October 2020 Joaquin Barraza, a domestic violence counselor for children and teens at Freedom House emergency shelter in Princeton, paints a group of pumpkins purple Friday, Oct, 2, for The Purple Pumpkin Project, a fundraiser for the shelter hosted by Tanners Orchard to mark October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Proceeds from the $6.99 purple pumpkins and any extra donations go to the shelter.Nikki Vulgaris-Rodriguez of Peoria and her 2-year-old Yorkie terrier Alex read a prayer from the program Saturday, Oct. 3, during the annual Blessing of the Animals at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria. Several pet owners brought their furry companions to the church’s sanctuary for a blessing in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.GOLF CART POKER RUN – Amy Cunningham of Secor gives the thumbs-up from the comfort of a rocker-recliner to the participants in line behind her as husband Bob tows her with his four-wheeler Saturday, Oct. 3, during the 13th Annual Secor Golf Cart Poker Run in Secor. Dozens of golf carts and other small, four-wheeled vehicles paraded through the small Woodford County town in a fundraiser for local resident Joshua Mayotte who is fighting cancer. Motorists traveled to six different houses in the small town, collecting cards for the poker run and enjoying some food, drinks and games along the way.Illini Bluffs School District #327 nurse Erica West, right, checks the temperatures of middle school students as they enter the building Tuesday morning, Oct. 6, in Glasford.Phillip Molleck, top, and Phil Molleck, bottom, of Molleck Electric drop a solar panel into place Tuesday, Oct. 6, atop the Peoria Park District’s Noble Center, 1125 W. Lake Ave., in Peoria. The 650-panel project is expected to produce 50 percent of the energy needs of the building and help save $150,000 per year over the next 20 years.Members work out in a fitness class Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Studio C Fitness in the newly-renovated Keller Station in Peoria.Jessica Litterst, owner of Moxie’s Resale Boutique, 3827 N. Sheridan Road, brings her mannequins out in front of the store Thursday, Oct. 8, to display her wares. The consignment shop has been in operation for about 8 years and offers a mix of vintage clothing, fitness and formal wear, costumes and accessories, jewelry, artwork, books and other items.The long necks of a half-dozen cranes protrude into the autumn skyline Friday, Oct. 9, next to the McClugage Bridge in Peoria. Multiple cranes are being maneuvered around the southwest side of the bridge to help construct a work platform and piers for a new eastbound span.East Peoria’s Dakota Watson chips out of the bunker on No. 14 during the Class 2A Richwoods Sectional golf championship Monday, Oct. 12, at Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria.Tamara Masters pets her dogs Vida, right, an 11-year-old Chihuahua mix, and Theodora, a 2-year-old Labrador mix while out on a walk Tuesday, Oct. 13, in her Peoria neighborhood. Masters was diagnosed with COVID-19 in August and has since recovered, but still suffers from some lingering effects including a blood clot in her lungs.FIRE DESTROYS VALUABLE COLLECTION – The charred remains of military uniforms still hang on a rack in Jerry Lance’s burned out garage Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Hanna City. A longtime collector of military memorabilia, the Navy veteran lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of vintage uniforms, helmets, equipment and other collectibles when a fire tore through the building.VERIFYING MAIL-IN BALLOTS: Election judges Gloria Dowds, top right, of Peoria, Janet McCarty, middle right, of Dunlap, and Lynn Bivens of Bartonville verify signatures on hundreds of mail-in ballots on a monitor Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the Peoria County Election Commission in Peoria. The judges match signatures on the ballots with signatures on file for the registered voter. Mismatched signatures are flagged, the ballot is challenged, and the voter is notified of the issue.A BIG CANVAS – Bradley University students Ronald Walter, right, of St. Louis, and Cassidy Kraft of West Chicago, paint portions of an abandoned building Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Peoria’s Warehouse District for one of Associate Professor Heather Brammeier’s painting classes. The agreeable weather and the giant canvas provided by the dilapidated building has given Brammeier a good opportunity to hold classes outdoors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.Fourth-grade teacher Andy Berg gives the thumbs-up as he and his students work on vocabulary Monday, Oct. 26, on the first day of in-person learning for grades 2-4 at Charter Oak Primary School in Peoria.Gov. JB Pritzker lauds the completion of recent upgrades to the Murray Baker Bridge in the background during a press conference Monday, Oct. 26, at the Gateway Building on the Peoria riverfront. At far right is Illinois 17th Congressional District Rep. Cheri Bustos.Rose bushes are covered in a dusting of wet snow Monday, Oct. 26, in Washington. A brief snowfall covered much of the Peoria area in the morning but quickly melted and gave way to intermittent drizzle and cloudy skies throughout the rest of the day.HELPING THE HOMELESS – Gaston “Shorty” O’Neial flashes a grin as he chats with a trio of Phoenix House outreach workers Wednesday, Oct. 28, at his sleeping spot in a doorway of the former Sully’s Pub in downtown Peoria.HELPING THE HOMELESS – Samuel Williams hugs Phoenix House outreach rapid rehousing specialist Darcy Eberle during a visit Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Linn Terrace Apartments in Peoria. Phoenix House works with the landlord of the apartment building to secure housing for Peoria’s unsheltered population.HELPING THE HOMELESS – Richard Sing peeks out from his tent along Interstate 74 to chat with Phoenix House outreach worker Darcy Eberle during a visit Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Downtown Peoria.DUELING PROTESTS – A group of counter-protesters from various local activist organizations wave signs in support of abortion rights Wednesday, Oct. 28, across from Planned Parenthood, 2709 Knoxville Avenue in Peoria. Organized via social media, the group gathered early Wednesday morning to protest against pro-life supporters who’ve been campaigning outside the facility since Sept. 23 as part of the annual 40 Day for Life vigil.DUELING PROTESTS – A pair of protesters create new signs during a counter-protest against 40 Days for Life activists Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Planned Parenthood in Peoria.DUELING PROTESTS – 40 Days for Life protestors Pat Flynn, foreground, and Natasha Devine hold pro-life signs Wednesday, Oct. 28, outside Planned Parenthood in Peoria. Across the street, a larger group of counter-protesters waved signs in support of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights.Clouds pass by a full moon, also known as a Blue Moon, on Halloween night, Oct. 31, over central Illinois.