Local News Archives for 2016-04

Individual A Gets to Stay That Way

A judge says a man who alleges Dennis Hastert sexually abused him doesn't have to disclose his name in his lawsuit against the former U.S. House speaker. Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer ruled Thursday that a man known in court documents as Individual A can proceed with his lawsuit anonymously.

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Jamey Johnson highlights first announced grandstand acts for DuQuoin St Fair

The DuQuoin State Fair names its first grandstand acts for 2016. Country superstar Jamey Johnson will take the stage Friday, September 2nd to entertain country music purists. Illinois Ag Department Spokeswoman Rebecca Clark says the Marine Corps veteran has a bigger legacy than just the hits with his name on them....
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Clark says the DuQuoin grandstand represents the right acts at the right place at the right price..
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On Labor Day, the closing day of the 2016 fair, the grandstand stage will be a beehive of activity. 90s act Sugar Ray heads up the Summerland Tour. The tour also features Everlast, Lit, and Sponge. Ag officials say a ticket sales date will be announced soon.

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Justice Laws Need Updated for Youth Offenders

Illinois treatment of juvenile justice records isn’t keeping up with what is needed. That’s the assessment of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. A report released Thursday finds costly fees and complicated rules are barriers for young offenders from having their records expunged, haunting them for years. Retired Judge George Timberlake says that weak confidentiality laws allow schools, employers and many others opportunity to see the records and in effect punish the person twice.

Fees to expunge records also stand in the way of individuals getting their histories cleaned up. The commission says that fees should be eliminated. 

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MAP grant dollars start to flow again.

State Comptroller Leslie Munger has news that should be music to the ears of anxious college students who depend on Monetary Award Program grants. Munger has revealed she received $164 million dollars worth of MAP grant vouchers from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Munger says she turned around the payments immediately. 125,000 Illinois college students depend upon help from the MAP grant program to help funding their education. Munger notes the recent higher ed funding deal reached between Governor Rauner and lawmakers isn't a long term solution. The MAP grant funding provided by the deal only represents half of what students were promised this year. 

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WKEI Open Line

The unaffordable care act is discussed during the April 30 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Kewanee City Summer Work Schedule

The City of Kewanee’s Public Works Department is reminding citizens that their summer work schedule begins on May 1st.

Working hours will begin at 6 am rather than the winter hours that begin at 7 am.

Residents are advised that beginning this next week, trash will need to be ready for curbside pickup before 6 am on their scheduled pick up days.

Also the reminder that the Transfer Station is open on Saturdays through May 28th.

Saturday hours at the Transfer Station are 7 am til 12 noon.     

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Debbie Kubinsky Named Director of Employment at Abilities Plus

 

Debbie Kubinsky, of Kewanee was recently named Director of Employment and Training at Abilities Plus, effective May 1, 2016.   She started with the organization in 1983 as the Work Activity Coordinator, and later became Adult Services Coordinator, before her most recent title of Work Services Coordinator.  Debbie also had previous experience as an Adult Basic Education Aide.  

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Wethersfield High School Prom on Saturday

One of the many signs that the current school year is quickly winding down is that prom will be held on Saturday for students at Wethersfield High School.

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says they are looking forward to a great day on Saturday…

School will get out for summer break a little bit earlier this year due to an unusual circumstance at Wethersfield that likely is the case in other school districts as well…

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Health Dept Blood Profiles


 

     The Henry and Stark County Health Departments staff reminds area residents Blood Profiles are available at clinics held Mondaythrough Friday starting at 7:00am at the Health Department's Main Office, Rt. 78 South, Kewanee; and at 8:00am at their Colona Office 103 1st St., Colona.

 

    The fasting blood profile clinics offer area residents the opportunity to receive a variety of indepth profiles like the Chem Screen/CBC basic blood profile, a Thyroid Panel, and the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test.  These tests are available without a physician's order.

 

    Insurances, such as Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Mutual Medical, can be billed with a physician's order.

 

    The basic blood profile offers 39 different blood results including a total cholesterol, triglyceride, high and low density lipoprotein (HDL and LDL), and red and white blood cell count results.  The PSA, for males age 50 and over, is a blood test to be used as a screening tool by physicians and should only be used in conjunction with a doctor's physical exam.  The Thyroid panel gives indicatives of thyroid functioning by giving T3/T4/CFT4 and TSH results.These and other fasting blood profiles can be obtained by appointment at their Kewanee and Colona office locations. 

 

     Fasting is required for the basic blood profile.  Therefore, participants should not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours prior to the blood draw.  Test results will be sent by mail to participants and their physicians.

 

    Please note, appointments which are necessary, may be made by contacting the Health Department at (309) 852-5272.  For more information 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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Final Day Today for the Star Courier

Today will mark the end of an era at the Kewanee Star Courier as long time reporter and editor Rocky Stuffelbeam will wrap up a 47 year career with the Kewanee newspaper.

Rocky knows that today might be a bit of an emotional roller coaster as one does not just simply walk away after all that time on the job without some strong feelings…

The staff at the Courier has dropped from 48 many years ago to a current total of 15 and that is among the many changes that Rocky has experienced along the way…

Like all of us, we all makes mistakes along the way but in the media, once a blip is out there, it’s out there.

Rocky also notes that like all of us, nobody is more upset with an error than the person who commits it…

Well certainly over the years, the mistakes have been few and the accomplishments have been many for Rock who notes that it will be a bit of a different feeling come Monday morning when he no longer has to report for duty…

And so finally, we take this opportunity to salute Star Courier Copy Editor Rocky Stuffelbeam on a job well done and we wish him well in his future endeavors after an outstanding 47 year career with the Kewanee Star Courier. 

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Bustos welcomes news that Galesburg is implementing several EPA recommendations

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos welcomed news that the City of Galesburg has decided to adopt several of the recommendations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address recent water tests that exceeded the federal action level. On April 14, Bustos requested that the U.S. EPA review the data from Galesburg and, on April 20, the EPA wrote a letter outlining their recommendations. Bustos received and released that letter yesterday.

“I am pleased that the City of Galesburg is moving ahead with recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency to provide families with free water testing and lead filters for those who have levels exceeding acceptable limits,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “We still have a lot of work to do to protect our children from lead exposure, but this is a step in the right direction. I look forward to partnering with leaders at all levels of government to explore all possible causes of lead exposure so we can develop comprehensive and long-term solutions to this challenge.”

In the city’s announcement, they stated that the “City of Galesburg will provide free water testing for all Galesburg water customers with a lead service line. Additionally, the City will provide water filters to residents whose testing exceeds the EPA lead action level.”

Residents are urged to look up whether they have a lead service line here: http://www.ci.galesburg.il.us/services/lead_service_lookup/

Background on other recent actions Bustos has taken:

April 8, 2016: Bustos met with Galesburg City officials and the Knox County Health Department to hear their perspective and plan to address this problem.

April 12, 2016: Bustos wrote Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard a follow up letter requesting additional data from the city to ensure that affected families in Galesburg have access to all of the information possible. Bustos’ request resulted in the city producing a map of the 4,700 lead service lines in Galesburg.

April 13, 2016: Bustos wrote an op-ed in the Galesburg Register-Mail expressing her alarm and demanding action to protect the families of Galesburg. That same day, she gave a speech on the Floor of the House continuing her push to achieve a long-term solution to the problem of elevated lead levels in Galesburg’s water.

April 14, 2016: Bustos formally requested that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency begin the process of examining the situation in Galesburg for possible action. You can also click here to read a copy of her letter.

April 21, 2016: Bustos announced that she has assigned a watchdog task force in her office to examine the issue of lead contamination across the district and work with government officials at all levels to develop solutions.

April 26, 2016: Bustos released a letter from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Acting Director Robert Kaplan outlining a list of recommended actions for the city to take to protect families whose water tests above the federal action level.

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Knox College Choir Concert, May 6

The Knox College Choir presents its spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 6 in Kresge Hall,  Ford Center for the Fine Arts, on the Knox campus in Galesburg, Illinois. The concert is free

and open to the public. Directed by Laura Lane, professor of music, the 45-voice choir will
perform works from a variety of cultures around the world, including Haiti, Brazil, Israel, Lithuania and French Canada. "Alélouya, Emile Desamours," which will be sung in Creole, is a rarely performed work from Haiti that combines the spiritual traditions and languages of Haiti, Europe and West Africa. Daniel Hall's "Reflections from Yad Vashem," featuring Knox College
student Saville Bloxam, viola, was written following the composer's visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, as a memorial to children who died in the Holocaust."To the Mothers in Brazil: Salve Regina" is dedicated to the mothers in Brazil who have lost their children in violence. The work features Knox students Stevie Hawes, flute, and Dakota Stipp, percussion. "Anoj Pusej Dunojelio" is a Lithuanian folk song featuring Knox student Madeline Pape, alto soloist. "J'entends le moulin" is a French-Canadian folk song that features the Choir's accompanist Casey Dierlam, piano. The Knox Chamber Singers will perform "Esto Les Digo," a Spanish song about love; Norman Luboff's "Much Ado About Nothings"; and "I’m a
Train," The King Singers' arrangement of song written from the point of view of a train. Founded in 1837, Knox College is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois. Knox enrolls students from 48 states and U.S. territories and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas
debates.

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Excitement Building for Andover’s June Festival

Andover’s “More Fun on 81” Festival is set for the weekend of June 4 and 5.  On Saturday, vendors are invited to participate in the arts and crafts show by emailing Garbyl@mchsi.com.  Also on Saturday, there will be a model railroad display.  Another Saturday event will be a talent show for all ages, with great cash prizes.   Information for entering the talent show can be obtained by emailing nrehn2005@gmail.com or tnelson_58@hotmail.com.

On Saturday, Jeff Selander, local watercolor artist, will have a display of his paintings in the American Women's League Building.  He was commissioned last year to do the official watercolor for Andover's 180th anniversary.  The title of the painting is "They're Playing Our Song," featuring the 135-year-old band stand in Andover Lake Park.  Autographed prints of this and some of his other paintings will be available for sale.

A  variety of food will be available throughout the weekend, starting with a coffee and bake sale Saturday morning; homemade pie and sandwiches at noon; and a pork chop supper and ice cream social served during the evening entertainment.   Breakfast will be served in the park Sunday morning, where several events will be taking place. 

Taking its name from the 26-mile long Illinois Route 81 highway that runs through Andover, Cambridge, Kewanee and Lynn Center, this year's festival will include activities in all of these communities.  Full details for the “More Fun on 81” Festival can be found at andovertourism.com/junefestival.

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Durbin teams up with Boxer to push for "Climate Change Bonds"

Senator Dick Durbin is teaming up with California colleague Barbara Boxer on new climate change legislation. While such efforts usually focus on the believed causes of climate change or global warming, Durbin says new legislation would deal with the effects...

The bill calls for the Treasury Department to issue up to $200 million annually in "Climate Change Bonds." Durbin notes Americans concerned about the issue will have a chance to put their money where their mouth is...

The bonds would be similar to ones used during World War II that helped finance the successful war effort. 

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Former Speaker of House Deemed Serial Child Molester - Facing 15 Months

The man that held the title of Speaker of the House and 2nd in line to the White House was deemed a serial child molester today by a Federal Judge. Dennis Hastert sat in court today – listening to victim testimony about how he sexually abused them while a coach and teacher at Yorkville High School. Hastert had run afoul of federal banking laws when paying “hush money” to one of his victims. He wasn’t standing trial for child molestation because of the statute of limitations, but is facing 15 months in federal prison. US Attorney Zach Fardon say there are no winners on a day like this, but he’s proud of the work law enforcement did once Hastert reached out the FBI claiming that he was the victim.

Hastert will also face 2 years of supervised release and pay a $250,000 fine that will go a victim services charity. A bombshell during the testimony was that one of Hastert’s victims was Scott Cross the brother of state politician Tom Cross. Tom Cross had looked up to Hastert as a political mentor. Scott told of when Hastert molested him in the high school locker room.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

US Attorney Zach Fardon says that hopefully today victims of sexual abuse will see what happened in this cast and be moved to tell someone about it. He says it’s clear no matter how powerful someone is the truth should come out.

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Rocky Stuffelbeam on PTP

Rocky Stuffelbeam reminisces about a 47 year career at the Kewanee Star Courier that wraps up on April 29th during the April 28 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

Customer service is the main topic of the April 28 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Kewanee Public LIbrary on Tuned IN

Kewanee Public Library Children's Librarian Sara Billiet talks about the Bubble Guy during the April 28 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Rauner Considers Paying for Special Session Himself

Can a state budget deal be reached this summer? Governor Bruce Rauner says that he has hope that one can be completed by the end of May. And if it would take a special session that he would consider a rather unconventional way of making sure taxpayers aren’t picking up the bill.

Rauner adds that he wants to see the fiscal year budgets for both this current year and the coming FY 17 to get done at the same time.

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Rauner is more optimistic about a budget deal

The talking points volleyed back and forth between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan have been repetitive at times and have left little room for optimism. But in the days after a deal was hammered out to get state funds to cash starved Illinois colleges and universities, the forgotten word of optimism has resurfaced at the Capitol and at least for the moment, the tone has changed. In a visit to Auburn High School, Governor Rauner said he not only wants a deal on what's left of the current fiscal year but the coming months as well...

Rauner says leaderless talks among lawmakers are starting to bear fruit......

If lawmakers have to go to special session, Rauner says he'll cover the 40-thousand dollar a day tab out of his own pocket.

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Learn About Sustainable Diets

 

Learn about Sustainable Diets, GMOs, Organic, Fair Trade, Reducing Food Waste, Local Producers and more on April 26 at 5:30 pm at U of I Extension in Milan, IL

On Tuesday, April 26, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator Kristin Bogdonas and Nina Struss, dietitian from Milan Hy-Vee will lead a program on local foods and sustainable diets.  It will take place at Rock Island County Extension, 321 W 2nd Ave. Milan, IL from 5:30 – 7 p.m. They will lead a discussion on some of the hot topics like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), organic, fair trade and what it means to adopt a lifestyle that emphasizes sustainable living and reducing food waste.  As part of the program, participants will sample some fair trade foods, sprouted grain bread and other local products.  They will also get step-by-step instructions on how to “sprout at home” and sample homemade alfalfa sprouts.  They can taste a cookie made from cricket flour as they hear about how insects are one of the most sustainable forms of protein in the world.  They will meet local producers Chad and Nieko Summers of Healthy Harvest Urban Farms, owners of the area's newest locally-grown grocery store opening soon in downtown Rock Island.  Hear their story of how their life and health have been altered by eating and growing organic foods.  Register for the program at University of Illinois Extension’s Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties website http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call(309) 756-9978.  The cost is $5 per person.  University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact (309) 756-9978.

 

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Bustos Legislation

 

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced that her bipartisan bill to improve care for children born with opioid addiction has passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Bustos' bill, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act (H.R. 4978), now moves toward full consideration by the House.

 

“As a mother, I can't think of anything more important than helping our children get off to a healthy start which is why we have to do more to help babies born with addition to drugs like heroin,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Heroin addiction has ravaged too many families in communities across Illinois and we must all do our part to address this crisis. I’m proud that my bipartisan legislation passed out of Committee, because as more children are born into the world experiencing withdrawal symptoms every year, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act will lead to improved treatment and care for babies who have been exposed to opioids during pregnancy.”

 

Last week, Congresswoman Bustos introduced H.R. 4978, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act with Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va). This legislation will expand our knowledge of care of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), including the prevalence of NAS in the United States, the number of NAS babies covered by Medicaid, the settings for care for NAS babies, and access to care for NAS babies under state Medicaid programs. The bill also directs the Government Accountability Office to identify any federal obstacles to care for NAS babies.

 

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Map Amendment Update

The drive to get the MAP Amendment or re-districting process on the November ballot in Illinois continues to move forward.

Well more than the required number of signatures from Illinois citizens has already been accomplished but not everyone is on board.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he is concerned that the process might be unfair for some minority groups in the state.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a proponent of the Amendment and Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten takes this opportunity to debunk Madigan’s concerns…

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New Saturday Hours at OSF Medical Group in Kewanee

The OSF Medical Group in Kewanee now has new hours of operation on Saturday.

OSF St Luke Medical Center Marketing Director Carrie Boelens says that illness, does not take the weekend off…

 

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Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday in Kewanee

A reminder that the Kewanee Police Department in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency will host a prescription drug take back initiative on Saturday from 10 until 2 in the rotunda at Kewanee City Hall.

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison says it’s an opportunity to rid one’s home of unwanted prescriptions and similar items…

Chief Dison adds that no needles or aerosol containers will be accepted and he also addresses the need for the take back effort…

Chief Dison also stresses that this initiative is a voluntary effort on the part of citizens with no strings attached…

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Black Hawk College sweeps NACTA Judging Conference

GALVA, Ill. – Congratulations to Black Hawk College East Campus students and coaches for winning the 2016 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference Sweepstakes Award!

This marks the eighth time Black Hawk College has garnered the top prize at the national judging conference. BHC students brought home the Sweepstakes Award in 1981-85, 1989 and 2009.

The 2016 conference attracted 575 college students from 15 two-year schools and 23 four-year schools. They competed in contests focused on agriculture and natural resources.

Awards are presented to the top three individuals and top three teams in each contest in both the two-year and four-year categories.

Black Hawk College competed in 15 of 16 contests and won nine contests – Agribusiness Management, Agriculture Sales, Dairy Judging, Hippology, Horse Judging, Horticulture, Knowledge Bowl, Livestock Judging and Wildlife.

“I am very proud of these students. They rock!” said Drew Cotton, coach of the Agribusiness Management Team, Hippology Team and Horse Judging Team.

“Not only are they very successful competitively, but even more important they are great people!” he said.

“Our students were really prepared and the competition was tough,” said Jeffry Hawes, coach of the Crops Team, Horticulture Team and Landscape Design Team and co-coach of the Knowledge Bowl Team.

“With success comes energy and excitement,” said Andrew Larson, Soils Team coach.

The 2016 NACTA Judging Conference was hosted by the University of Minnesota Crookston. Black Hawk College hosted the conference in 2015.
 

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Kewanee Boil Order Lifted

The boil order issued Monday 4/25/16 for McKinley Avenue from Main to Vine Streets, as well as 615 Morton Avenue, 601 South Vine Street, 500 South Main Street (Walgreens) and 600 South Main Street has been lifted.  

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Kewanee Historical Society on Tuned IN

Kewanee Historical Society President Mr. Larry Lock talks about a specail day on May 7 during the April 27 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Norco pills laced with fentanyl and history are discussed during the April 27 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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BHHA seeking artists for Summer Residence Program

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is starting an artist-in-residence program based in VagnHall Galleri, located in the Prairie Arts Center in Bishop Hill, Illinois.  The purpose of this program is to provide artists with the opportunity to create and explore their work independently, using historic Bishop Hill as their inspiration.  The duration of the residency is one to six months. This program supports emerging and established artists.  Joint and group applications will be considered.  Applications are invited from primarily visual artists; however, proposals from artists practicing other forms, such as writing, music, poetry, etc., will also be considered.  For more details, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net. 

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Group Wants New Crush Proof Pills To Curb Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction and use continues to climb in Illinois and experts say that it cuts across all economic and social barriers. Now a group comprised of doctors, law enforcement and recovering heroin addicts is asking for a law curb addition to prescription pain pills. Pending legislation in the Illinois House would require crush proof pills to be covered by insurance plans in Illinois. Dr. Michael Rock says that when pills produced with O.A.D.P.s, a formulation that prevents pills easily being crushed, are given to patients they can stop many addicts from using the pills to get high.

A county coroner calls the addition of abuse deterrent properties in opioid pills a key tool in the battle to keep people alive.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO

Cinda Edwards, Sangamon County Coroner says in there is a clear need to mitigate heroin and opioid overdose deaths. Edwards says those abuse deterrent properties helps to stand in the way of potential deaths.

Dr. Michael Rock says adding deterrents to the pills can impact the cycle of abuse and addiction.

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STD Awareness Month

 

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that April is STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Awareness Month.  Sandy Sommer, RN Director of Clinical Services, notes, "With an estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occurring every year in the US, it is clear that STDs remain a widespread health threat in this country."

 

    Sommer adds, "In addition, STD infections cost the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.  And it's America's youth that is shouldering the substantial burden of these infections.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of all new STDs in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24."

 

    Sommer notes, "With all these disturbing statistics it is obvious that STD Awareness Month is an opportune time to remind area residents that the Health Department offers confidential:"

 

~ STD Testing for Males and Females

~ Treatment of STDs

~ Contraceptive Supplies

~ Preventative immunizations against such STDs as Hepatitis B and HPV ~ Counseling, Education, and Referral

~ Expedited Partner Treatment

 

    Testing and knowledge of infection are vital to reducing the incidence and spread of STDs.  Because many infections have no symptoms, those at risk need to get tested and find out if they are infected.

 

    There are many actions you can take to protect yourself and others from STDs:

   

    * Abstinence - The most reliable way to avoid infection with an STD are to abstain from sex or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

 

    * Correct and consistent use of condoms - Consistent use of latex condoms reduces the risk of HIV and other STDs.  (Supplies are available through the Health Departments Kewanee and Colona offices.)

 

    * Screening - Getting tested and treated for STDs can protect you from serious health consequences caused by STDs. (STD Testing available at the Health Department.)

 

    * Immunizations - Receiving recommended Hepatitis B and HPV immunizations can almost completely prevent infections covered by the vaccines.

 

    Adds Sommer, "Though the subject of STDs may not be a comfortable healthcare issue to discuss, we want people to remember the Health Department is a source of confidential testing, treatment, and education.   And we are literally just a phone call away.  People should know we offer the tools and services people need to stay healthy."

 

    The clinic accepts medicaid payments and private pay.  A sliding fee scale, based on the client's income, has been established to assist low-income families to obtain services.  In addition, grant funds are available for those who meet certain eligibility requirements.

 

    For more information or to schedule an appointment call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 (Main Kewanee Office) or 792-4011 (Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com.  You may also find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

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IL Mayors Support SB3070

- Illinois mayors and firefighters have united in an effort to protect public interests in the form of support on common sense legislation, SB 3070, which reinstates the Public Duty Rule, a longstanding principle that has rightfully protected local governments and their employees.

 

"The only focus in emergency response should be the well-being of those in need," said AFFI President Pat Devaney. "Our responders have one priority, and it shouldn't be impeded by those who wish to profit over the misfortune of others."

 

Since the public duty rule was overturned in January 2016 by the Illinois Supreme Court, public safety providers have concerns about the negative consequences that would result from frivolous legal action and forgone legal protection against some of the most needed members of any community - law enforcement, emergency medical personnel and firefighters.

 

The public duty rule, a rule of law dating back to the 1800s, existed for the purpose of protecting governmental entities and their employees from costly and burdensome litigation that could be imposed by citizens who receive local services, such as police and fire protection. The idea being that public entities owe a duty to the public at large, and not any one individual. This meant that first responders could prioritize their responses based on available resources without the fear of lawsuits when a service didn't meet expectations. It's also important to note that the public duty rule only protects these entities in matters pertaining to pre-scene events and/or care, not events occurring after the public safety employees have arrived.

 

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in Coleman v. East Joliet Fire Protection District (2016) that the public duty rule is no longer viable in Illinois.

 

In their decision, the justices struck down the public duty rule because (1) the application of the public duty rule has been inconsistent; (2) the application of the rule is incompatible with the legislature's grant of limited immunity in cases of willful and wanton conduct; and (3) the legislature's enactment of statutory immunities has rendered the rule obsolete.

 

Illinois law now considers that a governmental entity and its employees owe a specific duty of care to individual members of the general public and can therefore be sued for a failure to deliver this specific level of care.

 

As a result, more tax dollars will be diverted away from essential public purposes.

 

Despite the Illinois Supreme Court opinion, the public duty rule is still of critical importance to local governments. The Illinois Municipal League (IML), the statewide organization representing all 1,297 communities throughout Illinois, is asking the General Assembly to restore the broad protections previously provided by the common law public duty rule by codifying it into statute.

 

"First responders need legal protection to prioritize their actions based on resources available," said Brad Cole, IML Executive Director. "Abolishing the public duty rule exposed local governments to costly litigation. At a time when budgets are already stretched thin, this money is better spent on actual services that benefit the community."

 

The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, which represents first responders statewide, supports the legislation as a means to stop frivolous and costly lawsuits that divert resources needed to protect our communities.

 

"First and foremost, our members are committed to the health and safety of the millions of Illinoisans we serve," said Devaney. "The legislation simply clarifies what was established many years ago in the origins of common law. There will be no negative impact on the way we respond to the needs of our communities. In fact, the only threat to our response would be of the numerous lawsuits that otherwise would take advantage of a legal loophole that needs to be closed."

 

Both Cole and Devaney said the legislation will enable public safety employees, firefighters and emergency medical personnel to effectively respond to calls without fear of frivolous legal action.

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Vintage Camper Rally

 

Illowa Vintage Camper Rally

Camp out for the weekend near the Mighty Mississippi River at the KOA in Rock Island, Illinois, and show off your beautiful Vintage Camper!  Just minutes from I-280, I-74, and I-80, and eastern Iowa, and located half way between Des Moines Iowa and Chicago Illinois.

 

DATES: Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 1, 2016

 

TRUE VINTAGE CAMPERS ONLY PLEASE!  1970, 1960, 1950, 1940 and older, if there are any still out there.  This is a family event!  Dogs are welcome too, and there's a dog park across the street from the KOA.  We will have nightly campfires and potlucks! 

 

VINTAGE CAMPER TOUR will be held Saturday afternoon for the public on Saturday, April 30 from 1-3 p.m.  Entry Donations accepted at the office and 100% goes to KOA Kids Care Camp.  www.koacarecamps.org

 

RESERVATION for CAMPING: Please call the KOA direct 309.787.0665 and ask for the Vintage Rally spaces. Camping is $25 per night per unit. We will be in a great area at the campground and will be placing 3 - 4 campers on their huge pull-through spaces. Each camper will have electric and water hookups.  Rock Island / Quad Cities KOA 2311 78th Avenue West, Rock Island, IL  61201.  www.rockislandkoa.com

 

RALLY FEE: Rally Fee is $20 per adult; kids are free. Included in fee is Saturday evening grill out and Sunday Breakfast.

For more details, please contact Pam Fisher, Rally Host, pam@vintagecamperlifestyle.com or 309.738.7380.

www.vintagecamperlifestyle.com

 

 

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Prison Update

The plan to appeal the closure of the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee continues to move forward.

Mayor Steve Looney says a local and area contingent went to Springfield recently to further assess the situation…

Mayor Looney adds that it would appear that the decision to close the prison has already been made in Springfield…   

 

Mayor Looney also says he is still optimistic for some future use of the facility…

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Ameren IL Prepared for Mother Nature's Challenges

When a major storm threatens to disrupt the power system, Ameren Illinois co-workers are not only on the scene promptly, they are frequently there before the outages even occur.

Like a military operation, Ameren Illinois plans ahead for emergency situations and it has skilled linemen, gas workers and field personnel who are trained to handle whatever Mother Nature throws their way. However, working to restore power after a major storm is a complex task.

“The safety of our customers and employees is our first priority during a restoration effort,” said Ray Riddle, Director of Division Operations covering East St. Louis and St. Clair County. “We must respond safely and efficiently to restore electric and natural gas service to our customers, who depend on us.”

When the damage is widespread or outages affect a large number of customers, that’s what creates the complexity of the restoration efforts.

“We have a very well-defined storm plan that details roles and responsibilities,” Riddle said. “When we activate our state-level emergency operations center (EOC) in Decatur, it is staffed around-the-clock to direct service restoration, logistical support and communications across our entire service territory.”

Riddle said the plan starts with communicating with key stakeholders.

“We immediately connect with hospitals, police and fire departments, and local emergency officials to determine whether these critical facilities have power,” Riddle said. “Restoring service to vital community resources is a priority. Customers can rest assured that we work to get everyone restored as quickly and safely as possible.”

 

Preparing for Mother Nature’s Wrath

 

Ameren Illinois regularly participates in drills to stay prepared, including last summer’s earthquake preparedness training exercise in Springfield.

“We try to stay as active as we can in being ready for any situation that can cause an extended an outage,” Riddle said. “For example, we have a very sophisticated weather-tracking system that is monitored 24-7. If severe weather is imminent, our EOC will alert key personnel to get equipment ready, charge laptops and mobile devices and fuel our fleet to be ready to roll.”

Alerts also give Ameren Illinois workers the chance to tell family members they may be away from home for a few days and allow time to pack.

“If the weather forecast is severe enough, we will move first responders to the expected area of damage the day before, so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running,” he said. “That includes the linemen to the people who are supporting our logistical needs, such as meals, lodging and supply materials – all of those kinds of things.”

Getting the Power Back on

Ameren Illinois participates in the electric industry’s mutual assistance network through Edison Electric Institute, which means they are available to help with emergencies in other parts of the country like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, and can also count on help from other utilities. Following the winter storm that hit the Metro East on February 24, crews from several states assisted Ameren Illinois in its the restoration.

“We recently went to Chicago to assist a company with their restoration effort,” Riddle said.  “It’s not unusual for us to provide resources, as well as accept them when we need them. The real key is being able to bring in a large number of resources in a quick manner. It’s all about being able to get the lights back on as safely and as quickly as we can.”

Riddle said identifying damage rapidly, particularly downed wires, is crucial. That allows the EOC to quickly determine how many linemen it will need and how much material, such as poles and wire, to get to the scene.

Ameren Illinois has storm trailers stocked and ready to go that can be moved anywhere in the state in a timely fashion.

“Those trailers have all the basic materials we need to get a large number of poles, structures, wire and hardware up in the air in a relatively short period of time,” Riddle said. “We even have a team that handles lodging, food and laundry. We really have all the facilities to handle logistics for a large restoration.”

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U of I Spends Big to Find an AD

Apparently it’s not cheap to hire an athletic director at the University of Illinois. The U of I is expecting to pay close to $200,000 for the search that concluded more than a month ago. The Champaign News Gazette reported the figures Monday. The University spent $11,000 to hold offsite interviews in Indianapolis. But a search firm, Korn Ferry Executive Search will bring in the most money – they are being paid a flat fee of $140,000 and on top of that will receive expenses.
The U of I wound up hiring a former Illini football player and alum Josh Whitman. 

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AFSCME and Rauner in Court

An effort to get the state’s largest labor union and the Governor together on a new contract has spilled over to hearings at the Labor Relations Board. ASFCME and the Governors’ staff appeared Monday during a hearing on the impasse. An administrative law judge will now issue a decision on whether or not the two parties are really at a standstill. If the judge decides in favor of Rauner he will then be free to dictate the terms of the next union contract to AFSCME members. 

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Rauner Signs Education Funding Bill

The bill that came together late last week to fund parts of higher education is now law. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill Monday that will partially fund universities, junior colleges and MAP grants. Rauner says in an email statement that the law is a “first step towards compromise”. Comptroller Leslie Munger said late last week she would have her office
prioritize getting those bills paid. 

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Trying To Find Help for Vets

A search to end the mounting suicides of veteran’s will be the focus of a task force next month. Vets’ are committing suicide at a rate of 22 a day and now agencies in Illinois are trying to do what they can to stem the losses. US Marine Alex Brackett wants more ways for those returning home from service to find a way to connect back to their local communities.

The meetings will be held throughout the state.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora wants a number of state agencies to help veterans in need.


 

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Take Me Out At the Ball Game â€" A Murder Mystery Dinner FundRaiser in Bishop Hill

The Bishop Hill Arts Council is hosting an audience participation murder mystery dinner Saturday, May 21 at P.L. Johnson’s Dining Room as part of a larger Vintage Baseball Weekend. Doors open for the murder mystery dinner party at 6pm  and reservations are required. The menu includes Strike Out Meatballs and Fowl Play Chicken.  Call 309- 927-3064 to purchase tickets.

Like the game of Clue brought to life, the audience is invited to play detective, collect clues, and in the end vote on who they think did the dirty deed. All the proceeds will help the Bishop Hill Arts Council fund upcoming events and their annual scholarship fund.

The play is written and produced by Bishop Hill’s local theater company, Prairie Folklore Theatre. The cast includes both professional and amateur actors and there are roles available for the audience on a first come first serve basis. Let us know if you want a role when you make reservations.

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Retired Teachers Meeting

The Henry/Stark Counties Retired Teachers will meet Wednesday May 11, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church located at 303 N. State St.  Geneseo, Il. 61254.  The afternoon will start with a noon luncheon.  Reservations for the luncheon are due on or before May 4, 2016  to Lynda DeMoss, 920 Kadel Ct. Geneseo, Il. 61254 or call 309.945.4011.  The cost of the luncheon is $10.
The program will be about Bees and other Pollinators with Al Curry.
All retired teachers of Henry and Stark counties are invited to attend.  Any first time attendee, with a reservation, is invited to be a luncheon guest.

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Mayor Steve Looney on PTP

Kewanee Mayor Steve Looney talks various city issues during the April 26 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Outer space and baseball are discussed during the April 26 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Ameren IL on Tuned IN

Ameren Safety Expert Craig Gilson talks about storm safety during the April 26 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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IL Home Sales For March


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The spring market is in swing with steady gains in March median prices and modest growth in statewide home sales even as the housing supply is low for the season, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 11,900 homes sold, up 1.9 percent from 11,676 in March 2015.

The statewide median price in March was $172,000 up 4.3 percent from March 2015 when the median price was $164,950. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Consumers this spring will be challenged to find just the right property from a diminished pool of homes to choose from," said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. "Based on increasing median prices and average days on market, it's clear if they do find the home of their dreams they are going to have to move quickly and be prepared in some instances to pay more in the face of heightened competition."

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 77 days, down from 85 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 58,613 homes for sale, a 12.3 percent decline from March 2015 when there were 66,852 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.70 percent in March 2016, up from 3.66 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2015 it averaged 3.76 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 8,386 homes sold, up 0.8 percent from March 2015 sales of 8,317 homes. The median price in March 2016 was $210,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.0 percent from $202,000 in March 2015.

“March recorded the usual monthly surge in sales in both Chicago and Illinois,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, median prices did not change very much with the major source of growth in prices coming from increases in the prices of foreclosed properties. Consumer sentiment nationally seems to reflect some uncertainties about the direction of the economy, no doubt exacerbated by vagaries of the election cycle.”

According to the data, forty-six (46) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Kendall County, up 38.2 percent with 210 units sold; Peoria County, up 15.9 percent with 204 units sold; Madison County, up 12.0 percent with 290 units sold; and Lake County, up 6.0 percent with 741 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 33.2 percent to $99,900; Sangamon County, up 15.2 percent to $137,000; Will County, up 6.7 percent to $189,900, and Cook County, up 2.9 percent to $215,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.4 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in March 2016 with 2,099 sales, down from 2,173 in March 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2016 was $268,500, up 3.3 percent compared to March 2015 when it was $260,000. 

“Intense buyer interest during the first months of the year further reduced the already low number of properties which were on the market," said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. "With more properties coming on the market as consumers embrace the spring selling season, we should see inventories better able to meet significant buyer demand. Homes are selling faster than they were last year, so consumers need to act quickly if they are interested in buying.”

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 April 7, 2016 for the period March 1 through March 31, 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.

Illinois 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, Illinois 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is celebrating 100 years of ethics, advocacy and education this year and April 25 marks the day the association was officially founded in 1916.

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

    -30-

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Nursing Home Violations



Nursing Home Violations for 2016 First Quarter

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the following type “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act were cited during the first quarter of 2016. An “A” violation pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result.

The Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators can be found on IDPH’s website and contains additional information about the violations.

January
Asbury Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation, a 75-bed skilled care facility located at 212 Airport Road, North Aurora, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to supervise residents at high risk for falls, identify potential risks for falls, and implement interventions to prevent falls, which resulted in significant injuries. The facility has requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a status conference is scheduled for May 11, 2016.

Ballard Respiratory and Rehab, a 231-bed skilled care facility located at 9300 Ballard Road, Des Plains, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to implement a resident’s plan of care for fall prevention, modify the plan of care after a fall, and provide supervision, which results in injuries. The facility has requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for April 21, 2016.

Marigold Rehab, a 172-bed skilled care facility located at 275 E. Carl Sandburg Drive, Galesburg, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to protect a resident from abuse by a staff member. The facility did not request a hearing on IDPH’s actions.

Presence Cor Mariae Center, a 134-bed skilled care and shelter care facility located at 3330 Maria Linden Drive, Rockford, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to provide medication to a resident as ordered by a physician, which contributed to the resident having a stroke. The facility requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions, a settlement was reached, and the fine was reduced to $14,433.25.

Sharon Health Care Elms, a 98-bed skilled care facility located at 3611 N. Rochelle, Peoria, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to follow a fall procedure policy, resulting in significant injuries. The facility has request a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a status conference is scheduled for May 17, 2016.

February
Aria Post Acute Care, a 198-bed skilled care facility located at 4600 N. Frontage Road, Hillside, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to implement interventions to prevent falls, follow a fall procedure policy, and conduct a fall risk assessment after a fall, which resulted in significant injuries. The facility did not request a hearing on IDPH’s actions.

Heritage Health-Mt. Zion, a 75-bed skilled care facility located at 1225 Woodland Drive, Mt. Zion, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to provide supervision to a resident dependent upon staff and known to unsafely get up and move around, which resulted in significant injuries. The facility has requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for April 27, 2016.

Lutheran Home, an 85-bed skilled care facility located at 6901 N. Galena Road, Peoria, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to follow fall interventions in a resident’s care plan, which resulted in significant injuries. The facility has requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for April 27, 2016.

Providence Palos Heights, a 193-bed skilled and intermediate care facility located at13259 S. Central Avenue, Palos Heights, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to supervise a resident at risk for falls, which resulted in significant injuries. The facility did not request a hearing on IDPH’s actions.

Stevens House, a 16-bed intermediate care facility located at 2182 Windish Drive, Galesburg, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $6,250 for failure to implement and communicate about an eating plan for a resident with unsafe eating habits, resulting in the resident choking. The facility has requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a status conference is scheduled for May 10, 2016.

Wesley Village, a 73-bed skilled care facility located at 1200 E. Grant Street, Macomb, has been cited with an “A” violations and fined $25,000 for failure to have a resident with complicated feeding problems fed by licensed or approved staff, which resulted in the resident choking. The facility requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for May 3, 2016.

March
Good Samaritan Flanagan, a 60-bed skilled care facility located at 205 N. Adams Street, Flanagan, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to implement safe transfer methods and fall interventions, which resulted in a broken hip of a resident. The facility did not request a hearing on IDPH’s actions.

Illini Heritage Rehab and HC, a 60-bed skilled care facility located at 1315 Curt Drive, Champaign, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to implement and maintain fall interventions, resulting in one resident with a fractured spine. The facility did not request a hearing on IDPH’s actions and pay the automatically reduced $16,250 fine.

Lutheran Home, an 85-bed skilled care facility located at 6901 N. Galena Road, Peoria, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure of staff to report the sexual abuse of a resident by another staff member and allowing that staff member to remain through the end of the shift. The facility requested a hearing on IDPH’s actions and a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for April 27, 2016.

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ISAC Smart Money Week

 

CHICAGO– Students and families in Illinois are facing significant challenges as the state’s now ten month budget delay has held up funding for higher education, including most funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), the state’s largest need-based grant program for college students. Even with passage of a recent stopgap funding measure, there is still significant uncertainty. And that uncertainty has left many students—particularly low-income college students—wondering how they will pay for college if MAP funding is not fully restored. As students look to find other funding to go—or stay—in school, there’s perhaps no more important time to get money-smart.  In addition to providing free workshops during Money Smart Week® (April 23-30), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) offers free financial literacy resources and tools to help students and families learn how to manage their personal finances, and make informed financial choices about colleges, student loans and more.  

“Over the last ten months we have heard about students having to make very difficult decisions about college—whether they can continue to attend without MAP funding, switch to being part-time students, transfer to another institution or will need to take on student loans,” said  Eric Zarnikow, executive director of ISAC. “Our ISACorps team members, who are available across the state for in-person assistance, as well as our free online tools, can help provide students and families with the information they need to help them make these critical decisions.”  

For Financial Literacy Month (April) and Money Smart Week, ISAC has aggregated some of its most popular free  financial literacy tools and resources on the Financial Literacy page of its newly redesigned ISAC Student Portal:

  • Learn about everything from credit cards to budgeting to making smart choices about student loans with the tools available through ISAC’s partner, SALT™ Money. SALT also offers a Repayment Navigator tool to track student loans and compare repayment plans.

  • As financial aid award letters start to arrive from colleges this month, use ISAC’s online tool to compare them.

  • Play the online FinAid game to see how much you know about financial aid.

  • Sign up for ISAC College Q&A, a free text messaging service that allows you to text questions about the college-going and/or financial aid process, and get answers from ISAC counselors sent directly to your phone.  

  • Search for an ISACorps member or a free workshop to get in-person assistance with the college-going and financial aid process. 

In addition, students can go from learning about money to making it by checking out more than 3000 job listings on the Student Portal’s new Summer Position/Internship Job Board, which is updated daily.

For more information on Money Smart Week events and resources on just about every aspect of personal finances, visitwww.moneysmartweek.org. Visit the ISAC Student Portal Financial literacy page at www.isac.org/studentportal-FinancialLiteracy for free tools and resources and to find your local ISACorps member.  

About ISAC

The mission of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is to help make college accessible and affordable for students throughout Illinois. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families--giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them. Then, through the state scholarship and grant programs ISAC administers, ISAC can help students make those choices a reality. www.isac.org

 

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Cancer Control Month

The month of April is noted among other things as cancer control month and Henry County Health Dept Public Information Director RaeAnn Tucker says not all cancers can be controlled, but there are some steps to take to try and keep the odds in your favor…

Ms. Tucker says there are some other steps to keep in mind as well…

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Bureau Valley FFA Open House

Bureau Valley FFA Agricultural Education and Tractor Restoration Open House

 

On Thursday, April 28th, from 4:30 to 7:00 PM the Bureau Valley FFA will be hosting an open house in their new Agricultural Education and Tractor Restoration building located in Manlius next to Bureau Valley High School.  There will be refreshments and this event is open to the public!!

 

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Infant Immunization Week

Even though many childhood diseases have been eradicated or at least significantly diminished, childhood vaccinations remain as important as ever.

Melissa Mundwiler is a Family Nurse Practitioner with the OSF Medical Group in Kewanee and she says a recent observance of childhood immunization week was all about spreading that message…

Ms. Mundwiler adds that some parents have reservations about immunizations but there really is no need for that…

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Durbin Wants to Spend $70 Billion on Lead in Water

Until recently many wouldn’t have spent much time wondering about the safety of their drinking water. That discussion is now happening in many homes because of recent problems in Flint Michigan. US Senator Dick Durbin says the ongoing crisis in Flint pushed him and others in the Senate to find a way to improve water systems. That’s the where he says the True LEADership Act can help a $70 billion bill that he says would be $70 billion well spent. Dr. Peter Kiefer a SIU School of Medicine Pediatrician says there are 3 main ways to ingest lead – contact with contaminated soil, lead paint and water. According to him children are at the most risk for lead poisoning.

ADDITIONAL AUIDO:

Durbin also wants a standard of testing and agreed upon levels of how much lead in one’s blood is an acceptable amount. He says the Department of Housing and Urban Development uses a standard above what the Centers for Disease Control recommends. That leaves individuals and children vulnerable.

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WKEI Open Line

Airline travel is discussed during the April 25 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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OSF St Luke on Tuned IN

St Luke Marketing Director Carrie Boelens and OSF Medical Group FNP Melissa Mundwiler talk about infant immunizations during the April 25 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Emerging Writers Competition

Jesse White Announces 12th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition

Entry forms are now available; Deadline is June 30th

 

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced today that entry forms are available for the 12th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

 

“We created the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and provide an outlet for talented writers,” White said. “Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I am looking forward to celebrating talented poets with this year’s competition.”

 

The competition is named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate

Gwendolyn Brooks, and is co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and Kevin Stein, who succeeded Brooks as Illinois Poet Laureate.

 

The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2016. Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($500), second ($300) and third place ($100). Winning poems will be submitted for possible publication in the “Ninth Letter,” “RHINO” and “Quiddity” journals and “Poetic License Press” publications. Winners will read their poems at a ceremony later this year at the Illinois State Library in Springfield. It should be noted that due to the budget impasse, the winners of the 2016 Emerging Writers competition will not receive their award money until a Fiscal Year 2017 budget is approved.

 

Forms and other information may be found at http://illinoiscenterforthebook.org. For more information, contact Illinois Center for the Book Coordinator Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or bmatheis@ilsos.net.

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IDOT Promotes Motorcycle Safety

 With spring cruising in and motorcycle season shifting into top gear, Illinois riders are eager to enjoy warm weather on the open road again. Before taking the first ride of the season, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police remind motorcyclists to take necessary steps to ensure their safety and “Gear Up – Ride Smart.”

 

 

 

The annual campaign urges riders to take precautionary measures before getting back on their bikes. Motorcyclists are encouraged to conduct a pre-ride safety inspection of their bike and refresh their riding skills with a motorcycle training class.

 

 

 

Proper safety gear is essential to safe riding. Motorcyclists are encouraged to wear the right safety equipment and accessories, including high-visibility (Hi Viz) clothing, eye protection, gloves, jackets, pants, boots and a U.S. DOT-approved helmet, at all times.

 

 

 

“While most motorcycles are only on the road for part of the year, they account for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “By choosing the proper safety equipment and brushing up on their skills, riders can do their part in making 2016 even safer for motorcycles on Illinois roads. The message is simple: Gear Up – Ride Smart.”

 

 

 

Illinois is one of two states that offer free motorcycle training classes to licensed residents. Since the Cycle Rider Safety Training Program (CRSTP) started in 1976, more than 400,000 riders have learned the basics of motorcycle riding or taken advantage of the opportunity to learn more about motorcycle safety.

 

 

 

The program is available throughout the state for all skill and experience levels. Classes are formulated for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders to teach them how to safely operate a motorcycle and sharpen their knowledge and riding skills. CRSTP is paid for by Illinois motorcyclists through a portion of their license and registration fees. For more information and to register in IDOT’s motorcycle safety courses, click here.

 

 

 

"Motorcycle season is upon us, and with it comes increased need for rider safety," said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. "Alcohol remains the number one contributing factor for motorcycle crashes. We can't stress enough the importance of refraining from drinking alcohol when riding a motorcycle. We encourage riders to participate in a motorcycle safety refresher course, to wear high visibility clothing and a helmet. The proper mind set and the proper gear can assist in preventing a traffic crash, and it can also protect you if you are involved in one."

 

 

 

Alcohol contributes to approximately 40 percent of motorcycle fatalities. The “Don’t Drink and Ride” campaign reminds motorcyclists to never mix alcohol with riding. DUI offenders are subject to penalties including fines, suspension of driving privileges and possible jail time.

 

 

 

Other Gear Up- Ride Smart Statistics:  

 

 

 

•           Three percent of total vehicle registrations are motorcycles, yet motorcycle fatalities account for more than 14 percent of all vehicle fatalities.

 

•           About half of motorcycle rider fatalities occur in crashes involving just the motorcycle. About 40 percent involve motorcycle riders who had been drinking.

 

•           Motorcycle fatalities decreased from 155 in 2013 to 119 in 2014. The number increased to 146 in 2015, according to preliminary data.

 

•           Motorcyclists need to be properly licensed and continue training, especially after a new bike purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this video for useful tips on how to stay safe this riding season. To learn more about IDOT’s motorcycle safety initiative, please visit www.startseeingmotorcycles.org.

 

 

 

For additional riding tips, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation,

 

 

 

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Kewanee Survey

Officials with the city of Kewanee continue to digest the results of the recent city wide survey.

Mayor Steve Looney says they were impressed with the great response from residents in the city…

City Manager Gary Bradley says that the survey questions were lodged in firm data with specific points…

Mayor Looney adds that sidewalks and roads were some of the main concerns from Kewanee citizens…

Mr. Bradley also notes that jobs and the local economy were also near the top of the list of concerns for Kewanee residents…

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Survey Suggests Aging Workforce


SPRINGFIELD– A shortage of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) may be on the horizon in Illinois, according to a recent study conducted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) – Illinois Center for Nursing.  The voluntary 2015 LPN Workforce Survey also finds that LPNs, in comparison to RNs, are a more racially diverse group, clustered in the urban areas of Illinois.  The survey was completed by nearly 22% of the total LPN population in Illinois.

 

“Similar to last year’s RN survey findings, the LPN workforce in Illinois appears to be aging with an insufficient population of younger nurses in the replacement pipeline,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary.  “While not yet at crisis level, this survey should serve as a clarion call to our nursing workforce planners that a potential shortage is on the horizon.  This is particularly important as LPNs play a key role in our nursing homes, extended care facilities and home care settings.”       

 

Of the respondents polled, one-third of all LPNs (ages 55 to 65 years or older) intend to retire within the next five years.  LPNs, in comparison RNs, are a racially diverse group with 25% of respondents indicating African American heritage, while those of Hispanic/Latina heritage comprise the highest percentage of the younger age groups at 8%.  Illinois LPNs are most heavily centered in urban areas, with Cook County accounting for 26.4% of the population.   

 

“Certainly a looming issue for policy makers is the growing use of home and community-based services by the US elderly population,” said Maureen Shekleton, PhD, RN, Illinois Center for Nursing Advisory Board Chairperson. “When you account for the data as a whole – workplace setting, age and intent to retire; clear implications exist for Illinois workforce planning groups as they strive to balance future demand with workforce capacities.”

 

Conducted during the 2015 Illinois LPN licensure renewal period, the workforce survey was structured to capture data on the demographics, education, workplace settings and state distribution of LPNs in Illinois.  Over 85% of individual LPNs completed licensure renewal via IDFPR’s online platform.  The survey was completed by 6,613 LPNs.

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Amron Buchanan Honored Recently

Kewanee Kiwanis member and Kewanee High School Key Club Adviser Amron Buchanan was recently honored for his many years of service to the Key Club.

As Mr. Buchanan explains, he started the Key Club at KHS in 1965…

Mr. Buchanan also says that challenges have come and gone over the years but he also points the spotlight on the students in the Key Club…

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Hydrant Repair on Monday in Kewanee

Effective Monday 4/25/16, the City of Kewanee Water Department is planning to replace a hydrant on McKinley Avenue, with a water shut off and boil order to follow.  Areas affected will include residents on McKinley from Main to Vine Streets, as well as 615 Morton Avenue, 601 South Vine Street, 500 South Main Street (Walgreens) and 600 South Main Street. Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m. and water will be off through the morning.

 

Any residents, whose water has been shut off during this repair, will be under a boil order for 48 – 72 hours following the restoration of water service.

Residents in these areas may experience low pressure, rusty water, or no water.  If the water has been turned off, take precautions when using water until the water runs clean.  Only flush the system by running cold water, running hot water may draw rust into the water heater. 

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

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More Jobs and Higher Unemployment Rates

More jobs are being created but at the same time more people are out looking for them. Unemployment is on a uptick but jobs are coming along with it. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that the state added jobs in more than half of the metro areas in the state. The best place to be right now is in Champaign Urbana where the unemployment rate is 5.8 percent. Cities with a heavy blue collar influence still lag the state in job creation, Decatur, Peoria and Rockford all have rates above 7.5 percent.


Carbondale: 7
Chicago: 6.6.
Quad-Cities: 6.5
Decatur: 7.9.
Elgin: 6.8.
Kankakee: 7.7.
Lake County: 6.5.
Peoria: 7.7
Rockford: 7.7
Metro East St. Louis: 6.8

* Statewide: 6.8; 6.

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High Ed Funding Passes the House

After falling apart last night the desire to restore some funding to starving colleges and universities found a path towards approval today. The House after pulling a $600 million stop gap funding plan for high ed passed it 106-2. Universities have been without funding since last summer and have laid off staff to deal with the short fall. Chicago State was set to close at the end of the month. This isn’t all the money they were counting on, but State Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat says that it will allow schools to keep the doors open.

A wide ranging bill will allow for funding to flow to community college and MAP grants. The Senate has to approve it before Governor Bruce Rauner gets the bill. It’s expected he will sign it into law.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Behind the scenes effort to create and pass the bill was undertaken by rank and file lawmakers. Legislative leaders were a bit on the outside of the process. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says it’s a testament to what lawmakers can accomplish.


 

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High Ed Funding Falls Apart on Thursday

One thing was for sure, a compromise on funding for higher education wouldn’t be easy to come by and that being proven true at the Illinois Capitol. Lawmakers and allies of education seemed optimistic on Thursday as the House appeared to agree on $600 million of funding for universities, junior colleges and MAP grants. But as things can in the Illinois House, the Speaker stepped in and appeared to squash any vote till today (Friday).

The House seemingly pulled the bill to add more state spending to the measure as an effort to put Governor Bruce Rauner on the spot to approve or veto critical spending on higher ed. There is a chance at a new bill or a vote before the weekend. Governor Bruce Rauner said via email statement late Thursday that he applauded members of both sides of the isle who are coming together to deliver emergency assistance to our universities, community colleges and low-income students.

By the numbers state universities would divvy up $356 million, community colleges $74 million, Chicago State receives $20 million on its own and MAP grants pick up $170 million. The spending is far below what schools were expecting or had received in the past. 

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Ameren Bills To Be Updated

Your next Ameren electric bill may look a little different. Ameren Spokeswoman Marcelyn Love says several changes are being implemented.

Love says customers will have a better understanding of the components of the bill and why certain charges are calculated.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

A new look is coming to your Ameren electric bill. Ameren Spokeswoman Marcelyn Love says several changes are being implemented and they've already received a positive review.


Most notable is improved use of color and graphics to help customers track the amount of energy they are using, with tips and strategies to help them use less and save more.
 

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Lt. Gov Here to Stay, For Now

A job once deemed so boring an elected official once quit less than halfway through his term is still important enough to lawmakers that they voted to keep it around. Thursday the Senate voted down a proposal to send a question the fall ballot if the Lieutenant Governor’s Office should be abolished. The savings is seen at $1.6 million a year. Senator Tom Cullerton a Villa Park Democrat hears from all sides about the office.

Who would step up to fill the role of Governor if something should happen to that individual while in office? The current proposal suggested that the Attorney General be next in line.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Senator Matt Murphy a Palatine Republican supports the measure but he wants a change to the suggested line of succession. The current bill would place the Attorney General next in line, regardless of party.

Eliminating the Lt. Governor’s office would save the state about $1.6 million a year.

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BHE CEC on PTP

Black Hawk College Community Education Center Coordinator David Harris says the college is herre to stay during the April 22 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Mark Schueneman's 64th birthday is one of the topics discussed during the April 22 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Food Pantry on Tuned IN

Kewanee Food Pantry Director LIsa Janey and Postal Carrier Jean Miller talk about the upcoming Letter Carriers Food Drive during the April 22 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Higher Ed Bill in Illinois Falls Apart on Thursday

 
One thing was for sure, a compromise on funding for higher education wouldn’t be easy to come by and that being proven true at the Illinois Capitol. Lawmakers and allies of education seemed optimistic on Thursday as the House appeared to agree on $600 million of funding for universities, junior colleges and MAP grants. But as things can in the Illinois House, the Speaker stepped in and appeared to squash any vote till today (Friday).

The House seemingly pulled the bill to add more state spending to the measure as an effort to put Governor Bruce Rauner on the spot to approve or veto critical spending on higher ed. There is a chance at a new bill or a vote before the weekend. Governor Bruce Rauner said via email statement late Thursday that he applauded members of both sides of the isle who are coming together to deliver emergency assistance to our universities, community colleges and low-income students.

By the numbers state universities would divvy up $356 million, community colleges $74 million, Chicago State receives $20 million on its own and MAP grants pick up $170 million. The spending is far below what schools were expecting or had received in the past. 

 

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MWAH at Wethersfield on Monday

Current youth issues including teen suicides in the area will be a focus by MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe at Wethersfield High School on Monday morning, April 25.

With true stories conveyed through an unconventional medium that’s social work-based, a teenage performing arts troupe called MWAH! will focus on these and other youth-related issues.

The 90-minute issues-oriented presentation for grades 7-12 will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Wethersfield High gym and the essence of the youthful MWAH! troupe (an acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful!), 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 area.

A common thread is choices and the importance of making the right ones.

Planning to participate with the troupe are about 20 Wethersfield junior high and high school choir members in a song written in memory of one of the first graders who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in December 2012.

Also included will be special recognition of six Wethersfield High students as ‘heroes’ for their leadership and courage and a high energy dance finale featuring WHS poms and students along with MWAH! troupe dancers.

The presentation will be followed by a one-hour debriefing-type discussion session involving Wethersfield High students and MWAH! troupe members, focusing on issues which had just been presented.

Coordinating this special assembly has been Wethersfield High School Councelor Jessie Seiden.

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.

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Visitation Fundraiser on Monday Evening

The Visitation Catholic School Scholastic Bowl team will host a fundraiser at Pizza Hut in Kewanee on Monday, April 25th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. 

Cost is set at $9 for adults and $5 for children.

The dinner will include salad bar, pizza buffet and soft drink. 

Tickets are available prior to the event at the Visitation school office or the evening of the event at Pizza Hut.  The Scholastic Bowl team members will be helping to serve on Monday evening

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Honors for KHS A.D. Tim Atwell

Kewanee High School Athletic Director Mr. Tim Atwell will be honored on April 30th by the Illinois Athletic Directors Association as the Athletic Director of the Year in Class 1A and 2A.

Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says it is an appropriate honor for the KHS A.D…..

Kewanee Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens echoes those comments by saying that Mr. Atwell goes above and beyond the call…

And so, congratulations to Kewanee High School Athletic Director Mr. Tim Atwell to be honored as the Illinois Class 1A and 2A Athletic Director of the year.  

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Animal Hording In Orion

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Henry Count Animal Control executed a search warrant on a property located 1003 First Street in Orion, Il.  The Search warrant was issued to the residence and buildings for animal hording.  Over 90 cats and 3 rabbits were removed from the residences.  The animals have all been taken to the Orion Vet Clinic and the Geneseo Humane Society.  The case has been sent to the Illinois States Attorney’s Office and charges are pending.    

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Rep. Bustos Announces Watchdog Task Force to investigate lead levels in Illinois

WASHINGTON - In a floor speech delivered today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced the launch of a watchdog task force in her office to investigate lead levels throughout Illinois’ 17th District, investigate problems of lead contamination and work with government officials at all levels to develop solutions. Bustos made this announcement in a floor speech where she also addressed the importance of working collaboratively to address the challenge of lead contamination.

“Whether you’re a mayor, an alderman or a member of Congress, it’s the job of all elected officials to be problem solvers for the families we serve,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “For almost 25 years, the city of Galesburg has had a problem. For the majority of water tests conducted since 1992, the samples have had lead content exceeding the federal action level. And in the most recent health report, we learned that more than 14 percent of children tested in Knox County had high lead levels in their small bodies. When there’s a serious problem, leaders come together to solve it. They don’t point fingers, and they certainly don’t deny facts. Government officials at all levels have a responsibility to work constructively to solve this problem and protect our children. This is why I've assigned a watchdog task force in my office to investigate lead contamination throughout our congressional district and to work with government officials at all levels to develop comprehensive solutions. We need to work together to solve this problem. Because that’s what leaders do.”

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Surtax on Millionaires Going Nowhere

In the last state wide election voters supported by a wide margin a tax on incomes of a million dollars or more in Illinois but Wednesday the Illinois House voted bill down that would give voters a chance to vote again. Speaker Mike Madigan helped place an that advisory question on the 2014 ballot and today before his chamber voted on putting a binding constitutional question on the fall ballot he says that education funding must come before wishes of the top earners in the state

The bill failed by three votes. It would have created a surtax on the portion of income above $1 million. Madigan wanted the new tax proceeds to go education and be doled out on a per-pupil basis. Madigan says that it would generate about a billion dollars or $530 per pupil per year. Republicans contend the move would push high earners out of the state and generate less money than expected.

 

Republican’s feel that the tax will drive the state’s highest earners out of Illinois. Rep. David Harris a Republican from Mount Prospect says that its about more than the 1 percent.

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U of I Set to Layoff Off Staff

Layoffs are coming to the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. The school announced that they are because of the on-going budget stalemate. The school froze the hiring of civil service employees this week and department heads were asked for cuts to existing civil service employees. The job cuts and layoffs won’t be immediate, rather taking place on August 27th. A union that represents a number of impacted workers says they have asked how many workers will be laid off but they haven’t heard anything yet. The University has been mostly immune so far to cut backs because of a lack of a state budget, WIU, EIU and Chicago State have all cut jobs.

The layoffs come at a time when a patchwork to get state funding to schools is being talked about at the Capitol. 

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Prince has Passed Away At Age 57

 Prince Rogers Nelson - the artist known as Prince - who pioneered "the Minneapolis sound" and took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom has died. He was 57. Correspondent Miguel Marquez, has details on the public's response.

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Fantasy Sports Bill Advancing

Fantasy sports may be made up of make believe teams but the money won and lost on them is real and state lawmakers are working to find a path to legalization. A panel of House lawmakers approved legislation to legalize online daily fantasy sports wagering. The bill would have the Illinois Gaming Board oversee the contests and the businesses that run them. The state is also seeking to charge the operators a licensing fee based on revenue. The new regulations would forbid employees of daily fantasy sports teams from playing in the games and would bar anyone under 21 from playing.

Now that the bill is out of committee it needs to advance on to another vote in the House. 

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MAP and University Funding May Move Forward

Colleges and universities in the state continue to wait for money owed to them since the start of the school year and some are on life support. But a few plans to address the lack of state funding for schools and MAP grants are starting to come out of the legislature. One plan has full funding going to WIU, EIU, Chicago State and Northeastern along with five percent of funding going to SIU-C.
But Rep. Mike Fortner a West Chicago Republican wants to send all nine public universities a third of their promised funding. In all is more that $550 million in spending. Fortner says right now schools won’t make it till fall.

Statewide Eastern and Chicago State are seen as in the worst shape. Fortner also included a plan that would fund one semester of MAP grants to low income students. That’s not in the plan from Rep. Rita Mayfield. Fortner wants the money to pay for this swept from the Education Assistance Fund.

But Rep. Mike Fortner a West Chicago Republican wants to send all nine public universities a third of their promised funding. In all is more that $550 million in spending. Fortner acknowledges that this is a far from perfect plan but one that should be able to get schools through the rest of this year and let them be able to open their doors in August. 

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Jay Norden, Walnut, IL RECOGNIZED AS DISTRICT FFA PROFICIENCY WINNER

Jay Norden was selected as the District FFA Proficiency Winner in Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance.  Jay is a member of the Bureau Valley FFA Chapter of the Illinois Association FFA.  Illinois FFA recognizes students in fifty-two different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agriculture Experiences or SAE.  FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award.  SAEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Jay Norden was selected as the District 1 Winner by a committee of agriculture industry representatives and teachers knowledgeable in this work-based area.  Jay Norden is the son of Bill and Karla Norden of Walnut, IL.

Jay Norden competed at the State Proficiency contest on April 2 at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He did not win his proficiency area, however, he represented the Bureau Valley FFA very well. Congratulations!!!
 

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Chase Gripp, Sheffield, IL RECOGNIZED AS DISTRICT FFA PROFICIENCY WINNER and SECTION 3 STAR FARMER

Chase Gripp was selected as the District FFA Proficiency Winner in FIBER AND/OR OIL CROP PRODUCTION.  Chase is a member of the Bureau Valley FFA Chapter of the Illinois Association FFA.  Illinois FFA recognizes students in fifty-two different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agriculture Experiences or SAE.  FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award.  SAEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Chase Gripp was selected as the District 1 Winner by a committee of agriculture industry representatives and teachers knowledgeable in this work-based area.  Chase Gripp is the son of Chad and Tenielle Gripp, Sheffield, IL.

Chase Gripp competed at the State Proficiency contest on April 2 at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He did not win his proficiency area, however, he represented the Bureau Valley FFA very well. Congratulations!!!
 

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Kewanee Police Seek Information on Shooting Incident

 

On April 20, 2016 at approximately 10:07 p.m. the Kewanee Police Department responded to a report of possible gunshots shots being fired in the Cole/Lake Street area.  Upon arrival in the area, officers canvassed the area and located a vehicle and two mobile homes that had been hit by a projectile.  A vehicle was heard leaving the area eastbound on Lake Street.  No injuries were reported.

 

If anyone observed a vehicle in that area or could provide additional information in this incident, please call the Kewanee Police Department at 309-853-1911 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-227-2324.

 

Chief Jim Dison

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Health Dept Planning Services


"HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERS FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES"

 

   The Henry and Stark County Health Departments remind area residents of their Family Planning clinic program.

 

    Through the family planning clinic program, the Health Department hopes to give women the information and means they need to plan pregnancies and make responsible decisions.  The program also hopes to detect other health problems early in their development so that clients can be referred to other health care providers for treatment.

 

    Clinics are held in Kewanee at the Health Department offices, Route 78 South.  Appointments, which are necessary, may be made by contacting the Health Department.

   

    The family planning program provides annual physical exams to area women, including a breast exam and pap smear.

 

    The clinic accepts medicaid payments and private pay.  A sliding fee scale, based on the client's income, had been established to assist low-income families to obtain services.  In addition, grant funds are available for those who meet certain eligibility requirements.

 

    In addition to contraceptive services, the clinic also offers pregnancy testing.  

 

    For more information or to schedule an appointment call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 or visit our website atwww.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

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Safe Driving During the Planting Season

With the spring planting season underway comes the reminder to the motoring public to slow down and be alert to the slow moving farm equipment that will also be sharing area roadways.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says collisions with some of that big farm equipment usually is bad news for motorists…

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Elizabethkingia Found in Illinois

 

Cluster Of Elizabethkingia Cases Identified In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today recent test results show 10 Illinois residents have been diagnosed with infections caused by a strain of Elizabethkingia anophelis that is different from the outbreak in Wisconsin.

Because of the Elizabethkingia outbreak in Wisconsin, IDPH sent alerts to Illinois hospitals and laboratories in early February and again in March requesting that they report all cases of Elizabethkingia going as far back as January 1, 2014. Additionally, IDPH requested that facilities save any remaining specimens for possible testing.

IDPH sent the specimens it received to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing, which resulted in the confirmation of these 10 cases. Six of those individuals have died; however, IDPH is unable to determine ifElizabethkingia was the cause of death because many of those individuals had underlying health conditions. As part of its testing, the CDC previously identified a case of Elizabethkingia that matches the strain in the Wisconsin outbreak. Earlier this month, IDPH reported that one case in Illinois related to the Wisconsin strain.

“Although this strain of Elizabethkingia is different than the one seen in the Wisconsin outbreak, our investigatory methods remain the same and we continue to work with the CDC and our local health departments to investigate this cluster of cases and develop ways to prevent additional infections,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.

Health officials continue to collect case histories and other information to try to find a connection among these individuals. Previously, health providers were not required to report individual cases of Elizabethkingia, so it is difficult to determine the degree and kind of exposure that results in illness. For the same reason, it is difficult to estimate how many cases of illness actually occur each year.

Elizabethkingia bacteria are commonly found in the environment, but do not typically cause human illness. The majority of the infections identified to date in Illinois have been bloodstream infections and in patients who are over age 65.

To help prevent illness due to various types of bacteria, implement good health practices, wash your hands frequently, and make sure your health care providers do the same.

More information about Elizabethkingia can be found on the CDC website.
For interviews with Director Shah, please contact Melaney Arnold at 217-558-0500.

 

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Hens and Heels this Weekend

The Hens in Heels Spring Open House Tour will be held on Friday through Sunday at several locations in Henry County.

The Hens in Heels Trail is a self-guided shopping trip worth sharing with you girlfriends, mothers and daughters.

Henry County Tourism Bureau Director Cathy Foes says it will be an opportunity for the girls to experience the rural charm and hospitality in Henry County…

Ms. Foes adds that the Trail will take you to home grown specialty stores and local eateries…

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Henry County Planting Update

Farmers are making some progress with the spring planting season in Henry County and all across the Tri-County area for that matter.

Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says progress has been variable to this point of the season…

Ms. Laleman also reminds the milk drinking public that they can also help out with the plastic caps off of those gallons of milk…

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Illinois home prices climb 4.3 percent in March; sales increase 1.9 percent

 The spring market is in swing with steady gains in March median prices and modest growth in statewide home sales even as the housing supply is low for the season, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 11,900 homes sold, up 1.9 percent from 11,676 in March 2015.

The statewide median price in March was $172,000 up 4.3 percent from March 2015 when the median price was $164,950. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Consumers this spring will be challenged to find just the right property from a diminished pool of homes to choose from," said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. "Based on increasing median prices and average days on market, it's clear if they do find the home of their dreams they are going to have to move quickly and be prepared in some instances to pay more in the face of heightened competition."

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 77 days, down from 85 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 58,613 homes for sale, a 12.3 percent decline from March 2015 when there were 66,852 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.70 percent in March 2016, up from 3.66 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2015 it averaged 3.76 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 8,386 homes sold, up 0.8 percent from March 2015 sales of 8,317 homes. The median price in March 2016 was $210,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.0 percent from $202,000 in March 2015.

“March recorded the usual monthly surge in sales in both Chicago and Illinois,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, median prices did not change very much with the major source of growth in prices coming from increases in the prices of foreclosed properties. Consumer sentiment nationally seems to reflect some uncertainties about the direction of the economy, no doubt exacerbated by vagaries of the election cycle.”

According to the data, forty-six (46) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Kendall County, up 38.2 percent with 210 units sold; Peoria County, up 15.9 percent with 204 units sold; Madison County, up 12.0 percent with 290 units sold; and Lake County, up 6.0 percent with 741 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 33.2 percent to $99,900; Sangamon County, up 15.2 percent to $137,000; Will County, up 6.7 percent to $189,900, and Cook County, up 2.9 percent to $215,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.4 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in March 2016 with 2,099 sales, down from 2,173 in March 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2016 was $268,500, up 3.3 percent compared to March 2015 when it was $260,000.

“Intense buyer interest during the first months of the year further reduced the already low number of properties which were on the market," said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. "With more properties coming on the market as consumers embrace the spring selling season, we should see inventories better able to meet significant buyer demand. Homes are selling faster than they were last year, so consumers need to act quickly if they are interested in buying.”

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 April 7, 2016 for the period March 1 through March 31, 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.

Illinois 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, Illinois 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is celebrating 100 years of ethics, advocacy and education this year and April 25 marks the day the association was officially founded in 1916.

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

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Bureau Valley FFA Agricultural Education and Tractor Restoration Open House

On Thursday, April 28th, from 4:30 to 7:00 PM the Bureau Valley FFA will be hosting an open house in their new Agricultural Education and Tractor Restoration building located in Manlius next to Bureau Valley High School.  There will be refreshments and this event is open to the public!! We hope to see everyone there!

 

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MEGHAN TRAINOR’S NATIONWIDE TOUR TO STOP AT 2016 ILLINOIS STATE FAIR

 Singer, songwriter, producer extraordinaire Meghan Trainor is bringing “The Untouchable Tour” to the 2016 Illinois State Fair this August.   The 20-year-old became a household name in 2014 with her hit song, “All About That Bass.”  The song reached number one in 58 countries, including in the United States where it spent eight consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Trainor followed that success with the hit song “Lips Are Movin,” “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” and more.

 

Trainor’s music is sometimes considered Pop, but her sound is more commonly referred to as a mix of R&B, pop, doo-wop, and soul.  Her musical inspirations include Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin.

 

In her short time in the music industry she’s earned four nominations from the American Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and 9 nominations, three Grammy nominations including one win, and many other awards.

 

Ticket prices for each of the shows at the 2016 Illinois State Fair are listed below:


Friday, August 12:  Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge
Tier 3 – $20 / Tier 2 - $25 / Tier 1 - $30 / Track - $30 / VIP - $42

Saturday, August 13:  Meghan Trainor / Hailee Steinfeld
Tier 3 - $28 / Tier 2 - $33 / Tier 1 - $38 / Track $38 / VIP - $50

Sunday, August 14:  Jake Owen / Old Dominion
Tier 3 - $15 / Tier 2 - $20 / Tier 1 - $25 / Track $25 / VIP - $37

Monday, August 15: TBA

Tuesday, August 16:  Dierks Bentley / Tucker Beathard
Tier 3 - $42 / Tier 2 - $47 / Tier 1 - $52 / Track $52 / VIP - $64

Wednesday, August 17:  KISS
Tier 3 - $49   / Tier 2 - $54   / Tier 1 - $59   / Track $59   / VIP - $74

Thursday, August 18:  TBA

Friday, August 19:  Cole Swindell / Kane Brown / LANco / Jon Langston
Tier 3 - $18 / Tier 2 - $23 / Tier 1 - $28 / Track $28 / VIP - $40

Saturday, August 20:  Little Big Town / David Nail
Tier 3 - $27 / Tier 2 - $32 / Tier 1 - $37 / Track $37 / VIP - $49

Sunday, August 21:  ZZ Top / Gregg Allman
Tier 3 - $34 / Tier 2 - $39 / Tier 1 - $44 / Track $44 / VIP - $54

An on-sale date for the above mentioned acts has not been set at this time.


More details regarding ticket sales, special events, and additional grandstand acts will be released in the coming weeks and months.  Dates for the 2016 Illinois State Fair are Aug. 12-21.

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ISP on PTP

ISP Trooper Jason Wilson discusses lax driving habits during the April 20 ediiton of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

IL Legislators pay is one of the main topics discussed during the April 20 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

 

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Henry County Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

HCFB Manager Katie Laleman talks about spring planting and milk caps during the April 20 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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National Guard to Fight Drugs

 
BLOOMINGTON, IL (04/19/2016)(readMedia)-- Illinois' war against illicit drugs is a challenge. Success is dependent upon the resources and intelligence available to any law enforcement agency, but sometimes that alone is not enough. Sometimes, it takes a cooperative effort from other organizations to close a case.

 

That is when members of the Illinois National Guard's Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment come into play. The Decatur, Illinois-based unit supports the Illinois National Guard's Counter-Drug Task Force. This program partners with local and state drug interdiction agencies to help with training, intelligence sharing and aerial support.

Agents from several agencies participated in training with the aviation unit on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them.

Participants took part in a brief class to discuss the capabilities of the Illinois National Guard's UH-72A Lakota helicopter, a high-performance helicopter built for a multi-mission environment. Afterwards, the Guardsmen provided the agents an orientation flight over Bloomington to see, first-hand, how the Lakota can assist in the fight against illicit drugs.

One of the Lakota's most exploited assets is the forward mounted infrared sensor that has the ability to track targets automatically and offers extraordinary range and detail. The sensors are capable of reading a license plate from a distance where the helicopter can remain undetected. The Lakota also utilizes advanced GPS and mapping systems.

The counter-drug task force pilot in charge of the training said the same tools were utilized in 2015 when they assisted U.S. Border Patrol agents help stop the flow of drugs, human cargo, weapons and money from freely flowing across the border.

"We conduct these orientation classes for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies just to let them know what capabilities they have at their disposal," the pilot said. "We're here to support these agencies' investigations and all they have to do is ask for assistance."

He emphasized that the task force's use of the Lakota is strictly for counter-drug enforcement, a regulation closely adhered to.

The Lakota is also a good fit for the Illinois National Guard, not just because they can serve multiple mission types, but because they are the cheapest to buy, operate and maintain compared to other Army aircraft. Eurocopter, the manufacture of the Lakota, estimates Lakota's are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to fly than UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, on October 1, the aerial team has supported 41 cooperative missions with law enforcement agencies, logging more than 30 flight hours.

Their efforts have greatly contributed to the overall success of the Illinois National Guard's Counter-Drug Task Force. Thus far, this fiscal year, the task force has assisted in the seizure of more than $102 million in drugs and property and helped effect more than 450 arrests. Last fiscal year, they also helped seized more than $519 in drugs and property.

"The Lakota's capabilities are impressive," said one of the agents participating in the training. "I'm excited to start incorporating all this helicopter has to offer into our future operations."

Cutline #1: The UH-72 Lakota flight crew leave the helicopter on the tarmac in preparation for the training with local law enforcement agents at the Central Illinois Regional Airport, in Bloomington, Illinois March 29. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

Cutline #2: UH-72 Lakota pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Manhart, gives the drug interdiction agents a safety brief prior to the agents departing on an orientation flight at Central Illinois Regional Airport, in Bloomington, Illinois, March 29. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

Cutline #3:A UH-72 Lakota helicopter flies over the Central Illinois Regional Airport, in Bloomington, Illinois, as part of an orientation flight offered to local and state drug interdiction agents March 29. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

Cutline #4:1st Sgt. James Probst, of the Illinois Army National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force, speaks with a state drug interdiction agent about the capabilities of the UH-72 Lakota helicopter as part of orientation training conducted at the Central Illinois Regional Airport, in Bloomington, Illinois, March 29. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

 

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School Funding Issues

Governor Bruce Rauner recently made some proposals about funding for education in Illinois that have left some holes that need to be filled in.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says a recent meeting at the local level tried to make sense of those proposals…

Mr. Kazubowski says there is more confusion and uncertainty that surround the governor’s proposal…

Mr. Kazubowski also says that funding levels are not in line with reality and that is the case when things are going well…

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Bustos Introduces Legislation

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) announced that they have introduced bipartisan legislation to improve care for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), exposure to opioids during pregnancy.

 

H.R. 4978, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act will expand our knowledge of care of NAS babies, including the prevalence of NAS in the United States, the number of NAS babies covered by Medicaid, the settings for care for NAS babies, and access to care for NAS babies under state Medicaid programs. The bill, also known as the NAS Babies Act, also directs the Government Accountability Office to identify any federal obstacles to care for NAS babies.

 

The NAS Healthy Babies Act is being marked up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on Wednesday, April 20.

 

“As a mother, there’s nothing more important than making sure all of our children get a healthy start. The scourge of opioid addiction has hurt families in large cities and rural communities across our nation, and we need to do more to address this ongoing crisis, especially when it comes to helping babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act because, as more and more children are born into the world with withdrawal symptoms every year, it’s critically important to make sure we're doing everything possible to help these kids get on the path to a healthy childhood,” Rep. Bustos said.

 

“Nearly every community in every state has been impacted by heroin and opioid addiction, and newborns are the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic. The sounds of babies crying as they experience drug withdrawal are heartbreaking, and we can only truly address this crisis by working together. The NAS Healthy Babies Act will build on efforts in Congress to combat the drug crisis, identify federal barriers to care, and expand our knowledge of care and treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome. I am proud to stand with Rep. Bustos to introduce this bill, and I will continue to fight for legislation and solutions to give these babies a chance for a healthy start to life,” Rep. Jenkins said.

 

The bill is also cosponsored by Reps. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.).

 

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IL Lawmakers Pay to be Delayed

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The state owes billions and billions in unpaid bills and now those waiting for overdue checks will include legislators. On Sunday Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that she would start treating paying salaries for the General Assembly and Constitutional officers the same as other governmental payments. That means they will be delayed.

Munger says that the line is a long one to wait in and the salaries of 177 individuals isn’t a huge amount of money, $1.3 million a month, but it’s a sign that everyone is in the budget stalemate together.



The payment vouchers will go in each month but now they will follow in line with other payments to social service agencies, businesses and other vendors waiting for payment. Lawmakers get paid once a month at the end of the month.

Payments in the state are delayed now by at least two months because of the backlog created by the lack of a budget.

 

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MRI Open House

A very nice crowd gathered for the blessing and ribbon cutting for the new MRI unit at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee on Tuesday afternoon.

The new MRI features a wider bore which offers more room for those who have difficulty dealing with confined spaces in addition to creating an enhanced patient experience with improved climate control and noise reduction.

St Luke President Lynn Fulton comments by saying that OSF has made a significant investment in care for the Kewanee community in the area of diagnostic radiology.

The new MRI unit caps a two year, $2.2 million dollar expansion project which includes bringing the latest MRI technology to Kewanee and the surrounding area.

Emily Costenson is the Director of Radiology at St Luke and she says patients can check out the new wide bore unit before a procedure in order to reduce any anxiety…

With a crowd of local dignitaries and citizens on hand for the ceremony Tuesday afternoon, a festive atmosphere was enjoyed by all along with some light refreshments.

OSF Marketing Director Carrie Boelens says it was a great turnout for a very special day…

The radiology expansion at the hospital includes 3D Mammography, a new Ultrasound Suite, in addition to the new MRI Suite.

OSF St Luke Medical Center will begin seeing patients in the new MRI once final approval is given by the Illinois Dept of Public Health. That action is anticipated by mid-May.

MRI services will continue to be provided in the mobile unit on site until that approval is given.     

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Special Baseball Exhibit Opening at the Steeple Building Museum

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association has created an exhibit in the Steeple Building Museum that
will be on display for one month only. Called Bishop Hill and Vintage Baseball, this display is
an ephemera and photographic showcase of Bishop Hill’s baseball history from the mid-19th
century to the mid-20th century. A majority of the exhibit artifacts are recent donations that have
never before been placed on public display. Included in the exhibition is a scorecard and letter
from one of the first professional baseball games and items about Forrest Cady, Bishop Hill’s
major leaguer. The display will open on April 30, 2016 and will close on June 1, 2016.
The Steeple Building Museum is located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street in Bishop Hill, IL.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is
free will donation. For more details about the exhibit, call 309 927-3899 or email
bhha@mymctc.net. 

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It should be an active week for legislation on future of Lt Governor

Legislation is giving voters a chance to decide if the Lt Governor's office should stay or go could take big leaps forward this week. State Senator Tom Cullerton expects a floor vote on Thursday, paving the way for a Constitutional amendment that would turn up on the November ballot. Eliminating the office would save 1.6 million dollars. While it wouldn't exactly solve the state budget crisis, Cullerton says it's not hard to add up the benefits...

The Lt. Governor's office took the fast track to irrelevance when the state constitution was updated in 1970. That stripped the Lt. Governor of the role of President of the Senate. The low water mark came when Lt. Governor Dave O'Neal cited boredom as his reason for leaving office during the Thompson Administration. There was one noteworthy moment in recent years as Lt. Governor Pat Quinn succeeded Rod Blagojevich after his impeachment. 

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KHS Supt of Schools on People to People

District 229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens and KHS Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan talk about end of year activities during the April 19 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

Public urinals and scam phone calls highlight the April 19 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Stark Coiunty Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

SCFB Manager Thomas Marten talks about various programs and activities during the April 20th edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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MRI Open House Today

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host their Open House featuring their new state of the art MRI Unit this afternoon from 1-5.

With the addition of the new MRI Unit, the hospital is demonstrating their understanding of the importance of diagnostic testing and the value of having that equipment at the local level.

Nancy VanDeSampel is the Marketing Assistant at St Luke and she says the public is cordially invited to attend this afternoons Open House…

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Breastfeeding Support Group to Meet in Geneseo


    The WIC Staff of the Henry and Stark Counties' announces the April meeting of the Breastfeeding Support Group, the "Cafe' and Latte Club."  The group's meeting will be held Tuesday, April 26th from 10:00am-11:00am in the Boardroom of the Geneseo Public Library, 805 N. Chicago Street, Geneseo.

 

     Michele Beckstrom, RN, CLC of the Henry and Stark County Health Department notes, "All new or expectant mothers are invited and encouraged to attend.  Meetings will feature the latest Breastfeeding information and techniques and insight and support from experienced leaders. Whether you are pregnant or already nursing, the Cafe' and Latte Club can help you to a successful breastfeeding relationship with your infant.

 

     In addition, each meeting will feature a meet and greet session, and door prizes will be given away at each monthly meeting.

 

     Beckstrom, notes "We welcome new mothers, pregnant women, fathers and other support or family members, babies and children at our meetings."

  

     Please join the Cafe' and Latte Club on Tuesday, April 26th from 10:00am-11:00am at the Geneseo Public Library.  Remember all mothers and their babies are welcome and attendance is free.  For more information call the Health Department at (309 852-5272 or 792-4011 or visit our website atwww.henrystarkhealth.com or you can always find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

 

     The Cafe' and Latte Club is brought to you by the Henry and Stark County Health Department, Hammond-Henry Hospital, and the La Leche League of Henry County.

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KPL Lego Class on Friday

Kewanee Public Library will host a Lego class for first through fifth grade students on Friday.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says it will be fun class and any donations of Legos would be most appreciated…

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Info For Late Taxpayers

For those taxpayers that did not file their taxes for 2015 on Monday, you are now considered as late and that becomes a brand new ball game.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis says you now must file an extension that will in part help out the situation…

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Abilities Plus Achievers of the Month for March

 

Craig Smith of Geneseo and Tammy Bryan of Kewanee were both recognized as Achievers of the Month for March at Abilities Plus, following a tie vote by their peers.  Craig was nominated for completing goal work, and Tammy was recognized because of her work efforts and positive attitude.

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Lawmakers Will Wait for Pay

The state owes billions and billions in unpaid bills and now those waiting for overdue checks will include legislators. On Sunday Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that she would start treating paying salaries for the General Assembly and Constitutional officers the same as other governmental payments. That means they will be delayed. Munger says that the line is a long one to wait in and the salaries of 177 individuals isn’t a huge amount of money, $1.3 million a month, but it’s a sign that everyone is in the budget stalemate together.

The payment vouchers will go in each month but now they will follow in line with other payments to social service agencies, businesses and other vendors waiting for payment. Lawmakers get paid once and month at the end of the month. As the state’s backlog currently state payments are delayed a minimum of 2 months.

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Annawan Teen Earns State Honors

Congratulations to Michaela Goodley on making the IHSA All Academic Team.

Michaela Goodley knows that there is more than one way to be a leader.

When she was called up to the varsity basketball squad as a sophomore, on a team that would end up winning the 1A state championship, Michaela wanted more than anything to play well and stand out. But she quickly realized something. "My own skill-set in basketball doesn't equal that of the all-staters on my team," she says.

"I may not be leading my team in scoring, but I am trying to lead them through my commitment, positivity, and unwavering faith in the team's abilities," writes Michaela. "I would love to be out on the court every minute of every game but I know my team has come to rely on me in a way that has changed my whole perspective of leadership."

At the end of her junior year, Michaela's basketball team gave her the rarely-awarded Bravette Award as a symbol of how much they valued her contributions.

Michaela is a four-year member of Annawan's basketball, softball and volleyball teams, with two years as captain in each sport. She has been on student council all four years, serving as secretary, vice president and president, and she is currently editor of the yearbook staff and president of Health Careers Club. She is also active with National Honor Society, where she serves as treasurer, as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Future Farmers of America, and the AFS international education program. Michaela also received her school's DAR Good Citizen citation, worked on the school play all four years, and recently added Poetry Out Loud competitions to her resume.

An Illinois State Scholar, Michaela achieved high honor roll every semester of high school. She's compiled a 5.1 GPA on a 5.0 scale that puts her in the top five in her class. In 2015, she was Academic All-Conference in all three of her sports.

"Michaela shows exceptional maturity through her academics, her leadership and her volunteerism," says Annawan math teacher and administrator Lana Wolf. "She stands out among her peers as a student who takes her education very seriously, but also knows how to achieve balance. She handles all of the pressures of the roles she carries with incredible poise."

Michaela Goodley represents IHSA Board of Directors Division No. 4 and her principal is Joe Buresh.
 

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Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Bureau County

The Bureau County Sheriffs Office Is investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that happened Sunday, April 17th at about 4 p.m.  on 100 East Street about a 1/2 mile south of 1400 North Avenue.  The Driver, headed Northbound was nagotiating a right hand curve when apparently due to excessive speed he left the roadway on the opposite side of the road.  His motorcycle traveled more than 300 feet before becoming airborne at a wide drainage ditch driver and motorcyle traveled 46 feet in the air before landing on the opposite side of the drainage ditch.  The motorcycle came to rest a few feet from the impact point while the driver was thrown another 58 feet before coming to rest.  

 

Mineral First Responders and Sheffield Ambulance responded to the scene, along with Bureau County Coroner Janice Wamhoff.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources were in the area and responded along with the Bureau County Sherriff's Office.  The Name of the Driver is being with help pending notification of the family 

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Wethersfield Supt on People to People

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski talks about school funding and end of year activities during the April 18 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Kewanee's Burn Day policy is discussed during the April 18 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

  

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OSF on Tuned In

Occupational Therapy Month is discussed during the April 18 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Clinton Nuclear Plant May Close

There is continued concern about the future of the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant. Crain’s Chicago Business reports Exelon has informed Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican legislative leaders that it will shutter the plant if the state doesn't provide financial support this year. State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth is concerned that significant jobs could be lost...


Mitchell says jobs are only part of the problem....


Exelon CEO Chris Crane met with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to personally warn of the closure.

 

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KPL Programs

Kewanee Public Library has a couple of neat programs on the schedule for this week.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says a program on paranormal activity will be featured on Tuesday evening and of course, that could be kind of scary…

 

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Tax Filing Deadline Today

Today is the income tax filing deadline for 2015 taxes and Michael Devine with the Internal Revenue Service in St Louis says if you will be filing today, you won’t be the only one…

Devine also says that errors seem to increase when one waits until the last minute to do the filing process…

Devine adds that the filing deadline is midnight tonight and that deadline alone can cause problems…

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IL License Plate Fees

 
The Illinois House wants to give drivers used to expiring license plate reminder notices a break. The House has passed a measure to suspend fines for drivers whose license plate stickers are out of date until the state resumes mailing out reminder notices. The legislation passed unanimously and will now head to the Illinois Senate. The state has collected more than $5 million in fines since the beginning of the year, nearly double what was collected at the same time last year.

 

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Congressman Davis: Rural families will subsidize urban transportation if taxed per mile

Charging drivers a tax per mile would force rural families to subsidize urban transportation, a central Illinois congressman said.

Illinois Senate Bill 3279 would give Illinois drivers three options to pay road taxes beginning July 2025: Pay a flat rate based on 30,000 miles a year, report miles by reading an odometer or use an electronic location device to track miles. Republican Congressman Rodney Davis told WMAY Springfield that taxing miles driven rather than a per-gallon gas tax would affect families in his district more than families in urban areas.

However, Davis said ultimately it’s up to state governments.

Democratic Congressman Bill Foster of Naperville said in an email, "This type of legislation would be unnecessary if the federal government altered the unfair funding formulas … that return $89 per Illinoisan each year when each Alaskan gets $609." 

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Electric car driver: One-size-fits-all not best approach

Taxing drivers per mile shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach, says a long-time electric vehicle driver.Ted Lowe, the former president of the Fox Valley Electric Auto Association, says he understands people driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrids or electric cars need to pay their fair share for the roads. But Lowe says taxing people by the number of miles driven isn’t fair because some vehicles are heavier than others.

Lowe adds whatever plan lawmakers come up with to replace the per-gallon gas tax should be as fair as possible.

Illinois Senate Bill 3279 would have Illinois drivers paying road taxes one of three ways beginning July 2025: Pay a flat rate based on 30,000 miles a year, report miles by reading an odometer or use an electronic location device to track miles. The bill remains in the Senate Executive Committee. 

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Mitchell says loss of Clinton Nuclear Plant would radiate around Central Illinois

There is continued concern about the future of the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant. Crain’s Chicago Business reports Exelon has informed Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican legislative leaders that it will shutter the plant if the state doesn't provide financial support this year. State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth is concerned that significant jobs could be lost...

Mitchell says jobs are only part of the problem....

Exelon CEO Chris Crane met with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to personally warn of the closure.

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Twenty-six Miles of “More Fun on 81” Festival Planned in Henry County

Taking its name from Illinois Route 81, the highway that runs through Andover, Cambridge, Kewanee and Lynn Center, this year’s “More Fun on 81” Festival will bring a variety of activities the weekend of June 4 and 5.  Andover and Cambridge will have scavenger hunts, tours at their historical buildings, lots of activities for kids, displays, and a variety of food.  On Sunday morning, both of these communities are uniting for an outdoor worship service and Salute to Veterans at the Andover Lake Park.

On Saturday, in Kewanee, there will be geocash and history in the paint (public art tour); and a flea market and crafts fair at the Lynn Township hall from 8 am – 3 pm.  You can find times and locations for the events at andovertourism.com/junefestival.  The Henry County Tourism Bureau suggested the “More Fun on 81” name five years ago.  The first four years, the festival was only held in Andover; but, this year every community on Route 81 is having events.

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Pumped for the Hunt

Hens will be hitting the trail April 22-24 for Hens in Heels, a self-guided shopping trail celebrating Spring open houses and more throughout Henry County.

Experience the area’s rural charm and hospitality while perusing and shopping local home grown specialty stores. Individual spirit will be showcased through the shops’ new Spring products amid their perennial favorites.

Be prepared to find unique gifts amidst tree-lined streets in Geneseo’s historic downtown district. Check out quaint businesses such as Smith's Studio & Gallery, DeBrock Galleria and The Village Florist. The two galleries represent more than 70 artists, and The Village Florist has great gifts and Spring bouquets.

As part of Geneseo's Spring Open House that weekend, locally owned shops throughout the town will offer a variety of demonstrations, how-to seminars, discounts and giveaways. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday,April 23, poets, soloists and painters will be featured inside many businesses during an afternoon art walk. And while you're there, check out the local microbreweries and the many favorite dining choices.

Travel east down the Grand Army of Republic Highway – the longest continuous and second largest highway in the United States – now known as U.S. Route 6. Take a left at Atkinson’s State Street Boulevard and admire the landscape as you head north to Old Mill Gardens and its garden items, home décor and gifts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 22, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23. There will be refreshments, door prizes and in-store specials!


Continue east on U.S. Route 6 to Mimi’s Treasures' open house in Annawan. This home-spun retail store – complete with wooden floors and a tin ceiling – is filled with gift ideas such as primitive home decor, garden accessories and statues. Mimi’s will be open Friday through Sunday, April 22-24, for your shopping pleasure.

Hop back in the car and, as you turn south at the corner of U.S. Route 6 and Illinois Route 78, stop in at Paxton’s Corner Coop – a cute little shop where you can treat yourself to a cupcake and ice cream cone – or Mick’s Place and ZBest West, for dining and cocktails in renovated urban rural flair!

Illinois Route 78 leads you south to Kewanee and Heartfelt Gifts, offering a unique selection of women’s accessories, jewelry, fashion items and more. Spring home décor fresh from the merchandise markets, baby gift items, gourmet foods and fudge are available.
Swing over to Tremont Street and find the menu board at P.L. Damron’s, offering the daily specials, soups, salads and entrees. Save room for the pie, and check out all the other freshly baked wonders!

Catch U.S. Route 34 and head south, to Galva and Hathaway’s Gift Barn that features farm decor and an eclectic, unconventional mix of merchandise with an old-fashioned twist. Their Christmas decor – offered all year – is a specialty. And many Galva eateries offer friendly faces (and prices!)

Take U.S. Route 34 south out of Galva, and you'll quickly see Bishop Hill Road on your right. Expect enchantment behind every door as potters, broom makers, quilters, rug hookers and more await your arrival in this 19th century Utopia on the Prairie.

Stop and peruse the Prairie Arts Center, featuring handmade brooms and an open air studio where artwork is created on a potter’s wheel. Visit Frau Blucker for farm kitsch, or The Village Smithy, a quilters and antiquer’ s delight, or Hantverk Galleri, celebrating everything handmade – pottery, chocolates and more! And before you leave, take a break at any of Bishop Hill’s famous eateries.

It’s the destination – and journey – that Hens in Heels encourages. Be adventurous and travel the Henry County backroads. And don't forget your heels!
For more details, visit www.visithenrycounty.com.

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KEWANEE CITY MANAGER SPEAKS AT LWV ANNUAL MEETING

Gary Bradley, Kewanee city manager, will be the speaker at the 70th annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area.  The presentation starts at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, at Kewanee Dunes.  The public is invited to attend.The social hour including cash bar starts at 6:00 p.m.  The LWV members will conduct its annual meeting from 6:30  -  7:00 p.m. The meal starts at 7:00 p.m.  The cost for the meal is $20.  If you want the meal, you must RSVP with the number attending to Patty Varner (852-9793 or pattyvarner@gmail.com) by Friday, April 29.  You may pay at the door.  Any questions please contact Patty Varner or Carla Hillman.You may attend the presentation only at 8:00 p.m. While an RSVP is not required, it would be useful for planning purposes. Gary Bradley was welcomed to the City of Kewanee as City Manager in September 2015.  Mr. Bradley is originally from the Kansas City, MO area.  He spent 16 years in the military on active duty in the Army Reserves; stationed in Germany, and one tour in Iraq, receiving numerous military awards for leadership. Mr. Bradley earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration with a minor in Economic Development from Northwestern Missouri State University in 1996.  He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1998.  Within days of his graduation, he began his career in City Management which has taken him to five cities over the past 17 years.  Gary, his wife Heather, and four of their five children appreciate the community making them feel welcome.   The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, and to act on selected governmental issues.  One way the League has accomplished this purpose is through informational meetings and candidate forums open to the public.

Anyone interested in joining the LWV of the Kewanee Area may contact co-president Carla Hillman at hillmanc@bhc.edu or 852-5215.  

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ILLINOIS STATE FAIR ADDS TO 2016 GRANDSTAND LINEUP

Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon is adding two accomplished rockers to the Grandstand line-up at this year’s Illinois State Fair.  This co-headlining act combines two artists who have six Grammy awards to their credit, in addition to countless other awards and accomplishments. This year, fairgoers will be treated to the best of 80’s and 90’s rock when Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge take the stage in Springfield.

 

Pat Benatar is a four-time Grammy award winning singer/songwriter who shot to fame in the 1980’s and has been touring for more than 35-years.  Known as a rule-breaker and a trail-blazer, Benatar is revered as one of the most beloved female rock icons of all time.  Benatar was the first female solo artist to have a music video played on MTV.  The video for her song ‘You Better Run’ was the second video ever played on the new music video cable channel, and also was the first video to feature guitarists.  Benatar is best known for hit songs such as, “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong,” and “Shadows of the Night.”  To this day, Benatar and guitarist husband Neil Giraldo remain a rock’n’roll powerhouse, selling out concerts and wowing audiences.

 

Melissa Etheridge is a well-known signer/songwriter who came to fame in the late 80’s.  Etheridge, known for her confessional lyrics and raspy vocals, has been a prominent force in the music industry for nearly 30 years with 12 albums, two Grammy awards, 17 Grammy nominations, an Academy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Etheridge is best known for her songs, “Come to My Window,” “I’m the Only One,” “I Want to Come Over,” and “I Need to Wake Up.”

 

Ticket prices for each of the shows at the 2016 Illinois State Fair are listed below:


August 12:  Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge
Tier 3 – $20 / Tier 2 - $25 / Tier 1 - $30 / Track - $30 / VIP - $42

August 14:  Jake Owen / Old Dominion
Tier 3 - $15 / Tier 2 - $20 / Tier 1 - $25 / Track $25 / VIP - $37

August 16:  Dierks Bentley / Tucker Beathard
Tier 3 - $42 / Tier 2 - $47 / Tier 1 - $52 / Track $52 / VIP - $64

August 17:  KISS
Tier 3 - $49   / Tier 2 - $54   / Tier 1 - $59   / Track $59   / VIP - $74

August 19:  Cole Swindell / Kane Brown / LANco / Jon Langston
Tier 3 - $18 / Tier 2 - $23 / Tier 1 - $28 / Track $28 / VIP - $40

August 20:  Little Big Town / David Nail
Tier 3 - $27 / Tier 2 - $32 / Tier 1 - $37 / Track $37 / VIP - $49

August 21:  ZZ Top / Gregg Allman
Tier 3 - $34 / Tier 2 - $39 / Tier 1 - $44 / Track $44 / VIP - $54

An on-sale date for the above mentioned acts has not been set at this time.


More details regarding ticket sales, special events, and additional grandstand acts will be released in the coming weeks and months.  Dates for the 2016 Illinois State Fair are Aug. 12-21.

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Health Dept Notes Immunization Week


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that April 16-23, 2016 has been designated National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).  This is a special week put aside to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger.  For 20 years, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, health care professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.

 

    The Health Department staff notes that recently, several important milestones have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants and adults worldwide.  Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.  In addition:

 

*  Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.

 

*  In the 1950's, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles.

 

*  Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths.  It also saves about $13.6 billion in direct costs.

 

*  The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.

 

    Sandy Sommer, RN Health Department Director of Clinical Services, notes, "It's easy to think of these diseases as a thing of the past.  But the truth is they still exist.  Children in the United States can, and do, still get some of these diseases.  One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is the increase in measles cases and outbreaks that were reported in recent years. In 2014, 644 people in the U.S. were reported as having measles. This is the largest number of cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000."

 

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Rep Moffitt Honored in Sprinfgield

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The Illinois House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 1104 on Wednesday afternoon which honors Illinois State Representative Don Moffitt for his leadership of the Illinois Legislative Fire Caucus.  

 

Democrat Representative Carol Sente (Sen-tay) of Vernon Hills presented the resolution…

 

Rep Sente was interrupted for several minutes by prolonged applause for Representative Moffitt was unaware of the resolution along with the fact that his wife, children, and grandchildren were in Springfield for the presentation…

 

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Abilities Plus Celebrates Milestone

Abilities Plus recently congratulated Eva Harlan of Kewanee for 25 years of dedicated service.  Eva started at the organization in 1991 working with children in the Early Intervention program, and later became a Respite Worker, working with local children and adults with disabilities.  Through the years Eva has provided invaluable service for local families, assisting with in-home care needs so that individuals can remain as independent and involved in the community as possible.  

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Old Glory in Downtown Kewanee

Old Glory will be flying in Kewanee once again in the near future.

The 20 x 30 foot flag comes down in the winter to avoid the harsh weather which as most flag owners know can be very detrimental to those flags.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and he says the flag will be back up sometime in the first part of May…

While it seem to some of us that those flags should fly unabated with no issues but unfortunately that is not the case as the weather can be very hard at times on the flag…

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Bustos Calls For Action

 

Bustos Calls for Action for Families in Galesburg with Lead Contaminated Water

 

Bustos Publishes Op-ed and Gives Floor Speech Urging City Officials to Work toward a Long-Term Solution to this Problem

 

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) wrote an op-ed in the Galesburg Register-Mail and gave a speech on the Floor of the House urging action to achieve a long-term solution to the problem of elevated lead levels in Galesburg’s water. On FridayBustos met with Galesburg City officials and the Knox County Health Department to hear their perspective and plan to address this problem. Yesterday, Bustos wrote Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard a follow up letter requesting additional data from the city to ensure that affected families in Galesburg have access to all of the information possible.

 

You can watch Bustos’ floor speech by clicking here:

 

Screengrab

 

 

 

Below is the text of Bustos’ op-ed in the Galesburg Register-Mail:

 

With Lead-Tainted Water, Action is Needed Now

 

By Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

 

Everyone deserves the right to safe drinking water in their home. Period.

 

As a mother, as a grandmother and as your Representative in Congress, I was deeply disturbed to learn about recent water tests that measured lead content well above the "federal action level" in Galesburg. I was even more alarmed by reports that nearly 5 percent of the children tested under the age of 6 were positive for lead levels above the threshold for intervention.

 

If it were one of my kids, I'd want some answers and some immediate action to address this crisis. And that's exactly what these families deserve.

 

As soon as my office found out about this problem, I kicked into watchdog mode. We immediately reached out to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Galesburg city officials. This past Friday, I met face-to-face with Mayor John Pritchard, City Manager Todd Thompson, Director of Public Works Wayne Carl and officials from the Knox County Health Department.

 

When I spoke to a reporter from the Galesburg Register-Mail afterward, I told him that I left those meetings much more concerned than when I arrived. I am not interested in finger pointing, but I think this is an urgent matter, and it's alarming to me that many officials are so quick to point to lead paint and lead dust as the cause of elevated lead blood levels before fully examining this issue.

 

The city has estimated there are about 4,700 homes in Galesburg that have private service pipes made out of lead, which is not uncommon for homes built before the mid-1980s.

 

I represent 14 counties, stretching from Rockford to the Quad-Cities to Peoria. Many of the families I serve outside of Galesburg also live in older homes. While lead paint and dust are an area of significant concern to me, Knox is the only county I represent where we have children reporting such high levels of lead exposure and water exceeding the federal action level for lead content.

 

The health effects of lead exposure cannot be overlooked or underestimated, especially for children and pregnant women. It can lead to behavioral problems, shorter attention spans, reduced IQ, and impaired learning. At extremely high levels, it can attack the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death.

 

To help deal with this serious problem, here are five actions I have already taken:

 

·         I joined nearly 100 members of Congress in requesting $2 billion in next year's budget for a program called the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund. This program provides extremely low interest rate loans to cities to help them replace lead pipes or other critically important water infrastructure materials. While members of Congress cannot direct spending to their district because of the ban on earmarks, I can fight for critically important federal programs and then work to connect stakeholders in our communities to federal resources like this. I have urged the city to apply for assistance through this program.

 

·         I have backed a new bill called the CLEAR Act, which would improve reporting, testing and monitoring of lead levels in America’s drinking water. Many of the people we've seen in Galesburg and other communities simply didn't know about the risk facing their families. This legislation would improve notification and community education programs to get at-risk families more information.

 

·         I have initiated outreach to several environmental and medical experts on the field of lead contamination to get their input on the situation facing Galesburg.
 

·         I have requested that the City of Galesburg provide the full data set for the water tests dating back to 1992 so families in the community can understand the full extent of this problem.

 

·         I have requested city officials outline their plan to work with the Knox County Department of Health to help the families affected. You can read my formal request to the City of Galesburg here: http://bit.ly/BustosLetter.

 

Transparency is critically important to this process, so as I get data from the city and the experts I'm consulting with, I will make this information public so everyone can see it for themselves.

 

My heart breaks for the mothers and fathers who are finding out that their children may be suffering from the potentially lifelong and devastating after-effects of lead poisoning.

 

I refuse to accept that a long-term solution is asking thousands of families and children to remember to run the faucet for 30 seconds every time they get a glass of water, as some city officials have suggested. This is a serious problem that requires a serious response to protect the children of today and the children of tomorrow. I promise to fight for you.

 

No excuses. Even one child is one too many. Our families and our children deserve solutions once and for all.

 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos represents Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which includes Galesburg, Peoria, the Quad-Cities and Rockford.

 

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One Person Killed in Crash Involving Amtrak Train in Galva

An Amtrak train struck a semi truck at a crossing in Galva leaving the truck driver dead. According witnesses on the scene, the accident occurred just after 10 Am on Thursday. No one on the train, carrying 46 passengers and 5 crew members from Quincy to Chicago, was harmed in the crash and were eventually taken from the scene via bus to catch a separate train to their destination. The identity of the semi truck driver and how the driver ended up stopped on the tracks has not been revealed. More on this story as it becomes available. 

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Durbin salutes former Transportation Secretary LaHood on Peoria Airport Honor


Former Congressman and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has many chances to look back fondly on his career. The Peoria Republican recently released a book promoting bipartisanship and now he has had a chance to see a legacy that should remain long after he's gone. LaHood took part in a dedication ceremony for the soon to open Ray LaHood international terminal at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. He was saluted by Senator Dick Durbin on the Senate Floor..

The $11 million terminal will feature a full-service customs and border protection facility combined with two additional dual-purpose gates for domestic or international travel. The international terminal is expected to open late next month.

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Madigan takes the gloves off in budget scrap with Rauner

At times he's been robotic and has continued to use a hushed tone in driving home familiar themes about seeking moderation and avoiding the extreme in the budget process. In a week, where hockey's Stanley Cup Playoffs started, House Speaker Michael Madigan took the gloves off in his long running feud with Governor Bruce Rauner. Madigan told lawmakers this week that he has a long running record of compromise with Governors of both parties. An animated Madigan blamed Rauner for the budget impasse and he said the political playbook was years in the making.....

Madigan cited remarks that referenced a pivotal moment in government/union relations, former President Reagan's decision to fire more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers...

This week's meeting of Rauner, Madigan and the remaining legislative leaders offered no sign of progress toward a budget deal.

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Morel Mushroom Festival on PTP

Duke Frisby and Melody Anderson talk about the May 7 Morel Mushroom Festival during the April 14 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for April 14

 

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Kewanee Public LIbrary on Tuned IN

KPL Childrens Librarian Sara Billiet talks about upcoming Library programs during the April 14 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Salvation Army Summer Camps

The Kewanee Salvation Army will once again this year host their Summer Camp for kids at the Eagle Crest Camp in Washburn.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Kewanee Salvation Army and she says applications are currently available for the camps that will be held in the months of June and July…

The camps have been held for several years and there will be five different camps that will be held this summer…

Registration deadline is set for May 15th and the camps come free of charge to the kids and their families…

Further information on the camps can be obtained by contacting Linda Bolls at the Salvation Army in Kewanee.        

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High School Students Learn About CNA Training on April 20

 

High school students interested in the health care field are invited to Find Your Career at Black Hawk College from 5:30-7:30 p.m.Wednesday, April 20 at the Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee.

 

This informational event will highlight the many programs offered at the center. One of them – the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program – can be taken by high school students. Students who pass the course can take the exam to become a certified nursing assistant, or CNA.

 

“Many students are surprised to learn that they can take the CNA class while still in high school.  This dual enrollment option gives them a jump on a career and a jump on college,” said instructor Jodie Robinson.

 

Taking the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program introduces students to the health care field and gives them a readily marketable skill. CNAs are in high demand.

 

“Many nursing programs actually require that their students complete a CNA course before enrolling,” Robinson said.

 

On April 20, there will be tours of the health classrooms at the Community Education Center and demonstrations of the equipment and instructional models used in the classroom. Parents are encouraged to attend.

 

The Black Hawk College Community Education Center is located at 404 E. Third St., Kewanee.

 

For more information, contact Jeanine Peterson at 309-854-1712 or petersonj@bhc.edu or Deb Rhoades at 309-854-1875 orrhoadesd@bhc.edu.

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Call Before You Dig


 

Chicago - The Illinois Commerce Commission today adopted a resolution supporting the month of April as National Safe Digging Month, also known as “Call Before You Dig” month.

 

To prevent damage to underground utility lines, Illinois law requires homeowners and professional excavators to call 811 before beginning any outdoor project that requires digging. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after utility lines are marked after a call to 811.

 

The state One Call Center, managed by JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) and DIGGER within the City of Chicago, is a twenty-four (24) hour service network system established to prevent contractors and private citizens from hitting any existing utility line(s) when digging. Regardless of the depth of the project, a homeowner or excavator must call 811 at least 48 hours/two working days prior to the start of excavation. The project must begin within 14 calendar days from the call, and locate requests have a 28-day life. 811 calls are then directed to the JULIE or DIGGER, and affected utilities will then mark underground lines for free.

 

In 2015, ICC staff issued 132 warnings and 68 citations for safe digging violations resulting in $91,252 in penalties. Violations issued to excavators and homeowners included not having a valid locate request or not digging carefully around marked underground utility facilities, and for utilities, failure to mark their facilities in a timely manner. The ICC levied penalties as part of its One-Call enforcement efforts.

 

By adopting the resolution, the Commission joined Gov. Bruce Rauner, who proclaimed April “Call Before You Dig Month,” and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

 

For more information, visit the ICC’s Website at www.icc.illinois.gov or JULIE’s Website at www.illinois1call.com.

 

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Moments by Mutti

The fourth annual Moments by Mutti fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 23rd at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Moments is the brainchild of both the family and friends of the late Lynn Saey of Kewanee who passed away from cancer in 2011 after battling Primary CNS Lymphoma for 12 years.

Diane Mossner of Kewaneeis one of the committee members for this year’s program…

Kim Sellers of Kewanee is another committee member for this year’s event and she says Mutti is a German word for mum or mother that became Lynn’s handle over the course of the years…

Ms. Mossner adds that the April 23rd program at the Flemish American Club will once again this year feature Felix and Fingers with their Dueling Pianos…

Ms. Sellers says that dinner will be served that evening from 5-7 with a silent auction from 5-9 and the Piano Show from 8-10…

The Moments by Mutti organization is a public charity with the goal to operate as close to 100% of the donations as possible going to charity.

Both Ms. Sellers and Ms. Mossner say that the proceeds will be earmarked for other families that might wish to create special moments with their loved ones as they battle an issue of cancer in their family…

Tickets for the April 23rd event can be purchased now from any committee member, by phoning 853-7168 or by e-mailing momentsbymutti@yahoo.com

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IlL License Plate Renewal

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The Illinois House wants to give drivers used to expiring license plate reminder notices a break. The House has passed a measure to suspend fines for drivers whose license plate stickers are out of date until the state resumes mailing out reminder notices. The legislation passed unanimously and will now head to the Illinois Senate. The state has collected more than $5 million in fines since the beginning of the year, nearly double what was collected at the same time last year.

 

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Sen. Manar blasts Rauner school funding plan

State Senator Andy Manar has become synonymous with the topic of school funding reform, so it's no surprise he has strong opinions on Governor Rauner's school funding plan. He says Rauner's plan to pump another $120 million flowing into the formula, funnels dollars away from schools with the greatest need....

Manar says one Central Illinois School District that stands to lose money under the funding plan stands as an example of the downside of the funding plan...

Rauner is calling for full education funding to the foundation level for the first time since last decade. 

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Rauner Says Running the State is Hand to Hand Combat

As rank and file lawmakers quietly join each other in meetings to work on the budget stalemate, Governor Bruce Rauner isn’t letting go of his campaign’s Turn Around Agenda. Rauner in front of a large group of business owners and leaders in Springfield says it’s the Democrats trying to hold funding for schools and social services hostage to further their agenda of a tax hike with no reforms to promote growth.

Rauner followed up those comments with a closed door meeting between himself and the four legislative leaders.  Rauner in front of a large group of business owners and leaders in Springfield says his Turn Around Agenda will push Illinois to the front of the nation in economic growth. And growth will allow Illinois to overcome current budgetary problems.

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Henry County Tourism Bureau on PTP

HCTB Director Cathy Foes talks about Hens and Heels during the April 13 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Great basketball teams are discussed during the April 13 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Kewanee City Policy on Social Media

Kewanee City Council adopted a social media policy at Monday night’s Council meeting on a 5-0 vote.

City Manager Gary Bradley addresses that new policy by saying…

Mr. Bradley adds that the traditional sources of media in Kewanee, both the radio station and the newspaper remain the popular choice of information for many residents in the city…

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Medley Conversation Scholarship

The Henry County Natural Area Guardians, a sub-committee of the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District, will offer one (1) $500 scholarship to a college student presently enrolled in their sophomore or junior year. Student should be pursuing a career in the area of conservation and/or the environment. First consideration will be given to residents of Henry County. Scholarship applications are available at the Henry County SWCD office or at www.henrycountyilswcd.com. Applications are due by May 4, 2016.

 

For more information about the Clarence and Marie Medley Conservation Scholarship, please call the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District at 309-937-5263, extension 3.

 

 

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Corn Checkoff Petitions Available

 
PETITIONS AVAILABLE FOR CORN CHECKOFF BOARD POSITIONS
Bloomington, Ill.-Farmers who would like to run for a three-year term on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board can now start circulating nominating petitions.
 
Petitions are available at county Extension offices and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. In order to have their name placed on the ballot, candidates must submit a completed petition to the Director of Agriculture by the filing deadline of May 15, 2016. Petitions should contain the signatures of 200 (or 5 percent, whichever is less) producers residing in the counties in the district in which the board member is to be elected.
 
Interested corn farmers must be at least 18 years old, have produced and marketed corn, reside in the district to be represented and have submitted a valid petition by the filing deadline to be eligible for election.
 
Elections will be held July 7, 2016.
 
For the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the following districts and their representative counties are open for election:
 
District 3         Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer, Rock Island and Warren;
District 6         Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion;
District 9         Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike and Schuyler;
District 12       Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar and Jasper;
District 15       Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope-Hardin,                         Pulaski-Alexander, Randolph, Saline, Union, White and Williamson.
 
Those elected will serve a three-year term beginning August 1, 2016.
 
For more information or to request a petition, call the Illinois Department of Agriculture at (217) 524-9130 or write: Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Marketing and Promotion, PO Box 19281, State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL 62792-9281. You may also visit the Department's website athttp://www.agr.state.il.us/

 

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Bustos Urges Rauner to Take Action

 

 

Bustos Urges Governor Rauner to Solve Higher Education, Budget Crisis

 

Nine Members of Illinois Delegation Unite to Fight for Illinois Students and Economy

 

WASHINGTON – Last night, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and several members of Illinois’ Congressional Delegation expressed disappointment and extreme concern over the impact of Governor Rauner’s budget standoff on college students and higher education in Illinois. In February, Governor Rauner vetoed a higher education bill that would have freed up state funds for higher education and scholarships to low-income students.

 

“Illinois’ college students are unfortunately yet another victim of Governor Rauner’s ‘Downturn Agenda’ for our state,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “It’s nothing short of appalling – and very revealing – that the Governor would rather see low-income Illinois students drop out of college rather than pass a budget that funds higher education and critical scholarships for students. It’s time for Governor Rauner and the state legislature to work together to pass a budget. There have been too many casualties as a result of the Governor’s ongoing attack on working families so I strongly urge him to restore this critically important funding to allow our children to achieve their full potential.”

 

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

 

The Honorable Bruce Rauner

Governor of Illinois

Office of the Governor

207 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

 

Dear Governor Rauner,

 

We write to express our dismay over the plight of students in our state. As you may know, because of the prolonged budget impasse many Illinois colleges and universities have been scrambling to solve growing budget shortfalls. This has led to extreme measures, directly preventing our citizens from bettering their situation through education. Recent events at Chicago State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology exemplify these extreme measures and highlight a crisis which we urge you to use your authority to solve.

 

This week, Chicago State announced further preparations for massive layoffs starting April 30. They have sent notices of potential termination to all 900 of their employees, including 300 faculty members. A pillar of the Chicago’s South Side, Chicago State is in danger of no longer being able to offer students a quality education at an affordable price. The Illinois Institute of Technology was recently forced to announce that students will need to pay back the grants they received through the Monetary Assistance Program this fall and a suspension of all assistance for the spring. Students are now forced to choose between paying their grant money back immediately, accepting a 12 month loan at 6.8% interest or being denied from class registration, effectively forcing them to drop out.

 

In February, you vetoed a bill that could have helped solve this problem, publicly stating that this is “a very tragic situation” and “a failure of the government.” As the Governor of our state, you have the responsibility to rectify these tragic situations and ensure that government operates properly. 

 

We implore you to consider how funding education will improve our shared prospects and increase future revenue. Making the right choices now will have long term benefits. This issue is too important to our future to do nothing.

 

We urge you to reconsider your veto and become part of a solution to this problem.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bill Foster                                                                               Bobby Rush

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

Robin L. Kelly                                                                        Danny K. Davis

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

Jan Schakowsky                                                                      Luis V. Gutierrez

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

Mike Quigley                                                                          Cheri Bustos

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

Tammy Duckworth

Member of Congress

 

 

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50 Years of the Henry County Health Dept

Public Health Week was held last week and Henry and Stark County Health Dept Public Information Director RaeAnn Tucker says they took some time to showcase their many services to the public…

Ms. Tucker says the Health Dept has a colorful history over the last 50 years…

 

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Madigan Spokesman says time is of the essence on college funding front

The end of the spring semester is a little festive than usual at Illinois public colleges and universities. While this time of year is known for commencement speakers and caps and gowns, many state schools are like a driver trying to reach the next gas station on fumes. The spokesman for House Speaker Mike Madigan, Steve Brown, says college funding needs to get rolling again soon and not just for the good of the colleges and universities themselves....

Chicago State University in particular is concerned about its ability to keep students and even stay open as higher education continues to feel some of the worst pain of the ten month old budget impasse.

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Secretary of State Jesse White launches all out effort to boost organ donor level

As Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's time in office winds down, he's not basking in the glory of his achievements. He's keeping the pressure on to get more Illinoisans to convert their driver's licenses into a license and an organ and tissue donor card..

His office is also boosting training on the subject at driver's license facilities across the state.

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Kewanee City Council on PTP

Kewanee Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley talk about the recent city survey during the April 12 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Food and water are discussed during the April 12 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Salvation Army on Tuned IN

Kewanee SA Directro LInda Bolls talks about the upcoming summer camps during the April 12th edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Chili Cook Off for Jamie

A group of concerned local citizens will take part in a chili cook off this coming Friday evening at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Former Mayor Bruce Tossell says there will be a chili cook off beginning Friday evening at 6:30 that will feature several local people including our current City Manager…

Mr. Tossell adds that the event will be a bit on the low key side but proceeds will be forwarded to the Wheels For Jamie campaign…

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Kewanee City Council Meeting

Kewanee City Council met on Monday night and Council voted to increase the fees at Francis Park. The City subsidies the Park to the tune of about $30,000 per year and felt the increase was necessary. Thirty dollars will now be the charge for one-half day use of the large enclosed shelter house and fifty dollars for the full day use of the shelter.

For the open shelter house, fifteen dollars will now be charged for one half day use and twenty five dollars for the full day. Tours of the Francis Home will now cost five dollars for people 12 years of age and older with a one dollar fee for ages five through eleven.

The public is reminded that Francis Park will open for the season on Friday, April 29.     

Council on Monday night also passed a resolution that directed Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison, Fire Chief Paul Schaecher and ESDA Director Keith Edwards to develop and maintain an Emergency Operation Plan for the City.

Council approved a resolution authorizing City Manager Gary Bradley to enter into an agreement with CliftonLarsonAllen for auditing services for the City.

That agreement after proposals were reviewed and evaluated based on project approach, firm experience, and project management and schedule.

Council on Monday night approved a resolution awarding demolition of 305 North Grove Street to Kirk Dana Construction of Kewanee.

Council members also adopted a social media policy at Monday night’s meeting. 

Council also held discussions on Monday night regarding regulations of the burn day policy in Kewanee, also a discussion concerning an ordinance that would restrict the use of groundwater as a potable source and a discussion about the City’s Ambulance billing collection.

All three measures were tabled pending further discussion.

Of the measures that passed on Monday night, all were on a 5-0 vote.

Council also approved a request from the Veterans Council of Kewanee to hold Poppy Day Sales on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st and also proclaimed the week of May 15th as Poppy Week in Kewanee. 

 

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Hog Festival Meets Tonight


The next Hog Festival Committee Meeting is scheduled for this evening at 7 o’clock at the Hog Festival building, 306 North Main Street. Here is the agenda at this time (subject to last minute changes):


Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s Report

Acceptance of and place on file pending audit Treasurer’s Report

Visitors –

Unfinished Business

1.    Entertainment Update

2.    U.S. Army appearance at Hog Days 

3. Downtown barbecue tickets 

4. Car show

5. Porta potty update

New Business

1.    Discussion of permission letters to City of Kewanee and People’s National Bank

2.    Credit card update

3.    Food Tent update

4.    Ice for Hog Days weekend

5.    Main stage banner sales and other ideas

6.    Charcoal purchases for 2016

7.    Upcoming Spring and Summer dates for work nights

 

 

Reports/Questions/Comments/Other Business from Anyone

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Grief Support Meeting Tonight

Father Jerry Rafalko is reminding the community of the Grief Support Group meeting this evening beginning at 5 o’clock at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Father Jerry says you can speak at the meeting if you wish and share your story or you can also sit and listen to others as people find their way grieving the loss of a loved one…

A reminder that there will be no Grief Support Group meeting on April 19th and the 26th with the meetings resuming next on Tuesday, May 3rd.

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Telecommunitars Week


Springfield, IL – The week of April 10-16, 2016, is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.  This week marks the time each year when the public safety community formally acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of all Telecommunicators, Call-Takers, and Technicians.  

Telecommunications personnel are critical to every aspect of public safety.  Telecommunicators ensure the safety of our officers and the citizens of Illinois by serving as a communications lifeline.  Technicians keep that lifeline constantly working even in unpleasant conditions.  Telecommunicators and Technicians together play a significant role in the continued success of the Illinois State Police (ISP).

“Telecommunications personnel play a vital role in public safety,” Stated Illinois State Police Director, Leo P. Schmitz.  “They work around the clock, holidays, birthdays, and often miss family functions and school activities to ensure that emergency assistance is provided when requested.  They hold one of the least visible, yet most stressful jobs in public safety,” he continued.  

The ISP would like to publically acknowledge and thank the men and women who serve as Telecommunicators, Call-Takers, and Technicians for their hard work and dedication.  They are the lifeline that ensures the continued protection of front line public service personnel and the citizens they serve.

 

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Bureau County Closure on Tuesday


Please be advised our department just received notice from BNSF of their intention to do some work on the crossing on CH 33 (Angling Road) where it intersects with CH 7 (Zearing Blacktop) and 2675E.  This is resulting in a one-day closure from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12th.

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Henry County Health Dept on People to People

RaeAnn Tucker from the Henry and Stark County Health Departments talks about 50 years of the Health Dept during the April 11 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Nutty things from some of our politicians is highlighted during the April 11th edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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OSF on Tuned In

OSF Marketing Director Carrie Boelens and Registered Dietician Andrea Tenley talk about super foods on the April 11th edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Drought Incrases

 

The first increase in total U.S. drought coverage since last October is being observed in some parts of the country.

 

The USDA’s Rod Bain has the report…

 

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Chalk Festival Seeks Vendors


Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival is creating space for pop-up temporary businesses on Saturday, July 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.at Berrien Park, corner of 3rd and Tremont Streets in Kewanee.   Potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to test out the market with the Kewanee Farmer’s Market vendors amongst the green space and showcase your art, craft, and entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Guidelines are simple. All works must be original, handcrafted or created by you! Vendors will furnish all tents, tables, displays, etc. for booth area (no electricity provided).  Set up begins at dawn. Be ready to open 9 a.m. rain or shine.

 

Last but not least, reserve your 10’x10’ spot today! Early bird registration is $30. For late bloomers registration after June 14will be $50. Contact the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce 309-852-2175 or visit www.downtownkewanee.com orfacebook.com/kewaneechalkart page for registration form.  Checks are to be made out to the Prairie Chicken Festival.

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Tax Info

The income tax filing deadline for 2015 is next Monday, April 18th.

Michael Devine with the Internal Revenue Service in St Louis says if you have not yet started the process, it’s now the time to get going and you will really be facing the same set of circumstances in regard to filing information…

 

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TRAC Art Festival

On Friday, April 15 Hall High School will host the 6th annual Three Rivers Athletic Conference (T.R.A.C.) Art Festival in Spring Valley, IL.  Each conference school may bring up to 17 students and may also bring up to 50 pieces of artwork to exhibit.  The artwork will be organized and displayed into 26 different two-dimensional and three-dimensional categories of art.

     While the artwork is being judged, the students will attend a presentation in the auditorium by Amber Walker from the Schaumburg Institute of Art, then go to a hands-on workshop, and finally have dinner in the cafeteria.  The presenters and their workshops will be Karen Zeilman- acrylic painting on canvas shoes, Mary Michael- glass mirror etching, Kathy Ballard- memory collage, Carrie Gonzalez- glass dichroic jewelry, MacKenzie Jackson- duct tape purse/hat, Richard Cummings- automatic drawing, Jennifer Kinsman- hand-lettered chalkboard signs, Tara Washkowiak- recycled paper mandalas, Rachel Shackleford- cake decorating, Steve Neuherz- calligraphy, Hugo Heredia- charcoal drawing, and John Kettman- caricatures.

     The judges for the Art Festival will be Dana Collins, retired professor of art at Illinois Valley Community College and free-lance artist in Princeton, IL and Ann Crosby, potter/artist and owner of Annie's Little Pots in Princeton, IL.

     The art exhibit will be open to the public from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the small gym.   During this time there will be an awards presentation ceremony.  A critique of the first place winners in each category will be given by the judges.  These students will also receive a conference medal.  A special ribbon will be presented to the Best of Show in two-dimensional art and also to the Best of Show in three-dimensional art.

 

     The T.R.A.C. Art Festival is sanctioned and sponsored by the principals of the member schools.  This year's host teacher is Karen Klopcic.

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Illinois Adds Jobs in March

 

 

ROSELAND, NJ--(Marketwired - Apr 6, 2016) -  The State of Illinois added 9,300 private sector jobs during the month of March, according to the ADP Regional Employment Report which is produced by ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, in collaboration with Moody's Analytics, Inc. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP Regional Employment Report measures the change in regional and state nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

 

March 2016 Report Highlights

Changes in Illinois State Nonfarm Private Employment: 9,300*

·         By Sector * 

o    Goods-producing 1,500 

o    Service-providing 7,800
 

·         By Select Industries

o    Natural Resources/Mining and Construction 800 

o    Manufacturing 700 

o    Professional and Business Services 1,000 

o    Trade, Transportation and Utilities 2,900 

* Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding.

 

The April 2016 ADP Regional Employment Report will be released at 9:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. A full publishing calendar can be found at www.ADPemploymentreport.com.

 

Additional data on other states, including jobs data by sector and select industries is available at www.ADPemploymentreport.com.

 

About ADP (NASDAQ: ADP)
Powerful technology plus a human touch. Companies of all types and sizes around the world rely on ADP's cloud software and expert insights to help unlock the potential of their people. HR. Talent. Benefits. Payroll. Compliance. Working together to build a better workforce. For more information, visit ADP.com.

 

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Lawmakers differ on impact to taxpayers

People who have served their prison sentences will have a better chance succeeding if the state stops trying to make them pay for their prison stays, according to a lawmaker pushing for that change.

Senate Bill 2465, which would remove the ability of the Department of Corrections and the attorney general to collect housing costs from inmates, passed 32-19 Tuesday. Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy opposed the measure and said the state should keep its ability to seek reimbursement from some inmates.

Chief sponsor Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss said it costs taxpayers when the state seeks reimbursement of incarceration costs. And he said it costs taxpayers when someone out of prison lacks the resources to get back on his feet and ends up on government assistance or back behind bars.

Biss said the proposed bill reflects the values of Illinois when it comes to criminal justice.

The measure has been referred to the House Rules Committee. 

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Durbin continues to push for Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Senator Dick Durbin met with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland Wednesday. He walked away saying he is only more convinced that Garland is good fit for the nation's high court and deserves a confirmation hearing before the Senate...

Garland previously met with Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who also says the Senate should hold hearings.

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State Fair to go on despite budget woes.

Despite the budget problems in Springfield, this year’s State Fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin will go on as usual. Kevin Gordon, who manages both fairs for the IDOA says fair vendors, despite not getting fully paid for last year’s work, understand the problem and plan to return this year.

Meanwhile the proposed State Fair Foundation will not be raising money for operational costs of the two fairs, but will try and raise private funds to maintain and improve infrastructure at the DuQuoin and Springfield grounds.

Kevin Gordon, state fair manager. A 28 year state employee, Gordon had been on the fair staff for sixteen years before being appointed Manager.
Meanwhile, several grandstand acts were announced last Friday, and details of more events, including premium books will be announced fairly soon. 

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AMERICAN PICKERS To Film In Illinois

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Illinois! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout Illinois with filming scheduled for the end of April/early May 2016.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques--from motorcycles, classic cars and bicycles, to one-of-a-kind vintage memorabilia.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank continue their mission to recycle America by rescuing forgotten relics and giving them a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about American history along the way.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your buried treasure. They are on the hunt for characters with interesting and unique items.  Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, early firefighting equipment, vintage musical equipment, automotive items, and clothing. They are always excited to find things they’ve never seen before and learn the story behind it.

If you or someone you know has a large, private collection send us your: name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to:
americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-old-rust.

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SOS Support Group

 

A new Survivors of Suicide Support Group will hold their initial meeting on Thursday, April 14 from 6:30-8pm at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Michele Roesner is the Committee Chair for the Support Group and she says the intent of the new group is to help offer support to families, friends and peers of those who have lost their lives through suicide…

Father Jerry Rafalko will also be a part of the new organization and he will speak about the stages of grief at the first meeting…

The groups multi-faceted purpose will be to provide a safe and confidential place for survivors to share their experiences, also to educate survivors on healthy coping and healing skills, to also provide an opportunity for survivors to learn from others in a similar situation and to respect the unique aspects of the suicide bereavement process.

For further information on the program, contact Michele Roesner at 883-9192.   

 

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Record Start to the Wildfire Season

It looks like a record start to the 2016 wildfire season.

The USDA’s Rod Bain has the report… 

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BHC Student Earns Perfect Score

 

A Black Hawk College student recently earned a perfect score in public speaking at a national agriculture conference.

 

Kelley Koester of Elizabeth earned a perfect score (320 of a possible 320 points) and tied for first place overall at the 2016 National Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization Conference in Kansas City, MO.

 

After a tie-breaker, Koester was second overall in Speakers in Agriculture - Prepared.

 

Each state PAS association may enter its first place and second place state winners to compete at the National PAS conference. Koester finished second place at the Illinois PAS State Conference last fall.

 

For the prepared speakers competition, students write and deliver a six- to eight-minute speech about a current agriculture-related topic. The topic of Koester’s speech was farm safety.

 

Koester is an ag transfer student at the Black Hawk College East Campus.

 

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New Director at Abilities Plus

 

Kewanee, IL – After months of preparation, recruitment, and interviews, the Board of Directors announced their choice for the next Abilities Plus Executive Director on March 28, 2016.

 

Kim Walker will be successor to retiring Executive Director Mike Zerull.  Walker has been with the agency since 1993.

 

“It was Kim’s experience, enthusiasm and leadership that impressed the committee to believe she was prepared to take on the responsibilities of Executive Director,” Board of Directors President Steve Looney said.

 

“I am honored to be given this opportunity,” Walker said.  “I look forward to working with the Board, staff, clients, and families to continue the growth and success of Abilities Plus.”

 

During Walker’s tenure with Abilities Plus, she has been involved with a number of aspects concerning the agency.  Her current roles included serving as the Director of Employment and Training, Corporate Compliance Officer, Security Officer, Human Sexuality Instructor, DSP Training Coordinator, and OIG Investigator & OIG Agency Liaison.  

 

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Higher Education Budget Woes

State higher education officials in Illinois are warning about the dire consequences of the continuing budget stalemate.

Kim Howard has the report…

 

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Teen Smokers May be Underage Soon

Would be teen smokers might have to wait to legally buy cigarettes if a proposed bill keeps working its way through the Illinois Capitol. A senate committee has approved a bill that would make 21 the age to buy smokes. The bill raises the age but it also removes any penalty for underage smokers from possession of tobacco. Supporters of the bill say the later teens choose to start smoking then the less likely they are to begin. 

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Bourne wants to eliminate lawmaker pensions

State Representative Avery Bourne wants to take pensions off the list of benefits for future state lawmakers and she's putting her money where her mouth is. She is co-sponsoring legislation to phase out pensions for members of the General Assembly elected after January first of this year. Bourne has been with the legislature since last year but wasn't elected until last month. The Raymond Republican says she isn't just telling voters what they want to hear, she says the pension system for lawmakers is deeply flawed...

Bourne says ending pensions will help ensure more lawmakers are in Springfield for all the right reasons...

About 30 representatives have opted to turn down pension benefits.

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FBI turns up the heat on suspect in murder of Springfield area native

The FBI is turning up the heat on the suspect accused of masterminding the ambush murder of a Springfield area native killed near Downtown Dallas. Brenda Delgado has been added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives list in connection with the September slaying of Kendra Hatcher.
Delgado allegedly sought a hit man to kill the children's dentist because she was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend. In a new FBI video, Hatcher's mother, Bonnie Jameson-Cawley of Springfield, makes an emotional request for help tracking down Delgado...

Authorities believe Delgado may be in hiding in Mexico. 

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Upcoming OSF Blood Drive

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host an upcoming blood drive at the hospital.

St Luke Marketing Director Carrie Boelens says the need for blood remains a constant…

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Tourism Funding

tourism is a real money maker for the state.

Henry County Tourism Bureau Director Cathy Foes says the situation remains in a state of flux…

Ms. Foes says that there are always challenges to be met and she also touts the increasing role of technology in the world of tourism…

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Saturday Event in Bishop Hill

 

 

Rolling on the River:  Songs about Illinois Waterways

 

On Saturday, April 9th, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association is hosting Windjammer, Sternwheelers, and Tin-Stackers:   Working Waterways of Illinois, a program provided by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speaker Bureau.  Using folk songs to tell the story of commerce on the rivers, canals, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline, performer Lee Murdock traces the rise of shipping in our state, from the keelboats of the nineteenth century to today’s 1000-foot lake freighters.  This free public program will start at 2 p.m. in the Dairy Building, located at 410 North Erickson Street in Bishop Hill, Illinois.

 

In old songs and new, Murdock sings of lake schooners hauling grain and iron ore, famous river packets delivering their goods and passengers, and the canal boatmen who navigated across the Illinois prairie.  He speaks to the shift in shipping technology from sailing craft to steam-powered vessels.  He tells of heroic deeds, comical characters, and the beauty of our state’s waterways.

 

For more details, please call the BHHA at 309 927-3899, or email bhha@mymctc.net, or visit www.bishophillheritage.org.                

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7th Annual Small Business Luncheon

 

Galesburg, IL -- On May 17, 2016, the Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) of West Central Illinois will host the 7th Annual Small Business Day Luncheon at the Lake Storey Pavilion, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The program will include the annual Small Business Eagle Awards, where area entrepreneurs are recognized for their accomplishments.  For this year’s program, Adam Vitale, President, G&M Distributing, will share some of his experiences and vision in regards to small business.

                Guest Speaker   Adam Vitale

      President of the Board of Directors for G&M Distributors. Inc.

After graduating from the University of Delaware in 2001, Adam worked for Republic-National Distributing Company of Washington, D.C., where he worked up into management and managed the portfolios of major wine, spirits, and beer companies for the Washington, D.C. market.  In Dec. 2007, he obtained his Masters in Business Administration (marketing) at Pepperdine Univ. in Malibu, CA.   Adam then became the General Sales Manager at G&M Distributors, Inc. in Galesburg in January 2008.  In 2010, he was promoted to General Manager of G&M then was elected the President of the Board of Directors. Founded by G. Louis Vitale in 1946, G&M is a beverage distributor for Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo, the E. & J. Gallo Winery, and other beer, wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic suppliers.   In 2008 the company had approximately 65 full-time employees and now has approximately 130 employees with locations in Galesburg and Dixon, IL.

 

Locally, Adam is the Chairman of the Board for OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Vice Chairman of the Knox County Partnership for Economic Development, a commissioner on the City of Galesburg Liquor Advisory Commission, and the Vice President and Treasurer of the G.L. Vitale Family Foundation.  He also serves as the Treasurer and Finance Committee Chairman of the Associated Beer Distributors of  Illinois (Springfield, IL), is on the Audit Committee for the National Beer Wholesalers Assoc. in Washington, DC., and is a member of the Illini Chapter of Young Presidents Org. (YPO).

 

Small Business Day marks National Small Business Week, and serves the mission of ESN to celebrate Entrepreneurship within Henderson, Knox, Mercer, Henry and Warren Counties in West Central Illinois. 

Tickets for the annual event can be purchased at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/esn-2016-small-business-day-award-luncheon-tickets-23833076373  or you may call Ann German at (309) 344-1575 ext 1 or email amgerman@grics.net.  For more information contact Carrie McKillip at (309) 342-5108 or email mckillip@illinois.edu.

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Crop Report

There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for fieldwork recently.

Kim Howard has more with the very first weekly crop report of the season…

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Courtyard Estates on Tuned IN

Sam Harker with Courtyard Estates talks about financing issues facing seniors during the April 6 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Funding for education in Illinois is one of the main topics of discussion during the April 6 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Take Back the Night

The month of April has been set aside as sexual assault awareness month and Freedom House in Princeton and Kewanee will host an event this evening in Kewanee and also next Tuesday in Princeton.

Nancy Carper is the sexual assault Program Manager for Freedom House and she says the Take Back the Night effort is to help raise awareness of sexual violence and also promoting safety…

Freedom House will host a film entitled The Hunting Ground at 5:30 and also at 7 o’clock this evening at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center at 404 East Third Street in Kewanee.

Various speakers will be on hand from 6:30 until 7 and the free film will document sexual assault survivors as they pursue their education while fighting for justice…

That is Nancy Carper with Freedom House and the reminder that the movie will be presented at the Nelson Chapel in Princeton at 502 Elm Place next Tuesday, April 13th with a meet and greet at 6, Speakers from 6:30-7 and The Hunting Ground shown from 7 until 8.     

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LWV Upcoming Meeting

 

Recently, the city of Kewanee conducted a survey of randomly selected Kewanee residents.  The purpose of the survey is to evaluate the services the city provides and which services are most important.  The city is widely disseminating the information to the public through various means.  

 

The League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area will host a meeting presenting the results of this survey on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at city hall.  It will be broadcast on Comcast cable channel 13.  

 

The speakers will be Kewanee city manager, Gary Bradley and mayor, Steve Looney.  They will discuss the results and how they will be used for future planning.  The audience will be able to ask questions.  

 

In a recent newspaper article, it was noted that nearly 2,400 surveys were mailed hoping 400 would be returned. Over 1000 were returned which indicates a high interest in the residents giving input to the city council and city staff.  With this meeting, residents can see the opinions of other residents and interact with city officials with questions and comments.  

 

The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, and to act on selected governmental issues.  One way the League has accomplished this purpose is through informational meetings and candidate forums open to the public. 

 

Anyone interested in joining the LWV of the Kewanee Area may contact co-president Carla Hillman.

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GMO Food Labelling

The phrase genetically modified foods continues to creep into our vocabulary more and more as time goes on.

Thomas Marten is the Manager of the Stark County Farm Bureau and he says there is a debate currently underway relative to the accurate labelling of GM foods…

For many consumers, the pertinent question is our genetically modified foods a good thing or not…

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Mental Health 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 April Support Group for friends and family of people with mental illness.

 

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 12th 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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Rolling on the River Saturday in Bishop Hill

 

Rolling on the River:  Songs about Illinois Waterways

 

On Saturday, April 9th, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association is hosting Windjammer, Sternwheelers, and Tin-Stackers:   Working Waterways of Illinois, a program provided by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speaker Bureau.  Using folk songs to tell the story of commerce on the rivers, canals, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline, performer Lee Murdock traces the rise of shipping in our state, from the keelboats of the nineteenth century to today’s 1000-foot lake freighters. 

 

In old songs and new, Murdock sings of lake schooners hauling grain and iron ore, famous river packets delivering their goods and passengers, and the canal boatmen who navigated across the Illinois prairie.  He speaks to the shift in shipping technology from sailing craft to steam-powered vessels.  He tells of heroic deeds, comical characters, and the beauty of our state’s waterways.

 

This free public program will start Saturday afternoon at 2 in the Dairy Building, located at 410 North Erickson Street in Bishop Hill, Illinois.

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House Republicans Call On Dem's To Move Budget Talk

Lawmakers are back in full force in Springfield this week. The House and Senate are both working after a break – the work may or may not focus on a state budget but Republican leaders say that Democrats need to budge. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says that its’ the Democrats that need to make a move to get past the 9 months the state has operated without a spending plan.

Durkin says that there is still room for a compromise budget but that Democrats need to start the process.

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Gov Acts By Order to Find Health Care Fraud

The Governor is acting by executive order to assign a task force to find a way to eliminate health care fraud in Illinois. Bruce Rauner says the state spends over 19 billion in Medicaid and group health care spending. And he says you can keep health care services strong and still save money by removing fraud from the system. However, Rauner can’t quite pin down a number on the amount of fraud or just how much the state is losing.

Rauner’s task force will be made up of top level staffers inside of Rauner’s administration. He adds that he will also strive to bring in outside experts to help the state save money on fraud.

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ZZ TOP, DIERKS BENTLEY AMONG TOP PERFORMERS AT 2016 ILLINOIS STATE FAIR

Planning is well underway for the 2016 Illinois State Fair, and each year the most anticipated annoucement is the unveiling of the Grandstand lineup.   At this time, the Illinois State Fair management team is pleased to announce five nights of high-calibur entertainment, with at least three more grandstand announcements pending.

 

Known for his barefoot performances, Jake Owen will take the stage on Sunday, August 14.  This will be Owen’s second performance at the Illinois State Fair.  He previously performed at the Grandstand in 2014.    Owen is best known for hit songs “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” “Beachin’,” and “Anywhere With You.”  

 

Opening for Jake Owen will be the 2016 Academy of Country Music New Vocal Group of the Year, Old Dominion.   Rolling Stone magazine has called Old Dominion ‘the group to watch’ in country music.  The band is best known for the debut hit single, “Break up With Him.”   

Tickets for Jake Owen with Old Dominion will range from $15 for Tier 3 seats to $37 for VIP tickets.

Also, signed up to play at the 2016 Illinois State Fair is Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Dierks Bentley.   The Arkansas native is best known for hits like, “Drunk on a Plane,” What Was I Thinking,” and “Free And Easy (Down the Road I Go).”

Opening for Dierks Bentley will be Tucker Beathard.  Ticket prices for the Tuesday, August 16th concert will range from $42 for Tier 3 seats to $64 for VIP tickets.

Also pulling into Springfield for the 2016 Illinois State Fair will be Cole Swindell.  The country music newcomer has a growing reputation in Nashville as one of the city’s most exciting young performers.    The Georgia native is best known for number one hits such as, “Chillin’ It,” and “You Should Be Here.”

Opening for Cole Swindell on Friday, August 19th will be Kane Brown, LANco, and Jon Langston.  Tickets prices will range from $18 for Tier 3 seats to $40 for VIP tickets.

GRANDSTAND/2222

 

Scheduled to take the stage on Saturday, August 20 is the Grammy award winning group Little Big Town.  With multiple number one hits to their credit, the harmonizing vocal group is sure to be a crowd pleaser at the Grandstand.  Their hits include, “Pontoon,” “Bring It On Home,” “Boondocks,” and ACM nominated for Single Record, Song and Video of the Year, “Girl Crush.”

 

Opening for Little Big Town will be David Nail.  The Missouri native is best known for the songs, “Red Light,” “Whatever She’s Got” and “Let It Rain.”   Tickets for this concert will range $27 for Tier 3 seating to $49 for VIP tickets.

 

The Grandstand will be rockin’ on the last night of the Illinois State Fair, August 21 when ZZ Top takes the stage.  The group has been praised by critics and fellow musicans aliike for their technical mastery.   Known for their long beards and hard-core guitar rifs, ZZ Top has been performing since 1969.  Their hits include, “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” and “La Grange.” 


Also performing that night will be Gregg Allman.  Allman, a recipient of Classic Rock magazine’s ‘Living Legend’ award, is one of the most-acclaimed and beloved icons in rock and roll.  He is best known as a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.   Tickets will range from $34 for Tier 3 seats to $54 for VIP tickets.

An on-sale date for the above mentioned acts has not been set at this time.

Ticket prices for each of the shows are listed below:


August 14:  Jake Owen / Old Dominion
Tier 3 - $15 / Tier 2 - $20 / Tier 1 - $25 / Track $25 / VIP - $37

August 16:  Dierks Bentley / Tucker Beathard
Tier 3 - $42 / Tier 2 - $47 / Tier 1 - $52 / Track $52 / VIP - $64

August 19:  Cole Swindell / Kane Brown / LANco / Jon Langston
Tier 3 - $18 / Tier 2 - $23 / Tier 1 - $28 / Track $28 / VIP - $40

August 20:  Little Big Town / David Nail
Tier 3 - $27 / Tier 2 - $32 / Tier 1 - $37 / Track $37 / VIP - $49

August 21:  ZZ Top / Gregg Allman
Tier 3 - $34 / Tier 2 - $39 / Tier 1 - $44 / Track $44 / VIP - $54

More details regarding ticket sales, special events, and additional grandstand acts will be released in the coming weeks and months.  Dates for the 2016 Illinois State Fair are Aug. 12-21.

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High school students learn about CNA training April 20

High school students interested in the health care field are invited to Find Your Career at Black Hawk College from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 at the Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee.  This informational event will highlight the many programs offered at the center. One of them – the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program – can be taken by high school students. Students who pass the course can take the exam to become a certified nursing assistant, or CNA.  “Many students are surprised to learn that they can take the CNA class while still in high school.  This dual enrollment option gives them a jump on a career and a jump on college,” said instructor Jodie Robinson.  aking the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program introduces students to the health care field and gives them a readily marketable skill. CNAs are in high demand.  “Many nursing programs actually require that their students complete a CNA course before enrolling,” Robinson said.  On April 20, there will be tours of the health classrooms at the Community Education Center and demonstrations of the equipment and instructional models used in the classroom. Parents are encouraged to attend.  The Black Hawk College Community Education Center is located at 404 E. Third St., Kewanee.  For more information, contact Jeanine Peterson at 309-854-1712 or petersonj@bhc.edu or Deb Rhoades at 309-854-1875 or rhoadesd@bhc.edu.

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Kids And Cellphones

Cell phones are for many a staple of modern day living and cell phones quite obviously are all but a fixed part of daily life for many if not most young people.

And says Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline that’s where problems can begin…

Trooper Wilson adds that it’s all but impossible to keep the phones away from kids but that is just the beginning of the problem…

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March Weather in Illinois

Last month was the 10th warmest March on record in Illinois.

Kim Howard has the details in this report…

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Fatal train/vehicle crash in Springfield

Springfield authorities are investigating a fatal collision between a train and a motorist late Sunday night. Springfield Deputy Police Chief Dan Mounce...

The identity of the 65-year-old woman killed has not been released .

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Litchfield Drive In giving moviegoers their kicks for 66 years on 66, new owners step up to keep it alive

A part of that Route 66 experience will continue in Litchfield as Mindy and Nick Pastrovich and other family members have purchased the Skyview Drive-In. Minday Pastrovich says It's one of the best preserved slices of Route 66 in Illinois, giving visitors from around the world a dose of pre-interstate American life. ....

While some of the movies over the years have been less than memorable, Pastrovich says some of the best memories aren't on screen....

The drive in celebrated its 66th anniversary when it opened for the season on Friday. 

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Check Those Stickers On Your Plates

Drivers are forgetting to renew their license plates and its showing – the late fees are piling up at the Secretary of States Office. Car owners paid almost $2 million in March on late fees after forgetting to get their new sticker. The late fees are spiking after the state has stopped mailing renewal notices in order to save money. The amount from the first quarter of the year is more double from the year before, when $2.2 million was collected between January and March. 

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S.O.S. on People to People

Michele Roesner and Father Jerry Rafalko talk about the new Survivors of Suicide Group that will hold monthly Supporet Group Meetings at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee

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WKEI Open Line

Breakfast cereals are discussed during the April 4th edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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OSF on Tuned In

OSF Marketing Director Carrie Boelens talks about upcoming events during the April 4 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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IRS Tax Info

The deadline to file income taxes for 2015 will be two weeks from today, on Monday, April 18th.

The astute observer will say, isn’t the deadline usually on the 15th?

Well yes, it normally is, but as Michael Devine with the Internal Revenue Service explains, there is a reason for the later date this year…

 

Devine also reminds taxpayers that the deadline for 2012 refunds will also occur on April 18th

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Ken Maguire BHE Wall of Fame


BHC East Foundation inducting professor emeritus Ken Maguire into Wall of Fame on April 22

 

In 1992, the Black Hawk College East Foundation welcomed the first inductees into the Wall of Fame, honoring its founders Robert Eastman, Robert Glidden, Gust “Brick” Lundberg, E.O. Good and Roy “Tex” Reynolds.

 

Including the five inaugural inductees, the East Foundation has inducted 27 individuals and awarded 19 individuals and/or organizations the Distinguished Service Award as part of the Wall of Fame program.

 

On Friday, April 22, professor emeritus Ken Maguire will be inducted into the 2016 Wall of Fame at a ceremony at the East Campus.

 

Maguire began at Black Hawk College in 1967 when the East Campus opened five miles south of Kewanee. He was one of six original faculty members who opened the doors for classes in the Kewanee National Guard Armory. He taught history, sociology and anthropology, retiring in May 2003.

 

The 2016 Wall of Fame Reception & Induction Ceremony will be Friday, April 22 at the Black Hawk College East Campus, 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva. There will be a hors d’oeuvres reception from 5:30-7 p.m. followed by the program and induction ceremony at 7 p.m.

 

RSVPs are requested by Wednesday, April 13. Cost is $25 per person. Late registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at $30 per person.

 

A portion of the registration will go toward establishing the Ken Maguire Liberal Arts & Science Scholarship, which will further recognize his dedication to the East Campus and its students as well as his generous support of the foundation and the community. The scholarship will provide financial assistance to liberal arts and science transfer students.

 

As of March 31, more than $10,000 has been raised for the new scholarship. Donors as of March 31 include:

·        Diamond Sponsor – Anonymous

·        Silver Sponsor – Dan & Liz Breedlove and Patty Varner

·        Bronze Sponsor – Dr. Alan Abbott; Milt, Mary & Sue Carlson; Carla Hillman; Steve & Jan Sams; and Spike & Terry Young.

 

For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact Liz Breedlove at breedlovel@bhc.edu or 309-854-1715.

 

For more information about the event, visit www.eastfoundation.bhc.edu.

 

To register for the event, contact Jimalee Driscoll at driscollj@bhc.edu or 309-854-1718 or register online at www.bhc.edu/walloffameregistration.

 

 

ABOUT KEN MAGUIRE

 

As one of the original East Campus faculty members hired in 1967, Ken Maguire devoted 36 years as a professor of liberal arts and science, teaching U.S. government, sociology, anthropology and other history courses to thousands of students.

 

Students and faculty peers describe him as one of the best lecturers at the college. Maguire also served as the chair of the Liberal Arts and Science Department for 13 years, interim dean of instruction, and chaired two North Central Association Accreditation studies.

 

He was a major influence on the athletic programs at the East Campus as co-coach of the first women’s basketball team and founder of the Black Hawk East Booster Club in 1973. He also was co-founder and first president of the Arrowhead Athletic Conference.

 

Through his dedication and leadership, Maguire was instrumental in the growth and development of the Black Hawk College East Campus. He and his wife Cathy have generously supported the college through the Black Hawk College East Foundation.

 

Maguire also is a longtime member of the Kewanee Elks Club and served as chairman of the Kewanee Human Relations Committee.

 

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OSF MRI Open House


OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will be hosting a community open house celebrating the newly completed MRI addition on Tuesday, April 19from 1pm-5pm.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1:30pm.  Formal invitations will follow, but we wanted to share the date and time with you as soon as it was confirmed this afternoon. 

 

If you are unable to attend, but would be interested in a tour, please contact me to arrange one (ideally before April 19 as once the magnet in the MRI is turned on, pre-screening will be required of anyone in the MRI area).

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Fredrick Douglas (kind of) Set to Speak at Old State Capitol

In April of 1866 Abolitionist Frederick Douglas spoke at the Illinois State Capitol. The anniversary of the speech is being marked by a special observance this weekend at what is now the Old State Capitol. Douglas’ speech was notable for a few reasons, including that it was the first time an African American was allowed to give a speech in the building. Douglas’ groundbreaking event is being recognized this weekend according to Chris Wills with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

In April of 1866 Abolitionist Frederick Douglas spoke at the Illinois State Capitol. The anniversary of the speech is being marked by a special observance this weekend at what is now the Old State Capitol. Douglas’ groundbreaking event is being recognized this weekend according to Chris Wills with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

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Did Justice Scalia's death cost Rod Blagojevich legal breakthrough

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich awaits re-sentencing in June after prosecutors opted not to retry him on five corruption convictions that were tossed out. The Supreme Court revealed Monday it decided not to hear Blagojevich's appeal of the remaining corruption counts. Attorney Jon Gray Noll says it's not clear if Justice Antonin Scalia had a chance to weigh in on the issue, but he believes Scalia had great interest in the issues raised in the Blagojevich case, when do campaign contributions become bribes....

Blagojevich is four years into a fourteen year prison term.

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Well testing available

If you get your water from your own well, you are kind of on your own to make sure the water is safe. Contamination can come from bacteria, or even chemicals in the groundwater… Many wells in Illinois have arsenic from groundwater.
According to Steve Wilson with the Illinois State Water Survey, you can have a well assessment done to identify any possible issues.

Beyond that, the ISWS offer a free online course in private well management.

Steve Wilson, hydrologist with the Il State Water Survey.
For well testing, contact the Illinois State Water Survey for groundwater chemistry, and to test for potential bacterial contamination contact you County Health Department.

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Peoria Airport reopens after suspicious bag is discovered

Life is returning to normal at Peoria's Airport after a suspicious bag triggered an evacuation around 7 a.m. (Thursday). Peoria County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Joseph Needham...

In a clear case of fact being stranger than fiction, Needham says the device was meant to look suspicious...

The all-clear signal was given around 9:30 a.m. 

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Civil War Technology Hands On and Explained

You might know what kind of weapons or other tools of day looked like during the Civil War, but now you can learn more about the story behind that technology. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is hosting another Civil War tech day on April 2nd. This weekend experts will be on hand to explain the technology behind the cannons of the Civil War. Chris Willis of the ALPLM says that it’s a hands on experience for kids or anyone interested in the technology of the day.

The Civil War tech exhibit will be in Union Square Park from 9 – 10 am on Saturday. That’s just across the street from the Museum.

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WKEI Open Line

Mass shootings and the prison closure in Kewanee are part of the conversation during the April 1st edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Economic Impact of the Prison Closure in Kewanee

More questions than answers remain in place in light of the state of Illinois’ decision to close the Illinois Youth Facility in Kewanee.

The final decision to remain open or closed will ultimately be made by Governor Bruce Rauner later this year.

One of the questions that some in the community have asked is what might be the potential for the Walgreens Drug Store to stay or close if the prison is shut down.

Walgreens generally is part of a community where there is a prison as they are tasked with filling prisoner’s prescriptions.

Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley says he has heard of no plans for Walgreens to leave or remain in Kewanee if the prison closes…

 

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Rauner Frustrated With Budget Stalemate

Governor Bruce Rauner says he is extremely frustrated as the state heads into its tenth month without a state budget.  

Kim Howard has those details…

 

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OSF Scholarship Opportunities

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee has several scholarship opportunities available for students seeking careers in the health care field.

Carrie Boelens is the Marketing Director at St Luke and she says the application deadline is later this month…

Ms. Boelens adds that this type information is increasingly available on the hospital’s website and she also says more and more people are utilizing that website…

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Nominations Sought for Eagle Awards

 

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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TRAC Scholastic Bowl Honors

Scholastic Bowl Three Rivers Athletic Conference 2015-2016

 

Final Standings (Based on two-tier system according to conference rules):

PLACE       SCHOOL              WIN/LOSS POINTS FOR                 POINTS AGAINST

1ST place      Riverdale              14-0             3970                      1410

2nd place      Morrison              12-2             3400                      1890

3rd place      Newman               11-3             2570                      1770

4th place      Princeton              11-3             3460                      1940

5th place      Amboy                  10-4             2690                      1960

6th place      Rockridge             9-5               2620                      1920

7th place      St. Bede                 8-6               2730                      1740

8th place      BVHS                    7-8               2360                      2540

9th place      Kewanee               6-8               1560                      2490

10th place    Hall                       4-10             1160                      2180

11th place    Erie                       4-10             1340                      2440

12th place    Sherrard               2-11             1420                      2830

13th place    Orion                    1-13             1120                      4000

14th place    Fulton                   1-13             1150                     

 

 

All-Conference First Team

NAME                                      SCHOOL              TOSS-UPS

Colin Vaughn                           Riverdale              135

Greg Kessel                              Amboy                  76

Jacob Doan                              Princeton              81

David Eddy                              Rockridge             68

Mike Powers                             Newman               59

Andrew Kim                             St. Bede                 56

Harrison Brousseau                 BVHS                    54

Russell Johnson                       Erie                       45

RJ Tillman                               Morrison              40

Kayla Saville                            Morrison              34

 

 

All-Conference Second Team

NAME                                      SCHOOL              TOSS-UPS

Nick Glubczynski                      BVHS                   32

Jimmy Perona                          St. Bede                 30

Jack Watson                            Kewanee               29

Eryn Young                              Morrison              27

Jacob Bickett                           Princeton              27

Shawn Rosengren                    Newman               26

Connor Schmall                       Newman               26

Tanner Dominy                        Hall                       25

Gavin Wink                              Sherrard               24

Riley Dirks                               St. Bede                 22

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Day of Recognition for National Service

 

Kewanee, IL– On April 5, Mayor Steve Looney will join more than 3,122 city and county leaders across the country in a day of recognition to highlight the impact of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps on city challenges.

 

Mayor Looney will participate in the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service by having a short program on April 5, 2016 at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center, 404 E. 3rd St. at 6:00 p.m. and has invited agencies and school personnel to discuss the impact of AmeriCorps members on their programs and in their schools. Refreshments will be served.

 

The nation’s counties and cities are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to address county challenges at a time of fiscal constraint.  AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Senior Corps currently links more than 270,000 Americans to service opportunities.

 

The activities in Kewanee on April 5th are part of a national bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service, thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back.

 

The effort is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs.  For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov .

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