Peoria County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Doctors Stephen Bash, Richard Pearl and Jitendra Shah have been honored by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-18th) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17th) with an official Congressional Record for their for outstanding careers.


Session will train volunteers to aid in natural disasters

Training for second responders, people who assist with recovery efforts after first responders deal with a crisis, will be held March 16. The six-hour session will teach the volunteer Lutheran Early Response Team how to assist with recovery efforts following disasters such as tornadoes.

Such as in the case of fallen trees, LERT volunteers with chain saw training cut up trees and move them aside so vehicles can get through and the cleanup can start.

The central Illinois district LERT will host its response training course at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 13443 Townline Road, Green Valley. Training topics will include deployment operations, proper attire, working as teams in disasters, property management and comfort dogs.

The central Illinois LERT has about 950 members.

Leading group to perform Irish music for St. Patrick’s celebration

Grammy-nominated Irish-American group Cherish The Ladies will join the Heartland Festival Orchestra in concert at 7:30 p.m. March 16 at Five Points Washington, 360 N. Wilmor Road.

The Irish group featuring traditional Irish music and dance formed in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of women in what had been a male-dominated Irish music scene.

Their performances are a blend of instrumental talents, vocals and step dancing. They have taken those skills and toured the world, playing at the White House and the Olympics.

They have recorded 17 albums including a live recording, “An Irish Homecoming,” which was simultaneously videotaped for a Public Television Special that won an Emmy. Cherish the Ladies won BBC’s Best Musical Group of the Year and was named Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards.

They will be joined by singer Kate Purcell, along with world class Irish dancers, including 5-time World Champion David Geaney.

Tickets are $38 for adults and $10 for students and children. For tickets, visit or call 309-444-8222.

There will also be a pre-concert reception at 6 p.m. featuring a meet-and-greet and Irish hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. 

This concert will benefit the Penguin Project. The Penguin Project provides an opportunity for children with special needs to explore their creative talents.


New Golden Shovel Award to recognize winter Good Samaritans

Snow sometimes brings out the best in people, such as the neighbors who are the first to get out and clear not only their property, but other people’s as well. The city of Peoria wants to honor those good citizens with a Golden Shovel Award.

City officials will present the inaugural Golden Shovel Awards at 6 p.m. during the City Council April 9 meeting in Room 400 of Peoria City Hall, 419 Fulton St. This award will recognize citizens and neighborhood associations that have done an exceptional job removing snow from their sidewalks. Currently, there is no ordinance requiring residential snow removal on sidewalks and the Golden Shovel award will recognize those who go above and beyond to clear their sidewalks for themselves and others.

The nominated citizen or association must be located in Peoria.

To make a Golden Shovel nomination, visit  Paper nominations may be dropped off at City Hall, 419 Fulton St., room 300, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. –5 p.m. Nominations are due by March 29. Direct any questions to Josiah Williams, Neighborhood Enhancement coordinator, 309-494-8636

Doctors receive national honor for career work

Three OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois physicians have been presented with a Congressional Record, honoring their careers dedicated to transforming the landscape of pediatric care in the Peoria community.

Dr. Stephen Bash, Dr. Richard Pearl, and Dr. Jitendra Shah were recognized by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-18th Dist.) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17th Dist.) who presented them with an official Congressional Record, which recognize distinguished constituents for outstanding service. With more than 75 years of service collectively, the physicians, who recently announced their retirements, cared for countless children and pioneered medical breakthroughs in central Illinois.   

The three physicians transformed the face of OSF Children’s Hospital, patient care and the community by advocating for the expansion of services for children and, later, the JUMP Simulation and Education Center. Their efforts were instrumental in the construction of the new OSF Children’s Hospital building, which opened in 2010, and was largest construction project in the history of Peoria. In 2013, the $51 million JUMP Center opened, redefining clinical training and revolutionizing patient care.

Family Tree stores face closure

Dollar Tree Inc., the parent company of the budget stores Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, has announced the closing of 390 Family Dollar stores in 2019. Family Dollar has six stores in Peoria and one in Bartonville.

The future of these stores has not yet been announced, while the company contemplates future plans. Those plans include the rebranding of 200 Family Tree locations to Dollar Tree stores. A thousand remaining stores are set for renovations and will incorporate new $1 Dollar Tree merchandise and alcohol sections. 

The news comes on the heels of the company trying to revamp these stores last year to make them more exciting for shoppers.

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are budget-friendly stores, known for selling groceries, accessories, and home goods at prices that start at $1 and don’t typically go past $10. The two stores used to be rival discount chains, but in 2015, Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar for $8.5 billion.



–Peoria County News Briefs–