State fair numbers up from 2016
The weather helped this year’s Illinois State Fair have a better time of it financially, compared to last year.
According to preliminary estimates recently released, 401,658 people attended the 11-day fair, Aug. 10-20. Parking and gate revenue also were up from 2016, and sales for Grandstand acts set a record. Unlike flooding rains, heat and power outages that cut 2016 attendance by more than 13 percent, there was mostly good weather for this year’s fair. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon also credited new attractions, lower parking costs and the addition of mid-week admission discounts.
Alabama, Pentatonix and Five Finger Death Punch were among Grandstand acts contributing to more than $2 million in revenue from a record 59,023 tickets sold. It was the second year in a row for record Grandstand sales.
Planes deployed for hurricane relief
Two Peoria-based C-130H3 Hercules cargo planes have been deployed to help relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
On Aug. 31, the Illinois National Guard said the first C-130 left Peoria and flew to Dallas, where it has been participating in relief efforts in the wake of flooding and damage from Hurricane Harvey.
Then, another Peoria-based C-130H3 Hercules cargo plane left Sept. 3 to help with disaster response efforts. the plane and its crew of seven flew to the U.S. Virgin Islands to deliver key response capabilities to the islands ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The 182nd Airlift Wing is based at the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.
Webinar to show how to grow carnivorous plants
Carnivorous plants are unique and fascinating plants that have captured peoples’ imaginations for years. From the jaw like traps of the Venus flytrap to the sticky leaves of sundews and the pitchers of tropical pitcher plants, carnivorous plants have evolved multiple ways to capture and ‘eat’ their prey. University of Illinois Horticulture educator Ken Johnson will discuss why carnivorous plants have evolved to ‘eat’ meat, the different ways carnivorous plants go about capturing their prey as well as their unique care requirements.
The session will available for live home viewing at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and repeated on at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Following the session, a taped version is available on YouTube. There is no fee to attend. However, attendees must register in advance for the live webinars to receive connection instructions. Each live session is about an hour long and provides an opportunity to ask questions with the presenter. Registration and YouTube information are found at go.illinois.edu/4seasons_webinars.
Regional education program has new location
A former Germantown Hills school is the new home for the regional safe school and alternative school for students in Woodford, Tazewell, and Mason counties.
The facility, designed to offer some students a second chance at an education, and others an opportunity to get special assistance before returning to their home school, recently shifted to the former Germantown Hills grade school site at 110 Fandel Road. It moved from Homewood School in Creve Coeur because it was determined that the building needed a great deal of work.
At its new location it’ll share the site — and the cost of using it — with an Easter Seals program and Woodford County Special Education. The region is funded by general state aid, tuition from the home district and grants.
Sixteen students use the facility, and that number will grow to between 20 and 30 during the year as students with special needs are identified.
The safe school is two-fold and has two programs in the same facility. The academy is for dropouts or students at risk of dropping out. It is a credit recovery program to help students meet the graduation requirements in their home districts. It is a self-paced program. The second program is the Regional Safe School Program. The students change classes and teachers teach the classes so that it is easier for the student when they go back to their home school.
Businesses invited to make scarecrows for contest
The Eureka Business Association is sponsoring a Scarecrow Contest. Scarecrows need to be constructed and displayed so they can be registered for the contest by Sept 25. Judging will take place during the Taste of Eureka in October, when first-place, second-place and a People’s Choice will be awarded. Register at signupgenius.com/go/5080e49a9ac22aaf85-scarecrow.
–Woodford County News Briefs–