Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Bob Doucette, a longtime Hollywood animator and recent Peoria resident, will talk about animation at the upcoming PeoriaCon, a salute to comics, games and costumed characters. The event will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 2 at Exposition Gardens 1601 W. Northmoor Road.


Bill proposes elected officials wear body cams to thwart corruption

A bill designed to reduce corruption at the state and local levels has been proposed in Springfield. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, in far northern Illinois, would require all elected officials in Illinois to wear body cameras while conducting public business.

The bill comes on the heels of recent news accounts of a Chicago alderman having worn a wire for an FBI investigation into another alderman.

House Bill 3447 would direct the State Board of Elections to develop rules for the use of body cameras by public officials of the state.

Recordings made with the use of a body camera worn by a public official could be used as evidence in any administrative, judicial, legislative or disciplinary proceeding. The recordings would not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The measure would cover city and county officials as well as those elected to state office. Public officials found to be in violation of the law would be subject to fines.


Road project subject of public meeting

The road improvement project on Western Avenue will be the topic of an informational meeting to be held at 6 p.m. March 7, at the Frank Campbell Community Center, 312 S. Merriman St.

The public is invited to learn about the preliminary design, including partial right-of-way acquisitions needed for the proposed improvement.

The boundaries of the project consist of Western Avenue from Adams Street to Howett Street. Street improvements will include reconstruction of the roadway with three vehicle lanes accommodating cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. The project will involve removal of on-street parking with road closures in place during construction.

For more information, call City Engineer Bill Lewis at 309-494-8800.

Animator joins roster of speakers at PeoriaCon

A longtime Hollywood animator and recent Peoria resident will talk about animation at the upcoming PeoriaCon, a salute to comics, games and costumed characters. The event will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 2 at Exposition Gardens 1601 W. Northmoor Road.

Bob Doucette, an animator for 23 years for Warner Brothers and Splash Entertainment, will illustrate his talk with images and short videos of cartoon favorites he worked on such as “Tiny Toons,” “Animaniacs” and “Freakazoid.”

Events planned for PeoriaCon include from card and game tournaments, a cosplay contest, demonstrations and seminars to go along with nearly 50 dealers of toys and comic books.

Individuals dressed as “Star Wars” characters will also be on hand, raising money for charity.

Judging the cosplay contest, which offers a $200 prize to the best costume, are Doucette and Larry Kenney, the former radio DJ who provided the voice of Lion-O in the “ThunderCats” cartoon series. Kenney, a Pekin Community High School graduate, worked at WIRL-AM 1290 in the 1960s before going on to radio jobs in Cleveland, Chicago and New York. He also will host a seminar.

Among the artists on hand will be Mitchell Blumenshine, creator of “Dragon-eX,” Landon Ruan, Jeremiah Lambert, Zac Atkinson, Kiley Beecher, Camron Johnson and John Rodriguez.

Also on tap will be tattoo artist Skyla Mae Tegg, welder Angry Parrot Forge, Patrick McLaughlin, who wrote “The Zoo,” William Haun, creator of “Weird, Weird West” and Hugo Negron, author of “Forging of a Knight.”

Admission is $10. Children 10 and younger will be admitted free. For more information, visit

Black History Month art contest voting begins

The top 10 drawings in U.S. Cellular’s second annual Black History Month Art Competition with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria are on display in local retail stores. The public is invited to visit local U.S. Cellular stores to vote for their favorite piece of artwork by Feb. 28.

In January, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria members created original 8.5-inch by 11-inch pieces of artwork in recognition of influential African-Americans, including businesspeople, athletes, historical figures and celebrities. Ten finalists were chosen by representatives from the Boys & Girls Club and local U.S. Cellular leaders, and they are on display in U.S. Cellular stores in Peoria until Feb 28. The top three vote-getters will be announced in March. Prizes are gift cards in the following amounts:

  • $250 for first place
  • $150 for second place 
  • $100 for third place

To vote, visit the U.S. Cellular stores in Peoria at 3517 N. University St., 4221 N. Sterling Ave. and 8809 N. Allen Road.


Mother’s Day art fair to make a return

The Peoria Heights Art Fair will be staged on Mother’s Day weekend in Tower Park, after a seven-year absence. 

Interest in the fair was renewed after last year’s successful Paint the Heights Pink, a fundraising event that joined the Susan G. Komen Foundation with local artist Theresa McDade and her paintings of breast cancer survivors. 

And the timing dovetails with a new village arts initiative. The village formed an arts committee in an effort to bring arts events to Peoria Heights and maximize attention toward the new sculpture walk that features Bruce White sculptures that are scattered about the village. White is a well-known sculptor from northern Illinois whose works were recently donated to the village.

Sarah Witbracht, the village’s administrative assistant, is marketing the event.

The art fair will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11, with 60 juried artists lining Prospect Road from Glen to Seiberling avenues beneath signature white canopy tents commonly seen at art fairs. There will be a festival for children at Tower Park, live music in the pavilion, vendors and food trucks, free parking and buses transporting visitors from the Komen Walk to the Heights.

Organizers are seeking artists, sponsors including purchase awards sponsors and volunteers. For information, go to the event’s website at or call 309-256-1749 or 309-339-4405.



–Peoria County News Briefs–