Kristin McHugh

News Reporter

Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.

For a decade, McHugh was a program officer and senior radio producer for the Stanley Foundation in Muscatine, Iowa.  She has reported from Cambodia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Uganda, and United Arab Emirates.

McHugh served as a producer and co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program “Common Ground” from 1999 until its end in 2004.  She served as a correspondent for the award-winning radio documentary "The Russia Project"​ (2001), project manager and correspondent for the 2003 award-winning radio documentary "Children of War: Fighting, Dying, Surviving,"​ coproduced and reported for the award-winning radio specials "UNder Fire: The United Nations'​ Battle for Relevance"​ (2004); “Security Check: Confronting Today's Global Threats"​ (2005); “24/7: The Rise and Influence of Arab Media” (2006); and “Beyond Fear: America’s Role in an Uncertain World” (2007).  She coproduced and reported for the radio projects “Brazil Rising” (2008) and "India Rising"​ (2009).

McHugh has earned dozens of awards for news coverage. Her 2002 story "Kosovo's Pied Piper: The Liz Shropshire Story" won the RFK Journalism Award. Her work has also received honors from the UN Correspondents Association, Association of Women in Radio and Television, the Society for Professional Journalists, and three consecutive honors from the National Press Club for diplomatic reporting. McHugh is a former president of the Iowa Associated Press Broadcasters and the Iowa Broadcast News Association.

McHugh holds a B.A. in communications/broadcast journalism from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).  She lives in Greater Peoria with her husband and pet bunny. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, quilting, and decorating Christmas trees for charity fundraisers in Peoria and Des Moines, Iowa.

Ways to Connect

Bradley University Special Collections

Lydia Moss Bradley wore many hats during her 91-year life. She was a wife and mother. She was also business savvy, a philanthropist, and a pioneer - serving as the first woman director of First National Bank of Peoria before fulfilling her quest to create the higher education institution now known as Bradley University. 

Illinois Department of Transportation

With work complete on the Interstate 74 Murray Baker Bridge, the Illinois Department of Transportation is focusing its attention to a new span three miles northeast.

Courtesy Goodwill Central Illinois

Goodwill donation drop-off locations and retail stores are ubiquitous. Less obvious is the nonprofit’s job placement services that assist job seekers with everything from resume writing, online applications and mock interviews to new uniforms and transportation.

Courtesy Illinois Central College

The statewide Workforce Equity Initiative launched in 2019. Locally, it aims to teach students skills to secure jobs that pay $14.75 per hour or more. That’s 30% above the individual Peoria County living wage of $11.35. But COVID throws some wrenches in learning.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Finding a job as the pandemic wears on is proving difficult for many. Individuals with disabilities can face even larger hurdles. One Peoria-based organization is finding success despite the pandemic.

police car
WCBU file photo

The Peoria County coroner has identified the man found stabbed to death in a North Peoria home.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The Tazewell County State’s Attorney said Gov. JB Pritzker’s threat to take action against businesses violating his COVID-19 executive orders raises “serious concerns.”

Brasky's Bar and Grill / Facebook

A Peoria sports bar owner is disappointed by the Big Ten Conference’s decision to suspend college football this fall. 

Kristin McHugh / WCBU

The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners violated the state’s Open Meetings Act by not providing reasonable public access to its May and June board meetings.

The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners said it’s committed to transparency and will make changes to future public meeting notices. The pledge is contained within a written response to the Illinois Attorney General's Office review of the election commission’s open meetings practices.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

The Illinois Attorney General’s office is reviewing whether the Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners violated the state’s Open Meetings Act

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

Central Illinois skies could look different this weekend thanks to Sahara Desert dust. 

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

The leftovers of former tropical storm Cristobal will bring rain and wind to central Illinois Tuesday. 

Kristin McHugh / WCBU

A man suffered serious injuries Monday after he was shot at a Peoria liquor store.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

Businesses across Peoria began clearing clearing debris before dawn after a night of unrest.

Dozens were damaged.

WCBU captured a small portion of the aftermath.

This gallery may be updated.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU / Peoria Public Radio

Rioting, looting, and mayhem broke out on the streets of Peoria in the early Monday morning hours.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

The city of Peoria is dismantling part of the floodwall protecting historic River Station – but the weather forecast will determine when to fully dismantle. That’s according to Public Works Superintendent Sie Maroon.

Illinois Prairie Library District / Facebook

Americans are turning to books, at-home movies, and puzzles for entertainment during the novel coronavirus pandemic. It begs the question – what’s popular in central Illinois now that curbside pick-up options are available? An unscientific check with a few library systems reveals requests span genres and generations.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

For the second consecutive year, towns along the Illinois River are battling major flooding.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

Peoria is moving quickly to shore up its riverfront as floodwaters rise on the Illinois River.

Illinois Department of Transportation/Getting Around Peoria

Work on the Murray Baker bridge is proceeding on schedule. The Interstate 74 steel span over the Illinois River closed in late March for structural repairs. 

WCBU/Jeff Smudde

Bradley University will celebrate May 2020 graduates – both this month and in December. 

police car

Peoria Police made an arrest in connection with a weekend shooting.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The city of Peoria will receive $500,000 to clean up a contaminated South Peoria plot.

The near-term outlook for central Illinois farmers isn’t bright. That’s according to Peoria County Farm Bureau manager Patrick Kirchhofer. 

City of Peoria/PeoriaCorps

PeoriaCorps is adapting its upcoming class in the age of COVID-19. The 900-hour professional development program provides maintenance to the city of Peoria’s green infrastructure built to offset stormwater runoff.

An employee at the Dollar General store on Southwest Adams in South Peoria has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce isn’t worried about keeping it’s doors open – yet – as the coronavirus pandemic strains local businesses. That’s according to Vice President of Operations Sherneka Cagle. She said the organization’s 1,000-plus members account for roughly 80% of the chamber’s budget.

WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

If you’re thinking about buying a pet rabbit for Easter – think about a chocolate one instead. That’s the message from a Pekin-based rabbit rescue group.


The Illinois Department of Transportation has closed the Interstate 74 bridge in Peoria until the end of October.