Tanya Koonce

Those gathered at the Peoria Labor Temple this morning honored the life and work of former IBEW Local 34 Business Manager Mark Ayers. 

The rejection of Illinois' massive pension law continues to have other legal repercussions.  The state Supreme Court found that the law reducing teachers and state and university employees' retirement benefits is unconstitutional.  

Democratic state senator calls Rauner a gentleman

10 hours ago

A Chicago Democrat is now calling Republican Governor Bruce Rauner “a gentleman.”  That’s after invoking slavery to illustrate what he says are extreme policies from Rauner. 

A central Illinois man has admitted to fatally beating his girlfriend's 19-month-old son last December.

Residents of Winnebago County are contributing money to train a third police dog for the sheriff's department.

The former CEO of Chicago Public Schools will be arraigned Tuesday in federal court on corruption charges.

More than 5,200 students from China attend the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana and local businesses are taking notice.

Councilman Ryan Spain Running for Illinois House Seat

16 hours ago

 At Large-Peoria City Councilman Ryan Spain is running for the Illinois House seat once David Leitch steps down.  Spain announced his candidacy for the 73rd District seat Friday morning.

Peoria PD hosting invitational police role-play

18 hours ago

 The Peoria Police Department is hosting an invitation only Awareness Training event Saturday.

Elmwood Pharmacy to continue serving rural community

18 hours ago

TelePharm recently acquire the Elmwood Pharmacy. The previous owners Cathy and Jon Windish operated the community staple for 40 years. Cathy Windish says TelePharm’s acquisition of Elmwood Pharmacy means it will continue to serve the local community in a consistent manner. TelePharm is also adding new services. Elmwood Pharmacy technician staff will remain in place. When a licensed pharmacist is not present a clinician in a different community will be available to speak with patients via a private video call.

Peoria area workers at Caterpillar and other companies who suddenly find themselves out of work will be getting help finding employment in the region.

Cue the snappy theme song for this week's Out and About because we're talking to Travis Olson, director of The Addams Family at Peoria Player's Theatre. Olson describes the backstory for the new musical comedy for all ages, and offers insight into the local debut. 

More information on show dates and times for The Addams Family can be found at, and the box office at 688-4473.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria County board passed three resolutions last night that allow a local agriculture company to operate a business in Trivoli Township. Akron Services Inc., plans to house chemicals, fertilizers and seeds on a site where an unused grain elevator stands. 

The vote was 12-3 with one abstention. Before the vote, the board heard from more than a dozen members of the public -- both in favor and opposed to the development.

Organic farmers neighboring the site say it would hurt the biodiversity of their crops. 

Courtroom rehab continues amid delays

Oct 8, 2015
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria County is in the process of remodeling three courtrooms that were damaged when a pipe burst in February. One of those courtrooms is back in use -- while the other two are not.

Construction started on courtrooms 222 and 322 in July. Now, the drywall is exposed, the ceiling tiles are gone, and the carpet is pulled up.  

Chief Judge Stephen Kouri is growing impatient. He says having two courtrooms out of commission is slowing down the number of cases judges are able to hear. On top of that, judges are having to juggle courtrooms.

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos and Rodney Davis say they're traveling to Cuba as part of an agricultural trade mission. Bustos and Davis plan to promote economic development and trade opportunities for Illinois farmers. Bustos is an East Moline Democrat and Davis is a Taylorville Republican.

Top Democrats are warning that Illinois will run out of money to operate in just a few months if lawmakers can't agree on a state budget. But they still insist they won't cave to Gov. Bruce Rauner's demands to weaken public-worker unions to get a budget deal.  House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says the Republican governor's plan to let local governments opt out of collective bargaining is an attack on the middle class.

Weaver Sworn-In As State Senator

Oct 8, 2015

State Senator Chuck Weaver officially took the oath of office Thursday in the Peoria County Courthouse.  The businessman and former Peoria City Councilman replaced Darin LaHood, who was elected to Congress last month.  Weaver, a Republican, joins the legislative body at a time of intense gridlock with Governor Bruce Rauner.  Weaver says one key to getting a budget passed it to work with both political parties:

  CHICAGO (AP) - The impact of the Chicago Marathon will be increasingly felt from now until the big event Sunday.  More than 40,000 runners are registered to participate. And more than a million spectators are expected to line the 26.2-mile route that'll wind through about 30 neighborhoods. Race organizers say a few street and lane closures are already in effect around Grant Park, where the marathon begins and ends.

Cong. Shimkus has a challenger

Oct 8, 2015

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) - State Sen. Kyle McCarter says he'll challenge 10-term U.S. Rep. John Shimkus's re-election bid in the Republican primary in Illinois' 15th Congressional District. The conservative lawmaker from Lebanon says Shimkus has been in Washington too long after promising to serve no more than six terms when he was first elected in the district covering all or parts of 33 counties in eastern and southern Illinois.

Longtime Peoria Lawmaker Announces Retirement

Oct 8, 2015

Peoria State Representative David Leitch is retiring at the end of his current term. The longtime Republican lawmaker announced this morning he is not seeking re-election in next year’s election. 

More than 120 tons of sand will be needed to create the Peoria Civic Center’s new ice skating rink.  The project is part of the Center’s inaugural Winterfest.  Civic Center Interim General Manager Anne Clayton says the rink will also help fill a nearly $700,000 spending gap for the Center this fiscal year:

Governor blames Democrats for budget impasse

Oct 7, 2015

Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is picking up where he left off a few months ago: delivering a campaign-style stump speech as the state continues without a budget. 

At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours, and more are expected unless the state comes through with funding.  

FAA proposes $2-million fine for drone photography

Oct 7, 2015

The owner of a Chicago-based aerial photography company is calling the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposal to fine his company almost $2 million dollars ridiculous.  

An advisory board voted to add eight health conditions to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has sought to increase pressure on majority Democrats to end Illinois' unprecedented budget stalemate.

An association representing nearly 100 local health departments says the state budget impasse is "eroding" the ability to respond to public health emergencies. 

East Peoria breaks ground for Holiday Inn Express

Oct 7, 2015
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Construction for a Holiday Inn Express & Suites is underway in East Peoria. City Council members and business leaders broke ground on the site adjacent to Bass Pro Wednesday.

The project’s developer Frontier Hospitality Group praised the way the city collaborated with the company. 

“We’ve worked with a lot of mayors and city councils and city governments, but I don’t know that we’ve had an easier, more welcoming partner than the City of East Peoria,” Frontier CEO Dan Huber said.

Is This Finally The Year For The Cubs?

Oct 7, 2015
John / Flickr

The Chicago Cubs are in the Major League Baseball playoffs for the first time since 2008.  Illinois Public Radio's Brian Moline spoke to Brett Taylor from the Cubs website Bleacher Nation about their chances in tonight's wildcard game.