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SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a "harvest emergency" to help crop-hauling Illinois farmers compete with those in neighboring states.

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.  

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Their 10th season begins next weekend, with a concert that features Brahms' First Symphony, and violinist Rachel Barton returns to perform Barhms' Violin Concerto.

Commanday talks about the history of each piece. He says the Violin Concerto pushed the limits of the instrument (and the soloists who play the piece). The First Symphony includes deliberate homages and callbacks to the symphonies of Beethoven


  SPRINGFIELD - A former Illinois House leader has been cleared of sexual harassment by the legislative inspector general.


The acting inspector general told Skokie Democratic Rep. Lou Lang in a letter that there's not enough evidence to support harassment and intimidation claims by Maryann Loncar.


Loncar is a medical marijuana activist who claims Lang inappropriately put his arm around her and made unwanted comments.

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  WASHINGTON - Republican and Democratic lawmakers are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to act faster to bring more hazardous chemicals and substances under regulation in the U.S.

A House environment subcommittee held a hearing Thursday on one such substance, an industrial compound widely used to make firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, and fast-food wrappers.


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CHICAGO - Chicago has agreed to require that officers file paperwork each time they point a gun at someone, even if they don't fire.

CARBONDALE - Enrollment is continuing a steep decline at Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus, with nearly 12 percent fewer students this fall semester.


CHAMPAIGN - A central Illinois city has approved settling two lawsuits accusing police of wrongdoing for a combined $3.7 million.

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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.

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HARRISBURG - A prosecutor says a southern Illinois physician charged with killing his estranged wife and destroying her body will have his trial delayed because of questions over his fitness to stand trial.

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CHICAGO (AP) - A California man preparing to pursue a doctorate degree at Northwestern University has been killed while caught in gunfire between two men in Chicago.

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CHICAGO - A federal judge has refused to overturn the fraud conviction of an Illinois judge.

State Farm

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Insurance giant State Farm has reached a $250 million preliminary settlement of a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the company funneled money to the campaign of a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court.

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.


Our guest this week is Chip Joyce, talking about Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "the Wizard of Oz," part of the theatre's 100th anniversary season. We've often talked with Joyce in his capacity as a director, but he says he's back on stage this time around because "Wizard of Oz" is one of his favorite musicals, and Scarecrow is a role he's always wanted to play.

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.


CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois attorney general's office might be looking to a federal judge to decide whether Chicago police officers should record each time they point a gun at someone.


CHICAGO - Illinois will use a $108 million settlement with Volkswagen over the company's cheating on emissions tests to improve air quality, mostly by replacing old diesel engines with more environmentally friendly options.

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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. 

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CHICAGO  - The white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald says he had never before fired his gun at anyone and maintains the criminal case against him stems from political pressure.


CHICAGO - Stings conducted by the Cook County sheriff's department and several suburban Chicago police forces led to the arrest of 73 potential sex buyers.

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.

In a story from the Associated Press aired on Peoria Public Radio News Monday, we reported Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law requiring cat owners to have their pets vaccinated for rabies with regular updates from the age of four months. That story was factually inaccurate. The General Assembly significantly changed the scope of the measure before it became law.