Tazewell County news briefs

The city of East Peoria and Chamber of Commerce is looking to bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to the community in September. The wall will be appearing in Levee Park. (Photo courtesy of Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall)


County gets federal cybersecurity grant for elections

The Tazewell County Clerk’s Office said it has received a $1,387.50 Federal CyberNavigator Grant which reimburses the cost of Tazewell County IT staff time committed for implementation of Federal CyberNavigator Grant upgrades.

This $1,387.50 Grant is in addition to a $1567.09 CyberNavigator Grant that was announced earlier this year that was also reimbursing the county.

“Over the past year, Tazewell County has been blessed to be awarded by the Illinois State Board of Elections numerous Federal CyberNavigator Grants which we have used to vastly improve Tazewell County Government Cybersecurity” said County Clerk John C. Ackerman. “This federal grant funding has given us the opportunity to strengthen and improve the Cybersecurity of not only the Tazewell County Clerk’s Office but every Tazewell County Government workstation without utilizing local taxpayer property tax revenue.”

Since joining the Illinois CyberNavigator Program in February 2019, the Tazewell County Clerk’s Office has received $72,591.68 in Federal CyberNavigator Grant funding to improve cybersecurity of the county’s election division.

In addition to this direct grant funding, the state Board of Elections has paid directly over $10,000 worth of Federal CyberNavigator Grant upgrades to improve the county’s cybersecurity, which includes the installation last month of a direct secure fiber-optic internet connection for the communication of Illinois Registered Voter Database information.

Tazewell was originally allocated $29,428 in Federal CyberNavigator Grant funding. Following a comprehensive Information Security Risk Assessment that was completed in March 2019 — paid for by the federal government — which illustrated the Tazewell County cybersecurity status and recommended upgrades, Ackerman worked with the board of elections to expand the grant amount to address as much risk identified in this comprehensive assessment as possible.


Public hearing for proposed appropriation, working budget

The city of East Peoria will hold a public hearing at the City Council Chambers of the on Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Civic Complex, 401 W Washington St.

The purpose of the hearing is to give residents the opportunity to provide written and oral comments on the proposed annual appropriation ordinance and the proposed working cash budget for the city of East Peoria for the fiscal year May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

The proposed annual appropriation ordinance and the proposed working cash budget are available for public inspection in the office of the City Clerk in City Hall During regular business hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on the city’s website at www.cityofeastpeoria.com.

Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Levee District 

Residents and businesses can help sponsor the appearance of The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall when it comes to East Peoria in September.

The wall will be appearing in Levee Park at 401 W. Washington St.

A reminder of the sacrifices made during the Vietnam War, the traveling memorial wall’s purpose is to help heal and rekindle friendships and allow people who may not be able to visit Washington, D.C. the opportunity to see the memorial.

Several public activities are currently being planned to coincide with the wall’s appearance.

While admission to see the 300-foot-long wall will be free, donations are being sought from residents, businesses and organizations to help bring the wall to East Peoria and will benefit the Greater Peoria Honor Flight, which flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the national memorial sites. Donations are tax deductible and no amount is too small.

Those donating $250 or more will be considered sponsors. The sponsorship levels are: Gold Level – $1,000, Silver Level – $500 and Bronze Level – $250.

All sponsors will have their name on a banner which will be displayed at the wall, and receive recognition on this webpage and the City of East Peoria’s Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin social media sites.

Checks with the notation The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall should be made payable to the East Peoria Community Foundation. They should be mailed to:

East Peoria Community Foundation

P.O. Box 2817

East Peoria, IL 61611

For more information, call East Peoria City Hall at 309-698-4715 or the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce at 309-699-6212.

The city of East Peoria will accept comments and hold a budget hearing on Tuesday, March 17. (Photo courtesy of city of East Peoria)


City, police will regulate use of motorized bicycles

Beginning March 9, Pekin police officers began enforcing a new ordinance regarding motorized bicycles.

The City of Pekin supports the use of these bikes as a green alternative and we further understand the need to get back and forth to work by those who do not possess a valid driver’s license.

Those choosing to ride these types of bikes that the Rules of the Road apply as they do to a motorized vehicle. Many of the complaints the police department has received are that these bike riders fail to stop at stop signs, at stoplights, and commit a vast array of other traffic violations. These violations will be enforced through our local ordinance, the police department said.

These bikes are required to have head and tail lamps that are visible. It is a light specifically designed to be on a bike, and operates to provide adequate visibility. Police also suggests that riders wear some type of reflective vest and as always, we recommend the use of a helmet.

Motorized bikes are supposed to be low speed and should not travel more than 20 mph. Some riders have modified their engines and they can travel well above 20 mph, but police warn to not modify the engine to go faster. The bikes are not designed to travel above the 20 mph speed limit.

The city is still waiting for the registration stickers to arrive. Once they are in, the city and police will get that information out publicly. Check the Pekin Police Department Facebook page.


March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month

When most people think about dangerous spring weather, tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding usually come to mind.

In Illinois, roughly 20 percent of tornadoes occur at night. For several reasons, tornadoes that occur at night are twice as likely to result in fatalities. Therefore, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service is underscoring the importance of having more than one way to receive emergency alerts and notifications during Severe Weather Preparedness Month.

The National Weather Service and state and local emergency management officials strongly encourage people to have a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) All Hazards Weather Radio with battery backup.

These radios can be programmed to receive alerts for specified counties to keep you and your family apprised of impending weather and post-event information for all types of hazards including natural (earthquakes), environmental (chemical spills) and public safety hazards (AMBER alerts).

FEMA also offers a free mobile app that provides fast and reliable weather alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS).  The app can be tailored to offer alerts for up to five different locations nationwide.  The mobile app can also help you locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you in the event of an emergency.

In addition to NOAA weather radios, Wireless Emergency Alerts can provide lifesaving information about impending storms and emergencies. These alerts can be sent to your mobile device without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.

Not only are critical tools to surviving overnight storms, but they can be extremely beneficial for those who travel.

The NWS will be recognizing Flood Safety Awareness Week during March 9-13.  For more information about what to do before, during and after a storm, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.   There you will find a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, developed by IEMA and NWS, which provides tips on how to prepare for all weather emergencies.