Local News Archives for 2017-05

Protesters charged with trespassing after blocking Goveror's Capitol office

34 activists who walked 200 miles to the Capitol before causing a stir in the House gallery, and blocking entry to Governor Rauner’s office, face preliminary criminal trespass charges. The leaders from Fair Economy Illinois were arrested one by one starting at 10:30 last night when they refused orders to disperse from Capitol Police.


Rauner weighs in on a number of issues

Many wonder if Governor Rauner will use his veto pen much after the end of the legislative session. One thing is clear, he won't use it across the board. Rauner's office reports he will sign automatically voter registration legislation. Rauner vetoed a previous version, saying it didn't go far enough in preventing voter fraud. It's not certain whether the Governor will sign the bill boosting the minimum wage. He says he can support if with other regulatory changes.


Illinois House passes minimum wage bill

Illinois takes a big step forward to a higher minimum wage. -The Illinois House passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage from the current 8-25 to $15 an hour by 2022. Opponents argued the increased starting wage will drive more business out of the state. The bill's next step is in the Illinois Senate, where Senate President John Cullerton has pledged to bring it up for a vote if paperwork is wrapped up in time. 


Property Tax Freeze Not Enough for All Senators

A long held desire by Governor Bruce Rauner was to have a property tax freeze across the state. On Tuesday the Senate approved a plan to do just that but it falls well short of the wishes of many Republicans. Senate President John Cullerton says the approved plan – a two year freeze – is just the right amount of time to see if it’s working as intended and then lawmakers can approve an extension if needed.

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But Republicans don’t agree, Rauner wanted the freeze to last at least four years and Champaign’s Chapin Rose says two years is simply not long
enough.

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The House will now take up the measures. 


Dem. Senator Says They Did Their Job

It’s been 700 days since a full year budget was in effect for Illinois. Today marks the final day of the spring session for lawmakers to send the Governor a budget for his approval or veto. The Illinois Senate has already passed one. Democrat Senator Andy Manar says that House has a good plan to vote on and the calls on them to approve it.

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Manar adds spending in the budget they passed mirrors the caps that Governor Rauner laid out in his budget framework.


It's do or die for Illinois lawmakers and Governor Rauner

It's D-Day in Illinois as an ongoing budget crisis drags on. After two years without a budget, state lawmakers enter the final day of the legislative seesion. Governor Bruce Rauner is hopeful Illinois can avoid starting a third year without a budget.....
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Rauner insists a two-year property tax freeze passed by lawmakers is not long enough. The budget crisis has crippled Illinois public universities, the flight of millenials to other states and some social service agencies like drug treatment centers have been forced to close.


Bishop Hill Fire Update

The Bishop Hill Fire Department responded to a call at 5:27 am Tuesday morning of a structure fire on Swanson Street, Bishop Hill. Galva Fire Department assisted via Automatic Mutual Aid. The home sustained structural damage.

The Homeowner, Linda Holden, was found deceased, in the home, along with two cats.

The State Fire Marshall and Henry County Coroner also responded.

The fire is still under investigation at this time.


WKEI Open Line

A variety of topics hit the May 31 Open Line

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Farmers Market on Tuned IN

Diane DeMay and Angie Hathaway give an update on the Kewanee Farmers Market

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Abilities Plus Golf Outing Set For August 7

Abilities Plus will host their 26th annual golf outing on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 at Kewanee Dunes.

 

Registration fees are $80 per golfer before July 15th, or $85 after July 15th ($10.00 discount for Kewanee Dunes members).  The cost of registration covers greens fees, cart, beverages, snacks, and buffet meal after the outing.  Proceeds benefit programs and services for local children and adults with disabilities.

 

The outing is a preferred ball, two putt format which begins with a shotgun start at noon.  All individuals and groups are welcome.

 

Sponsorships for the day include hole sponsorships for $325, which covers registration fees for two golfers and signage on the course.  Tournament sponsors receive recognition on a welcome banner and during dinner for $200. A larger sponsorship for the beverage cart is also a possibility, and includes 4 free golfers.  Options for sponsors to give out public relations materials and prizes at the event are available.  Prize and cash donations are welcomed and appreciated as well.

 

Those interested in the outing can contact director of development Julie Landwehr at (309) 852-4626 or julie@abilitiesplus.org.


RR Crossing Work Thursday In Kewanee

The City of Kewanee has been notified from Burlington Northern that a railroad crossing closure has been scheduled.  The Park Street crossing is scheduled to be closed for repair beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday 6/1/17.

 

Residents are asked to avoid this area while work is taking place.


Bureau County Road Work On Thursday


Please be advised that the section of CH 27 (aka 2400 East Street) from Route 6 to 1650 North Avenue will be closed on Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. til 3:00 p.m. 


Honor Flight To Return To Bishop Hill

 

Honor Flight returns to Bishop Hill Sunday, June 11th, 3-6 p.m. with the community raising funds to send area veterans to Washington, D.C.  Fortunate veterans who are chosen will visit memorials dedicated to honoring their sacrifices.

 

In the last seven years, the community has raised more than $80,000 for the Quad Cities Chapter of the Honor Flight Network.  Area veterans will be provided with a free trip to visit their memorial with priority given to survivors of World War II, Korean War, and any veteran with a terminal illness.  Honor Flight Quad Cities operates on donations from organizations and individuals.  Representatives from the Honor Flight organization will be there to answer questions and to accept applications.

 

The schedule begins with the Barbecue Rib dinner at 3 p.m. in the village park.  Also, at 3 p.m., motorcycle riders can join up with the Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders at the Galva American Legion and help them escort the flag to Bishop Hill.  At 3:30 pm, the Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders and other motorcyclists will arrive; at 4 pm, there will be an Invocation and then the Presentation of Colors by area VFW and American Legion groups.  There will be several speakers, including Representative Dan Swanson from the 74th District and Terry Shields, Honor Flight participant. Shelley Kinzer of Bishop Hill will be providing patriotic music.  Live auction provided by Stenzel Auction Service.  Auction items include official Cardinal, White Sox, and Chicago Cubs flags, toy tractors from local dealers, gift baskets, as well as locally made quilts, pottery, pies, and other items.  Regional Media will also be giving away tickets to the Backroad Music Festival.  There will be a military retreat at 1800 hours exactly (6 pm) with a 21-gun salute and taps.  Golf cart shuttle services, provided by Cambridge Cart, are provided from the edge of the park.  For more information, call 309 927-3355 or 507-3801.

 

The Honor Flight Benefit will feature a Barbecue Rib dinner with potato salad and all the fixins prepared by the Filling Station Restaurant and the Bishop Hill Community Club. Serving will begin at 3 p.m. and will be held in the village park. Seating is available but be sure to bring lawn chairs.

 

Planned activities also include a live auction. Auction items still are needed! Call Linda Spring at (309) 927-3355.

 

The benefit is being organized by the Filling Station Restaurant. All proceeds from the day’s events will be donated to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. If anyone wishes to make a donation, volunteer, or need more information call the above number. 


House Considering Senate Budget and Revenue's

Managing cuts and revenues are challenges that House Democrats are looking at this week as the spring legislative session comes to an end. They have a Senate budget proposal to mull over that raises income and other taxes to generate $5 billion and spends $37.3 billion. House Democrats aren’t sure that the combination of cuts and revenues are the right way to end the states’ two year budget impasse. 


Fatal House Fire In Bishop Hill Early Tuesday

The Bishop Hill and Galva Fire Departments responded to a fatal house fire that occurred in Bishop Hill early Tuesday morning.

Fire personnel were called out at approximately 5:30 Tuesday morning to 107 Swanson Street in Bishop Hill to battle a fire that took the life of a resident at that address. No names have been released pending notification of family members by Henry County Coroner Melissa Watkins. It is believed that there was only one occupant in the home.

Bishop Hill Fire Chief Ben Strand reports that fire crews initially noticed a lot of smoke upon arrival at the scene and began to battle the fire.

Chief Strand said that for all intent and purposes, the home was basically destroyed by the fire along with other smoke and water damage.

No exact cause for the fire has been determined and the State Fire Marshall’s Office will be called in to investigate.

Chief Strand says that all firefighters did an excellent job fighting the fire and there were no injuries to any of the firefighters.

Fire crews were on the scene for the better part of 8 hours and the matter remains under investigation.          


Automatic Voter Registration Passes House

On Memorial Day the House acted to automatically sign up voters after they do business with a number of state agencies. The bill passed the House unanimously to allow for the Secretary of State to sign up or renew voter registration when an eligible voter applies for or renews a drivers license, the same will also be done if people interact with the Department of Human Services and Natural Resources. It was an act of rare bipartisanship, every member of the House and Senate voted in favor of the legislation. State Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston says that the process to vote in Illinois just got better.

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Supporters of the bill say it will allow for technology to make elections more secure and efficient. A citizen can opt out of the automatic registration if they choose. The bill needs one final procedural vote and then will shortly head to the Governor for his approval or veto. 


Farmers convert barns to event venues

If you have some weddings to attend in June or the rest of the summer, they just might be in a barn. A northwest Illinois farm couple has found opportunity in converting a barn into an event venue. Ed Livengood and his wife Kali took one of their barns in rural Carroll County and now host weddings and other events;

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Kali Livengood says the couple hosted 20 different events in their converted barn last year and this year's calendar looks to be just as busy;

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There are several other barns around Illinois that have been converted to public event venues. You can see a video and find out where online at Ilfbpartners.com.


Senate Democrats watch anxiously

The Illinois Senate is keeping a close eye on developments in the House after Senate Democrats advanced a budget plan last week. Democrat Andy Manar of Bunker Hill believes the chamber found a common sense balance between cuts and reforms...
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Manar says the budget would address major needs while not breaking the bank....
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Ag Statistics Starts New Survey Calls

The next round of questions is coming from the Illinois Ag Statistics Office. State Statistician Mark Schleusener says the latest survey was mailed May 23, but if that isn’t returned you may get a phone call instead.

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Schleusener says soon another round of surveys will take place, as it’s almost time for a new USDA Census of Agriculture.

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Schleusener says along with mailed and phone surveys, his office will also do in-person surveys with as many farmers as time and schedules allow.


WKEI Open Line

Memorial Day is discussed

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Chalk Art Committee on Tuned IN

Kathy Albert and Sue Sagmoen talk about the mid July Chalk Art Festival

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Hydrant Work In Kewanee Today

Effective Tuesday 5/30/17, the City of Kewanee Water Department will be replacing a fire hydrant in the 200 block of East College Street.  As a result, water will be shut off at the corner of Willard and East Garfield, south to East College and East Kellogg, Dwight between Garfield and Holiday Lane, 605 Andrews, and the 300 block of East College.

 

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

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

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


Park District Fishing Derby

The Kewanee Park District will partner with Oldeen Roofing of Kewanee once again this year to present the annual fishing derby at Windmont Park.

Brian Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the Park District and he says the fishing derby is always a big hit with families…

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The derby will run from 8 am til noon on the 10th and there will be some special rules in effect following the derby.

Johnson adds that it’s a sight to see when they stock Windmont with the fish for the derby…

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Brian also notes that Northeast Park is bustling with activity and right now the walking club is really taking off…

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Upcoming HCFB Tractor Drive


The Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation will hold a Centennial Tractor Drive on Saturday, August 12, 2017.  The drive will begin at the Henry County Fairgrounds, Cambridge IL.  Pre-registration is required by returning a completed registration form to the Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation by July 31.

 

Registration fee is $25.00 per tractor for Farm Bureau members and $45 for non-members.  The drive will be approximately 22-25 miles total, travelling to Hillcrest Home and returning to the fairgrounds.  Tractors must maintain a minimum of 10 mph and must be 1975 or older model.  

For more information or to obtain a registration form, contact the Henry County Farm Bureau at (309) 937-2411 or email manager@henrycofarmbureau.org All proceeds will benefit the Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation.


Gov Raunder Urges Property Tax Relief

Governor Rauner and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau joined homeowners Ken and Andi Borucke to urge the General Assembly to pass true, lasting property tax relief.

"Illinois home and business owners pay the highest property taxes in the nation. The median average for property taxes in Illinois is $3,995 compared to $1,085 average property taxes in Indiana," said Governor Rauner. "We can't just keep sticking it to the taxpayers without any real property tax relief."

Under the governor's proposal, property taxes would remain frozen unless voters chose to raise them through a referendum.

 

"In Orland Park, we remain committed to keeping your taxes as low as possible while still maintaining the quality of services you expect and deserve," said Mayor Keith Pekau. "I am glad the Governor is pushing for property tax relief to help our residents."

This week, Governor Rauner announced that any budget agreement that increases revenue must include real and lasting property tax relief. In making the announcement, he stressed that Illinois needs to make changes in order to grow the economy, create jobs and get state finances back on track. 

 

"We love Illinois, but one thing we’ve never loved is our property taxes," said homeowner Andi Borucke. "The current system doesn’t work and hurts working families like ours that have done everything right. We deserve to have more a voice in our property tax system. We keep paying more and more money, but see little value in return."


Mosquito Season Is Here

Headed outside this weekend? With all the wet weather in places the Illinois Department of Public Health wants you to prevent mosquito bites. Melaney Arnold says that recent rains have produced some ideal conditions to breed the irritating insect. To avoid the annoying bites and possible illnesses that go along with them take steps to keep bite free.

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A few other tips, wear long sleeves and pants and spend less time out around dawn and dusk. 


AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in Illinois

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Illinois! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in June 2017! AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to:

americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.


Unemployment Rates Uneven In Illinois

Unemployment rates were down over-the-year in all but one of Illinois’s metro areas. Five of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, eight reported declines, and one was unchanged, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“Declining unemployment rates relative to a year ago aren’t good news when they reflect declining labor force rather than growing employment,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “More disconcerting is the weakening employment growth across the metro areas; even Chicago-area growth is moderating.”

Illinois businesses added jobs in five metro areas, with the largest increases in: Lake (+1.0 percent, +3,900), Kankakee (+0.7 percent, +300), and St. Louis (+0.3 percent, +600). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+0.3 percent or +10,500). Illinois businesses lost jobs in eight metro areas including Rockford (-2.3 percent, -3,500), Carbondale-Marion (-2.2 percent, -1,300), and Decatur (-1.2 percent, -600). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included just Educational and Health Services (eight of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares April 2017 with April 2016. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.4 percent in April 2017 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in April 2017 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.


Summer Swimming Season Now Underway

Memorial Day weekend is when many pools and beaches open for the summer.  This week is Health and Safe Swimming Week, which is a good time to remind people about what they can do to stay safe and healthy while swimming.

“Swimming is not only a fun summer activity for kids of all ages, but it’s also a great form of exercise that can help keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of obesity,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “However, swimmers need to take an active role in helping protect themselves and preventing the spread of germs.  We all share the water we swim in, and we each need to do our part to help keep ourselves and our families and friends healthy.”

This year’s theme is, “Diarrhea and Swimming Don’t Mix.”  Diarrheal incidents in recreational water can lead to outbreaks.  Diarrhea is often caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli O157:H7.  Just one diarrheal incident in the water can release enough germs, that if a person swallows a mouthful of water, it could cause diarrhea lasting up to 2-3 weeks.  Many people think chlorine will kill germs in the water instantly, but some germs can survive for days in properly chlorinated pools. Crypto can survive in an adequately chlorinated pool for more than one week and is the leading cause of disease outbreaks linked to swimming.  Other common recreational water illnesses include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections.

Simple and effective prevention steps:

• Shower before getting in the pool.
• Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea – swim diapers will not contain diarrhea if your child has an accident in the pool!
• Don’t pee or poop in the water. 
• Don’t swallow the water.
• Do your part!  Report it if you or your child has a diarrheal incident while swimming.

Every hour—everyone out!

• Take kids on bathroom breaks. 
• Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area—not poolside.

Swimming in lakes and other natural bodies of water comes with a unique set of risks such as Naegleria fowleri, “the brain-eating ameba,” and harmful algal blooms.

Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic ameba commonly found in warm freshwater lakes and rivers.  If water containing the ameba goes up the nose, it can cause a rare, but devastating infection of the brain.  To reduce your chances of becoming ill, limit the amount of water up your nose, avoid putting your head underwater, hold your nose or use nose clips, and avoid stirring up mud and scum while swimming in warm freshwater areas.

Algae can grow in warm freshwater areas and in large amounts can be harmful to people – harmful algal blooms.  You should stay out of water that contains harmful algal blooms.  If you see that the beach is closed, stay out of it, and don’t swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface.  

To check the status of a swimming facility licensed by IDPH, use the IDPH Swimming Facility Search on our website.  To learn about beach closures, advisories, and test results, check the online Illinois Beach Guard System.


ISP Hopes For a Safe Weekend

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander Victor Markowski is reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions for the upcoming holiday travel. Troopers are responsible for the safety of more than 20,000 miles of the state’s roads and highways. The Memorial Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods for motorists and millions of drivers are expected to hit the roadways and interstates.    

 

The Memorial holiday enforcement period overlaps with the statewide Click it or Ticket safety campaign which began on Monday, May 15, and runs through Wednesday, May 31.  District 7 will focus on achieving zero fatalities by strictly enforcing the four most deadly traffic violations (Fatal Four):  Speeding, DUI, Seat Belts, and Distracted Driving.

 

Last year, the ISP issued 3,204 tickets for speeding violations during the four-day holiday period from Friday through Monday.   During the same time period, there were 196 DUI arrests; 732 seatbelt violations; and 229 distracted driver violations.

 

The simplest things you can do to protect yourself while traveling is to avoid distractions, slow down, wear your seatbelt and focus on the task at hand.

 

“The first holiday weekend of the summer is always a time for celebration. Please remember to share the road responsibly and appreciate that all motorists have the right to safely arrive at their destination,” states Captain Victor Markowski. “Troopers will continue to patrol the District 7 roadways to assist in everyone’s safe travels.”

 

The ISP is reminding motorists of the “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to “Slow Down and Move Over” when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights. Drivers must yield the right-of-way by changing lanes if possible and reduce the speed of their vehicle and proceed with caution if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.  This law now applies to motorists pulled off on the shoulder with hazard lights on as well. 

 

Alcohol is a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes, especially during celebratory weekends. Please do your part to help keep the roadways safe by planning ahead and designating a sober driver, calling a cab, or using a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. If we all do our part, we can make this holiday the safest one ever.


Memorial Day Schedule

Memorial Day will be observed on Monday and that will mark the first three day holiday weekend for the summer. While some retailers and other businesses will be open, and those that work in the emergency services field will still be at work, it will be a holiday for many people.

There will also be some schedule changes along the way as well.

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

Memorial Day is a federal holiday and the United States Post Office will be closed with no mail delivery or window service on Monday.

Memorial Day is a federal reserve banking holiday and most banks will be closed on Monday but best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.

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

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday and will re-open on Tuesday, May 30th.       

Black Hawk College facilities will be closed on Monday and will resume classes next Tuesday.     

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

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day and will re-open next Tuesday, May 30th.   


Kewanee Police Wish Everyone a Safe Holiday Weekend

The Kewanee Police Department is wishing everyone a safe and sound holiday weekend.

Police Chief Jim Dison is urging the motoring public to decide to be responsible over the Memorial Day weekend…

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Chief Dison says there will be lots of extra traffic over the course of the weekend and all the more reason to remain aware and alert…

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Younger drivers can be particularly vulnerable and statistics indicate that the summer months are often the most troublesome for those younger drivers which is a very sobering fact…

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May 31 Is No Tobacco Day

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that every year May 31st is proclaimed World No-Tobacco Day. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is "Tobacco – a threat to development." This annual campaign demonstrates the threats that the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens.

     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes that this important health designation is an important time to remind area residents about the Health Departments’ Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Grant activities. 

    In both Henry and Stark County our staff works continually to enforce, educate and encourage compliance with the Illinois Smoke-Free Act. The Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.

    Also, this past year, the Health Department has worked towards additional Tobacco-Free initiatives.  In Henry County we have a grant that encourages Tobacco Prevention and Control through the encouragement of Smoke-Free/Tobacco-Free Outdoor Spaces.  In Stark County we focused on Youth Tobacco Prevention through the development of Social Norms Marketing Campaigns. 

    Tucker notes, “The Health Department in coordination with the State of Illinois has taken these important steps to protect its residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of smoking and secondhand smoke.” 

     Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.


Right to Know Act awaits action in the House

The Illinois Senate recently passed the Right to Know Act, which is designed to protect the online privacy of Illinoisans while promoting online transparency. Senator Michael Hastings says the most personal of information is at stake, and it's a highly prized asset....
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Online companies would have to reveal what they're sharing under the act. Proponents say online personal info has been used to determine insurance rates and verify loans. The bill is being considered in committee in the Illinois House.


Strong demand expected at gas pump this summer

The summer travel season kicks off this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday. What will the numbers look like as we roll into June and July? Harry Cooney--Manager in Energy Customer Risk Management for GROWMARK provides an update.
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The average national retail gas price is $2.37, which is seven cents more from last year at this time.
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The average price for diesel fuel is $2.51 a gallon, 21-cents more from the same period a year ago. 


Local superintendents continue to put pressure on Springfield

Local school superintendents continue to put the pressure on Springfield. Eight of them traveled to the state capital this week. Henderson-Mercer-Knox-and-Warren County Regional Superintendent Jodi Scott says her area remains extremely concerned about mandated categoricals, which reimburse districts for transportation and special education.
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Scott traveled to Springfield on Wednesday with superintendents from the Abingdon-Avon; Galesburg; Knoxville, Monmouth-Roseville; ROWVA; United; West Central and Williamsfield school districts. 


Big Crowds Coming to State Parks

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is coming up and a popular trip to make is to Starved Rock. The state park near LaSalle always hosts big crowds to unofficially kick off the summer season. Ed Cross with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that millions visited last year.

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Traffic will be heavy around Starved Rock and other popular state parks. Cross says come ready to find a traffic delay or parking lots that are full. He says to stay up to date on conditions at the parks follow IDNR on Twitter or FaceBook. 


Right to Know Act awaits action in the House

The Illinois Senate recently passed the Right to Know Act, which is designed to protect the online privacy of Illinoisans while promoting online transparency. Senator Michael Hastings says the most personal of information is at stake, and it's a highly prized asset....
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Online companies would have to reveal what they're sharing under the act. Proponents say online personal info has been used to determine insurance rates and verify loans. The bill is being considered in committee in the Illinois House.


Bustos quick to criticize Trump budget plan

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos quick to criticize President Trump’s budget plan—specifically the nearly 20-percent cut in USDA’s budget.
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Bustos made her comments on the U.S. House floor Wednesday. She serves on the House Ag Committee and just last week questioned new U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue about funding for Illinois’ aging lock and dam system. 


Farmer react to Trump budget

Illinois farmers still in the early stages of digesting President Trump’s budget proposal. Tim Main of Knox County says it’s too soon to talk day to day impact, but news of a 20-percent reduction to USDA programs is troubling.
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Main says couple that with uncertainty over trade agreements with Mexico and Canada and you have the perfect storm brewing.
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Main says on top of federal issues, Illinois still does not have a budget, which is impacting all levels of local government—including rural schools.


Kewanee Park District on PTP

Brian Johnson gives an update on the summer schedule

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Kewanee Public LIbrary on Tuned IN

Sara Billiet gives the holiday schedule and the new summer hours at the Library

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BHC To Host Budget Forums

 

 

Black Hawk College will host two community forums on the college’s fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget.

 

The forums will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. –

·        Wednesday, June 7 – BHC Community Education Center, Room 102, 404 E. Third St., Kewanee

·        Thursday, June 8 – BHC Quad-Cities Campus, Health Sciences Center, Conference Room 204, 6600 34th Ave., Moline

 

Dr. Bettie Truitt, college president, and Steven Frommelt, vice president for finance and administration, will present an overview of the budget and answer questions from the community.

 

The college’s new budget year begins July 1.


Rep Swanson Proposes Legal Hemp In Illinois

 

Illinois is taking steps toward joining a number of other states in giving their farmers the chance to grow industrial hemp.  A bill that is awaiting a House committee vote, after a unanimous Senate vote, would allow a farmer to get licensed with the Department of Agriculture to plant and harvest industrial hemp. The plant has a short growing season, grows to 15 feet tall, needs little maintenance, and starves out other weeds. 

 

With downward corn and soybean prices sapping Illinois farmers' profits, state lawmakers think industrial hemp can serve as another revenue stream.

 

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) said he is a supporter of the crop and compares concerns about hemp’s relationship to marijuana with the difference between seed corn and sweet corn….

 

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Rep Swanson also notes that other states have had success with similar policies…

 

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Large Crowds Expected at Starved Rock This Weekend

With large crowds expected to visit Starved Rock State Park near Utica for the Memorial Day weekend, visitors are encouraged to monitor Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates on traffic delays and temporary parking closures at the park.

 

Temporary parking closures occurred last year at Starved Rock State Park during holiday and fall color weekends.  While Illinois River flooding has limited access to parking at Starved Rock this spring, all lots are expected to be open for the Memorial Day weekend.

“We encourage motorists to be patient and follow directions from Illinois Conservation Police officers and park staff at and near Starved Rock during the busy holiday weekend,” said Rafael Gutierrez, chief of the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement.  “We want everyone visiting Starved Rock and all of our Illinois state parks to enjoy themselves, but also to remember to follow park rules and regulations.”

 

Conservation Police will strictly enforce the following safety rules at Starved Rock:

 

·     No possession of alcohol on trails year-round

·     No alcohol allowed anywhere in the park Jan. 1 – May 31

·     No hiking off trails

·     No climbing rock walls and cliffs

·     No swimming

·     No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings

·     No littering

·     No being on trails after dark

 

 

All hikers at Starved Rock State Park should stay on designated trails. St. Peter Sandstone in Starved Rock can crumble and be slippery when wet. 

When Starved Rock parking lots reach capacity, the park may be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists are reminded not to park along park roads or public highways as that may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense. 

Starved Rock Lodge guests and lodge restaurant guests with brunch reservations will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations. 

To ease traffic congestion, motorists arriving from the east on Interstate 80 should consider taking an alternate route to the park. Travelers can exit at Ottawa, cross the Illinois River, and approach the park from the east on Illinois Rt. 71. Motorists also can exit southbound on Interstate 39 and take the Illinois Rt. 71 exit at Oglesby.

 

For updates, visitors may check for information on park activities and possible temporary closures as they near the park by tuning to the Starved Rock radio station on 1610 AM.  Visitors can also check for updates via social media:  Like the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Facebook, and follow the IDNR on Twitter @IllinoisDNR.


Rep Bustos Comments About Trump Budget

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

 

“President Trump’s budget is just the latest example of this Administration turning its back on rural America, family farmers and the hardworking families President Trump promised to fight for when he was elected. Instead of working across the aisle on a budget that’ll lend a helping hand to small towns with struggling economies, President Trump’s proposal stacks the deck against hardworking people who are just trying to get ahead.

 

“While the farm economy is struggling, President Trump’s cuts to the Department of Agriculture are especially devastating. His cuts to rural economic development funding means even more lost jobs and fewer opportunities in small towns across America, hollowing out communities that so many of us call home. And by cutting the crop insurance program, the Trump Administration is sowing more uncertainty for family farmers who are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

 

“President Trump also promised a major investment in American infrastructure. But behind the smoke and mirrors, his budget slashes funding for the Department of Transportation and the programs that build our roads, bridges, airports and passenger rail. Additionally, when so many communities are struggling with lead contaminated water, President Trump’s cuts to water infrastructure programs are literally dangerous for children and families.

 

“Once again, with President Trump, it’s not what he says – it’s what he does. Between TrumpCaremisguided changes at the Department of Agriculture and this budget, the fix is in – President Trump has shown us that rural America is nowhere near the top of his priority list. ”

 

Below is background information on President Trump’s budget proposal and how it can impact communities across the country and in Illinois 17th District:

 

CUTS TO RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS

President Trump’s budget:

·         Guts discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by 21 percent.

·         Leaves farmers behind with more $28 billion in cuts to federal crop insurance program.

·         Eliminates $498 million in funding for rural water systems that help more than two million additional people annually. As part of the Rural Utilities Service, the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides direct loans, guaranteed loans, and grants that rural communities use to finance new or improved water treatment and waste disposal systems.

·         USDA Rural Development has bolstered an estimated 112,000 small businesses and 450,000 jobs in rural areas. Yet, the President’s budget would downsize this important agency and eradicate the Rural Business Service programs.

·         Eliminates USDA’s Rural-Business-Cooperative Service discretionary programs which support job training, energy, and business development programs, including cooperative and business development, community economic development, and regional planning and financing. Since 2009, USDA has helped over 112,000 rural businesses start or expand operations with nearly $11 billion in investments.

·         Eliminates economic development support that sends $840 million a year to rural America, including funding for Meals on Wheels. The Community Development Block Grant program, one of the largest community and economic development program in rural America, also supports approximately 8,500 jobs yearly.

 

CUTS TO PROGRAMS THAT REBUILD COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT FAMILIES

President Trump’s budget:

·         Slashes spending to help small manufacturers grow and thrive by 95%, even while more than 70 manufacturers in Illinois 17th District have benefited from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

·         Compromises the EPA’s ability to protect children from lead poisoning by cutting funding for the Lead Risk Reduction Program, which helps educate Americans about ways to reduce lead exposure, and eliminating grants to states to help address lead-based paint.

·         Eliminates the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which annually helps roughly six million American households afford their energy bills when times are difficult.

·         Slashes funding for Superfund and Brownfields programs by more than 30%, reducing the EPA’s ability to help communities bounce back and redevelop hazardous sites.

 

CUTS TO OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

President Trump’s budget:

·         Slashes overall discretionary transportation funding by 13 percent.

·         Cuts infrastructure investment by eliminating funding for the popular TIGER grant program, which competitively awards funding for infrastructure projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area. TIGER grants have been awarded in all 50 states since 2009.

o   The Q Multimodal Station in downtown Moline is funded in part by a $10 million TIGER grant.

·         Eliminates funding for the Essential Air Service, which supports small towns and rural areas by ensuring they have continued commercial air service.

 

CUTS TO EDUCATION AND OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

President Trump’s budget:

·         Cuts federal work study funds that help students work through college by $487 million.

·         Eliminates subsidized student loans, which will make college less affordable for middle-class students and those with financial need.

 

CUTS TO HEALTH CARE

President Trump’s budget:

·         Slashes funding to train rural doctors and healthcare providers. The Administration’s budget slashes $403 million in HHS programs that help train and sustain rural primary care providers, particularly non-physician practitioners like nurses and physician assistants of which small-town communities tend to over-rely on for main healthcare needs due to scarcity of primary care doctors.

·         Cripples life-saving medical research by cutting the National Institutes of Health budget by 21%-- $6 billion by next year.

·         Defunds the health care of children, seniors and veterans through $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid program and forcing states to ration care.

 


Heavy spring rains leading to nitrogen loss for farmers

Heavy rains in the southern half of the state have farmers dealing with nitrogen loss. Tim Laatsch (loch rhymes with lock) works for Growmark.
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And Laatsch says the soil sample will determine a farmer’s best course of action.
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Laatsch farms near Altamont in Effingham County. He says his area of the state has seen rain in “the teens” this spring


Former Congressional Candidate Arrested

A number of Democrats have expressed interest in running against Congressman Rodney Davis next year in the 13th Congressional District. The man who represented Dems last year might be hard pressed to get a rematch with Davis. Former Macon County Board member Mark Wicklund is charged with DUI and hitting a police officer at Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he was being treated after a rollover crash last month. Wicklund is free on $10,000 bond.


Dem's Pass Budget Bills - No Republican Support

Senate President John Cullerton appears to have given up for his quest for a Grand Bargain budget deal with Republicans. Democrats went their own way, approving a $37.3 billion spending plan that features a $5.4 billion tax increase. The additional revenue would come from boosting the personal income tax to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate to 7 percent. Sales tax would be added to a number of services. Governor Rauner says he'll fight the budget plan because it lacks a long term property tax freeze....

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No Republicans voted for the budget bills Tuesday. 


Illinois lawmakers debate college admission bill

Legislation being debated in Springfield that would require Illinois public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants that finish with a grade-point average in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb has Western Illinois University in her district. She voted against the measure.
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The bill was turned down in the Illinois House, but did receive enough votes for the sponsor to utilize a parliamentary procedure called “postponed consideration” meaning the legislation can be considered again.


Votes for Budget and Revenue Lack Republican Support

The Grand Bargain may have gone out with a whimper. Senate Democrats abandoned attempts to reach a compromise budget with Republican Senators. The Senate voted to boost revenue through a personal income tax increase to 4.95 percent and corporate tax boost to 7 percent. Proposed new sales taxes on services were scaled back. Senators agreed to drop plans for sales taxes on repair and maintenance of cars, homes and personal property as well as landscape services. Sales taxes would be added to laundry and dry cleaning, storage, pest control, alarm and security services and tattoos and piercings.


Downstate lawmaker speaks out against raising state income tax

A downstate lawmaker speaking out against legislation that raises the state income tax. The State Senate approved Senate Bill 9 on Tuesday by a 32 to 26 vote. State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria opposed.
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Senate Bill 9 increases the individual income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate income tax rate will increase to 7-percent from 5.25 percent. The legislation also imposes a 6.25-percent tax on tattooing and body piercing and new taxes of 6-percent on satellite and streaming services. 


Senate Dems pass budget, Rauner veto pen at the ready

Senate President John Cullerton appears to have given up for his quest for a Grand Bargain budget deal with Republicans. Democrats went their own way, approving a $37.3 billion spending plan that features a $5.4 billion tax increase. The additional revenue would come from boosting the personal income tax to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate to 7 percent. Sales tax would be added to a number of services. Governor Rauner says he'll fight the budget plan because it lacks a long term property tax freeze....
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No Republicans voted for the budget bills Tuesday. 


Durbin weighs in on FBI choice

Senator Dick Durbin isn't looking for a political bedfellow to head up the FBI after the firing of James Comey. Durbin isn't offering names or endorsements, but he is looking for a true independent streak....
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Durbin was a guest on MSNBC.


Kewanee Police Chief on PTP

Police Chief Jim Dison talks about his upcoming retirement

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WKEI Open Line

Working the third shift is part of the discussion

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Mid Valley Association of Realtors on PTP

Mary Jo Gibson gives an update on the local housing market

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Preferred Home Health Care Open House

Preferred Home Health Care of Galva recently was recognized for their accomplishments.

Pam Kelly with Preferred says it was a great honor that originated with their company’s owner…

 

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Ms. Kelly adds that the public is invited to an Open House at Preferred Home Care’s Galva location on Thursday afternoon…

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Kewanee City Info

The City Wide Clean Up set for last Saturday in Kewanee was postponed because of the inclement weather.

Mayor Steve Looney says trying to work out in the open in a big parking lot surrounded by metal objects with the threat of lightning is not a good idea…

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Mayor Looney also cites a positive with the City’s union as the City and AFSCME Council 31 Local 764 have agreed to a new five year contract…

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Mayor Looney also notes that the Kewanee Police Department will soon lose three long time servants to retirement, as Chief Jim Dison, and Officers Pat Clapper and Harry Underwood will all be stepping down in the very near future…

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Illinois' crop protection industry has voice in Washington

Illinois’ crop protection industry has a voice in Washington. It’s through the group CropLife America where Missouri native Kelly Bray serves as senior director of governmental affairs.
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Bray says the organization has just launched a new campaign—called “Give a Crop”.
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You can learn more about the campaign at “giveacrop.org” Bray says the site also features a popular section called myth vs. fact--comparing conventionally grown food to organically grown food. 


Mayor Looney on PTP

Mayor Steve Looney and City Engineer Dale Nobel give an update on city happenings

 

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WKEI Open Line

Several topics hit the May 23rd Open Line

 

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Preferred Health Care on Tuned IN

Pam Kelly and Heather Achuff talk about the nursing shortage in Illinois

 

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AAA Predicts Busy Holiday Weekend Travel



AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
In Illinois, 1.95 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 1.9 percent increase from 2016. Of those travelers, 1.8 million will be driving (up 1.8 percent from 2016) and 101,000 will be flying to their destination (a 3.1 percent increase from 2016). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.39, down from $2.49 last month and about even with average prices a year ago.
 
In Indiana, 850,000 people are expected to travel, which is up 2.5 percent from 2016. Of those travelers, 770,000 are expected to travel by auto (2.4 percent increase) and about 44,000 by air (3.7 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.25 per gallon, down from $2.35 a month ago and about even with prices this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.34.
The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Department, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “So far in 2017, travel bookings with AAA in Illinois/Indiana are up 27 percent compared to the same period last year. Higher confidence and falling gas prices have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day.”

By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast

· 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year.

· 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.

· 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.

· 1.75 million travelers, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

· Drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015. Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.

Large increases in flying and travel by other modes this Memorial Day
While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, more Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise vacation compared to last year. Air travel is expected to increase 5.5 percent over last year, with 2.9 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 2.9 percent, to 1.75 million travelers.

Airfares, hotel and car rental rates on the rise
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9 percent higher this Memorial Day, with an average round trip ticket landing at $181. Hotel costs have also increased since last Memorial Day, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215, or 18 percent more than last year. Daily car rental rates will average $66, which is 7 percent more than last year.
More Americans are planning to rent cars for their holiday road trips this year. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day. According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.

AAA to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day
AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.
AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 
AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.


Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month

Erin Trostle of Kewanee was recognized as Achiever of the Month for April at Abilities Plus.  She received recognition because of good attendance, positive progress on goals, and attention to detail on computerized educational programs.


City Wide Clean Up Day Re-Scheduled

RESCHEDULED!!!!

City Wide Clean Up Day

Saturday June 3, 2017 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The following items WILL NOT be accepted:

Electronic items, Toxic materials, Liquid paint, Cleaning solvents, Motor oil, Batteries, Liquid items of any sort, Tires, Landscape waste, Slate siding, Shingles, Concrete, Brick, Masonry, Railroad ties, Construction or Demolition materials.

The following items WILL be accepted:

Mattresses, Furniture, Yard Furniture, Water Heaters, Appliances, Metal junk items, Scrap Wood,  Paint with lids REMOVED (MUST BE DRIED use cat litter), Carpet, Toilets, other misc junk and trash items that maybe cluttering your yard or you’ve had stashed behind the garage or yard shed that you’ve been putting off taking to the transfer station. 

YOUR VEHICLE MUST BE HAND UNLOADABLE!

If in doubt of an item being accepted, Call City Hall 852-2611

 

How to enter the Clean Up site:

Enter on to Elliott St. from West Prospect St.  Drive South on Elliott St. and Stop at West Division St.  Have Utility Bill and ID ready.  Your ID will be checked at this intersection.  If you do not have the required Utility Bill and ID, you will be directed in a safe direction out of the City Wide Clean-up area. Once your ID is verified you will be directed to the West on Division St. where you will enter into the parking lot to empty your vehicle into a trash container.  You will then be directed to exit the parking lot and West down Pine St.  DO NOT ENTER FROM PINE ST.


ISP: Click It Or Ticket

 As Memorial Day approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation and state and local law enforcement agencies are joining forces to remind motorists to wear their seat belts and avoid impaired driving.

"Wearing your seat belt is the law, but it’s also a matter of common sense," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "Making the right choice to buckle up, every time, no matter where you are seated, substantially increases your chance of survival in the event of a crash. By buckling up and avoiding impaired driving, you can help keep Illinois roads safer for all who are traveling."

Motorists can expect to see increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois as part of IDOT’s "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

The effort to crack down on unbuckled and impaired drivers come at a time when traffic fatalities are on the rise. Illinois has seen an increase in motor vehicle fatalities over the last two years. According to 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 42 percent of nationwide motor vehicle fatalities involved unbuckled vehicle occupants.

Seat belts are designed to keep you positioned safely in a vehicle. Should a crash occur, a seat belt helps slow down the body, works in conjunction with the air bag and spreads force over a wider area of the body, lessening the likelihood of injury or ejection.


Hydrant Work In Kewanee On Tuesday

Effective Tuesday 5/23/17, the City of Kewanee Water Department will be replacing a broken fire hydrant in the 100 block of West College Street.  Water will be shut off while work is taking place for residents in the 100 block of West College Street and at 549 Tenney Street.  Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m.

 

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

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


U-of-I ag policy expert receiving input on new Farm Bill

What’s working in the current Farm Bill and what’s needed in the new one? Those questions being answered by University of Illinois ag policy expert Jonathan Coppess.
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Coppess has been receiving input on the issue from farmers across the state and met with the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors last week in Bloomington.
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And Coppess says low commodity prices have also been a dominant part of the discussion. The deadline for ushering in a new Farm Bill is September 2018. 


U of I Extension on PTP

Angie Peltier talks about the value of scouting fields from planting to harvest

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OSF On Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens talks about the upcoming hospital golf outing

 

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Kewanee City Info

Kewanee City Council recently passed a budget that contains a slight deficit but city officials says that is no cause for alarm as the expectation is that the budget will be balanced again in a couple of years or so.

But some other communities around the state are not as fortunate as some have had to lay off members of their fire department or police department.

Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley says he doesn’t see that happening in Kewanee…

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The road improvement season will soon be here and Mr. Bradley acknowledges that the amount of streets that need attention outweighs available funds…

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Mr. Bradley says work on Kewanee City streets will take place over the course of the summer and autumn months…

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Hydrant Testing In Kewanee Continues This Week

 

The City of Kewanee will continue flow testing of fire hydrants beginning Tuesday 5/23/17.  The Fire Department will be working on the project Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to noon (weather permitting) to update hydrant capacity and flow pressure data, in addition to flushing the water mains of sediment built up.  This project is expected to extend into the fall for this year.

 

Areas within or nearby testing areas may experience periods of lower than normal water pressure or discolored/rusty water.  The Fire Department will alert the public through local media which areas they will be working in a few days prior to beginning work.

 

The Fire Department expects to continue work again Tuesday 5/23/17 in the areas of Midland, Crescent, Circle, Val Mar, and Mission Drives and the 400 to 900 blocks of West South Street.

 

The next area planned to begin Thursday 5/25/17 will include several streets within the blocks of Tenney Street to East Street South, Garfield to East South Street, and streets between including Kellogg Ave, Holiday Lane, Green Street, Fullerton Court, Hilltop Drive, and Percil Court.

 

Dates of work being done are pending, and could possibly be postponed for any unforeseen weather or emergencies in between.

 


Health Dept Offers Family Clinic Services


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

 

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

 

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

   

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


SA Camps

The Kewanee Salvation Army will once again present their summer camp series for area children.

Perhaps best stated as camps as in plural, as Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls says there will be a total of seven camps this summer…

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Ms. Bolls says there are other camps on the schedule and a reminder that all camps are free of charge and kids can attend as many times as eligible…

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Registration for each respective camp needs to be made 18 days before that respective camp so that means that registration for the Senior Sports camp on June 12th needs to be done right away.

Ms. Bolls reminds parents that a nurse will be on duty at the camps 24 hours a day and she also extends a round of thanks to the 1st Baptist Church of Kewanee for their continued support as they provide the campers with shower pails…

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


City Wide Clean Up Cancelled

The City Wide Clean Up in Kewanee scheduled for today, Saturday, May 20th has been cancelled because of the inclement weather.

The event has been re-scheduled for Saturday, June 3.   


Commodity markets concerning many Illinois farmers

Shaky commodity markets continue to be on the minds of some Illinois farmers as spring planting marches on in many parts of the state. The weak markets concern McHenry County farmer Michelle Aavang (AY-vayng – end rhymes with fang).
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The northern Illinois farmer has been watching new farm bill discussions and debate closely. But, she says there’s still a long way to go in developing what could serve as a farm safety net for her and other farmers beyond next year.
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Aavang represents DeKalb, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors. She, her husband and son raise crops and livestock near the northern Illinois town of Woodstock.


WKEI Open Line

WW Two and other topics hit the Open Line

 

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Salvation Army On Tuned IN

Linda Bolls talks about summer camp

 

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BHE Graduation Tonight

Black Hawk College’s East Campus will hold graduation ceremonies tonight at the National Guard Armory in Kewanee.

David Harris is the Outreach Coordinator at the College’s Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee and he says it’s time for a celebration of accomplishments…

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Wethersfield Graduation on Sunday

Wethersfield High School will hold graduation ceremonies on Sunday afternoon.

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says they are looking forward to the graduation ceremonies…

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Mr. Kazubowski says it’s amazing how time flies and he notes how he has been connected to this class for the last twelve years…

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Mr. Kazubowski adds that graduates will have a place to go for one final time together after Sunday’s graduation…

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Unemployment Remains High In Illinois

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate declined -0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent in April and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -7,200 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. March job growth was revised up to show a decrease of -7,700 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of -8,900 jobs. April’s monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. Due to payroll declines for both March and April, Illinois remains -25,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000.

“Illinois did not participate in the nation’s job growth in April,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Furthermore, the decline in the unemployment rate was largely due to a drop in the labor force, not more people working.”

“We continue to see sluggish growth in our economy due to the inability of the legislature to institute common-sense structural changes that would encourage investment in our state,” said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “If we create a business-friendly environment, we will see greater opportunities and more good paying jobs in every community.”

In April, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were:Education and Health Services (+2,600); Manufacturing (+1,900); and Information Services (+1,300). The largest payroll declines were in the following sectors: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-7,100); Construction (-4,500); and Leisure and Hospitality (-2,400).

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +22,100 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in April: Education and Health Services (+16,200); Professional and Business Services (+11,600); Financial Activities (+8,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include: Construction (-6,600); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-6,500); and Manufacturing (-3,600). The +0.4 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is about one-fourth as strong as the +1.6 percent gain posted by the nation in April.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2017, which decreased to 4.4 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -1.3 percentage points from a year ago when it was 6.0 percent. At 4.7 percent, the Illinois jobless rate stands at its lowest level since March 2007, after having decreased for three consecutive months.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.7 percent from the prior month to 307,000, down -21.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. This brings the number of unemployed workers to its lowest level since February 2007.The labor force decreased -0.3 percent over-the-month and declined by -0.7 percent in April over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL). IJL recently showed 66,212 posted resumes with 184,170 jobs available.


Safe Boating Week

Each year hundreds of people lose their lives in boating incidences, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

The National Safe Boating Council will kick off its annual boating safety campaign with National Safe Boating Week May 20-26. And, next month is National Safety Month. This is a good opportunity to remind the public about the importance of being a responsible boater.


Champaign area start-up aims to keep top ag talent in Illinois

The ag industry remains focused on hiring and retaining top talent. That’s the mission of Champaign based Agrible, Inc. They’re home to agronomists, scientists and developers—who work for the grower in the field says the company’s Cynthia Bruno.
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Luke Zwilling has been with the start-up since the beginning and says their location provides a great advantage.
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The company opened in 2012 and now features a staff of 53 employees.


High winds create dust storms in parts of Illinois

High winds created conditions in many parts of Illinois resulting in dust storms. That’s what happened Wednesday afternoon and evening when high winds whipped up some strange looking clouds says Mercer County farmer Michael Zecher.
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The high winds hit as many farmers are finishing up planting. Planting naturally disturbs topsoil. Storm chasers and other weather spotters also reported several funnel clouds over portions of western and northern Illinois Wednesday afternoon and evening. Most of the damage involved tree limbs and spotty power outages.


ISP on PTP

Trooper Jason Wilson talks about texting and driving

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Kewanee Historical Society on Tuned IN

Larry Lock gives the summer schedule and more at the Historical Society

listen here

 


Upcoming Red Cross Blood Drives

 

 

 

Before busy summer schedules set in, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to roll up a sleeve to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients in need.

 

Donors of all blood types are needed now to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving cancer treatment.

 

Kenneth Reed gives blood in his son’s honor. When Trace was 8 days old, he underwent heart surgery and received blood transfusions. “It’s the least I can do. If it wasn’t for donors, he wouldn’t be here with us today,” said Reed. “I don’t call it donating blood; I call it donating life.”

 

Giving blood is an easy and thoughtful way to honor a loved one who has relied on blood products, to follow in the example of a family member who gives regularly or to simply help others.

 

As a thank you, those who come out to donate May 26-30 will receive a Red Cross-branded visor, while supplies last. 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). Donors can then also visit redcrossblood.org/cedarfair to enter to win one of three grand prize packages for four to Knott’s Berry Farm in California or Cedar Point in Ohio.

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

 

IL

 

Henry

 

Cambridge

5/25/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St John's Vianney Church, 313 S West Street

 

Galva

5/30/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 214 N. W.  Second Ave

 

Kewanee

6/14/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St.

_______________

 

 

 

 

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.

 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Kewanee Businesses Receive Awards

The West Central Illinois Small Business Day Awards Luncheon was held on Tuesday at the Lake Storey Pavilion in Galesburg.

Former State Representative Don Moffitt was the keynote speaker and Kewanee businesses took five of the ten awards given.

Approximately 100 people were in attendance at event which was catered by the Broken Chimney Restaurant of Kewanee.

The award presentation included the 100 year Anniversary Recognition Award to the Schueneman and Tumbleson Funeral Home in Kewanee, the Small Business Start Up of the Year award went to Midwest Trailer Manufacturing, the Small Business Success for a business in existence for over 10 years went to Breedlove’s Sporting Good’s in Kewanee, the Small Business Advocate of the Year Award went to Johnson Heating and Cooling of Kewanee, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to P.L. Damron’s in Kewanee and the Entrepreneurial Lifetime Achievement Award went to Preferred Home Health Care of Kewanee.

Judges for this year’s event included Galva City Administrator David Dyer, Salvador Garza, Senior Manager of the West Central Region of the Office of Regional Economic Development, Rex Johnson, Market President of Mercer County, RSVP Volunteer Al Kulczewski and Lee Trotter, Account Manager for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.           


Henry County Democrats to Meet Tonight

Henry County Democrats will meet this evening for their monthly meeting.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Cellar Restaurant in Geneseo beginning @ 6:30.

The meeting will be held in one of the back rooms and participants are invited to come early and enjoy some good food.

At tonight’s meeting, they will be going over the parade

schedule and other upcoming summer events.

The reminder that Henry County Democrats are still looking for

precinct committeemen or women for certain precincts.

Those details and more at tonight’s meeting and as always, the general public is invited to attend any of their always meetings.

For further information, contact Henry County Chairman John Sovanski at 854-2902


City Wide Clean Up on Saturday

A reminder of the City Wide Clean Up effort on the schedule for Saturday in Kewanee.

The clean up is for Kewanee residents only and will be at the old Kewanee Hospital location at 716 Elliott Street from 8 am til 2 pm.

Residents will need to bring proof of residency with a utility bill and other ID that verifies a Kewanee address and residents must enter Elliott Street from the north off of Prospect Street.

Items that will be accepted include mattresses, furniture, yard furniture, water heaters, appliances, metal junk items, scrap wood, paint with lids removed and dry paint in the can, carpet, toilets and other similar miscellaneous junk.

Items from vehicles must be unloadable by hand.

There is also a threat of rain for Saturday and officials have outlined protocol for the event of rain.

If it is rain only, the event will be held as planned, but if there is the threat of lightening or severe weather, the event will be postponed until June 3rd.

It the event is postponed, we will have the announcement on Newstalk 1450 WKEI Saturday morning beginning at approximately 6:45.

Keith Edwards is the Director of Community Development in Kewanee and he says the event could not take place without the help of many groups and organizations…

listen here

And speaking of volunteers, more are needed for Saturday and anyone that can help out is more than welcome…

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A reminder that the City Transfer Station is also scheduled to be open on Saturday from 8 am til 2 pm for paying customers.


Over 1,100 Illinois farmers respond to action request

Over 11-hundred farmers respond to an Illinois Farm Bureau action request. The issue involves the Environmental Protection Agency “getting back to basics” says Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert Jr.
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And as for Springfield, Guebert awaits action on a state budget just like many other interests throughout Illinois.
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Guebert farms in Ellis Grove in Randolph County. 


Stark County Supt on People to People

District 100 Supt of Schools Jerry Klooster and Elementary Principal Jenna Bibb give a year end review

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Coach Matt Mott On Tuned IN

Coach Mott talks about the semi pro Northern Iowa football team

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WKEI Open Line

Donald Trump is discussed

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Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn

A reminder from the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce that the next Business Lunch & Learn will be held Tuesday May 23rd

The topic is Benefit Plan Compliance in regards to ERISA, Health Care Reform, COBRA and other topics.  Representatives from Group Services Inc. will be making the presentation

 

Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m.

RSVP to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce 


IDOT Adjusts Mowing Routine

 To help revive the shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, the Illinois Department of Transportation is adjusting its mowing routine along state highways this spring and summer. The approach, part of IDOT’s overall effort to encourage green and sustainable practices in all its programs and projects, will help to re-establish types of plants that are food sources for bees, butterflies and other insects that are native to Illinois.

“As one of the largest land owners in the state, IDOT appreciates its tremendous responsibility to act as stewards of the environment,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This simple change in our maintenance obligations will have little impact on the traveling public, but will give a big assist to Mother Nature at no cost to the state.”

Although their numbers are on the decline, pollinators play a vital role in agriculture and the state’s ecosystem by fertilizing and aiding in reproduction of flowers, fruits, vegetables and seeds. The official state insect of Illinois since 1975, the monarch butterfly is at risk of being declared endangered, with a population that’s declined by 80 percent the last 10 years.

Starting this month, IDOT will only mow 15 feet of right of way beyond the edge of the roadway. Exceptions will be made in certain areas to preserve sightlines for motorists and to prevent the spread of invasive plant species.

Prior to this initiative, mowing widths varied by location. By reducing the amount of land being mowed, IDOT hopes to encourage the growth of critical plant species, such as milkweed, the only food source for monarch caterpillars. In the coming months, IDOT will be monitoring roadsides to determine if the approach is working.

In recent months, IDOT has taken other measures to restore native habitat along state highways, including a prairie restoration project on U.S. 45 near Champaign.


Zoning Board Of Appeals Meets This Evening

The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet in Kewanee City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street this evening at 7 o’clock.

There is one variance petition upon which a hearing will be conducted. 

The request comes from  Brian & Amanda Forrest at 613 East Street as they are seeking a side yard setback for room addition variance.

 


Quilt Show, Kites, and Much More in Bishop Hill

 

 

The 2017 Bishop Hill Quilt Show will be from May 19 to May 21.  This year’s theme is “Cats, Calico, and Cross Stitch.”  At the Colony School, a bedazzling display of color will fill the building.  Over 100 quilts will be on display:  antique, miniature, patchwork, applique, and much more.  Admission fee for the Colony School is $5.  Proceeds from the show will be used for various charity quilts distributed to local hospitals, homes for the elderly, veterans, and children in need.  The Prairie Queen Quilt Club Theme Challenge quilts will be on display in the Steeple Building Museum.  On May 20, Cathy Grafton will be conducting a hands on embroidery workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dairy Building.  Learn a bit of embroidery history and create a sampler with ten basic stitches.  To register, please call 309 927-3064.  Also on Saturday May 20, Cathy Grafton will talk about the story, the needlework, and the history of the Bayeaux Tapestry.  This famous embroidery depicts the meeting of Harold of England & William Conqueror and then graphically illustrates the 1066 Battle of Hastings.  This free lecture to the public will be at the Dairy Building and will start at 6 p.m.  For more details about the quilt show, please call 309 927-3851.  The quilt show is sponsored by the Prairie Queen Quilt Club, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, and the Bishop Hill Arts Council.  Show hours for May 19 and 20 are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Show hours for May 21 are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday May 20th, kites of all shapes and sizes will be soaring in the skies over historic Bishop Hill.  From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. approximately a dozen kites, some over 40 feet long, will be flying over the Summer Cottage, located at 507 Lindstrom Street in the northeast corner of Bishop Hill.  Tony and Ann Killip, from Wataga, IL, are the proud owners of these kites and have participated in twelve or more kite festivals each year.  This kite show is free and open to public, courtesy of the Summer Cottage and Our Kites Fly.  The rain date will be Sunday May 21.  The types of kites flown will depend on the weather conditions.  For more details about the kite show, please call 309 927-3359.

For more information about these activities or future events in Bishop Hill, call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net or check out www.bishophill.com.


Wethersfield 8th Grade Graduation on Thursday

The Wethersfield School District will hold graduation for 8th grade students on Thursday evening.

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says that Thursday will also be the last day of attendance for 8th grade students…

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Mr. Kazubowski adds that just like high school graduation, the 8th grade ceremony is also very special…

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Mr. Kazubowski adds that at Wethersfield, the hall ways are filled with pictures of teams and athletes and other students with their various accomplishments and it’s now to the point where there isn’t a lot of room left over.

A committee appointed by the Wethersfield Board has been at work on a project that should be ready to go by the start of school later this summer…

listen here


Winnebago County dairy farmer pushes back against proposed railroad project

A northern Illinois farmer pushing back against a proposed railroad project. If approved, the Great Lakes Basin line would run within ten feet within Tammy Wakeley’s free stall barn in Winnebago County.
Wakeley
Wakeley says she’s frustrated because it could take the Surface Transportation Board several years to make a final decision. She also would have liked to see more time for public input on the issue.
Wakeley
The farm Wakeley’s own dates back to 1884. 


Evidence based education funding plan takes hit

Progress on an evidence based education funding formula takes a hit. State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb says an amendment was offered Tuesday in Springfield that throws a wrench into things.
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Hammond believes the amendment is being motivated by Chicago special interests.
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The Governor’s Education Funding Reform Commission offered a report to the state legislature earlier this year.


Kewanee Supt of Schools on PTP

District 229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens gives a recap of the Kewanee High School graduation

 

Listen Here

 

For More Local News Visit RegionalDailyNews.com

 

 

 


Stark County Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

Anna  Emm talks the upcoming golf outing

 


City Info

The lawn mowing season is obviously in high gear once again and a recurring problem in Kewanee and probably in many other locales is the fact the citizens tend to mow their grass clippings out into the street.

Keith Edwards is the Director of Community Development for the City of Kewanee and he says grass clippings in the street can lead to bigger problems…

Edwards says there is another reason to not blow clippings into the street as that can have an effect on those who ride motorcycles…


IL Housing Market Up In March

 The Illinois housing market had a strong showing in March with home sales climbing 9.6 percent over previous-year levels and the statewide median price  surging 10.7 percent higher,according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 13,274 homes sold, up 9.6 percent from 12,116 in March 2016.

The statewide median price in March was $189,900, up 10.7 percent from March 2016, when the median price was $171,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Consumers this spring have no choice but to be nimble as they find fewer homes on the market and increased competition for those homes,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “Many of the REALTORS® I talk to are reporting an increase in multiple offer situations, which means buyers can’t dawdle when they find what they want and they may want to make sure any offer they bring is an aggressive one.”

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 67 days, down from 77 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 52,826 homes for sale, a 15.5 percent decline from March 2016 when there were 62,492 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.20 percent in March 2017, an increase from 4.17 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2016 it averaged 3.70 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 9,661 homes sold, up 13.1 percent from March 2016 sales of 8,540 homes. The median price in March 2017 was $231,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 10.0 percent from $210,000 in March 2016.

“In inflation adjusted terms, both the Illinois and Chicago housing markets have recovered to their pre-recession levels,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “The consumer indices still reflect a positive outlook on the economy although the Home Purchase Sentiment Index declined, reflecting some elevated concerns about job security.”

 According to the data, fifty-two (52) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2017 over previous-year numbers, including McHenry County, up 31.1 percent with 468 units sold; Cook County, up 9.9 percent with 5,255 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 8.5 percent with 230 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 17.3 percent to $138,450; DuPage County, up 10.2 percent to $270,000; and McLean County, up 7.3 percent to $166,250.

The city of Chicago saw a 15.3 percent year-over-year home sales increase in March 2017 with 2,478 sales, up from 2,149 in March 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2017 was $295,000, up 9.7 percent compared to March 2016 when it was $269,000.  

“Home sales were stronger than usual throughout historically slower months, and now, with the spring market in full swing, the numbers are proving to be more robust than anticipated,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “As the economy improves, demand continues to grow, and while inventory shortages will possibly play a larger role, for now, we are seeing strong and favorable selling conditions, and those who are looking to buy a home should be prepared to move quickly and decisively.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of April 7, 2017 for the period March 1 through March 31, 2017. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

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

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


Explore growing and cooking Strawberries and Rhubarb with University of Illinois Extension

Strawberries & Rhubarb are in season and it is a great time to learn about how to grow them in the garden and use them in the kitchen!  Martha Smith Horticulture Educator will talk about growing both and what problems you may encounter.  Kristen Bogdonas will introduce you to different recipes that utilize both.  Rhubarb and strawberries are great additions to both your sweet and savory dishes.  Join us and taste test some of these recipes. 

Pick the date that works for you: All classes will be from 5 - 7 pm.

June 6 – Henry Stark Counties Extension office, 358 Front Street, Galva, IL

June 7 – Mercer County Health Dept., 305 NW 7th St, Aledo, IL

June 12 – Rock Island County Extension, 321 W 2nd Ave. Milan, IL 


HHH Health Fair on May 18

Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo will present their 7th annual Community Health Fair on Thursday, May 18th from 3-5 pm.

Kari DeBrock is the Community Educator at Hammond Henry and she says it’s a great opportunity to find out more about the various components at the hospital…

Ms. DeBrock adds that the Henry County Health Dept will be on hand accepting unused or expired medications and there will be other features at the event which is free of charge to the public…

Again, the Open House at Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo Thursday afternoon from 3-5 and once again, the event is free of charge to the general public.


U of I tax policy expert: Questions remain unanswered with Trump administration tax reform plan

A University of Illinois tax policy expert says too many questions remain unanswered with the Trump administration tax reform plan. Don Fullerton isn’t calling the plan good or bad. He says it’s just basically a one-page list of bullet points.

The last significant tax reform occurred in 1986, and although it intended to simplify the tax code, Fullerton says special interests got in the way.

Fullerton says just like lawmakers, he’s awaiting analysis on the Trump reform plan from the Congressional Budget Office and Treasury Department. 


Bipartisan group of House members try to nudge Senate

A bipartisan group of more than 30 Illinois House members are tired of sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the budget process. With the Grand Bargain seemingly stuck in neutral in the Senate, State Representative Tim Butler and others want to see the Senate craft the best compromise they can so the House can go to work.......

Butler says the bipartisan group will have more to say if there isn't progress toward a budget....

Lawmakers face a May 31 deadline to pass budget bills with simple majority votes.


Action on truck/trailer length legislation expected this spring in Springfield

A key rural transportation item dots the legislative agenda in Springfield as the spring session winds down. Don Schaefer represents the Midwest Truckers Association and he expects action on legislation impacting the length of truck/trailer combinations….

Schaefer hopes for movement on the bill next week in the senate. He says increasing the length limit will result in greater efficiencies for farmers when hauling products like grain. The spring session wraps up May 31st. 


Wethersfield Supt of Schools on PTP

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski gives an update on year end activities

 


OSF On Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and Lisa Salisbury talk about Hearing and Speech Month


Women's Health Week

 

The observation of Women’s Health Week is underway with a reminder of the importance of keeping women everywhere in good health.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she says the Mothers Day Weekend is a good time for the reminders…

Ms. Tucker says that while now is a good time to focus attention on the issue, the hope is that women will keep up with their health care needs all year long…


High Speed Fiber Optics Coming To Kewanee

Cambridge Telcom, Inc. (CTI), announces construction is continuing on their extensive fiber network project with plans to bring high speed fiber-optic service to thousands of homes and businesses within the Kewanee and Wethersfield area.

“As technology continues to grow and change, we know both homes and businesses want and need more speed,” says Matt Storm, General Manager of GCI & CTI. “Fiber changes everything and truly puts us ahead of any provider in the area.  This investment will allow us to deliver the speeds customers want including those that are beyond the traditional services available today.”

The company has been providing high-speed fiber service within the area for several years with its original focus directed toward promoting technology and innovation by providing accessible ultra-high-speed broadband to the schools, colleges and major healthcare and business operations.  Currently CTI is proud to deliver direct fiber services to all schools within Wethersfield and Kewanee area including connecting the Black Hawk East and West Campuses, the City of Kewanee, and Kewanee’s OSF Saint Luke Medical Center just to name a few.    The company is now ready to expand its high-speed fiber optic service to a residential offering and hopes to begin construction within the coming weeks. 

“It’s about helping customers be ‘future-ready,’” added Storm. “The need for high-speed broadband and data services are continually changing and customers are demanding faster speeds and increased bandwidth. Some providers claim to offer fiber optic internet. The truth is, if that fiber does not run all the way to your home or businesses then you are not truly getting the speed or reliability of a Fiber Optic Internet. Our Fiber goes all the way to your doorstep—not just to the curb.  With this new fiber network, we’ll be able to meet customer’s future communication needs. 


KSD Board Meeting

AGENDA

 

KEWANEE COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #229

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE

1001 NORTH MAIN STREET

KEWANEE, IL   61443

 

6:15 PM

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER BY THE PRESIDENT

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 and (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 and (C) (5) the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body and (C) (8) Security Procedures and (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases and (C) (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2016

 

                                                                        7:30 PM

 

III.       PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

IV.       INVITED GUESTS

            A.        Lewis Robinson – State Wrestling

            B.        Conner DeVilder – State Choir

            C.        KHS Group Interpretation Team

            D.        Gabrielle Kubiak & Conner DeVilder – KHS Speech

 

V.        CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES

A.              District #229 Open Meeting – April 17, 2017

B.              District #229 Closed Meeting – April 17, 2017

C.              District #229 Special Open Meeting – April 24, 2017

D.             District #229 Special Closed Meeting – April 24, 2017

 

VI.       CONSIDERATION OF FINANCIAL AND TREASURER'S REPORTS

A.        District #229

 

VII.      CONSIDERATION OF BILLS AND PAYROLL

A.        District #229

 

VIII.    COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE 

 

IX.       REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION

A.              Superintendent

1.              Congratulations to our Retirees: Thomas Patrick Berlin, Julie Johnson, Mary Ebert, Diane Ouart, Linda Pont, Cynthia Saey, David Spets, Teresa Bryner, Herbert Richey, and Rita Wheelhouse

2.              Summer Food Program Sites: Central School, Irving School, KHS, YMCA, Lyle School, Fairview/Housing Authority, Northeast Park, Neponset Grade School & Prairie Green

3.              Review of 2016/2017 Budget

4.              GSA Formula Updated Options for 2017/2018

5.              Band & Choir Concerts

6.              Shaune Lewis – KHS Head Boys Basketball Coach named IL Basketball Coaches Association “Coach of the Year”

B.              Mr. Bryan – KHS Principal

1.              KHS Graduation

2.              FCCLA Banquet

C.        Mr. Anderson – Central Principal

            1.        IESA State Track

            2.        Central & Neponset 8th Grade Promotion

            D.        Mr. Atwell – KHS Athletic Director

                        1.        IHSA State Track

                        2.        Baseball & Softball Update

            E.         Mr. Stabler – Belle Principal

                        1.        Title I Annual Review Report

 

X.        SUPERINTENDENT COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

XI.       UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A.        Consideration and Approval of 2nd Reading of New & Revised Policies:  2:100; 3:70; 4:15; 5:15-AP;    4:60-AP4; 4:60-AP4, E1; 4:130-E; 4:180; 4:180-AP1; 4:180-AP2; 5:70; 5:80; 5:120; 5:130-AP; 5:210;            5:220-E; 5:230; 5:270-E; 5:285; 5:285-AP; 5:300; 6:70; 6:70-AP; 7:100; 7:190-E2

B.        Parking Lots Update

C.        Soccer Fields Update

D.        Discussion of Visitation Jr. High Softball Co-op (Deadline: July 28. Must get approval from 5 opposing teams          or conference prior to Board approval.)

 

XII.      NEW BUSINESS

(Consent Items A – E)

A.              Consideration and Approval of Districtwide Parental Involvement Policy

B.              Consideration and Approval of Belle Alexander Parental Involvement Policy

C.              Consideration and Approval of Irving Parental Involvement Policy

D.             Consideration and Approval of Central Parental Involvement Policy

E.               Consideration and Approval of Neponset Parental Involvement Policy

F.               Consideration and Approval of Central Handbook Changes for 2017-2018 School Year

 

XIII.     ACTION FROM CLOSED SESSION

A.              Resignations

1.              Lee Monroe – KHS Asst. Girls Basketball Coach – Effective Immediately

2.              Kaitlyn Foley – Central 4th Grade Teacher – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

3.              Jordan VanMelkebecke – Summer Custodial Aide – Effective Immediately

4.              Brad Leggett – Summer Bus Driver – Effective Immediately

5.              Samantha Noble – KHS Bilingual Aide – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

6.              Ashley Vegter – Central Resource Teacher – Effective End of 2016-2017 School Year

B.              Retirements

1.        Teresa Bryner – KHS Library Clerk/Office Aide – Effective 5/31/17

2.        Dave Bryner – Bus Driver – Effective 5/31/17

C.              Hires *

1.              Summer Substitute/Trip Bus Driver

2.              Summer Food Service Worker

3.              KHS Assistant Girls Basketball Coach

4.              3rd Grade Teacher(s) at Irving for 2017-2018 School Year

5.              6th Grade Teacher at Central for 2017-2018 School Year

6.              4th Grade Teacher at Central for 2017-2018 School Year

7.              KHS Special Education Teacher (Cross Categorical) for 2017-2018 School Year

8.              Irving School Janitor

D.             Leaves

1.        Sawyer Rahmus – Parental Leave

E.               Long Term Sub

F.               Transfers

1.        To Be Determined

G.             Volunteers

1.        Belle Alexander School

2.        KHS Boys Basketball

H.             Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

I.                Other Action Arising from Closed Session

1.        To Be Determined

 

XIV.    COMMENTS FROM VISITORS AND BOARD OF EDUCATION

 

XV.     ADJOURNMENT

 

* All hires are contingent upon hirees obtaining appropriate certification and qualifications prior

   to beginning job.


Theatre Production Auditions In Kewanee

The Kewanee Park District Summer Community Theatre will hold auditions for their first show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this week.

Ellen Johnson is a 2013 graduate of Kewanee High School and now a graduate of Monmouth College and she is heading the project here in Kewanee…

Miss Johnson adds that auditions are wide open and she says that right now, flexibility is a real key…

Miss Johnson adds that auditions will be held in two sessions this week at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School…

Once the cast is set, rehearsals for the Play will last for approximately 6 weeks with the presentation of the play set for early July…

Further information about the auditions at Kewaneetheatre.com  


Southern Illinois man takes over lead role on National Rural Electric Cooperative board

A southern Illinois man takes over as president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Phil Carson of Oakdale has served on the organization’s board since 2006. He says it continues to be a challenge getting service to rural America.

And he says most of his focus involves environmental issues.

’Carson serves on the Tri-County Electric Coop Board of Directors in Mt. Vernon. He spent 25-years as a dairy farmer before retiring in 2005. 


In Central Illinois the Postal Service will deliver for you, the hungry

There's no sleet or snow this time of year, but mail carriers will be helping the hungry regardless of the weather this weekend in the 21 counties served by the Central Illinois Foodbank. On Saturday, Postal Service employees will pick up nonperishable food left in sturdy bags by mailboxes as part of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The Foodbank's Krista Lisser says the work of the letter carriers is crucial...

Lisser says the annual event is noteworthy, not just for the number of donations but the type of donations as well...

Last year, letter carriers collected 34,000 pounds of food in the Central Illinois Foodbank's territory.


Ellen Johnson on PTP

Ellen Johnson talks about auditions for an upcoming play in Kewanee

 


SCSWCD on Tuned IN

Jan Powelson discusses various conservation programs


Sen Weaver Opposes HB 40

State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) released the following statement after Senate Democrats passed House Bill 40 on a partisan roll call requiring taxpayer funding of abortions.

“Taxpayer funding of abortions is an issue even many pro-choice supporters believe goes too far." I voted no on the bill in accord with my values and the overwhelming majority of those I represent. I now urge Governor Rauner to veto House Bill 40.”

 


Kewanee Hydrant Work Continues

The City of Kewanee will continue flow testing of fire hydrants beginning Tuesday 5/16/17.  The Fire Department will be working on the project Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to noon (weather permitting) to update hydrant capacity and flow pressure data, in addition to flushing the water mains of sediment built up.  This project is expected to extend into the fall for this year.

 

Areas within or nearby testing areas may experience periods of lower than normal water pressure or discolored/rusty water.  The Fire Department will alert the public through local media which areas they will be working in a few days prior to beginning work.

 

The Fire Department expects to continue work again Tuesday 5/16/17 near the South Water Tower in an approximate 9 square block area between Beach Street South and Tenney Street and East McClure and East South Street.


KHS Graduation On Sunday

Graduation for students at Kewanee High School will be held on Sunday afternoon in the H.F. Brockman Gymnasium at KHS.

Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says that 133 students will graduate on Sunday afternoon…

Parking at times during graduation ceremonies at KHS can be a little tight but Mr. Bryan says there should be enough parking spaces to go around…

Mr. Bryan also notes that today is the last day of student attendance for seniors at Kewanee High School and it will be full of for those seniors…


Upcoming Mental Health Meeting


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

 

    The Health Department, the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force, and the Henry County Mental Health Alliance invite you to attend the May Support Group for friends and family of people with mental illness.

 

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 16th at 6:00-7:30pm at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center, 404 E. 3rd St., Kewanee.

 

     David Harris, of the Mental Health Alliance and Black Hawk College Community Education Center adds, “We encourage interested individuals to join with others dealing with the same struggles to share stories, offer encouragement and lend support.”

 

     For more information about the upcoming mental health support group meeting, you may contact Mr. Harris by calling (309) 738-2146.

 


Sen Weaver To Speak At LWV Meeting


State Senator Chuck Weaver of the 37th District will be the speaker at the 71st annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area on Thursday, June 1, at Kewanee Dunes. His presentation will be informational with a question and answer to follow. The public is invited to attend the dinner and program.

The social hour including cash bar starts at 6:00 p.m. The LWV members will conduct their annual meeting from 6:30  -  7:00 p.m. The meal starts at 7:00 p.m., and the program follows after the meal.

The cost for the meal is $20. Meals for those with dietary restrictions available upon request by notifying Patty Varner when responding to the invitation.

You must RSVP with the number attending to Patty Varner (852-9793 or 
pattyvarner@gmail.com) by Friday, May 26. You may pay at the door. Any questions please contact Patty Varner or Carla Hillman.

A Peoria native, Chuck Weaver grew up on the farm where he currently lives. He was involved in the family Angus cattle operation.

He is a graduate of Dunlap High School and Bradley University. He obtained his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

In 1985, he started working for Weaver Enterprises as the Director of Operations and later President of the company, where he supervised the company’s 500 employees and multiple Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises.

Chuck rose in recognized leadership roles, becoming President of the American Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisee Association; Chair of the United States Polo Association; and Chair of the Three State Heartland Young Life Committee.

He is passionate about helping others and has provided invaluable mentoring of underprivileged youth in life skills. He has helped countless others with strategic planning guidance as they lead non-profit organizations.

Upon being elected to the Peoria City Council, Chuck and his wife, Laurie, established “Leaders Change Peoria” by donating Chuck’s monthly City Council salary to local leaders who launched new efforts to improve Peoria. Later when elected to the State Senate, Chuck and Laurie broadened the organization into “Leaders Change Illinois” and it has now funded over 60 new initiatives to improve our communities.

Chuck has demonstrated the same passion in the business arena where he has been engaged with entrepreneurs in over 50 LLC business start-ups through financial or managerial support.

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan, political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase the understanding of major public policy issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

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


QC area lawmaker speaking out against bill allowing elective abortions for Medicaid recipients

A Quad City area state lawmaker is speaking out against legislation that allows taxpayer funding for elective abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees. State Senator Neil Anderson has major problems with the bill.

The measure passed by a 33-to-22 vote and moves on the Governor, where a veto is expected. Currently, Illinois' Medicaid program covers abortions in cases of rape, incest and when a mother's life or health is threatened. State Employees insurance does not cover abortion unless necessary for the preservation of life of the mother.


Government agencies keeping close eye on the Monarch butterfly population

Government agencies keeping a close eye on the Monarch butterfly population. If it becomes an endangered or threatened species that action could have a significant impact on farming practices says Lyndsey Ramsey--Associate Director of Natural and Environmental Resources for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Ramsey says producers can improve Monarch butterfly habitats simply by planting pollinator gardens or leaving milkweed in non-crop areas—like around farm buildings and along roads and ditches. 


Durbin has questions about Comey firing

Senator Dick Durbin went on the offensive again Wednesday against the Trump Administration on the issue of Russian interference in American affairs. .Durbin took the Administration to task for the firing of FBI Director James Comey......

Durbin had questions about the involvement of the Attorney General Sessions in terminating Comey....

Durbin continued to call for a special prosecutor and independent commission to investigate Russian involvement in the last Presidential election.


Illinois tourism numbers rose in 2016

Illinois tourism officials say there was a seven figure increase in the number of tourists visiting the Land of Lincoln last year. State tourism director Cory Jobe reviews the 2016 numbers....

Jobe says the economic impact of that visitor investment is clear...

Jobe reports the state tourism and hospitality industry generated 9,600 new jobs during the year.


BHE Job Fair

The Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee continues to host a job fair on the 3rd Tuesday of every month.

David Harris is the Outreach Coordinator at the CEC and he says the next job fair will be on May 16th

While job interviews will be a big part of the job fair, the event serves at minimum as a primer for those wishing to polish their interview skills…


Bridgeway Offers Free Screenings


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to reduce the stigma related to mental illness and ensure you are taking steps toward good mental health, Bridgeway is offering FREE Depression and Anxiety Screenings. Professional counselors from Bridgeway will offer a brief, 15 minute screening May 16th from 11:00-1:00 at Black Hawk East. Screenings are free and confidential.

Further information by contacting Bridgeway in Kewanee.


Theatre Auditions In Kewanee



Ellen Johnson (KHS grad '13, Monmouth College grad '17) has founded a community theatre in collaboration with the Kewanee Park District.

The Kewanee Park District Summer Community Theatre is holding auditions for their first show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber). We are committed to providing an equal opportunity theatre for all Kewanee community members and those in the surrounding area.

Any Kewanee community member or a member of a surrounding community, ages 10 and up, are welcome to audition. Auditions will be held in the Kewanee High School Petersen Auditorium on May 176-8pm and May 184-7pm.Visit Kewaneetheatre.com for more information and audition materials. Walk in auditions are more than welcome!


Henry County Republicans To Meet

 

Henry County Republican Central Committee will meet on Monday, May 15, 2017 in Cambridge.  Volunteers will gather at 5:15 pm at Michlig Grain on IL81/82 east of Cambridge for the annual spring clean up along their sponsored area of the highway.  Those volunteering will be provided with garbage bags and gloves.

 

Later at 6:30 pm the regular meeting of the Henry County Republicans will be held at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center, 407 N West Street.  Meeting topics will include a review of the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, plans for the Henry County Fair in June and the many parades which the Republicans will participate in this summer.   

 

Anyone interested in getting involved in supporting the Republican elected officials is invited to attend.  Those with questions can call 309-944-6463


IHSA postpones state bass fishing tourney due to high water levels at Carlyle Lake

High water levels at Carlyle Lake have forced the Illinois High School Association to postpone the State Final Bass Fishing Tournament. The event was scheduled to be held May 19th and 20th, but will now be pushed to later this spring. This marks the 9th year for the IHSA state tournament series in bass fishing says the organization’s Kurt Gibson.

The IHSA Board of Directors made the decision to postpone the finals based upon discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The IHSA was also forced to postpone the state final tournament in 2011 and 2013 due to high water levels. 


IDNR reintroducing alligator gar to Illinois waterways

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is moving forward with plans to reintroduce a fish that was once native to Illinois waterways. The alligator gar is coming back says Rick O’Neil with IDNR’s Department of Fisheries.

The last known catch of the fish, prior to the start of the reintroduction effort, was in the Cache River basin in southern Illinois in 1966. The alligator gar is the largest of the gar species and second largest freshwater fish in North America, next to the white sturgeon. The current all-tackle record alligator gar, caught in 1953 in Texas, weighed 302 pounds and measured 7-feet-6-inches in length. Researchers determined that prior to Illinois extinction, the state produced some individual gar that measured more than eight-feet in length, with the heaviest weighing 176 pounds. 


Durbin reacts to Comey firing and more signs of Russian tampering with elections

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is weighing in on the Trump Administration firing of FB I Director James Comey. Durbin released a statement expressing his concerns about the investigation of possible Russian involvement in the Presidential Election.
“The termination and removal of James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raises the critical question as to whether the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential campaign will continue and as to whether the investigation of any collusion or involvement by the Trump campaign will also be investigated by the FBI. Any attempt to stop or undermine this FBI investigation would raise grave constitutional issues. Under these circumstances, I renew my call for an independent counsel and a special commission to fully investigate the Russian interference. We await clarification by the White House as soon as possible as to whether this investigation will continue and whether it will have a credible leader so that we know it will have a just outcome.”

Meanwhile, Durbin says something smells fishy about this week's French Presidential Election, even though the outcome appeared to be unaffected by outside meddling....


At some point cash reserves won't be the answer for local schools

A downstate superintendent says at some point, all Illinois schools will be running out of cash reserves. That’s if the Illinois General Assembly doesn’t reach a compromise on a full fiscal year operating budget and education spending plan. Sherrard School District superintendent Alan Boucher says everyone knows it’s not good.

And Boucher says although a new education funding formula plan is being floated in Springfield that shows a modest increase for Sherrard, it still results in inequities when comparing his school to neighboring districts in the Quad Cities area.

Sherrard is currently owed over $500,000 in categorical funds from the state for such things as transportation and special education. 


More wet weather for parts of Illinois this week, followed by dry trend

More rain is in the forecast for parts of Illinois over the next several days. Not in the range of 4-to-8 inches like in some areas of central and southern Illinois last week, but still enough to get the rain gauge some work Wednesday into Thursday says meteorologist Richard Garuckas with Freese-Notis Weather.

Sothern Illinois can expect anywhere from a tenth to a half inch of rain Wednesday into Thursday. Dryer weather is then expected for most of the state beginning Friday into the early portion of next week and temperatures should be warming into the low to upper 70’s, and possibly 80’s by later next week. 


Boil Order In Kewanee Lifted

 

Effective Wednesday 5/10/17, the City of Kewanee Water Department boil order has been lifted for 1508, 1516, 1517, 1518 and 1642 Burlington Avenue, as well as 1430 Pine Street.  


BHE on PTP

David Harris discusses upcoming classes at Black Hawk East


HCFB On Tuned IN

Katie Laleman talks about a tractor drive later this year


Kewanee City Budget

Kewanee City Council passed a $16 million budget on a unanimous vote at Monday night’s Council Meeting.

City Manager Gary Bradley says the budget is the result of several months of work by City Hall…

Mr. Bradley acknowledges that there is a bit of a deficit in the budget but he feels that the ledger will be balanced once again within a year or two…


Abillities Plus Volunteers Recognized

 

Kewanee, IL – Abilities Plus volunteers were recognized at an appreciation luncheon held on April 25, 2017 at PL Damron’s in Kewanee.  Volunteers assist in many different program areas, including serving as Board or Committee Members, helping in Day Programs, Special Olympics, and at the Hazel Pettit Abilities Plus Resale Shop.  Success of the organization through the years is dependent on the efforts of a large number of volunteers in many program areas, and their service is greatly appreciated.

 

Special recognition was given to Resale Shop Volunteers, Peggy Hand (Resale Shop Volunteer Coordinator) for 35 years of service, Sherry Landergren for 25 years of service, and Linda Trostle for 15 years as a volunteer in several different capacities.

 

Other volunteers include Tammy Hand, Becky Heaton, Julie Shafer, Karen Bennett, Roberta Cinnamon, Mary Saylor, Terry Hand, Ginny Pettit, Sherry Yarger, Marilyn Carpenter, Randy Carton, Donna Rapp, Steve Johnson, Jon Looney, Karen Neumann, Jill DeKeyser, and Rev. Dale Dykstra.


Bustos Announces Art Winners

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced the winner and runners-up of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. On Saturday in East Peoria, Congresswoman Bustos held her second annual Art Competition Showcase, which allowed students to display their artwork in a gallery setting.

 

The first place winner this year is Cassie Caldwell from Rockford’s Jefferson High School, whose submission “Unity” will be displayed in the United States Capitol. The four runners up are Patriece Gabryshak, who will have her artwork displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Washington, D.C. office; Kayley Naylor, who will have her artwork displayed in Bustos’ Rock Island office; Karmen Beeney, who will have her artwork displayed in Bustos’ Peoria office; and Eve Nottrott, who will have her artwork displayed in Bustos’ Rockford office.

 

“I’d like to congratulate Cassie Caldwell and all of the young and talented artists from all across our region who submitted their artwork in this year’s competition,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “There were so many good submissions this year and I want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. I’ve always had an appreciation for the visual arts, and it will be an honor to feature Cassie’s work in the U.S. Capitol. I also look forward to displaying the amazing artwork from our runners up in our offices across Illinois.”

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 Congressional District is selected for display in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington for the next year.

 

The winner of the competition receives two airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to see their artwork displayed in the Capitol. Runners-up will have their artwork displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Illinois offices and in her Washington, D.C. office for the next year. High school students from Illinois’ 17th Congressional District were eligible to submit their original artwork for consideration.

 


Boil Order Issued In Kewanee

Effective Tuesday 5/9/17, the City of Kewanee Water Department has issued a boil order for 1508, 1516, 1517, 1518 and 1642 Burlington Avenue, as well as 1430 Pine Street.  Water was shut off as a result of continued water main work on Burlington Avenue.

 

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

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

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


Help To Combat Vet Suicides

A group of lawmakers are striving to eliminate a staggering amount of suicides committed by veterans. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 22 vet’s take their own lives every day. Republican State Senator Paul Schimpf, a Naval Academy grad, says the first thing they need to do is get the message to vets that it’s ok to get help.

Democrat State Senator Michael Hastings, a West Point grad and former Army Captain says they want to make the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs reach out to returning vets of units that served in high conflict or casualty areas.

House Bill 2647 is advancing through the legislature and also strives to connect local chamber of commerce to hook vet organizations together with employers. 


Frerichs blasts Rauner, urges action to avoid junk bond status

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs expressed concerns about Illinois' potential to obtain junk bond status and blasted Governor Rauner Monday. Frerichs cited threats from Moody's that a failure to pass a budget at month's end, would bring the ultimate credit downgrade and he outlined the consequences...

Frerichs accused Governor Rauner of campaigning and not governing. He also warned a credit downgrade could bring new nightmares from the Blagojevich years....

Deputy Governor Leslie Munger released a statement. "The fact is that the Treasurer spent years in Springfield voting for the very tax hikes and borrowing that have landed us in this place. Instead of holding press conferences, it would be helpful if he would encourage members of his party to work with the Governor on real change to get our state back on track."


Quinn Portrait Hangs in State Capitol

Former Governor Pat Quinn was back at the statehouse today and now his image will hang in the hallways forever. Today was the day that Quinn’s official portrait was unveiled and hung in the Hall of Governors. The image shows Quinn standing in an office setting with interactive “found items” surrounding him. Quinn said once heard about idea he ran with it and knew there had to be one item…

Those items include a photograph of Quinn’s parents wedding day, his brothers and sons’. The portrait also includes nods to his professional achievements including advocacy of military families, expanding healthcare coverage and his signing of the Marriage Equality bill. 


Health official says no area of state immune from opioid crisis

They’re calling it an opioid crisis in Illinois and health officials say no area of the state is immune from the problem. The numbers don’t lie says Dr. Maria Bruni--the acting Assistant Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Numbers are also on the rise for opioid overdoses that don’t lead to death, but lead to an ongoing addiction with illegal drugs like heroin.

Bruni says the Illinois Department of Human Services has been awarded a $16-million federal grant to respond to the opioid crisis.


Weaver Measures Headed to Il House

The Illinois Senate has unanimously passed five bills sponsored by State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) to help service men and women, improve healthcare, and fix issues with existing state laws.

“These bills show that good ideas can find wide bipartisan support in the General Assembly,” said Sen. Weaver. “This is part of my mission of putting together common-sense legislation that can help improve life for everyone who calls this state home.” 

Senate Bill 1524 helps members of the military and those employed by the military who are stationed in Illinois, but aren’t considered permanent residents.

“Our brave service men and women are the people who guard our freedom, these are the people we want to be equipped to protect us,” said Sen. Weaver. “This bill will allow them to have the same rights and privileges as other citizens in the concealed carry system.”

Senate Bill 1486 enables advanced practice nurses and physicians’ assistants to sign off on medical documentation that certifies that a student may be excused from school or not participate in a certain activity.

“Many of the smaller medical clinics that families rely on for primary care are staffed with physician assistants and advanced practice nurses,” said Sen. Weaver. “We shouldn’t be requiring families to have to use only specific and potentially more costly providers just to get a note for school. This will allow our taxpayers to save money.”

Senate Bill 1525 allows the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to deny healthcare licenses to applicants who have been convicted of a forcible felony.

Senate Bill 1527 cleans up a technical issue with the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board Act, and Senate Bill 1531 changes the requirements for the Illinois Realtor Licensing Board to help fill vacancies.

“These ideas show that even during difficult times, we can all work together when we can find common ground,” said Sen. Weaver.

All five bills are now headed to the Illinois House of Representatives.

 


National Hospital Week

National Hospital Week is being celebrated this week and there are several events and activities on the schedule at OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.

Lynn Fulton is the President of OSF St Luke and she says the hospital has picked up some recent awards…

Ms. Fulton adds that St Luke is also a Stroke Ready Hospital and that is also a major component of service at the Medical Center…


Applications Available for Abilities Plus Day Program Funds

Abilities Plus announces the availability of one year funding opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities who wish to attend Abilities Plus day programs, and currently do not receive program funding through the state of Illinois.  This would include individuals who have no funding resources, or those who are currently paying privately to attend.  The scholarships have been made possible by generous donors, who want to ensure day programs and services are available to local residents with disabilities who can benefit from Abilities Plus services.

 

To be considered for the scholarships, applicants must complete and submit an application form by June 30, 2017.  Those selected for funding will be notified by August 15th of the selection committee’s decision.  Funded services will be available from September 5, 2017 and through June 30, 2018.

 

To receive a funding scholarship application, please contact Abilities Plus, 1100 North East Street in Kewanee, IL (309) 852-4626 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or email Julie Landwehr at julie@abilitiesplus.org.  If you need assistance completing the application, contact Abilities Plus at least 1 week prior to the deadline, and staff can help with this process.  Please contact Abilities Plus if you have any questions or need additional information.


Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight


Hog Capital Barbecue, Inc. Meeting Agenda

Meeting Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 @ 7 p.m.

 

 

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        Charcoal purchase update

2        2017 Schedule of Events – last call!

 

 

New Business

1.    Placement of the big tent in Berrien Park downtown

2.    Sandwich tickets downtown/bags at West Park

3.    2018 Tagline

4.    Time to schedule/commit to work days and/or nights…

      Paint barricades

      South wall of building

      Freezer door seal replacement

      Front of building landscaping (including painting/placing of concrete pig)

     

Reports/Questions/Comments/Other Business from Anyone

 

Motion to adjourn


Madigan tabs new budget negotiating team

House Speaker Michael Madigan has assembled a four member team in a bid to seek out a budget compromise with Governor Bruce Rauner. He has tabbed Representatives Barbara Flynn Currie, Lou Lang, Arthur Turner and Jay Hoffman to work with the governor to identify areas of his agenda where compromise can be reached. Madigan released a statement noting critical services have been lost and the bill backlog has grown from a then shrinking 4.5 billion dollars to 13 billion dollars due to two years without a state budget. Madigan also expressed concern about bond rating agencies paying close attention to the state's lack of a budget. Madigan says "While we stand firm that the budget – and the budget alone – must be our top priority, it is also our desire to work cooperatively with the governor. It is our strong desire that Governor Rauner join us in putting the budget first. By showing the governor that House Democrats stand ready to work with him in good faith, it is my hope that he will return to the negotiating table and work with us to end the budget crisis.”


Farmers impacted by heavy rains can get flood adjustment on assessed value

Farmers impacted by last week’s torrential rains can get a flood adjustment on their assessed value. But Brenda Matherly-- Assistant Director of Local Government for the Illinois Farm Bureau says producers must notify their local assessor of the damage.

Parts of central and southern Illinois received between 4 and 8 inches of rain last week.


Durbin rails against GOP Healthcare plan

Senator Dick Durbin wrapped up a week of recovery from a heart procedure at his Springfield home Sunday. Health care was very much on his mind, not only his own recovery but the new health care plan passed by the U.S. House......

Durbin says a couple of groups in particular will pay a price if the plan passes......


WKEI Open Line

Late night sporting events are discussed


OSF On Tuned IN

Lynn Fulton and Carrie Boelens talk about National Hospital Week

 


Nuclear Power Is Big In Illinois

“Nuclear plants in Illinois have provided about half of the state’s total electricity generation since 2010, and two nuclear plants in particular—Quad Cities and Clinton—together provided more than 12% of the state’s electricity generation over the past several years. However, in May 2016, Exelon, the owner of these plants, revealed that they had collectively lost more than $800 million dollars over the previous six years and announced plans to retire them in 2017 and 2018…Illinois ranks first in the nation in both generating capacity and net electricity generation from nuclear power, and accounts for about one-eighth of the nuclear power generation in the United States.”


Health Dept Celebrates National Nurses Week


 

     The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that May 6th-12th has been proclaimed National Nurses Week.  In honor of this important health observance the Department salutes their dedicated nurses.

 

     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion notes, "Patients often recognize that a nurse is the health care professional with whom they and their families have the most direct contact. But they might not realize that nurses also are leaders in improving the quality of care and expanding access to care. That’s why May 6-12 is celebrated as National Nurses Week"

 

     This year’s theme, “Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit,” recognizes and celebrates ways in which nurses lead the charge of health and wellness. The truth is nurses serve as leaders at the bedside, in the boardroom, throughout communities and in the halls of government. The public holds nurses in high regard and trusts them to advocate for patients.    For the past 16 years, the public has ranked nursing as the top profession for honesty and ethics in an annual Gallup survey.  

    During this special week nurses are being honored as leaders who improve the quality of health care. Nurses are leading initiatives to increase access to care and improve outcomes by focusing on primary care, prevention, wellness, chronic disease management and the coordination of care among health care providers and settings.  In addition, the demand for nursing services will be greater than ever because of the aging of the American population, the continuing expansion of life-sustaining technologies, and the explosive growth of home health care service; qualified registered nurses will be needed in the future to meet the increasingly complex needs of health care consumers in this community. To say the least, these are areas in which nurses excel given their education and experience.

     The Health Department nurses are key players in all areas of the Health Department: WIC, Case Management, Clinical Services, Home Health, and Health Education.  The Administration of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments encourages everyone to join with them in saluting nursing professionals everywhere.

 

     For more information on the services of the Henry and Stark County Health Department call(309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona) or visit our website atwww.henrystarkhealth.com, find us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.


BHC Offers Grilling Course

Join Chef Stephanie Godke and get excited to fire up your grill at the May 25 Black Hawk College class, Thrilling Grilling.

 

Learn some new and tasty recipes to make your backyard the best place to eat in town. Gas or charcoal, great food is within your grasp!

 

The class will be Thursday, May 25 from 6:30-8:15 p.m. at the BHC Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee. Cost is $35.

 

To register, call BHC Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223.

 


OSF Info

OSF St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee will host their annual golf outing on Monday, June the 9th.

OSF Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens says they’re looking forward to another great day of golf…

National Nurses Week is also underway and St Luke Chief Nursing Officer Jackie Kernan says it will be a full week…

Ms. Kernan says St Luke is also well staffed with nurses but they are always on the lookout for more to join the staff…

 


City Wide Clean Up

The City of Kewanee will hold another city wide clean up day on Saturday, May 20th with items to be dropped off at the old Kewanee Hospital site on Elliot Street.  

Keith Edwards is the Director of Community Development with the City and he says the effort is for Kewanee residents only…

Edwards adds that the clean up is part of an overall effort to help spruce up the city…

Keith also clarifies what items will and will not be accepted at the May 20th clean up effort…


Bustos votes no on GOP health care bill

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos a “no” vote on the GOP plan to replace Obamacare.

Bustos spoke in opposition on the House floor Thursday. The bill narrowly passed 217-to-213 and now moves on to the Senate. 


City of Kewanee on People to People

Director of Community Development Keith Edwards talks about the May 20th city wide clean up


Braveheart on Tuned IN

Constance King talks about the agency and an upcoming golf outing


KHS Prom On Saturday

The Kewanee High School Prom will be held on Saturday evening at H.F. Brockman Gymnasium.

KHS Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says prom is always a wonderful event…

Mr. Bryan adds that there will not be a prom preview per se’, but parents and grandparents will have the opportunity to see their children at the prom…


Ameren Prepares For Flooding

Ameren Illinois continues to monitor natural gas and electric equipment near cresting rivers across its service territory and has contingency plans should flood waters become an issue.

 

Ameren Illinois is also prepared to set up mobile substations on higher ground in towns affected by flooding. Mobile substations sit on flatbed trailers and are used in emergency outage situations. Should a breach occur, the company can quickly de-energize the town's substation and safely switch to the mobile substation to avoid any long-term power outages due to flooding. Ameren Illinois has 20 mobile substations throughout its service territory.

 

The company is also urging customers to take safety precautions to prevent accidents or injuries. Wading in deep water in basements to remove items or operate pumping systems poses a major safety risk. Ameren Illinois is reminding customers to never enter a flooded basement or other flooded areas where water may be in contact with electrical wiring, appliances and other devices.

                                                                

"Water and electricity do not mix," said Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. "Customers must be vigilant in ensuring that when handling electric powered devices that they are not in contact with any water."

 

In addition, flooding and deep water in basements can extinguish pilot lights in homes. "Most appliances have an automatic shut off, but we urge natural gas customers to call us so we can temporarily interrupt the natural gas service by shutting off the meter," Pate said.

 

Disconnecting natural gas service is a safety precaution and will allow for a safer restoration once the water subsides.

 

Ameren Illinois offers the following tips on flooding safety:

 

Natural gas safety advice:

If you detect a natural gas odor, immediately leave your home or business and call Ameren Illinois Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000. Do not turn lights on or off, operate any electrical device, use a phone or light a match inside or near the building.

 

Electrical safety advice:

When water comes into contact with energized electrical wiring, appliances and other devices, it creates a major threat of serious injury and electrocution.

·         Never enter a flooded basement or other flooded area where water may be in contact with electrical wiring, appliances and other devices.

·         Never attempt to turn off power at the main electrical panel box if you must stand in water or on a wet floor to do so.

·         Never use electrical appliances or devices or touch electrical switches, outlets or cords if you are standing in water or are on a wet surface, or even if you are wet or the device is wet.

·         Keep electric-powered tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from water and wet surfaces.

·         In the event of flooding, Ameren Illinois will turn off electrical power to a home or business at the request of a customer. Contact Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have the power turned off when flood waters are likely to reach the main electrical panel box. Ameren Illinois also will turn power off at the request of local authorities.

 

Ameren Illinois recommends that customers take these actions after a flood:

 

·         Before touching or unplugging electrical appliances or devices that have been in contact with water, turn off the circuit that feeds the appliance or have the power to the building disconnected.

·         If you have any doubts about the safety of your home or business electrical system, have it inspected by a professional electrician.

·         Have a professional service person inspect an air conditioner, furnace, water heater and any other electrical or natural gas appliance or device that was entirely or partially submerged to determine if it can be used, requires repairs or must be replaced

·         If electrical or natural gas service has been turned off, contact Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have it turned on once the electrical and natural gas systems have been determined by a service professional to be safe.


Farmers Market Info

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is announcing that the first day of the Kewanee Farmers Market is Saturday, May 21st with items for sale at 7:30 am. The market will run from May 20th through October, every Wednesday and Saturday morning, 7:30 am through 11 am at Berrien Park. All produce and food products marketed at the Kewanee Farmers Market must be farm or homegrown or home-baked. For more information about Farmers Market or if you are an interested vendor, please contact Katie Yaklich at katieyaklich@ gmail.com or call the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at (309) 852-2175.


Bustos Opposes Govt Shutdown

Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos voted for the FY ’17 Omnibus bill to fund the federal government through September 2017. Once adopted by the Senate, this bipartisan compromise legislation will prevent a government shutdown and make meaningful investments to grow our economy, strengthen medical research programs and address the opioid epidemic that has hurt countless families across our nation. This bill also includes several provisions that Congresswoman Bustos has championed, including keeping the Rock Island Arsenal operating efficiently, making Pell Grants available to students year round, investing in drinking water infrastructure and requiring the Department of Defense to only be able to purchase flags that are made in America.

 

“This federal funding bill represents the kind of bipartisan compromise that we need more of in Washington,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “With the threat of a government shutdown looming, I am very pleased the House came together in a bipartisan manner pass long overdue funding the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017. I am also very pleased that we were able to include several of my top priorities such as helping hardworking students benefit from Pell grants year round, continuing our investments to make drinking water safe in all communities, keeping the Rock Island Arsenal strong and making sure the military is only able to purchase flags that are made in America. There most certainly will be fights ahead on things like the Trumpcare bill, but today’s compromise on funding the government is a step in the right direction for hardworking families across the heartland.”

 


Farmers may not like what they see on their tax bills this summer

Farmers will be opening up their tax bills around the state this summer and they’re probably not going to like what they see. Farmland market values have been declining, but assessed values will be increasing as will taxation says Brenda Matherly-- Assistant Director of Local Government for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Matherly says poorer producing soils look to be hardest hit.

Producers should be looking in the mail for their 2018 assessed values for farmland, which are certified and released by the Illinois Department of Revenue.


Boil Order LIfted


 

Effective Thursday 5/4/17, the boil order issued 5/1/17 for those residents whose water was shut off during the Burlington Avenue Water Department project has been lifted.


WKEI Open Line

Insects living in your home is part of the discussion


Senior Center On Tuned IN

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll talks about the various programs at the Center

 


Teacher Pensions

The mess in Springfield has left many individuals and agencies up in the air when it comes to providing funds that have either been promised or mandated.

One group that has been able to keep their pensions generally intact is the retired teacher’s organization.

Roger Hawk of Toulon is with the Henry-Stark Retired Teachers Association and he says that to this point, pension payments have not been a problem…

How much more that teachers might be required to pay for their insurance coverage is something that may change depending on how Illinois lawmakers act moving forward…


Stark County Prom On Saturday

Stark County High School will celebrate prom on Saturday with the main event to be held in Peoria.

Stark County Supt of Schools Mr. Jerry Klooster says there will be a prom preview Saturday afternoon in the Stark County High School gymnasium…


Special Olympics On Saturday in Monmouth

 Families, volunteers and spectators will be cheering on men and women, boys and girls – all Special Olympics athletes - as they compete in the largest Area event of the year for Special Olympics Illinois Western/Area 4.  The annual Spring Games takes place on May 6 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Sunny Lane Athletic Field.  The public is invited to watch the competition and experience the joy of achievement by Special Olympics athletes.  Western/Area 4 is composed of nearly 800 athletes from Fulton, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island and Warren Counties.

 

At the Western/Area 4 Spring Games, approximately 300 athletes are expected to compete in athletics (track & field), the most popular of 19 sports offered by Special Olympics Illinois. The event begins at 10:00 a.m.with Opening Ceremony and competition follows immediately and will conclude around 4 p.m. All athletes will march in the parade of athletes and recite the Special Olympics oath: “Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”  The running of the torch with the “Flame of Hope” and the lighting of the cauldron signifies the opening of the games.

 

Athletes will compete in the 50-, 100-, 200-, 400-, 800-, 1,500 standing and running long jumps; shot put; tennis mini javelin and softball throw; 100-, 400- and 800-meter walk races; wheelchair competitions and assisted races.  Athletes compete in divisions by gender and ability levels.

 

Sponsors for the Special Olympics Illinois Western/Area 4 Spring Games are: Galesburg Community Foundation, Green Family Auto, Warren County YMCA, Midwest Bank of Western Illinois, VIBE of McDonough County, and Knights of Columbus Monmouth Council 1496.

 

To compete in the Special Olympics Illinois Western/Area 4 Spring Games, athletes must train for eight weeks. Athletes who win a gold medal at these Area games qualify to compete in the Special Olympics Illinois State Summer Games to be held June 9-11 on the campuses of Illinois State University in Normal and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. More than 4,000 athletes from around the state are expected to compete in the State Summer Games.  

                

Special Olympics Area Director Cathy Betar said the Spring Games could not go on without generous volunteer support: “We rely on volunteers to help run every aspect of Spring Games.  But even more importantly, the athletes look forward to the friendship and encouragement they receive from the volunteers.” 


May CPR Class


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

 

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

 

   CPR Classes are held monthly (this month Tuesday, May 16th).  The classes will run from 4:30pm to 8:30pm.  The cost of the Class is $45.  These rates are per participant.

 

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

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Illinois festival season underway; Stark County Morel Mushroom Festival this weekend

Illinois set for another festival season. And a good way to start it is with the Stark County Morel Mushroom Festival. Jim Taylor reports.


Extra cut:
Frisby details morel mushroom season so far this spring


Retired Teachers On Tuned IN

Roger Hawk from Toulon gives an update on meetings and legislative action

 


Unclaimed Refunds

The income tax filing season is for the most part over with unless you did not meet the deadline to file in order to pay taxes or you have a refund coming and have not yet filed the return.

While most people are anxious to get their refund, there is also an incredible amount of refunds that go unclaimed.

Michael Devine with the Internal Revenue Service in St Louis says once the three year statute of limitations has expired, those refunds go back into the government kitty and at times, the unclaimed amount is fairly significant…

 

Devine adds that’s not good when that happens…


Illinois Family Connects

First Lady Diana Rauner is celebrating the launch of the Illinois Family Connects pilot program, a universal newborn support system.  It is a home visiting program administered by the Stephenson County Health Department and available to new babies and their families. 

 

“I have seen firsthand that all families need some level or degree of support, and believe that offering every new parent a home visit to provide information, supports and resources can help every child thrive,” said First Lady Diana Rauner.

 

The Illinois Family Connects program is a community-based, universal program. The pilot program is at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Ill. Every family will be offered community-wide support at no cost that will begin with a community nurse meeting them at home after birth. Other support includes wellness checks for the baby and family and help to identify and connect with supportive resources from which any new family may benefit.

 

The pilot program is a product of the Illinois Home Visiting Task Force which Diana Rauner has co-chaired since 2009 and is a public-private partnership funded through federal and state grants. The Illinois Family Connects program was originally developed in Durham, N.C. This program makes Illinois a national model for supporting all families from cradle to career.

 


Freedom House Book Signing


To mark Nedda Simon’s 1983 founding of Freedom House, the agency is excited and proud to highlight her newly published book during its celebration of 34 years of service to the victims of domestic and sexual violence in Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties.

Freedom House is holding a book signing of the book Wired for Hope with their founder, Nedda Simon and her co-author Pam Horwitz.  It will be held from1:00-2:30 pm on Saturday, May 6th in the Matson Meeting Room of the Princeton Public Library.

Wired for Hope (available for purchase for $20.00) is a collection of essays, poetry and momentary musings that focuses on people’s responses to crisis.  The event will include readings by Nedda and Pam, and a message from Freedom House. 

About Freedom House

Freedom House maintains a professionally staffed 24-hour hotline, a crisis shelter, 24-hour medical and legal advocacy (including assistance in filing Orders of Protection), individual, family, group, and children’s counseling, prevention education in schools and for the public, and professional training. 

The mission of Freedom House is to provide compassionate, confidential services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as awareness and prevention education to the community.  Freedom House envisions a world free of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Please join Freedom House in celebration of their 34th year!  For more information on Freedom House and their services please call 1-800-474-6031, visit www.freedomhouseillinois.org and follow us on FaceBook and Twitter.

 


More rain expected for Peoria south

Many parts of Illinois are still trying to dry out, but they’ll have to wait a little longer. A lot of rain has passed through much of the state over the last several days, but more is on way for areas Peoria south says DTN Chief Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

Anderson says the farm belt has taken a serious hit over the last week with damage to fields from flooding, and other areas of the Midwest have suffered livestock losses from a powerful snow storm


Dison E-Mail Hacked


City Manager Bradley met with me this morning to show me an email that he had received and was purportedly sent by me wanting the recipient to go to a link over “hard facts”. This is an email scam attempt and do not try to attach to the link provided.  Chief Dison

 


Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will present four Lunch and Learn sessions over the next couple of months with two on the schedule for this month and two set for the month of June.

Mark Mikenas is the Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and he says that valuable information will be given at each Lunch and Learn…

The series will continue later this month on Tuesday, May 23rd

Reservations are due for each program by 4 pm on the Monday prior to the respective seminar and again, registration prices are pretty convenient…


ISP Construction Zone Van

Illinois State Police District 7 announces the Photo Speed Enforcement Van will be deployed during the upcoming months in local construction zones.

This specialized vehicle is equipped with multiple radars and cameras to document drivers who CHOOSE to speed through the construction zone. The van is manned by a Trooper who has been trained in its operation and will monitor the van’s deployment.

If a driver is cited for a speed violation, the fine starts at $375 and could increase based on the number of previous violations.

Construction zones are dangerous by their very nature. There is heavy equipment moving, shifting traffic patterns, narrow travel lanes spanning miles, and pedestrian traffic. Add motorists traveling faster than the posted speed limit, unknown driving conditions and distractions in and out of the vehicle, and it could easily become a deadly combination. The Illinois State Police appreciate an additional resource being available to Troopers for speed enforcement. The van allows for enforcement without adding the interference of a traffic stop in an already congested section of road. “This is where the Photo Speed Enforcement Van becomes a valuable asset,” states Captain Victor Markowski. “We have been given the opportunity to enforce one of the leading killers on American roadways, speed, with minimal intrusion on construction zone traffic.”  


BHHA Receives Grants

 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is pleased to announce the gift of $50,000 from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.  This funding will be used to help restore the exterior of the 1851 Carpenter Shop, one of the oldest remaining Colony brick buildings. However, more funding is required for this historic restoration project.  If you would like to contribute, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net. The BHHA thanks the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation organizations for its generosity.

In addition, the BHHA is pleased to announced the award of $500 from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.  This funding will be used to support the concert performance of the Swedish jazz folk trio Piatruba at the Dairy Building on June 20, 2017 at 7 p.m.  The Heritage thanks the ASF for its continued support of our Swedish programming. 

 


Prescripton Drug Take Back A Success

The Kewanee Police Department would like to thank those people who brought in drugs for the takeback this past Saturday morning and who have dropped off drugs since the last takeback.  A total of 217 lbs of unwanted drugs and other medications were turned in for destruction.  We hope to host another takeback in the fall.  Chief Dison


Tuesday Water Shut Off

Effective Tuesday 5/2/17, the City of Kewanee Department has scheduled water line repairs beginning at 8:00 a.m.

 

Residents’ will have water shut off in the areas of West Prospect Street and Junior Avenue, around Burlington Avenue to Page Street, areas between West Division, West Church and Dodge Streets, including the blocks of Knox, West Mill, Dewey, Miner and Bronson. 

 

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

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

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


Durbin blasts Republican appeal

Senator Dick Durbin is on the attack against renewed Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Durbin says the new repeal effort has some wrinkles that rub him the wrong way...
Durbin says other changes would impact Americans with a bumpy health history...
Durbin says the repeal plan would mean the loss of health care coverage for 24 million Americans and $840 billion in federal Medicaid funding would be lost. Durbin says the updated Republican repeal bill is opposed by top health care associations, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). 

Illinois Farm Bureau pleased with organized response to NAFTA status

An Illinois Farm Bureau official pleased with the organized response from the state’s ag community following President Trump’s threat to pull out of the North American Trade Agreement. IFB Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities Mark Gebhards says Canada and Mexico are too important to Illinois corn and soybean producers.

Gebhards says it’s important for the Illinois Farm Bureau to deliver the message from farm country to Illinois’ congressional delegation, especially when key policy decisions are being made on things like a 2018 Farm Bill, tax reform and regulatory reform.


WKEI Open Line

The rain, May Day and other things hit the May 1st Open Line

 


OSF On Tuned IN

National Nursing Week is discussed

 


Prom And Graduation Safety Reminders

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 officials are reminding young drivers to think responsibly as they celebrate during the upcoming prom and graduation season.  Our primary safety message is in the word PROM which asks teens to “Please Return On Monday.”     

 

Now that Prom and Graduation are upon us, area high school students will soon be participating in celebrations that occur not only at school but at private locations.  During the next couple of weeks, ISP District 7 Troopers will be conducting high visibility patrols with aggressive enforcement of the Fatal Four violations:  DUI, Speeding, Seat Belt, and Distracted Driving, with a focus on DUI violations.

 

“This is a time for celebration, not tragedy,” states District 7 Commander, Captain Victor Markowski. “Illinois State Police District 7 will remain vigilant with traffic law enforcement. We would rather approach a teen’s window with a citation, than their front door  with tragic news for their family.”

 

We want to modify teen driving behaviors which include distractions, carelessness, fatigue, and inexperience.  These behaviors, when combined with drugs or alcohol, can be lethal.  Car crashes kill more teens during the weekends of prom and graduation season than any other time of year.

 

Seat Belt Enforcement Zones will also be conducted in addition to directed patrols.  The goal of these concentrated efforts is voluntary compliance.  With the motoring public’s assistance, we can help ensure this year’s prom and graduation memories are positive ones.  Think responsibly, put the phone down, “Drop it and Drive,” buckle up, and don’t use alcohol or drugs. 


Abilities Plus Receives Donation

Visitation Catholic Grade School students visited Abilities Plus on 4/18/17 and presented Larry Verdick (center) with a check for a new gas grill, which will be used at Larry’s group home residence.  The donation is proceeds from a Dr. Seuss Hat Day fundraiser, organized by the school’s Builders Club.


IEMA Urges Storm Awareness

With severe weather and flash flooding predicted for large portions of Illinois tonight through this weekend, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if weather warnings are issued.

“Heavy rainfall expected through Sunday night could cause flash flooding in several areas of the state,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “When a roadway is covered with floodwaters, it’s impossible to determine how deep the water is and whether a portion of the road has washed away. That’s why it’s so important that people remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ when they encounter a flooded roadway.”

Joseph said 11 people lost their lives on flooded roadways that resulted from several days of heavy rainfall in late 2015. In all, 14 flood-related fatalities were recorded in 2015, the most since records have been kept, according to the National Weather Service.

A threat of large hail, damaging winds and a possibility for a tornado also exists for central and southern Illinois, particularly south of I-70, through the weekend as well.

People should have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts, weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county. The tone alarm provides a 24/7 alert to approaching hazards, even during overnight hours when many people are sleeping.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your location, even if you’re traveling outside your home county or state. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement underneath the stairs or a sturdy piece of furniture. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room without windows, get under sturdy furniture and use pillows or cushions to protect your head and neck.

For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.


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