Peoria County news briefs

University of Illinois Extension’s local SNAP-Ed program team was recently honored with a state-wide award for their excellent work in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. Pictured from left are Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Extension Director, Kaitlyn Streitmatter, Skye Mibbs, Krista Gray, Nate Anton, Kellie Roecker, Tara Agama, Julie Dantone, Kathy Ellis, Earl Allen, and Jennifer McCaffery, Family and Consumer Science Assistant Dean. (Photo courtesy of U of I Extension)


Nutrition educators with Extension earn top honors

On Oct. 9 in Champaign, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education team from Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties received the top award for excellence in teamwork at University of Illinois Extension’s Illinois Nutrition Education Programs annual fall training.

The SNAP-Ed team consists of Kaitlyn Streitmatter, Rebecca Crumrine, Tara Agama, Nate Anton, Julie Dantone, Katherine Ellis, Krista Gray, Skye Mibbs and Kellie Roecker. Support for the team is provided by county director Earl Allen and office support by Sheila Bolliger, Angela Sassine, Julann Schierer, Paula Lane and Deb Balagna. SNAP-Ed provides engaging, in-person nutrition education classes and partners with local organizations to promote healthier settings and food choices.

This award is given to a team that works effectively to accomplish strategic planning goals; creates an environment that encourages trust, open communication, respect and cooperation; places statewide and team goals above individual goals; and builds collaborations to identify and solve problems after considering multiple viewpoints.

Working in the areas of food access and early childhood education is a focus of this team’s programming efforts. The team has participated on coalitions addressing food insecurity, collaborated on gardens which provide donations to food pantries, provided classroom education on nutrition and gardening and numerous educational opportunities at food pantries.

In addition, collaboration with multiple Head Start centers has improved the health culture within each and given families and staff resources to live healthier lives.

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that those eligible for Supplemental Food Assistance Program will make healthy food and lifestyle choices that prevent obesity. SNAP-Ed is provided in all fifty states and is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. In Illinois, SNAP-Ed is part of the Illinois Nutrition Education Programs with University of Illinois Extension.

For more information, visit our website at


Fines Arts Society presents guest lecturer

Peoria Riverfront Museum, 222 SW Washington, will host James Turrell on Thursday, Nov. 14 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Training in perceptual psychology combined with a childhood fascination with light led Turrell to experiment with light as a medium in Southern California in the mid-1960s.

The presenter for this Fine Arts Society lecture is Dr. Craig Adcock, professor of Art History, University of Iowa.

He will focus on Skyspaces as they relate to the Roden Crater Project in northern Arizona where Turrell cut a series of chambers, tunnels, and apertures within an extinct volcano.

For the program is $12 adults, $5 students, no cost for Fine Arts Society members.

For more information visit

Children’s Museum launches new fossil exhibit

The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, Glen Oak Park, 2218 North Prospect Road

Peoria, announces its first new permanent exhibit, Fossils Rock! Fossils Rock has transformed the existing Sand Porch into a natural history space featuring fossils, minerals, and a life-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull.

Visitors will travel through time and embark on a prehistoric expedition. Children will learn and practice the habits of mind critical to scientists: sorting and classifying, careful observation, and critical comparison.

Become a paleontologist, paleoartist, or a collections manager through digging, sorting, and drawing activities. Explore the three prehistoric eras and create your own prehistoric scenes.

Exhibit hours are Mon, Wed-Sat: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, members only 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is ages 1-64 $8.50 and 65 and older $7.50, and those under age 1 get in for free.

The Fossils Rock Workshop Make a Mini-Exhibit, will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 9

Riverfront Museum gives free admission to ICC students

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is offering Illinois Central College students, with a student ID, free admission to the galleries and planetarium during the breakthrough exhibition “Vantage Point: Contemporary American Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art” and the Museum’s self-curated “MOON.”

The exhibits run through Monday, Nov. 10.  Faculty bringing classes will also receive waived admission.

For more information, call the museum at 309-686-7000 or visit


 Autumn ushers in peak season for deer vs. vehicle crashes

With the onset of autumn, the school year is in full swing, pumpkin lattes are steaming – and Illinois deer are feeling amorous. The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are reminding motorists to be vigilant during deer mating season as the animals become more active, especially in the early morning and evening hours.

Motorists are urged to consider the following safe driving tips during deer mating season:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Scan the sides of the road for eye shine – the reflection of headlights in the eyes.
  • Slow down if you see deer. They travel in groups, so more are likely nearby.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Deer can stop in the middle of the road or double back.
  • If a collision is inevitable, try to glance the vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into the opposite lanes of traffic.

In 2018, there were 15,636 motor vehicle crashes involving deer in Illinois. Of these, 14,998 resulted in damage to property or vehicles only, while 630 caused personal injuries. Eight of the crashes were fatal.

More than 40 percent of crashes involving deer in Illinois occurred in October, November and December, with November being the highest-risk month. Rural environments were the site of nearly 90 percent of all crashes involving deer, with more than 70 percent occurring at twilight or nighttime.

If you hit a deer, pull off to the shoulder and turn on the hazard lights. Call 911 to report the accident so law enforcement can assist. Do not get out of the vehicle to check on an injured deer or pull it from the road.

For more information on how to claim a deer that was involved in a crash, visit To report possession of a deer killed in a deer-vehicle crash, fill out the form at