Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

North Charleston / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Peoria Police Department will begin a pilot program to evaluate the use of body cameras on officers. Three officers on different shifts will use the cameras beginning March 20.

Project manager Denise Backes told Peoria City Council on Tues. that other cities using cameras have seen increased officer performance among other benefits.

Creative Commons

The Peoria City Council is exploring options for adding advanced life support services at more of its firehouses.

February was another record month for the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

It’s official. The Leslie Knope Best City Hall trophy is headed to Peoria.

On Sat., the organization Engaging Local Government Leaders posted the final results of its inaugural online competition.

Peoria’s 118-year-old City Hall beat Vancouver, Wa.’s shiny, LEED certified structure in the finals, with 59 percent of the votes.

On Sat., Vancouver congratulated Peoria, Tweeting: “we’ll admit it now, it is a beautiful city hall.”

Out-of-Season Mardi Gras Returns to Peoria

Mar 13, 2017
Neil Cooler / Flickr/Creative Commons

Two downtown blocks in Peoria will again transform into a New Orleans street party this spring.

Peoria Fire Department Gets Training Gift

Mar 10, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Dynegy Edwards Power Station donated six top level hazmat suits to the Peoria Fire Department for training purposes. The suits are valued at about $9000.


Ted Lindenbusch is the managing director of the Dynegy Edwards Power Station. He says they had the suits and weren’t using any more.


Dynegy purchased the Edwards Power Station about four years ago.

Perry in Peoria Closed for Main Break

Mar 10, 2017
Tanya Koonce

A water main break on Perry Avenue in downtown Peoria has the street closed at Main. An adjacent spot on Main Street is also reduced to one lane. There is also an opening in the road there to handle the water main repair. Workers are on site to make the repair.


Peoria city streets workers will also need to repair the road once the repair is complete.


But the break has shut off water to some of the area. The lack of water means the Peoria Public Library Main Branch closed at noon.


Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

If you’ve passed by Peoria’s City Hall in recent weeks, you may have seen people stopping to snap a photo of themselves in front of the red sandstone building. Vanity could be to blame, but it’s likely they’re posing for the Best City Hall bracket competition.

The slate of at-large candidates is set in the City of Peoria. Rob Hanauer won the fourth and final spot on the ballot by one vote. He beat Amr Elsamny 2004 to 2003.


The mailed ballots that trickled in since election day created a state of flux between Hanauer and Elsamny. Hanauer was declared the winner at the Election Commission Meeting Thursday when they certified the results of the February 28th primary.


IHSA March Madness Returns to Peoria

Mar 9, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The next two weekends in Peoria mean big bucks for the city’s tourism and hospitality business.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Local businesses based in Peoria are making their presence known on a new social campaign, called Peoria is My Headquarters.

Local business and civic leaders attended the launch at the Civic Center. The My Headquarters initiative comes in the wake of news that Caterpillar is relocating its HQ to Chicago. That announcement last month left some Peoria residents feeling baffled and uncertain about the city’s future.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria County Election Commission makes the results of the Feb. 28th Primary official Thurs.

Peoria Police are investigating the death 23-year-old Michael Krus. Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert at 9:42 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Starr and Westmoreland.

  Krus was found with an apparent gunshot wound in the 1200 block of Westmoreland. He was transported to OSF with life threatening, underwent surgery and died at 2:33p.m.

Krus lived at 2024 S. Winston, about a mile and half from where he was shot. He also had a record. Krus was arrested last September for domestic battery.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“Show, not tell,” was the theme of an urban development workshop in Peoria’s Center Bluff neighborhood, Wed.

The City of Peoria is continuing its Community Conversation on Race and Economic Opportunity.


The next phase of the effort is smaller subject based group discussions, including asset development, justice, education and health. The workgroup meetings are an outgrowth of two large community conversations.


The small group meetings are scheduled between Monday and Wednesday next week in the evening at Valeska Hinton School and the Lincoln Branch Public Library.


National Eye Institute / Flickr/Creative Commons

OSF Healthcare is being recognized as the leading hospital in the state for eye donations for the fifth straight year.

Dave Dugdale / Flickr

The National Weather Service, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local EMA/ESDA officials will participate in a statewide tornado drill today at 10 A.M.. Today's test will be conducted in all Illinois counties, and will be relayed on NOAA weather radio, and on many commercial and non-commercial TV and radio stations, including WCBU.

The agencies involved in today's test recommend the public use the event to carry out a practice tornado drill at your home, work, or school, or any location where people gather. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Federal agents continued searching Caterpillars Headquarters building in downtown Peoria overnight. Search warrants were executed yesterday at Caterpillar offices in Peoria, East Peoria and Morton. The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirms the multi-agency investigation included the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement.


Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Multiple Federal Law Enforcement agencies executed search warrants at three Caterpillar offices today. Federal agents entered Caterpillar’s World Headquarters Building on South West Adams St. in Peoria, Building AD in East Peoria and the Morton offices. The identical search warrants allowed the federal government to seize a wide range of documents, hardware and software related to the movement of any products between the U.S. and Switzerland, specifically the Swiss Subsidiary Caterpillar known as CSARL.

Pere Marquette Hotel in downtown Peoria will remain a Marriott.

Robbery the Motive for Tuesday's Homicide

Mar 1, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Police have arrested three people in the shooting death of 63-year-old Garrison Collins. He was found by a family shot in his 1400 block South Stanley home just before 1:00 a.m. Tuesday.


Gemia Shird, 21, Michael Howard, 27 and Samantha Gordon, 20 are each charged with first degree murder and armed robbery.


Washburn Residents Assess Tornado Damage

Mar 1, 2017
H.Wayne Wilson / Peoria Public Radio

Eight houses on the far north end of Washburn took a direct hit from a tornado Tuesday evening. The twister barely missed the  Low Point-Washburn Elementary School, but 100 yards away it slammed into the home of 84-year-old Nelda Bevill.


Her son, Brian says she was looking out the east side of the house when she realized the tornado was coming from the west.

“She scurried toward the basement, even threw her walker roller aid to the side just in time to get on down the stairs to the bottom and made it just in time.”

Victim, Suspects Identified in Tuesday Homicide

Mar 1, 2017
geralt / pixabay/Creative Commons

Details are emerging related to a homicide that took place during the early morning hours on Peoria’s South Side.

The County Coroner released the identity of the victim as 63-year-old Garrison R. Collins. He was the resident of a home on the the 1400 block of S. Stanley, where police found him in the basement, following the shooting Tues., just before 1:00am.

Coroner Jamie Harwood says a gunshot wound to the neck likely caused Collins to die immediately.

Peoria's a March Madness Finalist, Minus the Basketball

Mar 1, 2017
Robert Lawton / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Peoria is the finalist in a March Madness bracket -- of a different sort.


Yesterday’s primary election results in Peoria mean incumbent Mayor Jim Ardis faces political newcomer, Couri Thomas. Ardis received 52.5 percent of the vote and Thomas 33.3 percent.   

Peoria Public Radio

The City of Peoria is dismissing a recent social media post suggesting the police department hired a part-time officer to implement strict federal requirements on illegal immigration.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Attorneys for Cleve Heidelberg are celebrating the seven hours of testimony yesterday as “an accomplishment.” Four separate witnesses were called to testify Tues. in Judge Albert Purham’s courtroom in the Peoria County Building.

Wayne Wilkinson / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Peoria is asking residents to talk trash. The city’s waste hauling contract with Peoria Disposal Company expires in 2019.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A murder case involving the killing of a Peoria County Sheriff's sergeant in 1970 will get a modern-day reconsideration this week. 74-year-old Cleve Heidelberg’s sentence will be reexamined Tues. in a hearing that will consider new evidence and testimony.