Pennsylvania surpasses Illinois as 5th largest
For the fourth consecutive year, Illinois has lost population; this time, losing the most number of residents of any state in America, according to newly released U.S. Census data.
Illinois lost 33,703 residents, dropping the total population to 12,802,023, the greatest numeric population loss of any state. Pennsylvania saw a slight increase, and now with a total population of 12,805,537, has outranked Illinois for the first time in years, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017.
Illinois’ population drop represents a loss of 0.26 percent, which allowed Pennsylvania to slide ahead of Illinois into the No. 5 spot for the most-populous states.
Idaho was the nation’s fastest-growing state over the last year, the census said. Its population increased 2.2 percent to 1.7 million. Following Idaho for the largest percentage increases in population were Nevada (2 percent), Utah (1.9), Washington (1.7), Florida and Arizona (1.6 each).
Overall, the country’s population grew by 2.3 million during the one-year period, representing a 0.72 percent increase to 325.7 million.
New website gives detailed road conditions
The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced its newly redesigned GettingAroundIllinois.com, which will have continually updated information on road conditions.
“The new-and-improved GettingAroundIllinois.com is a great resource any time of the year, but especially during winter when road conditions can quickly change,” IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said recently in a news release. “Illinois has the third-largest highway system in the nation, so we know it is important to provide the public with a convenient way to access information they know they can trust.”
Available on computers and mobile devices, the website includes the ability to identify and zoom in to a location, travel route or destination. Road conditions are recorded by IDOT plow drivers out in the field and relayed through GettingAroundIllinois.com through a cloud-based system.
Recent updates to this map include more detailed reports of snow coverage and a color scheme that aligns with map technology used by surrounding states.
Sheriff’s office issues warning to drunk drivers
The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office is working around the clock through the early hours of Jan. 2, to keep drivers and passengers safe as they search for alcohol and drug impaired drivers. The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois in a year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement.
“Now through New Year’s Day, motorists will notice increased enforcement watching closely for anyone who is driving impaired,” said Sheriff Brian Asbell. “It is vital that we keep our travelers safe, not just at the holidays, but every day. That’s why we’ll arrest anyone who chooses to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.”
Officers also will be looking for, and ticketing, individuals who aren’t buckled up. It is the law in Illinois to wear seat belts, no matter where you are seated in the vehicle.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort is made possible by federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
New volume of Downstate Story available free on the web
Ten new short stories by Illinois and Midwestern writers are featured in the 2017 edition of Downstate Story, Peoria’s only literary magazine for fiction. Downstate Story is now published only on the web at downstatestory.com.
The writers in this issue include central Illinois authors Dennis Shannon of Morton and Loren Logsdon of Eureka.
Other authors are Pepper Bauer of Mapleton, IL; Jim Courter of Macomb, IL; Margaret Lisle of Lisle, IL; Marie Anderson of LaGrange, IL Grace Kuikman of Chicago, IL; Don Mauer of Fontata, WI; Alyssa Murphy of Lawrenceburg, IN; and Paul Bowman of New Albany, IN. Most of these writers have long lists of publications in other literary magazines, and some have written books.
Published by Downstate Story, Inc., an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, the annual publication aims to present original fiction by Illinois writers and writers with ties to Illinois and the Midwest as a quality alternative to today’s mass-market publishing. None of the stories have been published elsewhere. Stories reflect diversity of authors, and include romance, horror, fantasy, science fiction and mainstream fiction.
For this Web edition, readers are asked for donations to help defray publishing costs. All writers are paid for their work.
Downstate Story’s Facebook page can be accessed at facebook.com/downstatestory.
City will pick up Christmas trees
Christmas tree disposal is part of Peoria Disposal Company’s (PDC) normal collection day service. There is no special pick-up service scheduled, however residents are encouraged to bag their tree and place it on the curb before 6 a.m. on their scheduled trash collection day. If the tree is taller than 5 feet, it has to be cut at least in half in order to be shorter than 5 feet. All lights and ornaments must be removed. Christmas trees are not considered landscape waste, so they will go into the landfill. Environmentally conscious residents need to make other arrangements to dispose of their trees. For more information, go to pdcarea.com or call PDC at (309) 674-5176, ext. 1.
Rapper goes country at summer festival
This summer’s country music festival, Tailgate N’ Tallboys Music Festival, will feature rapper Nelly. The popular rap artist kicked off the summer concert season on the Peoria riverfront in May.
Nelly, whose hits include “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” “Ride with Me” and “Hot in Herre,” will play on the riverfront on June 16 in the country music festival. The festival occurs over several weekends in the summer on the riverfront. Its 2018′s dates will be June 15 to June 17, July 20 and 21, and Sept. 15.
Though Nelly is known for his hip hop and pop hits, he has crossed over to create several tracks that have played on country radio.
Other Tailgate N’ Tallboys artists announced this week were Drew Baldridge and the Cadillac Three. To purchase tickets for the festival, visit tailgatentallboys.com.
–Peoria County News Briefs–