Local News

Caleb Cleaver to Be Honored as Honorary Survivor at Relay for Life on Saturday

Caleb Cleaver is the Honorary Survivor for this year's Relay for Life on Saturday, August 24th. Caleb and his family will be walking the track on Saturday and Caleb's mom will tell his story as part of the events celebrating Relay for Life from 3 Pm to 11 Pm at Windmont Park... 

Nichelle Nichols Morey is among the driving forces behind Relay for Life in Henry and Stark County and she was our guest on People to People on Thursday. Many were worried that the fire at Windmont Park might put a damper on Relay for Life or even cause it to have to find a new venue but Nichelle tells WKEI that they've made arrangements that will keep Relay for Life on the track at Windmont Park...

Nichelle is reminding everyone that Relay for Life isn't just about survivors or teams, the entire community is invited to be part of Relay for Life. Come to Windmont Park on Saturday between 3 Pm and 11 Am, walk on the track to show your support, buy food from the teams to help raise money and take part in the Silent Auction. Overall, Nichelle Relay is in good shape so far...

There will be fireworks at the end of the night along with the always very emotional Luminaria ceremony and whether you know someone who battled cancer or not, you can still participate and show your support simply by coming to Windmont Park on Saturday between 3 Pm and 11 Pm. 

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Love's Travel Stop to Hold Grand Opening Celebration in Atkinson this Afternoon

A brand new 24/7 truck stop is now open in Atkinson. Love's Travel Stop is officially opening their 20th Illinois location with a grand opening celebration in Atkinson this afternoon at 4 Pm. With the grand opening, Love's will make a contribution to a pair of local charities with $2000.00 to be split between Sol's Legacy Ministries and Foster Hope Inc. The new Love's Travel Stop in Atkinson will be open 24/7 and feature restaurants, shops, laundy and shower areas and other such amenities. The stop will feature brand name restaurants such as Godfather's, Subway, and Chester's Chicken along with gourmet coffee brand Bean to Cup. Those curious about the new Love's Travel Stop can attend the ribbon cutting for the new facility this afternoon at 4 Pm in Atkinson. 

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More Evidence of the Failures at Illinois DCFS Emerging

More evidence is emerging about what has gone wrong at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. An Auditor General's report continues to find instances where cases investigated by DCFS investigators were not labelled or completed in a timely fashion and while it is a small percentage of cases, child justice advocates remind us, each case has a child at the center of it. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Kewanee Library to Introduce Sensory Learning to Preschool Playtime Program

The Kewanee Public Library Pre-School Read and Explore returns on Tuesday, September 3rd and will run each Monday night from 5:30 Pm to 6:30 Pm through late November. New this year is a sensory learning experience that will take place on the last Monday of each month of the program. This sensory learning experience will take a special interest in those pre-school students who may be on the autism spectrum and give those kids some special attention according to Sarah Barth from the Kewanee Library... 

Sarah Barth was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday. You can hear the entirety of our interview with Sarah Barth in our Tuned In podcast below... 

 

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Kewanee Sophomores to Play Football on Mondays Due to New IHSA Rule

Changes are coming to High School Football this fall. Dr Chris Sullens, Superintendent of Kewanee Schools talked to WKEI about the changes which include moving the Sophomore Football games to Mondays this fall instead of Friday. First though Dr Sullens lamented the desperate need for new, younger, officials to be part of High School Football...

The lack of referees issue may be alleviated a little with the new rule that moves Freshman/Sophomore Football games from Fridays to Mondays this fall. It's part of a new rule that no longer allows Junior Varsity players to play in more than one game in one day...

Dr Chris Sullens was our guest on People to People earlier this week. The Kewanee Boilermakers Football season kicks off next Friday night at 7 Pm with the Freshman and Sophomores playing their first Junior Varsity game on Tuesday, September 3rd at 5:30 Pm. 

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Back to School Backpacks Precautions

Healthcare professionals are warning about the dangers of weighted-down backpacks. Children should never carry more than 10% of their body weight in a backpack. Too much weight can lead create abnormal stress on the body, and result in chronic problems down the road. Even if the weight is right, wearing the backpack incorrectly can be just as damaging. OSF HealthCare Physical Therapist Kelly Bogowith says backpacks should be worn with both straps on the shoulders, and the bottom of the backpack should land on the low back. If your child backpack is hitting his or her buttocks, it is too low and the straps need to be adjusted.

Parents should be choosy when choosing a backpack for their kids. Backpacks should have two wide, adjustable padded shoulder straps. These help distribute the weight in the backpack and keep them from digging into the shoulders. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that every year more than 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries.

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Prtizker Addresses Report of Harassment in Madigan's Office

The Governor is speaking out about a recent report that detailed an environment of harassment, bullying and fear inside the offices of the Speaker of House. The Hickey Report revealed that Tim Mapes, the Chief of Staff to Speaker Mike Madigan, regularly threatened people with their jobs and created a culture where workplace complaints mostly went unheard. Democrat JB Pritzker says he’s glad this bad behavior has come to light because it’s time to change it but didn’t directly address if he’s losing confidence in Madigan’s.

Pritzker says that he’s expecting leadership from both Democrats and Republicans to address the long standing culture of harassment in Springfield.

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Human Milk Depot Opens in North Central Illinois

North central Illinois mothers feeding their babies the natural way, but who aren’t producing enough of their own milk, have a new resource. Illinois Valley Community Hospital took its first donation of human milk Tuesday. Mothers like Chelsea Dombrowski, who produce more than they need, can donate the extra for moms who don’t. She gave 103 ounces that her three-month old son, Leo, doesn’t need.

Dombrowski says if not for the milk depot at IVCH, she herself would be looking for mothers who need more. The program IVCH is part of screens mothers and their milk for diseases, pasteurizes the milk, and then refrigerates or freezes it for distribution in a hospital network.

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Protections Coming to Undocumented Renters

Landlords in Illinois can no longer threaten to evict tenets or intimidate them by telling them they will report their immigration status. The chief sponsor of the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, Democrat Senator Cristina Castro, says she doesn’t have many concrete examples of this going on but the new law may help to revealing possible abuses. 

If a landlord is found to have broken the law they may have to pay a $2,000 civil penalty to the tenant and pay for attorney’s fees along with other possible penalties. 

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Starting Teachers Will Soon See Starting Wage Increase

In a few years the state’s teachers will be earning $40,000 a year when they being. Today Democrat Governor JB Pritzker signed into a law a bill that sets a new minimum wage for teachers. Democrat State Rep. Katie Stuart says that a better starting wage will help to alleviate a state wide teaching shortage by showing how the state values teachers. 

Starting next year teachers will be paid at least $32,076 and by 2023 the figure will be $40,000. Currently state law sets a minimum starting wage at $10,000.

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Propane Supply at "Comfortable Number" Approaching Grain Drying Season

What does the propane supply look like heading into the grain drying season? That was a topic of conversation among farmers at the Illinois State Fair last week.


Dan Paneer is GROWMARK’s manager of propane operations.

 

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Bishop Hill Chautauqua This Saturday

The Bishop Hill Chautauqua is this weekend and will feature a unique tour through the lives of historic figures in American history says Todd Dedecker from the Bishop Hill Heritiage Association who was our guest on Tuned In on Wednesday... 

The event runs from 11 Am to 5 Pm on Saturday in Bishop Hill and is free to attend. The event will coincide with the rededication of the 1851 Carpenter Building in Bishop Hill... 

The rededication will take place at 2 Pm on Saturday afternoon. You can hear our complete interview with Todd Dedecker from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association in our Tuned In Podcast below...

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Touting Immunization Awareness Month

It's Immunization Awareness Month and Dr Hayley Ralph from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined WKEI this week to remind not just parents of young kids about getting their immunization shots but to remind adults about the booster shots that can help keep them healthy and those around them who might be vulnerable to communicable illnesses... 

Getting a tetanus booster is recommended every 10 years and can be vital in case of an accidental cut and potential infections. Tetanus is a component of your TDAP Booster... 

Then there is the most common of the booster shots, the flu shot and Dr Ralph reminds us that flu season isn't far away and it is time start thinking of getting your flu shot for this year... 

Dr Hayley Ralph was our guest on Tuned In earlier this week. 

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People Awaiting Trial in Illinois Jails Will Be Able to Vote Under New Law

Those awaiting trial in Illinois who have not yet been convicted of a crime will have the chance to cast their vote in an election. A bill signed into law by Governor J.B Pritzker will require jails across the state of Illinois to provide access to a polling place for anyone who is being held but not yet convicted of a crime. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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New Bill Bans Landlords from Reporting Immigration Status of Tenants

The state of Illinois is now the second state in the nation to bar landlords from reporting Illegal Immigrants living in their buildings. Under the law, tenants could sue a landlord that reports their immigration status to authorities. Reporter Cole Lauterbach took comments from Governor Pritzker and State Senator Christina Castro for this report.... 

 

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Secretary of State White Wants Drivers to Take More Care in School Zones

17 kids nationwide have been killed in accidents around school zones involving careless or reckless drivers and Secretary of State Jesse White is putting out the word with kids now back in school for drivers in Illinois to take extra care when driving in school zones. Reporter Kim Howard in Springfield spoke to the Secretary of State... 

 

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Governor Pritzker and House Minority Leader Durkin Weigh In on House Speaker Controversy

House Speaker Michael Madigan is under fire following the release of a report by the Office of the Inspector General found widespread bullying and harrassment in the office of the House Speaker. Now, Governor J.B Pritzker and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin are weighing in the report and asking for troubling questions to be answered by the House Speaker. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Bureau County Fair Celebrating Veterans this Weekend and Country Music Tonight

The Bureau County Fair got underway last night at the fairgrounds in Princeton and it continues tonight with the main event, a concert by country music star Gary Allen...

But the fun doesn't stop after the big concert as the Bureau County Fair has a big weekend planned that includes truck and tractor pulls, great food, a carnival midway and a tribute to our veterans as Bureau County Fair President Kyle Burrows explains... 

Terry Johnson is with Quilts of Valor and she spoke with our Karissa Nash last night at the Bureau County Fair.... 

The Bureau County Tribute to Veterans featuring Quilts of Valor will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1 Pm in the Grandstand at the Bureau County Fair. 

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Number of Cats Recovered at Kewanee Cat House More than 30

The number of cats recovered from a home in the 800 Block of North Burr Boulevard is now over 30 as the City of Kewanee Animal Control spent much of Wednesday humanely trapping feral cats living in and around the home. Donations remain necessary for the Kewanee Animal Control facility with the need for paper towels, dry cat food and clumping kitty litter high. Along with that need, is a need for donations to cover veterinary bills which Animal Control estimates could be nearly $2000.00. According to Animal Control, the cats need to be spayed/neutered, they need shots and they need to be chipped which makes the bill quite high. If you are able to help get in touch with Kewanee Animal Control at 309-525-9377. You can also drop off your donations at our Regional Media studios in Kewanee. Clumping Kitty Litter, Dry Cat Food, Paper Towels can be dropped off any time between 8 Am and 4 Pm at our Regional Media Studios in Kewanee and we will deliver the donations to the Kewanee Pound. Financial donations can be made to the pound for the veterinary bills or they can be dropped off at the Kewanee Veterinary Clinic in care of Kewanee Friends of the Animals. This situation came about when neighbors in the area of the 800 block of North Burr Boulevard contacted Kewanee Police regarding the state of a home on that block and a smell emanating from the home. Police investigated on Tuesday and discovered the more than 30 cats and kitten in the home, some of them feral. Kewanee Police are continuing toi work with social service agencies to determine what is next for the home and the residents. 

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Farm Progress Show Media Day Recap

The Super Bowl of agriculture is less than a week away in Decatur, Illinois and Wednesday media members got a preview of everything to come in this show that will draw people from all over the country and world. National Events Manager for Farm Progress Matt Jungmann calls this the year of the tractor. He says there are a lot of new things coming that will get people excited.

Jungmann recommends downloading the 2019 version of the Farm Progress Show app. He says it will have an updated map along with a schedule of events. Plus, if weather pops up and the show site gets shut down, the app will keep you updated.

There has been a change if you are coming into the show. Highway 48 now connects to Brush College Road at a different location so Jungmann recommends just getting near Decatur and following the signs and traffic. 

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IDNR Promotes Hunter Safety

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources promoting hunter safety. The agency’s Tim Schweizer says information is readily available online at “dnr.illinois.gov”. 


The archery deer hunting season starts October 1 with the two firearm weekends set for Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8. 

 

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LaHood and Davis Address Trade, Infrastructure

Illinois Congressmen Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis made a stop in Bloomington Tuesday to discuss trade and infrastructure with local community members. LaHood says passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement is essential for Illinois. He says about 40 percent of the products grown, produced, or manufactured in the state are sent to Mexico and Canada.

Meanwhile, both LaHood and Davis agreed more needs to be done at the federal level to address infrastructure. Davis says many lawmakers want to increase the gas tax, but he believes other sources of revenue should be addressed.

The Central Illinois lawmakers also addressed recreational marijuana and raising the minimum wage.

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Galesburg Police Make Arrest in Tuesday Shooting of a Teenage Girl

A Galesburg man has confessed to 'accidentally' shooting a 14 year old girl in his apartment on Tuesday in Galesburg. According to a release from the Galesburg Police Department, 19 year old Austin Sundberg has been arrested after a 14 year old girl had been located in his apartment having suffered a gunshot wound. Galesburg Police were called to the area of 160 North Chambers Street on a report of shots fired. The injured girl initially had told police that she did not know who had shot her. For his part, Sundberg told Police that he had found the victim outside his apartment building and had brought her inside However, after canvassing the area, speaking to witnesses and locating the gun, the Galesburg Police Department eventually questioned Sundberg who finally admitted that he'd lied about finding the victim outside. Instead, according to Sundberg's version of events, both he and the victim had been holding the gun and when he went to grab the gun from the victim, it went off and the girl was shot in the right shoulder. Galesburg Police indicate that the victim is in stable condition having been treated at St Francis Hospital in Peoria. Another teen in the apartment was unharmed in the incident. Sundberg has been charged with Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Possession of a Firearn without a FOID Card. 

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The Original Hog Days Stampede Featured Real Hogs Kewanee Back When

If you can believe it, the original Hog Days Stampede featured actual Hogs. That tidbit from Dave Clark on the latest edition of Kewanee Back When on Tuesday...

Dave Clark joined WKEI to talk about the history of Kewanee Hog Days for the latest edition of Kewanee Back When. Click here to listen to the newest episode or any of our past episodes on Kewanee's Baseball History, The Day they Shot the Sheriff or the history of Kewanee Parks. 

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New School Year in Kewanee Finds Upgraded Facilities and Plans for More

Students have returned to Kewanee schools and some of them have returned to new and upgraded facilities since they were last at their school. Dr Chris Sullens, Superintendent at Kewanee Schools, was our guest on People to People on Tuesday, and Dr Sullens told WKEI that there are a few things that have changed since the end of the last school year. 

Dr Sullens was our guest on Tuesday's edition of People to People and he talked about the kids returning to school, the changes to facilities and some big changes coming to fall sports, especially football this fall. You can hear our complete interview with Dr Sullens below....

 

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