Local News Archives for 2019-07

People to People Trooper Jason Wilson Illinois State Police 07-31-19

Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson was our guest on People to People on Wednesday morning on WKEI. Trooper Wilson talked about new fines and penalities recently signed into law that beef up Scott's Law, aka the Move Over Law. Trooper Wilson also discussed the battle against distracted driving and a recent effort by the Illinois State Police that used Semi-Trucks to track down those who were texting and driving. Stream or download our People to People Podcast below... 

 

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Tuned In Stuff the Bus with the Salvation Army and Kewanee United Way

The Kewanee Area United Way and the Kewanee Salvation Army are teaming up to Stuff the Bus this weekend at the Kewanee Wal Mart. On Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd, you can purchase back to school items for needy kids at Wal Mart and then hand them over to be stuffed into the bus to be given to kids in need around our area. Eddie Tolliver from the Kewanee Salvation Army and Linda Blair with the Kewanee Area United Way talked about how the Stuff the Bus event came together on today's edition of Tuned In on WKEI... 

Friday's Stuff the Bus event at the Kewanee Wal Mart will take place from 5 Pm to 8 Pm. The Stuff the Bus event then continues on Saturday at the Kewanee Wal Mart from 8:30 Am to 6:30 Pm. 

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Pritzker Pursuing Federal Disaster Relief

Governor JB Pritzker is asking for more time from federal officials to produce key paperwork in the request for a federal disaster declaration in connection with floods that have impacted much of the state... In a visit to Alton, the Governor noted there's been some progress in the request for more time......


Pritzker said a key reason for the 30 day extension request is that flood fighting, dewatering activities and emergency protective measures are still ongoing in some areas of the State. There are also areas of the state that remain inaccessible to residents. Pritzker says those areas need to return to normal so state officials can get a full accounting of flood damage. 

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Illinois Unclaimed Property Program Booming

The state’s unclaimed property program is booming. It’s administered by Treasurer Mike Frerichs. 


You can learn more about the program at “icash.illinoistreasurer.gov”. 

 

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Illinois State Police Investigating Death of a Pedestrian in I-74 Accident

The Illinois State Police are investigating the death of a pedestrian on I-74 on Wednesday morning. According to the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred at approximately 8:35 Am near mile marker 15 near Colona, south of the X. Preliminary information indicates that a pair of semi trucks, one driven by 33 year old Nugzari M Alavidze of Redding, CT and a second semi truck driven by 46 year old Brian L Barnes of Lincoln, Nebraska, had moved over to the Left lane of I-74 Westbound to accomodate a vehicle that was stopped on right hand side of the road. As the first of the two semi trucks were passing the vehicle it is believed that a pedestian crossed from in front of the stopped vehicle, across into the Left hand lane in front of the truck which was unable to stop. The second semi truck also came into contact with the pedestrian after being unable to stop. The pedestrian, who has not been named was pronounced dead at the scene. Colona and Osco Fire, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies, Henry County Coroner, and Illinois State Police: District 7, Zone 2 Investigations and Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene. This case remains under investigation. I-74 west traffic remains closed for investigation and scene processing. 

 

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Crack Could Lead to Early Closure of Kewanee Park District Pool

The popular family Oasis Pool at Northeast Park may be forced to close early this summer due to a crack. Kewanee Park District Director Brian Johnson told WKEI on Tuesday that the crack is significant enough that the water loss could force the pool close earlier than the planned closing date of August 11th... 

While damage to the pool is the foremost concern, it is notable that an early closure would force the cancellation of the popular, season ending doggie swim at the pool scheduled for August 11th. 

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Kewanee Park District Still Determing Extent and Cost of Damage to Windmont Shelter

The Kewanee Park District is still awaiting word on the extent and the cost of the damage to the shelter at Windmont Park. Kewanee Park District Director Brian Johnson tells WKEI that they are still in the process of determing the extent of the damage. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson praised the work of the Kewanee Fire Department and their quick response to the scene... 

Questions still surround what happened to cause the fire at the park shelter last Wednesday and Brian Johnson says that too is still unknown though there are suspicions regarding someone having set the fire... 

A fundraiser for the Windmont Park Lighting Committee which had been set to take place at the Windmont Park Shelter on August 10th has now been moved to the Flemish American Club where no doubt  there will be discussion of what may have been lost in the fire in terms of the Lighting Equipment. The aim of the fundraiser was and is the attempt to purchase LED lights to replace the lights that have been used the past several years while also honoring the long time volunteers... 

The Windmont Park Lighting Committee Fundraiser will take place from 4 Pm to 7 Pm on August 10th at the Flemish American Club. The cost to attend is $8.00 if you purchase a ticket ahead of time or $10.00 if you buy a ticket at the door on August 10th. Call 309-525-0844 for advance tickets. 

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Thinking of Growing Industrial Hemp?

With many local farmers struggling with the late planting season due flooding or the extreme amounts of rain that delayed the season, some farmers are looking at alternative crops that can be grown short term on smaller plots and industrial hemp is becoming popular in that realm. Phillip Alberti with the University of Illinois Extension will soon host a pair of workshops aimed at helping and educating those considering industrial hemp as a crop option. Phillip was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday and talked about the history of Industrial Hemp in the state and where we are today... 

As an alternative, short term crop on a relatively small plot of land, Industrial Hemp can be a good option for some farmers... 

If you are interested in learning more about Industrial Hemp, Phillip and the University of Illinois Extension will be hosting a pair of Industrial Hemp Workshops on August 6th in Moline on the campus at Western Illinois University from 9 Am to 12 Noon and on August 7th at the WyHi Stark County Community Center located at 401 Galena, Avenue in Wyoming, also from 9 AM to 12 Noon. The cost to attend is $10.00. Make a reservation to attend either event by calling 309-932-3447. 

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Governor's First Veto to Open the Door for Potential Medicaid Waiver

Governor J.B Pritzker may be facing an override challenge on his first veto but he's much more focused on what the veto of this Senate Bill may offer. In seeking a federal waiver for Medicaid, the Governor is hoping he could expand medicaid coverage to more people in Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Receives Extension to Apply for Disaster Status

The State of Illinois will be able to wait in order to apply for disaster status. After consulting wit FEMA and having FEMA officlals assess portions of the state, the state of Illinois has been granted more time to file for a full declaration of disaster from the Federal government. Reporter Kim Howard has more on what the state is hoping will happen to help those affected by flooding... 

 

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Bill to Expand Scott's Law Penalties Signed into Law

Governor J.B Pritzker has signed a new bill that expands the punishments available for those who violate Scott's Law, aka the Move Over Law. The new bill will create steeper fines for those who violate the law and creates tougher fines for violations caught in construction zones. Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the new Scott's Law... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Excited for Gambling Expansion to Get Underway

Governor J.B Pritzker can't say when gambling expansion in Illinois will get underway but he's excited about the state's gambling future. After taking in a horse race on Tuesday, Governor Pritzker spoke briefly to reporters about gambling and about learning from the mistakes that other states have made in expanding gambling. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Faces First Veto Override Challenge

Last week, Governor J.B Pritzker signed his first veto as Governor of Illinois. Now, a  state Senator is working to override the Governor's first veto. State Senator Sue Rezin says that she intends to get the Governor's veto of SB 2026 overturned. Reporter Cole Lauterbach caught up with Senator Rezin with more on the override effort...

 

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Bost Introduces Cahokia Mounds Bill

The effort to get Cahokia Mounds on the list of National Parks is moving forward, with the introduction of a bill to make the site a national park. Getting that designation would be done at the federal level, so U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, of Murphysboro wrote a bill that he introduced to Congress last week. He says the Cahokia Mounds and Mississippian Culture was commonly referred to as “America’s First City."

Cahokia Mounds is a 2,200-acre Illinois State Historic Site that protects more than 70 mounds built by the Mississippians 1,000 years ago. 

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July Ends and August Begins with Cooler Temperatures

There’s a cool breeze blowing through much of Illinois as July comes to an end, but not much rain in the forecast as we head toward August says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather.


Over the last couple of days, portions of southern Illinois received anywhere from a half-inch to an inch of rain. Hicks says areas of northwest and west central Illinois are in need of some precipitation to help stabilize crop conditions. 

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Semi Truck Accident Briefly Shuts Down I-74 Ramp in Moline

The Illinois State Police responded to an accident in the area of the I-74 ramp to I-280 on Tuesday afternoon. At the scene, troopers found a semi truck which crossed over the shoulder and struck a median wall at the top of the ramp where it came to rest. No one was injured in the accident. 51 year old Dupree L Brim of Bettendorf, Iowa was cited in the accident for Failing to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash. The I-74 ramp to I-280 in Moline was shut down for several hours to clean up the scene. 

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People to People Brian Johnson Kewanee Park District

Brian Johnson from the Kewanee Park District was our guest on People to People on Tuesday. Brian joined WKEI to talk about the fire at the Windmont Park Shelter and the damage wrought. The damage is extensive and will require a lot of work but insurance will cover most of the cost. Meanwhile, plans for a fundraiser for the Windmont Park Lighting have been affected. The fundraiser was set to take place t the Shelter. Now, that fundraiser will happen on August 10th at the Flemish American Club from 4 Pm to 7:30 Pm. With that, comes the weight of needing to raise money to recover what was lost due to the fire. Stream or download our People to People Podcast below...

 

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Tuned In University of Illinois Extension Industrial Hemp Workshop

The University of Illinois Extension will host a pair of Industrial Hemp Workshops next week. Phillp Alberti with the U of I Extension joined WKEI to give people an idea of what they could learn about if they attend one of the two industrial Hemp workshops next week in Moline and in Wyoming. 

The U of I Extension Hemp Workshops are set for August 6th and 7th from 9 Am to 12 Noon. August 6th is in Moline on the campus of Western Illinois University in downtown Moline. On August 7th, the Industrial Hemp workshop will be held at the Wy-Hi Stark County Community Center. The cost to attend is $10.00 with RSVP preferred but not required. Contact the extension office at 309-756-9978 for further information or to RSVP. 

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Courtyard Estates Announces Dog Wash Fundraiser

Courtyard Estates in Galva will hold a Dog Wash fundraiser on August 17 from 10 Am to 2 Pm. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Henry County Humane Society in Geneseo. Visitors are invited to bring their dog to Courtyard Estates in Galva, located at 1000 Courtyard Estates, and for just $2.00 your pup will be shampooed, washed and dried. At 1 pm as part of the dog wash event, Dr Stevens from Galva Regional Veterinary Services will be on hand to answer questions about dog health among other topics. Prizes will be given away as well as part of the Dog Wash fundraiser on August 17th. If you are in need of transportation for you and your pet, that will be available by calling 309-932-2600. 

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Kewanee Ballhawks Win Baseball Round of Mural 19 Voting

The Kewanee Ballhawks are now one of the three options to be featured on the next Kewanee Mural, Mural 19. The Ballhawks won a runoff vote against two other baseball topics and a combination of all the of Kewanee baseball topics to claim the third spot among the choices to be featured on the next mural. In the next round, fundraising begins. Fans of the Kewanee Murals will have the opportunity to vote with their dollars by going to Reiman's Harley Davidson and making a financial donation on behalf of the mural subject they prefer. You can make your financial donation to vote for A: The Kewanee Ballhawks, B: Marjabelle Stewart or C: Kewanee's Pioneer Women. Regardless of which subject wins, a woman will be featured on the next mural. The goal for this year's mural project is $9500.00 thanks to the $1000.00 raised extra from the Kewanee Black Knights Mural. The deadline to cast your vote is September 4th.

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State Pension Buyout Plan Not Garnering Promised Savings

A state pension buyout plan that came about under former Governor Bruce Rauner is not garnering the promised savings for Illinois taxpayers. The plan was expected to save the state more than $445 milliion dollars in pension debt by buying out state employee pensions. The plan however, has generated significantly less than what was hoped as reporter Cole Lauterbach explains... 

 

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Governor J.B Pritzker Taking Wait and See Approach on Madigan Associate Raids

As former members of House Speaker Michael Madigan's inner circle face raids and further scrutiny, Governor J.B Pritzker says he is taking a wait and see approach to the growing furor around the House Speaker. The investigation includes allegations of corruption, sexual harrassment and bribery among other rumored issues. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF Blood Drive August 8th

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will host a blood drive on August 8th along with their partners at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. The canteen will be fully stocked with food including a hearty breakfast and those who donate on August 8th will have the chance to get $10.00 gift cards from Amazon or Casey's General Store or several other businesses helping to encourage blood donations. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Monday's Tuned In Podcast... 

 

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State Senator Anderson and State Rep McCombie to Host Job Fair on Wednesday

State Senator Neil Anderson and State Representative Tony McCombie will be hosting a job fair in Moline on on Tuesday. Reporter Ray Watt caught up with Senator Anderson to discuss the job fair. Whch will take place on Wednesday at the Spotlight Theater in Moline from 9 Am until 12 Noon. Bring resumes... 

 

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Bill Signed to Provide Relief to Those with High Interest Debt

We are still learning the details of the 47 bills that Governor J.B Pritzker signed into law over the weekend. Among those is a new bill aimed at offering relief those who are stuck with high interest debt. The bill was the brainchild of State Representative Will Guzzardi who spoke with reporter Kim Howard about the bill recently for this story... 

 

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ADA Marks 29 Years with Room for Improvement

Legislation that has changed the lives of millions of Americans, including nearly one in five Illinoisans, marks its 29th anniversary today. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on June 26, 1990, and is considered the most significant piece of civil-rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Peter Berg with the Great Lakes ADA Center in Chicago explains in 2008, the bill was amended to clarify the definition of 'disability,' and provide broad protection from discrimination. And he notes as the world changes, the law needs continued updating.

"Within the last five [to] eight years, the Department of Justice revised its regulations covering state and local governments, and private businesses," says Berg. "It also issued updated accessibility standards. It went a long way in attempting to unify the ADA standards with other industry standards."

The ADA aims to ensure that people with physical or mental disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as others in all areas of public life - including employment, education and transportation. While the law has transformed accommodations for many with disabilities, some advocates contend the country must be committed to fulfilling the full promise of the ADA, by working to create a more inclusive society.

Berg says one area that needs improvement in the ADA is information technology, since it was implemented at a time when the internet didn't exist.

"There are no accessibility standards that apply to technology," says Berg. "There could be some room to issue standards that say, 'OK, this is what an accessible website is. This is what an accessible kiosk is, and this is what an accessible app is.'"

Recently, two retail organizations asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take a case involving a blind customer who sued Domino's Pizza because its website and mobile app were not accessible to people using screen-reading software. 

Research conducted by the international law firm Seyfarth Saw found website-accessibility lawsuits rose from about 800 in 2017 to 22-hundred in 2018.

 

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TIF Transparency Bill Signed by Governor Pritzker

Your next property tax bill will show what you are paying to developers in nearby TIF Districts in your area. That's part of a new bill signed by Governor J.B Pritzker last Friday. The TIF Transparency Bill is aimed at showing taxpayers where the money they pay in property taxes is going and how it effects the local economy. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Kewanee Hog Days Pork Chop Volunteers Needed

The pork chops don't cook themselves. The pork patties don't fall into the buns on their own. It takes several hundred people produce the sandwiches we all enjoy during Hog Days who understand how things like this get done. It takes volunteers.
The Hog Festival Committee is once again putting out the call for people to help season, cook and put the 26,000 American cut pork chops and pork patties that will be served this year into sandwiches. The more help, the shorter the lines. 
Serving hours for the festival, which runs Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, will be 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or when they run out) on Monday. 
From 8 to 10 people are needed each hour in the serving tent to assemble and bag the sandwiches. The committee will run two grills instead of one this year to speed up service so between 12  and 15 people are needed per hour to season and grill the meat. Schedules on Grill 1 and Grill 2 begin at 9 a.m. and run through 9 p.m. each day except Monday. 
People may sign up for as many hours on as many days as they wish. Individuals are welcome to sign up but the committee points out that groups, such as clubs, businesses, school organizations, or just groups of friends and neighbors fill the schedule faster and make the operation smoother when they sign up for a block of time. Monday's sandwich tent schedule has already been filled by Kewanee Care and Mid-Valley Association of Realtors. Wethersfield Schools has signed up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday for their Community Service Day coordinated by the WHS volleyball team.
Those wishing to sign up may send an e-mail to: davidjclarke49@gmail.com, or call 853-8253. If you leave a message, also leave your contact information. 
Shifts on the grills and sandwich line must be filled by Thursday, Aug. 29.

 

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Bishop Hill Pie at the Steeple Announced for August

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association has announced that the annual Pie at the Steeple fundraiser will be taking place on August 17th beginning at 11 Am. The fundraiser will coincide with the annual Plein Air Paint Out and Hummingbird Festival and will feature Ice Cream, Pie and a drink for $6.00. Pie at the Steeple will take place on on the front porch of the steeple building located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street. Proceeds from the Pie at the Steeple fundraiser goes to support the activities of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association. If you have questions regarding the Pie at the Steeple event you can contact the Bishop Hill Heritage Association at 309-927-3899.

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DNR Citations Now A Little More

If you get hit with a ticket or citation from the Department of Natural Resources, it's going to cost you a little more. DNR Sergeant John Williamson says their fees went up with everyone else's July 1 but points out, their fees fall in line with other states.

Williamson adds, like other agencies, only a portion of the revenue they generate from fines and fees ends up back to DNR.

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Pritzker Pushing for Impeachment of President Trump

Governor J.B. Pritzker isn't shy with his opinions or politics. That's especially the case with President Trump and his feelings on questions about the 2016 Election....


Meanwhile Pritzker isn't getting involved in the horse race that is the crowded Democratic race for the Presidential nomination....
 

 

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Tuned In OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday 07-29-19

Today on our Tuned In program, Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest. Carrie talked about the final $10.00 Sports Physical clinic happening at OSF on August 15th. Carrie also touted an OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Blood Drive with the Mississippi Valley Blood Center on August 8th and read a lovely tribute to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center CEO Jackie Kernan who was recently honored by a presigious national health publication. All of this and more in our Tuned In podcast available for stream or download below... 

 

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State of Illinois Criticized for Revolving Door Approach to Allowing Lawmakers to Become Lobbyists

The state of Illinois has the most lax approach of any state when it comes to allowing lawmakers to become lobbyists. Non-Profit agency Public Citizen offered the criticism of the state while pointing out that Illinois has no laws that bar lawmakers from immediately moving from the legislature to working for lobbying firms or becoming industry specific lobbyists. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Governor J.B Pritzker Offers First Veto

Governor J.B Pritzker has used his veto pen for the first time as Governor. On Friday, Governor Pritzker acted upon 47 different bills from the Democratic controlled legislature. The one that stood out however was Senate Bill 2026 which the Governor vetoed. Reporter Greg Bishop explains what it was that led to the Governor's first veto... 

 

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GasBuddy Offers Ways to Save Money on Gas in Illinois

The website Gasbuddy.com is offering ways to save money on gas in the state of Illinois. Analysts say that Illinois residents are definitely feeling the sting of higher gas prices but there are ways to save money if you are willing to look for them. Reporter Greg Bishop talked with the experts at GasBuddy at the ways to save at the pump... 

 

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Kewanee Police Still Seeking Suspects in Church Break In

Kewanee Police are still seeking tips from the public regarding two suspects seen in video surveillance footage having stolen items from Covenant Life Ministries, located in the 200 Block of West 2nd Street. The burglary occurred early on Friday morning with two suspects seen in surveillance footage leaving the church carrying stolen items. You can see the video below and if you happen to recognize anything about the two suspects you are asked to please contact Kewanee Police immediately at 309-853-1911. 

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National Weather Service Says Conditions Greatly Improved on Mississippi River

The Mississippi River now much tamer. The river is back in its banks and should stay that way for the foreseeable future says John Haase with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.


Barge traffic resumed on the Mississippi in late June. 

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Illinois-Based Group Rewards Food Disruptors

Inventors of a new post-harvest wash for fresh vegetables and a kitchen appliance that provides fresh lettuce came away winners of a national competition known as the Food Disruption Challenge. The Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists sponsored the contest. Judges picked Austin-based En Solucion and its new fresh vegetable wash for the top prize. Kenton Harmer is the company's C-E-O;

The challenge's "People's Choice" award went to Evansville, Indiana-based Heliponix. Company C-E-O Scott Massey says they plan to target northeast Illinois later this year to sell the company's GroPod. It's a hydroponic-vegetable and fruit-growing kitchen appliance;

It was the second year for the I-F-T contest. The two food-sector companies received $30-thousand dollars in prize money. 

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DNR Breaks Down Lake Decatur Asian Carp Project

An unexpected issue cropped up in Decatur this summer and now the Department of Natural Resources has been called in to mitigate. The invasion of the Asian Carp has threatened Lake Decatur. DNR Sergeant John Williamson indicates the Asian Carp has become a huge problem in the Midwest in recent years and they can ruin an eco-system in a hurry.

Williamson explains these fish were being farmed in Arkansas and flooding allowed them to expand to the Mississippi River. He calls it a catastrophe that has resulted in agencies spending millions of dollars to keep them out.

Williamson indicates Asian Carp have overtaken Midwest waterways in just 26 years. 

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State Rep Calls for New SIU Funding Study

Citing "disappointing results of the funding distribution study" examining funding disparities between the two SIU campuses, State Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville is calling for a new study. In a statement from her office, Stuart claims the consulting firm that performed the study did not find a fair funding formula, and passed the responsibility back to the SIU Board of Trustees. That study was done by a firm hired by the SIU System Board, so now Stuart says she is calling for an unbiased study in order to reach a solution that is fair for SIUE.

About a year ago, Stuart introduced legislation that would have ensured even distribution of state funding between the Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses. That legislation failed.

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Congressman Davis Weighs in on Last Week's Mueller Hearing

Regardless of what was revealed last week in Washington D.C. as a part of the Robert Mueller hearings, an Illinois Congressman doesn't see anyone's mind getting changed. Congressman Rodney Davis weighed in on the Mueller hearings and says it's a different atmosphere around the capitol.

Congressman Davis does not anticipate anyone's opinions being swayed by anything said or revealed in those hearings. He is however, sticking to his prediction that we are headed towards an impeachment process.

Davis says that he questions how Speaker Nancy Pelosi will hold her party together if she does not cater to the far left calling for impeachment.

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Senator Durbin Worried About the Future of Refugees in America

Senator Dick Durbin has had a lot to say about President Trump's stances on immigration. Now he's expressing concern about what the New Year might bring.....


Durbin referred to President Franklin Roosevelt turning away passengers of the SS St. Louis. 800 passengers were forced to return to Germany. About a fourth of them died in the holocaust. Durbin says America rebounded with a number of great refugee stories since...


Durbin maintains Trump policies have made the border less safe since he took office.

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Hidden Gems of Illinois

Let’s talk hidden gems in Illinois as the month of July winds down. Tim Schweizer is with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources


Find out more at “dnr.illinois.gov.” 

 

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State Rep Swanson Views Chicago 51 as Symbolic Move

Although momentum continues for Chicago to become the 51st state, State Rep. Dan Swanson believes it’s nothing more than symbolic in nature and will never happen despite strong efforts by some downstate lawmakers.


In addition to his work in the statehouse, Swanson actively farms in Alpha in Western Illinois.

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Dr Jeff Ruskusky Takling Patients for Foot Care

Pain in your feet is not normal. That's among the many messages about feet that Dr Jeff Ruskusky is attempting to put out to potential patients in our area. Dr Ruskusky holds clinic hours at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center every Monday and Wednesday. Dr Ruskusky joined WKEI on Monday to talk about the types of foot care that he provides at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Blood Drive August 6th

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is once again teaming with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center for a Blood Drive. The summer months are often a struggle when it comes to recruiting blood donors so drives like this become even more important to hospitals such as OSF Saint Luke Medical Center as Carrie Boelens notes... 

Donate at the August 6th event and will receive a $10.00 voucher that you can redeem for a gift card from Amazon.com, Casey's General Store or Dairy Queen. Appointments are preferred so go to BloodCenterImpact.org to make your appointment. Walk-Ins are still welcome but if you can make an appointment, please do. 

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The Accidentals Talk About Playing Live in Different Venues Ahead of Sunday's Levitt Amp Concert in Galva

Katie, Sav and Michael are The Accidentals, a band from from Traverse City, Michigan that began as female duo in 2011 before eventually picking up Michael and becoming a powerful trio. WKEI caught up with The Accidentals on their travels as they made their way to Galva for Sunday night's latest Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series. Sav Accalia of the Accidentals talked to WKEI about the various live venues and festivals that the band has played in their time... 

You can check out the music of The Accidentals below and see them live this Sunday at the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series Sunday night alongside Gangstagrass. 

 

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Final OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Sports Physical Clinic Announced

The final OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Sports Physical Clinic has been announced. The last time OSF will offer Sports Physicals for High School athletes prior to the start of the School year is Tuesday, August 13th says Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

The clinic will be run on the 13th of August from 4 Pm to 6 Pm at a cost of $10.00. 

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University of Illinois Extension DIY Tea Workshop Today in Kewanee

The University of Illinois Extension will host a Do-It-Yourself Tea workshop at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee today, July 25th beginning at 1 Pm. Kristin Bogdonis is the Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the extension and she told WKEI what Tea fans who attend can expect from this workshop... 

Bogdonis will be joined by Extension Horticulturalist Martha Smith at today's event. Martha will offer tips for growing your own herbs during the event. The University of Illinois Extension DIY Tea Workshop begins at 1 Pm and will last until 2:30 Pm and the cost to attend is just $5.00. 

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Illinois Mental Health Facilitiies Getting Financial Boost

Illinois mental health faciliities are getting a shot in the arm from lawmakers. According to reporter Cole Lauterbach, some $80 million dollars in funds have been earmarked from the latest Illinois Capital Bill have been earmarked to go to mental health faciliies across the state of Illinois. 

 

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Illinois Mental Health Facilitiies Getting Financial Boost

Illinois mental health faciliities are getting a shot in the arm from lawmakers. According to reporter Cole Lauterbach, some $80 million dollars in funds have been earmarked from the latest Illinois Capital Bill have been earmarked to go to mental health faciliies across the state of Illinois. 

 

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Illinois Farmers Want USMCA Trade Deal Done

Illinois farmers are eager to see the Unite States, Canada, Mexico Trade agreement, or USMCA passed and a group of Illinois Congressional leaders will be meeting with officials from the Trump Administration to try and make that happen. This is despite the struggle to find any bipartisanship in Washington D.C these days. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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The Accidentals Survive Literal Accident to Arrive at Levitt Amp Galva Concert This Weekend

The Accidentals band name hit a little too close to home for the band this past week. On Monday, band member Michael Dause and a crew member were traveling with the band's equipment from a show when they were involved in a collision. Michael tells WKEI it was a harrowing few moments... 

Thankfully everyone came out of the accident alright and equipment in the van suffered only minor damage. The Accidentals will be performing live this weekend at the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series on Sunday night at 6 Pm in Wiley Park in Galva. The concert is free. 

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Henry County Republican Party Announces Monthly Meeting Saturday July 27th

The Henry County Republican Party has announced the location and date for their next meeting. According to the release from the Henry County Republican Party, the meeting will be held on July 29th at 6:30 Pm at the Cambridge Community Youth Center. Donations will be accepted and used to purchase school supplies for students who participate at the Cambridge Community Youth Center. The subject of the meeting will be planning for events for the rest of Summer into the fall, parade preparations and candidate recruitment for 2020. If you'd like more information regarding the next meeting of the Henry County Republican Party you can contact the Henry County Republicans at 815-627-6134.

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Kewanee Police Arrest Juvenile Suspect in Case of Burglary Spree in Kewanee Neighborhoods

A 16 year old Male Juvenile Offender has been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation of a rash of residential burglaries in northeast and northwest Kewanee. According to Kewanee Police, a juvenile suspect was identified to Kewanee Police on Tuesday afternoon leading to a brief chase. The suspect fled on foot into a wooded area where he eluded police and allegedly conducted another burglary before being captured by Kewanee Police at approximately 6:30 Pm in the area of the 300 Block of Beach Avenue. The juvenile suspect now stands charged with 4 counts of Residential Burglary, Theft from a Motor Vehicle, Theft, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Unlawful Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe. The suspect is being held at the Mary Davis Juvenile Detention Center in Galesburg awaiting disposition by a judge. The investigation of the recent spate of residential burglaries however, is not over as Kewanee Police now believe the suspect was not working alone and that others have been part of this recent spree. If you have any further information regarding this case please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911. 

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Bureau County Announces Latest TRIDENT Drug Bust

The Bureau County Sheriff's Office has announced another drug bust arrest by TRIDENT, the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team, a partnership of Bureau, LaSalle and Putnam Counties. According to the release from Bureau County Sheriff's Office, the arrest took place on Monday night after TRIDENT investigators made an undercover purchase of heroin. The subsequent bust occurred when Police made a traffic stop after the drug by at approximately 2:21 Pm on Monday afternoon in the area of the 300 Block of Civic Road in LaSalle. In that stop, LaSalle Police arrested Thore R Pastorik, 31 years old of LaSalle and Adam F Bennett, 32 years old of Spring Valley. Both men were charged with Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance. The suspects were captured almost immediately after attempting to dispose of close to 6 grams of Heroin by throwing it from their vehicle window. The charges against Pastorik and Bennett are Class 1 charges and the two are being held at the LaSalle County Jail awaiting disposition by a judge. 

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Mayor Gary Moore Addresses Councilman Yaklich Statement on Neponset Ambulance Contract

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore addressed Councilman Mike Yaklich's statement regarding the Neponset Ambulance contract vote in an appearance on People to People on Tuesday. In his statement during Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, Councilman Yaklich pointed a finger squarely at City Manager Gary Bradley and City Attorney Justin Raver regarding the confusion over the contract vote. Mayor Moore tells WKEI that the blame doesn't fall on just two people... 

Regardless of the confusion or any objections, the contract for ambulance service between the City of Kewanee and the Village of Neponset is in place for 1 year with language that could extend to 2 or three years following a reassessment of the contract next year says Mayor Gary Moore... 

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People on Tuesday.

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Kewanee Mayor to Examine Contract with Bock Inc Regarding Waste Water Treatment Plant

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore tells WKEI that the problems at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant have been systemic and going on longer than the most recent issues that have been documented in the media and at recent City Council Meetings... 

The City of Kewanee is currently 5 years into a 10 year contract with Bock Inc to provide service at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. Mayor Moore tells WKEI that he intends on looking at the contract and meeting with Bock... 

Stan Bockewitz is the owner of Bock Inc. 

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State of Illinois and Federal Labor Dept Want You to Know Your Rights at Work

The State of Illinois and the Federal Department of Labor want to make sure you know your rights at work. The two government agencies have partnered to create a brand new labor law poster that will need to purchased by businesses and hung where employees can see it and make sure they are aware of their rights. Reporter Kim Howard has more... 

 

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Perry Memorial Hospital Urging City of Princeton to Further Partnership with OSF Healthcare

The board of Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton has voted on a referendum intended to encourage the City of Princeton to further a partnership with OSF Healthcare. The effort is intended to further the longstanding service agreements with Perry Memorial Hospital and OSF Healthcare, entities that have worked together for nearly 50 years. “We have a longstanding relationship with Perry Memorial Hospital, marked by a deep mutual respect and a desire to keep quality health care services available and close to home for those we serve,” said Bob Sehring, CEO, OSF HealthCare. “Our work in innovation has helped provide access to medical expertise and subspecialties for residents of rural communities who would have otherwise had to travel long distances to obtain the care they need.”

“As we think about the future of health and wellness in the communities we serve, we know that a partnership with a comprehensive and integrated delivery system is in the best interest of our patients,” said Annette Schnabel, DPT, MBA, FACHE, President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital. “We don’t yet know what form that may take, but we look forward to further discussion with the City of Princeton and OSF HealthCare to explore the ways in which we may work together.”

The City of Princeton is slated to consider the proposal and vote on August 5. Additional information will be released following the vote.

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Galva City Council Votes to Help Build Stage for Levitt Amp Concert Series

Galva Mayor Rich Volkert was our guest on People to People on Tuesday morning. Mayor Volkert talked about Monday night's Galva City Council Meeting and how the City of Galva agreed to invest in a new stage for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series in Wiley Park.

The stage will be in partnership with organizers of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series. Organizers will raise funds to put a roof over the stage among other items. You can hear our complete interview with Galva Mayor Rich Volkert from Tuesday's People to People Podcast below... 

 

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Nasty Political Rhetoric on Both Sides of Illinois Political Social Media

Both the Illinois Republican Party and the Illinois Democratic Party have pulled social media posts after backlash from both sides regarding incendiary racial rhetoric. References to the female members of Congress currently feuding with President Trump and image of President Trump and the KKK are demonstrating the nasty and divisive political atmosphere. Reporter Greg Bishop... 

 

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Governor J.B Pritzker Signs Two Laws Related to Protecting Immigrants

Governor J.B Pritzker signed two pieces of legislation on Tuesday related to protecting immigrants and specifically, immigrant children. Reporter Kim Howard takes a look at the new laws that will allow for the care of immigrant children separated from their parents for any reason and another to protect immigrant children from abuse... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Walk-In Service Available Along with Same Day Sick Appointments

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In this week. Carrie joined WKEI to remind everyone that same day sick appointments are available at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center as is there walk-in clinic services where you don't even need an appointment to get in  and see a doctor... 

On the opposite of that spectrum, if you are looking for long term care, a family doctor or just to know that you have a family physician when needed, Dr Hayley Ralph and Dr Andrew Peterson are accepting new patients at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

 

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Governor J.B Prtizker Proclaims Today July 24th Speed Awareness Day in Illinois

On Tuesday, Governor J.B Pritzker made it official that today, July 24th 2019, is Speed Awarness Day. Speed Awareness Day is an effort of the Illinois State Police to educate the public regarding speeding in the state of Illinois and encourage everyone to slow down, follow your speed limit signs and generally be mindful of the danger of excessive speed. In a statement on Tuesday, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Director Lou Jogman had this to say about the importance of Speed Awareness Day...

According to the Illinois State Police, in Illinois, during 2017, speed was the reason for 42 percent of all traffic fatalities. That’s 462 deaths for the year, or more than one life per day. These lives can be easily saved by being aware of our speed and understanding how speeding impacts a crash.

 

On Interstates speeding can have the following consequences:

 

  • ·         The probability of death, disfigurement, or debilitating injury grows with higher speed at impact. Such consequences double for every 10 MPH over 50 MPH.

 

  • ·         When a vehicle crashes, it undergoes a rapid change in speed; however, the occupants keep moving at the vehicle’s previous speed until they are stopped, either by hitting an object or by being restrained by a safety belt or airbag.

 

  • ·         The effectiveness of restraint devices like airbags, safety belts, crumple zones, and side beams decline as impact speed increases.

 

  • ·         37.9 percent of the speed-related crashes result in injuries.
  •  
  • ·         Speeding extends the distance required to stop a vehicle in emergency situations.
  •  
  • ·         Crash severity increases with the speed of the vehicle at impact.
  •  
  • ·         Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to navigate safely around curves or objects in the roadway.
  •  
  • ·         Speeding can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds.

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Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Preaches Grain Bin Safety

The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois continues to push out a safety message. The organization’s Jeff Adkisson.


Adkisson says there were two fatalities at a commercial grain facility out in Ohio last week. 

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Jesse Jackson Calling for the Release of Rod Blagojevich

Activist and former Presidential candidate, Reverend Jesse Jackson is continuing to advocate for the release of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. In this renewed effort Reverend Jackson has appealed once again to President Donald Trump to pardon the former Governor. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Kewanee Police Seeking Information Regarding Burglaries in Northwest Kewanee

Kewanee Police are seeking the help of the public in gathering information regarding a series of burglaries in north west Kewanee. According to a release from the Kewanee Police Department, several incidents have taken place in recent days and a suspect profile has emerged. The suspect, as reported by the Kewanee Police Department, is a white male described as slender, balding and approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall. The suspect was last seen wearing a black hat, red shorts, a grey tank top and black socks. The suspect was last seen in the area of West 6th Street and may be riding a bike. If you see this suspect, please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911. Otherwise, Kewanee Police advise residents to lock up vehicles and secure your property just in case. 

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People to People Mayor Gary Moore 07-23-19

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People on Tuesday. The Mayor was on hand to talk about last night's Kewanee City Council Meeting. The council meeting closed with a pair of notable discussions. The first discussion regarded comments from Council Member Chris Colomer about Bock Inc, the company contracted to operate the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. Council Member Colomer asked that Bock Inc come to the next Kewanee City Council meeting to answer for the situation that emerged recently at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Councilman Colomer called on representatives of Bock Inc to make regular appearances in front of the Council going forward. Mayor Moore told WKEI that he intends to reach out to Bock Inc and he intends to examine the current contract with the City and Bock which is currently 5 years into a 10 year span. The Mayor also addressed Council Member Mike Yaklich's statement regarding the issues related to the Kewanee and Village of Neponset ambulance contract. These issues and more in today's People to People Podcast available to stream or download below... 

 

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Tuned In Pam Gale of Kewanee Talks About a Rare Medical Condition

Pam Gale is a long time resident of Kewanee was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday. Pam has a rare disorder, a variant of what is known as Turner's Syndrome. Turner's Syndrome is found in less than 200,000 people worldwide and Pam joined WKEI to talk about her condition and the struggles created by the disorder and how her faith sustains her. Stream or download today's Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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Veterans and Seniors Resource Fair with State Rep Dan Swanson Today in Aledo

State Representative Dan Swanson kicks off a week of Senior and Veterans Resource Fairs today in Aledo... 

The resource fair in Aledo today will be co-hosted by Genesis Medical Center and Brookstone of Aledo at the Mercer County VFW located at 106 S.W 3rd Avenue in Aledo. Seniors and Veterans can get advice about available resources in their area in a number of fields from health care to financial management and more. 

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Kewanee City Council Wrap-Up 07-22-19

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting the Kewanee City Council had several items on a relatively light agenda. Up first, the City Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of placing new parking restriction on Nelson Avenue, deeming the avenue to narrow to support street parking. 

Also on Monday night's agenda were a pair of items related to the Kewanee Fire Department. The Council voted 5 to 0 in favor of a Mutual Intercept Agreement with Stark County Ambulance Service. The agreement will compensate both sides if an EMT is needed to go on to the other services ambulance regarding an emergency call, a relative rarity. 

The Council also voted 5-0 in favor of a new software agreement for the Kewanee Fire Department and ESO Solutions. This item was part of budget negotiations and not a new expense. 

The Kewanee City Council then considered a pair of Tax Increment Financing resolutions. First up, the council voted 5 to 0 in favor of TIF Agreement with Dooley Brothers Plumbing and Heating which will help Dooley Brothers make needed improvements. 

The Council then voted to table a similar TIF Agreement with Dale Matthews, owner of The Broken Chimney after a mistake was found in the City Council Packet related to the needed information for the agreement. The resolution for The Broken Chimney will be revisited at the next Kewanee City Council Meeting. 

The final item on the agenda was an amendment to the agreement related to the Human Trafficking Task force that the Council Agreed to several weeks ago. This new resolution was related to a simple change in the wording of the agreement related to the task force requested by the Geneseo City Council. The change passed in a 5 to 0 vote. 

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Councilman Yaklich Makes Statement Regarding Neponset Ambulance Contract, Calls Out City Manager and Attorney

As promised, Councilman Mike Yaklich used his time during Council Communications at Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting to discuss his frustration with the handling of the contract for the City of Kewanee to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. In a nearly 10 minute statement Councilman Yaklich read from a transcript of the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting which appeared to indicate that the council was voting for negotiations on a contract and not a finalized contract between the City of Kewanee and the Village of Neponset... 

After further reading of the transcript, taken from video recorded by RegionalDailyNews, of the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting, Mr Yaklich turned his attention to City Manager Gary Bradley and City Attorney Justin Raver and stated that the misunderstanding was something that they should have clarified during the May 13th discussion... 

For his part, Mayor Gary Moore stated that while he felt it was right to enter into an agreement with Neponset for ambulance service, the coucil got it wrong during the May 13th meeting... 

During his council communication time, Councilman Steve Faber made clear that he knew what was being voted on and was not confused regarding the May 13th meeting and discussion... 

You can hear the entirety of Mr. Yaklich's statement regarding the Neponset Ambulance contract from last night's Kewanee City Council Meeting here...

 

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Councilman Chris Colomer Calls for Bock Inc to Answer Questions Regarding Sludge

Kewanee City Councilman Chris Colomer used his time during Council Communications at the Kewanee City Council Meeting to call on representatives of Bock Inc to appear before the Kewanee City Council and answer questions regarding the sludge issue at the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment plant among other questions... 

Councilman Colomer spoke of a water report in the Kewanee City Council Packet that he felt was so complicated that he could not make out what was being communicated in the report. Mr Colomer asked that Bock Inc appear at the next Kewanee City Council Meeting in August and subsequently on a monthly or quarterly basis to keep the council informed regarding issues related to the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. You can hear the entirety of Councilman Colomer's statement below... 

The City of Kewanee is currently 5 years into a 10 year service contract with Bock Inc. 

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Kewanee Area United Way to Hold Cars and Coffee Fundraiser July 27th

The Kewanee Area United Way will hold a United Way fundraiser on Saturday, July 27th. Coffee and Cars will take place in the parking lot at the studios of Regional Media in Kewanee located 101 West Central Boulevard. Any vehicle with two or more wheels is welcome to drive through the parking lot and get a cup of coffee. The suggested donation for the event is $5.00. Those able to donate are invited to stop by between 8 Am to 11 Am on Saturday to help raise money for the Kewanee Area United Way. Country Morning Coffee will provide the coffee on Saturday as part of Coffee and Cars. If you would like more information about the fundraiser you can contact the Kewanee Area United Way at 309-761-8447. 

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Socialist Politician Recommends Chicago Take Control of Local Power Supply

A socialist politician in Chicago is calling for the City to take over the local power supply. Alderman Carlos Rosa commented amid negotiations between the City of Chicago and ComEd that the City should take control of the power supply rather than continuing negotiations. Consumer advocates however, stated that such a suggestion as Rosa's would not be unprecedented but would be very costly. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more...

 

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Consumer Advocate Says Agreed to Equifax Settlement Not Enough

A consumer advocate is arguing that the settlement reached between Equifax and the Federal government regarding their 2017 data breach doesn't go far enough. Illinois Public Research Group Director Abe Scarr says the $425 million dollars that Equifax will spend to settle with consumers does nothing to assure that consumer data is now secure. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Struggling with Shortage of Health Care Professionals

Congressman Rodney Davis met with health care and education professionals regarding a growing shortage of health care professionals in Illinois. Among the suggestions floated at the meeting was making it easier for immigrant doctors to be able to practice in Illinois and how the current climate surrounding immigrants is making the recruitment of foreign born doctors difficult. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Heat Wave To Give Way to Mild, Seasonable Temperatures

The excruciating heat of late last week will give way to more seasonable temperatures in Illinois.
Eric Snodgrass, Chief Atmospheric Scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions, says the cooldown will come with some much-needed rain in central Illinois.

As we get closer to August, Snodgrass predicts a more summer-like pattern with above-average temperatures and hit-and-miss rainfall.

Snodgrass says potential August heat will be welcome and should allow the crop a strong finish despite early-season concerns.

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American Illinois Water Offers Water Saving Tips

American Illinois Water has some tips for saving water during the hot summer months. Spokeswoman Karen Cotton says you can get some help from the weather.

Some other water saving tips are to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth and only washing clothes when you can fill the whole washing machine. If your water bill is running high, check for leaky faucets or runny toilets. If a few drops of food coloring in the tank of a toilet end up in the bowl, there’s a leak.

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Thank You Officer Pence and Welcome Officer Daniels to the Kewanee Police Department

Today the Kewanee Police Department said goodbye to Officer Tim Pence who officially retired as of July 22nd, 2019. On the same day, the Kewanee Police Department welcomed officer Kellen Daniels who was sworn in on Monday, July 22nd by City Clerk Rebecka Jones. 

 

                                                              Officer Tim Pence 

 

TIm Pence is a 20 year veteran of the Kewanee Police Department having joined the department in 1999 and leaves today having spent time in the patrol division and as a detective in the investigations division focusing on financial crimes, sexual assaults and other felony crimes. In a release from Kewanee Police, the department praised Officer Pence's experience and his investigative talents that led to many successful convictions. In the statement from Kewanee Police "The Kewanee Police Department would like to thank Officer Pence for his service and we wish him the best in his retirement." 

 

Officer Kellen Daniels sworn in by City Clerk Rebecka Jones 

 

Officer Kellen Daniels arrives at Kewanee Police Department just 21 years old but already a certified Police Officer, having started out in the Galva Police Department. A native of Kewanee, Daniels will enter into a 12 week course with the Kewanee Police Department in the field on patrol with a training officer. 

 

Thank you Officer Pence and welcome Officer Daniels. Photos courtesy of the Kewanee Police Department and Sgt Nick Welgat. 

 

 

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Illinois State Police Add Trooper Brooke Jones Story to State Police Memorial Wall

On Saturday, the family of Illinois State Trooper Brooke Jones-Story joined politicians, members of law enforcement and leaders of the Illinois State Police to add Trooper Brooke Jones Story's name to the Memorial Wall in Springfield. The emotional ceremony featured speeches from Jack Garcia, Chairnan of the Illinois State Police Merit Board and United States Senator Tammy Duckworth... 

Trooper Brooke Jones Story was killed in the line of duty in a Move Over crash earlier this year. 

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Family Day at Northeast Park Continued Celebration of 100 Years of Kewanee Parks

On Saturday, families from across the area came to Northeast Park in Kewanee to continue the celebration of 100 years of the Kewanee Park District. Last week, Kewanee Parks Director Brian Johnson was our guest on Tuned In, prior to Saturday's celebration, and he talked about the history and the support that the Kewanee Park District has received from the people of Kewanee over the years... 

The 100 years of Kewanee Parks Celebration still has a few events to come including the closing events at the pool at Northeast Park on August 11th, including the upcoming doggy swim and the season closing Labor Day Golf Outing at Baker Park Golf Course. Stay up on Kewanee Parks Department events by going to Facebook.com/KewaneeParkDistrict

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Henry County Board Chairman Praises U of I Extension Efforts

At the Thursday, July 18th, Henry County Board meeting, the Henry County Board heard a presentation from Jenny Garner, a represenative of the University of Illinois Extension. Ms Garner was on hand to talk about numerous upcoming educational events around Henry County and surrounding counties with informationt that can benefit many people. Board Chairman Marshall Jones told WKEI he was very impressed with the number of informational events being offered by the Extension office... 

Mr Jones went on to say that the Extension offered an invaluable resource for recovering from the recent floods across Henry County. 

The handout "Re-Greening After a Flood" is linked here and contains numerous helpful tips and resources for landowners recovering from recent floods. In other U of I Extension news, Kristin Bogdonas from the U of I Extension will be our guest on People to People on Monday, July 22nd, at 9:35 Am to talk about DIY Tea, a presentation that she and other members of the Extension are bringing to Kewanee on July 25th at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center. 

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IL Lawmaker Sends Pay Raise Back to the State

Though state law says that a legislator must accept a pay raise like the one that passed the legislature at the end of the last session, one lawmaker has found a way to reject his pay raise. State Representative David McSweeney of Barrington Hills spoke with the Comptroller's Office to find a loophole that will allow him to return the raise to the state of Illinois. While not calling on his colleagues to do the same, McSweeney says, lawmakers need to lead by example. Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Recently Passed High Profile Laws in Illinois Now Shining Light on Rules Process

A number of high profile bills became law in Illinois at the end of the last legislative session but many are not yet in place and have yet to be enacted. This is in part because some of them are still going through the Rules Committee aka J-CAR. J-CAR is the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules and reporter Greg Bishop has more on what J-Car does... 

 

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New Study of DUI Arrests in Illinois Show Negative Trend

A new study of Driving Under the Influence arrests shows a negative trend. According to the study conducted by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, DUI arrests in Chicago were down, though the City still had the highest number of arrests in the state. The alarming numbers came from the central and southern parts of Illinois where overall DUI arrests went up. The alliance also has concerns as to how the legalization of recreational marijuana will affect impaired driving. Reporter Scot Bertram has more...

 

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Illinois State Police Competing for Fun in Nationwide Best Looking Cruiser Contest

The Illinois State Police are taking part in a fun little contest. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, the contest is to choose which State Police organization has the best looking cruiser. The contest is being run via the website SurveyMonkey.com. Cast your vote for your favorite by going to SurveyMonkey.com/BestLookingCruiserContest and you can scroll through 50 states worth of cruisers to cast your vote at the bottom of the page. The effort is intended for charity as the winning Cruiser will go on the front of a calendar that will then be sold via the American Association of State Troopers. You will be able to purchase your State Trooper Cruiser Calendar at StateTrooper.org once this contest has ended. Proceeds benefit a fund for scholarships for the dependents of State Troopers nationwide. 

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Competition to Choose Next Kewanee Mural Already in Full Swing

We may only be two weeks removed from the dedication of the Kewanee Black Knights Mural but the competition for Mural 19 is already in full swing. Joy Hernandez has announced, via the Downtown Kewanee Facebook page, that there is a run-off vote to be conducted to decide which aspect of Kewanee Baseball will in the running to be on the next mural. 

 

For the run-off vote, the choices will be: 
A) The Ballhawks
B) The Kewanee A's
C) Northeast Park's baseball history
D) Our Pro Baseball players (Em Lindbeck and Belden Hill)
E) A "baseball card" style collage that will try to feature these aspects. (Technically, this is an 'all of the above' answer, with a shared spotlight for all).
F) A specific combination of the above answers, while not indicating all of them (please give the letters for the combination). 

 

Whichever form of Kewanee Baseball history you choose, cast your vote here, will be put into the second round of voting, voting with your dollars. There the choices will be one of these baseball history options, Marjabelle Stewart or Kewanee's Pioneer Women. 

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Bustos Announces Congressional Crop insurance Caucus

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has announced the formation of the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus.


The caucus will work with stakeholders to organize quarterly educational briefings to help Members of Congress and staff better understand the program, remain aware of current crop insurance issues and build bipartisan support for the farm safety net in Congress. 

 

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State Rep Chapin Rose the Latest to Weigh In on Confederate Railroad Controversy

Rock band Confederate Railroad had quite an eventful week earlier this month after having their DuQuoin State Fair concert canceled by Governor JB Pritzker and then finding a gig through a local Harley Davidson dealer. State Senator Chapin Rose weighed in on the issue and says this could ruin the DuQuoin State Fair through the distraction it is going to cause.

Senator Rose does not like the direction things are heading when the government is getting involved in speech and religious debates.

Pritzker called the band's logo, which features the stars and bars of the Confederate flag, symbols of racism, white nationalists, and the alt-right.

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for 07-22-19

The Kewanee City Council meets tonight at 7 Pm and you will be able to watch the entirety of tonight's meeting on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/regionaldailynews. A pair of Fire Department resolutions are on tonight's agend which could lead to more discussion of the Neponset-Kewanee ambulance contract. Councilman Mike Yaklich has told WKEI that he intends to raise the issue once again during tonight's meeting. The full agenda for tonight's meeting is below... 


6. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
7. Presentation of Bills and Claims
8. Citizen Participation
9. Business:
a) Consideration of an Ordinance to establish parking restrictions on both sides of Nelson
Ave.
b) Consideration of an Ordinance granting a request for variance to Kim Cernovich 1002
Western Ave.
c) Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the Fire Chief to enter into a Mutual Intercept
agreement with Stark County Ambulance Service.
d) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the Fire Chief to enter into an agreement with
ESO Solutions for the purchase of Computer Software.
e) Consideration of an Ordinance approving and authorizing the Execution of a Tax
Increment Financing (TIF) District Redevelopment agreement between City of Kewanee
and Dooley Bros. Plumbing and Heating
f) Consideration of an Ordinance approving and authorizing the Execution of a Tax
Increment Financing (TIF) District Development agreement between the City of Kewanee
and Dale Mathews (D.B.A) The Broken Chimney)
g) Consideration of a Resolution to Authorize the Chief of Police to Execute an Amended
Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement
10. Council Communications:
11. Announcements:

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Yemm Auto Group Friday with Sales Director Justin Wright 07-19-19

Justin Wright from Yemm Auto Group in Galesburg joined WKEI on Friday morning with yet another edition of the weekly Yemm podcast. In this edition, Justin talked about the latest new and used car prices and deals available at Yemm in Galesburg. Stream or download our Yemm Auto Group Podcast below...

 

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People to People Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones 07-19-19

Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones was our guest on People to People on Friday. Chairman Jones joined us to talk about the slow news night at the Henry County Board Meeting on Thursday night. We discussed the ongoing recovery from the flooding and the effort to get a disaster declaration for Henry County and all of Illinois. And finally, we discussed a presentation by the University of Illinois Extension with upcoming informational meetings. Stream or download our People to People Podcast below... 

 

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State Representative Dan Swanson Promoting Veterans and Seniors Resource Fairs

State Representative Dan Swanson joined WKEI on Friday morning to promote a series of Veterans and Seniors Resource fairs happening the week of July 21st. The Resource Fairs offering advice and services to military veterans and senior citizens will take place in Mercer County, Rock Island County, Henry County and Knox County. 

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Tuned In Kewanee Parks Department Family Day Saturday July 20th

Brian Johnson, Kewanee Parks District Director was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI. Saturday is Family Day at Northeast Park and will feature a free swim from 12 Noon to 6 Pm, a performance from the band Inside Out from 5:00 to 8 Pm and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union is sponsoring the whole event including a movie for the whole family to close out the night after 8 Pm, A Dog's Way Home. Brian Johnson  joined us to talk about Family Day and the Parks District ongoing 100 year anniversary celebration. Stream or download our Tuned In podcast below... 

 

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Local Leaders Share Memories of the Moon Landing Ahead of 50th Anniversary

A pair of local leaders shared their memories of July 20th, 1969, the day that man landing on the moon. Like many young people at the time, State Representative Dan Swanson recalled his family having purchased a new TV... 

Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones also had a memory centered around the family television... 

Fox News is covering the weekend live from NASA HQ this weekend. 

 

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Goodwill Leader Resigns

Goodwill's Land of Lincoln region has drawn some unwanted national attention in recent days after the non profit, known for its mission statement of putting the disabled to work, ended paid work for a dozen disabled residents citing the increasing minimum wage. That made national news with the likes of Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren blasting Goodwill management. President and Ceo Sharon Durbin reversed course and announced the workers were being reinstated. That wasn't enough to save her job. She resigned Thursday. State Senator Andy Manar has called for state agencies to investigate their contracts with Goodwill. He calls Durbin's resignation a positive step...


The elimination of jobs for disabled workers rankled feathers because Goodwill has state contracts and the General Assembly made minimum wage relief part of the legislation boosting the minimum wage. Goodwill was also able to pay less than minimum wage to the disabled workers under federal law. Durbin drew extra scrutiny when word surfaced that her son is paid more than $96,000 in another job at Goodwill. The Land of Lincoln branch of Goodwill serves 33 Illinois Counties and 4 more in Indiana.

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Wethersfield Schools Forced to Scrap Online Registration Plans

Wethersfield Schools had planned to hold online registration for the upcoming school year but those plans have been scrapped. Wethersfield Schools Superintendent Shane Kazubowski tells WKEI that the company that the school district contracted with to create the online registration portal simply dropped the ball... 


Because of the failure of this outside company, Shane Kazubowski says that registration will be conducted the old fashioned way on July 30th...


If you don't receive your registration packet in the mail you can go to the website Geese230.com or you can contact Wethersfield Schools via the website for further information. 

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Rotary Club of Princeton to Display Iron Lung as Part of Ongoing Worldwide Fight Against Polio

While Polio has mostly been eradicated in America, there still exists some pockets of the world where the deadly disease still exists. The Rotary Club of Princeton is continuing the fight with the help of Rilee, a real life Iron Lung that was used in the fight against Polio in the 1940's. Rilee will be on display on Wednesday, July 24th, at the Bureau County Metro Center in Princeton as part of the Veterans' and Seniors' Resource Fair from 3 Pm to 7 Pm. 

 

Tim Kunkel, Rotary Club of Princeton President shared, “Rotary’s joint initiative to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth has been ongoing for nearly 40 years.  Polio cases have dropped by 99.9% over that same period.  The iron lung reminds us of how important it is to continue our goal of eradicating the disease from the planet.” Tim said, “Our hope is for it to spark an emotional connection between our youth – the post-polio generation to learn about our End Polio Now campaign.” Bring the kids and learn the two messages the RILEE has to deliver:   As long as one child is diagnosed with polio, every child in the world is at risk, and immunizations must continue for at least three years after the diagnosed case.  

 

 

The Rotary Club of Princeton meets every Tuesday at noon at the Underground Inn for lunch, camaraderie and a speaker. For information visit: facebook.com/princetonrotaryclub. 

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Critical Inspections of Illinois Bridges Decades Overdue According to New Investigation

A new investigation conducted by the Illinois Auditor General has revealed that some IDOT bridge inspections are decades overdue and have left some bridges in the state in critical conditon. Lawmakers are looking at the report by the Auditor General this week and will need to act soon. Other findings in the investigation revealed that many bridge inspectors filed for overtime pay despite the department not attesting to the accuracy of such overtime claims, i.e, making sure the inspectors actually did their jobs. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Fingerprinting Those Seeking FOID Cards Back on the Illinois Leglslative Agenda this Fall

After abandoning the idea during the Spring legislative session, Illinois legislators are readying to take another look at fingerprinting those who wish to obtain a FOID card in Illinois. A bill to require fingerprinting of anyone who wishes to apply for a FOID card could be on the fall legislative agenda despite bipartisan opposition to the bill that came up this past Spring. Reporter Greg Bishop has more...

 

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Aerial Project Looks at Condition Crop in Corn Belt

492 pictures covering 157,000 corn acres in five states. That was the focus of a U.S. Corn Crop Project led by AgMarket.Net earlier this month. The firm’s Bill Biedermann. 


For farmers that have a good looking crop, Biedermann says “they should have a good marketing opportunity.” 

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Historian Floyd Ham to Present Discussion of Women's Suffrage in Henry County at Kewanee Public Library

Well known and respected Toulon based historian, Floyd Ham has dedicated himself recently to researching the history of Women's Suffrage in Henry County. Mr Ham will deliver a presentation titled Women's Suffrage and Petticoat Government and preside over a discussion of Women's Suffrage in Henry County on Monday afternoon at 1:30 Pm at the Kewanee Public Library. The presentation will cover some of the notable women from Henry County that helped lead the way to women getting the right to vote and Illinois becoming the first state in the union to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1919. Women such as Sophia A Phelps who endured ungodly cruelty when she ran for the office of County Supervisor of Schools in 1873 and Mrs Mary Emma Holmes who helped to organize the Henry County Equal Suffrage Association in Kewanee in 1883. This historic discussion of Women's Suffrage will get underway at 1:30 Pm on Monday afternoon at the Kewanee Public Library and is free to attend. The Henry County Geneological Society is the presenting sponsor. 

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State Treasurer Frerichs Announces Auction

The renewed tradition of the Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Auction will continue at next month's Illinois State Fair. Treasurer Michael Frerichs believes the items on the block should impress...


Frerichs says there will be great opportunities to look over the items....


The items will also be available for preview at the Thompson Center on 
August 5th from 10:30 until 2. .

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Payrolls In Illinois Went Up in June, Unemployment Decreased

Some good news in the Illinois economy in the month of June as the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced that payrolls in the month of June went up by 11,400 while unemployment went down. Sam Salustro is a spokesman for the IDES... 

While the drop in the unemployment rate is minimal, it is following a nationwide trend in the decrease in unemployment and that is due to a number of factors... 

While Sam Salustro with IDES says we should be cautious about the job growth in Illinois, there are reasons to be quite positive...

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June  2019, which rose to 3.7 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate was unchanged from a year ago when it was 4.3 percent.

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IDOT Worker Injured in Move Over Crash

An Illinois Department of Transportation worker has been injured in yet another avoidable Move Over accident. According to the Illinois State Police, Joseph L Stromberg was working for the Illinois Department of Transportation at a construction site in the are of Interstate 74 at Mile Marker 51 near Knoxville, Illinois when his IDOT Truck with flashing lights was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by 76 year old Joyce A Lahmann of Garnavillo, Iowa. Lahmann, it is alleged, was driving a Chevrolet Traverse that entered the work zone area where the right lane was shut down, failed to reduce speed and move over to the left lane and struck the attenuator on the back of the IDOT vehicle. Stromberg was taken from the scene to a local medical facility in Galesburg with minor injuries. Lahmann faces charges of Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash and Violating Scott's Law (Move Over). 

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Iowa Truck Driver Faces Multiple Charges in Crash that Sent Two to the Hospital Near Milan

The Illinois State Police have announced that a semi-truck driver from Iowa is facing charges related to a crash that sent two people to the hospital on Wednesday. According to the Illinois State Police, 62 year old Gail L Hatcher of Logan, Iowa, lost control of his semi truck on Wednesday afternoon in the area of I-280 West near Milan. It is alleged that Hatcher's semi was traveling eastbound when it suddenly crossed the median into the westbound lanes of traffic, struck a guardrail and rolled on its side. Two other vehicles, each traveling westbound then became part of the crash when the vehicle driven by Gloria J Grafton of Orion, Illinois, swerved to avoid the semi truck and struck a vehicle driven by Michael E Arnett of Holt, Missouri. Both Grafton and a passenger in her vehicle were taken from the scene to a local medical facility with unspecified injuries. Hatcher meanwhile, faces charges of Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash and Possession of Alcohol in a Commercial Motor Vehicle. 

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Chicago Area Dept of Corrections Officer Arrested on Lottery Fraud Charges

A Chicago area Department of Corrections Officer was arrested this week by the Illinois State Police as part of an investigation that dates back to October of 2018. According to a release from the Illinois State Police. 46 year old Darrell I Berry of Chicago was arrested on Wednesday after the Cook County District Attorney approved of charging Barry with a Class 3 Felony Forgery and a Class 4 Felony Violation of the Illinois Lottery Law-Altering a Ticket. It is alleged that Barry had attempted to cash a fraudulent Illinois Lottery Scratch Off ticket, claiming that the ticket was worth $20,000. Barry turned himself over to the Illinois State Police on Wednesday and is awaiting disposition. 

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People to People Shane Kazubowski and New Titans Football Coach Logan Willits

Shane Kazubowski, Superintendent of Wethersfield Schools was our guest on People to People on Thursday on WKEI. Superintendent Kazubowski first talked about a major change to school registration as plans for online registration plans fell through due to issues with the contractor that the district hired to implement the online registration. Registration will now take place in person only at Wethersfield High School on July 31st. Shane also brought along and introduced the new Head Coach of A & W Titans Football Logan Willits. Stream or download today's People to People program below...

 

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Kewanee Park District Family Day This Saturday

Despite the heat, family day with the Kewanee Park District will happen this Saturday at Northeast Park. That word coming from Kewanee Parks Director Brian Johnson who called in to the WKEI Open Line Program on Thursday... 

We will have more on Family Day at Northeast Park this Saturday and the continuing celebration of 100 Years of the Kewanee Park District on Friday's edition of Tuned In at 8:45 on WKEI. 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Summer Concert Tonight at the Henry County Senior Center

Due to the remarkable heat, with feels like temperatures in the range of 105 degrees on Thursday and Friday across our listening area, the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce has made the move to take Thursday's concert in the park featuring the band Prebyl, Palmer and Dove, indoors. However, due to the cleaning schedule at Central School, the usual location has been changed from the gymnasium to the Henry County Senior Center across from the Wal Mart parking lot. Mark Mikenas called in to WKEI on Thursday during the Open Line with a reminder for those wishing to attend... 

Doors open at 5 and dessert will be served. 

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Subscribers to Direct TV Lose Access to Some Local Stations

Fans of WHBF Channel 4 are up in arms after Direct TV cut ties with the local network and parent company Nexstar over contract dispute. Callers to WKEI's Open Line on Thursday passed along numbers for Direct TV customer service that they want people to call in order to demand the restoration of WHBC and the Quad Cities CW Network to Direct TV Service...

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has weighed in on the controversy. Congresswoman Bustos has called on Direct TV and Nexstar to return to negotiations, something NexStar says they have been trying to do with little to no response from Direct TV. You can see Congresswoman Cheri Bustos' letter to both parties linked here

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Tuned In Rita Haddad The Station Restaurant

Rita Haddad from The Station in Kewanee dropped by Tuned In on WKEI on Thursday morning. Rita is taking part in an open house event at the all new Boss Community Center tonight starting at 5 Pm. Anthony Witt and Dustin Landwehr have partnered to re-open the Boss Community Center as an event location and anyone with event plans, wedding plans or party plans are invited to come out tonight between 5 Pm and 7:30 Pm and see the changes and the improvements at the Boss Community Center. Rita Haddad was our guest on Tuned In... 

 

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Betty's Garden Kewanee Welcomes Kelly Shiraki Director of Memory Care Services

Kelly Shiraki trained for her current position as the Director of Memory Care Services at Betty's Garden and Petersen Health Care in Kewanee under the guidance of renowned Memory Care expert, Teepa Snow. From Ms Snow, Kelly learned innovative and unique ways of helping dementia patients while also helping the families of dementia patients. We were lucky to introduce Kelly Shiraki to the community on Wednesday's edition of People to People on WKEI... 

You can hear more from Kelly along with Betty's Garden Memory Care Coordinator, Charli Vela and Petersen Health Care Director of Regional Marketing, Maisey Postin in our People to People Podcast here. 

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Henry and Stark County Health Department Offering Walk-In Wednesdays for School Physicals

The Henry and Stark County Health Department have announced Walk-In Wednesdays now available at the Kewanee and Colona Health Department offices. No appointments are necessary for Wednesdays for the rest of July and into August for kids returning to school and in need of a school physical or sports physical. Sports Physical Exam Clinics at the Kewanee and Colona offices of the Henry and Stark County Heath Department will be offered July 24 & 31; and on August 7, 14, 21 from 8am-4:30pm.The clinic will offer area Junior High and Senior High School Athletes, Freshmen, Sixth Graders, Kindergartners, and Preschoolers school or sports physicals on a “Walk-In,” “First Come, First Served” basis. For more information you can contract the Henry and Stark County Health Department at 309-852-5272.

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Kewanee First United Methodist Church Announces Back to School Bash

Kewanee First United Methodist Church will hold a Back to School Bash on August 24th. The Back to School Bash is an opportunity for members of the community to celebrate as kids are returning for the new school year. The event will include games, food, prizes, a bounce house, a dunk tank, an obstacle course and more. The Back to School Bash is set to take place from 11 Am to 1 Pm at Kewanee First United Methodist Church located at 108 East Central Boulevard. If you would like to get more information or if you plan to attend with your kids, contact Lisa Hasse at 309-853-4497. 

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What to Do If You See a Pet or a Child in a Hot Car

Illinois State Trooper Mindy Carroll wants to make sure you know what to do when you see a child or a pet left alone in a car on a hot day. With excessive heat warnings across the state of Illinois the danger of leaving a child or a pet in a hot car for even a few minutes is real. Reporter Kim Howard spoke to Trooper Carroll for advice for what people should do if they come across a child or a pet in a hot car... 

 

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House Committee Acts on Anti-Robocall Bill

Those annoying robocalls that drive people crazy are the targets of a bill headed to a floor vote before the U.S. House. The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act passed unanimously out of committee on Wednesday. It would require the Federal Communications Commission to adopt consumer protection rules, forcing telecom companies to install technology that would identify and block more of the calls. Jim Chilsen, managing communications director for the Citizens Utility Board in Chicago, says many calls come from scammers who manipulate caller ID displays to make it look like their call is coming from a local number.

 

"It is very mysterious and shadowy," he states. "Technology allows scam artists and pitchmen to make thousands of calls a minute and there's been a lack of significant aggressive action by policymakers and big telecom companies to try and deal with this issue."

 

The bill, which has bipartisan support, also would make it easier to pursue violators. Americans received an estimated 48 billion robocalls in 2018 an increase of more than 56% over the year before. While spoofers have found ways to get around the Do Not Call Registry, Chilsen says it's still a useful tool to prevent or reduce the number of unsolicited calls.  Other options include using an answering machine to screen calls, or using call-blocking services from your phone service provider.

 

"Fighting robocalls is a lot about trial and error," he states. "You see what works for you. 

"And the goal is to try to find free services and free ways to stop the robocalls. And if that fails, then you might want to go to a paid service."

 

Chilsen says the number one rule of dealing with robocallers is: Do not engage.

 

"Don't talk, don't press any buttons - even if the call instructs you to press a button to get on the Do Not Call list, do not believe it," he stresses. "Pressing a button will just tell the robocaller that there's a live person at that number."

 

The Citizens Utility Board has a free guide to help Illinoisans fight robocalls. It can be ordered online at citizensutilityboard.org.

 

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Planned Parenthood Remains Open in Illinois No Longer Taking Federal Dollars

Despite no longer receiving or accepting funds from the federal government, Planned Parenthood remains open at 17 locations across Illinois. That may change in the long term if Planned Parenthood struggles for donations to pay for the services they provide. Another source of funds for Planned Parenthood will likely come from the state of Illinois where Governor Pritzker has promised to make the state the most progressive in America when it comes to reproductive rights. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Republicans Eager to Get Started on Property Tax Task Force

Illinois House Republicans in Springfield want to get started right away on a proposed property tax task force as agreed to by a recent state law. The task force is intended to find ways to provide property tax relief to homeowners in Illinois. However, Governor Pritzker has yet to sign the bill that was passed and the Illinois State Senate along with House Democrats have yet to make appointments to the task force. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Durbin Rips McConnell for Legislative Priorities

Senator Dick Durbin isn't exactly singing the praises of Senate President Mitch McConnell's agenda for this week in Washington. Yesterday, he expressed frustration over what he calls a legislative graveyard and lack of plans to discuss reducing prescription costs this week.... Durbin says the issue is taking a back seat to tax treaties with Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Luxemborg. Durbin doesn't think that's on the radar screen of American families...


Durbin introduced the Forcing Limits on Abusive and Tumultuous Prices (FLAT) Prices Act. The FLAT Prices Act would reduce the FDA-granted exclusivity period for a drug whose price increases more than 10 percent in a year, or similar amounts over a multi-year period. Drug manufacturers would be required to self-report their price spikes to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and they would have the opportunity to provide an appeal to justify such a price increase. Durbin is also taking issue with price spikes in insulin.

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Former State Ag Official Does Not Want to See Forced Consolidation

Consolidation should never be forced upon local units of government. It should be a local control issue says Don Moffitt--former assistant director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, especially when it comes to rural fire districts. 


Moffitt also spent 24 years as a State Representative, serving western Illinois. 

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County Board Supports Cahokia Mounds Effort

The Madison County Board is putting its money where its mouth is by supporting a plan to make Cahokia Mounds a National Park. The county board is supporting Heartlands Conservancy, the group leading the effort on the park’s status, to the tune of $25,000. Heartland is working with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro to write a bill to introduce to Congress. If the new measure passes, Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler says the Cahokia Mounds and Mississippian Culture National Historic Park would include ancient mounds in St. Clair and Madison counties and Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis, the last remaining mound in the city. 

The money the county is using to assist Heartlands in this endeavor isn’t coming from property taxpayers, but rather from the host fees at the landfill. Cahokia Mounds National Park would be a collaborative partnership among local, state and federal governments, with Illinois retaining ownership of the land.

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Kewanee City Attorney Consulted over Neponset Ambulance Contract

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore has consulted with City Attorney Justin Raver regarding the confusion over a contract to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. Confusion emerged over what the Kewanee City Council had voted on at the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting. At the most recent council meeting, Councilman Mike Yaklich asked about the status of negotiations for a contract to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. City Manager Gary Bradley informed Mr Yaklich that the City had received partial payment on the agreed to contract. Mr Yaklich questioned how a contract could be in place if the council had not seen or approved of the contract. 

As clarified today by the City Attorney, Justin Raver, the council did, at the May 13th City Council Meeting vote on a contract and not on an agreement to begin negotiations. Said contract was included in the council packet for the May 13th meeting and was written into the ordinance that was being voted on that night. The letter from the City Attorney Justin Raver reads: 

 

"After looking at the agenda and the minutes and listening to the meeting recorded by the radio. It seems like the contract was authorized to be signed and the minutes were incorrect. 

There was discussion about negotiation and return but ultimately the counsel passed the resolution on the agenda as is without any modifications made despite there being opportunity to do so. 

As such the contract is properly executed with the consent of the counsel."

 

Some of the confusion over the issue stemmed from an exchange captured in the minutes of the May 13th meeting between Mayor Gary Moore and Councilman Yaklich that indicated that what was being voted on was an agreement to enter into negotiations. No move was made however, by the council to change the ordinance and remove the contract and the council moved ahead with a vote on the contract that was included in the City Council packet. The council could have made a motion to change the ordinance to include a new negotiation but such a motion was never made. The council passed that contract in a 4 to 1 vote with Mr Yaklich as the lone holdout. 

 

As for the contract itself, according to the City Manager and the contract included in the council packet, the contract states that the Village of Neponset will pay $27,000 to the City of Kewanee for one year at which time the deal will be revisited and renegotiated.

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People to People Betty's Garden Memory Care

The innovations in Memory Care continue at Betty's Garden in Kewanee. Maisey Postin, Regional Marketing Director for Betty's Garden joined WKEI for our People to People Program and introduced us to Kelly Shiraki, the new Director of Memory Care Services at Betty's Garden. Kelly comes to Kewanee from having worked alongside and having been trained by renowned memory care innovator Teepa Snow. Also joining Maisey and Kelly today was Charli Vela, Memory Care Coordinator for Betty's Garden. Charli talked about the importance of getting to know the patients at Betty's Garden and how remarkable it is to use the knowledge gleaned from the patients to help them. Stream or download the latest People to People Podcast below... 

 

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Tuned In Aaron Lieber Director of Bethany Hamilton Unstoppable

The new documentary, Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is in limited release now and will hopefully be in a theater near you soon. We were lucky to have the chance to talk with the director of Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable on today's edition of Tuned In. Aaron Lieber took us behind the scenes on the documentary and we talked about the remarkable young athlete, mother and inspiration that Bethany Hamilton truly is. At 13 years old, Bethany lost an arm in a shark attack while surfing. That is far from the full story of her life. Stream or download our interview with Aaron Lieber below... 

 

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Cambridge News 07-19-19

Each month WKEI talks with folks from the Village of Cambridge to catch up on the latest happenings in the Village. This month. WKEI talked Village Administrator Steve Brown about 3 concerts happening this weekend in Cambridge. Three live music opportunities in the Village of Cambridge this Saturday including at Ca D'zan where Larry Keel will perform on Saturday night. The Combine Bar and Grill in Cambridge will feature Cody Road at 7 Pm on Saturday and the Cambridge American Legion will also have a concert on Saturday night. A pair of fundraisers are headlining in Cambridge in the first week of August including a car show. Full details in this month's edition of the Cambridge News on WKEI...

If you want your city to have their own monthly news feature on WKEI contact Sean Kernan at 309-853-4471 or skernan@regionalmedia.info. 

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Kewanee Chamber Concert in the Park Moved Indoors Due to Heat

This week's Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, Concert in the Park will be held at the Henry County Senior Center at 200 East South Street in Kewanee due to the heat. With predicted heat indices at 106 degrees on Thursday, the decision to move the concert, featuring the band Prebyl, Palmer and Dove was made. The concert will still be free to attend and the Boy Scouts will still provide food service at the event. Food goes on sale when the doors open at the Senior Center at 5 Pm. The concert begins at 6:30 Pm. Concert goers are asked to park in the lot on the North side of the building and enter the Senior Center from there. 

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Near Collision with Squad Car on I-80 Reminds Everyone to Move Over

An Illinois State Trooper in District 7 out of East Moline is lucky have only scratches on his squad car side mirror after a near collision this morning from a semi truck that failed to Move Over. The trooper was pulled to the side of the road providing aid to a disabled vehicle when the incident occurred. The trooper was stopped on Interstate 80 with lights flashing when the semi struck the side of the squad car just as it swerved and narrowly missed a tragic accident. State Police are currently checking surveillance video from the Trooper's squad car in an attempt to locate the driver of the semi which fled the scene immediately. The trooper stayed with the disabled car to make sure the driver was safe while they waited for a tow truck. The incident and the photo attached to this story are another strong reminder of the importance of the Move Over Law. If caught the driver faces fines anywhere from $100.00 to $10,000.00 and since damage occurred to the vehicle, a 90 day license suspension. Six inches to the right and we could be talking about yet another trooper killed in a preventable Move Over crash. 

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Registration for School in Kewanee School District Set for Last Week of July

Dr Chris Sullens, superintendent of the Kewanee School District was our guest on People to People on Tuesday morning. Dr Sullens joined WKEI to promote the fact that registration for the new school year at Kewanee Schools is set for July 24th, 25th and 26th... 

Dr Sullens also reminded parents that if their child is going out for a sport, don't forget to get your child a sports physical... 

Dr Chris Sullens, the Superintendent of the Kewanee School District was our guest on People to People on Tuesday and you can hear that interview in our People to People podcast

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Stark County Farm Bureau Bringing More Ag in the Classroom to Stark County Fair

The Stark County Farm Bureau is set to have a big presence at this year's Stark County Fair in Wyoming. Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau tells WKEI that the Farm Bureau plans to have even more interactive Ag in the Classroom options to get kids engaged in the farming community during the fair... 

The Stark County Farm Bureau will also present their annual tractor drive at the Stark County Fair on  Saturday, July 27th... 

The Stark County Farm Bureau will also continue their 100 year anniversary celebration at the Stark County Fair from July 26th to the 29th. 

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State of Illinois Creates Property Tax Relief Fund

The state of Illinois now has a fund that lawmakers can put money into in order to create property tax relief. The fund is intended to be filled with tax dollars that would then be apportiioned to individual counties to be distributed as a rebate for those who qualify for it. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more on this unique approach to property tax relief... 

 

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Black Hawk College Announces Next Round of Pharmacy and Phlebotomy Courses

Black Hawk College has announced that their next round of pharmacy and phlebotomy courses will begin in August at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center. According to the release from Black Hawk College, Pharmacy technician courses get underway on August 17th and will run through December 16th. The cost to attend and receive your Pharmacy Technician certification is $735.00. Those who take the course will gain skills to work as an entry-level pharmacy technician at a hospital, retail, home infusion or mail-order pharmacy. Phlebotomy Technician Courses begin on September 17h and will run through November 19th, also at a cost of $735.00. Students seeking certification in Phlebotomy will learn basic blood-drawing procedures for a job in the health-care industry. For more information go to BHC.edu/health or call 309-796-8223. 

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In the Wake of the Chicago Gator Capture State Reminds Residents that Gators Aren't Good Pets

Now that the gator nicknamed Chance the Snapper, which took over a small portion of a Chicago neighborhood last weekend, has been captured, the state of Illinois is speaking out about alligators as pets. IDNR Herpatologist Scott Ballard recently spoke to reporter Kim Howard to let people know that gators do not make great pets. 

 

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Illinois State Rifle Association Suing to Stop New Gun Dealer Licensing Law

The Illinois State Rifle Association is suing the state of Illinois in an attempt to block newly signed legislation that will require state licensing of gun sellers. Yesterday, we reported that more than 1200 gun sellers had yet to file for or pay for new state licensing signed into law by Governor J.B Pritzker. The lawsuit by the ISRA hopes to delay the implementation of the law while the group works to prevent it from being fully enacted. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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St Peter's Church to Hold Ice Cream Social Friday

St Peter's Evangelical Church in Kewanee will hold an Ice Cream Social this Friday, from 5 Pm to 7 Pm. The cost to attend is $6.00 but includes Ice Cream along with barbecue, chips, and your choice of pie or cake. St Peter's Evangelical Church is located at the corner of Central and Grove and everyone is invited to attend and enjoy. The Ice Cream Social takes place from 5 Pm to 7 Pm on Friday, July 19th at the church. 

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Henry and Stark County Health Department Offering Tips to Deal with Excessive Heat

The Henry and Stark Health Department want to help you beat the heat. The experts at the Health Department have put a list of things to be aware of as the excessive heat moves into our area this week to avoid heat related stress...

 

* Avoid outdoor activities from noon to 4pm.

* Use fans or air-conditioners liberally or visit air-conditioned places (shopping malls, libraries, theatres).

* Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

* Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

* Eat small meals and eat more often.

* Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

* Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

* Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.

* Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

* Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

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State Senator Chuck Weaver Announces Next Coffee and Conversation Event

State Senator Chuck Weaver has announced his next coffee and conversation event. Senator Weaver will be be in Walnut, Illinois at Konz Restaurant on Thursday, July 25th from 8 Am to 9 Am. There is no cost to attend and anyone is invited to turn out and talk with State Senator Weaver about ongoing debates in Springfield and the issues you feel are important. Konz Restaurant is located at 112 South Main Street in Walnut, Illinois. In a release announcing the event, State Senator Weaver said “We look forward to our Coffee & Conversation events because we get to talk with people about state and local issues. We hope to see a big turnout on July 25 in Walnut,” Weaver said. “During the spring legislative session, action was taken on several important issues, some of which were very controversial. Please stop by Konz Restaurant, bring your family and friends, and let’s talk about it!” If you need further information you can contact State Senator Weaver's office at 309-693-4921. 

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Dealing with Recreational Pot on a Municipal Level

On January 1st of 2020 recreational marijuana will be legal in the state of Illinois. On a municipal or city level there is nothing that can be done to regulate the legality of recreational pot. There are however, a few decisions to make on the municipal level regarding pot, including zoning laws regulating where recreational marijuana can be sold. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF CEO Kernan Honored by National Health Care Publication

The CEO of OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Jackie Kernan has been recognized by Becker's Hospital Review as one of their "70 Health Care CEO's to Know." Kernan, who has been the Chief Executive Officer of OSF Saint Luke Medical Center since January of 2018, stated in a press release regarding the publication "“This recognition by such a respected health care industry publication is a real honor,” She added, “It’s a testament to the hard work of every Mission Partner who contributes to serving with the greatest care and love as we put patients first and raise the bar on performance each year.” According to the publication, these individuals hold an important role within their community, serving on corporate boards and state-level initiatives to improve access to care.  Several have overseen hospital expansions, mergers and electronic health record implementations, as well as the construction of satellite clinics and strategic partnerships with local healthcare organizations.

 

 

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Illinois Braces for Heat Wave Wed. to Saturday

It took a while for much of Illinois to thaw out from last winter’s deep freeze, but we’re now into the “dog days” of summer. Air temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90’s for Wednesday through Saturday throughout most of the state with dew points in the low to mid 70’s says DTN chief agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.


As for what impact this heat wave will have on the Illinois corn and soybean crop, Anderson says it’s a tough question to answer.


It was just 166 days ago, January 31st, that Illinois hit its record low temperature, -38-degrees recorded in the northwest Illinois town of Mount Carroll. 

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EAA AirVenture Cup Race Takes off from Southern Illinois Airport This Weekend

The International Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Cup Race takes off from southern Illinois this weekend, and there will be plenty of free, family-oriented events in Mt. Vernon leading up to the start of the race. Chris Collins is the manager at Mt. Vernon's Outland Airport. He says there will be plenty of unique airplanes for plane lovers of all ages to check out at this special event.

Before the race takeoff on Sunday, the airport will host an open house Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m., and an EAA Young Eagles Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where kids between the ages of 8 and 17 will get to experience airplane rides. All activities are dependent on the weather.

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People to People Dr Chris Sullens and Kewanee Schools Superintendent

Dr Chris Sullens, Kewanee Schools Superintendent joined WKEI for People to People on Wednesday. Dr. Sullens was on hand to talk about registration for the new school year after we spent time talking about the positives out of the latest Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. We also talked about a recent visit to the Kewanee School Board offices by State Senator Chuck Weaver and State Representative Dan Swanson. And that conversation led to other questions regarding government funding of education and how each bill passed by Governor Pritzker matters in some way to the future of Kewanee Schools. Stream or download our People to People interview with Dr Chris Sullens... 

 

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Tuned In Annaleah Emm Stark County Farm Bureau 07-16-19

Annaleah Emm from the Stark County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuned In Tuesday morning. Annaleah made her monthly appearance on Tuned In to talk about the upcoming Stark County Fair and the major presence that the Stark County Farm Bureaus has this year and really every year at the fair. The milking cow will be on hand along with other interactive displays and events dedicated to 100 years of the Stark County Farm Bureau. Stream or download our Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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Rick Feltner Named Chief Operating Officer of Regional Media

Regional Media, parent company of radio stations and multimedia news and sports websites in Iowa, Illinois, and Hawaii, announced today that it has chosen Rick Feltner as the organization's Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mr. Feltner, who recently sold his business in the area, will step into the role reporting directly to the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fletcher M. Ford this week. 
"After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process, I am pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership of our world-class media organization," said company President and CEO, Fletcher M. Ford.. "Rick has a track record of strong leadership both inside and outside of the business realm. This combined with his deep business knowledge and strong desire to advance technology for his clients, makes Rick uniquely qualified to lead Regional Media successfully into the future. 
Additionally, Rick is the best choice from a deep pool of interested and highly qualified candidates. He's been a highly successful executive and local business owner in the area but more importantly, he's a great fit with each of the four 'critical leadership competencies' we evaluated as part of our selection process: strategic agility, business acumen, vision, and mission-driven orientation.” 
"I'm honored, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of creative, dedicated and talented professionals," said Feltner. "Regional Media’s team produces innovative, relevant and insightful programming, every day, and their public service impacts the world far beyond where we live. This is a terrific opportunity that any leader would welcome. Working with my business mentor Fletcher is going to be such a rewarding experience for me. Leading our team to success is just going to be the icing on the cake.” 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Shining a Light on Pre-Diabetes

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is urging anyone with a family history of Diabetes or the symptoms of Diabetes to get a screening done or at the very least, talk to your doctor about your risk factors. Tami Harker Advanced Practice Registered Nurse was recently on WKEI and talked about the surprising statistic that 1 in 3 Americans have pre-diabetes. 

Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes include being tired more than usual, frequent thirst and frequent urination. Kerry Blume Registered Nurse in the Diabetes Care Unit talked about what you should do and what happens next when you suspect you may have pre-diabetes. 

People with Diabetes are at high risk for heart disease as Tami Harker explains... 

For Diabetes resouces in Kewanee you can contact Tami or Kerry at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center at 309-852-7700. You can hear our complete interview with Carrie Boelens, Tami Harker and Kerry Blume in our Tuned In podcast linked here

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Excessive Heat Warning in Effect Late this Week

With an excessive heat warning going into effect on Wednesday according to the National Weather Service, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is offering some tips for staying safe and helping others during this upcoming heatwave. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined WKEI on Monday and talked about helping others and staying hydrated... 

 

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More than Half of Illinois Gun Dealers Have Not Applied for New Gun License

More than half of Illinois licensed gun sellers have yet to apply for new licensing under the new laws put forward by Governor J.B Pritzker. The law signed just last month is a new state gun sellers license that is on top of the already required federal gun sellers license. Many gun sellers say that the license is something more akin to a fine for selling legal items to legal gun owners. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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New Study Indicates Teen Use of Marijuana Need Affected by State Legalization

Concerns about a rise in teenage use of marijuana after a state makes marijuana use legal for recreational purposes may be unfounded. That's the finding of a new study conducted by JAMA and it backs up a controversial contention by State Representative Kelly Cassidy, one of the strongest proponents of the Cannabis Legalization law. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Court Ruling in Chicago Could Break Illinois Lockbox

Could a court ruling in Cook County break the lockbox that keeps money garnered via transportation taxes separate from the general fund? That's the concern of some contractors who are suing to keep Cook County from using lockbox transportation funds from being spent on things other than transportation related infrastructure. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Courtyard Estates Galva to Host Community Cookout and Bingo this Thursday

Courtyard Estates in Galva is inviting everyone for Bingo and a Community Cookout on Thurday, July 17th. According to a release from Courtyard Estates, festivities get underway at 12 Noon with lunch followed by Bingo starting at 1 Pm at Courtyard Estates in Galva located at 1000 Courtyard Estate in Galva. The cost to attend is $3.00 or free if you are a senior over 65 years old. The menu includes burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni salad, fruiit kabobs and dessert. Courtyard Estates will even provide transportation to those in need free of charge in the Galva area. To reserve your spot, contact Courtyard Estates at 309-932-2600. 

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Bustos Continues to Push for Ag Disaster Declaration for Illinois

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos continues to urge the USDA to issue a statewide agricultural disaster declaration. She says farmers are being hit with a double whammy—a late planting season caused by a wet spring plus ongoing trade issues. Bustos first reached out to US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue last month.


Bustos serves on the U.S. House Ag Committee. She has held discussions with farmers across her district this spring and summer, including Whiteside County, Henry County, Mercer County and Rock Island County. During those conversations, Bustos says farmers have expressed to her that conditions are the worst they have ever seen. 

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July Marks 29th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

This month marks the 29th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Social Security's Jack Myers says the agency has strict criteria for disability benefits. To qualify, individuals must have a condition that is expected to last for at least a year or result in death prior to a year.

Contrary to popular opinion, Myers points out nobody gets rich off of disability benefits. They are supposed to help families survive but are not enough to fully replace wages.

For more information on Social Security disability benefits visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.

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Time to Register for the Hog Days Parade

We may still be coming down from the high of the Prairie Chicken Festival but that doesn't mean it is time to slow down on the summer time festivals. Yes, it's already time to start thinking about Kewanee Hog Days. The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is now putting out the call for folks to sign up for the annual Hog Days Parade. The theme for this year is Can't Stop the Squealin'. This year's parade steps off on August 31st at 2 Pm, rain or shine. Get more information or sign up by going to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce website Kewanee-IL.com/Parade.

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Kewanee Fire Department Flow Testing of Fire Hydrants Continues Today

The Kewanee Fire Department Fire Hydrant Flow Testing continues today. The Kewanee Fire Department will be out each Tuesday and Thursday for the next several weeks, from 8 Am to 12 Noon, testing hydrant capacity and clearing any sediment build up. Today, Tuesday, July 16th, the Fire Department will be flow testing in the area of North Main Street from East 8th to Hepner Drive, including one hydrant in Northeast Park. Residents in this area may experience low or no water pressure during this time or rusty or discolored water. If you have any questions you may contact Kewanee Public Works at 309-852-2611. 

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Vince Neil Added to Lineup at Illinois State Fair

Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil is coming to the Illinois State Fair. The former lead singer of Motley Crue, now out on his own solo tour, has been added to an already stacked lineup at the Illinois State Fair with a show on August 19th. Neil will be joined by fellow 80's rockers Autograph and Vixen for a night of old school 80's hair metal. Tickets for just this show on Friday, August 9th, are $17.00 and can be purchased either at the Illinois State Fair or you can buy them now online at Ticketmaster.com. 

 

The newly updated lineup for the Illinois State Fair Grandstand for 2019...

 

Montgomery Gentry free show Thursday August 8th

Vince Neil with Autograph and Vixen on Friday August 9th $17.00 

Bad Company with Foghat Saturday August 10th $30 or $35.00

Dan & Shay with Filmore Sunday August 11th $25, 30, or $35.00

The Traveling Salvation Show: A Tribute to Neil Diamond free show Monday August 12th 

Why Don't We with MAX and EBEN Tuesday August 13th $20,$25 or $30.00 

Pentatonix with Rachel Platten Wednesay August 14th $40, $45, or $50.00 

Old Dominion with Restless Heart and Ryan Griffin Thursday August 15th $30, $35 or $40.00 

Snoop Dogg with Dogg Pound, Warren G, DJ Quik and Twista Friday August 16th $25, $30, or $35.00

Shinedown with Badflower Saturday August 17th $30, $35, or $40.00 

Reba McEntire with Rachel Wammack Sunday August 18th $35, $40 or $45.00

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Kewanee Back When to Feature Kewanee Baseball History Tuesday Morning

Kewanee has a long and unique history of Baseball and we will celebrate that history on the next edition of Kewanee Back When. Dave Clark and myself, Sean Kernan, will be joined by Larry Lock from the Kewanee Historical Society's Robert and Marcella Richards Museum on Tuesday morning at 9:35 Am to reminisce about baseball in Kewanee from the A's to the Ballhawks and so much more. Baseball in Kewanee on Kewanee Back When on Tuesday. 

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Tuned In OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday 07-15-19

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday along with Tami Harker, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Kerry Blume, Registered Nurse from the Diabetes Care Team. Daibetes was the biggest part of our conversation today, specifically pre-diabetes, but Carrie also talked about the heat and how people need to be prepared and well hydrated for the oppressive heat in this week's forecast. Stream or download our Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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Illinois State Police Troopers in Trucks Nets Results

On Friday, July 12th, Illinois State Troopers climbed into the cabs of big rigs for a special enforcement detail called Trooper in a Truck. The goal was to get a new perspective on traffic enforcement and send a message to drivers to take heed around semi trucks and be more observant of the law. The Friday, Trooper in a Truck detail netted results as these numbers released by the Illinois State Police indicate... 

 

6 Texting While Driving Citations

3 Hand Held Phone Citations

5 Motor carrier inspections

3 Scott’s Law (Move Over) Citations

2 Citations Other

2 Written Warning Other

 

Those violations were collected in less than two hours from late morning to early afternoon as a trooper rode along in a semi truck and radioed ahead to a trooper in a squad car which drivers were in violation of the law so that they could be pulled over. According to the National Safety Council, at least 9 Americans die and 100 are injured every day in distracted driving crashes. “These numbers are staggering, but not surprising,” states Captain Jason Dickey. “I can say with confidence that nearly every driver on the road has either seen the reckless actions of someone on a phone, been the driver distracted by their phone, or both. We all need to do better to keep our roads safe.” 
If a motorist receives a citation for violating the hands-free law, a first offense is a $164 and counts as a moving violation against their license. 

 

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Kewanee Black Knights Mural Dedication

On Saturday evening, as the excitement of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Festival was beginning to die down, Joy Hernandez and fellow mural organizers gathered on Main Street to dedicate the 18th Kewanee Mural to the Kewanee Black Knights... 

During the dedication, Joy talked about the fundraising for the Black Knights Mural and how those who loved and remembered the Black Knights stepped forward to make this mural happen... 

You can hear Joy Hernandez's entire mural dedication for the Kewanee Black Knights below. Don't forget also to go to Downtown Kewanee on Facebook to be ready to cast your votes for the next Kewanee Mural. 

 

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Trouble at Illinois DCFS Worse than First Feared

A new analysis of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services finds that the troubled state agency is even more troubled than many had feared. From financial malfeasance to the revolving door of directors, the DCFS is a major mess for the State of Illinois to clean up according to the non-profit Center for Illinois Politics. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more. 

 

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Friends of the Hennepin Canal Announce Monthly Hike

The Friends of the Hennepin Canal have announced have announced their monthly hike the canal plans. The next Friends hike will be on July 21st at 1:30 Pm. If you would like to join the Friends of the Hennepin Canal meet up at Bridge 56 at 1:30 Pm to meet the shuttle that will take participants to Bridge 59 where the hike will begin. Bridge 56 is located on Route 92, four miles west of Route 40. This particular trail from Bridge 59 to Bridge 56 is 3.8 miles long and is known as Red Tail Hawk. You do not have to be a member of the Friends of the Hennepin Canal to participate in these hikes. Contact Ed Herrmann at: hikes@friends-hennepin-canal.org (email) or call 815-664-2403 (home) or go to the website friends-hennepin-canal.org.

 

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Illinois State Medical Society President Talks Health Care Issues

Ask Dr. Paul Pedersen about the biggest issues facing Illinois in his role as president of the Illinois State Medical Society, and he has a pretty good size list. 


He says prevention is key as well and he recommends such procedures as colonoscopies, prostate cancer screenings and mammograms that lead to early detection. 

 

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Alligator Dubbed Chance the Snapper Continues to Elude Chicago Authorities

Chicago officials are dealing with a safety threat more native to Florida. City officials have spent most of the week trying to capture an alligator living in Humboldt Park Lagoon. Several people reported seeing the animal there Tuesday morning and others shared photos of it. The social media sensation has led to a Chicagocentric nickname "Chance the Snapper". Traps have been set in a bid to remove the animal from the scene. The gator is believed to be 4 to 5 feet long. Governor Pritzker isn't ready to make any policy declarations, except for his own personal safety....


Chicago officials plan to trap the animal and relocate it to a zoo for evaluation. A wildlife expert known as Alligator Bob is helping with efforts to trap the gator.....in 2010 he was able to succesfully capture a gator in the Chicago River.

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Illinois Beef Association Announces Cernos as Winner of Best Burger Contest

A Kewanee establishment wins the Illinois Beef Association’s “Quest of Illinois Best Burger Contest.” The award goes to Cerno’s Bar and Grill. Co-owner is Brian Crabtree.


Cerno's also has a location in Elmwood.

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Abraham Lincoln Impersonator and Historian Kevin Woods at Kewanee Public Library This Week

The Kewanee Public Library will hold a special presentation at 6 Pm on July 19th featuring Kevin J. Woods. Mr Woods is a historian and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and he will be in full costume as President Lincoln at the event. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library joined WKEI recently with the details about the event on July 19th... 

The event is family friendly and it is free to anyone who would like to attend on July 19th at the Kewanee Public Library. 

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Kewanee Black Knights Historic Discussion at American Legion Post 31

On Thursday, former members of the Kewanee Black Knights and the many who remember them and are paying tribute to them this weekend gathered at the Kewanee American Legion Post 31 for a historic discussion of the Kewanee Black Knights. The event, hosted by Joy Hernandez, began with a presentation by legendary reporter Dave Clark... 

Mike Dewalt from the Kewanee Historical Society put together this video presentation for the Black Knights. 

Denny Packee and Bill Neuleib shared their memories of the Kewanee Black Knights as well on Thursday evening... 

 

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Henhouse Prowlers Performiing this Weekend at the Levitt Amp Galva Music Series

The Henhouse Prowlers are coming to Galva this weekend as part of the Levitt Amp Galva Music Series. Ben Wright joined WKEI on our Tuned In program to talk about the unique story of how he came to Bluegrass music, how the Prowlers have gone around the world as Bluegrass ambassadors and what fans can expect this weekend in Galva in Wiley Park. 

 

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Kewanee Farmer's Market Part of Prairie Chicken Festival Weekend

The Kewanee Farmer's Market is set to have a big weekend as part of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. Diane DeMay and Mary Ann Dybal with the Kewanee Farmer's Market were our guests on People to People on Thursday and Diane says that this weekend the Farmer's Market has more than the usual number of vendors... 

Those coming to the Farmer's Market this weekend for produce however should take note, the produce market is slow this year due to the struggles with the weather.

You can hear our complete interview with Diane DeMay and Mary Ann Dybdal in our People to People Podcast. 

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Friday Schedule for Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

The Kewanee Prairie Chicken Festival Weekend is here with chalk art getting underway this morning on the Go-Kart Track west of the Amtrak station. Among the highlights for Friday at the Prairie Chicken Festival are the Motorcycle Cruise and the Flea Market... 

Diane Packee and Dierdra Scott were our guests on People to People this week and they talked about the exciting growth and changes that have come to this year's Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. 

 

SIDEWALK DAYS – various downtown participants 


8:00am-Dusk – Chalk art registration opens, artists can work until dusk, at old go-kart track west of the Station Restaurant at 300 W. 3rd St. 


8:00am-Dusk – Giant Sand Pile in parking lot next to Dooley's, corner of Tremont and Third Streets. 


11:00am-3:00pm – Neville Brand Film Festival at the Wanee Theatre, free-will offering. 


1:00-4:00pm – Kewanee Historical Society & Museum open, 211 N. Chestnut St. 


5:00-9:00pm – Reiman's Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Cruise-In, corner of Chestnut & Second Streets.

 
6:00-9:00pm – KayaMBee Band, 300 W. 3rd St., bring lawn chairs! 


5:00-9:00pm – Beer Garden at Station, 300 W. 3rd St., bring lawn chairs! 

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U.S Senate Resolution States: No State Pension Bailout

In a blow to politicians in Illinois seeking Federal help to get out from under a pension avalanche, the U.S Senate passed a resolution indicating that there will be no Federal bailout for states currently struggling with overwhelming pension debt. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has the story from Washington...

 

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State Representative Accuses Pritzker Admininstration of Censorship in Confederate Railroad Flap

State Representative Tim Butler is accusing the Pritzker administration of censorship following the move by members of the administration to remove the country music band Confederate Railroad from their planned performance at the Du Quoin State Fair. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on this continuing controversy... 

 

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Illinois Residents Still Waiting for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Governor J.B Pritzker is promising that the CAFR, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report due from the office of the Illinois Comptroller will be completed and released to the public within weeks not month. The CAFR is currently several months behind schedule for the first time since 2009. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Elton John Biopic Rocketman Opens in Kewanee This Weekend

Rocketman starring Taron Edgerton opens in Kewanee this weekend at the Wanee Cinemas. Rocketman is the story of Elton John told via the music of Elton John. Taron Edgerton stars in Rocketman as the young, rising star, Elton John from time he broke into the music business as backing musician through his serendipitous pairing with songwriter Bernie Taupin and through his rocket ride to worldwide fame. The story is told via the songs that made Elton famous in the 1970's and into the 1980's in a musical style that makes Rocketman feel like a dream or a memory of the life of Elton John. You can read my rave review of Rocketman on our Movies Page linked here.

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State Ag Pest Coordinator Provides Update

Activity starting to pick up for the State Agriculture Pest Survey Coordinator. Kelly Estes provides an update from her office in Champaign.


Estes staff includes six interns this summer.

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Entire Illinois Congressional Delegation Working to Bring Military Jets to Springfield

It's been more than a decade since the last F-16 Falcon Fighter Jet left the runways at Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. Members of the U.S. House and Senate from Illinois believe its time for military jets to return. Congressman Darin LaHood says the bi-partisan effort comes at a time when the Air Force is looking for more spots for aircraft....


LaHood says bringing aircraft back is a borderline turnkey effort...


The Springfield based 183rd Air National Guard fighter wing lost its jets after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission made a recommendation to transfer the jets last decade. 

 

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Kewanee Roadwork Program Continues Today

The Kewanee Roadwork Program is scheduled to continue work on several roads in Kewanee today, Friday, July 12th. According to a notice from the City of Kewanee, roadwork that had been announced to begin on Saturday, July 13th will actually begin today. The following street sections will be worked on:

 

200 W Garfield

110 Payson

227 Payson

230 Payson

603 Elliott

421 E Division

711 Rose

609 Florence

600 block of Hollis by driveway to VanDeVelde Wellness Center

Commercial Street, Cambridge Road, and the alley next to NAPA.

 

Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible, and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas. 

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Illinois Fire Marshall Calling for Responsible Grilling this Summer

Summer is primetime for grilling season and the Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office wants to make sure you are grilling responsibly. Fire Marshall Spokesman J.C Fultz is heading up an information campaign aimed at grillers to make sure they grill responsiblly this Summer. Reporter Kim Howard has more on tips of safe summer grilling... 

 

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People to People Kewanee Farmers Market with Diane Demay and Mary Anne Dybdal

The Kewanee Farmer's Market will be part of this weekend's festivities at the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. The Farmer's Market will be in the middle of the action on Saturday with even more vendors than usual but the same great deals you get each Wednesday and Saturday during your regular Kewanee Farmer's Market. Diane Demay and Mary Anne Dybdal were our guests on People to People on Thursday with a look ahead at the Farmer's Market at the Prairie Chicken Festival and the remainder of Farmer's Market season... 

 

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Tuned In Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library 07-11-19

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday. The Kewanee Public Library will welcome Abraham Lincoln historian and impersonator Kevin J Wood to the Library at 6 Pm on July 19th for a special presentation called "Abraham Lincoln A New Birth of Freedom" all about the life of the late great President Lincoln. Sara also discussed the Kewanee Library's partnership with Step Ladder Tutoring which is helping kids get caught up in time for the new school year. And finally, Sara talked about the brand new science book club for adults beginning in September. Stream or download our Tuned In Podcast interview with Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library below... 

 

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Illinois CPA Society Speaking Out Against Proposed Tax on Professional Services

The Illiinois CPA Society is speaking out against a proposed tax on the services of lawyers and accountants. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is among politicians who have proposed the idea of a tax on professional services such as accounting and legal services but the CPA Society warns that such a tax could backfire causing those who need professional services not to seek them due to increased costs. Reporter Greg Bishop has more. 

 

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Historian Dean Karau at Kewanee Church of Peace Saturday for Discussion of Historic Migration

Historian Dean Karau was tracking his family geneology when he discovered that some of his ancestors were linked to the founding of the Church of Peace in Kewanee. This was something he'd long known about his family but now he's put together a historic presentation on the migration that eventually brought his ancestors from France to Spain and then on to Germany before finally arriving after years of migration and assimilation of varying culures, to Kewanee. 

The historic presentation that Dean is calling the Kewanee's Brandenburg Migration will tell quite a tale of migration over a period of several hundred years that culminated in the arrival in Kewanee and the establishment of the Church of Peace... 

Dean will be joined by Lee Ann Bailleu who will moderate a discussion on sharing historical information. The event at the Kewanee Church of Peace located at 28358 N 900th Avenue in Kewanee will get underway at 2 Pm on Saturday, July 13th. 

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Dorothy Smith Golf Playday Announced for August 11th at Baker Park Golf Course

The date has been announced for this year's Dorothy Smith Memorial Golf Play Day at Baker Park. Ladies will take to the tees at Baker Park on August 11th at 1 Pm with Quinella betting starting at 12 noon. The event is open to all women and the cost to play is $18.00 for 18 holes of golf, dinner after the event, including the tip, and the cost of prizes. The $18.00 fee does not cover green fees or the cost of a cart. Golfers will be placed on teams based on handicaps and pairings will be announced prior to the event. Please register to play in the Dorothy Smith Memorial Golf Play Day by August 6th by contacting 309-852-5215 or you can sign up at the Baker Park Golf Course. 

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Alexis Bral Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month

Congratulations to Alexis Bral on being named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for the Month of June. Alexis was nominated for Achiever of the Month because of her hard work on goals, her willingness to learn new jobs and her friendly and positive demeanor. In her spare time, Alexis playing with her dog and using her tablet. Alexis also enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews. Congratulations Alexis, from your friends at Regional Media. 

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Moline Police Announce Arrest in Frightening Wednesday Night Shooting Incident

One person is in custody following a frightening shooting incident in Moline on Wednesday night. According to the Moline Police Department, at approximately 7:54 Pm multiple people called 911 to report that a person in a vehicle driving in the area of the 700 Block of 42nd Avenue in Moline was shooting at another vehicle. Within 4 minutes of the initial 911 call, Moline Police had located the suspect vehicle traveling on the Milan Beltway. A chase ensued but the driver of the suspect vehicle was unable to maintain control of the vehicle as it entered onto the ramp of I-280 Westbound from Route 92. The vehicle went off the roadway into a field and the occupants of the vehicle attempted to flee before being captured by police. Arrested at the scene was 21 year oold Tyler L Walker Milan, charged with Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Aggravated Fleeing/Eluding a Peace Officer. A 14 year old passenger in the vehicle has not been charged with anything. The victim vehicle had damage from multiple gunshots but thankfully no one in the vehicle was harmed. The Rock Island County State's Attorney will meet with Police on Thursday to determine formal charges. 

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The Aristocrats Headline Kewanee Concert in the Park Tonight

The Aristocrats, a regular performer as part of the Kewanee Summer Concert Series, are back tonight to headline at Veteran's Park. The Aristocrats will be performing tonight at 6:30 Pm at Veterans Park and you are invited to come and enjoy the show. The Boy Scouts will once again handle the food vending at the event with food beginning to be served at 5 Pm and free dessert. The band gets started at 6:30 Pm as part of the Concert in the Park Series presented by the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce. 

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IL Research Links Severe Child Asthma and Family Chaos

The chaos of family life could be detrimental to health outcomes for children with severe asthma, new research shows. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at the connection between parent and child depression, family functioning and child asthma management among urban minority children with uncontrolled asthma. Lead author Sally Weinstein says her team discovered that in families with greater household chaos, child asthma control tended to be worse.

"This is a measure of family commotion, chaos, organization, routine, noise and disruption, just how things operate in the home," she explains. "What is the organization, routine and chaos level in their household on a day-to-day basis?"

And Weinstein notes these are not situations where a family is going through severe adversity, but rather struggling to balance the stress of daily life and routines and the demands of caring for a child with asthma. In the U.S., 8% of children in the have asthma, and they are twice as likely to miss school than other children. The study surveyed the families of minority urban youths because they have higher rates of asthma and are more likely to have poor outcomes. And Weinstein says children with uncontrolled asthma suffer extreme symptoms and often require the use of rescue medication.

"Daily demands are necessary to ensure the child's health and wellbeing, but also their ability to engage in activities," she points out. "Asthma is something that can be controlled but, when it gets more severe in terms of the symptoms, it really can interfere with quality of life and functioning."

Weinstein says the report recommends pediatricians and asthma specialists discuss parental and child depression with families, and offer support to help improve household routines.

"This is not something that providers are necessarily asking about when kids are coming in for asthma visits," she says. "But really taking the time to talk about how do things work in the household, what needs to be improved in terms of routines and organization could really have a big impact on outcomes."

 

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Governor Pritzker Dismisses Confederate Railroad Controversy

There's a continued uproar on social media over the state's decision to yank the Confederate Railroad from the concert lineup of the DuQuoin State Fair August 27th. Governor J.B. Pritzker offered his first comments on the subject Wednesday and he didn't feel the need to be delicate on the topic....


Some call it a double standard that rapper Snoop Dog will perform at the Springfield based State Fair despite an album cover with the feet of a cadaver with a toe tag labeled “Trump.” Pritzker calls that comparison apples and oranges....


The state is paying the Confederate Railroad the full $7500 contract they would have received if they performed. Nearby Marion's Harley Davidson dealer now plans to host the band September 5th. 

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Red Cross Reports Critical Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency need for blood and platelet donations. Earlier this summer the agency put out an emergency call for donors, which was met with some success. A spokesman says blood supplies remain critically low, with less than a three-day supply on hand. American Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo says you can help make a difference.

The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Find out more by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by going to www.redcrossblood.org.

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Social Security Highlighting Online Application Possibilities

If you need to apply for anything in the Social Security world, it is likely you can do it online. While online applications aren't for everyone, Jack Myers with Social Security says that is becoming an increasing avenue for many of their beneficiaries and in fact, they have started to recommend it.

Additionally, the application for a financial assistance program geared towards seniors is also available at the Social Security website. Myers says the Extra Help application is available online and is unique because a person can file on behalf of someone else.

Myers stresses it will never be a requirement for anyone to apply for benefits online but it is likely the most convenient and easiest option for you. 

Visit socialsecurity.gov for all the applications available online.

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Tuned In Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau 07-10-19

Katie Laleman with the Henry County Farm Bureau was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI. Today is the last day for people to sign up for the Henry County Farm Bureau Market Outlook Seminar at Lavender Crest Winery on Thursday evening. Sign today by close of business at the HenryCounty Farm Bureau by going to the Henry County Farm Bureau website linked here. Katie also talked about the upcoming Farm to Fork event with the Farm Burea on August 3rd. All of that and more in our Tuned In podcast below... 

 

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Today Wednesday July 10th is Caleb Cleaver Day in Kewanee

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, Mayor Gary Moore presented a proclamation to Caleb Cleaver. The proclamation made official that today, July 10th is Caleb Cleaver Day in Kewanee in honor of the young, 2 time cancer survivor... 

Mayor Gary Moore talked further about the proclamation and Caleb Cleaver in an appearance on WKEI's People to People Program... 

Caleb is scheduled to stop by the studios of WKEI on Wednesday at 9:05 Am for an appearance on the Regional Media Shopping Show, though that appearance is tentative as Caleb's family did suffer a loss this week with the death of Caleb's great grandmother. 

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Sludge Situation at Kewanee Waste Water Plant Not as Urgent as Previously Reported

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, Mayor Gary Moore stated that  the situation with the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant was not as urgent as the Council had been led to believe. Talking to WKEI on Tuesday's edition of People to People, Mayor Gary Moore stated that the plan to remove the sludge from the Waste Water Treatment Plan was underway with sludge being spread as it had been in the past and that the projection that the sludge situation was desperately urgent was apparently not the case... 

As for reports of a crack in the lagoon holding Kewanee's waste water, Mayor Moore stated that that is also not as urgent as previously believed....

Mayor Moore referring to Stan Bockewitz, owner of Bock Inc, the company hired to manage the Kewanee Waste Water Treatment Plant. Mayor Moore also addressed communication issues betweent the City and Bock Inc.. 

 

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Lineup Announced for Neville Brand Film Festival at the Wanee Theater This Weekend

The lineup for the very first Neville Brand Film Festival at the Wanee Cinemas, as part of the celebration of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival has been revealed. Diane Packee tells WKEI that fans can enjoy the movies of Neville Brand at the Wanee Cinemas this weekend beginning on Friday at 11 Am with a showing of Riot in Cellblock 11 or Laredo, showing on the two screens at the Wanee Cinemas. Then at 1 Pm there will be a showing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. On Saturday, fans can enjoy The Lonely Man starring Neville Brand alongside Jack Palance at 11 Am or Laredo also at 11 Am. Finally, at 1 Pm on Saturday, one of Nevile Brand's most famous roles, that of a kidnapper in the Disney movie That Darn Cat. Admission is free to enjoy the movies of Neville Brand as part of the Prairie Chicken Festival. 

 

Friday 

 

11 Am Riot in Cellblock 11 (1954) 

11 Am Laredo 

1 Pm The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960) 

 

Saturday 

 

11 Am The Lonely Man (1957) 

11 AM Laredo 

1 Pm That Darn Cat (1965) 

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Public Retiree Benefit Accounts in Illinois Under Pressure Not Seen in Other States

Public retiree benefit accounts that are paid in tax revenue see pressure in Illinois that they don't elsewhere due to their automatic annual raises. That from a new study from the Center for Retirement Studies at Boston College. Reporter Cole Lauterbach explains the pressures detailed in this new study in this report...

 

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Congressman Davis Says Count Everyone in Census Regardless of Immigration Status

Count everyone, that's the message from Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis. While President Trump fights to get a citizenship question on to the Census questionnaire, Congressman Davis simply wants everyone in his state to be counted regardless of their their immigration status. Davis is concerned that the state could lose seats in Congress without an accurate count of those living in Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Insurance Broker Questions State Tax on Managed Care Organizations

Questions are being raised regarding the state of Illinois tax on Managed Care Organizations that goes into effect in 2020. Insurance broker Dave Castillo of Davesurance.com tells reporter Greg Bishop that Illinois residents could be in for an increase in healthcare costs among other issues related to the new tax on MCO's...

 

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Country Star Dustin Lynch Performs Tonight at John Deere Classic Charity Concert

Country music star Dustin Lynch will headline a charity concert tonight in East Moline as part of the celebration of the John Deere Classic. Fans of golf and Dustin Lynch can help raise money for Birdies for Charity by attending the concert tonight at The Rust Belt in East Moline. Tickets for the show are $75.00 and benefit the Birdies for Charity Bonus Fund. The concert is standing room only at a new location for this year, The Rust Belt in East Moline, located at 533 12th Avenue in East Moline. In the past, the John Deere Classic Charity Concert had been held in Bettendorf at the Waterfront Convention Center. Doors open for the concert at 6 Pm and you can still get tickets by going to Eventbrite.com. VIP tickets for tonight's concert are sold out. 

 

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Second Half of July Set to Bring More Rain

Are you sick of the wet weather? Don't anticipate much of a change. Chris Miller of the National Weather Service says the rainy pattern is going to continue as we move through July. He explains the entirety of the corn belt could be looking at a pretty wet July. 

All is not lost, however. Miller points to later this month when things could turn around and become more typical of summer with hot and dry conditions.

Farmers might be curious to know that Miller is seeing the possibility of above normal temperatures come the harvest season. While that is the forecast, for now, he is not sure it will hold as that is hurricane season, which could shake things up.

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Another Illinois State Rep Weighs in on Confederate Railroad Controversy

While some people are planning a boycott of the Du Quoin State Fair because of the Confederate Railroad controversy, the area's State Representative Terri Bryant wants people to understand who a boycott would most affect. Bryant says there is a double standard to cancelling Confederate Railroad for confederate flags on an album cover while still allowing Snoop Dogg to perform at the fair in Springfield even with controversial images of President Trump on one of his album covers. But she says a boycott of the Du Quoin State Fair will most hurt residents of Southern Illinois who had nothing to do with the Confederate Railroad decision.

Bryant met with officials from the Governor's office Monday on the issue. She says the decision to cancel Confederate Railroad came from the Governor's office, and not from local fair officials.

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Abilities Plus Announces Jean German Scholarship Winners

Sarah Gomez of Kewanee and Brockton Reed of Cambridge have been selected as the recipients of the Abilities Plus Jean German Scholarship Award. A selection committee made up of Tracy Thorpe, Marylin Carpenter, Sue Herridge, Executive Director Kim Walker, Julie Landwehr and Ginny Pettit, made the final choices of Sarah and Brockton which was released to the media on Tuesday. Sarah Gomez is a senior at Western Illinois University with a major in Special Education. Brockton Reed is a senior at Saint Ambrose University Working on a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science. The Jean German Scholarship from Abilities Plus is given out annually to students in a human services field with career goals of working with individuals with disabilities. 

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Tuned In Historian Dean Karau on Kewanee's Brandenburg Migration

Historian Dean Karau is returning to Kewanee this weekend for a talk at the Kewanee Church of Peace on Saturday afternoon at 2 Pm. Dean will be in Kewanee to talk about what he has titled Kewanee's Brandenburg Migration and he talked to WKEI about the historic immigration to Kewanee that led not only to the founding of Kewanee's Church of Peace but branched off across the Kewanee map. 

Dean Karau made a video presentation to announce his historic conversation this weekend with details on what you can expect if you attend Saturday at 2 Pm at the Church of Peace, located at 28358 N 900th Ave, Kewanee, IL 61443. 

 

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People to People Mayor Gary Moore 07-09-19

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on Tuesday's edition of People to People. In our interview, the Mayor addressed questions about the agreement to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset. The Mayor also discussed the sludge situation at the Kewanee Water Treatment plant and the condition of the lagoon at the plant. The Mayor also addressed the ongoing work on East Street in Kewanee and his proclamation of July 10th, 2019 as Caleb Cleaver Day in Kewanee. Stream or download our interview with Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore below... 

 

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Questions Surround Neponset Ambulance Service Contract, Yaklich Releases Statement

At Monday night's Kewanee City Councilman Mike Yaklich, during the council communications portion of Monday night's meeting, asked about the status of negotiations for an agreement for the City of Kewanee to provide ambulance service to the Village of Neponset... 

While it appears there may have been a misunderstanding, WKEI has consulted both the resolution included in the Council Packet for the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting, the minutes from that meeting published two weeks later and our own Facebook Live coverage of the meeting for clarification.

 

In the minutes of the May 13th Kewanee City Council meeting it says. Full minutes of the meeting linked here

 

WKEI broadcast the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting and this audio points to a significant misunderstanding among the Council and the Mayor. 

Further audio from the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting appears to only deepen confusion over what was approved at the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting. 

The audio from the meeting however is contradicted by the actual resolution itself. From the May 13th Kewanee City Council Packet, Resolution 5161, page 37 of 113, of the Kewanee City Council Packet for the May 13th Kewanee City Council Meeting reads. 

 

Councilman Mike Yaklich gave the below statement to WKEI on Tuesday morning, July 9th. 

 

Providing Neponset Ambulance Service 

 

1. This is a labor contract. Mayor and City Council have NEVER approved a labor contract in the City of Kewanee without reading it. This is unprecedented. My understanding is from the May 13th City Council Meeting that we passed Resolution 5161 authorizing the City Manager to enter into negotiations for a 1 year contract, not to commit the City. It is in the minutes. Where am I wrong? 

 

2. There appears to be an intentional lack of transparency here. Nobody has answered our concerns expressed at the May 13th City Council Meeting. 

 

A. Are the Neponset residents paying less for Kewanee Ambulance service

than Kewanee residents? If so WHY? 

 

B. Are we hauling people from Neponset to Princeton, to Geneseo, instead of

Kewanee? We directed that patients go to Kewanee only. 

 

3 This is the not the first time the City Manager has overstepped his authority regarding negotiations. Where is the City Attorney in this? 

 

4. Where is the transparency if staff can disregard direction of the Mayor and City Council, the only elected officials. Unforunately this is a reocurring theme. If I had not asked about the status of these negotiations during council comments at the July 8th City Council Meeting none of us would no. 

 

Mike Yaklich 7-9-19

 

Asked about the situation on Tuesday morning during his appearance on People to People, Kewanee Mayor chalked the situation up to a misunderstanding. 

In the Kewanee City Council packet from May 13th, page 36 of 113, Kewanee Fire Chief Kevin Shook offered a suggested annual rate for ambulance service in Neponset of $20,075.00. There is no language in resolution 5161 however, that states an actual amount agreed to by both the City of Kewanee and the Village of Neponset. Page 37 of 113 of the May 13th Kewanee City Council packet. 

 

In our reporting of the Neponset Ambulance story, in a May 14th interview with Mayor Gary Moore, we reported "The next step will be City Manager Gary Bradley negotiating a contract with the Village of Neponset that will determine exactly how much Kewanee will be reimbursed for the costs of making ambulance runs to Neponset. The final negotiated contract will then be brought in front of the Kewanee City Council for approval."  

WKEI has reached out for further comment from Mayor Gary Moore and from City Manager Gary Bradley in attempt to further clarify this ongoing misunderstanding. 

 

Update: City Manager Gary Bradley tells WKEI that there is a contract between the City of Kewanee and The Village of Neponset to provide ambulance service and that the contract was what the council approved with their vote on May 13th. 

 

Mayor Gary Moore speaking to WKEI and responding to the audio posted by WKEI from the meeting on May 13th stated: "And listening to it again I would have to agree that I said we were authorizing the City Manager to enter into contract negotiations and it does appear that is what was voted on. In reading the minutes of the meeting it also clearly states authorizing a negotiation for a one year contract that the council can then review and approve. I will be reaching out to our City Attorney to get advice on how best to proceed with this situation."

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Kewanee City Council Wrap-Up for 07-08-19

The Kewanee City Council met on Monday night in Council chambers with a relatively small agenda. In the citizen participation portion of the meeting, former Council Member Andy Koehler addressed the council to ask for patience from the council regarding repairs he is intending to make to a building he owns near Central School. Mr Koehler is seeking a new contractor before he can move forward with planned repairs and he wanted to make sure that the City was aware that he was addressing the issue before anyone thought he was allowing the property to sit idle. 

In new business before the council, the City Council approved a new permit for Don Grabbe, owner of Guppy's LLC , for an outdoor beer garden on the bar property. Mr Grabbe addressed the council and was praised by Councilman Yaklich and Mayor Gary Moore for his planned improvements on the site and his efforts to communicate with neighbors and limit any potential noise complaints. 

The council then approved a continuation of non-conforming use for Jodi Pettitt, owner of the property at 200 East 7th Street, formerly the Time Out Sports Bar and Grill. Pettitt intends to reopen the business as a bar and grill and the continuance allows for her to pursue a new liquor license and reopen as a bar and grill at the location. 

The council acknowledged and accepted a $37,000 grant from the State of Illinois Housing Authority in a 5 to 0 vote. The grant will go toward the demolition of dilapadated homes and with this money, a portion of funds already budgeted for demolitions may now be used in other parts of the budget. The grant application had been for more than $75,000 but, in the end, the state granted $37,000. 

The Council agreed to a new contract with Nyhart for Actuarial Services related to accounting for pensions for Police and Firefighters in a 5 to 0 vote. 

And in a final bit of new business, Mayor Gary Moore proclaimed July 10th 2019 as Caleb Cleaver Day in Kewanee...


Mayor Moore followed up the proclamation with further words of praise for Caleb's strength... 


In council communications, Councilman Chris Colomer echoed the Mayor's sentiments regarding Caleb Cleaver...


Councilman Chris Colomer then talked about this weekend's Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival and praised the organizers... 


Council Member Mike Komnick praised the production of Mary Poppins as put on by the Kewanee Park District as did Mayor Gary Moore later during his closing comments. 

Not everything was so positive in council communications however as confusion reigned regarding the contract with the Village of Neponset regarding ambulance service. Councilman Mike Yaklich asked what the status of negotiations with the village was and was informed that a payment had been made by the Village of Neponset. 


According to the minutes of the May 13th, 2019 City Council Meeting, Mayor Gary Moore suggested that the Council proceed with negotiations for a 1 year contract which will then be reviewed and voted on by the council. We will attempt to clarify this issue with Mayor Gary Moore this morning on People to People on WKEI. 

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Kewanee Kiwanis Satellite Club Trains Trash and Tacos Tonight

The Kewanee Kiwanis Satellite Club is inviting members of the public to join them at the Amtrak Station tonight at 6 Pm for what they are calling Trains, Trash and Tacos. Ahead of the start of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival, the Kiwanis Satellite Club will be working to clean the area around the Amtrak Station in Kewanee. Members will be picking up trash around the train station beginning at 6 Pm this evening and then treating themselves to tacos and tequila at Fernandos. If you want to help out and beautify the area around the Amtrak Station you are invited. Tacos are not free, but you are welcome to hang out and treat yourself for your hard work with the members of the Kewanee Kiwanis Satellite Club after the clean up. 

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Henry County Democrats Announce Meat in the Park Event for July 20th

The Henry County Democratic Party will hold their annual meat in the park event at Windmont Park in Kewanee on July 20th. The event will go on from 12 Noon until 3 Pm at the North Pagoda at Windmont Park. Pork Chops, Sweet Corn and Beans will be on the menu for the event. There is no cost to attend Meat in the Park but a freewill donation would be appreciated. Henry County Democrats are also seeking volunteers to help serve the food and bring desserts for the event. You can contact the Henry County Democrats on Facebook for details on how to help out. 

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Victim Identified in Fatal Weekend Motorcycle Crash in Rock Island County

Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson has released the identity of a man killed in a motorcycle accident on I-80 in Rock Island County on Saturday. 33 year old Michael L. Birely of Keystone, Iowa was killed when it is believe that he had lost control of his 2007 Honda Motorcycle while traveling westbound on I-80 near exit 1 to Route 84 (Rapids City). Birely was rushed from the scene of the accident to a nearby medical facility where he was pronounced dead. The Illinois State Police and Rock Island County Sheriff's Office are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash. An autopsy will be performed on July 9th as part of the investigation. 

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Lawkmaker Questions Cancellation of Confederate Railroad Concert at DuQuoinState Fair

Country music band Confederate Railroad is at the center of controversy after the band's planned concert performance at the Duquoin State Fair. State Representative Darren Bailey wants to know why concert was cancelled and is raising questions regarding the cost of the cancellation. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois House Committee Investigating Removal of Books from Danville Prison

An Illinois House Committee is looking into the decision to remove books from the Danville Correction Center. Books, said to be an important part of an ongoing education program at the Danville Correction Center were removed by the Illinois Department of Corrections without warning or reasons given. Reporter Kim Howard has more... 

 

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Senator Durbin and Other Members of Illinois Congressional Delegation Seeking Fedal Funds for Illinois

Senator Dick Durbin and other members of the Illinois Congressional delegation are seeking federal money to supplement the recent passage of the state's $45 billion dollar infrastructure plan but no consensus has been reached yet as to how much or whether there will be any federal dollars for the state of Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more...

 

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OSF and Illinois Farm Bureau Promoting Mental Health Tool for Farmers

OSF Health Care in conjunction with the Illinois Farm Bureau promoting a tool for farmers that targets stress, anxiety and depression. It’s called the OSF SilverCloud and it’s available through an app and website says Knox County farmer Matt Goedeke.


Anyone who lives in a region with an OSF HealthCare facility can access this digital tool by computer, tablet or smartphone. There is no requirement to be an OSF patient. More information is available at “osf.silvercloudhealth.com/signup.”

 

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IFB Farm Income & Innovations Conference Scheduled for Later this Month

The 2019 Illinois Farm Bureau Farm Income and Innovations Conference set for later this month. IFB senior economist Mike Doherty says there is plenty of information on the docket.


The conference is July 31st at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal. More information is available at “ilfb.org/FIIC”. 

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Changes To Tobacco Buying Underway

Maybe lost in the mix at the start of the month was the increase of taxes on cigarettes and the change that you now need to be 21 to buy them. The changes were approved by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers and signed by Democrat Governor JB Pritzker. Supporters of the changes hope it gets people to quit smoking or to never start. The State’s Doctor – the Director the Illinois Department of Public Health – Ngozi Ezike says barriers to smoking prove a good return on investment. 

Illinois is one of more than 20 states that’s bumped the age to use tobacco to 21.

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People to People Diane Packee and Deirdre Scott with the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

The schedule is finalized for this weekend's Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival and Diane Packee and Deirdre Scott joined WKEI's People to People program on Monday morning to rundown the incredible amount of family friendly free events that are part of the annual Prairie Chicken Festival. Stream or download today's People to People Podcast below. Download a copy of the schedule for this year's Prairie Chicken Festival here or read it below... 

THURSDAY, July 11th 
SIDEWALK DAYS – various downtown participants 
3:00-6:00pm – drop off art for Amateur Art Show & Competition at PL Damron's, 206 N. Tremont St. 
5:00pm-6:30pm – Discussion & History of the Black Knights, American Legion, 1509 Railroad Ave. 
FRIDAY, July 12th 
SIDEWALK DAYS – various downtown participants 
8:00am-Dusk – Chalk art registration opens, artists can work until dusk, at old go-kart track west of the Station Restaurant at 300 W. 3rd St. 
8:00am-Dusk – Giant Sand Pile in parking lot next to Dooley's, corner of Tremont and Third Streets. 
11:00am-3:00pm – Neville Brand Film Festival at the Wanee Theatre, free-will offering. 
1:00-4:00pm – Kewanee Historical Society & Museum open, 211 N. Chestnut St. 
5:00-9:00pm – Reiman's Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Cruise-In, corner of Chestnut & Second Streets. 
5:00-9:00pm – KayaMBee Band, 300 W. 3rd St., bring lawn chairs! 
5:00-9:00pm – Beer Garden at Station, 300 W. 3rd St., bring lawn chairs! 
SATURDAY, July 13th 
SIDEWALK DAYS – various downtown participants 
7:00am - 11:00am – "Guns & Hoses" Breakfast by Kewanee Police & Fire Departments, 114 N. Chestnut St., Johnson Appliance Parking Lot 
7:00am - 7:00pm – Flea Market, 300 W. 3rd St. behind Station Restaurant 
8:00-11:00 - YMCA/Kewanee Animal Shelter "Step with your Pets" Run/Walk at West Park 
8:00am - 1:00 – Kewanee Farmer’s Market at Berrien Park, downtown by Amtrak Station 
8:00am - 2:00pm – Antique Tractor Drive & Display, Burger King to Regional Media Parking Lot 
8:00am - 3pm – Chalk art continues, with judging between 3-4pm, at old go-kart track west of the Station Restaurant at 300 W. 3rd St., winner's announced at 4:00pm 
8:00am-5:00pm – Uncle Bud's Apple Cider Slush, Sutton & Assoc. Parking Lot at 100 N. Main St. 
8:00am-5:00pm – Self Guided Mural Tours 
8:00am - Dusk – Giant Sand Pile in parking lot next to Dooley's, corner of Tremont and Third Streets 
9:00am - 3:00pm – Arts, Crafts & Snack Vendors at Berrien Park, downtown by Amtrak Station 
9:00am - 4:00pm – Amateur Art Show at PL Damron's, 206 N. Tremont St. 
10:00-11am – Andrews Family Magic Show, New View Furniture, 117 W. 2nd St. 
10:00-1:45 – Free Mural Tours in Henry Co. Transportation Buses, 300 W. 3rd St., meet on north side of Historical Society by big Kewanee sign 
10:00am - 2:00pm – "Survive Alive Smoke House", KFD, in parking lot next to Dooley's, corner of Tremont and Third Streets 
10:00am - 2:00pm – KPD, Roscoe the Drug Dog, in parking lot next to Dooley's, corner of Tremont and Third Streets 
10:00am - 2:00pm – "A Taste of Henry County", Berrien Park, downtown by Amtrak Station 
10:00am - 3:00pm – Face Painting by Nik, Berrien Park, W. 3rd St. 
10:00am - 3:00pm – FunBelievable Balloons, Berrien Park, W. 3rd St. 
10:00am-4:00pm – Antique Fire Truck Rides, corner of Loomis & Tremont Streets 
10:00am - 4:00pm – Kewanee Historical Society open, 211 N. Chestnut St. 
11:00am - 2:00pm – United Way Train kids ride at Berrien Park, W. 3rd St. 
11:00am-3:00pm – Neville Brand Film Festival at the Wanee Theatre, free will offering 
Noon-1:00pm – The Community Band, Chalk Art Site, W. 3rd St. 
Noon-1:30 – Furry Friends Petting Zoo, 300 W. 3rd St. by Station Restaurant 
2:00-3:00pm – Andrews Family Magic Show, New View Furniture, 117 W. 2nd St. 
2:00-7:00pm – Hog City Cruise-In, 2nd St. 
3:30-4:00pm – the Duck Pond game sponsored by Mc Donald's, kids 8 & under, W. 3rd St./chalk-art site 
4:00pm – Student Artwork winning school announced at chalk-art site 
4:00pm – Art Show winners announced at chalk-art site 
4:00pm – Chalk Art Competition winners announced at chalk-art site 
6:00pm – Dedication for Kewanee Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corp at mural site, reception following at American Legion Post 31 

 

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Tuned In OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Monday 07-08-19

Carrie Boelens and Deacon Marty from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center were our guests on Tuned In on Monday. Carrie brought Deacon Marty to the show on Monday to talk about end of life planning. It's not an easy topic, but Deacon Marty is available to anyone in the community for advice on end of life planning and making sure that your family and your doctor are fully aware of how you want to be taken care when your time comes. Stream or download today's Tuned In podcast below... 

 

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One Person Dead in Rock Island County Motorcycle Accident

One person is dead following a weekend motorcycle accident in Rock Island County. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred on Saturday, July 6th, at approximately 10:18 Pm in the area of I-80 Westbound at Exit 1 to Illinois Route 84, Rapids City. Evidence indicates that the driver of the motorcycle lost control leading to a crash and the rider being thrown from the motorcycle, a 2007 Honda Motorcycle. The name of the victim is being withheld at this time. 

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Getting to Know Kurt Loncka Featured Artist at the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

Kurt Loncka is the featured chalk artist at this year's Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival and Kurt was our guest on People to People on Friday to talk about Chalk Art and getting into creating chalk art for the first time. In the interview we talked about Kurt's background and how he got into art...

Kurt says that what he enjoys about participating in the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival is the collaboration with other artists... 

What's next for Kurt after the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival? He's got a big project in Toulon lined up...

You still have time to sign up and take part in the chalk art. Follow this link here, to sign up and participate along with Kurt Loncka at the 2019 Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. 

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Unincorporated Parts of Illinois Face Census Annexation

Ahead of the 2020 census there is a move by some cities, such as Batavia, Illinois, to annex unincorporated areas nearby in order to boost their census numbers. This may help the City when it comes to potential help from state and federal funds but it does little for the unincorporated homeowner. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Illinois Political Science Professor Offers Cynical Assessment for How Lawmakers Are Replaced in Non-Elections

When a lawmaker vacates a seat before the end of their term, the party that lawmaker belongs to, gets to choose their replacement. One Illinois University Professor feels that this party politics based appointment process favors party cronyism over those best qualified to fill seats in the legislature. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois to Deal with Fallout from Less Reliance on Coal

By the end of 2019, the State of Illinois will be a great deal less reliant on coal fired power plants. One company that has operated coal fired plants in Illinois plans to shutdown 40% of its facilities as part of an agreement with the State of Illinois by the end of the year. The question that has yet to be answered however is what impact will the loss of these plants have on the state? Reporter Scot Bertram has more... 

 

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Legendary Redneck Fishing Contest Cancelled Due to Flooding

If the invasive Asian Carp living in the Illinois River could listen to a radio newscast or cry for that matter, they probably would not shed a tear today. That's because the legendary Redneck Fishing Tournament in the Mason County town of Bath has been cancelled because of persistent flooding. The event was set for August 1st through 3rd but recent rains have prolonged flooding concerns. Once floodwaters recede, the Bath riverfront would require cleanup and repairs. The fishing tournament is not the domain of the expert angler or someone looking for the best bait. It's more like shooting fish in a barrel, with panicky carp leaping out of the water once boat motors start. Hundreds of the leaping fish have been caught by some boaters in a matter of hours. The event has had another cause, helping military veterans in need. The website, OfficialRedneckFishin.com says that the tournament will be back in 2020 and invites everyone to make donations to help Homeless Veterans by calling 877-4Aid-Vet. 

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Abilities Plus Announce Generous Donation from Kewanee Care

Over the weekend, Abilities Plus announced that they had received a generous donation from the folks at Kewanee Care. According to a release from Abilities Plus, the good folks at Kewanee Care had held their Family Fun Day Fundraiser last month featuring a petting zoo, a bake sale, face painting and more and the proceeds raised at that fundraiser were then donated to Abilities Plus. In total, Kewanee Care raised $400.00 for Abilities Plus, a donation delivered by Kewanee Care's Nikelle Tellier and Christina Walker to Abilities Plus Executive Director Kim Walker. Generous donations like this one from the folks at Kewanee Care go along way to helping Abilities Plus continue to provide services to those who truly need them. Thank you and well done Kewanee Care on your generous donation to Abilities Plus. 

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Kewanee South Park Street to Close for Sewer Repair Monday

South Park Street in Kewanee will be closed beginning at 7 Am on Monday, July 8th for sewer repair. The announcement from the City of Kewanee came over the weekend that a portion of South Park Street from South Park to West Oak Street will be closed from 7 Am until work is completed some time on Tuesday, July 9th. Residents are asked to avoid the area if possible while this work is taking place. If you have any questions regarding the sewer repair work on South Park Street you may contact the City of Kewanee Public Works Department at 309-853-2611. 

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Step with Your Pets Fun Run Walk Saturday as Part of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival

The YMCA of Kewanee is getting in on the fun of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival weekend with a brand new event for pet lovers. The YMCA is teaming with the Kewanee Animal Shelter for the very first Step With Your Pets Fun Run Walk on Saturday, July 13th from 8 Am until 11 Am. Bring your pet to West Park on Saturday, July 13th, The prizes include a Prairie Chicken costume contest where the best looking pet dressed as a Prairie Chicken will will win a prize. After walking or jogging the route at West Park with your pet, stick around for even more prizes to be handed out. Registration for the Step with Your Pets Fun Run Walk closes on Wednesday, July 10th at 12 Noon so stop by the YMCA of Kewanee to get signed up.You can still sign up after Wednesday, July 10th but the cost to enter increases. To register your family for the Step with Your Pets event the cost is $35.00. For individual entries the cost is $25.00. If you decide to register after this Wednesday, July 10th, the cost goes up to $40.00 per family and and $30.00 individual entries. You can get $5.00 off your entry fee if you bring a donation for the Humane Society of Henry County. Pets available for adoption from the Kewanee Animal Shelter will be at the event for you to consider for adoption. 

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People to People Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival Featured Artist Kurt Loncka

Kurt Loncka is the featured artist at the 2019 Kewanee Praire Chicken Chalk Art Festival. Kurt joined us on People to People to invite people to sign up to take part in the Chalk Art at the Go-cart track west of the train station on Saturday, July 13th. Kurt talked to WKEI about learning about chalk art and developing his artwork to include chalk art on top of the incredible work he was already doing. Stream or download our interview with Kurt Loncka below and don't forget to sign up to take part in the Chalk Art at the Kewanee Praire Chicken Chalk Art Festival by going to DowntownKewanee.com. 

 

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The Crown Prince of Zydeco C.J Chenier is Coming to Galva on Sunday

CJ Chenier is known as The Crown Prince of Zydeco and he is bringing his good time zydeco roots to Galva this Sunday night for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series. In this interview we talked to CJ Chenier about his family, his musical background and how he learned to play the instrument he's become known for, the accordion. CJ Chenier was our guest on WKEI on Friday... 

 

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Wildwoods Performing this Weekend at the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series

The Wildwoods band from Omaha, Nebraska will be playing this weekend at the Levit Amp Galva Concert Series. The Wildwoods are a formerly three piece band, now a five piece folk-acoustic-rock band who just released a brand new album in April of this year. The album is called "Across a Midwest Sky" and we talked about the new record and inspiration with Chloe and Noah Gose today on WKEI...

 

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Mary Poppins Tonight Presented by the Kewanee Park District

Tonight is the night for Mary Poppins on stage at the Peterson Auditorium at Kewanee High School and presented by the Kewanee Park District. Ellen Johnson is the driving force behind this remarkable production and she talks about how she came to decide on presenting Mary Poppins... 

Lily Blouin of Galesburg is taking on the role of Mary Poppins in this production and she tells WKEI that this is a return to the stage for her... 

Lily Blouin was in studio with WKEI this week and favored us with a sample of what you can hear this weekend in Mary Poppins... 

Tickets for Mary Poppins tonight at 7 Pm, Saturday night at 7 Pm and Sunday afternoon at 2 Pm are just $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors, members of the military, teachers and students. 

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State Rep Builds Social Media-Podcast Studio in Springfield Office to Stay Connected to Voters

Chicago based State Representative Jamie Andrade is working to stay in touch with constituents via social media and podcasting. State Rep Andrade has spent $20,000 to put a state of the art social media studio in his Springfield office in order to create professional looking and sounding social media posts and podcasts on state issues that he hopes will connect with voters. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois State Senator Seeking Further Regulation of Vaping Products

Illinois State Senator Terry Link was pleased when the Illinois legislature voted in favor of regulating vaping products with the same restrictions as those applied to cigarettes, including increased taxes on those products. Now, State Senator Link is looking to further the State of Illinois' regulation of vaping products with new legislation. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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State of Illinois Home Appreciation Value Lagging Well Behind Other States

Home equity growth in the state of Illinois is well behind the average of nearly every other state. That from a report by the economic watchdog website Wirepoints with numbers provided by the home sale website Zillow.com. Our reporter Cole Lauterbach takes a closer look at the dire numbers... 

 

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Kewanee Fire Department to Continue Hydrant Flow Testing Next Week

The Kewanee Fire Department will resume flow testing of fire hydrants on Tuesday, July 9th. The plan is for the fire department to continue flow testing of hydrants each Tuesday and Thursday, weather permitting from 8 Am until 12 Noon. Areas where testing is being conducted can expect lower than normal water pressure or discolored or rusty water during the testing. Work in the following areas will begin on 7/9/19 and will be worked on throughout the second and third weeks of July:

 

·         The areas between Cambridge Road and North Chestnut Street, from West 12th Street to North 800 Avenue

 

·         The areas north of the railroad tracks between North Main Street and North Walnut Street, from the Ameren lot at 412 N Main to East 7th Street

 

·         The areas between North Main Street to North East Street, from East 8th Street to Hepner Drive, including one hydrant inside Northeast Park

 

The Kewanee Fire Department will be working to make sure the hydrants are operating at capacity, they will collect pressure data and flush the mains to alleviate sediment build up. 

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County fair season in full swing

The county fair season is now in full swing in Illinois. And the tradition continues to be a big deal in all parts of the state. As for the financial picture at the local level. Tim Norman is with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. 


The county fair season kicked off June 4 in Illinois with the Macon County Fair in Decatur and runs all the way through Sept. 15 with the Gallatin County Fair in Ridgway. 
Among the county fairs next week is the Moultrie-Douglas County Fair in Arthur. It was 50 years ago when Johnny Cash drew 50,000 fans to that venue for a performance. Coming next in our area is the Stark County Fair in Wyoming which gets underway on July 28th. 

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Better Business Bureau Issues Warning Regarding Timeshare Exist Business

While many people who have entered into timeshare agreements over the years have said they love them, there are plenty others trying to get out of contracts they say don't offer what is promised. As a result, the timeshare exit industry popped up several years ago, but the Better Business Bureau warns some of these companies may not deliver the results they promise. Getting out of a timeshare can be difficult, but it is possible. Sometimes, you can even do it yourself. But one tactic some timeshare exit companies use that is an outright lie, according to Better Business Bureau investigator Don O'Brien, is claiming the contracts will automatically be passed down to your children when you die.

O'Brien says you should beware of making upfront payments for the work if you decide to go with one of these companies, and pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge if you are not satisfied with the results. 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Deliver Speech in Springfield

The Illinois Democratic County Chairs Brunch at Springfield's Crowne Plaza has drawn some big names in recent years. Now they add another with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi booked to serve as keynote speaker next month. Current presidential contenders like Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and South Bend Mayor Pete Butigieg have addressed the crowd on Democrat Day during the State Fair in recent years, but with a flooded field of candidates, County Chairs President Kristina Zahorik thought change would be good..


Zahorik says the event continues to grow....


Other past speakers include then future President Obama, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Minnesota Senator Al Franken before his fall from grace. Tickets go on sale July 15 at the Democratic County Chairs website www.ILDCCA.org. 

 

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Increased Law Enforcement Presence Across Illinois for Holiday Weekend

It's not exactly a news flash, the Independence Day weekend will bring a bumper crop of police assets to the highways to look out for traffic threats like drunk and distracted drivers. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is urging motorists to do the right thing this weekend and drive sober. Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt notes State Police and other agencies will be able to use a new law pursued by Secretary White...


Haupt notes mixing alcohol and a set of keys isn't exactly the patriotic thing to do....


It will also be the first weekend for significantly larger traffic fines that became effective Monday.

 

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Be Safe On the Water This Weekend

Boat safe… that’s the message from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources this summer. This holiday weekend the IDNR has some tips to be safe on the water. 

If you’re on a jet ski no matter you’re age you need to have a have a life jacket on.

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for 07-08-19

The Kewanee City Council will meet on Monday night at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall. Among the items on the agenda at Monday's meeting, the Council will consider a special use permit for an outdoor beer garden for Don Grabbe, owner of Guppy's Lake LLC. The council will also hear from Jodi Petitt, owner of what was the Time Out Sports Bar and Grill at 200 East 7th Street. Petitt is seeking to reopen the location and is seeking a continuance of non-conforming use from the council that will allow her the chance to obtain a liquor license and other permitting to perform improvements to the location to re-open. The City of Kewanee will then accept a grant from the Illinois Housing Authority. The long in the works grant under the guidance of Keith Edwards, will be put toward the budget for the City of Kewanee for tearing down dilapadated homes. The City Council will then discuss contracting with a new company, Nyhart for actuarial services related to pensions for Police and Fire Department employees. And the meeting will wrap up on a very positive note with a declaration of Wednesday, July 10th as Caleb Cleaver Day in Kewanee. 

 

The full agenda is below...

 

Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
4. Presentation of Bills and Claims
5. Citizen Participation
6. Business:
a) Acceptance of the minutes of the Planning Commission from its meeting held on Thursday,
June 27, 2019.
b) Consideration of an Ordinance Granting a special use permit to Don Grabbe for the property
located at 831 lake Street
c) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the continuation of the nonconforming use at 200 E
7th st as A B-2 Business District, General retail zoning district.
d) Consideration of a Resolution Acknowledging the award of a grant from the Illinois Housing
Development authority and the acceptance of the grant.
e) Consideration of a Resolution to authorize the city Manager to enter into an agreement with
Nyhart for the actuarial services
f) Proclamation declaring July 10th 2019 Caleb Cleaver day
7. Council Communications:
8. Announcements:
9. Adjournment

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Governor Pritzker Defends Gas Tax Increase

On a weekend when people are hitting the roads and filling tanks the anger and grumbling continues about the motor fuel tax jumping 19 cents. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker has heard it but he says after decades of not raising revenue to fix roads the state has so much to repair and rebuild.

Pritzker says drivers are going to save money in the long run on car repairs and getting to places faster when roads are repaired or built.

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WKEI Celebrity Interview Nathan's Hot Dog Contest Contestant Michelle Lesco

Michelle 'Cardboard Shell' Lesco finished second at the 2018 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and she's back again to challenge her rival Miki Sudo at the 4th of July tradition at Coney Island in New York. Michelle talked to WKEI on Wednesday about Competitive Eating, how it works, how to train and how she uses competitive eating to raise money for charity. Stream or download our interview with competitive eater Michelle Lesco below... 

 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ready to Celebrate the 4th of July in Northeast Park

Today is the day to celebrate America and the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce would like you to celebrate at Northeast Park today. The day will begin at 12 Noon with a free swim at Northeast Park from 12 Noon until 6 Pm. Then, the Kewanee Veterans Council will present the colors at 7:30 Pm just before a live performance by the band Joker's Wild who will be introduced by Sean Kernan from WKEI. That show will then lead into the Fireworks Display which is set to begin at dusk, approximately 9:45 when the awesome fireworks show will get underway. There is no cost to attend fireworks or the concert in Northeast Park tonight. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the show. 

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WWII Veteran: Ignorance, Indifference Greatest Threats to America

Seventy-four years after he saw the flag raised on Iwo Jima, a World War II veteran has an Independence Day message for America: The fight for liberty goes on, and today's enemies are ignorance and indifference to justice.  Ninety-four-year-old Bob Pennoyer saw the American flag raised on Iwo Jima. He describes that moment as embodying the spirit of liberty, as people from different faiths, races and nationalities fought and bled together to defeat tyranny. From the success of the civil-rights movement to the fight for women's reproductive rights and today's Parkland students speaking out against gun violence, Pennoyer says he sees the fight for liberty continue. 
And, he adds, it takes work to preserve our democracy.

"America is an example to the nations of the world, but we're not perfect, and we have to acknowledge we're not perfect," says Pennoyer. "We can do better and we must do better, and the most important thing is to be active by voting and electing people who want to bring the country and the community together and serve the nation."

This Independence Day, Pennoyer is calling on Americans' courage to fight today for the core values for which so many have given their lives - equality, freedom and self-government. He believes now is a good time to put aside politics and remember the values that unite us. And what are they, some might ask? The private sector has been vital to creating the country's wealth, but Pennoyer says equal opportunities are needed for people from all walks of life.

"We need the government to ensure a level playing field so that the power that's accumulated by big corporations doesn't obliterate the right of small business to survive and thrive in our nation," he says.

He sees another key factor in protecting our freedoms as ensuring that our country works toward peace and avoids unnecessary conflicts.

"While I personally felt that the Iraq war was one of the worst blunders in history, the people who served in that war were willing to risk their lives for the nation," he adds. "And they deserve our highest respect and should be honored and helped when they come back to civilian life."

Pennoyer's generation is often referred to as "the greatest," but he believes every generation has the qualities that will save and serve liberty.  Using a reminder of the WWII America sacrifices on D Day in France, and a historic line from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to illustrate the fight against the enemies of freedom, Pennoyer hopes his call to action helps inspire generations of today to do their part. As he puts it, "I'm filled with hope knowing that, long after I am gone, the people who hear this message, imbued with the millions like them, imbued with the spirit of liberty, building on the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives on a beach at Normandy, will strive to save democracy and freedom as they 'trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.'"

 

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Kewanee the Doll is Now for Sale Online

About a year ago, a random search on Facebook helped WKEI stumble upon the Kewanee Doll Project. Creator Ellen Callen had, unbeknownst to those of us here in Kewanee, taken the name Kewanee to use for her doll creation as a tribute to the Pottawatamie Tribe to which a family member of Ellen's was a member. Ellen set out to create a doll that would capture the culture and the history of the tribe and yet would still be fun for kids to play with and now, Ellen tells WKEI that Kewanee the doll is now for sale... 

Find out how to get your very own Kewanee Doll by going to the Facebook page for Ellen's company Via-E. And listen to our complete interview with Ellen talking about the cultural sensitivity and care that went into creating Kewanee by steaming or downloading our interview below... 

 

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Tuned In Roger Hawk Henry and Stark County Retired Teachers

Roger Hawk is the spokesperson for the Henry and Stark County Retired Teachers and he was our guest on Tuned In on WKEI on Tuesday. The Henry and Stark County Retired Teachers will hold their next meeting at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. 

You can stream or download our complete interview with Roger Hawk in our Tuned In Podcast below... 

 

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People to People Diane DeMay Talks Prairie Chicken Festival

Diane DeMay is among the many hardworking folks who have volunteered to organize and promote the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. Among the highlights of this year's Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival is the fact that a pair of 4th of July traditions are now part of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. Both the Guns and Hoses Pancake Breakfast and the Antique Tractor Show have been given new homes as part of the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival... 

You can hear our complete People to People conversation with Diane DeMay and get all of the Prairie Chicken Festival news you need by streaming our downloading our People to People podcast below... 

 

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Illinois State Police Reminding Drivers to Drive Safe and Sober This Holiday Weekend

The 4th of July Holiday weekend is among the busiest travel weekends of the year across the country and in the State of Illinois. Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson tells WKEI that there is simply no excuse for driving under the influence any time of the year but especially on a weekend like this with increased traffic and more families than usual on the road, the great potential for a tragic accident... 

Stay Sober or Get Pulled Over remains the message from the lllinois State Police. 

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Galesburg's Lily Blouin is Mary Poppins this Weekend in Kewanee

Galesburg's very own Lily Blouin is playing Mary Poppins this weekend in the Kewanee Park District production of the Broadway adaptation of Mary Poppins. We spoke with Lily along with the play's director Ellen Johnson and her assistant director and choreographer Lindsey Edwards on Wednesday morning on WKEI and Liliy gave us a sample of her incredible voice... 

To further tease this incredible local production, Ellen Johnson sent along a recording of the rehearsal for this weekend's show... 

 

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Tax Breaks for Some Homeowners Mean Extra Costs for Others

A new report from the Lincoln Institute for land policy indicates that tax breaks for some homeowners are costing businesses. The report states that when some in Illinois receive property tax breaks in Illinois the tax burden shifts to other areas. Our reporter Cole Lauterbach has more on this report from the Lincoln Institute... 

 

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Outgoing Western Illinois University President Gets Golden Parachute

Some lawmakers say their could be other deals among higher education leaders in the state of Illinois that are able to duck around new laws that cap so-called Golden Parachutes for outgoing leaders. The latest example of a deal that skirted the law signed by Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016 is that of now former Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas who will receive more than $560,000 over the next two years for stepping down as WIU President. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Holy Trinity Parish to Have Polish Food for Sale on July 4th Despite Loss of Francis Park Tradition

It's unfortunate that the annual Francis Park 4th of July celebration has been cancelled but at least of the traditions are carrying on in a new location. One of those traditions are the remarkable polish food dishes served up by Holy Trinity Parish Polish National Church. Father Jerry Rafalko told WKEI that despite the loss of the Francis Park location, lovers of Polish cuisine can still get their favorite polish dishes by stopping by the church on Thursday... 

Father Jerry went on to lament the loss of the Francis Park Celebration but also celebrate the continuing of the Polish food tradition... 

Stop by the Parish Hall at Holy Trinity Parish Polish National Church on Thursday morning, July 4th beginning at 9:30 Am and continuing through 1:30 Pm to enjoy a traditional Polish meal. 

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New Approaches to Food Security for Illinois Corn Growers

Some Illinois growers are using the power of NASA in a new project aimed at addressing food security, from improving crop outputs to working their land more efficiently.

Local farmers with the Illinois Corn Growers Association are working with University of Illinois researchers and NASA on a new Farmer Data Cooperative. Dr. Laura Gentry, the association's director of water quality research, said farmers are proud to feed the nation, and the project will help them grow more and reduce environmental impacts.

"So hopefully, bring value back to our farmers and to maintain the productivity of our fields," she said, "so that our farmers are making enough food, fuel and fiber to fuel our country."

Farmers will be able to access special NASA datasets and work with researchers to develop tools that will help them predict and address inefficiencies in the ways their farm operations are managed.

Gentry said some of the tools that could be used as part of the cooperative will focus on new market opportunities, land-use efficiency and nutrient management. When to fertilize crops is one example.

"Things that help farmers make better decisions when they're applying nitrogen fertilizer in season, helping them use NASA harvest satellite imagery to predict the growth stage and how much nitrogen has been taken up already," she said, "and then use that as a budget to decide how much nitrogen the crop is deficient."

She said farmers who participate will be part owners in the cooperative and have influence over developing the new tools and technologies. They'll pay into the cooperative by authorizing use of their farming data for further development and research.

 

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State Representative Dan Swanson Criticizes Governor Pritzker on Gas Price Comments

State Representative Dan Swanson was critical of Governor J.B Pritzker regarding the Governor's recent comments on gas prices. In a discussion with the media earlier this week as the new 19 cent per gallon tax became the law, Governor Pritzker stated that Illinois residents would save money in the long run on gas prices because the infrastructure bill will create safer, more reliable road conditions. State Representative Swanson was critical of the Governor's assessment... 

In a wide ranging interview with WKEI, State Representative Dan Swanson talked about the Illinois economy and potential signposts ahead that taxes could continue to go up as long as the state of Illinois continues to rely so heavily on volatile sources of revenue such as the gas tax, the cigarette tax and upcoming taxes on gaming and marijuana...

You can stream or download our complete People to People interview with State Representative Dan Swanson below... 

 

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Pritzker Says Gas Tax Hike Shouldn't Have Been as Jarring

The Illinois gas tax doubled this in a bid to help with infrastructure needs. The news has set off a social media storm with many border area residents saying they'll go to neighboring states to buy their gas. Governor J.B. Pritzker says the increase should have been small but not only was the tax not increased in nearly three decades, there was never a reaction to inflation....


Pritzker says some Illinoisans who will pay the tax most frequently have fewer complaints...


The per gallon tax increased on Monday from 19 to 38 cents. The Illinois Policy Institute estimates inflation adjustments will increase the tax by a penny each year. 

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Still Warm, But Intense Heat Should Let up Later in Week

As for this recent round of real intense heat hovering over much of Illinois this week, will it continue? DTN Chief Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson expects some moderation.


Anderson says the rainfall amounts for Illinois over the next five days should total anywhere between three-tenths to an inch of precipitation. 

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Pritzker Touts Benefits of Capital Bill and Gaming Expansion in Southern Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was in Southern Illinois Tuesday to tout the benefits of the recently passed Capital Bill and Gambling Expansion legislation. At Walker's Bluff, in Carterville, Pritzker said the presence of a casino won't be a gamble for the economy near Carterville...


Pritkzer says a number of economic engines in the Little Egypt region are getting a boost...


Pritkzer is also visiting members of the Laborers Union in Marion.

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Christmas in July is Today at Kewanee High School

Today is the day for Christmas in July at Kewanee High School beginning at 1 Pm. Last year, crowds wrapped around the Good's Gymnasium at Kewanee High School to participate in this annual tradition in which items are collected as donations to Christmas in July by volunteers in and around Kewanee High School and then the public is invited to attend and choose items that they would get to take home for free. Items such as clothing, furniture, school supplies, electronics and sporting equipment. To take part simply show up at Kewanee High School at the Goods Gymnasium and be patient. Doors open at 1 Pm. The event is intended to help those in need in Kewanee and any items that do not get picked at this event will be donated to the Salvation Army. 

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Tuned In Father Jerry Rafalko 07-02-19

Father Jerry Rafalko returned to Tuned In on Tuesday. Father Jerry had missed the past couple of appearances on the show due to scheduling issues but finally returned today to talk summertime and grief and how even the brightest of sunny days can be affected by grief and loss and the best ways to cope with that grief, tools to process emotions and live happier whiile still remembering loved ones lost. Father Jerry Rafalko was our guest on Tuned In and you can stream or download that interview below...

 

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Portion of Geneseo Downtown Evacuated Due to Broken Gas Main

A portion of downtown Geneseo, including Geneseo City Hall and the Police Station have been evacatuated due to a break in a gas main. WKEI spoke with Geneseo City Administrator Dawn Tubbs this afternoon and received this update... 

At last check, NICOR, the company repairing the gas main believes that the work will be done and the evacuation order lifted in anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. That update came at 1 Pm. WKEI will continue to monitor the situation and bring updates as we get them. No one was injured in the vehicle accident that led to the Gas Main Break.

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State Senator Chuck Weaver to Hold Townhall Meeting in Kewanee Tonight

State Senator Chuck Weaver will host a townhall meeting this evening in Kewanee to discuss the latest news out of Springfield. The Townhall will take place at the Kewanee Community Unit School District #229 Office located at 1001 N. Main St. in Kewanee and it is free to attend. State Senator Weaver will discuss gas prices, taxes, infrastructure, gambling and legalized marijuana. The townhall gets underway at 6 Pm this evening. State Representative Dan Swanson is also expected to attend the townhall meeting. 

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Spider-Man Far from Home Opens Today in Kewanee

Spider-Man Far from Home opens today in Kewanee, at the Wanee Cinemas. Tom Holland is back in the role of Peter Parker and Spider-Man although, after nearly being snapped out of existence, Peter is no longer entirely comfortable with his superhero persona. Seeking an escape, Peter leaves Spidey behind when he takes a school trip to Europe and hopes to simply spend time with friends and get close to the girl he likes, MJ (Zendaya). Peter's plans go out the door when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) shows up and drafts him back into the superhero fight to battle alongside Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) against monstrous creatures called Elementals. 

 

Spider-Man Far from Home picks up the story of Peter Parker in the aftermath of Avengers Endgame and star Tom Holland says that, for Peter Parker especially, everyone is still feeling the effects of The Snap and the miraculous return of many thought lost... 

Spider-Man Far from Home is getting spectacular reviews from critics, it stands at 92% positive reviews from critics at RottenTomatoes.com. The first show is today at 4:15 at the Wanee Cinemas with a show at 7 Pm as well. 

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Chicago Mayor Wants City Pension Consolidated into State Pension Fund

Following a meeting with Governor J.B Pritzker on Monday came word that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot talked to Governor Pritizker about consolidating Chicago's overburdened pension fund into the overall state pension fund. Both funds are desperately underfunded but Governor Pritzker stated in a press conference that all options must be explored in the pension fight in Illinois. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more from Chicago... 

 

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State Hoping to Have Sports Gambling in Place in Time for Football Season

When will the structure be in place for Sports Gambling in Illinois? That question was posed to State Senator Terry Link who told reporters that the plan is for the sports gambling regulations in Illinois to be in place to support sports gambling in Illinois in time for the start of Football season. That said, many skeptics remain regarding the promised positive impact of sports betting in Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Il Agriculture Secretary Working on Regulatory Framework for Legal Marijuana Growers

The Illinois Secretary of Agriculture is moving quickly to create a regulatory framework to govern those who will cultivate marijuana for legal, recreational use as of January 1st 2020. Ag Secretary John Sullivan says that though it is a big undertaking, the state will be ready on January 1st. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

Meanwhile, Greg Bishop continues his reporting on the role of the Ag Department in the legalization of recreational marijuana as Secretary Sullivan explains that they are not licensing growers, merely designing the legislative framework... 

 

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Don't Forget Sunscreen this Summer or Anytime

Summer time means sun exposure and that can lead to skin problems such as sunburns but also increased risks for skin cancer. Dr Hayley Ralph from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center tells WKEI that while Summer is when we all tend to be aware of our sun exposure, there are sun exposure risks all year round. She also told our host that he's not paranoid for wearing sunscreen even in the studio surrounded by windows and lots of direct sunlight... 

Dr Hayley Ralph and Carrie Boelens there in that clip from Monday's edition of Tuned In on WKEI. You can hear the entirety of our conversation about sun safety and all of the things happening at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center by streaming or downloading our interview below... 

 

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Mary Poppins Takes Flight Courtesy of the Kewanee Park District at Kewanee High School This Weekend

Kewanee is in for a treat this weekend as the Kewanee Park District Present Mary Poppins on the stage at Kewanee High School. Based off the wildly popular Broadway adaptation, this Mary Poppins is portrayed by Lily Blouin who was kind enough to give WKEI a sample of her remarkable talent singing "Practically Perfect." 

Tickets:
Adults - $6
Students - $5
Seniors (60+)/Teachers/Military - $5
(Tickets will be sold at the door beginning an hour before the show!)

Where:
Kewanee High School Petersen Auditorium
1211 E. 3rd St
Kewanee, IL 61443
(Auditorium is located on the West side of the school, indicated by a large awning.)

When:
July 5-6, 7:00pm
July 7, 2:00pm
(Seating will begin 30 minutes prior to the show!)

There will be a 15 minute intermission during each show.

Director - Ellen Johnson
Assistant Director and Choreographer - Lindsey Edwards
Music Directors - Alex Binek and Thomas McElwee
Technical Director - Johnny Williams III

 

This version of Mary Poppins, featuring a book by Academy Award and Tony Award winning writer and creator Julian Fellowes adapts the story of P.L Travers and expands upon the music created for Walt Disney's beloved classic movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. 

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Plans Announced for Kewanee Black Knights Historical Discussion

Plans for the historical discussion of the Kewanee Black Knights have been announced. Organizer Joy Hernandez tells WKEI that the discussion about the founding and history of the Kewanee Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corp will get underway at 5 Pm and feature herself as the MC, and speeches by reporter Dave Clarke and Mike Dewalt from the Kewanee Historical Society. Other potential speakers could be added to the schedule and there will be a Q & A portion following the speakers. The historical discussion of the Kewanee Black Knights will take place at the Kewanee American Legion Post beginning at 5 Pm and over at 6:30 Pm on Thursday, July 11th. The event will be broadcast on the WKEI Facebook page and recorded for a special live edition of Kewanee Back When on WKEI. The historical discussion is part of the celebration of the Kewanee Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival which will also feature the painting and unveiling of the brand new Kewanee Black Knights Mural on the side of the Spets Brothers building. 

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Be Safe With Fireworks

With the Fourth comes fireworks and many people won’t leave the displays to the experts. The State Fire Marshalls’ office says one type of firework legal in Illinois are sparklers … but even those present plenty of danger if they are not used safely.

That’s JC Fultz. The list of prohibited fireworks includes roman candles, paper lanterns propelled skyward with a lit flame inside and bottle rockets.

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Cost of Illinois Traffic Tickets Go Up this Week

Illinois State Police reminding drivers about a change in the fine structure for traffic offenses effective July 1. It will cost more says Trooper Jason Wilson.


Wilson says texting while driving becomes a moving violation effective July 1, meaning the offense can impact your insurance rates.

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June Temperatures Normal But Very Wet

Depending on where you live in Illinois, June may have seemed very wet and cool but that isn't exactly how it shaped up. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service says the start of June was certainly wet and cool as rain fell across the area for several days in a row. 

But thanks to the final two weeks of June, which were hot and dry, Miller says that changed the trends they saw in June and it became more typical for summertime. While it was a wet month, temperatures only came in a few degrees below normal. 

The hottest day of the month was actually this past weekend when temperatures in some areas reached the lower 90s.

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Drivers Wind Up Saving Says Pritzker

As fuel prices rise this week in accordance with an increase motor fuel tax there are worries that cash strapped drivers will have to pay more to fill tanks and drive to work. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says it will be possible to save money driving around Illinois when driving is safer and easier.

Pritzker also highlighted savings to families once his progressive income tax could possibly become law.

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Kewanee Zoning Board Meeting Announcement for Wednesday, July 17th

One item will be on the agenda when the Kewanee Zoning Board convenes again on Wednesday, July 17th. According to a release from Kewanee Director of Community Development, Keith Edwards, the item on the agenda is a request from Kim Cernovich at 1002 Western Avenue in Kewanee for a 6 foot high, chain link fence at the front and side street yard property line. The next meeting of the Kewanee Zoning Board will begin at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall and is open to the public. 

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International Conductor Chosen as New Head of Knox Galesburg Symphony

Vlad Vizireanu has played with esteemed orchestras around the globe, including recently heading up the famed London Symphony Orchestra. Now, Mr Vizireanu is bringing his visionary talent to Galesburg as the new conductor for the Knox-Galesburg Symphony. A product of a 2 plus year global search, Vizireanu brings a wealth of international acclaim and experience to the Knox-Galesburg Symphony. Vizireanu was part of a pool of 50 international candidates that, over two years, was whittled down to 25 and then 10 before he was finally offered the position. Vizireanu's first season gets underway later this month with an announcement of his first show as the conductor of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony to be announced soon at KGSymphony.org. 

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People to People Kewanee Friends of the Animals Raising Money for Pound Addition

Kewanee Friends of the Animals are attemtping to raise funds for an addition to the Kewanee Pound. Kathy Werderman and Jennifer Russell with Friends of the Animals joined WKEI on Friday's edition of People to People and Kathy explained what the goal of the fundraiser was... 

The fundraiser is being run through donations from Facebook, linked here, and through donations that you can drop off at the Kewanee Pound. You can hear our complete People to People interview with Kathy Werderman and Jennifer Russell by streaming or downloading below... 

 

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Political Corruption in Chicago Costs All of Illinois But Are Things Improving?

An expert in the area of studying fraud and corruption says he has found a glimmer of hope in recent raids on the homes of Chicago Alderman and members of political machines in Chicago. David Parker of Saint Xavier University and their Center for the Study of Fraud and Corruption believes these raids demonstrate a changing landscape for how corruption is being dealt with in Chicago. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Discusses Stretching the Gas Tax Dollar

Governor J.B Pritzker addressed the doubling of the state gas tax as of today, July 1st by talking about ways in which the state can attempt to stretch the gas tax dollar and get the most out of the money that Illinoisians will now spend on the most expensive gas price in the nation. Repoter Greg Bishop has more on the Governor's plans to stretch your tax dollar... 

 

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Henry County Farm Bureau Announces Next Featured Speaker for Market Outlook Series

The Henry County Farm Bureau will hold their next Market Outlook Seminar on July 11th at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona. Chip Nellinger, market analyst and former commodity market reporter for the RFD Radio network and several independent radio stations, will be the featured speaker that night says Katie Laleman with the Henry County Farm Bureau... 

Gven the challenges of this years crop market, market analysis and data along with grain marketing will be more important than ever. Chip Nellinger will try and give farmers in Henry County a leg up at the Marketing Outlook Seminar, July 11th in Colona at 6:15 Pm. Reservations for the event must be made by July 3rd to guarantee a meal and the cost to attend is $75.00 if you wish to attend the Market Outlook Seminar series of events or $25.00 to attend just this one event on July 11th. Contact the Henry County Farm Bureau to make your reservation and purchase your ticket. Call 309-937-2411. 

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Abilities Plus Honoring Plus One Legacy Members

Last week, members of the Abilities Plus Plus One Legacy Society were honored at a gathering at Shirley's Cafe in Annawan. Four new members joined the Plus One Legacy Society since the last time the group gathered including Thomas Kirley, formerly of Kewanee, Kimberly Walker of Hoopole, Donal Ward, formerly of Walnut and one new member who preferred to remain anonymous. Plus One Legacy Society members are people who have pledged gifts or willed donations to Abilities Plus upon their passing. 

 

PLUS ONE Legacy Society Members pictured left to right front row are Carol Nyert representing the Lois M. Spiegel Estate, Mary Yarger representing the Ruby B. Swanson Estate, Ethel Pries representing the Mayme Ethel Martin Estate, and Kathy Nelson and Julie Landwehr, PLUS ONE Legacy Society Members.  In the back row left to right are Deanna Hoge, Janet Walters, Randy Walters and Sharon Broers representing the Donal Ward Estate, Dick Baum representing the Wilbert & Carol Keppy Foundation, Connie and Mike Zerull, PLUS ONE Legacy Society Members, Michael Pries representing the Mayme Ethel Martin Estate, Garett Plumley representing the Esther DeSplinter Estate, Kimberly Walker, PLUS ONE Legacy Society Member and Ellie Plumley representing the Esther DeSplinter Estate.

 

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City of Kewanee Summer Roadwork Program Continues on Tuesday, July 2nd

The City of Kewanee has announced that the Summer Road Work program will continue work on Tuesday, July 2nd, in portions of the city. Road milling and resurfacing will be taking place Tuesday and Wednesday in the following areas... 

 

·         Cambridge Road from Lexington to Irwin, as well as going 150' north of Irwin

·         Chestnut Street from 2nd to 3rd

·         David Street beginning at Sunset Drive and going 220' south

·         Edwards Street from Division to Mill

·         Elliott Street from Oak to Central

·         Harrison Street from McMullen to Railroad Avenue

·         Lake from Ladd to Cole

·         West Third Street from Main to Chestnut

·         Tremont Street from Third to Loomis

·         Walnut Street from 2nd to 3rd

 

On Tuesday 7/2/19, no street parking will be allowed on the east side of Chestnut from 2nd to 3rd, on Elliott from Oak to Central, and on Walnut from 2nd to 3rd.

 

On Wednesday 7/3/19, there will be no street parking allowed on any of the above mentioned areas.

 

These areas will be closed to through traffic while work is taking places.  Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible, and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas.  Work in these areas will be completed before the 4th of July holiday.

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City of Kewanee 4th of July Week Schedule

With the 4th of July this Thursday, the City of Kewanee has announced hours for trash and recycling pick up for the holiday week. According to the City of Kewanee, there will be no changes to the trash, landscape waste or recycling pick up for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday trash and recycling pick up will be moved to Friday to accomodate the holiday. City of Kewanee offices and the transfer station will be closed on Thursday for the holiday. 

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Black Hawk College Announces Students Graduating with Honors

Black Hawk College has announced the names of students who graduated with honors back in May of this year. According to the release from Black Hawk College, 12 students graduated Summa Cum Laude, meaning they completed 60 hours with a grade point average at or above 3.95. Among the Summa Cum Laude graduates were Nicholas Sheets of Kewanee, James Plotner of Toulon and Connor Williams of Annawan. Full list is below. 

 

7 Black Hawk students graduated Magna Cum Laude including Dylan Decker of Atkinson, Hanna Thompson of Cambridge, and Kayla Kendall of Kewanee. Full list below. Magna Cum Laude graduates must complete 40 hours with a grade point average of 3.95 or higher. 

 

11 Black Hawk students graduated with Cum Laude honors including Owen Curry of Alpha, Rylie and Shannon Smith of Annawan, Emanual Damas Jr and Lainee Winter of Kewanee and Bethany Swanson of Wyanet. 

 

Congratulations to the Honors Graduates of Black Hawk College, May 2019. 

 

All hometowns are in Illinois unless otherwise noted.

 

Summa Cum Laude

Annawan -- Connor Williams

Brazil, IN -- John Mace

Galesburg -- Jacob Gengenbach

Kewanee -- Nicholas Sheets

Mineral -- Jeffrey Flint

Morrison -- Justin Tate

Portland, IN -- Elizabeth Schoenlein

Stoughton, WI -- Krystalle Halverson

Toulon -- James Plotner

Warren, IN -- Cora Hill

Williamsville -- Kayla Humphres

Wyoming -- Elizabeth West

 

Magna Cum Laude

Atkinson -- Dylan Decker

Cambridge -- Hanna Thompson

Eau Claire, WI -- Caleb Peppel

Fairbury -- Grayson Cottrell

Kewanee -- Kayla Kendall

Serena -- Griffin Tuftie

Sparta, MI -- Adam Parker

 

Cum Laude

Alpha -- Owen Curry

Annawan -- Rylie Smith, Shannon Smith

Kewanee -- Emanuel Damas Jr., Lainee Winter

Lenzburg -- Lindsey Crabtree

McHenry -- Katelyn Faith

Somonauk -- Grace Ciesielczyk

Syracuse, IN -- Caleb Kauffman

Taylorville -- Madison Taylor

Wyanet -- Bethany Swanson

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Should Illinois Schools Have Surveillance Cameras?

Should Illinois schools have surveillance cameras? A Chicago based company is pitching schools across the state about the idea of having surveillance cameras put into schools. The effort, according to the company is to give students and parents piece of mind regarding safety concerns for everything from school bullying to active shooter situations. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Bustos: Several issues Holding up Final Passage of USMCA

A couple of issues continue to hold-up final passage of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement or USMCA. They're both complicated says Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.


Bustos serves on both the House Appropriations and Ag Committees.

 

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Illinois State Police Release Numbers in Latest Scott's Law 'Move Over Law' Enforcement Effort

The Illinois State Police have released numbers related to the enforcement of Scott's Law, aka the Move Over Law, for the month of June. According to the Illinois State Police, Troopers made 13 Scott's Law related stops, stops of vehicles that failed to move over when seeing vehicles on the side of the road, law enforcement vehicles or otherwise, with flashing emergency lights. This enforcement effort also yielded 13 distracted driving citations, 29 total arrests or citations and 35 written warnings for various violations. The Illinois State Police reminds everyone that failure to move over is a crime in Illinois and that two Illinois State Police Troopers have lost their lives in accidents where the driver of a vehicle failed to simply move over or slow down per the law. Enforcement efforts in Rock Island and Knox County bring the total of Scott's Law offenses in Illinois State Police District 7 to 27 in the month of June alone. 

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