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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Only three current intensive care unit patients at Peoria-area hospitals are being treated for COVID-19, as the Tri-County area approaches 40,000 residents fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.

Peoria County’s death toll from COVID-19 saw another significant increase Monday as Tri-County health officials announced a case review from the last two months produced 11 additional fatalities tied to the pandemic.

A review of cases from the past two months has led to Peoria County adding 16 more COVID-19 fatalities to its total since the start of the pandemic.

LaTrina Leary and Frank Abdnour will have to wait at least another week before finding out which one of them won the Democratic primary for Peoria Township supervisor.

With the addition of more than 4,000 administered doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the past day, the Tri-County has surged past the 100,000-shot mark.

Tri-County health officials reported 61 more COVID-19 cases in Wednesday’s daily update, but for the second consecutive day, the region saw no new fatalities added to the death toll.

Heading into the final weeks of his tenure, outgoing Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said Wednesday the city is showing signs of emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, but challenges remain.

The incumbents in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Peoria City Council Districts will move to the April general election.

With 100 percent of the vote in, At-Large City Councilwoman Rita Ali and current 4th District Councilman Jim Montelongo are the two Peoria mayoral candidates appearing on the April 6 general election ballot.

A state grant of almost $860,000 will allow Peoria Public Schools District 150 to help students and families from communities adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Gov. JB Pritkzer has signed a criminal justice reform bill spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. But questions linger among activists, lawmakers and law enforcement officials over the effects of the bill.

Two men from Tazewell County became the latest Tri-County deaths linked COVID-19, while the region moved closer to 34,000 coronavirus infections – and to 100,000 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As Illinois moves past the 2-million mark for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Tri-County area also continues to reach vaccine milestones, approaching 90,000 administered doses and eclipsing 20,000 people getting their second doses.

The Peoria County Sheriff's Office is warning the public about an increase in COVID-19 scammers trying to swindle people in the Peoria area.

An annual engineering event held by the Peoria Riverfront Museum is taking a new approach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peoria County has eclipsed 50,000 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 10,000 residents fully vaccinated, while the Tri-County region has added 77 new coronavirus infections and three additional fatalities in the past day.

Peoria County has moved past 250 deaths linked to COVID-19 with five more fatalities reported Wednesday.

UPDATED 11 A.M. | The Bradley University men's basketball program announced Thursday morning that junior forward Ja'Shon Henry has been cleared of wrongdoing and reinstated to the team, effective immediately.

The program issued a statement saying Henry “is neither a person of interest nor suspect in any case. He also has been cleared of possible student conduct violations.” Henry is expected to play in Thursday's 6 p.m. game against Illinois State at Carver Arena. 

With the cost of natural gas spiking, officials in Morton are encouraging people to lower their thermostats a little despite below-freezing temperatures.

The number of people in the Tri-County area with COVID-19 has fallen sharply since Friday, while more than 4% of the region’s population is now fully vaccinated.

While high school basketball and other sports are back in action in central Illinois, limitations remain on the number of spectators allowed, if any. So, schools have started turning to live-streaming the events for fans and family members.

In the wake of a murder suspect’s suicide at the Peoria County Jail over the weekend, Sheriff Brian Asbell said the facility’s staff makes every effort to prevent detainees from self-harm.

While the Tri-County area produced its most deaths linked to COVID-19 over a seven-day stretch since late January, the region also saw active coronavirus infections decline precipitously in the past three weeks.

Three Woodford County residents have been announced as the Tri-County area’s latest COVID-19 victims, while the number of people from the region who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine has topped 60,000.

Tri-County health officials on Wednesday reported four new deaths linked to COVID-19 and 139 additional cases, while the region approaches 70,000 administered doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Racial disparity remains a problem in the health care field, with fewer Black men applying to, and enrolling in, medical school today than in the 1970s.

Tri-County health officials on Tuesday reported just 82 new COVID-19 cases from the previous day, while hospitalizations and active cases in the region declined sharply from the day before.

Tri-County health officials on Monday reported five new fatalities linked to COVID-19 and 270 additional infections over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus patients in Peoria-area hospitals increased from 37 to 50 – with more than half of them (26) in intensive care units after showing 11 ICU beds in use on Friday. The region currently has 1,968 residents isolating at home.

More than 15% of the Tri-County population has received the COVID-19 vaccine and 2.5% is fully vaccinated, according to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Peoria's Fourth District will soon have a new city council representative, with three candidates on the ballot for the upcoming primary election.