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

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.

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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.

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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. 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

A vacant lot in Peoria’s Warehouse District could soon become an urban garden. It’s the next project identified by the City to help divert stormwater from the river. 

Marseilles Infant Death Caused by Head Trauma

Jun 23, 2017
LaSalle County Mug Shot

The Peoria County Coroner says preliminary autopsy results for 12- day-old Ean Mariotto, of Marseilles show his primary cause of death is related to severe head trauma. The infant also suffered multiple areas of blunt force trauma.

 

The Marseilles Police arrested and charged 30 year-old Jeffrey Price Tuesday in connection to the infant’s injuries.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

About two-dozen people participated in a Healthcare rally yesterday, across the street from Republican Congressman Darin LaHood’s office.

The 46th annual Steamboat Festival kicked off Thursday on the Peoria Riverfront. 

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More than 2,100 Peoria residents were without power Wed. night, as a result of the afternoon and evening storms.

Pekin Police Department / Facebook

The Pekin Police Department wants its beat officers to get to know people in the area they patrol. A program called Community and Police Problem Solving or CAPPS is using Facebook and quarterly meetings to get people talking with the officers assigned to their neighborhood. Each of the five Pekin police districts has its own Facebook page with information about the area and the beat officers will manage their page. Each page also has the date of its district meeting. All the meetings will happen at 5:30.

River's Edge Campground

The Peoria County Coroner’s office and Sheriff’s Department are working to identify the adult male skull found in South West Peoria County Monday.

Peoria Public Radio

Educators at Glen Oak are concerned the building will have more students than it can accommodate when the new school year begins.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

 Gov. Bruce Rauner is touring the state calling for lawmakers to pass what he’s calling “true, lasting” property tax relief.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Kickapoo Creek Road is closed in Peoria County from Farmington Road to Bartonville.

Peoria Police are asking for help in locating the man suspected of a shooting early Sunday morning. Delrick Rutherford is suspected in a shooting that happened in the 2100 block of North Underhill about 2:45 a.m.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Congressman Darin LaHood met with the armed forces academy appointees Monday from his district. This is the second group of academy appointments the 18th District Congressmen has nominated.

LaHood says the appointees have made it through highly competitive process and represent some of the best of the best when it comes to grade point average, college entrance exam scores, sports and leadership.

 

The congressman says, “we’re just congratulating them and also giving the families an opportunity to meet each other before they head off to West Point, the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy.”  

LaHood says he nominates about 20 to 25 students a year and seven have been selected each year. Each US representative and senator make annual nominations to the academies.

LaHood says any high school student interested in attending one of the academies should contact his office. He says his staff can help guide them through the application process.  

Tamie Yost

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says she is disappointed with the President’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. She says The President’s suggesting of a re-negotiation for the accord is a phony argument:

Tanya Koonce

Goodwill Industries hosted a job fair this morning morning. The event offered those attending 37 different employers, some of them interviewing and hiring on the spot.

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