Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

A World War II veteran takes a photo in Washington,D.C., while visiting as a guest of a Greater Peoria Honor Flight. All Central Illinois veterans are eligible to go on a flight. Call (309) 397-6975 for information.


Army offers higher bonuses as it seeks more recruits

Midway through their senior year, many central Illinois teens ponder the first decision of their adult lives: What to do after high school. Some may choose a life in the military.

The U.S. Army has announced it is seeking to draw an additional 6,000 active-duty and 1,500 Army Reserve recruits for a national goal of 68,500 new recruits, for the 2017 fiscal year. Deadline for that mission is Oct. 1. For the Army’s recruiting area that includes central Illinois, the goal is now 2,395 new soldiers, an increase of 250.

To meet the goal, the Army has budgeted $200 million in incentive bonuses and significantly increased the number of two-year enlistment opportunities. Bonuses for certain service occupations will reach $40,000, twice the current level.

Flights will take WWII vets to Washington, D.C.

Three Greater Peoria Honor Flights have been scheduled this year to take veterans on daylong trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation’s war memorials. The round-trip flights will be May 9, June 13 and Sept. 26, departing from the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Greater Peoria Honor Flight is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization honoring American veterans for their sacrifices. They are taken to Washington to visit their respective war memorials at no cost to them. The organization is also a local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, which has more than 120 independent not-for-profit hubs.

Each veteran is accompanied by a volunteer guardian who is responsible for ensuring a memorable trip for the veteran. Guardians pay a fee of $500 to cover the cost of their trip, including the round-trip flight, transportation by bus in Washington, meals, T-shirt, hat, snacks and more.

All central Illinois veterans wishing to go are encouraged to apply. Priority is given to World War II era and terminally ill veterans. After that, veterans are taken in order by the era in which they served and by the date application is received.

To apply as a veteran, guardian or volunteer, apply online at, or print an application from the website and mail it to: Greater Peoria Honor Flight; PO Box 5072; Peoria, IL 61601-5072.

Donations to the organization can be made on the honor flight website or mailed to Greater Peoria Honor Flight; PO Box 5072; Peoria, IL 61601-5072. More information is available by phone at (309) 397-6975 or email at


League of Women Voters candidate forum Feb. 23

The League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria will host a candidate forum of contested primary races questioning Peoria City Council at-large candidates and District 4 candidates, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23, at the Unitarian/Universalist Church, 3000 W. Richwoods Blvd., Peoria.

Moderator Tanya Koonce will conduct the forum, and questions from the audience will be asked. Expected to attend are District 4 candidates Mike Eddlemon, Benjamin Thornton and Jim Montelongo; and at-large candidates Robert Hanauer, Zachary Oyler, Sid Ruckriegel, John Kelly, Scott Kelsey and Amr Elsamny.

Pets now allowed on CityLink and CityLift

Pet owners may bring their pets along for the ride on CityLink and CityLift vehicles, with some restrictions. The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District board of trustees unanimously approved the pet policy 4-0 at its recent meeting. The measure took effect immediately. CityLink already allowed service animals, which provide assistance to people with disabilities.

According to the new policy:

  • Only small pets in protective carriers are allowed, and carriers cannot take up seats or seating areas, or block pathways on vehicles or in CityLink facilities. A single person must be able to carry the carrier.
  • Animals in carriers must behave in a way that does not disrupt others.
  • CityLink reserves the right to remove from its vehicles or property any animals (including service animals) that act aggressively or pose a direct threat to others.

Local domestic violence agency sees $200,000 cut from state

The Center for Prevention of Abuse will lose about $200,000 in state funding, as the result of an unexpected $9 million cut in state funding for programs providing shelter, counseling and advocacy for victims of domestic abuse.

However, as of now, the organization does not have to reduce any of its programming because of the cuts, thanks to continued community support and conservative budgeting.

Wisconsin-based call center to open Peoria location

Straight Forward, an eight-year-old, family-operated business headquartered in Sauk City, Wis., will open a new location in Peoris  by March 2017.  This will be the company’s sixth location and the first to be located outside of the state of Wisconsin. 

Straight Forward is a call center provider that focuses on selling subscription based services to customers nationwide. The company offers flexible work hours, strong bonus opportunities and a state of the art work environment.

The company’s move will create 250 jobs, and will locate to 700 Main St.

For more information on Straight Forward, visit the company website at or contact the company’s Employee Relations Director Michelle Marx at (608) 643-2363, ext. 113.

Lottery for roof repair money opens March 1

The City of Peoria will hold a lottery for the 2017 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Roof Program. This annual program is to assist low-income homeowners unable to afford roof repairs. There are 18 available openings for the roof program this year.

Interested applicants may come to City Hall, 419 Fulton Street, Room 300, during regular business hours to enter the lottery. The lottery will open at 8 a.m. March 1 and close at 5 p.m. March 15. Entries will also be accepted from 5-7 p.m. March 8. Entry forms must be submitted in person.

An informational session about the lottery process will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at City Hall Room 404.

The lottery drawing will be held at 10 a.m. March 22 at City Hall. Entrants are not required to be present. The first 18 selected entries in the lottery will have one week to submit an application with all required documentation. To be eligible for the program, households must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income by household size, as calculated by HUD. The current income limit for a household of four people is $55,600.

Applicants must also meet all other CDBG eligibility requirements including owning the home for at least one year, passing an interior and exterior inspection, and having active homeowners insurance. For more information, contact the Community Development Department, Grants Management Division at (309) 494-8600.

–Peoria County News Briefs–