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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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.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The Peoria Police Department has officially opened a resource center in the East Bluff.

Screenshot / U.S. Census Bureau

Peoria's census participation has hit a plateau as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

Shane Adams / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

The city of Peoria is looking to people financially hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic cover some of their housing costs.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Pulic Radio

Some nonprofits have had to re-envision staffing, as Illinois adds another 75 cents to the minimum wage in a ramp-up to $15 an hour. That comes as many are still grappling with the financial blow of COVID-19.

Staff / WGLT

Some Illinoisans were eager to grab a bite indoors or return to their gym over the weekend, as the state moved into the next phase of the governor's reopening plan. Others chose to stay home.

The Yoga Projekt / Facebook

A number of Greater Peoria businesses are planning to open their doors or expand services starting Friday, as the state moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Brian Walker / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

More people are caring for a loved one at home as the COVID-19 pandemic leaves them unemployed or apprehensive about care facilities. 

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Activists have added school resource officers to the larger conversation of police reform in the United States. Some call for the removal of police from schools. Others are looking at ways to change officer roles.

But those leading school safety in Peoria Public Schools say they've had decades to get it right.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-recognized celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. But the unofficial holiday feels different this year, given the COVID-19 pandemic and a rash of high-profile police murders.

The Gender Spectrum Collection / VICE

Peoria Proud is creating a registry of LGBTQ-friendly healthcare providers in central Illinois.

Peoria Public Library / Facebook

The Peoria Public Library is slowly revving back up services, after COVID-19 guidance forced buildings to close to the public.


Hundreds of Bradley University faculty and staff have issued a statement condemning systemic racism and injustice — both on campus and in society at large.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria County Board will consider a budget amendment aimed at addressing injustice in law enforcement and ensuring all who want to vote get a chance to do so safely. That comes as other county budget items are being scaled back amid COVID-19 related revenue challenges.

The appropriation totaling $853,500 would give additional dollars to the state’s attorney, sheriff, and election commission.

sacks08 / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

City inspectors are staying busy, as code complaints last month nearly doubled what they'd be in a typical May.

Community Development Director Ross Black said the vast majority of the 1,400 complaints were about things like tall grass, weeds, and litter or garbage disposal. 

Black said spring is always a busy time for his department, as lawn growing conditions improve and more people are outside. But they usually only get about 800 complaints for the month of May.

He attributes this year's spike, in part, to more people sheltering in place.

Jeff Watts/American University via AP

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have renewed conversations about systemic racism and inequality in the United States. This is a time white people can listen and learn from the lived experience of black Americans. A Peoria bookseller is trying to help people do just that.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

The shortage of blood donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more troublesome, as patient traffic at area hospitals revs back up.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Dozens of Bradley University student athletes staged a peaceful demonstration Tuesday night, protesting racial injustice and inequality.

A Peoria man who allegedly hit a police SUV with his car last week has died from blunt force trauma.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Public Schools is helping students and recent graduates find summer jobs with the help of COVID-19 related grant dollars.


A project to help address food insecurity and community health on the south end of Peoria is entering its next phase.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth says major police reform is a task for local government, rather than state and federal leaders.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday afternoon at the Peoria County Courthouse for the second peaceful demonstration held by Young Revolution, in honor of George Floyd and five local black men who died in police custody in recent years.

Tim Shelley / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

There are a lot of youthful faces behind Peoria's recent peaceful protests. Young Revolution led last weekend's "We Matter March." Another rally called "Are We Next" is scheduled for this weekend. WCBU talked to some of the organizers about what drove them to action and what they want to see from the Peoria community.

The Illinois National Guard will be helping the Peoria Police Department keep an eye on the city over the weekend.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said the civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd's murder could make the city council reconsider its budget considerations in terms of police and fire cuts.

Peoria Community Against Violence/Facebook

The murder of George Floyd is renewing difficult conversations about police brutality and racism in communities around the country and world — and Peoria is no exception.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Fire Department has stayed busy this week, putting out fires set to businesses, homes, cars and dumpsters. At least 15 arson fires have been reported during the overnight hours this week.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Nine people were charged with felonies Tuesday in Peoria County Court in connection with the riots and looting that unfolded earlier this week.