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

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. 


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.

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.

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Staff of Dunlap Grade School found a way to connect with students Monday.

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. 

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Peoria Election Commission executive director Thomas Bride said the county's election system is secure as the state prepares for the March 17 primary election.

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

WCBU's news operation is growing, finances are stabilizing and the future is bright. That's the message general manager RC McBride is delivering since daily operations transferred to WGLT-- Bloomington-Normal's public radio station last June. Kristin McHugh sits down with McBride for an update on the partnership with Bradley University.