League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria Annual Dinner on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to Feature Innocence Project Speaker

John Hanlon, Executive Director and Legal Director of the Innocence Project at University of Illinois, Springfield will speak at the Greater Peoria League of Women Voter’s Annual Dinner Meeting April 29, 2014 at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen, Peoria.

The Illinois Innocent Project goals are exoneration of innocent persons convicted of felony crimes in Illinois; and reform of the criminal justice system in Illinois and the nation through the education of students, citizens, and policy-makers about problems, causes, and possible reforms of a criminal justice system that results in conviction of the innocent. The Illinois Innocence Project has participated in four exonerations and two releases from 2003-2013.

Social time begins at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m. and speaker at 7 p.m.  Individuals $35.

Dinner reservations can be made by contacting LWV Peoria president Cheryl Budzinski, at 309/253-9594.  Deadline is April 24.


4th Annual Mike Seneca Golf Classic Adds New Twist to Outing

Peoria, IL (March 17, 2014)  The Hult Center for Healthy Living is pleased to host the 4th Annual Mike Seneca Golf Classic on Friday, May 16, 2014 at WeaverRidge Golf Club.  A new twist has been added this year with obstacles and challenges on the course for the two flights offered at 7:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  In the last three years, the Seneca Classic has raised over $50,000 for Hult Center cancer programs.

Mike Seneca was diagnosed with Stage IV Signet Ring Adenocarcinoma on September 4th, 2008. Mike fought an amazing battle with such bravery and courage for seven months.  In his 33 years, he was a true example to his friends and family of what a gentleman and family man look like.  His family chose to celebrate his life by giving back to the Hult Center for Healthy Living and putting on a great outing in his name.

Enter your foursome for your chance to win a trip in one of our hole-in-one prizes or come dressed to impress and win the best dressed team contest.  There will be many opportunities for prizes, great food and drink and fun.  Most importantly, this day is a chance to pay tribute to those who hold a special place in our hearts, those who are fighting the battle to cancer and to honor a great man, Mike Seneca, and his family.
Teams and sponsors can register online at www.mikesenecagolf.org.  For more information, visit www.hulthealthy.org or call 309-692-6650.

City of Peoria Opens Survey to All Residents

PEORIA, IL – In February and March, the City of Peoria sent surveys to a random sample of households to gain an understanding of the overall sentiment Peoria residents have about the quality and usefulness of services the City provides. The survey is now available so that all can participate. It will be open through Friday, May 16, 2014. The survey is conducted by the National Citizen Survey, and all responses will remain anonymous. It can be found at www.n-r-c.com/survey/peoria.htm. Feedback from the survey will be used to help shape future policies for the City of Peoria.

 The National Citizen Survey is sponsored by the International City/County Management Association in cooperation with National Research Center, Inc. The questionnaire and survey procedure were designed based on the experience of hundreds of local governments, ranging in size from small to large. Because each survey is developed using a standard template, and many jurisdictions can be surveyed at one time, the National Citizen Survey is a very efficient way to measure citizen opinion. Results can then be measured against other participating communities as well.

Questions regarding the survey should be directed to the City Manager’s Office at (309) 494-8524.

Peoria County Tax Bills to be Mailed

Peoria – Peoria County Treasurer Edward T. O’Connor announced today that approximately 82,300 Peoria County Real Estate Tax bills will be mailed by April 23. The first installment due date is June 10 and the second installment due date is September 10. Payments must be postmarked by their respective due dates to avoid penalties. If a tax bill is not received by May 15, the Treasurer’s Office recommends requesting a duplicate bill. Failure to receive a real estate tax bill, or receiving it late for any reason, does not relieve the taxpayer of accruing penalties if taxes are not paid before delinquent dates.

 Payments may be made by mail or in person at the Treasurer’s Office, township collectors’ offices listed on the front of the tax bill, or numerous banks throughout Peoria County. Please refer to Peoria County’s website www.peoriacounty.org for the most current list of bank locations. Corresponding payment coupon(s) located on the bottom of the tax bill must accompany payments made at banks and township collectors’ offices to ensure efficient processing.

Beginning May 1, 2014, Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover card payments will be accepted online or by phone. A convenience fee for credit card payments will be charged based on the payment amount; the Treasurer’s Office does not receive any portion of this fee. Electronic checks will also be accepted for payment. Questions regarding tax bill payments should be directed to the Treasurer’s Office at 672-6065 or may be answered by visitingwww.peoriacounty.org/Treasurer. Questions regarding exemptions should be directed to the Supervisor of Assessments Office at 672-6910.

Peoria County property owners will notice that Peoria County’s Veteran’s Memorial brochure has been inserted with their real estate tax bill this year. The Memorial Committee wants to ensure all citizens of Peoria County have an opportunity to learn more about, or become more involved with, the memorial project. The brochure details the new memorial planned for the Courthouse Plaza to honor all of Peoria County’s veterans; this final memorial will complete the county’s war memorial project. For more information about the Veterans’ Memorial contact Steve Sonnemaker at 672-6059.

May Festivities at the Peoria Zoo!

MOTHER’S DAY TEA AT THE PEORIA ZOO - Join us at the Zoo for a special Mother’s Day treat Sunday, May 4, 2-3 pm. We’ll have tea and sandwiches along with crafts for the kids, animal encounters and scheduled talks throughout the Peoria Zoo. Space is limited, so call to purchase your ticket today at 309-681-3559. Tickets are $6 for Zoo members, $11 for non-members. If you have questions or for more information, call the Peoria Zoo at (309) 681-3559.


STEP INTO A FAIRYTALE AT PEORIA ZOO - By royal decree, all knights and princesses throughout the land are invited to attend! Princess and Pirates Day! Saturday, May 3. Festivities 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Activities are free with paid zoo admission. Come to the zoo to meet “fairytale” animals up close, and find out if pirates really kept parrots as pets, and where the idea of dragons came from. Watch our exhibit animals receive special themed enrichment, like castles and pirate ships. Play games where you might have to walk the plank or kiss a frog to win fun prizes. Make princess or pirate crafts to take home, and so much more! All kids wearing their finest royal attire or buccaneer best will receive a special surprise, so be sure to come dressed to impress! For more info call 309-686-3559.


Mix up a good time and support Peoria Zoo at Zootini – the wildest martini tasting event ever – on Thursday, May 8 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm, presented by Peoria Zoological Society at the Zambezi River Lodge.

A variety of martinis (shaken, not stirred) will be served by ten different local restaurants at an after-hours event in Africa! Taste a variety of martinis and walk the boardwalk with friends for a wonderful evening event. Your ticket includes Zoo admission, three complimentary drink tickets, appetizers and live music.

Purchase advance tickets before April 28 for $45 each. Tickets may be purchased after April 28 or at the door for $50 each. Tickets are available for purchase at the Safari Gift Shop at Peoria Zoo, online at www.peoriazoo.org or by calling (309) 681-3500. The event is sponsored in part by Dave Gill Insurance and Heaven on Earth.

Peoria Zoological Society is currently raising funds for the Power of Play. This project will bring a daylong destination for learning through play to Glen Oak Park with the creation of the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum and the expanded Peoria Zoo. Not able to join us? Donations are accepted and greatly appreciated! Make checks payable to Peoria Zoological Society (PZS) and mail to: 2320 N. Prospect Road, Peoria, IL61603. PZS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

For more information, contact Brenda O’Russa, Peoria Zoological Society Development Director, at (309) 681-3500. Visit our website at www.peoriazoo.org.

Former Heisman trophy winner & current College Football Analyst for ESPN, Tim Tebow, to speak in Peoria

(PEORIA, IL) The Greater Peoria Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes is having ESPN College Analyst, Tim Tebow, as their keynote speaker at their annual banquet on May 5th, 2014.

Tim Tebow is a former American football quarterback who played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets in the NFL. He played college football for the University of Florida, where he was the first college sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy in 2007.  He also appeared on BCS National Championship winning teams in the 2006 and 2008 seasons. Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.  He went on to play for the Broncos and then the Jets.  Currently, Tim is a College Football Analysis for the ESPN Network. Tim is also highly involved with the Tim Tebow Foundation that has a mission to bring Faith, Hope & Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.

The Greater Peoria Area FCA hosts the banquet annually as a primary means of raising support for their non-profit ministry. The ministry provides spiritual support and encouragement for student athletes and coaches at all levels. They help equip them with the resources and tools that enable them to compete God’s way.  This nation-wide ministry influences over 300,000 students in over 7,500 schools. Locally, the FCA is active in 14 public schools and is touching hundreds of students on a weekly basis.

The banquet will be conducted Monday, May 5th, and seats must be reserved.  Seats are $75 each or $750 for a table (10 seats) to attend the banquet.  To reserve seats, become a table host, or become a banquet sponsor please go to www.peoriafca.org or contact the FCA office via e-mail (cespenschied@fca.org). The attire is business/casual. There will also be a Sponsor reception for all banquet sponsors one hour prior to the dinner.

Details of the event:

Event: Greater Peoria Area FCA Annual Home Team Banquet

Location: Peoria Civic Center, Exhibit Halls

Date: Monday, May 5th, 2014

Time: 6:15pm (doors open at 5:30pm)


Central Illinois Community Groups Hold Clean Energy Forum in Peoria

State Senator Dave Koehler and State Representative Jehan Gordon Join Diverse Group of Labor, Energy, Environmental and Health Leaders to Discuss Clean Energy Jobs in Central Illinois
PEORIA, Ill. – Today, State senator Dave Koehler and State Representative Jehan Gordon joined the Sierra Club, the Blue Green Alliance, Citizen’s Utility Board and Clean Energy Trust to host a forum at the Peoria Labor Temple highlighting clean energy policies and discussing opportunities to bring clean energy projects and jobs to Central Illinois. The forum also focused on pending legislation that could bolster Illinois’ growing clean energy economy.

“Clean energy is already driving job growth in Central Illinois,” said Senator Dave Koehler. “This forum presented an opportunity for our entire community to come together and brainstorm ways to make our clean energy economy even stronger.”

Since it passed in 2007, Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard has set clean energy goals for the state and created more than 20,000 jobs, cut wholesale power prices by $177 million dollars per year, and curbed more than 5 million tons of air pollution. State lawmakers are currently discussing a pending bill that would make important adjustments to the Renewable Portfolio Standard and better incentivize clean energy projects around the state.

“Wind and solar manufacturing, installation and maintenance represent strong, family-sustaining jobs for Central Illinois,” said Patrick Whitty, Director of Programs, Clean Energy Trust. “We’re only just beginning to unlock the potential of these industries. Today’s forum allowed many different groups to come together around advancing this economic opportunity for our communities.”

“Clean energy is a smart investment for Illinois,” said Bryan McDaniel from Citizens’ Utility Board (CUB). ”Not only has Illinois’ smart clean energy leadership helped reduce pollution, but it has also saved Illinois families a lot of money.”

“When we grow our renewable energy resources, it means cleaner air and better health for the state of Illinois,” said Jack Darin, Director, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter. “Clean energy is a win-win for our economy and our environment.”

“Clean energy job potential grows every day,” said Tom Conway with BlueGreen Alliance. “Many jobs related to clean energy will be in modernizing the electrical grid to reduce the amount of energy lost throughout the system and make it easier for people to install rooftop solar and move wind energy to urban areas.”

Today’s clean energy forum followed a similar forum hosted last night in Waukegan by State Senator Terry Link and State Representative Rita Mayfield.

Heddington Oaks Receives 100 points

Peoria – Heddington Oaks recently received a score of 100 points on its routine sanitary health inspection performed by the Peoria City/County Health Department in February. This is the second consecutive 100 point inspection that Heddington Oaks has received since the facility opened last September; a 100% compliance rate considering only two sanitary health inspections have been conducted to date at the nursing home.

Routine inspections are conducted unannounced by the Peoria City/County Health Department and include 45 items or categories under which violations may be issued. Each inspection for an establishment begins with 100 points, with points subtracted based on violations. A score of 100 points means no violations were found at the time of inspection.