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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Peoria Public Radio

As a lot of people take to road in Illinois to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Illinois State Police is reminding motorists to drive safely.

ISP Troopers are expected to be positioned every 20 miles on Interstates 55, 57, and 80 today/Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Additionally troopers will be highly visible on the interstates and heavily traveled state routes through Monday, November 27th.

Orko Manna / Peoria Public Radio

The special Peoria City Council meeting to approve the 2018-2019 budget, instead offered council members a briefing on the latest proposed cuts to the fire department.

LinkedIn

Dunlap Superintendent Lisa Parker is leaving that post at the end of the year. The Dunlap School Board narrowly approved the separation agreement with the long-time district employee during a special meeting Tuesday night.

Tanya Koonce

Faith and city leaders in Peoria are encouraging people to shop-on with a sense of safety over the busiest holiday shopping times of the year. That was the message after the melee last Saturday night at Northwoods Mall near the new amusement venue, Round 1. 

The Shoppes at Grand Prairie / Facebook

The outdoor mall on the North Side of Peoria, known as the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, has a new management company. Chicago-based JLL is a Fortune 500 company. It’s a registered trademark of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. Singerman Real Estate recently purchased the 14-year-old outdoor shopping center in the northern part of Peoria. The Shoppes at Grand Prairie includes nearly 30 national, regional and local shops and services.

 

William Ross / Flickr/Creative Commons

The City of Peoria is offering residents assistance with rodent control.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Caterpillar Visitors Center has a new moniker coinciding with its five-year anniversary. It’s now the Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Center. 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Firefighters were called to the Chase Bank Building at Jefferson and Hamilton downtown for a smoke alarm about 1:50 p.m Monday afternoon. 

Pekin Police Department / Facebook

The Pekin Police Department and its K9 Officer are participating in the Aftermath contest again this year.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is shaking up its network.

Illinois American Water is providing grants to ten area fire departments. The grants announcement comes during National Fire Prevention Week.

East Peoria has reinstituted its burning season. The recent rainfall makes the burning of dry yard waste an option for East Peoria residents from October 15th through Nov 30th.

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.

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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. 

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