Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

Kroger to Close Two Peoria Stores

Jan 4, 2018
Google Earth

Kroger is closing two Peoria stores. The Harmon Highway and Wisconsin Avenue stores are closing at the end of the month. The Harmon Highway fuel center is also closing. A statement from the company says Kroger executives have long monitored operations, hoping the stores could return to profitability, but recent evaluations suggest such improvement is no longer realistic.

About 150 employees will either lose their jobs or move to other locations when Kroger closes two of the pair of stores.

New Illinois Laws In 2018

Dec 29, 2017

Laws about divorce, pets and traveling elephants will take effect January 1.

With Gov. Bruce Rauner's approval, Illinois legislators designated August 4 as Barack Obama Day in the state. That law along with more than 200 others take effect January 1.

In addition to overhauling the school funding formula and passing a spending plan for the first time in two years, lawmakers approved new consumer protections, rules for electric bikes and animal welfare measures.

A new law allowing public funding of abortion in Illinois will take effect as scheduled on January 1. That’s after a judge on Thursday ruled against anti-abortion groups who’d sued to block it.

PDC Announces Christmas Tree Disposal

Dec 28, 2017
Chris Marchant / Flickr/Creative Commons

The City of Peoria is reminding residents that Christmas tree disposal is part of the city’s normal collection day service.

Year In Review: WCBU Looks At Top Stories in 2017

Dec 26, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio



From sex trafficking to online hate speech, Peoria Public Radio's readers  engaged with a wide range of stories in 2017. Through thousands of pageviews, our audience followed along as the year presented news like we've never seen before.

Peoria Historical Society / Facebook

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A brighter and more colorful Abraham Lincoln is returning to the Peoria Historical Society early next year.

Animal Shelter to Host Christmas Pawty

Dec 21, 2017
tatyanalevitskaya / Creative Commons

Dogs and cats at Peoria’s animal shelter also get to tear into wrapping paper for the holidays.

Peoria County Animal Protection Services is hosting a “Christmas with the animals” Fri. at 10 am.  

PCAPS says the animals will receive gifts filled with treats and toys for them to claw open.

The event also includes a special promotion for humans interested in adopting a furry companion for Christmas. With a $50 donation to the Humane Society, adopted animals can be delivered by Santa on Dec. 23.

More details can be found here.

ELITE Choir Spreads Holiday Cheer

Dec 20, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Gym-goers getting a lunch hour workout Wed. were treated to the sweet-sounding harmonies of carolers.  

Peoria Public Radio

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is benefiting from a $10 million grant from Google.

David Quitoriano / Flickr/Creative Commons

Area health providers are urging residents to limit hospital visits, due to heightened flu activity.

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A Peoria man convicted of beating and severely burning  a 2-year-old girl by putting her into a scalding hot shower to punish her has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. 

Fireworks will remain as part of the Peoria Park District July third festivities.

Peoria Breaks Ground for Chicago-Style Eatery

Dec 13, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria government and business leaders helped break ground on the highly-publicized Portillo’s Restaurant Wed. The national chain is opening a location across from Northwoods Mall. The business is already stirring mixed reactions.

Peoria Public Radio

Efforts to build an apartment complex on park land along Peoria’s riverfront will continue for another six months.

Rep. LaHood: 'Tax Reform Plays in Peoria'

Dec 12, 2017

House and Senate Republicans are hustling on a compromise tax overhaul this week, in hopes of getting it to the President’s desk by Christmas. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Paramedics in Peoria seemed relieved for the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences responding to overdose calls.

Steppenwolf Theatre

Theatergoers in Chicago are getting a lifelike glimpse of Peoria’s city hall. A play at the Steppenwolf Theater is using a replica of council chambers. The “The Minutes” follows a fictional city council, but the dark comedy invokes real-world critique of American politics.

Peoria Police Department

The Peoria Police Department is issuing a ‘buyer beware notice’ to crack cocaine users. A new form of fentanyl laced in rocks of crack is responsible for the deaths of two people Tuesday, contributed to the death for a third, and has one man in critical condition.

Greater Peoria EDC

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council will have a new executive director at the helm in the new year.

Peoria Park District Targets Additional Cuts for 2018

Dec 7, 2017
Peoria Park District / Facebook

The Peoria Park District will vote next week on cutting several facilities in order to balance its 2018 budget. Park District Executive Director Emily Cahill says three recommended cuts are in areas where other options exist.


Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio


The Future Energy Jobs Act or FEJA is a year old. A bipartisan chorus of elected officials, union and business leaders are heralding it for making a significant impact in the state economy.

City Council Approves 2018 Budget, Increases Fees

Dec 6, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The City of Peoria has a budget for next year, but the vote was not unanimous.

Wikimedia Commons

Advocates for LGBTQ rights in Illinois say while 2017 brought setbacks at the federal level, the state passed three laws aimed at improving equality.

A New Voice Calls Peoria Firefighters Into Action

Dec 5, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Fire Department has a new emergency alert system. It’s an automated voice that makes the initial pronouncement for EMS and fire calls. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports on the voice teaming up with human 911 dispatchers:

Illinois Bicentennial Flags Fly

Dec 4, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  Communities across the state raised a very special flag Monday. The Illinois Bicentennial flag raising happened at municipal and county buildings and complexes over the noon hour. It also served as the kick-off of the state’s yearlong bicentennial celebration at the local level.

Protesters in Peoria Decry GOP Tax Plan

Dec 4, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

While city officials hoisted Illinois’ bicentennial flag above Peoria City Hall Mon., shouts from protesters could be heard a few blocks away.

Illinois celebrated 199 years of statehood Sun. and kicked off the year-long celebration of the its bicentennial.

Aynur_zakirov / Creative Commons


CHICAGO (AP) - Bradley University in Peoria is a key player in an ongoing competition aimed at deploying 3-D printers to build habitats on Mars if and when humans travel to the red planet. 

Appeals Court Sends Heidelberg's Case Back to Peoria

Dec 1, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The half a century old murder case that convicted a black man of killing a sheriff’s deputy has been sent back to Peoria County.

Sen. Koehler Backs Kwame Raoul for Illinois AG

Nov 30, 2017

State Senator Dave Koehler says he’s supporting fellow Senator Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General.

Raoul says Koehler’s endorsement is important to him because of the Peoria lawmakers leadership on issues that impact working families as well as health care.

“Those are two important points that I raise in my campaign statewide and policy points that I’ve committed myself too over the last 13-years and wish to emphasize as the state’s next attorney general.”