Tazewell County news briefs


The Festival of Lights East Peoria queen contestants are (from left) Chloe Rogers, Haley Blumenstock, Jadelyn Everett, Cierra Fugitt and Jexie Bolding. (Photo courtesy of city of East Peoria)


 Five contestants nominated for FOLEPI queen

The woman who will reign over the Festival of Lights will be crowned at the conclusion of the 34th annual Festival of Lights Queen Pageant. The queen receives a $1,000 college scholarship and a package of prizes donated by local businesses. The first and second runners-up also receive prizes.

The queen and her court will ride on a float in the 35th annual Festival of Lights Parade Nov. 16. The queen will also reign over all festivities for the 2019 Festival of Lights, make appearances at community events in 2020 and crown the 2020 queen.

This year’s contestants are:

  • Chloe Rogers, 17, is a junior at East Peoria Community High School. The daughter of Kay and Pam Rogers, she is sponsored by her parents.
  • Haley Blumenstock, 17, is a senior at East Peoria Community High School. She is the daughter of Erik and Natasha Blumenstock, and is sponsored by Carrie Joos Agency.
  • Jadelyn Everett, 17, is a senior at East Peoria Community High School. The daughter of Kristine Kelley and Tim Harris, she is sponsored by K&L Revenue Cycle Management.
  • Cierra Fugitt, 16, is a junior at East Peoria Community High School. The daughter of Andrea and Gary Fugitt, she is sponsored by Compass Group/Gary Fugitt.
  • Jexie Bolding, 16, is a junior at East Peoria Community High School. She is the daughter of Syndy Bolding, and is sponsored by Sarah Gosch.

For more information, visit cityofeastpeoria.com.



Handel’s Messiah to be performed Thanksgiving week

Experience George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, performed by the Morton Community Chorus and Orchestra, at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 at Grace Church, corner of E Jefferson and Tennessee Avenue, Morton.  Piano prelude and postlude will be by Dr. John Orfe, Bradley University.

While the Morton Community Chorus and Conductor Philip Witzig are volunteers, all soloists, orchestra and organist are paid professionals.  This is one of the finest performances of Handel’s Messiah you’ll see anywhere.  There is no admission charge, but a Free-Will Offering will be taken.

Learn more about the performance and each soloist at:  https://www.pjw.cc/community-chorus.html


 Signup now for the annual turkey trot

The 49th annual Turkey Trot race will be held on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Rain or shine, or snow Peoria’s oldest running race is a 4-mile run through Detweiller Park, 8327 North Galena Road.

The top two finishers in each division receive a trophy and a turkey, compliments of Kroger groceries.

All entrants receive a Turkey Trot T-shirt.

A half- mile youth fun-run will take place immediately before the start of the run. Register at Noble Center.

Cost ranges from $2 – $18

For more information, call 309-681-2866 or lhudson@peoriaparks.org.  To access the registration form, go to https://webtrac.peoriaparks.org.


Most hunting incidents involve elevated tree stands

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding hunters to make safety their first priority as they head to the field for the state’s firearm deer, upland game, waterfowl and other busy hunting seasons.

The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the state’s Hunter Safety Education Program, has investigated six hunting incidents so far during 2019, three of which involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.

In 2018, there were 19 hunting incidents reported in all hunting seasons in Illinois. Among the hunting incidents reported last year, 14 involved tree stands.

When utilizing a tree stand, hunters should check that their stand is installed properly. They should check the harness and straps and replace worn straps if needed; and, check the ladder and other equipment before use to make sure they are in working order.

They also should be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery.

Hunters should have their cellphones within easy reach to call for help, if needed. Hunters can review tree stand safety online at http://www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/

Other safety considerations include ensuring heating sources are properly ventilated in hunting cabins and boats, wearing appropriate, high visibility clothing while hunting and being familiar with the area being hunted.

Illinois’ busiest hunting season, the seven-day firearm deer season, begins on Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22-24, and will conclude Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5-8.

The Illinois Archery Deer Season opened Oct. 1 and continues through Jan. 19, 2020. Archery deer season is closed during the firearm deer weekends except in those counties where firearm deer hunting is not permitted.

For more details on Illinois deer, waterfowl, upland game, furbearer and other hunting seasons this fall and winter, check the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf

Oakwood Road will be closed to through traffic from Campanile Drive to Avondale Drive due to construction of the force sewer main. Traffic is expected to return to normal construction traffic the week of Nov. 25. (Courtesy of city of East Peoria)

Agencies encourage people to prepare for winter

While the official start of winter is not for several weeks, parts of Illinois have already experienced the first snowfall of the season.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois Department of Labor and the National Weather Service (NWS) are encouraging people to begin preparing now for extreme cold, snow and ice.

In terms of weather, 2019 has been a record-breaking year in Illinois.  The new year brought a Polar Vortex that crippled most of the Midwest, including blanketing Illinois with life-threatening temperatures for several days.

From 2008-2018, there were 788 fatalities related to cold temperatures in Illinois, which is more than heat (227), tornadoes (23), floods (38) and severe storms/lightning (17) combined. In the United States, about 700 deaths occur each year from hypothermia. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk of hypothermia.

Unfortunately, no matter how low the temperature dips, many Illinois workers will face the frigid elements to do their jobs. Cold weather is never pleasant, but by taking some precautions, workers can minimize the dangers.

Caution and self-awareness are the keys to cold weather safety. Workers should know the signs of hypothermia, not push their bodies to an extreme, layer clothing and make sure they have plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

To help Illinois residents prepare for winter, IEMA and the NWS developed a winter weather preparedness guide that covers winter weather terms and tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at school.  The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

For more information about winter weather preparedness, including the Weathering Winter guide from the Illinois Department of Public Health, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.