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Saturday Hours Added to Kewanee Transfer Station

The Kewanee City Council meeting on Monday, August 13th, ended with Council Member Steve Faber asking if it were possible to have Saturday hours at the Kewanee Transfer Station and City Manager Gary Bradley approving the idea as an expenditure of only $130 to $150 per Saturday. Now, we have official hours and dates for Saturday use of the Transfer Station: 

 

·         8/25/18

·         9/8/18

·         9/22/18

·         10/13/18

·         10/27/18 (City-wide Clean Up Day also scheduled for this date)

 

Saturday hours are 8 Am to 12 Noon. Regular hours for the transfer station remain 7 Am to 3 Pm weekdays. 

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Threatening Phone Call Led to Lockdown in East Moline School

A threatening phone call about potential violent action against United Township High School in East Moline led to the lockdown that WKEI reported about on Facebook. According to the East Moline Police, via a press conference, the call came in this morning causing East Moline Police to place UT in a lockdown, no one was allowed into or out of the school for over an hour while East Moline Police searched the school perimeter. Wild speculation on social media ranged from reporting an active shooter to the capture of a suspect in the area. The reality is that East Moline Police are continuing to investigate the threat and where it came from but that no suspect was found at the school, no active shooter, indeed no gun or gunman whatsoever was found at the school. 

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Kelly Mulcahy Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for July

Congratulations to Kelly Mulcahy of Bradford. Kelly has been named the Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for the month of July. Kelly was nominated for her strong attendance record, her willingness to help others and improvements in achieving goals. Kelly was also a Silver Medallist in the 50 Meter Run at the Illinois Special Olympics last month. Congratulations to Kelly on being named The Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month. 

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Henry County Sheriff's Deputies Arrest Two in Domestic Dispute in Annawan

Henry County Sheriff's deputies made a pair of arrests on Thursday following a Domestic Dispute in Annawan. According to the Henry County Sheriff's release, Deputies were called to the area of the 200 Block of North Depot Street in Annawan following up on a call regarding a Domestic Dispute. At the scene, Deputies arrested 22 year old Kayla Clark of Annawan on a charge of Domestic Battery. Also arrested at the scene was 21 year old Tifffany Miller of Moline. Miller was arrested on a Henry County warrant for Failure to Appear on a Charge of Underage Drinking. 

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Tuned In Bob McKee Local Sports Now

Bob McKee, Regional Media Sports Ambassador was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. Bob is launching LocalSportsNow.com and a brand new sports show on WKEI, The Local Sports Now Noon Hour Sports Show. That show will air each weekday at 12:05 Pm on WKEI and will be available each weekday to stream at LocalSportsNow.com. Meanwhile, the Coaches Corner returns this Saturday, August 18th, just in time to preview the season with the usual lineup of local coaches getting you ready for the new season of High School Football. Bob McKee was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. 

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Pork Chop Sandwich Baggers Still Needed for Kewanee Hog Days

Sandwich bagging volunteers are still needed for Kewanee Hog Days. Organizer Dave Clarke is still putting out a call for volunteers as thus far only 8 people have stepped up to volunteer for hours in the Pork Chop Tent. Volunteers are most desperately needed on Friday night, August 31st from 5 to 9 Pm where there are thus far only 3 volunteers. The situation is even more dire on Sunday, September 2nd where sandwich baggers are needed throughout the whole day from 11 am to 9 Pm. The Wethersfield Girls Volleyball team stepped up to fill up the volunteer schedule on Saturday from 11 Am to 9 Pm but volunteers are still welcome for any of the days of Hog Days weekend through Monday, September 3rd from 11 Am until all of the sandwiches are gone. On the bright side, all but two of the grill shifts for Hog Days weekend. Get in touch with Dave Clarke to pledge your time to volunteer to bag sandwiches on Hog Days weekend. Call 309-853-8253 or email davidjclarke49@gmail.com.

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Disney's Christopher Robin Opening in Kewanee This Weekend at the Wanee Cinemas

Disney’s Christopher Robin is making his way from the 100 Acre Woods to Kewanee this weekend. Christopher along with his pals Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger are opening this weekend at the Wanee Cinemas here in Kewanee alongside the hit, number 1 movie in America The Meg starring Jason Statham. While that giant shark movie has chewed up the box office, Christopher Robin has been seen as a minor disappointment among the crop of Disney live action adaptations of their legendary cartoons but don’t let that stop you. I wrote about how much I adored Christopher Robin in my Movie of the Day column at RegionalDailyNews.com and believe me, it is a must see for the kids and their parents at the Wanee Cinemas this weekend.

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Illinois State Police Offering Reminders Regarding Safe Driving in School Zones

With kids back in school the Illinois State Police are offering important reminders about school safety. Drivers are reminded to drive with greater caution and reduced speed in school zones. Remember that school zone speed limits are 20 miles per hour in school zones between 7 Am and 4 Pm. Watch closely for kids riding bikes and walking to school. Also remember that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk and that you cannot pass stopped school buses. Failure to stop behind a stopped school bus can result in a $150.00 fine and a three month suspension of your driver's license.

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Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations 08-16-18 to 08-17-18

At approximately 9:21 Am Kewanee Police initiated a traffic stop in the area of Route 78 just south of Kewanee. In the stop Kewanee Police Cited 29 year old Betsy J. Prather of Bradford for Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.

 

Then, at approximately 9:34 Am again on Route 78 south of Kewanee, Police initiated another traffic stop, this time with 63 year old Mark S. Ahlgren of Kewanee, cited for Distracted Driving Cellphone use.

 

At approximately 9:45 Am in the 700 Block of Tenney Street Kewanee Police initiated another traffic stop and once again cited another driver for cellphone use. 53 year old Lesa K. Griffin was cited for Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.

 

At 11:26 Am in the area of the 100 Block North Main Street, Kewanee Police cited 26 year old Breanna S. Spring of Kewanee on a charge of Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.

 

A quick-thinking motorcyclist narrowly avoided injury in an accident just before Noon on Thursday at the intersection of Main and Prospect Street in Kewanee. According to the Kewanee Police Department, the driver of the SUV, 71 year old Patricia Varner of Kewanee,  was turning on to East Prospect Street and did not see the motorcycle, ridden by 35 year old Richard L. Werderman of Kewanee, headed northbound on Main Street. Thankfully the motorcyclist was able to slow down enough to minimize the impact and avoid serious injury. The driver of the SUV was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

 

Just after 1:30 Pm Kewanee Police responded to an accident in the area of the 1200 3rd Street. At the scene a 16 year old driver had struck a parked vehicle owned by Amy Busboom of Kewanee.

 

At approximately 4:01 Pm Kewanee Police responded to the area of Edwards and South Street. At the scene was a damage only accident involving vehicles driven by 61 year old Roland L. Young of Kewanee whose vehicle had struck a vehicle owned by 38 year old Michael G. Anderson of Kewanee.

 

At approximately 6 Pm Kewanee Police were called to the 100 Block of Fairview Homes. At the scene, Police arrested 23 year old Thomas D. Coleman III on charges of Domestic Battery. He was taken to the Henry County Jail.

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Illinois State Police Investigating Car Fire Accident

Update: 37 year old Jennifer L. Pattalio of Sycamore, Illinois has been charged with Driving Under the Influence, Speeding, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and Improper Lane Usage. She remains in serious condition at a local medical facility. The other driver in this accident, the one struck from behind has been identified as Caitlin R. Buswell of Ames, Iowa. Ms. Buswell was thankfully not harmed in the accident. 

 

The Illinois State Police are investigating an accident on I-80 near Geneseo in which a vehicle caught fire before striking another vehicle. According to the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred just after 7 Pm near the Big X, the I-80 intersection near Geneseo. A vehicle was seen driving erratically westbound at a high rate of speed and weaving through traffic. The vehicle then struck another Westbound vehicle from behind on the passenger side before leaving the roadway and striking a tree. The vehicle then fully caught fire and witnesses on the scene rescued the driver of the vehicle. The vehicle that was struck pulled over to the side following the accident and thankfully was unhurt in the crash. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was rushed from the scene by Geneseo Ambulance to a local medical facility with serious injuries. We will bring you more on this story as it develops. 

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Groups Call for More Reforms in Chicago Police Decree

The public comment period for a consent decree to govern how Chicago Police officers use force and are held accountable ends today. Backers of police reform - including the ACLU and Black Lives Matter - are in a tug-of-war with the Illinois attorney general's office and Mayor Rahm Immanuel over details of the draft consent decree, which resulted from a 2014 video of white police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

 

The decree is a set of promises the City of Chicago is making to improve its police department. Kathy Hunt Muse, a special litigation counsel for ACLU of Illinois, says her group has additions in a dozen areas it believes are necessary to make deeper reforms."Parts of our proposal outlines additional revisions need to go further on issues relating to accountability," says Hunt Muse. "Some of these are commonsense fixes about making agencies share information with each other about potential officer misconduct so that they can act on that and investigate incidents."

 

When the consent decree is finalized, the groups can go to court to enforce it. The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has long been opposed to the changes, in light of provisions in union contracts that protect officers during disciplinary investigations. Hunt Muse says the final decree also needs a guarantee that it will be enforceable and transparent. She's pushing for the attorney general and the public to have more say and says an appointed monitor could independently decide on cases of possible discrimination.

 

"We cannot have a monitor that's going to operate as a rubber stamp, approving the proposal that the department comes up with privately," says Hunt Muse. "We need to make sure that there's an opportunity for the public to be seeing what happens, and commenting on certain parts of the plans and the trainings that go on."

 

The ACLU wants more officers to be trained for dealing with people with disabilities. The city's draft decree also calls for the department to provide additional resources for officers seeking counselling, since suicide among law enforcement is a concern in Chicago and elsewhere.

Public comments can be emailed to policereform@atg.state.il.us

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State Fair Foundation Ready for Million Dollar Gift

The Illinois State Fair Foundation was announced two years ago to help pay for renovations on the State Fair Grounds but little fundraising had been accomplished until this year. On Tuesday Governor Bruce Rauner announced that he and his wife were pledging a million dollar donation to the fairgrounds foundation – earmarked to speed renovations at the shuttered Coliseum.
The million comes at a time when the Foundation had little to show for fundraising efforts. Just $32,000 had been raised in 2017. State Fair Foundation Chairman John Slayton – a volunteer – says the reconstruction will soon be underway.

The Rauner’s helped raise more than $12 million to renovate the Governor’s Mansion and now are willing to do the same for the fairgrounds.

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State Adding More Jobs To The Economy

The nation’s job picture is in really good shape and so is Illinois. The Department of Employment Security says that joblessness stands at four point two percent last month, a tenth of a point lower than in June. IDES’ Bob Gough says the state is adding jobs.

The job growth has been consistent in Illinois the past few years. Right now the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 18 years.

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No One Injured in Accident at Main and Prospect Intersection in Kewanee

A quick thinking motorcyclist narrowly avoided injury in an accident just before Noon on Thursday at the intersection of Main and Prospect Street in Kewanee. According to the Kewanee Police Department, the driver of the SUV in the accident was turning on to East Prospect Street and did not see the motorcycle headed northbound on Main Street. Thankfully the motorcyclist was able to slow down enough to minimize the impact and avoid serious injury. The driver of the SUV was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

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WKEI Open Line Podcast 08-16-18

Today on the WKEI Open Line Podcast we took calls on the passing of the legendary Aretha Franklin. I didn't hear the Queen of Soul until her mid-1980's resurgence and didn't really become a huge Aretha Franklin fan until much later when I began playing dozens of Aretha's songs on one of the radio stations I was the Program Director for. My favorite, "Don't Play That Song." 

 

Also up for discussion today: Did you change the rules after you had kids? A friend of mine once told me that she would make her future children eat the dinner that she made for them whether they liked it or not. Today, she says her approach is much more akin to a waitress who gets no tips. 

 

Feel free to respond to these topics in the comments section or on our Facebook page and we will include your responses on the WKEI Open Line. 

 

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State Senator Chuck Weaver to Hold Coffee and Conversation in Knoxville

State Senator Chuck Weaver has announced that he will be holding another in his series of coffee and conversation events in Knoxville, Illinois. In a release on Thursday afternoon the State Senator announced that coffee and conversation will be coming to Big Catz BBQ at 221 East Main Street in Knoxville on August 22nd from 8 Am to 9 Am. State Senator Chuck Weaver will be on hand to answer questions from constituents and hear concerns for the next legislative session in Springfield. 

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Congressman Rodney Davis' Staffer Fired Following Altercation

A field director for Congressman Rodney Davis is out of a job after an incident at a Springfield bar where Davis' opponent celebrated her primary victory and has hosted fundraisers. Levi Lovell was taken to the Sangamon County Jail on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery after an altercation at JP Kellys. Video posted by WCIA's Mark Maxwell shows Lovell trying to film members of opponent Betsy Dirksen Londrigan's campaign...

According to statements from witnesses at the bar, Lovell was trying to get Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and her husband to answer questions on camera. When Lovell was asked to leave he started throwing punches at one of Londrigan campaign members. Congressman Rodney Davis released a statement. "My sincerest apologies to Betsy, her husband Tom, and everyone at JP Kelly's. The incident involving a young field representative on my campaign should have never happened and his employment was immediately terminated. His actions go against everything I stand for and go directly against what I have been promoting, which is more civility in politics. This kind of behavior will never be tolerated on my campaign or with anyone on my staff,"

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Attorney General Pushing Law to Protect Professional Licences

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing a bill that would protect the professional licences of Illinois residents who fall behind on student loan payments. HB 2439 will eliminate the ability of the state of Illinois to suspend someone's occupational licence because of late payments for student loans. Currently, the state of Illinois could suspend a professional licence, i.e the licence to practice law or medicine, as punishment for someone who had fallen behind on student loan payments. Anyone whose job is professionally licenced is potentially subject to the law unless HB 2439 passes and is signed by Governor Bruce Rainer. 

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Wednesday Boil Order Lifted in Kewanee

The boil order put in place by the City of Kewanee has now been lifted. Water in affected areas should be back to normal but lines should still be flushed with cold water first before use. The areas affected by the boil order on Wednesday were...

 

308, 315, 321, and 401 W 2nd Street

 

112, 113, 120, and 121 N Lexington Avenue

 

315 W 1st (YMCA) and 320 W 1st (Dura Bowl)

 

101 S Lexington and 406 W Central (Visitation School and Convent)

 

Water was shut off in these areas for a hydrant repair on Wednesday.

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People to People with Michael Devine from the I.R.S

It's good to remember to think of your taxes even when you're not at the start of a year waiting for a return or approaching April 15th. That's one of the messages today from Michael Devine from the I.R.S who was our guest on People to People. Folks should remember to make sure they are deducting the right amount depending on things such as pay raises, job losses, weddings, births, or any other significant life change. This was just one of the topics we discussed with Michael Devine from the I.R.S on today's People to People Podcast. 

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Texting and Driving Could Effect Your Driving Record Under New Law

Put that phone down while you are driving. It’s something we hear a lot but not enough people are listening and the Secretary of State is trying to up and ante on what texting while driving will do to your record. Spokesman Henry Haupt says a new law pushed for by Jesse White makes texting while driving a moving violation. That means it’s going on your driving record and multiple tickets will add up.

The fine stays at $75 bucks.

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Kewanee's Baseball History with the Kewanee Historical Society

Kewanee’s Baseball History is one of the three options for the next mural in Kewanee. In part of helping to select the next Kewanee mural, WKEI is going to take a closer look at each of the three choices for the next mural, the nominees set out by Joy Hernandez and her team. First up, Kewanee’s baseball history. We’re teaming up with the Kewanee Historical Society in this effort and I recently sat down with Larry Lock, President of the Kewanee Historical Society to talk baseball.

I asked Larry to take us back in time to some of the earliest history of Kewanee Baseball


Larry continues on talking about the history of the Kewanee Boilermakers

In 1947 Kewanee would get another minor league team, the first in the area to have major league affiliation, the Kewanee A’s

Then there was the Kewanee Ballhawk semi-pro Softball team. Started in the 1950’s, Larry told me, the Ballhawks were some of his favorite memories about first coming to Kewanee in the late 1960’s

Realistically, a Kewanee baseball mural could feature men and women, the Boilermakers, the A’s and the Ballhawks. Then, of course, there is the history of lighted baseball in Kewanee with the remarkable and historic installation of lights at Northeast Park. 

If you want to cast your vote for Kewanee’s Baseball history as the next Kewanee Mural, you can vote with your cash. Put your donation in an envelope, write the number 1 on that envelope and take it to Reiman’s Harley Davidson. All the money donated goes toward the creation of the next Kewanee mural, regardless of which mural you vote for. Next Thursday, we will talk with Larry Lock once again regarding the unique history of the Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as we continue to profile your options to vote for the next Kewanee Mural.

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WKEI Open Line Podcast 08-15-18

Today on the Open Line we talked about the decline of the resume and the rise of the LinkedIn profile or personal website as a way of introducing yourself to potential employers. It's also National Relaxation Day and I talked about the unusual things I use to relax. 

Don't miss the next edition of the Open Line on WKEI, Thursday morning at 9:08 on WKEI. 

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Nichelle Nichols with Relay for Life on People to People on August 15th

Nichelle Nichols is always busy at the State Bank of Toulon but she never fails to make time for the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life. A 21 year survivor herself. Nichelle is at the heart of the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life and she dropped by the WKEI studio on Wednesday to discuss all things Relay for Life, the purple ribbons tied up around town and events leading up to and happening on the day of, August 25th in Windmont Park benefiting the fight against cancer. 

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Hog Days Parade T-Shirts Available Now at Kewanee Chamber Office

Hog Days T-Shirts are now available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Office at 113 East 2nd Street in Kewanee. Don't Go Bacon My Heart is the theme for this year's parade and it is well represented on the new t-shirts...

Your Hog Days Parade t-shirt is waiting for you at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office. 

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Katie Laleman on Tuned In On WKEI August 15th

Katie Laleman joined WKEI this morning on our Tuned In program. Katie talked about a number of topics and upcoming events including an upcoming meeting with area lawmakers. You must be a member of the Farm Bureau to attend the forum. Kate Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau on Tuned In on WKEI

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Trees Forever Offering Statewide Grants to Help Plant Trees

The organization Trees Forever is offering grants to encourage landowners, private residences, business owners and organizations, grants to grow trees. Farmers especially are invited to apply for the grant to plant trees on their property as trees can be a boon to farms as they help improve soil and water quality while helping to reduce soil erosion. 10 to 20 statewide applicants will receive a grant up to $2000 for 50% of the cost of expenses. Trees Forever will also offer on-site assistance to help in the planting. Debbie Fluegel, is the Director of the program and she spoke with WKEI today about the advantages to residents who take part in the program. Go to TreesForever.org to fill out your application for the grant. 

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Smaller Banks Get Break on Regular Audits

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed House Bill 4589—aimed at levelling the playing field for smaller banks when it comes to audits. Now, instead of financial institutions paying extra money to have an audit every 12 months, smaller banks will only need the work done every 18 months. Steve McIntyre, the residential real estate lender at the First Savanna Savings Bank, says that customers of smaller banks like his, will see a difference sooner rather than later...

State Representative Tony McCombie of Savanna, who sponsored the bill, says the passing of this legislation goes to show how important it is for community members to speak up to their representatives...


The Illinois Bankers Association, among others, were supporters of this bill that they say reduces costly red tape for smaller banks.

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Kewanee Planning Meeting Set for August 23rd

One item will be on the agenda when the Kewanee Planning Commission meets again on August 23rd. Director of Community Development Keith Edwards today released the agenda for the next meeting which will focus on the revocation of a special use permit for Jon Willie. Mr. Willie has been operating an auto storage yard at 525 N. Main Street in Kewanee. This hearing is a continuation from a previous meeting of the planning commission on the same topic. 

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Kewanee Police Auctioning off Vehicles on EBay

The Kewanee Police Department is auctioning off a pair of vehicles via EBay. According to the Kewanee Police Department Facebook page, a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2006 Crown Victoria are now available to bid on via EBay.com. The truck is an extended cab truck with over  116,000 miles on it and does have issues with oil leakage. 

As for the Crown Victoria, it was a used police vehicle, 2006, with over 120,000 miles on it. 

Bidding began Wednesday morning with One Cent as the opening bid and have grown to over $300 on each auction as the day goes on. The auction comes to an end on August 22nd. 

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New Windsor Fair and Rodeo Gets Underway Thursday

The New Windsor Fair and Rodeo gets underway with events on Thursday night. At 5 Pm on Thursday, August 16th. Up first is the Street Parade through the New Windsor Business District. If you'd like to be part of the parade, the entries for the parade are lining up beginning at 3 Pm. The parade is followed by the beginning of the IPRA Rodeo and Mutton Bustin Competition at the New Windsor Fairgrounds, located at IL-17 and Rodeo Park Road. The IPRA Rodeo and Mutton Bustin will continue on Friday and Saturday night at 7 Pm at the Fairgrounds but there will also be carnival rides and food vendors as part of the event. Russ Robb is one of the organizers of the New Windsor Fair and Rodeo and he joined us on WKEI with more on this family fun event. 

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Kewanee Transfer Station Getting Saturday Hours

The Kewanee Transfer Station is getting new hours. Per the request of Council member Steve Faber, the Kewanee Transfer Station will open the second and 4 fourth Saturday of each month, through the month of October says City Manager Gary Bradley.

Mayor Looney underlining how helpful the Transfer Station is to keeping the City of Kewanee cleaned up. The cost to open the Transfer Station on Saturday’s was set at somewhere between $130 and $150 per month according to estimates from the City Manager.

 

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Governor Rauner Donates 1 Million Dollars to State Fair Coliseum Fund

It's been nearly 2 years since the famed Coliseum at the Illinois State Fair was closed due to structural inefficiencies but it appears the building, erected in 1901, is set for a full comeback. After the announcement earlier this year that the state of Illinois had set aside $7 million for structural repairs to the building, Governor Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana have pledged $1 million dollars toward the needed repairs. Our Kim Howard has more. 

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Illinois Opioid Hotline Fielding Thousands of Calls

The State of Illinois Opioid Hotline has received over 5000 calls in just a few months. Whether it is calls from people eager to break their addiction to opioids or family members seeking help on behalf of loved ones, the opioid hotline has proven to be such a boon to Illinois residents that new features of the hotline are being introduced. Our Kim Howard has more. 

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Team Breedloves Takes Home Prize at Abilities Plus Golf Outing But Everyone Was a Winner

Some 35 teams took part in raising funds for Abilities Plus in the 27th Annual Abilities Plus Golf Outing. Team Breedloves came away the winners shooting a 57 for the low score. Team members Collin Landis, Mike Landis, Damon Driscoll and Jack Bumann, are seen in the photo attached to this story. The All-State team of  Kyle Smith, Court Marshall, Kyle Graham and Brett Jones, finished second with a score of 58 and team McMahill finished in 3rd place with a score of 60 for team members Tom McMahill, Bill Ellis, Greg Smith and Jayme Hopping. Hole event winners included Carla Hillman with the women’s longest drive, Greg Smith with longest putt, Nick Lorenz was closest to the pin, and Brett Jones had the men’s longest drive.  Dave Mueller was the winner of the putting contest hosted by Union Federal Savings & Loan. Of course the real winners are the people that Abilities Plus can continue to serve thanks to the incredible generosity of the participants in the 27th Annual Abilities Plus Golf Outing.

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Less Than One Week to Sign Up for Hog Days Parade

August 20th is the deadline for you and your organization to sign up for the Hog Days Parade. Go to the Kewanee Chamber website at Kewanee-IL.com/parade to register your parade entry. There is no cost to participate in the Hog Days Parade but you are asked to incorporate the parade theme, 'Don't Go Bacon My Heart', into your parade entry. All entries must be in by August 20th at 5 Pm. The 42nd Annual Hog Days Parade will begin at 2 Pm, rain or shine, on Saturday, September 1st. Everett Whitcher from Save A Lot in Kewanee is this year's Kewanee Hog Days Parade Grand Marshall. The Ambassador Club of Kewanee is managing this year's parade. 

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Water Shut-Off and Boil Order Scheduled for Wednesday in Kewanee

A water shutoff and boil order will be in effect in portions of Kewanee on Wednesday. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, the water shutoff and boil order will be in effect from 6 Am until 12 Noon while crews work to repair fire hydrants. Affected areas include:

 

308, 315, 321, and 401 W 2nd Street,

112, 113, 120, and 121 N Lexington Avenue

315 W 1st (YMCA) and 320 W 1st (Dura Bowl)

101 S Lexington and 406 W Central (Visitation School and Convent)

 

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 are reminded that residences in these areas may experience low water pressure, rusty or discolored water or no water at all during this time frame. Once the shut off and boil orders pass remember to flush the lines with cold water only as hot water could draw rust into your water heater.

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Kewanee Resident Arrested for Failing to Register as Sex Offender

A Kewanee resident was arrested on Monday for failing to register as a Sex Offender. According to a release from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, 36 year old Rochelle Sephus of Kewanee was arrested at approximately 10:48 Pm on Monday night after failing to register as a sex offender in Henry County. Court documents indicate that Sephus changed residences in Kewanee earlier this year but did not inform authorities in a timely fashion leading to the arrest Tuesday night. The charges against Sephus date back to 2005 when she and another Kewanee resident, Enoch F. Webster, were arrested on Child Pornography charges

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Mid-Week Rain Good for Short Soil Moisture Across Illinois

Much of Illinois could use a good mid-August rain and that’s a good possibility over the next couple of days says agriculture meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese Notis Weather.

The latest USDA crop report has Illinois topsoil moisture at 40-percent short to very short. 

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Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley on People to People

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley were our guests on Tuesday's edition of People to People. The topics were from Monday night's City Council meeting including items on the consent agenda that passed unanimously and items on the business agenda that mostly passed with unanimity, including a special use permit for a new Spray Tan business in Kewanee, a variance for a resident building a garage and news about the Transfer Station opening on Saturdays.

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Red Cross Blood Drive in Galva Tuesday Afternoon

The Red Cross is holding blood drive this afternoon from 1 Pm to 6 Pm at First United Methodist Church in Galva, located at 214 West 2nd Avenue in Galva. Gwen Yusko with the Red Cross tells WKEI that there is a desperate need for donations at this time. 

Those who show up to donate in Galva this afternoon will not only receive a snack, they will also receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card, courtesy of the Red Cross. 

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Wethersfield Schools In-Service and Orientation Day Today

Dr Shane Kazubowski the Superintendent of Wethersfield Schools was our guest on People to People on Monday. Among the topics discussed was this week’s schedule with kids returning to school on Thursday and teacher’s returning today and tomorrow with a pair of In-Service days.

Tonight is orientation for 7th and 8th Grade Wethersfield students and for the 7th graders, that means the Chrome Book Rollout is tonight.

You can hear my complete interview with Dr Shane Kazubowski online now in our People to People Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com

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I-74 Lane Closure Between Woodhull and Lynn Center

Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that one lane of Westbound traffic on I-74 between Illinois 17 at Woodhull and Illinois 81 at Lynn Center will be under construction. The lane closure is to accommodate cement patching on this area of road. The road closure will last from Tuesday, August 14th through Friday, August 17th. 

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A Closer Look at the Food at The Illinois State Fair

The Illinois Bicentennial got our reporter Kim Howard thinking about some of the new and unique food at this year's Illinois State Fair as well as the vendors who've been with the fair for decades on. The food at the fair is always unique and different, offering a wide array of tastes from dinner to snacks to desserts. Here's Kim Howard on the food at the Illinois State Fair. 

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Governor Rauner Signs MAP Grant Bill

College students have been leaving the state at higher and higher numbers over the past few years. One reason has been grant programs that were in doubt during the years when the state didn’t have a budget. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill to ease concerns about MAP grants being granted year by year.

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Illinois State Fair Crowns Hog Calling Champion

The Illinois State Fair crowned another champion this week.

That’s Andrew Metheny of Georgetown who walks away as the best hog caller in the state. Metheny was able to put a few hundred bucks in his pocket as the title holder but says he has someplace to spend it…

Metheny said he discovered his talent while in college.

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Avengers Infinity War Showing Today at the Kewanee Public Library

The Kewanee Public Library is playing host to Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers this afternoon at 2 Pm so says Sara Billiet of the Kewanee Public Library

It’s free to attend Avengers Infinity War this afternoon at 2 Pm at the Kewanee Public Library and of course, Avengers Infinity War will be the movie of the day today at RegionalDailyNews.com as the movie is making its Blu Ray and DVD debut today.

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Kewanee City Council Meeting 08-13-18

The Kewanee City Council met on Monday night with relatively little conflict. The consent agenda passed first with no objections allowing for Relay for Life and Step Ladder Tutoring to each conduct Tag Days events over the Hog Days weekend. Also approved on the consent agenda was the special use of a parking area on Cottage Street from Commercial to 1st Street for parking cars for the 1988 Kewanee High School Class Reunion. 

 

In new business before the council, James Wiggin was approved for a variance of 7 feet for the maximum height for an accessory building at 311 Fifth Avenue. 

 

A special use permit for a Spray Tan Salon put forward by Chelsea O'Connor was approved unanimously by the council for the property at 233 West Division. Members of the council took time briefly as well to congratulate Ms. O'Connor and praise her for bringing new business to Kewanee. 

 

Cerno's Bar & Grill received their annual special use permit for the area surrounding Cerno's for their outdoor concert event at Kewanee Hog Days and Council members Andy Koehler and Chris Colomer took the opportunity not only to praise Cerno's for their contributions to the business community but also for the incredible work that the team at Cerno's has done to improve the look of the building. 

 

Dana Construction was then approved as the company to demolish an abandoned residence at 1022 North East Street. The final bid was $4050.00, the lowest bid of the five companies that bid on the demolition contract. 

 

There was one disagreement on the night as Council Member Mike Yaklich voiced opposition to one of three nominees to the Kewanee Planning Commission. According to Mr. Yaklich, one of the nominees, who it was revealed, had approached members of the council about becoming a member of the Planning Commission, is currently in violation of an ordinance under the purview of the Planning commission. City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney stated that the nominee, one of three new members of the committee, would likely learn something from being a member of the Planning Commission i.e why it is important to remain within city guidelines. They also said that the nominee's youth may be an asset as a volunteer member of City Government. In the end, though Council Member Steve Faber also offered some scepticism of the nominee, all three new members of the planning commission were approved. 

 

One final note, it appears that those in need of using the Kewanee Transfer Station on Saturdays will get the chance. Council Member Steve Faber asked in the final meeting of July if it were possible to approve Saturday hours at the Transfer Station and at tonight's meeting, City Manager Gary Bradley stated that it was within his purview to approve the $130 to $150 per Saturday cost to open the Transfer Station on Saturdays, though hours and which Saturdays is yet to be completely determined. We will ask Gary Bradley about this when he and Mayor Looney appear on Tuesday's edition of People to People on WKEI. 

 

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Davenport Iowa Man Charged in Henry County Motorcycle Crash

Henry County Sheriff's Deputies have completed their investigation into a July 28th motorcycle accident near Geneseo and the results are all bad for a Davenport, Iowa Motorcyclist. Bruce Duncan of Davenport, Iowa was involved in an accident in the area of East 550th Street just outside of Geneseo. There is no word if Duncan was injured in the crash, what we do know is that Henry County Sheriff's Deputies have issued citations for Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Not Reporting an Accident to Authorities, Driving on the Shoulder, Improper Lane Usage, and a speeding citation for riding his motorcycle at 99 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. 

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28 Bats Across Illinois Test Positive for Rabies

It's rabid bat counting season and that job belongs to state veterinarian Dr. Connie Austin with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Last year in Illinois, 58 bats tested positive for rabies. 

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Dr Shane Kazubowski Wethersfield Schools Superintendent on People to People August 13th

With school starting this week it was as a good a time as any to catch up with Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski. Dr Kazubowski had a number of topics to relate including the good news from the recent audit the school underwent per the requirements of the state of Illinois. Also, there are some odd rumors regarding the new Principal at Wethersfield and Dr Kazubowski took the time to take each of those down as well. And he closed by introducing some of the new Wethersfield Schools staff for 2018-2019. 

 

 

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Shave for the Brave Shaves off Big Donations at The Back Road Music Festival

Shave for the Brave had yet another huge day of fundraising at the Back Road Music Festival in Galva on Saturday. All told, 20 people participated in shaving heads and chins for the cause of sending as many local veterans as possible on an Honor Flight in the next few months. The next Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is set for August 30 and another Honor Flight in October. Jason Bates with Shave for the Brave gives us the official tally on another tremendous fundraiser... 

Jason Bates talks about the 20 people who helped make Shave for the Brave a possibility and the remarkable amount of money they took in...

Jason wanted to thank all of the volunteers who did so much to help with Shave for the Brave while citing a list of teenagers who helped out by racing around the festival and collecting last minute donations for which they shaved their heads. Alonzo McDonald of Galva, Camron O'Brien of Galva, Mathew Dennison of Victoria, Jack Godsil of victoria, Aubri Stahl of Kewanee, Rosemary Howell of Galva, Brock Davis of Altona. In five years work at the Back Road Music Festival, the Shave for the Brave crew has raised enough to send an entire full planeload of veterans to Washington D.C.

 

 

 

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IDOT Summit Planned for Business Owners

Minority and female business owners are encouraged to attend Saturday's summit in Collinsville hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation. It's a summit that will show business owners information to help grow their business through the state agency. IDOT Director of Business Workforce Diversity Pam Simon says there will be information on getting certified, training, speakers, and breakout sessions.

The conference is free and will take place at the Gateway Center, located at 1 Gateway Drive, in Collinsville. Registration and breakfast are at 7:30 a.m. The conference will conclude with a networking lunch, followed by optional training sessions. 

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Black Hawk East Foundation Celebrating 50 Years on August 26th

Black Hawk College East Campus is celebrating 50 years of the Black Hawk East Foundation with a celebration on August 26th. According to a release from Black Hawk College, the event will include campus tours, a light buffet and a full presentation on the Black Hawk East Foundation. Events begin at 12 Noon and go on through the afternoon on August 26th. The cost to attend the event is $20 and reservations must be made by August 17th for $20 or $25.00 beginning on August 18th through the day of the open house. To make your reservation contact Liz Breedlove at 309-854-1715.

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Hike the Hennepin Canal Set for August 19th

Friends of the Hennepin Canal will hold their monthly Hike the Canal event on August 19th. Hike the Hennepin is a 3.2 mile hike that will begin at Lock 17 and will end at Lock 21. Participants will meet at Lock 21 and be shuttled to Lock 17 where the hike will begin. Lock 21 on the Hennepin Canal is located 3 miles west of Wyanet on routes 6 and 34. There is no fee to join the Hike the Hennepin event but if you need any further information you can call Ed Hermmann at 815-664-2403.

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Durbin looking forward to Biden visit this week

In recent years, Illinois Democrats broke from the tradition of making the Illinois State Fair a key public gathering place. The annual Democratic rally remains on the same day Democrats are honored at the fair but the cheers and hoopla have moved to a Springfield hotel. There's added excitement for Dems this year as former Vice President Joe Biden will make his return to Springfield Thursday. The man who extended the invite to the Democratic County Chairs event was his former Senate colleague, Illinois' Dick Durbin....

While some Biden backers would like to see him run for the White House in 2020, Durbin weighed in....

Demand for tickets to the Biden appearance at Springfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel has led party officials to book additional space.

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Conservation World a Draw for Families at the Illinois State Fair

Families and outdoors enthusiasts are encouraged to check out the conservation tent at the Illinois State Fair. More than 30 acres have been set aside for the interactive event at the Illinois State Fair that includes a butterfly house, a fishing display, and much much more for those who enjoy getting outside in nature. Our Kim Howard has more on Conservation World...

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Kewanee City Council Agenda August 13th 2018

August 13th 2018 at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall 
1. Call to Order
2. Closed meeting pursuant to Section 2 (c) (1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel and Section 2(c)(2)
to discuss Collective Bargaining.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Request from Step Ladder Tutoring to conduct Tag Days on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September
1, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.
e. Request from the Kewanee High School Class of 1988 for the closure of Cottage Street from Commercial
to First Street for parking of cars during their class reunion.

5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a. Acceptance of the Minutes from the Zoning Board of Appeals from its meeting on July 25, 2018.
b. Consideration of an Ordinance granting James Wiggin, 311 Fifth Avenue, a variance of seven feet for
the maximum allowable height of an accessory structure.
c. Acceptance of the Minutes of the Plan Commission from its meeting held on July 26, 2018.
d. Consideration of an Ordinance granting a special use permit to Chelsea O’Connor for a spray tan salon at 233 West Division Street.
e. Consideration of a Resolution to authorize the use of the public alley and parking area in the 200 block of West Second Street by Hype, Inc. d/b/a Cerno’s bar & grill in conjunction with Hog Days.
f. Consideration of an Ordinance awarding the demolition of 1022 N East Street to Dana Construction.
g. Consideration of a Resolution appointing members to the Plan Commission.
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournment

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Important Day for Veterans at the Illinois State Fair Sunday

Veterans were celebrated at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday and many of the thank yous came from Representative Dan Swanson. At the State Fair on Sunday, four veterans-related bills put forward by Representative Swanson were signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. 

Among the bills highlighted at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday was HB 4332 which will allow veterans to designate themselves as veterans on their driver's license or other forms of official identification. HB4849 which sets specific guidelines for how Federal and State money is spent on the maintenance of veterans' facilities in the state and HB 4848 which requires that veterans be given copies of their medical records if they request a copy. 

Just the day before, Governor Rauner signed another bill creating so-called Silver Alerts, that would go out to the media and social media outlets if a veteran or active duty soldier goes missing in Illinois. 

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Change in State Law Helps Illinois Brewers

A change in state laws will make things a little easier for Illinois brewers. Governor Bruce Rauner made the announcement on Saturday that he would sign a law that will strip portions of the 1934 Liquor Control Act which some have complained have become outdated. The new law will allow small brewers the ability to store their product more efficiently. Our Kim Howard has more from Springfield...

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Previewing the Back Road Music Festival in Galva this Saturday

The 5th Annual Back Road Music Festival is Saturday, August 11th in the Galva Park District. Co-organizer Nik Grafelman talked to our own Karissa Nash about surprises that may be in store, the new stage set up and so much more. 

Ashley McBryde, High Valley, Chase Bryant and Josh Turner are the lineup for the festival and tickets will be on sale all the way up to start of the show at the gates at the Galva Park District. 

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Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Help Keep Illinois Students In-State for College

Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf praising Bruce Rauner after the Governor signs legislation to make it easier for Illinois high school seniors to go to college in-state. Schimpf is on the higher education committee. He says for his district to do well, the state’s colleges and universities have to do well.

Enrollment numbers show SIU-Carbondale’s freshmen enrollment has dropped roughly 40 percent between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2017.

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University Professor Weighs in on Illinois Governor's Race

The campaigning well underway for the upcoming gubernatorial election. And the two heavyweights in incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker have already taken up much of the airwaves. Both campaigns have large sums of money, thanks to the heavy pockets of both candidates, but political science Professor Dr. Kent Redfield says the bought up air time by these candidates could hurt some of the other races around the state.

Dr. Redfield adds that the early negative campaign ads from both sides could also hurt turnout come election day. 

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City of Kewanee Announces Lane Closure on Tenney Street Beginning Monday

The City of Kewanee has announced that a portion of Tenney Street will be closed to traffic for emergency sewer repair. One lane of the northbound East lanes of Tenney Street from McClure to East Church Street will be closed to traffic beginning Monday morning at 8 Am for emergency repairs to sewer laterals. Businesses in the area will remain open though access may be narrowed while repairs are underway. The repair work is expected to begin on Monday August 13th and be completed by Monday, August 20th. 

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People to People Podcast: Chad Lewis Bizarre Illinois

Writer Chad Lewis is an expert in the unusual. He's written 20 books about the subject of strange phenomena and been featured on ABC, the Discovery Channel and in magazines talking about the strange stories he's encountered over the years. Chad is bringing his flair for the unusual to the Kewanee Public Library tonight for a presentation called Bizarre Illinois. I interviewed Chad Lewis for the latest People to People Podcast which aired on WKEI on Thursday morning. 

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Tuned In Podcast: Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Thursday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Among the topics, Bizarre Illinois with Chad Lewis tonight at the Kewanee Public Library, Avengers Infinity War on the Library big screen on August 14th and the Friends of the Kewanee Library Book Sale happening Hog Days Weekend, September 1st. 

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Bizarre Illinois Tonight at the Kewanee Public Library

Author and expert in the bizarre, Chad Lewis will be in Kewanee tonight at the Kewanee Public Library and even the Kewanee Public Library staff is excited for this program according to Sara Billiet.

I spoke with Chad Lewis earlier this week and asked him what his favorite Bizarre Illinois story is and that’s when I learned a little about the Kewanee Deer Man.

Bizarre Illinois will be in the Community Room at the Kewanee Public Library tonight at 6 Pm. There is no cost to attend.

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Galesburg Police Officer Injured by Fleeing Suspect

A Galesburg Police officer was injured when a suspect attempted to flee during a traffic stop on Thursday. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, the officer was a passenger in a police vehicle and was exiting the vehicle to approach a suspect vehicle that was subject to a traffic stop at approximately 3:45 Pm in the area of the 400 Block of North Cedar Street. Just as the officer was exiting the vehicle on the passenger side the suspect vehicle swerved around and struck the door of the Police vehicle, trapping the officer in the door frame in the process. Shots were fired at this time by the officer on the driver's side of the vehicle at the fleeing vehicle which subsequently crashed into a utility vehicle. No one in the suspect vehicle was injured in either the shooting or the crash and they were taken into custody by Galesburg Police. There is currently no word on the extent of the injuries to the injured officer. Galesburg Police are in charge of the investigation surrounding the suspects while the Illinois State Police District 7 investigators are probing the crash and the shooting. 

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IDPH: Keep Vaccines Up To Date

Back to school means shots and vaccines need to be up to date. And the Illinois Department of Public Health wants more than just students to check their records. IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says that when you get vaccinated you’re doing more than just trying to keep yourself from getting sick.

Your doctor or the public health department will have the recommended shots for your age group.

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Migrant Detention Centers Probed Over Toxic Wastes

From the toxic stress of being separated from families, environmental and health advocates say they are now concerned about detained migrants being sent to two Texas military posts known to have actual radiological contaminants. The nonprofit legal group Earthjustice filed a Freedom of Information Request Wednesday to get the Trump administration to release details about its plans to keep immigrants at Fort Bliss in El Paso and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo.

Laura Esquivel, director of national advocacy for the Hispanic Federation, says Fort Bliss, in particular, has Superfund sites that are polluted areas the federal government is supposed to be cleaning up.

 

"Naming bases that are actually already well known to have contaminants issues is really just indicative of their lack of planning and how they've approached this whole migrant situation and criminalizing immigrants," she points out. The Defense Department has completed legal and environmental requirements needed to create housing at Goodfellow but still needs to secure a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services before the actual construction of temporary housing or tents can begin.

 

Officials still are working on the legal framework for the use of Fort Bliss.

Federal officials are defending the use of the military bases, arguing the practice is in line with historical precedents for military assistance. Esquivel says the main concern is making sure the government isn't putting families in harm's way, considering that water tests last year at Fort Bliss showed it had chromium and other radiological contaminants.

 

"The public needs to know: Do they understand what the risks are and are they planning to go ahead with it anyway?" she stresses. "If that's the case, the public needs to know that."

In addition to seeking information on the two bases that include former nuclear weapons storage areas, firing ranges, open burning, detonation areas and dumping sites, the groups also are hoping to learn about other sites the administration is planning to use for building other detention facilities.

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State Senator Chuck Weaver Supports Term Limits But Only in Illinois

State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria says he does not support term limits anywhere other than in Illinois.

Weaver is touring western Illinois touting his Citizen Legislator Initiative, which highlights legislation initiated by citizens and carried forward by him and his staff.

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Ratcliff Heads to Court September 28th Charged with Taking Nearly 2 Million from USPS

Stark County business owner Keith A Ratcliff was in court in Stark County on Tuesday following an unsealed indictment over charges that Ratcliff had deceived the US Postal Service out of nearly 2 Million Dollars over a 12 year period.

That was Annie Thompson from the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Thompson also says that if convicted Mr. Ratcliff could face up to 30 years in prison.

That court date for Keith Ratcliff is September 28th in Stark County.

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Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 8th and 9th

Kewanee Police are investigating a series of burglary-forcible entry calls that happened within a single 30 minute period and all within blocks of each incident. The first incident, according to the Kewanee Police Blotter occurred at 5:36 Am in the area of the 600 Block of North Main Street. The second incident happened at approximately 5:44 Am in the 600 block of North Chestnut Street and the 3rd incident took place at approximately 6:00 Am in the area of the 300 Block of North Main Street. In an email exchange with WKEI, Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley confirmed that Kewanee Police do believe the incidents are related and are continuing to investigate.


Kewanee Police fielding an Illegal Burning call at 12:20 Pm in the area of the 500 Block of Pine Street and once again, citizens are reminded that no burn days are scheduled for the month of August.

 

21 Year old Tawnie S. Arrington of Wyanet was arrested by Kewanee Police on Wednesday on a charge of Driving on a Revoked License, following a traffic stop in the are of the 400 Block of Lakewood.

 

37 year old Lisa M. Stout of Kewanee was arrested by Kewanee Police at approximately 2:40 Pm following a traffic stop in the area of Central and Tremont, a citation issued for speeding.

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Kewanee Police Investigating Wednesday Morning Forcible Entry Burglaries

Kewanee Police are investigating a series of burglary forcible entry calls that happened within a single 30 minute period and all within blocks of each incident. The first incident, according to the Kewanee Police Blotter occurred at 5:36 Am in the area of the 600 Block of North Main Street. The second incident happened at approximately 5:44 Am in the 600 block of North Chestnut Street and the 3rd incident took place at approximately 6:00 Am in the area of the 300 Block of North Main Street. In an email exchange with WKEI, Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley confirmed that Kewanee Police do believe the incidents are related and are continuing to investigate.

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Governor Rauner Says No National Guard in Chicago

The city of Chicago is dealing with a rash of violence that saw nearly 70 people shot this past weekend. But Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says that sending in troops to help police the streets is not an option.

Rauner called the violence outrageous and says creating economic opportunity in the city for black youth and men would be one way to help stem the tide of shootings and murders.

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