Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  Congressman Darin LaHood did a quiet military medal presentation in his Peoria office Monday.

This week, we're talking with Leigh Ann Brown and Rachel Berchtold about the Fourth Friday Tazewell Art Loop. Like First Fridays, these monthly events are intended to showcase local artists and musicians; however, the Tazewell County effort also includes a partnership with local small businesses. Berchtold and Brown talk about the value of building partnerships between the business and arts sectors, and about some of the special events on tap for tonight. There's also a scavenger hunt that runs all summer.

BREAKING: Waffle House Shooting Suspect in Custody

Apr 23, 2018
Metro Nashville Police / Twitter

The Metro Nashville Police Department has announced that the Antioch Waffle House shooting suspect, 29 year-old Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois, has been apprehended.  Via Twitter, officials confirmed Reinking was nabbed in a wooded area several miles from the crime scene.

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.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A dessert that’s the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving tables this week depends on help from seasonal migrant workers. Many of whom travel from Texas and across the border to Morton, Ill. -- where nearly 90 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin is made.

Agriculture experts say pumpkin crops in central Illinois are still recovering, but improving two years after heavy rain decimated area yields.

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.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A 768-pound pumpkin took home the gold during the weigh-in at the annual Pumpkin Festival in Morton.

Leigh Ann Brown and Kelly Scarfe are in the studio this week to talk about the Tazewell Art Loop, held the fourth Friday of every month. Similar to First Fridays, the event offers opportunities to meet local artists, tour their studios and see works in progress. The Tazewell event also highlights locally-owned businesses. The organizers have developed walking tours for four participating communities: Morton, Tremont, Delavan, and Pekin.

This Weekend: Ceremonies Honor Soldiers for Memorial Day

May 25, 2017
United States Navy / Wikimedia Commons

Several communities in the Peoria area are commemorating veterans this weekend, in honor of Memorial Day.

Morton Community School District #709 has tapped the current superintendent of the Illinois State University Lab Schools to be their new School Superintendent.  

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Rivermen’s game Fri. is being postponed, due to the opposing team’s bus crashing in Morton Thurs., which resulted in players and staff being taken to area hospitals.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Those traveling from northbound Interstate 155 to westbound I-74 were rerouted into Morton Thursday afternoon and evening. Emergency responders were working to remove a charter bus that rolled over while negotiating the exit ramp at about 1:00p.m.

Tanya Koonce

IDOT says the lengthy Interstate 74 project in Morton is complete.

Interstate 74 is now three lanes in each direction from Pleasant Hill Road to Morton avenue. The 1-55 interchange is also reconfigured to improve access to Morton Ave and that community. Morton Mayor Ron Rainson says thank you doesn’t seem like enough:

2016 Pumpkin Crop "Well Above Average"

Oct 10, 2016
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The city of Morton is touted as the “pumpkin capital of the world” because Libby’s is based there. Libby’s holds the title because it dominates the U.S. production of canned pumpkin. But last year’s crop was devastated by heavy summer rains, too early in the growing season. Farmers reported yield losses as high as 90%. Peoria Public Radio’s Cass Herrington visited a 100-year-old family farm to see how it’s faring this year:


Jefferson Street Studio & Gallery

We're joined this week by Rose Hubbard, owner of the Jefferson Street Studio and Gallery in Morton, IL. The Gallery, a converted residential home, provides studio space for three artists, and a gallery that features the work of other artists. Hubbard talks about her own art, about opening the studio four years ago, and about some of the events they have in store for First Friday.

The Jefferson Street Studio and Gallery is located at 206 Jefferson Street in Morton. Their First Friday event runs tonight from 5:00 to 9:00.

A central Illinois mayor is apologizing for taking part in a student video depicting a bank robbery and shootout that was recorded inside the village hall. 

A 19-year-old central Illinois man has pleaded not guilty to trying to kill an elderly man who was protecting children the man was trying to attack with a knife.

This week, we're talking with Jack Mertes, author of the new play, "The Springfield Experiment." It explores a chapter in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, who had been committed to an asylum and sought to regain both her autonomy and control of her finances. Mertes talks about about why he chose this particular moment in Lincoln's life to dramatize, about the long process that led to this production, and what he hopes audiences will learn about Mary Todd Lincoln. The play will be presented Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 at the Inspired Arts Academy in Morton.


Pumpkin pie could be the new official state pie of Illinois.

Peoria Public Radio

For Illinois residents, autumn means falling leaves, changing temperatures and pumpkins.

Sears to close Peoria Kmart

Sep 24, 2014

The city of Peoria will lose a nationwide retailer before Christmas. Sears Holdings Corporation announced Wednesday it’s closing its Kmart store at 901 West Lake Avenue in early December.

We look at the last set of art galleries participating in the Citywide Celebration of Women Artists. The Liz Pearce Gallery in Dunlap features the work of five artists, exploring small, intimate spaces. Four Morton artists have works on display at the Jefferson Street Gallery. Finally, two events held in conjunction with the celebrations examine the business of art, and a panel of women artists talking about their experiences.

Bird collected in Morton tests postive for West Nile

Oct 3, 2013

More birds with West Nile Virus are popping up in Tazewell County. The county’s Health Department previously reported disease-positive birds in Delevan, Pekin, and Washington. It most recently collected a blue jay with the virus in Morton. The disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird.

Road work zones return

Apr 15, 2013

  It’s time for drivers to start seeing orange on the roads. Work Zone Awareness is the state campaign by I-DOT, The Illinois State Police and Governor Quinn. The trio of interests joined up at the Morton I-DOT facility to kick-off the campaign and the I-74 &1-55 interchange project.

Highway projects near Morton to begin

Mar 29, 2013

An $86 million road improvements project begins Monday near Morton.  It’s part of Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now program, and includes additional lanes and pavement replacements on I-74.  The I-74 and Morton Avenue interchange will also get ramp improvements.  The project is expected to finish by summer of 2015.