Effective Tuesday 1/23/18, East Prospect Street will be closed from Vine Street to Ridyard Avenue for sewer and road repairs. Work is expected to begin at 7:00 AM Wednesday morning 1/24/18. The road will be closed to through traffic; and residents will still have access to their driveways. Residents are asked to avoid this area if possible, and take caution if driving near the work zone area.
As the Senate moves forward to restore funding to the government there is agreement on having a debate on the Dream Act. Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin says he knows it’s a bipartisan issue and one that shouldn’t be caught up in politics so he’s glad for the assurances from Republicans that the Senate will have a full and robust debate about immigration reform next month.
Another state building may have Legionella bacteria in the water. An early test shows the “possible presence” of the bacteria in the water system at the Illinois Capitol Complex. The information revealed in a memo says officials are not aware of any reports of Legionnaire’s disease among workers at the buildings or in the visiting public. The Illinois Department of Public Health is assuring individuals that it is safe for employees to work in. Another test, a more thorough one, is going on now with results due in about two weeks.
Get your pencils and calculators ready, tax filing season is ready to start. You can begin sending in your state and federal tax returns on the 29th. More and more people are filing their tax returns electronically and Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesman Terry Horstman says that’s the fastest and easiest way to do it.
The Henry County Democrats have 16 candidates running for Precinct Committeeman positions throughout the County in March--anyone who is interested in learning more about the duties of a PC or would like to meet other area Democrats are invited to attend a free training session in Rock Island on February 3.
The Illinois Democratic County Chair's Association and Rock Island County Democratic Party are hosting a Precinct Committeeperson Training on Saturday February 3rd at 10am in Rock Island at the Laborers' Local 309 at 2835 7th Ave, Rock Island. Registration begins at 10am and the training will start at 10:30am.
The topics cover Precinct Committeeperson duties, connecting with voters, and (if time allows) and Get Out the Vote training. If you are interested in being a write-in candidate for your Precinct, please respond back to this email--your intent to run form must be turned in by this Friday, January 19.
Training Date: Saturday February 3, 2018
Training Time: Registration at 10am / Training starts at 10:30am
On January 21st, 2018 approximately 3:25 am, the Kewanee Police Department responded to a shots fired call in the 700 block of North Main Street in Kewanee. Responding Officers learned that a suspect had fired four shots at the residence of 709 North Main Street. Officers located a bullet that had struck a vehicle parked in the driveway. No one was injured during the shooting. An investigation by the patrol division and detectives led them to the suspect vehicle observed leaving the crime. Officers identified the suspect shooter as 33-year-old Zaffery L. Reed of Kewanee, Illinois. He was arrested for the shooting at approximately 10:30 am on Sunday morning and transported to the Henry County Jail. Reed was formally charged with the offenses of aggravated discharge of a firearm within 1000 feet of school (class X felony), aggravated discharge of a firearm of an occupied building (class 1 felony), and possession of a weapon by a felon (class 2 felony). The class X felony carries a potential sentence of 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is currently being held at the Henry County Jail on $100,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing set for January 29,', 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Henry County Courthouse in Cambridge, Illinois.
The U.S. Senate has easily passed a bill that reopens federal agencies through February 8th. Democrats dropped their objection to the legislation after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to begin debating an immigration bill by February 8th. Durbin says it's an important moment for undocumented immigrants in the DACA program... Listen Here
Durbin says the agreement, which came just before the 81-18 vote, represents a step forward in bipartisanship.... Listen Here
Rep. Cheri Bustos' Congressional campaign has announced a successful fourth quarter Federal Election Commission report. During the quarter, which ran from October 1 – December 31, the campaign raised more than $535,000 and ended with a cash on hand total of more than $2.8 million.
With a median contribution of $10, hardworking families are stepping up and sending a message that they want Cheri Bustos to continue fighting for them in Congress.
“Cheri Bustos has a proven record of fighting hard and getting real results for Illinois’ hardworking families and she continues to earn their support,” said Denise Mousouris, Finance Director for the Bustos Campaign. “People know Cheri and they know she will never back down from a fight when Paul Ryan and Washington special interests attack the middle class. With strong support from across the 17th Congressional District, Cheri is in position to win reelection this November.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a recent cluster of Salmonella ser. Montevideo infections. Two cases have been identified in Illinois residents. People in Illinois reported becoming ill on December 20 and 26, 2017. Based on a review of produce, suppliers, and items consumed, investigators believe the most likely source of the infection is sprouts from multiple Jimmy John’s locations.
To reduce the risk to additional customers, IDPH has requested that all Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois remove sprouts from their menus until the investigation is complete. IDPH is also reminding restaurants not to let food handlers with diarrhea work. If you have developed symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating food at a Jimmy John’s restaurant please contact your health care provider or local health department.
Symptoms of Salmonella may include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea, and dehydration. Symptoms usually appear 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but can be longer. Most illnesses resolve on their own and do not require treatment other than drinking fluids to stay hydrated. If your symptoms persist or are severe, promptly contact your health care provider.
Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Almost any food can be contaminated with Salmonella. Person-to-person transmission of Salmonella occurs when an infected person’s feces, from his or her unwashed hands, contaminates food during preparation, or comes into direct contact with another person.
Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office is warning families with 529 college savings accounts that federal tax breaks do not apply to Illinois taxes in certain situations.
The federal tax reforms now let’s families with accounts like bright start and bright directions use that money for “k” through 12 private school expenses, instead of just for college. But treasurer frerichs says parents going that route aren’t eligible for a state tax break.
The state unemployment rate dropped slightly last month.
The jobless rate for December came in at four-point eight percent…down from four point nine in November. Illinois department of employment security policy advisor Barton Lorimor says about 15-hundred jobs were added last month.
Additionally…revisions were made to November totals…showing job gains of more than three thousand instead of the preliminary report of a slight loss. The national unemployment rate for December was four-point one percent.
The latest instance is not related to the case reported last week at O’Hare. Public health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the patients were already infected before passing through the airport, and that this is not considered an outbreak.
The person visited emergency departments in Evanston, Skokie and park ridge last week. Those who may have encountered the patient could develop symptoms as late as February first. They include a rash, high fever cough and runny nose.
Governor Rauner is also signing an executive order preventing lawmakers from arguing as a lawyer before the state property tax appeals board…and wants to see voters voice their input on local property taxes in a referendum.
The competition is somewhat similar to what’s seen on Shark Tank and consists of presentations made to judges during confidential sessions for a chance to win a portion of prizes that include cash, advertising and professional small business consultation.
Needless to say, but for some people, considering the start of a small business might be a bit daunting and it keeps those folks straddling the fence.
Ms. Albert advises those people to strongly consider taking the next step…
The Friends of the Hennepin Canal will be holding their monthly Hike the Canal outing on Sunday, January 21.
This month’s hike will be from Bridge 41 to Lock 29. This portion of the “Hike the Hennepin” is 3.7 miles in length and it has been named the “Woodchuck”.
We will meet at Lock 29 in Colona at 1:30 pm, where we will be shuttled to Bridge 41 to begin our hike. Directions are: take IL Route 6 to Route 84, and then take Route 84 north into Colona. In Colona, turn west onto Third Avenue to Fifth Street, then take Fifth street south to Fifth Avenue, then follow the road on the north side of the Canal all the way down to the junction of the Canal and the Rock River (Lock 29).
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org (email) or call 815-664-2403 (home)
or log on to our website at: www.friends-hennepin-canal.org
The WIC and Case Management staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, are joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that preventing infections before and during pregnancy can protect babies from being born with birth defects. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2018 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” With this theme special emphasis is focused on the importance of preventing infections before and during pregnancy that can increase the risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
The Health Department is encouraging healthcare professionals, educators, social service professionals, and the general public to support this effort. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy, managing health conditions, and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant.
Heather Aldred, WIC and Case Management Nurse with the Health Department notes, “Although not all birth defects can be prevented, many steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby. It is important to prevent those infections that can increase the risk of birth defects and other health problems for mothers and babies.
Here are some helpful tips for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant:
? Get the flu shot and the whooping cough vaccine.
? Become up-to-date with all vaccines before getting pregnant.
Prevent insect bites.
? Use insect repellent.
? Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside.
? Consider avoiding travel to areas with Zika virus.
Practice good hygiene.
? Wash your hands often with soap and water.
? Avoid putting a young child’s cup or pacifier in your mouth.
Talk to your healthcare provider.
? Ask about how you can prevent infections, such as Zika virus.
? Discuss how to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
By following these “Prevent to Protect” guidelines, women can reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect and also reduce their risk of pregnancy complications such as early pregnancy loss, prematurity and stillbirths.”
There are many different kinds of birth defects including congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, defects of the brain or spine, and a variety of genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome. Some have only a minor or brief effect on a baby's health and some have life-threatening and/or life-long effects.
More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately 1 in 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States.
"Most people are unaware of how common, costly and critical birth defects are in the United States, or that there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of birth defects" adds Aldred. "The health of both parents prior to pregnancy can affect the risk of having a child with a birth defect. Diet, life-style choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications before and during pregnancy all can play a role in preventing or increasing the risk of birth defects."
Aldred concludes, "Small steps like visiting a health care provider before pregnancy and taking a multivitamin everyday can make a big difference. Also, women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant can take control of their health to improve their chance of a healthy pregnancy. Good habits include regular physical activity, about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, or more. Healthy eating means having a balanced diet, low in fats, with at least 5 or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables. A woman should talk to her healthcare provider about making healthy changes for a successful pregnancy."
For more information on the Health Department WIC and Case Management services call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 (Henry) or (309) 852-3115 (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.
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.
Larry Varner with the Galva Lions Club recently presented a check for $1,000.00 to Deb Miles, Account Clerk at Abilities Plus in Kewanee.
The Galva Lions Club have been long time supporters of Abilities Plus. In addition to generous monetary donations, the club also hosts a fall picnic for the organization’s clients, family members and staff.
The I-80 overpass, mile marker 33, was dedicated to Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf. Both Officers are graduates from Annawan High School. Deputy Adam Streicher died in the line of duty on March 22, 2002 and Trooper Chad Wolf passed away on August 28, 2015. The event was held at the Annawan Community Center. Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka hosted the event with speeches from Illinois State Senator Chuck Weaver, Illinois State Representative Dan Swanson, retired Annawan Principal Rodney Miller, retired teacher Shelia Cromien, and Illinois Board of Concerns of Police Survivors Jennifer Morales. All speakers had kind words and stories to say about the fallen officers. The Families of Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf both spoke and thanked Senator Weaver and Representative Swanson for their hard work in getting the overpass dedicated to the officers. There was a lite hearted moment about both parties in Illinois being able to agree about adding the Memorial Overpass, which received a nice laugh. The number 33 means a lot to the Streicher family, because Deputy Adam Streicher’s call number was K-33. Originally, the Overpass was going to have Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot, but unfortunately there was not enough room on the sign. The Rock Island Centennial Bridge was dedicated to Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot on July 17, 2017 though.
The take away from this event is a special one. As a Police Officer, there is an unspoken bond and brotherhood from all Law Enforcement Agencies. From the Michigan Troopers, State Officers, County Officers, and local Officers who attended the event, it is obvious that their bond runs deep.
OSF HealthCare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee has named Jackie Kernan of Kewanee as President. Ms. Kernan will oversee the day to day operations at OSF St Luke while aligning with the overall strategy of OSF HealthCare.
Ms. Kernan says that the opportunity to lead OSF St Luke is a wonderful privilege. She adds that serving the Sisters and furthering their mission is a true honor.
Prior to being named President, Ms. Kernan held leadership positions at St Luke as Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Inpatient and Surgical Services. She has a Master’s degree in Nursing Management Leadership from St Francis College of Nursing and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of St. Francis.
Ms. Kernan succeeds Lynn Fulton who has been named as the President of OSF HealthCare St Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington IL.
Once again there will be no fee to attend the 75th Annual Meeting of the Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District but reservations would be appreciated for an accurate head count and those reservations can be made by phoning the Conservation District at 286-2261 ext 3
The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is proud to announce the 2017 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame inductees. These individuals are being honored for the meaningful contributions they have made in performance, education and community service.
“It is a true honor to recognize older adults across the state that have made a significant impact on their community,” said Jean Bohnhoff, Director of IDoA. “Our 2017 inductees are dedicated individuals whose contributions reflect the agency’s principles of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and hoping for tomorrow. We thank them for their commitment and generosity.”
The 2017 Senior Illinois Hall of Fame inductees are:
Helen Hawkins, 87, of Granite City, is the 2017 inductee for the Community Service Category. Hawkins has consistently shown tremendous support for community-based programs in her area. She has chaired special projects for the organizations she is a member of such as the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, AmVets Ladies Auxiliary, and VFW Women’s Auxiliary in addition to many others. Hawkins has shown her commitment to her community by providing aid to victims of area flooding, improving cemetery grounds, and supporting our troops away from home.
Lou Henson, 85, of Champaign, is the 2017 inductee for the Education Category. Former University of Illinois Basketball Head Coach, Henson spent over 41 years of his career motivating young adults in academics and competitive excellence. Among his many accomplishments over the years, Henson was named as a Sports Illustrated top 20 Coach, ESPN National Coach of the year, and was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Notably, Henson founded the nationally known student run organization, Orange Krush. The Orange Krush Foundation collects the membership entry fees from all members and in turn allocates this money into the community to deserving groups such as soup kitchens, children's homes, and after-school programs.
Carol Schempp, 73, of Springfield, is the 2017 inductee for the Performance / Graphic Arts Category. As a Senior Olympian, Schempp prides herself on her commitment to health and the promotion of well-being for individuals of any physical ability. She uses her fitness skills to promote safety and wellness amongst her peers, such as volunteering as a life guard. Schempp is an advocate for exercise and encourages others to recognize the importance of having a regular fitness regimen at any stage of life.
The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories. Since then, 104 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including the 2017 inductees. Inductees will each be presented with an award during individual ceremonies being held in their hometowns.
Senator Dick Durbin is sticking to his guns, saying there is no doubt that he heard President Trump say expletives comparing African countries and Haiti to something akin to a toilet. He says claims that the President referred to houses of excrement rather than holes, makes little difference..... Listen Here
Durbin also expressed certainty as to which word he heard.... Listen Here
In a Tweet, President Trump referred to Durbin as "Dicky Durbin". He said “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military
The tax filing season is upon us and many folks will be filing taxes either on their own through the computer program free file, or they will be seeking the help of a professional to prepare the return.
Michael Devine with the IRS office in St Louis says tax professionals need to be certified and tax payers need to be aware of that…
Shake off the winter doldrums at Nursery School, the Quad Cities’ premiere gardening symposium! Produced by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners from Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark counties, Nursery School offers something for everyone, from the novice to the most experienced gardener. Local and regional horticulture experts share tips, pointers, ideas and information you can put to work! The 21st annual event will be held at Augustana College in the state of the art Gerber Center at 3435 9 1/2 Ave., Rock Island, IL. This year the lessons start earlier with the first session at 8:15 a.m.
FREE SHUTTLE FROM CENTENNIAL HALL For the best parking, take our free shuttle bus from the Centennial Hall parking lot: 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island from 7:30– 8:45 AM & 3:15 - 4:30 PM
REGISTER EARLY & SAVE Registration fees are $45 through January 31, 2018. They increase to $55 on February 1. You must register by February 11—no walk-in registration will be accepted.
Your fee includes the keynote session and lunch, four additional classes, handouts, access to the Nursery School vendor area, morning coffee and tea, and a tote bag you can fill with catalogs, brochures and money-saving coupons from local businesses.
Kewanee High School is enjoying good participation in their various sports programs once again this year.
Some people in the community will question the value of sports and how it relates to students, but Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says it’s good to have students participating in extra curricular activities including sports…
Over 70 county fair queens will be converging on Springfield later this week. The Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant begins Thursday. Among the contestants is 18 year old Josie Finch. She won the Mercer County Fair Queen title last July. Listen Here
Miss Illinois County Fair Queen will be crowned Sunday (Jan. 21). The reigning Illinois County Fair Queen is Miss Claudia VanOpdorp of Henry County.
The State Board of Education warns Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the school funding reform bill may bring “further disruption and confusion” for all school districts in the state. The State Board issued a statement last week indicating efforts to install a new school funding formula depend on lawmakers. Rauner explained his use of amendatory veto powers to rewrite the bill.... Listen Here
Rauner pinpointed areas that need the most help... Listen Here
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield later this month and could attempt to override Rauner’s amendatory veto.
The farm bill and infrastructure are two key things Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis believes President Trump will focus on in 2018. With the tax bill overhaul in place, the Taylorville Republican believes the President will shift his focus to the American infrastructure in 2018.
Farmers would be well served to look at the ‘triple threat’. So says Illinois Wheat Association Executive Director Jim Fraley. He’s referring to double-cropping wheat and soybeans to generate income from three different sources—wheat, wheat straw and soybeans. And Illinois Soybean Association’s Dan Davidson says double–crop opportunities are expanding in the state because of new seed varieties. Listen Here
The wheat and soybean associations are teaming up to host a double-crop forum February 7th in Mount Vernon. You can register at “Illinoiswheat.org.” The fee is $20
Dustin Anderson of Kewanee was honored as Achiever of the Month for December at Abilities Plus. He was nominated and received recognition because of good attendance, and thoroughness with several jobs including cleaning break room tables and restroom sinks. It is also noted that Dustin has a very positive attitude, a great sense of humor, and loves to make others laugh.
The League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area will host Beth Smith, the Chairperson of the Henry County Mental Health Alliance, on Thursday, January 18. The meeting will start at 6:30 pm at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee north of city hall.
The Henry County Mental Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2016. Beth is employed at OSF Healthcare as a Behavioral Health Navigator, which links patients and community members to behavioral health services. Her passion and commitment stems from the loss of her husband to suicide in 2011. Since then, she has been very active in mental health awareness, education and advocacy through the Henry County Region. Together with her four children, she has created a suicide prevention campaign, raising over $20,000 to combat the epidemic of suicide.
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.
The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club is seeking nominations for the 43rd Annual Outstanding Citizen Award. The Ambassadors serve as the Public Relations arm of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and are responsible for activities such as ribbon cuttings at new businesses, coordinating the Hog Festival parade, acting as official hosts at Chamber events and have had the responsibility of selecting the Kewanee Outstanding Citizen.
Nominations this year will be open to the entire community with nomination forms available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office. Nominations will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:
1. Resident or former resident of the Kewanee area.
2. Areas of service should be well known to the community.
3. Personal community service in areas such as:
Education, charitable, business, government, chamber of commerce, senior citizens, youth, disabled, environmental, economic development, community relations and heroic acts.
4. How service may have been demonstrated?
By solving a significant problem.
Longevity of excellent service to the community.
Helping others... youth, seniors, disabled etc.
Improving understanding of community concerns.
Exceptional efforts in community service.
All nominations must be on the official nomination form and prior nominees MUST be resubmitted for consideration.
Deadline for nominations will be Friday February 23, 2018. Announcement of Outstanding Citizen will follow the regular meeting of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors March 1st , 2018. A community Outstanding Citizen banquet will be held at a later date.
Rep. Cheri Bustos released an extensive “Hope from the Heartland” report which was developed over the last several months. Based on conversations that Bustos and Professor Robin Johnson of Monmouth College had with 72 Democratic state and local officials who have been successful in rural and Midwestern communities, this report shares the direct wisdom, insight and strategy of true survivors who have withstood tough election cycles for Democrats. The report focused exclusively on rural and blue-collar communities from eight states that played a key role in President Donald Trump's election - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
While some of the opinions expressed in the report may run contrary to some of the different elements within the Democratic Party, the report underscores the importance of staying focused on jobs and the economy if Democrats hope to regain power this November. That starts by listening and then turning these lessons into action in both Washington and State Capitals.
But, the message delivered by the participants in their report was clear, “Don’t give up on the Heartland.” The feeling was unanimous, Democrats can earn these votes back with a more disciplined approach to winning races in the Heartland and by bringing the wisdom of rural working-class voters to national debates.
“If Democrats want to compete and succeed in rural America, we need to listen and learn from the leaders who are getting it done,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “I launched the ‘Hope from the Heartland’ project because Democrats have already won the big cities and, if we’re serious about winning back majorities, we need to start by winning back the trust of the hardworking men and women in small towns across our country. We went into this project with an open mind and an invitation to the participants to speak their minds openly and honestly. While I don’t agree with all of the comments we received, this report reconfirms my deeply held belief that Democrats must keep our eye on the ball by spending each and every day addressing the very real economic challenges facing families who are struggling and feel like Washington has left them behind. There’s a heck of a lot more that unites us than divides us as Americans and, if Democrats can keep our focus on these core values, then we’re going to have a strong 2018 – and much more importantly - be in position to deliver a better future for all Americans.”
Snow cover has been sufficient in northern parts of the U.S. growing area but thinner in the south, where temps have still dipped dangerously low.
Winter wheat grower John Ernst knows his crop could have some winterkill issues due to the recent cold snap.
But he also knows there isn’t much he can do about it until the crop breaks dormancy this spring.
“We have very little snow cover in southern Illinois,” said Ernst, president of the Illinois Wheat Association. “So, the crop pretty well took the brunt of the bad weather (with wind chills well below zero for multiple days).”
Don Keeney, senior ag meteorologist with Radiant Solutions, believes most possible winterkill issues in recent weeks targeted the central Plains and a small portion of the soft red winter wheat belt, including parts of southern Illinois.
Snow cover was sufficient in the northern Plains and the northern Midwest to protect wheat from damaging temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees below zero, according to the meteorologist.
However, snow cover was thin in the central and southern Plains and southern Midwest.
“Damage occurred in about a quarter of the hard red wheat belt in the central Plains, with about 5 percent of the soft red wheat belt in the Midwest seeing impacts,” Keeney said.
About all farmers can do is wait for spring and assess whether the crop needs an early shot of nitrogen or if the field should be torn up and replanted at that time.
“It seems we get a poor weather event on the wheat crop every year, and usually it makes it through,” Ernst said.
“At this point, it’s too early to tell how much damage could have been done (from winterkill),” he continued. “Once it comes out of dormancy, we can assess it.”
A little more than half the wheat crop (56 percent) was rated good to excellent in Illinois as of Jan. 2, while the rest (44 percent) was rated fair to very poor.
Along with the wheat concerns, Florida citrus will be assessed in this and coming weeks after a threat of frost and even light snowfall swept through that state this week
Keeping sufficiently warm during the winter months can prove challenging, particularly when frigid temperatures persist, as they have recently for much of the country. While portable space heaters can help generate heat, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that they do present potential fire hazards and must be used with caution.
According to NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, which was released today, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half (53 percent) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for more than two of every five (43 percent) U.S. home heating fires and five out of six (85 percent) home heating fire deaths.
“Space heaters can be effective tools for providing added warmth at home, but it’s critical that people follow basic precautions to ensure that they’re used safely,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division.
Carli says space heaters should be placed a minimum of three feet away from anything that can burn, and must be turned off when people leave the room or go to sleep.
“Make sure children and pets are kept well away from space heaters at all times, and remember that space heaters should never be left unattended,” said Carli. “When you’re ready to go to sleep, it’s time to turn off your space heater.”
December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires. The peak time of day for home heating equipment fires is between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (27 percent of fires), with another 20 percent occurring between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. The fewest fires occur between midnight and 8:00 a.m. (18 percent), but these fires caused almost half of the heating fire deaths.
“Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” an annual campaign run by NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), provides a wealth of information and resources to help reduce the risk of home fires during the heating season. Following are important home heating safety tips and recommendations:
Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.
Never use your oven to heat your home.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
A new task force, replacing aging pipes, and possibly building a new facility on the Quincy Veterans home campus are some of the recommendations Gov. Bruce Rauner laid out after staying at the home for a week. Greg Bishop reports …
The slow start to liquefied petroleum (LP) gas demand this winter went right out the window since the arrival of frigid, arctic air across much of the central U.S.
Temperatures in most of Illinois through the first week of January hadn’t risen above the freezing mark since Dec. 23.
The plunge in temperatures sent home heating needs soaring. LP gas deliveries, as a result, are hopping, and prices, subsequently, inched higher in recent weeks.
“The warm start to winter slowed home heating (LP gas) usage,” said Chad Shull, energy marketing manager for Sunrise FS, a division of GROWMARK. “Then, all of a sudden, it got really cold and it put everything into overdrive.”
Meanwhile, recent snowfall and icy conditions on some roads haven’t been a major issue affecting LP deliveries.
“On a lot of the rural roads, we’d rather have them good and frozen so we can get through,” Shull said. “When they get slushy and soft is when we have problems.”
Natural gas and LP prices inched higher in recent weeks.
Shull believes the higher prices mostly are the result of stronger demand as opposed to any major supply issues.
“We didn’t really see any seasonal decline (in LP and natural gas) prices last summer or fall as exports kept demand up,” Shull said. “Prices are a little higher this year than they were last year.
“We were concerned going into the colder weather about supply. That’s why we keep our bulk locations full,” he noted. “In our region, we’ve had an adequate supply.”
UI Extension is holding an Information Meeting January 23 at 6 pm at their Galva office about the 6 County Fast Pitch Coming to Henry, Mercer, Stark, Henderson, Warren and Knox Counties
A team of local economic development leaders are planning a 6 County Fast Pitch Competition in March 2018 to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality. The initiative is open to new businesses or products that will be based in Henry, Henderson, Knox, Mercer, Stark, or Warren Counties. Similar to what’s seen on “Shark Tank” the 6 County Fast Pitch Competition consists of presentation made to judges during individual, confidential sessions for a chance to win a portion of $125,000 in prizes that include cash, advertising, and professional small business consultation that will help them turn their idea into reality. Eligible participants will get to “pitch” a business idea that could be developed in one of the participating counties to judges with business, investment, development, and marketing backgrounds.
To find out more about the upcoming competition, interested participants are invited to attend an information session at the Henry/Stark County Extension office at 358 Front Street, Galva, IL on Tuesday, January 23 from 6 – 7 pm. At the information sessions they will receive contest details, business plan resources, and meet the coaches. You can register for the information meeting at University of Illinois Extension’s website:web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call the office at (309) 932-3447.
The Fast Pitch Contest will take place on March 14, 2018. Applications to enter the contest are due by January 31st. Mock/Practice sessions for eligible participants will take place on February 12, giving them a chance to hone their pitch and get advice before their final presentation during the contest.
In order to get more answers as to why Legionella bacteria remains a problem at the Quincy Veteran’s home the Illinois House and Senate held a joint committee hearing on the matter. In 2015, 12 people died of Legionnaires disease and in October another person died of Legionnaires. Erica Jefferies the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says that they have taken multiple steps to address Legionella bacteria in the water system.
An Illinois farmer on hand for President Trump’s address at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention this week in Nashville. Jeff Kirwan of New Windsor was happy to hear the President bring up topics like NAFTA. Listen Here
Kirwan says another good sign was hearing the President say he wants to maintain a strong crop insurance program in a new Farm Bill. Listen Here
The current Farm Bill is set to expire in September. Kirwan serves on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation named Galva, Illinois as one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present a free concert series at Wiley Park. The Galva Arts Council submitted its Levitt AMP proposal.
In June, the Levitt Foundation invited nonprofits to submit proposals that would reflect the three goals of the Levitt AMP awards: Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places. Nonprofits that received a previous Levitt AMP grant were eligible to reapply. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative place making, the Levitt Foundation opened the selection process to the public to choose the top 25 Finalists.
The public voted on the submitted proposals over a three-week period in November, selecting their favorite projects online at http://levittamp.org.
"We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners. Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will create vibrancy in a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities," says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation. “Wiley Park is the ideal place for the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series, shining a light on this underused public space and creating a welcoming destination for everyone in Galva and the surrounding communities to come together and enjoy the free concerts.”
The 15 Levitt AMP winners hail from rural towns with populations of less than 10,000 like Whitesburg, Ky.; Galva, Ill.; St. Johnsbury, Vt.; and Middlesboro, Ky.; to mid-sized cities like Berea, Ky.; Carson City, Nev.; Ocala, Fla.; Sheboygan, Wis.; Stevens Point, Wis.; Utica, N.Y.; and Woonsocket, R.I.; to larger cities spanning the country including Escondido, Calif.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Trenton, N.J. Each winner will present 10 free concerts featuring a diverse lineup of high-caliber entertainment as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, for a total of 150 free Levitt AMP concerts across the U.S. in 2018.
The Galva Arts Council is now raising funds to match this grant. Businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in donating money, time, or resources to this cause should visit galvaartscouncil.org or contact Stephanie Taylor, Vice President, at (309) 714-8870 or email@example.com. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000 and are 100% tax-deductible.
New lawsuits, including one in Illinois, are popping up against iPhone maker Apple for deliberately slowing down phones’ operating speeds.Five people are suing Apple in federal court in Chicago. They say the company deliberately slowed down the processing speeds with software updates in the months before a new model was released. The suit alleges Apple did this to nudge people into spending hundreds of dollars on new phones.An attorney for the plaintiffs, James Vlahakis, says those unassuming updates got a reputation for causing problems with the phones.
The farm economy has faced four years of record low income, but a senior economist at the Illinois Farm Bureau says there are several factors that can help reverse that trend. One is a significant investment in transportation infrastructure, according to Mike Doherty. Listen Here
Doherty says another key to the ag economy is maintaining and advancing trade agreements. He also believes the recently adopted tax reforms should help the balance sheet of farmers.
The KHS musical, The Little Mermaid, will be presented on Saturday, January 13 at 7 pm and Sunday, January 14 at 2 pm at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School. Tickets are priced at $5 for adults and $4 for students and will be available at the door.
— The American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region has responded to 94 home fires in the past month. Tragically eight of the home fires had fatalities and 15 people, including 4 young children perished. Two of the fires occurred in multi-unit residences and the Red Cross opened shelters, due to the sizeable number of people displaced in those fires.
After a disaster, the Red Cross works with individuals and families to make sure they have safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support and healthcare. Red Cross volunteers continue to assist people affected by the recent home fires and in the past month they have helped 219 adults and 110 children.
“We’re deeply saddened for all who were impacted by these fires. It is heartbreaking for those families who tragically suffered the loss of loved ones,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Winter is a high-risk time for home fires and we urge everyone to take steps immediately to minimize the risk of a fire occurring in their home.”
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through itsHome Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Launched in October of 2014, the campaign has already saved many lives and installed hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms in nearly 10,000 cities and towns. Here in the Central and Southern Illinois Region, the Red Cross in collaboration with local fire departments and other community partners have installed more than 10,000 free smoke alarms.
SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: practice fire drills at home and check existing smoke alarms.
There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:
· If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
· If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
· Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
· Practice the fire escape plan. What’s the household’s escape time?
People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire.
RED CROSS APPSPeople can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And there is a special mobile app -Monster Guard - designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by contacting Laura.Streid@redcross.org. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond tonearly 64,000 other disasters every year and most of these are home fires.
The Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering up to six scholarships, at a minimum of $1,000. In addition, Farm Bureau will be administering Wilbert & Carol Keppy Foundation Scholarships, five each in the amount of $3,000.
Any student who qualifies under the guidelines may submit an application for either or both scholarships, but may only receive one scholarship for the year. Applications will be judged separately.
Applications must be received by or postmarked to the Henry County Farm Bureau® office, 128 N. Prospect Street, Cambridge, by March 9, 2018. The Foundation Board will make the final selections after the deadline.
Steve’s Nursery in Geneseo-$1,000 Certificate for Landscaping Package
TriStates Water-$1,000 Certificate
6140 Run! In Galesburg-$130 Certificates for a custom Fitting and a pair of shoes
Johnson’s Carpet Shoppe-$250 Certificates
Motor City Kewanee-$50 Service Certificates
Lacky Monuments- $500 Certificate for a 200 pound boulder
Advanced Rehab- 1 year memberships.
The YMCA of Kewanee-Memberships for all ages!
Johnsons Appliance-Amana 4.2 Cubic foot front load washer with High efficiency wash system (white in color) Model # NFW5800DW. Depth- 33 1/8 inches, width 27 inches, gross weight 250LBS. Automatic fabric softener dispenser, large capacity, delay wash option, 4 wash temperatures, Efficiency monitor and energy star certified.
Creative Body Art
Little Blue Farms Morton, IL $150 toward Quarter beef or above, $250 toward half beef or above, and $450 toward whole beef or above
Factory Tire Outlet- $50 Certificates
Peoria Riverfront Museum- Admission tickets
AmericInn-Swim Passes $50 value, Grand Master Suites $135 Value, King Whirlpool Suites $125 Value, Standard 2 Queen Bed Suites Value
Americas Mattress Gallery Full size Whispering Pines Mattress & Box spring (no frame)
plush 1 firm Value $869.99,King Size Shadowmoss All Foam Mattress & Box spring (no frame) Value $799.9, iComfort Everfeel Pillows Value at $129 each, Queen Ivory Fabric Bed Frame CM7200IV-Q (no mattress just the frame) Value $249.99 and King Size Mattress Protector Value $59.99
B&B Geneseo Lawn & Cyclery
The Lott- 1 year memberships
Country Healing Massage & Wellness 30 minute for $30 and $55 for 60 minutes
All youth and teens ages 8 to 18 who are interested in building skills in archery can sign up for the Henry County 4-H Archery Club where they’ll learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of archery equipment and target practice. The club will be held on Mondays starting January 22 - March 12. It will meet at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center, 407 N. West St (old bowling alley). Equipment is provided thanks in part to a grant from the Illinois 4-H Foundation and the NRA. There is a $20 fee to enroll in 4-H for non-members and a $2 range fee per session for everyone. You can register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or the Extension Office at (309) 932-3447.
The Henry and Stark County Health Department, the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force, and the Henry County Mental Health Alliance ask, "Does someone you love suffer from mental illness? Do you feel alone as you struggle to provide care and support for someone with mental illness? You're not alone."
The Health Department, the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force, and the Henry County Mental Health Alliance invite you to attend the January Support Group for friends and family of people with mental illness.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 16th at 6:00-7:30pm at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center, 404 E. 3rd St., Kewanee.
David Harris, of the Mental Health Alliance and Black Hawk College Community Education Center adds, “We encourage interested individuals to join with others dealing with the same struggles to share stories, offer encouragement and lend support.”
For more information about the upcoming mental health support group meeting, you may contact Mr. Harris by calling(309) 738-2146.
Despite a rough planting and growing season, it still wasn’t that bad of a year in some parts of Western Illinois. That assessment from John Hennenfent—owner of Munson Hybrids in Galesburg. Listen Here
Even though there’s been a stretch of depressed commodity prices, Hennenfent says the farm economy is not all doom and gloom in his part of the state. Listen Here
Munson added a Wisconsin warehouse in 2017 to better serve customers in the upper Midwest.