(Peoria, IL)­­ — The City of Peoria will host a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, in room 404 at City Hall to announce a partnership with Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods. This integration with Nextdoor will enable the City to share important information directly with residents. Notices sent out through Nextdoor will include such topics as safety updates, upcoming public meetings, and available programs for residents. More than thirty neighborhoods in the City are already actively using Nextdoor. 

For more information regarding the press conference or Nextdoor, please contact Kate Green at (309) 494-8555 or, or visit

Peoria Players Received a Grant from IL Arts Council!

Peoria Players Theatre is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Illinois Arts Council in the amount of $7,275.00.  This grant, written by Nicki Haschke, will be used for general operating support of the Peoria Players 2014-2015 season.  Our season includes Ragtime, The Odd Couple, The Sound of Music, Home for the Holidays, Cabaret, The Pirates of Penzance, Damn Yankees, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

We are very grateful to the Illinois Arts Council for their continued support. 

Hult Center’s Annual Lobster Roast Fundraiser

Peoria, IL (August 28, 2014)  The Hult Center for Healthy Living will host their 17th annual Lobster Roast on Saturday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m. at Weaver Angus Farm.

The evening features a fantastic spread from Dixon Fisheries and Barrack’s Cater Inn, laughter and surprises during the comical Roast of Matt George and entertainment by country music rising-star Drew Baldridge.

Hult Center founder, Patti Bash was in the hot seat last year and is getting her revenge this year by roasting the Hult Center’s Executive Director, Matt George.  A line-up of well-known roasters will take the stage before Drew Baldridge kicks off this country party.

Dust off your cowboy hats, shine your boots and join the Hult Center for an unforgettable evening!  Proceeds benefit the Hult Center for Healthy Living’s youth health education, cancer, mental health and senior programs.

Individual tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online at or by calling 309-692-6650.

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! exhibit closes on Sept. 7th

Date & Time: Sun., Sept. 7, 5 p.m.

Location:  Peoria Riverfront Museum · 222 S.W. Washington St. · Peoria 

Aug. 28 – It’s hard to believe, but The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! exhibit at Peoria Riverfront Museum will be closing in just over a week. 

More than 55,000 visitors stopped through museum exhibits to date in the three months since Ripley’s opened on May 27. The figure, which does not include theater visits, sets a record for exhibit attendance at the museum so far. Last year’s exhibit attendance figure for the same timeframe was just over 47,000. 

The museum also hosted a number of special groups, including US Rep. Aaron Schock with Summer Reading Program participants, a delegation from Jwaneng, Botswana (a potential sister city to Peoria), and the Office of Illinois Tourism’s Illinois Roadshow. 

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Bizarre Buying Bazaar – an “Antiques Roadshow” of oddities – came to the Midwest for the first time ever when museum hosted it earlier in August. Long-time Ripley’s curator, Edward Meyer, proclaimed that Peoria was the Bazaar’s weirdest stop yet after the museum’s two-day show attracted the most oddities ever brought in to a show. The prior stop was New York City. 

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! exhibit will officially close Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. 

Two new art exhibits will be taking its place. “Impressionism into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art,” Sept. 26 – Jan. 11, will feature American painters and visual artists from the early 1900s into the 1940s. The works of Olof Krans, Bishop Hill, will be displayed Oct. 11 – Apr. 26.  

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all – connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs.

6th Annual Dyslexia Walk

The Children’s Dyslexia Center of Peoria is hosting the 6th Annual Dyslexia Walk on Saturday, September 20, 2014.  Registration and check-in starts at 9:00 a.m. and the Walk steps off at 10:00 a.m.  The walk starts at Peoria Heights Water Tower Park and goes down beautiful Grandview Drive to Peoria Country Club and back.  So get a group of friends, get out your walking shoes and join us in raising money for the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Peoria.  Registration fee is $25 for adults and $10 for children under 12.  Please pre-register by September 11 to guarantee your shirt size.  Contact Dick Hummel for registration at 547-3138.

This is a fundraiser for the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Peoria, which is a 501(c)(3) charity of the Scottish Rite Valley of Peoria.  More than 50 percent of the funding must be raised at the local level.  Since the establishment of the Center in 1994, more than 7,000 children have been helped and 1,400 tutors have been trained and certified.  All services are provided to the children free of charge.  It takes approximately $10,000 to tutor one child for two years.  The Dyslexia Center of Peoria has a nearly 100 percent success rate, meaning that virtually every child who comes into the tutoring program gets the support they need to conquer their learning disability and achieve their full potential.


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 (