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. Tanya’s currently the Treasurer of the Illinois News Broadcaster’s Association. She lives in East Peoria and loves discovering interesting people, places and things.   

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The Peoria Downtown Development Corporation (DDC) is seeking a property tax increase for businesses located in the downtown area. The DDC proposal would add $65.00 dollars to the tax bill of a property assessed at $100-thousand.

The National Weather Service says high temperatures in the middle to possibly upper 90s Saturday through Monday will lead to potentially hazardous conditions statewide, especially for elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The much loved Lydia Moss Bradley statue that graces the circle drive in the heart of Bradley University’s campus is absent, at least for now.

It was EPIC Firefighter Day at the Peoria Fire Department’s Central House. Peoria firefighters and managers hosted 20 EPIC participants.

Mugshot 06-07-18 / Peoria County Jail

Anthony L. Jackson, 27 is being held on $2 million bond for the shooting death of his uncle, Timothy Jackson.

The details of the deadly disagreement are not completely clear. But 43-year-old Timothy Jackson was apparently stabbed about 3:45 a.m. Thursday, in a fight at the same location he was shot to death less than three hours later.

The Bloomington and Peoria Invest Health teams hosted a day long peer exchange event. The event at the Gateway Building on the Peoria Riverfront included more than 100 people from the region. They shared ideas and strategies to improve overall community health. 

Tanya Koonce

Peoria Police are investigating the death of 43 year-old Timothy Jackson. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers studying remedies to sexual harassment in state government say they are considering measures suggested by a colleague who claims retaliation by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A bipartisan group of Illinois legislators have introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted mass murderers and killers of first responders.

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

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.

Peoria Police are investigating the death of a 74-year-old Peoria man as a homicide.

Tanya Koonce

Ameren shareholders are holding the company accountable for coal ash contamination at current and former facilities in Illinois and Missouri.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The East Peoria Levee District and Civic Plaza has a new reading garden. The new community space was dedicated Wednesday. The garden cost just over $500,000 to build. It was paid for entirely by private donations raised through the East Peoria Foundation. Sue Yoder-Portscheller is the president of the Foundation. She says the garden was designed to anchor downtown and be green, growing and family centered.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Friendship House in Peoria has received one of the 20 grants the Illinois Treasurer's Office is awarding to non-profit organizations. The total pot of $400,000 comes from filing fees non-profits pay to incorporate. Friendship House is getting a $25,000 grant. Executive Director Robert Montgomery says the money will help them work toward doubling the meals they provided last year out of their food pantry. Specifically it will help expand the program they call Friday night take-out.

 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  

A man was killed in a house fire last night just before 10 P.M.. Peoria Firefighters and Paramedics responded to 952 S. Shelly St. to find the house fully engulfed. Extra manpower was necessary to knock down the fire.

Mike Broatch / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Peoria Fire Department is reporting four arsons over a four-day period. Two car and two house fires since Saturday are being investigated, after it was determined they were intentionally set. Arson investigators say each fire involved a large amount of accelerant, and each was set in the middle of the night.

 

The Peoria area housing market remained stable in the first quarter. 

State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth is sponsoring legislation to remove a common roadblock for those with a criminal record. 

Police statewide are targeting distracted driving with special patrols for the rest of the month. 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The end appears near for The Bon-Ton Stores that operate seven retail nameplates, including Bergner's stores in Peoria, Pekin, Bloomington, and Champaign.

 

Liquidation firms Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group won the auction the court considered for approval Wednesday. A statement from Bon-Ton says the bankruptcy court was expected to approve "the sale and wind-down of the Company's operations."

 

Peoria Police Department

Lonnie Smith, 46, made his first court appearance in Pekin Friday on charges that include the drug-induced homicide of Anthony Phillips.

16-year-old Jermontay Brock is charged with first degree murder for the death of Anthony ‘AJ’ Polnitz at a house party last weekend. Brock is being held on $1 Million bond.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Police have made an arrest in last weekend's shooting that killed two at a house party.  A 16-year-old was arrested without incident about 7:40 Wednesday night in the 2700 block of West Trewyn.

18 year-old Bradley University pre-med major Nasjay Murry from Chicago and 22-year-old Anthony Polnitz of Peoria were shot and killed about 1:40 Sunday morning at a crowded house party at the corner of Bradley and Western Avenues. Another female Bradley student was injured in that shooting.

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The East Peoria man whose truck was struck in the accident on I-74 at Pinecrest in Drive Monday evening has died. The Peoria County Coroner says 39-year-old Wayne Farrow succumb to the traumatic head injuries he sustained.

 

IDOT District 4

A semi carrying a combine failed to make it under the overpass at Pinecrest Drive on Interstate 74 Monday evening. The semi was traveling eastbound about 6:30 when it struck the overpass. Debris from the combine struck the 2003 Ford pickup truck traveling behind the semi and flatbed.

Two Illinois Congressmen talked bi-partisan politics and policy Wednesday at Bradley University. The Institute for Principled Leadership and Dirksen Congressional Center sponsored the event. 

OSF HealthCare and Peoria Public Schools are partnering to create a Trauma Recovery Center at Trewyn School next year. The center is designed to offer victims of violent crimes and other extreme situations wrap-around services to help them survive and prosper post-trauma.

Demand for downtown residential opportunities in Peoria is on the rise, according to a new study.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Peoria Health Department are issuing warnings about synthetic cannabinoids after multiple people who've used them suffered severe bleeding.

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