Local News Archives for 2019-10

Kewanee at Odds with Illinois EPA Over Mill Street Creek

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency claims that Mill Street Creek is a navigable waterway. This means that the City of Kewanee is not allowed to dump treated water into that waterway as it has done in the past. Mayor Gary Moore says that is a rather ludicrous notion as no boat could fit into this creek.

The Illinois EPA claims that the Mill Street Creek is a fork of the Spoon River and because they consider it navigable, the City of Kewanee could face fines for dumping treated water there... 

No word on when a final EPA ruling on the Mill Street Creek situation will come. 

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2nd Annual Martin Motion Robotics Team Trivia Fundraiser at the Flemish American Club

The 2nd annual Martin Motion Robotics Team Fundraiser is set for this Saturday night at 7 Pm at The Flemish American Club in Kewanee. Members of the team and their supporters will be on hand to raise money to support the Martin Motion Robotics Team, a STEM based robotics team that combines the talents of students from across Henry and Stark County to compete in competitions that combine the skills of engineering, logistics, science and math. Sid Dev is one of the representatives from Martin Engineering that helps to oversee these remarkable young people... 

Matthew is a member of the Robotics team and he tells WKEI about the benefits of being part of the team and what you are supporting when you attend this Saturday's trivia fundraiser... 

Teams of 10 are invited to participate in Saturday night's Trivia contest. There will be a cash bar with proceeds benefiting the team and Kewanee Physical Therapy and Rehab Specialists along with The Lott, are putting up a $500.00 cash prize for the winning trivia team on Saturday. You can hear our entire interview with Sid and Matthew in our People to People podcast, linked here

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Voting for Levitt Amp Grant for Galva Opens Friday

Voting for the next Levitt Amp grant for the Galva Levitt Amp Concert series begins tomorrow. John Taylor and Jason Bates are making the media rounds to remind everyone that though the Levitt Amp grant has been awarded to Galva two years in a row, your votes still matter to make the next series of concerts happen... 

John Taylor and Jason Bates have created a new Facebook page called Heartland Connections as a way to draw all of their many concert efforts together. Not only can you find a link to voting for the next Levitt Amp grant competition but Heartland Connections has links for concerts in Galva, outside Levitt, Bishop Hill, Toulon and Kewanee with the possibiliy to bring together even more venues and promoters... 

Heartland Connections is essentially an arts hub for the concert lovers across Henry and Stark County.

Be sure to cast your vote at concerts.levittamp.org on Friday morning to help keep the Levitt Amp spirit alive for another year. 

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State Rep Spain Calling on Drug Companies to Work Together

State Representative Ryan Spain, in response to a shortage of a desperately needed drug that treats children with cancer, is calling on drug makers to work together. Pfizer, the makers of the drug Vinchristine, which is used specifically in treating childhood cancers, has run into production delays in getting the drug to the market creating a dangerous shortage.

Teva Pharmaceuticals stopped making Vinchristine last year which left Pfizer as the only producer. State Rep Spain is sponsoring House Resolution 572 which urges all stakeholders to work together to alleviate the production issues surrounding Vinchristine and get this important drug to those who need it. 

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House Speaker Denies Being Target of Investigation

Democratic Rep. Luis Arroyo has been arrested; This summer Democratic State Senator Martin Sandoval had his offices and home raided by the FBI and questions swirl about who’s also connected to any other possible wrong doing. How about the longest serving Speaker of the House in the nation? Democrat Mike Madigan isn’t showing any signs of stress when asked about his name showing up in federal subpoenas.

Madigan’s name came up in subpoenas tied to the City Club of Chicago and in connection with an investigation into ComEd’s lobbying practices.

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State Senator Weaver to Hold Coffee and Conversation Event in Speer

State Senator Chuck Weaver will be returning to our area after the end of the veto session in Springfield. State Senator Weaver has booked his next Coffee and Conversation event in Speer on November 8th. Mr Weaver will sit down and discuss issues with constituents at Tanner's Orchard, 740 IL-40 in Speer, from 8 Am to 9 Am. Anyone is invited to attend and participate in the conversation. In a statement announcing the event State Senator says “What a great opportunity to enjoy a fall morning at Tanners Orchard, one of the great landmarks in Central Illinois. I look forward to getting together with constituents to discuss our communities and our state,” Weaver said. “I would like to hear what my constituents think are the next steps we should take as a result of major legislation passed in Springfield earlier this year, such as recreational marijuana, full-term abortion, and a $15-per-hour downstate minimum wage. We also plan to discuss the impact that consolidation would have with regards to the need for major pension reform. Finally, I will answer citizens’ questions about my ‘no’ vote on the graduated tax constitutional amendment.” If you'd like more information you can contact Senator Weaver's office at 309-693-4921. 

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DNR Encouraging Hunters to Acquire CWD Kit

DNR officials are hoping hunters will take chronic wasting disease, or CWD, kits. DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says they will be taking samples through the end of the archery season into January.

dnr.illinois.gov is the website for information on all deer permits and CWD sample information plus anything else you need regarding the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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Ameren Electric Supply Rates Drop

Lower bills are on the way for Ameren Illinois electric customers. The change comes due to a decrease in the price of wholesale electricity which is purchased for Ameren Illinois customers through a competitive procurement. Utility spokesman Marcelyn Love says the supply costs are passed along to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis with no mark-up or profit.

The new lower rate, effective in October, is listed as the "Basic Generation Services" charge on energy bills. A typical residential customer who uses 10,000 killowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year will see an annual savings of about $22, according to Love.

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Trick or Treat Tips

Trick or treat is coming up tonight on Halloween and everyone wants to do it safely. Police Officer John Dorsey with the Springfield Police Department says use common sense when heading out, bringing a few key things and never hesitate to reach out to authorities if you need help.

Check with you local community on official trick or treat hours and dress warmly!

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Pam Tillis to Play the Orpheum Theater in Galesburg November 9th

A member of Country Music royalty is coming to the Orpheum Theater in Galesburg. Pam Tillis, a legend in her own right, the daughter of country music icon, Mel Tillis, will be in Galesburg for a show on Saturday, November 9th. Tickets are on sale now for the show at the Orpheum in Galesburg at a cost of between $33 and $45.00. On top of being the daughter of Country Music royalty, Pam Tillis has 6 number 1 hits of her own, 17 top 10 hits and was 1994's Female Vocalist of the Year. 

Tickets are available by contacting the Orpheum Theater in Galesburg by going to GalesburgOrpheum.org or call 309-342-2299. 

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Obscure French Horror Film Named Most Popular Among Illinois Horror Fans

An obscure 2008 French horror movie has been determined to be the most popular horror movie among fans in the state of Illinois. Comparitech, a research company, determined the most popular horror movie in each of the 50 states and determined that Martyrs, a 2008 French horrror movie, was the most popular among Illinois horror fans. According to Comparitech, data from the IMDB Top 100 Horror Movies and Google Trends were used to determine the highest rated horror movie for each state. Martyrs is among the more disturbing horror movies of this young century. The film was directed by Pascal Laugier and stars Morjana Alaoui and Mylene Jampanoi as sisters who are subjected to an experiment involving severe torture. Regional Media Film Critic Sean Kernan is a huge fan of Martyrs but tells WKEI that Martyrs is not a movie for all audiences. The film contains extreme violence and horror imagery and narrowly avoided an NC-17 in its 2008 theatrical release and is now available in an unrated version on many on-demand rental services. Viewer discretion is very much advised if you decide you want to see what has been determined to be the most popular horror movie in Illinois. To see morre of Comparitech's study of the most popular horror movie in each state, click here

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City of Kewanee Will Not be Changing Trick or Treat Times

The City of Kewanee has announced that despite the predicted snow and cold temperatures, the city will not be changing the trick or treat time set for October 31st, Halloween. According to a release from the city of Kewanee, trick or treat in the City will occur from 5 Pm to 7 Pm on Thursday, October 31st despite the weather conditions. The City of Kewanee is also promoting that local nursing homes and Black Hawk College are offering indoor trick or treat opportunities. Black Hawk College has their trick or treat trail tonight from 5 Pm to 7 Pm at Black Hawk College. Teachers and student groups will be on hand and dressed up to give out candy tonight at Black Hawk College and their is no cost to attend. If you'd like more information on the Trick or Treat Trail at Black Hawk College you can contact Vashti Berry at 309-854-1711. The trick or treat trail is free and indoors tonight from 5 to 7 Pm. 

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Galva City Council Member Resigns

A member of the Galva City Council decided to resign following Monday night's Galva City Council Meeting. Long time Council Member Beverly Everett informed the Council of her resignation following the meeting. No reason was given when WKEI spoke to Mayor Rich Volkert on Tuesday. We asked Mayor Volkert about the process or replacing a member of the City Council... 

A decision on a new Galva City Council Member will be made prior to the next Council Meeting in late November. 

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Kewanee Mayor Discusses Door Fence and Code Enforcement

The most talked abouit story in Kewanee this week is the City Council decision to deny a variance to Brenda and Pat Weston for their 'Door Fence.' On Monday night, the City Council followed the recommendation of the City of Kewanee Zoning Board of Appeals, which voted 3 to 1 against allowing the variance. The Council vote was 5 to 0 including the vote of Mayor Moore who stated he was conflicted over this as he considers the Weston family to be friends. In the end, the Mayor says he sided with what constituents told him they wanted... 

With the Door Fence denied many citizens have complained that the City of Kewanee has allowed other violations to go unchecked while the Door Fence was targeted. WKEI asked Mayor Moore if he felt the City had a code enforcement problem... 

That said, Mayor Moore stated that the City will be looking into any violations that citizens bring forward regarding code violations. 

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OSF to Hold Forum on What Employers Should Know About Legal Recreational Marijuana

The legal use of recreational marijuana is fast approaching in the state of Illinois. As of January 1st it recreational marijuana will be legal and employers have many concerns as to how they are able to deal with employees who choose to use recreational marijuana. OSF Healthcare is launching a series of informational meetings for employers to educate them as to what they can and cannot do when dealing with employees and legal weed... 

That's Vice President of Occupational Health at OSF Troy Overholt. Troy says there are many things employers may not know about employees and legalized recreational marijuana. One aspect would be that employers cannot discriminate against those that use marijuana... 

Marijuana use cannot keep you from hiring a potential employee but once you have hired the employee the employer can choose to fire someone who comes to work under the influence or simply admitting that they use recreational marijuana... 

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will hold an informational meeting for employers regarding the guidelines for how to deal with employees and legalized recreational marijuana on Wednesday, November 6th from 7:30 Am to 9:15 Am. Troy Overholt will be the featured speaker and answer questions from employers in attendance. Overholt will be joined by Cheryl Crowe from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center and Stark County State's Attorney James Owens. To attend, register online at OSFSaintLuke.org by November 4th. 

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State Representative Dan Swanson on Arroyo Corruption Arrest

The fallout from the arrest of State Representative Luis Arroyo was felt everywhere in the capital on Tuesday. Lawmakers spoke to the media throughout the day to offer their reactions and call for further action on ethics reform. Among those offering their thoughts was State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha... 

Representative Luis Arroyo remains a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Arroyo has thus far only resigned his committee chairmanship but through a lawyer has stated that he will not resign from his position in the House. 

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City of Kewanee Posts Advertisement Seeking New City Engineer

The City of Kewanee has placed an ad seeking applications and resumes for a new City Engineer. City Manager Gary Bradley informed the media on Monday night, during the Kewanee City Council Meeting, that an ad had been placed at Careers.ASCE.org, the official website for the American Society of Civil Engineers. The ad lays out the qualifications and some of the benefits of the job of City Engineer for the City of Kewanee. You can read the ad for yourself linked here. Some of the highlights from the ad "City Engineer will have responsibility for development and implementation of short and long-term Capital Improvement Plans and budget development for the maintenance of infrastructure; Illinois EPA and DOT compliance and communications; preparation and maintenance of accurate records, reports, evaluations and proposals on existing and proposed infrastructure." In qualifications... "Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a minimum of three (3) years of experience as a Registered Professional Engineer in the Civil / Municipal engineering, with  Current State of Illinois Professional Engineers License, or ability to obtain same within 4 months of employment, and thereafter maintained current for the entire tenure of employment." 

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Knox County Area Partnership to Showcase Trade in Presentation to Kids from Knox, Warren and Henry County

A west-central Illinois private-public economic partnership hosting a trades and manufacturing showcase Wednesday in Galesburg for area students. The Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development's showcase will show students different aspects of the trades or manufacturing industries and give them hands-on experience to learn about the different opportunities outside of college. President of the partnership, Ken Springer, says that 18 different employers from the region will be participating. He adds that students from Knox, Warren, and Henry counties would be participating in the showcases throughout the day.

The first showcase will run from 9:30-noon at Galesburg High School and from 4-6:30 at Sandburg's Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the main campus. The evening session at Sandburg is a chance for students and their parents to explore what career and technical education opportunities are available to them at Carl Sandburg College.

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McCombie Reacts to Rep Arroyo Arrest and Need for Ethics Reform

Earilier this week, and prior to the arrest of Chicago State Representative Luis Arroyo, State Representative Tony McCombie was hard at work helping to draft a House Joint Resolution calling for further ethics reform in the state capital. Now, McCombie has had the chance to react to Rep Arroyo's arrest... 

McCombie says the reason that the Joint Resolution on ethics reform has been slowed down is because it requires a level of transparency that makes some lawmakers uncomfortable... 

It's unlikely that the Joint Resolution will make it to a vote this week during veto session though that is what Representative McCombie intends. 

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Portions of Illinois Could Receive 2 to 3 Inches of Snow this Week

The first signs of snow being seen in Illinois and more expected later in the week. Some areas north of the Quad Cities and west of Rockford saw one-to-three inches on grassy areas Monday night into Tuesday morning, according to Freese-Notis meteorologist Dan Hicks.

East and south of those areas he expects the system to produce from a half-inch to 1.5 inches of rainfall and that includes parts of Illinois. He believes most of Illinois will finish October with normal to above normal precipitation.

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SIUE Chancellor Focuses on Change

Change was the theme of SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook’s annual University Address Monday afternoon. Pembrook covered a lot of ground in his time at the podium in front of various stakeholders and dignitaries in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom. He spent some time touching on the University’s Strategic Plan, as well as an overview of the many successes over the past year. Pembrook says they are currently looking at ways to increase the recruitment of a diverse student body.

Pembrook notes the state has identified outmigration as a concern for all of Illinois’ 12 public universities and says a marketing campaign will soon be rolled out by the state to try and curb that trend. He also says the SIU Board of Trustees is currently conducting a national search for a new SIU System President, and how to better allocate state funding. Both of those may be addressed at the December meeting. You can see Pembrook’s full speech at siue.edu/tv

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Reactions to Rep Arroyo Arrest Still Reverberating Through Capital Building

The arrest of State Representative Luis Arroyo on charges that he attempted to bribe a State Senator to get that Senator's vote on legislation intended to benefit one of Arroyo's lobbying interests, has completely overshadowed the start of this week's veto session in Springfield. Representative Ryan Spain of Peoria is among those who've offered their thoughts on the matter and the need for further ethics reforms in Springfield... 

 

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Senate Approves Cap To Insulin Costs

The Senate approves a measure to cap the out of pocket cost for insulin at $100 a month. The cap comes for individuals who have insurance plans that the state can regulate. Supporters of the bill say this is a needed step as costs are increasing at rates that can’t be met by many families. Democrat State Senator Andy Manar is one of the sponsors and says even though not every family will have their costs capped at $100 this is a measure needed to help families who can’t get a discount from a drug maker

The House now gets to tackle the issue of capping insulin costs. The measure has the support of the Governor.

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Kewanee City Council Wrap-Up 10-28-19

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, the Kewanee City Council held a brief hearing of a Bond Issuance Notication. Mayor Gary Moore read a series or proclamations announcing a bond issuance related to the repaying of past borrowing for the City of Kewanee. The BINA is a necessary part of the issuing of bonds. 

 

Also as part of Monday Night's Kewanee CIty Council Meeting, Denise Bulat from the Bi-State Regional Commission gave a presentation to the Kewanee City Council regarding the census and how the city of Kewanee can help in promoting getting everyone counted. The City, County and State are each affected by an accurate count of the census and that creates a real need to get the count accurate and making sure that under-represented populations especially go out of their way to get counted. 

 

The City Council then amended a city ordinance regarding in home businesses. This was part of a hearing that would go on to allow Ellie Sabella of 315 Roosevelt Avenue to continue her in-home dog washing business under a specific set of rules created by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council. The Council voted in favor of Ms Sabella's request 5 to 0. 

 

The City Council approved a contract with Patriot Trailer Manufacturing to repair the trash chute at the Kewanee Transfer Station. Patriot had the lowest bid on the project at $33,100.00. The repair work will close the transfer station for one day. 

 

The City Council unanimously approved of entering into an agreement with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services after it was determined that the City of Kewanee only stands to gain from an agreement which will only take effect if the federal government approves funds to help Medicaid patients pay for EMT and Ambulance services. Under the bill, the Federal government would begin reimbursing the state and by extension, the City of Kewanee for such unexpected expenses for Medicaid patients. 

 

 

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Kewanee City Council Votes Down Door Fence

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, the Kewanee City Council voted unanimously against a variance for Pat and Brenda Weston and the so-called Door Fence. In conversation regarding the fence, Brenda Weston stated that using doors to create a fence was a creative choice intended to protect shelter dogs that Brenda and Pat house...

Councilman Mike Yaklich stated his opposition to the fence as someone who lives in the same neighborhood as the Westons.... 

Mayor Gary Moore stated that he appreciated the idea behind the fence but that most people who had spoken to him regarding the fence had stated opposition. 

The vote was unanimously opposed to the variance, 5 to 0. With the vote against the variance, the door fence will be forced to come down. 

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Galva Freedom Fest Committee Presents $20,000 Check to City of Galva

At Monday nights Galva City Council meeting, members of the Galva Freedom Fest Committee presented a check for $20,000 to the City of Galva. The money raised at charity events that ran all year long is intended to help payback the City of Galva for supporting Freedom Fest year after year. The Facebook post announcing the donation on the Galva Freedom Fest page on Facebook, listed the lengthy number of fundraisers that the committee holds in a year to make Freedom Fest possible and make it possible for Freedom Fest to payback the city. Galva Mayor Rich Volkert will talk about the check from the Galva Freedom Fest as a guest on People to People at 9:35 Am on WKEI. 

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DNR Promoting Schoolyard Habitat Grants

Illinois teachers are encouraged to apply for grant funding through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Spokesperson for DNR, Rachel Torbert indicates they are targeting educators for their Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant to help establish pollinator habitat.

There is plenty of grant money available for this grant and Torbert says there's plenty more grant money available for other projects.

Visit dnr.illinois.gov/education to find more on the Schoolyard Habitat Grant and all the other grant opportunities.

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Hunters Must Respect Purple Paint Law in Illinois

Orange isn’t the only important color to remember when embarking on another hunting season in Illinois. Sure, you still need that orange hunting vest before heading out to the field or woods, but also understand the significance of purple as it relates to landowner rights. It's called the Purple Paint Law in Illinois says Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


Archery deer season opened Oct. 1 in Illinois and runs through Jan. 19. The two firearm weekends in Illinois are Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8.

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House Speaker Calls on Arroyo to Resign

As a Democratic State Representative faces federal charges of bribery the Speaker of the House Mike Madigan wants that member of his caucus, Rep. Louis Arroyo, to resign. He says yesterday if Arroyo won’t step down then proceedings will begin to remove him from office.

For now Arroyo’s attorney says that the only thing he will be resigning from will be his committee chairmanship.

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State Conservationist Waiting for Industrial Hemp Rules

Farmers and conservation officials still looking for some clarity as it relates to growing industrial hemp in Illinois.


That’s Ivan Dozier who serves as State Conservationist with the Illinois NRCS State Office.

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Governor Pritzkers on President Trump in Chicago

President Donald Trump is in Chicago today to announce a commission to study the root cause of crime. It will try and tackle if homelessness, drug abuse and mental health impact violence and crime rates around the nation. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says his message to the President is the same as it’s always been.

The President will be speaking at McCormick Place to the International Chiefs of Police.

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Trump Blasts Chicago At Cops Convention

The President was in Chicago Monday and took time during an address to the International Police Chiefs to take a swipe at the city and its problems with crime and gun violence.

The trip for Donald Trump was ultimately supposed to be about launching a commission to better understand what drives crime in the US. The commission is to consider the impacts of mental health, homelessness and other issues on gun deaths and violence.

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Tips if Looking For Holiday Work

Seasonal work can be found many places again this holiday season, so the Better Business Bureau says the time to get in your application is now. If you are looking for extra work this holiday season, a BBB Investigator says that while holiday jobs are usually temporary, many retailers end up hiring some holiday workers permanently. But you should remember as a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Investigator Don O’Brien tells The Big Z you might want to start your job search at places you shop.

If this is a second job in addition to your day job, he says you be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours. And beware of classified ads for mystery shopper jobs: These are often scams that steal money from victims or use their personal information to commit fraud.

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Insulin Bill Passes Committee

One of the bills expected to be considered during the fall veto session is an effort to cap monthly out of pocket costs for insulin at $100. Democrat State Senator Andy Manar is one of the sponsors of legislation and this week he saw the bill pass out of committee. Manar says that while this doesn’t cover every insurance plan it will impact millions of insulin users in the state.

An amendment to the bill would delay any possible changes to the out of pocket cost of insulin to 2021.

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McCombie Calls for New Ethics Rules for Illinois State Government

On Monday, it was revealed that State Representative Luis Arroyo had been indicted for attempting to bribe a fellow lawmaker, an unnamed State Senator, in order to have that State Senator support a piece of legislation that would have benefited Arroyo's lobbying client. In a press conference on Monday afternoon at the capital, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called on Arroyo to resign... 

The revelations regarding Representative Arroyo came mere hours after State Representative Tony McCombie revealed new legislation intended to create a new standard of ethics for state government...

House Joint Resolution 87 was not aimed specifically at any one lawmaker, though some Democrats believe the resolution may have been inspired by an attenmpt to target House Speaker Michael Madigan who has faced scrutiny recently after several colleagues of his had been questioned and indicted and Madigan himself has been named in search warrants as a figure being investigated. McCombie denied targeting anyone specifically with this resolution... 

 

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Census Launches Hiring Blitz for 2020 Count Workers

With less than half a year to go until the 2020 Census, efforts are ramping up in Illinois and other states to ensure an accurate count. A vital part of that is getting enough "boots on the ground."

Thousands of local recruiting events are taking place this week across the country to hire an estimated 500,000 workers for the upcoming count. Anita Banerji, director of the Democracy Initiative for Forefront, an association of nonprofits behind the "Illinois Count Me In 2020" program. said census jobs are a great opportunity for students, retirees and workers in the gig economy - and positions are available besides census-taker.

"Anywhere from partnership specialist positions, where you're helping various hard-to-count communities coordinate and organize," she said. "There are managerial roles; there are positions that are within the enumeration phase."

She said census-taking positions do require flexible schedules, a valid driver's license and access to a vehicle, as well as internet access and an email account. Hiring already is under way and will continue through next spring. Illinois Count Me In 2020 is focusing efforts on outreach in hard-to-count communities, providing safe spaces for self-reporting purposes and educating for get-out-the-count efforts. Banerji said there's a lot riding on an accurate count.

"Illinois is at stake to potentially lose a second congressional seat," she said. "We've got millions of federal dollars on the line, and we need to provide for a better tomorrow. And the best way to do that is to have accurate data."

For the first time, the census will have an online survey option available. Illinois' population for 2018 was estimated at 12.7 million, and it's projected to slightly increase for 2020.

More information is online at 2020census.gov.

 

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City of Kewanee Sends Two People to Special Animal Control Training Sessions

In the wake of the shooting of a dog by a Kewanee Police Officer, the City of Kewanee has announced that the City has joined the Illinois Animal Control Association. As part of this partnership, the Illinois Animal Control Association offered free training courses for two City of Kewanee staff members to become certified Basic Animal Control Officers. According to the Kewanee City Council packet this week, the two unnamed City of Kewanee employees attended Animal Control training last week. The four day course included topics such as Safe Handling of Aggressive or Dangerous Dogs, Tactical-Interpersonal Communication or how to talk to a pet to get compliance, and Officer Safety and Self Defense. Several Kewanee citizens are currently circulating a petition calling upon the City of Kewanee to bring back Animal Control and this appears to be a step in that direction. 

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City of Kewanee Sends Two People to Special Animal Control Training Sessions

In the wake of the shooting of a dog by a Kewanee Police Officer, the City of Kewanee has announced that the City has joined the Illinois Animal Control Association. As part of this partnership, the Illinois Animal Control Association offered free training courses for two City of Kewanee staff members to become certified Basic Animal Control Officers. According to the Kewanee City Council packet this week, the two unnamed City of Kewanee employees attended Animal Control training last week. The four day course included topics such as Safe Handling of Aggressive or Dangerous Dogs, Tactical-Interpersonal Communication or how to talk to a pet to get compliance, and Officer Safety and Self Defense. Several Kewanee citizens are currently circulating a petition calling upon the City of Kewanee to bring back Animal Control and this appears to be a step in that direction. 

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Kewanee Door Fence on the Agenda Tonight at Kewanee City Council

Brenda Weston's Door Fence will be on the agenda at tonight's Kewanee City Council Meeting. Ms Weston is calling on those who support her unique fence made from old doors to come to tonight's City Council Meeting at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall and demonstrate their support for the fence. Ms Weston has an uphil battle as on October 16th, she appeared before the Kewanee Zoning Board of Appeals and came away with a vote of 1 in favor of the fence and 3 opposed to the fence. That means that the Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation to the Kewanee City Council was to deny the request for a variance. The City Council can disregard the recommendation of the Zoning Board of Appeals if they choose to do so. 

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Ameren Giving Teens Tips for Safe Driving

National Teen Driver Safety Week winding down, and Ameren Illinois is reminding everyone about what they need to do if their vehicle should come into contact with a power line. The utility’s Ron Pate says as unlikely as it can be, a Central Illinois teen faced this situation during a strong storm, and is lucky to be alive after the incident.


Pate says if your car comes into contact with power lines, you should always assume the lines are hot. He says you should not leave your vehicle unless you notice that your car is smoking or on fire. If that’s the case, you should jump out with both feet together and without touching the car and the ground at the same time, and then shuffle or bunny hop away from the car keeping your feet together.

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Mother's Milk Legislation Produced in Springfield

New legislation in the state of Illinois will help provide milk to mothers who cannot produce for their babies. House Bill 3509 gives consistency throughout the insurance and Medicaid programs when it comes to donor milk reimbursement for premature as well as sick infants. Hannah Howell is an Education Specialist with Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. She says outside of insurance helping to reduce the cost burden on mothers, the non-profit uses other programs to help get milk to babies.

Donations to these Human Milk Depots will benefit hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. Mothers with low milk supply, illness, taking certain medications, or having a child through adoptions or surrogacy may seek such resources. Howell says the need for milk donations is especially critical in the more rural parts of the state like her home area of Southern Illinois.

Mother’s in need can find more information at milkbankwgl.org or by contacting their nearest milk depot.

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New Cadets for ISP Sworn In

The Illinois State Police has more than fifty new troopers ready to serve. The ISP graduated a new cadet class on Friday and as they begin to roll across the state on highways and interstates ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly says after a year of delivering somber messages at funerals for fallen troopers, speaking to cadet class 129 warms his heart and gives him pride.

The cadet class trained for 26 weeks in Springfield and now will spend another 14 weeks with a senior officer for more on the job training.

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Vape Store Owners Hope For No Flavor Ban

The Illinois’ Department of Public Health says a second person from Illinois died from vaping last week.
But the vaping industry is trying hard to avoid a ban of vape products and flavored vaping products. Supporters of vaping say the legal products, sold in stores and not connected to THC, provide adult users a safe product that helps prevent them from smoking cigarettes. Vape Store owner Craig Kitson says the right type of regulations are what’s needed.

The IDPH says they don’t know the exact reason why a second person has died in the state after vaping but called it a severe lung injury.

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for Monday October 28th

The Kewanee City Council will meet tonight, October 28th, at 7 Pm with a number of things on the agenda. The meeting will be broadcast live on the WKEI Facebook page tonight. 

 

Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a) Public Hearing to Discuss BINA Notice
b) Census Presentation with Denise Bulat
c) Consideration of an Ordinance Granting a request for Variance to Patrick & Brenda
Weston, 700 Main St. Kewanee, Illinois
d) Consideration of an Ordinance Amending Section 155.033 definitions & 155.060 R-1
Once-Family Dwelling District Established in the City of Kewanee Code of Ordinances
e) Consideration of an Ordinance Granting a Special Use Permit to Ellie Sabella for
Property at 315 Roosevelt Ave.
f) Consideration of an Ordinance to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the
State of Illinois.
g) Consideration of a Resolution to Award work on the Transfer Station Trash Chute to
Patriot Trailer Manufacturing
h) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the Fire Chief to Execute and
Intergovernmental Agreement with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family
services
i) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute Documents
for the Renewal of a Self-Funded Insurance Plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Illinois
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournment

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Crinestoppers of the Quad Cities to Announce Reward in Corey Harrell Murder Case

Crimestoppers of the Quad Cities is set to hold an informational press conference on Monday, October 28th. According to the release from Crimestoppers of the Quad Cites, Crimestoppers is set to announce a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect in the October 2018 murder of 22 year old Corey Harrell. On October 31st of 2018, at approximately 10am, Corey Harrell Jr was murdered in Moline near the intersection of 16th Street and 7th Avenue.  Harrell Jr was 22 years of age at the time and the father of a young son.  Since Harrell’s murder, Moline Detectives have been following up on numerous leads, but they still need the public’s help in solving this crime. According to Crimestoppers of the Quad Cities, more than $17,500 in private donations were raised for the Harrell reward with Crimestoppers contributing $2500.00.

 

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State climatologist talks November and winter outlook

We’re just a couple of weeks from November, but is it time to start thinking about winter weather in Illinois? That question to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford.


Ford says Climate Prediction Center outlooks show elevated probability for above normal temperatures going into November and even into the winter season, but the CPC also shows higher probabilities of above normal precipitation.

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Social Security Promoting Extra Help Program During Open Enrollment Period

As seniors across the country get enrolled in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Social Security is encouraging them to check out their Extra Help program to assist with out of pocket costs.

Jack Myers indicates there are income eligibility guidelines to meet for the program, however, unlike Medicare Part D, there is no enrollment period.

Get more information about the program at socialsecurity.gov, call or visit your local Social Security office or contact your local community care advocate.

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IDES Reports More Jobs In Illinois

The state’s economy is adding jobs and cutting unemployment at a record pace in some communities. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3.6 percent. Rebecca Cisco says the success spreads across the state.

At the peak of the recession in 2010 the state’s unemployment sat at 12.2 percent.

Over the course of the year the state has added 61,000 jobs and the total jobs number stands at six point two million.

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Vaccinations Urged for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are being urged to get the flu and whooping cough vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a warning that women are putting themselves and their infants at risk for severe illness and possibly death. The CDC reports 65% of women do not receive both recommended vaccines. The CDC recommends all expectant mothers get the flu vaccine as early as possible and the Tdap vaccine for whooping cough during the early part of the third trimester. Dr. Samuel Fox, an OB GYN with OSF HealthCare says he often finds himself battling misinformation and he says his young, healthy patients feel invincible.

Dr. Fox also warns patients to see him immediately if they develop flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to someone sick with the flu. He says pregnant women have lower immunity and they’re twice as likely to be hospitalized for the flu that non-pregnant women of child-bearing age. Infants who become infected with flu or whooping cough are at a high risk of hospitalization or death.

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Illinois Lawmaker Wants to Bring Back the Death Penatly

An Illinois lawmaker intends to introduce a bill that would restore the death penalty in Illinois. State Representative David McSweeney says he was inspired by the disturbing crime rate in Chicago to write his bill calling for the restoration of the death penalty. The death penalty was abolished in Illinois in 2011 after a number of innocent men were freed from death row after having been found to have been wrongly convicted... 

 

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Illinois Cities Ranked Among the 'Rattiest' Cities in America

Chicago, St Louis and areas of Central Illinois have made a list that no city wants to be on. According to the pest control company Orkin, these cities made the list of 'America's Rattiest Cities.' That's not an aesthetic comment, these cities literally have a rat problem as Reporter Jim Moran explains... 

 

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Get a Flu Shot Now or Risk Not Being Able to Get One Later

RaeAnn Tucker Marshall from the Henry and Stark County Health Department was our guest recently on WKEI and talked about why it is important to get your flu shot now rather than later... 

The chances are low that we will run out of flu shots but, you are taking a risk not getting one now if there is a flu outbreak later... 

The Henry and Stark County Health Department Flu Shot awareness campaign is part of their ramp up for World Infection Prevention Week and calling attention to the ways people can avoid serious infections. Preventative actions like The 3 C's... 

Contact the Henry and Stark County Health Department for further information regarding Flu Shots and World Infection Prevention Week. Call 309-852-0197. 

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Did You Know You Can Get a Ticket from an Off-Duty State Trooper?

Did you know that an off-duty Illinois State Trooper can give you a ticket any time within 18 months of seeing you commit an offense on the road? In a recent interview with WKEI, Trooper Jason Wilson was chatting with our host and casually mentioned that if an off-duty trooper sees you commit an offense on the road and they are able to take down your vehicle information, they have the option to give you a ticket any time in the next 18 months... 

It's a reminder to follow the law because you never know who you might be passing on the highway. 

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WKEI Poll Indicates Kewanee Residents Support Recreational Marijuana Dispensary in Kewanee

In a completely unscientific poll on our WKEI Facebook page, voters overwhelmingly supported the idea of allowing a marijuana dispensary to operate in Kewanee. In a vote of nearly 500 participants, 78% of respondents stated that they were in favor of the idea. This was backed up by commenters on on the poll who encouraged City officials to approve the idea stating that getting the revenue from a dispensary in Kewanee was a better idea than allowing that revenue to go to another community. There is currently no time table at this time for the City of Kewanee to create ordinances for allowing a recreational marijuana dispensary. Recreational marijuana becomes legal as of January 1st of 2020. 

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State climatologist talks November and winter outlook

We’re just a couple of weeks from November, but is it time to start thinking about winter weather in Illinois? That question to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford.

Ford says Climate Prediction Center outlooks show elevated probability for above normal temperatures going into November and even into the winter season, but the CPC also shows higher probabilities of above normal precipitation.

 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Thursday

It's the first Christmas Party of the year with the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours hosted by The Station restaurant on Thursday evening, October 24th, at 5 Pm. The latest Business After Hours will be held at the Boss Building located at 221 West 1st Street with The Station showing off their catering capabilities for your next big event. Rita and her crew will bring their full catering set up to The Boss Building and will help you celebrate the first Christmas Party of the Year during the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Business Aftter Hours on Thursday night at 5 pm. To RSVP for the event contact Mark Mikenas at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175. Chamber members and their guest may also qualify to win prizes while mingling with fellow Kewanee Business Owners. 

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AARP Poll Claims 79 Percent of People Know Someone Who is Leaving Illinois

A new poll put forward by the AARP indicates that 79% of people polled in the state of Illinois claim to know someone who is moving out of the state to find lower taxes. The poll was regarding multiple topics including support for Governor Pritzker's progressive tax plan and how Illinois residents feel about the state finances. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Positive News from Early Word on Kewanee Schools Audit

At Monday night's Kewanee School Board Meeting Dr Chris Sullens spoke to the School Board members about the preliminary returns from the school district financial audit. Word was positve though the usual audit presentation has been delayed until next month, Dr Sullens was able to tell the Board that thus far no issues have been reported from the audit and numbers will be positive when the final audit is delivered... 

The audit is conducted by an outside firm which comes to Kewanee for several days to review all available financial records and determine the fund balances and where each and every dollar spent has gone... 

Gorenz and Associates is the outside firm that handles the Kewanee Schools audit and Dr Sullens tells WKEI that the firm has been with the school since the days when the company was founded and operated by just one Peoria based accountant. ... 

The full audit report to the Kewanee School Board will be delivered at next Month's School Board Meeting. 

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Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee Hosting Fall Festival of Fun for Family and Pets Saturday

The Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee is set to host their Fall Festival of Fun for Families and Pets on Saturday, October 26th at Windmont Park. The event is a way for the Humane Society of Kewanee to thank the community for their support of the shelter throughout this year and provide a good excuse to put cute pets in cute costumes. Sue Sagmoen and Cheryl Powell dropped by our Regional Media Studio on Tuesday and told WKEI about the fun to be had on Saturday at the park... 

The event runs from 3 Pm to 6 Pm at Windmont Park and everyone invited to attend and dress up for Halloween. Bring the kids and your pets to go trick or treating and anyone who would like to hand out candy and treats to the kids and pets on Saturday is invited to come to the park and bring treats. You can hear more about the Henry County Humane Society Fall Festival of Fun for Families and Pets in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Downstate to Receive Twice the Transportation Funding that Chicago Gets

Downstate Illiinois will receive twice the transportation funding that Chicago and it's surrounding areas will receive from the new transportation funding bill. According to the Transportation for Illinois Commission the transportatin funding breakdown shows that downstate Illinois will receive more than 12 billion dollars while Chicago will receive just over 6 billion dollars in transportaiton infrastructure funds. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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FCC Reorganizing TV Frequencies

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is trying to make more room on the airways for mobile broadband. FCC Incentive Auction Task Force Chair Jean Kiddoo says that means having TV stations change frequencies.

Kiddoo says TV stations that make the change are getting financial help from the FCC. If a channel you watch suddenly disappears it could because it's changing frequencies. Kiddoo says just to use the TV set's scan feature to find all the channels that switched. TV stations should give viewers a heads up before changing frequencies.

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Two People Shot in Morrison Illinois Gunman In Custody

Two people were shot Tuesday night in Morrison, Illinois. According to a release from the Whiteside County Sheriff's Office, the victims were an 18 year old male and a 24 year old female. Both victims survived the shooting with the 24 year old female victim recovering at a hospital in Sterling and the 18 year old male victim in serious condition, having been airlifted to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford. The incident occurred just before 8:30 Pm on Tuesday night, that's when 911 operators in the area received a flurry of calls regarding shots fired in the area of the 400 Block of Main Street. A 24 year old male suspect was later arrested after having been seen fleeing the area on foot. The names of all involved have not been released as of this writing. More information to come as this investigation continues. 

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Watch for the Signs

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a domestic violence advocate says this is a complicated topic. Jennifer Tolladay with DOVE, Inc. says domestic violence is not always apparent to the victims. She says things can start as innocent little things and then snowball over time into full-blown abuse of both a physical and often, emotional nature.

Victims of domestic violence in rural areas often face a tough path to escaping a situation than those in urban areas. According to Tolladay, in rural areas, domestic violence shelters are not as prevalent and transportation and safety are often harder to come by.

Victims of domestic violence are far more likely to find themselves depressed or contemplating suicide and Tolladay points out the domestic violence national hotline receives around 20,000 calls per day. She also points out, domestic violence towards men is not that uncommon. There is help for those in need right here in Kewanee. Go to Freedom House in Kewanee and they can arrange to get you out of an abusive relationship. Representatives of Freedom House are going to be at the Kewanee Salvation Army all of this week with the ability to meet privately at the store with those who need help. The Kewanee Salvation Army store is open from 10 Am to 5 Pm Weekdays. 

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Leaf Peepers Looking For Fall Colors

Leaf peepers are enjoying the fall season in Illinois. The colors are changing and if you’re planning a weekend trip to check them out you can get an idea of where you should head thanks to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Rachel Torbert says the IDNR supplies information to the enjoy Illinois website for people to track the red and yellow leaves around the state.

Enjoy Illinois dot com has the report and a list of things to do or see this Fall in each region of the state.

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Black Hawk College Soil Judging Team Number 1 in Competition

At a competition in Wisconsin on October 12th, the Black Hawk College Soil Judging Team brought home first place recognition. According to the release from Black Hawk College, the team consisting of Callie High of Marcellus, MI; Makenzie Snyder of Toulon, IL; Kyle Hunter of LaMoille, IL; Sophia Short of Topeka, IL; Mitchell Shimmin of Toulon, IL; Drake McDonough of Cambridge, IL; Brendan Shaw of Annawan, IL; and Judson Wright of Bradford, IL. finished in1st place at the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) 2019 Region 3 Collegiate Soils Contest in Stevens Point, WI. 

Six students also placed in the Top 10 individually.

 

They are:

Makenzie Snyder– 1st
Mitchell Shimmin – 2nd
Sophia Short – 3rd
Kyle Hunter – 4th
Brendan Shaw– 5th
Drake McDonough – 10th (tie)

 

Congratulations also to Coaches Andrew Larson and Brandon Hall.

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Abilities Plus Announces Honorees for 60th Annual Abilities Plus Awards Dinners

On October 16th in Annawan, Abilities Plus held their 60th year Awards Dinner. At the dinner, Abilities Plus honored members of our community who've dedicated themselves to helping those in need at Abilities Plus. 

 

Achiever of the Year Award – Rick Palmer of Kewanee.  Rick completes his daily job of emptying trash and recycling around the building well, is willing to help others when needed, and is always friendly and likes to joke and make others laugh.

 

Business Award – Rhino Tool Company in Kewanee.  Rhino Tool has helped broaden work skills for individuals at Abilities Plus by has providing contract work with packaging, assembly and other piece rate job tasks. 

 

Civic/Community Award – Geneseo Kiwanis Club.  Since at least 1989, the club has provided donations totaling thousands of dollars.  Kiwanis has donated to previous capital campaigns, sent memorials for club members, and provided yearly financial donations.  In the past they also provided an annual pizza party for those who bowled in a former Geneseo league.

 

Directors Award – Pat Brown of Toulon.  Pat was one of the founding parents of the organization 60 years ago.  Since that time she has also served on the Board of Directors, additionally holding the title of Board President.  Pat was also involved as a staff member for several years as Family Support Coordinator.  She formed a parent’s group to provide support and guidance to others, and has advocated for the agency and assisted with fundraising through the years in various media outlets and also with elected officials.

 

Gary German Memorial Athletic Award – Abby Thorp & Morgan Thorp of Kewanee.  Abby and Morgan have been involved with the Abilities Plus Special Olympic program for years.  Both have a very positive attitude, exhibit good sportsmanship, put a great deal of effort into their events, and have been members of the gold medal state track and field relay team.

 

Posthumous Award – Phyllis Reece of Pekin.  Phyllis and her husband Frank, along with a small group of parents founded Abilities Plus 60 years ago.  She assisted in raising money for the organization in those early years through bake sales, carnivals and other fundraising opportunities.  Although Phyllis and Frank moved from the area years ago, they continued to help and support the agency.  Sadly, Phyllis passed away in October of 2018, and one line in her obituary summed up her feelings about Abilities Plus, stating “She was very proud of her part in forming this wonderful school for special needs students.”

 

Special Recognition Award – Ron Morrissey of Kewanee.  Ron retired this past year after serving for over 10 years as a Van Driver.  Ron took his job seriously, formed positive relationships with his passengers, and cared about providing safe and reliable transportation to agency clients.

 

Special Recognition Award – Connie Nyert of Kewanee.  Connie retired from Abilities Plus after holding several different positions for the organization for almost 25 years.  Connie was extremely dedicated and loyal and always put a great deal of effort into her job, while managing to also add a little fun into the work day as well.  Connie had many different job responsibilities during her tenure, and developed excellent rapport with clients she worked with and supervised.

 

Special Recognition Award – Gary Piester of Kewanee.  Gary retired last spring as agency janitor, after almost 30 years of employment at Abilities Plus.  During those years, Gary often worked a split shift, coming in early in the mornings and then again in the late afternoons to work around staff schedules.  He was always very helpful and would readily volunteer to assist with special projects and events.

 

Volunteer Award – Volunteers at the Hazel Pettit Abilities Plus Resale Shop.  Volunteers at the shop received recognition as a group.  They work as a team, providing a huge amount of financial support to the organization since the doors opened in 1982.  Volunteers work during open hours three days per week, but many are also at the store various times during the week completing tasks behind the scenes.  Because of the regular financial support from the Resale Shop, Abilities Plus has been able to operate a fiscally sound agency that has continued to grow and expand during its 60 year history.

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Body of Woodstock Illinois Woman Missing Since 2010 Has Been Identified

Nearly 2 years after recovering remains in rural Jefferson County, the Illinois State Police have identified the body of a long time missing Woodstock, Illinois woman. Benedetta Beth Bentley was heading home to Woodstock, supposedly boarding a train in Centralia, in southern Illlinois when she went missing. A friend told police that they had dropped Beth Bentley off at the Amtrak Station in Centralia on May 23rd, 2010. Bentley never made it home. Remains were recovered on December 4th of 2017 but it wasn't until October of 2019 that the remains were determined to be those of Beth Bentley. The identification was the result of a joint investigation of ISP Zone 7 Investigations, ISP Zone 1 Investigations and Woodstock Police Department. Results of the investigation have been forwarded to the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s office for review. 

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Galesburg Woman Killed Attempting to Cross Between Stopped Train Cars

A Galesburg woman died after being struck by a train in Galesburg on Monday night, October 21st. According to the Galesburg Police the horrible accident occurred Monday night in the area of Ella Street and Pearl Street in Galesburg. According to a witness who was with the victim, Carrie Louise Miller was killed when she and the witness were crossing train tracks in between train cars of a stopped train in the area . The pair were crossing between the train cars when, according to the witness, Miller fell just as the train was beginning to move. Galesburg Police Captain Rod Riggs tells WKEI what the investigation indicated... 


Galesburg Police as well as investigators on behalf of BNSF Rairoad are continuing to investigate the accident.

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Feds Looking into House Speaker TIes to Federal Probe of ComEd Lobbying

A federal corruption investigation may be seeking evidence against Illinois House Speaker and Chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party Michael Madigan. According to evidence obtained by Chicago Public Radio, a federal probe of lobby practices by ComEd revealed that federal investigators sought evidence related to the House Speaker who has several longtime allies who have been subject to this investigation. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Reveals Billion Dollar Roads and Bridges Package

Governor J.B Pritzker this week revealed his plans for roads and bridges in Illinois as part of the Rebuild Illinois program. The plan covers 2000 miles worth of road repairs and 847 bridges across the state of Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop spoke to Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman about the plan for this report...

 

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Property Tax Task Force Hears from Citizens About Corrupt Assessors

The Illinois Property Tax Task Force, assigned by Governor Pritzker to find ways to bring down the property tax burden in the state, heard this week from property owners who claim that some assessors are not properly assessing property value and giving preferential treatment to some property owners leaving the burden of the majority of the state's remarkable property tax on a smaller pool of property owners. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more...

 

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Kewanee Salvation Army Teaming Up with Freedom House This Week

The Kewanee Salvation Army is teaming up with Freedom House all this week for Domestic Violent Awareness Month. All this week representatives from Freedom House will be at the Kewanee Salvation Army handing out information and offering you the chance to talk to them if you need their help. Eddie Tolliver from the Kewanee Salvation Army talked to WKEI about their partnership with Freedom House. 

All this week, in honor of Freedom House, all purple items at the Kewanee Salvation Army will be half off. This week also marks the start of their basement sale at the Salvation Army as Eddie Tolliver explains... 

The Kewanee Salvation Army is open weekdays from 10 Am to 5 Pm. 

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and OSF Saint Luke Wants You to Get a Mammogram

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Brenda Weston from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center joined WKEI on our Tuned In program with some tough statistics regarding breast cancer in the state of Illinois alone... 

40 years old is a good place to start getting regular mammograms or if you have a family history you can get started even earlier. Regular mammograms are the key to early detection and the best possible outcomes... 

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center now has Walk-In Wednesdays where women can simply show up at OSF between 12 Noon and 2:30 Pm and get a mammogram done without an appointment. Brenda Weston along with Amber Wood from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center were our guests on Tuned In on Monday. 

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Illinois State Police Advise Slowing Down During Halloween

Trooper Jason Wilson from the Illinois State Police wants you to slow down and be aware that kids trick or treating may not be as careful as we hope. In an appearance on our People to People progam, Trooper Wilson talked about keeping your head on a swivel and taking extra care when watching for kids trick or treating... 

You can hear our complete interview with Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson in our People to People podcast linked here

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Winter Could Be Very Cold, Wet Again

Another cold and wet winter could be on the horizon in Illinois. Last year was brutally cold and very wet throughout and more of the same is being predicted right now. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service says they are about a week away from a long term winter outlook but right now things are showing a warmer start but then a cold and wet January through March.

The last few years have seen late starts to the summer season and then a late start to the winter season. A shift in the seasons is not likely as of right now. Miller says right now they are showing maybe a short spring transitioning to the warm weather of summer.

While it's still a ways away, Miller says they aren't seeing anything to suggest a white Christmas. In fact, he points out, snow is on the ground for Christmas only 30-percent of the time.

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Payment Preferences a Red Flag for Scams

We have been bringing you warnings for years, encouraging caution when sending money via legitimate businesses like Western Union, MoneyGram, or Green Dot MoneyPak. Those services are popular amongst scammers since the transactions had been relatively difficult to trace. As those services add security measures, the criminals are adding cryptocurrency to their pitch with more regularity. Better Business Bureau Investigator Don O’Brien says one of the angles these scammers will use is “you’ve won the foreign lottery.”

In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission received 1.4 million fraud reports. One out of five reports identified the type of payment involved in the scam. The top three methods consumers reported were money transfer at 38%, credit cards at 19% and gift/reload cards at 15%.

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IDNR Director Talks 2019 Flood and Impact on Levee System

The 2019 flood and its impact on the levee system of Illinois has resulted in ongoing talks for Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Colleen Callahan.


Callahan was confirmed as IDNR director last April.

 

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Billions Getting Ready To Be Spent On State Roads

The state has started to spend the billions that are part of Rebuild Illinois. It begins today with the release of the Illinois Department of Transportation multiyear plan. Laid out on paper is the path forward for IDOT to improve the state’s transportation system. Republican State Rep. Ryan Spain says the first $23 billion spent this year will be critical to develop the state’s economy.

The multi-year plan is twice the size it was before because of the state’s higher fuel tax.

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Gun Owners to Rally in Springfield as Lawmakers Return for Veto Session

Illinois Gun Rights activists are planning a rally in Springfield to coincide with the fall veto session which lawmakers will return for next week. Gun advocates are expected to rally at the capital on Tuesday, October 28th and the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association has some specific bills in mind that they aim to protest against. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Henry County Board Welcomes New Board Member

Ray Elliott, long time trustee in the Village of Atkinson has been named to the Henry County Board. Marshall Jones, Chairman of the Henry County Board was our guest on WKEI and introduced Mr Elliott as a new board member and shed light on how board members are chosen when a board member steps aside as Board Member Jacob Waller did last month... 

Jacob Waller submitted his resignation last month and Mr Elliott was quickly chosen by Henry County Republicans. He's since been in attendance at Board Meetings getting prepared for the Board to make his appointment official. That appointment was made official at last Thursday's Board Meeting. 

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Wethersfield Superintendent Praises Mental Health Walk Honors Student Involvement

The Henry County Mental Health Alliance Mental Health Walk was held not long ago at Wethersfield School and Superintendent Shane Kazubowski had nothing but praise for the organizers and the Wethersfield students who stepped forward to help make this remarkable charity event happen and help those in need of mental health support in our community... 

Wethersfield students, as part of being students at Wethersfield, are called upon to take up volunteer efforts and Superintendent Kazubowski was pleased to see students step up in all aspects of the Mental Health Walk... 

Those members helped out in every aspect of the Mental Health Walk including the Gustafson Ford Drive for Ur Community event... 

All in all, the Mental Health Walk was yet another event that shines a positive light on the service of Wethersfield students and their dedication to their community. 

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Galva Community Unit School District Board of Education Meeting Agenda for October 21st

Galva CUSD #224 REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION October 21, 2019 at 7 PM Galva Jr/Sr High School Library 
CALL TO ORDER 
1. ROLL CALL 
2. COMMENDATIONS 
3. PARENT, VISITOR, AND UNION COMMENT 
Note: Individuals wishing to place an item on the agenda should contact the Superintendent or the Board President seven days prior to the Board Meeting. 
4. CONSENT AGENDA (5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 8.2, 8.3, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3) 
5. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES 
5.1 Regular & Special Meeting Minutes of September 23, 2019 (Action) 5.2 Executive Session Minutes of September 23, 2019 (Action) 
6. FINANCIAL REPORT 
6.1 Approval of the Treasurer’s Report September 2019 (Action) 6.2 Approval of the Bills for October 2019 (Action) 6.3 Activity Accounts Balance Sheet (Action) 
7. FINANCE/BUSINESS 
7.1 Quarterly Finance Report (Information) 
8. QUALITY EDUCATION 
8.1 Committee Reports (Information) 8.2 School Board Policy Updates – First Reading (Action) 8.3 School Board Policy Updates – Second and Final Reading: 2:20 Powers and Duties of the School 
Board; Indemnification; 2:40 Board Member Qualifications; 2:50 Board Member Term of Office; 2:60 Board Member Removal from Office; 2:250-E1 Exhibit – Written Request for District Public Records; 4:100 Insurance Management; 4:110-AP1 Admin Proc. – School Bus Post-Accident Checklist; 4:110-AP3 Admin Proc. – School Bus Safety Rules; 4:110-E Exhibit – Emergency Medical Information for Students Having Special Needs or Medical Conditions Who Ride School Buses; 4:160 Environmental Quality of Building and Grounds; 4:160-AP Admin Proc. – Environmental Quality of Buildings and Grounds; 4:170-AP2, E2 Exhibit – Letter to Parents/Guardians Regarding the Dangers of Underage Drinking; 4:170-AP2, E3 Exhibit – Letter to Parents/Guardians About Disruptive Social Media Apps; Dangers; 4:170-AP2, E4 Exhibit – Letter to Parents/Guardians About Preventing and Reducing Incidents of Sexting; 4:170-AP 6 Admin Proc. – Plan for Responding to a Medical Emergency at a Physical Fitness Facility with an AED; 4:170-AP6, E2 Exhibit – Notification to Staff and Parents/Guardians of CPR and AED Video; 4:170- AP8 – Admin Proc – Movable Soccer Goal Safety; 4:175-AP2, E1 Exhibit – Informing Parents/Guardians About Offender Community Notification Laws; 6:65 Student Social and Emotional Development; 7:185 – Teen Dating Violence Prohibited; 8:95 – Parental Involvement (Action) 8.4 Lunch Update (Information) 8.5 Update on New Legislation (Information) 8.6 Conferences Report (Information) 8.7 Audit Presentation, Tom Peffer, Gorenz Auditing Firm (Information) 
9. CLOSED SESSION 
9.1 Review of Suspensions (Information) 
9.2 Personnel - Review appointment, performance, compensation, and employment of an officer or 
employee (Information) 
10. PERSONNEL 
10.1 Approve Lorraine Peters as the District 224 Bookkeeper as of July 1, 2020 (Action) 10.2 Approve Donna Carlson as short-term Consultant to the Bookkeeper during the 2020-21 year 
(Action) 10.3 Approve Alexis Haga as a Volunteer for JH Dance Team (Action) 
11. FUTURE BOARD MEETING AGENDA ITEMS 
12. ADJOURNMENT 

 

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Wethersfield Key Club Blood Drive Announced

The Wethersfield Key Club is organizing a Red Cross Blood Drive on November 6th. According to Wethersfield School officials, the Key Club will partner with the Red Cross to hold a blood drive at the school from 9 Am to 1 Pm on November 6th. To participate in the blood drive, get in touch with Heidi Merrick at 309-853-4205 or email hmerrick@geese230.com. Or you can stop by the Wethersfield High School Office and fill out the sign up sheet before November 6th. 

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Work on Kewanee 7th Street Viaduct Begins Today

Long awaited construction repairs to the 7th street viaduct in Kewanee get underway today. Below is the work announcement from the City of Kewanee... 

 

Effective Monday 10/21/19, Street closures will begin at the Seventh Street viaduct project.

THE FOLLOWING STREETS WILL BE CLOSED:
N. East St. will be closed south of E. 8TH St and north of Railroad Ave.
E. 7th St. will be closed east of N. Grace Ave. the residents on E.7th will have access from the west end of the closure.

With weather permitting the work is expected to take 3-4 weeks for completion. 
For your safety and for that of the site workers please obey the street closures. 
 
If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 852-2611.

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Agenda for Kewanee School Board Meeting Monday October 21st

AGENDA

 

KEWANEE COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #229

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2019

KEWANEE SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION OFFICE

1001 NORTH MAIN STREET   

KEWANEE, IL   61443

 

6:15 PM

 

I. CALL TO ORDER BY THE PRESIDENT

A. Roll call by the Secretary

 

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

 

 

7:30 PM

 

III. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

IV. INVITED GUESTS ADDRESS THE BOARD

 

V. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES

District #229 Closed Meeting – September 16, 2019

District #229 Open Meeting – September 16, 2019

 

VI. CONSIDERATION OF FINANCIAL AND TREASURER'S REPORTS

A. District #229

 

VII. CONSIDERATION OF BILLS AND PAYROLL

A. District #229

 

VIII. COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE  

 

IX. REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION

Superintendent

1. Recognition of Honorary Boilermakers: Rick Cernovich & Jim Hornback

2. Central/KHS Choir Performances

3. Administration Office Addition:  19th - Roof Completed; 21st – Asphalt in Parking Area to be Ground up; New North Parking Lot Open; Interior Electrical/Framing/Plumbing to start; 22nd – Asphalt for Parking Lot to be done by the County

4. KHS – Window/Door Replacement

5. Belle – Professional Development/Conference Rooms

6. Belle – Bus Turnaround

B. Mrs. Hodge/Bates – Neponset Principal

1. PARCC Testing Results (results have not been finalized yet, should be by Oct. 30th)

C. Mr. Atwell – KHS Athletic Director

1. Fall Sports Update

 

X. SUPERINTENDENT COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

XI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Solar Update – Oldeen has prepped roofs for solar installation

 

XII. NEW BUSINESS

Consideration and Approval of the 2018-2019 School District Audit, Transfers, and Adjustments as Recommended by the Auditors. (Full report from Gorenz will be presented in November)

Selection of Delegate and Alternate to the Joint Annual Conference

 

XIII. ACTION FROM CLOSED SESSION 

Resignations

David McLaurin – KHS Cafeteria Dishwasher & Bus Aide – Effective 9/19/19

Carla Ogorzalek – Cafeteria Substitute – Effective 9/27/19

Retirements

1. Sarah Titlow – KHS Resource Teacher – Effective End of 2022-2023 School Year

Hires

Central Jr. High Title I Teacher/Elementary Title I Teacher

KHS Cafeteria Dishwasher

Elementary Teacher – 2nd Semester

P/T Bus Aide

Central Jr. High 21st Century Teacher

Central Elementary 21st Century Student Assistant

Bus Driver

Leaves

1. Patricia Diaz – Parental Leave – Approximately 8 weeks beginning 11/26/19

Long Term Sub

Transfers

1. Substitute Bus Aide to Regular Bus Aide

Volunteers

KHS Wrestling

KHS Baseball

KHS Football

Central Jr. High Girls Basketball

Lyle Pre-K

Belle Alexander School

KHS Cheerleading

Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

Other Action Arising From Closed Session

To Be Determined

 

XIV. COMMENTS FROM VISITORS AND BOARD OF EDUCATION

1. Moment of Silence for Margaret Wohrley – Wife of Retired KHS Ag Teacher Floyd Wohrley

2. Other Items

 

XV. ADJOURNMENT

 

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

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More Taxes Coming Per Federal Infrastructure Requirements

The current Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan is a five year plan but the federal government requires infrastructure plans be 10 years in length. This means another 5 year infrastructure plan for the state of Illinois likely to come sooner rather than later in order to assure that federal funds that come as part of infrastructure planning are assured. So what taxes will be used as the bedrock of another 5 year infrastructure plan? Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Maisch spoke to reporter Greg Bishop about ideas being considered and what the Chamber of Commerce recommends. 

 

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Small Breweries Waiting to Find Out if Key Tax Break Will Remain in Place

Craft brewers across the country are facing the prospect of seeing their tax burden double in 2019 if a key tax break currently in place is not extended before the end of 2019. According to the Illinois Craft Brewers Association, a federal tax on a barrel of beer could go from $3.50 per barrel to $7.00 per barrel if this tax break for craft brewers is allowed to expire by federal lawmakers who are currently at work modernizing regulations for craft brewers. This could significantly stunt the burgeoning industry of small breweries, one that has grown in Illinois significantly in recent years. Scot Bertram has more... 

 

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New Smoke Alarms May Keep You Safer

Smoke alarms now have two important new features, a battery that will last a decade and another that should stop people from taking batteries out of the alarms or disconnecting them. If you’ve ever burned something on the stove and had to listen to the smoke alarm ring out you know the annoyance. But taking a battery out to silence the alarm can be dangerous if you forget to put it back in. Fire Safety Alliance Director Phil Zaleski says a smarter alarm is a safer one.

October is National Fire Prevention Month.

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CDC Urging Pregnant Women to Get a Flu Shot

There is a great deal of misinformation regarding flu shots and vaccinations in the world and it is making some of our most vulnerable populations even more vulnerable. A good example is pregnant women who can be more susceptible to infections due to being pregnant. With so many people buying into propaganda about flu shots, far too many pregnant women are choosing to go without needed flu shots and vaccinations. OSF Medical Center OB-Gynecologist, Dr Sam Fox tells us he is often in the position of having to convince pregnant women to take precautions and running up against fears of things these women have read online or heard from less triustworthy or ill-informed sources... 

The Centers for Disease Control has grown so concerned about the amount of misinformation and the increasing number of pregnant women avoiding flu shots that they are calling on doctors to do everything they can to counteract the misinformation, a significant task of balancing respecting the wishes of a patient while making sure they understand the risks they are taking with their life and the life of their child by not getting a simple flu shot. Pregant women are more vulnerable to infections to the point where Dr Fox says if a pregnant woman is exposed to the flu virus they should get checked out by a doctor immediately... 

How serious is the flu for a pregnant woman? 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all pregnant women get a flu shot. 

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Updated Extended Water Shutoff for Water Main Repair Today in Kewanee

The City of Kewanee has announced that they are expanding the area affected by the water shutoff due to the water main repair being conducted today, Friday, October 18th. 

 

The City of Kewanee Water Department has had to extend the boil order area for the water main repair in the 200 block of East Second Street on October 18, 2019. The new boil order area to also include the 300 block of  East Second Street. October 18, 2019.  A water boil order affects the following addresses:

 

200 East Second Street

208 East Second Street

210 East Second Street

212 East Second Street

214 East Second Street

 

The extended area will be:

209 North Walnut Street

300 East Second Street

304 East Second Street

306 East Second Street

307 East Second Street

309 East Second Street

315 East Second Street

 

Any resident whose water is off during this time will be under a boil order for 48 to 72 hours following restoration of service.

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41st Annual Galva Beta Sigma Phi Craft Show this Saturday

The 41st Annual Galva Beta Sigma Phi Craft Show is set for this Saturday, October 19th, from 9 Am to 3 Pm. The annual craft show benefits the work that the Beta Sigma Phi does around the community and has been a staple of the Galva community for decades. Kay Down is one of the organizers and she was our guest on People to People on Thursday... 

A $2.00 donation gets you in the door and able to take advantage of incredible deals from local and traveling crafters this Saturday from 9 Am to 3 Pm at Galva High School. 

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Debra "Nikki" Dixson and Erin Trostle Both Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for September

It's a tie for the Abilites Plus Achiever of the Month for the month of September. Congratulations to Nikki Dixson and Erin Trostle who have both earned the honor voted on by their peers at Abilities Plus. Nikki was nominated for great attendance, patience, having a positive attitude and surpassing goals. She enjoys music and going on community outings. Erin received recognition for exhibiting great work attendance, doing a good job with document shredding and looking for ways to be helpful with
others. She also continues to expand her sign language knowledge. Congratulations Nikki and Erin from your friends at Regional Media. 

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Vasa Archives to Host Scary Scandinavian Stories October 25th in Bishop Hill

Scandinavian folklore has many wonderful stories and it has some that lend themselves toward the more frightening and exciting. Assistant Professor Dr Kimberly La Palm studies Scandinavian literature as part of her job at Augustana and she's bringing her knowledge of some of the more unique and scary Scandinavian folk tales to the Vasa Archives in Bishop Hill. As part of an early Halloween celebration, Dr La Palm will present a night of Scary Scandinavian Stories at 7 Pm as part of the Vasa Archives Lodge Meeting at the Colony School in Bishop Hill on October 25th. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to attend. Costumes are encouraged and refreshments will be available. 

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Illinois State Police Urging Drivers to Be Patient and Share the Road with Farm Equipment

It's harvest season and farm equipment is on the road. The Illinois State Police are urging driver's to be patient and share the road. Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson says that passing farm equipment is something everyone does but not everyone does it safely and that can lead to tickets or something far more dangerous or even tragic...

The bottom line is be patient, do not follow too closely behind farm equipment and only pass when it is safe and legal to do so. 

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What Are Chicago Teachers Seeking in Current Teacher Strike?

The Chicago Teacher Strike is headed into its second day with no end currently in sight. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has made what many consider to be a generous contract offer but the Chicago teachers union rejected that on Wednesday befor advising that teachers strike as of Thursday. Adam Schuester from the Illinois Policy Institute explains what the teachers are seeking... 

The Illinois Policy Institute has been deeply critical of the Teachers Union Strike in Chicago as Adam Schuester explained in our People to People interview on Thursday. You can hear the entire conversation regarding the Chicago Teachers Strike in our People to People Podcast linked here

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Open Enrollment For Medicare Part D Opened Tuesday

One of the most important times of the year is here for those on Medicare. Medicare Part D open enrollment opened Tuesday and will go through December 7. Diane Cusey with Illinois Community Care Systems says this year's enrollment period has a tech focus....

Open enrollment allows seniors to enroll, adjust and find the best plans for their prescription drugs. She says there are lots of opportunities for saving money.

With the new tech-pieces of open enrollment this year, Cusey indicates advisers can get seniors set up with the app or on the website. Visit your local senior center for information on all tech components to this year's enrollment.

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Cannon Fire This Weekend in Southern Illinois

An opportunity to see what life was like in the 17 and 1800s in Illinois is gearing up this weekend. The Fort Massac Encampment is Saturday and Sunday in deep southern Illinois. The encampment features battle reenactments and live cannon fire. Rachel Torbert with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it’s all ages fun.

The reenacted battle of Drouillard Creek is the highlight but Torbert says there will be magic shows, clothes on display and a market to shop at.

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USDA Extends $18-Million for Rural Broadband in Illinois

Some progress being made in expanding rural broadband in Illinois. Two projects just received word of USDA funding.


Douglas Wilson serves as State Director of Illinois for USDA Rural Development.

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Catch and Keep Trout Season Opens Saturday

Anglers should be ready to toss a line this weekend for the opening of state’s trout season. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says go to their website for a list of lakes and streams that have been stocked with fish. Rachel Torbert says early catch and release has been going on for the past few weeks but now you can keep what you catch.

DNR dot ILLINOIS dot GOV will have the trout fishing information for this weekend.

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IL Teen Addresses the Cost of Insulin

An effort in the Fall Veto session at the state house will be to cap the out of pocket costs for insulin at $100 per patient per month. The bill has a co-sponsor in the House and Senate and the backing of Governor JB Pritzker. Maddie Shalin, a 16 year old type 1 diabetic, says she uses three to four vials of insulin a month. Her families insurance helps but they still hit out of pocket maximums and deductibles every year. Maddie says she isn’t slowed down by a lack of access given the costs but knows other people are.

According to data released by the state in 2001 a vial of insulin cost between $35 to $40 and now it costs $270 to $289.

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Water Main Repair Scheduled for Friday October 18th in Kewanee

The City of Kewanee has announced a water main repair for Friday, October 18th...

 

The City of Kewanee Water Department will be working on a water main repair in 200 block of East Second Street this Friday, October 18, 2019.  Work will be done to tie in water for the new health department building.  Water will be shut down from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for the following addresses:

 

200 East Second Street

208 East Second Street

210 East Second Street

212 East Second Street

214 East Second Street

 

Please note that 216 East Second Street and 219 East Second Street will NOT be affected by this shut-down.

 

Any resident whose water is off during this time will be under a boil order for 48 to 72 hours following restoration of service.

 

Residents in these areas may also experience low water pressure or rusty water.  Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas.

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If You Hit a Deer with Your Car Can You Keep It?

It's not a questionm that comes up often but, if you hit a deer with your car, can you keep it? The answer is Yes. But only if the deer died in the accident. That from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. There are some caveats. For instance, if you hit the deer and it is not dead, you're not allowed to kill it yourself and will need to contact law enforcement. You also don't have to be the person who hit and killed the deer to claim it. Reporter Jim Moran has more on the unusual rules surrounding deer as roadkill. 

 

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Kewanee Mayor Hoping to Hold Educational Forum on Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana was a discussion item at Tuesday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting. Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore tells WKEI that he's hopeful that  before any decisions are made regarding ordinances related to recreational marijuana in Kewanee that a forum can be held to help citizens understand what is in the law that the state of Illinois passed earlier this year... 

Many people have opinions for or against marijuana dispensaries and whether they should be allowed or not in the Kewanee City limits but many are not aware of the rules already in place that may influence how recreational marijuana ordinances in Kewanee are written. Thus the need for an educational forum. Among the rules in place from the state law are those that set up boundaries where dispensaries can operate. This law may have already scuttled one plan to bring a dispensary to town. 

Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People on Wednesday.

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Exelon ComEd Utilities CEO Retires Amid Corruption Probe

Exelon and its utility arm, ComEd, are in the midst of a corruption probe and in anticipation of the continuing investigation, the company has announced that ComEd Chief Executive Officer Anne Pramaggiore has retired immediately, as of Tuesday, October 15th. This is a move many believe is intended to appease investigators and indicate that Exelon is looking to root out the the leadership in place that led to the federal investigation. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Kewanee Mayor Addresses Police Shooting of a Pitbull

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore is asking citizens to consider the circumstances when considering the actions of a Kewanee Police Officer who shot and injured a dog he believed intended to attack him last Friday afternoon in Kewanee. In an appearance on the WKEI People to People program on Wednesday, Mayor Moore stated that we have the benefit of hindsight that the officer did not have in the moment... 

Mayor Moore himself is a former Kewanee Police Officer who dealt with animal control issues during his time on the police force. Mayor Moore was our guest on People to People on Wednesday and you can hear that entire conversation in our People to People podcast linked here

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State of Illinois Touting Improved Election Security

The state of Illinois is touting improvements in election security. In testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security in Washington D.C on Wednesday, members of the Illinois State Board of Elections discussed statewide improvements made in the wake of reports of election hacking in the 2016 Presidential election. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Taxpayer Advocates Criticize Plan to Consolidate Public Safety Pensions

Taxpayer advocates are criticizing a plan put forward by Governor J.B Pritzker to consolidate 649 public safety pensions across the state, the first step toward pension reform in the state. Taxpayers United are concerned that such a change won't benefit taxpayers. Advocates for the Governor's plan say that such a move would cut administrative costs among other benefits. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Goodfellows Tag Days This Weekend in Kewanee

Goodfellows Tag Days are this weekend, October 18th and 19th across Kewanee. Volunteers under the guidance of Amron Buchanan and Ken Knowles will spread out across Kewanee to collect money for the Goodfellows Baskets that make sure needy folks receive baskets of food this holiday season. WKEI spoke with Amron Buchanan and Ken Knowles on Tuned In this week... 

For anyone unfamiliar with Goodfellows, Amron Buchanan and Ken Knowles explain what Goodfellows does and has done in Kewanee for 50 years... 

Starting on November 1st people can call Kewanee High School at 309-853-3328 to recommend someone to receive a Goodfellows Basket. If you can't donate this weekend to support Goodfellows, you can always mail your donation to Goodfellows at P.O Box 5 in Kewanee, IL 61443. Donations are accepted year round. 

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Kewanee Zoning Board Vote Against Door Fence

At Wednesday night's meeting of the Kewanee Zoning Board, the board voted not to recommend a variance for Brenda Weston and her Door Fence at her residence on Main Street in Kewanee. According to Ms Weston, supporters who signed a petition in favor of the Door Fence did not show up to show support on Wednesday. Weston is now asking supporters to join her at the October 28th Kewanee City Council Meeting where the Council will hear from Weston about the variance and will consider the recommendation of the Zoning Board to deny the variance. The City Council does have the option to go against the recommendation of the Zoning Board if they choose. 

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Scam Artists Play on the Emotions of Victims

Experts at the University of Illinois Extension are talking about scams and how to avoid getting fooled. One thing to watch out for are scam artists who attempt to play on the emotions of victims, often posing as long lost family members or members of law enforcement. Reporter Kim Howard spoke with Extension Educator Cheri Burcham for this report.

 

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LGBTQ Month Being Celebrated in Illinois

LGBTQ leaders were honored at an event in Chicago on Wednesday, hosted by Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs. LGBTQ activists and business leaders were part of the event in Chicago which celebrated October as LGBT Month in the state of Illinois. Reporter Kim Howard has more on the event with Treasurer Frerichs. 

 

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BBB Offers Payday Loan Precautions

The Better Business Bureau wants you to know the hazards of taking out a payday loan. Nationally, the agency received more than 1,000 complaints about payday lenders last year. Many complaints revolved around the loans’ high interest rates, as well as difficulty canceling a loan contract or obtaining a refund for automatic payments withdrawn in error. BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says payday lenders tend to appeal to people who may be unable to obtain a credit card or bank loan.

A common finance charge is $15 or $30 per $100 borrowed, and annual interest rates can balloon into the hundreds. These high interest rates can force these borrowers to renew the loan and pay new fees every two weeks until they can finally save enough to pay off the principal and get out of debt.

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Henry County Board of Supervisors Agenda October 17th

RECESSED ANNUAL HENRY COUNTY BOARD MEETING
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2019, 6:00 P.M.
COUNTY BOARD ROOM 102J – JUDICIAL WING
HENRY COUNTY COURTHOUSE
307 W. CENTER STREET, CAMBRIDGE, ILLINOIS
MEETING AGENDA
Call meeting to order 6:00 p.m. – Marshall Jones, Board Chairman
Prayer – Kathy Nelson, Chaplain
Pledge of Allegiance
Call of the Roll
Approval of Agenda
1. Public Comment.
2. Approval of the September 18, 2019 Special Session Meeting Minutes and
September 18, 2019 Annual Session Meeting Minutes (enclosed).
3. County Board Presentations:
A. Regional Office of Education – Angie Zarvell
4. Reports to be placed on file: Bi-State, Health Department, Veteran’s,
Clerk/Recorder Fees, Henry County Economic Development Partnership and
other reports filed at meeting.
5. Communications:
A. Outside Agency Appointment Reports.
6. Appointments/Reappointments:
A. Confirmations.
I. Re-appointment to the Mud Creek Special Drainage District,
the name Dwaine C. Verbeck, term from September 2, 2019 to
September 6, 2022
B. To Be Held Over.
II. Appointment to the Ethics Commission, the name Ray
Jacobs, term from November 1, 2019 through July 31, 2020
III. Appointment to the Rural Revolving Loan Fund Board, the
name Chanda Dowell, term from June 1, 2019 through May
31, 2022
IV. Appointment to the Rural Revolving Loan Fund Board, the
name Mark Mosbarger, term from June 1, 2019 through May
31, 2022
C. Chair Appointments – Additional Appointments.
V. Appointment to the Henry County Board, the name of Ray
Elliott, term October 17, 2019 through November 1, 2020
7. Standing Committee Reports/Action Items:
A. Health & Social Services – Jan May
VI. Approval of Hiring Janet Holmberg as Hillcrest Home Administrator
B. Administration – Ned Richardson
VII. Approval of One-Year Maintenance Contract Renewal with
Northwest
VIII. Approval of Unitrends Agreement
C. Planning & Development – Lynn Sutton
D. Public Safety – Shawn Kendall
E. Transportation – Jeffrey Orton
 F. Finance
IX. Treasurer & County Clerk’s Reports (to be placed on file).
X. County Accounts
XI. Approval of Line Item Additions
XII. Approval of County Clerk Line Item Adjustment
XIII. Presentation of the FY2020 Henry County Budget, to be held over
until the November Board meeting, and the Summary of Preliminary
Tax Levy (informational)
G. Executive – Kippy Breeden
XIV. Approval of County Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax
8. Old Business:
9. New Business:
10. County Board Comment.
11. Closed Session
A. 5ILCS 120/2 (c)(1) (personnel matters)
B. 5ILCS 120/2 (c)(2) (collective bargaining matters)
C. 5ILCS 120/2 (c)(11) (pending litigation)
D. 5ILCS 120/2 (c)(21) (discussion of closed session minutes)
E. Actions from Closed Session
12. Next meeting date/time/location: Recessed Annual Session County Board
Meeting, Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Henry County
Courthouse, Courtroom 102J, 307 W. Center Street, Cambridge, IL.
13. Adjourn meetin

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The City of Kewanee Announces Water Shutoff for Thursday

The City of Kewanee has announced a water shutoff for Thursday... 

 

The City of Kewanee Water Department is continuing work on a water main repair project on Terry Avenue.  On Thursday, October 17, water will be shut down from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the following addresses:

 

931 and 934 North East Street

914 to 1022 Terry Avenue

934 and 1000 North Grace Avenue

 

Any residents whose water is off during this time will be under a boil order for 48 to 72 hours following restoration of service.

 

Residents in these areas may also experience low water pressure or rusty water.  Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas.

 

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Remaining Firearm Deer Permits Went On Sale Tuesday

Firearm deer permits are on sale for the remaining tags starting today.
DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says those will be sold until there are none left or the season has expired. Those can be purchased at dnr.illinois.gov.

Resident and non-resident archery deer permits are still available. According to Torbert, those are available through their website or certified vendors.

Additionally, DNR officials are hoping hunters will take chronic wasting disease, or CWD, kits. Torbert says they will be taking samples through the end of the archery season into January. dnr.illinois.gov is the website for information on all deer permits and CWD sample information.

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The Origins of Bakersville on Kewanee Back When

Bakersville returns to Kewanee on Saturday, October 19th but where did the idea for Bakersville come from? Dave Clarke and Sean Kernan set out to answer that question on the latest edition of Kewanee Back When. Special guests Tracy Breedlove and Troy Nell were on hand because both were there for the first Bakersville and Troy tells us that it began with something fun that his dad, former Kewanee Parks Director Jerry Nell, liked to do with his kids... 

You can hear all about the origins of Bakersville in the latest Kewanee Back When Podcast linked here

 

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Kewanee City Council May Move Forward with Making Advel Court a Public Street

At Tuesday night's Kewanee CIty Council Meeting, the Council discussed a petition signed by the residents of Advel Court, a private street in Kewanee. The residents of Advel Court want the City to take over maintenance of Advel Court as a public street. The Council informed residents of Advel Court that it was possible to do that, but it would cost the residents of Advel Court certain amounts in assessments. Those amounts were discussed at Tuesday night's meeting...

These are tentative estimates and could increase if there are unforseen circumstances. Nothing was voted on on Tuesday night, it was a discussion only item. Based off of the petition and last night's discussion, city staff will draft an agreement for the City to take over Advel Court which will then be voted on at a future Kewanee City Council Meeting. 

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How Will Local Communities Regulate Legalized Marijuana?

Questions surround exactly what local municipalities can and cannot do to regulate legal marijuana. Soon, cities across Illinois will have decisions to make regarding what types of rules can be put in place to regulate legalized recreational marijuana which comes to Illinois as of January 1st. Reporter Cole Lauterbach examines some of the questions... 

The Kewanee City Council held a discussion of potential marijuana regulation at Tuesday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting. The consensus appeared to indicate that the City of Kewanee would potentially hold a public meeting to allow Kewanee residents to weigh in on regulation of marijuana. At the very least, the City of Kewanee is likely to hold an informational meeting to educate the public about what is in the marijuana legalization bill and how Cities are able to regulate it.

Mayor Gary Moore will discuss the issue further on today's People to People program on WKEI. If you would like to know more about legalized marijuana and what cities can and cannot due to regulate it, the Illinois Municipal League has a guide which you can read, linked here

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State and Federal Partnership Touting Chicago Infrastructure Plans

Chicago is set to receive more than $1.2 Billion dollars for infrastructure projects as part of Rebuild Illinois. Governor J.B Pritzker on Tuesday made an appearance at a Chicago elementary school to talk to kids about the infrastructure plans for the city which include improvements to the Kennedy Expressway, improvements to public transportation, and money for the CREATE program, which stands for Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency... 

 

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Lawmakers Calling for Downstate Pension Consolidation

State Representative Mark Batnick is among a group of lawmakers who want to address pension consolidation during the fall veto session of the Illinois statehouse. Representative Batnick spoke this week to reporter Greg Bishop about what pension consolidation might mean and why he hopes that pension consolidation will pass sooner than later... 

 

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Kewanee Citizens Call for Animal Control as Council Defends Officer in Shooting of Pitbull

At Tuesday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting citizens used the public comment portion of the meeting to call upon the City of Kewanee to bring back Animal Control, as in specifically trained animal control officers, to deal with what Kewanee Police reported this week were 777 calls regarding loose dogs in the City of Kewanee in the last 12 months. Citizen Betty Dorsey was the first to speak out on Tuesday night...

Ms Dorsey was followed by Trisha Folz 

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore, a former Police Officer who handled animal control calls like any other officer during his time with the Kewanee Police Department defended the actions of the Kewanee Police Officer in the incident in question, the shooting of a pitbull last Friday afternoon in Kewanee... 

The Mayor was followed by Council Member Mike Yaklich who further stated support for the officer in question...

Council members Colomer, Faber and Komnick also voiced support for the Officer at Tuesday night's meeting. Mayor Gary Moore will further address the issue of Animal Control and loose dogs in Kewanee on today's edition of People to People at 9:35 Am on WKEI. 

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State Ag Pest Coordinator Sums Up 2019 Growing Season

There were many things on the radar as Kelly Estes sums of the 2019 growing season in Illinois. She serves as Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign.


Looking ahead to 2020, it’s all about scouting. Estes says knowing what insects growers had this year will help lead them into next year and that’s probably how they can make their best decisions moving forward.

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Challenges Anticipated with Legal Weed

While there are established, accepted and legally binding blood alcohol levels when determining when someone is drunk or incapacitated, no such tests exist to see if you are high on marijuana. With recreational weed becoming legal in Illinois next year, that has employers trying to figure out policy on how to address its use. A spokesman from OSF Healthcare outlines some of the challenges.

Troy Overholt, Vice President for Occupational Health at OSF HealthCare admits to employers that while it may be risky and has yet to be challenged in court, monitoring for marijuana impairment in an employee may need to be less scientific and more observational.

There is no scientifically reliable way to measure for marijuana intoxication. THC is stored in fat cells, so the length of time it's in your system is not a blood test level. So, he says you could test high today from use weeks or months ago, and it depends greatly on frequency and the amount of use.

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Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference Later this Week in Normal

Those affiliated with Route 66 are looking forward to the Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference later this week in Normal. Geoff Ladd with the Route 66 Scenic Byway Association is looking forward to the conference. He says if you are looking to connect the Route 66 product to your group, this is the place to be.

According to Ladd, the conference features a couple of keynote speakers that should bring great information. He's excited because the conference floats around the area but this year, they are holding it in Normal.

 

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Electric Car Start Up Shows Off In Bloomington

Name recognition of automaker Rivian might be a little low for now but the start-up has been making big news over the past few months. Amazon recently announced they plan to buy 100,000 Rivian electric delivery trucks. Those trucks are going to be built in Bloomington Normal at the site of the old Mitsubishi plant. The company held an open house on Sunday showcasing the technology and vehicles that are about a year away, Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says seeing is believing.

Pritzker says that he wants to be able there when the first Rivian vehicle rolls off the assembly line.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month Honored By Comptroller Mendoza

During National Hispanic Heritage Month Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the first Latina elected to state wide office is proud to celebrate her heritage and that of many others. Her office recognized Chef Gabriela Morin who grew up in Venezuela and now lives in Peoria where she started a small business called Eat and Evolve, she now delivers 500 meals a week to people’s homes and operates a restaurant. Mendoza says recognizing a chef makes sense when you think of the communal nature of food.

Another chef from Springfield was honored along with the State Senate Sergeant at Arms.

 

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Ag meteorologist Says Hard Freeze Not Likely Until Late October or Early November

There’s been a threat of frost in parts of Illinois over the last week, but nothing significant. It’s looking like a real hard freeze is out of the question until late October or even early November.


Those comments from DTN Chief Agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson on Tuesday morning on the RFD Radio Network.

 

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Confederate Railroad Returning to Illinois on October 18th at Fulton County Fairgrounds

Southern Rock Country stars Confederate Railroad are coming back to Illinois for the first time since their controversial booting from the DuQuoin State Fair. The band known for such hits as “Trashy Women,” and “Queen of Memphis,” are coming to Lewistown, Illinois on October 18th as part of their “Lucky to Be Alive Tour 2019.” The concert at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on Saturday starts at 8 Pm but gates open at 4 Pm. Tickets to see Confederate Railroad at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Lewistown cost $20.00 for general admission, $25.00 for trackside seats and $30.00 for VIP Reserved Box Seats. 

 

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Illinois Manufacturing Association President Has Concerns About Governor's Economic Plan

Last week, Governor J.B Pritzker released his five year plan for the Illinois Economy. Now, the 5 sectors that the Governor cited in his plan are beginning to react to that plan. The President of the Illinois Manufacturing Association, Mark Denzler, tells our reporter Greg Bishop that he has concerns about the Governor's long term plans, specifically about workers comp reform and tax costs... 

 

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Electric Vehicle Start Up Expects to Have Vehicles for Sale Before End of the Year

Rivian, the electric car company start up now headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois expects to have cars for sale before the end of the year. The company which received $49 million dollars in tax exemptions to open in the former Mitsubishi plant in Bloomington in 2018, made the announcement of their plans for having cars on the road before the end of the year at an event with lawmakers over the weekend. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Mental Health Walk a Reminder of Resources Available for Those In Need

The Mental Health Walk at Wethersfield High School on Saturday, October 12th proved to be hugely successful with a strong turn out in support of mental health services in Henry County. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center tells WKEI that the Mental Health Walk and all that came with with it was a heart-warming reminder of how much this community cares... 

Speaking of assistance for those in need of Mental Health services in our area, Carrie talked about Silvercloud, the recently launched OSF App that is a tremendous resource for those suffering from depression and other related mental health issues. Silvercloud is free and is overseen by the invaluable Beth Looney... 

Monday marked Carrie Boelens' final regular appearance on Tuned In on WKEI. Carrie has been promoted to a new position at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

You can hear our final Tuned In conversation, for now, with Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Report Outlines Roots of Illinois' Racial Inequities

New research says discrimination and segregation continue to plague Illinois and other Midwestern states. According to the report "Race in the Heartland," while more black Americans live in the 12-state Midwestern region, equity metrics here are worse than in other states. Report author Colin Gordon, professor of history at the University of Iowa, explained the problem stems from the industrial boom, when many African-Americans sought job opportunities in the Midwest. He said they found what he calls an "architecture of segregation."

"Because African-Americans fled into the Midwest for largely unionized manufacturing jobs, the collapse of that manufacturing-job base and the unions that accompanied it, does enormous damage," Gordon said. "Jobs move out to the suburbs, but the people who used to hold those jobs are quite literally stuck in place."

Between 1970 and 1980, Chicago lost roughly 118,000 blue-collar jobs while its suburbs added 237,000. Some 14% of Illinois residents are black, and the report said they face disparities in multiple areas - including poverty, infant mortality, incarceration, home ownership, education level and wealth accumulation.

Despite efforts to close racial gaps, Gordon explained, Chicago is among the eight most segregated cities as of the 2010 census.

"Chicago has been somewhat successful in diversifying its economy and not relying on that old industrial job base, but it's still very starkly segregated," he said. "And then, of course, the forgotten part of Illinois, which is across the river from St. Louis. The Illinois side of that metro region is really struggling mightily."

Gordon noted these disparities are not the result of the inevitable consequence of globalization and technological change, but rather clear and intentional public policies.

"Policies segregating housing, that undercut the power of labor unions, that made decisions about whether to fund enforcement of civil rights or not," he said. "So while in some respect it's a sort of dismal catalogue, it's also a hopeful one because what we've done by policy can also be undone by policy."

The report said solutions should focus on where they can do the most good, with policies to improve schools, jobs, safety nets, neighborhoods and families' financial security.

 

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Former Kewanee Mayor Joe Quagliano Has Died

Former Kewanee Mayor Joe Quagliano has died. Quagliano was only Mayor for one year but his time in office was notable. Quagliano was appointed to the position of Mayor of Kewanee after Mayor Emerit 'Em' Lindbeck was removed from the office in 1989. Quagliano stayed on as Mayor of Kewanee for one year before resigning the position in 1990. He was replaced by Bonnie Tomlinson. Quagliano is also known in Kewanee for having founded the Miss World Festival Pageant which is now helmed by Jeanna Moore, the wife of current Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore. Jeanna Moore paid tribute to Mr. Quagliano and his founding of the Miss World Festival in a Facebook post on Monday sending prayers to his wife Sally and their family and saying that Mr Quagliano lit up a room with his smile. Mr Quagliano was known to attend most Wethersfield Football games and was frequently a customer at The Station restaurant in Kewanee. Mr Quagliano was 82 years old. 

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Time is Now to Finish FAFSA Application, Examine College Financial Aid Options

Now is the time for those looking forward to going to College to look at financial aid possibilities ahead of 2020. Lynne Baker from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission tells WKEI that they have a number of resources available for Illinois residents to look into for help with furthering their education... 

FAFSA became available for future college students to begin checking eligibility on October 1st and getting the FAFSA application completed and submitted as close to October 1st as possible is good advice for anyone seeking help getting college financing together. Lynne Baker from ISAC tells WKEI that the biggest mistake that people make when pursuing financial aid is not looking at all the possible options available to them... 

Check out our People to People special edition with Lynne Baker in our People to People Podcast linked here

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Governor Now Backs Insulin Cap

The push to cap insulin prices at no more than $100 a month is picking up steam. Over the past few weeks Democrat State Senator Andy Manar has been building support for a bill to be called during the fall veto session. And now the Governor, JB Pritzker, is backing the plan. He says the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs has to be addressed. And for the 1.3 million Illinoisans who have diabetes, the cost of insulin shouldn’t be a decision between groceries and rent over their healthcare.

Pritzker says the cost of insulin has tripled in the past decade

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Appointee Off Tollway Board Amid Cloud of Investigation

The Chairman of the State Senate Transportation committee has stepped down. As pressure mounted on Democrat Martin Sandoval it seems that the release of an un-redacted copy of a federal search sealed the outcome of his decision. Sandoval resigned the chairmanship with a short letter to Senate President John Cullerton. And another person connected to the investigation is out of a state board position. Cesar Santoy, an alderman from Berwyn, had been nominated to the Illinois Tollway Board in February by the Governor. By the end of Friday Santoy took his name out of consideration for the spot. JB Pritzker says his office did all they could to make sure they were appointing a deserving individual to the board.

Neither Sandoval or Santoy have been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

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Kewanee Police Release Body Camera Footage of Officer Shooting at Dog

Following up on a request by WKEI the Kewanee Police Department has released the Body Camera Footage of the shooting of a Pitbull. With the release of the Body Camera Footage of the shooting of the dog, identified now as Caprice, Kewanee Police also released the following statement... 

 

"On October 11th, 2019, the Kewanee Police Department received a complaint from a citizen that an aggressive pit bull charging at people in the roadway in the 600 block of East 5th Street in Kewanee, Illinois.  This incident led to the pit bull being struck by a bullet fired from the responding officer’s service weapon.  In an effort to maintain an honest and transparent relationship with the citizens of Kewanee, the Kewanee Police Department is choosing to release the body camera footage to show the entire incident.  Several false claims on social media were made over the weekend that children were present during the incident and the pit bull was shot as it was running away from the officer.  The video shows that these statements are false and a misrepresentation of the unfortunate incident. The body camera footage clearly shows the pit bull was aggressive and approaching the officer in the street.  Over the last twelve months, the Kewanee Police Department has responded to 777 complaints of dogs running at large and 32 complaints of individuals being bitten by a dog.  These are the facts concerning this specific complaint of an aggressive pit bull running at large.  
The Kewanee Police Department was contacted by a citizen that a loose pit bull tried to attack him while he was walking in the street.  When the responding officer arrived on scene to speak with the complainant, the citizen advised the officer that the loose pit bull had charged at him three separate times and tried to bite him while he was in the roadway.  The pit bull can be heard barking throughout the video and can be seen standing at the edge of the roadway.  The officer is standing on the opposite side of the road near his vehicle.  The officer attempts to locate the owner of the pit bull so that the owner could safely retrieve the aggressive dog before anyone gets attacked.  He retrieves a catch pole from the back of his squad car in hopes of being able to safely secure the pit bull.  As the officer is speaking with a dispatcher on the phone, the pit bull starts advancing towards him across the street.  The officer informs the dispatcher he must hang up the phone as the pit bull is now coming at him.  Based upon the officer’s own observations, combined with the complainant’s information about the pit bull attempting to attack him on multiple occasions, the officer pulled his service weapon to protect himself from the aggressive pit bull.  The officer yells at the dog to get back, but the pit bull keeps barking and advancing towards him across the road towards his position.  When the pit bull gets to approximately 5 feet away from the officer and still moving towards him, the officer fires one round from his service weapon striking the pit bull.  The pit bull then runs from the area and was unable to be captured by officers.  The owner of the pit bull, Jessica Smith, was later cited for the city ordinance violation for allowing a dog to run at large.  She received a court date of November 15th at 9:00 am at Kewanee City Hall."

 

 

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IL State Police Investigating In-Custody Death at Henry County Jail

A female inmate has died while in custody at the Henry County Jail. According to a release from the Henry County Jail, 61 year old Teresa Marolf of Geneseo died while being held in a solitary holding cell at the Henry County Jail on Saturday, October 12th. Marolf was found unresponsive in her cell by Jail employees. Cambridge Ambulance was called but Marolf was pronounced dead at the jail by the Henry County Coroner's Office. The Henry County Sheriff's Office turned the investigation of Marolf's Death to the Illinois State Police, a standard investigative protocol for such a situation. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is set to be conducted this afternoon. According to the Henry County Sheriff Arrest and Citation Report, Marolf was arrested on Sunday, October 6th on charges of Domestic Battery and Aggravated Battery of a Child. 

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Tickets on Sale for Kewanee Library Music at the Carnegie

The music of Frank Sinatra will be the center piece of the next Music at the Carnegie event at the Kewanee Public Library. Singer Phil Steinberg is not a Frank Sinatra impersonator but he does love the music of Frank Sinatra and has made it his mission to keep the Chairman of the Board's legendary sound alive. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library says that you can buy your tickets for Music at the Carnegie now at the Kewanee Public Library... 

Tickets to see Phil Steinberg perform the music of Frank Sinatra and to enjoy dinner provided by P.L Damron's at the Kewanee Public Library are just $35.oo and can be purchased at the information desk at the Kewanee Public Library. Proceeds benefit the efforts of the Friends of the Kewanee Public Library. 

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University of Illinois Extension Says Now is a Good Time to Plant Spring Bulbs

If you were considering planting bulbs in your garden for spring, the University of Illinois Extension says now is a good time to get it done. Reporter Kim Howard spoke with Master Gardener Kelly Alsup for tips on getting spring bulbs in the ground and the best way to be ready for your garden next spring. 

 

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Governor Pritzker Backing Bill to Bring Down Insulin Costs

Governor J.B Pritzker has announced his support for a bill that is intended to bring down the cost of insulin. The price of the life saving diabetes drug has skyrocketed in recent years. This has led may diabetes sufferers to go without the needed drug for dangerous periods of time. The new bill would limit the cost of Insulin for the more than 1 million Illinois residents with Diabetes. Reporter Kim Howard has more... 

 

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Federal Investigation of Sandoval May Include Killing of Red Light Camera Ban

New information in the investigation of State Senator Martin Sandoval may be related to Sandoval's killing of a bill that would have banned the use of red light cameras. According to the newly unredacted federal search warrant of Sandoval's Springfield offices, information appears to indicate that the probe may center around Sandoval working to kill a popular bill that would have banned the use of Red Light Cameras in small communities. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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State Senator Sandoval Relinquishes Chairmanship Amid Federal Corruption Probe

State Senator Martin Sandoval has finally stepped down as the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Sandoval, who is at the center of a federal corruption probe had maintained his chairmanship of the committee even after his offices were raided by federal investigators last month and despite Governor Pritzker calling for Sandoval to step down. Meanwhile, a Pritzker appointee, Cesar Santoy, another target of the same federal probe has been withdrawn as an appointee by the Governor. Reporters Greg Bishop and Cole Lauterbach have more on the new unredacted Federal Search Warrant that finally led to Sandoval stepping aside... 

 

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Rockford Approves Hard Rock Casino Bid

The Rockford City Council has moved the City closer to having a brand new casino. Last week, the Rockford City Council voted in favor of a bid for a new casino by the owners of the famed Hard Rock Casino, Hard Rock Internation, to build a 65,000 square foot casino along I-90 in Rockford. Reporter Scot Bertram spoke with State Senator Dave Syverson about the next step, approval by the State House for Hard Rock International... 

 

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Newer Homes More Dangerous In A House Fire

As fewer people are dying in house fires those blazes are becoming more dangerous. Ed Canny, a Fire Marshall with the Springfield Fire Department says new home building materials create a toxic environment that makes a quick escape all that more important.

Canny says most fire deaths now occur from smoke inhalation and not from burns.

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Duckworth Supports Work of The House On Impeachment

She’s not directly included in the Impeachment process but US Senator Tammy Duckworth says that she supports the work of the House. The Democrat feels that the investigation absolutely needs to move forward.

Duckworth says that transparency in the process is a major issue and she says if the Trump administration has nothing to hide then they should show everyone all the evidence they have.

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Kewanee City Offices Closed for Columbus Day

Offices of the City of Kewanee are closed on Monday, October 14th. October 14th is Columbus Day, a national holiday which also precipitates the closing of Post Offices and many banks. The Columbus Day Holiday on this Monday means no Landscape Waste Pick up this week in Kewanee but will not effect regular trash or recycling pick up for the week. The Kewanee City Council Meeting has been moved to Tuesday night at 7 Pm to accomodate the holiday. 

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First United Methodist Women to Hold Fall Dinner Friday October 18th

First United Methodist Church in Kewanee has announced that the First United Methodist Women will be holding their Fall Dinner on Friday, October 18th. According to First United Methodist Church officials, the Fall Dinner will go on from 4:30 to 6:30 Pm on Friday evening, October 18th. The menu includes Pork Loin with Sauce, Scalloped Potatoes, Country Green Beans, Choice of Salad and a Roll, Fruit Pie and Beverage. The cost for the Fall Dinner is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children between the ages of 4 and 10 years old and kids 3 and under eat for free. Proceeds benefit the work of the First United Methodist Women. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda for 10-15-19

The Kewanee City Council meets on Tuesday, October 15th at 7 Pm in a meeting that will be carried live on the WKEI Facebook Page. The full agenda for the meeting is below... 

 

Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Closed Meeting pursuant to Section 2 (C) (5) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss General discussion
of whether land should be purchased or leased by the public body
4. Roll Call
5. Pledge of Allegiance
6. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Fill the Boot will be rescheduled for October 25th
e. Request from Tavern on Beach to use the alley between Beach St. and Franklin St. on
November 2nd from Noon to 11:00pm with cleanup completed by 12 Midnight.
f. SMO Tumbling Hay Rack ride October 26th.
7. Presentation of Bills and Claims
8. Citizen Participation
9. Business:
a) Discussion of Recreational Cannabis
b) Discussion of Changes to Medicaid Reimbursement Rates
c) Discussion of Advel Court
10. Council Communications:
11. Announcements:
• Transfer Station will be closed on Saturdays except to paying customers on October 19th from
8-12 for Cleanup Day
• Cemetery Cleanup will be October 20th-30th
• Trash carts are to be pulled back from street to property within 24 hours of trash pick up and not
left at roadside
• Trick or Treat will be on October 31st from 5-7pm
• Read Burn Notice to reiterate the rules and determination on the day
• There is a drug take-back planned for City Hall for October 26th, 2019 in the lobby of the city hall
building
12. Adjournment

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Dog Shot at by Kewanee Police Officer Survives, Home with Family

Caprice, the dog that was shot at by a Kewanee Police Officer on Friday, is alive and recovering at home with his owner. Jessica Smith, Caprice's owner, confirmed to WKEI that Caprice was struck by a bullet fired by a Kewanee Police Officer who claimed the dog was going to attack him. Caprice suffered a gunshot wound to the jaw. Smith tells WKEI that the bullet was lodged in Caprice's jaw and was removed by a veterinarian in an emergency surgery on Sunday. There is no word on whether Smith has been contacted by Kewanee Police regarding the dog. In their release on Friday, Kewanee Police had asked that if anyone saw Caprice they were to contact Kewanee Police. Caprice returned home on Sunday afternoon following a weekend search that saw dozens of Kewanee citizens launch searches and share Facebook posts in an attempt to safely locate Caprice. Meanwhile, WKEI has requested the body camera footage of the incident from Kewanee Police. We have thus far not received a response. More on this story as it develops. 

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Kewanee Officer Claims Dog Was Going to Attack Him When He Shot at It

According to the account of the Kewanee Police, officers responded to the area of 600 block of 5th Street in Kewanee regarding a loose dog. At the scene, the officer was speaking with the complaintant who had called about the loose dog when the dog approached the officer. The officer contends that the dog appeared ready to attack him when the officer pulled his firearm and fired one shot in the direction of the dog. It's unknown if the dog was struck by the officer's shot. The dog was last seen headed southbound from the scene. The dog's name is Caprice and he is wearing a lime green collar as seen in the photo given to WKEI by Caprice's owner.

If you see Caprice, Kewanee Police would like you to call them at 309-853-1911. 

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Kewanee Public Library Celebrate Grant with Civil War Nurse Re-en-actor

The Kewanee Public Library has received a grant from the Illinois Humanities Scholar Program. This grant will allow the Kewanee Public Library to put on an incredible re-enactment of the life of Ann Bradford Stokes, a famed African American nurse during the Civil War. Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library explains... 

This incredible performance by Marlene Rivera will take place on October 29th at 6:30 Pm at the Kewanee Public Library. 

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Duckworth Worried About US Leaving Kurdish Troops in Syria

US Senator Tammy Duckworth is worried about the President’s decision to pull US troops away from the Syrian and Turkish border. The move by Donald Trump leaves a Kurdish force to now engage in battle with Turkey and still try to defend dentition camps filled with ISIS fighters. Before the decision was made to remove them, US troops were working with the Kurds to keep peace in the region.

Duckworth says on this issue she agrees with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham that the President has made a serious mistake.

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Republican Lawmaker Wants Redo on Capitol Bill

A Republican lawmaker is calling for the state’s capitol bill to be scrapped. Allen Skillicorn says the $45 billion capitol bill won’t give tax payers any assurances that billions in new tax money will be spent responsibly. Skillicorn says no meaningful reforms came with tax increases and now the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee is under investigation by the FBI and IRS.

Senator Martin Sandoval has yet to be charged with a crime. And a number of lawmakers including the Governor have asked for him to step down or be removed from the Chairmanship.

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Black Hawk College Announces Free Application Day

Black Hawk College has announced a free appllication day for October 18th. According to the release from Black Hawk College, there will be a free application day for students planning to attend Black Hawk College in Spring, Summer or Fall of 2020. The Free Application Day at Black Hawk College is set for October 18th from 12:01 Am to 11:59 Pm. To take advantage of Free Application Day go to BHC.Edu/Apply and use the code: FREE APP. 

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Galesburg Police Announce $13,000 Meth Bust

On Thursday, the Galesburg Police announced the arrest of two people on charges related to possession of Methamphetamine and Heroin. According to the Galesburg Police Department, the arrests occurred on Wednesday, October 9th just after 12:30 Pm. 28 year old Nicholas Hennenfent and 19 year old Breona M Harris are facing charges related to possession and intent to distribute more than $13,000 worth of drugs. Hennenfent stands charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Heroin with Intent to Deliver and two Knox County warrants for Delivery of Methamphetamine each warrant carries a $100,000 bond. Ms Harris was arrested and charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia as well as warrants out of Knox County, Warren County, and Henderson County. Both arrests were the result of a weeks long investigation. As a result of this arrest, Officers seized just over a 1/4lb (133.6g) of Methamphetamine having an approximate street value of $13,000, as well as 7.6g of Heroin having an approximate street value of $750.

 

 

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Downstate Police and Fire Pension Could be Missing Out on Millions

A pension taskforce says that Illinois downstate police and fire pensions are leaving millions of dollars of lost returns on the table and the 649 individual funds should be consolidated into just two. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker announced the task forces’ findings today and says now is the time to stop small funds from losing even more money.

The task force pegs the lost returns at a million dollars a day. And says if the funds were brought together they could generate a billion to two billion in new gains over the next five years.

Any move to consolidate the funds needs to be approved by lawmakers.

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State Representative Bob Morgan Talks to WKEI About CBD Bill

State Representative Bob Morgan was in the news this week after he announced that he would be introducing a bill intended to create regulations for products that contain, or claim to contain CBD, a hemp extract. Representative Morgan spoke to WKEI about what led him to wanting to write a bill regulating CBD... 

State Representative Morgan says the Federal government, specifically the FDA, have not done their jobs when it comes to making sure these products are safe and that necessitates a bill like the one he will be bringing to the fall session... 

You can hear our complete interview with State Representative Bob Morgan in a special edition of Tuned In which is online now in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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The Master's Trio Performing in Kewanee this Weekend at First Baptist Church

The music of The Master's Trio, a popular touring gospel trio from Kentucky, will be heard throughout First Baptist Church in Kewanee this Saturday. Brock Tumbleson tells WKEI that the show is this weekend and everyone is invited to come and enjoy the rich gospel tradition...

Showtime is 6:30 Pm to 8 Pm on Saturday at First Baptist Church in Kewanee. 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Blood Drive Today October 10th and Chris Downs Retiring

The latest OSF Saint Luke Medical Center and Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Blood Drive is taking place today at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in the East and West Conference Rooms. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center says she want to "Taco bout" because Tacos are being served for donors today in the canteen at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center... 

Walk-ins are welcome for the blood drive today and while you are on hand to give blood be sure to give well wishes to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center's Lab Director Chris Downs' who is retiring from OSF after 42 years... 

Regional Media would like to extend our congratulations to Chris Downs on her retirement. Enjoy it Chris and thank you for what you've done for the community. 

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Gary Metivier on the Passing of Honor Flight Founder Bob Morrison

On Tuesday, the man whose vision for helping World War 2 veterans in Iowa and Illinois to get to see the memorials in their honor in Washington D.C, Bob Morrison, passed away. Mr Morrison founded Honor Flight of the Quad Cities and brought together veterans and volunteers in a remarkable effort that has raised money and awareness of our elderly veterans and given them moments and memories for a lifetime. Gary Metivier was a frequent collaborator and friend of Bob Morrison and he recalls Bob asking him if he thought the community would support something like Honor Flight... 

Gary Metivier tells WKEI that Bob Morrison's legacy goes beyond just veterans, but into the lives of the generations of families of veterans who will never forget what Honor Flight did for them... 

Four years ago, Bob Morrison was forced to step away from Honor Flight due to Frontal Temporal Dementia. Gary Metivier tells us that the diagnosis was devastating but that Bob wanted people to be aware of the condition which led to Gary chronicling Bob's disease in his final interview before his health declined... 

Bob Morrison, the founder of Honor Flight of the Quad Cities will never be forgotten. 

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Bustos and Durbin Tout Prison Jobs in Northwest Illinois

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos joined Senator Dick Durbin at a federal prison in Thomson, Illinois this week to discuss the growing economy. The facility is up to 400 employees and will be looking for 200 more. Bustos then joined Durbin in nearby Savanna to answer questions from constituents…

Other topics discussed by Bustos were health care costs, gun control, and staying involved in the community.

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Rural Illinois Towns Struggling to Find Volunteer Firefighters

For many rural communities, first responders heavily rely on citizen volunteers to bolster resource-constrained fire and emergency service departments at all levels. In many rural areas throughout the state very few people are volunteering, leaving too few providers to respond to emergency calls. Craig Swartz is the assistant fire chief in the Saunemin Fire Protection District. He says numbers have been dwindling, and some days it’s a struggle to staff the department, especially during certain times of the year.

Because tight schedules are often a stumbling block for would-be volunteers, OSF HealthCare Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac is working to provide training for these citizens with the help of online technology. Saint James is launching an online Emergency Medical Responder course. Emergency Medical Responders receive additional medical training beyond normal First Aid and CPR but do not engage in more complex medical procedures like those done by EMTs and Paramedics. Michael Mercer, the EMS Educator, at OSF Saint James….

The course will run from January 23 to March 14, 2020. It is designed to provide training in a way that is minimally disruptive. Students in the six-week course do a majority of their training online but have three required in-person sessions on Saturdays in Pontiac.
Registration for the Online EMR Course is now open. Call 815-842-4984 or 815-842-6821 for more information.

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International Dairy Tour Wraps Up

Illinois welcomed international visitors from around the globe this past week for a tour of the dairy industry. The participants were from Mexico, Central America and Thailand. A number of dairy farmers made the trip including Jose Mariucci from Guatemala where he and other farmers started a cooperative similar to Prairie Farms. He liked seeing the different ways dairy farmers produce milk and says he came ready to learn ways to improve his own dairy.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says they expect the economic impact of the tour to be about a million dollars in sales.

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LaHood Sees Positive Action on Trade War with China

Again there seems to be positive momentum with trade talks between the US and China this week. Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says he’s never been fan of tariffs being applied in a trade war but China has been ripping off the US for years and if this is what’s need to balance the playing field then he supports it.

LaHood remains hopeful the two sides can strike a trade deal or truce soon.

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No Broad Energy Bill Seen For Veto Session

Will climate change demonstrations around Illinois lead to broad legislation to address energy at the state house in the fall veto session? Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says probably not, but current obligations will drive the state to adopt more renewable energy production. However, Pritzker does support the movement to address climate change.

According to Pritzker only seven percent of the state’s energy is produced by wind and less than one percent by solar and he says the state can do more.

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Stop II Holding Wind Turbine Informational Meeting Tonight at Black Hawk College

STOP II, the Sauk Trail Organization for Preservation will be holding an informational meeting tonight from 7 Pm to 9 Pm at the Hoge Auditorium at Black Hawk College. The program titled "Wind Turbines: Understanding the Threat" will feature keynote speeches by Kendall Guither, President of Informed Farmer Coalition from Walnut, Illinois and Kevon Maetis, Vice President of Wind Action. Dick Wells, with the Burns Township Coalition will be the MC of tonight's program and he joined WKEI this morning...

 

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Governor Pritzker Doesn't Expect Movement on Comprehensive Energy Plan in Fall Session

While many in the Illinois Statehouse are eager to get to work on a comprehensive energy plan in the state of Illinois, Governor J.B Pritzker is taking a much slower approach to energy policy. Reporter Greg Bishop says that the Governor doesn't expect to work on a comprehensive energy plan during the upcoming fall session.... 

 

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9 Year old Charged with First Degree Murder in Goodfield, Illinois

A mobile home fire in April in Goodfield, Illinois, just over an hour away from Kewanee, has led to First Degree Murder charges against a 9 year old boy. The Peoria Journal Star was the first to report that prosecutors in Woodford County have made the decision to levy 5 charges of First Degree Murder along with 2 charges Arson and one charge of Aggravated Arson. The April 6th fire killed five people, including three children. Fox News Radio's Jill Nado has more on this horrific story... 

The child's relationship to the victims is unknown.

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Wethersfield Schools Announce Annual Veteran's Day Day Program Plans

Celebrating Veteran's Day at Wethersfield Schools has become a yearly tradition with the school inundated with photos from families of veterans past and present to be part of the annual Veteran's Day Program featuring the always emotional Digital Slideshow featuring those photos. This year's Veteran's Day Program is set for Monday, November 11th at 1:30 Pm at Wethersfield Elementary School in the gymnasium. As a special “Thank You” to all of our Veterans, Wethersfield will be hosting a Veteran’s Day Reception, just prior to the program, at 12:30pm in the Elementary Gym.  Appetizers, desserts, coffee and water will be provided. Then, the public program gets underway at 1:30 Pm with featured speaker CW3 Andrew Mosley of the U.S. Army. CW3 Mosley is a Wethersfield parent and served three tours in the Middle East during his 27 year military career. CW3 Mosley will be speaking about Service to Country in a presentation called “What it Means to Be a Veteran”. If you would like to attend the Wethersfield School Veteran's Day Program featuring CW3 Mosley you must RSVP to Wethersfield Schools at 309-853-4860. As for this year's Digital Slideshow of Veteran's photos, if you would like to have your veteran's photo in as part of the slideshow be sure to submit the photo by NOVEMBER 4th. Wethersfield organizers ask that you e-mail an electronic copy of the picture(s) to cdana@geese230.com or drop copies of the pictures off to the Wethersfield Unit Office. In submitting the picture(s) please include name, military branch, and contact phone number.  Please phone the Unit Office at 853-4860 with questions.

 

 

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Good News in the Kewanee Housing Market

There is good news in the world of home sales in Kewanee. Will Sagmoen with the Mid Valley Association of Realtors joined WKEI on Tuesday's edition of Tuned In and said that while the market has been smaller, in terms of the number of homes up for sale, sale prices for homes in Kewanee have been going up... 

You can hear our entire conversation with Will Sagmoen about the Kewanee Housing Market and what a good realtor can do for you in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Kewanee Door Fence Application to Be Heard by Kewanee Zoning Board October 16th

The famed Kewanee Door Fence at the home of Kewanee resident Brenda Weston will be discussed by the Kewanee Zoning Board of Appeals in a meeting on Wednesday, October 16th at 7 Pm. The meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals is open to the public and anyone who is for or against Brenda Weston's petition for a variance for her unique fence made from old doors is allowed to attend. The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear from any interested parties during this meeting and will then vote for or against allowing the variance for the non-approved materials for the fence which remains in the process of being constructed. The Zoning Board of Appeals is not the final decision on the fence. The Zoning Board wil vote on the petition and that vote will then become the Zoning Board recommendation to the Kewanee City Council which will have the final say on whether the Door Fence will be allowed to stand. The City Council will take up the issues of the Door Fence, barring other circumstances, at the October 28th Kewanee City Council Meeting.

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Youth Deer Permits Still Available

Youth firearm deer permits are still available ahead of this weekend's youth hunt. DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says permits are still available as DNR officials ready for this weekend's youth hunts across Illinois.

Currently, the county where you acquire your permit is the only place you can hunt however, Torbert indicates next year that changes. She explains the Governor signed legislation that will allow any permit-holder to hunt in any county.

Again, the youth hunt is Saturday, October 12 through Monday, October 14. Additionally, Torbert indicates over-the-counter sales of the remaining firearm permits will go on sale starting October 15. Visit dnr.illinois.gov for all the information on the seasons and permit information.

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Tragic Accidents in Whiteside and Mercer County Highlight Need of Farm Safety Education

Even though it’s been a few weeks since National Farm Safety and Health Week, Illinois Department of Agriculture director John Sullivan hopes the message to heed cautiously during harvest season has not been lost. It’s been a deadly start in Illinois with two fatalities last week, one involving a grain bin and another involving a tractor.


The grain bin fatality occurred last Thursday near Keithsburg, in Mercer County, killing a 66 year old man after he fell into a silo. The tractor accident occurred in Whiteside County in Sterling last Saturday. The Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department report indicated a car attempted to pass the tractor, but the vehicle impacted the tractor’s carriage and a passenger in the car, a nine year old girl, died as a result of the mishap.

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Warmer September Trend Followed by Cooler and Wet October Trend in Illinois

Quite the contrast in Illinois when evaluating rain totals over the last four weeks. There have been more than ten inches of precipitation recorded in some parts of northern Illinois over the last month with just seven-tenths of an inch in southeastern Illinois says Freese-Notis meteorologist Dan Hicks.


Hicks says looking at the latter part of the six to ten day forecast and 11-to-15 day period, temperatures will start to moderate.

 

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Overnight Frost in Play in Places in Illinois This Weekend

Farmers have been against the clock this harvest season to beat the first significant frost/freeze of the fall. This weekend is bringing a real possibility for frost in parts of Illinois. Temperatures in central Illinois will hover in the 50s and Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says this is the part of the month when we first get to the freezing temperatures that bring a frost.

While the weekend forecast leaves the possibility for the first frost, Miller says there's good news on the horizon as they are showing dry trends to finish off the month of October.

Friday rains could bring some stormy weather with them. Miller says the storm center is keeping an eye on things in that realm as rains could extend from Illinois and Indiana to Louisiana and Mississippi.

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Dem Senators Think Sandoval Should Step Aside

As lawmakers prepare to convene in Springfield for the Fall Veto session a possible federal investigation looms over a Democratic Senator. Martin Sandoval had his home and offices raided by the FBI and IRS but the Democrat is still the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. And although the Governor has called on him to step down from his post he hasn’t. Democrat Senator Laura Murphy says right now Sandoval should step aside.

Senate President John Cullerton has yet to apply any public pressure on Sandoval to give up his spot.

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Fall Cemetery Clean Up in Kewanee

The City of Kewanee has announced that the cemetery clean up crew will be cleaning local cemeteries between October 20th and October 30th. During this time the City of Kewanee is asking residents to help out. During this period, all decorations will be picked up and discarded. Anyone wishing to save their decorations must pick them up before October 20, 2019. The Cemetery Department asks that no new decorations be put out until after the clean-up period has ended. This clean-up applies to Pleasant View, South Pleasant View, Mount Olivet, St. Mary’s, Kewanee, Russian, and Wethersfield Cemeteries.

If there are any questions, please contact the Sexton's office at 853-4649.

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More Details Emerge in Geneseo Double Murder Plot

Geneseo Police have released more information regarding the arrest of Shannon J Jones who stands charged with 2 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder and 2 Counts of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. According to the Geneseo Police Department, the incident came to light following a Domestic Disturbance call at a private residence on Aldrich Street in Geneseo. Officers investigating the call suspected something unusual about the call and through their efforts, they uncovered the plot that led to the arrest of Shannon J Jones. An accomplice in the plot, an as yet unnamed male, is currently being treated at a local medical facility and a warrant for arrest will be served in due course with the suspect brought in front of the court to stand charges of Attempted First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. Geneseo Police are releasing further details in an attempt to quell any rumors regarding the case and to assure the public that this was an isolated domestic incident and not an ongoing danger to the public. 

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Aurora Illinois Man Killed in Lee County Accident

Lee County investigators are still attempting to determine why 35 year old Juan Moreno of Aurora, Illinois was walking along Interstate 39 in Lee County early Monday morning when he was struck and kiled in a tragic accident. According to Lee County investigators, no vehicle was located and no other evidence indicates why Moreno was walking along the side of the road when a vehicle driven by 25 year old Savanna Berry of Mendota struck him. Moreno died at the scene. The investigation of the accident is ongoing and no charges have been filed as yet. 

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Illinois Lottery Launches New Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure

The Illinois Lottery has launched its latest ticket for the cure. The annual Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure is on sale now for $3.00 per ticket with a grand prize of up to $20,000 for lucky ticket scratchers. More importantly, all of the proceeds from Ticket for the Cure sales goes to the fight against breast cancer. Reporter Kim Howard has more... 

As Kim mentioned, Ticket for the Cure launched in 2006. The ticket was later renamed The Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure in honor of former Illinois Lottery Director Carolyn Adams who passed away from Breast Cancer in 2007. 

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Illinois Residents Carry Less Personal Debt Than Residents of Other States

Whether it is credit card debt or any other type of debt, Illinois residents, on average, carry less debt than residents of other states. That news from a study by the Federal Reserve and Equifax. So the question then becomes why? Why is it that Illinois residents do carry less personal debt than people in other states? Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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State Lawmaker Proposing Regulations on CBD Oil

The hemp extract known as CBD is currently unregulated in the state of Illinois. State Representative Bob Morgan is aiming to change that. In an interview with our Greg Bishop, Morgan discusses concerns over how something that is becoming a pervasive product across the state has been subject to little testing for its overall effect or to determine if the product actually does what it claims to do... 

 

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Salt Deduction Lawsuit Thrown Out of Federal Court

Under the rules known as SALT, State and Local Tax deductions, states with high tax burdens such as the state of Illinois could have a portion of their tax burden taken care of by the federal government. Now however, with a federal court ruling that federal caps on SALT deductions are constitutional, Illinois and other high tax states could have to become more competitive on tax rates. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF Lights Up the Night in Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is going pink for October. Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday and let us know that throughout the month of October, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will be lit up in Pink in support of breast cancer patients everywhere... 

Along the same lines as Breast Cancer Awareness are Walk-In Wednesdays at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. For those who might have some fear of making an appointment to get a mammogram, you can now simply walk-in on Wednesdays and get your mammogram done... 

Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center was our guest on Tuned In on Monday and you can hear our complete interview with Carrie in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Ottawa Man Shares Connection to 50 Year Anniversary of Monty Python

Ottawa area native Kim Howard Johnson isn’t away from home at one of the Monty Python 50th anniversary celebrations. But he stays in touch with the comedians he’s worked with for about 40 years and says he’s there in spirit this weekend. Johnson says he was one of the first American fans when PBS station WTTW put the Monty Python shows on TV Sunday nights in the 1970s.


And a month later, he was involved in filming The Life of Brian in Tunisia.Howard has written books about Monty Python and worked for John Cleese. He says he could write his memoirs about his experiences, but he doubts they’ll sell because they aren’t scandalous stories.

 

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The "Cloud" Gets A Boost From Lawmakers

Data centers are hot in Illinois. A data center is a storage space is a central spot to collect, store and distribute computer data on the internet. Some people might call them the “cloud” and they are a billion dollar business. A new tax incentive is being touted by Illinois lawmakers that will incentivize data centers to be located in the state. The new law will give data centers of a certain size a sale tax incentive. Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer William Stein says that these centers are the hubs of future business.

The centers will have to be a project of more than $250 million and supporters say that adding new data centers to Illinois will bolster the state’s tech credentials.

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Alabama Woman Under Arrest on 2 Counts of Attempted Murder in Geneseo

The Geneseo Police Department has announced the arrest of Shannon J Jones of Center Point, Alabama on 2 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder and 2 counts of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. According to the release from the Geneseo Police Department, Shannon J Jones attempted to poison one Geneseo resident by placing a foreign substance in their drink on October 4th. Then, October 6th, it is alleged that Jones and an accomplice attempted to bludgeon a second victim at a residence in Geneseo. The victim was able to escape the home and escape serious injury. Evidence in the arrest of Shannon J Jones indicate that she and an accomplice had been planning to murder these two unnamed Geneseo residents for several weeks prior to the attempts on October 4th and October 6th. The poisoning victim is said to have no lasting effect and is making a full recovery. 

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Semi Crash on I-80 Leaves Driver in Serious Condition

A tire blow out has left a Semi-Truck driver in serious condition at OSF Saint Francis Hospital in Peoria following accident I-80 not far from Annawan. According to the release from the Illinois State Police, 58 year old Steven R Wunder was driving a 1991 Mack CMV in Mile Post 34 in Interstate 80 Westbound just before 2 Pm when a side steer tire blew up, causing him to lose control and crash into a bridge. The bridge remains closed due to the severity of the crash and potential structural damage. 

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Henry County Bar Association Hosting ID Theft Protection Forum

The Henry County Bar Association will host a presentation by the Illinois Attorney General's Office on Identity Theft Protection on Wednesday, October 9th. According to the release from the Henry County Bar Association the presentation is called ID Theft Protection and How to Protect Yourself. Representatives from the Illinois Attorney General's office will present ways in which you can make sure you are as protected as possible from identity theft. The presentation will take place at the Henry County Courthouse from 5:30 to 6:15 Pm on Wednesday, October 9th. 

 

 

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IRS Announces Special Tax Extension for Farmers and Ranchers

Due to flooding and a more difficult than normal planting and farming season in general, the Internal Revenue Service has announced a special extension for Farmers and Ranchers. Michael Devine from the IRS tells WKEI that Farmers and Ranchers who normally have taxes to pay on various types of transactions can now get an exemption on paying those taxes until December of 2020... 

Contact your tax professional or the IRS for further information on this extension of relief for farmers and ranchers. 

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Illinois Gas Tax Collects Over $200 Million in First Month

The state of Illinois collected over $200 million dollars in the first month following the implementation of a higher tax on gas. That from numbers released by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The numbers indicate that in July of 2019 versus July of 2018, the increase in collections on the gas tax was more than $100 million dollars, with a 2019 total of over $203 million dollars. Reporter Greg Bishop has more...

 

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Illinois Ranked as Least Tax Friendly State in the Nation

Kiplingers has ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of tax friendliness and ranked Illinois last. The study took into account things such as high property and gas taxes among other un-friendly taxes in the state. Reporter Greg Bishop spoke to Kiplingers Tax Editor Rocky Meagle to find out why the state of Illinois ranked as the least tax friendly state... 

 

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Corruption Costs Businesses More in Northern Illinois than Central or Southern Area

A new study indicates that corruption in the northern portion of Illinois is more costly than corruption in Central or Southern Illinois. According to the study, the overall value of a business can be affected by how much corruption is perceived or demonstrated in the area. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke to the Co-Author of the study for this report... 

 

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IRS Deadline Looming if You Received an Extension

There is a deadline looming for those taxpayers who filed for a tax filing extension in April of this year. Those who received an extension of their tax filing have until October 15th to complete filing their taxes without a penalty from the Internal Revenue Service. That from IRS Agent Michael Devine who was our guest on People to People on Friday... 

That said, if you did receive a filing extension you did not get an extension on paying your taxes if indeed you owed the IRS when you filed for the extension in April... 

Those in need of help in filing their taxes by October 15th can go to IRS.gov for numerous resources and if you find you owe the IRS money, they have various payment programs that can help you get caught up. 

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Galva Arts Council Launches Membership Drive

The Galva Arts Council is launching a membership drive this week. According to a release from the Galva Arts Council, anyone who joins this week, ahead of the October 12th Galva Arts Council CoffeeHouse concert will be entered into a drawing to win a $150.00 Wal Mart Gift Card. Individual memberships for the Galva Arts Council are $15.00, couples memberships are $25.00 and family memberships are $40.00. You do not have to attend this Saturday's Coffeehouse concert to win. Membership applications can be received via email GalvaArts@gmail.com, online at https://www.galvaartscouncil.org/join-us, or by calling 563-293-6986.

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Midwestern Grocery Store Schnucks to No Longer Sell Tobacco Products

As of January 1, 2020, Schnucks Markets will no longer sell tobacco products. Those products include cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and snuff. There are 115 Schnucks stores in five midwestern states: Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Company spokesman Paul Simon says that by doing this, they are putting health ahead of profits.

Starting October 15th, double Schnucks Reward points will be offered on over-the counter smoking cessation products. This is an effort to help smokers who want to quit tobacco. Schnucks will be announcing health and wellness initiatives in the coming months.

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Congressman Davis Believes Tariffs on EU Will Be Welcomed By Farmers

The World Trade Organization has given President Donald Trump the 'thumb's up' to impose tariffs on the EU. Congressman Rodney Davis says this is going to be a move that should make American farmers very happy.

According to Congressman Davis, in the past, the EU has not held up its end of previous agreements and now the WTO is giving the United States permission to retaliate legally against the EU's illegal use of tariffs.

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Davis Unswayed On Impeachment Talk

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis says the impeachment process underway is purely political and House Democrats are making a drive towards impeachment without any evidence of an act worthy it.

Davis wants members of Congress to take on more pressing issues including passing health care reforms and passing the USMCA trade deal.

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Dairy Tour Generates Long Term Sales

22 farmers and agribusiness folks from around the world toured Illinois dairy farms and local agribusiness companies over the past few days. The Illinois Department of Agriculture held its international dairy tour with individuals from Mexico, Guatemala and Thailand. Bobby Dowson with the IDOA says these tours pay off for Illinois in the short and long term.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the last three dairy tours resulted in $5.5 million in agriculture sales.

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Driver Seriously Injured in Friday I-80 Crash, Charged with DUI

The driver of a Semi-Truck has been charged with Driving Under the Influence following a crash on Interstate 80 Eastbound. 32 year old Jeremy B West of Milan has been charged with Driving Under the Influence and Driving While License Suspended following an accident in which the Semi-Truck West was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. The accident left West in Serious Condition at a local medical facility. No other details are being released at this time. 

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Bakersville Officially Delayed to Rain Date October 19th

Bakersville is officially delayed. Jacque Komnick tells WKEI that conditions at the Baker Park Driving Range where parking for Bakersville was set to take place Saturday night are not up to par to accomodate the traffic expected for the event. The rain date for Bakersville is October 19th and all pre-sold tickets for the event will be honored. 

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Year Three of Putting Up Lights in Northeast Park

It's the third year for putting up lights and displays for Christmas in Northeast Park and Mike Rapczak and Jerry Vandevelde have worked hard year after year to help light up the park. Both Mike and Jerry live around the park and when Brock Tumbleson came to them and wanted to light up Northeast Park they jumped at the idea...

Jerry Vandevelde says the process is very labor intensive but they've gotten some help since they started including a big assist on the electrical outlets... 

A fundraising chicken and biscuit dinner is set for Sunday afternoon at 4:30 Pm at the Henry County Senior Center. 

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September 2019 was Fourth Warmest September on Record for Illinois

September 2019 was the fourth warmest September on record in the state of Illinois. That information from State Climatologist Trent Ford. Reporter Kim Howard spoke with the state of Illinois Climatologist about September's warmer temperatures and what they mean historically in the state of Illinois. 

 

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Sending Out Thank You's on the Eve Bakersville Return

While we watch the weather in hopes of the rain holding off on Saturday for Bakersville, Jacque Komnick, a driving force in bringing Bakersville back to life offered thank you's to the many folks who have stepped forward to help bring Bakersville back to Kewanee...

The rain date for Bakersville is October 19th and while the rain and thunderstorms are a concern, so is the need for parking in the area around the driving range at Baker Park and wet ground in that area could also create difficult conditions for Bakersville. Stay tuned to WKEI for updates and whether or not the rain date will be needed for Bakersville 2019. Tickets purchased for Saturday at 7 Pm will still be good for the October 19th rain date. 

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Is it Time to Get a Check Up on Your Medicare Coverage?

Is it time for you to get a check up on your Medicare coverage? Even if you are happy with your current Medicare situation, it never hurts to have a look to see if better coverage or better prices are available. That according to Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Center. Right now, the Senior Center is setting appointments for anyone who would like to make sure that they are getting the most out of their Medicare coverage. 

Cassandra Schmoll wants to stress to everyone that checking on better Medicare coverage will not cause you to lose your current coverage. This is strictly a look and see for you to make sure that you have the best coverage possible...

To make an appointment for a Medicare Check Up at the Henry County Senior Center, call 309-853-8831. Appointments can be made with Nicole between 8 Am and 3 Pm weekdays. Cassandra Schmoll was our guest on our Tuned In program on Thursday and you can hear the entire interview in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Illinois in Poor Position to Deal with Any Economic Downturn

Were the national economy begin to struggle toward a prolonged recession, the state of Illinois could be among the states least prepared for a rainy day. That's the assessment from Standard and Poors, one of the leading credit rating agencies in the country. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke with Adam Schuester from the Illinois Policy Institute about the difficult spot the state of Illinois is in and how it could get worse. 

 

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Illinois Trailing Indiana in Getting Sports Betting Started and Online

Illinois has been one upped once again by the state of Indiana in the race to offer sports betting. Not only has Indiana beat Illinois in bringing sports gambling to casinos in the state, Indiana has now taken gambling online well ahead of the plans for Illinois to allow for online sports gambling. Indiana being in front of Illinois in these areas could cost gambling interests in Illinois millions in potential revenues while Illinois gamblers take the opportunity to gamble with the neighboring state. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Progressive Tax Critic Calls on Governor to Address Pension and Property Taxes

The CEO of Ideas Illinois is calling on Governor J.B Pritzker to address pension debt and high property taxes before the Governor moves forward with plans for a Progressive Income Tax. Greg Baise is the CEO of Ideas Illinois and he spoke with reporters recently about his criticisms of Governor Pritzker's Progressive Tax Plan just as the Governor, who is recovering from a leg injury, is returning to his schedule which includes promoting the new tax plan. 

 

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Fundamental Fairness: Troubled Youths Need Better Protections

More than a century after the world's first juvenile court was established in Illinois, advocates are still fighting to ensure that children accused of crimes aren't treated the same as adults. At the Juvenile Justice Initiative's "Re-Imagine Justice Summit" in Chicago yesterday, there were calls for a reasonable age of prosecution. While Illinois doesn't have a minimum age to try a child in juvenile court, Diane Geraghty - co-director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice at Loyola University - says age 14 is the international norm.

"It's a question of fundamental fairness," says Geraghty. "Holding people accountable for actions over which they have no meaningful control has historically, as far back as 16th century, been determined to be an unfair use of governmental power."

The United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child recently raised the minimum age of criminal responsibility for juvenile court to 14. However, Geraghty says the U.S. is the only nation in the developed world that hasn't ratified the treaty, and so isn't legally bound to the minimum international standards. Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli also spoke at the summit, and contends young children can be held accountable through restorative justice and other diversionary practices. She notes criminalizing children causes long-term harm to their overall development, and can also result in future - and sometimes increasingly violent - offenses.

"There are 34 states currently with no minimum age requirement for prosecution," says Campanelli. "It's just mind-boggling that we can arrest children for acting like children. It's barbaric, and it's got to stop. "

Campanelli also wants to ensure that all young people have access to an attorney during custodial interrogation. She notes her office has a unit available 24-7 to assist juveniles who've been taken into custody.

"I have lawyers ready, willing and able to go to every police station in Cook County and represent these people, and make sure that their rights are not being violated," says Campanelli. "Like the right to remain silent - obviously, the right to have a lawyer present during any type of questioning by law enforcement."

Others at the conference called for raising the age to be tried as a juvenile to anyone under 21. Campanelli says research shows the maturity level and cognitive thinking of emerging adults, or those ages 18 to 24, are not as fully developed as an adult's.

 

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Former Chair of Impeachment Process Says Nothing Good Will Come of It

21 years ago the Republican Chairman of the impeachment proceedings inside the US House of Representatives was Ray LaHood. With an insider’s view of the process the Republican says because the Senate likely won’t convict the President the proceedings will only lead to hard feelings and inaction in Congress.

LaHood was selected by then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to lead the process and he says he still remembers how those proceedings divided the country in 1998.

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Happy National Manufacturing Day

It’s national manufacturing day and the Illinois Manufacturing Association says that Illinois makes just about everything. Gordy Hulten with the IMA notes industry in the state creates more than $300 billion in economic output.


The food processing industry is the largest manufacturing employer in the state providing 93,000 jobs.

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Colona Murder Victim Identified by Henry County Coroner

Update: Henry County Coronor Melissa Watkins has released further details regarding the death of 51 year old Marcie Snyder of Colona. According to the Coroner's report, Snyder died from multiple lacerations. Police sources indicate that Snyder's throat had been cut and that she was dead when police arrived at the residence that Snyder shared with her alleged killed Steven L Scott of Colona. In court on Thursday, Steven L Scott was arraigned on two counts of First Degree Murder. Scott was assigned a public defender and bail for Scott was set at $1 million dollars. The penalty for the First Degree Murder Charges is 20 to 60 years in jail. 

 

Henry County Coroner Melissa Watkins has identified the woman who was allegedly murdered by Steven L Scott of Colona. According to the Henry County Coroner, 51 year old Marcie Snyder was found dead in the home she owned in Colona on Wednesday morning when Colona Police responded to a Domestic Disturbance at approximately 5:40 Am. Colona Police, assisted by Geneseo Police and the Henry County Sheriff's Department arrested Steven L Scott on Wednesday morning at the scene and the subsequent investigation led to Scott being arrested and charged with First Degree Murder. Neighbors report that Snyder and Scott had been living together in the home at the time of the incident. No other information is being released at this time. Colona Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this investigation to please call 309-792-1511 or 1-800-227-2324. 

 

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Bakersville Organizers Set Rain Date as Weather Threatens on Saturday

For all those working to bring back Bakersville there is every intention to hold Bakersville this Saturday night at 7 Pm at Baker Park. Unfortunately, Mother Nature may have something to say about that as rain threatens the returning tradition of Bakersville and E.E Baker's Nightmare. Jacque Komnick, lead organizer for Bakersville tells WKEI that organizers have set a rain date in case rain forces a cancellation this Saturday... 

October 19th is the alternate date for Bakersville meanwhile some volunteers are still needed for Bakersville whether it takes place this Saturday or on October 19th as Jacque Komnick explains... 

To volunteer at Bakersville this weekend or on the 19th if needed, call Jacque Komnick at 309-854-7039. 

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Illinois State Police Announce Enforcement Numbers for September

The Illinois State Police in District 7, Henry, Knox, Rock Island and Mercer County, have released enforcement numbers for the month of September across District 7. According to the numbers, the Illinois State Police handles 1771 calls during the month of September with 211 of those being calls for assistance by motorists. In the month of September, the Illinois State Police handed out 191 citations for Speeding, 48 citations for Seatbelt Violations, and made 9 arrests for DUI. Troopers issued 500 traffic citations in the month of September and 1372 written warnings. Finally, according to the numbers, the Illinois State Police responded to 46 traffic crashes in District 7 in September with, thankfully, no fatal injuries. 

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City of Kewanee Announces Water Main Project Starting Monday

The City of Kewanee Water Department is planning a water main repair project on Terry Avenue beginning on Monday 10/7/19. The Water Department will begin digging and work preparation on Monday beginning at 8:00 a.m.  No water will be off at this time, but work will be taking place in the roadways. On Wednesday 10/9/19 at 8:00 a.m. they will shut water off to begin the repairs.  Water is expected to be back on by the end of the same work day.  Any residents whose water is off during this time will be under a boil order for 48 - 72 hours following restoration of service.

 

The following areas will have water shut off on Wednesday:

 

·         400 - 700 blocks of East 7th Street

·         300 - 700 blocks of East 8th Street

·         400 - 700 blocks of East 9th Street

·         800 block of North East Street

·         Houses 815 to 921 on North Grace Avenue

·         Houses 718 to 915 on North Vine Street

·         Houses 636 to 915 on North Walnut Street

 

Residents in these areas may also experience low water pressure or rusty water.  Residents are asked to avoid these areas if possible and to take caution if driving near the work zone areas.

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Star Night at Black Hawk College Monday Night on the East Campuis

Black Hawk College is inviting you to come look at the stars on Monday, October 7th on the East Campus in the Ag Arena. The Black Hawk College Science Club will play host to Star Night and will be showing off several different telescopes while inviting you to bring your own telescope to use during the presentation. Set up for the event will be from 6:30 Pm to 7:30 Pm with the Star Viewing from 7:30 Pm to 11 Pm. If it is cloudy, the event will be cancelled. For further information on Star Night at Black Hawk College contact Alan Abbott at 309-854-1812. 

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Suspect Whose Vehicle Crashed into Woodfield Mall Could Face Terrorism Charge

The suspect whose vehicle crashed into Woodfield Mall has been charged with terrorism. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke with University of Illinois Professor Andrew Liepold about how state terrorism charges can be technically applied to this case and the uphill battle prosecutors may have of getting a conviction for the Class X Felony terrorism charge... 

 

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University of Illinois Facing Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit Over Sexual Harassment Claims

A University of Illinois student, a member of the U of I Student Senate, has filed suit against the University of Illinois. Student John Bambenek filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for all records related sexual harassment claims against staff members at the U of I dating back to 2014. The request was rebuffed by U of I leaders which led to the lawsuit. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on the lawsuit... 

 

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Drone Conference Coming to Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College in Normal hosting a “Drones in the Heartland” conference later this month. Among the presenters is Michael Ott with Iowa City based Rantizo.


The conference is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. And you can register at “heartland.edu.”
Other topics at the conference will include technological leaps in high resolution data and aerial photography. A portion of the day will also be devoted to a legislative and regulatory update involving drone technology.

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Governor Pritzker Wants Senate Transport Head Off Committee

The Governor wants the head of the Senate’s Transportation committee out of that top spot. Today Democrat JB Pritzker says that Democrat Martin Sandoval, who has had his offices and home raided by the FBI should lose his committee chairmanship.

This comes as the state prepares a $41 billion capitol bill branded Rebuild Illinois.

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Governor Pritzker Resuming Regular Schedule After Fractured Leg

Governor JB Pritzker is starting to resume a more public schedule since suffering a fractured leg over the summer. Pritzker was told to stay off the leg by doctors and over the past few weeks was only visible at a few events. He was out on Wednesday and says he finally gave up walking with a crutch a few days ago and is looking forward to being out more.

 

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Lights Turned Back on at Illinois Capital

The lights are back on at the State Capitol. Since 2015 the lights that would illuminate the outside of the building had been turned off because of a lack of a state budget. But after years of sitting in the dark the Capitol is illuminated again. Henry Haupt with the Secretary of State’s office says the lights have been renovated and they are shining bright.

The lights are now LED and cost about four dollars a day to run. Haupt says the old lights cost about four times as much as operate and these should last about 25 years.

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Colona Police Department Announces Murder Charges and Arrest of Steven L Scott of Colona

56 year old Steven L Scott has been arrested on charges of 1st Degree Murder. That from the Colona Police Deparment who made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Colona Police Department release, Geneseo Police, Henry County Sheriff's Department joined officers from the Colona Police Department after CPD had been called regarding a Domestic Disturbance at approximately 5:40 Am on Wednesday morning. A thorough investigation led to the arrest of Steven L Scott of Colona on the charge First Degree Murder. The investigation remains ongoing with the aid of the Henry County Coroner's Office and the Illinois State Police. Colona Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this investigation to please call 309-792-1511 or 1-800-227-2324. 

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Stark County Bus Driver Hailed as Hero After Student Has Allergic Reaction

On Tuesday afternoon Stark County bus driver Russ Schierer was driving his usual route from the elementary school in Wyoming when a student was stung by a bee. The student initially seemed alright but further down the road, it became apparent that the student was having a dangerous allergic reaction and needed immediate assistance. WKEI spoke with Russ Schierer and Stark County Schools Bus Coordinator Lonnie Dennison about what happened next... 

The name of the student is not being released at this time. We are happy to say however that she was back in school on Wednesday. Thank you Russ for keeping your cool in a scary situation. 

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People's National Bank Students of Month for Wethersfield

Wetherfield School Teens of the Month courtesy of the staff at Wethersfield High School and presented by our friends at People's National Bank in Kewanee. 

 

Cody Mosley -  Cody was picked because he is helpful and thoughtful.  He also is involved in several extra curriculars an is a leader in them.  

 

Lexi Nichols - Lexi was chosen because she is a good student taking a several dual credit classes.  She also is a good athlete and a trustworthy kid. 

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The Black Lillies Perform Tonight in Bishop Hill

The Black Lillies will be performing tonight at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons. The event gets underway at 6 Pm with a potluck dinner followed by the concert. WKEI spoke with Cruz Contreras, lead singer of The Black Lillies, about tonight's performance and what he loves about performing live and being on the road... 

The Black Lillies have a new record out called "Stranger to Me" and we asked Cruz Contreras about the difference between performing live and trying to keep up the same energy when recording in the studio... 

As mentioned, The Black Lillies have a new record out and we asked Cruz Contreras to tell us a little more about "Stranger to Me"...

The Black Lillies will be at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons tonight, Wednesday, October 2nd from 6 to 9 Pm with a potluck preceding the concert. A suggested donation of $20.00 to the Bishop Hill Creative Commons is requested. Get a sample of The Black Lillies below... 

 

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Illinois Regulators Struggling with New Child Healthcare Program for Children in State Care

The state of Illinois is implementing a new healthcare plan specifically aimed at the care of children who currently being cared for by the state of Illinois. However, this new plan has been delayed as lawmakers debate various aspects of oversight over the program. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on the difficult time lawmakers are having implementing this new program... 

 

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Next Round of Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Are Now Available

The next round of licenses for Adult Use Cannabis Dispensaries are now available. If you are a business owner eager to get into the business of owning and operating a cannabis dispensary our reporter Kim Howard says the time is now to go for a license... 

As Kim mentioned the website to go to in order to apply for a dispensary license is IDFPR.com. That's the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Applications are due by December 1st. 

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OSF Hospice Memorial Service October 20th

Father Jerry Rafalko was our guest on Tuesday's edition of Tuned In. Father Jerry joined us to talk about Fall and grief and how even the weather can trigger memories of lost loved ones and how one can deal with these complex emotions. Father Jerry also took a moment to invite the families of former OSF Hospice patients to take part in the October tradition, the OSF Hospice Memorial Service which is set to take place on October 20th in Galesburg... 

Families of former OSF Hospice patients can get in touch with Father Jerry Rafalko by contacting OSF Richard L Owens Hospice in Galesburg at 309-344-9700. You can hear the entirety of our interview with Father Jerry Rafalko in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Life Skills Re-Entry Center Creating New Art for Northeast Park Christmas Display

Inmmates at the Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center are creating new art for the annual Northeast Park Christmas Light display. That according to Brock Tumbleson, one of the organizers of this weekend's Northeast Park Chicken and Biscuits Christmas Lights Fundraiser happening Sunday night at 4:30 Pm. According to Brock, the talented young men at the Life Skills Re-Entry Center created some of the remarkable cut out art for last year's display as well...

There will be a new display created by the inmates at the Life Skills Re-Entry Center that will be shown off at Sunday's fundraiser at the Henry County Senior Center. Brock Tumbleson says they couldn't have done any of it however, with a generous donation from Great Dane... 

Northeast Park offers some challenges to the lighting committee as it has so much space to utilize, hence the use of these remarkable cut out displays. We asked Brock and fellow organizers Jerry Vandevelde and Mike Rapzcak about the challenge and whether or not there is a centerpiece display...

The fundraiser to purchase more lights for the Northeast Park Christmas display is this Sunday at 4:30 Pm at the Henry County Senior Center. Dinner is $8.00 or $5.00 for kids 12 and under. The Glory Days Garage Band will be performing.  

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Tonight at State Bank of Toulon

The State Bank of Toulon Kewanee Branch will host the next Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours tonight at 5 Pm. The event is for members of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and a guest to gather and celebrate the achievements of local business owners and talk business together. Food is provided but reservations are needed ahead of time. Business owners planning to attend tonight's Business After Hours should contact Mark Mikenas at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175.

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Contrast is the Key Word for Illinois Harvest Forecast

Let’s talk harvest forecast heading into October. The key word is “contrast”, according to DTN Chief Agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.


Moderate to locally heavy rainfall is expected over the northern half of the state with drier conditions prevailing in the central and southern portion for the rest of this week and freeze concerns should not be an issue through mid-October. Anderson says for the latter half of the month, he expects things to settle out and delays on harvest that we’re currently seeing over some parts of the state, should lessen.

 

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October 6th is the Start of National Fire Prevention Week Save Money on Smoke Detectors

October 6th through the 12th is National Fire Prevention Week. And with it comes encouragement to update your smoke detectors to those that come with a ten year battery. Fire Safety Alliance Director Phil Zaleski says the benefits start with avoiding buying nine volt batteries twice a year.

In a few years it will be a state law that you can only buy smoke alarms with a sealed 10 year battery.

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October 6th is the Start of National Fire Prevention Week Save Money on Smoke Detectors

October 6th through the 12th is National Fire Prevention Week. And with it comes encouragement to update your smoke detectors to those that come with a ten year battery. Fire Safety Alliance Director Phil Zaleski says the benefits start with avoiding buying nine volt batteries twice a year.

In a few years it will be a state law that you can only buy smoke alarms with a sealed 10 year battery.

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Henry County Republicans Announce Date for the Next Patrick Henry Club Meeting

The Henry County Republican Party has announced the date for their next meeting of the Patrick Henry Club. The Club will meet on October 12th from 9 Am to 10:30 Am at the Atkinson Township Hall located at 400 North State Street in Atkinson. State Senator Chuck Weaver will be the keynote speaker at the event and will address his thoughts on the latest legislation in the state of Illinois and his thoughts about the next Veto session. There will also be a discussion regarding 2020 Presidential candidates and their ballot petitions, including that of President Donald Trump and his planned re-election campaign. If you would like more information regarding this meeting of the Patrick Henry Club of the Henry County Republican Party you may call 309-714-1617. 

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Wethersfield School District Releases Agenda for October 10th School Board Meeting

The agenda for the October 10th Wethersfield School Board meeting has been released. You can see everything set to be discussed at Monday's school board meeting below... 

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON TUITION FEE WAIVER

WETHERSFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION

Wethersfield Community Unit School District No. 230

Superintendent’s Office – Blish Building

439 Willard Street – Kewanee, Illinois 61443

AGENDA

October 10, 2019 — 6:00 PM

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON TUITION FEE WAIVER

Presentation of Tuition Fee Wavier

Comments from Board Members

Comments from Visitors

Comments from Staff Members

 

ADJOURN

 

 

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

WETHERSFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION

Wethersfield Community Unit School District No. 230

Superintendent’s Office – Blish Building

439 Willard Street – Kewanee, Illinois 61443

AGENDA

October 10, 2019

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE TUITION FEE WAIVER PUBLIC HEARING

 

I. CALL TO ORDER

REGULAR BUSINESS

Consent Agenda

Approve Minutes of the September 12, 2019 FY 20 Budget Hearing and the September 12, 2019 Regular and Executive Session

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

Approve Suspensions

Correspondence

Comments from Visitors

Board Member Reports

 

OLD BUSINESS

Approval of FY 19 Audit Report

Standardized Test Data/2019 School Report Card Report

OSF St. Luke Medical Center Flu Vaccine Clinic

District Risk Assessment Team Training

National Honor Society Induction

Other Old Business

 

NEW BUSINESS

Approve Board Policies 2-112, 2-123, 2-200, 3-600, 10-220, 11-300, 11-311,11-325

Early Graduation Policy Update

District Website and Communication App for Phone

Employment of Personnel (after Executive Session)

Principal’s Report

Other New Business

Comments from Visitors

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION (student discipline/employment and evaluation of personnel/individual student matter)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

No School: Monday, October 14, 2019- Columbus Day

Information Community Meeting on School Resource Officer: Wednesday, October 16 at 6:00pm in Cafeteria

1st Nine Weeks Ends- October 18

P/T Conferences: October 23:  4pm-8pm (1:45 dismissal)

October 24: 8am-8pm (no school)

October 25 (no school) 

REPORT CARDS HANDED OUT AT CONFERENCES 

Class of 1969 Tour: Saturday, October 26

Patchy Toy Drive Craft Show in Elementary: Sunday, November 3

1:45 Dismissal for Staff Development: Monday, November 4

Veteran’s Day Assembly: Monday, November 11- Details to Follow 

Next Board Meeting — Thursday, November 14, 2019

 

VII. ADJOURN

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Black Hawk College Moving to 10 Classes

If you are someone who could use a little training for Moving to Windows 10 from earlier generations of the software platform, Black Hawk College is here to help. Black Hawk College has set a class for learning Windows 10 that they are calling Moving to 10. Classes cost $49.00 and will take place at the Black Hawk College Community Education Center in Kewanee. The is scheduled class is set to take place on October 22nd from 2 Pm to 5 Pm. For sign up information go to BHC.edu/computers or call 309-796-8223 for further information. 

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Wethersfield Schools Announce State Report Card Going Online Soon

Wethersfield Schools have announced that the state report card for the District will be going online soon. According to the release from the Wethersfield Schools, the state report card for the school district is soon to be released and when it is, it will go online on the school website Geese230.com. Those who wish to have a look at the report card can go to the website and look at the tab for 'District' and you will find the State Report Card. If you would prefer to have a print version of the report card you can call the school district at 309-853-4860. The yearly school budget will also be available under that tab and printed copies of the budget will also be available by request. 

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FCAE Continues to Cultivate High School Ag Teachers

The school year is well underway and that means work is well underway for FCAE or Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education, which is all about cultivating high school ag teachers says Jennifer Waters—District 3 FCAE program advisor.

There are five district FCAE program advisors in Illinois.

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Corruption Real or Perceived Costs the State of Illinois

Corruption, both real and perceived, has a legitimate cost to the state of Illinois. According to the Center for the Study of Corruption and Fraud, the cost of corruption in just terms of the erosion of the public trust in government can have an actual effect on state finances. For instance, the case against Democrat State Senator Martin Sandoval wherein little is yet known about his guilt or innocence but the damage to the public trust and the call for action by the citizens has a cost all its own even before Sandoval is tried. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Touting Tacos to Attract Blood Drive Participants

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is holding a blood drive on October 10th from 8 Am to 5 Pm at the hospital. Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be on hand to handle the blood draws while the OSF Saint Luke Medical Center serves breakfast and lunch, including the October tradition at OSF Blood Drives, Tacos, say Carrie Boelens... 

The Mississippi Valley Blood Center will also have t-shirts for donors and gift cards courtesy of Amazon. You can hear our interview with Carrie Boelens from OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Bakersville Returns this Weekend

Bakersville 2019: E.E's Nightmare is taking place on Saturday, October 5th in Baker Park. The returning event is set to feature new people who have never before participated in Bakersville and plenty of history from those who have taken part in Bakersville past... 

The subtitle E.E's Nightmare is special as the inclusion of E.E Baker, the man for whom the park is named is a special part of the celebration of Bakersville... 

Bakersville: E.E's Nightmare begins at Dusk on Saturday in Baker Park and tickets are on sale now. 

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Journalist and Author Mimi Swartz Tracks the History Behind the Artificial Heart in Ticker

Heart surgeons are a breed all their own with their arrogance, their passion and their brilliance. Heart surgeons are at the heart of the new book "Ticker" by Texas Monthly journalist turned author Mimi Swartz. Ticker tracks the historic attempts by Heart Surgeons and engineers to attempt to manufacture a working, entirely artificial heart, From Doctor's Debakey and Cooley's insane rivalry driving their creations to Dr Frazier building on their foundation, Ticker is an incredible true story. We asked Mimi Swartz what it was that made her want to tell this story... 

You can hear our complete interview with Author and journalist Mimi Swartz in our WKEI Celebrity Podcast linked here.

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Bishop Hill to Celebrate WW2 Women's Army Corp October 12th

When most people associate women and World War 2 they likely think of the role women played on the homefront or perhaps as nurses. But, according to Cyndee Schaffer, there is a another story to be told about women and their role in World War 2 history. Cyndee's mom, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer lived that history as part of the Women's Army Corps in World War 2 and now Cyndee is telling her mom's incredible story in the book "Mollie's War." Cyndee Shaffer will be selling copies of "Mollie's War" and give a presentation on the book and the history surrounding it on Saturday, October 12th at the Dairy Building in Bishop Hill. The event is being hosted by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and it is free to anyone who would like to attend. For more information go to Bishop Hill Heritage Association on Facebook. 

 

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Archery Deer Season Opens Today, Oct. 1 in Illinois

The archery season begins today. Tuesday, October 1st and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is offering a few reminders as hunters get set to head out into the fields and woods.

DNR's Tim Schweizer also says if you plan to hunt public land, make sure you check the regulations for the specific site and if you’re hunting someone’s private land, make sure you have their permission because trespass laws do apply. The two firearm deer weekends in Illinois are Nov. 22 to 24 and Dec. 5 to 8. More information on hunting requirements is available at “dnr.illinois.gov”.

 

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Freedom House is Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Freedom House, the remarkable charity dedicated to caring for victims of Domestic Abuse, are raising awareness of Domestic Violence prevention with a new campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and with that, Freedom House has announced a series of events in Princeton, Wyoming and Cambridge... 

 


October 1-12, Princeton – “Silent Witness” Silhouettes, representing domestic violence homicide victims in our communities over the years, will be displayed at Soldier and Sailors Park.
 

October 9, .6:30-7:30 p.m., Princeton –­ A Candlelight Vigil for domestic violence survivors and their families will occur at Soldier and Sailors park in Princeton.  Candles will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating.
 

October 18, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Wyoming – Freedom House Staff will be present during the Stark County High School Homecoming Football Game.  Teams will be wearing purple socks, and cheerleaders will sport purple hair ribbons.
 

Mid-October, Cambridge ­– “Silent Witness” Silhouettes, representing domestic violence homicide victims in Henry County, will be displayed inside the Courthouse.

 

Other awareness efforts this month courtesy of Freedom House include... 

 

Throughout October –


Purple lights and ribbons will be displayed on the trees on the Freedom House campus. Community members and businesses are encouraged to light their windows in purple to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


Law enforcement officers will wear purple ribbons on their uniforms


The Freedom House Facebook page will daily feature an inspirational message from a staff member.

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City of Kewanee Announces New Roadwork Project

The City of Kewanee has announced a new roadwork program that will cause some streets to be diverted. According to the release from the City of Kewanee, Sewer repair will close a portion of Chestnut Street, from the 600 to the 700 block, beginning at 7:30 Am on Tuesday, October 1st. This portion of Chestnut Street will be closed during this time frame and drivers are asked to please avoid the area until work is completed. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the day. 

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