Local News Archives for 2017-03

The Martin Family Circus will be the opening act at the Bureau County Fair

Just as one might imagine a circus to be — upbeat, unexpected, accomplished, and
exciting — the Martin Family Circus aims to bring that same joy and a room full of fun
with their heartwarming and lively “music that makes you smile!” This self-contained
vocal-driven melodic band of 2 parents and 4 kids ranging in age from 9-18 packs a
punch with their rich stack of family harmonies in a soaring blend, which Rolling Stone magazine calls “exuberant.” Representing four generations of musical heritage, Martin Family Circus delivers soulful family harmony, steeped in traditional roots. “Our house has always been like a live jukebox, with an all-you-can-play selection of musical instruments,” says Jamie. “Music completely covers our lives, so our kids have never known a day without it.”

Fueled by a mutual passion for many genres and longing for a fun, family-friendly musical experience for their kids, Paul and Jamie began singing together in 2010 with their four children: March (now 18), Kell (15), Texas (11), and Tallant (9). Quickly realizing that the kids all showed an uncanny knack for hearing harmonies and pitch, as well as for playing instruments, they began performing shows together. They were soon dubbed the Martin Family Circus by Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, playfully teasing with them about their growing number of kids and the craziness that goes hand-in-hand with a large family. “Ours is a real family, and we knew there was an unpredictable nature to working with our kids. But they were just crazy with passion, truly breathing through the music we were creating,” says Paul. “There was no other answer than for us to do this with them.” So where did it all begin? Grammy-winning artist Paul Martin, lead singer/guitarist of country-pop group Exile, met and married Jamie Allen, daughter of Duane Allen of Country Music Hall of Fame members The Oak Ridge Boys. Their four children were exposed early to 4-generations of rich musical heritage, and they watched as each child showed God-given musical talents early on. Practice soon led to performances around the Nashville area, then appearances on national television shows like The Oak Ridge Boys’ American Legion Christmas special, “The Marty Stuart Show” and “Larry’s Country Diner,” as well as singing the National Anthem for the NBA Indiana Pacers & Chicago Bulls. After a rousing performance of “Elvira” to a packed house for the Oak Ridge Boys’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Billboard Magazine heralded them as “singing to the rafters,” getting a crowd of seasoned performers and music industry folks to their feet.The Martin Family Circus’ newest CD project, Past, Present, Future, includes classic hits that inspiredthem to sing, current favorites that are inspiring now, and some brand-new self-penned material that they hope will inspire a new generation. Jamie says, “We have always felt that music is food for the soul, and that love is the answer to just about every situation. So for us, it’s all about pouring out our family’s joy and filling people up with a little musical love!” 


For more information and to order tickets see www.bureaucountyfair.com


Weaver Details Latest GOP Budget Plan

More state budget talks in Springfield. State Senator Chuck Weaver of Dunlap details the latest Republican proposal…

The state has been operating without a budget for two years. 


QC Lawmaker's Bill Puts Legislator Pay Behind Other Spending Priorities

Quad Cities area State Senator Neil Anderson is co-sponsoring legislation that provides greater flexibility to place priorities, like funding for hospitals, human services, and universities, ahead of legislator and constitutional officer pay. The bill follows a recent court ruling that put legislator paychecks ahead of other outstanding financial obligations.

Under the bill, the Comptroller is authorized to delay monthly salary payments to legislators if there are insufficient funds in the state's General Revenue Fund to pay all other obligations within 90 days after a voucher requesting reimbursement has been submitted to the Comptroller.


County Clerk's Office Open On Saturday For Early Voting

A reminder to the voting public that the Henry County Clerk’s Office at the Courthouse in Cambridge will be open on Saturday, April 1st for early voting.

The office will be open on Saturday from 8 am til 12 noon.

Early voting will also be held on Monday from 8-4:30 at the County Clerk’s Office.

Those wishing to vote early will need to bring their identification with them in order to vote early.   


Consolidation Election

The Consolidated Election will be held next Tuesday, April 4th with polls open from 6 am til 7 pm.

For the sake of this report, we will focus on the races specific to Kewanee and will list only those races that are contested.

In some cases, not only in Kewanee, but across Henry County, there are several races that have just the bare minimum of candidates, in some cases less than that and in some other cases, no candidates at all.

In Kewanee, there are two City Council seats on the ballot with four candidates running for those positions. Those candidates include incumbents Kellie Wallace-McKenna and Mike Yaklich, and also Tim “Hammy” Hamilton and Steve Faber.

For the position of Kewanee Park District Commissioner, there are three candidates running for two positions including incumbent Al Salisbury along with Jacque Verscha and Andrew Verstraete.

For Kewanee School District #229 Board of Education there are five candidates for four positions. Those candidates are Lori Christiansen, Michael Komnick, Scott Steffen, Jeffrey Johnson and Jan Padilla.

For Wethersfield School District #230 Board of Education there are six candidates for four positions. Those candidates are Jeff White, Sue Brody, Steve Newman, Allyson Schiltz, Angela Ryan and Jesus Ponce.

Board terms in both the Kewanee and Wethersfield Districts are for four years.

For the positions of Black Hawk College Board Trustee there are two seats up for grabs with three candidates. Those candidates are Jon Looney, David Emerick Jr. and Steve Spivey.

For Kewanee Township Trustee, there are seven candidates running for four spots. Those candidates include Mark Ouart, Charles Russell, Eric Wolf, John Sovanski, Tom Kazubouski, James Findley and Ted Sturtevant. 


Health Dept Closed On Good Friday

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments would like to inform area residents that our office will be closed Friday, April 14th in observance of the Good Friday Holiday.


    However, limited home health and homemaker staff will be working on those days to provide necessary in-home care.


    For more information, call the Health Department at 852-0197 or 792-4011 (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.


Springfield Remains In Dysfunction

Illinois lawmakers remain at odds over most issues in particular a state budget.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says that Illinois Democrats are not moving an inch toward compromise…


Seat Belt Usage Is Up

Motorists are using their seat belts more and more all the time with statistics indicating that citations for seat belt violations are way down.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says it is indeed a positive trend…


Trooper Wilson agrees that it’s hard to imagine a time without seat belts in vehicles…


Munger criticizes Mendoza handling of state lawmaker paycheck order

Comptroller Susana Mendoza is appealing a Cook County judge's ruling ordering that state lawmakers get paid and on time. Mendoza wants limited dollars going to the state's most vulnerable before lawmakers. Her predecessor Leslie Munger has rarely been on the same page as Mendoza, but she agrees with the decision. The agreement ends there.....

Munger says Mendoza should have taken an additional step beyond appealing the ruling...

Mendoza issued her appeal through Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office Tuesday. Last week, the judge ruled in favor of lawmakers who sued Munger when she was Comptroller. 


Kewanee Transfer Station Saturday Schedule

2017 Transfer Station Summer Hours


The Transfer Station will be open from 8:00 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays:


April 1, 2017

April 8, 2017

April 22, 2017

April 29, 2017

May 6, 2017

May 13, 2017

*May 20, 2017

June 3, 2017

June 10, 2017

June 17, 2017

June 24, 2017


*City Cleanup Day – Transfer Station open 8:00 – 2:00 for paying customers, free dump for Kewanee residents at the old hospital site from 7:00 – 2:00.


OSF Book Fair On Friday

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host a Book Fair on Friday.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist at OSF St Luke and she says the public always turns out at these type events…

mar 30 osf…:51…march 31st


BHE Trivia Night April 1

Have fun, show off your smarts and support the Black Hawk College East Campus Science and Math Club at the club's Trivia Night on Saturday, April 1.


Teams may have up to 10 members. Cost is $10 per person.


Doors will open at 5 p.m. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at the East Campus.


There will be prizes for the winning team and other door prizes for participants.


Participants may bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.


To reserve a spot, contact Briana Mills at 309-854-1816 or millsb@bhc.edu.


The Science and Math Club works hard to spark the interest of young students in all areas of science and mathematics. Trivia Night proceeds will be used to continue to grow the club’s vigorous youth outreach program in area schools.


Money raised also helps fund math- and science-related trips for club members. In the past, students have visited the Field Museum in Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and the Peoria Zoo and Arboretum.


Interest Strong For Farm Machinery On Secondary Market

The demand for farm machinery remains strong on the secondary market. Auctioneer Dale Jones had nearly 600 registered bidders on-site last Saturday at a consignment auction in Aledo that featured a large number of ag implements.

Among the top items.

The auction also featured another 100-plus bidders on-line. 


Ameren Offers Payment Options


Ameren Illinois residential customers who have fallen behind on their utility bill may benefit from programs and assistance being offered by the energy company.


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


“We understand some of our customers are facing tough economic times. We're offering this payment plan to help our customers to get back on track,” said Shirley Stennis, director of Customer Service for Ameren Illinois.


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


Residential customers with past due amounts who do not establish a payment plan or break an existing payment agreement will be subject to service disconnection beginning April 1.


“We encourage our customers to take advantage of this 10-percent down offer so they can avoid having their service disconnected,” Stennis said. “Disconnection of service is always a last resort.”


Some customers may be eligible to receive payment assistance through programs such as Warm Neighbors Cool Friends, a program of the Energy Assistance Foundation, which is funded primarily through the contributions of Ameren employees and customers. The program is designed to help those who generally do not qualify for federal or state heating assistance. Detailed information is available on the program website (WarmNeighborsCoolFriends.org).


In 2017, Ameren Illinois has allocated $750,000 in low-income energy assistance grants for qualified Ameren Illinois customers. In addition, the energy company will provide $1 million in grants to assist non-profit organizations, seniors and military customers with their utility bills.


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


About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to power the quality of life. Its service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.



Kewanee Well #4

The City of Kewanee is receiving some good news with regard to the city’s water system and in particular well #4.

City Engineer Mr. Dale Nobel acknowledges that this is a big deal for Kewanee residents…

Mr. Nobel says the city has taken a two pronged approach in dealing with the issue that if not resolved, would likely be very costly to citizens of the city…

When the matter first came to light a couple of years ago, the options appeared to be limited and expensive.

Mr. Nobel says it’s a great feeling to report the progress that has been made with more to come…


Eva Longoria To Deliver Address At Knox College Commencement

- Knox College announced today that Eva Longoria will be
the speaker at the 2017 Commencement exercises to be held in June. Eva
Longoria is an award-winning actress, producer, and philanthropist,
best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis on the hit show "Desperate

"Ms. Longoria's professional and personal accomplishments reflect the
values that liberal arts colleges like Knox hold dear -- appreciation
for the arts, critical thinking, resilience, the pursuit of lifelong
learning, and a commitment to social justice and community service,"
says Knox College President Teresa L. Amott. "It is an honor to
welcome Ms. Longoria as this year's Commencement speaker."

Longoria stars in feature films "Lowriders" (May 2017) and "All Star
Weekend" (Summer 2017), as well as the BBC miniseries "Decline and
Fall" (March 2017), and is set to star in the new Fox comedy series
"Type A." Longoria has directed episodes of acclaimed series "Jane the
Virgin" and "Black-ish" and will guest star on "Empire."

She is founder of The Eva Longoria Foundation to help Latinas build
better futures for themselves; co-founder of Eva's Heroes, which
enriches the lives of those with special needs; and is the National
Spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer, a non-profit committed to
improving the lives of children with cancer. Longoria has a master's
degree in Chicano studies.

Her entrepreneurial activities include serving as a Global Brand
Ambassador for L'Oreal Paris, ownership of BESO Restaurant in
Hollywood, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, fragrances EVA and EVAmour, a
New York Times-bestselling cookbook "Eva's Kitchen," and a home
collection line with JCPenney.

Notable Commencement speakers at Knox have recently included Senator
Richard Durbin, journalist William Whitaker, poet Natasha Trethewey,
actor Ed Helms, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, President
William Clinton, comedian Stephen Colbert, and then-Senator Barack

The 2017 Knox College Commencement will be held on Sunday, June 4 at
10:00 a.m. on the South Lawn of Old Main on the Knox College campus.
It is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1837, Knox College is a national liberal arts college in
Galesburg, Illinois. Knox enrolls students from 48 states and U.S.
territories and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic
Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas


Gov Wants More Lanes on I-55, Lawmakers Hold the Decision

Will the drive in and out of Chicago for hundreds of thousands possibly get a little better? The Governor wants lawmakers to move forward on a plan that would build additional lanes on I-55 otherwise known as the Stevenson. The catch is they would be for paying motorists only. The future I-55 would have a toll lane each way, only drivers that were willing to pay. Bruce Rauner says the go-ahead needs to be approved this week to secure private funding needed for the project.

Approval wouldn’t seem likely this week. The Speaker of the House Mike Madigan says that he hasn’t seen enough information about the project to move it forward. IDOT says that in all the project should cost about $425 million.


Illinois FFA Honoring Students For Work-Based Learning

Illinois FFA continues to honor students for their work-based learning. It’s called Supervised Agriculture Experiences and the organization recognized state proficiency winners in fifty different areas last weekend in Champaign. Nicholas Close of Aledo was tops in the state in the category of Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship.

Close, along with the 49 other state FFA winners, are now eligible to compete in the National FFA Awards Selection process in July.


Stark County Fatality

Students, faculty and administrators at Stark County High School are all mourning the loss of a Stark County student who was tragically killed in an accident on Monday afternoon.

District #100 Supt of Schools Mr. Jerry Klooster has issued the following statement:  


Stark High School student Bradon Ely was killed in a traffic accident west of Toulon yesterday afternoon. Friends, students and staff extend their deepest condolences to Bradon’s family. Everyone that knew Bradon is profoundly saddened by the events of yesterday and teachers, counselors and administrators will work today and throughout the next several days to ensure that friends and classmates are respected and cared for as we grieve together.  Bradon Ely was a wonderful, talented young man and there are no words to describe the sadness we feel today.


City Council on PTP

Kewanee Mayor Steve Looney and City Engineer Mr. Dale Nobel are the guests for the March 28 edition of People to People on WKEI



WKEI Open Line

President Trump's approval rating is discussed during the March 28 edition of the Open Line on WKEI  


Bustos Seeks Entries For Art Competition


Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) has invited high school students from across Illinois’ 17th Congressional District to submit their original artwork for the annual Congressional Art Competition. Congresswoman Bustos will be accepting submissions through the deadline, which is Thursday, April 13, 2017. There is a limit of one entry per student.

 “There are so many talented young artists across our region, and I highly encourage Illinois high school students to participate in this year’s Congressional Art Competition,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “The Congressional Art Competition is a tremendous opportunity for students’ work to be displayed for thousands of Americans to see.  As someone who has always had an appreciation for the arts, I’m honored to help feature the work of a young Illinois artist in the U.S. Capitol and look forward to seeing all of the entries.”

Any high school student from Illinois’ 17th Congressional District is eligible to submit their original artwork for consideration. To enter, students must submit a digital form through Congresswoman Bustos’ website, and also send a digital version of their art to Artwork.Bustos@mail.house.gov. All entries will be posted online for the public to vote for the eventual winner.

 The Congressional Art Competition, first held in 1982, is a nationwide high school arts competition sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives.  One winning piece of artwork from each House district will be selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington for the next year.

The winner of the competition will also win two airline tickets to Washington, D.C. Runners-up will have their artwork displayed in Bustos’ Illinois offices and in her Washington, D.C. office.

For further details on the Art Competition, including more information on how to enter, please visit Congresswoman Bustos’ website at https://bustos.house.gov/congressional-art-competition/.



School Funding Issues

The state of Illinois continues to short most school districts when it comes to financial obligations.

Kewanee Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens says that state lawmakers are currently looking at four different proposals to boost funding to school districts…

Dr. Sullens adds that various funding formulas are in place and the current effort in Springfield highlights the fact that school districts are not getting their fair share…


Spring Travel Tips

 Spring Break is no longer exclusively for college students. Illinois families will use the coming weeks to get away from the cold and enjoy vacation time between winter and summer. The Illinois Department of Insurance suggests you review these important tips before you leave.

Be Prepared

First, collect all pertinent insurance paperwork and make copies.  Review your insurance coverages to understand what’s covered. If your son or daughter is traveling alone, involve him/her in the review process. Explain the importance of keeping these documents safe and in an accessible location.

Auto Insurance

If you’re lending out a family car, show your child where you keep the insurance information in that vehicle. Review emergency procedures with them. Prepare a list of contact numbers and important information for quick reference (including the name/phone number of the insurance company/agent, policy number, and your complete contact details). Place this list with the insurance identification card in the glove box.

Print a copy of the below accident checklist and keep it in the glovebox. Review it immediately before they leave home, so the information is fresh in their mind.

• Following an accident, call 911. Do not put yourself in a dangerous situation on the side of a highway or road.
• Make sure to get contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident. 
• Provide your contact and insurance information to the other driver. DO NOT give personal information such as a Social Security Number.
• Do not admit fault.
• Take photos of the scene, including photos of the vehicles involved, if it is safe to do so.
• Get contact information for the police department that responded to the accident.

Are you or your children traveling in someone else’s vehicle as a passenger? The vehicle’s policy might not provide ample coverage in the case of an accident. If not, then your auto insurance and/or health insurance policy would kick in to cover any gaps.

Health Insurance

Getting hurt or sick away from home can be scary. Review your health insurance policy and the checklist below:

• Confirm that your son or daughter knows the name of the insurance company and has a list of emergency numbers (family doctor and your insurance company). Explain the meaning of general insurance terms like co-pay and out-of-network. 
• Everyone should keep your health insurance ID card, a list of your drug allergies, a list of drugs you are currently taking and information about any of your other medical conditions with you at all times.
• If you need urgent medical treatment or are in an accident, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
• If something happens to your child, advise them to have someone contact you. Make sure your child can provide the medical facility with your health insurance ID card.
• If you need to see a doctor and it is not an emergency, contact the insurance company to find a local physician who is in your coverage network. The phone number for the insurance company, your policy number and co-pay information are located on the insurance ID card.
• Keep all paperwork, including receipts from the doctor’s office, the hospital or any pharmacy if you filled any prescription(s).

International Travel

Generally, American auto and health insurance isn’t readily accepted outside of the United States. If you travel outside the country, your medical insurance is likely invalid which means you’ll pay for your care out-of-pocket. To find out more about the extent of your coverage, speak with your insurance agent or company before you leave home. You can also contact the Illinois Department of Insurance at http://insurance.illinois.gov/ or 866-445-5364.

Travel insurance can be purchased if you are concerned about accidents or losses during a trip. If you are considering the purchase of a travel insurance policy, review the policy terms carefully to make sure you understand all coverages and exclusions before making a purchase. If it applies, review the travel insurance policy with your child before he/she leaves, focusing on the process your child would use for getting assistance, if needed.

Group Travel

Group travel is a popular way for kids to travel away from home without a parent for the first time. If your child is traveling in a group with sponsors or chaperones, make sure you provide the group leaders with emergency contacts and insurance information as well.


Illinois Teen Having Big Year On Livestock Show Circuit

A Seaton, Illinois teenager continues to rack up wins on the livestock show circuit. Dalton Line and “Wacky Wade” picked up their latest Grand Champion Steer honors this past weekend at the Western Illinois University Hoof & Horn Jackpot Show. Line started the year by winning the Illinois Beef Expo in February.

Also this year, Line and “Wacky Wade” have Grand Champion Steer wins at the ISU Redbird Challenge and University of Illinois Spring Showdown as well as the AGR Spring Showdown and Steers and Stripes Classic in Sedalia, Missouri.


Manar once again pitches school funding reform

State Senator Andy Manar is promoting a school funding reform measure similar to a plan developing in the Illinois House. Manar's Senate Bill 1 would introduce an evidence-based model for funding Illinois schools, something recommended by the governor’s bipartisan school funding reform commission...

The new school funding system under the Manar plan would reduce reliance on local property taxes. Manar says the bill has a strong bipartisan flavor...

Under the evidence based model, the state would determine an adequate amount of per-pupil funding for each school district based on the traits of each district. A new base minimum funding level would ensure no district would lose any state funding


WKEI Open Line

Littering and Gummy Bears are discussed during the March 27 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


OSF On Tuned IN

Colonoscopies are discussed during the March 27 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI



Sewer Work In Kewanee This Week


Sewer maintenance will continue in several areas of town during Monday 3/27/17 through Thursday 3/30/17.  Contractors will be working on installing sewer liners in sewer mains the following areas:


Monday 3/27/17 – Green Street


Tuesday 3/28/17 – McKinley Avenue from Main to Vine


Wednesday 3/29/17 – Elm Street from Central to Oak     

                                        Oak Street from Main to Elm


Thursday 3/30/17 – 300 block of Tenney Street

                                1000 block of Madison Avenue

                                Val Mar Drive


Residents in these areas will not be able to use any sewer or household drains while work is taking place. Residents will not be able to wash clothes or dishes, take showers or baths, flush toilets, and should turn off sump pumps connected to sewer service. 


While work is being done, residents may detect an odor from drains inside their homes.  This odor is not harmful, but it is helpful to pour a gallon of hot water down any drains, sinks, tubs, and toilets in order to create a water barrier that will prevent odors from coming up the drains.


Door hangers will be issued by the contractor to every resident affected by the work 24 hours in advance of liner work being done and when drains cannot be used.


Because the equipment in this procedure requires use of water from neighborhood hydrants, residents in these areas may experience low water pressure or rusty water.  Residents are advised to use only cold water to flush out water inside their homes.


Police Chief Seeks Smooth Transition

Kewanee Police Chief Jim Dison will officially retire in early June and that means that Chief Dison is not only dealing with present day situations, but also looking ahead to another chapter in his life.

That said, it has to be a tough time right now with a variety of emotions involved…

Troy Ainley has been named as the new Chief of Police and Chief Dison says his number one goal is for a smooth transition…

Chief Dison adds that as law enforcement has evolved over the years, so has the level of criminals…

Chief Dison points to one example in particular highlighting the new aspect of police work…


Wethersfield Honor Roll

Wethersfield High School 3rd Quarter Honor Roll


High Honors


Emmalee Daniles

Liliana Hasse

Jules Heberer

Kaitlyn Witte


Lauren Bryan

Rachel Gomez

Kylie Mathis

Cole Sawickis

Brookelynn Smith

Lainee Winter


Kaylee Addis

David Alepra

Blake Cheesman

Hanna Clayes

Jacob Culver

Kaylea Gibson

Erin Henkel

Cecilia Liichow

Shang Lin

Kaleigh Nimrick

Katherine Perez

Charlotte Pillen

Nicholas VanWassenhove


Stephanie Bair

Alex Bryan

Samantha Culver

Amy Nyert

Zeb Phillips

Mariana Ponce

Rachel Rashid

Diana Satkauskas

Lauren Schmidt


Honor Roll


Brooke Cheesman

Zoe Dearing

Mariah Dickerson

Savannah Evans

Isaiah Franklin

Paige Horrie

Destinee Jaquez

Sydney Lambert

Alexis Nichols

Te’a Olmstead

Gabrielle Robinson

Hattie Rose

Kaitlyn Tudder

Hannah Weller

Leighton Woertz


Tess Anderson

Rachel Cook

Emma Hughes

Whitney Johnson

Sydney Krause

Taylor Lay

Brittney Litton

Tyler Nichols

Madisen Winter


Jeremiah Bair

Dane Dearing

Bryce Elias

Preston Evans

Joseph Fisher

Sara Gillespie

Brittany Grier

Courtlin Gustafson

Kirsten Hager

Nolan Hicks

Olivia Hodge

Terrence Huggins

Caden Humphrey

Diego Perez

Tori Rashid

Payton Rose

Jacob Schwerbrock

Mitchell Shimmin

Alex Shofner

Alexander Smith

Ashlee Werkheiser


Bryce Anderson

Jacob Boswell

Bryce Bumphrey

Adam DeWolfe

Jose Garcia

Jayna Hansen

Dalton Horrie

Jaxon Ince

Eden Juarez

Gustavo Perez

Kirstie Ramsey

Breanne Rosebeck

Jaden Underwood


Honorable Mention


Tevin Baker

Hope Bridgewater

Yoraima Chavez

Chiara Hendrix

Gabriella Perez

Alexander Ryan

Tiffany Sosa

Jacob Weller


Isaac Frank

Abigayle Hulslander

MacKenzie Lindstrom

Tytus Rashid

Alexandria Winter


MaKayla Hulslander

Olivia Jordan

Aja Luciani

Brooke Nelson

Nicole Tye


Emily Carmichael

Riley Tuthill

Evan Witte


Busy April In Bishop Hill


The historic site of Bishop Hill will begin the 2017 season with kick-off activities on Saturday, April 1. This is the weekend when we say goodbye to a long winter and get out and enjoy everything anew.  Shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums will be open for the season and will offer delights certain to be crowd pleasers.

·       Join the Vasa National Archives and Museum for an opening reception from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for their new exhibit.  This exhibit will display Swedish and Swedish American handicrafts, art, and the rise of the handcraft (sjöld) movement in Sweden.  Light refreshments are available throughout the day.

·       Garden Thyme will be hosting a Spring Birdhouse Gourd Workshop.  Folks can paint a gourd for the birds to enjoy in their gardens. The fee is $25 and includes the gourd and all paint supplies. Call 309 373-5314 to sign up for this workshop.

·       The Bishop Hill Museum will be providing bird nesting materials for people to put in their yards.  The museum is located at 304 South Bishop Hill Street.

·       The Colony Store will be having children activities.  A reading area will be set up for children to read books or be read to, and in addition, there will be origami demonstrations.

·       Beginning at 10 a.m. there will be a Toy Tractor Weekend in the Steeple Building Museum. A large variety of John Deere, Case, and International Harvester toy tractors and farm implements will be on display and for sale.  Call 309 927-3899 for more details. 

Mark your calendar for these other upcoming April events in Bishop Hill.  On April 22 at the Dairy Building, there will be a scholarly program about The Humor of Abraham Lincoln.  Also, on April 22, there will be the Swedish Stomp, a 5K run, and Skamperoo for the kids. On April 28, the Vasa National Archives will be hosting their annual Valborg Bonfire and Weiner Roast. 

Bring the whole family and help celebrate Swedish culture and heritage in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Pick up your 2017 Visitor’s Guide to help with your plans for attending all of the season’s events and activities. 



Trump's Rep on the Line On ACA Repeal Vote

As congress gets set for an expected vote today on the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act a Senator from Illinois says he’d be surprised if the bill doesn’t pass. Congressional Republicans are getting ready for an afternoon vote after one planned for Thursday fell through after members of the freedom caucus made it clear they would not support the original plan. US Senator Dick Durbin notes when the President says it’s time to pass the bill it always happens.

Durbin is strongly opposed to the Trump Care plan. Saying thousands of people in Illinois will lose healthcare coverage and still go the hospital looking for help



Tax info from IRS Agent Michael Devine


WKEI Open Line

Unaffordable health care is discussed during the March 24 edition of the Open Line on WKEI



HCS Warns Of New Scams

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla is alerting the public to the fact that more scam artists remain active in the general area.

Sheriff Padilla says scammers are always looking for new angles to get into your pocketbook…

Sheriff Padilla says that right now, certain area codes from callers might seem legit, but they likely are not…


March 29 Job Fair

Visit dozens of employers Wednesday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 2017 Job Fair at Black Hawk College.


The fair will be at the college’s Quad-Cities Campus, 6600 34th Ave., Moline, in the gym in Building 3. Job seekers should park in Lot 4 north of 34th Avenue. There will be a shuttle from Lot 4 to Building 3.


The Job Fair is free and open to the public. Dress professionally and bring plenty of résumés!


To see a list of employers coming to the fair, visit www.bhc.edu/jobfair.


For more information, contact Marceia Duhm at 309-796-5191 or duhmm@bhc.edu.



Upcoming Red Cross Blood Drives



The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood during National Volunteer Month this April. Donating blood is a simple way to make a profound difference in the lives of patients.


Nearly 2.8 million generous people donated blood through the Red Cross last year. The Red Cross salutes these volunteer blood donors who helped fulfill its lifesaving mission and invites others to roll up a sleeve and join them.


Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed this spring.


Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:






4/3/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Sacred Heart Church, 108 N. Main



4/12/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St.

4/13/2017: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m., Kewanee OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, 1051 W. South St.

4/13/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Kewanee OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, 1051 W. South St.



4/7/2017: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Woodhull Alwood High School, 301 East 5th





How to help

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.



Il Women Will March On Springfield On April 25

More than 50 organizations have joined a coalition to educate and organize around dozens of progressive bills being proposed in the Illinois House and Senate this session. 
They will bring together people across the state for the Illinois Women March on Springfield for a progressive agenda and responsible budget for all, Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
The bills include the Women’s Agenda, the People’s Agenda of labor issues, plus issues including immigration, homelessness, criminal legal reform, the environment, LGBTQ, gun safety efforts, healthcare, economics, education and passing a responsible budget in Illinois.

The march is in the spirit of the Jan. 21 women’s marches around the world, and just as those events attracted a wide diversity of people, the Springfield event is expected to bring together thousands of people across a range of intersectional issues.
The program will start at noon with a rally in front of the Lincoln statue at the Capitol Building, followed by a march around the capitol complex, and lobbying elected officials inside. At 2:30 p.m., there will be a final rally in the rotunda, including next steps on organizing support for the legislation still pending in Springfield. People are encouraged to make April 25 appointments now with their representatives and senators, and lobby for legislation from now until the end of May, when this session ends.
Illinois Women March on Springfield is co-chaired by Jaquie Algee (SEIU Healthcare and Women's March on Chicago), Tracy Baim (Windy City Times and Pride Action Tank), and from Springfield, Jennifer Camille Lee (Action Illinois and Women Rising-Illinois).
Other partners for the March include the Chicago Foundation for Women, Crossroads Fund, Indivisible Illinois, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Illinois NOW, CAIR-Chicago, Amalgamated Transit Union 308 (ATU), AFSCME, Chicago Women Take Action, G-PAC, Citizen Action, OFA, Mujeras Latinas en Accion, National Immigrant Justice Center, Sergeant Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, Women’s March Illinois, and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. See many more online. 
The website has a process where organizations and elected officials can join the effort, and people can suggest legislation. It also will have lobbying tips, and connections to how-to-find-your-legislator.


Quarter Madness On Friday

Quarter Madness returns on Friday with the event to be held at the Elks Club in downtown Kewanee.

The event has grown in popularity over the last several years and provides an opportunity for players to win prizes by bidding quarters at each turn along the way.

This will be the sixth annual Quarter Madness event and Committee member Carrie Boelens says the proceeds will be used in the community…

Paddles are purchased and then the bidding takes place from there and as Ms.  Boelens explains, there are different options available for players and she notes that if you’ve never played before, don’t worry, you’ll catch on quick…

Doors will open at 5:30 Friday evening a the Elks Club with a LaGondola style dinner available until supplies run out.

The event begins at 7 and usually lasts a couple of hours.

Committee member Dianne Packee says that once again this year, lots of great prizes are on the docket…


Legal Marijuana Proposed in Illinois

State lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesdaythat would end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.

The Senate bill, SB 316, is sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago), while the House version, HB 2353, was presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Each would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.

“Marijuana prohibition is a quagmire that creates far more problems than it prevents,” Cassidy said. “Several states have adopted sensible alternatives to prohibition, and it is time for Illinois to develop its own exit strategy. Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer.”
The bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce at the wholesale level, and retail sales would be subject to the state’s standard 6.25% sales tax. Based on current usage rates and the market price of marijuana being sold for adults’ use in Colorado, the Marijuana Policy Project estimates regulated marijuana sales could generate between $349 million and $699 million per year in new revenue for Illinois.

“Right now, all the money being spent on marijuana is going into the pockets of criminals and cartels,” Steans said. “In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Eight states have enacted laws regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use. A February Quinnipiac University poll found 59% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be made legal. Polls conducted by the Pew Research Center and Gallup last October found support at 57% and 60%, respectively.

“People are fed up with laws that punish adults for using a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol,” said Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The time is right for the Illinois General Assembly to re-examine marijuana prohibition and consider the potential benefits of a thoughtfully crafted regulatory system. The sky has not fallen in the eight states that have made marijuana legal for adults. It’s time for Illinois to move past prohibition and stop missing out on the jobs and revenue other states are already getting.”


Kewanee Planning Commission Meets Tonight

The City of Kewanee’s Planning Commission will meet in City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street at 7:00 o’clock this evening. There are two petitions upon which a hearing will be conducted. 

1:  150 E South St Suite J, Keith Rentschler, requesting a special use permit to serve alcohol by the drink.

2:  150 E South St Suite D, Lalit Patel, requesting a special use permit to sell packaged liquor.


New Kewanee Police Chief Named


The City of Kewanee is pleased to announce that Troy Ainley has been named as the City’s next Chief of Police.  Ainley began his service with the City in 1993 in the Fire Department, moving to the Police Department in 1997.  In addition to his current service as a detective, Ainley has served the department in patrol, as a D.A.R.E. officer, as a member of the Black Hawk Area Task Force, and as a member of the Emergency Response Team.

Troy commented that he looks forward to this new challenge, and working with the dedicated employees of the police department to provide professional services to the residents and businesses of the City of Kewanee.


Ainley will assume the chief position in June following the retirement of Chief Jim Dison. Jim Dison has served as Chief for 13 years, and has been with the department for almost 32 years.


Quarter Madness on Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee talk about Quarter Madness


Local Service Providers Hurt From Ongoing State Budget Stalemate

Local service providers feeling the sting of the ongoing state budget stalemate. Downstate’s Mercer County Family Crisis Center has a limited budget, but is currently owed more than $100,000 from the state says the agency’s Marla Reynolds….

The center offers services to child abuse and domestic violence victims. Last week, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the state’s bill backlog hit a record high of $12.8 billion. 


Illinois Good Place For Wine Industry

Illinois continues to be a good location for the wine industry. John Mital (mee-tall) has a family operation just south of Quad Cities, called Creekside Vineyards & Winery.

Creekside’s Preemption location has been in operation for three years. Also, Creekside has many retailers they do business with, plus Mital says they travel to farmers markets during spring and summer.


IDNR Continues to Offer Hunter Education Safety Course

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources continues to offer hunter education safety courses throughout the state. Allen Henshaw of Keithsburg has served as a certified IDNR instructor for 40 years.

A 1996 state law requires that all hunters born on or after January 1, 1980 successfully complete the course before they can receive their first hunting license. You can find the location of a hunter safety education course near you by checking the IDNR website.


Legislation Exempts Sales Tax On Farm Machinery Repairs

A state lawmaker wants to amend Illinois’ sales tax act as it relates replacement parts for farm machinery—already exempt from the state sales tax. State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb says her legislation involves “goodwill repairs”.hammondgoodwillrepairs :34 out ‘..goodwill circumstance.”House Bill 505 has been introduced in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. 


KHS GI Team Headed to State

The Kewanee High School Group Interpretation Team is headed to state this coming weekend.

District 229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens says the opening round begins on Friday…

Dr. Sullens adds that there is an outstanding list of students that are involved in this year’s program…

Dr. Sullens also notes that qualifiers can move forward not only as a team but also as an individual…


Upcoming Suicide Talk Program

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will be the host site for a Suicide Talk Program on April 11th.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist with OSF St Luke and she says the program is in collaboration with the Henry County Mental Health Alliance…

For many of us, it might be hard to imagine what to say to someone that is in a crisis situation and being prepared in advance would be a step towards being an asset to someone in a time of need and the aim of the program is to help provide that training…


World TB Day On Friday


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' staff announces that March 24th has been proclaimed World TB Day. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

     Jessica Hand, LPN Communicable Disease Nurse with the Henry and Stark County Health Department notes, “Too many people in our country and around the world still suffer from TB. Anyone can get TB, and current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are a not always sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not "think TB."

     The theme of World TB Day 2017 is “Unite to End TB.” Today, World TB Day is commemorated across the globe with activities as diverse as the locations in which they are held. But more can be done to raise awareness about the effects of TB. Among infectious diseases, TB is now the leading killer of adults in the world, with 1.5 million TB-related deaths in 2014.

     Hand adds, “Until TB is eliminated, World TB Day won’t be a celebration. But it is a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation TB can spread and how it can be stopped.”

     TB testing can be done at both Health Department locations.  To schedule an appointment, call (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona). 


     For more information about the clinic services offered through the Health Department visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.


Mendoza offers comedy in her feud with Rauner but has unfunny numbers

Comptroller Susana Mendoza's war of words with Governor Bruce Rauner took a new turn as she addressed the City Club of Chicago. She turned to comedy to deliver her first jab....

But Mendoza says the latest numbers racked up last week on the state's bill backlog are no laughing matter....

Mendoza maintained Rauner is prepared for the state to collapse financially if he doesn't get his way on the budget and has begun squirreling away hundreds of millions of dollars in 'special funds' to protect his political back, Rauner's office says Mendoza has been cutting spending on programs for the elderly since she took office in December.


WKEI Open Line

The sad state of Illinois is discussed during the March 21 edition of the Open Line on WKEI


SCFB On Tuned IN

Outgoing Stark County Farm Bureau Manager Thomas Marten introduces incoming Farm Bureau Manager Anna Emm during the March 21 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI



Unclaimed Property Auction

Collectible coins, paper money, watches and camera equipment are among the nearly 500 items worth approximately $32,000 to be auctioned onlineMarch 27-31.


“For most people, it is difficult to believe that they might have overlooked an investment account or forgot an item in a safe deposit box. However, the thousands of names in our database shows that it happens too often,” Frerichs said. “While we cannot store the items forever, we can secure the proceeds and return the value to the proper owner.”


Items include a 1926 U.S. twenty dollar St. Gaudens, six 1917 one dollar large notes, a Leica camera along with lenses and accessories, two specialty watches (1 Omega Seamaster and one Lord Elgin), and a complete Lincoln Head Cent, Book One, 1909-1940. Items have been appraised by an outside vendor.


Auction participants can view items and register by clicking the auction link under the Resource Center on the right side of www.illinoistreasurer.gov. For questions, call217.557.8567.


The treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property, including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, unpaid rebate cards, and safe deposit boxes. Items are surrendered to the treasurer’s office after private entities have tried for at least five years to locate the owner.


Businesses, non-profits and units of local government also can have unclaimed property to claim from the database. Typically, the value submitted to the treasurer’s office does not reflect an oversight by these leaders. Additionally, each could have unclaimed property it is required to submit to the treasurer’s office annually. This is accomplished through “holder” reports that are available on the treasurer’s website.


Abilities Plus Receives Donation


Kim Walker, Abilities Plus Executive Director recently accepted a check for over $2,200 from Jim Baulch and John Holevoet with the Galva, Cambridge and Woodhull Knights of Columbus. The donation is the proceeds from the club’s fall tootsie roll sales.  


Bureau County Road Closure Set For Tuesday

Please be advised that a culvert replacement on CH 22, aka 2600 North Avenue, is resulting in a temporary closure of the section beginning at CH 2, aka Van Orin Blacktop, east 1 mile to 2725 East Street.  This closure is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 21st and is scheduled to be completed no later than day’s end on March 23rd


Biss In For Gov Run

Another Democrat is up for running for Governor. State Senator Daniel Biss announced today that he’s a candidate, calling his campaign one “for the rest of us.” Biss made the announcement on Facebook Live and then took questions. He says that the state needs to break free from the way it’s been run for years.

The Biss diss could be seen as referencing not only Governor Bruce Rauner and Speaker Mike Madigan but also wealthy Democrat candidate Chris Kennedy and JB Pritzker who’s thinking about running for Governor. The Republican party wasted no time in calling Biss the North Shore branch of the Madigan Machine.


Biss jumps in Goveror's race

State Senator Daniel Biss has jumped into the Democratic race for Governor. The era of press conferences and rallies to kick off campaigns now seems to be "so yesterday". Biss announced his candidacy on Facebook....

Instead of reporters, Biss fielded "Q and A" questions from Illinoisans who checked out his campaign announcement on Facebook Live. The Evanston Democrat won an online straw poll in recent months of potential Democratic candidates. 


GOP pushes for redistricting

State Representative Tim Butler is among a chorus of House Republicans seeking to change the way Illinois political maps are drawn. He is co-sponsoring a House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment to create an Independent Redistricting Commission.

The proposal calls for the selection of Commissioners and establishes the authority of a Special Commissioner to design a redistricting plan in the event that the Commission fails to properly adopt and file a redistricting plan. The measure would be effective beginning with redistricting in 2021 and applies to members elected in 2022 and thereafter.



RaeAnn Tucker talks about Public Health Week during the March 20 edition of People to People on WKEI



OSF on Tuned IN

An upcoming Suicide Program is discussed during the March 20 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Fatal Crash Saturday in Kewanee

A three vehicle accident Saturday afternoon just south of Kewanee has claimed the life of a Kewanee woman.

86 year old Lucille Kemerling was pronounced dead at 1:34 Saturday afternoon after an accident that occurred at 12:50 Saturday afternoon.

According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, a vehicle driven by 31 year old Bradly Simmons of Kewanee was southbound on Route 78 and stopped while waiting to turn in to Flex Court Athletics.

The Simmons vehicle was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 18 year old Destiny Gibson of Toulon which caused the Simmons vehicle to overturn and land in the northbound lane.

A north bound vehicle driven by 86 year old Monroe Kemerling of Kewanee swerved to avoid the accident but went into a ditch hitting a culvert.

The Kemerling vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest. Mrs. Kemerling was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr. Kemerling was treated and released at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Simmons was taken to OSF St Luke Medical Center for treatment of injuries and was ticketed for no insurance.

Gibson refused treatment and was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The accident remains under investigation.          


WKEI Open Line

WKEI Open Line for March 20


Landscape Waste Pickup Resumes Today

Landscape waste pick up in Kewanee resumes for the season today.

Unless otherwise noted such as in the case of a Holiday, landscape waste will be picked up by city crews every Monday all the way through December 4th.

Landscape waste collection utilizes biodegradable 2 ply Kraft paper bags and can be purchased at a variety of retail locations.

To be collected by the City, users must attach a fifty cent excess bag sticker to each landscape waste bag.

Excess bag stickers can be purchased at City Hall, also at Beck Oil on 2nd Street, Beck Oil South on Tenney, also at Farm King, JoJo’s Convenience Store, CVS Drug, Shell Express, Sullivan Foods, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and also at Casey’s    


Extra Trash Pick Up In Kewanee This Week

City of Kewanee’s Public Works Department is announcing that residents will be allowed extra trash pickup for residents on their regular trash day.  Residents are allowed 6 extra bags without stickers.  Extra pickup is for trash bags only, no large items, electronics, or furniture will be picked up.



Kewanee School Board Meets Tonight





MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017



KEWANEE, IL   61443


6:15 PM



A.      Roll call by the Secretary


II.       CLOSED SESSION: * (C) (1) to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the District; (C) (2) to consider collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees; (C) (5) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body; (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases and (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2016


7:30 PM







A.             District #229 Open Meeting – February 27, 2017

B.             District #229 Closed Meeting – February 27, 2017

C.             District #229 Special Open Meeting – March 6, 2017

D.             District #229 Special Closed Meeting – March 6, 2017



A.      Kewanee District #229



A.      Kewanee District #229





A.             Superintendent

1.       State of Illinois FY17 & FY18 Budgets

2.       Kiwanis Pancake Day

3.       Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction – March 11, 2017

4.       Kewanee Schools Foundation Trivia Night – March 11, 2017

5.       Aubrey “Billy” Harvey – “Boiler for Life”

          B.      Mr. Bryan – KHS Principal

                    1.       KHS Testing Schedule

          C.      Mr. Atwell – KHS Athletic Director

                    1.       Spring Sports Participation

                    2.       Moline Dispatch Area Athletes/Special Honors

          D.      Mr. Anderson – Central Jr. High Principal

                    1.       Channel 6 Video Featuring Marc Nelson







A.             Consideration and Approval of KHS IHSA Renewal

          B.      Consideration and Approval of Kewanee Personnel for 2017-2018 School Year

                    1.       Vote #1: Consideration and Approval of Kewanee 2017-2018 Probation and Tenure                       List

                    2.       Vote #2: Consideration and Approval of 2nd Year Probationary Teacher to 3rd Year                                         Probationary Teacher

                    3.       Vote #3: Consideration and Approval of Resolution Authorizing Notice of Non-                               Renewal and Dismissal of Probationary Teacher

                    4.       Vote #4: Other – Additional individual names as requested by Board Members

          C.      Consideration and Approval of Jr. High Promotion Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in                            Brockman Gym at 7:00 pm

          D.      Consideration and Approval of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Kewanee High School

          E.       Consideration and Approval of Lyle Pre-K Handbook Changes for 2017-2018 School Year



A.             Resignations

1.              Kimberly Currier – Regular Bus Driver – Effective 2/18/17 (will continue as a sub bus driver)

2.              Carmen Gamez – Bilingual Interpreter at KHS – Effective 3/9/17

3.              David Phillips – Central Jr. High English Teacher – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

B.             Retirements

1.       Herbert Richey – Bus Aide – Effective 4/28/17

C.             Hires *

1.       Regular Bus Driver

2.       Central Jr. High Math Teacher

3.       KHS Spanish Teacher

4.       Substitute Bus Aide

D.             Leaves

E.             Long Term Sub

F.              Transfers

1.       To Be Determined

G.            Volunteers

1.              Central Elementary Volleyball Coaches

2.              Central Elementary Football Coach for 2017-2018 School Year

3.              Central Jr. High School

4.              KHS Football Coach for 2017-2018 School Year

H.             Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

I.                Other Action Arising From Closed Session

1.       To Be Determined



A.             Other




* All hires are contingent upon hirees obtaining appropriate certification and qualifications prior to beginning job.


Durbin says proposed Medicaid cuts would hurt Illinois hospitals

Senator Dick Durbin had plenty to say about Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He told lawmakers on the Senate floor that he is concerned about the potential economic impact on the healthcare industry, with hospitals getting less medicaid reimbursement from patients....

Durbin says the GOP bill provides tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations in America while increasing out-of-pocket health costs and leaving 24 million Americans without insurance.reasons the proposed Medicaid cuts could hurt hospitals..


Last gasp of winter throws a scare at some Illinois crops

The unusually warm winter caused wheat to green and some fruit trees to bloom earlier than normal, at least in some parts of mid-to-southern Illinois. That was before snow that many hope is the last gasp of winter 20-17. Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather offers his prediction on when it might warm up and if that will stick;

Temperatures in the teens overnight have some Illinois wheat and fruit growers concerned about damage to their crops. Hicks says some areas of the state can still use some additional moisture too;

Spring officially begins Monday and Hicks calls for typical weather for the season, including some swings between warm and cool. Overall, the meteorologist expect temperatures to hover at slightly above-normal levels.


Urban sprawl in state slows

Up until nearly 10 years ago it seemed to some that housing subdivisions dotted with so-called 'McMansions' and strip mall development around Chicago would continue unbridled. The real estate bust, and now the closings of thousands of brick-and-mortar retail stores, could slow that trend. Karl Kettelkamp farms in Kanville west of Chicago;

A University of Illinois official told the Chicago Tribune late last year that weak job growth in the state coupled by the state's budget impasse will, in his words, 'stifle' housing sales in the Chicago area.


Davis says mandatory aspect of Obamacare has flopped

Congressman Rodney Davis continues to be at the forefront of efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Critics have often pointed to the mandatory aspect of the health insurance law as one of their complaints. Congressman Rodney Davis says there's an added wrinkle.....

Davis says hospitals are also dealing with a growing number of writeoffs of bills for insured customers.


Push for $15 minimum wage is on

The 15 dollar minimum wage movement is now in writing in Illinois. Chicago based State Representative Will Guzzardi is drafting legislation to boost the state's starting wage to fifteen bucks, although it won't reach the mark until 2022. Guzzardi says the minimum wage is no longer just about summer jobs for young people...

Guzzardi's legislation also offers a cushion for small businesses who will struggle to cough up extra wages...

Under the five year phase in, the minimum wage would jump from $8.25 now to $9 next year. Business groups remain opposed. 


Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight


The Hog Festival Committee will meet tonight beginning at 6 o’clock.

The meeting will be held at the Hog Building at 306 North Main Street and the public is always invited to attend any Hog Festival Committee meetings.   


Tonight, there will be two insurance companies making presentations. For fairness to all, scheduled 1 company will do their presentation at 6 p.m. They have 45 minutes or less to speak to ask for questions. After a short break, the first company leaves and the second company makes their presentation at 7 p.m. (or earlier).  After they are done they will leave and then the formal meeting will begin and the full committee can decide what they wish to do regarding insurance.


Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s Report

Acceptance of and place on file pending audit the Treasurer’s report


Visitors –


Unfinished Business

1.    Front of building sign/big pig/little pig update report

2.    Food concessions

3.    Entertainment report update



New Business

1.    Deciding on 2017 insurance carrier for Hog Capital Barbecue, Inc.

2.    Time to start gathering info for 2017 Hog Days Schedule of Events

3.    Any changes in space we need before we submit request for use of streets/parks letter in April to the City of Kewanee



Reports/Questions/Comments/Other Business from anyone in the room


LTC Band Concert Re-Scheduled For Tonight

The Lincoln Trail Conference Band Festival will be held this evening in the Wethersfield High School Gymnasium.

The concert was originally scheduled for Monday evening but was postponed due to the inclement weather on Monday.  

There is no fee to attend the concert  which should last around 90 minutes and is always well attended.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says it’s a concert that many people look forward to and the doors will open at 5:45 this evening…

On Monday, Mr. Kazubowski commented about the situation saying that the postponement was simply the right thing to do for several reasons…


Church Of Peace Cemetery Clean-up

The Church of Peace in rural Kewanee is announcing plans for their annual spring clean-up at the Church of Peace Cemetery.  

The clean-up will be held on Saturday, March 18 and any decorations that families wish to save should be picked up before Saturday or they will be discarded during the clean-up effort.

All decorations can be then put back on gravesites after March 20th and they will be good until further notice.  


Sewer Work In Kewanee This Week


LaHood reflects on GOP Healthcare Plan

Congressman Darin LaHood is touting what he sees as the benefits of a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. LaHood says the proposal will defer to states to make key decisions on medicaid....

LaHood says competition is king, borders are not with the GOP plan....

LaHood is happy to see that adult children are able to stay on family insurance plans into their mid 20s and he also is happy with the effort to avoid discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. 


Garth Brooks hasn't lost his touch, demand overwhelms U of I ticket office

At State Farm Center, University of Illinois ticket office officials were bracing for the demand of Garth Brooks tickets that went on sale this morning. The 11th hour announcement that a second show would be added next month, did nothing to slow the demand. The ticket office shut down the sale of tickets to shows April 28th and 29th because the system was not able to handle the sale due to high demand. Those who were able to purchase tickets will be able to keep them. Ticket office officials will announce soon when sales will resume.


Reasons are out for Peterson move

There's more info on the move of a notorious Illinois prisoner out of state. A memo shows state corrections officials transferred former Suburban Chicago Police Officer Drew Peterson to a federal lockup in Indiana because he allegedly plotted to kill a prosecutor who put him behind bars.


Senate Dem's Want Rauner and Agency Heads to Address Needed Cuts

A budget proposal from Governor Bruce Rauner is out of balance according to Senate Democrats. They say Rauner’s proposed spending plan is more than $4 billion more than expected revenues. Democrats note in order for spending to match revenues every agency needs to cut spending by 20 percent. Democrat Senator Patricia Van Pelt says recently in a committee she asked the Director of Public Health where a cut would come from.

Democrats have been frustrated recently when the Governor seems to kill the Senate’s grand bargain and then refuses to address the cuts needed to balance a budget without a tax increase.



Senator Patricia Van Pelt says it’s upsetting that Rauner isn’t addressing the realities of the state budget.


Madigan wants to change oversight of Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently called for making an Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a freestanding institution in his budget address. Now House Speaker Mike Madigan is putting an effort to give the library and museum independence into writing. Spokesman Steve Brown...

Currently, three different boards play a role in overseeing the museum. The legislation would put it under the control of a board appointed by the Governor. The facility would no longer be under the control of the Historic Preservation Agency. Madigan says the current management structure has hampered the library and museum with bureaucracy and mismanagement..


WKEI Open Line

Gambling is discussed during the March 13 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


Lock Your Car

Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla is sounding the alarm once again about the need to lock the doors on your vehicles.

Sheriff Padilla says that rash of thieves hitting vehicles continues to be a problem…

Many of us will assume that most stolen items end up at a pawn shop somewhere and Sheriff Padilla says that most pawnshop owners are pretty good about following the law…


WKEI Open Line

The skate park at Northeast is discussed during the March 10 edition of the Open Line on WKEI


Push To Keep State Worker Pay Coming

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court to take up the issue of whether state employee paydays can continue without a state budget. Madigan filed a motion yesterday asking the state's high court to quickly take up the issue, bypassing a ruling from the state appellate court. State workers have continued to be paid even without a state budget because of a preliminary injunction issued in 2015 by a St. Clair County judge.
Last year, though, the state Supreme Court ruled in a separate case that state workers owed previously denied wage increases could not be paid without an appropriation in place. Madigan said the original court ruling has enabled Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to avoid passing a budget

Republicans feel that a possible way to solve this is a bill sponsored by House Republican Avery Bourne. She is backing a bill that creates a continuing appropriation for state worker pay.

State lawmakers and Judges are paid on a continuing basis. But right now lawmaker pay has been sent in line with every other state bill and lawmakers are waiting months to be paid.


Safe Driving Info

Forecasters are predicting snow for the weekend and also another snowfall for Sunday night into Monday.

While the amount we might receive has yet to be determined, it will be for all intent and purposes the first real snowfall in three months.

That will mean that many drivers will have to re-adjust their driving methods to deal with potentially slippery conditions.

Safety Expert Doug Sommer from Pekin says that the braking systems on many vehicles today are geared to helping the driver in these situations…

Sommer adds that there are other safety features that are inherent in many of today’s vehicles…


Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction on Saturday

The 12th annual Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction will be held on Saturday afternoon at Kewanee High School.

Mr. Bruce Dennison is the Executive Director of the Foundation and he says that proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Teachers of District 229…

The Auction will be held in the Brockman Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon with the doors opening at 1:30. There is no admission fee and cash, check, debit and credit cards will all be accepted for payment…

The 2nd annual Trivia Night will be held on Saturday evening at the Flemish American Club.

Initial registration for that event was set to close on February 24th, but will last minute registrations be taken?

Mr. Dennison says a call to Katie Swearingen is in order for those details…


Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time returns this weekend.

The time change officially occurs on Sunday morning at 2 o’clock although most people will set their clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

The time change means that we will lose one hour in the process and will create a later sunset in the summer. It also means that the wake up call will be especially tough on Monday morning.

Daylight Savings Time has expanded by a couple of months over the last several years with Central Standard Time returning on November 5th.


Abilities Plus Achiever Of The Month

Susie Saylor of Atkinson was recognized by her peers as Achiever of the Month for February at Abilities Plus.  She received this award because of her friendly, positive attitude, along with efforts made to reach several vocational goals.  Susie is also one of the greeters at the organization, and never knows a stranger.


Frerichs seeking answers from Trump Administration on medical marijuana

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs wants clarity from the Trump Administration on their intentions in dealing with the medical marijuana industry in Illinois..

He has sent his second letter to the Trump Administration after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that he expects states to be subject to “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use. Attorney General Jeff Sessions complained President Obama wasn't tough enough on marijuana and called it dangerous. Frerichs is especially concerned heightened enforcement of laws that could shut down banks that have a relationship with the medical marijuana industry. Frerichs fears vague talk of greater enforcement could also impact doctors who prescribe medical marijuana. . Illinois is one of 23 states that permit the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of pre approved medical conditions. Frerichs has not received a response from the Trump Administration.


Start Company Takes Over BL-NO Auto Plant

A start up car company has taken over the former Mitsubishi plant in Bloomington Normal. The company, Rivian, is based in Detroit and is expected to build electric cars. Governor Bruce Rauner was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the factory and says that the state and local governments used tax credits get the company to central Illinois.

Rivian has hopes of employing a 1,000 people at the plant.


Freedom House on People to People

Information on an upcoming training program is discussed during the March 9 edition of People to People on WKEI


Kewanee Public Library on Tuned IN

KPL Children's Librarian Sara Billiet talks about upcoming programs


SOS Meeting Tonight

The Survivors of Suicide Support Group will meet this evening at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee beginning at 6:0.

Father Jerry Rafalko says tonight’s meeting will provide some relief for those suffering the loss of a loved one through suicide…

Father Jerry adds that there will be other officials that might also offer comfort at the meeting…


Maple Syrup Weekend in Bishop Hill

In the earliest days of the Bishop Hill Colony a letter was sent to Sweden proudly proclaiming Illinois was the biblical land of milk and honey, because “sugar flows from the trees in the springtime.” The American Indians taught the pioneers how to make syrup and the Henry County Historical Society has a photo from a 1937 Maple Syrup camp! The Twinflower Inn and Bishop Hill Arts Council are resurrecting this ancient tradition.


The Twinflower Inn and The Bishop Hill Arts Council are partnering to host three Maple Syrup themed events rolled into one, reviving Maple Syrup Making Days in Bishop Hill. The Bishop Hill Arts Council is hosting a pancake supper Saturday March 11th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm. The Twinflower Inn is hosting an Immersive Workshop March 10, 11, 12, and a day-long workshop Saturday March 11, 10:00 - 3:00.


The pancake supper will be at the Colony School Saturday, March 11, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 16 and under. The evening includes pancakes, fresh made maple syrup, sausage, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate. Brian “Fox” Ellis will also share stories about the origins of maple syrup and a demonstration of the syrup making process. There will be a silent auction as a fund raiser for the Bishop Hill Arts Council. This will be a fun evening for all ages.


Saturday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Ellis will be leading a day-long workshop at The Twinflower Inn. Through the course of the day, participants will get a hands-on experience of the entire process, from selecting and tapping trees, boiling and processing sap, preserving and eating maple syrup. The workshop fee is $45, and includes a maple themed lunch. Pre-registration is required atfoxtales@foxtalesint.com.


The weekend intensive will start Friday evening March 10th at 7:00 pm with a happy hour where folks will sample a few maple flavored cocktails. We will also discuss cooking with maple syrup and enjoy a maple syrup breakfast for supper on Saturday. Saturday we will walk through the entire process from tap to sap, distillation and preservation. Weekend workshop participants go home with a small jar of syrup. And folks can order all of the equipment they need to make their own maple syrup next spring!


The Twinflower Inn is offering a special rate on rooms at The Twinflower Inn. The all inclusive weekend is just $195 for a single occupancy room or $130 each for double occupancy. This includes two nights of lodging, cocktails Friday, breakfast, lunch, and supper Saturday, breakfast Sunday, plus a jar of the syrup participants will help to make! If you wish to bring children to watch, a donation will be appreciated.


Spend an enchanting weekend in Bishop Hill, Illinois learning the skills to make your own maple syrup! 


For More information please contact Brian “Fox” Ellis  309-696-1017


Donovan To Play The Adler Theatre

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his #1 hit “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan has announced additional dates to his U.S. tour that will include a performance at the Adler Theatre on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The single “Sunshine Superman” rose to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 3, 1966.


Tickets ($55.75, $77, $87.75) for “Donovan: The Retrospective/Sunshine Superman Fiftieth Anniversary Tour 2017” at the Adler Theatre will go on sale Friday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m.at Ticketmaster.com, the Adler Theatre Box Office (136 E. 3rd St.) and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.  A small number of VIP “meet and greet” tickets are being sold on www.donovan.ie to benefit the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.


After a breakthrough and historic period of hit recordings, Donovan actively and consistently performed live, and today remains a towering icon of rock’s golden age. He played with and influenced generations of music’s greats while releasing a canon of music that changed the world.


Donovan met and traded songs with Bob Dylan during Dylan’s 1965 U.K. tour and was a friend of, and an influence on the Beatles. For a time, his sidemen were John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page (with John Bonham occasionally coming by), a pairing that would lead to great things, to say the least.


It was said at his 2012 Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame induction that, at age 16, “Donovan singlehandedly initiated the psychedelic revolution with (the album) Sunshine Superman.” The recording announced “flower power” for the first time. It has also been said that Donovan is “chiefly responsible for introducing meditation and Eastern philosophy into modern lifestyle and songwriting.” Now, 50 years after his historic debut U.S. appearance, he returns for an anniversary tour, putting our musical history and the genesis of a vast music culture once again before our eyes.


There are dozens more, but his best loved songs include “Catch The Wind,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Season of the Witch,” “Lalena,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Atlantis,” “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” “Epistle to Dippy,” “There Is A Mountain,” “Jennifer Juniper,” “Barabajagal,” “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting,” and “Happiness Runs.”



Rotary Club Quarter Madness

The Rotary Club of Kewanee will be hosting the 6th Annual Quarter Madness event on Friday, March 24th at the Kewanee Elks Lodge, 113 ½ Tremont Street Kewanee.  Doors will open at 5:30pm with Quarter Madness beginning at 7pm. A LaGondola Italian dinner will be available for $7 while supplies last.

Quarter Madness is similar to a fast paced raffle where participants can enter to win items valued at $25 to $100 for just quarters. Prizes include lottery tickets, gift certificates, designer handbags such as Coach, Vera Bradley, Kate Spade and Michael Kors as well as specialty gift baskets.

The popular “Golden Paddle” is available for $25 and will be entered in the drawing for every item of the night. Attendees purchasing a “Golden Paddle” may increase their chances of winning an item by purchasing two additional auction paddles for $3 each. The additional auction paddles will require quarters to enter to win items. “Golden Paddles” are only eligible for purchase for attendees of the event. A regular auction paddle will be available for $5 and two additional paddles to increase chances of winning. Quarters are required to bid and enter your number to win.

A “Platinum Paddle” will also be available for $30. When you purchase a “Platinum Paddle,” attendance is not required and the auction paddle is entered in the drawing for every item.

The Rotary Club of Kewanee is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the goal is to offer over 100 auction items. In 2016, over $10,000 worth of items were raffled off at the event.

“This fun, exciting event would not be possible without the generous support of the Rotary Club of Kewanee, Prairie Chicken Festival, Kewanee area businesses and supporters. We are grateful for their enthusiastic support to maintain the beautiful murals of downtown Kewanee and the Rotary Club of Kewanee community projects,” said Carrie Boelens, Quarter Madness Co-Chair.

Proceeds from this annual fundraiser sponsored by the Kewanee Rotary Club supports the Prairie Chicken Festival and Rotary Club of Kewanee community projects.

To obtain a “Platinum Paddle” or make a donation for the event, contact Dianne Packee at 309-312-0168. 


Cubs Trophy comes to Central Illinois today and Thursday

The Cubs World Series Trophy is making some of its final stops before landing in its permanent home. This afternoon, the trophy will be on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Downtown Springfield. Some Cubs fans thought waiting a few extra hours for a picture with the trophy was no big deal after the franchise waited 108 years for a world championship. Cubs Charities Senior VP Mike Lufrano says the trophy is well traveled...

Lufrano says the early birds are getting the worm but those who aren't in line already have hope....

The trophy will be shown to the Illinois General Assembly and then will be taken to the museum from 2:30 to 4 this afternoon. Tomorrow the trophy can be seen from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Decatur Civic Center, the Peoria Civic Center from 1:30 to 3 and Sterling's Challand Middle School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 


WKEI Open Line

President Trump is discussed during the March 8 edition of the Open Line 


HCFB On Tuned IN

Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman talks about upcoming Ag Programs during the March 8 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Republicans Plan Lincoln Day Dinner

The Henry County Republicans announce plans for their 30th annual Lincoln Day Dinner for Saturday, March 25th in Kewanee.  This year they will celebrate  Republican victories from the White House, State House and the Court House.


Henry County Republican Chairman Jan Weber says the fundraiser will be held at the Broken Chimney Restaurant at 618 Tenney Street in Kewanee.

Special guests for the evening will include State Senator Neil Anderson, Moline; State Senator Chuck Weaver, Peoria; State Representative Tony McCombie, Savanna and State Representative Dan Swanson, Alpha.  They will be joined by many of the Henry County elected officials and candidates for April consolidated elections.  


Tickets for the event are available from Republican precinct committeeman or by contacting the party headquarters at 309-944-6463. Tickets are $40 per person and advance reservations are requested.  Events begin on March 25 with a 5 pm social hour and dinner and program to begin at 6 pm.  


Chamber of Commerce Comedy Night

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will present their second annual Comedy Night on Saturday, March 18 at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Director of the Chamber and he says it figures to be another great evening…

Willie Farrell is the featured comedian for the evening and he says he enjoys making people laugh and jokes that he keeps Steve Pilchin in good stead for those kind words…

Farrell keeps a busy schedule of dates all across the country but he says he really enjoys the audiences in the Midwest…

Farrell also admits to being a different kind of comedian…

Back to Mark Mikenas who says that tickets for the show are available right now…


WIC Program Info

     The Henry and Stark County Health Department staff reminds area residents that they offer the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Food Supplemental program.  The WIC program promotes the health of our local children and mothers, by providing free groceries to participants; and creating healthier families by encouraging healthy eating and lifestyles.


      Sandy Sommer, Director of Clinical Services with the Health Department, states, “We are thrilled to announce that WIC Services are now available to local families ‘without borders.’  Which means, if you reside in a neighboring county; but actually live closer to one of our WIC locations in Kewanee or Colona, we can serve your WIC needs!” 


     In addition, the Health Department has expanded WIC hours in order to be more convenient to working families and school children participating in the program.


     Sommer adds, “We also want to stress that WIC benefits area available to eligible children up to the age of 5, pregnant women, infants, postpartum and breastfeeding women.”


    The Health Department WIC and Casemanagement staff encourages healthy pregnancies, babies, children and families through their services. The WIC Supplemental Food Program offers supplemental foods and nutrition education to residents who meet certain nutrition and economic guidelines.  In addition, clients may receive healthy food items such as milk, formula, eggs, and cereal; fruits, vegetables, juices, whole grain breads and tortillas.


    Sommer concludes, "Our WIC and Casemanagement staff feel it's important that all area residents and families have the information and encouragement to make healthy decisions; not only for themselves but for their entire family. Thereby, hoping future generations are more healthy and active."


   For more information on the Department's WIC and Casemanagement services call the Department at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011(Colona) 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. For more information you can also visit www.fns.usda.gov/wic.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



English honor society at BHC welcomes 35 members

The Black Hawk College chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta, the English honor society for two- year colleges, will induct 35 members Wednesday, March 29 at the college’s Quad Cities Campus in Moline.

The inductees have earned an A or B in an English course, have completed at least 12 credit hours, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students are not required to be English majors.

The new members come from both Black Hawk College campuses.

The inductees – listed by hometown – are:

  • Annawan – Hailey Bos
  • Bradford – Jessica Loudenburg
  • Cambridge – Katie Miller, Jamie Franck
  • Coal Valley – Amanda Purvis
  • Colona – Tori McCaw
  • Cordova – Shannon Crisp
  • Davenport, IA – Emily Tunis
  • East Moline – Leigh Westbrook, Kayla Serra, Samantha Moreno
  • Galva – Cheryl Egbert
  • Geneseo – Elodie Bouwens, Kian VanWynsberghe, Payton Conard
  • Kewanee – Nelson Ullinskey
  • Liganier, IN – Luke Wetchner
  • Madison, WI – Heidi Mueller
  • Milan – Ashley Hanson, Cassie Wales
  • Moline – Abigael Kelly, Caroline Davis, Julia Earnest, Dieynaba Ndiaye, Jessica Santillan, Alexis Russell, Bryce Humphrey
  • Muscatine, IA – Hanna Dipple
  • Rock Island – Erica Sunken, Brett Kerno
  • Silvis – Elizabeth Thompson, Kristal Caudillo
  • Taylor Ridge – Christina Schulte
  • Toulon – Kayla Hockett
  • Wyoming – Courtney Frisby


Rauner Says ACA Changes Won't Help Illinois

Washington D.C. Republicans are pressing for changes to the Affordable Care Act and today those members in Congress released a view of what should change. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says it’s a little early right now to get too involved in the conversation about what he’d like to see done. But he does think that the proposed changes won’t help out the state or some citizens.

Rauner says that he’s had a few conversations with people inside of Trump administration about what he’d recommend. Rauner didn’t say what those recommendations were or would look like.


Strong Storms Pound Metro East

A strong line of thunderstorms pushed through the Mississippi Riverbend early this morning, and left some minor damage and power outages but no reports of injuries. Ameren Illinois customers that lost power are slowly being restored as work continues this afternoon.

The outages are concentrated in Madison, Jersey and Macoupin Counties. Power restoration is expected to be completed in Alton by 6 or 7pm, and during the afternoon in most other places. If you are without power, Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch says you might want to unplug your appliances and electronics.

The wind damage reports include minor roofing or siding damage in parts of Godfrey, as well as tree limbs onto buildings or property. 


Rauner vs Mendoza

Governor Bruce Rauner has been named as a defendant in lawsuits in St. Clair County,this time he is the plaintiff. The Rauner Administration is suing Comptroller Susana Mendoza over pay for nearly 600 Central Management Services workers. He maintains Mendoza is violating a 2015 court order by covering their paychecks through two revolving funds instead of through the state general fund. Rauner addressed state workers through a Facebook video Monday....

Mendoza offered everything but an emoticon in her Facebook response...

The lawsuit claims paychecks for the CMS workers could be disrupted tomorrow if the matter is not resolved.


Windy City Goes A Week Without A Fatal Shooting

Chicago has gone a full week without a fatal shooting for the first time in more than four years. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the city passed the milestone Sunday morning, marking the first time has gone as long since the newspaper began tracking every shooting death in January 2013. Until then, the last fatal shooting occurred Feb. 26.


Kewanee Chamber of Commerce on PTP

The March 18 Comedy Show is discussed during the March 7 edition of People to People on WKEI


OSF Hospice On Tuned IN

Father Jerry Rafalko talks about the Survivors of Suicide group during the March 7 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


WKEI Open Line

Severe storms are discussed during the March 7 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI



HHH Health Screenings

Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo will host a complete line of health screenings later this month.

The screenings will be available to any member of the public and Darcy Hepner,  Manager of the Hammond Henry Foundation and she says those screenings will be held in mid March…


Ms. Hepner adds that pre-registration is not necessary…


ISP Nightime Patrols


East Moline– Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander, Captain Victor Markowski, announces the results of a Nighttime Enforcement (NITE) patrol in Henry County during February. These NITE patrols allow the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations especially between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.


Enforcement Activity

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Citations


Other Alcohol/Drug Citations


Occupant Restraint Offenses


Registration Offenses


Driver’s License Offenses


Insurance Violations


Total Citations/Arrests


Total Written Warnings




Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  Over half of all fatal crashes in Illinois occur at night.  The NITE program allows officers to work even harder at removing dangerous impaired drivers from the road and making sure everyone is buckled up.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.


Henry County Coroner Logs Busy 2016


The Henry County Coroner’s Office investigated 350 cases in 2016.  Of this number 294 cases were deaths that were turned over to the medical profession for physician’s finalizations with 56 cases being signed off by Coroner’s office in Cambridge according to Henry County Coroner, Melissa A. Watkins, RN.


Of 350 reported deaths in 2016, 332 were attributed to natural causes with eight accidentals, and ten suicides.


Of the eight accidental deaths; two were single vehicle accidents, one semi vs train mishap, 1 drug/alcohol intoxication, one overlaying due to co-sleeping, one Rx overdose, one hydrocodone intoxication and one drowning.  Alcohol was a contributing factor in one cases; drugs was a contributing factor in two cases and both alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in one case.


Of the ten suicides; four were asphyxiation due to hanging, one was due to Rx overdose, three were gunshot wound to the head, one was semi vs pedestrian and one drug/alcohol intoxication.  Alcohol was a contributing factor in one case; drugs were a contributing factor in four cases and both alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in one case.


The most deaths in 2016 occurred in the month of December with a total each of 41.  The least number of deaths in 2016 occurred in the month of November with a total of 19.


Of the 350 deaths investigated autopsies were performed on 15 cases and there were 6 Coroner Inquests held in 2016.


Coroner Watkins states that 350 deaths recorded by her office in 2016 does not represent all of the deaths in Henry County, just the cases that she is required by law to investigate.


Strong Storms Hit The Area On Monday Night

Strong thunderstorms and a tornado warning hit the listening area on Monday night.

For the second time in the last week severe weather lashed the area with heavy rain, winds up to 70 mph, strong lightning and thunder and reports of hail in the area.

The quick moving line of storms raced from the west to the east with a tornado warning issued for Henry County at 11 o’clock Monday night with the tornado sirens sounding in Kewanee at 11:15 Monday night .

A tornado and quarter size hail were reported near Cambridge with that storm cell moving to the northeast at that time.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Kewanee at 11:15 Monday night with the tornado warning canceled at approximately 11:28 Monday night.

A second siren also sounded in Kewanee last night and a reminder to the public that there is no all clear signal given during severe storms. A second sounding of the siren indicates another severe development.

It appears that while some residents lost power at times last night, damage was generally on the minimal side.

To illustrate how changeable the weather can be at times during the late winter and early spring, the possibility of snow is in the forecast for this coming weekend.  


WKEI Open Line

Basketball and the Social Security Program hit the March 6 edition of the Open LIne on WKEI


OSF on Tuned IN

Patient safety is discussed during the March 6 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI



Bustos Calls For Sessions Resignation

Upon revelations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury by saying he did not meet with Russian officials during the campaign, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) issued the following statement:


“Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee, proving that he is unfit to lead the Justice Department as our nation’s top law enforcement officer. This is disqualifying – he should be held accountable and resign immediately,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Revelations of the Trump Administration’s ties to the Kremlin are a clear and urgent national security concern. We must go where the facts lead us. Once again, I am calling for an independent investigation to gain a full understanding of just how deep President Trump’s ties to Russia are.”


On Jan. 10 at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, then-Senator Sessions said – under oath – that, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”


Donkey Basketball at KHS on Tuesday

The wild and wacky world of donkey basketball will take place on Tuesday, March 7th at H.F. Brockman gymnasium at Kewanee High School.

The event is being sponsored by the Kewanee High School FFA and will begin at 6:30 on Tuesday evening. It will be a doubleheader donkey extravaganza as game one will feature Kewanee versus Galva and game two will feature Stark County against Geneseo.

The Dairyland Donkey Basketball Show is played on real, live donkeys and it will be wilder than a rodeo and funnier than a circus. It will also feature local players who will be riding the donkeys and it’s simply the game of basketball, only the players ride the donkeys the entire time as they play the game.

Ticket prices are set at $7 in advance and can be purchased at the Kewanee High School Office, also the Galva, Geneseo and Stark County High School Offices.

The proceeds will benefit the Kewanee, Galva, Geneseo and Stark County FFA Chapters and tickets can also be purchased from any of those FFA members.

Tickets will be available at the door on Tuesday night at a cost of $10 with pre-school students admitted free of charge.          


Moments by Mutti

The annual fundraiser known as Moments by Mutti is on the schedule this year for Saturday, April 22nd at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee.

Kelli Rashid is one of the committee members for the event and she explains what Moments by Mutti is all about…

Ms. Rashid says that proceeds from the program over the years has gone on to help other individuals and families facing similar situations…

Jamie Bryan is another committee member and he says that not only is the program a great fundraiser, it is also a community event…

Mr. Bryan says that tickets will be available at the door that evening but tickets in advance are encouraged and those are available right now…

Tickets at 853-7168   


Scholarship Opportunities

       Working as a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and serving as an active volunteer in the Quad Cities, Ina Duncan Banks was a strong champion for education.  In spite of being only 43 years of age at the time of her death, Ina had compiled an impressive list of business and community service accomplishments including:

• Treasurer of Volunteer Action Center Rock Island and Scott Counties 
• Past president and member of the Board of Directors, Rock Island County Chapter of the American Cancer Society 
• Member of the Board of Directors Zonta Club, Moline-Rock Island

Ina’s professionalism, courage and humanity impressed everyone who knew her. The scholarship was established by her friends and family.

Applicants should apply online at www.molinefoundation.org. All scholarships must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday,  March 15, 2017. All reference letters need to be mailed with a postmark on or before Wednesday, March 15, 2017 to: The Moline Foundation

817 11th Avenue, Moline IL 61265. Requirements:


            1. One $1,000 Scholarship will be awarded in 2017

                2. Applicant should be a female, undergraduate student who wishes to continue their   education to pursue challenging and diverse career opportunities

                3. Applicants must have successfully completed at least two years of their undergraduate            work and should be entering their junior or senior year of a college or university

4. Applicant must be resident of Rock Island County, IL, attending or planning to attend a four-year college or university

5. Applicant must show high academic achievement, community service involvement, and to some extent, financial need

6. Submit:  Transcript, two letters of reference and an essay in 200 words or less “What is your chosen career field?” or "What challenges you about attending college?"



All applications are online on the Moline Foundation website.  Please check the Moline Foundation website: www.molinefoundation.org or contact Linda Daily at (309)764-4193 if you have further questions.


The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts for all citizens in a seven county region including Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Warren, Henderson and McDonough in Illinois and Scott County in Iowa.


Moments By Mutti on PTP

Kelli Rashid and Jamie Bryan talk about the Moments by Mutti fundraiser during the March 3 edition of People to People on WKEI


U of I Extension on Tuned IN

Horticulture Educator Martha Smith talks about the early spring during the March 3 edition of Tuned IN on WKEI



Rauner Tour's More Storm Damage

The Governor continued his tour of storm ravaged towns. Bruce Rauner was in Jackson County on Thursday. This is the second day that he’s been out meeting with storm victims. Rauner says that he’s seen plenty of mother nature’s wrath while in office.

The death toll from the midweek storms pushed higher after a second man died from injuries suffered after a tree fell on him in Ottawa.


Staking out the physical and political middle ground

While President Trump has tried to demonize CNN, the New York Times, Politico and some other media outlets, at least one political pundit with the cable news channel says its time for Americans in the middle to stand up and be counted. Michael Smerconish (smerr-CON-ish), often provides commentary for CNN, and told farmers meeting in Springfield this week that most of America doesn't swing far left or far right politically;

Smerconish told a meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau in Springfield that middle America - both physically and politically, need to get active;

Governor Rauner and many members of the General Assembly also stopped by the meeting that attracted more than 400 Illinois farmers and other Farm Bureau members to the capital city.


Feb. Smashes Records

No matter where you live in Illinois you knew it been mild winter and now we are finding out just how much warmer it was. State Climatologist Jim Angel says that it was this past February was a record smasher.

The weather wasn’t wetter though. The warmer trend brought little snow an scattered rain showers. The month goes down as the 9th driest February


AFSCME hoping for extended stay

Negotiations between the Rauner Administration and the largest union for state workers have turned into a war in the court of public opinion. Anders Lindall with AFSCME Local Council 31 is hopeful the temporary stay that has prevented Governor Rauner from imposing contract terms will stick around a while longer...

While union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike authorization vote, Lindall says picket lines are not a favored option...

81% of AFSCME members supported a strike authorization vote.


Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities


The Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering up to five scholarships, at a minimum of $1,000.  In addition, Farm Bureau will be administering Wilbert & Carol Keppy Foundation Scholarships, five each in the amount of $2,500. 

Any student who qualifies under the guidelines may submit an application for either or both scholarships, but may only receive one scholarship for the year.  Applications will be judged separately.   

Applications must be received by or postmarked to the Henry County Farm Bureau® office, 128 N. Prospect Street, Cambridge, by March 6, 2017.  The Foundation Board will make the final selections soon after the deadline.

Applications may be obtained on the Henry County Farm Bureau website www.henrycofarmbureau.org or by emailing manager@henrycofarmbureau.org.

If you have any questions concerning the scholarship applications or the Farm Bureau Foundation, please contact the Henry County Farm Bureau at (309) 937-2411.


Park District Information

The renovations at Northeast Park in Kewanee continue as the fine tuning process for the project is headed down the home stretch.

Brian Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation at the Kewanee Park District and he says that ornamental fencing has added a nice look to the park…

With the outdoor season not all that far away comes the reminder that the various shelter houses and pagodas at the various parks in Kewanee are available for rent, but Johnson advises that if you have plans for an outdoor get together, best to contact the Park District just as soon as possible…

Brian says that most people are pretty good about moving away from an outdoor pagoda once they realize it has been previously rented for the day, but he adds if the shelter has not been rented it is available on a first come first serve basis…


Update On The Home Delivered Meals Program

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee has received word from the State of Illinois that funding will be available for the Home Delivered Meals Program.

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll says this is some of the best news they have had in quite a while…

Ms. Schmoll is urging seniors to sign up for the home delivered meals program…


Ms. Schmoll adds that the funds have not yet hit their cash register, but she is moving forward with the anticipation that they will in the near future…


Entrepreneurs Sought

The Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) of West Central Illinois is now accepting nominations for the 8thAnnual Eagle Awards.  These awards, to be presented at the Small Business Day Celebration on May 16, 2017, recognize local entrepreneurs in a variety of categories, including Small Business Start-up of the Year, Small Business Advocate of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, etc. 

Small businesses located in Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer and Warren Counties are eligible to be nominated.  The nomination forms are available at any ESN member organization or University of Illinois Extension website:  (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/).  Nominations are due by April 3, 2017 to Carrie McKillip, University of Illinois Extension, 180 S. Soangetaha Rd, Suite 108, Galesburg, IL 61401 or mckillip@illinois.edu.  Questions can also be directed to Ms. McKillip at 309.342.5108.

ABOUT ESN: The Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) is a group of service providers, dedicated to the advancement of local entrepreneurs, the promotion of innovation, and the development of an entrepreneurial culture. ESN seeks to build an entrepreneurial culture and support system that educates, engages, and transforms individuals, organizations and communities to higher levels of innovation. ESN providers and sponsors are the Carl Sandburg College, City of Galva, Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Henderson County Economic Development Corporation, Kewanee Economic Development Corporation, Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development, University of Illinois Extension in Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer, and Warren counties, and the Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois.


Sectional Championship Info

The Kewanee Boilermakers will take on Rockford Christian for the 2A Sectional Championship at Byron High School on Friday night.

The game will be aired live on Newstalk 1450 WKEI and streamed live at RegionalDailyNews.com

With a victory, the Boilers will head to Super-Sectional action next Tuesday night at NIU in DeKalb.

Kewanee High School will offer a fan bus that will leave the back of the school at 4:30 on Friday afternoon and the school also has pre-sale tickets available for purchase with further information by contacting KHS.

Tip-off time on Friday night is 7 o'clock.   


R's in Senate Still See Options For Budget

A lack of Republican support doomed the effort that the Illinois Senate had called their grand bargain. On Wednesday as votes were set to be taken it became apparent to Senate Democrats that they had seen a large portion, if not all, of their Republican support disappear. Senate President John Cullerton blames the Governor for getting involved. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno is on the optimistic side and thinks the effort hasn’t gone to waste.

The Governors staff says there is still more to be done to get the set of bills to be best thing moving forward for the state


Senate Dem's Blame Rauner For Lack of Votes

The Senate has worked both side of the isle for months to craft a grand bargain over the state’s lack of a budget and reforms that echo the turnaround agenda. But on Wednesday this week the vote was cancelled when not enough support was found from Republicans. The day started with the votes to be taken on workers compensation changes and tax hikes but votes from the R’s were disappearing and Senate President John Cullerton blames the Governor for squashing bipartisan support.

The Governor’s staff says that more work needs to be on the series of bills to assure it’s a good deal for everyone


HHH Foundation on PTP

Darcy Hepner talks about upcoming Hammond Henry Hospital programs during the March 2nd edition of People to People on WKEI



Henry County Senior Center on Tuned IN

Funding for the home delivered meals program is discussed during the March 2nd edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Rauner and Joseph tour tornado damage

Governor Bruce Rauner, State Emergency Management Director James Joseph and State Senator Sue Rezin have been touring deadly tornado damage in LaSalle County today. A 76-year-old man was killed when a tree was uprooted in Ottawa. A second fatality occurred when a 71-year-old man was killed in the Southeast Illinois town of Crossville in White County. Governor Rauner was impressed with the team effort in LaSalle County....

Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph was impressed by how residents were self starters in dealing with the storm....

Joseph says Illinois is fortunate the damage wasn't worse.


EPA Announces Early Start To The Ozone Season


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director Alec Messina has announced the early start to the 2017 Ozone Season. This is the time of year where meteorology and air pollution could result in elevated ground-level ozone. Previously, the ozone season ran from April through October, and 2017 is expanding by one month at the direction of U.S. EPA.

In 2015, U.S. EPA strengthened the national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone. Following the implementation of the new standard in 2016, U.S. EPA updated the Air Quality Index and subsequently updated the ozone monitoring seasons in 32 states, including Illinois. The extra month of monitoring will standardize the ozone season across a number of states.

“The earlier start to the ozone season offers an important reminder to residents to check their daily air quality forecasts,” said Director Messina. “Illinois EPA issues the forecasts to provide residents with important information to protect their health and take special precautions. Residents should check their daily air quality just like they check the daily weather.”

States use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to forecast each day’s air quality according to the six-colored system ranging from “Good” (Green) to “Hazardous” (Maroon). Historically, Illinois has not reached the top two categories of “Very Unhealthy” or “Hazardous.”

Ground-level ozone is formed through a complex chemical reaction with air pollution and sunlight. Emissions from vehicles and industry are heated up by the sunlight to form ground-level ozone. Elevated ozone levels can impact individuals, especially seniors, children and those with respiratory and heart conditions. Those individuals should take special precautions and follow their physician prescribed regimen when ozone levels are elevated.


Health Dept Boards to Meet

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, March 7th, on the 2nd floor, Stark County Courthouse, Toulon, Illinois.


     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, March 8th, 2017  at the Henry County Health Department office,

Kewanee, Illinois.



The Strategic Workshop through the Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Stark County Farm Bureau has been cancelled.

Jan Powelson is a Resource Conservationist with the Soil and Water District and she says that Friday’s program has been cancelled…

Ms. Powelson does says that their department has finally received some funding from the State of Illinois…

The Soil and Water Conservation District is also holding their Spring Tree and Fish sale once again this year…


Red Cross Provides Aid to Storm Victims

The American Red Cross is providing comfort and care to residents affected by the storms and tornadoes that hit parts of Illinois on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Volunteers from the Central and Southern Illinois Region are on the ground in Brown, Franklin, Marshall, Massac, White and Woodford Counties working with emergency personnel and community partners to identify residents affected and provide services.

Residents in need of assistance due to storm damage should contact the Red Cross at844-319-6560.


“The damage in our region was scattered and we are reaching out to individual families affected to offer services and comfort,” said Alyssa Pollock, American Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer. “Volunteers worked late into the night last night and were back out in the communities early this morning to identify needs and helping those we serve.”

Red Cross volunteers on the scene are members of the local Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.


Duckworth weighs in on Pres. Trump's first address to Congress

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after President Trump’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress tonight:

“Since taking office President Trump’s record has been divisive and disheartening, but I remained hopeful that he would view tonight as an opportunity to present the American people with a more positive and inclusive message to move us forward as a nation. Despite initial indications, vague platitudes about a bipartisan infrastructure plan and promises to rein in unfair trade practices, the President’s remarks tonight were anything but unifying.

“He largely doubled down on the dark and dangerous rhetoric that has become a pillar of his fledgling Presidency, including his misguided Muslim travel ban and deeply flawed understanding of the causes of gun violence in Chicago and across the country. Tonight was an opportunity for the President to make good on his promises to the American people, to back up his rhetoric with action. He did neither, and his broken promises are beginning to add up.”


Durbin offers unfavorable critique of Trump Address

You probably didn't expect Senator Dick Durbin to give rave reviews to President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress. Durbin took issue with the speech on a number of fronts, saying the President is offering big promises without any plans to achieve them. Durbin cites what he calls a lack of a concrete strategy to create jobs in America. Durbin is more stingy with praise when it comes to Trump's order to the Department of Homeland Security to create an office called VOICE — Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement......

Durbin says the President’s crusade to repeal health care would throw tens of millions of people off the insurance rolls, plunge markets into chaos, and blow a massive hole in the deficit. Durbin also kept up the heat on the Russian front, noting Trump did not discuss Russia's act of cyberwarfare against the US. Durbin says there's growing evidence that shows the need for an independent investigation of possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign and claims of a cyberattack on last fall's election


Durbin comments on tornado impact in Ottawa

Senator Dick Durbin was keeping tabs on weather developments back home as he took in President Trump's Address to Congress, in particular in Ottawa, where one person was killed....

Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials say the victim was killed when a tree was uprooted. There's no word on how many were injured in Ottawa. The twister struck the LaSalle County Nursing Home in Ottawa, but an employee tells the Associated Press residents suffered bumps and bruises and escaped serious injuries. 


Building trust with Illinois consumers

A national study shows half of consumers believe the food they eat is grown using sustainable practices. But that means half don't believe so. An Illinois Farm Bureau group met recently as part of its effort to build more trust with consumers. James Bloomstand owns a farm in Iroquois County but lives in heavily populated Cook County. He serves on the Illinois Farm Bureau Consumer Outreach Action Team;

Gracelynn Dale just joined the effort that, among other things, wants to use social media to reach Illinois consumers;

The two recently met along with dozens of other farmers and other Farm Bureau members as part of the organization's action teams. Other teams help develop leaders, and work to improve the quality of life in rural Illinois.


Duke Frisby on PTP

Information on the annual Stark County Morel Mushroom Festival during the March 1st edition of People to People on WKEI



WKEI Open Line

President Trump is discussed during the March 1st edition of People to People on WKEI


SCSWCD on Tuned IN

Resource Conservationist Jan Powelson addresses several issues during the March 1st edition of Tuned IN on WKEI


Kewanee City Info

Kewanee City Council tabled a resolution relative to swimming pool fencing regulations at Monday night’s meeting.

Mayor Steve Looney said the Council did address swimming pool regulations at the meeting…

Mayor Looney adds that Council will address some economic development issues in the near future…

Mayor Looney says that Council did approve $248,000 for work on Prospect at a point where water has backed up during heavy rains for several years..


Upcoming Retired Teachers Meeting

The Henry/Stark Counties Retired Teachers will meet Wednesday March 8, 2017 at St. Luke Medical Center located at 1051 West South Street Kewanee, Il 61443.  Please note location change from the earlier published 2017 meeting schedule.  The afternoon will begin with a noon luncheon.  Reservations are due to Alice Webster at 2241 Township Rd. 200 N. Toulon, Il 61483 or call 309.995.3542.  The cost of the luncheon is $10 payable to HSCRTA.

Jim Nolan will speak about Legislative Outlook for Retired Teachers.

A memorial service will be conducted to honor Henry/Stark retired teachers who have died during the past year.

All Henry/Stark retired teachers are invited to attend  Any first time attendee is invited as a luncheon guest with reservation.



Bishop Hill Seeks Toy Tractor Collectors


For the past 5 years, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association has hosted a Toy Tractor Weekend at the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street.  At this event, local collectors display a variety of John Deere, Case, International Harvester, and other brands of toy tractors and farm implements for one weekend only.  These toys are for display only.  This year’s weekend is April 1 and 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


For the 2017 Toy Tractor Weekend, we do have several openings available for toy tractor collectors who are interested in showing off their treasures to the public.  If you would like to take part in this event or have questions about it, please call  BHHA Administrator Todd DeDecker at  309 927-3889 or email him at bhha@mymctc.net.


Strong Storms Hit The Area on Tuesday

Strong and powerful thunderstorms hit Kewanee and much of central Illinois on Tuesday afternoon bringing in the first severe weather of the season.

Heavy rains and quarter size hail hit Kewanee on Tuesday afternoon with reports of egg size hail in Galva and baseball size hail in Ottawa where unfortunately, one person was killed as a result of the storm.

Hail in Dixon around 5 o’clock Tuesday afternoon was so heavy that it appeared that a blanket of snow had hit lawns in that area.

Large hail, heavy rain, strong winds and heavy damage was common throughout much of central Illinois with reports of a tornado in LaSalle County and another tornado spotted in Washburn.

One of the buildings that was damaged in Ottawa where the LaSalle County Nursing Home was hit creating major damage and minor injuries.

The storm was the result of a warm, moist, unstable air mass from the southwest clashing with a strong cold front from the northwest.

The warm air was a bit unusual for February, albeit the last day of the month but it also serves as a reminder that the spring season with the potential for strong weather is now in effect.

Residents may want to examine any emergency plans they might have and remain alert and aware when storm systems develop in the future.