Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

OSF Health Care celebrated the return of its pioneering “flying nun” on Tues.

Criminal Justice Reforms Get 11th Hour Push

Jan 9, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The so-called Neighborhood Safety Act is on track to become law in the final two days of the 99th Illinois General Assembly. A bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers worked on the measure.


Democratic State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth is a co-sponsor of the bill. Standing alongside local leaders in education, justice, law enforcement and city government Monday morning, Gordon-Booth outlined three areas the measure impacts.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A peculiar steel structure designed by the late inventor Robert Gilmore LeTourneau is getting a facelift and a new permanent home. 

Tim Hathway / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Marriott Corporation is prepared to withdraw its corporate name from the Pere Marquette Hotel. The company’s reservation system is no longer booking rooms for the downtown Peoria hotel after Jan. 23.

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Rivian Automotive has completed the purchase of the former Mitsubishi plant in the central Illinois city of Normal, where it plans to manufacture electric vehicles. 

Financing for Downtown Hotels in Question

Jan 5, 2017
Tim Hathway / Flickr/Creative Commons

The owner of the downtown Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette hotel is attempting to refinance a loan.

City Council Moves Ahead to Fill Vacant Seat

Jan 5, 2017
Peoria Public Radio

The deadline to replace former Peoria councilman Ryan Spain is quickly approaching.  Council members met in executive session Thurs. to pare down the number of candidates. 

Caterpillar is contemplating moving machine production out of its Aurora facility. The move will be in addition to the global restructuring and cost savings plan announced in September 2015.

Flickr Creative Commons/MTAphotos

Illinois State Police District 08 is warning people to take necessary precautions before heading out on the road.  The bitter cold temperatures and the potential for snow overnight prompts the caution. Motorists are encouraged to to keep emergency items inside their vehicles and check road conditions before heading out.

Peoria City/County Health Department

Flu season is kicking into high gear, and area hospitals providers are responding with a public request to limit patient visits. This helps the minimize the chance of spreading the virus.

The request comes in response to health department data that shows increased cases of flu in the region. The health department shows since 237 people in the region tested positive for the virus, between Oct. 31 and Dec. 24th.

The Peoria City/County Health Department says those who are not feeling well or have had flu-like symptoms in the past week should not visit hospitalized patients. 

Inventorchris / Flickr/Creative Commons

Preliminary autopsy results for a man found dead at Peoria County Jail Monday indicate he died of bacterial meningitis.

Peora Police Identify Suspect in Monday Night Shooting

Jan 3, 2017
Peoria County Jail Records

Peoria Police have arrested a suspect in the first fatal shooting of 2017. 

Paul Morse / White House/Wikimedia Commons

Congressman LaHood’s office is scrambling to secure extra tickets to the upcoming presidential inauguration.

Tony Webster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria saw its first homicide of the new year Monday night.

The name of the deceased male has yet to be identified. The Peoria Police Department says officers responded to reports of a shooting near the 1800 block of North Sheridan Avenue. 

The PPD says when officers arrived around 8:00 pm, they found the male victim outside of a residence with an apparent gunshot wound. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The president of Peoria’s NAACP chapter is stepping down after more than two decades holding the reins.

Goodbye 2016 Playlist: WCBU Toasts the Listeners

Dec 31, 2016

Join your local Morning Edition team, Cass and Daryl, as they countdown their favorite tunes from 2016. 


  1. “Heading North” – Way Down Wanderers
  2. “Daddy Lessons” – Beyonce
  3. “You want it darker” – Leonard Cohen
  4. “I Would Die For You” – Prince
  5.  “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Making Movies
  6.  “Celestial Levels” – Machinedrum
  7.  “Same Old Lie” – Jim James
  8.  “It’s alright” – John Batiste
  9. “Star Crossed Lovers” – Pepper Adams
  10.  “Guns and Ships” – Hamilton

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A Peoria man’s sixth amendment rights were violated 46 years ago, in a case that landed him in prison for the rest of his life.

After Christmas festivities are over and the presents are all unwrapped, the next task is figuring out how to dispose of the Christmas tree before the cats knock it over again. Thankfully, WCBU has compiled a handy list of tips for tree pickup and recycling for local residents. If you'd like to add additional programs to our list, please email us. Thank you!

The Peoria County Board already has a resolution for the New Year.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Public Schools opened its Office of Social Emotional Learning in 2016, but the district’s superintendent says the job doesn’t end there.

Year-End Progress Report: WCBU Checks In On Zion Coffee

Dec 23, 2016
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

In 2016, WCBU interviewed a husband-and-wife entrepreneur team aspiring to open a shop in the Warehouse District. Banu and Mike Hatfield planned to open Zion Coffee this summer. But the building, once the Union Depot Hotel, is still under construction. 

Fires in South Peoria Investigated as Arson

Dec 23, 2016

A group of fires in South Peoria are being investigated as arson.

Peoria Fire Chief Chuck Lauss says five of the six fires in the last three days were set on purpose.

The Chief says right now arson investigators are looking for common threads, including what was used to set the fires and anyone seen in the area at the time of the events.

All the fires have been in vacant buildings within a 7 or 8 block radius.

Labor Union Defends Non Union Workers

Dec 22, 2016

A labor union has come to the defense of non-union workers in Peoria.


When Laborers Local 165 learned a contractor doing renovation work at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel was shorting its employees’ paychecks, they sought legal recourse.

Local Secretary Treasurer Matt Bartolo says the union wanted to help the seven workers even though they weren't members.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A Peoria man who has delivered presents to hospitalized children for two decades visited pediatrics wards at area hospitals Thurs.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The bells that accompany the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign leave an unmistakable holiday song in the crisp winter air. 

Associated Press

Former Illinois U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has asked a federal judge to delay his corruption trial until the summer.

In a filing Wednesday, Schock's attorneys said they need more time to go through "voluminous" paperwork that they have yet to receive from prosecutors in the case. Schock's trial is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 7 in Springfield. His attorneys are asking the judge to delay the trial until at least July.

Jason Howell / Wikimedia Commons

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program is being extended for a year.

The Peoria City Council is looking to fill an at-large seat, at least for a little while.

The resignation of At-Large Councilman Ryan Spain leaves a vacancy the council is looking to fill.

The mayor’s office is accepting applications from those interested in serving on the council in an at-large capacity.

Those interested in applying are asked to submit a cover letter, resume and any other supporting documentation to the mayor's assistant Brenda Hopwood.

Tunstall / Flickr/Creative Commons

Two Democratic Illinois lawmakers are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a measure to ensure consumer choice for those with disabilities. 

John Sonderman / Flickr/Creative Commons

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has often clashed with the Obama administration, particularly over the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of birth control. 

Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky is hopeful Donald Trump’s administration will protect Catholic institutions from offering birth control insurance coverage to employees and services to patients. Jenky says he doesn’t agree with critics who say this protection restricts women’s access to birth control: