Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The public can again see the interior of Peoria’s oldest home. The John C. Flanagan House Museum, 942 NE Glen Oak Ave., has reopened for tours now that damage in January from a boiler failure and burst water pipes has been repaired.


State to hire conservation police

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is seeking applicants for the position of Conservation Police Officer Trainee. The department is beginning the selection process with the written exam to be administered through Aug. 30, with the intent to hire up to 20 officers in 2019.

Interested applicants should complete a CMS100 employment application from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), which can be found online through this link,

Applicants should also review the hiring information contained on the IDNR Law Enforcement webpage

For more information about the hiring process, review the detailed information available on the IDNR website at or call Lt. Curt Lewis, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, at 217-785-8407 or e-mail him at


Number of tickets up in fireworks crackdown

The Peoria Police Department wrote more than 115 tickets July 3 and July 4, in the department’s crackdown on illegal fireworks.

The overall total is well above the eight citations issued in 2017.

The department had 17 officers and detectives on a fireworks detail. That number is close to a regular overnight shift, in which about 22 officers are usually on the street.

The number of fireworks-complaint calls soared this year. Last year, Peoria police received 183 fireworks-complaint calls the week of July 4. This year, 402 calls were received.

Neighbors helping neighbors is in the spotlight

This is Great Neighbor Appreciation Week in Peoria.

The city’s Community Development Department is hosting this annual event through July 14, as time set aside for citizens to reach out to neighbors, to create new friends and to express thanks to those who help make neighborhoods a great place to live. Residents, community groups and businesses across Peoria are celebrating at the following events.

  • July 11 – Neighborhood Association Meet-and-Greet, Peoria Civic Center, Sonar Tide Venue (Outdoor Patio), 201 SW Jefferson Ave., 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • July 12 – Cupcakes with Community Development, Laura Bradley Park. Lower Level: 1314 N. Park Road, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. In case of rain, the event will move to Peoria City Hall, 419 Fulton St.
  • July 12 – Neighborhood Business Appreciation Day
  • July 13– Code Encouragement Day
  • July 14 – #AppreciatePeoria at the Riverfront Market, 212 SW Water St.

Throughout the week, WPNV 106.3, Peoria’s Neighborhood Voice, will air interviews with neighbors.

Questions may be directed to Josiah Williams, Neighborhood Enhancement Coordinator, at

309-494-8636 or

Intersection closed for repairs

The intersection of north Northcrest Drive and west Nebraska Avenue is closed for culvert replacement. This closure is expected to last into next week, weather permitting. Detour routes will be posted.

City’s oldest home reopens to the public

Peoria’s oldest home is once again open for tours. The John C. Flanagan House Museum, 942 NE Glen Oak Ave., Peoria, has reopened after a boiler failure and burst water pipes caused extensive damage to the home in January. The boiler was replaced, plaster work done and every item in the house was cleaned.

The American Federalists style house also welcomed guests to celebrate the Fourth of July. Its spacious backyard gave more than 100 visitors a vantage point to watch the riverfront fireworks display.

Flanagan family members lived in the home, built in 1837 on Peoria’s east bluff, until the first few years of the 20th Century. The Peoria Historical Society took over the home in 1962.

Air conditioning was installed in 2015 thanks to help from the Daughters of the American Revolution, which uses the home as its local headquarters.

The house is open for tours. Call 309-674-1921 for information.

College is using grant to preserve its history

Methodist College is using a grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize historical artifacts and documents. The $33,946 grant is part of $550,000 awarded to organizations throughout the state by Secretary of State Jesse White, who is also the State Librarian.

Methodist College, 7600 N. Academic Drive, has a large collection of artifacts dating back to 1900 when the School of Nursing at Methodist Hospital was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Deaconess. The collection, some it 100 years old and in fragile condition, contains newsletters, letters, brochures, diplomas, graduation programs, nursing materials and about 5,000 photos and slides. The collection will be an asset to historians and genealogists interested in the Peoria area.

Local historian and preservationist Robert Killion is leading a team of librarians, students and staff to complete the digitization process. When it is completed, Methodist College will share the collection with the public. Pieces from the archive will be in “Year of Invention” at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in 2019. The exhibit will focus on the Peoria area’s long history with medicine, and will feature inventions that changed the course of medicine.

The newly digitized items also will be used for alumni relations and to create a permanent history piece displayed at the college.

New chancellor assumes post July 30

In other Methodist College news, the school will have a new leader at the end of the month. James R. Dire has been hired as its next chancellor, effective July 30. Dire, a Missouri native, has most recently worked as vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Hawaii’s Kaua’i Community College.

Methodist is affiliated with UnityPoint Health, and its curriculum focuses mainly on nursing, health sciences and human services.

Dire holds a bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, physics and mathematics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master’s in physics and electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida, and master’s and doctoral degrees in earth and planetary science from The John’s Hopkins University.

He was a nuclear engineer in the Navy and taught physics at the Naval Academy and physics and engineering at the Coast Guard Academy.

Dire succeeds Kimberly Johnston, who left the chancellor position in May 2017. Deborah Garrison will continue to serve as interim chancellor until Dire begins work.

He will be joined in his move to Peoria by his wife, Sherry Lynn, and two daughters.


–Peoria County News Briefs–