Peoria County news briefs

Chronicle Media
Peoria City Council Chuck Weaver will be the new senator for the Illinois 37th District. (Photo courtesy CiNews)

Peoria City Council Chuck Weaver will be the new senator for the Illinois 37th District. (Photo courtesy CiNews)

 Tri County area

 Illinois Central College teams with Comcast for Internet project

Comcast started a program in 2011 called Internet Essentials that is intended to provide high-speed Internet service to qualifying families with grade school or high school-aged children for $9.95 a month plus tax with an option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150. The Internet provider recently expanded that program to qualifying community college students in Illinois. There is no cost to join, but the program is only available in communities and areas  where Comcast provides service. To be eligible for the program, households must meet the following criteria:

  • • Have at least one person who is a community college student who is receiving a federal Pell Grant.
  • • Live in a location where Comcast offers Internet service.
  • • Do not have an unpaid Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

An estimated 90,000 community college students in Illinois should be eligible, according to Comcast.

subhed: Planning Commission looking for feedback on bike routes

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is conducting a public survey on its Facebook page to gain input on what kind of bicycling facilities and programs it should prioritize. To participate in the survey, go to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Facebook page or directly to the poll site at


A Peoria city councilman to fill vacant State Senate seat

Chuck Weaver, an at-large Peoria city councilman, will serve out the remaining two years of  the term for the 37th District State Senate seat.

Weaver was chosen Oct. 4 to succeed Darin LaHood, who was elected in September to the 18th Congressional seat in a special election. LaHood is replacing Republican Aaron Schock who resigned earlier this year amid a federal investigation into his finances and allegations of improper use taxpayer funds.

Weaver was selected by a committee consisting of representatives from the county Republican parties of the 10 counties included in the 37th District. The committee members’ votes were weighted based on the percentage of votes LaHood received in his last election.

The 37th District includes all or parts of Bureau, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Mercer, Peoria, Stark and Woodford counties.

Weaver was one of 10 applicants for the position. His will have to vacate his seat on the Peoria City Council prompting an appointment to fill place on the council.


City makes top 10 list for worst cities for black Americans

A study by 24/7 Wall Street has rated Peoria as the sixth worst city for black Americans in the country.  The study looked at disparities between white and black Americans on economic and social levels, including black unemployment and median annual income. In Peoria, the unemployment rate for blacks is at 16.5 percent in Peoria  with a poverty rate of  28.2 percent. The median income for black households in Peoria is less than half of what it is for whites.

When members of Peoria’s black community read 24/7 Wall Street’s findings that ranked Peoria as the sixth worst city in the nation for its black residents, it didn’t come as a total shock. The results of the findings while not surprising to some residents and local leaders, including the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce,  were greeted with mixed reviews.

Farmer’ Market at courthouse is extended for the season

Peoria County’s Farmer’s Market has been extended into October due to positive feedback from customers and vendors. The next Farmer’s Market is Friday, Oct. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The farmer’s market is located at the County Courthouse Plaza, 324 Main St. in downtown Peoria. The Farmer’s Market is hosted by the County’s Green CREW and LiveWell wellness program; both are employee-driven initiatives intended to enhance sustainability and health. Downtown workers and visitors are encouraged to support local farmers and enjoy fresh produce by buying local at the Farmer’s Market.

Senior Day with Heddington Oaks

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Heddington Oaks will host a Senior Day from 8 to 10 a.m.  Local senior citizens are invited to visit and enjoy complimentary coffee and rolls. The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office will present “Safety Tips for Senior Citizens” from 8:30 to  9 a.m. Information, goodies and prize drawings will also be available courtesy of participating local businesses: Haddad’s West Peoria Market, Geier Florist, John Deal State Farm Insurance, South Side Bank, and the Franciscan Rec Center. Heddington Oaks is located at 2223 W. Heading Ave., West Peoria.

Library will hold program to honor veterans

The Peoria Public Library will honor Veterans from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Peoria Public Library with Our Heroes’ Tree: A Salute to Veterans Past and Present . The program is a kickoff to honor the service and sacrifices of our nation’s military families. The program will include a performance by the Air National Guard Chamber Ensemble Quintet and an appearance by the Air National Guard Color Guard.  Peoria City Councilman Eric Turner will deliver “Reflect, Remember, and Rejoice” about his time serving in Vietnam.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to decorate an ornament to place on one of the Our Heroes’ Trees that will decorate all Peoria Public Library locations from Nov. 7 to Dec.  31. Then the public is invited to stop by any Peoria Public Library location between Nov. 7 and Dec.  31 during regular hours to create an ornament for the Our Heroes’ Tree. Craft supplies will be available to make an ornament, or you may make one at home and bring in to decorate one of our trees to honor your special Veteran anytime during regular business hours.  These trees will allow the community to thank the men and women who have or who are currently wearing the military uniform.





— Peoria County news briefs —