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 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. 

Negotiations to sell Peoria’s historic Madison Theater fail

Oct 21, 2014

The potential for re-development of the Madison Theater looks to be on hold. The owners of the Madison Theatre and NXG Development have elected to drop negotiations. 

The City of Pekin is celebrating its 12th Annual Night Out Against Crime. The Thursday evening event runs from five to eight at the Avanti's Dome. 

Those interested in having video gaming machines in Peoria will likely have to prove their establishments first. The Peoria City Council is considering a proposal requiring newly-licensed taverns or beer and wine-only establishments have minimum monthly food, and beverage sales of $1,500 for a year before adding video gaming machines.

Construction is underway on the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex, in the far northern portion of Peoria. The official ground-breaking is set for October 16th.

The Louisville Slugger Sports Complex will include 10 outdoor all-synthetic-turf baseball and softball fields and a 125-thousand square foot dome offering year-round play. It’s expected to be complete next May. The baseball-diamond-park is part of a 33-million dollar project that includes a new Holiday Inn and Suites near the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. That is also under construction.

More than eleven-hundred eighth grade students in the greater Peoria region are participating in the 17th annual Construction Industry Career Expo. 

The November ballot includes a constitutional amendment question that aims to expand crime victim’s rights in court proceedings. It’s also known as Marsy’s Law. 

The annual Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign is underway. Bernie and Teresa Koch are chairing this year’s fundraising efforts. 36 businesses and organizations that participated in the summer pacesetter campaign already raised one-point-one-million-dollars.

Peoria’s Washington Street and Warehouse District projects are nearing completion. Washington Street is still on schedule to be fully complete by Halloween, and is already open to traffic.

The City of Peoria is considering how to handle video gambling cafes. The council's policy session on the subject came about three hours into last night's meeting.

The Peoria Police Department and Peoria County Sheriff are preparing for Labor Day. Both agencies have instituted the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Impaired Driving Crackdown.  

Peoria helping with homeless housing project

Jul 24, 2014

Peoria is helping with the redevelopment of three properties as part of a project to create more housing for the city’s homeless. The Council approved a 26-thousand dollar loan to the South Side Office of Concern.

  The Peoria City Council Tuesday night tabled the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex and its economic development components. The Sports Complex, Hotel and special service areas proposed for the northern part of the city have repeatedly been deferred. 

The murder trial of Nathan Leuthold started Monday. Leuthold is accused of first degree murder in the 2013 Valentines Day shooting death of his wife Denise. 


The Uplands Residents Association is asking the city of Peoria to slow if not reduce traffic in their neighborhood.

The City of Peoria is making a bid to have the LST 325 dock on its Riverfront. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports:

The Council voted seven to four to extend an invitation to the LST Board, committing 500-thousand dollars to the project and pledging to assemble the remaining financing if the ship makes the move. That could amount to more than a million dollars.

Tanya Koonce

   The state is almost ready to make allocations for the communities hardest hit by the November 17th tornadoes.

Peoria police

The man believed to be responsible for the shooting death of 22-year old Derrick Booth Jr. has turned himself in.

The annual Arts in Education Spring Celebration will carry-on the name of its founder. Gerry Brookhart founded the annual spring time event at the Peoria County Courthouse 28 years ago. He retired from the Regional Superintendent of Schools office after 31 years.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Caterpillar is hosting about 190 heads of companies for a national summit. The Chief Executive Group’s Smart Manufacturing Summit is taking place in Peoria Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Cat reports first quarter results for 2014

Apr 24, 2014

Caterpillar is reporting profits in the face of flat sales for the first quarter of 2014. The company’s profit per share was a $1.61 excluding restructuring costs. It’s a thirty cent increase from the same time last year. Sales and revenues were just more than 13-point-two-billion dollars.

The Illinois Supreme Court Friday named Peoria County the 36th in the state to allow news cameras and microphones in the court room. The Illinois Supreme Court launched the pilot project in 2012. 

The City of Peoria is aiming to have the Warehouse District on the National Register of Historic Places. The boundaries of Peoria’s proposed National Registry District would overlay the existing enterprise and redevelopment zones. It would also provide state and federal historic tax credits to certain buildings in the part of Peoria rich with Century-old Warehouses. The historic tax credits would be available for buildings appropriately adapted for various public purposes.

Cat reports 4th quarter and full year results

Jan 27, 2014

Caterpillar’s sales and revenues for 2013 were down about $10 billion. The company reported sales of just more than $55.6 for last year. 

Those needing to dispose of real Christmas Trees have a couple of options. Peoria, East Peoria and West Peoria residents can place their trees out with their trash on regular garbage collection day. Large trees should be cut in half or quartered to a manageable size.  

CityLink is looking for public input on whether Sunday service should be added to the standard schedule. The Greater Peoria Area Mass Transit District currently runs a fixed bus route service six days a week. The Saturday schedule is slightly different.  

PRM to hold Community History Day

Nov 8, 2013

History is expected to come alive Saturday at a day-long Peoria Riverfront Museum event. The facility is partnering with the Peoria Historical Society and WTVP to offer a community history day. Visitors to the museum will get to see Civil War displays, re-enactors, lecturers, and musicians.

Summit of Hope event in Peoria

Nov 6, 2013
Illinois Department of Corrections

About 800 people on parole and probation were invited to get help from the state Department of Corrections on re-entering society. The state DOC held one of its Summit of Hope events in Peoria Tuesday. The event lets those with convictions find ways to pursue higher education, get a job and become involved in community groups.

Tanya Koonce / WCBU

 The 28-year-old woman who was allegedly abducted from work by her estranged husband in Pekin Monday was found dead yesterday in her car parked in the OSF St Francis deck. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports her husband shot himself after about nine hours with Peoria Police. 

The Main and University intersection in Peoria could see initial redesign changes by the end of the year. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports a water-main break last month created an opportunity:

Peoria Public Works Director Mike Rogers says the options he’s recommending includes raising the intersection about six inches: think expanded speed bump, on-street parking that secures expanded sidewalk bump outs at the corners, and diagonal pedestrian crossings: