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IDOT Seeks Feedback on 2017 Freight Plan

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation has released its 2017 Freight Plan, which outlines the state’s strategy for facilitating the successful and efficient movement of goods. Public comments will be accepted through Nov. 30.

“Illinois serves as the transportation hub of North America. It’s important we have a reliable infrastructure system to support the freight industry, which moves nearly $3 trillion of goods into, out of and through Illinois each year,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “The efficient movement of goods is a key driver for our state’s economic prosperity.”

Freight in Illinois is moved by truck, rail, water and air. The 2017 plan examines road congestion, the importing and exporting of goods, workforce trends and other factors that impact effective movement of freight. The plan highlights the existing system of freight traffic and envisions potential improvements in the future.

Illinois’ freight system transports more than 1 billion tons of freight per year, valued at $2.97 trillion. More than 450 million tons of freight are moved by rail alone, representing more than $1.6 trillion. The Freight Plan also accounts for cargo origins and destinations both domestic and abroad. Goods from Illinois travel across the globe, from Asia to Europe and Africa to South America.

The public can view the plan in its draft form and provide comments by visiting www.idot.illinois.gov/home/freight_plan_feedback

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Hike the Hennepin On Sunday

The Friends of the Canal are holding their monthly Hike the Canal outing on Sunday, November 19.

This month's hike will be from Bridge 62 to Lock 22 on the canal.

This portion of the "Hike the Hennepin" is 4.7 miles in length and it has been named the "Red Winged Blackbird".

We will meet at Lock 22 at 1:30 pm, where we will be shuttled to Bridge 62 to begin our hike. Directions to Lock 22 are to take Route 6 west of Sheffield approximately 3.5 miles or Route 6 east of Mineral approximately 1.5 miles, then turn north (watch for the Lock 22 signs on route 6) on county highway 300E.

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 in 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 815-664-2403 (home)

or log on to our website at: www.friends-hennepin-canal.org .

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Holiday Street Lights In Kewanee Go Up On Sunday

Another sure sign that the holiday season is here is that the holiday street lights in Kewanee will go up on Sunday morning.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and he says the annual ritual will begin early on Sunday morning…

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Once the lights go up on Sunday, they will remain lit all the way through the holiday season…

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Mark also reminds that deadlines for the Little Mr. Jack Frost and the Lil Miss Snowflake are set for later today…

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Rauner signs sexual harassment legislation

Gov. Rauner tackles sexual harassment legislation, signing a pair of bills, although his enthusiasm was much higher for one bill than the other. He signed Senate Bill 402, which calls for sexual harassment training and adds a prohibition of sexual harassment to the state’s ethics laws. He also signed House Bill 137 and he did so with reservations...
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Rauner says there are too many obstacles to getting an investigation off the ground...
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The legislature should conduct a thorough analysis of the existing statutes of limitations to ensure remedies are available. 

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Turkey thawing tips

With Thanksgiving on the schedule for next Thursday, many families will enjoy the traditional turkey dinner. RaeAnn Tucker with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments says that proper thawing of the bird is essential to a good dining experience…

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Tucker also says that overnight slow cooking is not recommended as bacteria will have a chance to develop.

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People to People for November 16

 Safety Expert Doug Sommer is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

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U of I Extension on Tuned IN

Horticulture Educator Martha Smith is the guest

listen herehttp://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/11-16%20t-in%20u%20ext.mp3

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Why We Need the Great American Smokeout

 

 

About 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 15.1% in 2015), cigar, pipe, and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people – there’s no “safe” way to smoke tobacco.

Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.

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Turkey Thawing Tips


    It's that time of year again - Thanksgiving.  And the staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments note as cooks across the country ready themselves for this annual feast day, it's important to remember that if you don't eat the skin, and if you skim the fat from the gravy, turkey makes a healthy feast.  However, preparing this bird does bring with it some special concerns. 

 

    So to better guarantee that your Thanksgiving holiday is a healthy one, the Health Department offers up some helpful "Turkey Tactics."  Most poultry now comes with a safe handling label - read it.  If the bird is frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator, if possible.  Here are refrigerator thawing times for various size turkeys:

 

* 8 to 12 pound turkey takes 1 to 2 days to thaw in the refrigerator

* 12 to 16 pound turkey takes 2 to 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator

* 16 to 20 pound turkey takes 3 to 4 days to thaw in the refrigerator

* Pieces of a turkey, such as a half or quarter will take 1 to 2 days thawing time in the refrigerator

 

     Dorothy David, Director of Environmental Health Services notes, "If the beast is huge and you're short of time, submerge it (in its plastic wrapping) in potable running water at a temperature of 70 degrees fahrenheit, with sufficient water velocity to agitate and float off loose food particles with the overflow."

 

     If you have a small bird and a large microwave, you can safely defrost it that way.  Roast the turkey as soon as it is thawed.  Any poultry can have salmonella and other bacteria.  After handling poultry, wash your hands and utensils that have come in contact with the raw meat.

 

     Do not thaw the turkey on the kitchen counter.  A frozen turkey thaws from the outside in.  As the surface warms, bacteria multiply.  While thawing, the surface bacteria could multiply to dangerously high levels. One cannot rely on cooking to destroy all bacteria.  In addition, some food poisoning bacteria produce toxins that can't be destroyed though cooking.

    

     Use a meat thermometer.  Cook to 170 to 175 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, 180-185 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, and 160-165 degrees in the stuffing.  "Slow cooking" overnight is not safe because bacteria have time to multiply.

 

     Don't stuff a bird early.  Stuff it only when ready to put it in the oven.  If you refrigerate a large stuffed uncooked turkey, the stuffing may not chill fast enough, allowing bacteria growth.  Cooking the stuffing separately is safer.

 

     For more information on food safety, call the Health Department Environmental Health Division at (309) 852-0197 or 792-4011 (Henry) or852-3115 (Stark) 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.

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Bishop Hill is Looking For Tomten!

 

Every year, Bishop Hill continually looks for 3rd thru 5th graders who would like to be tomten for our Christmas Market weekends in November and December. Tomten are Swedish elves.  Bishop Hill tomten walk through town, looking through windows, peeking around corners, and looking a little mischievous.  Tourists love taking photographs of the tomten. Each shift is 2 hours.  We have outfits for them with red caps, grey sweatshirts, tunics, and pants, which they wear over their clothes.

 

If you are interested in having your child be a Tomte, please call Todd DeDecker at the Steeple Building Museum at (309) 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net asap.  The child will receive a $5 gift certificate from the Colony Store for helping us out. Light refreshments are also provided to the children.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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AFBF chief economist: Illinois farmer needs NAFTA

The chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation says the Illinois farmer needs the North American Free Trade Agreement. Dr. Bob Young believes the U.S. should maintain its role with NAFTA.
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NAFTA talks are taking place this week with trade representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico all meeting in Mexico City. 

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Durbin GOP Tax plan

Senator Dick Durbin blasted Senate Republicans for supporting what he calls a partisan tax plan. Durbin says the tax plan would noticeably hurt middle income families....
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Durbin says there will be greater problems down the road....
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Durbin says under the House Republican plan, which will be voted on this week, the medical expense deduction will be eliminated. He says that means seniors will no longer be able to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

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Duckworth opposed confirmed USDOT nominee

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke out against a nominee for General Counsel of the US Department of Transportation. The former military aviator told fellow Senators they should reject the nomination of Steven Bradbury, but he was was confirmed before the day was out. Duckworth says he authored legal memos that paved the way for American forces to use torture in the war on terror...
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Duckworth says torture authorization has only made war zones more volatile...
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Duckworth says she's fearful Bradbury might endorse actions that could hurt traffic safety if the President so chooses. 

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Kennedy ad tackles gun violence, cites family legacy

Chris Kennedy’s campaign for governor has rolled out its first television ad of the campaign. He's connecting the impact of gun violence on his legendary family with the blood on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere. Kennedy's ad immediately notes the impact of the events of June, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles...
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Kennedy doesn't just draw on tragic memories in the ad....
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The campaign has also rolled out a new digital ad as well as the Kennedy camp tries to gain traction in the social media realm.

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Two Meetings to Explore the Need for Mental Health Support Group

 

 

The Henry County Mental Health Alliance is working to make this a better community.  This week they are sponsoring two exploration meetings to investigate community interest in starting a peer support group for individuals’ recovering from a mental health condition.  This will be a community supported effort.   

 

For convenience, there are meetings from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Thursday, November 16, 2017and from 1:00 PM – 2 PM on Friday, November 17, 2017.  Both meetings will be at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center located at 404 E. Third St., Kewanee, IL.

 

The meetings are open to the public and anyone with an interest in improving mental health in our community.  No advance registration is required.  For more information contact Lisa Leemans at the Housing Authority of Henry County, phone (309) 525-1877.

 

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WHS Cheerleaders To Sell Krispy Kremes

The WHS cheerleaders will sell Krispy Kreme donuts in the Blish Building parking lot on Wednesday, November 22nd beginning at 7 AM. There is no school at Wethersfield that day so you can pull into the Blish parking lot. You won't even need to get out of your car! Donuts are $10 a dozen and once they're gone, they are gone! Stock up for Thanksgiving visitors, or to take with you to snack on as you drive to grandma's house!

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Thanksgiving Fires Can Be Deadly

While Thanksgiving tops the charts for family and friends coming together to enjoy food and one another’s company, it’s also the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) latest “Home Fire Involving Cooking Equipment” report, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 as on any other typical day of the year; the day before Thanksgiving represents the second-leading day for home cooking fires.

Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 170,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment, which resulted in 510 civilian fire deaths, 5,470 civilian fire injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Unattended cooking was, by far, the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire fatalities.

In that same five-year period, cooking equipment was involved in almost half (47%) of all reported home fire incidents. Cooking fires caused 20% of home fire deaths, and was the source of nearly half (45%) of the reported home fire injuries. In terms of direct property damage, 17% of damage resulting from cooking fires.  

“At Thanksgiving, when people are cooking multiple dishes and entertaining guests, it’s easy to get distracted,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “These distractions may prompt them to walk away from the kitchen or forget something is cooking on the stovetop or in the oven. These factors can all increase the likelihood of a cooking fire.”

Fortunately, Carli notes, there are many simple steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of cooking fires on Thanksgiving and beyond. Following are NFPA tips and recommendations for cooking safely:

· Stay in the kitchen when cooking to keep a close eye on the food, especially when frying and sautéing with oil.

· Use a timer to keep track of cooking times, most notably when cooking a meal that takes a long time like roasting a turkey, baking a roast or simmering. Check the stove or oven frequently. Consider putting timers in different rooms so that you can hear them over music, football games, and party chatter.

· Stay alert and focused when cooking. To help minimize the risk of injury, avoid cooking when drinking alcohol or if you’re sleepy.

· Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers and towels away from the cooking area.

· Kids should stay 3 feet away from stovetops, as well as from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, or gravy could cause serious burns.

Frying turkeys at Thanksgiving has become more popular in recent years. However, NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, as they can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the extensive amount of hot oil used with fryers. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to look instead for grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys.

Additional tips and resources can be found on NFPA’s Thanksgiving webpage. General cooking safety information including safety tip sheets, infographics, videos and more can be found on NFPA’s Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage.

The “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report also provides home fire cooking statistics for other holidays such as Christmas, Christmas Eve, and the New Year.

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Oral history project highlights school consolidation in Illinois

An oral history project details the story of school district consolidation in Illinois. The work is through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum says oral historian Mark DePue.
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54 interviews were conducted for the project. You can find them at “oralhistory.illinois.gov.” 

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National Weather Service Says La Nina Winter Developing, Bringing Varying Temperatures

The things happening at the equator this time of year can give weather officials a good idea of what will happen during the winter months. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service indicates the water temperature of the ocean near the equator can dictate the weather patterns La Nina and El Nino. He says right now La Nina is developing.

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According to Miller, a La Nina weather pattern will bring variable temperatures which could leave us with some nasty conditions when the precipitation comes around.

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Miller also notes La Nina patterns have already been showing up this fall with varied temperatures and precipitation. 

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Kennedy ad tackles gun violence, cites family legacy

Chris Kennedy’s campaign for governor has rolled out its first television ad of the campaign. He's connecting the impact of gun violence on his legendary family with the blood on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere. Kennedy's ad immediately notes the impact of the events of June, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles...
Listen Here
Kennedy doesn't just draw on tragic memories in the ad....
Listen Here
The campaign has also rolled out a new digital ad as well as the Kennedy camp tries to gain traction in the social media realm.

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Better Business Bureau With Tips On Looking For Seasonal Work

If you are looking for some extra money during the holidays, there are jobs available on a seasonal basis in many industries. Retailers and shippers planning to hire more than 650,000 seasonal employees this holiday season, so the Better Business Bureau advises job seekers to polish up their resumes.

Agency investigator Shellie Kreter says you should research potential employers and apply right away, but be wary of any that ask you for money in order to apply.

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She suggests you try to work where you shop, dress neatly and be prepared for an interview when applying, and be flexible. As a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

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Avery Bourne on Sexual Harassment in Statehouse

State lawmakers are reacting to sexual harassment accusations out of the state capital after allegations were made against Chicago State Senator Ira Silverstein by a legislative activist. State Representative Avery Bourne of Raymond is the youngest female serving in the state legislature. She says she has heard many stories from others she works with.
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Bourne, who is 25, was elected to the Illinois House three years ago at the age of 22.

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Gov Compares Mendoza To "Bank Robber Calling the Cops"

Billions of unappropriated spending was going on last fiscal year and lawmakers and the public just found out about it. Last week more than $2.8 billion in new unpaid bills showed up on the state’s ledger. That revelation had Comptroller Susanna Mendoza upset at the ability of Governor Bruce Rauner and the current administration to hide extra spending during the budget crisis. After a stinging rebuke on the spending and a veto override on a debt transparency bill Rauner fired back at the Comptroller

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Mendoza said in a statement that Rauner still needs to provide full details about when he knew about the unappropriated spending of $2.8 billion, what his plan is for taking care of it.

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Abilities Plus Gary German Memorial Athletic Award Recipient

 

 

Erick Sierra of Kewanee was recently recognized as the 2017 Gary German Memorial Athletic Award Recipient at Abilities Plus.  Recognition began in 1997 in memory of long time Abilities Plus & Special Olympic participant and friend, Gary German.  Erick received this honor by demonstrating good sportsmanship & outstanding team spirit.

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Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight


Here we go...the final meeting for the 2017 fiscal year of Kewanee Hog Days is this Tuesday, November 14th at 7 pm in our building at 306 North Main Street. This will be the last chance to deal with anything 2017. We do not meet in December and when we get to January we will be in the 2018 fiscal year and dealing with the 2018 festival! Below is the preliminary agenda for this Tuesday evening. Re: election of officers...the names listed our the ones given by the nominating committee. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at our meeting. In the case of vice chairpersons, since we already have 3 names in nomination for 2 positions, we'll use a paper ballot. Paper ballots for the other positions will depend on whether additional nominations are made from the floor.

Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s report

Acceptance of and place on file pending audit, Treasurer’s report for October. (Auditing committee will close and audit Treasurer's books during December at a mutually agreed on time and place).

Visitors –

Unfinished Business

1.    Name badges (carried over to next year)

2.    Phones (carried over for consideration at January 2018 meeting)

3.    Chamber of Commerce souvenir report

4.    Notice of assessment change from Henry County 

New Business

1.    2018 entertainment report

2.    Review of October 24, 2017 Special meeting

3.    Memberships and memorials

4.    Election of 2018-19 officers

        Vice chairs (vote for 2): Ruth Neuleib,  Niles Reamer,  Kaye Finney

                                 Treasurer (vote for 1):  Larry Flannery

                         Co-chairperson (vote for 1): Janie Metscaviz 

(immediately following the regular meeting a short 3 minute session is scheduled to determine which events each elected officer is assigned to oversee)

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League of Women Voters to Meet


The League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area will have a general meeting at 6:30pm on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the Community Education Center in Kewanee.  The speaker will be Etta LaFlora, the director of The Step Ladder Tutoring Program.  Ms. LaFlora will give the history of the program and explain the services offered.  The meeting is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase the understanding of major public policy issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

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Pritzker still pushing for progressive tax but plan still in works

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker continues to call for a progressive tax structure in Illinois, but as of last week he had no hard numbers just yet for his push to have wealthier Illinoisans pay more....,.....
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A progressive tax would require a constitutional amendment because the Illinois Constitution calls for the current flat tax system in the state.

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The future role of U.S. in NAFTA remains unclear

What’s the future role of the U.S. with the North American Free Trade Agreement? That’s a tough read says reporter Jenny Hopkinson. She covers the issue for POLITICO.
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NAFTA talks take place Wednesday in Mexico City with representatives from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. all scheduled to be in attendance. 

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Social Security Helping Veterans Through Various Programs

Veterans Day is over but the Social Security Administration still has a few reminders for those who have served.

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That’s Jack Myers. He indicates if you were injured on or after October 1, 2001, you're claims are eligible to be expedited. Additionally, if you are on active duty but incapacitated, that doesn't mean you can't receive social security benefits.

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When filling out a disability application, Myers says to make a note on your application that you are veteran rated 100% permanent and total. 

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Sen McCann wants to make it easier to stripe roads

State Senator McCann is tired of blurred lines and we're not talking about political viewpoints. He has filed legislation giving local road authorities the potential for financial assistance to stripe dangerous roadways. McCann says road authorities often aren't able to use state and federal funds to stripe roads because of complicated financial rules. Currently only motor fuel taxes can be used for striping but increased fuel efficiency and heavy state use of motor fuel taxes has limited those dollars.

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Bustos not a fan of GOP tax reform plans

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos expressing deep reservations with the GOP House and Senate tax reform plans.
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Bustos says she doesn’t have a major issue with lowering the corporate tax rate, but she quote “doesn’t believe corporations should be treated like royalty and the rest of us like peasants.” 

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Manar says Pritzker good for Dems

State Senator Andy Manar is endorsing J.B. Pritzker for Governor. Manar doesn't just say Pritzker would be the right fit for Governor, but he believes his intense statewide campaign could lift up the state Democratic party in key spots...
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Manar once was liniked to the Governor's race but opted not to join to focus on his work in the State Senate.

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IL National Guard Deployed to Afghanistan

The Illinois National Guard is sending a team of Soldiers to Afghanistan as part of a mission supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel. The soldiers will train and work side-by-side with their Polish counterparts.

"We live in freedom today and every day because of the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers," Governor Bruce Rauner said. "These heroes stand in the face of danger to keep us safe. We honor that and look forward to their safe return home."

The Illinois contingency, which is known as The Bilateral Embedded Staff Team (BEST) A20, will advise and assist the institutions within the Afghan Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior.

The Soldiers are from various parts of Illinois and were selected for the mission based on their training and skills. Their hometowns include: Normal, Illinois; Carterville, Illinois; McLean, Illinois; Springfield, Illinois; Homewood, Illinois and Lorton, Virginia.

A deployment ceremony was held at Camp Lincoln, in Springfield, on Thursday, November 9th. The soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Bliss, Texas, before heading to the Middle East. They are expected to return to Illinois in the summer of 2018.

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Illinois-National-Guard-deploys-Soldiers-to-Afghanistan/15158055

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High Corn Yield Creates Market Uncertainty

With corn production yield estimates coming in nationally at a record-high number, and the Illinois yield to be the second largest on record, market access will be a key factor in limiting losses due to depressed corn prices.

“This is the type of scenario that we pencil out to demonstrate why market access is so important to corn farmer profitability,” said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan. “Now it looks like our “what if” scenarios might become “what now” situations as we face continued below cost of production prices, threats to our export relationships, and deteriorating transportation infrastructure.”

“Given that some of our top yielding areas in the state still haven’t finished with the corn harvest at this point, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s harvest emergency declaration couldn’t have been better timed as we see this crop report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service coming out and predicting our average yield at the second highest number on record,” Durdan continued.

The November 9, 2017, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Crop Production report pegs the national average per acre corn yield at 175.4 that if realized, would be a record. NASS also predicts a near-record per acre corn yield for Illinois at 198 bushels, second only to the 2014 production of 200 bushels per acre.

“We cannot say strongly enough how important export markets are to the profitability picture for corn farmers,” said Durdan. “Specifically, NAFTA needs to remain in effect, and maybe even improved by the Trump Administration, but we cannot withdraw because losing our top corn customer right now is unimaginable.”

“Secretary Perdue said this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing for the loss of NAFTA, just in case, but at the farm level, no amount of preparation will make a difference to losing that market, especially to Illinois farmers since we believe that more than half the corn that ends up in Mexico from the U.S. was grown on an Illinois farm,” Durdan said.

“We have a bright spot to improve markets through ethanol exports to Mexico since they recently approved improving their gasoline to a ten percent blend of ethanol,” Durdan said. “We’re also working to change policy in Washington to pave the way for higher octane fuels here in the U.S., with that octane coming from corn ethanol like what’s made right here in Illinois.”

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Veterans Day Ceremony at the American Legion Post 31

On Saturday, the American Legion Post 31 had their Veteran’s Day service at the legion on Railroad Avenue. The master of ceremonies was Jerry Thompson. The Wethersfield High School band, under the direction of Jay Hagarman, provided the music. Mr. Thompson did a great job of hosting the ceremony and introducing the speakers. After the Wethersfield band played the opening number, Ted Canellos explained the items placed on the table for the POW and MIA’s. Below is the picture of the table and the audio file of Mr. Canellos explaining the items.

 

 

Listen HERE (POW and MIA)

 

After honoring the POW and MIA’s, the Wethersfield Band played each branches fight song and each Veteran stood at attention for the duration of their branches song.

 

Listen HERE (Themes)

 

Mike Yaklich then said some very kind words and thank all the veterans.

 

Listen HERE (Yaklich)

 

Mr. Thompson then announced the commanders of Veterans Organizations which are: Ted Canellos, Josh Newman, Lou VanDeVoorde, Glenn Morey, and Jim Thurman. The Wethersfield High School band played America the Beautiful. Excellent job from the band members. Mr. Thompson then introduced the speakers Kalaigh Nimrick from Wethersfield High and Mitrese Smith from Kewanee High.

 

Listen HERE (Nimrick)

 

Listen HERE (Smith)

 

The Speakers had great speeches and you should listen to both.  The band played one more time and then Eighty-eight-year-old Bette Van De Genachte provided veterans lap robes. The older Veterans received their lap robes first to the youngest. Mrs. Van De Genachte ran out around the age of 70. Lou VanDeVoorde closed the ceremony with a benediction and the Firing Squad shot their rifles and then Taps was played.

 

Listen HERE (Closing)

 

Overall, the ceremony was great and I encourage EVERYONE to go next year! 

 

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Girl Scout Service Unit Collection Drive

Girl scout service unit 889 will be hosting a collection drive for the local nursing homes. Items can be dropped off at Zion Lutheran church Mon and Tues from 9am to 12pm and on Tuesday night from 6pm until 730pm. The scouts are looking for items such as puzzles, pens and notepads, greeting cards, word search or puzzle books, candy, holiday CDs, and other items that seniors would enjoy.

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New Harassment Training Program for Lawmakers and more

The house and the senate approved a new sexual harassment training program.

 

Lawmakers, their staff and lobbyists will have to go through the training under the measure, which will address what constitutes harassment, how to report problems ans what are the consequences for offenders. Representative Kelly Cassidy of Chicago supports the bill and says she hopes the discussion doesn't end here.

 

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The Bill also creates a hotline for victims to report harassment.

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Military Holiday Card Drive

Governor Bruce Rauner is urging Illinoisans to participate in this year's military holiday card drive.

 

Holiday greetings help remind soldiers that the people back home are thinking about them and appreciate their service says Governor Rauner. He says the "Cards for Heroes" program is now underway.

 

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Cards must be turned in by November 20th.

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Schools will have to teach students cursive writing

The house and now the senate have overidden the Governor's veto of a bill requiring public elementary schools to teach at least one unit of cursive. Senator Kimberly Lightford of Maywood says it's a practical skill that students need to learn.

 

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The new law will take effect in the 2018-2019 school year.

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Will You Fight or Flight?

In light of the recent events like the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival and just this week Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas. Henry County Sherriff Kerry Loncka stopped by with Detective Joe Bedford.  Detective Bedford Specializes in preparing School, churches, and Business in preparing for these types of events.

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With people being so involved in technology this day and age many people are not paying attention to their surrounds Detective Bedford points out how we need to be aware of our surroundings.

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Detective Bedford Said one thing that they teach to businesses and schools is the A.L.I.C.E program. Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

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Sherriff Loncka and Detective Bedford both said they did not want to put the information out to scare anyone but to make the public aware that this has unfortunately become something we must be aware of.

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Governor cuts ribbon on new General Mills distribution center

 Gov. Bruce Rauner joined area officials at a ribbon cutting today to open a new 1.5 million-square-foot distribution centre for General Mills. The facility, located at the rapidly developing RidgePort Logistics Center in Wilmington, could employ up to 150 people when it is fully operational.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, General Mills is a worldwide company that is home to such well-known brands as Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, Annie’s, and Cascadian Farm. Its new distribution centre in Illinois will ship General Mills products to destinations across the U.S.

“Illinois is the nation’s logistics and distribution hub,” Rauner said. “As a business person, I can see why General Mills has chosen our central location, our unmatched transportation systems and, most important, our pool of highly skilled Illinois workers. Seeing this facility open is a testimony to our state’s central role in the distribution of goods to every part of the nation.”

“The Wilmington customer service facility will be a key addition and a critical location for the General Mills distribution network,” said Mike Nordstrom, General Mills vice president for Global Workplace Solutions. “From this location, we will deliver top-selling cereals, snacks and other products to customers across America.

“We’re also proud that this facility will continue our company’s strong commitment to treating the world with care, as we anticipate that the building will achieve LEED Silver certification,” Nordstrom said.

“What a tremendous boost this will be for the Will and Grundy county areas both for jobs and the local economies,” said state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, who invited Gov. Rauner to Wilmington. “Our area has some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to logistics. I hope we can build off this momentum and other companies see the great things that are happening in the area and choose to locate here as well.”

The new General Mills centre is part of the sprawling 2,500-acre RidgePort Logistics Center that is being developed by Elion Partners about 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is providing $113 million in multimodal improvements involving highway (I-55) and rail infrastructure.

“An additional feature of RidgePort Logistics Center, apart from its infrastructure and logistical location, is servicing the trucking profession,” said Michael Stellino, managing director of development for Elion Partners. “By having a mixed-use logistics park, we are responding to the needs of the truck drivers, employees and tenants of the park such as General Mills.”

Located in Will County, RidgePort Logistics Center is the largest planned, rail-served industrial park in the Chicago market with 30.6 million square feet of potential development. About 5.4 million square feet have been developed to date, and 810,000 additional square feet are under construction.

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

On our November 6th edition of Tuned In we were Joined by Tami Harker from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee to discuss Diabetes awareness month. Tami focuses a lot on Diabetes all year round. 

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Tami understands the difficulties with Diabetes in the coming holiday season and offers some tips to help keep it manageable without having to miss out on the sweet treats!

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If you're unsure about Diabetes or whether you could be at risk of having it or getting it Tami Has a few Tips that could help you or a family member.

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That's Tami Harker of OSF Saint Luke Medical Center.

 

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Estate tax not only issue farmers are following in tax reform discussions

As tax reform debate heats up in the nation’s capital, agriculture groups are keeping a keen eye on the estate tax issue. A house GOP plan unveiled last week calls for complete repeal by 2024, but that’s not the only area farmers are interested in says Mark Gebhards with the Illinois Farm Bureau.
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The Senate is expected to release its tax reform plan later this week.

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Water Shut Off In Kewanee On Monday

Effective Monday 11/6/17, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a water shut off with a boil order to follow.  Residents in the 100 block of Edwards Street will have water shut off while a broken fire hydrant is replaced.  Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m.

 

Any residents, whose water has been shut off during this repair, will be under a boil order for 48 – 72 hours following the restoration of water service.

Residents in these areas may experience low pressure, rusty water, or no water.  If the water has been turned off, take precautions when using water until the water runs clean.  Only flush the system by running cold water, running hot water may draw rust into the water heater. 

If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 852-2611.

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Kewanee Entity Is a Finalist For Governor Hometown Awards

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 14 localities with honors for the 2017 Governor’s Hometown Awards program during a special reception at the Old State Capitol on November 8, 2017 at 2 p.m. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact. 
 
“We are pleased that through the preliminary round of judging, 14 localities have been recognized as either cup finalists or project winners of the program,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “It was clear that many communities throughout Illinois have wonderful service projects that use volunteers. Through these awards, we are honored to be able to highlight these projects and the people who gave back.”

The Commission deemed four of the 14 projects as cup finalists, which are the best projects in each of the four population divisions of the program. These four localities include:

• East St. Louis - “Join Hands Advocacy Project”
• Kewanee - “Step Ladder Tutoring Program”
• Macon County - “WSOY Community Food Drive”
• Waterloo - “Monroe County House of Neighborly Service”

The Commission will present these projects to a new panel of judges. The judges will choose one project as the overall Governor’s Cup Winner and announced at the event on November 8, 2017.

Project winners determined in the preliminary round based on the project category and population division include:

• Charleston - “Lake Charleston Trail System”
• Collinsville - “Hometown Heroes”
• Fairfield - “FNB Field”
• Fulton County - “Canton Gas Explosion”
• Galesburg - “Galesburg Heart & Soul”
• Godfrey - “Beverly Farm Foundation”
• Lanark - “Workation 2016”
• LaSalle County - “LaSalle County Naloxone Program”
• Rock Island - “Kids engaged in Natural Growth (KING)”
• Round Lake Beach (Project Runner Up); “Mobile Eye-VIPS”

All projects honored will receive a plaque and a road sign honoring these achievements.

Nomination forms for both the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which honors individual volunteers, and the Governor’s Hometown Awards for calendar year 2017 efforts are available now at www.serve.illinois.gov.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.

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Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning like Wills or topics that are often times should under the carpet as many of us don’t like to think about such things.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist at OSF Health Care St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee and she says Advance Care Planning is a way of letting your wishes be known in the event you are no longer able to convey those thoughts to others…

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Final days of fall veto session next week, concern builds over revenue shortfall

Illinois state lawmakers return to the state capital next week for the final round of the fall veto session. Three days are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday. Debate continues over whether last summer’s approved tax increases solved the state’s budget problems says Jack Tichenor with SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
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The personal income tax rate increased from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate income tax rate jumped from 5.25 percent to 7 percent on July 1, which was the first day of the new fiscal year.
In addition to concern over revenue shortfalls, the state continues to deal with a growing backlog of unpaid bills to state vendors. That number now stands at over $16.5 billion. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza keeps a daily tote board at “illinoiscomptroller.gov.”

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Rural economic development opportunities

A group of Illinois farmers and their counterparts from Germany shared ideas recently on how both might be able to grow income by generating energy on farms. Illinois Farm Bureau and the Chicago-based German American Chambers of Commerce held a rural energy and economic development roundtable in Bloomington. Jochen (Yolk-HEN) Oestmann (OOST-men) farms in northern Germany and generates renewable natural gas on his farm;

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Laws in Germany requires utility companies to buy most energy generated on farms and OOST-man says it adds to his revenue stream. Champaign County farmer Eric Rund shared his experience growing miscanthus (MIS-can-thus gigantus (JYE-gan-tus) and you guessed it -- it's a tall grass that can be cleanly burned to create energy;

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Rund has a new customer for his MIS-can-thus. The University of Illinois imported a boiler from Germany that can burn the tall grass and heat a greenhouse on the Urbana-Champaign Energy Farm.

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National Weather Service Anticipates Warmer Weekend For Much of Illinois

Halloween was cool and windy for trick-r-treaters but high school football fans will enjoy the upcoming forecast from the National Weather Service.

Chris Miller at the National Weather Service office in Lincoln indicates the weekend could be a little wet Saturday but otherwise it will be cloudy and perfect weather for the second round of the IHSA football playoffs.

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Wild weather in Illinois is not out of the question in November as many Illinois residents know. Miller says they are watching Sunday closely as the weather pattern could bring some strong storms.

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Miller says Friday night is expected to be crisp and cool while Saturday is expected to be cloudy, which will limit the highs for the day. He says there's chances of rain across the state as well for Saturday. 

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Rep. Knows Of Culture of Harassment

The #metoo movement has made its way into Illinois politics. A week ago hundreds of women signed an open letter about a culture of harassment at the state house and this week a female lobbyist came forward and accused a Democratic Senator of harassing behavior. Representative Linda Chapa LaVia says she knows first-hand much of this behavior is tolerated.

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LaVia’s house committee advanced a bill that requires sexual harassment training for state politicians, staff and lobbyists. The bill should be voted on next week.

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Veteran's Day Schedule

Veterans Day is officially on the calendar for Saturday, November 11 but there will be many that will observe Friday, November 10th as the holiday.   

There will also be some schedule changes along the way as well.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed next Friday, November 10, however there will be no change in the garbage pick- up schedule in Kewanee for next week.  

Veterans Day is a federal holiday and the United States Post Office will be closed with no mail delivery or window service next Friday.

Veterans Day is a federal reserve banking holiday and most banks will be open next Friday with some closing on Saturday. Best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.

The Henry County Court System and other county offices will also be closed for the day on Friday, November 10. 

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be open on Friday, November 10th but closed on Saturday the 11th and will re-open on Tuesday, November 14th.  

Area schools will have different schedules for the Veteran’s Day Holiday.

At Kewanee District 229, there will be a two hour early dismissal next Friday. 

Wethersfield will run a normal schedule with a reminder of the Veterans Day Assembly next Friday afternoon beginning at 1:45.       

Black Hawk College facilities will be closed next Friday for Veterans Day.      

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed next Friday, with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

To note, the Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be open next Friday, November 10th per their normal schedule.    

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Time Change This Weekend

Nov 5, 2017 - Daylight Saving Time Ends

When local daylight time is about to reach
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 1:00:00 am local standard time instead.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 5, 2017 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning but darkness will come earlier in the afternoon as sunset will be one hour earlier than last week.  

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November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois

 

Chilly temperatures experienced across the state recently are a reminder that the cold, snow and ice of Illinois winters aren’t far behind. To help people prepare for potentially dangerous winter weather, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies will highlight winter weather preparedness throughout November.

“According to the National Weather Service, there hasn’t been a winter in Illinois without at least one winter storm in the past century,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “During the winter of 2014-15, we had nine winter storms. To ensure you and your family stay safe no matter how bad the weather is this winter, please take a few minutes now to prepare.”

Joseph said IEMA and the NWS developed a winter weather preparedness guide to help people understand winter weather risks, along with tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at school. It also includes lists of suggested items for home and vehicle emergency supply kits. The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

“The past two winters across the state of Illinois have been rather mild with little snow and ice. That may not be the case this coming winter season.” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln. “People traveling need to be aware that most winter time traffic accidents occur with minor amounts of snow or ice, particularly when it has been a long time since we've faced those types of road conditions. The key is to just slow down to give yourself enough time and distance to stop your vehicle.”

Follow the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages for winter preparedness tips through the season.

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Keeping Illinois competitive

Illinois farmers that want to stay competitive with their South American counterparts have an opportunity to get an up close look this winter. Illinois Farm Bureau plans to organize an issues study tour to Argentina and Brazil starting in late January through early February. I-F-B Senior Director of Commodities, Tamara Nelsen, explains what the organization and Illinois farmers want to explore;

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Illinois farmers that want to venture to the two South American countries must commit to doing some homework before and share what they've found when they return;

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If you farm and want to participate in the Farm Bureau Issues Tour to Argentina and Brazil, contact your county Farm Bureau for details on how to apply. You have about two weeks. The deadline is November 14th.

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Illinois Grain Insurance Fund at healthy $7.7 million

The Illinois Grain Insurance Fund remains in a good position with $7.7 million available. Established in 1983, the fund provides protection for any farmer doing business with a licensed grain dealer in Illinois says IDOA’s David Gleason.
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The Illinois Grain Insurance Fund also provides grain payable coverage when an elevator fails, which amounts to 100 percent for the first 21-days after the grain is priced. That lowers to 85-percent between 21 and 160 days after the grain is priced. And after 160 days, there’s no coverage from the fund.

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Duckworth calls for Trump veto of legislation impacting veterans

Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling on President Trump to veto the recently passed bill overturning Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s rule limiting forced arbitration. She says the deck will be stacked in favor of big banks and financial institutions in cases of fraud and other misdeeds....
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The mandatory arbitration rule, which was set to take full effect next March, would stop financial services companies from using forced arbitration clauses to block consumer class action suits. .

Duckworth explains the unique concerns of veterans....
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Sundance for Our Soldiers

It was Winston Churchill who once said that there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.

That in large part might sum up the philosophy of the Sundance for Our Soldiers Horse Therapy program for Soldiers.

Megan Sundeen is the Equine Specialist in charge of the program and she points out that in this mode of therapy, there is no horseback riding involved…

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Ms. Sundeen adds that no horse experience is needed and the therapy unfolds in a non aggressive manner…

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Sundance for Our Soldiers is funded in part by the Kewanee Area United Way and is a 501 c 3 not for profit organization.

Ms. Sundeen adds that there final session for this year will be held on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 til 4:30…

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Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks

 

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' Emergency Services Division and the American Public Health Association (APHA) are encouraging the public to remember to make sure that their emergency preparedness stockpiles are up to date when they change their clocks on Sunday morning.

 

    This is all a part of the APHA's Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign.  RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion, states "The effort is designed to remind Americans to make sure that their emergency preparedness stockpiles have adequate food, water and supplies and ensure that nothing is missing or has expired.  The biannual campaign is also designed to encourage Americans who don't have an emergency stockpile to create one."

 

    The next clock change for daylight savings time is Sunday, November 5th, but the campaign will also be used in the Spring, when Americans change their clocks once again.  The Health Department and the APHA is also reminding people that they should check their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clocks.

 

    Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks is part of APHA's overall Get Ready campaign, which is working to help Americans prepare themselves, their families, and communities for pandemic flu, other emerging infectious diseases, and natural disasters like tornadoes and ice storms.

 

    For a list of what should be in an emergency stockpile, information on rotating stored food and water, stockpiling recipes and other materials, visit www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks.

 

    For more information on the Health Department's Emergency Preparedness program visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments. Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

 

 

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Upcoming Grant Workshop In Bishop Hill

 

Grant Workshop for Artists

November 11, 2017, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Dairy Building - 410 N. Erickson - Bishop Hill, IL

 

Are you an artist seeking funding to support your work? 

 

Are you an artist practicing a traditional art form in your community?

 

Would you like to pass on you mastery of a traditional art to others?

 

Would you like to expand the audience for your art?

 

Join Clark “Bucky” Halker, Ph.D., Director of Company of Folk, for a free workshop about how to search for and write a successful grant.  The workshop will take place from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on

November 11th in the Dairy Building in Bishop Hill, IL.

 

The workshop will devote particular attention to the Master Apprentice Program of the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  This program provides fellowships to individuals who practice an art form that comes from a specific tradition or ethnic heritage and who are interested in training an apprentice in this traditional folk or ethnic art form.  Examples include:  duck decoy carving, weaving, bluegrass fiddle, folk music, blacksmithing, lacemaking, rosemaling, or ethnic dancing—arts that have been passed from one generation to the next. 

 

The workshop will focus on the tools needed to create a strong and competitive grant application, including a concise vision statement, narrative, budget and work samples.  Get hands-on help with your grant application. 

 

For additional information contact:

companyoffolk@gmail.com

773-275-4959  

www.companyoffolk.org

 

This program partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and hosted by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association

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Southeast Asia trade will get attention from Illinois ag leadership program in March

International trade continues to a big deal for Illinois agriculture and one of the key markets is Southeast Asia. The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation plans to send 29-ag professionals overseas in March and one of the stops will be Vietnam says IALF’s Todd Lowery.
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Other stops in Southeast Asia for the IALF program in 2018 will include Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Lower water levels on Mississippi River also stressing farmers this fall

Lower water levels on the Mississippi River causing concern for farmers shipping grain off to the export market. Jeff Adkisson is with the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.
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With yields better than expected in many areas of Illinois this fall, farmers are also stressed about storage space with carryover crop from last year.

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Enrollment Help For Medicare

Seniors can find free help during Medicare open enrollment. The Illinois Department on Aging says everyone should review their current plan and then Sandy Leith says if you need more assistance there are locations that are offering free visits with counselors to guide seniors through all of the paperwork.

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For a list of the more than 300 sites go to Illinois dot Gov slash Aging. 

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Speaker Says Sexual Harassment Needs to Be Addressed

In a House committee meeting yesterday a victims’ rights advocate who lobbies the Illinois legislature says she was sexually harassed while trying to do her job. Denise Rotheimer says that she was harassed in person, over Facebook and via phone by Democratic Senator Ira Silverstein. The allegations were made during testimony as a committee considered enacting annual sexual harassment training for lawmakers, staff and lobbyist. Speaker of the House Mike Madigan says there also needs to be a task force to address the environment at the Capitol.

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Silverstein has said what Rotheimer is alleging is false. But he says if he offended her he will apologize.

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University of Illinois Extension Announces the 2017 Master Naturalist Graduates

 


University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate the 2017 Master Naturalist volunteer graduates from unit 7 serving Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties. They spent this past fall studying botany, environmental ethics, archeology, climate, forestry, geology, prairies, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and aquatics in both classroom and field work lessons.

They had their final lesson on Saturday, October 14 assisting in a bird watch with Dr. Steve Hager from Augustana College at Andress’ Prairie Rose Acres. Now that they’ve completed their training they will work on completing 60 hours of volunteer internship in a variety of approved projects which include natural resource stewardship, citizen scientist activities and public education geared to the needs of the local community. For more information on the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program, contact Tracy Mulliken Rock Island County Extension, (309) 756-9978 or visit web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/mn

 

 2017 Master Naturalist Graduating Class  Brad Ellis, Tom Phillips, Deb O'Brien, Art Jackson, Vickie Hansen, Becky Dexter, Gail Rinkenberger, Brandyn Rith, Kate Mapes and John Viren

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SA Customer Appreciation Day On Saturday

The Kewanee Salvation Army Store will celebrate their third annual customer appreciation day this coming Saturday, November 4th from 10 til 3.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Kewanee Salvation Army and she says it’s a great opportunity for them to give back to the community…

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Ms. Bolls says it will be a basement sale at the store on Saturday and the doors will open at 10 am…

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There will be a wide variety of items available and cash or checks will be accepted for payment…

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Abilities Plus Announces Annual Award Winners

Abilities Plus announces annual award winners

 

Approximately 200 supporters of Abilities Plus gathered October 26, 2017 at the Annawan Banquet Center for the agency’s annual awards dinner.  The evening provided an opportunity to recognize those individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities and delays in Henry and Stark Counties.  The 2017 award winners are:

 

Special Recognition Award – Attorney Tom Montgomery of Cambridge, who retired this year from the Abilities Plus Human Rights Protection Committee after serving as a member for 35 years.

 

Civic/Community Award – Deitrick’s Alpaca Ranch of rural Prophetstown.  Owners Dwight & Wanda Deitrick and their staff have made a positive impact on individuals served at Abilities Plus by inviting participants to their ranch annually since 2011 for a day of tours, activities, and a delicious lunch.

 

Business Award – The First Congregational Church of Toulon, who has been a loyal financial contributor to Abilities Plus since at least 1995, and currently provides weekly janitorial work at their church for an Abilities Plus cleaning crew.

 

Employment Award – Broken Chimney Restaurant of Kewanee.  In November of 2016 an individual served at Abilities Plus was hired as a part time dishwasher at the restaurant.  Owners Andrew and Rita Speck have been very supportive, complimentary and willing to provide additional training if needed.

 

(Continued on page 2)

 

 

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Achiever of the Year Award – This year’s recipient is Alex Boelens of Geneseo, who has done a very good job working in the client breakroom canteen where he provides

assistance in a friendly, helpful manner when others are making purchases, including collecting money, providing change and totaling funds at the end of the day.

 

Volunteer Award – Matt Marchand of Galva, who provided volunteer assistance every morning through the summer months, even organizing a Music Class and writing a song with Abilities Plus participants and then making a recording of the personalized music.

 

Posthumous Award – Louise DeToye, formerly of Kewanee.  Louise retired as a volunteer from the Abilities Plus Resale Shop at the age of 92 in 2012, after serving as a dedicated volunteer for 29 years.  Louise passed away on January 15, 2017.

 

Directors Award – Mike Zerull of Geneseo.  Mike was employed with Abilities Plus for 22 years, serving as Executive Director for 8 of those years.  During the past 12 months, he provided invaluable input, advice and assistance, along with volunteering his time to put up Christmas lights as well as work on landscaping at the day program and group home sites on North East Street.

 

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More talk of Carbondale to Metro East 4-lane highway

A proposed regional, 4-lane, state highway from Carbondale to southwestern Illinois has been a discussion item for decades. State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo supports the idea and recently spoke with the Illinois Department of Transportation about the prospects of connecting Carbondale with the Metro East.
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Schmipf says the highway would require expansion of current 2-lane highways to 4 lanes and is important for the future economic vitality of southern and southwestern Illinois.
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IDOT has indicated support for the idea, but at this time the proposal is just a discussion item. 

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Central Illinois Lawmaker Calls Gun Debate Aversion Diversion From Larger Issues

New gun laws were on the agenda last week as a part of the fall veto session and a central Illinois lawmaker believes the debate is a distraction from bigger issues in the state. The banning of bump stocks in Illinois is the hot topic surrounding the gun debate but Senator Chapin Rose says when someone is insane, they will get what they need for the destruction they intend. He feels efforts would be better served to address mental health.

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Rose feels the discussion is just an effort to divert the public's attention from the bigger issues in Illinois.

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One measure for bump stocks failed last week with another measure being discussed in Springfield. 

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Are You Prepared for A Zombie Attack?

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants you to be. On Halloween Patti Thompson with IEMA says they are using the light hearted approach to get people thinking about how they would survive a natural disaster or even zombies.

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Another thing to remember is to have enough food and water for a pet and keep back-up copies of important documents. With critical paperwork experts say leave a second copy away from home, storing it at work or with a relative in a different area.

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Today's 4-H not just about cows and plows

4-H is not just cows and plows. That’s what Larry Haigh (hay) says when he describes 4-H. He’s the 4-H program coordinator for Ford/Iroquois County.
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In addition, 4-H continues to stress leadership development, which Haigh says was key when he was a young 4-H member and that experience played an important role in his career path. 

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WKEI Open LIne

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Unemployment Down In September

Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in September in all of Illinois’s metropolitan areas and in all 102 counties, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in six of the metropolitan areas and decreased in eight.

 

“Seeing the rates drop across the board in all 102 counties is certainly encouraging.” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “But the job growth in the Chicago Metro Area, while it has carried the state during this past year, still lags behind the growth in neighboring states.”

 

Illinois businesses added jobs in six metro areas, with the largest increases in: Kankakee (+2.3 percent, +1,000), Carbondale-Marion (+2.0 percent, +1,200), and Bloomington (+1.5 percent, +1,400). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+0.3 percent or +11,100). Illinois businesses lost jobs in eight metro areas, with the largest losses in: Danville (-1.1 percent, -300), Elgin (-0.7 percent, -1,900), Rockford (-0.5 percent, -700), and Champaign (-0.5 percent, -500).

 

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Mining and Construction (10 of 14), Education and Health Services (8 of 14), and Leisure and Hospitality (8 of 14).

 

Not seasonally adjusted data compares September 2017 with September 2016. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.6 percent in September 2017 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in September 2017 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

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Say Boo To The Flu


The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that it’s the season to say “Boo to the Flu;” and offers some suggestions on how to help keep germs away during the Halloween season.

   

     Trick or treat time is a prime time to reinforce the importance of clean hands.  It’s a season filled with tempting treats like candy apples, cupcakes, popcorn balls and lots of candy.  Take a few moments to talk to your children about the ways that they can scare away germs with good hygiene before trick or treating begins.

 

     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion states, “This year celebrate Hallow-CLEAN.  Remind your children, family members, and co-workers to wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.  When there’s no soap or water - reach for a hand sanitizer or wipe. 

         

     When should you wash your hands?

* When preparing food;

* Before snacks and meals;

* After using the restroom;

* After touching animals;

* When hands are dirty;

* and, When you or someone around you is ill.

 

      Tucker adds, "Keeping hands clean by washing them with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs that cause diarrheal and respiratory illness.  In addition, everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season.”

 

      For more information on how to get through the cold and flu season; call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272(Kewanee) or 792-4011 (Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com.  You may also find us on Facebook or Follow Us On Twitter.

 

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Drive Sober on Halloween

Halloween parties now are as much for adult s as kids and those older ghosts and ghouls sometimes mix dress up with drinking. If those are your plans this weekend the Illinois State Police and the Department of Transportation wants you to beware that you better find a sober driver to bring you home.

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That’s IDOT’s Kelsea Gurski. Special enforcement activities will be going through the early morning hours of November 1st.

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What Do You Want This Weeks Hog Country Number 1 to be?
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