Local News Archives for 2019-03

Mike Komnick Kewanee City Council Candidate

Mike Komnick is running for Kewanee CIty Council for the very first time. He's lived in Kewanee for 20 years with his family. He decided to run late last year and has since been attending City Council meetings and learning what he can, a process he says began a few years ago with reading council packets on the website and learning about what council members do. He spoke to WKEI on Friday about the learning curve and why he wants to be on the council. 


Chris Colomer City Councilman and Candidate

It's been a year and a half since Chris Colomer was appointed to the Kewanee City Council. Now, for the first time, he is running for election. Today, we talked to Chris Colomer about what he's learned in that year and a half. We talked about roads in Kewanee, marketing the city and working on the budget. You can stream or download our interview with Councilman and candidate Chris Colomer below... 


City of Kewanee Closing Portion of Florence Street for Repairs Monday

The City of Kewanee has announced that the 600 Block of Florence will be closed on Monday, April 1st for repairs. Florence Street will be closed for repairs beginning at 8 Am on Monday in the area from Lake Street to East 7th Street. Work should be concluded on Tuesday. Ratliff's will be working on the sewers in that area. If you have any questions regarding the closing in the area of the 600 Block of Florence Street, contact Kewanee Public Works at 30-852-2611. 

Moline Police Announce Charges in Death of Tammy Wade-Loos

51 year old Tammy Wade-Loos was killed when suspected thieves on the run from Police in the area of 16th Street and John Deere Road, struck the vehicle she was a passenger in on Wednesday night. Moline Police have now released the names of the suspects and official charges. According to Moline Police, Armand Cannon of Grand Mound, Iowa, has been charged with Reckless Homicide, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, and Aggravated Reckless Driving. Alexander Garrels of Davenport, Iowa, is charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, and Amy Taylor of Davenport, Iowa was charged with Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. Bond for Cannon and Garrels is $250,000 each while bond for Taylor was set at $100,000. Moline Police offered their thanks for the assistance of Rock Island Police and Fire, East Moline Police, Hampton Police, Moline Fire Department and Genesis Ambulance. 

Henry County Sheriff Seeking Phenix Township Robbery Suspects and Stolen Items

Multiple suspects are being sought in a robbery that took place in Phenix Township, in northern Henry County. According to a release from the Henry County Sheriff's Department, three suspects driving a van went on to private property and stole three golf carts and a log-splitter. The three were seen on several different surveillance cameras on the property and the Henry County Sheriff is hopeful that someone may recognize the suspects and contact the Sheriff's Office. That said, the release from the Sheriff's appeared to indicate that Deputies know at least one of the suspects who is alleged to have left an eviction notice with their identity on it at the scene of the crime. If you recognize anyone in the photos below or you see something about Golf Carts or a Log-Splitter for sale, please contact the Henry County Sheriff's Office at 309-937-3911. 


Sports Gambling Legislation Gets First Hearing in Springfield

Sports gambling legalization got a first look in the House Revenue and Finance Committee on Thursday. NBA Senior Vice President Dan Spillane were among those advocating for the legislation to create legalized sports gambling standards in Illinois. Spillane hopes that the legislation will provide protection for the integrity of the game and for the money of those placing bets. The NBA has been at the forefront of the sports gambling legalization movement since last year's landmark Supreme Court decision. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Bill Aims to Give Some In Illinois a Break on Property Taxes via Consolidation

A new consolidation bill being put forward by State Representative Dan McConchie may give some Illinois residents a break on their property taxes. The bill would allow for the consolidation of water drainage districts into the closest municipality which could, for some, remove at least a line from their property taxes. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Kewanee Public Library to Host I-Cash Program

The Illinois State Treasurer's Office I-Cash program is coming to the Kewanee Public Library in April. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday morning and told us that a representative of the Treasurer's Office will set up at the Library on Friday, April 5th to help you find out if the state has cash you didn't know belonged to you... 

You can hear our entire interview with Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

State Rep Swanson Promoting Substitute Teacher Database Bill

Currently it can be a struggle for area Superintendents to find qualified substitute teachers in Illinois. Even teachers who appear qualified by having undergone a background check in other areas of the state of Illinois can have the hiring process slowed by the requirement to have another background check if a teacher moves to another part of the state. State Representative Dan Swanson's bill, HB2982 aims to streamline the process by creating a substitute teacher database which will show whether a teacher has previously passed a background check. 

The bill passed through committee on Thursday and moves to the House Floor for debate next week. 

Abilities Plus Accepting Applications for Scholarship Funds for Adult Day Program

People with intellectual disabilities who can't afford to pay to attend the Adult Day Programs at Abilities Plus now have the chance to apply for funds to pay for the program. According to a release from Abilities Plus, funds are now available for those who wish to apply to have their fee to attend Adult Day Programs at Abilities Plus paid for via a grant. Donations have been collected to create a number of grants that will be award to applicants who complete and submit an application provided by Abilities Plus by May 31st. Those individuals chosen to receive these Day Program Scholarships from Abilities Plus will be notified in July of this year. To receive a scholarship application, contact Abilities Plus at 309-852-4626 or email Julie Landwehr at Julie@abilitiesplus.org. 

Dumbo Flies into Kewanee This Weekend Along with Isn't It Romantic

Disney's Dumbo arrives at the Wanee Cinemas in Kewanee this weekend. The $100+ million dollar live action adaptation of the Disney animated feature, is set to open this weekend at number one at the box office with a projection of more than $60 million dollars. Directed by weird, visionary director Tim Burton, Dumbo tells the story of a tiny elephant with giant ears who becomes a circus sensation when he learns to fly with the help of two children, newcomers Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, and their war hero father, played by Colin Farrell. Danny Devito plays circus owner Max Medici while Michael Keaton portrays the sinster money-man V.A Vandervere who seeks to exploit Dumbo in an all new show starring his prize acrobat, Collette, played by Eva Green. Dumbo is rated PG for a small amount of violence. 


Also opening this weekend at the Wanee Cinemas is the romantic comedy, Isn't it Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson of the Pitch Perfect movies. Isn't Romantic is the story of a woman named Natalie who doesn't believe in the fairy tale romances of Hollywood movies. Then, one day as she is being robbed on the subway, she gets bonked on the head and wakes up in the saccharine perfection of a romantic comedy universe where every man falls for her, people dance in the streets and New York City smells like flowers. Isn't It Romantic is one of our film critic's favorite movies of the year so far. You can read my review of Isn't Romantic on our movies page at RegionalDailyNews.com by clicking here

Representative Dan Swanson Wants to Guarantee Insurance for Those with Lyme Disease

State Representative Dan Swanson was on the House Floor on Thursday advocating for a topic close to his heart. Representative Swanson was once again talking about Lyme Disease, this time, a bill to prevent insurance companies from abandoning patients who are diagnosed with Lyme Disease or other tick-borne illnesses... 

After speaking on the House floor, Representative Swanson spoke to reporters at the Capitol about what inspired HB889...

HB889 passed the House with bi-parisan support and moves on to the State Senate for final consideration before going to the desk of Governor J.B Pritzker. 

Another State Trooper Killed in Avoidable Move Over Crash

An Illinois State Trooper has been killed in yet another accident in which a driver failed to Move Over. Illinois State Trooper Brooke Jones Story, a 12 year veteran of the Illinois State Police, died when she was struck by her own vehicle which had been run into by a Semi-Truck while she had been stopped on the side of the road, with emergency lights flashing, inspecting another semi-truck which was also stuck in the crash. The crash occurred at approximately 12:20 Pm on United State Route 20 Westbound, just west of Route 75 in Stephenson County. Trooper Jones Story is the second Illinois State Trooper killed in the line of duty this year by a driver that failed to Move Over, and the 15th State Trooper struck while on-duty in less than 3 months. Illinois State Police Interim Director Brenden Kelly released a statement saying “Today is a dark day for the Illinois State Police family. This is the six-year anniversary of the death of another Trooper, and now another brave soul, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, has made the ultimate sacrifice for people of this state. At this very moment, the men and women of the ISP are responding and focused on the job and mission, because that’s what Trooper Jones-Story would do.” 


Senator Durbin and Education Secretary Devos Spar Over Special Olympics Funding

Don't expect to see any Christmas card exchanges between Senator Dick Durbin and U.S.Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They sparred over the proposed budget cut of 18 million dollars for the Special Olympics....

DeVos accused Durbin of playing politics on the issue...

Durbin, who has continued to criticize for profit colleges, attacked DeVos for delaying borrower defense relief to tens of thousands of student borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges. He also expressed his belief that the proposed elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would add to teacher shortage woes in Illinois and across the country. President Trump told reporters late Thursday afternoon that he has moved the Special Olympics cut off the table, saying "I've overridden my people for funding the Special Olympics."

Illinois Democrats Decry Progressive Tax Altermatives

State Senator Toi Hutchinson joined Democratic colleagues from both chambers of the General Assembly to discuss the push for a graduated income tax. She discussed the alternatives and didn't paint them in a favorable light....

She was joined in a Capitol Press Conference by State Senators Andy Manar and Don Harmon and State Reps Miek Zaleski and Arthur Turner. Manar says “Without a fair tax, nearly 17,000 seniors would lose access to Meals on Wheels, 13,000 families will be kicked off Early Intervention, and 2,300 women would lose access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings. Manar said that despite Republican criticism of the fair tax proposal, GOP lawmakers have failed to put forth a plan of their own in the 36 days since the governor’s budget address.


Tuned In Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library 03-28-19

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday. Sara joined us to talk about the upcoming I-Cash program that will be setting up shop at the Kewanee Library Friday April 5th. You can find out if the state of Illinois has any of your cash with the I-Cash program. The Friends of the Kewanee Library Book Sale will take place on April 9th and 10th on the Main Floor of the Library. And finally, there will be a program on the History of Coca Cola presented at the Library on April 9th. All of that and more in Today's Tuned In Podcast. Stream or download the interview below... 


First Up Podcast Kewanee City Council Candidate Chris Wheaton

Chris Wheaton is running for Kewanee City Council and he was our guest on our First Up Podcast this morning on WKEI. Mr Wheaton talked about plans he has for fixing the roads in Kewanee and they include investigating new road technology and innovation. Mr Wheaton also discussed transparency and called on City Government to reveal more information. You can stream or download our First Up Podcast by Clicking Below... 


Six Locks and Dams closed on Mississippi River due to flooding

It won’t be easy navigating the Mississippi River this spring. Just ask Tom Heinold, chief of operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District. 

The Rock Island District on the Mississippi includes Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa all the way down to Lock and Dam 22 in Saverton, Missouri. 

Missing Persons Case Gets a New Look

An eight-year-old missing persons case spanning several Southern Illinois counties is getting renewed attention. The Missing Persons Awareness Network has been working with the family of Jared Hannah, the Clinton County Sheriff's Office & the Jersey County Sheriff's Office to put together a search of an area near Centralia that appears to have not been thoroughly searched in the aftermath of his disappearance. Hannah, of Jerseyville, was 28-years-old when he was last seen on July 3, 2011. His truck was found shortly after in rural Clinton County near Centralia, and that is where Gia Wright, President and Founder of the Missing Persons Awareness Network says they are going to search.

The search will be held on Saturday, April 13, and details are being finalized. This is only for legally certified ground search teams, members of the Missing Persons Awareness Network, and members of Jared Hannah's family. For more information, call (312) 620-0788. 

Bishop Hill to Host a Scholarly Program on the Effie Afton Incident and President Lincoln

Dr Art Pitz, a long time college professor and scholar will host a scholarly program about the Effie Afton Incident at the Dairy Building in Bishop Hill on April 6th. According to a release from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, this Scholarly Program will take attendees back in time to the court case that brought President Lincoln to national prominence with a program called "A Local R.R Bridge and a Railsplitter." The event is free and open to anyone who would like to attend at the Dairy Barn in Bishop Hill on April 6th, beginning at 2 Pm. Contact the Bishop Hill Heritage Association at 309-927-3899 for further information. 

Rep McCombie Advocating for New Criminal Penalties for Attacking DCFS Workers

State Representative Tony McCombie took to the House Floor in Springfield this week to advocate for a new law that would add criminal penalties for anyone who attacks a DCFS worker. HB1482 is a response to the murder of DCFS worker Pam Knight of Dixon, Illinois who was beaten to death in February of 2018 when she went to a home to advocate for a 2 year old boy. 

Alongside Representative McCombie was Don Knight, the husband of Pamela Knight. Mr Knight spoke to lawmakers about how Child Welfare Workers deserve the same protections as first responders...

The bill comes as DCFS has come under increased scrutiny over the deaths of children whose parents were being investigated by DCFS. Governor J.B Pritzker recently named a brand new State Director of DCFS, Marc Smith, and HB1482 appears likely headed to the Governor's desk to continue to beef up the agency. 

Illinois Move Over Law Still Not Being Adhered To

14 Illinois State Troopers have been struck by vehicles which failed to adhere to the Move Over Law, a law that simply states that if you see emergency lights on, you slow down and safely maneuver away from where the lights are. One State Trooper has died in one of these crashes while others have suffered significant injuries and if the trend continues more than 50 of the just over 600 State Troopers working the highways of Illinois will be hit by cars this year. Trooper Jason Wilson with the Illinois State Police wants drivers to remember the human cost of their decision not to move over... 

Trooper Jason Wilson was our guest on People to People on Wednesday. Click here to stream or download the entire interview in our People to People Podcast

Thousands Turn Out for Gun Owner Lobbying Day in Springfield

Thousands of gun owners descended upon Springfield on Wednesday for Gun Owner Lobbying Day. The day intended to express opposition to new gun legislation found thousands of people turning out to ask lawmakers to oppose more legislation related to restricting 2nd amendment rights. Our Greg Bishop was there in Springfield. 


State Rep Wants Answers on Jussie Smollett Case

The furor over dropped charges for Jesse Smollett is reaching the State House. Republican Representative Allen Skillicorn says the decision by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office needs more review. He’s filled a Freedom of Information Act to see the emails connected to the case and the decision.

Another lawmaker wants to introduce a bill that would prohibit TV and movie producers from receiving the state’s film tax credit if they employ Smollett.

Most Still Support Progressive Tax Change Though Percentages Are Slipping

The Paul Simon Institute talked to 1000 registered voters and found that there is still support for Governor J.B Pritzker's plan to change the Illinois constitution to allow for a Progressive Tax. A majority of people still support the Governor's plan which would institute higher tax rates for people with higher income but the percentage of those supporting the plan have slipped from polls conducted on the Progressive Tax. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Illinois Treasurer promoting Ag Invest Program

The state’s Ag Invest program hits a little closer to home for Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs. He grew up on a farm in northeast Champaign County. 

More information on the program is available at “illinoistreasurer.gov.”

Real ID Up And Running In Illinois

The Secretary of State is now taking applications for the Real ID card. It’s an enhanced form of a drivers license that addresses a coming federal requirement for air travel. By October 2020 you will need a “Real ID” card in order to board a domestic flight with a drivers license or to enter a federal building. Secretary of State Jesse White says you may not want to get a Real ID or ever need one but if you do SOS offices are now taking applications.

You will need to provide more documents in order to receive a Real ID, for the complete list head to the Secretary of State’s website. And the price to renew will remain the same as a regular drivers license - $30.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing Open House in April

If you are interested in a career in nursing, OSF is inviting you to an open house on Saturday, April 6th, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria. The open house will take place from 9 Am until 12 Noon and will give attendees information about the different types of nursing degrees available from the College of Nursing. There will also be information about financial aid, online courses, and other student services. If you would like to attend, contact Carrie Boelens at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center at 309-852-7820. The OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is located at 511 Northeast Greenleaf Street in Peoria. 

Commodity Organizations Seeking Nominations for New Board Members in District 3

Commodity Boards in District 3, Henry Knox, Mercer and Rock Island County are seeking nominations for new board members. According to the release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board and the Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board will take on new members as part of an election on July 2nd. Nominating petitions to be part of these commodity boards must be returned to the Illinois Department of Agriculture by May 15th for those seeking a seat on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board. Nominations for the Illinois Sheep and Woll Marketing Board by May 31st. Contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-524-1083 for more information. 

Milan Woman Killed by Fleeing Car Theft Suspects in Moline

A 51 year old Milan woman was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in was struck by a vehicle fleeing from police. According to a release from the Moline Police, a van fleeing from police out of Cedar County, Iowa, was traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of 16th Street and John Deere Road when the stolen van struck a Ford Escape with two people inside. A female passenger was killed in the crash. The male driver was badly injured. The three criminals in the van were eventually apprehended following a foot chase with a female suspect captured at the scene, a 24 year old male suspect was caught by an off-duty Rock Island Police Officer 2 blocks from the scene and a 25 year old suspect was caught after a lengthy chase, 3 blocks from the scene. The suspects have been charged with Possession of Stolen Property, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Reckless Homicide. The crash is still being investigated and the suspects could face further charges. 

Black Hawk College to Host Babysitting Clinic in April

Black Hawk College has announced that they will hold a Babysitting Clinic on April 27th at the Community Education Center in Kewanee. Kids aged 11 to 16 are invited to attend and take part in the clinic which will aim to cover topics as varied as responding to an emergency to age appropriate toys and activities to the unique challenges of caring for babies and toddlers. The cost to take part in the Babysitting Clinic hosted by Black Hawk College is $55.00. Those who complete the class will earn a certificate indicating they have completed Babysitting certification. Pre-registration is required for the Babysitting Clinic, April 27th from 9 Am until 2 Pm at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee. Pre-register by contacting Black Hawk College at 309-796-8223.

People to People Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson

Trooper Jason Wilson with the Illinois State Police was our guest on People to People on Wednesday on WKEI. Circumstances require us to once again talk about Scott's Law or the Move over Law. 14 State Troopers have been struck while on the side of the road with emergency lights on in less than 3 months of 2019. That is a shocking and unfortunate statistic with a significant human cost. We also discussed texting and driving and potential new fines and Driving Under the Influence and how such simple and avoidable choices can save so many lives. Finally, a reminder, if you witness an accident, try to keep your head. Instances of people witnessing accidents and then getting in the way of first responders are a significant concern. Trooper Wilson urges witnesses to take a breath and remember that time is of the essence at an accident scene and the victims are the priority regardless of the accident. 


New Platforms for the Sale of Nuclear Energy in Illinois

The state of Illinois is working on ways to provide different platforms for the sale of Nuclear Energy in Illinois. This move is in response to moves by regional power grids to reject some energy from Nuclear Power Plants because it is being subsidized by the state. Our reporter Cole Lauterbach explains what the state hopes to accomplish with Nuclear energy... 


Approaching Road Repairs in the City of Kewanee

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting the City Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of appropriating $455,000 to road repairs across the City of Kewanee. Gary Bradley, Kewanee City Manager explains where that money comes from... 

According to numbers put together by the former City Engineer, Dale Nobel, it would take roughly $8 million dollars to deal with all of the road issues across the City of Kewanee. City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney addressed the steps that the City Council is currently taking regarding road repairs with the limited funds currently available... 

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley were our guests on Tuesday's edition of People to People. You can hear more of the discussion regarding road repairs and infrastructure in our People to People Podcast interview. 

Kewanee League of Women Voters Mayoral Canidate Wrap-Up

Candidates for Kewanee Mayor took part in the Kewanee League of Women Voters Forum on Tuesday night at the Kewanee City Council. Herein are the important notes from last night's forum with the opening statements, questions and closing statements from the candidates. 


Opening Statements from Mike Yaklich and Gary Moore 

Candidates Mike Yaklich and Gary Moore talked about what to do about infrastructure issues in the City of Kewanee. 

What are the three most important challenges facing the next Mayor of Kewanee... 

The candidates addressed how they would approach the current budget for the City of Kewanee... 

How will the candidates approach getting citizens involved in City Government... 

The candidates were asked about the three steps they would take to ensure Fiscal Responsibility. 

If the candidates were given 1 million dollars to help the City of Kewanee with any problems, what would you do? 

The candidates were asked why they should be the next Mayor of Kewanee... 

Closing Statements from the candidates... 


Kewanee League of Women Voters City Council Candidates Wrap Up

The five candidates Kewanee City Council answered questions from the Kewanee League of Women Voters and residents who attended last night's forum. Herein are the unedited responses of the candidates for you to consider as you prepare to cast your vote on April 2nd. 


Candidate Opening Statements... 


Chris Colomer 


Andy Koehler 

Chris Wheaton 

Mike Komnick 

Tim Hamilton 

Candidates were asked questions by members of the audience beginning with a question on how these council members would approach the controversy that arose over the bell at Visitation School last year.... 

Candidates were asked about how to revitalize downtown Kewanee... 

The candidates were asked about their opinion regarding the City of Kewanee's program of tearing down dilapidated homes... 

Council candidates were asked for their take on how to improve roads and sidewalks in Kewanee. 

Candidates then discussed their approach to dealing with the current City of Kewanee Budget Deficit. 

Finally, candidates discussed their approach to creating further transparency in City Government... 

The full length forum is archived on our WKEI Facebook page, Facebook.com/RegionalDailyNews.com. 

Illinois Gun Owners Headed to Springfield Today

Illinois Gun Owners are headed to Springfield today to lobby lawmakers against creating more restrictions on the gun ownership in Illinois. Illinois Carry is a lobbying group that has played a part to organize what they have come to call I-GOLD, Illinois Gun Owners Lobbying Day. Illinois Carry Spokesperson Valinda Rowe told reporters that the recent passage and signing of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act as the first act in a wave of attacks on gun rights. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Durbin Up in Arms Over Diverted Defense Spending for Border Wall,

Senator Dick Durbin says President Trump's funding for a border wall will hurt military investment in Illinois. Durbin says three Illinois projects are on a Department of Defense list of $12.9 billion worth of military construction projects that could be sacrificed to pay for a border wall. Durbin believes one cut wouldn't play well in Peoria...

Another cut or delayed construction effort would be a planned $41 million communications facility expansion at Scott Air Force Base in the Metro-East. A $5 million automated record fire range for the Illinois Army National Guard in Marseilles could also be affected.

State Climatologist Starting to Add Up March Weather Data

The Illinois State Climatologist’s office is getting a gauge on March weather numbers. Spokesperson Brian Kerschner shares some of his data.

Soaking rains are anticipated to hit Illinois beginning Thursday with some areas of the state getting anywhere from a quarter to one-inch of precipitation through the weekend. Kerschner says February was the sixth wettest on record in Illinois dating back to 1895/1896. 

Senate GOP Seeks Constitutional Amendment Requiring Supermajority for Tax or Fee Hikes

Illinois Senate Republicans are trying to make their voices heard when it comes to talk of new taxes and revenue streams for Illinois government. Hawthorn Woods Republican Dan McConchie discusses his proposal requiring taller hurdles before tax or fee hikes can take effect..... .

Senator McConchie talks about tax and fee hikes already being discussed...

If the legislation passes,McConchie hopes to see the Constitutional Amendment before voters next year. 

Retaliation May Have Led to Moline Drive By Shooting Monday

Moline Police have a suspect in custody in relation to the shooting that left two people injured, one of them critically. According to a release from the Moline Police Department, 23 year old Terri S Jenkins of Moline was arrested on Tuesday on a charge of Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Two Counts of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm. A later release from Moline Police indicated that the shooting is believed to have been related to retaliation for the October 2018 murder of Correy Harrell Jr. No other information is being released at this time and both cases, the death of Corey Harrell and this shooting from this past Monday, remain under investigation. 

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

Kewanee Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley were our guests on People to People on Tuesday morning. The two of them were on hand to wrap up Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting and discuss upcoming road improvement projects coming to Kewanee. Last night the council voted 5 to 0 in favor of using Motor Fuel Tax fund money on road repairs this Summer. Now that project awaits approval at the state level. We also talked about the City of Kewanee perhaps contracting out the mowing of unkept lawns and a pair of proclamations that were on the agenda. We closed with discussion of this week's closure of the Transfer Station and the beginning of Burn Day's in Kewanee, April 3rd, weather permitting. 


Open Line Podcast 03-26-19

Today on the Open Line, how much tax is too much? The state of Illinois is now talking about a tax on streaming and satellite services that operate in Illinois. Companies such as Roku or Direct TV could be facing a 5% tax on revenue while users of streaming or satellite services face a 1% user tax for the 'privilege' to use these services. Does anyone else think that corporations are probably going to turn around and give that 5% to the customers to pay? Meanwhile, Governor Pritzker wants to change the way that retail sales tax is collected. Under the Governor's plan, retailers would be given a flat fee of $1000.00 to act as the state's tax collector. That is a sigificantly smaller amount than the 1.75 percent of total retail sales tax generated that the retailers get right now. Those businesses are also arguing that it costs significantly more than $1000 per year to collect and distribute sales tax revenue to the state of Illinois, something that they claim is akin to theft of services or asking businesses to do at least a portion of the work they currently do, for free. These were the top talking points of today's Open Line Podcast. 


Recognizing and Dealing With Scammers

Internet thieves are finding more imaginative and sophisticated ways to trick consumers into giving up banking and other personal information, using everything from fake airline reservation notices to phony FBI emails. The Better Business Bureau reminds that although the basic scams remain the same, the crooks keep adapting to new technology in hopes of keeping you off-guard. Better Business Bureau investigator Don O'Brien says many of these scammers' sole aim is to gain access to your personal computer. 

He says if a thief gets into your computer, your personal information can be harvested for a variety of uses.Some will sell your information to list services, while others will simply empty your bank accounts and ruin your credit.

Tuned In Kewanee League of Women Voters Forum Tonight

Sharon Deahl and Carla Hillman with the Kewanee League of Women Voters joined us for our Tuned In Program this morning. Sharon will be the moderator for tonight's forum with the Kewanee Mayoral candidates, Mike Yaklich and Gary Moore and the Kewanee City Council candidates and candidates for the Wethersfield School Board speaking tonight. The forum gets underway at 7 Pm and will be broadcast on WKEI AM 1450 and 100.1 FM as well as streaming at RegionalDailyNews.com. We will have live video of the forum on Facebook.com/RegionalDailyNews. Stream or download our Tuned In Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com... 


First Up Sunpin Solar and KEDC

On Tuesday, our First Up interview was with Kathy Albert from KEDC and Steve Kim and Bill Behling from Sunpin Solar Development. Our guests were on hand to talk about the recently announced agreement that will bring Sunpin Solar to Kewanee at the former site of the Lininger Industrial Park. What will be the impact of this new agreement, what are the benefits to the city and the county and how will the project affect us long term? All these questions and more on today's First Up Podcast. 

There will be a Lunch and Learn event on April 25th at the Wethersfield Gymnasium from 12 Noon until 1:30 Pm. It's an RSVP event so contact Kathy Albert at KEDC to let her know that you plan to attend. 

Kewanee City Council Wrap Up 03-25-19

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, the City Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of authorizing $455,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund to be spent on road repairs. More than $8 million dollars would be needed to take care of all of the road issues in town according to numbers from City Manager Gary Bradley. The $455,000 authorized by last night's vote is only a portion of the amount being spent on road repairs this Spring. The City Council spoke with Keith Edwards and Kevin Newton about the idea of contracting with landscaping companies to handle nuisance mowing. In the end, though nothing was voted on on Monday night, Council Members indicated support for contracting out the work at least on a trial basis. The mowing contract is likely to be voted on at the next Kewanee City Council Meeting in April. Finally, Mayor Steve Looney announced proclamations of April 1st through the 7th as Public Health Week and April 4th as Junior Achievement Day. 

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Usborne Book Sale Thursday

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is set to host their Usborne Book Sale this Thursday, March 28th in the East and West Conference Room at OSF. According to Carrie Boelens from OSF it's a great opportunity to get a no calorie, no sugar rush, Easter gift for the kids in your life... 

A portion of proceeds from the Usborne Book Fair will go to support capital and technological improvements at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. 

Illinois Considering a Tax on Streaming and Satellite Services Like Roku, Direct TV

A statehouse committee is considering imposing a tax on streaming services such as Roku and Satellite Services such as Direct TV as a way of raising revenue. Some argue that the proposed 5% tax on these services could provide needed revenue to help municipalities balance their budgets. Others say that the state of Illinois already has the some of the highest tax burdens in the state and that such a tax would only be passed along by the services to their Illinois customers. Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Does Illinois Have a Spending or Revenue Problem?

Is the issue spending or revenue in the state of Illinois? That is a question that lawmakers are debating as the Governor's budget continues to fall in place. Greg Bishop has more on the debate from Springfield. 

Nearly 1 in every 4 dollars the state brings in goes to pay for public sector pension. 

Retailers Accuse Governor of Theft of Services Over New Retail Tax Collection Formula

Retailers are up in arms over Governor J.B Pritzker's plan to change the way that retail taxes are collected, something the Governor claims will earn the state somewhere in the range of $75 million dollars. The money would come from changing the way the state collects sales tax by placing the burden on retailers. Under the new formula, retailers would keep 1.75 percent of sales tax collected in order to act as the states tax collector. Greg Bishop has more... 


Hillcrest Trivia Night April 6th in Geneseo

Back to the 80's will be the theme for Hillcrest Trivia Night at the Geneseo Moose Lodge on April 6th. According to organizers, the tickets for Hillcrest Trivia Night are $10.00 per person with teams of 8 to 10 people encouraged, though not required. There will be an 80's costume contest with a prize for the best 80's costume. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Attendees may bring snacks while the bar at the Moose Lodge will be open. Donations of Silent Auction items are currently being accepted and if you would like more information you can contact Felicia Lindsey at 309-944-2147. Participants are asked to RSVP by April 1st. Proceeds benefit Hillcrest Home in Geneseo. 

Two People Shot, One in Critical Condition Following Drive By Shooting in Moline

Two people were injured and one was left in critical condition following a drive by shooting in Moline on Monday. According to Moline Police, the shooting took place at approximately 9:32 Pm on Monday night in the 2500 Block of 6th Street. According to the Moline Police, the victims were driving eastbound on 6th street when another vehicle pulled alongside of their vehicle and began to shoot. The 19 year old driver of the vehicle that was shot at, suffered multiple gunshot wounds. At last check, the driver was at Unity Point Rock Island in critical condition. The 19 year old passenger in the victim vehicle suffered a single gunshot wound and was treated for a non-life threatening injury. Moline Police are still searching for the suspect vehicle and are asking anyone with any information to please contact Moline Police at 309-524-2140 or Crimestoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500, 

Illinois Fire Service Institute Promoting Grain Bin Safety

The Illinois Fire Service Institute continues to promote grain bin safety. Ag Rescue Program Manager Dave Newcomb has a few reminders for farmers.

Last year there were three grain entrapments in Illinois with two resulting in fatal injuries. 

Bi-State Wildlife Hotline; "Not every animal in the wild needs your help"

Spring is here which means warmer weather and things coming alive outside as well as on the move much more. The Bi-State Wildlife Hotline is a 24-hour, non-profit charity providing information and assistance to those who come in contact with distressed animals in the wild. Angel Wintrode, President/Director of the hotline, says the biggest misconception is that every loose animal in the wild is under duress.

The number for the hotline is 1-855-945-3435. Wintrode says if you want to volunteer to help work at the hotline, training begins this weekend.

If you can’t make the training this weekend, Wintrode says there are plenty of other ways to volunteer. The Bi-State Wildlife Hotline operates across Missouri and Southwestern Illinois. More information at wildlifehotline.com.

Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series Announces Full Summer Lineup of Concerts

The organizers of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series have announced the full lineup of concerts for this summer. According to the release from Levit Amp Galva, the concerts will get underway on June 2nd and will continue for 10 weeks into early August, with a final show of the year on August 4th. The concerts will run at Wiley Park in Galva and attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and some friends and remember that the concert is free to attend. Some 75 volunuteers have taken part to help bring this concert series together using a mixture of funds raised in the community and a grant from the Levitt Amp organization. The full lineup is below... 


The 2019 lineup includes the following acts:


June 2 – The 4onthefloor, The Ragbirds
June 9 – Hanging Hearts, Ages and Ages
June 16 – Tameca Jones, Handmade Moments
June 23 – Jaerv, Tom Sharpe
June 30 – Malina Moye, Freaque
July 7 – The Wildwoods, CJ Chenier
July 14 – Letitia VanSante, Henhouse Prowlers

July 21 – West of Mabou, Dos Santos
July 28 – Gangstagrass, The Accidentals
August 4 – Connla, Chicago Farmer

People to People Bob McKee LocalSportsNow.com on the NCAA Tournament

Today on People to People, LocalSportsNow.com's Bob McKee was our guest. The host of the LocalSportsNow.com Noon Hour Sports Show was our guest to talk about March Madness and the relative lack of upsets thus far in the tourney. It's certainly a good time if you're a less adventurous bracketologist who decides to pick favorites through the tourney as the top seeds all remain along with most of the 2, 3, and 4 seeds. Only Auburn, a 5 seed, and Oregon, an underrated 12 seed, have managed to pull off any upsets. Stream or download today's People to People interview with LocalSportsNow.com reporter and host Bob McKee, below. 


Open Line Podcast 03-25-19

Today on the Open Line, Marijuana was the big topic. We talked about managing expectations for the revenue for marijuana will bring and how to regulate it. The Governor appears ready to spend the as yet untapped revenue from recreational marijuana before the legalization of recreational marijuana actually takes place. How will the state manage the crop? How will regulation affect the brand new industry? How will the state of Illinois decide who can manufacture and distribute the crop and many other questions related to the recreational use of marijuana? We also, briefly, touched on paying voters to vote. One state representative wants to give people a $25.00 tax credit if they vote in a general, statewide, election. Stream or download the Open Line Podcast below... 


Tuned In OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday 03-25-19

Today on Tuned In we were joined by Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center for her usual Monday visit. Carrie was joined by Sleep Technician Missy Monroe and Sleep Supervisor Courtney Sullivan to talk about the new Sleep Lab at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. We talked about the things that can negatively affect your sleep and about why sleep is so important to both mental and physical health. 


First Up Podcast Monday March 25th City Council Candidate Tim Hamilton

Tim Hamilton is a former City employee who is now running to be a member of the Kewanee City Council. Mr Hamilton is one of five men who are up for the two open seats on the City Council currently held by Chris Colomer and Andy Koehler, both of whom are running for re-election in the April 2nd General Election. In this interview we asked Mr Hamilton about infrastructure, specifcally street and sewer repairs and about the budget where the City of Kewanee currently has a shortfall. On Tuesday Chris Colomer will join us and we have candidate Mike Komnick coming in on Friday morning. Interviews with Andy Koehler and Chris Wheaton are being sought. For now, here is our interview with Tim Hamilton, First Up on WKEI... 


State Rep Believes House Speaker Retaliating in Killing House Bill

State Representative Ann Stava Murray was the only Democrat in the House to vote against House Speaker Michael Madigan's bid to remain as House Speaker. Now, Murray claims that the Speaker is retaliating against her by blocking a bill that she is proposing and attempting to use House procedures and protocol to bury the bill. HR 1474 would provide protection for those filing complaints against lawmakers to the recently employed Legislative Inspector General. Our Greg Bishop has more on the Democrat inside fight from Springfield. 


State Rep Believes House Speaker Retaliating in Killing House Bill

State Representative Ann Stava Murray was the only Democrat in the House to vote against House Speaker Michael Madigan's bid to remain as House Majority Leader. Now, Murray claims that the Speaker is retaliating against her by blocking a bill that she is proposing and attempting to use House procedures and protocol to bury the bill. HR 1474 would provide protection for those filing complaints against lawmakers to the recently employed Legislative Inspector General. Our Greg Bishop has more on the Democrat inside fight from Springfield. 


Henry County Board Member Announces Resignation

At Thursday night's Henry County Board meeting, Finance Committee Chairman and District 1 Henry County Board Member, Loren Rathjen announced his intention to resign from the Henry County Board for personal reasons. We spoke with Henry County Board chairman Marshall Jones about Rathjen and the process of picking a new Board Member as his replacement. According to the Chairman, he is still awaiting Mr Rathjen's official letter or resignation before the process of replacing him can begin... 

If you are someone from Henry County Board District 1 in Colona and would like to be considered for the position as a replacement to Mr Rathjen, Marshall Jones suggested a possible route to being considered for the appointment... 

Marshall Jones was our guest on People to People on Friday, on the WKEI Morning Show. 

Bureau County Geneological Society to Meet Thursday in Princeton

If you have an interest in tracking your genealogical roots you will want to attend the Bureau County Genealogical Society meeting on Thursday, March 28th at the Bureau County Genealogy Library in Princeton. The guest speaker at this meeting is a renowned scholar and speaker in the world of Genealogy, Michale John Neill. Mr Neill will present a program entitled "How DNA Helped with My Irish Roots." The program is free and no reservation is needed to attend the meeting which will begin at 7 Pm at the Bureau County Genealogy Library located at 629 South Main Street in Princeton. You may call 815-879-3133 for more information regarding this meeting. 

Bustos Joins Call for Release of Full Mueller Report

Representative Cheri Bustos is among a chorus of Democrats calling for the release of the full report of Robert Mueller by the Attorney General's office. Bustos released a statement on Sunday following word that the report had been turned over to the Justice Department. A summary by the Attorney General highlighted Mueller's finding that there was no collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russia during the 2016 Presidential election. Democrats however, point to language in Mueller's report that doesn't exhonerate the White House completely and want the full report released to the public. Representative Bustos's full statement is below... 


“Last week, I voted with both Democrats and Republicans to demand that the Justice Department make public Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The president has also stated that the public ought to see the report. The American people have a right to know the facts and the truth – transparency should be our top priority right now. Attorney General Barr should immediately release the report in its entirety.”

Medical Marijuana Industry Says they Can Handle Increased Demands from Recreational Marijuana

The medical marijuana industry is claiming that the current levels of marijuana production for medical use can handle the demand for recreational marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Alliance claims that the current number of medical marijuana dispensaries can handle the immediate burst of demand when or if marijuana is legalized for recreational use. However, some claim that this is merely the current medical marijuana interests attempting to maintain and expand their market share at the expense of competition in the market. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Should People Be Paid to Vote?

An Illinois lawmaker is proposing a bill that would give voters a $25.00 tax credit if they voted in a General Election. Freshman State Senator Ram Villvalam is putting the bill forward with the intent of encouraging more voters to get out to the polls. Some who oppose the idea of voter tax credit consider such a payment akin to a payoff to voters. Our Cole Lauterbach and Greg Bishop have more... 


Henry County Scavenger Hunt to Benefit the Levitt Amp Concert Series

The Galva Arts Council will play home base to the first ever Henry County Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, April 13th. $10.00 per player with kids under 10 play for free in the Henry County Scavenger Hunt which will send players out on the back roads of Henry County to locate hidden clues, snap pictures of those clues, and eventually get back to the Galva Arts Council headquarters. Following the scavenger hunt will be the latest iteration of the Galva Coffeehouse concert series featuring the Cedar County Cobras. There will be prizes for the top three scavenger hunt teams and door prizes given away to those who participate. All of the proceeds will help towards the funding of the Levitt Amp Concert Series. 

Kewanee City Council Agenda 03-25-19

The Kewanee City Council meets tonight at Kewanee City Hall. Among the items on the agenda, Consideration of a resolution for Street Maintenance. The City of Kewanee is expected to adopt a resolution that would appropriate $455,000 from the Motor Vehicle Tax Fund for road repairs. The council will discuss 6 different bids for municipal lawn mowing. There is expected to be a Proclamation of April 1st through the 7th as National Public Health Week. Finally, there will be a proclamation of April 4th as Junior Achievement Day. 


1. Call to Order
2. Closed Session 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
7. Business:
a) Consideration of a Resolution for Maintenance of Streets and Highways for the City of
Kewanee for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.
b) Discussion regarding municipal mowing of unmaintained private properties
c) Proclamation declaring April 1 – 7, 2019 as National Public Health Week.
d) Proclamation declaring April 4, 2019 as JA Day
8. Council Communications:

New Illinois Supreme Court Restricts Use of Restraints

The Illinois Supreme Court says defendants can’t be shackled in hearings on involuntary commitment into state care unless they’re proven to be a danger or at risk of fleeing. Rule 296 went into effect Thursday. LaSalle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly says the rule requires some extra legwork.

Donnelly says it’s about protecting people’s rights.

The rule says even in cases where a court deems that someone needs to be restrained, it should be done with the least restrictive restraints possible.
No one should be shackled to a wall, piece of furniture, or other person.

Illinois Jobs Rate Steady Again

The state’s unemployment rate remains at four point three percent – a position that has held since November. Bob Gough says Illinois’ lost 1200 jobs last month. 


A Bracket For Everything Even Abe Lincoln Quotes

March madness now includes brackets for everything – even the best quotes from Abraham Lincoln. Abe’s bracket is a fun exercise from the Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Chris Wills says the quotes are seeded and you can pick the winners.

The library and museum’s web page has the bracket or find it on their Facebook page. 

Iconic Illinois Museum Plans New Exhibits

An Illinois museum that features the Delorean auto from the movie "Back to the Future," the General Lee from "Dukes of Hazard" and bat-mobiles from various "Batman" movies plans three new exhibits. Brian Grams, a partner in the Volo Auto Museum in the Lake County village says they plan to open a vintage boat exhibit by Memorial Day;

Grams says they're also adding a "Crime and Punishment" and vintage, working carousel exhibits. With 35 acres and a lot of it indoors, Grams explains why the museum, started by his grandfather, might make a worthy spring break day trip;

In addition to famous cars, boats, bikes and even snowmobiles, the museum features a working collection of vintage rides for children. Volo Auto Museum sits on a former Lake County farm about 15 miles off of I-94 north of Chicago.

People to People Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones

Henry County Board Charirman Marshall Jones was our guest on Friday's edition of People to People. Thursday night's Henry County Board Meeting was relatively quiet aside from the apparent resignation of Board Member and Henry County Finance Committee Chairman Loren Rathjen. Mr Jones says he's awaiting Mr Rathjen's official resignation letter before the process of replacing him on the Board will begin. Mr Jones also discussed the latest on the flooding on the Hennepin Canal, the latest news about solar energy in Henry County and much more on this edition of the People to People Podcast. 


IESA Honors Geneseo Student Tyler Gehl with Attitude Award

Genseo Middle School Student Tyler Gehl has earned the Illinois Elementary School Association Attitude Award. Tyler was one of only 15 students in the state to be honored with the award which highlights achievements in academics, athletics and school activities. Tyler was nominated by Middle School Assistant Principal Dean Johnson for the award which was announced on Thursday. We spoke with Geneseo Middle School Principle Nathan O'Dell about how this award came about... 

Principal O'Dell was part of the group that chose Tyler for this award and he talked about why Tyler was chosen for the nomination for which he eventually was chosen for the award... 

As for Tyler himself, he tells WKEI how he felt being chosen and what came next for him to get on the road to earning this award... 

WKEI asked Tyler what he enjoyed about Geneseo Middle School... 

Finally, Tyler told WKEI about how mom reacted to his award... 

Congratulations Tyler and keep up the good work.

Tax Season Means Tax Scam Season As Well

Tax Advocate Services is a great feature provided by the IRS to help you cut through IRS red tape. Unfortunately, this great service has been taken advantage of recently by scammers who have spoofed the Tax Advocate Services and are using that moniker to get you to reveal your personal information. Michael Devine from the IRS says the best way to deal with this or any potential tax scam is to always be very suspicious when you get a call from someone about your taxes and remember that the IRS will not simply call you out of nowhere or ask you for your information... 


Quarter Madness is Tonight the Elks Lodge

Quarter Madness is tonight at the Kewanee Elks Lodge starting at 6 Pm. White and Gold paddles will still be available for purchase tonight at the Elks and don't forget to bring your quarters so you can bid on the unbelievable number of items up for grabs. Dianne Packee and Carrie Boelens and their team have procured an incredible amount of prizes that will be up for bid tonight and in this clip they name just a few of things that you could walk away with tonight at Quarter Madness... 


Kewanee Dunes Opens Today

In another good sign that we are coming out of the cold and into Spring, Kewanee Dunes opens today at 9 Am. The team at Kewanee Dunes will throw open the course at 9 Am sharp this morning. The Dunes will be opening for Lunch on April 2nd and dinner on Friday night's at the Dunes will begin in May. Memberships for the 2019 golf season are also on sale at the Kewanee Dunes starting today. You can contact Colby Horsley, Kewanee Dunes General Manager, by calling 309-852-4508 for more information. Don't forget to tune into the Regional Media Shopping Show on Wednesdays at 9:05 to buy your better than half price certificates for golf at Kewanee Dunes. 

Pension Consolidation Could Save Municipalities Between $20 and $50 Million Dollars

The Illinois Municipal League was in Springfield on Thursday to propose consolidating the Police and Fire Pension Funds of municipalities, a move they claim could save those municipalities between $20 and $50 Million dollars annually. Police and Fire Unions however, have joined together to oppose the idea. The unions claim that an already underfunded series of individual pensions in individual cities would create more underfunded pensions in more cities across Illinois were they all to be consolidated into a smaller number of municipal pensions. Cole Lauterbach breaks down the disagreement... 


New Bill Would Make General Contractors Responsible for Sub-Contractors Employees

Under a new bill in Springfield, General Contractors could be facing the possibility of being held responsible when a sub-contractor fails to pay their employees. The goal of the bill is to protect workers who accept work from Sub-Contractors only to find themselves not being paid by a sub-contractor who has simply decided not to pay them. The law would put the pay liability on the General Contractor that hired the Sub-Contractor. Cole Lauterbach has more from Springfield... 


$2 Billion Dollar Tax Increase Proposed with Doubling of State Gas Tax

The Illinois State Senate is expected to propose doubling the state gas tax to 38 Cents per gallon in an effort to raise more than $2 billion dollars for infrastructure work. The bitter pill of a gas tax increase will likely be joined with a $50 increase in the cost of car registrations and a bill to allow local municipalities institute their own increase in the gas tax, all with an eye toward infrastructure improvement, Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more.. 


Ryan's Round Barn Will Not Open for 2019 Season

The beloved Ryan's Round Barn on the Johnson Sauk Trail will not open for the 2019 touirst season. The Johnson park tourist destination needs a new roof and because of the needed repairs, the Barn will not have its famous tours courtesy of the Friends of Johnson Park. The barn houses a farm implement museum that has been a popular destination for farmers and had played hosts to weddings and parties in the past. Repairs to the barn roof will cause the Round Barn to remain closed until May of 2020. 

Illinois Senate Moves Against Animal Testing

If the Illinois Senate has its way, women in Illinois will be able to use a line similar to movies, no animals were harmed in the making of their look. The Senate has passed legislation that would ban the sale or import of cosmetic and hair products that use animal testing, Bill sponsor, Democratic Senator Linda Holmes of Aurora doesn't want animals to pay the price for beauty....

Animals are typically used to assess the safety of chemicals used in cosmetics. A number of countries and top companies have abandoned the practice.


Rep Swanson Honors Alpha Boy Who Started Logan's Little Library

When 5 year old Logan Brinson found out that his small town home of Alpha, Illinois did not have its own library he got an idea. In a story that has since gone viral, Logan established Logan's Little Library. With the help of parents and neighbors, Logan took a former Newspaper box and converted it into a tiny library in front of his home where kids in Alpha can borrow books donated by parents and neighbors and fellow lovers of reading like Logan. Since then, Logan's Little Library has been a huge hit and he and his family appeared on The Today Show and MSNBC and book donations have come pouring in to the biggest little library in Illinois. On Thursday, Logan was in Springfield where he was honored by State Representative Dan Swanson... 

If you would like to donate books to Logan's Little Library you can send them or drop them off to PO BOX 672 Alpha Il 61413 or dropped off on porch at 113 West B Street Alpha Il 61413. Any monetary donations can be made out to AlWood Elementary.

People to People Michael Devine IRS

Michael Devine from the Internal Revenue Service was our guest on People to People. April 15th is sneaking up on us and if you haven't done your taxes yet, you don't have much more time to wait. Michael gave us some up to date stats on how many people have filed thus far and how they are filing with the great majority finally coming via the internet. We also talked scam calls and spoofing with the reminder that the IRS does not call you out of the blue. If you do get a call, Michael Devine advises you to be VERY suspicious and protective of your personal information. Stream or download our interview with Michael Devine of the IRS below... 


Tuned In Kewanee Mayoral Candidate Gary Moore

Kewanee Mayoral candidate Gary Moore was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI on Thursday. Gary Moore would like to be the next Mayor of Kewanee and with the election on April 2nd, we decided to do one final formal, sitdown interview with the former Kewanee Police Officer to discuss his take on Kewanee's budget issues, what to do with the broken streets in Kewanee and why he feels he is the right choice to be the next Mayor of Kewanee. Stream or download our interview with Kewanee Mayoral candidate Gary Moore below, and remember that April 2nd is election day. 


14th ISP Squad Car Struck This Year While Tending to Accident Scene, Trooper Seriously Injured

For the 14th time in 2019 a driver has violated Scott's Law. According to the Illinois State Police, a State Trooper tending to an accident scene on Northbound I-55 in St. Clair County was struck by a passing Semi-Truck when the truck failed to move over to another lane and struck the trooper's squad car which had been parked several hundred feet back from an accident, with its lights on indicating drivers to slow down to be directed around the accident. The State Trooper who was injured has not yet been identified. The driver of the Semi will be charged with a violation of Scott's Law, the law that requires drivers to move over or slow down when they see emergency lights on the road. Further investigation of this accident could lead to further charges. 

KHS Competitive Theater Group Headed to State Competition

Kewanee High School Principal Jamie Bryan is brimming with pride over the work of the School's Competitive Theater group. The Kewanee High School Competitive Theater group contest play and Group Interpretation team have earned their way to state competition. Jamie Bryan praised the work of both the remarkable students and their coaches... 

The Group Interpretation and Contest Play competitions will take place this weekend at the Peoria Civic Center. RegionalDailyNews.com and Regional Media wish the theater kids good luck this weekend, break a leg.

Kewanee Rotary Quarter Madness Which Paddle Do I Buy?

Quarter Madness, courtesy of Kewanee Rotary, is Friday night at 6 Pm at the Elks Lodge. For those of you wondering: which paddle do I buy and what do they mean, Carrie Boelens and Diane Packee, two of the organizers of Quarter Madness, joined us on Tuesday's edition of Tuned In to talk about how Quarter Madness works. For instance, as Carrie explains, if you buy the Platinum Paddle, you are entered into each prize drawing for the whole night regardless of whether you are at Quarter Madness or not... 

Of course, Quarter Madness is much more fun when you are actually in attendance and that is where the Gold and the White Paddles become good options. The Gold Paddle means you are in for every drawing the whole night as long as you are there at the Elks Lodge. The white paddle is only $3.00 and here is where your Quarters come into play says Carrie and Dianne Packee... 

Today is your last chance to stop by Reiman's Harley Davidson and buy your platinum paddle for $35.00. Quarter Madness gets underway at 6 Pm on Friday night at the Kewanee Elks Lodge with proceeds going to support The Prairie Chicken Festival. If you'd like a full rundown of everything you have the chance to win at Quarter Madness you can hear the entirety of Wednesday's Tuned In by clicking here and streaming or downloading our Tuned In Quarter Madness Podcast.

Is it a Stormwater Maintenance Bill or a Rain Tax?

One Illinois lawmaker claims that House Bill 825 will give local municipalities the chance to create a stormwater maintenance fee while another lawmaker says, that the same bill means giving politicians unlimited chances to put a tax on rain. State Representative Anthony Deluca says that his bill is intended to help smaller communities deal with the maintaining of storm sewers. Republican counterpart, State Representative Allan Skillicorn however, considers the bill a tax on rain that, since it is defined not as a tax but as a fee, would not even be tax deductible to homeowners or business owners. Our Greg Bishop breaks down the disagreement over HB825. 


Abortion Protest Briefly Shuts Down Illinois Capital Building

Those protesting Governor J.B Pritzker and Illinois Democrats plans for making Illinois the most progressive state in the union when it comes to reproductive rights, shutdown the capitol building on Wednesday with their protests. Anti-Aborion protestors flooded the capitol on Wednesday to the point where the Illinois State Police had to halt all activities inside the capitol building due to overcrowding. Reporter Greg Bishop was at the statehouse and filed this report... 


State Senate to Consider College Illinois Tuition Program Bailout

The state of Illinois College Illinois tuition program is in debt by nearly $300 million dollars. Now, some in Springfield want to bailout the program and guarantee to parents and students that if the program remains in debt, the state of Illinois will step in to cover any of the money promised by College Illinois in a bailout proposal currently moving through the statehouse. Our Cole Lauterbach has more from Springfield... 


Henry County Board Meeting Tonight at the Henry County Courthouse

The Henry County Board meets tonight at the Henry County Courthouse, Board Room 102J, in the Judicial Wing of the Courthouse. The meeting gets underway at 6 Pm. On the agenda tonight are reports from the Bi-State Committee, the Veteran's Committee, the Clerk-Recorder, and the Henry County Economic Development Partnership. Several Fire Department Trustees will be appointed tonight including Victor Dzekuskas for a three year period in the Colona Fire Protection District, Gale Allen to the Cambridge Fire Protection District, Rick Hepner and Nick Border to the Orion Community Fire Protection District, Dan Meyer to the Bishop Hill Community Fire Protection District, and Aaron King to the Galva Fire Protection District. The Board will also hold over the re-appointments of Chris Metz to the Cambridge Fire Protection District, Albert Hulting to the Annawan-Alba Fire Protection District, Thomas VanVooren and Ralph Haga to the Henry County to the Henry County Health Board. 

Also on tonight's agenda, the board will look to award a Geneseo Road District Project, as well as a budget line increase for the automation of the Treasurer's Office, and a resolution naming the first week of April in Henry County: Public Health Week. Marshall Jones, Henry County Board Chairman will hopefully be joining WKEI on Friday on People to People for a wrap up of tonight's Henry County Board Meeting. 

Cold War License Plate Bill Unanimously Passes Illinois House Vote

Representative Dan Swanson's bill to create a Cold War Veteran license plate option in Illinois passed in an unanimous House vote on Wednesday. The bill, intended to honor those who served during the Cold War years in the US military, passed on a vote of 114 to 0 after State Representative Swanson once again took to the floor to discuss the work and the sacrafice of those who served during the Cold War years... 


Rep McCombie Backing DUI Second Chance Bill

State Representative Tony McCombie is among a group of legislators backing a DUI Second Chance Bill. Under the bill, anyone who has just one DUI would be eligible to have that arrest record sealed after 10 years with good behavior and no misdemeanor or felony offenses in that 10 year time frame. This would not expunge the driver's record, just seal it with the ability to unseal it the driver were arrested for a subsequent DUI or related offense. McCombie spoke to reporters after the bill passed out of committee on a voter of 13 to 1. 


Kewanee Transfer Station to Close for Maintenance Next Week

The City of Kewanee has announced that the Transfer Station will be closing two days next week for maintenance. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, the Transfer Station will be closed on Thursday, March 28th and Fruday, March 29th. The closure is related to necessary structural repairs of the building at the Transfer Station. If you have any questions regarding next week's closure of the Kewanee Transfer Station, contact the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611.

People to People Podcast Kewanee Mayoral Candidate and Council Member Mike Yaklich

In what will likely be his last interview with WKEI before the April 2nd General Election, Kewanee City Council Member, Mike Yaklich discussed the Department of Corrections and the economic impact of the planned DOC expansion in Kewanee. We discussed the recent budget meetings at Kewanee City Hall and the challenges of balancing that budget. Our host asked Mr Yaklich about his temperment something that many have cited as a flaw, And the conversation then turned to roadwork and the biggest issues cited by many voters, what can be done about fixing the roads in a timely fashion. 

Stream or download our People to People podcast interview with Mike Yaklich below. Candidate Gary Moore will be our guest at 8:45 AM on Tuesday and will be given equal time. 


Attorney General Has to Accept Jason Van Dyke Sentence from IL Supreme Court

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul may not like the sentence given to former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald but there is nothing legally that he can do about it. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Attorney General stated that he must abide by the sentence as it was backed up by the Illinois State Supreme Court. Reporter Benjamin Yount has more... 


Tuned In Podcast Quarter Madness Preview with Carrie and Dianne

Quarter Madness is this Friday night and you have the opportunity to bid on an perhaps win with your Quarter Madness Paddle. Just what you might win is what you may be wondering and Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee dropped by Tuned in on Wednesday morning to preview exactly the kinds of items that could be yours if you participate and show up Friday night for Quarter Madness at the Kewanee Elks Lodge. 


Southern Illinois State Rep Expressing Concern About Workers and Take Home Pay

A Deep Southern Illinois State Representative is expressing concerns about the take home pay of Illinoisans. Metropolis Republican Patrick Windhorst is even more concerned about the taxes impacting residents because of his perspective being on the state's border. He is reacting to a new national survey by Wallet-Hub....

Windhorst says there are a number of tax categories that concern him...

Windhorst is concerned for his district because it borders Missouri and Kentucky, which have lower overall tax burdens. He says Governor Pritzker is proposing tax increases and he believes that will send more people and businesses to other states. 


Flooding in the Cornbelt Could Delay Planting

Flooding in the Corn Belt this spring could mean plenty of acres will not get planted. Consultant Bill Biedermann with AgMarket.Net is hearing that concern. 

Biedermann making his comments Wednesday morning on the RFD Radio Network. 


First Up Podcast Kewanee Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens and Principal Jamie Bryan

Kewanee Schools Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens and Kewanee High School Principal Jamie Bryan joined us on our First Up Podcast on the WKEI Morning Show. Principal Bryan was excited to tell us about the Kewanee Group Interpretation and their exceptional season. Principal Bryan talked about all of the incredible students who are part of the Group Interpretation and the competition actors groups at Kewanee High School. Superintendent Sullens also offered his praise and talked about young sports stars at Kewanee High School who are continuing to excel. Stream or download our First Up Podcast below... 


Poll Showing Strong Support for Pritzker Progressive Tax Being Questioned

A poll conducted by Think Big Illinois and published in the Chicago Sun-Times is raising questions regarding methodology. The Paul Simon Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University asked Think Big about the methodology of the polling of registered voters that showed strong support for Governor Pritzker's tax plan and the answers they were given didn't really shed any light on how the poll was conducted. Reporter Cole Lauterbach explains... 


Illinois Manufactures Association Struggling with New Legislation in Springfield

Manufacturers in the state of Illinois are struggling to push through legislation in the state of Illinois that might make things easier for manufacturers. Among the ideas that manufacturers would like to see the state legislature look at is workers compensation reform but that appears unlikely to happen soon. Meanwhile, the Illinois Manufacturers Association is grappling with Governor J.B Pritzker's progressive tax legislation that could give Illinois Manufacturers the second highest overall tax burden of any manufacturers in the country. Greg Bishop has more on the challenges facing Illinois Manufacturers. 


State Senate Committee Votes to Move End of Abortion Notification Bill to Senate Vote

A bill that would bring an end to the Parental Notification Law regarding abortion in Illinois will go to the Senate floor for a vote. Senate bill 1594 passed through the Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday on a party line vote. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Bushels for Hunger Raises More than $23,000 For Riverbend Food Bank

This years Bushels for Hunger Campaign, in which farmers in Henry, Mercer, Whiteside and Rock Island County donate portions of grain to be sold as commodities and donated to the Riverbend Food Bank in the Quad Cities, raised more than $23,000 according to Henry County Farm Bureau manager Katie Laleman... 

Despite a slightly depressed grain market, the campaign was another massive success which has over the past 4 years provided more than a million meals for needy families in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. The Bushels for Hunger program is a joint program coordinated by four County Farm Bureaus: Rock Island, Henry, Mercer and Whiteside in conjunction with  area grain elevators and ethanol plants: ADM, Atkinson Grain, Big River Resources, Cargill, CHS, Gold Star FS, Hillsdale Elevator, Michlig Grain, River Gulf Grain, River Valley Cooperative and Rumbold & Kuhn.


Representative Bustos Concerned About President Trump's Budget Effect on Farmers

Representative Cheri Bustos is telling farmers that she is concerned about the impact they may feel from the budget being proposed by President Trump's administration. 

Representative Bustos, despite a recent high profile appointment to the powerful House Appropriations Committee decided to remain as a member of the House Ag Committee with the intention of keeping a close eye on farm policy. 

New license year approaching for IDNR

The new license year approaching for hunting and fishing in Illinois. Pricing can vary based on resident status in the state of Illinois as well as age as some seniors can get a break on fishing licenses specifically. 

IDNR’s Tim Schweizer says more information is available online at “dnr.illinois.gov.”

FFA Team From Taylorville Headed to Scotland

A team of FFA members and students from Taylorville recently won the National Western FFA Live Stock Judging Contest. The five students on the team now get to go to Scotland to compete in an international livestock judging contest. State Senator Andy Manar says their win shows the value of ag education 

Now the student judging team needs to adapt to how livestock are judged across the pond. They will still evaluate beef cattle, sheep, swine and goats but the breeds will be new to them says Eric Schafer.

The students will spend about a week in Scotland, a week in Ireland and a few days in London. The contest starts on June 20th. 

Tuned In Annaleah Emm Stark County Farm Bureau

Tuesday brought our monthly visit from Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau. Annaleah joined us fresh from the recent and very successful Women in Agriculture Conferenence at Jumer's Casino Rock Island and she had nothing but great things to say about this annual event...

You can hear our complete interview with Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau, including the latest on their upcoming golf outing, the Stark County Ag scholarships and their 100th Anniversary celebrations, in our full length Tuned In Podcast which you can stream or download below... 


Rep Swanson Pushing for State Recognition of the Honor & Remember Flag

The Honor & Remember Flag came into existence in 2008 with the establishment of a nationwide run commemorating the lives of fallen soldiers. On Tuesday, State Representative Dan Swanson sat before the Veteran's Committee of the Illinois House and told the story of the flag and why he feels it should be flown in the state of Illinois... 

Representative Swanson's Honor & Remember Flag Bill, HR835, passed the Veteran's Committee and will move to the House floor this week. 

Galva Marching Band Starts GoFundMe Campaign for New Uniforms

It's a neat design but the new uniforms for the Galva Marching Band will need a little help to go from design to the actual uniform. The remarkable Galva Marching Band has launched a GoFundMe Campaign to get needed funds to get new uniforms. The goal of the campaign is $6000.00. According to the campaign which was posted by Joe Angelo, the Band Director for Galva, the current uniforms are more than a decade old and have begun to deteriorate. The $6000.00 figure is just enough to get the ball rolling on the project and offset costs to Galva Boosters and the School District. If you would like to donate to help the Galva Marching Band you can follow this link to the Galva Band GoFundMe Campaign

Where to Begin with Spring Cleaning and Organizing?

Plenty of people need to de-clutter and get organized as part of their Spring Cleaning regimen but the question becomes just where to begin? Saundra Wright from Organized Wright LLC was our guest on People to People and she gave us a good idea of where to get started on your spring cleaning and organization project... 

You can hear our complete interview with Saundra Wright helping you to get organized and feel healhier in our People to People Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com

Black Hawk College to Host FAFSA Completion Night

It's getting down to the wire for parents of High School seniors planning to go to college in the fall to get their Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA completed. Black Hawk College is stepping forward to help out parents and teens who have questions regarding FAFSA or just need some guidance in filling out the FAFSA paperwork. Black Hawk College is set to host FAFSA completion night on March 28th from 4 Pm to 7 Pm on the East Campus in Building A. There is no cost to attend this event.  Students AND parents should bring their:


Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID - obtain at least two to three days in advance at fsaid.ed.gov.
Social Security Card, and if applicable, Permanent Resident documentation.
2018 federal tax documents, including 1040 form(s) and W-2s/1099s.
Records of 2018 untaxed income.
Current records of assets and investments.
Current bank statements.

Sheffield Welcomes Rachel Gustafson APRN at OSF Healthcare Medical Group

Folks in Sheffield will see a new smiling face at the OSF Healthcare Medical Group in Sheffield beginning this week. APRN Rachel Gustafson has officially accepted a position with OSF in Sheffield and Carrie Boelens gives the folks in Sheffield an idea of what they have to look forward to from the latest member of their local care team... 

Carrie Boelens and Dr Sara Glassgow were our guests on Tuned In on Monday morning on WKEI. Carrie will be back on WKEI on Wednesday morning at 8:45 AM. 


Is the Progressive Tax Better or Worse for Joint Filing Married Couples?

Just how married couples would be effected by Governor J.B Pritzker's Progressive Tax Plan is still unknown. According to some experts however, it could amount to a marriage tax as joint filing married couples could move into a higher tax bracket and thus see a higher tax impact under a progressive tax than under the current Flat Tax. That said, there is potentially a break in taxes for joint filing, single income married couples, depending on how the final law is written. Our Cole Lauterbach has more.. 


Pritzker Continuing Push for Progressive Tax

In an appearance alongside Metro East Mayors, Governor J.B Pritzker laid out his case for switching from the state's current Flat Tax to a Progressive Tax. Talking to reporters on Monday, Governor Pritzker warned that Illinois residents stand to lose vital services unless they choose to adopt the new tax structure. Opponents meanwhile, continue to claim that a progressive tax would mean a tax increase on small businesses and thus a loss of jobs when those busines owners either go out of business due to the new overwhelming tax burden or leave the state searching for a more business friendly climae. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Kewanee Mayor Steve Looney Praise KEDC-Sunpin Solar Deal

At last night's City of Kewanee Budget Workshop, WKEI had the chance to catch up with Mayor Steve Looney and asked him for his opinion of the newly announced deal between the Kewanee Economic Development Corporation and California based Sunpin Solar Development LLC. Mayor Looney had nothing but praise for the deal which will bring a solar project to the former Lininger Industrial Park and further Henry County's grrowing repuation as a hub of the renewable energy economy. 


Tickets Still Available for K-Town Comedy Night March 23rd

There are still a few tickets left for this Saturday night's 4th Annual K-Town Comedy night featuring Comedian's Dan Deibert and Mike Mercury. Tickets are available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Office for $25.00. You can call the Chamber to reserve your tickets for Saturday night by calling 309-852-2175. Dinner will be served at 6:30 Pm and the show gets under way at the Flemish American Club at 8:00 Pm. Proceeds from the 4th Annual K-Town Comedy Night go to benefit the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and the Prairie Chicken Festival. Below is a sample of comic Mike Mercury... 

Senator Durbin Continues Critiques of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Senate Speech

Senator Dick Durbin continues to mince no words in his critiques of some in the pharmaceutical industry. Durbin handed his “Pharma Fleece Awards” last week on the Senate Floor, as he slammed Takeda, Eisai, Merck, and Genentech, four pharmaceutical companies that sell cancer drugs in excessively large vials that contain dramatically more medicine than the average patient needs.....

Durbin says when it comes to doses of cancer medicine, size matters in a costly way....

Durbin says some big pharmaceutical companies offer smaller sizes in key markets like Europe. 


Frerichs Wants Changes to Banking Rules for Pot Businesses

Banking in the cannabis industry is a challenge and the state Treasurer is trying to modernize the rules. Right now cash that comes in from legal marijuana companies has a hard time finding a bank or credit union to take it. The laws are there to prevent drug money from illegal businesses being put into the mainstream economy. Mike Frerichs says that’s outdated with legal marijuana businesses.

Frerichs would like to see a law that would prohibit state regulations from impacting banks who work with legal marijuana companies. 

Tax Time Help for Seniors and Low Income

With about a month to go to file taxes you still have time to get some help if you need too. Seniors and low income filers can get help at over 300 sites around the state. Terry Hortsman with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

To find one of those locations go to tax dot Illinois dot gov.

KEDC Announces Partnership New Kewanee Solar Project

The Kewanee Economic Development Corporation has announced a partnership with Sunpin Solar Development LLC out of California. The deal will bring Sunpin's solar technology to Kewanee in the area currently owned by KEDC, the Lininger Industrial Park, located 1.5 miles north of Route 81 and 2 miles east of Route 78. KEDC and Sunpin have scheduled an informational meeting regarding the new Solar development in Kewanee on April 25th from 12 Noon to 1:30 at the Wethersfield School District Moss Gymnasium. More on this story as it develops. 

People to People Spring Cleaning and Organizing Done Right with Saundra Wright

The first day of Spring is Wednesday and that means Spring Cleaning time is upon us as well. Getting organized is part of that spring cleaning and it can be a terrific way not just to organize your home but to organize your life. The clarity of mind that comes simply from tidying up and making sure all things are in the right space can be a huge load of stress off your shoulders. To help you get ready to clean and organize this spring WKEI spoke with Saundra Wright of Organized Wright LLC for tips on how to get started and stay motivated to organize and clean this Spring. Stream or download our interview with Saundra Wright below and visit her website OrganizedWright.net for more tips. 


Push for capital Bill in Springfield, but Funding Remains Key Question

Democrats and Republicans appear to be in agreement on the need for a capital bill in Springfield, but how to fund the plan remains uncertain. That assessment from Jak Tichenor, host of Illinois Public Media’s Illinois Lawmakers series. 

Tichenor says Illinois hasn’t had a capital bill since 2009 and a portion of the outlay was funded through video gambling revenue. 


Everett Whitcher Named Kewanee Outstanding Citizen, Amber Patch-Troxell Honored with Meritorious Service

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club has announced that Everett Whitcher, owner of Save A Lot in Kewanee, has been named Kewanee Outstanding Citizen and that Amber Patch Troxell has earned the Meritorious Service Award. Everett was nominated by Sharon Deahl and was chosen as Outstanding Citizen for his remarkable work in the community through his dedicated work at Save A Lot and his dedication to his church. Amber Patch Troxell was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for her remarkable personal charity work and her partnership with the Kewanee Salvation Army. Amber's dedication to her brother Schuyler's memory via Patchy's Toy Drive and her championing of the Angel Tree, among dozens of other notable charity drives, made her the obvious choice for the Meritorious Service Award. Both, Everett and Amber will be honored at a Chamber Ambassadors event in the near future. 

East Moline Police Seeking Violent Suspect

Crimestoppers of the Quad Cities and the East Moline Police Department are seeking help from the public to locate a dangerous suspect. 19 year old Javon Jernigan is wanted for having assaulted his pregnant girlfriend. According to evidence released by the East Moline Police, Jernigan is believed to have dragged his pregnant girlfriend by the throat, punched her in the face, kicked her in the abdomen and held a gun to her head. Jernigan is wanted on charges of Aggravated Battery and Domestic Battery. Jernigan is considered armed and dangerous and the public is urged not to approach him. However, if you have information regarding the whereabouts of Javon Jernigan you are asked to contact Crimestoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500. Your tip can be given anonymously and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be in line for a reward. 

Tuned In OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday Carrie Boelens and Dr Sara Glassgow

Carrie Boelens and Dr Sara Glassgow were our guests on today's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. Carrie was on hand for her weekly appearance to talk about the events coming up at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, including being just one month away from the 100 Year Anniversary celebration at OSF. Carrie was joined by Dr Sara Glassgpw who was on hand to discuss Colo-Rectal Cancer Month. You can stream or download today's Tuned In podcast below... 


Report: Illinois' Poorest Live on Unstable Ground

Housing is a foundation for living, and a new report suggests it's an unstable foundation for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans.  "The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes" by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, finds 72-percent of the households considered extremely low-income in the state are spending more than half their monthly income on rent. Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois, explains that's more than 326,000 families that have to make difficult decisions to keep a roof over their heads.


"Anything - like loss of a job or having your work hours reduced, or a health care emergency or your car breaking down - is going to put you at risk of not being able to afford the rent, which is going to lead to you being at risk of eviction and you being homeless," he points out. "And obviously, that's a huge crisis."


The coalition considers people "extremely low-income" if they make only 30 percent of their area's median income.  The report says these renters face a housing shortage in every state. Illinois has just 35 affordable rental units available for every 100 households that need them.  Palmer contends policies are needed to lower housing costs and help end homelessness. He adds lawmakers have an opportunity to invest in affordable housing in the state's next capital budget.


"And we're asking for $1 billion, and we believe with that money that the State of Illinois could find 10,000 affordable rental, homes which would go a long way towards addressing the shortage," he states.


Palmer says that investment would create 16,000 jobs in its first year, and generate $755 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments. At the federal level, the report calls for increased funding for affordable housing programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing.


Get Your Platinum Paddle for Quarter Madness in Kewanee by This Thursday

Just because you may not be able to make it to Quarter Madness on Friday night at the Elks Lodge in Kewanee, doesn't mean you cannot participate. The platinum paddle for Quarter Madness is for sale all this week, though Thursday afternoon and Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee explain just how the platinum paddle works for those who cannot be there at the Elks on Friday night... 

Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee were our guests on Friday's edition of Tuned In and they will be back to join us on Tuned In with a bigger preview of the Quarter Madness auction items on Wednesday morning at 8:45 on Tuned In on WKEI. 

How Can the State of Illinois Deal with the Desperate Need for New Teachers?

The state of Illinois is in the midst of a serious teacher shortage. According to a study released by Regional Superintendents across the state of Illinois, 20% of all open positions at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, more than 1000 teaching positions statewide, remain unfilled. The shortage is even more pronounced in specific areas of such as Library and Media Specialists, foreign language teachers and school psycholgists where positions are going unfilled even longer. Angie Zarvell, Regional Superintendent for Henry, Stark and Bureau County says there are a few things the state could do to help attract new teachers. 

In an interview with with WKEI on Friday, Zarvell admitted that the uncertain future of the Illinois pension situation makes attracting new teachers even more difficult. 

Just How Much Regulation Should There Be on Legalized Recreational Marijuana?

One of the things currently holding up the passage of a recreational marijuana legalization bill in Springfield is just how much the industry should be regulated and what those regulations should be. Questions such as should people be able to grow a small amount of their own marijuana for personal use, how much local control should cities have over how much and where marijuana is cultivated in their community and what criminal penalties would remain in place regarding legalized recreational marijuana such as penalties for use while driving. These questions need to be ironed out before the legalization of recreational weed can move forward. Our Greg Bishop has more.. 


State House Member Pitching a State Soda Declaration

The state of Illinois has in place already a state Pie (Pumpkin), a state vegetable (Sweet Corn), and an official state snack (Popcorn), and now a state house member wants the state to have an official soda. State Representative Charlie Meier has a bill in committee intending to name Ski as the official state soda of the state of Illinois. Meier claims that bigger, more well known soda companies however, oppose his bill. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


State Senator Looking to Appoint State Director for Abraham Lincoln Museum

With a $9 million dollar loan coming due, the Abraham Lincoln Presidentlal Library and Museum is facing the possibility of having to sell Lincoln artifacts in order to pay down the debt. State Senator Andy Manar hopes that the state of Illinois can step in before that happens. If the state does indeed find a way to bail out the museum before it sells artifacts, Manar also wants the state to impose a new state appointed director for the museum to keep this from happening again in the future. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Two Illinois Cities, County Added to Lincoln Heritage Area

President Trump recently signed federal legislation that adds Livingston County and the cities of Freeport and Jonesboro to the roster of Illinois communities that can benefit from designated ties to Abraham Lincoln. The executive director of what's known as "Looking for Lincoln," Sarah Watson, describes what it means to those areas;

The "Looking for Lincoln" non-profit says the 42 counties already in the nationally-designated heritage area have benefited with a nearly $300-million dollar economic impact, more than 3-thousand jobs as a result and about $25-million dollars in tax revenue;

Livingston County has a courthouse where Lincoln practiced law. Freeport and Jonesboro hosted two of the famous debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.

Boil Order Tuesday in Portions of Kewanee

The City of Kewanee has announced that a number of residences will be under a boil order on Tuesday, March 19th. According to the City of Kewanee, work will begin at 8 Am on Tuesday morning to replace water main valves. This will necessitate water to be shut off in the following areas: 


The areas that will be shut off include:


·         All of Edgewood Drive

·         624 E Prospect Street

·         700, 800, 900, 1000 blocks of E Prospect Street

·         400 block of Otley Avenue

·         328 & 400 block of S  Maple Avenue

·         300 & 400 blocks of Ridyard Avenue

·         329 Goodrich Street

·         619 Pleasant Street

·          700, 800, 900 blocks of Pleasant Street

·         700 block of Willow Street

·         300, 400, 500, 600 blocks of South East Street


Meanwhile, in preparation for the work to be done on Tuesday, the following areas will be closed to traffic unless you are a resident of one of these places: 

The following areas will be closed beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning:


·         South East Street from Elmwood Avenue to Pleasant Street

·         East Prospect Street from South East Street to Otley Avenue

·         Pleasant Street from South East Street to Otley Avenue

·         Pleasant Street from Ridyard Avenue to South East Street


Water service is expected to be restored in the afternoon on Tuesday. At that time, residents will be under a boil order for 48 to 72 hours from the time that water is restored. 

City of Kewanee Budget Meeting Tonight

The City of Kewanee will hold an open meeting this evening beginning at 6 Pm. The meeting is a budget workshop during which the City Council and Department heads will discuss issues related to the General Fund and Economic Development Expenditures. The meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend beginning at 6 Pm.

Accident Leaves 1 Person Dead 2 Others Injured

Update: It has been confirmed that the driver of the Dodge truck, 76 year old Terry Wickey of Kewanee, died in the accident on I-80 on Friday. Mr. Wickey's wife was the passenger in the truck and she was left in very serious condition. There is no word on the condition of the driver of the semi at this time. 


Three people were injured in a crash that brought traffic on westbound I-80 to a standstill from Geneseo all the way to the I-74 exchange, aka the Big X. RegionalDailyNews reporters were in the traffic jam and viewed the scene in which a black Dodge Ram had run into the back end of a semi-truck. Visual evidence indicated a very serious accident and that is backed up by word from the Illinois State Police indicating that the driver of the Semi-Truck and the driver of the Dodge Pickup and a passenger were taken from the scene via Medforce Helicopter to local medical facilities. The driver and passenger in the pickup had to be extracted from the vehicle. We are awaiting word from Illinois State Police on the condition of the three people in the accident. Traffic on I-80 was slowed to a crawl from around 1:50 Pm till after 4 Pm. As of this writing traffic is moving again the scene of the accident has been cleared. 

Representative Cheri Bustos Discusses the For the People Act with WKEI

What is the For the People Act? According to Representative Cheri Bustos, it was an attempt to create further transparency among elected officials and voters by helping to remove so called dark money from campaigns. Under the act, limits would have been placed on political donations while smaller donors and donations would be encouraged. This week, President Trump is talking about the budget and Representative Bustos has many concerns related to potential cuts to medicare and crop insurance. Finally, we asked Representative Bustos for her reaction to President Trump's first veto, his veto of a bipartisan resolution to prevent his declaration of an emergency at the border., Download or stream our interview with Representative Cheri Bustos below... 


People to People Wethersfield Supt Shane Kazubowski and Historian Dave Clarke

Social and Emotional Learning is a program mandated by the state of Illinois but Wethersfield Schools has found a unique way to bring the concept home for Wethersfield students. Superintendent Shane Kazubowski joined our People to People podcast to talk about how incorporating the history of Wethersfield and by extension of Kewanee has helped in this program and Dave Clarke joined in to talk Wethersfield history and how fascinating it is to see kids get excited by the history of their community. 


Annawan Parks to Hold Trivia Fundraiser in April

Kelsey Cathlyine from the Annawan Park District joined WKEI on Friday morning to talk about a trivia fundraiser that the Park District has planned for next month. The trivia fundraiser is intended to raise needed funds for continued improvements at Howe's Park in Annawan. The trivia night fundraiser will cost $100.00 for your team of 8 to 10 players and will be held at the Best Western Banquet Room in Annawan. 


Regional Daily News Celebrity Interview 911 on Fox Star Ryan Guzman

Ryan Guzman has been rising through the ranks of Hollywood ever since he decided to walk away from the world of Mixed Martial Arts. Since then, he has co-starred in movies with Jennifer Lopez and garnered a huge prize by landing a prime role on the Fox drama 911 co-starring with Angela Bassett and Peter Krause. Guzman plays hunky firefighter Eddie Diaz and he described what it was like joining the show as it began its second season late last year and gave us a preview of the final 8 episodes to come which get underway on Monday night on Fox. 


Tuned In Quarter Madness with Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee

Quarter Madness is one week away and Carrie Boelens and Dianne Packee joined us on Tuned In on Friday morning to talk all about the items that will be up for bid and how you can get your Platinum, Gold or White paddles so you are ready for Friday night and the chance to get your hands on more than $12,000 worth of donated items with the proceeds going to support The Prairie Chicken Festival. Carrie and Dianne will be back for more Quarter Madness talk on next Wednesday's Tuned In as well. For now, stream or download our Quarter Madness podcast below.. 


First Up Podcast Angie Zarvell Regional Superintendent of Schools

First Up on Friday on WKEI was Angie Zarvell, Regional Superintendent of Schools for Henry, Bureau and Stark County. Angie joined us in studio to talk about a statewide shortage of teachers. Why is Illinois struggling to produce new teachers and what can be done to draw students back to the teaching profession. Angie Zarvell and Regional Superintendents across the state are working on a number of initiatives that they hope will reverse the tide of people moving away from teaching. Download or stream our First Up Podcast below... 


2019 Flooding Similar to 1965; Snow Melt Up North the Big Issue

The 2019 flooding worries along the Mississippi River are similar to 1965. That year snow melt was up north was a big issue. It's the same story this year says Brian Pierce with the National Weather Service. 

Pierce has been with the National Weather Service Quad Cities office for over 20 years. Prior to that, he worked in the Madison, Wisconsin station.

Job Gains Along with Unemployment Increases

Unemployment grew in Illinois last month along with the number of new hires. It’s a product of how unemployment rate is figured. Year over year job losses were found in Bloomington, the metro-east and Danville but the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s Bob Gough says there were bright spots.


Kewanee Public Libary to Show Smallfoot on the Big Screen During Spring Break

As part of the celebration for Spring Break for kids in the Kewanee area, the Kewanee Public Library has scheduled a special screening of the animated hit Smallfoot, featuring the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden and Lebron James. Smallfoot is the story of a Yeti, living high in the Himalayan Mountains who loves his cloistered life among his fellow yetis until he discovers a smallfoot, a human, played by James Corden, who defies everything our Yeti hero has ever been told about the world away from his mountain top home. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library tells us more about the Library's plans for Spring Break... 

Sara Billiet was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday and you can hear that complete interview in our Tuned In podcast. 

Lawmakers to Require Childcare Facilities to Be Ready in Case of an Active Shooter

A new state law moved out of committee on Thursday and should be coming to a vote soon and will require child care facilities to be ready in case of an active shooter. State Representative Michele Mussman is behind the bill and told reporters that the bill will require child care professionals to simply have a plan ready to protect children in their care under this extreme circumstance. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on this story... 


Lawmakers Looking to Tax the Trading Market

State Representative Mary Flowers is set to propose a new $1.00 tax on all transactions in the state of Illinois. According to the legislation which lawmakers began discussing in the House Revenue and Finance committee on Thursday, the tax would be imposed on all transactions aside from those held in retirement accounts or mutual funds. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Early Voting and Saturday Hours Available at the Henry County Clerk's Office

The Henry County Clerk's Office is reminding registered voters that Early Voting is available now at the Henry County Clerk's Office. If you are already registered to vote in the April 2nd General Election, you can go to the Henry County Clerk's office during regular weekday hours at the Henry County Courthouse in Cambridge and cast your vote. Or, if you want to go and vote on Saturday, the Clerk's Office now has special Saturday hours for early voting from 8 Am until 12 Noon on Saturday March 23rd and Saturday, March 30th. Voters in Kewanee will cast their vote for Mayor between Gary Moore and Mike Yaklich and for two candidates for Kewanee City Council among the group of 5 eligible candidates, including current council members Chris Colomer and Andy Koehler and challengers Mike Komnick, Tim Hamilton and Chris Wheaton. Wethersfield residents will also have a school board seat to fill. n

Wonder Park Opens Today in Kewanee at Wanee Cinemas

The all new animated adventure, Wonder Park, opens today in Kewanee at the Wanee Cinemas. The movie tells the story of June (Brianna Denski) who wonders into the forest one day and finds that the theme park she dreamed of as a child, a magical place called Wonder Park, is real as are the magical stuffed animals she played with at Wonder Park. Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson, and Ken Jeong provide the voices for the magical animal characters while Jennifer Garner and Matthew Broderick give voice to June's concerned parents. Wonder Park is receiving terrible reviews from critics. According to RottenTomatoes.com, the film has received only 26% positive reviews thus far. That said, however, the film is expected to be the top new movie at the box office, finishing well behind Captain Marvel but ahead of other new movies such as Captive State and Five Feet Apart. 

Illinois State Police and IDOT Urging St Patrick's Day Preparedness for Increased Enforcement

The Illinois State Police will be out with increased numbers this weekend and increased enforcement to make sure you are staying safe on this St Patrick's Day weekend. Our Kim Howard spoke with Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessie Decker who has some tips for you to celebrate safely this weekend and how not to press your luck of the Irish with the Illinois State Police... 


Congressman Davis Participates in Infrastructure Talk

Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis participated in an infrastructure panel this week, hosted by Politico and the National League of Cities. The discussion focused on what it will take to get an infrastructure bill through Congress this year. Davis says the president wants to invest a trillion dollars in infrastructure. 

This panel came ahead of Davis’ first hearing as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, which will focus on 21st century transportation needs.

Duckworth Says Balance Between Defense and Domestic Spending Best for Readiness

Senator Tammy Duckworth says Washington needs balance when it comes to spending on our nation's defense. IN a speech before the National Press Club, Duckworth said sacrificing domestic needs for Pentagon spending is leaving the U.S> with a nation that is ill prepared to produce the next generation of military recruits...

Many of those in the age category who aren't qualified for the military have insufficent math and English scores, while others flunked physicals. 


Tobacco 21 passes Senate

The Illinois Senate has voted to move the tobacco purchasing age to the same standard as alcohol purchases. A bill raising the minimum age to 21 passed in the Senate 39-16, two days after the House overwhelmingly passed the legislation. Some dissenters in the Senate took issue with the legislation's elimination of penalties for underage possession. Olympia Fields based Democratic Senator Toi Hutchinson defended the rationale.....

Retailers still would be fined for selling restricted products to underage customers. The bill is headed for Governor J.B. Pritzker's desk.


Reba Added to State Fair Lineup

The lights may be going out in Georgia, but they will shine brightly for country music star Reba McEntire as she has been announced as the final grandstand act of the 2019 Illinois State Fair. Her August 18th grandstand show will be her first appearance in 20 years at the late summer classic. McEntire has racked up five decades of hits and landed in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her trophy case is a constant expansion project. She has racked up 16 ACM Awards, six CMA Awards and three GRAMMYs among others. TIckets will range between 35 and 65 dollars. Grandstand tickets go on sale online through ticketmaster on April 20th and will be available at the Emerson Building box office on the fairgrounds April 22nd.


Peoria Woman Arrested by Kewanee Police with More than 4 Pounds of Pot

Kewanee Police have announced the arrest of a 26 year old Peoria woman found with more than 4 pounds of pot. According to a release from the Kewanee Police, a traffic stop on March 7th led to the arrest of Maddie Walker of Peoria. A canine unit performing a free air sniff around the vehicle alerted Kewanee Police to the presence of narcotics. Inside the vehicle, Kewanee Police located a black duffle bag containing in more than 4 pounds of cannabis. Walker was subsequently charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver 500 to 2000 grams of cannabis and Possession of 500 to 2000 grams of cannabis. The charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver charge is a class 2 felony that could carry a sentence of 3 to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections if Walker were convicted. Walker has been arraigned and bond was set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is set for March 18th at 1 Pm at the Henry County Courthouse. Kewanee Police were assisted in this case by the Blackhawk Area Task Force. 

Tuned In Podcast Kewanee Public Library Sara Billiet

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library joined us on WKEI for our Tuned In program on Thursday morning. Sara joined us to promote upcoming events at the Library including a special event with an appraiser who will be at the Kewanee Public Library to tell you if the antiques you think might be valuable, really are valuable. The office of the Illinois Treasurer will have a representative at the Kewanee Public Library in April with the I-Cash program to help you determine if you have unclaimed cash or property currently being held by the state of Illinois. Stream or download the Tuned In podcast below... 


New Illinois Ag Director Plans to Create Strong Working Relationship with IDNR

Acting Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan aims to build a strong working relationship with incoming Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan.

Sullivan is a former State Senator from west central Illinois and Callahan formerly worked for USDA. 

Country Superstar Tyler Farr will be Going Redneck Crazy at The Back Road Music Festival

Country superstar Tyler Farr is set to go Redneck Crazy at The Back Road Music Festival in Galva on August 10th. Hog Country 102.5 WJRE made the announcement this morning that the man who went to number one on the Country Airplay chart with the hit song "A Guy Walks into A Bar" is the last act to be announced for the 2019 Back Road Music Festival in Galva. Tyler's latest record, produced by Sugarland's Kristian Bush, is due to be released just in time for this year's festival and features his newest hit song "Love by the Moon." Tyler has been a consistent presence on the Country Music Charts since his debut record "Redneck Crazy" became the rare country record from a brand new artist to debut in the Top 5. Since then songs like the title track "Redneck Crazy," along with "Better in Boots," "Hot Mess," "Whiskey in My Water," "Withdrawals," and "A Guy Walks Into a Bar," have become staples the country charts. Tickets for The Back Road Music Festival in Galva are on sale now at TheBackRoadMusicFestival.com and at the Galva Pharmacy. And next Wednesday morning, at 9 Am, you will have your first chance to buy Back Road Tickets on the Regional Media Shopping Show. 

National Weather Service Storm Spotter Training Tonight in Cambridge

If you have an interest in weather and in helping out during a storm, storm spotter training could be for you. There will be a storm spotter training class with the National Weather Service tonight starting at 6:30 Pm at the Henry County Emergency Operations Center in Cambridge located at 307 West Center Street in Cambridge. Petey Jaquet with the Galva ESDA says anyone can become a storm spotter... 

There is no cost for the class and anyone is welcome to attend. 

Galva Freedom Fest Seeking Silent Auction Donations

Galva Freedom Fest organizers are seeking donations of items for their Silent Auction fundraiser happening on May 17th. This is one of the biggest fundraisers on the calendar for Galva Freedom Fest and thus big ticket and little ticket items will need to be donated in order to help Galva Freedom Fest organizers raise big funds for the two day 4th of July celebration this year. If you or your business has something to donate to the Galva Freedom Fest Silent Auction you can contact Galva Freedom Fest on Facebook for more details. The Galva Freedom Fest Silent Auction will take place on May 17th from 7 Pm to 10 Pm at The Stables located at 2314 US Highway 34 in Kewanee, the same night as the Galva Freedom Fest Trivia Night, another huge Freedom Fest Fundraiser. Teams of 8 to 10 people will compete for trivia prizes and the cost to enter a team is only $100.00. 

Who is Joining the Lineup of The Back Road Music Festival Today?

The last of four country music star attractions will be announced today for The Back Road Music Festival in Galva on August 10th. Will it be a band? A solo star? A man or a woman? We know that this star attraction has been to number one on the charts at least one time. We know that this star attraction has become a huge touring sensation known for putting on a great concert. And, we know that Karissa is the only one who knows the name of the final performer to be announced for this year's Back Road Music Festival in Galva and she will announce this star attraction at 8 Am on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE. 

Women in Agriculture Conference Today in Rock Island

It's National Ag Day across the United States and it's also a day to celebrate women in farming. Today is the day for the annual Women in Agriculture Conference at Jumer's Casinon in Rock Island. Guest speakers, breakout sessions and more will be part of the celebration of women who are settling into their roles as leaders in the Ag industry. Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau tells us about today's keynote speaker and says that a limited number of women can still attend the conference by coming to the Jumer's Casino in Rock Island today... 


New Law to Allow Elderly SNAP Recipients to Use Food Stamps at Restaurants

A new bill in Springfield aims to allow disabled, homeless or elderly SNAP recipients to use food stamps in restaurants that enroll in a special program. Supporters of this new bill say that restaurants would not be forced to accept SNAP but would instead have the option to enroll in the program to allow specific patrons to use SNAP benefits in restaurants. Our Cole Lauterbach has more...  


New Illinois Law Could Keep Presidential Candidates off State Ballot if No Tax Returns Released

A bill that appears to be directly aimed at or inspired by President Trump could be making its way through committee soon in Springfield. Senate Bill 145 would amend state law regarding qualifications for being on the Presidential ballot in the state of Illinois to include a provision that anyone attempting to get on the ballot must release at least 5 years worth of tax returns before they are able to be on the ballot in Illinois. President Trump famously refused to release his tax returns in the 2016 Presidential election. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Not All Democrats Convinced on Progressive or Fair Tax

While party unity has not been a problem thus far for Democrats in their new super-majority in Springfield, the Progressive or Fair Tax, could be the first real test as to whether or not that super-majority is fully in line with Governor Pritzker. According to House Speak Mike Madigan, conversations behind closed doors among the majority leadership are still taking place regarding changing the tax structure of the state of Illinois. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


E-Learning Could Help Teacher Shortage, But Rural Broadband Must Improve

A survey shows Illinois' teacher shortage continues to grow and downstate areas are impacted most. The information is from the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. It shows 85-percent of districts statewide having a problem with teacher shortages, up 78-percent in 2018. The group's president--Mark Jontry, says one thing that could help is program sharing through "e-learning"--involving multiple school districts and even community colleges, but rural broadband must get better.

More than 500 districts participated in the survey. 


HR1 Drawing Criticism From Congressman Davis

"The craziest thing I've ever seen in Washington" is how Congressman Rodney Davis describes a piece of legislation that among other things, wants to funnel taxpayer dollars into political campaigns. The Republican from Taylorville says HR1, or For the People Act of 2019, would take taxpayer dollars and put them into political funds. 

The bill also discusses topics like voter access, election security, and integrity and establishes an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission and those are parts of the legislation Congressman Davis likes but there are too many questions surrounding the aspect of campaign spending from taxpayer dollars.

Equal Pay Act Gets Another Shot

It’s another shot a bill that hasn’t gone anywhere the past two years but maybe the third time will be the charm. The Equal Pay law is getting another shot with a new Governor. The bill would prevent employers from asking new hires or job applicants how much money they were making the past few years. Then Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed it twice. Elgin Rep. Anna Moeller says it will also prevent other types of pay discrimination.

The Senate now takes up the bill. 

Senate to Take on Raising the Minimum Age to Buy Cigarettes to 21

Tobacco 21 passed with ease in the Illinois House. The measure found support on both sides of isle to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21. Republican House Minority Leader Jim Durkin switched his vote from the last time this bill came before the House


21 is the law already in a number of communities in Illinois, including the city of Chicago. The Senate now has to approve the bill before it goes to the Governor. 

Tuned In Henry County Farm Bureau Katie Laleman

Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI on Wednesday. Katie joined us to reveal that the Bushels For Hunger fundraiser for 2019 raised more than $23,000 for the Riverbend Food Bank. Katie also discussed the upcoming Women in Agriculture Conference which is happening Thursday, March 14th at the Jumer's Casino in Rock Island. Stream or download our interview with Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Burea below...


State Rep Swanson Signs On to Resolution Opposing Governor Pritzker Fair Tax Plan

State Representative Dan Swanson has announced that he is signing on with 43 fellow House Republicans on a resolution opposing Governor Pritzker's so called Progressive or Fair Tax. Referring to the Governor's plan as a Graduated Income Tax, House Resolution 153 stands in opposition of Governor Pritzker's plan to abandon the current Flat Tax system in Illinois. Representative Swanson discussed the HR153 with reporters in Springfield on Wednesday morning... 

In order to alter the income tax in Illinois Governor Pritzker will need to propose an amendment to the state constitution. 

AFSCME Announces Endorsements for 2 Kewanee City Council Candidates

AFSCME Council 31 has announced endorsements for the April 2nd General Election and has come out in favor of a pair of City Council candidates in Kewanee. Mike Komnick and Tim Hamilton have received the endorsement of the 100,000 member strong union. In the announcement of their endorsements for several races across the state of Illinois, including City Council and Mayoral races from Chicago to Harvy to Silvis and Kewanee, AFSCME made a statement in choosing not to endorse either candidate for Mayor of Kewanee. Neither Mike Yaklich or Gary Moore received support from the Union at this time. It's also notable that AFSCME chose against the two incumbent City Council candidates, Chris Colomer and Andy Koehler. Mike Komnick released a statement touting his AFSCME endorsment stating, 

"The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 have made their candidate endorsements. I am proud to announce the AFSCME 31 has endorsed me for Kewanee City Council. They base their selections on several criteria and I thank them and all their members for their support of my campaign to be your next City Councilperson. 

As stated on their website, "Local elections matter, whether for city council, mayor or other important positions in local government. These are the pro-worker candidates endorsed by the AFSCME regional PEOPLE committees in each area."

State Rep McCombie Calls Raising Cigarette Age Restriction to 21 an Assault on Civil Liberties

Representative Tony McCombie is concerned that more bills like the one that passed out of committee on Tuesday and would, if passed and signed by the Governor, raise the minimum age to 21 years old to buy cigarettes, are chipping away at our civil liberties. Our Cole Lauterbach has more from Springfield. 


Governor Pritzker Calling for Statewide Increase in Cigarette Tax

Under a plan released on Tuesday, Governor J.B pritzker called on legislators in Springfield to raise the minimum age at which someone can buy cigarettes. The proposal also includes slapping  a new tax onto cigaretes in the range of $0.32 cents. The administration speculates that an increase in cigarettee taxes would raise something in the range of $55 million dollars in state revenue. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


City Manager Estimates Cost of Viaduct Fix Near $10 million Dollars

The City of Kewanee is still weighing exactly what to do about the East Street Viaduct. The eye sore road project has become even more of a public safety nuisance over the nearly 20 years that it was identified as a public Safety issue. City Manager Gary Bradley, when invited to speculate on the cost of the fix, if the Railroad continues its unwillingness to do anything about the viaduct, at somewhere in the range of $10 million dollars... 

Mayor Steve Looney praised the City Manager for what he's done in researching the history of the Viaduct and seeking help from local politicians. In this clip the Mayor examines the steps taken thus far and what is to come.  

Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm will be Our Guest on Wednesday on Tuned In

Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau will be our guest at 8:45 Am on Tuned In. Katie will discuss the recent annoucement of Bushels for Hunger as well as well as the upcoming Women in Agriculture conference taking place at the Jumer's Casino Rock Island. Full details once we receive instruction directly from the Henry County Farm Bureau this morning at 8:45 on our Tuned In program. 

Kiwanis Pancake Day this Saturday

The Kiwanis of Kewanee will hold their 68th Annual Pancake Day this Saturday, March 16th. The Kiwanis Pancake Day will take place beginning at 7 Am on Saturday and going on to 1 Pm at First United Methodist Church 108 East Central Boulevard. All you can eat pancakes will be served and the cost to attend and raise money for the Kewanee Kiwanis is $7.00 at the door or $6.00 if you buy your tickets ahead of time. Kids under 6 eat for free. Proceeds from Kiwanis Pancake Day will go towards Kiwanis Boys & Girls Work. 

Final Act for The Back Road Music Festival to Be Announced Thursday

The final big name act for The Back Road Music Festival will be announced on Thursday morning. Karissa Nash will make the big announcement on Thursday morning at 8 Am on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE. The final of the four acts for The Back Road Music Festival will join Clare Dunn, Parmalee and headliner Justin Moore in Galva on August 10th. Tickets are on sale now at TheBackRoadMusicFestival.com or at the Galva Pharmacy. 

ISP Ready To Hire

The Illinois State Police want to go on a hiring spree. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker is proposing in his budget for two new classes of ISP Cadets this year. Applications are being taken now through the end of May and ISP’s Acting Director Brendan Kelly there were years where no new troopers were added to the ranks and that has left them short handed.

The next class would start in October and interested applicants can go to Illinois Trooper dot com.

High Winds Thursday Could Cause Travel Problems, Even Damage Across Illinois

High winds Thursday could cause travel headaches and even damage in some spots across Illinois. From Rockford to Cairo, winds across the state could gust up to 55 miles per hour at times throughout the day Thursday. Meteorologist Rachel Trevino with the National Weather Service in Paducah says the duration of the event and the wet ground in some parts of the state will leave some spots more vulnerable for damage from the winds.

The south winds though will bring warm air across the state, with temperatures reaching the 60’s for most of Illinois and even the 70’s in parts of 

Payrolls Hit Record In Illinois

The state continued to add jobs in January. Unemployment held steady at four point three percent while payrolls hit an all time high. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that tens of thousands of jobs were added.

A total of 24,000 jobs were added in the state, across the US unemployment sits at four percent.

Pritzker Administration Releases Fair Tax Calculator

Governor J.B Pritzker's administration has created what they are calling a Fair Tax Calculator. If you go online to www.illinois.gov/FairTaxCalculator. you can calculate the impact of what the Fair Tax would mean to you in terms of what you may owe in taxes under a Fair or Progressive tax plan. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Governor Pritzker told reporters that 97% of Illinois taxpayers would see a reduction in taxes under a Fair Tax Plan... 


People to People Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley 03-12-19

Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley were our guests on People to People on Tuesday morning. At Monday evening's Kewanee City Council meeting, the City approved the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Festival to close portions of City owned property on the weekend of July 13th and 14th with a caveat regarding approvals from the IDOT. The City Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of adopting a new Internal Control Policy and discussed the possibility of a dog park in the City of Kewanee with the potential for a partnership with the Kewanee Park District. There was also an update on the implementation for automated trash pick up and discussion of the situation surrounding the Viaduct. You can stream or download our People to People podcast interview with Mayor Steve Looney and City Manager Gary Bradley below... 


Open Line Podcast 03-12-19

Today on the Open Line, a brief discussion of the chances for a partnership between the Kewanee Park District and the City of Kewanee for a pair of Dog Parks at Northeast Park, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The big discussion of the day surrounded raising the Motor Fuel Tax in Illinois. The IDOT and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association met with House committee members on Monday and advised lawmakers that their chances of re-election would not be affected by a vote in favor of raising the Motor Fuel Tax. This raised the question from our host as to why the IDOT or anyone addressing a committee on infrastructure and tax is advising lawmakers about politics and re-election? Stream or download the Open Line Podcast for Tuesday, March 13th, below... 

 Don't forget to make your voice heard daily on the Open Line by calling 309-853-4473. 

Tuned In Jan Powelson Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District 03-12-19

Jan Powelseon with the Star County Soil and Water Conservation District was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday on WKEI. Jan was in studio to discuss the ongoing Native Plant, Tree and Fish sale going on at the Soil and Water Conservation District office. The fish truck will be at the office in April for those who order their sport fish as soon as possible. Native plans are availanble for gardeners eager to make sure that pollinators are being drawn to their garden and if you need trees, they are on sale now as well and ready for planting. Stream or download today's Tuned In Podcast below... 


Kewanee City Council Wrap Up 03-11-19

Last night's Kewanee City Council Meeing did not have much on the agenda. As part of the Consent Agenda, approval was given by the City of Kewanee to organizers of the Prairie Chicken Festival to close City owned areas for the festival with the caveat that organizers get approval from the Illnois Department of Transportation to close particular roads on the weekend of July 13th and 14th. 


During the discussion of Bills for the City, Councilman Mike Yaklich asked for an update regarding the heating bill at the Kewanee Pound. Kevin Newton looked into the issue of the cost of heating the pound and brought back some potential solutions... 

The City Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of adopting a new Intenral Control Policy, the policy related to how the city takes in and tracks money across departments in the City. 


A discussion of the Insurance Fund was passed over until after the newly formed Insurance Committeee meets on March 19th. 


Grounds Maintenance Manager Kevin Newton was called forward once again to discuss the potential for a dog park in Kewanee. Newton met with Kewanee Park District Director Brian Johnson and came back with good news that the Kewanee Park District has been researching the idea of a Dog Park in Northeast Park for some time now and that the Park District and the City have the chance to partner on such a project... 

The City Council also discussed ProChamps and the Council appears to have soured on a deal with the company which promises it would streamline and make accessible information regarding foreclosed properties in the City of Kewanee. Councilman Mike Yaklich viewed the idea of a fee to list foreclosed properties with ProChamps as a tax on local businesses that would then be turned around and added to the price of future home loans in Kewanee. In the end the council instructed Director of Community Development Keith Edwards to look at other potential solutions to find foreclosure information. 


Public Works Operations Manager Rod Johnson then gave the Council an update on where his department is at in the process of bringing automated trash collection to Kewanee. 

City Manager Gary Bradley and Mayor Steve Looney will be our guest on People to People at 9:35 on WKEI with more on Solid Waste Pickup and the Viaduct. 

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center to Host Book and Gift Fair March 22nd

Just in time to fill Easter baskets, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is set to host a Book and Gift Fair at OSF on March 22nd. Collective Goods, formerly known as Books are Fun, is set to bring unique gift items to the East and West Conference Rooms at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center from 7 Am until 4 Pm on March 22nd. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center gave us a preview on Monday's edition of Tuned In... 


Illinois Board of Higher Education Out-Migration Report Filled with Bad News

The Illinois Board of Higher Education Out-Migration Report claims that 1 of every 2 college bound public school graduate in Illinois is choosing to leave the state for College. This stunning number came out the Board of Higher Education's annual Out-Migration Report which has been tracking a trend of fewer and fewer Illinois High School students choosing to attend college in their home state. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Acting IDOT Director Tells Lawmakers Raising Motor Fuel Tax Won't Effect Re-Election Chances

Acting Illinois Department of Transportation Director Omer Osman told lawmakers on Monday that raising the motor fuel tax would not affect their chances of being re-elected. Osman was citing a study conducted by American Road and Transportation Builders Association that indicates that lawmakers who vote in favor of a Motor Fuel Tax remain just as likely to be re-elected. Our Cole Lauterbach has more from Springfield... 


Illinois Senate Bill Targets Vaping and Smoking

A new bill that has made it out of committee in Springfield will begin the debate over whether to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes or vaping products to 21 year old. However, there is more to this bill than just raising the age requirement. Under State Senator Terry Link's bill, vaping or e-cigarettes could fall under the same restrictions as currently affect smokers meaning restrictions on where vaping products can be used. Our Greg Bishop has more...


Illinois Fire Depts rally around Godfrey Dept After Loss of Captain

Fire departments around the state are converging on the Alton area as the Godfrey Fire Protection District and the firefighting community prepare to say goodbye to Captain Jake Ringering, who was killed when a roof collapsed during a house fire in the Madison County town of Bethalto. Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne is leading just one of the departments taking part in the memorial tributes to Ringering, but they're going a step further....

Reyne is no stranger to the department and he knows they'll continue to need support over the long haul...

Visitation for Captain Ringering is from 2pm to 8pm today at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alton. A funeral mass is set for tomorrow morning at 10am. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has ordered all flags at state buildings in Illinois to be flown at half staff through the end of Tuesday. 


City of Kewanee Hiring Part Time Employees for Summer Worlk

The City of Kewanee has announced that it has begun accepting applications for part time work for the Summer of 2019. Part time employment with the Cemetary Department and the Park Department are currently being sought. Duties for those working in the Cemetary Department include operating commercial lawn mowers and string trimmers. For the Parks Department, employees are being sought for lawn mowing and associated labor as well as campground caretaker and tour guide for Francis Park and a Francis Park host who would be required to work weekends and stay overnight at the park. Contact Kevin Newton with the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611 if you are interested in any of these positions. Those wishing to work for the City of Kewanee must be over the age of 16 years old and applicants will be subjected to background checks. Applications, noted with the position being sought, need to be returned to the City of Kewanee by March 29th. 

Veteran's Preference Legislation Filed in Springfield

State Senator Neil Anderson sponsoring legislation allowing veterans to receive veteran’s preference for a promotion an unlimited amount of times. Currently, for fire departments, municipalities, and Cook County, a veteran can only use veteran’s preference once. 

Senate Bill 40 passed out of committee last week and is on to the full Senate for a vote.

Tuned In Podcast OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday

Today on Tuned In, Carrie Boelens and Sara Umphleet from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center were our guests. Carrie talked about how the flu mask and visitor restrictions remain in place at OSF due to the continuing influenza threat. The OSF 100th Anniversary Luncheon is coming in April, and OSF is set to host a book fair later this month. Sara Umphleet meanwhile, joined the show to talk about Diabetes and Diet. You can stream or download today's Tuned In Podcast below... 


Illinois' record low temp set in 2019

Illinois’ record low temperature recorded in Illinois this winter. The mark is -38-degrees, hit on January 31st in the northwest Illinois town of Mount Carroll, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Ray Wolf.

The previous record low temp in Illinois was -36-degrees, recorded on January 5, 1999 in Congerville. 

How Quickly Would Legalized Marijuana Generate Revenue in Illinois?

While Governor J.B Pritzker has stated that legalization of Marijuana is something he feels would generate needed tax revenue in Illinois, questions abound as to just how much and how quickly that revenue would be raised. A new study by the Marijuana advocacy group NORML, indicates that currently the state only produces around 15,000 pounds of Marijuana for Medical use per year. The demand under a newly legalized recreational marijuana would likely be in the range of 1.3 million pounds per year. How quickly can the state ramp up production, not to mention licensing for new growers and retail licensing, all call into question how quickly revenue estimates for recreational marijuana can be applied in the Illinois budget. Greg Bishop has more... 


Dispute Over Potential Revenue to Be Generated by Pritzker Progressive Tax

Governor J.B Pritzker claims that if the state of Illinois were to adopt his plan for a Progressive Tax, one that taxes higher incomes at a higher rate, the state would generate in the range of $3.4 billion dollars in tax revenue. Policy insiders however, claim that that number is greatly inflated. The Illinois Policy Institute claims that the amount of tax revenue generated by a Progressive Tax rate would be around $1 billion dollars as the Governor's number does not account for what high income earners and businesses will do to in order to lower reported income in response to the new tax structure. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Grace Period Voter Registration Now Open for April 2nd General Election

If you failed to register to vote in the April 2nd General Election you have one more chance. Grace Period voting is now open at the Henry County Clerk's Office for anyone who has lived in the same Precint for the last 30 days. Proof of identification is requiired for those who have not registered to vote but would like to get registered to vote in the General Election. If you take part via Grace Period voting you must be ready to vote at the Courthouse after you have been registered. Grace Period voting is open until April 1st at 5 Pm. In other election news, those wishing to vote early in the General Election can cast their vote in the office of Henry County Clerk Barb Link. The Clerk's Office will be open on Saturday March 23rd and Saturday March 30th for those wishing to take advantage of Grace Period voting or those who wish to vote early for the April 2nd General election. 

Former Kewanee Mayoral Candidate and Council Member Steve Faber Endorses Moore for Mayor

Kewanee City Councilman Steve Faber came within 5 votes of making it to the General Election for Kewanee Mayor against Gary Moore. Now, Councilman Faber has endorsed Gary Moore to be the next Mayor of Kewanee. In a photo posted to the Moore for Mayor Facebook page, Steve Faber officially endorsed the former Kewanee Police Officer as his choice to be the next Mayor of Kewanee. Mr Moore is facing off against Mr Faber's City Council colleague, Councilman Mike Yaklich in the General Primary on April 2nd which will decide the next Mayor of Kewanee and seat two members of the Kewanee City Council. Councilman Faber's endorsement came at a Moore for Mayor campaign event on Sunday at the Kewanee Elks Lodge. 

Farm safety specialist: Always Use Escort Vehicle with Farm Machinery on Public Roadways

There’s never any downtime for Bob Aherin in his role as agricultural safety specialist for the University of Illinois. There’s always something to worry about, especially when moving farm machinery or equipment on public roads. He says an escort vehicle should always be utilized.

Even though it’s not required, Aherin says it’s also good practice to have an escort vehicle in the back when traveling on public roadways.


AG Office Highlights Top 10 Consumer Complaints

The Illinois Attorney General has a new list of complaints from consumers. The top 10 include trouble with contractors and home repairs. The AG’s office had more than 21,000 complaints and among the top 10 are identity theft and other scams. Attorney General Kwame Raoul most scams get started with a phone call.

If you feel that you have been scammed you can reach out to the AG at Illinois Attorney General dot gov.

Illinois Group Celebrates Math with 'Pi Day'

The Illinois Science Council believes the importance of mathematics should be recognized at least once a year. That's why the group celebrates 'Pi Day' - that's P-I-Day on 3-14, or this Thursday, March 14th. Science Council executive director Monica Metzler says the group will hold four, Pi-Day, Pi-K's, or 3-point-1-4 mile early evening fun-runs and walks in Chicago, Oak Park and Deerfield;

Metzler says her group tries to make math, science, technology and engineering a life-long learning experience by making it fun;

The I-S-C has attracted adult members by holding other events such as the science of beer, science of coffee and science of the cocktail. Meztler says they bring in a real scientist to conduct experiments on each subject at hand with participants. The group also holds it annual Illinois Science Festival at Chicago's Merchandise Mart in May.


Dog Park Discussion on the Agenda at Tonight's Kewanee City Council Meeting

Those who are for and against the idea of a Dog Park in the City of Kewanee will want to be in attendance at tonight's Kewanee City Council Meeting. Discussion of the pros and cons, the costs and liabilities and other matters related to having a Dog Park in the City of Kewanee will be discussed tonight but not voted on. During last Monday night's Kewanee City Council Budget meeting, costs, benefits and liabilities of a Dog Park were a lengthy discussion point with talk of a $12,000 fence being necessary if the City of Kewanee were to move forward with the idea. The discussion of cost and benefits to the City as well as the potential issues of having a dog park will all be part of tonight's discussion with the idea of a Dog Park going a future Kewanee City Council agenda. 

ProChamps Foreclosure Information Technology Up For Discuss at Kewanee City Council Tonight

ProChamps is a company eager to do business with the City of Kewanee. The company has partnered with towns across the country to manage information regarding foreclosed properties. The Kewanee City Council will, at tonight's meeting, discuss the pros and cons of a partnership with ProChamps which makes money by partnering with Cities and providing those cities via ordinance information regarding foreclosed properties. Under an agreement with ProChamps, the City of Kewanee would pass and ordinance requiring that foreclosed property information from local banks and management companies be shared with ProChamps at a cost to the banks and management companies says Stan Urban, ProChamps spokesman... 

If the City Council agrees, all foreclosed property information in the City of Kewanee would be legally required to be shared with ProChamps who would then use their information technology to make foreclosed property information available at the click of a button for specified city employees, specifically, those involved in Code Enforcement. 

A deal with ProChamps will not be voted on tonight but may be considered at the next Kewanee City Council meeting depending on what is discussed at tonight's City Council meeting. 

Kewanee City Council Agenda for 03-11-19

The Kewanee City Council will meet tonight at 7 Pm in the Kewanee City Councill Chambers. On the agenda are a number of discussion items and another attempt to pass a resolution on the Internal Control Policy. The meeting will be broadcast on the RegionalDailyNews.com Facebook page beginning at 7 Pm. The agenda for tonight's meeting... 


Posted by 5:30 p.m., March 8, 2019
1. Call to Order
2. Closed Session pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Request from Prairie Chicken Festival for the use and closure of City properties and streets for their
festival to be held on July 12 & 13, 2019.
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a. Consideration of a Resolution to adopt an internal control policy for the City of Kewanee
b. Discussion regarding the Health Insurance Fund
c. Discussion regarding a potential Dog Park
d. Discussion regarding ProChamps
e. Update on Solid Waste Disposal
f. Update on Viaduct
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournment

Missing Southern Illinois Woman Brooke Naylor Found Dead

The Illinois State Police have announced that the body of missing southern Illinois woman Brooke Naylor has been found. Naylor, who had been missing since March 3rd when her vehicle was found abandoned on the Eldorado Ridgeway Blacktop halfway between Route 1 and Route 142, was found in rural Gallatin County near Pothole Lane following an extensive volunteer search of the area.  An autopsy is scheduled to take place today. No other information is being released at this time. The Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate this case. 

Tuned In Petey Jaquet with the Galva ESDA on Severe Weather Week and National Severe Weather Month

Petey Jaquet with the Galva ESDA was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. Petey joined us to discuss Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois. Petey also talked about what it was that brought him to storm watching and working for the Galva ESDA. Petey Jaquet was our guest on Tuned In on Friday morning on WKEI. 


First Up Podcast Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction with Mindi Goard

Mindi Goard with the Kewanee Schools Foundation was our guest on First Up on WKEI. Mindi joined WKEI to tout the Kewanee Schools Foundation Auction on Saturday afternoon at 2 Pm at the Brockman Gymnasium at Kewanee High School. The Foundation Auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Kewanee Schools and will feature both live and silent auctions raising money to be given to Kewanee Schools. Mindi Goard was our guest on WKEI... 


Joe Bonamassa Rocks The Adler

Take the world of rock and mix it with the world of blues, add on a world class guitarist and a power house band and it’s time to get out of the way.

Joe Bonamassa and his band took no prisoners on March 7th at the Adler Theatre in Davenport IA and there was no need.

The audience was swept up and carried down the line with a sound that engulfed the entire building.   

Mile wide smiles were to be found everywhere.

Thundering ovations followed each and every song.

That Bonamassa is enormously talented is not a surprise anymore, but for those in attendance for the first time it was an eye opening experience.

His expertise is evenly matched by his love of playing and his infectious enthusiasm carried the night with a blend of music that portrays many different styles.

And while his talent is front and center, he is in many ways a low key guy that is comfortable letting his band shine as well.

And that they certainly do.

A driving rhythm section along with keyboards, sax and trumpet and two female singers originally from Australia propels the entire mix and whether is was an uptempo song or a deep down slow blues number, the presentation never faltered.

The show, which lasted for two hours and 15 minutes was a blend of older tunes along with newer cuts that included his latest album Redemption that was released in 2018.

The Adler Theater holds 2400 seats at maximum and it speaks well of Bonamassa that he continues to play some of the smaller venues along with the larger ones. In the process, he shows himself to be loyal to some of the concert halls and promoters that hosted him on his way up the ladder.

He also had great recall for the many times he has played in the Quad City area including an early stint at the River Music Experience where he jokingly said that he once sold 80 tickets in advance and felt like he had hit the big time!

But for this night in Davenport, he was simply the best and if you’ve not seen him yet, you owe it to yourself to get a ticket at the next opportunity. Don’t worry what the ticket might cost, it will be more than worth it and you’ll be mighty glad you did.   

Illinois State Fair Grandstand Tickets Go On Sale April 20th

Tickets go on sale for the grandstand concerts at the Illinois State Fair on April 20th. The lineup for the fair was finalized late last week with the addition of the Neil Diamond tribute show 'The Traveling Salvation Show' on August 12th. Tickets will be available via Ticketmaster and will be available at different prices for each show. Whether there will be one Grandstand package for all of the concerts has not been announced. Full schedule and ticket prices are below. 


Sunday, August 11: Dan + Shay
Tier 3 - $25 / Tier 2 - $30 / Tier 1 - $35 / Gen Track - $35 / VIP Track - $55


Monday, August 12: The Traveling Salvation Show – A Tribute to Neil Diamond
Free Concert – no tickets needed


Tuesday, August 13: Why Don’t We
Tier 3 - $20 / Tier 2 - $25 / Tier 1 - $30 / Gen Track - $30 / VIP Track - $50


Wednesday, August 14: Pentatonix with Rachel Platten
Tier 3 - $45 / Tier 2 - $50 / Tier 1 - $55 / Gen Track - $55 / VIP Track - $75


Thursday, August 15: Old Dominion
Tier 3 - $30 / Tier 2 - $35 / Tier 1 - $40 / Gen Track - $40 / VIP Track - $60


Friday, August 16: Snoop Dogg w/ Dogg Pound, Warren G, DJ Quik, Twista, and Do or Die
Tier 3 - $25 / Tier 2 - $30 / Tier 1 - $35 / Gen Track - $35 / VIP Track - $55

Water Shutoff and Boil Order for Portions of Kewanee on Monday

The City of Kewanee has announced a water shutoff and boil order for portions of Kewanee on Monday, March 11th. According to the release from the City of Kewanee, the shutoff is in relation to work being done to replace a water valve in the area of Maple Avenue and West Prospect Street. The affected areas include... 


·         All of Edgewood Drive except #29

·         800 – 1000 blocks of East Prospect Street

·         328 Maple Avenue

·         400 block of Maple Avenue

·         900 block of Pleasant Street

·         329 Goodrich Street

·         414 Otley Avenue


Residences listed here will be under a boil order for 48 to 72 at hours following the time when water is restored. If you have any questions regarding this water shutoff and boil order you may contact the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611. 

Research Indicates Loss of Manufacturing Jobs in Illinois Even More Costly to Local Economy

Lost jobs in Manufacturing have a broader impact than the loss of those jobs specifically. New research indicates that for each Manufacturing job lost, other jobs in the local economy take a significant hit. The ripple effect of jobs lost in higher income realms can be far more than what we expect. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Illinois State Police Recruiting New Troopers

The Illinois State Police are actively recruiting a new crop of Troopers. Hector Allejandre is a recruiter and EEO Compliance Officers for the Illinois State Police in Springfield and he told WKEI how people can apply to become a Trooper... 

Hector Allejandre says that once you apply to be a trooper be ready for rigorous testing...

Age and educational background are just a few of the minimum requirements applicants will need to meet if they apply... 

If you are coming from another field and looking to get into the Illinois State Police there are a lot of opportunities and your diverse background could prove to be an asset. 

Be ready however for physical testing as their are minimum physical requirements that an applicant must meet that do vary based on age and gender... 

To apply to be an Illinois State Trooper go to IllinoisTrooper.com. 

Local Seniors May Qualify for Discount on Car Registration

If you are over 65 and meet income requirements you could get a break on your car registration. Cassandra Schmoll with the Henry County Senior Center says that you can find out if you qualify for a discount vehicle registration by stopping by the Senior Center. 

Cassandra Schmoll was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday. 

Placing Your Smoke Detector More Important that You Think

Where you put your smoke detector in your home is more important than you may believe. Just having a smoke detector is not enough, placing it somewhere in your home where everyone can hear it and where it isn't being set off accidentally can make a big difference as well. Kewanee Fire Chief Kevin Shook recommends not placing your smoke detector in your kitchen or your bedroom...

Chief Shook was our guest along with City Councilman Steve Faber to talk about Sound the Alarm, a campaign in which you can apply to have someone like Chief Shook come to your home and place a brand new smoke detector. Councilman Steve Faber says that this program through the Red Cross is very valuable and they hope to expand upon it by also placing Carbon Monoxide detectors as well... 

Chief Shook and Councilman Steve Faber were our guests on People to People on Thursday. 

Kewanee Mayoral Candidates Praise Petersen Health Care for Forum

The candidates for Kewanee Mayor and City Council participated in a forum at Petersen Health Care in Kewanee on Thursday afternoon. You can see full video of each of the candidate statements to those in attendance at Facebook.com/RegionDailyNews. After the event, WKEI spoke with Mayoral candidates Gary Moore and Mike Yaklich and asked how they felt about the event. Gary Moore indicated that he was inspired by the event to want to hold nursing home forums on a regular basis if he were elected... 

Mike Yaklich echoed Mr Moore's praise and spoke of the experience and genuine care that the residents of Kewanee Care Home have for their town... 

The next time all of the candidates are scheduled to be together is at the Kewanee League of Women Voters Forum at Kewanee City Hall on March 26th. 

This Week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Sub-zero temperatures are not making folks think of severe weather but this week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week and March is National Severe Weather Preparedness Month. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says even though we're seeing unusually cold weather this week, this is the time of year when severe weather begins to become more and more likely. He's hoping folks will begin to think about what they will do if a tornado was to sweep through their community or even their home.

Miller recommends having an NOAA Weather radio in your home, which is a direct link to the National Weather Service and will have the latest on all the watches and warnings. Speaking of severe weather preparedness, Petey Jaquet with Galva ESDA will join WKEI at 8:45 on Tuned In for more on being ready for major storms. 

McHenry County Deputy Killed in Stand Off with Suspect

It was a long day of snarled traffic on I-55 in Logan County with the interstate closed since late Thursday morning by a standoff involving a Springfield man accused in the fatal shooting a McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy. 39-year-old Floyd Brown was stranded in his vehicle some 170 miles south of the shooting scene, near the Lawndale exit. Police say Brown wrecked his vehicle, getting stuck in a creekbed while trying to flee police. In the midst of the stand off was State Trooper Sean Ramsey...

Ramsey told reporters that police are no strangers to standoffs with Brown.... and they're hoping history repeats itself..

Authorities in Rockford say they tried to serve an arrest warrant at an extended stay motel when Brown opened fire, striking and killing McHenry County Deputy Jacob Keltner who wwas serving with the U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force. Brown was believed to be armed with an AK-47 rifle. Brown was eventually taken into custory after 5 Pm. After Brown was finally taken in, Illinois State Police acting Director Brenden Kelly released a statement: 


“First and foremost, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the family of Deputy Keltner,” stated ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly.   “The men and women of the Illinois State Police, including responding Troopers from District 16, District 1, District 15, District 6, District 8, and District 9, all responded with seamless professionalism alongside the law enforcement of this state. ISP’s SWAT team in particular showed incredible tactical restraint, bravery and boldness today. This dark day has come to an end, and this defendant can now be brought to justice,” concluded Acting Director Kelly.  


Progressive Tax Rates Unveiled

Governor JB Pritzker released his proposal for a new way to tax income in Illinois. A progressive tax structure would lower the tax on incomes under $250,000. That lower rate however starts at four point seven five percent, a tax break of maybe a few hundred dollars a year for most tax payers in Illinois. Pritzker says that it’s the best way to handle billions in unpaid bills and pension liabilities.

Opposition has already started on the other side of the isle from the Illinois Republican Party to members of the House GOP.

People to People Podcast Kewanee Fire Chief Kevin Shook Councilman Steve Faber Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm is the name given to a campaign to encourage people to change the smoke detectors. For the second year the City of Kewanee and the Kewanee Fire Department are teaming up with the Red Cross to deliver and install new smoke detectors. City Councilman Steve Faber and Kewanee Fire Chief Kevin Shook joined WKEI for our People to People podcast to discuss how people can make an appointment to get a new smoke detector installed in your home. 

If you would like to make an appointment to have a new smoke detector installed in your home you can call the Red Cross at 844-319-6560 or go to GetASmokeAlarm.org. On March 20th the Red Cross will be holding a telethon to take appointments to have Smoke Alarms installed in homes across Henry County, Mercer, and Rock Island County, Installations will be done on May 4th. 

Tuned In Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Citizens Center

Cassandra Schmoll joined our Tuned In program for her monthly visit from the Henry County Senior Center. Cassandra dropped by to talk about a break for seniors on vehicle registration stickers. If you are over 65 years old and meet income standards, you could have your registration stickers decrease in cost by more than $75.00. Have you done an income check up to make sure you are getting the most out of your age? There are programs and discounts for seniors you may not be aware of that could save you money. Go to the Henry County Senior Center for an income check up and make sure you are making the most of your money. 


First Up Podcast Ted Rogalski Genesis Health Systems on Critical Care Hospitals

Making sure that Hospitals are getting paid is now an issue that is being addressed in Springfield. Critical Care Hospitals or Safety Net Hospitals that deal in helping low income families with either no insurance or help through medicaid have been struggling for some time to get reimbursed through state agencies and some hospital budgets are approaching a breaking point. Ted Rogalski, administrator at Genesis Health Systems in Aledo joined WKEI on our First Up program on Thursday to talk about what lawmakers can do to help hospitals get reimbursed not to make hospitals profitable but merely able to keep operations in place. 


Parmalee is Coming to The Back Road Music Festival in Galva

It's been a long road for the band Parmalee but that road will bring them to Galva on August 10th for The Back Road Music Festival. As announced on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE on Thursday morning, Parmalee, who hit number one on the Country Airplay Chart with their 2013 hit "Carolina," are joining a lineup that is headlined by Justin Moore and newcomer Clare Dunn. Parmalee's most recent record 27861 was released in 2017 and they've been hard at work trying out material for their next record while touring almost non-stop for the past 2 years. Though Carolina broke Parmalee into the mainstream of country music in 2013, the band has been together and has been an incredibly popular live band since their inception in 2001. Tickets are avalible for this years show at The Galva Pharmacy or thebackroadmusicfestival.com. General Admission tickets are $45 and the Hog Trough is availible for $65


Pritzker Approval Rating Lower than President Trump

Ideas Illinois polled registered voters in Illinois and found that Governor J.B Pritzker's approval rating after nearly 2 months in office has already begun to drop. The latest Ideas Illinois poll found that Governor Pritzker's job approval rating is currently 37% among registered voters. In contrast, President Trump's Job Approval rating stands at 41% despite the myriad of negative criticism the President faces in the media. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Legislation Aims to Close Loopholes in FOID Card Revocations

State Senator Michael Hastings is set to introduce legislation intended to address supposed loopholes in the system for receiving or revoking FOID Cards. However, State Senator Neil Anderson is countering that legislation with a repeal of FOID entirely. State Senator Anderson argues that FOID is not necessary and a violation of the second amendment. Reporter Greg Bishop has more from Springfield. 


Consumer Finance Website Wallethub Indicates Illinois Has Highest Taxes in the Country

A new study from consumer finance website Wallethub indicates that Illinois has the highest taxes in the country. The study indicates that low income residents in Illinois have the higest tax burden of low income groups in the entire country while Middle and Upper income earners in the state have the second highest overall tax burden of residents in any other state. Our Greg Bishop has a closer look... 


State Senator Chuck Weaver Advocating for Computer Access to Job Websites for Inmates

State Senator Chuck Weaver wants inmates such as the men at the Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center, to have access to the internet to go to job websites only so that they may apply for jobs before they leave prison. State Senator Weaver took to the State Senate Floor earlier this month to advocate for Senate Bill 156 that would give limited computer access to inmates with specific access only to job related websites. Reporter Ray Watt spoke with State Senator Weaver in Springfield for this report. 


Godfrey Illinois Fire Department Responds to Loss of Colleague

The firefighting community continues to mourn Tuesday's loss of Godfrey Fire Captain Jacob Ringering in a Bethalto area firefight. Godfrey Fire Chief Erik Kambarian...

Chief Kambarian says Ringering was a tonesetter for the department...

The 37-year-old Ringering leaves behind his wife Allison and three young children.


Illinois Considering New Restrictions on E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Perhaps a change is coming to where people can use e-cigarettes and vape pens A bill in the Senate will include those devices in the smoke free act, banning them from use in offices, restaurants and other businesses. Senator Terry Link is the bill’s sponsor.

Use of e-cigarettes would also be banned within 15 feet of an entrance of a building. 

Late Spring Planting in Illinois and Many Parts of the Country

It’s a foregone conclusion that spring planting will be delayed this year, not just in Illinois, but many parts of the country. That’s what DTN Chief Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson is hearing from farmers.

Anderson had those conversations with farmers from across the country at last week’s Commodity Classic in Orlando. 


2019 Polar Vortex Now Officially Declared Coldest Temperatures in Illinois History

Temperatures during the polar vortex in January have now been recognized as record cold temperatures in the state of Illinois by the National Weather Service. According to a release from the National Weather Service, temperatures in Mt Carroll, Illinois have been verified at having reached 38 degrees below zero. This official temperature is now recognized as the coldest officially recorded temperature in the history of the state of Illinois. The record low was established on January 31st in the midst of th so-called polar vortex when dangerous temperatures were felt across much of the midwest. The new record surpassed the former record which had been established in Congerville, Illinois in January of 1999 at 36 degrees below zero. 

Illinois State Police Searching for Missing Southern Illinois Teen

Illinois State Police are seeking assistance in locating a missing teenager from Southern Illinois. 19 year old Brooke Naylor of Harrisburg, Illinois has been missing since March 3rd. Naylor is described as 5 foot 3 inches tall, 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Naylor was believed to have her dog, a boxer, with her at the time of her disappearance. Naylor's vehicle, a Chevy Malibu, was found abandoned on the Eldorado Ridgeway Blacktop halfway between Route 142 and Route 1. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Brooke Naylor, please contact the Illinois State Police investigations division, area 7, at 618-384-9945. 

Next Artist Announcement for The Back Road Music Festival in Galva March 7th on WJRE

The next big artist announcement for The Back Road Music Festival will be made on Thursday, March 7th. Karissa Nash will make the big announcement at 8 Am on Thursday morning on Hog Country 102.5 WJRE. This major artist or artists will join newcomer Clare Dunn and headliner Justin Moore on the bill for the 2019 Back Road Music Festival in Galva on August 10th. Tickets for the 2019 Back Road Music Festival are on sale now at the Galva Pharmacy as well as online at TheBackRoadMusicFestival.com

First Up Podcast Jolene Barnes Kewanee Kiwanis Satellite Committee

Today on our First Up Podcast at 7:20 Am on WKEI, Jolene Barnes from the Kiwanis of Kewanee Satellite Committee joined us to talk trivia. The Kiwanis Satellite Committee will be hosting the Luck of the Irish Trivia Night at the Kewanee Elks Club on Saturday, March 16th with dinner at 5:30 Pm and Trivia getting underway at 6:30 Pm. Jolene Barnes was on hand this morning with the important details about the invent including how the funds raised will benefit kids in our community. Click here for registration details and click below to stream or download our interview with Jolene Barnes... 


Kewanee Transfer Station to be Closed for Maintenance This Week

The Kewanee Transfer Station will be closed on Friday, March 9th. The City of Kewanee announced the closure on Wednesday morning and stated that the closure of the Transfer Station is intended for scheduled maintenance and repairs. The Kewanee Transfer Station will return to regular hours on Monday, March 11th. 

State Rep Dan Swanson Advocates for Cold War License Plates

State Representative Dan Swanson was on the House Floor on Wednesday morning advocating for commemorative Cold War License plates for those who served during the Cold War... 

In his comments on the House Floor on Wednesday, Representative Swanson talked about how those who served the military during the Cold War did, in fact, serve in a war...

Representative Swanson closed his floor comments talking about the brave many who gave their lives during the Cold War and detailed the numerous ways in which those who served gave their all... 

House Bill 2088 passed through committee on Wednesday morning and will be headed to a full house vote in near future. 

Kewanee Chamber Breakfast March 14th

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce will host their Kewanee Chamber Chat breakfast on March 14th. Breakfast will be served at Abilities Plus that morning beginning at 7:30 Am. Those attending are advised to enter Abilities Plus via Door C on the South Side of the building. Chamber members attending the Chamber Chat breakfast are asked to RSVP by contacting the Kewanee Chamber. The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Chamber Chat Breakfast will take place on Thursday, March 14th at Abilities Plus. 

Tuned In Roger Hawk Henry and Stark County Retired Teachers

Roger Hawk with the Henry and Stark County Retired Teachers was our guest on Tuned In on Wednesday. Roger was on hand to talk about next retired teachers meeting at the Annawan Community Center on Wednesday, March 13th at 12 Noon. We also asked Roger about the news that teacher pensions in Illinois are going to be affected differently when it comes to downstate Illinois teachers and teachers in Cook County. Roger tells us that this is actually nothing new... 

You can listen to the entirety of our interview with Roger Hawk with the Henry Stark County Retired Teachers Association below, stream or download here... 


Father Jerry Rafalko on the Meaning of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning on Lent. Father Jerry Rafalko, Pastor with the Polish National Catholic Church and grief counselor with OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined us on Tuesday's Tuned In program on WKEI and talked about the origin and the meaning of Lent and how it is not merely an excuse to give something up but an opportunity for spiritual and emotional cleansing. 


Henry County Farm Bureau Market Outlook Seminar March 14th

The Henry County Farm Bureau Market Outlook Seminar will take place on March 14th at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, 5401 US Highway 6. Mike McClellan from the Mobile Weather Team out of Washington, Illinois will be the featured speaker and discuss the weather outlook for 2019. McClellan and his team offer on-site weather forecasting service, advance storm warnings for farmers and lightning prediction and detection and long term ag forecasting. FS Grain Merchandiser Mike Schaver will also be on hand for an update on the 2019 grain market. Tickets are $25.00 each or $30.00 if you do not pre-register and can be obtained at the offices of the Henry County Farm Bureau, the Rock Island County Farm Bureau or the Mercer County Farm Bureau. Reservations to make sure you get dinner at the event must be made by Thursday, March 7th for the Market Outlook Seminar, March 14th at 6 Pm. 

St Johns Catholic Church in Galva Spring Salad Luncheon this Weekend

St John's Catholic Church in Galva will host their annual Spring Salad Luncheon on Saturday, March 9th from 11 Am to 1 Pm. Carryout food will be available or you can stay and eat in at 212 North East 1st Street in Galva. If you need more information about the Annual Spring Salad Luncheon on Saturday, March 9th at St John's Catholic Church contact Mary Kay North at 309-525-1252 or Amy Corkill at 309-525-1476. 

Kewanee League of Women Voters Candidate Forum Set for March 26th

The Kewanee League of Women Voters has finalized plans for their next candidate forum, the last before the April 2nd General Election. The Kewanee League of Women Voters forum is set for Tuesday, March 26th at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall in the City Council Chambers. Candidates for Kewanee Mayor, Gary Moore and Mike Yaklich along with City Council candidates Tim Hamilton, Mike Komnick, Chris Colomer, Chris Wheaton and Andy Koehler. The forum will also feature candidates for Wethersfield School Board, the only other contested race in the Kewanee area. The forum will be broadcast live on WKEI RegionalDailyNews.com 100.1 Fm and 1450 AM and on Facebook.com/RegionalDailyNews.com. The format is not a debate format. Each candidate will be given the chance to give an opening statement and then respond to questions from the audience before giving a closing statement. The public is welcome to attend the forum and take part in the Q & A portion of the event. If you cannot attend on March 26th but you would still like to submit questions to the forum you can participate by mailing questions to Sharon Deahl, at 16 NW 3rd ST, Galva, IL 61434.  The name of the candidate or candidates who are to answer the question must be listed.  If the names of candidates are not listed, all the candidates will answer.  This submission must be signed by the questioner.  The League reserves the right to determine if a question is appropriate. 

OSF and Breedloves Teaming for Shoe Fair April 5th

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is teaming with Breedloves Sporting Goods for a shoe fair on April 5th at OSF in Kewanee. The Shoe Fair will take place from 7 Am until 3:30 Pm in the west conference room at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Breedloves will be on hand with various high end shoe brands including Skechers, Sperry, Alegria, and Dansko. Proceeds from the sale will go toward capital and technological improvements at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. The Breedloves OSF Shoe Fair is open to anyone who would like to shop and help raise money at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on April 5th. 

Warren Buffett Warns About Doing Business in States with High Pension Liability Like Illinois

Legendary investor and businessman Warren Buffett recently told CNBC that he would be unlikely to do business in states such as Illinois and New Jersey because of the high rate of unfunded pension liability in those states. Buffett stated that due to the uncertainty of how state government may choose to deal with unfunded pension liability, doing business in Illinois and New Jersey would prove to be too risky from his perspective. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Governor and Accountability Group Each Predict Illinois Economic Slowdown

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability is at odds with predictions by Governor Pritzker over just how much revenue the state of Illinois is going to bring in over the next year. That said, both are predicting that the economy in the state of Illinois is going to slowdown before the end of the year even as the economy is doing well at the moment. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more on our economic future... 


Infrastructure Plans in Illinois Could Rest on Whether Presidential Impeachment is Sought

Representative Rodney Davis says that plans for a Federal Infrastructure Bill could rest on whether or not House Democrats seek the impeachment of President Donald Trump. If Democrats indeed do more than talk about seeking impeachment, all other federal bills would likely come to a halt and with that the continuing issues for the state of Illinois to get infrastructure plans underway would slow down without having federal funds to put with what money the state can put together. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Melissa Johnson Recognized as Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month

Congratulations to Melissa Johnson on being named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month. Melissa, from rural Cambridge, was chosen as Achiever of the Month for her willingness to volunteer for job crews, achievements on goals and her friendly, positive attitude. Melissa has also been working regularly at Taco Bell in Kewanee in food prep. Congratulations to Melissa Johnson, Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month. 

Illinois State Police Announce District 7 Activity Numbers for February

Illlinois State Police District 7 announced their activities numbers for the month of February. According to the the District 7 press release ISP troopers aided 1577 calls for service or assistance in February. Of these calls, 337 were from citizens seeking help after being stranded on the road. 125 drivers were cited for speeding in February while 39 drivers received citations for driving without a seatbelt. Troopers handed out 458 warnings to motorists in February. Meanwhile. there were 7 DUI arrests in February... 


Henry County 
• Jeremy S. Tighe, 35, Silvis, IL 

Knox County 
• Terrel T. Brown, 27, Galesburg, IL 
• Veronica J. Cox, 21, Galesburg, IL 

Rock Island County 
• David W. Heimbeck, 69, Moline, IL 
• Tammy L. Mattingly, 53, Moline, IL 
• Jeremy B, Webb, 22, Moline, IL 
• John L. Willers, 36, Rock Island, IL 

Open Line Podcast 03-05-19

Today on the Open Line on WKEI the main topic was the idea for a Dog Park in Kewanee. Some spoke in favor and others raised questions regarding potential liabilities and other overhead costs related to upkeep and safety. Our host then discussed the passing of professional wrestler and former WWF star King Kong Bundy. Bundy was a notable part of Sean's childhood as a figure of menace who attacked his childhood hero, Hulk Hogan. This led to a discussion of indefensible things from childhood that we all still love, things like professional wrestling for instance. 


Tuned In Father Jerry Rafalko

Father Jerry Rafalko was our guest on this Fat Tuesday edition of Tuned In. Father Jerry discussed the meaning of Mardi Gras and the story of Lent which begins on Wednesday. Father Jerry also discussed Quilting as a way to deal with grief and announced an upcoming remembrance for those who have passed away in the last year at OSF Hospice. 


Treasurer Frerichs Celebrates $1 million in new retirement Savings

Illinois now has more people saving for their retirement thanks to a program launched with help of the Treasurer’s Office. Secure Choice officially launched a few months ago and is managed on a day-to-day basis by a private-sector financial service firm called Ascensus. Treasurer Michael Frerichs, who also serves as chairman on Secure Choice’s 7-person, bi-partisan board, says more than $1 million has been saved by approximately 9,000 employees at Illinois businesses that were not previously offering their employees a way to save.

Program participants are enrolled in a default target-date Roth IRA with a 5% contribution rate. Treasurer Frerichs says the accounts are owned by the individual participants and are portable from job-to-job.

Enrollment for wave 2 is now open. The deadline to register is July 2019 and more information can be found at I-L-SECURE-CHOICE-DOT-COM or by calling 855-650-6913. 

Wethersfield Schools Kindergarten Round Up April 9th and 10th

Wethersfield Schools Kindergarten Round-Up is set for April 9th and 10th at Wethersfield Elementary School. Parents are invited to bring their kindergartner to the school on either April 9th or 10th between 8:30 and 3:30 Pm to get their child registered for Kindergarten. During this time you will be signing your child up for readiness testing and you will receive an appointment sheet and pre-registration materials at that time. To attend Kindergarten at Wethersfield your child must be at least 5 years old by September 1st of 2019. According to state law in Illinois a child attending Kindergarten must have a physical exam and required immunizations before attending Kindergarten. Students are also required to have had vision and dental exams and a Blood Lead test. Pre-School sign up will also be done on April 9th and 10th for children who will be at least 3 years old by September 1st of 2019. Children attending Wethersfield pre-school must live in the Wethersfield District and parents will need to provide the child's birth certificate and up to date immunization records. You can make an appointment to get your child signed up for Kindergarten or Pre-School at Wethersfield Elementary by calling 30-853-4800. 

Illinois Municipal League Hopes to Bring More Tax Money to Local Communities

The Illinois Municipal League which represents small towns, villages and cities is confident that with the new Democratic super-majority in Springfield, they will be able to get more tax money to local small communities across the state. The IML is in Springfield this week outlining the kinds of reforms aimed at lowering the burden of smaller communities in Illinois including pension reforms aimed at lowering the property taxes. Our Cole Lauterbach has more... 


Illinois Social Workers Need Support, Too

Those who provide comfort and protection for Illinoisans in crisis say they need more support in their efforts. March is National Professional Social Work Month, and in Illinois, more than 14,000 licensed social workers provide assistance in schools, hospitals, mental health facilities and social service agencies.  Joel Rubin, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers in Illinois, says social workers often go unrecognized and under-compensated for their work. And he maintains government funding is inadequate for the increasing number of caseloads.

"It's virtually impossible for a school social worker to be covering and providing the attention and enough service if they're stretched that much in having to have such a huge caseload," he states. "We see this in child welfare practice and in community mental health centers."

It takes years of education to become a professional social worker, and Rubin explains salaries are typically far below similar professions, including registered nurses, psychologists and teachers. Social workers on average earn about $65,000 annually in Illinois.

Angelo McClain, the CEO of the National Association of Social Workers, notes social workers are the largest providers of mental health services and also on the front lines of the opioid crisis. 

"Social workers are providing the mental health and substance abuse services and also child protective services for those families as well," he points out. "This one social problem has a ripple effect and social workers are front and center on helping address those issues."

Despite expected growth in social work professions in coming years, Rubin says there is still a very high turnover rate. He explains it can be dangerous work, and about one-third of social workers have been assaulted.

"Many times social workers will be going into harm's way," he stresses. "When a social worker walks into a home, sometimes there's a lot of different things and a lot of different scenarios that could occur. And so there needs to be a variety of safety protections for them."

Congress is considering measures to better support the profession, including HR 1289 that would offer resources to recruit more social workers and HR 1309, which calls for workplace violence prevention plans at social service agencies.


Lawmakers Debating How to Retain and Attract Population in Illinois

Illinois is second only to West Virginia in population loss over the last decade. Now, lawmakers in Springfield are debating ways the state legislature can work toward retaining and attracting population in Illinois. Thus far however, there is no consensus on any one good idea about regarding keeping people in Illinois. Our Greg Bishop has more on the discussion about reversing the trend of population loss in Illinois. 


Ideas Illinois Calls for Open Discussion of Progressive Tax Rates

On the campaign trail many called on then candidate J.B Pritzker to be specific about what the tax rates would be under his plan for a Progressive Tax. Now, Governor J.B Pritzker has told CBS Chicago that he is wiling to negotiate the rates of Progressive Tax and how they will be applied by income statuses. Ideas Illinois is among the groups calling for transparency on how the Progressive Tax is applied if it were to become law. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Kewanee Schools Foundation Releases Pictures of Auction Items for this Weekend

The Kewanee School Foundation Auction is set for this weekend, March 9th, beginning at 2 Pm. This week, the Kewanee School Foundation released some photos of items that will be up for auction this Saturday. Among the items is a beautiful Chicago Cubs logoed high top table and chairs. The auction will also feature various Kewanee High School logoed shirts and sweaters, photos by Steve Hill, Bibliophile Ceramic Vases, various types of furniture including chairs and a chest of drawers, and an assortment of gift baskets assembled by local businesses. These items will be divided up between the silent auction and the on stage, announced auction on March 9th in the Brockman Gymnasium at Kewanee High School. 

Flu Restrictions at OSF Saint Luke Medcal Center Kewanee

An extended and more severe than expected flu season has OSF Saint Luke Medical Center putting a visitor restriction and masking policy. Visitors to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center are being restricted in order to protect patients on site. Patients who show up at the hospital with flu like symptoms will be required to wear masks available at check in says Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. 


Danish Folk Trio Gangspil to Perform in Bishop Hill

Danish trio Gangspil will be performing in Bishop Hill on Wednesday evening, March 13th. Potluck dinner will start the night at 6 Pm with the concert to follow at 7 Pm. Gangspil features Sonnich Lydom on Harmonica, Accordion and Vocals, Kristian Brugge on Fiddle and Vocals, and Vioar Skrede on Guitar. The music of Gangspil has been celebrated as a tour of Danish folk musical history and tradition. The concert will be held at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons and tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons or via Eventbrite.com. 

The Kewanee Kiwanis Club to Hold Trivia Fundraiser

The Kiwanis Club of Kewanee will hold a trivia fundraiser on March 16th. According to a flyer released by the Kiwanis Club of Kewanee, the event will be held at the Kewanee Elks Club on March 16th with dinner at 5:30 Pm and trivia at 6:30 Pm. The event is being called Luck of the Irish Trivia and will feature a cash prize for the winning trivia team just in time for St Patrick's Day. Corned Beef will be servied for dinner with a cash bar. If you would like to take part, gather a team of 8 to 10 people and email KiwanisSatelliteCom@gmail.com. The cost is $20.00 per person and proceeds benefit the Kiwanis of of Kewanee. 

In Springfield Fire, Heroic Throw and Catch Saves Toddler

A toddler is saved from a fire in a dramatic rescue in Springfield and it was up to neighbors to become first responders thanks to firefighters receiving the wrong directions. Fire Chief Allen Reyne...

The neighbor caught the child successfully. Four people in all, including the child suffered only minor injuries.


11 ISP Troopers Hit on the Side of The Road This Year

Move over. It’s the law and the Illinois State Police are reminding you at a time when they have had a number of troopers and their vehicle’s hit by passing motorists with one turning fatal this year. This year alone 11 troopers have been hit in their cars while assisting or pulling over drivers. ISP’s Mindy Carroll says it’s already a dangerous job and there is no reason to make it more so. 

And if you can’t get pulled over to the other lane Trooper Carroll says slow down and drive past with caution. 

Another Grandstand Act Announced for the Illinois State Fair

The grandstand line up at the Illinois State Fair is rounding into shape. Old Dominion will be on the big stage on August 15th says Illinois Department of Ag’s Morgan Booth.

Old Dominion played the fair a few years ago when they opened for Jake Owen.


Open Line Podcast 03-04-19

Today on the Open Line Podcast, callers discussed the East Street Viaduct and the upcoming Mayor and City Council Forum at Petersen Health Care this Thursday. Our host discussed etiquette for free food at work and the crimes of those who attend Potlucks without actually bringing things to potluck; for instance, bringing potato chips or any bagged snack, is not a reasonable thing to bring to a potluck. Finally, our host discussed the debut of the damning Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland which debuts on HBO tonight. 

Don't forget, you can call the show on Tuesday at 9:10 Am and talk about any topic you choose on the Open Line at 309-853-4473. 

Tuned In Carrie Boelens OSF Saint Luke Medical Center March 4th

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday, March 4th. Carrie was on hand to talk about Sleep Tests, specifically, the benefits of the Sleep Lab at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Carrie also revealed the names of the winners of the Commit 2 Fit Kewanee weight loss challenge and whether or not the Commit 2 Fit contestants met the goal of a total loss of more than 500 pounds among the 151 contestants. 


BBB Warns of Bogus Shipping Companies

Are you considering entering into a work-from-home reshipping business? The Better Business Bureau wants you to ask yourself, "Why can't the business just ship the goods themselves?” The agency says you need to be aware many of these so-called opportunities are just a front for illegal activities. Investigator Don O'Brien says you could find yourself breaking the law.

And then you may have your identity stolen too. Most of these businesses are not located where they claim to have offices. The BBB has identified at least seven businesses with nearly identical websites claiming locations in various U.S. cities.

Wethersfield Board of Education Meeting Agenda March 14th

The next Wethersfield Board of Education meeting will be held at 6:30 Pm on March 14th at the Blish Buliding. Below is the agenda for that School Board meeting... 


6:30 PM




Consent Agenda

Approve Minutes of February 14, 2019 Regular and Executive Session 

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

Approve Suspensions

Approve Student Transfer to Safe School Program

Approve IHSA and IESA Memberships

Approve 2019-2020 School Calendar

Acknowledge Receipt and Response to a Freedom of Information Act Request


Comments From Visitors

Board Member Reports



Approve District Expense Reimbursement Resolution

IAR (Formerly PARCC) and Science Testing Update

Approve Coop Renewals With Annawan School District

Other Old Business



2019-2020 School Registration 

Co-op Joint Board Meeting

Wethersfield Elementary Abilities Week

State of Illinois Minimum Wage Law

Approve CDP Federal Grant Coordinated Improvement Plan

Approve Board Policy 6-750: District Wellness Policy  

Employment of Personnel (Action after Executive Session)

Principal Reports

Comments From Visitors

Other New Business

CLOSED SESSION (Employment and Evaluation of Personnel/Student Discipline/Individual Student Matter)



State Science Testing Started (Grades 5, 8 and Biology 1): Tuesday, March 12

FFA Petting Zoo: Friday, March 22

IESA Music Solo and Ensemble Contest for grades 5-8 at Wethersfield: Saturday, March 23

Spring Break – Saturday, March 23 – Sunday, March 31 (School Resumes Monday, April 1)

IAR (formerly PARCC) State Testing Begins: Tuesday, April 9

SAT Testing for Juniors and PSAT Testing for Freshmen/Sophomores: Tuesday, April 9

Next Board Meeting – Thursday, April 11, 2019



Debate Over Chicago as 51st State Demonstrates Differences Between Chicago and Downstate

The debate over the so-called Fight for 51 is about downstate Illinois making the point that Chicago politicians are forcing Chicago policies on the rest of the state. Two Illinois lawmakers from the Chicago area and from downstate Illinois traded words over the weekend over the intent of the Fight for 51. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Levitt Amp Galva Music Series Fundraisers This Week

The Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series will be the beneficiary of two fundraisers this week. On Thursday, March 7th, the Galva Arts Council will play host to a Whiskey Tasting with Brian Fox Ellis. It will be Irish Whiskey versus Scottish Whiskey at this event with Brian Fox Ellis presenting the history and how to of really good whiskey. There are a limited number of spaces available to attend so get in touch as soon as possible by calling 309-696-1017 to make a reservation. Then, on March 9th, traditional Irish band, Exorna, will perform as part of the Galva Arts Council Coffee House Series. Exorna has become an annual St Patrick's Day tradition as part of the Galva Coffee House Series. Jason Bates is one of the organizers of the event and he was our guest on Friday on WKEI... 

You can hear our complete interview with Jason Bates from Friday's edition of People to People on WKEI. 


Group Looks for Improvements to 8-1-1 System

Some Illinois farmers believe the current 8-1-1 system to help locate underground pipelines, phone lines and other buried utility cables beneath farmland needs some improvements. JULIE stands for Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators, and some farmers like Jeff Kirwan say finding precise information about what's under land can be a challenge;

A little over a year ago, two farmers died when they struck a high-pressure gas line in northern Illinois. Kirwan, who also serves as a director on the Illinois Farm Bureau board, says since farmland often lacks a specific addresses a different way to I-D utility lines is needed;

The U-S Department of Transportation has federal and Illinois Commerce Commission state oversight over underground utility lines.

IL Senate Sexual Harassment Task Force Has More To Do

An Illinois Senate task force on sexual harassment is looking forward to continuing working on issues important to workplace harassment. Senator Melinda Bush says much more needs to be done.

Last year in the face of the Me Too movement, lawmakers passed new ethics reforms and took steps to address the big backlog of sexual harassment claims at the statehouse. 


Measles Reported at Chicago Midway Airport

Travelers that passed through Midway Airport may have been exposed to the measles. The Illinois Department of Public Health says a state resident arrived on concourse B on February 22nd between nine and midnight. Anyone who may have been there could have been exposed. Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike says if you were at the airport keep an eye on your health. 

Symptoms including a rash, red watery eye and a high fever could develop as late as March 20th for someone exposed at the airport.

Still Plenty of Winter Weather in March

Spring is officially ushered in later this month, but there’s still a lot of winter weather to consider for much of Illinois. So says Bryce Anderson, Chief Agriculture Meteorologist with DTN. 

The first day of spring is March 20th. 

Budget Work Session Tonight at Kewanee City Hall

The Kewanee City Council will meet tonight for a budget work session. The City Council will meet in Council Chambers at Kewanee City Hall at 6 Pm for for a discussion of revenues, debt service and special revenue expenditures. Nothing will be voted upon at this work session, the meeting for is for discussion only of revenue and budget. The meeting is open to the public beginning at 6 Pm at Kewanee City Hall. 

Petersen Health Care to Hold Mayor and Council Forum on March 7th

Petersen Health Care will play host to a Mayor and Council Open Forum on Thursday, March 7th from 3 Pm until 7 Pm. Candidates Mike Yaklich and Gary Moore are expected to be on hand for the forum to speak to voters about running to be the next Mayor of Kewanee. Each of the candidates running City Council have also been invited to participate and speak to voters at this forum. Candidates running for Kewanee City Council include Mike Komnick, Tim Hamilton, Chris Wheaton, Chris Colomer, and Andy Koehler. This will not be a debate format. Each candidate will be given a few minutes to speak directly to voters. The forum is open to anyone who would like to attend at Petersen Health Care located at 144 Junior Avenue. You can call Petersen Health Care for more information at 309-853-4429.

Tickets Still Available for K-Town Comedy Night March 23rd

Tickets are still available for the 4th annual K-Town Comedy Night. Comedians Mike Mercury and Dan Deibert are headling the event being put on by the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce on March 23rd. Tickets are available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office for $25.00 per ticket. The price of the ticket includes dinner by Eiler's Catering at 6:30 Pm with the show starting at 8 Pm at The Flemish American Club. Contact the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175.

Kewanee Drug Bust Seizes Cocaine, Cannabis and More than $24,000

The Kewanee Street Crimes Unit completed a drug investigation on Saturday morning by executing a search warrant at a residence located at 516 West Prospect Street. At the scene, Kewanee Police arrested 26 year old Jordan Hart and 65 year old Betty Hart on multiple drug charges. The search warrant yielded the seizure of $24,088, 21 grams of Cocaine, 1/2 pound of Cannabis, several cannabis edibles, drug packaging materials, scales, drug paraphernalia, and several schedule II narcotics. Jordan Hart was arrested and charged with the Manufacture or Delivery of 15 to 100 Grams of Cocaine within 500 feet of a Park, Possession of Cocaine 15 to 100 Grams, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Manufacture or Delivery of 100 to 500 Grams of Cannabis, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The Cocaine Manufacture or Delivery charge is a Class X Felony and could result in anywhere between 6 to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Betty Hart was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Permiting the Unlawful Use of Building. Both charges are Class 4 Felony charges and could result in 1 to 4 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Betty Hart was booked and then released with a court date of April 1st at the Henry County Courthouse. Jordan Hart was booked in Kewanee and then taken to the Henry County Jail where he will await a hearing on Monday to determine bond. Kewanee Street Crimes Unit was assisted by the KPD Investigative Divsision, the Blackhawk Area Task Force, the KPD Patrol Division and the Henry County Special Operations Squad. 

Semi Accident on I-80 Early Friday Morning

Two semis were involved in an accident early Friday morning on I-80 not far from Annawan. The accident occurred at approximately 2:45 Am Friday morning. According to the Illinois State Police a Semi Truck driven by Joel N Ikuadi of Marrieta, Georgia lost control and drifted over the right shoulder and into a ditch. Ikuadi allegedly then over-corrected back onto the highway and struck the passenger side of Semi Truck driven by 69 year old Willis W Findley of Orange, Texas, forcing both trucks into the median where they came to a rest. Ikuada and a passenger in his truck, Ashon A Nijhi, were injured in the accident and taken to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Illinois State Police, Annawan Fire Department, and Henry County Sheriff's responded to the scene. Ikuadi was cited in the accident for Improper Lane Usage. Findley was unharmed in the accident. The accident remains under investigation. 

Prescription Drug Reform on the Agenda in Springfield

Representative Will Guzzardi is at the front of a call in Springfield to try and get the price of needed prescriptions under control. The prices of prescription drugs have been on the rise for some time now and while the FDA appears to have taken a hands off approach to regulating the industry, politicians like Representative Guzzardi are now ready to take action. Representative Guzzardi told our People to People audience on Thursday about a few ideas that he and other lawmakers have with the intent of regulating prescription drug prices. 


Kewanee Public Library Coding Classes for Kids March 6th

Do you have a child in the 5th to 8th grade who loves computers? Kewanee Public Library has just the thing for kids curious about what makes computers tick, a class on Coding. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday and talked about Coding with Scratch at the Kewanee Public Library on March 6th at 3:30 Pm... 

Class space is limited so contact the Kewanee Public Library soon to reserve a space for your child. 

Intent of the Voter the Difference in Putting Yaklich into Mayoral General Election

Five votes are all that separated write-in candidate Mike Yaklich and fellow City Councilman Steve Faber in the Kewanee Mayoral Primary. The ever so close nature of the vote has led many to wonder whether the write in votes for Mr Yaklich were all legally legitimate. WKEI spoke with Henry County Clerk Barb Link who explained that as long as the intent of the voter is clear, the vote is legal and is counted as such. The intent of the voter means that even if a voter may have misspelled a candidates name on their ballot, if an election judge can determine who the voter intended on voting for, that ballot is counted for that candidate. Mike Yaklich finished second behind Gary Moore in the Kewanee Mayoral Primary by a mere five vote margin over Steve Faber, 290 votes to 285. 

Henry and Stark County Health Department to Host Mental Health Support Groups

The Henry and Stark County Health Department has announced that it will host a pair of Mental Health Support Group meetings on March 19th in Kewanee. According to the Health Department the two meetings to be held at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center will center on support for Family and Friends of those struggling with Mental Health issues and a Peer Support Group for those struggling with their mental health. There is no cost to attend either meeting. Groups will meet at 6 Pm on March 19th at the Black Hawk College Communitu Education Center. If you would like more information you may contact the Henry and Stark County Health Department at 309-852-7249. 

Illinois State Police Make Significant Cocaine Bust on I-74

The Illinois State Police have announced the arrest of 60 year old Carlos A Borge of West Valley, Utah. According to the Illinois State Police, Mr Borge was driving in McLean County on I-74 when he was pulled over by a state police trooper on Wednesday. During the stop, the trooper took not of potentially criminal activity and initiated a search of the vehicle. That search turned up more that 12 pounds of cocaine. The suspect, Mr Borge, was arrested and charged with Controlled Substance Trafficking and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Borge is being held in the McLean County Jail while awaiting disposition. 

Two People Struck By Vehicle in Geneseo

Geneseo Police are investigating what happened that led to a woman and a child being struck by a vehicle in a church parking lot in Geneseo. The accident occurred just after 11:30 Am in the parking lot of First Lutheran Church located at 114 East Main Street. The two people struck by a vehicle are said to be a woman and a child and both were left in critical condition due to the accident. Both victims were flown by Life Flight to OSF Hospital in Peoria where we currently have no word on their conditions. Geneseo Police are continuing to investigate the accident. 

Illinois One of Two States to Shrink in Population Since Recession

The population in the state of Illinois is one of only two states to decline since the recession of 2008-09. According to the IRS, the number of people moving into the state of Illinois and the number of babies born were outnumbered by the number of people leaving the state. Only West Virginia had more people leave the state than Illinois in the last decade. Our Cole Lauterbach has more on the great Illinois exodus... 


State Revenue Estimates Indicate Short Term Gains and Eventual Downturn

The state of Illinois constitution requires a balanced budget but there are ways around that and the Pritzker administration has, as previous administrations have, proposed a budget that will exceed revenue as every state budget in Illinois has since 2001. According to the committee meeting on Thursday, revenues in Illinois are expected to be flat despite some short term gains in revenue, long term however, experts see a downturn in state revenues. Our Greg Bishop has more... 


Bill to End Charter School Commission and Give Illinois Department of Education Oversight

A new bill aims to bring an end to the commission that approves charter schools. State Representative Chris Welsh brought the bill forward and claims that the bill is not anti-charter school. That however, is not how charter school advocates feel about the bill. The bill would move the approval of new Charter Schools from this commission to the Illinois Department of Education. Our Greg Bishop has more on the battle over charter schools and school choice...