Woodford County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The public soon will be able to see the striking staircase in the Governor’s Mansion again. A $15 million renovation project has been completed, and Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diane, have returned to the mansion. They use it when they are in Springfield and for governmental functions. A July 14 public event is being planned.


Gubernatorial candidates contribute to mansion repairs

After an almost $15 million renovation, Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, have moved back into the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Springfield. Rauner and his opponent in the November election, J.B. Pritzer, have both donated to the effort. So, whoever is the mansion’s next occupant, he has helped in the effort to make the mansion livable again.

Diana Rauner, the governor’s wife, has co-chaired the non-profit Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association, which raised the money for the work from private donors.

And, it turns out, a couple of those donors are Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, and his wife, M.K. The Pritzker campaign says M.K. Pritzker was on the mansion association board before her husband’s bid for the office. A list of all donors is expected to be released this week.

The Rauners do not live in the mansion full time, but use it when they are in Springfield and for governmental social functions.

A July 14 event is being planned to reopen the mansion to the public.


Planning continues to reduce harm from severe storms

The upcoming Tri-County Natural Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee meeting will continue a discussion about how to prevent injuries and deaths while maintaining vital community services during severe storm. The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. June 20, in Room 200 of the Clock Tower Building, 201 Clock Tower Drive, East Peoria. Committee meetings are open to the public.

Fourteen jurisdictions throughout Woodford, Tazewell and Peoria counties are participating in the planning process, including the city of Eureka, the village of Germantown Hills and Woodford County.

The last meeting, which took place in March, focused on risk assessment and mitigation activities. Two more meetings are expected in this planning process, which is funded through a grant from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, or IEMA. This plan will serve as an update for the 2010 Tri-County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is aimed at identifying projects and activities that can be implemented before these disasters occur.

Building storm shelters, acquiring flood-prone properties, providing back-up power supplies, retrofitting water supplies and other critical facilities to better withstand natural disasters are a few of the more frequently encountered mitigation projects in Illinois.


Old Settlers Days to show artistic side

This year’s celebration of Old Settlers Days will feature an art show, to be held in the Village Hall on the East side of the square in Metamora, June 20-23. The hours for the show are: 5-9 p.m. June 20 and June 21; 1-9 p.m. June 22; and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. June 23.

One of the featured artists is Lydia Jones, 18, and a 2018 graduate of Metamora Township High School high school. She grew up home-schooled with five siblings, and quickly discovered her passion for art. During middle school she took some private art classes for fun, and started to do art more seriously. Lydia taught herself for the next few years; and in her junior and senior year, she took art classes at. Going there gave her several great opportunities to improve her art, and opened many doors.

Lydia has been in 4H for nine years; and has always showed her art at fairs, several pieces even receiving awards at the state level. In 2017, Lydia showed in the Mid-Illini Art Show and was awarded several ribbons in both the 2D and 3D categories. One of her pieces, “Valerie,” received best of show in its category. Later that same year, she entered in the Congressional Art Show. “Valerie” won second place and was taken to Washington D.C. to be hung in Darin LaHood’s office. In 2018, Lydia entered in the shows again and received several awards. Her piece, “This Train Station,” won second place in the ICC Portfolio Competition, and went to state for the 4H fair. She was also given the chance to paint two murals for the Metamora Township High School.


–Woodford County News Briefs–