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

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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.


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.

East Peoria has a new finance director. 36-year-old Jeff Becker will replace Treasurer Theresa Gualandi who is retiring this summer.

  Becker’s worked for certified public accounting firm Clifton Larson Allen for the last three years assisting with city audits including East Peoria’s. Becker plans to set for the CPA exam in July.

He has a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and master’s in business administration both from the U of I Springfield.  

aag_photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria area home sales were up 3.8 percent in the first quarter, compared to the same time last year. That amounted to 954 houses or condominiums sales closed. 35 more than the first quarter of last year.

Becky Peterson is the president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. She says there was dip in home sales for February but March was strong.

“Just March alone compared to last March was 7.6% which put us on the good side for the quarter of the 3.8. So we’re very pleased,” Peterson said.

Peoria County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

The Peoria County Sheriff corrections staff is offering an inside look at the Peoria County Jail. It’s part of ICC Adult Community Programs. Sheriff Mike McCoy and corrections staff are hosting dinner and tour of the jail Thursday. Limited seating space means pre-registration is required.

Bradley University and the Center for Collaborative Research are hosting the first ever Super Brain Summit. It’s a three-day online summit covering the continuum of learning self-regulation through the brain-body connections. 13 different presentations are planned through the run of the online summit from April 28th through the 30th. Continuing Education Credits are available. The Friday, April 22nd is the registration deadline.

Learn more about the Super Brain Summit.

OSF St Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington,  St Mary’s in Galesburg and St Antony’s in Alton are being recognized for outstanding patient experiences. The award is from Healthgrades. It’s  an online resource for doctors and hospitals nationwide. The OSF facilities are among 22 hospitals in state receiving such an honor. The award is based on patient surveys.      


Caterpillar is maintaining its quarterly cash dividend of seventy-seven cents per share of common stock. That applies to stockholders on record as of April 25.

 Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman says he’s pleased to announce that CAT is maintaining the dividend despite continuing difficult marketplace conditions.

Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed.

AP Photo

Two Peoria Nursing Homes have been cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In January, Sharon Health Care Elms on North Rochelle is cited for failure to follow fall procedure policy resulting in significant patient injuries. The home is being assessed a $25,000 fine.

The Illinois Secretary of State is making his annual organ and tissue donor pitch during National Donate Life Month. Jesse White visited the Peoria Driver Services facility Wednesday to encourage people to become organ and tissue donors. Secretary White says it’s a chance to be a hero.

Tremont Medical Clinic is becoming part of the OSF HealthCare system. The clinic was welcomed into the OSF family at a blessing and dedication ceremony this evening. The transition means the facility will be renamed OSF Medical Group Tremont. The office will remain on South Locust Street and many of its medical staff will remain with the clinic through the transition.

zerojay / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Peoria City Council and District 150 School board had a rare, joint meeting yesterday looking for ways to collaborate. 

Sidewalks were a key topic.

The school district’s grade reconfiguration means more students will be within the state-determined one-and-a  half-mile walking distance to school next year.

Trewyn School will have a large number of new walkers. Fixing the sidewalks in Trewyn’s perimeter alone would cost about $1 million; nearly four times what the city spends annually on sidewalks in need of repair.

The Peoria County Election Commission has found a new home.

The Board of Elections Commissioners is expected to vote on the newly proposed location at 4422 N Brandywine Dr. next week.

The merger of the Peoria City and County elections offices means the agency needs a bigger, more suitable location.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Updated at 12:00 PM

The Peoria International Airport was on heightened alert Thursday morning, after TSA officials found a suspicious package, before 7am.  

A TSA screener x-ray showed what appeared to be three sticks of dynamite and a mason jar filled with liquid, in an unmarked checked bag, the Peoria County Sheriff said.

The sticks were actually dog toys that belong to 38 year-old Michelle Davidson who reports using them in security training.  


The union contract between WEEK/WHOI and its newsroom union employees expires at midnight Thursday, and the two parties have not yet reached an agreement.

The no-strike and no-lockout provisions of the contract are also void at that time. Gary Moore is the SAG-AFTRA Union Steward. He says the news employees are planning to be back at the bargaining table in April and will continue to make their case for a fair contract.

Dan Walther will be the newest member of the Peoria District 150 School Board. Walther won the 3rd district school board seat with 65% of the vote to Terry Spayer’s 35%.

73rd District State Representative David Leitch says it was a strange election day for him. It's the first time in 28 years that his name has not shown-up on the ballot for the Illinois House of Representatives or Senate.

Voter turnout was 43.5% in Peoria County. That accounts for 47,616 votes cased. It also exceeds 2008 voter turnout in Peoria when Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama.

Caterpillar is affirming its commitment to sustainability by partnering with SunSelect Produce. The collaboration will grow greenhouse vegetables using carbon dioxide and heat energy waste produced at Caterpillar’s Mossville power plant.  

Goodwill warns of scam

Mar 10, 2016

Goodwill of Central Illinois is warning people about a scam involving solicitations for donations to its Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event. 

The 21st annual IHSA Boy’s Basketball March Madness tournament takes place in Peoria for the new two weekends. 

Editorinsneezes/Wikimedia Commons

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Champaign city officials are pumping up the idea of the tavern crawl via group bike.    The city council has approved a liquor license that does not permit Slowride Inc. to serve alcohol, but allows riders to bring their own. It will pay $250 a year for the license. 

The 20-foot-long, pedal-powered vehicles that travel 4 mph to 7 mph are restricted from streets with speed limits of 35 mph or above.

 Owner Steve Bloomstrand also wanted permission to put video advertising on the back but the council voted 5-3 against the idea.  

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Home health care workers, seniors and their loved ones gathered at Hurlburt House in Peoria yesterday to denounce cuts proposed for the Community Care Program. It helps income eligible Illinois residents 60 and older live independently longer. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner is proposing a $200 million cut to the program.

Robin Tucker is the service coordinator at Wallick Properties in Peoria. She says programs like Community Care are critical for seniors. 

Claus Rebler / Flickr/Creative Commons

Area hospitals are asking people to voluntarily limit their hospital visits.

The request is based on data from the Peoria City/County Health Department that indicates more flu activity throughout the region. The guidance for limiting hospital visits includes those who are not feeling well or have experienced flu-like symptoms in the last seven days.

Hospital visitors should also be at least 18 years old. The idea is to limit patient exposure to children who have a higher risk for transmitting viral infections.


Caterpillar Group President Ed Rapp’s recent announcement of his retirement in the face of an A-L-S diagnosis has generated an overwhelming response from those wanting to help. To meet that call Rapp has established a donor advised fund called Stay Strong vs ALS. The Caterpillar Foundation is making a one million dollar donation and giving another million for employee, retiree and dealer employees.

To learn more, visit the Stay Strong vs. ALS Fund website. GO>

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget address seemed to engender two primary responses: Those who support his message and those who indict it. The Illinois Manufacturers Association applauded it. The Illinois Policy Institute praised it and so did the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. But home health care works disagreed.

Nancee Custer works for Community Care. She picketed with other home health care workers yesterday outside Lutheran Social Services in Peoria. Cluster says the budget gridlock is the Governor’s fault:

Tanya Koonce

More than a dozen Peoria community leaders gathered with teachers and students at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center this morning in support of Pre-K education. 

City of East Peoria

The City of East Peoria will have a new program next month to help those with certain medical conditions after a hospital stay. 

The Mobile Integrated Healthcare Services Pilot program has OSF Healthcare partnering with the Fire Department to do home visits. Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Beck says they’ll start the program visiting those with Diabetes, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure.