Tazewell County news briefs

Vendors are sought for the eighth annual East Peoria Farmers Market, which will be held Fridays from 4 until 7 p.m. June 7 through Sept. 27. Go to www.cityofeastpeoria.com  for more information. (Photo courtesy of the city of East Peoria)


Bridge, ramp work to cause traffic delays

Illinois Department of Transportation work repairing bridges along Illinois 40 began March 25.

The work is on these three bridges:

  •    Illinois 40 over Camp Street and Farm Creek;
  •    Illinois 40 over Washington Street; and
  •    Washington Street over Farm Creek.

Ramp closures are expected and marked detours will be in place. Additionally, there will be repairs to the median on Washington Street just south of River Road, which will require lane closures.

A marked detour will be posted.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered.

Open burning allowed during the month of April

Open burning of yard waste will be allowed in East Peoria through April 30. Residents may burn only dry leaves and other landscape waste. Only dry materials should be burned to produce as little smoke as possible.

Burning may occur only during daylight hours, in small piles on non-windy days. Per the fire chief, a burning ban will be in effect when there are sustained winds or gusts of 10 mph or more.

Residents are encouraged to listen to the weather forecast for predicted wind speeds. The burn must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult and be completely extinguished when finished. A water source must be nearby.

Residents are asked to check with their neighbors prior to burning brush in case they have health problems which might be affected by smoke, so that an appropriate time to burn can be arranged.

For more information, call 698-4700 and ask for the assistant fire chief on duty.


 Village offers spring yard waste disposal program

The village is providing a spring cleanup yard waste program at the at Sewage Treatment Plant #2, 2625 S. Fourth St. (at the corner of South Fourth and Broadway Road) from Saturday, April 6 through Sunday, April 28 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The only closed dates will be Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.

The program is offered to residents only so verification of name and address required.

The program is “self-serve” as it has been in the past.  A fenced area at STP#2 will be designated for yard waste disposal.  Assistance will not be provided for removal or dumping of landscape waste, so please plan accordingly.

The following regulations and limitations must be met:

  • Only leaves, grass clippings, and tree branches (no greater than 5′ in length or 4” in diameter), and any associated landscape waste will be accepted.
  • No paper or plastic bags will be allowed for disposal.
  • Neither landscaping timber (railroad ties) nor construction lumber is allowed.
  • No commercial enterprise may deposit landscape waste at this site.
  • “Root mass” from trees, bushes, or shrubbery is not allowed.
  • No pet waste, household garbage or plant containers of any kind at this site.
  • No yard waste is to be left outside the designated fenced area.
  • Video surveillance will take place during the program.

Follow, or help us manage these rules to ensure the continued operation of this free yard waste disposal program for all citizens of Morton.

Remember that it is a violation of village ordinances to deposit landscape and yard waste on Village property (in the streets, in Prairie and Bull Run Creeks, down storm sewers, etc.), and that open burning of landscape waste or any kind of garbage is prohibited within the Village limits.


St. Joseph school in holds shredding, recycling day

The Parents Club of St. Joseph Catholic School of Pekin is sponsoring a recycling/paper shredding day on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m.- noon., at St. Joseph Catholic School, 300 S. 6th St., Pekin.

For a $5 donation, participants can bring any amount of paper to have securely shredded and disposed on site, courtesy of Iron Mountain Paper Shredding. (No cardboard please).

For more information, contact St. Joseph School at 309-347-7194.


SUBHED: Energy assistance still available for low-income households

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is still available.

Heating assistance and Reconnection Assistance (RA) applications will be processed through May 31, or until funding is exhausted.  Even if your household has already applied for and received LIHEAP (bill payment assistance, but not the full RA benefit) since Oct. 1, 2018, you may be eligible for the RA benefit.

Reconnection Assistance is available for eligible households who are disconnected from their energy source needed for heating or are under imminent threat of disconnection (are within seven days of being disconnected or have less than 25 percent in their propane tank).

The RA benefit may also be approved to help adults who are trying to establish heat-related energy services.  RA is provided to eligible households if a) it will ensure reconnection and b) if the household has made a good faith effort to maintain energy services and/or can pay a portion of the balance due to the energy vendor, when applicable.

“We understand we’re coming out of an extremely cold winter and Illinois residents’ heating bills are probably higher than they anticipated,” said Erin Guthrie, acting DCEO Director. “This program was created to help our most vulnerable residents remain healthy, safe and warm during the winter months.”

A single-person household can qualify with a monthly gross income of up to $1,518; a two-person household up to $2,058; a family of three can earn up to $2,598; and a family of four can earn up to $3,138.

Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.

Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance, including:

  • Proof of gross income from all household members for the previous 30-day income period, beginning with the date of the application.
  • A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
  • A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
  • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
  • Proof that their household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

LIHEAP heating assistance applications, including Reconnection Assistance, will continue to be accepted through May 31, or until funding is exhausted.  Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. LIHEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to www.liheapIllinois.com, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM (9276).

Illinois kicks off major tourism promotional effort

In an effort to increase Illinois’ $40 billion travel and tourism industry, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has enlisted the services of one of the nation’s top marketing and advertising agencies located in Chicago.

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) was hired to promote the state’s many historic and popular tourism destinations to both domestic and international travelers as well as a top choice for national conventions and meetings.

“By bringing aboard OKRP, we are looking to expand Illinois’ brand around the world,” said Erin Guthrie, DCEO acting director. “We want to encourage visitors to experience Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, be inspired while walking in Lincoln’s footsteps, and embrace the beauty of our many state parks.”

Guthrie said the initial term of the contract with OKRP will run through June 2022 and will help improve on the more than $3 billion already brought in as state and local tax revenue from visitor expenditures.

More than 114 million people visited Illinois in 2018 and pumped in $40 billion to the state’s economy, proof that a thriving tourism industry is vital to the state’s economic vitality.

“We cannot rest on thinking people are already aware of the many great things to see and experience in the state. We need to let people know what Illinois has to offer,” Guthrie said.

The Illinois Office of Tourism is 100 percent funded by the state’s hotel motel tax revenue and is a strong revenue generator for Illinois’ economy.

Unemployment rate up in most metros

Unemployment rates increased over-the-year in February in 10 of Illinois’s metropolitan areas, decreased in two, and was unchanged in two, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in eight of the metropolitan areas.

Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in: Peoria (+2.4 percent, +4,000), Carbondale-Marion (+2.1 percent, +1,200), Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights (+1.4 percent, +51,600), and Lake-Kenosha (+1.4 percent, +5,600). The metro areas showing an over-the-year decrease in total nonfarm jobs were Danville (-2.2 v, -600), Bloomington (-1.4 percent, -1,300), St. Louis-IL Section (-0.4 percent, -1,000), and Champaign-Urbana (-0.4 percent, -400).


The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Manufacturing (10 of 14), Professional and Business Services (9 of 14), Mining and Construction (8 of 14), and Government (8 of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares February 2019 with February 2018. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.7 percent in February 2019.

Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in February 2019.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

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