Durbin favors “Medicare-like plan” providing universal coverage

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., expressed fear for the human and economic toll if Congress proceeds with a Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.     BY CLARE HOWARD Minutes before U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan announced he couldn’t deliver majority support and postponed the vote to replace the Affordable Care Act, …

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Native American Spring Gathering March 18

The sixth annual Native American Spring Gathering is scheduled for Saturday March 18 at Dickson Mounds Museum. “Celebrate, honor and remember the gifts of our ancestors,” is the purpose of activities throughout the day. Activities start at 11 a.m. and include a heritage program at 2 p.m., a pipe ceremony at 3:15 p.m. and a …

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Heidelberg testifies for first time; claims he’s innocent

Cleve Heidelberg walks slowly to the witness stand — for the first time in nearly 47 years able to testify under oath about his innocence. BY CLARE HOWARD For the first time in nearly 47 years, Cleve Heidelberg testified under oath Tuesday about events before and after Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Espinoza was shot …

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Combating Hate: Peoria Holocaust Memorial

Sid Ruckriegel, left, chairman of the board of Peoria Riverfront Museum, speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the relocation of the Peoria Holocaust Memorial. Dignitaries and elected officials line up, shovels in hand, for the groundbreaking on an unseasonably mild Sunday afternoon in February. BY CLARE HOWARD After 11 years at Shoppes at Grand Prairie, …

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Another skirmish in war on science; Trump team changes energy information on children educational website

References to the well-documented damage from coal and hydraulic fracturing are among changes made on the “Energy Kids” website. See article in ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/childs-play-team-trump-rewrites-a-department-of-energy-website-for-kids   Examples of changes:   ** On a page dedicated to coal, the following sentences were deleted: “In the United States, most of the coal consumed is used as a fuel …

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Hundreds rally in support of Planned Parenthood

BY CLARE HOWARD Hundreds of women, men and children lined both sides of Knoxville Avenue Saturday outside of Planned Parenthood to express support for the agency and for the right of women to reproductive health care choice. Passing cars honked support. At noon, the crowd numbered about 350 people. The Rev. Lynnda White supports Planned …

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Tensions turn Heidelberg hearing “Kafkaesque”

file photo BY CLARE HOWARD Heated exchanges, anger and finger pointing erupted during a 2 ½-hour hearing Thursday in an ongoing case reexamining the 1970 murder conviction of Cleve Heidelberg for the shooting death of Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Espinoza. On the stand during the entire proceeding was former prosecutor in the case Ron …

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Pro Bono Group Hosts Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer attorneys and paralegals will assist clients at Prairie State Legal Services this Saturday Feb. 11. 
Attorney and paralegal volunteers will staff a free Legal Advice Clinic  9 
a.m. to 12 p.m. Feb. 11 at Prairie State Legal Services, 331 Fulton Street, Suite 600 in Peoria. Clients applied for 
services through Prairie State Legal Services …

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New financial risks faced over apartments proposed at Riverfront Park

STATEMENT of FRIENDS of RIVERFRONT PARK   The news that Caterpillar, Inc. is cancelling its downtown Peoria expansion raises new concerns about the proposed River Trail Apartments in Riverfront Park.   Friends of Riverfront Park believe that local taxpayers are facing new financial risks if those apartments are built.   Friends of Riverfront Park again …

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Drama and emotion in 4-hour hearing in Cleve Heidelberg murder case

Cleve Heidelberg listened in court as his attorneys asked Peoria County Circuit Judge Albert Purham for Heidelberg’s immediate release after 47 years in prison. Later in the hearing, Heidelberg sat intently watching a two-hour videotaped deposition by Matt Clark testifying that his brother James Clark had confessed to the shooting murder of Peoria County Sheriff’s …

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