Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media has information about Illinois’ First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry program. A new law allows teens, ages 16 and 17 years old, to register for the program when they receive their first driver’s license or identification card.


New law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to become organ donors

Teens, ages 16 and 17 years old, can now register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their first driver’s license or identification card.

Secretary of State Jesse White supported the legislation, saying, “Thousands of Illinoisans are waiting for an organ. Those who are waiting are someone’s mother, father, daughter or son. This new law is an important step in reducing the number of individuals on the waiting list.”

Before the new law went into effect Jan. 1, an individual had to be at least 18 years old to join the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. The legislation amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to join the registry. Those who join the registry will receive a letter of thanks from the Secretary of State’s office.

By joining the registry, 16- and 17-year-olds will be giving consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death with only the single limitation that the procurement organizations (Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant) must make a reasonable effort to contact a parent or guardian to ensure they approve of the donation. The parent or guardian will then have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision. Once the 16- or 17-year-old turns 18, that decision would be considered legally binding without limitation.

In 2016, more than 350,000 16- and 17-year- olds in Illinois were issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. A total of 47 states have enacted similar legislation.

Illinoisans can register to be a donor by calling (800) 210-2106, or by visiting a local state Driver Services facility.

Motorists will face stiff fines if they ignore stopped vehicles

A new roadway safety campaign has been launched, aimed at raising awareness of an Illinois law requiring motorists to move over for stopped vehicles with flashing lights.

The state law was first enacted in 2002, requiring motorists to slow down, move over and change lanes if possible to make room for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights. The law was expanded in January 2017 to include any vehicle with flashing hazard lights.

Gov. Bruce Rauner along with officials from the Illinois Tollway, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation and other groups last week announced the new “Give Them Distance” safe-driving initiative highlighting the law. Motorists who don’t comply face a fine up to $10,000, a two-year suspension of driving privileges and possible jail time.


Holiday lights can be recycled at a number of locations

The public may recycle old, broken or otherwise unwanted Christmas lights through Jan. 8 at various locations. Recycling will keep the lights out of landfills. Lights will be accepted at:

  • Peoria County Courthouse, 324 Main St., Peoria;
  • Peoria County Health Department, 5415 N. University St., Peoria;
  • Peoria County Highway Department, 6915 W. Plank Road, Peoria;
  • Chillicothe City Hall, 908 N. 2nd St.;
  • Chillicothe Public Library, 430 N. Bradley Ave.; and
  • Peoria Heights Forest Park Nature Center, 5809 N. Forest Park Drive.

All locations will be open for drop-off during their regular business hours.


Annual HopScotch slated for adults only

The third annual HopScotch, an adults-only event, will be held from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 25. Favorite local restaurants and breweries will feature signature whiskey cocktails and locally crafted brews. The third annual event also will feature live music, a silent auction and hands-on activities that will give adults the opportunity to kick off 2018 through an enjoyable evening of play and conversation.

The event will be held at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, a Peoria Park District facility, at 2218 N. Prospect Road, Peoria. Tickets are $55. A limited number of VIP tickets at $85, will be available for the VIP experience including access to the VIP Whiskey Lounge throughout the evening, hosted by Chuck Cowdery, bourbon expert and author, and a HopScotch souvenir glass. For tickets, go to

Girl Scouts will learn how to program robots

Have fun learning the basics of robotics and computer programming. Scouting at the Museum: Programming Robots will be held from 12-3 p.m. Jan. 13, at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, 222 SW Washington St., Peoria.

Girl Scouts will have fun with different activities where they learn how to think like a robot, learn the basics of computer programming, and program a simple robot on their own. While this workshop is intended for Junior Girl Scouts to earn their patch, it is open to Scouts and siblings of all ages.

Group rates are available for groups of five and more, For the Girl Scouts, one chaperone per five scouts is expected. Scouts’ tickets are $20. Chaperones’ tickets are $5.50.

Tickets and more info also available at the museum or by phone (309) 686.7000.

All scouting events require a minimum number of participants to run. Pre-registration is required.


–Peoria County News Briefs–