Tazewell County news briefs

Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle


Extension team adds new horticulture educator

University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit said Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle of East Peoria has joined the team as the new horticulture educator.

Her new role will include a wide range of horticulture programs, educational resources, and overseeing the unit Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs.

“Attending the Master Naturalist training last year was one of my favorite educational experiences,” said Kimmerle. “It is exciting to be working with that program in my new position.”

Before joining Extension, Kimmerle received her Bachelor of Science in crop science from University of Illinois, Master of Science Agronomy in weed science from University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught high school science at Midwest Central in Manito.

Extension has been a part of Kimmerle’slife ever since she was a  4-H member in Mercer County’s Alexis All Star 4-H Club. As an adult, she continued her Extension connection through the Master Naturalist training and participation in Teacher Tuesdays science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming.

“One of my many goals is to provide people with the chance to learn about and experience the diversity of this area of Illinois; from the river to wetlands to prairies to sandy soils, this area has a lot to discover,” said Kimmerle.

While Kimmerle’s physical office location is the Fulton County branch office in Lewistown, you will see her throughout the four counties and be able to learn from her via many online options.


 City schedules fall cleanup week Sept. 30-Oct.

The City of East Peoria will conduct its Fall Cleanup Week beginning Monday, Sept. 30 until Friday, Oct. 4. The crew will be picking up items on your normal garbage day for fall cleanup. For example, if your normal garbage day is on Monday, they will be picking up on Monday.

This special collection of junk and brush is open only to East Peoria residents whose garbage is picked up by the East Peoria Department of Public Works. The pickup is not for properties zoned commercial, business or multi-family. Additionally, junk may be set out only at residences that are occupied.

Junk cannot be hauled in by non-residents. Anyone who is a non-resident or not eligible for cleanup week who is caught hauling junk to a City residence will be subject to a fine and hauling fees.

Cleanup week items cannot be set out before Saturday, Sep. 28, and must be at the curb no later than 5 a.m. on the regular garbage day.

The maximum pile size can be no larger than 4-feet wide, 4-feet high and 8-feet long, which is approximately the size of the bed of a normal pickup truck.

Residents who share a driveway must keep their piles separate at the curb. Often, once combined, the piles exceed the size limit and do not get picked up because Public Works crews have no way to know that more than one household contributed to the pile.

Any additional items or brush will be left behind and it will be the owner’s or tenant’s responsibility to remove it.

Junk, garbage and brush must be in separate piles and placed behind the curb in the approximate location of the regular household refuse. Small cleanup week items must be in a toter.

A 4-foot separation is necessary between garbage toters and cleanup week items.

If cleanup week items are not picked up on the regular garbage day, they will be collected the next day.



4-H Foundation honors 80 volunteers

The Illinois 4-H Foundation annually recognizes 4-H volunteers for exemplary service.  The 2019 Hall of Fame class includes 80 new inductees who were honored during a celebration

Aug. 13 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

The 2019 Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame class includes 80 new inductees who were honored during a celebration Tuesday, Aug. 13 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Those inducted from the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit include Lee Roy Knuppel of Canton, Mason 4-H Alumni Bill Bree of Lincoln, Tazewell 4-H leader Joe Grove of Mapleton (not pictured), and the late Jason Coulter from Elmwood represented by his wife Wendy and sons. 

Those inducted from the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit include Lee Roy Knuppel of Canton, Mason 4-H Alumni Bill Bree of Lincoln, Tazewell 4-H leader Joe Grove of Mapleton, and the late Jason Coulter from Elmwood.

Knuppel has been a 4-H volunteer in the 4-H Shooting Sports Program for 10 years, teaching and mentoring youth in Fulton and Tazewell counties. More than 60 young people have learned safety and respect for firearms through Knuppel’s teaching. He has volunteered for 4-H in other ways over the years, too, including helping with a 4-H club his late sister, JoAnn Block, led for many years.

Bree was a 4-H member of the Peaceful Valley 4-H Club in Mason County where he participated in the livestock judging team and showing cattle. He took his love for farming, livestock judging and showing cattle and became an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

Bree continues to give back to the 4-H by serving as a livestock judge at 4-H shows across the state and at the Illinois State Fair. He has judged poultry, goats, cattle and sheep.  He also judges the Mason County beef scramble show each year, in memory of his brother.  Bree is well respected for his expertise and knowledge of many livestock species.  He has been the teacher at numerous 4-H workshops in Mason, Logan, and Dewitt Counties.

Grove’s dedication to the Tazewell County Archery SPIN Club is undeniable! He began assisting the Archery Club when his son joined and soon went through the state training to be a certified instructor.

Nearly 10 years later, he has put in countless hours between instructing and organizing the program. Grove’s quiet leadership style is what makes him a fantastic leader and mentor to the youth.

Coulter was involved in 4-H for most of his life. First as a 4-H member in his youth and then as a 4-H Dad when his own children were members in 4-H and then as an active volunteer in the Peoria County 4-H Program. He was a prominent member on the 4-H Auction Committee and served as the Peoria County 4-H Beef Superintendent for 13 years.

Coulter was a good role model for youth and a dedicated supporter of the 4-H program. He had a warm and friendly personality and the ability to make the work like cleaning the barn stalls after the 4-H Show seem like fun.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.

Others from the Central Illinois area who were honored include Randy Newell, Knox County; Cathryn Frisby, Livingston County; and Pamela Tibbs, Logan County; DiAnn Kuehn, Marshall County; Robert and Karen Chatterton, McDonough County; Mark Schreiner, Menard County; Ron and Karen Horsley, Stark County; and Paul and Theresa McHenry, Woodford County. A complete list of inductees can be found on the Illinois 4-H Foundation website.

To learn more, visit: 4hfoundation.illinois.edu.


AmeriCorps Funds Now Available from Serve Illinois

The Serve Illinois Commission (Serve Illinois) announced Sept. 17 that funding is available for agencies interested in administering AmeriCorps programs in the state.  The grant places AmeriCorps Members in communities to improve education and health care, protect public safety, safeguard the environment, provide disaster relief, and promoting civic engagement through service. Last year, Serve Illinois’ AmeriCorps programs invested over $100 million into Illinois communities and served nearly 400,000 people.

Serve Illinois administers the AmeriCorps state programs in Illinois and is charged with enhancing and supporting community volunteerism.  Serve Illinois is funded, in part, by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and currently supports 46 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state.

AmeriCorps members receive student loan deferment and training.  Full-time members are also eligible to receive a modest living allowance and health insurance.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, or to pay off student loans.  If the member is 55 or over, they may transfer the education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child.

Serve Illinois will host mandatory webinars in September and October for those interested in applying.  Webinar details and information about the application process are available at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.  Applications are due by November 17, 2019.  Funded programs will begin their work in July or August 2020.