Local News Archives for 2018-05

State Budget Passes In Senate

A budget bill has passed the Illinois Senate. The spending plan was approved late last night by an overwhelming show of bipartisan support. The vote 56 to 2 approves spending about $38.5 billion and includes no tax increases. Republican Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon says the spending measure was the work of both parties.

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A few budget particulars: higher education will receive two percent more than last year, K-12 education winds up with $350 million more, and the budget spends $1.4 billion to cover expenses from the last fiscal year that weren’t accounted for. The house still needs to approve the plan and Governor would have to sign the bill.

Kinder, gentler Senate passes budget because of above board approach

Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady sang the praises of the budget process in the General Assembly's upper chamber. The Bloomington Republican says an above board, compromising approach made all the difference....
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Only two Senators voted against the budget. State Senator Kyle McCarter was one of them. He said he and other rank and file Senators only had one hour to review 1250 pages of legislation and 37 pages of analysis. He said the budget is plagued by unrealistic assumptions of revenues and savings and a lack of of money set aside to pay off old bills to the tune of 1.6 billion dollars. He also took issue with state funding for abortions.

No Downstaters on ICC

The five-member strong Illinois Commerce Commission has the power to regulate utilities, approve utility rates, license trucking and towing companies and oversees railroad safety and crossing improvements. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is raising a concern about the panel; why are all the members from Cook and DuPage counties? He says the Rauner-appointed board is the first commission in a century that lacks a downstate or rural member. Citizens Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen:

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Earlier this week, the Senate Executive Appointments Committee voted to recommend two more of Rauner's pending appointments to the commission. Both appointees are also from Chicago. One of the recommendations then went to the full Senate for approval on Monday afternoon. The Senate voted 45-1 for approval. Manar cast the single no-vote.

The Vandoliers and The Right Now come to Galva

Galva’s Wiley Park will once again be filled with people, food, vendors and music on June 3rd. The event will begin with a Vendor Fair from 1-6. Crazy Pete’s Street Eatz will offer dinner from 4:30 – 6. 2 Dudes Popcorn will have a wonderfrul dessert option available before and during the concert. The Concert begins at 6 with The Vandoliers followed by The Right Now at 7. Rain location is in the Galva High School.


The Vandoliers play alt-country with punk roots. Vandoliers formed in 2015, bringing together a group of Dallas-Fort Worth musicians led by frontman Joshua Fleming. Fiercely proud of their homeland, Vandoliers put their own spin on the Texas country tradition with 2016's Ameri-Kinda, a debut album that mixed honky-tonk twang with hard-edged, rock & roll stomp. The band's follow-up release, The Native, arrives less than one year, doubling down on Vandoliers' modern approach to traditional influences. Rounded out by bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves, the group fills The Native's 10 songs with barreling guitar solos, train beats, anthemic melodies, mariachi horns, and the autobiographical details of Fleming's own travels.  http://vandoliers.com/


The Right Now's pop-meets-soul sound is more than a vehicle for Stefanie Berecz's captivating voice. The celebration of thoughtful, catchy songwriting and intricate arrangements evokes a subtle sophistication in the tradition of Quincy Jones’ 70s and 80s masterpieces. Since 2008 the band has toured much of the United States and released three acclaimed albums, racking up placements in television, national commercials, and the multi-million-selling video game Watch Dogs.  https://www.therightnow.com/

WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 31

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Interview with Jim Bohannon

Bob McKee visits with Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show weeknights from 9 til midnight on Newstalk 1450 WKEI 

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World No Tobacco Day Today

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that every year May 31st is proclaimed World No-Tobacco Day. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2018 is "Tobacco Breaks Hearts-Choose Health Not Tobacco.”  This theme will focus on the impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide.  Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.  Cardiovascular diseases kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide.  
     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes that this important health designation is an important time to remind area residents about the Health Departments’ Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Grant activities.
    In both Henry and Stark County our staff works continually to enforce, educate and encourage compliance with the Illinois Smoke-Free Act. The Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.
    Also, this past year, the Health Department has worked towards additional Tobacco-Free initiatives.  This year in both Henry and Stark County, the Health Department has a grant that is focused on Youth Tobacco Prevention through the development of Social Norms Marketing Campaigns.
    Tucker notes, “The Health Department in coordination with the State of Illinois has taken these important steps to protect its residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of smoking and secondhand smoke.”
     Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.

Grinnell Mutual 2018 Road to Success Scholarship Recipients Announced

Grinnell Mutual, in partnership with its independent agency force, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Road to Success scholarships The scholarship is awarded to high school seniors with Grinnell Mutual auto coverage who have excellent academic records and have been accident- and violation-free for their high school years.
Since the program began 13 years ago, Grinnell Mutual and its agents have provided college-bound students more than $700,000 in scholarships through the Road to Success program. The $1,000 scholarships go to high school seniors in Grinnell Mutual’s writing territory.
Grinnell Mutual, in business since 1909, is the 109th-largest property-casualty insurance company in the United States and the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America. Its products are available in 16 states.
Congratulations to the 2018 Road to Success scholarship recipients.

Casey Carpenter, Illinois City
Nathan Parchert, Illinois City
Cade Tuthill, Wyoming
Katrina Sandefer, Sterling

Hot May Equals Hot Summer?

Just because May has been very warm in Illinois, that doesn’t mean the rest of the summer will play out that way, according to meteorologist Harvey Frees.
He says that “It looks like we’ve had one of the warmest Mays on record, especially in the western Corn Belt. 
In 1967, the month of May saw record-high temperatures in the Midwest, but the following months were cooler than normal. That same scenario occurred in 1994.
Freese said the summer of 2018 could follow the same pattern.
Guess we’ll wait and see.

Rauner unveils infrastructure plan

Gov. Bruce Rauner believes his new infrastructure plan will play in Peoria. He visited the river city to announce an $11 billion six-year plan for maintaining and constructing roads and bridges. Rauner says the new approach is all about being proactive.....
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It was no coincidence that Rauner was in Peoria. His infrastructure plan calls for construction of a new McCluggage Bridge. 

Industrial hemp bill moving forward in Springfield

The effort continues in Springfield to legalize industrial hemp in Illinois. State Rep. Dan Swanson’s legislation would allow Illinois farmers to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant used to make textiles, paper and a variety of commercial and industrial products.
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At least 16 states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes. Swanson’s bill won approval in the Illinois House last week. 

WKEI Open Line

Kewanee Post Master On Tuned IN

Post Master Kasey Simmons is the guest

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Illinois State Fair Karaoke Contest To Make Stops At 9 Illinois County Fairs


Can you carry a tune?  Are you known within your circle of friends for your karaoke skills?  This year local talent will be showcased on the biggest stage at the Illinois State Fair.  The State Fair Karaoke Contest will give one lucky fairgoer the opportunity to be an opening act for Brett Eldredge on the Grandstand stage at the 2018 Illinois State Fair.
This summer, nine (9) regional county fairs will host qualifying rounds of State Fair Karaoke.  The first and second place winners from the regional contests will move on to the finale at the Illinois State Fair on Friday, August 12.  The overall winner will be selected that day, and he or she will perform two songs that night prior to the Brett Eldredge concert.
“This contest is free to enter, but the prize associated is priceless,” said State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.  “This contest has proven to be a great partnership for our state and county fairs.  We are generating a new crop of fairgoers at the local level, and the Illinois State Fair is proud to bring about that increased exposure.”  
In order to compete in this contest, you must be a solo act, you must be 18 years old, and it is highly recommended that each participant pre-register on the Illinois State Fair website (www.illinois.gov/statefair).  The contest is free to enter; however, space is limited at each venue and once the host site’s slots are filled the registration will be closed.  Complete contest rules can be found online.  Registration begins on Thursday, May 17.
Regional Contests:
June 9  7:00 p.m. Macon County Fair (Decatur)
June 16  4:00 p.m. Sangamon County Fair (New Berlin)
June 21  7:00 p.m.  Henry County Fair (Cambridge) 
June 27  7:00 p.m.  Macoupin County Fair (Carlinville)
July 12  7:00 p.m.  Morgan County Fair (Jacksonville)
July 14  3:00 p.m.  Marshall-Putnam County Fair (Henry) 
July 19  7:30 p.m.  Menard County Fair (Petersburg)
July 23  7:00 p.m. Edgar County Fair (Paris)
July 27  7:30 p.m.  Adams County Fair (Mendon)

Abilities Plus Golf Outing Set For August 6

Abilities Plus will host their 27th annual golf outing on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 at Kewanee Dunes.

Registration fees are $80 per golfer before July 13th, or $85 after July 13th ($10.00 discount for Kewanee Dunes members).  The cost of registration covers greens fees, cart, beverages, snacks, and buffet meal after the outing.  Proceeds benefit programs and services for local children and adults with disabilities.

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

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

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

McCombie Legislation Headed To The Governor's Desk

Constituent driven legislation which amends the Property Tax Code was given final approval in the Illinois House of Representatives last week.
SB3093, sponsored in the House by State Representative Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) was drafted in support of residents of Friendship Manor, a Rock Island non-for-profit licensed life care facility.  Over the past few years the residents have attempted to receive the general homestead exemption under the Property Tax Code for the tax year 2014 and future years. 
Due to a local interpretation of the law, the bill brings "life care facilities" into the provisions for the general homestead exemption. 
Representative McCombie says the measure provides clarification…
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The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.

Kewanee City Council Meeting

In new business at the Tuesday, May 29th city council meeting the following was approved
Ordinance of special use permit to Dennis Packee for property located at 600 N Main St for the sale of used vehicles.
Ordinance granting special use permit to John Willie DBA Your Approved Auto Sales for property located 525 N Main St for storage of used passenger vehicles.
After much discussion, the continuance of non-conformity use to Erin Clementz at 500 E Division St for operation of a hair and nail salon was sent back to the Zoning Commission. The previous non-conformity usage had elapsed several years ago. There will be a special council meeting after the Zoning Commission votes on it.
Approved a resolution awarding the care and maintenance of the City Animal Control facility to Friends of the Animals.
Awarded the janitor agreement for fiscal year 2019 to O & W Cleaners
Established building and zoning regulations regarding solar panels
Denied paying bill to Ruyle Mechanical Services of Peoria for waste water treatment because there was no pre-approval given by council
Approved 2018-19 budget with a deficit of approximately $140,000. This after due diligence of all the department heads that reduced the deficit from $400,000. The money will come from reserves.

Announcement from the city that the Public Works Dept will begin summer hours on Monday, June 4, working from 6am-2pm. Please have any landscape waste, bulk brush, recycling or trash for collection out before 6 am throughout the summer.

IVET program seeking more Illinois veterinarians

The agriculture industry could always use more veterinarians in Illinois. And that’s the motivation behind the organization’s Illinois Veterinary and Training program or IVET program, which provides a $40,000 loan that is paid back five years after graduation from vet school. Chet McClure is in the second year of vet school and is an IVET participant. He’s hoping to practice in east-central Illinois.
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The program is geared toward those vet students that are going into production animal medicine. 

White House Ag Adviser Moves to USDA This Week

President Trump's agriculture adviser in the White House will take on a new job starting Friday. Ray Starling, who currently serves as special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance will become chief of staff at USDA;

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Starling grew up on a North Carolina farm and has served on the staffs of lawmakers in his state and as legal counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. He'll now run Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue's operation at USDA;

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Starling will succeed Perdue's current chief of staff Heidi Green who plans to return to their home state of Georgia.

Work and Jobs Numbers Are Strong

Every major metro area in the state has as pretty robust jobs market right now. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the economy continues to improve and it’s a boost to those looking for a job or a new career.

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All areas of work, including manufacturing added jobs in year over year numbers.


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


Violations Enforcement Activity
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Citations  1
Other Alcohol/Drug Citations  0
Occupant Restraint Offenses  4
Registration Offenses  0
Driver’s License Offenses  2
Insurance Violations  1
Total Citations/Arrests  19
Total Written Warnings  24


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

WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 29 

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Henry County Republicans Meet Tonight in Cambridge

The May meeting of the Henry County Republicans will be on Tuesday, May 29 in Cambridge.

Group volunteers will meet at 5:45 pm at Michlig Grain east of Cambridge on IL 81/82 for the spring clean up along the state highway. Necessary supplies will be provided.

The May meeting will begin at 7 pm at the Cambridge Community & Youth Center at 407 N West Street. Agenda items include sign up for summer parades, festivals and other events. The meeting will conclude with an overview of using the GOP data program.

The Henry County Republicans are looking for volunteers to serve as precinct Committeeman in servers areas of the county. Now is the time for those interested in serving as an election judge to contact their precinct Committeeman or the party chairman to get more information. 

Anyone with questions should contact Republican chairman Jan Weber at 309-724-1617.

Stroke Info

The health care condition of stroke is one not to be taken lightly and seconds literally do count when some is suffering a stroke.
Carrie Boelens is the Community Relations Specialist at OSF Healthcare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee and she says a call to 911 is essential if someone is suffering…
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Ms. Boelens says there are some symptoms and signs of stroke to keep in mind…
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Ice Cream Social Set For June 7 In Geneseo

Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo will host an ice cream social on Thursday, June 7th in the Geneseo City Park.
Julie West is the Manager of Volunteer Services at Hammond Henry and she says it will be a festive occasion…
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Ms. West says there will be a great menu to select from on June 7th…
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Orientations in June For Highway Construction Training At BHC

Interested in working in highway construction?

A new session of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Black Hawk College will begin Monday, Aug. 13.

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

There is no cost to those who are accepted into the program.

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

Interested students MUST attend one of these orientation sessions:
·       Wednesday, June 20 at 10 a.m.
·       Thursday, June 21 at 2 p.m.
·       Tuesday, June 26 at 10 a.m.
·       Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m.
·       Friday, June 29 at 2 p.m.

To register for orientation, contact Paul Fessler at 309-796-5729 or fesslerp@bhc.edu or go to www.bhc.edu/hcctp.

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

Kewanee City Council Meets Tonight

         AGENDA FOR
Council Chambers
                                                                                                          401 E Third Street
Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Open Meeting starting at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Posted by 7:30 p.m., May 25, 2018

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
4. Presentation of Bills and Claims
5. Citizen Participation
6. Business:
a. Semi-Annual Presentation from Henry County Tourism Bureau
b. Acceptance of the Plan Commission minutes from its meeting held on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
c. Consideration of an Ordinance granting a special use permit to Dennis Packee for property located at 600 North Main Street for the sale of used vehicles.
d. Consideration of an Ordinance granting a special use permit to John Willie d/b/a You’re Approved Auto Sales for property located at 525 North Main Street for the storage of used passenger vehicles.
e. Consideration of a Resolution granting a continuance of non-conforming use to Erin Clementz at 500 E Division St. for the operation of a hair and nail salon.
f. Consideration of a Resolution awarding the care and maintenance of the City Animal Control Facility to Friends of the Animals.
g. Consideration of an Ordinance amending Section 150.016 permits and permit fees established in the City of Kewanee.
h. Consideration of a Resolution awarding the janitor agreement for FY 2019 to O & W Cleaners.
i. Consideration of a Resolution appointing members to the Plan Commission.
j. Consideration of an Ordinance establishing building and zoning regulations regarding solar panels.
k. Consideration of a Resolution ratifying and approving an agreement with Ruyle Mechanical Services of Peoria, IL for the wastewater treatment
l. Consideration of a Resolution establishing the FY 2018-2019 Budget

7. Council Communications:

8. Announcements:

9. Adjournment

Give Them Distance This Holiday Weekend

Give them distance is the idea this summer driving season. It’s the law in Illinois to change lanes and slow down when passing a stopped car on the side of the road. That goes for emergency vehicles or passenger cars. If you’re in that disabled car there are things to do to stay as safe as possible says Beth Mosher of AAA Illinois.

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More than a decade ago Scott’s Law was passed making it the law to move over for parked emergency vehicles – last year the law was expanded to any vehicle on the side of the road.

ISP Out In Full Force This Holiday Weekend

The Illinois State Police will be watching drivers closely on highways this weekend. A boarder to boarder campaign will be underway to station troopers up and down I-80, I-55 and I-57. ISP Director Leo Schmitz says they are working with neighboring states to line interstate

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So far this year the about 320 people have been killed on Illinois roadways. And last year 10 people were killed over the Memorial Day weekend.

Wethersfield Names New H.S. and G.S. Principal

The Wethersfield School Board of Education held a special meeting on Thursday afternoon and named a new High School and Junior High Principal.
That action necessary as current principal Mr. Jeremiah Johnston has resigned his position to continue his career in Grand Junction Colorado.
District 230 Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says the new principal comes from the Geneseo School District…
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Memorial Day Schedule In Kewanee

Memorial Day will be observed on Monday and will mark the first major summer Holiday weekend and many people will enjoy an extended weekend break from work.  
In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed for the day on Monday. There will be no landscape waste pick-up on Monday however no change in the garbage pick-up schedule next week in Kewanee. 
The United States Post Office will be closed on Monday and most banks will also  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 for the day on Monday and back open once again next Tuesday.     
Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday and back open once again next Tuesday. 
Most schools, if not already dismissed for the summer will be closed on Monday.   
A reminder that all Black Hawk College facilities will also be closing at noon today, closed on Monday and back in session next Tuesday.  
Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Monday  with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care. 
The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will also be closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

ISP Continues Click It Or Ticket Campaign

Illinois State Police will be out in force this holiday weekend with the click it or ticket campaign.
Officers will be looking for all infractions and State Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says the campaign is about more than just writing tickets…
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Rauner Proposes Schools Choose Funds for Safety or Building

Schools looking for resources to pay for security guards or mental health professionals may have a new way to do so. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner wants schools to be able to take from funds set aside to build facilities and use them to pay for safety or mental health personal.

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The resources for schools wouldn’t increase. Rather districts would have to choose what they would rather be able to afford.

Memorial Day holiday means first big boating weekend in Illinois

Boating season kicks into high gear this Memorial Day weekend. A few reminders from Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
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This is also National Safe Boating Week.

Illinois House Gets Behind Hemp

Hemp may be on the comeback trail in Illinois. The Illinois House passed legislation legalizing industrial hemp in a bipartisan vote. Hemp was banned across the country in the 1930s because it's a cannabis plant like marijuana, but it doesn't produce any high-like effects. Springfield based Republican Tim Butler believes it could offer a nice boost for Illinois agriculture...
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The pro-farming Illinois Stewardship Alliance says the move can add hundreds of new jobs and up to $100 million in state revenue.

ISP on People to People

Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline is the guest 

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 24

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Kewanee Public Library on Tuned IN

KPL Children’s Librarian Sara Billiet is the guest

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Boil Orders Lifted In Kewanee

Effective Thursday 5/24/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department boil orders have been lifted.  Residents in the following locations had water shut off on 5/23/18 for two hydrant repairs at Emmons Avenue and the intersection of East McClure and Dwight Streets:

•         200 – 300 blocks of East Garfield Street
•         Hilltop Drive
•         Percil Court
•         300 – 400 blocks and 510 Dwight Street
•         Emmons Avenue
•         300 block of Edwards Street
•         234, 236, 233, 235, 241 East McClure Street
•         347 E Church Street

Posting Of The Flags In Kewanee

The Kewanee Veteran’s Council will be putting out the flags at the various cemeteries in the Kewanee area on Friday morning beginning at 9 o’clock.
The group will be meeting at the American Legion Hall on Railroad Avenue on Friday morning to organize the effort and anyone that might be able to volunteer some time on Friday to help out is welcome to attend.
Just show up at the Legion Hall around 8:30 or so on Friday morning and your help will be most appreciated.

Kewanee Planning Commission Meets Tonight

The Planning Commission will meet in Kewanee City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street at 7:00 PM, Thursday, May 24, 2018.    There are two petitions upon which hearings will be conducted.  They are discussed below.
1:  600 N. Main St., Dennis Packee requesting a Special Use Permit for a used car lot.
2:  525 N. Main St., Jon Willie requesting a Special Use Permit to allow an automobile storage yard.

Special Wethersfield Board Meeting This Afternoon

Wethersfield Community Unit School District No. 230
Superintendent’s Office – Blish Building
439 Willard Street – Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Thursday, May 24, 2018 — 4:30PM


I. Call to Order

II. Comments from Visitors

III. Executive Session (Employment of Personnel)

IV. Approve LED Lighting Upgrades

V. Employment of Personnel

VI. Adjourn

Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for April


Richard Spiegel of rural Kewanee is the Achiever of the Month for April at Abilities Plus. Richard was nominated and received recognition because of his efforts with job duties at the agency. Those include wiping off tables, taking out the trash, sweeping, mopping and other cleaning tasks. Richard also assists at home with farm chores.

The remainder of May should remain warm and dry

The unofficial start to summer is ushered in this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday. This year, that will also mean some summer type conditions. May has been much warmer than normal following an April which was much cooler than average says State Climatologist Jim Angel.
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Angel says the rest of May should be warm and dry for most of Illinois with temps staying in the mid to upper 80s. The first official day of summer is June 21. 

Jobs Plentiful in Illinois

The job market is the best it’s been in more than a decade as the state’s unemployment rate hits a 12 year low. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state added more than 4500 jobs in April.

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That’s IDES’s Bob Gough. He says manufacturing jobs were a particular bright spot last month.

WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 23

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Hammond Henry Hospital on Tuned In

Julie West is the guest

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Wethersfield Supt on People to People

District 230 Supt Shane Kazubowski is the guest

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Triple A Predicts Busy Travel For Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and Americans will kick off the season by traveling in near-record numbers. According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years (2005).

In Illinois, 2.04 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a four percent increase from 2017. Of those travelers, 1.8 million will be driving (up four percent from 2017) and 112,000 will be flying to their destination (a 6.8 percent increase from 2017). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.95, up from $2.70 last month and up from $2.39 a year ago.

In Indiana, 898,000 people are expected to travel, which is up 4.5 percent from 2016. Of those travelers, 812,000 are expected to travel by auto (4.5 percent increase) and about 49,000 by air (6.9 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.90 per gallon, up from $2.60 a month ago and up from $2.28 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.86.

“Higher gas prices will not be enough to keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”

By The Numbers: 2018 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast
• Total Travelers: More than 41.5 million Americans will travel on Memorial Day Weekend, 5 percent more than last year.
o 2018 will mark the fourth consecutive year of overall travel volume growth.
o Travel volume has increased by 6 million since 2014 and 11 million since the 2009 recession-driven low.
• Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 36.6 million – will hit the road this Memorial Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.
• Planes: 3.1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
• Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.
• Gas prices for this holiday weekend will be the most expensive in four years.

Drivers Beware: Worst Times to Hit the Road
For the 36.6 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers could see three times the delay.
“Ranked the most congested country in world, U.S. drivers are all too familiar with sitting in traffic,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist and Head of Research, INRIX. “Drivers should expect congestion across a greater number of days than in previous years, with the getaway period starting on Wednesday, May 23. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes.”

Deb Kubinsky Honored For Service at Abilities Plus

Deb Kubinsky of Kewanee recently celebrated her 35th Anniversary with Abilities Plus in Kewanee.  During her tenure, Deb has served in many roles, beginning as an Adult Basic Education Instructor through Black Hawk East, and then becoming Work Activity Coordinator, Adult Services Coordinator, Work Services Coordinator, and Director of Employment & Training. She also has supervised the Transportation Program & previously was a Special Olympic Coach.  Throughout the years, Deb has provided assistance and support to hundreds of local individuals with disabilities and their family members.
She received a round of congratulations along with a plaque and a huge cake from Abilities Plus Executive Director Kim Walker.

BHC Hosting FY19 Budget Forums June 4-5

Black Hawk College will host two community forums on the college’s fiscal year 2019 (FY19) budget.

The forums will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. –
• Monday, June 4 – BHC Community Education Center, Conference Room, 404 E. Third St., Kewanee
• Tuesday, June 5 – BHC Quad-Cities Campus, Health Sciences Center, Room 203 (auditorium), 6600 34th Ave., Moline

Dr. John Erwin, interim president, and Steven Frommelt, vice president for finance and administration, will present an overview of the budget and answer questions from the community. The college’s new budget year begins July 1.

Blood Donors Needed Heading Into Summer

The American Red Cross is asking you to donate blood as we head into the summer months. The organization says only about 3% of the U.S. population gives blood, meaning repeat donors are carrying the bulk of the load. During this time of year, people do not donate blood as often, according to Red Cross spokesman, Joe Zydlo.

Vacations and other summer activities often take precedence over donating blood, and Zydlo (ZID-low) says the drop-off really ramps up around Memorial Day and heading into June.

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If you want to donate blood, you can find information on where and how to do so at this story at www.RedCross.org, or you can download a free Red Cross app from you mobile app store. The app uses your location to allow you to find the nearest donation center near you.

Illinois Farmers Nearly Done with Corn Planting

Farmers in Illinois are nearly done planting corn. USDA reports that 96 percent of the crop is planted and more than half of those plants are up and growing. Mark Schleusener says that farmers have also done a good job of getting soybeans into the ground.

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Where wheat is grown – the crop is in good condition. With another warm and dry week for farmers planting season will be just about wrapped up.

Law Enforcement Showing Zero Tolerance for Seat Belt Violations

As summer kicks off and travel increases, the Moline Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. The national seat-belt enforcement campaign will take place May 18 through 29, concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year. Click It or Ticket enforces seat-belt and car-seat use to keep all motorists safe.


“Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the loss of life when people refuse to buckle up,” said Detective Michael Griffin, “It’s such a simple and effective way to protect yourself while traveling. As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, we want to make sure people are doing everything they can to stay safe in the unfortunate event of a crash.”


Illinois has a 93.8% observed seat belt usage rate, but a disproportionate number of fatalities involve unbelted motorists and passengers.  Of the 1093 traffic deaths in 2017, where restraint use was known, 54% of those killed were not wearing seat belts.


Seat belt use drops even more in the evening hours between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. The Moline Police Department will be taking a no-excuses approach, writing citations day and night. Motorists caught not buckled up will be ticketed, and those caught driving impaired will be arrested. 


“Please help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction,” said Detective Michael Griffin. Seat belts save lives, and every vehicle occupant—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up, every trip, every time.  Together, we can make zero fatalities a reality in Illinois.”


For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.BuckleUpIllinois.org.

KSD #229 On People to People

District #229 Supt of Schools Dr. Chris Sullens and KHS Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan are the guests 

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 22

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Bishop Hill Heritage Association On Tuned IN

BHHA Administrator Todd DeDecker is the guest

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Border to Border: Click It Or Ticket

 The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are teaming with up more than 160 law enforcement agencies throughout the state in the national “Border to Border” mobilization, sending a unified message that riding or driving without a seat belt will not be tolerated. Increased patrols and seat belt enforcement zones will be along major interstates, state border crossings and hundreds of well-traveled local roads starting now and extending through Memorial Day.
“Illinois State Police enforce seat belt and child restraint use year-round, said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz “Increased enforcement around Memorial Day serves as a reminder to motorists that we take traffic laws seriously.”
With their counterparts in Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin, IDOT and ISP are enforcing seat belt laws through the national “Border to Border” effort.
Organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, the initiative is bringing together the power of 10,000 agencies across the nation to reinforce seat belt use as the most effective strategy to avoid injury or death if you are involved in a crash.
Keep these tips in mind when traveling this summer:
• Buckle up.  Wearing a seat belt positions you in the vehicle safely, works with air bags to protect you and slows the body down to minimize injury.
• Sober up.  Alcohol and drugs inhibit your ability to operate a vehicle. Do not use them and then get behind the wheel.
• Slow down.  Speed drastically increases the risk of injury or death in a crash.
• Phone down.  Texting and talking on a cell phone is not only dangerous, it is illegal in Illinois.

Henry County Democrats To Meet On Wednesday Evening

The Henry County Democratic Party's May meeting is this Wednesday, May 23rdstarting at 6:30 at Bella Pizza in Cambridge in the back room. Feel free to come a little early and enjoy some great food with other local Democrats.

Please bring your completed petition sheets if you have helped gather signatures for our final county board candidate, Dain Luallen. If you live in District 1 and haven't signed a petition, please be sure to do so during our meeting Wednesday to ensure we have a full slate of county board candidates. We're still looking for Treasurer and Sheriff candidates but are running out of time quickly.

We also need to appoint Election Judges for the 2018-2020 election cycle by June 4th. If you are a Precinct Committeeperson, please bring the names of your Election Judges. If you aren't a Precinct Committeeperson or a candidate running for office and are interested in becoming an Election Judge, then forward that information to Alan Wendt as soon as possible.

Real Estate Demand Remains Strong

— Buyer demand is strong heading into the spring housing market, but lower inventory continues to be a drag, driving sales lower and median home prices higher in March, according to Illinois REALTORS®.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2018 totaled 12,455 homes sold, down 7.9 percent from 13,528 in March 2017.
The statewide median price in March was $199,000, up 4.8 percent from March 2017, when the median price was $189,900. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Statewide sales numbers saw declines as buyers poised to enter the spring housing market were confronted with the reality that inventories dropped by double-digit percentages," said Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. "With demand still strong as evidenced by decreases in the time it takes on average to sell a home, the next few months could be marked by intense competition by potential homebuyers."

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 65 days, down from 68 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 48,834 homes for sale, a 12.6 percent decline from March 2017 when there were 55,863 homes on the market.
Beginning this month, Illinois REALTORS® is breaking down housing data by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The federal government uses MSAs to group together counties which have close economic ties. Illinois REALTORS® MSA reports only include counties which are in the state. The additional data is being included to allow a fuller picture of the housing market in defined economic regions.
According to the data, home sales in the Bloomington MSA (McLean and Dewitt counties) totaled 204 units, a 2.9 percent decline while the median price was down 3.6 percent to $154,450; in the Metro East MSA (Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison and St. Clair counties) sales were down 0.9 percent to 679 units sold and the median price remained unchanged at $126,000; and in the Moline-Rock Island MSA (Henry, Mercer and Rock Island counties) sales were up 4.9 percent to 192 units sold and the median price climbed 15.1 percent to $107,000.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.44 percent in March 2018, an increase from 4.33 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2017, it averaged 4.20 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2018 totaled 8,848 homes sold, down 10.2 percent from March 2017 sales of 9,849 homes. The median price in March 2018 was $241,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 4.8 percent from $230,000 in March 2017.
"Nationally, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index rose, driven primarily by a sizable increase in the net share of consumers who think it's a good time to buy a home," said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois.
According to the data, thirty-four (34) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2018 over previous-year numbers, including Kankakee County, up 31.2 percent with 101 units sold; DeKalb County, 22.0 percent with 122 units sold; and Macon County, up 10.2 percent with 119 units sold. Forty-eight (48) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including McHenry County, up 6.8 percent to $212,500; Will County, up 5.9 percent to $222,450; and Cook County, up 5.6 percent to $252,500.
The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home sales decline 10.1 percent with 2,290 sales in March, compared to 2,546 a year ago. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2018 was $314,000, up 6.4 percent compared to March 2017 when it was $295,000.
“Limited supply and high demand took center stage for the start of the Chicago spring housing market,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and principal of Thomson Real Estate Group. “While the number of closed sales slowed in tandem with the inventory crunch, the rise in median sales price and reduction of time it takes for a home to sell on average, points to competition for well-priced homes in good condition.”
Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 27 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of April 7, 2018 for the period March 1 through March 31, 2018. The Chicago Metro Area, 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 more atwww.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.       

BHC Closing at Noon May 25, Closed May 28 for Memorial Day


Due to utility construction, all Black Hawk College locations will close at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Friday, May 25.

Also, all college locations will be closed Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.

The college will reopen Tuesday, May 29.

WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 21

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OSF On Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and Beth Smith are the guests

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Med Marijuana Use Step Closer For Use at Schools

Medical marijuana is the law in Illinois and now it’s up to the Governor to expand access for school age kids. A bill – nicknamed “Ashley’s Law” received both Democratic and Republican votes on its way to Bruce Rauner’s desk. Republican State Senator Jason Barickman says it was time to fix a part of the law that banned the prescribed drugs from schools.

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Right now the use or possession of any medical marijuana is prohibited on school property. The bill was named for an 11 year old girl who was prevented from using the prescribed medication to control seizures.

Madigan spokesman weighs in on sports gambling potential

House Speaker Mike Madigan is recusing himself from the discussion on potentially bringing sports wagering to Illinois. His spokesman Steve Brown isn't discussing the reasons for that but he believes the stalled discussion about gambling expansion in Illinois has likely prevented the state from being on the fast track to bring a sports book to Illinois wagering facilities......
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The Supreme Court recently threw out the nation's ban of sports wagering in most states.

New Starting Teacher Salary Approved By State Senate

The Illinois Senate approved a plan to set a minimum wage for starting teachers. The approved bill would raise the beginning wage to $40,000 over the next five years. There is a starting wage right now for teachers in Illinois but it was set at $9,000 and hasn’t been adjusted in decades. Republican Senator Dale Righter worries about cash strapped school districts being able to afford the increases in pay.

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The bill would require the increases to begin the year after next. 

University of Illinois Extension Hot Line Now Open

Master Gardener’s Horticulture Hotline is Open Mon – Friday, 9 am – Noon
University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are on call to take your horticulture questions.  Call the Rock Island County Extension office at (309) 756-9978 to have your questions answered.  Master Gardeners are on hand Monday – Friday from 9 am – Noon now through mid- October. You can also fill out a question online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs.

Kewanee City Info

Motorists in the city of Kewanee are certainly familiar with the less than ideal situation at the railroad overpass at the curve on East Street as it intersects with Railroad Avenue.
Kewanee City Manager Mr. Gary Bradley says that negotiations and conversations with Ameren IL usually goes very well, but the same cannot be said when it comes to dealing with the railroads and their contingent…
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Mr. Bradley agrees that the road that goes underneath the viaduct is in bad shape but that situation is again, controlled by the railroad…
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Mr. Bradley also agrees that the entire viaduct area is in rough shape but he does stress that the truss that carries the trains over the viaduct is in good shape structurally…
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Hydrant Work Today In Kewanee

Effective Monday 5/21/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled two hydrant repairs and water shut offs with boil orders to follow.  Work is scheduled for hydrants on Emmons Avenue and at the intersection East McClure and Dwight Streets.  Residents in the following locations will have water shut off during this repair:

• 200 – 300 blocks of East Garfield Street
• Hilltop Drive
• Percil Court
• 300 – 400 blocks and 510 Dwight Street
• Emmons Avenue
• 300 block of Edwards Street
• 234, 236, 233, 235, 241 East McClure Street
• 347 E Church Street

Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m. Monday, weather permitting.  If work is not able to be done that day, the Water Department will continue to have this scheduled for the work to be done as soon as possible within the same week.

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

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

Updated Illinois Sport Fish Consumption Advisory

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has  announced an updated consumption advisory for sport fish caught in Illinois waters.  These changes are the result of continued sampling by the Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program and do not suggest that Illinois fish are becoming more or less contaminated.
“We encourage people to enjoy fishing in Illinois lakes and rivers, but want to make sure you have information about eating fish that are caught in Illinois waters.  The advisories are not meant to discourage people from eating fish, but should be used as a guideline to help anglers and their families decide the types of fish to eat, how frequently, and how to prepare fish for cooking to reduce possible contaminants,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.
There is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any body of water in Illinois.  The main concern for regularly eating fish listed on the advisories is the effect of long-term exposure to low levels of pesticides and chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, chlordane, and methylmercury.
The program is a joint effort of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the departments of Natural Resources and Public Health.  The fish are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and tested by IEPA.  IDPH issues fish consumption advisories based on the IEPA test results.  The updated advisory and detailed information can be found on the IDPH website: http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/toxicology/fish-advisories/map.

The Levitt Amp Galva Summer Concert Series Kicks Off this Saturday!

The Galva Levit Amp Summer Concert Series will kick off at Wiley Park this Saturday at 1pm. At this soft opening you will get to experience exactly what they will be bringing to the park every Sunday for the next 10 weeks.  John Taylor and Friends Jason Bates, Judy Hartman, and Jennifer Johnson stop by to give us the details on this upcoming event. ]
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This will kick off Saturday with the vendor fair happening from 1pm to 6pm. There are many great vendors coming to Galva on Saturday and if you are interested in becoming a vendor for any or all of the upcoming shows John Taylor explains just how simple it is.
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There will also be a Dinner from 4:30 to 6pm put on by the Galva: Ready, Set, Grow committee for a free will donation.  This dinner is a fundraiser to help them raise funds to help their many projects around Galva, Such as the freshly painted park signs you will see this Saturday.  Each Sunday night there will be a new non-profit group serving diner for a free-will donation.  Local artist Paddy Sloan will be playing from 4:30-5:30 to accompany the dinner. From 6-6:45 artist Seth Coquit of The Harvest Sons will be playing he talks about his connections to our area and how it inspires his music.
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The People will take the stage from 7-8pm as the main act for the evening.  A husband and wife duo that have been describe as “rugged and authentic, ghostly-spiritual, cowboy-rock-n-roll!”  This event is set for Saturday May, 19 however every other Concert will be on Sundays starting May 27th.

Ameren Launches Smart Thermostat Initiative

Ameren Illinois has launched a "smart thermostat" initiative. The goal is to get 300,000 devices installed in residences and businesses. Ameren President and Chairman Richard Mark says the device helps save money and energy.
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He says there is no way the technology could be used to spy on residents. There are some discounts available, and some income-eligible customers can have a smart thermostat installed at no cost as part of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. For more information, call 1-866-838-6918, of go to https://www.AmerenIllinoisSavings.com

Illinois soybean leader closely following China trade saga

A leader in the soybean industry continues to follow the ongoing trade saga between the U.S. and China. American Soybean Association chair Ron Moore says 60-percent of US soybeans go into the export market and half of those go to China. He says a threatened 25-percent tariff would hurt and if China can't meet their soybean need from the U.S. they'll likely look elsewhere.
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Some studies indicate the threatened tariff could mean a 50 cent per-bushel hit for U.S. soybean farmers. Moore farms in Roseville in western Illinois. 

Wethersfield Graduation On Sunday

Wethersfield High School will hold graduation ceremonies on Sunday afternoon in the Wethersfield High School Gymnasium beginning at 2 o’clock.
Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says graduation is always a special event…
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Mr. Kazubowski says some 59 students will walk across that stage for the final time on Sunday afternoon to pick up their diploma…
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There is lots of parking at Wethersfield but the best advice is to arrive as early as you possibly can…
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Bustos Slams Trump Trade War

– Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos responded to a Bloomberg News article published this morning about how China has tripled its purchases of soybeans from Russia while canceling several shipments of soybeans from the United States.

Bustos, who is a member of Democratic House Leadership and a member of the House Agriculture Committee, represents the 17th Congressional District of Illinois where corngrowers, soybean farmers and pork producers have been hit hard as a result of the trade war President Trump triggered with China. Soybean farmers are being hit especially hard since a quarter of Illinois’ crop is exported to China every year. If Illinois was its own country, it would be the fourth largest producer of soybeans in the world.

“As a candidate, President Trump stood at a podium in 2016 and promised to ‘end this war on the American farmer.’ Now that China is canceling the purchase of American soybeans while tripling their business with Russia, it’s clear that this is just one more broken promise,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “This so-called Farm Bill that Washington Republicans are racing to pass does absolutely nothing to help hardworking farmers across the heartland who are getting hit in their wallet by President Trump’s reckless and impulsive trade war. Instead of moving ahead with their Harm Bill, Washington Republicans should work across the aisle on a truly bipartisan Farm Bill that will grow our economy and strengthen all Americans – from the pasture to the plate.”

Eight Students Honored at Founders' Scholars Reception

Black Hawk College recently honored eight East Campus students for their academic excellence at the 34th Annual Founders’ Scholars Awards Reception.

The event is named after the East Campus founders – Dr. Glenn Case, James Golby, Gust Lundberg, Ted Vlahos and Robert White.

Students receiving the award must have a minimum 3.85 grade point average after 30 credit hours at Black Hawk College with 12 credit hours taken at the East Campus. Students also must be graduating this month with an associate of arts or associate of science degree.

“Remember, the paragon of genius, Albert Einstein said, ‘Only a life lived for others is worthwhile,’ ” said Dr. John Erwin, BHC interim president. “As a scholar, you have a chance to give back to others in profound and worthy ways.”

Here are the 2018 Founders’ Scholars and their hometowns:
•       Courtney Coffman – Huntington, IN
•       Grayson Cottrell – Fairbury, IL
•       Jamie Franck – Cambridge, IL
•       Rachel Heck – Galva, IL
•       Blake Hennenfent – Gilson, IL
•       Sarah Reay – Princeville, IL
•       Griffin Tuftie – Serena, IL
•       Courtney Wiedenmann – Coal Valley, IL

IL Unemployment Down In April

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate decreased by -0.2 percentage point to 4.4 percent in April and nonfarm payrolls increased by +4,700 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The March job gain was revised up from its initial report to show a slight gain. (+2,500 jobs versus -2,100 jobs).
Job growth improved in the February to April period posting average monthly gains of +7,500 jobs, an increase over the prior three-month period (November 20107 to January 2018) with average monthly gains of +1,700 jobs.
“Illinois’ unemployment rate decreased for the fourth month in-a-row to its lowest level since 2006,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “At the same time, online job postings on IllinoisJoblink are up nearly 8 percent from a year ago, so job opportunities have improved.”
“We continue to work to bring new opportunities to communities across Illinois,” said Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce Sean McCarthy. “By attracting new investment and working with existing employers on workforce needs, we are cultivating a competitive economy and business-friendly environment that will boost growth and ensure a better future for Illinois.”
In April, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+2,700); Manufacturing (+1,600); and Leisure and Hospitality (+1,300). The industry sector with the largest payroll decline was: Government (-1,900).
Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +53,000 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in April: Leisure and Hospitality (+10,600); Manufacturing (+10,100); and Government (+9,700). The industry sector with the largest over-the-year declines was: Information Services (-3,300). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.9 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in April, but it was the largest over-the-year gain since June 2017.
The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2018, which dropped to 3.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.5 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.9 percent. The Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.4 percent in December 2006.
The number of unemployed workers decreased -3.5 percent from the prior month to 287,200, down -9.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force dipped -0.1 percent over-the-month, but it was up +0.1 percent 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 57,112 posted resumes with 198,608 jobs available.

Christian County Becomes the Latest to Declare Themselves as Sanctuary County

Christian County has joined the growing list of counties to declare themselves as a “Sanctuary County” for gun owners in Illinois. The resolution passed unanimously at Tuesday night’s county board meeting.

Vicki McMahon is a second district county board member and the chair of the Christian County NRA. She says she hopes the growing number of counties passing this type of resolution is sending a loud and clear message to lawmakers in Springfield.

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McMahon says the state is infringing on the rights of legal gun owners by passing law restricting the use or possession of specific firearms.


UPDATE: Matthew A. Milby, 19 of Dixon, Illinois, was released from the hospital at approximately 10:20 a.m. today, May 17, 2018. Milby has been transported to Lee County Jail awaiting arraignment, which is tentatively scheduled for May 18, 2018.


Illinois State Police (ISP) are continuing their investigation, and have learned Milby's mother purchased the weapon used in this shooting, a 9mm Semi-Automatic Rifle, in 2012. ISP is currently pursuing leads to determine how Milby obtained access to the weapon.


ISP have recovered surveillance footage from inside the school; the video footage is currently being reviewed as part of the investigation. There was no video footage recovered from outside of the school. The investigation currently remains open and ongoing.


Origial Story: Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announce charges against Matthew A. Milby, 19, of Dixon, Illinois, for his involvement in a shooting which occurred at approximately 8:06 a.m., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Dixon High School.


On May 16, 2018, ISP- Zone 2 was requested by the Dixon Police Department to conduct an Independent investigation into a shooting which occurred at Dixon High School. Through their investigation ISP- Zone 2 Agents discovered that at approximately 8:06 a.m., on May 16, 2018, Dixon Police Department, and Dixon High School Resource Officer, Mark Dallas, was on duty at Dixon High School, when he heard several shots fired near the school auditorium, which was occupied by students preparing to take part in a graduation ceremony rehearsal. Officer Dallas rushed to the area and confronted the suspect.  Officer Dallas pursued the suspect on foot after the suspect fled out of the high school.  During the foot pursuit, the suspect fired several rounds at Officer Dallas.  Officer Dallas returned fire striking the suspect; the suspect was taken into custody at that time.  No other students, faculty, or officers were injured.

The suspect has been identified as Matthew A. Milby, 19, of Dixon, Illinois. Milby is currently being treated at a local area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  The Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office has approved three charges of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Class X Felonies, with a $2 million bond, against Milby. The investigation is still open and ongoing, and more charges may be filed in the near future. Milby is currently under 24 hour surveillance, and will be transported to jail upon his release from the hospital.

New IDOT Safety Campaign Asks: Life or Death?

The Illinois Department of Transportation this week announced the debut of a multimedia safety campaign that asks the public to make a choice: Life or Death.


“Illinois is facing a crisis with more than 1,000 deaths on our roads each of the last two years. The sad fact is almost all of these deaths are avoidable,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “The Life or Death campaign is a step in the right direction toward getting people to think about how the decisions they make in their day-to-day lives have deadly consequences.”

The new Life or Death campaign relies on a simple, direct approach. Using a single scene and key statistics, audiences are asked to stop and consider the seriousness of the issues on the state’s roads and how their actions play a role.


For the first time, an IDOT safety campaign will focus on prominent issues beyond the ongoing problems of impaired driving and unbuckled motorists. New messages and materials are being developed and aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities associated with motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, work zones and distracted driving.


Life or Death will run throughout the year on various media, including digital billboards, social media and online platforms, as well as traditional radio and TV safety messages. Central to the campaign is a new website, www.lifeordeathillinois.com, which will provide printable educational materials and links for the public to share their own Life or Death stories.


Life or Death was developed and produced on location in Illinois using actors and law enforcement from Illinois.


The effort is made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by IDOT.

Swanson passes Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) has seen his “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law” pass out of the Illinois Senate which will allow physicians to prescribe more aggressive treatment for Lyme Disease without the fear of disciplinary action.


“After local families reported these problems to me with treatment of Lyme Disease, I felt compelled to act on behalf of my constituents,” said Rep. Swanson.  “The Russell’s family story is just one of many by those effected by Chronic Lyme Disease.”


House Bill 4515 was inspired by Lauryn Russell, a 12-year-old student from Mercer County, who has Lyme Disease and has had to seek treatment out of state due to potential disciplinary action that could be taken against her Illinois physician for treating Lauryn’s post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) or Chronic Lyme Disease. 


Advocates for Lyme Disease sufferers say the current recommended treatment of the disease, 10 to 21 days of antibiotics, is insufficient for people with advanced or chronic levels of the disease.  Nine states have enacted similar legislation including: Iowa, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Virginia.


The bill was approved in the Illinois House on a vote of 103-2 and one member voting present.   The Senate vote this week was a unanimous 56-0.   The bill will now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

IRS on People to People

IRS Agent Michael Devine is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 17

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Salvation Army On Tuned IN

SA Director Linda Bolls is the guest

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Women's Health Week Observed This Week

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announces that this week is observed as National Women's Health Week, May 13-19, 2018.
    RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion, states, "The goal of Women's Health Week is to empower women to make their health a priority.  National Women's Health Week also serves as a time to help women understand what it means to be well."
    Tucker adds, "Next week, as we celebrate National Women's Health Week, we will also focus on what it means to be a well woman.  The fact is it's really a state of mind.  It's being healthy as you can be.  And, most importantly, it's about takings steps to improve your physical and mental health.  Important steps include:"
* Getting at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week.
* Eating a nutritious diet.  Eat mainly fruits and vegetables; grains (at least half should be whole grains); fat-free or lowfat milk and dairy products; fish, skinless poultry and lean red meats; and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
* Visiting a health care professional for regular checkups and preventative screenings.
* Paying attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
* Avoiding unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
    During Women's Health Week, the Health Department hopes to raise awareness of the Health Department's Women's Health Services.  The Department's clinic offers area women such services as annual exams, pap smears, pregnancy testing, contraceptive counseling and supplies, clinical breast exams, fasting blood profiles, and immunizations.  Payment for Department services include medicaid, some insurances, and a sliding fee scale based on client income.
    To find out more about the Health Department's health services for women call the Department at (309) 852-5272 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter.

Senior Center Offers Trips To The Public

The Henry County Senior Citizens Center in Kewanee has a bus trip set to see the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, June 8th.
Senior Center Director Cassandra Schmoll says they still have tickets available for that trip…
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Ms. Schmoll adds that there are other trips on the schedule for later this year…
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Free Concert Saturday In Galva


The Galva Arts Council is pleased to announce an opening concert to the Levitt Concert Series on May 19. This concert will begin with a Vendor Fair from 1-6. Galva Ready, Set, Grow will offer dinner from 4:30 – 6. Snazzy’s Lemonade and Uncle Nolan’s Diner will have food available during the concert. The Concert begins at 6 with Harvest Sons followed by The peOple at 7.

Harvest Sons is a Peoria-based folk-country band. The band put out some demo songs and began playing regional venues 2 years ago. Harvest Sons is now gearing up to take their show on the road. The influence of Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, John Prine, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff, and so many others can be heard in their music. The band features Seth Cocquit, Nik Grafelman, Andrew Greiner, Nolan Peterson and Nathan Glaser and is one of the most original acts around; from ripping fiddle solos to guitar solos that are reminiscent of a new take on country, classic rock, roots music and bluegrass. Learn more at https://www.harvestsons.com/

The peOple is an acoustic folk-country duo created by Nashville recording artist Brooke Byam and folk-troubadour Marques Morel. The peOple feature original music and re-interpretations of old favorites. Marques Morel gets inspiration from Woody Guthrie, Andrew Jacob Holm, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, and John Lee Hooker. Brooke Byam began singing Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline songs at the age of 3. She later discovered a passion for song writing as well. At the early age of sixteen, one of her songs made it into a 20th Century Fox movie, in which Brooke had the opportunity to perform her song on the silver screen.  Her journey eventually led her here to Nashville, TN. It was in Nashville that Brooke's talents really began to shine. She has had the opportunity to perform with Nashville's finest musicians. Learn more at https://musicthepeople.com/bio.

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, bug repellent, and “dancing shoes” to Wiley Park on May 19 for our opening concert. The Galva Arts Council is using this opening concert as a trial run to make sure everything runs smoothly during the main concert series. The Arts Council welcomes any feedback, good or bad, so we can make improvements in the future. If you are interested in being a vendor or volunteer at any of the concerts, let the Arts Council know at john.r.taylor@gmail.com or 563-293-6986.

Levitt AMP Galva Concert Series is a FREE ten week summer concert series coming to Wiley Park sponsored by the Levitt Foundation and funded by our community.  The Levitt AMP Grant Awards is an exciting matching grant competition created in 2014 by the Levitt Foundation to bring the power of free, live music to small and mid-sized towns and cities.

The Galva Arts Council has been dedicated to bringing people together to promote and participate in the arts.  A network of volunteers brings a passion for sharing talents with the local community and sponsoring events.

ISP Arrest Suspect In Dixon School Shooting

 Illinois State Police (ISP) officials are announcing charges against Matthew A. Milby, 19, of Dixon, Illinois, for his involvement in a shooting which occurred at approximately 8:06 a.m., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Dixon High School.

On May 16, 2018, ISP- Zone 2 was requested by the Dixon Police Department to conduct an independent investigation into a shooting which occurred at Dixon High School. Through their investigation ISP- Zone 2 Agents discovered that at approximately 8:06 a.m., on May 16, 2018, Dixon Police Department, and Dixon High School Resource Officer, Mark Dallas, was on duty at Dixon High School, when he heard several shots fired near the school auditorium, which was occupied by students preparing to take part in a graduation ceremony rehearsal. Officer Dallas rushed to the area and confronted the suspect.  Officer Dallas pursued the suspect on foot after the suspect fled out of the high school.  During the foot pursuit, the suspect fired several rounds at Officer Dallas.  Officer Dallas returned fire striking the suspect; the suspect was taken into custody at that time.  No other students, faculty, or officers were injured.
The suspect has been identified as Matthew A. Milby, 19, of Dixon, Illinois. Milby is currently being treated at a local area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  The Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office has approved three charges of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Class X Felonies, with a $2 million bond, against Milby. The investigation is still open and ongoing, and more charges may be filed in the near future. Milby is currently under 24 hour surveillance, and will be transported to jail upon his release from the hospital.

Political icon Topinka remembered in new book written by son

Joseph Baar Topinka, the son of the late Illinois Comptroller and Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, is reflecting on her life in a new book. Joseph says the book "Just Judy" profiles her efforts to break the political glass ceiling and build bipartisanship, while showing a strong independent streak.......
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The book offers a dark chapter, looking back on Topinka's unsuccessful race for Governor against Rod Blagojevich....
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More information on the book, which is available in paperback and e-book formats, can be found at JudyBaarTopinka-dot-org.

Stark County School District on People to People

District 100 Supt of Schools Mr. Jerry Klooster and Elementary Principal Mrs. Jenna Bibb are the guests

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 16

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Kewanee Farmers Markets On Tuned IN

Diane DeMay and Mary Ann Dybdal are the guests

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Remainder of May weather should be "normal"

Weather in a word for the remainder of May—“normal.” That assessment from meteorologist Eric Schmidt from EJS Weather in Newton, Illinois.
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And Schmidt says the weather models indicate that the rest of May should stay away from any extremes—whether that be excessively cold or hot temperatures. 

School Shooting In Dixon Wednesday Morning

Update @ 2:30pm


The suspect, identified as Matt Milby is in police custody with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the shoulder by the resource officer, who is being identified as Mark Dallas by student witnesses.




A 19-year-old former Dixon High student is in custody with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the shoulder after bringing a gun to the school this morning.

The man shot at school resource officer Mark Dallas, who returned fire around 8 o’clock this morning according to Sheriff John Simonton.

The shooting happened in the gym, where seniors, whose last day of school was Friday, were gathered for graduation practice, City Administrator Danny Langloss said.
The officer was not injured, nor was anyone else except the suspect.
Dixon Police believe that the suspect acted alone and that there is no further threat to the safety of students or staff.

"We're lucky the officer was there. His brave actions saved a lot of lives," said Langloss, whose daughter was among the seniors in the gym.

All Dixon schools are on lockdown while the investigation proceeds. Peoria Avenue is closed.
Dixon High parents were allowed to pick their children up at the baseball field at Page Park with an ID.
Further information will be released as it becomes available. 

IL State Fair To Host Corn Dog Kick Off

 Live music, free giveaways, and much more can be found at the inaugural Corn Dog Kickoff, hosted by the Illinois State Fair.  The June 9th event is being hailed as a kickoff to summer party with a focus on the upcoming Illinois State Fair.  The Corn Dog Kickoff will be staged at The Shed and Lincoln Stage, located on the east side of the Illinois State Fairgrounds along Central Avenue.
This free community event will be held from 9 am – 3 pm.  In addition to live music, your first taste of fair food, free giveaways, and fun activities, the Illinois State Fair Box Office will also be open that day from 9 am – 1 pm.  Attendees can purchase tickets to the fair’s Grandstand Summer Concert Series or our exclusive Stage Side pre-concert parties.
The Midwest’s most powerful up-and-coming band, Broseph, will be performing at the Corn Dog Kickoff from 12:00-2:30 p.m. on the Lincoln Stage.  Broseph hails from central Illinois, but made the move to Nashville where they frequently play at the Wildhorse Saloon and have had the opportunity to write with the some of the best in the industry. They recently opened for Steven Tyler, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, and more!  Their newest EP, “Let’s Do This” is sure to have something for everyone as Broseph’s influences range from Def Leppard to Shania Twain and Fall Out Boy to Nelly!
“With school out for the summer, many families will be looking for family friendly summer vacation ideas, and that’s what we offer here at the Illinois State Fair,” said Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.
“The purpose of the Corn Dog Kickoff is to introduce the community to the fun that can be had at our state and county fairs.  We have a great fair planned for our state’s bicentennial year.  With just 60-days until the start of the fair, now is the perfect time to give the community its first taste of this annual summer tradition.”
Also new this year, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation will be hosting a 5K run and 3K walk in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair Corn Dog Kickoff.  The races will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Shed.  The route, which is contained on the state fairgrounds, will take participants on the world’s fastest dirt track, through Conservation World, across Happy Hollow, and more before ending back at The Shed.  Registration is currently underway and costs $25 per race with a free t-shirt for those who sign up before May 23rd.  100% of the proceeds from the race will benefit the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation.  Registration can be done online: https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=129995
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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Osteoporosis Month

     The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note, Did you know that two million broken bones occur every year in the U.S. due to osteoporosis? It’s true, but most people get their fracture fixed without ever realizing they have osteoporosis or low bone mass.  Join the Health Departments and the National Osteoporosis Foundation, in celebrating National Osteoporosis Month this May by taking action to Break Free from Osteoporosis. Break Free from Osteoporosis is a campaign that encourages everyone to get to know their risk factors for osteoporosis and make the lifestyle changes needed to build strong bones for life.


     Here are some important facts about osteoporosis:


• Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that makes a person’s bones weak and more likely to break. Approximately 9 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 43 million have low bone density, placing them at increased risk.


• This means that nearly 60% of adults age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health.


• One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. For women, the incidence is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.


• There is no cure for osteoporosis, but there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. Diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle are keys to preventing and managing the disease.


     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Department, notes “The Health Department and the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends five steps to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis.”


1. Get the calcium and vitamin D you need every day.

2. Do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.

3. Don’t smoke and don’t drink too much alcohol.

4. Talk to your healthcare provider about your chance of getting osteoporosis and ask when you should have a bone density test.

5. Take an osteoporosis medication when it’s right for you.

     Bone density checks are available at the Health Department’s main office, Route 78 South, Kewanee by appointment.  For more information about our bone density checks or any of our women’s health services or to schedule an appointment, just call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or you can find us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.

Kewanee City Info

The City of Kewanee along with the Hog Festival Committee and other concerned groups have been able to come to a solution for the downtown electrical grid that provides power for the various festivals and celebrations in the downtown area.
Kewanee City Manager Mr. Gary Bradley says the plans are in place that will likely be a permanent solution…
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The City and the Hog Festival Committee had looked at other methods for power delivery and most of the proposals were quite expensive.
Mr. Bradley said those possibilities were expensive for everyone involved…
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City Council this week also passed a resolution committing $364,000 in funding for the street program for this year and Mr. Bradley says citizens will seek that work taking place much earlier this year…
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Abilities Plus Offers One Year Scholarships

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

To be considered for the scholarships, applicants must complete and submit an application form by May 31, 2018.  Those selected for funding will be notified by July 1, 2018 of the selection committee’s decision.  Funded services will be available from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

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

Congressman Davis Continues To Be Critical of Democrats in Farm Bill Process

Central Illinois Republican Congressman Davis continues to be critical of his colleagues across the aisle in the process of crafting a new farm bill.

Democrats say they were not invited into the process while Republicans contend Democrats had no intention of being involved.

Davis continues his criticism of his colleagues' objection to measures that would help those on government benefits programs get into the workforce.

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Davis hopes the bill gets to the House floor by the end of the month so it can be sent to the Senate. The next step will be a conference committee that will likely craft the bill in its final form. 

Another Crack at Licensing Gun Dealers

Lawmakers are taking another go at licensing gun dealers. A new proposal works to address concerns about the added government regulation. The previous bill was vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner and now Democrat State Senator Don Trotter says this bill should appease concerns about how small businesses would comply with the law.

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Some of the regulations in the bill include making sure gun inventory is secure and the stores have video surveillance. It would also place restrictions on private sales. 


Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander, Captain Jason Dickey, announces the results of Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols (OREP) held in Henry County during May. These OREPs provided extra patrol coverage for the ISP so officers could focus on saving lives by making sure all vehicle occupants were buckled up.


Violations  Enforcement Activity
Safety Belt Citations  14
Child Restraint Citations  1
Total Citations  21
Total Written Warnings  14


Most motorists know safety belts save lives, but some ignore their safety and that of their families by
neglecting to use safety belts and child restraint devices. These patrols reinforce the occupant
protection message by focusing on those who ignore the law. Lives can be saved if people simply
“buckle up!” This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

City of Kewanee on People to People

City Manager Gary Bradley is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 15

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Stark County Farm Bureau on Tuned IN

SCFB Manager Anna Emm is the guest

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Tax Filing Deadline Today For Certain Non Profits

 The Internal Revenue Service reminded certain tax-exempt organizations that the Tuesday, May 15 filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns is fast approaching.


Form 990-series information returns and notices are normally due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax-year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making May 15, 2018 the deadline to file for 2017.


No Social Security numbers on Forms 990

The IRS generally does not ask organizations for Social Security Numbers and cautions filers not to provide them on Form 990. By law, both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are required to publicly disclose most parts of Form 990 filings, including schedules and attachments. Public release of SSNs and other personally identifiable information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to identity theft. More information on this can be found in the “general instructions” section of the Instructions for Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

The IRS also urges tax-exempt organizations to file forms electronically to reduce the risk of inadvertently including SSNs or other unnecessary personal information. Electronic filing also provides acknowledgement that the IRS has received the return and reduces normal processing time, making compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements easier.

Tax-exempt forms that must be made public by the IRS are clearly marked “Open to Public Inspection” in the top right corner of the first page. These include Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-PF and others.

Forms to file

Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called a Form 990-N (e-Postcard). This form requires only a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempt organizations with average annual gross receipts above $50,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ, depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations must file Form 990-PF.


Organizations that need additional time to file a Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF may obtain an automatic six-month extension. Use Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return, to request an extension. The request must be filed by the due date of the return. Note that no extension is available for filing the Form 990-N (e-Postcard).


Many organizations risk loss of tax-exempt status

By law, organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third year for which they are required to file an annual report. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempt organizations file annual Form 990-series information returns or notices with the IRS. The law, which went into effect at the beginning of 2007, also imposed a new annual filing requirement for small organizations. Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.

Check tax-exempt status online

The IRS publishes a list of organizations identified as having automatically lost tax-exempt status for failing to file annual reports for three consecutive years. Organizations that have had their exemptions automatically revoked can apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status and pay the appropriate user fee.


The IRS now offers an enhanced, mobile friendly search tool, called Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS). TEOS provides easy access to publicly available information about exempt organizations. Users can find key information about the federal tax status and filings of certain tax-exempt organizations, including whether organizations have had their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked and if an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Garden Club Plant Sale On Saturday

The Garden Club of Kewanee will host their annual Plant Sale this coming Saturday, May 15th from 7-10 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Kewanee.
Claudia Buchanan is the President of the Garden Club and she says it’s always a fun event…
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Ms. Buchanan says the plants will come in different stages of growth…
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As many people recall, the plant sale is usually held earlier in the month of May but the late start to the growing season pushed the date back and in the process also created the need for a new location for the sale…
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Customers are urged to bring cash for their purchase and Ms. Buchanan says the prices are very convenient…
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City Council Meeting

Kewanee City Council met last night and addressed several items of business.
Mayor Steve Looney says one of those items was an agreement with Ameren IL relative to power in the downtown area…
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Mayor Looney also commented about the street program for this year and while there will be a number of streets that don’t receive attention this year, there is some good news to pass along…
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Gov Rauner Proposes Harsh Penalties For Certain Offenders

 Gov. Bruce Rauner today asked the Illinois General Assembly to reinstate the death penalty for mass murderers and those who kill law enforcement officers.


The proposal is part of a precedent-setting public safety initiative that the Governor unveiled in an amendatory veto (AV) of House Bill 1468 which also urges legislators to:

Extend the 72-hour waiting period for delivery of all gun purchases in Illinois.
Ban bump stocks and trigger cranks.
Authorize restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals.
Make judges and prosecutors more accountable by making them explain – on the record – why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases.
Free up local revenue to hire resource officers and mental health workers to help intervene and prevent student violence before it occurs.

“Gun violence has rocked the nation and our state,” Rauner said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan approach to the problem that will help ensure the safety and security of our children, our peacekeepers, our families, and our communities in Illinois.”


“Few crimes are more heinous than purposeful killings of children and peacekeepers,” Rauner said. “We didn’t propose the death penalty lightly. We had to balance the need for safety and, in the end, we wanted to make it abundantly clear we have no tolerance for such atrocities in Illinois.”


Rauner’s changes to HB 1468 create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder.” It would apply to offenders 18 and over that prosecutors charge with killing peace officers or two or more people without lawful justification.


Guilt beyond all doubt


Defendants would be tried using a higher standard for determining guilt. Death penalty murder suspects would have to be convicted by juries “beyond all doubt,” not just “beyond a reasonable doubt” required for guilty findings of other criminal offenses.


Appeals courts would have to apply the same standard and conduct an independent review of the evidence with no deference paid to a jury’s decision.


“We want to raise the standard because we recognize legitimate concerns about the death penalty,” Rauner said. “We are intent on avoiding wrongful convictions and the injustice of inconsistency.”


72-hour wait for all guns, not just hand guns


In the AV of HB 1468, the Governor extended the 72-hour waiting period to the delivery of all guns sold in Illinois, not just certain types of guns. Current Illinois law applies the waiting period only to handguns.


“In the case of school or other mass shooters, a 72-hour waiting period may provide just enough time for law enforcement or school officials to detect danger and take action to prevent delivery of a firearm. In the case of someone who is suicidal, that time could mean the difference between life and death,” Rauner said.


Bump stock, trigger crank bans


The AV also reiterated the Governor’s support for a ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks. “These accessories that in the wrong hands can be used to assemble weapons of mass destruction,” Rauner said. The language he suggested is identical to Senate Bill 2343, which has not yet moved in the legislature.


Public safety and legal experts agree these accessories are not firearms, so the ban is not an infringement of 2nd Amendment gun rights.


Disarm the dangerous: Gun Violence Restraining Orders

The Governor’s AV includes a Gun Violence Restraining Order Act to more quickly disarm those who are a danger to themselves and others. It is a reasonable balance between the Second amendment and other rights of gun owners and the public interest in preventing gun violence.

An emergency order, triggered by family or law enforcement could prohibit gun possession for 14 days with probable cause. A search warrant to seize owned firearms could be initiated only by law enforcement based on probable cause. A six-month order prohibiting possession of a firearm could be entered only after a full hearing based on clear and convincing evidence of danger.

“We need a streamlined mechanism to allow family members and others to flag the need to remove firearms from the hands of people who pose an immediate and present threat to the public or themselves,” Rauner said.

“At the same time, we must protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and ensure speedy resolution of the issue requiring clear and convincing evidence,” Rauner said.

“Catch and release” transparency

The AV asks the General Assembly to pass a Gun Crime Charging and Sentencing Accountability and Transparency Act. Rauner believes citizens, particularly victims and victims’ families, ought to know why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases.


The Act requires prosecutors and judges to clearly state – for the record – the rationale for plea agreements, especially those that result in the release of habitual gun offenders. “We deserve to know how violent offenders are allowed back on our streets,” Rauner said.


School Safety: new resources to protect students

Finally, Rauner’s AV amends the County School Facilities Sales Tax statute to let school authorities use the revenue to hire school resource officers or mental health workers based on local determinations of need. It is drawn from the Governor’s Terrorism Task Force and has been favorably received by the Legislative Public Safety Working Group. The Working Group continues to meet and is expected to deliver additional recommendations.

“This is the kind of bipartisan public safety discretion that voters ought to have,” Rauner said. “This use of this sales tax revenue, provided it is approved by referendum, is a sensible step toward providing adequate security for our schools and giving more local control to our communities.”


More on Governor’s public safety initiatives

Rauner’s public safety package includes other substantive proposals that cover interstate gun trafficking countermeasures, increased state trooper deployments, and additional threat precautions and deterrents for Illinois schools.  The latter includes formation of regional threat assessment teams to help “harden” potential targets.

The package fulfills the Governor’s pledge to deliver a comprehensive public safety package as a response to the mass killings in Parkland, FL, last winter.


Rauner Calls For Death Penalty In Illinois

The Governor today says he wants to reinstate the death penalty. The proposal is part of an amendatory veto focused around a gun bill. Rauner wants mass murderers and anyone who kills a law enforcement officer to be able to face capital punishment.

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Rauner also wants to place a 72 hour waiting period for purchases of any type of gun, ban bump stocks and have a plan to authorize restraining orders to disarm violent individuals. Rauner calls it a thoughtful proposal. And it now heads to the house for consideration. 

Social Security Promoting Spring Check-In

Doing a spring check-in of your Social Security position continues to be a good idea.

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Social Security’s Jack Myers says catching problems early is important and having documentation remains key to resolving any issues.

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One final area to take a look at would be estimating benefits. Myers encourages doing this each year. More information is available at socialsecurity.gov where you can also create a My Social Security account. 

Garden Club of Kewanee On People to People

Garden Club President Claudia Buchanan is the guest

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OSF On Tuned IN

Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Governor Rauner Announces Public Infrastructure Grant Recipients

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the recipients of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Public Infrastructure. Thirty-six communities across the state will receive federal funds totalling $14.5 million.
“Public infrastructure is important not only for the day-to-day function of Illinoisans, but to bolster growth and economic development within a community,” said Governor Rauner. “These grant dollars will be used for projects such as water, sanitary and sewer system improvements that will greatly support our low-income communities and attract more opportunities for residents.”
CDBG recipients:
Alexander County
Village of Thebes - $208,650 - Water treatment plant improvements
Bond County
Village of Sorento - $500,000 - Construction of new elevated water storage tank
Bureau County
Village of DePue - $288,104 - Replace the current Princeton Street booster station
City of Princeton - $500,000 - Sanitary sewer line replacement
Christian County
Village of Morrisonville - $500,000 - Sanitary sewer improvements
Village of Mount Auburn - $500,000 - Proposed water system improvements
Coles County
Village of Ashmore - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Cumberland County
Village of Greenup - $170,000 - New water main distribution and appurtenances
Cottonwood Township - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Edgar County
Hunter Township - $185,000 - Water distribution improvements
Effingham County
Village of Watson - $103,425 - Sanitary sewer improvements
Watson Township - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
City of Effingham - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Fayette County
City of St. Elmo - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Village of Ramsey - $500,000 - Sanitary sewer improvements
Fayette County - $500,000 - New water main distribution and appurtenances
Franklin County
Village of Royalton - $500,000 - Improvements to existing sewage treatment plant
Hancock County
City of LaHarpe - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Iroquois County
Village of Loda - $500,000 - Construction of new elevated water storage tank
Jasper County
Village of Willow Hill - $144,900 - Replace a lift station and upgrade sewer lagoon
Jo Daviess County
Village of Stockton - $453,700 - Water distribution improvements
Knox County
City of Abingdon- $500,000 - Sanitary sewer improvements
LaSalle County
City of LaSalle - $500,000 - Separate storm sewer flows
Lawrence County
City of Bridgeport - $500,000 - Sanitary sewer improvements
Macon County
Village of Niantic - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Massac County
Massac County - $199,890 - New water lines to the Southland Subdivision
Mercer County
Village of Joy - $500,000 - Construction of new elevated water storage tank
Montgomery County
Audubon Township - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Morgan County
Village of Chapin - $483,600 - Replace existing wastewater lagoon aeration system
Putman County
Village of Standard - $81,500 - New storm water pumping station
Shelby County
Clarksburg Township - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Warren County
City of Monmouth - $500,000 - Water distribution improvements
Wayne County
Big Mound Township - $111,018 - Install new rural waterlines and connect homes
White County
City of Carmi - $90,387 - New lift station, and replacement of sewer line
Williamson County
City of Carterville - $500,000 - Water system improvements
Winnebago County
Village of Durand - $500,000 - Potable water well improvements

BHC Commencement Ceremonies Coming Up May 17, May 18


Black Hawk College will host commencement ceremonies Thursday, May 17 in Moline and Friday, May 18 in Kewanee.

Tickets are not needed to attend either commencement ceremony. Parking is free. Both commencement venues are handicapped accessible. There will be a sign language interpreter at both ceremonies.

Quad-Cities Campus Commencement

The Quad-Cities Campus Commencement Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17 at the TaxSlayer Center in downtown Moline, 1201 River Drive.

Before the ceremony, flowers will be for sale in the lobby.

After the ceremony, family and friends are invited to attend the on-site reception honoring graduates.

 East Campus Commencement

The East Campus Commencement Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18 at the Kewanee National Guard Armory in downtown Kewanee, 111 N. East St.

After the ceremony, family and friends are invited to attend the on-site reception honoring graduates.

 For more information, visit www.bhc.edu/graduation.

Amber Alerts For Veterans

There are Amber Alerts to find missing children and Silver Alerts for seniors. Earlier this year, Wisconsin become the first state to issue an alert for vulnerable veterans….now Illinois wants to follow suit.
SB2278, sponsored by State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha amends the Missing Person Identification Act to add veterans suffering a physical or mental health conditions that is related to their service to definition of a high risk missing person.
The measure was approved in the House Veterans Affairs Committee last week and is now headed to the full House for consideration…

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Haley Haverback New Extension Outreach Associate


Haley Haverback of Atkinson, IL will be the new Illinois Extension Watershed Outreach Associate.  She is graduating this May from the University of Illinois College of ACES with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Leadership Education and a minor in Food and Agricultural Business Management. She also has an Associates Degree in Science from Black Hawk College. Haley will coordinate and deliver programs relating to the nitrogen watershed of the Mississippi Central/Henderson Creek Watershed and Lower Rock River Watershed, both nitrogen priority watersheds as outlined in the Illinois Nutrient Management Plan. She will work both for the Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark unit as well as across the state in collaboration with campus based specialists and other faculty. This position is funded by the State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Bureau of Water. Haley will work with Illinois farmers, landowners and farm operators to implement best management practices (BMPs) that reduce agricultural nutrient losses. She will work with the agricultural water quality science team in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES).  You can reach Haley starting on May 21st  at the Henry/Stark County Extension office, 358 Front Street, Galva, IL 61434, by calling (309) 932-3447 or by email athmh2@illinois.edu.

Missing Persons Event Next Saturday

An event is being planned for next Saturday with the intent of finding missing persons. On May 19th from 10am-8pm, family of those who have disappeared are encouraged to come to either St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, or the Jennings State Office Building in Jennings, Missouri, to talk to law enforcement professionals about their cases.

Illinois State Police Lieutenant Abby Keller says they are encouraging anyone with a missing loved one to come to this event, even if a missing person's report has already been filed.

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Those attending are asked to bring any ID photos, X-Rays, dental records, or other identifying documents of the missing person. Biological family members will have an opportunity to provide DNA on site on behalf of their loved one. For more information, call 618-489-2005, or go to


ERA Vote Waiting in House

A vote will have to wait on the Equal Rights amendment in the Illinois House. The Senate has voted to ratify the much delayed constitutional amendment but the House hasn’t taken the measure up yet. Listen Here

The time to ratify the amendment was decades ago but supporters of the process hope that if enough states vote in favor then Congress will extend the window to approve it. 

The Bravest Honored This Week

The State’s bravest were honored this week at the Illinois State House. At the 25th annual Firefighter Memorial Ceremony a pair of men were remembered. Mike Cummins was a firefighter from Homer, he died after returning from a call in February and Lawrence Matthews from Dolton died after fighting a mobile home fire. Secretary of State Jesse White says one word comes to mind when he thinks of people in the fire service.

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The names of the fallen fire fighters will be added to the states’ fire fighter memorial on the grounds of the state capitol.

Garden Planting Season Here

The weather has finally turned and horticulture enthusiasts are now able to get out in their gardens and get planting. Master gardener at the University of Illinois Extension office, Candice Hart says the biggest question they seem to get this time of year is when can those warm-season vegetables go in? Hart indicates it's probably safe now, just be aware of the weather forecast.

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No-till gardening has taken off in recent years, but Hart says unless you're trying to improve your soil, it isn't always necessary.

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Your local University of Illinois Extension office serves as a great resource for planting questions. 

Kewanee Food Pantry On Tuned IN

Pantry Director Lisa Janey is the guest

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KHS Graduation On Sunday

Graduation for Kewanee High School students will be held on Sunday afternoon at H.F. Brockman gymnasium.

Kewanee High School Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says it’s an annual event that is always special and exciting…

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Mr. Bryan says it’s a great senior class with several outstanding students that deserve special recognition…

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Mr. Bryan says there is lots of parking for visitors but best to get there as early as possible…

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Greeting Card Workshop at the Steeple Building



On Saturday May 19th, Pastor Trish will be conducting a greeting card workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Steeple Building Museum in Bishop Hill, Illinois.  Pastor Trish has years of experience making unique, handmade greeting cards of all styles, shapes, and colors.  Participants will hand-craft three greeting cards during their workshop session.  Space for the workshop will be limited to 15 people.  The cost is $15 per person, with all proceeds benefiting the Bishop Hill Heritage Association.  All card supplies will be provided.  To reserve your spot, call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net


This workshop is hosted by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association.  The Steeple Building Museum is located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street, on the east side of the village park.  Come early and enjoy the town wide Quilt Show.  Please check out www.bishophillheritage.org for more information about the Quilt Show and other Bishop Hill events.

Mental Health Group To Meet On May 15

     The Henry and Stark County Health Department, the Stark County Citizen's Mental Health Task Force, and the Henry County Mental Health Alliance ask, “Are you or someone you love experiencing mental illness?  You are not alone. Experience the power of giving and receiving support.”


    The Henry County Mental Health Alliance invites you to attend the one of the two support group meetings they will be holding each month:



For friends and family of people with mental illness.



          For those personally struggling with mental illness.


    Both groups will meet on Tuesday, May 15th 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 come to an evening of sharing, support, new knowledge and new skills.  Join others living with similar obstacles to share your stories, offer encouragement, and lend your support.”


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

Summer Theatre Auditions

The Kewanee Park District Summer Community Theatre will present auditions for two plays that will run concurrently later this summer.
Ellen Johnson is the Director for the plays once again this year and she says auditions will be held at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School…
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Miss Johnson is ideally looking for cast members who can get a bit funny and silly and have fun on stage…
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With the weekend of the plays in July and a fair amount of rehearsal, there is a bit of a time commitment for those involved in the play…
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Further information at kewaneetheatre.com

Hydrant Repair In Kewanee Today

Effective Friday, May 11, 2018, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a hydrant repair and water shut-off with a boil order to follow.  The work scheduled will affect 624 Page Street, all of Valley Road, and all of Hillside Drive.  Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m. Friday, weather permitting and no other emergencies occurring.

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

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

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

Kewanee Police Chief on People to People

Police Chief Troy Ainley is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Kewanee Public Library on Tuned IN

KPL Children's Librarian Sara Billiet is the guest

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As of 3:58pm That section of Interstate was finally reopened 


Offiical Illinois State Police Release as of 10:51 am


At approximately 7:40 am this morning A Truck Tractor with a Semi Trailer was entering onto Interstate 80 west at Annawan. The Truck Tractor with a Semi Trailer  failed to yield and struck the back right side of A Truck Tractor Hauling Double Bottoms (Two Trailers) stopped on the right shoulder and caught fire. The Driver of Truck Tractor Hauling Double Bottoms (Two Trailers) received fatal injuries.


The west bound lanes have been shut down. Traffic is currently being diverted off Interstate 80 West at Annawan to US 6 to Atkinson and back onto the interstate. Please avoid this area if possible.


As of 9:33am 

I-80 is still closed Traffic is still being re-routed to route 6. Avoid these areas if at all possible.


As of 8:46

Two Semi's are on Fire Geneseo Mutual aid Colona Hazemat is in Route. 


As of 08:03 am 

Emergency personnel are responding to a reported multiple commercial vehicle fire  crash resulting in fire on I-80 west bound at Mile Marker 33 (Annawan).


Expect I-80 traffic to be detoured off of Interstate 80 at Annawan to US Route 6 and back on at Atkinson.


**Check back for more up to date info as we recieve it

Letter Carriers Food Drive On Saturday

The annual Letter Carriers Food Drive will be held this coming Saturday, May 12th in Kewanee.

As always, the donated food items will be forwarded to the Kewanee Food Pantry and last year, the effort raised just over 10,000 pounds of food.

Kasey Simmons is the Post Master at our Kewanee Post Office and she says it will be a busy and yet rewarding day on Saturday…

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Kathy Duncan is one of the many letter carriers involved in the food drive and she says they will start right around 8:30 on Saturday morning and donations should be placed out near the mail box early in the morning…

listen here

Residents are also reminded to keep their dogs away from the mail box as several younger volunteers will be helping to collect the food items on Saturday.  

Monmouth College Graduation Set For May 13

Two area residents will make history at Monmouth College when the national liberal arts college holds its 161st commencement on May 13. The two area residents will be among the first graduates of the College's innovative Global Public Health triad.The students are:

· Liz Hippen, a biopsychology major from Toulon, Ill.;

· and Sarah Mills, a biology and Spanish major from Peoria, Ill.

Monmouth's Global Public Health Triad -- a minor that integrates the disciplines of kinesiology, modern languages and psychology -- develops students' knowledge of a variety of approaches to understanding and improving health, from an individual level to an international level.

Global Public Health students participate in either an internship focused on health or a study-abroad program focused on health, both of which deepen their understanding of specific issues and also provide preparation for a career or graduate school.

Monmouth will award diplomas to more than 260 graduates at its 161st commencement, to be held at noon May 13 on the Wallace Hall Plaza. National Book Award finalist Min Jin Lee will deliver the commencement address.

Wethersfield School Board Meets Tonight



Wethersfield Community Unit School District No. 230

Superintendent’s Office – Blish Building

439 Willard Street – Kewanee, Illinois 61443


May 10, 2018 — 6:30pm


I.                CALL TO ORDER



a.    Consent Agenda

                                                   i.     Approve Minutes of April 12, 2018 Regular and Executive Session Meeting

                                                 ii.     Approve Financial Reports, Investment Report, Activity Fund Report and Bills

                                               iii.     Approve Suspensions

                                               iv.     Approve Senate Bill 7 Job Categories for 2018-2019

                                                 v.     Approve Junior High and High School Master Schedule and Bell Schedule for 2018-2019

                                               vi.     Acknowledge Freedom of Information Act Receipt and Response

b.    Correspondence

c.     Comments From Visitors

d.    Board Member Reports



a.    Annual Library Report

b.    FY 18 Amended Budget

c.     Approve Resolution Cancelling July 12, 2018 Board Meeting

d.    Moss Gym Re-roofing Update

e.     Swim Team Update

f.      Other Old Business  



a.    Approve 2018-2019 School Fees

b.    Approve District Wellness Policy Update

c.     Approve Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan

d.    Approve LED Lighting Upgrades

e.     Accept Tractor/Equipment Bids

f.      Principals’ Reports

g.    Employment of Personnel (After Executive Session)

h.    Other New Business

i.      Comments From Visitors


IV.          EXECUTIVE SESSION (Employment of Personnel/Student Discipline/Individual Student Matter)



a.    Friday, May 11, 2018- Qualifying Senior’s Last Day and Senior Cookout

b.    Thursday, May 17, 2018- Qualifying 8th Grader’s Last Day

c.     Thursday, May 17, 2018- 8th Grade Promotion at 7:00pm in HS Gym

d.    Sunday, May 20, 2018- High School Graduation at 2:00pm

e.     Tuesday, May 22, 2018- 8th Grade Class Trip to Six Flags

f.      Wednesday, May 23, 2018- Last Student Attendance Day

g.    Summer Office Hours Begin- May 25, 2018

h.    All Report Cards Mailed Home- May 29, 2018       

i.      Next Board Meeting (FY 18 Amended Budget Hearing) – June 14, 2018 at 4:30pm




Players have the chance to win more than $230 million in tonight’s Powerball drawing.


The winning numbers from Saturday’s Powerball drawing were – 14 - 29 - 36 - 57 - 61 – and the Powerball number was 17. While there was no jackpot winner in Saturday night’s drawing, Illinois players won more than 25,000 prizes, ranging from $4 to $400.


The estimated jackpot for tonight’s drawing is $233 million.


Illinois residents, 18 and older, can purchase Powerball and all of the Illinois Lottery’s draw-based game tickets by using the Illinois Lottery’s mobile app. The free app (the first of its kind in the United States) is available for download on iOS and Android devices and offers any Illinois adult the chance to purchase lottery tickets on their smartphone. Players can also purchase their tickets online at illinoislottery.com and at nearly 8,000 retailers statewide.

Peoria lawmaker wants registered apprenticeship programs at local schools

A downstate lawmaker looking to offer high school students other opportunities besides college. 37th District State Senator Chuck Weaver wants to see career focused apprenticeship programs set up at local schools. That’s the push behind his Senate Bill 3226.
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The Peoria Republican’s legislation would direct the Illinois State Board of Education to establish guidelines allowing local high school students over the age of 16 to enroll in registered vocational apprenticeship programs. Also, the United States Department of Labor would have to sign off on the programs.

Weaver’s legislation has won approval in the Illinois Senate and now awaits action in the Illinois House. 

Boil Order LIfted In Kewanee


Effective Wednesday 5/9/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department boil order has been lifted for residents at 250, 306, and 321 East Street South, 431, 433, 439 and the 500 – 600 blocks of East Church Street.


Water was shut off in these areas for a hydrant repair at 306 East Street South on 5/8/18.

WKEI Open Line

Sign Ups Underway For Salvation Army Summer Camps

The Salvation Army’s Summer Camp program will be held once again this year at Eagle Crest during the months of June and July.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Kewanee Salvation Army and she says there is a wide variety of camps this year highlighted by the High Adventure Camp…

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Ms. Bolls adds that not only is there a great selection of camps, but they also are age specific as much as possible…

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Ms. Bolls also adds that registration for all of the camps is currently underway…

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Small Business Day On May 15th

Tuesday, May 15 has been designated as Small Business Day in West Central Illinois and the winners of the Fast Pitch competition will be announced.

Kathy Albert is the Director of the Kewanee Economic Development Corporation and she says this will mark the 9th year of the Fast Pitch competition…

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Ms. Albert says that each situation and each individual is different but there are some common components that generally lead to success for a small business entity…

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The public is invited to attend next Tuesday’s event at the Lake Storey Pavillion and Ms. Albert says the registration deadline has been extended…

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Mediacom To Close Geneseo Office

Mediacom Communication announced this week that it will no longer operate a walk-in customer service counter at its Geneseo office after June 8. The company-owned facility at 716 N. College Street will continue to operate as a field office for 21 local employees who are broadband and technical service specialists and managers. 


Company officials have met with Geneseo Mayor Kathy Carroll-Duda and discussed how its business decision was based on changes in the way customers contact Mediacom for service. According to Mediacom Area Operations Director Don DeMay, walk-in visits have decreased, due largely to alternative methods of service delivery. Those include Mediacom’s practice of shipping equipment directly to customer homes, and customers’ increased use of digital tools -- the company’s mobile care app and live, online chats with service representatives.


DeMay said that customers can continue to make payments using the yellow drop-box located at the City Hall. Traditionally, DeMay said, bill payment and equipment pick-up have been the two main reasons for customer visits to the Mediacom office.


“Customers now prefer the convenience of home delivery for equipment, and with the ongoing availability of the yellow drop-box for payments, we will continue to serve our customers, while we also maintain an important tech center here in the community,” DeMay said.


He also explained that while customer visits to the office have declined over several years, the company waited to make its decision on the cost-effectiveness of office operations until after the retirement of an employee who worked for 21 years as a front counter customer service representative for both Mediacom and the prior cable company.


Customers who want face-to-face contact are encouraged to visit Mediacom’s larger customer service center in Moline, located near the high school at 3900 26th Avenue. It is open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and weekdays from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm. Additionally, a new Mediacom store recently opened in Davenport at 900 W. Kimberly Road, with business hours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturdays and 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays. Mediacom operates 24/7 customer service call centers, including in Moline and Chillicothe. The toll-free phone number is: 855-633-4226.

La Leche League Meets Tonight

    The La Leche League of Henry and Stark Counties' reminds area residents that their next meeting is scheduled for this evening at 6:00 o’clock. (please note the new earlier meeting time) at OSF St. Luke Medical Center, Kewanee.  "Avoiding Obstacles of Breastfeeding" will be the evening's program.


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


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


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


    Please join La Leche this evening at 6:00 for “Avoiding Obstacles of Breastfeeding.”  Remember all mothers and their babies are welcome.  For more information call Malissa at (309) 927-3027.

Study examines where food dollar goes

A U-S Department of Agriculture Department study shows more than 85 cents of every dollar we spend on food goes to such things as transportation, processing and marketing. That leaves about 15 cents for farmers, a record low since the agency has conducted the study. Patrick Canning with U-S-D-A's Economic Research Service helped lead it and provides some details;

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When eating out, the share of each dollar we spend that goes to farmers dropped more than 10 percent, to a little more than four-cents. That’s a record-low since USDA started conducting the survey;

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Whether it be food we prepare and eat at home or on-the-run, when adjusted for inflation, farmers received on average a little over 12 cents of each dollar spent on food.

State Senate wants to cut the cord on public sector golden parachute

Lucrative golden parachutes aren't just the domain of CEOs in the private sector and Illinois Senators spoke out against the practice with one voice last week. They unanimously approved the Government Severance Pay Act, which moves the legislation to the House. Better Government Association policy director Madeleine Doubek said big payouts are seen in all corners of the public sector...
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Doubek believes recent severance payouts show the need for the legislation, which would eliminate severance packages for public employees let go because of misconduct....
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Under the legislation, severance packages for all public employees would be limited to no greater than 20 weeks compensation. The changes would only apply to future employees

Boil Order Lifted In Kewanee

Effective Tuesday 5/8/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department boil order has been lifted for residents in the following areas:

·         100 – 200 blocks of Dodge Street

·         1615 Burlington Avenue

·         1000 – 1100 blocks of Dewey Avenue

·         900 – 1100 blocks of West Mill Street

·         1000 – 1100 blocks of Knox Street

·         909 Westgate Drive

Water was shut off on 5/7/18 for hydrant repairs at Miner and West Mill Streets and at Miner and Knox Streets.  

KEDC On People to People

Kewanee Economic Development Director Kathy Albert is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Hammond Henry Hospital On Tuned IN

Julie Bauman is the guest 

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Wethersfield In Need Of New H.S. Principal

The Wethersfield School District is in need of a new High School Principal as Mr. Jeremiah Johnston has resigned his position for a new post in Colorado.

Mr. Johnston says he will moving to a school district that is a bit larger than the one he is currently serving…

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Wethersfield Supt of Schools Mr. Shane Kazubowski says the school district will be losing a good man and a good employee…

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Mr. Johnston adds that it was a tough decision to make but felt that it was time to make the move…

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Mr. Kazubowski adds that even though it will be tough to fill Mr. Johnston’s shoes, they must as a school district continue to move forward…

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Fire Hydrant Testing Begins Today In Kewanee



The City of Kewanee will continue flow testing of fire hydrants beginning Tuesday 5/8/18.  The Fire Department will be working on the project Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to noon (weather permitting) to update hydrant capacity and flow pressure data, in addition to flushing the water mains of sediment built up.  This project is expected to extend into the fall for this year.


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


Work will begin on Tuesday 5/8/18 within the blocks from East Second to Pleasant Streets, and North Main to North East Streets.  This includes all streets in between including East First, Willow, Lyle, Oak, Burr, Elm, Walnut and Grace.


These sections of hydrants are expected to start this week and should be finished by Tuesday 5/15/18.  These areas include 41 hydrants that will be checked.


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

Pheasants Forever To Host Wethersfield Students On Wednesday

Monarch butterflies, honey bees, and other pollinating insects have been declining at alarming rates. To create habitat and raise awareness, local organizations are teaming together to create habitat and educate youth about the importance of these tiny creatures.

Rock Island/Henry Co. Pheasants Forever Chapter will be putting on an educational field day for local Wethersfield High School FFA students.  This event will occur on Wednesday, May 9 at the Cook Property (8200 Timber Rd) in Kewanee, IL.  The program will occur from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Students from Wethersfield High School will learn about the importance of pollinators, what farmers can implement to promote conservation on their land and how conservation practices can prevent soil erosion.  Students will also get their hands dirty by participating in the planting of a pollinator plot on the property which will be home to not only pollinators but a variety of other wildlife.  This pollinator plot will be visible from the road and give people a chance to view how prairies go from bare soil, to weedy plot to finally a flower filled natural habitat for a wide variety of native wildlife.  

Health Dept On People to People


The OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center Annual Charity Golf Classic will be held on Monday, June 4 at Kewanee Dunes. The event begins at 11:15 a.m. with tee off at 12:30 p.m.

All proceeds support free flu immunizations offered to Kewanee, Neponset, Wethersfield and Visitation students and for a program for youth to learn the importance of healthy eating habits and how to turn play into exercise.

The $80 player fee includes lunch, 18 holes of golf with cart, and an appetizer social to follow. Players also will have a chance to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle when they hit a hole-in-one. Reiman’s Harley-Davidson is the presenting sponsor for the hole-inone hole.

A raffle for an RTIC cooler and accessories, Maui Jim sunglasses, Kate Spade purse and wallet, Callaway Rogue Driver, and additional prizes will be held at the event. Advance tickets are on sale now at the Alcove Gift Shop located within OSF Saint Luke, one for $5 or five for $20 and you need not be present to win.

Sponsorship opportunities for the golf outing are available at a variety of levels including Platinum ($2000); Gold ($1000); Silver ($500); Bronze ($200); Social ($100); and Cart ($50).

To register a foursome for the outing or to sponsor the event, call 309-852-7820.

WKEI Open Line

OSF On Tuned IN

Carrie Boelens and LIsa Salisbury are the guests

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/5-7%20t-in%20osf.mp3

Farmers And Road Safety

The planting season is well underway and with that comes the reminder to the motoring public to be aware of the various farm implements that will be out on the highway from time to time.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson says it has been his experience that the farmer, more often than not is the most safety conscious person on the road and he says a recent collision meant one farmer may not be able to use that equipment anymore this spring or at all…

listen herehttps://regionaldailynews.com/assets/files/may%207%20farmers%20safety.mp3


OSF HealthCare Named Best Employer in Illinois by Forbes



OSF HealthCare has been named one of the best employers in the country for 2018 by Forbes magazine, and was the highest ranked Illinois-based company earning the distinction.

OSF HealthCare is ranked 46th out of 500 large companies (those with 5,000+ employees). The Peoria, Illinois-based integrated health system is owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 21,000 Mission Partners (employees) in 126 locations, including 13 hospitals throughout Illinois and Michigan.

“Being recognized as number one in a state as large as Illinois with as many fine organizations is really quite rewarding,” said Bob Sehring, CEO, OSF HealthCare. “Being recognized by a national magazine such as Forbes really is confirmation of all of the hard work of our supervisors, managers, directors, VPs and above who really work every day in connecting with our Mission Partners to ensure that they are well connected to the Mission, to the work that’s at hand, that we communicate with them about strategy. So really it is a wonderful confirmation of all of the impact that that hard work as had.”

To come up with the list, Forbes partners with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked best by employees. Statista surveys 30,000 Americans working for companies with at least 1,000 employees. The surveys are anonymous and ask respondents to rank how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others on a scale of zero to 10. They were also able to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 500 large and midsize (1,000-5,000 employees) that receive the most recommendations.

OSF was the top Illinois employer out of the 33 that made the list. All but three were from the Chicago area. OSF HealthCare was the fifth highest ranked healthcare provider out of 25 that made the list.

CEO Bob Sehring hopes people see the recognition as testament to the efforts by OSF HealthCare employees to engage the communities it has been called to serve in transforming healthcare.

“We are, as an organization, we spread far and wide within Illinois but also up to Escanaba, Michigan. That is one of the particular challenges for organizations of our size is how do you communicate across that broad-spectrum, how do you communicate from inpatient to ambulatory to home care. And how do you connect it, not only to engaging the Mission Partners which is vitally important, but also to patient satisfaction. And, again, our Mission Partners across those broad communities really have just done a wonderful job in both areas.” 

Hydrant Repairs And Water Shut Offs In Kewanee Today


Effective Monday 5/7/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled two hydrant repairs and water shut offs with boil orders to follow.  Work is scheduled for hydrants at Miner and West Mill Streets and at Miner and Knox Streets. 


Residents in the following areas will have water shut off during these repairs:

·       100 – 200 blocks of Dodge Street

·       1615 Burlington Avenue

·       1000 – 1100 blocks of Dewey Avenue

·       900 – 1100 blocks of West Mill Street

·       1000 – 1100 blocks of Knox Street

·       909 Westgate Drive


Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m., weather permitting.  If work on both hydrants are not able to be done that day, the Water Department will continue to have this scheduled for the work to be done as soon as possible within the same week.


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


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


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

Kewanee Electrical Grid

The city of Kewanee continues to work with Ameren IL and the Hog Festival committee and other concerned groups as they move forward with the new downtown electrical grid.

Mayor Steve Looney says this is a project that is long overdue…

listen here 

Toulon Woman Set to Make History

Two area residents will make history at Monmouth College when the national liberal arts college holds its 161st commencement on May 13. The two area residents will be among the first graduates of the College's innovative Global Public Health triad.The students are:


Liz Hippen, a biopsychology major from Toulon, Ill.;
Sarah Mills, a biology and Spanish major from Peoria, Ill.

Monmouth's Global Public Health Triad -- a minor that integrates the disciplines of kinesiology, modern languages and psychology -- develops students' knowledge of a variety of approaches to understanding and improving health, from an individual level to an international level.


Global Public Health students participate in either an internship focused on health or a study-abroad program focused on health, both of which deepen their understanding of specific issues and also provide preparation for a career or graduate school.


Monmouth will award diplomas to more than 260 graduates at its 161st commencement, to be held at noon May 13 on the Wallace Hall Plaza. National Book Award finalist Min Jin Lee will deliver the commencement address.


Players have the chance to win more than $200 million in Saturday’s Powerball drawing.


The winning numbers from Wednesday’s Powerball drawing were – 05 - 14 - 31 - 40 – 50 – and the Powerball number was 06. While there was no jackpot winner in Wednesday night’s drawing, Illinois players won more than 21,000 prizes, ranging from $4 to $100.


The estimated jackpot for Saturday’s drawing is $215 million.


Illinois residents, 18 and older, can purchase Powerball and all of the Illinois Lottery’s draw-based game tickets by using the Illinois Lottery’s mobile app. The free app (the first of its kind in the United States) is available for download on iOS and Android devices and offers any Illinois adult the chance to purchase lottery tickets on their smartphone. Players can also purchase their tickets online at illinoislottery.com and at nearly 8,000 retailers statewide.

Jim Bohannon

Bob McKee visits with Jim Bohannon on Friday, May 4

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KHS Prom On Saturday

Prom will be celebrated at Kewanee High School on Saturday night at the Brockman Gymnasium.

KHS Principal Mr. Jamie Bryan says as always, it will be a festive occasion and another sign that the current school year is winding down…

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Mr. Bryan agrees that prom is not only a fun time for the students, but also for parents and families…

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Senator Chuck Weaver in Kewanee On Thursday Night

State Senator Chuck Weaver was in Kewanee on Thursday night for a closed fund raising appearance at the Boiler Room in downtown Kewanee.

Senator Weaver says he always enjoys his time in Kewanee and adds that the hospitality here is never in short supply…

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High BP Awareness Month

    The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that May is National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month.  The truth is you can have high blood pressure and not know it. That is why it is called the silent killer. It is also why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked. If you know family or friends who haven't had their blood pressure checked recently, make it a point to ask them to do it in May.

     In addition, the Health Department Clinical Services staff note, if you have high blood pressure, there are steps you can take to get it under control, including:

·         Ask your provider what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and then discuss how you can reach your goal. Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal.

·         Take your blood pressure medication as directed. If you are having trouble, ask your doctor what you can do to make it easier. For example, you may want to discuss your medication schedule with your doctor if you are taking multiple drugs at different times of the day. Or you may want to discuss side effects you are feeling, or the cost of your medicine.

·         Quit smoking—and if you don't smoke, don't start.

·         Reduce sodium. Most Americans consume too much sodium, and it raises blood pressure in most people. Learn about tips to reduce your sodium.

     RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion states, “There are other healthy habits that can help keep your blood pressure under control such as:”

·         Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

·         Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.

·         Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans-fat, and cholesterol.

·         Manage stress.

·         Limit the amount of alcohol you drink (no more than one drink each day for women and two for men).

·         If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication, take it as directed.

·         If you have a family member who has high blood pressure, you can help by taking many of the steps listed above with them. Go for walks together or cook meals with lower sodium. Make it a family affair!

·         And, of course, check your blood pressure regularly.

     The Department reminds area residents that our Family Nurse Practitioners in Kewanee and Colona can help with the management of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you don't know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers; we have services that can help you see where you stand.


      For more information, call the Health Department at 852-5272 (Main), 792-4011 (Colona.  You can also visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

More Cash to Fight Opioid Addiction

More money is on the way for Illinois to fight the opioid crisis. The state is picking up a $16 million grant that the Department of Human Services says will be spent as opioid deaths continue to increase. Patrick Laughlin with DHS says the funds will be used from helping to prevent abuse to treating addicts.

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Last year in Illinois more than two thousand people died from abusing opioids. 

Motorcycle Safety being pushed by Rauner, IDOT

Warmer weather means many Illinoisans switch from four wheels to two. Governor Bruce Rauner, who often swaps his suit and tie for a motorcycle jacket on weekends, joined Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn at an Old State Capitol press conference in Springfield to urge drivers to "start seeing motorcycles". Blankenhorn says motorcycle riders take up much more than their fair share of highway deaths....
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Governor Rauner says start seeing motorcycles isn't just a slogan, it's a process....
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Rauner noted the safety issues hit close to home after a friend was injured in a motorcycle wreck last week. 

BHE On People to People

David Harris is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Open Line for May 3

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Senior Center On Tuned IN

Cassandra Schmoll is the guest

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BHC Sweeps NACTA Judging Conference For Third Straight Year


Congratulations to Black Hawk College East Campus students and coaches for winning the 2018 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference Sweepstakes Award!

This marks the 10th time Black Hawk College has garnered the top prize at the national judging conference. BHC students brought home the Sweepstakes Award in 1981-85, 1989, 2009, 2016 and 2017.

The 2018 conference attracted more than 700 students and faculty members from colleges and universities across the United States. Students competed in 13 agriculture-related competitions.

Black Hawk College won by having the highest combined team score for two-year schools, scoring 6,895 points. The total was 266 points more than the second place team, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture from Curtis, NE. Iowa State University won for the four-year-schools.

“The highlight of the NACTA Judging Conference is seeing students compete in many difficult disciplines to accumulate points toward the sweepstakes award,” said Drew Cotton, coach and associate professor of horse science.

“The interdisciplinary approach toward a common goal is great preparation for their careers in agriculture.”

Black Hawk College competed in 11 of the 13 competitions and won five – Ag Sales & Communications, Computer Applications, Equine Judging, Livestock Management and Soils. BHC teams also took third place in three competitions – Agribusiness, Crops and Precision Agriculture.

Thanks and congratulations to the Black Hawk College coaches:

Aaron Callahan, coach of the Equine Judging Team

Drew Cotton, coach of the Ag Communications/Ag Sales Team and Agribusiness Team

Dr. Jeffry Hawes, coach of the Crops Team, Horticulture Team and Knowledge Bowl Team

Dan Hoge and Tyler Gradert, coaches of the Livestock Judging Team and Livestock Management Team

Andrew Larson, coach of the Soils Team

Jodee Werkheiser, coach of the Computer Applications Team and Knowledge Bowl Team

Gary Werkheiser, coach of the Precision Agriculture Team



The 2018 NACTA Judging Conference was hosted by Northeast Community College in Norfolk, NE. 

Senator Chuck Weaver Hosts Several Local Students

 More than 50 high school students descended on Springfield on April 25 to take on the legislative process, lobbying, voting, and reporting on legislation. The event was part of State Senator Chuck Weaver’s (R-Peoria) Youth Advisory Council.

“We have assembled a group of some of the brightest young minds in our state,” said Senator Weaver. “The goal is to help prepare them to be the future leaders of our communities and our state.” 

The students kicked off their day by meeting with Senator Weaver and other lawmakers on the floor of the Illinois Senate chamber. They also heard from representatives of various professional occupations involved in the lawmaking process, from lobbyists to reporters and legislative staff members.

“I wanted to come to the Youth Advisory Council because I thought it would be a really neat experience to actually see everything that’s going on and how everything is actually proposed,” said Kewanee High School student Keegan Kinsella. “I think it could help me in the long run, wherever I go, help me to communicate with people and help me to be a better person and a better leader.”

Richwoods (Peoria) High School student Parker Johnson says she learned quite a bit about what it’s like to be a lawmaker: “I learned how sessions happen and what actually goes on, I learned that it’s probably a really hard thing to do, harder than I thought it was, and just to listen to all your constituents and to do things based on what they would personally like, and I respect them more.”

Students then took on the roles of lawmakers, concerned citizens, lobbyists, and reporters in a mock committee hearing to discuss, debate, and vote on legislation. 

“You got to learn about everyone’s perspectives, and how everyone wants to do everything,” said Princeton High School student Kaitlyn Storm. “Sometimes you have to agree not to agree, sometimes you have to just see what everyone says. It’s a lot harder than people think it is.”

“I learned that you can’t just sit back and be quiet when it comes to these things,” said Galesburg Christian High School student Owen Horton. “You have to be able to speak, you have to voice your opinion, and you can’t be afraid of the outcome.”

After hearing testimony from the students serving as lobbyists and concerned citizens, the students tasked with serving as lawmakers proposed an amendment to their bill before voting on the legislation.

“It’s really interesting to see people from all different kinds of backgrounds and all their different feelings and opinions and to just really have to work together and have to listen to each other and understand each other,” said Mercer County High School student Lauren Morby. “I think this council has really taught us that we need to listen to each other or we’re not going to get anything solved.”

“There’s definitely a lot of opinions out there so to learn that people may or may not respect your opinion but to still be able to say it, I think that’s definitely a skill I picked up,” said Cambridge High School student Kaiden Vinavich, who added that he thinks the program has helped to prepare him for college. “This really gets you introduced to how other people think, because not everyone is going to think like you in college, so you’re going to have to know how to adapt to your boss, your coworker, and that kind of stuff.”

The students eventually voted unanimously to adopt the amendment to their legislation and then voted unanimously again to pass the amended bill.

“It’s amazing to see these young people discuss and debate major issues so passionately, then work together to forge a compromise,” said Senator Weaver. “I hope we’ve given them a few more tools as they continue to develop into our future leaders.”

BHC Names New President

Black Hawk College is pleased to announce Mr. Tim Wynes has been selected as its next president. Wynes has been president of Inver Hills Community College since 2010 and was named president of Dakota County Technical College in 2013. He continues to serve both colleges. “Mr. Wynes credentials, experience, enthusiasm and demeanor convinced all of the trustees that he will work hard for our students and our college community,” said Richard Fiems, Board of Trustees Chair. “He is a professional educator as well as an extremely effective administrator. The Board looks forward to working with Tim to plan a course for the future of BHC.”

“I am humbled and honored to accept the opportunity to lead Black Hawk College,” Wynes said. “During my many trips to the area over the last eight years, I have observed Black Hawk flourish at both campuses despite the uncertainty of state funding and a roller coaster economy. During my two-day interview, I experienced an enthusiastic student body with faculty and staff who are dedicated to student success and goal completion.”

Wynes is a graduate of Cornell College in Iowa, holds a Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law and has completed graduate coursework in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University. He practiced law in Joplin and Columbia, Missouri, before joining the University of Missouri Law School as an assistant professor of clinical law. At the request of Gov. Mel Carnahan, Wynes served as General Counsel and Director of Legal Services for the Missouri Department of Social Services from 1993-1996. He then became Executive Dean at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa until 2002 when he accepted the Chancellorship at Iowa Valley Community College District, serving in this role until 2010.

“The Black Hawk College Board of Trustees embodies the community spirit of a great community college. I look forward to engaging our region's leaders to continue to move Black Hawk forward in service to our students and constituents,” Wynes said.

In announcing the selection of Wynes, Board of Trustees Chair Richard Fiems said, “ The Board of Trustees wishes to thank the Pauly Group, Inc., members of the presidential search committee, and Dr. John Erwin for their guidance, support and assistance in the process of selecting the next president of the college.” Fiems also thanked everyone who expressed interest in the position, particularly the other three finalists. “We were very fortunate to have four outstanding finalists for the position.” The college conducted a nationwide search with the assistance of the Pauly Group, Inc., a search firm specializing in executive academic search consulting located in Springfield, Illinois.

Wynes is very familiar with the Quad-Cities and communities in the college districtHis two children are recent graduates of Augustana College in Rock Island and he and his wife Becky have relatives in the area. “We are excited to make northwest Illinois our home and are eager to become part of the community,” Wynes said.

Wynes has signed an offer acceptance confirmation until final contract terms are reached. He is expected to assume the role of president on or before July 1. The Wynes plan to relocate to the college district in the coming months.

Learn how to engage with consumers, European-style

A Chicago-based group wants Illinois farmers, those in agribusiness and other parts of the Illinois food industry to go to Europe next month. The German-American Chamber of Commerce offers the opportunity to learn how Germans and other European countries engage consumers about food and farming. Corinna Jess manages trade missions for the German-American chamber;

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If you qualify, the five-day excursion will only cost you airfare and $600-dollars;

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If you're interested in the transatlantic dialogue on consumer engagement taking place at the end of June, see the story at FarmWeekNow-dot-com. Or, you can go to the German-American Chamber's midwest website at g-a-c-c-midwest-dot-org for more information and to register.

April Was Cold

How cold was it? April was a record setter as May now rolls in with temps in the 80’s. Over all it was the second coldest April on record, State Climatologist Jim Angel says the cold set in because of a northerly storm track that allowed Canadian air to slide south.

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May has opened warmer than normal. Most of the state is basking in temps ten to 15 degrees above average.

Kewanee Park District on People to People

Brian Johnson is the guest

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WKEI Open Line

Henry-Stark Retired Teachers on Tuned IN

Six Incoming BHC Students Receiving $500 Scholarships



River Valley Cooperative recently awarded 10-$500 scholarships to students planning to attend a two-year college. Six of the recipients are incoming Black Hawk College East Campus students.


The BHC scholarship recipients are:

· Dalton Petersen of Muscatine, IA

· Payton Rose of Kewanee

· Bailey Roselieb of Annawan

· Mackenzie Steward of Oneida

· Kristen Vendevelde of Galva

· Connor Williams of Annawan


Applicants were eligible to apply by choosing a career path in an ag-related field, their academic achievements, community and school-related activities, understanding of the cooperative system within a community, and their commitment to teaching others about agriculture.


Students who continue to meet the requirements are eligible to renew the scholarship each semester for a maximum of $2,000.


River Valley Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative based in Davenport, Iowa, that serves eastern Iowa and western Illinois.



OSF Golf Outing Set For Early June


The annual OSF St Luke Medical Center golf outing is on the schedule for early in the month of June.

St Luke Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens says it’s not too early to get registered…

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Transfer Station To Close Early On Friday

The City of Kewanee Transfer Station has scheduled an early closure for Friday 5/4/18.  The Transfer Station will be closing half an hour early at 2:30 p.m. for a garage door repair.  They will also be open Saturday 5/5/18 from 8:00 a.m. until noon.


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

Bipartisan gun safety legislation is drafted

It's a rare phenomenon. Last week, bipartisan legislation was filed on firearms related safety concerns. Under a new bill, family members of a gunowner or law enforcement personnel could seek an emergency “firearms restraining order” to take guns from individuals posing an immediate and present danger to themselves or others. Republican State Representative Peter Breen of Lombard was the leading Republican negotiator for the bill. He says the legislation is all about balance...
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Breen says the legislation is groundbreaking in many regards...
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The target of a firearms restraining order request must be given a full hearing within 14 days, where it must be proven by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is dangerous.

Wyffels Hybrids supports local students pursuing careers in agriculture

Wyffels Hybrids is excited to announce it has developed a Scholarship and Work Program in coordination with Black Hawk College’s East Campus. Two $500 scholarships will be granted each semester to high school seniors or college students pursuing a two-year degree at Black Hawk College East in either Agribusiness Management or Agriculture Production.

Scholarships are available to students who live in Black Hawk College district and will be awarded based on achievement, demonstration of community and school involvement, knowledge of agriculture and the perceived ability to contribute to agriculture in the future. Recipients will be required to work at Wyffels in the Research or Production departments during semester breaks and during the summer between semesters.

“There’s no better place to begin earning a strong sense of responsibility, commitment, and perseverance than in an ag production career,” said John Wyffels, president of Wyffels Hybrids. “We are excited to support early career students who are curious to learn more about ag production and help equip them with some of the skills necessary to pursue their passion.”

The deadline for all applications is May 31st , 2018. For more information, visit www.wyffels.com/scholarship. About Wyffels Hybrids In 1946, Wyffels Hybrids was established with a vision to produce seed that could help friends and neighbors be more successful. That promise has resulted in significant growth and opportunity as Wyffels continues to build a team of employees who share that vision for the seed business, and passion for serving customers.


Rep. Dan Swanson passes "Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law"


 State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) passed the “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law” through the Illinois House on Friday to allow physicians to prescribe more aggressive treatment for Lyme Disease without the fear of disciplinary action.

“After local families reported these problems to me with treatment of Lyme Disease, I felt compelled to act on behalf of my constituents,” said Rep. Swanson.  “The Russell’s family story is just one of many by those effected by Chronic Lyme Disease.”

The legislation was inspired by Lauryn Russell, a 12-year-old student from Mercer County, who has Lyme Disease and has had to seek treatment out of state due to potential disciplinary action that could be taken against her Illinois physician for treating Lauryn’s post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) or Chronic Lyme Disease.  Advocates for Lyme Disease sufferers say the current recommended treatment of the disease, 10 to 21 days of antibiotics, is insufficient for people with advanced or chronic levels of the disease.  Nine states have enacted similar legislation including: Iowa, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Virginia.

Free Summer Conferences on Empowerment offered for Teens



A series of Teen Empowerment Conferences (TEC), developed and presented by Freedom House staff, will be offered free of charge in June at convenient locations Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties.  The two-day seminars for students going into grades 6-8 will focus on building self-esteem, creating and maintaining healthy relationships, enhancing self-identity, strengthening communication skills, and welcoming diversity.


TEC is underwritten by a grant from the Women Inspired Network (WIN) of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.


Information about the conferences will be distributed to schools and sent home with students. Interested parents and students should visitwww.freedomhouseillinois.orgwww.facebook.com/freedomhouseillinois, or inquire by telephone (815-872-0087).


Registration is by e-mail: srosalez@freedomhouseillinois.com, or by telephone (deadline May 25).



Monday June 4 – Tuesday June 5 – Center City, Kewanee

Wednesday June 6 – Thursday June 7 – Hall High School, Spring Valley

Wednesday June 13 – Thursday June 14 – Bureau County Metro Center, Princeton

Monday, June 18 – Tuesday, June 19 – Marshall/Putnam Fairgrounds, Henry

Wednesday, June 27 – Thursday, June 28 – Cornerstone Wellness, Sheffield

About Freedom House Inc.

Freedom House, a non-profit 501c3 corporation, is the domestic and sexual violence agency for Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark counties in Illinois. Headquartered in Princeton, with satellite offices in Kewanee and Cambridge, Freedom House employs compassionate and skilled professionals to provide free, confidential, quality services to victims of abuse and their families, including a 24-hour crisis hotline (800-474-6031), emergency shelter, medical and legal advocacy, adult and child counseling, awareness and prevention education, and training for volunteers and professionals. In the past year, Freedom House staff provided needed services to more than 900 victims (and families) of domestic violence and sexual assault. For more information about their services or to make a donation, please call 815-872-0087 – or visit our website: http://www.freedomhouseillinois.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation

The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation is one of 850 such foundations in the United States and 34 in the state of Illinois. SRCCF opened its doors in October 2015. Before that time, the Starved Rock Country area, comprised of LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam Counties in Illinois, was one of the very few geographic areas in the state not represented by a community foundation. The SRCCF matches people who care with causes that matter to them. They make grants to our local nonprofit organizations, create and manage scholarships for local youth, and provide philanthropic leadership throughout Starved Rock Country.  The Women Inspired Network, WIN, is a platform for women to empower women. WIN is a charitable giving circle of local philanthropic women. WIN’s purpose is to make grants focused on enhancing independence, dignity and the quality of life for ourselves and our communities. WIN was founded by the SRCCF in partnership with OSF Healthcare Foundation, I-80 Region. http://srccf.org

Small Biz Luncheon Set For May 15


On Tuesday, May 15, 2018 the Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) of West Central Illinois will host the 9th Annual Small Business Day Luncheon at the Lake Storey Pavilion from 11:30am to 1:00pm.  This year’s luncheon is sponsored by First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust.  The program will include the annual Small Business Eagle Awards, where area entrepreneurs are recognized for their accomplishments.  The guest speakers for this year’s program will be the grand prize winners of the 6 County Fast Pitch Competition. 


The 6 County Fast Pitch Competition was held on March 14, 2018 in Alpha.  New and expanding businesses from Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Stark, and Warren counties “pitched” their business to a panel of judges for a chance to win a prize package worth $35,000.         


Andrea Konie won for her business "Dinner's On Me!" in the Manufacturing/Fabrication/Distribution category.  Her business, located in Galva, IL is a frozen meal service for busy families, empty nesters, newlyweds, and senior generation made in her commercial kitchen.  Dinner's On Me! offers homemade frozen meals in servings for 2 or 6, dinner parties, and monthly deliveries.


Linda Putnam won for her business "Linda’s Salsa” located in Monmouth, IL in the Existing Business Expansion category.   Linda grows hydroponic tomatoes that she uses to make her brand of Linda's Salsa in the varieties of hot, medium, mild and black bean and corn.  Linda also sells Linda's Tortilla Chips and Linda's Pies, Jams and Jellies.  You can find her products in over 100 stores including many Hy-Vee and Schnucks stores in our region. 


Shawn Kendall won for his new business, "Trademark Vacations" located in Galva, IL in the New Retail/Services category.  His business plan includes creating an app to market amazing vacation packages such as inclusive European vacations that will feature airfare, hand-picked luxury hotels, activities, unforgettable experiences, transportation, and first class customer service. 


Small Business Day serves the mission of ESN to celebrate Entrepreneurship within Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer, Stark and Warren counties in West Central Illinois. 


Tickets for the annual event can be purchased at http://go.illinois.edu/2018SBD.  Early registration ends Saturday, May 5th.  For more information contact Jackie Spence at (309) 342-5108 or email mailto:jspence@illinois.edu