Tazewell County news briefs

The City of Washington held its annual Candlelight Stroll on Dec. 5. Shops were open late, and there were free carriage rides, tree lighting, Christmas caroling and performance by a bell choir. (Photo courtesy of city of Washington)


Police investigate vehicle burglaries near ICC

A number of vehicles were burglarized during the early morning hours of Dec. 6 in the Illinois Central College area of the city, and in one case a car was stolen out of its garage.

To keep your vehicle from being burglarized, East Peoria Police say the best defense is a simple one:  lock it.

Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles to prevent items, or the entire vehicle, from being stolen. Most car burglaries occur in unlocked vehicles.

Residents should take valuables out of their cars, and make sure to not to leave the keys in them. Police also advise removing garage door openers from cars parked at residences and locking the main garage door as well as a door leading from the garage to the house.

Residents observing any suspicious activity should call the East Peoria Police Department at 309-698-4700.


 Community Foundation seeks to grow annual partners

The Morton Community Foundation’s mission is to “Improve the quality of life for Morton area residents, now and for generations to come.”

The organization gives back and provides grants with a community of supporters who have collectively helped gather and grow our permanently endowed fund investments to approximately $5.8 Million.

In 2019, the foundation distributed a record $321,278, bringing the total grants back to the community to nearly $4 Million since 2003.

Grants come through many forms, including $40,928 distributed during the Spring Competitive Grant Cycle, $18,500 in scholarships, $223,000 in grants given through Donor Designated and Donor Advised Funds and another $38,850 in grant checks distributed from various Agency Funds.

The foundation continues to find creative ways to unite and connect our community around a common purpose. Fulfilling that purpose requires a consistent commitment to fund our minimal operating expenses.

The foundation is looking to add to its list of Annual Support Partners by making asking individuals and businesses to commit to annual support for three or more years.

There are several ways for you to give:

  • Make a one-time donation
  • Download a giving form and mail your check to 105 E Jefferson St., Morton IL 61550
  • TEXT-TO-GIVE – Text the word GIVE to 309-250-2130

The public is always welcome to find out more by stopping in at the MCF office to meet with staff or by going online at https://mortoncommunityfoundation.org.


 View holiday documentaries at the library

The Pekin Library, 301 S. Fourth St., will be showing “The History of Christmas and Santa Claus” on Friday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m.

The film explores the history surrounding Christmas and the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus.

Complete descriptions of the documentary are available on our online calendar at www.pekinpubliclibrary.org.

The Morton Community Foundation, 105 E. Jefferson St., has a wide variety of funds to which you can give, and you also can establish a fund in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to remember or honor. (Photo courtesy of Morton Community Foundation)


Public invited to take IDOT traveler survey

The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on the state’s transportation system through its annual Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey, available today through Dec. 31. The survey is available online by clicking here or visiting idot.illinois.gov.

“The public’s input is vital for the health of our transportation system. We look forward to learning about your travel preferences, what you think we are doing well and how you’d like us to improve,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Illinois is the heart of this country’s transportation network, its importance to national commerce as well as safe travel for the motoring public can’t be understated. We want to hear from you.”

The annual survey, conducted in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield, seeks feedback on topics ranging from road conditions and ice-and-snow removal to commuting habits and driving behaviors. Questions also ask travelers for feedback about the IDOT website, the state’s rest areas and passenger rail use.

The Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey has been conducted annually since 2001. A copy of the 2018 survey and results, as well as data collected from past years, can be viewed here.

For IDOT updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOT_Illinois or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com.


 More cultivation centers for adult-use cannabis approved

Ataraxia in Albion and Shelby County Community Services in Shelbyville are now approved to grow cannabis for adult use, bringing the number of cultivation centers in Illinois to 16. Currently, only cultivation centers licensed to grow medical marijuana can apply for early approval adult-use growth. Social equity applicants will have additional opportunities to apply for cultivation center licenses in an upcoming phase.

In addition to Ataraxia and Shelby County Community Services, the 14 other cultivation centers that have been licensed for adult-use growth include Cresco Labs, LLC in Lincoln and Revolution Cannabis, LLC in Delavan

Adult-use cannabis license applications for craft growers, infusers and transporters will be available through the IDOA beginning on January 7, 2020 with an application deadline of March 15, 2020.


Having a safe holiday in terms of food handling, prep

Many people look forward holiday gatherings centered around gift-giving and special meals, whether those are casual buffets or a sit-down holiday meal.

But one thing you do not want to go with your meal is bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

The four main steps for food safety are:

  • Clean – Clean your hands, surfaces, and utensils with soap and water before cooking. After cleaning surfaces where raw poultry has touched, also use a sanitizer.
  • Separate – Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils to avoid cross-contamination between raw meat and foods that are ready to eat.
  • Cook – Use a thermometer to check if the turkey is cooked. You cannot tell just by looking if it is fully cooked. Turkey should be cooked to 165° F
  • Chill – Do not leave foods at room temperature more than two hours. After you are done eating, divide the remaining food into small containers and either refrigerate or freeze. Leftovers are safe in the refrigerator for up to four days.

An easy rule to remember is to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold. After being cooked to a safe temperature, hot foods should not be allowed to get cooler than 140° F.

Cold foods should not be allowed to become warmer than 40° F. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40° F and 140°F. This range of temperatures is commonly referred to as the “Danger Zone.”

Typical symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms, which can start anywhere from hours to days after consuming contaminated food or drinks. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Those at risk of more severe and even life-threatening foodborne illness include older adults, infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

If you become ill, especially with severe symptoms, or if you are at risk for more severe disease, seek care from a medical provider to ensure a proper diagnosis and appropriate management.

More information on Food Safety During The Holidays can be found on the IDPH website.