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

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. 

Peoria County Coroner's Office

Drug overdose deaths dropped again last year in Peoria County. There was a big increase in 2017 thanks to fentanyl laced heroin on the streets. Since then there has been some improvement. Kristin McHugh talks with Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood. Harwood says preliminary data show drug-related deaths dropped significantly in 2019 thanks to harm reduction work by the Jolt Foundation. 


Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Many set New Year's resolutions to start a healthy lifestyle and lose weight. Maintaining promises to your best self aren't always easy. WCBU's Kristin McHugh sits down with OSF Saint Francis Clinical dietician Kaela Ketcham at Peoria's RiverPlex.   

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Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood says the November death of a local woman is a homicide. 

Kristin McHugh / WCBU

It's graduation day for an elite group of Peoria teens. 

WCBU News/Jeff Smudde

The city of Peoria is challenging residents and business owners to balance the city’s 2020 budget. 

U.S. Drought Monitor/Curtis Riganti

Above-normal temperatures and spotty rainfall are contributing to abnormally dry conditions in portions of central and western Illinois. 

Peoria's Harrison Homes residents have a new place to seek assistance.

Located within a former apartment, the Harrison Homes Resource Center will evaluate resident needs and provide appropriate solutions. 

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said a civilian city employee assigned to his department will staff the office a few times a week. The goal is to connect residents with a wide range of needed resources, such as transportation.

WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

Illinois American Water is touting its technology as the utility celebrates its 130th year of service in greater Peoria.

WCBU News/Jeff Smudde

Peoria’s largest hospitals have earned distinction in an annual health care review. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospital analysis says OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is the sixth-best hospital in Illinois. UnityPoint Health in Peoria is ranked 18th.

Creative Commons / Howard Lake

The American Red Cross is urging Illinoisans to roll up their sleeves and donate blood to help address a regional shortage.

Creative Commons

Greater Peoria’s unemployment rate is down. 


Some greater Peoria libraries can extend their after-school programs for at-risk youth thanks to new grants. 

Greater Peoria Mass Transit District


The Greater Peoria Transit Authority will add more electric vehicles to its fleet soon. The Federal Transit Administration has awarded CityLink a $2.3-million Low or No Emission Bus Program grant. Doug Roelfs, general manager of the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District, says the new buses advance the transit’s environmentally conscious mission.   

Creative Commons

The Peoria Fire Department is investigating a blaze that heavily damaged multiple businesses Wednesday morning. 

WCBU News/Tanya Koonce

Home sales prices across the state and in the greater Peoria and Bloomington areas plunged in June. That’s according to Illinois Realtors.

Construction of a new fire-and-rescue house to serve the Peoria International Airport is underway. 

University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria’s cancer research program has earned a financial boost.

Peoria Public Schools District 150

A former local basketball standout is the new Peoria Public Schools District 150 director of athletics. A.J. Guyton’s appointment was announced Wednesday. He’s responsible for primary and middle school sporting activities.

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Peoria police are investigating the year’s 14th homicide.

Creative Commons/saturnism

Forecasters warn dangerously hot temperatures and oppressive humidity will persist through the weekend. An excessive heat warning is in effect through Saturday evening.

Illinois State Police

Memorial funds have been established to aid the family of a slain Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy. 

WCBU News/Tanya Koonce

Home sales rebounded last month in greater Peoria.

Peoria Public Radio

A Peoria man is the city’s 12th homicide victim of the year.

Peoria police officers responded to the Harrison Homes about 10:45 p.m. Sunday after receiving a ShotSpotter alert of multiple rounds fired. 

Police found 34-year-old Bronzell Howard with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 11:30 p.m. 

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said Howard died of traumatic and rapid blood loss caused by the gunshot wounds. He did not believe the shots were fired at close range.