Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Progressive organizations like The Brave New Foundation have reported that conservative billionaires the Koch brothers have funded campaigns that have led to the dismantling of desegregation policies.
Small-government, neighborhood advocacy groups do not see a role for the school board in establishing social policy. New age reformers seek to infuse new human capital with little regard for drawing people from the communities they serve.
Ultimately, the black and brown students who are directly impacted by these policies belong to families who are not represented (physically or politically) within these organizations’ agendas. Consequently, the education diversity goals that were established in Brown v. Board are systematically being abandoned. In other words, the poor are bad enough to be subjected to these agendas and not good enough to implement them.
Wake County seemed to find a solution to an age-old problem. For decades, per-pupil funding driven by property tax contributions led to disparate funding levels between districts. Because of the correlation between race and poverty, urban districts became intensely black, brown and poor. Highlighted in the landmark Brown v. Board decision, we know that socioeconomic diversity and school quality are connected. Wake County Public Schools sought to improve achievement through aggressive economic desegregation.
In the 1970s, Wake County combined the wealthier adjacent districts with the poorer ones. Learning from the many cases that failed to integrate based on race, Wake County took a different approach. In 2000, Wake County established a goal that no school would have more than 40 percent of its students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Officials then created a choice system that maximized diversity. Busing and magnet schools were used to attract wealthy and poor students to underrepresented areas.
Educational achievement must be an essential goal of these initiatives. While the achievement gap has improved in Wake County, no one can rightfully claim victory. However, according to a study conducted by the school board the overwhelming majority of families agreed with the delivery of schooling.
However, newly elected school board members backed by the Koch-funded conservative think tank, Americans for Prosperity, criticized the study claiming that families have grown weary of constant enrollment shifts and busing caused by the diversity goals. Subsequently, the new conservative majority on the board eliminated the former policies in spite of improvements and public approval.
Powerful organizations are planting candidates to influence education policy based on rigid ideology. This is nothing new. In fact, noted education reformer Michelle Rhee’s political rise looked like she stole pages from unions’ playbooks. Teach for America and other market-driven reformers pushed Rhee well beyond the public will, which led to her demise.
I’m not so naïve to think that all school board members in Wake County or elsewhere have all been historically independent thinkers. Nevertheless, political hopefuls who are backed by groups that can’t show the diversity of the people they seek to serve should be vetted and discounted. This is becoming more difficult.
Again, if the organizations that back the candidates can’t display the kind of racial and socioeconomic diversity of the districts they wish to serve, then who exactly are we electing – the agenda of the funding organization or the individual?
Nevertheless, the electorate votes in school board members. Progressives are not pushing candidates who can infuse diversity within their efforts to improve the delivery of educational goods. Cynicism doesn’t improve schools. Hard working people do. Conspiracies don’t vote. Parents and teachers do. Until progressives answer their opponents’ charge to gain school board seats with viable candidates and reform plans, expect reform to be done to you, not by you. Source
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sources tell 1470 WMBD Dr. Kherat has accepted a job in the Springfield School District's Central office, where she will serve as a turnaround officer. This evening, WMBD31 reported that Kherat expressed her dislike of the the constant changes required by the turnaround process as one of her reasons to leave Manual.
The first day of school was apparently one of the last for the principal at Manual Academy.
Sharon Kherat submitted her letter of resignation on Monday, and it was accepted that night by the District 150 administration at its regularly scheduled board meeting.
Kherat announced her resignation to Manual staff on Monday, and the personnel move was posted on the District 150 web site Tuesday.
Kherat’s last day will be Sept . 9.
“It is definitely a great loss to Manual,” said Martha Ross, the School Board member who represents the Manual attendance area. “No one was any more talented or more committed to the success of our children.”
Kherat was named principal at Manual in March of 2008 by then-Superintendent Ken Hinton. She has led a restructuring of the school that included adding seventh and eighth grade academies. She also has raised the graduation rate and attendance rate in her three years at the South Peoria institution. Source
Monday, August 22, 2011
in broad day light @ Shelly and Butler. The victim went to Methodist in a private vehicle. Police are searching for the shooter(s) who were on bikes.
Remember this incident in the same location in mid-July:
Two men shot in South Peoria; one in 'grave' condition
One man suffers gunshot wound to the head.
Posted Jul 15, 2011 @ 09:50 PM
PEORIA — Police were investigating the shooting of two males Friday night near the corner of South Shelley and West Butler streets.
One victim was shot several times, at least once in the head. He was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, and police described his condition as grave Friday night. The second victim arrived at St. Francis in a private vehicle. Police said his wounds did not appear to be life threatening.
The shooting was reported at 8:11 p.m. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots and seeing a male on the ground who was not moving.
At the scene of the shooting, police blocked off most of Shelley between Butler and Kettelle streets with crime scene tape as they investigated for several hours. Officers with flashlights searched the lawn of one home and placed yellow cones on the street in front of it.
No information was available late Friday about a shooting suspect or suspects.
Friday, August 19, 2011
At just about the same time that LaHood was co-signing Dr. Lathan's $10,000 bonus, other members of the community were saying and feeling just the opposite...
Groups Want to Connect With Dist. 150
Despite a busy first year on the job some members of the local community say they feel a disconnect with District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan. They say collaboration with the administration has taken a backseat.
Peoria Park District Board Vice President Robert Johnson says neighborhood children were denied access to basketball courts over the summer at Glen Oak and Harrison schools after the basketball rims were taken off the backboards He says young people pack the courts to play pick up games but now cannot do so. Johnson says after a conversation with Dr. Lathan he was told the maintenance workers were tied up at another school and that union issues had to be worked out before the rims could be replaced.
"I don't understand the reasoning, we should be trying to engage our young people so that they can have active things to do and that's basically what it is and all of us would have a good quality of life in our city," Johnson said.East Bluff Serenity Neighborhood Association President Jim Combs says he was thrilled about Glen Oak Learning Center which was built on some property his family once owned. Combs says a year after the school's opening he's disappointed.
"That building and the grounds around that building were supposed to be shared by the community and I got the feeling and I think a lot of us do in leadership around here feel that that isn't the case," he said.Combs is talking about space that was supposed to be reserved inside the school for a community learning center for adults where computer or G-E-D classes could be held or other neighborhood programs, a vision he says was shared by former District 150 school superintendent Ken Hinton.
Superintendent Grenita Lathan was not available for an interview, but a district 150 spokesman says budgetary constraints, staffing and other educational issues have taken priority for the administration.
Combs says he understands that more pressing challenges may be the focus for the district. But says with similar goals in mind of strengthening families and communities partnerships with the administration are important.
"It's sort of a sadness, it's like a dissolution on our part. We thought something was going to happen that didn't," he said.
But combs says that won't stop his group from finding another location for their community center. He just hopes the school district will be a partner. Source
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Police say several acts of violence have come from the feud between Nichols and Long.
In December, a drive-by shooting at 1311 N. North Street nearly killed Kenya Wilson's 3-year-old after he was shot in head while sleeping.
Police say Wilson dated Keith Long's brother and that the bullet was intended for Long.
Then on Thursday the same home on North Street shot at again, this time no one injured.
Instead, a bullet from the drive-by at 1031 E. Behrends Ave. tears through the upstairs wall, killing 8-year-old Albert Billups-Wilson while he was sleeping.
Neighbors say Billup's mother, Latisha Wilson is related to Kenya Wilson. Police recovered shot-gun casings from both scenes Thursday.
Friday, August 12, 2011
2- Saturday August 13th ~ Behrends Street 4:30 PM - TODAY!
4- Saturday August 20th ~ Harrison Homes 4:30 PM
We will also be generating support for another Peoria Gun Exchange in effort to support efforts in addressing the gun violence that has taken a hold of our community. Thank you for your help in spreading the word as we are moving as swiftly as possible to address many issues.
Goal The goal of the initial and subsequent rallies, is for Peoria citizens to speak openly and clearly regarding crime and violence within Peoria in general and more specifically within their neighborhoods or residence.
These public forums will be designed to foster citizen participation in forging, building and creating relationships at a grass roots level in an effort to build a sustained resistance against crime, violence and other social ills from which our community has suffered and continues to suffer.
Who is Responsible For This & Future Events? Pastor Harvey Burnett, the New Bethel COGIC, The Peoria Association of Pastors, The Peoria Study Group Nation of Islam & other Peoria citizens and community groups.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
KILLED while sleeping: 8 year old shot in the head in drive by shooting, as young'uns with guns continue to do what they like in the streets of Peoria
An 8-year old boy is shot and killed as shots are fired at a Peoria house. Police say it happened just after 4:30 Thursday morning in the 1000 of East Behrends. Peoria police spokesman, Officer Doug Burgess, says the child was alseep in bed when the shots were fired during a drive-by shooting.
Burgess says officers are investigating whether this incident is linked to a couple of other incidents of shots fired in the 600 block of East Wilcox and the 1300 block of North North. No one was shot in those incidents.
There were several more reports of shots fired overnight starting at around 12:45 Thursday morning. Those were in the 1300 block of West Wilcox, 1400 block of West Gift and the 1800 block of North Missouri. Source
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Has the flashmob phenomenon hit Peoria?
Sitting at Granny's listening to her scanner, I often hear about large crowds gathering all of sudden and fights breaking out. I sometimes think that these large crowds may be flashmobs. What is a flashmob? From Wikipedia:
A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via social media or viral emails, rather than those organized by public relations firms or for a publicity stunt.If you think about it, the ability to organize flashmobs would also be effective for gang activity. Could this be what is happening in our fair City - flashmobs with "thug pants" instead of gold lame Hammer pants?
Organizing a "flash mob" basically involves e-mailing a bunch of people with instructions to show up at a certain place for a few moments, then disappear. Flashmobs are mainly used by guerrilla marketers.
Is the SRO Program - a chance for Peoria Police to become a positive force in our schools and subsequently our Community?
The SRO shall be responsible for diverting minor law enforcement infractions through school disciplinary avenues and parent counseling as opposed to sending the juvenile into the criminal court system. However, if the SRO feels that the criminal offense is serious enough to warrant action through the criminal court system, he or she will investigate and file charges against the student with local law enforcement if the charges are substantiated and filing charges is consistent with local law enforcement procedures. The SRO should follow the proper procedures to see that charges are filed and supply court personnel with complete documentation of the crime, victims, suspects, reports and other required information.
The SRO shall carry out arrest, search and seizure procedures for juveniles under the age of 16 in accordance with state and federal law. When an SRO takes a juvenile over the age of 16 into custody, he/she shall follow the same course of action as set forth for the arrest of adults.
The SRO investigates criminal activity committed on school property or involving students assigned to the officer’s school. SROs shall not be utilized as school disciplinarians. However, they may assist school administrators with these duties as requested. The assistance may include searching and seizing students with reasonable suspicion only when requested by school officials, unless search and seizure is otherwise authorized by law.
An SRO is expected to handle all situations professionally and ethically. Student information may be obtained from a variety of sources and the SRO is expected to use sound professional judgment in determining what information they should share or act upon.
The local police departments require an SRO to wear a full police department uniform including all required equipment. On some occasions, with approval of their police department supervisor, it may be appropriate to wear plain clothes attire. The SRO shall have in his/her possession, at all times, department issued identification and badge, a fully loaded firearm, handheld radio, pager, handcuffs and all necessary keys to the officer’s assigned school. The required equipment may include a taser.
When performing security functions at school events and, as circumstances dictate, the officers shall wear appropriate uniform or plain clothes attire.
It is a goal of our School Resource Officers to make sure that the students feel protected and also that students learn there are consequences for their actions. We truly want the students and the community to feel secure in their schools.
Peoria District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan once again addresses the recent policy revision renaming school security officers as School Resource Officers. Another major change prohibits those officers from carrying their service weapons when they are off duty.
"We are not eliminating School Resource Officers from the district or from our buildings," says Lathan. "They have been hired to serve and protect our students, our staff and our employees."
Lathan says while the officers are trained and able to make an arrest, Lathan says the district wants to make sure the incidents that necessitate an arrest are consistent district wide.
"We want to make sure when students are arrested they are not 14 and 15 years old being arrested for something that can be considered a felony and can haunt them for the rest of their lives," Lathan explains.
Lathan says, "They are students, they are children and sometimes they make mistakes."
Lathan says no work is being shifted to the Peoria Police Department. Lathan says School Resource Officers will still have the authority to make an arrest on school property. But, Lathan says, there will now be greater communication between the Sergeant on duty and the building principal. Source
Monday, August 8, 2011
By the way, there was a shooting at Wisconsin and Nebraska on Sunday at around 8:30, that has yet to be reported on by the mainstream media.
On another matter (related to young'uns with guns) I got together with the fam to play cards Saturday night. Usually the teenagers are not around, but this time my nephew was. When I asked him what was up, he said he doesn't like going out anymore, all people ever want to do is fight or talk about fights. I saw nephew again on Sunday, asked him what was up and he informed me his friend was shot at the roller skating rink. His friend is doing okay, but "he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time".
Two People Shot, One Beaten at Mossville Skating Rink Around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the Peoria County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of multiple shots fired at the Peoria Palace Skating Rink in Mossville. Authorities say callers also reported a fight in progress.
When they arrived, sheriff's deputies found a large crowd and about 100 cars fleeing the scene. Amongst the crowd were two victims with non life-threatening gunshot wounds, and the victim of a beating.
All three victims were juveniles. Their identities are not being released. The investigation is ongoing. Source
I'm thinking nephew is going to pass on this:
Sunday, August 7, 2011
"...the superintendent must evaluate student performance on standardized tests, curriculum, and attendance and drop-out rates.
The district's school board made changes to the contract at its meeting last month. At the time, the district would not release what specific changes were made.
She must also report to the school board and make any changes she sees necessary. The report must include goal and student achievements required by school code."
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Imagine if the school board started a letter writing campaign, to ask parents to demand that police make sure that their children are safe on the streets as they travel back and forth to school and once they reached their neighborhoods. I bet the police union wouldn't like that.
Today, the Labor Representative for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee sent a letter into the Peoria Chronicle to urge citizens to do the following:
"... contact each school board member and oppose any action that would diminish the authority of the campus police department and urge them to improve the safety in the learning environment."I find this dissension among agencies charged with the well being of our children very concerning, and I really wish that it could have been resolved in planning meetings - not aired out in a letter sent to local blog.
I can't help but to wonder what is the opinion of Chief Security Officer, Greg Collins on this issue. Surely he is involved in the planning meetings. Considering he came on board recently - more than likely he understood the move to the SRO program (I would hope he did at least).
The District needs to do a public relations push ASAP, to make sure that the community understands the SRO program; and more importantly, so that parents will know that their children WILL be safe when August 22nd rolls around and they return to school.
As a parent, I would like to see the District clarify publicly how the program will work AND the chief security officer needs to reassure us that he trusts what is happening and is a part of the plan to make sure it works. Parents deserve to get some type of reassurance at this point.
A generic job description for a CTO:
The chief turnaround officer will direct and coordinate academic and fiscal activities working in concert with the administrative team, school turnaround officers, and community partners, to improve student achievement. Manage the operational plans related to the work being done in the district’s lower-performing schools through the School Imporvement Grant. Duties also include monitoring turnaround school performance data, aligning resources with the district’s education plan and establishing early warning systems to ensure compliance with state and school board standards. In identifying new targets and shared strategies, the CTO will also be establishing and implementing strategies that provide for increased learning time and ongoing mechanisms for family and community engagement among other duties related to accountability.
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother of three. My husband and I live in Rural Hall, NC with my mother and aunt. We also share our home with “Teddy Bear Cox” our 40lb. Chow dog.
It has been my pleasure to be an educator for almost 30 years. Helping children learn is my passion and life! I believe given Phenomenal effort success is enviable.
While a lot of what we see happening in our schools these days may rub many the wrong way and/or sound ridiculous, it would be in all of our best interest to make an effort to try and understand what the requirements are under the School Improvement Grant and to become familiar with what a school in turnaround actually looks like.
In an effort to try and understand how the social giant they call school turn around will unfold, I have actually come across some pretty good information. I would recommend reading this paper: Innovative Designs for Persistently Low-Performing Schools: Transforming Failing Schools by Addressing Poverty-Related Barriers to Teaching and Learning
What we cannot deny:
A child growing up in poverty encounters individual, family and environmental risks that can undermine not only the ability to learn, but also the healthy development of character, motivation and persistence. These conditions all too frequently lead to behavioral problems and academic failure.
High-poverty schools experience the overwhelming needs of the children they serve, and the stresses of the community around them. High rates of joblessness, violence, racial tension, homelessness, and other factors are reflected in higher-than-average rates of untreated physical or mental illness, physical abuse and other problems for the students.
Even though these conditions are widespread, little in the experience of most teachers or school leaders has prepared them to address the many challenges these children encounter toward academic achievement.
Taken together, the obstacles the students must confront and the lack of preparedness on the part of schools and teachers often result in a negative school culture with low expectations for students. The following national statistics provide a dramatic snapshot of the challenge:
• The average student eligible for free or reduced-price lunch is two years of learning behind grade level.
• The dropout rate of students living in low-income families is more than four times the rate of students from high-income families.
• Only nine percent of freshmen in the nation’s 120 Tier I colleges are from the bottom half of the country’s income distribution.
These numbers point to the profound inadequacies of schools that serve poor kids and the failure of these schools to prepare students for post-secondary education and success. Source
Some FACTS: Schools need campus police. Our schools are in the turnaround process. The changes are going to happen - they are mandated by the Department of Education.
Since the pjstar didn't bother to provide the info on SROs, let me give it a try. District 150 appears to be in the process of developing and implementing a School Resource Officer (SRO) program:
SRO Program Development
1. The first step in developing an SRO program is to complete an assessment. The school district must openly assess its security needs and look at the way they currently interact with the police department. When do schools call the police for assistance? How does the school report criminal offenses that occur on school property?
2. The next step is to identify those individuals who are the stakeholders in maintaining a safe school. Students, parents, school employees, community members and the police department must be brought in to discuss options in developing a partnership between the school district and law enforcement. At this point information and research on starting an SRO program should be presented to the interested parties.
3. If the School Resource Officer Program is believed to be the best option in providing police services to the school community, a project team should be assembled. The SRO project team should consist of representatives from the school system, police department and community groups.
4. At this point of the process several key issues must be explored. Who is going to pay for the School Resource Officers? What are the standard operating procedures and policies for the SRO program? How will we introduce the SRO into the school community?
State of Illinois Awards School Improvement Grant to Peoria High School
Friday, August 5, 2011
Apparently there were two very large fights that popped off in the Harrison Homes Housing Project last night.
The first fight allegedly started with girls fighting over a cigarette, which escalated to a large group fight.
The second incident was allegedly when some white guy came down to buy some weed - he got his money taken and didn't get the drugs. So, the white guy left and came back with reinforcments (his crew). Again, a large fight broke out.
I'm told that Police had Montana and Trewyn streets blocked off for hours and the chaos continued well into the morning (3:00 a.m.). A check of the local newspaper's "police, fire and courts" page did not reveal any information regarding either incident.
What about Peoria Housing Authority (PHA) Security?
After talking to several people about the mythological thing referred to as "Peoria Housing Authority Security", not one person who I've talked to has EVER seen a PHA security person or a PHA security camera, or a PHA security car. So, that leads me to believe that there is no such thing as security in the PHA.
(click image to enlarge)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Even though he is said to have abused his wife, the Councilman's wife still feels she needs to get some dirt on him to get the upper hand in a divorce. So, she found his computer, noticed he was doing "research" on hookers and SHE called the hooker. Okay. Then she got the hooker AND her pimp to say that they had met her husband at two local hotels. I see. Sooo, if that is the case, the Councilman's wife must be the person who took the money out of the bank and paid the hooker and the pimp, in an effort to implicate her husband. Brillz right?
How he said it had happened...
Fifth District City Councilman Dan Irving said Wednesday that he has no intention of resigning, that's he's innocent of prostitution-related charges filed against him and that he's never met the "prostitute or the pimp" who claim to have met him.
"What you have at this moment is a pimp and a prostitute's word against mine. I can tell you, unequivocally, I have not seen this prostitute nor been close to or interacted with her pimp. I don't have a problem with a public official resigning if they do something wrong. My problem is I know I'm innocent. I want to stand up for what's right, defend myself and let the truth come out."
Summers, whose real name is Amanda Garren, 18, and her accomplice, Anthony Gray, both identified Irving to sheriff's deputies as a client. "I deny seeing these people," Irving said.
Irving also said he's only been to the Jameson Inn once for a Bradley University-related event and to the Grand Hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn Brandywine, once about 15 years ago. The hotels are where Irving met Garren for sex, Peoria County sheriff's records indicate.
Irving also defended his use of personal finances, saying he made 18 cash withdrawals between March 1 and June 30, and that they were not inconsistent with how he typically manages his money.
Phone and computer records showing his contact with escort services were related to his personal investigation into an alleged prostitution incident at a North Knoxville Avenue massage parlor, Irving said. An employee at the massage parlor was arrested in January on a prostitution-related offense.
By doing Internet research into the massage parlor, Irving said he found it and other local prostitution services advertised on a website called Backpage.com. He said he was "looking to see if they were in Peoria or where they were located." "That's where my wife got the information," Irving said about his estranged wife, Amy. The two are in the middle of a divorce.
Dan O'Day, Dan Irving's lawyer, has said they believe Amy Irving is the source of some of the information sheriff's deputies have. She could not be reached for comment.
The councilman said the records show his contact with escort services are related to his personal investigation into Backpage.com. Calls made on his phone to escort services in Houston, Minneapolis and Las Vegas, among other places, were because "either they had an advertisement on Backpage.com or had an advertisement for Peoria or had an ad placed on there."
"Maybe I should've just called the (police) chief and said, 'Look, get onto Backpage.com and take a look into this ... this thing is out of control. Maybe I made a bad judgment. I don't know however else to say it. I dialed this person's number and got her voice mail. I said, 'Here, you talk to her, and she'll say she never saw me."
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This edition includes interviews with various principals: Cindy Clark of Richwoods; Brett Elliott of Peoria High School; Laura Rodgers of Mark Bills, who gives details on the District's new middle years and IB program; Renee Andrews of Trewyn, who discusses the ELITE addition, her staff (which includes 57 new teachers) and transitioning to a K-8 school; Diann Duke gives a first look at Woodruff and discusses the new electives; and Dr. LaToy Kennedy discusses Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) and the incentive program, which will be mandated District wide to insure that discipline policies and procedures will be consistent throughout the District.
Remarkable Times will be broadcast as part of CAPtions on Sunday, August 7 at 5 pm, Wednesday, August 10 at 7 pm & later at Midnight on Peoria Comcast Cable 22. Produced in partnership with PCCEO, Inc.
Monday, August 1, 2011
"Not more than ten steps into our visit at Taft Homes, we saw the evidence everywhere. A dead rat, holes under the porches, in the ground, and even in people's homes. A woman living at Taft Homes in Peoria called the WMBD newsroom looking for help. Rats were taking over her housing complex. Brenda Coleman said she had been telling management about the problem for months, but nothing happened. After our station told the Peoria Housing Authority what we saw, it got to work right away."
We also saw what has been described as "a large-scale illegal fireworks display in a housing complex adjacent to the state’s largest Fourth of July celebration" - another thing that an active management should have seen.
Did I say active management? Perhaps thats the problem, because you see, I have it from a reliable source that the PHA manager at Taft walked out earlier this summer and last week the replacement manager walked out and as of right now, there is NO ONE literally NO ONE, on the property managing it. The doors to the office were locked all last week.
After the Fourth of July debacle there was a lot of talk about increasing security in Taft Homes. Well, I guess they haven't done it yet, because I heard that Saturday night (July 30th), gun shots were being fired for about an hour straight and it was so bad, some residents wouldn't even go home. Wonder why that didn't make the pjstar.
While we are talking about guns, shooting and not making the news... I also heard that Friday night (July 29th), several guys were shooting in Harrison Homes.
Funny, the last couple of days I was thinking things (i.e., shootings) seemed to have calmed down a bit (guess I was wrong). Unfortunately, I now have to rely on the "on the ground reports" from people in the hood to find out what is really going on in Peoria's housing projects.