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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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. 

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.


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.

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.

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: 

Construction has resumed on the exterior of UnityPoint Methodist Medical Center. The construction project was halted last week when a worker fell about 30 feet from the scaffolding. The East Moline Glass Company employee remains hospitalized.  

Tanya Koonce

The UnityPoint Methodist College is getting a new campus. The former American Furniture Building is being reconstructed with Student Housing built on adjacent land to house both the nursing and health sciences programs. 

Tanya Koonce

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk toured the ADM Plant on the Riverfront in Peoria Wednesday. Senator Kirk says getting a new trade agreement is necessary for companies like Peoria-based Caterpillar and ADM:

The public is invited to attend Bradley's final practice at Dozer Park before the Braves head to Louisville for the weekend's NCAA Baseball Regional.

Tanya Koonce

State and local police are out in force for the traditional kick-off of summer. An estimated 33-million motorist will take to the nation's roadways this weekend. 

An Honor Flight takes off from Peoria International Airport early Tuesday morning. 22 World War II veterans, 37 from the Korean War and seven terminally ill Vietnam Vets are making the journey to the Memorial in Washington D.C. 

ICC President retiring

Apr 30, 2015

  Illinois Central College President John Erwin is retiring effective Friday, May 1, 2015.

Erwin’s held the position for more than 14 years. As President, Erwin led ICC’s expansion of academic programs and the school’s footprint.

  ICC moved into the shuttered Zeller Mental Health Center building that now serves as the school’s North Campus, opened a southern location in Pekin and added student housing during Erwin’s tenure. He also oversaw a number of additional building construction and expansion projects.

Tanya Koonce

Bradley University hosted the state’s largest naturalization ceremony of the year. About 2,000 people gathered at the Renaissance Coliseum for the ceremony. Paul Phillips is a Supervisory Immigration Services Officer out of Chicago. He says typically there are quarterly naturalization ceremonies.  

Peoria Police Officers responded to a physical altercation on Garden Street in South Peoria Thursday hours after regional leaders talked state cuts.  Officers made several arrests in the incident that also led to an officer-involved car accident. Peoria Police shift commander Jared Ginglen says police services could hurt if state budget woes are passed onto the city:

On April 2, 2015, 10 of the 11 Pekin City Council candidates and the three people running for mayor participated in a forum. The council candidates took the firsts round. The mayoral  participated in the second round of the forum.

Schock Resigns: "I do this with a heavy heart"

Mar 17, 2015

U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock says he’s resigning March 31st following weeks of intense press scrutiny. The news comes after questions surrounding Schock’s travel expenses and relationships with donors:

Peoria Congressman Aaron Schock spent more than $10,000 in taxpayer funds for at least 10 staff members to accompany him to New York City. 


Army Reserve Soldiers of the 419th Movement Control Battalion based in Bartonville are preparing to deploy to Kuwait. Congressman Aaron Schock is speaking at the deployment ceremony Friday at the Bartonville American Legion Post. 

The annual Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Breakfast unveils the Illinois Youth Survey results Wednesday. The survey conducted by the University of Illinois, included 4-thousand students in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades.

Peoria District 150 has reached an agreement with Quest Charter Academy. The district's only charter school is five years old.

Peoria District 150 School board, the City of Peoria and the Moss Bradley Neighborhood Association are going back to the drawing board when it comes to finding a new purpose for the retired, historic Washington School building.

The Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site is opening a new Lincoln Exhibit. The purpose is to explore the ways Lincoln’s image has been used over the last 150 years.

Peoria crews continue snow removal efforts

Jan 6, 2015

Peoria Public Works Department crews worked through the night Monday to clear the city’s primary streets. Tuesday they cleaned up residential roads through evening hours. The Peoria Public Works crews are shifting to alleys and ADA ramps Tuesday night.

The November election results in the city of Peoria took longer than usual. This year will see some significant changes to the election process. 

The Peoria District 150 School Board is updating its strategic plan this year. The board is holding four community forums as part of the planning process.

The Peoria Area Salvation Army closed its annual Red Kettle campaign Saturday with more than $252,000.

Seven people are seeking positions on the East Peoria City Council. East Peoria has the commission form of government with four commissioners elected at-large at the same time voters choose the mayor.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria School District 150 is facing an 11 Million dollar deficit this year. Superintendent Grenita Lathan says the district is also now factoring in additional revenue loss.

About 100 people attend a Police-Community Relations Committee town hall meeting Tuesday night at the Peoria Civic Center. The Committee, The Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce and the NAACP hosted the conversation with the purpose of a dialogue. 

The 10th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council offered a special seminar on the use of technology to Bully and Stalk particularly as it relates to young people.