$3M grant to help tackle lead hazards in Peoria

Aug 27, 2015

The Peoria City/County Health Department is getting a $3 million federal grant for lead hazard control.  The funding lasts three years and will pay for programs to reduce lead-poisoning rates in low-income areas.  The grant will target health hazards in 180 homes affected by lead poisoning.  The Peoria Health Department has received $8.5 million to tackle lead poisoning in more than 600 homes.

Bishop Daniel Jenky has defrocked a priest following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor stemming from nearly 30 years ago.  Jenky says Father Terry Cassidy is stepping down from public ministry.  Cassidy was the pastor at Saint Ann Church in Peoria.  Jenky made the move after the Peoria Diocese Review Commission unanimously supported defrocking Cassidy.

The City of Peoria is drafting a plan to convert a plot of riverfront property into park space to placate concerns about a a segment of Riverfront Park that’s pegged for private development. The River Trails Apartment project is sketched for construction on what’s currently city-owned parkland along the Illinois River.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is  getting $280,000 in grants for research.  The funding will go toward studies on two types of brain cancer commonly found in in children.  The grants will also fund research that looks at how stem cells can treat patients suffering a stroke.  The funding comes from the Illinois Neurological Institute and William E. McElroy Charitable Foundation. 

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The intersection of Adams and McCall Streets in Peoria is now known as Melvin Getz Way. 

Peoria Public Radio / Tanya Koonce

Peoria’s group that was formed to reduce storm-water runoff looked at several possible fee rates to charge residents.  

Peoria Police say they’ve made three arrests related to the February shooting death of 12-year-old Demarcus Payne.  

The Peoria International Airport saw a record number of passengers last month.  61,156 travelers flew through the airport in July. That’s the largest monthly count on record, topping the previous placeholder by about 400 people.  Airport officials credit increased travel to Atlanta and Phoenix compared to last year.  

Peoria saw its 13th homicide of the year Tuesday.  Police responded to the 1600 block of North Great Oak Road to a report of gunfire.  21-year-old Quenton Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene from apparent gunshot wounds.  Police say they’re looking for a suspect with connection to the shooting.  18-year-old Darrell M. Brown is wanted for first degree murder. He’s described as 5’11, about 150 pounds, with black hair. Brown should be considered armed and dangerous and not be approached if spotted.   18-year-old Draneol I.

Peoria police warn of possible porch light scam

Aug 17, 2015

The Peoria Police Department is warning of a possible scammer trying to sell emergency flashing lights.  Police say a suspect drove to the 6100 block of Saint Mary’s Road and falsely identified himself as part of a neighborhood watch program registered with the police.  The suspect then tried selling a resident an emergency flashing porch light.  Police say the suspect is an older white male described as tall, potbellied and balding, driving a red Ford Explorer.  Anyone with information on this incident should call the Peoria police Department.

Some Illinois lawmakers are challenging Governor Bruce Rauner’s efforts to cutback eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program.  The state senate passed a measure earlier this month that keeps last year’s guidelines for the program.  State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, a Democrat from Peoria, says she plans to call the measure next week:

Peoria Council OKs pay raise for city manager

Aug 11, 2015

The Peoria City Council voted to give City Manager Patrick Urich a $10,000 pay raise.  The vote followed discussion about the city police union:

Proposed fee, fare changes for CityLink, CityLift

Aug 10, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District is proposing to hike some fees for individuals and community groups. The aim is to generate $500,000 in new revenue:

Unsealed court records indicate that former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was issued a federal grand jury subpoena seeking campaign and congressional records the day before he resigned his seat.

Peoria names intersection after Royce Elliott

Aug 7, 2015

The intersection of Monroe and Evans in Peoria is now named after a well-known comedian and radio personality.  Royce Elliott grew up near Morton Square Park.  Longtime friend Roger Monroe says the intersection is now known as Royce Elliott Place:

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria City Council will consider whether to approve a parking request to build a Dollar General store on the South Side.  The City Zoning Commission voted to deny the request to build on 205 South Western Avenue.  Commissioner Mark Misselhorn says he wanted to see more documentation on the project:

Peoria police warn of IRS-themed phone scam

Aug 5, 2015

Peoria police are warning residents of a new phone scam. The police department reports those involved with the con are pretending to be with the I-R-S or U.S Department of Treasury. The scammers call victims claiming they owe money and must pay immediately. The callers then threaten people with arrest if they refuse. Additional scammers may call the victims as well pretending to be with local police or the D-M-V to support the I-R-S claim. Police say anyone receiving these calls should call the I-R-S directly with any questions or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

SBA Grant Aims to Boost Local Startups

Aug 5, 2015

The U.S. Small Business Association awarded the City of Peoria a $50,000 grant.  The funds aim to make it easier to start a business by reducing the amount of time to register and apply for local permits and licenses.  Peoria City, County and the Economic Development Council say they will use the grant to help small businesses launch faster and support minority-owned projects. 

ICC wants public input on presidential search

Aug 5, 2015

Illinois Central College’s Board of Trustees is seeking public input in the search for its next president.  The ICC Board of Trustees named an interim president after John Erwin retired in May.  The board hired a search firm to gather public input on traits for the next president. The firm will then use the input to craft a search profile for the position. The public forums are August 26th at the East Peoria campus from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, and August 27th at 8am at the North Campus in Peoria and at 11:30am at the East Peoria Campus.

High water levels on the Illinois River are affecting an annual rubber duck race for Peoria’s Center for Prevention Of Abuse. 

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria observed National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday following a rash of homicides last month. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports some events featured peace walks, face painting and barbeque:

IDOT asks: Who wants a span of the McClugage Bridge?

Aug 3, 2015
"McClugage Bridge Peoria-820" by ProfDEH

The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking to remove and replace the eastbound span of the McClugage Bridge.  To that end, I-DOT is seeking public or private entities that want to pay to move parts of the bridge, including any demolition costs.  The offer is required because the 70-year-old eastbound span is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Interested parties should send a letter of interest detailing their bridge removal plans to the Peoria I-DOT Office.  

Peoria Gears Up For Night Out Against Crime

Aug 3, 2015
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The City of Peoria is celebrating National Night Out against Crime Tuesday evening. More than 30 neighborhood associations are participating with cook outs, kids games and neighborly conversation. Most events run from five or six to eight o’clock tomorrow evening. The annual event follows a recent rash of shooting deaths in the South Side and East Bluff.  

Registered nurse running for Peoria County Coroner

Jul 31, 2015

A registered nurse is running for Peoria County Coroner in next year’s election.  Democrat Jamie Harwood is a nurse at OSF and previously served as a volunteer EMT in Princeville.  He is challenging Republican incumbent Johnna Ingersoll, who is seeking her fourth term as coroner. Ingersoll was first elected to the post in 2004. 

Peoria homicide suspect arrested in Georgia

Jul 30, 2015

Peoria Police are announcing an arrest in a homicide from earlier this month.  Darren D. Brown was arrested in Decatur, Georgia Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Violent Crime Task Force.  He was wanted in the shooting death of Peoria resident Nikko Smith.  Brown is the first arrest in a rash of homicides in recent weeks.

We've updated a map that pinpoints the location and status of homicides in Peoria 2015. The four fatal shootings from July are indicated in red:

Residents opposing the proposed River Trail Apartments in Peoria are posing specific questions to the city.  They say they want more financial if information from the developer to prevent the possibility of last-minute public loans.  David Pittman is with the Save Riverfront Park group opposing the proposed 143-unit complex on city-owned property.  He says they also want the city to give District 150 special tax-increment-financing funds if the project goes through:

The old Washington School building in Peoria could be used as the city's first Buddhist temple.  That’s the latest proposal for the facility.