Local News Archives for 2019-06

Family of Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum Releases Statement

The family of State Trooper Troy Chisum who was killed in the line of duty in Avon, Illinois, on Tuesday, has released a statement on his passing ahead of the memorial services for Deputy Chisum this weekend... 

 

“The Family of Deputy Troy Chisum mourns the loss of their husband, father, son and friend. We could never begin to thank law enforcement or the thousands from our community who have reached out to us to express their love and support.

 

To the public, he became a hero on June 25th, when he was killed in the line of duty. To us he has always been a hero.

 

There are no words to describe what was taken from us. Married at 19 and loved more now than he was then. Our world will never be the same. His girls are strong and will get through this due to the strength, courage and love he instilled in us. He was the very best part of us. There is no better honor than to call him our husband and father. He is the greatest man we will ever know.”

-       Chisum Family

 

The family concluded the statement by inviting the public to a memorial on Friday night in Canton, Illinois as Deputy Chisum's daughter plays softball. 

 

"Please join the family tonight for the Memorial Service at the Canton Varsity Softball diamond at 6:45 p.m. prior to the 7 p.m. game.  Join us as we watch his youngest daughter and her team play a softball game in his honor."

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Kewanee Library Touting New Elementary School Book Club

The Kewanee Public Library Summer Reading Program for kids may be winding down but that doesn't mean that the library won't have special reading opportunities for kids still to come this summer. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library joined WKEI on Thursday on Tuned In to talk about a new elementary school book club launching next month at the Library... 

The new program begins Tuesday, July 16th at 3 Pm but Sara is encouraging everyone to get their book as soon as possible to get ready for the first club meeting. 

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Galva Freedom Fest to Honor Reporter Mike Landis as Parade Grand Marshall

Galva Freedom Fest is less than a week away, beginning on Wednesday, July 3rd and, of course, continuing on Thursday, July 4th and headlined by a parade and fireworks. Melissa Halsall is one of the organizers of the Galva Freedom Fest and she recently talked to WKEI about the choice of reporter Mike Landis as this year's Galva Freedom Fest Parade Grand Marshall... 

The Galva Freedom Fest Parade steps off at Noon on July 4th. 

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Casey Donahew Headlines the Henry County Fair Grandstand Tonight

An act that was popular in Texas dive bars in the early part of this young century has now become a monster touring act thanks to an intense online following. The Casey Donahew Band did not take a direct route to fame, it took time and some early adopting on the internet music scene to get them going. Once they got going though, Casey Donahew and his band have rarely slowed down turning out records and live shows and live records that repeatedly snuck in the backdoor of the Billboard charts while the mainstream of country was looking the other way. The Casey Donahew Band's old school style of country in the new school of internet downloads has become one of the more remarkable success stories in country music. Casey will bring that winning style to the Henry County Fair Grandstand tonight along with the Joe Stamm Band at 7:30 Pm. Gates open for the show at 6:30 and grandstand tickets for tonight are only $20.00. The Casey Donahew Band's next record will go online on July 26th titled "One Light Town." Get a sample of Casey's work below... 

 

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Illinois to Benefit from Defeat of Census Question on Immigration at the Supreme Court

The state of Illinois may benefit from the Supreme Court decision that will prevent the Trump administration from adding a question about immigration status to the U.S Census. The American Statistical Association says that the immigrant community in Illinois can now be counted in census data and their numbers could be what keeps the state from reporting lower population numbers. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker to Sign Infrastructure Bill Today, Raise Gas Tax 19 Cents on Monday

Gas taxes and cigarette taxes are among the taxes going up on Monday. Governor Pritzker is set to sign the infrastructure bill today. This bill includes a 19 Cent per gallon increase in what are already the highest gas prices in the midwest. The Governor will also sign a bill today raising the taxes on cigarettes by $1.00 on Monday. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Fallout from Supreme Court Gerrymandering Case Making Impact in Illinois

An Illinois reform group is attempting to convince Governor J.B Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to change the way legislative maps are drawn in Illinois. In the wake of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on Gerrymandering, Change Illinois is calling on the Governor to avoid drawing partisan legislative boundaries. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Gasoline Party Calling for Gas Boycott Beginning Monday

On Monday, it will cost you 19 cents more per gallon to purchase gasoline in Illinois. The state's General Assembly passed the gas tax hike this year, and one group is mounting a boycott to try and send a message to lawmakers that they feel "enough is enough." The Illinois Gasoline Party in a news release stated that "a repeat of the Boston Tea Party is in order." Since they can’t throw gasoline into the proverbial harbor, group member Lori Fuller says they opted for a boycott to send a message to legislators. 

Group members are inviting all Illinois residents to join them in the boycott July 1-6.

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Picnic and Boating Areas Reopened at Starved Rock State Park

Cleanup is coming along after major flooding on the Illinois River put picnic areas, boat launches and parking lots at Starved Rock State Park underwater last month.

Site Superintendent Kerry Novak says some of the areas are muddy, but are ready for visitors again.

There are no picnic tables yet at the park’s west end, so people should bring blankets and chairs.
Novak says there is a contractor lined up for the cleanup. It will be a few more days before any major work can start while the ground continues to dry. The parking lots and picnic areas are opening just in time for the Fourth of July holiday next week.

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Remains of Illinois Pearl Harbor Soldier to Finally Return Home this Weekend

A Trenton sailor lost on "The Day of Infamy" is returning home to Clinton County. The remains of Navy electrician’s mate 3rd Class William “Billy” Klasing (Clay-sing) , are coming back to Trenton 78 years after he was killed with 429 others during the Japanese torpedo attack on the Battleship USS Oklahoma. Klasing's remains were officially identified in February and for his niece, Linda Klasing Rakers, it was a day she never saw coming....


Klasing's remains will be greeted by anyone who wants to line the highways from New Baden to Trenton. The motorcade will reach Route 161 in New Baden around 4 p.m., then travel northward to Trenton on Route 160, before moving east on Old Route 50 to Breese's Moss Funeral Home. There will be another chance to welcome Klasing home Saturday morning when his remains are transported from the Trenton branch of Moss Funeral Home and taken to Trenton City Cemetery between 10:45 and 11 a.m.

 

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Kewanee Police Release Heat Safety Tips

Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley wants you to stay safe on wha is expected to be a very warm weekend. The Kewanee Police have released a series of Heat Safety Tips to keep in mind while you are hanging outside or in this warm, June weekend. 

 

Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, you can do this by drinking steadily, don’t wait until you are thirsty. Try to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol.

 

Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors in an air conditioned location.

 

If you’re going to be working or enjoying the outdoors please wear lightweight clothes that are lightly colored. Also apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

 

If you plan on exercising outdoors try to complete it in the early morning hours. 

 

Please remember to check on elderly friends and neighbors who may not have air conditioning. 

Hot cars can be life threatening. Please make sure children and pets aren’t left in a hot vehicle.

Please remember to check on pets frequently. Make sure they have plenty of water.

 

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Illinois State Police Prepare to Safely Implement the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Police today announced public safety, training, and enforcement efforts, as well as implementation of expungement and regulation requirements of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.  “Whether it’s misconduct regarding alcohol or cannabis, public safety and the enforcement of the law will always remain our top priorities,” stated ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly. “As the laws of the state of Illinois change, the ISP will ensure our officers, forensic scientists, telecommunicators, and support staff have the necessary training and tools needed to continue to enforce the laws in place and perform their respective duties,” he concluded. Under the Act, the ISP will chair the DUI Cannabis Task Force, which is being created to improve enforcement and education regarding driving under the influence of cannabis. The DUI Cannabis Task Force will be made up of public safety partners, subject matter experts, and stakeholders, and all parties will work together to study and address concerns surrounding driving under the influence of cannabis and make recommendations to policy makers to protect public safety.
 
TRAINING 
Illinois State Police Academy Cadets and Recruits receive training in Criminal Law, Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC), Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), and Drug Enforcement and Identification, which includes scenario based training.  Incoming Fast Track Cadets will also be provided with Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training.
 
A large number of state police personnel are currently ARIDE certified; the ISP will work towards increasing the number of ARIDE certified and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) certified sworn employees currently on patrol. Sworn employees will also receive additional training regarding oral fluid testing and case law when this becomes a testing mechanism utilized by the ISP.
 
ENFORCEMENT
The aforementioned ARIDE and DRE training courses will equip sworn patrol officers with additional tools to assist them in identifying impaired drivers who are under the influence of any drug or alcohol.
 
The ISP is currently researching oral fluid (saliva based) testing. The ISP is gathering and reviewing feedback from other states that have legalized the adult use of recreational cannabis and are currently conducting oral fluid testing. Several states have implemented technology that has shown promise and could be effective here in Illinois. The Act provides for similar penalties for drivers refusing to submit to such tests as in the case of a driver refusing to submit to an alcohol breathalyzer.  The ISP is working to implement this technology to identify driving under the influence of all drugs including opioids as soon as possible.
 
The ISP Forensic Laboratory System has acquired instrumentation and validated procedures to quantify blood THC levels in support of efforts to enforce DUI-Cannabis laws.  This service is currently provided at the Springfield Forensic Science Laboratory.  The ISP is in the process of procuring instrumentation to expand this service to the Forensic Science Center at Chicago.
 
EXPUNGEMENT OF ELIGIBLE RECORDS
The ISP Bureau of Identification (BOI) is currently evaluating the official state criminal history repository to identify the minor cannabis offense records that are subject to automatic expungement, or further analysis by the Prisoner Review Board. Once these records are identified, the ISP will comply with the processing and notification requirements of the Act. 
 
ISP’s REGULATORY ROLE
The Illinois State Police currently has a Medical Marijuana Unit (MMU) which oversees and regulates the Medical Cannabis program, and was originally designed as a pilot program. The MMU will now assume the ISP’s regulatory duties for all of the cannabis programs, combining both the medical and the adult recreational use programs. The adult recreational use program will maintain the strict regulatory elements that have made the medical program a success.
 
The ISP provides regulatory guidance to both cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries by inspecting all 21 cultivation centers and 55 dispensaries currently in existence on a monthly basis.  Further, the ISP also inspects the transportation of medical cannabis products between cultivation centers and dispensaries on a random basis. In addition, the ISP helps safeguard the medical cannabis program by providing criminal investigation of diversion and other allegations of crimes. The legalization of the adult use of recreational cannabis will result in an expansion of duties with the addition of more cultivation centers and dispensaries, the new categories of craft growers, independent transportation providers, cannabis infusion centers (cannabis infused edibles among other items), and community college horticulture programs.
 
With the new law going into effect immediately, the ISP will expand the MMU to provide the same level of quality and regulation that has made the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) successful thus far. The ISP will develop inspection regulations for the new entities in the program and provide personnel with additional training on physical security in order to provide the proper oversight for the new cannabis entities. The ISP will also provide personnel with analytical support for the large expansion of the program, to ensure the safety and welfare of not only the patients and users of the program, but also, the citizens of Illinois and guests traveling to or through Illinois.

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Tuned In Sara Billiet Kewanee Public Library 06-27-19

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI Thursday. Sara joined us to talk about the Summer Reading Program winding down at the Kewanee Public Library. That however, is leading into a brand new reading program for kids, an Elementary School Book Club with a focus on historic biography. The Library is also set to host President Abraham Lincoln for an upcoming visit. Find out how the late President is appearing at the Library in our Tuned In Podcast for stream or download below... 

 

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Black Hawk College Offering Free Substitute Teacher Program

Kewanee - Black Hawk College is offering a free session to help individuals looking to become substitute teachers or paraprofessionals. The session will be held on Wednesday, July 24 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee. Staff members from the Regional Office of Education for Bureau, Henry, and Stark counties will be there to explain the process. The again is free, but registration is required to attend. You can Call BHC Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223 or register online at www.bhc.edu/pace.

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Irving School Raising Money in the Fight Against Childhood Cancer with Alex's Lemonade Stand

The Kewanee Police Department turned out to support Alex's Lemonade Stand at Irving School on Thursday. Police paraded up Central Boulevard with lights and sirens to bring attention to the Alex's Lemonade Stand and to make donations to the lemonade stand which is raising money in the fight against Childhood Cancer. WKEI was on hand to get some lemonade and talk with the Principal of Irving School, Tami Brown about this wonderful fundraiser... 

The fundraiser takes place this time each year in honor of a recent former student who died from cancer. Donations can be made and lemonade obtained until 1 Pm on Thursday, June 27 at Irving School. 

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Illinois Joins 22 State Financial Regulators to Help Establish Licensing Process for Money Transmitters

SPRINGFIELD -  Illinois joined 22 states in signing onto a multistate agreement which standardizes key parts of the licensing process for money transmitters and money services businesses. The agreement streamlines licensing processes, including common requirements for companies’ business plans, direct and indirect ownership, background checks, and required financial information and compliance. Once this information is reviewed by one state, the other states in the agreement agree to accept the findings.

 

“This multistate agreement is a significant step in creating consistent licensing expectations for money transmitters and others who seek to be licensed in multiple states,” said IDFPR Secretary Deborah Hagan, “The states are well equipped to efficiently administer these laws and to protect their residents.”

 

The agreement was facilitated through Illinois’ participation on the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Through its Vision 2020 campaign, CSBS and state regulators are seeking to harmonize multistate licensing and supervision for financial service providers, including financial technology companies.

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Penalities for Using Electronic Devices While Driving to Increase on July 1st

Penalties for using an electronic device while driving are increasing as of July 1st. Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson detailed what you can and cannot do while driving in an appearance on People to People on WKEI on Wednesday... 

You can hear more about changing laws and penalties as of July 1st in our People to People podcast interview with Trooper Jason Wilson here

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Wethersfield Schools Announce Online Registration Pilot Program for Upcoming School Year

Wethersfield School District has announced that the 2019-2020 school year will mark the first time that the school is offering online registration. Superintendent Shane Kazubowski made the announcement in an interview with WKEI on Monday and made it official with a press release on Tuesday outlining fee structures and announcing that the first day of school for Wethersfield School District students will be Wednesday, August 14th with early out at 1:45 that day and going through the first full week of the school year. Superintendent Kazubowski talked about the new online registration with WKEI... 

Online registration is only an option for families in Wethersfield, though it is the preferred option of the school district. The pilot program for online registration however, does not mean that there won't be in person registration available for those who do not have access to the internet... 

On-site registration for Wethersfield students will be available from 3 Pm until 7 Pm on July 30th. You can read the full press release from Wethersfield schools including schedule updates, school and sports physical updates and fee structures for the school year linked here

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Driver Charged with DUI in Accident that Led to Kewanee Power Outage Wednesday

According a report in the Kewanee Police Blotter, the driver of a truck that struck a  power pole and knocked out power to more than 500 residences in Kewanee on Wednesday, has been charged with DUI, DUI overr .08 and using an electronic device while driving. 39 year old Leonardo H Lozano was cited by Kewanee Police following the accident when his vehicle was located near Chataqua Park. The accident knocked out power for surrounding residents for approximately 8 hours. No other information is being released at this time. 

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Bustos Continuing Push for Federal Disaster Declaration to Help Illinois Farmers

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos urging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to issue a disaster declaration for areas of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.


Bustos is asking Perdue to issue a Secretarial disaster declaration for growers to be eligible for disaster assistance, increase prevent plant crop insurance coverage guarantee and to push back the premium payment date for crop insurance to December 1. She says farmers also continue to face uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes. 

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Central Illinois Lawmaker Talks Task Force To Address DCFS Problems

A task force has been established to address the shortcomings of DCFS and a central Illinois lawmaker believes they are headed in the right direction. State Senator Chapin Rose says DCFS is a mess and needs a new direction. The goal is to break up the responsibilities of DCFS and pass those along to other agencies that are already better suited to deal with issues beyond the crisis situation DCFS responds to. Rose is optimistic the recommendations will carry a lot of weight with Illinois Democrats who control the Illinois legislature.

Sen. Rose compares this task force to the higher education task force that made many positive reforms a few years ago. While he's short of enthusiastic, Rose is optimistic, adding DCFS needs to be a participant with the legislature and be on board. 

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State Senator Manar Announces Progress for Independent, Rural Pharmacies

One of the most discouraging developments in the pharmaceutical business, is the struggle of rural, independent pharmacies to stay alive and profitable. State Senator Andy Manar says relief is on the way for those businesses and the people who depend on them as the Department of Healthcare and Family Services is now implementing the Critical Access Pharmacy Program, providing $10 million in additional funding to keep rural, independent pharmacies open....


Manar says throughout rural Illinois communities, consumers have experienced skyrocketing drug prices because of the poorly-regulated Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) industry. PBM operations craft special deals with large corporate chain stores that small, independent and locally-owned operations can’t compete with. 

 

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Red Cross Missing Types Campaign Is Back

The American Red Cross is in need of blood during the summer months at leas as much if not more than during the rest of the year, according to an agency spokesman. As a rule, donations fall off between May and August, so the organization is bringing back an awareness campaign to try and stir people to make the effort to donate. The campaign is called Missing Types. Joe Zydlo says the goal is to get potential donors to make an appointment, and then follow through.


The Missing Types campaign draws attention to what happens when the letters A, B, and O are missing from everyday life. You can find donation location information on the organization's website, www.RedCross.org. 

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Many Pre-K Kids Not Ready for Big K

The state’s youngest students aren’t always ready to begin their official start in school. A recent study from the Illinois State Board of Education shows that pre-school is vitally important for early learners. Something they found looking at students in the first few months of kindergarten was only 26 percent of the students were ready in three critical areas of learning. Reporter Benjamin Yount has more... 

ISBE feels that the more kids that are in state funded pre-K programs the better. 

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How to Test For High Driving

With the legalization of marijuana coming in Illinois questions remain surrounding policing issues, especially driving while high. Most police groups were strongly opposed to the legalization effort and held concerns about finding a way to test for stoned drivers. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says those concerns are being heard.

As of now there is no concrete way to test a high driver. But other states have been running pilot programs and trying different techniques.

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Charges Are Expected Today for the Man Suspected of Killing Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum

Formal charges against 42 year old Nathan Woodring of Avon, Illinois, should come today. Woodring is accused of having shot and killed Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum when Chisum among other officers responded to the scene of a reported Domestic Disturbance at approximately 1:58 Pm in Avon, Illinois. Not long after, shots were fired from inside the residence and Deputy Chisum was struck and killed. This led to a 17 hour stand off with 42 year old Nathan Woodring who remained barricated in the residence until surrendering to police just after 8 Am on Wednesday morning. Trooper Jason Wilson of the Illinois State Police was among those who heard the call and was set to go to Avon until he was tasked with staying in his district while Troopers closer to the scene responded. Trooper Wilson talked to WKEI on Wednesday about what it is like when the call of "Shots fired, officer down" comes over the radio... 

Suspect Nathan Woodring expected to be formally charged today in the death of Deputy Chisum and other charges related to the stand off. 

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Family of Fulton County Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty Raising Money for Memorial

The family of Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a scene in Avon, Illinois on Tuesday, have started a GoFundMe campaign for a memorial. Deputy Chisum was a 4 and a half year veteran of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department and leaves behind a wife and three children. Donations to the Deputy Troy Chisum Memorial Fund can be made at Mid America National Bank in Canton, Illinois or via GoFundMe.com. 42 year old Nathan Woodring of Avon, Illinois was taken into custody on Wednesday and is being held at the McDonough County Jail awaiting official charges in the shooting death of Deputy Chisum. 

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People to People Trooper Jason Wilson Illinois State Police 06-26-19

Trooper Jason Wilson from the Illinois State Police District 7 was our guest on People to People on Wednesday. Trooper Wilson joined WKEI and explained how law enforcement works together when something like what happened in Avon, Illinois, where a County Deputy was shot and killed, occurs. Trooper Wilson took the opportunity to talk about the kind of high stress situations that law enforcement responds to regularly and what us in the general public should remember when encountering law enforcement. We also discussed changing laws as fees for using a cellphone while driving, among other offenses will be going up on July 1st. Finally, Trooper Wilson talked about increased enforcement efforts coming next week for the 4th of July holiday. Stream or download our interview with Trooper Jason Wilson below... 

 

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Tuned In Melissa Halsall Galva Freedom Fest

Melissa Halsall is among the planners for this year's Galva Freedom Fest, July 3rd and 4th in Galva. Melissa joined WKEI on Tuned In to talk about planning for Freedom Fest which will begin with live music on July 3rd at 5 Pm and continue late into the night. The following morning, the 4th of July, will start with a 5K and feature the parade at 12 Noon with Grand Marshall Mike Landis and then close late in the evening with Fireworks. Stream or download our interview with Melissa Halsall below... 

 

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Kewanee Police Arrest Suspect in Shooting on North Vine Street

Kewanee Police have announced the arrest of 19 year old Jaques K Nile of Kewanee on six counts in the shooting that occurred earlier this week at 102 North Vine Street that left one person with a gunshot wound and another with blunt force trauma injures. According to Kewanee Police, Nile was arrested at approximately 12:30 Am on Wednesday morning and taken to the Henry County Jail where he is being held on $750,000 bond. The Henry County State’s Attorney Office has approved charges of six counts of Home Invasion (Class X Felonies) and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon
(Class 3 Felony). Nile had been arrested in February of this year following a traffic stop in Kewanee. At that time, Nile was arrested for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon after he was found the be carrying a .387 Ruger hidden under the driver's seat of his vehicle. The Kewanee Police want everyone to know that the investigation of this incident on June 24th is still active and further charges are pending. If you have any information regarding this incident on June 24th, just before 1 Am at a residence at 102 North Vine Street, please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911. 

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Sierra Brown Earns Miss Henry County Fair Honors

Sierra Brown of Cambridge has been named Miss Henry County Fair 2019. The Queen coronation was held Tuesday night as part of the opening night celebration at the Henry County Fair as Ashley Davis, Henry County Fair organizer tells WKEI... 

The Junior Miss Henry County Fair and the Little Miss Henry County Fair Queen pageants were also held on Tuesday night with 

 

Congratulations to the 2019 fair queens and court!

 

Queen Sierra Brown
First runner up Kristen VandeVelde 
Second runner up Megan Reed

 

Jr Miss Londen Fulks
First runner up Livia Dodd
Second runner up Addison Dykstra

 

Little Miss Jaela Valdez
First runner up Aubrey Degrave
Second runner up Noelle Ames

 

Meanwhile, Ashley gave WKEI a preview of what folks can look forward to tonight at the Henry County Fair... 

 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ask for Donations for 4th of July Fireworks Presentation

Kewanee - The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce are asking for donations to help fund this year’s 4th of July fireworks show. Many of the community’s businesses and members of the community have donated, but due to the rising costs of the show, the Chamber still needs help with costs. That is where you, a member of the community, can help. Donations may be sent or dropped off at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office located at 113 E. 2nd St.  All contributors will be recognized the night of the event and in the Chamber Chronicle and other local media.
 
The premier fireworks show in the area will take place on Thursday, July 4th at Northeast Park. This show brings people to Kewanee from the surrounding area and benefits many in the community. The Kewanee Park District will have a free swim at the Aquatic Center from 12:00 till 6:00 p.m.  Kewanee Veterans Council members will post the colors at 7:30 p.m.  Local band Jokers Wild will perform till 9:45 p.m. Fireworks will follow. This will be a show you will not want to miss!!

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Illinois State Police Announce Arrest of Suspect Involved in Officer Shooting

Avon, IL- On June 25, 2019, at approximately 1:58 p.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) officers responded to a residence in rural Avon, Illinois (Fulton County) to assist the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).  Four FCSO Deputies responded to a battery and disturbance call at the rural Avon residence. Shortly upon arrival, Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum was shot by a suspect in the residence; Deputy Chisum succumbed to his injuries.
 
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, including the ISP, responded to the scene to assist the FCSO, at which point the suspect barricaded himself inside the residence.  At approximately 8:20 a.m. on June 26, 2019, the suspect was taken into custody without incident.  The suspect was being transported to McDonough County Jail where he is being held pending formal charges. The suspect has been identified as Nathan Woodring (M/42) of Avon, Illinois.
 
“On behalf of the Illinois State Police, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Fulton County Deputy Chisum’s family, friends, and extended family at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office,” stated ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly. “This is the second time this year the Illinois State Police has safely apprehended an alleged cop killer. Once again, the men and women of the Illinois State Police displayed exceptional professionalism, patience and persistence as they worked side by side with our brothers and sisters through another dark and difficult moment. Mercifully, this incident was concluded with no further harm to first responders, and this defendant can now be brought to justice,” concluded Kelly.
 
ISP officers, including ISP SWAT personnel and ISP crisis negotiators, as well as various other law enforcement agencies, first responders, and public safety partners, assisted in various aspects of the incident including the following: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Avon Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Macomb Police Department, Western Illinois University GIS Department, McDonough County Sheriff’s Office, Farmington Police Department, City of Canton Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Buckheart Fire Department, Fairview Fire Department, Havana Rural Fire Department, Cuba Fire Department, Avon Fire Department, Fulton County Emergency Medical Association,  Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, Fulton County Salvation Army, Fulton County Public Information Office, and Fulton County Board Chairman – Jason Strandberg.

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Fulton County Sheriff and IL State Police Announce Arrest of Suspect in Killing of Deputy Troy Chisum

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office and Illinois State Police held a joint press conference on Wednesday morning to announce the arrest of a suspect who is believed to have shot and killed Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Troy Chisum. Deputy Chisum was responding to a Domestic Disturbance call in Avon at 2 Pm on Tuesday afternoon when he was shot and killed. The suspect involved, 42 year old Nathan Woodring of Avon, Illinois, had barricaded himself inside a home from 2 Pm on Tuesday afternoon and remained in the home until 8:20 Am Wednesday morning when he finally surrendered to police without incident. The investigation of the shooting death of Deputy Troy Chisum remains an active investigation and thus no other information is being released at this time other than the name of the suspect and that he is currently being held at the McDonough County Jail awaiting disposition. You can hear the full press conference below... 


Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly released a statement following the press conference. 

 

“On behalf of the Illinois State Police, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Fulton County Deputy Chisum’s family, friends, and extended family at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office,” stated ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly.   “This is the second time this year the Illinois State Police has safely apprehended an alleged cop killer. Once again, the men and women of the Illinois State Police displayed exceptional professionalism, patience and persistence as they worked side by side with our brothers and sisters through another dark and difficult moment.  Mercifully, this incident was concluded with no further harm to first responders, and this defendant can now be brought to justice,” concluded Kelly. 

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WKEI Celebrity Interview Miss Michael Learned Star of The Walton's

Actress Michael Learned rose to fame on the hit family TV series The Walton's back in the 1970's. The wholesome family story was a major hit and it opened a lot of doors and opportunities for Michael Learned who has worked steadily over the last 40 years since The Walton's became an iconic hit. Now, Michael Learned is the star of a new short film called "Second Acts," a love story with a very modern perspective on aging, racism and romantic longing. You can watch "Second Acts" on Amazon Prime today. Stream or download our interview with Miss Michael Learned below... 

 

SECOND ACTS - Short Film Trailer from Gerry Pass on Vimeo.

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Mayor Moore Talks About Emergency Situation at Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting the Kewanee City Council voted against an agreement with Stewart Spreading to remove the bio-sludge at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. At the May 28th Kewanee City Council Meeting, the council was informed by Don Bixby, consulting engineer with Chamlin and Associates that the situation at the Waste Water Treatment Plant was at a critical level with approximately 45 days, depending on the weather, until the lagoon holding the bio-sludge would reach a critical capacity. The council expressed outrage that they had not been informed earlier regarding the growing issue at the Plant which had in the past been dealt with by donating the sludge as fertilizer to local farmers, hauled and spread by employees of Boch Incorporated. Mayor Gary Moore spoke to WKEI about the council decision to reject the Stewart Spreading Contract and attempt to deal with the problem as it has been done in the past but with a very limited amount of time. 

Boch Incorporated has informed the City of Kewanee that there is a crack in the lagoon that needs to be repaired but can only be repaired once the lagoon is emptied. With the current plan to haul small amounts of sludge at a time, the process, according to Mayor Moore could take well into late 2019 before the repairs could be done. 

Where do we stand on the Bio-Sludge issue? According to Mayor Moore, hauling and spreading of Bio-Sludge can move forward as it had in the past, without council approval as that type of hauling and spreading is in the City of Kewanee budget but there is more to consider... 

July 12th would mark 45 days since the warning from Chamlin Associates Don Bixby regarding the critical situation at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. That is not a hard deadline and the issue of the lagoon filling to capacity could arrive sooner than that date depending on rainfall levels over the next few weeks. 

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Kewanee Mayor Moore Criticizes City Council Handling of Shell Gaming Request

In an interview with WKEI following Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore criticized the decision of the Kewanee City Council to not hear the request from the Kewanee Shell Express Lane regarding a dual use license for gaming and liquor service. Mayor Moore tells WKEI that whether you agree or not with the idea of expanding gaming in Kewanee, the owners of the Shell station should have been heard at Monday's meeting... 

The Mayor made clear that he was disappointed in the Council decision. When the issue was brought before the council on  Monday night, the Council chose the parliamentary procedure of remaining silent when the question of the resolution was brought forth by the Mayor thus kllling the measure before it could actually be heard on the record and voted on publicly. 

In our interview on Monday, Mayor Moore reiterated his disappointment... 

The owners of the Shell Express Lane in Kewanee may change their resolution and bring it before the council again in the future but for now the idea of gaming expansion specifically related to the Shell station is not moving forward. 

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Fulton County Sheriff Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty in Avon

39 year old Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Troy Chisum was shot and killed in a standoff with a suspect in Avon, Illinois on Tuesday. The incident occurred at approximately 2 Pm when Deputy Chisum responded to the scene of a domestic disturbance in Avon. The shooting led to a lengthy stand off with law enforcement in Avon and at this writing we don't know the status of that standoff. Deputy Chisum was a four and a half year veteran of the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and a trained paramedic with EMS training. A statement released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office reads: 

 

"Today, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Chisum, 39 years of age, responded to a battery and disturbance call in Avon, IL. During the incident, multiple shots were fired and Deputy Chisum was fatally injured as a result. Deputy Chisum was a four and a half year veteran of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. He was a paramedic with the Fulton County EMA, was a member of the West Central Special Response Team, and the ILEAS WMD/SRT Team, Region 6. “On behalf of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Deputy Chisum. Deputy Chisum dedicated his life to the service of his community. His legacy and sacrifice will forever be remembered.”
-Sheriff Jeff Standard

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Community Project in Williamsfield Finalist for National Grant Competition

Two rural community projects in Illinois have made the top ten group finalists in a national competition. Corteva Agriscience asked farmers to nominate local groups that demonstrate the power to do more in their communities. Lynn Heins of Jackson County nominated "Annies Project," one of two Illinois finalists;

The other Illinois finalist comes from the Village of Williamsfield. Joanie Stiers serves with the local F-F-A Alumni and Friends chapter in Knox County;

Corteva plans to award the group that receives the most online votes between now and July 8th $10-thousand dollars. To see more about the Illinois and other community projects nationwide and to vote, go to power-to-do-more-dot-com.

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Senator Duckworth Blasts President Trump's Handling of Iran

Senator Tammy Duckworth is blasting the Trump Administration on the Iran front, calling the administration’s Iran strategy reckless and, incoherent. She said it's the kind of thing that could lead the nation to an accidental war...


The combat wounded vet of the Iraq War, Duckworth expressed fears of deja vu....


Duckworth urged her Senate colleagues to reclaim Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war.

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State Climatologist Office: Cooler than Normal Temps Anticipated for July

The chances for an extremely hot July and August don’t look good. That assessment from Dr. David Kristovich with the Illinois State Climatologist’s office. 


Most of Illinois should see dry weather for much of this week with the exception of some active weather Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening. Warmer temperatures are also anticipated for this weekend with much of the state seeing 90’s on Saturday and Sunday. 

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Legal Marijuana is the Law as of January 2020

It’s the law but you can’t partake just yet. Just before noon today Democrat Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation that will legalize recreational marijuana for anyone over 21 in Illinois. Beginning on January 1st Illinois will allow the sale and possession of marijuana, individuals will be legally allowed to posses up to 30 grams of weed. Pritzker says Illinois is ready to lead the way when the comfort of the status quo is left behind.

Legal possession of marijuana plants will only be allowed by individuals who have a medical marijuana card – and then limited to five plants per person.

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Kewanee Police Update on Monday Morning Shooting Incident

The Kewanee Police have announced that the two people injured in a shooting incident on Monday, June 24th have now been released from the hospital. Though the names of the victims have not been released by Kewanee Police we now know that the male victim who was shot in the incident at 102 North Vine Street in Kewanee and a female victim who suffered blunt force trauma injuries in the incident, are out of the hospital. No other information is being released at this time. The investigation is under the purview of the Henry and Mercer County Investigative Task Force with support by Kewanee Police and the Illinois State Police. Many on social media have reported the names of the victims in this case but WKEI has still not received an official confirmation of their identities from law enforcement sources. 

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Governor Pritzker Celebrates Signing of Cannabis Legalization Bill with Rally in Chicago

Governor J.B Pritzker celebrated his signing of the cannabis legalization bill with a rally in Chicago on Tuesday. At the rally, Governor Pritzker spoke to supporters and praised lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their hard work in completing the Cannabis Legalization bill which will make recreational marijuana use and possession legal, with in limits, as of January 1st 2020. The bill will also expunge the records of hundreds of Illinois residents arrested for marijuana possession. You can stream or download the entirety of the Governor's speech from Chicago on Tuesday, below... 

 

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People to People Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore 06-25-19

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday to follow up on Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting. In an interview that touched on the major points of last night's Kewanee City Council Meeting the Mayor stated that he was opposed to the way the City Council handled the request from the Kewanee Shell Express Lane for a dual use license for gaming and alcohol. The four members of the City Council refused to allow the issue to come to a discussion or vote. Mayor Moore tells WKEI that in his opinion, the issue should have at least been discussed and the owners of the Shell station allowed to plead their case.

 

Mayor Moore also addressed the emergency situation at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. Last night the Council, including Mayor Moore, rejected a deal with Stewart Spreading to get the 1.1 million gallons of sludge hauled away and disposed of at a significant cost. Instead, the issue of the sludge removal remains in limbo with mere days before a reported critical mass of waste water as reported by Don Bixby, Engineer with Chamlin and Associates who reported on May 28th that the City had about 45 days until criical mass which places the date at July 12, 2019. At that time, Don Bixby recommended a contract hauler, with the caveat that time was a major factor and that 45 days without much rain would be a best case scenario before the lagoon simply cannot hold anymore safely. 


During our interview, Mayor Moore expressed disappointment that no resolution was reached as to how to address the Wastewater Issue which could get worse faster depending on the amount of rain in the city over the next several days. Urgently, Boch Inc, partners with the City of Kewanee in caretaking the Waste Water Plant, have informed the City that the lagoon holding the waste water is in need of repairs that can only be done when the lagoon is emptied. You can hear the entirety of our interview with Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore below. 

 

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Illinois State Police Announce the Use of Roadside Safety Checks

East Moline – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander, Captain Jason Dickey, announces the
ISP will conduct Roadside Safety Checks (RSCs) in Rock Island County during July 2019. The use of
RSCs combine a strong sense of public awareness and enforcement in order to save lives of the
motoring public.


The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois. Officers working the detail will be watchful
for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, and most importantly:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
- Safety Belt and Child Restraint use;
- Speeding;
- Distracted Driving; and,
- All Illinois Vehicle Code and Criminal Violations.

 

Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in
Illinois, and throughout the U.S., nearly 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-impaired driving.
RSCs are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road. This project
is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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Attorney General Raoul Opposes Changes To Calculation Of Federal Poverty Threshold; Joined by Over 20 Other States

Chicago ­– Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York Attorney General Letitia James led a multi-state coalition of 21 attorneys general in submitting a comment letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), opposing a proposal to change the way the federal poverty threshold is calculated. According to the attorney general, an adjustment could result in millions of Americans becoming ineligible for, or entitled to less government-funded benefits.
 
A wide range of federal and state programs, including those that provide food stamps and health care assistance, rely on federal poverty guidelines to set eligibility standards. The guidelines are derived from the official poverty thresholds produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. In their comments, Raoul and the attorneys general argue that OMB’s proposal to alter the way the poverty thresholds are updated over time could result in denying millions of people the assistance they deserve.
 
“Federal poverty guidelines help states provide vital services to families in need,” Raoul said. “This arbitrary change will have the worst impact on low-income residents and will succeed only in continuing to trap them in a cycle of poverty.”
 
Joining Raoul and James in submitting the comments were the attorney general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
 
On May 7, the OMB announced that it would consider lowering the measure of inflation that is used when adjusting the federal poverty threshold. According to Raoul and the attorney general, while the current formula is outdated and does not accurately reflect the spending patterns of people living close to the poverty threshold, a change the OMB is considering could only worsen flaws in the existing methodology. Additionally, Raoul and the attorneys general argue that OMB has not provided any evidence or reasoning to support lowering the measure of inflation. 
 
For the purposes of calculating the federal poverty threshold, OMB defines inflation as a rise in the general level of prices and represents a decline in the purchasing power of money. In the comments, Raoul and the attorneys general highlight research that shows low-income populations experience inflation at rates higher than other populations, and argue that lowering the measure of inflation will lower the poverty threshold and reduce the number of people who are deemed to be living in poverty and who are therefore eligible for federal benefits.

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Results of ISP's ACE Patrols

East Moline – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 7 Commander, Captain Jason Dickey,
announces the results of an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrol in Rock
Island County during June. These ACE patrols allowed the ISP to focus on preventing,
detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with
impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol or drugs. The results of these patrols are below:
 
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Citations: 1
Other Alcohol/Drug Citations: 2
Occupant Restraint Offenses: 2
Registration Offenses: 2
Driver’s License Offenses: 3
Insurance Violations: 3
Total Citations/Arrests: 21
Total Written Warnings: 29
 
Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle
crashes in Illinois. There is one alcohol-related traffic fatality every 53 minutes in the
United States. The ACE program allows officers to work even harder at removing
dangerous DUI offenders from the road. This project is funded through the Illinois
Department of Transportation.

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Next Artist for Levitt Amp Music Series Announced

GALVA, Illinois - Get ready for nostalgic folk songs and some Zydeco Creole when The Wildwoods and C.J. Chenier take the stage of the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series on Sunday, July 7th. The concert will begin at 6:00PM and end at 8:00PM and will be held at beautiful Wiley Park in Galva (Galva High School is the rain location).

 

Nebraska natives, The Wildwoods, bring a pioneering sound to Americana Roots Music. Their heartwarming lyrics and vocals are wrapped in a style of music that is like no other. With influences from old time country masters and today’s Indie/Folk sound, The Wildwood’s nostalgic melodies captivate people of all ages.  Residing in Lincoln, Nebraska, The Wildwoods’ Noah Gose (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano), Chloe Gose (vocals, violin, mandolin), and Noah Pinkman (vocals, guitar, mandolin, uke) were drawn to music at an early age. In 2016 they added talented members, Nate Morris (percussion) and Andrew Vaggalis (Bass, vocals), to complete the band’s “nostalgic” sound. The Wildwoods strive to make music that touches the soul, music that speaks of truth, and music that shares inspiring stories of effortless love, that will be sure to melt your heart after every performance

 

Chenier, a GRAMMY®-nominated, world-renowned musician and recording artist, has performed alongside many internationally recognized artists including his GRAMMY® awarded father, Clifton Chenier (“The King of Zydeco”), Paul Simon, Joe Sample and Ray Parker, Jr. Creole-born C.J. Chenier was raised in an indigenous American culture with its distinctive language, cuisine and music. He delivers soulful vocals along with masterful accordion-driven Zydeco and Blues.
         

He has appeared on numerous television shows and has exhibited his musicianship at many large festivals and venues such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Austin’s SXSW Music Conference. “The bottom line is when you’re going to a zydeco, you’re going to a party. There's gonna’ be a whole lot of dancing and a whole lot of eating and a whole lot of sweating! And you're gonna’ have a good time,” Chenier said. C.J. and the Red-Hot Louisiana Band are a ready-made party with deep roots in Americana music. 

 

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and coolers for an entertaining evening filled with music, food, and fun. There will also be activities for children and adults alike going on throughout the event. In addition, the following food vendors will also be available for those wishing for a bite-to-eat: Z Best, Boiler Room, Azteca de Oro, Snazzy’s Lemonade, Pop of the Morning, Anderson Family Coffee, and Special Kneads Bakery. All concerts are held at Wiley Park in Galva and provided free of charge.

 

The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series is supported in part the Quad City Arts Dollars, provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, and John Deere, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Mildred Arends Musical and Cultural Activities Fund and the Thomas & Lynn Landes Fund for Performing Arts at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private foundation that empowers towns and cities across America to transform underused public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music. Learn more at Levitt.org.

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BHC Board Meeting Announcement & Agenda

Black Hawk College has announced their next Board of Trustees Meeting, to be held on Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Black Hawk Room at the Quad-Cities Campus. Below is the Agenda for the meeting
 
MISSION STATEMENT
 
Black Hawk College enriches the community by providing the environment and educational resources for individuals to become lifelong learners.
 
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
 
You are hereby notified of the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Community College District #503 on Thursday, June 27, 2019. The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., in the Black Hawk Room, of the Quad-Cities Campus, 6600 34th Avenue, Moline, Illinois.
 
June 24, 2019
Steven P. Spivey, Secretary
 
I. CALL TO ORDER
 
II. ROLL CALL

Richard P. Fiems _______ Steve P. Spivey _______
Kimberly D. Goodley _______ Douglas L. Strand _______
Fritz W. Larsen _______ Joseph B. Swan _______
Jon A. Looney _______ Joshua R. Worten _______
 
III. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
 
IV. PUBLIC HEARING

A. The Board to Conduct a Public Hearing on FY2020 Budget
B. Roll Call for Public Hearing
C. Adjourn Public Hearing on FY2020 Budget
 
Moved by: __________ Seconded by: __________
 
V. MINUTES
A. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of May 23, 2019.
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
VI. EMPLOYEE/PUBLIC COMMENT
A. Faculty Senate – Quad-Cities Campus
B. Faculty Senate – East Campus
C. Labor Management Council Report
D. QC Student Government Association /EC Student Government Association
1. Quad Cities Faculty Senate Year-End Report 2018-2019
E. Other - Anyone who wishes to address the Board under the Public Comment Section of the agenda shall make a written request of the Chair or of the Secretary of the Board prior to the beginning of the meeting. Such written request may be conveyed through the President's Office. (Board Policy 10.44.4)
 
VII. BOARD REPORTS – CONSENT
A. Ratification of Expenditures for the Period Ending May 31, 2019. BR#9433
B. Ratification of Expenditures for Preferred Vendors May 2019. BR#9434
C. Ratification of Expenditures for Board of Trustees Travel Expenses and Pre-Travel
Approval Forms. BR#9435
D. Ratification of Acceptance of Funds for Perkins Postsecondary Grant from the Illinois
Community College Board FY2020 BR#9436
E. Ratification of Acceptance of Funds for Innovative Bridge and Transition Program Grant –
FY2020 BR#9437
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
VIII. BOARD REPORTS
A. Approval of Adoption of Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget BR#9438
B. Approval of Renewal and Execution of Treasurer’s Bond 2019-2020 BR#9439
C. Approval of Resolution Renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day BR#9440
D. Approval of Discontinuation of AAS Degree – Fire Service Officer BR#9441
E. Approval of Discontinuation of Certificate Program – Medical Billing BR#9442
F. Personnel Recommendations, BR#9443
1. Philip Jason Schroeder Employment BR#9443
G. Approval for the Purchase of a Skid Steer Loader BR#9444
H. Approval of Award of Contract for Basic Life, Long-Term Disability, Voluntary Life, and
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance BR#9445
I. Approval of Annual Employment Agreements, BR#9446, BR#9447, BR#9448, BR#9449,
BR#9450, BR#9451, BR#9452, BR#9453, BR#9454, BR#9455, BR#9456, BR#9457,
BR#9458, BR#9459, BR#9460, BR#9461, BR#9462 and BR#9463
1.Vice President for Instruction, Dr. Amy Maxeiner. BR#9446
2. Vice President for Finance and Administration, Steve Frommelt. BR#9447
3. Director of Human Resources, Stacey Cary. BR#9448
4. Co-Chief Information Officer and Manager of Admin Systems, Sandy Cox. BR#9449
5. Co-Chief Information Officer and ITS Systems Manager, Ryan White. BR#9450
6. Executive Director of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, Kathy Malcolm. BR#9451
7. Director of Marketing & Public Relations, John Meineke. BR#9452
8. Chief of Police, Shawn Cisna. BR#9453
9. Director of Risk Management, Kaye Quick. BR#9454
10. Dean of Adult and Continuing Education, Glenda Nicke. BR#9455
11. Dean of Enrollment Management, Heather Bjorgan. BR#9456
12. Director of Accounting, Dena Grunewald. BR#9457
13. Director of the Quad-Cities Foundation, Maureen Dickinson. BR#9458
14. Director of the East Campus Foundation, Elizabeth Breedlove. BR#9459
15. Director of Financial Aid, Diana Strom. BR#9460
16. Budget and Accounting Manager, Julia Rodriguez. BR#9461
17. Director of Payroll, Leanna Bowers. BR#9462
18. Director of Purchasing and Auxiliary Services, Michael Meleg. BR#9463
19. Vice President of Student Services, Dr. LaDrina Wilson. BR#9464
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
IX. PRESIDENT & ADMINISTRATION REPORTS
A. President’s Update
1. Written Reports by Tim Wynes
B. Finance – Written Reports by Steve Frommelt
1. Merchant Spend P Card Dashboard, May 2019
2. Financial Operations of the College for the Period Ending May 31, 2019
C. Administrative Services – BHC Construction Timeline – Written Report by Steve Frommelt
D. Human Resources – Positions in Process – Written Report by Stacey Cary
E. Foundations
1. Quad-Cities Campus Liaison Report – Trustee Fiems
2. East Campus Liaison Report – Trustee Spivey
 
X. BOARD OF TRUSTEES INFORMATION
A. ICCTA/ACCT Report
B. Dates of Interest
C. Miscellaneous
 
XI. CLOSED SESSION
The Board of Trustees may, upon a majority vote of a quorum present, also vote to convene in
closed session in accordance with Subsection 2(a) of the Open Meetings Act [5 ILCS 120/2(a)]
to discuss:
1. Employment/Appointment Matters [5 ILCS 120/2(C)(1)]
2. Collective Negotiating Matters/Salary Schedules [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(2)]
3. Filling a vacancy on the Board of Trustees [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(3)]
4. Purchase or Lease of Real Property [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5)]
5. Setting a Price for Sale or Lease of Owned Property [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(6)]
6. Sale or Purchase of Securities, Investments, or Investment Contracts [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(7)]
7. Security / Criminal Matters [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(8)]
8. Pending Litigation [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(11)]
9. Discussion and Approval of Closed Session Minutes [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21)]
10. Discussion with Auditors [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(29)]
11. Other Matters Identified by the OMA [5 ILCS 120/2(a)]
 
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
XII. TRUSTEE EDUCATION
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
XIII. ADJOURN
Moved by: _______________ Seconded by: _______________
 
DATES OF INTEREST:
July 18, 2019, to December 12 2019
 
A list of Black Hawk College events can also be found at www.bhc.edu
 
July 18, 2019 Welding Graduation, QC Campus, STB 113-114, 3:30 p.m.
July 18, 2019 College Changes Everything, Tinley Park Convention Center
August 2-3, 2019 ICCTA Executive Committee Retreat, location TBD
August 8-10, 2019 ACCT Governance Leadership Institutes New Trustees Training, Washington DC
August 13, 2019 Fall Assembly Day, Hawk's Nest, 9:00 a.m.
August 22, 2019 Ribbon cutting for the new stables, East Campus 4:00 p.m.
August 29, 2019 Ribbon cutting for Building 1 renovation, QC Campus, 10:00 a.m.
September 5, 2019 Welding Graduation, QC Campus, time TBA
September 13-14, 2019 ICCTA Board of Representatives & Committee Meetings, Springfield, IL
October 16-19, 2019 ACCT 50th Anniversary Leadership Congress, San Francisco, CA
October 31, 2019 Welding Graduation, QC Campus, time TBA
November 8-9, 2019 ICCTA Board & Committee Meetings, Lisle, IL
December 12, 2019 Welding Graduation, QC Campus, time TBA

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Gov. Pritzker to Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill Today

Chicago — Today, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will reportedly sign the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (CRTA) into law, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis. Illinois will become the second state to legalize cannabis possession via the legislative process and the first to legalize retail sales legislatively.
 
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) worked closely with legislators and the governor’s office to craft and pass the CRTA, which contains the most far-reaching social equity provisions ever included in a legalization law. It includes reinvestment in communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition, broad expungement provisions, and measures to ensure the industry includes communities that have been targeted by cannabis enforcement. A summary of the CRTA is available at the following link, https://bit.ly/2W2s86y, and a more detailed look at the social equity and criminal justice reforms included in the legislation is available here: https://bit.ly/2Ws2355.
 
The Executive Director of the MPP, Steve Hawkins, commented on the bill being signed into law. “We applaud the Illinois Legislature and Gov. Pritzker on this resounding victory for personal liberty, racial justice, and common sense. MPP was honored to work hand-in-hand with elected leaders to craft a law ending cannabis prohibition, in a way that begins to remedy the devastation of communities targeted by the war on drugs. Illinois’ focus on fairness and equity in legalization should be a model for other states.”
 
The MPP has lobbied to reform cannabis policies in the Illinois state Legislature since 2004, previously leading the advocacy campaigns behind Illinois’ successful medical cannabis (2013) and decriminalization efforts (2016). The MPP states they will “continue working with allies to ensure smooth implementation of Illinois’ legalization law.”

 

EDIT: After the original posting the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has since commented on the signing. Their comments are below:

 

“While the Chamber has questioned whether this is the right direction for Illinois, we remained engaged in constructive dialogue with the administration, sponsors and legislators throughout the process," said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch.

 

"We believe the bill Governor Pritzker signed today, includes the strongest workplace protections in the nation, and maintains sturdy local control over zoning. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the importance of workplace protections for employers, employees and the public, especially by Senators Steans and Barickman and Representatives Cassidy and Welter. We believe these measures will empower our businesses and local communities to decide what is best for them throughout the implementation process, and we will be vigilant in maintaining those protections going forward."

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Bustos Announces Grant for Rockford Brownfield Sites

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced that Rockford will receive $400,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Brownfields Program.


Brownfields are properties that may contain a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant that may restrict the ability for expansion or redevelopment. The EPA’s Brownfield Program allows them to repurpose these areas in an effort to drive economic development and create jobs, while also taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Areas that are identified as being suitable for new investment are designated as an Opportunity Zone, which may also make the area eligible to preferential tax treatment. Earlier this month, Congresswoman Bustos announced $300,000 from the EPA to clean up brownfield sites in Rockford. The Brownfields Program was reauthorized by Congress in 2018.


“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, investing in our communities is a top priority of mine and today’s announcement will help Rockford grow its local economy,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “I’m pleased to see these federal funds come back to our Congressional District to ensure Rockford is both safe and ready for business. I’ll continue working with Mayor McNamara and community leaders so Rockford continues to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.” 


Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara commented on the grants, “The City of Rockford is very excited for the Brownfield Assessment grant award and the ability to extend our long-term partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in assessing and redeveloping brownfield properties in our community. “Brownfield grant funds have been an early economic catalyst in Rockford for valuable redevelopment projects, including the UW Health Sports Factory, the downtown Embassy Suites hotel, and the Rock Valley College advanced technology education center at the former Barber-Colman manufacturing complex. We will continue to utilize our brownfield grant funds in a manner most effective to reduce blight and turn brownfield properties into community assets.” 

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WKEI Celebrity Interview Matt Bell Blood & Treasure on CBS

Actor Matt Barr is the star of the new CBS adventure series Blood & Treasure. Blood & Treasure stars Matt as a former FBI Agent and Antiquities Expert who goes on a whirlwind, worldwide adventure to protect historic artifacts. Blood & Treasure is the kind of throwback adventure series with exotic locations and big action that networks have not made in a while. Matt Barr joined us on WKEI to celebrate the success and tell a few stories about Blood & Treasure this morning. Stream or download our interview below... 

 

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Wethersfield Superintendent Talks About New Head Football Coach

Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski was our guest on People to People on WKEI on Monday. Superintendent Shane Kazubowski took the start of the interview to thank former A & W Titans Football coach Brandon Johnston for his years of service as Head Football Coach for the co-op...

Then Mr Kazubowski discussed the choice of Logan Willits as the new Titans Head Football Coach...

You can hear our complete interview with Superintendent Kazubowski in our People to People Podcast. 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Offering $10.00 Sports Physical Clinics

The High School athlete in your family may want to know that OSF Saint Luke Medical Center has a low cost option for your annual sports physical. OSF will be holding a pair of Sports Physical Clinics coming up on July 1st and on August 13th and the cost is only $10.00 says Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

Carrie Boelens was our guest on Tuned In on Monday. You can hear our complete conversation with Carrie in our Tuned In Podcast. 

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Kewanee City Council Wrap-Up for 06-24-19

The Kewanee City Council met on Monday night at Kewanee City Hall and held a marathon, 2 plus hour meeting. On the agenda were a number of items but first, in the midst of Public Comments, a resident of West 3rd Street in Kewanee, Sammie Borst spoke to the Council expressing concerns about speeders whom she claims are going through her residential area near the former boiler location are creating a dangerous situation. The City Council tasked Police Chief Troy Ainley with investigating the speeding in the area as well as reports of ATV's riding on the streets. On the actual agenda for the meeting, the City Council refused to consider an application from the Kewanee Shell Express Lane for a dual use license for gaming at the Shell location on Prospect and Main. 

The Council refused to discuss or vote on the request from the Shell Express Lane owners and the matter was dropped. Next on the agenda, the Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of the requests for a fireworks display on the 4th of July. This was followed by another 5 to 0 vote in favor of amending an agreement with Patriot Renewable Fuels that fixed language in a previous contract. 

The council voted 5 to 0 in favor of funds to repair the surge tanks at the north and south Kewanee Water Treatment Plants. 

The council then heard a series of zoning requests, voting 5 to 0 in favor of a request from resident Mike Nichols for a variance at 803 Page Street and then voting against a variance for Jose Chavez of 1200 West Division Street for the front yard. The council did however, vote in favor of a variance for Mr Chavez's backyard. 

Among the lengthier discussions of the night came when the council considered an agreement with Stewart Spreading to remove waste water sludge at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment plant. Council Member Mike Yaklich talked about the frustration over how the issue of the waste water lagoon has been handled with the City Council being informed of the emergency situation at the Waste Water Treatment plant with only 45 days to act on the emergency... 

Council Member Chris Colomer stated that the intent of the council is not to lay blame but to determine where the break down in communication took place that led to the emergency situation. City Manager Gary Bradley addressed the cost of hiring Stewart Spreading to handle the draining of the lagoon and the hauling and spreading of the sludge... 

In the end, the Council voted 5 to 0 against an agreement with Stewart Spreading and asked that other solutions to the Sludge removal issue be investigated immediately. 

The meeting closed with a lengthy presentation from City Manager Gary Bradley who addressed issues raised at the previous Council Meeting by City Council Member Mike Yaklich. In a lengthy statement, the City Manager went point by point on Councilman Yaklich's document given to the media and offered where he had responded to each request with documentation from meeting minutes and council packet communications. You can hear the entirety of the City Manager's response in the video of last night's Council Meeting on the RegionalDailyNews Facebook Page. The presentation from the City Manager can be viewed at 1 hour and 1 Minute into the video linked here. 

In council communications, Council Member Mike Yaklich had a lengthy exchange with Community Development Director Keith Edwards regarding code enforcement related to a complaint by a resident that Mr Edwards had asked them to tear down a fence that had been built with materials not in line with City Code. Mr Edwards indicated that he had informed the homeowner that they could apply for a variance for the fence or take the fence down. This led to a series of Code Enforcement questions from Councilman Yaklich which can be viewed in the video on the RegionalDailyNews.com Facebook page. That said, the Council Meeting ran over two hours long which outlasted the battery life of the WKEI broadast. However, WKEI was able to record audio of the final 12 Minutes of the Council Meeting which can be heard below... 

Mayor Gary Moore will be our guest on Tuned In at 9:35 Am with more on last night's meeting. 

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Kewanee Police warning of Home Repair Scams Targeting Seniors

Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley is warning seniors to be on the look out for potential home repair scams in the area. Recently, the Kewanee Police have received complaints from local seniors about aggressive tactics being used to push unnecessary home repairs on vulnerable seniors. Council Member Steve Faber raised the issue at Monday night's Kewanee City Council and Police Chief Ainley talked about efforts to make seniors aware of the scams... 

From Chief Ainley's release to the media here are recommendations to follow and warnings to watch for... 

 

Recommendations: 

Get recommendations and references. Talk to friends, family, and others who have used the contractor for similar work. 


Get more than one estimate and get them in writing


Insist on a written contract that states exactly what work will be done, the quality of the materials that will be used, warranties, timetables, and the names of any subcontractors, the total cost of the job, and the schedule of payments. 


Verify any licenses or regulations are met prior to hiring the contractor. 


Don’t make the final payment until you are satisfied that all subcontractors have been paid. 
The following are red flags of possible home repair fraud. 

 

Warning Signs to Watch For 


1.  The contractor comes door to door seeking you out or has out-of-state license plates.
2.  The contractor happens to have material left over from a recent job.
3.  The contractor asks for a check payable to a third party.
4.  The contractor requests full payment before the job is completed. 
5.  The contractor refuses to provide proof of insurance or references. 
6.  The contractor offers to drive the homeowner to their bank to withdraw funds to pay for              the work. 

 

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Democrat Districts Getting Significantly More Infrastructure Project Funds than Republican Districts

Democratic legislative districts in Illinois are set to receive infrastructure funds at a rate of 2 dollars for every 1 dollar awarded to Republican led legislative districts. That is the word from Illinois Republicans who participated in the negotiations over the most recent infrastructure funding bill in Springfield. The finding was considered not surprising given the overwhelming numbers of Democrat led legislative districts in Illinois. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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AFSCME Ratifies First New Contract with State of Illinois in Four Years

The largest employee union in the state of Illinois has ratified their first contract with the state in 4 years. AFSCME members on Monday gave final approval to a new 4 year year contract that includes an 11.5% pay increase and a $625.00 stipend for each year that AFSCME members worked without a contract. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Residents Crossing State Lines to Purchase Fireworks

Fireworks retailers in states neighboring Illinois are reporting a large number of Illinois residents purchasing fireworks. Despite the fact that most fireworks are illegal in the state of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has reported a significant increase in the amount of illegal fireworks possession in the state despite potential criminal penalties. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Senator Durbin Calls Immigrant Holding Centers a Humanitarian Crisis

Senator Dick Durbin continues to seek answers on what he calls a humanitarian crisis created by President Trump at the nation's southwest border. He expressed his concerns about a bill providing funding to alleviate overcrowding at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities...


Former Homeland Security John Kelly is now a board member of Caliburn International. 

 

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Corps: Threat of Flooding Still Not Over

It’s been awhile, but barge traffic is now moving along the Mississippi River. The waterway was shutdown back on March 15 due to high water and it’s been a long slow descent. But the threat of flooding is still not over says Tom Heinold, chief of operations for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District. 


As many Mississippi River reporting stations fall below flood stage, the Corps is now responding to the damages that the flooding has caused. Things like electrical systems and motors will have to be replaced at some locations. 

 

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Starved Rock State Park Cleaning Up After Flood

Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County is dealing with the aftermath of major flooding on the Illinois River last month. Floodwaters coated picnic areas and parking lots with mud and debris and infiltrated restrooms. Site Superintendent Kerry Novak says staff members are working on dealing with the debris and mud.

The park is getting extra funds from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources for the cleanup. Novak predicts it’ll cost between $60,000 and $80,000. He hopes to start awarding bids for the various projects soon. The picnic areas and boat launch are still closed.

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Fire Safety This Summer

Summer time brings a unique set of fire risks and the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office wants you to enjoy the next few months safely. Spokesman JC Fultz says if you setting up a camp fire or bonfire take a good look at your surrounding and make sure the area is fit for an outdoor fire.

The fire marshal also wants grill – both charcoal and gas to be set up more than just a few feet away from a house or deck.

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Henry County Democrats to Hold Monthly Meeting in Cambridge Thursday

The Henry County Democrats have announced that they will hold a meeting on Thursday, June 27th. It's the monthly meeting for Henry County Democrats and on the agenda are items including plans to be part of the Galva Freedom Fest celebration and the upcoming Meat in the Park event in Kewanee which has been tentatively scheduled for July 20th. The monthly meeting of Henry County Democrats will be held on June 27th at 6:30 Pm at Bella Pizza in Cambridge. 

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People to People Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski

Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski was our guest on People to People on Monday. Mr. Kazubowski joined WKEI to welcome new A & W Titans Head Football Coach Logan Willets and wish a fond farewell to former Coach Brandon Johnston. We also discussed new and retiring teachers and staff, online registration for the next school year and Wethersfield Academic Hall of Fame nominations which are due by July 1st. Stream or download today's People to People Podcast below...

 

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IL Representatives Secure Grant Extension for Quad Cities Amtrak Route

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) yesterday received confirmation from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the agency had granted the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) a six month extension for federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago rail project to give local stakeholders needed flexibility to finalize an agreement. The funding is now extended to November 30, 2019.
 
“I’m pleased that the FRA agrees with us about the importance of this critical Illinois transportation initiative,” Duckworth said. “The Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project is an important component of Illinois’ dynamic transportation system. I look forward to continuing to work with Federal, state and local stakeholders to make sure this project is completed as quickly as possible.”
 
“In 2010, I was proud to secure federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago Amtrak route, which will benefit commuters, schools, and businesses in Illinois,” Durbin said. “Since then, the region has waited patiently for this to become a reality while Governor Rauner refused to commit to the project. I’m glad Governor Pritzker backs this important project and committed state funds to getting it done, and that FRA granted this federal funding extension.”
 
“The completion of a rail line from Moline to Chicago would help grow the local economy, create jobs and connect folks from across our state with new opportunities,” Bustos said. “We must work to get this project across the finish line as soon as possible and this news from FRA is another step forward in making sure it becomes reality. I will continue fighting to make sure these funds are protected for this important project.”
 
Duckworth received a commitment from FRA Administrator Ronald Batory Wednesday to provide IDOT with flexibility to finalize agreements to advance the Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project at a Commerce, Science and Transportation committee hearing. Also on Wednesday, Duckworth, Durbin and Bustos wrote to DOT urging for an extension.
 
After funding delays from former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker renewed the state’s financial commitment to the proposed state-supported Amtrak route between Chicago and Moline by providing $225 million in state funding for the project in the state’s recently passed capital bill. The grant amendment extends the deadline for Illinois to use $177 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding that was secured in Fiscal Year 2010.

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Bustos Urges Secretary of Agriculture to Issue Disaster Declaration

WASHINGTON - Last Friday, June 21st, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) spoke with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, where she urged him to issue a disaster declaration for areas of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.


“Our region is facing unprecedented weather conditions – the likes of which our farmers and producers have never seen in their lives,” Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the House Agriculture Committee said. “Flooded fields are preventing farmers from getting crops in the ground this season and it’s clear they are in need of assistance. I’ll do everything in my power to provide producers with the tools they need to overcome these difficult times. I thank Secretary Perdue for today’s conversation and will continue working with him on behalf of hardworking Illinoisans to support our farm economy.”


On the call, Congresswoman Bustos thanked Secretary Perdue for issuing a rule on Thursday, implementing part of legislation the Congresswoman has cosponsored, to have the Risk Management Agency move the final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 – providing farmers with more time to benefit from cover crops. She also urged the Secretary to issue a Secretarial disaster declaration for growers to be eligible for disaster assistance, increase prevent plant crop insurance coverage guarantee and to push back the premium payment date for crop insurance to December 1.


On Thursday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) released the following statement after Henry and Knox Counties were included in the State of Illinois’ disaster proclamation:
“I’m pleased Gov. Pritzker has added both Henry and Knox Counties to the state’s disaster proclamation. After visiting with farmers in Henry County and across our region, it’s clear that this year’s flooding is taking an unprecedented economic toll. On the federal level as a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue fighting for resources to help both families and farmers recover.”


Recently, Congresswoman Bustos held discussions with farm bureaus across the district – including Whiteside County, Henry County, Mercer County, Rock Island County and the Illinois Farm Bureau. During those conversations, farmers have expressed to Congresswoman Bustos that current conditions are the worst they have ever seen. As a result, many are being forced to take a prevent plant crop insurance payment – which may not even cover their expenses. The call also comes after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker declared Henry County and Knox County – both in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District – as state disaster areas yesterday. In addition to extreme weather conditions, farmers continue to face uncertainty due to the president’s reckless trade war. Since being elected to Congress, Congresswoman Bustos has used her position on the House Agriculture Committee to advocate tirelessly for protecting and opening markets for Illinois farmers.

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Illinois' 3 Month Payroll on the Rise, According to IDES

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that nonfarm payrolls were down -2,400 jobs over-the-month and the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in May, unchanged from the prior two months, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The April jobs increase was revised downward from the preliminary report (from +20,900 to +18,400 jobs).
 
Illinois payroll employment has shown variability in the past several months, as has National employment. Average payroll employment growth in Illinois during the March to May three-month period, which provides a more stable measure of payroll employment change, was +3,300 jobs, with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,800), Education and Health Services (+1,300) and Construction (+1,200).
 
“We continue to see long-term job growth and to build upon that growth this administration is hard at work creating an economy that supports Illinois’ working families,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “Governor Pritzker signed a bipartisan, balanced budget that makes the critical investments needed to continue this momentum and lift up our middle class.”  
 
“Supporting our local businesses, encouraging new enterprises to move to Illinois and creating earning opportunities for working people are top priorities for this administration. We are encouraged by the continued growth and look forward to continuing to provide the support that businesses and workers need to achieve success.” Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
 
Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +74,700 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in May: Professional and Business Services (+19,400), Education and Health Services (+17,800) and Leisure and Hospitality (+13,100). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Information (-3,600) and Mining (-300). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.2 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in May.
 
The state’s unemployment rate is +0.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for May  2019, which remained at 3.6 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is up +0.1 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.3 percent. The number of unemployed workers decreased from the prior month, -0.5 percent to 285,100,  and was up +2.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month and rose +0.3 percentage point over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. To help connect job seekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine, IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 60,347 posted resumes with 96,869 jobs available.

 

About IDES : IDES encourages employment by connecting employers to jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Department’s website at www.ides.illinois.gov for more information. You can also follow IDES on Twitter and Facebook.

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Tuned In Carrie Boelens and Connie Weston from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined WKEI for our weekly chat about the goings on at OSF. This week Carrie talked about Sports Physicals. July 1st is the first of two clinics where local High School athletes can pay $10.00 cash to get an IHSA approved sports physical. Carrie was joined by Connie Weston, long time Mammography tech at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Connie is there every Wednesday for Walk-In Wednesday, the day when women can get a mammogram without having to make an appointment. You can stream or download today's Tuned In Program below... 

 

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Kewanee Police Investigating a Shooting in the Area of Vine Street

The Kewanee Police Department is seeking the help of the public regarding a shooting that occurred early Monday morning at 102 North Vine Street. According to Kewanee Police, the shooting occurred at approximately 12:52 Am on Monday morning, June 24th. Kewanee Police responded to the scene and found a 25 year old male victim with a gunshot wound and a 26 year old victim with blunt force injuries. Both victims were taken from the scene to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. The male victim was then transferred to OSF St Francis in Peoria. No other information is available at this time regarding the condition of the victims. Kewanee Police are asking anyone who has any information regarding this shooting at 102 North Vine Street in Kewanee to please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911 or the Henry County Crimestoppers at 309-937-2324. The Henry and Mercer County Investigative Task Force is leading the investigation. The Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services processed the scene of the shooting. 

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Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones Addresses Jail Meals and Public Safety Sales Tax

Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones joined WKEI on Friday's edition of People to People. In that interview, the Henry County Board Chairman addressed a Star Courier report that funds from the Public Safety Sales Tax had been misappropriated and used to pay for meals for inmates at the Henry County Jail. According to Marshall Jones, the funds were used appropriately, and that inmate meals were covered as part of a resolution passed in October of 2017...

Revenue from the Public Safety Sales Tax had come in in previous months lower than expected but those numbers are beginning to improve. Most importantly however, according to Chairman Jones, the situation with public safety sales tax funds and what they are being used for, the situation is resolved...

You can hear our complete conversation with Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones in our People to People Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com. 

 

 

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Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group Aims at Stopping Human and Drug Trafficking

Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley successfully pushed to have Kewanee join a new Henry County task force battling back against human and drug trafficking. The new inter-governmental agreement between Kewanee, Geneseo, Colona and the Henry County Sheriff's Office combines forces to create the Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group. This comes as Human Trafficking continues to get more and more attention in the nation's mid-section as Chief Ainley explains...

We asked Chief Ainley about how the idea for the Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group came together... 

The task force is now meeting to plan how patrols will go and once the effort is fully underway, Chief Ainley will begin delivering monthly status updates to the Kewanee City Council. 

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Legalized Cannabis Sales to Start Sooner Rather than Later in Illinois

Sales of legalized recreational cannabis could start not long after Governor J.B Pritzker signs the bill currently awaiting his signature. This fact has current marijuana cultivators in the state of Illinois, such as Revolution Enterprises in Delevan, Illinois, which has been in the medical marijuana business for the past few years, eager to get started on expansion plans in an attempt to meet the expected demand for legal marijuana. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Latest Population Stats: Illinois Losing Young People and Working Age Adults

New population numbers in the state of Illinois show that the state is getting older. According to numbers released on Friday, the state of Illinois is struggling to keep young people and working age adults in the state. Meanwhile, the retiree population in Illinois appears to be the only area where the state grew in numbers. More from our repoorter Cole Lauterbach. 

 

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Pritzker Blasts Trump While Signing Pro-Immigrant Legislation

Governor J.B. Pritzker continues his pledge to fight threats of mass deportations from the White House. Pritzker took on President Trump directly over the weekend when he signed three pieces of legislation that he says are designed to protect Illinois’ immigrant community...


Among the bills signed was the Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act, which would ban immigrant detention centers in the state of Illinois. That would put a stop to plans to use a facility in Dwight, Illinois, as a detention center for immigrants. The bill prohibits state, county and local governments from entering into any agreement or making any financial transactions with a private detention facility. Governor Pritzker also signed the Keep Illinois Families Together Act. It prohibits local law enforcement agencies from engaging in federal immigration enforcement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Governor Pritzker also signed the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act It allows undocumented and transgender students to receive MAP grants and institutional aid at public institutions.

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Students from Kewanee and Annawan Earn Black Hawk College Phi Theta Kappa Status

Students from Annawan and Kewanee are among those that achieved Phi Theta Kappa status from the Quad Cities campus of Black Hawk College. According to the release from Black Hawk College, Ben Buresh of Annawan and Kasey Jones of Kewanee earned the honor of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges, by working through at least 12 Credit Hours and maintaining a 3.5 Grade Point Average. The full list of Phi Theta Kappa honorees from Black Hawk College Quad Cities campus are listed below... 

The inductees by hometown are:

·       Annawan – Ben Buresh

·       Colona – Ness Ben-Nun

·       Davenport, IA – Kelly Ward

·       East Moline – Johanna Lopez, Alicia Salinas De Gonzalez, Julia Van Houten

·       Erie – Bailey Youngberg, Justice Youngberg

·       Fenton – Alissa Decker

·       Geneseo – Dale Benjamin, Mikala Hess, Deanna Palm, Alexia Ramirez, Emily Smit

·       Illinois City – Weston Harby

·       Kewanee – Kasey Jones

·       Matherville – Morgan Litwiler, Addison Slavish

·       Milan – Kaitlyn Green

·       Moline – Osarodion Aigbogun, Matthew Clark, Hannah Grigsby, Christi Hughes, Ty Lewis, Jakob Lybarger, Kameron Mattson, Edgar Rosales, Melissa Tatman, April White, Esther Zaldana

·       Nicholasville, KY – Tia Cannon

·       Prophetstown – Rebecca Clementz

·       Rock Island – Michaela Abbott, Anthony Barrios, Ricardo Garriques, John Martin, Tiera Teague

·       Silvis – Belul Bekteshi

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Illinois 'Gasoline Party' Calling for Gas Price Boycott

A group calling itself the 'Gasoline Party' wants you to boycott the purchase of gasoline in Illinois for one week. According to a press release from the Gasoline Party on Facebook, the plan is for drivers in Illinois to boycott purchasing gasoline in Illinois in the first week of July. The first week in July will be the first week with the newly increased gas prices from the recently passed infrastructure bill in Springfield. The party aims to convince Illinois drivers to go without buying gas in the state for one week. The effort is aimed, for the most part, at those on the border of Illinois that can go to other states to purchase gas. You can read the release from the Gasoline Party below... 

 

"No one in Illinois buys gasoline the first week of July.  It's not that hard.  Fill up the weekend before, and if you need gas during the week, go to a neighboring state.  Yes, it may be a little out of your way, but it's well worth it to send a message to lawmakers.  They are so sure they are going to increase revenue this way, when they haven't considered that a good portion of people will buy gas in other states, thereby reducing revenue AND punishing those who do purchase in Illinois.

 

Let's show lawmakers that double of nothing is still nothing!  Not only will this drastically reduce the tax revenue from the sale of gasoline for the week, it will also reduce income of the businesses.  There will be decreases in the purchases of incidental items at all of the convenience stores, cigarettes, and lottery tickets.  So  if you purchase tickets or cigarettes regularly, when you buy your gas in another state, buy them there too."

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Illinois State Police Announce Child Pornography Bust in Milan

The Illinois State Police have announced the arrest of a 40 year old Milan, Illinois man on charges related to Child Pornography. According to the Illinois State Police, a tip from the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children led the Illinois State Police to the arrest of 40 year old Jeffery A Hallesy of Milan on charges of Indecent Solicitation of a Minor and Possesssion of Child Pornography. Hallesy was caught while carrying on inappropriate communications with a child in Warren County. That communication was investigated by NCMEC and then given to the Illinois State Police which made the arrest of Hallesy on June 12th. According to the Illinois State Police, Hallesy is being held at the Warren County Jail on $25,000 bond. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for 06-24-19

The agenda for Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting has been released. According to the agenda, the City Council will consider a dual use license for the Shell Express Lane in Kewanee. Owners of the Shell station want to expand and create a gaming area at the station. The gaming area would also sell alcohol. Plans to deal with the sludge at the Kewanee Water Treatment Plant will also be discussed and their will be a presentation by Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley addressing questions raised at the last Kewanee City Council Meeting by Councilman Mike Yaklich. Full agenda is below.... 

 

Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Request from Hog Capital Barbecue, Inc. to use certain streets, parking lots, and public areas
for the 66th annual Hog Capital of the World Festival from Friday, August 30th through Monday,
September 2nd, 2019.
4. Presentation of Bills and Claims
5. Citizen Participation
6. Business:
a) Consideration of proposal from Shell for a combination liquor license
b) Consideration of a Request for a fireworks permit for the annual July 4th fireworks display.
c) Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to an
agreement with Patriot Fuels, LLC.
d) Consideration of a Resolution ratifying certain expenditures for emergency repairs to the
surge tanks at the north and south water treatment plants.
e) Acceptance of the minutes of the Zoning Board of Appeals from its meeting held on
Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
f) Consideration of an Ordinance granting a variance to Michael Nichols at 803 Page St.
g) Consideration of an Ordinance granting a request for a variance for the front yard to Jose
Chavez at 1200 W Division Street.
h) Consideration of an Ordinance granting a request for a variance for the rear yard to Jose
Chavez at 1200 W Division Street.
i) Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with
Stewart Spreading for biosolids removal and associated services for the Waste Water
Treatment Plant.
j) Presentation from the City Manager.
7. Council Communications:
8. Announcements:
9. Adjournment

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Rock Island Arsenal Historian to Give D-Day Presentation in Toulon Today (Saturday)

Rock Island Aresenal historian Kevin Braafladt will be in Toulon this afternoon for a historic presentation. Braafladt will join members of the Stark County Historical Society at Toulon Methodist Church at 1:30 Pm and discussed the preparation for D-Day, the so-called 'deception' operations and the landing itself, in a wide ranging presentation. There is no cost to attend and everyone is invited to turn out and hear from well-known local historian Kevin Braafladt. 

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People to People Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones 06-21-19

Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones was our guest on People to People on Friday. Mr Jones joined WKEI to talk about what the county is doing to address flooding and help Henry County Farmers. We also talked about the remarkable hard work and dedication of Henry County Emergency Management Director Matt Schnepple and his recent role in helping Henry County get a disaster declaration from Governor Pritzker. The Henry County Health Department is moving to a new location at the former location of Save A Lot in Kewanee and Marshall Jones updated us on the status of the move and finally, Marshall Jones addressed questions regarding the Public Safety Sales Tax and questions raised about the funds raised and how they are being used and can be used. Stream or download today's People to People Podcast below... 

 

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Yemm Auto Group Friday with Sales Director Justin Wright

Justin Wright with Yemm Auto Group in Galesburg was our guest on WKEI for our weekly Yemm Auto Group mini-cast. Justin tells us that he needs our help because there are simply too many well priced used vehicles for sale and they need to get them sold but first, Justin tells us about a customer from right here in Kewanee who got a fantastic deal after hearing Justin last week on WKEI... 

 

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Tuned In Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley

Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley was our guest on Tuned In on Friday. Chief Ainley joined WKEI to talk about the new Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group, an inter-governmental agreement between Kewanee, Colona, Geneseo and the Henry County Sheriff's Office to increase efforts to combat human and drug trafficking on our local highways. You can stream or download our Tuned In Podcast with Chief Ainley below... 

 

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Toy Story 4 Opens in Kewanee This Weekend

Toy Story 4 opens at the Wanee Cinemas in downtown Kewanee today. Toy Story 4 picks up the story of our friends Woody and Buzz, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, as their kid, Bonnie, is headed to Kindergarten. Scared for her, Woody sneaks into her book bag and goes with her. There he sees Bonnie make a new toy friend, literally. Bonnie uses a spork, some sticks, and some other craft items to create Forky (Tony Hale) and Woody makes it his mission to protect Forky and keep him together with Bonnie by any means necessary. Recently Tom Hanks talked about Woody's story in Toy Story 4... 

It's been 25 years since the original Toy Story hit theaters and became an all time classic that resides on the American Film Institute Top 100 Movies of all time list. Tim Allen and Tom Hanks here talk about Buzz and Woody and Tim and Tom 25 years later... 

Toy Story 4 opens today at the Wanee Cinemas. 

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New Law Targets Diversity on Corporate Board of Directors

Under a new bill to be signed by Governor J.B Pritzker, corporations headquartered in Illinois must disclose the racial and gender makeup of their board of directors. The bill also mandates a certain amount of racial and gender diversity or the corporation would be considered in violation of Illinois law. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Texting While Driving Penalties Increase July 1st in Illinois

Penalties for those who text while driving will increase on July 1st and the Illinois State Police are spreading the word to drivers to put down their phones. Under the new law, texting while driving will be classified as a moving violation and will carry penalties that could lead to the loss of your drivers license along with a sliding scale of increasing fines for each time you are caught on your phone while driving. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Pritzker Praises New Pension Buyout Plan

Despite the fact that the unfunded pension liability in Illinois is set to increase to $136 Billion under his new plan, Governor J.B Pritzker praised the plan during an appearance in Chicago earlier this week.. According to Governor Pritzker, though the new plan extends liability from 3 years to 6 years and creates a larger amount of unfunded pension, Pritzker believes giving people more time to decide on whether to accept a pension buyout will get more people to accept the buyout option. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more.. 

 

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Mural Tours Get New Route for 2019 Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

There will be a new route for this year's Mural Tour as part of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival, July 12th and 13th in Kewanee. Wanda Kieft one of the organizers of the mural tours spoke to WKEI this about the new route, which will begin at the Kewanee Historical Society, will visit all but one of the murals this year as Wanda explains... 

Mural tours begin at 10:00 Am with a second van leaving at 10:15 Am. Tours continue at 11:45 Am and another at 12 Noon and a final tour on Saturday at 1:30 Pm. Tours last about an hour and a half. Tours leave from the area near the Kewanee Historical Society. 

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Lincoln Bible Found and Donated to Lincoln Museum in Springfield

Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs have been a matter of historical debate. Lincoln never joined a church. He also denied being an enemy of religion and of Christians but never professed specifically that he was a believer. Some friends, including former law partner William Herndon claimed he was an atheist. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says Lincoln's religious beliefs grew stronger in his final days and they have proof in writing, with the donation of a unique bible that belonged to Abraham Lincoln in his final year of life. Lincoln Library/Museum Director Alan Lowe says a Lincoln owned bible donated to the library and museum clears up some misconceptions...


The descendants of Noyes Miner donated the bible after it had been in the family for 150 years. in 1872, Mary Todd Lincoln provided the bible to Miner, a Baptist minister who had lived across the street from the Lincolns in Springfield for several years, calling him “a friend very much beloved by my husband,” . The Bible will be exhibited in the museum’s Treasures Gallery for the rest of 2019. Mary Todd Lincoln insisterd that Lincoln did believe in God. He often attended church in Washington. He mentioned God in speeches and letters – And Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address was dominated by religious themes

 

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Ameren Cooling Assistance Program Now Targeting Seniors

If you were hoping for cooling assistance through Ameren's Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program this summer, a change in the program's qualifications may impact you. The utility's Shane Hartman says the program opened statewide June 1 with new guidelines. This year, the program is targeting only seniors or those with a heat-related disability.

The program is funded through donations by bill payers. Hartman says to contribute check out your Ameren paper bill or find your electronic copy at the Ameren Illinois website.

To get more information, visit the Ameren Illinois website. 

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Overhaul to Student Abuse Protections at School Soon to Be Signed Into Law

An overhaul to protections for students at school from sexual abuse could be coming. Lawmakers approved a number of changes to state laws after reports of abuse and harassment in Chicago Public Schools. State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant says it’s a step forward.

The bill will mandate schools to check employees against state sex offender lists on a more regular basis and creates another means for students to go through a hearing process after they report sexual abuse or harassment. 

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Manheim Steamroller Drummer Tom Sharpe Coming to Galva Saturday and Sunday

Tom Sharpe has been playing music since he was incredibly young. He grew up in a family surrounded by music and began playing instruments well before his teenage years. He began playing the drums at 10 years old and while he can play many instruments, the drums became a signature as he moved in the realm of being a professional musician. His skills earned him a place performing alongside Styx lead singer Dennis Deyoung and eventually landed in the touring powerhouse Manheim Steamroller. When he isn't on tour with Manheim Steamroller, Tom tours the country performing original music and holding music workshops. We asked Tom Sharpe about his next music workshop in Galva on Saturday at 2 Pm at First Baptist Church in Galva...

You can hear our complete interview with Tom Sharpe ahead of his concert as part of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series on Sunday night at 6 Pm in Wiley Park below... 

 

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Regional Daily News Celebrity Interview Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live

Chris Kattan shot to fame in the late 90's as a breakout member of the cast of Saturday Night Live. Characters like Mango and movies like A Night at the Roxbury made Kattan a star in his first years on Saturday Night Live but a freak injury during a sketch nearly brought his career to a standstill. Chris talks about how the injury changed his but also how not dealing with the injury cost him even more. On a lighter note, Chris recalls the story of a famous moment in the classic "More Cowbell" sketch on SNL in our RegionalDailyNews.com Celebrity interview. Stream or download Chris Kattan's interview below... 

 

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State Agencies Unite to Offer Assistance to for Communities Impacted by Flooding

SPRINGFIELD -- The State of Illinois launched a comprehensive website (www.Illinois.gov/2019Floods) dedicated to disaster recovery. Governor JB Pritzker has instructed agency directors across state government to make resources available to help local communities recover from this devastating flood. From emergency housing assistance to replacing SNAP benefits or agricultural aide, countless state agencies have come together to offer help to those affected by severe, widespread flooding.

 

“This flood event has had an unprecedented reach – impacting residents, business owners, farmers and entire communities,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Disasters take a toll on one’s physical and mental health. As Illinoisans begin to clean-up their businesses and homes, we also want to make mental health a priority.  We are proud to partner with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to offer a free informational Helpline – a much needed lifeline for those impacted by this disaster.”

 

“As a lifelong farmer I know firsthand how stressful farm life can be in a normal year, but this year has been exceptionally hard on our farmers not only financially, but mentally,” said John Sullivan, Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture. “If you need help please reach out to someone. Know you are not alone in feeling the pressure to secure your crops.”

 

The 2019 Illinois Flood Recovery website provides information on:
• Debris and Damage Reporting Tools
• Recovery resources- Emergency Housing and Mortgage Assistance, Availability of Multi-Agency Resource Centers, Health and Safety, Agricultural Resources, Fraud Alert information and Disaster Volunteer Organizations.
• Mental Health Helpline
• Road/Travel Updates
• Press Releases
• County Emergency Management contacts

 

“If you or your family has been impacted by the flooding, storms, or power outages, we want to help,” said IDHS Secretary Grace Hou. “We’ve helped hundreds of families in the past week receive replacement Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits when their food purchased with SNAP was destroyed by the storms or power outages. Please call 1-800-843-6154 or visit a local IDHS office to request replacement SNAP.”

 

As many communities begin to eye the clean-up and recovery process, Illinois’ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) stand ready to help those in need.  Among those organizations is the American Red Cross.  The organization provides cleaning supplies (such as buckets, bleach, mops, brooms, gloves, and trash bags), disaster counseling and timely referrals to other disaster relief organizations.  All assistance provided by the American Red Cross is free of charge.

 

To date, Governor JB Pritzker has issued a state disaster proclamation for 34 counties in Illinois due to the extreme flooding along the Illinois, Mississippi rivers and its tributaries.  Once the water recedes, counties will begin compiling damage assessment information, which will be turned into IEMA in order to submit a request for a federal disaster declaration.

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City of Kewanee Planning Commission to Hear Outdoor Beer Garden Permit Request for Lake Street Tap

The Kewanee Planning Commission will meet on Thursday, June 27th at 7 Pm in City Council Chambers with one item on the agenda. According a release from the City of Kewanee, on June 27th the Kewanee Planning Commission will hear a request for a permit for a beer garden being requested by Don Grabbe for the location 831 Lake Street, known as D & D Lake Street Tap. Meetings of the Planning Commission are open to anyone to attend. If the planning commission accepts the petition for the Beer Garden the final decision would be sent to the Kewanee City Council to be heard by the Council at the first City Council meeting in July.

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ISP Teams Up With Truckers and Logistics Group to Help Create Safer Roads for Illinoisans

Joliet, IL — During a press conference yesterday, Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announced a partnership between the ISP, the Illinois Trucking Association and Cadence Premier Logistics to bring a new safety initiative to Illinois called “Trooper in a Truck” to create greater awareness about distracted driving.
 
The new program is helping officers spot and correct unsafe driving behaviors of passing motorists by riding in the cab of a commercial motor vehicle and watching primarily for distracted driving offenses. Troopers are able to observe the violation taking place and notify other police units ahead to take enforcement action. To date, the ISP has conducted Trooper in a Truck details on I-55, I-57, and I-80.
 
In a press release sent to us by the ISP they issue this statement to Illinois drivers, “Our message to motorists is clear---ISP Troopers will be on the roads, making sure drivers are not talking or texting on their cell phones. Follow the rules of the road and avoid fines, jail time, and tragic circumstances. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can end in tragedy. Please do your part to help us make Illinois roadways safe, “Drop It and Drive!” A text can wait.”
 
Distracted driving is a leading cause of all traffic crashes. Approximately 10 people nationwide are killed daily from distracted driving crashes. The ISP encourages motorists to turn off their cell phone prior to operating a vehicle, so they are not tempted to answer calls on the road. If drivers must keep their cell phones turned on, the ISP encourages them to pull off the road to a safe location and away from traffic, prior to talking on a cell phone or sending a text message. Because public safety is their number one goal, the ISP, and their law enforcement partners, will be focusing their efforts on ensuring the motoring public is obeying all traffic laws.

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Governor Pritzker Issues Disaster Declaration for Henry and Knox Counties

Governor J.B Pritzker has officially issued a disaster declaration for Henry and Knox Counties. They join 35 other counties in Illinois in receiving the disaster designation specifically for farmers. In a statement released with the announcement of the Disaster Declaration, Governor Pritzker stated

 

“With heavy rain and historic flooding, rivers have crested throughout the state, causing untold damage to our communities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Homes, businesses, roads, bridges and farms have all been impacted, and local resources are nearing exhaustion as rains continue. I want to be clear: this administration will continue to provide all resources at our disposal to help our communities withstand and recover from this historic flooding. We stand with you and are here to help.”

 

The Governor still has the option to declare a statewide Disaster on behalf of farmers which would open more Federal money for the farm industry and farmers in particular but for now, the declaration for Henry and Knox County means that farm businesses in those counties will have resources to draw upon and farmers who deal with FSA in counties under the disaster declaration will have access to Federal assistance to help cover crop losses and other effects from the historic rain and flooding of 2019. 

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Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Amateur Art Show Finds New Home

P.L Damron's Cafe will be the new home of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Amateur Art Show. Barbara Love, who is helping to organize the amateur art show, along with Wanda Kieft, joined WKEI on Wednesday on People to People to talk about the Amateur Arts Show, who can enter, what can be entered and when artists need to turn in their entries... 

Prizes will be awarded on Saturday, July 13th, for first and second place in each of the competitive categories including Photography, Black and White Photography, People and/or Animals Photography, Landscape and/or flowers Painting, Graphic Art, 3 Dimensional Art. Get more information at DowntownKewanee.com

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Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival This Saturday

The Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival will be held this Saturday beginning at 11 Am. Todd Dedecker with the Bishop Hill Heritage Association joined WKEI on Wednesday's edition of Tuned In to give us a sense of what Midsommar is all about... 

The lineup for the festival changes year after year as Todd explains so that they can bring in a wide array of local bands from nearby towns such as this year's featured group the Orion Community Band. 

You can hear more about the fun to be had this weekend in Bishop Hill at the Midsommar Music Festival by listening to our complete interview with Todd Dedecker in our Tuned In Podcast

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Towns and Counties to Get Involved in Push to Get Census Count Right in Illinois

Concerns about Illinois population loss have towns, cities, villages and counties across Illinois working to assure that the U.S Census count in 2020 is as accurate as possible. Speculation is that with population loss in Illinois there could come a loss in the number of House seats in the state and with that less clout in the U.S House of Representatives. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Opens Up During Fireside Chat in Chicago

In a fireside chat at the Executive Club in Chicago, Governor J.B Pritzker talked about how President Trump's election inspired him to run for Governor. In a wide ranging chat, the Governor also stated why he believes there is no conflict between being a Progressive and being business friendly. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on the Governor's Fireside Chat... 

 

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Professional Oddsmaker Says Illinois Sports Gambling Bill Bad for Consumers Good for Gambling Industry

A professional oddsmaker is speaking out on the soon to be signed into law, legalized sports gambling bill in Illinois. According to James Murphy of CasinoInsider.com the bill benefits gambling insiders at the expense of taxpayers. Murphy points out that with licensing fees at a very high price and very limited number, competition will be low and will benefit those already within the gambling industry, More from our reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Little Mr and Miss Firecracker Announced and Grand Marshall Named for Galva Freedom Fest

Last night Galva Ready to Grow held a community get together at The Swamp to crown Little Mr and Miss Firecracker. The winners were chosen based on donations collected by placing photos of the contestants next to buckets where donations were placed. The winners announced last night were Maddox Anderson and Penelope O'Brien. Both kids will now take a place of honor in the Galva Freedom Fest 4th of July Parade at Noon on Thursday, February 4th. In a separate announcement on the Galva Ready to Grow Facebook page it was announced that former Star Courier reporter Mike Landis has been chosen as this year's Grand Marshall of the Galva Freedom Fest Parade. Events for Galva Freedom Fest get underway on Wednesday, July 3rd with live music at Wiley Park beginning at 6 Pm and a street dance in front of the Galva Fire Department at 8 Pm. Then on Thursday, July 4th the day begins with the Freedom Fest 5K coinciding with the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast. More information about Galva Freedom Fest on the Galva Freedom Fest Facebook page linked here.

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23rd Season of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Concert in the Park Begins Tonight

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Concert in the Park series gets underway tonight for the 23rd season of live music in Veterans Park. There are some changes to this years series as new cooks will be on hand to take care of the food that begins serving at 5 Pm this evening and, instead of closing the season, the Jim Markum Swing Band will open this year's concert in the park series says Mark Mikenas... 

The full lineup for the 23rd Season of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Concert in the Park Series is listed below. Food begins being served at 5 Pm and the concert begins at 6:30 Pm. 

June 20 Jim Markum Swing Band

June 27 Fran and the Country Gentleman

July 4 Northeast Park Concert

July 11 The Aristocrats

July 18 Prebyl, Palmer & Dove

July 25 Lyle Beaver & the Brass Notes

August 1 Coupe DeVille

August 8 Kewanee Community Band/Jazz on the Side

August 15 River City 6

August 22 Flagship Romance

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Durbin Weighs in on Lawsuit Seeking to End Affordable Care Act

Senator Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor, to express his concerns about the pending lawsuit, Texas v. United States, in which the Trump Administration is seeking to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act, and he says that means a loss of protection for people with pre-existing conditions....


Durbin says most Americans aren't in a good position to handle a costly health crisis....


Durbin continued to lash out against the pharmaceutical industry and soaring costs.

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Pritzker Responds to Trump Threat to Deport Millions

President Trump has pledged to deport millions of people residing in the U.S. illegally. Governor J.B. Pritzker is responding to Trump’s Monday night messages and he plans to respond with more than rhetoric....


Pritzker says state law will be used in a bid to protect those targeted for deportation... ........


Pritzker isn't outlining what steps he will take to protect some of the deportation targets 

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Workplace Harassment Being Addressed in New Bill

This spring a major rework of anti-harassment and discrimination laws were approved by lawmakers. Soon there could be more training for state employees, officials and lobbyists and a clear place to go for victims to report harassing behavior. Democrat Senator Melinda Bush says the proposals cover a few years of work.

Other parts of the bill include a panic button to be available for hotel and casino workers who are assaulted or harassed. 

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People to People Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Art Display and Mural Tour

Barbara Love and Wanda Kieft were our guests on People to People on Wednesday. Barbara is helping to head up the Amateur Art Show as part of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival and Wanda is taking the lead on the mural tours for that weekend. Barbara Love tells WKEI that contestants in the Amateur Art Contest need to turn in their art by July 11th to be displayed at P.L Damron's in Kewanee. Mural tours meanwhile will be setting off from next to the Kewanee Historical Society building at 211 North Chestnut Street with multiple tours going out on July 13th. Stream or download our latest profile of events with the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Below... 

 

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Tuned In Todd Dedecker Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival This Weekend

Todd Dedecker with the Bishop Hill Heritage Association was our guest on Tuned In on Wednesday. Todd joined WKEI to promote the annual Midsommar Music Festival this Saturday, rain or shine in Bishop Hill. Music and food in the park in Bishop Hill get underway at 11 Am with a performance by Black Hawk Pipes and Drums. The lineup also includes the Orion Community Band, Jazz on the Side and the Scandinavian music specialists, Norwegian Bachelor Farmers. The live music is followed by the dressing of the Maypole and the Colony Barn Dance. You can stream or download our conversation with Todd Dedecker below... 

 

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State Rep Swanson Talks About How Disaster Declaration Will Help Farmers

State Representative Dan Swanson and State Senator Chuck Weaver are calling on Governor J.B Pritzker to declare Henry County a disaster area for farmers. In an interview this afternoon with WKEI Representative Swanson explained how a disaster declaration would help small businesses in the farm industry in Henry County. Meanwhile, there is also a move to get the state of Illinois to declare a statewide Disaster for farmers which would then make Federal disaster funds available to farmers.

Congressman Darin LaHood and the Illinois Farm Bureau are also calling on Governor Pritzker to make a disaster declaration for the state in order to help farmers plagued by both the wet weather and the ongoing strife in world trade. Currently, the Governor is looking at making declarations on behalf of specific counties. As Representative Swanson points out however, this would not be enough to help farmers who do business in counties that may not qualify for disaster declaration... 

The Governor is said to be considering all options regarding a disaster declaration. 

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Polish National Catholic to Host July 4th Celebration

Kewanee - If you are a fan of Polish food then the Holy Trinity Parish in Kewanee has got you covered. On July 4th, the Polish National Catholic Church will be serving homemade Polish food for their 4th of July celebration. They will be serving Polish Sausage Sandwiches, Kraut, Cabbage Rolls and Pierogies at the Parish Hall from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Carry-out will also be available. The Church is located on 716 N. Tremont St. in Kewanee.

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Jazz Duo to Perform in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE - Jazz folk duo, Max Hatt and Edda Glass, will be performing on Thursday, June 27th at a private residence in Cambridge, IL.

 

Max Hatt / Edda Glass have an incomparable spook and a unique sound, comprised of Glass's unmistakable voice and Hatt's lyrical guitar. Originally based in Montana, their award-winning original music and unique interpretations of American and Brazilian standards have taken them all the way to New York City's Lincoln Center, DC's Kennedy Center, NPR Mountain Stage, Sundance Film Fest and Wilco's Solid Sound Festival.Praised for her impeccable vocal command and compared to a gamut of singers from Astrud Gilberto to Billie Holiday, Glass's voice is ultimately one of a kind...you cannot confuse her with another artist. Hatt's equally distinctive guitar work combines the harmonic innovations of jazz with the melodic resonance of folk, creating music that's subtly poignant, elegantly funky, and haunting without trying to be. Together, Max Hatt and Edda Glass evoke a world that stretches from the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the prairies of the American west, telling stories of little people on great plains, and leaving audiences with a feeling both light and deep.

 

The show will begin with a potluck dinner at 6PM, with music starting at 7PM. A $10-20 donation is suggested. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Bishop Hill Creative Commons, located at 309 N. Bishop Hill St, Bishop Hill, IL.

 

For more information please email john.r.taylor@gmail.com and to learn more about Max and Edda please visit maxhatteddaglass.com.

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Illinois Science Coalition Reveals New Mowing Guide

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Pollinators, the busy bees behind the scenes, are essential for sustainability of our ecosystems and natural resources. A coalition of scientists and eleven organizations and agencies in Illinois have developed a mowing resource to help Illinois residents and land managers provide food for pollinators, who in turn do the same for us.
 
The Illinois Monarch Project (IMP) Mowing Guidance outlines recommendations for landowners and a variety of different land managers on mowing practices that best protect pollinators as they migrate through or live out their lives in Illinois.
 
Illinois Farm Bureau Associate Director of Natural and Environmental Resources Lyndsey Ramsey stated, “The IMP has been working very hard on articulating a long-range conservation plan for the monarch butterfly. This guide is the first work product of the IMP Science Committee, and came in response to a lot of questions from farmers and the agriculture sector about how they can mow better to support pollinators. We even developed the second, more detailed document, ‘Mowing on the Farm,’ to get into specifics about what farmers can do on their land.”
 
The Science Committee is comprised of biology and conservation experts that support the IMP in developing appropriate and effective conservation practices that will improve Illinois for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, in addition to other wildlife that benefit from the same habitat. Some of the main mowing concepts proposed by the Science Committee include:

  • Only mowing if necessary, and only for treatment of invasive species or woody encroachment
  • Mowing in “strips” – only mowing one-third of an area at a time to allow for more diversity and also a refuge for wildlife
  • Articulating better mowing methods that benefit monarchs throughout the season, including fall migration

 
The Illinois Monarch Project (IMP) was established to bring together representatives of various sectors, including natural lands, rights-of-way, urban and agricultural sectors, as well as scientists and educators. The mission of IMP is to help monarch butterflies thrive throughout Illinois by collaborating on conservation activities and encouraging engagement by public and private landowners across diverse urban and rural landscapes. Groups involved in the Illinois Monarch Project Mowing Guidance and Mowing on the Farm Guidance include:

  • Illinois Corn Growers Association
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Farm Bureau
  • Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

 
“All of the sectors involved are trying to do the best we can for wildlife, and we believe this guide answers a lot of questions surrounding pollinator-friendly mowing strategies for rural roadsides, habitat areas, working lands and urban yards and campuses,” said Sue Hargrove, Science Committee Chair and biologist at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

 
To view both Mowing Guidance documents: http://www.ilfb.org/MowingOnTheFarm. Working with scientists and releasing a mowing guidance document was a goal articulated by the agriculture sector in their Agriculture Action Plan for the monarch. You can read more at www.ilagformonarchs.org.

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Kewanee Firefighters Pancake Breakfast Finds New Home as Part of Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

The annual Kewanee Firefighters Pancake Breakfast has a new date and a new home as part of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. According the Kewanee Fire Department, the new date for the Pancake Breakfast is July 13th and the new location is the parking lot at Johnson's Appliance located at 114 North Chestnut Street., The Firefighters Pancake Breakfast had in the past been held in Francis Park as part of the 4th of July celebration but due to the cancellation of this years events in Francis Park a new day and location was needed. The new date and time coincides with the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival, July 12th and 13th. The Kewanee Firefighters Annual Pancake Breakfast will take place from 7 AM to 11 Am. Breakfast for adults is $6.00 and kids 5 and under eat for free. 

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New Kewanee Back When the Most Successful Yet

Thank you WKEI listeners! The latest Kewanee When Back When story featuring Dave Clark is thus far our most successful story yet. The story of the murder of Henry County Sheriff Byron Pierce in 1946 has, in just one day, surpassed all previous episodes of Kewanee Back When in total listens and shares on social media. On Tuesday, Dave Clark was discussing the dark day when Sheriff Byron Pierce became the only Henry County Sheriff in history to be killed in the line of duty... 

You can hear the entirety of our latest edition of Kewanee Back When online now at RegionalDailyNews.com in the Kewanee Back When Podcast. Next month, we are planning a special live edition of Kewanee Back When to be recorded live at the Kewanee American Legion Post. The topic will be the history of the Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corp. The show is part of the celebration of the new Kewanee Black Knights Mural being painted that week on the side of Spets Brothers and as part of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. This live edition of Kewanee Back When will be recorded live on July 11th and you are invited toi attend.

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Kewanee Schools Superintendent Office Building to be Expanded Foundation Office to Move

At Monday night's Kewanee School Board meeting, members agreed to move forward with a plan to expand the office building that includes the office of Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens. Appearing on WKEI on Tuesday, Dr Sullens explained that the goal of the project is to create space at the High School by moving long held school records to the main office building along with the Kewanee Schools Foundation Office... 

The expansion of the Kewanee School District office building should begin in the next few months. 

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Stark County Farm Bureau Gearing Up for Stark County Fair in July

The Stark County Farm Bureau is gearing up to continue celebrating 100 years of the Stark County Farm Bureau at this year's Stark County Fair in Wyoming, July 26th through July 29th. The Farm Bureau will have a special display of historic items celebrating 100 years of the Stark County Farm Bureau on top of their usual interactive displays says Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau... 

Annaleah Emm was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday on WKEI. 

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State Senator Claims Illinois Budget is Most Balanced in Decade

Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady claims that the current Illinois budget is the 'most balanced' budget that the state of Illinois has had in a decade. Despite his votes against the most recent budget, State Senator Brady stated that reforms that his part fought for are a big part of the reason why the budget is at this point, the most balanced it has been in a number of years. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Illinois Congressional Delegation Seeking Report on Imbalance of Federal Funds Going to States

Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation have signed on to a letter asking the United States Comptroller's Office to investigate the imbalance of federal funds being sent to states and why states such as Illinois are receiving less federal funding than many other states. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more on the congressional call for balance in federal funding to states. 

 

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State of Illinois to Increase Spending to Promote Tourism

The state of Illinois is doubling the advertising budget to attract tourists to Illinois. According the state's new advertising team, more than $15 million dollars will be spent to promote tourism and statewide attractions. The message isn't just about Chicago either, attractions from across the state are set to be promoted as part of the campaign. Reporter Scot Bertram has more... 

 

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Kewanee Fire Department to Continue Hydrant Flow Testing Next Week

The City of Kewanee has announced that the Kewanee Fire Department will continue Flow Testing fire hydrants on Tuesday, June 25th. According to the release from the City of Kewanee, hydrant flow testing will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning next Tuesday until the project completion. The affected areas are listed below. Those who live in neighborhoods where flow testing will be occuring can expect times of low or no water pressure or rusty or discolored water during testing. 

 

Work will begin on Tuesday 6/25/19 within the following areas:

 

·         Finish Waunee Estates including hydrants at the two dead ends

·         Cambridge Road off of Golden Avenue, the dead end of Golden to Baker Park, and West 11th just north of the park

·         The end of Cambridge Road to West 13th Street

·         The areas between Cambridge Road and North Chestnut Street, including going north to West 12th and West 13th Streets.

·         The areas between Union and Perkins Streets and West 4th to West 6th Streets, including going north to the dead ends of Jackson, Adams, and Union Streets

·         The areas between Madison Avenue and North Tremont Street and West 8th to West 11th Streets

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

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Abilities Plus Athletes Win Medals and Ribbons at Special Olympics

Athletes from Abilities Plus went to the Special Olympics in Normal, Illinois from June 7th to June 9th and came back with medals and ribbons. According to a release from Abilities Plus, our local Special Olympics athletes brought home 7 Gold Medals, 4 Silver Medals and 3 Bronze medals along with numerous 4th and 5th place ribbons. Cindy Hanson was a standout with 2 Gold Medals for the 4 by 100 Relay and the 50 Meter Run. Morgan Thorp also won 2 Gold Medals with Cindy in the 4 by 100 Relay and on her own in the 40 Meter Run. Abby Thorp won a Gold and Silver Medal, winning Gold in the 4 by 100 Relay and Silver in the 40 Meter Run. All in all, our Special Olympics Athletes made us proud with their performance, dedication and spirit. Congratulations to our Abilities Plus athletes and keep up the good work. 

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June is National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month and the St. Louis District Dairy Council is promoting factual discussions about dairy. Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council says the theme is 'let's have a cow-versation' and hopes to dispell the myths around dairy and its impacts on our health and diets. Because of so much bad information that goes around social media, Nyman explains that was the driver behind their campaign.

To get more information on June Dairy Month, check out the Dairy Council's Facebook page. 

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Better Business Bureau Warns About Flood Related Scams

Floodwaters are falling around much of the state and the clean up should begin soon, so the Better Business Bureau sounds the alarm about unscrupulous contractors who tend to flock to areas impacted by a major weather event. If you plan to hire a contractor to perform clean up or repairs, the agency advises you to proceed with caution. BBB spokesman Don O'Brien says you should get at least three estimates, from different companies for hiring someone and that you should carefully read the contract.

O'Brien says if the firm does not typically write them, ask for one because that agreement will be the only way to defend yourself if the work isn't done properly. 

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LaHood Supports Statewide Disaster Declaration for Illinois Farmers

Peoria Congressman Darin LaHood is joining the the Illinois Farm Bureau in calling for a statewide disaster declaration for farmers. LaHood says it's hard for farmers to make headway with mother nature and the nation's trade battles....


LaHood notes tariffs are also producing some positive results....


LaHood believes its crucial for the trade dispute to be solved by year's end to prevent loss of market share in China. 

 

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High School Students to Be Required to Fill Out FAFSA

In order to graduate high school students may have to fill out a free application for federal student aid. Lawmakers approved a measure this spring designed to get kids thinking about the help they might qualify for in order to pay for college. Democrat Rep. Katie Stuart says a waiver can be granted for those who don’t want the extra hassle. 

Those against the bill say that not all schools may have enough staff to help students fill out the application, creating a burden for them to get their diploma. 

 

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Kewanee Back When The Murder of Sheriff Pierce

Sheriff Byron Pierce holds the sad distinction of being the only Henry County Sheriff in county history to be killed while on duty. On June 13th, 1946, Pierce and several deputies responded to a scene near Cambridge on the Morris Brothers farm. As Sheriff Pierce approached the front door, the blast of a shotgun rang out and the bullet struck the sheriff just below the nape of the neck, just above a shield he'd been carrying after hearing that one of the Morris's had been firing at people and warning them to stay off his property. In today's Kewanee Back When, legendary reporter Dave Clarke recalls in remarkable detail the harrowing tale of Sheriff Pierce with moments of bleak humor and a sublime recollection of true crime history with ties to the County and to folks in Kewanee. Stream or download today's Kewanee Back When, The Murder of Sheriff Pierce, below... 

 

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People to People Kewanee Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens

Kewanee Schools Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens was our special guest on this edition of People to People. Superintendent Sullens says the school has a lot to be proud of with our student athletes this Spring earning statewide recognition. New athletics coaches, teaching assistants and other personnel were hired at Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting. Finally, Dr Sullens talked about an expansion project at the Superintendent's office intended to bring old school records out of the basement and bring the Kewanee Schools Foundation office to more accessible space. You can stream or download today's People to People Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com. 

 

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Tuned In Annaleah Emm Stark County Farm Bureau 06-18-19

Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday. Annaleah wrapped up attendance at the recent Henry and Stark County Farm Bureau Golf Outing, laid out the fun to be had with the Farm Bureau at the Stark County Fair and reminded everyone to get their orders for peaches in to the Farm Bureau as soon as possible... 

 

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Nebraska Comedienne Releases "Why Don't You Run for President?"

Omaha, NE - Award-winning songwriter, Karen Sokolof Javitch, released her latest satirical, political song, “Why Don’t You Run for President?”, which asks many members of the Democratic Party if they should run for the Oval Office.
 
In a statement, Javitch says,“I thought it was so funny that every day there seemed to be a new candidate running for president – mostly on the Democratic side. And it seems that some of these people came out of the woodwork. Who are they?  Do they just want their fifteen minutes of fame? In modern history, we’ve never had so many people declaring their candidacy. It seemed only natural that I write and record a song to politely ‘mock’ them.”
 
Karen’s JMR Productions has been recording political songs for years, mocking both sides equally. Besides Karen’s 15 albums, she has co-written 4 musicals and was the creator and co-host of a popular Omaha radio show, “It’s the Beat.” Her musicals include “Princess Diana the Musical," "From Generation to Generation," and "Love at the Café.”  These shows have been performed in many cities in the United States. In addition, Ms. Javitch has raised over $350,000 for national and local charities with her original music.
 
Karen’s diverse creations include songs about exercising, celebrities, holidays, political figures, babies, children, math, patriotism, love, and family. She has more than 100 Youtube videos and some have gone viral and her music has been in three movies and TV shows.
 
Although the song is aimed at the Democratic Party, she still hopes to stay neutral in the comedic realm. “I don’t want to favor Republicans or Democrats in my songs. They both have their humorous sides,” she says. You can watch her video below.

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IDPH to Expand Newborn Health Screening

Springfield - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is rolling out today a test for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) for all newborn babies statewide.  ALD is a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system, and adrenal gland.  It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births. 
 
“Babies born with adrenoleukodystrophy have normal brains at birth.  However, progression of the disorder without treatment can be fatal,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “By adding ALD to the Illinois newborn screening panel, every baby born in Illinois will be tested for ALD.  Babies who test positive for this disorder can then receive therapies during the early stages of the disease.”
 
Early diagnosis of babies with ALD can lead to potentially life-saving interventions, including adrenal steroid replacement and stem cell transplantation.  These therapies are only effective during a narrow window, which is often missed.  Through universal screening and early diagnosis, treatment options can be evaluated by the baby’s health care providers and initiated in some cases before symptoms develop.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added ALD to the national Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in February 2016.  Implementing ALD screening required the purchase of new equipment, development of new test methods, Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments lab test validation, and computer system modification to provide laboratory results and facilitate follow up tracking. 
 
Illinois is now the 14th state in the U.S. to screen for ALD.  Additional information can be found on the dph.illinois.gov website.

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26 Illinois Businesses to Compete in Walmart Open Call Competition

Bentonville, Arkansas – More than 500 invited entrepreneurs, 26 of these being from Illinois, will descend upon Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas hoping to land the deal of a lifetime. On June 18-19, during Walmart’s 6th annual Open Call event, these eager entrepreneurs will meet face-to-face with buyers looking for new U.S.-manufactured products for store shelves
 
The companies expected to attend this year’s event represent a broad geography, including 48 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Collectively, their impact on the U.S. manufacturing sector can be felt across the country as they are manufacturing their products in 44 different states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Of the states represented at this year’s event, California, Florida and Texas have the highest representation of locally headquartered companies.
 
“There’s nothing quite like Open Call and the buzz in the building when our halls are filled with entrepreneurs aspiring to take their business to the next level,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart Vice President for Merchandising Services and U.S. Manufacturing. “In 2013, Walmart made a commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023. Our annual Open Call is one way we continue to invest in this commitment while discovering new items that fulfill the needs of our customers. We have a very strong pool of supplier-hopefuls this year and our buyers can’t wait to hear their pitches.”
 
From pet supplies and power tools to sporting goods and sweet snacks, this year’s variety of new, innovative products represents a broad range of categories. With some companies pitching multiple products, more than 600 meetings have been scheduled with Walmart buyers.
 
In addition to pitch meetings, the event will provide valuable supplier information, offer networking opportunities and inspire attendees with success stories from past Open Call events. For those who would like to follow the action, visit one of the many social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, search for #WalmartOpenCall, and cheer on our fellow Illinoisians!

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Gospel Group to Visit Baptist Church in Galva

GALVA – Williamson Branch, the family gospel group based in Nashville, will be performing at the First Baptist Church in Galva on Sunday, June 30th at 10 a.m. The group is known for thier harmonization and are considered a favorite amongst the congregation. The First Baptist Church is located at 211 NW 4th Ave., right across from Wiley Park. For more information, please call 309-932-2713.

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Schedule Revealed for Painting and Celebration of Kewanee Black Knights Mural

Organizers of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival have released a schedule for the work and celebration of the 18th Kewanee mural, a mural dedicated to the Kewanee Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corp. According to the release, work on the painting of the mural on the side of the Spets Brothers building will begin on July 7th and is set to be completed by July 11th. On July 11th there will be a special gathering to remember the Black Knights at the Kewanee American Legion Post featuring a historical discussion of the Black Knights from their founding to their end in the mid-1970s. Then on Saturday, July 13th at 6 Pm there will be a ceremony to dedicate the new mural and read the names of the Kewanee Black Knights. 

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Economists Concerned that Progressive Tax Could Increase Poverty

Non-partisan political think tank, Illinois Policy Institute, is raising concerns that the Progressive Income Tax, as proposed by Governor J.B Pritizker could raise poverty levels in Illinois. Illinois Policy recently conducted a study of the potential effect of raising the income tax and pointed out that in Connecticutt, a similar change to increase taxes did indeed increase poverty in the state. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Urging Farmers to Pay Attention to Stress and Seek Help

With record rainfall and an ongoing strife in the world trade markets, stress is coming at our farming community from all sides. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee wants farmers to know that there are resources available to them to help cope with the emotional toll that the current market stressors may cause. It's called OSF Silvercloud and Carrie Boelens explains how OSF Silvercloud can be a resource to those coping with the latest market stresses... 

Carrie Boelens was our guest on Tuned In on Monday on WKEI. 

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Kewanee Police Department Testing New Dodge Charger

On Monday, Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley invited WKEI for a test drive in a Dodge Charger Police vehicle that the Kewanee Police are test driving for a potential purchase. During our test drive, Chief Ainley talked with WKEI about what goes into deciding on the purchase of a new Police vehicle... 

As Chief Ainley explained, Chrysler was kind enough to provide the vehicle to the Kewanee Police Department for a two week test drive. 

The Dodge Charger is becoming popular among police department for its powerful engine and amenities including touchscreen technology that removes the need for bulky laptop computers, steel safety frame, and all wheel drive capability among other features as Chief Ainley explains... 

No decision on whether to purchase this particular vehicle will be made this week as Chief Ainley will take the feedback of Kewanee Police Officers from their test drives and weigh the decision based on that feedback, the needs of the department and the budget. You can read more about Chrysler's Dodge Charger police vehicles at FCAUSFleet.com.

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Bill Setting Teacher Starting Pay at $40,000 Per Year to Be Signed by Governor Pritzker

Starting teachers might be in line to make more money over the next few years. This spring lawmakers approved raising the state’s minimum wage for a starting teacher to $40,000 a year. Democrat State Senator Andy Manar says teachers deserve more to start and the more the jobs pays the easier it might be to attract new teachers. 

Starting in 2020 base pay will be $32,000 a year, pay raises would be coming in each of the next four years. Opponents wonder how some cash strapped districts will find the extra money. The Governor is expected to sign the measure into law soon.

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Zachary Cornell Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for May

Zachary Cornell of Colona has been selected as Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for the month of May. According to a release from Abilities Plus, Zach was nominated for Achiever of the Month for his hard work at accomplishing goals, good attendance and his positive attitude. In his free time, Zachary loves camping and all kinds of music. Congratulations Zach on being Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month and keep up the good work from your friends at Regional Media. 

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Train Versus Vehicle Accident Leads to Arrest, No Injuries

The Illinois State Police are reporting that one person was arrested but thankfully no one was hurt in a train versus car accident in Colona on Monday. According to the Illinois State Police, a vehicle driven by 48 year old Sheila A Mejia of Colona became stuck on railroad tracks at Broadway and Colona Road in Colona at around 5:45 Pm on Monday evening. Colona Police were able to get Ms Mejia out of the vehicle and to safety before the train struck the vehicle, pushing it down the tracks for an undetermined distance. The Illinois State Police were called to handle the crash investigation that led to charges against Mejia for Improper Lane Usage and DUI. Mejia was taken from the scene to the Henry County Jail. 

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Work Continues on East Street Project in Kewanee Tuesday

Work on East Street in Kewanee will continue on Tuesday. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, work on the East Street resurfacing project will get underway again on Tuesday, June 18th in the area of East McClure to East Church Street and from East Mill to East 2nd Street. Residents will still have access to the area but partial closures will be in place with 1 lane of traffic and flaggers to move traffic around safely in the work area. Work is expected to continue on to Wednesday, weather permitting. Residents are asked to avoid this area if possible on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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Illinois State Police Release Name of Victim in Fatal Crash in Cambridge

The Illinois State Police have released the name of the victim in last Thursday's fatal crash near Cambridge. According to the Illinois State Police 48 year old Gretchen R Decker of Little York, Illinois was killed when a Cement Truck crashed into her vehicle one mile west of Cambridge on Illinois Route 81. According to the Illinois State Police the cement truck driven by 36 year old James P Houlihan of Sheffield and Gretchen R Decker's vehicle, a 2017 Chevrolet SUV,  collided for as yet unknown reasons. Houlihan was taken to a local medical facility after the accident with what were described as minor injuries. Decker is believed to have died at the scene. No other information is being released at this time and the investigation of the crash is continuing. 

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Water Shutoff and Boil Order Scheduled for Wednesday in Portion of Kewanee

Residents of Cambridge Road in Kewanee between Lexington and Golden Avenue will be subject to a water shutoff a boil order on Wednesday. According to a release from the City of Kewanee Public Works Department, a crew of City employees will be replacing a fire hydrant on Cambridge Road between Lexington and Golden on Wednesday with work set to begin at 7 Am. The boil order will be in place for 48 to 72 hours immediately after water use is restored in the area. Residents in these areas may experience low pressure, rusty water, or no water.  If the water has been turned off, take precautions when using water until the water runs clean.  Only flush the system by running cold water, running hot water may draw rust into the water heater.

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Tuned In Carrie Boelens OSF Saint Luke Medical Center 06-17-19

Carrie Boelens and Dr Andy Peterson were our guests on Tuned In on Monday. June is National Men's Health Month and Dr Peterson took the opportunity to speak to men in the audience and get them around to the idea of getting check ups rather than waiting for something to happen before finally going to a doctor. Heart health, prostate and colon cancer and mental health issues are not to be ignored and could be helped by regular visits to your doctor. Stream or download today's Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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Community State Bank Puts Temporary Block on Debit Transactions Amid Verizon Wireless Fraud

Community State Bank has put a temporary block on debit card transactions due to an ongoing fraud situation with Verizon Wireless. The bank explained the situation with a post on Facebook that states: 

 

"Debit card customers: There is currently some widespread fraud (counterfeit, "card present" transactions) happening with Verizon Wireless. In an effort to protect our customers, we have instituted a temporary block on these transactions. Please call the bank if you need assistance with a debit card transaction to Verizon Wireless. We are happy to assist with your transaction while we work to keep your accounts safe." 

 

There is no word at this time as to the nature of the counterfeit fraud or when regular debit card transactions at the bank will resume. For now, for debit card users contact Community State Bank to make use of your debit card safely, call (309) 932-8181. WKEI has reached out to Community State Bank for comment but has not heard from the bank as of this writing. 

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Department of Health Warn of Dangers of Floodwater Mosquitoes

SPRINGFIELD – The months of rain and flooding have created conditions ripe for floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans).  Fortunately, floodwater mosquitoes, often called nuisance mosquitoes, are not known to carry disease.
 
“It is important to protect yourself from insect bites, even if they are not known to cause disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer hot, dry conditions, even the mosquitoes that flourish in cooler, wet weather bring the potential for infection if you scratch a bite and create a wound.  Taking some simple precautions can help keep you healthy.”
 
Many counties in Illinois are currently experiencing flooding conditions.  Water that stands in flooded areas for more than 10 days has the potential to produce large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes.  Floodwater mosquitoes can travel up to 10 miles from where they breed.
 
If we start to see drier weather with higher temperatures as we head into summer, we will start to see more mosquitoes, often referred to as house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), that can carry West Nile virus.  Nine counties have already reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus.  House mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins, ditches, empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly.  In stagnant water, house mosquitoes can multiply rapidly.
    
To help Fight the Bite:
- Avoid being outdoors when house mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn
- Wear socks, shoes, pants, and a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt.
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.  
- Ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and keep doors and windows closed at night
 
More information about West Nile virus can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/west-nile-virus.

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Megadeth Cancels Concert Dates Including State Fair Appearance

SPRINGFIELD - Those excited about heavy metal band Megadeth performing at the Illinois State Fair this August have been hit hard as it has been announced that the band have cancelled the majority of their shows, including the at State Fair. This is due to front man David Mustaine’s recent throat cancer diagnosis. Mustaine provides the following statement:
 
“I’ve been diagnosed with throat cancer. It’s clearly something to be respected and faced head on - but I’ve faced obstacles before. I’m working closely with my doctors, and we’ve mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90% success rate. Treatment has already begun. Unfortunately, this requires that we cancel most shows this year. The 2019 Megacruise will happen, and the band will be a part of it in some form. All up to date information will be at megadeth.com as we get it. Megadeth will be back on the road ASAP. Meanwhile, Kiko, David, Dirk and I are in the studio, working on the follow up to Dystopia – which I can’t wait for everyone to hear. I’m so thankful for my whole team – family, doctors, band members, trainers, and more. I’ll keep everyone posted. 
See you soon,
Dave Mustaine”
 
Illinois State Fair Manager, Kevin Gordon, commented on the cancellation, stating, “While we are obviously disappointed that Megadeth won’t be playing the Illinois State Fair, our main concern is for Dave Mustaine. We wish him a full recovery and look forward to having Megadeath back to the Illinois State Fair in the future.”
 
Customers that purchased their tickets directly through www.Ticketmaster.com or through the Ticketmaster mobile app, will receive an automatic refund back to the card used to purchase the tickets.   Customers who purchased their tickets through Illinois State Fair in-person or over the phone, will need to submit a Cancellation Refund Form with their physical tickets attached.  Refunds will not be issued without the physical tickets.  A refund will be issued in the form of a check, regardless of the form of payment utilized to purchase the tickets, after the form and tickets have been received. Cancellation refund form, for customers that purchased through Illinois State Fair box office directly, can be found on the website at www.illinoisstatefair.info. Tickets for both the concert and pre-show party will be refunded.

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Kewanee Community Unit School District 229 School Board Agenda for Monday June 17th

I. CALL TO ORDER BY THE PRESIDENT

A. Roll call by the Secretary

 

II. CLOSED SESSION: * (C) (1) to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the District; (C) (2) to consider collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees; (C) (5) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body; (C) (8) Security Procedures; (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases and (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2019

 

7:30 PM

 

III. PLEDGE OF ALLIGENCE

 

SINE DIE

 

IV. BUDGET HEARING

A. Roll Call by the Secretary

B. Presentation of the 2018-2019 Amended Budget by the Superintendent

C. Public and Board Comments

 

(Consent Items D – F)

D. Consideration and Approval of 2018-2019 Amended Budget

E. Consideration and Approval of Resolution to Transfer $650,000.00 From the Working Cash Fund to the Operations and Maintenance Fund

F. Consideration and Approval of Resolution to Transfer $650,000.00 From the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund

 

G. Adjournment

 

SINE DIE

 

V. INVITED GUESTS ADDRESS THE BOARD

 

VI. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES

A. District #229 Open Meeting – May 20, 2019

District #229 Closed Meeting – May 20, 2019

 

VII. CONSIDERATION OF FINANCIAL AND TREASURER'S REPORTS

A. Kewanee CUSD #229

 

VIII. CONSIDERATION OF BILLS AND PAYROLL

A. Kewanee CUSD #229

 

IX. COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE  

 

X. REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION

A. Superintendent

1. Budget Overview F/19 & F/20

2. Summer Cleaning/Maintenance

3. KHS Ag Farm Corn Planted by Rob Dorman

4. American Legion Memorial Day Program

B. Mr. Bryan

1. KHS Summer School

C. Mr. Anderson

1. Central & Irving Summer School

 

XI. SUPERINTENDENT COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

XII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. KHS Soccer Field/Additions (Ratliff’s)

B. Belle Alexander School (Ratliff’s)

 

XIII. NEW BUSINESS

A. Consideration and Approval of Board of Education Meeting Dates for 2019/2020 School Year

B. Consideration and Approval of Lunch & Breakfast Rates for 2019/2020 School Year

C. Consideration and Approval of ROE (TRS Qualified Employees) to continue with the Kewanee 229 Payroll and Health Insurance from 9/1/19 to 8/31/20

D. Consideration and Approval of Administration Office Addition Bids

E. Consideration and Approval to Authorize the Superintendent to Negotiate an Amendment to the Contract Between the Kewanee Education Association and the Kewanee Board of Education to Restore the 6% End of Career Incentive

F. Consideration and Approval of Administrator Retirement Agreement Adjustment

G. Consideration and Approval of School Calendar for the 2019 – 2020 School Year

 

XIV. ACTION FROM CLOSED SESSION 

Resignations

1. Emali Porter – F/T Aide at Neponset – Effective Immediately

2. Jeanna Moore – F/T Food Service Cashier – Effective Immediately

3. Aubree Plant – ROE Professional Development Coordinator – Effective 6/30/19

4. Courtney Conley – Central Jr. High Head Football Coach – Effective Immediately

Retirements

Hires *

1. Summer Custodial Worker

2. KHS Cheerleading Coach

3. Summer Cafeteria Worker (Floater)

4. KHS Assistant Football Coach

5. Central Jr. High Head Football Coach

6. Central Student Council Co-Advisor

7. Full Time Neponset Aide

8. Part Time Central 1 on 1 Aide

9. Neponset Pre-K Teacher

10. Central Counselor(s)

11. Irving Elementary Teacher

12. KHS Counselor (s)

13. Belle Kindergarten Teacher

14. Neponset Kindergarten Teacher

15. Neponset/Belle Resource Teacher

16. Elementary Principal

17. Instructional Coach (Full-Time and Part-Time)

18. KHS Academic Advising Counselor

19. Full Time Central Aide

Leaves

Long Term Sub

Transfers

1. To Be Determined 

Volunteers

1. KHS Boys Basketball Coach

2. Central Football Coach

3. Central Jr. High Softball

4. Irving Summer School

5. Lyle School

Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

Student Teachers

Other Action Arising From Closed Session

1. To Be Determined

 

XV. COMMENTS FROM VISITORS AND BOARD OF EDUCATION

A. Moment of Silence for Garry Costenson – Former Board Member and Husband/Step-Father to Employees Margaret “Peggy” Costenson and Emily Robinson

B. Other Items

 

XVI. ADJOURNMENT

 

* All Hires are contingent upon hirees obtaining appropriate certification and qualifications prior to beginning job.

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Henry County Geneological Society to Present Kewanee Boiler and Walworth History Presentation at Kewanee Library

The Kewanee Historical Society and the Henry County Geneological Society will team up for a presentation at the Kewanee Public Library on June 24th at 1:30 Pm. Larry Lock will be the keynote presenter at the monthly meeting of the Henry County Geneological Society and will present a historic look back at Kewanee Boiler, Walworth and their historic predecessors. 

There is no cost to attend this presentation which will cover Kewanee history dating back to the late 1800's through the year 2000. 

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New Analysis of Governor Pritzker Progressive Tax Rate Shows Steep Changes in Rates Between Brackets

A new analysis of Governor Pritzker's Progressive Tax plan indicates that the changes in rates between different tax brackets, income levels, are some of the highest rate changes in the country between brackets. The Chicago non-profit, Center for Illinois Politics conducted the research on the plan and determined that compared to other states with tiered tax brackets, the changes between income levels and tax rates were the highest in the country. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Illinois AFSCME Members to Get Pay Increases Under First New Contract in 4 Years

Under their first new contract with the State of Illinois in four years, Illinois AFSCME members are set to receive an 11.5% pay increase and a $2,500.00 stipend. AFSCME, the state's largest employee union, has not had a contract with the state since prior to Governor Bruce Rauner's administration. Rauner and AFSCME had a highly adversarial back and forth during his term leading to an inability to agree on a contract. Our Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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IL Kids Struggle with Poverty, Racial Disparities

A new report calls for continued work to ensure Illinois children from all walks of life have the opportunity to thrive. The state ranks 23rd nationally in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2019 Kids Count Data Book, which is marking its 30th release today. The report showed significant demographic shifts in Illinois since 1990, with the Latino child population more than doubling and the population of white children and black children declining. Mitch Lifson, vice president for policy and operations with Voices for Illinois Children, said there are some troubling disparities in outcomes.

"With indicators from poverty to health care, household income, how children are doing, there's a very different picture for Illinois children depending on the color of your skin or your ethnicity," Lifson said.

Illinois' child poverty rate has been stagnant since 1990, at about 17%. More than twice the percentage of black and Latino children live in poverty in Illinois compared with white children. 

Lifson contended continued work is needed to help improve the financial stability of families so that children's needs are being met.

"In Illinois over the last couple of years, we've worked to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is definitely a benefit," Lifson said. "And we do believe that if the state does adopt a fair tax, that will be another way to relieve the tax burden on some of the lower-income households and assist them."

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said accurate data is crucial to sound policymaking, and that's why every child must be counted in the 2020 census. More than 55 federal programs that support kids rely on census data. 

"That affects things such as how federal resources are allocated to states, the resources that are available for things like schools and roads and libraries," Boissiere said. "All of that is related to getting an accurate count in the census."

More than 2 million kids under the age of five were missed in the 2010 census.

 

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Over 13,000 Livestock Entries Expected for 2019 Illinois State Fair

More than 13,000 livestock entries are anticipated for this summer’s Illinois State Fair. State Fair Competitive Event Manager Donna Miller says exhibitors still have time to get signed up.


The 2019 state fair runs August 8th to the 18th. 

 

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Tips for Avoiding Flood Related Scams

As Illinois residents prepare to deal with the aftermath of the latest round of flooding, the Better Business Bureau is urging them to do their homework before hiring a contractor as the water falls. The time period immediately following a major weather event is when the most people fall prey to scams according to BBB spokesman Don O'Brien. He says one of the first thing you should do when hiring a contractor is to seek three bids.

O'Brien also says that an estimate that is substantially lower could also be a red flag and he recommends that you always make sure that a contractor has a local office before hiring them. The BBB also recommends that you make sure to get a copy of the agreement in writing before work begins, and to never pay the full amount up front. The suggestion is to pay a third at the start of the job, a third in the middle, and a third once it has been completed to your satisfaction.

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Making It Easier for Local Tax Collections

Taxes drive most people crazy but dealing with them or understanding tax rates or the collection process might be getting a little easier. The Illinois Department of Revenue is launching My Local Tax to communicate to local official’s tax allocation information and to help streamline the verification processes. State Revenue Director David Harris...

Workshops are being held this month to get local governments up to speed on the web portal.

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Illinois State Climatologists Predict New Round of Wet Weather this Week

The Illinois State Climatologist is predicting a new round of wet weather for this week. Brian Kerschner, meteorologist in the office of the Illinois State Climatologist office talks about what most of Illinois can expect this week. 

The national weather service predicts that the WKEI listening area can expect rain beginning on Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday with a return of further wet weather by Saturday and Sunday. 

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New Laws? No Smoking in Cars with Kids

Be aware of a possible ban on smoking in cars with kids coming in Illinois. Lawmakers approved a measure to do just that this spring. The bill would impose up to a $100 fine on the adult smoking in the car with a young person. Sponsors of the bill say they are worried about the impact of second hand smoke. Republican Senator Steve McClure say this law can keep kids healthier.

The way the law is written won’t allow police to pull drivers over for only breaking this rule. The Governor will have to sign it to become law.

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Gnats Come On Strong In Illinois

It’s been buggy. Gnats and mosquitoes this year in Illinois have come on strong in most areas. The Department of Health says those gnats are really annoying. Dr. Ngozi Ezike says buffalo gnats aren’t a health risk but they sure can ruin an outdoor event.


The only good news right now is that the most popular mosquitoes being found are floodwater ones. They aren’t the variety that carries West Nile.

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Accident at Central Tremont Saturday Night

Story updated to reflect information from Kewanee Police arrest and Citation Report. Evidence indicated that the driver had been taken from the scene by squad car but the Police Report indicates that the driver was taken from the scene by ambulance. We apologize for the apparent mistake in reporting. 

 

Earlier 

 

The accident occurred at approximately 6:45 Pm on Saturday in the area of West Central and Tremont. Within minutes of the accident Kewanee Police and Fire were on the scene assessing the damages.  The driver of the car was taken from the scene by ambulance, according to the Kewanee Police Arrest and Citation Report. The driver of the truck remained at the scene and was giving a statement to police as WKEI snapped a photo of the accident. No other information will be released until the Kewanee Police Arrest and Citation Report is issued on Sunday morning. As of 7:15 Pm Saturday, the scene had yet to be cleared due to the nature of the crash which trapped the front of the car against the side of the truck. 

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Henry-Stark Health Departments Offering DOT Physical Exams

The Henry and Stark County Health Department staff are reminding area residents that their Clinical services program is offering area drivers low cost DOT Physicals.  Appointments are available at their Main Office, Rt. 78 South, Kewanee and by special arrangement and at their West Office, 103 1st St., Colona.
 
 The Health Department notes that the Department of Transportation requires some drivers to get regular physicals to make sure they can drive safely. If any of the following apply to you, you must get a DOT physical and carry a DOT medical certificate when you drive a commercial vehicle:

 

  • You are paid to operate a motor vehicle that holds nine to 15 passengers; you drive the vehicle more than 75 miles from where you report to work; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes.
  • You operate a motor vehicle with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of at least 10,001 pounds; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes.
  • You transport hazardous materials in certain quantities.

     Sandy Sommer, RN Clinical Services Director with the Health Department notes, “If you want to comply with federal law, a qualified medical examiner must complete your DOT physical form.  Our Nurse Practitioner, Marilou Johnson is a Certified DOT medical examiner.”


     DOT Physical participants should expect the examiner to review their health history and ask the participant to list the medications taken on a regular basis. During your DOT physical, the examiner will also do the following:

 

  • Check your pulse and blood pressure
  • Perform a vision test
  • Observe your general appearance
  • Examine your eyes, throat, mouth, and ears
  • Listen to your heart and lungs
  • Check for spine deformities
  • Perform a neurological exam
  • Press on your abdomen to check for abnormalities
  • Perform a hernia check

     Sommer adds, “If you are seeing a provider and are on medication for sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, depression and other mental health issues, and seizures.  Participants need to obtain a “Clearance Letter” from the provider of care and bring to their appointment.


    Please note, appointments for DOT Physical, which are necessary, may be made by contacting the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 - Kewanee Office or (309) 792-4011 - Colona Office.  For more information visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.

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Levitt AMP Galva Music Series Announces Two More Musical Acts for Concert Series

GALVA, Illinois — The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series has announced the next two artists to perform during their series. Swedish quintet Jaerv and composer and recording artist Tom Sharpe are going to perform on their stage for the fourth Levitt AMP Concert Series, held in Galva at Wiley Park on Sunday, June 23rd.
 
The Swedish quintet Jaerv, is an internationally known act and has toured the U.S., Japan, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Finland and Norway among other countries. They are described as musically captivating, personal, innovative and high-energy. They present extroverted, energetic and heartfelt folk music with influences from both jazz and pop music. Together, the five members include Joel Hagen (flute, whistles, soprano saxophone, ewi, and vocals); Anders Bergsten (double bass, key fiddle, and vocals); Harald Nilsson (guitars, vocals); Markus Gustavsson (fiddle, lead vocals); and Tobias Hedlund (percussion). Jaerv have created a smooth, vivid sound which has established Jaerv on the folk music scene as well as in many other forums.
 
Tom Sharpe is an award-winning composer, performer, and recording artist. The internationally recognized artist is a sought-out clinician and performer of his own works, and the artistic director and principal performer of the Sharpe World Music Ensemble. Along with his own music, Tom is the drummer for the award winning group, Mannheim Steamroller. He is known for his high-energy, large-sounding performances on percussion instruments. 
 
Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and coolers. There will also be activities for both children and adults going on throughout the event. The Artistic Expression Activity for this concert series will by a Caricature artist who will demonstrate his art and be available to draw caricatures of concert attendees. In addition, the following food vendors will also be on-site for those wishing for a bite-to-eat: ZBest West; Boiler Room; Mexican; Snazzy's Lemon Shake-ups; Pop of the Morning; and Special Kneads Bakery. All concerts are provided free of charge.

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Black Hawk Second Session of Summer Classes Registration Open

KEWANEE - Black Hawk College will be offering their second session of summer classes, starting Monday, July 1st. The classes include: accounting, chemistry, global issues, music appreciation, nursing, physics, psychology, sociology and Spanish. To look up classes, go to www.bhc.edu/schedules. Online last-minute registration ends Sunday, June 30.  For more information, call Black Hawk at 309-796-5300.

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Henry and Stark County Health Department Announce Food Manager Certification Course

The Henry and Stark County Health Department have announced their next Food Manager's Certification Course. July 15th will be the date for the certification course intended to help area food service establishments in the county meet the requirements of the IDPH Food Code. 

Those who participate in the course receive intensive training in such areas as foodborne disease, food protection, cleaning and sanitizing of equipment, personal hygiene, building construction, public health codes, insect and rodent control and personnel training. The cost to participate in the Food Manager's Certification Course at the Henry and Stark County Farm Bureau building on July 15th is $140.00 with an optional textbook available for $30.00. Registrations are limited. Those interested in registering or for more information, should contact the Department at 852-0197 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit the website henrystarkhealth.com. 

 

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Tameca Jones Bringing Soul to the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series This Sunday

Tameca Jones is coming to the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series and bringing her big, beautiful, powerhouse voice. Tameca, from Austin Texas, has been singing all her life but it wasn't until the birth of her twin babies that she decided that singing full time was what she wanted to do... 

On a special edition of Tuned In on Thursday we talked to Tameca about her unique journey to rising star status in the music business, her writing style and her family. You can hear our complete interview with Tameca Jones below... 

Sunday night's show in Wiley Park in Galva gets underway at 6 Pm with Tameca performing along with the band Handmade Moments. As always, the show is free to anyone to attend. 

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Tuned In Sara Billiet Kewanee Public Library

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library joined WKEI on Tuned In on Thursday to talk about upcoming events at the library. One of the big events coming up is a visit by author and historian Leonard Szaltis, the author of the book Chesapeake Bay Privateers in the Revolution. 

Fans of revolutionary war history will not want to miss this event which is set for June 25th at 6 Pm. Sara also talked about an upcoming presentation by the Henry County Geneological Society, the ongoing Summer Reading Program and kids events coming to the Library later this month in our Tuned In conversation... 

 

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Minor Changes to FOID Card to Be Signed into Law

Under a measure set to be signed by Governor J.B Pritzker, police officers will be allowed to carry concealed weapons while hunting wthout a permit. The measure will also allow members of the military, under the age of 21, to obtain a FOID card with a parent's permission among other small adjustments to gun legislation. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Seeking Donations to Support 4th of July Fireworks in Northeast Park

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is seekiing donations to support the annual fireworks display at Northeast Park. In a release to local businesses, the Chamber announced that the Kewanee Park District will once again open the Northeast Park Aquatic Center on July 4th from 12 Noon until 6 Pm. Festivities prior to the fireworks will also include the posting of the colors by the Kewanee Veterans Council and a performance by the band Joker's Wild prior to the fireworks show, tenatively set to begin at 9:45 Pm. Donations to help defray the cost of the fireworks show are being sought. If you would like to make a donation or sponsor this year's fireworks display in Northeast Park you can drop off your donation at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office at 113 East 2nd Street or you can call the Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175. Anyone who donates will be recognized during the July 4th celebration. 

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Men In Black International Opens at Wanee Cinemas This Weekend

Men in Black International opens on Friday, June 14th, at the Wanee Cinemas. The movie is the fourth film in the Men in Black franchise, originated by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in 1997. Now, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are the stars and Men in Black have left New York City of London where yet another threat to world from an alien menace must be stopped, one that may have compromised the integrity of the Men in Black themselves. Men in Black International is getting terrible reviews, coming in at only 25% positive with critics at RottenTomatoes.com. That said, Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth were very fun together as Thor and Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak so you can make up your own mind by seeing Men in Black International at the Wanee Cinemas starting this afternoon. 

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IFB Delegation in Washington this Week

Illinois Farm Bureau had a delegation in Washington D.C. this week. Much on the table says IFB president Richard Guebert, including the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement.


Guebert was in Washington Monday and Tuesday. 

 

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Social Security Warns of Scams

Robocalls of people posing as officials at Social Security continues to be an issue. That's what the agency’s Jack Myers indicates and says the underlying theme is scaring the public into thinking there is a problem. He says the method or message may be different, but the theme is more often than not - fear.

According to Myers, these people are very skilled at what they. If you receive a voice message from one of these calls, Myers advises not to call back the number they give you, rather, call a number you find at socialsecurity.gov. If you receive one of these calls, you can report it to the Social Security Office of the Inspector General at 800-269-0271.

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Pritzker Says Budget Will Boost Mental Health Treatment

Governor J.B. Pritzker says it's the dawn of a new era for Illinoisans needing mental health treatment. In a visit this week to the Kennedy Forum's Annual Meeting in Chicago, Pritzker touted the benefits of the recently passed state budget, which provides an 80 million dollar increase for mental health and addiciton treatment....


Pritzker says two-thirds of those struggling with mental health issues don't get the help they need. He says the state is now attacking a backlog of mental health cases...


Governor Pritzker estimates one in five Illinoisans are struggling with a mental health problem. 

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State Ag Department Responding to Industrial Hemp Applications

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been busy responding to industrial hemp applications. There’s been a lot of interest says state ag director John Sullivan…..


Sullivan says the department has two industrial hemp plots on the state fairgrounds to train their staff. One is for fiber and the other is for oils.

 

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One Dead in Crash in Cambridge

One person is dead in an accident on Illinois Route 81, one mile outside of Cambridge. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred at approximately 12:23 Pm when a cement truck lost control while traveling west bound on Route 81. The vehicle crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck a 2017 Chevrolet SUV traveling Eastbound on Route 81. The driver of the SUV was killed at the scene while the driver of the cement truck suffered minor injuries and was taken from the scene to a local medical facility. The area of Route 81, one mile west of Cambridge near East 1000 Street, was closed for nearly 5 hours while the accident was investigated and cleared. No other information has been released as of this writing. 

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Illinois Department of Corrections Inmates Helping in Flood Fight

Though some might not be aware, inmates at Illinois Department of Corrections facilities across the state are a big part of the fight against floods across the state and in our area as well. Mike Chappell is the Statewide Security Specialist with the Illinois Department of Corrections and Mike tells WKEI that the inmate population has worked in concert with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for several years...

Inmates have been given the task of filling sandbags dating back several years via the IDOC and IEMA partnership... 

Chappell tells WKEI that the benefit of the program is twofold, the state gets as many sandbags as needed and the inmates get the chance to serve their time by providing a much needed service to communities... 

Finally, Mike Chappell says that the program benefits other aspects of the flood fight. Along with the sandbag filling, inmates also take care of laundry for National Guard troops responding to the flood and provide ice as well... 

The flood fight is continuing across Illinois and as long as waters are battling the shore, IDOC inmates will be part of the emergency response, a benefit to the state and their communities and a way for inmates to learn about service to their communities while serving their time. 

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Tuned In Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau 06-12-19

Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuned In on Wednesday morning. According to the numbers about 72% of the Corn Crop is now planted in Illinois which is good news though on average, by the middle of June, Corn Crop is usually already 100% planted. Nevertheless, the good weather has helped turn things around following the historic rainy periods of April and May. Katie also discussed last minute sign-ups for the Henry and Stark County Farm Bureau Golf Outing on Friday and upcoming Market Seminars to help farmers better market their products at this difficult moment of the season. All of this on today's edition of Tuned In which you can stream or download below.

 

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Looking Ahead at Summer Weather With Ag Meteorologist

Is it time to feel more optimistic with more corn and soybeans now in the ground? Maybe. Some nice progress was made in the latest Illinois crop report with 73-percent of the corn crop now planted and 49-percent of the soybean crop. As for the weather prospects moving into the summer months. 


That’s Dan Hicks, who serves as agriculture meteorologist for Freese-Notis Weather. 

 

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Kewanee Police Join Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group with Geneseo and Colona Police

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting the Kewanee City Council heard from Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley regarding drugs and human trafficking and a new partnership among Henry County law enforcement to combat these crimes... 

The Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group will combine forces of the Kewanee, Geneseo and Colona Police Departments as well as the Henry County Sheriff's Department in efforts specifically aimed at slowing down trafficking across our area. Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore spoke to WKEI on Tuesday and stated that the agreement, which passed the City Council in a 5 to 0 vote in favor on Monday night, is a win win for all involved... 

Questions concerning cost have been raised regarding the amount to taxpayers for any extra enforcement effort may cost but Mayor Moore tells WKEI that existing officers will be assigned to this task force rather than the hiring of a new officer for a new detail... 

The new Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group will begin patrols soon with plans to report results to the Kewanee City Council on a regular basis. Kewanee Police Chief Troy Ainley will be our guest on a future edition of Tuned In with more information in the near future. 

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Kewanee Mayor Stands By Call to Remove Residency Requirements for City Department Heads

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore stands by his vote to remove residency requirements for City of Kewanee Department heads. The Mayor was the lone vote in favor of amending a City of Kewanee ordinance that requires City of Kewanee Department heads live in the City of Kewanee and on Tuesday's edition of People to People the Mayor stood by his opposition to residency requirements... 

The issue came up as the City Council was accepting the appointment of new Kewanee City Clerk Rebecka Jones who lives in Woodhull but will now be the Kewanee City Clerk. Jones was hired with a 2 year probationary period during which she may or may not move to Kewanee. The Mayor stated that it was more than just the hiring of Mrs Jones as the new City Clerk, he cited trends in other cities as part of his reasoning for removing the residency restriction. 

Nevertheless, the residency restriction as part of city ordinance remains in place following Monday's 4 to 1 council vote. 

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Henry County Youth Services Bureau to Hold Draw Down Silent Auction and Dinner on Friday

Brittany Koopman with the Henry County Youth Services Bureau is spreading the word about a fundraiser for the the Youth Services Bureau this Friday night at The Stables in Kewanee... 

The fundraiser will go to support the remarkable work they do at the Henry County Youth Services Bureau to help at-risk kids get back on track through counseling... 

You can find out more about the Henry County Youth Services Bureau and the fundraiser this Friday at 6 Pm at The Stables by listening to our entire Tuned In Podcast interview with Brittany Koopman linked here

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Governor Pritzker Signs 5 Hour School Day Bill Expands E-Learning

Governor J.B Pritzker on Tuesday signed a bill that creates a minimum school day length of 5 hours in the state of Illinois. If this comes as a surprise to you, it may be because a previous school funding bill had nullified the 5 hour rule unintentionally. The new bill restores the minimum hours while also expanding e-learning opportunities and career training for students. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Recreational Cannabis Industry Taking Shape in Illinois Touting Job Creation

Governor J.B Pritzker has not signed the bill yet and already the industry around the cultivation of recreational cannabis is coming together and touting job growth in the state of Illinois. Dispensaries gearing up for January 1st 2020, when recreational marijuana will become available in Illinois are touting thousands of jobs to be created in customer service and especially in cultivation in the state. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Celebrating Those Who Help Give Life to Others

Illinoisans are being encouraged to join a global observance this week that celebrates a critical part of modern medicine. Every two seconds, a person in the United States needs blood, and World Blood Donor Day is an opportunity to thank the unpaid donors who roll up their sleeves to help save lives. Kirby Winn, public-relations manager for Community Blood Services of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and the Central Illinois Community Blood Center in Springfield, said the annual commemoration is held on June 14 - on the birthday of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

"Dr. Karl Landsteiner identified the various different blood types - type A, type B, type O, and type AB - and that there is an Rh factor," Winn said. "World Blood Donor Day is a chance to acknowledge the importance of that discovery, in terms of its impact on transfusion medicine."

Blood centers around the state are hosting special events this weekend to thank donors and encourage regular donations. Winn said summer is an especially crucial time for donations, since the blood supply can drop by as much as 20%. It's estimated that one donation can save up to three lives. 

Winn said that Type O-negative blood especially is sought after because it can be given to patients of all blood types. It's estimated that only 10% of people who are able to donate blood actually do so, and Winn said this might be the weekend to change that. Blood donations are always needed, he said.

"That might be for an emergency, or for cancer treatment or surgery, or complications that occurred during childbirth; these are all things that might happen any day of the year," he said, "and so it's our job to make sure that there's blood on the shelf and available at the hospital whenever it's needed."

Potential blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Winn said anyone with questions about his or her eligibility should call a blood-donation center.

"We far prefer that method than anyone assuming on their own basis that they're not eligible to give blood," he said. "We call that a self-deferral and frequently, we find that self-deferrals are made inaccurately, because not all of us have that level of expertise that the staff at the blood center does."

An estimated 6.8 million people in the United States give blood each year. More information is online at bloodcenter.org.

 

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Governor Pritzker to Consider Revenge Porn Civil Lawsuit Bill

Among the numerous bills in front of Governor J.B Pritzker for his signature is a bill that would allow for civil lawsuits in the case of so-called 'Revenge Porn.' Revenge Porn is the name given to a situation wherein one partner posts sexually explicit images of another partner without their consent or with the intent to cause harm. Under Illinois law, revenge porn is already a crime but with this new law, victims would have the chance to pursue civil damages. Our Greg Bishop has more.. 

 

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Galva Arts Council Announces 2019 Photo Show

The Galva Arts Council is now accepting entries for the 2019 Galva Arts Council Photo Show. The deadline to enter is June 30th. The theme for this year's Galva Arts Council Photo Show is Capture the Beauty in the Simple Things We See Daily. There will be four competition categories for people of different age and skill levels with categories for Kids, Beginners, Advanced and Professional Photographers. Photos will be displayed at the Galva Arts Council on the 4th of July with winners chosen and announced that day. There is a cost to enter the contest of $6.00 for each photo entered or $4.00 for members of the Galva Arts Council. Photo entries must be framed and be no larger than 11x14. All entries must have a title and must not have been entered in previous contests. To enter, contact Brenda at the Galva Arts Council at 309-337-5216. 

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Illinois EPA and Department of Public Health Urge Caution on Blue Green Algae on Lakes and Rivers

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health want you to be mindful of Blue Green Algae when recreating on lakes and rivers in Illinois this summer. While the issue isn't dire and doesn't need to cause a panic, there are things to know and to avoid regarding algal blooms on lakes and rivers. Teri Holland, Environmental Protection Specialist for the Illnois EPA explains that Blue Green Algae is actually a bacteria... 

Blue Green Algae is a very specific form of Algae that can cause illness in humans as well as in pets... 

The biggest issue is that you may not know where the bacterial form of Blue Green Algae is located... 

People who plan to recreate in or on Illinois lakes or rivers this summer are advised to avoid contact with water that:

• looks like spilled, green or blue-green paint;
• has surface scums, mats, or films;
• is discolored or has green-colored streaks; or
• has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface.

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Patrick Henry Club to Hold Event in Bishop Hill

The Patrick Henry Club of Henry County will meet at the Unwind Patio at Entwined in Bishop Hill on June 22nd. The Patrick Henry Club is a quarterly meeting of Conservative voters who meet for coffee and conversation. State Representative Dan Swanson and Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka are expected to be on hand along with other Henry County elected officials. Patrick Henry meetings  are free to attend and this meeting will get underway at 9 Am with coffee and will conclude by 10:30 Am. If you need further information about the Patrick Henry Club call 309-714-1617. 

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Sheffield Knights of Columbus to Hold Blood Drive

The American Red Cross and the Sheffield Knights of Columbus will host a Blood Drive on July 8th. Appointments are being accepted ahead of the Blood Drive on Monday, July 8th from 1:30 Pm to 5:30. The blood drive will be held in the main room of St. Patrick Church Hall, located at 231 West Atkinson in Sheffiled. Walk-ins are welcome but to make an appointment contact Elizabeth Berry at 309-525-4080 or 815-454-2686. 

 

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Bees Itching to Swarm but Don't Panic

When nature calls at this time of year, bees like to swarm. Larry Krengel, who serves on the board of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association, says swarming is what bees have done to survive over millions of years;

Krengel says if you encounter a swarm of bees, contact a local beekeeper for assistance;

For example, the Heart of Illinois Beekeepers Association has a form on their website people can fill out if they encounter a swarm of honey bees and want it removed. The state beekeepers association website has more information about all of its local chapters throughout the state that can help remove swarms too.

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People to People Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore 06-11-19

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People on Tuesday, following up on Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting. Mayor Moore discussed the appointment of new Kewanee City Clerk, Rebecca Jones and the difficult decision by the Council to grant Jones' appointment despite her not living in the City of Kewanee. Jones, who lives in Woodhull, was granted a probationary period of 2 years before the Council will revisit the residency issue. Mayor Moore had wanted the council to amend the current ordinance to remove the residency requirement but that motion was defeated by the Council in a 4 to 1 vote with only the Mayor voting to remove the residency requirement. Also on the show today we discussed the inter-governmental agreement that will bring together Police from Kewanee, Geneseo, Colona and the Henry County Sheriff's Office to combat drug and human trafficking, among several other items from last night's Kewanee City Council meeting. 

 

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Tuned In Henry County Youth Services Bureau Fundraiser

Brittany Coopman with the Henry County Youth Services Bureau was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday. Brittany was on hand to talk about a fundraiser for the Youth Services Bureau taking place Friday night, at 6 Pm at The Stables in Kewanee. There will be a silent auction and dinner served among other fun to be had while raising funds for the Henry County Youth Services Bureau which offers counseling services for at risk kids across Henry County. Brittany gave us a closer look at what the Henry County Youth Services Bureau does during this interview on today's edition of Tuned In... 

 

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Rep Cheri Bustos Welcomes Local Students from Galva, Wethersfield and Other Local Schools to D.C

Students from Lombard Middle School, Wethersfield High School, Galva Junior/Senior High School, AlWood Middle School and Orion Middle School, have traveled to Washington D.C this week and met with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos at the Capital. Congresswoman Bustos spoke about the meeting with the kids during a capital photo shoot... 

 

“It’s always great meeting young students with an interest in government,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is energizing and gives me hope for the future of Illinois and our country. It was a pleasure welcoming these young leaders to the U.S. Capitol today and I look forward to seeing everything they go on to accomplish.”

 

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Yaklich Demands Accountability Over Sludge Issue Among Others

The City of Kewanee is seeking farmers who would like free sludge as fertilzer. Council member Mike Yaklich however, wants to know why the sludge issue was only brought to the council's attention so close to a looming deadline...

While in his council communications regarding the sludge issue Councilman Yaklich did not directly address City Manager Gary Bradley, his follow up comments were directed at the City Manager. Prior to the meeting, Councilman Yaklich handed out a document to the council detailing questions and requests that have not been met specifically by the City Manager... 

Below is a list of issues that Councilman Yaklich claims have not been addressed by City Manager Gary Bradley. The list was provided to WKEI by Councilman Yaklich who during council communications asked that the City Manager address these issues at the next Kewanee City Council meeting... 

For his part, Mayor Gary Moore told WKEI that he spoke with City Manager Gary Bradley and the City Manager indicated that he had addressed each issue. Neverthleless, the Mayor has asked the City Manager to comply with Councilman Yaklich's request and produce documents indicating how each issue was addressed at the next Kewanee City Council meeting on June 24th. 

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Kewanee City Council Approves New City Clerk

Rebecca Jones has been appointed to the position of City Clerk in Kewanee but it was not easy. The Kewanee City Council, over the objection of Mayor Gary Moore voted down a change to a City of Kewanee ordinance that requires that a department head actually live in Kewanee city limits in order to be able to accept a department head position. Council member Mike Yaklich spoke vehemently against the idea that the ordinance requiring residency be amended... 

The council voted 4 to 1, with Mayor Moore voting alone, against changing the ordinance requiring residency for City department heads. That vote however, led to a compromise wherein Mrs Jones who lives in Woodhull will be given a contract with a probationary period of 2 years before she would need to move to Kewanee and the probationary period of two years would not require Jones to move, only that the probationary period would be assessed again in two years. In a vote of 5 to 0, Jones was confirmed as the new Kewanee City Clerk. 

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Betty's Garden Latest Success Story for Petersen Health Care

Since opening in November of last year Betty's Garden, the latest assisted living facility opened by Petersen Health Care in Kewanee has been a major success in creating an environment for those in need of memory care that is supportive and improves quality of life for those with different forms of dementia. Doug Currier from Petersen Health Care along with Maisey Postin, was our guest on People to People on Wednesday... 

One of the most important innovations at all Petersen Health Care facilities and at Betty's Garden in particular is the innovation in training. The staff at Petersen Health Care is always being trained on the most of the moment and innovative forms of training and helping patients with various conditions...

Doug Currier and Maisey Postin were our guests on People to People on Monday. 

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OSF Sleep Lab Now with Two Sleep Study Suites

Trouble sleeping can affect every aspect of your life and it can also be an indication of bigger issues. The sleep lab at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center now has two sleep lab suites to accomodate more patients eager to solve sleep related issues like the ones we spoke about with our friend Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on Monday's edition of Tuned In... 

The demand for sleep study treatment has grown tremendously over the last year and thus why OSF Saint Luke Medical Center added a second sleep lab suite... 

Reasons to consider a sleep study: 

 

If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, please talk to your doctor about scheduling a sleep study:

 

Do you snore?


Is your snoring interrupted by silence or followed by a gasp or snort?


Do you ever fall asleep or doze while driving, at work or during waking hours?


Do you regularly have trouble concentrating or remembering?


Do you experience mood or behavior changes?


Do you often wake up with a headache?


Has your interest in sex declined?


Are you sleepy or fatigued during the day?

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Chicago Mayor Receives Praise from Downstate Republicans

A group of downstate Republicans who have called on the state of Illinois in to separate from the City of Chicago in the past are now praising Chicago's Mayor for her fight against corruption. In an open letter, Representative Brad Halbrook didn't state this his group would pull back on the effort to separate Illinois and Chicago, but he did offer praise for new Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her attempts to root out corruption early in her term as Mayor. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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University of Illinois Accused of Not Upholding Free Speech

A Virginia based free speech advocacy group has accused the University of Illinois of denying students free speech rights. The group Speech First claims that policies at the University don't allow students to speak freely, especially regarding politics. This caused at least one member of the Illinois House to take to the House floor and call for action that would deny state funds to any state university that did not allow the freedom of speech or held policies denying the full expression of free speech rights. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Trailer Bills to Clarify Portions of Recreational Cannabis Bill

Lawmakers in Springfield are set to propose what are called Trailer Bills, bills intended to clarify portions of previously passed legislation. In this case, trailer bills are being added to the current bill set to be signed by Governor J.B Pritzker to legalize adult use cannabis in Illinois. Trailer bills will clarify that only those who grow marijuana at home for medical use must be identified to law enforcement ahead of time. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Bishop Hill Announces 2019 Midsommar Music Festival

Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 22th with a strong line-up of musical performers. In Sweden, Midsommar is one of the most important days of the year, rivaling Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions. Given Sweden’s long, dark winters, it is not surprising that the arrival of the longest day of the year is a reason to celebrate. Bishop Hill honors its Swedish roots by hosting its own Midsommar celebration. Highlights of this all-day event include Main Stage performances, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and an Old-Fashioned Barn Dance.


The free Main Stage performances in the village park gazebo will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. This year’s lineup includes Black Hawk Pipes and Drums, Orion Community Band, Jazz on the Side, and the Norwegian Bachelor Farmers. Black Hawk Pipes and Drums has been performing reels, jigs, and slow airs since 2000. The appearance of the Orion Community Band continues our practice of featuring Henry County’s town bands. Jazz on the Side returns to Bishop Hill to entertain the crowd with their big band standards and jazz selections. Kyle and Dave, the Norwegian Bachelor Farmers, have been entertaining audiences for over two decades with their eclectic blend of upbeat Scandinavian folk music, humor, and storytelling.

 

Immediately following the Main Stage performances, everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the procession. Accordionist Ernie Sandquist will lead the Maypole procession. It will begin in the park and end at the Colony School where visitors can join in the Maypole dancing and have refreshments provided by the Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge. Later, at 6 p.m., there will be a barn dance at the Colony School with Cloud Nine and caller Gail Hintze. Admission to the barn dance is $5 per person.

 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will also be having its annual Rabarber Fundraiser. The BHHA will be serving homemade rhubarb baked goods, with coffee and lemonade, at the Steeple Building Museum front porch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to support BHHA activities.

 

The Vasa National Archives, a short block from the park, will be offering a Midsummer Respite featuring drinks, snacks, and hands-on activities for the kids. The public is welcome to view exhibits and enjoy some light refreshments. Children can enjoy the Magic of Midsummer, in which kids can help measure and mix ingredients in various household science experiments to see what happens. The Vasa National Archives will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

The Midsommar Music Festival is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, Bishop Hill Heritage
Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Old Settler’s Association, Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge #683, and area businesses. Partial funding for this festival is provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. For directions and more info, visit www.bishophillheritage.org , call 309-927-3899, visit the Bishop Hill Heritage Association Facebook page, or email bhha@mymctc.net.

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Events and Friendly Reminders for Local Fishermen and Hunters

Free Family Fishing June 16 at Banner Marsh SFWA:  The Illinois DNR, Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge will be co-hosting a free fishing event for all ages Sunday, June 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area’s main entrance off of U.S. Rt. 24. Activities include bank fishing and the opportunity to learn about proper fishing etiquette, different fish species, fish population sustainability, fish cleaning techniques, and how to safely consume fish. Everyone may fish for free and without a license during the event, which is being held during Illinois Free Fishing Days weekend. A limited amount of fishing poles, tackle, and bait will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for use during the event. Participants may bring their own fishing gear, blankets, lawn/camping chairs, and sunscreen and should dress appropriately for this outdoor activity. Light refreshments will also be available courtesy of Hy-Vee of Canton. The event is sponsored by AC Beer & Bait of Lewistown and Aquatic Control of Canton.

 

Reminder:  Illinois Free Fishing Days are June 14-17.  For more information on fishing in Illinois:  www.ifishillinois.org.

 

Check Your Boat Registration:  The IDNR reminds boat owners in Illinois to check their three-year boat registration/decal and renew their registration if it expires in 2019. Renewing watercraft registration can be done online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or by phone by calling 1-866-867-3542. To renew registration, have available the watercraft’s Illinois registration number, the first six characters of the watercraft’s hull ID number, the first three letters of the registered owner’s last name, and a credit card. New or renewed three-year watercraft registrations will expire on Sept. 30 in the calendar year of expiration. For details on Illinois watercraft registration requirements and fees, check the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/boating/Pages/default.aspx. Unpowered watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or paddle boards in Illinois are no longer required to have a Water Usage Stamp.

 

Firearm Deer Permit Applications:  Resident and non-resident deer hunters can apply for the second lottery drawing for 2019 Illinois Firearm Deer and Muzzleloader-only Deer permits. The deadline to apply for the second lottery is June 30. For more information on deer hunting, check the website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting.aspx.

 

Apply Now for Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits:  The online lottery application period is open through June 30 for Non-Resident Illinois Archery Combination Deer permits for the 2019-2020 deer season. A link for the online application is available on the IDNR website: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/DeerPermitsFees.aspx. Non-residents may apply for one combination archery permit per season. The upcoming Illinois Archery Deer season is Oct. 1, 2019 - Jan. 19, 2020 (except closed in firearm deer counties on Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8, 2019).
 
Online Dove Permits:  Online applications will be accepted from resident Illinois hunters through June 30 for the first lottery for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits for hunting at select state sites. For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/dove/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx.

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Illinois State Police Re-institutes "Fast Track" Program

Springfield - The Illinois State Police (ISP) has announced that they will be reinstituting the “Fast Track” Program that provides an opportunity for certified police officers to become Illinois State Troopers through participation in an accelerated training program. The duration of a Fast Track Cadet Class will be slightly less than half of the standard 26-week Cadet Class.
 
In order to be eligible for a Fast Track Cadet Class, applicants must be a current certified police officer, having graduated from an accredited law enforcement academy, and have at least two years of experience while employed as a full-time sworn police officer. Applicants will be required to provide proof of successfully completing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)/International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) approved DWI/DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training program, or an approved equivalent, prior to starting a Fast Track Class.
 
Officers must also meet all pre-employment requirements and standards established by the ISP Merit Board and successfully complete the application process. The pre-employment requirements, vision standards, hearing standards, and fitness standards are available on the ISP Merit Board’s website at https://www.illinoistrooper.com under the Recruitment menu. Upon completion of the application process, applicants will be screened to determine if they meet the additional eligibility requirements to be considered for a Fast Track Class. In addition to the ISP Merit Board’s requirements, all candidates eligible to participate in a Fast Track Class will be required to successfully pass a Fast Track written examination.
 
When a Fast Track Class schedule is finalized, qualified applicants will be contacted by the Illinois State Police to complete the Fast Track Examination. Applicants who have met all ISP Merit Board standards and requirements and have successfully passed the Fast Track Examination will be considered for placement in the Fast Track Class. Regardless of the future availability of a Fast Track Class or the score the applicant achieves on the Fast Track Examination, the applicant will remain in the Merit Board’s applicant pool and be eligible for certification for placement into a full length Cadet Class.
 
Individuals interested in applying for a future Fast Track Cadet Class must complete the online application on the ISP Merit Board’s website at https://www.illinoistrooper.com/online-application/.  The ISP is currently planning to conduct a Fast Track Cadet Class in the spring of 2020. To be eligible for the spring class, individuals must complete the ISP Merit Board’s online application by September 30, 2019.
 
Individuals who are not Fast Track eligible may still apply to be considered for a potential summer 2020 full 26-week Cadet Class. To be in consideration for the summer 2020 class, applications must be received by November 29, 2019.

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New Director of Illinois Corrections Faces Mounting Issues

The new head of the Department of Corrections in the state of Illinois is arriving to a mountain of issues. Issues that include lawsuits, over-crowding and infrastructure. Rob Jeffreys is the new man at the Department of Corrections and he has quite a hill to climb in his new position. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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People to People Doug Currier and Maisey Postin Senior Living in Kewanee and Betty's Garden

Doug Currier and Maisey Postin with Petersen Health Care and Betty's Garden among many senior living facilities in Kewanee, were our guests on WKEI on Monday's edition of People to People. Knowing when Senior Living is either an option is becoming necessary can be a difficult thing and Petersen Health Care led by Doug and Maisey right here in Kewanee are trying to make that conversation much easier through outreach and education. We discussed a number of questions regarding senior living and spent some time talking about the innovations that make Betty's Garden so special on today's People to People on WKEI. Stream or download the interview below... 

 

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Senator Durbin Looking to the Future on the Flood Front

Some flood weary Illinoisans fear rising rivers are the new normal. Senator Dick Durbin is also alarmed. Senator Durbin fears flooding along major rivers is becoming the rule, not the exception...


Durbin believes the Army Corps of Engineers needs to lead a campaign of restoring and strengthening levees.

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Tuned In Carrie Boelens OSF Saint Luke Medical Center 06-10-19

Carrie Boelens and Chris Downs from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined WKEI on Monday morning for our Tuned In Program. Carrie talked about knee pain and the Sleep Lab on today's show and the remarkable benefits of a good night's sleep. Chris jumped in to talk about the Blood Drive happening at OSF this Thursday at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, a blood drive that comes with a free breakfast or lunch and the chance to get a $10.00 gift card from partner Mississippi Valley Blood Center.... Listen to or download our Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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Illinois Beef Association Names Cerno's Bar and Grill Best Burger in Illinois

It's official, Kewanee is home to the Best Burger in Illinois courtesy of Cerno's Bar and Grill. The Illinois Beef Association chose Cerno's Bar and Grill as the Best Burger in Illinois following up on fan votes for several restaurants across the state of Illinois. We spoke with Brian Crabtree from Cerno's just last month about having been nominated for Best Burger in the state and Brian talked about the honor and being completely unaware that a nomination had even occurred. 

On Facebook, Cerno's invited folks to Cheeseburger Satuday to celebrate their award winning burger to great success. The celebration will undoubtedly continue through this weekend when Cerno's hosts the Hog Capital Barbecue Challenge on Saturday. 

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Alexa Eastburg Headed to Miss Illinois Competition

Today is the day when Alexa Eastburg, Miss World Festival, leaves for Marion, Illinois and the chance to become Miss Illinois. The programs kick off this week with a new Miss Illinois crowned by the end of the week. We talked to Alexa on Friday on our People to People podcast and asked her about the week and what if anything has her excited for this week... 

If Alexa were to win Miss Illinois she would move on to the Miss America 2.0 competition. The Miss America organization has undergone a few changes that recognize changes in society and Alexa tells WKEI that she appreciates the changes that have been made to the competition... 

Be sure to like the Miss World Festival Facebook page to help boost Alexa's social impact rating and use Alexa's hashtag #StrenghOverStruggle to show your support for Mental Health Awareness, a cause she will be speaking out on as part of her social impact with the Miss Illinois competition. You can also support Alexa via donations to her Miss Illinois Page at MissIllinois.org

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Governor Pritzker to Make Medical Cannabis Program Permanent

The medical cannabis program in the state of Illinois has been known as a pilot program since its inception in 2014. Now, as part of the new recreational marijuana bill, that pilot program will become a permanent program, guaranteeing the availibility of medicinal marijuana to those with a doctor's prescription via the state program. Our Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Freshman Lawmakers Equate Springfield Atmosphere to Circus or Game of Thrones

Being in Springfield is being equated to being in the circus or in the maelstrom of the chaotic HBO series Game of Thrones according to the recollections of Freshman lawmakers following their first legislative session. Freshman lawmakers who recently wrapped the Spring legislative session spoke to reporters over the weekend and used the terms Circus and Chaos to describe their first session under the capital dome. Our Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Better than Most Other States in Food Security

The State of Illinois is ahead of most other states in one aspect, the state has less food insecurity. According to a new study from the group Feeding America, Illinois has among the lowest rates of food insecurity, at around 11%. Food Insecurity is a term indicating a number of people in the population who struggle to afford nutritious food on a regular basis. 

 

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Sign Up Still Available for Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Golf PlayDay Thursday

There is still time to sign up to participate in the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Golf PlayDay on Thursday, June 13th at Baker Park. Shotgun start is at 1 Pm at a cost of $65.00 per person or $50.00 if you are a member at the Baker Park Golf Course. Your entry in to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Golf PlayDay includes Greens Fees, Cart Rental, Steak Dinner and you're automatic entry to win door prizes. Download your entry form by clicking here. Return your completed entry form with your entry fee to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce prior to the event on Thursday. 

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TRIDENT Makes Heroin Bust in Spring Valley

The Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team known as TRIDENT has announced another buy and bust. According to a release from TRIDENT, on June 5th, officers assisted Spring Valley Police with a Buy and Bust operation in the area of the 100 Block of South Spalding St. in Spring Valley. During the investigation, TRIDENT officers conducted a controlled purchase of .8 grams of Heroin from 28 year old Ryan M Buck of Spring Valley. After the buy, came the bust as officers arrested Buck following the successful purchase. Subsequent investigation led to the legal search of Buck's residence which turned up multiple jewelers bags filled with heroin totalling 18.4 grams. Buck has been charged with Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Heroin a Class 2 Felony, and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver-Heroin-over 15 Grams, a Class X Felony. Buck is currently housed at the Bureau County Jail. 

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Kewanee YMCA Makes Official Change from Color Fun Run to Step with Your Pet

At tonight's Kewanee City Council Meeting it will be made official that the Kewanee YMCA will no longer hold their Color Fun Run over the weekend of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival, July 12th and 13th. In its place, the Kewanee YMCA has announced the Step with Your Pet Fundraiser. The YMCA is partnering with the Henry County Humane Society for the event which will take place in the morning on Saturday, July 13th. The YMCA will make use of Liberty Park on July 13th from 7:30 Am until 1 Pm for the Step with Your Pet Fundraiser and the event will include a walk/run with owners and their pets along with a pet costume contest and a chance for people to meet some of the adoptable pets from the Henry County Humane Society. There is no word yet on the cost to participate. The request for the date and the use of Liberty Park is on the Consent Agenda at tonight's Kewanee City Council Meeting. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for 06-10-19

The Kewanee City Council will meet tonight at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall with yet another packed agenda.At tonight's meeting it is expected that the City of Kewanee will appoint a new City Clerk. The Council will also discuss having the Kewanee Police Department join a new task force against Human and Drug Trafficking called the Henry County Trafficking Enforcement Group. The meeting gets underway at 7 Pm and if you cannot be there in person, you can see the meeting on Facebook at RegionalDailyNews on Facebook


Agenda for New Business 


a) Consideration of a Resolution to award demolition work at 408 N Park St to Ratliff Bros, Inc.


b) Consideration of an Ordinance to amend the City of Kewanee Administrative Code as it
relates to residency requirements of employees not represented by collective bargaining units.


c) Consideration of a Resolution to appoint a City Clerk.


d) Consideration of a Resolution to affirm the Mayor’s recommendation for appointment to the
Airport Authority Board.


e) Consideration of a Resolution authorizing an intergovernmental agreement between the
Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Geneseo Police Department, Colona Police Department
and the Kewanee Police Department to operate a multi-jurisdictional group known as the Henry
County Trafficking Enforcement Group within the county of Henry in the state of Illinois.


f) Consideration of an Ordinance to establish parking restrictions on the West side of the 200
block of South Vine Street.


g) Consideration of an Ordinance amending Schedule III of Chapter 78 of the City Code
“Handicapped Parking Spaces”.


h) Proclamation recognizing June 10, 2019 as the 100th anniversary of Illinois being the first state
to ratify the 19th Amendment.

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Be Sure to Register for Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Competition

Organizers of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival are reminding anyone who would like to take part in the actual competition portion of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival to get signed up soon. The cost to participate varies by which competition you are taking part in.

 

Fee: ADULT/PROFESSIONAL: $50 – includes professional chalk, one $10 restaurant gift card, tote bag.
ADULT/AMATEUR: $35 – includes professional chalk, and tote bag.
YOUTH: $10 - includes chalk, and tote bag.

*Want to be near someone? Please submit registrations together noting request.

 

You can sign up for the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Competition by going to Eventbrite.com or by stopping by the office of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce. 

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Kewanee Man Wins $5000.00 on Scratch Off Lottery Ticket

For Jeremy Welsh it had already been a pretty great day. Despite a sunburn, he'd spent his Saturday among friends and Great Dane co-workers at the Great Dane Golf Playday when he and his friends decided to stop at the Kewanee Shell Station. Jeremy had no plans to buy a lottery ticket but changed his mind and it was a good choice. The ticket won Jeremy $5000.00. Our reporter just happened to be at the Shell station as Jeremy was celebrating with friends... 

Jeremy will have to travel to either Rockford or Springfield where the Illinois Lottery will hand him his winnings. Congratulations Jeremy. 

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People to People Alexa Eastburg on Competing to Become Miss Illinois

Miss World Festival Alexa Eastburg joined WKEI on our People to People program on Friday. Alexa is leaving this weekend to compete in the Miss Illinois pageant. We asked Alexa a few unique questions about her pageant journey including what's it like to wear a tiara, what will she be doing for the talent portion of Miss Illinois, and what does she think of the movie Miss Congeniality? Aside from the fun stuff, we also talked about the remarkable charity work that comes with competing for Miss Illinois and the chance to compete for Miss America 2.0. We discussed her current fundraising effort for the Children's Miracle Network and the many ways that you can support Alexa on her Miss Illinois journey. It's all in our People to People Podcast below... 


Be sure to like the Miss World Festival Facebook page, linked here, as social media support helps in Alexa's quest to become Miss Illlinois and to support Alexa's charity efforts, especially her work in promoting Mental Health Awareness, use Alexa's hashtag #StrengthOverStruggle when you share this interview in support of Alexa Eastburg, hopefully, the next Miss Illinois. 

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Yemm Auto Group Friday with Sales Director Justin Wright 06-06-19

Justin Wright, Sales Manager at Yemm Auto Group in Galesburg joined WKEI for the weekly Yemm Auto Group podcast, a brief chat about the incredible deals at Yemm in Galesburg, including unprecedented deals on trucks that you will have to hear to believe... 

 

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Jim Bohannon Visits the WKEI Morning Show

First Friday of the month means a visit from our friend and colleague Jim Bohannon whom you hear each weeknight on WKEI from 9 Pm to Midnight. Jim joined WKEI on Friday to talk about D-Day, President Trump versus the media, Pelosi versus Nadler on impeachment and the growing divides in the Democratic Party as we inch closer to the 2020 election... 

 

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Ages and Ages at the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series in Wiley Park this Week

Ages and Ages is coming to Galva on Sunday night for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series in Wiley Park. Ages and Ages are a band out Portland, Oregon that has been playing in different forms for the past 10 years. Two of the constants in the band however, are bassist Rob Oberdorfer and vocalist Tim Perry who joined WKEI on Tuned In on Friday morning to talk about music, live performance and the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series this Sunday night....

Get a sample of Ages and Ages below and see them live on Sunday night at Wiley Park in Galva for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series... 

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Hanging Hearts Performing Sunday Night at Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series

Hanging Hearts is wonderfully unique vibrant band out of Chicago with a musical approach all their own. Many bands write love songs, but for Hanging Hearts and band member Chris Weller, no topic is off limits and the more the unique a topic the better. Once you hear Hanging Hearts you will know what I mean. Chris Weller was our guest on WKEI on Friday Morning... 

Get a sample of Hanging Hearts below and see them live this Sunday at 6 Pm in Galva... 

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Flooding Not Stopping Pest Monitoring

What has the state’s flooding situation meant for the state’s pest population? There’s still tracking to do says State Pest Survey Coordinator Kelly Estes. 


Estes provides regular information through the Illinois Pest Management Bulletin and also the University of Illinois Home, Yard & Garden News. She also provides information for the University of Illinois Extension for the Illinois Fruit & Vegetable News. 

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People to People Rich Lewis and Steve Faber Prairie Chicken Car Cruise In and Motorcycle Cruise In

The Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival is set for July 12th and 13th and will feature a number of unique events including, new this year, a Car Cruise In. Rich Lewis with Lewis Auto Body in Kewanee is organizing the Cruise In on 2nd Street on July 13th... 

There is no charged and though the event goes on from 2 Pm to 7 Pm, you don't have to stay the whole time at the Car Cruise In. Also new this year is a Motorcycle Cruise In as part of the Prairie Chicken Festival on July 12th, the night before the art says City Council Member Steve Faber... 

The Motorcycle Cruise In is set to include live music and a beer garden sponsored by The Station restaurant. Get more information about the events at the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival at DowntownKewanee.com. You can hear the entire People to People interview with Rich Lewis and Steve Faber below... 

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Kewanee Council Member Comes Out Against Dual License for Gaming at Gas Stations

Council member Steve Faber joined WKEI on the Open Line program on Thursday. During a wide ranging conversation, Councilman Faber was asked his opinion on gambling expansion in Kewanee and specifically about granting dual license to local gas stations or convenience stores to have gaming and serve alcohol. Councilman Faber stated that he cannot support the idea and will vote no if such a proposal comes before the council... 

Councilman Faber's opposition to gambling expansion in the City of Kewanee stems from the numbers. The Councilman cited numbers from the state of Illinois that indicate that of the money made off of gaming in Illinois, 70% leaves the state and goes into the hands of the companies producing gaming machines in Texas and California. Of the 30% that stays in Illinois, only a fraction of the money ends up at the City level. 

We will find out today, when the agenda for the June 10th Kewanee City Council Meeting is released whether or not the request from the owners of the Kewanee Shell Station for a dual usse license will be on the agenda next week or if they are still working on their proposal to the City as requested by Mayor Gary Moore when the topic was raised at the May 28th meeting. 

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Kewanee East Street Project Gets Underway Today

The long in the works plan by the City of Kewanee to fix East Street gets underway on Friday, Today. According to a release from the City of Kewanee, the East Street Project will begin with the closure of South East Street between Willow and Pleasant at 6 Am. Ratliff Brothers will begin the project by repairing the sewer in this area. This section of East Street is expected to be closed most of the day. Work on East Street will then continue on Monday, June 10th, in the 100 Block of North East Street, between 1st and 2nd Streets. Eastbound 2nd Street traffic will not be able to travel going east on East Street on Monday. That traffic will be required to go Northbound. The City of Kewanee will be doing camera inspections on sewer lines in the area. Drivers are asked to avoid these areas if possible on Friday and Monday. 

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State Ag Director Looks at Challenged Levee

State Ag Director John Sullivan getting a first-hand look at flooded Illinois. He viewed areas from Scott County down to Grafton earlier this week.


Sullivan knows all about flood worries as he farms near Rushville in Schuyler County, which sits between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. 

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D-Day Exhibit Open at Lincoln Museum in Springfield

o honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is opening an exhibit about World War II. Main parts of it are first-hand accounts of World War II – a series of interviews are available to watch with the men and women who fought and served in Europe and Japan. Museum Director Alan Lowe says those stories have to be recorded and shared.

Outside of the stories and videos that share accounts from the war and the effort to support it, you can also see artifacts like Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s helmet.

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Pritzker Says New Budget Can Pave Way for Lower Local Taxes

The recently passed state budget can achieve some relief of local taxes according to Democrat Governor JB Pritzker. He says it’s not as simple as just issuing a property tax freeze to save homeowners money because so many parts of local government use property taxes to fund local needs. Pritzker notes as the state steps forward and pays its share for a number of services - that can give local leaders the ability to change the way they tax.

Pritzker says there is a task force that is meeting right now to discuss what can be done moving forward to give property tax relief.

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Lavender Harvest Underway in Illinois

Only a handful of farms in Illinois grow lavender, the popular herb some people believe relieves inflammation, headaches and other ailments. Despite this spring's excessive rainfall, the Shawnee Hills Lavender Farm has opened for you-pick business in downstate Union County. Charlotte Clover and her husband allow throngs to pick lavender on their farm for five-dollars a bunch;

The lavender farm sits along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Clover says they have people come from Chicago and St. Louis to hand-pick lavender;

The Shawnee Hills Lavender Farm even serves lavender lemonade. It's open today through Sunday and next weekend too, June 14th through 16th.

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Tuned In Cassandra Schmoll Henry County Senior Center

Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Center in Kewanee was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday. Cassandra joined WKEI to talk about the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Senior Center, their Senior Center golf outing at Baker Park Saturday, July 20th... 

Cassandra also talked about the upcoming bus trips with the Henry County Senior Center and so much more in our Tuned In Podcast which you can stream or download below... 

 

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Illinois State Military Museum Opens D-Day Exhibit

The Illinois State Military Museum on Thursday, June 6th, opened their brand new D-Day exhibit on the 75th Anniversary of the battle that turned the tide of World War 2. Illinois Army National Guard Major Michael Hart was the inspiration for the for the exhibit. The items on display in the exhibit come from his personal collection of World War 2 memorabilia. Major Hart along with Illinois State Military Museum Curator Bill Lear told WKEI on Thursday that the exhibit is one they'd been working on with the specific intent to pay tribute on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day... 

The D-Day exhibit at the Illinois State Military Museum runs through December 31st. You can hear our complete interview with Curator Bill Lear and Major Michael Hart from Thursday's WKEI Morning Show below... 

 

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Stark County Health Board Honors Lee Hager for Service to County

Stark County - Duane Stevens, Public Health Administrator with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, and the Stark County Health Board recently honored retiring Health Board Member Lee Hager of Wyoming for his total of 15 years of service to the citizens of Stark County. 
 
     Remi Satkauskas, the Stark County Health Board President, notes "Lee Hager has been devoted to the community; and his many years of service to the Stark County Board of Health in the betterment of health services to Stark County citizens.  His tenure of service has been and will always be appreciated." 
 
    Stevens adds, "Lee has been a devoted member of the Stark County Health Board.  He served two stints on the Health Board from 1990-1998 and then 2012-2019.  Lee has been a wonderful advocate for the health of all Stark County residents.  I will personally miss working with him."
 
    The Stark County Health Board consists of 2 physicians; 1 dentist; 1 county board member; and 4 other residents of the county with an interest in the county's health needs.  The Health Board meets quarterly and members serve with no compensation.
 
     For more information on the Stark County Health Department call the Department at (309) 852-0197.  You can also visit their website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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County Health Department and Bradford Library to Host Senior Living Series

Stark County - The Henry and Stark County Health Department, the Stark County Citizens' Mental Health Task Force, and the Petersen Health Care would like to remind area residents, of all ages, they are once again sponsoring a special Senior Living Series.  The Senior Living Series is a schedule of informational programs aimed to give the latest, up-to-date information, that matters, to our area senior population.
 
    The June program will be a professional presentation of entitled “Look to the Skies, Lift Up a Song” featuring Mr. Aaron Fowler and his guitar and therapy dog, Ms. Bella. This program will be presented on Tuesday, June 18th at 2:00pm at the Courtyard Estates, 100 Courtyard Estates, Bradford, IL. Mr. Aaron is known for engaging with his audience, his warm personality and program content invite participation. He also crafts his “sing along” programs to be educational without appearing so.  
 
     RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Department, states, “We are so excited about our June “Kick-Off” to the program series.  This is a cooperative effort between the Bradford Public Library’s Summer Reading Program and the agencies that bring local residents the Stark County Senior Living Series of programs. “
 
     The special event is FREE-OF CHARGE and open to all local residents of any age, 1-100.  Grandparents and Parents are encouraged to come with their grandchildren and children and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of fun, adventure, and imagination courtesy of and funded by the Bradford Public Library. Free giveaways and a door prize will be given out at each Senior Living Series session.
 
    For more information about the upcoming Stark County Senior Living Series you may contact RaeAnn Tucker at the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 or Sarah Boehm at the Bradford Public Library at 897-8400. 

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County Health Department Asks Food Vendors to Register With Them

Henry County - The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' Environmental Health Division notes that most local community calendars from the Memorial Day holiday to the Labor Day observance will feature many community events.  Summertime is outdoor activity time. It's the season for community activities, festivals, and events, family reunions, backyard barbecues and other friendly get-togethers.
 
    Therefore, the Health Department would like to remind area residents that if you are preparing to serve food to the Public through an event that serves food on less than two consecutive days (preparation counts as day 1); and/or no more than 12 intermittent days in any calendar year, you are required to register with the Health Department so that they can better assist you in the sanitation standards of food preparation. These completed registration forms must be submitted no later than five (5) calendar days with a fee before the event.
 
    Dorothy David, the Environmental Health Services Director with the Henry and Stark County Health Department, states, "The aim of this registration is not to dictate but to educate.  We really want local food handlers to have the latest and most up-to-date information on food safety.  By registering with the Health Department local food vendors can have the Health Department staff's expertise and guidance at their disposal."
 
    David adds, "Offering this education to local event food vendors really is a win-win for everyone.  Food vendors can be confident in the food they prepare and serve, and local residents can rest assured that food purchased at local events is safe." In addition, if you are an event coordinator, please make sure you have completed our event coordinator application and submitted it to our office ten (10) business days before the scheduled event.
 
    The staff of the Health Department urges everyone to practice good food handling habits before, during and after warm weather meals.  Please remember to send your completed food registration forms if you are serving to the public. For more information on the Health Department's Food Program visit their website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find them on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or follow them on Twitter.

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Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team Announces Cocaine Bust

TRIDENT, the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team in Bureau, LaSalle and Putnam Counties has annouced a Cocaine Buy and Bust operation on June 3rd. According to a release from the Bureau County Sheriff's office, a joint effort of TRIDENT, including three counties of Sheriff's Deputies and the Ottawa Police Department made a Cocaine Buy and Bust in the area of the 3000 block of Fairfield in Ottawa on June 3rd. Arrested in the buy and bust operation were 41 year old Dale McInerney of Marseilles, IL and 33 year old Ryan J Knott of Ottawa. Information from law enforcement indicates that undercover TRIDENT officers went to a residence in Ottawa and were able to purchase 27 grams of Cocaine from McInerney and that more Cocaine was found in the area nearby after the bust. Police indicate that Knott assisted McInerney during the purchase leading to the arrest of both men. Both men now stand charged with Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a Class X Felony and both are currently housed at the LaSalle County Jail awaiting a felony bond hearing. 

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Bishop Hill Honor Flight Fundraiser Sunday

D-Day, June 6th, is the perfect day to remember our World War 2 heroes and our military men and women in general and there are few better ways to honor those heroes than the Honor Flight program. Linda Spring of Bishop Hill is among a group of Bishop Hill residents organizing the annual Bishop Hill Honor Flight fundraiser this Sunday in Bishop Hill... 

Linda Spring was kind enough to recall her personal Honor Flight experience when she volunteered to escort a retired member of our military on an Honor Flight, an experience she recommends for everyone... 

You can hear the entirety of our Tuned In conversation with Linda Spring and fellow Honor Flight fundraiser organizer Glenda Wallace online now in our Tuned In Podcast. 

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Ethics Reforms at State Capital Finalized

State lawmakers and Governor Pritzker have put the final touches on new ethics reforms that change the way the state of Illinois will deal with complaints of sexual harassment levied against lawmakers in Springfield. The new guidelines were signed into law by Governor Pritzker this week. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has the details... 

 

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Illinois Capital Plan Beginning to Take Shape

Now that the Governor is signing off on the doubling of the gas tax along with tax increases on real estate transfers, cigarette purchases, and video gaming, along with a new tax on sports betting, now that betting will be legal in the state, the capital bill is beginning to take shape with work set to begin on various infrastructure projects. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Signs Largest Spending Plan in State History

Governor J.B Pritzker has signed on the dotted line for the largest spending plan in the history of the state of Illinois. All told, the new state of Illinois fiscal year 2019-2020 budget spends $107 billion dollars. $40 billion dollars of that budget is in the state of Illinois General Fund with $9 billion dollars earmarked toward to the continuing issues related to state pensions. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more from Springfield... 

 

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Galva Ready to Grow Holds Meeting Announces Holiday Plans

The latest meeting of the Galva Ready to Grow community group was held on Tuesday June 4th. Among the highlights were the announcement of the latest Property Pride winners for the month of June. The award went to Robert and Karen Daum whose home was featured on the Galva Ready to Grow Facebook page for the hard work they put into maintaining their home and lawn. The group confirmed that the Dinner in the Park event will be held on June 19th and at that at the dinner the winners of the Mr Firecracker and Miss Sparkle contest will be announced. The Galva Ready to Grow Community Dinner will run from 5 Pm to 7 Pm with live music provided by Greg Percifield. Plans were laid out for a Galva Ready to Grow float in the Galva 4th of July Parade with float decoration scheduled for July 1st at 808 NW 1st Avenue in Galva. And finally, the group settled on a date for the Galva Ready to Grow Halloween Party which will held on October 26th. City Hall will be the location for the party from 2 Pm until 4 Pm and it will feature a costume party with a cash prize. You can read the full minutes of the June meeting of Galva Ready to Grow here. 

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Sol's Legacy Ministries to Hold Volunteer Training on June 15th

Sol's Legacy Ministries in Atkinson is seeking volunteers to work with kids and horses at their unique purpose of healing through horse therapy. Sol's will hold volunteer training for anyone 14 years or older on June 15th from 8:30 Am until 12 Noon at their location at 22762 2120th Avenue in Atkinson. No prior experience with horses is necessary says Tonya Wells with Sol's Legacy... 

Minimum requirements for a volunteer include being at least 14 years of age, willing to commit to volunteering over 5 weeks and being able to walk 45 minutes and jog up to a minimum of 100 yards. Biggest plus, you get to witness horses and children learning, growing and healing. To volunteer you can just show up on Saturday, June 15th or you can call for more information 309-235-1847. 

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Neponset Picnic Days This Weekend

Neponset is set to hold Picnic Days this weekend. The annual event in downtown Neponset gets underway at 6 Pm on Friday night with the Taste of Neponset in Scott Park followed by the Picnic Days Variety Show. Events continue on Saturday starting at 7 Am with the Neponset Fireman's Pancake Breakfast followed by the 7th Annual Neponset 5K Run and Kids First Run. The Neponset Picnic Days Parade begins at 10 Am and events culminate on Saturday night at 8 Pm with a concert featuring The Blood Orange Band. If you need more information on Neponset Picnic Days you can find The Village of Neponset on Facebook

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State Flood Response Continues

It’s been a long haul for the state in responding to flooding throughout Illinois. Rebecca Clark with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says it’s been a three month battle. 


Governor J.B. Pritzker led a tour of flood stricken areas Tuesday that included a contingent from various state agencies including IDOT, IEMA and the state ag department

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Central Illinois Town Hopes to Land Record Number of Lincoln Lookalikes

Abe Lincoln will have you surrounded if you pay a visit to Logan County come September. The city of Lincoln and Logan County Tourism Bureau hope to break the World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. On September 21st, novice and veteran Lincoln impersonators will stand side by side at the Logan County Courthouse. Morgan Gleason, the Executive Director of the Logan County Tourism Bureau, offers the minimum standards for those who want to join in....


Gleason says you probably shouldn't try to add your infant, toddler or pet to the mix....


Beards don't have to be authentic, which means the door is open to women who want to join in the record attempt. To achieve a sufficient Abe look for the Guiness folks you have to have a Stovepipe hat, Ear to ear beard without a mustache, Long black suit coat, White collard shirt, Black waistcoat (vest), Black bow tie. Animals and children 3 years old and younger cannot be counted in the attempt. 

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Single Stall Bathroom Bill Awaits Gov

A bill approved this spring by lawmakers will ensure all bathrooms with just one stall will be gender neutral. The bill is intended to give everyone a right to use a single occupancy restroom from parents with small children, elderly people needing the help of a care giver or transgendered individuals says Democrat Sam Yingling. 

The bill awaits the signature of the Governor.

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Levitt AMP Galva Music Series Announces Third Concert Series

GALVA - The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series has announced their third concert series of the season. This next concert series will be bringing Handmade Moments, a folk duo from New Orleans, and Tameca Jones, a soul artist from Austin, Texas. Both artists will take stage at Wiley Park in Galva on June 16th.

Anna Moss and Joel Ludford create Handmade Moments, a duo whose music can be described as a mixture of Folk and Soul. The two will perform mostly original works, which includes smart lyricism, major themes, playful crooning, a mixture of instrumentation (like saxophone and the upright bass).
 
Tameca Jones, also known as the “Queen of Austin Soul”, is known for her many interpretations of a multitude of artists, from the likes of Tina Turner, Nirvana, Elton John, Hendrix, and more. She has garnered such attention that some of the popular Austin natives, like Gary Clark Jr. and Bob Schneider have had Jones open for their shows.
 
Attendees of the concert series are asked to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and coolers for the event. Also available at the series will be activities for children and adults. There will also be a variety of food vendors, including: Z Best; Delta on the Square/Boiler Room; Mexican; Snazzys Lemonade; Pop of the Morning; and Special Kneads Bakery. All concerts are held at Wiley Park in Galva and are free of charge.
 
The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series is supported in part the Quad City Arts Dollars, provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, and John Deere, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Mildred Arends Musical and Cultural Activities Fund and the Thomas & Lynn Landes Fund for Performing Arts at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private foundation that empowers towns and cities across America to transform underused public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music. Learn more at Levitt.org.

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Tuned In Bishop Hill Honor Flight Benefit Sunday

Patriotism, Ribs and an incredible auction are part of the annual Bishop Hill Honor Flight Auction which takes place this Sunday in Bishop Hill. The event will be from 3 Pm until 6 Pm in the park in Bishop Hill, rain or shine. The benefit was the brainchild of Linda Spring from Bishop Hill who volunteered on an Honor Flight several years ago, escoring a veteran on the trip. She decided from there that Honor Flight needs as much support as possible. Linda joined us along with fellow organizer Glenda Wallace from the Bishop Hill Colony store to talk about the incredble Bishop Hill Honor Flight Benefit this Sunday, June 9th at the park in Bishop Hill. 

 

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More National Guard Troops Called to Help Flood Victims

Governor J.B Pritzker has called up more National Guard troops to help flood victims on the Mississippi and Illinois River. Last week the Governor called up 400 National Guard Troops to aid in flood recovery but with more rain comes more flood concern. The Governor has now added several hundred more members of the National Guard to help. Our Benjamin Yount has more on the flood situation in Illinois. 

 

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Kewanee Police Auctioning Former Squad Car on EBay

The Kewanee Police Department has announced that they are auctioning off a former squad car via EBay. On the Kewanee Police Department Facebook page the Kewanee Police opened the bidding for the former Squad Car, a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor at $0.99 cents. Bidding has since risen in the EBay auction to $510.00 as of this writing. The seller description for the vehicle reads: “The transmission is slow to engage into drive and reverse from park or neutral, slips. condition is worse when car is cold.The transmission leaks oil, the engine also leaks oil.The paint is peeling in various locations and some body rust is visible. The windshield wipers only work on high speed.” If you want to bid on this Kewanee Police Department Auction follow this link to EBay.com. 

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Sol's Legacy Ministries Praise and Neighs this Weekend

Tonya Wells from Sol's Legacy Ministries in Atkinson joined WKEI on Tuesday's edition of Tuned In. Tonya joined us to talk about a big fundraiser that is coming up at Sol's Legacy Ministries but first we asked her where Sol's Legacy Ministries came from and what it is all about... 

Praise and Neighs is the name of the fundraise and Tonya explains that its an oppotunity for visitors to learn about Sol's Legacy and spend time with the remarkable horses... 

Sol's Legacy Ministries is located at 22762 N 2120th Ave, Atkinson, Illinois 61235 and the Praise and Neighs Fundraiser gets underway at 2 Pm on Sunday. 

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Governor to Spend $29 Million Dollars to Guarantee Accurate Illinois Census

Governor J.B Pritzker has announced that $29 million dollars of the next fiscal year budget will be dedicated to getting an accurate census count for the upcoming ten year Census cycle. Meeting with supporters in Chicago on Tuesday, Governor Pritzker stated tha getting an accurate census could have a dramatic effect on the state of Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Governor Will Not Use Line Item Veto to Remove Lawmaker Pay Raise from Budget

Despite repeated questions from the media on Tuesday, Governor J.B Pritzker refused to say that he would use the line item veto to remove a pay raise for Illinois lawmakers from the budget bills headed to his desk for signature. As the Governor batted away questions about lawmaker pay, he stated that he would sign the budget bills sent to him as they are, indicating that the line item veto was out of the question. Our reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Jeopardy Host Raising Awareness of Pancreatic Cancer

In the several months since announcing he'd been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has raised awareness for the disease by simply continuing on with his life and work amid his treatment. Now, Mr Trebek has announced that the treatment appears to be working well for the moment. Recently, Alex Trebel told People Magazine that his tumors have shrunk by 50% a strong sign that chemotherapy is helping his prognosis. WKEI reached out to Dr. Chandler Wilfong from OSF Healthcare to find out more about Pancreatic Cancer and help spread the awareness that Alex Trebek has helped to create.

 

While things are hopefully looking better for Alex Trebek Dr Wilfong says that Pancreatic Cancer is one of the few cancers where progress in treatment has been limited... 

Why the lack of progress? Pancreatic Cancer can be very difficult to treat for multiple reasons... 

And while things are hopefully getting better for Alex Trebek, the American Cancer Society has a grim view of the future of Pancreatic Cancer becoming the deadliest cancer of all.. 

So what can you do to lessen the risks of Pancreatic Cancer? The first thing to do is live a healthier lifestyle. 

The most important thing to do however, and this relates to all cancers, DO NOT SMOKE... 

Dr Chandler Wilfong is with OSF Healhcare out of Peoria. 

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Governor Pritzker Backs Off Attempt to Defund Private School Scholarships

In his first address to the joint legislature back in March, Governor J.B Pritzker talked about defunding the scholarship program for Illinois private schools. Now, nearly three months later, the Governor appears to be backing away from that idea. A spokesman for Governor Pritzker confirmed on Friday that the Invest in Kids program, a private school scholarship program that gives donors a 75 percent state tax credit for helping pay tuition for students to attend a private school, would not be phased out.

Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Gov. Pritzker Urged to Protect Ohio River Quality

Conservation groups are asking Gov. J.B. Pritzker to speak out this week against a proposal that could weaken clean-water protections for the Ohio River. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission will vote Thursday, June 6, on a plan that would make adoption of the agency's pollution-control standards along the river voluntary. The argument is that ORSANCO's standards are redundant since states and the Environmental Protection Agency also set water-quality standards. However, Great Lakes Water Program Director for the National Wildlife Federation Gail Hesse counters that the collective oversight of the agency is needed.

"We need regional standards for a river that needs to be managed as a connected system," Hesse said. "State boundaries are arbitrary, but the river is one. It's a very large river - it's 981 miles long. And we need to think of it as a single system."

ORSANCO has been around for more than 60 years, and commissioners are appointed by the governors of the eight states along the Ohio River. Illinois is home to 134 riverfront miles of the Ohio River, and about 10,000 square miles of the Ohio River Basin lie within the state.

Hesse said sewage contamination, farm runoff and toxic pollution are among the serious threats facing the river, which provides drinking water for 5 million people. She added the standards are especially crucial for downstream states such as Illinois.

"We continue to have new and emerging issues that the river faces, and so now is not the time to be retreating from those standards," she said. "Despite the gains that we've seen over the course of the last 40 years of Clean Water Act program implementation, we still have challenges that we need to address."

ORSANCO has been working to adjust the standards for a couple of years, and an attempt to repeal the standards in 2018 was thwarted following public outcry. Hesse said she's hopeful the governors of Ohio River states and commissioners will reject the proposed rollbacks, and instead work on strategies to help states meet clean-water goals.

More information is available at www.orsanco.org.

 

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City of Kewanee Summer Road Work Program Announced

The City of Kewanee has announced the start of the Summer Road Work Program. The program will get underway on Wednesday, June 5th at 6 Am with the milling of the roads and will continue from there throughout the day in the locations listed below... 

 

Residents are asked to avoid street parking and driving within the following areas:

 

  • Page between Acorn and Dodge
  • East McClure by Edwards
  • East Mill by Willard
  • College by Tenney
  • West Prospect by Grove
  • Chestnut between Prospect and Oak (block will be closed and both sides of the street worked on)
  • West 4th from Good's property going west to Lexington
  • 400 block of East 9th
  • Edwards between Division and Mill (block will be closed and both sides of the street worked on)
  • Payson by Mill (block will be closed and both sides of the street worked on)

 

Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible and to take caution if driving near the work zones. If you have any questions regarding the Summer Road Work Program you can contact the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611.

 

 

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An International View of Justice for Illinois' Young Adults

Illinois lawmakers, along with state and national judicial leaders, will get an international perspective today on ways to create better outcomes for emerging adults in the justice system. This group ranges in age from 18 to about 25 and, according to research, has the highest recidivism rates. Lael Chester, director of the Columbia University Justice Lab's Emerging Adult Justice Project, said the juvenile justice system needs to acknowledge that this age group is developmentally different from older adults.

"Youths can do things that are wrong, absolutely. They must be held accountable," she said. "But this is a period of tremendous growth and malleability. So the question is, can society do it in a way that is going to help them grow up, or are we going to do it in a way that hurts them?"

The Justice Lab is hosting the forum along with the Juvenile Justice Initiative. Chester said they'll hear from prosecutors, judges and probation leaders from Germany and Croatia about their policies of using juvenile sentences for emerging adults in trouble with the law. State Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, will join the conversation since she had an opportunity to visit the juvenile justice system in Germany, where she said outcomes are better. 

"They look at these kids and say, 'How can they become productive citizens?' Not, 'How can we punish them?' And here, we try to do our best here to work with our kids, give them the therapy that they need," Fine said, "but the focus there is just very different."

Chester said the forum will highlight the justice-system disparities for young people from lower-income communities.

"Most of these youths with grow up and out of crime, but if they are left with an adult record, that's going to have tremendous collateral consequences," she said. "We've left them in a situation where they often just cycle in and out of the justice system, at a tremendous cost to taxpayers, but also a tremendous cost to future victims."

Fine sponsored Senate Bill 239 to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 18 to 21. She contended that a new approach is needed for the current generation that addresses the root cause of their troubles.

"They're suffering from so much more trauma than we ever had to experience," she said. "We didn't have to have an active-shooter drill in our schools. We weren't afraid that, you know, somebody's going to be driving down the street and we're going to get shot while we were sitting in our home."

In 2010, Illinois became the first state to raise its age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 exclusively for misdemeanors, followed by the inclusion of felony cases in 2014. 

The text of SB 239 is online at ilga.gov.

 

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Everett Whitcher and Amber Patch Troxell Receive Chamber of Commerce Awards

 

On Tuesday night at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee, the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce honored Amber Patch Troxell and Everett Whitcher with awards for their dedication to the their community. We spoke with Amber just before things got underway at the Ambassador Club dinner and asked her about the Meritorious Service Award... 

Everett Whitcher was saving his voice for his speech later on in the evening so we spoke with Mark Mikenas from the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce about the choice of Everett as Kewanee Outstanding Citizen... 

Then it was time for the speeches and we managed to get a little sample of Everett's speech despite his laryngitis making speechgiving a little tough... 

 

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Big Screen Treatment for Measles Awareness

Measles outbreaks are still a concern in Illinois and across the country and the Illinois Department of Public Health wants to spread the message to get kids vaccinated against the disease. IDPH Director Dr. Nogzi Ezike says they will be taking to the big screen to get their word out. 

Currently there have been 8 cases reported in Illinois. The last time there were more than that was in 2015 when the state saw 17 cases.

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People to People Celebrating National Cheese Day

Tuesday, June 4th is, unofficially, National Cheese Day. With that, we decided to celebrate with an interview that celebrates cheese. Doug Robb is a cheese expert, a Cheese-pert, if you will. Doug works with Raybern's, one of the leading proprietors of the store bought Philly Cheesesteak. Doug joined WKEI with some cheesy facts, recipes and random ideas for why cheese has become so wildly popular. Stream or download our super-cheesy interview with Doug Robb below. Get more about Raybern's and their Philly Cheesesteaks at Reyberns.com. 

 

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Tuned In Tonya Wells Sol's Legacy Ministries Praise and Neighs FUNdraiser

Sol's Legacy Ministries uses horses to teach and to heal. Their efforts will be on display on Sunday, June 9th during their Praise and Neighs FUNdraiser at Sol's location at 22762 N 2120th Avenue in Atkinson from 2 Pm to 5 Pm. Come and see the horses and the remarkable, transformative ways in which interacting with horses can help teach and heal. Tonya Wells with Sol's Legacy Ministries was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday to discuss Praise and Neighs and put out the call for volunteers to help kids learn alongside horses. 

 

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Illinois Close to Banning Cosmetics that Use Animal Testing

A bill headed to the floor of the state legislature in Springfield may ban cosmetic products that employ animal testing. State Senator Linda Holmes of Aurora is the author of the bill and she says that she has personally stopped using products tested on animals. Holmes goes on to state that technology has rendered animal testing unnecessary. Our reporter Jim Moran has more... 

 

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Gambling Legislation Could Bring Gaming to State Fairgrounds

Both Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin will get a new revenue source under the gambling expansion legislation. State Representative Tim Butler....


Butler also says the door will open to possible horse races beyond the run of the Illinois State Fair..... 
 

 

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Tuned In Carrie Boelens OSF Saint Luke Medical Center 06-03-19

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined us on WKEI for Tuned In on Monday, June 3rd. While Carrie was on hand to promote Monday's OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Golf Outing, there were plenty of other topics including a Blood Drive coming up soon  at OSF in Kewanee with their partners, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center... 

You can hear our complete conversation with Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center below in our Tuned In Podcast... 

 

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Illinois Democrats Making Moves to Protect Unions and Union Workers

The Spring legislative session may be over but Springfield is far from done with potential new leglslation. Among the items still looking for the attention of Governor J.B Pritzker is a bill that would almost guarantee that someone who works for a company that has a union. will be a member of that union regardless of personal choice. The new legislation put forward is intended to protect worker's rights but Republicans in the House claim that the bill is intended specifically to protect unions. Our reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Lineup Announced for Kewanee Veteran's Park Summer Concert Series

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and the City of Kewanee, have confirmed the lineup for the 23rd season of Concerts in Veteran's Park. According to the latest Kewanee Chamber of Commerce newsletter, the 23 season of Concerts in the Park will get underway on Thursday, June 20th at 6 Pm with the Jim Markum Swing Band and run for 10 weeks, wrapping up the Summer on August 22nd with the band Flagship Romance. The full schedule of performers for the 23rd season is listed below... 

 

June 20 Jim Markum Swing Band

June 27 Fran and the Country Gentleman

July 4 Northeast Park Concert

July 11 The Aristocrats

July 18 Prebyl, Palmer & Dove

July 25 Lyle Beaver & the Brass Notes

August 1 Coupe DeVille

August 8 Kewanee Community Band/Jazz on the Side

August 15 River City 6

August 22 Flagship Romance

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Everett Whitcher and Amber Patch Troxell to Be Honored Tonight at the Flemish

Everett Whitcher and Amber Patch Troxell, a pair of incredibly dedicated and community minded people, will be honored tonight at 6 Pm at the Flemish American Club in Kewanee as part of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club Dinner, beginning at 6 Pm. Everett Whitcher, for his many charitable contributions and involvement at his church, has been honored with the Kewanee Outstanding Citizen Award by the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce. Amber Patch Troxell, for her many fundraising activities, and especially what she's done with Patchy's Toy Drive and the Salvation Army Angel Tree, will be honored tonight with the Meritorious Service Award. 

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Black Hawk College Celebrating First Graduating Class of Surgical Technologists

On May16th, Black Hawk College held a special ceremony that they are just now sharing with the rest of us. According to a release from Black Hawk College, May 16th is the day that the very first class of Surgical Technologists graduated from Black Hawk College. Surgical Technoloigist is a relatively new hospital position that is very much in demand at modern hospitals. Of the class of 11 graduates, 9 already had lined up a job to take after graduating. The two-year program launched in August 2017. During their two years of study, the students completed 120 cases in general surgery and four specialties through clinicals at local medical centers.

 

“I am so thankful for the amazing community support for hosting students in medical centers in the area,” said program director Marcie Davis.

 

The Black Hawk College program prepares students to function as part of a team in the operating room setting. This includes preparing instruments, setting up the operating room and assisting with the care of patients undergoing surgery.

 

Pictured are:

·       Front row – Dieynaba Ndiaye of Moline, Katelyn Wamper of Andover, Morgan Helgerson of Bettendorf, Karen Costilla of Rock Island and Makayla Sheehan of Sherrard

·       Middle row – Shannon Honsa of Rock Island, Taylor Wood of Tampico, Mikaela Trudeau of Dixon, Mayra Bretado of Kewanee, Brandy Downey of Hillsdale and Kali Lee of Taylor Ridge

·       Back row – Program director Marcie Davis and clinical instructor Katy Thomas

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DNR Officials Say Baby Animal Season Just Now Ramping Up

The baby animal season is really ramping up now that young rabbits, deer, and birds are among animals that can finally get out and move around freely. DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson reminds the public to leave those animals alone. It is very likely their parents are off for the day but will return to care for them during the night.

Williamson adds if you do touch a baby animal, it is likely the mother will abandon the young animals leaving them susceptible to death because of a lack of care. There are circumstances where human intervention may be necessary and Williamson encourages a visit to the new Wildlife Illinois website at www.wildlifeillinois.org to find the nearest rehabber near you to get advice on how to handle the situation.

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National Weather Service Predictimg 2 More Inches of Rain This Week

The wet theme of 2019 is going to continue this week in Illinois. 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln says some parts of the state can expect to receive rain in the amount of one-and-a-half to two-inches. Meteorologist Chris Miller explains a system is going to move into the area and sit on top of the nation's mid-section.

The outlook for June is not much better as Miller indicates they are looking at a spring-like month in terms of temperatures and it doesn't appear we're going to shake this wet trend.

Miller says it's going to make things very difficult on farmers this summer as they try to find time in the fields if they've been able to take advantage of the limited chances already. He adds it could even impact the harvest in September and October.

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Illinois Medical Pot Program Here to Stay

With legal recreational marijuana on the way in Illinois the state’s medical program is going to expand too. Dating to 2013 it was launched as a pilot program with an expiration date. Now it will continue and expand. The program started with plenty of skeptics but House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says years of experience and hearing from patients helped him understand that the program is worth keeping.

There will be more conditions that now qualify for a medical marijuana card – they include anorexia, migraines, irritable bowl and chronic pain. The details will be official when the governor signs the bill.

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Rain Has Farmers at Historically Slowed Pace for Crops

Farmers are still way behind in planting corn and soybeans but over the past two days more progress has been made. However those numbers won’t show up until next week’s official numbers from USDA. 
Illinois remained mostly soggy and waterlogged for the better part of last week and that has farmers on a historically slow pace says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Widespread action in farm fields was seen Sunday and Monday in Illinois. Farmers will continue to work around the clock before it starts raining again this week. 

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Kennel Fire Leads to Possible Changes Intended to Protect Animals

Kennel operations may have to upgrade their facilities in order to keep the animals they are watching after safer. Legislation passed this spring will mandate those businesses to have a fire alarm that automatically notifies first responders – if the kennel isn’t staff around the clock. The bill comes after a fire at a West Chicago kennel killed more than a dozen dogs says Republican State Senator Don Dewitte.

Alarms or sprinkler systems will need to be installed in every building. The bill awaits the approval of the Governor.

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Bettendorf Iowa Man Charged in Fiery DUI Crash on June 1st on I-74

24 year old Tyler Vanalsburg of Bettendorf, is facing charges of Driving Under the Influence and Driving the Wrong Way on the Highway following a fiery accident that shut down a portion of I-74 Eastbound for two hours on Saturday, June 1st. According to the Illinois State Police, Vanalsburg was the driver of a Chevrolet Pickup that somehow crossed over to the opposite traffic lane on Eastbound I-74 while driving under the influence. Several cars were forced to dodge the Pickup truck before Vanalsburg's vehicle struck a Semi-Truck causing the Semi to pull over to the median, the driver having to make a hasty escape as the Semi caught fire. The driver of the Semi escaped with minor injuries. Vanalsburg also suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a local medical facility prior to being taken into custody, accused of DUI and Driving on the Wrong Side of the Highway. 

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End of Session Lawmakers Raise Taxes and Allow Themselves a Pay Raise

After going into overtime to get through the mountainous number of agenda items left at the end of the Spring session, the session ended with a number of tax increases and without a freeze in lawmaker pay which means that when lawmakers return for the next session of the legislature, they will do so with an increase in pay awaiting them. Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Golf Outing Today

The annual OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Golf Outing will take place today at Kewanee Dunes. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will be there and for the first time will actually be playing in a group herself. Carrie joined us recently on WKEI and talked about the tourney and how it benefits kids in Kewanee and could also benefit someone who loves riding motorcylces.... 

WKEI will be on hand this afternoon during the OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Golf Outing. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for live coverage of the 17th hole and attempts to win that motorcycle from Reiman's Harley Davidson. 

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Kewanee Fire Department to Resume Fire Hydrant Flow Testing Tuesday

The Kewanee Fire Department will resume hydrant flow testing on Tuesday. The current plan has the hydrant testing happening on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 Am and 12 Noon each Tuesday and Thursday for the next several weeks, weather permitting. This week, flow testing will be taking place in the areas from Stokes to West 3rd Street, and from Grove to Boss.  They will continue in this area moving west from Park to High Streets and New to West 3rd Streets. On Thursday 6/6/19 they will be working on hydrants within the intersection areas of New and High Streets, continuing northwest on New Street to the area of Waunee Estates, including the dead end to 9 Waunee Estates.The goal is to make sure hydrants are operating at capacity and to clear and sediment build up. Residents in the area of testing may experience periods of low or no water pressure. If you have any questions, please contact the City of Kewanee at 309-852-2611. 

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McCombie and Swanson Spoke Out Against Mariijuana Legalization Bill

Representatives Dan Swanson and Tony McCombie spoke out against the Marijuana legalization bill that passed on Friday in the Illinois Statehouse. Representative McCombie spoke about her opposition to the bill on the House floor and discussed what she felt were the flaws in the bill... 

State Representative Swanson spoke about the issue of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana and how the number of accidents in Colorado is having an effect on consumers, specifically those seeking car insurance. 

In the end, the bill passed with three Democrats crossing the line to vote against the bill. 

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Representative Swanson Expresses Disappointment with Illinois Budget Bill

State Representative Dan Swanson was disappointed with the way the final Illinois budget bill came together. The bill which increased funding for College MAP funding and placed more money with the Department of Children and Family Services without addressing systemic issues with each program, left Representative Swanson lamenting the final bill... 

Representative Swanson was also none too happy with how the 1500 plus page bill was dropped on lawmakers who were left with little time to actually read and know what was in the bill they were voting on... 

The new Illinois Budget passed the House on a vote of 85 to 35 with 11 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. 

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State of Illinois Strikes New Deal with AFSCME

There is a contract after years of stalemates between the state and AFSCME, the largest employee union in state government. The last contract expired nearly four years ago and now it looks like 40,000 employees have a new agreement to work under. For now the details are being kept under wraps until union members vote on it. But AFSCME and the state both say in statements that the contact works for both sides. Governor J.B Pritzker released a statement following the announcement of the new contract: 

 

“With this tentative agreement, Illinois has turned another important page from years of brutal ideological warfare,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Instead, this agreement respects the valuable contributions our workers make to the state and treats all our taxpayers fairly, thanks to months of negotiations that were constructive and frank. This agreement will be accommodated in the budget that the General Assembly will vote on today, and even more importantly, it is consistent with my long-term plans to stabilize Illinois’ finances.”

 

“This agreement reflects a fresh start for public service workers in state government,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “For four years, union members did their jobs and served their communities despite Bruce Rauner’s chaos, hostility and constant attacks. In the Pritzker administration, AFSCME members have an employer who understands the importance of their work, respects their rights and is a constructive partner in the collective bargaining process.”

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Recreational Marijuana to Become Legal January 1st 2020 in Illinois

There is approval for legal marijuana in Illinois. The House okayed the measure 66-47 today. The bill will be signed by Governor JB Pritzker. After his signature is on the bill - starting January 1st of 2020 residents over 21 will be able to hold 30 grams or about 1 ounce of marijuana. The state will also be issuing licenses for grow operations, processors and retail stores with the state taxing the retail sales of the drug. Republican David Welter of Morris supported it.

Home grow will be limited to those with medical marijuana cards and each person will only be allowed five plants. A onetime sticking point has moved forward with the bill. There will be a path towards expungement of past marijuana convictions through the Governor’s clemency process. 

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Dine Out with SNAP Card

If you receive food stamps you might be able to use some of those benefits at a restaurant. Lawmakers approved a bill that will let a selected group of people use their SNAP cards to dine out. The program is focused on the elderly, homeless and disabled; people who otherwise might not be able to cook at home. The program drew support from a disabled lawmaker, Republican Dan McConchie. 

Currently SNAP cards can only be used at grocery stores and farmers markets. The bill needs to be signed by the Governor. 

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Illinois Farmers Face Difficult Choices

With the greatest number of water-soaked acres in decades still sitting idle, many Illinois farmers face some risky choices as they consider whether to take crop insurance payments or still try to plant corn, soybeans or something else. Scott Irwin serves as an agricultural marketing professor at the University of Illinois;

Irwin says planting corn in June can be very risky, but it's not all that simple or easy to switch to something else;

Further complicating matters is the Trump administration's announcement last week that it plans another round of trade war-damage-payments, that may skew what, where and if farmers still plant. The next U-S-D-A planting progress update comes out this afternoon.

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Senator Chuck Weaver Decries Progressive Bills Passed at End of Session

State Senator Chuck Weaver released a statement on Sunday decrying the 'Progressive' agenda that passed through the Illinois legislature at the end of the Spring 2019 legislative session. 

 

“Over the last few days, the progressive wing of the Democrat Party demonstrated its power over the super-majority of the General Assembly in Springfield. Final action on the most progressive legislative agenda in the country took place: legalization of marijuana; voting by criminals in jail in municipal elections; a budget increased by $3 billion in spending with new taxes to get it there; a referendum to remove the state’s flat tax structure; and one of the most expanded abortion laws in the country. A $15 minimum wage passed earlier in the year. I voted against each of those issues. Expanded gaming comes today and tomorrow. HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?

 

“These decisions in the progressive’s agenda forced through by the super-majority are not acceptable and do not accurately reflect the values of the hard-working taxpayers of Central Illinois. It is a bad time for our state. We have the highest taxes in the country yet they came up with a number of new taxes that will further burden taxpayers. On top of that, citizens saw the passage of one of the most progressive social agendas in the country, including LGBTQ history being taught in school, removal of the commission that provided certainty for the future of charter schools, employers being told they cannot ask about a job seeker’s past wages, recreational marijuana, and an aggressive abortion bill confirming the super-majority’s position that an egg, embryo and [full term] fetus have no rights in Illinois.”

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One Person Arrested in DUI Accident on I-74

The Illinois State Police have announced that one person was arrested in a terrifying I-74 accident on Saturday. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, on Saturday morning, at approximately 8:20 Am the driver of a Chevrolet Pickup somehow managed to cross over to the wrong side of the road in the area of mile marker 20 Eastbound and begin travelling in the wrong direction, into oncoming traffic. Eventually, the pickup struck a semi truck which attempted to get out of the way. The semi was struck and came to a rest on a median and became engulfed in flames. The driver of the semi was able to escape with minor injuries. The driver of the pickup also escaped with only minor injury as both drivers were taken to a local medical facility. Both eastbound lanes of I-74 wer shutdown for two hours following the accident. The driver of the pickup, whose name is being withheld at this time, has been charged with Driving Under the Influence and Driving the Wrong Way on the Interstate. 

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Governor Pritzker Celebrates End of Spring Session Touts Successes

Governor J.B Pritzker held a press conference on Sunday to tout the accomplishments at the end of the Spring session in Springfield. These accomplishments included gambling expansion, a budget, a new roads program and more... 

 

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Black Knights Mural to Include Names of Former Black Knights Members

Are you a former member of the Kewanee Black Knights or do you know former members? The organizers of the Kewanee Black Knights Mural and the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Festival want to hear from you. According to a release from Joy Hernandez on the Downtown Kewanee Facebook page, an effort is underway to collect all of the names of the members of the Kewanee Black Knights from the founding of the group through 1973 so that they may be included on a plaque that will go up with the new mural on the side of the Spets Brothers building. If you are a former member or you know of former members, please contact Diane Packee at: 

 

Dianne Packee 
c/o Reiman's Harley-Davidson

623 N Main Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
diannepackee@hotmail.com
or call her on her cell: 309-312-0168

 

The deadline to get names to the organizers is June 15th. 

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