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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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.

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.