Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria’s cancer research program has earned a financial boost.

The City of Peoria has hired Indiana Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Rick Powers to lead the city's public works department.

Powers currently heads the Indiana DOT's LaPorte Division, with a staff of 500 employees and annual budget of $300 million. Powers was previously the head of the Indianapolis Code Enforcement Department and Co-Chair of the Super Bowl Host Committee. He previously worked in Virginia and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

OSF HealthCare

OSF HealthCare is in negotiations for a full merger with Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in the Chicagoland area, the group announced Wednesday.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

Peoria Public Schools is partnering with Illinois Central College to help high school students earn dual-credit for college.

Mike Saechang / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Illinois State Rifle Association is challenging a law requiring more oversight for firearms dealers. 

A medical research partnership between OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois is getting a big boost. 

Peoria Public Schools District 150

A former local basketball standout is the new Peoria Public Schools District 150 director of athletics. A.J. Guyton’s appointment was announced Wednesday. He’s responsible for primary and middle school sporting activities.

Creative Commons

Peoria police are investigating the year’s 14th homicide.

Creative Commons/saturnism

Forecasters warn dangerously hot temperatures and oppressive humidity will persist through the weekend. An excessive heat warning is in effect through Saturday evening.

Mike Mozart / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Peoria-area Goodwill shoppers and donors can do so knowing that all employees will continue to be paid. That’s according to Don Johnson, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois has announced it will stop accepting federal funds because of a new Trump administration rule barring family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.

Dick Durbin via YouTube

Senator Dick Durbin is joining a chorus of critics decrying President Donald Trump’s recent tweets and comments on four Democratic congresswomen of color. 

“This weekend, President Trump sunk to a new low. His tweets saying quote ‘four Democratic congresswomen should go back to their countries’ were racist and reprehensible comments. Elected officials of both parties should condemn the president’s statement.” 

The comments were made Tuesday on the Senate floor. 

One local organization is working to break down barriers around testing for and even talking about sexually transmitted diseases with teenagers.

Deric Kimler is the executive director of Central Illinois Friends. The group was started in 1990 by a group of local citizens concerned about the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since then, the group has expanded into sex education and STD testing, prevention and treatment referrals throughout the 16 Central Illinois counties they serve. 

Creative Commons

Peoria Public Schools is adopting a new policy aimed at distracting cellphone usage in the classroom.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

It’s been half a century since Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon.

The Apollo 11 program was the only time the U.S. put astronauts on the surface of another planet.

Armstrong is one of just 12 people in all of human history to do so. But NASA is using the 50th anniversary to promote it’s new project, called Artemis. 

Illinois Central College

A new Workforce Development Center at Illinois Central College's East Peoria campus will receive a total of $9 million in government funding.

Dr. Robert Davison-Aviles is stepping down from the Peoria Public Schools District 150 school board as he takes on a new role at Bradley University.

Davison-Aviles was first elected to the board in 2016. 

The Peoria Federation of Teachers Local 780 union called him an "asset to the board." 

A replacement hasn't yet been named. 

Local congressional representatives are speaking out about a string of President Trump’s tweets aimed at four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Creative Commons

A Bradley University sophomore and his brother both were killed Friday in what police believe was a murder-suicide committed by their mother.

National Cancer Institute / Wikimedia Commons

The area’s major health providers are working to assess and address the community’s biggest health needs.

The 70th Annual Heart of Illinois Fair starts tomorrow  at Expo Gardens. 

Roxy Baker is an organizer for the fair. 

“You know, events from years past, including the truck and tractor pulls, all the livestock shows and events, we have a celebrity swine showmanship competition," she said. 

Some new attractions include a Heart of Illinois Fair Pageant and a new wine tasting event. 

The fair runs tomorrow through Sunday. 

Click here for more information. 

Zion Coffee Co.

A popular coffee spot in Peoria's Warehouse District is set to open another location in Peoria Heights. 

Zion Coffee Co. announced the planned opening of Zion Social at 4616 N. Prospect early next year. The location will include a mix of coffee and craft cocktails. 

"When we considered locations for our new concept, the Heights was a perfect choice based on its long-standing reputation for unique food and dining experiences," said Zion Coffee Co. owners Mike and Banu Hatfield in a statement. 

Zion Coffee Co. first opened in February 2017. 

Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

The sentencing phase of the Brendt Christensen trial enters its fifth day Friday. Federal public defenders called eight witnesses Thursday in their effort to save him from the death penalty.

ICC.edu

A lack of math skills can often scare people away from pursuing careers in the trades. Illinois Central College has a program for that.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

Governor JB Pritzker joined Department of Transportation employees in Edwards today to talk about infrastructure projects planned for the Peoria region.

Peoria International Airport shattered another of its own records in May.

The airport saw nearly 62,000 passengers. That’s more than any previous May in the airport’s history, and also marks its third-busiest month ever.

Director of Airports Gene Olson explained what he believes is behind the recent high volume of flyers choosing Peoria. 

Peoria Public Radio

Four hundred and forty. That’s the number of potential years of life lost in Peoria County last year to homicides. 

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) isn’t optimistic her former rival for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District will fare any better across the Mississippi River. 

Former Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling announced earlier this week that he will run for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. 

“Well, I defeated him twice, and I think he’s got a third loss coming his way," she said. 

Schilling lost his seat to Bustos in 2012, and failed to win it back in the 2014 race. 

A Bradley University professor is set to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Peoria County Board. 

Eureka-Goodfield Fire Protection District

One person is dead after a semi tractor-trailer struck another semi broke down on the side of Interstate 74 on Wednesday afternoon.

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