Local News Archives for 2016-12

HCS Holiday Info

The New Year’s Weekend is here and that is a wonderful holiday for most people.

Some will even enjoy an adult celebration and Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla says it’s also suppose to be a warm and wonderful time as well…

Many will celebrate on New Year’s Eve and often times the pro’s will stay home as the amateurs can dominate the late night scene…

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ISP And New Year's Eve

Law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers over the course of the New Year’s weekend. They will also be looking out for those drivers that are speeding and using their cell phones while driving.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson out of District 7 in East Moline says it’s not their goal to write tickets as such, but it is their goal to see everyone get home in a safe manner…

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Windmont Update

The final days of viewing the display at Windmont Park in Kewanee are now here.

A reminder that the display will be on all night long on New Year’s Eve but that will be the final night as the display will come down on Sunday, New Year’s Day.

Bob Neirynck with the Windmont Lighting Committee says that any volunteers that would like to help with the tear down on Sunday, can just come to Windmont Park any time on Sunday morning to help with the tear down effort…

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Wethersfield Finance

The Wethersfield School District, like most other school districts in Illinois continues to operate with lots of uncertainty coming out of Springfield.

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says the impasse at the state level begins at the top…

Mr. Kazubowski adds that despite all of the promises made by Illinois lawmakers, they, like many others have not received any kind of payments from the state…

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PNB Makes Contribution to Kewanee United Way

 

 

This year Peoples National Bank of Kewanee and its employees have made a contribution of $10,850.60 to the Kewanee Area United Way.

 

“We’re very proud to support the Kewanee Area United Way,” said Lindsey Osborne, Marketing Coordinator at PNB. “It’s a donation that goes to work in our own community for local organizations and citizens. For PNB, this is the best way to give back and contribute.”

 

PNB makes many contributions, both large and small, to various local organizations throughout the year. As a local business and community bank, PNB is committed to supporting the local community and its charities and organizations.

 

The Kewanee Area United Way strives to bring together people and resources to improve lives within our community. All donations stay local and are vital to the success of the organization. For more information on how to donate or get involved, visit www.kauw.org.

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ISP November Activity

Illinois State Police District Seven announced that during the month of November 2016, Troopers handled 1620 calls for service and assistance.  Of these calls, 132 were to help motorists whose vehicles were disabled on area highways.

 

Criminal activities during the month included 2 persons apprehended for being wanted on outstanding warrants and 24 arrested for other criminal offenses.

 

Traffic enforcement activities resulted in 334 drivers arrested for speeding and 124 cited for seat belt violations.  Driving under the influence arrests totaled 24, while 20 apprehensions for other alcohol related offenses were recorded.  Troopers issued a total of 753 traffic citations and 738 written warnings to motorists during the month.

 

Troopers and weight inspectors issued 54 citations for overweight loads and issued 88 written warnings for overweight violations.

 

District Seven Troopers handled 42 traffic crashes within the four county area of Rock Island, Henry, Knox, and Mercer. There were no fatal crashes handled by District 7 Troopers. 

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New Year's Schedule

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be celebrated this coming weekend and that will create some schedule changes along the way. Many entities will observe just the one day for the Holiday off of the regular schedule with a day off on Monday, January 2nd.

City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, January 2nd with the reminder that there will be no change in the garbage pick- up schedule in Kewanee for this week and also next week.  Also the reminder that residents will be allowed 5 extra bags of trash on their regular route pick up this week.

Again, many entities will have a normal schedule this week and will be off on Monday, January 2nd in observance of the New Year Holiday.

Some of those groups include the Henry County Court system and other county offices, The United States Post Office, and most banks will be closed on Monday, January 2nd but banks will have different schedules for the weekend and 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, December 31st and on Monday, January 2nd and will re-open on Tuesday, January 3rd.      

Area schools including Black Hawk College facilities remain closed with many local schools returning on Wednesday, January 4th.    

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Monday, January 2nd with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

University of Illinois Extension Offices remain closed from through Monday, January 2nd.

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center will be open on Friday, December 30th but will be closed on Monday, January 2nd and back open on Tuesday, January 3rd

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Mid-Wife Service at OSF

 

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee is announcing that they will offer a Mid-Wife Service in 2017.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist at OSF St Luke and she explains how the new service will work…

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FB Info

The harvest for 2016 is now pretty much complete and most farmers are looking ahead to the 2017 growing season.

Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says that many producers are now making their plans and decisions for the coming year…

While many farmers are looking ahead to next year, some others are still making contributions to the Bushels For Hunger program from the 2016 crop…

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American Red Cross and Harlem Globetrotters Partner to Bring Help and Hope to Families

 

 

The American Red Cross Central and Southern  Illinois Region has joined forces with the Harlem Globetrotters as itsofficial charity partner through the team’s Great Assist initiative to help people in the Central and Southern Illinois Region prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small.

 

Known globally as the Ambassadors of Goodwill, the Harlem Globetrotters’ Great Assist initiative, which was launched in October 2015, promises to spread 100 million smiles over the next decade through sportsmanship and service. As part of a two-year partnership, the Red Cross will engage the Harlem Globetrotters nationally and locally in all aspects of its mission. During the first year, the team will join the Red Cross, along with local fire departments and other community partners, as the organization works to install its one millionth smoke alarm by October 2017 to help Americans stay safer from home fires. The Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region has already installed more than 6,700 throughout the Central and Southern Illinois Region.

 

“We are thrilled to have this incredible support from the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “The fun and interactive way the team engages with the community will help to build greater awareness around our mission and the critical need to help people at risk for and impacted by disasters every day.”

 

Trained Red Cross disaster volunteers in the Central and Southern Illinois Region respond to disasters such as floods, tornadoes and home fires. Last year, the Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region assisted more than 1,300 families following a disaster, most of which were home fires.

 

“This partnership brings two great American organizations together in order to achieve a common goal—to help people in need and to put smiles on people’s faces,” said Howard Smith, President of the Harlem Globetrotters. “We look forward to helping the Red Cross achieve their goals by incorporating their messaging into everything we do on and off the court.”

 

The Harlem Globetrotters will feature the Red Cross at more than 300 games throughout the basketball season, including the game in Moline, Illinois on January 7, 2017 at the iWireless Center. The game will feature a Red Cross PSA and in-game player announcement. Visit HarlemGlobetrotters.com to find a complete schedule of games. 

 

Harlem Globetrotters Legacy

For more than 90 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have been a leader in fun and wholesome family entertainment, and committed to being Ambassadors of Goodwill across the world. Every year, the team travels to hundreds of schools, children’s hospitals and overseas military bases, bringing people together through acts of kindness. The Great Assist initiative continues the legacy of giving back by providing the Red Cross a new platform to build awareness and deliver on its critical mission throughout the year.

 

For more information about donating visit Redcross.org/HarlemGlobetrotters. People can also support the Red Cross by texting ASSIST to 90999 to make a $10 donation, and by visiting Redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800- RED CROSS to schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets near you. To learn more about the Harlem Globetrotters, please visit Harlemglobetrotters.com.

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WKEI Open Line

Christmas greetings and winter memories are discussed during the December 23rd edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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Lights at Windmont Park

The Holiday lights at Windmont Park will be left on all night long on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Bob Neirynck is the Director of the Windmont Park Lighting committee and he says it’s his hope that the public will continue to enjoy the Holiday extravaganza…

Needless to say but the public has once again responded very well to the display this year…

For those volunteers that put up the display, it leaves a warm and wonderful feeling knowing that the public is enjoying that holiday postcard…

As for that ferris wheel, it may well be back once again at next year’s display…

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AAA Chicago: Holiday Travel to Reach the Highest Level on Record

More than 103 million Americans—the most on record—are expected to travel for the year-end holidays, according to AAA. This represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2, 2017.


In Illinois, 5.3 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 1.1 percent increase from 2015. Of those travelers, 4.9 million will be driving (up 1.1 percent from 2015) and 292,000 will be flying to their destination (a 21.4 percent increase from 2015). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.28, up from $2.01 in 2015. The average price nationally for gas is $2.22. AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year compared to the same period last year.

In Indiana, 2.3 million people are expected to travel, which is a 2.9 percent increase from 2015. Of those, 2.1 million are expected to travel by auto (3.1 percent increase) and about 123,000 by air (.7 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.18 per gallon, up from $1.92 this time last year.

The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.

“This will be the most-traveled year-end holiday season on record, particularly for those who drive,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If you are planning a road trip, now is the time to get your vehicle inspected. Look for a facility displaying the 'AAA Approved Auto Repair' sign to ensure a trustworthy inspection that could catch any problems before they arise.”

Most travelers will drive this holiday season
The vast majority of travelers—93.6 million people—will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.

Holiday airfares, hotel rates and car rental prices mixed 
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, holiday airfares are projected to average $204 for a roundtrip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. Rates for AAA Two and Three Diamond Rated lodgings are expected to increase 7 percent, with travelers spending an average of $128 and $160 per night, respectively. Daily car rental rates will average $66, slightly lower than last year’s holiday travel season.

Warm-weather destinations top the list of most popular holiday destinations
With the exception of New York City—an-ever popular holiday destination—warm-weather locales in Nevada, Florida and California top the list of most popular destinations for this holiday season, based on AAA.com bookings.

1.      Las Vegas, Nevada

2.      Orlando, Florida

3.      New York City

4.      San Diego, California

5.      Anaheim, California

 
AAA to rescue more than 980,000 motorists this holiday season
AAA expects to rescue more than 980,000 motorists over the 11-day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

For motorists who may encounter winter weather conditions during their holiday road trips, AAA recommends checking windshield wipers and inspecting tires to ensure safe drivability before setting out. Pack an emergency kit containing a snow shovel, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, warning devices and extra warm clothing for everyone riding in the vehicle. When driving, slow down and do not tailgate. Leave following distances to a minimum of five to six seconds to allow additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.

Before hitting the road, drivers should also get plenty of sleep to avoid driving drowsy. Researchfrom the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who miss just one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double their risk for a crash. For long trips, drivers should travel at times when normally awake, schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles, avoid heavy foods, travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving, and avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

 

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Third TIme's A Charm For Blago?

Just before Christmas, imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich is asking for another appeal. Blago’s lawyers filed it late Tuesday. The request is to nullify his 14 year prison term along with seeking another sentencing hearing. Blagojevich has already been through one resentencing but Federal Judge James Zagel didn’t alter the number of years that the politician would stay behind bars. This time his lawyers argue that the ex governors good behavior should be taken into account when considering a new sentence. 

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Illinois Hoops Ready for Braggin Rights

The Illini and Missouri Tigers are back on the floor tonight in the annual bragging rights game. The Illini are 3 and 1 in the game with John Groce as head coach. This year is the third straight year when neither team will be ranked at tipoff. Over all the Illini are 9 and 3 and the Tigers are 5 and 5. If the Illini win tonight it will be their 6th in a row and bring to a close of an undefeated December.

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WKEI Open Line

Holiday weather is discussed during the December 22 edition of the Open LIne

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Kewanee Public LIbrary on Tuned IN

Sara Billiet discusses the Holidays during the December 22 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Gov. Rauner announces over $1 Million in Recreational Trail Grants

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced $1,019,200 in grant funding for multi-purpose recreational trail projects that will create or improve trails in six Illinois counties. Funding for the projects is supported by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program.

 

“Our trails showcase all the beauty Illinois has to offer,” Governor Rauner said. “Whether you’re enjoying them with family and friends or your pets it’s a great opportunity to explore our state. These grants will improve access to our trails across Illinois.”

 

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants provide up to 80 percent of the cost of the trail projects.  RTP grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, for trail construction and rehabilitation, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail uses, construction of trail-related support facilities such as picnic areas, parking and restrooms, and for educational programs.

 

The grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

 

"These grants will help create and improve outdoor experiences for the people of Illinois.  Getting people to enjoy everything the state, and the Department of Natural Resources has to offer, is why working partnerships like this with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are great," said Wayne Rosenthal, director for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

“We are pleased to partner with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in this important effort to improve trails in Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are confident these grants will enhance the quality of life in our communities and make Illinois an even better place to live, work and play.”

 

The RTP grant projects are listed below.

 

Motorized Projects

 

Saline County - The Williams Hill Pass Association will receive $42,500 in grant money to be used for trail maintenance in Saline County.  It will allow for maintenance and restoration for the association’s 25-mile OHV system, as well as help upgrade trailhead facilities, security, and promotional programming.

 

McHenry County - The McHenry County Snowmobile Association will receive a grant of $37,600 to help purchase a tractor and snowmobile trail groomer in McHenry County.  The equipment will be used to help maintain public snowmobile trails.

 

McHenry County - The Wonder Lake Lakers/Sno-Bugs Snowmobile Club will receive a $24,800 grant to be used for a UTV update in McHenry County.  It will allow the club to replace a 1996 Kawasaki Mule with tracks, and it is to be used for trail inspections and maintenance.

 

Non-Motorized Projects

 

Winnebago County - The Rockford Park District will receive a grant of $200,000 to be used to build new trails and repair existing trails in Winnebago County.  It will also allow for improved amenities, trailheads, and signage.

 

Champaign County - The Village of St. Joseph will receive a grant of $198,300 to be used for the development of trail spur and trailhead to serve the Kickapoo Rail Trail.  It will allow for trail work, restrooms, and amenities.

 

Henry County - The City of Geneseo will receive $116,000 in grant money for the construction 2.2 miles of bike lanes in Henry County.   It will help with construction of 1.4 miles of bike lane augmented by a crossing signal, as well as .8 miles of bike boulevard connecting downtown Geneseo to the Hennepin Canal.

 

Champaign County - The Champaign County Forest Preserve District will receive $200,000 to assist with the construction of asphalting near the Kickapoo Rail Trail in Champaign County.  It will allow construction of 1/3-mile of asphalt section near the trail. 

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Jim Dison Announces Retirement

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison is announcing that he will retire in 2017.

Chief Dison says he will be retiring in just a little over five months time…

For many people, the announcement of their retirement is often times a difficult decision to make.

Chief Dison says it was also a difficult decision for him…

Chief Dison is hopeful that his replacement will come from someone currently in the department and he also notes that everything changes once the announcement is made…

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OSF Holiday Schedule

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will be closed in some of their departments over the course of the next couple of weekends.

OSF Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens outlines the holiday schedule…

Needless to say, but the Emergency Room at OSF will remain open twenty four seven during the holiday time frame…

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City of Kewanee Holiday Schedule

 

City offices and the Transfer Station will be closed Friday 12/23/16 and Monday 12/26/16 for the Christmas holiday. 

 

There will be no changes to the trash pickup schedule for the week of 12/26/16.  All trash and recycling will be picked up on regularly scheduled days. 

 

Residents are allowed 5 extra bags of trash along with their regular pickup for this week only.

 

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

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Ron Michaelson knows a thing or two about elections.

Ron Michaelson knows a thing or two about elections. He was the first Director of the State Board of Elections and held the post for nearly three decades before retiring in 2003. Hacking has been a concern at his old agency after someone hacked into the state voter database earlier this year. But, Michaelson says talk of more sinister hacking is off base. He doesn't entertain the possibility foreign interests directly impacted results of the Presidential election...

Michaelson is now a professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

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Specialty Crop conf coming to Springfield

On of the biggest, and most diverse, ag conferences of the winter is coming up January 11-13th at the Crown Plaza in Springfield. IFB’s Jim Fraley says the Specialty Crop, Agritourism and Organic Crops Conference has something for everyone.

Find out more about the Specialty Crops conference at Specialtygrowers.org. The dates, again, are January 11 through the 13 in Springfield. You can register online or through your county Farm Bureau

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Cong. Davis weighs in on Trump cabinet picks including possible ag chief

Congressman Rodney Davis says concerns about President Elect Donald Trump's cabinet are off base. Davis says two of the choices stand out as strong choices in his mind....

Meanwhile, Trump has yet to make his pick for Agriculture Secretary.
Her nutrition policies have been called more restrictive than the first lady’s.
There are just a few open spots left on President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and one of the big remaining questions is whom he will pick for Agriculture secretary. Davis believes there's a great pic among rumored candidates, not only for the post but to help his party's strength in the Senate...

Fortune Magainze reports other possible candidates include former Texas Ag Commission Susan Combs, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, Nebraska cattleman Charles Herbster, Texas’s current Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

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State Biggest Loser in Population Game

The state has suffered though a fairly rough year – and now the Census Bureau is piling on. Official numbers show the state lost more people from July 2015 to July 2016 than any other state. More than 37,000 people moved out. Illinois joins 8 other states that lost population over that time, New York and Pennsylvania are also on the list. The states that grew include Utah, Nevada and Washington. 

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WKEI Open Line

The state of Illinois is discussed during the December 21 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI

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Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for November

 

Debra “Nikki” Dixson of Kewanee was recognized as Achiever of the Month for November at Abilities Plus.  Nikki was nominated by her peers for this honor because of her positive attitude, good attendance and relationships with co-workers, improvement on goals, and her willingness to participate in agency activities.

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IDOT partnering with law enforcement to keep roads safe over holidays


 

 

CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and local police throughout the state are teaming up to make sure driving sober and buckling up are a holiday tradition. As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, nearly 200 law enforcement agencies will be out in force across Illinois in an end-of-year push to drive down fatalities.

 

“The most important gift your friends and family want is you home safely,” said Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT's Office of Program Development. “Driving zero fatalities to reality is an ambitious but achievable goal that requires the cooperation of every motorist on Illinois roads. Please, buckle up and drive sober this holiday season.”

 

Enforcement will take place around the clock, but heightened during the nighttime hours. Motorists will see roadside safety checks, hundreds of seat belt-enforcement zones and extra patrols looking for impaired drivers and seat belt-law violators.

 

“DUI is one of the most preventable factors in holiday fatal traffic crashes,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Throughout the holidays, the ISP will conduct extra patrols and roadside safety checks with an emphasis on removing impaired drivers.  Help make this a better holiday for everyone by designating a driver before you celebrate. Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

 

Crash data for the month of December from 2011-2015 show that fatalities occurring during late-night hours had a much higher percentage of impaired drivers. The highest percentage came between midnight and 3 a.m., when 64 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were at or above the legal limit. December data also show the lowest use of seat belts by vehicle occupants killed in crashes occurred at night, with the 9 p.m.-to-11:50 p.m. timeframe at just 24 percent of motorists properly restrained.

 

The holiday crackdown comes as traffic fatalities are up across the nation. As of Dec. 19, 1,034 people have died this year on Illinois roads. A total of 998 people died in crashes in all of 2015.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket programs are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by IDOT in Illinois, with the support of ISP and local law enforcement.

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Goodfellows Baskets Today

The Goodfellows Christmas baskets will be delivered today.

The project is spearheaded by the Kewanee High School Key Club along with students from the Wethersfield Key Club and other organizations including the Kewanee Kiwanis Club.

Amron Buchanan is the Kiwanis Adviser to the KHS Key Club and he says the distribution begins right around 9 this morning…

Mr. Buchanan notes that as long as the address on the card is correct, it will not be necessary this year to be at home in order to receive the basket…

The distribution should be wrapped up by early to mid afternoon today.  

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Five 4-H members from University of Illinois Extension 4-H Received State Awards


 

University of Illinois Extension serving Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties is celebrating the achievements of five of its 4-H members from the unit.  Each received state awards on Saturday, November 19 during the 2016 Illinois 4-H Award Recognition event in Champaign, Ill.  The work of these stellar young ladies reminds us of the important role 4-H plays in developing future leaders– helping them build skills that enable and inspire them to benefit not only their own lives, but also that of their local community’s. 

 

Shelby Ledbetter of Rock Island, IL received the Illinois 4-H LCP (Leadership, Citizenship, Professionalism) Award, Legacy of Leadership Scholarship and State 4-H Award in Communication.  Shelby started at the club and county level by working on her communication skills, sharing with others through community service, and helping others as a 4-H Teen Teacher and 4-H Teen Hunger Ambassador.  She advanced to become a member of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, served as a Speaker for Illinois 4-H trainer, assisted at State Fair and served on the Illini Summer Academies planning committee and helped plan two teen leadership conferences.

 

Kaley Rouse of Toulon, IL received a State 4-H Award in Community Service.  She credits the communication skills gained through 4-H as being most helpful in her community service activities.  From calling bingo at a nursing home to writing letters to veterans, helping at the fireman’s breakfast to filling holiday baskets, these are just a few of the many service projects she has worked on.  Kaley started her own charity “Helmets and Heels” which collects new stuffed animals and toys and donates them to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and St. Jude.  The ability to interact with the children and play with them as she delivers the gifts is an opportunity that she cherishes most and reminds us, ”Everyone has the opportunity to take a stand and be involved in community service.”

 

Clare VanSpeybroeck of Rock Island, IL received a State 4-H Award in Leadership.  She was a charter member of the 4-H Teen Hunger Ambassadors where she worked in community gardens, helping needy families plant container gardens of vegetables.  She volunteered for mobile food banks, and helps to set-up, prepare cook and serve at free community meals for local individuals and families Rock Island County 4-H offers each month.  She has participated in four large meal packaging events which parceled over 120,000 meals for the local food bank.  After participating in several, Clare took on the responsibility and challenge of leading and planning a meal packaging event of her own.  She secured a location, researched costs, applied for grants and sought funds through appeals to organizations and individuals.  She organized two food packaging events, one ins 2015 and one in 2016 which generated over 30,000 meals for the community.  Clare credits 4-H for allowing her this opportunity and teaching her the skills to plan, lead and complete the projects.

 

Brandi Welch of Aledo, IL received an Illinois 4-H LCP Award and State 4-H Key Award.  She had been involved in a variety of 4-H projects including Horses, Rabbits, Sewing, Textiles and Flower Arranging.  She was also involved in horse bowl and Hippology.  She serves as a 4-H Teen Teacher, 4-H Teen Mentor and is a Mercer County 4-H Teen Hunger Ambassador.  She has participated in meal packaging activities, food collection, river clean up and raising funds for school backpack programs.  She also served on the Extension Council and has taught parliamentary procedure to 4-H members.  Brandi believes leaders are never afraid of hard work. “We do whatever it takes to get the job done.”     

 

Courtney Wiedenmann, Coal Valley, IL received an Illinois 4-H LCP Award, Legacy of Leadership Scholarship, State 4-H Key Award and State 4-H Award in Project Mastery.  Courtney said her involvement in 4-H has led her to places she never imagined.  She has been involved in Hippology and Horse Bowl and has taught members about horses and the industry, through which she developed her leadership and communication skills.  Courtney started a new 4-H Special Interest Horse Judging Club last November.  She is a member of the state Speaking for IL 4-H Team and State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team.  Last spring she also attended the National 4-H Conference.

 

For more information on 4-H in Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties, visit their website at University of Illinois Extension: web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call Cheryl Geitner, 4-H Educator in the Galva, IL office at (309) 932-3447 or Diane Baker, 4-H Educator at the Milan office (309) 756-9978.

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Quad-Cities Market No. 4 For Physician, Surgeon Job Prospects

The Quad-Cities market has recently been ranked No. 4 among "Big Cities Markets'' in the U.S. for doctors to live and work. The "2016 Best Places for Physicians and Surgeons'' report was released by careers and personal finance website, GoodCall.com.
The markets are ranked by salaries for physicians, affordable cost of living, community amenities and career listings for physicians and surgeons. Only the Scranton Wilkes Barre region of PA., Eugene, OR., and Lincoln, NE., were ranked higher among the big markets.
The average physician and surgeon salary in the Quad-Cities market is $228,950. There were 36 job listings for physicians and surgeons at the time of the study. Housing affordability was 4.75 percent of average salary and there were 1,009 arts, entertainment and recreation venues in the region at the time of the study.
To see all the rankings, go to https://www.goodcall.com/data-center/2016-best-places-physicians-and-surgeons.

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WKEI Open Line

Shingles is discussed during the December 20 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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SCFB on Tuned IN

Harvest analysis in Stark County is discussed

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Health Dept Award Winners


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' and the Henry County Health Board are pleased to announce the 2016 Health Department Employee Service Award recipients.  This year's winners include:

 

          Ann Jetel, LPN of Kewanee, Clinic Nurse, Formal Retirement after 28 Years of Service

 

          Roger Anderson, of Galva, Maintenance Supervisor, 20 Years of Service

 

          Sharon Milliken, of Galva, Account Clerk, 15 Years of Service

         

          Ann Cromien, of Galva, Clinic Secretary, 15 Years of Service

 

          Lisa Pitzer, of Kewanee, WIC/Clinic Secretary, 10 Years of Service

 

          Donna Ericson, of Galva, Secretary/Billing Clerk, 10 Years of Service

         

          Heather Mirocha, of Kewanee, Clinic Billing Supervisor, 5 Years of Service

 

          Jessica Hand, LPN of Kewanee, Clinic Nurse, 5 Years of Service

 

          Heather Haga, of Galva, Lead Home Care Coordinator, 5 Years of Service

 

          Dorothy David, of Annawan, Environmental Health Services Director, 5 Years of Service

 

    Health Department Administrator, Duane Stevens states, "The Henry County Board of Health recognizes that honest, loyal and qualified employees are the most valuable assets of the Health Department.  It is because of their dedication and commitment that we have been able to contribute so much to the health and well-being of the community."

 

    For more information on the services of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

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HHH OB Unit to Close in 2017

Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo will close down their Obstetrics unit in 2017.

Darcy Hepner is the Manager of the Hammond Henry Foundation and she acknowledges that this was a tough decision to make…

Ms. Hepner adds that the transition is underway and in some cases, employees may lose their positions with the hospital…

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Santa at PNB on Friday

The Peoples National Bank of Kewanee is announcing that due to the power outage last Friday, they had to postpone hosting Santa in their  lobby.

The event has been rescheduled for this coming Friday, December 23rd from 3:00 – 4:30. That just right here in the downtown Kewanee lobby. 

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KPL Holiday Schedule

Kewanee Public Library is announcing their schedule for both Holiday weekends.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says they will be enjoying back to back four day holiday weekends…

Ms. Billiet also reminds those folks that are home bound that the library does offer a delivery service and sign up requires only a minimal amount of paperwork…

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Chief Dison Offers Holiday Advice

During this holiday season be particularly vigilant for those scam attempts, fictitious lottery notifications and any attempts to gain your personal account information.  These are now daily occurrences throughout our country.    While shopping keep track of your purse or wallet and the contents of your shopping cart as you leave a store because it only takes seconds for someone to remove something of value if you have your attention diverted.  Try to keep packages in your vehicles covered or in the trunk so someone walking by can’t see what you have purchased  and unload the vehicle when you get home. Don’t leave packages in the vehicle that may be taken overnight.  Please join the Kewanee Police Department in watching over your friend’s and neighbor’s properties when you know they are away.  Should you see anything or anyone  suspicious please call the department so we may check on the situation.  And finally, please make sure your vehicles are locked and that the keys are removed to avoid finding your vehicle missing when you go out to use it.  

The Kewanee Police Department wishes one and all a safe and Happy Holiday season and New Year.  Chief Dison

 

James F.Dison, CPC

Chief of Police

Kewanee Police Department

401 E Third Street

Kewanee, IL 61443

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Lang pushes for school bus seat belts

State Representative Lou Lang has seen enough. After watching a number of students lose their lives in a Chatanooga, Tennessee bus crash, he wants to make seat belts on school buses mandatory. Lang wants new buses to include so called three point seat belts. Six other states have similar requirements. It would cost between 5 and 10 thousand dollars to add the seat belts.

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IDOT road conditions on web

Most of us will be doing some traveling over the next couple of weeks, and with the wintery weather, road conditions can be a concern. The Il Dept of Transportation has a website, WWW.gettingaroundillinois.COM, that is updated 24/7 with current road conditions of interstates and major state routes in Illinois. Brian Williamson of IDOT, says salt and plow truck drivers call in conditions with information that gets quickly posted to the site’s map.

That website again is WWW.gettingaroundillinois.com and is available on your computer or mobile device. In addition to weather related road conditions, the site updates traffic delays, repair work and road closures year around.

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Frerichs envisions impact of end of stopgap budget

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs isn't sugarcoating the potential impact of the end of a stopgap budget cycle New Year's Day. He also says there's plenty of blame to go around...

Frerichs has a number of concerns including the future of higher education...

Frerichs recently noted the state missed out on $5.5 million in investment income due to the budget impasse.

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WKEI Open Line

Last Friday"s power outage is discussed

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OSF on Tuned IN

Immunizations and Screenings are discussed during the December 19 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

 

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Senior Center Info

When inclement weather strikes in the winter time, the Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee has a rule of thumb when it comes to whether or not they will be open that day.

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll explains their policy…

Ms. Schmoll reminds the public of their annual Christmas dinner which will be held at the Center on Tuesday evening…

Ms. Schmoll adds that unless you have a large group that will be coming for the meal on Tuesday night, not necessary to call in advance…

Ms. Schmoll also reminds those people in the home delivered meals program, they can order ahead for a meal over the holiday weekend…

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BHC closed Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, students can register online

 

All Black Hawk College locations and facilities will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2. However, minimester classes will be conducted Dec. 27-30 at the Quad-Cities Campus.

 

Students can register for Spring 2017 classes while the college is closed.

 

Registration is available online ONLY Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2 with online payment by credit card or electronic check only.

 

Students can look up Spring 2017 classes at www.bhc.edu/schedules. Registration information is available atwww.bhc.edu/register.

 

Spring 2017 classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.

 

For more information, call 309-796-5300.

 

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Kewanee City Holiday Update

With Christmas Eve on Saturday and Christmas Day on Sunday, Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley is reminding citizens that there will be no change in the garbage pick-up schedule for this week and next week…

That’s Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley,,and a reminder to citizens that Christmas wrapping paper is not recyclable like other paper stocks are. 

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IDOT Warning of Dangerous Travel Conditions

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is advising the public that a combination of freezing rain, snow, high winds and extreme cold is expected to significantly impact travel this evening and during the overnight hours. Icy conditions and low visibility could make driving treacherous.

 

“If you have plans to be on the roads tonight and tomorrow morning, you should first ask yourself if your trip is necessary before heading out,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are working hard throughout the weekend to make our roads safe and passable as quickly as possible, but conditions are expected to be very challenging. Please give our crews room to work and expect much longer than usual travel times.”

 

Since Friday, whenever possible, IDOT crews have been pretreating bridges, overpasses and ramps, the areas most susceptible to icing. The department will have more than 1,700 trucks and 3,700 employees available statewide to battle the storm, applying salt and plowing where needed.

 

Motorists still should expect slick roadways and be extra cautious when driving. The public is encouraged to plan ahead and allow plenty of extra time for any kind of travel. For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visitwww.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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Power Outage in Kewanee

We received numerous calls about the power outage in Kewanee. We called Ameren and they told us the power went out for over 1,000 customers around 2:37 pm. A contractor was utilizing their equipment which caused the outage. The power should be back within an hour to an hour and a half. It is currently 3:55 pm.

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Radogno talks term limits and budget

The less than friendly budget negotiations this month could give someone a Scrooge like attitude this time of year but Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (Ruh-doan-yo) says Republicans and Democrats may not be as far apart as they appear....

Governor Rauner continues to demand support for term limits before he is willing to consider a stopgap budget. Radogno says the issue doesn't require complicated analysis....

The current stopgap budget runs out December 31st. 

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Scholarships available from IAA Foundation

It’s that time of year when high school seniors are thinking about college, and their parents are thinking about tuition payments. Whether you have a student in your family heading off to college, or already in college, the IAA Foundation has scores of scholarships available, according to Susan Moore, director of the IAA Foundation.

Those 71 scholarships are generally awarded to students who are majoring in an ag related field, or whose family has a connection to one of many farm organizations or businesses. Moore says there is an easy on-line application process.

That site again is IAAFOUNDATION.ORG
The requirements vary for many of the available scholarships, but there is one on-line application and from there the foundation staff will match the applicant up with applicable scholarships. And remember to contact your county Farm Bureau. Many counties operate their own scholarship programs for students in their area.

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Rauner says property tax freeze is about giving voters control

For anyone who follows Illinois dysfunctional political saga, they likely know where the battle lines are drawn in budget talks between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan. In recent weeks, Rauner has maintained he won't consider a stopgap budget unless lawmakers agree to term limits and property tax freeze legislation. Rauner says the tax freeze legislation is all about shifting power to voters....

Madigan has rejected Rauner’s reforms and says the Governor and legislative leaders need to work exclusively on a budget. 

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Frerichs reunites family with Purple Heart, hopes for similar endings

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has reunited the Springfield family of a Korean War Vet with the Purple Heart he received more than sixty years ago. Treasurer Frerichs turned over the recovered Purple Heart earned by Army Corporal John Naylor to his daughter Barbara Ann Reynolds at the State Capitol. Frerichs hopes to have similar holiday stories in the future as he continues efforts to reunite veterans and their families with military honors they so richly deserved...

Naylor passed away in 2006 at the age of 75. The Treasurer's office continues efforts to return military medals and other property through the I-Cash program. 

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IRS on PTP

IRS agent Michael Devine discusses the upcoming filing season during the December 16 edition of People to People on WKEI

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Open Line

Cold weather is discussed

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Salvation Army Concert on Sunday

The annual Kewanee Salvation Army concert featuring Kewanee Klassics will be held on Sunday afternoon at the First United Methodist Church in Kewanee.

Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls says it is a wonderful Kewanee holiday tradition…

Ms. Bolls says the concert series started out many years ago with those efforts and proceeds going the Salvation Army and she says they have been at the Methodist Church with Kewanee Klassics for many years…

Kewanee Klassics is comprised of Dave Sherrard, Jim Blucker and Brock Tumbleson and Brock says they have made for many years now, a great contribution to the Salvation Army…

As Brock also notes, there is an interesting twist when it comes to the admission fee to the concert…

Once again, that free concert featuring Kewanee Klassics will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Kewanee beginning at two o’clock on Sunday afternoon.     

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Kewanee Christmas Schedule

Christmas Eve and Christmas will be celebrated next weekend and that will create some schedule changes along the way.

With the Holidays on the weekend this year, some of the changes will be minimal and in Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed on Friday December 23rd and also on Monday, December 26 with no change in the garbage pick- up schedule in Kewanee for next week and the week after.

The Henry County Court system and other county offices will be closed for the day on Friday, December 23rd and Monday, December 26.   

The United States Post Office will be closed on Monday, December 26 with no mail delivery or window service.

Many banks will be closed on Monday, December 26th but banks will have different schedules for the Christmas weekend and best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be open on Friday, December 23rd and will be closed on Saturday, December 24th and also closed on December 26th and December 27th.     

All local schools including Black Hawk College facilities will be closed in most cases for an extended Holiday break.    

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Friday, December 23rd and also on Monday, December 26th with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

University of Illinois Extension Offices will be closed from Friday, December 23rd through Monday, January 2nd.

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center will be open on Friday, December 23rd but will be closed on Monday, December 26th and back open on Tuesday, December 27th.

  

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Goodfellows Distribution Set For December 21

The Goodfellow’s Christmas Baskets will be distributed next Wednesday, December 21st.

Kewanee High School Key Club Adviser Amron Buchanan says today is the deadline to sign up for the baskets if not already done so…

Mr. Buchanan notes that this year, it will not be necessary to be at home in order to receive a basket…

KHS Key Club member Maddie Damron has been involved with the Goodfellow’s effort since she was in the 6th grade and she outlines how the effort has gone over the last few months…

Mitrese Smith is a KHS Key Club Junior Board member and she also has been involved with Goodfellows since the 6th grade.

She outlines how the process of creating the baskets comes together…

Mr. Buchanan adds that it’s quite a process particularly next Wednesday morning but he says it all comes together in the end…

Once again, the Goodfellows Christmas Baskets will be delivered next Wednesday morning beginning at 9 o’clock.     

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IDPH Cold Weather Health Safety Tips


 

 

As Illinois faces bitterly cold temperatures, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds people of the health dangers of extreme low temperatures and tips on how to stay warm.

 

Frostbite

Parts of the body most commonly affected by frostbite due to exposed skin include the face, ears, hands, and feet.  Frostbitten skin is whitish and stiff, and the area will feel numb rather than painful.  To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually.  Wrap the frostbitten area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc. and seek medical attention immediately.  Do not rub frostbitten areas because the friction can damage the tissue.

 

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused by a drop in body temperature to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or less and can be fatal if not detected promptly and treated properly.  The condition usually develops over a period of time, anywhere from a few days to several weeks.  Even mildly cool indoor temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia.  Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk of hypothermia.  Signs of hypothermia include:

·       Forgetfulness

·       Drowsiness

·       Slurred speech

·       Weak pulse

·       Slow heartbeat

·       Very slow, shallow breathing

 

 

If you notice these symptoms, take the person’s temperature.  If the person’s temperature is 95 degrees or below, call a doctor or ambulance, or take the victim directly to a hospital.  A drop in temperature below 90 degrees can create a life-threatening situation.  To prevent further heat loss, wrap the person in a warm blanket.  Do not give a hypothermia victim a hot shower or bath because it could cause shock.  Do not try to treat hypothermia at home.  The condition should be treated in a hospital.

 

 

 

Dressing for the cold

If you need to be outside, the following suggestions will help keep you warm and protect your body from excessive heat loss.

 

· Wear several layers of lightweight clothing rather than one or two layers of heavy garments.  The air between the layers of clothing acts as insulation to keep you warmer.

· Cover your head.  You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head.

· Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves.

· Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks or two pairs of lightweight socks.

· Wear waterproof boots or sturdy shoes that give you maximum traction.

· Cover your ears and the lower part of your face.  The ears, nose, chin, and forehead are most susceptible to frostbite.  Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect the lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.

 

Shoveling

Cold weather itself, without any physical exertion, puts an extra strain on your heart so know your limits when shoveling snow, especially if you do not exercise regularly.  If you have a history of heart trouble or any chronic health concerns, talk to your health care provider before shoveling snow.  You should rest frequently and pace yourself when shoveling.  Remember to lift the snow with your legs, not your back.  If you use a snow blower, never use your hands to unclog the machine.  If you become breathless, stop, go indoors and warm up before continuing.  If you experience chest or arm pain or numbness, stop immediately and go indoors; you may need to call 911.  Overexertion can cause sore muscles, falls, and heart attacks.

 

Heating Safety

For people needing to use alternative sources of heat, IDPH has the following reminders:

· Any heater that uses wood, coal, natural gas, or kerosene produces carbon monoxide (CO), so adequate ventilation is essential.

· Never use a generator indoors, even with open doors or windows.

· Do not use charcoal or gas grills indoors.

· Do not use a gas oven to heat your home.

 

You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes.  Symptoms of mild to moderate CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea and lethargy.  Higher levels of CO exposure can cause fainting, confusion and collapse and if exposure continues, death can result.

 

Weathering Winter information can be found on the IDPH website, and additional safety information is available on the state’s Ready Illinois website at

www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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New FDA rules on antibiotic use in livestock feed

Livestock producers should be aware that the FDA’s new Veterinary Feed Directive rule kicks in January first. In order to get better control of the use of antibiotics in livestock, the FDA will require a prescription, or Veterinarian Feed Directive, for a producer to obtain and add antibiotics to livestock feed.
Dr Bob Ebbesmeyer, from Stephenson County, is incoming president of the Il State Veterinary Medical Assoc.

In order to obtain that prescription from a Veterinarian, a livestock producer must have a ‘working relationship’ with the vet.
The new rules will be hard to avoid. Dr Ebbesmeyer says the FDA will likely enforce the new rules vigorously.

For more on the new Veterinary Feed Directive rules, contact your veterinarian and make sure you have a working relationship with your vet.

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Bad news from Caterpillar

Some bad economic news that won't play well in Peoria. Caterpillar is laying off an undisclosed number of employees because of expected bleak market conditions in 2017. The heavy equipment giant hopes to find jobs for some impacted workers elsewhere int he company. The company is more than a year into a multi-year restructuring plan. Up to 10,000 jobs could be lost before the worldwide program wraps up in 2018. Sales have dwindled from $66 billion in 2012 to an expected total of $39 billion this year.

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Frerichs reunites family with Purple Heart

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has reunited the Springfield family of a Korean War Vet with the Purple Heart he received more than sixty years ago. Treasurer Frerichs turned over the recovered Purple Heart earned by Army Corporal John Naylor to his daughter Barbara Ann Reynolds at the State Capitol. Frerichs hopes to have similar holiday stories in the future as he continues efforts to reunite veterans and their families with military honors they so richly deserved...

Naylor passed away in 2006 at the age of 75. The Treasurer's office continues efforts to return military medals and other property through the I-Cash program. 

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Open Line

Upcoming weekend snowstorm is discussed

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KHS Key Club on Tuned IN

The Goodfellows Christmas Basket distribution is discussed

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Drones to Offer New View on Transportation

 

 

 

 

 The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun testing drone technology to potentially help improve the safety of workers and the public, reduce costs and introduce new strategies on everything from bridge inspections to determining the appropriate responses to emergency incidents.  


“One of our main priorities has been to encourage staff to find opportunities to innovate and seek out new ways to use the latest technology that supports the important work we do,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.“While we are still in the experimental stage, we know that drones can gather valuable data to support a wide variety of applications. We are excited to launch this initiative that puts us on the path to becoming the most innovative department of transportation in the country.”

 

Recently, IDOT purchased two drones to explore ways to enhance mapping practices and regular inspections of bridges, as well as documenting progress in work zones. The drones are expected to play an important role in increasing efficiency and improving employee safety by reducing the need to have workers in the field in high-risk situations.

 

Testing of live-streaming video also is underway on how to manage and respond to disasters or emergency situations by providing real-time footage to key decision-makers on the ground.

 

The department envisions the new technology to eventually assist in 3-D design on projects, geological studies and technical exhibits. The drones also will be looked at as a resource to prepare materials that educate and inform the public about impacts of construction and future projects.   

 

Use of the drones will follow strict adherence of Federal Aviation Administration guidelines and be overseen and deployed by experienced personnel in IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics.

 

Visit IDOT’s YouTube channel to watch drone footage of recently completed highway projects in Illinois.

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Wethersfield Info

The Wethersfield School Board of Education passed their tax levy at last week’s board meeting.

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says that Wethersfield has one of the lowest tax levies in the area…

Mr. Kazubowski also notes how quickly the school year is flying along and says that students are ready for the Holiday break…

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Radon Test Kits Available


   

     The Environmental Health Division of the Henry and Stark County Health Department announces that they now have Radon Home Test kits available for purchase through their offices in Kewanee and Colona.  The kits are being offered at the low cost of $15 per kit. 

 

     Dorothy David, Environmental Health Services Director encourages area residents to give the gifts of good health and peace of mind this holiday season to the homeowner in their life; by purchasing one of these radon home test kits. 

 

     David notes, “Many people don’t even know that Radon gas is such a health threat.  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in the soil and water that can build up to dangerous levels in the home.  Radon gas is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and invisible and the only way to know if a home has a radon problem is to test for it. Breathing radon can increase ones risk of lung cancer.  If you are a smoker,  your risk is even more heightened.”

 

     David adds, “Radon gas found in 65% of homes in Henry County and 82% of homes in Stark County.  Radon is a Class A human carcinogen, meaning there is actual evidence that exposure to radon causes lung cancer.  It is the cause of 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States annually.”

 

     Testing your home is the only way to know if you have elevated levels of radon.   If radon levels, above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), are detected in your home; the Health Department can provide you with information regarding radon mitigation on our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or through our Environmental Health Division.  

 

     For more information  on Radon Gas or the Radon Home Testing Kits call (309) 852-0197.  Remember,  you can always Find Us on Facebook or Follow Us On Twitter.

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Book Signing Today at KPL

Kewanee Public Library will host a special event this afternoon.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says they will host an author with a book signing from 2-4…

Ms. Billiet adds that there will be several activities for the children over the course of the holiday break…

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HCFB Info

The Henry County Farm Bureau will move into their new building on Friday.

Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says it’s a move they have been looking forward to…

 

Ms. Laleman adds that in addition to more space, there will also be more access to modern technology in the new building…

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Huge Illinois land sale brings in over $50 million

More than 85-hundred acres of land in northwest Illinois sold Monday for a little over $55-million dollars. The late Maurice Wilder owned the land, and the sale drew so much attention it took place at Western Illinois University in Macomb. R-D Schrader coordinated the sale;

The large tracts of Illinois land brought about $65-hundred dollars an acre. Schrader, who runs his auction company out of Indiana, said they had 64 bidders. That dropped to just a few that wanted all of the land up for sale in Fulton and Mercer counties. The final sale went to an undisclosed buyer.

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Open Line

Coffee is discussed during the December 14 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

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Henry County Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

Farmers plans for 2017 are discussed by Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman

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Rauner Works Through Clemency Backlog

The Governor is plowing through clemency requests that he inherited from past administrations. Bruce Rauner has now eliminated more than 2,000 requests but he’s less lenient than Pat Quinn was. Rauner’s review of 2,300 applications since 2015 have resulted in a pardon about 3 percent of the time and he’s granted three commutations. Previously Governor Pat Quinn acted on more than 4,000 cases and Quinn granted pardons more than 25 percent of the time.

A pardon will can be sought after a person has finished serving a sentence and with a granted pardon the offender can go to court to have a conviction removed from a criminal record. A commutation will reduce or eliminate a current prison sentence.
 

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Winter weather expected to be variable

After a very mild month of November, December is turning out to be a little more wintery. Dan Hicks of Freese/Notis weather says the cold will hang around for a week or so,

After nearly a year where every month has brought above normal temperatures, December could end up at or below normal, but that doesn’t mean we are in for an overall cold winter.

Dan Hicks of Freese/Notis weather

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Schock pleads not guilty

Former Congressman Aaron Schock enters a not guilty plea in his federal corruption case in Springfield. He faces a 24 count indictment claiming he misused government and campaign funds for personal use. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough set a trial date for February 7th but that could be pushed back. .

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Davis says efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are moving ahead

Congressman Rodney Davis says efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are moving forward. Davis says coming up with a streamlined, unified plan is the key....

Davis says some aspects of Obamacare could be salvaged like protection for pre-existing conditions and a ban on yearly or lifetime dollar limits.

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IRS Info

The income tax filing season will soon be here and many people will look to get their returns as quickly as possible.

This year however, there will be two groups of filers that will not get their returns back any sooner than mid-February at best, and people in those two groups are arguably the ones who need the return the most.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis explains…

Devine says the reason behind all of this is that scam artists are abusing the system and the IRS is trying to rein in that fraud…

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Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for October

Abby Thorp of rural Kewanee was recognized as Achiever of the Month for October at Abilities Plus.  Abby was nominated for this honor because of her extensive background volunteering in the community at the Kewanee Public Library, St. Peter’s Evangelical Church, and the Henry County Humane Society.  She also assists her peers with a healthy snack class at Abilities Plus.

 

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Grief Support Group Meeting Tonight

The Grief Support Group Meeting will be held once again tonight beginning at 5 o’clock at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Father Jerry Rafalko agrees that grieving during the holidays can take on a different level…

Some people may not have lost a loved one, but they may have lost a job, perhaps a marriage or relationship is in disrepair, or may just be experiencing a down time in their lives.

Father Jerry says those people are also welcome to attend the Tuesday evening Grief Support Group Meetings…

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Keep Your Christmas Tree Watered

Christmas trees are still being sold and a number of real ones are already in homes. Now you want to keep that tree in as good of condition as you can for as long as possible. Illinois Extension Service Horticulturist Ron Wolford says once it’s in your home keep it simple – plain water with no other additives in the tree stand.

Check the water level often and keep it above the bottom of the trunk to avoid a sap seal developing on the bottom that will make it harder for the tree to take up water.

If you still need to buy one give it a shake and see how many needles fall off and if you want the freshest tree go to a tree farm and cut your down. 

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Instant lottery grand prizes not so instant

If you thought there was a lack of grand prize winners in Illinois Lottery instant games in recent years, you may be on to something. A Chicago Tribune report shows the lottery collected hundreds of millions of dollars in instant ticket sales from 2011 to 2015, but 23 grand prizes were never awarded. During the four year period, Northstar Lottery Group was managing the lottery.

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Open Line

Campuses as sanctuaries is a topic 

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OSF on Tuned IN

Holiday eating tips 

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KPL Family Night Tonight

Kewanee Public Library will host a Family Night Event this evening.

Sara Billiet is the Children’s Librarian at Kewanee Public Library and she says tonight’s program will be a fun one and as always, it is free of charge to the general public…

 

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SCFB Info

Illinois lawmakers continue to wrangle with the next step in the budgetary process and indications are that things could get ugly once again before too much longer.

Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten says the recent elections did provide a little bit of a break in the majority in Springfield…

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Priority Registration at BHC Ends This Week

 

Priority registration for Spring 2017 classes at Black Hawk College ends Wednesday, Dec. 14.

 Students can look up classes at www.bhc.edu/schedules. Registration information is available at www.bhc.edu/register.

 Last-minute registration will be Dec. 17 to Jan. 13 with payment due at registration. Spring 2017 classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.

 For more information, call 309-854-1703 or email registrar@bhc.edu.

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Illinois Added 8,600 Private Sector Jobs in November


The State of Illinois added 8,600 private sector jobs during the month of November, according to the ADP Regional Employment Report which is produced by ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, in collaboration with Moody's Analytics, Inc. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP Regional Employment Report measures the change in regional and state nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

 

November 2016 Report Highlights

Changes in Illinois State Nonfarm Private Employment: 8,600*

·         By Sector * 

o    Goods-producing -800 

o    Service-providing 9,400 

·         By Select Industries

o    Natural Resources/Mining and Construction -100 

o    Manufacturing -700

o    Professional and Business Services 3,700

o    Trade, Transportation and Utilities 2,900 

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

 

 

The December 2016 ADP Regional Employment Report will be released at 9:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. A full publishing calendar can be found at www.ADPemploymentreport.com.

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

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Schock case staying put

Former Congressman Aaron Schock's corruption trial is staying put in the Capital City. US District Judge Sue Myerscough rejected Schock's request to move his trial to his hometown of Peoria. Myerscough noted strong local vote totals for Schock in 2012 and 2014 in counties served by the Springfield federal court district. She believes that shows the area has no bias against the former GOP rising star. 

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ILFB Young Leaders

 

 

CHICAGO — The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Young Leader Committee elected its 2016-2017 committee members during the IFB Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, Dec. 3-6. While the committee was elected by Young Leader members, it must be confirmed by the IFB voting delegates Monday during the business session.

The committee members, which includes Chairman Marc Bremer of Massac County, Vice-Chair Kimberly May of Christian County, Secretary Ashley Paddock of Richland County, Governmental Affair and Commodities Subcommittee Chair Daniel Deuth of Ogle County, Education and Recruitment Subcommittee Chair Kaylee Shell of Kendall County, and Achievement Subcommittee Chair Reid Thompson of Champaign County, will assume their positions at the end of the IFB Annual Meeting.

Members of the IFB Young Leaders are 18-35 year-old men and women who are passionate about farming. It is a member-created, member-driven program of the IFB that allows members to promote agriculture and compete in events, including the Young Leader achievement award, excellence in agriculture award, discussion meets, quiz bowl, membership contest and county chair award.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 400,000 and a voting membership of more than 82,000. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

 

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Ameren IL Winter Tips


Ameren Illinois customers can further reduce their heating bills by implementing energy saving strategies:

 Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower this winter. You save about 3 percent on your heating costs for each degree you are able to lower your thermostat.

 Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of your home according to your family’s schedule – lowering the temperature when you're sleeping or away and raising the temperature only when needed.

 Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees for safety and energy savings. Lowering the setting of your water heater thermostat can save approximately 3 to 5 percent in energy costs.

 Only heat the rooms you need to heat by closing vents and doors to unused rooms.

 Adequately insulate your home, which can reduce your energy usage by up to 30 percent. In the Midwest, experts recommend having 9 to 15 inches of insulation in your attic.

 Keep drapes and furniture from blocking air vents.

 Use weather stripping and caulk to reduce air leaks. Pay special attention to walls, ceilings, windows, and vents in your basement. Air leaks in the basement are less noticeable but cost you money.

 During the winter, you want your ceiling fans to move warm air away from the ceiling and down to the floor, so your fan needs to run at a low speed in a clockwise direction (as you look up at it). The room will be more comfortable and heating costs will be lowered. It costs only $2 a month to use ceiling and other fans to circulate air.

 

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Author in Bishop Hill Tonight

A Peoria man who is originally from Geneseo has written a new book entitled Civil War Fathers, Sons of the Civil War in World War II.

Tim Pletkovich will be in Bishop Hill tonight and Saturday night for a book signing and he explains what his new work is all about…

Pletkovich adds that for the families involved it is quite a stunning story…  

In addition to the book signing tonight and tomorrow night, copies of the book will be available for sale at a cost of $25 and Tim says he will also be available to visit with folks about the book and all that went into the making of the book…

That’s Tim Pletkovich, author of the book, Civil War Fathers, Sons of the Civil War in World War II, which is also available at most major book stores

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Sue Hostetler Retiring

A long time employee of the Kewanee Police Dept will officially retire on Saturday.

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison says that Sue Hostetler will be wrapping up a long career of service to the city…

 

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Get Your Flu Shot

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) urges anyone who has not yet received a flu shot to get one as soon as possible.  December 4-10, 2016 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national observance to highlight the importance of influenza vaccination.  While many people typically get the flu vaccine in early fall, flu activity usually peaks between December and March, a time when people are with families and out in their communities.

“During the holidays, friends and families often come together to celebrate,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Although you may be in good health, people around you, like young children and grandparents, may be at higher risk of suffering serious complications from the flu.  A flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu.  If you don’t get the vaccine to protect yourself, do it to protect the loved ones around you.”

Every year, the flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of deaths.  Even healthy people can get sick from the flu.  Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Due to concerns about how well the nasal spray vaccine has worked during the previous flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is temporarily recommending that people stick to getting a flu shot and skip the nasal spray. 

In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.

· Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.

· Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.

· Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.

To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your local health department or log onto the IDPH website to find the Flu Vaccine Finder https://vaccinefinder.org/.

904**16

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Durbin salutes Biden

Senator Dick Durbin saluted his former Senate Colleague, Vice President Joe Biden on Capitol Hill Thursday. Durbin recalled telling then Presidential candidate Barack Obama of the virtues of Biden....

Durbin noted a number of Biden's legislative achievements before becoming a part of the Presidential ticket, including the impact of Biden's Violent Against Women act, which he credits with cutting violent against intimate partners by 67 percent between 1993 and 2010.

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Rauner Inks Exelon Deal

The ink is on the paper for a bailout of two nuclear power plants in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today that gives billions of state subsidies to Exelon Corporation. The dollars are meant to keep the power plants up and running – Exelon had threatened to close them if the state didn’t act. The bill provides $235 million a year to the company, caps increases in electricity charges for their energy customers and requires the plants, in Cordova and Clinton, to remain open for a decade. Rauner had blasted special deals in the past that would go so select corporations but changed his mind on this one.

The agreement caps power rate increases at twenty five cents a month for 13 years.

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ICC Authorizes a Decrease in Electric Distribution Rates for Ameren Illinois

The Illinois Commerce Commission today authorized new lower electric distribution rates for Ameren Illinois (Docket No. 16-0262) for 2017.

 

The new rates will generate approximately $14.488 million less, or 1.41 percent, in annual revenue for the company compared to the rates approved in the 2015 formula rate case (Docket No. 15-0305). Ameren originally proposed a decrease in annual revenues of $14.371 million, but the Commission made adjustments to the company’s advertising expense and cash working capital.

 

The Commission decision is the result of a thorough review of Ameren Illinois’ expenditures on capital projects completed in 2016. According to the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), electric distribution rates for companies like Ameren Illinois are set annually. In 2011, EIMA established a prescribed formula rate procedure for Ameren Illinois to recover actual, prudently incurred costs for delivery of electricity to customers.

 

The Commission Order follows a review during the past eight months of the company’s formula rate case filing in April 2016. That review involved two major components: 1) a reconciliation of Ameren’s actual 2015 revenue requirement, and 2) a determination of the new revenue requirements that included the company’s 2016 projected plant additions. The net effect of both components will be reflected in the lower rates to be charged in 2017.

 

The Order reflects an overall rate of return of 7.282 percent and a return on equity of 8.64 percent.

 

The company filed its initial formula rate petition in January 2012 and today’s Commission action is the sixth adjustment to Ameren Illinois rates under the formula rate mechanism. For a complete history of adjustments, go to https://www.icc.illinois.gov/electricity/iccreports

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Closing Reception at Vasa National Archive

 

The Vasa National Archive will be ending the 2016 tourist season with a closing reception of their 19th Century Sweden Exhibit on Dec. 9 – 10 from 6 – 9 pm. The Vasa National Archives, located at 109 S. Bishop Hill St. in Bishop Hill, IL, will provide hot drinks and refreshments during the Closing Reception. Brian “Fox” Ellis will be telling traditional Swedish and Pioneer Christmas stories during both nights at 6:30 and 7:30.

 

The 19th Century Sweden Exhibit briefly discusses conditions in Sweden surrounding the first four waves of immigration from Sweden, which began in the mid-1840s.  The exhibit looks at changes in business and industry, changes within the church, new agricultural practices, new markets for handcrafts, improved access to markets, and the development of different military and political agreements. This exhibit will be replaced with an exhibit on arts and crafts by Swedish immigrants and Swedish-Americans. The new exhibit will open April 1, 2017.

 

This event coincides with Bishop Hill’s Lucia Nights Weekend. Bishop Hill will begin the celebration with Lighting the Park Christmas tree at 6 pm on Friday, Dec. 9. Music, demonstrations, shopping, food, dancing and other activities will be available throughout the village on Dec. 9 and 10. For more information about Lucia Nights, call 309-927-3899 or visit www.bishophill.com.

 

The Vasa National Archive’s operational hours run from April 1 to mid-December, Tuesday through Saturday 10 – 4, Sunday from 11-3, and by appointment. For more information, contact the Vasa National Archive at VasaArchivist@gmail.com or at 309-927-3898. For up-to-date information, like us on Facebook.

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OSF Christmas Market

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host their annual Christmas Market on Friday.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist with OSF St Luke and she says it’s a great holiday event…

Ms. Boelens adds that holiday gift wrapping will also be available at the Christmas Market…

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National Handwashing Week

National Handwashing week is currently underway.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she says it may not sound all that important, but it really is…

Ms. Tucker adds that handwashing is especially critical at this time of the year…

Ms. Tucker also says that statistics indicate that while many people do observe good handwashing techniques, many other do not…

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Illinois Manufacturers' Association Statement on SB 2814

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association released the following statement in reaction to SB 2814:

"Today, Illinois' ability to compete for middle class manufacturing jobs was weakened by Governor Bruce Rauner's signature of SB 2814.

Last week, lawmakers approved a 500-page bill that significantly alters Illinois' energy policy with very little time for stakeholder review. We hoped that the Administration would take time to review this comprehensive legislation and contemplate the impact that electric rates have on Illinois job creators. 

Illinois manufacturers have lost nearly 10,000 good, high-paying jobs in the past year while our neighboring states are growing. Building a guaranteed electric rate hike into state law and reversing twenty years of deregulation is not the answer to get our economy booming again."
 

 

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USDA rural development in Illinois

With a new administration coming to Washington next month, Colleen Callahan will be ending her term as head of Illinois Rural Development for USDA. Callahan says since 2009, USDA rural development has provided nearly five billion dollars in needed infrastructure capital to rural Illinois.

The money isn’t just government money flowing in, but mainly low interest loans and loan guarantees that helps rural communities raise capital for projects they could not otherwise afford, like water and sewage plants, broadband internet, medical facilities, affordable housing and a host of other projects that low interest guaranteed loans make affordable.

Lincoln realized the economic importance of rural America and created USDA and established land grant colleges to help promote economic development, a program that continues today.

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AFSCME wins a round in court

St. Clair County judge Robert LeChien issues a temporary order blocking the Rauner Administration from imposing contract terms on state workers represented by AFSCME. Judge LeChien also ordered that any contract provisions that had been recently implemented should be rescinded. LeChien weighed in after the Illinois Labor Relations Board issued a written ruling that talks between Governor Rauner and the union reached an impasse. AFSCME has filed a "petition for review" of the labor board decision with a Cook County based appeals court.

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Selective Service System looking to fill local boards

The Selective Service System needs a little help. While there are no signs of a military draft on the horizon, they not only need to have potential military candidates on file, but they also need volunteers who serve on what could become local draft boards. Tony Libri (Lee-Bree) with the Illinois Selective Service program says there's no shortage of openings...

If anyone is interested in serving on their local Selective Service Board, call Libri at 217-836-7669

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Henry County Sheriff's Dept Info

The November elections are long over and the impact of the vote is still being felt in many quarters.

One of those is the Henry County Sheriff’s Dept which will likely see a decrease in available funds as voters turned down the county wide public safety tax.

In analyzing the vote, Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla says the south side of the county was generally in favor of the public safety tax…

Sheriff Padilla says that unfortunately, the north side of Henry County is where the vote was lost…

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Cold Weather Tips For Pets


Winter is hard on everyone with its freezing temperatures, snow and ice. The chilly weather can also be difficult for our pets and the American Red Cross has steps people can follow to help ensure their pet’s safety when cold weather hits their area.

 

“Bring pets inside, if possible, to protect them from low temperatures and severe winter weather,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.”

 

Other tips pet owners should be aware of include:

· Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

· Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.

· Signs of frostbite include discoloration of the frozen area, pale or even blue skin, no pain or lots of pain. The pads of the paws, tail and tips of the ears are most susceptible.

· If your pet has frostbite, bring them out of the cold. Spray the affected area with warm water. Lightly apply a warm compress to the area. Do not rub or apply pressure. Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

 

DOWNLOAD PET FIRST AID APP The American Red Cross Pet First Aid App provides dog and cat owners with resources on how to maintain their pet’s health and well-being and what to do during emergencies until veterinary care is available. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images from more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including what to do for cold-related emergencies.

 

Features in the app allow owners to:

·         Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians if they are out of town with the ‘animal hospital locator.’

·         Locate pet-friendly hotels.

·         Test their knowledge with interactive quizzes and earn badges that they can share on their social networks. They can also attach their favorite picture of their pet when they share their badge

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Kewanee Planning Commission Meets Tonight

 

The Planning Commission will meet in Kewanee City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, December 7, 2016.    There are two petitions upon which hearings will be conducted.  They are discussed below.

1:  831 Lake St, Denise Cook, requesting a special use permit for a beer garden at West side of the building.

2:  729 N Walnut St, Zepha Hutchison, requesting a special use permit for a beer garden at West side of the building.

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Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Elected to Democratic House Leadership


 

Late last night, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) was elected by her colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus to join the ranks of leadership. Congresswoman Bustos will serve as one of three Co-Chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) in the next Congress. In this new leadership role, Congresswoman Bustos will work to improve the Democratic Party's outreach and communications efforts to underscore the values Democrats are fighting for and hear the frustration that's being felt in rural communities.

 

“I’m honored the Democratic Caucus has elected me to serve in this new leadership position, and I want to thank my colleagues for their commitment to a thriving 21st Century heartland,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Over the years, rural America has seen too many small businesses on Main Street board up their windows and too many manufacturing jobs shipped overseas. In many of these communities, there's a very real sense that they've been left behind, and we saw that frustration on Election Day. As a party, Democrats have always believed in a vision for our country that puts working families first, but it's clear we need to do a better job listening and speaking with hard working men and women to earn their trust. Right now, President-elect Trump and House Republicans are talking about proposals to take health care coverage away from millions of Americans, end Medicare as we know it and allow greed on Wall Street to put the economic security of all Americans at risk. These types of proposals would take our country in the wrong direction and would be devastating to our communities. As we head into 2017, we will be drawing a clear contrast between Washington Republican's billionaires-first platform and the working families-first agenda Democrats are fighting for each and every day.”

 

First elected to a largely rural swing seat in 2012 when she beat a Republican incumbent, Congresswoman Bustos has proven how Democrats can be successful in the heartland by staying focused on an agenda that puts working families first, doing extensive outreach to hear from constituents across the 7,000-square miles of her district and delivering real results. During her last election, Bustos won by 20 points, which included wins in all 14 counties in the 17th Congressional District. Donald Trump won the district narrowly and carried 11 of the 14 counties.

 

The Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) is tasked with developing a message that forcefully communicates how House Democrats are fighting on behalf of working families. In this new role, Congresswoman Bustos will be serving as a Co-Chair with Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and David Cicilline (RI-1).

 

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Rauner draws line on state budget

Governor Bruce Rauner addressed Illinois farmers Monday, saying he will not agree to any proposed state budget without property tax relief and term limits for state lawmakers. The chief executive addressed members of the Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in Chicago;

Rauner says Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan won’t meet regularly to solve the budget stalemate and just wants to raise the Illinois income tax rate to five percent as a solution;

The Governor also blasted a group of state lawmakers who filed suit late last week to restore their pay. Rauner told the group of farmers that the General Assembly should be at the bottom of the budget priority list until they enact a state budget.

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Chamber of Commerce Info

The Illinois State Treasurer’s office will have representatives in Kewanee on Wednesday for an I-Cash event.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and he says it’s possible, you may have some valuables out there that you may not know about…

Mikenas adds that basic identification is all that is required to get the initial phase underway…

Mark also takes a look back to this last weekend when the Lil Miss Snowflake and the Little Mr. Jack Frost winners were announced…

Mark now takes a look ahead to the annual Run Your Ice Off event on New Years Eve…

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Christmas Tree Safety

Many people already have or will soon be putting up their Christmas tree and other Holiday decorations.

Martha Smith is a Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension and she say says caring for a natural tree does take a bit of work…

Ms. Smith says there are several other tips to keep in mind once the tree is up and in place…

Ms. Smith also advises to keep safety in mind with the decorations that go on the tree…

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Henry County Health Board to Meet


     The Henry County Health Department would like to announce the quarterly  

 meeting of the Henry County Health Board will be held at   6:30 p.m. on 

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016  at the Henry County Health Department office, 

Kewanee, Illinois.

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Stark County Health Board Meets Tonight

The Stark County Health Department would like to announce the quarterly meeting of

the Stark County Health Board will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

2nd floor, Stark County Courthouse, Toulon, Illinois. 

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Gas Prices on the Rise

 
   

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Drivers in Illinois and northern Indiana are paying more at the pump this week and prices will move even higher based on an agreement reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC announced plans to cut crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million a day, effective in January 2017. The shift is aimed at draining a global oversupply that led to lower fuel prices in the last two years.

 
Analysts believe the OPEC agreement could boost crude prices by $5 or more, which would directly lead to increases of at least 13 cents at the pump. Retail prices were already rising this week based on the expectation that a deal would be reached. Illinois and Indiana drivers are currently paying on average $2.21 and $2.17 respectively for a gallon of regular unleaded. These prices are respectively up from $2.16 and $2.05 from a month ago.
 
“Unfortunately, now that the OPEC deal has been made, drivers will likely see prices climb even higher as the price of oil jumps,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
 
While prices are rising after the OPEC deal, overall across Illinois and Indiana, drivers paid very reasonable prices last month. In November in Illinois, gas prices averaged $2.14, which was down $.13 from October, and just $.02 less than a year ago. In northern Indiana, gas prices averaged $2.03 in November, which was down $.11 from October and down $.01 from November 2015.
 
Other November monthly averages across the region: 
 
•In Cook County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.37, which is down $.11 from last month and even with last year’s price-per-gallon.
•In DuPage County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.18 per gallon, which is a $.12 decrease from October and down $.02 from last year.
•In Kane County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.14 per gallon, which is down $.14 compared to last month and $.01 lower than November 2015’s price.
•In Lake County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.14 per gallon, which is $.14 lower than last month and down by $.02 compared to this time last year.
•In McHenry County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.13 per gallon, which is $.13 lower than last month’s average and even with last year’s price per gallon.
•In Will County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.10 per gallon, which is $.16 lower compared to last month and $.04 lower compared to last year.
•In Champaign County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $1.98 per gallon, a decrease of $.10 from September and $.01 lower than last year.
•In McLean County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $1.98 per gallon, which is $.15 lower than last month and $.02 lower than last year.
•In Peoria County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.00 per gallon, which is down $.15 compared to last month and even with last year’s price per gallon.
•In Sangamon County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.02 per gallon, which is $.10 lower than last month and $.06 lower than last year.
•In Winnebago County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.07 per gallon, a decrease of $.12 from October and $.09 lower than November 2015.
•In Allen County, Ind., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.00 per gallon, which is $.14 lower than last month and $.01 lower than November 2015’s price.
•In Lake County, Ind., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.03 per gallon, which is down $.10 from October’s average and is even with last year’s price.
•In Porter County, Ind., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.04 per gallon, which is $.12 lower than last month and $.01 lower than last year.
•In St. Joseph County, Ind., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $2.06 per gallon, which is $.13 lower compared to last month and even with last year’s price.
 
 
Fuel prices are posted on-line at www.fuelgaugereport.com, which updates prices daily for unleaded, diesel and E85 blends of fuel.
   

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U.S. Rep. Davis staying put w/House Ag Committee

U-S Representative Rodney Davis says he plans to keep his seat on the U-S House Agriculture Committee. The Taylorville Republican addressed Illinois farmers participating in the Illinois Farm Bureau's annual meeting taking place in Chicago;

Davis told farmers he's "excited" about having one political party in control of the White House, the U-S House and Senate. He told farmers if a balanced budget depended on bargaining congressional office and committee moves underway, it would actually happen. In his words, "everyone's angling for something" as part of the transition from the current administration and Congress to the new ones that will officially take place in January.

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Mendoza sworn in as Comptroller

The Susana Mendoza era is underway in the Illinois Comptroller's office.
Mendoza will continue the policy of putting lawmakers in the back of the line for overdue payments....

Mendoza accused her predecessor Leslie Munger of making the delayed payments to lawmakers a move for political reasons. A handful of lawmakers sued Munger for overdue paychecks. She said the decision should have come months earlier. Meanwhile, Mendoza, who was dressed in a red suit belonging to Judy Baar Topinka, promised the continued bipartisanship and independence Topinka brought to the office...

Mendoza also said she and staffers were denied access to the Comptroller's office prior to the swearing in.

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Illinois farmers limit nutrient runoff into waterways

The Illinois office of the National Ag Statistics Service released a survey Monday on farmer progress and attitudes toward the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
The survey of Illinois farmers and landowners looked at progress since the base year of 2011, through the end of the 2015 crop year on improving management practices to reduce loss of nitrogen and phosphorus from fields.
Mark Schleusener, Il State Statistician with NASS says the survey shows real progress with nitrogen management on corn.

The survey will help the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council, or N-REC , target future education and outreach information. Julie Armstrong, exec director of N-REC says the progress made so far will help convince the EPA and other regulatory bodies that Illinois farmers can reduce runoff into our waterways voluntarily, avoiding future mandatory regulations.

Julie Armstrong of N-REC. Details of the extensive survey, covering implementation of a variety of management practices, can be found at NASS.USDA.GOV/pressreleases

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Lawmakers Suing To Be Paid On Time

A small group of lawmakers have sued the outgoing Comptroller demanding that they get their paychecks on time. Leslie Munger decided this year to put lawmaker pay in line with everyone else the state owes money too. That has prevented legislators from being paid since May. Six Democratic lawmakers say filed suit because that they have gone to work every day for six months and there are financial hardships for many. Munger understands how hard it is to go without pay and so do many in Illinois.

Munger’s just about done with her time as the state’s Comptroller. Democrat Susana Mendoza will be sworn in on Monday.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Munger says every dollar counts in state coffer’s right now and lawmakers can wait like everyone else.

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WKEI Open Line

The weekend snowfall and Colin Kaepernick are discussed during the December 5 edition of the Open Line on WKEI

 

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OSF on Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens talks about the upcoming Christmas Market during the December 5 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI

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Geneseo Doctor Honored by the Illinois Farm Bureau

Dr. Randall Mullin of Geneseo was honored over the weekend by the Illinois Farm Bureau. Dr. Mullin, a long time practicing physician in Geneseo, received the Eagle Award for Excellence for his 40 years of work in rural medicine and his involvement in the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistant Program. Dr. Mullin served as Chairman of the RIMSAP from 1991 until his retirement and was part of the RIMSAP Student Loan Fund Board from 1987 to 1991. Through the IFB Eagle Award for Excellence, IFB recognizes an individual or organization for excellence on issues or programs important to Farm Bureau and to agriculture on a statewide and/or national basis.    

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Handwashing Week


 

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that December 4-10, 2016 has been proclaimed National Handwashing Week.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Handwashing is the single most important means to prevent the spread of infection."  The CDC estimates that 36,000 die from the flu or flu-like illness each year, 5,000 people die from food borne illness each year, and approximately 78,000 patients die each year from Hospital Acquired Infections, for which a direct link to many of these deaths is poor handwashing.

 

    RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion states, "What people need to remember, especially during the cold and flu season, is that simple and consistent handwashing promotion and awareness is important for infection prevention, food safety, school health, personal health and disease prevention."

 

    To put this in greater perspective one should consider these startling statistics:

 

* 2/3 of adults in the US wash hands after using the bathroom.

* 1 in 4 adults do not wash hands after changing diapers.

* Less than 1/2 of Americans was hands after cleaning up after pets.

* 1 in 3 wash hands after sneezing/coughing.

* Less than 1 in 5 people wash hands after touching money.

* 1 in 3 E. coli occurrences is caused from not washing hands before handling food. 

 

    The Health Department staff notes that there are many critical times to wash your hands.  A few examples are before eating, after the toilet, during food preparation, after handling animals, upon arriving home, after changing diapers, leaving the hospital or physician's office and any time you think your hands are dirty.  Use soap, running water, and scrub all surfaces of your hands for 20 seconds and dry with a paper towel.  If a sink and soap are not available, use a alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

    In addition, the Health Department reminds individuals to practice flu preventative measures;  Clean hands frequently, Cover your nose and mouth when coughing, and Contain the spread of the flu virus by staying home when you are ill.

 

    For more information on good hygiene and infection control or to schedule a program, call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 (Henry) or (309) 852-3115(Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter.

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MOFFITT REFLECTS ON HIS CAREER

 

As the Illinois General Assembly went into its final days of the Veto Session last week, retiring State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) took a moment to reflect on his 24 years in the House chambers.

 Rep Moffitt said that while the body has become more polarized during the past few sessions, he hope that both sides being able to reach common ground is something he hopes will become more frequent in the future….

 

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Festive Sunday in Kewanee

It was a very festive Sunday in Kewanee with lots of Holiday activity all around town and of the course the highlight for many people was the lighting of the lights at Windmont Park where a huge crowd turned out for the opening night of the Holiday Extravaganza.

The evening began with the Lighted Christmas parade which ended up at Windmont, and then after a fireworks display the switch was pulled for the first time for the season.

An approximate 7 inch snow fall that hit the area on Sunday provided a perfect backdrop to the event. Almost on cue, the snowfall let up right around 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon just in time for the Treats on Tenney event that ran from 3:30 until 5.

Once the lights went on at Windmont, a huge line headed to the Shelter House for cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and other treats.

Long lines of children also waited to see Santa and Mrs. Claus and were treated to candy canes and a perfect Holiday Weekend went well into the evening.

The display at Windmont will be on each night all the way through New Year’s Eve til around 10 o’clock with the display on all night long on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  

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Kewanee Snow Ordinance

With the first snowfall of the season over the course of the weekend comes the reminder to keep vehicles off of city streets in Kewanee when a three inch snowfall or more occurs.

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison says his department will work with the public to try and get the cars off the streets but city crews have to get their work done too…

Chief Dison also reminds shoppers to keep a vigilant eye when out during the holiday season as unfortunately, there are some bad guys out there…

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Durbin salutes Kirk on Senate Floor

Senator Dick Durbin offered a sendoff to his Junior Senator Republican colleague Thursday. Durbin recapped six years of frequent cooperation with Senator Mark Kirk. He also saluted him on his recovery from a massive stroke four years ago....

Durbin says Kirk's service to the state and nation started long before he reached Capitol Hill's upper chamber...

Durbin says Kirk's successor Tammy Duckworth will work with him on Kirk's outgoing request that Durbin works to protect Lake Michigan.

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Rauner lays out terms for stopgap plan

After a big money campaign effort to reduce the Democratic majority in the Illinois House and Senate, Governor Bruce Rauner is turning to social media to weigh in on the budget. While House Speaker Madigan continues to push for another stopgap budget, Rauner has demands...

Madigan is accusing Rauner of planning a tax hike in the lame duck legislative session in January. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin maintains Madigan is the only one who has brought up a tax hike. 

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Madigan official weighs in on term limits

Term limits have been in Governor Rauner's playbook from the day he entered the political arena. The movement hasn't gained traction despite strong support in polling numbers from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. The spokesman for House Speaker Mike Madigan, Steve Brown, maintains term limits brings its a new set of concerns...

Brown says while many people may not like lawmakers as a collective group, they tend to like their own representative.

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Legislature passes bill to keep nuclear power plants on line

As the clock was running out on the fall veto session of the state legislature this week, a bill was passed providing subsidies for two Exelon nuclear power plants in Clinton and in the Quad Cites. The bill will keep the plants open for several more years.

Jak Tichener of the Paul Simon public policy institute at SIU. He says this bill has been in the works for quite a while and will rely on very modest rate hikes for Commonwealth Edison and Ameren customers.

Jak Tichener. The bill also has some tax incentives to promote wind and solar power, but despite efforts of southern Illinois legislators, the current bill provides no addition support for the struggling coal industry. 

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YMCA Auction

The annual Kewanee YMCA Auction will be held on Saturday afternoon beginning at 5 o’clock from City Hall.

Rachel Shrum is the Program Director for the Kewanee YMCA and she says it’s always a fun event…

Ms. Shrum also notes that there will be several ways to tune in to the auction…

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Landscape Waste Pickup in Kewanee

The City of Kewanee is announcing that Monday, December 5th will be the last day for landscape waste pick up in Kewanee for 2016.

The landscape waste pick up program will resume in the spring of 2017

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Windmont on Sunday

The lighting of the lights at Windmont Park in Kewanee will be held on Sunday evening.

As many people are aware, the Holiday extravaganza is one that many people look forward to and the Sunday when the switch is pulled is attended by a huge crowd.

In fact, estimates are that as many as 2,100 people attended last years’ opening night ceremonies.

Bob Neirynk is the main driving force behind the Windmont Lighting Committee and he says this year’s display will not disappoint…

The Lighted Parade will begin at 5 on Sunday afternoon and thing will really take off from there…

Bob says the switch for the lights will be pulled somewhere between 5:30 and 5:45 on Sunday evening…

Jo Huffman of Kewanee is also on the Lighting committee, in fact she is one of the original members of the group and she says that once again this year, they are seeking donations of cookies for Sunday night both homemade and store bought…

Back to Bob who says there will be ample time to see the entire display during the course of the holiday season…

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IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays

 If you’re trying to find the perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is offering ideas that will help your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. IEMA is focusing on holiday safety throughout December as part of its annual preparedness campaign.

“As we saw with the flooding last December, disasters can happen at any time and without much warning,” said IEMA Director James Joseph. “Giving friends and loved ones items that will help them be better prepared for the unexpected shows how much you care about their safety.”

Joseph said preparedness gift ideas include the following:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radio with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. These radios provide warnings and critical post-event information for tornadoes and other severe weather, natural, environmental and public safety hazards.
Flashlight with extra batteries. First aid kit with sterile bandages and gauze pads in assorted sizes; antiseptic; latex gloves; tweezers; scissors; soap and moistened towelettes; and thermometer.
Home emergency preparedness kit stocked with a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food; battery-powered radio, weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries; first aid kit; shut-off wrench (to turn off household gas and water); manual can opener; and fire extinguisher.
Vehicle emergency preparedness kit stocked with a flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; water and non-perishable snacks; blankets; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables; sack of sand or kitty litter; tool kit; and shovel.  The items can be packed in a backpack or rubber tub.

Most preparedness gift items can be found in hardware and department stores. For additional information on emergency preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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Madigan official weighs in on term limits

Term limits have been in Governor Rauner's playbook from the day he entered the political arena. The movement hasn't gained traction despite strong support in polling numbers from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. The spokesman for House Speaker Mike Madigan, Steve Brown, maintains term limits brings its a new set of concerns...

Brown says while many people may not like lawmakers as a collective group, they tend to like their own representative.

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Still no state budget

The state legislature wrapped up the fall veto session without a new budget. Lack of a budget slows economic growth in the state, due to uncertainty over future tax policy and funding levels for businesses that depend on state business. Dr David Merriman, economist at the U of I, Chicago, and part of the U of I’s Institute of Govt and Public Affairs, says the road map to a long term balanced budget is clear, involving a combination of budget cuts and tax increases.

Merriman says every day without action on spending cuts and taxes means the long debt keeps growing. Meanwhile, lack of a budget in the short term hurts the most vulnerable citizens the hardest.

The legislature will take up the budget issue again in January.

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R's Want Madigan to "Grow Up"

Republican’s at the Statehouse are not backing of the campaign mode of blaming House Speaker Mike Madigan for nearly everything that is going wrong in Illinois. The state party recently launched a Boss Madigan website and they were quick to blame him for missing one of the leaders meetings on Tuesday. Madigan notes he was ready to meet when the Governor was in Rome. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says there should be no issue or hurt feelings with taking a hard stance on the Speaker.

Madigan is indicating that he wants a stand-alone budget to be voted on. Holding off a vote or making separate any demands by Republicans on turn around agenda items. 

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A Push to Get Rauner Back to Table with AFSCME

Lawmakers are standing with the state’s largest employee union and asking the Governor to get back to bargaining table. The Governor and ASFCME have been determined to be at an impasse and that allows Rauner to impose his own contract terms to the union. State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat says that the two sides should still be meeting.

Nearly 3 dozen lawmakers came together to address the issue and Republicans and Democrats say that this is a nonpartisan issue.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO:

Republican Senator Sam McCann says that the issues at hand are not partisan and not about anyone part of the state.

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Illinois Home Prices Show Solid Gains in October; Sales Decline

 A drop in the number of homes on the market and a typical seasonal slowdown helped drive Illinois home sales lower in October even as median home prices continued to post solid annual gains, according to Illinois REALTORS®. 


Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in October 2016 totaled 12,469 homes sold, down 5.4 percent from 13,186 in October 2015.

The statewide median price in October was $179,000, up 6.9 percent from October 2015 when the median price was $167,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"While sales were softer in October on an annual basis, much of this can be attributed to a typical seasonal slowdown and the chronically low number of homes on the market." said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. "Given the relatively short time it is taking on average to sell a home, strong market demand might work to a seller's advantage as we start to close out the year."

The time it took to sell a home in October averaged 60 days, down from 69 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 61,837 homes for sale, a 14.7 percent decline from October 2015 when there were 72,495 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.47 percent in October 2016, an increase from 3.46 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In October 2015 it averaged 3.78 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in October 2016 totaled 8,762 homes sold, down 6.3 percent from October 2015 sales of 9,350 homes. The median price in October 2016 was $216,250 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 8.1 percent from $200,000 in October 2015.

“No doubt that the election contributed to a decline in sales, but prices continue to grow,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “For the next three months, price growth is anticipated to be a little stronger.  Declining supply contributes some uncertainty to sales growth.”

According to the data, thirty-two (32) Illinois counties reported sales gains for October 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 17.9 percent with 184 units sold; Kane County, up 6.8 percent with 593 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 1.5 percent with 263 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 20.9 percent to $133,000; Will County, up 10.3 percent to $199,900; and Cook  County, up 10 percent to $220,000.

The city of Chicago saw an 8.8 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in October 2016 with 1,981 sales, down from 2,173 in October 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in October 2016 was $262,000, up 9.2 percent compared to October 2015 when it was $240,000.

“Although the autumn market’s pace is reduced compared to the summer months, great opportunities to buy and sell property remain,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “As long as the low inventory continues, strategically priced properties will continue to fly off the market at higher prices.”

Sales and price information are 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 Nov. 7, 2016 for the period October 1 through October 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.

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Hunters in Illinois Harvested 54,452 Deer During the First Weekend of the 2016 Firearm Season


 

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 54,452 deer during the first weekend of the Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 18-20.  Hunters took 57,870 deer during the first firearm weekend in 2015.

 

Illinois’ seven-day Firearm Deer Season will conclude on Dec. 1-4.  

Other deer hunting opportunities in the weeks ahead include:

 

· Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 9-11;

· Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and CWD Deer Seasons (first segment) in select counties only on Dec. 29, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017;

· Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and CWD Deer Seasons (second segment) in select counties only on Jan. 13-15, 2017;

· Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 15, 2017 (archery is closed Dec. 1-4 in counties open for Firearm Deer Season)


Reminder:  A new rule allows hunters with a valid Illinois firearm deer permit to use archery equipment during firearm season on private land only; archery permits are not valid during the firearm season, except in those counties closed to firearm deer hunting.

 

For details on deer hunting, open counties, and other information, check the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting.aspx

 

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Murder at the Dunmore Lodge

 

The Kewanee Kiwanis club will host an encore presentation of our ‘Murder at the Dunmore Lodge’ play on Sunday December 4th at 2:00pm at the Petersen Auditorium, Kewanee High School.  This event will be a free will offering.  Refreshments will be served at intermission.  This is a fundraising event to raise funds for MNT (Maternal Neonatal Tetanus)  

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    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that the 29th annual observance World AIDS Day will be commemorated on December 1, 2016.  World AIDS Day aims to increase awareness of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and in the US.

 

    World AIDS day is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education.  The World AIDS Day Theme for 2016 is "Leadership. Commitment. Impact."  World AIDS Day 2016 is an opportunity to harness the power of social change to put people first and close the gap.  Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible, but only by focusing attention, partnering and achieving the goal of giving all people access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.  Making sure no one is being left behind.

 

    World AIDS Day 2017 Goals include:

 

    * Closing the HIV testing gap by helping the 19 million people who are unaware of their HIV-positive status to get support.

 

    * Closing the treatment gap, so all 35 million people living with HIV will have access to life-saving medicine.

 

    * Closing the gap in access to medicines for children, so all children living with HIV will be able to access treatment, not just the 24% who have access today.

 

    RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion adds, "To give people a more national perspective, according to the most recent CDC data, approximately 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV and nearly 1 in five of those are not aware that they are infected.  Also nearly 50,000 Americans become newly infected with HIV each year and more than 14,000 people with AIDS die each year in the US.  Yet, studies show that some of the populations with the highest rates of infection either do not recognize their risk or believe that HIV is no longer a serious health threat.  And research indicates that individuals who are complacent about the threat of HIV are more likely to practice risky behaviors."

 

     For more information on the Department's confidential AIDS/HIV testing and counseling, educational materials, and AIDS prevention services call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 or 792-4011 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website atwww.henrystarkhealth.com, find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us On Twitter.

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