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New Kewanee Police Chief Named


The City of Kewanee is pleased to announce that Troy Ainley has been named as the City’s next Chief of Police.  Ainley began his service with the City in 1993 in the Fire Department, moving to the Police Department in 1997.  In addition to his current service as a detective, Ainley has served the department in patrol, as a D.A.R.E. officer, as a member of the Black Hawk Area Task Force, and as a member of the Emergency Response Team.

Troy commented that he looks forward to this new challenge, and working with the dedicated employees of the police department to provide professional services to the residents and businesses of the City of Kewanee.


Ainley will assume the chief position in June following the retirement of Chief Jim Dison. Jim Dison has served as Chief for 13 years, and has been with the department for almost 32 years.


Quarter Madness On Friday

Quarter Madness returns on Friday with the event to be held at the Elks Club in downtown Kewanee.

The event has grown in popularity over the last several years and provides an opportunity for players to win prizes by bidding quarters at each turn along the way.

This will be the sixth annual Quarter Madness event and Committee member Carrie Boelens says the proceeds will be used in the community…

Paddles are purchased and then the bidding takes place from there and as Ms.  Boelens explains, there are different options available for players and she notes that if you’ve never played before, don’t worry, you’ll catch on quick…

Doors will open at 5:30 Friday evening a the Elks Club with a LaGondola style dinner available until supplies run out.

The event begins at 7 and usually lasts a couple of hours.

Committee member Dianne Packee says that once again this year, lots of great prizes are on the docket…


Legal Marijuana Proposed in Illinois

State lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesdaythat would end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.

The Senate bill, SB 316, is sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago), while the House version, HB 2353, was presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Each would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.

“Marijuana prohibition is a quagmire that creates far more problems than it prevents,” Cassidy said. “Several states have adopted sensible alternatives to prohibition, and it is time for Illinois to develop its own exit strategy. Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer.”
The bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce at the wholesale level, and retail sales would be subject to the state’s standard 6.25% sales tax. Based on current usage rates and the market price of marijuana being sold for adults’ use in Colorado, the Marijuana Policy Project estimates regulated marijuana sales could generate between $349 million and $699 million per year in new revenue for Illinois.

“Right now, all the money being spent on marijuana is going into the pockets of criminals and cartels,” Steans said. “In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Eight states have enacted laws regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use. A February Quinnipiac University poll found 59% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be made legal. Polls conducted by the Pew Research Center and Gallup last October found support at 57% and 60%, respectively.

“People are fed up with laws that punish adults for using a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol,” said Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The time is right for the Illinois General Assembly to re-examine marijuana prohibition and consider the potential benefits of a thoughtfully crafted regulatory system. The sky has not fallen in the eight states that have made marijuana legal for adults. It’s time for Illinois to move past prohibition and stop missing out on the jobs and revenue other states are already getting.”


Kewanee Planning Commission Meets Tonight

The City of Kewanee’s Planning Commission will meet in City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street at 7:00 o’clock this evening. There are two petitions upon which a hearing will be conducted. 

1:  150 E South St Suite J, Keith Rentschler, requesting a special use permit to serve alcohol by the drink.

2:  150 E South St Suite D, Lalit Patel, requesting a special use permit to sell packaged liquor.


Quarter Madness on Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee talk about Quarter Madness


Local Service Providers Hurt From Ongoing State Budget Stalemate

Local service providers feeling the sting of the ongoing state budget stalemate. Downstate’s Mercer County Family Crisis Center has a limited budget, but is currently owed more than $100,000 from the state says the agency’s Marla Reynolds….

The center offers services to child abuse and domestic violence victims. Last week, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the state’s bill backlog hit a record high of $12.8 billion. 


Illinois Good Place For Wine Industry

Illinois continues to be a good location for the wine industry. John Mital (mee-tall) has a family operation just south of Quad Cities, called Creekside Vineyards & Winery.

Creekside’s Preemption location has been in operation for three years. Also, Creekside has many retailers they do business with, plus Mital says they travel to farmers markets during spring and summer.


IDNR Continues to Offer Hunter Education Safety Course

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources continues to offer hunter education safety courses throughout the state. Allen Henshaw of Keithsburg has served as a certified IDNR instructor for 40 years.

A 1996 state law requires that all hunters born on or after January 1, 1980 successfully complete the course before they can receive their first hunting license. You can find the location of a hunter safety education course near you by checking the IDNR website.


Legislation Exempts Sales Tax On Farm Machinery Repairs

A state lawmaker wants to amend Illinois’ sales tax act as it relates replacement parts for farm machinery—already exempt from the state sales tax. State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb says her legislation involves “goodwill repairs”.hammondgoodwillrepairs :34 out ‘..goodwill circumstance.”House Bill 505 has been introduced in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. 


KHS GI Team Headed to State

The Kewanee High School Group Interpretation Team is headed to state this coming weekend.

District 229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens says the opening round begins on Friday…

Dr. Sullens adds that there is an outstanding list of students that are involved in this year’s program…

Dr. Sullens also notes that qualifiers can move forward not only as a team but also as an individual…


Upcoming Suicide Talk Program

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will be the host site for a Suicide Talk Program on April 11th.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist with OSF St Luke and she says the program is in collaboration with the Henry County Mental Health Alliance…

For many of us, it might be hard to imagine what to say to someone that is in a crisis situation and being prepared in advance would be a step towards being an asset to someone in a time of need and the aim of the program is to help provide that training…


World TB Day On Friday


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' staff announces that March 24th has been proclaimed World TB Day. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

     Jessica Hand, LPN Communicable Disease Nurse with the Henry and Stark County Health Department notes, “Too many people in our country and around the world still suffer from TB. Anyone can get TB, and current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are a not always sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not "think TB."

     The theme of World TB Day 2017 is “Unite to End TB.” Today, World TB Day is commemorated across the globe with activities as diverse as the locations in which they are held. But more can be done to raise awareness about the effects of TB. Among infectious diseases, TB is now the leading killer of adults in the world, with 1.5 million TB-related deaths in 2014.

     Hand adds, “Until TB is eliminated, World TB Day won’t be a celebration. But it is a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation TB can spread and how it can be stopped.”

     TB testing can be done at both Health Department locations.  To schedule an appointment, call (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona). 


     For more information about the clinic services offered through the Health Department visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.


Mendoza offers comedy in her feud with Rauner but has unfunny numbers

Comptroller Susana Mendoza's war of words with Governor Bruce Rauner took a new turn as she addressed the City Club of Chicago. She turned to comedy to deliver her first jab....

But Mendoza says the latest numbers racked up last week on the state's bill backlog are no laughing matter....

Mendoza maintained Rauner is prepared for the state to collapse financially if he doesn't get his way on the budget and has begun squirreling away hundreds of millions of dollars in 'special funds' to protect his political back, Rauner's office says Mendoza has been cutting spending on programs for the elderly since she took office in December.


WKEI Open Line

The sad state of Illinois is discussed during the March 21 edition of the Open Line on WKEI


SCFB On Tuned IN

Outgoing Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten introduces incoming Farm Bureau Manager Anna Emm during the March 21 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI



Unclaimed Property Auction

Collectible coins, paper money, watches and camera equipment are among the nearly 500 items worth approximately $32,000 to be auctioned onlineMarch 27-31.


“For most people, it is difficult to believe that they might have overlooked an investment account or forgot an item in a safe deposit box. However, the thousands of names in our database shows that it happens too often,” Frerichs said. “While we cannot store the items forever, we can secure the proceeds and return the value to the proper owner.”


Items include a 1926 U.S. twenty dollar St. Gaudens, six 1917 one dollar large notes, a Leica camera along with lenses and accessories, two specialty watches (1 Omega Seamaster and one Lord Elgin), and a complete Lincoln Head Cent, Book One, 1909-1940. Items have been appraised by an outside vendor.


Auction participants can view items and register by clicking the auction link under the Resource Center on the right side of www.illinoistreasurer.gov. For questions, call217.557.8567.


The treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property, including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, unpaid rebate cards, and safe deposit boxes. Items are surrendered to the treasurer’s office after private entities have tried for at least five years to locate the owner.


Businesses, non-profits and units of local government also can have unclaimed property to claim from the database. Typically, the value submitted to the treasurer’s office does not reflect an oversight by these leaders. Additionally, each could have unclaimed property it is required to submit to the treasurer’s office annually. This is accomplished through “holder” reports that are available on the treasurer’s website.


Abilities Plus Receives Donation


Kim Walker, Abilities Plus Executive Director recently accepted a check for over $2,200 from Jim Baulch and John Holevoet with the Galva, Cambridge and Woodhull Knights of Columbus. The donation is the proceeds from the club’s fall tootsie roll sales.  


Bureau County Road Closure Set For Tuesday

Please be advised that a culvert replacement on CH 22, aka 2600 North Avenue, is resulting in a temporary closure of the section beginning at CH 2, aka Van Orin Blacktop, east 1 mile to 2725 East Street.  This closure is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 21st and is scheduled to be completed no later than day’s end on March 23rd


Biss In For Gov Run

Another Democrat is up for running for Governor. State Senator Daniel Biss announced today that he’s a candidate, calling his campaign one “for the rest of us.” Biss made the announcement on Facebook Live and then took questions. He says that the state needs to break free from the way it’s been run for years.

The Biss diss could be seen as referencing not only Governor Bruce Rauner and Speaker Mike Madigan but also wealthy Democrat candidate Chris Kennedy and JB Pritzker who’s thinking about running for Governor. The Republican party wasted no time in calling Biss the North Shore branch of the Madigan Machine.


Biss jumps in Goveror's race

State Senator Daniel Biss has jumped into the Democratic race for Governor. The era of press conferences and rallies to kick off campaigns now seems to be "so yesterday". Biss announced his candidacy on Facebook....

Instead of reporters, Biss fielded "Q and A" questions from Illinoisans who checked out his campaign announcement on Facebook Live. The Evanston Democrat won an online straw poll in recent months of potential Democratic candidates. 


GOP pushes for redistricting

State Representative Tim Butler is among a chorus of House Republicans seeking to change the way Illinois political maps are drawn. He is co-sponsoring a House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment to create an Independent Redistricting Commission.

The proposal calls for the selection of Commissioners and establishes the authority of a Special Commissioner to design a redistricting plan in the event that the Commission fails to properly adopt and file a redistricting plan. The measure would be effective beginning with redistricting in 2021 and applies to members elected in 2022 and thereafter.



RaeAnn Tucker talks about Public Health Week during the March 20 edition of People to People on WKEI



OSF on Tuned IN

An upcoming Suicide Program is discussed during the March 20 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Fatal Crash Saturday in Kewanee

A three vehicle accident Saturday afternoon just south of Kewanee has claimed the life of a Kewanee woman.

86 year old Lucille Kemerling was pronounced dead at 1:34 Saturday afternoon after an accident that occurred at 12:50 Saturday afternoon.

According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, a vehicle driven by 31 year old Bradly Simmons of Kewanee was southbound on Route 78 and stopped while waiting to turn in to Flex Court Athletics.

The Simmons vehicle was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 18 year old Destiny Gibson of Toulon which caused the Simmons vehicle to overturn and land in the northbound lane.

A north bound vehicle driven by 86 year old Monroe Kemerling of Kewanee swerved to avoid the accident but went into a ditch hitting a culvert.

The Kemerling vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest. Mrs. Kemerling was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr. Kemerling was treated and released at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Simmons was taken to OSF St Luke Medical Center for treatment of injuries and was ticketed for no insurance.

Gibson refused treatment and was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The accident remains under investigation.          


WKEI Open Line

WKEI Open Line for March 20


Landscape Waste Pickup Resumes Today

Landscape waste pick up in Kewanee resumes for the season today.

Unless otherwise noted such as in the case of a Holiday, landscape waste will be picked up by city crews every Monday all the way through December 4th.

Landscape waste collection utilizes biodegradable 2 ply Kraft paper bags and can be purchased at a variety of retail locations.

To be collected by the City, users must attach a fifty cent excess bag sticker to each landscape waste bag.

Excess bag stickers can be purchased at City Hall, also at Beck Oil on 2nd Street, Beck Oil South on Tenney, also at Farm King, JoJo’s Convenience Store, CVS Drug, Shell Express, Sullivan Foods, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and also at Casey’s    


Extra Trash Pick Up In Kewanee This Week

City of Kewanee’s Public Works Department is announcing that residents will be allowed extra trash pickup for residents on their regular trash day.  Residents are allowed 6 extra bags without stickers.  Extra pickup is for trash bags only, no large items, electronics, or furniture will be picked up.



Kewanee School Board Meets Tonight





MONDAY, MARCH 20, 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; (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; (C) (5) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body; (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases and (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2016


7:30 PM







A.             District #229 Open Meeting – February 27, 2017

B.             District #229 Closed Meeting – February 27, 2017

C.             District #229 Special Open Meeting – March 6, 2017

D.             District #229 Special Closed Meeting – March 6, 2017



A.      Kewanee District #229



A.      Kewanee District #229





A.             Superintendent

1.       State of Illinois FY17 & FY18 Budgets

2.       Kiwanis Pancake Day

3.       Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction – March 11, 2017

4.       Kewanee Schools Foundation Trivia Night – March 11, 2017

5.       Aubrey “Billy” Harvey – “Boiler for Life”

          B.      Mr. Bryan – KHS Principal

                    1.       KHS Testing Schedule

          C.      Mr. Atwell – KHS Athletic Director

                    1.       Spring Sports Participation

                    2.       Moline Dispatch Area Athletes/Special Honors

          D.      Mr. Anderson – Central Jr. High Principal

                    1.       Channel 6 Video Featuring Marc Nelson







A.             Consideration and Approval of KHS IHSA Renewal

          B.      Consideration and Approval of Kewanee Personnel for 2017-2018 School Year

                    1.       Vote #1: Consideration and Approval of Kewanee 2017-2018 Probation and Tenure                       List

                    2.       Vote #2: Consideration and Approval of 2nd Year Probationary Teacher to 3rd Year                                         Probationary Teacher

                    3.       Vote #3: Consideration and Approval of Resolution Authorizing Notice of Non-                               Renewal and Dismissal of Probationary Teacher

                    4.       Vote #4: Other – Additional individual names as requested by Board Members

          C.      Consideration and Approval of Jr. High Promotion Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in                            Brockman Gym at 7:00 pm

          D.      Consideration and Approval of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Kewanee High School

          E.       Consideration and Approval of Lyle Pre-K Handbook Changes for 2017-2018 School Year



A.             Resignations

1.              Kimberly Currier – Regular Bus Driver – Effective 2/18/17 (will continue as a sub bus driver)

2.              Carmen Gamez – Bilingual Interpreter at KHS – Effective 3/9/17

3.              David Phillips – Central Jr. High English Teacher – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

B.             Retirements

1.       Herbert Richey – Bus Aide – Effective 4/28/17

C.             Hires *

1.       Regular Bus Driver

2.       Central Jr. High Math Teacher

3.       KHS Spanish Teacher

4.       Substitute Bus Aide

D.             Leaves

E.             Long Term Sub

F.              Transfers

1.       To Be Determined

G.            Volunteers

1.              Central Elementary Volleyball Coaches

2.              Central Elementary Football Coach for 2017-2018 School Year

3.              Central Jr. High School

4.              KHS Football Coach for 2017-2018 School Year

H.             Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

I.                Other Action Arising From Closed Session

1.       To Be Determined



A.             Other




* All hires are contingent upon hirees obtaining appropriate certification and qualifications prior to beginning job.


Durbin says proposed Medicaid cuts would hurt Illinois hospitals

Senator Dick Durbin had plenty to say about Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He told lawmakers on the Senate floor that he is concerned about the potential economic impact on the healthcare industry, with hospitals getting less medicaid reimbursement from patients....

Durbin says the GOP bill provides tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations in America while increasing out-of-pocket health costs and leaving 24 million Americans without insurance.reasons the proposed Medicaid cuts could hurt hospitals..


Last gasp of winter throws a scare at some Illinois crops

The unusually warm winter caused wheat to green and some fruit trees to bloom earlier than normal, at least in some parts of mid-to-southern Illinois. That was before snow that many hope is the last gasp of winter 20-17. Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather offers his prediction on when it might warm up and if that will stick;

Temperatures in the teens overnight have some Illinois wheat and fruit growers concerned about damage to their crops. Hicks says some areas of the state can still use some additional moisture too;

Spring officially begins Monday and Hicks calls for typical weather for the season, including some swings between warm and cool. Overall, the meteorologist expect temperatures to hover at slightly above-normal levels.


Urban sprawl in state slows

Up until nearly 10 years ago it seemed to some that housing subdivisions dotted with so-called 'McMansions' and strip mall development around Chicago would continue unbridled. The real estate bust, and now the closings of thousands of brick-and-mortar retail stores, could slow that trend. Karl Kettelkamp farms in Kanville west of Chicago;

A University of Illinois official told the Chicago Tribune late last year that weak job growth in the state coupled by the state's budget impasse will, in his words, 'stifle' housing sales in the Chicago area.


Davis says mandatory aspect of Obamacare has flopped

Congressman Rodney Davis continues to be at the forefront of efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Critics have often pointed to the mandatory aspect of the health insurance law as one of their complaints. Congressman Rodney Davis says there's an added wrinkle.....

Davis says hospitals are also dealing with a growing number of writeoffs of bills for insured customers.


Push for $15 minimum wage is on

The 15 dollar minimum wage movement is now in writing in Illinois. Chicago based State Representative Will Guzzardi is drafting legislation to boost the state's starting wage to fifteen bucks, although it won't reach the mark until 2022. Guzzardi says the minimum wage is no longer just about summer jobs for young people...

Guzzardi's legislation also offers a cushion for small businesses who will struggle to cough up extra wages...

Under the five year phase in, the minimum wage would jump from $8.25 now to $9 next year. Business groups remain opposed. 


Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight


The Hog Festival Committee will meet tonight beginning at 6 o’clock.

The meeting will be held at the Hog Building at 306 North Main Street and the public is always invited to attend any Hog Festival Committee meetings.   


Tonight, there will be two insurance companies making presentations. For fairness to all, scheduled 1 company will do their presentation at 6 p.m. They have 45 minutes or less to speak to ask for questions. After a short break, the first company leaves and the second company makes their presentation at 7 p.m. (or earlier).  After they are done they will leave and then the formal meeting will begin and the full committee can decide what they wish to do regarding insurance.


Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s Report

Acceptance of and place on file pending audit the Treasurer’s report


Visitors –


Unfinished Business

1.    Front of building sign/big pig/little pig update report

2.    Food concessions

3.    Entertainment report update



New Business

1.    Deciding on 2017 insurance carrier for Hog Capital Barbecue, Inc.

2.    Time to start gathering info for 2017 Hog Days Schedule of Events

3.    Any changes in space we need before we submit request for use of streets/parks letter in April to the City of Kewanee



Reports/Questions/Comments/Other Business from anyone in the room


LTC Band Concert Re-Scheduled For Tonight

The Lincoln Trail Conference Band Festival will be held this evening in the Wethersfield High School Gymnasium.

The concert was originally scheduled for Monday evening but was postponed due to the inclement weather on Monday.  

There is no fee to attend the concert  which should last around 90 minutes and is always well attended.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says it’s a concert that many people look forward to and the doors will open at 5:45 this evening…

On Monday, Mr. Kazubowski commented about the situation saying that the postponement was simply the right thing to do for several reasons…


Church Of Peace Cemetery Clean-up

The Church of Peace in rural Kewanee is announcing plans for their annual spring clean-up at the Church of Peace Cemetery.  

The clean-up will be held on Saturday, March 18 and any decorations that families wish to save should be picked up before Saturday or they will be discarded during the clean-up effort.

All decorations can be then put back on gravesites after March 20th and they will be good until further notice.  


Sewer Work In Kewanee This Week


LaHood reflects on GOP Healthcare Plan

Congressman Darin LaHood is touting what he sees as the benefits of a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. LaHood says the proposal will defer to states to make key decisions on medicaid....

LaHood says competition is king, borders are not with the GOP plan....

LaHood is happy to see that adult children are able to stay on family insurance plans into their mid 20s and he also is happy with the effort to avoid discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. 


Garth Brooks hasn't lost his touch, demand overwhelms U of I ticket office

At State Farm Center, University of Illinois ticket office officials were bracing for the demand of Garth Brooks tickets that went on sale this morning. The 11th hour announcement that a second show would be added next month, did nothing to slow the demand. The ticket office shut down the sale of tickets to shows April 28th and 29th because the system was not able to handle the sale due to high demand. Those who were able to purchase tickets will be able to keep them. Ticket office officials will announce soon when sales will resume.


Reasons are out for Peterson move

There's more info on the move of a notorious Illinois prisoner out of state. A memo shows state corrections officials transferred former Suburban Chicago Police Officer Drew Peterson to a federal lockup in Indiana because he allegedly plotted to kill a prosecutor who put him behind bars.


Senate Dem's Want Rauner and Agency Heads to Address Needed Cuts

A budget proposal from Governor Bruce Rauner is out of balance according to Senate Democrats. They say Rauner’s proposed spending plan is more than $4 billion more than expected revenues. Democrats note in order for spending to match revenues every agency needs to cut spending by 20 percent. Democrat Senator Patricia Van Pelt says recently in a committee she asked the Director of Public Health where a cut would come from.

Democrats have been frustrated recently when the Governor seems to kill the Senate’s grand bargain and then refuses to address the cuts needed to balance a budget without a tax increase.



Senator Patricia Van Pelt says it’s upsetting that Rauner isn’t addressing the realities of the state budget.


Madigan wants to change oversight of Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently called for making an Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a freestanding institution in his budget address. Now House Speaker Mike Madigan is putting an effort to give the library and museum independence into writing. Spokesman Steve Brown...

Currently, three different boards play a role in overseeing the museum. The legislation would put it under the control of a board appointed by the Governor. The facility would no longer be under the control of the Historic Preservation Agency. Madigan says the current management structure has hampered the library and museum with bureaucracy and mismanagement..


WKEI Open Line

Gambling is discussed during the March 13 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


Lock Your Car

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla is sounding the alarm once again about the need to lock the doors on your vehicles.

Sheriff Padilla says that rash of thieves hitting vehicles continues to be a problem…

Many of us will assume that most stolen items end up at a pawn shop somewhere and Sheriff Padilla says that most pawnshop owners are pretty good about following the law…


WKEI Open Line

The skate park at Northeast is discussed during the March 10 edition of the Open Line on WKEI


Push To Keep State Worker Pay Coming

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court to take up the issue of whether state employee paydays can continue without a state budget. Madigan filed a motion yesterday asking the state's high court to quickly take up the issue, bypassing a ruling from the state appellate court. State workers have continued to be paid even without a state budget because of a preliminary injunction issued in 2015 by a St. Clair County judge.
Last year, though, the state Supreme Court ruled in a separate case that state workers owed previously denied wage increases could not be paid without an appropriation in place. Madigan said the original court ruling has enabled Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to avoid passing a budget

Republicans feel that a possible way to solve this is a bill sponsored by House Republican Avery Bourne. She is backing a bill that creates a continuing appropriation for state worker pay.

State lawmakers and Judges are paid on a continuing basis. But right now lawmaker pay has been sent in line with every other state bill and lawmakers are waiting months to be paid.


Safe Driving Info

Forecasters are predicting snow for the weekend and also another snowfall for Sunday night into Monday.

While the amount we might receive has yet to be determined, it will be for all intent and purposes the first real snowfall in three months.

That will mean that many drivers will have to re-adjust their driving methods to deal with potentially slippery conditions.

Safety Expert Doug Sommer from Pekin says that the braking systems on many vehicles today are geared to helping the driver in these situations…

Sommer adds that there are other safety features that are inherent in many of today’s vehicles…


Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction on Saturday

The 12th annual Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction will be held on Saturday afternoon at Kewanee High School.

Mr. Bruce Dennison is the Executive Director of the Foundation and he says that proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Teachers of District 229…

The Auction will be held in the Brockman Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon with the doors opening at 1:30. There is no admission fee and cash, check, debit and credit cards will all be accepted for payment…

The 2nd annual Trivia Night will be held on Saturday evening at the Flemish American Club.

Initial registration for that event was set to close on February 24th, but will last minute registrations be taken?

Mr. Dennison says a call to Katie Swearingen is in order for those details…


Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time returns this weekend.

The time change officially occurs on Sunday morning at 2 o’clock although most people will set their clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

The time change means that we will lose one hour in the process and will create a later sunset in the summer. It also means that the wake up call will be especially tough on Monday morning.

Daylight Savings Time has expanded by a couple of months over the last several years with Central Standard Time returning on November 5th.


Abilities Plus Achiever Of The Month

Susie Saylor of Atkinson was recognized by her peers as Achiever of the Month for February at Abilities Plus.  She received this award because of her friendly, positive attitude, along with efforts made to reach several vocational goals.  Susie is also one of the greeters at the organization, and never knows a stranger.


Frerichs seeking answers from Trump Administration on medical marijuana

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs wants clarity from the Trump Administration on their intentions in dealing with the medical marijuana industry in Illinois..

He has sent his second letter to the Trump Administration after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that he expects states to be subject to “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use. Attorney General Jeff Sessions complained President Obama wasn't tough enough on marijuana and called it dangerous. Frerichs is especially concerned heightened enforcement of laws that could shut down banks that have a relationship with the medical marijuana industry. Frerichs fears vague talk of greater enforcement could also impact doctors who prescribe medical marijuana. . Illinois is one of 23 states that permit the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of pre approved medical conditions. Frerichs has not received a response from the Trump Administration.


Start Company Takes Over BL-NO Auto Plant

A start up car company has taken over the former Mitsubishi plant in Bloomington Normal. The company, Rivian, is based in Detroit and is expected to build electric cars. Governor Bruce Rauner was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the factory and says that the state and local governments used tax credits get the company to central Illinois.

Rivian has hopes of employing a 1,000 people at the plant.


Freedom House on People to People

Information on an upcoming training program is discussed during the March 9 edition of People to People on WKEI


Kewanee Public Library on Tuned IN

KPL Children's Librarian Sara Billiet talks about upcoming programs


SOS Meeting Tonight

The Survivors of Suicide Support Group will meet this evening at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee beginning at 6:0.

Father Jerry Rafalko says tonight’s meeting will provide some relief for those suffering the loss of a loved one through suicide…

Father Jerry adds that there will be other officials that might also offer comfort at the meeting…


Maple Syrup Weekend in Bishop Hill

In the earliest days of the Bishop Hill Colony a letter was sent to Sweden proudly proclaiming Illinois was the biblical land of milk and honey, because “sugar flows from the trees in the springtime.” The American Indians taught the pioneers how to make syrup and the Henry County Historical Society has a photo from a 1937 Maple Syrup camp! The Twinflower Inn and Bishop Hill Arts Council are resurrecting this ancient tradition.


The Twinflower Inn and The Bishop Hill Arts Council are partnering to host three Maple Syrup themed events rolled into one, reviving Maple Syrup Making Days in Bishop Hill. The Bishop Hill Arts Council is hosting a pancake supper Saturday March 11th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm. The Twinflower Inn is hosting an Immersive Workshop March 10, 11, 12, and a day-long workshop Saturday March 11, 10:00 - 3:00.


The pancake supper will be at the Colony School Saturday, March 11, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 16 and under. The evening includes pancakes, fresh made maple syrup, sausage, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate. Brian “Fox” Ellis will also share stories about the origins of maple syrup and a demonstration of the syrup making process. There will be a silent auction as a fund raiser for the Bishop Hill Arts Council. This will be a fun evening for all ages.


Saturday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Ellis will be leading a day-long workshop at The Twinflower Inn. Through the course of the day, participants will get a hands-on experience of the entire process, from selecting and tapping trees, boiling and processing sap, preserving and eating maple syrup. The workshop fee is $45, and includes a maple themed lunch. Pre-registration is required atfoxtales@foxtalesint.com.


The weekend intensive will start Friday evening March 10th at 7:00 pm with a happy hour where folks will sample a few maple flavored cocktails. We will also discuss cooking with maple syrup and enjoy a maple syrup breakfast for supper on Saturday. Saturday we will walk through the entire process from tap to sap, distillation and preservation. Weekend workshop participants go home with a small jar of syrup. And folks can order all of the equipment they need to make their own maple syrup next spring!


The Twinflower Inn is offering a special rate on rooms at The Twinflower Inn. The all inclusive weekend is just $195 for a single occupancy room or $130 each for double occupancy. This includes two nights of lodging, cocktails Friday, breakfast, lunch, and supper Saturday, breakfast Sunday, plus a jar of the syrup participants will help to make! If you wish to bring children to watch, a donation will be appreciated.


Spend an enchanting weekend in Bishop Hill, Illinois learning the skills to make your own maple syrup! 


For More information please contact Brian “Fox” Ellis  309-696-1017


Donovan To Play The Adler Theatre

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his #1 hit “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan has announced additional dates to his U.S. tour that will include a performance at the Adler Theatre on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The single “Sunshine Superman” rose to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 3, 1966.


Tickets ($55.75, $77, $87.75) for “Donovan: The Retrospective/Sunshine Superman Fiftieth Anniversary Tour 2017” at the Adler Theatre will go on sale Friday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m.at Ticketmaster.com, the Adler Theatre Box Office (136 E. 3rd St.) and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.  A small number of VIP “meet and greet” tickets are being sold on www.donovan.ie to benefit the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.


After a breakthrough and historic period of hit recordings, Donovan actively and consistently performed live, and today remains a towering icon of rock’s golden age. He played with and influenced generations of music’s greats while releasing a canon of music that changed the world.


Donovan met and traded songs with Bob Dylan during Dylan’s 1965 U.K. tour and was a friend of, and an influence on the Beatles. For a time, his sidemen were John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page (with John Bonham occasionally coming by), a pairing that would lead to great things, to say the least.


It was said at his 2012 Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame induction that, at age 16, “Donovan singlehandedly initiated the psychedelic revolution with (the album) Sunshine Superman.” The recording announced “flower power” for the first time. It has also been said that Donovan is “chiefly responsible for introducing meditation and Eastern philosophy into modern lifestyle and songwriting.” Now, 50 years after his historic debut U.S. appearance, he returns for an anniversary tour, putting our musical history and the genesis of a vast music culture once again before our eyes.


There are dozens more, but his best loved songs include “Catch The Wind,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Season of the Witch,” “Lalena,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Atlantis,” “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” “Epistle to Dippy,” “There Is A Mountain,” “Jennifer Juniper,” “Barabajagal,” “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting,” and “Happiness Runs.”



Rotary Club Quarter Madness

The Rotary Club of Kewanee will be hosting the 6th Annual Quarter Madness event on Friday, March 24th at the Kewanee Elks Lodge, 113 ½ Tremont Street Kewanee.  Doors will open at 5:30pm with Quarter Madness beginning at 7pm. A LaGondola Italian dinner will be available for $7 while supplies last.

Quarter Madness is similar to a fast paced raffle where participants can enter to win items valued at $25 to $100 for just quarters. Prizes include lottery tickets, gift certificates, designer handbags such as Coach, Vera Bradley, Kate Spade and Michael Kors as well as specialty gift baskets.

The popular “Golden Paddle” is available for $25 and will be entered in the drawing for every item of the night. Attendees purchasing a “Golden Paddle” may increase their chances of winning an item by purchasing two additional auction paddles for $3 each. The additional auction paddles will require quarters to enter to win items. “Golden Paddles” are only eligible for purchase for attendees of the event. A regular auction paddle will be available for $5 and two additional paddles to increase chances of winning. Quarters are required to bid and enter your number to win.

A “Platinum Paddle” will also be available for $30. When you purchase a “Platinum Paddle,” attendance is not required and the auction paddle is entered in the drawing for every item.

The Rotary Club of Kewanee is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the goal is to offer over 100 auction items. In 2016, over $10,000 worth of items were raffled off at the event.

“This fun, exciting event would not be possible without the generous support of the Rotary Club of Kewanee, Prairie Chicken Festival, Kewanee area businesses and supporters. We are grateful for their enthusiastic support to maintain the beautiful murals of downtown Kewanee and the Rotary Club of Kewanee community projects,” said Carrie Boelens, Quarter Madness Co-Chair.

Proceeds from this annual fundraiser sponsored by the Kewanee Rotary Club supports the Prairie Chicken Festival and Rotary Club of Kewanee community projects.

To obtain a “Platinum Paddle” or make a donation for the event, contact Dianne Packee at 309-312-0168. 


Cubs Trophy comes to Central Illinois today and Thursday

The Cubs World Series Trophy is making some of its final stops before landing in its permanent home. This afternoon, the trophy will be on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Downtown Springfield. Some Cubs fans thought waiting a few extra hours for a picture with the trophy was no big deal after the franchise waited 108 years for a world championship. Cubs Charities Senior VP Mike Lufrano says the trophy is well traveled...

Lufrano says the early birds are getting the worm but those who aren't in line already have hope....

The trophy will be shown to the Illinois General Assembly and then will be taken to the museum from 2:30 to 4 this afternoon. Tomorrow the trophy can be seen from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Decatur Civic Center, the Peoria Civic Center from 1:30 to 3 and Sterling's Challand Middle School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 


WKEI Open Line

President Trump is discussed during the March 8 edition of the Open Line 


HCFB On Tuned IN

Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman talks about upcoming Ag Programs during the March 8 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Republicans Plan Lincoln Day Dinner

The Henry County Republicans announce plans for their 30th annual Lincoln Day Dinner for Saturday, March 25th in Kewanee.  This year they will celebrate  Republican victories from the White House, State House and the Court House.


Henry County Republican Chairman Jan Weber says the fundraiser will be held at the Broken Chimney Restaurant at 618 Tenney Street in Kewanee.

Special guests for the evening will include State Senator Neil Anderson, Moline; State Senator Chuck Weaver, Peoria; State Representative Tony McCombie, Savanna and State Representative Dan Swanson, Alpha.  They will be joined by many of the Henry County elected officials and candidates for April consolidated elections.  


Tickets for the event are available from Republican precinct committeeman or by contacting the party headquarters at 309-944-6463. Tickets are $40 per person and advance reservations are requested.  Events begin on March 25 with a 5 pm social hour and dinner and program to begin at 6 pm.  


Chamber of Commerce Comedy Night

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will present their second annual Comedy Night on Saturday, March 18 at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Chamber and he says it figures to be another great evening…

Willie Farrell is the featured comedian for the evening and he says he enjoys making people laugh and jokes that he keeps Steve Pilchin in good stead for those kind words…

Farrell keeps a busy schedule of dates all across the country but he says he really enjoys the audiences in the Midwest…

Farrell also admits to being a different kind of comedian…

Back to Mark Mikenas who says that tickets for the show are available right now…


WIC Program Info

     The Henry and Stark County Health Department staff reminds area residents that they offer the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Food Supplemental program.  The WIC program promotes the health of our local children and mothers, by providing free groceries to participants; and creating healthier families by encouraging healthy eating and lifestyles.


      Sandy Sommer, Director of Clinical Services with the Health Department, states, “We are thrilled to announce that WIC Services are now available to local families ‘without borders.’  Which means, if you reside in a neighboring county; but actually live closer to one of our WIC locations in Kewanee or Colona, we can serve your WIC needs!” 


     In addition, the Health Department has expanded WIC hours in order to be more convenient to working families and school children participating in the program.


     Sommer adds, “We also want to stress that WIC benefits area available to eligible children up to the age of 5, pregnant women, infants, postpartum and breastfeeding women.”


    The Health Department WIC and Casemanagement staff encourages healthy pregnancies, babies, children and families through their services. The WIC Supplemental Food Program offers supplemental foods and nutrition education to residents who meet certain nutrition and economic guidelines.  In addition, clients may receive healthy food items such as milk, formula, eggs, and cereal; fruits, vegetables, juices, whole grain breads and tortillas.


    Sommer concludes, "Our WIC and Casemanagement staff feel it's important that all area residents and families have the information and encouragement to make healthy decisions; not only for themselves but for their entire family. Thereby, hoping future generations are more healthy and active."


   For more information on the Department's WIC and Casemanagement services call the Department at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011(Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter. For more information you can also visit www.fns.usda.gov/wic.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



English honor society at BHC welcomes 35 members

The Black Hawk College chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta, the English honor society for two- year colleges, will induct 35 members Wednesday, March 29 at the college’s Quad Cities Campus in Moline.

The inductees have earned an A or B in an English course, have completed at least 12 credit hours, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students are not required to be English majors.

The new members come from both Black Hawk College campuses.

The inductees – listed by hometown – are:

  • Annawan – Hailey Bos
  • Bradford – Jessica Loudenburg
  • Cambridge – Katie Miller, Jamie Franck
  • Coal Valley – Amanda Purvis
  • Colona – Tori McCaw
  • Cordova – Shannon Crisp
  • Davenport, IA – Emily Tunis
  • East Moline – Leigh Westbrook, Kayla Serra, Samantha Moreno
  • Galva – Cheryl Egbert
  • Geneseo – Elodie Bouwens, Kian VanWynsberghe, Payton Conard
  • Kewanee – Nelson Ullinskey
  • Liganier, IN – Luke Wetchner
  • Madison, WI – Heidi Mueller
  • Milan – Ashley Hanson, Cassie Wales
  • Moline – Abigael Kelly, Caroline Davis, Julia Earnest, Dieynaba Ndiaye, Jessica Santillan, Alexis Russell, Bryce Humphrey
  • Muscatine, IA – Hanna Dipple
  • Rock Island – Erica Sunken, Brett Kerno
  • Silvis – Elizabeth Thompson, Kristal Caudillo
  • Taylor Ridge – Christina Schulte
  • Toulon – Kayla Hockett
  • Wyoming – Courtney Frisby


Rauner Says ACA Changes Won't Help Illinois

Washington D.C. Republicans are pressing for changes to the Affordable Care Act and today those members in Congress released a view of what should change. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says it’s a little early right now to get too involved in the conversation about what he’d like to see done. But he does think that the proposed changes won’t help out the state or some citizens.

Rauner says that he’s had a few conversations with people inside of Trump administration about what he’d recommend. Rauner didn’t say what those recommendations were or would look like.


Strong Storms Pound Metro East

A strong line of thunderstorms pushed through the Mississippi Riverbend early this morning, and left some minor damage and power outages but no reports of injuries. Ameren Illinois customers that lost power are slowly being restored as work continues this afternoon.

The outages are concentrated in Madison, Jersey and Macoupin Counties. Power restoration is expected to be completed in Alton by 6 or 7pm, and during the afternoon in most other places. If you are without power, Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch says you might want to unplug your appliances and electronics.

The wind damage reports include minor roofing or siding damage in parts of Godfrey, as well as tree limbs onto buildings or property. 


Rauner vs Mendoza

Governor Bruce Rauner has been named as a defendant in lawsuits in St. Clair County,this time he is the plaintiff. The Rauner Administration is suing Comptroller Susana Mendoza over pay for nearly 600 Central Management Services workers. He maintains Mendoza is violating a 2015 court order by covering their paychecks through two revolving funds instead of through the state general fund. Rauner addressed state workers through a Facebook video Monday....

Mendoza offered everything but an emoticon in her Facebook response...

The lawsuit claims paychecks for the CMS workers could be disrupted tomorrow if the matter is not resolved.


Windy City Goes A Week Without A Fatal Shooting

Chicago has gone a full week without a fatal shooting for the first time in more than four years. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the city passed the milestone Sunday morning, marking the first time has gone as long since the newspaper began tracking every shooting death in January 2013. Until then, the last fatal shooting occurred Feb. 26.


Kewanee Chamber of Commerce on PTP

The March 18 Comedy Show is discussed during the March 7 edition of People to People on WKEI


OSF Hospice On Tuned IN

Father Jerry Rafalko talks about the Survivors of Suicide group during the March 7 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


WKEI Open Line

Severe storms are discussed during the March 7 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI



HHH Health Screenings

Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo will host a complete line of health screenings later this month.

The screenings will be available to any member of the public and Darcy Hepner,  Manager of the Hammond Henry Foundation and she says those screenings will be held in mid March…


Ms. Hepner adds that pre-registration is not necessary…


ISP Nightime Patrols


East Moline– Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander, Captain Victor Markowski, announces the results of a Nighttime Enforcement (NITE) patrol in Henry County during February. These NITE patrols allow the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations especially between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.


Enforcement Activity

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Citations


Other Alcohol/Drug Citations


Occupant Restraint Offenses


Registration Offenses


Driver’s License Offenses


Insurance Violations


Total Citations/Arrests


Total Written Warnings




Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  Over half of all fatal crashes in Illinois occur at night.  The NITE program allows officers to work even harder at removing dangerous impaired drivers from the road and making sure everyone is buckled up.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.


Henry County Coroner Logs Busy 2016


The Henry County Coroner’s Office investigated 350 cases in 2016.  Of this number 294 cases were deaths that were turned over to the medical profession for physician’s finalizations with 56 cases being signed off by Coroner’s office in Cambridge according to Henry County Coroner, Melissa A. Watkins, RN.


Of 350 reported deaths in 2016, 332 were attributed to natural causes with eight accidentals, and ten suicides.


Of the eight accidental deaths; two were single vehicle accidents, one semi vs train mishap, 1 drug/alcohol intoxication, one overlaying due to co-sleeping, one Rx overdose, one hydrocodone intoxication and one drowning.  Alcohol was a contributing factor in one cases; drugs was a contributing factor in two cases and both alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in one case.


Of the ten suicides; four were asphyxiation due to hanging, one was due to Rx overdose, three were gunshot wound to the head, one was semi vs pedestrian and one drug/alcohol intoxication.  Alcohol was a contributing factor in one case; drugs were a contributing factor in four cases and both alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in one case.


The most deaths in 2016 occurred in the month of December with a total each of 41.  The least number of deaths in 2016 occurred in the month of November with a total of 19.


Of the 350 deaths investigated autopsies were performed on 15 cases and there were 6 Coroner Inquests held in 2016.


Coroner Watkins states that 350 deaths recorded by her office in 2016 does not represent all of the deaths in Henry County, just the cases that she is required by law to investigate.


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