04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
As if things are not tough enough for ailing comedian Richard Pryor, 66. The groundbreaking comic, who announced in 1991 that he has multiple sclerosis and now spends most of his time at home in California, was dissed by his hometown of Peoria, Ill., two weeks ago, when the town voted thumbs down on a proposal to rename a street there in his honor. Council members rejected the idea, it was announced, because of their dim view of Pryor's personal battles with drugs and some of his expletive-laced comedy routines. But, reports the Associated Press, publicity about the turn-down has resulted in a bad rep for Peoria -- and a second life to the naming proposal. "We've had nothing but negative recognition lately, and this is one way that maybe we can start to turn that around," councilman Eric Turner said at a session this week as a reconsideration was introduced. A new vote will be held in two weeks.