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.   


Peoria Public Radio News
11:38 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Caterpillar second quarter sales take a hit

Credit Kitmondo.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria-based Caterpillar is reporting 2nd quarter adjusted profit per share of $1.27. It’s a 42 cent decrease from the second quarter of 2014. But it still topped analysts’ expectations by a penny.    

Sales and Revenues posted at 12.3 billion dollars. That’s down 13 percent, in the second quarter of 2014 and is last down when compared with expectations.

The company is still expecting a challenging second half of the year. But CEO Doug Oberhelman says Caterpillar continues its “track-record of solid operational performance in the face of difficult conditions.”

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Peoria Public Radio News
9:10 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Predatory lending likened to 'Shark attacks'

Heaven View Christian Fellowship Pastor Cliff Parks leads chants in a protest against payday loans, in front of Title Loans in Campustown Thursday.
Credit Cass Herrington / WCBU News

Community activists with Illinois Action rallied against “shark attacks” in Peoria Thursday. They were using the poplar Discovery Channel 'Shark Week' T-V reference to call for more regulatory controls on so-called predatory lending practices.

Heaven’s View Christian Fellowship Pastor Cliff Parks says several payday loan storefronts are just steps from the front door of his church. He has seen grave side-effects on his parishioners.

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4:17 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Bustos pushes for long-term federal transportation bill

Credit upload.wikimedia.org/

Hundreds of bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete in Central Illinois. To that end, Representative Cheri Bustos says Congress needs to pass a long-term transportation bill. Marty Helfers is the Executive Director of the West Central Illinois Building Trades. He says long-term funding means more stability for local jobs:

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5:11 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Lyme disease cases seen in Tazewell County

Credit health.com

Cases of Lyme Disease have turned up in Tazewell County. There are two confirmed and another anticipated case of the bacteria. 

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Peoria Public Radio News
1:38 pm
Thu June 18, 2015


Credit ssnautical.com

  The U.S. Coast Guard issued a no wake zone Thursday for the entire Illinois River.

A statement from the Coast Guard says recreation vessels are banned from the river between Havana and about Chillicothe. That’s river mile marker 102 to 190.

Towboat operators are also being told to use caution and are prohibited from laying up from mm 136-138 and mm 166.5 -178.

The advisory will remain in place until the Coast Guard issues a cancelation notice.


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4:03 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Caterpillar: indefinite layoffs at EP plant

Approximately 120 Caterpillar employees at the East Peoria facility are being laid off indefinitely. The layoffs take effect June 29th. A statement from the company says it’s making necessary moves to bring production in line with demand. Some of the additional moves that have already been implemented include temporary shutdowns and reductions in what the company calls its flexible workforce. Caterpillar says more permanent measures are necessary in the near-term to balance the continued weakness in the global mining and construction industry. 

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State News
2:11 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Alton to soon unveil Miles Davis statue

Tommy Potter, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Jordan, Max Roach, August 1947
Credit William P. Gottlieb / Library of Congress

A bronzed sculpture of jazz trumpeter and band leader Miles Davis will soon be unveiled in the Illinois town where Davis was born. Artist Preston Jackson is scheduled to do the unveiling in downtown Alton Sept. 12. Davis was born in Alton in 1926 and moved to East St. Louis a year later. He would later play with such stalwarts as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey before dying of a stroke in 1991. Utility provider Ameren Illinois recently donated $5,000 toward the project in the city's Riverbend community, which is located near downtown along the Mississippi River.


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Peoria Public Radio News
11:00 am
Tue June 16, 2015

It's digital radio sign-on day for Peoria PD

Credit Peoria Police Department Facebook page

  The Peoria Police Department is implementing a new emergency communications system today. Peoria Police started using the new digital radio interface with sign-on this morning.  The Peoria County Sheriff's Office has been using the system since earlier this year. The Peoria Fire Department is set to transition June 23.  The the digital system upgrade replaces the decades-old analog infrastructure. The new technology adds capability for first responders to have direct interagency communication.

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Peoria Public Radio News
5:13 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

The Peoria PlayHouse of dreams...

George and his Mom, Kristin Vannatta check out the By Your River Gently Flowing area of the new Peoria PlayHouse and Children's Museum.
Tanya Koonce Peoria Public Radio

Glen Oak Park has a new resident in the historic building that once served as the Park District office. The Junior League of Peoria and its community partners are cutting the ribbon and opening the new Children’s Museum and PlayHouse Friday after nearly 15-years in the making.

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Peoria Public Radio News
11:15 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Boy found after being swept away yesterday

Two Peoria Police walk the drainage culvert where Demarcus Jackson is thought to have been swept away Sunday by an strong current in high water brought on by the flash flooding conditions from Sunday's storm.
Tanya Koonce Peoria Public Radio

The 15-year old Peoria boy swept away in a rain-swollen creek yesterday has been found. 

Demarcus Jackson was transported to OSF Medical Center in Peoria. Police say Demarcus Jackson was swimming in the creek Sunday afternoon when he was pulled downstream by a strong current. His brother and friend were able to escape the creek. Efforts to find the boy were suspended Sunday night because of high water levels combined with the current. Peoria police said then the search would resume once the creek was safer for firefighters.  But Peoria Police Captain Mike Scally says Jackson was found about 7:30 this morning: 

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