Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

One day after a contentious interview that was followed by an expletive-filled verbal lashing of NPR host Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is publicly accusing her of lying to him — "twice."

In a statement released by the State Department on Saturday, Pompeo says Kelly first lied "in setting up our interview."

Federal Communications Commission Public File

If you watch TV via antenna in the Peoria area, you lost a couple channels after the great January rescan.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Three Republicans made their cases for why they deserve their party's nomination for the 17th Congressional District this March.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

A withdrawn Republican candidate for the 17th Congressional District now claims he's back in the race. But the Illinois State Board of Elections says that's not necessarily the case.

A federal judge banned two Central Illinois men from hunting worldwide after they admitted to breaking federal hunting laws in separate cases.

Creative Commons

Home sales in the Peoria area were down a bit in 2019. But there are also fewer homes on the market.

Google Maps Street View

A former Streator funeral director who lost his state license after alleged professional misconduct turned himself in Friday on multiple felony warrants. 

William "BJ" Elias, 51, is charged with 14 counts of violating the Illinois Funeral Funds or Burial Act in between 2003 and 2019. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Elias stole more than $136,000.

A pre-professional soccer team will call Peoria home starting this season.

Peoria Heights School District 325

The Peoria Heights School District Athletic Director has resigned after administrators say he sent inappropriate texts and social media messages to recent female graduates.

The Illinois State Board of Elections is correcting information it previously released about non-citizens mistakenly registered under the state's automatic voter registration system who then illegally cast a ballot. 

Fon du Lac Park District

East Peoria might get a swimming pool again...if voters decide they want it. 

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Developer Casey Baldovin is announcing a new project in the Warehouse District. 

On Jan. 24, 1966, Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois was thirsty on the Senate floor.

And so, for a moment, he put aside debate on labor law and asked the presiding officer of the chamber a question, his signature brawny bass voice amplifying its importance: Could he have a Senate page fetch him a generous helping of milk?

Creative Commons

An 80-year-old Peoria woman died Tuesday due to cold weather exposure.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

2019 was a violent year in Peoria. The city recorded 25 homicides — the highest number in more than 30 years.

Amtrak will dump a policy that led to two people who use wheelchairs being told they'd have to pay $25,000 for a train ticket that usually costs just $16, the rail service announced Wednesday.

"After further review, Amtrak has determined to suspend the policy in question," said Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari. "It was never meant to be applied to this situation. And we apologize for the mistake."

He spoke shortly after a group of people with disabilities demonstrated outside an Amtrak station in Illinois, chanting: "We will ride."

East Bluff Community Center / Facebook

A new resident police officer has moved into the East Bluff.

(AP Photo, File)

Thomas Railsback, an Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died at age 87. 

Google Maps Street View

The East Peoria City Council took the first step to approve Roy Sorce's application to start up a craft cannabis growing operation off Route 116. 

Jimcrone / Wikimedia Commons

A couple is making one of the largest donations in Bradley University's history.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

There's no how-to guide for re-adjusting to civilian life after returning home from war. 

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Illinois Republicans are calling for an immediate hearing after 574 non-citizens were registered to vote through the state's automatic voter registration system. 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Starved Rock State Park lacks a single trail accessible to people with physical disabilities. The "For the Love of Starved Rock" campaign aims to change that.

Illinois DCFS

Five-year-old Jeremiah Wilson went for a swim at the pool on a summer afternoon last June. 

Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Many set New Year's resolutions to start a healthy lifestyle and lose weight. Maintaining promises to your best self aren't always easy. WCBU's Kristin McHugh sits down with OSF Saint Francis Clinical dietician Kaela Ketcham at Peoria's RiverPlex.   

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The keynote speaker at Peoria's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon made voting rights the main theme of his address.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET on Jan. 20

It costs just $16 to buy a one-way ticket on the Amtrak train from Chicago to Bloomington, Ill., unless you're the two people who use wheelchairs and tried to buy tickets recently. They were told their tickets will cost not $16 — but $25,000.

When Adam Ballard saw what Amtrak wanted to charge, he couldn't believe it.

The Peoria Civic Center placed bids to host both the IHSA Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments for the next three years.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

A basketball arcade game manufacturer is celebrating its grand debut in Peoria.

Grace Lutheran Church / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers last year moved to crack down on acts of violence committed in a place of worship. The legislation, signed by Governor JB Pritzker, asks judges to increase the penalty for murder and assault in a church or against someone engaged in religious practice.

As Bradley University Political Science Professor Craig Curtis explains to WCBU, the measure comes at a time when lawmakers are moving away from mandating harsher criminal punishments — and does little to  protect congregations.