Peoria Public Radio News

Local news stories and features from Peoria Public Radio.

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Figure skaters from eight states will take to the ice in Peoria next month. The Upper Great Lakes Regional Figure Skating Championship is set for October 3-7 at the Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena.

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41-year-old Sean Juergens was killed Tuesday night in the area of Route 24 and Mendenhall Road.

Illinois Valley Central School District

The Illinois Valley Central school district is joining a statewide college and career preparation pilot program. The Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements program emphasizes career development through community and employer partnerships.

Two fires Monday in Peoria County are responsible for more than a million dollars in damages. A fire was discovered at Walls Industrial Services in Glasford early Monday morning. It reportedly took multiple rural fire departments about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The cause of that fire is still undetermined as is the extent of the loss and no one was injured.

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A Peoria Heights man found in a detached garage Sunday night died after suffering multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood says the death of 62-year-old William K. Edwards is being investigated as a homicide. Edwards was pronounced dead early Monday morning.

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria will expand its stroke treatment research as part of a new federal grant. The college has been awarded $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Peoria Journal Star Sees More News Staff Cuts

Sep 7, 2018
Phil Luciano, Facebook

Gatehouse, the parent company of the Peoria Journal Star terminated five more people Friday.

It’s the last day at the Journal Star for Chris Kaergard, Shannon Countryman, Thomas Bruch, and Aaron Ferguson. Wes Huett will be terminated Sept. 21. This staff reduction constitutes about 20-percent of the Peoria Journal Star’s newsroom and included people with 15-years of seniority.

Sports editor and long-time writer Kirk Wessler also took a buyout option. That leaves the paper with no sports editor, no city editor, and no opinion page editor.  

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Tazewell County is the latest to report West Nile virus. The county health department says mosquitoes collected in East Peoria tested positive in August.

Tanya Koonce


A Morton man faces up to 30 years in prison for beating his 18-month-old niece while babysitting her last summer.

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The Peoria Fire Department and the Peoria County Coroner are offering words of community awareness and support in the face of two suspected opioid overdose deaths.

A Peoria resident has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the death of a man during a kidnapping that authorities say stemmed from trying to steal money from recent lottery winnings.

Peoria Sees Suspected Overdose Deaths

Sep 4, 2018

  The Peoria County Coroner is reporting two suspected drug overdose deaths in the city over the last three days. The 40-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man died about 72-hours apart, from Saturday morning to Tuesday morning.


At 6:50 a.m. a Lincoln woman was found not breathing in the alley between Evans and the 1000 Block of NE Adams Street. Tuesday morning about 7:30 another man was found in the 1800 block of Callender.


Details Outlined Leading Up To Peoria Standoff

Aug 30, 2018
Peoria County Jail

48-year-old Eric “Itchy” Hollis is facing multiple charges after a series of events Wednesday.

Hollis was the suspect in an armed robbery at Marathon Gas Station on Prospect Road about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday. Officers later found his white Lexus that was spotted at the gas station, crashed on Fairholm at Vine.

At 2:45 police were in the 1100 block of Garfield to check the welfare on a female on a domestic dispute. She was outside when police arrived, reporting Hollis had kicked in her door, was armed and still inside.

  CHICAGO - The U.S. attorney's office in Springfield, Illinois, says it's transferring ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's corruption case to another prosecutors' team outside central Illinois.

     It revealed the step in a Thursday filing asking for a temporary stay of the pre-trial process. The Peoria Republican's trial date is Jan. 28.

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CHICAGO - A federal judge has sentenced a suburban Chicago man to six years behind bars for a 2016 fire that destroyed a furniture warehouse where he worked, causing more than $122 million in damages. 

Peoria Public Radio/Tanya Koonce

The Peoria Police Department has narrowed the list of people suspected in the disappearance of Alexis Scott. The 20-year-old Peoria woman went missing after attending a party on September 23, 2017.

A LaSalle County resident has died after contracting West Nile virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health says the case is the state’s first West Nile-related death of 2018. The victim, who was more than 65-years-old, became ill in early August.

Peoria Public Radio/Tanya Koonce

48-year-old Eric Hollis was arrest Wednesday evening after he surrendered to Peoria Police. Police remained at bay for about three hours before his arrest.

A former Peoria police officer who was fired for inappropriate social media use says the posts were protected under the First Amendment.

Peoria City/County Health Department

A record number of sexually transmitted disease cases are being reported in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 2.3 million chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases were diagnosed in 2017.

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CHICAGO (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations are challenging Peoria’s panhandling ordinance.


A couple-driving-team did some fast maneuvering for the best possible outcome to bad situation over night on Interstate-74 near Kickapoo in Peoria County.

A Thursday motorcycle accident near Smithville has claimed the life of an East Peoria man.

Peoria Public Radio

The city of Peoria is preparing for a workforce reduction. Layoff notices were issued this month to 11 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union or AFSME.

PEORIA - The Peoria Riverfront Museum wants to make sure that a historic mural stays in Peoria as the auction of the Marriott Pere Marquette and neighboring Courtyard by Marriott approaches next month.

Peoria Public Radio


PEORIA - A Chicago-based federal judge will preside over the public corruption trial of former Republican Congressman Aaron Schock.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A Tennessee judge has ordered the former Morton man suspected in a deadly Waffle House shooting be placed in a mental health facility.

Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria City/County Election Commission is preparing to move next month. The office on South West Adams is moving to a new location on Brandywine Drive.

Tanya Koonce/Peoria Public Radio


The Diocese of Peoria is asking for the community to join in prayer for healing, following the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on Catholic Church sex abuse.

Ronald McDonald House of Central Illinois

  A new grant will help Peoria’s new Ronald McDonald house break ground next month. The Peoria project was awarded a $3.3 million grant from AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company.


Kelly Thompson is the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. She says the grant will go toward the Peoria Ronald McDonald House’s $7-million construction cost. The charity still needs another $1.5 million to complete the project, but a September groundbreaking is expected.