Peoria, IL – August 29, 2014)  The Peoria chapter of Mended Hearts will meet Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the RiverPlex in Peoria.

Featured speaker will be Timir Baman, MD, HeartCare Midwest Cardiac Electrophysiologist. Dr. Baman will discuss atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia. Participants are asked to RSVP their attendance to 309.657.8903 or 309.925.3806.

Mended Hearts, a national nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Heart Association, has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers for more than 50 years.

For more information about Mended Hearts, contact nurse practitioner Tammy Sarmiento at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center at 309.655.7292.

Fall Fashion Week at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie

Learn about all the season’s new trends

Peoria, IL.  Discover the hot new trends for fall at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie during Fall Fashion  Week, September 1st – 8th. This will be a great opportunity for fashion lovers, fashionistas and trendsetters to view new styles, colors, lengths, fabrics and prints that are now arriving for that important wardrobe transition into fall. 

Participating stores will each be showcasing their special take on the trends for fall. Windows, mannequins, and special in-store displays will be dressed with style and feature a unique “Fall Fashion Week” sign. Each sign will feature an exciting trend, straight from the runways of London, Milan, New York and Paris. 

Shoppers are invited to participate by posting photos of their favorite fall trend on the Shoppes at Grand Prairie Facebook page for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. One winner will be chosen at random from all the photo entries on the page. The Shoppes will also be posting fashion tips, trends and ideas all week!

Labor Day Safety Tips for Families – Red Cross encourages families to end the summer safe and sound

CENTRAL ILLINOIS People all across Central Illinois are planning grand ways to say their goodbyes to summer during Labor Day weekend. But before packing up to head to the pool or river one last time, the American Red Cross asks families to take a moment to ensure they’re heading in a safe direction.

Among the concerns revelers need to watch for this holiday are crowded roadways. Whether sticking close to home or off on an excursion, remember, accidents can often be avoided through careful preparation.

Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

Keep a kit within reach. Families should always have a first aid kit in their home, by the pool, packed with beach gear and in the car. Smartphone users should also download the Red Cross First Aid app to have emergency information at their fingertips.

You’re ready – but is your car? Don’t wait for a rattle or a warning light to find out the car isn’t up for the trip. Be sure to have brakes, tires, oil and fluids checked before taking to the roadways.

Tell someone about your plans. It’s important to share boating plans with family and friends, including when and where you plan go in case the boat is delayed because of an emergency, becomes lost or encounters other problems.

Play it safe under the sun. The sun is just as hot on Labor Day as it was 4th of July, so families will need to take the same precautions. Always wear sunscreen when outdoors. Make sure everyone wears a hat to shield direct sunlight. Keep enough water or juice for everyone to drink continuously throughout the day and be sure to drink fluids even when you’re not thirsty.

Enjoy water the safe way. Now is not the time to forget about the rules of water safety. Remember: never swim alone, only swim in supervised areas, enter water feet first, and don’t mix alcohol with swimming or boating.

Make tasty seasonal treats safely. If you plan to grill out on Labor Day, be sure to keep the grill away from anything that could catch fire and have it a safe distance from structures. Also, always supervise the grill when in use and make sure everyone (including pets) stay away from the grill.


Important Questions about Redistricting in Illinois

Webinar offered Tuesday, September 9, at noon

The year after every decennial census, the Supreme Court requires every state to rearrange its congressional and state legislative boundaries so that each district in a given legislative chamber is equal in population. That is, the states must redistrict their legislatures. But this is no simple exercise in head counting and geography. Since the boundaries of their districts can mean political life or death for hundreds of officeholders and candidates around the state, redistricting is perhaps the most politically intense process of the decade. The process results in a completely new political map. It also results in voter confusion.

To learn more about our state’s redistricting options, tune in to this free webinar (, offered by University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (

Recorded sessions are available (

Successful 1st Seminar by the East Bluff Neighborhood Academy – Check out the Sept 2nd Seminar!

This week the Community Center held the first seminar offered by the East Bluff Neighborhood Academy and what a great presentation it was! Dr. Rita Ali guided the group as we learned the basics of grassroots organizing. By the end of a couple of hours (classes are 5:30 – 7:30 with dinner included!) we summarized the evening with some powerful words that came from the heart of all of us present: justice, opportunity, educate, peace, empowerment and vision.

Please join us next week, Tuesday September 2, as Lisa Ruby from Ruby & Associates will present “Getting The Word Out” Marketing and Communications. The East Bluff have so many great things going on but how do we let people know? Be there on Tuesday to find out and also enjoy dinner, door prizes and the company of your neighbors!

Don’t let the heat stop you from coming! Classes will be located in air conditioned classrooms in the Center. You can register online or visit our Facebook page, East Bluff Neighborhood Academy, to view the schedule. For more information contact or call the Center at (309) 682-5823, ext. 2.

Peoria Park District Labor Day Hours

The Peoria Park District administrative and recreation offices, located at the Noble Center, will be closed on Monday, September 1.

Other Peoria Park District facilities closed that day include Franciscan Recreation Complex, Owens Center, and Proctor Center.

The RiverPlex Recreation and Wellness Center will be open limited hours from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Peoria Community Against Violence (PCAV)

SUBJECT: Peoria Community Against Violence hosts Peace Walks

Beginning this Friday, August 29th the Peoria Community Against Violence will host a series of 5 peace walks throughout Peoria. See the attached flyer for additional information. All walks will meet at designated area at 5:45 p.m. and walk will begin at 6:00 p.m. Designated areas include:

1. August 29th, 2014 – East Bluff Community Center (512 E. Kansas)

2. September 6th, 2014 – Logan Park (1414 S. Livingston)

3. September 12th, 2014 – Morton Square Park (1125 W. Lake St.)

4. September 20th, 2014 – Colombia Park (300 McClure)

5. September 26th, 2014 – Proctor Center (309 S. DuSable)

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming soccer match, feel free to contact Krista Coleman at or (309) 494-8233.


Prepare and Protect During National Preparedness Month

PEORIA COUNTY – During National Preparedness Month in September, Peoria City/County Health Department (PCCHD) remembers our commitment to prepare and protect people during hazardous events. Health Department staff plan and prepare for public health emergencies, respond to health threats, and protect people from health hazards. Those hazards may be from tornados, flooding, power outages, natural or man-made disasters, or disease threats, including new diseases, such as the Ebola Virus or other diseases that may develop.

“We often hear questions about what we are doing for the public when we hear about threats from unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous communicable diseases,” states PCCHD Director of Infectious Disease Jean Bellisario. “We have staff who are dedicated to providing surveillance, investigation, and control for communicable diseases. We work with federal, state, and local health systems to assure reporting of diseases. We work with our community partners to help protect people in our area. Prompt notification of a communicable disease allows us to prevent further transmission of disease,” adds Bellisario. “Information we receive through our reporting and surveillance programs also helps us monitor disease trends, identify groups that may be at high risk of illness, and develop policies and programs to prevent the spread of these diseases.”

“Adding to our surveillance activities, our Health Department also employs vigorous efforts to plan and prepare for all public health hazards, not just new diseases,” states Jason Marks, PCCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “We know there are risks that cannot be fully controlled, so it makes sense that we plan with community partners and with the public for those risks. A major focus in our plans is to work and help people know how to be prepared for possible hazardous events, such as tornados, summer heat, flooding, infectious diseases, power outages, and even natural or man-made disasters. We help individuals to be better prepared by getting an emergency kit of supplies, making a plan with family members of what to do in an emergency, staying informed and ready to act, and even getting involved in their community. While preparing and protecting are important, our overall plans include informing and including the public in this whole process in order to achieve our goal of being a prepared community for all hazardous events.”

To learn more about Preparedness and other important Public Health issues, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at

League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria to Discuss Regional Stormwater Utility Study and Fees

A Stormwater Utility Study, which suggests a new monthly ‘user fee’ for better quality of life, flood protection, and to avoid further contamination of rivers and streams, is the topic for the Greater Peoria League of Women Voters meeting on Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. 

The meeting takes place at the Peoria School District 150 Board Room, 3202 N. Wisconsin, Peoria.  It is free and open to the public.

The speaker will be Maggie Martino, Planning Program Manager at the Tri County Regional Planning Commission.

The 2014 regionally focused feasibility study is a collaborative effort enabled by Peoria County sharing a partial EPA grant with the units of government in Peoria and Tazewell Counties. The 13 local governments that participated, shared their costs with matching funds included the cities of Peoria, East Peoria, West Peoria, Pekin,  North Pekin, South Pekin,  Bartonville along with Peoria County, Limestone Township, Cincinnati Township, Hollis Township, Washington Township and Morton Township.

Stormwater management is needed because as development occurs and the natural land cover is replaced by hard surfaces — buildings, parking lots, roads — the amount of the rainfall that runs off and the rate and volume of runoff increases. The quality of the runoff is altered, resulting in increased flooding, increased land surface erosion, increased channel erosion, increased pollution in the streams, public health issues related to insects and viruses, and an impact on the overall quality of life in the community.

The feasibility study process that was used in this study included six steps: the development of a stormwater management expenditure plan; data analysis; review of billing options; development of a revenue plan; development of a public education and outreach plan outline; and development of a general draft ordinance.

This important new project will affect every resident in the area. The event includes a question and answer session.

Annual Walk for the Mind Supports Brain Tumor Research

PEORIA – (August 27, 2014) Registration is open! After a record number of participants last year, the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind needs your help to keep the momentum going.  

Starting with just 150 walkers in 2003 and raising $12,000, the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind last year had more than 750 participants and raised $50,000 for brain cancer research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. But the need to fund continued research is ongoing. 

The Walk is named after Mark Linder who started the event in an effort to reach out to brain tumor survivors and help raise funds for brain tumor research. While Mark died in 2005 at age 31, the Walk lives on and to date has raised more than $330,000 for research. 

This year Dr. Patrick Elwood, the “central Illinois father of neurosurgery” is the honorary chair for the walk. 

WHAT:           Mark Linder Walk for the Mind one mile walk and raffle

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Peoria RiverPlex. Registration and raffle opens at 7:30 a.m. The Walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:         Peoria RiverPlex along the Peoria Riverfront

ALSO:  Entry fee is $20 for adults and $10 for children (10 years and younger). Survivors are free. Children’s activities are provided. The extensive raffle includes tickets and hotel Package to a Chicago Bears Game; Box Seats and Hotel Package for the Chicago Cubs 2015 Season; Chicago hotel packages; Maui Jim sun glasses; numerous restaurant gift certificates; autographed racing memorabilia and more. 

Other Walk activities to raise money for brain cancer research are planned in August and September. To register for the Walk or for more information, including other activities, go online to or check out the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind on Facebook. 

This is the third year that all net proceeds will be donated to the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Funds raised help support Dr. Andrew Tsung’s vital research to understand the mechanisms that make cancers grow and invade.