Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.


A new group called the Greater Peoria Environmental Sciences Society is offering monthly, family-friendly events at the Mansion in Pekin.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Some residents of the 18th Congressional district in Peoria picketed outside the Farm Bureau Mon., where Rep. Darin LaHood was speaking in a private member event. 

Rep. Darin LaHood is expected to make several public appearances Mon. that are being met with criticism. Civic and political groups on Facebook, including Change Peoria, organized protests Sat. after they "caught wind" of LaHood’s schedule.

“Many people are frustrated that there seems to be a distance between Rep. LaHood and his constituents, and conversely, not enough distance between Rep. LaHood and this administration [President Donald Trump],” organizer Terra Brockman, of Eureka, said.

Saying Farewell to Statesmen Bob Michel

Feb 17, 2017
Dole Institute / YouTube

The longest-serving US House minority leader died this morning. Bob Michel was 93.

USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency / Flickr/Creative Commons

"What’s in Your Water," was the topic of The Greater Peoria Environmental Science Society’s monthly meeting yesterday


Leadership, Pride On Display at Black History Celebration

Feb 16, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

City Link hosted its annual public Black History Month celebration at the downtown bus terminal Thurs.

In his budget address Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner said he was open to an income tax increase as part of the Illinois Senate’s so-called grand bargain. But he came out against a tax on food and medicine, which is also part of the Senate deal.


Peoria State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth says her fellow Democrats are frustrated the governor did not push Republicans to support the compromise. A series of test votes last week got zero Republican support.

The Peoria City Council unanimously approved expanding the boundaries of the Peoria Urban Enterprise Zone to encompass Northwoods Mall.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

An agriculture startup in Peoria is introducing new technology that helps farmers reduce pollution caused by fertilizer runoff, while simultaneously increasing crop yields.

Teemu008 / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois soon will give visitors a chance to donate online to free-admission historic sites such as Abraham Lincoln's Tomb and the Old State Capitol.

Bradley University

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Bradley University in central Illinois is moving forward with plans to build a new, $86 million business and engineering complex.

A former teacher at a Peoria school has been convicted of sexually assaulting one of her students last year.  28-year-old Veronica Dixon was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Gov. Rauner Celebrates New Minority Business Incubator

Feb 9, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Minority business entrepreneurs in Peoria have a new place to take root.

River Trail Proposal Open Again for Comments

Feb 8, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The National Park Service asked the City of Peoria to rework the way it submitted the Environmental Assessment for the proposed River Trail Development. The federal agency also suggested the city reopen the public comment period related to Riverfront Park land swap included in the proposed apartment complex development.

IL House of Representatives Remembers Owens

Feb 8, 2017

  The Illinois House of Representatives took a moment of silence Wednesday in honor of Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens of Peoria.

Owens was killed during a raid on an al-Qaida in Yemen on January 28th. 73rd District State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) made the request for a moment of silence. Here’s what he said on the floor of the Illinois House of Representative before making the request:


Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Echoes of 1970 replayed in a Peoria County courtroom Wed.

unitedchurchofchrist / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is promising a legal battle after the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement Tues. It’s clearing the way for completion of the Dakota Access pipeline. 

With that, about 100 people turned out at the  Universalist Unitarian Church in Peoria last night for a vigil in solidarity with the tribe. Rev. Lynnda White went to Standing Rock in November. She says the vigil brought local environmental and Native American groups together in the shared cause. She says in times of difficulty standing together as one always makes the cause stronger.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Attorneys representing 73-year-old Cleve Heidelberg are seeking to postpone a third stage hearing, scheduled for Wed.


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois group is making progress on expanding housing for veterans in need.

  The 10th Judicial Circuit in Peoria is offering paperless filing for civil cases.


Chief Judge Paul Gilfillan, chair of the E-Filing committee Judge Jodi Hoos, and Peoria County Circuit Clerk Bob Spears, jointly announced the opening of E-Filing for all civil cases Monday.


Peoria County Courtrooms 213 and 214 are set up for the paperless cases. Courtrooms 322 and 323 are in line next to be outfitted for handling electronically filed cases.


A Chicago man pleaded guilty Monday for using information obtained in the 2015 Bradley University data breach to file false income tax returns. 41-year-old Gbadebo Adebiyi appeared before U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade.


Adebiyi admitted to conspiring with others to get refunds from false income tax returns including the information obtained from the data breach Bradley reported in March 2015. Bradley employee’s personal information was used to file 2014 false federal income tax returns.


Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Families with children who are blind or disabled have a new option for investing money, without jeopardizing their federal benefits.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr/Creative Commons

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Authorities continue to investigate the death of a man whose body was found in a Peoria hospital bathroom but the coroner says it appears he died as a result of a broken neck. 

Hendrik van den Berg / Wikimedia Commons

In the year of the fire rooster, the Peoria Playhouse Children's Museum is importing cultural festivities from Asia.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum  is celebrating the Lunar New Year this weekend with traditional activities and exhibits. Each year, the  holiday begins on the first new moon, between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. It fell on Jan. 28 this year.

The cultural celebration is part of the Museum's ongoing Celebrate Peoria program that highlights the many nationalities and ethnicities in the community.

'No Ban, No Wall' Protest Takes Aim at Rep. LaHood

Feb 3, 2017

This story has been updated.

Another protest is slated to take place at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Peoria in response to the president’s executive order that bans certain immigrants and refugees.

The “No Ban, No Wall” protest Friday is directed specifically at Peoria Congressman Darin LaHood.

Roger Wollstadt / Wikimedia Commons

Three regional groups got together yesterday to compare and share notes about the strength and diversity of the local economy. 

Peoria's State of the City Speech

Feb 3, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis gave the State of the City speech Wednesday, February 1, before a record 625 business and civic leaders.

Crime Stoppers Payoff Grows for Certain Information

Feb 2, 2017

Greater Peoria Area Crime Stoppers is increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment on a homicide with a gun. The reward that had been $1000 is being raised to $5000.


Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says he’s hopeful the increase will bring closer to more homicide cases.

"We do need that help in getting some of these cases solved. We have a large number of violent cases that need some assistance. We are hopeful that these new measures will increase that participation,” Mitchell says.

Peoria Police: Be Vigilant Against Burglars

Feb 2, 2017

Peoria Police are urging residents of several neighborhoods to remain vigilant and keep an eye on their neighbor's property. Neighborhoods including Northmoor Hills, Northmoor Knolls, Willow Knolls, Tanglewood, and Hawthorne Hills are experiencing an increase in residential burglaries.

The burglaries have been happening at various hours throughout the day and night since December. Those living in the affected neighborhoods are asked to report any suspicious activities or vehicles to police, and call 911 if a burglary is occurring.

Peoria's State of the City Resolved After CAT News

Feb 1, 2017
Tanya L Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis delivered the annual State of the City Speech Wednesday, a day after Caterpillar announced it will take its headquarters and top 300 executive jobs to Chicago.