Peoria Police Offer Drop-off Site for Medicines

Oct 22, 2016

Peoria Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are offering people an opportunity to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances as well as over the counter medications for destruction. 

The Peoria Public Library main branch kicks off a community information and troubleshooting effort Saturday on the matter of opiate and heroin abuse.

Sherwood CC / Flickr

Home sales in the Peoria area were down more than 10-percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago.  Jana Heffron is the newly installed president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. She says it’s not unusual for us to see a seasonal slowdown. But the average home sale price is also down three-point-eight percent. Houses sold in July, August and September spent an average of 78 days on the market, the same as a year ago.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talked with young pianist Harmony Zhu, and with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Zhu is the featured soloist in the PSO's upcoming concert, which features the works of three musical prodigies -- Mozart. Mendelssohn, and Beethoven. Zhu offers us a look inside the life of a young performer. Stelluto talks about how he became aware of her, and invited her to perform with the PSO.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra's concert, "Prodigies," will be performed tomorrow night at 8:00 at Grace Presbyetrian Church in Peoria.

Inaugural CityFest to Enliven Warehouse District

Oct 21, 2016
City of Peoria

After much work, comes a day of play for the City of Peoria. 

The city is putting on a block party in the Warehouse District Sat., called CityFest. The free event will provide entertainment along with an educational component. It’s being held on Adams St., the block between Pecan and Persimmon St., where the city recently completed green infrastructure upgrades, in response to the combined sewer overflow issue. 

The inaugural event will feature live music, craft beer and food trucks. City Fest is free and open to the public. 

If you go:

Fairview Firefighter and Soldier Killed in Kabul

Oct 21, 2016

Fairview firefighter and Army Sergeant Douglas Riney has died in Kabul, Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates has endorsed a tentative contract agreement reached with the city's school district.  According to the union, the delegates approved the four-year deal by a 2-1 ratio. The contract proposal now will go before the union's approximately 28,000 members on Oct. 27 for final approval.

State officials say the unemployment rate in Illinois held steady at 5.5% in September, and the number of jobs in the state grew.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security, in its monthly unemployment report, says that the state added 7,400 jobs since August and has added 43,400 jobs since September 2015.

A state agency survey shows nearly 400 state jobs could be relocated to Springfield from elsewhere in Illinois. The Department of Central Management Services survey asked state agencies to report on where their jobs are located and the potential to move them to Springfield. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Democratic congresswoman and candidate for senate, Tammy Duckworth, made a campaign stop in East Peoria pitching her ideas for improving the nation’s roads and infrastructure Thurs.

“I really see it as an investment that will bring jobs here, it’s not just about the federal government spending money that then disappears,” Duckworth said. “It actually goes into the local economy.”

Duckworth says if she wins the Senate race, she will work across the aisle on a bipartisan agreement to fund infrastructure.

Pekin is close to selecting a new city manager.  

Mayor John McCabe says the city is negotiating terms with the candidate the council approved. Council members interviewed five of the 11 people selected by the city’s search firm, GovHR.

All of the candidates the council interviewed hold master’s degrees and have worked in municipal government.

City officials are not yet releasing the name of the person they are talking with. But they say negotiations are ongoing, and they hope to have the new city manager on board starting December first.

Detective Mike Eeten / Pekin Police Department

The Pekin Police Department is calling its effort to battle back against opioid overdose a success, at least this time. Pekin Police Tuesday responded to a call where a 33-year-old unresponsive female was turning blue with an abnormal breathing pattern. The responding officer administered Narcan. Police say it was a life saving measure.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has renewed his emphasis on finding waste in taxpayer-funded health care programs.  Rauner appeared at a Chicago news conference to release a report from a task force he created in April to study the matter.

Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they're temporarily closing the Coliseum at the state fairgrounds after engineers discovered structural deficiencies indoors.  The building will stay closed until repairs can be made.

The Springfield City Council has approved an ordinance limiting payments in coins to $20 and no more than $5 in pennies.  The new law is an effort to stop the practice of paying debts with change. 


NBA star Derrick Rose says he's thankful that a Los Angeles jury rejected a rape lawsuit against him and two friends.  Jurors cleared the NBA star and two friends in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.

Gage Skidmore

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Chicago today to promote Mark Kirk’s re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Woodford County Jail

EUREKA, Ill. (AP) - A Bloomington high school teacher has been charged with first-degree murder in her husband's stabbing death.

Bond is $1 million for 30-year-old Sarah Mellor of Bloomington, who teaches Spanish at Bloomington High School. Prosecutors say 31-year-old Mark Mellor of Bloomington was stabbed late Saturday during an argument with his wife at a private campsite in rural Woodford County. Sarah Mellor remains jailed at the Woodford County jail in Eureka.

 Prosecutors say relatives drove Mark Mellor from the campsite to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. Sunday. The McLean County coroner said preliminary autopsy results found he died from a stab wound to the chest.

Ann Althouse / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Officials say hundreds of drinking fountains in Chicago parks have been shut off after testing revealed high levels of lead in the water.

Chicago Park District officials said Tuesday they decided to take 459 of their 2,435 water fixtures out of service based on samples collected during the summer. 

Consultants found a wide range of lead levels in Chicago parks and Park District facilities, similar to earlier reports from Chicago Public Schools, suburban school districts and schools operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Unions today co-sponsored a forum on nuclear energy in Illinois, part of an effort to save a pair of nuclear plants that Exelon is taking steps to close.  Exelon says the plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities are money-losers. 


University of Illinois officials say they've seen more than 60 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease among students since the beginning of the semester.  Dr. Robert Palinkas says the rate has slowed, so the infections may have peaked.

The owner of a pair of education-services companies has pleaded guilty to offering bribes and kickbacks to the former head of Chicago Public Schools.  Federal prosecutors say Gary Solomon entered into a plea agreement admitting he offered ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett bribes and kickbacks in exchange for her steering $23 million in contracts to his companies.

Federal authorities say the wife of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has completed her prison sentence for filing false income tax returns.  Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Justin Long says Sandi Jackson was released from home confinement today. 

A man whose conviction was overturned by a DeKalb County judge earlier this year is asking to be declared innocent of the crime.  Attorneys from a free legal clinic at the University of Chicago that represents the wrongfully convicted, filed a petition in DeKalb County requesting a court hearing for Jack McCullough.

Several thousand Springfield Clinic patients insured through Illinois' health plans will be asked to pay hundreds of dollars in co-payments, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs the clinic hasn't tried to collect for the past year and a half.

A federal magistrate has ruled against a group of parents seeking an injunction denying a transgender student the ability to use a suburban Chicago high school's restrooms and locker rooms.  The ruling now goes to U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents whose children attend Palatine-based Township High School District 211.

An Illinois agency says a YouTube glitch was responsible for pornographic footage that was tacked onto a video promoting a state training summit.  In late August, The Illinois Emergency Management Agency scrambled to disable the video. The agency's chief of staff ordered an investigation into how the salacious footage was added. 

Expo Focuses on 8th Graders, Future of Manufacturing

Oct 18, 2016
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The gymnasium at Woodruff Career and Technical Center buzzed with the sounds of robots, drones and welding machines Tues. 

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council brought together local employers and organizations from the manufacturing sector for an expo catered to eighth graders in Peoria County.

The Peoria Public School Board Building Committee is taking proposals for the future of Peoria Stadium.

The Committee laid out its planned time line in a scheduled meeting Mon.

School Board and Committee Member Dan Adler says the pace is fairly swift. The deadline for proposals on the future uses of the Stadium are due by November 10th. Adler says the committee will sort and evaluate the proposals with the idea of choosing the best one or more to present in a public meeting.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Friends of Peoria County Schools offered its first public forum last night at the Carver Center.