Tazewell County news briefs

University of Illinois Extension director and associate dean Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson enjoyed connecting with local 4-H members, Extension staff, partners, and volunteers during her recent unit tour with College of ACES dean, Kim Kidwell. (Photo courtesy of U of I Extension)


IDOT, city give local construction updates

The exit ramp from Illinois 40 to West Washington Street in East Peoria closed July 9 for a traffic pattern adjustment on Washington and will last a month. The detour is on Main and Camp streets. Motorists can expect delays.

Water main installation along Briarbrook Drive will result in road closures and lane reductions for several weeks. Public Works is installing a water main as part of an infrastructure improvement. The timeline depends on weather. Be aware of the workers.


 Extension director connects with staff, stakeholders

The work being done through University of Illinois Extension programs and partnerships in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties is recognized for its positive impact at many levels through the university system.

College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Dean Kimberly Kidwell, recently returned for her second unit tour, along with the new Extension director and associate dean Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson.

The duo spent the day learning about a few of our programs, engaging with unit staff, and networking with volunteers, 4-H members, and partners.

“Your unit is like an all-star team,” commented Dean Kidwell. “I appreciate having an opportunity to connect with our folks in the trenches and to marvel at the difference you all make in the communities there.”

A portion of the morning focused on the launching of a new enterprise led by the University of Illinois System and consisting of the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). Local collaborators working to locate one of the IIN hubs in the greater Peoria area include U of I Extension, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Illinois Central College, U of I College of Medicine at Peoria, and OSF Health Care.

Extension community and economic development educator Kathie Brown facilitated the discussion focused on innovations in health care, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation.

“The purpose of the DPI-IIN effort is to stimulate statewide economic development and waves of local job creation by connecting university research with local economies,” explained U of I Extension County Director Earl Allen. “The face-to-face discussion with the local partners allowed Dean Kidwell and Dr. Nickols-Richardson to deepen their understanding of the potential benefits of a local hub, identify next steps, and carry the message back to campus leadership to keep the effort moving forward.”

The remainder of the day was spend reviewing a few additional programs: efforts to reach Hispanic audiences through Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP); 4-H Teen Teachers; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education Food for Health Partnership; Annie’s Project; and the Master Gardener partnership with local health departments.

 Forum for interested 2020 county candidates

On Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. in the Tazewell County Justice Center Community Room, a Forum for Candidates interested in campaigning for Tazewell County Government in the 2020 Elections. This first of its kind forum will be hosted by the Tazewell County Clerk’s Office, the Illinois State Board of Elections, and the Tazewell County Republican and Democratic Party Leadership.

The forum will be an opportunity to answer questions concerning the format and time-frame to submit the required paperwork, key dates for candidates throughout the upcoming election cycle, and guidelines for running for Public Office in Tazewell County.

“I want to provide an opportunity for complete transparency of not only what Tazewell County Government offices are available during the next election, but also what citizens need to do to run for public office and the time-frame required to submit this information. I have heard too often from citizens interested in running for Public Office only to explain to them the time-frame to campaign for such positions has passed” stated Tazewell County Clerk John C. Ackerman.

This forum will be a bipartisan event, with the leadership of the Tazewell County Republican and Democratic parties co-hosting.

The leadership will discuss common campaign guidelines for candidates for public office with the hope that a joint declaration of these guidelines will prevent bad habits.

“When the people see it is a time for change in government politics, then it is the people who must step forward and run for elected office to challenge the status quo and create the change needed. This is an excellent forum to learn how” commented Tazewell County Republican Chairman Jim Rule.

“Many people are looking for their way to get involved and affect change, and this forum will inform and empower folks to take those first steps” stated Brittany Miller, Chair of the Tazewell County Democrats.

The following Tazewell County Government offices will be up for election in 2020:

(Number of Openings) Elected Position – Length of Term

(1) Tazewell County Auditor – 4 Year Term

(1) Tazewell County Circuit Clerk – 4 Year Term

(1) Tazewell County Coroner – 4 Year Term

(1) Tazewell County States Attorney – 4 Year Term

(1) Tazewell County Board Chairman – 4 Year Term

(4) Tazewell County Board Member District One – 2 Year Term

(4) Tazewell County Board Member District Two – 2 Year Term

(4) Tazewell County Board Member District Three – 2 Year Term

(1) Tazewell County Board Member District Three – Unexpired 2 Year Term

For questions concerning this event, call the Tazewell County Clerk’s office at 309-477-2264, ext. 3.


Red Cross issues urgent call for blood and platelet donors

Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel.

This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available —and less than a two-day supply of type O blood — for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors — especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years — to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months.

Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O — letters that make up the main blood groups —disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed, and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

How to help

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.