Dana Vollmer | WGLT

Dana Vollmer

Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WCBU. Prior to moving to Peoria, Dana covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois. She earned her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. She also graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she studied communication and produced Morning Edition for WNIJ. Dana's interests include criminal justice reform, economic equity and the environment. 

2019 was a violent year in Peoria. The city recorded 25 homicides — the highest number in more than 30 years.

A new resident police officer has moved into the East Bluff.

Illinois lawmakers last year moved to crack down on acts of violence committed in a place of worship. The legislation, signed by Governor JB Pritzker, asks judges to increase the penalty for murder and assault in a church or against someone engaged in religious practice.

As Bradley University Political Science Professor Craig Curtis explains to WCBU, the measure comes at a time when lawmakers are moving away from mandating harsher criminal punishments — and does little to  protect congregations.

The new year marks new leadership at the helm at the Peoria Fire Department.

A badge pinning ceremony Tuesday made official Tony Ardis' promotion to fire chief. Also honored were Assistant Fire Chief Jim Bachman, Division Chief Shawn Sollberger, Battalion Chief Stephen Rada and Captain Bobby Anderson.

Ardis, who assumed the position after Ed Olehy, retired in December said more public education and outreach are among his top priorities.

The U.S. Census Bureau is pushing public education and community outreach in an attempt to get an accurate 2020 count in Illinois.

A pilot program bringing fresh food to Peoria’s South Side could soon become permanent.

Two people currently detained in Peoria County Jail will be out for the holidays, thanks to a joint effort by the Black Justice Project and Change Peoria.

Central Illinois congressional representatives are praising the bipartisan House passage of an updated trade agreement among the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Three people earned their way out of Tazewell County Drug Court Wednesday after years of effort to get clean and rebuild their lives.

Sterling Family Restaurant owner Louie Trilikis was honored by the City of Peoria for 30 years of service.

The Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Bradley University students to connect Latinx businesses with resources in the community.

After three years of planning and construction, Peoria’s Ronald McDonald House has officially opened its doors.

There are just weeks left until adult-use recreational cannabis becomes legal in Illinois. While many consumers have been looking forward to that day since lawmakers passed the legislation in May, cultivators have been scrambling to prepare for the demand.

WCBU’s Dana Vollmer visited one central Illinois producer to see how preparation efforts are going.

Nursing parents visiting courthouses across Illinois could still have trouble accessing a private clean place to feed their babies.

Nursing students will be offered a streamlined path to an advanced degree, under a new agreement between Illinois Central College and Illinois State University.

America's workforce is multi-generational, which can lead to both conflict and opportunity.

Quality local journalism from WCBU depends on your financial support. We need new contributors on Giving Tuesday who will give $10 a month. Please consider a contribution to keep public media strong in Central Illinois. If you already contribute to WCBU, thank you!

This story was last updated Dec. 3 at 7:55 a.m.

There are officially three Republicans and one Democrat running to replace retiring state Rep. Mike Unes, a Republican from East Peoria.

Two non-profit organizations serving Peoria's South Side are combining to ensure services remain available to residents.

State law bans registered sex offenders from social media websites during their probation period, which for some, can last for decades.

Medical students from the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria paid tribute to the people who donated their bodies so they could learn.

Illinois lawmakers have officially sent a police and fire pension consolidation plan to Governor J.B. Pritzker's desk.

A bench trial is underway for 22-year-old Jose Ramirez, who is accused of murdering his parents last year. Both were Bradley University employees.

The public defenders representing 14-year-old Zaveon Marks are asking the state for $25,000 to provide special mitigation expertise during the sentencing phase of his trial.

As temperatures plummet and utility bills rise, an affordable housing advocate warns the cost of heating can be unmanageable for some Peoria residents.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional director of environmental justice met with community members at Mount Zion Baptist Church last night, after touring pollution sites through out Peoria.

Peoria’s Jamieson School is home to the newest chapter of the Future Farmers of America, a youth organization meant to build leadership through agricultural education.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos met with a roundtable of community leaders today to discuss lowering the price of healthcare.

A jury found 14-year-old Zaveon Marks guilty of one count of first degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon in the shooting death of 16-year-old Zarious Fair last summer. 

Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of 14-year-old Zaveon Marks.

A new judge will preside over Peoria County’s 10th Judicial Circuit Court.