Woodford County news briefs

Tracy Heffren of Eureka has been named the new volleyball coach at Illinois Central College. (Photo courtesy of ICC)


 Hornets girls volleyball coach moves on to ICC

Illinois Central College Athletics has named Tracy Heffren, of Eureka, as the new head volleyball coach. Heffren began her new position on July 1.

Heffren comes to ICC from Eureka High School where she was the head volleyball coach since 2004. During her time leading the Hornets, she achieved a varsity overall record of 217-120 and was named the 2016 Tri-County Sports Female Coach of the Year.

In Class 2A, she accumulated a state championship, two Elite Eight appearances, three consecutive Heart of Illinois regular season undefeated champion titles, and a Heart of Illinois tournament championship.

Heffren began her coaching career as ICC’s assistant coach for retiring athletics director and long-time head volleyball coach Sue Sinclair.

Heffren has a decorated career as an athlete. As a former ICC Cougar, she earned First Team NJCAA All-American. At Illinois State University, she received second team all-conference nods and earned spots on all-tournament teams.

Heffren went on to play USA Volleyball and was named an All-American at a national tournament.


Program focuses on highway construction careers

Illinois Central College, Peoria Campus will hold a Highway Construction Careers Training Program beginning Monday, July 29 at 9 a.m. at  Hickory Hall.

Illinois Central College, Peoria Campus will hold a Highway Construction Careers Training Program information session beginning Monday, July 29 at 9 a.m. at Hickory Hall. (Photo courtesy of IDOT)

The course is an intensive 12-week program to learn the skills necessary for acceptance in the trades and the opportunity for a career with high wage-earning potential.

The Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Illinois Central College is a grant-funded program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The goal of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program is to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals working in the construction trades.

The program is a 12-week free training course that focuses on preparing individuals for a successful building trade application process by increasing math skills, job readiness, and technical skills.

Training also includes OSHA 10-hour certification, Forklift, and Aerial Lift certification, and First Aid/CPR certification. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the skills necessary to seek careers as laborers, cement masons, operating engineers, electricians, ironworkers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and other union construction trades.

Registration is appreciated but not required.

Peplow family to hold 90th family reunion

The descendants of Herman, Albert, William, Fred, John Peplow and Alvjna Burwitz, all originally from Germany, met at the Minier Park in 1930 and the reunion has continued since, known as the Peplow Reunion.

Attendance  was 115 people at the first reunion in 1930.

All Peplow relatives are encouraged to attend the 90th and final reunion on Sunday, July 28, at St. John’s United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall in Miner on North School Street across from Olympia West Elementary School.

A potluck will be held at 12:30 p.m. Table service and drinks will be provided. If you have questions, call or text, Secretary-Kathryn MCNeely at 309-275-8898.

 Community Health report available for comment

The Tri-County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a collaborative undertaking to highlight the health needs and well-being of residents in the Tri-County region, Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. Several themes are prevalent in this assessment, the demographic composition of the Tri-County region, the predictors for and prevalence of diseases, leading causes of mortality, accessibility to health services and healthy behaviors. Results from the 2019 study will be used for strategic decision making purposes as they directly relate to the health needs of the community.

The 2019 CHNA summary and report is available for public review and comments. Go to www.healthyhoi.org.

Learn plant propagation at gardening workshop

Are you a gardener interested in learning how to create more plants?

McLean County Master Gardeners and community volunteers that care for Sarah’s Garden will demonstrate plant propagation techniques and answer your gardening questions on Saturday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at . Sarah’s Garden at the David Davis Mansion, 1000 Monroe Drive, in Bloomington.

Learn how to create more perennials using proven propagation techniques and learn to harvest and save seed to grow new perennials and annuals.

In addition, enjoy an exclusive tour of the historic Sarah’s Garden and take home heirloom plants, seeds and bulbs from Sarah’s Garden.

Cost is $10 per person

Register online at go.illinois.edu/RegisterLMW or call 309-663-8306.


July is the peak month for grill fires 

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants to remind all Illinoisans to practice safe grilling techniques this summer. More and more people entertain outdoors during the summer months, leading to the increase of fires caused by grills. July is the peak month for grilling fires.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), reports over 70 percent of U.S. households own at least one outdoor BBQ, grill or smoker. Gas grills contribute to a higher number of fires than charcoal grills. NFPA reports 64 percent of households own a gas grill. On average, 10,200 home fires are started by a grill yearly. Each year 19,000 patients visit the Emergency room with injuries caused from grilling. Thermal burns are the most common injury with over 9,000 reported.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal advises everyone to take these steps to help ensure a safe summer filled with everyone’s favorite grilled foods.

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
  • The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves of your home and overhanging tree branches
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended
  • Always make sure gas grill lid is open before lighting it
  • Check the gas tank on your propane grills and hoses for leaks each time before using
  • If you smell gas while grilling, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department
  • Make sure charcoal grill coals are cool before disposing on them in a metal container

Bonfires, pit fires and campfires can also create fire safety dangers during the summer months. Campfires need to be built at least 25 feet way from tents, shrubs and anything that can burn. Make sure fires are allowed in the area that you are camping. Use of chimineas, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits need to be at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn.

For more information about grilling, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Grilling.