Tazewell population down in last 7 years
New U.S. Census Bureau population figures show that Tazewell County lost 1.4 percent of its population between 2010 and 2017, becoming the 15th most populous county in the state at 133,526 people last year.
The state overall lost 0.2 percent of its population from 2010 to 2017 for an estimated total population of 12,802,539 people last year.
Cities that gained population from 2016 to 2017 mostly included Chicago suburbs and downstate cities with sizable college communities, such as Champaign and Normal.
Ordinance paves way for new winery
The East Peoria City Council is making it easier for wineries to open, which will help a potential new winery.
Tres Rojas wines, “three reds” in English, is developing plans for a winery, vineyard, banquet room and bike trails connecting to the River Trail of Illinois. The City Council’s new ordinance allows wineries as a special use in conservation and residential estate district zones. The owners of Tres Rojas were expected to present site plans to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and could be open for business as soon as this fall. The proposal includes a winery building, banquet room and wine-production area. Barry said the business has an option to purchase the property, contingent on satisfying all of the city’s requirements.
The amended ordinance allowing wineries as a special use in a conservation zone was approved by a 4-0 vote.
The 20-acre parcel is off of Bloomington Road between Clover and Crestwood roads, in a wooded secluded area surrounded by residential properties, said Ty Livingston, director of planning in East Peoria.
In May 2016, Tres Rojas acquired use of a small vineyard off Allentown Road in Pekin. The vineyard had been abandoned for about five years.
Annual drug testing report of students shows good results
Nearly 99 percent of 319 random drug tests conducted on students during the 2017-2018 school year at Morton High School came back clean.
Five positive tests for amphetamines and four positive tests for marijuana were reported recently to the Morton School Board, which receives an annual report on the testing.
Students involved in extracurricular activities or who purchase an on-campus parking pass are eligible for the weekly testing, which has been done for 10 years.
Those testing positive for a non-prescribed substance are subject to penalties spelled out in the student handbook but also are provided with counseling and other help.
City receives Purple Heart distinction
The Military Order of the Purple Heart has named Pekin a Purple Heart Community, in honor of the men and women from the community who have been injured in the line of duty.
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration, awarded in the name of the president, to those wounded or killed in action. It was established in 1782 and re-established in 1932.
Mayor John McCabe, a Purple Heart recipient, accepted the flag of the organization on behalf of the city. It will be displayed at the Pekin Municipal Building. A permanent home may be the main lobby of City Hall, with the proclamation and photo that the city also received.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart raises money to help disabled veterans and fund education programs and grants. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 175, which includes Pekin, has donated money to many causes, helped veterans in the greater Pekin area with home accessibility issues, helped get a special adaptation for wheelchairs, and more.
–Tazewell County News Briefs–