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    Phil Luciano

    Phil Luciano

    • 81 Pins

    One Peoria icon returns, another vanishes.

    Luciano: Big John's ribs are coming back, but Sprinkler Lane swans have flown the coop

    “Y’all have enough to eat?” Peorians of a certain age reverently recall that refrain, perhaps with a little drool. It was the signature

    Luciano: The ribs are gone, but Big John's legacy remains

    Like machine-gun fire, the number kept jolting Zach Ziegel. Story after story, the news astounded him: An average of 22 veterans kill themselves every day, a rate more than double that of the general population. This week, after long brainstorming tactics, the Marine veteran attacked the enemy of suicide.

    Luciano: Former Marine reservist launches Buddy Check 22 effort to wish a vet well

    Like a wobbly comet, Willie York has streaked again into the Peoria stratosphere.

    Luciano: Willie York enjoys 'vacation' in Peoria

    A cheerful Lonny Beasley has sweated a lot this week. The 19-year-old has been helping rebirth an old mortuary into an outreach ministry. In that way, he likes helping people and Peoria. The work makes him smile.

    Luciano: Mission Peoria volunteers keep the faith in spite of recent killings

    CHILLICOTHE — To chronicle nature’s beauty, seafaring photographer John Guider has endured a chomping shark, a slapping alligator and treacherous storms.

    Luciano: Boater's heart is his compass, but his river trek stalls in Chillicothe

    With a unprecedented roar, a blast of fire rocketed into the sky, brilliantly signaling the start of Peoria’s most spectacular disaster: the 1935 explosion and blaze at Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery.

    Luciano: Fueled by 6 million gallons of whiskey, distillery fire lit up Peoria 80 years ago

    As reverse-angle parking suddenly joins Peoria’s Traffic Fad of the Month Club, we have two possibilities.

    Luciano: Reverse-angle parking could put Downtown Peoria in reverse

    MORTON — In his seventh decade of cutting hair, Jim Fortman isn’t just a barber: he’s an emcee.

    Luciano: Morton barber wields razor like a microphone

    Rock musicians crave encores, and Craig Moore knows family, friends and fans are cheering for him to get back on stage.

    Luciano: Cardiac arrest sidelines rocker and record shop owner Craig Moore — for now

    Who cheers a baseball player for getting hit by a pitch? Me. Maybe only me.

    Luciano: Sometimes you just have to take one — or more — for the team

    Whither the two Fiskars swans? Since 1995, a pair of white trumpeter swans have become a low-key icon of the Peoria landscape. They rule the roost — well, actually the retention pond — at Fiskars Brands Inc., 1 Sprinkler Lane, on the northwest edge of Peoria, the former site of L.R. Nelson.

    Luciano: Fate of Fiskars feathered friends up in the air

    To continue to honor and serve veterans, all Kay Ingram wants is a closet.

    Luciano: Volunteers feeling the squeeze at VA clinic

    2015 Cardinals, meet the 1919 Black Sox. At least, that's the possible meet-up in the wake of allegations that the Cards hacked another team's database.

    Pinned from

    For most of his 15 years, Demarcus Jackson hadn’t been big on prayer.“I’m not really a church person,” he says. But his view changed a bit the night of June 7. Swept away by a flooded creek and into a raging drainage culvert, he flailed and bobbed for two miles before pulling himself atop a short pipe. Perched there in darkness for 12 hours as floodwater raced below, he screamed for help repeatedly. But no one heard him.

    Luciano: Hope and prayers come through for Peoria teen trapped in floodwaters

    Belinda Buhs knows we can't always avoid trouble. Weather can turn stormy. People can make mistakes. But mix a brutal Mother Nature and possible human error, and BOOM — you're unexpectedly hit with a rare, expensive mess, the kind that has waylaid Buhs' home and pocketbook.

    Luciano: High and dry, and hot and bothered about it

    Ol’ Moe is no mo’. A diehard legend among local landscaping enthusiasts, The Little Mower That Could finally encountered a challenge he couldn’t beat: Old age.

    Luciano: Ol' Moe cut down by march of time

    Tears fall for a missing chicken. It's not just any chicken, but a champion Mexican fighting rooster, stuffed in all its brawling glory — the treasured mascot of Los Jimadores, 7723 N. University. But the rooster is on the lam with two thieves who plucked the bird from the eatery Saturday.

    Luciano: Stuffed Mexican fighting rooster swiped in heartbreaking cock-a-doodle caper

    WASHBURN — To the end, D-Day and World War II remained close to Clyde Winkler’s heart. Winkler served the entire war in the Army. On June 6, 1944, he spent his 27th birthday crashing the beach at Normandy. “Hitler, we’re coming!” he yelled, echoing a common war cry that day.

    Luciano: WWII veteran Clyde Winkler, who stormed the beaches of Normandy, was one of a quickly vanishing breed

    So, anyone going to the Johnny Cougar show tonight? OK, maybe it’s unfair to run 40-year-old photos of rock stars (or anyone else, for that matter). But I was amazed at this promo shot, which I found while glancing at old Journal Star files in preparation for tonight’s John Mellencamp show at the Civic Center Theater.

    Luciano: Where have you gone, Johnny Cougar?

    Take me out to the ball game, take me out to ... Macomb? Or Carbondale, or Champaign, or even (gag) Normal. But not Peoria, which means baseball slummin’.

    Luciano: No crying in baseball? Maybe in Peoria, ranked as a lousy baseball town

    PEKIN — After a lifetime of challenges, Kaelie Morgan needed a hand — so her uncle made her one.

    Luciano: Uncle uses 3D printer to create prosthetic hand for Pekin niece

    Ted had a drifting eye, bad headaches and one leg — then his life got tough.At the core of a twisting story we’ll try to unravel below, he got an early start on state-sanctioned medical marijuana. But his self-prescribed pot — which he says had the verbal blessing of a family physician — cost him the prescription drugs that ease the discomfort from an amputation.

    Luciano: Medical marijuana uncertainty leaves patient in pain

    On Saturday, Brandy Schroeder wasn’t supposed to be in Peoria.Further, she wasn’t supposed to be at Bradley University. And she wasn’t supposed to be at the school’s graduation ceremony.Actually, she wasn’t supposed to be, at all.

    Luciano: Hit by a car when she was 8, Brandy Schroeder exceeds expectations and graduates from Bradley with a double major

    When Laurence Lopez Jr. wanted to join the Navy and fight in World War II, his father balked.Not that the elder Lopez lacked patriotism. Rather, the numbers told him he probably faced more of a chance at losing a son than most parents.

    Luciano: Peorian one of seven brothers to survive World War II