The City of Peoria is looking for a few good developers to redevelop our historic core.

Feb 23, 2011

Central Illinois Perspective

Central Illinois Perspective
InterBusiness Issues
art & society
Peoria Progress


Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams will join Congressman Aaron Schock and William C. Lane, Caterpillar Inc.’s Washington Director for Governmental Affairs, for a panel discussion on international engagement tonight at Bradley University. The presentation, entitled “Paths to Global Engagement,” will begin at 4:15pm in the Marty Theater in the Michel Student Center. It is free and open to the public. The discussion will cover individuals’ roles as global citizens and provide an opportunity to learn more about volunteering for the Peace Corps.
Wildlife Prairie State Park will open its gates for the 2011 season on Sunday, with a special open house from 10am to 3pm. The special free admission day will feature the opening of the new Adventure Store; more information on new recreational opportunities this year; special public feedings of the bobcats, wolves and other animals; guided walking tours and more. The park’s famous brunch will also return on Sunday, with special discounts. For a complete list of the day’s happenings, call 676-0998 or visit
Chef Josh Adams of June Restaurant in Peoria Heights is up for Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef 2011: Great Lakes, an online fan voting competition. If you’re a fan of June’s unique cuisine, show your support by voting in the online poll, which will be open through March 1st.
CASA of Peoria County will hold a fall training recruitment informational meeting tonight, February 23rd, from 5:30 to 7pm at Two25 in the Mark Twain Hotel. Light appetizers will be provided. Volunteers work with the court system and DCFS to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in Peoria County. Training classes begin on March 28th. For more information, visit or call 669-2939.
IHOP will host its 6th annual National Pancake Day on Tuesday, March 1st from 7am to 10pm at the Peoria, East Peoria and Bloomington locations. Guests will enjoy a free short stack and are invited to make a voluntary donation to benefit Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Last year, local IHOPs raised $4,500 for Children’s Hospital.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is asking frequent travelers across the state to contribute airline miles to help make wishes come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Because so many wishes involve international and domestic travel, the Foundation is looking to raise 1 million miles to help offset the costs. Donate online at in the Giving section. For companies looking to start a frequent flier mile drive with its employees, call 800-978-9474 to find out how to get started.
Clifton Gunderson Technology Series

art & society: March/April 2011

Check out the March/April issue of art & society, now online at This issue features a look at ISU's Gamma Phi Circus and the rich circus history of Bloomington-Normal, the new Wheel Art Pottery Studios co-op in the Murray Building, Three Sisters Folk Art School, and an excerpt of historical fiction from a forthcoming book set in Peoria in the 1920s and '30s. Award-winning journalist Bill Knight examines how the world of comics and graphic novels is adjusting to the new digital world.
Don't miss an issue! Visit guarantee home delivery of art & society. Find us onFacebook and become a fan today!
Under the Redbird Big Top
by Amy Chovan
Illinois State University's Gamma Phi Circus has been clowning around since 1929, mesmerizing audiences with their artistry in aerial acts and teamwork in tumbling routines.
An Avenue to Find Meaning
by Jan Wright, Publisher
Many of the articles in this issue were suggested by friends and readers who were inspired to try something different. What about you? Are you considering a new hobby? Or even a new career? What’s on your “bucket list?”
Delivering Sequential Art: Print vs. Digital
by Bill Knight
As entertainment is changed by online presentation, writing—even the “sequential art” of graphic novels and comic books—may be affected, too. And considering the consequences to consumers, creators, stores and stories still results in more questions than answers.
Passing the Shuttle: Keeping Folk Art Alive
by Amy Chovan
The three women behind Three Sisters Folk Art School are doing their part to carry on traditions that have passed from generation to generation.
Wheel Art: A Potters' Co-Op
by Kaylyn Kuzniar
Behind the closed metal doors inside the Murray Center for the Arts, ceramic artists Jacob Grant and Susie Mathews are creating their own unique niche.
A Song for Cecilia: A Peoria Novel
by Jo Fredell Higgins
A Song for Cecilia takes place in Peoria during the 1920s and 1930s. Enjoy this journey as we discover the city of Peoria and read about the childhood and emerging maturity of Cecilia.
A Winter Haven For Performers
by Amy Chovan
While researching Gamma Phi Circus, it became apparent that Bloomington’s circus ties don’t start there.
Neighbors Caring for Neighbors
by Jonathan Wright
In 1896, Peoria’s own Neighborhood House began with a church service held in a vacant store building at 2009 South Washington Street.
Event Preview: St. Jude Gala
St. Jude has been serving childhood cancer patients and their families in Peoria since the Midwest Affiliate opened in 1972.
Take 10: Jim Maloof
The self-described “little pants presser from Peoria” recently added “author” to his long list of accomplishments.
Subscribe to art & society


Friday, February 25th to Sunday, February 27th @ Peoria Civic Center
The Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria will present the 2011 Official Spring Home Show, sponsored by American Family Insurance, with more than 225 companies displaying a wide range of interior, exterior, home building and remodeling products and services. There will be family-friendly activities, displays, entertainment and much more. for more information.
Friday, February 25th @ Par-A-Dice Hotel
East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus and city staff will present a State of the City Update at the latest Eggs & Issues event. Doors at 7am, breakfast at 7:30 and program at 8am. Call 699-6212 for more info.
Saturday, February 26th @ Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association – Central Illinois Chapter presents Trivia Night at its office at 606 W. Glen Ave in Peoria. Doors at 6pm, and questions begin at 7pm. There will be cash prizes and light snacks. For more info, call 681-1100.
Saturday, February 26th @ Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
The 7th annual Fine Art Auction to benefit the CAC will be held beginning at 7pm, with live auction at 8pm. The auction will feature the work of Preston Jackson and other area artists. Admission is $15/members and $25/non-members. Visit to preview the artwork. Call 674-6822 for more info.
Saturday, February 26th @ Dream Center Peoria
Peoria Friendship House and Dream Center Peoria will present I Love Who I Am, a program to celebrate the richness of black culture, including stories both familiar and unfamiliar to inspire youth in Peoria. The program is free and begins at 2pm in the Dream Center Auditorium at 714 Hamilton Blvd. An exhibit hall and reception will follow. Call 671-5200 or email
Saturday, February 26th @ First Baptist Church of Pekin
Pekin Hospital invites residents to the annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance for Health from 9am to noon at the First Baptist Church, 700 S. Capitol in Pekin. The event combines dancing, fun and music with health screenings and consumer education on important health topics, giveaways, healthy snacks and more. Admission is two non-perishable food items. Call 353-0662 or visit for more info.
Sunday, February 27th & Monday, February 28th @ Concordia Lutheran School
Concordia Lutheran, 2000 W. Glen Ave. in Peoria, will host Discover Concordia at 1pm on Sunday and 6:30pm on Monday, with activities for prospective families. The public is welcome to attend the event. For more information, call 691-8921 or

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Feb 17, 2011

Central Illinois Perspective

Central Illinois Perspective
InterBusiness Issues
art & society
Peoria Progress


Data from the 2010 U.S. Census was released yesterday, showing a 1.8 increase in population for the City of Peoria, from 112,936 in 2000 to 115,007. This increase marks the reversal of the downward trend in population since 1970. Census data is important in determining the allocation of federal and state funds, proper representation in voting districts, and as a key source of strategic planning data. The City’s Department of Planning and Growth Management will be releasing census reports to coincide with future data releases by the Census Bureau. Demographic profiles, including selected population and housing characteristics, will be released in May, with additional reports following from June to August. All census data compiled and analyzed by the City will be available at
Eureka College announced the receipt of a major gift from New York investment adviser Mark. R. Shenkman to create the Mark R. Shenkman Reagan Research Center in the Melick Library on campus. The center will purchase all of the approximately 1,000 books written about Reagan and be open to area residents and scholars from around the world. It is expected to be completed by this fall.
WCBU, the public radio service of Bradley University, announced an upcoming format change this week. Beginning March 7, 2011, the station will offer all news, information and entertainment programming on 89.9 FM, with expanded classical music on its digital frequency, WCBU 89.9 HD2. The new program schedules, additional information on HD radios, and a “Format Change FAQ” are available at
Chef Josh Adams of June Restaurant in Peoria Heights is up for Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef 2011: Great Lakes, an online fan voting competition. If you’re a fan of June’s unique cuisine, show your support by voting in the online poll, which will be open through March 1st.
Nominations are being accepted for The Center for Prevention of Abuse’ 17th annual Partners in Peace awards. These awards honor individuals and organizations that further the vision of a safe, peaceful community by eliminating violence and abuse and promoting healthy relationships and positive conflict resolution. Nominees may be community volunteers or professionals in such fields as criminal justice, health care, education or religion. to download a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is February 25, 2011.
Who's Who in Business 2011


Thursday, February 17th @ Body Fitness
“Ladies Night Out With Belly Dance” to benefit Easter Seals will take place at 3020 N. University in Peoria from 7 to 9pm. The evening will feature a one-hour lesson in belly dance, wine, raffle, gifts, light snack and dessert. Cost is $25. Reserve your spot by or calling (309) 264-9331.
Thursday, February 17th @ Barrack’s Cater Inn
The Peoria Area World Affairs Council will present a program on democratic development in Thailand. Dinner will be served at 6pm and the program will begin at 7pm. Tickets are $15 at the door. Call (309) 677-2454 for more info.
Friday, February 18th @ Apollo Theatre
Attend a performance of The King & I at 6:30pm and help support Look! It’s My Book!, a nonprofit organization that provides books to children in District 150. Tickets are $25 at the door. There will be music, costumes, a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. for more information.
Friday, February 18th @ Ashland House
The Morton Chamber of Commerce will present “Morton Forecast Breakfast 2011” from 7 to 8:30am at Ashland House in Morton. Hear updates from Mayor Norm Durflinger and School Superintendent Roger Kilpatrick. Tickets are $15 and available at
Friday, February 18th @ Peoria City Hall
Mayor Jim Ardis will host “Reforming Schools in Peoria,” a community meeting that will include elected officials, governmental bodies, educators, business leaders and staff. The meeting will be held from 8 to 9:30am in Room 400 at Peoria City Hall. The forum will include a presentation by Bob Darling, president of the Peoria Federation of Teachers, in conjunction with Dr. Patrick Dolan, nationally recognized consultant in the field of education change. Call (309) 494-8554 for more info.

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Median household income

US. Census Estimates 
Median household income in 2008 shown below:

Peoria County is far behind the Chicago collar counties. Interestingly the City of Peoria is not much lower then the City of  Chicago.

In my judgement, this points out the need for a continuing aggressive economic development effort on the part of the Peoria Region, County, and City. 

Illinois Counties
$78,617    Lake

$77,040    Dupage

$76,561    Will 

$64,944   Woodford

$54,559    Cook

$49,634    Peoria

$56,230    State

$38,625   City Chicago

$36,397   City of Peoria


More Info:

Feb 14, 2011

Heartland Partnership Newsletter

The Heartland Partnership eNewsletter
Hp In The News
Feb 14, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day From the Heartland Partnership Family of Companies.  The recent news from our organization has included everything from the Blizzard of 2011, to the census numbers, and from living healthy to rejuvenating our regional economy.  The Heartland Partnership Family of Companies has a lot going on and you see some of the stories from our local media below.  

Father of 'Open Book Management' to speak at Bradley
Jack Stack, the “Father of Open Book Management,” will give a presentation at Bradley University on March 11 to demonstrate how to build a business by harnessing the most powerful management tool a company has…its people.  The program is co-sponsored by Bradley University's Executive Development Center, the Heart of Illinois United Way, and the Heartland Partnership. ...

Storm likely to hurt Peoria-area economy
There was enough lead time some companies were probably able to adjust to minimize losses," Jim McConoughey said. "But when you lose two or three days of ...

We need jobs; higher corporate taxes won't help
Next, the county boosted its annual investment with the Economic Development Council, a regional development engine led by the Heartland Partnership. ...

Controlling Costs with Wellness
As part of our mission to drive value to our members' bottom lines, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is providing an easy and inexpensive way for local ...

Logistics and the Midwest’s Economic Development Opportunity
Chicago's Economic Development Council hosts Jim McConoughey to discuss "Logistics and the Midwest’s Economic Development Opportunity."  This monthly luncheon series covers a wide range of topics of interest for the business owner as well as the economic and business development professional. 

'Pack the Place' initiative aims to boost attendance at local events
Area businesses, community groups and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce are encouraging consumers to get out and pile in - quite literally. ...
Area residents encouraged to participate in local events
An effort that aims to generate enthusiasm for local venues and events is expanding this year.
Even More Incentive to "Pack the Place" This Year
Organizers are offering even more ways to pack the place this year by expanding to include special discounts at even more local businesses and restaurants. More
Project Pack the Place expands in 2011
After drawing 1,500 people to various events in 2010 the schedule for Project Pack the Place has been expanded in 2011.

Census numbers critical for cities, state
It affects fire departments and school districts and the justice system," said Jim McConoughey, president of The Heartland Partnership. ...

Utilizing Email Marketing
The Peoria Chamber Commerce is hosting a series of sales and marketing classes that could have a big impact on your business.

WHOI's Good Company Program Highlights Peoria NEXT
Caterpillar's Tier 4 Technology
Caterpillar has been a part of PeoriaNEXT since the beginning and continues to support its mission by encouraging innovation in Central Illinois. Caterpillar Product Manager Scott Johnson takes us inside Tier 4.

The Latest APPitudez
And with the help of Peoria NEXT, Appitudez took advantage of the opportunity to be part of six billion dollar industry that's expected to grow ...

     All Content Copyright Heartland Partnership 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Feb 12, 2011

The Heartland Partnership

Third Thursday Lunch Special Offer- The Butcher Block

The Heartland Partnership eNewsletter
Join us for our very first Project Pack the Place Third Thursday Lunch event on February 17th at The Butcher Block Steakhouse and Grill.  Click here to print your coupon to buy one lunch & get one free.  The Butcher Block Steakhouse and Grill is located at 5901 North Prospect Rd. in Peoria. Visit or call (309) 683-8747 for directions.
Click, print, and Pack the Place for a Third Thursday Lunch on February 17th!
Visit and join our Facebook page to see where the next Third Thursday Lunch will be held and find out about other special Pack the Place offers.  If you would like to participate in the Pack the Place Third Thursday Lunch program, contact Jolene at or call 309-495-5900. 

Project Pack the Place is an initiative to increase community vibrancy and boost the regional economy by generating enthusiasm for the great entertainment venues, restaurants and activities in Central Illinois.  It is sponsored by Methodist College of Nursing and brought to you by The Heartland Partnership Family of Companies, PACVB and AdCo.

     All Content Copyright Heartland Partnership 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Feb 9, 2011

Arts in Peoria

Friends of the Arts,

Listed below are just a few of the great arts events taking place in the Peoria area this weekend.
For a more complete list of arts activities, we invite you to visit our events calendar at
You can also find our What’s Playing in Peoria flyer on our Facebook page:

ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc.
820 SW Adams St. Peoria, IL 61602
p. 309.676.2787  f. 309.676.0290

Central Illinois Perspective


 to me
show details 10:19 AM (53 minutes ago)
Central Illinois Perspective
InterBusiness Issues
art & society
Peoria Progress


The 150th anniversary observance of the Civil War begins this Friday, February 11th, exactly 150 years after Abraham Lincoln left Springfield on his inaugural journey as president-elect. At 11am on that day, Lincoln’s famous departure speech will be re-enacted worldwide to break a Guinness World Record for the most people reading aloud from the same document simultaneously. Peoria-area citizens will find the nearest participation site at the Metamora Courthouse, 113 East Partridge St. in Metamora. Visit for more information.
Peoria County’s National Citizen Survey is now online, through Monday, March 7th.The NCS is a comprehensive survey developed by the National Research Center that gauges citizens’ perceptions of service delivery, quality of life, potential problems and other community issues. Citizens of Peoria County who did not receive the survey by mail can participate by visiting
Current Peoria County Administrator Patrick Urich has been officially hired as the 16th city manager of the City of Peoria. He will begin his tenure on April 18th. Greg Chance, who heads the Peoria City/County Health Department, is set to be hired as assistant county administrator and would act as interim administrator upon Urich’s departure.
The Peoria Public Library is looking for people to tell their stories about Peoria history! To celebrate National Library Week and its slogan “Create your own story @ your library,” the library will put together podcasts of stories, either general or personal, about Peoria and its history. Call (309) 497-2159 for more information.
“Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” will open Saturday at Lakeview Museum and run through May 1st. The exhibit offers a peek into the world of the Muppets creator, with original artwork, drawings, cartoons and storyboards. Henson’s wife, Jane Henson, will make a presentation at the museum at 7pm on February 24th. Call (309) 686-7000 or for more information.
The Peoria Art Guild will again host Kid’s Art Camp on President's Day, February 21st.Kid's Art Camp provides an art-centric alternative to traditional day care, in which students have the opportunity to experience a wide array of different techniques and media. The camp is available for school-age children in grades 1-6, and will be held at the Peoria Art Guild, 203 Harrison St., from 8:30am to 3pm. For more information or to register, call (309) 671-1090 or email
Clifton Gunderson will present “Employee Benefit Plan Reporting – What Every Plan Administrator Should Know,” a free, one-hour online webcast, at 1pm on Wednesday, February 16th. Employee benefits plan experts will address new regulations, reporting requirements and updated accounting standards in 2011. Register at For questions, call (309) 495-8769.
Who's Who in Business 2011

iBi: Focus on Healthcare

The February 2011 issue of iBi is out, with a focus on healthcare. The lead article in February's iBi examines last year's healthcare reform legislation and the uncertainties surrounding its implementation. Can we massage the legislation...or do we throw it out and start over?
Also in this issue...transparency in healthcare, electronic health records, a look at the Healthy Lifestyles School Project, caregiving, wellness, cutting-edge cancer research, updates from area hospitals and much more!
Here is just a sampling of for the entire issue!

Is This Déjà Vu All Over Again? The Good and the Bad of Healthcare Reform
by Donald J. Crane, MD and Beverlee L. Gilmore, Crane Gilmore & Associates, Inc.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act meets one of its two original goals—that all Americans will be covered—but it missed the goal of controlling costs by light years. Today, we ask ourselves: Can we massage the healthcare system signed into law on March 23, 2010, or do we throw it out and start over?
Wrestling with Uncertainty
by Jan Wright, Publisher
No single issue in the last year has generated more heated discussions than the topic of healthcare reform.
Your Healthcare Information: Where You Want It, When You Need It
by Joy Duling, Illinois Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center
The big-picture vision is that a patient can walk into any physician’s office and all the information needed to provide high-quality, cost-effective care would be available.
It Takes a Village: Healthy Lifestyles School Project
by Jonathan Wright
A variety of initiatives at the state and national levels are addressing America’s obesity problem, but more influential is what is happening locally. The Healthy Lifestyles School Project began in 2009 to promote healthy lifestyle choices at Garfield Primary, Trewyn Middle and Manual High School.
Healthcare Reform: Guidance and Then Some
by Michael J. Powers, Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC
The avalanche of guidance issued by various government agencies involved with implementing healthcare reform would indicate that the legislation was only the beginning of the process.
Transparency and the Healthcare System
by Dr. Gail Amundson, Quality Quest for Health of Illinois
Healthcare economics work differently than other industries, and those differences have created a real conundrum.
Caregiving: Choice, Challenge and Compassion
by Monica Vest Wheeler
Quick! Guess which of the following is the correct answer to the statement, “Caregiving can...”
The Cost of Wellness: Investment vs. Return
by Matthew J. McMillin, MD, Optimum Health Solutions, Inc.
Worksite wellness is an investment in any organization’s most important asset.
LIVESTRONG Peoria: A Q&A with Founder Todd Zessin
A personal battle with testicular cancer inspired Todd Zessin to found LIVESTRONG Peoria, a chapter of Lance Armstrong’s national organization.
The Hopeful Headlines of 2061: Getting From Here to There
by Kollet Koulianos, Illinois CancerCare Foundation
We are on the verge of breakthrough how do we get from here to the hopeful headlines of 2061?
At Home in Primary Care: The Patient-Centered Experience
by Kaylyn Kuzniar
The emerging concepts of the Patient Centered Medical Home and Ideal Medical Practice revolve around a patient-centered experience.
Strength Training for the Person on the Go
by Brian Barlow, Country Club of Peoria With HIT, you don’t have to spend an endless amount of time doing ineffective exercises to gain health benefits.
...and much more at!


Saturday, February 12th @ Luthy Botanical Garden
The Peoria Park District’s Luthy Botanical Garden will present its annual Wine and Roses event from 6:30 to 9pm. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with entertainment by crooner Matt Barber, hors d’oeuvres by A Matter of Taste, a chocolate fountain and fine wine in the lush tropical setting of the Botanical Garden Conservatory. Call (309) 681-3507 for more info.
Saturday, February 12th @ Wildlife Prairie State Park
Wildlife Prairie State Park will host its second annual Ice Fishing Tournament from 7am to 1:30pm, with gates opening on the west side of the park at 6am. All proceeds benefit WPSP and its programs. Call (309) 676-0998 for reservations.
Tuesday, February 15th @ Hotel Pere Marquette
The YWCA’s 33rd annual Leader Luncheon will be held in the Hotel Pere Marquette Ballroom. Each year, the YWCA honors local women who exemplify excellence in their professions and a commitment to the success of other women. This year’s featured speaker is Fawn Germer, a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist. Call (309) 685-7655, ext. 211 or email
Wednesday, February 16th @ Kuhl & Company
The Morton Chamber of Commerce presents “Developing a Small Business Facebook Page and Maximizing its Value” from 11:30am to 1pm at Kuhl & Company Insurance, 632 West Jefferson St. in Morton. Register online at

Feb 8, 2011

Excelerate e-Newsletter Week of Feb 7, 2011

Excelerate Enews
Jim McConoughey
Jim McConoughey
The Heartland Partnership

The Heartland Partnership Family of Companies

Peoria Metro

Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

Peoria NEXT

Heart of Illinois Regional Port District (TransPORT)

Heartland Capital Network

Heartland Foundation/CEO Roundtable

The Initiatives:




The following companies have made an investment to the Excelerate Campaign:

Adams Outdoor
AMP Illinois
Apples Bakery
Barrington Broadcasting
Better Banks
Bradley University
Busey Bank
Central IL Bank
Central IL Business Publishers
Commerce Bank
Community Foundation of Central IL
Converse Marketing
Core Construction
Cullinan Properties
Devonshire Group
Eureka College
Farmers Insurance
Farnsworth Group
Federal Companies
G & D Integrated
Greater Peoria Mass Transit
Heartland Bank & Trust
Heart Technologies
Heritage Bank
Illinois American Water
Illinois Central College
Jim Maloof Realtor
JMP Radio Group
Kriegsman Warehouses
LZT Associates, Inc.
Methodist Medical Center
Nexstar Broadcasting WMBD/WYZZ
Otto Baum
Pekin Insurance
Peoria Area Association of Realtors
Peoria Disposal Company
Peoria Journal Star
PSA Dewberry
Regent Communications
River City Construction
Riverfront Village Developers
RSM McGladrey INC.
South Side Bank
Traders Realty
Wisdom Development Group
A Message From Jim McConoughey
Recently a group of public elected officials from the tri-county area got together to address the issue of the recent state income tax hike.  Representatives from Peoria, Woodford and Tazewell county boards as well as area mayors and economic development professionals were in attendance. The focus was on how to continue successful economic development in the wake of this huge tax increase.  This big change just happened and we already have our regional public elected officials working together and focusing on the issue to represent their constituents, this is a big step in the right direction. 
Click the video icon to learn more about the recent meeting.

2011 Economic Forecast
What changes are likely ahead for our government?  The first big change people want is for the government to slow down.  The second thing to watch for is the call for efficiency.  To see what else Jim McConoughey has to say watch his forecast video by clicking the video icon to the left.

Peoria MSA Unemployment Drops Again 
Peoria MSA unemployment numbers have dropped again.  Unemployment for December 2010 is 8.8% down from 9.3% in November 2010. 
Click here for monthly trend chart

2011 State of the City
Nearly 600 people were on hand to hear Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis' assessment of the city, particularly from a financial standpoint and the challenges ahead for 2011.  He touched on the city's crime problem, the budget deficit, and ways to streamline city services including the potential merging of the sheriff and city police departments.  He encouraged people to volunteer and get involved in making changes in our community. Many in attendance said Mayor Ardis’ State of the City Address, was right on the mark. 
Click here for a text version of the Mayor's speech

Meet the Chairmen 
Over the past two months we have been introducing you to the chairmen of the various boards of directors for The Heartland Partnership Family of Companies.  This week we highlight Dave Parkinson for his role with the Central Illinois Angels. 
Click here to see the interview with Dave Parkinson

Project Pack the Place Returns and Expands
“Project Pack the Place” is back for 2011 and it's expanding!  Project Pack the Place is an initiative to increase community vibrancy and boost the regional economy by generating enthusiasm for the great entertainment venues.  The project is expanding this year in hopes of packing local restaurants and other businesses across Central Illinois. visit to get all the details. 
The first main event is March 12 with the Peoria Ballet so get your tickets now! 

PACVB Keeps Busy
In 2010, the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau brought in 192,000 people for sporting events and conventions. Leisure tourism, like the Festival of Lights, Red White and Boom, and Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive draw around 200,000 every year. It's estimated that each traveler in Illinois spends $130 per day which means the economic impact in 2010 was somewhere around 26 million dollars. 
Click here to watch a video interview with the PACVB.
click here for text version of the interview.

Article Heading
The current Mood-O-Meter is about the recent Blizzard of 2011.  It will only take a couple minutes to tell us how satisfied were you with snow removal in your community, did you do anything fun during your snowday(s), and how long did it take you to clear your driveway/sidewalks?
Click here to participate in the Mood-O-Meter