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

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell made his candidacy official Mon.

City of Peoria

The Northmoor Road Project poses a new wrinkle for Peoria motorists starting today. Northmoor is closed at Rosemead Drive and the Exposition Gardens entrance. Peoria Public Works Director Scott Reeise says they’re closing the road to construct other underground utilities for a new signalized intersection.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships the Nina and the Pinta are moored on Peoria Riverfront.

Peoria Public High Schools were on lockdown this afternoon after reports of a gun at the career center. Students from the other three high schools come and go from Woodruff Career and Technical Center. 

Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The med-tech business incubator has helped launch or support more than 40 different entrepreneurial endeavors over the last decade.

The Midwest Food Bank is providing a variety of ways for West Central Illinois residents to help support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Salvation Army is supporting one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. The organization has 71 mobile feeding units from across the nation deployed in Texas.  Salvation Army trained disaster workers are also being deployed and staged in waves to help with the immediate need and ongoing recovery effort that will be necessary.

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

 

Area law enforcement are operating special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” patrols this Labor Day.

Creative Commons

It’s the last full week of summer for Peoria Public School students. And many of them are getting a special visitor to help get them ready.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

The Tazewell County Coroner’s Office is still waiting for DNA test results on the human remains thought to be a missing Pekin boy.

AP Photo

The state is inching closer and closer to missing its first school aid payments due next week.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar CFO Brad Halverson is retiring early next year. His career spans three decades with the company.

Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby says Halverson assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer just as the company faced an unprecedented downturn in business. Caterpillar undertook significant restructuring in response. Umpleby says Halverson helped the company maintain a strong balance sheet and good cash flow in that process.

The company is planning an external search to fill the CFO position. Halverson will work into early 2018 to ensure a smooth transition.

Google Maps

The owners of Peoria’s Cooperage 214 building on Pecan Street in the Warehouse District are being recognized for the historic preservation practices carried out in rehabbing the building.

A former Pekin Police officer is hospitalized from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. Police were called to Williamsburg Apartments at about 2 a.m., on a report of three shots fired. 

Tanya Koonce

The Tazewell County Auditor is planning a run for the office next door, so to speak. Republican Shelly Hranka says she’ll run for the County Clerk’s office.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department and Pekin Police are working to determine what happened to 13-year-old Robert Bee. 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Update (12:30pm): Information gathered this morning from human remains is “consistent” with that of Robert Bee, the missing boy from Pekin.

But the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is quick to point out that no positive identification can be made until DNA testing confirms a match.

The Sheriff’s office says a forensic pathologist's examination this morning determined that based on the skeletal and dental remains, it could be Robert Bee.

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Pekin Police Department, Tazewell County Coroner’s Office and Illinois State Police, are continuing the investigation.

This story is developing. Continue to check back for updates.

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The Tazewell County Sheriff's Department and the Coroner's Office are working to identify skeletal remains found Monday afternoon in South Pekin. 


Sarah Scott / Peoria Public Radio

Having a state budget after a historic, two-year political gridlock is of little comfort to K-12 school districts, healthcare and human service providers. 

Mike Guerra / City of Pekin

Court Street in Downtown Pekin is getting some pedestrian friendly refurbishments. City workers are installing installation of decorative crosswalks  at each intersection between 2nd and 6th streets. Crews are completing the work in the overnight hours as not disrupt business or inconveniencing traffic.

Pekin City Manager Tony Carson says it’s about making everyone feel welcome and safe when walking downtown.

Creative Commons

Home sales were down 9.8 percent in the Peoria area for the 2nd quarter that ended June 30th.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker made several stops around the state Thurs. One of them was at the Tazewell Community Area Project or TCAP. 

Peoria County Jail Records

A Peoria man, with a nearly decade long criminal history of violence against women and children, is being charged in the murder of his girlfriend.

AP Photo

Peoria-area state representatives voted mostly along party lines on the decision to override the Governor’s vetoes, giving the state its first budget in more than two years.

Illinois’ junior US Senator toured the USDA Ag Lab in Peoria Wed.

Madeleine Ball / Flickr/Creative Commons

With the hottest days of the year ahead, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is teaming up with local agencies to remind people of the dangers of overexposure to heat, in particular, leaving infants in hot cars.

USDA / Flickr

The  Central Illinois Agency on Aging is offering coupons to use at farmer’s markets for those 60 and older who meet certain income guidelines. Those who turn 60 before October 31 and have an individual annual income of $22,300 or less qualify. The annual income guidelines for a couple is slightly more than $30,000 for a couple. Those who are disabled are not eligible for the program.

Creative Commons

Peoria’s annual firework show is expected to light up the sky tonight at 9-30 as scheduled. Unity Point’s annual Red, White and Boom is considered the largest fireworks display in the state.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

It’s a new day in law enforcement in Peoria County and the Tazewell County City of Washington. Long-time Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy is officially the new Chief of Police in Washington.

Illinois State Police

An Illinois State Police K-9 handler was killed in an accident with a semi on Interstate 74, near Farmer City Thurs.

The Sudden cardiac arrest survival rate in Peoria is nearly double the national average at 13 percent. Local health officials are working together to further improve the bottom line. 

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