I've seen many chunks of neglect, disrepair and blight, from Peoria to the Third World. But I'd never seen anything like the cascade inside a two-story rental house at 2102 W. Howett St., where the city is hoping for a peaceful resolution of a nasty renter-landlord feud.
Kyle Weeks, 13, of Peoria stands next to a black bear killed in a collision with an SUV in Wisconsin during a recent fishing trip. Weeks, brother Jared Weeks, 11, and father Chip Weeks, 47, were passengers in the SUV, operated by Gene Moore, 66, of Peoria.
Sunday in Peoria, a wayward squirrel damaged a transformer in a substation on East Hines Place, contributing to the loss of electricity to 6,500 Ameren customers, including the Journal Star.
In this 2005 photo, seated left to right, Natalie Brady, mother, Jamie Brady; and sister, Katie Brady enjoy a seat by the fireplace at Jamie Brady's Germantown Hills home. Natalie Brady was murdered over this Memorial Day weekend in Chicago while awaiting trial in Peoria County on heroin-trafficking charges. The murder case remains unsolved.
Sgt. Jesse Barth, a mechanic with the Illinois National Guard, pauses for this undated photo during a one-year tour in Iraq that stretched between 2006 and 2007. Barth, along with about 30 other veterans enrolled at Illinois Central College, have not received various education benefits from the U.S. Veterans Administration. Barth has been unable to get the VA to answer his calls to explain the delay, and ICC hasn't had much better luck with the agency.
From a lonely Western mountainside, Daniel Noe came home Tuesday, 34 years late. Noe, 22, was laid to rest in Peoria after a funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Washington.
I'm primed to cruise back in time and into a drive-in theater. There's hasn't been one around Peoria in quite a spell, since the Star-Lite in Pekin burned down in '91. But Landmark Cinemas is opening a drive-in, possibly by Friday, in the overflow parking lot along Dries Lane.
In this 1992 photo, pharmacist Wade Meloan (now deceased) poses at the elaborate gravestone for Norma Jean, a circus elephant tragically killed 40 Julys ago in the Mississippi River town of Oquawka. Meloan, a pharmacist who spearheaded the effort to build the memorial, liked to say, "If you can't go through life helping people, even if it's only a dead elephant, then there's no use in you being here."
Sascha the Hamm's bear, long depicted throwing a strike on a mural outside Bowl-Mor lanes in Peoria, crumbled along with the rest of the building during demolition late last month. But the bear's head survives as a lovely display inside the garage of a particular Peoria newspaper columnist/Hamm's aficionado.