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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The City of Peoria is considering whether to extend its contract with the Peoria Disposal Company.

 

The City’s contract with PDC expires at the end of the year, but it specifies the municipality needs to decide by Friday whether to extend the agreement for another three years.

The Peoria City Council Monday unanimously approved extending that window for another 60 days.

Tanya Koonce

Governor Bruce Rauner made three stops in Peoria today, speaking with the Rotary Club 76, the Illinois Economic Development Association, and touring the Air National Guard Base.

The Peoria County Board of Election wants residents to know they might be receiving a voter registration form from a Chicago based group.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Friends of Riverfront Park gathered on the green space yesterday for music and the cause of saving it.

Developers are working through the process of having the city-owned, state and federally-designated parkland converted. The development proposal is for a four-building, 143-unit apartment complex. Joyce Harant is with the Friends of the Park.

She says they’ve planted flags to show the footprint of the proposed development.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Two and half years of work culminated Thurs. for the South Side of Peoria with a new full-service grocery store at Western and Martin. 

The Southside community has been without a store for fresh produce and meat since the last grocer left the same spot. What's now in the location is a hard discount grocery store with a business model that centers on community.

Nate Hofer / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Peoria County Election Commission is planning to move. But not until after the November Election.  

Election Commission Executive Director Tom Bride says the downside of that is the new location will be much better for voting.

“But we’ll get there. And this way, I just don’t think we’re going to have the time to get the buildout done and done well," Bride said. "And it’s not something we want to rush just to get in there and not do right.”  

The director of the primary provider of outpatient mental health services in DeWitt County says it will shut July 1 because of the lack of a state budget.  Executive Director Lynn Scoville says the DeWitt County Human Resource Center board voted to stop providing services after June 30. 

Tanya Koonce

Illinois’ Comptroller is calling on lawmakers and the Governor to come to some kind of budget agreement in the next ten days. The July first start of the state’s new fiscal year without a budget means the four special spending plans sunset.

Retired Caterpillar CEO Glen Barton and his wife Polly are making an undisclosed seven figure gift to Bradley University for the school’s proposed Business and Engineering Convergence Center.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

More than a dozen superintendents representing school districts in Peoria County are calling on legislators and the governor to pass an education budget. 

The Peoria County Regional Superintendent Beth Crider Derry submitted a joint letter Mon. addressed to Gov. Rauner, the legislative leaders and lawmakers.

Caterpillar, Inc.

Caterpillar Global Supply Network Division employees are fanning out across Central Illinois for what the company is calling Summer of Service. About 500 Cat Employees have signed up so far.

 

The Global Supply Network Division has been coordinating the volunteers with the 30 different community projects, including the Children’s Home Fishing Derby, Easter Seals facilities maintenance, Special Olympics youth athlete assistance, and neighborhood improvement projects with the South Side Mission.

 

The Peoria County-wide Election Commission is getting ready to adopt a mission statement to remain focused on fostering public trust and confidence in the democratic process with accurate, accessible, fair and secure elections.

It will be another summer of construction on Peoria’s University Street between Forrest Hill and War Memorial Drive.

The Interfaith Alliance and Peoria Proud are holding a candlelight vigil at Liberty Park at 6:00p.m. The vigil is aimed at allowing the community to gather in the wake of the Orlando tragedy.

Tanya Koonce

The nurse-nun who accompanied the first life-flighted premature baby nearly 50 years ago, for what is now Children’s Hospital of Illinois, toured the facility today. 

OSF HealthCare System and Jump Trading Simulation Center spent today looking for ways to continue innovating medical practices. About 250 OSF administrators, leaders and community partners gathered at the Simulation Center today to learn about 10 different HealthCare, Medtech or device companies. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

This week, the Illinois House and Senate adjourned Spring legislative session without approving a budget. It’s unprecedented the state is poised to start its second fiscal year next month without a spending plan in place.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner followed adjournment with a two-day tour of the state. The Republican governor made a stop in Pekin Wed. Earlier that day, Democratic Peoria State Senator Dave Koehler also met with reporters.

The nature of the debacle remains seemingly more adversarial than necessary.

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Illinois' Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers are doing the postmortem on the Spring legislative session that ended this week. 

Gov. Rauner is traveling the state declaring the Democratic controlled legislature is a “stunning failure.”

But Peoria Senator David Koehler says there is still room for negotiation.

Memorial Day Remembrances Planned in Peoria Area

May 27, 2016
Virginia Guard Public Affairs / Flickr/Creative Commons

As of this week, the Defense Department reports 4,424 US soldiers have died in the war in Iraq. 2,349 soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001.  

Several events are are going on in the Peoria area for Memorial Day to honor fallen American soldiers.

Saturday, May 28, 2016:

10:30 The American Mausoleum in Peoria is hosting a service.

11:00 East Peoria’s observance is at the Fondulac Cemetery off of  Washington Road.

Sunday, May 29th, 2016:

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

 

More than 150 people toured the new Ray LaHood International Terminal at the Peoria International Airport Monday.

 

It was an opportunity to see the $11 million facility before it’s commissioned. The two-story, 21,000 square foot structure includes full-service Customs and Border Protections capacity as well as two additional gates for domestic or international travel.

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A Peoria attorney has been disbarred by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. The Commission is an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Foster Pet Outreach

Foster Pet Outreach is getting a new office to handle adoptions. The nonprofit agency has been working out of foster homes for the 23-year life of the effort.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

 

The East Peoria City Council is preparing to put a new budget in place.

The public hearing Tuesday night was the initial step in the approval process. The nearly $55.5 million spending plan represents a .003 percent increase from last fiscal year.

Commissioner John Kahl says the city’s reserve funds are lower than he’d like. Finance Commissioner Gary Densberger says he shares that concern, but he’s counting on the bond payments for East Side Center being retired next year.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of East Peoria is planning ahead for residents in the year 2066.

The City of East Peoria is placing a time capsule Saturday during the cornerstone dedication for the Civic Complex.  

Director of Building and Inspections Robert Cole says items being placed in the sealed container are on display at the Fondulac Library, and everybody can participate in the fun.  

Hakan Berberoglu

About 700 people gathered at the Civic Center to hear business and civic leaders attempt to overturn stereotypes and fears about Muslims and the Islamic faith Monday night.

The event "Peace for Peoria" was created to bring people of diverse faiths together to unravel some of the questions surrounding Islam. The local star-studded cast of speakers included Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman, Bradley University President Gary Roberts, and presidents of the two major hospital systems. 

Authorities leading the Don't Shoot initiative to reduce gun crime in Peoria say the program may be showing big dividends. 

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy says they’ve seen the number of people in the jail reduced nearly by half during the last 18 months. He owes a large part of the shift to the Don’t Shoot Program, but he says there’s still more to be done to further reduce gun violence.

lady_lbrty / Flickr/Creative Commons

Members of the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance and Illinois People’s Action are renewing their call for environmental justice and a transition to clean energy in the greater Peoria area.  

Dynegy recently announced plans to shut down five units split between its Baldwin and Newton Plants.

Tracey Fox is with the Health Communities Alliance. She says burning less coal is a step forward for the state. But Fox says  the economics used to decide the plant closures was one-sided in the fact that they are also some of the least polluting.

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Flags on Bradley University’s campus are being flown at half staff to mark the death of Junior Ashley Borja from Plainfield.

The  engineering student was killed in a four car accident Thursday afternoon when her car crossed the median on south bound Interstate 55 in Livingston County.   

 "Our hearts go out to her family and friends. She was a vibrant young woman who will be missed by all," Bradley University President Gary Roberts said in the statement Friday.

 

Tanya Koonce

The Peoria Police Department negotiated a stand off today that involved a man with a gun near Glen Oak School at Wisconsin and Republic. 

Peoria Magazines

The Murray Building in Peoria’s Warehouse District has been approved by the National Parks Service for its design and construction methods as they relate to the Historic Tax Credit program.   

The CEO of the property management team heading up the redevelopment of the building says the Historic Tax Credits are significant to the feasibility of the Murray Place project.   

He says the approval of Tax Credits lays the groundwork going forward.

The Murray Building renovations are turning the old retail outlet into a mixed-use building.

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