Joe Deacon | WGLT

Joe Deacon


Joe Deacon is a reporter at WCBU. He started working for WCBU in 2020.

He previously was a correspondent for WGLT, starting in 2019.

Earlier in his career, Deacon worked at The Pantagraph in Bloomington.

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Nearly 250 patients are now being treated for COVID-19 in Peoria-area hospitals as Tri-County area health officials Monday reported a daily average of almost 380 new cases over the four-day holiday weekend.

Hersey Hawkins, arguably the best player in Bradley University basketball history, is headed to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

A group of Bradley University students is participating in a challenge that will assist NASA’s goal to put U.S. astronauts back on the moon within three years.

For a second straight day, Tri-County health officials on Wednesday reported 10 more COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours.

The COVID-19 pandemic will bring Thanksgiving holiday travel to its lowest counts in years, but millions of people are still ignoring advice from public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting many people to change the way they celebrate Thanksgiving, business remains brisk this season at one large central Illinois turkey farm.

Ten more Tri-County residents have died from COVID-19 complications in the past day, and health officials reported Tuesday a total of 209 coronavirus patients being treated at the Peoria-area’s four hospitals.

Pekin Mayor Mark Luft will join the Illinois House in January, filling the seat held by retiring 91st District state Rep. Mike Unes, R-East Peoria, and following in the footsteps of his father, Dick Luft, who served in both General Assembly chambers from 1975-93 as a Democrat.

The firm grip of a second COVID-19 wave produced more than 2,500 cases and 30 deaths in the Tri-County area over the past seven days, with health officials reporting 11 new fatalities in previous 24 hours on Friday.

The Missouri Valley Conference is altering its conference basketball schedules in response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.  

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

UPDATED 4:30 P.M. | The Missouri Valley Conference is altering its conference basketball schedules in consideration of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.  

Illinois residents with marijuana convictions have a new starting point toward getting their records wiped clean, and State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth is helping make sure downstate residents are aware of the opportunity.

For the second consecutive day, the Tri-County Area added more than 400 new COVID-19 cases, and more than 200 patients are hospitalized in the region as the pandemic’s second wave continues to surge.

A Peoria County woman in her 40s is one of six deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Tri-County area since Tuesday, as the region continues to pass milestones and set daily records for new cases.

With COVID-19 spread's now exponentially increasing in every region of the state, all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 restrictions on Friday. With the new mitigations in place, certain businesses and entities are going to have to again rethink the way they operate.

Touting support for local businesses and defending his votes on budget cuts, Peoria City Councilman Denis Cyr officially launched his re-election bid for the 5th District seat on Tuesday.

Sid Ruckriegel believes his experience and relationship skills give him the qualifications he needs to become the next mayor of Peoria.

Several central Illinois school districts are temporarily moving all instruction online as COVID-19 cases surge across the region--particularly among teachers and other staff.

A balanced budget and a decrease in the annual property tax levy for 2021 gained unanimous approval from the Peoria City Council on Tuesday night, but continued discussion about placing an advisory referendum on the April ballot to address rising police and fire pension costs remains divisive.

A South Peoria fire station shuttered by budgetary cuts will reopen, but at the expense of another station that serves the Uplands, the Moss Avenue area and Bradley University.

Discover Peoria and ArtsPartners of Central Illinois have come up with a different way to conduct this year’s popular Santa Cause Run in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In defiance of Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines, the Illinois High School Association decided to let the basketball seasons begin as planned later this month.

But Peoria County Regional Superintendent of Schools Beth Crider says that puts school districts in a difficult position.

UPDATED 7:15 P.M. | U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) has been declared the winner in the race for the 17th District seat, but Republican challenger Esther Joy King is not yet acknowledging defeat.

Peoria County again sits alone as a blue county in a ruby red region, opting for Joe Biden and down ballot Democratic incumbents.

UPDATED 1:15 A.M. | Illinois voters appear to have given U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos a fifth term representing the 17th Congressional District.

Peoria Notre Dame's basketball teams will not be playing in the high school seasons scheduled to start later this month.

Peoria-area election officials believe record vote-by-mail and early voting participation may translate to fewer people filling out ballots in person today. But for those who are heading to the polls, there is plenty they should know--beyond the candidates' positions.

Central Illinois restaurants and bars only have a couple days to adapt to new bans on indoor service as COVID-19 cases surge across the region.

More Peoria-area voters than ever are casting their ballots before Election Day on Tuesday.

Economic concerns related to the ongoing pandemic apparently have not scared off Peoria-area home buyers.