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People to People Shane Kazubowski and New Titans Football Coach Logan Willits

Shane Kazubowski, Superintendent of Wethersfield Schools was our guest on People to People on Thursday on WKEI. Superintendent Kazubowski first talked about a major change to school registration as plans for online registration plans fell through due to issues with the contractor that the district hired to implement the online registration. Registration will now take place in person only at Wethersfield High School on July 31st. Shane also brought along and introduced the new Head Coach of A & W Titans Football Logan Willits. Stream or download today's People to People program below...

 

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Kewanee Park District Family Day This Saturday

Despite the heat, family day with the Kewanee Park District will happen this Saturday at Northeast Park. That word coming from Kewanee Parks Director Brian Johnson who called in to the WKEI Open Line Program on Thursday... 

We will have more on Family Day at Northeast Park this Saturday and the continuing celebration of 100 Years of the Kewanee Park District on Friday's edition of Tuned In at 8:45 on WKEI. 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Summer Concert Tonight at the Henry County Senior Center

Due to the remarkable heat, with feels like temperatures in the range of 105 degrees on Thursday and Friday across our listening area, the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce has made the move to take Thursday's concert in the park featuring the band Prebyl, Palmer and Dove, indoors. However, due to the cleaning schedule at Central School, the usual location has been changed from the gymnasium to the Henry County Senior Center across from the Wal Mart parking lot. Mark Mikenas called in to WKEI on Thursday during the Open Line with a reminder for those wishing to attend... 

Doors open at 5 and dessert will be served. 

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Subscribers to Direct TV Lose Access to Some Local Stations

Fans of WHBF Channel 4 are up in arms after Direct TV cut ties with the local network and parent company Nexstar over contract dispute. Callers to WKEI's Open Line on Thursday passed along numbers for Direct TV customer service that they want people to call in order to demand the restoration of WHBC and the Quad Cities CW Network to Direct TV Service...

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has weighed in on the controversy. Congresswoman Bustos has called on Direct TV and Nexstar to return to negotiations, something NexStar says they have been trying to do with little to no response from Direct TV. You can see Congresswoman Cheri Bustos' letter to both parties linked here

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Tuned In Rita Haddad The Station Restaurant

Rita Haddad from The Station in Kewanee dropped by Tuned In on WKEI on Thursday morning. Rita is taking part in an open house event at the all new Boss Community Center tonight starting at 5 Pm. Anthony Witt and Dustin Landwehr have partnered to re-open the Boss Community Center as an event location and anyone with event plans, wedding plans or party plans are invited to come out tonight between 5 Pm and 7:30 Pm and see the changes and the improvements at the Boss Community Center. Rita Haddad was our guest on Tuned In... 

 

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Betty's Garden Kewanee Welcomes Kelly Shiraki Director of Memory Care Services

Kelly Shiraki trained for her current position as the Director of Memory Care Services at Betty's Garden and Petersen Health Care in Kewanee under the guidance of renowned Memory Care expert, Teepa Snow. From Ms Snow, Kelly learned innovative and unique ways of helping dementia patients while also helping the families of dementia patients. We were lucky to introduce Kelly Shiraki to the community on Wednesday's edition of People to People on WKEI... 

You can hear more from Kelly along with Betty's Garden Memory Care Coordinator, Charli Vela and Petersen Health Care Director of Regional Marketing, Maisey Postin in our People to People Podcast here. 

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Henry and Stark County Health Department Offering Walk-In Wednesdays for School Physicals

The Henry and Stark County Health Department have announced Walk-In Wednesdays now available at the Kewanee and Colona Health Department offices. No appointments are necessary for Wednesdays for the rest of July and into August for kids returning to school and in need of a school physical or sports physical. Sports Physical Exam Clinics at the Kewanee and Colona offices of the Henry and Stark County Heath Department will be offered July 24 & 31; and on August 7, 14, 21 from 8am-4:30pm.The clinic will offer area Junior High and Senior High School Athletes, Freshmen, Sixth Graders, Kindergartners, and Preschoolers school or sports physicals on a “Walk-In,” “First Come, First Served” basis. For more information you can contract the Henry and Stark County Health Department at 309-852-5272.

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Kewanee First United Methodist Church Announces Back to School Bash

Kewanee First United Methodist Church will hold a Back to School Bash on August 24th. The Back to School Bash is an opportunity for members of the community to celebrate as kids are returning for the new school year. The event will include games, food, prizes, a bounce house, a dunk tank, an obstacle course and more. The Back to School Bash is set to take place from 11 Am to 1 Pm at Kewanee First United Methodist Church located at 108 East Central Boulevard. If you would like to get more information or if you plan to attend with your kids, contact Lisa Hasse at 309-853-4497. 

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What to Do If You See a Pet or a Child in a Hot Car

Illinois State Trooper Mindy Carroll wants to make sure you know what to do when you see a child or a pet left alone in a car on a hot day. With excessive heat warnings across the state of Illinois the danger of leaving a child or a pet in a hot car for even a few minutes is real. Reporter Kim Howard spoke to Trooper Carroll for advice for what people should do if they come across a child or a pet in a hot car... 

 

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House Committee Acts on Anti-Robocall Bill

Those annoying robocalls that drive people crazy are the targets of a bill headed to a floor vote before the U.S. House. The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act passed unanimously out of committee on Wednesday. It would require the Federal Communications Commission to adopt consumer protection rules, forcing telecom companies to install technology that would identify and block more of the calls. Jim Chilsen, managing communications director for the Citizens Utility Board in Chicago, says many calls come from scammers who manipulate caller ID displays to make it look like their call is coming from a local number.

 

"It is very mysterious and shadowy," he states. "Technology allows scam artists and pitchmen to make thousands of calls a minute and there's been a lack of significant aggressive action by policymakers and big telecom companies to try and deal with this issue."

 

The bill, which has bipartisan support, also would make it easier to pursue violators. Americans received an estimated 48 billion robocalls in 2018 an increase of more than 56% over the year before. While spoofers have found ways to get around the Do Not Call Registry, Chilsen says it's still a useful tool to prevent or reduce the number of unsolicited calls.  Other options include using an answering machine to screen calls, or using call-blocking services from your phone service provider.

 

"Fighting robocalls is a lot about trial and error," he states. "You see what works for you. 

"And the goal is to try to find free services and free ways to stop the robocalls. And if that fails, then you might want to go to a paid service."

 

Chilsen says the number one rule of dealing with robocallers is: Do not engage.

 

"Don't talk, don't press any buttons - even if the call instructs you to press a button to get on the Do Not Call list, do not believe it," he stresses. "Pressing a button will just tell the robocaller that there's a live person at that number."

 

The Citizens Utility Board has a free guide to help Illinoisans fight robocalls. It can be ordered online at citizensutilityboard.org.

 

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Planned Parenthood Remains Open in Illinois No Longer Taking Federal Dollars

Despite no longer receiving or accepting funds from the federal government, Planned Parenthood remains open at 17 locations across Illinois. That may change in the long term if Planned Parenthood struggles for donations to pay for the services they provide. Another source of funds for Planned Parenthood will likely come from the state of Illinois where Governor Pritzker has promised to make the state the most progressive in America when it comes to reproductive rights. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Republicans Eager to Get Started on Property Tax Task Force

Illinois House Republicans in Springfield want to get started right away on a proposed property tax task force as agreed to by a recent state law. The task force is intended to find ways to provide property tax relief to homeowners in Illinois. However, Governor Pritzker has yet to sign the bill that was passed and the Illinois State Senate along with House Democrats have yet to make appointments to the task force. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Durbin Rips McConnell for Legislative Priorities

Senator Dick Durbin isn't exactly singing the praises of Senate President Mitch McConnell's agenda for this week in Washington. Yesterday, he expressed frustration over what he calls a legislative graveyard and lack of plans to discuss reducing prescription costs this week.... Durbin says the issue is taking a back seat to tax treaties with Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Luxemborg. Durbin doesn't think that's on the radar screen of American families...


Durbin introduced the Forcing Limits on Abusive and Tumultuous Prices (FLAT) Prices Act. The FLAT Prices Act would reduce the FDA-granted exclusivity period for a drug whose price increases more than 10 percent in a year, or similar amounts over a multi-year period. Drug manufacturers would be required to self-report their price spikes to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and they would have the opportunity to provide an appeal to justify such a price increase. Durbin is also taking issue with price spikes in insulin.

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Former State Ag Official Does Not Want to See Forced Consolidation

Consolidation should never be forced upon local units of government. It should be a local control issue says Don Moffitt--former assistant director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, especially when it comes to rural fire districts. 


Moffitt also spent 24 years as a State Representative, serving western Illinois. 

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County Board Supports Cahokia Mounds Effort

The Madison County Board is putting its money where its mouth is by supporting a plan to make Cahokia Mounds a National Park. The county board is supporting Heartlands Conservancy, the group leading the effort on the park’s status, to the tune of $25,000. Heartland is working with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro to write a bill to introduce to Congress. If the new measure passes, Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler says the Cahokia Mounds and Mississippian Culture National Historic Park would include ancient mounds in St. Clair and Madison counties and Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis, the last remaining mound in the city. 

The money the county is using to assist Heartlands in this endeavor isn’t coming from property taxpayers, but rather from the host fees at the landfill. Cahokia Mounds National Park would be a collaborative partnership among local, state and federal governments, with Illinois retaining ownership of the land.

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Kewanee City Attorney Consulted over Neponset Ambulance Contract

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore has consulted with City Attorney Justin Raver regarding the confusion over a contract to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. Confusion emerged over what the Kewanee City Council had voted on at the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting. At the most recent council meeting, Councilman Mike Yaklich asked about the status of negotiations for a contract to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. City Manager Gary Bradley informed Mr Yaklich that the City had received partial payment on the agreed to contract. Mr Yaklich questioned how a contract could be in place if the council had not seen or approved of the contract. 

As clarified today by the City Attorney, Justin Raver, the council did, at the May 13th City Council Meeting vote on a contract and not on an agreement to begin negotiations. Said contract was included in the council packet for the May 13th meeting and was written into the ordinance that was being voted on that night. The letter from the City Attorney Justin Raver reads: 

 

"After looking at the agenda and the minutes and listening to the meeting recorded by the radio. It seems like the contract was authorized to be signed and the minutes were incorrect. 

There was discussion about negotiation and return but ultimately the counsel passed the resolution on the agenda as is without any modifications made despite there being opportunity to do so. 

As such the contract is properly executed with the consent of the counsel."

 

Some of the confusion over the issue stemmed from an exchange captured in the minutes of the May 13th meeting between Mayor Gary Moore and Councilman Yaklich that indicated that what was being voted on was an agreement to enter into negotiations. No move was made however, by the council to change the ordinance and remove the contract and the council moved ahead with a vote on the contract that was included in the City Council packet. The council could have made a motion to change the ordinance to include a new negotiation but such a motion was never made. The council passed that contract in a 4 to 1 vote with Mr Yaklich as the lone holdout. 

 

As for the contract itself, according to the City Manager and the contract included in the council packet, the contract states that the Village of Neponset will pay $27,000 to the City of Kewanee for one year at which time the deal will be revisited and renegotiated.

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People to People Betty's Garden Memory Care

The innovations in Memory Care continue at Betty's Garden in Kewanee. Maisey Postin, Regional Marketing Director for Betty's Garden joined WKEI for our People to People Program and introduced us to Kelly Shiraki, the new Director of Memory Care Services at Betty's Garden. Kelly comes to Kewanee from having worked alongside and having been trained by renowned memory care innovator Teepa Snow. Also joining Maisey and Kelly today was Charli Vela, Memory Care Coordinator for Betty's Garden. Charli talked about the importance of getting to know the patients at Betty's Garden and how remarkable it is to use the knowledge gleaned from the patients to help them. Stream or download the latest People to People Podcast below... 

 

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Tuned In Aaron Lieber Director of Bethany Hamilton Unstoppable

The new documentary, Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is in limited release now and will hopefully be in a theater near you soon. We were lucky to have the chance to talk with the director of Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable on today's edition of Tuned In. Aaron Lieber took us behind the scenes on the documentary and we talked about the remarkable young athlete, mother and inspiration that Bethany Hamilton truly is. At 13 years old, Bethany lost an arm in a shark attack while surfing. That is far from the full story of her life. Stream or download our interview with Aaron Lieber below... 

 

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Cambridge News 07-19-19

Each month WKEI talks with folks from the Village of Cambridge to catch up on the latest happenings in the Village. This month. WKEI talked Village Administrator Steve Brown about 3 concerts happening this weekend in Cambridge. Three live music opportunities in the Village of Cambridge this Saturday including at Ca D'zan where Larry Keel will perform on Saturday night. The Combine Bar and Grill in Cambridge will feature Cody Road at 7 Pm on Saturday and the Cambridge American Legion will also have a concert on Saturday night. A pair of fundraisers are headlining in Cambridge in the first week of August including a car show. Full details in this month's edition of the Cambridge News on WKEI...

If you want your city to have their own monthly news feature on WKEI contact Sean Kernan at 309-853-4471 or skernan@regionalmedia.info. 

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Kewanee Chamber Concert in the Park Moved Indoors Due to Heat

This week's Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, Concert in the Park will be held at the Henry County Senior Center at 200 East South Street in Kewanee due to the heat. With predicted heat indices at 106 degrees on Thursday, the decision to move the concert, featuring the band Prebyl, Palmer and Dove was made. The concert will still be free to attend and the Boy Scouts will still provide food service at the event. Food goes on sale when the doors open at the Senior Center at 5 Pm. The concert begins at 6:30 Pm. Concert goers are asked to park in the lot on the North side of the building and enter the Senior Center from there. 

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Near Collision with Squad Car on I-80 Reminds Everyone to Move Over

An Illinois State Trooper in District 7 out of East Moline is lucky have only scratches on his squad car side mirror after a near collision this morning from a semi truck that failed to Move Over. The trooper was pulled to the side of the road providing aid to a disabled vehicle when the incident occurred. The trooper was stopped on Interstate 80 with lights flashing when the semi struck the side of the squad car just as it swerved and narrowly missed a tragic accident. State Police are currently checking surveillance video from the Trooper's squad car in an attempt to locate the driver of the semi which fled the scene immediately. The trooper stayed with the disabled car to make sure the driver was safe while they waited for a tow truck. The incident and the photo attached to this story are another strong reminder of the importance of the Move Over Law. If caught the driver faces fines anywhere from $100.00 to $10,000.00 and since damage occurred to the vehicle, a 90 day license suspension. Six inches to the right and we could be talking about yet another trooper killed in a preventable Move Over crash. 

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Registration for School in Kewanee School District Set for Last Week of July

Dr Chris Sullens, superintendent of the Kewanee School District was our guest on People to People on Tuesday morning. Dr Sullens joined WKEI to promote the fact that registration for the new school year at Kewanee Schools is set for July 24th, 25th and 26th... 

Dr Sullens also reminded parents that if their child is going out for a sport, don't forget to get your child a sports physical... 

Dr Chris Sullens, the Superintendent of the Kewanee School District was our guest on People to People on Tuesday and you can hear that interview in our People to People podcast

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Stark County Farm Bureau Bringing More Ag in the Classroom to Stark County Fair

The Stark County Farm Bureau is set to have a big presence at this year's Stark County Fair in Wyoming. Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau tells WKEI that the Farm Bureau plans to have even more interactive Ag in the Classroom options to get kids engaged in the farming community during the fair... 

The Stark County Farm Bureau will also present their annual tractor drive at the Stark County Fair on  Saturday, July 27th... 

The Stark County Farm Bureau will also continue their 100 year anniversary celebration at the Stark County Fair from July 26th to the 29th. 

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State of Illinois Creates Property Tax Relief Fund

The state of Illinois now has a fund that lawmakers can put money into in order to create property tax relief. The fund is intended to be filled with tax dollars that would then be apportiioned to individual counties to be distributed as a rebate for those who qualify for it. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more on this unique approach to property tax relief... 

 

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Black Hawk College Announces Next Round of Pharmacy and Phlebotomy Courses

Black Hawk College has announced that their next round of pharmacy and phlebotomy courses will begin in August at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center. According to the release from Black Hawk College, Pharmacy technician courses get underway on August 17th and will run through December 16th. The cost to attend and receive your Pharmacy Technician certification is $735.00. Those who take the course will gain skills to work as an entry-level pharmacy technician at a hospital, retail, home infusion or mail-order pharmacy. Phlebotomy Technician Courses begin on September 17h and will run through November 19th, also at a cost of $735.00. Students seeking certification in Phlebotomy will learn basic blood-drawing procedures for a job in the health-care industry. For more information go to BHC.edu/health or call 309-796-8223. 

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