Tazewell County news briefs

The Village of Morton is gearing up for this year’s Pumpkin Festival, running Wednesday through Saturday, Sept.11-14. (Photo courtesy of Pumpkin Festival)


 Police helping with school supply collection

The Pekin Police Department is working with the Moms Who Care organization on collecting much needed supplies for students in the District 108 schools.

The collection will be going on through Aug. 13.

The Pekin Police Department is teaming up with Sunset Lanes Bowling to collect school supplies and other necessities to distribute to Moms Who Care.

For those who wish to drop off supplies to Sunset Lanes Bowling, 3000 Court St., Pekin, you will be able to draw a coupon out of a bowl of surprises.

Moms Who Care also has set up at Broadmoor and Edison junior high schools and Wilson Grade School to help students with supplies they may need.


 Village to host disc golf tournament championship

This year’s PDGA Professional Disc golf world championship will take place at Sunset Hills, Lake Eureka, and Northwood Park in Morton on Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

The Northwood course in Morton is undergoing several upgrades and changes to make it one of the most elite and challenging courses in the country. This year’s event will feature players from all over the world. Programs surrounding the tournament play will be happening Tuesday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 17.

For more information, visit www.discgolfproworlds.com or call the Morton Park District at


Time to sign up to volunteer for Pumpkin Festival

The Village of Morton is gearing up for this year’s Pumpkin Festival, running Wednesday through Saturday, Sept.11-14.

Organizers are anticipating a need for more than 2,000 volunteers. Those looking to signup should contact Crystal Sewell at 309-263-2491 or csewell@mortonillinois.org.

Volunteers that help at the Pumpkin Festival will receive Pumpkin Bucks that may be redeemed at the Pumpkin Drive Thru, Sweet Shop, Grill, and at the Pancake Breakfast.

For more information and to see latest updates, go to www.facebook.com/mortonpumpkinfestival.

Below are descriptions of the various duties volunteers take on during the event:

Set Up

Help set up the festival grounds on the Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday morning prior to the festival opening.  Set-Up Crew helps unload tables and chairs, put up signs, organize the food and delight tent supplies, and fence neighboring yards.

Tear Down

Team works on Saturday evening and/or Sunday morning, taking down tables and chairs, signs, and fencing. They also help return food supplies and equipment to vendors and storage areas.

Pumpkin Grill

Work a shift or two at the Pumpkin Grill as a server, washer, or griller. Individuals and business or organization teams are welcome.

Pumpkin Sweet Shop

Serve up pumpkin delights in this special tent. Individuals and business or organization teams are welcome.

Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast

Help out during the pumpkin pancake breakfast, held on the Saturday morning of the Festival.

For more information and to see latest updates, go to www.facebook.com/mortonpumpkinfestival.

Conservation World opens on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Aug. 9-18 in Springfield. (Photo courtesy of IDNR)


Free family activities highlight Illinois’ outdoors

Visitors to the Illinois State Fair can take an easy hike and sample Illinois’ great outdoors with a stop at Conservation World on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Aug. 9-18 in Springfield.
“There are so many wonderful things for families to do outdoors in Illinois, and we’re providing them with some samples at Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Colleen Callahan.  “From our state parks to great trail hikes, to fishing and hunting opportunities, and improving wildlife habitat in your own backyard, a visit to Conservation World can help your family plan a great outdoors adventure.”
Conservation World is a 30-acre venue on the northwest corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds with park benches, ponds, grass, and shade trees adjacent to the IDNR headquarters.

Some of the events and attractions:

  • The famous “Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show” has performances every day Aug. 9-18:  Monday – Thursday at 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and Friday – Sunday at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.
  • Voyageur canoe rides on the Conservation World pond, Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kids fishing opportunities include hands-on fishing clinics at the pond inside the Conservation World gate five times each day, with all bait and tackle provided, at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Kids aged 10 and younger also can sign up at the Fisheries Tent and participate in free bowfishing daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
  • Fly fishing demonstrations for anglers of all ages are scheduled for Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18 at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.  Sporting retrieving dog demonstrations are planned at the Conservation World pond for Aug. 9 at 2:30 p.m. and Aug. 10-11 at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., courtesy of Green Acres Sportsmen’s Club.
  • Youth Archery and BB Gun hands-on instruction is available daily at the Conservation World youth practice ranges, hosted by shooting sports experts and safety education instructors and volunteers.
  • Fishing opportunities abound in Illinois, and some of the state’s best sport fish will be on display in the Fisheries Tent in a 2,800-gallon aquarium, providing visitors a chance to see some keepers up-close.
  • Smokey Bear is celebrating his 75th birthday and is scheduled to visit Conservation World daily. IDNR Forest Resources specialists will promote forest health, tree care and forest protection at Conservation World. Additionally, IDNR’s Mason State Nursery will be selling native plants and pollinator seed mix.

IDNR wildlife and natural heritage staffs will host displays and answer questions about hunting prospects, wildlife watching, helping threatened and endangered species, and habitat enhancement projects.


Gov. Pritzker signs law improving kennel safety

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new law today to ensure that dogs or cats that are placed in a kennel are safe at all times.
“This commonsense law will protect pets from senseless tragedies and further our state’s commitment to animal welfare,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “We’re putting safety first and making sure the tragedy that West Chicago experienced in January will never happen again.”
The new law, which takes effect immediately, requires kennels to either be staffed at all times or install a fire alarm or sprinkler system in every building where animals are housed that notifies local fire departments. House Bill 3390 was introduced and passed after the tragic death of 31 dogs in a West Chicago kennel fire in January 2019. Fire investigators say there were working smoke detectors but likely no one there to hear them.