Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Visitors to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium gaze onto a reef and its inhabitants. The aquarium and other museums in Chicago offer free admission to Illinois residents.


New year, new laws are on the books

In 2018, more than 250 new laws were passed in Illinois. Here is a small sampling of some of the laws that went into effect Jan. 1.

Rear-facing seats for youngsters: Children who are under the age of 2 years old have to be in rear-facing seats when in a vehicle. Also, children under the age of 8-years-old must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system. There are exemptions in the law. The rules would not apply if a child weighs more than 40 pounds, is taller than 40 inches, or is traveling in a vehicle weighing more than 9,000 pounds.

Preparing for the worst: At least once a year, schools will need to have active shooter drills that are led by law enforcement. Students have to be present for the drills. The drills need to take place within 90 days of the first day of the school year.

New gun laws: Family members or police may ask a judge to order a person’s firearms be taken away temporarily if they believe the person is a threat. Also, when buying a firearm in the state, a person will have to wait 72-hours before completing the purchase. Previously when people were buying long guns such as shot guns or rifles, they only had to wait 24 hours. Handguns already had 72-hour waiting period.

Fashion for hunters: In addition to wearing orange, people who are hunting may now wear pink in order to keep safe. State law requires hunters to wear blaze outerwear and caps for certain types of hunting, including firearm deer hunting. Proponents of the bill said pink can be easier to see in the woods, which makes it a safer option for hunters. Pink camoflauge has been popular for years with female hunters.

Nursing moms and jury duty: Moms who are nursing their child may now be excused from jury duty at their request.

Preventing sexual harassment: Companies that want to do business with state government, or companies in the EDGE tax credit program, need to have policies on how they address sexual harassment complaints. The new protections come during a time when the #MeToo movement highlighting how common sexual harassment is in workplaces.

That message on Facebook: Unwanted messages sent via social media can now be considered stalking behavior, under a new law. That same new law also allows businesses, schools and places of worship to seek no-contact orders against stalkers.

Black history in post-secondary education: Community colleges and other public institutions of higher education in Illinois will be required to offer courses studying black history.

Museums offer free admission to Illinois residents

Chicago has riches upon riches in its museum, and shares them with Illinois residents by offering free admission on certain days. Here is a roundup of museums that encourage visitors to come for free. But read the list closely, some of the offers expire in February.

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.: Illinois residents of any age can enjoy free admission year-round from 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays.
  • Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield: Free admission offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28.
  • Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave.: Admission is free for youngsters 15 and under all day on the first Sunday of every month.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place: Free admission every Tuesday, all year long. Children under 5 always get in free.
  • The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free days in 2019 are Jan. 21, April 5-7, May 2 and June 26-28. Admission is also free for the entire month of February. 
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.: Illinois residents can skip the admission fees every Tuesday, year round.
  • Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free days for Illinois residents are Jan. 9-10, Jan. 14-17, Jan. 21-24 and Jan. 28-31; Feb. 4–7, Feb. 11–14, Feb. 19–21 and Feb. 25–28.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2400 N. Cannon Drive: Thursdays are free for Illinois residents but they are encouraged to make a donation upon entry.
  • Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free admission for Illinois residents offered on Jan. 17-21 and Feb. 1, Feb. 4-8, Feb. 11-15, Feb. 18-22 and Feb. 25-28.
  • Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St.: Free admission offered on the second Tuesday of every month.


NRA’s Oliver North at annual Lincoln Day Dinner

National Rifle Association president Oliver North will headline the annual Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser for Tazewell County Republicans.

The retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, author and political commentator has headed the NRA since last year. He’s a longtime hero of the conservative movement, dating to his days as a National Security Council staffer during Iran-Contra.

Tickets for the April 12 event at the Par-A-Dice Hotel begin at $100 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10. Registration costs increase to $125 per person and $1,250 for a table of 10 if purchased after Jan. 31.

Access to a pre-dinner VIP event costs an additional $150.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by check mailed to the Tazewell GOP, 1000 Court St., Pekin 61554.


Tutors needed to teach English to adults

Adults who want to tutor other adults to learn English as a second language or in basic literacy are invited to attend a four-day training program later this month.

ROE Adult Literacy, sponsored by the Peoria Regional Office of Education, will conduct the training at the Peoria Public Library, 107 NE Monroe St., from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 21, Jan. 23, Jan. 28 and Jan. 30.

There is no charge to attend the training, nor is registration required. But prospective attendees may get more information, or indicate their interest, by calling the program’s office at 309-672-6087.

The program is funded through a grant from the Illinois State Library. Adults who wish to receive assistance in raising their own reading levels may also call 309-672-6087 to arrange for tutoring.



–Peoria County News Briefs–