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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A coronavirus mutation detected recently by Pekin's Reditus Laboratories is not quite identical to one commonly linked to the United Kingdom.

Peoria County has topped 35,000 administered doses of the coronavirus vaccine, as Tri-County health officials report three more deaths linked to COVID-19 and 153 additional infections.

Active COVID-19 cases in the Tri-County area dropped by more than 300 in the past day, while the region added just 50 more total infections and – for the first time in more than a month – no new deaths.

UPDATE 4:15 PM: A Peoria man was the suspect killed in an officer-involved shooting in East Peoria early Tuesday morning.

The Tri-County area added a little more than 300 new COVID-19 illnesses since Friday, but Peoria-area hospitals have fewer than 50 coronavirus patients for the first time in four months.

More than 18,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the Tri-County region since last week – including 3,500 in the past day.  

Bond has been set at $1.5 million for Michael Dyer on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a Peoria man last week.

A Peoria County woman in her 90s became the Tri-County area’s 513th resident to succumb to COVID-19 as the pandemic’s death toll in Illinois eclipsed 19,000.

While 2020 was tough for many businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria's real estate market enjoyed one of its best years on record.

Basketball player dribbling to the basket
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The start of high school basketball in central Illinois is on the horizon, and a timetable has been set for football, volleyball, soccer and other sports.

The start of high school basketball in central Illinois is on the horizon, and a timetable has been set for football, volleyball, soccer and other sports.

Two more Tazewell County residents have succumbed to COVID-19, while active cases in the Tri-County area ticked up slightly in the past day.

Peoria County has discontinued use of a mobile morgue brought in amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Active COVID-19 cases in the Tri-County area have fallen sharply, with nearly 600 fewer residents either hospitalized or isolating at home since Friday.

With central Illinois moving into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on Monday, high school basketball and other high-risk sports are cleared to compete. But a timeline for getting back in action remains undetermined for now.

While Tri-County health officials on Monday reported an increase of 404 total COVID-19 infections over the weekend, active cases declined by 285, to 2,574.

Men in bowling alley
Seth Wenig / AP

UPDATED 5:40 P.M. | Central Illinois is officially moving out of additional mitigations as the region's COVID-19 statistics continue to improve.

With most of central Illinois now in Tier 1 of the Restore Illinois COVID-19 mitigation plan, the Illinois High School Association is getting back to competition. Practices resumed this week and two Peoria-area athletic directors say players and coaches are excited and eager to return to action.

Tri-County health officials on Friday announced three new deaths linked to COVID-19 and 185 additional coronavirus infections in the past day.

UPDATED 4:50 p.m. | Peoria Police say a man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Peoria woman whose body was found Thursday in East Peoria.

Authorities say Christopher J. Sanders, 42, was arrested in connection with the death of Mona Ellison on Thursday evening in the village of New Baden, Ill., 30 miles east of St. Louis.

A Peoria County man in his 50s and a woman in her 90s from Sharon Healthcare Elms are the Tri-County area’s latest COVID-19 victims.

The five candidates on the primary ballot to succeed outgoing Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis say they want to lead the city through its current challenges and into the future.

Vivian Reed wants the Federal Bureau of Prisons to be more forthcoming about conditions at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin amid a second COVID-19 outbreak.

With nine new fatalities announced Wednesday, the Tri-County area has moved to the brink of reaching 500 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Tri-County health officials Tuesday reported 13 more Peoria County deaths linked to COVID-19 over the three-day weekend, along with the passing of a Tazewell County man in his 70s.

Tri-County health officials on Friday reported eight new COVID-19-related deaths, including six victims from Tazewell County.

Early voting for next month’s consolidated primary elections began Thursday, and Peoria County Election Commission Executive Director Tom Bride believes turnout may be higher than usual this year.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the Peoria area dipped below 100 in the latest figures released Thursday by Tri-County health department officials.

The death of a Peoria County woman in her 80s with underlying health issues is the only new fatality attributed to COVID-19 in the Tri-County area.

People who have been putting off dental procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic should not keep waiting.