Local News Archives for 2016-03

Henry County Tourism Bureau on People to People

HCTB Director Cathy Foes talks about tourism and funding issues during the March 31 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

The prison closure hearing dominates the conversation during the March 31st edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Update: Suspect in Custody, Peoria Airport Re-Opened

Update: One suspect is being questioned while the Airport is back up and running. TSA officials state that the suspious materials that turned out to be dynamite, a tmer and a bottles of an unidentified fluid. Again, the airport is no longer on lockdown, passengers are moving freely, the package has been secured and the female suspect is detained and being questioned. More on this story as it develops.

Several media outlets are reporting that the Peoria international Airport is on lock down Due to a suspicious package that was found.  The Bomb Squad is in route to the scene.   No entrance is being allowed at this time and everyone has been evacuated.  There are flights in or out of the Airport until further notice. For flight information check the Peoria International Airport Website.  There is also a Traffic tie up do to vehicles not being allowed into the airport.  We will have more on this as it unfolds.  

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Reasons For Prison Closure Remain Vague

The reason or reasons to close the Illinois Youth Center Facility in Kewanee remain nebulous at least to the general community and that has led to speculation as to the exact or real causes behind that decision. 

That speculation has taken different forms and Kewanee City Manager Mr. Gary Bradley says the state is largely responsible for that development…

Statistics and information in general from the state defending the decision to close has largely been introduced following the initial decision and some of that had to be changed because some of that information was incorrect…

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New Lincoln Exhibit in Springfield

A new exhibit of rare Lincoln artifacts will open on April 15th at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.   

The exhibit is entitled Unfinished Work and includes several pertinent documents and other items from the Taper Collection.   

The unfinished work exhibit will run through mid May with more details available at PresidentLincoln.Illinois.gov 

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Court Rules on Pay Raises

 

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State employees who expected to receive the raises they have been waiting for since 2011 will have to wait some more. On Thursday the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the raises are subject to appropriation.

The high court’s ruling says the 2 percent raise in question was part of a more than 15 percent raise found in a four-year contract covering employees from 2008 to 2012. The court said because of declining state revenues due to the Great Recession, agreements were made between the state and union to defer some of the raises in place of layoffs.

However, the crux of the case came down to the lack of appropriation in fiscal 2012 from the Illinois General Assembly to cover the raises, the court said. That led to the high court reversing lower court decisions to pay the raises.

AFSCME Council 31 President Roberta Lynch said in a statement the union is disappointed, and 24,000 state employees from five different agencies are owed on average $2,500 each. Lynch said the union urges “lawmakers of both parties, the governor and the comptroller to support an appropriation that pays workers what they are owed.”

 

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HCSWCD Fish Sale

Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District can help! Take advantage of the SWCD’s spring fish sale and get your fish populations back in check today!  

Triploid grass carp orders are due by April 8th, while all other fish orders must be placed by April 18th. Pick-up at the Henry County Fairgrounds will be on May 2nd starting at 7am. This will not be an all-day event, so arrive early and we will do our best to have you back on the road as soon as possible.

For more information regarding the fish sale or to be added to the emailing list, contact the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District at 301 East North Street in Cambridge, IL Ph: 309-937-5263, extension 3 or e-mail Sharon.matson@il.nacdnet.net.

Order forms can also be found on the web: http://www.henrycountyilswcd.com/orderforms-/ under fish. 

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Kewanee Turns Out to Support Illinois Youth Corre

A full house of concerned citizens turned out tonight at Kewanee High School's Brockman Gymnasium to show support for keeping the Illinois Youth Correction Facility open and to hear the Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Candice Jones explain reasons why the IDJJ has chosen to recommend the closure of the facility.

Director Candice Jones and members of her staff were grilled for more than an hour by local lawmakers, including Representative Don Moffitt, Representative Mike Smiddy, Representative Patrick Verschoore and State Senator Neil Anderson, regarding their recommendation to close the facilty which currently employs more than 200 people and cares for a fluctuating population of 260 juvenile offenders

Director Davis said that the decision to close the facility was based on an inabilty to fully staff the facility, a savings of $10 to $20 million dollars for the state and a 2012 lawsuit against against the IDJJ regarding the treatment of youth offenders housed at the facility. Director Jones also stated that the decision to close was based on a study of 'Best Practices' in the state and nationwide regarding the care for Juvenile Offenders. 

As part of an opening statement Director Jones stated that the Kewanee IYC was currently out of compliance with state standards regarding staffing levels and conditions. Representative Don Moffitt later asked Director Jones how many IDJJ facilities were out of compliance and went on to answer his own question stating that ALL IDJJ facilities were not in compliance, something the Director would neither confirm or deny. 

Director Jones also declined to answer questions regarding ongoing negotiations with AFSCME regarding employees at the facility. The Director's refusal came in response to Representative Mike Smiddy's repeated questioning regarding plans for employees of the facility to potentially migrate from the IDJJ to the Department of Corrections where they could get jobs in Adult Facilities. Representative Smiddy says that conversations with the Department of Corrections have not taken place and that the DOC was not even aware of the plan to close the Kewanee facility. 

Regarding the 2012 lawsuit brought regarding treatment of juvenile offenders at the Kewanee IYC, State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria was considerate of the IDJJ position and countered that the culture at the Kewanee IYC had changed and that the new Superintendent of the facility had greatly changed the culture that led to the lawsuit. Director Jones agreed with Senator Weaver that the culture had changed and that the facility had greatly improved under the new leadership. Under Senator Weaver's questioning the Director also promised to take into a account the improvement of the facility before a final decision on the closure is made. 

State Representative Don Moffitt closed the questioning of the Director and her staff by accusing Director Jones of calling Kewanee "Remote" and "Isolated," a quote that the Director denied having made but Representative Moffitt insisted having heard her say it, a statement that brought jeers from the assembled crowd aimed at Director Jones. 

The decision to close the facility was part of the Governor Bruce Rauner's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal. 

In an interview prior to the hearing Representative Don Moffitt told RegionalDailyNews.com that his goal for the hearing was to make sure the IDJJ made their decision regarding Kewanee IYC based on accurate information.. 

A bipartisan group of local lawmakers spanning from around the area came to the hearing to voice their support for keeping the Kewanee IYC open with Representative Mike Smiddy adamantly stating his opposition to the closure... 

While the closure of the facility was announced in February with a date in June cited as the likely closure date, the final decision still belongs to Governor Bruce Rauner. Director Candice Jones promised a fair hear of arguments for keeping the facility open before making her recommendation to Governor Rauner. The Director and members of her staff did stay on to hear from community leaders including Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley whom you can hear discussing the City's support for the Kewanee IYC in Bob McKee's latest People to People podcast

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Rauner Says Speaker Won't Return His Calls

As the state remains without a budget there isn’t a lot of money to go around but there is plenty of blame. And today Governor Bruce Rauner says that he tried to reach out Speaker Mike Madigan right after the elections were over for a one on one meeting and that he’s still waiting on a call back. This isn’t the first time Rauner has claimed to reach out to the Speaker and hears nothing in return. While he’s done so the Speaker’s staff claims no calls were made. Rauner stands behind the fact that his office is making those calls.

Illinois remains the only state without a FY 16 budget. The FY 17 budget is set to start on July 1.

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Democrats Playing Games with CSU Crisis Says Rauner

As Chicago State University is preparing employees for a potentional shutdown, Governor Bruce Rauner says that he’s upset and places the blame squarely on Democrats. The university on the south side of Chicago recently starting asking teachers and staff to turn in keys if the school has to shutdown, that leaves Rauner to say there is a bi-partisan bill being worked on right now but it hasn’t been called and he sees no reason as to why.

Rauner says that he hasn’t been able to speak recently to leadership in the House. He says a request was sent a few weeks back to see if they could have a one on one meeting and as of now they haven’t heard back from Madigan’s office. 

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Kewanee City Manager on People to People

Kewanee City Manager Mr.. Gary Bradley talks about the proposed prison closure in Kewanee during the March 30 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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Kewanee City Manager on People to People

Kewanee City Manager Mr.. Gary Bradley talks about the proposed prison closure in Kewanee during the March 30 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

The Illinois political system and scam phone calls are part of the discussion during the March 30 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Pack the Place Tonight

The state of Illinois continues to move forward with their plans to close the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee and the public is reminded ofmar  the facility closure hearing that will be held this evening beginning at 5 o’clock at the Brockman Gymnasium at Kewanee High School.

Mark Mikenas is the Director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and he hopes that the community will turn out in big numbers for this evenings hearing…

Some in the community might say that once the state makes up its mind in a situation like this that it’s hard to get them to change their position.

But there is also value in the old adage of strength in numbers…

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IL Attorney Generals Office Brings in Money to the State

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It’s not quite $1 billion, but the amount of money Illinois’ attorney general says she’s collected in 2015 for the state’s coffers is close.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office brought in more than $983 million dollars in 2015. Madigan says a lot of the newer money coming in is from the aftermath of the 2008 mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Madigan’s office says that money adds to the $400 million collected for the state’s pension funds just from mortgage foreclosure crisis settlements alone. Other collected money comes from fees and fines state agencies task the attorney general to collect. Some of those dollars are going to the general revenue fund with the rest deposited into various special funds.

Madigan says she has brought in more than $12 billion dollars to the state’s coffers through settlements and collections since she took office in 2003.

 

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National Public Health Week in April

National Public Health Week will be observed the week of April 4-10 and has been noted with a proclamation by Kewanee City Council and Mayor Steve Looney.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she says during this time frame, they will be showcasing their efforts to protect and improve the health of the community…

During that week of April 4-10 the Health Department will be conducting Health Check Clinics that will offer discounted pricing on several of their screening and health services…

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High school basketball stars will get a dose of "college life" in upcoming all star game

40 of the top senior high school basketball players in Downstate Illinois will gather in Jacksonville next month for a twin bill of all star basketball contests. The 7th Annual Speakers Basketball High School All Star Game is actually, a pair of games. The Small School contest tips off at 3, with the large schools taking the floor at approximately 4:30 at MacMurray College. Speaks Basketball President Jason Speaks says for the first time, players will work under deadline pressure...

A Slam Dunk and Three Point Contest will be held at halftime of each game. Admission is $5 which is good for both games.
(Below is a roster of players)
 

Head Coaches for the Small School Game are Cliff Cameron of state-ranked Pleasant Plains and Dave Suits of Franklin-Waverly South County.

Head Coaches for the Large School Game are Blake Turner of state-ranked Springfield Lanphier and Sean Taylor of Jacksonville.

 

Large School All Stars:
Joel Alexander, 6'4", Chatham Glenwood
Xavier Bishop, 5'8", Springfield Lanphier
Mike Dade, 5'10", Quincy
Keon Day, 6'1", Springfield
Ilijah Donnelly, 6'2" Bloomington (University of Illinois at Springfield)
Braden Fitzjerrells, 5'8", Mt. Vernon (Lindenwood University at Belleville)
K.T. Graves, 6'2", Decatur Eisenhower
Emmitt Hale, 5'10", Decatur Eisenhower
Dalton Handlin, 5'10", Rochester (University of Central Arkansas; Soccer)
Davin Higgerson-Harris, 6', Lanphier
Aron Hopp, 6'1", Lincoln
D'Angelo Hughes, 6'1", Southeast (Ferris State University)
Ethan Hunt, 5'10", Chatham Glenwood
Jacob Jobe, 6'3", Quincy
Keymonta Johnson, 6'3", Decatur MacArthur
Devonte Keeton, 6'1", Peoria Manual
Isaac Nelson, 5'10", Springfield
Tyler Rose, 6'7", Jacksonville
DJ Smith, 6'5", Decatur MacArthur
Unree Wesley, 6', Carbondale

 

Small School All Stars:
Josh Cannon, 5'10", Peoria Quest Academy
Steven Cowles, 6', Springfield Lutheran
Harrison Creswell, 6'8", Williamsville (Lincoln Land Community College)
Cam Cummings, 5'11", New Berlin (Monmouth College; Football)
Cooper Etter, 6'1", Girard-Virden North Mac
Neil Ferris, 6'5", Springfield Calvary Academy (Lincoln Christian University)
Teddy Fifer, 6'2", Edwardsville Metro East Lutheran
Austin Finley, 6'4", Pleasant Plains
Josh Franke, 6'4", Litchfield
Garrett Gillette, 6'2", Pawnee (Illinois College; Track)
Luke Gillingham, 5'7", Carrollton
Daulton Nibbe, 5'10", Pleasant Plains
Joey Powell, 6'5", Greenview
Ryan Roscetti, 5'10", Riverton
Colin Slagle, 6'4", Winchester West Central
Tanner Stuckman, 6'8", Quincy Notre Dame
Lewis Wallbaum, 6'2", Franklin-Waverly South County
Matt Wendling, 6'5", Athens
Reed Wolfmeyer, 6'1", Liberty
Kaleb Wolters, 6'6", Pleasant Plains

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Moments by Mutti on People to People

Committee members Diane Mossner and Kim Sellers talk about Moments by Mutti and this years event during the March 29 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

 

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WKEI Open Line

Seat belt usage is the main topic of discussion during the March 29th edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Bureau County Bridge Closure in April


Please be advised that the Backbone Road Bridge northwest of Princeton which carries Backbone Road over Bureau Creek has been scheduled for construction.  Closure for construction will begin at 7:00 am. on Monday April 11th, and is anticipated to remain closed for 6 months.

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Toy Tractor Exhibit in Bishop Hill

Toy tractor collectors and enthusiasts will be out in force in Bishop Hill, Illinois on April 2 and 3, to see a large variety of John Deere, Case, and International Harvester toy tractors and farm implements.

Local collectors, such as Jerry Kuster, Patricia Hurd, Bill McClure, Lloyd Anderson, and Richard Carlson, are displaying their treasures for one weekend only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Over one hundred toy tractors and implements of all shapes, sizes, and brands will be exhibited at the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street.

The items on display will not be for sale but the public is cordially invited to attend the exhibit which is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association. 

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National Nutrition Month

 

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that March is National Nutrition Month.  The theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. 

     The Health Department staff notes that how, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat.  Develop an eating pattern that includes nutritious and enjoyable foods – that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right.

    Each March, National Nutrition Month encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthy eating. This year’s theme encourages individuals to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is focused on making informed and flavorful food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

     "Knowing which nutrients your body needs, the foods that contain them, and how much fits into your healthy eating plan are all part of making smart and savory choices ," says Darlene Stevens, Health Department WIC Nutritionist. “Age, gender, body type, family history, existing health conditions and daily routines all play a factor in determining which foods we should eat more of and which we should avoid when trying to optimize our health.”

    The Health Department and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics strive to communicate healthy eating messages that emphasize a balance of food and beverages within energy needs, rather than any one food or meal. To this end, note that the total diet or overall pattern of food eaten is the most important focus of healthy eating. Most favorite foods can fit within this pattern, if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with physical activity.

 

    Initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week" became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.

    The Health Department reminds area residents that in addition to nutrition education and counseling they conduct through the Department's WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Food Supplemental Program; the Department staff also conducts Nutrition Education programs for area school children and interested community groups and organizations.

 

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Ash Trees and the Kewanee Park District

The emerald ash borer continues to wreak havoc on Ash trees located in the Kewanee Park District.

Brian Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the Park District and he says the emerald ash borer has really done a great deal of damage along the way…

The total number of trees lost over the last year or so stands right at approximately 100.

Johnson adds that the Park District will also undertake a major tree re-planting effort later this fall…

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Food Price Inflation

Shoppers may be paying less than expected this year for some food categories, per USDA's latest outlook at food price inflation trends. Rod Bain has the details…

 

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Forum on Closure of Illinois Youth Facility to be Held Wednesday at Kewanee High School

Lawmakers are coming to Kewanee for a forum to discuss the impact closing the Illinois Youth Center Juvenile Detention Center. The forum will be held on Wednesday evening at 5 Pm at Kewanee High School. Members of AFSCME are urging members to attend the forum which is set to address the economic impact of the closure, currently part of Governor Bruce Rauner's fiscal year 2017 budget proposal. The closure of the facility would put 200 people out of work. The forum is also expected to address the fate of the offenders currently held at the facility. Currently, no other facility in the state of Illinois is large enough or secure enough to house the juvenile offenders. The forum is open to the public and begins at 5 Pm at Kewanee High School. 

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City Council Meeting

Kewanee City Council met on Monday night and council members passed an ordinance that set parking restrictions on the east side of the 900 block of Cambridge Road and both the east and west side of the 1000 block of Cambridge Road.

The east side of the 900 block is near the 9th hole of the Baker Park Golf Course and the east and west side of the 1000 block is at the intersection with the entrance to the 19th Hole Restaurant at Baker Park.    

Council members also passed a resolution supporting an analysis of the Illinois Dept of Juvenile Justice to ensure the continued utilization of the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee. The measure aims to at minimum provide economic assistance to the city in the event the facility is not maintained or used in the future.

The public is reminded of the public meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 5 o’clock to be held in the Brockman Gymnasium at Kewanee High School for a hearing on the closure of the prison on Kewanee’s east side.

Attendees will not have to speak at the meeting but the hope is for a huge turnout to help demonstrate to state officials of the need for the prison to stay open and in the process maintaining the approximate 200 jobs that will be lost if the prison is closed.

Council on Monday night also passed a resolution that set an internet usage policy for city of Kewanee employees. That policy pretty much along lines of common sense as most adults would subscribe to.

Council also passed a resolution authorizing City Manager Gary Bradley to enter into an agreement with Collection Professionals Inc for debt collection services for the city of Kewanee.

Their collection fee is 25% and they also specialize in ambulance billing collection and are more flexible in their approach to the public with their collections.

All votes at Monday night’s meeting went 4-0 in favor of with Council Member Kellie Wallace-McKenna absent from proceedings.    

Proclamations from Monday night’s meeting included the week of April 4-10 as National Public Health Week in Kewanee and also the designation of April 7th as Junior Achievement Day in Kewanee.

         

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Blagojevich appeal won't be heard

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the appeal of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich  A federal appeals court threw out five of his 18 corruption convictions in July and Blagojevich was asking the high court to consider tossing the rest. Springfield Attorney Jon Gray Noll was hopeful they would take on the issue....

Noll doesn't believe Blagojevich's resentencing will have little impact on his 14 year prison term....

Blagojevich has completed 4 years of that extended term.

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WKEI Open Line

The prison closure in Kewanee is the main topic of discussion during the March 28 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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OSF St Luke Medical Center on Tuned IN

St Luke Marketing Director Carrie Boelens runs down a list of upcoming events at the hospital during the March 28 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

 

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Food Managers Course


       The Environmental Health Division of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments announces that they will be holding a Food Handler's Certification Course that will meet on Wednesday, April 20th from 1:00-4:00pm.

 

      The class will be held at the Henry and Stark County Health Department, 4424 US Hwy 34, Kewanee.  The cost of the 3 hours course is $15.

 

      Through the course, valuable information is given which will help food handlers improve their skills and operations.  The food handler's certification course is designed to help area food servers in the county meet the requirements of the IDPH Food Service Sanitation Code. 

 

     The course will cover the following topics of discussion:  1) The relationship between time and temperature with respect to foodborne illness. 2) The relationship between personal hygiene and food safety.  3) The methods of preventing contamination in all stages of food handling.  4) The procedures for cleaning and sanitizing. 5) The problems and potential solutions associated with temperature control, cross contamination, housekeeping and maintenance. 

    

     Registrations are limited. Those interested in registering, or for more information, should contact the Department at 852-0197 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter. 

 

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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

The month of March is noted among other things as colorectal cancer awareness month and Dr. Sara Glassgow with the OSF Medical Group in Kewanee says colon cancer does not discriminate…

Dr. Glassgow agrees that colon cancer, like most cancers are treatable particularly when diagnosed early in the development…

Dr. Glassgow also notes that most people cannot detect any problems on their own and so often feel as if they have no cause for concern…

Appointments with Dr. Glassgow can be made by contacting the OSF Medical Group in Kewanee at 852-7700. 

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Andover Suspects Captured in Oregon

The arrest of two suspects in Oregon, wanted for the attempted armed robbery of Casey’s General Store in Andover IL took several interesting turns along the way.

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla says the crime spree began in Indiana…

Sheriff Padilla notes that in this case, social media ultimately played a big part in the arrest…

Sheriff Padilla also says that not all traffic stops end up with bad guys behind the wheel…

 

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Payment Options for Ameren Customers


COLLINSVILLE, IL (March 25, 2016) – Ameren Illinois residential customers who have fallen behind on their utility bill may benefit from programs and assistance being offered by the utility.

 

For a limited time, eligible Ameren Illinois customers with past due balances can establish a repayment plan by making a 10 percent down payment. Beginning April 1, most customers with outstanding balances will be required to pay 25 percent of the amount owed before they can establish a monthly payment plan.

 

“We understand some of our customers are facing tough economic times.  This payment plan is an opportunity for those customers to get back on track,” said Shirley Stennis, director of Customer Service for Ameren Illinois.

 

To establish a payment plan, customers can call Ameren Illinois Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000, then select 'billing and payment' from the menu, and follow the voice prompts. Customers may also set up an agreement by visiting AmerenIllinois.com.

 

Residential customers with past due amounts who have failed to establish a payment plan or have broken a payment plan agreement will be subject to service disconnection beginning April 1.

 

“We are offering customers an opportunity to avoid service disconnections,” Stennis said. “Disconnection of service is always a last resort.”

 

Some customers may be eligible to receive assistance through programs such as Warm Neighbors Cool Friends, a program of the Energy Assistance Foundation, which is funded primarily through the contributions of Ameren employees and customers. The program is designed to help those who generally do not qualify for federal or state heating assistance. Detailed information is available on the program website (WarmNeighborsCoolFriends.org). Since December 2015, Ameren Illinois has allocated $1 million in energy assistance grants to 27 different agencies across the Ameren Illinois territory to assist low-income customers with their utility bills.

 

Ameren Illinois also offers rebates and incentives on measures to make a home more energy efficient. Through Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency programs, customers can gain greater control over their energy bills. The program provides free advice, as well as rebates and financial incentives. For more information on residential programs, visit AmerenIllinois.com/programs, call 1-866-838-6918 or send an e-mail to: ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com.

 

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ISP Special Enforcement


Springfield– Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today that ISP districts throughout the state will enforce road safety with a special enforcement memorial operation dedicated to fallen Trooper James Sauter, who was killed in the line of duty on March 28, 2013, when his ISP squad was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road.  This will be the third consecutive year of this safety operation honoring Trooper Sauter’s memory.

ISP Troopers throughout the state are committed to working Operation Sauter, and will be aggressively patrolling Illinois roadways for 24 consecutive hours (Mar 28 – Mar 29) in remembrance of their fallen comrade.

The focus of this operation will be commercial motor vehicle (CMV) enforcement.  ISP Troopers will be checking CMV driver’s logbooks to ensure compliance.  CMV long-haul drivers are currently restricted to 70 hours of driving per week and are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to maintain a logbook documenting the number hours they have driven. Within the last three years, two ISP Troopers have been killed in the line of duty and another seriously injured.  All three Troopers were struck by commercial motor vehicles. 

ISP Troopers will also be strictly enforcing the ISP’s Fatal Four mission: Speeding, Seatbelts, DUI and Distracted Driving, to ensure the safety of the motoring public in preparation for the busy spring travel season.

“The ISP wants to remind the motoring public and commercial motor vehicle operators that safe driving saves lives,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams.  “It has been three years since the tragic loss of Trooper James Sauter, but we will continue to honor his legacy by enforcing road safety laws and keeping the highways of this state safe for all who travel on them,” Williams added.  

On September 8th, 2015 the Willow Road Overpass was dedicated as the “Trooper James Sauter Memorial Overpass,” in Trooper Sauter’s memory.

The Illinois State Police urge motorists and out-of-state visitors to plan ahead, follow the rules of the road, and take the necessary safety precautions during this spring’s driving season.  In addition, motorists are required by law to reduce speed and change lanes when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

 

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WKEI Open Line

An estrnaged wife becomes pregnant by another man and wants child support from ther legal husband domintes the discussion during the March 25th edition of the Open Line on WKEI 

 

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Illinois Adds 18,100 Jobs; Growth Rate Remains Significantly Below National Average

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in February rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.4 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased by +18,100 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES.  Nonfarm payrolls recovered from the 2007-2009 recession in February; however Illinois’ average job growth since employment recovery began in January 2010 remains well below the national average.

“Illinois remains one of only three states that have not recovered jobs lost from the 2001 recession,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “While Illinois grew in jobs it took us twice as long compared to the rest of the country. When determining the overall growth, it is also important to take into account the volatility of the monthly employment numbers.”

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for February 2016, which held at 4.9 percent.  The unemployment rate stood 0.4 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.0 percent. Illinois surpassed the January 2008 payroll peak by +1,300 jobs, but remains 61,300 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000 while the nation currently stands 3.7 percent above its prior peak level of employment.

“As improvements in the national economy motivate more people to seek employment, Illinois’ lagging job creation rate continues to be a cause for concern,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said.  “We are not creating enough jobs, we continue to lose critical middle-class manufacturing jobs, and unemployment in Illinois continues to rise, keeping our state from achieving full economic recovery. Illinois needs structural reforms that will stimulate growth and create jobs for hardworking Illinois families.”

The number of unemployed workers increased +1.9 percent from the prior month to 420,300 and was up +8.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by 1.8 percent in February over the prior year.  The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

The unemployment rate is increasing in Illinois primarily because more workers are entering the labor force and are not immediately able to find work. In February, the two industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+6,600); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+4,500) and Leisure and Hospitality (+4,200). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Construction (-2,400); and Education and Health Services (-2,000).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +65,700 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+21,100); Educational and Health Services (+17,800); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+14,100).  Industry sectors with over-the-year declines in February include: Manufacturing (-2,700) and Information (-1,700).

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL). IJL recently showed that 63,273 resumes were posted and 174,983 help-wanted ads were available.
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
 

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Group of representatives demand clarification on campaign spending

A group of Republican state representatives awaits clarification about political campaign spending from a former state representative turned auditor general.

The first of two letters sent from the representatives says there are “concerns regarding the proper and ethical use” of the campaign fund that Auditor General Frank Mautino used when he was a Democratic state representative. One of the signers, Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives, tells WMAY Springfield a lack of specifics about the campaign spending since the initial letter was sent in early February means it’s time for Mautino to step down.


Republican state Rep. Grant Wehrli, who sent letters to Mautino on behalf of himself and 11 other representatives including Ives, says he’s not willing to go that far yet.

In a letter dated Feb. 25 that was provided to Illinois Radio Network, Mautino tells the lawmakers he has retained a law firm and is “working diligently to respond and to clear up this matter as quickly as possible.” 

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Rep. Wehri: Increased doubts as more time goes by

The lack of clarification about campaign spending from a former state representative turned auditor general raises questions about the integrity of the office, according to a Republican state representative who signed letters sent to Frank Mautino.

Before being sworn in as the state’s new auditor general, Mautino closed out the campaign fund he used while he was a Democratic state representative. Since then the media and some lawmakers have asked for information about campaign spending on vehicles, payments to a bank and more.

Republican state Rep. Grant Wehrli, who sent two letters to Mautino in early February on behalf of himself and 11 other representatives, says each day that passes without clarification increases doubts Mautino can perform as auditor general.

In a letter provided to Illinois Radio Network that is dated Feb. 25, Mautino tells lawmakers that he has retained a lawyer and is working diligently to clear the matter up quickly. 

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Illini Basketball Standing Behind Groce Supporting Players

In a rather unusual move today the University of Illinois held a press conference with both Athletic Director Josh Whitman and men’s Head Basketball Coach John Groce. Much of the time was spent addressing the recent rash of arrests of basketball players. Last month sophomore Leron Black was arrested on felony aggravated assault, and a week ago Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn were both arrested on charges of domestic battery. Every player has pleaded not guilty. Whitman says that steps will be taken to help players grow, make better choices. Whitman says he won’t sweep these problems aside as they strive for players to be better citizens.

The players have pre-trial hearings scheduled for April 19 and 20. Groce says that he wants to find a way to be firm but fair when disciplining players for their actions.

 

Whitman says that even though the team has had both struggles on the court and now off of it. He is still firmly behind Groce and won’t let his support waive at this point in time.

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Lottery still assessing damage from impasse

Illinois Lottery officials say they are still feeling the aftereffects from when payouts to winners were in limbo last year.  Before an appropriation allowed for lottery winnings to be paid out, lottery winners waited months for their checks. Illinois Lottery Acting Director B.R. Lane told a Senate appropriations committee earlier this month they have yet to fully recover from the decline in sales.

However, Lane says what’s more difficult to judge is how the Illinois Lottery brand was damaged during that time.

Meanwhile, Lane says the Lottery is still in the process of finding a new private manager to replace Northstar Lottery Group, which remains in place until a new manager takes charge. 

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Kewanee Public Library Open on Good Friday

Kewanee Public Library is open to the general public today.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says they are often times the busiest on a holiday…

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Gerleman Named Outstanding Citizen

 

 

Gerleman Named Outstanding Citizen

 

 

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club has announced that Dr. Dennis Gerleman has been named the 2016 Outstanding Citizen.

 

Ambassador Club President Dan Kuffel said "Dr. Gerleman has certainly met all the criteria that is required of the award.  His service to the community and the organizations he belongs to has been exemplary."

 

Dr. Gerleman has supported numerous youth sports teams through team sponsorships including baseball and bowling as well as supporting our local school teams both athletic and academic.  He has supported and participates in golf and bowling leagues and donates to many of the fundraisers associated with these activities.  He has supported our Seniors and Veterans as well.

 

Dennis is an active member of numerous clubs and organizations in Kewanee. He has been a member of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and has served on the Chamber Board for 6 years and held the title of vice-president for two years before his term expired in 2014. He is a past member of Rotary, Jaycees and Kiwanis and is currently a member of the Knights of Columbus, Flemish-American Club and Kewanee Elks Lodge #724.  He has held all the local and District offices for the Elks and served on many State level committees.  He is currently the Illinois State President representing Kewanee at many local and district meetings throughout Illinois.

 

Dr. Gerleman comes from a family of chiropractors and has owned Gerleman Chiropractic Clinic in Kewanee for 32 years. 

Dr. Gerleman and his wife of 27 years Jeanette have 2 boys, Brandon (Brittany) and Ryan.  Brandon and Brittany have two children Ayden & Carter with one on the way as well.  Ryan is a senior at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant Iowa.

 

He is an avid Cubs and Bear fan and enjoys golf, bowling and rolle bolle and enjoys working with his hands building and repairing things.

  

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Good Friday Schedule

A reminder that today is Good Friday and in Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station are closed for the day.

The Henry County Court system and other county offices are closed today.  

Most, if not all area schools are closed with some on spring break. All Black Hawk College facilities are closed for the Holiday.   

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee is closed today and the Henry and Stark County Health Department offices are closed with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

To note, the United States Post Officer is open today, most banks are open today and the Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee is also open today and also on Saturday per their normal schedule.   

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Education Funding Issues

Area Superintendent of Schools and other officials held a meeting on Thursday morning at the Regional Office of Education to discuss and inform the public of the dire situation facing Illinois schools in light of the ongoing budget impasse in Springfield.

Kewanee Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens says it’s not a dire situation yet, but it will be if positive action on the budget is not realized soon…

Dr. Sullens also says that Kewanee District 229 receives funding from a variety of sources but most flow through the state and that’s where the process bottle necks…

Dr. Sullens also notes that outgoing State Representative Don Moffitt was in attendance at Thursday’s meeting…

In the meantime, the Kewanee School District is perhaps in a bit better shape than other school districts but they are also in the same general situation as the other districts…

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February Home Sales in Illinois


Strong Illinois home sales and prices continue into February 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Positive housing market momentum carried into February with home sales and median prices experiencing solid year-over-year gains, even amid lower inventory levels, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in February 2016 totaled 8,528 homes sold, up 5.7 percent from 8,066 in February 2015.

The statewide median price in February was $160,000 up 7.8 percent from February 2015 when the median price was $148,375. Statewide median prices have notched year-over-year increases for the last 42 months. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Illinois continues to see sustained growth in sales and median prices, indicating the market is poised for a strong rollout for the spring selling season," said Mike Drews, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. "All signs point to sellers seeing intense interest from buyers who are competing in a market where there are fewer properties from which to choose."

The time it took to sell a home in February averaged 81 days, down from 90 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 56,563 homes for sale, an 11.3 percent decline from February 2015 when there were 63,791 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.66 percent in February 2016, down from 3.87 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In February 2015 it averaged 3.68 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in February 2016 totaled 6,095 homes sold, up 6.1 percent from February 2015 sales of 5,744 homes. The median price in February 2016 was $187,500 in the Chicago PMSA, up 7.1 percent from $175,000 in February 2015.

“The housing market in Illinois continues to record comfortable increases in both sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois.  “Particularly important has been the consistent decrease in the percentage of sales accounted for by foreclosed properties in Chicago.  The influence of foreclosed properties on aggregate prices seems to be diminishing while the foreclosure inventory remains at levels above those during the pre-recession period.”

According to the data, fifty-nine (59) Illinois counties reported sales gains for February 2016 over previous-year numbers, including St. Clair County, up 23 percent with 182 units sold; Champaign County, up 21.9 percent with 128 units sold; Will County, up 12.6 percent with 598 units sold; and Cook County, up 3.6 percent with 3,384 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 18.3 percent to $84,000; McHenry County, up 18.2 percent to $175,000; and Peoria County, up 9.7 percent to $96,500.

The city of Chicago saw a 2.1 percent year-over-year home sales increase in February 2016 with 1,528 sales, up from 1,497 in February 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in February 2016 was $238,000, up 12.3 percent compared to February 2015 when it was $212,000.

“Now is the time to sell your home if you’ve been thinking about doing that,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group. “Compared to last year, the median sales price for all closed sales is up about 12 percent and there is a faster turnaround time between when a home is listed and when it sells.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of March 7, 2016 for the period Feb. 1 through Feb. 29, 2016. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.             

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Online lottery ticket sales to end soon

Illinois needs to reauthorize online lottery sales and this time make it permanent, according to the acting director of the Illinois Lottery.  Earlier this month in front of a Senate appropriations committee, Illinois Lottery Acting Director B.R. Lane said the state made more than $50 million on Internet sales as a pilot program. Lane said the state should pass House Bill 4346 to make the soon-to-expire pilot program permanent.

However, Anita Bedell with Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems opposes the bill and says people could find themselves in over their heads fast playing online lottery.

Online sales are expected to expire March 25. Lawmakers are not scheduled to be back in Springfield until the second week of April. 

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Lincoln College steps up for MAP grant recipients

Lincoln College is the latest school to step up and cover the Monetary Award Program grants while the state continues to withhold the money. Students attending Lincoln College this fall will have their map grants fully covered by the college after the board of trustees voted to shift resources to make that happen. College President David Gerlach says students are on edge...

Gerlach says the decision wasn't an easy slam dunk for the College Board of Trustees....

80 percent of Lincoln College students are Map Grant eligible. Those grants average $4,000. Student financial stability is crucial for Lincoln College as they continue their transition from a two year college to a four year school. 

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Springfield Mayor: Annexation would benefit city and state

During a City Council meeting Tuesday, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said although the fairgrounds are close to Springfield, residents are mistaken if they think the land is within city limits.

Langfelder says the city would benefit from the sales tax revenue from the fairgrounds year-round. State taxpayers, meanwhile, would benefit from not having to pay more than $109,000 a year for a fire protection service contract, as Springfield firefighters already would be stationed on the fairgrounds. Two previous mayoral administrations also sought annexation, according to Langfelder.

Gov. Bruce Rauner Press Secretary Catherine Kelly says, “The administration will carefully review any proposal made by the city of Springfield.” 

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Henry County Sheriff on People to People

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla talks about the recent attempted robbery in Andover during the March 24th edition of People to People on WKEI

 

 

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WKEI Open Line

The blizzard that hit Denver is the main topic of discussion during the March 24th edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Kewanee Public Library on Tuned IN

KPL Childrens Librarian Sara Billiet talks about upcoming events at the Library during the March 24th edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

 

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KHS Group Interp Team Wins Sectional

The Kewanee High School Group Interpretation Team took first place at the sectional competition last Saturday at Sterling High School.

Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says the group interpretation team at KHS has been outstanding for a long time…

Mr. Bryan adds that once on stage, the pace becomes very crisp with very little time left over…

Mr. Bryan says the next step for the team is competition at the state finals…

Cast members for the KHS Group Interpretation team are Kailey Komnick, Katy Kuchle, Antoinette Hall, Conner DeVilder, Zoey Murphy, Cullen Marshall, Allyson Kubiak, Katarina Wolf, Lindsey Edwards, Alissa VanStechelman, Myles Taylor and Dylan Wolf.

Heather Olalde is the Coach of the team and Sophie Nortman is the student director. 

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Kewanee Sales Tax Figures

The Illinois Dept of Revenue and the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce have released the sales tax figures for 2015.

Chamber Executive Director Mark Mikenas says revenues were up ever so slightly…

Mikenas adds that sever categories registered positive gains over the course of the year…

The Chamber of Commerce is also backing an effort to pack the Brockman Gymnasium at Kewanee High School on Wednesday, March 30th for a public hearing on the plan to close the Illinois Youth Center…

 

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Bake Sale Friday Morning in Toulon

The Elmira Presbyterian Lifting Hearts Organization will host a bake sale on Friday morning from 8:30-11:30 at the State Bank of Toulon in Toulon.

Baskets of goodies for Easter Dinner, candies and cookies for Easter Baskets, hot cross buns, cinnamon rolls, carrot and angel food cakes, candies, brownies and more will all be available for sale.

Once again that bake sale Friday morning from 8:30-11:30 at the Toulon branch of the State Bank of Toulon. 

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Rauner Reaches Out to Madigan

Now that the Illinois primaries are over, there could be more meetings to try to resolve the budget impasse.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said at a news conference Monday he reached out to get a one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Michael Madigan to talk about a path out of the nearly 9-month-old budget impasse.

 


Madigan Spokesman Steve Brown said he is working to confirm whether the governor called and will provide an update soon. Meanwhile, Rauner said he’s apprehensive to call for meetings with all four legislative leaders because attempts last summer and fall produced zero results.

 

 

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BHHA Receives Grant

 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is pleased to announce the gift of $250.00 from the Galesburg Community Foundation for the 2016 Vintage Baseball Weekend on May 21 and 22.  This educational event will teach young and old about the early roots of our great American pastime.  On Saturday May 21, three 1850’s baseball teams, the Oregon Ganymedes, the Springfield Long Nine, and the Somonauk Blue Stockings will play games all day. Also that day, Bill Owens, author of the new book, The Scorecard, will present a program about how Bishop Hill has ties to the first professional baseball league.  In addition, the musical group Hammer & Pick will be performing 19th century music.  A special baseball exhibit, which includes recent donations and Forrest Cady items, will be on display at the Steeple Building Museum.  Saturday night, there will be a mystery dinner theater with a baseball theme.  On Sunday May 22, the Henry County Museum will have a program about the early history of baseball, with a special baseball display.

The Galesburg Community Foundation (GCF) develops resources to equip and empower residents and nonprofit organizations to create a healthy community by building endowed and non-endowed funds, granting to nonprofit organizations, promoting collaboration, and addressing community priorities through the investment of resources. The BHHA would like to thank the Galesburg Community Foundation for generously supporting Bishop Hill’s educational events this year.  If you would like to contribute to maintain these Bishop Hill events, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net .

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Tuberculosis Cases In Illinois Increase For The First Time Since 2005

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is observing World TB (tuberculosis) Day on March 24, 2016 to raise awareness that TB is still present in Illinois and that it can be fatal. In 2015, 344 cases of TB were reported in Illinois along with one case of extensively drug resistant TB. Although there were slightly more cases in 2015 than in 2014 and 2013, the trend over the past decade has been that cases in Illinois have been declining. This is the first year Illinois has reported an increase in the number of TB cases since 2005.

"The identification of a person with extensively drug resistant TB is concerning," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. "Extensively drug resistant TB means that most antibiotics used to treat one of the world’s deadliest diseases do not work. IDPH wants to raise awareness about TB so that people recognize it and know the importance of completing treatment in order to prevent additional extensively drug resistant cases."

TB is a contagious and potentially life-threatening disease that is transmitted from person-to-person through the air when a person with active TB coughs or sneezes. People with TB are most likely to spread the germs to people they spend time with every day, such as family members or coworkers.

While TB can affect any part of the body, such as the brain, kidneys, or spine, TB usually affects the lungs. General symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. When TB attacks the lungs, symptoms can include a persistent cough that sometimes produces blood and chest pains.

TB can be treated by taking several drugs for 6 to 12 months. It is very important for people who have TB to finish the medicine and take it exactly as prescribed. Many patients comply with the strict drug regimen at first, but some stop taking their anti-TB medication after they start to feel better. Failure to follow the therapy for the full length of time prescribed may allow the TB to return. In some cases, the re-established infection cannot be treated with the usual antibiotics because the bacteria have become extensively drug resistant. TB that is resistant to drugs is harder and more expensive to treat.

Find more information about TB at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/tuberculosis as well as the World TB Day in Illinois proclamation.

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Ag Education Cuts Don't Look Like Cuts To Gov

On windswept state fairgrounds today while pushing for a private path forward to improve the Illinois State Fairgrounds Governor Bruce Rauner shook hands with and chatted for just a moment with 4 members of the State FFA. The same FFA that benefits from the ag education line item that in his proposed FY 17 budget is zeroed out. Rauner says that his goal is more funding for education – but he wants to get past specific line items, granting more control to local schools.

So Rauner’s budget zero’s out the line item for the second straight year, eliminating a source of funding for ag education, funding was restored to a baseline of just over $1.8 million in FY 16. 

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WKEI Open Line

School funding issues and the state budget highlight the discussion during the March 23rd edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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Kewanee Supt of Schools on People to People

Kewanee Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens talks about education funding issues and KHS

Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan talks about the KHS Group Interp Team during the March 23rd edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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ISP Dist 7 February Activity

  EAST MOLINE, IL  – Illinois State Police District Seven announced that during the month of February 2016, Troopers handled 1557 calls for service and assistance.  Of these calls, 197 were to help motorists whose vehicles were disabled on area highways.

 

          Criminal activities during the month included 5 persons apprehended for being wanted on outstanding warrants and 29 arrested for other criminal offenses.

 

          Traffic enforcement activities resulted in 256 drivers arrested for speeding and 84 cited for seat belt violations.  Driving under the influence arrests totaled 21, while 12 apprehensions for other alcohol related offenses were recorded.  Troopers issued a total of 608 traffic citations and 619 written warnings to motorists during the month.

 

          Troopers and weight inspectors issued 84 citations for overweight loads and issued 182 written warnings for overweight violations.

 

          District Seven Troopers handled 41 traffic crashes within the four county area of Rock Island, Henry, Knox, and Mercer. There were 2 fatal crashes handled by District 7 Troopers.

 

 

 

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Fairgrounds Foundation Bill

 

Fairgrounds Foundation Bill a Win for Taxpayers

Creates foundation for private donations to improve Illinois State Fairgrounds and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds without using taxpayer dollars

 

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner joined Acting Director of Agriculture Raymond Poe and other local elected officials to discuss his support for the Fairgrounds Foundation bill (HB 4990/SB 2903). The bill – that has bipartisan support – creates a foundation that allows private donors to support and maintain the fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin.

 

“The Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs are vitally important to our agriculture community and the local economies of both cities,” Governor Rauner said. “By creating a private foundation, companies and citizens will be able to donate directly to the fair to help maintain the grounds without any additional burden on the state.”

Nearly every neighboring state to Illinois has established foundations with the purpose of accepting private funds for their State Fairs or Fairgrounds. Similar measures have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly for a number of years, but failed to advance.

 

“Fairground Foundations are not a new concept, and Illinois companies are donating money to those out-of-state foundations. We should be doing everything we can to keep that money in our state for our fairs,” said Raymond Poe, the Acting Director of the Department of Agriculture. “I sponsored legislation like this during my time in the House of Representatives, and I’m pleased to see my former colleagues continue to fight for it.”

 

Currently more than $180 million in deferred maintenance are needed at both the Springfield and DuQuoin fairgrounds. Many buildings are in need of significant repairs, including 20 roof replacements in Springfield, electrical upgrades and repairs to the Grandstand.

 

“The fact that I live just a few blocks from the State Fairgrounds, I know first-hand the positive impact the fairgrounds have on the city of Springfield,” State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) said. “I fully support creating a foundation with the mission to raise private funds to improve the infrastructure as well as promote the use of the Fairgrounds. I anticipate the public-private partnership will help bring more activities and tourism to the region.”

“The State Fairgrounds do more than support the fair; they are used year round to host the number of events that come to Springfield and Sangamon County, which pay dividends into the local economy,” State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove) said. “This legislation will allow us to preserve the fairgrounds for the fair, as well as attract more events to the area that will positively benefit our community.”

"With my experience serving on various not-for-profit boards, a foundation is key in assisting with additional resources that are needed to ensure success,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said. “To be progressive in today's economy, it is important to maximize resource opportunities."

 

 

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Easter Egg Safety

With Easter on Sunday, there will be needless to say, lots of Easter Eggs to be found everywhere in the next several days.

Old fashioned hard boiled eggs are actually quite good for you unless they become spoiled and of course, that can lead to some stomach ailments along the way.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she says many people now use plastic eggs with prizes and candies inside during Easter Egg hunts, but if you do use the old fashioned eggs be aware of some tips to keep in mind…

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Minor Fire in Kewanee on Monday Night

The Kewanee Fire Department was called out at 11:19 Monday night for a front porch that was on fire at 419 South Tremont.  The residence owned by Linda Schoonover, had minor damage to the front porch and was mostly extinguished prior to arrival. It was determined that smoking material was the probable cause for the fire.

Kewanee Fire Chief Paul Schaecher indicates that crews were on the scene until 11:43pm on Monday. 

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School Funding Issues

The budget crisis in Illinois continues with no end in sight but the problems that situation is causing is in sight.

School districts in Illinois have for the most part received funding for the current school year but uncertainty looms on the horizon.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says that the current school year will soon expire…

Mr. Kazubowski adds that the situation could become even worse without a budget in place…

Mr. Kazubowski also says that some school districts are in better shape than others but all will feel a pinch at some point or another…

Mr. Kazbowski further notes that if a budget is not passed for next year, some school districts will hit the point of critical mass…

 

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Cooler weather ahead, then back to warmth

We have had above average temperatures every month since last fall, and as that trend continues we could be in the fields early this spring. But, state climatologist Jim Angel says we have a couple of weeks of cooler weather ahead that may slow things down a bit.

After the next couple of weeks, Angel expects a return to warmer than normal weather into the summer months, but is a little skeptical of reports of a possible hot and dry growing season.


State climatologist Jim Angel.

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WKEI Open Line

The price of gasoline throughout the years and the original Sandy's restaurants highlight the conversation during the March 22nd edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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Sangamon County Democrats continue to make hay over ballot shortage

Sangamon County Democrats continue to raise issues tied to a ballot shortage during the Illinois Primary. A number of polling places ran out of ballots on multiple occasions and Democratic Party chairwoman Doris Turner says frustration stacked upon frustration for some voters....

Turner says County Clerk Don Gray's office didn't pass the test of a new election phenomenon, same day voter registration...

In Adams County, a judge cleared the way for those who didn't vote because of a ballot shortage, to cast their ballots this week.

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Staunton still buzzing over Bill Murray visit

The Macoupin County town of Staunton got a big dose of Hollywood this week. Actor and comedian Bill Murray, known for classic films like Stripes, Ghostbusters and his time on tv's Saturday Night Live, visited the Staunton Dairy Queen on the way to the NCAA basketball tournament in St. Louis. Manager Nicki Anderson says Murray avoided the privacy of the drive thru.....

Murray was even willing to provide the modern day equivalent of an autograph....

Murray's son is an assistant coach for Xavier's college basketball team. They were ousted by Wisconsin at Scottrade Center.

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Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday in Kewanee

Royal Oaks Care Center in Kewanee will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 26th beginning at two o’clock.
Children from toddlers to teens are invited to join in on the fun with costumes optional at the Center located at 605 East Church Street 
Sam Harker is the Marketing and Admissions Coordinator for Courtyard Village and Estates which is aligned through Royal Oaks in the Petersen Health Care group and she says there will lot’s of fun and prizes on Saturday afternoon…

 

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Educators to Address Education Funding Issues

 

ATKINSON – The time is now for legislators and the governor to come together and approve a budget for the next budget year.  School districts and children around the State face an imminent crisis without a State Education Budget in place.  

 

Local superintendents will have a news conference at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the Regional Office of Education in Atkinson to outline the impact on local districts if a Fiscal Year 2017 education budget is not in place prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

 

In an attempt to be proactive, the Superintendents want to provide accurate information to the media, legislators and the communities they serve as to what is at stake if the ongoing budget stalemate carries over to the K-12 state education budget in the coming fiscal year.

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PNB Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners


PNB Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners

 

KEWANEE – Peoples National Bank of Kewanee would like to announce that Tanner Arzola of Kewanee High School, Ethan Martin of Dunlap High School, and Cole Vickrey of Kewanee High School are this year’s Peoples National Bank of Kewanee local CBAI Scholarship winners.

 

As local contest winners, the students each receive $250 cash contributions from PNB and entry in the statewide Community Bankers Association of Illinois’ scholarship competition. They now have the chance to win $1,000 per year for up to 4 years of higher education.

 

To enter the local scholarship contest, Senior students were invited to write essays about “The Importance of Community Banking.” In their essays, the winners each displayed an understanding and appreciation for community banks and the benefits they provide. Each winner maintained the overall theme and made excellent points about the contributions of community banks to the local community.

 

Peoples National Bank of Kewanee will now sponsor and submit the winning essays in the statewide CBAI scholarship competition. Winners for the statewide competition are announced in May.

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Diabetes Alert Day on Tuesday

                                                                        

"HEALTH DEPARTMENT STAFF NOTE AMERICAN DIABETES ALERT DAY, MARCH 22ND & URGES RESIDENTS TO TAKE THE TEST!"

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' staff announces that Tuesday, March 22nd has been proclaimed American Diabetes Alert Day.  This one-day call-to-action is held on the fourth Tuesday of March for people to find out if they are at risk for diabetes.

     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Department notes, “This year the Health Departments, in cooperation with the American Diabetes Association, are asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. On March 22, you are encouraged to take a simple (and anonymous) one-minute test to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. We hope you will share the test with everyone you care about, including family members, friends, and colleagues. We encourage the public to take the risk test by driving them to diabetes.org/takeaminute and share the test with friends and loved ones.

      Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States, and more than a quarter of them—eight million—do not even know they have it. An additional 86 million have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of these complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

   Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, underactive (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

      The Health Department and the Diabetes Association has made a strong commitment to the prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of prediabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthy eating. Alert Day is an opportunity during which we can raise awareness and prompt action among the general public – particularly those at risk.

   Tucker adds, "The good news is that studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating.  By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes."

 

 

 

    Most people with diabetes do not notice any symptoms.  However if you should have any of these symptoms, call your health care provider right away.  * Very thirsty  * Frequent urination  * Losing weight without trying.

     The staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments urge area residents to learn more and get involved.  If you or the people you care about are at high risk for diabetes, you should learn more and get involved.  * Ask you health care provider about your risk for diabetes during your next visit.  *  Call 1-800-342-2383 for free information about diabetes.  * Share this information with family, friends and neighbors.

     And for diagnosed diabetics, the Department reminds area residents they offer the Hemoglobin A1C Blood Test (for Diagnosed Diabetics with a Doctor's Order) at an everyday low cost of $36. Testing is available through their clinic offices in Kewanee (309) 852-5272 and Colona (309) 792-4011.

    For more information on the services available through the Health Department call (309) 852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkheatlh.org or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.

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Stark County Farm Bureau Info

The process to gather signatures to change the way that Illinois election districts are drawn up continues to move forward.

There are now more than enough signatures to get the measure on the November ballot but organizers are aiming for much more than the minimum required.

Thomas Marten is the Manager of the Stark County Farm Bureau which supports the map amendment movement and he says they continue to gather signatures…

Marten also reminds Stark County students of some scholarship opportunities with the application deadline rapidly approaching…

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KHS Honor Students

 

 

28 students were inducted into the Kewanee High School National Honor Society on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 in Good’s Gymnasium, with a dinner held in their honor from PL Damron’s Catering. Inductees are required to have a 3.5 GPA, and at least 10 hours of community service to be considered for membership. A past graduate, Breanne (Christiansen) Cinnamon from the class of 2007, spoke to the members, inductees' and the parents and/or guardians, on the routes she took on getting her where she is today which is as a Physical Therapist at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.    

Those students include Jessica Crofton, Haley Eble, Jacob Anderson, Cheyenne Bruno, Andrew Welgat, Bethany Witte, Sara Timberlake, Madison Cinnamon, Emilee Giese

Daphne Ahearn, Julia King, Kali Oliva-Farrell, Jessica German, Sydney Baughman, Jessica Fragoso, Alizjah Crockett, Angel Wassell, John Mott, Valerie Rouse

 Anastazia Vogt, Adrienne Ray, Victoria Crofton, Hallie Cordrey, Emanuel Damas, Zoey Murphy, Ty Jones, Spencer Bailleu, and Nicholas Sheets 

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Revenue: $40 million in federal funds could be recaptured

Tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for public housing programs in Illinois are in jeopardy because of a missed appropriation.

Earlier this month the Department of Revenue presented its budget to a Senate appropriations committee. Charlotte Flickinger, legislative affairs director for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said because the state hasn’t appropriated its share of funds, up to $40 million dollars in federal funds may have to be returned to the federal government in the next couple of months. That lack of federal pass-through money will make things more challenging than they already are.

Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans acknowledged that because of a glitch, the funding wasn’t included in a recent bill to appropriate matching federal funds. Flickinger said her agency is working with the Rauner administration to produce a standalone bill to fix the problem.

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Gaming Board: Gaming saturation close

Illinois may be getting close to gambling saturation, according to the administrator for the Illinois Gaming Board.

During testimony last week on the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget for the Illinois Gaming Board, Administrator Mark Ostrowski said that in addition to the 10 licensed casinos, there are more than 5,320 locations operating 22,620 video gaming terminals. Ostrowski said all the video gaming terminals combined make Illinois the largest video gaming jurisdiction in the world.

Meanwhile Ostrowski said with the equivalent of 29 casinos operating in Illinois, the state is getting closer to a saturation point.

Recent analysis from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability showed an overall increase of video gaming revenue from the previous year with video gaming machines eating into riverboat activity.
 

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PNB Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners

KEWANEE – Peoples National Bank of Kewanee would like to announce that Tanner Arzola of Kewanee High School, Ethan Martin of Dunlap High School, and Cole Vickrey of Kewanee High School are this year’s Peoples National Bank of Kewanee local CBAI Scholarship winners.

As local contest winners, the students each receive $250 cash contributions from PNB and entry in the statewide Community Bankers Association of Illinois’ scholarship competition. They now have the chance to win $1,000 per year for up to 4 years of higher education.

To enter the local scholarship contest, Senior students were invited to write essays about “The Importance of Community Banking.” In their essays, the winners each displayed an understanding and appreciation for community banks and the benefits they provide. Each winner maintained the overall theme and made excellent points about the contributions of community banks to the local community.

Peoples National Bank of Kewanee will now sponsor and submit the winning essays in the statewide CBAI scholarship competition. Winners for the statewide competition are announced in May.

[picture(from left) Ethan Martin and Cole Vickrey. Tanner Arzola is not pictured.]

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Strong Illinois home sales and prices continue into February

 Positive housing market momentum carried into February with home sales and median prices experiencing solid year-over-year gains, even amid lower inventory levels, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in February 2016 totaled 8,528 homes sold, up 5.7 percent from 8,066 in February 2015.

The statewide median price in February was $160,000 up 7.8 percent from February 2015 when the median price was $148,375. Statewide median prices have notched year-over-year increases for the last 42 months. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Illinois continues to see sustained growth in sales and median prices, indicating the market is poised for a strong rollout for the spring selling season," said Mike Drews, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. "All signs point to sellers seeing intense interest from buyers who are competing in a market where there are fewer properties from which to choose."

The time it took to sell a home in February averaged 81 days, down from 90 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 56,563 homes for sale, an 11.3 percent decline from February 2015 when there were 63,791 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.66 percent in February 2016, down from 3.87 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In February 2015 it averaged 3.68 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in February 2016 totaled 6,095 homes sold, up 6.1 percent from February 2015 sales of 5,744 homes. The median price in February 2016 was $187,500 in the Chicago PMSA, up 7.1 percent from $175,000 in February 2015.

“The housing market in Illinois continues to record comfortable increases in both sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois.  “Particularly important has been the consistent decrease in the percentage of sales accounted for by foreclosed properties in Chicago.  The influence of foreclosed properties on aggregate prices seems to be diminishing while the foreclosure inventory remains at levels above those during the pre-recession period.”

According to the data, fifty-nine (59) Illinois counties reported sales gains for February 2016 over previous-year numbers, including St. Clair County, up 23 percent with 182 units sold; Champaign County, up 21.9 percent with 128 units sold; Will County, up 12.6 percent with 598 units sold; and Cook County, up 3.6 percent with 3,384 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 18.3 percent to $84,000; McHenry County, up 18.2 percent to $175,000; and Peoria County, up 9.7 percent to $96,500.

The city of Chicago saw a 2.1 percent year-over-year home sales increase in February 2016 with 1,528 sales, up from 1,497 in February 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in February 2016 was $238,000, up 12.3 percent compared to February 2015 when it was $212,000.

“Now is the time to sell your home if you’ve been thinking about doing that,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group. “Compared to last year, the median sales price for all closed sales is up about 12 percent and there is a faster turnaround time between when a home is listed and when it sells.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of March 7, 2016 for the period Feb. 1 through Feb. 29, 2016. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.      

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Henry and Stark County Health Department on People to People

Health Dept Director of Health Promotions RaeAnn Tucker talks about health specials during the first week of April during the March 21st edition of People to People on WKEI

 

 

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WKEI Open Line

The NCAA Basketball Tournament highlights the discussion during the March 21st edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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OSF St Luke Medical Center on Tuned IN

St Luke Marketing Director Carrie Boelens and Dr. Sara Glassgow talk about colorectal cancer during the March 21st edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

 

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Bushels For Hunger Makes Donation

The Bushels for Hunger Program that began at harvest last fall was a huge success once again this year.

Under that program, farmers donate extra bushels of grain at the elevator with proceeds headed to the River Bend Food Bank which then distributes food supplies to area food banks including the Kewanee Food Pantry.

Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says that area producers stepped up to the plate once again this year…

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Ameren Info On Dogs

Electric and natural gas workers with Ameren IL face a number of challenges on a daily basis and one of those challenges is trying to avoid being bitten by dogs when conducting their various duties including meter reading and power line work.

Karen Boulanger is the Director of Safety for Ameren IL and she says a recent employee is just back to work after a long layoff due to a dog bite…

Ms. Boulanger says that dog bites can happen to any of their employees at any time and she understands the role of the family dog.

But that does not make the dog bite any easier to take for the employee…

Ms. Boulanger also says there are some tips to keep in mind for the general public…

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Unemplooyment Info

CHICAGO–Unemployment rates increased in a majority of the metro areas – as did the number of people entering the workforce – indicating many individuals did not find employment, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“Though more people in Illinois entered the labor force, they were not able to find jobs,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “With Illinois trailing the rest of the country in job creation, we need structural reforms to get more people back to work.”

The unemployment rate increased in 13 metro areas and declined in one. Illinois businesses added jobs in nine metros, in which the largest increases were seen in: Rockford (+2.5 percent, +3,700), Lake-Kenosha (+2.1 percent, +8,200), and Carbondale-Marion (+1.8, +1,000). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.5 percent or +53,100). Illinois businesses lost jobs in four metro areas including Bloomington (-1.2 percent, -1,100), Danville (-1.0 percent, -300), and the Quad Cities (-0.9 percent, -1,700). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were: Retail (13 of 14), Mining and Construction (10 of 14), Education and Health Services (10 of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 14), Government (nine of 14), Professional and Business Services (eight of 14) and Other Services (eight of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares January 2016 with January 2015.  The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 7.1 percent in January 2016 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in January and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.  The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

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Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month

John Schieler of Kewanee was recognized as Achiever of the Month for February at Abilities Plus.  He was nominated for this honor because of the effort he puts into his data entry training job, along with skills as a cashier at the agency’s canteen/snack bar.

 

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Emotions run high as soon to be SIU med school grads learn locale of residencies

It was an emotional day at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. The SIU School of Medicine Class of 2016, along with medical schools across the nation, learned the results of the 2016 National Residency Match Program all at once, opening envelopes revealing their destination simultaneously. An excited Madeline Mier of Pawnee is headed to the University of Illinois-Chicago for her residency. ....

Mier says the SIU experience has taught her a lot more than medicine....

The soon to be med school graduates will begin their residencies in July.

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Tuned In Jan Powelson Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District

Jan Powelson from the Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District was our guest today on Tuned In on WKEI. Jan was on hand to announce winners from the Council 2 "Envirothon" as well as winners from the 4th Grade Poster Contest. Also tree orders are due next week at the office and fish sale is right around the corner along with the Native Plan Sale at the Stark County Soil and Conservation District office... 

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5 Twisters In Illinois - Time to Get A Weather Radio

Rough weather a few days ago spawned the first tornadoes of the year in Illinois. The National Weather Service reports that the storms that rolled though on Tuesday kicked off at least 5 twisters.  The National Weather Service says damage surveys show that tornadoes touched down near Curran, Good Hope, Moline, Peoria, Kickapoo and Trivoli. Patti Thompson with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says that the storms are a good reminder that weather radios are an important part of staying safe during bad weather, no matter the time of day.

No deaths were reported from the severe weather. The other major threat from the storms was damaging hail. 

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Senate Republicans Call for Full Funding for Rauner Education Plan

Senate Republicans in Illinois are calling on Democratic colleagues to fully fund Governor Rauner's education plan. Kim Howard reports... 

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Kewanee High School Key Club Honored at State Key Club Convention

The Kewanee High School Key Club was recently honored at the state wide Key Club Convention. 

That was Key Club Supervisor Amron Buchanan, Kewanee High School Key Club Members were honored for a pair of initiatives, receiving a second place award for their colorful t-shirt submission and a top prize for the annual Goodfellows Baskets, that according to Key Club Members Samantha Collins and Jessica Hogeboom who attended the state Key Club Convention on behalf of the Kewanee High School Key Club... 

What's next for our community minded Key Club Members? 

Kewanee High School Key Club were guests on Thursday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. 

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Comptroller: Illinois Unpaid Bills to Reach 10 Billion by Summer

The Illinois Comptroller is warning that the backlog of unpaid bills in Illnois will approach 10 billion dollars this summer. Kim Howard offers this report... 

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Illinois State Senate Passes 3.8 Billion Dollar Spending Bill

Despite objections from Governor Rauner and the fact that the Illinois House is out of session until April, the Illinois Senate on Thursday passed a 3.8 Billion dollar spending plan. Kim Howard has more... 

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Sunshine Week: Illinois' Information Laws at Work

Journalists, civic groups and defenders of the First Amendment are celebrating the success of information laws as part of Sunshine Week. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the national Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In Illinois, the state's open-access laws have helped shed light on numerous issues, including the 2015 police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. 

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State's Bills Stacking Up Higher and Higher

March elections are over and the state still remains in a miserable budget situation. Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says that things are only getting worse and now the state is going have $10 billion in unpaid debts by the end of the summer. The difference is partly because not all unpaid bills are counted the same. She says today before a Senate appropriations committee that the state owes $7.6 billion in bills the state is required to pay by court order. There is another $1.25 billion that’s owed to vendors under contract – but the state isn’t under a mandate to pay them right now. Munger says her and her office staff deal with daily request for the state to pay what it owes.

The state is closing in nearly a year without a budget. The next fiscal year is set to begin July 1.

Munger says that every day the state isn’t paying a bill on time pentalites and fees are adding up.

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Jobs Numbers Show Mixed Bag

Jobs figures are better, but more people are back looking for work so the unemployment rate is pushing higher. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that January’s jobless rate was up in all but 1 of the state’s 14 metro areas. The one place where the numbers were down was in Chicago. Springfield is tied with Chicago for the lowest unemployment rate of 6.6 percent – Danville was the worst at 9.1 percent. 

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SIU School of Medicine seeks to boost use of HPV vaccine

The SIU School of Medicine is seeking to boost use of the HPV vaccine Human papillomavirus, or HPV, infects about 75 percent of both men and women by the time they're 50, passing from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. The HPV vaccine arrived to much hoopla, primarily as a tool to prevent cervical cancer, but Dr. Kathy Swafford of the med school says it isn't just for females anymore with the vaccine helping prevent multiple cancers that impact both genders. She says participation levels are too low for both genders...

Dr. Swafford says there is growing concern for males who don't acquire the vaccine...

HPV infection is most common in people in their teens and early 20's with a prospect for cancer developing later in life. This is why the CDC advises that all girls age 11-26 and all boys 11-21 should get vaccinated.

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Tuned In Kewanee High School Key Club

Members of the Kewanee High School Key Club joined Sean Patrick on the Thursday edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Club supervisor Amron Buchanan was joined by Jessica Hogeboom and Samantha Collins, each of whom talked about their experience at the recent State Key Club Convention where the Kewanee High School Key Club was honored with 1st Place in the Service to the Community category for their Goodfellows Baskets program. 

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2015=2016 Wethersfiled Basketball Banquet Honors Handed Out

Front Row left to Right:  Terrell Baker:  LTC All-Academic, 4-Year Award, Coaches Award; Trey Tessier:  4-Year Award, Coaches Award; Alex Garcia:  Most Improved; Zeb Phillips:  LTC All-Academic; Jack Lindbom:  Captains Award, 4-year Award, LTC All-Academic; Jaxon Ince:  LTC All-Academic.  Back Row left to Right:  Jacob Boswell:  LTC-All-Academic; Nathan FrankJacob Schwerbrock:  LTC-All-Academic, 2nd Team All-Conference, Best Free Throw Percentage, Most Improved, IBCA All-District; Bryce Bumphrey:  LTC All-Academic, Bryce Anderson:  HM All-Conference, Most Assists; Tanner Litton:  1st Team All Conference, LTC All-Academic, 4-Year Award, Captains Award, Most Assists, Most Steals, Best Defensive; Avery Stevenson:  Coaches Award, Tucker Nichols:  1st All-Conference, LTC All-Academic, 4-year Award, Captains Award, Best Field Goal Percentage, Most Points, Most Rebounds, Captain's Award, 4-year Award, 1000 point ball, IBCA Special Mention.  All players received an award for LTC Tourney Champions.
 

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SOS Drivers Services Location Can't Pay the Rent

The doors are shutting at a driver’s license facility in a Chicago suburb because the state can’t pay the rent. The Secretary of State’s drivers services facility in Wheaton hasn’t paid rent in 6 months and the doors close next week. Its’ one of 138 facilities that stopped paying rent when the state failed to pass a new fiscal year budget. So far the Wheaton location is the only one to close it’s doors because of non-payment to landlords. 

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Davis Wins Primary - Says Trump Pushed Voter Turnout

Congressman Rodney Davis easily won the Republican primary in the 13th congressional district for the second time. Davis says that you can thank the Presidential race for much higher than normal voter turnout in this March primary. He calls Donald Trump the clear front runner for the nomination but he can’t find the so called republican establishment that some think could otherwise control the primary process. Davis says that Trump has clearly tapped into vote dissent.



Tuesday night Davis spent his first election night in Washington D.C. Congress is in session this week.

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Black Hawk College to Host Girls STEM Camp in April

The annual Black Hawk College STEM Camp for girls will be held April 8th and 9th on the East Campus. The event, intended to encourage girls in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is open to girls in 8th grade through 12th grade interested in STEM. This year's lineup changes things up from last year in order to encourage girls to return from previous years. The new class lineup includes: 

Geocaching Scavenger Hunt

Copper Enameling

Encryption/Coding 

Entomology and 

Law Enforcement. 

The sign up deadline for the Girls STEM Camp at Black Hawk College is April 1st and the cost to attend is just $25.00. 

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IEMA Weather Radio Contest Continuing

Following the severe weather across the state earlier this week the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is reminding residents about their ongoing Weather Radio Contest. Kim Howard has this report... 

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Women in Agriculture Conference Begins Today in Rock Island

The Annual Women in Agriculture Conference kicks off this evening in Rock Island at Jumer’s Casino. The annual event celebrates women in Agriculture and offers the opportunity for networking as well as learning best practices and fellowship. Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau is certainly looking forward to this year’s conference and she discussed what can be expected from this year’s conference on the Wednesday edition of Tuned In… 

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Portion of 5th Street in Kewanee Closed for Repairs on Thursday

Road repairs will close a portion of 5th Avenue in Kewanee on Thursday. A release from the city on Thursday indicated that Sewer and Road Repairs in the area of 504 5th Avenue will close 5th Avenue from West Prospect Street to Prairie Avenue. Residents are asked to avoid the area if possible. Work begins at 8 Am with no timetable for completion. 

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IL Watchdog Praising Senate Block on DARK Act

An Illinois consumer watchdog is praising Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., for voting "no" on the so-called DARK Act. Opponents of the Senate measure say it would have been bad for shoppers by prohibiting states from requiring GMO labels on food. Meanwhile, other senators are working on compromise bills to balance food-industry concerns with consumer information. 

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McCann Wins - Rauner's Money Lost on Primary Battle

Perhaps the most expensive state primaries in history concluded last night. Millions were spent in Chicago and downstate to unseat two incumbents. In the race for the Republican nomination in the 50th Senate seat Governor Bruce Rauner and a conservative political action committee spent more than 2 million to try and unseat Sam McCann. But the incumbent was able to hold on and fight off Bryce Benton. McCann said afterward that outside money clearly played a big role in the election.

The other big money race that attracted outside money was also “lost” by Governor Bruce Rauner’s pick. House Rep. Ken Dunkin was ousted in a Democratic primary in the city of Chicago

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Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District Spring Fish Sale

Interested in purchasing fish to restock your pond or to stock a new pond? The Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District can help! Take advantage of the SWCD’s spring fish sale and get your fish populations back in check today!  Order forms can be found on the web: www.henrycountyilswcd.com/orderforms-/ under fish. Order forms can also be picked up in the Field Office or mailed by request.  Triploid grass carp orders are due by April 8th, while all other fish orders must be placed by April 18th. Pick-up at the Henry County Fairgrounds will be on May 2nd starting at 7am. This will not be an all-day event, so arrive early and They will do their best to have you back on the road as soon as possible.  For more information regarding the fish sale or to be added to the emailing list, contact the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District at 301 East North Street in Cambridge, IL Ph: 309-937-5263, extension 3 or e-mail Sharon.matson@il.nacdnet.net.

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Don't Depend On Luck, Designate A Sober Driver

In 2014, there were 18 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day.  This year, if you’ll be drinking alcohol, Illinois State Police officials have some advice for you: Don’t drink and drive. The ISP will be on patrol across the state in an effort to crack down on drunk drivers and keep the streets safe for everyone.
Tragically, St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday more than a quarter (28%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The early hours of March 18 were even worse: between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.  The ISP will be coordinating their enforcement efforts to help combat these alcohol related preventable crashes.
“No fatal crash is acceptable, but a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) fatal crash is intolerable,” states Lieutenant Jon Dively, District 7 Commander. “A DUI fatal crash is one of the easiest to avoid since the action of getting behind the wheel is a 100% preventable decision. The Illinois State Police will be utilizing directed patrols, roadside safety checks and high enforcement patrols during St. Patrick’s Day and the following weekend to ensure the roadways are safer by removing dangerous drivers.”
Designating a sober driver, prearranging taxi service, and checking on area safe ride services are just a few responsible choices you can make if you plan on drinking this St. Patrick’s Day.  Don’t depend on luck, please slow down, buckle up, limit distractions, and drive sober.  Together, we can all do our part to stop the unnecessary alcohol related fatal crashes. 

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ISP on People to People

ISP Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline talks about high winds during the March 16 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

Storms and the election are discussed during the March 16 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Henry County Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

HCFB Manager Katie Laleman talks about the Bushels for Hunger Program during the March 16 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Bradford Easter Egg Hunt

Courtyard Estates of Bradford will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

Samantha Harker is the Marketing and Admissions Coordinator for Courtyard Estates and she says they are looking forward to a fun day on Saturday in Bradford…

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Chamber Comedy Night

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is reminding the public that tickets for Saturday nights Comedy Show and dinner at the Flemish American Club are still available.

Brock Tumbleson is a Chamber member and he says the evening will begin with a social hour, a fabulous dinner and then three great comedians…

A two meat buffet dinner served on fine china will also be a feature of the evening. Guest are advised to dress casual and be prepared for a great evening…

Tickets for the evening are available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office with reservations absolutely needed by the end of the business day on Friday.  

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Flu Activity On the Increase

An uptick in the flu bug has hit the area once again and has been in place for the last several weeks.

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee Marketing Director Carrie Boelens says because of that increase, they have had to implement some measures of precaution at the hospital…

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Egg Prices Fluctuate Ahead of Easter

The wholesale egg market hasn't been behaving the way it usually does in the two weeks ahead of Easter.

The USDA’s Gary Crawford visits with Shayle Shagam in this report…

 

 

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Kewanee City Info

Kewanee City Info  3-16-16  MC KEE

 

The City of Kewanee is announcing that landscape waste pick-up will begin on Monday, March 21st. Paper landscape waste bags must have an excess bag sticker attached to each bag.

 

And also, as part of our annual Spring clean-up, six additional bags of garbage will be allowed the week of March 21st on your regular garbage pick-up day. No furniture or appliances will be picked up.

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General Primary Election Results

Voters went to the polls on Tuesday in Henry County and all across the state of   Illinois for the General Primary Election.

In Henry County, voters chose Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for the office of President of the United States while Henry County voters chose Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for the nation’s high office.

Across the state, the vote followed similar patterns with Clinton and Trump chosen by Illinois voters although in the case of Clinton, the margin was razor thin.

For United States Senator in Illinois, Democrats chose Tammy Duckworth                     in Henry County and also in Illinois.

With the exception of delegates chosen for the National Convention, those were basically the only contested races on the Democratic ticket.

On the Republican side, voters in Henry County picked Mark Steven Kirk to be the candidate for the November election for the position of United States Senator with Kirk picking up the nomination with voters all across the state.

For the position of U.S. Representative in the 17th Congressional District, Henry County voters chose Patrick Harlan over Jack Boccarossa.

For the position of Representative in Illinois’ 74th Congressional District, Henry County voters chose Daniel Swanson.

For the position of Henry County Coroner on the Republican ballot, the vote went to Melissa Watkins by a count of 3871 to 3846 over incumbent David Johnson.

For the position of State’s Attorney, Henry County voters chose Matt Shutte over Brian Kerr by a total of 4291 to 2901.    

For the position of county board member in District 2, six candidates ran for 5 positions, with the top five vote going to Roger Gradert, Dwayne Anderson, Jennifer West, Shawn Kendall, and Daniel Ames.  

In the City of Geneseo, there was a municipal election and voters there chose Kathy Carroll-Duda over Nadine Palmgren 1285 to 1069 for the position of Mayor. 

There were also four aldermanic positions up for grabs in Geneseo on Tuesday with Serena Sue Garlick picking up the vote in Ward 1, Robert Wachtel            took the position in Ward 2, Brenda Johnson defeated Keith Kennett in Ward 3 and Kent Anderson picked up the vote in Ward 4.

Severe weather in the area on Tuesday afternoon and evening may have held some voters back.

All successful candidates in the Tuesday primary will now compete in the General Election scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th.           

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Mild weather to continue

As we pass the midpoint of March, relatively mild weather is continuing. January and February both set records, worldwide, as the warmest January and February on record. While we didn’t set many records in Illinois, the past winter has been on the mild side, and that trend has continued into March. Eric Schmidt of EJS weather in Newton, Il says the mild tempos will continue. Even better, with soils fairly saturated with moisture, Schmidt expects normal to below normal rainfall for the next few weeks leading up to planting season.

Schmidt says we can thank the persistent El Nina for the mild weather.

Eric Schmidt of EJS Weather

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Attempted Armed Robbery In Andover

On Monday, March 14th at approximately 9:07 pm The Henry county Sheriffs Office recieved a call that an armed robbery had been attempted at Casey's General Store in Andover, IL.  A male subject entered the store carring what apears to be a shotgun,  The suspect pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded the money.  The Clerk told the suspect there was not any.  The suspect then ran out of the store on foot to the west.  

The suspect was a white male in his teens or early 20's about 200 pounds.  He was wearing a camo "Duck Dynasty" hooded sweatshirt  and blue jeans.  Also a dark colored stocking hat, sunglasses, gloves and a dark green handkerchief over his face.  His shoes appear to have had red shoe strings. 

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-227-2324 or Henry County Investigations 309-937-3908 more photos can be seen at the Henry County Sheriffs facebook page.

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ISP Traffic Advisory

 

 

ISP TRAFFIC ADVISORY

 

The Following Preliminary Information is Being Released by Illinois State Police District Seven

 

 

          East Moline, IL – The National Weather Service has issued another high wind advisory for later this afternoon. This advisory is reminiscent of the advisory issued on February 19. District 7 experienced a fatal crash along with multiple high profile vehicles overturning on the road way as a result of dangerously high winds.

 

          This event is predicted to take place late tonight, March 15, 2016, into tomorrow morning, March 16. If you choose to travel during this time, use caution and remain vigilant of the changing weather. Drivers of high profile vehicles are most affected by this weather and should act accordingly. When high winds are encountered pull safely off the road to a rest area or exit the interstate. This may delay arrival time by an hour or two, but it is better than the alternative of experiencing a serious or fatal crash. During the last high wind event District 7 troopers handled: 7 crashes (one of them fatal), 3 damage to vehicle reports and multiple vehicles in the ditch, within a two hour time span. If a driver chooses to stop during this weather event it may be time well spent versus the alternative. 

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Bradford School Board Meeting Tuesday Night

Bradford CUSD # 1

Bradford Board of Education

Bradford Jr. High

March 15, 2016 – 7:00 pm

 

      I.            Call to Order, Roll Call 

    II.            Approval of Quorum and Agenda  

  III.            Welcome   

  IV.            Recognitions -  Student of the Month for March

    V.            Comments from the Public (10 minutes

  VI.            Consent Agenda – Approval of the following

a.        Minutes of  February 16, 2016 Regular Meeting Monthly Minutes and February 23, 2016 Special Meeting Minutes   

b.       Financial Report, Approval of Revolving and Monthly Bills

 

VII.            Correspondence  

a.        IASB  3/31/16 Division meeting

VIII.            Reports

a.        Superintendent/Jr. High  Report - Dr. Lotspeich

1.        Review of FY16current funds, revenues and expenditures to date

2.        FY 17 Funding

3.        Windmill Sunset of Property Tax

4.        State and Federal Funds

5.        Insurance Cost adjustment  FY17

6.        other

b.       Grade School Principal Report – Mr. Gripp

c.        Transportation

d.       Custodian Report  

e.        Board Committees Reports    none meet

                                                              a.      Sub - Committee – High School   

                                                             b.      Sub - Committee – Administration

                                                              c.      Sub - Committee - Facilities  

 

 IX.            Unfinished Business

a.        Board of Education Board Vacancy

b.       Approval of Supt. Contract

 

   X.            New Business

a.        First reading of Policy 7:290 Students – Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention

b.       Approval of Honorable Dismissal List

c.        Resolution RE: Licensed Teacher Authoring Notice of Honorable Dismissal

d.       Approval of 2016-2017 School Calendar

 

 XI.            Executive Session

The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body.

XIIII.   Adjourn

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BHHA Receives Grant

 

THE bhha rECIEVES Funding from the galesburg community foundation

 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is pleased to announce the gift of $250.00 from the Galesburg Community Foundation for the 2016 Vintage Baseball Weekend on May 21 and 22.  This educational event will teach young and old about the early roots of our great American pastime.  On Saturday May 21, three 1850’s baseball teams, the Oregon Ganymedes, the Springfield Long Nine, and the Somonauk Blue Stockings will play games all day. Also that day, Bill Owens, author of the new book, The Scorecard, will present a program about how Bishop Hill has ties to the first professional baseball league.  In addition, the musical group Hammer & Pick will be performing 19th century music.  A special baseball exhibit, which includes recent donations and Forrest Cady items, will be on display at the Steeple Building Museum.  Saturday night, there will be a mystery dinner theater with a baseball theme.  On Sunday May 22, the Henry County Museum will have a program about the early history of baseball, with a special baseball display.

The Galesburg Community Foundation (GCF) develops resources to equip and empower residents and nonprofit organizations to create a healthy community by building endowed and non-endowed funds, granting to nonprofit organizations, promoting collaboration, and addressing community priorities through the investment of resources. The BHHA would like to thank the Galesburg Community Foundation for generously supporting Bishop Hill’s educational events this year.  If you would like to contribute to maintain these Bishop Hill events, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net .

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BHE Needs Food Donations

The Black Hawk College East Campus Food Pantry is in need of donations.

 

The food pantry assists students confidentially. Anyone can make a request, and most requests come from college faculty members on behalf of a student.

 

Donations currently are running low, and any assistance is welcomed and appreciated. Contributions can be non-perishable food items, cash donations or gift cards to local grocery and dollar stores.

 

Needed items include bottled water, hygiene products (shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes), breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, energy bars, peanut butter and jelly, ravioli, oatmeal packets, canned vegetables and crackers.

 

Cash donations can be sent to the BHC East Foundation at 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva, 61434. Donations also can be made online on the foundation’s web page, http://eastfoundation.bhc.edu/, under “For Donors” using the “Donate Now” link.

 

Grocery items and gift cards can be dropped off at the East Campus in the Gust E. Lundberg Library in Building A.

 

The Black Hawk College East Campus community extends a sincere thank you for any and all food pantry donations.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage at Senior Center on Thursday

Corned beef and cabbage will be the featured item on the lunch menu at the Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee for Thursday, March 17th.

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll says there is still time to get your reservation in…

Ms. Schmoll also reminds the public of the Friday morning cinnamon rolls and coffee get together…

 

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General Primary Election Today

The General Primary election is being held today as voters will cast their vote in the primary only today.

Henry County Clerk and Recorder Barb Link says the process is very similar for the general election and the primary but there is a distinct difference in a primary election…

Ms. Link also reminds the public that they have a need for Election Judges particularly as we look ahead to the November general election…

Election Judges are paid by the day not only for their service at election time but for any training that might be required…

For further information on how to become an election judge or on the election in general, contact Henry County Clerk and Election Authority Barb Link at her office at the Courthouse in Cambridge.          

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NWS: Soil Conditions Favorable

March has arrived and area farmers and producers are looking ahead to spring planting season. Chris Miller is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln and he says after some significant winter precipitation--soil conditions in the Prairie State are looking good.

But Miller says we aren't out of the woods just yet: extended forecast models show the possibility of lower than normal precipitation once planting time arrives this spring.

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No Drama As Trump Returns To Illinois

Police escorted protestors out of Donald Trump's Bloomington rally six times yesterday, but even with the disruptions the fly-in to the twin cities went smoothly. Trump brought out supporters from across central Illinois, including Laura Neil from Peoria.

Trump rallied the faithful with his talk of building a wall, bringing back jobs, and once again 'winning.' Police are not reporting any arrests or incidents.

Protestor Javier Padilla was one of the dozens who stood outside Donald Trump's rally to say he doesn't agree with Trump's platform. 

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State Police Investigate Fatal Accident

 

March 14, 2016

ISP TRAFFIC CRASH ALERT

The Following Preliminary Information is Being Released by Illinois State Police District 7

 

What:                           Fatal Crash

Where:                         Interstate 74 West bound at MM 35 (3 miles south of Woodhull)

When:                         March 13, 2016 @ 1:15 am

Vehicle(s):                   2012 Ford Pickup

Drivers:                      Van S. Lewton, 32, Moline, IL

Preliminary:                While traveling west on Interstate 74 in the vicinity of mile marker 35, Mr. Lewton’s pickup truck left the roadway for an unknown reason and traveled into the center median. The pickup entered into a wooded area of the median and struck a tree with the driver’s side. Mr. Lewton sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced deceased by the Knox County Coroner’s Office at the scene. This crash remains under investigation.

Charges:                     None

 

All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Wethersfield Supt of Schools on People to People

Dist 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski talks about a dire situation when it comes to school funding during the March 14 ediiton of People to People on WKEI

 

 

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WKEI Open Line

A game winning shot and a letter to a voter from former President Bill Clinton highlight the discussion during the March 14 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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OSF St Luke Medical Center on Tuned IN

St Luke Marketing Director Carrie Boelens and Radiology Director Emily Costenson talk about the new 3-d mammography machine at OSF during the March 14 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

 

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Sewer and Water Work Begins Monday in Kewanee

 

The City of Kewanee is planning work on sewer and water lines beginning Monday 3/14/16. 

 

Sewer lateral work is scheduled in the 100 and 200 blocks of East Prospect Street and McKinley Avenue beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Monday.  Sewer laterals will be cleaned and re-lined and will not affect any service to residents in these areas.  Work is expected to take place Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

A separate project will take place beginning in the same area of the 100 block of McKinley Avenue on Monday (weather permitting).  The Water Department will be replacing water service lines starting in this block and working east to the 700 block.  Repairs will be done on the City side of the water lines and will not cause any residents water to be shut off during these repairs.  Work will take place throughout several days for all the lines to be replaced.

 

Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible while work is taking place, and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas.

 

If you have any questions, please contact City Hall at 852-2611.

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ISP Info

 

The 70 miles per hour speed limit on Illinois freeways has been in place for some time now and as most motorists can attest to, many drivers are moving in excess of that speed limit.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says those speeding drivers can pose a problem…

Recent statistics indicate that seat belt violation citations are down and Trooper Wilson agrees that is good news…

Trooper Wilson also notes that he has heard many fine stories over the years as to why drivers might not be wearing their seatbelt…

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BHC Schedule Changes


BHC offices closed March 18, bookstore closings during spring break

 

All Black Hawk College offices will be closed Friday, March 18 for Staff Development Day.

 

This closure does not affect noncredit classes scheduled for March 18. These classes will be held as scheduled.

 

Additionally, the Hawk’s Hub – the Quad-Cities Campus bookstore – will close at 5 p.m. (one hour early) on Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15.

 

The East Campus Bookstore will be closed the entire week of spring break, March 14-18.

 

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Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday in Kewanee

The Kewanee Park District will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt this coming Saturday, March 19th.

Brian Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the Kewanee Park District and he says the Easter Egg Hunt is always a fun event…

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Bureau County Highway Dept Lifts Road Closures

 

 

The Bureau County Highway Department is announcing that the County Engineer has lifted Spring Road Postings, effective today.  Please contact our office for permits on any overweight/length/width/height loads.

 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation through another spring posting season.  We will keep in touch regarding future road construction projects impacting traffic flow.

 

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Free Interview Workshop

at BHC

Inbox
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Smith, Holly Smithh@bhc.edu

10:19 AM (22 hours ago)
 
to KewaneeStarCou.WKEI/WJRE/WYECGalvaNewsStarkCountyNew.CambridgeChron.GeneseoRepublic
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nail your job interview with free workshop at BHC

 

Black Hawk College is offering job seekers free workshops on computer basics and how to use a computer to find a job.

 

The next workshop – “Nail Your Interview” – will be from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, March 24 at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center, 404 E. Third St., Kewanee.

 

“Job seekers will learn how to be a sales person, how to sell their own skills,” said Jodee Werkheiser, Black Hawk College professor and workshop presenter. “We also will show students how the computer can simplify their interview preparation.”

 

Students do not need to have computer experience. Computer skills will be taught during the workshop.

 

Additional workshops will be from 1-4 p.m. Thursdays:

•       March 31 – Computers. Just the Basics

•       April 7 – Computer Skills for Work and School

•       April 14 – Microsoft Word

 

Advance registration is appreciated but not required.  For more information or to reserve a spot, call Deb at 309-854-1875.

 

The workshops are sponsored by a grant from Goodwill Industrie

 

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Congressman Rodney Davis thinks FEMA decision on flood aid is disastrous

Congressman Rodney Davis is blasting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to reject disaster aid for 21 Illinois counties impacted by winter flooding. ..

The legislation Davis is referring to, the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act, passed the House unanimously last week.

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Attorney General Madigan marks National Consumer Protection Week

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reminding consumers her office isn't just a watchdog for consumers against consumer fraud, it's also the equivalent of 911 service for consumer fraud. While many people turn to the AG's website for answers on consumer issues, Madigan says they also offer a personal touch....

For info on helplines, just log on to www.Illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

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University Presidents Face Bleak Outlooks

 It was stark conversation on Thursday at the Illinois Capitol from University Presidents from around Illinois. Top level administration staff presented to a Senate Appropriations committee about the year they have spent without state dollars and the prospects of a FY 17 budget that shows more and deeper cuts.
David Glassman the President of Eastern Illinois blankly wondered what the end-game was for the state and budget when cutting higher ed funding. As EIU faces another proposed cut of $40 million Glassman says it’s not a trivial amount of money but a small sum that is well spent.

Glassman says that without a clear path for funding he spends time everyday answering questions from parents and current and prospective students about concerns about the viability of the university and certain programs moving forward.

 

Southern Illinois University is warning of more than 300 layoffs around its 3 campuses if budgets aren’t filled again with state dollars. Their President Randy Dunn says that they are confident the school isn’t going anywhere but he notes perspective students and parents aren’t so sure.

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EPA Agrees To Further Protect Aquife

State Sen. Chapin Rose announced Thursday that several agreements have been reached by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The first calls for regular testing of landfills that are on top of the Mahomet Aquifer.

The other agreement addresses old dumps that are either closed or were put up before modern design standards were introduced. Sen. Rose says this agreement puts together a list of those and gives residents information on those old landfills.

Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett said quote -“Illinois is pleased to work with Senator Rose to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation for a common goal. Performing enhanced monitoring and sharing of the data will ensure the long-term protection and health of this important sole source aquifer.”

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Tuned In Martha Smith University of Illinois Extension

Martha Smith, Horticulturalist with the University of Illinois Extension, was Sean's guest on Tuned In on Friday. Martha was on hand to offer advice for those eager to get back in the garden as spring-like temperatures return this weekend. Martha is urging patience as March can still have some surprise cold snaps that can damage gardens. Martha also discussed her upcoming appearance at the Quad Cities Flower and Gardening Show coming up on the first weekend in April. 

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Health Department Offers Easter Egg Food Safety Suggestions

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments recognize that many groups, organizations, and families may be planning festivities to celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday.  Those planning Easter egg hunt should be aware that hard-boiled eggs require some special attention.  In years past, various instances of food borne illnesses have been associated with the consumption of improperly prepared Easter eggs; therefore, we recommend the following guidelines to help insure a safe and enjoyable holiday.

     * Use only fresh, clean, unbroken eggs that have been obtained from a reliable source and kept refrigerated.
      * Eggs should be prepared by healthy persons who observe good hygienic practices such as frequent hand washing and proper cleaning of cooking utensils.
      * Eggs should not be allowed to cool in standing water.  They should be placed into the refrigerator immediately after cooking.
      * Hard-boiled eggs must remain refrigerated after preparation and coloring, and used within seven days.
      * It's safe to keep the eggs outside for an hour or two during an Easter egg hunt, but any eggs that are not consumed right away must be returned to the refrigerator.  Also, hide eggs so they stay clear of pets, dirt and other sources of bacteria.  To be extra cautious, cook two sets of eggs: one for hiding and decorating with, and another for eating.
     * Remember, hard-boiled eggs-in the shell or peeled-do not keep as well as raw eggs, so discard any leftover eggs after one week.

 

Whether preparing, serving, hunting or decorating with eggs, it's easy for everyone to have a splendid Easter celebration while still staying safe from any "food borne unpleasantness."
For more information on food safety, call the Health Department at 852-0197 or 792-4011 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark).  You can also visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

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Kewanee Public Library to Offer 3D Printing Class for Kids Next Week

Next Tuesday the Kewanee Public Library will be offering a 3D Printing Class for kids. Sarah Billiett from the Kewanee Public Library details what kids will learn about 3D Printing. 

What is 3D Printing? It's a unique process using specialized plastic that can physically create items designed in a computer. Sarah Billiett goes into more detail about this unique item that you can see for yourself at the Kewanee Public Library. 

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Illinois State Police Release Plans for St. Patrick's Day Traffic Enforcement

Year after year St. Patrick's Day is a time of a year when law enforcement steps up patrols. Revelers who plan to overdo it a little in celebrating the Irish holiday however will want to be prepared to see more law enforcement on the streets over the holiday. Kim Howard has more... 

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Illinois College Leaders Say System on the Verge of Collapse

​College and university leaders tell a Senate committee that the state's higher education system is on the verge of collapse.

 

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Illinois Unemployment Rate Rose in January

The statewide unemployment rate in Illinois rose to 6.3% in January. Kim Howard reports on the jobs picture from the first part of 2016. 

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IL Lawmakers Consider New Protections for Juvenile Suspects

New protections for young people accused of crimes could be headed to Illinois. Currently, 13- to 17-year olds are not required to have a lawyer present when they're questioned by police. Some state lawmakers say that's led to a slew of false confessions, and hold a hearing today (Friday) on a bill (SB 2370) aimed at changing the requirements.

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Governor Rauner Meets with Children and Youth Cabinet

On Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner met with this children and youth cabinet. The goal of the cabinet is to propose streamlines and improvements to services for children across Illinois. Kim Howard offers this report.... 

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Henry-Mercer County Investigative Task Force Formed

The Illinois State Police announced on Thursday the formation of the Henry-Mercer County Investigative Task Force. The new task force, made up of investigators from the Kewanee, Geneseo, Colona, and Aledo Police Departments and the Henry and Mercer County Sheriff's Offices, will be organized under the Illinois State Police to investigate crimes across Henry and Mercer Counties. Members of the task force will receive advanced training in homicide and use of force investigations. Henry County agencies have operated under a similar agreement since 2011. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for Monday, March 14th

Posted by 6:00 p.m., March 10, 2016

1.            Call to Order

2.            Closed Session pursuant to Section 2(c)(2) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss collective bargaining and Section 2(c)(1) to discuss personnel

3.            Call to Order

4.            Pledge of Allegiance

5.            Approval of Minutes

6.            Presentation of Payroll, Bills and Claims

7.            Staff Reports

8.            Citizen Participation

9.            Business:

  1. Consideration of a Resolution to authorize the City Manager to execute a lease agreement with Henry County Humane Society – Kewanee Chapter for property located on Fisher Ave.
  2. Consideration of a Resolution to affirm the Mayor’s recommendation for appointments to the ad hoc Economic Development Planning Committee.
  3. Consideration of a Resolution to affirm the Mayor’s recommendation for appointments to the ad hoc Community Development/Neighborhood Revitalization Planning Committee.
  4. Consideration of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 117 Raffles of the Kewanee City Code to allow extended period raffles for a time period not to exceed 1 year.
  5. Consideration of an Ordinance amending Ordinance 3822, signs expressly setting forth no “grandfathering” of non-conforming signs and establishing a time frame for the removal of such signs.
  6. Consideration of a Resolution to adopt a non-recurring revenue funds policy.
  7. Consideration of a Request from Sunshine Community Services to conduct tag days on March 25th & 26th from 10 am – 2 pm to benefit their Stepladder Tutoring Program.

8.            Council Communications

9.            Announcements:        

10.          Adjournment

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People to People Outdoor Expert Duke Frisby

Outdoor expert Duke Frisby was our guest today on People to People on WKEI. The annual Stark County Morel Mushroom Festival is happening in May in and Duke talks about the best conditions for hunting for mushrooms and why the Morel is so coveted. Crappie are biting and fisherman are readying for another big season and Duke has some advice for those ready to start casting. 

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Tuned In Sarah Billiett from the Kewanee Public Library

Sarah Billiett from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest today Tuned In on WKEI. Coming up at the library there will be a class for kids teaching them about using the new 3D printer at the library. There is another Kewanee Library Family Night coming up and Sarah says that the library is still accepting donations of legos for the kids room at the library... 

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Durbin applauds legislation to help fight heroin and opioid abuse

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is pleased with passage of legislation designed to fight heroin and opioid abuse. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act outlines an integrated approach to fighting heroin and opioid abuse. Durbin says one major concern on the opiod front, is the very legal market continues to be flooded with them...

Durbin says the numbers tied to heroin abuse in Illinois are spiraling out of control....

Durbin is concerned that the bill fell short of offering required funding to implement many of the important programs in the bill. Prior to final passage of the legislation, the Senate defeated an amendment – supported by Durbin – that would have provided $600 million in supplemental appropriations to fund opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs.

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Current Youth Issues A Focus By MWAH!

Current youth issues a focus by MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe at Geneseo Middle School on Monday morning, March 14 

 

Discrimination towards Muslims following mass shootings and political rallies and a sequence of teenage issues ranging from child abuse to abusive relationships, leading to drug addiction and suicide.  With true stories conveyed through an unconventional medium that’s social work-based, a teenage performing arts troupe call MWAH! will focus on these and other youth-related issues on Monday morning, March 14, in Geneseo.
The 90-minute issues-oriented opening presentation will begin at 8:15 a.m. in the gym of Geneseo Middle School, located at 333 East Ogden Avenue.  The presentation will be followed by a debriefing-type discussion session focusing on some of the issues just presented.
Among the troupe members will be Omar Babu, a Moline High School freshman who’s a member of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, located in Moline.  Also participating will be Jennifer Higgins, from Geneseo, whose son Joshua died by suicide at the age of 12, and Joel Clousing, from Wheaton, whose teenage adopted son Keenan died from a heroin overdose.
The essence of the teenage MWAH! troupe (acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful!), whose members range in age from 9 to 17, is real life drama, combined with contemporary music and audience interaction.  Current troupe members live in western and southwestern suburbs of Chicago as well as the Rockford and Quad Cities areas.  A common thread is choices and the importance of making the right ones.The presentation also will include Geneseo Middle School choir members in a song written in memory of one of the first graders who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting three years ago; a recognition of Geneseo student heroes; and a high energy dance finale, also involving a number of Geneseo students following a rehearsal with MWAH! troupe members earlier on Monday.  Coordinating the troupe’s visit to Geneseo has been Chris Ward, long-time counselor and coach at Geneseo Middle School, who may be contacted at 309-945-0513 (office) or 563-529-4515 (cell).  The not-for-profit troupe is an affiliate of the Chicago Area Project, a grass-roots service and advocacy program, which is part of an Illinois-wide community services network targeting at-risk youth and their families.  Further information about the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe is available on its website at www.mwah.net

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OSF St. Lukes Enforces Flu Restrictions

Carie Bolens with OSF's Flu restrictions when visting friends and love ones!

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Fantasy Sports Leagues: Regulations Will Help Growth

Fantasy sports leagues says new regulations, like the ones being proposed in Springfield, will actually help. Peter Schoenke with the Fantasy Sports Trades Association says while cynics look at Illinois' regulations as a cash-grab, he hopes the legal frame work will bring-in more players. 

The proposed rules include a minimum age of 18, and a new requirement for responsible gaming warnings.

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Hog Country 102.5 WJRE to Announce the Final Performer at the Back Road Music Festival Friday Morning

The final of the four performers at the Back Road Music Festival in Galva will be announced Friday morning at 8 Am on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE during the Hog Country Morning Show with Karissa Nash. The final performer will join already announced headliner Easton Corbin, as well as The Swon Brothers and country music legend David Lee Murphy at the 3rd Annual Back Music Festival in Galva. Tickets for the show are on sale now at the Regional Media studios at 133 East Division Street in Kewanee between 12 Noon and 4 Pm weekdays. 

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Kewanee Rotary Quarter Madness Fundraiser Friday

Kewanee Rotary will host their fifth annual Quarter Madness fundraiser on Friday night, March 11th at the Kewanee Elks Lodge. This year funds raised from Quarter Madness will benefit the return of the Prairie Chicken Festival to the events calendar in Kewanee this summer. Rotary member and Quarter Madness organizer Carrie Boelens says this Quarter Madness is bigger and better than ever.... 

Quarter Madness will once again be held at the Kewanee Elks Lodge and in this clip Carrie lays out even more of the details for Friday night... 

The annual Quarter Madness Auction will feature even more items than ever before with more than $2700 in designer handbags alone. Carrie and fellow organizer Diane Packee lay out some of the items available during the auction....

You can buy your Quarter Madness paddles at the door on Friday night. Doors open at 6 Pm. 

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Wednesday Marks Five Years Since the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Wednesday marked five years since the state of Illinois officially abolished the Death Penalty. Kim Howard has this report from Springfield... 

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Kewanee Announces Sewer Work for Next Week

Kewanee Public Works announced on Wednesday sewer and water projects to begin on Monday, March 14th. City crews will be performing sewer lateral work beginning at 8 Am Monday in the area of 100 and 200 Blocks of East Prospect Street and McKinley Avenue. Work will be conducted from 8 Am to 4 Pm from Monday through Thursday, March 17th. Meanwhile work to replace water service lines on McKinley Avenue from the 100 block to the 700 block from 8 Am to 4 Pm Monday through Thursday. The work will not effect water service in the area. 

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Black Hawk College Closed March 18th

Black Hawk College East Campus will be closed for Staff Development on Friday, March 18th. The closure will not effect non-credit classes which will carry on as usual. Black Hawk College also announced on Wednesday that the East Campus bookstore will be closed all next week as part of Spring Break. 

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IDPH Warning Spring Break Travelers About Zika Virus

The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning students who are planning to travel to South America for spring break. The Zika Virus is a concern for those traveling in that area. More from Kim Howard... 

 

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Pending Legislation in Illinois Senate to Life Tax on Feminine Hygiene Products

Legislation pending in the Illinois State Senate proposed by State Senator Melinda Bush would lift the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. Kim Howard has more... 

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Tuned In Quarter Madness with Carrie Boelens and Diane Packee

The 5th Annual Quarter Madness fundraiser for the Kewanee Rotary is set for this Friday night at the Elks Lodge in Kewanee. Carrie Boelens and Diane Packee with the Kewanee Rotary are organizing the event and they were Sean Patrick's guests on Tuned In on WKEI Wednesday....

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Excitement about Lovie Smith hire is measurable in Chambana

It's been a while since Illini football has generated this much buzz. The hire of former Bears Super Bowl coach Love Smith as head football coach has led to more phone ringing at the ticket office and Illini basketball legend and Assistant to the Athletic Director Dee Brown said Lovie made quite a splash on campus...

The Illini have reported a spike in ticket sales for this year's football squad.

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Ag Safety Week story

This week is ag safety week, and as the weather warms lots of farmers are preparing the fields for spring work, often clearing up ditches and removing last years brush growth and the debris of winter.  Doug Raber farms in Livingston county. In 2012 he cleaning up some ditches when a momentary lapse in attention nearly cost him his life.

While Raber had previously installed rollover protection on his tractor, he said wished he had also been wearing his seatbelt… He ended up pinned under the tractor, and quickly learned the importance of communication back to his wife.

While Raber survived the rollover, his is an all too common story and often ends up much worse. Tractor rollover incidents are the most common cause of injury and death on the farm. Raber recommends rollover protection, wearing a seatbelt, letting family know where you are and when you will return, keeping the cell phone handy for emergencies….And above all, don’t get in a hurry and think safety at all times.

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Salvation Army Basement Sale Starting Soon

The Kewanee Salvation Army Store is preparing for its annual Basement Sale. The Basement Sale is a significant fundraiser for the Salvation Army and Linda Bohls from the Salvation Army says the items for sale this year are unique... 

Meanwhile, Linda also reports that the 2015 Bell Ringing Season was a major success, bringing in a record amount of donations from a large group of bell ringing volunteers who were recently celebrated at the Annual Bell Ringer Breakfast... 

And, with Summer sneaking up on us, Linda Bohls wants parents to remember that applications for Salvation Army Summer camps will be going out soon with youth camps and sports camps now divided among age groups for a more satisfying camp experience... 

Linda Bohls appeared on our Tuesday edition of Tuned In on WKEI. 

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Sheffield Emergency Services Calling For Volunteers

The Village of Sheffield is putting out a renewed call for volunteers with a little social media help from the Kewanee Fire Department. In a post on the Kewanee Fire Department Facebook page a photo shows Sheffield Emergency services laying out the predicament the Village finds itself in related to emergency services. In the photo the Sheffield Rescue Unit states that there are currently only 5 volunteers which is not enough to maintain a 24 hour ambulance service. The post goes further in stating that Sheffield Rescue will be ceasing service if new volunteers do not come forward soon. If you would like to volunteer with the Sheffiled Rescue Unit call 815-454-2502.

 

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Illinois Schools Begin Second Year of PARCC Testing

It's year two of PARCC Testing in Illinois Schools. Kim Howard has this report... 

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Governor Rauner Chastises House Over End of Session

Governor Bruce Rauner held a press conference on Tuesday during which he chastised lawmakers for leaving the capitol for a month while the state still struggles on without a budget. Kim Howard was there... 

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Illinois Treasurer's Office Suing Sprint

Illinois Treasure Mike Frerichs' office is suing communications giant Sprint. Kim Howard explains... 

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IL Gets $21 million in Conservation Funding

Hunting, fishing and wildlife programs in Illinois are getting more than $21 million from the federal government. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is currently being used to help recover the state's osprey population. Brandon Campbell has this report... 

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Tuned In: Linda Bohls with the Kewanee Salvation Army

Linda Bohls was our guest on the Tuesday, March 8th edition of Tuned In to talk about a record year for bell ringing in 2015, the upcoming Salvation Army Store Basement Sale and to tout that Salvation Army Summer Camp applications will be going out soon. 

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House Is Out Till April

If you're looking for your Illinois State Representative don't look in Springfield. Illinois State Senator Bill Brady says the house won't return to the state capitol until after April. The session ends May 31st. Brady says we are no closer to a state budget than we were a year ago and that's causing pain across the state.

Brady is advocating for a property tax freeze, but municipalities will have to find money somewhere. Brady thinks the long break is irresponsible.

 

The Illinois Senate is meeting in Springfield this week, but the Illinois house is taking a nearly two month break. Illinois State Senator Bill Brady says his colleagues in the house will not be back until after April.

Brady says we are no closer to a state budget than we were a year ago.

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Madigan complaints pending

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released her annual list of top consumer complaints. She says complaints are on the rise, because they're making it easier to do so...

She says a familiar problem has landed in the top spot among complaints...

The second spot on the list goes to an evolving threat, identity theft.

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Results of Kewanee Residential Survey Delivered to City Council

The results of the Kewanee Residential Survey commissioned in December of 2015 have been delivered to the Kewanee City Council. On Monday night council members participated in a webinar with the ETC Institute CEO Chris Tatham who revealed the results of the survey that was sent to some 2400 Kewanee residents in December. The responses showed remarkable support for Kewanee Fire and Polce Departments which receieve 80 plus percent postive ratings from citizens. That was the good news, other responses however revealed disappointment in Kewanee Economic Development as well as the condition of Kewanee streets and sidewalks. The survey further revealed that 62% of residents surveyed felt that Kewanee was a good place to raise children while 58% responded that they were satisfied with the quality of life in Kewanee. No actions were taken based on the findings of the survey at the Monday meeting which was intended only as an informational meet. 

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Central Illinois Prosecutor: We're Already Doing Many Rauner Reforms

McLean County's state's attorney says there is a need for criminal justice reform, but says many of Governor Rauner's newly proposed reforms are already in place in his county. Jason Chambers says judges in McLean County already look to keep first time offenders out of prison, and have been explaining sentences for years.

Chambers says he does want to see action in Springfield that could speed-up trials, he says for the victims' sake. 

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Illinois Attorney General Releases List of Top 10 Complaints Received

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released a list of the Top 10 Complaints sent to her office in the last year. Kim Howard has the full list in this report.... 

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Illinois Attorney General Warns of Student Loan Debt Scams

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is warning of scams that target people already struggling with student loan debt. Kim Howard has more in this report... 

 

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OSF Upgrading Sleep Lab with Sleep Number Bed

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center has made a comfortable upgrade to their sleep lab. Carrie Boelens, marketing director for OSF, tells WKEI that OSF has obtained a top of the line Sleep Number bed intended to aid paitents taking part in sleep studies. Sleep studies are about more than just getting a restful night's sleep , they can be key in uncovering other health problems... 

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Henry County Coroner Offers 2015 Statistics

Henry County Coroner David Johnson says his office was very busy in 2015 with death investigations having increased over 2014.... 

Mr. Johnson is up for re-election in 2016 and is facing a primary challenge from Melissa Watkins next Tuesday and he talked about the needed qualifications of a coroner... 

In speaking with WKEI on Monday Mr. Johnson said there are a number of misconceptions about the job of coroner... 

You can hear our complete interview with Henry County Coroner David Johnson by clicking here.

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Tuned In OSF St. Luke Medical Center

Carrie Boelens and Ian Swindler were my guests on the Monday, March 7th edition of Tuned in to discuss the latest goings on at OSF and National Athletic Training Month... 

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People to People: Henry County Coroner David Johnson

Henry County Coroner David Johnson is running for re-election to the position. Mr. Johnson, who has held the position of Henry County Coroner since 1996, joined our Sean Patrick for the Monday edition of People to People on Newstalk 1450 AM and 104.3 FM WKEI. The Republican Primary for the position of Henry County Coroner will be held next Tuesday, March 15th. 

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Madigan complaints pending

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released her annual list of top consumer complaints. She says complaints are on the rise, because they're making it easier to do so...

She says a familiar problem has landed in the top spot among complaints...

The second spot on the list goes to an evolving threat, identity theft.

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Democrats unveil new weapon in battle to unseat Dunkin....Barack Obama

In Springfield last month, renegade lawmaker Ken Dunkin was clearly on President Obama's radar screen...

The President's "talk with Dunkin" may be in the new form of a new campaign commercial benefiting his opponent, Julianna Stratton...

Democrats are pulling out all the stops in a bid to give Dunkin his walking papers. On Sunday, Secretary of State Jesse White and Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell accused Dunkin's campaign of buying early votes,  In a weekend press conference, Dowell claimed votes where being purchased for "crisp fifty dollar bills". So far there's no comment from Dunkin. A campaign spokesman calls the claim "baseless accusations" consistent with desperate tactics previously used by House Speaker Madigan's lead Stratton campaign. Dunkin has angered fellow Democrats by denying Madigan key votes in Springfield, especially a state worker arbitration bill. His political fund also landed the largest single campaign contribution in state history — a half million dollars from a political action committee backed by supporters of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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Brady: Illinois Can't Afford More Empty Promises

Bill Brady says just because the state of Illinois has checks in the checkbook, it doesn't mean there's money in the bank.  The Republican Senator says it's unwise for Illinois to authorize MAP grants when the state doesn't have the money to pay for the scholarships.

Brady says he understands its painful for students and universities, but he says state government has to start doing the right thing some time.


Bill Brady says he understands a lack of MA grant money is painful for students and schools, but he says Illinois can't afford to lie to students either. 

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Kewanee High School Announces Girls Basketball Awards Winners

Left to Right

Soph, Maddy Damron (Varsity Most Improved)
Soph, Paige Weida (Sophomore Most Improved)
Sen, Mckenzie DeVilder (Coaches Award, Captain)
Sen, Shauri Vogt (Charges Record, Captain, Conf. Honorable Mention)
Fr, Esmeralda Diaz (Freshmen Most Improved)
Jr, Blair Bullock (Townsend FT Award, Captain, Conf. Unanimous 1st Team, KHS 3pt Made Record, 2 All Tourney Teams, including MLK JR MVP)
Soph, Mitrese Smith (Rebounding Award, Conf. 1st Team, 2 All Tourney Teams)
 
Not Pictured - Jr, Rachael Moraski (Defense Award, Conf. 2nd Team, MLK Jr. All Tourney Team, Captain)
 

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Davis Reacts to FEMA Provision

It could soon be easier for smaller communities in Illinois like Kincaid to qualify for federal disaster relief after provisions to the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act unanimously passed through the U.S House of Representatives Monday.

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13) sponsored the proposal that would require FEMA to give higher consideration to the local impact of natural disasters like the holiday floods that devastated the Kincaid community, rather than on a statewide level as is currently the case. Davis says the current formula has been, “flawed for years.”

The bill now heads to the Senate with bipartisan approval. 

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Bishop Hill to Revive Pioneer Traditions this Spring

Pioneer style dining, art, flowers and even beekeeping will be part of Bishop Hill's upcoming celebration of spring. The Bishop Hill Spring Jubilee is set for the first weekend in April and will begin at 10 Am with Artful Dining at the Twinflower Inn. Reservations are required for the morning event and can be made by calling 309-927-3064. Sweet Annies Primitives will be giving away a small dried flower bouquet as part of the event and the Henry County Museum will host a presentation on Beekeeping, For more information you can contact Bishop Hill Heritage at 309-927-3899.

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Kewanee City Council Special Meeting Tonight

The Kewanee City Hall will hold a special meeting on Monday night. In a release from the City of Kewanee, the agenda for the meeting on Monday evening at 6 Pm in council chambers includes only one item, a webinar regarding the recent residential survey results. No final action will be taken during the meeting which is open to anyone who would like to attend. 

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Senate passes binding arbitration bill onto governor’s desk

It’s onto the governor’s desk with a measure Democrats say will keep state government open while Republicans say it will lead to tax increases. House Bill 580, the binding arbitration bill similar to last year’s failed measure, passed the Senate on Thursday, but not without debate. Democratic state Senator Don Harmon said the bill keeps state government open by allowing either side of contract negotiations to declare impasse, which would then trigger binding arbitration. Republican state Senator Matt Murphy said Democrats and AFSCME want to make the governor out to be a bogeyman.

 



Murphy cited agreements the governor has reached with more than a dozen unions. It’s been more than 8 months since AFSCME’s contract with the state expired. In its place, an agreement allows either side to seek a ruling of impasse from the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

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Brady: Illinois Can't Afford More Empty Promises

Bill Brady says just because the state of Illinois has checks in the checkbook, it doesn't mean there's money in the bank. The Republican Senator says it's unwise for Illinois to authorize MAP grants when the state doesn't have the money to pay for the scholarships. 

Brady says he understands its painful for students and universities, but he says state government has to start doing the right thing some time. 

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Deere Set For Layoffs in April

Moline based Deere & Company has informed approximately 100 manufacturing employees that they will be placed on indefinite layoff, effective April 1st. The layoffs will take place at Deere’s factories in Davenport and Dubuque, Iowa. Both facilities are part of the company’s construction and forestry division. Approximately 80 of the layoffs will take place at John Deere Davenport Works while the remaining 20 affects the Dubuque facility. Deere said the layoffs reflect the company’s ongoing efforts to balance the size of its manufacturing workforce with market demand for products at individual factories. 

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Illinois Voters Have New Election Tool

With Illinois' upcoming primary on March 15, state voters have a new tool to help them become better informed on local and national candidates. 

The new Voter's Edge Illinois website hosts candidate profiles, ballot measure summaries and even information on who is funding the campaigns. 

Daniel Newman is co-founder of MapLight, which helped bring the Voter's Edge project to Illinois. He says many times voters face a void of information, and this is one way to help fill that gap.

"When it comes to local elections especially, it's not even clear who's running," he points out. "Voter's Edge Illinois brings all the information together into one place about who's running and who's on your ballot."

To use the site, voters enter their address to find their polling place and to get a full list of who is running for federal, state and local offices. Voters also can fill out and print a sample ballot to bring to the polls.

Candidates also are able to upload information about themselves and their policy priorities. While much of the information available on the Voter's Edge site can also be found at the State Board of Elections, Newman says his nonpartisan group conducts original, neutral research to help voters make more informed decisions.

"So, it's a tool that's useful to everyone regardless of your political party, regardless of your opinion," he stresses. "It's really putting you the voter in charge. That's why we call it Voter's Edge."

Voter's Edge launched in California two years ago, and this year has expanded to both Illinois and New York.

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Wheels For Jamie

 

A former standout athlete at Kewanee High School is in need of a new vehicle.

Jamie Townsend was a member of the Kewanee Boiler Girls basketball team from 1982-1985. She ended her career as the 6th all time leading scorer and the 8th all time leader in rebounds for the Boiler Girls and she also participated in many other sports and was also an excellent student.

Unfortunately, Miss Townsend was left paralyzed from the waist down after an automobile accident several years ago.

She is in need of a new vehicle as her current van has developed several mechanical issues.

Kewanee Boilergirl head basketball coach Chuck Blake says a recent outing in Princeton at the Boilermaker sectional illustrates Jamie’s plight…

Coach Blake adds that several more mechanical issues became apparent as he continued to offer assistance to Miss Townsend…

Diane Reeser is a former team mate of Miss Townsend and she is spearheading a couple of fundraising efforts that will be held this coming weekend..

The folks at La Gondola in Kewanee will also help out with a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, March 14th

    

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Senators debate binding arbitration bill before passage

Democrats disputed Republican claims that a measure allowing binding arbitration for state employees would take resources away from social services.  During debate of the interest arbitration bill in the Senate, Republican Senator Matt Murphy said the measure would cost taxpayers $3 billion, which will take money away from important social services. However, Democratic Senator Daniel Biss said it’s not just AFSCME employees that stand to gain, but relatively low-paid home health care workers represented by the SEIU Healthcare union who also would benefit.

Senate President John Cullerton said the measure would avoid a strike and a shutdown of state services. However, Governor Bruce Rauner said Democrats are putting special interest ahead of taxpayers.

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Bipartisan effort to bring back elected Chicago school board passes House

The push to bring back an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools now heads to the Senate after passing the House.It has been more than 20 years since the board for Chicago Public Schools became a mayoral-appointed board instead of a board elected by Chicago voters. Democratic Rep. Robert Martwick’s House Bill 557 would change that. Martwick says the bill would make Chicago’s school board elected like the rest of the state’s school district boards. Republican Rep. Ron Sandack had a few concerns about the bill, including if it would even see the light of day in the Senate.

Martwick says he’s happy it saw the light of day in the House. If approved in the Senate and signed into law, voters in Chicago would be able to elect 21 school board members beginning in 2018.

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Measure for elected Chicago school board shows bipartisan compromise

A measure to bring back an elected school board for the city of Chicago is an example of true bipartisan legislation, according to lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

During debate on House Bill 557, a bill to bring back an elected board in Chicago instead of an appointed board, bill sponsor Democratic Rep. Robert Martwick said it’s a sign of lawmakers truly working together.

Republicans applauded the effort as a sign of how both parties can cooperate to bring about substantial reform. The measure passed 110-4 and now goes to the Senate.

A statement from the governor’s office said the governor’s staff will review Martwick’s bill to ensure it does everything possible to prevent conflicts of interest between board members and the Chicago Teachers Union. 

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Be informed for 3/15 primary

The Illinois primary election is coming up on/next Tuesday, March 15. You probably know which party you will choose, and what candidate for president you will support when you go to the polls. But, in addition to president, you will need to select candidates for Senate, US house, state legislature and a host of judges, also county, and even township offices. It’s easy to be surprised by all the races on the ballot. Kevin Semlow, dir. of state legislation at Illinois Farm Bureau says you can start to inform yourself prior to voting by getting a sample ballot.

Once you have that ballot from the county clerk’s office, how do you determine the positions of all the candidates?

Again the Illinois Primary is March 15th. Be sure to vote…and be armed with information when casting your ballot.

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BHC student food pantry seeking donations

The Black Hawk College East Campus Food Pantry is in need of donations.  The food pantry assists students confidentially. Anyone can make a request, and most requests come from college faculty members on behalf of a student.  Donations currently are running low, and any assistance is welcomed and appreciated. Contributions can be non-perishable food items, cash donations or gift cards to local grocery and dollar stores.  Needed items include bottled water, hygiene products (shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes), breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, energy bars, peanut butter and jelly, ravioli, oatmeal packets, canned vegetables and crackers.
Cash donations can be sent to the BHC East Foundation at 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva, 61434. Donations also can be made online on the foundation’s web page  eastfoundation.bhc.edu/, under “For Donors” using the “Donate Now” link.Grocery items and gift cards can be dropped off at the East Campus in the Gust E. Lundberg Library in Building A.  The Black Hawk College East Campus community extends a sincere thank you for any and all food pantry donations.

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WKEI Open Line

Politics and the Kewanee Park District are the main topics during the March 4th edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Ameren Il on Tuned IN

Ameren Safety Director Karen Boulonjay talks about dog bites and other perils during the March 4th edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Effort to keep lawmakers in Springfield fails

 Lawmakers have left the building. The Illinois House decided to head home after Thursday's session.That's despite a House GOP push to to return to work i a bid to move negotiations on the state budget forward. State Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield was among those hoping to keep lawmakers on the job...


However, Speaker Michael Madigan moved to adjourn until April 4th.

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Small Business Nominations Now Being Accepted

Small Business Day Eagle Award Nominations now being Accepted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Galesburg, IL. The Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) of West Central Illinois is now accepting nominations for the 7th Annual Eagle Awards.  These awards, to be presented at the Annual Small Business Day Celebration on May 17, 2016, recognize local entrepreneurs in a variety of categories’, including Small Business Start-up of the Year, Small Business Advocate of the Year, Small Business Financing Package of the Year, etc. 

Small Businesses located in Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer and Warren Counties are eligible to be nominated.  The nomination forms are available at the University of Illinois Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren County Website (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/), the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and several other locations throughout the counties.  Nominations are due by April 8, 2016 to Carrie McKillip, University of Illinois Extension, 180 S. Soangetaha Rd, Suite 108, Galesburg, IL 61401 or mckillip@illinois.edu.  Questions can also be directed to Ms. McKillip at 309.342.5108. 

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Bushels For Hunger Makes Donation

 

Quad City Illinois farmers are helping local families with a donation to the River Bend Foodbank through the Bushels for Hunger program for the sixth straight year!  After the sixth year, total contributions by the Bushels for Hunger program will exceed $147,000 with this year’s $21,467 contribution.  Mercer County Farmer and Illinois Farm Bureau District 3 Director Jeff Kirwan presented the donation of $21,467 to Mike Miller of the River Bend Foodbank in Davenport.  This year’s donation now puts the total amount contributed to the foodbank over $147,000. 

“Thanks to the generous donations of 5,000 bushels of grain to the Bushels for Hunger campaign, local farmers worked together to fight hunger in the Quad City community with these funds” Kirwan said.

Alongside Kirwan, fellow farmer and Grain Merchandiser for Gold Star FS, Mike Secymore added, “Local neighbors and farmers in the five county area of Illinois were anxious to pitch in and help fight hunger in their community – this money will help provide countless meals in the River Bend Foodbank area.”

The Bushels for Hunger program is a joint program coordinated by the following five Illinois County Farm Bureaus: Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside and Stark in conjunction with the following area grain elevators and ethanol plants: ADM, Atkinson Grain, Big River Resources, Cargill, CGB, CHS, Gold Star FS, Hillsdale Elevator, Michlig Grain, River Gulf Grain, River Valley Cooperative and Rumbold & Kuhn.

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Corn Planting Intentions

The probable cost of production of the various field crops and the probable returns for those crops still point to more corn acres this year.

The USDA’s Gary Crawford has the report…

 

 

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KPL 3-D Printer

Kewanee Public Library continues to plan for their new 3-D printer with the current process involving instructions and getting used to the new piece of equipment.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says they are looking for younger students to get involved with that program…

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Rebuilding Together in Kewanee

Rebuilding Together is an organization in Henry County that helps lower income  people with home repairs and upgrades and things of that nature.

Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley says that group will soon be helping some of those homeowners in Kewanee…

Mr. Bradley adds that specifics on the program will be forthcoming in the very near future…

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Mental Health Support Group Hosted By Health Department


"HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES MARCH MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT MEETING"

 

     The Henry and Stark County Health Department and the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force asks, "Does someone you love suffer from mental illness?  Do you feel alone as you struggle to provide care and support for someone with mental illness? You're not alone."

 

    The Health Department and the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force invites you to attend the March Support Group for friends and family of people with mental illness.

 

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:00-7:30pm at the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, Rt. 78 South, Kewanee.

 

     Beth Smith adds, "We encourage interested individuals to join with others dealing with the same struggles to share stories, offer encouragement and lend support"

   

    For more information about the upcoming mental health support group meeting, you may contact the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com, or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us on Twitter.

 

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Pancake Day on March 12th

The Kewanee Kiwanis Club will hold their annual Pancake Day on Saturday, March 12th at the United Methodist Church in Kewanee.

Sam Harker is a Kiwanis Club Board Member and she says pancakes and sausage  will be served that day from 7 am til 1 pm with carry outs also available…

Ms. Harker adds that proceeds from the event will go toward a variety of  children’s programs in the Kewanee area…

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After Spending More Money It Doesn't Have, IL House Adjourns Until April

Speaker Madigan and his supermajority called two bills (SB 2990 and HB 648) Thursday afternoon which purported to be a compromise measure funding higher education and other services in Illinois.

The House voted 70-43 to approve the spending bill of $3.7 and 61-52 on a companion measure that would cancel a requirement that the state repay $454 million borrowed from special funds to plug holes in last year’s budget.  House Republicans argue that the measures will just add to the state’s ballooning backlog of unpaid bills.

Following the vote on these two bills, House Republicans made a motion for a vote to return to work on Friday in an attempt to negotiate on the state budget, but Democrat leadership ruled the motion out of order.  The Speaker then moved to adjourn until April 4th, a full month from today.

 

State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) said he was disappointed in the way the week ended. 

 

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Governor's veto stays put for MAP grant and community college funding

The Illinois House failed to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of funding for college grants and two-year schools Wednesday. The effort fell two votes shy. GOP State Representative Dwight Kay of Madison County has the college funding issue on his radar screen with SIU-Edwardsville in his district. He says compromise is overdue on the issue....

It didn't take long to see the impact of the failed override vote. Trustees at John A Logan Community College in Carterville voted to layoff 55 faculty and staff members because of the lack of a state budget. A crowd of roughly 300 turned out to urge trustees not to make cuts that impacted 38 percent of the school's full time faculty members. College officials say the lack of state payments has created a 7 million dollar budget gap. 

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Wednesday House Fire in Kewanee

 

 

 

 

 

The fire department was called out to a small structural fire at 118 Houle Ave on Wednesday afternoon around 2:30.  Crews found smoke and a small fire in the rear East corner of the house on the outside.  One resident was inside and was awoken by the smoke detectors.  The occupant was already outside upon arrival. The home is rented by Matthew LaFevre and owned by Kim Standaert.  The area was hosed down and siding removed.  They found some charring of the house’s construction and they stayed on the scene for approximately 1 ½ hrs to ensure total extinguishment was accomplished.  It remains under investigation by Fire Investigator Landon Horrie.

 

Paul Schaecher, Fire Chief

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Explore Dual Credit March 9 at BHE


 

Explore Dual Credit March 9 at BHC East Campus

 

Know a high school student thinking about taking a Dual Credit or Dual Enrollment class?

 

Students - and parents - can find out more at Explore Dual Credit at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 at Black Hawk College East Campus.

 

Dual Credit allows students to take courses at their high school to simultaneously earn high school and college credit.

 

Current and prospective dual-credit students and their parents are encouraged to come and learn more about the program.

 

The evening will include:

· Overview of Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment — What is it? How does it work? What will it cost? Who is eligible?

· Meet with faculty members who teach Dual Credit.

· Tour the campus.

 

Register online at www.bhc.edu/go by Friday, March 4.

 

For more information, contact Jeanine Peterson, Dual Credit coordinator, at 309-854-1712 or petersonj@bhc.edu.

 

 

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Corned Beef

Courtyard Estates of Kewanee and Bradford along with Courtyard Village of Kewanee will host two separate corned beef and cabbage dinners to the public during the month of March.

Samantha Harker is the Marketing and Admissions Coordinator for both groups and she says if you like corned beef and cabbage, mark your calendars for March 10th and the 17th

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Abilities Plus Offers Scholarships

 

Kewanee, IL – The Abilities Plus Endowment will once again fund two $500 Jean German academic scholarships for local students. 

 

Abilities Plus created the scholarship program in 2001 as a way to promote and encourage careers in the human services field.  The scholarships were named after Jean German in 2013, following her passing.  Jean was an Abilities Plus founder and longtime supporter.  Jean was intimately involved in the Abilities Plus Endowment selection process.

 

To be considered for the scholarships, applicants must be enrolled in or have been accepted to an accredited college or university, are pursuing a certificate or degree in the human service field of study, and hold a primary residence in Henry, Stark, or western Bureau County. 

 

Additional qualifications include a career goal of working with children or adults with disabilities or developmental delays.  Eligibility is open to recent or upcoming high school graduates, as well as current college students and adult learners.

 

Interested applicants may contact Julie Landwehr at (309) 852-4626 or julie@abilitiesplus.org for more information or to receive the necessary paperwork.  To be considered, applications must be received or postmarked by March 18, 2016.  All applicants will be notified by July 2016 of the committee’s decision.

    

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Macon General Contractors Buys Former Bomag Building in Kewanee

The former Bomag of Americas building on Kentville road on Kewanee’s east side is now beginning to show signs of life once again.

Macon General Contractors which is headquartered in Bradford has purchased the building and with some 260,000 square feet of manufacturing space, they have also subleased some of that manufacturing space.

Ben Endress is the President of Macon General Contractors and he explains what his company is all about…

With all of that manufacturing space available and Macon needing less than full capacity, there has been the addition of a couple of other entities including a powder coating business and also a welding line as well.

Mr. Endress adds that the purchase of the former Bomag building was the first step in a process that hopefully will continue to grow in the future…

In the meantime, Macon of Kewanee is expected to experience steady growth and Endress says they are doing some limited hiring with hopes of more employment opportunities in the future…

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IL Revenue Down in 2016

THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE’S ECONOMIC FORECASTING ARM SAYS STATE REVENUE WILL EXPERIENCE ONLY MINIMAL GROWTH THIS YEAR.

KIM HOWARD HAS THE REPORT…

 

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Taste Illinois this weekend in Springfield

The Illinois Dept. of Agriculture has a number of events each year to help smaller food processors and manufacturers market their products to retailers, but this weekend in Springfield the annual Illinois Products Expo is designed to let consumers sample products from nearly a hundred Illinois businesses. Karen Fraase (Fray-zee), of the IDOA Marketing division says consumers will be able to get free samples of a wide variety of Illinois produced items.

There will also be a wine tasting for Illinois wines at the expo. This weekend’s event will be at the Orr Building on the State Fairgrounds in Springfield this Saturday, March 5 from 10Am to 5PM and Sunday from 10 – 3PM. Admission is five dollars for adults, kids eat free.
Fraase says the annual event has become so popular they are looking at adding a second expo next year in the Chicago area.

Illinois Products expo is open to the public, this weekend in Springfield.

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Kiwanis Club on People to People

Kiwanis Club Board Member Sam Harker talks about Pancake Day during the March 2nd edition of People to People on WKEI

 

 

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WKEI Open Line

Sam Harker is the co-host to the Open LIne with calls coming in about the Presidential campaign and other lively topics during the March 2nd edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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Courtyard Estates on Tuned IN

Marketing and Admissions Coordinator Sam Harker talks about upcoming activities during the March 2nd edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Severe Weather Week

IT’S SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN ILLINOIS AND THE STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS OFFERING A CHANCE TO WIN A WEATHER RADIO.

Kim Howard has the story…

 

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River Bend Food Bank Donation Totals to be Revealed Today.


Illinois area county farm bureau leaders will present the 6th Annual “Bushels For Hunger” donation to the River Bend Foodbank later today. 

 

The Bushels for Hunger program is a joint program coordinated by  5 Illinois County farm Bureaus: Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside and Stark in conjunction with 12 area grain elevators: ADM, Atkinson Grain, Big River Resources, Cargill, CGB, Gold Star FS, Hillsdale Elevator, Michlig Grain, CHS Patriot Renewable Fuels, River Gulf Grain, River Valley Cooperative and Rumbold and Kuhn.

 

The five county farm bureau’s are part of the 95 county farm bureau system of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization controlled by farmers who join through their County Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 400,000 and a voting membership of 80,000. IFB represents two out of every three Illinois farmers. 

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BHC East Foundation Offers CNA Scholarships

The Black Hawk College East Foundation today announced that it has three scholarships available for students enrolling in the March 21 Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program.

 

The eight-week program trains students to work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to assist nurses in direct patient care. The program includes 80 hours in the classroom and 40 hours of clinical training.

 

“The CNA program prepares students for a job in the high-demand field of health care,” said Jodie Robinson, BHC nursing instructor. “I get calls weekly looking to hire our graduates.”

 

Because the CNA program does not quality for traditional financial aid, the BHC East Foundation uses private support to make the program more affordable and accessible.

 

Three $500 scholarships are available – one Barbara J. Curran Golby Memorial CNA Scholarship and two BHC East Foundation CNA Scholarships.

 

The scholarship application process is fairly simple and straight-forward. Prospective students may pick up a scholarship application at the BHC Community Education Center, 404 E. Third St., Kewanee, or at the BHC East Foundation Office in Building A, Room 103 at the college’s East Campus, 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva (five miles south of Kewanee).

 

The application deadline is Monday, March 7.

 

For more information, call 309-854-1875 or e-mail harrisd@bhc.edu.

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Henry County Republicans Lincoln Day Dinner

The Henry County Republicans will hold their annual Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, March 12th at the Oakwood Country Club, Coal Valley.  The event is being held earlier this year so those attending will have the opportunity to meet the candidates seeking voter support in the Illinois Republican Primary on March 15.

Jan Weber is the chairman of the Henry County Republican Central Committee and she adds that those confirmed to attend are Illinois State Senators Neil Anderson and Chuck Weaver and Illinois State Representative Don Moffitt along with candidates Patrick Harlan and Jack Boccarossa for congress in the 17th district; Tony McCombie, Wayne Saline, Dan Swanson and Mike DeSutter all candidates for state representative; Matt Schutte and Brian Kerr both running for Henry County State's Attorney and candidates for the position of  Henry County Coroner  David Johnson and Melissa Watkins.  Also attending will be James Marter a candidate for United States Senate.  Additional candidates are also expected to attend the event as well. 

 

Advance ticket reservations are necessary for the event.  Tickets are $40 per person and can be reserved by contacting the Henry County Republican Headquarters at 309-944-6463 or by emailinghenrygop@msn.com.  

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IRS Info

For those people waiting for an income tax refund it can be a bit of a challenge knowing that the money will soon be available, but perhaps not quite yet.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Luis says keeping track of where your refund might be is as simple as going to the IRS website…

Devine also reminds those taxpayers that have not yet filed, and might be eligible for the earned income tax credit to make sure and explore that option as not everyone that is entitled to that credit is taking it…

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Sheriff's Association Scholarships

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association continues to collect applications from students for scholarship opportunities with a scholarship to be given away by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department.

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla says there is still time to apply for the scholarship…

Sheriff Padilla stresses that it is not necessary to pursue a career in law enforcement in order for an applicant to be considered…

Sheriff Padilla also adds that it is a great pleasure to be able to hand out those scholarships…

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Minor Traffic Detour in Kewanee Today


Ameren Illinois wants to inform Kewanee residents of a minor traffic detour starting at approximately 9 o’clock this morning.  Ameren Illinois will be replacing a power pole and equipment on South East Street.  Traffic will be re-routed from East Mill Street to Edwards Street to East Division Street to allow crews to safely do the work.

 

There will be no outages as a result of the work, which should be completed before 1 p.m. Ameren Illinois has been in contact with Kewanee Public Works Director Rod Johnson as well as police and fire officials.

 

The power pole and the regulators will enhance service reliability for Ameren customers in that end of town. The equipment will help during an outage by allowing Ameren to switch to another power source.

 

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Madigan tabs panel to exam public/private partnerships

.House Speaker Michael Madigan is launching a bi-partisan special House committee to review ventures like Governor Rauner's plan to have a private company work with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the panel will work to ensure integrity within any public-private partnership, while making sure that all ethical and transparency requirements are met....


Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan for a DCEO public/private partnership calls for a private company to work with the agency and make decisions on allocations of state money and tax breaks to corporations. The corporation would be funded with private donations. 

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Rauner staying out of Presidential race

Don't look for Governor Rauner to throw his weight behind Trump, Rubio, Kasick or Cruz. With the Illinois Primary two weeks away, Rauner says he is staying out of Presidential politics, although he is weighing in on the latest controversy on the campaign trail. While he isn't directly criticizing Donald Trump, he did weigh in on a group believed to be supporting Trump, the Ku Klux Klan....

Trump has been facing scrutiny for not immediately rejecting the support of former Klan leader David Duke'.

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Spring weather on the way

March has arrived, and for most of us… March signals the start of spring. Bryce Anderson is chief meteorologist with DTN says he agrees…. Some spring like weather is on the way for most of the month of March.

Anderson says Midwest weather patterns in recent decades have trended toward warmer, wetter springs and dryer summers. And that is exactly what he is expecting this year.

The good news is that wetter springs tend to build up up soil moisture supplies, helping thirsty crops get though any short dry spells in the midst of the growing season

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Rauner makes new claims in higher education debate

Another day at the office for Governor Bruce Rauner meant more harsh words on Monday for House Speaker Michael Madigan. He accused the Speaker of prolonging Illinois' higher education funding crisis for political gain...

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Rauner says Madigan told university leaders not to stand with the Republican governor on a funding fix. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the only person who's threatened universities is Rauner. The governor proposed cutting the higher education budget 30 percent and vetoed money for grants to help students pay tuition. Brown says the bill Rauner's backing would strip money from programs such as school construction.

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WKEI Open Line

Potential consolidation and the Princeton Sectional are among the topics discussed during the March 1st edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

 

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OSF Hospice on Tuned IN

Father Jerry Rafalko talks about a new suicide support group during the March 1st edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Abilities Plus Recognizes Milestone

 

Kewanee, IL –Sue Lain (right) recently celebrated 25 years with Abilities Plus. Congratulating Sue on this milestone anniversary is Jolene Abney, Henry County Public Transportation Coordinator. Sue started with the organization as a Respite Worker, later became an Instructor in the Developmental Training Program, and finally moved to her current position as a Dispatcher for Henry County Public Transportation. Since 1991 Sue has provided a wide variety of support and assistance to individuals in our local communities.

 

 

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K Town Comedy Night

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will present K Town Comedy Night on Saturday, March 19th at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Chamber and he says March 19th will be a special evening in Kewanee…

Mark is in charge of the talent for the show and he reached back in time to bring back some great comedians for the night…

The featured comedian for the evening will be Steve “The Round Guy” Pilchen from Des Moines and he says comedy has been in his blood for quite some time now…

Steve agrees that comedy often times is the funniest when it lampoons everyday happenings and he also says some other great comedians have made a big impression on him…

Once again tickets for the entire evening of food and entertainment are priced at $20 each and they are currently available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Office. 

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Freedom House Receives Grant

 

Freedom House was the recipient of a $1000 Wal-Mart cybergrant from the Geneseo store. The grant will help fund Freedom House Advocates in Henry County provide services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. (in photo: L-R Trisha Schafer, FH Volunteer Services Coordinator and Gayla, Assistant Manager for the Geneseo Wal-Mart)

We are very appreciative of our local communities’ support, especially during this time of fiscal uncertainty!  Without generous communities, Freedom House would not be able to continue is important works.

Freedom House is a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center focusing on safety and provides a wide variety of services to victims of domestic and sexual violence including; 24-Hour Safe Shelter to stay in crisis situations for victims of domestic or sexual abuse and their children, counseling, prevention education, legal advocacy and more.  A client does not have to be living in the shelter to receive other Freedom House Services. It serves the residents of Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties in Illinois. 

Freedom House’s 24-Hour Crisis Line is a toll free service available to anyone who is on need of emergency assistance. (800-474-6031)

For more information please visit our website at: www.freedomhouseillinois.org

Like us on     FaceBook: Freedom House

Follow us on            Twitter: @freedomhouseil

 

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El Nino and Crops

 

Weather and crop experts are keeping an eye out for what may happen after this current El Nino departs.

The USDA’s Gary Crawford visits with Harlan Shannon in this report…

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Kewanee Basketball Sectional Ticket Info

The Boys Basketball Team will be playing in the IHSA Sectional Semi-Final on Wed March 2 at Princeton High School. The tip will be at 7:00pm. Doors will open at 6:00pm

 

IHSA Admission for Sectional Games is set at $5.00

 

Kewanee High School will have a limited number of pre-sale tickets for the game starting on Tuesday March 1st from 8:00Am to 4:oopm  and on Wed from 8:00AM to noon. Pre-Sale Tickets can be purchased in the High School Main Office. It should also be noted that Princeton High School has a large gym, so people wanting to purchase tickets at the door will not have any problems.

 

Kewanee High School will also offer a fan bus for Wed game. Cost is $2.00 for Adults, $2.00 for Students, and senior citizens may ride for free. The bus will depart from the back of the school at 5:00pm

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Insured in Illinois Increases

 

 

CHICAGO – February 25, 2016.  According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Illinois was among 8 states with statistically significant coverage gains among 18-64 year old residents. Between 2013 and 2015, the rate of uninsured among 18-64 year old Illinois residents decreased from 17.8% to the current rate of 10.6%. This 7.2% drop is one of the largest in the nation.

 

“This is a significant achievement in the State of Illinois’ coverage efforts, but more importantly this success presents a tremendous opportunity to continue to improve health outcomes and to lower the cost of health care delivery” said DOI Acting Director Anne Melissa Dowling. “We need to seize this opportunity to continue to engage and educate these newly covered populations about the benefits of coverage and how to effectively engage with the health system.”

 

More than 1 million Illinois residents have obtained health insurance coverage through the efforts of Get Covered Illinois (GCI) and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI).

 

The recent release of the Qualified Health Plans on the Marketplace by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that 388,179 Illinois residents enrolled in a plan through the most recent open enrollment period. This number combined with the most recent release of information from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) indicating that there are now 626,248 Full Benefit ACA Medicaid Recipients across the state brings the total covered to 1,014,427 residents who are receiving life saving benefits.

 

The Illinois Department of Insurance wants to remind Illinoisans of the many benefits that having health coverage provides, subject to applicable policy terms:

 

  • Coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. For assistance on understanding health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders contact the Office of Consumer Health Insurance (OCHI) toll-free at 1-877-527-9431.

     

  • Free preventive services including counseling, screenings, women’s health services and vaccines to keep Illinois residents healthy and care for managing chronic disease; and

     

  • Prescription drug coverage.

 

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