Local News Archives for 2018-01

Rauner Looking for Job Creation

Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his state of the state address today and spent time focused on building the economy in Illinois. He wants to find more ways to improve the state’s economy.

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The Republican skipped over the poor job creation numbers in the three years that he’s been governor. Job growth has been lower under Rauner than when Pat Quinn was Governor. Job growth in Illinois now stands at about half of the nation’s growth rate.

WKEI Open Line

ILLINOIS Extension Offers Enterprise Zones Webinar February 15



On Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Noon, UI Extension's Local Government Education program will host Ben Wilson, Director of Economic Development at the Village of Matteson, IL; member of their Enterprise Zone Board and the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association. This webinar will educate local officials and economic development professionals on knowledge of code and how it pertains to communities and initiatives in Illinois.


Register for the free webinar online at: web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call (309) 756-9978.


Since late 2015, Benjamin Wilson has served as the Director of Economic Development for the Village of Matteson.  Prior to coming to the Village, Ben worked at a regional planning commission located in north central Illinois.  For more than a decade, Ben has offered his community and economic development expertise to local governments.

In his current capacity, Ben will be working with village staff to supplement existing efforts to promote economic development.  Ben's expertise encompasses a full suite of community and economic development services, including grant writing, downtown revitalization, business attraction and retention, land use planning, enterprise zone administration, and incentive package development.  He currently serves as the President of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association.

Illinois State Fair Unveils First Grandstand Act For 2018 Fair


The 2018 concert season is heating up as the Illinois State Fair Grandstand lineup begins to take shape.  The Illinois State Fair is pleased to announce country-rocker Brantley Gilbert will close out the 2018 Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 19.  
Critics say Gilbert hides a rock show in a country concert, making it difficult to box this singer/songwriter in with other current county music stars.  Gilbert is best known for songs such as, “Bottoms Up,” “Country Must be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” “One Hell of an Amen,” and “The Weekend.”

One of only four country artists with back-to-back platinum certified albums this decade (HALFWAY TO HEAVEN and the 2014 American Music Awards Favorite Country Album JUST AS I AM), Gilbert received a prestigious CMA Song of the Year nomination for penning Jason Aldean’s signature hit song “Dirt Road Anthem,” as well as co-writing Aldean’s hit “My Kind of Party.”  Gilbert is currently promoting his #1 country album THE DEVIL DON’T SLEEP through his The Ones That Like Me Tour that has been crisscrossing the nation this winter.

“Brantley Gilbert is a well-known artist with a great fan base,” said Acting State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.  “We expect BG Nation will be treated to a fantastic, high-energy, in-your-face concert they soon won’t forget.”

An opening act for Brantley Gilbert will be announced at a later date.

Tickets will go on sale later this spring.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Illinois State Fair, August 9th – 19th, in Springfield, IL.

Stay up to date with all the latest news and announcements from the Illinois State Fair by connecting with us via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

PNB Scholarship Essay Contest

The People’s National Bank of Kewanee is offering a scholarship essay contest.

It’s an essay contest for high school banking through the Community Bankers Association of Illinois. The students must write on a specific theme that is provided, always about banking. The contest and theme information is all available on our website at www.pnb-kewanee.com/community.

They select up to three winners, and they each receive $250 from PNB and then sponsorship in the statewide competition with the CBAI.

Application deadline is 5pm on this coming Friday, February 2nd.

Congresswoman Bustos' Statement on the State of the Union


“While I was pleased to hear President Trump offering to work across the aisle tonight, it doesn't negate the fact that he's pursued a highly partisan agenda in his first year rather than keeping his word to hardworking Americans across the Heartland. I hope that the President is sincere in his offer of a more bipartisan 2018 because we have a real opportunity to put millions of Americans to work rebuilding our roads, bridges and other crumbling infrastructure projects across our nation. I look forward to closely examining the President's infrastructure proposal once it's released because passing the buck to local taxpayers or expecting private businesses to foot the bill for roads in small town America isn't going to cut it.


“While President Trump spent a significant portion of tonight’s speech talking about his new tax law, he neglected to mention that his bill includes economic incentives for companies to ship good-paying American jobs overseas. While I strongly support tax cuts for middle-class Americans, we should have put hardworking families ahead of billionaires and corporate special interests.


“As I said on the night President Trump was elected – I’m willing to work with him if he’ll actually work toward a real bipartisan agenda, but if not, he’s going to continue to have a fight on his hands.”


20th year for Illinois Products Expo this year

The Illinois Department of Agriculture celebrating 20 “delicious” years of the Illinois Products Expo. Over 70 Illinois companies will be providing free food samples and selling products at the two-day event later this winter. IDOA Bureau Chief of Marketing Erin Cleary’s highlights one of the vendors.
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The expo is March 3rd and 4th in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Admission is $5. The event also features an Illinois Wine Garden. 

Bost and Shimkus preview Trump State of Union address

President Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address this evening. The speech, typically given every year of a president’s term except the first, reports on the current condition of the United States and allows the leader to outline legislative and other priorities.
Murphysboro Republican Congressman Mike Bost says he expects Trump to touch on jobs, the economy, infrastructure, immigration, trade, and national security.
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Maryville Republican John Shimkus says national security will be a topic he will be listening intently to.
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Tonight's State of the Union is scheduled for 8pm, and can be seen and heard on most major news networks and streaming services.

Rauner and Ives clash for only time before primary

Governor Bruce Rauner and State Representative Jeanne Ives met Monday with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board but Rauner didn't have much interest in talking about his opponent and Ives wasn't exactly shy about her attacks on the Governor.....
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Rauner has said little about Ives primary campaign other than to raise the issue of electability..... but Ives wasn't ready to let him look ahead to November.....

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Rauner said one key victory in his battle against Madigan was the end of the supermajority in the House. Ives scored one clear victory. Rauner donor Richard Uihlein has dropped $500,000 into her campaign warchest. 

State of the Union Address Tonight

President Donald Trump will address a joint session of Congress and the nation  tonight with his State of the Union Address.

Mr. Trump will no doubt address a number of topics and CBS News Correspondent Steven Portnoy has a preview…

listen here

The address is scheduled to begin at 8 o’clock tonight with many of the major networks carrying the address live.   

Bishop Hill Heritage Association's Annual Meeting is February 3


On Saturday February 3, the BHHA will be having its annual meeting at the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street, Bishop Hill IL.  A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. with the meeting to follow at approximately 12:15 p.m.  The lunch and meeting is open to Bishop Hill Heritage Association members only.  Some of the items that will be covered at the annual meeting are the election of board members and officers, a review of 2017 accomplishments, and a preview of 2018 events.  Heritage members, please attend and learn more about the BHHA and Bishop Hill!

Stock market stays strong despite rising interest rates

Record gains continue on Wall Street. That’s because money continues to pour into the stock market even though interest rates are going up says GROWMARK economist Kel Kelly.
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And Kelley says even though the stock market is breaking records that doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with the economy. He says it just means new money is being pumped into the market. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate supporting labor

Madison County School Superintendent Bob Daiber (DIE-bur) says he is the man to support labor if he is elected governor. Daiber made campaign stops in Springfield and Wood River Monday to address what he calls a "pro-labor agenda" to preserve prevailing wage in the state of Illinois, and to express his support for collective bargaining agreements. The perceived front-runner for the Democratic nomination is Chicago businessman J.B. Pritzker, but Daiber says that may not be the reality.

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Daiber was a public school teacher for 28 years before he became the head of the Madison County Schools in 2007.

Health Care Training Available in Kewanee, Moline, EM



Black Hawk College offers a variety of health care trainings for those who want to enter the medical field or current providers who want additional training.


Upcoming programs include:

· Phlebotomy Technician –

o   Tuesdays, Feb. 6 to April 10 at the Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee or

o   Wednesdays, Feb. 7 to April 11 at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline

o   Both classes are from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Cost is $725 for either class.

· Pharmacy Technician – Wednesdays, Feb. 7 to May 16, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline. Cost is $725.

· Dental Office Management – NEW – Thursdays, Feb. 8 to March 29, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline. Cost is $395.

· American Heart Association Health Care Provider BLS-CPR – Friday, Feb. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Outreach Center in East Moline. Cost is $59.


For more information or to register, call BHC Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223 or visit www.bhc.edu/health.

Feb Is National Wear Red Day

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, announce that Friday, February 2nd has been designated as National Wear Red Day.  This important health observance is noted to help focus attention on women and heart disease.


    RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes, "Women often do not take their risk of heart disease seriously or personally.  However, Heart Disease is the number 1 killer of women, killing more than all forms of cancer combined.  Many of these deaths can be prevented, but most women don't notice the symptoms until it's too late.  That's why it's been called the silent killer.  You can help increase awareness of women's heart health by wearing red, speaking up, and uniting with millions of women to help save lives across America."


    The Health Department offers the following Heart Health facts:


*   Heart disease is the number one killer of American women age 20 and over, killing approximately one woman every minute.

*   One in every 3 women dies of heart disease.  One in every 30 dies of breast cancer.

*   90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

*   Americans can lower their risk of heart disease by as much as 82% by just leading a healthy life.


    Risk factors are habits or conditions that increase the chance of developing a disease.  Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be prevented or controlled.  Having more than one risk factor is especially serious.  Women should talk to a health professional about their individual risks and how to lower them.


Risk factors for heart disease include:


*   Smoking   *   High Blood Pressure    *   Diabetes

*   High Blood Cholesterol   *   Obesity     * Physical Inactivity     

* Age    * Family history of heart disease


     The Health Department’s two Nurse Practitioner headed clinics in Kewanee and Colona offer such heart healthy services as: lab work/blood profiles; high blood pressure management; high cholesterol disease management; as well as, general health clinic services.


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

Not Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

The influenza activity level in Illinois remains widespread.  Similar to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports the number of influenza-related ICU admissions, influenza-related pediatric deaths, and influenza outbreaks.  The most recent report shows 1032 influenza-related ICU admissions, two influenza-related pediatric deaths, and 285 influenza outbreaks.  Weekly reports can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/surveillance.  

“The most common influenza strain circulating in Illinois and across the country has been an influenza A strain?H3N2, which tends to cause more severe illness,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “However, other strains?influenza B, can become more common later in the season.  If you still have not gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late.  The vaccine will help protect you and those around you from the flu strains circulating this season.”

Getting a flu shot can also reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.  The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, especially those who may not be able to be vaccinated, such as babies under six months.  Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people.  Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting you and those around you against flu viruses.

Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks, coughs, or sneezes.  People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.

On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin.  However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptoms, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

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

• Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.
• Cover – cover your cough and sneeze. 
• Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.

Influenza antiviral drugs can be used for treatment of some who get sick with the flu.  Many observational studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications.  Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly, high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the first signs of influenza symptoms, which include sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.

To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health care provider or local health department.  You can also use the online Vaccine Finder.

Author Don O'Neal on Tuned IN

Don O'Neal talks about a book signing in Kewanee on Saturday for his new book, So Proudly We Hailed

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/1-26%20t-in%20Don%20O'Neal.mp3

IDOT's Latest Rail Plan Open for Public Comment


The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking input on its 2017 Rail Plan, which provides an overview of the state's existing passenger and freight facilities and operations as well as strategies for achieving long-term goals. The public is asked to review the plan on IDOT's website at https://goo.gl/dF4dpC and submit comments at https://goo.gl/pp7rWD by Feb. 23.

"Our rail system plays an important role in the development of our local and national economies," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "High-quality, high-performing railroads are not just a convenience in Illinois, but a necessity. It's vital that we continue to develop and improve this infrastructure to maintain and strengthen our status as the transportation hub of North America."

State rail plans are federally required to be updated every five years. IDOT's last plan was submitted in 2012. The 2017 Rail Plan examines current passenger and freight rail infrastructure and identifies potential improvements, new routes and connections between rail and other modes of transportation. Among the plan highlights: improvements on the Chicago-St. Louis passenger rail corridor, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program, and station projects throughout the state.

Freight and passenger rail are key components of Illinois' transportation network. Illinois boasts the second-largest rail system in the United States and is the only state in which all seven Class I railroads operate. Nearly half of the more than 1 billion tons of freight valued at $2.97 trillion that moves in Illinois each year is transported by rail. Chicago, the largest rail hub in North America, serves 500 freight trains and 700 intercity and commuter trains daily. The public is encouraged to review the plan and provide comments at https://goo.gl/pp7rWD.

Unemployment Down In Illinois In December

Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in December in all of Illinois’s metropolitan areas for the seventh consecutive month, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in nine of the metropolitan areas.


“Eleven metro areas saw their lowest December unemployment rates since 2006,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The unemployment rate also decreased in all 102 counties over the year.”


Illinois businesses added jobs in nine metro areas, with the largest increases in: Kankakee (+2.9 percent, +1,300), Lake/Kenosha (+1.7 percent, +6,800), and Elgin (+1.3 percent, +3,400). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+0.8 percent or +28,700). Illinois businesses lost jobs in three metro areas, with the largest losses in: Danville (-2.1 percent, -600), Decatur (-1.4 percent, -700), and Springfield (-0.7 percent, -800).


The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Mining and Construction (10 of 14), Manufacturing (10 of 14), Wholesale Trade, (9 of 14), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (9 of 14), and Education and Health Services (9 of 14).


Not seasonally adjusted data compares December 2017 with December 2016. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.7 percent in December 2017 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in December 2017 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

Book Signing Saturday In Kewanee

A former Kewanee man now living in Springfield IL will be in Kewanee on Saturday for a book signing of his new book entitled, ‘So Proudly We Hailed’.

Don O’Neal says the book will revolve around his time in Kewanee when he was too young to serve in World War II but still old enough to be aware of what was going on…

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The book is priced at $15 and Mr. O’Neal says that as much as anything, he would like to meet with other people and share their perspective of that time and place…

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Illinois Film Industry Continues to Expand, Diversify in 2017


The Illinois FILM Office today announced that 2017 was the most diverse year for crew hires on record. Women and minority hires made up 53% of reported crew employees across the 347 television, commercial and movie projects that filmed within Illinois. These productions generated $423 million in estimated Illinois spending and resulted in 13,797 job hires over the course of the year.

“This is a significant milestone for the film industry here in Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “I am proud that we maintain a diversity standard to expand opportunities for women and minorities and address the systemic issue of underrepresentation. This has been a major priority during my administration, and I look forward to building upon this trend in 2018.”

In addition, Illinois has become a destination for innovation and technology companies that support film production. These independent companies offer services that were traditionally outsourced to the West Coast post-production. The move by these companies to establish a brick and mortar presence within the state signals the strength of the industry. Establishing roots within the Midwest will not only help Illinois remain the #1 production center within the region, but will strengthen Illinois’ standing across the nation.

“We’ve become a hub for film production that extends to every stage of the process, attracting editors, artists and innovators who have traditionally fled to the coasts for work,” said Illinois Film Office Director Christine Dudley. “The rising demand for original content across media platforms has kicked the doors wide open to new voices, creative ideas and unique prospectives, all of which can be found right here. Illinois has proven itself as an adaptable and exceptional place for film production.”

Primetime hits "Empire" (FOX), "Chicago Fire" "Chicago PD" and "Chicago Med" (NBC) returned to the lineup in 2017. “Shameless” (Showtime) and “Easy” (Netflix) also returned to film more episodes. New projects like “The Chi” (20th Century Fox/Showtime), “The AV Club with John Teti” (Fusion), and “Electric Dreams” (Amazon) made Illinois home. Notable movies included “Widows” starring Viola Davis and directed by Steve McQueen, sci-fi thriller “Captive State” starring John Goodman and Vera Farmiga, “The Pages” written and directed by Illinoisan Joe Chapelle, and “What They Had” starring Hillary Swank, Michael Shannon and Bythe Danner. Additionally, “America to Me” and “Minding the Gap,” documentary works produced by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month. Advertising continued to be Illinois’ largest grab with over 250 projects in 2017.

The Illinois FILM Office promotes Illinois as a location for film, television and advertising productions, providing assistance with everything from location scouting and production vendors to working with local unions and guilds. The Office also administers the state’s film tax credit, which has been integral in growing a competitive film industry in Illinois. The 30 percent tax credit is awarded to productions for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. The goal of the Tax Credit Act is to grow, sustain and provide economic and job opportunities for local vendors, crew and filmmakers. 

Henry County Gets a Rock Station!

On February 1, 2018, Regional Media will add 104.7 Rock 2.0 to its Illinois line up. 104.7 ROCK 2.0 is an evolution in rock radio. Typical rock formats are either old or new, mainstream or alternative. The gap between classic and current rock formats grew a mile-wide in the 90’s when diverse strands of rock merged and evolved. 104.7 Rock 2.0 traces its DNA back from Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. It reaches forward from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana to Linkin Park and Three Days Grace.


Regional Media President Fletcher Ford, along  with Vice President Jason Gilbraith, General Manager Anthony Sturtevant, and Program Director Karissa Nash-Haptonstall have been discussing building a rock station for sometime.  Once the decision was made to build 104.7 Rock 2.0 , the focus on localism became apparent.  With upcoming local artist showcases, and the same great local weather and news from WKEI-RegionalDailyNews.com, 104.7 Rock 2.0 will join the same award winning stations Regional Media operates in Henry County.


Extensive build out and investment in the 104.7 Rock 2.0 facilities included all new transmission equipment, new tower antennas, and new broadcast studios at Division Street in Kewanee. Chief Engineer Wayne Miller states, “Regional Media continues to impress me at the constant expansion to improve the facilities for the communities they serve, this project was an absolute joy to work on.”

Core Artists: Foo Fighters, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Guns ‘N Roses, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, and Led Zeppelin.

104.7 Rock 2.0 has had enormous support from local businesses and will officially air at 12:01 on February 1, 2018. For more information, please visit RegionalMedia.info


Regional Media, is one of the largest and one of the most diversified broadcasting companies in Illinois and Iowa with affiliations with many local communities. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.RegionalMedia.info 

Is $3 gas on the way

Is three-dollar gas in the offing for Illinois? Maybe Chicago, but for the rest of the state it will take a while says GROWMARK’s Harry Cooney.
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According to TRIPLE-A, the average price for gas in Illinois is at $2.65 a gallon with the City of Chicago averaging $2.94.
Gas in central Illinois is currently averaging $2.63 a gallon in Bloomington-Normal. $2.51 a gallon in southern Illinois in Carbondale. And $2.58 a gallon in northern Illinois in Rockford. The national average is at $2.56 a gallon.
Diesel prices are currently averaging $2.90 a gallon in Illinois, according to AAA. 

Henry County Republicans Plan Events

Henry County Republicans announce details of their January 30 meeting and watch party for President Trump's State of the Union message.  The meeting and watch party will be held at PrimeTime FUNctions, 12727 Wolf Road, Geneseo.  The location is in the same area as Country Store.

The meeting will begin at 6:15 pm with the agenda including the February 17th gathering of the Patrick Henry Club in Cambridge, election judges for the March 20th primary, Henry County Public Safety Tax and planning for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner in April.

The State of the Union address begins at 7 pm.  All interested Republicans are invited to join with others to watch the address and discuss it.  Those are attending are invited to bring a snack to share and beverages will be provided.

Anyone with questions should contact chairman Jan Weber at 309-944-2808.  

Moline Scholarship Announcement

The Maggie Webb Memorial Scholarship is intended to provide funds to deserving students graduating from Moline High School who plan to obtain a university or college degree. One scholarship will be awarded in 2018.

Requirements: Applicants should apply online at www.molinefoundation.org. All scholarships must be submitted by midnight on Friday, March 16, 2018. All reference letters need to be mailed to The Moline Foundation 1601 River Drive, Suite 210, Moline, Illinois 61265 with a postmark on or before March 16, 2018.


Scholarship candidates must:

·        be a current graduating senior high school student from Moline High School. 

·        have a minimum GPA of 2.8.

·        provide proof of class rank and a transcript of seventh semester courses. 

·        show community involvement (with at least one service oriented activity in place of worship, school or community).

·        submit an essay to the Scholarship Selection Advisory Committee answering the question "If you leave this earth tomorrow, what would be your legacy? (350 words or less). 

·        Submit 2 letters of reference and a transcript.

All applications are online on The Moline Foundation website: www.molinefoundation.org or contact Linda Daily, ldaily@molinefoundation.org, or Jen von Kaenel, jvonkaenel@molinefoundation.org, or call (309) 736-3800 if you have further questions.



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


Ameren Customers Could See Rate Reduction

 Ameren Illinois electric customers could save an average of $2.50 to $3.00 per month in 2018 and natural gas customers could save an average of $1 per month if the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approves the company's plan to pass savings from the recently approved federal tax cut legislation back to its customers.  Customers using both electricity and natural gas could see a combined savings.

In the proposal filed with the ICC today, the company is seeking approval to pass along federal tax savings to electric customers beginning this year.  A similar proposal was filed last week on behalf of Ameren Illinois natural gas customers. 

"Under the new tax plan, Ameren Illinois’ effective tax rate will decrease by nearly 13%,” said Richard Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The plan we have filed with the ICC gives us the ability to expedite the return of these savings to our customers." 

The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 provides a mechanism to return these savings to electric customers, but without filing the petition customers would have to wait until 2020 to receive the benefits. If approved by the ICC, Ameren Illinois customers will begin seeing these savings in March.

"We have been in contact with the ICC since Congress passed the federal tax plan in December to get these savings returned to our customers as soon as possible," said Mark. 

Electric customers are already benefitting from savings in 2018. In December, the ICC ruled in favor of Ameren Illinois' request to decrease its delivery services rates. Residential customers will save approximately $1.70 per month on their electric bill in 2018 as a result of the previous ICC ruling.

Market Outlook with Dr. Steve Johnson February 8th at Lavender Crest



Dr. Steve Johnson, Farm & Ag Business Management Specialist from Iowa State University Extension, will be the featured speaker on Thursday February 8th at Lavender Crest Winery, 5401 US Highway 6, Colona. Featured presentation and workshop “Developing Strategies and Utilizing Tools: Building a Crop Marketing Plan “ will be presented.   The evening will begin with a buffet dinner at 6:15 p.m., followed by an update from Gold Star FS Grain Merchandiser, Mike Schaver. Reservations must made by February 1 to guarantee a meal.


Steve serves as the Farm & Ag Business Management Specialist in Central Iowa for Iowa State University Extension.  He presents annually at more than 100 meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences and field events across the Midwest.  He holds BS and MS degrees from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University.


Steve specializes in topics related to grain marketing, government farm programs, crop insurance and other risk management strategies.  He writes and trains on topics related to farm programs, grain production contracts, grain storage, farmland leasing and related crop income issues.  He contributes to articles featured in a variety of farm magazines, websites, e-newsletters and other print and electronic media.

Cost for the series is $75 and a single session is $25.00 (if not pre-registered cost will be $30.00).  To make reservations, please call the Henry County Farm Bureau (309) 937-2411 or the Rock Island County Farm Bureau (309) 736-7432. 

The Market Outlook Series is sponsored by the Henry and Rock Island County Farm Bureaus.

WKEI Open Line

Roadwork In Kewanee Today

Effective immediately, East Prospect Street is closed from Vine Street to Ridyard Avenue for sewer and road repairs.  Work is expected to begin at today.

The road will be closed to through traffic although residents will still have access to their driveways. 

Motorists are asked to avoid this area if possible, and take caution if driving near the work zone area.

IL Tax Filing Season Begins January 29

The Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDOR”) will begin accepting 2017 state individual income tax returns on Monday, January 29th, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) begins accepting federal individual income tax returns.  IDOR is reminding taxpayers that filing tax returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund.  IDOR begins this tax season with a continued focus on protecting taxpayers and state government against fraud. 
“The State of Illinois’ continued resolve to detect and prevent tax return fraud has resulted in an overall savings of more than $31 million in calendar year 2017 – a 52% increase from 2016,” said Connie Beard, IDOR Director.  “We are protecting our taxpayers, ensuring refunds go to the correct individual, and saving money.” 
As fraud prevention measures continue, IDOR anticipates direct deposit refunds will be issued four weeks from the time an error-free electronically-filed return was submitted.   

MyTax Illinois, IDOR’s free online account management program will begin accepting Individual Income Tax returns on January 29th.  Taxpayers can file their Form IL-1040 for free using MyTax Illinois.  Individuals may also utilize MyTax Illinois to make payments, check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refund using Where’s My Refund?, and look up their IL-PIN, estimated tax payments, and 1099-G amounts.
In calendar year 2017, over six million individual income tax returns were filed with IDOR.   Of those, 84% were filed electronically.  Over 4 million or 66% of those who filed an individual income tax return received a refund.  The tax rate increased in July 2017 to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent.  Most filers will use a blended rate of 4.3549 percent.   
For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2017 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at: 

Bustos Announces Valentine's For Veteran's Program

 Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) is encouraging constituents across Illinois’ 17th Congressional District to participate in the “Valentines for Veterans” program by dropping off or mailing a Valentine’s Day card for a veteran to her Rock Island, Rockford or Peoria offices. The deadline for submitting cards is Friday, February 9th, and Congresswoman Bustos will then distribute these Valentine’s Day cards to local veterans. This is the fifth year in a row that she has organized the “Valentines for Veterans” program.


“For Valentine’s Day this year, I encourage people from across our region to join me in making sure our veterans know that their sacrifices and service to our country are appreciated and will never be forgotten,” Congresswoman Bustos said.


Cards can be dropped off or mailed to any of Congresswoman Bustos’ Illinois offices listed below:



820 SW Adams St.

Peoria, IL 61602

Phone: (309) 966-1813


Rock Island

2401 4th Ave

Rock Island, IL 61201

Phone: (309) 786-3406



119 N. Church St.

Suite 207 & 208

Rockford, IL 61101

Phone: (815) 968-8011

Road Work In Kewanee

Effective Tuesday 1/23/18, East Prospect Street will be closed from Vine Street to Ridyard Avenue for sewer and road repairs.  Work is expected to begin at 7:00 AM Wednesday morning 1/24/18.  The road will be closed to through traffic; and residents will still have access to their driveways.  Residents are asked to avoid this area if possible, and take caution if driving near the work zone area.

Durbin On Shutdown Lifting and DACA Debate

As the Senate moves forward to restore funding to the government there is agreement on having a debate on the Dream Act. Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin says he knows it’s a bipartisan issue and one that shouldn’t be caught up in politics so he’s glad for the assurances from Republicans that the Senate will have a full and robust debate about immigration reform next month.

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Senators are looking at trying to now craft a full year budget out of the shutdown.

Possible Legionella Bacteria Found at Capitol Complex

Another state building may have Legionella bacteria in the water. An early test shows the “possible presence” of the bacteria in the water system at the Illinois Capitol Complex. The information revealed in a memo says officials are not aware of any reports of Legionnaire’s disease among workers at the buildings or in the visiting public. The Illinois Department of Public Health is assuring individuals that it is safe for employees to work in. Another test, a more thorough one, is going on now with results due in about two weeks. 

Tax Season Set to Start

Get your pencils and calculators ready, tax filing season is ready to start. You can begin sending in your state and federal tax returns on the 29th. More and more people are filing their tax returns electronically and Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesman Terry Horstman says that’s the fastest and easiest way to do it.

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Refunds – if you’re getting one should arrive in about four weeks. The web site to file is tax dot Illinois dot gov.

Road Postings Now In Effect In Bureau County

Please be advised that road postings are in effect immediately for Bureau County Roads.  The road postings will remain in effect into the foreseeable future.

Pack The Place For Peart

A very special evening is on tap for tonight at Annawan High School.

First of all, it will be high school basketball featuring the Annawan Braves hosting the Wethersfield Flying Geese which is a pretty good attraction all by itself.

But there will be even more tonight with an effort billed as Pack the Place For Peart night.

Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowksi says it figures to be truly a night to remember…

listen here

Mr. Kazubowski adds that there will be lots of other activities during tonight’s event…

listen here

And a reminder, that tonight’s game will be broadcast live on 102.5 WJRE  

Henry County Democrats Set Training Session

The Henry County Democrats have 16 candidates running for Precinct Committeeman positions throughout the County in March--anyone who is interested in learning more about the duties of a PC or would like to meet other area Democrats are invited to attend a free training session in Rock Island on February 3.


The Illinois Democratic County Chair's Association and Rock Island County Democratic Party are hosting a Precinct Committeeperson Training on Saturday February 3rd at 10am in Rock Island at the Laborers' Local 309 at 2835 7th Ave, Rock Island. Registration begins at 10am and the training will start at 10:30am.


If interested in attending on Feb 3, please sign up online at https://act.myngp.com/idcca/2-3-18ripctrain or respond back to this email and we can forward your information.


The topics cover Precinct Committeeperson duties, connecting with voters, and (if time allows) and Get Out the Vote training. If you are interested in being a write-in candidate for your Precinct, please respond back to this email--your intent to run form must be turned in by this Friday, January 19.


Training Date: Saturday February 3, 2018

Training Time: Registration at 10am / Training starts at 10:30am

Training Address: Laborers' Local 309, 2835 7th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

Contact Dan Kovats at (217) 753-3380 or dan@ildcca.org for more information


Hope to see you there!



"Like" Henry County Democrats on Facebook!


Visit our website!



Sunday Morning Shooting in Kewanee

On January 21st, 2018 approximately 3:25 am, the Kewanee Police Department responded to a shots fired call in the 700 block of North Main Street in Kewanee. Responding Officers learned that a suspect had fired four shots at the residence of 709 North Main Street. Officers located a bullet that had struck a vehicle parked in the driveway. No one was injured during the shooting. An investigation by the patrol division and detectives led them to the suspect vehicle observed leaving the crime. Officers identified the suspect shooter as 33-year-old Zaffery L. Reed of Kewanee, Illinois. He was arrested for the shooting at approximately 10:30 am on Sunday morning and transported to the Henry County Jail. Reed was formally charged with the offenses of aggravated discharge of a firearm within 1000 feet of school (class X felony), aggravated discharge of a firearm of an occupied building (class 1 felony), and possession of a weapon by a felon (class 2 felony). The class X felony carries a potential sentence of 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is currently being held at the Henry County Jail on $100,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing set for January 29,', 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Henry County Courthouse in Cambridge, Illinois.

Durbin encouraged by agreement to end shutdown

The U.S. Senate has easily passed a bill that reopens federal agencies through February 8th. Democrats dropped their objection to the legislation after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to begin debating an immigration bill by February 8th. Durbin says it's an important moment for undocumented immigrants in the DACA program...
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Durbin says the agreement, which came just before the 81-18 vote, represents a step forward in bipartisanship....
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Wethersfield Supt on People to People

District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski is the guest

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/1-22%20ptp%20weth%20supt.mp3

OSF On Tuned IN

St Luke Medical Center Director of Inpatient Services Lisa Garcia is the guest

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/1-22%20t-in%20osf.mp3

Freedom House Info

Freedom House in Princeton continues to provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and while men can be victims, more often than not women and children are the ones in need of those services.

Susan Carlson is a counselor at Freedom House and she says they have been in existence for 35 years…

listen here

Ms. Carlson also notes a bit of a shift in domestic violence situations…

listen here  

That’s Susan Carlson with Freedom House and a reminder that the agency is open 24/7 and anyone needing help or just someone to talk to can contact the agency toll free at 1-800-474-6031

Bustos Raises More Than $535,000 With a Median Contribution of $10



Rep. Cheri Bustos' Congressional campaign has announced a successful fourth quarter Federal Election Commission report. During the quarter, which ran from October 1 – December 31, the campaign raised more than $535,000 and ended with a cash on hand total of more than $2.8 million.


With a median contribution of $10, hardworking families are stepping up and sending a message that they want Cheri Bustos to continue fighting for them in Congress.


“Cheri Bustos has a proven record of fighting hard and getting real results for Illinois’ hardworking families and she continues to earn their support,” said Denise Mousouris, Finance Director for the Bustos Campaign. “People know Cheri and they know she will never back down from a fight when Paul Ryan and Washington special interests attack the middle class. With strong support from across the 17th Congressional District, Cheri is in position to win reelection this November.”

Multi-State Salmonella Cluster



The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a recent cluster of Salmonella ser. Montevideo infections.  Two cases have been identified in Illinois residents.  People in Illinois reported becoming ill on December 20 and 26, 2017.  Based on a review of produce, suppliers, and items consumed, investigators believe the most likely source of the infection is sprouts from multiple Jimmy John’s locations. 

To reduce the risk to additional customers, IDPH has requested that all Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois remove sprouts from their menus until the investigation is complete.  IDPH is also reminding restaurants not to let food handlers with diarrhea work.  If you have developed symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating food at a Jimmy John’s restaurant please contact your health care provider or local health department.

Symptoms of Salmonella may include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea, and dehydration.  Symptoms usually appear 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but can be longer.  Most illnesses resolve on their own and do not require treatment other than drinking fluids to stay hydrated.  If your symptoms persist or are severe, promptly contact your health care provider.

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals.  Almost any food can be contaminated with Salmonella.  Person-to-person transmission of Salmonella occurs when an infected person’s feces, from his or her unwashed hands, contaminates food during preparation, or comes into direct contact with another person.

Treasurer Mike Frerichs' office is warning families with 529 college savings accounts

Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office is warning families with 529 college savings accounts that federal tax breaks do not apply to Illinois taxes in certain situations.


The federal tax reforms now let’s families with accounts like bright start and bright directions use that money for “k” through 12 private school expenses, instead of just for college. But treasurer frerichs says parents going that route aren’t eligible for a state tax break.




Frerichs says families that do try to claim a credit on their state taxes risk penalties if an auditor catches the mistake.

The state unemployment rate dropped slightly last month.

The state unemployment rate dropped slightly last month.


The jobless rate for December came in at four-point eight percent…down from four point nine in November. Illinois department of employment security policy advisor Barton Lorimor says about 15-hundred jobs were added last month.




Additionally…revisions were made to November totals…showing job gains of more than three thousand instead of the preliminary report of a slight loss. The national unemployment rate for December was four-point one percent.

State Climatologist Jim Angel gives an update on the weather for January and more

Let’s check in with State Climatologist Jim Angel for this weekly weather summary.



Did you receive any gift cards over the holidays?

Did you receive any gift cards over the holidays? If so, treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging you to go ahead and starting spending.


Many people save their gift cards for a rainy day…but treasurer Frerichs says that’s not a good idea.




Frerichs says retailers and restaurants cannot charge inactivity fees on the gift cards they sell, but if a business closes, the card holder is usually out of luck.

A second case of Measles at O'Hare Airport

The latest instance is not related to the case reported last week at O’Hare. Public health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the patients were already infected before passing through the airport, and that this is not considered an outbreak.




The person visited emergency departments in Evanston, Skokie and park ridge last week. Those who may have encountered the patient could develop symptoms as late as February first. They include a rash, high fever cough and runny nose.

Governor Rauner wants to revamp the property tax system in Illinois

During this spring legislative session, Governor Rauner says he will push for a law banning legislators from making money on the side as a property tax appeals attorney.




Governor Rauner is also signing an executive order preventing lawmakers from arguing as a lawyer before the state property tax appeals board…and wants to see voters voice their input on local property taxes in a referendum.

Fast Pitch Competition

The University of Illinois Extension is holding an informational meeting on January 23rd at 6pm about the 6 County Fast Pitch competition.

The competition is open to residents in Henry, Stark, Mercer, Henderson, Knox or Warren Counties.    

Kathy Albert is the Executive Director of the Kewanee Economic Development Corporation and she says the competition will help to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need…

listen here

The competition is somewhat similar to what’s seen on Shark Tank and consists of presentations made to judges during confidential sessions for a chance to win a portion of prizes that include cash, advertising and professional small business consultation.

Needless to say, but for some people, considering the start of a small business might be a bit daunting and it keeps those folks straddling the fence.

Ms. Albert advises those people to strongly consider taking the next step…

listen here

An informational session will be held on January 23rd at the Henry and Stark County Extension office at 358 Front Street in Galva.

There is no cost to attend and Ms. Albert says just show up at the meeting for further information…

listen here

Applications to enter the competition are due by January 31st with practice sessions set for February 12th and the final contest on March 14th.        

Hike The Hennepin On Sunday

The Friends of the Hennepin Canal will be holding their monthly Hike the Canal outing on Sunday, January 21.

This month’s hike will be from Bridge 41 to Lock 29. This portion of the “Hike the Hennepin” is 3.7 miles in length and it has been named the “Woodchuck”.

We will meet at Lock 29 in Colona at 1:30 pm, where we will be shuttled to Bridge 41 to begin our hike. Directions are: take IL Route 6 to Route 84, and then take Route 84 north into Colona. In Colona, turn west onto Third Avenue to Fifth Street, then take Fifth street south to Fifth Avenue, then follow the road on the north side of the Canal all the way down to the junction of the Canal and the Rock River (Lock 29).

The monthly hikes were developed by the Friends of the Hennepin Canal as an opportunity for everyone to get to know the Canal personally by hiking it from the Illinois River to the Mississippi (including the Feeder Canal) in small legs.

You need not be a member of the Friends to join us in any of the hikes. There is no fee for the hikes. Come and join in the fun and bring a friend. We ask that you dress weather appropriately.

For more information, contact Ed Herrmann at:

hikes@friends-hennepin-canal.org (email) or call 815-664-2403 (home)

or log on to our website at: www.friends-hennepin-canal.org

Birth Defects Prevention Month


    The WIC and Case Management staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, are joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that preventing infections before and during pregnancy can protect babies from being born with birth defects. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2018 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.”  With this theme special emphasis is focused on the importance of preventing infections before and during pregnancy that can increase the risk of having a baby with a birth defect.

     The Health Department is encouraging healthcare professionals, educators, social service professionals, and the general public to support this effort.  Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States.  We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy, managing health conditions, and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant.

     Heather Aldred, WIC and Case Management Nurse with the Health Department notes, “Although not all birth defects can be prevented, many steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby. It is important to prevent those infections that can increase the risk of birth defects and other health problems for mothers and babies.

Here are some helpful tips for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant:

Get vaccinated.

? Get the flu shot and the whooping cough vaccine.

? Become up-to-date with all vaccines before getting pregnant.

Prevent insect bites.

? Use insect repellent.

? Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside.

? Consider avoiding travel to areas with Zika virus.

Practice good hygiene.

? Wash your hands often with soap and water.

? Avoid putting a young child’s cup or pacifier in your mouth.

Talk to your healthcare provider.

? Ask about how you can prevent infections, such as Zika virus.

? Discuss how to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

       By following these “Prevent to Protect” guidelines, women can reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect and also reduce their risk of pregnancy complications such as early pregnancy loss, prematurity and stillbirths.”

     There are many different kinds of birth defects including congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, defects of the brain or spine, and a variety of genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome. Some have only a minor or brief effect on a baby's health and some have life-threatening and/or life-long effects.

    More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately 1 in 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States.

    "Most people are unaware of how common, costly and critical birth defects are in the United States, or that there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of birth defects" adds Aldred.  "The health of both parents prior to pregnancy can affect the risk of having a child with a birth defect.  Diet, life-style choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications before and during pregnancy all can play a role in preventing or increasing the risk of birth defects."

    Aldred concludes, "Small steps like visiting a health care provider before pregnancy and taking a multivitamin everyday can make a big difference. Also, women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant can take control of their health to improve their chance of a healthy pregnancy.  Good habits include regular physical activity, about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, or more.  Healthy eating means having a balanced diet, low in fats, with at least 5 or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables.  A woman should talk to her healthcare provider about making healthy changes for a successful pregnancy."

    For more information on the Health Department WIC and Case Management services call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 (Henry) or (309) 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

Health Dept WIC Program

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


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


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


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


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


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


   For more information on the Department's WIC and Casemanagement services call the Department at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011(Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter. For more information you can also visit www.fns.usda.gov/wic.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Abilities Plus Receives Donation

Larry Varner with the Galva Lions Club recently presented a check for $1,000.00 to Deb Miles, Account Clerk at Abilities Plus in Kewanee.

The Galva Lions Club have been long time supporters of Abilities Plus.  In addition to generous monetary donations, the club also hosts a fall picnic for the organization’s clients, family members and staff.

Danger At Intersections

Intersections are a fact of life for drivers of all vehicles on a daily basis but that is also an area of driving that gets abused far too often.

Safety Expert Doug Sommer from Pekin says it all starts with the very definition of the term intersection…

listen here

Sommer adds that unregulated intersections are potentially the most dangerous of all…

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Doug also notes that the risk increases particularly in the rural area’s when vehicles are travelling at a high rate of speed…

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Windmont Tear Down Set For Saturday Morning

The tear down of the holiday display at Windmont Park in Kewanee has been re-scheduled for this coming Saturday, January 20th.

As many people will recall, inclement wintry weather caused the cancellation of the tear down which was originally set for New Year’s Day.

Windmont Park Lighting Committee Director Bob Neirynck says the tear down  effort will begin at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning with no set time to end.

Bob says they will play that one by ear.

If there are still more displays left up at the end of Saturday’s work, then there will be another tear down effort on Sunday beginning at 8 am unless it happens to rain.

Anyone that might have any spare time on their hands and would like to volunteer to help out is invited to come by Saturday morning at Windmont, and they will direct you from there.  

The I-80 Memorial Overpass

The I-80 overpass, mile marker 33, was dedicated to Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf. Both Officers are graduates from Annawan High School. Deputy Adam Streicher died in the line of duty on March 22, 2002 and Trooper Chad Wolf passed away on August 28, 2015.  The event was held at the Annawan Community Center.  Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka hosted the event with speeches from Illinois State Senator Chuck Weaver, Illinois State Representative Dan Swanson, retired Annawan Principal Rodney Miller, retired teacher Shelia Cromien, and Illinois Board of Concerns of Police Survivors Jennifer Morales.  All speakers had kind words and stories to say about the fallen officers. The Families of Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf both spoke and thanked Senator Weaver and Representative Swanson for their hard work in getting the overpass dedicated to the officers. There was a lite hearted moment about both parties in Illinois being able to agree about adding the Memorial Overpass, which received a nice laugh. The number 33 means a lot to the Streicher family, because Deputy Adam Streicher’s call number was K-33. Originally, the Overpass was going to have Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot, but unfortunately there was not enough room on the sign. The Rock Island Centennial Bridge was dedicated to Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot on July 17, 2017 though.


The take away from this event is a special one. As a Police Officer, there is an unspoken bond and brotherhood from all Law Enforcement Agencies. From the Michigan Troopers, State Officers, County Officers, and local Officers who attended the event, it is obvious that their bond runs deep.


LISTEN HERE for enhanced audio.



OSF St Luke Names New President

OSF HealthCare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee has named Jackie Kernan of Kewanee as President. Ms. Kernan will oversee the day to day operations at OSF St Luke while aligning with the overall strategy of OSF HealthCare.

Ms. Kernan says that the opportunity to lead OSF St Luke is a wonderful privilege. She adds that serving the Sisters and furthering their mission is a true honor.

Prior to being named President, Ms. Kernan held leadership positions at St Luke as Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Inpatient and Surgical Services. She has a Master’s degree in Nursing Management Leadership from St Francis College of Nursing and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of St. Francis.

Ms. Kernan succeeds Lynn Fulton who has been named as the President of OSF HealthCare St Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington IL.       

SCSWCD 75th Annual Meeting

The Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District will host their 75th Annual Meeting on Friday, February 9th at the Goshen Township Building located on Route 17 about two miles west of Toulon.

Jan Powelson is the Resource Conservationist at the Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District and she says there is no fee to attend the meeting that begins that morning at 9 o’clock…

listen here

One of the featured speakers for the event will be Ryan Arch with the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association who will address a new conservation practice known as woodchip bioreactor…

listen here

Once again there will be no fee to attend the 75th Annual Meeting of the Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District but reservations would be appreciated for an accurate head count and those reservations can be made by phoning the Conservation District at 286-2261 ext 3 

IL Department on Aging Announces 2017 Senior Hall of Fame Inductees


The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is proud to announce the 2017 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame inductees. These individuals are being honored for the meaningful contributions they have made in performance, education and community service.

“It is a true honor to recognize older adults across the state that have made a significant impact on their community,” said Jean Bohnhoff, Director of IDoA. “Our 2017 inductees are dedicated individuals whose contributions reflect the agency’s principles of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and hoping for tomorrow. We thank them for their commitment and generosity.”

The 2017 Senior Illinois Hall of Fame inductees are:

Helen Hawkins, 87, of Granite City, is the 2017 inductee for the Community Service Category. Hawkins has consistently shown tremendous support for community-based programs in her area. She has chaired special projects for the organizations she is a member of such as the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, AmVets Ladies Auxiliary, and VFW Women’s Auxiliary in addition to many others. Hawkins has shown her commitment to her community by providing aid to victims of area flooding, improving cemetery grounds, and supporting our troops away from home.

Lou Henson, 85, of Champaign, is the 2017 inductee for the Education Category. Former University of Illinois Basketball Head Coach, Henson spent over 41 years of his career motivating young adults in academics and competitive excellence. Among his many accomplishments over the years, Henson was named as a Sports Illustrated top 20 Coach, ESPN National Coach of the year, and was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Notably, Henson founded the nationally known student run organization, Orange Krush. The Orange Krush Foundation collects the membership entry fees from all members and in turn allocates this money into the community to deserving groups such as soup kitchens, children's homes, and after-school programs.

Carol Schempp, 73, of Springfield, is the 2017 inductee for the Performance / Graphic Arts Category. As a Senior Olympian, Schempp prides herself on her commitment to health and the promotion of well-being for individuals of any physical ability. She uses her fitness skills to promote safety and wellness amongst her peers, such as volunteering as a life guard. Schempp is an advocate for exercise and encourages others to recognize the importance of having a regular fitness regimen at any stage of life.

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories. Since then, 104 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including the 2017 inductees. Inductees will each be presented with an award during individual ceremonies being held in their hometowns.

Durbin stands by expletive claims

Senator Dick Durbin is sticking to his guns, saying there is no doubt that he heard President Trump say expletives comparing African countries and Haiti to something akin to a toilet. He says claims that the President referred to houses of excrement rather than holes, makes little difference.....
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Durbin also expressed certainty as to which word he heard....
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In a Tweet, President Trump referred to Durbin as "Dicky Durbin". He said “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military

IAA Foundation has 76 scholarships available

The IAA Foundation reminding current and prospective agriculture students about over seventy scholarship opportunities. The deadline to apply is February 1.
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IAA Foundation Director Susan Moore says specific guidelines are available at “iaafoundation.org”. 

IRS Tax Info

The tax filing season is upon us and many folks will be filing taxes either on their own through the computer program free file, or they will be seeking the help of a professional to prepare the return.

Michael Devine with the IRS office in St Louis says tax professionals need to be certified and tax payers need to be aware of that…

listen here

Devine also notes that scammers purporting to be with the IRS are getting more savvy all the time.

He says citizens need to be alert for a new form of scam…

listen here

Devine says yes, it may take a little time on the phone to contact the IRS to verify, but that amount of time will pale in comparison to having your account hacked by the scammers…

listen here 

University of Illinois Extension 21st Annual Nursery School


Shake off the winter doldrums at Nursery School, the Quad Cities’ premiere gardening symposium! Produced by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners from Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark counties, Nursery School offers something for everyone, from the novice to the most experienced gardener. Local and regional horticulture experts share tips, pointers, ideas and information you can put to work!  The 21st annual event will be held at Augustana College in the state of the art Gerber Center at 3435 9 1/2 Ave., Rock Island, IL.  This year the lessons start earlier with the first session at 8:15 a.m.

FREE SHUTTLE FROM CENTENNIAL HALL   For the best parking, take our free shuttle bus from the Centennial Hall parking lot: 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island from 7:30– 8:45 AM & 3:15 - 4:30 PM


Registration fees are $45 through January 31, 2018.  They increase to $55 on February 1.  You must register by February 11—no walk-in registration will be accepted.

Your fee includes the keynote session and lunch, four additional classes, handouts, access to the Nursery School vendor area, morning coffee and tea, and a tote bag you can fill with catalogs, brochures and money-saving coupons from local businesses. 

KHS Sports Participation

Kewanee High School is enjoying good participation in their various sports programs once again this year.

Some people in the community will question the value of sports and how it relates to students, but Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says it’s good to have students participating in extra curricular activities including sports…

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/jan%2016%20khs%20sports%20activitey.mp3


Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant begins Thursday

Over 70 county fair queens will be converging on Springfield later this week. The Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant begins Thursday. Among the contestants is 18 year old Josie Finch. She won the Mercer County Fair Queen title last July.
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Miss Illinois County Fair Queen will be crowned Sunday (Jan. 21). The reigning Illinois County Fair Queen is Miss Claudia VanOpdorp of Henry County. 

Rauner discusses amendatory veto of school funding bill

The State Board of Education warns Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the school funding reform bill may bring “further disruption and confusion” for all school districts in the state. The State Board issued a statement last week indicating efforts to install a new school funding formula depend on lawmakers. Rauner explained his use of amendatory veto powers to rewrite the bill....
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Rauner pinpointed areas that need the most help...
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Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield later this month and could attempt to override Rauner’s amendatory veto.

Congressman Davis Expects Trump To Tackle Infrastructure in 2018

The farm bill and infrastructure are two key things Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis believes President Trump will focus on in 2018. With the tax bill overhaul in place, the Taylorville Republican believes the President will shift his focus to the American infrastructure in 2018.

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Congressman Davis is also focused on getting a farm bill passed this year.

Double-crop forum set for Feb. 7 in Mt. Vernon

Farmers would be well served to look at the ‘triple threat’. So says Illinois Wheat Association Executive Director Jim Fraley. He’s referring to double-cropping wheat and soybeans to generate income from three different sources—wheat, wheat straw and soybeans. And Illinois Soybean Association’s Dan Davidson says double–crop opportunities are expanding in the state because of new seed varieties.
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The wheat and soybean associations are teaming up to host a double-crop forum February 7th in Mount Vernon. You can register at “Illinoiswheat.org.” The fee is $20

Abilities Plus Achiever Of The Month For The Month of December

  Dustin Anderson of Kewanee was honored as Achiever of the Month for December at Abilities Plus. He was nominated and received recognition because of good attendance, and thoroughness with several jobs including cleaning break room tables and restroom sinks. It is also noted that Dustin has a very positive attitude, a great sense of humor, and loves to make others laugh.

LMV Meeting

The League of Women Voters of the Kewanee Area will host Beth Smith, the Chairperson of the Henry County Mental Health Alliance, on Thursday, January 18.   The meeting will start at 6:30 pm at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee north of city hall.  


The Henry County Mental Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2016.  Beth is employed at OSF Healthcare as a Behavioral Health Navigator, which links patients and community members to behavioral health services.  Her passion and commitment stems from the loss of her husband to suicide in 2011.  Since then, she has been very active in mental health awareness, education and advocacy through the Henry County Region.  Together with her four children, she has created a suicide prevention campaign, raising over $20,000 to combat the epidemic of suicide.

The meeting is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.


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

Outstanding Citizen Nominations Sought



The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club is seeking nominations for the 43rd Annual Outstanding Citizen Award.  The Ambassadors serve as the Public Relations arm of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and are responsible for activities such as ribbon cuttings at new businesses, coordinating the Hog Festival parade, acting as official hosts at Chamber events and have had the responsibility of selecting the Kewanee Outstanding Citizen.


Nominations this year will be open to the entire community with nomination forms available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office.  Nominations will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:


            1.        Resident or former resident of the Kewanee area.


            2.        Areas of service should be well known to the community.


            3.        Personal community service in areas such as:

                                    Education, charitable, business, government, chamber of        commerce, senior citizens, youth, disabled, environmental, economic development, community relations and heroic acts.


            4.        How service may have been demonstrated?

                                    By solving a significant problem.

                                    Longevity of excellent service to the community.

                                    Helping others... youth, seniors, disabled etc.

                                    Improving understanding of community concerns.

                                    Exceptional efforts in community service.


All nominations must be on the official nomination form and prior nominees MUST be resubmitted for consideration.


Deadline for nominations will be Friday February 23, 2018.  Announcement of Outstanding Citizen will follow the regular meeting of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors March 1st , 2018.  A community Outstanding Citizen banquet will be held at a later date. 

BHE Offers Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Tech Classes

Black Hawk College will offer classes in Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Tech in the near future.

David Harris with the college’s Community Education Center in Kewanee says jobs await many students once they complete those courses…

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Along a more sobering note, Harris says there is a program by a person named Brooks Gibbs that deals with bullying and he says critical information can be found at that website…

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ML King Schedule In Kewanee

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed on Monday and while a holiday for some people, more on the national or governmental level, it will not be a holiday for all workers.

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

The United States Post Office will be closed on Monday and most banks will be closed but 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.      

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday, January 13th and will re-open on Tuesday, January 16th.     

Area schools, including Black Hawk College will be closed on Monday.  

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

To note, the Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be open on Monday per their normal schedule. 

Bustos Releases Hope From The Heartland Report

Rep. Cheri Bustos released an extensive “Hope from the Heartland” report which was developed over the last several months. Based on conversations that Bustos and Professor Robin Johnson of Monmouth College had with 72 Democratic state and local officials who have been successful in rural and Midwestern communities, this report shares the direct wisdom, insight and strategy of true survivors who have withstood tough election cycles for Democrats. The report focused exclusively on rural and blue-collar communities from eight states that played a key role in President Donald Trump's election - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

While some of the opinions expressed in the report may run contrary to some of the different elements within the Democratic Party, the report underscores the importance of staying focused on jobs and the economy if Democrats hope to regain power this November. That starts by listening and then turning these lessons into action in both Washington and State Capitals.

But, the message delivered by the participants in their report was clear, “Don’t give up on the Heartland.”  The feeling was unanimous, Democrats can earn these votes back with a more disciplined approach to winning races in the Heartland and by bringing the wisdom of rural working-class voters to national debates.

“If Democrats want to compete and succeed in rural America, we need to listen and learn from the leaders who are getting it done,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “I launched the ‘Hope from the Heartland’ project because Democrats have already won the big cities and, if we’re serious about winning back majorities, we need to start by winning back the trust of the hardworking men and women in small towns across our country. We went into this project with an open mind and an invitation to the participants to speak their minds openly and honestly. While I don’t agree with all of the comments we received, this report reconfirms my deeply held belief that Democrats must keep our eye on the ball by spending each and every day addressing the very real economic challenges facing families who are struggling and feel like Washington has left them behind. There’s a heck of a lot more that unites us than divides us as Americans and, if Democrats can keep our focus on these core values, then we’re going to have a strong 2018 – and much more importantly - be in position to deliver a better future for all Americans.”

Extension Horticulture Programs

The University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Department has several programs of interest coming up.

Horticulture Educator Martha Smith says a Mid-Winter Horticulture Workshop will be held in Geneseo on January 27th

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Ms. Smith adds that the ever popular bus trip to the Chicago Flower Show will be held in March…

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Ms. Smith also reminds listeners of the pesticide license re-testing dates coming up in the near future…

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Health Dept Offers CPR Classes


The Henry and Stark County Health Department conducts monthly CPR Certification Classes offered at the Health Department office. 


The CPR Classes are held monthly with the next class on Tuesday, January 16th from 4:30pm to 8:30pm at a cost of $45 per participant.


Anyone interested or wishing to register for a class, may call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197.

Winter Wheat Crop Under Duress

Snow cover has been sufficient in northern parts of the U.S. growing area but thinner in the south, where temps have still dipped dangerously low.

Winter wheat grower John Ernst knows his crop could have some winterkill issues due to the recent cold snap.

But he also knows there isn’t much he can do about it until the crop breaks dormancy this spring.

“We have very little snow cover in southern Illinois,” said Ernst, president of the Illinois Wheat Association. “So, the crop pretty well took the brunt of the bad weather (with wind chills well below zero for multiple days).”

Don Keeney, senior ag meteorologist with Radiant Solutions, believes most possible winterkill issues in recent weeks targeted the central Plains and a small portion of the soft red winter wheat belt, including parts of southern Illinois.

Snow cover was sufficient in the northern Plains and the northern Midwest to protect wheat from damaging temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees below zero, according to the meteorologist.

However, snow cover was thin in the central and southern Plains and southern Midwest.

“Damage occurred in about a quarter of the hard red wheat belt in the central Plains, with about 5 percent of the soft red wheat belt in the Midwest seeing impacts,” Keeney said.

About all farmers can do is wait for spring and assess whether the crop needs an early shot of nitrogen or if the field should be torn up and replanted at that time.

“It seems we get a poor weather event on the wheat crop every year, and usually it makes it through,” Ernst said.

“At this point, it’s too early to tell how much damage could have been done (from winterkill),” he continued. “Once it comes out of dormancy, we can assess it.”

A little more than half the wheat crop (56 percent) was rated good to excellent in Illinois as of Jan. 2, while the rest (44 percent) was rated fair to very poor.

Along with the wheat concerns, Florida citrus will be assessed in this and coming weeks after a threat of frost and even light snowfall swept through that state this week

NFPA urges the public to use portable space heaters with caution

 Keeping sufficiently warm during the winter months can prove challenging, particularly when frigid temperatures persist, as they have recently for much of the country. While portable space heaters can help generate heat, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that they do present potential fire hazards and must be used with caution.

According to NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, which was released today, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half (53 percent) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.

Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for more than two of every five (43 percent) U.S. home heating fires and five out of six (85 percent) home heating fire deaths.

“Space heaters can be effective tools for providing added warmth at home, but it’s critical that people follow basic precautions to ensure that they’re used safely,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division.

Carli says space heaters should be placed a minimum of three feet away from anything that can burn, and must be turned off when people leave the room or go to sleep.

“Make sure children and pets are kept well away from space heaters at all times, and remember that space heaters should never be left unattended,” said Carli. “When you’re ready to go to sleep, it’s time to turn off your space heater.”

December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires. The peak time of day for home heating equipment fires is between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (27 percent of fires), with another 20 percent occurring between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. The fewest fires occur between midnight and 8:00 a.m. (18 percent), but these fires caused almost half of the heating fire deaths.

“Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” an annual campaign run by NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), provides a wealth of information and resources to help reduce the risk of home fires during the heating season. Following are important home heating safety tips and recommendations:

Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.
Never use your oven to heat your home.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Rauner emerges from Quincy veterans home with plan for zero legionnaires cases

A new task force, replacing aging pipes, and possibly building a new facility on the Quincy Veterans home campus are some of the recommendations Gov. Bruce Rauner laid out after staying at the home for a week. Greg Bishop reports …

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Look past 'accounting gimmicks,' and Illinois' fiscal health is much worse

A new report says public officials are lying to their constituents about the financial stability of their public worker retirement accounts. Cole Lauterbach has more.

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HCFB Foundation Info

The Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation continues to make contributions to agriculture in Henry County.

Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says the Foundation unfortunately seems to fly under the radar for much of the general public…

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Demand And Prices Are Up For LP Fuel

The slow start to liquefied petroleum (LP) gas demand this winter went right out the window since the arrival of frigid, arctic air across much of the central U.S.

Temperatures in most of Illinois through the first week of January hadn’t risen above the freezing mark since Dec. 23.

The plunge in temperatures sent home heating needs soaring. LP gas deliveries, as a result, are hopping, and prices, subsequently, inched higher in recent weeks.

“The warm start to winter slowed home heating (LP gas) usage,” said Chad Shull, energy marketing manager for Sunrise FS, a division of GROWMARK. “Then, all of a sudden, it got really cold and it put everything into overdrive.”

Meanwhile, recent snowfall and icy conditions on some roads haven’t been a major issue affecting LP deliveries.

“On a lot of the rural roads, we’d rather have them good and frozen so we can get through,” Shull said. “When they get slushy and soft is when we have problems.”

Natural gas and LP prices inched higher in recent weeks.

Shull believes the higher prices mostly are the result of stronger demand as opposed to any major supply issues.

“We didn’t really see any seasonal decline (in LP and natural gas) prices last summer or fall as exports kept demand up,” Shull said. “Prices are a little higher this year than they were last year.

“We were concerned going into the colder weather about supply. That’s why we keep our bulk locations full,” he noted. “In our region, we’ve had an adequate supply.”

Upcoming Fast Pitch Meeting

UI Extension is holding an Information Meeting January 23 at 6 pm at their Galva office about the 6 County Fast Pitch Coming to Henry, Mercer, Stark, Henderson, Warren and Knox Counties

A team of local economic development leaders are planning a 6 County Fast Pitch Competition in March 2018 to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality. The initiative is open to new businesses or products that will be based in Henry, Henderson, Knox, Mercer, Stark, or Warren Counties.  Similar to what’s seen on “Shark Tank” the 6 County Fast Pitch Competition consists of presentation made to judges during individual, confidential sessions for a chance to win a portion of $125,000 in prizes that include cash, advertising, and professional small business consultation that will help them turn their idea into reality. Eligible participants will get to “pitch” a business idea that could be developed in one of the participating counties to judges with business, investment, development, and marketing backgrounds. 

To find out more about the upcoming competition, interested participants are invited to attend an information session at the Henry/Stark County Extension office at 358 Front Street, Galva, IL on Tuesday, January 23 from 6 – 7 pm.  
At the information sessions they will receive contest details, business plan  resources, and meet the coaches.  You can register for the information meeting at University of Illinois Extension’s website:web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call the office at (309) 932-3447.


The Fast Pitch Contest will take place on March 14, 2018. Applications to enter the contest are due by January 31st. Mock/Practice sessions for eligible participants will take place on February 12, giving them a chance to hone their pitch and get advice before their final presentation during the contest.

You can also find out more details about the Fast Pitch at the www.6countyfastpitch.org website.


QVH Under Focus of Lawmaker Panel

In order to get more answers as to why Legionella bacteria remains a problem at the Quincy Veteran’s home the Illinois House and Senate held a joint committee hearing on the matter. In 2015, 12 people died of Legionnaires disease and in October another person died of Legionnaires. Erica Jefferies the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says that they have taken multiple steps to address Legionella bacteria in the water system.

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Jefferies says that despite all of those steps they still do have Legionella bacteria in the home’s water system but they know about it because of the increased testing efforts. 

Illinois farmer reacts favorably to Trump address at AFBF convention

An Illinois farmer on hand for President Trump’s address at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention this week in Nashville. Jeff Kirwan of New Windsor was happy to hear the President bring up topics like NAFTA.
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Kirwan says another good sign was hearing the President say he wants to maintain a strong crop insurance program in a new Farm Bill.
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The current Farm Bill is set to expire in September. Kirwan serves on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors. 

Hog Festival Committee Meets Tonight

The planning of the 2018 Kewanee Hog Days event gets underway tonight as the first meeting of the new year for the 65th annual celebration of Food, Festival and Fun will take place.

The 1st meeting of the new year is this evening at 306 North Main Street (the hog festival building) beginning at 7 o’clock.

As always, there will be coffee, water and pop available as well as a tasty dessert or two.

Acceptance of and place on file Secretary’s reports

Acceptance of and place on file pending audit, Treasurer’s reports for November & December

Acceptance of and place on file the FY 2017 Annual Audit


Visitors –


Unfinished Business

1.    Name badges (a work in progress)

2.    Phone Options (a work in progress)

3.    2018 Theme/tagline (a work in progress)

4.    Front door lock (a work in progress)


New Business

1.    2018 Stage Report

2.    2018 Entertainment report

3.    Flea Market/Craft Show report

4.    New combined bill from Ameren Illinois

5.    Downtown electrical status

6.    Memorial gift for Howard O’Neill

7.    Kitchen repairs

8.    Set 2018 overall Hog Days budget


Galva Arts Council Receives Grant

The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation named Galva, Illinois as one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present a free concert series at Wiley Park. The Galva Arts Council submitted its Levitt AMP proposal.


In June, the Levitt Foundation invited nonprofits to submit proposals that would reflect the three goals of the Levitt AMP awards: Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places. Nonprofits that received a previous Levitt AMP grant were eligible to reapply. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative place making, the Levitt Foundation opened the selection process to the public to choose the top 25 Finalists.


The public voted on the submitted proposals over a three-week period in November, selecting their favorite projects online at http://levittamp.org.


"We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners. Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will create vibrancy in a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities," says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation. “Wiley Park is the ideal place for the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series, shining a light on this underused public space and creating a welcoming destination for everyone in Galva and the surrounding communities to come together and enjoy the free concerts.”


The 15 Levitt AMP winners hail from rural towns with populations of less than 10,000 like Whitesburg, Ky.; Galva, Ill.; St. Johnsbury, Vt.; and Middlesboro, Ky.; to mid-sized cities like Berea, Ky.; Carson City, Nev.; Ocala, Fla.; Sheboygan, Wis.; Stevens Point, Wis.; Utica, N.Y.; and Woonsocket, R.I.; to larger cities spanning the country including Escondido, Calif.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Trenton, N.J. Each winner will present 10 free concerts featuring a diverse lineup of high-caliber entertainment as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, for a total of 150 free Levitt AMP concerts across the U.S. in 2018.


The Galva Arts Council is now raising funds to match this grant. Businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in donating money, time, or resources to this cause should visit galvaartscouncil.org or contact Stephanie Taylor, Vice President, at (309) 714-8870 or adamstephanie@gmail.com. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000 and are 100% tax-deductible.


St Luke Medical Center Collecting Old Christmas LIghts

A reminder to the public that OSF Health Care St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee is still collecting old worn out Christmas Lights.

Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist at St Luke and she says they are accepting those old Christmas Lights until Friday…

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/jan%209%20osf%20lights.mp3



The lawsuit against iPhone maker Apple could be heard by a jury of Illinoisans.

New lawsuits, including one in Illinois, are popping up against iPhone maker Apple for deliberately slowing down phones’ operating speeds.Five people are suing Apple in federal court in Chicago. They say the company deliberately slowed down the processing speeds with software updates in the months before a new model was released. The suit alleges Apple did this to nudge people into spending hundreds of dollars on new phones.An attorney for the plaintiffs, James Vlahakis, says those unassuming updates got a reputation for causing problems with the phones.

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Vlahakis’ office is getting calls from people from all over the world seeking to join the lawsuit.

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As with any case like this, the plaintiffs will have to prove that Apple purposely did something to harm them. That could prove to be a challenge.

Infrastructure a key in helping reverse downward farm income trend

The farm economy has faced four years of record low income, but a senior economist at the Illinois Farm Bureau says there are several factors that can help reverse that trend. One is a significant investment in transportation infrastructure, according to Mike Doherty.
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Doherty says another key to the ag economy is maintaining and advancing trade agreements. He also believes the recently adopted tax reforms should help the balance sheet of farmers.

St Luke Medical Center on Tuned In

Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens and Deacon Marty Van Meltebeck, Director of Pastoral Care are the guests

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/1-8%20t-in%20osf.mp3

KHS Presents The Little Mermaid

The KHS musical, The Little Mermaid, will be presented on Saturday, January 13 at 7 pm and Sunday, January 14 at 2 pm at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School. Tickets are priced at $5 for adults and $4 for students and will be available at the door. 

Red Cross Urges the Public to Be Prepared

— The American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region has responded to 94 home fires in the past month. Tragically eight of the home fires had fatalities and 15 people, including 4 young children perished. Two of the fires occurred in multi-unit residences and the Red Cross opened shelters, due to the sizeable number of people displaced in those fires.


After a disaster, the Red Cross works with individuals and families to make sure they have safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support and healthcare. Red Cross volunteers continue to assist people affected by the recent home fires and in the past month they have helped 219 adults and 110 children.


“We’re deeply saddened for all who were impacted by these fires. It is heartbreaking for those families who tragically suffered the loss of loved ones,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Winter is a high-risk time for home fires and we urge everyone to take steps immediately to minimize the risk of a fire occurring in their home.”


HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through itsHome Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Launched in October of 2014, the campaign has already saved many lives and installed hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms in nearly 10,000 cities and towns. Here in the Central and Southern Illinois Region, the Red Cross in collaboration with local fire departments and other community partners have installed more than 10,000 free smoke alarms.


SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: practice fire drills at home and check existing smoke alarms.


There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

· If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.

· If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.

· Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

· Practice the fire escape plan. What’s the household’s escape time?


People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire.


RED CROSS APPS People can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And there is a special mobile app -Monster Guard - designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.


WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by contacting Laura.Streid@redcross.org. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 64,000 other disasters every year and most of these are home fires.

Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation Announces 2018 Scholarships


The Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering up to six scholarships, at a minimum of $1,000.  In addition, Farm Bureau will be administering Wilbert & Carol Keppy Foundation Scholarships, five each in the amount of $3,000. 

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

Applications must be received by or postmarked to the Henry County Farm Bureau® office, 128 N. Prospect Street, Cambridge, by March 9, 2018.  The Foundation Board will make the final selections after the deadline.

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

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

Following Too Closely Law

One of the pet peeves that many motorists have is when another vehicle comes up from behind, and rides the tail end of the lead motorist and often times simply will not pass no matter the conditions.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says there is a specific law that addresses that situation…

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Items for the 2018 Regional Media Grand Winter Auction

Galva Pharmacy-$25 Certificates

Steve’s Nursery in Geneseo-$1,000 Certificate for Landscaping Package

TriStates Water-$1,000 Certificate

6140 Run! In Galesburg-$130 Certificates for a custom Fitting and a pair of shoes

Johnson’s Carpet Shoppe-$250 Certificates

Motor City Kewanee-$50 Service Certificates

Lacky Monuments- $500 Certificate for a 200 pound boulder

Advanced Rehab- 1 year memberships.

The YMCA of Kewanee-Memberships for all ages! 

Johnsons Appliance-Amana 4.2 Cubic foot front load washer with High efficiency wash system (white in color) Model # NFW5800DW. Depth- 33 1/8 inches, width 27 inches, gross weight 250LBS. Automatic fabric softener dispenser, large capacity, delay wash option, 4 wash temperatures, Efficiency monitor and energy star certified.

Creative Body Art

Little Blue Farms Morton, IL  $150 toward Quarter beef or above,  $250 toward half beef or above, and $450 toward whole beef or above

Factory Tire Outlet- $50 Certificates

Peoria Riverfront Museum- Admission tickets

AmericInn-Swim Passes $50 value, Grand Master Suites $135 Value, King Whirlpool Suites $125 Value, Standard 2 Queen Bed Suites Value

Americas Mattress Gallery Full size Whispering Pines Mattress & Box spring (no frame)

plush 1 firm Value $869.99,King Size Shadowmoss All Foam Mattress & Box spring (no frame) Value $799.9,  iComfort Everfeel Pillows Value at $129 each, Queen Ivory Fabric Bed Frame CM7200IV-Q (no mattress just the frame) Value $249.99 and King Size Mattress Protector Value $59.99

B&B Geneseo Lawn & Cyclery

The Lott- 1 year memberships

Country Healing Massage & Wellness 30 minute for $30 and $55 for 60 minutes

Hughes Auto-Detailing Packages

Sherry’s Café

Big Cats BBQ

The Boiler Room

The Kewanee Dunes

The Red Apple

Red’s Bar & Grill

Cerno’s Bar and Grill

Lisa’s Place

Pages’ Pampered Pets

PM Performance Cycle

Baker Park Golf Course

The Boiler Room

Valley View Club

Henry County 4-H Archery SPIN Club 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 where they’ll learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of archery equipment and target practice. The club will be held on Mondays starting January 22 - March 12. It will meet at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center, 407 N. West St (old bowling alley). Equipment is provided thanks in part to a grant from the Illinois 4-H Foundation and the NRA. There is a $20 fee to enroll in 4-H for non-members and a $2 range fee per session for everyone. You can register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or the Extension Office at (309) 932-3447

BHE Contributes To The 2017 Kewanee United Way

Black Hawk College’s East Campus once again this year made a major effort to the Greater Kewanee Area United Way Campaign.

David Harris is the Coordinator at the College’s Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee and he says they exceeded their goal for this year and he says the news is hot off the press…

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


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


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


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


Independent seed dealer sees signs of life in ag economy

Despite a rough planting and growing season, it still wasn’t that bad of a year in some parts of Western Illinois. That assessment from John Hennenfent—owner of Munson Hybrids in Galesburg.
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Even though there’s been a stretch of depressed commodity prices, Hennenfent says the farm economy is not all doom and gloom in his part of the state.
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Munson added a Wisconsin warehouse in 2017 to better serve customers in the upper Midwest. 

BHE CEC on People to People

Senior Center on Tuned IN

Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll is the guest

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/1-4%20t-in%20sr%20center.mp3

WKEI Open Line

IL Home Sales Up in November

 Illinois home sales remained largely flat while the statewide median price shifted slightly higher in November as the market moved into the traditionally slower holiday season, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in November 2017 totaled 11,604 homes sold, up 0.4 percent from 11,558 in November 2016.

The statewide median price in November was $185,000, up 4.2 percent from November 2016, when the median price was $177,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"The market is experiencing what appears to be a pretty typical seasonal slowdown in many areas of the state," said Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. "Illinois is poised to end the year in positive sales and median price territory, and the final quarter of 2017 should provide a steady push into the new year as more properties come onto the market after the holidays."

The time it took to sell a home in November averaged 58 days, down from 62 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 52,819 homes for sale, a 12.0 percent decline from November 2016 when there were 60,005 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.90 percent in November 2017, remaining unchanged from the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In November 2016, it averaged 3.77 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in November 2017 totaled 8,119 homes sold, down 1.6 percent from November 2016 sales of 8,253 homes. The median price in November 2017 was $225,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from $214,000 in November 2016.

“While positive price changes and significant increases in the pending sales index continue to characterize the Illinois and Chicago economies, the declining inventory, along with the state’s anemic job growth, cloud the outlook for 2018,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois.

According to the data, fifty-three (53) Illinois counties reported sales gains for November 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Peoria County, up 17.5 percent with 201 units sold; Winnebago County, up 9.6 percent with 307 units sold; and Will County, up 7.0 percent with 792 units sold. Sixty (60) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 21.3 percent to $139,460; Lake County, up 14.6 percent to $235,000; and Cook County, up 4.6 percent to $227,000.

The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home sales decline slightly in November 2017 with 1,923 sales, compared to 1,937 in November 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in November 2017 was $259,500, down 0.2 percent compared to November 2016 when it was $260,000.

"Today's numbers are reflective of both the seasonality of the market and the lack of clarity on the potential impact of tax reform,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Vice President of Agent Development at @properties. “Sales prices seemingly stabilized in November, despite slight declines in inventory and market time, which reflects that pricing and demand are starting to level out, a trend that will likely continue into the new year.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Dec. 7, 2017 for the period Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, 2017. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 47,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data, the University of Illinois REAL forecast and a forecast looking ahead to 2018 at www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.             

ISP Logo Design Contest

 Illinois State Police (ISP) will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2022.  In anticipation of the anniversary, the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation (ISPHF) is hosting a logo design contest open to active and retired ISP employees and the general public.

Currently the contest has generated just over 50 submittals from citizens across Illinois.  However, the contest will continue until March 1, 2018, and the ISP is expecting more logos for consideration.

The 100th anniversary logo will be used in making commemorative stars, patches, car decals, letterhead, challenge coins, yearbooks, apparel, web design, advertising, and collectible memorabilia.  

Logo design judging criteria will include professionalism, theme, color, integrity and nostalgia.

Logo Design Criteria:

Professional: This logo may be featured on websites, social media platforms and other mediums (stationary, pamphlets, pins, etc).  As a result, while we want the logo to be eye-catching, it must still be legible.

Theme: Logo must promote the 100th anniversary of the Illinois State Police.

Color: There are no limitations, and any colors may be used; however, the logo must look good in color (if any) or black and white.

Integrity: Logos cannot contain copyrighted material.  Logos must have been created and edited by the contestant(s).  Logos may not include images or licensed images that have been previously published.  Logos must be easily reproducible and scalable for large and small formatting.

Nostalgia: The logo should celebrate the past as well as the future of the ISP.  

Contestants are limited to a maximum of three design entries.

The ISP Logo design contest began on November 1, 2017, and ends March 1, 2018.  Designs should be submitted to: http://isphf.org/logo-contest

Paintings and drawings on canvas may be delivered to:
c/o ISPHF 100th Anniversary Logo Design Contest
ISP Public Information Office
801 S. 7th St., Ste. 1100A
Springfield, IL  62703

Logo design judging will be conducted by the 100th Anniversary Committee in April 2018.
The top three logo design winners will receive:
1st Place:  $500
2nd Place: $200
3rd Place: $100

Participants with accepted logo artwork will receive a specialized ISP patch card and a certificate signed by the Director of the ISP.

All logo design submissions will become the property of the Illinois State Police.

La Leche Meets On Jan 10


    The La Leche League of Henry and Stark Counties' reminds area residents that their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00pm at OSF St. Luke Medical Center, Kewanee.  "Avoiding Obstacles" 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, January 10th for "Avoiding Obstacles.”  Remember all mothers and their babies are welcome.  For more information call Malissa at (309) 927-3027.

Smoke alarm distribution effort underway

The State Fire Marshall's office is teaming up with the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance to spread smoke alarms to more homes in the new year. Under the “Be Alarmed!” program, free smoke alarms with sealed 10-year batteries and fire safety tips will be distributed through a number of fire departments around the state. The smoke alarms will also be provided no assembly required as fire department personnel will install the alarms in homes.

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment in the New Year

With the new year comes changes with Social Security. According to Jack Myers, the Cost of Living Adjustment will be a 2 percent benefit raise that will start to show up on social security checks in January

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Myers adds that the Cost of Living Adjustment is directly related to inflation and is automatically adjusted to reflect that inflation due to the language in the Social Security Act.

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To learn more about Social Security, you can visit www.ssa.gov.

WKEI Open Line

Stark County 4-H Sewing Club Begins January 21st in Toulon


Stark County 4-H will be offering a sewing special interest club. It will be held every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at the Toulon Library, 617 E Jefferson St, beginning on January 21 and ending on March 4.  It will NOT be held on Sunday, February 14because of the Century Clovers 4-H meeting. Participants will learn the basics of sewing (sewing on a button, hand-stitching, cutting out a pattern), how to use a sewing machine, and how to sew on a zipper.  They will also have the opportunity to work on a community service project and a project of their own choosing.  There is a $10 supply fee to cover thread, fabric, and any other materials.  Members not currently enrolled in 4-H will be required to pay the $20 membership fee.  Come learn a life skill--and possibly finish a 4-H project at the same time!  You can register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or the Extension Office at (309) 932-3447.

Illinois Jobs Dip in November


The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent in November and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -1,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. October job growth was revised up to show a larger gain (+9,300 jobs) than initially reported (+3,400 jobs).

November’s monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. While Illinois job growth has had its ups and downs since the beginning of the year, the 3-month trend shows average gains of +100 jobs per month from September to November, while the six-month trend shows an increase of +800 average monthly job gains from June to November. The 3-month was better than reported last month, though the 6-month change showed less strength.

“Illinois employment growth saw a lot of over-the-month ups and downs this past year.” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “But payrolls overall have increased by about a half-percent over the year to date, which is an additional 23,900 jobs.”

“Our focus remains on creating a business-friendly environment that is conducive to opportunity,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “While we are still growing slower than the nation, Illinois is seeing the benefits of a pro-business administration that is committed to fostering innovation, attracting investment and creating jobs.”

 In November, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+6,300); Manufacturing (+2,200); and Construction (+2,100). The three industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Government (-2,800); Financial Activities (-2,200) and Other Services (-2,100).

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +25,900 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in November: Financial Activities (+13,600); Professional and Business Services (+9,500); and Education and Health Services (+7,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include: Government (-8,000); Leisure and Hospitality (-1,800); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,400). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.4 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.4 percent over-the-year gain in November.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for November 2017, which held at 4.1 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.9 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.8 percent. At 4.9 percent, the Illinois jobless rate is -0.8 percentage points lower than January 2017.

The number of unemployed workers dipped -1.0 percent from the prior month to 313,800, down -16.2 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force increased 0.3 percent over-the-month and declined by -0.9 percent in November over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine,  IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 86,141 posted resumes with 166,021 jobs available. 

Dollar General Now Open In Sheffield



Dollar General’s newest store at 435 W Railroad St in Sheffield is now open!  In its new location, Dollar General will offer area residents a convenient new place to shop for everyday essentials at low prices.


Dollar General will celebrate the store’s official grand opening on Saturday, January 6 at 8 a.m. with free prizes and special deals.  Additionally, the first 50 adult shoppers at the store will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag with complimentary product samples, among other giveaways.


“Dollar General is committed to delivering a pleasant shopping experience that includes a convenient location, a wide assortment of merchandise and great prices on quality products,” said Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development.  “We hope our area customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.”


Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by providing a focused selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health/beauty products. The store’s fresh layout is designed to make shopping simple for customers.  Seasonal products are displayed in the center of the store, departments are easily recognizable with visible signage and coolers are conveniently located at the front of the store.


Traditional Dollar General stores employ approximately six to 10 people, depending on the need.  Anyone interested in joining the Dollar General team may visit the Career section at www.dollargeneral.com.

More cold air for Illinois next week

There’s a reason it’s been bitterly cold for much of Illinois. DTN ag meteorologist Bryce Anderson details the atmospheric conditions……
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Wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings were set to expire throughout much of the state on Tuesday. 

Davis mocks Bernie Sanders when discussing recent GOP tax reform

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville says he continues to get positive feedback about the recently passed tax reform plan as he travels along the 13th Congressional District. Davis blasted one of the high profile opponents of the reform plan while touting its benefits...
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Davis says Illinoisans will see the benefits of the tax plan in less than a month.....
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Davis says tax reform will make American companies more competitive in the global economy.

Manar looks forward to effects of school funding reform

On Monday, the school funding reform package, passed by lawmakers last year, took effect. State Senator Andy Manar, the longtime architect of school funding reform plans, says it won't take long for some Illinois school districts to notice the difference...
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But Manar isn't locked in celebration mode. He notes Illinois schools face another major issue that money alone can't fix.....
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The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents reports 60-percent of districts are feeling the teacher shortage

WKEI Open Line

Open Line for January 2

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Health Dept Offers Survival Strategies



    The Henry and Stark County Health Department offers area residents some important winter survival strategies.  These safety tips can help us all to get through the New Year Happy, Healthy, and Safe.


    On the road.  Use your low beam headlights when driving through fog or snowstorms.  They will actually provide better visibility than high beams. And be prepared for breakdowns with emergency flares, warm blanket, first-aid kit, white cloth to signal distress, cat litter, flashlight, snow shovel, empty gas can, and for long trips, food and water.


    At home.  Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas and a by-product of combustion, is an invisible killer.  Possible sources include: wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, kerosene, gas or oil heaters and furnaces.  For your protection: Assure proper ventilation, have these devices inspected and consider installing carbon monoxide detectors.


    Under the sun.  Sunburns aren't limited to summer.  Fact is, sunlight in winter can burn, especially when reflected off ice or snow.  So when skiing or otherwise enjoying the outdoors, wear sunglasses that protect your eyes against ultraviolet light, and spread sunscreen on exposed skin, including your lips.


    Overexposed.  Watch for frostbite or hypothermia, and seek help without delay if you suspect either.  Danger signs for frostbite: redness, tingling, stinging pain or small white patches on the skin.  For hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, sleepiness, shallow breathing.  Remember, alcohol increases loss of body heat, so avoid its use when you plan to be outdoors for a long time.


    For more information on the Emergency Preparedness Services of the Henry and Stark County Health Department call (309) 852-0197 (Main Office), (309) 792-4011 (Colona Office), visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.  Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.


IEMA Encourages People to 'Resolve to be Prepared'


Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards and other disasters across the U.S. in 2017 highlighted the importance of being prepared for all types of emergencies. As the New Year begins, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for emergencies in 2018. The agencies will offer support throughout the year to help people attain the goal of better preparedness for themselves and their families.

Each month, the agencies will provide information on various preparedness or safety topics, including severe and winter weather, earthquakes, radiation, school and campus safety, cyber security and more. 

One of the first steps toward emergency preparedness is having an emergency supply kit stocked with basic survival items that are critical during an emergency, such as:

· One gallon of water per person per day (a minimum of a three-day supply)

· At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

· First aid kit

· Battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries

· Items for children, seniors, pets, and household members with health or medical needs


Disasters often occur with little notice, so it’s also important to have multiple ways to receive critical information 24/7, such as through NOAA all-hazards weather alert radios, Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled on most smartphones, mobile device apps, TV, radio and the Internet.

IEMA maintains the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov), a one-stop location for preparedness information on a variety of hazards.  In addition to information on how to prepare for emergencies, the Ready Illinois website also provides guidance on what to do during and after a disaster. A list of the 2018 monthly preparedness topics is also available on the Ready Illinois website.

Preparedness information is also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages.