Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The much loved Lydia Moss Bradley statue that graces the circle drive in the heart of Bradley University’s campus is absent, at least for now.

It was EPIC Firefighter Day at the Peoria Fire Department’s Central House. Peoria firefighters and managers hosted 20 EPIC participants.

Mugshot 06-07-18 / Peoria County Jail

Anthony L. Jackson, 27 is being held on $2 million bond for the shooting death of his uncle, Timothy Jackson.

The details of the deadly disagreement are not completely clear. But 43-year-old Timothy Jackson was apparently stabbed about 3:45 a.m. Thursday, in a fight at the same location he was shot to death less than three hours later.

The Bloomington and Peoria Invest Health teams hosted a day long peer exchange event. The event at the Gateway Building on the Peoria Riverfront included more than 100 people from the region. They shared ideas and strategies to improve overall community health. 

Kristin McHugh

The Peoria Fire Department is one of the first large-scale Illinois operations to implement a new cardiac rescue device. Officials unveiled the ResQCPR unit Thursday. Peoria Fire Department Chief Ed Olehy says the plunger-like, hand-held unit improves upon traditional chest compressions used for patients in sudden cardiac arrest.

Tanya Koonce

Peoria Police are investigating the death of 43 year-old Timothy Jackson. 

Kristin McHugh

Navigating portions of Peoria could be much easier in the near future. City officials unveiled a Downtown Wayfinding Plan at an open house Tuesday night. It includes a series of directional signs to navigate from the interstate to various destinations in the downtown, city center, riverfront and warehouse districts.

Creative Commons

The country’s low unemployment rate is challenging companies seeking workers with specific skills. The Labor Department says the nation’s May unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, an 18-year low. The metropolitan Peoria rate is 4.1 percent.

Kristin McHugh

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti believes telemedicine is the right prescription for rural medical needs. She made the comments following a tour of Peoria’s Jump Innovation Center.

Some Worry PFD Money Saving Strategy Will Cost Safety

May 30, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

 

  The Peoria Fire Department is on a path toward spending $22-million this year. That’s $1.5-million more than its annual budget.

Much of that deficit can be attributed to overtime pay because the department has operated with a turnover rate of 10 percent.

The department is currently down 10 positions. The agency has not been able to fill those positions in a timely manner because of lengthy training.

Kristin McHugh

The Illinois Department of Transportation will invest $11 billion dollars in the state’s road system over the next six years. Governor Bruce Rauner announced the multi-year plan on the Illinois River shore near the McClugage Bridge in Peoria today.

Eric Leubehusen/USDA

Drought conditions are not improving across portions of Central and Western Illinois despite recent rainfall. The U.S. Drought Monitor continues to list all of Peoria county and portions of Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Fulton and McLean counties as “abnormally dry” in its weekly update released Thursday.

Kristin McHugh

The Central Illinois opioid crisis affects all ages in all zip codes. That’s the message from a gathering of regional police, fire and community members in East Peoria Wednesday night. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood was one of the event’s panelists. He says the number of overdose deaths recorded in his office last year was nearly double that of 2016.

38-year-old Mark Runyon is facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of his father Frank Runyon.

A farmers market has opened in central Illinois despite the continued demolition of a riverfront platform.

  PEORIA, Ill. - Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria County will soon see construction on new cabins. It’s part of a $2.4 million capital campaign.

The Forest Park Foundation, that operates Wildlife Prairie Park recently launched the fundraising campaign for the project. The 14 cabins will overlook a bison and elk enclosure at the park. New fences will also be constructed, enabling the animals to approach the back decks of the cabins.

Foundation president Mark Spenny says the cabins will enhance the quality of lodging the park offers.

Peoria NAACP Denounce PPD Valor Awards

May 18, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The NAACP says the Peoria Police Department’s annual Valor Awards are a “slap in the face,” to the family and friends of Eddie Russell Jr. The awards for bravery and valor Wednesday went to the six officers who were on the tactical response team that shot and killed Russell September 20th, last year.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The man who jumped to his death off the Murray Baker Bridge Thursday morning was Shawn Talbert of Peoria.

 

The 27-year-old stopped his car on the Tazewell County side of the bridge at about 7:10 a.m. and jumped. Three westbound cars also crashed resulting in a pileup. The series of events caused significant traffic delays in both directions on Interstate-74.

 

The search for Talbert spanned more than three hours and involved ten state, local and maritime agencies.

 

The Morton man accused of the Waffle House mass shooting in Tennessee has spoken to a reporter at a Nashville TV Station. 29-year-old Travis Reinking had remained silent since the shooting and his arrest. But in the call to WTVF’s Nick Beres, Reinking said he wanted to talk about his case, his mental health, and his two appointed lawyers. In that call from the Davidson County Jail, he said he is “perfectly healthy” and he was aiming to represent himself in the case.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Fire and Rescue Divers recovered the body of the man who jumped from the Murray Baker Bridge Thursday morning.

The unidentified man stopped his westbound car on the Murray Baker Bridge about 7:10, exited on the passenger side, continued to bridge wall and jumped. Three more cars traveling westbound then crashed in a pileup. The series of events snarled I-74 traffic in both directions.

Eric Leubehusen/USDA

The U.S. Drought Monitor says portions of Central and Western Illinois remain abnormally dry. The agency’s update includes all of Peoria county and portions of Tazewell, Woodford and McLean counties for the second consecutive week.

Kristin McHugh

Reconstruction of Peoria’s Allen Road-Willow Knolls Drive intersection is expected to begin next month. City officials unveiled the preferred plan at a public meeting Wednesday night. It involves new signals, reconfiguration of medians, new sidewalks and a bike path. City engineer Bill Lewis says a roundabout was considered for the aging intersection, but a public survey overwhelmingly favored traffic signals.

Creative Commons

Illinois veterans interested in learning more about Veterans Administration care options are encouraged to call the V.A. Illiana Health Care System this afternoon. The V.A. is hosting a special phone-a-thon between 2 p.m and 6 p.m to assist veterans who are not currently receiving care, including those who don’t believe they are eligible because they haven’t served in a combat zone. Interested veterans should call 217-554-3379 this afternoon for expert assessment.

Metro Nashville Police Department

 The family of one of the Nashville Waffle House shooting victims is suing Travis Reinking’s father. Christian Perez filed suit against Jeffrey Reinking of Morton in Tazewell County Circuit Court Monday.

 

Perez’s brother, Joe R. Perez, Jr., was one of four people shot and killed in the early morning hours of April 22. Tennessee authorities have charged 29-year-old Travis Reinking with the shooting.

 

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is selling a black dress once owned by movie star Marilyn Monroe to raise funds to repay a loan used to buy artifacts relating to the 16th president.

 

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is putting nine items up for auction in Las Vegas June 23, including photos of the 1950s movie icon. Julien's Auctions says the wool dress could sell for more than $60,000.

 

  Business and economic activity is stable in the Greater Peoria region. That’s according to the quarterly composite index released by Bradley University’s Departments of Economics and Management and Leadership at Foster College of Business.

The analysis shows regional economic growth between January and March was up .4-percent over the same period in 2017.  

Susan G. Komen Foundation

Peoria Police are reminding motorists to plan ahead before driving toward the Metro Center area Saturday morning. The local Race for the Cure begins at 8 a.m., and will cause traffic delays at a number of intersections along University, Northmore, Fairmont, Glen, Oak Glen, and Isabel. In addition, parking is banned at Metro Center and the P.N.C parking lots during the race. Thousands of participants and spectators are expected at the annual event sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Police officials say delays should end around 10:30 a.m..

David Simeral / Western Regional Climate Center

Portions of Western and Central Illinois are abnormally dry as planting season continues. The U.S. Drought Monitor added the region to its weekly summary Tuesday. All of Peoria county and portions of Tazewell, Marshall, Woodford and McLean counties are included in the report.

Jump Simulation Center

Peoria’s Jump Simulation is being honored as one of the best in the world. The health care and engineering center is one of 20 globally to earn accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in five distinction areas.

IDOT

Lincoln’s historic rail depot renovation is garnering statewide recognition. The Illinois chapter of the American Public Works Association says the revitalization is its “Project of the Year.” The $4 million project included the complete renovation of the depot building, a new boarding platform and upgraded passenger amenities.

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