Local News Archives for 2018-08

Regional Media Caught Being Good Award Angela Neff Kewanee Pizza Hut

With the launch this week of our Regional Media Caught Being Good Awards we hope to shine a spotlight on workers in our community who go above and beyond for their customers. What a perfect time to bring this award around as well as Labor Day Weekend is all about the quality of our labor force. With that in mind, recently our Regional Media Vice President Jason Gilbraith spotted our first Regional Media Caught Being Good Award Winner going above and beyond at Pizza Hut on Tenney Street in Kewanee. 


"I went to lunch two weeks ago at Pizza Hut in Kewanee. I sat down in the heart of lunchtime, to enjoy some food and read a few emails..catchup a little bit. A waitress approached me and brought my drink, asked if I needed anything else and went on her way...this is where the magic began.
Over the next 30 minutes, I observed one of the most amazing waitress performances I’ve ever seen. Her name is Angela Neff, single mother of 3 boys, and has worked there for just about 2 years. She ran circles around all the staff, not that they were lacking, she was just that good. She served nearly every booth on both sides of the restaurant, 17 booths in all, herself. All the while she ran and brought drinks, food, and whatever all those tables patrons needed, not a problem at all. Next to me was a table of 10. They were having some kind of birthday party for a senior women. It looked to be an important one, there were gifts and such, and Angela waited on them hand and foot. 
They asked her to take a picture of the group, which she did....then they asked for a picture from every person’s cell phone who was at the table, all 10, she did it with a smile. To top that off, there were multiple people who didn’t like the first picture she took and asked her to take numerous pictures. She did all this while not showing the pressure of all the other table’s work, it was her point to make that family the happiest they could be for that get together. Needless to say it really touched me. After Angela was done with the photo entourage, she filled the salad bar, pizza bar and made her rounds to all the tables again. She also rang a few people up with their checks and wished them a happy rest of their day...a smile the whole time. It was just amazing. I took my check up front and she rang me up, I paid the bill and left her a $20 tip. Told her I thought she was an amazing waitress. She thanked me graciously and said, “just a normal day”. Well, I decided she was the first recipient of our Caught Being Good Award. 
I reached out to Ross Addis, at JV Enterprises. He arranged a Regional Manager to call me, Trino Gomez. Trino called me and we setup a time last Wednesday to give her a little “thank you”. I showed up and sure enough, there she was, working just like the week before, big smile and providing the same great service. She made it a point to say hi to me and even asked how my day was going. She had no idea what was in store for her. 
I waited for the crowd to slow up and I called her over to my table. I proceeded to tell her everything in this email, and that I was so amazed at her passion for service, and how far she takes it with every customer. I proceeded to give her a weekend vacation with her kids at the Mall of America, hotel and all. I also told her when she gets ready to leave, I will fill up her gas tank, so the weekend is totally free. Passes for both days, for her and kids and her boyfriend as well.
She burst into tears and told me that she was told earlier that morning from another customer that she was amazing and that something good was going to come of her hard work. She has never been able to afford a vacation for everyone. I felt so proud for her, we both shed quite a few tears. Matter of Fact, the people around us heard the whole story and clapped for her as well.
She then brought me my ticket, and I noticed on the back of the check binder she carries with her, is a picture of all three boys, so precious. She said it motivates her every time she looks at that picture."
If you would like to nominate the next Regional Media Caught Being Good Award winner you can send your nomination to skernan@regionalmedia.info and tell me the story of why you believe this person should be our next prize winner for the Regional Media Caught Being Good Award. 

Save Your School Supplies Receipts for Illinois Taxes

Save those receipts for school supplies. That's the advice from Illinois tax experts who are advising you to remember the Illinois Education Expense Credit. The EEC is for parents of school age kids from first to twelfth grades. Parents can claim tax rebates between $250 and $750 dollars depending on the nature of the expense. Our Kim Howard has more for parents who kept their receipts. 

Money pouring in and pouring out in Illinois gubernatorial race

Labor Day is the traditional start of the campaign season in Illinois. So says Jak Tichenor, host of Illinois Public Media’s Illinois Lawmakers series. And the money keeps on rolling in for the gubernatorial race.

Pritzker is currently in the fundraising lead with $128 million in the bank with Rauner having just over $78-million in cash on hand. 

Beatles Legend Paul McCartney Coming to Moline in June of 2019

It's official, Beatles legend Paul McCartney will play a concert at the Taxslayer Center in Moline in 2019. The Taxslayer Center made the rumors official on Friday with a press release announcing the former Beatle star is bringing his Egypt Station tour to the Quad Cities for his first stop in the metro area in his 50+ year career. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 7th via ticketmaster and the Taxslayer Center Box Office. Paul McCartney will play at the Taxslayer Center in Moline on June 11th, 2019. 

Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley on Tuned In Podcast

Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley was our guest today on Tuned In on this Friday morning. Mr. Bradley was on hand to tout the news about the brand new Kewanee-Henry County Enterprise Zone designation that was handed out on Wednesday. The designation is a significant economic coup for Kewanee and for the 7 other local cities, towns and villages that co-signed the plan to seek a new enterprise zone for the area. Gary Bradley, the City Manager for Kewanee, was our guest on Tuned In... 

Genealogy Database Helps Solve 9 Year Old Illinois Cold Case

The capture of the so-called Golden State Killer has opened up a new way to capture killers.  DNA Phenotyping, the kind that led to the identification and capture of the Golden State Killer, has now helped to close a 9 year old unsolved murder in Champaign County Illinois. A cigarette found at the crime scene 9 years ago ended up being the key to the case as Fox News Radio's Jeff Monosso explains.

The Boiler Room Bringing Chris Lane to Kewanee This Weekend

It is Hog Days weekend and that means plenty of entertainment in Kewanee and this weekend, The Boiler Room has some big time entertainment planned for Sunday night as Back Road Music Festival veteran, Chris Lane comes to town, Sunday night at 7 Pm. I talked to Dave Hamilton from Hamilton Entertainment, one of the organizers of the show and he told me that timing played a role in getting Chris to Kewanee.

We’re hoping for good weather this weekend as Dave tells us, that weather is a concern for the Sunday night show.

A lot of stuff goes into making a concert like this one happen and I asked Dave to take us backstage.

It's a team effort to get a concert like this one put on and Dave Hamilton took the opportunity to thank the group that has helped to make this happen 

Country music hasn’t been the usual route for The Boiler Room for past concerts. I asked Dave what the response of the City of Kewanee has been thus far.

Indeed it is an 18 plus show, Sunday night starting at 7 Pm with special guests the Zac Matthews Band, Tajsi Bachman Band and Moonshine Run. If you buy your tickets today or tomorrow from Eventbrite.com you can get tickets for just $20 or wait till Sunday night and buy them at the gate for $25.00.


Kewanee City Manager Touting Enterprise Zone Designation for Kewanee, Henry County

Yesterday, it was announced that Kewanee along with several other cities in Henry County had been awarded a new enterprise zone designation. The economic impact of this could potentially bring in the area of $100,000,000 in economic investment to the area and help to create or retain around 1000 jobs. I spoke with Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley about how the Enterprise Zone designation came about…

For those that don’t know what an enterprise zone designation means, Gary explains.

You can hear more about this big economic news for Kewanee and Henry County during my Tuned in conversation with Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley this morning at 8:45 on WKEI.

Kewanee Boxing Bonus: Ted Canellos Remembering Young Stuhley

As part of my profile of Kewanee's Boxing History for your mural consideration I had the chance to sit down with longtime Kewanee resident Ted Canellos. Ted grew up around Kewanee when Young Stuhley's boxing career had come to an end and he'd returned home to Kewanee. 

Ted joined our conversation at the Kewanee Historical Society to share some stories about Young Stuhley in Kewanee. 

Ted says that Stuhley was always impeccably dressed, most often wearing a suit with a flower in the lapel. 

Ted's favorite Young Stuhley story however, is not one of his own but one belonging to Ted's Uncle Ted...

If you'd like to cast your vote for Young Stuhley and Kewanee's Boxing History as the next Kewanee mural you can write the number 3 on an envelope with your financial donation inside it and take that envelope to Reiman's Harley Davidson and give it to Diane Packee. The mural nominee that raises the most money will be the subject of the next Kewanee mural. 

Neponset Man Arrested following Brief Chase in Kewanee

A Neponset man briefly led a Henry County Sheriff's Deputy on a chase in the area of U.S Highway 34 and Railroad Avenue on Wednesday night. The incident occurred just after 10:30 Pm as a Henry County Sheriff's Deputy was initiating a traffic stop of a 1996 Mercury. As the vehicle appeared to be coming to a stop, the vehicle suddenly sped up and appeared to be attempting to flee. The driver, 28 year old Kyle Powell of Neponset, eventually gave up the chase and pulled over. Afterward he was arrested and charged with Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding Police, Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer, and Powell was issued citations for having no Valid Registration, Improper Lane Usage, Disobeying a Yield Sign, Disobeying a Stop Sign, Operating an Uninsured Vehicle, and for having No Valid Drivers License. Powell was also taken in on a Henry County Warrant for Failure to Appear on a number of charges including Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition with no FOID Card, Possession of Cannibis and Drug Paraphernalia, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Methamphetamine, and having no valid license. Powell was taken from the scene to the Henry County Jail. 

Deadline Approaching for Write-In Candidates for the General Election in Henry County

lAnyone who would like to be considered as a write in candidate for the 2018 General Election in Henry County must get their paperwork in by close of business on September the 6th. Candidates not currently on the ballot but choosing to run as a write in candidate can file a Declaration of Intent form at the County Clerk's office in Cambridge by September 6th at 4:30 pm. If you need further information you can contact Henry County Clerk Barb Link at 309-937-3575 or consult the Henry County 2018 Candidates Guide linked here

Illinois State Police Increasing Patrols for Labor Day Weekend

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over has been the message of the Illinois State Police for some time now and Labor Day Weekend is no different, except for the increased presence of Illinois State Police on the road way. ISP District 7 Captain Jason Dickey is reminding those traveling this Labor Day Weekend that the Illinois State Police will be watching and while DUI enforcement is at the top of the list with roadside safety checks, other offenses such as driving without a seatbelt on, distracted driving with a phone that doesn't have a hands-free device, or failing to change lanes to make room for stopped vehicles will also be on the agenda for Illinois State Police officers this weekend. Stay safe this labor day weekend, 

Plans To Override Gov Veto on Smoking Bill

This year Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would up the legal age to buy tobacco to 21. Now a group of lawmakers wants to override him. Senate President John Cullerton says the law would keep people from starting to smoke and it would save lives.

It’s not clear if the votes are there to override Rauner’s veto. The Governor says in his defense of nixing the bill that 18 year olds can make adult decision and it would drive more economic activity outside of the state. 

West Nile Claims 1st Death

West Nile kills, that might not be a well understood fact of the disease that’s passed on by mosquitos. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that a 65 year old woman from LaSalle County is the first person to die of the disease this year. Melaney Arnold says 22 people are known to have the disease already and you can take steps to protect yourself and others.

Last year there were 90 human cases and 8 deaths in the state.

Kewanee's Boxing History Profiled for Your Mural Consideration

Kewanee's Boxing history is one of the three options, along with Kewanee Baseball and the Kewanee Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corp. to be honored as the next Kewanee mural. Three men carry the banner of that history including former Middleweight champion of the world Billy Papke, a young almost made-it, near champion, that everyone called Young Stuhley and a golden gloves boxer by the name of Mickey Grothe whose plans for turning pro ended due to poor eyesight. I spoke with Larry Lock, President of the Kewanee Historical Society about the legacy of boxing in Kewanee. Ted Canellos was along for this interview as well. More with Ted coming in a later story about Young Stuhley. 



Billy Papke fighting 


Dr Albert Pang Optometrist on How Your Smart-Phone May Be Affecting Your Eyesight

The blue light emitted from your smartphone is slowly damaging your eye and could, in the future lead to macular degeneration or full-on blindness. That from a new study in a peer-reviewed medical journal. This story unnerved me so much, as a smartphone reliant reporter, that I needed to talk with a specialist. Fox News Radio contributor and Optometrist, Dr. Albert Pang was kind enough to join us on WKEI this morning and while he didn't put my fears to rest, he did give us all a way forward, get glasses that have blue light protection, especially for your kids. 

Tuned In Kewanee Farmers Market w/Diane Demay and Marianee Dybdal

The Kewanee Farmers Market will be part of Hog Days Weekend, just not in the usual spot. Diane DeMay and Marianne Dybdal joined us on our Tuned In podcast today to discuss the plan for Hog Days, the large and exceptional tomato crop for sale at the Farmer's Market and much much more. The Farmer's Market continues into October. 

Governor Rauner Announces Illinois Innovation Network

Governor Bruce Rauner and University of Illinois officials have announced the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). The University of Illinois at Springfield has landed the honor after the school assumed leadership of Innovate Springfield an incubator designed to help start-up businesses.
Governor Rauner says the movement won't stop at the Capital City's borders...

The new initiative, led by the U of I System, was announced last fall and is being developed to accelerate statewide job creation and economic development through groundbreaking research and innovation.

Kewanee Hog Days Rain or Shine this Weekend

Meals under the tent are back at Hog Days. For the first time since 2001 when the Jaycees used to sell sides to go with your pork chop sandwiches, the popular meals under the tent are back under the control of the Kewanee High School FCCLA according to organizer Larry Flannery

With rain in the forecast for Hog Days weekend the question comes up regularly as to how the rain effects Hog Days and Larry Flannery reminds us year after year, Hog Days is happening rain or shine.

You can hear the full interview with Larry Flannery as part of the Noon Hour Sports Show on Friday afternoon with Bob McKee here on WKEI


OSF Healthcare Tips for Getting Your Child Back on School Sleep Schedule

School has once again started for kids across the region, and one of the major back-to-school battles that plague parents is the daily wake up call. Getting your kids out of bed early after a summer of sleeping in can be a tough task. Dr Sarah Zallek is a neurologist who specializes in sleep disorders for OSF Healthcare Illinois Neurological Institute. She says providing a good sleep schedule is one of the best things you can do for your kids to help with classroom success.

Getting back to early mornings can be tough for kids after a less-rigid summer schedule, and while starting a school-time sleep schedule before the first bell rings is recommended, it’s never too late to start a new sleep routine. Dr. Zallek says routine is the key word.

Kids do require more sleep than adults. School-aged children should get an average of 10 hours of sleep a night by age 10. But how do you know if your child is well rested and ready to hit the books? According to Dr. Zallek, sleep-deprived kids exhibit specific symptoms.

And if bedtime comes with some bumps in the road, Dr Zallek has some tips to help get kids ready for a restful night.

- Cut out caffeine all together: To help children sleep well at night, they should be tapered off of caffeine for the school year. Children metabolize caffeine more slowly than adults and, according to Zallek, there is no need for a well-rested child to consume caffeine. Children should be wide awake during the daytime. Reduce caffeine by half a serving every day or every other day. Reducing caffeine too drastically can cause headaches, crankiness and tiredness.

- Reserve the bed and bedroom for sleeping only: The bed and the bedroom should be places reserved for sleeping, and no other activities. This conditions the brain to fall asleep in bed. A child’s bed should not be used for playing or watching television. Also, the bedroom should not be used for timeouts as a disciplinary technique.

- Prioritize sleep: Sleep should be a protected activity in the house. Put a focus on sleep and model good sleep habits for your children. Sleep is just as important to a healthy life as is diet and exercise and should not be secondary to everything else.

- Model good sleep behavior: As a parent, an effective way to get children to understand the importance of sleep and adopt good sleep habits is to adopt good sleep habits yourself.

Kewanee Police Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Hog Days

The Kewanee Police Department has released a statement wishing everyone a happy and safe Hog Days. The Kewanee Police Department is asking everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. With the increase in visitors to the City, the officers of the Kewanee Police Department ask that all drivers exercise caution due to the increase of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. There will be additional officers working to ensure the safety of everyone this weekend. The officers will be looking for violations of operating a vehicle while using their mobile device without hands-free capability, speeding, disobeying traffic control devices, and DUI. There will also be officers assigned to bicycle patrol in the area of downtown including the carnival. Those officers will be looking for alcohol outside of the authorized areas.  Please have a safe Hog Day Weekend.

Kewanee, Henry County Approved for New Enterprise Zone

A big announcement from the City of Kewanee as the City along with 7 other communities of Henry County were approved for a new enterprise zone that is expected to bring millions of dollars to the area and potentially a thousand new jobs. The announcement from City Manager Gary Bradley’s office reads.

At a meeting jointly held in Chicago and Springfield, the State of Illinois’ Enterprise Zone Board voted unanimously to approve the Kewanee-Henry County Enterprise Zone application and grant the proposed zone designation as an Enterprise Zone on January 1, 2019.  The application was a collaborative effort from Henry County and eight of its communities; Kewanee, Geneseo, Galva, Orion, Cambridge, Annawan, Atkinson, and Woodhull.  Bi-State Regional Commission assisted the communities with the application process. 

Through its existing Enterprise Zone, Kewanee was able to help bring two ethanol plants and a significant investment in wind energy to the region.  The proposed Enterprise Zone is expected to help create or retain more than 1,000 jobs in the area and to result in more than $100 million in investment.  The existing enterprise zone that includes portions of Kewanee, Galva, Annawan, and unincorporated Henry County will remain in effect through December 31st, 2018.

The application finished second in the overall rankings, trailing only the application from the Quad Cities.  “It took a lot of hard work to get the application put together and we greatly appreciate the support of all of the businesses that wrote letters of support, the Cities and Villages that helped in these efforts, and the people at Bi-State that were involved in the process” said Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley.        


Durbin Salutes McCain

Senator Dick Durbin has honored his late colleague Arizona Senator John McCain. On the Senate Floor, Durbin said McCain's death after a battle with brain cancer leaves a void on Capitol Hill....

Durbin credited McCain with making tough votes on issues like immigration and health care that generated unfavorable response from many conservatives, a group McCain relied on as a Republican for re-election. Durbin said their friendship, which dated back to the early 80's when both served in the U.S. House, was strained on occasion but survived all challenges, including McCain campaigning for current Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin against Durbin in a 2002 Senate race.

State Representative Tony McCombie on Tuned In on WKEI

State Representative Tony McCombie was our guest today on Tuned In on WKEI. McCombie is running for re-election in the 71st District in Illinois against Democrat challenger Joan Padilla. In the interview, we discuss McCombie's tumultuous first year in the statehouse as she learned the ropes amid the turmoil of the Illinois budget battle. We also discussed bi-partisanship and term limits in a wide-ranging interview. 

Kewanee Resident Arrested on Meth Related Charge

A Kewanee man is in the Henry County Jail on Meth related charges. 48 year old Peter J. Dolieslager of Kewanee was arrested on August 24th on Meth Related charges for being found in possession of between 15 and 100 grams of Methamphetamine. Dolieslager is facing a Class X Felony charge for Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine. Dolieslager is currently in the Henry County Jail on a $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing on the charges will be held on September 4th.

Traffic Complaint Leads to Arrest of Galva Resident

A Galva man is under arrest after failing to appear on charges of failure to give evidence after an accident and possession of cannabis charges. 26 year old Darrin Orr of Galva was arrested on Tuesday morning by Henry County Sheriff's Deputies after a traffic complaint at approximately 1:59 Am Tuesday morning. In the process of investigating the complaint, Orr was discovered to have the Failure to Appear warrants on multiple charges. Orr was arrested and taken to the Henry County Jail where bond was posted and he was released.


State Senator Chuck Weaver Town Hall in Galesburg Tonight

State Senator Chuck Weaver will be part of a town hall meeting this evening in Galesburg. The event will be at the Galesburg Public Library from 6 Pm to 7 Pm and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Senator Weaver will be on hand to answer questions from constituents regarding the previous session of the State Legislature and what is to come in Springfield. The Galesburg Public Library is located at 40 East Simmons Street in Galesburg. 

Illinois Community Searches for Answers Following Cancer Risk Repor

People in the Chicago suburb of Willowbrook are on edge after a federal report showing that the area faces some of the country's highest cancer risks from toxic air pollution.

According to the report, a local company uses ethlyene oxide, a gas the Environmental Protection Agency has said is more dangerous than previously thought. Sterigenics International offers sterilizing services for the medical, pharmaceutical and food industries. The report said exposure in communities near the plant means a cancer risk of more than nine times the national average.

Willowbrock Mayor Frank Tilla, whose office is across the street from the plant, said he's been scrambling for answers since the report came out late last week.

"They are not able to tell us as much emphatically about the long-term risks as the day-to-day risk, and that's where we're at," he said. "We're trying to assess what's good for our people that work here and all around here, and our residents, and that's our only focus."

The EPA links the easily absorbed chemical to breast and blood cancers. Nearly 20,000 people in southeast DuPage County live within a mile of the facility. Willowbrook and the EPA are to hold a public forum at 7 p.m. today at Ashton Place for anyone who wants to ask questions about the report.

In July, the company installed additional pollution controls to capture ethylene oxide emissions. While officials are claiming no immediate dangers, Trilla said even he's having difficulty making sense of the scientific report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Well, people in the community are justly concerned," he said, "and the best way I'm dealing with it is trying to get the people that issued the report here so that they can answer the health-related questions."

According to the National Cancer Institute, exposure to ethylene oxide is highly irritating and induces nausea and vomiting. It has said chronic exposure can lead to several cancer types, including leukemia and stomach cancer.

The company has been owned by a private equity firm co-founded by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who left in 2012 to begin his campaign for office.

The ATSDR report is online at atsdr.cdc.gov, the village statement is at willowbrookil.org, and information on NCI's ethylene oxide is at pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Congressman Bost Reflects on Senator John McCain

Tributes continue to pour in for Senator John McCain, who passed away over the weekend from brain cancer. Among those are Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, who says they worked on the same conference committee a few years ago.

Bost says he respected the late Senator.

Senator McCain's life will come full circle this week as he's laid to rest in the place where his service to the country began more than six decades ago. McCain's career began at the U.S. Naval Academy. He will be buried there on Sunday in a private service.

Weather Week Looks to End with Rain and Cooler Temps

The weather week begins with heat, but will end with some relief and rain per State Climatologist Jim Angel.

As for the 14-day outlook.

Entering the final week of August, Angel says Illinois is right at 4.1 inches of rain, which is actually a little bit above normal. 

Opioid Hotline Adds New Features

Help is a phone call away for opioid users and addicts and thousands have used the state’s service. New features are now available for callers to speak to trained specialists to discuss treatment options and to hear back from the person that you talked too. Danielle Kirby with the Department of Human Services says it’s a big upgrade.

If you need help or know someone that does dealing with opioid addiction you can call 833-2-FIND HELP.

OSF Dietician on Teaching Your Kids Healthy Eating Habits

Carrie Boelens and Sarah Umphleet from OSF St Luke Medical Center were our guests on Tuned In on Monday and on the show, after Carrie talked about the Community Needs Assessment and the Shoe Sale with Breedloves, she turned things over to OSF Dietician Sarah Umphleet who talked about teaching kids healthy eating habits, among other food and health related topics. 

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley on People to People

Following a relatively uneventful City Council meeting on Monday night, Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley joined WKEI to discuss the night's big topics including special use permits for a pair of local businesses, requests for permits for events from Wethersfield Schools and Goodfellows and the management of overgrown grass and abandoned homes in Kewanee. 

Galva Man Sentenced on Tax Evasion Charges

A Galva man accused of having evaded taxes has been sentenced to 46 months in jail. 42 year old Tony L. Porter was in court last Friday to receive his sentence from Judge Sara Darrow after having been convicted on Tax Evasion Charges after amassing more than $556,000 in unpaid tax from his business Porter Paving. According to the investigation that led to Mr. Porter’s arrest, he was accused of under-reporting income in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by cashing checks from clients at the clients bank and pocketing the money without reporting the full amount of income to the IRS. Mr. Porter will begin his 46 month sentence on October 1st.


Kewanee City Council Meeting Wrap-Up 08-27-18

Monday night’s Kewanee City Council Meeting was yet another meeting filled with unanimity

The council unanimously passed items on the consent agenda including a permit for Wethersfield Schools to use city streets for their homecoming parade on September 28th. The parade route consists of leaving the Blish Parking lot and heading east on Garfield Street, turning north on Willard Street, turning west on McClure Street, turning south onto Hollis Street, turning east onto Garfield Street, turning north onto Willard Street and returning to the Blish Parking Lot. The parade will begin at 1:15 and will end by 2 Pm.
Also on the consent agenda a permit for the Goodfellows Christmas Basket Club to hold Tag Days on Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th  from 9 Am to 5 Pm.
The consent agenda passed unanimously.
In new business, the City Council voted unanimously against revoking a special use permit for Jon Willie of You’re Approved Auto Sales. The decision came following a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission which held a hearing with Mr. Willey who agreed to get his property into compliance with city ordinances and having done so, the council was satisfied and allowed him to continue with the special use permit.
The council then voted unanimously in favor of a special use permit for Anthony Segura and his business, The Boiler Room to close the sidewalk and surrounding streets to accommodate a concert on September 2nd outside The Boiler Room. The 200 block of North Chestnut Street and the 200 Block of West 2nd Street will be closed to traffic from 7:30 Pm to 9 Pm for the concert starring country singer Chris Lane. 
Mayor Steve Looney will join us at 9:35 Am for our People to People program on WKEI.

Craft Brewers Now Better Able to Partner

Craft brewing is exploding around the state and now those operations will be better able to partner with each other to showcase their or products. Matt Porter the CEO of Destihl in Normal says an outdated law kept craft brewers from being able to work together and sell each other’s beers or ciders.

Another change in state law will allow for craft brewers to store beer offsite. Before that product needed to be kept where the brewing was being done, limiting the expansion of some operations.

Official Numbers for Money Raised at Relay for Life

Official numbers for the money raised at Relay for Life are out and it was another outstanding year for the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life. On Saturday night Nichelle Morey, one of the organizers of the event, announced that more than $9000 had been taken in on Saturday night alone. 

Overall, since teams began fundraising last year into this year, the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life has brought in over $50.000... 

Below are a few images from Saturday's Relay for Life. Photos courtesy of Frank Polowvy and Jeanna Eastman-Moore.. 



Mark Kuhn Chief Executive Officer of Hammond Henry Hospital on People to People

Mark Kuhn the CEO of Hammond Henry Hospital was our guest on People to People on Monday morning. Among the topics was the more than one million dollar upgrade that is coming up for the Hammond Henry Hospital Emergency Services Unit. Also on the agenda were a new general practitioner joining the Hammond Henry staff, a new partnership with Genesis Health Systems to expand OBGYN services and honors and recognitions including ISO-9001 Certification and recognition from Becker's Hospital Review. Mark Kuhn CEO on People to People Podcast. 

Agenda for Kewanee City Council Meeting August 27th

Posted by 5:00 p.m., August 24, 2018
1. Call to Order
2. Closed meeting pursuant to Section 2 (c) (1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel and Section 2(c)(2)
to discuss Collective Bargaining.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Request from Wethersfield School District #230 to use city streets for their annual Homecoming Parade
on September 28, 2018 beginning at 1:15 pm.
e. Request from Good Fellows to conduct their annual tag days on October 19 & 20 from 9 am to 5 pm each
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a. Acceptance of the Minutes of the Plan Commission from its meeting held on July 26, 2018.
b. Consideration of an Ordinance to revoke the Special Use permit issued to John Willie d/b/a You’re
Approved Auto Sales for property located at 525 North Main Street.
c. Consideration of a Resolution to authorize the use of the public sidewalk and a portion of the public
street in the 200 block of North Chestnut Street and 200 block of West Second Streets by A Segura LLC
d/b/a Boiler Room for the extension of their beer garden during an entertainment event on September
2nd, 2018.
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournment

Hog Days Boss Glove Sale to Benefit First Baptist Church Choir Trip to New York City

Hog Days is this weekend in Kewanee and a Hog Days tradition has a new home. The First Baptist Church Boss Manufacturing Glove sale which for years took place at the Boss Community Center will now be held at the Flemish American Club says Steve Martin.
The sale also has a new goal, to send the First Baptist Church choir to New York City where they’ve been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2019.

Governor Rauner Vetoes Legislation to Create Minimum Wage for Teachers

Over the weekend, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 per year. In a press release Governor Rauner said "Teachers are our greatest asset in ensuring the future of our youth and they deserve to be well-compensated for their hard work. However, minimum pay legislation is neither the most efficient nor the most effective way to compensate our teachers. Illinois is one of only 17 states that utilize statewide teacher salary schedules to guarantee some level of minimum pay for teachers. This approach to teacher compensation both limits a school district's local control and imposes a significant unfunded mandate on school districts. Furthermore, as is well exemplified by Illinois, a salary schedule needs to constantly be updated in order to remain relevant; legislative action is not the most efficient way to maintain relevance."

In response to the Governor’s veto, Democrat for Governor J.B Pritzker released a statement saying “I’m disappointed that Bruce Rauner doesn’t think our state’s hardworking teachers deserve a fair wage,” said JB Pritzker. “With this veto, thousands of educators across the state are being denied a raise at the same time that Illinois grapples with a worsening teacher shortage that this governor is doing nothing to stop. It’s been decades since the state updated the law to maintain fair wages for these public servants — which currently sits between $9,000 and $11,000 a year — but Rauner fails to see this basic inequity. I want to thank the sponsors of this critical legislation, Senator Andy Manar and Representative Christian Mitchell, and pledge to our invaluable educators that I will sign this bill if I’m elected governor.”

Upcoming Illinois Waterway Lock Repairs Will Cause Disruption with River Transportation

There’s much to be done on inland waterways, especially on those that run through Illinois. Some help is on the way through, but it will not come without some hardship. Six locks will be closed on the Illinois Waterway from LaGrange Lock and Dam near Versailles all the way up to Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the west suburbs of Chicago. Most of the work will be done in 2020 and will add some life to the infrastructure says Tom Heinold with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District.

Heinold refers to LaGrange as the “poster child” for decaying infrastructure. It’s defined as the nation’s number one priority for lock rehabilitation on the nation’s inland navigation system.
Illinois Farm Bureau staff will be working with other commodity shippers and with the grain marketing industry to inform farmers about the pending disruptions and their potential impacts on the marketing of Illinois’ 2019 and 2020 crops.

HS Kids Free to Take As Many Dual Credit Classes as they Can

As high school students get back to class they can begin work on their college course work. And new a new state law removes cap on the number of dual credit classes that student can take. Dual credit courses are taught at high schools but also count for college credit. It can be a way for students to cut the amount of time they have to be enrolled by lessening the amount of courses they need to take when they get to a university. State Representative Dan Swanson says that’s a great way to save money.

Supporters say this means some kids could leave high school with an associates degree.

Update Illinois State Police Release Name of Victim in U.S Route 150 Crash

Illinois State Police have released the names of the people involved in the crash on U.S Highway 150, north of Orion. 56 year old Sheryl F. Freed was killed when her 2015 Jeep crashed head-on with a 2014 truck driven by 27 year old Kevin M. Gladkin of Orion. Mr. Gladkin’s condition has not been released nor have the conditions of two juveniles who were in the Jeep with the victim. There is no word yet on how the accident occurred or how the vehicles ended up in a head-on collision. Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the crash.



Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal crash in the area of US 150, north of Orion. According to the  ISP the accident occurred at approximately 3:45 Sunday afternoon. A gray 2015 jeep collided head on with a gray 2014 Dodge Ram Truck pulling a black 2017 trailer. Investigators are attempting to determine what caused the vehicles to collide head on. Portions of U.S  150 remain closed while investigators work to reconstruct the accident at the scene. We will bring you more on this story as it develops.

Darcy Hepner Hammond Henry Hospital Foundation President on Tuned In on WKEI

Darcy Hepner joined us on Tuned In on Friday on WKEI. Darcy is the President of the Hammond Henry Hospital Foundation and she joined us to talk about the latest goings on at Hammond Henry Hospital including how the foundation is planning to celebrate the return of Geneseo High School Football tonight, the Hammond Henry Hospital Golf Outing on September 10th and a trip to Ireland that you may be able to join. 

Kewanee Library Book Sale Happening Hog Days Weekend

The Kewanee Public Library will be holding its Hog Days Book Sale on Saturday, September 1st from 7 Am to 11 Am in the parking lot at Johnson Appliances at the corner of 1st and Chestnut. It's a chance for you to expand on your book collection with help of the Friends of the Kewanee Public Library. Sarah Billiet with the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Thursday's Tuned In podcast to talk about the book sale and everything else happening these days at the Kewanee Public Library. 

The Kewanee Black Knights with Ted Canellos and John Blake

The Kewanee Black Knights are one of the three potential next Kewanee Mural subjects, alongside Kewanee's Baseball and Boxing History. The Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corp was established officially in 1951 though it existed in some form prior to the start of World War 2. Ted Canellos and John R. Blake were members of the Black Knights in the early 1960's and took some time recently to share some memories and give you an idea as to why the Black Knights would make for a great Kewanee mural subject.

Below are some of the pieces of Black Knights history currently on display at the Kewanee Historical Society.

Cast your vote for the next Kewanee mural by placing a money donation in an envelope and writing the number of your choice of mural on the envelope. Write 1 for Kewanee Baseball History, 2 for The Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Burgle Corp or 3 for Kewanee Boxing History. Next week we will tell you the story of Billy Papke and Young Stuhley, Kewanee's boxing legacy. 

Kewanee Police Make Arrest in Rash of Recent Burglaries

Kewanee Police have confirmed that they have made an arrest in a string of recent burglaries in Kewanee. According to the Kewanee Police a juvenile suspect was arrested on Thursday night and charged with multiple counts of Burglary as well as multiple counts of Criminal Damage to Property. The juvenile suspect was given a notice to appear in court and released. 

Meet the Candidate: Joan Padilla Democrat Challenger in District 71

As fall closes in and the November election grows closer, WKEI will be bringing you interviews with the candidates for office across the area from Henry, Stark, Bureau, Whiteside and Knox County. First up is Joan Padilla is the Democrat challenger to State Representative. Republican Tony McCombie in District 71. Joan dropped by our Regional Media studios in Kewanee to talk about why she decided to run for office, her differences with the Republican incumbent and to introduce herself to those who might not be familiar with her campaign as we approach the November election. 

Next week, WKEI will profile Tony McCombie the Republican Incumbent in District 71. 


Attorney General Says Church Has Moral Obligation to Meet Regarding Sex Abuse Investigation

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a statement on Thursday stating that the Catholic Church in Illinois has a 'moral obligation' to meet with her office regarding questions of sexual abuse allegations. Court documents in the recent sex abuse investigation that rocked the Catholic church in Pennsylvania indicate that several Pennsylvania priests implicated in that case have ties to Archdiocese in Illinois. Read Attorney General Madigan's statement below. 

“The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois.

“We have reviewed the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which identifies at least seven priests with connections to Illinois. The Chicago Archdiocese has agreed to meet with me. I plan to reach out to the other dioceses in Illinois to have the same conversation and expect the bishops will agree and cooperate fully. If not, I will work with states attorneys and law enforcement throughout Illinois to investigate.”



Trooper Jason Wilson Talks Saturation Saturday on WKEI

Trooper Jason Wilson joined WKEI on Thursday to talk about Saturation Saturday. Saturation Saturday is a partnership with MADD, Mother's Against Drunk Driving, to crack down on drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol. Trooper Jason Wilson talked about where the idea of Saturation Saturday came from along with plans for increased patrols for the Labor Day weekend and the number of people killed on Illinois Highways thus far this year. 

Jobs Are Plentiful Around Illinois

The state keeps reporting jobs numbers that continue to scrape historical lows. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that more people are staying employed or keep getting work. Bob Gough with IDES says the numbers show a strong economy.

There are 14 metro areas in the state and job gains were found in 10 of them.

Governor Rauner Youth Hearing Bill

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to help the state's young people get access to replacement hearing aids. Rauner was flanked by ten-year-old Hunter Martin of Illiopolis as he signed a bill mandating insurers cover replacement hearing aids for each ear and covers all hearing-impaired people at age 18 or younger.....

Martin previously testified in front of House and Senate committees on the issue...

Replacements are required every three years. The law also says repairs to those hearing aids and ear examinations, fittings and adjustments to ear molds must be covered “when deemed medically necessary”. Hearing aids can carry a cost of up to $4,000. Rauner says lack of proper equipment can cause hearing impaired youth to fall behind academically and socially. 

Portions of Henry County Without Emergency Phone Service

Update, emergency phone service was restored at approxinately 12:15 Pm today.


If your phone number begins with 309-937 you may currently be without emergency phone service. According to the Henry County Sheriff's Office, phones with 309-937 pre-fix cannot get 911 or get through to the Henry County Sheriff's Emergency line because of a phone outage. Geneseo Communications is working to fix the problem and we will bring you updates as soon as emergency phone service in the area is restored. Phone numbers for the Henry County Sheriff's Office are affected by this outage as they each begin with 309-937. 

Senator Durbin to Meet with Supreme Court Nominee

Senator Dick Durbin is set to meet with Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh Thursday morning (10:30 Central). Durbin will have plenty of questions as he continues to press for the release of documents about Kavanaugh's past work in Washington as President George W. Bush's closest personal adviser. So far, Durbin says only two percent of Kavanaugh’s records from his time in the Bush White House have been made public and he's mystified....

Durbin accused Senate Republicans of changing the rules in their favor when it comes to the Supreme Court confirmation process...

Kavanaugh served as Staff Secretary in the Bush Administration for nearly 3 years.

Relay For Life is Open to All Walkers This Saturday

Relay for Life is this Saturday and while you may think that because you are not on a Relay team that you can’t get out and walk at the event on Saturday, Nichelle Nichols, one of the organizers of Relay for Life wants to make sure you know that you are more than welcome to come out and walk and build your step count.

Join us at Windmont Park on Saturday from 3 Pm until late into the night. Regional Media will be there playing music and you can walk and you can enjoy great food and bid in the silent auction and by buying food and participating in the auction you are also contributing to the fight against cancer.


California Doll Maker Names New Doll-Friend Kewanee

A doll named Kewanee? It sounds like an odd concept but indeed, a woman in California is in the process of making a doll that takes Kewanee as a name and uses it to pay tribute to the Native American history of our area. Ellen Kallen is an educator and designer from California and she designs dolls with an eye toward making them educational and making them appealing enough that kids will play with them. I asked Ellen why she chose the name Kewanee and whether she was aware of our town when she decided on the name.

Ellen consulted with the Potawatomi tribe, one of the four tribes that made up the Native American heritage of Central Illinois along with the Winnebago, Sauk and Fox tribes, to make sure that her Kewanee doll was accurate in skin tone, dress and the educational details that come with the doll for your child to learn about.

Ellen also told me that she is bringing the Prairie Chicken into the design elements and educational aspect of the Kewanee doll. If you’d like to take a look and participate in how Kewanee the doll comes to be Ellen directs you to her website but also to her Facebook where a community of people are contributing to the creation of Kewanee.

The goal is to have Kewanee available for sale from Via E by this Christmas. You can go to Via-E.com to see Kewanee in her prototype phase and become part of the community helping to shape Kewanee and her educational story you can like Via-E on Facebook. Ellen Kallen says she's always looking to learn more about Kewanee and would welcome you to get in touch on the Via-E Facebook page. 

Annawan Airman Promoted to Staff Sergeant

Senior Airman Cameron Gilbraith was selected and promoted to Staff Sergeant with the United States Air Force on Tuesday August 21st, 2018. Senior Airman Gilbraith is a native of Annawan, Il, graduating in 2014 from Annawan High School. His parents are Erin and Jason Gilbraith, also of Annawan. Senior Airman Gilbraith has two brothers in the Air Force, one currently serving in Germany, the other honorably discharged from the Air Force, and resides in Illinois.

Senior Airman Gilbraith attended basic training July of 2014, graduating in September. Immediately afterward, attended Technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base, TX, then was stationed on Kadena, Air Force Base, in Okinawa, Japan, for two years. In 2016, he received orders to Whiteman Air Force Base. From January to the end of April he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan as a member of 303rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. This squadron assisted A-10’s in completing hundreds of successful missions on enemy targets, while on deployment.  Senior Airman Gilbraith is a Munitions Systems Technician, assembling and processing non-nuclear munitions.

Senior Airman Gilbraith received his promotion on Tuesday and will participate in the Promotions Ceremony in the spring of 2019. Congratulations Senior Airman Gilbraith.

Governor Rauner Opponent Pritzker Appear at Candidate Forum in Bloomington

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner reminded Illinois farm and rural leaders at a forum Wednesday that he grew up on a farm. He says he doesn’t know of a more important election in his lifetime than the one coming up in November. Rauner says he’s helped add 210-thousand jobs to the state and will support Illinois agriculture. He attacked his Democratic opponent, J-B Prtiztker, for proposing a mileage tax and graduated income tax;

Pritzker told farmers and other members of the Illinois Agricultural Roundtable he wasn’t going to pretend he’s a farmer - but like most of them - is a business owner. He told the group former Governor Pat Quinn added more jobs in the state than Rauner. And he criticized Rauner for proposing state budgets that cut or eliminated state funding to some farm and rural programs;

Pritzker and Rauner appeared at a candidate forum that also included candidates for Illinois Attorney General who appeared earlier in the day. The candidate forum took place on a farm outside of Bloomington and Normal.

Governor Rauner Signs Legislation to Expand Mental Health Care Help in Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed multiple pieces of legislation expanding mental health and addiction-treatment services and Medicaid coverage of them. Rauner says the new laws will help fight the opioid crisis and boost accessibility to mental health care...

Rauner says the changes will bring something new to Illinoisans battling mental health struggles.....speed...

Another law requires Medicaid reimbursement for long-distance tele health treatment. It's believed that will help provide access for underserved and rural areas.

Alpha Resident Arrested on Domestic Battery and Outstanding Warrant from Iowa

An Alpha, Illinois man was arrested by Henry County Sheriff's Deputies on Tuesday night following a call about a Domestic Disturbance call. 28 year old Sonny Jackson of Alpha was arrested on charges of Domestic Battery as well as an outstanding warrant from Scott County, Iowa where he's accused of escaping from a work detail. Jackson was taken from the scene to the Henry County Jail. 

Bishop Hill Chautauqua Todd Dedecker on the Tuned In Podcast 08-22-18

The Bishop Hill Chautauqua is this weekend and Todd Dedecker with the Bishop Hill Heritage Association joined us on Tuned In to preview the weekend activities. A Chautauqua is a tradition that dates back decades as an opportunity for the sharing of oral history. This year's Bishop Hill Chautauqua centers on World War 1 history and will feature actors portraying world history figures Winston Churchill and Herbert Hoover who played significant roles surrounding World War 1. The celebration will also include World War 1 era music and food will be available as well. Todd Dedecker joined us for our Tuned In Podcast on WKEI. 


The Latest on the Mollie Tibbetts Murder from Jeff Monosso Fox News Radio

Jeff Monosso from Fox News Radio joined the WKEI Morning Show to talk about what we learned from the Tuesday press conference in Brooklyn, Iowa regarding murdered University of Illinois student Mollie Tibbetts and the man currently under arrest for her murder Cristhian Rivera. 

August Heat Making a Comeback this Weekend

August isn’t over just yet and neither are typical August type temperatures. Eric Schmidt with EJS weather in Newton says some below normal temps are being felt this week, but that will change heading into the weekend.

Schmidt is not expecting an early frost this year. The first day of fall is September 22nd.

Pleasant View Cemetary to Close Thursday Afternoon for Kewanee Cross Country Meet

Pleasant view Cemetery in Kewanee will be closed on Thursday afternoon to accommodate a cross country meet. The cemetery will be closed from 3:30 to 5:30 to vehicle traffic. Visitors on foot will be able to walk through the cemetery at this time but visitors are being discouraged from visiting during this time in order to protect the safety of visitors and the cross country runners.

Special Kneads Bakery Margaret and Frankie Cortes on People to People on WKEI

Special Kneads Bakery is set to open this fall in Galva and it is indeed something special. Owner Margaret Cortes and her son Frankie, along with the rest of the Cortes clan, have been hard at work rehabbing the former Jacobson's Bakery at 326 Front Street in Galva and collecting donations of funds and equipment from generous folks excited by the concept of Special Kneads. Margaret was inspired by her son Frankie who has Cerebral Palsy to create a place where the two could work together. That dream has expanded to include Frankie's fellow special needs classmates at Geneseo High School who will be helping out at the bakery as well. The story of Special Kneads Bakery has inspired the kindness of the community and of people across Illinois who've made donations and sold equipment to the bakery at reduced prices. The oddfellows of Galva own the building but once they heard Margaret's pitch, they told her to get to work at that rent would not be charged until the place is up and running. I went to see Margaret and Frankie at Special Kneads on Tuesday and brought back this interview for our People to People Podcast. 

Deadline Today to Get Your Kewanee Humane Society Gear at Breedloves

Breedloves Sporting Goods is helping raise funds for local humane societies. Stop by Breedloves or go online to KewaneeHumaneSociety.itemorder.com and you can order a series of shirts or hoodies with a portion of the proceeds going to the Kewanee Humane Society. Breedloves Sporting Goods is also doing similar fundraisers for the Geneseo and Monticello Humane Societies and you can drop by Breedloves in Kewanee to find out more. 

Special Kneads Bakery Bringing Something Special Back to Galva

Folks in Galva are seeing life return to 326 Front Street in a most special fashion. The address that for 90 years belong to Jacobson’s Bakery before it went out of business in 2017 is set to once again be home to the warm and inviting scent of baked bread and cinnamon rolls. Margaret Cortes and her son Frankie are bringing Special Kneads Bakery to life at 326 Front Street and their story isn’t just about bringing a piece of Galva nostalgia back to life. Margaret, who lost her job back in January got the idea to start the bakery as a place where she could work with and spend time with Frankie, her 16-year-old son, who has Cerebral Palsy Dandy-Walker Variant. The idea grew from there to include Frankie’s friends and classmates, fellow special needs students at Geneseo High School who have been learning to cook as part of their curriculum. The idea has become an inspiration and inspired numerous people to want to help including the Galva Odd-Fellows who Margaret tells us gave her the opportunity to reinvigorate the former Jacobson’s Bakery after she explained her idea…

Since then the story has inspired people across Illinois who’ve donated needed items to the bakery or given significant discounts on items to help Margaret and Frankie’s dream become a reality. A GoFundMe page about the Bakery has thus far raised over a thousand dollars but there are still some needed items.

How excited are Galva residents about Special Kneads and the return to life of this Galva nostalgia space, while I was there to interview Margaret and Frankie, local resident Dan Erickson dropped by and shared a memory.

Mr Erickson was just excited to see some life in the front off the building again with so much history. And speaking of history, Margaret hopes to keep a piece of that Jacobson’s history alive at Special Kneads

You can hear my complete interview with Margaret Cortes and Frankie this morning at 9:35 on our People to People program here on WKEI.

Mollie Tibbetts Murderer Has Creepy Tie to Kewanee

The body of missing Brooklyn Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was found on Tuesday and a suspect in the case has been arrested and is being held but in a chilling twist, WKEI has learned that the alleged killer, Cristhian Rivera, has a Kewanee connection. In a story posted to Facebook a college student, we’ve agreed not to name at this time, received messages from the killer, Cristhian Rivera, just 18 days after he’s alleged to have murdered Mollie Tibbetts. A transcript of the messages and a photo appear to indicate that the messages indeed came from Cristhian Rivera, though thankfully the young Kewanee student did not respond to the messages. Nevertheless, this is a cautionary tale for anyone who receives messages on social media from strangers. 


Land Owners Urged to Be Cautious of Land Use Agreements Regarding Solar Energy

Solar opportunities continue to pop up around Illinois, but there are some things landowners should consider before signing a land lease agreement says Ed VanHoose, who serves as vice president at Clay Electric Cooperative in southeast Illinois..

VanHoose also advises retaining an attorney before entering into any contract.

Governor Rauner Signs Legislation Aimed at Keeping College Students in Illinois

Governor Rauner has signed legislation designed to slow the exodus of college students to other states. Rauner signed legislation creating a new merit-based grant program...

The AIM-HIGH Grant Pilot Program mixes 25 million dollars in state funding for Fiscal Year 2019 with matching dollars from Illinois universities. The National Center for Education Statistics says enrollment at public colleges in Illinois fell by 50,000 people between the early 1990s and 2014.

Despite Significant Security Station House Suffering Rash of Break-Ins

Despite significant security in place, the Station House in Kewanee has had two break-ins and one attempted break-in just over a month's time. That according to correspondence between WKEI and the Station House on Facebook. On Monday night a suspect managed to break into the Station House and steal a cash drawer. We are told that a juvenile suspect may be in custody stemming from this break-in. Meanwhile, the break-in that occurred two weeks ago at the Station House has not been solved, though video evidence has been given to Police. A break-in attempt prior to that successful break-in in early August was thwarted by the security system at the Station House. There is no evidence to indicate that thieves are specifically targeting The Station House as other businesses in the area have had similar issues. WKEI has reached out to Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley for further information regarding the break-ins at The Station House and other area businesses.  

Henry and Stark County 4 H Shotgun Club Meeting in September

The Henry and Stark 4H Shotgun Club, organized by the University of Illinois Extension, will meet in Kewanee on Tuesdays beginning on September the 11th at the Izaak Walton League at Baker Park. The first meeting for intermediate shooters is at 6 Pm followed by advanced shooters at 7 Pm. The club is open to all youth ages 10 to 18 years old. There is a $20 fee for anyone who is not already enrolled but would still like to attend and shoot. There will also be an additional fee for all youth to cover shells, clays and range fees. You can register by calling the Henry and Stark County 4H office at (309) 932-3447. Meetings of the 4H Shotgun Club begin on September the 11th and will continue each Tuesday through the week of November 6th.

Undocumented Immigrant Arrested in Murder of Mollie Tibbetts

An undocumented immigrant named Christian Rivera is in the Poweshiek County Jail, charged with the murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa college student whose disappearance had become a national news story. In a press conference this afternoon the Special Agent in Charge of the Investigation, Rick Rahn confirmed that Christian Rivera has been charged with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts. 

Christian Rivera has been charged with First Degree Murder. Investigators indicated that Rivera was in possession of video evidence of his encounter with Mollie Tibbetts, evidence that indicated he'd encountered her while she was jogging, had approached her, and jogged after her. Rivera in conversation with investigators stated that Mollie had told him she was going to call police if he didn't leave her alone, a warning he did not heed. Rivera then claimed that he blacked out before awakening in the area where Mollie Tibbetts' body was eventually located. More from Fox News Radio as this story develops. 


Is Your Child's Backpack Too Heavy?

Is your child's backpack too heavy? Recent studies find that kids as young as first grade are having back pain from carrying backpacks that are too heavy or carried improperly over one shoulder placing too much strain on one side of the body. Dr David Barczyk is a Chiropractor and Fox News Radio Expert Contributor and he joined WKEI this morning to discuss how parents can make sure their kids aren't carrying too much in that backpack. 

Kewanee Schools Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens on People to People

Dr Chris Sullens, Superintendent of Kewanee Schools, was our guest on People to People on Tuesday. Kids are back to school and enrollment is up in the school district. Meanwhile a number of expansion and improvement projects are ongoing and working toward completion. And, of course, the fall Sports season is getting underway. Listen to our conversation with Dr Chris Sullens in our People to People podcast... 


Stark County Farm Bureau on Tuned In

Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau joined us on Tuned In on Tuesday morning. The Stark County Farm Bureau Prime-timers are freshly returned from a tour of farms in the upper Midwest, including an informative stop at a cranberry farm. 

Open Line Podcast 08-21-18

Just as we were beginning today's Open Line program on WKEI, Fox News confirmed that the body of Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa college student whose disappearance had become a national headline, had been found. No other details have been released as of yet but a press conference is set for 5 Pm this afternoon. That was among the topics on today's Open Line along with the latest on the race for Illinois Governor and Pediatricians prescribing playtime for kids as a way of encouraging parents to get their kids outside to play. 

Break In at Station House Restaurant Overnight

Update: Kewanee Police confirm that they are investigating a break-in at the Station House restaurant. According to Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainsley, the break-in occurred at approximately 11:50 Pm last night. The thief stole a cash drawer and fled the scene. Kewanee Police are asking that if you have any information regarding this break-in, please call Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911. 


The Station House in Kewanee posted on their Facebook page that they were robbed this morning. A post on the Station House Facebook page just after 3 Am this morning states “Tonight 2nd Time this Month Broken Into -Stolen Cash Drawer. ALARM AND ALL” We’ve reached out to the Station House and to Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainsley and we will bring you more on this story as it develops.

Former President Obama Officially Endorses Pritzker for Governor

Former President Barack Obama has announced his support of J.B Pritzker in the race for Illinois Governor

In a video posted by the Pritzker campaign, the popular former President surprised no one by endorsing the Democratic candidate for Governor saying that Pritzker is a man who can make a difference.

The endorsement from the former President comes as J.B Pritzker continues to hold a significant polling lead over Governor Rauner. Most recent polling has Pritzker with a near 9 point advantage while a recent Washington Post article claimed that Rauner is among the most vulnerable Governors in the November election.


Progress on Corn and Soybeans Moving Right Along

Corn and Soybean progress is moving right along according to Illinois State Crop Statistician Mark Schluessener who spoke to our Kim Howard about how last week's weather affected the current crops. 

Dick Van Dyke Named Illinois Top 200 Number 1 Actor

The state’s top actor of the last two hundred years has been picked. And it’s a native son of Danville, but it’s not Gene Hackman. Dick Van Dyke was picked number 1 and Bill Murray was second. Hackman was third, Harrison Ford fourth. Chris Wills with the Bicentennial Commission says a recent favorite is fifth.

The next top 200 list will be the best entertainers. 

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on Tuned In 08-20-18

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday. Among the topics up for discussion were the OSF Saint Luke Medical Center 1K walk at Windmont Park, the Breedloves Sporting Good Shoe Fair at the Hospital September 15th and how Monday's at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee are Podiatry Days as Dr. Ruskusky is in Kewanee to see patients each Monday. 

Local Farm Bureau's Hosting Defensive Driving Course in Kewanee in September

The Henry, Stark and Bureau County Farm Bureau’s are going to be hosting a defensive driving course in Kewanee at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center. I recently asked Katie Laleman about what attendees can expect from the course and how it can benefit people to take part.

Flood-Weary Illinoisians Concerned Over Impact of WI Foxconn Development

Lake County residents are pushing to make sure the Foxconn development in Wisconsin's Racine County won't result in additional flooding for downstream residents. Since the Wisconsin Legislature waived environmental regulations for Foxconn, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission approved its own engineering study to make sure its watershed improvement projects won't be harmed by runoff from the site. Stormwater Commission Executive Director Michael Warner said the study is needed so they can address potential watershed-wide flood impacts.


"People don't want to have an increased flooding problem due to upstream impacts, so that is the reason we're taking a close look at it," Warner said. "But we also are aware there are benefits to this, to the project. There are economic benefits."Last week the Lake County Commission approved $74,000 to fund the study. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer received strong support from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and President Donald Trump to move to Wisconsin with its promise to hire 13,000 workers.


The Foxconn site is in the headwaters of the Des Plaines River, which flows down to several Lake County communities. Warner said mitigation should occur in the same watershed. For example, if the proposed plan is to create two acres of wetlands for every acre the company fills, it should all be in the same region."If it's replaced at least at one-to-one in the Des Plaines watershed, we would see that benefit, we being the downstream residents and businesses," Warner said.


The county's impact analysis consists of a multi-phased review to objectively identify the magnitude of stormwater, floodplain and wetland impacts, and all mitigation methods proposed. Earlier in the year, the county passed resolutions opposing any state decision to reduce or overlook environmental standards.

Illinois State Police Announce Saturation Saturday for this Weekend

The Illinois State Police are cracking down on drunk driving. Saturation Saturday is an effort by the Illinois State Police to remind drivers not to drive impaired. It will be a day of increased patrols and enforcement efforts aimed at getting drunk drivers off the road. Saturation Saturday is happening in conjunction with Mother's Against Drunk Driving. District 7 Commander, Captain Jason Dickey said in a statement “We have a Zero Tolerance stance on those who choose to drive impaired. This is a deadly decision that is completely preventable,” states Captain Dickey., “We stand with our partners from MADD. Like us, their lives have been personally affected by drivers who made bad choices. District 7 will use directed patrols, conduct roadside safety checks, and dedicate personnel to DUI enforcement to support this enforcement initiative.” Trooper Jason Wilson of the Illinois State Police will have more on Saturation Saturday when he joins us on People to People on WKEI this Thursday morning at 9:35 Am. 


Two Illinois Men Accused of Luring Child Via Video Game Chat App

A pair of Illinois men are under arrest in Mississippi accused of luring a child via a video game chat app. ABC7 in Chicago reports that Juan Andrade and Jason St. Aubin were arrested in Illinois and taken to Mississippi to face charges of kidnapping after they picked up the boy and brought him back to their hometown of Creal Springs, Illinois. The mother of one of the accused kidnappers, however, is telling another story. Bridget Sixto claims that her son and his friend believed they were picking up a 20 year old man that was trying to escape an abusive relationship. The father of the allegedly kidnapped teen claims that the men lured his son by telling him that one of them was suicidal. The two accused kidnappers will be in court on Tuesday in Mississippi. 


Do you monitor what your children are saying on videogame chats? 

Farren's Pub in Champain Wins Best Burger in Illinois Poll

Farren's Pub and Eatery in Champaign has been voted as having the best burger in the state of Illinois. Tripadvisor.com announced the results of their poll of the Best Burger in Every State, and Farren's home of the infamous Russell Burger received the most votes from visitors to Tripadvisor.com. In a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, the owner of Farren's said "Wow! Thanks to the great people I work with, the support of our wonderful regulars and my incredible family! You all make this possible,” wrote the restaurant’s owner on Facebook." 


This has us wondering: Which restaurant has the best burger in Kewanee? Leave your answer in the comments section or on Facebook and tag your favorite restaurant. 

Relay for Life Honorary Survivor Denise Mozal is a Mom on a Mission to Cure Cancer

Denise Mozal is a Mom on a Mission to Cure Cancer. After having walked in Relay for Life in 49 different states over the past several years since she beat cancer herself, Denise is now coming to the Relay for Life of Henry and Stark County to complete her countrywide journey that has taken her from Alaska to Hawaii, from New York to California and now Kewanee. Denise’s inspiring journey is why, though she’s not from Henry or Stark County, she has been named this year’s Honorary survivor at this year’s Relay for Life, this Saturday, August 25th at Windmont. I spoke with Denise and asked her how her journey began.

I asked Denise why she chose the Relay for Life of Henry and Stark County and she said it was about convenience and a little divine inspiration.

Denise has a Tumblr Blog called Mom on a Mission to Cure Cancer where she’s detailed her full Relay for Life journey. You can come and meet Denise and cheer her on in her 50th state Relay for Life this Saturday, August 25th. Don’t forget, you don’t have to be on a team to walk in Relay for Life, there will be food for sale and a silent auction you can bid in while your there in Windmont Park this Saturday, starting at 3 Pm. Forms to purchase Luminaria for this Saturday are available here at our studios in Kewanee at 133 East Division Street.

Governor Rauner Signs New Gun Laws

Governor Rauner has signed multiple pieces of legislation dealing with gun-related issues. State Police Director Leo Schmitz notes the legislation adds protection to keep guns out of the hands of individuals with mental illness who have been deemed dangerous to themselves or others...

The new law clarifies the reporting standards for hospitals and requires they report all mental health admissions to the state’s Department of Human Services. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law that allows Firearm Owners Identification cards to stay active even if Illinois State Police renewal isn't completed by their expiration date. Rauner's action Friday gives the state police 60 business days to review and approve FOID card renewals. The previous law was 30 calendar days and FOIDs were invalid if expiration occurred during the process.

University of Illinois Extension Takes Master Gardener Program Online

The University of Illinois Extension is now offering their Master Gardener Training Classes online. You can sign up for Master Gardener courses via the University of Illinois Extension Website at web.extension.Illinois.edu. Martha Smith with the University of Illinois Extension joined us today on WKEI and explained what you can expect from the online course.


RegionalDailyNews.com Celebrity Interview Anna Sophia Robb Star of Down a Dark Hall

Actress Anna Sophia Robb is likely best known for her beloved performance in Soul Surfer as Bethany Hamilton who overcame a shark attack to get back on her surfboard and inspired millions. Now, after attending and graduating from college, Anna Sophia is back on the big screen and the small in the new movie Down a Dark Hall. This PG-13 horror movie has Anna Sophia co-starring with the brilliant Uma Thurman. I asked Anna Sophia Robb about her time away from the big screen, what she loves about movies and working with Uma in this RegionalDailyNews.com celebrity interview. 

Down a Dark Hall is in theaters and On-Demand and available to stream on I-Tunes now. 

Traffic Crash in Kewanee Leads to Three People Cited By Henry County Deputies

Three people were cited by Henry County Sheriff's Deputies following a single car accident near Kewanee on Friday. According to the Henry County Sheriff's Office, 20 year old Demetris Coleman of Monmouth was the driver of a 2009 Honda CRV that left the road and struck a tree on County Highway 28 northwest of Kewanee at approximately 3:23 Am Friday morning. Coleman was cited for Failing to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident, Driving on a Suspended License, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Failing to Report an Accident to Police Authorities, and Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. The Henry County Deputy investigating the accident also issued Citations to 34 year old Ashley Ryner of Kewanee for Making a False Police Report and to 66 year old Judy Ryner of Monmouth for Obstructing Justice each related to the accident involving Coleman. 

Two New Hunting Law Signed By Governor Rauner

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a pair of new laws over the weekend. One law will allow hunters the option to wear hot pink when out hunting rather than the tradition hunters orange. The other law is aimed at the poaching of Whitetail Deer. Our Kim Howard has more on the Governor and the latest hunting legislation. 


Illinois Treasurer Talks Up Ag Invest Program

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs continues to promote the state’s Ag Invest program. He says it’s all about locking in low interest rates.

Farmers can learn more about the program at "illinoistreasurer.gov" and then typing in “AG Invest” in the search box. 

Bill Eases Worry for Police to Seek Mental Health Help

First responders see some of the worst things one person can do to another. But sometimes they may avoid getting help for mental health issues because they are afraid of what it could mean for their job. A new bill is designed to protect police officers from worries about keeping their spot on the force if they seek mental health help. Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz says no one should worry about keeping their job.

The bill was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner this weekend.

Illinois State Fair Over for 2018

That’s a wrap. The Illinois State Fair is in the books. The 11 day run ended on Sunday and State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says that when he visited with fairgoers they told him how much they noticed the little things around the grounds.

There are no official attendance numbers for the fair. Those should be out in the next week or two.

Saturday Hours Added to Kewanee Transfer Station

The Kewanee City Council meeting on Monday, August 13th, ended with Council Member Steve Faber asking if it were possible to have Saturday hours at the Kewanee Transfer Station and City Manager Gary Bradley approving the idea as an expenditure of only $130 to $150 per Saturday. Now, we have official hours and dates for Saturday use of the Transfer Station: 


·         8/25/18

·         9/8/18

·         9/22/18

·         10/13/18

·         10/27/18 (City-wide Clean Up Day also scheduled for this date)


Saturday hours are 8 Am to 12 Noon. Regular hours for the transfer station remain 7 Am to 3 Pm weekdays. 

Threatening Phone Call Led to Lockdown in East Moline School

A threatening phone call about potential violent action against United Township High School in East Moline led to the lockdown that WKEI reported about on Facebook. According to the East Moline Police, via a press conference, the call came in this morning causing East Moline Police to place UT in a lockdown, no one was allowed into or out of the school for over an hour while East Moline Police searched the school perimeter. Wild speculation on social media ranged from reporting an active shooter to the capture of a suspect in the area. The reality is that East Moline Police are continuing to investigate the threat and where it came from but that no suspect was found at the school, no active shooter, indeed no gun or gunman whatsoever was found at the school. 

Kelly Mulcahy Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for July

Congratulations to Kelly Mulcahy of Bradford. Kelly has been named the Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for the month of July. Kelly was nominated for her strong attendance record, her willingness to help others and improvements in achieving goals. Kelly was also a Silver Medallist in the 50 Meter Run at the Illinois Special Olympics last month. Congratulations to Kelly on being named The Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month. 

Henry County Sheriff's Deputies Arrest Two in Domestic Dispute in Annawan

Henry County Sheriff's deputies made a pair of arrests on Thursday following a Domestic Dispute in Annawan. According to the Henry County Sheriff's release, Deputies were called to the area of the 200 Block of North Depot Street in Annawan following up on a call regarding a Domestic Dispute. At the scene, Deputies arrested 22 year old Kayla Clark of Annawan on a charge of Domestic Battery. Also arrested at the scene was 21 year old Tifffany Miller of Moline. Miller was arrested on a Henry County warrant for Failure to Appear on a Charge of Underage Drinking. 

Tuned In Bob McKee Local Sports Now

Bob McKee, Regional Media Sports Ambassador was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. Bob is launching LocalSportsNow.com and a brand new sports show on WKEI, The Local Sports Now Noon Hour Sports Show. That show will air each weekday at 12:05 Pm on WKEI and will be available each weekday to stream at LocalSportsNow.com. Meanwhile, the Coaches Corner returns this Saturday, August 18th, just in time to preview the season with the usual lineup of local coaches getting you ready for the new season of High School Football. Bob McKee was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. 

Pork Chop Sandwich Baggers Still Needed for Kewanee Hog Days

Sandwich bagging volunteers are still needed for Kewanee Hog Days. Organizer Dave Clarke is still putting out a call for volunteers as thus far only 8 people have stepped up to volunteer for hours in the Pork Chop Tent. Volunteers are most desperately needed on Friday night, August 31st from 5 to 9 Pm where there are thus far only 3 volunteers. The situation is even more dire on Sunday, September 2nd where sandwich baggers are needed throughout the whole day from 11 am to 9 Pm. The Wethersfield Girls Volleyball team stepped up to fill up the volunteer schedule on Saturday from 11 Am to 9 Pm but volunteers are still welcome for any of the days of Hog Days weekend through Monday, September 3rd from 11 Am until all of the sandwiches are gone. On the bright side, all but two of the grill shifts for Hog Days weekend. Get in touch with Dave Clarke to pledge your time to volunteer to bag sandwiches on Hog Days weekend. Call 309-853-8253 or email davidjclarke49@gmail.com.

Disney's Christopher Robin Opening in Kewanee This Weekend at the Wanee Cinemas

Disney’s Christopher Robin is making his way from the 100 Acre Woods to Kewanee this weekend. Christopher along with his pals Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger are opening this weekend at the Wanee Cinemas here in Kewanee alongside the hit, number 1 movie in America The Meg starring Jason Statham. While that giant shark movie has chewed up the box office, Christopher Robin has been seen as a minor disappointment among the crop of Disney live action adaptations of their legendary cartoons but don’t let that stop you. I wrote about how much I adored Christopher Robin in my Movie of the Day column at RegionalDailyNews.com and believe me, it is a must see for the kids and their parents at the Wanee Cinemas this weekend.

Illinois State Police Offering Reminders Regarding Safe Driving in School Zones

With kids back in school the Illinois State Police are offering important reminders about school safety. Drivers are reminded to drive with greater caution and reduced speed in school zones. Remember that school zone speed limits are 20 miles per hour in school zones between 7 Am and 4 Pm. Watch closely for kids riding bikes and walking to school. Also remember that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk and that you cannot pass stopped school buses. Failure to stop behind a stopped school bus can result in a $150.00 fine and a three month suspension of your driver's license.

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations 08-16-18 to 08-17-18

At approximately 9:21 Am Kewanee Police initiated a traffic stop in the area of Route 78 just south of Kewanee. In the stop Kewanee Police Cited 29 year old Betsy J. Prather of Bradford for Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.


Then, at approximately 9:34 Am again on Route 78 south of Kewanee, Police initiated another traffic stop, this time with 63 year old Mark S. Ahlgren of Kewanee, cited for Distracted Driving Cellphone use.


At approximately 9:45 Am in the 700 Block of Tenney Street Kewanee Police initiated another traffic stop and once again cited another driver for cellphone use. 53 year old Lesa K. Griffin was cited for Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.


At 11:26 Am in the area of the 100 Block North Main Street, Kewanee Police cited 26 year old Breanna S. Spring of Kewanee on a charge of Distracted Driving Cellphone Use.


A quick-thinking motorcyclist narrowly avoided injury in an accident just before Noon on Thursday at the intersection of Main and Prospect Street in Kewanee. According to the Kewanee Police Department, the driver of the SUV, 71 year old Patricia Varner of Kewanee,  was turning on to East Prospect Street and did not see the motorcycle, ridden by 35 year old Richard L. Werderman of Kewanee, headed northbound on Main Street. Thankfully the motorcyclist was able to slow down enough to minimize the impact and avoid serious injury. The driver of the SUV was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.


Just after 1:30 Pm Kewanee Police responded to an accident in the area of the 1200 3rd Street. At the scene a 16 year old driver had struck a parked vehicle owned by Amy Busboom of Kewanee.


At approximately 4:01 Pm Kewanee Police responded to the area of Edwards and South Street. At the scene was a damage only accident involving vehicles driven by 61 year old Roland L. Young of Kewanee whose vehicle had struck a vehicle owned by 38 year old Michael G. Anderson of Kewanee.


At approximately 6 Pm Kewanee Police were called to the 100 Block of Fairview Homes. At the scene, Police arrested 23 year old Thomas D. Coleman III on charges of Domestic Battery. He was taken to the Henry County Jail.

Illinois State Police Investigating Car Fire Accident

Update: 37 year old Jennifer L. Pattalio of Sycamore, Illinois has been charged with Driving Under the Influence, Speeding, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and Improper Lane Usage. She remains in serious condition at a local medical facility. The other driver in this accident, the one struck from behind has been identified as Caitlin R. Buswell of Ames, Iowa. Ms. Buswell was thankfully not harmed in the accident. 


The Illinois State Police are investigating an accident on I-80 near Geneseo in which a vehicle caught fire before striking another vehicle. According to the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred just after 7 Pm near the Big X, the I-80 intersection near Geneseo. A vehicle was seen driving erratically westbound at a high rate of speed and weaving through traffic. The vehicle then struck another Westbound vehicle from behind on the passenger side before leaving the roadway and striking a tree. The vehicle then fully caught fire and witnesses on the scene rescued the driver of the vehicle. The vehicle that was struck pulled over to the side following the accident and thankfully was unhurt in the crash. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was rushed from the scene by Geneseo Ambulance to a local medical facility with serious injuries. We will bring you more on this story as it develops. 

Groups Call for More Reforms in Chicago Police Decree

The public comment period for a consent decree to govern how Chicago Police officers use force and are held accountable ends today. Backers of police reform - including the ACLU and Black Lives Matter - are in a tug-of-war with the Illinois attorney general's office and Mayor Rahm Immanuel over details of the draft consent decree, which resulted from a 2014 video of white police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.


The decree is a set of promises the City of Chicago is making to improve its police department. Kathy Hunt Muse, a special litigation counsel for ACLU of Illinois, says her group has additions in a dozen areas it believes are necessary to make deeper reforms."Parts of our proposal outlines additional revisions need to go further on issues relating to accountability," says Hunt Muse. "Some of these are commonsense fixes about making agencies share information with each other about potential officer misconduct so that they can act on that and investigate incidents."


When the consent decree is finalized, the groups can go to court to enforce it. The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has long been opposed to the changes, in light of provisions in union contracts that protect officers during disciplinary investigations. Hunt Muse says the final decree also needs a guarantee that it will be enforceable and transparent. She's pushing for the attorney general and the public to have more say and says an appointed monitor could independently decide on cases of possible discrimination.


"We cannot have a monitor that's going to operate as a rubber stamp, approving the proposal that the department comes up with privately," says Hunt Muse. "We need to make sure that there's an opportunity for the public to be seeing what happens, and commenting on certain parts of the plans and the trainings that go on."


The ACLU wants more officers to be trained for dealing with people with disabilities. The city's draft decree also calls for the department to provide additional resources for officers seeking counselling, since suicide among law enforcement is a concern in Chicago and elsewhere.

Public comments can be emailed to policereform@atg.state.il.us

State Fair Foundation Ready for Million Dollar Gift

The Illinois State Fair Foundation was announced two years ago to help pay for renovations on the State Fair Grounds but little fundraising had been accomplished until this year. On Tuesday Governor Bruce Rauner announced that he and his wife were pledging a million dollar donation to the fairgrounds foundation – earmarked to speed renovations at the shuttered Coliseum.
The million comes at a time when the Foundation had little to show for fundraising efforts. Just $32,000 had been raised in 2017. State Fair Foundation Chairman John Slayton – a volunteer – says the reconstruction will soon be underway.

The Rauner’s helped raise more than $12 million to renovate the Governor’s Mansion and now are willing to do the same for the fairgrounds.

State Adding More Jobs To The Economy

The nation’s job picture is in really good shape and so is Illinois. The Department of Employment Security says that joblessness stands at four point two percent last month, a tenth of a point lower than in June. IDES’ Bob Gough says the state is adding jobs.

The job growth has been consistent in Illinois the past few years. Right now the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 18 years.

No One Injured in Accident at Main and Prospect Intersection in Kewanee

A quick thinking motorcyclist narrowly avoided injury in an accident just before Noon on Thursday at the intersection of Main and Prospect Street in Kewanee. According to the Kewanee Police Department, the driver of the SUV in the accident was turning on to East Prospect Street and did not see the motorcycle headed northbound on Main Street. Thankfully the motorcyclist was able to slow down enough to minimize the impact and avoid serious injury. The driver of the SUV was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

WKEI Open Line Podcast 08-16-18

Today on the WKEI Open Line Podcast we took calls on the passing of the legendary Aretha Franklin. I didn't hear the Queen of Soul until her mid-1980's resurgence and didn't really become a huge Aretha Franklin fan until much later when I began playing dozens of Aretha's songs on one of the radio stations I was the Program Director for. My favorite, "Don't Play That Song." 


Also up for discussion today: Did you change the rules after you had kids? A friend of mine once told me that she would make her future children eat the dinner that she made for them whether they liked it or not. Today, she says her approach is much more akin to a waitress who gets no tips. 


Feel free to respond to these topics in the comments section or on our Facebook page and we will include your responses on the WKEI Open Line. 


State Senator Chuck Weaver to Hold Coffee and Conversation in Knoxville

State Senator Chuck Weaver has announced that he will be holding another in his series of coffee and conversation events in Knoxville, Illinois. In a release on Thursday afternoon the State Senator announced that coffee and conversation will be coming to Big Catz BBQ at 221 East Main Street in Knoxville on August 22nd from 8 Am to 9 Am. State Senator Chuck Weaver will be on hand to answer questions from constituents and hear concerns for the next legislative session in Springfield. 

Congressman Rodney Davis' Staffer Fired Following Altercation

A field director for Congressman Rodney Davis is out of a job after an incident at a Springfield bar where Davis' opponent celebrated her primary victory and has hosted fundraisers. Levi Lovell was taken to the Sangamon County Jail on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery after an altercation at JP Kellys. Video posted by WCIA's Mark Maxwell shows Lovell trying to film members of opponent Betsy Dirksen Londrigan's campaign...

According to statements from witnesses at the bar, Lovell was trying to get Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and her husband to answer questions on camera. When Lovell was asked to leave he started throwing punches at one of Londrigan campaign members. Congressman Rodney Davis released a statement. "My sincerest apologies to Betsy, her husband Tom, and everyone at JP Kelly's. The incident involving a young field representative on my campaign should have never happened and his employment was immediately terminated. His actions go against everything I stand for and go directly against what I have been promoting, which is more civility in politics. This kind of behavior will never be tolerated on my campaign or with anyone on my staff,"

Attorney General Pushing Law to Protect Professional Licences

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing a bill that would protect the professional licences of Illinois residents who fall behind on student loan payments. HB 2439 will eliminate the ability of the state of Illinois to suspend someone's occupational licence because of late payments for student loans. Currently, the state of Illinois could suspend a professional licence, i.e the licence to practice law or medicine, as punishment for someone who had fallen behind on student loan payments. Anyone whose job is professionally licenced is potentially subject to the law unless HB 2439 passes and is signed by Governor Bruce Rainer. 

Wednesday Boil Order Lifted in Kewanee

The boil order put in place by the City of Kewanee has now been lifted. Water in affected areas should be back to normal but lines should still be flushed with cold water first before use. The areas affected by the boil order on Wednesday were...


308, 315, 321, and 401 W 2nd Street


112, 113, 120, and 121 N Lexington Avenue


315 W 1st (YMCA) and 320 W 1st (Dura Bowl)


101 S Lexington and 406 W Central (Visitation School and Convent)


Water was shut off in these areas for a hydrant repair on Wednesday.

People to People with Michael Devine from the I.R.S

It's good to remember to think of your taxes even when you're not at the start of a year waiting for a return or approaching April 15th. That's one of the messages today from Michael Devine from the I.R.S who was our guest on People to People. Folks should remember to make sure they are deducting the right amount depending on things such as pay raises, job losses, weddings, births, or any other significant life change. This was just one of the topics we discussed with Michael Devine from the I.R.S on today's People to People Podcast. 

Texting and Driving Could Effect Your Driving Record Under New Law

Put that phone down while you are driving. It’s something we hear a lot but not enough people are listening and the Secretary of State is trying to up and ante on what texting while driving will do to your record. Spokesman Henry Haupt says a new law pushed for by Jesse White makes texting while driving a moving violation. That means it’s going on your driving record and multiple tickets will add up.

The fine stays at $75 bucks.

Kewanee's Baseball History with the Kewanee Historical Society

Kewanee’s Baseball History is one of the three options for the next mural in Kewanee. In part of helping to select the next Kewanee mural, WKEI is going to take a closer look at each of the three choices for the next mural, the nominees set out by Joy Hernandez and her team. First up, Kewanee’s baseball history. We’re teaming up with the Kewanee Historical Society in this effort and I recently sat down with Larry Lock, President of the Kewanee Historical Society to talk baseball.

I asked Larry to take us back in time to some of the earliest history of Kewanee Baseball

Larry continues on talking about the history of the Kewanee Boilermakers

In 1947 Kewanee would get another minor league team, the first in the area to have major league affiliation, the Kewanee A’s

Then there was the Kewanee Ballhawk semi-pro Softball team. Started in the 1950’s, Larry told me, the Ballhawks were some of his favorite memories about first coming to Kewanee in the late 1960’s

Realistically, a Kewanee baseball mural could feature men and women, the Boilermakers, the A’s and the Ballhawks. Then, of course, there is the history of lighted baseball in Kewanee with the remarkable and historic installation of lights at Northeast Park. 

If you want to cast your vote for Kewanee’s Baseball history as the next Kewanee Mural, you can vote with your cash. Put your donation in an envelope, write the number 1 on that envelope and take it to Reiman’s Harley Davidson. All the money donated goes toward the creation of the next Kewanee mural, regardless of which mural you vote for. Next Thursday, we will talk with Larry Lock once again regarding the unique history of the Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as we continue to profile your options to vote for the next Kewanee Mural.

WKEI Open Line Podcast 08-15-18

Today on the Open Line we talked about the decline of the resume and the rise of the LinkedIn profile or personal website as a way of introducing yourself to potential employers. It's also National Relaxation Day and I talked about the unusual things I use to relax. 

Don't miss the next edition of the Open Line on WKEI, Thursday morning at 9:08 on WKEI. 

Nichelle Nichols with Relay for Life on People to People on August 15th

Nichelle Nichols is always busy at the State Bank of Toulon but she never fails to make time for the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life. A 21 year survivor herself. Nichelle is at the heart of the Henry and Stark County Relay for Life and she dropped by the WKEI studio on Wednesday to discuss all things Relay for Life, the purple ribbons tied up around town and events leading up to and happening on the day of, August 25th in Windmont Park benefiting the fight against cancer. 

Hog Days Parade T-Shirts Available Now at Kewanee Chamber Office

Hog Days T-Shirts are now available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Office at 113 East 2nd Street in Kewanee. Don't Go Bacon My Heart is the theme for this year's parade and it is well represented on the new t-shirts...

Your Hog Days Parade t-shirt is waiting for you at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office. 

Katie Laleman on Tuned In On WKEI August 15th

Katie Laleman joined WKEI this morning on our Tuned In program. Katie talked about a number of topics and upcoming events including an upcoming meeting with area lawmakers. You must be a member of the Farm Bureau to attend the forum. Kate Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau on Tuned In on WKEI

Trees Forever Offering Statewide Grants to Help Plant Trees

The organization Trees Forever is offering grants to encourage landowners, private residences, business owners and organizations, grants to grow trees. Farmers especially are invited to apply for the grant to plant trees on their property as trees can be a boon to farms as they help improve soil and water quality while helping to reduce soil erosion. 10 to 20 statewide applicants will receive a grant up to $2000 for 50% of the cost of expenses. Trees Forever will also offer on-site assistance to help in the planting. Debbie Fluegel, is the Director of the program and she spoke with WKEI today about the advantages to residents who take part in the program. Go to TreesForever.org to fill out your application for the grant. 

Smaller Banks Get Break on Regular Audits

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed House Bill 4589—aimed at levelling the playing field for smaller banks when it comes to audits. Now, instead of financial institutions paying extra money to have an audit every 12 months, smaller banks will only need the work done every 18 months. Steve McIntyre, the residential real estate lender at the First Savanna Savings Bank, says that customers of smaller banks like his, will see a difference sooner rather than later...

State Representative Tony McCombie of Savanna, who sponsored the bill, says the passing of this legislation goes to show how important it is for community members to speak up to their representatives...

The Illinois Bankers Association, among others, were supporters of this bill that they say reduces costly red tape for smaller banks.

Kewanee Planning Meeting Set for August 23rd

One item will be on the agenda when the Kewanee Planning Commission meets again on August 23rd. Director of Community Development Keith Edwards today released the agenda for the next meeting which will focus on the revocation of a special use permit for Jon Willie. Mr. Willie has been operating an auto storage yard at 525 N. Main Street in Kewanee. This hearing is a continuation from a previous meeting of the planning commission on the same topic. 

Kewanee Police Auctioning off Vehicles on EBay

The Kewanee Police Department is auctioning off a pair of vehicles via EBay. According to the Kewanee Police Department Facebook page, a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2006 Crown Victoria are now available to bid on via EBay.com. The truck is an extended cab truck with over  116,000 miles on it and does have issues with oil leakage. 

As for the Crown Victoria, it was a used police vehicle, 2006, with over 120,000 miles on it. 

Bidding began Wednesday morning with One Cent as the opening bid and have grown to over $300 on each auction as the day goes on. The auction comes to an end on August 22nd. 

New Windsor Fair and Rodeo Gets Underway Thursday

The New Windsor Fair and Rodeo gets underway with events on Thursday night. At 5 Pm on Thursday, August 16th. Up first is the Street Parade through the New Windsor Business District. If you'd like to be part of the parade, the entries for the parade are lining up beginning at 3 Pm. The parade is followed by the beginning of the IPRA Rodeo and Mutton Bustin Competition at the New Windsor Fairgrounds, located at IL-17 and Rodeo Park Road. The IPRA Rodeo and Mutton Bustin will continue on Friday and Saturday night at 7 Pm at the Fairgrounds but there will also be carnival rides and food vendors as part of the event. Russ Robb is one of the organizers of the New Windsor Fair and Rodeo and he joined us on WKEI with more on this family fun event. 

Kewanee Transfer Station Getting Saturday Hours

The Kewanee Transfer Station is getting new hours. Per the request of Council member Steve Faber, the Kewanee Transfer Station will open the second and 4 fourth Saturday of each month, through the month of October says City Manager Gary Bradley.

Mayor Looney underlining how helpful the Transfer Station is to keeping the City of Kewanee cleaned up. The cost to open the Transfer Station on Saturday’s was set at somewhere between $130 and $150 per month according to estimates from the City Manager.


Governor Rauner Donates 1 Million Dollars to State Fair Coliseum Fund

It's been nearly 2 years since the famed Coliseum at the Illinois State Fair was closed due to structural inefficiencies but it appears the building, erected in 1901, is set for a full comeback. After the announcement earlier this year that the state of Illinois had set aside $7 million for structural repairs to the building, Governor Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana have pledged $1 million dollars toward the needed repairs. Our Kim Howard has more. 

Illinois Opioid Hotline Fielding Thousands of Calls

The State of Illinois Opioid Hotline has received over 5000 calls in just a few months. Whether it is calls from people eager to break their addiction to opioids or family members seeking help on behalf of loved ones, the opioid hotline has proven to be such a boon to Illinois residents that new features of the hotline are being introduced. Our Kim Howard has more. 

Team Breedloves Takes Home Prize at Abilities Plus Golf Outing But Everyone Was a Winner

Some 35 teams took part in raising funds for Abilities Plus in the 27th Annual Abilities Plus Golf Outing. Team Breedloves came away the winners shooting a 57 for the low score. Team members Collin Landis, Mike Landis, Damon Driscoll and Jack Bumann, are seen in the photo attached to this story. The All-State team of  Kyle Smith, Court Marshall, Kyle Graham and Brett Jones, finished second with a score of 58 and team McMahill finished in 3rd place with a score of 60 for team members Tom McMahill, Bill Ellis, Greg Smith and Jayme Hopping. Hole event winners included Carla Hillman with the women’s longest drive, Greg Smith with longest putt, Nick Lorenz was closest to the pin, and Brett Jones had the men’s longest drive.  Dave Mueller was the winner of the putting contest hosted by Union Federal Savings & Loan. Of course the real winners are the people that Abilities Plus can continue to serve thanks to the incredible generosity of the participants in the 27th Annual Abilities Plus Golf Outing.

Less Than One Week to Sign Up for Hog Days Parade

August 20th is the deadline for you and your organization to sign up for the Hog Days Parade. Go to the Kewanee Chamber website at Kewanee-IL.com/parade to register your parade entry. There is no cost to participate in the Hog Days Parade but you are asked to incorporate the parade theme, 'Don't Go Bacon My Heart', into your parade entry. All entries must be in by August 20th at 5 Pm. The 42nd Annual Hog Days Parade will begin at 2 Pm, rain or shine, on Saturday, September 1st. Everett Whitcher from Save A Lot in Kewanee is this year's Kewanee Hog Days Parade Grand Marshall. The Ambassador Club of Kewanee is managing this year's parade. 

Water Shut-Off and Boil Order Scheduled for Wednesday in Kewanee

A water shutoff and boil order will be in effect in portions of Kewanee on Wednesday. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, the water shutoff and boil order will be in effect from 6 Am until 12 Noon while crews work to repair fire hydrants. Affected areas include:


308, 315, 321, and 401 W 2nd Street,

112, 113, 120, and 121 N Lexington Avenue

315 W 1st (YMCA) and 320 W 1st (Dura Bowl)

101 S Lexington and 406 W Central (Visitation School and Convent)


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 are reminded that residences in these areas may experience low water pressure, rusty or discolored water or no water at all during this time frame. Once the shut off and boil orders pass remember to flush the lines with cold water only as hot water could draw rust into your water heater.

Kewanee Resident Arrested for Failing to Register as Sex Offender

A Kewanee resident was arrested on Monday for failing to register as a Sex Offender. According to a release from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, 36 year old Rochelle Sephus of Kewanee was arrested at approximately 10:48 Pm on Monday night after failing to register as a sex offender in Henry County. Court documents indicate that Sephus changed residences in Kewanee earlier this year but did not inform authorities in a timely fashion leading to the arrest Tuesday night. The charges against Sephus date back to 2005 when she and another Kewanee resident, Enoch F. Webster, were arrested on Child Pornography charges

Mid-Week Rain Good for Short Soil Moisture Across Illinois

Much of Illinois could use a good mid-August rain and that’s a good possibility over the next couple of days says agriculture meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese Notis Weather.

The latest USDA crop report has Illinois topsoil moisture at 40-percent short to very short. 

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley on People to People

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley were our guests on Tuesday's edition of People to People. The topics were from Monday night's City Council meeting including items on the consent agenda that passed unanimously and items on the business agenda that mostly passed with unanimity, including a special use permit for a new Spray Tan business in Kewanee, a variance for a resident building a garage and news about the Transfer Station opening on Saturdays.

Red Cross Blood Drive in Galva Tuesday Afternoon

The Red Cross is holding blood drive this afternoon from 1 Pm to 6 Pm at First United Methodist Church in Galva, located at 214 West 2nd Avenue in Galva. Gwen Yusko with the Red Cross tells WKEI that there is a desperate need for donations at this time. 

Those who show up to donate in Galva this afternoon will not only receive a snack, they will also receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card, courtesy of the Red Cross. 

Wethersfield Schools In-Service and Orientation Day Today

Dr Shane Kazubowski the Superintendent of Wethersfield Schools was our guest on People to People on Monday. Among the topics discussed was this week’s schedule with kids returning to school on Thursday and teacher’s returning today and tomorrow with a pair of In-Service days.

Tonight is orientation for 7th and 8th Grade Wethersfield students and for the 7th graders, that means the Chrome Book Rollout is tonight.

You can hear my complete interview with Dr Shane Kazubowski online now in our People to People Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com

I-74 Lane Closure Between Woodhull and Lynn Center

Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that one lane of Westbound traffic on I-74 between Illinois 17 at Woodhull and Illinois 81 at Lynn Center will be under construction. The lane closure is to accommodate cement patching on this area of road. The road closure will last from Tuesday, August 14th through Friday, August 17th. 

A Closer Look at the Food at The Illinois State Fair

The Illinois Bicentennial got our reporter Kim Howard thinking about some of the new and unique food at this year's Illinois State Fair as well as the vendors who've been with the fair for decades on. The food at the fair is always unique and different, offering a wide array of tastes from dinner to snacks to desserts. Here's Kim Howard on the food at the Illinois State Fair. 

Governor Rauner Signs MAP Grant Bill

College students have been leaving the state at higher and higher numbers over the past few years. One reason has been grant programs that were in doubt during the years when the state didn’t have a budget. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill to ease concerns about MAP grants being granted year by year.

Illinois State Fair Crowns Hog Calling Champion

The Illinois State Fair crowned another champion this week.

That’s Andrew Metheny of Georgetown who walks away as the best hog caller in the state. Metheny was able to put a few hundred bucks in his pocket as the title holder but says he has someplace to spend it…

Metheny said he discovered his talent while in college.

Avengers Infinity War Showing Today at the Kewanee Public Library

The Kewanee Public Library is playing host to Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers this afternoon at 2 Pm so says Sara Billiet of the Kewanee Public Library

It’s free to attend Avengers Infinity War this afternoon at 2 Pm at the Kewanee Public Library and of course, Avengers Infinity War will be the movie of the day today at RegionalDailyNews.com as the movie is making its Blu Ray and DVD debut today.

Kewanee City Council Meeting 08-13-18

The Kewanee City Council met on Monday night with relatively little conflict. The consent agenda passed first with no objections allowing for Relay for Life and Step Ladder Tutoring to each conduct Tag Days events over the Hog Days weekend. Also approved on the consent agenda was the special use of a parking area on Cottage Street from Commercial to 1st Street for parking cars for the 1988 Kewanee High School Class Reunion. 


In new business before the council, James Wiggin was approved for a variance of 7 feet for the maximum height for an accessory building at 311 Fifth Avenue. 


A special use permit for a Spray Tan Salon put forward by Chelsea O'Connor was approved unanimously by the council for the property at 233 West Division. Members of the council took time briefly as well to congratulate Ms. O'Connor and praise her for bringing new business to Kewanee. 


Cerno's Bar & Grill received their annual special use permit for the area surrounding Cerno's for their outdoor concert event at Kewanee Hog Days and Council members Andy Koehler and Chris Colomer took the opportunity not only to praise Cerno's for their contributions to the business community but also for the incredible work that the team at Cerno's has done to improve the look of the building. 


Dana Construction was then approved as the company to demolish an abandoned residence at 1022 North East Street. The final bid was $4050.00, the lowest bid of the five companies that bid on the demolition contract. 


There was one disagreement on the night as Council Member Mike Yaklich voiced opposition to one of three nominees to the Kewanee Planning Commission. According to Mr. Yaklich, one of the nominees, who it was revealed, had approached members of the council about becoming a member of the Planning Commission, is currently in violation of an ordinance under the purview of the Planning commission. City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney stated that the nominee, one of three new members of the committee, would likely learn something from being a member of the Planning Commission i.e why it is important to remain within city guidelines. They also said that the nominee's youth may be an asset as a volunteer member of City Government. In the end, though Council Member Steve Faber also offered some scepticism of the nominee, all three new members of the planning commission were approved. 


One final note, it appears that those in need of using the Kewanee Transfer Station on Saturdays will get the chance. Council Member Steve Faber asked in the final meeting of July if it were possible to approve Saturday hours at the Transfer Station and at tonight's meeting, City Manager Gary Bradley stated that it was within his purview to approve the $130 to $150 per Saturday cost to open the Transfer Station on Saturdays, though hours and which Saturdays is yet to be completely determined. We will ask Gary Bradley about this when he and Mayor Looney appear on Tuesday's edition of People to People on WKEI. 


Davenport Iowa Man Charged in Henry County Motorcycle Crash

Henry County Sheriff's Deputies have completed their investigation into a July 28th motorcycle accident near Geneseo and the results are all bad for a Davenport, Iowa Motorcyclist. Bruce Duncan of Davenport, Iowa was involved in an accident in the area of East 550th Street just outside of Geneseo. There is no word if Duncan was injured in the crash, what we do know is that Henry County Sheriff's Deputies have issued citations for Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Not Reporting an Accident to Authorities, Driving on the Shoulder, Improper Lane Usage, and a speeding citation for riding his motorcycle at 99 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. 

28 Bats Across Illinois Test Positive for Rabies

It's rabid bat counting season and that job belongs to state veterinarian Dr. Connie Austin with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Last year in Illinois, 58 bats tested positive for rabies. 

Dr Shane Kazubowski Wethersfield Schools Superintendent on People to People August 13th

With school starting this week it was as a good a time as any to catch up with Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski. Dr Kazubowski had a number of topics to relate including the good news from the recent audit the school underwent per the requirements of the state of Illinois. Also, there are some odd rumors regarding the new Principal at Wethersfield and Dr Kazubowski took the time to take each of those down as well. And he closed by introducing some of the new Wethersfield Schools staff for 2018-2019. 



Shave for the Brave Shaves off Big Donations at The Back Road Music Festival

Shave for the Brave had yet another huge day of fundraising at the Back Road Music Festival in Galva on Saturday. All told, 20 people participated in shaving heads and chins for the cause of sending as many local veterans as possible on an Honor Flight in the next few months. The next Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is set for August 30 and another Honor Flight in October. Jason Bates with Shave for the Brave gives us the official tally on another tremendous fundraiser... 

Jason Bates talks about the 20 people who helped make Shave for the Brave a possibility and the remarkable amount of money they took in...

Jason wanted to thank all of the volunteers who did so much to help with Shave for the Brave while citing a list of teenagers who helped out by racing around the festival and collecting last minute donations for which they shaved their heads. Alonzo McDonald of Galva, Camron O'Brien of Galva, Mathew Dennison of Victoria, Jack Godsil of victoria, Aubri Stahl of Kewanee, Rosemary Howell of Galva, Brock Davis of Altona. In five years work at the Back Road Music Festival, the Shave for the Brave crew has raised enough to send an entire full planeload of veterans to Washington D.C.




IDOT Summit Planned for Business Owners

Minority and female business owners are encouraged to attend Saturday's summit in Collinsville hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation. It's a summit that will show business owners information to help grow their business through the state agency. IDOT Director of Business Workforce Diversity Pam Simon says there will be information on getting certified, training, speakers, and breakout sessions.

The conference is free and will take place at the Gateway Center, located at 1 Gateway Drive, in Collinsville. Registration and breakfast are at 7:30 a.m. The conference will conclude with a networking lunch, followed by optional training sessions. 

Black Hawk East Foundation Celebrating 50 Years on August 26th

Black Hawk College East Campus is celebrating 50 years of the Black Hawk East Foundation with a celebration on August 26th. According to a release from Black Hawk College, the event will include campus tours, a light buffet and a full presentation on the Black Hawk East Foundation. Events begin at 12 Noon and go on through the afternoon on August 26th. The cost to attend the event is $20 and reservations must be made by August 17th for $20 or $25.00 beginning on August 18th through the day of the open house. To make your reservation contact Liz Breedlove at 309-854-1715.

Hike the Hennepin Canal Set for August 19th

Friends of the Hennepin Canal will hold their monthly Hike the Canal event on August 19th. Hike the Hennepin is a 3.2 mile hike that will begin at Lock 17 and will end at Lock 21. Participants will meet at Lock 21 and be shuttled to Lock 17 where the hike will begin. Lock 21 on the Hennepin Canal is located 3 miles west of Wyanet on routes 6 and 34. There is no fee to join the Hike the Hennepin event but if you need any further information you can call Ed Hermmann at 815-664-2403.

Durbin looking forward to Biden visit this week

In recent years, Illinois Democrats broke from the tradition of making the Illinois State Fair a key public gathering place. The annual Democratic rally remains on the same day Democrats are honored at the fair but the cheers and hoopla have moved to a Springfield hotel. There's added excitement for Dems this year as former Vice President Joe Biden will make his return to Springfield Thursday. The man who extended the invite to the Democratic County Chairs event was his former Senate colleague, Illinois' Dick Durbin....

While some Biden backers would like to see him run for the White House in 2020, Durbin weighed in....

Demand for tickets to the Biden appearance at Springfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel has led party officials to book additional space.

Conservation World a Draw for Families at the Illinois State Fair

Families and outdoors enthusiasts are encouraged to check out the conservation tent at the Illinois State Fair. More than 30 acres have been set aside for the interactive event at the Illinois State Fair that includes a butterfly house, a fishing display, and much much more for those who enjoy getting outside in nature. Our Kim Howard has more on Conservation World...

Kewanee City Council Agenda August 13th 2018

August 13th 2018 at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall 
1. Call to Order
2. Closed meeting pursuant to Section 2 (c) (1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel and Section 2(c)(2)
to discuss Collective Bargaining.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Request from Step Ladder Tutoring to conduct Tag Days on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September
1, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.
e. Request from the Kewanee High School Class of 1988 for the closure of Cottage Street from Commercial
to First Street for parking of cars during their class reunion.

5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a. Acceptance of the Minutes from the Zoning Board of Appeals from its meeting on July 25, 2018.
b. Consideration of an Ordinance granting James Wiggin, 311 Fifth Avenue, a variance of seven feet for
the maximum allowable height of an accessory structure.
c. Acceptance of the Minutes of the Plan Commission from its meeting held on July 26, 2018.
d. Consideration of an Ordinance granting a special use permit to Chelsea O’Connor for a spray tan salon at 233 West Division Street.
e. Consideration of a Resolution to authorize the use of the public alley and parking area in the 200 block of West Second Street by Hype, Inc. d/b/a Cerno’s bar & grill in conjunction with Hog Days.
f. Consideration of an Ordinance awarding the demolition of 1022 N East Street to Dana Construction.
g. Consideration of a Resolution appointing members to the Plan Commission.
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournment

Important Day for Veterans at the Illinois State Fair Sunday

Veterans were celebrated at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday and many of the thank yous came from Representative Dan Swanson. At the State Fair on Sunday, four veterans-related bills put forward by Representative Swanson were signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. 

Among the bills highlighted at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday was HB 4332 which will allow veterans to designate themselves as veterans on their driver's license or other forms of official identification. HB4849 which sets specific guidelines for how Federal and State money is spent on the maintenance of veterans' facilities in the state and HB 4848 which requires that veterans be given copies of their medical records if they request a copy. 

Just the day before, Governor Rauner signed another bill creating so-called Silver Alerts, that would go out to the media and social media outlets if a veteran or active duty soldier goes missing in Illinois. 

Change in State Law Helps Illinois Brewers

A change in state laws will make things a little easier for Illinois brewers. Governor Bruce Rauner made the announcement on Saturday that he would sign a law that will strip portions of the 1934 Liquor Control Act which some have complained have become outdated. The new law will allow small brewers the ability to store their product more efficiently. Our Kim Howard has more from Springfield...

Previewing the Back Road Music Festival in Galva this Saturday

The 5th Annual Back Road Music Festival is Saturday, August 11th in the Galva Park District. Co-organizer Nik Grafelman talked to our own Karissa Nash about surprises that may be in store, the new stage set up and so much more. 

Ashley McBryde, High Valley, Chase Bryant and Josh Turner are the lineup for the festival and tickets will be on sale all the way up to start of the show at the gates at the Galva Park District. 

Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Help Keep Illinois Students In-State for College

Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf praising Bruce Rauner after the Governor signs legislation to make it easier for Illinois high school seniors to go to college in-state. Schimpf is on the higher education committee. He says for his district to do well, the state’s colleges and universities have to do well.

Enrollment numbers show SIU-Carbondale’s freshmen enrollment has dropped roughly 40 percent between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2017.

University Professor Weighs in on Illinois Governor's Race

The campaigning well underway for the upcoming gubernatorial election. And the two heavyweights in incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker have already taken up much of the airwaves. Both campaigns have large sums of money, thanks to the heavy pockets of both candidates, but political science Professor Dr. Kent Redfield says the bought up air time by these candidates could hurt some of the other races around the state.

Dr. Redfield adds that the early negative campaign ads from both sides could also hurt turnout come election day. 

City of Kewanee Announces Lane Closure on Tenney Street Beginning Monday

The City of Kewanee has announced that a portion of Tenney Street will be closed to traffic for emergency sewer repair. One lane of the northbound East lanes of Tenney Street from McClure to East Church Street will be closed to traffic beginning Monday morning at 8 Am for emergency repairs to sewer laterals. Businesses in the area will remain open though access may be narrowed while repairs are underway. The repair work is expected to begin on Monday August 13th and be completed by Monday, August 20th. 

People to People Podcast: Chad Lewis Bizarre Illinois

Writer Chad Lewis is an expert in the unusual. He's written 20 books about the subject of strange phenomena and been featured on ABC, the Discovery Channel and in magazines talking about the strange stories he's encountered over the years. Chad is bringing his flair for the unusual to the Kewanee Public Library tonight for a presentation called Bizarre Illinois. I interviewed Chad Lewis for the latest People to People Podcast which aired on WKEI on Thursday morning. 

Tuned In Podcast: Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Thursday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Among the topics, Bizarre Illinois with Chad Lewis tonight at the Kewanee Public Library, Avengers Infinity War on the Library big screen on August 14th and the Friends of the Kewanee Library Book Sale happening Hog Days Weekend, September 1st. 

Bizarre Illinois Tonight at the Kewanee Public Library

Author and expert in the bizarre, Chad Lewis will be in Kewanee tonight at the Kewanee Public Library and even the Kewanee Public Library staff is excited for this program according to Sara Billiet.

I spoke with Chad Lewis earlier this week and asked him what his favorite Bizarre Illinois story is and that’s when I learned a little about the Kewanee Deer Man.

Bizarre Illinois will be in the Community Room at the Kewanee Public Library tonight at 6 Pm. There is no cost to attend.

Galesburg Police Officer Injured by Fleeing Suspect

A Galesburg Police officer was injured when a suspect attempted to flee during a traffic stop on Thursday. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, the officer was a passenger in a police vehicle and was exiting the vehicle to approach a suspect vehicle that was subject to a traffic stop at approximately 3:45 Pm in the area of the 400 Block of North Cedar Street. Just as the officer was exiting the vehicle on the passenger side the suspect vehicle swerved around and struck the door of the Police vehicle, trapping the officer in the door frame in the process. Shots were fired at this time by the officer on the driver's side of the vehicle at the fleeing vehicle which subsequently crashed into a utility vehicle. No one in the suspect vehicle was injured in either the shooting or the crash and they were taken into custody by Galesburg Police. There is currently no word on the extent of the injuries to the injured officer. Galesburg Police are in charge of the investigation surrounding the suspects while the Illinois State Police District 7 investigators are probing the crash and the shooting. 

IDPH: Keep Vaccines Up To Date

Back to school means shots and vaccines need to be up to date. And the Illinois Department of Public Health wants more than just students to check their records. IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says that when you get vaccinated you’re doing more than just trying to keep yourself from getting sick.

Your doctor or the public health department will have the recommended shots for your age group.

Migrant Detention Centers Probed Over Toxic Wastes

From the toxic stress of being separated from families, environmental and health advocates say they are now concerned about detained migrants being sent to two Texas military posts known to have actual radiological contaminants. The nonprofit legal group Earthjustice filed a Freedom of Information Request Wednesday to get the Trump administration to release details about its plans to keep immigrants at Fort Bliss in El Paso and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo.

Laura Esquivel, director of national advocacy for the Hispanic Federation, says Fort Bliss, in particular, has Superfund sites that are polluted areas the federal government is supposed to be cleaning up.


"Naming bases that are actually already well known to have contaminants issues is really just indicative of their lack of planning and how they've approached this whole migrant situation and criminalizing immigrants," she points out. The Defense Department has completed legal and environmental requirements needed to create housing at Goodfellow but still needs to secure a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services before the actual construction of temporary housing or tents can begin.


Officials still are working on the legal framework for the use of Fort Bliss.

Federal officials are defending the use of the military bases, arguing the practice is in line with historical precedents for military assistance. Esquivel says the main concern is making sure the government isn't putting families in harm's way, considering that water tests last year at Fort Bliss showed it had chromium and other radiological contaminants.


"The public needs to know: Do they understand what the risks are and are they planning to go ahead with it anyway?" she stresses. "If that's the case, the public needs to know that."

In addition to seeking information on the two bases that include former nuclear weapons storage areas, firing ranges, open burning, detonation areas and dumping sites, the groups also are hoping to learn about other sites the administration is planning to use for building other detention facilities.

State Senator Chuck Weaver Supports Term Limits But Only in Illinois

State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria says he does not support term limits anywhere other than in Illinois.

Weaver is touring western Illinois touting his Citizen Legislator Initiative, which highlights legislation initiated by citizens and carried forward by him and his staff.

Ratcliff Heads to Court September 28th Charged with Taking Nearly 2 Million from USPS

Stark County business owner Keith A Ratcliff was in court in Stark County on Tuesday following an unsealed indictment over charges that Ratcliff had deceived the US Postal Service out of nearly 2 Million Dollars over a 12 year period.

That was Annie Thompson from the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Thompson also says that if convicted Mr. Ratcliff could face up to 30 years in prison.

That court date for Keith Ratcliff is September 28th in Stark County.

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 8th and 9th

Kewanee Police are investigating a series of burglary-forcible entry calls that happened within a single 30 minute period and all within blocks of each incident. The first incident, according to the Kewanee Police Blotter occurred at 5:36 Am in the area of the 600 Block of North Main Street. The second incident happened at approximately 5:44 Am in the 600 block of North Chestnut Street and the 3rd incident took place at approximately 6:00 Am in the area of the 300 Block of North Main Street. In an email exchange with WKEI, Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley confirmed that Kewanee Police do believe the incidents are related and are continuing to investigate.

Kewanee Police fielding an Illegal Burning call at 12:20 Pm in the area of the 500 Block of Pine Street and once again, citizens are reminded that no burn days are scheduled for the month of August.


21 Year old Tawnie S. Arrington of Wyanet was arrested by Kewanee Police on Wednesday on a charge of Driving on a Revoked License, following a traffic stop in the are of the 400 Block of Lakewood.


37 year old Lisa M. Stout of Kewanee was arrested by Kewanee Police at approximately 2:40 Pm following a traffic stop in the area of Central and Tremont, a citation issued for speeding.

Kewanee Police Investigating Wednesday Morning Forcible Entry Burglaries

Kewanee Police are investigating a series of burglary forcible entry calls that happened within a single 30 minute period and all within blocks of each incident. The first incident, according to the Kewanee Police Blotter occurred at 5:36 Am in the area of the 600 Block of North Main Street. The second incident happened at approximately 5:44 Am in the 600 block of North Chestnut Street and the 3rd incident took place at approximately 6:00 Am in the area of the 300 Block of North Main Street. In an email exchange with WKEI, Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley confirmed that Kewanee Police do believe the incidents are related and are continuing to investigate.

Governor Rauner Says No National Guard in Chicago

The city of Chicago is dealing with a rash of violence that saw nearly 70 people shot this past weekend. But Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says that sending in troops to help police the streets is not an option.

Rauner called the violence outrageous and says creating economic opportunity in the city for black youth and men would be one way to help stem the tide of shootings and murders.

Butter Cow Display Open at Illinois State Fair

The Illinois state fair is soon to be officially underway. The ribbon will be cut today at 3 and the Twilight Parade rolls on to the grounds as the unofficial welcome to the 11 day run in Springfield. The fair is taking time to celebrate 200 years of Illinois and one of the most visible will be the state’s Butter Cow – a tradition not quite 200 years in the making. State Director of Ag Raymond Poe has been coming to the fair for years and says this cow is a great symbol of the fair and a real part of Illinois history.

The butter cow is on display – slowly rotating around in her cooler every day inside the dairy building.

Rodeo a New Attraction at the Illinois State Fair

The Illinois State Fair is all about tradition and some fairgoers might say that's all well and good, but what's new. Well, State Fair Manager Luke Sailer has good news for you if you want something new and you're a rodeo fan...

Sailer also hit the refresh button in other areas of the entertainment lineup....

The Illinois State Fair kicks off today with the annual Twilight Parade starting at 5:30 at Springfield's Lincoln Park.

Ivanka Trump Visits Illinois to Talk Job Skills

Touring the nation in support of her father's National Council for the American Worker executive order, Ivanka Trump stopped in Godfrey today (Wednesday) at Lewis and Clark Community College. The visit was planned so that she could see first-hand some of the programs geared toward teaching skills that some say are in short supply around the nation.
Ms. Trump is a senior adviser to the president, and spent time observing the welding program before sitting down for a round-table discussion with various community leaders. She says there is a "skills mismatch" in the United States right now, with more jobs than there are qualified candidates to fill them.

There are now more than 6.1 million unfilled jobs in the United States, according to information released by The White House. Estimates predict 73 million Americans, approximately one-third of the current civilian labor force, could be displaced by 2030 thanks to a move toward more automation.

Everett Whitcher Owner of Save A Lot Kewanee Named Hog Days Parade Grand Marshall

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce has announced that Everett Whitcher, the owner of Save A Lot here in Kewanee, will be this year's Grand Marshall for the annual Hog Days Parade, September 1st at 2 Pm. I spoke to Everett about the honor, how heard he'd been named Grand Marshall and he told me it will be his first time in the Hog Days Parade.

Everett was chosen as Grand Marshall for his long time commitment to the community and charity and Everett told me that giving back is the best part of being a successful business owner in Kewanee.

The theme for this year's Hog Days Parade is Don't Go Bacon My Heart and your organization can still sign up to take part in this year's parade. Go to Kewanee-IL.com/parade to fill out an application. It costs nothing to sign up but your entry in the parade must be related to the theme, Don't Go Bacon My Heart. 

Henry County GOP Chairman Jan Weber on Dropping Support for 17th District Candidate Falwell

The Illinois Republican Party has announced that they will not support 17th Congressional District challenger Bill Falwell in his race to unseat incumbent Cheri Bustos. Social media posts by Falwell appear to be the last straw with the state Republican Party which pulled its support from Falwell officially on Wednesday. Falwell has posted on various social media platforms regarding conspiracy theories regarding the Sandy Hook shooting, September 11th as inside job and various other conspiracies related to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Henry County Republican Party Chairman Jan Weber spoke to RegionalDailyNews.com regarding Mr. Falwell. 

Holy Trinity Parish In Kewanee to Celebrate 90th Anniversary This Weekend

Father Jerry and Tom Greiner joined our Tuned In Program on Wednesday on WKEI. Father Jerry and Mr. Greiner are spreading the word about the 90th Anniversary of the Holy Trinity Parish, Polish National Church. The Church will be holding an open house on Sunday, August 12th from 2 Pm to 4 Pm and the community is invited to come and celebrate. 

Stark County Business Owner Indicted for Deceiving the U.S Postal Service Out of 2 Million Dollars

An unsealed five count indictment brought a Wyoming, Illinois business owner to court on Tuesday on charges Felony Theft by Deception. 53-year-old Keith A. Ratcliff, the owner of Ratcliff Enterprises in Wyoming, is accused of defrauding the United States Postal Service out of $2,000,000 dollars in what was supposed to be money spent on Workers Compensation Insurance for his employees. According to court documents, in 2005 Ratcliff’s company was contracted to carry mail for the United States Postal Service in Stark County. As part of the agreement, Mr. Ratcliff agreed to purchase Workers Comp Insurance for his employees, insurance that the Postal Service would pay for in reimbursement. The court papers indicate that Mr. Ratcliff submitted false documentation regarding the purchase of insurance and between 2005 and November of 2017 accepted money from the United States Postal Service in the range of $2,000,000 dollars. Mr. Ratcliff was indicted on July 13th and went to court on August 7th where a $500,000 bond was set along with a court date of September 28th. Mr. Ratcliff is charged with three counts of Theft By Deception, a Class 1 Felony, 1 count of Mail Fraud and 1 count of Wire Fraud, each a class 3 felony. A call to Ratcliff Enterprises at 107 Galena Avenue in Wyoming, Illinois, went unanswered. 

Documentary Shedding More Light on Rita Crundwell Dixon Embezzlement Case

A Chicago filmmaker still gets the same question today. How did Rita Crundwell embezzle $53.7 million from Dixon, Illinois and who’s to blame? Kelly Richmond Pope attempts to answer in her documentary All the Queen’s Horses.

Crundwell used the ill-gained money to support her lavish lifestyle competing and showing quarter horses throughout the country. She is now serving 19-years-and-7 months in federal prison.
Dixon would eventually sue its former auditing firm and a bank where the Crundwell transactions took place. They were awarded $40-million from the litigation and gained another $9-million through auction proceeds from Crundwell’s forfeited assets.

Women Seek Louder Voice in State Government

Women's advocates are urging Governor Rauner to sign legislation creating the Illinois Council on Women and Girls into law. Council Chairperson Kina Collins....

State Senator Jacqueline Collins says they want the council to take on issues like pay inequity, sexual harassment, women in leadership and poverty.

Todd Dedecker Talks About the Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts with WKEI

The Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts is happening this Saturday and Sunday in historic Bishop Hill. This family-friendly event will feature arts and crafts, great food and music between 10 Am and 5 Pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Todd Dedecker is one of the organizers of the event and he spoke to WKEI on Wednesday morning about the activities including the outdoor, Plein-Air, painting competition, Bishop Hill Pie sale on Saturday and the Bishop Hill Swedish Meatball sale on Sunday. 

People to People Podcast State Senator Chuck Weaver

State Senator Chuck Weaver was in our WKEI Studio in Kewanee on Tuesday to talk about his first two years in office, the state of the state of Illinois as he sees it and specifically about Citizen Legislating, a notion that has Senator Weaver speaking to everyday Illinoisians with ideas that may or may not be worthy of becoming legislation. It was a candid and straightforward conversation that touched on topics relevant to Henry County and the state in General. State Senator Chuck Weaver is our guest in this People to People Podcast. 

Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center Graduates First Class from Welding Course

The Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center held a ceremony last night honoring 8 inmates who are the first class of graduates from the welding program at the Center. Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center partnered with Black Hawk College for the program that taught welding to the 8 inmates in a 5 week, 140 hour course. As certified welders the hope is it will help each of the inmates find work once they are released from the facility and according to Kewane Life Skills Re-Entry Center, one inmate who will be getting out of the facility soon has already secured a job thanks to his certification. Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center says that they plan to continue to partner with Black Hawk College to continue the welding certification courses.

Champaign Woman Goes Viral with Job Search

A Champaign, Illinois woman is really hoping her bosses don't follow buzzfeed or other sites that carry viral stories. Fox News is reporting that Jenaya Modest of Champaign was at work but was thinking of how she needs a new job. That's when she noticed an ad for a local job fair and decided to ditch work and go check it out. Unfortunately, she then ended up going viral for what happened next. Fox News Radio's Krystin Goodwin picks up the story from there. 

Kewanee Salvation Army Still Has School Supplies Available

The Kewanee Salvation Army wants everyone to know that they still have school supplies available. Parents and families need only stop by the Kewanee Salvation Army and present a child's medical card to get the free school supplies. The Kewanee Salvation Army is located at 119 North Tremont Street Street and is open from 10 Am to 5 Pm, Monday through Friday. Again, bring your child's medical card so that you can get free school supplies for the new school year courtesy of the Kewanee Salvation Army. 

Tuned In Father Jerry OSF Hospice 08-07-18

Father Jerry from OSF Hospice in Kewanee joined WKEI for our Tuned in Program on Tuesday morning. Once again, Father Jerry was on hand to talk about grief and grief counselling. Grief takes many forms and is not the same for every person or every family but there are familiar aspects and a road map for people to follow, especially those who are counselled by Father Jerry at OSF Hospice as he has developed an approach to grief that is personal and universally accessible. 

IEMA Promoting Back to School Safety

As students from kindergarten to college prepare to head back to school, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies across the state are reminding educators about school safety. The Illinois Terrorism Task Force School Safety Working Group recently gave 13 recommendations to Governor Bruce Rauner to help make Illinois schools safer according to Chairman of the Taskforce Mike Chamness...

The recommendations were compiled over a 30-45 day period and are available online for the public.

Chamness says while there is no single answer to achieving school safety, the Taskforce hopes to expand on these recommendations so schools can exercise them to make for a safer learning environment. 

Misunderstanding Leads to Burglary Call in Kewanee

A man seen in a surveillance video that was given to Kewanee Police was actually a family member misidentified as an intruder. According to Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley speaking via email with WKEI, the subject seen in surveillance footage, thought to an intruder was a family member that the complainant did not recognize when they looked at security footage and then called Kewanee Police. Police had been asking the public to help identify the suspect in a break in. Again, the subject seen in surveillance footage from inside a home in Kewanee was, in fact, a family member of the owner of the home. 

Moderate Temps Expected for Next 7 to 10 Days in Illinois

August is the last full month of summer and although we likely won’t get fall-type temperatures in Illinois this month, there will be some moderation from the heat so says DTN chief agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

The first day of fall is Sept. 22. 

Safe Routes to School Program seeking proposals for projects

The Illinois Department of Transportation is in search of proposals through the Safe Routes to School program for projects that help children walk and bike to school says coordinator John Paris.

Administered by IDOT using federal funds, successful applications demonstrate this initiative to improve routes to school. Eligible applicants include school districts, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and nonprofit associations. For more information visit idot.illinois.gov. 

Tuned In Podcast Carrie Boelens From OSF Saint Luke 08-06-18

Carrie Boelens was our guest on the Monday edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Carrie was on hand to get people involved in the Henry County Community Needs Assessment. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center wants to know from you what your health priorities are. Contact OSF to find out how you can get involved and share your opinion. Carrie also discussed the recent successful events OSF has held recently and reminded listeners that the last day for High Schoool Sports Physicals is August 8th. 

Update Kewanee Police Have Identified Suspect in Break In Caught on Video

Kewanee Police have released surveillance video in hope that it will lead to the identification of a break in suspect. According to Kewanee Police the man in the video below broke into this home and they need your help in identifying the suspect. 

If you know this suspect or have a tip that could lead to his capture please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911 or Crimestoppers of Henry County at 309-937-2324. 

Galva Lions Club Needs You to Buy Raffle Tickets to Support Christmas Fundraiser

The Galva Lions Club needs your help. Tickets for the Galva Lions Club Christmas Food Basket Fundraiser are for sale now but ticket sales have been slower than expected and they need to get things going before they announce a winner at this Saturday’s Back Road Music Festival. You can purchase a $10 dollar raffle ticket from the Galva Lions Club and you will be placed into a drawing to win a $1750.00 Bass Pro Shop gift card, a $500.00 Ace Hardware Gift Card or $250.00 cash for third prize. Winners will be announced on Saturday at the Back Road Music Festival. To buy a raffle ticket and help out the Galva Lions Club contact Kevin Gerard via email at coconutkid@yahoo.com. You do not need to be present at the Back Road Festival on Saturday to win the raffle prizes.

Illinois Top 200 Announces Latest List Top 200 Artists and Architects

The latest Illinois 200 list has been released and it features Frank Lloyd Wright at the top among the top artists and architects in Illinois history. Kewanee's own Walter Bailey was not placed on the list despite his historic significance as the first black architect in the state of Illinois, the first to graduate from the University of Illinois with a degree in architecture and his contributions to Chicago architecture as detailed recently as part of the Walter Bailey mural dedication in Kewanee. Nevertheless, Kim Howard talks about the latest Illinois 200 list. 

Dave Clarke Talks to WKEI About the Need for Pork Chop Tent Hog Days Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to wrap, bag and serve pork chop sandwiches at Kewanee Hog Days. Dave Clark is organizing volunteers to prep and hand out the uniquely popular Hog Days treat on August 31st, September 1st and September 2nd.

Dave Clark is helping to organize and fix a problem that people complained about last year, a back up in the line at the pork chop tent, a back up that can only be fixed by having more volunteers.

If you’d like to volunteer you need to get in touch with Dave Clark

Shifts needing volunteers include August 31st from 5 to 9 Pm, September 1st and 2nd from 11 Am to 9 Pm and Monday, September 3rd from, 11 Am until all of the pork chop sandwiches are gone. Volunteers can lend one hour of their time or as many as hours as they wish. If you are available to volunteer, please contact Dave Clark at davidjclarke49@gmail.com or call him at 309-853-8253.

Senator Durbin Believes Democrats Will Ignore Political Consequences in Kavanaugh Vote

Senator Dick Durbin has expressed continued reservations about the choice of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. Durbin says he can't speak for colleagues, but he believes others will take issue with Kavanaugh.....

Durbin believes fellow Democrats with concerns will vote their conscience, regardless of political consequences...

Durbin appeared on CNN.

Three Finalists Named and Voting Open for the Kewanee Mural

Voting is now open for the next Kewanee mural. Joy Hernandez made the announcement of three finalist murals on Monday night including a mural depicting Kewanee’s baseball history featuring the Kewanee A’s, The Ballhawks, and Northeast Park’s distinction as the first non-commercial ballpark to have lighting for night games. The next option is a mural honoring the Kewanee Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corp, the original, post world war 2 group. And finally, you have the option to vote for a mural depicting Kewanee’s contribution to the history boxing, a mural depicting Young Stuhley and Billy Papke, known as the Illinois Thunderbolt.


Cast your vote by putting money in an envelope and writing 1, 2, or 3 on the envelope and dropping the envelope off at Reiman’s Harley Davidson. The voting is part of the push to get to the needed $10,000 to actually design and create the mural. You can vote and donate as much as you like between now and October 2nd. If you want to donate by check when you cast your vote, make the check out to the Kewanee Arts Council.


Again, to vote, put cash or a check in an envelope with a number, 1 for Kewanee Baseball, 2 for the Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corp or 3 for Kewanee’s Boxing History, and deliver the envelope to Reiman’s Harley Davidson by October 2nd. All the money donated goes to the creation of the mural regardless of which mural you put your money behind.

Hydrant Testing in Kewanee Continues on Thursday August 9th

Hydrant testing in Kewanee will continue on Thursday, August 9th. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, testing in the area of Northeast Kewanee will begin at 8 Am on Thursday morning with the effected areas of Railroad Avenue and Lake Street and from Fisher Avenue to Kentville Road. Areas within or nearby testing areas may experience periods of lower than normal water pressure or discolored/rusty water. The Kewanee Fire Department is working on flushing the lines to remove sediment and testing the flow pressure on the hydrants. 

Illinois State Police Announce Marijuana Traffic Bust on I-80

Illinois State Police have announced a significant seizure of Marijuana. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, officers initiated a traffic stop on August 4th on I-80 Eastbound at mile marker 20 just outside of Geneseo. In the course of the traffic stop probable cause was found to search the vehicle leading to the discovery of 53 pounds of marijuana. Arrested at the scene was the driver, 61 year old Scott Shih Lu Chou of Downers Grove, Illinois, on charges of Cannabis Trafficking, among other charges. He was taken from the scene to the Henry County Jail.


Bishop Hill Begins Historic Restoration of Carpenter Shop

Bishop Hill has announced a $500,000 restoration of the legendary Carpenter Shop, one of the two oldest buildings in Bishop Hill. Built in 1850, the Carpenter Shop is among the first things visitors see when they come to the historic community. Exterior restoration work on the Carpenter Shop will be overseen by Trillium Dell Timberworks out of Knoxville, Illinois. Work on the historic building begins this week and will include replacing windows, improving drainage around the building and making sure that the historic building is structurally sound. The money for the renovation and restoration was raised via donations, grants and bequests. Work is expected to take several months with hope to finish this fall.  

Volunteers Sought for Hog Days Pork Chop Sandwich Tent

Volunteers are needed to wrap, bag and serve pork chop sandwiches at Kewanee Hog Days. Dave Clark is organizing volunteers to prep and hand out the uniquely popular Hog Days treat on August 31st, September 1st and September 2nd. If you are available to volunteer, please contact Dave Clark at davidjclarke49@gmail.com or call him at 309-853-8253. Shifts needing volunteers include August 31st from 5 to 9 Pm, September 1st and 2nd from 11 Am to 9 Pm and Monday, September 3rd from, 11 Am until all of the pork chop sandwiches are gone. Volunteers can lend one hour of their time or as many as hours as they wish.

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 5th and 6th

At approximately 12:37 in the area of Burlington and South Street, Kewanee Police were called to the scene of a single car, damage only accident. At the scene, police found 65 year old Lisa A Funcannon of Lacon, Illinois, whose vehicle had left the roadway and struck a stop sign. No one was injured in the crash and no citation was issued.


At approximately 4:36 Pm Kewanee Police responded to a call in the 800 Block of Florence Street, about a theft from a vehicle. At the scene, Kewanee Police arrested 28 year old Tyler J. Demuynick of Bradford on multiple warrants, including a Henry County warrant for Failure to Appear on charges of Aggravated Battery, a Stark County warrant for failure to appear on charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and a Department of Corrections warrant for Parole Violation. Demuynick was also cited for driving while revoked.


At approximately 2:57 Am Monday morning, Kewanee Police cited a 14 year old minor for a curfew violation in the area of the 200 Block of Willard Street.

Illinois State Fair going extra mile to promote Illinois Products

The Illinois State Fair has always been a solid promotional vehicle for Illinois Products. In this bicentennial year, Erin Cleary with the Illinois Department of Agriculture is stepping up their game says they will be stepping up their game at the Illinois AG tent....

Cleary notes there will be something special for future Illinois Products buyers....

The Illinois Ag tent is easy to find at Main and Central on the Fairgrounds, near the Coliseum and Expo Buildings.

Congressman Bost on USDA Aid package

A $12-billion USDA aid package implemented by President Donald Trump is intended to help farmers deal with the fallout of an escalating trade war with foreign countries - in particular, China. Republican backlash is growing, but one that supports the move is Illinois Congressman Mike Bost from Murphysboro. Since the trade war began, overseas sales of agricultural products have suffered, cutting deep into farmers’ already-slim profit margins. Bost says he believes the market will eventually level out.

The package includes direct payments to farmers, efforts to promote U.S. goods overseas, and an expansion of a program that purchases surplus farm output and distributes it to food banks and other anti-hunger programs.

Illinois State Police Release Names of Victims in Geneseo I-80 Crash

Two men who lived just an hour away from one another in Florida were involved in the accident that took one of their lives near Geneseo on Saturday night. 54-year-old Barry E. Barlow of Panama City, Florida died when the Freightliner Truck Tractor he was driving westbound on I-80, crossed the median near mile marker 19, just outside of Geneseo, and collided head-on with a Peterbilt Car Hauler driven by 44-year-old Cheyenne O. Burgos of Palm Bay, Florida. Barlow was killed at the scene while Burgos was transported from the scene to a local medical facility where his condition is unknown as of right now. 

Hundreds March Against Gun Violence, Rahm Emanuel in Chicago

Hundreds of marchers were in the streets of Chicago taking part in an anti-violence rally, calling for an end to gun violence and for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Many of the marchers said the policies of Emanuel were out of touch and that he has done little to try and put an end to the gun violence plaguing the parts of the city. Illinois State Democrat LaShawn Ford criticized Emanuel for not doing enough to end the violence and said that even help from President Trump would be welcome.

Chicago police said the protest shutdown parts of Lake Shore Drive as they marched toward Wrigley Field before yesterday's Cubs game.

IDNR Accepting Applications for Archery Deer Hunting Season

20 Illinois counties will play host to Archery Deer Hunting season this October in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Recreational Access Program, some 20 some 18,500 acres of private land have been leased for archery deer hunting season in  Calhoun, Christian, Clay, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Jersey, Lee, Macoupin, Marion, McDonough, Monroe, Pike, Pope, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Wayne, Whiteside, and Williamson counties. Applications to participate in Archery Deer Hunting season in Illinois are due by August 24th. Those participating must have passed a hunter safety course, have a valid hunting license, and must choose which archery hunting period they want to participate in, either October 1st through the 15th or October 16rth through the 31st. Hunters do not have to be a resident of any of the 20 counties listed to participate. Hunters can sign up by going to DNR.Illinois.gov

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 4th and 5th

At approximately 7:31 Am on Saturday morning Kewanee Police responded to a call regarding a loud noise in the area of the 1200 Block of Western Avenue. At the scene Police issued a notice to appear to 28 year old Heriberto Morado Alvarez of Kewanee for Disturbing the Peace.


Kewanee Police received a call about Illegal Burning in the area of the 200 Block of North Walnut Street at approximately 10:08 Am on Saturday. A reminder to Kewanee residents that there are no scheduled burn days in Kewanee until September.


At approximately 4:12 Pm on Saturday afternoon in the area of Fairview Homes in Kewanee, Kewanee Police arrested 18 year old Jaques K. Niles of Kewanee on a charge of Aggravated Assault and Disorderly Conduct. It was the second arrest in two days for Niles who was arrested on August 2nd on another charge of Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing a Police Officer. Also arrested on the 2nd and again on the 4th in the same area was 58 year old William P. Merritt, arrested on a Henry County Warrant for Failure to Appear on a charge of Retail Theft. Merritt had also been arrested on August 2nd for Obstructing a Police Officer.

Governor Rauner Signs New Legislation to Teach High School Students About Sexual Harassment

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed new legislation to promote education regarding sexual harassment in the workplace and on college campuses. The new law will require Illinois High School students to be taught what is considered sexual harassment in the workplace and on their future college campuses via lessons created by state officials. The lessons will also cover the topic of what is considered consent. Kim Howard has more on this new law. 

Accident Kills One Near Geneseo Saturday Night

One person is dead following an accident over the weekend. According to the Illinois State Police a semi-truck with trailer crossed the median while travelling westbound on I-80 near milepost 19, not far from the Geneseo off-ramp, and crossed into the Eastbound traffic where the truck collided head-on with a semi-truck car carrier travelling Eastbound. The driver of the westbound semi was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Eastbound car-carrier was taken from the scene with serious injuries, though there is currently no word on that driver's condition. Portions of I-80 were closed for over an hour while emergency personnel tended to the scene. Plumes of smoke and flames could be seen from over a mile away. We will bring you more information on this story as it is made available.

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 3rd and 4th

Kewanee Police are investigating a Burglary/Forcible Entry in the area of the 1000 Block of North Main Street. The incident took place at approximately 8:09 Am. No word on suspects or arrests in this case as of yet. 


At approximately 12:06 Pm in the 700 Block of Tenney Street, Kewanee Police were called to the scene of a damage only accident. At the scene, Kewanee Police found 69-year-old Paul D. Powers and 62-year-old Lynette K. Manthe having been involved in an accident. No one was hurt in the accident and neither driver was cited. 


At approximately 10:12 Pm in the area of the 700 Block of Tenney Street, Kewanee Police arrested 25-year-old Kaitlyn M. Morris of Kewanee on a charge of Retail Theft. 


At approximately 1:21 Am Saturday morning, Kewanee Police were called to the 300 block of West 5th Street. At the scene, one person was found to have attempted suicide. No names have been released and there is no word on the condition of the person who attempted suicide is.

WKEI Outdoors with Duke Frisby

Pheasant hunting, fishing and mushroom hunting are all on the table as we sat down and chatted with outdoors expert Duke Frisby. With a controlled pheasant hunt coming up later this month at the Johnson Sauk Trail Recreation Area, we spoke with Duke about the best ways to approach pheasant hunting. We then moved on to good fishing in and around Henry County and finished with a few tips on mushroom hunting. 

Jim Bohanon Talks About Mid-Tem Elections and The Supreme Court on the WKEI Morning Show

Jim Bohannon's talk show airs every weeknight on WKEI from 9 Pm to 12 Midnight but he was kind enough to wake up early on Friday morning for a chat on the WKEI morning show. Jim talked about the Mid-Term elections and the way voters tend to split up the executive and legislative branches with significant swings in the mid-terms after Presidential elections. We also discussed the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and what effect his nomination is having on the mid-tem election and how soon we can expect to see his nomination come up in front of the Senate.

RegionalDailyNews.com Celebrity Interview Rifftrax Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy

The team from Rifftrax is set to take on a rarity, a big budget Hollywood feature film. After years of having fun with all kinds of low budget sci-fi and action flicks, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, all formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000, will take on the 1983 flop Krull. Rifftrax Live: Krull will be broadcast live in theaters nationwide on August 23rd with a repeat broadcast on August 25th. I was lucky to get a chance to talk to Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy about Rifftrax and Krull for our latest RegionalDailyNews.com Celebrity Interview. 

Yemm Auto Group Podcast: Customer Care

What does the customer care center at Yemm Auto Group do? What don't they do? Brie and her team are part of your car buying team, making sure you are getting the best deal in the most convenient and timely fashion. I spoke with Sara Yemm and Brie on Friday on WKEI for our Yemm Auto Group podcast. 

Illinois State Fair Beer Cheaper This Year

The State Fair is less than a week away and you can save some money if you’re planning on coming to the 11 day event in Springfield. As long as you are 21 that is... Luke Sailer the State Fair Manager says that beer will be cheaper this year.

It’s $10 to get in. Kids 12 and under are free, seniors are $5. And the fair has a few discount days where everyone saves, the first Thursday, Ag day and the final day of the fair.

Illinois Top 200 Seeking Nominations for Veterans Honor 200 List

The state of Illinois is rolling on with the celebration of its’ 200th anniversary and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs wants you to tell them about 200 outstanding vets from the state. IDVA’s Dave MacDonna says they need more nominations.

You’ve got one more month to get someone submitted. You need to go to Illinois dot gov slash veterans to get started.

Kewanee to Peoria St Jude Run Saturday Morning

The St Jude Kewanee to Peoria Run is set for Saturday morning in Kewanee and Galva and all the way to Peoria. Tera Mosley is one of the organizers of the run and she tells us that things will get started early at the Kewanee YMCA.

Can shakers will line the route for last minute donations so you will have the opportunity to help St Jude Kids all the way to Peoria. The goal of the run is to raise $55,000.

Henry County Senior Citizens Center Holding Labor Day Breakfast

The Henry County Senior Center will host a Labor Day breakfast. Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Center says things are getting busy around the senior center as not only is the Labor Day breakfast around the corner, a pair of big bus trips, one to go see Cubs-Cardinals in Chicago, and the other a trip to Branson are both approaching fast. Cassandra Schmolll joined us on WKEI on Thursday to let you know how to get involved with everything happening with the Henry County Senior Citizens Center. 

Kewanee Police Arrests and Citations August 2nd and 3rd

Kewanee Police have announced the arrest of three individuals on charges of Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing a Police Officer. 18 year old Jaques K. Nile and 23 year old Thomas D. Coleman III were arrested on both Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing an Officer Charges while 58 year old William K. Merritt of Kewanee was arrested on the charge of Obstructing an Officer. All were released with a notice to appear in court.


Kewanee Police investigating a theft of less than $300 in the area of the 200 Block of Willard Street. At approximately 9:38 Pm Thursday night.


Kewanee Police are investigating a theft less than $300 in the area of the 100 Block of Walnut Street. The incident occurred at approximately 10:37 Pm on Thursday night.


A domestic disturbance in the area of the 1600 Block of Lake Street at approximately 12:36 Am led to the arrest of 28 year old Sara J. Mooney of Kewanee. Mooney was arrested on a Henry County warrant for Failure to Appear on charges of Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Mooney posted bond and was released.

IDOT Announces Lane Closure on I-74 Between Kewanee, Cambridge to Woodhull

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced a lane closure on I-74 between Illinois 81 and Illinois 17 from the Kewanee/Cambridge Area to Woodhull. Traffic will be taken down to one lane in the area between milepost 28 and milepost 25 eastbound beginning on Tuesday, August 7th. The lane closure is expected to last 2 days with work being completed and the lane re-opened by Thursday, August 9th. IDOT is asking drivers in the area to slow down and proceed with caution through the work area. Concrete patching is the reason for the lane closure.

Representative Dan Swanson Bill to Protect Veterans with Mental Illness Signed into Law

A bill authored by Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha has been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. HB4212 passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and will now create a new alert specifically for veterans who go missing. It’s similar to existing alerts for children or the elderly who go missing. The aim is to offer further protection to veterans suffering from mental illness or PTSD and to combat the disturbing number of suicides among the veteran population. Representative Swanson talked about the bill in Springfield.

Kewanee Pre-Teen Given Notice to Appear on Criminal Sexual Abuse Charge

A 12 year old Minor has been given a notice to appear in court on a charge of Criminal Sexual Abuse. According to the Kewanee Police Department Blotter, Kewanee Police followed up on a complaint regarding a 12 year old minor in the area of the 400 block of 3rd Street in Kewanee, at approximately 5:29 Pm on Thursday. The child was returned to their parents and given a notice to appear. No other information is being released at this time.

Concerns Loom Over Freight Truck Cruise-Control Technology

Advocates for new cruise-control technology for freight-hauling trucks say it could save money on fuel and consumer costs, but opponents of the technology believe it could put others on the road in danger.


The system would allow "platooning," the term for freight trucks tailing each other using wireless connections to detect leading and following vehicles. Josh Witkowski, state legislative coordinator with the motorcyclists' advocacy group "A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education" or ABATE, says there are a lot of issues with the potential change.


"There are very serious safety concerns with the technology," says Witkowski. "There are safety concerns with the way that it presents on the roads; there are reliability concerns."


An Illinois House bill (HB 4654) would have allowed use of the cruise-control system, but it stalled in committee this spring. As proponents try to revive the issue, Witkowski says he hopes lawmakers will instead require strict testing before putting lives at risk on roadways.


Some neighboring states already allow the technology, including Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

One of the main safety concerns is the close proximity of the platooning trucks, making it difficult for other drivers to change lanes. But advocates of the technology say it could save about 7 percent on fuel costs.


While some lawmakers may be skeptical of the technology, Marc Scribner, senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute - a libertarian think tank that's pushing its use - says they are most likely familiar with it.


"Legislators, if they have cars made in the last decade, they likely have experienced adaptive cruise control firsthand, and know that this isn't some sort of crazy futuristic technology," says Scribner.

To get that technology into freight trucks in the state, Illinois legislators would need to make an exemption for freight trucks in tailgating laws. And they might be reluctant, considering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's data that almost one-third of all rear-end collisions are caused by vehicles following too closely.

How Did an Injured Dog Get from Buda Get to Kewanee?

Mystery surrounds how a dog hit by a car and injured in Buda ended up in Kewanee. The adorable and lovable pitbull, lovingly nicknamed Dent, was struck by a car earlier this week after temporarily having been taken in by a family who found him in their neighborhood in Buda. Unfortunately, Dent got away from his new friends and was struck by a car not far from their home but before he could be found and cared for, he’d run off.

This was no simple feat as Dent had suffered a contusion to his back left paw and a serious injury to his head. Yet, somehow Dent was found the following day in the area of 440 Church Street in Kewanee, a more than 15-mile trot. Friends of the Animals who run the Kewanee Pound are currently caring for Dent and gave him his nickname for his injury and his remarkable ability to bounce back. Workers there including Kathy Werderman can’t imagine how the injured pooch managed to make the journey from Buda to Kewanee.

Nevertheless, they do hope to reunite Dent with his family if they can. If you know anyone in Buda who is missing a beautiful and gentle, black and white pitbull, please contact the Kewanee Pound. If Dent is not claimed in the next few days, the Pound will attempt to place him with a temporary family with an aim toward finding a new home.

Linda Bolls to Retire after 21 Years With Salvation Army

Linda Bolls joined WKEI on Thursday morning for a special edition of our Tuned In program. Linda was with us to discuss day one of the Kewanee Salvation Army's School Supply Giveaway but she was also here to say goodbye. As part of Linda's appearance on the show, Linda announced her retirement after 21 years with the Salvation Army. 

Hog Days Stampede Less than a Month Away

The Hog Days Stampede is just 29 days away, part of Kewanee Hog Days on September 1st. Registration is going on now for anyone who would like to take part in the 4 Mile Run/Fitness Walk. The Stampede gets underway at 8 Am on September 1st and the cost to enter is only $25 if you sign up before August 30th. On August 30th, registration goes up to $30. You can register by going to Kewanee-IL.com/Stampede and following the instructions. 

Bustos co-sponsoring Gold Star Spouses Leasing Relief Act

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos co-sponsoring the Gold Star Spouses Leasing Relief Act. The legislation allows surviving military spouses to break their leases without penalty in the aftermath of losing their spouse in the line of duty.

The bill has passed in the House with bi-partisan support. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Lunch & Learn Today

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is teaming up with the Henry County Senior Center for Lunch and Learn today at 11:30 Am. Sara and Heidi OSF will be on hand to talk about Diabetes management, care and diet.

RSVP for the event by calling the Henry County Senior Center today at (309) 853-8831. The meal today at the Henry County Senior Center is Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy, Green Beans and Fruit. 


Cernos Helps Us Determine if Pickles Are the 'Flavor of the Moment"

Pickles are having a cultural moment. Recently an article on DailyBeast.com by writer Max Watman called Pickles the Flavor of the Moment. This led me to ask our WKEI listeners for their take on pickles and where I could get a good pickle meal in Kewanee. Naturally, the answer was Cerno’s Bar and Grill where co-owner Brian Crabtree talked about why pickles make for an appealing snack as I snacked on plate for their famed Homemade Fried Pickle Chips.

At Cerno’s it’s fried pickles on the menu and they’ve become wildly popular. I asked Brian why Fried Pickle Chips?

Don't be mistaken however, it's more than just dumping a pickle in the fryer and snacking on the results.

As much as calling Pickles the ‘Flavor of the Moment’ seemed a tad hyperbolic when I read it, Brian Crabtree tells me that the Fried Pickles at Cernos have been wildly popular since they were introduced over a year ago.

Whether or not pickles are the Flavor of the Moment across the country I can tell you, the Homemade Fried Pickle Chips at Cerno’s are spectacular, though a good deal of credit must go to the homemade Cerno’s Ranch Dressing as well.

Rep Resigns After Revenge Porn Claims

A Republican state representative is out of office after an ex of his claims he posted nude photos of her on Instagram. Rep. Nick Sauer from a Chicago suburb quickly resigned his office and on his way out found little support from anyone in his party including Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

Sauer had been on the House anti-sexual harassment task force. He stands accused of creating an Instagram account under his ex-girlfriends name and then posting nude images of her. But Politico reports that Sauer was using the images to attract men to the account and then engage in conservations with them. So far no charges have been filed but a 2015 law makes it illegal to post explicit pictures of someone without their consent.

Representative Bob Rita Talks Potential of Gambling Expansion in Illinois

Representative Bob Rita of Blue Island is set to hold a pair of hearing on the potential expansion of gaming in Illinois. The first hearing, set for August 22nd in Springfield, is set to discuss Senate Bill. I spoke with Representative Rita who explained what Senate Bill 7 would entail in terms of gambling expansion in Illinois.

The second hearing, set for October, is set to delve into other forms of gambling revenue and how they could benefit the state of Illinois. The hearing will cover the pros and cons of sports gambling, fantasy sports and online gaming.

Representative Rita says that the goal of the hearings is simply to determine how, if at all, these types of expansions of gambling in Illinois could benefit the state.

Kewanee Police Release Photos of Suspect in Residential Burglary

The Kewanee Police Department is seeking your help in the search for a suspect in a residential burglary. According to the Kewanee Police Department, the man seen in the photos below is one of multiple suspects in a residential burglary that took place June 3rd. If you can recognize anything about this suspect please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911 or Henry County Crimestoppers at 309-937-2324.

Young State Fair Manager Ready for Old State Fairgrounds Next Week

A sure sign that summer vacation is nearly over. It’s almost Illinois State Fair time.

That’s first year State Fair Manager Luke Sailer. He was just 25 when named to the position last March. The state fair runs August 9th through the 19th. This year’s theme runs in line with the state’s bicentennial celebration, “Celebrate Illinois: 200 Years of Amazing”.

Stearman Fly-in Set for September 5th

The 5th Annual Stearman Fly-In is set for Wednesday, September 5th at the Kewanee Airport. According to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, the Stearman Planes will be over Kewanee on September 5th, landing at Kewanee Airport between 11:30 Am and 1 Pm. This appearance is separate from the Stearman appearance as part Kewanee Hog Days. The Stearman Planes will be on hand as part of the annual Kewanee Hog Days Fly-In Breakfast hosted by the Kewanee Fire Department from 7 Am to 11 Am. Folks will have not one but two opportunities to see the remarkable Stearman flyers up close and personal on September 3rd from 7 Am to 11 Am and again on September 5th from 11:30 Am to 1 Pm at the Kewanee Airport. 

Governor Rauner Signs Life Saving Annie Legere Law

Governor Bruce Rauner was in Elmhurst on Tuesday where he signed into law the so-called Annie LeGere Law. This amendment to the state police act is intended to allow Police officers to be equipped with life-saving epi-pens, or epinephrine injection devices, to use if they encounter someone having an allergic reaction. Governor Rauner spoke at the bill signing and talked about the lives it may save and dedicated the signing to Annie Legere’s mother who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the law. 
13 year old Annie Legere died in 2015 after suffering an allergic reaction. 

Illinois Crop Conditions Remaining Strong

The state’s farmers are watching their corn and soybean plants race to harvest this year. And it’s looking like both crops are in good shape says USDA’s statistician Mark Schleusener.

Recent rains in Illinois were not taken into consideration on current crop conditions.

Senator Durbin Calls for Homeland Security Secretary to Step Down

Senator Dick Durbin is calling for more family reunions for those separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Durbin took up the issue during a session of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing. Senator Durbin took things even further when he called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to step down over the family separation policy.

The Trump administration responded in defense of Secretary Nielsen stating “Instead of criticizing a government official who is actually doing the job she was nominated, confirmed and sworn to do and enforcing the laws passed by Congress, the obstructionists in Congress should get to work to secure our borders, end legal loopholes and protect American lives." That statement from Homeland Security Department Press Secretary Tyler Houlton.


Special Meeting of the Kewanee School District Monday Night

The Kewanee School District will hold a special school board meeting on Monday night at 5:30 Pm. At the meeting the school board will vote on a Central Jr High School Air Conditioning bid. Also on the agenda are the hiring of a new School Resource Officer and the approval of the hiring of a new head football coach and approval of a volunteer assistant coach. The meeting is set for 5:30 Pm on Monday evening at the Kewanee School District Administration Office on North Main Street in Kewanee.