Cass Herrington

  Cass Herrington is a news producer for WCBU Public Radio.  

Previously, she reported for Tri-State Public Media in Evansville, Ind. where she covered local news and hosted a weekly news magazine. During her time there, she reported on Pres. Barack Obama's visit to a manufacturing company in Central Indiana, on the stories of women who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, and on a new school developed for non-verbal students with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

Herrington has received awards for her coverage of news and culture, including the designations of best reporter by the Associated Press Broadcaster's Association in both Indiana and Kentucky. In 2015, she received a national Edward R. Murrow in the news documentary category. 
A Kentucky native, Herrington graduated cum laude from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism, international studies and Spanish. During her junior year, she studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she also interned for the Associated Press. When she's not reporting, she enjoys rock climbing, Pilates and cooking. 

Brandon Towns for Illinois Newsroom

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against — with few resources.

Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, predominantly minorities, from moving out of poverty.

Peoria’s South Side neighborhood presents an unusual case because part of the isolation has to do with its geography. It’s located at the bottom of a hill.  

“Never Forget”

Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio

A Democratic congressional candidate who lost a chance at the 18th District in 2016 is running again.

Eureka College history professor Junius Rodriguez made his formal announcement Wednesday in front of seven people in Peoria.

Rodriguez says his loss to the Republican candidate, 18th District Rep. Darin LaHood, was a lesson on campaigning. He ran with a self-funded campaign with about $25,000 and a staff of four.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The state budget impasse restored funding to human service agencies that went unpaid for more than two years. But a nonprofit that provides support for victims of domestic abuse still hasn’t gotten paid for services provided during that time.

The Center for Prevention of abuse is waiting on about three-quarters of a million dollars from the state. That’s about 15-percent of its overall budget. Executive Director Carol Merna says nevertheless, she feels some level of comfort knowing the agency's contracts will eventually be fulfilled.

Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio

Two state lawmakers with previous service on Peoria's City Council are pushing legislation they say would make private utility companies more accountable to customers.

State Sen. Chuck Weaver and Rep. Ryan Spain’s experience dealing with the city’s contract with Illinois American Water spurred the two bills. One focuses on transparency in how prices are set and the other would regulate appraisals.

Currently, private utilities in Illinois can increase their appraised value if the buyer is a unit of government.

Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio

The daughter of a World War II veteran who died 47 years ago has finally received her father’s Purple Heart.

The medal was originally awarded to the late Army Cpl. Edward Dunn.  He died in 1970. Years later, his Purple Heart was discovered in a safe deposit box that was surrendered to the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office as unclaimed property.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs presented the Purple Heart to Cpl. Dunn’s daughter, Connie Barr, during a ceremony Monday at the World War II memorial outside the Peoria County Courthouse.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

New legislation would amend the Illinois Noxious Weed Law to allow farmers to grow and sell industrial hemp. 

The plant is a strain of cannabis that doesn’t have psychoactive properties. Peoria-based Global Hemp is developing potential uses for fiber that can be chemically “cottonized” for a softer product. President Eric Pollitt is marketing the product to higher-end companies.

A Democratic candidate for governor says he wants to help Illinois’ working class, particularly those living downstate.

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar’s priorities include a so-called “New Deal” for Illinois.  The idea is framed after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s infrastructure projects that followed the Great Depression.

“I know right here in Peoria, there’s about a billion dollars worth of lock and dam work," he said. "So, we have an opportunity to not only build out our intermodal facilities, but also do ecological and wildlife restoration and lock and dam work.”

Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio

President Donald Trump’s order to deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally left many undocumented people and their families feeling unsettled.

In response, immigrant rights advocates are mobilizing to spread information about how to better prepare for encounters with immigration officials.


“Fear debilitates you,” community organizer Jorge Mujica said. “We are in a full campaign against fear. Good information organizes, so what we are doing is giving people good information.”