Tanya Koonce

News Director

Tanya Koonce is the News Director at Peoria Public Radio.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University, and a M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield.  Tanya started her news career in TV, managed two political campaigns after college, worked in state government and did some state association work before going back to school.  Post master’s degree, she’s worked in commercial radio and operated her own freelance agency before taking a reporter position at WCBU in 2001, and becoming news director in 2008. She’s currently serving as the Treasurer of the Illinois News Broadcaster’s Association, lives in Peoria and loves discovering interesting people, places and things.   

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Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of East Peoria is working with a strategic planning consultant that has a track record in the state.

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

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

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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.

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Author and public broadcaster Lisa Napoli is speaking on her book “Ray and Joan” tonight at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch. Napoli has studied the McDonald’s founder Ray and his philanthropic wife Joan Kroc for the last five years before the release of her book late last year. Napoli says it’s a great story with Illinois and Peoria roots.

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

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.

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.

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The City of Peoria is offering some tenant training seminars throughout the community, but turnout so far isn't what organizers had hoped. 

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Caterpillar started off 2017 on stronger footing.

Denis Cyr is the declared winner of the 5th District Peoria City Council seat.

Tanya Koonce

Peoria area home sales were up slightly in the first quarter compared to last year. Jana Heffron is the president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. She says the mild winter weather likely helped push forward the closings on nearly one-thousand homes in the region in January, February and March.

 

“Consumer confidence is definitely improving in our area and we also have a motivation to purchase and lock in affordable prices and before rates move higher for those buyers out looking for those houses today.”

Tanya Koonce

About 750 people attended 18th District Republican Congressman Darin LaHood’s town hall meeting at Five Points Washington. LaHood greeted everyone at the door and took at least 35 questions from a heated room. ACA Reform, the release of President Trump’s taxes and climate change were some of the most heated and repeated topics of the town hall meeting. LaHood also stayed calm and steady though a sometime bombastic crowd response. He says it was a productive dialogue.

 

The 42 year-old Peoria man killed in the fire at Glen Oak Towers Sunday evening died of smoke inhalation.

The Peoria Park District is looking to fill a Central District vacancy on the board of trustees. Kelly Cummings is resigning her seat effective May first. Her term expires in two years.

Tanya Koonce

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured Getz Fire Equipment Company in Peoria Monday where he praised the 60 year-old business. He also reiterated his standard remarks about growing Illinois’ economy and his pro-business agenda. 

CityLink is celebrating its 9th Annual Passenger Appreciation Day Thursday.  All passengers on fixed routes ride for free in honor of CityLink’s beloved General Manager Jerome Lilly.

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Peoria area hospitals have lifted their request for people with flu symptoms to voluntarily limit hospital visits because of a decrease in flu cases. The request was in place to help limit flu exposure for the hospitals' patients and staff.  

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The “Best City Hall in America” is hosting an open house. Peoria City Hall won the title last month in the online bracket-style contest sponsored by Engaging Local Government Leaders.

Election Day polling places closed at 7:00p.m. Peoria Election Commission Executive Director Tom Bride says election day has been pretty smooth.

Union local 974 in East Peoria ratified its supplemental agreement that goes along with its six-year main contract with Caterpillar Inc. The UAW announced the agreement had been "overwhelmingly ratified" by Local 974 workers of the heavy equipment maker.

Caterpillar has finalized details on its decision to move production out of its Aurora factory. The production of large wheel loaders and compactors is moving to Decatur. Medium wheel loader manufacturing is moving to North Little Rock, Arkansas. Despite the move of manufacturing, Caterpillar will maintain an Aurora office for engineering and product support work.

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Every five years the City of Peoria has the option to purchase its water company. The issue divides people into separate schools of thought on the issue -- and this year is no exception.

peoriacounty.org

The Peoria County Board has selected the long-time chief deputy treasurer to be the next treasurer. Nicole Demetreas has worked in Peoria County government finance for nearly two decades and has served as the chief deputy treasurer since 2000. Demetreas was appointed to fill the role yesterday/Tuesday during a special Peoria County Board Meeting. She is filling the position vacated by the retirement of Tripp O’Connor January 31st. The term expires November 30th, 2018. Demetreas will be sworn in after the completion of bonding paperwork.   

Peoria Public Radio

The City Council At-Large candidate who lost by one vote in Peoria’s primary election is contesting the results.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Caterpillar has retained special outside counsel to help in dealing with matters related to the criminal search conducted by a trio of federal agencies earlier this month. 

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The Peoria Police Department will begin a pilot program to evaluate the use of body cameras on officers. Three officers on different shifts will use the cameras beginning March 20.

Project manager Denise Backes told Peoria City Council on Tues. that other cities using cameras have seen increased officer performance among other benefits.

February was another record month for the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria County Election Commission makes the results of the Feb. 28th Primary official Thurs.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Federal agents continued searching Caterpillars Headquarters building in downtown Peoria overnight. Search warrants were executed yesterday at Caterpillar offices in Peoria, East Peoria and Morton. The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirms the multi-agency investigation included the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement.

 

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