Newsbriefs for January 2012
Methodist Provides Free Community Health Screenings
The Methodist Wellmobile will be bringing free health screenings to the following community locations during January. Screenings include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and lung functions. A 12-hour fast is required for cholesterol and blood sugar testing. Free heel scans to measure risk of osteoporosis are available at some screenings.
Jan. 4 -Methodist Medical Group at Lacon-8:30 -11:30 a.m.
Jan. 9 – Methodist Medical Center Café I & II-8:30-11:30 a.m.
Jan. 10 – Methodist – 1909 N. Morton Ave-8:30-11:30 a.m.
Jan. 11- Methodist – 2338 W. Sud Parkway-8:30-11:30 a.m.
Jan. 14 – Methodist Atrium Building-900 N. Main-8:30-11:30 a.m.
Jan. 16 – Methodist East Campus Lobby-415 St. Marks Court-
Jan. 19 – Methodist Medical Group at Canton-2076 N. Main-
Jan. 24 – Methodist Family Medical Center-815 Main Street-
Jan. 26 – Methodist Medical Group -901 Walnut-Metamora-8:30
For more info, visit the events calendar at MyMethodist.net or call 672-5900.
Peoria Rises in National Rankings Again
The Milken Institute’s annual survey of Best-Performing Cities reveals that the Greater Peoria Region jumped 19 spots on the list from last year. We now rank 68th on the list of the top 200 largest cities in the nation.
Jim McConoughey, President & CEO of The Heartland Partnership says this news proves we are bouncing back from the recession quite nicely and this region is a good place to do business. “Seeing the Greater Peoria Region rank highest in Illinois and outrank many of our Midwestern competitors is great news because it proves that we are doing things right.”
The Greater Peoria Region received the highest ranking in Illinois and only a handful of Midwestern cities outranked the Greater Peoria area. Texas cities snagged four of the top five spots while Michigan, Indiana and Florida all had several cities at the bottom of the list.
Author! Author! Authors Present Programs at Peoria Public Library in January
Mystery Author Julie Hyzy – January 12
Julie Hyzy, national bestselling author of the White House Chef Mystery series and the Manor House Mystery series will talk about her work and sign books on Thursday, January 12 at Peoria Public Library North Branch at 6:30 p.m. Anthony and Barry Award winner Hyzy will introduce her latest White House Chef mystery, Affairs of Steak. More about Hyzy, who is from Chicago, can be found at http://www.juliehyzy.com
Peter Caras Book Signing – January 21
Local author Perer Caras will sell and sign copies of his book on Saturday, January 21 at Peoria Public Library North Branch to benefit Friends of Peoria Public Library. Peter Cara, former Federal Judge for the State of Indiana, brings many years of experience to his first work of fiction, In Remembrance of Me, A December Killing. On a cold December morning in a small Midwestern town, two teenagers brutally murder a wealthy store owner for reasons or motives not fully known until the shocking end of the book. The case results in the most bizarre trial in the state’s history. With minimal physical evidence and witnesses disappearing or dying, it becomes clear that a conspiracy exists to thwart the prosecution.
Peoria Public Library McClure Branch Grand Opening Set for Saturday, January 7th
The Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees will open Peoria Public Library McClure Branch at a 10:00 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, January 7.
After a ceremony with short remarks, the public is invited to come inside and begin using the newly remodeled and repaired branch. This grand opening falls one day short of the building’s first opening on January 8, 1937.
The branch has been refurbished and repaired and upgraded with all the same technologies as other Peoria Public Library locations. Although the building could not be expanded as it sits in a flood plain, users will note that the signs of wear of 75 years have been erased and interior spaces thoughtfully rearranged to eliminate the previous cluttered look.
The brick exterior has been cleaned and returned to its former attractive look. Inside radiators have been eliminated and every window now has a window seat where readers can curl up with a good book or laptop. With wifi throughout the building and study tables with power outlets, as well as six public computers, access is available to the Internet for all. Catalog-only computers, self-check stations and information desks are located both upstairs and down. Outside there are 20 parking spots.
Construction costs totaled just under $600,000 for the 4,270 square foot building which closed February 19, 2011 for remodeling. While construction was complete, a problem with delivery of shelving created a delay in reopening the building.
McClure Branch, known when it first opened as “the East Bluff Branch” was built on land donated by the Peoria School Board and cost $20,000 to build. The separate children’s room in the basement did not open until the next October. Crowds flocked to a January 29th evening open house hosted by the Library Trustees. According to newspaper reports of the day, visitors marveled at the new hot water heat system that was assured to keep the temperature stable and patrons comfortable.
One of the latest innovations was “anti-glare lighting” and everyone was pleased with the curtains. Curtains were exciting because they eliminated, “flapping roller shades that suddenly slip and rocket to the top with a fearful rattle, frightening the patrons.” Window shade technology has come a long way and McClure Branch now features the latest technology in window shades as well.
Hours for McClure Branch will be Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Gordon Highlights New Anti-Bullying Law
In an effort to tackle bullying in our schools, State Rep. Jehan Gordon (D-Peoria) is calling attention to a new state law that empowers school boards to punish students who make online threats to fellow students or school personnel..
A new law, House Bill 3281, takes effect on January 1 and allows school boards to suspend or expel students who make an explicit threat to a teacher, employee, or another student over the Internet. This law was passed in response to a growing number of cyberbullying cases seen throughout the country.
For more information, contact Gordon’s office by calling (309) 681-1992 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Methodist Medical Center Mobile Mammography Schedule
The following is the schedule for the Methodist Medical Center Mobile Mammography Van for the month of January, 2012. Methodist features all digital mammography equipment providing improved, faster and more comfortable exams.
Tues., January 3 -Methodist at Morton, 1909 N. Morton, Morton
Thurs., January 5-County Market, 1090 E. Fort St., Farmington,
Tues. January 10-Cherry Tree Shopping Center, Washington,
Wed., January 11-Methodist Medical Group, 223 E. Main St, Princeville
Thurs., January 12-Kuhl & Co. -632 W. Jefferson St., Morton
Tues., January 17-Methodist at Morton, 1909 N. Morton, Morton
Wed., January 18-Heartland Clinic, 2321 Wisconsin Ave, Peoria
Thurs., January 19-Methodist at Lacon, 1112 E. Fifth St, Lacon
Tues., January 24-Wal-Mart, 2071 N. Main, Canton
Thurs., January 26-Pearce Community Center, Chillicothe
Tues., January 31-Methodist at Pekin, 1800 Broadway, Pekin
There is no need for a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram if you’re 40 or over. If you are uninsured or underinsured, tell us when you call for an appointment. You may qualify for a free mammogram
Call for an appointment at 671-8282
Need Help Paying for a Mammogram?
You may qualify for a free mammogram. Proctor Hospital offers free mammograms to women age 40-64 that are low-income, uninsured, or underinsured living in Fulton, Knox, Marshall, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Stark counties.
The best protection is early detection. Early screening and detection saves lives. This program has been made possible, in part, by a grant from The Memorial Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Call (309) 691-1083 for information and to schedule your appointment today. Medicare/Medicaid not eligible. Monday and Wednesday evening appointments available.
South Side Trust & Savings Bank Announces New branch managerS
South Side Trust & Savings Bank is pleased to announce Shannah King and Craig Myers as the new Branch Managers of the West Peoria and Downtown Facilities, respectively.
Ms. King has thirteen years of South Side Bank experience. She joined the Bank in 1998 as a co-op student from Limestone Community High School. Ms. King was the former assistant manager of the facility and has been a resident of West Peoria for four years.
Mr. Myers has ten years of banking management experience. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Economics from Illinois College. New to South Side Bank, Mr. Myers brings an area of specialty in Small Business, Mortgages and Investments. Mr. Myers is very active in the community.
PEORIA PARK DISTRICT Adult Co-Rec Soccer League Kicks Off at RiverPlex
The Peoria Park District will offer an Adult Co-Rec Soccer League this winter. Recreational teams will play indoors at the RiverPlex arena. This seven-game season will run on Friday and Sunday evenings on the following dates: 1/22, 2/3, 2/12, 2/17, 2/26, 3/9 and 3/16. Games will feature 6-vs-6 style play with two females on the floor at all times.
American Red Cross Offers First Aid and CPR/AED Courses Learn the Skills that Can Save a Life
Each year, more than 5 million people learn how to save a life in American Red Cross training classes and people in the Peoria area can join the ranks of these everyday heroes by taking a class now.
The First Aid and CPR/AED course teaches people how to perform CPR and use an AED, what to do if someone is choking, and how to prevent and respond to other emergencies until advanced medical help arrives. Course participants also learn how to control bleeding as well as how to care for seizures and other sudden illnesses.
Red Cross training courses meet OSHA guidelines, feature hands-on skills practice and include two year certifications, free digital materials and skill refreshers. Visit redcross.org/training or call 1-800-RED-CROSS for details and to register for a class.
YOUTH SPORTS FOR AGES 3-8 OFFERED AT PEORIA PARK DISTRICT
The Peoria Park District’s Franciscan Recreation Complex offers various sport programs for ages 3-8 beginning in January, including:
• All Star Sports (ages 3-4) starting Jan. 16 or 21. This class has a new sport each week, including basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and floor hockey.
• Little Pints Soccer (ages 3-4) starting Jan. 16, 18 or 21.
• Basketball (ages 4-8) starting Jan 17.
• Pee Wee Flag Football (ages 5-7) starting Jan. 21.
Fees for these classes range from $27-35. Registration will begin on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. For specific program details and registration information, check the Playbook, available starting Saturday, Jan 7, or visit our website at www.peoriaparks.org.
Legislation aimed keeping neighborhoods safe, which was sponsored by Rep. Jehan Gordon (D-Peoria), will become law on January 1, 2012. This new law will allow the secretary of state’s office to suspend the vehicle registration for individuals who have been convicted of gun running. The suspension will last for 90 days. Gun running is when an individual knowingly transfers guns unlawfully. This is a common component of gang activity. Suspending a vehicle’s registration means that the vehicle cannot be used on the road and, in this instance, it cannot be used to transport any guns illegally.
For more information on this or any of Rep. Gordon’s legislation, contact her at her constituent services office at (309) 381-1992 or via e-mail are email@example.com
Peoria Players Theatre Auditions for “Chicago”
Director Charles Killen will hold auditions for Chicago on January 28 and 29 at 2:00 each day. This high-energy musical is set in Prohibition-era Chicago. The cast includes four women and two men in leading roles, and Charles would like to cast an ensemble of at least six men and six women to participate in all ensemble numbers and to flesh out the cast by playing supporting roles and in many cases, playing more than one character.
Auditions will be held at Jump Start Gymnastics, 8820 N. Industrial Rd. in Peoria . For auditions, please prepare a song that best displays your range and bring your sheet music. Also dress appropriately for dance auditions.
The Cantina Opens in Pekin
by Sylvia Shults
There’s a fun new place now open on Court Street in downtown Pekin. Rob Shults purchased the bar formerly known as Bottoms Up, at 431.5 Court Street, and has renamed it The Cantina.
The Cantina is the third largest bar in Pekin, and the only one with a full-size music stage. Rob bought the bar with the intention of turning it into a destination for couples who want a place to relax with a good drink and quality entertainment. The Cantina reflects this with their return to the elegance of the drinks of the Prohibition and Big Band eras. Drink specials include Manhattans and Moscow Mules, reminding patrons of a simpler time. The Cantina bills itself as a whiskey bar, with many high-end whiskeys gracing the back bar. Menus on the bar allow patrons to choose from among the many mixed drinks available.
Currently the entertainment hosts mostly country and rockabilly bands. In the next few weeks, they’ll host Brown Bottle Fever and Rumpke Mountain Boys, among others. Beginning in January, they’ll be changing the format slightly to include acoustic rock and other styles of music.
The Cantina has the best selection of whiskeys outside of Chicago or Saint Louis, including Buffalo Trace bourbon and Templeton Rye. Templeton is made in small batches (each bottle is hand-numbered) using a Prohibition-era recipe. It quickly became Al Capone’s whiskey of choice. And Buffalo Trace is the oldest continually operating distillery in the United States, even operating throughout Prohibition “for medicinal purposes.” The Cantina carries over thirty different whiskeys. The back bar is an impressive lineup, a who’s who of whiskeys: Maker’s Mark, Maker’s Mark 46, Woodford Reserve, Johnnie Walker Blue, and Basil Hayden, to mention just a few of the illustrious names on display.
The Cantina will be opening a kitchen as of January. Featured dishes will be simple, something to nibble on while enjoying the bands. Foods offered will include pizza, sandwiches, and cheese-and-sausage plates.
The Cantina is envisioned as a place to relax, a destination of elegance and class in downtown Pekin. With their wide selection of quality drinks, their attention to detail, and their welcoming atmosphere, they’re sure to become a popular Pekin nightspot.
Peoria Area SeniorNet Sponsors Free Electronic Tax Preparation Seminar
Peoria Area SeniorNet, the local chapter of a national organization that promotes computer literacy among seniors, is offering a free seminar on Electronic Tax Preparation on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. The workshop will be held in the McKenzie Room of the new North Branch Peoria Public Library at 3001 W. Grand Parkway west of Allen Road near Walmart. Registration in advance is not necessary and the workshop is open to all ages. Bob Picton, an AARP tax aide, will demonstrate many of the common features and functions of the PC version of TurboTax. The knowledge gained can also be applied to using other software if that is your choice.
What’s the big deal with electronic tax preparation? If you are in your twenties or thirties it has always been around. But to an old timer, it still seems like something new. The IRS web site has a section on e-File that gives some interesting facts that show e-Filing has been around quite a few years. Electronic filing began in 1986 when about 25,000 refund-only forms were filed by five tax preparation professionals. Each year since then the system has been expanded to reach more and more taxpayers. In 1992, filing from home began with the 1040 TeleFile research test in Ohio. By 1994 over 14 million individuals filed electronically. In 1996 the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) was implemented allowing individuals to pay their taxes electronically. Payment by credit card was begun in 1999. The IRS goal is to enable all forms and schedules to be filed electronically, along with electronic payments and refunds.
For 2003, tax professionals (H&R Block for example) filed 37 million returns electronically and a total of 53 million returns were filed electronically. The number keeps growing. In 2007 139.3 million returns were filed in total and 79.98 million were filed electronically. In 2011 the number of forms files electronically passed the 100 million threshold.
Several software companies offer tax preparation software for individuals. TurboTax by Intuit is perhaps the most popular. TaxCut by H&R Block and CompleteTax by CCH Tax and Accounting are two other packages. TaxACT by 2nd Story Software is free to individuals. These are just examples of available software. There is a fee for electronic filing, but for many of the software packages, the fee is included in the software price.
For more information about the seminar, call 1-800-872-4651, extension 1510 and leave a message. A SeniorNet volunteer will return your call and answer any questions you may have. You can also contact SeniorNet by email at PASeniorNet@yahoo.com.
Peoria Area SeniorNet is sponsored by Illinois Eye Center and PNC.
Peoria Players Theatre Auditions for Big River
Director Chip Joyce will hold auditions for Big River on January 14 and 15 at 1:00 each day. Big River is based on the Mark Twain novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” This show requires multicultural casting and features an abundance of performance opportunities for both Caucasian and African American performers. Roles are available for 15-18 men/boys and 7-10 women. Ages of characters are relatively open. Most actors will appear in multiple roles. All actors sing in group numbers, and many feature vocal solos. Auditions will be held at University United Methodist Church, 2818 N. University. For auditions, please prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre, folk or gospel song (not from the show) that shows range and personality. You might also be asked to read or sing materials from the show.