Tazewell County news briefs

Applications are being accepted for the new Master Gardener training being held in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties. The training begins April 2. Application deadline is March 20. (Photo courtesy of Extension Offices)


Time to register for master gardener program

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener training is being offered in the spring, beginning April 2 and is held weekly until May 28. All sessions are held on Thursdays, and all classes run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Training includes both classroom lectures and outdoor activities, with a special focus on hands-on skills building in the latter part of the course.  For more information and to begin the registration process visit https://go.illinois.edu/MGtrainingFMPT.

Master Gardeners learn how to improve home landscapes, grow their own food, care for household plants, and manage pests.

Our nine-week training program teaches all about fruits and vegetables, trees and flowers, plant disease, botany, insects, turf grass, and soils.  Classes are taught by University of Illinois Educators and Specialists at various locations, including the Peoria and Tazewell Extension offices, Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria, and Illinois Central College.

For those wanting to become a Master Gardener volunteer, the University of Illinois requires each applicant to complete an application, background screening paperwork and schedule an interview with Extension staff.

The fee to participate is $250 and covers classroom sessions, handouts, and the Master Gardener manual. Upon completion of the Master Gardener training, graduates who have selected the volunteer option will become Master Gardener Interns and have two years to complete 60 volunteer service hours to become an Active Master Gardener. To continue as an Active Master Gardener, volunteers must fulfill 30 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours annually.

For individuals who only want to attend Master Gardener training for their personal or professional enrichment, but do not want to volunteer, the fee is $250, covering classroom sessions, handouts, and the Master Gardener manual.

The education-only participants will need to register for the class and speak with the program coordinator, but no further application is required.

Applications, screening paperwork, interview schedules, and course fee, must be received by March 20. Registration for non-volunteers is also due by March 20. Space is limited. Begin the application process at https://go.illinois.edu/MGtrainingFMPT

For more information about University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program, contact University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator Ian Goslin at ianmg@illinois.edu or 309-347-6614.

LWV program to hold Compassion & Choices (Aid in Dying)

The Greater Peoria League of Women Voters will discuss Compassion & Choices: Aid in Dying at its Drinks and Dialogue event, 5 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W Glen Ave., Peoria, IL.

The speaker, Karen Retzer, is the Champaign Compassion & Choices Action Team Leader. For several years, she has worked on end-of-life issues and advocated for aid-in-dying legislation in Illinois.

She will discuss issues of personal autonomy in healthcare decision-making, and walk through topics such as advance directives, communicating wishes, and medical aid in dying.

She will outline advocacy strategy to help the effort locally and across the state.  The event is free and the public is invited.  Refreshments are available for purchase.

Drinks and Dialogue is offered on the third Wednesday of the month, always at a local restaurant, to discuss local, state and national topics relating to approved LWV positions, aimed at “Making Democracy Work.”

The League is a non-partisan issues oriented, volunteer, member directed organization committed to open, responsive and effective government brought about by informed, involved citizens with membership open to both men and women in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties.  For more information, go to www.lwvgp.org


 Police say posts about suspicious white van are rumors

Multiple social media posts about a suspicious white van in the Kroger parking lot whose occupants are possible kidnappers are rumors only, according to East Peoria Police.

“People should verify information they see on social media with official sources to learn if it is accurate rather than sharing these posts and spreading rumors,” said Deputy Police Chief Rich Brodrick.

The posts have been circulating for several months about an unmarked white van perceived as suspicious in the parking lot at Kroger, 201 S. Main St., and the possibility there are potential kidnappers inside the vehicle. East Peoria Police said that the van is owned by The Kroger Company and the people in the van are company employees doing nothing unlawful.

There have been zero reports of any kidnappings in East Peoria, and Deputy Chief Brodrick said if one were to occur the public would be notified.

Individual safety concerns should not be posted to the department’s social media sites as that will not initiate an officer response to a location. Safety concerns should be reported by calling the police department non-emergency line at 698-4700, or in an emergency by calling 911.


An Evening with Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Morton Public Library will host  An Evening with Elizabeth Cady Stanton at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 2 in the Reuling Room.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for equal rights for women for over fifty years. Hear from Mrs. Stanton in 1866, when the Civil War was over, but the battle for women’s suffrage was just beginning. Join Laura Keyes, as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for this informative and inspiring presentation.

The program is for those aged 12 and older and registration is required.

 Library offers help on state Benefit Access Program

The Morton Public Library will have a SHIP Counselor and Central Illinois Agency on Aging volunteer to assist those individuals, who qualify, to apply for the Benefit Access Program.

This Illinois program provides for a license plate sticker to be purchased for $24 and a Ride Free Transit Card.

The next assistance session will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

There is no charge for this service.

Eligibility requirements are:

  1. Illinois resident
  2. At least 65 or disabled
  3. Maximum income (including Social Security)

(NOTE increase in income limits.)

– 1 person $33,562

– 2 persons $44,533

– 3 persons $55,500


Call the Library at 263-2200 for information and to schedule an appointment. Approved license discount certificates are good for two years and renewals may be submitted beginning 90 days before the License Discount Certificate Expiration Date.

Bring your social security card, 2018 Income Tax return (if one is filed), all 2018 1099’s and W-2’s to the appointment.  Applications filed before April 16 must use 2018 income information.  Applications filed after April 15 must use 2019 income data.