Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A nonprofit human service agency in Peoria reintroduced a program that was previously suspended, due to the state budget impasse.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships the Nina and the Pinta are moored on Peoria Riverfront.

Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein To Step Down

Sep 14, 2017

Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein is stepping away from the position effective December 1st.

The Bradley University English Professor has served in the role for 14 years.  As state poet laureate, Stein offered nearly 250 presentations, poetry readings, school visits and judging activities. The Poetry Now project was one of his most notable endeavors. Stein presented his work at more than 5o libraries in Illinois and donated funds for the purchase of collections written by Illinois poets.

Mapleton Village Board Works Through Challenges

Sep 13, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

A village board meeting in Mapleton last month included a public request for Mayor Carl Bishop’s resignation.

The letter, signed by five citizens may not seem like much. But it grows on the Village Board’s no-confidence vote. The tumultuous August board meeting also included six resignations and questions from the NAACP.

Council Discusses Consolidation of Peoria Township

Sep 13, 2017

A new state law sets guidelines for the dissolution or consolidation of townships. Peoria Township is entirely within the boundaries of the city of Peoria, and the city council sits as the township board of trustees. 

Jimcrone / Wikimedia Commons

Bradley University slid down a spot in the US News & World Reports' ranking of best regional colleges, but it still landed in the top ten.

Faced with trying to staff two huge, natural disasters, the Red Cross is trying to recruit more volunteers. And it's offering an accelerated training class, called "Just In Time," so more people can be ready to help as soon as possible.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

 

In the past few decades, the sex industry has become easier to conceal, in part because of the internet. Back channels open pathways for anonymous transactions. Peoria Public Radio reports on one particular illicit business that's operating in many communities, including this one, in broad daylight.

City Council to Take up Portillo's Plan

Sep 11, 2017
Steven Lee / Flickr

The Peoria City Council Tuesday is expected to set in motion a process whereby a Portillo’s Restaurant will open next year in the city. Developer Willie Torchia has acquired the land at Sterling Avenue and Baumann Way, in front of the Westlake Shopping Center. He will spend about 700-thousand dollars to prepare the site and construct a building to lease to Portillo’s. He is asking the city to create a Special Service Area tax, where Portillo’s will add one additional percent to the tax rate on their sales. That money will reimburse Torchia for development costs.

Peoria Public High Schools were on lockdown this afternoon after reports of a gun at the career center. Students from the other three high schools come and go from Woodruff Career and Technical Center. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Heart of Illinois United Way has so far raised more than $1.4 million dollars in its annual campaign that kicked off Fri. 

Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The med-tech business incubator has helped launch or support more than 40 different entrepreneurial endeavors over the last decade.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

In response to President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a pastor in Peoria is urging his parishioners to keep the faith.  

Public Health Event Focuses on LGBTQ Youth

Sep 5, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

An advocacy group that promotes equal rights for gay and transgender people in Peoria is hosting a public health event this weekend, centered on children and teens.

Creative Commons

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Peoria police officers are renting a vacant building and launching a program for young boxers.

The Midwest Food Bank is providing a variety of ways for West Central Illinois residents to help support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Salvation Army is supporting one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. The organization has 71 mobile feeding units from across the nation deployed in Texas.  Salvation Army trained disaster workers are also being deployed and staged in waves to help with the immediate need and ongoing recovery effort that will be necessary.

Steph Sawyer / Wikimedia Commons

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois National Guard says it's sending seven airmen and a C-130 cargo plane to help with the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

 

Area law enforcement are operating special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” patrols this Labor Day.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Illinois American Water is preparing to make $5.7 million worth of improvements to its distribution system.

Following a modest decline for three consecutive quarters, a Bradley University study suggests the Peoria area economy has returned to where it was a year ago.

Public Weighs In On Future of Peoria Lakes

Aug 30, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A coalition of government and environmental groups in the Tri-County region is sailing closer toward finalizing massive projects to improve the Peoria Lakes. The Peoria Lakes Basin Alliance compiled responses from an open house last month that asked residents: “what’s your favorite memory of the Peoria Lakes?”

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

More than 500 people turned out for a public forum at Bradley University on the subject of hate groups and the proliferation of hateful acts.

Southern Poverty Law Center Outreach Director Lecia Brooks was the featured speaker. She says the sharp increase in acts of hate are real. She says the First Amendment protects all but people should sit idly by when hate speech comes up:

 

UICOMP Expansion Includes Accomodations for 'All Genders'

Aug 29, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Medical students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria successfully advocated for two “all gender” bathrooms on campus. It’s just one of several efforts aimed at improving awareness and understanding of LGBTQ patients.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Monday he’ll be taking a temporary leave of absence for undisclosed medical reasons.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

 

There’s a renewed movement to ratify the US Equal Rights Amendment. Nevada was the 36th state to ratify five months ago. The country needs two more states to follow suit to make it the law of the land.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

A coalition of senior care organizations in the state is calling on the Gov. Bruce Rauner to drop his proposed Community Reinvestment Program.

City Looks to Tech Community to Solve Complex Challenges

Aug 22, 2017
City of Peoria / Facebook

Road projects are often seen as a hassle to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. That’s why the City of Peoria challenged developers at its first Hackathon this month to develop an app that would help users navigate the smattering of road closures and lane changes in the area. 

Biss Campaign

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Daniel Biss started a 10-Day Campaign Tour in Peoria Friday. Biss is a state Senator who represents the 9th District. He’s calling the tour The Road Forward.

A Peoria fire department wants to teach CPR to 8,000 people over the next two years.

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