Tazewell County news briefs

Hands-on engineering activities allow young people to try new ideas, test solutions to problems, work as a team, and share their designs with others. 4-H youth development educator Emily Schoenfelder wrote and piloted new 4-H curriculum titled Engineering Adventures. (Photo courtesy of Illinois 4-H)


 Register now for annual Obstacle Course Kayak Race

The annual Kayak Fun Challenge Obstacle Course Race will be held Saturday, Aug. 24 at Eureka Lake, in Eureka from 9 a.m. to noon.

Proceeds from the race are  supporting Heartline and Heart House of Eureka, which services to women and children in crisis situations in Woodford and parts of Tazewell County since 1983.

The Kayak Race also announces that individuals and organizations from Tazewell and Woodford counties are sponsoring the disabled veterans of Team River Runners USA as honored guest competitors for the 2019 event.

The Kayak Race is a staggered start, flat water race with a timed finish. Participants maneuver through a series of eight water obstacles including the fun and challenging new water zip and the kayak sluice, which is  an exciting new optional water entry system.

The course is designed to accommodate both novice and experienced kayakers with safety and boating instructions provided to all participants.

Loaner kayaks, personal flotation devices and other equipment are available if needed.  Awards are presented to the top 3 winners in each age group in both men’s and women’s divisions.  The entry fee of $30 per person includes lunch, bottled water, snacks, t-shirt, goody bag and the use of a loaner kayak, and equipment for racers without their own.

Food will be available for purchase by non-participants and there is no entry fee for spectators.  Bring your chairs or blankets, family and friends and enjoy the extra fun being provided by Vendor Booths, East Peoria Car Club Car Show, plenty of great music and a children’s outdoor game area with prizes for the kids.

Participants should check in 30 minutes prior to their start time. Race start times for ages 65+ and ages 50-64 is (9 a.m.), ages 35-49 is (10 a.m.) and ages18 – 34 is ( 11 a.m.).

To participate in the Kayak Fun Challenge Obstacle Course Race, register online at www.WashingtonParkDistrict.com Code 3-5196-19.  Race entries close on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m.  No registrations will be accepted after that day/time or on race day.

For additional information, call or text Gloria Phelps at 309-532-6683.


Chamber hosts Women in Leadership evening out

The Morton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Women in Leadership event on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kemp 208 Main Street Grille, 208 N Main St., Morton.

Chef Jeff will be providing a demonstration along with a delicious meal for those that attend.

Leadership Women are events hosted by the Morton Chamber of Commerce that celebrate the accomplishments of local women in leadership and women-owned businesses. Event is open to all. The event is sponsored by Better Banks,

For tickets and more information, call the Chamber at 309-263-2491or go to www.mortonchamber.org.

 Solve the mystery at library’s Escape Room

During the month of the August, the Morton Public Library will be presenting Escape Room: Lights, Camera, Mystery. It’s a special screening of the award-winning movie “The Mint Playbook” by Rolf Slickstone. But, when the lights come up the trophy is missing. With no way in or out of the theater the award must still be there, but where?

Gather a group of two to six people, ages 13 years to adult, and see if you can escape the room. Registration is required. The Escape Room is open Aug. 3-12

For more information and registration, go to http://www.mortonlibrary.org.


Pool party planned for special needs families

The Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association is hosting a free pool party at DragonLand Water Park, 193 Red Bud Memorial Drive, for all special needs families, organizations, and associations throughout Illinois on Friday, Aug. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

This is a private after hours pool rental for individuals with special needs, their families, and care givers. To get in the waterpark for free, register online or in-house, then consider contributing to our donation box at the gates.

The free registration window will close on Aug. 8 at 11:59 p.m. Day of drop-ins and unregistered individuals can still attend by paying DragonLand’s Twilight Admission prices at the gate at $3 per person.

DragonLand Concessions will be open during this event.


 4-H engineering program boost interest in science

This spring, several fourth and fifth-grade classes piloted a new University of Illinois Extension 4-H program: Engineering Adventures.

This venture provided classroom teachers with a new 4-H curriculum that was developed in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit and aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Furthermore, teachers were given supply kits worth over $150 granted by the Illinois 4-H Foundation to help them implement the program. Teachers, in conjunction with 4-H youth development educator Emily Schoenfelder, used these materials to facilitate a series of six, hands-on STEM activities.

Students designed roller coasters, constructed windmills, and built solar ovens  –  just to name a few. These problem-based lessons built science content knowledge around Newton’s Laws of Motion, thermodynamics, sustainable energy, and more.

The curriculum also encouraged students to work in groups, try new things,  communicate ideas, explore the engineering design cycle as a problem-solving tool, and have fun.

Upon completion of this program, participating students were asked about their attitudes and interests around STEM, as were students who did not participate in the program.

Results showed that there was a statistically significant difference in the enjoyment of science between the participating and non-participating students, with 99 percent of participants indicating that they liked science.

Furthermore, 88 percent of participants said they learned new things about engineering, with 72 percent indicating that they knew how to define an engineering design problem.

Additionally, several participating teachers expressed their appreciation at having these ready-to-go lessons to offer their students.

For more information, visit the 4-H website at go.illinois.edu/ExtensionFMPT.

 Heartland names coach for women’s volleyball

Mary Frahm has accepted the head coach position for the women’s volleyball program that will debut at Heartland Community College in this fall.

Mary Frahm

Frahm comes to Heartland from Illinois Wesleyan University, where she served as assistant volleyball coach since 2014. During her time at IWU, the Titans posted a .752 winning percentage with a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. They were CCIW Tournament champions in 2018.

As a collegiate athlete at Lewis University in Romeoville, Frahm was a two-year captain of a top-25 Women’s volleyball team. During her time at Lewis, the team made four consecutive NCAA DII Tournament appearances with a GLVC Conference Tournament Championship in 2010.

“Coach Frahm has shown excellence throughout her entire volleyball career. She possesses the passion and experience to start our volleyball program and bring it to national prominence,” said Athletics Director Ryan Knox.

In addition to the women’s volleyball program, Heartland has added men’s golf and men’s and women’s cross country teams to the current lineup of sports programs.


 Reminder on local ordinances for fire permits

The City of Washington passed new regulations in May regarding open burning within the city limits and the city reminds residents of those rules.

The regulations limit the times of landscape waste burning, protects recreational fires, provides rules limiting noxious smoke, requires permits for fires larger than recreational fires, and prohibits smoldering fires.

One of the notable regulations prohibits landscape waste burning from June 1 through Sept. 30. More information, on Municipal Code §93.02 regulating open burning within the City of Washington corporate limits is found at https://www.ci.washington.il.us/egov/documents/1562962096_95822.pdf.