Peoria County news briefs

The Peoria Pops Orchestra will perform an outdoor concert on July 4 at Pettengill-Morron House, 1212 W. Moss Ave. (Photo courtesy of Peoria Pops Orchestra)


American Red Cross holding blood drives

The American Red Cross urges donors of all blood types to give now to help prevent delays in medical care this summer.

To draw attention that blood types sometimes do go missing from hospital shelves, A’s, B’s and O’s began disappearing on June 11 from iconic brand logos, social media pages, signs and websites as part of the Missing Types campaign. The campaign is raising awareness of the need for more blood donors.

While thousands of blood donors have answered the call to fill the Missing Types, more donors are needed now to help ensure patients don’t have to wait for blood products. During the summer, especially around holidays like Independence Day, donations often don’t keep pace with patient needs.

The Red Cross is thanking all those who come to donate through July 6 with an exclusive Red Cross Missing Types T-shirt, while supplies last.

There are many upcoming opportunities to donate throughout the central Illinois area over the month of July.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

ICC hosting a Ready to Work Expo

Illinois Central College will host an expo on Thursday, July 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to noon,  for potential students to learn about educational opportunities to retool their job skills to match local careers in demand.

The open house style event provides potential students and their families the opportunity to speak individually with faculty and staff from a wide range of career and technically based programs. Recent high school grads, the unemployed, as anyone wanting to improve their job skills, are encouraged to attend. Registration is appreciated but not required.

Participating programs include:

  • Welding
  • Machining, Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
  • Electrical
  • Graphic communication
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture, Ag Science, Ag Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Automotive and GM ASEP
  • Diesel Powered Equipment Technology (DPET)
  • Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship-Ready programs (solar pipeline training, highway construction careers training, GED Bridge, truck driving training, industrial maintenance, and secure software)

Labs and classroom spaces in some areas will be open for tours.


 Historical Society will hold two events July 4.

The society, in conjunction with the Moss-Bradley Neighborhood Association, will host a community gathering from noon to 2 p.m. at Pettengill-Morron House, 1212 W. Moss Ave.

Pettengill-Morron House, 1212 W. Moss Ave., Peoria. (Photo courtesy of Illinois Adventure)

The Peoria Pops Orchestra will perform, and pony rides, ice cream and beverages will be available free of charge. Donations will be accepted. Attendees are welcome to bring picnics. The 150-year-old home will be open for tours at a reduced price of $5.

The grounds of the John C. Flanagan House, 942 N.E. Glen Oak Ave., will be open for picnicking and fireworks viewing beginning at 6 p.m. Admission to the grounds is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12.

Popcorn and beverages will be available for purchase. Tours of the Flanagan House, which was built in 1837, will be available until 8:30 p.m. for the reduced price of $5.

Laura Keyes-Kaplafka of Dunlap will portray Mary Todd Lincoln.

Attendees at both events should bring their own seating.

Proceeds from both events benefit the Peoria Historical Society.

Dirksen Parkway paving operation

Peoria County is undertaking a large paving operation along Dirksen Parkway.

Traffic will be controlled by flaggers as concrete trucks enter and leave the jobsite. Delays are to be expected. Motorists are urged to use caution in the work zone and plan for delays.

Major roadwork on this project is required to be completed by Dec. 6. Project updates continue to be posted to the Peoria County Highway Department website:


State fire marshal talks summer safety

State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says, “As Illinois residents begin to enjoy another beautiful summer, it is important to remember these tips that will allow them to do it safely and responsibly.”

Here are some tips to remember when using barbeque grills, fire pits and fireworks.

  • Propane and charcoal grills should be only used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat build up from grates and trays below. Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Children and pets should always remain at least three feet away from the grilling area.
  • Before starting a campfire, make sure to check to see if it is permitted at the site. Clear away any dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and keep fires at least 25 feet away from any structure or anything that can burn.
  • Avoid burning on windy, dry days. Keep the campfire small making it easier to control. Watch children and pets closely while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. It only takes a few minutes for it to spread and cause damage.
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt/sand nearby and make sure it is completely out before leaving the site.

It is important to remember fireworks are dangerous and should only be used by those who are licensed.

On average, there are over 18,000 fires caused by fireworks per year. These fires and injuries are not only caused by commercial/consumer fireworks, but also by unregulated novelty fireworks that are sometimes purchased at local retailers.

Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency room visits related to fireworks. A sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200° degrees Fahrenheit. All adults must have a permit to shoot consumer fireworks.

More information about fireworks safety and fire safety can be found by visiting the Office of the State Fire Marshal