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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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. 

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.