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Opposition to Recreational Marijuana Wants the State to Slow Down on Legalization Legislation

Those in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana are relatively resigned to the idea that their efforts to stop legalization are futile. Now the fight turns to slowing down the process. Advocates opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana are imploring lawmakers to take a step back and slow down the process of legalization. The groups want more debate regarding legalization. Our Greg Bishop has more from Springfield... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Celebrating First 100 Days in Office

Governor J.B Pritzker is celebrating his first 100 days in office. In speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the Governor talked about accomplishments that he is proud of in his first 100 days in office. Things such as new gun and gun store regulations to signing executive orders regarding equal pay and immigration. But, not everyone is excited about the Governor's accomplishments in the first 100 days. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Advocacy Groups Pushing Diversity in Corporate Board Rooms

Advocacy groups want Governor J.B Pritzker to sign legislation that would require diversity on corporate boards of companies headquartered in the state of Illinois. Under the legislation, corporate boards would be required to have one African American member of the board and one female member of the board. Our Cole Lauterbach has more on this story... 

 

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OSF Healthcare Hosting Business After Hours Tonight

Members of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will take part in Business After Hours tonight at 5 Pm at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. OSF recently celebrated 100 years of Healthcare in Kewanee and that celebration will continue tonight during Business After Hours. Food and drinks will be served and door prizes will be given away to members who attend. To attend, you must be a member of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce or a guest of a member. Contact Mark Mikenas at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce to let him know that you will be attending Business After Hours tonight at 5 Pm at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Call 309-852-2175 to RSVP. 

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OSF Healthcare Announces Rachel Gustafson Joining Staff in Sheffield

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Rachel Gustafson has joined the staff of OSF Healthcare Medical Group-Sheffield. Rachel has been a registered nurse for nearly a decade and in December of 2018 she graduated from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing with a degree to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and recently completed training with Dr Timothy Pratt at OSF Healthcare Medical Group-Sheffield. Gustafson's specialty is Family Practice with special interests in Pediactrics, Women's Health and Mental Health. Gustafson is now accepting patients at OSF in Sheffield and you can call 815-454-2811. 

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Kewanee Police Participating in National Drug Takeback Day this Saturday

The Kewanee Police Department will be taking part in the National Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, April 27th. If you have expired or unused medications to dispose of, this Saturday you can drop off those unused or expired medications to be safely disposed of at the Kewanee Police Station inside Kewanee City Hall. No liquids and no syringes or sharps can be accepted but all other medications are welcome. The event will be taking place between 10 Am and 2 Pm on Saturday. Unused, forgotten or expired medications are often the subject of theft or misuse and disposing of these medications safely is the best solution to keeping them out of the hands of those who were not prescribed these medications. Again, National Drug Takeback Day is this Saturday, at Kewanee City Hall from 10 Am until 2 Pm. 

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Henry County Republicans to Choose Henry County Board Representative in Special Meeting

The Henry County Republican Party will hold a special meeting on Sunday, May 5th, at the Phenix Township Hall in Geneseo, 14850 N 2550 Avenue. At this meeting. the Republican Precinct Committeeman in County Board District 1 will choose a replacement for Henry County Board member Loren Rathjen. Mr Rathjen announced that he was leaving the Henry County Board in March. Any Republican voter who resides in Western, Colona, Hanna, Phenix, Loraine, Yorktown, Alba, Atkinson, Munson, Geneseo, Edford or Osco townships is eligible for the board recommendation. The appointment will serve on the Henry County Board until December 1, 2020. If you would like to be considered for this position on the Henry County Board, contact Jan Weber at 309-714-1617. 

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May Weather Outlook Looks Good for Field and Planting Work

Drier days could be on the way for Illinois. Brian Kerschner with the Illinois State Water Survey looks at the May weather outlook. 


Very wet conditions have been prevalent in southern Illinois with some areas already receiving up to five inches of precipitation this month. 

 

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City Clerk Melinda Edwards Out as City Clerk

At last night's Kewanee City Council, City Clerk Melinda Edwards was conspicuously absent. Later in the meeting when her reappointment as the Kewanee City Clerk came up, Mayor Gary Moore tabled the motion and removed it from consideration. No reason was given at the time and the council did not hold any discussion of the matter. Today, Tuesday, Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People and our host asked the Mayor about the status of the City Clerk... 

WKEI has reached out to Melinda Edwards for comment but as of this writing we have not received a response. 

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People to People Galva Mayor Rich Volkert

The City of Galva swore in a new Mayor on Monday night. Independent Party candidate, Rich Volkert won the April election and assumed the position of Mayor of Galva last night. Among the first items on the agenda of the new Mayor, acquiring the Galva Opera House, work getting underway on the Levitt Amp Stage with the City Engineer offering his time to help make this happen. The Galva City Council made a move toward street and sewer repair last night as well. We talked about Rich's background, he is the former coach of the Galva High School basketball team and has since retiring been a member of the Galva School Board and the Galva City Council. Stream or download our People to People Podcast interview with the Mayor of Galva, Rich Volkert below... 

 

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Tuned In Mayor Gary Moore and City Manager Gary Bradley

Last night at the Kewanee City Council Meeting, Gary Moore was sworn in as Mayor of Kewanee. Today, he made his first appearance on WKEI as the Mayor of Kewanee. Mayor Moore appeared along with Gary Bradley to discuss the likely agreement with the Village of Neponset and the City of Kewanee for Kewanee Fire & Rescue to become the primary ambulance service for the Village with the Village reimbursing the City of Kewanee for the service. We also discussed the change to automated garbarge service. May 14th is the date that new trash carts will be delivered to homes and May 21st will be the first date for the use of the new carts. We also discussed the budget and where we stand on getting the budget completed. Mayor Moore told WKEI this morning that there will likely be at least one more Special Meeting on the Budget before the final budget reaches the Kewanee City Council to be approved. Stream or download our interview with Mayor Gary Moore and City Manager Gary Bradley below... 

 

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City of Geneseo Hosting Job Fair Today

The City of Geneseo is playing host to a job fair today, Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Geneseo Public Library. Local businesses in Geneseo are seeking job applicants today from 10 Am until 1 Pm at the Geneseo Public Library, located at 805 North Chicago Street in Geneseo. If you are someone you know is looking for work in the Geneseo area, you have until 1 Pm today to attend the City of Geneseo Job Fair at the Geneseo Public Library. 

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Kewanee Police Chief Wants You to Care With Grass Clippings

Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley is reminding residents not to blow leafs or grass clippings into the street. In a release from the City of Kewanee, Chief Ainley reminded residents of Kewanee Ordinance 97.001 which prohibits residents from blowing leafs or clippings into the street. Grass clippings can get into storm drains and lead to clogging and minor flooding. The release goes on to state that clippings in the street can also cause problems for motorcycles and cars on the roadway. A violation of City Ordinance 97.001 can lead to a fine. 

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Kewanee City Council Wrap-Up 04-22-19

Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting was filled with ceremony as the new Mayor Kewanee, Gary Moore and members of the City Council, Chris Colomer and Mike Komnick were sworn in and former Mayor Steve Looney and Councilman Andy Koehler said goodbye. Then things got down to business with the first agenda item in front of the new council, a potential agreement between Kewanee and the Village of Neponset regarding Kewanee becoming the primary ambulance service for the Village of Neponset. Kewanee is currently the primary service in Neponset which has been without a designated primary service since 2016. Kewanee Fire Chief Kevin Shook created a document laying out the costs for the service and potential reimbursement numbers from the Village of Neponset. Currently, the City of Kewanee gets no reimbursement from the Village of Neponset for ambulance calls that take Kewanee Ambulances to the Village. Under the agreement, the Village would agree to a form of reimbursement. After a discussion of Chief Shook's document, which you can read here, it was decided that the Council would table the discussion for two weeks to get more information regarding ambulance service agreements from around the area.

The City Council then approved an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding funds for work on East Street. In discussion of the resolution, Councilman Yaklich called the agreement a 'Sweet Deal' for the City of Kewanee. 

This was followed by resolutions naming Justin Raver as continuing as Kewanee City Attorney and Ray Jacobs as City Treasurer. Notably absent was City Clerk Melinda Edwards who did not attend Monday night's meeting. The measure appointing a new City Clerk was withdrawn from the agenda by Mayor Gary Moore. 

The City Council then gave final approval to the move to automated trash pick up in Kewanee with delivery of the new 95 gallon trash cans to residents in the week of May 15th and the start of automated trash pick up in the week of May 21st. 

The City Council then tabled a motion naming Matthew Douglas to the Airport Authority Board until Mayor Moore has a chance to meet and speak with him. And the council completed new business by awarding a mowing contract for Nuisance Properties. 

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Mayor Steve Looney and Councilman Andy Koehler Thank the City of Kewanee in Farewell Remarks

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting Councilman Andy Koehler and Mayor Steve Looney said goodbye in their positions as Councilman and Mayor. In remarks made before their nameplates were officially retired, both men thanked the City of Kewanee and their fellow council members. Mr Koehler offered only a brief statement... 

And then Mayor Looney spoke about his time as Mayor and the accomplishments he remains proud of in his time as Mayor of Kewanee... 

Both Mayor Looney and Councilman Koehler have promised to offer advice and support to the new Mayor and Council. 

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Gary Moore Sworn In as New Mayor of Kewanee

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, Gary Moore took the oath of office as the new Mayor of Kewanee. 

City Attorney Justin Raver handling the ceremony. Chris Colomer and newcomer Mike Komnick were also sworn in to their 2 year terms at last night's Council Meeting.

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Lucy Kuelper Talks About the Origin of the Move Over Project

You never know when or how inspiration will strike. For 12 year old Lucy Kuelper, it was love and concern for her dad, an Illinois State Trooper, that led her to create the Move Over Project that has since gone viral. 

Lucy's "Move Over for My Dad" has led to a Facebook page that now has nearly 20,000 likes and has inspired other states to take up the Move Over cause. Lucy was our guest on People to People on Monday. 

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Mike Dewalt's Generosity Gives Kewanee Black Knight's Mural a Shot in the Arm

The next Kewanee mural project is getting a shot in the arm from Mike Dewalt. According to our friend Joy Hernandez, via the Downtown Kewanee Facebook page, Mike Dewalt, a longtime supporter of Kewanee and Kewanee history, will be matching donations to the Kewanee Black Knights Mural project up to $2000. If you make a donation beginning today, Mike Dewalt will make matching donations of half your donation. Thus, if you donate $2.00, Mike will donate $1.00. If you donate $50.00, Mike will donate $25.00 and so on. You can make your donation by stopping by Reiman's Harley Davidson and dropping off a check or by making your donation via GoFundMe.com. The overall goal to bring the Kewanee Black Knights Mural to life is $6448.00. Be sure you make your checks out to the Kewanee Area Arts Council and write Black Knights Mural in the memo. 

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Police and Fire Pensions Across Illinois Not Being Audited

The advocacy group Truth in Accounting wants to know why the state of Illinois has not been auditing underfunded pensions of fire and police departments. According to Truth in Accounting, the Illinois Department of Insurance has not performed audits of 656 local fire and police pension funds as is the law states the that department is supposed to do. Under the rules of the state, audits of pension funds for fire and police are supposed to be audited every three years but many of the 656 localized funds have not been audited more than once since 2004. 

 

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Illinois Senate Looking Into Digital Privacy and Device Spying

Is your smart device listening to you or your children? The Illinois Senate wants to know and make sure that you know. The Keep Internet Devices Safe Act would require companies that make and make smart devices like IPhone's or Alexa's will have to reveal if the devices are capable of listening in on consumers or could listen in on consumers. Our Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Teacher Minimum Wage Bill Headed to the Governor

The Illinois House and Senate have each passed legislation that will raise the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 over the next 4 years. Governor J.B Pritzker is expected to sign the measure but members of the Illinois School Management Alliance are crying foul regarding the added cost burden on school districts and what some see as the over-reach of state government into what should be the business of local school boards. Our Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Trooper Tracy Having an Impact with Illinois State Police

They call her Trooper Tracy and she oversees all of the Illinois State Police’s social media presence. And she’s having an impact, especially with groups like truckers.


Trooper Tracy Lillard has spent 19 years with the agency and began her career patrolling in District 10 in central Illinois. She now handles all state police social media platforms, which includes Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

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Governor Marks Innovation and Technology Day

Governor J.B. Pritzker believes teaching superior technology skills and pursuing innovation is the key to drawing more jobs to Illinois. The Governor celebrated Innovation and Technology Day in Chicago. The Governor believes educating students for tomorrow's jobs is crucial as well as building innovation hubs at Illinois colleges and universities...


The Governor continues to call for expanded access to high speed internet. 
He wants to see expanded partnerships between businesses and universities as well. . 

 

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Activists Calling for Conviction Integrity Unit in Illinois

Criminal justice advocates are calling on state lawmakers to do something regarding the history of the Illinois judicial system and wrongful convictions. There is no denying that the state of Illinois has struggled in the past with wrongful convictions and now activists want to see legislative action that would create something that could prevent such miscarriages of justice. A Conviction Integrity Unit would provide a body to observe cases where wrongful conviction are a possibility and remove any prosecutorial bias from the equation. 

 

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People to People Lucy Kuelper Move Over Project

12 year old Lucy Kuelper of Rio, Illinois, found herself deeply affected by the deaths of three Illinois State Troopers in the span of three months in preventable accidents. Had the drivers of those vehicles adhered to Scott's Law, or the Move Over Law, those Troopers might have gone home to their families. This struck a chord with Lucy because her dad is a State Trooper. This led to a viral photo in which Lucy held up a sign asking people to Move Over for Her Dad. The picture became a sensation and eventually led to a Facebook page that also went viral and inspired other families to ask for people to move over for their family. Lucy is an inspring young lady with a bright future ahead and we could not have been more excited to welcome this young leader to WKEI this morning on People to People. Stream or download the podcast below... 

 

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