Local News

Pedestrian Struck By Train in Galesburg Monday Night

One person is dead following an incident involving a pedestrian and a train in Galesburg. According to the Galesburg Police Department, the incident occurred just after 8 Pm on Monday night in the area of the 100 Block of North Academy Street. Preliminary information and eye witness testimony from the crew of the Burlington Northern Freight train, indicates that the pedestrian in question approached the tracks and laid down as the train was approaching leaving no time for the train to stop before striking the pedestrian. The identity of the pedestrian has not yet been released by Galesburg Police as they are working to inform family members. 

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Three Year Search for Identity of a Body Found in Peoria County Leads to Identification

The Peoria County Sheriff's Department with the aid of several law enforcement investigators and forensic anthropologists from two Universities, have officially identified John H Frisch. No other information about John H Frisch has been made available but what we do know is regarding his body and the discovery of parts of Frisch's body in two different Illinois Counties. According to the Peoria County Sheriff's Department, Frisch's dismembered torso and skull were located separately in Schuyler and Peoria County. In Schuyler County in 2016 a torso was discovered in the Illinois River. Then, in June of 2017 a skull was found in the Illinois River, in the Village of Kingston Mines in Peoria County. Using DNA and the database known as Codis, the skull and torso were finally determined to be from the same body. Detectives from Peoria County working with Forensic Anthropologists and the DNADoeProject.org narrowed down the search using Geneology records that led to dental records that were finally used to confirm the identity of 56 year old John H Frisch who listed former addresses in Peoria as well as in Hawaii. Little else is known about Frisch personally other than his parents died several years ago. The Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood announced the cause of death for John H Frisch as Blunt Force Trauma to the head and it has also been determined that Frisch was dismembered after death indicating what Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell calls 'a horrific crime.' The Peoria County Sheriff's Office is set to hold a press conference this afternoon, Tuesday, January 28th, and WKEi will update this story with more information when it becomes available. The Peoria County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who recognizes John H Frisch to please come forward as any information may aid in the investigation of his death. You can contact the Peoria County Sheriff's Department at 309-657-5532. Anonymous tips regarding the death of John H Frisch can be given to Peoria County Crimestoppers at 309-673-9000. 

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OSF Prepared in the Unlikely Event of CoronaVirus Outbreak

It is unlikely at this point that the Coronavirus will arrive anywhere near Kewanee or Henry County but in that unlikely scenario, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is prepared. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Infection Control Specialist Teri McCrery explained to WKEI what the Coronavirus is... 

So what is the risk of Coronavirus? 

Despite the chances of the Coronavirus coming anywhere near the Tri-County area, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is ready courtesy of the parameters set by the Centers for Disease Control... 

OSF Infection Control Specialist Teri McCrery was our guest along with Amber Wood from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on the Monday edition of Tuned In. You can hear the entire interview in our Tuned n Podcast linked here

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Be Wary of What IRS Calls Ghost Tax Preparers

The Internal Revenue Service wants everyone filing taxes to be wary of what the IRS refers to as 'Ghost Preparers,' tax preparers who offer to handle your tax preparation for cash payment without signing their name on your return or informing the IRS that they aided in the preparation of your tax return. Michael Devine from the IRS explains the scam and the danger you face if you choose to use a 'ghost preparer... 

Bottom line, you can free file via the IRS website at IRS.gov or you can use a reputable accounting service, one that will sign your tax forms and work with you above board to assure that your taxes are filed correctly. 

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Galva City Council Accepts $100,000

The owner of Preferred Home Health Care in Galva, Jane Doss, attended Monday night's Galva City Counci Meeting where she delivered a donation of $100,000 intended to help build the stage in Wiley Park that is home to the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series. The donation was very personal to Doss who told members of the City Council and assembled citizens that her parents loved listening to music in Wiley Park in the summer in the past. The donation is a tribute to Doss's father who passed away in 2011 and to her mother who currently resides in a memory care unit. This donation by Jane Doss and Preferred Home Health Care plus an anonymous $25,000 donation will cover the entirety of the cost to build the stage in Wiley Park. 

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Kewanee City Council Tables Request for Wethersfield Ag Development

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, members of the Kewanee City Council decided to table a request from Wethersfield Schools regarding development on a piece of land donated to the school. Wethersfield Schools are looking to develop the green space at 218 East Garfield Street to include a greenhouse, a small cornfield and other agriculture projects at aimed creating hands on learning experiences for FFA Ag Students. The land was gifted to Wethersfield several years ago by farmer Harold Shieler. The Council made the decision to table the Special Use Permit for Wethersfield Schools for two weeks so that Superintendent Shane Kazubowski can attend the meeting and answer questions from the Council regarding the permit and the school's plans for the development. 

 

Also at Monday Night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, the Council voted unanimously in favor of an agreement with Henry County regarding road repairs and the Council approved unanimously, a new 20 year agreement with Ameren Illinois. 

 

We will discuss each of these items in more detail with Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore on Tuesday morning at 9:06 on People to People. 

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Kewanee City Council Tables Question of Non-Conforming Use of Former Bar Site

The former Brock's Corner Tap location owned by Road House Properties has presented an unprecedented zoning challenge for the City of Kewanee. Last night at the Kewanee City Council Meeting, the council considered a resolution to continue a non-conforming use permit for the property at 801 North East Street. The situation is unprecedented because currently, 801 North East Street is an empty lot. Under normal circumstances, a non-conforming use permit would only be granted to owners of a standing structure as Director of Community Development Keith Edwards explained during Monday night's meeting... 

No representative from Road House Properties were on hand to address the questions of the council which must decide for the first time whether to give a non-conforming use permit to a business owner where no building currently exists. In the end, the Council tabled the resolution for two weeks to give time for the business owners to appear before the council and for members of the neighborhood surrounding the location at 801 North East Street to share their opinions and concerns regarding a new bar in that location. 

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Abilities Plus Announces Scholarship and Project Fund Availability for 2020

Abilities Plus has announced that they are now accepting applications for scholarships and project funds via the Abilities Plus Endowment Fund. According to the release from Abilities Plus, applications for the Jean German Academic Scholarship and $15,000 worth of Project Fund applications are now available by stopping by Abilities Plus and filing applications. The Jean German Scholarship of $1000.00 is available to those in Henry, Stark or Western Bureau County and is aimed at students either enrolled in or recently accepted to an accredited University with a career goal of working with adults or children with disabilities or developmental delays. Endowment Project qualifications include projects that are aimed at aiding individuals with disabilities and giving them the opportunity to gain independence or experiences they may not otherwise obtain. Interested applicants for scholarships or projects may contact Julie Landwehr at (309) 852-4626 or julie@abilitiesplus.org to receive the necessary paperwork.  All applications must be received by March 31, 2020 to be considered.  Applicants will be notified by July 1, 2020 of the committee’s decision.

 

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Health Care App Names Illinois Sickest State

The makers of the health care app Kinsa have crunched numbers from the CDC and determined that the state of Illinois is currently the sickest state in the nation. According to the numbers provided by the CDC and analyzed by Kinsa, 9.14% of the population of the state of Illinois are currently experiencing Flu-like symptoms. That is the highest population percentage in the nation just ahead of Michigan at 8.9%, Wisconsin at 8.7%, New Jersey at 8.67%, and New York at 8.6%. The national average state by state percentage of the population with flu-like symptoms is 6.7%. This time last year, the percentage of those showing Flu-like symptoms in the U.S was only 3.86% indicating the flu is far more pervasive in 2020 than in other recent years. 

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Mercer County Wins Black Hawk College Scholastic Bowl

Over the weekend, Black Hawk College hosted the annual Lincoln Trail Conference High School Scholastic Bowl. Participants included student representatives from Galva, United, ROWVA, Mercer County AlWood, Annawan, Cambridge, Princeville, Stark County, West Central and Wethersfield. In the end, Mercer County came away the winners in the event that pits students from different high schools against each other to answer questions from a variety of categories, such as history, literature, mathematics, music and science.More than 130 students participated in the event and the top 4 are listed below... 

 

1. Mercer County

2. Galva

3. ROWVA

4. United 

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Tri-County Drug Enforcement Announces Two Arrests at Hotel in Ottawa

The Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force, known as Tri-dent has announced a pair of arrests on drug charges. According to a release from the Bureau County Sheriff's Office, the arrests occurred on January 24th at a hotel in Ottawa, Illinois. LaSalle County Sheriff's led the way on the arrests, obtaining search warrants for a room at the Sands Motel and executing the warrant with the aid of Tri-dent. Arrested at the scene were 28 year old Ashley N Gaines and 21 year old Alivia J Stachowiak, both of Ottawa. Inside the hotel room, Police found 10 grams of a substance containing Fentanyl and 30 grams of a substance contatining Cocaine. Both arrestees were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) a Class 1 Felony and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine) a Class X Felony. Both Gaines and Stachowiak are being held at the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office on a $1 Million dollar bond. 

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Illinois DNR Talking Flood Preparation in Quad Cities, Alton, Murphysboro

A number of state agencies are collaborating to get the word out on flood preparation in advance of this spring. Colleen Callahan with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is involved in the effort.

The state has already held similar meetings in Murphysboro and Alton.

NOAA will release its first spring flood outlook in mid-March.

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Social Security Talks Small Business, Wage Reporting With Tax Time Here

With tax time upon us, the Social Security Administration is discussing the latest in wage reporting for small businesses. The agency’s Jack Myers says small businesses that employ tens-of-millions of individuals can check out the Business Services Online at socialsecurity.gov. The Business Services Online tab is going to allow an employer to file wages electronically and verify an employee's name and Social Security number. Myers points out, businesses with fewer than 250 people can submit wage reports on paper still.

Small business owners can produce, print and electronically submit up to 50 W-2s through the Businesses Services Online feature and Myers points out individuals do need to register to use that service. Visit “socialsecurity.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm” for more information.

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Bost Supports Elimination of Soleimani

A member of Illinois’ Congressional representation from Southern Illinois supports President Donald Trump's decision to kill an Iranian general earlier this month in a drone strike outside of an Iraqi airport. Qasem Soleimani and two others were killed by a drone strike on January 3rd. Congressman Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) says while some continually refer to Soleimani as a head of state, his history says otherwise.

Bost says with Iran’s admission that it shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, public sentiment in that country has shifted away from the United States and toward their own government’s role in the death of all 274 passengers on board.

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Ex State Senator Face Federal Charges

A former Democratic State Senator is facing federal charges on bribery and tax fraud. Martin Sandoval is accused by the feds of taking money from red light camera companies while he was the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He also stands accused of working in favor of laws to support red light cameras and working against any legislation that would harm the industry. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says more has to be done to end corruption in government.

The federal indictment says Sandoval filed a false tax return in 2017 when he declared his income at $125,000 even though he knew it substantially exceeded that amount.

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Senator Duckworth Says Impeachment Witness Can Tell Both Sides of Story

US Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling for the Senate to vote in favor of allowing witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The Democrat says she wants the American public to hear the whole story at the trial.

Duckworth says right now all she and other Senators are getting is redacted statements from White House staff.

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AVR "Glitch" Fixed Says Governor

The Automatic Voter Registration program that allowed more than 500 non citizens to register to vote has been fixed. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says he’s taking election security very seriously but there is no reason to “pause” AVR because the original programming error has been taken care of.

Pritzker says larger investigations and legislative hearings will shed more light on why the program didn’t work as designed from the outset.

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Cong. Quigley Says Witnesses Should Be Called in Impeachment

A Democrat Congressman from Illinois says there should be witnesses during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Mike Quigley says that John Bolton and others should be heard from and if they aren’t it will be unprecedented.

Quigley sits on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

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Wethersfield Schools Looking to Build A Greenhouse on Donated Land

Wethersfield Schools last week received the endorsement of the City of Kewanee Zoning Board for plans to develop a vacant property that was donated to the school several years ago. Farmer Harold Sheeler gifted the land to Wethersfield with the specific purpose that the school keep the land and put it to use in vocational training for students as Wethersfield Superintendent Shane Kazubowski explains... 

Teacher and Wethersfield FFA Director Kate Rashid is helping to lead the planning of the development which she has a personal connection to... 

Kate tells WKEI that another plan she has for the space is possibly growing fuit trees to utilize the L-shaped space as much as possible and use the fruit as a potential source of future funding by selling the fruit among other potential crops that could provide the kind of hands on learning experience that appeals to young people... 

Wethersfield's plans to develop the space at 218 Garfield Street will be on the agenda at Monday Night's Kewanee City Council Meeting. The school received unanimous support for their plans at the most recent Kewanee Zoning Board Meeting. 

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Dairy Industry Holds Steady Despite Diet Fads

As the New Year pushes on, resolutions have fallen by the way-side for some. Others have introduced new items into their diet like plant-based beverages and found success with new routines like intermittent fasting. Monica Nyman is a registered Dietician & Nutrition Educator with the St. Louis Dairy Council. She says even though the plant-based beverages have become a popular health item for people, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned glass of milk.

Find dairy tips, recipes and good health tips at stl-dairy-council-dot-org.

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IDPH Says Fight Against Coronavirus in Early Stages

Health officials from around the nation are in Chicago following up on the second case of coronavirus in the United States. The 61 year old woman who is currently hospitalized traveled back home to Chicago from Wuhan China after caring for her sick father. The Illinois Department of Public Heath is one of the agencies working on the situation and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says that the medical fight against this virus is just starting.

She says the woman who is infected by the virus is doing well and being taken care of in a Chicago hospital. Senator Dick Durbin praised Illinois health officials for quickly recognizing the seriousness of the situation and reacting accordingly... 

The Chicago Department of Health is also credited with quick action and assuring people that the victim is unlikely to infect anyone else... 

80 people in China have reportedly died due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 

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Governor Releases Money for SIUE Project

A $105 million facility at SIUE will be moving forward with the announcement of $10.5 million in funding from the state. The new Health Science Building on the Edwardsville campus will include approximately 221,000 square feet and will be the largest building on the SIUE campus. The announcement was made by Governor J.B. Pritzker, who told the crowd gathered at the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom the state is investing in rebuilding and restoring college campuses with “the most robust capital plan in the history of our state.”

SIUE operates a School of Pharmacy, a School of Nursing , a School of Dental Medicine in Alton, and related health sciences programs in various disciplines to serve central and southern Illinois. The plan is to have about a year to create preliminary designs, and another two years for construction.

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IL State Police Identify Victims in Shooting that Took the Life of Retired Trooper

One retired Illinois State Trooper was killed in a shooting in suburban Chicago on Friday night and two others were wounded. Retired Trooper Greg Rieves was killed when police say Lisa McMullan pulled out a gun and shot him while at a cigar lounge. She also shot and wounded two other troopers, one retired and another on active duty. McMullan then turned the gun on herself. ISP Director Brendan Kelly says the ISP is used to dealing with violence while at work but it’s unexpected and tragic when faced with it while off duty.

The other troopers, Kaiton Bullock and retired trooper Lloyd Graham are expected to recover from their wounds. The Lisle Police are handling the investigation.

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Henry County Hunters Bag More than 900 Hundred Deer

Hunters in Henry County, both archery and firearm hunters, brought in more than 900 deer during 2019-2020, Archery and Firearm Deer Season. The final total was 992 Deer with Archery hunters bringing in 537 Deer, and Firearm hunters bringing in 407. Muzzleloaders brought in 21 Deer while youth hunters in Henry County took down 27. All told, across the state of Illinois during the period of October 1st, the start of Archery season, through Januar 19th and the close of the late Winter season, hunters across Illinois brought in 153,048 Deer which was up significantly from the 2018 to 2019 period where hunters brought down 151,709 Deer. 

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Insulin Prices Capped for Some

A much needed and depended on drug will have its price capped moving forward for some diabetics.

Democrat Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation on Friday that will cap the price of insulin at $100 for a 30 day supply. The new law will only impact the price for individuals that are relying on state regulated insurance plans. So while more than 1.3 million people in Illinois use insulin each month a smaller number will benefit. State Senator Andy Manar says while he’d like more people covered by the law it’s now up to others to act.

The law capping prices will go into effect on January 1st of 2021.

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