Civil Rights Lessons Continue for Area Students

Bradley University’s year-long theme celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights may have wrapped up, but the lessons learned from it continue.

Thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, we are able to provide a DVD of our April 11th capstone event featuring keynote speaker Rep. John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon and the only living member of Dr. Martin Luther King’s inner circle.  The DVD will be shared with approximately 90 schools (K-8 and high schools) throughout the area to educate, motivate and inspire students.  The intent is to supplement current curriculum and class discussions about civil rights.

This is the first campus wide year-long theme to be adopted at Bradley.  The goal was to raise this generation’s awareness of the intense discrimination that existed and the struggles fought in order to move our country forward.

For more information on this outreach please contact the Office of Public Relations at Bradley University at 677-3260 or 677-2242.

Att Murder/Agg Discharge of Firearm Investigation #14-15121

The Peoria Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division, Violent Crime Unit, is requesting the public’s help in locating a male wanted for Attempted Murder, Agg Discharge of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Domestic Battery. At approximately 9:10 am, 07-26-14, Peoria Police were called to the 200 blk of W. Richmond Ave., Peoria, in regards to multiple shots being fired. Through responding officers and detectives’ investigation, the wanted shooter was identified as Robert D. Luckett, M/B, DOB/06-28-81, 6’04and 210 pounds. Luckett is wanted for these crimes. This investigation continues.

If you see Robert D. Luckett, please call 911. Do not approach him, as he is considered armed and dangerous.

If you have any information on this case, or any other investigation, call the Peoria Police Dept at 673-4521, or Crimestoppers at 673-9000.


Forrest Hill Ave between Sheridan and Knoxvill will be under construction starting July 28th

Beginning Monday, July 28, Forrest Hill Avenue will be under construction between Sheridan Road and Knoxville Avenue until November 14, 2014. Construction will be six days a week including Saturday, for the water main replacement, roadway resurfacing, sidewalk replacement, and lighting and landscaping. One lane of traffic in each direction will be available throughout the project. Please use alternate routes to avoid construction; furthermore, on-street parking is prohibited on Forrest Hill Avenue between Sheridan Rd and Knoxville Ave during construction.

For more information, contact Laura Savorgino (Resident Engineer), Farnsworth Group, at (309) 922-3673.

Peoria Public Library Summer Reading Party Expected to Break Records

 Peoria Public Library, with partners District 150, The Peoria Humane Society and Friends of Peoria Public Library, signed up 5, 595 Summer Readers who each read three hours a week for up to seven weeks and came to the library weekly to sign in. Their reward after five weeks was a voucher for a free Chiefs ticket and after six weeks a Party  Pass to the Summer Reading Party at Peoria Riverfront Museum on Tuesday, July 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Readers are expected to attend in record-breaking numbers.

 The Summer Reading Party will include every feature of the museum, including all Galleries, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit, the Big Screen Theatre and the Planetarium, as well as Balloon Art by The Unique Twist and free parking.  At 8:00 p.m. the prize drawing will be held for prizes ranging from dinners or treats at 15 different area restaurants, including dinner for 10 at Olive Garden, to a family membership at Forest Park Nature Center to gift cards to Lowe’s or Shell Gas or a family cruise on the Spirit of Peoria. Summer Readers with a Party Pass must be present at the 8:00 p.m. drawing to win.

The theme for the Summer Reading program was “Paws to Read” and the summer was filled with paws related programs from the Barking Ballroom to Dog DNA to the opportunity to read to a therapy dog or watch a pet-related movie. Families who read together  and encourage children to keep reading over the summer help reduce the “summer slide” of knowledge.

                Summer Reading Sign Up for 2015 will start next May.

Red Cross Chief Executive Officer to Retire in August

After 31 years of service to her community, Anne Fox of Peoria will retire.

CENTRAL ILLINOIS The Board Chairman of the American Red Cross Central Illinois Region, Gregory S. Folley, announced today that the region’s CEO, Anne M. Fox, will retire at the end of August. “Next month, Anne will have completed 31 years of outstanding service to the American Red Cross,” Folley commented.

Under Fox’s leadership, the region has grown to serve more than two million people in 45 counties in Illinois and Missouri with offices in Peoria, Canton, Bloomington, Peru, Decatur, Champaign, Springfield, Charleston, Quincy and Macomb.

The region has been nationally recognized for excellence. Most recently, it served as disaster operation headquarters for the two largest disasters ever to strike Illinois, the 2013 spring floods and the November 17 tornadoes that ripped through the state.

“Anne has dedicated her life to helping others, and our organization will be forever grateful. Her legacy and leadership will be our guidance as we continue to serve the community,” Folley said. “She has earned our Red Cross Central Illinois Region a nation-wide reputation of ongoing excellence and outstanding disaster recovery service!”

A replacement for Anne will be appointed in the near future.


Coffee Tasting with the Experts Teaches About Coffee at North Branch

Peoria Public Library North Branch will host a coffee tasting and learning session with Thirty-Thirty Coffee Company on Saturday, August 9 at from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Learn all about coffee and what the differences are from the experts. The tasting is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested at 309-497-2150 or by emailing

The Peoria Park District Rock Island Greenway Knoxville Bridge Officially Opened TODAY!

Thank you to all who attended the Grand Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting for the Peoria Park District Rock Island Greenway Knoxville Bridge this morning.

Today’s Dedication Program included the following guest speakers (in order of appearance):

  • Kelly A. Cummings, Vice President, Board of Trustees, The Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Peoria
  • Timothy J. Cassidy*, President, Board of Trustees, The Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Peoria; (*President Cassidy introduced the remaining guest speakers).
  • The Honorable Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 2009-2013
  • The Honorable David Koehler, 46th District Illinois State Senator
  • The Honorable Jim Ardis, Mayor, City of Peoria
  • Bruce Brown, Former Peoria City Councilman
  • Bonnie W. Noble, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation

What in the Warehouse? Artists of the Atelier Opens August 6th

Ten different artists with ten different visions who all call The Atelier in the Warehouse District their Gallery homes, will exhibit their work from Wednesday, August 6 through Wednesday, August 27 at Peoria Public Library Main Library Gallery in a free show, “What in the Warehouse?” during regular library hours.

The Atelier is home to a variety of artists working in mediums including fiber, ceramics, wood, drawing, metal and painting.  While their studio is open during the  First Friday Gallery Walks, sponsored by CIAO (Central Illinois Artist Organization), this is a first chance to see their work for an extended time in the Main Library Art Gallery.  In addition there will be a guided Gallery Walk on Wednesday, August 13th at 2:00 p.m and Artist’s Reception on Saturday, August 23 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Artists participating will be Carrie Pierce, painter; Cis Carlson, wearable art; Cyndi Merrill, wood, metal and clay; James Pearce, art furniture; Jennifer Costa; Chris Kukla ,pit fired ceramics; Doug and Eileen Leunig, light painting; Richard Coers, urban woodworking; Susan Haley, stained glass; Matt Mathaney, sculpture.

To arrange a group tour or for more information about “What in the Warehouse?” call 309-497-2120.

UICOMP will host the Southside Mission Day Camp for a Science Treasure Hunt – July 29th

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at UICOMP, the Southside Mission Day Camp will visit between 1:00-3:00PM on a science treasure hunt hosted by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria – Library of the Health Sciences at Peoria (LHS-P).  At 2:00 PM the students will meet the author (Dr. Richard G. Macdonald) of the children’s book THE WHOOPING COUGH GERM THAT BECAME A HERO. This book is based on a medical article authored by Peorians Hugh Macdonald MD and Edith J. Macdonald RN. The article was published in 1933 by the Macdonalds in the “Journal of Infectious Diseases.” The book will be read to the students by retired Pekin teacher, Barbara O’Brien. Following the session on THE WHOOPING COUGH GERM THAT  BECAME A HERO, the students will make a polio vaccine on the NOVA website. 


85th Annual Italian Summer Festa August 10th

The Italian American Society of Peoria will hold its 85th Annual Italian Summer Festa on Sunday August 10th from 12:00 noon to 7:00pm at Hickory Grove Park in North Peoria. (Hickory Grove Road off Knoxville Ave, follow signs).

The Summer Festa Picnic is a long-standing family event  held by the Society every year since its founding in 1929 as a time for Italian families to get together for fellowship and support, and has since developed into a non-profit, fun, family-centered community event, bringing a small piece of Italy and its traditions to central Illinois.

The Festa is the major fund raiser for our three scholarship programs.  So far we have given over $70,000 to college students.

Once again, we are honored to have our authentic Italian recipes prepared by Barrack’s Cater Inn.  The menu will include lasagna or spaghetti meals with salads, also meatball or sausage sandwiches, Italian beef, and of course Italian desserts including cannoli and pizzelles.  Drinks include Italian and domestic beers, wine, soda, and water.

Fun, traditional Italian American music will be provided by The Vince Chiarelli Band.  We will  again have our Regalia Gift Shop with all kinds of Italian tee shirts, hats, pins, and our own Society cook books.

There will be Bocce tournaments, an arts and craft village, and a car show.

Other events and attractions will include scholarship awards, an inflatable attraction,  a face painter, and various other games.  Kids Corner open from 12:30pm to 5:00pm.

Admission is $3.00 at the gate.  Children under 12 are free and so is parking.

Contact Dave at 309-383-4684 for special discounts for youth groups of 15 or more.

Further information can be found at our website: