Peoria County news briefs

The Peoria Police Department is joining the free Neighbors app by Ring (available via iOS/Android here: to provide the Peoria community with real-time, local crime and safety information.


 ICC offers Learn with Peoria County adult programs

Peoria County is offering Learn with Peoria County educational presentations as part of Illinois Central College’s Adult Community Programs.

These free programs are open to adults ages 18 and older and are hosted at ICC’s North Campus, located at 54047 N. University St. in Peoria.

Registration is required for these programs. Residents can RSVP online at: or by calling ICC at 309-690-6900.

Upcoming program for this month is Food Safety in the Home, offered on Thursday, May 23. Stephanie Streight, environmental health coordinator for the health department for Peoria County and city of Peoria, will be the instructor.

Did you know that your own kitchen can be a high-risk environment for foodborne illness? Microscopic germs such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites can thrive in food that is improperly stored or handled. If ingested, these germs can make you, your family, and your dinner guests sick.


 City joins Neighbors network safety app

The Peoria Police Department recently announced it is joining the free Neighbors app by

Ring (available via iOS/Android here: to provide the Peoria community with real-time, local crime and safety information.

The Neighbors network already has millions of users and has been instrumental in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe.

Residents can text ‘peoriapd’ to 555888 from their smartphone to download the Neighbors app for free on iOS and Android and use the app to; join their neighborhood, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts; and receive real-time safety alerts from their neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team.

“I am excited to announce our partnership with Neighbors by Ring,” said Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III. “Our partnership allows us to interact with residents by sharing local crime and safety updates. We see this as a valuable way for us to further our relationship with citizens and work together.”

Jamie Siminoff, chief inventor and founder of Ring, said: “We’re excited to have the Peoria Police Department join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information. Over the past few years we have learned that, when neighbors, the Ring team and law enforcement all work together, we can create safer communities.

“Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication between these groups, while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost,” Siminoff continued. “By bringing security to every neighbor with the free Neighbors app, the Peoria community can stay on top of crime

and safety alerts as they happen.”

Download the Neighbors app on iOS and Android here: or simply to text peoriapd to 555888 from your smartphone.  Follow the prompts.



Art Guild to hold unveiling, dedication of murals

Peoria Art Guild and Big Picture Peoria are collaborating on the creation and installation of two new murals in downtown Peoria at 420 SW Washington St.

A ribbon cutting and dedication will be held on May 2 at 3 p.m. with Beth Jensen, Peoria City Council, as guest speaker.

The first mural is a reproduction of the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair community mural painted by the public last September. The mural image is based on the Fine Art Fair official poster artwork created by John Leben and was painted by over 350 fair attendees.

The second mural, “Waiting Room,” is a reproduction of a painting by Zak Harvey. Harvey created the piece while he was in the Mentor-Apprenticeship Program (MAP) at the Peoria Art Guild in 2009.

These two new murals along with this year’s sculptures for Sculpture Walk Peoria will cultivate art and community along Washington Street.

The foundation of public art is collaboration among building owners, artists, and the community.


Household hazardous waste event in Havana

Illinois EPA has announced a one-day Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event to take place in Havana, on Saturday, May 4. The event will take place at the former Alco/Oney’s Store, on Promenade Street, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mason County 4-H Federation members will be on hand to assist at the event and to hand out special give-away items. Local partners with the event are University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, Stelter-Hofreiter, Inc., Farm & Home, County Market, and Mason County Farm Bureau.

Illinois EPA household hazardous waste collections are held to encourage residents to safely dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes.

The event is open to all Illinois residents. Residents are encouraged to bring chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, old or outdated medication, and similar hazardous household products. Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collections. Items not accepted include latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes.

A complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted is available online at


 Illinois schools receiving 5,000 trees from IDOT

The Illinois Department of Transportation once again distributed 5,000 seedlings to schools throughout the state  in cooperation with Living Lands & Waters in honor of Earth Day on April 22.

The “Trees to Schools” initiative helps offset the loss of trees removed or otherwise affected by construction and maintenance activities. Each of the nine IDOT highway districts received 550 trees to distribute to local schools.

Participating schools use the trees on their grounds or distribute them to students as a learning opportunity about the importance of trees to the environment.

One tree can produce as much oxygen in a single season as 10 humans consume in one year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and release oxygen in return. Trees also reduce erosion, filter chemicals, produce shade and provide habitat and food for birds and other animals.

The trees were provided for free to IDOT as part of Living Lands & Waters Million Trees Project. Varieties included red oak, swamp white oak, bur oak and redbud.

Since 2009, IDOT has distributed approximately 50,000 seedlings through Living Lands & Waters program.

Gov. Pritzker announces safe routes to school grants

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation awarded more than $5.5 million to local communities for projects that encourage students to walk or bike to school. The 39 projects, made possible through IDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, were selected from 160 applications received from across the state.

“I’m proud to announce that dozens of Safe Routes to School projects will be carried out across the state at no cost to Illinois,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Using federal funds, we will be making sidewalk improvements, increasing signage, making crosswalks safer, and providing equipment to crossing guards and parent patrol programs. These projects will allow more of our students to safely walk or bike to school and will make our communities safer and healthier places to live.”

Dunlap schools received $200,000 for sidewalk improvements, crossing improvements and signage.

Administered by IDOT using federal funds, Safe Routes to School supports projects and activities that improve safety and reduce traffic in areas around elementary and middle schools. Improvements can include new sidewalks, efforts to reduce speeding and other traffic offenses, public education and outreach programs.

“Safe Routes to School empowers communities to make decisions about where funding can do the most good,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “But it also exemplifies how IDOT takes a multimodal approach to our transportation network and strives to give people safe, reliable options about where and how they choose to travel.”

The next application period for Safe Routes to School is anticipated in the fall of 2020. Visit or email for more information.