March 2020 A barred owl, blind in one eye, peeks out from its perch before the “Extreme Raptor Show: Birds of Prey” on Sunday, March 1 during the Official Spring Homeshow at the Peoria Civic Center. Jonathan Wood, a master falconer and wildlife rehabilitator, travels the nation with a variety of predatory birds – owls, falcons, an eagle, and even a vulture – spreading a message of conservation and environmental responsibility. Heather Berry, far left, takes a quick break from her job at the Eastside Wellness Chiropractic booth to join other homeshow attendees in trying out a set of Furniture Firm massage chairs Sunday, March 1 during the Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria Official Spring Homeshow at the Peoria Civic Center. Uncle Sam, an American bald eagle, surveys the crowd from his perch as part of the “Extreme Raptors Show: Birds of Prey: on Sunday, March 1 during the Official Spring Homeshow at the Peoria Civic Center. Uncle Sam was hit by a car in 1993. He lost an eye and a wing tip in the accident but was successfully rehabilitated and now travels the country helping spread the word about wildlife conservation.Bradley’s Lasha Petree, top, tangles with Missouri State’s Brice Calip in the first half Sunday, March 1 at Renaissance Coliseum. The Braves fell 69-66 to No. 17 Missouri State.Bradley’s Chelsea Brackmann, left, and Missouri State’s Jasmine Franklin battle for a rebound in the first half Sunday, March 1 at Renaissance Coliseum. The Braves fell 69-66 to 17th-ranked Missouri State.Notre Dame’s David Williams, top, gets airborne as he trips over Washington’s Tyler Bass in the first half of their Class 3A regional Tuesday, March 3 in Metamora. Washington fell to the top-ranked Irish 50-35.Peoria Christian’s Wes Hunt, right, stops a shot by Liberty’s Ryan Hedrick in the first half of their Class 1A sectional semifinal Wednesday, March 4 in Lewistown. The Chargers advanced to Friday’s final against Athens with a 57-54 win.The Peoria Christian student section cheers on the Chargers as they battle Liberty in a Class 1A sectional semifinal Wednesday, March 4 in Lewistown. The Chargers advanced to Friday’s final against Athens with a 57-54 win.Krystal Weitzel, a senior at Limestone High School, tries on several pairs of shoes during the PROMise of Hope prom dress event Friday, March 6 at DreamCenter Peoria. About 90 girls from local high schools were paired with a volunteer personal shopper to help pick out the perfect prom ensemble from about 1000 dresses, 300 pairs of shoes and a wide variety of purses, clutches, jewelry and other accessories.Ruby Rajab, a senior exchange student at Peoria High School, sorts through some o f the 1000 dresses on display during the PROMISe of Hope event Friday, March 6 in Peoria.Peoria High School senior Kaitlynn Herbst checks out a prom dress in a mirror during DreamCenter Peoria’s PROMise of Hope event Friday, March 6 in Peoria.Morton Potters fans and the mascot cheer on their team at the start of their Class 3A state semifinal against Lanphier on Friday, March 6 at Redbird Arena in Normal.Morton’s Courtney Jones (4) puts up a shot over Lanphier’s Cheyenne Trotter in the second half of their Class 3A state semifinal Friday, March 6 at Redbird Arena in Normal. The Potters advanced to the state final with a 48-36 win over Lanphier.The Buczynski sisters, Ezmae, 2, far left, Zoe, 4, right, and Eliza, 6, of Peoria watch mobiles swing from the skylights in the atrium Saturday, March 7 at the Peoria Public Library in Downtown Peoria. The library unveiled its new artwork “A Soothing Casade – mOLLIfying edges” on display through July. The piece was a collaboration between local artists Jaci Musec and Barbie Perry and eight retiree students in an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute art class. Morton teammates Peyton Dearing (11) and Courtney Jones console each other after the Potters’ 45-44 loss to Chicago Simeon in the Class 3A girls basketball state title game Saturday, March 7 at Redbird Arena in Normal. In the background is senior forward Katie Krupa, who led all scorers with 19 points.Morton’s Lindsey Dullard, left, and Katie Krupa defend against Chicago Simeon’s Diamond Stokes in the first half of their Class 3A girls basketball state title game Saturday, March 7 at Redbird Arena in Normal. The top ranked Potters fell 45-44 to Simeon.Morton’s Courtney Jones (4) passes the ball to teammate Olivia Remmert under pressure from Chicago Simeon’s Nakiyah Callon in the second half of their Class 3A girls basketball state title game Saturday, March 7 at Redbird Arena in Normal. The top-ranked Potters fell 45-44 to Simeon.With Chicago Simeon fans cheering in the background, Morton’s Katie Krupa holds back tears as she leaves the court at the end of the Class 3A girls basketball state title game Saturday, March 7 at Redbird Arena in Normal. The top ranked Potters fell 45-44 to Chicago Simeon.Morton head coach Bob Becker tries to console his players after their 45-44 loss to Chicago Simeon in the Class 3A girls basketball state title game Saturday, March 7 at Redbird Arena in Normal.Roanoke-Benson’s Jack Weber (25) hoists the Class 1A supersectional plaque as his teammates and fans cheer after their 45-43 victory Tuesday, March 10 over Chicago Fenger at Redbird Arena in Normal.Roanoke-Benson’s Trent Weldon, middle, gets caught between Chicago Fenger’s Alex Ousley (0) and Donovan Taylor in the second half of their Class 1A supersectional Tuesday, March 10 at Redbird Arena in Normal.Roanoke-Benson head coach Abe Zeller fist-bumps his players after their 45-43 victory over Chicago Fenger in a Class 1A supersectional Tuesday, March 10 at Redbird Arena in Normal.All eyes are on a climber as a group of Peoria Christian High School students, including sophomore Isaac Hudelson, far left, work on their belaying skills with help from instructor Thomas McGinnis, in the hat, during a mini-term class Wednesday, March 11 at the First Ascent Peoria climbing facility, 927 SW Washington Street, in Peoria’s Warehouse District. Peoria Christian students have a week, or mini-term, of non-traditional classes like climbing and woodworking before their spring break.Peoria Christian High School students make their way up a climbing wall and then descend with help from their fellow students down below during a belaying class Monday, March 11 at First Ascent Peoria. Belaying is the act of securing a climber on a safety rope to an anchor point. The student on the ground eases the climber back down with the rope.Peoria Christian freshman Camden Gardner, right, helps classmate Quinn Cox with his ropes during a belaying class Wednesday, March 11 at First Ascent Peoria.Rock Island’s Solomon Gustafson, left, tries to defend against Manual’s Pee Wee Brown in the first half of their Class 3A sectional semifinal Wednesday, March 11 at Renaissance Coliseum.Manual’s Idius Robertson (35) and Rock Island’s Taurean Holtam battle for the ball in the first half of their Class 3A sectional semifinal Wednesday, March 11 at Renaissance Coliseum.The Manual bench gets pumped up after a score and a foul on senior center Joshua Ivory puts him on the free-throw line in the second half of their Class 3A sectional semifinal Wednesday, March 11 at Renaissance Coliseum. The Rams defeated Rock Island 75-57 to advance to the supersectional final.Winston, a 3-year-old German shepherd, shows some love for his master, Trent Barron of the 182nd Airlift Wing, as Barron and about 30 fellow airmen return from an extended mission in southwest Asia on Thursday, March 12 at the Illinois Air National Guard base in Peoria. At left is his mom Missy Simpson. The Herrons of Dunlap, from left, Ethan, 10, Raquel, Isabella, 13, and William, 6, waves signs and run to greet 182nd Airlift Wing airman Corey Herron as he exits a C-130 transport plane Thursday, March 12 at the Illinois Air National Guard base in Peoria. About 30 airmen returned to family and friends from a mission in southwest Asia.Steve Simmons, left, and his son Jordan, stand in front of dozens of portable toilets at their warehouse grounds in Kickapoo. Despite cornering the market in the Peoria area, Simmons’ small business, Little Johnnies, has taken a hit from the coronavirus crisis as sporting events and festivals across the area shut down.Journal Star columnist Phil Luciano shares his thoughts on grocery hoarding during the COVID-19 pandemic.A youngster runs to catch up with his friends as a group of neighborhood friends pick up their free food packets Tuesday, March 17 from Manual High School. Peoria Public Schools and the Salvation Army are distributing breakfast and lunch meals to students at 18 sites around the Peoria area in the wake of COVID-19-related school closures.Fifth-grader Denasea Rutherford, far left, picks up food items from Patricia Thomas, right, and Jenny Pettyjohn on the first day of food distribution Tuesday, March 17 at Roosevelt Magnet School, 1704 W. Aiken Avenue, in Peoria. The school is one of 18 sites distributing food to students and families in Peoria Public Schools in the wake of coronavirus-related school closings.Peoria Notre Dame senior Tristan Daugherty brought home the first state wrestling championship in Irish history with his victory over previously unbeaten Nik Jiminez of Harvard in the 126-pound title bout. Daugherty is the 2020 Journal Star Wrestler of the Year.Mary Smith of Peoria, right, gives her confession from behind a bedsheet to Father Corey Krengiel, chaplain of Peoria Notre Dame High School, in a makeshift confessional in a baseball dugout behind the school. Father Krengiel took confession from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, March 19 since all the schools and services within the Catholic Diocese of Peoria were shut down last week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.Peoria Notre Dame parishioners stand several feet apart as they wait their turn to use a confessional Thursday, March 19 in a baseball dugout behind the high school.Brittany Yates, left, of Princeville, and her boyfriend Brent Shedd of Bloomington, spend some time together Saturday, March 21 at Donovan Park in Peoria. Yates is a hairdresser and Shedd is a sixth-grade teacher at Clinton Junior High School. Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple have found themselves with extra time to spend together.A maintenance worker tapes up a piece of equipment Thursday, March 26 on the playground outside Sowers Elementary School in Roanoke. Although parks and recreational trails are open to the public, the COVID-19 pandemic has made playgrounds off-limits.Volunteers Bill Dietrich, left, and David Carson load boxes of food into the back of a trailer for a drive-through distribution Friday, March 27 at Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Washington. The church also handed out surplus flowers from a local florist.Volunteers Brad Hermacinski, left, and Greg Kaufmann load food items and essentials into the back of a vehicle Friday, March 27 at Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church, 301 E. Bittersweet Road, in Washington. The small church stocks a very large food pantry and has resorted to a drive-through service in response to COVID-19 concerns.Sugar, a four-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, hangs out the window of onwer Christine Maher’s car as volunteers load food and other essentials into the backseat during a drive-through distribution Friday, March 27 at the Pleasant Valley Missionary Church food pantry in Washington.Roanoke-Benson senior Jack Weber led the No. 2-ranked Rockets to a historic 36-1 season and a berth in the Class 1A state finals with the game-winning basket to defeat Chicago Fenger in the final seconds of the Normal Supersectional. He is the 2020 Journal Star Small-School Boys Basketball Player of the Year.Grundy Elementary School building technologist Beth Shook, left, and librarian Angel Fisher decorate a set of windows at the school Friday, March 27 in Morton.Versatile junior guard Noah Reynolds was a major force on the top-ranked Peoria Notre Dame Irish. He is the 2020 Journal Star Large-School Boys Basketball Player of the Year.Surrounded by stacks of material in a variety of colors and styles, Harriett Williams, foreground, and Diane Bell work at turning that material into protective masks at Di’s Boutique in Canton. Bell, the owner of the boutique, organized the mask-making operation with her friends Williams and Lisa Joachim and her mother Doris Taylor.Diane Bell sews a protective mask out of Chicago Bears-imprinted material in the back of her business, Di’s Boutique, in Canton.Lisa Joachim, foreground, Diane Bell, right, and Harriett Williams put their sewing skills to the test, creating hundreds of protective masks in the back of Bell’s business, Di’s Boutique, in Canton.Morton senior Lindsey Dullard helped keep the Potters ranked No. 1 in Class 3A throughtout the season and a second-place finish in the state tournament. She is the 2020 Journal Star Large-School Basketball Player of the Year.A Peoria Police Dept. Special Response Team works its way up the front steps of a house Tuesday, March 31 in the 1500 block of NE Glendale Avenue in Peoria. Fugitive Dolmokio R. Eckwood Jr., 25, held police at bay for several hours before committing suicide.Family members of Dolmokio R. Eckwood Jr., 25, react with anger and grief upon learning of his apparent suicide after a four-hour standoff Tuesday, March 31 with Peoria Police in a house on NE Glendale Avenue in Peoria.Family members console each other after the apparent suicide of Dolmokio R. Eckwood Jr., 25, after a four-hour standoff Tuesday, March 31 in Peoria’s North Valley.