Tazewell County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Various train models will lure enthusiasts to the Peoria Train Fair, to be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 18, on the Illinois Central College’s East Peoria campus.


Judge announces his retirement

Tazewell County Felony Court Judge Thomas Keith will retire from the assignment he began with the new year.

Keith, 67, will formally retire on March 30 but serve his last day on the bench March 9, leaving two years before his term expires.

He did not begin his legal career until he was in his mid-40s, and procured his first judicial assignment five years ago.

In college, he switched to law studies while on his way to a minister’s degree. A post-graduate internship with a federal judge preceded 19 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Peoria, where he specialized in the new field of cyber-crime prosecution.

The Illinois Supreme Court in 2013 appointed Keith to fill a vacancy as presiding circuit court judge for Stark County, one of five counties with Tazewell in the 10th Judicial Circuit. He was elected to his own six-year term the next year.

Last summer, Keith was identified as one of four finalists for appointment as U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois, but announced his intention to retire in December 2018, before moving the date up to March.

Because no Democrat is running for his seat, the winner of the March 20 GOP primary likely will be elected in November to serve the remaining two years of his term. The GOP primary candidates are attorneys Bruce Fehrenbacher of rural Bradford and Robert Rennick Jr. of Toulon.


School district makes national ranking

The Morton School District has been selected as one of the top two districts in the country by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a trade group of home security professionals that advocates for safe communities.

The group collected data from 9,577 school districts to determine the Best School Districts in America, and compared them based on student performance, dropout rates, school funding, and area poverty rates. In their ranking Naperville CUSD 203 and Morton CUSD came in at first and second, respectively, while Wauconda CUSD 118 in Wauconda, IL came in at seventh, giving Illinois three school districts in the top 10.


Play portrays President, Mrs. Lincoln

Witness living history with Max and Donna Daniels, who portray President and Mrs. Lincoln in a one-act play, “An Evening with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln,” which they will perform at 2 p.m. Feb. 10, at the Pekin Public Library, 301 S. 4th St., Pekin.

The play takes place at the White House at the end of the Civil War. The couple reflects on the events of the past four years and look toward their plans for the future. The play ends with them leaving for that fateful night at Ford’s Theatre.

The performance is free and seating is limited.


Train fair on ICC campus Feb. 18

The Peoria Train Fair returns Feb. 18, to the Illinois Central College East Peoria campus, The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is sponsored by the Illinois Valley Model Railroad Club in Peoria and Pekin’s River City Model Railroad Club. The clubs’ fundraiser will feature operating layouts, swap meet tables, videos and more. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.  

The fair will offer something for everyone from model railroad enthusiasts, train buffs and beginners. The latest products will be available as well as DVDs, videos, books, photos and model railroad parts and supplies. New and used items from most scales and real railroad memorabilia will be available including clothing, patches and pins. 

Proceeds support the Illinois Valley Model Railroad Club in Peoria and River City Model Railroad Club in Pekin and their efforts to highlight and promote the hobby of model railroading to all. For information, contact Rick Stephenson at (309) 339-2896 or rick@rickstephenson.com.


–Tazewell County News Briefs–