Peoria

Illinois is joining a chorus of states condemning a Trump administration proposal to rollback protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act.

Health care insurers and doctors could deny service to transgender patients, under a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It would remove gender identity as a basis for sex discrimination. The rule would also remove protections for women who have had an abortion.

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

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.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

10 school districts across the state are participating in a pilot project with the Illinois Board of Education.

Chicago is participating, along with areas such as Round Lake, Kankakee, and Peoria.  State Superintendent Tony Smith says the pilot initiative could have implications for districts across Illinois

“We think that there’s a lot of folks out there that have been doing work like this for a while and we want to build more of a community of practice for it. And we do think that it will have a big impact on the direction the state goes in understanding this.”

Catholic Diocese of Peoria

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has clashed with the Obama administration, particularly over the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of birth control.

Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky is hopeful that the Trump administration will protect Catholic institutions from having to offer birth control insurance coverage to employees and contraceptive services to patients. He disagrees with critics' assertion that the provision restricts women’s access to birth control.

Transgender Patient Services Expanding, But Still Lacking

Aug 31, 2016
Cass Herrington/ Peoria Public Rado

Planned Parenthood health centers in Peoria, Pekin and Bloomington added services for transgender patients this month.  Cass Herrington reports members of the transgender community welcome the news, but say there’s still a void in the treatment that’s available:

 

Darcia Ostling started her transition six years ago, “From who I was into who I am, who I truly am,” Ostling said.

Chuck Weaver Picked To Fill Vacant State Senate Seat

Oct 5, 2015
WCBU

Peoria City Councilman Chuck Weaver is replacing Darin LaHood in the state senate.  

A selection committee picked Weaver to fill the vacant 37th District senate seat after LaHood won election to Congress last month.

Weaver was one of 10 applicants for the appointment. He’s served on the Peoria City Council for more than four years.

LaHood was elected to fill Aaron Schock’s seat in Congress after Schock resigned in March. That was amid spending allegations against Schock after decorating his office in the style of the television show “Downton Abbey.”

Peoria Settles Lawsuit Over Parody Twitter Account

Sep 3, 2015
WCBU

The City of Peoria is paying $125,000 to a man who created a parody Twitter account of the city’s mayor. The payment settles a federal lawsuit involving free speech and social media.

Jon Daniel’s home was raided last spring after he created the Twitter account that spoofed Peoria’s Mayor and included raunchy messages before it was suspended.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Karen Sheley represented Daniel. She says the settlement compensates Daniel for being arrested and investigated but never charged with a crime.

Costs Of Special Election Shock County Clerks

Mar 23, 2015

The resignation of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock and the required special election have officials in the 19 Illinois counties in his 18th Congressional District concerned about how to cover those costs.

County clerks they are asking Illinois lawmakers to delay a new state law allowing same-day voter registration which takes effect June 1, the Associated Press reports.

facebook.com/GovernorQuinn & facebook.com/BruceRauner

Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner will meet for their first true debate of the Illinois governor's race. The candidates are scheduled to face off tonight in Peoria.

WNIJ will carry this debate live starting at 8 o’clock tonight. at 89.5 FM. You can add your thoughts via Twitter, using #ILGov2014

Catholic Diocese of Peoria

A group called Catholics United is calling on Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to stop using the pulpit of his diocese for partisan proclamations. Bishop Jenky is ordering all priests in the Peoria Diocese to read a letter during this weekend’s services.