Kristin McHugh

The Central Illinois opioid crisis affects all ages in all zip codes. That’s the message from a gathering of regional police, fire and community members in East Peoria Wednesday night. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood was one of the event’s panelists. He says the number of overdose deaths recorded in his office last year was nearly double that of 2016.

The Illinois House has approved legislation to create a procedure to temporarily confiscate guns from people threatening violence.

A showdown between two Democratic measures to close the wage gap ended with Illinois senators rejecting one considered more business friendly.

A federal judge has rejected the Illinois Department of Corrections' plan to address flaws in mental health care for 12,000 inmates. 

A school official says police have taken a student into custody after a threat prompted the closing of two southwestern Illinois high schools.

A woman who says her late father's head ended up in the Detroit warehouse of a body parts broker has confronted the man in court, and offered him the directive to "burn in hell."

The Gary/Chicago International Airport has reopened its main runway after a three-week closure to rebuild much of it.

38-year-old Mark Runyon is facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of his father Frank Runyon.

The state's inspector general has found mismanagement on the part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office for improper hiring. 

A farmers market has opened in central Illinois despite the continued demolition of a riverfront platform.


A school resource officer who was hailed a hero for shooting and arresting a gunman at a northern Illinois high school received a standing ovation as he led students into their graduation ceremony.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - One lucky karaoke singer will open for country music star Brett Eldredge during this year's Illinois State Fair.

      EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - An East St. Louis police officer who made nearly $200,000 last year is now on administrative leave pending an internal department review.

GoFundMe To Save Lincoln Artifacts

May 21, 2018

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The crowdsourcing site where people seek contributions for school books or medical bills has a new campaign. It’s an effort to raise $9.7 million to keep artifacts belonging to Abraham Lincoln in his hometown.


  MARION, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a disaster proclamation for nine southern Illinois counties affected by a water main break that left cities short of water and forced schools and businesses to close.

Wikimedia Commons

  OREGON, Ill. (AP) - A group needs $500,000 to complete the restoration of a century-old landmark in northern Illinois known as the Black Hawk Statue.

  PEORIA, Ill. - Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria County will soon see construction on new cabins. It’s part of a $2.4 million capital campaign.

The Forest Park Foundation, that operates Wildlife Prairie Park recently launched the fundraising campaign for the project. The 14 cabins will overlook a bison and elk enclosure at the park. New fences will also be constructed, enabling the animals to approach the back decks of the cabins.

Foundation president Mark Spenny says the cabins will enhance the quality of lodging the park offers.

Proposal to Reinstate IL Death Penalty Gets Hearing

May 21, 2018
John O'Connor / AP Photo

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House committee will take up Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases.


     The House Judiciary-Criminal Committee meets Monday for testimony on Rauner's proposals. Rauner added the death penalty in an amendatory veto of legislation that would extend the waiting period for delivery of assault weapons to 72 hours.


Noah and Olivia Top 2017 IL Baby Names

May 21, 2018
Gabi Menashe / Creative Commons

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The most popular baby names in Illinois last year? Noah and Olivia. The Social Security Administration has released Illinois' top five boys and girls names for 2017. For boys, the top five were: Noah, Liam, Benjamin, Logan, and Alexander. The most popular girls' names were Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, and Isabella. Nationwide, Liam and Emma topped the list. The Social Security agency says pop -culture has also had an effect on naming trends. There's been an increase in girls named Melania in a clear nod to the first lady of the United States.

Rauners Move Back to IL Gov's Mansion

May 21, 2018

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, say they're moving back into the Illinois Governor's Mansion as renovations wrap up on the historic home.

    The Rauners are scheduled to speak about the move and the renovation project Monday.

     The mansion in Springfield was built in 1855 and is one of the three oldest continuously occupied governor's residences in the U.S. It's been undergoing needed renovations, including a new roof, HVAC system and entrance to the building.

Jim Thome's Unexpected Road to the Hall of Fame

May 20, 2018

Three players from the 1989 Major League baseball draft are now in the Hall of Fame. Frank Thomas was drafted in the first round; Jeff Bagwell in the 4th.

To say that 16th round draftee Jim Thome was lightly regarded is an understatement. The Cleveland Indians choosing him as the 331st player Put Thome in the top third of the draft, but well under the radar.

Thome was not drafted at all after playing at Bartonville’s Limestone High School. So instead of pro ball, Jim played one season of junior college baseball at ICC in East Peoria.

Peoria NAACP Denounce PPD Valor Awards

May 18, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The NAACP says the Peoria Police Department’s annual Valor Awards are a “slap in the face,” to the family and friends of Eddie Russell Jr. The awards for bravery and valor Wednesday went to the six officers who were on the tactical response team that shot and killed Russell September 20th, last year.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The man who jumped to his death off the Murray Baker Bridge Thursday morning was Shawn Talbert of Peoria.


The 27-year-old stopped his car on the Tazewell County side of the bridge at about 7:10 a.m. and jumped. Three westbound cars also crashed resulting in a pileup. The series of events caused significant traffic delays in both directions on Interstate-74.


The search for Talbert spanned more than three hours and involved ten state, local and maritime agencies.


Gov. Bruce Rauner is telling state lawmakers to hurry up and pass legislation centered around the Legionnaire's crisis at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

A judge has refused to lower bail for a teen charged with firing shots at an Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal.

A University of Illinois alumna says officials should form closer ties with the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and reinvent the university's former mascot. 

The Morton man accused of the Waffle House mass shooting in Tennessee has spoken to a reporter at a Nashville TV Station. 29-year-old Travis Reinking had remained silent since the shooting and his arrest. But in the call to WTVF’s Nick Beres, Reinking said he wanted to talk about his case, his mental health, and his two appointed lawyers. In that call from the Davidson County Jail, he said he is “perfectly healthy” and he was aiming to represent himself in the case.

Our guests this week are Michelle Nielsen Ott from Sculpture Walk Peoria, and Sharon Gramm with the Peoria Riverfront Market. The two groups are working together this year: Peoria Riverfront Market begins tomorrow morning; and Sculpture Walk's opening day celebration begins later in the day, just across the street. The idea is to give residents and visitors a double incentive to visit downtown Peoria.

  Southern Illinoisans who've been conserving or going without running water over the last 24 hours are getting good news Friday morning.

The Rend Lake Conservancy District says a bypass around its broken man was completed overnight, and water flow is slowly increasing in the line.

A patch of the original break is expected to be finished Friday, and crews will boost the water flow throughout the day.

The Illinois Senate has approved raising public school teacher salaries to a minimum of $40,000 a year.