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Phil Luciano


Phil Luciano

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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LADD — In small towns, simple things can carry deep meaning.

Luciano: Up for sale, Ladd's beloved restaurant Lanuti's faces an uncertain future

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Sometimes, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game — in front of no one.

Luciano: Mediocrity needs no witnesses

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When it’s padlocked. Then, it’s merely a water hydrant. That’s the curious outcropping of an ongoing firefighting debate in Groveland. Drive along the main drag of Springfield Road, you’ll see red hydrants capped with security devices and shiny padlocks.

Luciano: Locked hydrants just one part of Groveland's water dispute

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Bolstered by kin last week, Linda Young said a final goodbye to her 25-year-old daughter, felled by a rare disease.The Peoria family is no stranger to gathering at funerals and enduring unexpected grief. Yet this time, another tragedy struck less than a dozen hours after the April 8 funeral.

Luciano: Brother dies in car crash just hours after sister's funeral

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Abraham Lincoln played in Peoria, but not always well. To be sure, after his slaying 150 years ago, Peoria mourned with a heavy heart. But it’s not as if Peoria has a soft spot for Lincoln — even though he was a central Illinoisan and a known commodity here.

Luciano: Peoria was tough on Abe Lincoln, but mourned his loss heavily

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I'd never been so moved by a simple greeting. “Looch. How. You. Doon. Brother?” I was amazed. The speech was slow and abrupt. But the guy who said it? He isn't supposed to be conversing. Actually, he isn't supposed to be doing anything.

Luciano: George Jacob's recovery is 'Not. Done. Yet'

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Finally, there’s good news for Aaron Schock. He can fulfill his wish to try to square things with his congressional district. And he can do it in the most sincere way possible politically: by putting his money where his mouth is.

Luciano: Aaron Schock can make it up to taxpayers by paying for special election

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It’s been a long time since Thomas Lilly last went to school. Another lifetime, really.

Luciano: Thomas Lilly, 92, hopes his efforts to earn a GED inspire young dropouts

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Why not possum? As the Peoria Great Food Truck Debate enters marathon status, the discussion now ponders whether a lack of sufficient regulation would somehow turn our fair city into a junk yard.

Luciano: Possum — the other, other white meat?

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Somewhere out there lurks a secondary plot line behind The Fall of Aaron Schock. Who took him down? We might not find out for a long time. Or ever. And

Luciano: Who tipped the media on Schock?

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Faith and begorrah! Careening toward St. Patrick’s Day, we present a green-tinted (use your imagination) brew of reader love known as O’Random

Mr. Spock helped me say goodbye to high school. In the wake of Leonard Nimoy’s death last week, I’ve been wondering if anyone else from my

Luciano: Closing high school with a Vulcan salute

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There’s one thing I appreciated about Al Zuccarini, who died Monday at age 57: The naked truth.

Luciano: Straight-talking businessman Al Zuccarini left an indelible mark on Peoria

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The calls keep coming into the newsroom from media nationally: what does the Aaron Schock hullabaloo mean to voters?

Luciano: Will Aaron Schock remain the 'Boy Wonder' of the GOP?

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In the waning afterglow of Friday’s simultaneous merrymaking by Caterpillar Inc. and Peoria, we’re now entering the smoke-a-cigarette phase: Where do we go from here?

Luciano: Caterpillar announcement brings up questions

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In Peoria right now, cold might bite no place harder than 1401 S. Greenlawn St. There, Michael Foster and pregnant wife Tawna Ashby endured Wednesday’s harsh chill as they have the entire winter: with no working furnace. Lately, they’ve spent most of their time huddled in the kitchen, with heat provided by an open natural-gas oven and two flaming stove-top burners.

Luciano: Peoria couple fighting the cold without a furnace

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What plays in Peoria? That puzzler has been pondered as an entertainment, marketing and political bellwether for more than a century.

Luciano: '101 Things That Play in Peoria' kicks off with things unique to the city

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Bryce McKay did not want to go. For months, the 8-year-old had fought a brain tumor. But as cancer raged over him, the youngster leaned on faith. From his hospital bed, he felt a sense of peace about going to a place where cancer would cause no more pain. But in his last moments, Bryce began to gasp and fidget, alarming his bedside parents. Though heartbroken, they already had urged him to let go. His sudden struggle baffled them — until they realized the source of angst.

Luciano: Minonk family gives son to God

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Deal with it, America: Peoria’s congressman is fabulous. Jealous much? The one weird part: why, suddenly, isn’t Aaron Schock openly fabulous? Schock, usually never one to pass on preening like a peacock in public, has grown suddenly timid — throwing a wet blanket over his usual firecracker-like flamboyance.

Jazz and jokes can’t cure the pains of old age, but they can soothe loneliness. Smiles and thank-yous can’t fill a tip jar, but they can overflow a heart.