On Thursday, May 8th we are pleased to announce Tim Hartneck – the proverbial expert on the Moss-Bradley area – will be our guest speaker at our next meeting.

Tim says he usually refers to the slide program as an “Arm Chair Tour of the Moss-Bradley Neighborhood – Then and Now.” He will show slides of homes or buildings in the neighborhood and tell stories about the architecture and residents as well as other tidbits that he finds interesting. Some of the slides show the neighborhood as it looked over 100 years ago; he will contrast those with slides of current views to illustrate how the area has evolved over the years.

Join us at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 8th at the Peoria Public Library North Branch—3001 W. Grand Pkwy.

Public always welcomed.

Speakeasy Art Center of Pekin Seeking Vendors for Riverfront Art Market

The Speakeasy Art Center, 353 Court St Pekin Il is seeking vendors for the riverfront Art Market. Art Market will start May 31st and run through October 18th. It will be on Saturday mornings from 10am until 1pm. We are seeking art, craft, antique, repurposed,vintage, fruits & veg’s & food vendors and performers. We wish to provide a cultural experience on Saturday mornings to the City of Pekin and its surrounding communities. Vendor fees will be $20 per week or $210 for the season (21 weeks). Please contact Shannon Cox at speakeasyartcenter@hotmail.com for more information and applications.

Celebrating Partnerships with Local P-12 Schools

Bradley University has been partnering with local P-12 schools for nearly two decades to provide high quality service to students while preparing new generations of teachers.  The Professional Development Schools program is an innovative partnership between P-12 schools in Peoria and Bradley’s teacher education programs.  It is designed to prepare new teachers, develop practicing teachers’ knowledge, conduct and disseminate research to improve professional practice, and enhance student achievement.  The Bradley PDS Partnership was established in 1995 and currently serves serves eight schools in Peoria:
Each semester, professors and students from all departments in Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences (Family and Consumer Sciences, Leadership in Education, Counseling, and Human Services, Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Teacher Education) along with Bradley’s Center for STEM Education, partner with students and teachers at the local PDS sites through clinical experiences, course connections, professional development, and special projects/events.  National experts say PDS is to teacher preparation what the teaching hospital is to physician preparation.  
Join us to learn more about and celebrate this program at our annual Spring Celebration this Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Westlake Hall. This Spring Celebration will provide photo opportunities to see teachers from partner schools and students from Bradley working together and it will provide an opportunity learn about of the types of projects and initiatives supported by Bradley’s PDS.  You will get a chance to talk with principals and/or teachers at some of the school partners.  More than 120 educators and students are registered to attend.

American Red Cross and AmeriCares Partner to Help Tornado Survivors

Peoria, Ill .— April 22, 2014 – Disaster recovery agencies are collaborating to help survivors struggling in the aftermath of the November tornados. The American Red Cross and AmeriCares are partnering with Lutheran Disaster Response to provide disaster case management assistance through their affiliate, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, to affected individuals still in need.

Case managers will work with survivors to create individualized recovery plans and help them access available services such as relocation assistance, temporary housing, child care, food assistance, counseling and assistance with rebuilding.

“No one organization can do everything to help people recover from a storm of this magnitude,” said Megan Chamberlain, Red Cross Recovery Operations Director and Illinois State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Chair. “Recovery from a major disaster like the November tornadoes takes time and help from many different groups in the community. Through the generosity of our donors and the support of AmeriCares, we are pleased to be able to help survivors as they rebuild their lives.”

Families in Champaign, Massac and Tazewell counties are expected to benefit from the expanded services. “This disaster has created new challenges for many families in these communities and they are faced with difficult decisions that can be overwhelming,” said AmeriCares Emergency Response Manager Kate Dischino. “This expanded program will connect survivors with services that will help them navigate the complex rebuilding process and get them on the road to recovery.”

Board of Health Approves Open Air Dining Policy

Peoria County – At the April 21, 2014 meeting, the Peoria County Board of Health discussed Peoria City/County Health Department program reports and voted on agenda items.

Dr. David Trachtenbarg, Board of Health President, opened the meeting and proceeded with published agenda items.

Term Expirations: Peoria County Board of Health approved a recommendation to be submitted to Peoria County Board to fill yearly board term expirations. The Board of Health will recommend to the County Board that current members Dr. David Trachtenbarg, Ms. Joyce Harant, and Ms. Nora Sullivan be re-appointed to 3-year terms, along with a recommendation that Mr. Todd Baker of Unity Point/ Methodist/Proctor Administration fill a vacated Board seat.

Open Air Dining: The Board approved a written policy to clarify Open Air Dining food establishment regulations to ensure appropriate food safety measures are in place. The Environmental Health Program reviewed best practices and engaged the Health Department’s Food Safety Workgroup to draft the document to provide consistent guidance in conjunction with the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code and Chapter 10, Food Safety, of the Peoria County Code. The document clarifies the standardized practices and activities already in place. Open Air Dining relates to food establishments that offer a transition from inside dining to add in air from the outside through open doors, windows, or walls without screens.  Structural requirements, pest control, food safety, and bar area topics are covered in the policy, as well as inspection frequency.

County Health Rankings Report: Monica Hendrickson, Epidemiologist, provided a review and analysis of the County Health Rankings Report released March 26, 2014, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This Report ranked 102 Illinois Counties and assigned Peoria County as #59 in Health Outcomes (how healthy Peoria County residents are) and #41 in Health Factors (what’s influencing Peoria County’s population health.) The review included explanations and examples of Health Outcomes related to length and quality of life, as well as Factors influencing the community’s health such as access to clinical care and health behaviors such as tobacco use, diet and exercise; air quality in the physical environment; and social and economic indicators. The analysis reviewed previous Rankings Report, as well as a comparison to other county’s rankings within the Region. The Health Department utilizes this Report as an opportunity to review current health status in Peoria County as well as a mechanism to drive discussion within the community regarding population health improvement strategies. The full Report for all counties is online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Agendas and full Minutes of all Board of Health monthly and committee meetings are published on the Peoria City/County Health Department website at www.pcchd.org.


A controversial herbicide used widely in the Peoria area and throughout the Midwest is the subject of a presentation from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at Universalist Unitarian Church, 3000 West Richwoods Boulevard. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Paul Winchester, medical director of the NICU at St. Francis Hospital, Indianapolis, will speak about his research into the effects of atrazine, an endocrine disrupting chemical, on human health.

In one study, he found statistically significant correlations between birth defects among children conceived during peak periods of atrazine application. His further research found statistically significant correlations between learning disabilities among children conceived during peak periods of atrazine application.

Atrazine, an herbicide widely used on corn, is found pervasively on surface water in this country. It has been banned by the European Union. A class action lawsuit over atrazine in drinking water was settled in 2012 for $105 million. Peoria and Springfield  were among central Illinois communities that shared in the settlement because atrazine is found regularly in the communities’ tap water.

When Winchester first joined the hospital staff, he noted what he thought was an inordinately high number of birth defects among newborns. He found no plausible explanation, so he designed a study. He correlated 30.11 million births nationwide between 1996 and 2002 with birth defects diagnosed in the first days of life. In a paper published in Acta  Paediatria, a peer reviewed journal, Winchester reported disproportionately high rates of birth defects for children conceived between April and July, the peak period of atrazine applications.

“The positive correlation was so strong I couldn’t believe it,” Winchester said. “This study is one of the most shocking things on the planet. It’s frightening to me.”

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.