Local News Archives for 2016-07

Durbin Dismisses Gov Talk

As democrats assembled in Philadelphia this week, those from Illinois spent plenty of time trying to figure out who might be willing to run for Governor. The rumor mill has churned out the name of US Senator Dick Durbin in the past. The long serving senior Senator is fairly quick to dismiss the conversation.

For the now the potential list of Democratic challengers for Governor is just that a list of potential names. 

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Davis notes opposition at DNC

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is working with a campaign slogan of "We're Stronger Together". Congressman Rodney Davis is questioning how together Democrats are as the Democratic National Convention approaches its conclusion....

On the unity front, Davis is one of the Congressional Republicans who has continued to stand behind GOP nominee Donald Trump. 

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Thorntons Expands Fuel Selection to E-15

Thorntons is initiating a project to expand their pumps to include E-15 as part of their fuel selection. The gasoline retailor is located across 6 states with Chicago being one of their largest markets. Thorntons project manager Matt Nichols says it is important for the company to be innovative and stand out.

The E-15 gasoline grade burns cleaner and has a higher octane factor. Consumers will see the benefit from the price as it has a three cents discount over regular unleaded gasoline. Nichols says it is crucial to brand the gas as an opportunity for consumers.

Currently, there are 14 Thorntons in Chicago with E-15 available with 4 more opening in August. 

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HHH on PTP

Darcy Hepner, Hammond Henry Hospital Foundation Manager talks about various programs during the July 29 edition of People to People on WKEI

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Open Line

National politics are discussed during the July 29 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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FEMA on Tuned IN

Rafael Lemaitre, Director of Public Affairs with FEMA discusses emergency preparation during the July 29 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Annual St Jude Run On Saturday

The annual run from Kewanee to Peoria to benefit St Jude’s Children’s Hospital will be held on Saturday.

Tara Mosley of Kewanee is the Coordinator for the run which will begin bright and early on Saturday morning…

Ms. Mosley adds that there will be a record number of runners participating on Saturday and there will also be three honorary starters that will get the run off and rolling…

Ms. Mosley also notes that donations can still be made for the cause and that includes during the run itself…

The exact route for Saturday morning’s run includes a starting time of 5:30 am from the Kewanee YMCA, then east on First Street then right or south on Chestnut to Division, then to Route 78 south.

Runners will take Route 78 south past Black Hawk East to Illinois Route 17 and then east to Toulon, then on to Wyoming and then south on Route 91 to Princeville.

In Princeville, runners will then head east on Route 90 and 91 and taking 91 to Dunlap and taking a left on Cedar Hills Road to Illinois Route 40 and then south on 40 into Peoria.         

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Soldiers Receive Recognition


CHICAGO (07/28/2016)(readMedia)-- Two Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers were recognized for their expertise and professionalism during the United States Army Transportation Corps 2016 Regimental Honors awards ceremony July 27 at the Army's Transportation School at Fort Lee, Virginia.

1st Lt. Nathaniel Jungheim of Chicago received the 2015 Transportation Corps Reserve Component Officer of the Year award and Spc. Jessica Gluszek of Rock Falls, Illinois, as the 2015 Transportation Corps Reserve Component Soldier of the Year award.

The awards honor the Soldiers' distinguished service, significant contributions and performance in support of the Transportation Corps. The Transportation Corps is known as the spearhead of support, moving supplies, personnel and equipment where they are needed.

"It feels good to be recognized for all that work that I put in," said Jungheim.

Jungheim said he believes the award is a culmination of years of hard work.

Gluszek said she was overwhelmed with excitement when she received the news of her recognition. She said she looks forward to continuing to serve in the transportation corps and the Illinois National Guard.

"I love what I do," said Gluszek.

Jungheim and Gluszek were nominated while serving in the 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, Illinois, by their former commander, Capt. Linden Allen of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Allen said it was an honor to be their commander and felt their professionalism and expertise should be recognized.

"Jungheim is an excellent leader ... and I'm sure he will continue to do great things," said Allen.

Allen said Gluszek was one of those Soldiers who got done what you asked of her, without having to ask her more than once, and she got it done above standard.

"She always preformed in an exemplary manner," said Allen.

Allen said Gluszek stood out to him when she first came to the unit.

"She really took charge and stepped right up into a leadership role," said Allen.

Allen said he is proud of Jungheim and Gluszek and their recognition in the transportation corps and feels they are both deserving of the title.

"They are both highly deserving of this award. It brings a great deal of credit upon the 1644th Transportation Company, the premier line haul transportation company in the National Guard."

In recent years the Illinois National Guard has had several officers and Soldiers recognized for their efforts in the transportation corps and other logistics support fields. Illinois National Guard Soldiers continue to perform well in the transportation and logistics field.

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Jobs Up In Some Areas, Down In Others

CHICAGO–Eight of Illinois’ 14 metropolitan (metro) areas experienced decreases in their over-the-year unemployment rate and eight of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“One metropolitan area losing jobs is one too many,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “While we boost our efforts to help employers connect with qualified candidates, we also need effective policies in place to realize robust job growth in Illinois.”

Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metro areas, in which the largest increases were seen in: Lake-Kenosha (+2.4 percent, +10,000), Rockford (+2.0 percent, +3,100), and Springfield (+1.8 percent, +2,000). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.2 percent or +43,700). Illinois businesses lost jobs in six metro areas including the Quad Cities (-2.9 percent, -5,500), Bloomington (-1.6 percent, -1,500), and Peoria (-1.3 percent, -2,400). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas were: Education and Health Services (11 of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (11 of 14), Retail Trade (10 of 14), and Professional and Business Services (nine of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares June 2016 with June 2015. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 6.0 percent in June 2016 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in June 2016 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

 

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Humane Society Benefit on Saturday


Gabi Harrison was a freshman at KHS who took her own life last January.  Gabi and her entire family have been great supporters of the Henry County Humane Society.  Friends of Gabi are hosting a benefit with proceeds going to the Kewanee Animal Shelter.  The event is on Saturday, July 30th at the Boiler Room starting at 5:00 pm.   Food will be served from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.  Tickets for the event are $10 for kids under 21 and $25 for adults who wish to eat and drink (includes beer). Those interested can contact Kellie Wallace at the Humane Society or buy tickets at the door.

The fundraiser will run from 5:00pm to Midnight.  Food will be served from 5:00pm -7:00pm.  Entertainment will be provided throughout the night, starting with acoustic music at 6pm.  "Short Lived Fun" and "Rock Kick Junkies" will be providing music from 8:00pm to Midnight. There will also be a silent auction.

Throughout the night there will be raffles.  Two of the raffles will be a Cubs package and the other package will be round trip plane tickets to anywhere in the continental United States.  Tickets for the raffles are $5 a ticket. We know that raffle tickets can be bought from several locations including Country Morning Coffee and the Star Courier. 

The winner of the Cubs raffle will receive:

2 Cubs vs. Cards tickets for Aug 13th 

Overnight stay at Westin River North Hotel

$100 spending cash. 

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2016 Bishop Hill Folk Festival

The 2016 Bishop Hill Folk Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday in the Village Park in Bishop Hill.

Todd DeDecker is the Administrator of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association which is the host for the event and he says they will present some of the best known folk and ethnic music performers from around the Midwest.

He also says that this weekend will mark the beginning of a very busy time in Bishop Hill…

DeDecker adds that lots of work went into the festival especially when it came to booking the various artists…

Food and drink will be available at the various eateries and restaurants and other establishments in the Bishop Hill for the weekend with music the obvious main feature…

The reminder for those attending to bring along their own lawn chairs or blankets and to prepare for a relaxing weekend with some great musicians…

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BHC Receives Grant


Black Hawk College’s Adult Education & Literacy Department recently received a $12,000 adult literacy grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

 

The grant is part of more than $7.1 million awarded to 900 schools, nonprofits and organizations in the 43 states that Dollar General serves.

 

Black Hawk College Adult Education & Literacy classes provide students with basic academic skills that assist them in transitioning to employment, training and post-secondary education.

 

“The grant will greatly enhance the opportunity for adult education and literacy students to advance both professionally and academically,” said Bianca Perkins, director of adult education at Black Hawk College.

 

“We are honored to have been chosen as one of this year’s grant recipients,” Perkins said.

 

Black Hawk College Adult Education & Literacy classes are offered at no cost to students and are conducted in a variety of locations inKewanee, Aledo and the Quad Cities. A new session will begin Tuesday, Aug. 9.

 

For more information, call 309-796-8216 or visit www.bhc.edu/adulted.

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Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Statement on Donald Trump Campaigning in the Quad-Cities Today

“Donald Trump’s campaign of insults, empty promises and offensive behavior is completely out of touch with our Midwestern values. Whether it’s his demeaning attacks on so many others, his plan to give massive tax handouts to the ultra-rich or his dangerous call for Russia to carry out cyber-attacks against us, Donald Trump is just too reckless and erratic to be President. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to choose a better path forward by voting for Hillary Clinton’s steady leadership, positive vision and detailed blueprint to build a better future for our families.”

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Durbin leads potential Democatic nominees for Governor pending

It will be a while before Illinois voters go to the polls to pick a new Governor. That isn't stopping speculation about which Democrat will face Bruce Rauner. Much of the speculation has centered around Senator Dick Durbin. We Ask America Polls™has revealed results of its statewide hybrid poll (part automated/part live interview) measuring Democratic voters’ preferences for potential candidates for Illinois governor. Pollster Gregg Durham says there isn't much mystery as far as who tops the field of possible or suggested candidates...

Durham says there is plenty of time for candidates to gain traction with the voters...

US Representative Cheri Bustos of the Quad Cities and Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, get about five percent support. 

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ISP on PTP

ISP Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline talks about recent incidents around the country during the July 28 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

The Democratic National Convention is discussed during the July 28 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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KPL on Tuned IN

KPL Childrens Librarian Sara Bililet talks about library programs during the July 28 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Courts Dictate Next Move on Term Limits

The Governor continues his push for term limits, choosing to stop at farms around the state to stump for the cause. Rauner’s plan is for lawmakers to serve no more than 10 years and constitutional officer could serve for no more than 8 years. After calling on the Legislature to call his term limit bill for a vote he says that move is necessary because the courts suggest that amendments to change critical parts of government cannot start as a voter referendum.

Rauner says that he has the bill ready to go and could be called for a vote in the fall veto session.

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Rauner on Legionnaire’s outbreak: “We are on top of it”

Various state and local officials, including Governor Bruce Rauner, say they are on top of the latest outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

Governor Rauner stopped by the state’s oldest Veterans Home Wednesday to assure the Home's residents and staff that local, state and Federal health officials were on top of the situation.

Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Jeffries outlined some of what the Vets Home is doing to stop the spread of the disease.

Both residents who came down with the disease have been released from the hospital, and are back at the Vets Home.


Additional audio:

As to the source of the latest outbreak, Adams County Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch says we may never know.

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School Supply Distribution Set For August 4 and 5

The annual school supply distribution through the Kewanee Salvation Army will be held next Thursday and Friday, August 4th and 5th.

The distribution is for students in the Kewanee and Wethersfield School Districts.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Kewanee Salvation Army...

Ms. Bolls says the distribution is pretty straight forward with no advance registration necessary…

Ms. Bolls also outlines the list of supplies that will be given away at next Thursday and Friday’s distribution…

For those members of the community that might wish to make a donation, Ms. Bolls says there are some particulars to remember…

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Kennedy For Governor?

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House Speaker Michael Madigan says Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, would be an "excellent candidate" for the office of Illinois Governor after Kennedy spoke to the Illinois delegation at the Democratic National Convention. Tuesday night at the convention, Kennedy attacked Gov. Bruce Rauner, blaming Rauner for the lack of a complete budget. He was also critical of Rauner's efforts to curb the power of unions. However, Kennedy is not addressing speculation that he's interested in the state's top office.

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Committee of Ten Provides Information

The November elections will be here before we know it and in Kewanee one of the big items on the ballot will be the subject of school consolidation between Kewanee School District #229 and Wethersfield District #230.

In an effort to help provide citizens with a balanced view point, we will run periodic news stories over the next several months dedicated to that subject.

Former Mayor Bruce Tossell is one of the members of the Committee of Ten which has been holding meetings about the potential consolidation and he says the process for them is now in the informational and educations stages…

     

Mr. Tossell also outlines how the plan might work if consolidation is approved…

Mr. Tossell also says that virtually no staff or employees would be eliminated in their vision…

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Nordic Market in August

On August 13 and 14, 2016, as part of the Clay and Fiber Fest, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association is hosting a Nordic Market. This encampment will present everyday scenes from the Viking Age.  It will feature costumed interpreters in an accurate Anglo-Scandinavian encampment of the eleventh century.  Textiles, gaming, woodworking, book-binding, moneying, and many more activities from this time period will be demonstrated from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  This free Nordic Market is open to public and will be located in the village park. 

 

The encampment is by Micel Folcland—the local branch of Regia Anglorum.  For more details about this event, please call the BHHA at 309 927-3899, or email bhha@mymctc.net, or visit www.bishophillheritage.org.                                                              

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Health Dept to Resume CPR Classes


Alicia Lindburg, LPN Clinical Services Nurse with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments displays some of the training and course materials used in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certification classes.  The Health Department is announcing they will be resuming their schedule of monthly CPR Certification Classes offered at the Health Department.  Anyone interested may call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197.

 

    The Henry and Stark County Health would like to take the opportunity to announce to area residents they are once again offering CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certification Classes.

 

    Sandy Sommer, RN Director of Clinical Services, states, "CPR training will teach participants to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in infants, children, and adults.  Instruction will also be given on how to recognize emergencies and take action, and  understanding the role of AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in the Cardiac Chain of Survival."

 

   CPR Classes will be held monthly.  The classes will run from 4:30pm to 8:30pm.  The cost of the Class is $35.  These rates are per participant.

 

    There is a set participant "minimum" and "maximum" for classes; so anyone interested should contact the Department at 852-0197 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com for more information or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.

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Blagojevich will appear at resentencing by video

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich won't be singing Sweet Home Chicago for the moment. Judge James Zagel decided Blagojevich won't be appearing in court in Chicago for his August 9th resentencing but instead will be appearing by way of video link from federal prison in Colorado. Blagojevich lawyers are seeking to reduce his prison term to five years after some of his corruption convictions were tossed but prosecutors want Blagojevich to serve his previous fourteen year term. Blagojevich attorney Leonard Goodman is confident the former Governor will want to speak during the resentencing. Goodman says he is considering calling relatives to testify. Goodman says the Bureau of Prisons expressed concerns about allowing Blagojevich to appear in person. He says he was told it would have been a two week process to move Blagojevich from federal custody in Colorado to a Chicago courtroom. 

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Kennedy draws high marks from Madigan

House Speaker Michael Madigan says Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, would be an "excellent candidate" after Kennedy spoke to the Illinois delegation at the Democratic National Convention. Tuesday night at the convention, Kennedy attacked Gov. Bruce Rauner, blaming Rauner for the lack of a complete budget. He was also critical of Rauner's efforts to curb the power of unions. However, Kennedy is not addressing speculation that he's interested in the state's top office. 

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Farmland rental rates declining

When corn prices topped seven dollars a bushel a few years ago, farmland prices shot up and cash rental rates followed. As a result, many farmers are finding the higher cash rental rates just don’t pencil out. U of I ag economist Gary Schnitkey told attendees at Farm Bureau Farm Income and Innovation Conference Wednesday that cash rental rates came down a bit last year, but we more declines for farmers to stay profitable in a world of three dollar corn.

U of I ag Economist Gary Schnitkey 

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Mitchell says he's vindicated on state expenses for illegal immigrant healthcare

Decatur area State Representative Bill Mitchell doesn't have to eat crow on his claims about state spending on health insurance for illegal immigrants. National fact-checking organization PolitiFact has challenged the Forsyth Republican's claims that state spent $320 million. After further examination, Mitchell says the organization has changed its tune...

PolitiFact.com is a Pultizer Prize winning extension of the Tampa Bay Times. 

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WKEI Open Line

World affairs and college are discussed during the July 27 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Chris Kennedy Not Ready to Talk About a Run

At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia some of the attention given the national race for President has shifted in Illinois to who the Democrats might pick to run for Governor. A possibility is Chris Kennedy. The son of Robert Kennedy, Chris is a Chicago businessman and one time Chairman of the University Of Illinois Board Of Trustees. Kennedy has been moving about the state to talk to top Democrat politicians about possibly running. But in Philadelphia he wanted no part of the Governor talk, at least with the press. Kennedy hastily left an Illinois delegation breakfast but was followed by a few members of the press. He then had this awkward and terse exchange with FOX 2 in Chicago.

Kennedy did meet with a few reporters later in day and said no one should be bullied into talking to the press.

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Legionnaire's Disease has returned to IVA Home

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Tuesday said that two residents of the Home have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. The Department says it may never know exactly how the residents caught the disease, but in a statement, they say they're working with local and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine where the residents acquired the Legionella bacteria. Senior administration officials with the IDVA, Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are on their way to Quincy to coordinate with veterans’ home, county and city personnel. IDVA Director Erica Jeffries says that all new admissions to the home are being halted.

The Vets Home recently completed a nearly 5 million-dollar renovation of its plumbing system, in response to the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. 12 residents died, and 54 residents and staff came down with the disease.  

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Gov. In the Dark on Sandack

State government insiders are still talking about the abrupt resignation of Rep. Ron Sandack, a Republican from Downers Grove. Sandeck tells the Chicago Tribune that he’s stepping down because of spoofed social media accounts about him and a desire to spend more time with his family. Sandack was a close ally of Governor Bruce Rauner and one of the go to people for the administration and party when debate was being held on the floor of the House. Governor Bruce Rauner says he doesn’t know more than anyone else at this point.

Sandack says that no compromising information about him has been dug up on social media. 

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Speed Awareness Day Today

 

East Moline, IL – During Illinois Speed Awareness Day this July 27th, Illinois State Police is taking a proactive approach to promote safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists through both education and enforcement. In Illinois during 2014, speed was the reason for 32.4% of all traffic fatalities. That’s 348 deaths for the year, or one life every 25 hours. These lives can be easily saved by being aware of our speed and understanding how speeding impacts a crash.

 

On Interstates speeding can have the following consequences:

 

·       The probability of death, disfigurement, or debilitating injury grows with higher speed at impact. Such consequences double for every 10 MPH over 50 MPH.

·       When a vehicle crashes it undergoes a rapid change in speed. However the occupants keep moving at the vehicle’s previous speed until they are stopped, either by hitting an object or by being restrained by a safety belt or airbag.

·       The effectiveness of restraint devices like airbags, safety belts, crumple zones, and side beams decline as impact speed increases.

·       37.4% of the speed-related crashes result in injuries.

·       Speeding extends the distance required to stop a vehicle in emergency situations.

·       Crash severity increases with the speed of the vehicle at impact.

·       Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to navigate safely around curves or objects in the roadway.

·       Speeding can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds.

 

Let’s all do our part by taking a proactive approach to prevent fatalities and reduce injuries on the roadways by being aware of our speed and obeying the speed limit signs ALL the time.  If you would like more information about Illinois Speed Awareness Day, please visit www.illinoisspeedawarenessday.org.

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Free Movie On Saturday

The Kewanee Park District will be a co-host for a free movie at Windmont Park on Saturday evening.

Brian Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the Kewanee Park District…

Brian adds that you can bring your own refreshments but there will also be refreshments available at the park…

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Kewanee City Info

Kewanee City Council tabled a resolution on Monday night that would establish the City’s Economic Plan and also the City’s Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

City Manager Gary Bradley says it’s an ambitious plan that needs adequate time for study and analysis…

Mr. Bradley adds that a resolution committing funds from the Revolving Loan Fund to Midwest Trailer Manufacturing was passed and he says they are a small business that is seeking to grow in their Kentville Road address…

Mr. Bradley adds that so far, the folks at Great Dane have not weighed in on the development of Midwest Trailer and he feels they will have a good working relationship as they produce similar but different products…

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Chamber Seeks Parade Entries

 

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club has announced that entries for the 2016 Hog Days Parade are now being accepted.    

 

Mark Mikenas, Chamber Executive Director, reports that entry forms have been mailed to last year’s entries but urge any group or organization that would like to participate in the parade register soon.

 

To register online go to www.kewanee-il.com and click on Hog Days Parade.  If a hard copy version of the entry form is needed contact the chamber office at 309-852-2175. 

 

The Ambassador Club of Kewanee traditionally takes on the duties of the parade for the Hog Capital Festival Committee.  This year’s theme selected by the Festival Committee is “Welcome to the Pig Time”  Parade entries are encouraged to follow the theme when putting together an entry.  Mikenas stated that entries of a commercial entity not decorated jeopardize their participation in the parade.  Deadline for entries will be close of business Monday August 22nd.  This year’s parade will kickoff at 2:00 p.m. sharp on Saturday September 3rd.

 

Awards and cash prizes are awarded to winners in the following categories:  Not for Profit, Commercial, Most Original, Sweepstakes and the . 

 

Peoples National Bank and Good’s Furniture will sponsor the marching bands again this year.

 

Questions or possible suggestions can be directed to Mark Mikenas at the Chamber of Commerce office in Kewanee at the number listed above.

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Bureau County Road Maintenance


Please be advised that, by order of the Gold Township Road Commissioner, road maintenance is being performed on 400 East Street from 2370 North Avenue to 2500 North Avenue, resulting in immediate road closure until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29th

 

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First Lady Happy With New Education Spending Plans

Illinois will continue to make sure state dollars go to early childhood education and now more of the funding that is earmarked for education will impact children up to the age of 3. A law recently signed by the Governor will up block grant money from 14 percent to eventually 20 percent for birth to 3 year old education. First Lady Diana Rauner a long time supporter of social programs and education says this will lead to better outcomes for the state’s children.

The bill received bi-partisan support. 

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Calling for A Vote on Term Limits


The Governor is back pushing for term limits, he’s heading on a tour of the state giving stump style speeches. Bruce Rauner started in Chicago where he said that lawmakers need to pass a constitutional amendment so voters can decide the issue in 2018.

Rauner says that new faces and ideas could break up the existing power structure in Illinois and that could better the state’s economy.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

In the stump style speech Rauner didn’t call out the Speaker by name. But Rauner’s clearly thinking of Mike Madigan’s 45 years in the legislature. He says new people are needed to create new ideas to push the state forward.

The Governor wants lawmaker to vote on the proposal so it can be on the 2018 ballot for voters to decide on.

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Economics of wind energy

Over the past decade we have seen a lot of windfarms pop up around Illinois. We are in the top five wind producing states, but do all those wind turbines make economic sense?
David Loomis is exec director of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University. The center released a report last week on the economic viability of wind energy. The wind farms have created about 3,000 construction jobs, plus hundreds of permanent jobs for maintenance technicians.
In addition they generate millions in land lease payments and new property taxes.

But can wind compete with traditional power sources without federal and state tax incentives? Loomis says yes, due to huge advancements in wind turbine technology.

Wind energy currently provides about five percent of the states energy needs, a figure that is expected to grow rapidly as older coal generation plants are phased out.

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City Council on PTP

Kewanee City Manager Mr. Gary Bradley updates city events during the July 26 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

St Jude's Run is discussed during the July 26 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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BHHA on Tuned IN

Bishop Hill Heritage association Administrator Todd DeDecker gives an update on this weekend's Folk Music Festival during the July 26 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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OSF Concussion Program on Wednesday

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host a free concussion program on Wednesday afternoon at the hospital.

Lori Christiansen is the Director of the Rehabilitation Dept at the hospital and she says the program will offer great information on concussions and their symptoms…

Ms. Christiansen also urges parents to attend that meeting if at all possible…

Ms. Christiansen also reminds the public of the hospital’s Snore No More program…

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Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month For June

Aaron Frank of rural Annawan received recognition by Abilities Plus Client Council members as Achiever of the Month for June.  Aaron was nominated because of progress made on goals, as well as positive performance as a substitute with janitorial crews.

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Rauner Signs Legislation

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 238 today, which further reinforces Illinois as a leader in early childhood education. This is amplified by the recent historic increase to the early childhood education block grant in the stopgap bridge.

 

“Early childhood education is an area that everyone can be proud of in Illinois,” Governor Bruce Rauner said. “Today provides us the chance to celebrate the role early childhood education plays in Illinois and the role Illinois plays in early childhood education across the nation.”

 

Illinois was the first state in the country to ensure a portion of early childhood education block grant went directly to programs for infants and toddlers up to age three. SB 238 clarifies the original intent of the law and ensures that eventually 20 percent of the early childhood block grant will be spent on programs that support children from birth to age three. This is done by allocating 25 percent of any additional early childhood block grant funds each year for the infant-toddler set aside.

 

“Research shows that emotional, cognitive and physical capacities are developed by experiences in the first five years of life, and those first three years are especially critical,” First Lady and President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund Diana Rauner said. “We know that children thrive in responsive, stimulating environments, and that supporting families in their children’s early years promotes healthy development. This bill will prioritize funding for our youngest learners to provide children access to high-quality programs and other supports.”

 

It is truly a bipartisan bill and received unanimous support from the General Assembly.

 

"Educating our children requires us to invest the proper resources to ensure their success," State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) said. "We have made great efforts in improving developmental education over the last ten years.  This legislation helps us to continue that work and move toward closing under achievement gaps without taking away from other valuable early childhood education programs."

 

"As policy makers we have an obligation to support our children, and that begins with making education a priority,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-West Dundee). “Ensuring Illinois children have the academic support they need to flourish not only sets them up for success, but will translate into a better future for the entire state."

 

As part of the stopgap bridge, the early childhood education block grant will receive an additional $75 million. This is a record investment for the state’s youngest learners.

 

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Rauner Calls For Vote on Term Limits

On the heels of a Cook County Judge ruling against putting a popular measure on the ballot that would create independently drawn legislative maps, Governor Bruce Rauner today reiterated his push for good government reforms including a call for the Illinois General Assembly to vote on a term limits constitutional amendment in the fall veto session.

Following his speech in Chicago, Governor Rauner will take his message directly to the people of Illinois on a two-day swing from Rockford to Mt. Vernon.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Over the past two years, the people of Illinois, Democrats and Republicans alike, have demanded reform. In 2014 the entrenched politicians holding power in Springfield ignored those demands. They used the Illinois court system to stop proposals for term limits and fair maps that could have led to the reforms the people want.

Term limits and fair maps would give the people of Illinois more control over our broken political system.

But the politicians holding power said no.

Last week they said no again. A lower court threw out this year’s Fair Maps proposal that has the support of nearly 600,000 Illinois citizens, support from both Democrats and Republicans.

We cannot let this stand. The only way to overcome entrenched political power is for the people of Illinois to never give up, to keep pushing forward for reform. That’s why we’re here today.

Term limits is an issue I believe in deeply. And so do the people of Illinois. Term limits is supported by 80% of the people I talk to, and it seems like 80% of the politicians are opposed.  Our people want term limits now more than ever, and that’s why I’m so committed to continue the fight to make it happen.

You know, I’ve been Governor of Illinois for a year and a half now.  We’ve gotten some important things done.  But I’m as frustrated as everyone else that we haven’t been able to tackle the biggest challenges facing our state.  These past 18 months have been a humbling experience - I’ve learned just how entrenched the politicians holding power are.  They don’t want to change. They are focused on their own power, rather than empowering people.  But I have also learned that you want me to keep working to fix our broken political system. That is just what I plan to do.

 

But I need your help to get it done.

As I’ve travelled the state, I’ve learned the most from talking to people, not politicians.  I’ve talked to people in factory break rooms, in coffee shops, in milking barns, in office buildings and at kitchen tables.  After you spend enough time in Springfield, it’s inspiring to talk with people facing real challenges every day and seeing how hard they work to get ahead. It makes me want to work that much harder for all the people of Illinois.

Our people want action on the challenges we face.  People want us to fix the broken system that has put our state deep in the hole.  But in Springfield, too many career politicians holding power have been happy to kick the can down the road and do nothing about our biggest problems.

That is how we ended up with a $100 billion unfunded pension liability. Even with our massive tax bills, our government spends a dollar-thirty for every dollar it takes in.  It simply defies common sense. The people I talk to every day balance their budgets, and they expect us to balance the State’s. To do that, we need new people with their new ideas in Springfield.

 

People in business are successful by making things happen.  In politics, career politicians don’t have to make anything happen to get re-elected.  If they play their cards right, they’ve got a lifetime job. We’ve got politicians in Springfield who’ve been there for twenty, thirty, forty years!  And look what’s happened to our state in that time. 

 

It’s time for change.  Two years ago, 600,000 thousand people in Illinois signed petitions calling for term limits on elected officials.  The politicians long in power ignored the petitions.  They won’t even debate the issue. That’s crazy!

We desperately need new faces and new ideas in Illinois politics. We need to make serving in government more about public service, and less about power and a government pension.  That should be obvious!

We need it in the Republican Party, in the Democratic Party, and throughout the political spectrum.  New faces need to believe they have an even chance of winning in a truly democratic election.  

 

Look at the numbers:

 

This year over 88% of candidates for our legislature faced no opposition in their primary.

Even more amazing, two-thirds have no opposition in the general election.  That’s not democracy. That’s a rigged system.

The system has given so many advantages to incumbents in the legislature that it’s very hard to vote them out -- even if they’re not doing a good job.

That’s just wrong.

But we can change that.  And we must change that. 

 

That’s why I’m calling on the General Assembly to vote on a term limits constitutional amendment when members return for the fall veto session.

It’s certainly true that getting term limits won’t fix every problem we face.  We’ve still got to wipe out corruption, conflicts of interest, and repair our broken pension system.  We’ve got to balance our budget without balancing it on the backs of the most needy.  We’ve got to get our property taxes moving down, not up. All of this will help create the environment we need to attract good jobs back to Illinois. 

 

We can overcome our challenges.  We can do it together.  First, we’ve got to fix Illinois’ broken political system.  And when we fix the system, we can take on any challenge Illinois faces.

 

Term limits will go a long way toward fixing the system by changing the culture back to public service, not personal gain, by forcing the lifetime politicians to find new jobs, and by bringing new faces and new ideas to Springfield.

All of the changes we need won’t happen right away.  This will take time. But now we’ll be moving in the right direction.

 

Instead of gridlock and inaction, we’ll be moving forward. 

 

And every day we’ll get closer to the future we, our kids and our grandkids deserve. Illinois can be the economic engine of the Midwest again.  We can be a magnet for the best companies from all over the world and the best jobs, just as it used to be. From our rich farmland to busy factory floors to tech start-ups, Illinois will be going and growing again.

 

Now, cynics will say this is an impossible dream to get term limits voted on by this legislature. But that dream can become a reality if the people of Illinois demand it.

And we are not stopping with term limits. We’ll keep pressing every day to lower our property taxes, to protect all our taxpayers, to protect and grow our jobs, and to ensure every child has a chance at a great education. We can do this – if we work together for the reforms our state needs.

We’re facing tough challenges, but we can meet those challenges if we work together for reform.  One step at a time.  Starting right now.  It starts with term limits.

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Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight

 

                Hog Capital Barbecue, Inc. Meeting Agenda

                Meeting Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 @ 7 p.m.

 

Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s Report

Visitors –

Unfinished Business

1.    U.S. Army appearance at Hog Days. (left on agenda as a reminder)

2. Front door & front of building improvement project update.

3  Carnival pre-sale tickets report

4.    Meat bid letters

5.    Golf carts for Hog Days?

 

New Business

1.    Roof repair plan update

2.    Buns for Hog Days

3.    Supply List

4.    Carnival Tax/Raffle License

5.    Parade-we entering a float or not?

6.    Work nights-specific to do items

 

Reports/Questions/Comments/Other Business from Anyone

Motion to adjourn

 

FYI: * Next Tuesday, August 2nd is scheduled as a work night. There is no meeting scheduled.

        *Next regularly scheduled meetings are Tuesday, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23 & 8/30, 2016 @ 7 p.m.

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Kewanee City Council Meeting

 

Kewanee City Council met on Monday night and in the first item of business, Council approved an ordinance that vacates the alley that runs north-south and is bounded by Ross, Grove, Fourth and Fifth Streets.

That action at the request of resident Jeff Daniel who will be responsible for reimbursing the city for any relative recording fees and necessary surveys.

The city acknowledges no real value or use for the property and all parties in that neighborhood were in agreement with the move.

Council approved the measure on a 5-0 vote.

City Council also approved a resolution that commits funds from the City’s Revolving Loan Fund to Midwest Trailer Manufacturing in the old Bomag building on Kentville Road. That resolution did come with some mildly contentious debate.

Council member Andy Koehler asserted to City Manager Gary Bradley that similar loan agreements in the past had gone sour and the City had been stuck with the tab. Mr. Bradley asserted that the city would be the first in line to be reimbursed if there was a problem and that assertion was later confirmed by City Attorney Justin Raver. Both addressed the fact that adequate security was in place and they felt the city would be protected in this matter.

 Council member Mike Yaklich said that the loan should be approved and that was the purpose of the city’s revolving loan fund and not to listen to the guff and bluster from Mr. Koehler. Council member Kellie Wallace-McKenna backed Koehler’s assertion that some loans in the past had gone bad. Yaklich further insisted that the seed money should be made available.

Once the volley was over, the vote went 5-0 in favor of the resolution.   

 Council tabled a resolution relative to the City’s Economic Development Plan with all members in agreement that further analysis and study would be needed for an informed vote.

Council also tabled a similar resolution that would establish the City’s Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. 

     

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Committee of Ten on PTP

Committee of Ten Members Lori Christiansen, Bruce Tossell and Sam Harker give an update during the July 25 edition of People to People on WKEI

 

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WKEI Open Line

Various ramblings on a Monday morning highlight this edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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Deere Layoffs Coming to Harvester Works

Deere & Company announcing today that approximately 120 production employees at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline will be placed on indefinite layoff. The move is effective Sept. 6. The factory’s workforce currently includes approximately 1,050 production employees. Deere says the company continues to adjust the size of its production workforce to market demand for products manufactured at each of its factories. In previous announcements, Deere said it expects sales of agricultural equipment to decrease for the 2016 fiscal year.

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OSF on Tuned IN

OSF Rehab Director Lori Christiansen gives an overview of upcoming hospital programs during the July 25 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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High court to decide fate of ballot initiative

The Illinois Supreme Court has decided to take up an appeal by a group seeking to reform how Illinois draws its legislative maps. A Cook County Circuit Court declared the effort last Wednesday unconstitutional. The Illinois Supreme Court then decided late Friday that it would expedite an appeal by the Independent Map Amendment coalition. The group’s chairman, Dennis FitsSimons (fitz-SIGH-muns) says the group wants to explain why the lower court running needs to be overturned;

The group collected more than 550-thousand voter signatures to put the redistricting reform question to voters in November. It wants the Illinois Supreme Court to rule before late August. That's a deadline the group says set by the Illinois State Board of Elections to draw up statewide ballots.

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Federal panel asks for alternative alignments for proposed new rail line

Citing an outpouring of public concern, the U-S Surface Transportation Board has asked Great Lakes Basin Transportation to explain its proposed railroad route through northern Illinois, and provide alternative alignments. The S-T-B received more than 3,500 comments about the proposed rail line during the last few months. The president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Richard Geubert (hard “G” GEE-burt) explains why his group is concerned;

Great Lakes officials say the proposed rail line that could cut through several northern Illinois counties seeks to relieve rail congestion in the Chicago area. GEE-burt says the group has never operated a rail line and some major railroads have stated publicly they wouldn’t use it. The Farm Bureau wants the S-T-B to conduct a full review of the proposal.

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Kewanee City Council Meets Tonight

1.                Call to Order

2.                Pledge of Allegiance

3.                Consent Agenda

a.      Approval of Minutes

b.      Payroll

c.      Staff Reports

4.                Presentation of Bills and Claims

5.                Citizen Participation

6.                Business:

  1. Consideration of an Ordinance to vacate an alley running North-South in the City block bounded by Ross, Grove, Fourth and Fifth Streets.
  2. Consideration of a Resolution committing funds from the Revolving Loan Fund to Midwest Trailer Manufacturing.
  3. Consideration of a Resolution to establish the City of Kewanee Economic Development Plan.
  4. Consideration of a Resolution to establish the City of Kewanee Community Development/Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

7.                Council Communications:

 

8.                Announcements:          

 

9.                Adjournment

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District #229 Registration Info

Registration for students in Kewanee School District #229 will be held this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Larry Flannery with the schools’ IT Dept says ready or not, it’s that time of the year once again…

Flannery adds that there will be some new wrinkles during this year’s registration…

For those families that cannot make the registration this week on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, there is an alternate plan…

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Chamber Happenings

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce continues their involvement in community activities including most major holidays.

Today we will take a look both to the past and to the future to find out more about some of those holiday happenings.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and he says the recent 4th of July celebration went over very well once again this year…

Mikenas adds that additional funding is needed for future fireworks celebrations and ideally, a corporate sponsor will step forward…

As for other future events, the Hog Festival Celebration will be held five weeks from this coming weekend and Mark says they are once again looking for entries into this year’s Hog Festival Parade…

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Red Cross Seeks Americorp Members

MOLINE, IL, July 22, 2016 - The American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region is currently seeking individuals to serve as full-time AmeriCorps team members. Anyone looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the community while gaining new skills and experiences is encouraged to apply. AmeriCorps team members work with the Red Cross helping to empower residents to prepare and recover from disasters. 

“AmeriCorps team members play a critical role in helping the Red Cross teach people about disaster preparedness and recovery,” said Alyssa Pollock, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois. “AmeriCorps team members gain valuable skills through the program and it is a rewarding experience because you are helping others.”

The American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region currently has AmeriCorps team member openings in Bloomington, Moline, Peoria, Quincy and Springfield. Team members will serve from August 22, 2016 to July 22, 2017.

BENEFITS:

· Invaluable experience from a nationally and internationally-respected organization for school, a future job or new career

· Extensive training

· $5,775 AmeriCorps Education Award (upon successful completion of service term commitment and 1700 hours of service)

· Living stipend paid bi-weekly

· Basic Health Insurance for AmeriCorps member

· Subsidized childcare

· Student loan forbearance (on qualifying loans)

REQUIREMENTS:

· Successfully serve in the position, serve 35 hours a week and meet the 1700 minimum requirement for a full term of service

· Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident

· Must be 18 years of age at the start date of service

· Have a valid Driver's License & clean driving record

· Pass required criminal background checks

· Members should also be comfortable working with a wide variety of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, and respect the American Red Cross fundamental principles.

TO APPLY: Submit application to: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=68556&fromSearch=true

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More Illinoisans Leave Workforce


CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in June decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,200 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -51,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

 

“In June, Illinois experienced yet another exodus and over-the-year job growth is still at half the national rate,” Director Jeff Mays said. “As we do our part in expanding services that help jobseekers find work more quickly, structural reforms are necessary to get the state’s economy back on track.”

 

“We’ve lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs over the last year, and replacing those middle class jobs has been an uphill battle due to the high costs facing Illinois businesses,” Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “Manufacturing has been a critical part of our state’s economy, providing stable, good paying jobs for Illinois families. We need action on structural reforms to Illinois’ dysfunctional worker’s compensation, regulation, and tax systems to make our state competitive and bring solid middle class jobs back to Illinois.” 

In June, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+3,000); Financial Activities (+1,700); and Other Services (+1,500). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Educational and Health Services (-7,300) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,000).

 

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +41,300 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+19,100); and Professional and Business Services (+16,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in June include: Manufacturing (-9,100) and Information Services (-2,700). The 0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in June.

 

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2016, which increased to 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.4 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.8 percent.

 

The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.1 percent from the prior month to 409,300, up +8.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.9 percent in June over the prior year, but decreased 0.5 percent over-the-month. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

 

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engineIllinoisJoblink.com (IJL). IJL recently showed that 55,995 resumes were posted and 173,330 help-wanted ads were available.

 

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IRS on PTP

Michael Devine with the IRS discusses tax tips during the July 22 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

The Republican National Convention is discussed during the July 22 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Kewanee IT on Tuned IN

Larry Flannery from Kewanee School District #229 gives the registration schedule during the July 22 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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GED, adult ed classes begin Aug. 9 at BHC

Black Hawk College offers GED, adult education, adult literacy and high school completion classes at no cost to students at a variety of locations.

A new session will begin Tuesday, Aug. 9.

For more information, visit www.bhc.edu/adulted or call or visit one of these learning sites:

Black Hawk College Community Education Center
404 E. Third St., Kewanee
309-854-1875

Black Hawk College Outreach Center
301 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline
309-796-8216

Black Hawk College Adult Learning Center
4610 Black Hawk Commons Drive, Rock Island
309-794-1072

High Roads Advantage
2004 SE Third St., Aledo
309-582-8181

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State Board of Elections hacked

Hackers target the State Board of Elections online voter registration system. State Board general counsel Ken Menzel says the investigation is in its early stages....

Menzel offers a timetable for restoring service...

Menzel says the board is confident no voter information was altered.

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Davis applauds passage of legislation fighting opioid addiction

The US Senate this month passed a bipartisan measure to help fight the growing wave of prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic. The House previously gave its ok to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Among the backers is Congressman Rodney Davis......

The legislation is now headed to President Obama's desk.
Bonus cut
Davis believes in shifting the focus from prison time to treatment for offenders and maybe reducing mandatory minimum sentences of the past and present.....

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State unemployment declines in June

The Illinois jobless rate fell for the second month in a row. State employment security officials say the news isn't all good. The unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent in June. But state employment security officials say a key factor was people leaving the workforce.

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Rauner Signs Molly's Law


CARBONDALE - Governor Bruce Rauner today signed House Bill 6083 and House Bill 4715, the bills known as Molly’s Law.  These bills strengthen Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act and extend the period of time in which a victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit where the act is intentional and violent in nature.

 

“Today is an important day for Illinois families seeking justice,” Gov. Rauner said. “This bill provides families a longer timeframe to bring wrongful death actions against perpetrators of intentional violent crimes and gives families access to the necessary public information to find closure in a loved one’s death.”

 

Molly’s Law is comprised of two pieces of legislation, HB 6083 and HB 4715. HB 6083 extends the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases and allows a lawsuit to be brought within 5 years after the date of the death orwithin one year after the criminal case against the perpetrator concludes.

 

In addition, House Bill 4715 provides for additional fines – up to $1,000 per day -- in cases where a public body fails to comply with a court order resulting from a FOIA action. It also incentivizes public bodies to act in a timely manner in response to binding opinions from the Attorney General in FOIA cases.

 

“Today’s signing of Molly’s Law by the Governor is a victory for Molly Young’s family,” said Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), chief sponsor of both bills. “I want to thank the Governor for his attention to this very important issue and for traveling to southern Illinois to sign Molly’s Law today. I also want to thank Molly Young’s father, Mr. Larry Young, who traveled to Springfield to testify on behalf of Molly’s law to help ensure its passage.”

 

Senator Christine Radogno, the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate, echoed Rep. Bryant. “The Young family was tenacious in their pursuit of this legislation. They worked with Rep. Bryant to help other families avoid a battle with bureaucracy in the pursuit of justice for their loved ones and closure in these circumstances,” Radogno (R-Lemont) said.

 

In May 2015, a judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Larry Young ruling he failed to file the lawsuitwithin two years of Molly’s death.

 

HB 6083 and HB 4715 go into effect on January 1, 2017.

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New National Guard Policy

SPRINGFIELD, IL (07/21/2016)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Army National Guard has instituted a new policy designed to focus support for community events from Illinois Army National Guard units to the local communities where those units are based.

Beginning with requests received by the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office after July 22, 2016; most community relations requests including speakers, vehicle static displays, and parade support will either be supported by a unit within 50 miles of the event or will not be supported.

"The Illinois Army National Guard is a community-based organization and it is vital that we continue to communicate with and support the communities where our Soldiers live and work," said Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia, the Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard and Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard.

"At the same time, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to conserve training time and resources for both our state and federal missions. This policy focuses support from local units to local communities."

Color guards are expensive requiring a minimum of four Soldiers and additional training time and therefore are further restricted. Color guards in a paid status will be restricted to those in the unit commander's yearly training plan or to events of statewide or national impact.

In addition, Soldiers will be allowed to volunteer in a non-paid status for community relations support outside the 50-mile radius as long as the support falls within U.S. Army regulations. Soldiers could wear a U.S. Army dress uniform when they volunteer, but they would be responsible for any transportation costs and could not operate any Army equipment.

The policy allows the Illinois Army National Guard Chief of Staff to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis. There are more general exceptions to the policy. For example, the Illinois Army National Guard's 144th Army Band has a statewide community relations mission and therefore will continue to support events throughout the state.

"We have about 50 facilities scattered throughout the state, so the vast majority of Illinois communities fall within 50 miles of one of our units," said Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, the Illinois National Guard public affairs director. "What we want to avoid is having Soldiers driving half-way across the state to support events. There is a process to grant exceptions when such support is in the best interest of the Illinois Army National Guard."

Additional guidance within the policy addresses safety and liability concerns in supporting community events and sets administrative deadlines to allow full review of certain community relations requests.

For example, Army National Guard helicopter static displays are expensive and already require full review by Illinois Army National Guard leadership as well as the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. To get that review completed, the Illinois National Guard public affairs office needs to have the request at least 90 days before the event.

Requests for the 144th Army Band must also be submitted a minimum of 90 days before the event or the request will not be supported.

"All Department of Defense community relations events are supported by existing training dollars. There is no separate funding for support to community events," Leighton said.

"Supporting community relations events benefits both the Illinois Army National Guard and our communities. Our Soldiers derive training value from supporting community events and we are also able to develop and strengthen relationships with our communities by being active locally. However, most of our Soldiers only get limited training time per year. There needs to be a good balance between community relations support and other training requirements."

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Illinois-Army-National-Guard-institutes-new-Community-Relations-Policy/13861210

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OSF Run/Walk

The annual OSF St Luke Medical Center 5K run and walk will be held on Thursday, July 28th.

Brea Cinnamon is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at OSF and she says they are looking forward to another great event this year…

Ms. Cinnamon acknowledges that training in hot and humid conditions can be a challenge for even the most seasoned athletes…

Ms. Cinnamon also notes that everybody has their own style and best to find what works best for you and then work that program…

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Excessive Heat Warning Remains In Effect

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF
DANGEROUSLY HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL OCCUR.  THIS
COMBINATION WILL LEAD TO A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT
ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY.  DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS... STAY IN AN AIR-
CONDITIONED ROOM... STAY OUT OF THE SUN... AND CHECK ON RELATIVES
AND NEIGHBORS... ESPECIALLY THE ELDERLY.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE.  WHEN
POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING.  KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE.  WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS
IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS.  ANYONE OVERCOME BY
HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION.  HEAT STROKE
IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 9 1 1.

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BHC Students Can Order Textbooks Beginning Aug 25

 

 

Black Hawk College students can order their fall textbooks online beginning Monday, July 25.

 

For instructions or to order, go to www.bhc.edu/bookstore.

 

Students may use their financial aid in the bookstores Aug. 15 to Sept. 2 to purchase textbooks, school supplies, clothing, laptops/tablets, lunch vouchers and parking permits. Student parking permits cost $25 per semester and are required for all parking lots at both campuses.

 

 

Black Hawk College students can order their fall textbooks online beginning Monday, July 25.

 

For instructions or to order, go to www.bhc.edu/bookstore.

 

Students may use their financial aid in the bookstores Aug. 15 to Sept. 2 to purchase textbooks, school supplies, clothing, laptops/tablets, lunch vouchers and parking permits. Student parking permits cost $25 per semester and are required for all parking lots at both campuses.

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center to Hold Concussion Management Seminar

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is holding a concussion management seminar for athletes, coaches, parents, and anyone interested in learning more about concussions and the proper management of them.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head which changes how your brain normally functions. Concussions may also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth and can occur without a loss of consciousness.

With the fall sports season approaching, and an increased focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating concussions, the seminar will serve as a good educational opportunity for all.

The concussion management seminar will be held Wednesday, July 27, 2016 from 2 - 4 PM in the East West Conference room at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center.
The seminar is free. Those interested in attending are asked to call 309-852-7931 to confirm your participation.

The seminar will be conducted by OSF Saint Luke Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers.

Media is welcome to cover the seminar.

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Davis applauds passage of legislation fighting opioid addiction

The US Senate this month passed a bipartisan measure to help fight the growing wave of prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic. The House previously gave its ok to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Among the backers is Congressman Rodney Davis......

The legislation is now headed to President Obama's desk.
Bonus cut
Davis believes in shifting the focus from prison time to treatment for offenders and maybe reducing mandatory minimum sentences of the past and present.....

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State Lawmaker at RNC

State Senator Chapin Rose has some harsh criticism for the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Rose is part of the Illinois delegation at the Republican National Convention this week. He says they heard yesterday from the West Virginia delegation, which say Clinton will kill the coal industry. Rose says bringing down the coal industry would not just mean loss of jobs in West Virginia, it would mean job losses in Illinois.

--ADDITONAL AUDI0--

Now that Donald Trump is the official Republican nominee for president, State Senator Chapin Rose says he has to lay out the right plan for America. Rose says polls show most Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Rose is taking part in the Republican National Convention this week as part of Illinois' delagation. He says people need to "get over" the speech Melania Trump gave Monday because there are plenty of other things happening at the convention worth talking about.

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Fight Not Over on Map Drawing Question

Changing the way legislative maps are drawn wasn’t going to be easy and now that fight is possibility headed all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Wednesday a Cook County Circuit Judge ruled the Independent Map Amendment was unconstitutional and, for now, is off the November ballot. The referendum was going to ask voters if an independent commission should draw the state’s political dividing lines. Dave Mellett is the Campaign Manager for the Independent Map Amendment and says they were prepared for a long fight to add this question to the ballot.

The maps now are drawn by the political party in power, altering district lines that often ensure safe passage in general elections.
The Supreme Court needs to decide the ruling by the tail end of August in order for the question to be finalized on the November ballot.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Dave Mellett is the Campaign Manager for the Independent Map Amendment he feels that if the ruling stands that it will harm not only their effort but any future ones to adjust the power of lawmakers.

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VP Picks could highlight Rural Issues in Nov election

We are in the midst of the political conventions, this week the Republicans and next week the Democrats. Most the attention has been centered on Trump vs Clinton, but David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale says both candidates seem to be emphasizing rural America with their Vice Presidential picks

David Yepsen. He says with Mike Pence on the Rebublican ticket, and possible Tom Vilsack for the Democrats we could see increased emphasis on rural issues in the fall campaign

David Yepsen of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

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HHH Auxiliary on PTP

Julie West talks about tonight's ice cream social during the July 21 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

The political conventions are discussed during the July 21 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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KHS Key Club on Tuned IN

Kewanee High School Key Club Adviser Amron Buchanan talks about upcoming programs during the July 21 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Summertime Jobs and Income Taxes

Summertime jobs are a good thing for young people in particular and just about anyone in general.

For many young people, those summertime jobs are some of the very first real employment in their lives and that also means that just like everyone else, they will be required to file an income tax return and pay their share of taxes.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis says accurate record keeping is essential as always…

Devine also says if anyone should receive an envelope from the IRS, don’t over think the situation, simply open the envelope and see what’s inside…

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IDOT In Motion


SPRINGFIELD – With construction season in full swing this summer, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) encourages you to sign up for the “IDOT in Motion” email subscription service to stay informed about projects in your area.

 

“We are constantly striving to better connect with you, our customers, to tell you about the work we are doing to improve Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “IDOT in Motion is a great way to keep up to date on projects happening in your community. It’s easy, it’s convenient and there is no charge to subscribe and receive regular updates through email.”

 

You can click here to subscribe to IDOT in Motion. Once you are on the IDOT in Motion page, select the email list for the IDOT highway district nearest you to receive the latest on upcoming and ongoing projects in your area.

 

In addition to construction alerts, you can receive updates on other IDOT programs and initiatives, including information on motorcycle safety, passenger rail and more. Approximately 8,000 people currently subscribe to IDOT in Motion.

529**16

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Hot Weather Tips

Springfield – As the summer continues to heat up across the state, it is important that community members continue to check on older persons who may be unable or unwilling to seek assistance. Heat-related illness can be life threatening, and health problems and isolation are factors that make older adults particularly susceptible to heat stress.

Older adults have a reduced capacity to perspire and are therefore more vulnerable to heat. As a result, people who do not perspire are not helped by fans; they must have air conditioning to recover from the accumulating effect of the heat. A few hours a day in air conditioning is extremely important to protect health and life.

“It’s important that we take care of each other within our communities. Excessive heat can be extremely dangerous for many people, especially older adults,” says Jean Bohnhoff, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA). “I encourage people across the state to take the time to check in on the older adults in and around your community. Fifteen minutes out of your day could help save an older adult from serious effects of heat-related illness,” she continued.

Below are several facts and tips for dealing with excessive heat; these Hot Tips and other resources can also be found on theIDoA website:

 

WHAT IS A HEAT WAVE?

 

· Generally, a heat wave is three straight days of 90 degree temperatures or more with high humidity.

· Heat waves are the second leading cause of death among weather-related events.

 

WHAT IS A HEAT INDEX?

 

· High temperatures and high relative humidity determine the heat index.

· In summer, humidity makes it feel hotter. If the temperature is 90 degrees and the relative humidity is 80 percent, it will feel like it is 113 degrees. Your body will react to the 113 degree temperature.

 

 

 WHAT CAN BE DONE TO BEAT THE HEAT?

 

Some common sense tips for handling the heat include the following:

 

· Drink lots of water and natural juices (avoid alcoholic beverages, coffees and colas)

· Avoid going out into blazing heat whenever possible

 

· Avoid or minimize physical exertion

 

· Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but windows slightly open

 

· Do not place tin foil over your windows as the room temperature will rise

 

· Keep electric lights off or turned down

 

· Take frequent cool baths or showers and use cool towels

 

· Remain in air conditioning either at home or at a cooling center (1-2 hours in air conditioning can prevent a person from becoming ill)

 

· Wear loose clothing

 

· Do not eat heavy meals (eat small meals and eat more often)

 

· Avoid using cooking ovens

 

· Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician

 

· If you are taking medications, check with your pharmacist or your doctor on any side effects that heat may contribute to

 

· Check on family members, friends and neighbors

 

· Take the heat seriously; do not ignore danger signs like nausea, dizziness and fatigue

 

 

If you or anyone you know needs medical attention, call 911 or the local Police Department immediately.

 

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IEMA Awards Grants


Grants will help 120 cities, counties prepare for emergencies

 

SPRINGFIELD – Grants totaling $4 million awarded by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will help 120 accredited city and county emergency management agencies throughout Illinois support local disaster preparedness and response efforts.

 

“Every emergency begins and ends at the local level, and local emergency management agencies are key components of that response and recovery,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “These grants will allow them to continue efforts to ensure the safety of the residents in the communities and counties they serve.”

 

The Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) are funded through a grant IEMA receives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The grants, which are awarded annually, can be used for day-to-day operations of local emergency preparedness and response programs. Award amounts were determined by a base amount plus population-based formula prescribed by administrative rule. 

 

County and municipal emergency management agencies receiving the grants include:

 

EMA

FFY 16 Allocation

 

EMA

FFY 16 Allocation

Adams County

27,550.17

 

Clay County

14,840.00

Alexander County

11,610.00

 

Clinton County

21,767.43

Aurora, City of

53,328.46

 

Coles County

18,168.75

Bond County

2,317.23

 

Cook County

447,235.69

Boone County

25,000.24

 

Crawford County

7,244.66

Bureau County

21,218.73

 

Cumberland County

8,891.00

Calhoun County

4,739.62

 

De Kalb County

35,050.74

Carbondale, City of

19,429.97

 

Des Plaines, City of

25,827.82

Carroll County

17,357.59

 

De Witt County

17,588.98

Centralia, City of

5,493.41

 

Douglas County

18,262.82

Champaign County

53,955.57

 

Du Page County

157,969.75

Chicago, City of

545,594.03

 

Du Quoin, City of

15,529.02

Christian County

18,157.72

 

East St. Louis, City of

19,647.54

Clark County

17,544.42

 

Edgar County

17,986.11

Effingham, City of

16,754.70

 

Mc Lean County

47,745.54

Effingham County

18,643.97

 

Menard County

16,829.00

Elmhurst, City of

20,227.36

 

Mercer County

17,563.94

Evanston, City of

29,005.26

 

Metropolis, City of

15,613.37

Fairview Heights, City of

8,457.83

 

Monroe County

20,820.43

Fayette County

18,688.51

 

Montgomery County

20,258.12

Flora, City of

7,568.32

 

Morgan County

21,330.88

Ford County

7,289.40

 

Moultrie County

17,250.97

Franklin County

22,121.97

 

Mt. Vernon, City of

17,335.90

Fulton County

20,590.63

     
 

...

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Redistricting Proposal Booted Off Ballot

Opponents of a voter referendum that would change the way Illinois builds its political boundaries win a round on the ongoing tug of war. Cook County Judge Diane Larsen ruled the November referendum is unconstitutional and booted it from the ballot. The Independent Map Amendment is expected to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Independent Map Amendment has called for creation of an 11-member commission to oversee drawing of political boundaries. Governor Rauner expressed his disappointment in a statement.
“Today's ruling is a harsh reminder that the political system in Illinois is in need of major reforms. I hope the decision to deny voters the chance to consider the Independent Map redistricting referendum is appealed and reversed.
“Independent redistricting is badly needed in our state. A stunning two-thirds of incumbents will be running unopposed in November. That’s certainly not because the politicians in charge are doing such a good job in Springfield. It means the system is broken.
“Legislators in power could have placed the Independent Maps referendum directly on the ballot and avoided this court decision. Instead, they chose to play politics in an effort to protect their own power.
“That is wrong.
“We have it backwards in Illinois. Voters should be able to choose their elected officials through an independently-drawn map that ensures competitive elections. Instead, we have politicians choosing their voters, putting politics ahead of people.
“Independent Maps has strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. It has strong support from non-partisan good government groups. So this ruling is a definitely a setback for the people of Illinois.
“If this decision remains in place, it will prove that we need to put political reform at the top of our legislative agenda. We need to fix our broken political system to ensure taxpayers win instead of the insiders.”

 

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Redistricting proposal booted from November ballot

Opponents of a voter referendum that would change the way Illinois builds its political boundaries win a round on the ongoing tug of war. Cook County Judge Diane Larsen ruled the November referendum is unconstitutional and booted it from the ballot. The Independent Map Amendment is expected to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Independent Map Amendment has called for creation of an 11-member commission to oversee drawing of political boundaries. Governor Rauner expressed his disappointment in a statement.
“Today's ruling is a harsh reminder that the political system in Illinois is in need of major reforms. I hope the decision to deny voters the chance to consider the Independent Map redistricting referendum is appealed and reversed.
“Independent redistricting is badly needed in our state. A stunning two-thirds of incumbents will be running unopposed in November. That’s certainly not because the politicians in charge are doing such a good job in Springfield. It means the system is broken.
“Legislators in power could have placed the Independent Maps referendum directly on the ballot and avoided this court decision. Instead, they chose to play politics in an effort to protect their own power.
“That is wrong.
“We have it backwards in Illinois. Voters should be able to choose their elected officials through an independently-drawn map that ensures competitive elections. Instead, we have politicians choosing their voters, putting politics ahead of people.
“Independent Maps has strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. It has strong support from non-partisan good government groups. So this ruling is a definitely a setback for the people of Illinois.
“If this decision remains in place, it will prove that we need to put political reform at the top of our legislative agenda. We need to fix our broken political system to ensure taxpayers win instead of the insiders.”

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Shock Avoids One Grand Jury - Second Still Meeting

A former Illinois Congressman is avoiding potential prosecution from one federal grand jury but a second one is still thinking about what they may do. A grand jury in Peoria has been dismissed without indicting Aaron Schock. But a grand jury is still meeting in Springfield to consider the case. Federal agents are not commenting on the grand jury’s decision. The Peoria group took a year and half to make their decision.

Schock resigned from Congress in March 2015 after questions were raised about spending campaign funds. 

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Senator Manar salutes passage of anti bath salts legislation

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation designed to go after Illinois retailers that sell so-called bath salts, chemicals that produce similar effects to narcotics like cocaine. Democratic State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill helped craft the bipartisan legislation. He says the target audience of bath salts is one of the most disturbing aspects of the issue....

Manar likes that the legislation makes it suddenly unprofitable to sell bath salts...

The law taking effect Jan. 1 makes selling bath salts a felony punishable with a fine of up to $150,000.

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No indictment for now in Schock case

A victory but not an all clear for former Congressman Aaron Schock. After 15 months probing his campaign and office spending, a Peoria based federal grand jury has been dismissed without an indictment against the one time Republican rising star from Peoria. That doesn't mean the case is dismissed, but time was starting to run short with the grand jury's work in the case already extended once. Retired University of Illinois-Springfield political science professor Kent Redfield says the actions of the Peoria Grand Jury will have little impact on what their Springfield Grand Jury counterparts will do....

There's no comment from federal prosecutors but the case is being reviewed by a Springfield based Grand Jury. Schock's legal team maintains he made administrative errors and did not commit a criminal act.

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August critical for soybean pricing

The predicted heat wave coming through the weekend has not triggered a big reaction in the grain markets. Jim Bower, of Bower Trading, says the heat will only be around for a few days and most of the corn drop has already pollinated. What the market is looking at now is August weather and the potential impact on beans.

While Bower says the current long range forecast looks favorable for beans, it won’t take much yield loss at all for that market to turn bullish

Jim Bower of Bower Trading. 

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New Slogan for Illinois Tourism

The state is running a new slogan out there when it comes to trying to attract people to the state. The Illinois Office of Tourism is spending part of their $65 million on a new campaign called Illinois Made, it’s designed to highlight products crafted in Illinois. 

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Duke Frisby on PTP

Field and Stream expert Duke Frisby talks about summertime fishing during the July 20 edition of People to People on WKEI

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Open Line

Gift certificates are discussed during the July 20 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Salvation Army on Tuned IN

Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls talks about the upcoming school supply distribution during the July 20 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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MAP Amendment Info

The Illinois Supreme Court will rule in the near future as to whether or not the measure to allow for redistricting will be placed on the November ballot.

If it is, Illinois voters will then vote yes or no to allow an independent group to draw up political boundaries in Illinois.

The Illinois Farm Bureau supports the measure and Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten says it will be interesting to see how the state’s High Court rules on this matter…

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Veteran's Identifier


(Springfield, IL)... Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive "Veteran" on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized," said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

At the 98th Annual American Legion Department of Illinois Convention in Springfield last Friday (7/15/2016), Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.

In order to receive that designation, veterans of the Guard and Reserve are required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from initial active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), to the Secretary of State. Prior to receiving this stamp they must provide documentation of satisfactorily completing the time for which they were contracted to attend monthly drills and annual training. Presentation of one of the following documents will be accepted as proof of service:

1. Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service

2. Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of Retirement Points.

3. Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record

4. Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet

5. USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report

6. Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal Statement of Retirement Points.

Veterans are encouraged to contact or visit a local IDVA office for assistance obtaining any of the above documents. To find the closest Veteran Service Officer (VSO) go to www.illinois.gov/veterans or call 800-437-9824.

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BHHA Receives Grant

 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is pleased to announce the gift of $15,000 from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for 2016 educational programming and events.  This money was used to support the 2016 Midsommar Music Festival.  Funding from this grant will also be used for the following events:  the Bishop Hill Folk Festival, 2016 Chautauqua, Jordbruksdagarna, Julmarknad, and Lucia Nights.  The Heritage thanks the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for its continued support of our educational efforts.

If you would like more information about this year’s events in Bishop Hill, please call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net, or visit www.bishophillheritage.org .

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HUD Awards Grants

 

       WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $75 million to help families living in public housing and those participating in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Programconnect with services to further their education, find good jobs, and to set them on a path to self-sufficiency. Nearly $2.9 million was awarded to assist low income residents in Illinois receive job training and employment opportunities.  Read more about the local impact of the grants announced today.

       Funded through HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), these grants allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help public housing residents and individuals participating in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program  advance their education or gain marketable skills that will help them get a job or advance in their current workplace. As of Fiscal Year 2015, recipients of Project-Based Rental Assistance are also eligible to participate in the program. 

       “Connecting folks to jobs is an important part of HUD's mission as the Department of Opportunity,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “By linking people to computer access, job training, childcare, and ultimately financial empowerment, these grants help people who are ready to compete and succeed in the workplace. HUD is proud to give them these tools for self-sufficiency.” 

       “This funding will help individuals and their families access empowering resources to reach their full-potential,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator.

       HUD’s FSS Program helps local public housing authorities hire service coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with programs and services that already exist in the local community. These Service Coordinators build relationships with the network of local service providers so as to more effectively serve the residents. The program encourages innovative strategies that link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources. This broad spectrum of services will enable participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.

       Participants in the program sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and that no member of the FSS family is receiving cash welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including improving credit scores, paying educational expenses, or a down-payment on a home.

       The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research issued Evaluation of FSS Program: Prospective Study in 2011 that evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study showed that financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain in and complete the program. An earlier study found that individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD is currently conducting a longitudinal study on the program, with the first set of results expected in 2018.

###

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at 
www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov

You can also connect with HUD on 
social media and follow Secretary Castro on 
Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.

ILLINOIS

AMOUNT

Housing Authority of the City of East St. Louis

$69,000

Chicago Housing Authority

$796,565

Peoria Housing Authority

$98,210

Springfield Housing Authority

$236,000

Housing Authority of Henry County

$91,977

Madison County Housing Authority

$69,000

Rock Island Housing Authority

$65,000

Rockford Housing Authority

$200,961

Housing Authority of Joliet

$63,898

Housing Authority of Cook County

$184,800

Waukegan Housing Authority

$50,819

Menard County Housing Authority

$29,160

Housing Authority of the City of Freeport

$69,000

St. Clair County Housing Authority

$34,500

Kankakee County Housing Authority

$43,280

Macoupin County Housing Authority

$42,616

Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington

$51,782

Housing Authority of the County of Lake

$222,561

Marion County Housing Authority

$44,747

Winnebago County Housing Authority

$132,936

Housing Authority of the City of Elgin

$136,000

DuPage Housing Authority

$114,114

 

$2,846,926

 

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Sen Kirk Measure Seeks to Help Air Travelers


Hours-long wait times at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports this Spring demonstrated unacceptable performance by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and jeopardized the safe and efficient travel that American families rightfully expect. To address TSA’s shortcomings, this week, the Senate passed the bipartisan, H.R. 636, Federal Aviation Administration Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, in an overwhelming 89-4 vote, sending my priorities to optimize TSA to the President’s desk.

To optimize TSA screening checkpoints, the bill requires the use of canine explosive detection teams, all- trained personnel for passenger screening and document verification positions, and enhanced screening for any airport worker who has unescorted access to sensitive areas of airports. The enhanced screening includes vetting applicants against the terrorist database. These improvements build on the work I did earlier this year in the fiscal year 2017 Senate Homeland Security Appropriations bill to provide funding for 1,047 canine teams and direct them towards the busiest airports, like O’Hare and Midway.

In the wake of recent airport terrorist attacks abroad and identified weakness here at home, we must ensure the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the FAA, local airport authorities and the airlines do everything possible to provide air travel that is safe, secure, and efficient for all Americans.

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Senator Manar salutes passage of anti bath salts legislation

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation designed to go after Illinois retailers that sell so-called bath salts, chemicals that produce similar effects to narcotics like cocaine. Democratic State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill helped craft the bipartisan legislation. He says the target audience of bath salts is one of the most disturbing aspects of the issue....

Manar likes that the legislation makes it suddenly unprofitable to sell bath salts...

The law taking effect Jan. 1 makes selling bath salts a felony punishable with a fine of up to $150,000.

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No indictment for now in Schock case

A victory but not an all clear for former Congressman Aaron Schock. After 15 months probing his campaign and office spending, a Peoria based federal grand jury has been dismissed without an indictment against the one time Republican rising star from Peoria. That doesn't mean the case is dismissed, but time was starting to run short with the grand jury's work in the case already extended once. There's no comment from federal prosecutors but the case is being reviewed by a Springfield based Grand Jury. Schock's legal team maintains he made administrative errors and did not commit a criminal act.

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KHS Supt of Schools on PTP

Dist 229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens discusses the upcoming school year during the July 19 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

WKEIPolitics and police shootings are discussed during the July 19 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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SCFB On Tuned IN

Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten discusses the Map Amendment during the July 19 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Wethersfield and the State Budget

Illinois lawmakers have passed an education budget for the next fiscal year which means that schools will start on time this fall and will be able to maintain a relatively normal school year.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says that’s good news for all parties involved…

Mr. Kazubowski highlights some of the positive aspects of the new agreement…

Mr. Kazubowski also says that money promised per student doesn’t go as far as it used to…

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Abilities Plus Golf Outing

The annual Abilities Plus Golf Outing is on the schedule for Monday, August 1st at Kewanee Dunes.

Julie Landwehr is the Director of Development at Abilities Plus and she says this will be their 25th annual golf outing…

Speaking of athletic activities, Ms. Landwehr says they had several individuals at the agency compete in the recent Special Olympic competition…

Ms. Landwehr points out that once again, volunteers behind the scenes played a big part in getting those athletes to the Special Olympics…

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Carb It Up Dinner

Genesis Health System and the Davenport RiverCenter are hosting "Carb It Up," a pasta dinner on the night before the Quad-City Times Bix 7.

Dinner will be served from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, July 29 in the upper concourse of the RiverCenter overlooking Quad-City Times Bix 7 race packet pickup.

Dinner price is $10 for adults and will include a pasta bar, two sauces, salad, breadsticks, drink and dessert.  Kids 10-and-under will receive macaroni and cheese, breadsticks, a dessert and drink for $5.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Genesis Heart Institute.

Reservations are not required.

For more information, call (563) 421-9267.

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Mosquito Reduction Strategy


SPRINGFIELD  Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Director Alec Messina and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. today announced a plan to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois, like West Nile virus and Zika virus, by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties.

“Used tires threaten Illinois communities by increasing the risk of disease transmission,” said Illinois EPA Acting Director Alec Messina. “This collaborative effort between IEPA and IDPH will allow us to assist local governments most vulnerable to West Nile virus and the possible spread of Zika virus by removing prime breeding habitats for disease-carrying mosquitoes.”

Under the plan, Illinois EPA will remove used tires from certain locations across Illinois. The two agencies have divided the state into three priority zones for used tire removal. The zones are based on where Illinois would more likely see Zika virus, such as the southern counties that typically have hotter weather. Zone 1 is the highest priority area and is defined by a straight east-west line going through Effingham and areas south of that line. Zone 2 is the next highest priority area and is defined by a straight east-west line through Peoria south to the Effingham line. Zone 3 is the third highest priority area and is defined by the straight east-west line through Peoria north to the Wisconsin border.

Illinois EPA is identifying and initiating used tire removal actions for units of local government beginning in Zone 1. Illinois EPA will collect, transport, and properly dispose of used tires from public and abandoned properties. Additional activities planned by the Illinois EPA include close monitoring of regulated used tire sites located in Zone 1 and using larvicide to actively treat and mitigate known sources of improperly managed used tires.

In addition, the Illinois EPA and IDPH will enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement to allocate $750,000 from the Used Tire Management Fund. This funding will enable IDPH to enhance statewide mosquito control activities related to West Nile virus, Zika virus, and other mosquito-borne diseases through activities associated with the improper storage, handling, and disposal of tires. “Removing mosquito breeding sites is a core component of our mosquito abatement activities and a primary way to prevent the spread of diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses,” said IDPH Director Shah. “This plan is an excellent example of cooperation among state agencies that will protect Illinois and its communities.” 

Illinois EPA will announce collection locations and results at a later date. The Illinois EPA's Used Tire Program is funded by a $2.50 per tire fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail. Illinois citizens produce more than 14 million used tires annually.

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Pokemon Go takes players to historic ground

The new smartphone app Pokemon Go is bringing more and more people to historic sites. Some welcome the development as a chance for mobile gamers to discover history, while others are concerned about the presence of the game at places like Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum. Springfield's historic Pasfield House, restored by former Clerk of the Illinois House Tony Leone (Lee-own), has been discovered by Pokemon Go players. Leone isn't convinced they are ready to book a night at his bed and breakfast...

Lee-own thinks search engine activity is driving Pokemon Go players to his property....

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Davis hopeful for GOP convention

The Republican National Convention gets underway today in Cleveland but some Illinois flavor are missing. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Governor Bruce Rauner will be absent. Kirk has called Donald Trump "too bigoted and racist" for the job. Trump called Kirk a "loser". Governor Rauner is also sitting the convention out as well without elaborating on why. Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville believes Trump is off to a good start with his running mate choice....

Davis is hopeful the convention creates a more unified Republican party...

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Wethersfield Supt of Schools on PTP

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski talks about the new budget for education during the July 18 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Police shootings are discussed during the July 18 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Lawmaker Pay Remains A Waiting Game

Will State Lawmakers’ be getting their paychecks in a more timely fashion? For now the simple answer is no. Comptroller Leslie Munger says that hospitals, social services agencies and others are all waiting and for her the decision to make elected officials wait for pay is a simple
one.

The decision by Munger has certainly been felt. Since deciding to put lawmaker pay in the same backlog as many other bills, paychecks from April were just recently received. 

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Step Ladder at IYC

The Illinois Youth Correctional Facility in Kewanee has no doubt experienced its share of controversy with much of that coming in the last few months.

Many in the community will suggest that facility came with some sense of controversy from the start as many people in the community feared what those prisoners and the criminal element might bring to Kewanee.

Etta LaFlora with the Step Ladder Tutoring Program in Kewanee was one of those teachers that taught many of those youth offenders at the prison and she says like many others in the community she had initial trepidations, but those began to fade away as time went on…

Mrs. LaFlora says that many of those kids at the prison actually had a sincere desire to learn…

Mrs. LaFlora also notes that the experience of teaching those kids enriched her life on both the personal and professional level…

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Kewanee Community Band Going Strong

The Kewanee Community Band continues their long run of providing musical entertainment to Kewanee and the surrounding area.

Longtime member Jeanne Harland of Toulon says the band has really exceeded their wildest expectations…

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Chalk Art Festival Weekend

E

The very first Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival was held over the weekend in Kewanee with Saturday clearly the highlight day of the weekend.

Friday’s weather was a bit on the cool side with windy conditions and a rainstorm on Sunday morning held crowds down a little bit but Saturday’s weather was simply perfect and good attendance was noted all throughout the downtown area.

The day started early on Saturday with the Farmers Market in Berrien Park and many vendors said they either sold out early or at minimum registered brisk sales. Flea market vendors, the 19th annual Kewanee Car Show, a bike ride benefitting cancer saw as many as 1500 motorcyclists going through Kewanee with the American Legion Hall the destination point with many of those bikers also hitting the downtown area.

The musical group Jazz on the Side performed Saturday afternoon in that area west of the Station House and that simply added to the festive atmosphere that went along with the days events.

The feature for the weekend was the chalk art and as many people in the community observed, we have some very talented artists in our midst.

The featured chalk artist for the event was Chicago 3-D chalk art champion Shaun Hays who made a return visit to Kewanee after appearing last year during the Hog Festival Celebration where he displayed his chalk art talents.

His work at the old batting cages on the west side of the Station House Restaurant was simply outstanding and many people were fortunate to take pictures of his work from strategic vantage points that brought the 3-D effect to life and was nothing short of impressive.

Similar to the many comments that the community received from the original Walldog artists of three years ago, Shaun said he felt very comfortable being in Kewanee and was impressed by the hospitality from everyone…

 

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WWE To Return To The I-Wireless

Just Announced - WWE Live

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 7:30 pm

iWireless Center

 

Tickets On Sale Friday, July 22 at 10 am

#WWEQuadCities

 

WWE Returns to the Quad Cities for the Final Time This Year!

 

See your favorite WWE Superstars including:

Roman Reigns

Seth Rollins

The New Day

Natalya

Becky Lunch

And Many More!*

*Card is subject to change.

 

Tickets start at $15.00

Ticket Prices: $15, $25, $35, $55, $70, $105

 

Tickets available at the iWireless Center Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000

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Some Railroad Crossings in Geneseo Closed Week of July 18


The Iowa Interstate Railroad has informed the City that improvements to two crossings in the City of Geneseo will begin on Monday, July 18.  The Chicago Street crossing will close early morning on Monday, July 18 and State Street will close either Monday or Tuesday, July 19.  Both will then be closed for a number of days.  It is planned that both crossings will be back open on Friday, July 22 but that is not a guarantee, due to things like weather or unplanned circumstances.  Please make alternative arrangements during this time.    Any questions may be directed to Lisa Kotter, City Administrator at (309) 489-6562.  ##

 

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Henry County Democrats Host BBQ and Meet and Greet on Saturday

Henry County Democrats will host a pork chop dinner and a meet and greet session on Saturday.

John Sovanski with the Democratic Party says the event will be held on Saturday afternoon at Windmont Park…

Mr. Sovanski adds that everyone is invited to attend regardless of party affiliation…

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BHHA Receives Funding

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is pleased to announce the gift of $15,000 from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for 2016 educational programming and events.  This money was used to support the 2016 Midsommar Music Festival.  Funding from this grant will also be used for the following events:  the Bishop Hill Folk Festival, 2016 Chautauqua, Jordbruksdagarna, Julmarknad, and Lucia Nights.  The Heritage thanks the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for its continued support of our educational efforts.

If you would like more information about this year’s events in Bishop Hill, please call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net, or visit www.bishophillheritage.org .

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American Legion Hall Will Be Busy on Saturday

The American Legion in Kewanee will be a busy place on Saturday.

Jerry Thompson from the Legion says several hundred bikers will be rolling through their facility by day’s end…

The run has been held for several years but this will be the first time they have included Kewanee on their itinerary…

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Murder In Henry County

On Wednesday July 13, 2016, At Approximately 9:58 am The Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at 103 West Court Street in Cambridge, IL.  It had been reported that a female had been stabbed in the incident. 
Officers arrived and found Cheryl Johnston (68) of same address, with suspected stab wound.  She was transported from the scene to Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo, IL and later transported to Genesis East Hospital in Davenport, IA., Where she later died. 
Sheriff James Padilla activated the Henry/Mercer Major Crime Task Force to investigate the incident. 
Arrested was the victim’s husband, William Johnston (68) of same address.  He was taken to the Henry County Jail.  He has been charged with 2 counts of First degree Murder, Aggravated domestic Battery, and Aggravated Battery.
The Case remains under investigation by the Henry/ Mercer Major Crime Task Force.  The alleged charges are only that, as the offender is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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Swimming Safety


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that, according to a report from the Home Safety Council, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury and related death.  Drowning incidents may involve any source of standing water, including swimming pools, spas, buckets, bathtubs and toilets.

 

    "Drowning is a sudden and silent danger," notes the Home Safety Council.  "Since drowning victims do not make any noise once in distress, constant supervision around any body of water is critical and the best method of prevention."

 

    The Health Department urges families to take the following basic safety precautions around water outdoors and in-home.

 

    * Always practice constant adult supervision around any body of water.  Older children should not be left in charge of younger children in the pool area.

 

    * Install four-sided fencing that isolates the pool from the home.  Four-sided pool fencing is proven to be an effective drowning prevention intervention.  While many communities have codes or regulations that require some form of pool fencing, there is not a consistent national standard.

 

    * Pool fencing should be a least five feet high and have self-locking and self-closing gates.

 

    * Position gate latches out of the reach of young children.

 

    * Never prop the gate open or disable the latch.

 

    * Clear debris, clutter and pool toys from the pool deck and adjoining pathways to prevent falls.

 

    * Keep a cordless, water resistant telephone in the pool area and post emergency numbers near the pool area.

 

    * Enroll non-swimmers in swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor.  Pediatricians recommend that children ages 5 and older learn how to swim.

 

    * Never swim alone.  Even adults should always swim with a buddy.

 

   * Learn and practice the basic lifesaving techniques, including First Aid and CPR.  Insist that anyone who care for your children learn CPR.  The Henry and Stark County Health Departments offer monthly CPR classes.  Call the Department for more information.

 

    * Keep poolside rescue equipment close to the pool area.

 

    * Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions prominently near the pool area.

 

    The Health Department encourages everyone to follow these important water safety guidelines to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe summer swimming season.  For more information on summer safety, call (309) 852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com.  You can also find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter.

 

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Hands-on welding career exploration class July 19, July 21

Black Hawk College and the Kewanee Rotary Club want to help 10 lucky people explore welding as a career.

The college is running a free, hands-on class from 5-8:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 and Thursday, July 21 at the Welding and Skilled Trades Center, 520 E. Third St., Kewanee.

Registration is limited to 10 individuals age 18 or older. Preference will be given to adults considering a career in welding.

It will be an overview class where students will learn enough about welding to consider it for their future. The class will review different kinds of welding, safety procedures, basic techniques and job opportunities.

There also will be time to arc weld. Students will get to use the virtual Miller welder to hone their skills.

“We have a lot of people who can see themselves getting into welding but aren’t really sure or don’t really know how to get started,” said Brad DeWolfe, adjunct welding instructor.

“This will be a great chance for someone to learn about welding and see our fantastic new Welding and Skilled Trades Center,” he said.

A grant from the Kewanee Rotary Club is making the class possible.

For more information, to register or to get a free tour of the welding facility, call the Black Hawk College Community Education Center at 309-854-1875.

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Stage Getting Cash Back to Citizens

It’s been a good year to get money back to people who perhaps never knew they were missing any. The State Treasure Mike Frerichs says that it was a record setting year for the I-Cash program. In the past year more than $155 million was returned to people. Often it money or valuables that someone never knew about says spokesman Greg Rivera.

Have you been looking? Its easy to do just do to I cash dot Illinois Treasure dot gov.

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Hillary visits home of Lincoln's House Divided Speech, calls Trump a divider

With talk of racial unrest dominating the national news, Hillary Clinton returned to the Old State Capitol to make connections between discussions on race in Abraham Lincoln's time and today. The apparent Democratic nominee for President called for the nation to address gun violence, criminal justice reform after the recent series of high profile fatal police involved shootings, while also finding ways to support police departments. In the home of Lincoln's House Divided speech, Clinton called her opponent, Republican Donald Trump the ultimate divider....

Clinton calls Trump a divider based on his stances on Muslims, Hispanics and women.

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Springfield region home sales down, prices up

This story covers home sales in Sangamon, Christian, Menard and Morgan counties, and a section of northern Macoupin County.Home sales are down but prices are up in the latest stats from the Capital Area Realtors. Home sales fell 10 percent last month compared to June of last year. Association president Kristie DeBrun talks about reasons sales are down...


The median sale price of a home was $132,000, an increase of 1.6 percent from a year ago. Springfield and surrounding areas continue to be plagued by a shortage of homes in the 150 to 200 thousand dollar range.

BONUS cut

DeBrun talks about the easiest homes to sell right now...

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KPL On Tuned IN

Sara Billiet from Kewanee Public LIbrary and Etta LaFlora from the Sunshine Community Services Center discuss various Library Programs during the July 14 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Great Dane Supports Heart Program In Kewanee

(Savannah, Georgia – June 22, 2016) – Great Dane today joined with Walmart truck drivers and others in Kewanee, Illinois, to celebrate the Walmart Heart program at the Kewanee Walmart store. Through the program, Walmart truck drivers support sick and special needs children. Several families who were helped by the program attended the event.

 

The celebration, which included display of a Walmart Heart trailer with the faces of children on it, gave special recognition to Ty Sanford, who is shown on the trailer. Ty and his family received support through the Walmart Heart program while Ty battled cancer. He died in 2015. 

 

Great Dane’s Kewanee employees built the trailer earlier this year. Ty is the grandson of Great Dane Kewanee employee Bob Silvis, who has worked at Great Dane for 38 years and had a role in building the first trailer Walmart bought from Great Dane in the 1970s. Silvis also played a part in making the Walmart Heart trailer displayed at the celebration. The Great Dane Kewanee plant has about 700 employees who build dry van trailers.

 

“Great Dane employees have built thousands of trailers for Walmart over the years and whenever we build a Walmart Heart trailer, we take pride in knowing we play a small part in supporting children in need,” said Lynette Lempke, Human Resources representative at the Great Dane Kewanee plant. “Our plant employees have a soft spot in their hearts every time they build these trailers and see the results.”

 

“It is gratifying to see the program give people happiness and hope,” Lempke said. “I hope that when people see this trailer, and the children on it, they think of their loved ones and open their hearts to helping others in whatever way they can.”

 

About Great Dane

Great Dane is the leading manufacturer of high-performance commercial transportation equipment, including dry and refrigerated trailers and truck bodies, as well as steel, aluminum and combo platform trailers. Great Dane has a storied history in the commercial trucking industry and is a driving force in trailer technology, innovation, quality and customer service. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and with additional corporate offices in Savannah, Georgia, Great Dane has manufacturing plants strategically located throughout the United States. The company’s network of corporate-owned branches, full-line independent dealers and parts-only independent dealers offers a broad range of distribution points for new and used trailers as well as aftermarket services across North and South America. Visit Great Dane online atwww.greatdanetrailers.com.

 

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New IDES Regulations


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is reminding jobseekers who file claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits on or after July 17, 2016, to register for employment service and upload at least one resume towww.IllinoisJobLink.com – before they can receive an unemployment payment (unless they are exempt from the requirement). Individuals who are currently receiving benefits are not required to register again. IDES provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who have lost their job through no fault of their own and are seeking new employment.

 

“To help people who are unemployed find another job more quickly, we are changing the process through which individuals file for unemployment,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “In the past, the unemployment benefits application was separate from the work registration requirement. Now, we are tying these two processes together to help expedite the hiring process. Registering for employment services with a work-history and list of skills will help individuals re-enter the workforce.”

 

Currently, Illinois employers have nearly 180,000 job openings on www.IllinoisJobLink.com. IDES

estimates that approximately 60 percent of those filing unemployment claims do not include a work history or resume. Although there are a few exemptions, state and federal laws require individuals to actively seek employment in order to be eligible for UI benefits.  

 

A complete registration at www.IllinoisJobLink.com helps to expand resources for jobseekers, including free job searches and postings, recruiting, job-matches, hiring fairs, workshops, seminars and webinars. Additionally, it enables the Department to better assess a claimant’s employment search needs and to help identify additional employment services. For additional information regarding this requirement, please see the Department’s FAQs, log on to www.ides.illinois.gov or view information under the “Resources” tab atwww.IllinoisJobLink.com.

 

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ISP D7 Now On Facebook



Illinois State Police D7 is proud to announce they have a Facebook page up
and running. You are invited to join this page "
Illinois State Police District 7 East Moline".

The page will used to disseminate upcoming events, information from the
district and continue to relay information to the public in a timely
manner.

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Stark County School Registration Info

Registration for the upcoming school year in the Stark County School District will be a little different this year.

District 100 Supt of Schools Mr. Jerry Klooster says registration will largely be made by the mail this year…

Mr. Klooster agrees that there is something to be said for the in person registration as folks get a chance to see one another again, but he also notes that time is critical in today’s world…

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ISP Officer Competes in Texas Games


Springfield, IL – Officials with the Illinois State Police (ISP) would like to recognize the achievements of Trooper Cynthia Pfau for winning five gold medals during her participation in the Texas Police Games.  She competed and won gold medals in the triathlon, 5k run, 10k run, mountain bike race, and sniper/precision rifle competition.

The Texas Police Games enable commissioned police officers from throughout the nation to compete at this annual event. The first competition was held in Dallas in 1977, and the Texas Police Games now draw over 1,200 officers each year.  This year’s games were held June 12-16 in San Angelo, Texas.  

“Due to the amount of time an officer may spend in a squad car, the nature of our work can become sedentary.  Yet in a moment’s notice, the duties of a police officer can become extremely physically demanding,” said Colonel Tad Williams, Deputy Director of the ISP Division of Operations.  “Physical fitness is an essential component of police work.  Trooper Pfau’s outstanding performance at the Texas Police Games demonstrates her commitment to remaining physically fit.  The Illinois State Police is proud of Trooper Pfau’s accomplishments and of her distinguished representation of our agency at this year’s games,” he continued.

Trooper Pfau finished the 5k with a time of 24:50.9.  She was sixth overall and first in her category.  She finished the 10k with a time 50:44.1.  She was seventh overall and first in her category.

Trooper Pfau is an eight-year veteran of the ISP and is currently assigned as a motorcycle officer in District 8, Metamora.

For more information on the Texas Police Games please visit, www.texaspolicegames.org.

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Gov Thinks A New Group Can Help Alter School Funding

There have been plenty of shots at changing the way schools are funded and now the Governor wants to have more of a say. He’s announcing a new commission to get to a point that years of work between lawmakers still hasn’t been able to. The study group will look at how to better fund all schools and account for the disparity of funding between schools with a high level or poverty and those in more affluent areas.

The commission will have their homework due on February 1st of next year. 

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New director named for Lincoln Library/Museum

A new director has been chosen for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Veteran historian and activist Alan Lowe has landed the post after most recently serving as the first director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. Lowe oversaw development, design and construction of the library, which opened in 2013. Lowe says he didn't think twice about Illinois budget goes before taking the post...

He also gives high marks to the philosophy behind the museum...

Lowe also spent time as an archivist at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and spent more than a decade in the National Archives’ central Office of Presidential Libraries in Washington, D.C. He later served as acting director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The 52-year-old Kentucky native even has a dog named Lincoln, as well as Theodore Rex, a tribute to Teddy Roosevelt.

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WKEI Open Line

Pokemon, Democrats and Social Security are all discussed during the July 13 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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HCFB On Tuned IN

Henry County Farm Bureau Director Katie Laleman updates a couple of ag programs during the July 13 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Gov Rauner Announces Selections


CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced his five selections to the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. In addition, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Chairman Rev. James Meeks will act as the liaison between the Commission and ISBE. 

 

 

Governor’s Appointees

·         Beth Purvis, Secretary of Education (Commission Chairperson)

·         Evelyn Sanguinetti,  Lieutenant Governor

·         James Dimas, Secretary of the Department of Human Services

·         Jennifer Hammer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy

·         Jodi Scott, Regional Superintendent of Schools for Henderson, Knox, Mercer, and Warren Counties

 

Role of ISBE in Commission

The mission of ISBE is to provide leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois districts through engaging legislators, school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders in formulating and advocating for policies that enhance education, empower districts, and ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

 

Given its role and mission, ISBE will have the responsibility of enacting any changes to the funding formula passed into law, so must remain a neutral arbiter of the commission work. 

 

Superintendent Smith and the ISBE team will be asked to support the work of the commission, with specific emphasis on providing conceptual and statistical feedback to the commission regarding proposed funding models. 

 

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Abilities Plus Milestone

 

Kewanee, IL –Katie Jones (left), of Kewanee recently celebrated 20 years with Abilities Plus. Congratulating her on this anniversary with a plaque and gift card is Deb Kubinsky, Director of Employment & Training. Since 1996 Katie has been Production Management Supervisor for the Work Services Program.  She has provided a wide variety of support and assistance to local individuals with disabilities, along with serving as a liaison for work contracts with companies and businesses in the area.

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I-Cash Program Sets Record


SPRINGFIELD – The state treasurer’s office returned a record-setting $155 million in forgotten cash and stock this past fiscal year, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today. It is the largest amount in the program’s 55-year history.

More than 53,000 claims were fulfilled despite the budget impasse because unclaimed property funds are not encumbered by the state’s general revenue spending. The state’s fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.

“I meet many people who are surprised to see their names on our unclaimed property list,” Frerichs said. “Checking the list is easy and the money certainly will be put to better use in the hands of its owners rather than the state’s vault in Springfield.”

The average return was $2,900. One estate bequeathed $1.5 million to six non-profits. The individual’s will was not immediately executed and the amounts were surrendered to the treasurer’s office. Frerichs’ staff successfully worked to fulfill the man’s wishes.

In Illinois, the state treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds approximately $2 billion in unclaimed property. Individuals can search a database for their name or the name of their business or non-profit at www.icash.illinoistreasurer.gov. Frerichs’ office never charges money to search the database or return unclaimed property.

 

About the Illinois Treasurer

The Illinois Treasurer is the state’s chief investment officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. He protects consumers by encouraging savings plans for college or trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, and removing barriers to a secure retirement. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, he actively manages approximately $25 billion. The portfolio includes $13 billion in state funds, $7 billion in college savings plans and $5 billion on behalf of local and state governments. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of capital and returns $28 to the state for every $1 spent in operations. The Treasurer’s Office predates Illinois’ incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office.

 

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Summer Time Scams

Scam artists continue to ply their trade all across the country and that is also the case right here in the listening area.

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla says that scammers using the telephone are just one of many methods…

Sheriff Padilla says it’s easy to understand how folks can be intimidated at times as the scammers will use any means available…

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Chalk Art Festival This Weekend In Kewanee

The very first Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival  will be held this coming weekend, July 15, 16 and 17 in downtown Kewanee.

There will be many activities throughout the weekend including Chicago Chalk Art Champion Shaun Hayes who will dazzle the crowds with his 3D illusionary chalk artistry.

Local artists are also invited to the event and to bring their chalk art works to life as well.

There will also be a kid’s area with hands on art activities, there will also be art vendors and the Kewanee Car Show amongst the many activities over the weekend and needless to say, lots of food and refreshments will also be available.

Music will also be a big feature of the Festival and Jeanne Harland with the Kewanee Community Band says they will among the many performers…

The 19th annual Kewanee Car Show will be held on Saturday rain or shine in the downtown Kewanee area with registration from 8 til noon at a cost of $15 per entry.

Dan Garcia is the coordinator for the Car Show and he says this year’s show will be another great one…

Cruise Night will be held on Friday night from 5-9 in downtown Kewanee next to the Stationhouse Restaurant.

All proceeds from the Car Show will benefit the Relay For Life and Dan says that all makes and models of vehicles will be accepted for the Car Show…

Ms. Harland adds that more music will be featured later in the day on Saturday and that highlights some of the many activities…

For more information on the entire weekends’ events, go to the web at www.downtownkewanee.com   

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Durbin Looking for Zika Funding

Congress is headed on a month’s long break at the end of the week but one US Senator says a nasty pest won’t be taking the summer off. Misquotes carrying Zika are spreading around the tropics and the federal government wants money to help combat the spread of the biting flying insects that carry and spread the disease. US Senator Dick Durbin says that the Senate has done their part, passing a billion dollar bill but the House of Representatives loaded that bill up with additional amendments that sunk its chances of passage. He says this week is the last chance to help fight the problem before the summer winds down.

According to Durbin more than 3600 people in the US have contracted Zika and five months ago the call went out for $1.9 billion in funding and nothing was done in Congress.

ADDITONAL AUDIO:

Durbin says that even if the mosquitoes never make it to Illinois people travel all over the globe now and they can be vulnerable when abroad.

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ISBE puts high school test in "park"

A common core based test will be a lot less common in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Education has announced it will stop administering the Partnership for the Achievement of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC standardized test to high school students.
A revamped SAT test will be the new test of choice. The state board says they were inspired to pull the plug after conversations with parents, administrators, unions and others. 

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Prosecutors want status quo sentence for Blagojevich

Next month, former Governor Rod Blagojevich will be resentenced on his 2011 corruption convictions. Despite the fact five of eighteen convictions were thrown out by an appeals court, prosecutors will seek a status quo sentence. They are asking Judge James Zagel to issue the same 14 year prison term Blagojevich is currently serving. The Blagojevich defense team is asking to have his sentence reduced to five years.

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WKEI Open Line

Politics and other current events are tossed around during the July 12 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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OSF Info

The next round of sports physicals at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will be held on Wednesday.

Brea Cinnamon is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the Hospital and she reminds area residents that the next school sports season will be here before we know it…

Ms. Cinnamon also notes that there will be a Parkinson’s Support Group Meeting on Thursday, July 21 at the Hospital…

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SC Senior Living Series On Wednesday

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments will present their Stark County Senior Living Series on Wednesday in Bradford.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Health Dept and she says the program is free of charge and also reminds that you do not have to be a senior and you do not have to live in Stark County in order to attend and take advantage of the services…

Refreshments will be served and free blood pressure checks will be given and Ms. Tucker adds there will be other activities as well…

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Chalk Art Festival This Weekend in Kewanee

 

Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival, Kewanee

Celebrate creativity and public art in downtown Kewanee, Illinois, July 15-17, 2016, during the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival.  Professional and amateur artists will create colorful art sure to catch your eye on a concrete canvas.

The Chalk Art Festival is a first time, family-friendly community event.  Dianne Packee, co-chair said, “We wanted to create a wholesome family event for all ages, to create family memories to last a lifetime.” There is truly something for everyone of any age to enjoy, including a kids’ area with hands-on art activities, art vendors, and the Kewanee car show with vintage cars lining the streets of downtown Kewanee. Deirdre Scott, co-chair, highlighted the significance of cars and art: “Cars are their owners’ works of art, no two exactly alike.  The chalk art is “art in motion” much like a classic car.” Live music will be featured throughout downtown Kewanee as you stroll and enjoy the car show. Experience Kewanee’s specialty shops and restaurants through the day and into the evening.

Shaun Hayes, Chicago Chalk Art Champ, will be the featured performance artist. Shaun will dazzle you with his 3D illusionary chalk artistry. He will craft the art into an anamorphic style.  Shaun draws what he feels by free hand drawing.  Free hand is an unusual technique for a sidewalk artist.  Brandon Yaklich, committee member, describes the first time he watched Shaun create his art: “It was the performance of the art that drew me to the effort.  Listening to Shaun describe his art was rewarding.” Shaun loves his artistry to snap people into the moment and live the beauty they see, even if it just a moment in time.  The expression on your face will make him smile!www.chalkartchamp.com

 

Color Run Prairie Run is a 5K run/walk with a twist of color. Start out sparkling clean, be prepared for color cloud bursts of blue, green, pink, purples, and yellow as you run along the course.  As you finish, you’ll look like a tie-dyed piece of art! This is a non-competitive run, open to all ages!

 

Be inspired to pick up some chalk this July in downtown Kewanee! The Italian tradition of“Modonnari” street painting requires only a little bit of creativity and a piece of chalk. The Prairie Chicken Festival offers everyone who attends a chance to meet and mingle, while enjoying downtown Kewanee with its family-friendly atmosphere.  Join us for an unforgettable weekend. For festival information, visit www.downtownkewanee.com or to register directly:www.eventbrite.com Prairie Chicken Festival.

The post Prairie Chicken Festival – Chalk Art in Motion appeared first on Henry County, Illinois Tourism.

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Area Nursing Home Violations

 SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the following type “AA” and “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act recorded during the second quarter of 2016. An “AA” violation is cited when there is a condition or occurrence at the facility that proximately caused a resident’s death. An “A” violation pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.

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

May

Heartland of Moline, a 149-bed skilled care facility located at 833 Sixteenth Avenue, Moline, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to supervise and assist a resident reviewed for falls, resulting in the resident falling and requiring hip surgery. The facility is scheduled for a prehearing on IDPH’s action on July 13, 2016.

Morton Terrace H & R Centre, a 166-bed intermediate and skilled care facility located at 191 E. Queenwood Road, Morton, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to ensure residents’ advanced directives concerning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are incorporated into their medical records. This could result in residents’ advance directives not being followed according to their wishes. The facility is scheduled for a prehearing on IDPH’s action on July 19, 2016.

Wesley Village, a 73-bed skilled care facility located at 1200 E. Grant Street, Macomb, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to protect a resident from repeated verbal and physical abuse by a staff member. The facility is scheduled for a prehearing on IDPH’s action on July 20, 2016.

June

Illini Restorative Care, a 92-bed skilled care and 28-bed sheltered care facility located at 1455 Hospital Road, Silvis, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to administer medical treatment and procedures as ordered by a physician leading to medical complications for one resident, resulting in death. The facility waived its right to a hearing for an automatic fine reduction to $16,250.

Rosewood Care Center of Moline, a 120-bed skilled care facility located at 7300 34th Avenue, Moline, has been cited with an “A” violation and fined $25,000 for failure to follow the Advanced Directive regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation for a resident, resulting in death. The facility is scheduled for a prehearing on IDPH’s action on July 28, 2016.

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Hog Festival Committee Meets This Evening


The next Hog Festival Committee meeting is set for this evening at 306 North Main Street, Kewanee, IL. Meeting start time is 7 p..m.

and as always, the general public is always welcome at the meetings. 

There is one VERY important item on this meeting's agenda...Roof Repair Plan. After visiting with Oldeen Roofing, we have a possible game plan for FINALLY getting the roof replaced and repaired.  It will be expensive and we may possibly need to borrow money from the bank to make it happen.  But it would FINALLY end the roof drama and associated building problems for approximately 25 years. Because of the importance of that item, the agenda has been kept as short as possible so we have plenty of time to talk/discuss/argue about the roof!  We'll get back to other items of hog festival business that need our attention at the second meeting this month on July 26th.

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Decatur man injured in police involved shooting

All of the national tension tied to police shootings moves closer to home. A Decatur man is in serious condition after a Decatur police officer who believed he had a gun, shot the 40-year-old man in the chest this morning The investigation has been turned over to the Illinois State Police. Police now say the suspect was armed with a knife and a gun. The officer is a five year veteran of the Decatur department.

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LaHood salutes passage of Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016

The House last week voted to overhaul the nation's mental healthcare system. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 received overwhelming bipartisan support. Congressman Darin LaHood co-sponsored the legislation. The Peoria Republican says he personally saw the need for a focus on treatment instead of confinement in the courtroom....

LaHood says one key reform is the linking of pediatricians and primary care doctors to psychiatrists and psychologists in rural areas where patients do not have access to care.

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Pushing for More Dialogue on Police and Race

The country has been left trying to understand the violence surrounding police officers shooting suspects the assassination of five officers in Dallas. US Senator Dick Durbin urges a continued dialogue between police and communities to find a way beyond fatal violence that is plaguing areas of the United States

Durbin says the shooter having a used an AR-15 assault rifle and having a stash of guns and bomb making material at home should give anyone pause when talking about gun control.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

US Senator Dick Durbin says that we all need to be thankful that police are working everyday to keep communities safe.

Durbin says this can be another opportunity to talk about police, race and we owe it to the country to get it right.

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Hillary returning to Springfield

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is paying a return visit to Springfield. A source reports she'll visit the Capital City on Wednesday but no other details of the visit are being released. Her previous visit was in March for an invitation only audience when she took part in a so called town hall meeting with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Clinton narrowly edged Bernie Sanders to win the Illinois Primary. 

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HCHD on PTP

RaeAnn Tucker talks about the Senior LIving Series during the July 11 edition of People to People on WKEI

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WKEI Open Line

Recent events are discussed during the July 11 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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OSF on Tuned IN

Brea Cinnamon gives an update on Hospital programs during the July 11 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Labor Board Sides with AFSCME

The impasse between the Governor and AFSCME will not come to a quick end. The state’s largest employee union and the administration have been without a contract for more than a year. The state’s labor board denied a request by the Rauner administration to bypass an administrative judge and instead have the board rule on if negotiations are stalled out or not. AFSCME had been worried about the board’s decision, the members are appointed by the Governor, but they ruled in unanimous consent. The move continues the process of the negotiations and will result in an administrative law judge’s ruling on the matter later this year. 

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Road constuction funding update

Just prior to the Fourth of July weekend, the state legislature passed six month budget extension to keep the state operating. Don Schaeffer of the Midwest Truckers Assoc. says the good news is that road and bridge construction and repair projects were funded for the full year, through nest June.

In addition, Schaeffer says the legislature has approved a constitutional amendment for the ballot this November that would halt the practice of sweeping transportation funds for general fund use.

And the loss of that Six billion over the past decade is major reason why Illinois roads and bridges have fallen into disrepair.

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GMO Food Bill Heads to House After Senate Approval

The US Senate passed a compromise bill last night that might change the way you look at a label on your food. The Senate approved a new label, a QR code in fact, that would be on food products that you would scan and then a website would tell you if that item contained corn, soybeans or beets that had been genetically modified. Republican Mark Kirk voted in favor of the bill, Democrat Dick Durbin voted no. The bill now heads to the House who recently passed their own labeling act. Congressman Darin LaHood says the other approach to let each individual state set label laws is unworkable and it could hurt the state’s economy.

LaHood says he prefers the House bill but will give the Senate bill a chance.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Congressman Darin LaHood says the other approach to let each individual state set label laws is unworkable, but he thinks the House did the best job on how to label foods.

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MISO Auction Proves Need To Keep Nuclear Power in Illinois

A recent survey by the Carmel, Indiana based Midcontinent Independent System Operator, MISO, shows the grid with a major shortage of power come mid-2018. State Sen. Chapin Rose says this is something he's been saying since it was first announced Exelon would be closing two plants in Illinois starting next year.

According to Sen. Rose, there is the possibility MISO could order Exelon to remain open, but he isn't going to hold out hope that will happen. He says time continues to run short.

Sen. Rose says there is still opposition to the legislation and says this remains a statewide issue, not just a relief bill for DeWitt County and the Quad Cities.

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2016 Hog Days Parade Marshal Is Named!

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club has announced that retiring  74th District State Representative Don Moffitt has been selected as the 2016 Hog Days Parade Marshal.

Don has represented Kewanee and the 74th District since 1993 and has been an advocate for Kewanee in many areas including obtaining a new aerial fire truck and most recently in the battle to save the State of Illinois Juvenile Correctional Center which will be converted to a Department of Corrections facility thereby saving 200 jobs in Kewanee.  Don was also very active in resolving issues for constituents with various state agencies.  He has been in every Hog Days parade during his tenure many years walking behind or in his prize 1968 Mustang convertible. 

The Parade will kick off Saturday September 3rd at 2:00 p.m. with Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison hitting the siren signaling the start of the Parade.  The Marching Bands are sponsored once again this year by Good’s Furniture and Peoples National Bank. 

Anyone interested in being in the parade must obtain an entry form from by contacting the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175 or at 113 E. 2nd St.   The Ambassador Club of Kewanee which is the public relations committee of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce traditionally takes on the duties of the parade for the Hog Capital Festival Committee.
 

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Shimkus expresses continued concern about plans for tougher EPA emissions standards

Congressman John Shimkus says EPA plans to toughen emissions standards for coal fired power plants will pull the plug on a number of jobs....

Shimkus maintains new EPA regulations would exponentially raise costs for employers and consumers alike.

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Durbin applauds Cuba travel proposal

Senator Dick Durbin is applauding the latest news when it comes to improved relations between the US and Cuba. He backs a proposal by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to select eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights between ten cities in the United States and Cuba. Durbin says those flights would do more than bring a few tourist dollars to the financially troubled island nation. He also believes the flights would open up Cuba "to new ideas, new values, and improved human rights that our 50 year old policy of isolation could not achieve,”. Durbin is hopeful Chicago will be among the cities chosen for direct flights to Cuba. Last year, Durbin introduced the bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which would end restrictions on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba. The bill would also end restrictions on transactions related to travel, such as banking transactions.

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Duckworth's campaign warchest widens

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth's Senate campaign warchesthas more than doubled in size in a mere three months. She raised a record $2.7 million in the quarter that ended last month. She now has $5.5 million dollars at her disposal as she tries to unseat Republican incumbent Mark Kirk. Kirk hasn't shared his fundraising totals for last quarter yet.

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Diesel spill hits Mississippi

There's bad news for barge traffic in the region. Mississippi River Lock and Dam 25, just north of St. Louis is closed after a diesel spill. A towboat spilled more than 2,000 gallons of diesel while passing through the lock near Winfield, Missouri. Investigators are looking for a cause of the spill, about 50 miles north of St. Louis..

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Illinois Farm Bureau Praising Senate Decision on GMO Labeling Bill

The Illinois Farm Bureau is praising the U.S Senate decision to limit debate on a GMO Labeling bill. 

 

“We’re extremely pleased to see the Senate vote to limit debate on the Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill today. The passage of this bill will do a great deal to protect Americans from an unnecessary rise in food prices, and will prevent a costly state-by-state patchwork of mandatory GMO food labeling laws. We would like to thank Senator Mark Kirk for his support of the bill, and urge the Senate to vote quickly on the bill so the House of Representatives can do the same.” 

 

The Roberts-Stabenow GMO Labeling bill clears the way for companies hoping to avoid having to label all food products containing Genetically Modified ingredients, and would allow companies to inform consumers about GMO products via company websites or a simple QR code. Those objecting to the bill had hoped to force companies using GMO ingredients to alter packaging to contain a warning for consumers that the product contained GMO ingredients. 

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Looking for a better Job?

While unemployment rates are fairly low right now, a lot of people are looking for better paying jobs. And a lot of times those jobs are out there, but it’s just a matter of hooking up employers looking for qualified people with the available jobs. Jeff Mays, director of the Illinois Dept of Employment Security says they currently have nearly 180,000 jobs listed in Illinois and of you register at IllinoisJobLink.com you can get a lot of help finding that better job.



Mays says most employers list jobs with IllinoisJobLink.com and most of the commercial employment websites actually get most of their listings from the state site.



In addition to job listings, the Dept of Employment Security can help you get free or low cost job training through community colleges and other sources to improve your skills and help land that good paying job. The state website is IllinoisJobLink.com

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State Fair vendors getting paid nearly a year after 2015 Fair

Nearly a year after the last corn dog was sold, it looks like some vendors for the 2015 Illinois State Fair will finally get paid. The stopgap budget is expected to lead to overdue payments but it's not clear how soon 1.6 million dollars in overdue vendor payments will be made. The stopgap budget also sets aside 6.4 million dollars for this years fair.

 

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LaHood sounds off on FBI decision in Clinton email case

Congressman Darin LaHood is expressing disappointment in Tuesday's announcement from FBI Director James Comey that the bureau wouldn't recommend charges against former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over use of personal email to handle classified information...

The Peoria Republican says Clinton may not be headed to court but he says she already faces added scrutiny in the court of public opinion. LaHood calls Clinton's actions as Secretary of State "disingenuous and – even worse — unethical." 

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Durbin honors Mikva on Senate Floor

Senator Dick Durbin offered a tribute to a fixture in Illinois and national politics, Abner Mikva, who passed away Monday at the age of 90. Durbin called the former Congressman, judge and White House legal counsel a major influence on his career...


Mikva worked for liberal causes until the very end, most recently pushing for the U.S. Senate to consider the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. He served five terms in the Illinois General Assembly, five terms in Congress, became a judge for 15 years for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and then served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton. President Barack Obama awarded Mikva the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. 

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Union Members Questioned about Being Ready For A Strike

The state’s largest employee union has briefed members about what would happen if the union went on strike. AFSCME is also reaching out to some members and polling them on if they are willing to strike. The action comes as contract talks between AFSCME and the Governor’s office are stalled. The union says they do not want a strike but have to have members prepared for anything. Overall there are about 38,000 state workers that are members of AFSCME.

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Museum Workers to Be Commended

With a little fan fare last week the Illinois State Museum reopened after being shut down by the Governor during the protracted budget battle. The Governor proclaimed it a special day even though it was his actions alone that shut the doors at the museum. The irony of it wasn’t lost on everyone, Illinois State Museum Board Chair Lorin Nevling says that it was the workers who remained behind the scenes and closed doors that allowed the building and exhibits to stay intact.

Nevling says that he now wants to count on the Governor’s office to step up and help the museum thrive.

ADDITIONAL ADUDIO:

The irony of it wasn’t lost on everyone; Illinois State Museum Board Chair Lorin Nevling says it’s a welcome relief to have the doors open again. And it’s the employees behind the scenes that stayed that need to be commended.

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Budget deal didn't get rubber stamped by everyone

Last week's stopgap budget deal featured unusual bipartisan compliments as only four members of the Illinois General Assembly voted against a plan to open schools on time and provide funding for six months of state services. Maverick Democratic Representative Jack Franks was one of those four. He says the short term band aid will cost taxpayers sooner rather than later....

Franks is leaving the legislature and seeking to become President of the McHenry County Board.


Franks says problems will only expand because of the stopgap budget.

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Flag burning protester won't face charges

A Champaign County prosecutor announces she won't pursue charges against an Urbana man who was arrested Monday for a flag burning protest on Facebook. State's Attorney Julia Rietz cites flag burning as protected free speech in her decision not to pursue the case of Bryton Mellott. Mellott was taken into protective custody because of threats against him.

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Museum Workers to Be Commended

With a little fanfare last week the Illinois State Museum reopened after being shut down by the Governor during the protracted budget battle. The Governor proclaimed it a special day even though it was his actions alone that shut the doors at the museum. The irony of it wasn’t lost on everyone, Illinois State Museum Board Chair Lorin Nevling says that it was the workers who remained behind the scenes and closed doors that allowed the building and exhibits to stay intact


Nevling says that he now wants to count on the Governor’s office to step up and help the museum thrive.

The irony of it wasn’t lost on everyone; Illinois State Museum Board Chair Lorin Nevling says it’s a welcome relief to have the doors open again. And it’s the employees behind the scenes that stayed that need to be commended. 

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Geneseo Public Library to Host IDES Hiring Event

The Geneseo Public Library and the Illinois Department of Employment Services will host a hiring event on Tuesday, July 12th at the Library at 805 North Chicago Street. The event will feature 200 local  and statewide employers seeking new employees. The IDES and Geneseo Library Hiring event will be held on July 12 th from 10 Am to 1 Pm. IDES is also reminding jobseekers that unemployment insurance claims filed after July 17th will require that at least one resume be posted with IllinoisJobLink.com before unemployment insurance benefits can be issued. 

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Flag burning protester won't face charges

A Champaign County prosecutor announces she won't pursue charges against an Urbana man who was arrested Monday for a flag burning protest on Facebook. State's Attorney Julia Rietz cites flag burning as protected free speech in her decision not to pursue the case of Bryton Mellott. Mellott was taken into protective custody because of threats against him.

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Tuned In Father Jerry from OSF Hospice

Father Jerry Rafalko from OSF Hospice was our guest on the Tuesday, July 5th, edition of Tuned In to discuss the recent OSF Hospice Quarter Auction, the upcoming Suicide Survivors Support Group and to discuss how the holidays, like the 4th of July are a time for celebration but can also be a reminder of those we've lost and how to deal with that grief while also learning to celebrate life once again. 

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Illinois political legend Mikva gone at 90

An Illinois political icon has passed away. Abner Mikva, who took on big roles in Washington and Springfield, has died at the age of 90 after a battle with cancer. Mikva worked for liberal causes until the very end, most recently pushing for the U.S. Senate to consider the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. He served five terms in the Illinois General Assembly, five terms in Congress, became a judge for 15 years for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and then served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Springfield Democrat, described Mikva as his "North Star for integrity, independence and progressive values."
"In an era of cynicism and disappointment, Abner's record of public service was proof that the good guys can win without selling their souls," Durbin said in a statement.
Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement:
“Abner Mikva was a dedicated public servant and principled leader, and his focus on encouraging youth to become active and engaged in the democratic process will be felt for generations. Our thoughts are with the entire Mikva family as they mourn their loss today.”

President Barack Obama awarded Mikva the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

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Weekend weather hits grain prices

A change in the weather patterns over the holiday weekend pressured grain prices when trade reopened on Tuesday, as corn slid about 20 cents and beans were of 60 cents. DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson said one big factor was weekend rains along the dry interstate 70 corridor.

Anderson says the improving weather outlook removes most concerns over any widespread dryness through July and August..

Bryce Anderson of DTN.

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Help Finding Missing Life Insurance

It’s a difficult time for anyone, the death of a loved one. But getting everything you’re owed from life insurance shouldn’t be. The state has a new way for individuals to search for policies left by a family member. Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of the Department of Insurance says all families need to do is submit a certificate of death then they do the rest.

If you want to search for yourself – hit the web at insurance dot Illinois dot gov.

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June Was Hot

Weather was generally much cooler than normal around Illinois for the Fourth of July Weekend. But if you thought it was way warmer than normal for June you were right. The state’s average temperature was nearly three degrees higher than normal and it will go down as the 14th warmest June on the books. State Climatologist Jim Angle,

The lower half of the state picked up much needed rains this past weekend, washing out some firework shows but boosting the states’ agriculture business.

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Cost of Independence Day cookout

A nationwide survey that included Illinois conducted by the American Farm Bureau found favorite foods for an Independence Day cookout cost slightly more this year but still come in at less than $6-dollars per person;

Veronica Nigh (NIYE), an economist with the American Farm Bureau, says the annual mid-summer food survey found the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people totals a little more than $56-dollars, or $5.60 per person. The survey, which includes foods like hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon, found meat prices dropped this year;

The summer cookout survey serves as part of Farm Bureau’s market-basket series, which also includes the popular annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey. 

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How a New Phone App Tries to Bolster Latino Vote

Immigrants have a lot at stake in this year's presidential campaign, and a new smartphone app aims to help get out the vote on Election Day. 

Voter turnout will be critical this year. But traditionally fewer Latino voters, especially Latino youth, have gone to the polls than other groups. 

John Rudolph, executive producer of the public radio organization Feet in 2 Worlds, hopes this new app will make a difference.

"The Unidos app is designed to engage young Latinos to give them information that they need to register to vote and become informed voters," he explains.

The free app is now available for iPhones.

Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. But Rudolph says a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that differences in voter turnout are significant.

"Forty-four percent of Hispanics said they were likely to vote in the November election, which compares to 70 percent of whites who say that they're going to vote," he points out.

That difference could be enough to sway the election results in many districts.

The difficulty in engaging young voters is nothing new, and there are other efforts under way to try to motivate them to vote. 

Rudolph says the Unidos app is using a mix of news and useful information combined with shareable content such as emojis in Spanish and English.

"So we're hoping that by using the language of smartphones, that we'll be able to engage an audience that a lot of people have been scratching their heads over how to reach for many years," he states.

Rudolph points out that the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, and that court's recent immigration ruling, is just one example of the importance this election will have for the Latino community.


 

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Fireworks Safety Tips

     The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that celebrating the Fourth of July should be fun and safe for the entire family.  Unfortunately, consumer fireworks are not only dangerous enough to spoil the fun, they are dangerous enough to take lives.  You can have a great time celebrating Independence Day if you remember to keep your eyes on safety.

 

     To help keep your Fourth of July safe this year, RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Health Department, offers these safe suggestions.

 

FIREWORKS FREE

 

     You can ensure your children’s safety by supervising their activities and their environment.  Host a Fourth of July party for your kids and their friends.

 

      * Let your guests make decorations.  Kids make cute decorations from crepe paper, construction paper, stickers and glue.  These will provide fun and make the party look festive.  Local craft or hobby shops have the supplies and lots of good ideas.

     * Glo-sticks, glo-ropes and glo-jewelry provide safe and fun ways to brighten an evening.

     * Flashlights, plain or with filters made by wrapping the flashlight in colored cellophane, can light the night in fun, safe ways.

     * Neon and glow-in-the dark paint can provide both a fun afternoon project and a special evening display.  Kids enjoy watching their art take on a special glow as the sky darkens.

     * Novelty flashlights can be extra fun.  You can buy flashlights that have mirrors to bounce the light, and changeable colored filters or optic fibers that look like sparklers but are much safer.

     * Instead of attempting a risky fireworks display yourself - take the kids to your local community’s professional fireworks show.

 

SAFE SOUNDS

 

     Part of fireworks’ attraction to children is the big noise that goes with them.  Kids love making noise and there are lots of safe ways for them to do this.

 

     * Step or sit on inflated balloons until they pop.  Or inflate small bags.  Popping the bags makes a nice, loud bang.

     * Buy noisemakers from a party store.  Horns, whistles, bells and cymbals will also serve as sound fun.

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Fourth of July in Kewanee

The Fourth of July will be celebrated in Kewanee with several activities set for Monday.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and he says the celebration begins early on Monday morning…

The contributions for the fireworks have picked up as of late, but more donations would most certainly be appreciated…

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Home Sales in May

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The year’s housing market momentum continues with Illinois home sales and prices posting robust gains in May, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in May 2016 totaled 16,150 homes sold, up 6.0 percent from 15,237 in May 2015.

The statewide median price in May was $194,000 up 7.2 percent from May 2015 when the median price was $181,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Inventories continue to be tight across the state as buyers scour the market for deals,” said Mike Drews, GRI, Illinois REALTORS® president and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “The pronounced demand we have seen for more than a year appears to be setting this selling season up to be one where homes go quickly and for more money, which is a huge advantage for sellers.”

The time it took to sell a home in May averaged 59 days, down from 70 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 62,445 homes for sale, a 15.3 percent decline from May 2015 when there were 73,724 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60 percent in May 2016, unchanged from the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May 2015 it averaged 3.82 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in May 2016 totaled 11,664 homes sold, up 7.5 percent from May 2015 sales of 10,847 homes. The median price in May 2016 was $234,500 in the Chicago PMSA, up 6.1 percent from $221,000 in May 2015.

“Median prices continue to grow, in Chicago, much of the growth was generated by much more rapid increases in the prices of foreclosed properties rather than regular sale prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Given the uncertainty in the state’s economy and the pending national elections, the housing market continues to grow in terms of sales and prices and the short-term (three months ahead) forecasts remain positive.”

According to the data, forty-three (43) Illinois counties reported sales gains for May 2016 over previous-year numbers, including McLean County, up 21 percent with 288 units sold; DuPage County, up 11.5 percent with 1,507 units sold; and Peoria County, up 6.7 percent with 270 units sold. Forty-nine (49) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 32.9 percent to $112,900; McHenry County, up 13.0 percent to $200,000; Sangamon County, up 12.9 percent to $142,000, and Cook County, up 4.3 percent to $245,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 5.0 percent year-over-year home sales increase in May 2016 with 2,887 sales, up from 2,750 in May 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in May 2016 was $291,000, up 3.6 percent compared to May 2015 when it was $281,000.

“Sellers are still seeing healthy median price gains in the Chicago market, particularly in the single-family segment,” 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. “The 40 days it’s taking to sell a home in Chicago underscores the fast-moving nature of this market and shows that the city is powerfully attractive to buyers.”

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 June 7, 2016 for the period May 1 through May 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.

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

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HCFB Info

The Henry County Farm Bureau has a couple of programs of interest on the schedule.

Katie Laleman is the Director of the Henry County Farm Bureau and she says a three part marketing series for women will begin later this month…

Ms. Laleman adds that the final Market Outlook Seminar for the season will also be held in the month of July…

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Fourth of July at Northeast Park

The Kewanee Park District will host their annual free swim on the Fourth of July at the Oasis Family Aquatic Center in Kewanee.

Park District Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Johnson says it’s always a neat thing to offer the free swim to the community…

As many in the community know, Northeast Park has been the host site for the fireworks show for many years now and things will be a little different this year at the park…

Once again the public needs to be reminded that the north side of Northeast Park which has been an area for parking for many years will no longer be available and that means that parking will be at a premium…

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July Fourth Schedule in Kewanee

The Fourth of July will be celebrated on Monday and that will be a holiday for many people and will create some schedule changes along the way.

In short, most governmental bodies and many business establishments will be closed. Convenience stores and some retailers will be open and best to check with the various stores to get their holiday schedule.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, there will be no change in the garbage pick- up schedule in Kewanee for next week however there will be no landscape waste pickup on Monday.

The Henry County Court system and other county offices will be closed for the day on Monday.  

The United States Post Office will be closed on Monday with no mail delivery or window service.

The Fourth of July is also a federal reserve banking holiday and most if not all banks will be closed. Best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed on Saturday in observance of the Holiday with the reminder that they are always closed on Monday.  

All Black Hawk College facilities will be closed for the Holiday.

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Monday  with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

University of Illinois Extension Offices will also be closed on Monday and Kewanee Public Library will also be closed for the Fourth. 

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