Peoria County news briefs

Peoria Fire Chief James Bachman


Division chief promoted to assistant fire chief

Chief James Bachman has been promoted to the position of assistant fire chief for the Peoria Fire Department, beginning Nov. 30.

Bachman began his career with the Peoria Fire Department on May 9, 1994.

A graduate of Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he also holds an associate degree in fire science from John Wood Community College.

Bachman has been a member of the Hazardous Materials Specialty Team since 2006.  He currently holds the position of Fire Division Chief of Operations.

Incoming Fire Chief Tony Ardis stated “Chief Bachman’s firefighting knowledge and background made him an excellent choice for this position.  We look forward to continuing to provide the City with exceptional service.”

Civic Chorale presents American Family Christmas and gala

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Joseph D. Henry and with featured soloist Megan Koch, will present its An American Family Christmas concert series Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14 at 7:30 pm at Five Points Washington and a new An American Family Christmas Gala on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Tickets for the Gala are $75 each and are on sale at or by calling 309-693-6725 by Dec.  8.

Special to Friday night’s performance will be two festival choirs 120 youth from 4th grade through junior high from over a dozen area schools. Each Five Points performance will also feature a talented teen Young Artist competition winner: Meg Ciko of Germantown Hills (Friday), Halee Hendel of Avon (Saturday) and Rachel Kocher of Dunlap (Saturday). The Chorale’s Youth Chorus will also perform and there will be special appearances by Jack Frost, Rudolph and Santa and his elves.

Tickets for “An American Family Christmas” at Five Points are $20 for adults, with students through college at $8 and are available at 309-693-6725, online at or at the door. This concert series is sponsored by CEFCU, Parsons and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Sunday Gala performance is a collaboration with the Peoria Riverfront Museum, which regularly promotes live music through its Music at the Museum performances. Guests of the Gala will enjoy an adapted version of An American Family Christmas as well as a wine pull, silent auction, plated dinner and access to the museum’s DaVinci: The Genius featuring the Secrets of Mona Lisa exhibit.

Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ coming to GAR Hall 

A reader’s theater production of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol at will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the GAR Hall, 416 Hamilton Blvd., Peoria.

The afternoon includes Christmas High Tea, music, and performances by Cheri Beever, Cindy Hoey, Gene Bourke, Dave Schick, Keri Rae, and Charles Brown as “Scrooge.”  The script was adapted by Doug Day.

The event is free, but donations will be appreciated to benefit the GAR Hall.  An elevator is available as alternative for the steps to the hall.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale will present its An American Family Christmas concert and gala series Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14. (Photo courtesy of Peoria Civic Chorale)

 Library manager joins Illinois resource alliance

Jamie Jones, manager of Peoria Public Library McClure Branch, has been elected to the RSA (Resource Sharing Alliance) Board.

RSA is some consortia of libraries in central and west central Illinois sharing a common library automation system.

RSA facilitates the checkout and sharing of materials among member libraries, providing access to materials from nearly 200 different libraries across the state. RSA is just one of several resource sharing services through the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).


Deer hunting season gets underway

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 50,173 deer during the first weekend of the Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 22-24.  Hunters took 58,836 deer during the first firearm weekend in 2018.

Hunters in Peoria County harvested 571 so far.

Illinois’ seven-day Firearm Deer Season will conclude Dec. 5-8.

Other deer hunting opportunities in the weeks ahead include:

  • Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 13-15;
  • Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and CWD Deer Seasons (in select counties only) on Dec. 26-29, 2019 and Jan. 17-19, 2020;
  • Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 19, 2020 (archery deer hunting is closed Dec. 5-8 in counties open for Firearm Deer Season)

For more details on deer hunting, open counties, and other information, check the IDNR website at

Red Cross hosting blood drives during holiday season 

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to be the lifeline for patients in need this holiday season by making an appointment to give blood or platelets.

While helping to save lives is likely motivation enough, those who come out to give now through Dec. 18 will also receive a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.

Here how to make donating blood easy.

  • It’s quick and easy to find a convenient blood drive. Search for drives by ZIP code and make an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
  • Donors can save time by completing a RapidPass®. The entire donation process only takes about an hour, but donors can save time with RapidPass. Pre-donation reading and health history questions can be completed online to save about 15 minutes.
  • Donors will get important health information. Donors receive a mini-health screening to help determine eligibility that includes blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin readings. First-time donors will also find out their blood type soon after donating.

As schedules fill with holiday parties, shopping and fun with friends and family, many blood and platelet donors delay giving. Unfortunately, that may lead to delays in treatments for patients relying on blood. Right now, there is a critical need for type O blood donors.

The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give through Dec. 18 with a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at