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Mike Waight, who has been coming to the Midwest Cigar Summit for five years, exhales smoke from his cigar Friday while taking part in the annual event sponsored by the Gentleman's Cigar Society of Peoria.

Mike Waight, who has been coming to the Midwest Cigar Summit for five years, exhales smoke from his cigar Friday while taking part in the annual event sponsored by the Gentleman's Cigar Society of Peoria.

PEORIA — After several stagnant years, births in Peoria County may be on the upswing again.

PEORIA — After several stagnant years, births in Peoria County may be on the upswing again.

Mild weather contributed to a successful 30th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights last year, said Doug McCarty, director of tourism and special events.

Mild weather contributed to a successful 30th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights last year, said Doug McCarty, director of tourism and special events.

PEORIA — Twenty percent of Peoria School District 150 students were suspended from school at least once last year. The total number of out-of-school suspensions increased after steady declines since 2009.

PEORIA — Twenty percent of Peoria School District 150 students were suspended from school at least once last year. The total number of out-of-school suspensions increased after steady declines since 2009.

PEORIA — It took 178 years but the Flanagan House is finally getting central air.

PEORIA — It took 178 years but the Flanagan House is finally getting central air.

PEORIA — School lunches won’t end with the school year. Peoria School District 150 expects to serve as many as 75,000 free meals at 30 sites this summer during the Food, Friends and Fun program.

PEORIA — School lunches won’t end with the school year. Peoria School District 150 expects to serve as many as 75,000 free meals at 30 sites this summer during the Food, Friends and Fun program.

PEORIA — Scholarly silence was nowhere to be found at the Lincoln Branch Library Friday morning. Instead, the pulsing rhythm of R&B music filled the airy addition at the historic Carnegie Library as nearly 200 children attended the annual summer reading program bicycle raffle.

PEORIA — Scholarly silence was nowhere to be found at the Lincoln Branch Library Friday morning. Instead, the pulsing rhythm of R&B music filled the airy addition at the historic Carnegie Library as nearly 200 children attended the annual summer reading program bicycle raffle.

PEORIA — Caterpillar Inc. employees visited Manual Academy on Friday to do a little in-class welding.

PEORIA — Caterpillar Inc. employees visited Manual Academy on Friday to do a little in-class welding.

BARTONVILLE — With the owner of the 115-year-old Bowen Building preparing to default on a loan from the village at the end of the year, it appears certain that the last remaining building on the former Peoria State Hospital grounds will be demolished sometime in 2016.

BARTONVILLE — With the owner of the 115-year-old Bowen Building preparing to default on a loan from the village at the end of the year, it appears certain that the last remaining building on the former Peoria State Hospital grounds will be demolished sometime in 2016.

After more than 13 years in local, military and federal jails or prisons, a former West Peoria resident is home in his native Qatar. Ali Sahleh Kahlah al-Marri, 45, was spirited out of the United States on Friday, two days before he was scheduled to be released from a maximum security prison in Florence, Colo.

After more than 13 years in local, military and federal jails or prisons, a former West Peoria resident is home in his native Qatar. Ali Sahleh Kahlah al-Marri, 45, was spirited out of the United States on Friday, two days before he was scheduled to be released from a maximum security prison in Florence, Colo.

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