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. 

Ways to Connect

Tim Shelley / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

The Heart of Illinois United Way is partnering with Peoria hotels to relocate some people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kristin McHugh / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Playgrounds are closed under Illinois' shelter in place order, but some parents aren't enforcing that rule with their children.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The federal government is gearing up to send the first round of direct payments to help individuals through the COVID-19 pandemic.

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — or WIC — had trouble finding eligible items on store shelves last month.

USDA NRCS Montana / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Updated April 2 at 5:36 p.m.: The city of East Peoria has issued a burn ban effective April 6 due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. The open burning of dry yard waste is still permitted through dusk of April 5. Failure to comply with the ban will lead to a verbal warning and potential fines on subsequent offenses.

Original story: Open burning is underway in East Peoria through the month of April and residents are urged to take extra precaution.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Illinois landlords are not allowed to kick out tenants during the government-mandated shelter in place period. But that's not stopping some from trying.


Bradley University students have returned from spring break. But for the rest of the semester their classes will take place online.

Salvation Army USA West / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Peoria food pantries are feeling the strain of more people in need, as COVID-19 closures take away jobs and access to food.

National Weather Service - Lincoln

Updated at 9:28: The National Weather Service says the tornado threat has ended in Peoria and areas west of the Illinois River. Tornado warnings are also canceled in Tazewell and Woodford counties.

Around 9 p.m., the NWS reported power flashes in Peoria, indicating a likely tornado on the ground. Spotter also visually saw a tornado. Ameren power maps show outages reported off Smithville Road near the Peoria International Airport.

The National Weather Service is forecasting hazardous conditions for Saturday afternoon and evening, with damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes all possible.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The Peoria Civic Center is reporting revenue numbers deep in the red, after the novel coronavirus canceled virtually all concerts and sporting events.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

As COVID-19 makes accessing groceries a challenge, more seniors and people with disabilities could get food delivered to their home.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

Daily life is dramatically different for most Illinoisans under Gov. JB Pritzker’s “stay in place” order. The directive took effect March 21 and mandated the closure of schools and all businesses deemed non-essential across the state.

The Federal Aviation Administration now says the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 in Peoria didn't work in the air traffic control tower.

Michel Euler / AP Photo

As bars and clubs shut down amid COVID-19, some displaced employees are looking to sex work to supplement their income.

Peoria Rescue Ministries

Peoria's homeless shelters are staying open amid COVID-19 related closures, but they face some challenges in finding the space and resources to accommodate the need.

JOLT Harm Reduction / Facebook

People suffering from substance use disorder may be unable to find supply or a safe way to use during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Facebook / Crittenton Centers

The Peoria-based child welfare organization Crittenton Centers is offering free curbside pick up of formula and diapers for parents in need.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Peoria’s economy, while vulnerable amid COVID-19 related closures, can be resilient, if businesses and consumers work together. That’s the message from Chris Setti, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

As stressful as the COVID-19 pandemic is for adults, it’s likely worse for children.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Tri-county governments are issuing a disaster declaration closing all city and county buildings to the public.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Central Illinois residents in need of resources amid the coronavirus pandemic can use the Heart of Illinois United Way's information and referral service.

Flights out of the Peoria International Airport will continue as scheduled, despite travel concerns amid the spread of COVID-19.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Tazewell County election authorities are taking extra steps to ensure all voters can cast a ballot, despite challenges posed by the coronavirus.

AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File

When Illinois voters cast their primary ballot on March 17, their first — and even second — choice for president may no longer be in the race.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Some students need extra help in the classroom and, much as they try, sometimes teachers can't do it all. The non-profit Peoria Friendship House has begun a mentorship program with the idea that some of the best teachers are parents.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria County, the city of Peoria and the Peoria City/County Health Department are opening a joint Emergency Operations Center in preparation for the future spread of COVID-19.

Kin Cheung / AP Images

U.S. businesses are battling wide-ranging problems amid the global spread of the coronavirus.

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Numerous studies link social media use with mental health problems, like depression. But new research conducted by a Bradley University professor shows how a true crime podcast might be bucking that trend.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

Cuts to the city of Peoria's salt budget make it difficult sometimes to deal with snow and ice removal. That's according to Sie Maroon, the city's superintendent of operations. 

Dana Vollmer / Peoria Public Radio

Gov. J.B. Pritzker believes the future of healthcare is digital — but reliable internet is needed to make that a reality.