East Peoria

This week, we're talking with Debra Mielke of the Illinois Art League, about their annual membership show, which is on display at the Time Gallery in East Peoria.

The exhibit features over 100 pieces, submitted by 57 different League members. Awards will be presented at an opening reception, Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon.

Kristin McHugh

Reconstruction of the Murray Baker Bridge deck means the heavily traveled Interstate 74 artery will be completely closed in 2020. That’s the proposal outlined by the Illinois Department of Transportation Wednesday.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The East Peoria Levee District and Civic Plaza has a new reading garden. The new community space was dedicated Wednesday. The garden cost just over $500,000 to build. It was paid for entirely by private donations raised through the East Peoria Foundation. Sue Yoder-Portscheller is the president of the Foundation. She says the garden was designed to anchor downtown and be green, growing and family centered.

IDOT District 4

A semi carrying a combine failed to make it under the overpass at Pinecrest Drive on Interstate 74 Monday evening. The semi was traveling eastbound about 6:30 when it struck the overpass. Debris from the combine struck the 2003 Ford pickup truck traveling behind the semi and flatbed.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Illinois attempts to balance its books, it’s dipping into pots of money meant to help cities and towns pay for services. And local officials are looking for options.

One idea is to make it easier for smaller cities to gain home-rule status, which allows those towns to have more flexibility in how they operate. Home rule governments can borrow more money for big road projects, set more zoning rules and institute sales and gas taxes.


McLean County

A 40-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois woman who pleaded guilty to murder in the stabbing death of her mother. Christine Roush pleaded guilty in December in the July 2017 death of 47-year-old Theresa Poehlman of East Peoria. Forensic pathologist Dr. Scott Denton testified Poehlman suffered at least a dozen stab wounds to her neck and chest, including two knife wounds that pierced her heart. Poehlman's body was found in a wooded area at Funk's Grove Nature Preserve.


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.

East Peoria has reinstituted its burning season. The recent rainfall makes the burning of dry yard waste an option for East Peoria residents from October 15th through Nov 30th.

Tazewell County Consolidated Dispatch Takes Shape

Sep 29, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

As of Thursday, Tazewell County and its municipalities have all approved the intergovernmental agreement for the consolidation of its emergency call dispatch centers.

Dave Dunford / Wikimedia Commons

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - The city of East Peoria is donating items to Habitat for Humanity that were salvaged from seven households that were condemned following landslides four years ago.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of East Peoria is working with a strategic planning consultant that has a track record in the state.

Union local 974 in East Peoria ratified its supplemental agreement that goes along with its six-year main contract with Caterpillar Inc. The UAW announced the agreement had been "overwhelmingly ratified" by Local 974 workers of the heavy equipment maker.

O'Dea / WikiCommons

The public is getting a look inside a medical marijuana dispensary opening next week in East Peoria.

“By normalizing this and opening it up to the community, it allows for physicians to be more comfortable with learning about it,” Ben Rediger, a spokesman for the dispensary NuMed, said.

State regulations specify that medical cannabis dispensaries be open only to registered patients, caregivers and state-credentialed employees. After the facility is licensed by state regulators, the dispensary area is closed to everyone else. 

Facebook/Fondulac District Library

Air quality monitors and streaming media players are among the high-tech devices available for checkout at a public library in central Illinois.  The air testers are the newest items added to the Fondulac District Library's equipment depot, which now include invention kits, and appliance load testers.

Tunnel to Tower Foundation

A ceremony kicked off the opening of the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit in East Peoria today. The exhibit, from the Tunnel to Tower Foundation, is traveling to Boyd Gaming establishments, and is currently set up at the Par-a-dice in East Peoria.

Tanya Koonce

The 9/11 Mobile Memorial Exhibit opens in East Peoria today. It was escorted by fire and police vehicles to its temporary resting place in the parking lot of the Par-a-dice Hotel and Casino.


EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A traveling exhibit about the September 11th attacks will be in East Peoria later this month.

The Never Forget exhibit will be at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino. It is created and funded by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The exhibit travels via a 53-foot tractor trailer that unfolds into a 1,000-square-foot floor space. It will arrive Aug. 23 escorted by area first-responder agencies on Interstate 74. An opening ceremony is planned Aug. 24.

Peoria Public Radio / Tanya Koonce


Jeff Eder will be East Peoria’s next City Administrator. The City Council unanimously approved his two year contract Tuesday.


This is Eder’s first position as chief executive for a city. He’s currently the Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director for Rock Island, and previously spent 12 years as the Director of Community Development in Franklin Park.


Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio


The East Peoria City Council is preparing to put a new budget in place.

The public hearing Tuesday night was the initial step in the approval process. The nearly $55.5 million spending plan represents a .003 percent increase from last fiscal year.

Commissioner John Kahl says the city’s reserve funds are lower than he’d like. Finance Commissioner Gary Densberger says he shares that concern, but he’s counting on the bond payments for East Side Center being retired next year.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of East Peoria is planning ahead for residents in the year 2066.

The City of East Peoria is placing a time capsule Saturday during the cornerstone dedication for the Civic Complex.  

Director of Building and Inspections Robert Cole says items being placed in the sealed container are on display at the Fondulac Library, and everybody can participate in the fun.  

A section of Illinois Route 8 in East Peoria may be dedicated to a fallen Illinois soldier. State representatives Thursday moved to designate a roadway as the "Staff Sergeant Paul Smith Memorial Highway."

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

An effort to improve the quality of life in low-income Peoria neighborhoods is expanding its reach across the river. 

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation or LISC held its first community meeting Tuesday in East Peoria’s Richland Farms neighborhood.

East Peoria City Councilman Dan Decker says some residents have expressed skepticism about an outside organization coming in and recommending improvements:

The City of East Peoria Public Works Department is planning a special pick up of tree limbs and other debris dropped in last week's storms starting Monday, January 18th.  

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman presented the mayors of Peoria and East Peoria with two trucks Monday.  Both cities purchased the trucks to help combat the winter weather.  Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says the trucks highlight a connection between the city and the region’s largest-employer:

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

 The East Peoria-based spirits-maker J.K. Williams Distilling is rolling out barrels of new whiskey varieties this month. One of those new releases has a historic flavor.

Owner and distiller Jesse Williams has an eye for history and reusing things of the past. Williams builds furniture out of scrap wood -- like bar stools out of used barrel staves:

“Taking old and making new or refurbishing is always been something I’ve learned to do," Williams said. "I’ve never been taught that everything is disposable. You don’t throw it away unless it’s been spent.”

East Peoria celebrated the opening of its new city hall facility last night.  A new foundation also aims to raise money for the surrounding land:

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A man is accused of strangling his mother in front of his 11-year-old son because she bothered him while he was sleeping in her East Peoria home. 

Thirty-four-year-old Justin Noward was charged Monday with aggravated domestic battery.  Noward has accumulated more than 14 years in prison sentences over the past 13 years, and he faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted as a repeat offender on the latest charge.

Area Hospitals, EMS Services Plan 2016 Partnership

Nov 9, 2015

Starting next year, area hospitals will partner with paramedic services to change the way patients get care after getting discharged. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the move is one way health care providers are dealing with changes from the Affordable Care Act:

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The East Peoria City Council voted to conduct a comprehensive study of its aging wastewater treatment plants. 

Mayor from Cameroon pays a visit to Central Illinois

Oct 26, 2015
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

East Peoria’s City Council got a visit from another Mayor last week. Mayor Denis Ndang flew more than 6,000 miles from Fundong, a county in Cameroon with a population around 200,000 people.

Mayor Ndang came to Peoria to visit his relative, Oliver Kah, who’s finishing his Master’s in social work at Illinois State University. Kah immigrated to the U.S. in 2012 and has since graduated from Bradley University and become a U.S. citizen. 

The mayor says during his stay, he paid close attention to Peoria’s social services, infrastructure and school system.