Peoria County News Briefs

The number of giraffes at the Peoria Zoo could increase with the pending birth of a new giraffe. Here, the last baby giraffe, Finely, is with Emy and mother Vivian. Vivian is pregnant again. Not pictured, is the father Taji.


County courthouses getting Lincoln portrait

A copy of a photograph of Abraham Lincoln sitting at the Old State Capitol in Springfield will soon be hung in each of Illinois’ 102 county courthouses. The project is part of the activities to mark the state’s upcoming bicentennial.

The photograph was taken by Chicago photographer Alexander Hesler in June 1860.

Some of the first counties to get the photograph include McLean, Woodford, Ford, Livingston and Logan. The canvas pictures are 30-inches by 40-inches and framed.

The Bloomington nonprofit Jerome Mirza Foundation is paying for the pictures. Illinois marks its bicentennial on Dec. 3, 2018.


Reception to celebrate veterans’ art exhibit

The creative side of area veterans are on display in the 2nd annual Veterans’ Art Show on the campus of Illinois Central College (ICC). Two- and three-dimensional works submitted by area veterans are on display in the ICC Performing Arts Center Gallery, located in the lobby of the facility on the East Peoria campus. Artists will be feted 6-8 p.m. Nov. 9 at a reception in the gallery. The public is invited to the free event.

The exhibit will be on display through Nov. 28. The Performing Arts Center Gallery is open 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday. The gallery also is accessible when the Performing Arts Center is open for public events. Operation of galleries varies with ICC’s holidays and breaks. For more information or to confirm gallery hours, visit or call (309) 694-5113.

Another exhibit has also opened. Paintings by Mark David Lloyd are on display in ICC Art Gallery 336B, located in the Academic Building. Lloyd is a British contemporary artist who was born in Birmingham, England in 1971. He works predominantly in painting but also in other disciplines, and his works have been exhibited internationally. His work has been described as meta-modernist, post post-modernist and nascent. His work is on display through Nov. 28.


Wilson School name change is being considered

The continuation of a Peoria school to carry the name of the nation’s 28th president may be in jeopardy.

The Peoria Public Schools building committee will recommend renaming Woodrow Wilson Primary School.

The name change could honor Dr. Maude Sanders, Peoria’s first black female doctor; her brother-in-law, late Romeo B. Garrett, Bradley University’s first black professor; or John Gwynn, longtime president of the state and local chapters of the NAACP.

Nationwide controversies over the removal of Confederate statues on public property have prompted the name change discussion. Wilson, who served as president from 1913 to 1921, is known as a progressive reformer on economics who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to develop a League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations. Civil rights activists, including the NAACP, attacked his record on racial segregation and discrimination throughout his administration. 

The primary school, built in 1944, was originally a separate grade school district. The school became part of Peoria Public Schools in 1966. Only one school is named after a woman or person of color in a district that’s almost 60 percent African-American and 10 percent Latino.

Zoo is expecting birth of giraffe

The Peoria Zoo is experiencing a bit of a baby boom. One of the zoo’s giraffes is expecting again.

Vivian, age 8, is pregnant, and expected to give birth by the end of the year. The pregnancy was confirmed by an ultrasound.

This is not the first time Vivian was pregnant. Last July, she and the zoo’s 12-year-old male giraffe, Taji, became parents to baby Finely. He may be moved to a different zoo, depending upon a recommendation by the Species Survival Program.

The zoo also has a second female giraffe, Emy, who is 4 years old. If Finley is not relocated, the new giraffe would bring the zoo’s number to five.

Meanwhile, Brookfield Zoo outside of Chicago announced it euthanized a 27-year-old female. The animal, named Mithra, had shown signs of progressive degenerative changes over the past year, causing staff to decide to put her down Nov. 2. She had been at Brookfield for 25 years.

Free workshop to give advice about going into business

A free workshop for individuals who are interested in starting their own business in Illinois will be offered Nov. 14. Participants will learn about how to register a business name and obtain a tax identification number; which legal form to choose; how to write a business plans; what taxes to pay and more. The workshop will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center, 801 W. Main St., Peoria. The event is being sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University and co-sponsored by Morton Community Bank. For more information, call the small business development center at (309) 677-2992.

Musicians’ CD sales to support Friends of Library

A local group, the Roundstone Buskers, will donate a portion of its CD sales to support The Friends of Peoria Public Library after its Nov. 12 performance. The group – Tom Jones, Bruce Burton and Shannan Sullivan – is an acoustic power trio claiming traditional and contemporary Celtic as part of their sound. They will perform from 2-4 p.m. at the Peoria Public Library North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Pkwy., Peoria. The group takes its name from Roundstone, Ireland, the hometown of the great bodhran maker Malachy Kearns.

Salvation Army taking names for Christmas assistance

Now is the time to sign up for Salvation Army Christmas assistance. Those who need help can sign up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 8-Nov. 9 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10, at the Corps Community Center, 2903 W. Nebraska Ave. 

A similar one-week sign-up will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 4-Dec. 8 — also at the Corps Community Center.

Sign-ups will be for Coats for Kids, food baskets or the Toy Shop. Parents or guardians must bring a photo ID, a birth certificate or medical card showing children’s birth dates and a piece of mail with a current address to sign up.


–Peoria County News Briefs–