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Rural Illinois school wins third IHSA state music title in a row

Not only does the Illinois High School Association recognize state champs in football, basketball and baseball; but they also award state titles in music. And a rural Illinois school has won three in a row. Curtis Fischer-Oelschlaeger is the vocal director at Rockridge High School in lower Rock Island, just south of the Quad Cities.

The IHSA state music sweepstakes includes a solo and ensemble contest followed by an organization contest. There are 109 students involved in the Rockridge music program. 


There are 271 high school bass fishing teams in Illinois

There are now 271 high school bass fishing teams in Illinois and the IHSA will crown its ninth state champion in the sport next month.

The IHSA’s Kurt Gibson says the first state tournament series in bass fishing was offered in 2009 with 199 member schools participating.

Sectionals take place throughout the state on May 5th with the state bass fishing championship decided on May 20th at Carlyle Lake. 


Much of Illinois will get plenty of rain rest of the week

Rain gauges throughout Illinois will be getting a good workout over the next several days. A system will be moving through the state Wednesday with another one behind it for the weekend says State Climatologist Jim Angel.

As far as temperatures are concerned, Angel says Illinois is about five-and-half degrees above normal for the month of April. 


City Council on PTP

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley are the guests


WKEI Open Line

Issues with the airlines hit the April 25 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


ISP And Child Abuse

The month of April is noted as National Child Abuse Prevention Month and unfortunately, child abuse takes on many forms.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says he was recently called on to deliver an address about human and sex trafficking and he was taken by surprise by what he found…

Trooper Wilson says from there, it was one unbelievable story after the next…

Trooper Wilson also found that unknowing victims are snapped up off the street often times before they know what has happened…

Trooper Wilson advises the general public to find out more about this subject on their own and become more aware of the problem…


Alzheimers Program In Geneseo

The Alzheimer’s Association is offering free a community education class on Legal and Financial matters Thursday, April 27thth at from 4 to 5:30pm at the Geneseo Public Library, 805 North Chicago Street, Geneseo, IL. 

Attorney Curt Ford from the lawfirm Nash Nash Bean and Ford will present at the class.  He will focus on important legal and financial issues that those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers face.

Jerry Schroeder, Senior Program Specialist with the Alzheimer’s Association will also be available during the class, for other Alzheimer’s disease and dementia related questions. 

This class is free and open to the public. 

Advanced registration is required by calling 1-800-272-3900. Or, to register online visit www.alz.org, browse to Caregiver Center, Community Resource Finder, Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events. For more information contact Jerry Schroeder at 563-293-8056, or at jschroeder@alz.org


City Council Meeting

Kewanee City Council met on Monday evening at 7 o’clock after a 6 o’clock closed budget session.

Early on in the proceedings on Monday night, the Oath of Office was given to incoming Council Member Steve Faber and incumbent Mike Yaklich.

Also early on, a resolution was passed naming as excess the nameplate of former Councilwoman Kellie Wallace McKenna and thanking her for her years of service to the City of Kewanee.

Among the many items of business last night, Council passed a resolution awarding demolition of 920 North East Street to Martin Brothers which had submitted a bid of $5,890.00. That bid was $109 lower than a bid from Ratliff Brothers which had submitted a proposal of $5,999.00.

The City had also sought bids for demolition work at 811 North Walnut Street and 807 West Fourth Street and while bids came in separate for both projects, the City had solicited for lump sum bids for that work.

While Martin Brothers bid for 811 North Walnut was $460 less that the bid from Ratliff Brothers, the Ratliff bid was over $700 less than the Martin bid for 807 West Fourth Street and the bundled bid from Ratliff Brothers $390 less than the Martin bid and Ratliff Brothers received that contract.

Council also approved Mayor Steve Looney’s recommendation for several appointments to various Boards and Commissions.

Those appointments include Kevin Zimmerman and Mark Strandberg to the Fire and Police Commission with both terms expiring on April 30th of 2020, Gene DeValkenaere to the Police Pension Board with a term expiring in April 30th of 2019, John Sayers, Clara Hemphill and Larry Minella to the Planning Commission each with a term that expires on April 30 of 2020 and the appointment of Zachary Rux to the Cemetery Board of Managers with that term expiring on April 30th of 2021. 


Wrigley Field's rural Illinois roots

A local history lesson shows that one of the state’s most noted sports landmarks has roots in rural Illinois. Bricks used in the construction of Wrigley Field in 1914 were produced at the shuttered Shale City Brickyards—located in an unincorporated area of Mercer County—south of the Quad Cities. That’s a pretty neat connection to Clark and Addison says the Mercer County Historical Society’s Stephanie Braucht (brought).

The Shale City Brickyards were open from 1912 through 1969. They were a big employer and a major player in brick production.

Braucht says bricks used in the construction of New York’s Empire State Building also came from Shale City. The brickyards closed in 1969 when the parent company—Hydraulic Press Brick Company of St. Louis—decided upgrades were too expensive and moved production elsewhere. 


Farmers should have conversations about crop still in the bin as spring planting moves forward

As farmers push forward with spring planting, what should they be doing about crop still in the bin? That’s one of the questions producers should be thinking about while on the planter.

And Jeff Adkisson with the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois says now is a good time as any to have those discussions with the merchandiser at the local elevator.

Corn is already starting to emerge in areas south of Springfield. 


WKEI Open Line

Child sexual abuse is discussed


Distracted Driving Week


Kewanee, IL – In support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) asked the Governor of the State of Illinois to declare April 24th through 28th  as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week in an effort to bring attention to the dangers and consequences associated with driving distracted.  Governor Rauner issued the proclamation and both houses passed resolutions identifying April 24th through the 28th as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week.  


The ILACP, in  partnership with AAA, and supported by the Illinois State Police, SafetyServe.com, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association, almost 300 law enforcement/fire agencies and supporters from the private sector throughout Illinois, will work together during this week to educate motorists on all aspects of distracted driving.  This campaign will also include the enforcement of applicable State distracted driving laws.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):


●      3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. That is a 9-percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year.


●      10 percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction affected crashes.


●      Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. Young drivers, 16 to 24 years old, have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.

It’s time to drop the double standard on distracted driving - the dangers are real.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: 


●      In analyzing 2009-2012 data, that even while more than 8 in 10 drivers believed it completely unacceptable for a motorist to text or e-mail behind the wheel, more than a third of those same respondents admitted to reading text messages while driving.


●      Just as disturbing, even as fatalities go up, fewer drivers seem concerned about texting while driving. According to Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index, significantly fewer motorists (77%) believed texting while driving is a problem, down from 96 percent in 2013, a 19-point drop in just two years.


●      Texting while driving is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you become a danger to everyone around you. 


         SafetyServe.com is offering a short Distracted Driving Online Course, at no cost, during Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week to those who visit the ILACP Traffic Safety Website, www.iddaw.org.


These partnerships have been formed to help further a traffic safety culture in Illinois and to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from distracted driving.  Please help the ILACP, AAA, and the Kewanee Police Department to keep Illinois’ roadways safe and Illinois strong.


AUTHORITY: Chief James Dison


Infant Immunization Week

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that April 22-29, 2017 has been designated National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).  This is a special week put aside to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger.  For 23 years, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, health care professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.


    The Health Department staff notes that recently, several important milestones have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants and adults worldwide.  Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.  In addition:


*  Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.


*  In the 1950's, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles.


*  Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths.  It also saves about $13.6 billion in direct costs.


*  The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.


    Sandy Sommer, RN Health Department Director of Clinical Services, notes, "It's easy to think of these diseases as a thing of the past.  But the truth is they still exist.  Children in the United States can, and do, still get some of these diseases.  One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is the increase in measles cases and outbreaks that were reported in recent years. In 2014, 644 people in the U.S. were reported as having measles. This is the largest number of cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000."


    The Health Department Clinical services staff reminds area residents that immunizations can be obtained through the Health Departments' clinic offices in Kewanee and Colona by appointment.  For more information on the Health Departments' Immunization program call the Department at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) 852-3115 (Stark) or 792-4011(Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments and Follow Us on Twitter @HenryStarkHD.


Garden Prep Tips

It’s that time of the year when many gardeners are beginning to stir after a long winters nap.

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Martha Smith says now is a good time to get ready for the gardening season…

Ms. Smith cautions against tilling or turning the garden if the soil is too wet…


Senior Center Issues

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee continues to face some recurring issues.

One of those of course is lack of funding from the state of Illinois even though it has been promised repeatedly.

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll says to date, the promises have amounted to no more than a nod and a wink to a blind horse…

Ms. Schmoll says another issue they face is the lack of a good crowd at lunch time.

Ms. Schmoll says the other meal times are well attended, but for some reason, lunch time is not…

Ms. Schmoll emphasizes to seniors that just because you eat at noon does not mean you are taking food away from someone else…


Ameren reminding small businesses to take advantage of energy efficiency incentive programs

Ameren Illinois reminding small businesses to take advantage of the utility’s energy efficiency incentive programs. Businesses spend on average each year 30-percent of their total expenses on energy says Ameren’s Michelle Hibbard—and there are savings to be had.

She says an easy way to pick up initial savings is through lighting.

More information on energy efficiency incentives for both business and residential customers is available at “actonenergy.com”. 


ISP And Distracted Driving

In support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month the Moline Police and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) asked the Governor of the State of Illinois to declare April 24th through 28th as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week in an effort to bring attention to the dangers and consequences associated with driving distracted.  Governor Rauner issued the proclamation and both houses passed resolutions identifying April 24th through the 28th as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week. 


The ILACP, in  partnership with the Moline Police Department, AAA, and supported by the Illinois State Police, SafetyServe.com, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association, almost 300 law enforcement/fire agencies and supporters from the private sector throughout Illinois, will work together during this week to educate motorists on all aspects of distracted driving.  This campaign will also include the enforcement of applicable State distracted driving laws.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):


●      3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. That is a 9-percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year.

●      10 percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction affected crashes.

●      Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. Young drivers, 16 to 24 years old, have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.

It’s time to drop the double standard on distracted driving - the dangers are real.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: 

●      In analyzing 2009-2012 data, that even while more than 8 in 10 drivers believed it completely unacceptable for a motorist to text or e-mail behind the wheel, more than a third of those same respondents admitted to reading text messages while driving.

●      Just as disturbing, even as fatalities go up, fewer drivers seem concerned about texting while driving. According to Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index, significantly fewer motorists (77%) believed texting while driving is a problem, down from 96 percent in 2013, a 19-point drop in just two years.

●      Texting while driving is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you become a danger to everyone around you. 

These partnerships have been formed to help further a traffic safety culture in Illinois and to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from distracted driving.  Please help the ILACP, AAA, and the Moline Police Department, to keep Illinois’ roadways safe and Illinois strong.


Canning Refresher Course

The University of Illinois Extension will present a program on Monday in Galva that will provide a refresher on how to preserve food.

Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Kristin Bogdonas will lead that workshop beginning at 4:30 Monday afternoon at the Extension Office in Galva…

The cost for the program is $5 pre-registration would be ideal.

Ms. Bogdonas adds that interest in canning at home remains high for many people…

For further information, contact the University of Illinois Extension Office in Galva at 932-3447


Hike The Hennepin On Sunday

The Friends of the Canal are holding their monthly Hike the Canal outing on Sunday, April 23.


This month’s hike will be from Lock 21 to Bridge 15. This portion of the hike is 5.4 miles in length and has been named the "Raccoon".


We will meet at Bridge 15 (Visitor's Center - Sheffield) at 1:30 pm, where we will be shuttled to Lock 21 to begin our hike. The Hennepin Canal Parkway Visitor Center is located just west off of Route 40, south of interstate 80 (exit 54) and north of the Routes 6/34 and Route 40 intersection.


The monthly hikes were developed by the Friends of the Hennepin Canal as an opportunity for everyone to get to know the Canal personally by hiking it from the Illinois River to the Mississippi (including the Feeder Canal) in small legs.


You need not be a member of the Friends to join us on any of the hikes.  There is no fee for the hikes. Come and join in the fun and bring a friend.  We ask that you dress weather appropriately.


For more information, contact Ed Herrmann at:

hikes@friends-hennepin-canal.org (email) or call 815-664-2403 (home).


OSF Observes Lab Week

National Lab Week will be observed beginning April 23rd and OSF St Luke Medical Center Lab Director Chris Downs says that they have a strong Lab Dept at the Hospital…

Ms. Downs describes how the testing process works once they have their sample in hand…


Rural schools expressing concern over delayed transportation payments from state

Area superintendents from northwest Illinois are gathering this week to provide a common voice. All are in the same boat, expressing concern about delayed payments—mainly from categorical funds like transportation—which really impact rural school districts that have large geographic areas to cover. Scott Petrie is superintendent of the Mercer County School District and they’re currently owed $800,000 from the state.

Petrie along with other superintendents throughout northwest Illinois participated in a joint press conference on Thursday with first year State Representative Tony McCombie of Savanna. 


Mendoza attacks Rauner on balanced budget claims

The odds of Comptroller Susana Mendoza making the cut on the Rauner family greeting card list shrink by the day. Mendoza continues to call for Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to reach a budget agreement before the state gets hit with additional credit downgrades. She continues to make hay out of analysis from a political website on Rauner's claims he he has delivered a balanced budget proposal....

Some analysts maintain the Governor provided a budget that would be balanced if certain conditions were met. 


Moments by Mutti

The annual Moments by Mutti event will be held this Saturday, April 22nd at the Flemish American Club in downtown Kewanee.

Family and committee member Mr. Jamie Bryan of Kewanee explains how Moments came into being…

With that in mind, Moments by Mutti will be held on Saturday evening at the Flemish American Club…

There will lots of entertainment including dueling pianos featuring Felix and Fingers.

Mr. Bryan also extends thanks to the many organizations and individuals for their contributions to the event.

Mr. Bryan also describes the process for other families or friends that might have a friend or family member that might benefit from the program…


Well Child Clinics

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments remind area residents of their Well-Child Clinic program.   Clinics services are offered in our Kewanee Offices, Rt. 78 South, Kewanee and our Colona location at 103 1st St. Colona, IL.


    Through their Well-Child clinic the Department hopes that by offering comprehensive health services to area children today; health problems will be prevented in the future.


    Clinic services include: periodic "head to toe" well-child exams for children from birth to age 20; hemoglobin tests, blood lead screenings, immunizations, developmental screenings, and counseling and referral.


    The services of the well-child clinics are available to all area residents.  The clinic will accept medicaid payments and private pay.  A sliding fee scale, based on the client's income, has been established to assist low-income families to obtain services.


    For more information or to make an appointment for the Health Department's Well-Child clinic, call the Department at (309) 852-5272 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com, find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us On Twitter. 



IL Women To March on Springfield


Almost 100 organizations and dozens of politicians have endorsed the Illinois Women March on Springfield event Tuesday, April 25. Coming the first day that legislators are back to work for the final weeks of the Spring session, the march is focused on dozens of progressive bills, and the passing of a responsible budget in Illinois.

The day begins at Noon with a rally at the Lincoln Statue outside the Capitol Building. Among the scheduled speakers are elected officials and constituents impacted by legislation being proposed. Speakers include State Comptroller Susana Mendoza; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.; state Sens. Mattie Hunter and Heather Steans; state Reps. Sara Feigenholtz, Litesa Wallace, Kelly Cassidy and Will Guzzardi; Khadine Bennett of the ACLU; Planned Parenthood’s Brigid Leahy; William McNary of Citizen Action Illinois; Maaria Mozaffar from CAIR-Chicago; and Alice Johnson of the Illinois Nurses Association.

Following the rally there will be a march around the Capitol Complex, and then lobbying inside. At 2:30 p.m. there will be a final rally in the rotunda, with speakers including gubernatorial candidates Sen. Daniel Biss, Ald. Ameya Pawar and J.B. Pritzker.

Deborah Lane, a union leader with Amalgamated Transit Unit 241/308, will be the featured singer at both events.

The list of bills people can choose to lobby state reps and senators on include women’s health and choice, labor issues including the Fight for $15, protecting childcare and homecare programs, immigration, homelessness, criminal legal reform, the environment, LGBTQ, gun safety efforts, healthcare, economics, education, the ERA and passing a responsible budget in Illinois.

The complete agenda, with more bills expected, is available on the March website:


IL Home Prices Up In Feb

Median home prices in Illinois rose 6.3 percent in February over previous-year levels while statewide home sales decreased 2.8 percent for the same period, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in February 2017 totaled 8,461 homes sold, down 2.8 percent from 8,704 in February 2016.

The statewide median price in February was $170,000, up 6.3 percent from February 2016, when the median price was $160,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Inventories plummeted in February, no doubt frustrating some potential buyers but creating opportunities for the sellers who did have properties on the market,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “As we move into the spring, more properties should come on the market, but it will take some time for supply and demand to find equilibrium.”

The time it took to sell a home in February averaged 74 days, down from 81 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 51,227 homes for sale, a 14.9 percent decline from February 2016 when there were 60,168 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17 percent in February 2017, an increase from 4.15 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In February 2016 it averaged 3.66 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in February 2017 totaled 5,891 homes sold, down 5.2 percent from February 2016 sales of 6,214 homes. The median price in February 2017 was $210,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 12.0 percent from $187,500 in February 2016.

“Prices continue to move in a positive direction,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “While consumer confidence reflects optimism about the economy, the housing inventory continues to shrink suggesting that while more optimistic, many homeowners are not yet tempted enough to consider moving to a larger or more expensive home.”

According to the data, forty-six (46) Illinois counties reported sales gains for February 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Rock Island County, up 74.3 percent with 122 units sold; Peoria County, up 13.0 percent with 148 units sold; and Kane County, up 0.3 percent with 385 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Lake County, up 28.0 percent to $215,000; Cook County, up 10.5 percent to $210,000; and McLean County, up 6.0 percent to $158,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 4.0 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in February 2017 with 1,505 sales, down from 1,567 in February 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in February 2017 was $246,000, up 4.2 percent compared to February 2016 when it was $236,000.            

“We’re in an active home sales environment,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “We are seeing listings offered in advance of the spring market, with condos, in particular, benefitting from increased consumer confidence. The recent announcement of a rate hike, plus the hot stock market and higher wages, heralds an increase in home prices and a rapid decline in market time in the months to come.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of March 13, 2017 for the period Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 2017. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

(Note: Due to technical difficulties the housing reports were compiled on March 13 instead of March 7).

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.        


Location Change For This Afternoon's Titan Baseball and Softball

Change of plans for Baseball and Softball for today. The fields in Annawan are unplayable. We are moving all games to Brimfield. However, Brimfield only has two fields. Therefore, we'll have to play Varsity followed by JV for both Baseball and Softball. Varsity games will start at 4:30PM and F/S will start at around 6:15-6:30PM


Galva Attempted Murder Update


ThThree suspects were charged in Henry County today in connection to the April 17th attempted mumurder in Galva, llinois. Quenton D. Whiteside, Jamar t. Whiteside, and Caine D. Ingram have all been charged with the following; attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery with a knife, aggravated battery with an axe handle, aggravated battery /use of deadly weapon, and aggravated battery, bond set at 2 million dollars each.


TheThe victim, Michael W. Palmer, age 20, of Burlington, Iowa suffered significant injuries niinincluding multiple skull fractures and multiple stab wounds puncturing his lung and lacrating his liver.  Palmer is still in critical condition in a Peoria hospital.


TheThe suspect vehicle, a gold 2000 Lincoln was located and recovered in Kewanee.


TheThe public is reminded that all suspects are innocent until proven guiltyin a court of law. 


WKEI Open Line

The April 19 edition of the WKEI Open Line is both miscellaneous and rambling



Hopes For Budget Compromise Remain Slim

State lawmakers have a little over a month to put together a budget deal. But the prospects for a compromise aren’t too promising says Kevin Semlow—Director of State Legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

And Semlow says the debate continues to be “make cuts” or “raise taxes”.

State lawmakers return from a two-week break next Monday and will be in session through the end of May. 


Peoria Area State Lawmaker Forms Ag Advisory Committee

A Peoria area state lawmaker has formed an Agriculture Advisory Committee. State Senator Chuck Weaver’s 37th District includes ten counties—and each county has one representative on the committee…..

Livestock farmer Becky King represents Knox County on the committee….

The committee also includes representatives from Henry, Mercer, Bureau, Marshall, Stark, Peoria, LaSalle, Woodford and Lee Counties. 


Moments on Tuned IN

Jamie Bryan discussed Moments by Mutti


Wal-Mart Seeking Illinois Entrepreneurs

 Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is looking for Illinois entrepreneurs to pitch their made in the USA products to the company’s buyers in a daylong event at Walmart’s global headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas on June 28, 2017.


Registration is open at walmart-jump.com until May 18.


Walmart buyers are looking to make deals of varying sizes, from supplying products to a handful of local stores to supplying hundreds or thousands of stores, Sam’s Club locations and Walmart.com.


Businesses across the country have products featured in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com as a result of presentations of their products. One of these businesses is Illinois-based Bullibone Products, a small business that creates long-lasting nylon dog chews available in-store and on Walmart.com.


“I go into a Walmart store just so I can see our product hanging up there and it just gives you chills,” said LeeBob Willingham, Founder of Bullibone Products. “I got an invitation to present to Walmart. A couple months later, I get an email that says, ‘Congratulations! You’re going in 3,880 stores.’ It’s no feeling like I’ve ever had.”


“We are excited to once again invite businesses from all 50 states to meet with Walmart buyers who have one goal in mind: to buy more American products for our stores, clubs and Walmart.com,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of U.S. Manufacturing. “By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to our communities. Increasing domestic manufacturing will help create additional jobs in the U.S., and that's good for American businesses.”


In January 2013, Walmart committed to American renewal by announcing it intends to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years. Based on data from Boston Consulting Group, it’s estimated that 1 million new U.S. jobs will be created through this initiative.



Bishop Hill Program About Abraham Lincoln


Dr. Bill Hampes, psychology professor at Black Hawk College, will be presenting a scholarly program about the humor of President Abraham Lincoln at the Dairy Building, located at 410 North Erickson Street in Bishop Hill.  This free program is on April 22 at 1:30 p.m. The 40-minute presentation will discuss the ways that President Abraham Lincoln used humor and will also utilize what psychologists and others have learned about humor to show how it reflected his complex personality.  Teaching since 1989, Dr. Hampes has done extensive research about the psychology of humor and has published eight articles in various psychology journals about humor.  This program is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau.  For more details, please call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net, or visit www.bishophillheritage.org.


School Budget Issues

That the state of Illinois has no budget in place is hardly a bulletin anymore but that doesn’t lessen the impact it has on those that depend on their allocations.

School districts continue to be affected by not only the lack of a budget but state lawmakers continue to issue mandates for school districts in various means but are not providing any extra funds to make those projects a go.

Kewanee School District Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens says that creates another unfair situation for schools in Illinois…

Dr. Sullens says it’s one thing to issue a mandate but lawmakers are not doing anyone any favors when they don’t follow through with the necessary funding, the overall budget not withstanding…


Arrest Made In Galva Incident

Authorities have made an arrest after an incident in Galva on Monday morning.

25 year old Quenton Whiteside of Prophetstown has been arrested after police responded to a 911 call early Monday morning from a residence on SE 5th Avenue in Galva.

Police discovered a severely injured man inside the home and that victim ultimately taken by Life Flight to a trauma center in Peoria after treatment at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee. The man suffered what is considered to  be life threatening injuries.

The incident remains under investigation by the Henry-Mercer Investigative Task Force, the Henry County Sheriffs Department, the Galva Police Department and other authorities.   


Action On Amending Livestock Management Facilities Act On Hold For Now

Action on amending the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act is on hold for now. Although the legislation was announced earlier this year, movement has stalled at this time says Bill Bodine the associate director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Bodine says the legislation is not dead it’s just likely being fine-tuned by Koehler before being brought back to committee. The Illinois General Assembly returns to session next week. 


Warm Up, Than Cool Down For Much Of Illinois This Week

Some warm temperatures for much of Illinois in the middle portion of this week with readings in the 70’s and 80’, but that will change moving toward the weekend. Meteorologist Eric Schmidt is with EJS Weather in Newton.

Schmidt anticipates more wet weather for Saturday for much of central and southern Illinois.

detailing early next week and late April.


BHE Celebrates New Art Gallery

Black Hawk College celebrated its new Science Art Gallery at the East Campus with an April 11 reception and dedication.


The gallery – located in the Student Science Center in Building B – features eight pieces of art.


All of the paintings and photographs are science-themed, including an abstract portrait of rusted steel and images of rhinoviruses, streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, a vitamin C crystal and an X-ray of a cactus.


The purchase of the artwork was made possible by employees and friends of the BHC East Campus through thee4e (Employees for Education) Employee Giving Campaign.


The event was hosted by the e4e Committee and the Black Hawk College East Foundation.



IL DCEO Issues Grants

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the recipients of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Public Infrastructure. Forty communities across the state will receive federal funds totaling $15.3 million. These grants will help Illinois’ low-income communities undertake much needed public infrastructure projects such as water, sanitary system and sewer enhancements that become the backbone of future growth and economic development.

CDBG recipients:

Bureau County

Village of Cherry  - $450,000 - Replacement of water mains

Village of Granville - $400,132 – Water treatment plant improvements

Village of Neponset - $341,865 - Water tower rehabilitation

Carroll County

City of Mount Carroll - $110,125 - Sanitary sewer system improvements

Christian County

Village of Kincaid - $304,066 - Target areas sewer main replacements

Cumberland County

City of Neoga - $450,000 - Phase I Water Distribution improvements

Douglas County

City of Arcola - $450,000 - Water distribution improvements

Edgar County

City of Chrisman - $450,000 - Excess flow treatment improvement

Stratton Township - $322,688 - Rural water extension

Edwards County

Village of West Salem - $398,842 - Sewer treatment system improvements

Fayette County and Shelby County

Oconee Township - $450,000 - Water distribution improvements

Franklin County

City of Orient - $237,540 - Rehabilitate 10 municipal sewer pump stations

City of Sesser - $450,000 - Rehabilitation of sanitary sewer trunk line

City of Christopher - $388,493 - Target area sewer main replacements

Fulton County

Village of London Mills - $441,535 - Village-wide water main replacement

Gallatin County

Shawnee Township - $450,000 - Water main extension

Grundy County

Village of South Wilmington - $450,000 - Water tower replacement

Hancock County

City of Warsaw - $417,044 - Sanitary sewer system extension

City of Carthage - $450,000 - New water treatment facility

Hancock County and Henderson County

City of Dallas City - $450,000 – Target repair and replacement of sanitary sewer

Hardin County

City of Rosiclare - $450,000 - Replacement of water main

Johnson County

County of Johnson - $152,333 - East Crossroads water main extension

LaSalle County

City of Streator - $450,000 - Build sanitary and storm sewers

Lawrence County

City of Lawrenceville - $395,820 - Water line replacement along 8th Street

Macoupin County

City of Carlinville - $450,000 - Replace water mains in a target area

Village of Palmyra - $428,000 - Construct 75,000 gallon water storage tank

Village of Modesto - $57,500 - Stormwater drainage improvements

Marshall County

Village of Sparland - $61,521 - Replace sanitary sewer force main

McDonough County

City of Macomb - $450,000 - Water distribution system improvements

Mercer County

Village of New Windsor - $450,000 - LMI Sewer Hook-ups to sewer collection system

Montgomery County

Village of Butler - $446,640 - Target water main replacements

Ogle County

City of Rochelle - $284,652 - Construct sewer lining

Peoria County

Village of Glasford - $450,000 - Sewer system improvements

Perry County

City of Pinckneyville - $364,647 - Sanitary sewer transmission main replacement

Randolph County

Village of Percy - $359,000 - Water main replacement

Shelby County

Village of Findlay - $450,000 - Construct new water tower

Village of Strasburg - $450,000 - Phase II Water Distribution Improvements

Tazewell County

Village of Creve Coeur - $444,500 - South Creve Couer Avenue water main replacement

Williamson County

City of Herrin - $450,000 - Replace lift station, manhole and corresponding pipe

City of Johnston City - $385,547 - Target area sewer main replacements

The CDBG program was established by the federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Act).  Administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), DCEO administers the State of Illinois CDBG – Small Cities Program.  State-administered funds are only available to units of general local government (i.e., cities, villages, townships and counties). Municipalities must be 50,000 or less in population and must not be located in an urban county that receives entitlement program funds (there are 42 entitlement communities in Illinois that receive their own allocation of CDBG funds).


Salvation Army Info

The Kewanee Salvation Army continues to prepare for events that might need an immediate response.

Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls says they are prepared for action in the local area…

Ms. Bolls adds that there will be further disaster training coming up later this year…

Ms. Bolls is also reminding area youngsters that information on this year’s summer camps will soon be available…


Springfield native's company scores on Shark Tank

A Springfield native swims with the sharks on ABC and walks away with a boost to his company. Springfield High Grad Adam Havey's company was successful in getting an investment from Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank to help boost his Guard Llama personal security app and device. It allows a user to contact police without having to call 911. Havey and his co-founder partner were hoping to get 100-thousand dollars in exchange for a 5 percent stake in the company, but Corcoran gave Guard Llama a 100-thousand dollar loan in exchange for an 18 percent stake in the company. Havey did not appear on the episode. Corcoran saw potential in the product with her work in real estate, an area where workers often are concerned about personal safety. Havey explains that the mass shooting at Northern Illinois University in 2008 and a brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of a woman near campus two years later during his time at NIU inspired his invention..

Havey says the fledgling company is taking in about 500-thousand dollars a year in revenue and selling about 100 units a week


Welcome change possible for IL truckers

Illinois law requires truck lengths on local roads to be no longer than 55 feet. Don Schaefer (SHAY-fer), Executive Vice President of Midwest Truckers Association, says today’s equipment is longer than the legal length. He adds that for years they have tried to change Illinois law to reflect today’s equipment.

Both House Bill 683 and Senate Bill 51 would increase truck lengths on local roads to 65 feet. Schaefer says since existing equipment is already of that length, changing the law will not lead to safety concerns.

Schaefer says both bills have advanced through their respective chambers. He hopes final legislation will be approved within a couple of weeks.


Regional Media Names James Jones as General Market Manager Sterling

(Sterling-Rock Falls, IL) – Regional Media, also known as Virden Broadcasting Corp. announced that James Jones has been named General Market Manager of WSDR-AM 1240, WSSQ-FM 94.3, and WZZT-FM 102.7 in the Sterling - Rock Falls market.

In making the announcement, President of Regional Media Mr. Ford said, “We are pleased to tap James to the General Market Manager position in Sterling. In his previous career James was successful in enhancing operational efficiencies and profitability while creating and leading a focused and engaged team.”

“I am very excited about this opportunity at Regional Media and look forward to leading an excellent team while continuing to serve our listeners, clients and the Sterling - Rock Falls and greater Sauk Valley communities as we have done over the past many years,” commented Mr. Jones. “With Regional Media’s reach and scale, I believe that we will be able to offer the best in programming and news for our listeners and enhanced advertising strategies in radio, digital and mobile for our advertising customers.”

Mr. Jones is a dynamic leader with over 20 years of experience bringing a strong business acumen and a passion to succeed to Regional Media. As a lifelong native of Western Illinois he understands many of the unique challenges and opportunities local business face in an ever-changing, dynamic business environment.

Mr. Gilbraith, Vice President of Regional Media says,“With the mission of flawless local radio and service to the Sterling-Rock Falls area, adding James to our Executive Team was an absolute must. His energetic and positive personality is paramount to our mission. With the experience of our existing team and expansion in staff, our dynamic, client focused, forward thinking, and passionate people will be key to our success.

Regional Media, is one of the largest and one of the most diversified broadcasting companies in Illinois and Iowa with affiliations with many local communities. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.RegionalMedia.info 


OSF on Tuned IN

Lab Week is discussed 


Ameren Illinois Files For Electric Rate Decrease



 Ameren Illinois residential customers will pay less for electric delivery service in 2018 under a plan filed today with the Illinois Commerce Commission. The proposal would lower monthly bills for the typical residential customer by approximately $1.70 per month.

 It's the second consecutive rate decrease the company has filed for, and the fifth overall rate decrease proposal since the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) – or Smart Grid Bill – was passed in 2011.

 “Prudent cost management, solid project execution and reduced energy supply costs have enabled us to continue modernizing the electric grid with minimal impact on customer rates,” said Craig Nelson, senior vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Financial Services for Ameren Illinois. “We're pleased to report to the ICC and to our customers that Ameren Illinois electric delivery service rates will go down next year and our combined delivery and supply rates will remain well below the national average.”

 Ameren Illinois expects to invest an additional $128.4 million on electric grid enhancements in 2017. Those project costs, along with other capital improvements of more than $300 million to maintain distribution equipment and install new technology to detect and reduce the frequency of power outages, will be recovered in 2018.

 To date, Ameren Illinois' grid modernization initiatives have resulted in an overall 17% increase in reliability and saved customers an estimated $45 million each year. The company has installed 450,000 electric smart meters at customer premises and plans to add 540,000 more of the two-way devices through the end of 2018. Smart meters provide Ameren Illinois customers with enhanced energy usage data and access to programs to help them save on their energy bills.


The Ameren Illinois plan follows the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, legislation to keep two nuclear facilities in operation, preserve more than 4,000 jobs, and ensure the availability of lower-cost clean energy for consumers. Ameren Illinois projects that stable energy supply, along with stronger energy efficiency programs included in the legislation, will result in a further decrease in customer bills beginning in June of this year.


Dist 229 Board Meets Tonight




MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2017



KEWANEE, IL   61443


6:15 PM



A.        Roll call by the Secretary


II.        CLOSED SESSION: * (C) (1) to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the District and (C) (2) to consider collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees and (C) (5) the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body and (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases and (C) (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2017


7:30 PM





            A.        Visitation Parents – IESA Softball



A.              District #229 Open Meeting – March 20, 2017

B.              District #229 Closed Meeting – March 20, 2017









A.              Superintendent

1.              State of Illinois/ISBE F/17 & F/18 Budgets

2.              Senator Manaur

3.              Federal TRS: 44.61% - 38%

4.              State Categorical Payments

a.         Transportation

b.        Special Education

5.        Spring Fling Volleyball (Kelli Jackson)

6.        Replacement of the Main Electrical Panel at Central (1967)

7.        Mandates: 50 New Mandates in the Last 5 Years

8.        Additional Pre-K Funding ($27,003.00)

B.              Mr. Bryan – Kewanee High School Principal

                        1.        National Honor Society

                        2.        Key Club Banquet

                        3.        Group Interpretation – Participation at State

            C.        Mr. Anderson – Central Principal

                        1.        Track Participation

            D.        Mr. Atwell – Athletic Director

                        1.        Track/Baseball/Softball





            A.        KHS North Lot

                        1.        Proposed Parking Area (74)

                        2.        Proposed Practice Soccer Field



A.              1st Reading of New & Revised Policies

B.              Consideration and Approval of Administrative Contract Addendum



A.              Resignations

1.              Casey Miller – KHS Asst. Wrestling Coach – Effective Immediately

2.              Rebecca Baney – KHS So-Scholastic Bowl Advisor – Effective Immediately

3.              Robert Holmes – Central School 2nd Shift Custodian – Effective 4/14/17

4.              Patrick Smith – KHS Social Studies Teacher & Asst. Football Coach – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

5.              Cody Butler – Central 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach – Effective Immediately

B.              Retirements

C.              Hires

1.              Summer Maintenance Workers

2.              KHS Summer Office Worker

3.              Summer School Administrator

4.              Summer School Teachers

5.              Summer School Nurse

6.              Summer School Aides

7.              Summer School Secretaries

8.              Summer School Bus Drivers

9.              Summer School Bus Aides

10.          Summer School Cafeteria Workers

11.          Substitute Aide

12.          Substitute Aide at Lyle

13.          Substitute Aide at Neponset

14.          21st Century Assistant at Central

15.          Neponset Elementary Teacher (Grade to be determined) for 2017-2018 School Year

16.          KHS Varsity Asst. Girls Basketball Coach – Effective 2017-2018 School Year

17.          KHS Sophomore Girls Basketball Coach – Effective 2017-2018 School Year

18.          KHS Freshman Girls Basketball Coach – Effective 2017-2018 School Year

19.          Central 7th Grade English Teacher for 2017-2018 School Year

D.             Leaves

E.               Long Term Sub

F.               Transfers

1.        To Be Determined

G.             Volunteers

1.        Belle Alexander School

2.        KHS Girls Basketball Coaches

H.             Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

I.                Other Action Arising From Closed Session

1.              To Be Determined



            A.        Thank you to our retiring Board Members

                        1.        Kim Sellers (2005 – 2017)

                        2.        Lynette Lempke (2009 – 2017)

                        3.        Jon Jagers (2005 – 2017)




IRS Tax Info

The income tax filing deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18th and if you haven’t filed yet, the heat is on.

Michael Devine with the Internal Revenue Service Office in St Louis says stay cool and just get it done…

Devine says it’s just a matter of following the steps and everything should fall into place…

Devine adds that while many people have not filed yet, there are many that have filed already…


Achiever Of The Month At Abilities Plus

Christian Laingen of Geneseo was recognized as Achiever of the Month for March at Abilities Plus.  He received this award because of good attendance, positive attitude and relationships with others, and his efforts teaching those at Abilities Plus sign language.


Drug Arrest In Kewanee


On April 07, 2017, The Kewanee Police Department Street Crimes Unit with the assistance of the Blackhawk Area Task Force, and Henry County SOS executed a search warrant at 313 South West St.


As a result of the search warrant, 16.8 grams of crack cocaine was seized.


Arrested and remanded to the Henry County Jail, was Lavetta E. Washington, 41, Kewanee. Washington is being held on preliminary charges of manufacture and delivery of 15-100 grams of cocaine, a class x felony, manufacture and delivery of 1-15 grams of cocaine, a class 1 felony, possession of 15-100 grams of cocaine, a class 1 felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 felony. Washington’s bond was set at $200.000.00, 10 % applies.



No additional information will be released at this time as the incident remains under investigation.



James Dison

Chief of Police


Telecommunicators Week

The week of April 9th through the 15th is observed as National Telecommunicator’s week in an effort to shine the spotlight on those dedicated employees.

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison says those employees play a major role in law enforcement…

Chief Dison also notes that the telecommunications industry is constantly changing…

Chief Dison also describes some of the attributes that are necessary to be a successful telecommunicator…

Chief Dison also notes that he has an outstanding group of individuals at the Kewanee Police Department that often times fly under the radar with their contributions…


Two State Senators push against tax increase

Two Republican State Senators, Kyle McCarter of Lebanon and Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods, are teaming up for an alternative to talk of the stalled grand bargain in the Senate. The pair are promoting the multi-point "Taxpayer Bargain" plan for a balanced state budget. McCarter says they stand alone when it comes to offering a budget without a tax hike....

McCarter was referring to Bloomington State Senator Bill Brady's cut oriented budget plan. McCarter may remind you of Han Solo in Star Wars, who was known to say "don't tell me the odds"....

The budget plan maintains 100% of General State Aid for elemenetary and secondary education. Medicaid spending for the most vulnerable would also be shielded. State agencies and departments would make 10% across the board cuts. Medicaid and pension reform are other highlights. More details can be found on www.taxpayerbargain.com. McCarter says a similar effort is ready 


Getting around Illinois gets major reboot

IDOT's Getting Around Illinois road conditions website has received a major upgrade. The new Getting Around Illinois site is versatile to function with smartphones, tablets and the traditional desktops and laptops. IDOT's Kelsea Gurski says information on road closures, construction and winter driving conditions will come much faster....

Gurski notes the information available to motorists has greatly expanded...

The new Getting Around Illinois site also features a number of cameras and weather stations across the state.


Barickman tees up school funding reform plan

State Senator Jason Barickman is offering his concept for school funding reform. The pending bill calls for the state to look at each district and their resources separately without a blanket funding formula. Barickman hopes to get legislation moving sooner rather than later....

Barickman calls his K through 12 funding plan an evidence based model, with 27 separate points figuring into each school district's funding formula. . 


Hearings Next Week on Legal Weed

The effort to legalize marijuana is getting a more official push next week. Supportive lawmakers are going to hold committee hearings next week on how laws are working in other states. But State Rep. Kelly Cassidy says they aren’t in a big rush make Illinois the next state with legal recreational marijuana.

Lawmakers say selling and then taxing pot could bring in more than $350 million in taxes each year for the state. The proposed law would make it legal to posses no more than 28 grams of the drug.


Davis says polls numbers can't hide flaws he sees in Obamacare

Congressman Rodney Davis is unfazed by poll numbers that show growing support for keeping Obamacare. In a recent appearance on CNN, the Taylorville Republican said the GOP must proceed with addressing a key issue on the healthcare front....

President Trump plans to tackle the health care issue sooner rather than later, saying he wants to resolve the debate before moving on to tax reform.


Gov Not Campaigning But Using Campaign Funds To Cover Trip

The Governor has been touring the state, spending campaign fund cash to do so, but he says he’s not campaigning.Bruce Rauner finished his first day of stops around the state in Springfield on Tuesday and said the tour is to get his message directly out to citizens and voters. And that message is, the failure to get a budget done in Illinois is not his fault.

Rauner has yet to formally announce a reelection bid in the Governor’s race but has already donated $50 million of his own money to his campaign fund. And he was using that fund to pay for tour stops. 


WKEI Open Line

Soda pop is discussed during the April 13 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


KPL On Tuned IN

Sara Billiet talks about upcoming programs at Kewanee Public Library


Easter Egg Safety

With Easter on Sunday and the fact that many people will enjoy Easter Eggs comes the reminder to prepare the eggs as safely as possible.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she stresses safety and precaution when preparing those eggs…

Ms. Tucker says it is not her goal to make people sick with this information but rather to help people to avoid being sick during the holiday…


Officials Worried About Opioids

The opioid epidemic continues to run wild throughout the United States and some areas of the country and some have been hit particularly hard,

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says the problem exists right here in our area…

Trooper Wilson adds that he unfortunately has first hand experience in this matter…


Public Health Week Continues

   As National Public Health Week, April 3-9, is celebrated throughout the country, officials at the Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that communicable disease control is one of the oldest public health programs in existence. 

      Jessica Hand, LPN Communicable Disease Nurse with the Health Department notes, “The fact is deaths from infectious/communicable diseases have declined markedly in the United States during the 20th century. This decline is contributed to a sharp drop in infant and child mortality and to the 29.2-year increase in life expectancy. For example, in 1900, 30% of all deaths occurred among children aged less than 5 years; in 1997, that percentage was only 1.4%. In 1900, the three leading causes of death were pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), and diarrhea and enteritis, which caused one third of all deaths.   In 1997, heart disease and cancers accounted for 54.7% of all deaths, with only 4.5% attributable to pneumonia, influenza, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.”

     Despite this overall progress, one of the most devastating epidemics in human history occurred during the 20th century: the 1918 influenza pandemic that resulted in 20 million deaths, including 500,000 in the United States, in less than 1 year--more than have died in as short a time during any war or famine in the world. HIV infection, first recognized in 1981, has caused a pandemic that is still in progress, affecting 33 million people and causing an estimated 13.9 million deaths. These episodes illustrate the volatility of infectious disease death rates and the unpredictability of disease emergence.

     Health Department Communicable Disease program services include: local communicable disease surveillance; TB testing, control and treatment; sexually transmitted disease testing, contact tracing and treatment; and immunization promotion and administration.

    For more information, or to schedule an appointment at either of their office locations call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 Kewanee or(309) 792-4011 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.


WKEI Open Line

A variety of topics hit the WKEI Open line for April 12


Ameren Illinois Ten Year, $3.5-Billion Improvement Plan

Ameren Illinois moving forward with a significant upgrade throughout the state. The improvements will occur over several years says the utility’s Kenny Blum.

Improvements will be made to substations, transformers, poles and switches. 


Hate Crime Education for Police

Law enforcement in Illinois are receiving more training on how to handle hate crimes. The Illinois State Police are working hand in hand with the Anti-Defamation League to incorporate training to help police identify and investigate hate crimes. The League’s Jessica Gall…

There are also ongoing efforts to help teach tolerance and wipe out hate with education programs in school.


Tax Day is April 18 This Year

Tax day is normally April 15 but this year you have a few more days to file. The deadline is April 18. And if your waiting to file you aren’t alone says Terry Horstman with the Department of Revenue.

The state continues to see folks who do file do so electronically. Almost 9 in 10 are sent in that way. And the wait to get your refund is running about month.


HCFB On Tuned IN

FB Manager Katie Laleman talks about various programs



Wyoming Fire Dept Receives Donation



 First Responders with Wyoming Community Fire Protection District are now some of the best-equipped in the nation to save a pet’s life. That’s because Invisible Fence of Peoria / Bloomington has donated four pet oxygen mask kits to the department. Dr. Justin Fehr and Macon Nalepka of Wyoming Community Fire Protection District provided additional pet saving tips to the group such as pet first aid and CPR.


This donation is just a small part of Invisible Fence® Brand’s Project Breathe program, which was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. These masks allow firefighters and EMS staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires and often save pets’ lives.


Invisible Fence® Brand has donated a total of more than 12,400 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada throughout the life of the program. A reported 150+ pets have been saved by the donated masks so far, two family dogs by the Grant’s Pass Fire Department in Oregon in early October of this year.


“When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence® Brand. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”


“We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment,” said Hoyt. “Project Breatheprogram is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”


Wyoming, IL and surrounding areas are now joining the ranks of cities like Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City who have all received donated pet oxygen masks from Project Breathe program.

"Thank God they had the masks. They (the dogs) are just like family. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Things can be replaced. Lives can’t, whether they’re animals or people," said a pet owner whose dogs were recently rescued using donated masks.

Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The loss is terrible for the family, heart wrenching for firefighters.

The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where local fire personnel can make a request for their own departments.


About Invisible Fence® Brand

Invisible Fence® Brand is the original electronic pet containment system and offers a comprehensive family of containment, avoidance, and access products to keep pets out of harm's way and prevent unwanted behaviors throughout both the home and yard. Owned by Radio Systems Corporation in Knoxville, Tenn., Invisible Fence® Brand solutions are sold nationwide by professional, authorized dealers who provide Perfect StartPet training and custom installation that have safely contained over 2 million pets.   Invisible Fence® Brand has taken pet care beyond the home and started the Project Breathe program, which has donated more than 12,400 pet oxygen masks to fire departments and first responders. For more information on Invisible Fence® Brand or to find a local dealer, visit www.invisiblefence.com


Income Tax Filing Deadline Aproaching

With less than a week left to file federal and state income tax returns, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding taxpayers to file as soon as they can.  More than 4 million taxpayers have already filed their 2016 Illinois individual income tax returns and have received refunds totaling over $760 million.  Approximately 87% of the tax returns that IDOR has received were filed electronically.  An estimated 2 million Illinois tax returns have yet to be filed before the April 18th deadline. 


Due to streamlined processing improvements, IDOR has reduced average refund wait times to just four weeks, while building upon 2016 anti-fraud efforts that prevented over $20 million from being issued to fraudsters.


“Balancing the demand for a speedy refund with protecting Illinois taxpayers against the threat of tax fraud and identity theft has been an ongoing challenge,” said Connie Beard, IDOR Director.  “Thanks to an extensive review by our Account Processing staff during the tax offseason, we have dramatically improved processing operations for the 2017 tax season, allowing us to return tax refund processing times to their historical average, while continuing to fortify security protocols.”


In October 2016, IDOR’s Account Processing Administration identified over 68 initiatives to improve and streamline operations in 2017.  Improvements included over 11,000 hours in labor time saved, elimination of non-value processing steps, and over $77,000 in cost savings related to the initiative.  With only 50% currently implemented, efficiencies and savings will continue through calendar year 2017. 


For individuals who have yet to file their 2016 tax return, MyTax Illinois, IDOR’s free online account management program, is now accepting Individual Income Tax returns.  Taxpayers can file their Form IL-1040 using MyTax Illinois.  Individuals may also utilize MyTax Illinois to make payments; check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refund using Where’s My Refund?; and look up their IL-PIN, estimated tax payments, and 1099-G amounts.  Filing Illinois income taxes electronically and electing direct deposit is still the fastest way to receive a refund. 


For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2017 Illinois Income Tax season, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov Individuals needing assistance by phone may call IDOR’s telephone assistance hotline at 1-800-732-8866 (Mon – Fri, 8:00 am-5:00 pm).  Extended hotline hours for the 2016 tax filing season are as follows:April 15 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, April 17 (Monday) 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, and April 18(Tuesday) 7:30 am to 7:00 pm. 


Senior Center Board of Directors





      The Henry County Senior Citizens, Inc. is the parent organization that funds and supports 7 (seven) local, Henry County Senior Centers. The Main office is located in Kewanee, Illinois.

      The Board of Directors for the 2017 year are Robert Collier, Mike Gawrysiak, President Dorothy Meindok executive Director Cassandra Schmoll,  Doris Boehle, Linda Denison, Treasurer Beth Dolieslager, Mary Jugenheimer,  Administrator of Geneseo branch Kathy Minder. Vice President Bob Orsi,  Darlene Moors and Ron Hamilton.


Health Dept Offers CPR Classes

    The Henry and Stark County Health would like to take the opportunity to remind area residents they are once again offering CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certification Classes.


    Sandy Sommer, RN Director of Clinical Services, states, "CPR training will teach participants to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in infants, children, and adults.  Instruction will also be given on how to recognize emergencies and take action, and  understanding the role of AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in the Cardiac Chain of Survival."


   CPR Classes are held monthly (this month Tuesday, April 18th).  The classes will run from 4:30pm to 8:30pm.  The cost of the Class is $35.  These rates are per participant.


    There is a set participant "minimum" and "maximum" for classes; so anyone interested should contact the Department at 852-0197 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com for more information or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.


Henry County Patrick Henry Club Meeting

The April gathering of the Patrick Henry Club will be on Saturday, April 22 at the Atkinson Township Hall, 400 N State Street, Atkinson. 


Henry County residents at invited to come for coffee and refreshments at 9 am and stay for conversation with State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha and Henry County Treasurer Tim Wells of Geneseo.  The elected officials will share their insights on happenings on the elected offices they hold. 

There will be time for questions and interaction. 


All area residents are invited to attend the free event. The Henry County Patrick Henry Club offers residents an opportunity to gather and hear speakers and exchange ideas. 


Help In Fight Against Child Abuse

You can help in the fight against child abuse. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says if you see something, say something. Veronica Reza says that you should report any concerns about child abuse to the child abuse hotline. From there in about 24 hours a social worker will reach out for help. And often the first step isn’t to take a child out of a home.

To help call 1-800-25- ABUSE.

The call is anonymous.


Gov Not Using Failed Social Services and Universities as Leverage

Two years ago Governor Bruce Rauner told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that quote "Crisis. Crisis creates leverage.” But now he’s denying that he’s using inadequate funding for state universities and social service agencies as a leverage point for his turn around agenda items.

Rauner continues to say the state needs term limits, fair maps, property tax freezes and other structural reforms to fix the state for the long haul.


Gorsuch Supreme Court Reax

Some farmers and other landowners welcome a full U-S Supreme Court now that Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in to take the late Antonin Scalia's seat. Ellen Steen serves as general counsel and secretary of the American Farm Bureau Federation;

The U-S Senate confirmed Gorsuch after a bruising confirmation battle late last week. The American Farm Bureau's Steen expects the high court to continue to hear cases on land use, the power of federal government agencies and property rights.


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