Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.


The Peoria Healthcare Coalition hosted its first annual forum at the Carver Center Tues.

Two juveniles and an adult are facing felony charges for allegedly dumping hundreds of tires in rural areas of central Illinois.  They were arrested Friday on charges of criminal disposal of waste. The offense carries punishments ranging from probation to three years in prison. 

Industrial Hemp Bill Headed to Illinois House

May 16, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

There’s one piece of legislation that seems to be getting broad bipartisan support in Springfield.

Creative Commons

The Tazewell County Health Department, All Our Kids, and the Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Health Center, are teaming-up for another community health seminar.

ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ¢ / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois Interstate travel may seem grassier this summer than in years past.


The Illinois Department of Transportation is reducing its mowing along Interstate greenways. Starting this month, IDOT is only mowing 15 feet of right of way beyond the edge of the roadway. It’s part of the effort to encourage growth of plant species as a food source for bees, butterflies and other insects. Specifically, the goal is to help revive shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators.

Creative Commons

As Illinois’ record budget impasse nears the 2-year mark, the morale at non-profits across the state continues to decline. 

Robert Lawton / Wikimedia Commons

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A pilot project has kept over 600,000 gallons of rainwater out of Peoria's sewer system.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Cleve Heidelberg could just be days away from stepping outside Peoria County Jail, for the first time since 1970.

Rich Girard / Flickr/Creative Commons

A Republican Congressman from Peoria is expressing surprise at what he’s calling the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

A man who died in the fire last month at Glen Oak Tower in Peoria was asleep, when a lit cigarette incinerated his couch and the rest of his one-bedroom apartment.

Peoria Revises Penalties for Cannabis Possession

May 10, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

There was wide opinion among Peoria City Council members Tues., regarding penalties for possession of marijuana.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The single most expensive contract for the city of Peoria is solid waste collection.

Rep. Bustos Visits With Lineworkers On the Job

May 10, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Line workers at parts manufacturer in Peoria got a visit from their congresswoman Tues.

Flickr Creative Commons/Ren Rebadomia

Authorities in the Philippines have arrested an American suspected of exploiting dozens of Filipino children using webcams to sell videos, images and livestreams.  

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools has seven senior staff members with new three-year-contracts. The PPS Board approved the contracts on a 5-2 vote.

Pekin high school is recovering from a cyberattack on its computers last month, and officials say they're trying to determine how to prevent future attacks.  When officials at Pekin Community High School turned on their computers on April 24, they were unable to access files and student information. 

Attorneys for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock have asked a judge to drop a charge against him, saying it's too broad.  Schock's attorneys say a charge alleging theft of government funds contains too many allegations, makes it too difficult to prepare for trial, and is therefore improper. They say prosecutors have bundled five years' worth of alleged thefts into a single count.

Illinois Basketball Coach Association

Flags are being flown at half-staff on Bradley’s campus for the next three days to honor the school’s winning-est basketball coach.

Bradley University Prepares for Commencement Sat.

May 8, 2017
Bradley University

Bradley University is preparing to send off more than a thousand graduates this weekend.

Flickr Creative Commons/Vince Alongi

A celebration of life will be held this weekend for a 22-year-old soldier from central Illinois who was killed in Afghanistan.  The public visitation for Sgt. Josh Rodgers of Bloomington begins Saturday morning at Eastview Christian Church in Normal. Afterward there'll be a celebration of life, followed by a procession at 2:30 p.m. 

Heidelberg's Bond Hearing Still Pending

May 4, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

  The 3rd District Appellate Court has remanded the bond hearing for Cleve Heidelberg back to the Circuit Court.

Peoria County Circuit Judge Al Purham vacated Heidelberg’s murder conviction last month and ordered a new trail. The 74-year-old man was convicted of shooting and killing Peoria County Sheriff’s Sergeant Raymond Espinoza at the Bellevue Drive-in Theatre in 1970. Heidelberg has been incarcerated since his arrest. New evidence introduced before the circuit court raises the question of reasonable doubt.

  Peoria Public Schools superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat highlighted some successes of the last year in her annual State of the Schools address.

Kherat asked for support in addressing the social and emotional needs of students in her annual State of the Schools report.

Lisa Miller/Caterpillar

While many high school seniors are preparing for college, there are other classmates considering a trade like welding.

Students in the welding program at Manual Academy now will have an advantage because of a Caterpillar contribution. The company delivered the second installment of a three-year, $300,000 grant to Peoria Public Schools Tuesday.

Peoria Officials Take The Oath to Serve

May 3, 2017

Recently elected Peoria township and city officials were sworn into office Tuesday night at city hall.

Several familiar faces including mayor Jim Ardis, city clerk Beth Ball, five returning council members and other officials took the oath.

There are two new men on the city council. Zach Oyler is an at-large councilman and Denis Cyr, after winning the fifth district race by a single vote, now sits at the council horseshoe.

Authorities in central Illinois say three people were killed when a vehicle left a roadway and crashed into a lake.  The Fulton County Sheriff's Department says the accident happened Monday night southwest of the city of Canton. Police say a preliminary investigation found the vehicle was traveling on Route 5 when it veered off the right shoulder before crashing through grass and brush, rolling down an embankment and landing on its side in the water.

Flickr Creative Commons/Beverly & Pack

The military says a 22-year-old soldier from central Illinois has been killed in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense released a statement saying Sgt. Josh Rodgers of Bloomington was among two soldiers killed this week as a result of small arms fire in Nangarhar Province.  The military says the fatal incident is under investigation.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

An appellate court judge will have to decide whether Cleve Heidelberg can be released on bond. That was the final ruling of Peoria County Judge Al Purham Fri., siding with arguments made by the State Appellate Prosecutor’s Office.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The expression “it takes a village” was on clear display in Washington, Ill., on Thursday.

Peoria Public Radio

Quest Charter Academy and Eureka College have a new partnership that formalizes a full-circle opportunity for students entering the field of education.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Doris Thomas is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her heart transplant Thursday. The 85 year-old was the first person to undergo the surgery at OSF St Francis Medical Center in Peoria in 1987.