Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The yellow tang is one of the stunning fish featured in Chicago Shedd Aquarium’s new special exhibit, Underwater Beauty. Illinois residents can view this exhibit and all features of the aquarium forfree all month.


Aquarium free this month for Illinois residents

Admission to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is free this month for all Illinois residents.

The free entrance will allow visitors to explore the aquarium’s new special exhibit, Underwater Beauty, and visit the main galleries and take in an aquatic presentation.

Attendees will need to show proof of state residence for the offer.

The aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, will extend the free days with special night events on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Attendees who can’t visit the museum during the day or on weekends will be able to go and listen to live music while looking at the aquarium.

Here’s a schedule for the evening events:

  • Caribbean Flavors and Flair (Sept. 17, Sept. 24): There will be Caribbean-inspired food for attendees.
  • Live Latin Rhythms (Sept. 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3, 10): There will be Latin jazz performances, as well as Latin-inspired food and drinks. Attendance to the two October nights will be free.
  • House Party (Sept. 20, Sept. 27): The event will feature house music from DJs Jesse Saunders, Terry Hunter and Farley Jackmaster Funk.

Admission to the evening events will be free; food and drinks can be purchased.

The aquarium recommends those who want to attend to reserve tickets online due to the popularity of the aquarium’s free days. Tickets can be reserved at for a $3 transaction fee.


College offers new MBA degree

Midstate College has added a master of business administration (MBA) degree program to its curriculum.

The first classes will be offered Nov. 12, with the beginning of the winter term. Classes within the program will be offered on campus at night and online.

The faculty and staff of Midstate began developing the MBA program more than six years ago. Once the drafting of the curriculum for the degree was complete, it was sent to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Board of Education for approval. College officials were able to secure Title IV funding, which allows students to receive financial aid.

To complete the program in one year, the full-time tuition is $19,840.

Potential students who have a grade point average of 2.5 and above in undergrad courses will not have to take the Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT). Applications are now being accepted on the college’s website.

The major courses within the MBA program at Midstate will provide advanced studies in analytical decision-making, finance, technology, operations, marketing management, strategic leadership, global business, ethics and corporate responsibility. More faculty will be hired to teach the new courses.

For more information on the new MBA program, visit the Midstate website at

Public can meet artists at reception

The work of African-American artist and educator Steve Prince is the focus of a special exhibition opening Sept. 14 at the Contemporary Art Center.

The dominate piece in the exhibition, “Communal Resurrection,” depicts the historical journey of black Americans from slavery to present day while focusing on the many genres of music developed along the way. It will be on display with other works by Prince in his exhibit “Sankofa, Hope of Renewal,” at the art center, 305 SW Water St., Peoria, through Oct. 19.

The piece was displayed earlier this year during the College of William & Mary’s 50th anniversary of the first African-American residential students admitted to historic college in Williamsburg, Va.

The subject of Steve Prince’s “Communal Resurrection” is so big it demanded a massive format. The print by the Detroit artist is 4 feet tall and 40 feet long. Prince used 5-by-8 foot sheets of plywood as printing blocks.

The public can meet Prince and fellow artists Robert Pulley and Sarah Smelser at a Sept. 15 reception, to be held 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Pulley and Smelser are displaying their sculpture and printmaking through Oct. 26. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Job fair to be held to end teacher shortage

The Peoria Public Schools will hold a hiring event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 27, in an attempt to fill a number of teacher vacancies. The job fair will be held at the administration office, 3202 N. Wisconsin Ave.

The number of vacancies is now 39. The number of vacancies fluctuated between 40 and 60 over the last few months as teachers resigned or joined the district during its summer hiring push.

The current shortage of 39 full-time teachers was reached after a joint effort with the teachers union of “collapsing” classes. When classes are collapsed, the district gauges the enrollment of each class and consolidates if there are few students in that class. For instance, if two English classes have 10 students, the classes are combined and the additional teacher is assigned somewhere else.

The current openings cover these subject areas:

  • Art
  • Business
  • Counselor
  • Drama
  • ELA
  • ESL
  • Math
  • Physical education
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Pre-Kindergarten
  • Career and technical education


Country music is the sound of park’s fundraiser

Princeville’s Troutman Park will receive proceeds from a night of traditional country music that will be held Sept. 15, at the Wyoming, Il 4H Fairgrounds.

The 2018 Country Music Relapse is slated for 4-11 p.m. Headliners James Carothers and Jerry Lee from Nashville will perform at 8 p.m. Carothers, who has performed at the George Jones Museum in Nashville at the personal request of Jones’ widow Nancy Jones, just released a new CD called “Still Country, Still King: A Tribute to George Jones.”

Toulon native Tasji Bachman, who now lives in Nashville, will perform at 4 p.m.

Peoria’s own Cadillac Jack Band will play at 5:30 p.m. With years of touring experience, the band has opened for Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, the Marshall Tucker Band, Montgomery Gentry and other artists.

Tickets are $25. Beverages and food will be available on-site.

A Meet the Bands chicken dinner will be held 4-8 p.m. Sept. 14 at Troutman Park. Guests will have a chance to meet the musicians and eat a chicken dinner. Cost is $10. Dinner proceeds also will go to sustain Troutman Park, 924 N. Santa Fe Ave.



–Peoria County News Briefs–