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.   

Ways to Connect

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.


A Bradley University game design team is getting a chance to put their creation on one of the world's largest gaming stages.

The Peoria Area World Affairs Council and the Peoria Riverfront Museum are hosting a special screening and discussion of the film called “America’s Diplomats.”

Jen Marshall Duncan / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Community Conversation on Race in Peoria continues this week with more small working group meetings.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of East Peoria is working with a strategic planning consultant that has a track record in the state.


The Peoria Healthcare Coalition hosted its first annual forum at the Carver Center Tues.

Creative Commons

The Tazewell County Health Department, All Our Kids, and the Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Health Center, are teaming-up for another community health seminar.

ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ¢ / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois Interstate travel may seem grassier this summer than in years past.


The Illinois Department of Transportation is reducing its mowing along Interstate greenways. Starting this month, IDOT is only mowing 15 feet of right of way beyond the edge of the roadway. It’s part of the effort to encourage growth of plant species as a food source for bees, butterflies and other insects. Specifically, the goal is to help revive shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators.

Lisa Napoli / Facebook

Author and public broadcaster Lisa Napoli is speaking on her book “Ray and Joan” tonight at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch. Napoli has studied the McDonald’s founder Ray and his philanthropic wife Joan Kroc for the last five years before the release of her book late last year. Napoli says it’s a great story with Illinois and Peoria roots.

Rich Girard / Flickr/Creative Commons

A Republican Congressman from Peoria is expressing surprise at what he’s calling the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools has seven senior staff members with new three-year-contracts. The PPS Board approved the contracts on a 5-2 vote.

Peoria Public Radio

Quest Charter Academy and Eureka College have a new partnership that formalizes a full-circle opportunity for students entering the field of education.

Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr/Creative Commons

The City of Peoria is offering some tenant training seminars throughout the community, but turnout so far isn't what organizers had hoped. 

Roger W / Flickr/Creative Commons

Caterpillar started off 2017 on stronger footing.

Denis Cyr is the declared winner of the 5th District Peoria City Council seat.

Tanya Koonce

Peoria area home sales were up slightly in the first quarter compared to last year. Jana Heffron is the president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. She says the mild winter weather likely helped push forward the closings on nearly one-thousand homes in the region in January, February and March.


“Consumer confidence is definitely improving in our area and we also have a motivation to purchase and lock in affordable prices and before rates move higher for those buyers out looking for those houses today.”

Tanya Koonce

About 750 people attended 18th District Republican Congressman Darin LaHood’s town hall meeting at Five Points Washington. LaHood greeted everyone at the door and took at least 35 questions from a heated room. ACA Reform, the release of President Trump’s taxes and climate change were some of the most heated and repeated topics of the town hall meeting. LaHood also stayed calm and steady though a sometime bombastic crowd response. He says it was a productive dialogue.


The 42 year-old Peoria man killed in the fire at Glen Oak Towers Sunday evening died of smoke inhalation.

The Peoria Park District is looking to fill a Central District vacancy on the board of trustees. Kelly Cummings is resigning her seat effective May first. Her term expires in two years.

Tanya Koonce

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured Getz Fire Equipment Company in Peoria Monday where he praised the 60 year-old business. He also reiterated his standard remarks about growing Illinois’ economy and his pro-business agenda. 

CityLink is celebrating its 9th Annual Passenger Appreciation Day Thursday.  All passengers on fixed routes ride for free in honor of CityLink’s beloved General Manager Jerome Lilly.

Flickr Creative Commons/Ashley Van Haeften

Peoria area hospitals have lifted their request for people with flu symptoms to voluntarily limit hospital visits because of a decrease in flu cases. The request was in place to help limit flu exposure for the hospitals' patients and staff.