Peoria County news briefs

The Youth Education Committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau and its affiliates awarded 10 Illinois 4-H members with its Leadership, Citizenship, and Professionalism Award at a ceremony held in Champaign. Pictured (front, left to right) are Hannah Barger, Skye Schumaker, and Sara Timm; (back) Jenny Webb, Illinois Farm Bureau; Alexander Ford, Kaleb Hemrich, Seth Mitchell, and Josh Rossi. Not pictured are winners Julia Heller, Danielle Lynn, and Jennifer McConnaughhay. (Photo courtesy of Illinois 4-H)


4-H Foundation awards $49,000 scholarships

The Illinois 4-H Foundation provided $29,000 in college scholarships and awarded another $20,000 in national conference travel scholarships to 4-H members honored at a ceremony held in Champaign.

The annual celebration recognized over 100 of the top participants in the state’s most successful youth development program.

Winners include Katherine Mueller of Peoria County

“Our awardees embody the true spirit of 4-H, having made a difference not only in their communities, but also Illinois and the nation,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H. “We are proud of the dedication, service, and fortitude of the young men and women who have developed through our 4-H programs.”

Angie Barnard, Foundation executive director, said, “Our donors are generous and believe that higher education changes lives,”

Donors include Farm Credit Illinois, Nann Armstrong, Patricia Clickener, Lila Jeanne Eichelberger, the Nellie R. McCannon Trust, Keith and Lissa Parr, Dorsey Murray, George Obernagel, Legacy endowment contributors, LA-CO, Illinois Farm Bureau, Peter Johnson, Susan Moore, Katherine Razim, Ryan and Elaine Ruwe, Marvin and Elizabeth Schnitzler, Gerald and Linda Thiele, Lindsay Young, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation.

Illinois 4-H Foundation presents the Legacy of Leadership Scholarship to 4-H members who demonstrate and maintain a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery during their membership tenure.


Yard  waste pickup seasons ends this week

The last weekly pickup of yard waste for Peoria residents will be from Dec.  9-13. Yard waste pickup is on the same day as your trash pickup day.

Yard waste materials include grass clippings, leaves, tree limbs, and brush.  Tree limbs and sticks can be bundled with nonmetallic cord, such as twine, but must be less than five feet in length and less than 50 pounds.

For unbundled materials, residents are encouraged to use their own container.  Use plastic or metal garbage cans that are between 40 and 45 gallons in size, with two handles, and a tight-fitting lid or wheeled carts that are either 65 or 95-gallon size.

Be sure to label cans or carts with, “Yard Waste Only.” Labels are available at City Hall, Public Works or any Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) location.

Yard waste is hard on carts so using a separate container for yard waste, instead of the City of Peoria trash carts that are intended for garbage, helps to prolong the life of the City’s cart and to reduce expenses.

Yard waste pickup will resume in March 2020.  For more information, visit

Holiday Shop and Stroll happening this weekend

Forest Park Nature Center, 5809 N Forest Park Drive, Peoria Heights, is hosting its annual Holiday Shop and Stroll on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Stroll a forest path lit with luminaries, enjoy live holiday music, storytelling and caroling and seasonal treats and wassail.

Discover nature-related artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale Shop in the Trailhead Nature Store to support this event.

For more information, contact Kristi Shoemaker at 309-686-3360 or at

Library hosting holiday-related programs

Enjoy a variety of holiday-themed programs for all ages – from classic movies like White Christmas to Christmas crafts to cookie decorating – across all five Peoria Public Library locations.

Sugar Cookie Decorating – Saturday, Dec. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m., McClure Branch

Join us for some sugar cookie decorating while a classic Christmas movie plays in the background.

Then enjoy your uniquely decorated treat with some hot cocoa before taking off. All ages welcome while supplies last.

Countdown to Noon – Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Lakeview Branch

Get ready for an exciting party for all the youngsters who can’t stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year.

Countdown to noon by dressing up, enjoying snacks, coloring, and taking silly photos in front of our special New Years’ Eve backdrop.

At noon there will be a balloon drop and dance to some favorite songs. Little ones won’t want to miss this special party. Ages 1 to 7.

Peoria Public Library has at least three locations open every day of the week with the exception of Dec. 24 and 25 when the Main Library and all branches will be closed.


Time to register for the Youth Goose Hunt,

Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR, may register now for the hunt scheduled for Jan. 19-20, 2020.

To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, youth hunters must phone in to the IDNR at 217-785-8060 by the registration deadline of Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

The youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in the Canton area in Fulton County. A lottery drawing involving all youth who phone in to register will be conducted Jan. 6, 2020, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.

First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. The hunt is open to youth ages 10-17 at the time of the hunt.

IEMA highlights holiday safety in December

With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year.  From decorating the tree to traveling to grandma’s house with a sleigh full of new toys, be sure to take simple steps to keep your family safe.

Decorating —Whether decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, candles and strings of colored lights create a festive atmosphere but it’s important to be careful when using them.

Candles should never be left unattended, and placed far away from flammable materials.

Candles should also be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax.  Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested.

 Heating —Chimneys, fireplaces and wood and coal stoves should be regularly inspected and cleaned when necessary.  Additionally, furnaces should be checked every year by professionals to ensure mechanical parts are functioning properly and that nothing is blocking the flue.

Malfunctioning furnaces increase both the fire and carbon monoxide risks.

Under Illinois law, homes should be equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each sleeping area.

The detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they’re functioning and the batteries are still good.  Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or attached garage because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Shopping — Whether shopping online or in the store, be sure to utilize smart shopping techniques this holiday season. If shopping online, connect with care.

Make sure your home wireless network is password protected, and set strong passwords that make it hard for cyber criminals to guess.

During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails requiring you to click a link for a special offer.  Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid these scams, and do not click on links from unknown senders.

Travel — When traveling, whether by car, train or plane, be sure to utilize smart travel tips.

If traveling by car, remember to pack an emergency supply kit with essentials for all your passengers.

Fill out an emergency communications plan and let your in case of emergency (ICE) contact know your plan.  Also, before you hit the road, check local road conditions and avoid traveling during winter storms.

If traveling by plane for the holidays, be sure to review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security screening tips.

When packing for your flights, consider a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight and spare USB power bank.