Local News Archives for 2017-12

KPL Holiday Schedule

Kewanee Public Library will be closed for the Holiday tomorrow on Saturday and also on Monday.

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet says better stop by today to pick up your last minute items for the weekend…

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New Year's Schedule

With the final weekend of the Holiday Season at hand a reminder of some schedule changes.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed for New Year’s Day but again, there will be no change in the garbage pickup schedule for next week in Kewanee.

Also the reminder that Christmas trees will be picked up today and also on  January 5th.  Trees must be placed curbside and must be free of any decorations, tinsel, plastic and stands.

The United States Post Office will be closed only for New Year’s Day with regular service tomorrow.    

Virtually all banks will be closed on New Year’s Day but with the Holiday weekend, best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.  

The Henry County Court System and other county offices will be closed on Monday and back open once again on Tuesday, January 2nd.      

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday, December 30th and will re-open Tuesday, January 2nd.     

Area schools, including Black Hawk College are closed for the holiday.

Students at both Kewanee District 229 and Wethersfield District 230 will return for classes on Thursday, January 4th.       

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

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be closed on New Year’s Day and back open once again on Tuesday, January 2nd.

And finally the reminder that the lights at Windmont Park and at Northeast will be on tonight, also on Saturday night and all night long on New Year’s Eve. The displays will be coming down on New Year’s Day and anyone that might be able to volunteer some time to help with the tear down is more than welcome to stop by on Monday to lend a helping hand.    


Winter Outlook For Illinois

The latest predictions for the balance of winter point to a cold weather pattern.

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel hedges his bets when it comes to precipitation but says it appears that the cold temps will be a reality for much of this winter…

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Holiday patrols continue

Law enforcement agencies across the state have beefed up patrols ahead of the New Year's Eve holiday. The Illinois State Police have joined forces with local departments as they look to reduce the number of distracted and drunk drivers on Illinois' roadways. Illinois State Police Trooper Heath Bryan says these patrols will include several special details and roadside safety checks throughout the state, so he advises you plan ahead.

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Bryan says the number one factor in fatal crashes is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 


Efiling mandate approaches in Illinois Courts

With the arrival of 2018, there will be mandatory e-filing of civil cases in the Illinois Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Courts. Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman looks forward to courts moving into the 21st Century when it comes to the handling of documents....
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E-filing will streamline the process for filing documents — conserving environmental resources and Supreme Court officials say it will generate long-term cost savings. E-filing will pave the way for a remote public access application which will provide attorneys and the public a central location to access all court documents


Outlook Is For More Frigid Air This Winter

Illinois is getting blasted right now with frigid temperatures. And the outlook is for winter to remain on the cold side. State Climatologist Jim Angel says that a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean, La Nina, is going to influence how many layers you’re going to be wearing.

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The current blast of arctic air is about the coldest stretch most of the state has seen since
early 2014.


Ice fishing reminders from DNR staff

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminding ice fishermen to be very safe this year. IDNR Conservation Sargent John Williamson explains waterways will freeze from the shoreline out but they thaw from the middle-inward. Williamson cautions if you plan to venture out to the middle of a pond or lake, you need to be very careful.

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Williamson indicates, a calm, cool freeze is the best conditions for water to freeze.

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Williamson encourages ice fisherman to take an ice pick, ice auger and take a life jacket. He says you can't take enough safety precautions when ice fishing. 


Laural Almquist on People to People

Laural Almquist, an 18 year old harpist from Galva is the guest for the December 28 edition of P2P on WKEI

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BHC Named Military-Friendly For Eighth Consecutive Year



Black Hawk College has been named a 2018 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media for the eighth consecutive year.


The college was first designated a Military Friendly® School in 2011 but serving veterans is not a new mission.


When Black Hawk College conducted its first classes in September 1946, 73 percent of the 239 students were World War II veterans.


Seventy years later, serving veterans and military students remains a high priority for Black Hawk College.


“We are constantly looking for new ways to better serve our veterans, military students and their families,” said Marceia Duhm, coordinator of career and veterans services and Veterans Administration school certifying official (SCO) at Black Hawk College.


“Transitions are never easy for anyone, and the transition from the military to civilian life can be particularly difficult for our military and veteran students.


“We strive to assist them as they make that transition into college a little less stressful,” Duhm said.


This semester, more than 220 BHC students are receiving veterans’ benefits.


Through the Lane Evans Veterans Resource Center at the Quad-Cities Campus, the college provides resources and referrals and encourages military students and veterans to be active in the college and their communities.


“The entire Black Hawk College family is proud to provide support for those needing a little direction and encouragement as they transition from the military to college and civilian life,” Duhm said.


Another source of support and camaraderie is the Military Students and Veterans Club, a chapter of Student Veterans of America. The club collaborates with other veterans organizations to host conferences in the community and coordinates an on-campus donation drive to send care packages to troops serving overseas.


Military Friendly eligibility is based upon data collected from the federal departments of Education, Veterans Affairs and Defense. That data – degree transfer, advancement, graduation and/or job placement – is supplemented with responses from colleges that participate in the Military Friendly® Schools survey.


The survey covers:

· Academic policies and compliance

· Admissions and orientation

· Culture and commitment

· Financial aid and loan repayment

· Graduation and career outcomes

· Military student support and retention



Stark County Shooting Club

The Stark County Shooting Sports SPIN Club will be holding a .22 Rifle club beginning in January, 2018. It will be open to youth ages 10 to 18.  There will be an orientation for the program on Sunday, January 7 at 2 p.m. in the Wyoming Masonic Lodge, 205 South 7th Street.  This orientation will cover things like ammo/range cost and the times for the .22 rifle shooting dates.  The program will officially begin on Sunday, January 28 and run through Sunday, February 25.  The classes will be held at the Promised Land Firearms, LLC range (8290 Grain Bin Rd.  Toulon, IL).  Youth who are not currently 4-H members will need to pay the $20 enrollment fee.  If you cannot attend the orientation, please contact Karen Horsley at (309) 853-7081 or the Extension Office at (309) 932-3447.  You can register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs


OSF Employees Receive Honors

A couple of employees of OSF Healthcare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee were recently honored.

St Luke Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens says it was nice to see those employees receive those honors…

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Medical Society President says anti opioid legislation closes doors to abuse

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed legislation that will require prescribers with an Illinois Controlled Substance License to use a database that records patient prescription history. The database is designed to prevent addicted patients from using multiple doctors. Illinois Medical Society President Dr. Listen Here
The Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program database allows physicians to check previous patient prescriptions and requests for controlled substances. 


NAFTA talks move to 2018; pullout would have significant impact on rural/farm economy per IFB official

Much at stake for the farm economy and the rural economy as North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations drag on. That assessment from Mark Gebhards, who serves as Illinois Farm Bureau’s director of governmental affairs and commodities.
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Gebhards says a pull out of NAFTA could result in as much as a 30 cent difference immediately in the corn price and would also likely have an immediate impact on soybean and livestock prices. The sixth round of NAFTA talks are set for January in Montreal. 


OSF Galva Closing at Noon Today


OSF HealthCare Medical Group-Galva will be closing at noon on Wednesday, December 27 due to a water main break. 


Orientations in January For Highway Construction Training


Interested in working in highway construction?


A new session of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Black Hawk College begins Monday, March 5.


The 13-week program aims to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals working on Illinois Department of Transportation projects.


The intensive training is 36 hours per week. There is no cost to those who are interviewed and accepted into the program.


Eligible candidates must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, be interested in the construction trades, and be drug-free.


Interested students MUST attend one of these orientation sessions:

· Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.

· Friday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.

· Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m.

· Friday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.


To register for orientation, go to www.bhc.edu/hcctp or contact Paul Fessler at 309-796-5729 or fesslerp@bhc.edu. (Please note – Black Hawk College will be closed for the holidays Dec. 22-Jan. 1.)


The HCCTP is funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation.



IL Population Shrinks



Illinois is no longer the fifth-largest state in the U.S., according to data released Dec. 20 by the U.S. Census Bureau. That title now belongs to Pennsylvania.

Census officials confirmed Illinois lost its spot as the fifth-largest state in the wake of Pennsylvania's modest population growth.

Illinois shrank by 33,700 people from July 2016 to July 2017, the worst decline of any state in the U.S. in raw terms. In percentage terms, Illinois saw the third-worst population decline in the nation. That brought the 2017 population estimate for Illinois to 12,802,023 people.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania saw modest population growth of 18,400 people over the same time. And that was enough to overtake Illinois as the fifth-largest state in the country. The Census pegged Pennsylvania’s population at 12,805,537.



Health Dept Service Award Winners Announced


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' and the Henry County Health Board are pleased to announce the 2017 Health Department Employee Service Award recipients.  This year's winners include:


Jeanne Zabloudil, of Coal Valley, Environmental Health Secretary, 30 Years of Service


          Lula Dunn, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant, 20 Years of Service


Heather Aldred, RN of Williamsfield, WIC/Family Case Management Nurse, 10Years of Service


          Wanda Greenway, of Wyoming, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service


          Mary Wirth, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service


          Theresa Hulslander, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service


          Naomi Stahl, of Cambridge, Human Resources Coordinator, 5 Years of Service


          Amanda Wiesman, LPN of Colona, Colona Clinic Nurse, 5 Years of Service


          Mandi Hewitt, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service


          Susan Harkert, of New Windsor, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service


          Carol Jannie, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant 5 Years of Service


          Helen Tyus, of Kewanee, Homecare Assistant 5 Years of Service


          Diana Wilkinson, of Cambridge, Homecare Assistant 5 Years of Service


          Sharon West, of Princeton, Homecare Assistant 5 Years of Service


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


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


IDPH Posts Legionnaires' Disease Reports


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has posted two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports addressing the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy (IVHQ).  CDC generated the reports after two visits by environmental health and infectious disease specialists to IVHQ.  IDPH requested Epidemiologic Assistance (Epi-Aid) from the CDC after confirming an increase in Legionella cases in August 2015, and again in 2016.  The CDC also visited IVHQ earlier this month and a summary of that visit is pending.  These reports address the complexities of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and how the State of Illinois has taken appropriate action.

The CDC describes the State’s diligent response and efforts to help protect the health and safety of veterans and IVHQ staff and visitors, noting:

• IVHQ has a well-established clinical infection surveillance and prevention program in place.
• From the identification of the outbreak, IVHQ clinical staff performed checks on all residents in skilled care every four hours, and twice daily for all residents in independent living.  Per established IVHQ protocol, any resident developing symptoms consistent with a lower respiratory infection had a chest x-ray performed immediately for pneumonia diagnosis.
• Since the 2015 outbreak, significant remediation efforts undertaken by the Quincy Veteran’s Home have substantially reduced the presence of Legionella in the potable water system. 
• Based on observations during the Epi-Aid investigation, the water management program was fully implemented, followed, and continuously reviewed by the water management team to optimize the water systems.

The reports can be found on the IDPH website.


Bookmark 'Getting Around Illinois' for Latest Winter Road Conditions


As the official start of winter approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation reminds travelers to visit and bookmark the newly redesigned GettingAroundIllinois.com for continually updated information on road conditions.

“The new-and-improved GettingAroundIllinois.com is a great resource any time of the year, but especially during winter when road conditions can quickly change,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Illinois has the third-largest highway system in the nation, so we know it is important to provide the public with a convenient way to access information they know they can trust.”

Available on your computer or mobile device, the website includes the ability to identify and zoom in to a location, travel route or destination. Road conditions are recorded by IDOT plow drivers out in the field and relayed through GettingAroundIllinois.com through a cloud-based system.

The site’s winter road conditions map averages more than 2 million visitors during snow-and-ice season. Recent updates to this map include more detailed reports of snow coverage and a color scheme that aligns with map technology used by surrounding states, creating a more seamless travel experience for motorists.

“Visit GettingAroundIllinois.com before making the decision to drive this winter,” Secretary Blankenhorn said. “By planning ahead before every trip and practicing safe driving habits on the road, we can make this the safest winter yet.”


Christmas and New Year's Schedule in Kewanee

With the Christmas Holiday Weekend at hand a reminder of several schedule changes.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station are closed today and also on Christmas Day. Both entities will be closed for New Year’s Day with be no change in the garbage schedule for next week in Kewanee.

The city of Kewanee is also reminding citizens that they will be allowed up to five extra bags of trash for next weeks’ pick up.  Also the reminder that Christmas wrapping paper and Styrofoam is not recyclable, and must be included in the regular trash pick up.

Cardboard boxes must be broken down flat and secured together in order to be picked up with recycling.

Also the reminder that Christmas trees will be picked up on December 29th and January 5th

The United States Post Office will be closed only for Christmas Day with regular service tomorrow. The Post Office will also be closed on New Year’s Day.   

Virtually all banks will be closed on Christmas Day but with the Holiday weekend, best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule. Same situation applies for the New Year’s Holiday weekend.

The Henry County Court System and other county offices are closed today and also on Christmas Day. County offices will also be closed for New Year’s Day on January 1st.     

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday, December 23rd and also on Tuesday, the 26th of December. They will also be closed on Saturday, December 30th and back open on Tuesday, January 2nd.     

Area schools, including Black Hawk College are closed for the Christmas holiday.       

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices are closed today and also on Christmas Day with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care. The will also be closed on New Year’s Day.

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be closed for both Christmas Day and also on Tuesday, December 26th. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day as well. 


Holiday Eating Tips

    The staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments asks, "Do you wish you could make the holidays "lite."  After all, the holiday season seems to be a food fest.  No wonder so many people have to make New Year's resolutions to lose weight.


    To prevent the weight and keep the cheer, we're passing on some of the best holiday advice we know.  Going to a holiday party without gorging yourself?  Do you think that's a contradiction in terms?  If so, think again.


    Here are some ways to live it up without over-indulging .  * Try not to go to a cocktail or dinner party thirsty and famished.  * Have a large glass of water or low-fat milk and a piece of good wheat bread or crackers before you go.  * Head for the veggies and go light on the dip.  * Eat slowly and chew your food; this allows the "appestat" - the fullness control in your brain, to catch up to what's really happening in your stomach.  * Dilute wine and punch with club soda.  * Throughout the evening, alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  * Be the last in line at the buffet.  You'll be less likely to have seconds.  * Don't hover over the food table or at the bar - you're much more likely to eat and drink too much.  * And, put down your fork from time to time and join in the good conversation that usually abounds during celebratory meals.  Taking time to talk slows down the feasting and keeps you from gulping down food.


    After all this good advice, what you do if you haven't been able to resist the temptation to overindulge in the bird and all the trimmings? Well, don't hesitate to loosen your belt or take off your girdle.  This helps to prevent indigestion caused by acidic stomach juices backing up into the esophagus.  Lying down flat or a nap after a heavy meal may cause similar problems.  However, if you do end up with heartburn, a dose of antacid, sold in any drug store usually puts an end to your discomfort.


    Remember that although holiday feasting is an accomplishment, much of the joy of the season comes from reuniting with friends and family, reminiscing, catching up on news, and enjoying good conversation.  So put the emphasis on the company and not the food, and have a happy and healthy holiday season.  For more information on healthy holiday eating visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com  or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Department or Follow Us on Twitter.



Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for November



Tammy Johnson of rural Cambridge was honored as Achiever of the Month for November at Abilities Plus.  She is also currently serving as Client Council President.  Tammy received this additional recognition because of positive effort on goals, helpfulness toward others, and her work each Thursday at the Abilities Plus Hazel Pettit’s Resale Shop.


Senator Wants Closer Look at Downstate Interstate

Several crashes, some fatal, have occurred in the area of the construction zone on Interstate 55 between Hamel and Illinois 143 since late October, according to police and local officials. That’s when traffic was reduced by one lane in each direction for road repairs. Now, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is asking the head of IDOT to take a closer look at the highway and possible causes of the carnage. At least five people have lost their lives due to crashes in the affected area. Manar says he's not an engineer, but recognizes there is something not right about the frequency of the crashes in recent weeks.
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The construction work on that stretch of interstate is expected to last through late September 2018.


Illinois Is Shrinking

The state of Illinois is shrinking. Not the size of the state but the number people living in it. According to new data from the US Census Illinois lost more residents than any other state in America. There are 33,000 fewer people in Illinois in 2017 as compared to 2016. The fall pushed Pennsylvania ahead of Illinois to become the 5th most populous state. The fastest growing state is Idaho and five of the six states gaining the most residents are out west. 


Improved Website for Illinois Road Conditions

With mild weather for much of Illinois the real bulk of the winter weather driving season is still in front of us. But the Illinois Department of Transportation wants drivers to check on road conditions before they head out the door. Kelsea Gurski says that’s as easy as logging on to IDOT’s road condition website – getting around Illinois dot com.

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The website is also the place to go to see if road construction will be in your way. Once again that’s getting around Illinois dot com.


Henry County Public Safety Tax

The public in Henry County will have the say at the ballot box next March for a proposed public safety sales tax.

Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka says they measure has been close to passing in the past, but not quite…

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Sheriff Loncka adds that unfortunately, several cuts to the staff have been made over the last few years because of budgetary shortfalls…

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Sheriff Loncka also says that an increasing prison population is further straining the system…

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Sheriff Loncka also points out that increased tax would be on the minimal side…

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Bustos Responds to Tax Plan


Mr. Speaker,


Since Donald Trump became the leader of the Republican Party, they said they would start standing up for America’s workers.


There were promises to stop outsourcing and bring millions of manufacturing jobs back home.


But the two big items on Paul Ryan’s agenda have been cutting your healthcare, and a tax scam that is a direct attack on America’s middle-class.


It raises taxes on 86 million middle class households.


It hands 83 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest one percent.


And perhaps worst of all, it’s a job killer that will help big corporations move jobs overseas.


They claim it does the opposite, but why are they trying to ram this thing through so fast?


Because they know that in the fine print are new loopholes that make it easier for companies to shift our work out of America and pay less taxes.


Sure, this bill will create jobs – it will create them over in China and Mexico and Malaysia.


Mr. Speaker, this tax scam is a huge broken promise.


We can do better.


AAA: Record-Breaking 107 Million Americans to Celebrate Holidays Away From Home


‘Tis the season to spend with family and friends, and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers. AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year.

2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent. Across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.

In Illinois, over 5.5 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 2.3 percent increase from 2016. Of those travelers, 5.1 million will be driving (up 2.3 percent from 2016) and 303,000 will be flying to their destination (a 3.1 percent increase from 2016). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.51, down from $2.72 last month and up from $2.28 a year ago.

In Indiana, 2.4 million people are expected to travel, which is up 3.2 percent from 2016. Of those travelers, 2.2 one million are expected to travel by auto (3.2 percent increase) and about 130,000 by air (4 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.48 per gallon, down from $2.59 a month ago and up considerably from $2.18 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.45.

"Overall, our research shows that Americans are doing better than last year and want to go somewhere for the holidays," said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, AAA Travel. "Whether they are going home or visiting a new destination, Americans have more money to finance their travel plans, thanks to a stronger economy and growing consumer confidence.

"Depending on where your travels take you, consider using a travel agent to plan your final trip of the year," Evans continued. "Of course, winter weather can be unpredictable, and cause unexpected issues like flight delays or cancellations. If that happens to you, the right travel insurance plan will help offset out-of-pocket expenses."

By the Numbers: 2017 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast

· Automobiles: The majority of travelers - 97.4 million - will hit the road (a 3 percent year-over-year increase).

· Planes: 6.4 million people will travel by air, a 4.1 percent increase and the fourth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.

· Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.2 percent to 3.6 million


USDA Talks Food Safety For Upcoming Holidays

The food will be aplenty at holiday parties this Christmas. As you lay out food for your family and loved ones, the USDA is offering up some tips to keep everyone healthy this time of year. Marianne Gravely (grav-lee) says this all starts with food preparation and properly putting together meals. Gravely encourages the one charged with preparing the meal to remember the four steps to food safety: clean, separate, cook and chill.

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When hosting family or friends in the next several weeks, Gravely says it is important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

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Gravely says hand washing is a must when preparing food and keeping those surfaces clean. Get more tips on food preparation, including USDA recommendations for temperatures to get meats cooked to, by visiting foodsafety.gov, askkaren.gov, or call 888-MPHOTLINE.


QC area lawmaker joins call for hearings into Quincy Veterans' Home

A Quad City area state lawmaker joining the call for examination of care practices at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. State Representative Mike Halpin says there have been 13 resident deaths at the facility.
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Halpin is calling for legislative hearings to examine current safety standards and the quality of care provided to retired service members at Illinois’ four veterans’ homes. According to an investigative report by WBEZ, the Quincy Veterans’ Home experienced three outbreaks of legionella bacteria in the last three years, which led to the deaths of 13 veterans and infected more than 60 others at the facility.
Additionally, Halpin supports exploring options for Quincy home veterans to reside at Hope Creek Care Center in the Quad Cities until the situation can be resolved.


Purple Heart and Other Medals Returned to Family

A special gift for one Illinois family this holiday season. This week a once lost Purple Heart was returned to the family of a deceased veteran. Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs presented the military medal to the niece of the late Private First Class Andrew Richard. That medal, along with two others and a pair of service ribbons were turned over to the states unclaimed property division. From there the Treasurer’s office hops in to action and attempts to get those medals back to the rightful families. And on Tuesday, Bertha Richard from Elkhart had her families ribbons returned.

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PFC Richard’s original medals had been destroyed in a 1970’s house fire. The medals that were returned had been left in a safe deposit box and were the official replacements once ordered by the family.


New appellate court judge dies

Holiday cheer screeched to a grinding halt on Tuesday morning when word circulated that a recently installed judge for the Fourth District Appellate Court had passed away unexpectedly. Longtime Sangamon County State's Attorney and Circuit Judge John Schmidt died suddenly Tuesday morning, less than two weeks after starting work as an appellate judge. Jack Campbell, Director of State Medical Cannabis Program and a longtime fixture at the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office in Springfield, offered fond recollections of Schmidt...
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Schmidt recently discussed his excitement with the new assignment....
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Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman said she was "shocked and deeply saddened." She called Schmidt "a distinguished judge and a friend ... who will be sorely missed." To honor Schmidt, flags outside the Sangamon County Complex were lowered to half-staff. 


First Responders To Have Better Communication Network

First responders in the state are soon to have access to enhanced communication technology. Governor Bruce Rauner says opting into the National First Responder Network is a no cost proposition for the state. It includes technology that allows first responders to talk to each other at times of mass emergency.

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WKEI Open Line


IDNR Issue's Citations During Hunting Season

 While firearm deer hunters in Illinois took more than 80,000 deer during the state’s busiest hunting season, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police report just four hunting-related accidents were reported, three of them involving injuries resulting from tree stand falls. 

At the same time, Conservation Police officers were busy enforcing wildlife laws and hunting regulations in and around the 2017 Firearm Deer Season, issuing more than 1,800 citations and written warnings for hunting-related violations statewide from November 13 through December 4. 

“Our Conservation Police officers want hunters to be safe, and we remind them to make sure their elevated tree stands are secure and in good working order, and that they always use a Fall Arrest System harness to be as safe as possible when hunting,” said Rafael Gutierrez, chief of the IDNR Conservation Police.  “We also want poachers and other violators to know that our CPOs are in the field with them, and violators will face charges if they are hunting illegally.”

As part of the three-week hunting enforcement effort, Conservation Police officers issued 831 citations and 971 written warnings.  CPOs seized 16 firearms from violators, along with more than 430 pounds of deer meat, eight deer antlers/skulls, five deer heads, one truck, one utility vehicle, as well as archery equipment, tree stands, trail cameras, bait samples, permits, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The 2017 Illinois Firearm Deer Season was conducted on Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 30-Dec. 3.  Other Illinois hunting seasons remain open, including waterfowl and upland game seasons, and archery deer and additional firearm deer seasons, and details on all hunting seasons can be found the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.


BHC Offers Food Training Course

Black Hawk College offers training for restaurant and food service workers. Two courses are coming up at the BHC Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee.


The Food Service Sanitation Manager course meets Illinois and Iowa state requirements and prepares students for the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification exam. Classes will be Tuesday, Jan. 9 and Thursday, Jan. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $147.


In Illinois, all restaurant and food service workers must receive basic safe food handling training within 30 days of employment. Food Handler Training will be Tuesday, Jan. 9 from 3-5:30 p.m. Cost is $29.


For class details, visit www.bhc.edu/foodservice.


To register, call Black Hawk College Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223 or go to www.bhc.edu/pace.


Abilities Plus Receives Donation

Members of the Knights of Columbus, Santa Maria Council #734 of Kewanee recently provided Abilities Plus with a $4,000 donation, proceeds from their fall Tootsie Roll sales. 

Attending the donations proceedings were Knights Marvin Brown, Larry Mowbray, Chad Jackson and Jim Galloway (who is also Maintenance Specialist at Abilities Plus), Abilities Plus Executive Director Kim Walker, and Knights John Kovach & Dave Pacquer.



Good Fellows Christmas Baskets Delivered Today

Today is the day that the Good Fellows Christmas Baskets will be distributed.

Amron Buchanan is one of the coordinators for the program and he says the distribution will get underway around 9 this morning…

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Ken Knowles is another coordinator for the program and he says it is not necessary to be at home in order to receive your basket…

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The entire process of putting the finishing touches on the baskets will take place (took place) early this morning…

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Bristow Named to House Seat in Metro-East area

Monica Bristow, the long-time President of the Riverbend Growth Association, has been sworn in as the new State Representative for the 111th district. Running as a Democrat, Bristow will now be considered an incumbent as she seeks the 111th District seat in the November 2018 election, currently held by Dan Beiser. Bristow announced her candidacy in November. Beiser has represented the 111th District since 2004, and announced his retirement earlier this year. He says Bristow will benefit from learning the job.

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As of now, only one other candidate has announced a bid for the seat: Republican Mike Babcock who is currently Wood River Township Supervisor. The election for the 111th District seat will be held November 6, 2018.


Bustos continues to call GOP tax reform bill a "tax scam"

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos continues to call the GOP tax plan “the tax scam.” She took to the House floor today.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Republican tax bill will lead to more jobs and higher wages. He argues that skeptical people will change their minds once they start seeing bigger paychecks. The House is expected to approve the sweeping package of tax cuts and reforms this afternoon and the Senate will follow suit tonight. 


High Speed Rail steaming to finish line

The high speed rail project for Amtrak passengers in Illinois is moving full steam ahead to the finish line. The nearly $2 billion project is in its final phase of construction. Trains will start reaching speeds of up to 90 miles per hour this summer and should hit 110 miles per hour in 2019 along the Chicago to St. Louis rail corridor. 


Before you know it, it will be budget time

Getting a budget deal hammered out in Illinois this year was a history making finish to a vicious game of gridlock. While Illinois is exhaling somewhat with a spending blueprint in place, the approach of a new calendar year means soon Governor Rauner will talk about his budget vision for the coming fiscal year. Repulblican State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington is hopeful a more productive conservation can be had in 2018....
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Rauner hasn't embraced the budget deal reached last year. In October, he cut 200 million dollars from the budget passed by lawmakers and has continued to call the spending plan out of balance.


Christmas Morning Julotta Service Scheduled For Bishop Hill

Visitors are invited to ring in Christmas Day the traditional Swedish way at the Julotta (PRONOUNCED you-LOTTA) non-denominational service beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, December 25 at Bishop Hill State Historic Site. The service will be held at the restored Colony Church, built in 1848 by Swedish pioneers. Christmas morning in Sweden begins with the Julotta service, and since 1970 the Julotta held at the Colony Church has reaffirmed the Swedish heritage of this historic community. Since the Colony Church is not heated, those planning to attend should dress warmly. Coffee and rusks will be served in the Colony Church Museum following the service..


Ameren Illinois Reaches Remediation Milestone in Kewanee



Ameren Illinois announced today that the last of more than 9,400 semi-truck loads of impacted material from the former Kewanee Gas, Light and Company site on North Main Street was hauled away, Dec. 8.


The company began remediating the site of impacted soil in May 2015 and has worked in cooperation with the Illinois EPA under its site remediation program.  Over the past 2.5 years, environmental crews removed approximately 138,000 cubic yards of soil containing manufactured gas plant residues from the site. All soil and building debris has been hauled away to landfills specializing in this type of impacted material.


Next steps for the project include:

·       Ameren Illinois will continue to bring clean dirt to the site to backfill excavations and expects to complete this work in the next week, pending weather conditions. 

·       The company will build a permanent fence around Ameren Illinois equipment support property on the site before removing the temporary fencing that surrounds the entire remediation site.

·       In the spring, grass seed will be planted on portions of the site.

·       In the spring, an outside contractor will asphalt Fifth Street from Main Street to the nearby alley, while sidewalk and curbing on the site perimeter will be repaired.

·       A remedial action completion report will be submitted to the Illinois EPA for review.


Don Richardson, environmental specialist for Ameren Illinois and project manager since May 2015, said, "If the Illinois EPA determines that the site meets the appropriate cleanup objectives, they will issue a NFR (no further remediation) letter for the affected properties."


The NFR letter means the work has met strict environmental cleanup standards and no additional actions are necessary to remediate a specific problem. It also releases responsible parties from any need to do more remediation, as long as the terms of the NFR letter are met. The NFR letter will be recorded with the county recorder of deeds so that future purchasers will be aware of the properties’ history.

The former Kewanee Gas Light & Coke Company was located at 127 E. 5th Street on the southwest corner of 5th Street and Burr Street. Kewanee Gas Light and Coke Company organized in 1880. Gas was first reported to be distributed to city street lights on October 19, 1881. In 1899, the company was changed to reflect the times to Kewanee Light and Power Company. Kewanee Light and Power Company produced manufactured gas from coal or oil for lighting, cooking and heating. The manufacturing process produced tars, coke and ash residues that sometimes leaked from equipment and tanks into the site soil.


In 1924, the facility went through another name change to Kewanee Public Service Company. In the 1930s, the plant discontinued operations when interstate pipelines brought natural gas to the state. Illinois Power Company acquired the site in 1948. In 2004, Ameren Corporation acquired Illinois Power Company, and changed Illinois Power Company’s name to Ameren Illinois. Ameren Illinois did not create the contaminants on site, but has voluntarily cleaned up this site to keep it from potentially becoming an environmental problem in the future.


City of Kewanee Holiday Schedule

City offices and the Transfer Station will be closed for the Christmas holiday Friday 12/22/17 through Monday 12/25/17. 


There will be no changes to the regular trash or recycling pickup schedules for the weeks of 12/18/17 and 12/25/17.


Residents will be allowed up to five extra bags of trash the week of pickup after Christmas.  Cardboard boxes must be broken down flat and secured together in order to be picked up with recycling.  Styrofoam is not recyclable, and must be bagged up with regular trash for pickup.


Christmas tree pickup dates are scheduled for the Fridays of 12/29/17 and 1/5/18.  Trees must be placed curbside and must be free of any decorations, tinsel, plastic, and stands.


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


Governor Rauner Talks Possibility of Two Campaigns

Governor Bruce Rauner faces the possibility of running a primary campaign to make it to the general election.The Governor says it won't be easy but believes his high energy personality will help him accomplish a second term.

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If elected to a second term, Governor Rauner says his goals remain to repeal the tax hike that was approved last year surrounding the budget and he also wants Illinois to grow much faster than it has in his first four years.

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Governor Rauner says he has enjoyed his first term as Governor and has enjoyed traveling the state and interacting with the people. 


Illinois now has Bicentennial Soda

Now that the state has finished unveiling its Bicentennial Beer, now Governor Rauner is promoting a drink that under 21 crowd can partake in.
Governor Rauner visited Marion's Pepsi MidAmerica for the unveiling of the first edition of the Bicentennial Pepsi can. Pepsi MidAmerica's Brad Cole says production is well underway.....
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The commemorative can has already begun arriving at stores across Central and Southern Illinois. 


Not Much Of A Chance For A White Christmas

A week out and the forecast for a white Christmas looks less than likely for Illinois. The official definition of a white Christmas is an inch or more of snow on the ground and State Climatologist Jim Angel says on a historical basis northern Illinois has a 50/50 chance and by the time you get to central Illinois it’s about a 30 percent chance. But this year the forecast isn’t setting up for big snowfalls anywhere in Illinois.

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Central Illinois will serve as Brandt Industries U.S. headquarters

Canadian based Brandt Industries now has a U.S. headquarters and it’s in central Illinois. The company has acquired a 200,000 square foot manufacturing plant from Kongskilde Industries in the Bloomington-Normal area. Brandt president Shaun Semple says the Illinois location will produce grain handling and tillage equipment.
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Brandt has more than 1,800 employees across North America and services markets in more than 20 countries. 


IEMA: Always expect the unexpected

Always expect the unexpected. That’s the advice from the Illinois Emergency Agency as the first official day of winter is Thursday.
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That’s IEMA’s Patti Thompson. She says if you plan to use a gas generator in the event of a power outage, there are several things to remember.
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IEMA offers other tips and recommendations at the state’s emergency preparedness website at www.ready.illinois.gov.


District 230 Supt of Schools on PTP

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski is the guest

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OSF On Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and Meghan Weber are the guests

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Sen Weaver Honored By Manufacturing Association

 State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) has been recognized by the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) for his leadership and voting record in support of Illinois businesses.

“We have to protect and grow jobs if we ever want to grow our struggling state economy,” said Sen. Weaver. “The manufacturing sector provides good-paying, stable jobs that are so important to the health of our economy.”

The TMA has given Sen. Weaver a perfect score of 100 for his voting record in support of the manufacturing sector. He is one of only three Senators to receive a lifetime voting score of 100.

"Pro-manufacturing leadership is too rare in Springfield today, so it's especially heartening to see new leaders in Springfield like Senator Weaver who are clearly dedicated to supporting Illinois' manufacturing resurgence, proven by his perfect rating in TMA's 2017 Legislative Scorecard. With more leadership like this, we can keep more businesses, opportunities, jobs and workforce in the Land of Lincoln," said Steve Raushenberger, President of the Technology & Manufacturing Association.

During his short time in the Illinois Senate, Senator Weaver has already been recognized for his leadership by a variety of organizations that represent groups ranging from farmers to small businesses.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our work in the Senate, but the real rewards are positive changes we are able to create for the people of Illinois,” said Sen. Weaver.


Urgent Need For Bell Ringers In Kewanee

The Salvation Army in Kewanee has an urgent need for volunteer bell ringers for the annual kettle program.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Salvation Army in Kewanee and she says they are lagging behind in donations in a major way…

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Health Dept Holiday Schedule


    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments would like to inform area residents that our office will be closed Friday, December 22nd and Monday, December 25th in observance of the Christmas Holiday.


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


    For more information, call the Health Department at 852-0197 or 792-4011 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.



Christmas Schedule In Kewanee

With the Holiday Weekend next week there will be several schedule changes along the way.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed next Friday, December 22nd and also on Christmas Day.

There will be no change in the garbage schedule for next week in Kewanee.

The United States Post Office will be closed only for Christmas Day with regular service next Saturday, the 23rd.  

Virtually all banks will be closed on Christmas Day but with the Holiday weekend, best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule.

The Henry County Court System and other county offices will be closed on Friday, December 22nd and also on Christmas Day.   

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed on Saturday, December 23rd and also on Tuesday, the 26th of December.   

Area schools will be closed for Christmas Day with many schools breaking for the Holiday mid week of next week. At Wethersfield District 230, students will be dismissed on Wednesday the 20th at 1:45 and will be off until they come back for classes on January 4th. At Kewanee District 229, students will be dismissed one hour early on the 20th and will also report back for classes on January 4th.    

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Friday, December 22nd and also on Christmas Day with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be closed for both Christmas Day and also on Tuesday, December 26th


Red Cross Offers Ways To Help

After responding to a string of historic disasters, the American Red Cross is appealing to the public to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. Throughout the Holiday Giving Season, donors can help bring hope and relief to children, families and communities that need it most with their holiday shopping.


Beginning in late August, the Red Cross embarked on providing wide-ranging relief efforts in response to three historic back-to-back hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria—followed closely by the deadliest week of wildfires in California history. In response to these disasters, the Red Cross provided more food to those affected than in the past four years  combined.


The need for Red Cross services is constant, and the organization’s Holiday Giving Campaign offers donors the opportunity to honor someone special with a unique gift. Gifts can help families who have lost everything after a disaster, support military heroes and veterans facing emergencies, and save children’s lives around the world.


People have been very kind in supporting the Red Cross over the years by volunteering their time, giving their blood, and donating their money,” says Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. We ask for your help this holiday season to support the people in need in our community.”


How You Can Give Back
Through the Holiday Giving Campaign, people can give gifts that uniquely give back to people in the community while supporting the organization’s mission. Individuals can choose from three essential giving opportunities:

1.    Gifts that help disaster victims. For example, a donation of $25 can provide blankets—as well as warmth and a sense of security—for five people staying in an emergency shelter. A $30 gift can provide hot meals for three people following a disaster while a $50 donation can supply a full day of emergency shelter with urgently needed essentials, including three meals, two blankets, a cot, snacks and personal hygiene supplies for someone impacted by disaster.

2.    Gifts that help our troops. For example, a $145 contribution can show our heroes and veterans that we care by providing military hospital kits to 20 service members.

3.    Gifts that help internationally. For example, a financial contribution of $100 can educate families and vaccinate 100 children against measles—a $500 gift can vaccinate an entire village.


To give with meaning, visit redcross.org/giftChoose from the diverse assortment of symbolic gifts, and make a tax-deductible donation online or, call 1-800 RED CROSS to support the corresponding Red Cross services. Then, send a card to the friend, family member, co-worker or customer being honored by your donation.


The Red Cross also encourages eligible individuals to give with meaning this holiday season by donating blood or platelets. Blood and platelet donations tend to decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people become busy with holiday-related activities and travel, but patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood. Generous blood and platelet donations can help ensure lifesaving blood products reach those who need them including accident victims, heart surgery patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. Make an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


BHC Announces Holiday Schedule


All Black Hawk College locations and facilities will be closed Friday, Dec. 22 through Monday, Jan. 1. However, minimester classes will be conducted Dec. 26-29 at the Quad-Cities Campus.


Students can register for Spring 2018 classes while the college is closed.


Registration is available online ONLY Friday, Dec. 22 through Monday, Jan. 1 with online payment by credit card or electronic check only.


Students can look online to see what classes still have openings by visiting www.bhc.edu/schedule.


Spring 2018 classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 16.


For more information, call 309-796-5300 or visit www.bhc.edu/register.


Growth expected in 8-man football among Illinois high schools

Growth in 8-man football is expected over the next several years among Illinois high schools. Jim Taylor reports. Listen Here


Rauner signs opioid law

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs legislation designed to prevent opioid abuse.
The legislation requires those in the prescription business to use a database containing patient prescription histories. That allows physicians to detect if patients have previously requested controlled substances from other doctors. Rauner signed the legislation at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center in East St. Louis...
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The new law takes effect Jan. 1.


WKEI Open Line


Dates Set For SA Toy Distribution

The dates have been set for the toy distribution through the Kewanee Salvation Army store.

Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls says that toys will be distributed on Tuesday, December 19 and Wednesday the 20th

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Ms. Bolls says the lines of people waiting to get into the Salvation Army is pretty big at times but everyone tends to remain patient with the process…

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The toy distribution is the combined effort of the Salvation Army along with Patchy’s toy drive and the public through the Angel Tree Program.

Amber Patch-Troxell of Kewanee says it’s heartwarming to be able to help out, but sobering when considering the need in Kewanee…

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Both Amber and Linda says that there has been more of a focus on gifts for teenagers the last couple of years…


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One final reminder that funds for the gift program are running behind and there is an urgent need for last minute contributions.

Those can be made by contacting Linda Bolls at the Kewanee Salvation Army or Amber Patch-Troxell at her insurance office in Kewanee. 


Health Dept Has Radon Kits For Sale

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


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


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


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


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


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


ISP And Operation Care This Weekend

Illinois State Police (ISP) will conduct a statewide enforcement initiative in support of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the Holiday Lifesavers Weekend, December 15-17, 2017

During this enforcement period, ISP Troopers will be stopping and arresting drunk drivers on Illinois roadways.  Our enforcement efforts will include roadside safety checks, saturation patrols, and aggressive driving reduction efforts.  Troopers will specifically look for Fatal Four violations; Speeding, DUI, Distracted Driving, and Seat Belts.  

Reduce your speed – Speed is the number one contributory factor in crashes.

Drive sober – DUI fines and legal fees are costly. The average DUI costs $25,000 in fines and legal fees.  

Drop It and Drive – Keep your eyes on the road. You are 23 times more likely to get in a crash when texting and driving.

Buckle up – Seatbelts save lives.

GIVE THEM DISTANCE – Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over” law, states that when approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, other drivers  shall yield the right-of-way by making a lane change and reducing speed and proceeding with due caution.  Effective January 1, 2017, Scott’s Law was expanded to require motorists to Mover Over for all stationery vehicles. If you see flashing lights, PLEASE Move Over.  The Move Over Law is intended to protect all of us.  Please respect other motorists and drive courteously.

“Safe driving habits are essential to reducing fatalities in Illinois,” stated ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz.  “The ISP continues to work to remove unsafe drivers from our roadways.  We ask that you do your part to assist us in reducing fatal crashes.”


Senator Durbin continues push for affordable textbooks

As college students enter the end of semester, their holiday giving list might be limited because of mighty textbook expenses. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin continues to beat the drum for reduced textbook costs. In recent weeks, he introduced The Affordable College Textbook Act, which is designed to help students manage costs by making high quality textbooks easily accessible to students, professors, and the public for free. Durbin says costs have been surging too far for too long....
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Durbin says textbook costs are forcing college students to make difficult choices....
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Durbin introduced the legislation in late September. It was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 


Open Enrollment Ends Friday, December 15th


The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) is reminding consumers that the 2018 Open Enrollment Period ends Friday, December 15, 2017. All Illinoisans needing health insurance coverage for 2018 must enroll by 11pm on Friday, December 15, 2017.

In past years, consumers had time to change plans in January after receiving their first premium bill.  With a shortened Enrollment Period ending December 15th, this is no longer an option, making it important to select the right plan the first time.

“We do not recommend passively re-enrolling because prices and plans change every year. Cost should not be the only factor in choosing a plan. For example, consumers should be sure to look at a plan’s provider network and coverage,” Hammer said.

This year, DOI partnered with GoHealth to improve the shopping experience for Illinoisans looking to purchase a 2018 health insurance coverage. Consumers who visit GetCovered.Illinois.Gov are now able to view individual plans offered both on and off the Exchange. Using the Connector tool on the website, consumers can arrange appointments with navigators and certified application counselors.

Consumers who have questions, or who are looking to sign up for a plan over the phone, may request to speak to a licensed insurance agent by calling 866-311-1119 Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Director Hammer implemented a statewide consumer outreach initiative, with at least one event in each of Illinois’ 102 counties, where consumers can meet one-on-one with a member of the Get Covered staff to ask questions and receive assistance.

“Illinois is a large state and our goal was to reach all parts of it. We wanted to sit down with people faceto-face in a place that is convenient for them,” Director Hammer said.

DOI has also been promoting the importance of the shortened Enrollment Period through social media, radio, and a campaign on Chicago’s transit system.

“It is our job at the Department of Insurance to protect consumers. Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, and we are helping consumers protect themselves with health insurance before it’s too late,” said Director Hammer.


Kewanee City Info

Kewanee City Council voted to lower the property tax levy for 2017 at Monday night’s council meeting.

City Manager Gary Bradley says it’s not a lot, but a positive step none the less…

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Mr. Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney say that it’s a variety of factors that has led to the reduction in levy…

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Another long standing issue in Kewanee is the condition of the streets and sidewalks.

Funding has been allocated for a major renovation on East Street in 2018 and both Mayor Looney and City Manager Bradley note the high cost of road construction and what the city is facing top to bottom…

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Upcoming Blood Drives


The best gifts can’t be bought in a store. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give more life by giving blood this December.


Alison Wissen knows the power of blood donations. She received 22 units of blood products after experiencing complications during childbirth. “I truly owe my life to blood donors,” she said. “Even the skilled hands of my surgeons could not have saved me without the blood.” Because of blood and platelet donors, Wissen will celebrate the holidays with her three children and husband.


In December, donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady. During the holiday season, set aside an hour to give the most important gift – give blood and give more life. To encourage donations, all those who come to give blood or platelets Dec. 21, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.


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


Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 16-31






1/5/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Clinton Shoe Sensation, 2900 South 25th Street Suite C








12/19/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Chadwick Fire Department, 210 Calvert Street, Route 40



12/28/2017: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Savanna Fire Department, 101 Main Street






1/2/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 214 N. W.  Second Ave



1/4/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church South Campus Building, 302 N. State Street



12/13/2017: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Kewanee High School, 1211 East 3rd Street

12/13/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St.

12/14/2017: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m., Kewanee OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, 1051 W. South St.

12/14/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Kewanee OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, 1051 W. South St.






12/19/2017: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., VFW Hall, 106 SW 3rd Ave.



Rock Island



12/28/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross of Quad Cities, 1100 River Drive






12/26/2017: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Robert Fulton Community Center, 912 4th Street





How to donate blood

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 and platelet donors can 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, from a computer or mobile device. 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.


Deer Harvest Totals

Shotgun deer hunters were busy in Illinois this year. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports that about 80,000 deer were killed by hunters this fall. Ed Cross with IDNR says hunters found better conditions during the second weekend of shotgun season.

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The harvest numbers are a little better than in 2016. Hunting opportunities are dwindling but there is a late winter antlerless season at the end of the month.


Winter winds have arrived in Illinois, but not snow

The winter winds have been blowing in much of Illinois, but snow hasn’t been flying. That’s due to atmospheric conditions says RFD Radio Network meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather.
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Hicks says heavy snowfall in the near term is only going to occur around the Great Lakes. He says temperatures are expected be warmer in the 6-to-10 day outlook, but weather could be more active after that.


Teacher Shortage Also Impacting Head Start

A shortage of teachers is hitting Illinois schools very hard as many struggle to fill vacancies and find substitute teachers on an almost daily basis.
But public and private schools aren't the only entities being impacted by this growing problem, not-for-profits are finding it even more challenging to fill vacancies they have. Marty Ryan is the Human Resource Director at Community Action and says they are having trouble finding qualified candidates for programs like Head Start.

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For non-profits, DCFS lays out guidelines for their educators which do not necessarily match up with what State of Illinois schools require. Ryan indicates this makes it even more challenging.

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Ryan hopes anyone interested in leading early childhood education courses through Community Action to visit "capcil.info"


End of year serves as good time to consider estate planning

The end of the year serves as a perfect time to think about estate planning, especially with that family farming operation. So says Rick Morgan a Senior Financial Security Consultant with Country Financial. He says expectations can vary from family to family and even from family member to family member.
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Morgan says the first step is calling a family meeting and getting all players involved in the discussions. 


IDOT Traveler Survey Available

The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on the state’s transportation system through its annual Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey, available today through Dec. 31.

“Illinois is the transportation hub of North America, a role we take very seriously,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We deeply value the public’s feedback to help IDOT stay aware of every potential opportunity for improving how we maintain and grow Illinois’ transportation system.”

The annual survey, conducted through the University of Illinois Springfield’s Survey Research Office, seeks input on topics ranging from road conditions and ice-and-snow removal to commuting habits and driving behaviors. Questions also address IDOT’s website, the state’s rest-area system and Amtrak service.

In an effort to expand the feedback it receives from the public, IDOT for the first time is making the survey available online. To take the survey, click here or visit idot.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey has been conducted annually since 2001. A copy of the 2016 survey and results, as well as data collected from past years, can be viewed here.


Holiday Safety Tips

Many people have already purchased their Christmas Tree for this year and have already decorated, but others are still looking for theirs.

RaeAnn Tucker is the Director of Health Promotions with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and she has some tips to keep in mind…

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Ms. Tucker adds that best to leave the tree as far away as possible from fire and other sources of heat…

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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 December Support Group for friends and family of people with mental illness.


    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 19th 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.


JB Pritzker visits Kewanee

J.B. Pritzker came to the American Legion in Kewanee on Monday, December 11th. Mr. Pritzker talked about what he would like to do as the Governor of Illinois. Some of his plans include Healthcare, School Breakfast for at risk children, start more small businesses, higher minimum wage, and statewide broadband internet.


J.B. Pritzker Speech


Mr. Pritzker then took questions from the crowd that included small business issues, state pensions, higher minimum wage, fair share, his day one issue to tackle, and fixing the budget issues.


Crowd Questions


I asked Mr. Pritzker what are his thoughts on Net Neutrality and his plan to bring Internet to everyone in the state of Illinois.


Net Neutrality Response


Another issue deals with funding education and a shortage of teachers, including special education.


Education and Pensions


Overall, J.B. Pritzker came off more as a person first than a politician. Currently, Mr. Pritzker is one of five candidates that are running for the democratic party in the state of Illinois.


You can listen to the entire meetup by clicking on the link below.



Joy, Illinois popular place in December

Even though Joy, Illinois is not a major shopping hub, the small western Illinois town—population 385, continues to be a popular destination for mail during December. Both U.S. and international patrons want their holiday cards and letters cancelled with a special Joy postmark.
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Patti Maynard staffs the Joy Post Office. This year’s special postmark is designed by Mercer County Junior High 8th grader Preston Howard. 


Another ag group expressing support for NAFTA

Another ag group has weighed in on North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations. This time it’s the U.S. Meat Export Federation and it’s all about the numbers says the organization’s Phil Seng.
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2016 data shows that 11-percent of Illinois agricultural exports went to Mexico and 17-percent to Canada. The fifth round of NAFTA renegotiations occurred last month in Mexico with little progress. The sixth round of talks are set for next month in Montreal.


Good Fellows Update

The sign ups for the Good Fellows Christmas program will continue until this Friday, December 15th.

Ken Knowles is one of the coordinators for the program and he says that in order to guarantee a basket on December 20th, you must be signed up by this coming Friday the 15th

listen here

Mr. Knowles says that lots of preparation goes into the program and that precipitates the Friday deadline…

listen here

Amron Buchanan of Kewanee is another coordinator for the Christmas Basket program and he say they will try to accommodate any late comers if at all possible, but no guarantee…

listen here

Mr. Knowles stresses that generally there are extra baskets, but again, no guarantee to sign ups beyond December 15…

listen here

Once again, to sign up for you, your family or maybe another relative or friend, contact Kewanee High School at 853-3328  



Black Hawk College to Host Safety Summit


Get updated information from safety professionals, gather resources to turn to for current OSHA and safety information, and network with other safety personnel Wednesday, Jan. 10 at the Safety Summit at Black Hawk College in Moline.


The summit will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $89 and includes continental breakfast and lunch.


For more information, visit www.bhc.edu/safetysummit or call the Business Training Center at Black Hawk College at 309-796-5718.


Black Hawk College Appoints Interim President



The Board of Trustees announced earlier today the appointment of Dr. John Erwin to the position of interim president to replace Dr. Bettie Truitt, who is retiring at the end of December. Dr. Erwin will assume the responsibilities of president on January 2, 2018. Board of Trustees Chair Rick Fiems said, “I would like to thank Dr. Truitt for her contributions to the college over her 30 year career. We will miss her.”


Most recently, Dr. Erwin served as interim president at Marion Technical College in Marion, Ohio. Previously he served as president of Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Illinois from 2001 to 2015. Dr. Erwin has more than 30 years of administrative and instructional experience in higher education, the majority of which has been with community colleges.


Dr. Erwin was awarded a Ph.D., in 1987 and an M.A., in 1982 from Indiana University. He received his B.A., from the University of Indianapolis in 1977.


Fiems said, “We are very pleased to have Dr. Erwin lead our college community as we continue the search for a new president.” Fiems noted the Board was impressed with the quality of the candidates and said, “This was a difficult decision. But we feel confident Dr. Erwin will provide the leadership we need during this time of transition.”


Final contract terms are expected to be reached shortly and Dr. Erwin’s confirmation will occur at the December 14, 2017 board meeting.


Black Hawk College is a comprehensive community college serving the Illinois Quad-Cities and western Illinois.



Health care continues to be concern for rural Illinoisans

Health care on the mind of many rural Illinoisans. That’s what Illinois Farm Bureau’s Mark Gebhards is hearing as he travels the state.
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Gebhards serves as Director of Governmental Affairs & Commodities for IFB. The organization just wrapped up its annual meeting earlier this week in Chicago. 


New State Fire Certification

State Fire Marshal Matt Perez and Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Director Royal Mortenson announced today an intergovernmental agreement that streamlines the process for Illinois firefighters who complete IFSI courses to receive state certification. Under the terms of the agreement, the IFSI will be granted state certification equivalency for its end-of-course examinations. This will eliminate the requirement imposed upon Illinois firefighters who attended IFSI courses to take both a final end-of-course examination and an OSFM examination in order to receive state certification. 

State Fire Marshal Perez stated “The Illinois legislature has mandated that the firefighters of Illinois receive training from the Fire Service Institute and certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal in order for them to operate smarter, safer and more effectively.  The closer alignment of these two state agencies will offer unparalleled quality in fire service education.  I look forward to continuing work with Director Mortenson to maximize the capabilities of both our agencies.”

Director Mortenson says “This agreement is the product of the close working relationship between the OSFM and IFSI, our shared responsibilities, and our shared commitment to provide Illinois firefighters the best training possible as well as making access to state certification as easy as possible.”

The OSFM is mandated under the Illinois Fire Protection Training Act (50 ILCS 740) to select and certify a training program at the IFSI for Illinois firefighters. The IFSI is mandated under the Illinois Fire Service Institute Act (110 ILCS 365) to provide firefighters, department officers, and other persons opportunities to comply with the OSFM state certification program. 
Both state agencies are members of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) which provides the governor information and recommendations specifically related to Illinois fire service response capabilities and firefighter training. In addition to state certification equivalency, the IFSI is accredited by two international third-party organizations (The Pro Board Fire Service Professional Qualification System and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) to deliver accredited certification programs.

The agreement will take effect on January 1, 2018. All IFSI end of course examinations taken after this date that are submitted for state certification will receive OSFM equivalency status.


Ameren Electric Rates to Decrease

For the second consecutive year, Ameren Illinois residential customers will benefit from a decrease in their electric rates. Under Ameren Illinois' plan, which was approved today by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the typical residential customer will save approximately $1.70 per month on their electric bill beginning in January 2018.

 "We made a commitment to our customers and state regulators to build a stronger and more reliable electric distribution system and keep rates stable," said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The plan approved today demonstrates that prudent cost management and solid project execution can help our customers save."

Today's announcement marks the second consecutive and fifth overall rate decrease since the landmark Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act – or Smart Grid Bill – was passed in 2011.

 Ameren Illinois, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), is on pace to invest approximately $480 million in capital improvements in its electric grid this year for the benefit of its customers. And, Ameren Illinois' grid modernization initiatives over the last six years have resulted in an overall 17 percent increase in reliability and saved customers an estimated $45 million each year. Along with installing storm-resilient power poles and wires, automated switches, and enhanced outage detection technology, the company has installed 650,000 electric smart meters at customer premises and plans to deploy the two-way devices to all of its 1.2 million customers by the end of 2019. Smart meters provide Ameren Illinois customers with enhanced energy usage data and access to programs to help them save on their energy bills.

 "The smart grid program is delivering real and tangible results for energy consumers in Illinois, including greater reliability, a smarter and more technologically-advanced electric grid and more options for controlling energy usage," said Mark. "By making prudent investments in the system, we are meeting the needs of our customers today while planning for the future."

To learn more about Ameren Illinois' electric and natural gas modernization programs, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus, Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois, and Twitter @AmerenIllinois.


Moline Foundation Appoints a New Director

- The Moline Foundation, a growing community foundation located at 1601 River Drive, Moline, Ilinois announces a new position has been added at The Moline Foundation. Joy Boruff, President and CEO announces that Jennifer von Kaenel, CFRE has joined as its new Director of Development & Public Relations.


Joy Boruff, President/CEO The Moline Foundation commented, "The Moline Foundation's growth has led us to add additional staff at this time. Jennifer von Kaenel's professional background is a perfect fit for The Moline Foundation. We are looking forward to having her help us further develop our funds and our service to our donors and nonprofit organizations."


Mrs. von Kaenel comes with twenty years of experience in development, marketing, and nonprofit management and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Most recently she was employed for seven years as the Director of Development for WVIK Quad Cities National Public Radio.


Mrs. von Kaenel stated, "I am fortunate to be joining such a respected community foundation that has been a philanthropic leader in the community for 65 years. I look forward to working The Moline Foundation Board of Directors and its staff to continue its success and growth in the future."


About The Moline Foundation

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



Dicamba training being offered throughout Illinois through March

Soybean farmers in Illinois planning to use crop protection products containing dicamba in 2018 must be certified to do so. Approximately 30 training sessions are being held throughout the state through March says Jean Payne with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.
Listen Here
Information on sites, times and registration is available at “ifca.com.” Each session runs two-hours. Illinois is the first state to offer such training. 


Hunters Welcoming Recent Cold Stretch

The water fowl hunters of Illinois are welcoming this recent cold stretch. Water fowl hunting is best when it is cold out and with temperatures expected in the 20s and 30s in the coming weeks, DNR Sargent John Williamson says hunters are probably going to be getting out this weekend.

Listen Here

Water fowl season runs until January 31st for most of Illinois. Visit dnr.illinois.gov for all the details.


Hunting Accident Injures Kewanee Man

     On Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 around 1 PM Conservation Police were informed of a hunting accident that occurred in Bureau County.  47 year old Greg A. Connor of Kewanee was reportedly pushing the woods for deer when he was shot in the abdomen.  His fellow hunters called 911 and transported him to OSF St. Luke Hospital in Kewanee.  Conner suffered a wound to his abdomen and pelvis.


     Kewanee Police were made aware of the incident and assisted in securing a firearm at the Hospital.  Conner’s condition was listed as critical, but stable.  He was transported by helicopter to OSF in Peoria.


   An investigation revealed that Connor was not wearing blaze orange as required by state law.   Another hunter shot at deer that were pushed from the woods and could not see Conner.  At this time no charges have been filed, but the case is still under investigation by the Illinois conservation Police.


Students Receive $76,400 in BHC QC Foundation Scholarships



MOLINE, Ill. – The Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation has distributed more than $76,400 in scholarships to more than 100 Quad-Cities Campus students for the 2017-18 school year.


“On behalf of the foundation’s Scholarship Committee, we congratulate the 2017-2018 scholarship recipients and wish you tremendous success at Black Hawk College,” said Maureen Dickinson, executive director of the BHC QC Foundation.


“Thank you to all the donors who established scholarships and provided resources for the foundation. Clearly you value education and understand the importance of supporting students’ decisions to pursue their dreams at Black Hawk College,” she said.


“By helping meet educational needs for these students, you alleviate the stress that comes from financial worries and enable them to concentrate on getting the most out of their Black Hawk College experience. We are ever so grateful,” Dickinson said.


The 2017-18 BHC QC Foundation scholarship recipients, listed by state and hometown, are:




Aledo – Grace Debacker -- EALgreen Scholarship


Annawan –

· Jennifer Celus -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Kylie Blickem Scholarship

· Claudine Davis -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship


Arenzville – Bethany Fischer -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship


Cambridge – Raymond Castellano -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Sheet Metal Workers Scholarship


Carbon Cliff – Ibeeth Garza -- Quad Cities Alumni Scholarship


Colona – Derek Conduff -- Arthur B. Conelly Scholarship, John Kidwell IMPACT Scholarship and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship


Cordova – Katie Young -- The Sedona Group Scholarship


Dunlap – Abigail Young -- The Villas at Black Hawk Scholarship


East Moline –

· Sarah Anderson -- John R. Cioe Memorial Scholarship

· Shelby Boggs -- Dr. Robert & Dorothy White Scholarship

· Monica Cabrales -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship

· Chelsey Dorsey -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship and Vickie L. Anderson Scholarship

· Dolores Garza -- Nursing Faculty Endowed Scholarship and Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Isaiah Gonzalez -- Lucy Brandicon-Leon Dombrock-Donna Figle O’Meara Memorial Music Scholarship

· Bryce Humphrey -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Josie Koueviakoe – Woman’s Club of East Moline Scholarship

· Johanna Lopez -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship

· Cole Lueders -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship

· Alejo Ortega -- Dr. Norbert Barwasser Memorial Scholarship

· Raymond Terronez -- Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship


Galva – Amanda Smith -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship


Geneseo –

· Olivia Carroll -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Payton Conard -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship

· Kiah VanWynsberghe -- Dr. Robert & Dorothy White Scholarship and Elaine K. Saffield Memorial Scholarship


Hampton – Jessica Harris -- Lane Evans Memorial Scholarship


Kewanee – Payton VanWassenhove -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship


Kirkwood – Kelsey Crain -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship


Milan –

· Carol Axline -- Cummings Family Memorial Scholarship

· Madelyn DeYoung -- Grant W. Brissman and Virginia M. Brissman Scholarship and Milan Area Rotary Scholarship

· Andrea Fullerton -- Quad Cities Alumni Scholarship

· Ashley Hanson -- Dorothy Beck Scholarship, Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and The Sedona Group Scholarship

· Brandy Ploog -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Miranda Vavrosky -- Grant W. Brissman and Virginia M. Brissman Scholarship


Moline –

· Guadalupe Belmontes -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship

· Kaitlyn Cameron -- Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship

· Kerridwyn Clark -- Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association Scholarship

· Elizabeth Cunningham -- ICCSF Health Trust Scholarship

· Dylan Freeman -- Paula Cravero Memorial Scholarship

· Easton Glynn -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Natural Science & Engineering Scholarship

· Pape Gning -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Oscar Gutierrez -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Quad Cities Alumni Scholarship

· Krista Lootens -- Burton C. and Anna L. Foster Scholarship

· Micaela Martinez -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship

· Dieynaba Ndiaye -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Amadou Ndiaye -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Rachel Ness -- Marian Walters Health Occupations Scholarship

· Nicholas Nolte -- EALgreen Scholarship

· Kendra Percak-Dennett -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship

· Gabriella Perez -- Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Salena Pizano -- Bradley D. Padakis Memorial Scholarship and Todd C. Harold Johnson Memorial Scholarship

· Elsa Portillo -- Carol and Esther Kalin Scholarship and Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Isaac Raymond -- Douglas L. Mitton Memorial Law Enforcement Scholarship and Todd C. Harold Johnson Memorial Scholarship

· Sage Roberson -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Quad Cities Alumni Scholarship

· Alondra Rosas -- Barbra E. Garst Memorial Scholarship and Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Cammie Ruhl – King’s Daughters Nursing Scholarship and Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship

· Michelle Santiago -- Gertrude West Scholarship and Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Adjovi Sedjro -- Bahnks/Decker/M. Grotzinger Memorial Scholarship

· Nicole Stoddard – Hawk’s Hub Textbook Scholarship

· Jamison Turk -- The Villas at Black Hawk Scholarship

· Mackenzie Wayne -- Gertrude West Scholarship and Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Sarah York -- Franklin Foundation Scholarship and Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Brittany Young -- Cummings Family Memorial Scholarship


Orion – Brittany Davis -- Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299 Scholarship


Port Byron –

· Lindsey Berge -- Dr. Norbert Barwasser Memorial Scholarship

· Mackenzie Haskins -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Madison Haskins -- Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship

· Kara Thurman -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship


Prophetstown – Jill Calderone -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship and Burton C. and Anna L. Foster Scholarship


Quincy – Evan Hurst -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship


Rapids City – Kayleen Mercer -- Bettie and Joe Truitt III Scholarship in memory of Joseph W. Truitt


Rock Island –

· Shelby Boysen-Ledbetter -- Quad Cities Alumni Scholarship

· Karen Costilla -- Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Crystyna Davidson -- State Representative Rich and Dean Betsey Morthland Scholarship

· Colin Frye -- Gertrude West Scholarship

· Ruben Garcia -- Dr. Barbara and Wayne Shellhouse Scholarship

· Amber Harrison -- Doris E. Braner Memorial Scholarship

· Brett Kerno -- Sandie K. Cockerill Scholarship

· Janette Mashimango -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship

· Judith Mencia -- Dr. Robert & Dorothy White Scholarship and Earl H. Beling Memorial Scholarship

· Jacob Naab -- Dr. Keith Miller Honorary IMPACT Scholarship

· Taylor Neyens -- Dr. Norbert Barwasser Memorial Scholarship

· Christina Poston -- Dr. Norbert Barwasser Memorial Scholarship and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299 Scholarship

· Kayla Schanfish -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship and Cummings Family Memorial Scholarship

· Erica Sunken -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and P.J. and Molly Foley Rock Island Scholarship

· Queonna Watkins -- Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship and Robert J. Perkins Memorial Scholarship


Savanna – Marie Marheine -- Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship


Sherrard – Leslie Hallstrom -- ICCSF Healthcare Scholarship


Silvis –

· Bernado Awoudi – King’s Daughters Textbook Scholarship and Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Kristal Caudillo -- Cummings Family Memorial Scholarship and King’s Daughters Nursing Scholarship

· Kirsten Montgomery -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship, Doris E. Braner Memorial Scholarship and Lowell N. Johnson Charitable Foundation Scholarship

· Reese Peterson -- Puffer/Reid Scholarship


Sterling – Heather Phillips -- Black Hawk College Foundation Scholarship and Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship


Toulon – Jessica Loudenburg -- Erwin Johnson Memorial Scholarship and Martin E. Hayes Physics/Engineering Scholarship


Viola – Kyle Mack -- Jules Mueller Westmer Scholarship




Bettendorf – Anna Black -- Gertrude West Scholarship


Davenport –

· Chloe Aguirre -- Gertrude West Scholarship and Robert & Blenda Ontiveros Family Foundation Scholarship

· Jennifer Hayes -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship

· James Herzog -- National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Scholarship

· Brittany Lichty -- Leaders Under 40 Alumni Scholarship

· Megan Peterson -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship

· John Schilder -- Roger A. Perley Memorial Scholarship

· Aliza Tandukar -- Cristina Greene Memorial Scholarship for International Students and Quad City’s Vintage Rods Scholarship


Eldridge – Reagan Adkisson -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship


LeClaire – Michelle Smith -- Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Scholarship


Muscatine – Hanna Dipple -- E.S. (Bert) Metcalf Memorial Scholarship



La Leche League December Meeting


    The La Leche League of Henry and Stark Counties' reminds area residents that their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th at 7:00pm at OSF St. Luke Medical Center, Kewanee.  "Early Days of Breastfeeding" will be the evening's program.


    Are you a new or expectant mother planning to breastfeed?  Then you will want the information and encouragement that La Leche League provides. Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers, accredited by La Leche League International.  Whether you are pregnant or already nursing, La Leche has something for you - tips and techniques shared by mothers who have enjoyed a successful breastfeeding relationship.


    Malissa Campbell, La Leche Counselor, notes "We welcome new mothers, pregnant women and babies and children at our meetings."


    Services available through La Leche include monthly informational meetings, lending library, and phone help for breastfeeding problems or questions. 


    Please join La Leche on Wednesday, December 13th for "Early Days of Breastfeeding.”  Remember all mothers and their babies are welcome.  For more information call Malissa at (309) 927-3027.


JB Pritzker To Visit Kewanee

One of the Governor’s candidates is making a stop in Kewanee.

JB Pritzker will be stopping in Kewanee Monday Dec. 11th to meet and talk with people.

The meeting will be held at the American Legion (downstairs hall) Monday at 3pm.

Everyone is invited to attend and hear what JB has to say about his platform.

We are honored to have a Governor’s candidate stop in Kewanee and spend some time with us.

So anyone that is available please come join us and tell and bring your friends with you.

Hope to see you Monday Dec. 11th around 2:00 pm.

Thanks, John Sovanski chairman Henry County Democrats.


Special Education Teacher Shortage Bordering On A Crisis

Could the educator shortage become a crisis in Illinois? A central Illinois superintendent seems to think so, especially in special education.
Superintendent at Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, points out in special education alone, there are upwards of 250 vacancies.

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Nettles could see the situation worsening and becoming a crisis. He does feel the State is to blame as they have not made Illinois a good place to work.

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There is also a struggle in finding educators for elementary levels, something Nettles says is a new challenge for administrators. 


Health Department Announces Henry County Health Board Meeting



     The Henry County Health Department would like to announce the quarterly 

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

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017  at the Henry County Health Department office,

Kewanee, Illinois.


Priority Registration Ends Dec. 13 For Spring BHC Classes


Priority registration for Spring 2018 classes at Black Hawk College ends Wednesday, Dec. 13.


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


Last-minute registration will begin Friday, Dec. 15 and end Friday, Jan. 12 with payment due at registration.


Spring 2018 classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 16.


For more information, call BHC Enrollment Services at 309-796-5300.



Holiday Tips

The Holiday Season is a wonderful time but for criminals and other deviants, it can also be a time they look forward to with opportunities to commit crimes against unsuspecting citizens.

Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka says home delivered packages can create some criminal opportunities and he also looks at online shopping…

listen here

Sheriff Loncka says that situation was resolved successfully but all the more reason to remain vigilant…

listen here


Chances for significant snow event in Illinois prior to Christmas not great

Colder temps have arrived in Illinois, but chances for a significant snow event leading up to Christmas aren’t great. So says RFD Illinois meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather.
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Hicks anticipates into the 6-to-10 day and even 11-to-15 day outlook that the Midwest will continue to experience cold air masses. Daytime highs of 20s and 30s can be expected over the next couple of weeks in Illinois. Normal highs at this time of year in Illinois are in the mid to upper 30’s in the northern part of the state and mid 40s in southern Illinois. The first day of winter is officially December 21st. 


Rich Guebert Re-elected to IFB President

Rich Guebert will remain the president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. The Ellis Grove farmer was re-elected to the post Tuesday, his third two year term. He says the Farm Bureau needs to unite and get messages to lawmakers during these tough economic times.

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Locally, Guebert says there's a lot of action to be done in Illinois. He says the Illinois Farm Bureau is making a difference.

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Guebert says the Illinois Farm Bureau is very strong, from the administration and Board to the County level.


Henry County Sheriff On People to People

Sheriff Kerry Loncka talks about holiday safety issues

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/12-5%20ptp%20hcs%20save.mp3


OSF Hospice On Tuned IN

Father Jerry Rafalko discusses grieving during the holidays

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/12-5%20t-in%20osf%20hospice.mp3


WKEI Open Line


HHH Health Care Info

While the nation’s lawmakers debate a new health care bill there are still many other issues facing those in the health care field.

Mr. Mark Kuhn is the new CEO at Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo and he says there are several challenges that health care professionals are facing…

listen here

Mr. Kuhn notes that there is a physician shortage right here in Henry County…

listen here

Mr. Kuhn also say that there are several reasons for the physician shortage and one of those is the amount of time it takes to become a certified physician…

listen here


"Health Department Announces Stark County Health Board Meeting"


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

the Stark County Health Board will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5th,

20172nd floor, Stark County Courthouse, Toulon, Illinois.



Henry County 4-H Archery SPIN Club For Youth Starts January 22 in Cambridge




All youth and teens ages 8 to 18 who are interested in building skills in archery can sign up for the Henry County 4-H Archery Club. They’ll learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of archery equipment and have target practice. The club will be held on Mondays starting January 22 - March 12. It will meet at the Cambridge Community & Youth Center, 407 N West Street, Cambridge, IL (old bowling alley). You can select your preference for session times of 5 pm or 6 pm and your skill level upon registration. There is a $20 fee to enroll in 4-H for non-members and a $2 range fee per session for everyone. Equipment is provided in part by grants from the Illinois 4-H Foundation and the NRA. Register online at University of Illinois Extension website at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call the Henry County Extension & 4-H office in Galva at (309) 932-3447.


Gov Rauner Says He's Not in Charge of the State

Who’s really in charge of the state of Illinois? Today (Monday) the Governor says it’s Mike Madigan. Republican Bruce Rauner says until Madigan is gone Illinois can’t be fixed and over the first three years of his term as Governor he really hasn’t been the one running the state.

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Rauner’s opponent for the Republican nomination Jeanne Ives hopped on the comment saying via Twitter that the “Governors office is powerful, but a weak man is in it.


Illinois launches Bicentennial Celebration

State officials kicked off the state's year long birthday celebration Sunday at Chicago's Navy Pier and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum . Governor Bruce Rauner believes Illinois can send a message with its two century birthday....
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The cast of Hamilton celebrated the start of Illinois Bicentennial by unveiling the Bicentennial Flag of Illinois. Meanwhile, the Petersburg produced bicentennial beer has been named. Hand of Fate's craft brew, which won the honor at last year's state fair, will be known as 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale.


IEMA Offers Holiday Safety Tips

With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are offering tips to help people stay safe now and into 2018.

“Throughout December, we’ll offer tips to help people safely enjoy the holiday season, as well as provide ideas on gifts that can help friends and family stay safe during all types of emergencies,” said IEMA Acting Director Joe Klinger.

Klinger offered several ideas for preparedness and safety gifts, including the following:

• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radio with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology
Flashlight with extra batteries
First aid kit with sterile bandages and gauze pads in assorted sizes, antiseptic, latex gloves, tweezers, scissors, soap and moistened towelettes, and thermometer
Home emergency preparedness kit stocked with a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries, first aid kit, shut-off wrench (to turn off household gas and water), manual can opener, and fire extinguisher
Vehicle preparedness kit stocked with a flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; water and non-perishable snacks; blankets; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables; sack of sand or kitty litter; tool kit; and shovel
• Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector

Most preparedness gift items can be found in hardware and department stores.

Candles and strings of colored lights create a festive holiday atmosphere, but it’s important to be careful when using them. Candles should never be left unattended and should be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax. Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested. 

IEMA will be posting holiday safety tips throughout December on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages. Additional information on emergency preparedness is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.  


Snow Days This Year?

Winter weather has been on the relatively mild side the last couple of years and both schools in Kewanee have gone the last two years without taking a snow day.

Will that be the case this year as well?

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski takes a stab at what he thinks might happen this year…

listen here


Lights Go On For The First Time At Windmont On Sunday

Perhaps it was the mild weather or maybe it was just the great anticipation in general, but a huge crowd turned out at Windmont Park in Kewanee on Sunday evening for the unveiling of this year’s Christmas Light display.

Kid’s lined McClure street in anticipation of the five o’clock lighted Christmas Parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus headlining the event.

Once at Windmont, the Clauses headed to the shelter and soon thereafter it was time for the fireworks display and then of course the first lighting of the lights for the season.

Children then began to head to the Windmont Shelter House to see Santa and Mrs. Claus and were treated to candy canes and an opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and drop hints about this year’s wish list.

Hot chocolate and cookies were also served to the children who were of course already brimming with energy.  

The display, which is put on by the Windmont Lighting Committee with Bob Neirynck in charge has been an annual event for many years now. The displays will remain up all the way through New Year’s Eve with the lights on each evening til around 11 o’clock.

The lights will also be on all night long on Christmas Eve night and also on New Year’s Eve night.

The display will come down on New Year’s Day.

New this year to Kewanee was the display at Northeast Park and while not on the same scale as Windmont, it is also a beautiful display that will keep the north end of town lit up as well.