than four decades, will retire as chief executive officer, and will be succeeded by Dr. Keith Knepp, currently our president. It is not possible to announce Debbie’s retirement without acknowledging her impressive 43-year career with our organization and expressing our gratitude for her passion and leadership over the years.  She began her career in 1976 as a nurse at Methodist Hospital. She rose through the ranks of clinical and operational leadership.  She was instrumental in leading Methodist’s affiliation with UnityPoint Health in 2011 and was named the regional president and CEO in December of that year. She has since fostered continuous growth and development of the greater Peoria market to ensure quality care for the people and families there. Simon led the

Quinn Johnston Announces New Attorneys in Peoria and Springfield

Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo is pleased to announce the addition of three lateral attorneys to its team. The firm welcomes J. Matthew Thompson as a partner and Matthew Warner as an associate attorney to its Peoria offices, and Betsy Wirth as an associate attorney to its Springfield offices. J. Matthew Thompson , of Morton, has more than a decade of experience in medical malpractice defense and healthcare litigation, earning the distinction of being named an Illinois Emerging Lawyer and Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly and serves on the Illinois Cancer Care Young Leaders’ Board. Matthew Warner, of Morton, will focus his practice in the litigation practice group. An honors graduate, De Paul University School of Law, he previously served as an Assistant Peoria County State’s Attorney, where he prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases, trying multiple cases to verdict. Betsy Wirth , of Spr

Gateway Foundation: Impact of Substance Abuse on Relationships

Our work touches more than just the lives of our patients, it impacts the lives of their loved ones. One of the many examples is Debbie, who has been engaged in the recovery community after her son successfully completed treatment at Gateway Foundation. For more of Debbie’s story, click  here .  In addition to health, financial and legal consequences , substance use can also fracture relationships. Addiction takes a toll on more than just the person with the substance use disorder. In many cases, families and loved ones of the individual are also negatively impacted. Addiction

Minimum Wage Bad for Pekin Business



Inked Entertainment, LLC has just announced 18 more artists that are set to perform for the 2019 Tailgate N’ Tallboys Music Festival. Tailgate N’ Tallboys will be held on the riverfront in downtown Peoria for the third year. In 2019, the series will span 7 dates. June 13, 14, 15 and 16 will be the first set of concerts and July 19 and 20 will follow. There will be a final concert on Saturday, September 14th. In addition to the main stage performances, there will be numerous local, and national performers on the Tailgate N’ Crusens Side Stage, as well as various festival activities throughout the series. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets! Announced Performers: • June 13 Kick-off Party – o Headliner: Bret Michaels o Support: Matt Stell and Seckond Chaynce • June 2019 – o Headliners (in alphabetical order): Brett Young, Brett Eldredge, Kane Brown o Support (in alphabetical order): Ashley McBryde, Carter Winter, Dillon Carmichael, Jimmie Allen, Jordan Davis, Lauren Alaina, Logan Miz


               Registration opens March 11 for the summer 2019 sessions of Illinois Central College’s popular College for Kids program. The summer program features fun and educational classes for students entering fourth through twelfth grades. Session 1 runs Monday –Thursday, June 10-21, and Session 2 runs Monday ─ Thursday, July 8-19.                 Kids are sure to find topics to fit their interests, with classes available in leadership skills, French, chess, cooking, dance, science, art, Harry Potter, balloon artistry, computer design and coding, and much more. Several new classes are being offered this year. Some of these include: “The Price is Right!,” which teaches kids to earn, save and spend in a fun way; “Disney 101,” in which students will learn all things Disney-related; and “Python Programmers,” which explores coding with Python to create engaging apps and games. Kids can extend their fun by participating in additional off-site Friday Fun Trips offered from 8:30 am

Illinois Central College “Between the Lines” Program Explores Extreme Portrayals of 1940’s African American Female Characters

               Join Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” program to discuss “The 1940’s African American Female Character: Gender Equality is Such an Illusion,” on Tues., March 5 from 7 to 8 pm in the Arbor Hall Auditorium on the Peoria Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria. Andrea Walton will lead the discussion.                Female characters, much like real life, have been portrayed in seemingly radical (according to present-day norm) ways. Many times the "ideal woman" is one who submissively accepts her subservient plight in life, without much resistance. Yet readers find their interests pique by authors who dare to portray their heroine as one who bucks the system in an attempt to afford herself the same opportunities as male counterparts. In Ramona Lowe's “Woman in the Window” and Charles Chesnutt's “Uncle Wellington's Wives,” these two writers expose some of these extreme portrayals of African American women during the 1940'

SCORE: Tax Planning for Small Businesses

SCORE Peoria has been invited to co-sponsor this workshop with the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship/Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University. Please take a moment to review this invitation and consider attending this SBDC workshop.