So far, no food truck applications for Peoria

Jul 29, 2015

A month has passed since food truck owners could apply to operate in Peoria’s public right-of-way. But no mobile food vendor has yet filled out the paperwork.  Assistant City Manager Chris Setti says there are possible reasons why food truck operators haven’t applied:

The Peoria City Council approved sharing $200,000 in costs with the Greater Peoria Sanitary District to collect water flow data in parts of the city’s sewer system.  Officials say the data would help as the city negotiates combined-sewer-overflow repairs with the EPA.  City Councilman Jim Montelongo was the only no vote. He says money spent preparing for a federal mandate could have gone elsewhere:

Peoria Fire Chief announces retirement

Jul 28, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

Longtime Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomblin announced his retirement Wednesday. Tomblin says he will end his 37-year career in the Peoria Fire Department January 4th. 

Peoria Police ID suspect in recent homicide

Jul 23, 2015
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Police are looking for a suspect in a murder of a 25-year-old South Side resident earlier this month.  They say 22-year-old Darren D. Brown is wanted for first degree murder in the shooting death of Nikko Smith.  He's 165 lbs, six-foot with black hair and brown eyes. Earlier in the week police said that the latest string of homicides did not appear to be gang-related. 

Homicides total 10 so far this year

Jul 23, 2015
Tony Webster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria police say the city saw its tenth homicide so far this year after a death last night.

Peoria police say detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred Wednesday between 1617 and 1619 West Lincoln.

Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert of four rounds fired, a department news release said. Officers found the body of 30-year-old Kamron Causey near a shared-driveway with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the head  Causey was pronounced dead on scene.

Graduation Ceremony for Mayor’s Youth Group program

Jul 23, 2015
(via George Bean - YouTube - CityOfPeoriaTV)

City officials held a graduation ceremony for Peoria youth in a paid internship program this summer.  The Mayor’s Youth Group lasted eight weeks with about 35 high school students participating in Public Works projects.  Vikki Hibberd is with Peoria Public Works.  She says the students also helped combating the flooding along the Illinois River:

South Side Peoria home getting needed roof repair

Jul 22, 2015

Greater Peoria LISC and Hope Builders of the South Side Mission are helping low-income homeowners repair their old or damaged roofs. LISC put a $15,000 grant toward the program that helps residents in the 61605 zip code.  Harold Booze is a board member for the South Side Mission. He says recent heavy rainfall underscores the need for the repair:

A stretch of central Illinois road may be re-named after one of baseball's greats. The Illinois House has adopted a resolution that would designate a section of Route 24 around Peoria as the "Jim Thome Highway." Thome hails from Peoria, and went on to a successful Major League career. The area's State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, a Democrat, says Thome was a prolific hitter.  He was on the Chicago White Sox when he reached the sluggers' gold standard of hitting 500 home runs.

Peoria home sales on the rise

Jul 22, 2015
thinkpanama / Flickr/Creative Commons

Home prices are climbing in the Peoria Area. That’s according to the Peoria Area Association of Realtors second quarter home sales report released today. It says the local housing market saw a 4.5 percent gain in sales from this time last year.

PAAR President Phil Harvey says the median home sale price increased nearly 2.5 percent.

“Inventory levels are dropping, that’s why prices are rising," Harvey said. "And this is an excellent time if you’ve ever contemplated in recent years in selling your home.”

The City of Peoria has seen nine homicides since the beginning of the year.  Three of those occurred in the last week and a half. Some residents affected by the shootings have expressed dissatisfaction with the police response.  Peoria Police Captain Loren Marion says residents should not take matters into their own hands:

Peoria-based Caterpillar is calling the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba a great start. But with that, company CEO Doug Oberhelman is also calling on the President and Congress to work together to lift the 54 year-old trade barrier. Fully normalizing trade relations and  integrating Cuba into the global economy, Oberhelman says, will improve the everyday lives of Cuban people.     Caterpillar leaders visited Cuba in April. The goal of that trip was to better understand the potential market and to meet with Cuban business and government leaders.

Music And Surgery: It’s All About The Playlist

Jul 20, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria considers city-wide parking changes

Jul 20, 2015

The City of Peoria is trying to make it easier to redevelop businesses in older parts of town. That’s the message from City Community Development Director Ross Black. He says the City Council will consider rule changes to eliminate minimum parking requirements for non-residential properties:

Peoria holds fundraiser, with a slip-and-slide

Jul 17, 2015

A portion of Main Street is closed this weekend for a block-party themed event.  The Slide the City event will see Main Street closed from Glendale to North Street to make way for a one-thousand-foot slip-and-slide.  City Councilman Ryan Spain says the event has fortunate timing:

The City of Peoria is $100,000 over budget for demolishing abandoned structures this year.  Emergency demolitions are one reason behind the expense:

Peoria tallies expenses for flood prep, cleanup

Jul 14, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

Expenses along the Illinois River to keep this year’s flood waters at bay cost the City of Peoria $720,000. That’s $100,000 more than the flood from two years ago:

Peoria opens cooling centers amid high temperatures

Jul 13, 2015

Area resident needing relief from the high temperatures can stop by several cooling centers in Peoria.  The City/County health Department says the centers include the Salvation Army on Northeast Jefferson, the Friendship House on Northeast Madison, and all Peoria Fire Stations, and the Civic Center Verizon Café.  The Department also says residents should stay indoors, wear light colored, and avoid caffeine, alcohol and other dehydrating liquids.

The fate of the shuttered Sheraton Four Points Hotel in downtown Peoria will take a new turn this month. The 275-room property goes up for online auction July 20-22. Peoria Convention and Visitor’s Bureau CEO 

  Don Welch says the the property listed on has already garnered interest.

Ex-convicts focus of proposed job training program

Jul 10, 2015

Ex-convicts could benefit from a proposed two-year vocational and rehabilitation training program in Peoria.  The non-profit Adams Street Foundation is looking to turn the property at 1212 South West Adams into a vocational boarding house.  

Illinois GOP selects Peoria for convention in 2016

Jul 9, 2015
Tanya Koonce / WCBU News

Peoria will host the Illinois GOP Convention next year. It’s the first time the Republican Convention is coming to the city.

Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Don Welch says they’re expecting around 1,500 to fill the Peoria Civic Center and Marriott Pere Marquette hotel complex.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to showcase Peoria to the state Republican officials, elected officials," Welch said. "So we’re really looking forward to that, and hopefully it will lead to additional state business.”

Both Caterpillar and the City of Peoria are soliciting input from residents to craft a downtown streetscape plan.  The focal point is Caterpillar’s plans for a new world headquarters:

Grenita Lathan takes job in Texas

Jul 5, 2015

Former District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan is taking another job in Texas.  Lathan reportedly accepted a position with the Houston Independent School District as an elementary school transformation officer.  Lathan announced her resignation last week and the school board then approved a separation package.  

Additional changes are in place for those enjoying Saturday’s Red, White and Boom Fireworks in Peoria.  Water Street will be closed from State to Eaton starting at nine in the morning.  Barricades will be set up on Washington Street along Hamilton, Main, Liberty and Harrison.  Parking is also free at the Jefferson and Niagara decks on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Officials are reminding residents to avoid the sand-barrier wall near the riverfront, and to watch the fireworks on Water Street.

Governor Bruce Rauner appointed Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.  The group handles law enforcement research and reviews federal and state grants related to the field.  McCoy has more than 45 years of experience in law enforcement, with the last 13 as Peoria County Sheriff. 

The District 150 School Board unanimously signed-off on a separation agreement with Superintendent Grenita Lathan last night.

Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Grenita Lathan announced her resignation Tuesday after more than five years on the job.  The move also highlights simmering tensions on the School Board: 

Peoria standoff ends without incident

Jun 29, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

A police standoff in Peoria lasted more than four hours Monday.  Police arrested a man on domestic battery charges in the 1300 block of N. Sheridan.  Police removed both a dog and the suspect after he told officers he would harm himself and officers.  Peoria Police Spokeswoman Officer Amy Dotson says the event happened without injuries:

The Peoria Public School Board will consider whether to terminate Superintendent Grenita Lathan.  The board will also consider putting Lathan on administrative leave at its annual meeting Wednesday.  Lathan came to District 150 more than five years ago.  

Illinois begins its new fiscal year later this week.  That carries some uncertainty for the City of Peoria, even though most operations will carry on as usual. 

Rainfall prompts foundation failures in Peoria

Jun 25, 2015

The City of Peoria has recently performed seven emergency demolitions of vacant homes.. The City has received multiple complaints of foundation failures in homes in older neighborhoods.  Usually the foundation issues arise in homes with no gutters to capture and drain the recent heavy rain fall. 

The City is asking residents to report any signs of foundation failures to the Code Enforcement Division. That number is 494-8654.