In Henry County, hunters harvested 1030 while Stark County and Bureau County hunters harvested 309 and 1861 deer respectively, through the end of the 2018/2019 Archery and Muzzleloader season on January 20th. 1030 deer is down slightly from the 2017/2018 number of of 1038 deer harvested in Henry County. Stark County also saw a slight drop from 338 deer last year to 309 this year. The Bureau County deer harvest however, was well up from last year going from 1732 deer last year to 1861 this year. All told for the state of Illinois, 151,577 deer were harvested in the state of Illinois during the season that ended January 20th. That number is up from 147,695 last year. Archery hunters in Henry County harvested harvested 408 of the 1861 deer while muzzleloaders were responsible for the rest. Stark County archery deer harvest was 108 and the Bureau County archery deer harvest was 652. Henry, Stark and Bureau Counties were among the counties lucky enough not to have an outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease and numbered no deer killed by CWD during the 2018/2019 season.
The Henry and Stark County Health Department is offering Well Child Clinic Services. According to a release from the Henry and Stark County Health Department, Well Child Clinic Services are available to anyone for children birth to 20 years old. Fees for the clinic services, including hemoglobin tests, immunizations, blood lead screenings and developmental tests, will be based on a sliding scale based on income. The clinics will accept Medicaid or Private payment for services. Well Child Clinical services are available by appointment at both the Kewanee and Colona locations of the Henry and Stark County Health Department. To make an appointment call 309-852-5272.
Lawmakers are considering a regional approach to raising the minimum wage. Lawmakers met in Springfield on Wednesday in closed session to discuss the legal issues that might arise from requiring urban areas to have a higher minimum wage than rural areas. One of the reasons why this is being discussed is due to what is needed for people to live on in places such as Chicago versus places where the cost of living is much lower. Cole Lauterbach has more from Springfield.
District 71 Representative Tony McCombie was a guest on WKEI on Wednesday to talk about changes to House rules regarding how bills come to the floor and how they are debated and whether they ever make it out of committtee. But first, we asked Representative McCombie about the extreme cold and the Representative took the opportunity to criticize Governor Pritzker's administration for allowing some state offices to be open on Wednesday.
State Senator Jason Plummer of Edwardsville is speaking out against a pair of proposed gun control bills. Senate Bill 107 would ban the sale or unregistered possession of dozens of semi-automatic firearms, or so-called "assault weapons." House Bill 888 would require citizens to turn over their social media accounts to state agencies if they want to apply for a FOID card. And Plummer says that is a slippery slope.
The Illinois State Rifle Association says it’s gearing up to challenge all kinds of measures impacting gun owners, if they were to pass. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said he’s open to considering gun control measures.
The Illinois State Police were busy on the roadways yesterday. The ISP came to the rescue of a broken down charter bus on I-55. The bus had been stopped and was without power or heat. Troopers were dispatched with squad cars and passenger vans to warm up and transport the 21 stranded passengers to a safe spot to wait for another bus. The ISP says on their twitter account that between 8 am and 4 pm on Wednesday they assisted more than 1,300 motorists and took more than 460 calls for help. ISP notes that’s 10 times the normal count on a typical winter day.
Keep your eyes on your pets when they are outdoors over the next few days… That’s the advice of Veterinarian Connie Austin. She understands that dogs are going to have to go outside a few times a day but when they are you need to monitor how long they are out and get them back inside quickly.
Austin also says keep an eye on your dog that they aren’t licking road salt off their paws.
There is a new acting head of the Illinois Air National Guard. Governor JB Pritzker named Peter Nezamis to the post. He’s being promoted to Brigadier General. He will oversee the nearly 3000 air guard members and staff that serve at Illinois’ three bases. He says things should be staying the same for now.
Nezamis once served at Scott Air Force base where he commanded the Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing.
State Senator Chuck Weaver introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at creating opportunities for prisoners to find work after their time behind bars. In discussing the bill in Springfield on Wednesday, State Senator Weaver cited the success of the Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center.
According to State Senator Weaver, inmates have told him that they want to get to Kewanee for the chance to find work and a new life after their incarceration.
Representative Cheri Bustos helped to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act in Washington D.C on Wednesday. The Paycheck Fairness Act is aimed at closing the gap between men and women when it comes to pay nationwide. Citing the long held statistic that women make 80 cents to the dollar made by men on average nationwide. The act goes further however in addressing other stats including statistics that indicate that African American women receive 61 cents on the dollar to men, Latina women make 53 cents on the dollar to men and Native Island and Hawaiian women make 62 cents on the dollar to men. In a statement released to the media, Representative Bustos states: “Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of American households and, when they earn less than men for the same job, it hurts all of us,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Congress needs to come together to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act for families across our region. This is about moms having enough resources to put food on the table for their kids and provide for their families – let’s do the right thing and ensure equal pay for equal work.”
What does the act do?
`Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons – ensuring that disparities are not sex-based, but job-related and necessary.
`Ban retaliation against workers who discuss their wages.
`Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker’s participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
`Improve DOL’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act. To help the Department of Labor better uncover wage discrimination, it will speed up the collection of wage data from federal contractors, direct the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to conduct a survey of available wage information and create a system of wage data collection, and instruct DOL to conduct studies and review available research and data to provide information on how to identify, correct, and eliminate illegal wage disparities.
`Assist businesses with their equal pay practices, recognize excellence in pay practices by businesses and empower women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
`Prohibit employers from seeking the salary history of prospective employees.
Illinois' economy could become a casualty should negotiations fail in Washington on U.S. immigration policy. While the state is 12th nationally for the size of its foreign-born population, new data from personal finance site WalletHub ranks Illinois 8th for the economic impact of immigrants.
As executive director of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, Rebecca Shi contends both high and low-skilled immigrants are crucial to the vitality of Illinois.
"Hospitals, tech companies, manufacturers depend on immigrants as doctors and physicians and programmers," she points out. "The Illinois Restaurant Association, Hotel and Lodging Association, they depend on immigrants as busboys, waiters/waitresses, cooks, hotel maids."
Illinois ranked 8th for the percent of jobs created by the presence of international students, ninth for jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses and 11th for the percent of foreign-born STEM workers.Shi maintains threats to immigration are having an impact on the workforce.
She explains that business owners in her coalition say they're having difficulty finding workers.
"They have positions that are unfilled that pay well above minimum wage and have full benefits," she points out. "But because of the tight labor market coupled with this expanded enforcement, they're not seeing the number of immigrants as before applying at both the high-skill and low-skill end."
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., including some 480,000 in Illinois. Shi says lawmakers should come together and find a bipartisan solution to keep foreign-born workers in the country.
"Immigration reform that actually expands visas at the high and low-skill end as well as creating a path to citizenship for the 11 million will be economically important and morally right," she states.
Some of the major sticking points in the immigration debate are President Donald Trump's demands for border wall funding, as well as disagreements over the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
State Senator Neil Anderson is putting forth a bill that would allow High School's to offer Hunter Safety Courses. In an interview at the state capitol on Tuesday, Senator Anderson stated that the bill is aimed at more rural school districts and would help promote gun safety.
Senator Anderson says that his own background with his father teaching him hunter safety as a teenager laid the groundwork for this bill.
The brutal cold can take a quick and deadly toll on your body. The Illinois Department of Public Health says you need to take the very real dangers of frostbite and hypothermia seriously. Hypothermia happens when your body temp drops to dangerous levels. IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says if your cold and shivering, confused or drowsy you need medical attention.
Frostbite needs to be treated with slowly warming the area affected and then seeking medical attention.
On the coldest day of the year, it’s as important as ever to use space heaters safely. Sheridan Assistant Fire Chief Kyle Cook says even though it’s easy to put a space heater just about anywhere, you have to be careful about it. For one thing, not every outlet can take the load.
A space heater requires a certain amount of clearance around it so nothing catches fire from being too close. Cook says oil-filled radiators are the safest heaters of that type.
Representative Tony McCombie is calling out the leadership in the Illinois House over rules changes that she claims are stifling transparency. New rules were passed on Tuesday in the Illinois State House governing how bills come to the floor for a vote, who serves on what committees, and the length of time that legislators have to read a bill before it gets voted on, on the House floor.
The Black Hawk College Board of Trustees meeting that was set for Thursday night at 7:00 has been rescheduled. The meeting has been moved to Monday, February 4th at 5:45 Pm. The meeting will be held at the Kewanee Community Education Center, Room 102. You can look at the agenda for the meeting on Monday by going to boarddocs.com.
Due to issues related to the freezing cold temperatures, portions of Henry County don't have access to emergency, 911, or non-emergency lines via landlines. Cellphones can still access 911 and the Henry County Sheriff non-emergency line but landline access is down. The outage is related to issues with Frontier Communications who have stated that they are wiorking to fix the outage. Those affected are landlines with the pre-fix 309-932.
Due to the extreme cold temperatures and dangerous wind chill, Amtrak has decided to cancel trips to and from Chicago, including the Kewanee stop, for Wednesday, January 30th. No word if the cancellation will extend into Thursday. Amtrak typically runs some 55 trains to Chicago over various routes on a daily basis.
With extreme weather such as it is, staying warm is an urgent concern. If you have lost your heat or electricity in this extreme cold, go to Kewanee City Hall. That is your first stop for a warming center in Kewanee. Other places that have volunteered facilities for those in need include both Wethersfield and Kewanee Schools, all local Henry County Libraries, despite many being closed today and the YMCA of Kewanee is set to be a warming center as well. But the first stop, especially outside of the normal business hours, is Kewanee City Hall where they will be able to coordinate with other agencies to help you find a place to stay warm. If you find yourself suffering from cold related injuries or illnesses, frostbite or hypothermia, go to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center to seek help.
Governor JB Pritzker is assembling state resources to prepare for what is expected to be one of the worst cold snaps in years in Illinois. In a visit to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center, Pritzker announced a disaster proclamation for the entire state ahead of a severe winter storm that will blanket the state with life-threatening wind chills....
Chris Miller with the National Weather Service talks about the deadly nature of the projected temperatures...
The Ready Illinois website is a one stop shop for emergency resources. Hyphothermia and frostbite are some of the primary concerns with the approaching weather.
State Representative Dan Swanson joined fellow Republican lawmakers in Springfield on Tuesday in calling on Governor Pritzker and his administration to further scrutinize reports from the office of the Auditor General.
The Auditor General Reports look for inefficiencies in state Government agencies and identify areas where taxpayer money can be saved through cuts or through more efficient processes.
State Representative Dan Swanson in 2018 helped to pass legislation on behalf of Lyme Disease sufferers and vows to keep doing more for those with Lyme in the new session in Springfield. Representative Swanson appeared recently with Lauryn Russell, a young Lyme Disease patient who inspired Representative Swanson on the subject of Lyme Disease and stated that he had new goals for Lyme Disease related legislation in the new session.
Representative Swanson stated in comments to reporters after an event in Woodhull that a key factor in the fight against Lyme Disease is spreading the word.
The battle over the science of Climate Change or Global Warming continues along the political divide. President Trump raised eyebrows with his tweet urging global warming to "come back fast" with this week's dangerous cold snap. Governor J.B. Pritzker was among supporters of the Climate Change theory who teed off on the President's knowledge of th issue...
A man wanted on multiple charges in Henry County attempted suicide following a stand off with Police in Colona on Monday. According to Colona Police, 37 year old Korry Armstrong was being sought on three warrants and was believed to be hiding out at a home in Colona. At approximately 5:10 Pm Colona Police armed with a Fugitive warrant to search the home and were met by the suspect with a weapon in hand. A stand off ensued and crisis negotiators were brought in to speak to Armstrong. Armstrong barricaded himself inside a garage attached to the home. After a three hour stand off with Colona Police and the Henry County Sheriff SOS, Mr Armstrong attempted to take his own life with his firearm. Medical assistance was provided to Mr Armstrong who was rushed from the scene to a local facility before being transferred to Iowa City Hospital via Life Flight. There is no word on the condition of Mr Armstrong at this time.
Ken Mansfield is known in Beatles lore as 'The Man in the White Jacket.' Ken was there, on the roof of Apple Studios with the Fab Four as they played for the final time as seen in the documentary "Let it be." What went into the creation of this remarkable moment in rock n'roll history? Did you know it almost never happened? How about the strange plans for a true final, free concert for The Beatles. All of this is iin Ken's new book "The Roof: The Beatles' Final Concert." Ken Mansfield was our guest today on People to People on WKEI.
Freezing cold temperatures across our listening area could lead to temperatures close to 50 degrees below zero. Travel is not advised under these conditions but if you must travel during this period of dangerously cold temperatures, the Illinois State Police have a few tips for you to stay safe in case the worst happens and you end up stranded.
Here are some easy safety tips to remember if travel is necessary in the coming days:
· Allow extra time to get to your destination.
· Avoid unnecessary lane changes, reduce your speed, and increase your following distance on snowy or ice covered roadways.
· Watch out for black ice - roads that appear clear may be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, and bridges, all are prone to black ice.
· Dress warmly for the weather. Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
· Make sure someone is aware of your travel plans. If traveling a long distance, let someone know your route and estimated departure and arrival time.
· Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Also, be sure to keep a cell phone charger with you in your vehicle.
· Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
· If you do get stranded, make sure snow is not blocking your exhaust.
· Motorists interested in getting up to date road conditions can go to www.gettingaroundillinois.com
An arrest has been made related to the January 12th accident that killed Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, 61 year old Scott Larson of Kenosha has been arrested under the terms of Scott's Law. On January 12th Trooper Lambert was on the scene of an accident on I-294 Northbound when he was struck by a Jeep driven by Mr Larson. Lambert succumbed to his injuries hours later. On January 24th, 2019, an arrest warrant was issued for Larson on a Reckless Homicide charge; Larson was taken into custody by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin. On January 28th The Illinois State Police took custody of Larson and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved one count of Reckless Homicide of a Police Officer, and two counts of Reckless Homicide involving Scott’s Law; all charges are Class 2 felonies. Larson’s bond hearing will be held at the Skokie Courthouse on January 29th, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 105. Scott's Law is the name given to the law that requires drivers to slow down and change lanes when police lights are visible. Mr Larson is alleged to have failed to change lanes or slow down in the area of the January 12th accident scene even with Trooper Lambert's lights flashing.
Raising the minimum wage is an initiative that the new Governor of Illinois and his super-majority of Democrats are hoping to get done in the first two years of the new Governor's term. It will be a gradual increase according to the Governor but a $15.00 per hour minimum wage is the goal for the state of Illinois under Governor Pritzker. Our Greg Bishop has more and the Governor's plans ahead of next month's budget address...
Two Illinois Lawmakers are planning townhall events to hear concerns regarding the legalization of Marijuana for adult recreational use. State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Kelly Cassidy. Steans and Cassidy gave a preview of what recreational pot legalization might look like at a meeting in Springfield. But not everyone is on board with the idea as our Greg Bishop reports.
An Independent candidate for a Chicago Alderman seat claims that intimidation tactics are trying to keep him off the ballot and that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan is behind the active attempts to keep him from reaching out to voters. David Krupa alleges that Mike Madigan is working on behalf of Democratic Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn to stifle his attempts to reach voters.
Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday. Among the topics was Knee Pain and specifically, Dr Peter Mulhern, Orthopaedic Specialist, who is now seeing patients regularly in Kewanee.
Carrie also discussed the need for blood donations. There is always seemingly a need for donors but the period immediately following the holidays tends to find a greater need. You can donate any time by going to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center but specifically, there is a blood drive taking place on Valentine's Day, February 14th with the Red Cross and OSF Saint Luke Medical Center.
To make an appointment to donate on February 14th you can call 309-852-7810. If you'd like to hear our complete interview with Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center from Monday's Tuned In you can stream or download the interview here in our Tuned In Podcast.
The City of Kewanee is hiring. Part time positions with the City of Kewanee are now available according to a post on the city Facebook page. The position is with the Kewanee Fleet Department. Basic mechanical knowledge is preferred and those applying for positions should have the general abilities including
• Change oil in vehicle engine and hydraulic systems
• Rotate Tires
• Perform Brake Repairs
• Perform Minor Mechanical Repairs
If you would like to apply for the available part time positions in the Fleet Department with the City of Kewanee you can contact Kevin Newton at 309-883-1226.
Hospitals across the state are concerned about growing flu activity. HSHS St. John's in Springfield is among hospitals offering suggestions and restrictions. It's common knowledge that the flu is not caused by the outside temperature but Dr. Gurpreet Mander, Chief Medical Officer at HSHS St. John's says intense cold only leaves certain populations more vulnerable to influenza.....
Individuals with cold or flu like symptoms are being urged to avoid visiting patients at HSHS St. John's. Anyone under 18 or pregnant is also being told to avoid a visit and the hospital is limiting the number of visitors to two people at a time.
A big day all the way around for the Illinois State Fair Foundation and the fairgrounds. The new name of the Coliseum was revealed after youth in ag nominated their ideas... and it’s the Coliseum of Champions. And the Fair Foundation found out about a major donation from fundraising done surrounding the inauguration of Governor JB Pritzker. The Governor has the details…
That second voice was Acting Director of Ag John Sullivan. The Coliseum is currently closed and is expected to be open by mid-July.
There will be no trash or recycling pick up this week in Kewanee. According to a release from the City of kewanee, the extreme cold temperates expected for the rest of the week will prevent crews from being able to pick up trash and recycling routes. Residents will be able to put out this week's trash next week due to the interruption in regular pick up. If you have any questions regarding trash and recycling pick up in Kewanee you can contact the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611.
More jobs were posted in December than in the year before but the jobless numbers also popped up. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to unemployment numbers says Illinois Department of Employment Security’s Bob Gough.
13 out of 14 metro areas did see an increase in the jobless rate compared to year over year numbers.
One Illinois township has a problem I am sure many cities and the state of Illinois aren't likely to face very soon: too much money in reserve. Maine Township in Northern Illinois wants to abate property taxes in order to remain in compliance with Illinois law regarding the banking of funds. The state of Illinois does not allow townships to hold more than two and half years worth of budget in reserve and with property taxes where they are, Maine Township could reach three years worth of budget in reserve next month. The township wants to press the pause button on property taxes in order to maintain compliance. Our Greg Bishop has the story...
A recent lawsuit may have gone against Six Flags Amusement Park but the bigger loser in the case could be Facebook. The Illinois Supreme Court last week ruled in favor of a family that had sued Six Flags on the grounds that the Amusement Park broke the 2008 Illinois law regarding Biometric Identification. The law relates to how private businesses collect and store biometric data, something that Facebook has been doing for some time and could come under scrutiny for now that Six Flags has been ruled liable for $1000.00 payment to the family of a teenager who gave biometric information when he signed up for a season pass. Our Cole Lauterbach attempt to untangle this complex story.
With an unemployment rate of 4.1%, the state of Illinois is doing well in providing work opportunities. Where the state can improve however, is in creating opportunities for disabled workers. That according to Illinois based employment agency Allsup Employment Services. Our Scot Bertram has more on what the state of Illinois to encourage work opportunities for disabled workers.
All 5 candidates for Kewanee Mayor are expected to take part in the Kewanee Mayoral Forum hosted by the Kewanee League of Women Voters. Carla Hillman from the Kewanee League of Women Voters talked about the details of the upcoming forum. The forum is set for Thursday, February 21st, just 5 days before the Kewanee Mayoral Primary. Two candidates will move on from the February 26th primary into the General election.
How do Kewanee and Wethersfield Schools decide when to close or delay school? We spoke with Dr Chris Sullens about what goes into the decisions regarding weather. Dr Sullens discussed how conversations with himself and Wethersfield Superintendent Shane Kazubowski lead to final decisions about delays or cancellations. It's days worth of studying models and talking with members of the local road crews about conditions before a final decision is made. Dr Chris Sullens will be our guest today on People to People.
The Kewanee Park District has announced the Summer production for the Kewanee Community Theatre. According to the Kewanee Park District, Mary Poppins will be the 2018 Park District Community Theatre Production. Auditions for the cast begin at Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School May 14th and 15th. Rehearsals for the production begin on May 21st. The show, Mary Poppins will be on stage for everyone to enjoy on July 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Bitter cold wind chills have arrived in Illinois, and there's still plenty of cold to come this season. Many residents use natural gas to heat their homes, and Ameren wants to remind residents about some common sense natural gas safety tips. Gina Meehan-Taylor is a Public Awareness Supervisor with Ameren. She says if you think you smell natural gas, don't hesitate to report the possible leak.
There's a temporary reprieve in the federal government shutdown and air traffic controller sickouts taking flight appeared to be responsible for grounding the shutdown. Senator Dick Durbin called for an end to the shutdown on the Senate floor before President Trump announced a three week break from the shutdown. He cited the strain controllers already faced when they were getting paid....
Durbin called asking controllers to shoulder such a workload without pay was asking too much...
Durbin visited with air traffic controllers at Lambert Airport in St. Louis this week. He released a statement "Finally, President Trump has ended his disastrous government shutdown. One of the results of this embarrassing, destructive, and unnecessary government shutdown should be a new bipartisan rule which guarantees we will never face this again."
2. Closed Meeting pursuant to Section 2 (C) (2) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss Collective Bargaining.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda a. Approval of Minutes b. Payroll c. Staff Reports
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
a. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a security agreement with Macon General Contractors regarding substitution of collateral for a Revolving Loan with Midwest Trailer Manufacturing.
b. Discussion regarding the Health Insurance Fund.
c. Discussion regarding the Internal Controls Policy.
Virden Broadcasting (RM), announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to purchase, WZOE-AM 1490, WZOE-FM (Z-98), and WRVY 100.5, as well as, numerous digital assets serving Princeton Illinois and the surrounding area.
Commenting on the acquisition, Regional Media – Virden Broadcasting President and CEO, Fletcher Ford said, “We're very happy to be able to expand to the Princeton area; they fit nicely into our overall plan of concentration in Illinois and will allow us to further support local communities.”
Regional Media owns and operates a large footprint of radio stations and digital websites throughout the states of Illinois, Iowa, and has holdings in Kaua’i Hawaii as well. The combination of these stations creates a perfect fit to the Regional Media portfolio.
“For over half a century, WZOE and its sister stations; Z98 and WRVY have brought local content and care to the Illinois Valley and the surrounding areas. I cannot think of a better group of people to continue this tradition than Fletcher Ford and his Team at Regional Media. I am excited to assist with bringing their excellence in broadcasting to Princeton and the surrounding markets” says current WZOE Inc Chief Operating Officer Mike Samet.
Tom Clark has been named General Sales Manager with current Regional Media Vice President of Operations Jason Gilbraith taking an active role in the day to day operations.
Regional Media – Virden Broadcasting will take over operations on February 1, 2019.
Regional Media, is one of the largest and one of the most diversified broadcasting companies in Illinois and Iowa with affiliations with many local communities. The company regularly uses its website as a key source of company information which can be accessed at www.RegionalMedia.info
James Love who was being tried for First Degree Murder in the death of Xavier Hartman in Galva in June of 2018 has been found Not Guilty. A jury in Galesburg at the Knox County Courthouse took 75 minutes to decide that Love was not guilty of murder. Love's defense had argued that Love acted in self defense when he left his home to investigate a crash on his property and was attacked by Hartman, one of two people in the vehicle that crashed on Love's farm in Galva on June 19th. Prosecutors had raised questions as to why Love had taken a gun with him to investigate a car crash but in the jury sided with Love and the self defense argument. Jurors were also told that Hartman's Blood Alcohol Content was three times the legal limit at the time of the accident and the argument with love. Hartman died after being shot in the femeral artery leading him to bleed out.
The Peoria Journal Star is reporting that retired Kewanee City Engineer Dale Nobel is not going remain retired for local. Mr Nobel, whom many have credited for saving the City of Kewanee a great deal of money with his with his engineering skills, is set to accept a position working for Stark County. It's not a full time position, but Mr Nobel is expected to named Stark County Engineer following a meeting of the Stark County Board in February. Mr Nobel will have to pass a state exam before accepting the position and no official employment agreement has been reached as of this writing. Mr Nobel will be taking over a position that is in need of filling. Former Stark County Engineer Mark Otten resigned from the position in November under scrutiny regarding the county highway department. All Stark County Highway projects have been on hold since November while a new County Engineer was sought.
A Galva teenager missing since Monday was found on Thursday. No details of what happened to Galva teenager Caleste Marie Bricker, only that she was located safe and was with the Galva Police on Thursday. Bricker had been reported missing on Tuesday after having not been seen since early Monday morning. The story went viral as the search for her whereabouts was publicized by the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network.
Mothers of children age 5 and under can now receive WIC services via the Henry and Stark County Health Department. According to a release from the Henry and Stark County Health Department, food supplements as part of the Women, Infant and Children program are now available at the Kewanee and Colona offices of the Henry and Stark County Health Department. The Health Department WIC and Case management staff encourages healthy pregnancies, babies, children and families through their services. The WIC Supplemental Food Program offers supplemental foods and nutrition education to residents who meet certain nutrition and economic guidelines. In addition, clients may receive healthy food items such as milk, formula, eggs, and cereal; fruits, vegetables, juices, whole grain breads and tortillas. For more information you can contact case workers at the Henry and Stark County Health Department at 309-852-5272.
Illinois Democrats are preparing their most extensive piece of gun control legislation yet. Deerfield Senator Julie Morrison introduced a bill on Thursday that would ban dozens of types of guns and brands that are deemed 'Assault' style weapons. The bill would require owners of weapons currently to register with the state of Illinois and pay a $25.00 fee for that registration. Anyone then caught with one of the banned weapons 300 days after the passage of the ban would a class 3 Felony charge, a $25,000 fine and potential jail time. Cole Lauterbach has more...
The crime rate in the state of Illinois is the seventh lowest in the nation. According to the study posted by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, Illinois is among the safest states in the nation when it comes to property crime. While the perception is that Chicago brings the state crime rate up, the rest of the state of Illinois brings the overall crime rate, property crime and violent crime lower than expected.
Representatives for the Auditor's General Office are calling for audits of major universities in Illinois. Members of the Illinois Board of Higher Education called for the initial closer look at funding and now auditors are saying that a closer look is needed in order to re-evaluate the state funding formula for higher education. Our Greg Bishop has more on this story.
Illinoisans ages 18 to 25 are not children anymore, but many are not quite grown up either.
New research examines how the state can better help these emerging adults in the criminal justice system.
A report released Thursday by the Justice Lab at Columbia University says emerging adults still are experiencing brain development, which makes them more prone to peer influence, risk taking and impulsive behavior.
Report co-author Vincent Schiraldi, co-director of the Justice Lab, says this age group also is more responsive than older adults to rehabilitation and interventions.
However, he adds that emerging adults in Illinois are automatically prosecuted and sentenced in the adult system.
"They're kind of getting eaten alive in those facilities and they're coming out and having terrible outcomes: 78 percent recidivism rate, the highest of any population," he points out. "So we're basically sending them to gladiator schools, schools for crime. It's not good for them and it's not good for us."
Illinois has been experimenting with alternative interventions for justice-involved youth, efforts to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 21 and age-appropriate, community-based programs such as Redeploy Illinois.
And research says the state could build upon this work and provide more tailored, development-appropriate responses for emerging youths as well.
According to the report, emerging adults in Illinois are imprisoned at twice the rate of adults age 25 and older, and the majority are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses.
Schiraldi adds that emerging adults encounter significant barriers upon release, including higher rates of trauma, substance-use disorders and homelessness.
"It's not like they committed murders and horrible crimes," he stresses. "These are exactly the kinds of people you could divert into alternatives, treatment and community programs so that you don't set them down a path of having a permanent record before they've even had a chance to graduate from college."
The research also notes racial disparities. Illinois has one of the highest incarceration rates of African-American emerging adults in the U.S.
Schiraldi says it's higher than both California and New York.
"The over-representation of people of color in America's criminal justice system and in Illinois' justice system is sort of legendary," he states. "But it's even worse when you look at the young adults. They're even more overrepresented than the overall general population."
Representative Cheri Bustos will be back in the 17th District on Friday. Representative Bustos has planned stops at Thomson Prison where she will speak with guards and staff affected by the government shutdown. Representative Bustos will follow that up with a visit to Illini towers where people who work for the the Housing and Urban Development Department are going without pay during the shutdown. Finally, Representative Bustos will stop by the Cambridge Library to continue her program of delivering books to local libraries from the collection at the Library of Congress. The visit to the Cambridge Public Library at 212 West Center Street is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Barbara Love from the Kewanee Public Library and Carla Hillman from the Kewanee League of Women Voters were our guests on Tuned In on Thursday to talk about an upcoming series of discussions, based on a grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, are called Revisiting the Founding Era and they will take place Wednesday nights beginning on January 30th. The Kewanee League of Women Voters, Kewanee High School and former professor Jim Nowlan will be part of leading these discussions and you can pick up specific reading for each discussion at the information desk at the Kewanee Public Library. You can listen to or download our interview with Barbara Love and Carla Hillman in today's Tuned In Podcast below...
The Illinois Department of Revenue begins accepting your tax filing on January 28th. Terry Horstman with the Illinois Department of Revenue joined WKEI on our People to People Podcast on Thursday to talk about getting ready to file your state taxes, whether state taxes are in any way affected by the Federal Government shutdown, they are not, and how to keep yourself safe from tax related scams. You can stream or download this edition of our People to People Podcast with Terry Horstman from the Illinois Department of Revenue below.
The Illinois State Police are on the scene of an accident that occurred on I-280 involving an empty school bus. According to the Illinois State Police no one was hurt in the accident which remains under investigation. As of this writing, one westbound lane of I-280 at Mile Marker 14 in Henry County is closed down. It has been reported several bridge deck surfaces in the area have begun to ice over. Motorists are urged to use caution.
A new analysis of School Choice in Illinois states that Illinois is lagging behind other states in allowing residents choices in where to attend schools. While the state has charter schools and tax credit scholarships to attend charter schools, the Heartland Institute claims that the state does not have the kind of support for School Choice that other states have. Reporter Benjamin Yount has more and on the lacking in School Choice in Illinois.
In choosing to supplement the state salary of his closest aides with his own money, Governor JB Pritzker has made his closes aides some of the highest paid in the nation. The Governor created a Limited Liability Corporation that he will use to double the salary of his Chief of Staff, Ann Caprara, among others. Our Cole Lauterbach has a closer look at the pay to the Governor's inner circle.
There is stil no new information in the disappearance of 16 year old Caleste Marie Bricker of Galva. The 16 year old went missing on Monday morning and was last seen on Monday morning at approximately 5:00 Am. She is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 128 pounds. Caleste's family has posted more photos of Caleste to aid in the search. You can see the photos for your self on the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network Facebook page linked here. If you have any information on the whereabouts of 16 year old Caleste Marie Bricker please contact Galva Police at 309-937-3911.
The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host their annual meeting on February 2nd, 2019. According to the release from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, the meeting will be held at the Steeple Building Museum located at 103 North Bishop Hill beginning at 11:30 Am with a light lunch and the meeting getting underway at 12 Noon. The meeting is for members of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association only. The meeting will include electing members of the board and office holders in the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and a preview of upcoming events in Bishop Hill in 2019. If you would like to become a member of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and take part in the February 2nd meeting you can contact the Bishop Hill Heritage Association at 309-927-3899.
Visits to Illinois' capital city offer mean selfies and photo ops at statues and murals honoring Springfield's favorite son, President Abraham Lincoln and his family. While Lincoln's wife Mary Todd and sons can be found at multiple locations, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder says the city's art association is preparing to honor other members of the family.....
Fido was the Lincoln Family dog starting in the mid 1850's but the Lincoln's decided Fido wouldn't like Washington life because he was terrified by the booming cannons and fireworks heard when Springfield celebrated Lincoln being elected President. .Author Kate Kelly says Fido was known to come with Lincoln when he went into town, sometimes carrying a parcel home from the market for Lincoln, or Fido would wait outside the barbershop while Lincoln went in for a trim.
You can start filing taxes in Illinois on Monday. The Federal Government may be shutdown but state and federal taxes will be accepted on January 28th. The Illinois Department of Revenue is ready to go and Terry Hortsman with Revenue says the best way to do it is by electronic means.
Now if you need to verify your ID and receive a letter in the mail to do so you can do it online. Terry Horstman from the Illinois Department of Revenue will be our guest on People to People this morning on at 8:10 on WKEI.
With changes in the balance of the Supreme Court reproductive rights advocates have concerns about what could happen to the landmark Roe v Wade decision. That’s why Democratic Governor JB Pritzker says last year’s passage of HB 40 was so important.
Pritzker signed an executive order this week make sure that HB 40 was fully implemented in Illinois to give abortion coverage to state employees and Medicaid recipients.
The Kewanee Public Library is launching their series called Revisiting the Founding Era very soon. The series is the result of a grant recently given to the Kewanee Public Library by the by Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. The Library will be teaming up with local schools, local retired professor Jim Nowlan and the Kewanee League of Women Voters for this series of presentations on the founding of America. Carla Hillman with the Kewanee League of Women Voters will be joining Barbara Love this morning on WKEI's Tuned In program at 8:45 Am to talk about their involvement in the launch of the Revisiting the Founding Era presentation at the Kewanee Public Library.
The state is going to try and help federal workers who are working without a paycheck right now. In a joint announcement with the Governors’ office the Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs says the state is making $100 million available to banks to use as loans to approximately 9000 workers who need financial assistance.
The loans are projected to be as close to zero percent as possible. Governor Pritzker says Illinois is also looking to see if they can offer unemployment assistance to federal workers.
The Kewanee League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum for the people running for Mayor of Kewanee, prior to the Kewanee Mayoral Primary on February 26th. The forum will be held on February 21st at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall. The five people who are running for Mayor, including Councilman Steve Faber, Businessman Steve Lemanski, former Kewanee Police Officer Gary Moore, former Councilman Bob Kuntz and write-in candidate and councilman, Mike Yaklich, have been invited to be part of the forum. WKEI RegionalDailyNews.com has agreed to broadcast the candidate forum on our Facebook page at RegionalDailyNews on Facebook beginning at 7 Pm on February 21st. The deadline for registering to vote in the Kewanee Mayoral Primary on February 26th is January 29th. Early voting for the Kewanee Mayoral Primary is underway and votes can be cast early either by going to the County Clerk's office in Cambridge or by requesting a mail-in ballot that must be returned by February 26th.
Wal Mart is investing in truck drivers. According to a release from the company in Springfield on Wednesday, Wal Mart is investing in pay raises for current truckers and new hires. According to Wal Mart, truck drivers for the company will now average $87,500 plus 0.89 cents per mile. Wal Mart states that the truck driving fleet for the company will increase to 900 in 2019. In a statement regarding the raises and new hiring initiative a Wal Mart Rep stated “Truck drivers are a critical part of our team here at Walmart and have been since Sam Walton started the private truck fleet in the 1970s,” said Greg Smith, executive vice president of Walmart U.S. Supply Chain. “Our professional drivers are part of what makes Walmart so special. This wage increase reflects the importance of our private fleet and our commitment to recruiting and retaining the best drivers in the industry.”
The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs celebrating 30 years of bringing attention to small town issues. The director is Christopher Merrett.
IIRA is located at Western Illinois University in Macomb. They are hosting their annual conference for small town community leaders and policymakers March 5-7 in Springfield. Registration is available through iira.gov.
Representative Cheri Bustos for the sixth year in a row be collecting Valentine's for Veterans. According to a release from Representative Bustos' office, residents of the 17th District are encouraged to drop off Valentine's Day cards at her offices across the district. “This Valentine’s Day, I encourage everyone across our region to consider joining me in making valentines for veterans,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “We owe veterans our utmost gratitude, and it’s amazing to see the smiles you can bring to their faces by taking just a moment out of your day to thank them for their courageous service.” The deadline for Valentine's for Veterans is February 8th. Cards can be mailed to or dropped off at any of Representative Bustos' offices in the 17th district including:
The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners regarding an outbreak of salmonella and listeria in the Hare Today Gone Tomorrow brand of Ground Chicken. According to a release from the FDA, concerns about Salmonella and Listeria are the reasons as to why they are telling pet owners not to purchase the brand. The specifications are below:
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, lot 12.04.2018, after the product tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono). This product is identified as “Ground Chicken” on the product labeling and as “Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs” on the firm’s website."
Hare Today is a Pennsylvania based pet food company specializing in rabbit meat and has been in business since the late 90's. The company is cooperating with the FDA to recall the specific items affected by the Salmonella and Listeria outbreak that the FDA says is a danger to both pets and owners.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, lot 12.04.2018, after a sample of the product collected by the FDA tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono). The product is available in four sizes and varieties, all with the processing date of 12.04.2018 on the back of the bag:
Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 1lb, Fine Ground
Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 2lb, Fine Ground
Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 3lb, Coarse Ground
Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 5lb, Fine Ground"
Today, Governor JB Pritzker made Illinois the 18th state to join the US Climate Alliance. In a speech given this morning alongisde leaders of the Sierra Club, Governor Pritzker made it official that Illinois will adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement that President Trump had back ed the US out of after taking office. 17 other states led by California announced that they would continue to honor the Paris Climate agreement standards on Greenhouse Gas Emissions via state regulations and regardless of Federal goverment regulations. You can hear Governor Pritzker's complete speech making the announcement below.
Eddie Tolliver from the Kewanee Salvation Army joined WKEI on Tuned In on Tuesday. Eddie was on hand to talk about the massive success of this year's Angel Tree drive...
The numbers for the amounts of money raised by bell ringers and kettles have not been tabulated yet and won't be official until next month but Eddie had a whole lot of thank you's to dole out. And, of course, the need never stops at the Kewanee Salvation Army so Eddie is unveiling some new deals for the Kewanee Salvation Army store aimed at Seniors and Kids in hopes of keeping up those sales numbers. You can hear our complete Tuned In Podcast with Eddie Tolliver from the Kewanee Salvation Army below.
In what some may call a futile but necessary gesture, Republican lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives are lobbying Governor JB Pritzker regarding a constitutional amendment that they claim would remove lawmakers from the process of drawing legislative maps in the state of Illinois. Led by Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin, the effort is aimed at changing legislative maps and removing what many feel has been a deck stacked in favor of Illinois Democrats. Our Cole Lauterbach has the story from Springfield.
Illinois received a D Grade in the latest assessment of the Center for Racial and Gender Equity. One Illinois lawmaker however, is dismissing the group's criticism. Republican State Representative Margo McDermed received a failing grade from the group personally for her opposition to a so-called Progressive Tax which the Center has backed since 2016 as a symbol of 'Equitable Economic Opportunity.' McDermed also opposes a $15.00 per hour minimum wage, another reason the group gives the state a D grade. Our Greg Bishop has more.
In 2009 then State Senator Pam Althoff voted against a bill bringing about the legalization of cannabis for medical use. Now, some 10 years later, Althoff is no longer a State Senator and is now the top state lobbyist for a group representing the interests of medical marijuana. Our Benjamin Yount has more on the former Senator, her new role and what she hopes to accomplish with the new general assembly in Springfield.
A central Illinois congressman hopes to help millions of Americans receive the money they have paid into the government that is being taken away through two programs that he says are unfair. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville earlier this month introduced the bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act, which eliminates the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset. Those two aspects of the Social Security Act reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who have devoted much of their careers to public service. Davis says the bill is supported by the IEA, NEA, and several law enforcement agencies.
Davis likes its chances, as he says there are as many Democrats as there are Republicans on the bill as co-sponsors. This, like all bills, are on hold until congress is called back to work.
Some very cold temperatures on the way for most of Illinois later in the week. The coldest temps will be Thursday night into Friday says Brian Kerschner with the Illinois State Water Survey.
Lows in northern Illinois will be in the negatives and the single digits in southern Illinois and wind chills in some parts of Illinois will reach or exceed 20-below Thursday night into Friday. Kerschner says below normal temps are also expected for much of February.
On the anniversary of Roe-v-Wade, Illinois Democratic Governor JB Pritzker is signing an Executive Order to guarantee the state’s reproductive rights law is being followed. 46 years after the land mark decision Pritzker’s order forces a review of all state employee group health insurance to comply with the law passed last year and signed by then Republican Governor Bruce Rauner that gave abortion coverage to all employees.
HB 40 last year expanded insurance coverage to all state employees and Medicaid recipients who wanted an abortion.
Snow covers much of Illinois right now and that has been a boost to those who love to ride snowmobiles. But lots of riding comes with more accidents and there are some tips to stay as safe as possible. Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says always ride with someone else, check the thickness of ice on a lake before riding over it and never ride and drink.
There were two fatal accidents reported on snowmobiles last year in Illinois.
The Quad Cities Missing Persons Network have shared details regarding a Galva teenager who has been missing since Monday morning. According to QCMPN, Caleste Marie Bricker of Galva was last seen on Monday, January 21st, at around 5 AM in Galva. Bricker is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 128 pounds. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Caleste Marie Bricker, the family asks that you contact Galva Police at 309-937-3911.
Brendan Kelly whose challenge to incumbent, 12th District Congressman Mike Bost came up short in November has found a new position in the JB Pritzker administration. Kelly, a former Prosecutor and County State's Attorney has been named as the director of the Illinois State Police. Kelly replaces former Chicago Police Officer Leo Schmitz who headed the State Police under Governor Bruce Rauner since 2015. Kelly's naming to the position will become official once he is approved by the Illinois State Senate.
If you are not currently registered to vote in the February 26th Kewanee Mayoral Primary to determine the candidates who will face off in April's Mayoral election you now have a deadline. According to a release from Henry County Clerk Recorder Barb Link, the deadline to register to vote in the Mayoral Primary is January 29th. You can register tp vote at the Clerk Recorder's office in Cambridge, at the City Clerk, Melinda Edwards' office in Kewanee. You can also go to the Kewanee Public Library or obtain a mail in registration at the Kewanee Post Office. The deadline to register for the February 26th Primary is January 29th. Early voting is already underway at the Clerk's office in Cambridge or via mail-in ballot.
The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce has announced the date and location for the first Business After Hours event of 2019. According to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee will host Business After Hours on Thursday, February 7th at 5 Pm. Chamber members and their guests are invited to come to Rux Funeral Home at 507 South Chestnut Street for refreshments and door prizes and the chance to mingle with fellow Kewanee Business owners.
The OSF Healthcare Christmas lights recycling drive went well beyond expectations. According to OSF Healthcare, more than one and a half tons of non-working Christmas lights were collected among 5 OSF locations across Illinois. Eagle Recycling in Galva is taking the lights and will be recycling the materials as much as possible helping to keep the lights from ending up in landfills and create new sustainable items. OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford won a friendly competition among the five OSF locations statewide by collecting more than 925 pounds of non-working Christmas lights. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee meanwhile, collected just over 524 pounds of lights according to Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Carrie praised Eagle Enterprises for showing what a local business can do for sustainability.
OSF Saint Luke Medical Center has entered the App world with the MyChart App. Now available for Android or IPhone, the MyChart App connects you to your medical records and your doctor via your smartphone. You can track medications, send messages to your physician and get reminders about upcoming appointments says Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center.
You can hear more about the MyChart App in our complete interview with Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in our Tuned In Podcast here.
The Kewanee Area Arts Council has begun lining up events for 2019. Tim Black with the Arts Council joined WKEI to talk about the big plans for the Kewanee Community Chorus, Jazz on the Side, the Kewanee Community Band, the Prairie Chicken Festival and plans for community theater. On February 5th the Kewanee Community Chorus will begin practice for their Spring concert. Planning is underway for chorus concerts as well as performances by the Community Band and Jazz on the Side. And coming up in late January, a planning meeting is set for the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival.
Political public affairs channel C-Span is filming in Springfield this week, with a focus on authors and the Capital City's history. C-Span's Ashley Hill says the channel is keeping up with the times by taking a page from CBS late night host James Corden....
C-Span will interview Governor J.B. Pritzker and visit the Illinois State Capitol, Old State Capitol, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and landmarks from the 1908 Springfield Race Riot. The filmed segments will air February 16th and 17th during a special feature Springfield weekend
The Federal Government remains shutdown. And those who depend on food stamps or SNAP benefits will be getting funds through next month. But there is a change to the plan for the way those dollars are going out. The benefits that were just received will be larger than normal. It’s not a bonus or a mistake. Human Service Secretary James Dimas says the extra funds are for February food purchases.
Link cards were loaded with the extra funds starting this week. But officials want those one point eight million who receive them to understand that money needs to last through the end of the month.
On MLK Day Governor JB Pritzker wants to make real changes in Illinois. He says at the Rainbow Push Martin Luther King Breakfast on Monday in Chicago that he’s ready to tackle big problems and make sure the state is back to supporting the citizens who need it.
Pritzker’s speech used a term that King would use “ the fierce urgency of now.”
The Republican Party of Henry County will hold a meeting and viewing party for the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 29th in Cambridge. Republicans, Conservatives and supporters of President Trump are invited to attend the meeting at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center located at 407 North West Street in Cambridge. The meeting will begin at 7 Pm with the President's State of the Union Address set to begin at 8 Pm. The event is free to attend and attendees are encouraged to bring snacks. Beverages will be provided. If you want more information you can contact the Henry County Republican Party at 815-627-6134.
Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined us for our weekly OSF Medical Center Monday chat. Today on the show we talked about Commit 2 Fit Kewanee and the brand new OSF Saint Luke Medical Center My Chart App. You can manage your appointments, your kids appointments, medications and everything related to your medical care at OSF via the OSF My Chart App available in the App Store of your Android or IPhone devices.
Representative Cheri Bustos joined WKEI over the weekend to discuss the government shutdown. On Friday, Representative Bustos was at Hammond Henry Hospital where part of the remodel for the emergency room at Hammond Henry is shutdown due to the government shutdown.
Representative Bustos goes on to talk about the other ways our area is being affected by the government shutdown.
You can hear our complete interview with Representative Bustos on WKEI at 8:10 Am this morning (Monday, January 21st) or listen now at the link below.
Black Hawk College is now accepting applications for a pair of $500.00 CNA scholarships. According to Black Hawk College, the scholarships are for students enrolling in the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program beginning March 18th at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee. The eight week program will train attendees to become Certified Nursing Assistants and will include 80 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of Clinical Training. The scholarships available are the BHC East Foundation CNA Scholarship and the Barbara J. Curran Golby Memorial CNA Scholarship. Golby was a nurse in the Kewanee area for nearly 50 years and spent the last 10 years of her career teaching CNA students at the college’s East Campus. Applications for these two scholarships are due by March 11th. To apply go to BHC.edu or follow this direct link to the application.
You can never be too ready when preparing for winter weather and travel. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants you to take the dangers seriously when traveling. Rebecca Clark says make sure people are aware of your travel plans and you have a good way of being in touch.
Keep and emergency kit with you at home and on the road when weather is turning nasty.
For those who received unemployment benefits this year tax forms are coming in the mail. It’s a reminder that you do have to pay taxes on those dollars and you need a 1099-G to file by April 15. Bob Gough with the State Department of Employment Security says electronic copies should already be in your inbox.
More than 346,000 people picked up benefits last year. 2018 numbers were lower than those in 2017.
The Kewanee Public Library is one of the only municipal buildings that will be open on this Martin Luther King holiday but it is for a very special purpose. The Kewanee Public Libray will be honoring Dr King with a pair of presentations in his honor. The first is an event aimed at kids and co-hosted by Americorps. Sara Billiet was our guest recently to tell us that the kids MLK Day event is happening today between 10 Am and 2 Pm.
Then, this evening beginning at 6 Pm there will be a very special presentation of a documentary called "Alice's Ordinary People." The documentary is about Illinois civil rights hero Alice Tregay who marched with Dr King and followed in his footsteps in the fight for civil rights in Chicago. Director Craig Dudnick will be on hand tonight at the Library to introduce the feature.
Stay after the documentary for a discussion with the director answering your questions about Alice Tregay and how she and Dr King worked together in the fight for Civil Rights.
Bob Kuntz is one of 5 candidates for Kewanee Mayor. All last week we profiled the candidates that you can vote for and Mr Kuntz joined us on Friday to discuss his background as a former City Council member and as a businessman in Kewanee. Along with this, we discussed economic expansion in the city and his feelings about gambling in Kewanee. Early voting for the February 26th Kewanee Mayoral Primary is open now and you can cast your vote at the Henry County Clerk's office or by requesting a mail in ballot that must be returned to the Clerk's office by February 26th.
After 24 years with Abilities Plus, Connie Nyert officially retired from the organization on January 11th. Connie began with Abilities Plus in 1994 as a Developmental Training Instructor. In 2012, Connie moved over to the Works Services Program as a Work Crew Specialist. Connie is beloved at Abilities Plus for her happy attitude and her dedication to her job and the Abilities Plus. Congratulations to Connie Nyert and thank you for 24 years of service at Abilities Plus from your friends at Regional Media.
At Thursday night's Humane Society of Kewanee of Board Meeting three new members of the Board were introduced. Sheryl Powell, Julie Kaufman and Kewanee Firefighter Tim Doubek have officially joined the Board at Thursday's meeting. Each described themselves and their goals in joining the Humane Society Board.
Thursday night's meeting of the Henry County Humane Society Board was filled with hot tempers on both sides of the disagreement regarding the death of a dog named Neeko in Novemer of 2018. It was Neeko's death that led to the resignation of three Board Members including BreAnne Busboom, Maggie Steen and Angie Pronschinske. In an effort to allow both sides to make their case, WKEI is offering this recording of the exchange between Board Members and those in attendance at last night's meeting including former Board Members BreAnne Busboom and Maggie Steen and former Humane Society employee Kayanna Swan and Board President Louise Harrison speaks most prominently for the Board. WKEI did edit this recording to remove reference to the name of an employee who was not on hand to defend herself at last night's meeting. Some language in the recording may be considered offensive.
The recording begins at the start of the open forum portion of the meeting in which Humane Society volunteer Jennifer Russell asks if processes are now in place to make sure that what happened to Neeko does not happen again.
New research suggests Illinois could be doing a better job preparing its kids for the future.
The annual "Chance-for-Success" index released by Education Week grades states based on 13 distinct factors that affect a person's opportunities from cradle to career. Illinois was given a grade of "B-minus" overall, with preschool enrollment, kindergarten enrollment and post-secondary participation among the areas of strength. However Sterling Lloyd, assistant director of the Research Center at Education Week, notes the areas of weakness.
"Educational attainment for adults, steady employment and income - and in those areas, Illinois is not faring as well," says Lloyd. "And students really need a strong economy to boost their success later in life. They may graduate, but they need to be all to find their opportunities for good jobs and good income." Illinois ranked 23rd among states - and its "B-minus" grade is higher than the national average of "C-plus." Lloyd notes that compared to data from 2008, the national score has risen by less than one point, now at 79 percent. "With the grade of 'C-plus' for the nation, and with 24 states getting between a 'C-minus' and a 'C-plus,' there's a sense of mediocrity," says Lloyd. "And given that the results have not improved much over time, there's a feeling the results are fairly stagnant. And so, new strategies, new approaches are worth trying." The report found persistent regional disparities, with states faring better in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The largest barriers to success were found in the South and Southwest. Lloyd says the data should be a chance for policymakers and educators in each state to compare their state's performance with others - and decide how to improve it. "We're talking about a global economy these days, and every state now, every governor, is looking to attract companies really from around the world and trying to point out that their state has the top workforce," says Lloyd. "That their residents have the skills that these companies need." The highest grade awarded, an "A-minus," was given to Massachusetts.
Governor JB Pritzker signs a new law that requires gun dealers to be certified by the Illinois State Police. Pritzker says that gun stores will have to have surveillance and be open for inspection by law enforcement. The bill signed today (Thursday) looks like it won’t be the only gun control measure up for a vote this year.
The main push of the bill is to prevent straw purchases – when a person buys a gun for someone who otherwise can’t get one The Illinois State Rifle Association says the federal government already licenses gun dealers and nothing in the bill is going to enhance public safety in Illinois.
December unemployment was up slightly. The rate stands at four point three percent. That’s up from four point two in December. Bob Gough with the Illinois Department of Employment Security says job growth was strong despite the small bump in the rate.
As part of our series profiling the candidates running for Mayor of Kewanee, we spoke to Gary Moore, former Kewanee Police Officer, who entered the race for Mayor of Kewanee back in November after Mayor Steve Looney announced that he would not seek another term. Early voting for the February 26th Kewanee Mayoral Primary begins January 17th. Kewanee residents can cast their primary vote by going to the Henry County Clerk's Office or by requesting a mail in ballot. Or you can simply wait until February 26th and vote at your usual voting precinct. Gary Moore joined us this morning for this People to People conversation.
Governor J.B Pritzker has signed new gun regulations for gun dealers. Owners of gun selling establishments will be required by the new legislation to place surveillance cameras anywhere where firearms are sold or stored. The law also establishes a $1000.00 licensing fee that must be paid every 5 years tor businesses to maintain firearm sales license. One group of gun advocates however, is planning to fight this legislation in court. Our Greg Bishop has more...
Local Kewanee businessman Steve Lemanski entered the Kewanee Mayoral race back in November. He's well known in the business community and active in the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce. Mr Lemansky was our guest as part of our ongoing profiles of candidates for Mayor of Kewanee. Early voting for the Kewanee Mayoral Primary begins on January 17th. Voters can cast their vote early at the Henry County Clerk's Office or by requesting a ballot by mail by going to the Henry County Clerk Website. Steve Lemanski on WKEI's People to People.
On Wednesday, Governor J.B Pritzker signed legislation creating new restrictions on Gun Dealers in Illinois. The Governor signed Senate Bill 337 after the bill was passed seven months ago but held on a procedural maneuver by the Bill's sponsor. SB 337 requires those who own stores that sell guns to have video surveillance cameras. The bill also sets licenses for gun dealers at $1000 every 5 years. State Senator Neil Anderson released a statement decrying the bill and saying that the state already has burdensome legislative demands on law abiding gun dealers:
“The State of Illinois has more gun regulations than just about any other state, and now we’re adding even more,” said Sen. Anderson. “This new law will be detrimental to the numerous law-abiding gun stores in my district, who already follow federal regulations. Senate Bill 337 places a hard financial burden on our smaller gun stores—demanding high licensing fees, containing high fines, and mandating electronic based record keeping. The additional and duplicative regulations found in this bill won’t prevent gun crimes. The change will only make it harder for gun dealers who already follow the law to stay in business.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to ensure Illinois' workforce development efforts are up with the times. In a visit to Belleville's Southwestern Illinois College, he signed an executive order asking the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to review industries state leaders have targeted for growth and place workforce development funding in those industries...
Pritzker says the measure will help Illinois adapt to a changing economy and help draw new business to Illinois.
The United Way offers a toll free help line for you to find social services. 2-1-1 covers most of Illinois and it offers names and contact information for things like warming centers, rent assistance and even job search. 2-1-1 is available from any land line or cell phone. Cathy Vaisvill (vase-vill) is the United Way 2-1-1 Community Partnerships Director and says 2-1-1 fulfills a great need:
The call is free and confidential, but representatives will ask for your zip code so they can direct you to services closest to you.
A Kewanee woman has filed a report with Kewanee Police regarding her cat and the chance that it was shot with a BB Gun. Sara Britt of Kewanee Posted on Facebook this morning that her cat had been shot in the face with what appeared to be a BB Gun. Photo evidence does appear to indicate an injury from a BB Gun. Ms Britt is taking the cat to be examined today. The cat was able to walk away after the incident and get back to Ms Britt's home which is a good sign. We will bring you more information when it is made available either by Kewanee Police or from the cat's owner. Meanwhile, if you have any information about someone shooting at cats or other animals with a BB Gun, please contact Kewanee Police at 30-853-1911.
Crash scene is now clear and traffic can resume at normal pace. We are still awaiting word from the Illinois State Police regarding the cause of the crash and whether there were any injuries as a result of the accident.
No injuries have been reported yet in a multi-vehicle accident in Woodhull Thursday morning. According to the Iillinois State Police, a multi-vehicle accident took place on I-74 Westbound at Mile Marker 37 near Woodhull. Illinois State Police are on the scene of the accident and are asking driver's to go slow and take care on I-74 near Woodhull. No injuries have been reported yet and there is yet no indication of what may have caused the accident. RegionalDailyNews.com will update this story as soon as any new information is released.
The Kewanee Police Department is reminding residents about parking restrictions in snowy conditions. According to a release from the Kewanee Police Department, Chief Troy Ainley is reminding residents that when there is more than 3 inches of snow on the ground in Kewanee, cars need to be moved off the street. When there is three inches of snow on the ground there is a 12 hour period when cars strictly cannot be parked on city streets. The goal of this ordinance is to make things as safe as possible for those handling snow removal in the City of Kewanee. Up to an inch of snow and ice are predicted for this Saturday, January19th, and if that forecast increases and 3 inches of snow fall arrives, parked cars will need to be moved off of the streets.
The Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee Board Meeting is tonight at 6:30 Pm at The Flemish American Club. The meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend. The meeting is expected to be a tense one as three members of the Board have resigned in recent weeks over issues related to a dog that had to be euthanized after having been in the care of the Animal Shelter. Allegations have surrounded the dog's death related to a Humane Society contract worker who may have been feeding the dog foods that can be harmful to the dog's digestion and could have led to the kidney issues that the dog could not recover from. There are also allegations about Board Members working to cover up how the dog died, rumors regarding factionalism on the Board leading to other member's of the Board being excluded from decisions being made at the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee. We will find out tonight how the Board will handle the recent resignations and whether the Board will address the controversy that has caused Board Members to resign.
The Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield is among the many organizations in Illinois that will be celebrating Dr Martin Luther King on Monday, January 21st. Dr King spoke many times over the year about the speeches of Abraham Lincoln before and during the Civil War as the President was bringing slavery to an end and because of that connection, organizers at the Lincoln Museum feel there is no better place in Illinois to celebrate Dr King.
The state of Illinois is urging everyone to get involved on the National Day of Service on Monday. The National Day of Service is in honor of Dr Martin Luther King whose birthday is celebrated as a national holiday on Monday, Januart 21st. The National Day of Service is the largest volunteer day of the year and Governor J.B Pritzker is among the many urging volunteer efforts on Monday.
The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the Kewanee Outstanding Citizen Award. The deadline is February 22nd and the Chamber is eager to encourage you to nominate an outstanding citizen by detailing the nominee's qualifications, their accomplishments, and the activities in the community that make an Outstanding Citizen.
Nominations will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:
1. Resident or former resident of Kewanee.
2. Areas of service should be well known to the community.
3. Personal community service in areas such as:
Education, charitable, business, government, chamber of commerce,
There are many factors to consider as you start to plan for retirement. One option is deferring retirement or changing your definition of it says Joe Buhrmann, Manager of Financial Planning Support at COUNTRY Financial.
Like all important financial decisions, he says the best advice is to meet with a financial planner.
A law under the Bruce Rauner administration has left open the possibility that snow days could be considered 'instructional days' in Illinois schools, leaving open the possibility that school districts may not lose that day of instruction. Superintendent of Clinton Schools in DeWitt County, Curt Nettles says with the change in the funding formula in Illinois last year, the law also changed what is considered an 'instructional day'.
With the way things are right now, Nettles indicates districts with the capabilities could still find ways to get instructional material to their students from home.
However, with a new Governor now in the fold in Illinois, Nettles says he is hearing the new administration is seeking to revert back to the way things were but is hopeful the supermajority in Springfield will find a "happy medium".
R.O,W,V,A School Board will meet on Tuesday, January 22nd. Below is the full agenda,,,
R.O.W.V.A. Community Unit School District #208
Board of Education Meeting LMC at ROWVA High School, Oneida IL
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Bills: 6:00 p.m.
(Kalb & West)
Regular Meeting Agenda 7:00 p.m. 1. Call to Order 2. Roll call 3. Consent Agenda
Minutes of the regular meeting December 17, 2018 b. Bills and payroll
Treasurer's Report 4. Recognition of Visitors- ROWVA CEO Students 5. Principals' Report 6. Superintendent's Report 7. Action Items
Consider Letter of Intent for Reduction In Force (RIF) Post a Full-Time Bus Driver Position Consider Increase in Substitute Pay for Bus Drivers Consider Seeking Bids for ROWA Chemistry Lab Second Reading of School Board Policies: 2:70, 2:80, 2:120, 2:150, 2:260,3:40, 4:15, 4:45, 4:130, 4: 170, 5:10, 5:20, 5:30, 5:60, 5:100, 5:190, 5:200, 5:220, 5:230, 5:300, 6:20, 6:50, 6:60, 6:220, 6:310, 7:70, 7:100, 7:190, 7:200, 7:250, 7:260,7:290, & 7:305 Approve Opening of Closed Session Minutes from June 2018 through November
2018 G. Adjourn to Executive Session for Action on Executive Session
2. Matters dealing with individual student 8. Committee Reports - Triple 1 Conference Goals Tied to Future Ready
Announcements 11. Other business 12. Adjourn
Next Meeting- February 19, 2019
Who will be the first artist or band to join headliner Justin Moore on the lineup for The 2019 Back Road Music Festival in Galva? That question will be answered Thursday morning at 8 Am on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE. Tune into the Hog Country Morning Show with Karissa to hear the big announcement and don't forget that tickets are already on sale for The Back Road Music Festival in Galva online at TheBackRoadMusicFestival.com or at the Galva Pharmacy. Don't miss the big announcement of the next performer at The Back Road Music Festival in Galva, Thursday morning at 8:00 Am on Hog Country and moments later here on RegionalDailyNews.com.
A full slate of constitutional officers were sworn in on Monday along with Governor JB Pritzker. For the next four years every single one of them will be a Democrat. That includes the reelection of Comptroller Susana Mendoza. She is running for Mayor of Chicago but she isn’t leaving Illinois.
Mendoza says that she will continue her work of transparency in paying the state’s bills.
WKEI is using this week to offer in-depth profiles of the candidates for Mayor of Kewanee. With early voting for Kewanee Mayor beginning this week, officially, January 17th at the office of Henry County Clerk, Barb Link, it's a good time to reintroduce you to the candidates. Today, Councilman Steve Faber discusses his background, his family and his approach to leadership along with his vision for what he would like to do if he were to be elected as Mayor of Kewanee.
Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuesday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Annaleah joined us to discuss the plans for celebrating 100 years of the Stark County Farm Bureau. Annaleah touted the new Stark County Farm Bureau Plat Book which features not only maps of farms with information about their owners today but also maps made of plats from a century ago complete with some historic photos of Stark County Farms over the century of existence of the Stark County Farm Bureau. You can buy the all new Stark County Farm Bureau Plat Book at the Stark County Farm Bureau Offices located at 7417B State Route 17, Toulon, IL.
Black Hawk College East Campus has announced that Pharmacy and Phlebotomy Classes are coming to the East Campus in February. On February 4th, classes for Pharmacy Technicians will begin taking place from 5:30 to 9: to teach the skills and certification for people to become Pharmacy Technicians. Gain skills to work as an entry-level pharmacy technician at a hospital, retail, home infusion or mail-order pharmacy by taking this weekly course that will begin in February and end in the month of May. The cost to attend is $725.00.
Then on February 6th, classes for Phlebotomy Technicians will get underway with with weekly classes from 5:30 Pm to 9:30 Pm. Those who take courses for Phlebotomy Technicians will learn the skills and certification for basic blood-drawing procedures for a job in the health-care industry. Like the Pharmacy Technician class, the Phlebotomy Technician class will cost $725.00 and will go on from February through May.
Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson has become the youngest State Senator named to the Republican Leadership Team in its 110 years. The 36 year old Senator from the Quad Cities stated that he was proud of being named to the Illinois Republican Leadership team as the party enters an era in which they are the super-minority party in the Illinois Senate. “I’m extremely honored to be recognized and promoted to a leadership position, and look forward to serving in this role,” said Sen. Anderson. “As we enter a new General Assembly with a new Governor, working bipartisanly is more important than ever. Under the leadership of Sen. Brady, I’m confident that we’ll continue to stand up for the hardworking people of Illinois.”
Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert will be laid to rest on Thursday afternoon at 2 Pm at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. On January 12, 2019, at approximately 4:45 p.m., Trooper Christopher Lambert was on the scene of a three-vehicle traffic crash in the left lane on Interstate 294 near Willow Road. While handling that crash, another vehicle in traffic failed to stop and struck Trooper Lambert while he was outside of his patrol car. Trooper Lambert sustained serious injuries and was transported to Glenbrook Hospital. At approximately 7:24 p.m., Trooper Lambert succumbed to his injuries.
Trooper Christopher Lambert grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where he attended Allen Elementary and Middletown Madison High School. He loved baseball and was an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan. Trooper Lambert began his career with the ISP in 2013 as a member of Cadet Class 123. Upon his graduation from the ISP Academy, he was assigned to District 15 in Downers Grove. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the District 15 Criminal Patrol Team. Throughout his career with the ISP, Trooper Lambert was recognized for his hard work, criminal interdiction efforts, and for being a rising leader amongst his peers. Trooper Lambert served honorably in the United States Army for eight years.
Trooper Christopher Lambert is survived by his wife, one-year-old daughter, and parents. The ISP would like to thank the public for their support and condolences during this difficult time.
For the first time since 2006 OSF Healthcare will have heart transplant services available. On Tuesday, OSF Healthcare announced that they have renewed their certificate for Heart Transplant services with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. With the revival of this service, OSF Healthcare will have the only Heart Transplant facility in central and downstate Illinois, creating a destination for Heart Transplant patients. Dr Emmanuel Amulraj will serve as Director of the Heart Transplant Service at OSF Healthcare with Dr Barry Clemson as Heart Failure Program Director. The Heart Transplant Service Program at OSF Healthcare will be headquartered at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
The American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations. Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few weeks, partly because of the normal lull in donations during the time after the holidays, and partly due to the winter weather that slammed the Midwest last weekend. And with another storm predicted for this weekend, American Red Cross Joe Zydlo says there's good reason for the emergency designation.
Donation appointments can be quickly and easily scheduled by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by going to redcrossblood.org.
A wrongfully convicted Illinois man has been exonerated decades after he died in prison thanks to the UIS based Illinois Innocence Project. Chicago area resident Grover Thompson was granted clemency by former Governor Rauner in the 1981 rape and stabbing death of a Mount Vernon woman. Thompson decided to rest in the lobby of a Mount Vernon post office during a bus journey to see family in Mississippi while, at the same time, a man broke into the home of 72-year-old widow Ida White, and stabbed her. This is the first posthumous exoneration in Illinois history and the 21st nationwide. Thompson was arrested and found guilty, then sentenced to 40 years behind bars for attempted murder. He died in prison in 1996.
Innocence Project Director John Hanlon talks about the struggle with posthumous exoneration...
Thompson's nephew S.T. Jamison offered a description of a man who sounded nothing like a hardened killer.....
The Innocence Project says Lt. Paul Echols, a now-retired member of Carbondale’s police department, ended up getting a confession to the crime from Tim Krajcir. Krajcir has a history of sex crimes dating back decades and admitted to killing nine people
On his first day in office Governor JB Prtizker signed an Executive Order to bring more transparency to state agencies. Pritzker calls it a back to basics focus on serving the public. The order will direct state agencies, boards and commissions to review mandates, comply with data transparency and release all data required by state law.
Pritzker gave agencies and boards 60 days to follow through on the order.
A major weekend snow storm buried much of Illinois and now more expected this weekend. And as travel becomes hazardous the Illinois the Illinois Department of Transportation wants you to take your foot off the gas.
That’s Jessie Decker with IDOT. She says whenever you can choose to stay home and off the roads when it’s snowing the better.
Is someone telling voters in Kewanee that they don't need to vote in the Kewanee Mayoral Primary, February 26th? That's the allegation from multiple sources who've spoken confidentially to WKEI. While no one knows the source of the information the allegatation is that someone, perhaps one of the 5 candidates in the Mayoral Primary, is telling voters that there is no need to vote in the Primary. The February 26th Mayoral Primary is intended two determine which two of the five candidates will face off head to head in the Mayoral election in April. Voters who wish to determine which two of the five candidates in the running will be in that April election do need to cast a vote either on February 26th or via early voting at the Henry County Clerk's Office. Indeed, beginning January 17th, Kewanee Residents can cast their vote in the Mayoral Primary by going to the Clerk's Office. Voters can also request a mail in ballot by going to the County Clerk website or by calling the Clerk's office. Otherwise, if you need to know where to vote on February 26th you can call the Henry County Clerk Barb Link at 309-937-3575. The candidates on the ballot include Councilman Steve Faber, Businessman Steve Lemanski, Former Council member Bob Kuntz, and former Kewanee Police Officer Gary Moore along with write in candidate, Councilman Mike Yaklich.
Early voting for the Kewanee Mayoral Primary in February begins on January 17th. With that in mind, WKEI is profiling the candidates this week and Council Member Mike Yaklich joined us Tuesday morning for a lengthy conversation regarding his write-in candidacy for Mayor of Kewanee. In the wide ranging interview Mr Yaklch discussed his background, his decision to get into the race after the filing period had passed and his often contentious relationship with Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley. It's all in our People to People Podcast on WKEI.
For the record, every candidate will be given time to say what they would like to say. WKEI has placed no time restrictions on these interviews.
Newly installed Governor J.B. Pritzker hasn't tackled agricultural issues as much as others in his campaign and post campaign talking points. However, the farm sector was on his mind in today's Inaugural address....
Pritzker was critical of former Governor Bruce Rauner for not working with the Illinois Congressional Delegation to to get more aid from Washington and not standing up against President Trump when it comes to the impact of tariffs on the state's agriculture industry.
President Trump took his case for a barrier on the U-S-Mexico border to farmers on Monday, addressing the 100th annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in New Orleans;
Trump also discussed issues like the new federal farm bill, regulatory relief, and the fights he has chosen to pick with important customers of Illinois and other U-S farm products like Canada, China and Mexico;
Trump put additional tariffs on Chinese imports on hold while negotiations to resolve the trade war continue. And Congress will still need to consider the proposed trade agreement with Canada and Mexico negotiated last year before it can be fully implemented.
At last night’s Kewanee City Council Meeting, it became official that automated trash pick up is coming to Kewanee this Spring. In a vote of 5 to 0, the City Council approved of the purchase of a pair of automated trash trucks from Normal, Illinois at a cost to be determined but said to be somewhere between $260,000 to $350,000. Public Works Operations Manager Rod Johnson told the council on Monday night that the project was currently under budget and that with a good price on the trucks, closer to the lower end projection of $260,000 plus the cost of getting the new trash cans, the project will end up saving money for the city. City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney spoke to WKEI after the meeting on Monday night regarding automated trash pick-up.
According to the Mayor and City Manager costs will not be going up for residents as this project was already budgeted for and is not coming from any new fee or increase in fees for Kewanee residents.
Much still needs to be done before the automated trash pick up begins.
So what are the benefits of Automated trash pick up to the City?
That said, Council Member Andy Koehler asked about help for those folks that can’t get their new sizable trash can out to the curb. Rod Johnson assured at the meeting that those folks who need help will be able to contact the city of Kewanee for help and if you are someone who already receives help with your trash collection, that help will continue with the new trash carts.
Also at last night’s Kewanee City Council meeting, the council moved forward with a demolition contract for properties located at 829 and 830 Florence, a project that has been in the works for some time. The council also turned over a portion of an alley to businessman Jon Debord that the City had deemed unused. Debord will be using the area as part of his development of The Lott in Kewanee. And the council discussed the so-called Internal Control Plan, a move to create more efficient and checks and balances on how money is collected in the City Government. The plan will be discussed again and voted on for a final plan in February. And the City Health Insurance fund also came up for discussion and will be voted on regarding whether a threshold of the insurance fund should have a trigger in case the fund drops below a certain amount or a target aimed at making sure the fund is met at a particular level of funding. This too will be discussed again and voted on at the first meeting of February.
You can hear our complete interview with Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney here.
Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our very first guest our brand new Regional Media Studios on Monday. Carrie was on hand to talk about a new initiative at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center called Walk-In Wednesday's. Walk-In Wednesday's is an effort by OSF Saint Luke Medical Center to convince women to get a mammogram by making it easier to find the time. Going forwartd, on Wednesday's women can get a mammogram at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on Wednesday's without an appointment. Carrie also discussed Advanced Care Planning and encouraged listeners to send E-Cards to patients at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center as a way of brightening up patient's days.
J.B. Pritzker is now the Governor of Illinois. He was sworn in shortly after noon today at Springfeld's Bank of Springfield Center. He references many items he pledged to pursue on the campaign trail, like legalizing recreational marijuana, boosting the minimum wage and seeking what he calls a fair tax system. He also promised a different message after former Governor Rauner frequently warned how Illinois was falling behind its neighbors economically...
Pritzker closed his inaugural address with confidence Illinois will soon see better days...
Pritzker will host the Inaugural Celebration tonight at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Nine companies will receive close to $100-million dollars over the next 10 years to improve internet connectivity across Illinois. The C-E-O of Wisper I-S-P Incorporated, Nathan Stooke owns one of the nine firms and explains what's all involved;
Of all companies nationwide, the Federal Communications Commission awarded southern Illinois-based Wisper more than $220-million to improve internet service in rural Illinois and five other states;
The Mascoutah (muh-SCOO-tuh)-based company has 80 employees now and expects to grow to at least 300 to do the job needed and meet F-C-C requirements.
The Illinois High School Association expressing concern over unruly fan behavior at local sporting events. It’s having an impact on the officiating ranks says IHSA executive director Craig Anderson, who co-authored a piece titled “Dear Mom and Dad: Cool it”
The American Farm Bureau Federation, with affiliates in Illinois, 49 other states and Puerto Rico, plans to recognize its 100th anniversary at the group's annual convention which runs through Wednesday in New Orleans. Stewart Truelsen authored the latest book on the organization's history;
Illinois and farmers from across the U-S founded the national Farm Bureau organization in Chicago. Truelsen also notes up until 15 years ago, it had its national headquarters in Illinois;
Of the 11 farmers elected president of the American Farm Bureau throughout its history, three farmed in Illinois. The national group invites every sitting U-S president to address its convention, and for the second year in the row, President Trump plans to address the group late Monday morning.
After four years of rancor, this week's swearing in ceremonies for the Illinois House might have felt like the days after the Berlin Wall fell. A spirit of bipartisanship filled the air at the University of Illinois in Springfield, where swearing in ceremonies took place. While Democrats and Republicans vowed to work together, both sides also agreed Illinois has issues. House Speaker Madigan noted several after winning another term as Speaker...
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin wants to see the Illinois exodus end.....
Republicans are once again in the superminority in the Illinois House.
An Illinois State Trooper was killed in a mult-car accident in Downers Grove. According to the Illinois State Police, Trooper Christopher Lambert was killed at the scene of a three car accident on I-294 near Willow Road. Trooper Lambert was attending to the accident scene when another vehicle in nearby traffic failed to stop and struck Trooper Lambert who was out of his vehicle at the time assisting motorists. The trooper suffered severe injuries in the crash and was given CPR at the scene before being taken to Glenbrook Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz stated that Trooper Lambert did everything right including placing his vehicle in a place to protect the vehicles and people involved in the accident. Schmitz went on to call the accident one that could have been prevented and should have never happened. Trooper Lambert was a five year veteran of the Illinois State Police and a former member of the United States Army. Director Schmitz stated that Trooper Lambert will be remembered for his dedication and for giving his life in the line of duty. Arrangements for a visitation and memorial for Trooper Lambert are yet to be determined. There is no word as to whether charges are pending for those involved in the crash.
The Kewanee City Council will meet at 7 Pm on Monday at Kewanee City Hall. On the agenda demolition contracts at 829 Florence and 830 Florence, a garage and an abandoned home, for Dana Construction totalliing $8650.00. The council also expected to allocate a vacated alley in the area of East 10th Street to Jon Debord, declaring the alley to be of no value to the City. And the city will discuss the purchase of automated trash vehicles from the city of Normal, Illinois for a total of $620,000.00.
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)
(11) to discuss pending, probable, or imminent litigation.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
c. Staff Reports
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
a. Consideration of an Ordinance to vacate an alley located in the parking lot of East Tenth Street.
b. Consideration of a Resolution awarding the demolition of the house at 830 Florence St and the
garage at 829 Florence Street to Dana Construction.
c. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the purchase of two used automated garbage trucks
from the City of Normal, IL.
d. Discussion regarding the Internal Controls Policy.
e. Discussion regarding the Health Insurance Fund.
8. Council Communications:
Visibility is limited and roads are snow-packed across the area. Specifically on Il-78 between Kewanee and Annawn, the roads are passable but difficullt. Citizens are asked not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Roads in many areas are impassable and while the highways are being plowed, as the snow continues the conditions remain difficult. Multiple accidents have been reported across our listening area. Semi-trailer accidents have reportedly been part of accidents on I-80 and I-280. Again, do not travel unless you absolutely have to.
The Henry County Farm Bureau has announced that applications are now being accepted for the Henry County Farm Bureau scholarships. Some $9,000 worth of scholarships are set to be handed out by the Farm Bureau and their partner, the Wilbert and Carol Keppy Foundation. Students can apply for one or both of the available types of grants, from the Farm Bureau or the foundation, but students are only eligible to receive one or the other. The Henry County Farm Bureau scholarships are valued at $1000.00 and will be handed out to six applicants. The Wilbert and Carol Keppy Foundation scholarship, which works through a partnership with the Farm Bureau, will hand out 5 scholarships totalling $3000.00. Applications can be obtained online at HenryCountyFarmBureau.org or by going to the Henry County Farm Bureau offices in Cambridge. Applications need to be returned to the Farm Bureau by March 8th 2019.
Voters can begin casting votes for the Kewanee Mayoral Primary on January 17th. That from Henry County Clerk Recorder Barb Link who confirmed that ballots are being printed in preparation. Five candidates for Mayor remain after Brad Ahrens opted to drop out of the race after revealing a felony conviction would prevent him from being able to take office if elected. Councilman Mike Yaklich remains in the race as the only write-in candidacy and he and will be on WKEI next Monday to talk in depth about his decision to get into the race for Mayor. Councilman Steve Faber will also be joining us on WKEI in the first week of the opening of our new studio. Mr Faber will join us on Tuesday. Former Kewanee Police Officer Gary Moore will make his appearance at our new studio on Central Avenue on Wednesday to record an interview for the Thursday edition of the WKEI morning Show. Each of the interviews will be made available online before they air as the Regional Media Grand Auction is bumping People to People next week from 9 Am until 10 Am. WKEI is working to reach out to candidate and former council member Bob Kuntz and businessman Steve Lemanski for interviews prior to the start of early voting on January 17th. The Kewanee Mayoral Primary will take place on February 26th.
It was another great year for Goodfellows in Kewanee. Amron Buchanan joined WKEI for Tuned In on Friday. Amron had a lot of help for Goodfellows in 2018 and a long list of people and local businesses and organizations to thank for their donations of goods, boxes, and time. Amron hopes that the remarkable amounts of donations this year is even bigger next year and reminds everyone that you can make donations year round to Goodfellows by sending your donations to Goodfellows at P.O Box 5 Kewanee, Illinois 61443.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security touting a drop in the number of residents needing unemployment.
The IDES’s Bob Gough says the agency paid more than $1.73 billion in Unemployment Insurance benefits to 346,882 individuals who lost work through no fault of their own. Both of those numbers are lower than in 2017 when 372,214 people received $1.9 billion in unemployment benefits.
Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Thursday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Sara was on hand to announce that the Kewanee Public Library will be open on Monday, January 21st, Martin Luther King Jr Day. The Kewanee Public Library will have two programs dedicated to Dr King that day beginning with an event for kids hosted by Americorps from 10 Am until 2 Pm. And then on the evening of the 21st, there will be a second program featuring a new documentary on a civil rights hero named Alice Tregay who marched with and worked alongside Martin Luther King during the civil rights era. That program will also be free and will feature a conversation with the director of the documentary. Sara Billiet discussed these programs and more in our Tuned In Podcast.
Two of the best movies of the end of 2018 are finally in Kewanee today. Spiderman Into the Spider-Verse and Bumble are now in Kewanee. Both films open this afternoon at the Wanee Cinemas in Kewanee. Spiderman has been an incredible success thus far with positive reviews from RottenTomatoes at 97% critics rating and more than $113 million dollars at the box office. The animated adventure tells the story of Miles Morales who gets bit by a radioactive spider and develops the powers of Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker who is already Spider-Man in this universe. A near meltdown caused by the evil King Pin brings Spider characters from half a dozen universe together into Miles’ reality and he must learn how to be a hero.
Bumblebee meanwhile, is the latest movie in the Transformers universe and by far the best of the robots in disguise franchise. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld as a teenager who buys what she thinks is a broken down VW Bug that she sets about repairing only to find that the car is actually a Transformer, the first transformer on Earth. John Cena plays a military man charged with tracking Bumblebee down. The film has struggled a little at the box office but has earned more than $100 million dollars at the box office and is also a huge success with critics who have given the film 93% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes.com.
Tuesday's speech by President Donald Trump to the American public is being praised by a central Illinois Congressman. Rodney Davis of Taylorville calls Trump's speech very good. More than that, he criticized Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for coming out reacting to the President's remarks.
Davis is critical of those suggesting the President is drumming up false fear by calling the border security a crisis. He believes border security has been a crisis for many years now.
Congressman Davis says border security is not just about illegal immigration but also about drug flow into the country. He believes the border issue is stalling a deal to end a partial government shutdown and says last year Pelosi would have taken the deal offered by the President but says she is not taking it because she is afraid of her far left constituents that ran on a platform to oppose anything Trump does.
The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is welcoming comedian Mike Mercury as the headliner for K-Town Comedy Night at the Flemish American Club. This is the 4th annual K-Town comedy night and Mike Mercury is a comedian known for his appearances on Garrison Keillor's legendary Prairie Home Companion. The 4th Annual K-Town Comedy Night is set for March 23rd at the Flemish American Club, 313 North Burr Boulevard. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and the show begins at 8:00 Pm. Tickets are $25.00 and are available by calling the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175. 50/50 Raffles and Door Prizes will be available to anyone who buys a ticket for the 4th Annual K-Town Comedy Night March 23rd at The Flemish American Club.
Today on the Open Line, it's the first day of the 101st Assembly in Springfield and talk of changes to the state tax system continue with a constitutional amendment proposal to adopt a progressive state tax a likely possibility once Governor-Elect J B Pritzker takes office. We also talked about Sports Gambling and the innovative approach that an Arena Football team in Atlantic City is taking to draw fans to games and our host recalled the times, not all that long ago, when sports gambling was so taboo that even the biggest names in sports could be tarnished by association. Today, you won't be surprised when an NBA player becomes the marketing face of a sports book.
The University of Illinois Extension Educator and Horticulturalist Martha A Smith joined WKEI on Thursday to discuss the upcoming Extension Midwinter Horticulture Workshop set for January 26th at the Geneseo Community Center. This is a great opportunity to get a head start on making sure your garden is ready for Spring. Experts and educational materials will be available at the event and there will be a special presentation on turtles at the event. Martha A Smith also tells WKEI that the Extension educator will be on hand this weekend at Bald Eagle Days at the QCCA Expo center.
Sara Billiet with the Kewanee Public Library will be our guest on today’s edition of Tuned In. Sara will join us to talk about a pair of programs the Library has set up to celebrate the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr holiday on January 21st. She will also tell us about a new Kewanee Public Library Children’s Program in partnership with AmeriCrops. And Sara will tell us about a pair of adult programs coming to the library related to a new documentary called “Alice’s Ordinary People” which is dedicated to the work of social activist Alice Tregay, a civil rights activist who was the leader of the Chicago Freedom Movement in the early days of the civil rights campaign. We will also talk to Sara about the incredible history grant given to the Kewanee Public Library aimed at the founding of America. Sara Billiet will be on Tuned In this morning at 8:45 Am.
State Representative Dan Swanson says he's ready for what is ahead as he returns to Springfield as a member of the super-minority party. Representative Swanson says that regardless of the makeup of the current assembly he's staying focused on the issues and his first order of business will be passing new legislation on behalf of veterans.
Representative Dan Swanson was sworn in for his new terms alongside the rest of the General Assembly on Wednesday.
State Senator Chuck Weaver is back in Springfield ready to start a new term. Senator Weaver's party is once again a super minority but it's the first time he is seeing this challenge without a Republican Governor to bring a semblance of balance to the issues with veto power. Nevertheless, Senator Weaver says he's prepared to continue passing bills and working with colleagues as he's done thus far in his time in Springfield.
Death, taxes, and Mike Madigan holding the gavel as Speaker of the Illinois House. Those seem to be the certainties in life in Illinois. Madigan was sworn in to an unprecedented 18th term as Speaker after a 72-44 vote. Madigan talked about bipartisanship after a combative four years with his political rival, Governor Bruce Rauner....
Jim Durkin was chosen to serve another term as Minority Leader. He also called for unified efforts to turn around Illinois' fortunes....
Newcomer Democrat Anne Stava Murray was true to her word in saying she wouldn't support Madigan for Speaker. She voted present.
On Tuesday it became official that Brad Ahrens had dropped his run for Kewanee Mayor as a write-in candidate. On Wednesday, Ahrens finally revealed why. In a lengthy statement on his Brad Ahrens for Kewanee Mayor Facebook page, Mr Ahrens revealed that a felony conviction in his past would prevent him from being able to take the office of Mayor of Kewanee if elected. The nature of his felony conviction is unclear though he does say that it was not a violent offence. In the statement, Mr Ahrens does state that he may not be finished with politics as he is examining other avenues and in comments on his statement post, Mr Ahrens raised the possibility of running for Governor. You can read Mr Ahrens' complete statement below...
"Matthew 5:41 "Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two."
Come with me for two miles, and you'll walk with me for life. Let's begin.
I'm being asked "why'd you withdraw from the Mayor's race?" The short answer is "I didn't. Hell. I had it won." Now to pull a Paul Harvey... And tell you the rest of the story.
It's been said no good deed goes unpunished. Going on 13 years ago, I was naïve and determined to get the bad guys, but it didn't work out the way I thought. Ask me, I'll tell you the story. So, yes, I have a felony on my record, but no one was threatened, harmed, no property damage, none of that. It wasn't any worse than bouncing a check. It just so happens that it still has an effect despite the mainstream idea that there's a 7 year limit most people think exists, as did I, but it doesn't, and it's also a fact that it only affects you on the local level. I could run for congressman without a hitch, for example. Makes no sense, but that's the law. Now you know what I didn't. Having a felony, no matter how old, how isolated, how small, keeps you from taking office on the local (and only local) level.
It seems odd to me that a bad man does one good thing and is labelled the rest of his life. Likewise, a good man makes one error, and he's also labelled for life. But, I did get ahold of the governor's office, and have the paperwork to clear my name. It just won't be done before election day. I had no choice but to withdraw, or waste taxpayers money. I'm trying to help people, not harm them.
On that note, it's interesting that there's another 5th candidate, but I've not heard anything about him getting slack for "causing a primary at a 20,000 cost." Nor should he. I'd be the first to say that putting money ahead of freedom isn't OK. And good luck to him.
Here's how I define myself. I stopped what I was doing to fix a kid's bike, and without a car, it's a few hours long project. I've raised money to relocate a domestic abuse victim across the country to a safe location, went with a friend to her rape therapy sessions, and took on some of the most vicious men on the planet, so much so that if I went into details I might get myself shot. Literally. Don't ask, because I can't tell you. I've done far more good than I can even tell you without writing a book.
Some say I think I am ten feet tall and bulletproof, but don't be silly. I'm 20 feet tall and grenade proof. I must be, I should have been killed at least 5 times, yet, here I am. Did you know that my dad and uncle were also twins? They and my twin brother all died in fiery cars, but oddly, I pulled over mine and walked away, only to escape an explosion that shattered the windshield. I asked myself, does God have a plan for me?
My plans haven't changed, they've just gotta be done via a different way. I'll put Kewanee back on the map, and we'll have jobs that pay a living wage. Poverty will be a thing of the past, world wide perhaps. The part of the interview me and Mr. Wheaton had with channel 4 that they didn't air? "This isn't a run for a small town mayor, this is a revolution. And a revolution requires only two people; one to stand up and lead, and one to start following."
I've found that everyone is ready. Let's change the world. I'll shake the pillars of the Earth if need be. I know JFK, Lincoln, MLK Jr... Those who follow this path may get shot, but I don't fear death. I fear waking up to a worse world than yesterday, and that nightmare always comes true. Evil kicks the crap out of good every day, let's do something about it!"
As JB Pritzker comes into office he’ll have a bill or two to sign that follows some of his early wishes. Lawmakers approved a bill that vacates the Illinois Tollway Board. Pritzker will then be able to reappoint the board himself. The other makes it possible to pay cabinet members and agency directors more than $150,000 a year, Senate President John Cullerton says that needed to stay competitive in recruiting top talent to those positions.
Those bills should be among the first to be signed by Pritzker when he takes office.
With one case of Legionnaires Disease diagnosed at a Veteran's home in Manteno, Illinois, worries and memories of what happened at the Veteran's Home in Quincy, Illinois have stirred up once again. Assistant Director the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs Russ Litko says that the Department is doing all that it can to prevent a full-on outbreak.
The Legionnaires Disease outbreak at the Quincy Veteran's Home led to the death of 14 residents and 66 other residents falling ill.
Rose Mary Bombela Tobias, Chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission says that the commission has cleared 40% of their review backlog and are 44% cleared of cases on the current agenda. To what do they owe the credit for breaking the backlog? Inter-agency cooperation and an executive order from Governor Bruce Rauner
The commission is now working to streamline the processing of cases with a shared technology platform that should speed up the sharing of information and smooth communications between the agencies that the Human Rights Commission partners with. The Illinois Human Rights Commission is the sister agency to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and they enforce the Human Rights Act and follow up on cases of discrimination referred by the Department of Human Rights. Cases at the Human Rights Commission had backed up for some time prior to the changes instituted with Executive Order #8 put forward by Governor Rauner in June of 2018.
Winter winds are picking up some steam this week and even some snow is in the forecast for some parts of Illinois. And more winter type conditions will likely return in the latter part of January says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather.
As for the first week of January, Hicks says temperatures are running six to 12 degrees above normal across Illinois and much of the Midwest.
Today on the Open Line we talked about Sears and whether or not it can actually be saved. Do Wall Street Hedge Fund managers have a genuine care about how their decisions affect communities across the country? How has short term, stock-focused management of retail businesses caused those businesses to decline and die?
Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau was our guest on Wednesday's edition of Tuned In. Katie was on had to talk about how proud the Henry County Farm Bureau is to have Megan Dwyer as one of their young leaders. Next week, Megan, who farms with her family in Geneseo, will travel to New Orleans for the American Farm Bureau Discussion Competition. We also discussed the Henry County Farm Bureau scholarships that students can now begin applying for on the Henry County Farm Bureau website. A pair of big meetings are coming for the Henry County Farm Bureau, informational meetings regarding ag trucking and weather. All today on Tuned In on WKEI.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security this week emailed 1099 forms to anyone who had signed up to receive them electronically. 1099 tax forms go out to anyone who received unemployment benefits in 2018. Bob Gough from IDES says that the next step is sending out paper forms.
Bob Gough says that unemployment benefits are not being affected by the government shutdown. He also touted the fact that the number of people who sought benefits and the amount paid in Unemployment insurance declined in 2018 compared to 2017.
In 2018, IDES paid more than $1.73 billion in Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to 346,882 individuals who lost work through no fault of their own. Both of those numbers are lower than in 2017 when 372,214 people received $1.9 billion in UI benefits.
Today, Wednesday, January 9th is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day nationwide and I want to share our thank you to our local members of law enforcement including Police Chief Troy Ainley and all the members of the Kewanee Police Department. Thank you to Kerry Loncka and all of the members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and finally, thank you to Trooper Jason Wilson and all of the members of our Illinois State Police, Thank you for keeping us all safe.
The Galva American Legion Post will host a Community Breakfast on Sunday, January 13th from 7 Am until 1 Pm. The cost to attend is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 10. A buffet will be served including pancakes, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy and plenty of coffee. The Community breakfast will be at the Galva American Legion Hagberg-Hamlin Post #45 at 45 Wallace Street in Galva.
House Speaker Mike Madigan closed the session of the Illinois House as the 100th General Assembly wrapped up its business Tuesday. Without mentioning him by name, Madigan offered a parting shot to Governor Bruce Rauner's Administration, saying lawmakers came together to end the two year long Illinois budget stalemate...
Governor Bruce Rauner held what might have been his last Q and A with capitol media today. He says that he remains worried about the incoming administration raising taxes and spending more money. Rauner also says he hasn’t yet decided what is going to be next for him once he leaves the office of Governor behind.
Rauner also would not directly address who from the Republican Party should run for Governor in the next four years.
No fuel tax increase came to the floor on the final day of the 100th General Assembly. East Dundee based Republican State Rep. Allen Skillicorn was pleased, saying Illinois should wait for Washington to move on infrastructure...
Skillicorn says there were many signs of an organized effort to push a 20 to 30 cent increase in the gas tax...
Skillicorn took part in a Capitol rally where protesters wore clothing similar to fuel tax protesters in Paris.
The Kewanee Public Library has been chosen to receive a historic grant. According to Barbra Love, the Kewanee Public Library will receive $1000.00 for the Revisiting the Founding Era grant courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The grant will have the Kewanee Public Library partnering with former University of Illinois Professor Jim Nowlan for a series of history discussions related to the founding of America. The first program is scheduled for January 27th with two more programs in February, on the 13th and the 27th. The Library will also partner with the Kewanee League of Women Voters and Kewanee High School in this initiative with library sponsored programs to take place at Kewanee High School and on the campus of Black Hawk College. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library will be our guest on Tuned In on Thursday morning.
Following last night’s live address on border security by President Donald Trump, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos weighed in with a statement:
“Hardworking families are hurting because of President Trump’s impulsive decision to shut down the government – farmers, airport security officials and workers at the Peoria Agriculture Lab are being used as pawns in a partisan fight they had nothing to do with. This is just plain wrong. For 18 days, the president has refused to sign bipartisan legislation to open the government and fund effective, fiscally responsible measures to secure our borders. While the White House has threatened to keep the government shut down for ‘years,’ I’ll work with anyone to end this reckless shutdown and honor our commitment to keep communities safe.”
Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau will be our guest on Tuned In on Wednesday, January 9th. After impressing everyone at the Illinos Farm Bureau statewide meeting recently, Geneseo's Megan Dwyer will be headed to the American Farm Bureau's 100th annual meeting in New Orleans to take part in the AFB DIscussion Meet where the farmer and mother of three will compete with other young farming leaders in a discussion of farm issues. Katie will give us a prevew of what is in store for Megan. Also on the agenda for Tuned In on Wednesday, the upcoming Henry County Farm Bureau On the Road Seminar where the discussion topic will be Ag Truckng Regulations. We will also talk about the next Henry County Farm Bureau Market Outlook Seminar where the topic will be how weather affects the Ag market. And finally, Katie will give us an early look at the upcoming Illinois Farm Bureau Women in Agriculture Conference happening on March 14th at the at the Jumers Casino and Hotel in Rock Island.
Brad Ahrens has officially withdrawn from his write-in candidacy for Mayor of Kewanee. Henry County Clerk Recorder Barb Link confirmed to WKEI that Mr Ahrens had withdrawn his name from write-in candidacy. The County Clerk did not say if Mr Ahrens had given a reason as to why he was officially withdrawing and as of this writing, Mr Ahrens has not responded to a request for comment. With Mr Ahrens officially out of the race, five candidates remain, including Councilman Steve Faber, former councilman Bob Kuntz, businessman Steve Lemanski and former Kewanee Police Officer Gary Moore as well as write-in candidate and City Councilman, Mike Yaklich. With five candidates in the running there will still be a Mayoral Primary in Kewanee next month to determine the final two candidates for the Mayoral election in April.
Members of the St Louis Cardinals will be in Peoria on January 18th and 19th for the annual Cardinals Caravan. Stars including Jose Martinez, John Gant and popular announcer Al Hrabosky will be on hand to sign autographs and hold a Q & A with fans on January 18th at the Chiefs ballpark, Dozier Field in Peoria. The action moves to the Embassy Suites Hotel in East Peoria on the 19th for a fan Q & A. Nathan Baliva with the Peoria Chiefs gave us all the details and says that Chiefs baseball ticket packages are also available now.
With no resolution of the standoff over border security funding, the partial federal government shutdown rolls on. President Donald Trump is considering declaring a national emergency on the southern border in order to get work going on his so-called "border wall," but one Southern Illinois Congressman says calling it a wall might be confusing some. U.S. Representative Mike Bost of Murphysboro says the wall is actually a number of border security measures.
He acknowledges there are places along the border where tunnels have been used to sneak into America, and says there must be a variety of methods put into play to secure the border. Trump’s Oval Office speech will be followed by a visit Thursday to the southern border to highlight his demand for a barrier, a trip opponents have characterized as a publicity stunt.
The conversation about the kick that ended the Bears playoff run Sunday has shifted from one of disappointment to something more of a debate. Did Cody Parkey miss the game-winning field goal on his own accord or should credit go to the Eagles Treyvon Hester for getting his fingertips on the football?. Bears Radio Color Commentator and Super Bowl Champion Tom Thayer seems to lean toward the wound being self-inflicted...
The NFL changed the ruling on the play from a missed field goal to blocked field goal.
Karissa and sales guy Kyle joined us on People to People on Tuesday to talk about the Regional Media Auction which is set for next week, from 9:00 Am to 10 Am on WKEI, Hog Country 102.5 WJRE and streaming live here on RegionalDailyNews.com. The items in this year's auctions are bigger and better than ever and you are in line to get some fantastic deals.
Today on the Open Line we talked about diets and Commit 2 Fit Kewanee. Your humble host admitted that he has, on more than one occasion, had cake for dinner. Last night, our host ate a salad and the struggle is real. We talked about tips for dieting, tasty, tasty carbs and a weight loss success story from one of our regular callers. All on today's Open Line podcast.
Moline Police have announced a potentially significant break in the 1996 disappearance of 11-year-old Trudy Appleby. According to the release from the Moline Police Department, a Boat has been seized that police believe may have transported Trudy Appleby. The boat was seized on December 19th and was taken to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab in Springfield for further testing. No other information is being released at this time and there is no word on a timeframe for when we will find out more about this new evidence. Trudy Appleby disappeared in August of1996 near her home. She was last reportedly seen in a gray car leaving her Moline neighborhood in the area of 41st Street and 21st Avenue in Moline.
Doug Currier and Maisey Postin from Betty’s Garden in Kewanee joined WKEI for our People to People program on Monday. With Betty’s Garden now open for the past 6 weeks things are going so well that Betty’s Garden is expanding areas of service so that they can offer help to even more memory care patients.
The statistics on the necessity of Memory Care are quite notable as Doug Currier explains.
Today is the last day to join up for Commit 2 Fit Kewanee with OSF Saint Luke Medical Center and the YMCA of Kewanee. The final set of weigh-ins are this afternoon from 4 Pm to 7 Pm at the YMCA of Kewanee. I, Sean Kernan from WKEI, did my personal weigh in yesterday and everyone who enters will be competing with me and my colleague Karissa from Hog Country 102.5 WJRE for prizes including a grand prize of $300 and a year’s membership at the YMCA of Kewanee. Stop by the Kewanee YMCA today between 4 Pm and 7 to get registered and weigh in for Commit 2 Fit Kewanee.
After graduating a brand new class of recruits just last week, the Illinois State Police are launching a new recruitment effort. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, they are seeking new troopers immediately and they are using a brand new YouTube video to demonstrate the kind of men and women they are looking for.
The recruitment film weaves actual ISP dash-cam video, security camera clips, home video, and newly filmed footage paying tribute to the economic, cultural and geographic diversity of Illinois, and the noble profession of law enforcement. Viewers will see ISP labs and dispatch centers along with urban and rural regions across the state which depicts the depth, scale, and significance of a career with the Illinois State Police. The film, which will be used in schools, for public and private presentations and published online, can be found at illinoistrooper.com. If you are interested in becoming an Illinois State Trooper you can go to this link to fill out an application: http://www.isp.state.il.us/employ/employsworn.cfm
We have the entirety of the Illinois State Police Recruiting video below.
Nearly 1-in-3 American households experiences a dramatic change in income each year, and new research reveals this volatility could have a serious impact on health.
Researchers collected data over a 15-year period from nearly 4,000 people living in four diverse U.S. cities, including Chicago. Study author Tali Elfassy, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Miami, said they found a connection between unpredictable variations in personal income during young adulthood and an increased risk of heart disease, or dying from any cause.
"Fluctuations in income are actually very common," Elfassy said. "So almost 50 percent of the study population had changes in income, increases and decreases, across the study period."
Elfassy noted the largest income shifts were associated with nearly double the risk of death and more than double the risk for heart disease. The research also found high-income volatility and income drops were experienced more by women and African-Americans than white men.
Elfassy said changes in personal income, especially drops in wages, make it difficult for families to cover regular expenses, pay down debt or save for the future.
"After you account for inflation, wages in the past 30 years have actually been relatively stagnant or even dropping," she said. "And there aren't that many mechanisms in place that really help families deal with the increased burden associated with these financial woes."
The study was observational and not intended to prove cause and effect. However, Elfassy contended the health impacts of changes in personal income need further investigation.
"In particular, stress has been hypothesized to lead to adverse events and cardiovascular disease," she said. "so if there are specific coping mechanisms that individuals or families might use to help them through these hard times, that's certainly something that we would want to look into."
The research was published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.
The partial government shutdown is past the two week mark, with Republicans and Democrats seemingly far from a compromise. The shutdown began December 22 as a response by President Donald Trump to Congress not offering to fund border security at levels he would like to see. Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville says he is always hopeful cooler heads will prevail, but does not see a compromise being worked on at this point.
This is now one of the longest shutdowns in U.S. history. The longest lasted 21-days, from December 16, 1995 - January 6, 1996. That was the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill the Republican-controlled Congress sent him.
Senator Dick Durbin took on the White House on the issue of the government shutdown on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday. Durbin says the President's talk of bypassing Congress by issuing a national emergency.to build a wall would be met with repercussions...
Durbin didn't sound an optimistic tone when it comes to prospects for ending the shutdown...
Betty's Garden Memory Care in Kewanee has now been open for six weeks and the results for patients have been exceptional. Doug Currier and Maisey Postin joined us on People to People on Monday to talk about how things are progressing and the many service opportunities that continue to open up as Betty's Garden finds new ways to serve their memory care patients.
Today on the Open Line we talked about Disneyland and the prices going up again at the world's most famous theme park. And, of course, our host lamented the Bears' playoff loss to the Eagles while offering as much understanding as possible to Bears kicker Nate Parkey who today is the subject of far too much scorn. We also discussed the possibility of bringing a dog park to Kewanee. All in today's Open Line Podcast.
Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center made her weekly visit to WKEI in Kewanee to tout Commit to Fit Kewanee, their partnership with the YMCA of Kewanee that includes the chance to win prizes for getting in shape. More than 100 people have signed up for the 7-week program in which they will compete to see who can lose the most in terms of Body Fat Percentage. You can still join in if you want to just by showing up Monday or Tuesday afternoon at the YMCA of Kewanee for the final two official Commit to Fit Kewanee weigh-ins. Both will take place from 4 Pm to 7 Pm.
Today is the weigh in day for Commit to Fit Kewanee with OSF Saint Luke Medical Center and the YMCA of Kewanee. This morning, participants in Commit to Fit have been showing up at the YMCA of Kewanee and weighing in for the competition which Carrie Boelens explains is not only a great way to start getting in shape, it also features great prizes for whoever loses the largest percentage of body fat.
The first weigh in is from 6 Am to 8 Am this morning. I will be doing my weigh in this afternoon in the 4 Pm to 7 Pm frame. Space is limited so go to RegionalDailyNews.com to get the link for the Commit to Fit Kewanee Survey Monkey sign up or find OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on Facebook and click the link to see if you can get into the competition. Myself and our own Karissa Nash are participating in Commit to Fit.
The Galva Arts Council will play host to the Cedar County Cobras on Saturday, January 12th in Galva. According to a release from the Galva Arts Council, the Iowa based Rockabilly trio, Cedar County Cobras will perform at the Galva Arts Council building beginning at 7 Pm. The Cedar County Cobras music is described as a unique mix of Bluegrass, Rockabilly and Blues as you can hear from this track I Got It off of their album Delta Ave Juke Joint.
The concert will be followed by an Open Mic for any local performers who would like to get on stage and perform The performance of the Cedar County Cobras is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council and will serve as a fundraiser for the Galva Arts Council though admission to the event is free. Donations will be accepted throughout the evening.
She hasn’t even been sworn in as a state lawmaker yet, but a newly elected representative has already set her sights on Capitol Hill. Naperville based Democrat Anne Stava-Murray has made waves by unseating an incumbent with a war chest of only 30-thousand dollars and by saying she would not vote for Mike Madigan as House Speaker. Stava-Murray has announced she will for U.S. Senate in 2020. She believes she can represent a largely unrepresented age group...
The seat is occupied by Dick Durbin, who has strongly hinted he would run for re-election. With her public opposition to Madigan, Stava-Murray says she would be able to achieve more in Washington than Springfield.
Drones were again a popular gift at the holidays but you need to know before you fly. There are a number of regulations that new pilots of drones need to follow says the Illinois Department of Transportation Jessie Decker.
If you are within five miles of an airport it’s pretty much a no fly zone. If you want to fly there you need to be in contact with air traffic control before you take off.
A Kewanee man is facing charges related to having explosive devices at his home on Tremont Street. According to Kewanee Police, Brian C Lain of Kewanee was arrested on January 3rd on a Domestic Battery Charge in the 600 Block of Tremont. On January 4th, while Kewanee Police were performing a Civil Standby at the home, a female resident of the home informed Police of the location of 4 explosive devices inside the home. Kewanee Police called in the Peoria Police Bomb Squad who rendered the devices inert. Lain, who was already at the Henry County Jail on th Domestic Battery Charge, is now facing more charges related to the explosive devices.
December the month when winter actually starts was nothing like November. The last month of the year was noted for warmer than normal weather and storms that brought tornadoes. Over all State Climatologist Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says it was four degrees warmer than normal in December.
January is starting out much like December, with temps pushing 50 or better expected throughout the state this weekend.
With temperatures expected to creep into the 60s in some parts of Illinois over the next few days, there's no excuse for not getting outside. Morton Arboretum, about 25 miles west of Chicago, invites you to hunt for trolls lurking among its prized set of trees. Morton spokesperson Patti MacMillan;
Morton Arboretum began nearly a century ago to honor Arbor Day founder Sterling Morton, whose salt-baron-son created the outdoor museum. MacMillan describes the arboretum's tree collection and what else you might expect to see;
Other activities this month at Morton Arboretum include a Whiskey Dinner January 11th and 12th. Its miniature, model "Enchanted Railroad" exhibit at the Lisle location opens January 18th and runs through most of February.
The start of the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives got off to a rocky start, according to Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost. He described a meeting between now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, and other leaders last week as Pelosi speaking over and shouting down those from the other side. He says he hopes this does not set the tone for the new Congress.
Bost said in a statement following his swearing-in last week that he would "seek common ground with anyone - Republican or Democrat - without compromising my Southern Illinois values."
If you are a senior and part of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Social Security is hoping you'll consider joining a program to help you save money this year. Meghan Forristall with Social Security explains their Extra Help program assists with covering costs of the Part D coverage including premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
Forristal points out, you would not contact Social Security to enroll in Medicare Part D but you can visit the Social Security website or stop into your local office for more information on Extra Help.
Forristall says your local senior center might even have someone that could help you get enrolled in the program. You can visit socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp or stop into your local Social Security office for more information.
Anne Burrell is the co-host of the top rated show on the Food Network, Worst Cooks in America. On the show, Anne and fellow celebrity chef, Tyler Florence attempt to teach real people who are terrible cooks, how to cook well. This challenge proves to be hilariously funny and at times, genuinely dramatic and moving. The best part is Anne Burrell whose personality and talent is a perfect fit for this ridiculously fun show. We were lucky enough to have Anne Burrell on WKEI this morning. The new season of Worst Cooks in America debuts Sunday night at 8Pm on The Food Network.
Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show, weeknights at 9 Pm until Midnight on WKEI, made his monthly visit to WKEI this morning. On the agenda, the new Congress, the government shutdown and most notably, gridlock in Congress as Republicans own the Senate and Democrats now controle the House of Representatives.
A big congratulations to Kelsey Main, a nurse in the Emergency Department at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Recently, Kelsey was the recipient of the Shooting Star award, an award given out by the Emergency Physicians Staffing Solutions team. Kelsey was honored at a meeting on December 13th, 2018 where she received her award from Dr Troy Cutler, Chief of Staff OSF Health Care Saint Luke. Kelsey received a plaque in her honor that reads: "This individual shows compassion and kindness daily. Promotes patient safety, while coordinating physician and nursing efforts to facilitate the care and comfort of patients.” Colleague and Charge Nurse at OSF, Sarah Ince said of Kelsey “Kelsey is a wonderful, hardworking nurse and very deserving of this award. She is energetic, caring and strives to be the best nurse she can be. We appreciate EPSS for hosting this annual event and recognizing nurses at the hospitals they serve,” said Ince.
Almost 180,000 former students at for-profit adult education schools headquartered in Illinois will not have to pay back almost $500 million in student loan debt, under a settlement won by 49 state attorneys general, including Illinois AG Lisa Madigan. The company, Career Education Corporation, is based in Schaumburg and currently runs mostly online schools under the names American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.
Eileen Boyce, a spokesperson for Madigan, says the company misled many students about their job prospects after graduation, pressured them to enroll, and deceived them about costs and the ability to transfer credits.
"Many students in Illinois have been defrauded by for-profit entities," says Boyce. "And the settlement assures that not only can the students forgo their loan payments, but that they will be treated better."
Career Education Corporation denied all wrongdoing as part of the agreement. In Illinois, the settlement frees almost 17,000 students from $48 million in debt, averaging just under $2,900 per student. Boyce says Illinois' new Student Loan Bill of Rights, passed last year, should prevent many of these problems going forward.
"The Student Loan Bill of Rights addresses these problems by requiring student loan servicers to properly process payments, to provide and explain to struggling borrowers all of their repayment options - starting with income-driven plans - and also has created a student loan ombudsman in the Illinois Attorney General's office," says Boyce.
CEC has closed or phased out a number of its schools, including Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design and Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College, and Sanford-Brown.
Maggie Steen, a member of the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee Board has announced her resignation. Maggie Steen contacted WKEI and offered this statement.
"The Humane Society president has released a statement without my knowledge or agreeance and there are multiple discrepancies in her claims. After the person admitted to feeding toxic food to other dogs as well, proof of admittance was in the screenshots submitted by Breanne, we tested 2 other dogs to check their kidney values. One dog was normal and the other had elevated kidney values. I was told by the vet that the dog should be rechecked in 48 hours and after receiving fluids and after getting kidney values rechecked, he was normal, which tells me that the food was causing elevated values and once the dog got fluids and nothing but dog food it returned to normal. It is in the minutes that I refused to vote to euthanize Neeko (despite the pressure that was put on me) prior to finding out he was in acute kidney failure. I had to fight long and hard to even get the board to agree to let me try to find another shelter for him to go to. I wrote my first resignation speech on December 18th when I realized I was fighting a losing battle despite my best efforts. I only stayed this long in hopes that I could change things to prevent more tragedies, but the Humane Society President continues to make dangerous and ill-educated medical decisions for these animals, tell employees they will be written up if they even talk to other board members, and the majority of the board is enabling and supporting her. I can not associate myself with an organization that makes unsafe or uneducated decisions and lies to the public. Although I will no longer be on the board of directors for the Henry County Humane Society- Kewanee Chapter, I will continue to help animals any way I can. Having said this, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my official resignation from the board of directors."
Black Hawk College wants potential students to know that it is not too late to sign up for Spring Classes. The Spring semester at Black Hawk College begins on Monday, January 14th but there are still classes with openings for new students. If you are looking for open courses you can go to BHC.edu and search through open classes. Potential students can also call Black Hawk College at 309-796-5300.
The Henry and Stark County Health Department will host a food handlers certification course on February 6th from 1 Pm to 4 Pm. Registration is limited and the cost to attend is $15.00. We caught up with RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall. Director of Health Promotion at the Health Department for more on what can be expected in the Food Handlers course.
Kewanee Friends of the Animals will hold a craft and vendor fair on February 9th at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee. The craft and vendor fair will take place from 9 Am until 3 Pm with lunch served by Mark Ellers and crew. Vendors can still get space at the event bu contacting Kewanee Friends of the Animals on Facebook. The cost to take part as a vendor is $10.00. Proceeds raised at the event will go to support the work of Kewanee Friends of the Animals.
The Illinois State Police, District 7, have released enforcement numbers for December of 2018. According to the numbers released by District 7, troopers responded to 1281 calls for service in December. Of those calls, 142 of those calls were from drivers in need of assistance on the roads. Traffic enforcement activities resulted in 151 drivers being cited for speeding and 39 drivers were cited for seatbelt violations. In December, District 7 troopers made 11 Driving Under the Influence arrests and issued 365 traffic citations and 477 warnings. ISP District 7 troopers responded to 34 crashes in District 7 in December and thankfully, there were no fatalities in those 34 crashes.
Today on the Open Line we discussed the latest revelations from the story surrounding the Kewanee Humane Society. Stephanie Ince, who had adopted Neeko before deciding to give him up to the Humane Society called into the show to dispute aspects of a statement released by Board Director Louise Muller. We also discussed the ongoing news regarding Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan including a recent ad campaign featuring the House Speaker and a possible lawsuit by a fellow Democrat and House Member that accuses the House Speaker of harassment in order to secure a vote for Madigan to remain as House Speaker. Our host also had a great deal of fun talking about the goofiness surrounding the Netflix movie Bird Box. Unfortunately, we only have a portion of the show. As Stephanie Ince was talking our recorder crashed. So much of the end of the show is not here and we did lose a portion of Stephanie's call.
Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Citizens Center was our guest today on Tuned In. Cassandra was on hand to talk about the latest goings on at the center and invite seniors to come out and enjoy a meal, a movie, or some Yoga. Cassandra also took some time to ease any fears that the Center would be terribly affected by the Government Shutdown. At this time, the Senior Center is okay and not affected by the government shutdown.
Wethersfield school district Superintendent Shane Kazubowski has released the agenda for the January 10th Schoo board meeting. The agenda is listed below. Meetings are open to the public if you would like to attend.
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
WETHERSFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION
Wethersfield Community Unit School District No. 230
Unit Office – Blish Building
439 Willard Street – Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Thursday, January 10, 2019 — 6:30 PM
CALL TO ORDER
Approve Minutes of December 13, 2018 Regular and Executive Session, Minutes of the December 13, 2018 Public Hearing on the December 2018 Tax Levy
Approve Investment Reports, Financial Reports, Bills, and Activity Fund Report
Comments From Visitors
Board Member Reports
April 2, 2019 School Board Election
Approve Seniority Lists/RIF Lists
Approve Resolution to Abate $148,648.50 Debt Service Fund With Proceeds from Facility Sales Tax To Pay Debt Service on the Alternate Revenue Bonds, Series 2014
Innovative Learning Lab Update (Monsanto Grant)
Other Old Business
Appoint FY 20 Auditors
Approve Special Education Funding Changes
LTC Conference Update
Summer 2019 Projects
Approve Board Policies 2-121, 2-123, 2-130, 2-171, 2-600, 2-620, 3-400, 10-310
Employment of Personnel (After Executive Session)
Other New Business
Comments From Visitors
EXECUTIVE SESSION (Employment and Evaluation of Personnel, Individual Student Matter, Student Discipline)
District Spelling Bee- Friday, January 11, 2019 at 1:30pm in Moss Gym
NO SCHOOL- January 21, 2019- Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
High School Pep Band to play at Bradley University: Sunday, January 20
WAF Father/Daughter Dance: Friday, January 25 from 6:00pm-8:00pm
PATT Family Fun Night: Saturday, February 2
Midterm for 3rd Nine Weeks: Friday, February 8
FFA Pork Chop Dinner during Boys’ Basketball vs. Galva: Friday, February 8
WAF Music Trivia Night: Saturday, February 9 at The Dunes
In a statement released to WKEI, Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee Secretary and Board Member Breanne Busboom refuted claims made by Louise Harrison Muller in a statement given to WKEI late Wednesday night. Busboom in her statement also announced her resignation from the board and provided text message screenshots indicating evidence that Neeko, the dog in question in this controversy, was fed items that may have contributed to his having to be humanely euthanized.
BreAnne Busboom's full statement is below...
"I have been trying to remain as neutral as possible but given the statement released by the “Kewanee Animal Shelter”- which was not an authorized statement by the entire board- I refuse to stay silent. While what Louise wrote was true, there is a lack of very crucial information and it goes against my belief of our duty to advocate for animals in need to stand behind their lack of transparency. There was another dog tested that did indeed have elevated renal values, and another tested that did not reflect elevated values. Neeko was not under my direct care during his time of illness, I was asked what to do in regards to his development of diarrhea after 1-2 days. I suggested doing a bland diet of chicken and rice together over a few days and then slowly integrating his regular diet back into it. During this time I was not updated of his significant weight loss or behavior change until he had bit said staff member that also admitted to 3 employees that he was fed raisins. I am not a licensed veterinarian, I work as a veterinary technician. In practice, we are taught that ONE raisin or grape can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs, while others may experience no symptoms at all. There is no known reason why some animals are more sensitive than others so we treat everything worst case scenario. I joined the Board to donate my time with drawing blood, running routine tests such as heartworm and feline leukemia, vaccinating and microchipping in order to save the shelter a significant amount of money. There is no concrete proof of what caused Neekos death but there are multiple witnesses that know he was fed toxic food that can and will cause kidney failure. Attached to my email are screenshots with a staff member after Neekos death with proof.
Louise Harrison and Mary Bergren were at the shelter daily during this time and failed to recognize his weight loss. Once I found out there was even a possibility he was fed raisins, I had to argue with Louise that immediate bloodwork was 100% necessary and her only concern was not the dogs current status or quality of care- but that she didn’t want to spend more than $150. Neeko never returned to the shelter after that night. Neeko was in no way intentionally harmed or poisoned. That is not my point here. My point is that Madam President was fully aware of the situation and did nothing. She did not advocate for him. The pound had Neeko to start with, I was told Louise turned him down and rejected him coming to the shelter. Stephanie Ince reached out and adopted him to prevent immediate euthanasia but he did not fit with her family situation. In his best interest, she contacted me and I, once again, had to fight with Louise to allow him into our shelter- even though we were almost empty. Neeko wasn’t an easy dog to work with, but that is our job. The system failed Neeko.
I joined the Board of Directors hoping to make a difference in the life of these animals. I have been a part of this shelter since I was 8 years old. I joined this board while working 3 other jobs because regardless of my own life, these lives matter to me. Louise Harrison banned all staff members from communicating any concerns with myself, Maggie Steen, Angie Pronschinske and Brenda Weston even though the 4 of us are the only ones with hands on experience at the Shelter. Louise has made it impossible to save lives. The shelter has only had 3-4 dogs maximum at a time since May and every time myself or other members have tried to save dogs from other shelters on death row we are told no by Mary and Louise.
I will no longer continue to stand behind Louise’s poor decisions in regards to medical care and working around the truth. This is a group of 9 intelligent and passionate women that is supposed to work together in order to provide a temporary home for these animals and instead it has turned into a Board of ONE woman with 0 shelter experience being enabled by the other 4, also with 0 shelter experience. This is the first official statement to the public that I will be resigning from the Board of Directors effective immediately."
The jobs picture in Illinois finished out the year on a good note. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that 12 of the 14 metro areas in Illinois added jobs. But the unemployment rate is up says IDES’ Bob Gough.
The Chicago area was the top place to be looking for work as it accounted for most of the job growth.
A group of new Illinois State Troopers is heading to work in the New Year. 59 cadets graduated last week and went to work on Monday. The men and women graduated after 27 weeks of intense training. Class President Marco Diaz says the graduates are following a noble calling.
Each rookie officer will spend the next 14 weeks with a veteran officer before working on their own.
WKEI received this statement from Louise Muller with the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee.
The facts regarding Neeko the Husky-mix are as follows:
On 9/7/18, Neeko was brought to the Kewanee City Pound. By the end of the mandated holding period, he still had not been claimed by his owner. The City Pound saw to it that he was given a rabies shot and then adopted him out. He was estimated to be about 2 years old, not neutered, was not housebroken, and it appeared that he had had no obedience training.
Shortly thereafter, the adopter/new owner claimed that she could not keep Neeko, as her multiple other dogs did not get along with him, and that she had to keep them separate, and could not handle him.
This new owner released Neeko to the Kewanee Animal Shelter on 9/16/18. Medical treatment provided by Shelter included the following: deworming, testing for heartworm vaccinations for distemper and Bordetalla, and flea control treatment. His weight at the time was 50 lbs. He was given to us with medication for a raw, red muzzle, as he had attempted to chew through the adopter’s wooden fence.
On 10/03/18 he received further medical care, when he was neutered, micro-chipped, and loose dew claws were removed.
On 10/10/18 he was diagnosed with high anxiety; it was difficult for staff to handle him. The veterinarian prescribed Acepromazine.
On 10/24/18 the dog bit an employee at the Animal Shelter. This was immediately reported to Henry County Animal Control and Henry County Health Department and the dog was put on a 10-day rabies hold.
On 10/31/18, during the rabies hold, a second person was bitten. This was reported to Henry County Animal Control and Henry County Health Department. The dog was put on a new 10 day rabies hold, starting on the date of the second bite.
On 11/05/18, the President of the Humane Society called a special board meeting to discuss Neeko’s situation. The board agreed that Maggie Steen would contact special husky rescue shelters to try and place him with one of them at the end of his quarantine. It was agreed that if he had not been signed over to another husky shelter by 11/11, he would be humanely euthanized. This was discussed and agreed to by the board as a whole.
During this time, the dog was under the care of a board member who is a Veterinary Technician. He was noted to have diarrhea, and taken off food, then gradually offered one cup of rice morning and night, with chicken gradually added to the rice portion after a few days.
On 11/06/18 the dog was noted to have had lost weight, and calls were made for a vet appointment. The dog then bit a third person, a Shelter Board member, during transport. He was seen for CBC and GHP Serology Panel. The blood test results indicated kidney failure. Due to his clinical signs and behaviour, he was not a candidate for aggressive treatment and hospitalization and was humanely euthanized.
The cause of the dog’s sickness is not known and never will be known. Speculation as to what happened is just that: speculation. We strive to be a no-kill shelter but we also treat our animals humanely and prevent their suffering.
The allegations that an employee may have fed the dog a substance that could have hurt him are conjecture and speculation. There are no facts or proof of these allegations. However, as a precaution, we tested our remaining two dogs and the results did not demonstrate any further issues which would suggest any negligent or malicious conduct.
No autopsy was performed due to the Shelter’s budgetary constraints and the dog’s disposition. The employee in question is no longer employed by the Humane Society. Their separation from the Humane Society is not a result of any misconduct or behaviors in regard to the animals entrusted to our care.
New Year – new laws, and in Illinois that means two new gun control laws. One allows for a gun to be taken away from someone who’s potentially violent. The request has to go through the court and must come from family, friends or law enforcement says State Rep. Kathleen Wills.
The other law is a 72 hour waiting period for the purchase of all guns.
This winter hasn’t been kind to ice fisherman. And another round of warm weather won’t help matters in the short term. But if you do find some ice-covered lakes the Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants you to be safe. IDNR’s Tim Schweizer says to bring a rope with you in case of an emergency and check the thickness of any ice you’re walking on.
It’s advised to wear a life jacket while walking on the ice as well.
Congratulations to Erin Price, Rachel Gustafson and Tara Mosley, for graduating from the Saint Francis College of Nursing. According to a release from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, Rachel Gustafson of Princeton, Erin Price of Toulon and Tara Mosley of Kewanee received degrees recently including the 29 Master in Nursing, 77 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Post-Graduate Certification. The three were local honorees at the December 2018 ceremony in Peoria.
Maggie Steen is the second Board Member of the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee to go the record speaking to WKEI and confirming what former Humane Society employee, Kayanna Swan told to WKEI regarding Neeko, the dog that died after repeatedly being fed food that was toxic to a dogs system, and regarding the factionalism of the current board.
Brenda Weston, a member of the board of the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee spoke to WKEI on Wednesday's edition of the Open Line. Brenda reiterated the concerns relayed by former Humane Society employee Kayanna Swan who alleged that a dog in the care of Kewanee Humane Society had to be put to sleep after being fed raisins. Brenda called in and describes having been told not to discuss how the dog in question, Neeko, had become so ill that the dog had to be put to sleep. Brenda also alleges that Cats cared for at the Kewanee Humane Society were ill and suffering from diarrhea but concerns raised about their welfare were dismissed.
Kayanna Swan, a former employee of the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee, tells WKEI that misconduct led to the death of a dog named Neeko who was in the care of the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee. In a lengthy statement given to WKEI on Monday, and subsequently confirmed by a member of the Humane Society of Kewanee Board, Kayanna alleges that a former employee of the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee was feeding Neeko food from her lunch, including raisins, even after being instructed not to do so by other staff members. Raisins are toxic to dogs. Neeko developed symptoms of toxicity including weight loss and kidney failure before having to be humanely put down due to his failing health. Kayanna states that she is in possession of text conversations with fellow employees regarding the conduct of the employee who was feeding Neeko. Kayanna Swan went on to detail other allegations against staff at the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee that include mistreating or misdiagnosing other animals, most notably cats, and two other dogs who were tested for symptoms similar to those of Neeko. WKEI is in the process of collecting on the record statements from members of the Humane Society of Kewanee Board and will update this story once those statements have been received.
On Monday, December 31st, at approximately 11:52 Am Kewanee Police responded to a traffic accident in the area of the 700 Block of Tenney Street. In that accident, 17 year old Male driver had struck a parked vehicle owned by Chris and Ricardo Martinez of Galva. No injuries were reported in the accident and no citations were issued.
At approximately 5:04 Pm, Kewanee Police were contacted regarding ongoing phone harassment in the area of the 500 Block of East 11th Street. Upon investigation, Kewanee Police Michael B. Werkheiser of Kewanee on the charge of Disorderly Conduct Harassment by Phone. Werkheiser was issued a Notice to Appear.
At approximately 10:48 Pm on Monday night, Kewanee Police made a traffic stop in the area of Division and Henry. In that stop, Kewanee Police arrested 29 year old Sara Mooney on a Rock Island County warrant for Failure to Secure a Child in a vehicle. Mooney posted bond and was also cited for Failing to Secure a Child under 8 years old in a Vehicle.
At approximately 11:18 Pm on Monday night, Kewanee Police made a traffic stop in the area of Division and Chestnut. In that stop, Kewanee Police arrested 35 year old Detric L Howell of Kewanee for Possession of Methamphetamine and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.
At approximately 452 Pm, on Tuesday, January 1st, Kewanee Police were called to the scene of a traffic accident. At the scene, Kewanee Police found an accident in which a 17 year old female drive had struck a parked, unattended vehicle owned by Lorena Favela-Gomez of Kewanee. No one was injured in the accident and no citations were issued.
Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Monday’s edition of Tuned In. During our interview, Carrie took time to remind everyone that you can always drop off any outdated or no longer necessary medications at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center
Carrie was also on hand to discuss Commit 2 Fit Kewanee, a fitness challenge that OSF has launched with the YMCA of Kewanee.
Residents of Kewanee and the surrounding area will have three local opportunities to donate blood in January. According to the Red Cross, three separate blood drives are booked for Kewanee locations in January. On January 9th, First Christian Church in Kewanee at 105 Dwight Street, will host a Red Cross Blood Drive from 2 Pm to 6 Pm. Then, on January 12th, the Kewanee Armory, located at 111 North East Street, will host a Red Cross Blood drive from 10 Am until 3 Pm. The final Red Cross Blood Drive of the month will be held on January 25th at Kewanee High School from 10 Am until 2 Pm. Other area Blood Drives including drives in Galva, Geneseo and Cambridge are listed below...
1/23/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Alwood Elementary School, 101 E. A St.
1/24/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St John's Vianney Church, 313 S West Street
1/30/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., St Patrick's Church, 201 First Street
1/15/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 214 N. W. Second Ave
1/24/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Black Hawk College - East, 26230 Black Hawk Road
1/3/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church South Campus Building, 302 N. State Street
1/29/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1001 9th Street
Looking to shed pounds or use gift cards gained over the holidays? You might want to give snowshoeing a try. Marty Jandura, a ranger with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, says snowshoes keep users from sinking in deep snow and can be a good workout;
Jandura says DuPage County offers three forest preserve locations that offer snowshoe rentals. Many other Illinois preserves and parks do too, which he says might be worth exploring before dropping a couple-hundred-dollars for new ones;
Renting snowshoes at DuPage County Forest Preserves costs $10-dollars for two hours and $15-dollars for an entire day.
Illinois is once again upgrading bike safety in the new year. Bicycle safety questions will show up more frequently on the driver's exam and in the rules of the road book. Ed Barsotti, the Chief Programs Officer for Aurora-based Ride Illinois, applauds the move...
One key question will involve the so-called Dutch Reach, which will help avoid accidents where the mere opening of a car door can have grave consequences...
Secretary of State Jesse White notes his office offers a Rules of the Road book for bicyclists as well.