Peoria County news briefs

Jennifer Groves Allison


IEMA says emergency preparedness starts at home

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if weather warnings are issued.

Follow these four steps to better prepare you family for severe weather:

  1.  Ensure each member of your family can receive emergency alerts and notifications.

It is critical that you have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather.   Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones.

FEMA offers a FREE mobile app that provides fast and reliable weather alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS).  The app can be tailored to offer alerts for up to five different locations nationwide.  The mobile app can also help you locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you in the event of an emergency.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed. The tone alarm provides a 24/7 alert to approaching hazards, even during the overnight hours when many people are sleeping.

  1. Identify your shelter location at home, work and school

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement underneath the stairs or a sturdy piece of furniture. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room without windows, get under sturdy furniture and use pillows or cushions to protect your head and neck.

  1. Develop and practice a family communication plan

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes.  Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated during a storm or other emergency.  Remember, during a disaster, phone lines may be overwhelmed by emergency calls.  To let loved ones know you are safe, consider a check-in on social media or send a text.

  1. Review your emergency supply kit

Remember to consider the needs of all your family members, including your pets. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies.  To find a list of basic disaster supplies, visit

For more information about what to do before, during and after a storm, please visit   There you will find a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, developed by IEMA and NWS, which provides tips on how to prepare for all weather emergencies.  Additional tips and information are available on the Ready Illinois Facebook page ( and Twitter page (



Civic Chorale presents spring concert series

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Joseph D. Henry and with featured soloist Dimitri German, will present its spring concert series A Little Night Music Friday and Saturday, May 3 & 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Five Points Washington.

Dimitri German

The concert will feature a wide variety of songs centered around the elements of the night such as “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from “State Fair,” “Tonight” from “West Side Story.” Also included will be  “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer,” Cole Porter’s “In the Still of the Night,” Hoagy Carmichael’s “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” and “The Nearness of You.”

Brahm’s “Der Abend (Evening),” and popular favorites such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Mr. Sandman”  are also on the program.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale Youth Chorus will perform a set nightly and will join the adult singers for “Buffalo Gals.” The audience will also be invited to join in a sing-along at the concert’s end.

The chorale continues its efforts to feature “homegrown” central Illinois talent with special guest Dimitri German. German, a 2009 graduate of Peoria’s Richwoods High School, is now a Chicago-based baritone with a bachelor of music in vocal performance from the Moody Bible Institute and a graduate degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.
Special to Friday night’s performance will be a festival chorus of 60 children from local community schools and a cake reception sponsored by Bob Lindsay Honda and Acura.

Tickets are $20 for adults, with students through college at $8 and are available at 309-693-6725, online at or at the door. The concert is sponsored by CEFCU, Parsons Manufacturing, Heights Finance and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

New member appointed to County Board

Jennifer Groves Allison was appointed Peoria County Board Member for District 17 at the April 11 Peoria County Board Meeting.

Allison is the district director for Illinois State Senator Assistant Majority Leader David Koehler. Allison was a member of the Peoria County Board of Health since 2013, most recently serving as President. With her appointment to the Peoria County Board, she will step down from the Board of Health.

“I look forward to expanding my service to the community through the County Board and continuing the great representation of District 17,” says Allison.

The vacancy was created after the resignation of Thomas O’Neill. She has been appointed to fulfill the remainder of O’Neill’s term, which will expire in December 2020. Allison will sit on the County Operations Committee, Executive Committee, Budget Subcommittee, Ways and Means Committee, and County Health Committee.

She and her spouse, Don, have two daughters, McKinley and Daniella.

District 17 covers most of the village of Bartonville and portions of Limestone Township and West Peoria Township.


Hands Around the Courthouse raises child abuse awareness

As of year-end 2018, the number of pending child abuse and neglect cases in Peoria County was 1,072. The Youth Services Network Panel, in partnership with Peoria County, invites the public to “Hands Around the Courthouse” on Friday, April 26 at 12 p.m. in the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza as we join hands to raise awareness and draw attention to these cases of child abuse.

The event, hosted by the Youth Services Network Panel, is held annually during April for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Advocacy and front-line officials will speak on the unfortunate pending cases and the importance of child abuse prevention.

Speakers include Jeff Gress of Crittenton Centers, Chief Judge Gilfillan and Judge Brown of the Tenth Judicial Circuit, State’s Attorney Jerry Brady, Stephanie Johnson of Pediatric Resource Center, Jennifer Seward of DCFS, and Kitty Yanko of Peoria Humane Society.

“Hands Around the Courthouse” participants are encouraged to wear blue to show their support of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

To find out more about Hands Around the Courthouse, contact CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit at 309-669-2939.


Relay For Life at Levee District this weekend

The American Cancer Society’s  Relay For Life event will be on Saturday, April 27 from 1 to 10 p.m. at the Levee District in East Peoria.

The event begins by honoring everyone who’s been affected by cancer and everyone who has contributed to the success of this year’s Relay season.

During the luminaria ceremony,  the events will represent everyone touched by cancer with a Luminaria. Each light represents a life taken by cancer, a survivor of cancer, or a support for a person still fighting the disease.

The closing ceremony is the time to commit to act and help lead the fight for a world free from cancer. It’s a time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together and a time to unify for the work that needs to be done moving forward.

For more information, contact Audrey Williams at or at 309-688-3488 or view Online Help