Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

“The Big Sleep” will kick off the Peoria Public Library 16th annual film noir series March 3. The series will show five of the best examples of the genre.


Bill would require rear-facing car seats

A bill that would require children to ride in rear-facing car seats until age 2 could become law in Illinois. It has the support of the Illinois Senate.  The Senate Public Health Committee voted 7-0 Feb. 20 on Sen. Michael Hastings’ plan.

Hastings, a Tinley Park Democrat, says rear-facing restraints offer more protection for toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees, saying the seats better support a child’s head, neck and spine because the force of shell of the seat absorbs the force of collision and distributes it over the entire body.

The original draft of the bill levied a $75 fine for first-time violators. However, Democratic and Republican senators questioned the fine and got assurances from Hastings that he would change first violations to a warning.

New hotline to handle sexual harassment problems

The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) has announced the creation of a toll-free sexual harassment hotline to provide resources to the public, including referrals to counseling and legal services. The hotline, and accompanying website, will also allow for the reporting of sexual harassment allegations in both private and public places of employment.

In establishing and maintaining the hotline, IDHR enlisted the support of The Chicago Lighthouse, which provides employment opportunities to the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and veteran communities. Staff at The Chicago Lighthouse were trained by IDHR management on legal definitions of sexual harassment and resources available for reporting it, including filing of a charge of discrimination.

The Sexual Harassment Hotline Call Center can be reached Monday through Friday with the exception of state holidays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (877) 236-7703. By statute, all communications received by the department via the hotline or accompanying website are confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

For more information, visit


Construction trades fair for women, minorities

The Peoria Area Diversity in Employment Action Team, along with several community partners, will host the 5thAnnual Women and Minority Constructions Trades Career Fair March 3. Attendees will learn about various responsibilities across the trades as well as available apprentice schools and future employment opportunities in the area.

The free event will be held from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Manual High School, 811 S. Griswold St., Peoria. Go to to register. The city has information about construction trades jobs at

The Peoria Area Diversity in Employment Action Team is an ad-hoc committee on equal employment in the building trades. 

Recovery Project focuses on opioid help

Local law enforcement agencies and Mayor Ardis have announced the Peoria Recovery Project, an event developed to educate the public and provide resources on the opioid epidemic. This free event will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 21 at the Peoria Civic Center. Speakers will include Dr. Kirk Moberg, medical director, Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery; Chris Schaffner, recovery specialist; Joe Rogers, director of operations for Teen Challenge and others. The keynote address will be delivered by Tim Ryan, star of A & E Television’s “Dope Man.”

Sharon Harkless, a mother whose son died of an opioid overdose, will speak. She is the founder of The Peoria Recovery Project. Following the death of her son, Cody, Harkless formed Cody’s Crusaders. Her mission was “to get out and help those who are lost and struggling in this epidemic.”  From this came her idea for the Peoria Recovery Project, an open house that would not only educate members of the public, but also provide resources for those struggling with addition, their family members and their caregivers.

The event will also feature naloxone training, treatment providers, recover counselors, faith-based groups, job readiness resources, education resources, HIV screening and prescription medicine disposal.  Additional information about the event may be found at the Peoria Recovery Project’s Facebook page.

Looks like Portillo’s will open April 30

Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef and sausage sandwiches could be for sale April 30, the date that Portillo’s is expected to open in Peoria. The fast food restaurant is under construction at 4412 N. Rockwood Drive, located between Northwoods and Westlake shopping centers.

Ground was broken in December.

Total sales tax at Portillo’s will be 12 percent. In November, the City Council approved an extra 1 percent sales tax developer Willie Torchia requested to help defray costs. 

Portillo’s is planning to hire about 200 people for full- and part-time positions in Peoria. Interviews are being held in a temporary office at Westlake Shopping Center, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, according to a Portillo’s Facebook post.

Library to host annual film noir fest

The Peoria Public Library will present its 16th annual film noir series in March with the showings of five of the best examples of the genre, at the Main Library, 107 NE Monroe.

Film noir began in the early 1940s, when numerous screenplays inspired by hardboiled American crime fiction were brought to the screen, primarily by European émigré directors who shared a stylized and theatrical storytelling sensibility, emphasizing cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.

  • March 3: ”The Big Sleep” (1946), starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. The movie is based on a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler.

  • March 10: ”Ministry of Fear” (1944), starring Ray Milland.

“Ministry of Fear” is a 1944 film noir crime film. Based on a novel by Graham Greene, the film tells the story of a man just released from a mental asylum who finds himself caught up in an international spy ring and pursued by foreign agents after inadvertently receiving something they want. 

  • March 17: ”Vertigo” (1958), starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.

The movie is director Alfred Hitchcock’s romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes the death of a fellow officer and the woman he was hired to follow. He sees a double of the woman, causing him to transform her image onto the dead woman’s body. This leads into a cycle of madness and lies.

  • March 24: ”Man Bait” (1952), starring George Brent and Marguerite Chapman.

The film is about a married owner of a bookstore who is attracted to his sexy blonde clerk. He gives in to temptation and makes a pass at her, but that only results in him getting enmeshed in blackmail and murder.

  • March 31: ”The Big Steal” (1949), starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer.

Mitchum plays an army lieutenant accused of robbery. He pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief’s fiancée.

The 2 p.m. showings will be hosted by Steve Tarter, a local reporter and film noir buff. Admission is free. For more information, call (309) 497-2000.


Tip line will take information about potential school dangers

Dunlap School District is instituting a tip line that students, staff and parents can use to report threats or potential dangers to school safety. The district is starting the telephone tip line in the wake of the Florida school shooting Feb. 14, that left 17 people dead.

Interim Superintendent Randy Merker was scheduled to release details in a districtwide letter discussing other safety and security measures.


–Peoria County News Briefs–