Dana Vollmer


Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WCBU. Prior to moving to Peoria, Dana covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois. She earned her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. She also graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she studied communication and produced Morning Edition for WNIJ. Dana's interests include criminal justice reform, economic equity and the environment. 

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Two more McLean County residents have died from COVID-19 complications, as the county climbs past 16,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest fatalities are two men—one in his 40s and the other in his 60s. Neither was associated with a long-term care facility. The death toll from the pandemic is now up to 210.

McLean County has set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations. There are currently 42 county residents being treated for coronavirus complications. The previous high was 40 hospitalizations on Jan. 7.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport is seeing a strong start to 2021 after COVID ravaged business in 2020.

McLean County health officials are reporting 138 more COVID-19 cases confirmed over the weekend. That comes as the county’s testing positivity rate dropped more than half a percentage point, down to 4.9%.

McLean County health officials report 77 more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, as the county’s testing positivity rate decreased for the first time in two weeks.

Monuments to Honest Abe could no longer have a home in Chicago, but the president of Lincoln College says they're always welcome in central Illinois.

Issues of diversity and equity are top of mind after a year of renewed calls for civil rights and social justice reform. Some of those conversations center on American schools -- what students are taught, how they're treated, and what their teachers look like.

McLean County health officials added 106 new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, as the county’s testing positivity rate rose half a percentage point to 5.4%.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis sees a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

McLean County health officials added 142 new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases over the weekend, as the county’s testing positivity rate held at 4.9%.

A Bloomington attorney is part of a national cohort confronting the "hidden epidemic" of elder abuse.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was the AIDS crisis—one of the great public health challenges in the country's history. It changed the way we view science, medicine and the role of government during a national emergency.

The candidates for the 88th Illinois House District have different ideas on how the state can aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But all three agree on one thing: state government should have acted sooner to blunt the financial blow of the virus.

A documentary film about an organic vegetable farmer in Woodford County is now available to a much wider audience.

The growing number of positive COVID-19 cases is making it harder to staff nursing units in central Illinois.


School school districts are having trouble getting laptops and tablets in the hands of students, as the start of the fall semester inches closer. That comes amid shipping and fulfillment backlogs born of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois election officials are raising concerns over pulling off the November election, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Money—and in some cases, demand—is running out to give people experiencing homelessness a place to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Our top story is about the first round of cabins opened at Wildlife Prairie Park. You'll also hear why a one-size-fits-all approach won't work for Peoria County's 18 school districts.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Monday, July 27, 2020. Our top story is about the newly-ordained Louis Tylka, who is in line to succeed Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese when he retires in March 2022. You'll also hear how helping people deal with trauma can help address violence in communities like Peoria.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, July 24, 2020. Our top story is about a Peoria-based nursing home operator that accepted $20 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program — about 200 times the average amount. You'll also hear what challenges Illinois' international students face, even after the Trump administration rescinded a rule requiring them to take in-person classes this fall.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, July 23, 2020. Our top story is about an Elmwood native who saw a gap in Black history education and started his own teaching effort. You'll also hear from a USDA chemist at the Peoria Ag Lab who's developing biobased plastics out of plant material.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

Congress returned to Washington this week to hash out a new COVID-19 stimulus bill.


Residents and public officials are assessing the damage as they recover from a series of storms that produced near-record rainfall, flooding and some tornadoes across the Tri-County area Wednesday afternoon.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Bradley University is moving forward with a plan meant to improve diversity and inclusion on campus in response to national conversations about racism and social injustice.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

Peoria Charter Coach has issued a second round of layoffs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

People who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or SNAP—benefits can now order groceries online. A Peoria nonprofit is testing how well the program serves public housing residents.

PDC / AREA Disposal / Facebook

The average Peoria household is producing five more pounds of trash per week during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hacienda el Mirador / Facebook

July heat is pushing more restaurant goers indoors.

File photo
Twitter via NPR Illinois

Drivers are warned that high temperatures could cause more road buckling in the Peoria area.