Thursday, May 30, 2019

Journal Star: Digital Marketing Summit



Digital Marketing Summit

Please join us at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette for a digital marketing seminar presented by Google, along with free breakfast and networking.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
8:30 AM EST

Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette
501 Main Street
Peoria, IL 61602

As a small business owner, find out how you can: 
  • Reach qualified customers
  • Impact purchase decisions
  • Drive sales
  • Grow your business
Join us at 8:30AM for breakfast and networking.  The event will begin promptly at 9:00AM. We hope to see you there!
Google Certified Speaker
Stacey McKibbon
McKibbon is a serial entrepreneur and has started 4 of her own businesses.

She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, with a master practitioner certification in Neurolinguistic Programming techniques.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pekin Honors Bastean

On May 29th the Pekin Post Office was officially renamed in honor of Lance Corporal Jordan S. Bastean.  The Pekin native was killed in action in Afghanistan on October 23, 2011.  Representative Cheri Bustos, Congresswoman from the 17th Congressional District of Illinois, was instrumental in getting the public law passed to allow for post office name change.  She spoke to the crowd, along with several of the U.S. Marines that served with Bastean. Also speaking were Jerry Becker, Bastean's JROTC instructor at PCHS, Pekin Postmaster Eric Anske, and Kathy Bastean (Jordan's mother).  You can see more pictures from this event at:

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Welcomes Kevin Nowlan as New Chief Operating Officer

The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) is pleased to welcome Kevin Nowlan to the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Nowlan previously worked at CFPA in a variety of capacities over a 15-year period, most recently serving as Associate Executive Director. He returns as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“We are very excited to welcome Kevin Nowlan back at the Center for Prevention of Abuse,” said Carol Merna, Chief Executive Officer at CFPA. “It’s always bittersweet when staff make the decision to retire and our agency is saddened to see Joyce DeRenzy step back from the position of Chief Operating Officer after more than 20 years of service. However, Kevin’s return is serendipitous, as he was previously in this role and is familiar with our mission, our vision, and our philosophy. It is a natural fit and we know he will be incredibly successful in position as he helps to lead our agency.”

Nowlan joined CFPA in 2002 where he served as a Prevention Educator and then was promoted to Prevention Education Coordinator. He was promoted again to Next Step Transitional Housing Supervisor, Residential Services Supervisor, Director of Residential Services, and finally, to Associate Executive Director. He then accepted a position as Continuum of Care Director at the Heart of Illinois United Way in 2016.

“I am thrilled to return to the Center for Prevention of Abuse,” said Kevin Nowlan, Chief Operating Officer at CFPA. “I look forward to familiarizing myself with all the changes the Center for Prevention of Abuse has gone through since I left in 2016 and once again, being part of the impactful mission of helping all people live free from violence and abuse. The future of the agency is bright and I am eager to see all we will accomplish together.”

For more information about the Center for Prevention of Abuse, call 309-691-0551 or visit The crisis hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-559-SAFE (7233).

YWCA of Pekin Quarter Auction


Goodwill of Central Illinois will host its annual job fair on Friday, June 7, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. More than 30 employers are expected to attend, including OSF, FedEX, Kroger and G&D.
“Goodwill exists to support the people of Central Illinois and this is one of the ways we do that,” said Don Johnson, Goodwill president and CEO. “Events like this are important to the community and our local employers. A job means not only a paycheck, but a sense of pride. This is just one of the many services that we can offer, because people donate to Goodwill.”
Interviews will be held onsite. Attendees should bring copies of their resume and dress accordingly. Goodwill’s computer lab will be open for use in applying online and assistance will be available.
Goodwill’s free programs are possible through the sale of your donated items. Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois serves 21 counties within Central Illinois. Goodwill offers employment services, veterans’ support services, operates a veterans’ home and employs more than 300 people. For more information visit Goodwill’s website at

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Illinois Central College Offers Openings in Select Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship-Ready Programs for Summer and Fall

               Illinois Central College is seeking interested individuals to fill select career and technical programs with openings for summer and fall enrollment. Programs with openings for additional students include the Industrial Maintenance and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining apprenticeship programs, as well as a Pre-Apprenticeship/Workforce Ready Program. Potential students who are currently unemployed or under-employed are encouraged to apply.
Apprenticeship programs
               ICC’s apprenticeship programs provide a mix of 300-450 hours of coursework per year, in addition to on-the-job training with local companies, to train for a specific career. The partnering companies hire the apprentices and pay their tuition/fees and books plus a salary while they learn. Successful students can complete the apprenticeship program with an associate degree debt-free and commit to work an additional two years for the sponsoring company.  Candidates first apply to ICC and then are screened and pre-qualified prior to company interviews.
Pre-Apprenticeship/Workforce Ready Program
               Openings also are available for the Pre-Apprenticeship/Workforce Ready Program, which helps prepare students with the Math, English and other essential skills to become college-ready apprentices. All participants are paid while attending training. This eight-week program has immediate openings for June/July and August/September.
               ICC is aligning its programs and partnering with businesses to fill regional skills gaps reported in the areas of manufacturing, information technology and health care, while providing individuals a credential leading to jobs with a living wage.
               To apply or for more information, contact the ICC Workforce Development Division at (309) 690-6863 or visit

Three Eagle Scouts Awarded the Stevenson Scholarship

At the W. D. Boyce Council Board Meeting on May 22nd at the Country Club of Peoria, three
deserving young men were awarded the Matthew Thomas Stevenson Scholarship. The mission of the Matthew Thomas Stevenson Scholarship Fund is to provide higher education assistance to deserving Eagle Scouts in the W. D. Boyce Council in the form of computer and related technology. Awards are given in memory of Matt Stevenson.

Matt Stevenson was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Feb 25, 1993 in Mossville, IL. Matt continued to demonstrate the elements of the Scout Law as he proceeded through high school and college. He attended Illinois State University, where he majored in Computer Science. At the age of 23, Matt passed away as the result of leukemia, which he bravely fought for nearly two years. Close friends provided a lasting tribute to Matt's memory through the development and funding of this scholarship fund. It is an exceptional tribute that combines Matt's love of Scouting, computers, and helping others.

The 2019 scholarship recipients were Braedon Wuethrich, Noah Riedle, and Benjamin Rixstine. They each received a Dell computer and an HP printer as their awards. Braedon Wuethrich and Noah Riedle were present at the meeting to receive their awards and Benjamin Rixstine was awarded his at a later time.

If you would like to help us in this endeavor to help deserving Eagle Scouts reach their educational goals, please consider contributing to the Matthew Thomas Stevenson Scholarship Trust. All contributions are tax deductible. Please include your name and address so that we may mail you a record of your donation for tax purposes.

Mail your donation to: Benjamin F. Edwards Attn: Art Laine 5832 N. Knoxville Avenue Suite B.
Peoria, IL 61614

To learn more about the Matthew Thomas Stevenson Scholarship Trust please visit:


Mental health tips at a glance

Millions of people in the United States deal with mental health disorders each year, with one in 5 people being affected by a disorder at some point in their life. Yet less than half receive help. Though the stigma surrounding mental health has improved, it still prevents people from getting the treatment they need today.

According to recent studies, adults between the ages of 18 to 25 make up the highest percentage of people struggling with mental illness, but compared to other age groups, they also report the lowest rates of seeking treatment. Many people feel their mental health is not as important as their physical health or feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit they have a mental problem. As a result, some ignore their mental health concerns while others try to treat their symptoms by themselves.

Read more about mental health and the need to break the stigma surrounding seeking treatment.

Gateway Foundation Aurora’s Executive Director, Jim Scarpace penned an op-ed on how co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are a community issue.

• Spend time with friends and loved ones.
• Dedicate some time to activities you enjoy – whether it’s going for a run or cozying up to read a book. (Need a book recommendation? Click here for our list!)
• Practice mindfulness. Activities such as yoga and meditation are common for mindfulness.
• Disconnect and enjoy some time away from technology

• Promote on-site wellness activities
• Encourage work-life balance
• Open the lines of communication regarding mental health
• Make mental health in the workplace a priority

Listen to a special mental health episode of our The Crack in Everything podcast, which features a discussion behind the science of mental health with some experts in the field.
About Gateway Foundation

May Biz Barometer

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pekin Park District Adult Golf Clinics

Pekin Park District Junior Golf Camp

Pekin Park District Junior Golf Clinics

i3 Broadband Proudly Receives Six Nationwide 2019 Internet Provider Awards from BroadbandNow

i3 Broadband is Pleased to be Recognized with Four Residential Awards and Two Business Awards from Online Consumer-Based Internet Search Service

i3 Broadband, the only independent and local provider of fiber optic Gigabit high speed internet service in Peoria, Champaign, and Urbana, IL, has proudly received numerous 2019 Internet Provider Awards from consumer internet search service, BroadbandNow. i3’s Residential and Business Services both received winning rankings and recognition in the following categories for “Mid-Sized” service providers:

1.       Top 2 Fastest Internet Providers Nationwide
2.       Top 3 Fastest Fiber Providers Nationwide
3.       Top 3 Customer-Rated Fiber Service Nationwide
4.       Top 3 Customer-Rated Business Fiber Service Nationwide
5.       Top 5 Customer Approval Rating Nationwide
6.       Top 10 Customer Rating for Business Service Nationwide

“We are extremely pleased to have received BroadbandNow’s awards for our best-in-class internet access service, both in terms of providing the fastest internet speeds, as well as providing our customers leading, local customer service” said Grier Raclin, CEO of i3 Broadband. “Our outstanding team works hard every day to earn our customer’s business, and it’s extremely gratifying for them to be recognized in this way,” Raclin states. 

About i3 Broadband
Locally-based i3 Broadband provides Internet, TV, and Voice services through a 100% fiber-optic network in the Greater Peoria, Champaign, and Urbana, Illinois markets. i3 Broadband is committed to providing the best customer experience possible through local operations, exceptional staff, and community involvement. For more information visit or call (309) 689-0711.

About BroadbandNow
BroadbandNow is a leading online search tool that allows consumers to search for the best internet service in their area. BroadbandNow analyzes governmental and proprietary data to give specific results on over 4,000 residential and business internet providers of all sizes. Consumers who visit the BroadbandNow website enter their zip code to search for services offered in their area. They can compare providers, plans, and prices. BroadbandNow’s mission is to simplify the broadband shopping experience while bringing transparency to the millions of consumers who don’t have real competition when it comes to broadband service. For more information, visit

Illinois Central College Named One of the “2019 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges”

Illinois Central College recently was named one of the “2019 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

The designation recognizes ICC and 18 other institutions from among all NISOD two-year community and technical colleges nationwide for their commitment to “Promising Practices” in the areas of workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment. A web-based survey approach was used to examine categories such as family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development opportunities, to name a few.

Profiles of the winning institutions were released in the May 16, 2019, edition of the publication and are available online at

For more information about ICC and its programs, visit

Monday, May 20, 2019

Illinois Central College Board of Trustees Seeks Candidates for Open Seat

               Illinois Central College Board of Trustees has determined the process it will follow to fill the seat formerly held by Frank Mackaman and is now seeking interested candidates.
               Mackaman was elected to the Board in 2015. His current term would have expired in April 2021. The College owes Trustee Mackaman a debt of gratitude for his exemplary service over the last four years and is saddened by his need to step down due to personal and scheduling conflicts.   
               Those interested in applying for the position must be a U.S. citizen aged 18 years of age or older and a resident of Illinois and of Illinois Community College District #514 for at least one year immediately preceding the appointment.
               Applicants must apply by noon on Monday, June 3, 2019, in order to be considered.
               The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires the Board to make a decision to fill the vacancy within 60 days. The Board will discuss the selection for the appointment at its June 20, 2019, meeting during closed session. The new trustee will be seated at the July 18, 2019, Board of Trustees meeting.
               The successful candidate will complete Mackaman’s term from July 18, 2019, through April 6, 2021. The new trustee will be required to submit an Economic Statement of Interest with the Tazewell County Clerk and to take the Trustee Professional Development Leadership Training within the first year of the term of office.
               ICC Board of Trustees meetings are typically held the third Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. on the East Peoria Campus.
               For more information or to apply, For questions or to request a paper application, contact ICC Board of Trustees Secretary Sue Bulitta at (309) 694-5522 or email


Pekin Life Insurance Company held its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at the Company’s Home Office in Pekin, Illinois.

The Company reported net income of $3.4 million. Premium income decreased by 7.4 percent to $184.5 million. Life Insurance in force exceeded $18.2 billion in the year 2018.
At the meeting, shareholders elected directors Thomas C. Hornstein, Pekin, Illinois; Scott A. Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois; and Christine A. Schwartz, Pekin, Illinois, to three year terms to expire in May 2022.

Other directors whose terms continue are: Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois; Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois; Daniel V. Connell, Tremont, Illinois; Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois; John S. Heller, East Peoria, Illinois; and Brian K. Lee, Pekin, Illinois.
Pekin Life Insurance Company is an integral part of the Pekin Insurance® group of companies.
Pekin Life Insurance Company stock trades under the symbol “PKIN” and is listed on the OTC Pink Marketplace.

A multi-line company, Pekin Life Insurance Company offers individual life which includes term life, whole life, universal life, as well as medicare supplement, annuity, credit insurance, debt protection, and pre-need coverages.
Other products offered by the Pekin Insurance group include personal automobile, homeowners, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, boatowners, personal umbrella, commercial automobile, businessowners, commercial property and liability, workers compensation, commercial umbrella and bonds.

Information about Pekin Life Insurance Company can be obtained by visiting our Internet website at

Pekin Park District Miller Center Senior Transportation Service

Better Business Bureau Study Shines Light on Prevalence of Counterfeit Products in Online Retail


Peoria, IL (May 14 2019) An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds that fraudulent consumer goods are ubiquitous, difficult to tell apart from the legitimate products they are counterfeiting, and stem from a large network of organized criminals and credit card processing mechanisms that are willing to support them.

                Research shows that eight in 10 Americans shop online, and the dominance of online retail means nearly anything can be bought online, sometimes at discounts that seem too good to be true. However, nearly anything available online can be counterfeited, and research also shows that one in four people have bought something online that turned out to be counterfeit.

                The investigative study – “Fakes Are Not Fashionable: A BBB Study of the Epidemic of Counterfeit Goods Sold Online” – looks at the prevalence of counterfeit consumer goods and the criminal systems that circulate them. It digs into the scope of the problem, who is behind it, the multi-pronged fight to stop it and the steps consumers can take to avoid it.

                The risk of encountering counterfeit goods can affect any online shopper. These goods range from brand-name sunglasses and handbags to golf clubs and consumer electronics, as well as many other kinds of products. BBB’s report finds that any shippable item with a reputation for quality and sizable markup is a candidate for counterfeiting. While counterfeit goods often are reputed to be deeply discounted, in reality, counterfeit sellers regularly use selling prices that are close to the price of the real product, so the prices offered are no longer a signal that the product is counterfeit.

                The cost of counterfeiting affects not only consumers who lose money by receiving products not as advertised, but also the broader U.S. economy. BBB’s report finds that counterfeiting and intellectual property piracy cost the U.S. economy $200-$250 billion and 750,000 jobs annually.

                In the last three years, BBB has received more than 2,000 complaints and more than 500 Scam Tracker reports from people who have shopped for goods online and received counterfeits instead of what they ordered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) processed 2,249 complaints about counterfeit goods (including pirated goods) in 2018, while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) processed 552 complaints representing a total financial loss of more than $752,000. That being said, many victims do not file complaints, making it difficult to get a firm grasp on how often people pay for goods that are counterfeit or not as advertised.

                A St. Louis man told BBB he saw a Facebook ad for a popular drone with a reputation for quality. The website on which it was advertised looked professional, contained pictures and videos from a well-known drone company, and included many positive comments and reviews. He purchased the drone he was interested in for about $200 as part of a clearance sale. The man told BBB a week later, he received a cheap, plastic toy drone whose value he estimated at about $10. He emailed the company to complain, but said the company never responded.

                According to BBB’s report, 88% of counterfeit goods come from China and Hong Kong, with their smuggling and their online sale via fraudulent websites widely thought to be coordinated by international organized crime groups. Customs agents seized $1.2 billion in counterfeit shipments in fiscal 2017, the most current year for which data is available; however, shipping and smuggling methods vary widely, creating major headaches for customs officials. Inasmuch as counterfeit goods are almost always paid for with a credit card, the fraudulent websites that process these sales make extensive use of the credit card and banking system, with a small number of Chinese banks and an extensive network of intermediary payment processors responsible for the vast majority of processing for these purchases.

                Active efforts are being made to fight the flood of counterfeit goods. BBB attempts to identify and report on bogus businesses, especially if they claim to be located in the U.S. and Canada. Trademark holders also do a great deal of work and spend a considerable amount of money trying to fight counterfeits. This is a major priority for customs officials and law enforcement as well; U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased its seizures of counterfeit goods by 125% over the last five years, and the White House recently issued an executive order directing government agencies that work with brands to examine counterfeiting and make it an enforcement priority.

The report recommends:
·     BBB urges the credit card payment processors to engage their full efforts in combating those that provide merchant accounts to sellers of counterfeit goods.
·     U.S. consumers would benefit from a program to help counterfeit victims with chargebacks like the one operated in Canada by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). Such a program could help identify fraudulent credit card merchant accounts, bogus websites, and possibly locations from which such goods are being shipped.
·     Law enforcement agencies could make better use of complaint information obtained by BBB, the FTC, and IC3.
·     More study and investigation is needed for websites in China that deliver nothing or where goods are sold deceptively – even if there is no trademark or copyright involved.
·     BBB recommends consumers check the reputation of the seller before making payment at and contact the manufacturer for a listing of authorized sellers.

What to do if you believe you have unwittingly purchased counterfeit goods:
·     Ask for a refund. Victims who don’t receive anything when buying online with their credit card, or who receive goods that are counterfeit or not as described, should call the customer service number on the back of their card and request a refund. The report goes into great detail about the process of obtaining a refund and the remedies available to victims.
·     Report counterfeit goods. Contact one or more of the following:
·     National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asks victims of counterfeit goods to file a complaint with the IPR Center here.
·     Better Business Bureau: Victims can file complaints at about online sellers that claim to be in the U.S. or Canada. BBB tries to resolve complaints and may help in getting a refund. There is no cost for this service. BBB also looks for and reports patterns of complaints. Consumers can report scams to BBB Scam Tracker.
·     Online markets: Victims can complain directly to eBay, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram or other online marketplaces. In addition, Amazon has an “A-Z guarantee” for goods sold by third parties on their site; victims who have purchased counterfeit items from a third-party seller can seek a refund here.
·     Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IC3): The FBI takes complaints about counterfeit goods. Complain here.
·     Federal Trade Commission: You can complain to the FTC by calling 877/FTC-Help or file a complaint online.