Local News Archives for 2019-11

Illinois Losing Small Businesses at Alarming Rate

According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor statistics the state of Illinois has lost nearly 5000 small businesses in the last 12 months. Bryce Hill is a policy analyst with the Illinois Policy Institute... 

The numbers are raising concern among economists because small businesses have accounted for the most significant area of job growth in Illinois since the great recession of 2007 to 2009. 

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Has Amazon Web Services Violated Illinois Biometrics Law?

A Chicago man is alleging that Amazon violated Illinois law by retaining customer biometric information as part of their Amazon Web Services. A lawsuit recently filed in Cook County could be potentially precedent setting and one that could involve a massive class action affecting Amazon customers across the state. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Picking the Best Christmas Tree

A horticulturalist with the University of Illinois wants to make sure you know how to spot the best Christmas tree. Richard Hentschel is a horticulturalist for the University of Illinois Extension and he says there are a few things to look for to make sure you are getting a healthy tree that will last the season... 

 

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Governor to Sign New Bill Amending Illinois Online Sales Tax

A bill on the desk of Governor J.B Pritzker will amend the current sales tax law regarding online sales in Illinois. With this new bill, those engaging in online shopping on Cyber Monday won't have to worry about calculating the estimated sales tax on your own. Now, online sellers will have the burden of state sales tax. Reporter Greg Bishop explains... 

 

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Julmarknad Starts Today in Bishop Hill

Julmarknad or The Christmas Market opens today in historic Bishop Hill. Shops and displays open today at 11 Am as Todd Dedecker from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association tells WKEI, Julmarknad is a special reminder of Christmas time in Sweden...

Events of Julmarknad begin this weekend and will continue next weekend as well in Bishop Hill and while the food and the shopping are a large part of Julmarknad, the Swedish traditions and small town atmosphere of Bishop Hill are why people come back to Julmarknad year after year.,.. 

What is a Julbach? It's the Christmas Goat 

For more information on Julmarknad, this weekend and next weekend, go to Bishop Hill Heritage on Facebook or you can listen to our full length interview with Todd Dedecker from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Illinois State Troopers Hailed for Quick Action in Aiding Heart Transplant Team

A pair of Illinois State Troopers saved a life on Wednesday in the most unexpected fashion. According to the release from the Illinois State Police, Trooper's Cibrian and Snisko stopped to help stranded motorists on the side of the road on I-55 in Des Plaines. The stranded motorists happened to be a medical team that was transporting a heart that was to be the life saving organ for a patient waiting at U-Chicago Medicine. The troopers wasted no time in getting the team into their squad and transporting them to the hospital as time is of the essence with a transplant of this sensitivity. All indications are that the surgery was a success. “Our District Chicago Troopers were able to turn a potentially bad situation into a thankful ending for at least one family this Thanksgiving holiday. I am extremely proud of our officers who acted without hesitation in this life saving transport.  I am equally proud of the hard work all of our Troopers do each and every day in keeping our roadways safe and those hearts that travel upon them, even safer,” stated Interim Captain Angelo Mollo. The ISP would also like to remind motorists when you see any vehicle on the side of the road stationary with their emergency or hazard lights activated, to slow down, and if possible, move over out of the lane adjacent to the stopped vehicle.

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A New Tax Coming To Illinois

Another new tax is coming to Illinois drivers. On the first of the year parking garage or lot operations are going to be collecting a new tax to fund vertical infrastructure projects. The Illinois Department of Revenue says everyone – those who operate parking facilities and drivers ought to be ready for the new taxes.

That’s Illinois Department of Revenue’s Sam Salustro.

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Semi Rollover Causing Back Ups on I-74 East

Emergency crews are on the scene of a rolled over semi-truck and trailer blocking I-74 east bound lanes at Mile Marker 40 (6 miles north of Galesburg). I-74 East is closed at Woodhull (Mile Marker 32). All traffic is being diverted off the interstate at this time.

 

Suggested route: I-74 East to IL17 West to US150 South to US34 East to I-74 East.

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Galva Welcomes Jackie Clucas to Galva City Council

At Monday night's Galva City Council Meeting, the council welcomed new Alderman Jackie Clucas to the Council. Ms Clucas will serve the remaining term of Bev Everett who announced she was leaving the Council last month. Mayor Rich Volkert was our guest on People to People on Tuesday... 

Mayor Volkert was happy to see a number of people step forward for the appointment but in the end Jackie Clucas was the choice... 

The future of the Galva City Council could see a pair of competitive races for alderman in the future, something Galva hasn't seen in a few years. 

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Mayor Moore Currently In Favor of Allowing Dispensary But Open to Hearing Other Side

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore was our guest on People to People on Tuesday and talked about legalized marijuana and where the City Council currently stands on the issue. As of right now, the City is seeking to have another public forum at which speakers for and against marijuana dispensaries will speak to the Council and assembled citizens. As of right now however, Mayor Moore believes that the revenue from a dispensary could be needed to help offset new costs to be borne by local law enforcement because of legalized marijuana...

The City Council could still place zoning laws within the city that would prevent a dispensary from being built in Kewanee. We talked to Mayor Moore about those who say they are opposed to a dispensary but feel they have no voice in the process now that marijuana is set to be legalized on January 1st... 

Another public forum on legalized marijuana in Kewanee is being planned for mid-December.

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Illinois State Police Want You to Be Ready if You Get Stuck During Winter Weather

Rumor has it that this weekend could include some severe weather and that means you need to be prepared. Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson recently spoke to WKEI on what people can do to make sure they have what they need in their car if they get caught outside stuck in the snow and the cold... 

Other tips for your winter safety kit, rock salt, sand or kitty litter in your trunk, extra windshield washer fluid, and a flashlight. 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Promoting Well Workplace Initiative

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is promoting a well workplace initiative. Linda Hawkins is the Business Development Specialist at OSF and she tells WKEI that it is her job to connect business owners with OSF to build wellness programs and promote the hospital... 

One of the first things Linda tells business owners in talking about a well workplace is that there is a difference between health and wellness...

For business owners there is a quantifiable return on investment for having a well workplace policy in place as Linda explains. 

Linda Hawkins was recently a guest on Tuned In and you can hear more from her in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Black Hawk College Continuing Tradition of Gathering Care Packages for Soldiers Overseas

Black Hawk College has announced that they will continue their tradition of gathering care packages for soldiers overseas this holiday season. According to the release from Black Hawk College, the college is seeking the help of the public to donate items to be included in care packages that will be sent to our men and women serving outside the country. Donations can be dropped off at the East Campus in Building A in the library through Friday, Dec. 6. Needed items that can be donated are linked here and include things like I-Tunes Giftcards, Hot Cocoa, Instant Coffee, Iced Tea, Nutella, Cheez Wiz and other such items. You have until December 6th to drop off your donations at Building A on the East Campus in the library at Black Hawk College. 

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Pritzker Suggest Rule Banning Lawmakers from Being Lobbyists

Commenting on new ethics legislation set to create a database of lobbyists in the state of Illinois and who they work for, Governor J.B Pritzker suggested that lawmakers should not also be lobbyists. State Representative Luis Arroyo was notably working as a lobbyist in Chicago while also being a State Representative something that many people in Illinois may not have known was and is legal to do. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Groups say Herbicide Threatens Keystone Tree Species in Illinois

It was just a few years ago that the approved use of a powerful herbicide was expanded to soybeans. Now environmental groups say native trees in Illinois are becoming collateral damage.

In the past, Dicamba was primarily used to clear weeds from fields prior to planting, and new formulations claim to have lower potential to drift. However, retired Illinois State Biologist Martin Kemper said there have been an unprecedented number of reports of Dicamba damaging susceptible crops over the past several years in Illinois. He said just as concerning is the parallel rise in injuries to dogwoods, oaks, sycamore and other native trees and plants characteristic of exposure to herbicides such as 2,4-d and Dicamba.

"We are seeing a serious decline in the health of many trees and we've crossed the threshold of mortality for some," Kemper said. "Trees take a long time to grow. Many of the oak trees that are being injured are keystone species. They provide acorns for wildlife hard mast. Those are very important food sources."

A year ago, the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of Dicamba on soybeans and cotton for two more years, but required additional restrictions for application and for chemical manufacturers to study off-site movement of the herbicide during the growing season. Kemper argued much more research is needed on what the use of the herbicide could mean for the health of crucial ecosystems and wildlife in Illinois. Kim Erndt-Pitcher is Habitat and Agricultural Program Specialist for the Prairie Rivers Network, which has a voluntary Tree and Plant Health monitoring program in Illinois to identify symptoms of herbicide injuries. She said they've documented more than 100 cases of off-target herbicide damage to native trees, as well as wildflowers and food crops.

"Everyone concerned about this issue wants to see a high level of coordination and information-sharing as well as a lot of research that is really and truly looking into the aspect of volatilization and the long-term and short-term ecological impact of these exposures," Erndt-Pitcher said.

Instead of relying primarily on herbicides for weed control, Erndt-Pitcher encourages the diversification of cropping systems and the use of cover crops to suppress weeds, build soil health, protect the environment and reduce the use of toxic chemicals. More information is available at prairierivers.org.

 

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Black Friday Shopping Tips from The BBB

Christmas is less than a month away and you may be searching for the perfect gift. Many will take their search online hoping to find the best deals, while others will opt for a gift card. Better Business Bureau investigator Don O’Brien says you really need to do your research no matter which way you turn.

With "Black Friday" this week, he says you should watch out for the deals that are "too good to pass up."

O’Brien says when buying gifts, it’s important to obtain and keep receipts for all purchases in case the recipient needs to return an item. Many stores will provide gift receipts upon request, which allow returns but don’t show the recipient how much you paid for an item.

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High Winds Will Impact Holiday Travel in Illinois This Week

The holiday travel season will begin with some dicey travel conditions in Illinois. Mainly in the form of very high winds says Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford.

High wind watches and warnings have been issued for many parts of the state through Wednesday.

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Peoples National Bank Generator Tabled and Advel Court Still an Issue at Kewanee City Council

City Council members were under the impression that the situation surrounding Advel Court had been resolved and that the agreement for Advel to become a City street had been settled with an agreement by homeowners to pay an assessed amount to get the road repaired and brought up to city code. At Monday night's City Council Meeting however, Advel Court resident Carl Tanzillo was once again asking for help as winter weather begins to threaten... 

City Attorney Justin Raver informed the council that the City is waiting on a Surveyor before some of the work on making Advel Court a City street can commence. Kewanee Public Works Operations Manager Rod Johnson told the council that his team can do something temporarily to fill the holes on Advel Court but other issues regarding the actual filling of the holes and the potential need for plowing of the street this winter remain unresolved. 

 

On last night's agenda, the City Council voted to table a proposal by Peoples National Bank to place a generator outside the bank that would potentially take up multiple City-owned parking spaces. The Council voted to table the proposal until they heard from Peoples National Bank why the bank can't place the generator on the bank property or other options. 

 

The City Council voted in favor of a partnership with Black Hawk College that will allow students studying for a future in the EMS field to train as ride alongs on Kewanee Ambulances. The ride alongs will require a waiver from the student and would be restricted depending on the nature of the emergency call at the discretion of Kewanee EMS and Fire. 

 

Mayor Gary Moore will be our guest on People to People at 9:35 Am. 

 

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City Manager Promises More Oversight in Arranging Land to Spread Sludge

City Manager Gary Bradley gave a presentation at Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting and promised that he would take a more active role in overseeing agreements with farmers to spread sludge and keep the Waste Water Treatment plant lagoons from reaching critical levels that they reached earlier this year. In a 6 minute presentation, City Manager Gary Bradley discussed the amounts of sludge being removed and spread is more than in previous years... 

The City Manager went on to say that he got the message of the City Council Members that the sludge spreading needs to be a top priority in the future and that the City needed a more active hand in the process... 

Council Members Mike Yaklich and Steve Faber expressed concern about the next year in their response to the City Manager's presentation and were told that the process is getting underway. Mayor Gary Moore suggested the City tap the resources of the Henry County Farm Bureau in identifying farmers who may be able to use the sludge and help the City keep the lagoons below critical levels in the future. 

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City of Kewanee Unlikely to Move Quickly on Cannabis Dispensary Zoning

During the Council Communications portion of Monday night's Kewanee City Council meeting, Council Member Mike Komnick asked about the status of another potential townhall meeting on legalized cannabis. According to City Manager Gary Bradley, one of our local schools offered a venue for such a meeting for December 2nd. The council rejected the date as being too soon and not enough time to organize or promote the event. The dates discussed for a potential meeting which would potentially include experts for and against cannabis legalization as guest speakers were in mid-December which puts the idea of any talk of zoning for a marijuana dispensary past the December deadlines for licenses from the state of Illinois. In speaking about the deadlines during the discussion Mayor Gary Moore said they were not going to be a factor in any decision the City makes on the zoning laws... 

That said, the December 7th deadline isn't the most important date for those looking to place a dispensary in Kewanee. Other deadlines in early to mid 2020, presumably after the City of Kewanee has set zoning in place, will have more impact on when a dispensary could be built in Kewanee. 

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Butterball Hotline Up and Running for Thanksgiving Week

The turkey is the centerpiece of the holiday meal during your Thanksgiving celebration. Don’t let the turkey become the centerpiece of everyone’s sickness because it was not prepared correctly.

Sue Smith is a turkey talk line expert with Butterball, LLC. She says the average turkey is around 14 to 16 pounds and your first step is to be sure the bird is completely thawed before any preparations.

You can speak with any of the many turkey talk experts at Butterball by calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Smith says there are a few common misconceptions when it comes to cooking a turkey.

You can even text the turkey talk experts like Sue Smith at 844-877-3456. And, there is more information, recipes and even a product line by visiting butterball.com.

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U of I Extension offers "My Preparedness Initiative"

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting a training and certification program to help foster emergency preparedness, civic responsibility, and leadership in teens. The “My Preparedness Initiative” or “MY P.I.” is a 12-week, national program that started at Mississippi State to help young adults learn vital life skills in the event of an emergency. Romona Girtman is a Program Coordinator with U of I. She says the program is two-fold in its goals to help teens.

Girtman says the skills learned in this program go far beyond a singular emergency event a teen might encounter.

Contact your local U of I Extension office for more information or search for a link to that office at extension.illinois.edu.

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Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Continue to Talk Propane Shortage

Members of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois continue to talk propane shortage and the item will likely get more attention when the group convenes for its annual convention in February.

GFAI executive director Jeff Adkisson says other topics include training employees and weather risk and its impact on production agriculture. The convention is Feb. 16-18 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.

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Pritzker Veto's Private Jet Tax Forgiveness Bill

A veto from the desk of Democrat Governor JB Pritzker for a $50 million tax forgiveness bill for companies that work on private jets. The Governor had made it clear that if the General Assembly approved a bill to forgive the past due taxes he would oppose it. Pritzker said a few weeks back that it wasn’t right to forgive a tax bill from those businesses.

It’s expected that the veto will be overturned. It passed with unanimous fashion in the House and the Senate recorded just one no vote.

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Davis Critical of Pelosi Action on USCMA

It looks like a big trade deal won’t be completed this year. President Donald Trump called the USMCA or the rework of NAFTA “dead in the water” because House Democrats weren’t going to bring the bill for a vote. Republican Representative Rodney Davis says the failure to call the bill for a vote - is on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who came to the Illinois State Fair this year and was publically supportive of action on USCMA.

Pelosi and other Democrats want changes to USMCA. They claim the trade deal’s labor provisions for Mexico aren’t enforceable.

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Boss Manufacturing Reaches Deal to Sell Off Gloves, Boots and Rainwear Operations

In a press release on Monday, Boss Manufacturing has agreed in principle to sell their Gloves, Boots and Rainwear Operations to Protective Industrial Products Incorporated of Latham, New York. Specifics of the deal are not known at this time. Boss COO Richard Bern stated in a press release "We feel a deal with PIP will be a natural fit for both companies. We believe the synergies of a combination of our businesses will position this partnership for future success." Boss is believed to be using the sale as a way of paying off lingering debts. The company will retain its headquarters at 1221 Page Street in Kewanee, the majority of its operating staff and gain financial flexibility for its remaining business interests in Ohio which include pet products, Galaxy Balloons and Boss Tech which operates under the brand name Aries and makes cellphone accessories. There is no word on what this may mean for workers in Kewanee. The future of the Boss Glove Sale is also unknown at this time. 

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Galva Man Breaks World Record in Powerlifting

Galva's own Daniel Bell is a World Record holder. Bell broke the World Record in powerlifting by lifting 881 pounds as seen on YouTube... 

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Governor Pritzker Vows to Veto an Legislative Map He Deems 'Unfair'

Governor J.B Pritzker told reporters recently that while he supports establishing new legislative maps, he will veto any new law establishing new legislative maps or a process for determining fair legislative maps that he deems unfair. Reporter Greg Bishop spoke with Illinois Representative Darin LaHood about fair maps for this report... 

 

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Income Growth in Illinois Lagging Behind Rest of Country

Personal income growth in Illinois lags behind most other states in the nation according to new numbers released by the Pew Charitable Trust. Reporter Scot Bertram spoke with Joanna Biernacka-Lievestro from the Pew Charitable Trust about why income growth is lagging in the state of Illinois for this report... 

 

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Henry County Budget Finalized Henry County Jail Upgrades Planned

At last Thursday night's Henry County Board Meeting, members approved a new fiscal year budget for 2019 and early 2020. Henry County Board Chairman Marshall Jones told WKEI that the budget process and how the final budget came together..

One of the items affecting the budget was a needed upgrade to the Henry County Jail which had an important piece of equipment go down in the last 2 year and needed to be be replaced... 

Money from the Public Safety Sales Tax went to help pay for the broken piece of equipment. The new budget is set and will be uploaded to the Henry County website soon. 

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Kewanee Pound Raising Funds for Isolation Room

The Kewanee Pound has to accept nearly any animal brought to the pound by the Kewanee Police Department and sometimes that includes animals that are ill. This is why an isolation Room is needed, it will help keep dogs and cats safe from disease that could spread quickly if the ill animal isn't kept separate during in-take. Kathy Werderman and Steve Faber with the Kewanee Friends of the Animals discussed the necessity of an Islolation Room on Tuned In on Friday... 

The Kewanee Friends of the Animals will hold their next big fundraiser at Farm King on December 7th in the afternoon. Santa Claus will be on hand and will be taking pictures with kids and pets during the event with the price of the pictures with Santa Claus going to raise funds to pay for the work of building an isolation room. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda 11-25-19

The Kewanee City Council will meet tonight at 7 Pm at Kewanee City Hall with that meaning being broadcast live on our WKEI Facebook page. 

 

Posted by 6:00 p.m., November 22nd, 2019

 

1. Call to Order

 

2. Roll Call

 

3. Pledge of Allegiance

 

4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. Extension of Burn days to December 14th due to abnormal fall conditions. Burn days will still
follow current requirements based off conditions and weather.
e. Approval of the Chamber of Commerce Firework Display with the Christmas Lighting at
Windmont Park

 

5. Presentation of Bills and Claims

 

6. Citizen Participation

 

7. Business:
a) Consideration of a Resolution to Award Demolition work at 810 N Burr St to Ratliff Bros. and
Co. Inc.


b) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to execute an easement between
the City of Kewanee and Peoples National Bank


c) Consideration of an Ordinance Amending Title XI Business Regulations, Chapter 112, 112.03
Billiards, Poolrooms and Bowling Alleys

 


d) Presentation from the City Manager regarding Waste Water Treatment Operations.


e) Consideration of a Resolution Authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to execute an
agreement with Black Hawk College.


f) Consideration of an Ordinance granting a request for variance to Kelly Stillwell, 1008
Rockwell St., Kewanee IL


8. Council Communications:


• Announcements: Thursday Nov. 28th Trash will be picked up on Saturday Nov. 30th


• City Hall will be closed to Observe Thanksgiving on Thursday Nov.28th and Friday Nov. 29th.


• Last day for Landscape Pick up will be December 2nd.


9. Adjournment

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City of Kewanee Advised to Move Quickly on Zoning for Recreational Cannabis Dispensary

December 7th is the date on which the first applications can be filed for a cannabis dispensary license in the state of Illinois and the City of Kewanee. According to notes in the Kewanee City Council packet, the Kewanee City Attorney is recommending that the City make a move to create zoning laws for for a recreational cannbis dispensary as soon as possible and that not doing so would be a disservice to those businesses. The earliest new zoning laws for a Recreational Cannabis Dispensary would be the December 9th Kewanee City Council Meeting as it is too late to add such regulation to tonight's Kewanee City Council Agenda. Meanwhile, Kewanee's City Attorney Justin Raver will not be participating in the setting of the zoning laws. Mr Raver has clients who are looking to be in the cannabis dispensary business and thus to avoid any conflicts of interest, Mr Raver will not be part of this zoning discussion. Mr Raver will look over the zoning ordinance once it is created to ensure they are legally sound. 

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Teens Caught on Camera Stealing Mail Receive Juvenile Referrals

According to Kewanee Police Sgt Nick Welgat, the two teenagers who were caught on camera stealing mail from local man have been identified by Police and have been charged with Theft. Both of the teenage girls were given juvenile referrals which means that their case will be heard in juvenile court. No other information regarding whether or not there will be federal charges related to mail theft have been released and that is not under the purview of Kewanee Police. 

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Does U.S. Juvenile Justice System Fall Short on Basic Human Rights?

As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, local leaders and experts in Illinois are pausing to examine human rights in the juvenile justice system. The first-ever "Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty", being released formally today at the U.N, notes that the United States' innovation in creating the world's first juvenile court in Cook County more than 120 years ago. However, Brian Evans, state campaign director for the Campaign for Youth Justice, said the report also reveals that the U.S. has the world's highest child-incarceration rate.

"United States policies are a bit behind, but in terms of our research and our knowledge about the issue, we are global leaders," he said. "We know what doesn't work - because we're doing it. A lot of the world is moving in a much more progressive way. We should follow."

The report's implications for children in the United States are the topics of a webinar today co-sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Initiative, featuring experts from Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The United States is the only nation that did not ratify the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. Cook County passed a resolution to examine the convention and the study's recommendations, and review local juvenile-justice policies and practices. A similar resolution, HR 544, is pending in the Illinois House, and another was introduced in Chicago by Ward 22 Alderman Michael Rodriguez. Young people need opportunities to succeed, Rodriguez said.

"Many of our young people in our community are either out of school or out of work, and if they were to be caught up in the criminal-justice system, the odds of their life successes diminish," he said. "We need to start with our children and making sure that we're being proactive in how we rehabilitate - and more so, develop - our young people."

The Convention on the Rights of the Child recently clarified 14 as the minimum reasonable age for juvenile court prosecution, and it also prohibits prosecuting children under age 18 in adult court. Evans says children in the U-S deserve rights that are, at least, consistent with the global consensus.

"There's no reason we can't move towards these goals, even though they're pretty lofty. They're a good sort-of star in the sky that we should try to follow."

Cook County's 2018 ordinance raising the minimum age of detention from 10 to 13 recently was overturned by a state appellate court, however there are continued state legislative efforts to raise the age. The U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is online at undocs.org.

 

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Starved Rock Murderer Paroled

The Illinois Prisoner Review board in Springfield voted nine to four on Thursday to grant 80-year-old Chester Weger parole after nearly 60 years in prison. Weger was convicted in one of three murders at Starved Rock State Park that happened in 1960. The three women killed were Mildred Lindquist, Lillian Oetting, and Francis Murphy. LaSalle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly opposed the decision.

Weger has maintained that a confession he gave was coerced and that he’s innocent. Despite being against the parole, Donnelly hopes that Weger is able to become a productive member of society.
Weger will stay behind bars for at least the next three months while undergoing a sexually violent person evaluation.

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Kewanee Fire Department Releases Photos from Thursday Fire

A fire occurred on Thursday near the area of Washington and New Street in Kewanee as reported by WKEI on Facebook. Now, Kewanee Firefighters have released photos from the scene of the fire. According to the Kewanee Firefighters Local 513 more information regarding the fire will be released Friday afternoon... 

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Cambridge Elementary Students Make Generous Donation to Village Park Project

This week, students at Cambridge Elementary wrapped up a fundraiser for Red Ribbon Week. The spare change fundraiser had students collecting change and taking it to school with the goal of raising money for a worthy effort. Each each year the students and faculty choose where the money from the fundraiser will go and this year, they chose to donate it to the Village of Cambridge. Specifically, the $720.00 raised in the Cambridge Elementary Spare Change Fundraiser will go toward the ongoing College Square Park Project where a permanent stage is being built for concerts and community events. Construction of the stage is ongoing and is expected to be completed in the Spring. 

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City of Kewanee Reminding Everyone that Saturday is Not a Burn Day

In a post on the City of Kewanee Facebook page, city officials are reminding residents that Saturday is not a burn day. Burning will not be allowed due to the A & W Titans Playoff game against Lena-Winslow as part of a City policy to disallow burning on days when there are large community events. The post from the City of Kewanee can be read below... 

 

"The City of Kewanee is proud of our A&W Titans. Please remember that while the Titans may smoke their opponents on the field, tomorrow is not a burn day. We specifically prohibit burning on days that have "events of community-wide interest." Tomorrow will be a great day for fans from all over the City to get out and support the Titans during their historic season.

Because of the deep playoff run, extension of burn days into December (still weather-permitting) is an item for consideration at the City Council meeting on Monday." 

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St Timothy Lutheran Church Wyoming Raises More than $800 for Abilities Plus

Recently, Abilities Plus received a visit from folks from St Timothy's Lutheran Church in Wyoming. Pat Bachman, Pastor Linda Strater, Marsha Goodwin, Erin Bennet, Ruth Garrison & Lorie Hartz went to Abilities Plus carrying a check for $810.00. The money is going toward the purchase of a recliner for one of the Abilities Plus Group homes. In a press release from Abilities, they say that 'All at Abilities Plus are grateful to the members of St.Timothy for this very generous gift!' 

 

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IL State Police Warning Drivers Tired Driving As Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Studies indicate that driving tired can be as dangerous as driving drunk and anyone who has nodded off behind the wheel understands the danger. Trooper Jason Wilson with the Illinois State Police tells WKEI that there are things you can do when you feel tired behind the wheel but the most important is to pull over and get some rest... 

And, unfortunately, your favorite cup of coffee is also not going to help you stay awake on your drive as well as just getting some rest will... 

Trooper Jason Wilson was our guest on People to People on Wednesday on WKEI. You can hear the entire interview in our People to People podcast linked here.

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Kewanee Man Captures Surveillance Video of Teenager Stealing His Mail

Kent "Bo" Swearingen lives on Rose Street in Kewanee and has had things stolen from his porch before in his neighborhood. A previous theft led Swearingen to install security cameras outside his home and on Wednesday, that camera captured a teenager stealing Swearingen's mail right out his mailbox... 

The story came to light and went viral when Swearingen posted a still photo of two teenagers from his security camera footage on the Kewanee-Buy, Sell and Trade Facebook group asking if anyone recognized the two young women in the photo. Subsequently, Swearingen showed WKEI the surveillance footage which does clearly show what took place... 

According to Swearingen, a distant relative confirmed to him what was in the letter that was stolen, a Christmas card from a distant brother. Swearingen has been in contact with Kewanee Police, as has WKEI, and thus far Kewanee Police have not responded to requests for comments. Swearingen stated that Kewanee Police have still photos of the suspects but did not take a copy of the surveillance footage. The two young suspects claimed to be selling gum for a fundraiser for Central School and WKEI is attempting to confirm whether or not there is any such fundraiser for the school. Facebook users responding to Mr Swearingen's post in the Kewanee- Buy, Sell, Trade Facebook group, claimed to have also been visited by these young women though that has not been confirmed by WKEI. WKEI does have a copy of the surveillance video but we are choosing to withhold the video at this time along with still photos due to the age of the suspects and while we are awaiting comment by Kewanee Police. 

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Alleged Geneseo Runaway Now in Contact with Geneseo Police

A Geneseo teenager reported missing by her family and investigated by Geneseo Police as a runaway, has finally been in contact with Geneseo Police. Teenager Angelica Patricio had been reported missing by family member on Sunday, November 17th as Geneseo Police Sgt Weisser told WKEI on Thursday... 

Patricio had been communicating with Geneseo Police and members of her family via social media on Thursday but had not confirmed her whereabouts. Now, Geneseo Police appear to be satisfied having communicated further with Patricio and posted on the Geneseo Police Facebook page that she had been located and spoken with Geneseo Police. 

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Moline Missing Person Case Ends in Tragedy

A missing person case in Moline ended in tragedy on Thursday when Moline Police found the body of 37 year old Jordan L Burroughs (Murphy), in a garage next to the home of her ex-boyfriend. According to the release from the Moline Police Department, Burroughs had been missing since October 23rd. That's the last time Moline Police can confirm anyone having seen Burroughs alive. The investigation of Burroughs' disappearance led to Police obtaining a search warrant for a residence at 2419 44th Street in Moline which was executed on Thursday afternoon. Inside the home, Police found a crime scene with a significant amount of physical evidence. In the garage was the body of Jordan L Burroughs and it is unknown at this time how long she had been there. At 6 Pm on Thursday evening, a judge signed off on a warrant for the arrest of Burroughs' boyfriend, 38 year old Kyle Dykeman of Moline. Moline Police surveilled Dykeman throughout the day and had followed him to the Relax Inn in Davenport, Iowa. At approximately 8 Pm, Davenport Police executed the warrant for Dykeman's arrest and found Dykeman's body in the hotel room, Dykeman had taken his own life. No other information is being released at this time. Moline Police were aided by the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Division, the Rock Island County Coroner, the Rock Island County State's Attorney and the Davenport Police Department. 

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Durbin Sends Letter to President Trump on Vaping Issue

After reports that President Donald Trump is reversing course on a planned e-cigarette flavor ban, Illinois’ senior U.S. Senator is responding. In September, the Trump administration announced it would soon ban most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise. The New York Times reports that now two months later, under pressure from his political advisers about the potential pushback from his supporters, Trump has not moved forward with any action on vaping, while saying he still wants to study the issue. Senator Dick Durbin says he sent a letter to Trump this week, telling the president he has broken his promise to address the nation's youth vaping epidemic.

In Illinois, the Department of Public Health reported last week a fourth person died after experiencing a lung injury associated with vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says over two-thousand people have been sickened by vaping related illnesses.

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Project Blue Life Gives Civilian Insight to Tense Shooter Situations

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be in a police officer’s shoes when it comes to a tense confrontation, with Project Blue Life, you have that opportunity. The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) have put together the program to simulate shooting scenarios via video simulators, safe weapons and experienced instructors. President of the FOP, Chris Southwood says he hopes those that partake in the simulator will think twice before passing judgment on either side when these situations arise.

The FOP was founded in 1915 and is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States representing other officers.

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ISP Troopers Recount Miracle On Ice

t’s being called the miracle on ice by the Illinois State Police.

On Veterans Day dash cam video shows a box truck flipping over two state troopers and another person who were on the side of the road changing a tire. The highway was left icy from a snow storm when Troopers Jonathan Pflaum and Adam Zimmerman along with Peggy Vaught had to dive out of the way of an out of control truck. This week the troopers and Peggy and Bud Vaught were reunited.

Trooper Pflaum says it was a harrowing moment to dive out of the way and then seconds later he needed to check on Peggy.

The video has been seen over a 100,000 times. For Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson, the video is scary but also not uncommon... 

The ISP wants to use it to reinforce safe driving habits and need to slow down when approaching stranded motorists.

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Geneseo Police Seeking the Help of the Public in Locating Alleged Runaway

Geneseo Police are seeking tips from the public regarding a teenager who has allegedly run away from home. WKEI spoke with Geneseo Police Sgt Weisser about Angelica Patricio who, according to the report by Geneseo Police, has been missing since Sunday, November 17th... 

As Sgt Weisser mentioned, Angelica Patricio has communicated with Police via social media but they have yet to determine her whereabouts. Sgt Weisser advises anyone who sees Angelica Patricio to contact their local authorities... 

Geneseo Police can be contacted at 309-944-5141. 

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Aledo Man Arrested in Iowa Quad Cities After Striking a Police Officer with a Vehicle

An Aledo man is under arrest in Scott County, Iowa, after he allegedly struck a Police Officer while attempting to flee from Police in Bettendorf, Iowa. According to a release from the Bettendorf Police Department, 24 year old Jonathan Swearingen of Aledo was driving a vehicle that fled from Police during a traffic stop. Bettendorf Police were called to the Isle of Capri Casino regarding a reported theft. Police interviews led to a description of a suspect vehicle. Police located that vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. When the vehicle came to a stop, a passenger exited the vehicle and then the vehicle attempted to drive away. A second officer arrived on the scene and attempted to stop the fleeing vehicle. The officer had exited their squad car and was then struck by the fleeing vehicle The passenger was detained at the scene. The suspect led Police on a chase that ended with a crash on River Drive in Davenport, Iowa. Inside the fleeing vehicle was Jonathan Swearingen along with another female passenger and a 5 year old child. Swearingen was charged with Assault on a Peace Officer with a Deadly Weapon (felony), Eluding (felony), Child Endangerment (misdemeanor), Reckless Driving (misdemeanor), Violating One-Way Street (misdemeanor) and an Interstate Warrant. The injured police officer suffered only minor injuries. The passengers in the suspect vehicle have not been charged. 

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Henry and Stark County Celebrating National Home Health Care Month

The Henry and Stark County Health Department is celebrating November as National Home Healthcare Month. The Henry and Stark County Health Department has long provided services for those patients who wish to remain at home but need extra care whether that is a nurse or someone to help them with household tasks as RaeAnn Tucker Marshall explains... 

One of the benefits of Home Health Care Service from the Henry and Stark County Health Department is cost. As RaeAnn tells us, home health care services are cost effective on top of the benefit for the patient who is able to be comfortable back at home... 

RaeAnn Tucker Marshall tells us that there are multiple tiers to the types of in-home services that the Henry and Stark County Health Department provides and have provided to the Henry and Stark County communities since the late 1960's... 

You can hear more about Home Healthcare Month and the Henry and Stark County Health Department in our Tuned In Podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com

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Galva Finishes Second in Levitt Amp Grant Competition

The count is not official as of this writing from the Levitt Amp group but, according to a video posted to John Taylor's personal Facebook page, Galva's 2019 Levitt Amp bid finished second in the overall voting for the Grant Competition. Tom Campbell and John Taylor spoke about the voting and the get out the vote effort in a video last night that we bring you courtesy of John Taylor on Facebook... 

Now the fundraising really begins as Levitt Amp Galva will need to match the $25,000 that the Levitt Amp national group is going to give them as John Taylor mentioned during an appearance on People to People on Wednesday...

That's not the only fundraising that Levitt Amp Galva is doing at the moment which certainly creates a further challenge. Levitt Amp Galva is also raisng money for a roof for the new stage that is going up in Wiley Park, a permanent structure for live performances in Galva that will be the new home of the concert series. 

The stage roof project is a $50,000 fundraising project that Levitt Amp will be working on with the City of Galva. You can contact Galva City Hall for further information regarding the stage project. Be sure to like Levitt Amp Galva on Facebook for updates on all of their fundraising efforts for the 2020 edition of The Levitt Amp Galva Music Series

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Henry County Farm Bureau Bushels for Hunger Underway

The Henry County Farm Bureau is now in its 10th year of the Bushels for Hunger Program. For the uninitiated, Bushels for Hunger is a charity program that farmers can participate in in order to raise funds for local food banks. Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau talks about how Bushels for Hunger works and how it helps... 

Farmers who wish to participate in Bushels for Hunger can contact the Henry County Farm Bureau or talk to your local grain elevator to find out if they participate in the Bushels for Hunger Program. 

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New bus for Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle

The American Legion Post 375 in Peru bought a $70,000 bus for the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle. Commander Dennis Znaniecki says the money came from poppy sales and investments. Former commander, the late Bob Ankiewicz wanted to buy the bus.

But Znaniecki announced Tuesday, not only did the fundraising and investing do well enough for one bus, the American Legion will buy a second one next year. Veterans Home administrator Angela Mehlbrech (MEL-brek) says it’s nice to have a newer bus with less costly maintenance and more room for passengers who use wheelchairs.

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University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Expert Discusses Fall Recipes

The fall can be a great time to incorporate seasonal foods into your diet and get ahead of the winter doldrums. University of Illinois Extension nutrition expert Caitlin Mellendorf says right now squash is a very popular item. Spaghetti squash is a great way to cut out carbohydrates from your diet.

According to Mellenderf, there is research that the colors of fall foods are very good for your overall health.

Mellendorf also says to look out for new varieties of apples cropping up.

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Durbin Angry About Walking Back a Vape Ban

The move to ban flavored vaping products is running out of steam. In Illinois, law makers didn’t act this fall and now the President is walking back from a position he took in September. It seems Donald Trump is reconsidering his promise to act “within weeks” to ban vape flavors. That’s bothering US Senator Dick Durbin who’s been a vocal anti smoking advocate for years. He says the President is selling out a generation for political gain.

At the state house the possibility of a flavored vape ban could be brought back up in the spring session.

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More Than $300 Million in Farm Payments Headed to Farmers

Farmers in Illinois are getting their second round of payments from the federal government to help alleviate the financial pain caused by the trade war with China. The checks from the Market Facilitation Program are arriving this week for many farmers. Bill Graff, the State Executive Officer with the Farm Service Agency, says they will process almost 70,000 payments this week.

For now farmers have received 75 percent of the total payout of the program. Payment of the final 25 percent would come next year and will have to be approved by the Trump administration.

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New Numbers Demonstrate Difficulty Facing Farmers This Harvest Season

New numbers from the U.S Department of Agriculture demonstrate the diffuculties that farmers have faced getting crops out of the ground this harvest season. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke with Illinois Climatologist Mark Schleusener about the historic weather challenges that Illinois farmers have faced in 2019... 

 

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Governor Pritzker Fireside Chat Includes Talk of Progressive Tax and Pension Protection Clauses

Governor J.B Pritzker held a fireside chat interview on Tuesday in Chicago with the Ecomic Club of Chicago. In the interview, Governor Pritzker promoted his Progressive Tax plan which is on the ballot for November of next year. The Governor also discussed the state's Pension Protection plan and stated that no changes will be made to the state pension escalation rate, something that some pension reformers feel should be suspended while the state tries to get out from under a crushing pension burden... 

 

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Is President Trump Back Tracking on Flavored Vaping Product Ban?

Is President Trump back tracking on his plan to ban flavored vaping products? That appears to be the case as the President faced a significant outcry from the vaping industry after he had initially publicly supported the idea of the FDA moving forward with a ban. Senator Dick Durbin believes the President is back tracking and is on the attack stating that the President's reversal on the issue will hurt children... 

 

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Profiling Uncle Bud and his Apple Cider Slush

On Tuesday's edition of Kewanee Back When it was our privilege to profile the man who brought the wildly popular Cider Slush to Kewanee, Eldon 'Uncle Bud Aupperle. Uncle Bud joined Sean Kernan and Dave Clark in studio and talked about how he first came across Apple Cider Slush while on a research trip from his day job as a professor at Black Hawk East... 

One misconception about Cider Slush is that it is a shaved ice product. It's not, it's actually frozen cider augered and frozen and then served. You can hear the story for yourself in the latest Kewanee Back When Podcast linked here

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What You Are Supporting When You Support the Kewanee Area United Way ABCD

In our continuing profiles of the agencies that benefit from your donations to the Kewanee Area United Way, we come to ABCD, the after school tutoring program in Kewanee. ABCD is the Area Board for Child Development and it is headed up by David Kniker who recently gave WKEI an overview of what ABCD is all about... 

What does the Kewanee Area United Way do for ABCD? 

You can find out more about ABCD on the Kewanee School District website and you can support agencies like ABCD with your donation to the Kewanee Area United Way. Drop off a donation to the United Way office at the Henry County Senior Center or go to KAUW.org. 

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Kewanee School Board Votes to Continue Program Benefiting Teacher Who Live Outside the School District

The Kewanee School Board voted on Monday night to continue a policy that benefits Kewanee Schools employees who live outside the School District boundaries. Dr Chris Sullens explains that a renewal of a waiver in Springfield and now the vote of the School Board will allow employees with children who live outside the school district will be allowed to have their children attend Kewanee Schools... 

Dr Sullens praised our local lawmakers, State Senator Chuck Weaver and State Representative Dan Swanson for helping to keep this waiver in place... 

Kewanee Schools Superintendent Dr Chris Sullens was our guest on People to People on Tuesday. 

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Expert Says Planning is Key When Considering Farm Succession

How do we keep a family farm in the family? Answering that question is part of Dr. Ron Hanson’s mission. He says there are many factors in play when considering farm succession, but it’s all about planning.

Hanson grew up on a farm in Illinois farm and spent over 40-years as a professor at the University of Nebraska.

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Tips for Stress Free Holiday

Just over a week away from Thanksgiving, Andy Jackson with Sinnissippi Centers in Northwestern Illinois is providing tips and tricks to make the holiday season as stress free as possible. He notes that setting a budget and sticking to it can take a lot of the burden off of your shoulders…

Jackson also says that doing too much can become a problem this time of year… and that taking some time for yourself can help lower stress levels…

Jackson also says to keep your expectations realistic, connect with emotionally supportive people, and above all do the things to ensure that YOU enjoy the holidays.

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Ameren Illinois Warning Public About Utility Scammers

It’s National Utility Scam Awareness Week and Ameren Illinois educating the public on how to avoid becoming a victim. The utility’s Arleen Williams says residents should watch or listen for one main red flag of most utility scams.

Williams says scammers often tell victims to pay what they owe through pre-paid cards. If you believe you are talking to a utility scammer, hang up and call Ameren at 1-800-755-5000 to check the status of your account.

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Pork Donations Headed to Food Banks Around the State

Pork Producers and others in agriculture around the state are busy this month continuing the Pork Power Program, a way to donate ground pork to local food banks. Matt Frizzo with Borgic Farms says after a decade of giving, almost 200 tons of pork has been donated with the help of farmers around Illinois.

The way the food bank figures that up, its three point eight million servings.
This fall more than 50,000 pounds of ground pork will be donated to food banks state wide. The Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association and the Illinois Corn Marketing board all participate in the program.

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Pritzker Pushes Away Ideas Of One Possible Pension Fix

This week the Governor signed a pension reform plan for downstate fire and police pensions.
As a small step was taken to steady those funds what about the one that funds retirements for state employees? Some argue that there should be a possible constitutional amendment to end the three percent increase that retirees get every year. Democrat JB Pritzker says that’s just not going to happen when you look long and hard at the political lift needed and then a court challenge.

Pritzker says there is no silver bullet and there will be a group of things to reduce the state’s pension liability.

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Abilities Plus Wreaths For Sale

Specially made wreaths, made with love by the people at Abilities Plus in Kewanee, are now for sale. Order forms have been sent out by the organizers at Abilities Plus and you can now guarantee that you will have your Abilities Plus handmade wreath in your home in time for Christmas. Julie Landwehr from Abilities Plus tells WKEI why these wreaths are so special... 

You can now get an order form from the Abilities Plus website, Facebook page, or by stopping by Abilities Plus in Kewanee. However, if you live out of town, there is also the option to have your wreath shipped to you directly from Abilities Plus... 

The Abilities Plus Wreaths are available for $15.00 or you can have yours shipped anywhere in the country for $30.00. 

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Black Hawk College Thanksgiving Week Schedule

Black Hawk College has announced their Thanksgiving Week schedule. Black Hawk College will be closed on Thursday, November 28th, Thanksgiving Day and through Saturday, November 30th. Classes at Black Hawk College will resume on Monday, December 2nd. That said, Black Hawk College is reminding students and potential students that they can still register for classes at Black Hawk College even when the College is closed at BHC.edu. The so-called 'Mini-mester' of short form classes at Black Hawk begin on December 16th and run through to Spring. Spring Semester at Black Hawk begins on January 13th. For a list of classes go to BHC.edu/schedule

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Henry County Republicans Announce November Meeting

The Henry County Republican Party has announced their November meeting plans. According to the release from the Henry County Republicans, the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 26th, at 5:30 Pm, at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center located at 407 N West Street in Cambridge. On the agenda are a wrap-up of the successful draw down and a report on candidate filings. There will also be discussion of plans for 2020 Meeting Dates. Anyone needing additional information about the Henry County Republicans can call 815-627-6134 or emailing hcgopsecretary@gmail.com. 

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A and W Titans Pep Rally Friday Night at Wethersfield Gymnasium

The A & W Titans will hold another Titans Pep Rally this week. According to information provided to WKEI by our friend and Titans supporter, Amber Patch Troxell, the pep rally will begin at 6 Pm in the Wethersfield Gymnasium and everyone is invited to attend to get things hyped up for Saturday's IHSA Semifinal game against Lena-Winslow. The pep rally is free to attend. 

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What You Are Supporting When You Support the Kewanee Area United Way Illowa Council of Boy Scouts

The Illowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America covers Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, from the Quad Cities through Henry and Stark County organizing events and encouraging kids to get involved in scouting. Part of what makes the Illowa Council programs possible is a generous donation from the Kewanee Area United Way as Jeff Dody explains... 

You can get more information on the Illowa Council and getting your kids involved in Scouting by liking the Illowa Council on Facebook here. Support the Kewanee Area United Way by making a donation at the United Way office inside the Henry County Senior Center across from Wal Mart on South Street. 

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Visitation School to Hold A Country Village Christmas Bazaar this Weekend

For the 33rd year in a row, Visitation Catholic School will open its doors to crafters, commercial vendors and, of course, Santa Claus, for the 33rd Annual A Country Village Christmas Bazaar. This year's theme is Home for the Holidays and crafters and vendors will be on hand in the gym at Visitation School on Saturday, from 9 Am to 3 Pm. More than 30 commercial vendors and plenty more crafters will be on hand along with Santa Claus who will be there to take pictures with the kids. There will also be raffle items up for grabs as well as part of A Country Village Christmas, Saturday, November 23rd at Visitation Catholic School, in the gymnasium. Breakfast and Lunch will be available during the event. 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Diabetes Awareness and Diet

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is doing more to promote diabetes awareness and their soon to get underway Diabetes Support Group at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center. Sara Umphleet is the Dietician at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center and she joined WKEI's Tuned In Program with tips regarding diabetes and your heart and the ways you can protect your heart while managing diabetes... 

Diet is a huge part of making sure you are taking care of yourself when you have diabetes or if you are at risk for diabetes as Sara explains... 

Another key to eating healthy is being mindful, being aware of your food choices and why you are choosing to eat what you are eating... 

The OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Diabetes Support Group begins in January. You can hear more about Diabetes Awareness in our interview with Dietician Sara Umphleet in our Tuned In Podcast

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Flu Season is Here

Flu season is in full effect and now is the time to make sure your family is protected, as well as yourself. The flu vaccination comes in either a shot form or a nasal spray. Medical experts typically do not have a preference, as both help protect against the different strands of the virus that circulate during the season. Mike Bierman is an Infection Control Nurse and he says just because someone is vomiting or has diarrhea, doesn’t necessarily mean they actually have the flu.

Bierman says this time of year the combination of multiple symptoms and illnesses, along with the flu, can leave the worst results.

You can always find more information on the flu vaccine and its effects at your local healthcare provider’s office.

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State Savings Program Being Used By Thousands

Tens’ of thousands of workers in Illinois are now using a retirement savings program that was started just a year ago. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says that more than 32,000 are using the Secure Choice program to help their retirement savings. Frerichs says there is a looming crisis when it comes to retirement savings and this program that runs through workplaces makes it easy to save. Bryan Rojas, is now saving with the program. He says it’s been a good way to save without having to think about it.

The program takes personal savings and by default invests in a Roth IRA. Secure Choice is offered to Illinois employers for little or no cost.

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Illinois State Police Troopers Miraculously Escape Harm in Harrowing Crash Video

In what the Illinois State Police are calling a Miracle on the Ice, two Illinois State Troopers and the citizen they were assisting with a tire change on the side of Interstate 64 survived a terrifying accident. As seen in dashcam video, Illinois State Troopers Pflaum and Zimmerman were assisting Peggy Vaught of Fairfield, Illinois with a tire change on the side of Interstate 64 at Milepost 101 in Wayne County when a box truck lost control and began to slide toward the Troopers and Ms Vaught. The Troopers and Ms Vaught were forced to try and run in icy conditions into a nearby ditch where the Box truck rolled over and narrowly missed Ms Vaught while the Troopers were able to dodge to the side.

41 year old Shi Jinglin of Flushing, New York was not in violation of Scott's Law at the time, he lost control of the truck as he was moving over, but he was cited in the end for Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. Ms Vaught was treated and released from a local hospital. A passenger in Ms Vaught's vehicle, 71 year old Wilbur C Vaught was also unharmed when the box truck hit the Vaught's vehicle. The Illinois State Police are hoping that this story will tell driver's to be more patient and slow down in icy conditions. Both Troopers were unharmed this time but with more winter weather to come, please be mindful when driving in icy conditions. 

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Illinois Could See Wet Winter

Forecasters are uncertain if the long term winter outlook will be warmer or colder than normal but one trend they're seeing is things could be wet. Chris Geelhart at the National Weather Service says their prediction center is showing a large portion of the upper midwest being on the wet side as we get deep into the winter months.

As for predicting if things will be colder or warmer, Geelhart indicates their models aren't showing anything trending towards one way or the other.

As for the spring, Geelhart indicates the early prediction is showing warmer than normal but still wet.

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Vandalia Faces Tragic Loss

A small central Illinois town is reeling this week after the deaths of four people who were driving home from a high school football game. A car carrying four people from Vandalia was hit in Montgomery County Saturday night. Those killed in the accident were the mother and father of the Principal at Vandalia High School, along with his daughter and another freshman girl from Vandalia. The Vandalia fans were returning from a game in Williamsville that afternoon. Tip Reedy, Superintendent at Williamsville says the district is doing what they can to help show support in a terrible situation.

The car was hit by a teen driver who crossed the center line while driving a ford truck. He’s in the hospital with life threatening injuries.

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Angling Starts for Illinois Senate President

There is going to be a change atop the Illinois Senate. Democrat Senate President John Cullerton says he is retiring from office in January and now the scramble begins for who will replace him in the leadership position. A former member of the Illinois Senate and current Treasurer Mike Frerichs says he knows the maneuvering has already begun to find the next Senate President.

The current Senate Majority Leader is Kimberly Lightford and she has told reporters that she will be among those seeking the President’s post.

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Kewanee Library Pre-K Story Time and Thanksgiving Schedule

The Kewanee Public Library has relaunched their Pre-K Story Time with a new time on Wednesdays and a new host in Kit, who has recently started work as a full time assistant at the Library. Pre-K story time is set for 11 Am on Wednesdays says Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library... 

Sara Billiet from the Kewanee Public Library also wanted to pass along the plans for the library schedule for the week of Thanksgiving... 

Sara Billiet was our guest recently on Tuned In and you can hear the whole interview in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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What You Are Supporting when You Support the Kewanee Area United Way The YMCA of Kewanee

In our continuing series giving brief profilles to the agencies that are aided by your donations to the Kewanee Area United Way, we come to the YMCA of Kewanee which has programs that are funded via donations from the Kewanee Area United Way as Jill Milroy explains... 

Find out more about the YMCA by going to their Facebook page linked here. Make your donation to help agencies like the YMCA of Kewanee by stopping by the Kewanee Area United Way office located at the Henry County Senior Center across from Wal Mart on South Street. 

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Kayla 4 Kritters Donates Nearly $11,000 to the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee

On Saturday, the charity organization Kayla 4 Kritters donated nearly $11,000 dollars to the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee. Each year for the past 6 years, Kayla 4 Kritters has made donations to animal charities in the name of Kayla Jo Halsall. Kayla's mom, Lisa Bass, was on hand to to make the donation along with Kayla's grandmother and members of the Henry County Humane Society Board. We spoke with Lisa Bass and asked her to tell us about Kayla... 

Lisa Bass went on to tell WKEI why Kayla 4 Kritters chose to make a donation to the Henry County Humane Society in Kewanee.. 

How does Kayla 4 Kritters raise funds? 

You can find out more about Kayla 4 Kritters and how they honor the loving legacy of Kayla Jo Halsall by visiting their Facebook page linked here. As for the Henry County Humane Society, we're told that the plan is to make an addition to the Humane Society building to provide a little leg room for the animals though full details have not yet been decided. 

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New Report Has Good News for Illinois Hospitals

A new report has good news regarding hospitals in Illinois. According to the report conducted by The Leapfrog Group, an independent watchdog organization, 60% of Illinois hospitals received a grade of A or B from patients. Reporter Scot Bertram has more about the solid quality rating for our Illinois hospitals in this report... 

 

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Chicago Mayor Says Casino Would Help All

At a press conference in Chicago over the weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was making the case that a Chicago casino benefits the whole state... 

Lawmakers failed to move forward on the planning for a casino in Chicago despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor J.B Pritzker backing the idea. That said, the idea of a Chicago casino is not dead and will likely be revisted early next year when the state legislature reconvenes. Mayor Lightfoot is looking for either a co-ownership of a casino between the state and the City of Chicago or for a lower tax rate that might make the Chicago location more attractive for a private ownership group. 

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Church Street Kewanee Sewer Lining Work Rescheduled to Today, Monday November 18th

The City of Kewanee Public Works Department has announced that sewer lining work that was to take place last week has been rescheduled and will happen today. Full release from the City of Kewanee below... 

 

The City of Kewanee Public Works Department sewer lining project in the 100 block of West Church Street has been rescheduled due to changes in the contractor’s schedule and previous weather problems. Work has been rescheduled for Monday 11/18/19.

 

Residents in these areas will not be able to use any sewer or household drains while work is taking place. Work is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. Residents will not be able to wash clothes or dishes, take showers or baths, flush toilets, and should turn off sump pumps connected to sewer service.

 

While work is being done, residents may detect an odor from drains inside their homes. This odor is not harmful, but it is helpful to pour a gallon of hot water down any drains, sinks, tubs, and toilets in order to create a water barrier that will prevent odors from coming up the drains.

 

Due to the equipment in this procedure requiring use of water from neighborhood hydrants in the areas of West Church and Hollis Streets, residents in or near these areas may experience low water pressure or rusty water. Residents are advised to use only cold water to flush out water inside their homes.

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Congressman Bost Discusses Possible Federal Benefits of Gas Tax

The state of Illinois doubled their gas tax in July from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents. The increase went hand-in-hand with several bills Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law including a $45 billion capital plan, an expansion of gaming across the state and a revenue package that includes additional tax increases to fund the major infrastructure improvements in the capital plan. Congressman Mike Bost represents the 12th District of Illinois. He says the new tax is finally creating local dollars for a variety of projects.

Congressman Bost is fresh off an announcement of a nearly $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program for the Southern Illinois Multimodal Station (SIMMS) project, a new transportation center in downtown Carbondale.

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Most Ethics Reforms Left To A Commission To Study

Lawmakers left the fall veto session with little action on ethics reform. That leaves Republican lawmakers frustrated as they wanted quick action on a number of bills they proposed. But they are left wanting for the next few months as big reforms have been left for later. In the place of new laws is a commission to study the problem and recommend changes. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says this isn’t a problem that is going to be wallpapered over by yet another commission.

Pritzker says the work was too important that it couldn’t be accomplished in three days.

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Feds Tapped Phone of ComEd Lobbyist and Friend of Speaker Madigan

A lobbyist and former Illinois lawmaker with close ties to House Speaker Michael Madigan had his phone tapped by federal investigators. For House member Michael McClain now works as a lobbyist for ComEd and he was targeted in the probe of that companies lobbying practices. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Questions Arise Over Final Pension Consolidation Bill Passed During Veto Session

While state first responders unions have signed off on the recently passed pension consolidation bill and Governor J.B Pritzker is set to sign it, there are new questions arising regarding tier 2 enhancement costs. What does that mean?: Our Reporter Greg Bishop explains.. 

 

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Galva in First Place But Votes Still Needed for Levitt Amp Concert Grant

Galva currently has more votes than any other town in the country in competition for the Levitt Amp grant but that can change before the deadline arrives on November 20th. Jason Bates, one of the organizers of the Levitt Amp Music Series in Galva joined WKEI on Thursday to remind everyone to keep voting so that Galva can show the Levitt organization how much this community supports this concert series... 

If Galva is chosen for a third year in a row to receive a Levitt Amp matching grant, that will put the Galva concert series in a position to receive automatic Levitt Amp grants for the following three years. 

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The Station Offering Full Take Home Thanksgiving Meals

The Station restaurant has the solution for those who don't know what to do with their Thanksgiving dinner. Rita Haddad from The Station joined WKEI on Thursday's People to People program to promote a unique offer. Rita and her staff will cook you an entire Thanksgiving meal that you pick up on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, take home and heat up in time to welcome the family... 

This offer is limited to a particular number of customers so get your order in soon. As Rita mentioned, there are two meal plans, a $199.00 (plus tax) option that can feed 16 to 20 people or a $130.00 (plus tax) that can feed 8 to 10 people. Orders must be placed before November 24th. Call The Station restaurant at 309-761-8212. 

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What You Are Supporting When You Support the Kewanee Area United Way: Center for Youth and Family Solutions

All this week and into next week we are briefly profiling some of the agencies who are supported by your donations to the Kewanee Area United Way campaign. The Center for Youth and Familiy Solutions is profiled today. Dana Mirocha is a counselor and spokesperson for the Center for Youth and Family Solutions... 

The Center for Youth and Family Solutions aids children and families across Iowa and Illinois and you can find out more about the Center for Youth and Family Solutions at CYFSolutions.org. 

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Betty's Garden to Celebrate 1 year Anniversary This Weekend

Betty's Garden Memory Care in Kewanee is going to celebrate its one year anniversary this weekend with an anniversary party on Saturday from Noon until 2. Maisey Postin of Betty's Garden talked to WKEI about Saturday's celebration...

Doug Currier, Petersen Health Care VP of Operations talks about what has been learned and what has grown over the first year of Betty's Garden in Kewanee... 

The Betty's Garden 1 year anniversary celebration is this Saturday. You can hear our full lenght interview with our friends from Betty's Garden in our People to People podcast linked here

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National Weather Service Says Second Half of November Should Be Warmer Than Normal

Record snow and cold temperatures highlighted the firs part of November and Chris Geelhart at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates temperatures should moderate going into the latter part of the month.

As for the rest of the winter, Geelhart indicates there isn't anything to suggest one trend over another. He indicates it could be a bit wetter than normal.

Geelhart says it is still too soon to predict a white Christmas and it's also too early to tell what snowfall amounts might look like for the rest of the winter.

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Social Media Coupon Scam Returns

If you have seen the recent social media coupon offers for Costco, Bud Light, or Marlboro, don’t click on the link. That’s the word from the Better Business Bureau. Social media scams are easy to create and can target thousands of people at once due to how users interact with pages, post, and contacts.

Not just limited to just limited to the aforementioned products, online coupon scams usually ask you to share the deal with all your friends. BBB investigator Don O'Brien says when you shared that link, you may have exposed your friends and family too.

He says you can protect yourself from these scams by: checking the business’s official Facebook page and see if the same coupon appears; checking the business’s website to see if they are offering the same deal; never pay money for a coupon; check for spelling errors; and beware of sales on hot items with an expiration date. Scammers capitalize on that sense of urgency, trying to rush people so they don’t think about whether it’s a legitimate deal.

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State Rep McCombie Says Democrat Ethics Legislation Not Enough

State Representative Tony McCombie told reporters after the completion of the veto session in Springfield that ethics legislation put forward by Democrats was not enough to address corruption in state government... 


The Democratic legislation, House Joint Resolution 93, passed on Thursday, the final day of the veto session, created a Blue Ribbon Commission on ethics reform. However, the Blue Ribbon Commission is made up of a majority of Democrats and is not expected to have any kind of report on ethics reform until after the primary elections in March of 2020, among other issues... 


McCombie's own legislation on ethics reform was never allowed on to the House floor for debate. 

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Launches Queen of Hearts Fundraising Game

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is starting a new long term fundraising campaign that will no doubt be a whole lot of fun. The brand new Queen of Hearts game will allow you to purchase a ticket and claim your card in hope of picking the Queen of Hearts. Every Tuesday, beginning December 10th, the Chamber of Commerce will draw a ticket with a name and a card. If your ticket number reveals the Queen of Hearts, you win. What do you win? An escalating pot of money that increases every week until someone gets the Queen of Hearts and the game starts again. Every Tuesday, a winner will be chosen and that winner will get $25.00 and the chance that their card is the Queen of Hearts and an even bigger cash prize. Stop by the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce for further details and to buy your tickets for the new Queen of Hearts fundraising game. Tickets are $1.00 or 6 tickets for $5.00 and there is no limit to the number of tickets that you can purchase. The Tuesday night drawings will be conducted at the Flemish American Club. You do not need to be present at the drawing to win. The pot is determined by the number of tickets sold with 35% of the ticket sales going to support the Kewanee Chamber and 65% of ticket sales going to the winner who finds the Queen of Hearts. Full details available by contacting the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at 309-852-2175.

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Another Kewanee Door Fence Controversy?

Brenda Weston, whose fence made of old doors has made headlines recently in Kewanee, contacted WKEI to report that there was another fence made of doors in Kewanee and that she was not taking her fence down until this other fence was also taken down. WKEI spoke to Mayor Gary Moore regarding this new door fence controversy...  

The door fence in question is on Prospect Street in Kewanee. If the fence was erected prior to the ordinance outlining what could be used as a fencing material it would be allowed under the law. 

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One Item on Agenda for Next Kewanee Zoning Board Meeting

There will be one petition heard at the Kewanee Zoning Board Meeting on November 20th at 7 Pm. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet in Kewanee City Hall, Council Chambers at 401 E. Third Street at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2019. There is one variance petition upon which a hearing will be conducted: 1008 Rockwell St., Kelly Stillwell, variance request to the front and side yard setbacks to allow for the construction of a carport and room addition.

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Governor Pritzker Praises Legislature for Passing a Cap on Insulin Prices

Governor J.B Pritzker is cheering the vote by both chambers of the Illinois legislature to pass a bill that places a cap on insulin prices for those who live in Illinois. Read the Governor's statement below... 

 

"Skyrocketing prescription drug prices are an enormous burden for too many Illinois families, and this legislation will significantly lower out-of-pocket costs for the 1.3 million Illinoisans that rely on insulin,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “It’s fitting that on World Diabetes Day, Illinois has taken bold action to protect our residents’ health, rather than force them to use lower quality medication or even ration their supply. We are proud that Illinois continues to be a national leader in ensuring health care is a right and not a privilege. This important step forward for lowering health care costs is the result of the tireless advocacy of Sen. Andy Manar, Rep. Will Guzzardi and so many other champions. I look forward to signing this legislation and continuing my commitment to ensuring Illinois residents have access to comprehensive, high-quality and affordable health care coverage.”

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Shelly Martin Named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for October

Sherry Martin of Kewanee has earned the title of Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month for the month of October. According to a release from Abilities Plus, Sherry was chosen as Achiever of the Month because of how she cheers on her peers at Abilities Plus, helping with their exercise goals and for her willngness to learn new jobs. Sherry was also chosen for being cheerful and fun loving. Sherry says she likes to make other people laugh. Congratulations Sherry on being named Abilities Plus Achiever of the Month from your friends at Regional Media. 

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Illinois Third Most Corrupt State, Chicago Most Corrupt City

Chicago is the most corrupt city in America and Illinois ranks as the 3rd most corrupt state in the nation, according to a University of Illinois study conducted early this year. Now, the cost of that corruption is coming to light. Amy Corte is with the Illinois Policy Institute has been crunching the numbers…

Only New York and California ranked higher than Illinois in the most corrupt state list. Amy Corte from the Illinois Policy Institute goes on to say that part of the problem leading to such corruption is a lack of laws in place to curb such corruption as evidenced by recent high profile indictments and arrests... 

Amy Corte points out that one area where reform is sorely needed is in the area of lobbying. The state of Illinois has no law preventing a lawmaker from working as a lobbyist or for a lobbying firm as long as they are not lobbying fellow lawmakers. This particular lack of oversight is what allowed State Representative Luis Arroyo to continue working as a lobbyist in Chicago while also being a State Representative in Springfield... 

You can hear our entire interview with Amy Corte in our People to People Podcast linked here

 

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What You Are Supporting When You Support the Kewanee Area United Way: Rebuilding Together

Among the agencies that benefit from your donations to the Kewanee Area United Way is Rebuilding Together Henry County. Now in its third year operating in Kewanee, Rebuilding Together is one of the newest agencies to join the Kewanee Area United. Sarah Snyder, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Henry County talked to WKEI about how the United Way helps Rebuilding Together... 

Find out more about Rebuilding Together Henry County and their inspiring service to those in need by going to RebuildingTogether-HC.org and support them by making a donation to the Kewanee Area United Way. Drop by the United Way office inside the Henry County Senior Center and make your donation today. 

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Kewanee Mayor Comments on Out of Date Billiards and Bowling Alleys Ordinance

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore tells WKEI that he was as surprised as anyone when an ordinance related specifically to regulating Pool or Billiards Halls, Bowling Alleys and coin operated games was uncovered in the process of granting a business license to a man bring a Billiards establishment to Kewanee. In an interview with WKEI on Wednesday, Mayor Moore stated that the ordinance was antiquated to say the least... 

The ordinance required that anyone under the age of 18 must have permission of both parents on file with the Kewanee Police Chief before they could enter a billiards or Pool Hall or a Bowling Alley, even if these facilities did not serve alcoholic beverages. Even more unusual was a part of the ordinance that required the Billiards/Pool Hall or Bowling Alley to close in the evening so the owner could go home to eat with their family, specifically within the timeframe of 5 Pm to 7:30 Pm,,, 

The City Council voted on Tuesday night to amend the current ordinance and remove the requirement for parental permission and filing with the Police Chief and the provision about closing for dinner. A new ordinance to replace the out of date ordinance will be discussed at the next Kewanee City Council Meeting with a new ordinance to be drafted following that discussion and voted on at the first meeting of the City Council in December. 

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Congressman Davis Weighs In On Impeachment Proceedings

Impeachment proceedings will get underway later this week in Washington, D.C. in the continued saga to oust President Donald Trump. Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis maintains this is a bad idea that is going to tear the country apart. He calls it a disastrous process and believes Democrats are setting a terrible precedent.

Political pundits have suggested Republicans should push the issue and support impeachment to make Democrats cast their votes and use that in the election process next year. Davis believes though, that is a bad idea.

Congressman Davis calls the process a sham and points Democrats have rejected all the witnesses republicans wanted to bring forward. Hearings begin Thursday.

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Dairy Industry Promoting Diabetes Prevention Month

This is Diabetes Prevention Month. Jill Williams is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator with the St. Louis Dairy Council. She says there are three main types of diabetes that are prevalent in over 30 million Americans.

You should work with a health care team, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, be properly medicated, partake in physical activity, and practice healthy eating habits as those are all a part of managing or preventing diabetes. Williams says dairy can also play a major role in the prevention or management of the disease.

You can learn more about local dairy promotion efforts in Illinois, find dairy-rich recipes, or get more information by visiting STLDairyCouncil.org.

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Republicans Push For Ethics Reforms in Veto Session

Republicans are keeping the pressure up for lawmakers to tackle ethics reforms in the final days of the fall veto session. But for now Democrats seem fine to wait out the veto session and tackle the issue in the spring. Republican Senator Dan McConchie says there is plenty of low hanging fruit to fix when it comes to reforms. For instance, McConchie wants a loophole closed that allows for someone to work for the State Board of Elections while running or being an officer for political action committee

Republican efforts also include banning lawmakers from lobbying and filing of economic interest forms.

Republican State Representative Tony McCombie has also been at the front of the push for ethics reforms. Representative McCombie held a press conference earlier this week to promote a bill she helped to author on the subject... 

Despite Representative McCombie's advocacy, no action is expected to be taken during the veto session on this bill. 

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Senate Says OK to Proposal To Stop Rolling Clocks Back and Forth

Will rolling the clocks back be a thing of the past? The Illinois Senate voted to quit moving clocks back and forth for daylight savings time. The vote, 44-2-2, would keep the state on permanent Daylight Savings Time. Republican Senator Dave Syverson says he’s all for a change but being from Rockford times across the border could be hard to keep track of.

The bill is almost symbolic in nature. The House still needs to approve it and the Governor would have to sign it. But it would take a change in federal law for the state to skip out on changing the clocks, Congress has the final say. The only two states that don’t change time are Arizona and Hawaii.

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State Representative Dan Swanson Encouraging Veterans to Volunteer as Child Advocates

This week, State Representative Dan Swanson took time out from a busy final days of the Veto session in Springfield to encourage veterans specifically to volunteer as CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, volunteers who appointed by the courts to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children. State Representative Swanson took part in a press conference on Tuesday at which he encouraged veterans to consider volunteering for CASA... 

If you know a veteran or anyone else who would like to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, you can contact Illinois CASA at IllinoisCASA.org

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Senate Passes Pension Consolidation Bill in First Step Toward Pension Reform in Illinois

On Wednesday, the Illinois State Senate passed Senate Bill 1300 which will consolidate 649 different first responder pension funds in the state of Illinois into two funds. The move is expected to reduce the administrative costs of these individual funds which should save local governments millions of dollars over the next several years of not having to administer the funds themselves. The move also allows for the funds to be diversified and invested in a fashion that could increase the return and fund more of the currently unfunded pensions. State Senator Ryan Spain spoke about the necessity of passing this bill on the Senate floor on Wednesday... 

State Senator Spain continued and talked about the burden that the current under-funded pension system has placed on his constituents in Peoria and how this bill could alleviate some of that burden... 

Governor J.B Pritzker put out a statement on Wednesday evening indicating that he will sign SB 1300 though no official signing ceremony has been set as of yet. There is no word how quickly this change in the administration of these pension funds will shift into the new system.

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Kewanee Friends of the Animals Update on Burr Street Cats

In a story that began with the need to confiscate and re-home more than 70 cats, both feral and house cats, the Burr Street Cats as they've come to be known, are in the midst of a happy ending. Kathy Werderman with the Kewanee Pound and City Councilman Steve Faber tell WKEI that the Burr Street Cats are being re-homed at a good pace with feral cats finding homes on farms and most house cats finding homes. As Kathy explains however, there are still several of these lovely house cats still looking for homes and available either for free adoption or for a small fee...

The Burr Street Cats were just one of the reasons why Kathy Werderman and Steve Faber were our guests on People to People on Tuesday. They were also on hand to promote the need for donations for an addition to the Kewanee Pound to act as a quarantine room for new arrivals at the pound, a way to separate out those animals that might be ill from the healthy animals on hand. And, Kathy and Steve wanted to clear up misconceptions about the pound including letting people know that the pouind does not accept surrendered animals and that the pound has no affiliation with the Henry County Humane Society of Kewanee Aniimal Shelter... 

You can hear more about the Friends of the Animals, Kewanee Animal Control and the Kewanee Pound in our People to People Podcast linked here

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Profiling What You Are Supporting When You Support United Way

As part of our ongoing partnership with the Kewanee Area United Way, WKEI spoke with several agencies that are in part supported by the donations you give to the Kewanee Area United Way. Among those agencies is the Henry County Youth Services Bureau which provides counseling services to youth across Henry County. Marianne Culver is a counselor at the Henry County Youth Services Bureau... 

Kelli Parsons is a member of the Henry County Board and a liason with the Henry County Youth Services Bureau... 

Your donations to the Kewanee Area United Way could go to help a child get the counseling they need in order to make positive changes in their future. You can make donations by contacting the Kewanee Area United Way at 309-761-8447 or stop by and see Linda Blair at the KAUW offices located at the Henry County Senior Center. 

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Kewanee City Council Debates Antiquated Ordinance

An application for a new business license led to the opening of a can of worms regarding an out of date ordinance still on the books in Kewanee. The ordinance as it existed before Tuesday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting, specifically regulated Billiards Halls, Bowling Alleys and Coin Operated games and required that if a child was going to be at a Pool Hall or Bowling Alley they would need signed permission from both of their parents and to have tht signed permission on file with the Kewanee Police Chief as City Manager Gary Bradley explained... 

The issue of the antiquated ordinance came up when Mark Vervynck of Kewanee went pay for a license to open his new business, 2nd Street Billiards, and the ordinance related specifically to Billiards or Pool Halls was uncovered. Mr Vervynck spoke to the City Council on Tuesday night..

In the end, after a lengthy discussion, the City Council voted to amend portions of the ordinance in order to bring existing businesses into compliance and to remove some of the more egregiously out of date language in the ordinance, A new ordinance will be drafted after a discussion period and voted on likely at the first Council meeting in December. 

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Kewanee Economic Development Corporation Addresses City Council on Solar and Fast Pitch

At Monday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting Kathy Albert from the Kewanee Economic Development Corporation addressed the council for a quarterly activity report. According to that report progress on the Sunpin Solar Project in Kewanee is going quite well... 

Kathy Albert also discussed recent business workshops intended on educated new and future busines owners while also promoting a new round of the business Fast Pitch competition... 

For those unfamiliar, the Fast Pitch competition is an opportunity for someone with a small business or a plan for a small business to pitch their business to receive support from local economic development and other local investors. In the past businesses have received investments to get off the ground and a grant of free advertising for their new business from Regional Media. If you are someone with an idea for a new business you are encouraged to develop a business plan and a pitch, an explanation of your business and why you feel it would be successful, backed up with marketing information, potential profitabiliy and other such research. Applications to be part of Fast Pitch are due by the end of January. Further details on how to submit your application will come soon. 

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Social Security Talks Wounded Warrior Benefits

The Social Security Administration is reminding Veterans of Wounded Warriors Benefits. The agency’s Jack Myers says veterans will receive expedited attention to their disability claims. He indicates the location where the injury took place while on active duty is not relevant in the claims process but it did have to happen in a certain time frame.

Myers indicates veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100-percent permanent and total can get an expedited claim. He explains these gestures are their simple way of saying thank you to veterans.


For veterans or wounded warriors that would like information on the expedition of their disability claims, visit socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. You can also find your nearest Social Security office and contact a representative over the phone or by stopping in.

 

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Local Food Banks Set to Double Donations

A donation to your food bank this month might turn into double the amount. Wells Fargo is matching the first $1 million donated to food banks around the country through December. Each dollar donated will be matched one to one until the money runs - out or a food bank winds up with $25,000 in donations. Ashley Earnest with the Central Illinois Food Bank says turning one dollar into two will have a big impact.

Donations can be made to your local food bank or through the Feeding America website.

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Republicans Still Looking for TIme to Talk Ethics

Is there room on the legislative calendar to get ethics reforms done at the state house in the final three days of veto session? Republican State Rep. Tim Butler thinks so. Butler says that it’s time to consider a set of proposals to further clean up government and instill the public trust back in lawmakers. Butler says his time working with the federal government can help.

The first day of the second week of the fall veto session was Tuesday.

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One Person Killed in I-74 Rollover Chain Reaction Accident Near Quad Cities Airport

A truck driver from Bennett, Iowa was killed when the semi-truck he was driving suddenly went out of control, crossed the median and overturned on I-74 Eastbound at Milepost 8, three miles east of the Quad Cities Airport. The rollover led to a chain reaction accident in which a second semi truck struck the rollover vehicle and a third vehicle, a Suburu SUV also struck the rollover vehicle, neither of the two other vehicles in this crash had the time to stop before striking the rolled over truck. Killed in the accident was 78 year old Marlon R Hillyer of Bennett, Iowa. Hillyer's wife. 76 year old Patricia A Hillyer survived the accident and was treated and released at a local medical facility as was the driver of the Suburu SUV, 24 year old Dylan Columbia of Kahoka, Missouri. The driver of the second Semi-Truck in this accident suffered life-threatening injuries and has not been identified by the Illinois State Police as he remains in care at a local medical facility. The Illinois State Police Traffic Reconstruction Unit is continuing to investigate the accident. 

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OSF Healthcare Promoting the Great American Smokeout

OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is promoting the Great American Smokeout on November 21st. Amber Wood, spokesperson for OSF Saint Luke Medical Center on Monday's edition of Tuned In talked about the resources available to help people quit smoking as part of the Great American Smokeout... 

Amber Wood was our guest on Tuned In on Monday and you can hear that entire interview in our Tuned In podcast at RegionalDailyNews.com by clicking here for the Tuned In Podcast. 

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Illinois Convenience Store Industry Opposes State Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

The Illinois Association of Convenience Store Owners are in Springfield this week for a hearing regarding a bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The concern of the House Bill is that such flavored products target youth consumers. Convenience store owners on the other hand are arguing that the loss of revenue from banning these products is detrimental to a state in such difficult financial straits as the state of Illinois. Reporter Greg Bishop has more.. 

 

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Fraternal Order of Police Endorsing New Pension Consolidation Effort

One of the last holdouts regarding a proposed consolidation of 649 state pension funds has finally signed on to the latest pension reform bill. The Fraternal Order of Police have now endorsed the Senate Bill that consolidates downstate Police and Fire pensions into one state administered pension after a recent Senate proposed amendment. Reporter Greg Bishop has more on this significant step toward pension reform... 

 

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Mental Health Professional Concerned With Impacts Legalized Marijuana Will Have on Vaping Epidemic

Teen use of vaping products has been at the forefront of discussion the last several months and a mental health professional says he has concerns regarding the impacts of the legalization of marijuana on this epidemic. Tony Kirkman, Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center, says the vaping epidemic was targeted as an area of concern by the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership. He believes the legalization of marijuana come the first of the year is only going to grow the access to THC products.


Kirkman is concerned with the increased access to THC vaping products because studies have shown the human brain is not fully developed until 25 years and the chronic use of these mind-altering drugs can have devastating impacts. He adds keeping up with the latest trends in vaping and its devices is a lot like social media - as soon as you get things cornered in one area, another new trend arises. He says it's a constantly moving target.

 

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Trucking Industry Looking for Fine Tuning of Illinois Recreational Marijuana Law

The trucking industry will be watching the final three days of the fall veto session closely. Specifically, they are hopeful of some clean-up language for Illinois’ new recreational marijuana law, which goes into effect Jan. 1. Don Schaefer is with the Mid-West Truckers Association.


The final three days of the fall veto session are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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Open Letter from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association a Call to Action for Historic Preservation

Letter from the Bishop Hill Heritage Association Administrator

 

As I travel across the state the past several weeks, I have witness historic sites pleading their cases to the public about their financial needs.  Historic places, such as the Ronald Reagan House in Dixon and Starved Rock Park, have been in the news describing their need for additional funding.  Thus, I believe that it is time for us to speak up as well.  It is time for us to stand up for the Bishop Hill State Historic Site.  

 

Swedish immigrants led by Eric Janson started the Bishop Hill Colony as a religious communal society in 1846.  The Colony disbanded in 1861 but 18 Colony Buildings still remain and are still in use today.  Because of its huge impact on immigration, Bishop Hill is a National Historic Landmark.  According to the National Park Service, there are almost 2,600 NHLs found in the U.S. today.  The Secretary of the Interior designates these places as exceptional because of their abilities to illustrate U.S. heritage.  The Bishop Hill State Historic Site protects and preserves the Bishop Hill Colony NHL, which, according to the NPS, represents outstanding aspects of American history and culture.

The Bishop Hill State Historic Site consist of the Bishop Hill State Museum, Bjorklund Hotel, park, Boys Dormitory, Colony Church, and several other buildings.  Due to budget impasses in Springfield, much needed maintenance and repairs have been postponed again and again on these Colony buildings, especially the Colony Church.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages the state historic sites, including the Bishop Hill State Historic Site.

 

For those of us who believe strongly in preserving the heritage of the Bishop Hill Colony and its impact on local, state, and national history, it is time to let the DNR in Springfield know that we also care about our history and request that additional funding be budgeted to the Bishop Hill State Historic Site for building repairs.  Please contact the DNR by whatever medium you are most comfortable with, thru their Facebook Page, their website at dnr.illinois.gov, by phone 217-782-6302 or by letter to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271 .  Please address all correspondence to the head of the DNR, Director Colleen Callahan.  The more people speak up, the more likely action will be taken.  If we don’t speak up for the Bishop Hill State Historic Site, who will?

Thank you for your time and consideration!


Sincerely,

Todd DeDecker
BHHA Administrator
309 927-3899
www.bishophillheritage.org
bhha@mymctc.net

 

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Governor Pritzker Toured Soldier Field to Honor Vets on Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, Monday,  the Governor of Illinois was at perhaps the most recognizable monument for veterans in the state, Solider Field. The Governor says there is no mistaking the sacrifice that vets made while serving in the armed forces but it was just the start of their service to county and community.

650,000 vets call Illinois home and Governor Pritzker says we must strive to preserve a democracy that was kept secure by veterans past and present.

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Henry County Farm Bureau Announces Next Market Outlook Seminar

The Henry County Farm Bureau has announced their next Market Outlook Seminar set to take place November 21st at Lavender Crest Winery. Acording to the release from the Henry County Farm Bureau the next Market Outlook Seminar will focus on the grain markets and will feature keynote presenter Elaine Kub. Ms Kub is a grain market analyst for DTN The Progressive Farmer and on various radio and television programs, including U.S. Farm Report, AgDay, Market to Market, and Market Journal. The title of her presentation is "Mastering the Grain Market: How Profits Are Really Made." If you would like to attend the next Henry County Farm Bureau Market Outlook Seminar, contact the Henry County Farm Bureau at 309-937-2411. If you plan on enjoying the meal that goes with the Market Outlook Seminar you must RSVP by November 14th. The cost for the full series of upcoming Market Outlook Seminars is $75.00 or for just this session, $25.00. Katie Laleman from the Henry County Farm Bureau will be our guest on Tuned In on WKEi on November 19th. 

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Bishop Hill Tomte a Social Media Sensation

The brand new pair of Tomte statues outside of the Bishop Hill Creative Commons are creating a social media stir. Created by chainsaw artist Bryner Chainsaw of Kewanee, the male and female gnomes, known in Swedish lore as Tomte, have been liked and shared on social media since their reveal to the public during the fall harvest festival in Bishop Hill. And for those who do not speak Swedish, a Tomte is more than just a garden gnome, these magical creatures help take care of the earth, tending both livestock and helping wild creatures, mending fences and tending crops. During the holidays it is a tradition to leave out a bowl of porridge with butter to thank them for their help. Throughout the seasons folks are encouraged to take a selfie with the Tomte. Now, with Julmarknad around the corner, the Tomtes are expected to continue to be a sensation and thus why they need names. From now through the week of the Christmas Market, Julmarknad, you can help name the male and female Tomte. Just stop by the Bishop Hill Creative Commons during the weeklong Christmas Market, November 29th to December 8th, and suggest a name. Your suggestion will then join other suggestions that will be voted on via social media until the names are chosen. Once the names are chosen, the Tomte will get their very own Instagram accounts and likely continue to be a sensation on social media due to their unique and wonderful design. Julmarknad, The Christmas Market in Bishop Hill, begins on November 29th. The names will be revealed during the Lucia Nights celebration on December 8th. 

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Kewanee Salvation Army Announces New Position to Be Filled

The Kewanee Salvation Army has announced that a new position is opening up and to be filled in Kewanee. The Salvation Army is seeking a brand new Pathway of Hope Family Services Case Manager. Eddie Tolliver announced the open position in an appearance on Tuned in recently... 

The position will require a bachelors degree and some experience in the field of counseling. The goal is to help families in need who may be homeless or are going hungry. Pathway of Hope will help to re-home families in need and help them get back to a place of stability. As of this story being posted, the job has yet to go up at Indeed.com but it is expected to be posted to the job hunting website this week.

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Scott Packee Planning to Bring Marijuana Dispensary Elevated Supply Company to Kewanee

The locations are scouted and preparations are in place for Scott Packee and partner Tony Segura to bring a marijuana dispensary to Kewanee. Scott tells WKEI that he's been at work on the planning for this dispensary since Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use 4 years ago. 

The company is called Elevated Supply Company and some of the inspiration for Scott's support for legalized marijuana came from personal experience when his aunt passed away from cancer and found relief from the agony of the disease in medical marijuana. From the business perspective, Scott feels that the potential benefits of having dispensary in Kewanee are evident...

You can hear the entirety of our conversation with Scott Packee regarding Elevated Supply Co. and the business of legal marijuana in Illinois, in our People to People podcast linked here

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Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore Talks Legal Marijuana and a Potential Dispensary in Kewanee

Kewanee Mayor Gary Moore made it very clear in an interview on our People to People program on Friday on WKEI that he is opposed to the legalization of Marijuana but that proverbial ship has sailed in the state of Illinois... 

One week ago, Justin Raver, the Kewanee City Attorney, laid out the law regardng legal marijuana in the state of Illnois. The presentation did not change Mayor Gary Moore's mind regarding the legalization of Marijuana but because of the law, and the will of the people of Kewanee who have spoken in favor of a marijuana dispensary when speaking to the Mayor, he tells WKEI that would likely support having a dispensary in Kewanee... 

How much tax revenue can the City of Kewanee expect from having a dispensary in town? Mayor Moore doesn't want anyone to get their hopes up regarding a windfall but it will mean some revenue for the City of Kewanee... 

So what is next for the discussion of allowing a dispensary? Mayor Moore hopes to have more forums like the one held at Petersen Auditorium last Monday in order to continue the dialog... 

There is no specific date that local, City of Kewanee ordinances for marijuana have to be in place. You can hear more from Mayor Moore in our People to People Podcast linked here.

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Kewanee YMCA Christmas Auction Coming in December

The Kewanee YMCA will request to use the Kewanee City Council Chambers for their annual Christmas Auction on Saturday, December 7th. The annual YMCA Christmas Auction is a major event every year in Kewanee and broadcast live on the local television outlet cable channel 13 for everyone to see the remarkable items that will be up for auction. The annual Christmas Auction is a significant fundraiser for the YMCA of Kewanee. Representatives of the YMCA of Kewanee will be at Tuesday night's Kewanee City Council Meeting to formalize their request to make use of council chambers on Friday December 6th for set up and Saturday, December 7th for the actual auction. 

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Kewanee City Council Agenda 11-12-19

Due to the Veteran's Day Holiday, the Kewanee City Council will meet on Tuesday night at 7 Pm at City Hall. WKEI will carry the Kewanee City Council Meeting live on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/RegionalDailyNews. Below is the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting... 

 

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Minutes
b. Payroll
c. Staff Reports
d. YMCA request to use the City Hall Chambers, cameras, internet and Channel 13 on Saturday
December 7th
, 2019 for its Annual Christmas Auction.
e. Summary of the Public Meeting on November 4th in regards to Cannabis in Kewanee.
5. Presentation of Bills and Claims
6. Citizen Participation
7. Business:
a) Discussion about Outdoor Wood Burners with Central Boilers
b) Presentation by Kathy Albert with the KEDC
c) Ordinance Amending Title XI Business Regulations, Chapter 112, Section 112.02-112.03
& 112.04 Billiards, Poolrooms and Bowling Alleys
d) Consideration of an Ordinance providing for the issuance of $299,245 General
Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2019 of the City of Kewanee, Henry County,
Illinois, and for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest
on said bonds.
8. Council Communications:
9. Announcements:
10. Adjournme

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Motor Fuel Tax money Pouring Back into Local Governments

While it was painful to see the motor fuel tax double from 19 to 38-cents per gallon on July 1st, money has been coming back into local cities as a result. Motor fuel tax money is used to help fund much-needed roadwork projects for municipalities. Ken Helms, Monmouth’s Communications Director, says that that since August the city has seen a 70 percent increase in motor fuel tax funds.

Monmouth isn’t the only city seeing increases in their MFT allotments. Just down US 34 in Galesburg, they’ve seen about a 60-percent increase in their monthly allotments of motor fuel tax money for the last three months when compared with the year before. It’s not just cities seeing the benefits of it either. President of the Illinois Association of County Engineers Duane Ratterman (“RAT-er-men”), says that Knox County and it’s townships have seen a 70-percent increase in motor fuel tax funds.

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Ameren Using Goats to Remove Invasive Vegetation

Ameren Illinois is experimenting with an environmental-friendly way to remove invasive vegetation in difficult-to-reach areas across its service territory. Dave Schenck with Ameren says the company is piloting the use of 50 goats along a steep and rocky plot of land in Hillview, Illinois.

Tree trimmers with chainsaws could be called in to clear the area but much of the terrain is in a ravine, making walking conditions difficult at times. Schenck says the vegetation management is done for reliability as well as safety.

The goats can remove approximately an acre's worth of vegetation in a week.

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Illinois Fallen Soldier Surround of Honor Dedicated

The Illinois Fallen Soldier Surround of Honor was dedicated on Friday at Illini State Park in Marseilles 

Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia spoke

Each brick that makes up the memorial has the name of a fallen soldier from Illinois who died in Middle East conflicts engraved on it. It also has statue of a soldier kneeling made by Illinois Valley Community College welding students. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan was also there.

The memorial’s background is part of it. 250 white oak trees were planted in 2009 to honor fallen soldiers. The memorial was built by the Illini State Park Foundation.

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Henry and Rock Island County Pheasants Forever Touting Youth Hunt on Saturday

The Henry and Rock Island County Chapters of Pheasants Forever are teaming with the Illinois DNR for a Youth Wingshooting and Hunting Clinic on Saturday. WKEI had the chance to catch up with Pheasants Forever representaitve Scott James on Thursday afternoon and he talked about Pheasants Forever and their part of this youth hunt on Saturday at the Johnson Sauk Trail Recreation Area... 

Registration for the Youth Wingshooting and Hunting Clinic closes by the close of business tomorrow on the Illinois DNR website and we asked Scott if pre-registration was required... 

Only a few spots remain if you would like your child between the age of 10 and 17 to attend the Youth Hunt with the Illinois DNR and Pheasants Forever go to DNR.Illinois.gov/ControlledHunt to pre-register. 

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Henry County Senior Center Offering Medicare Part D Check Up

Are you getting the most out of Medicare Part D? You can answer that question with a Medicare Part D check up during the open enrollment period now through December 7th. If you want to know if you can get a better deal on your prescription drug program and you are 65 or older, you can get a Part D check up at the Henry County Senior here in Kewanee. Cassandra Schmoll from the Henry County Senior Center was our guest on Tuned In on Thursday... 

Again, you don't have to change plans. Checking to see if you can get a better deal on your Medicare Part D prescriptions doesn't mean you have to take what the Senior Center adivisor, Nicole, offers you, it's just an option that you have. You can get a Medicare Part D check up and still keep your current Medicare plan without any penalties or fees. Call the Henry County Senior Center to make an appointment with Nicole for your Medicare Part D check up. The phone number is 309-853-8831. 

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Abilities Plus Celebrating 60 Years with New Holiday Ornament

All this year Abilities Plus has been celebrating 60 years of service to the community, As part of the celebration, and the fundraising for the remarkable things Abilities Plus does in the community, Abilities Plus will be selling holiday ornaments with a special logo design honoring 60 years of Abilities Plus... 

Julie Landwehr from Abilities Plus was our guest on People to People on Thursday. The holiday ornament is part of the run up for the annual Abilities Plus Holiday Open House which will take place on Decemeber 8th... 

You can hear more about Abilities Plus, their Holiday Open House and more in our People to People Podcast interview with Julie Landwehr linked here

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Governor Pritzker Alleged to Have Used Public Resources in Push for Fair Tax

Opponents of Governor Pritzker's Progressive or Fair Tax plan are alleging the Governor is using public funds to campaign for his tax plan which will be voted on in November of 2020. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke to Ideas Illinois Chairman, Greg Baise, who is among those opposed to the Governor's plan for this report. 

 

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Illinois Lawmakers Pushing to End Annual COLA for Members of Illinois State House

Earlier this year lawmakers received a raise in pay after several lawmakers moved to block a bill that would have stopped Cost of Living Adjustments for Illinois lawmakers. Now, several members of the Illinois House are making a move once again to prevent automatic pay raises for members of the Illinois House and Senate. Reporter Jim Moran has more... 

 

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Republican Leaders Hold Press Conference to Tout Ethics Reform Bills

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Deputy House Republican Leader Tom Demmer, held a press conference on Thursday to announce 4 bills and a House Joint Resolution aimed at reforming ethics in state government... 

The Illinois House of Representatives is currently on a break before returning for three more days of veto session prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday. House Leader Durkin believes that there is an urgency to passing these bills and the Joint Resolution because of the tight legislative window and the general need to show the public that something is being done to address the corruption that continues to erode the trust of the people of Illinois... 

State Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon says he also feels there is an urgency to passing these bills and that this package of legislation addresses what many see as a culture of corruption in Springfield... 

You can see each of the proposed bills for yourself here..

 

The ethics package includes:

 

·        House Bill 3954 that will revise statement of economic interests to include more details similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms. This forces full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and provides greater transparency for members of the General Assembly.

 

·        HJRCA 36 will require a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing our party primaries. This will prevent political powerbrokers from picking their preferred candidates for the vacancies.

 

·        House Resolution 588 will allow a Chief Co-Sponsor of any bill with five co-sponsors from each party to call it for an up or down vote in a substantive committee.

 

·        House Bill 3947 would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly - state representatives and state senators - are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.

 

·        House Bill 3955 will create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts. 

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How To Use Leaves To Help Yard, Gardens

If blowing and raking leaves into piles to have your city service pick up or have them taken out to a local landfill is too much of a hassle, a local University of Illinois horticulture expert has a few tips on how to deal with the fallen leaves. Master Gardner Candice Hart at the University of Illinois Extension office says leaves can make a great compost starter. As you get those gardens cleaned up, she recommends mixing those remains with some leaves.

If composting isn't your thing and you just want to mow over those leaves, that is an option too. Hart indicates those mulched up leaves can provide good nutrients for your lawn.

If you'd like to start a compost pile this winter and need more tips getting it going, visit extension.illinois.edu for materials and publications or find your local University of Illinois Extension Office and contact their master gardener.

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Great War Encampment Coming to Springfield

The Illinois State Military Museum is prepared for its’ Great War Encampment. This weekend in honor of Armistice Day and Veterans Day reenactors will be spread out around the grounds of Camp Lincoln in Springfield to showcase the Great War. Bill Lear with the State Military Museum says this will be one of the best ever.

The story of the First World War runs all day Saturday at the Illinois State
Military Museum.

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House Republicans Push For Reforms

Is there time for ethics reform in the final three days of fall veto session? House Republicans think so. They are preparing a number of bills to be called sooner rather than later. Among the new bills would be one to force full disclosure of conflicts of interest and another would ban General Assembly members, spouses, and immediate live in family from paid lobbying work with governmental units. Republican Rep. Tim Butler says much can be done even in a short amount of time to address recent ethical lapses.

The Governor wants to get something done too. But it remain to be seen just how many bills can be passed in three days.

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Mayor and Police Department in Village of East Galesburg Resign

The Mayor Teri Peterson and the members of the Village of East Galesburg Police Department have resigned their positions with the Village. The news came officially in a Facebook post late Wednesday night. According to the post, featuring a photo of the Mayor's letter of resignation, the Mayor indicates that the disagreements between the Mayor and the members of the Village board reached a tipping point this week that led to her resignation followed by that of members of the Police Department identified in the post only by first names, Jack, Harlan Adam and Barry. A Village Clerk and a maintenance worker for the Village also resigned. The resignations are effective on November 17th. You can read the full post below along with the letter from the Mayor of the Village as well... 

 

"So tonight at the board meeting Jack Harlan, Adam and Barry (the EG Police department) all resigned effective November 17th, The Clerck Terry, Kole in Maintenance and me as Mayor all resigned as well. This is my resignation letter. Thank you all for joining this page and respecting the rules. I am very sorry I could not fulfill my term as Mayor, but for the sake of my family, professional life and sanity I felt it necessary to step down. I know the others that have resigned fell the same. I know there will be speculation, accusations and mud slinging going on on social media and within the village as it has already started. Please know that each of us are disappointed in that we ALL had hopes of working as a team to make East Galesburg a better place to live and grow." 

 

There is no word where the Village of East Galesburg moves on from here. Thus far the Galesburg Police and the Knox County Sheriff's Office have told members of the media that they have not been asked to step in to help The Village of East Galesburg while they search for new Police Officers. There is also no word on when a replacement for Mayor Peterson will be named. 

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City of Kewanee Announces Sewer Work on Church Street Friday

The City of Kewanee Public Works Department has announced that crews will be in town on Friday working on the sewer on a portion of Church Street... 

 

The City of Kewanee Public Works Department will have contractors in town working on sewer lining in the 100 block of West Church Street on Friday 11/8/19. 

 

Residents in these areas will not be able to use any sewer or household drains while work is taking place.  Work is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m.  Residents will not be able to wash clothes or dishes, take showers or baths, flush toilets, and should turn off sump pumps connected to sewer service. 

 

While work is being done, residents may detect an odor from drains inside their homes.  This odor is not harmful, but it is helpful to pour a gallon of hot water down any drains, sinks, tubs, and toilets in order to create a water barrier that will prevent odors from coming up the drains.

 

Due to the equipment in this procedure requiring use of water from neighborhood hydrants in the areas of West Church and Hollis Streets, residents in or near these areas may experience low water pressure or rusty water.  Residents are advised to use only cold water to flush out water inside their homes.

 

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Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson Honored with Commendation from Illinois State Police

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson, a frequent guest on WKEI, was honored with a commendation by the Illinois State Police as part of a celebration on October 30th. Trooper Wilson was nominated for Illinois State Trooper of the Year and was honored with a commendation for his work as District 7 Safety Education Officer, Emergency Medical Response Instructor, Stop-The-Bleed Instructor, Child Passenger Safety Technician and Public Information Officer. A statement from the Illinois State Police says of Trooper Jason Wilson in his commendation "He continually displays all the finest qualities of an Illinois State Police Trooper and is truly a credit to his community and the citizens of Illinois." Trooper Wilson was presented with his commendation by newly appointed Illinois State Police Director Brenden Kelly. Congratulations to our friend Trooper Jason Wilson! 

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Kewanee Elks Hosting First Responders and Veterans Dinner November 8th

The Kewanee Elks Lodge is hosting their annual Veterans and First Responders Dinner on Friday night, November the 8th at the Elks Lodge. Veterans, Firefighters, Police Officers, past and present will eat for free while their guests will be invited to give a free will offering to support the Elks and their charity efforts... 

That's Gordon Vickrey with the Kewanee Elks Lodge. Gordon talked to WKEI about Friday night's dinner and discussed the many charity efforts the Elks are part of in support of our community... 

Gordon Vickrey was our guest on People to People on Wednesday. The Veterans and First Responders Dinner at the Elks Lodge gets underway at 5 Pm and will go on until 7 Pm with a menu featuring Meatloaf, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Beans, Rolls and Desserts. The bar will also be open. 

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IDNR and Henry County Pheasants Forever Hosting Youth Hunt this Weekend

The Illinois DNR and the Henry and Rock Island chapter of Pheasants Forever are holding a youth hunt this weekend. The event will be held at Johnson-Sauk Trail Recreation Area and go on from 7:30 Am to 4 Pm on Saturday, November 9th. The event is aimed at youth aged 10 to 17 years old and include lessons on safety and responsibility in the hunting of upland birds. This is a free event for Youth Wingshooting and Youth Hunting. To attend, parents can register their children by going to DNR.Illinois.gov/ControlledHunt. Parents or legal guardians are welcome to attend with their child but they aren't required. For more information contact Scott James, Pheasant Forever at 309-660-3147if you have questions about the event or contact Sheldon Fairfield, IL DNR 217-524-5466 with any questions about registration. 

 

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WHBF Reports Family of Patient Claiming Poor Care at Royal Oaks Care Center

WHBF Channel 4 out of the Quad Cities is reporting a complaint by a family member who says that her sister had been in the care of Royal Oaks Care Center and alleges she wasn't properly cared for. According to the report on Wednesday night's news broadcast, WHBF spoke with Jody Chambers-Wilson who stated that her sister was a patient at Royal Oaks Care Center for three years. In the story, linked here, Chambers-Wilson stated that her sister gained more than 200 pounds while at the center, that her medications increased dramatically and that staff members ignored her sisters pleas regarding pain and discomfort. WKEI has reached out to represesentatives of Petersen Health Care for a statement as well as to reporter Chase Davis of WHBF for further information and will update you as more information becomes available. 

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Many Chain Restaurants Offering Meal Deals to Veterans on Monday

Many chain restaurants around the country are offering meal deals for Veterans on Monday, Veteran's Day. Below is a list of some that we have compiled, to qualify simply produce proof of your miltary service. If you know of any other businesses offering deals for Veterans on Veteran's Day be sure to share them in the comments. 

 

Applebee’s - All veterans and active-duty military members can come in on November 11th for a complimentary entree from a special menu.

 

Red Lobster - Veterans, active duty military and reservists with a valid military ID who come on November 11th can score one free appetizer or dessert.


Cracker Barrel - They’re giving veterans a slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or a Pumpkin Pie Latte on the house on Veterans Day.


Denny’s - All active and retired military personnel can come in from 5 a.m. to noon on November 11th with a valid military ID to get a complimentary Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast.

 

Texas Roadhouse - All active and retired members of the military can get free lunch on Monday at Texas Roadhouse locations around the country. Texas Roahdhouse is also raising funds for veterans charities by having patrons Round Up their bill with the change being set aside in hopes of raising close to $10,000 for a charity aimed at helping transitional veterans. 

 

Hooters - Veterans and active-duty military who come in on November 11th will get a free entree from the Hooters Special Veterans Day menu.


Dunkin' Donuts- Vets and active military members get one free doughnut of their choice on Veterans Day.


Golden Corral - Free dinner buffets on Veterans Day to anyone who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. military, including the National Guard and Reserve.


Olive Garden - On November 11th, they’re offering a free meal from a special menu to active-duty military members and veterans.

 

Bring Proof Of Military Service.

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Henry County Office of Emergency Management Wants You to Know the Difference between Steam and Smoke

In a post on the Henry County Office of Emergency Management, emergency response officials are educating the public regarding grain dryers and steam. Following an influx of 911 calls, the Office of Emergency Management is using social media to spread the message that when a grain bin is working properly in cold weather it gives off steam that some might mistake for smoke. The post on Facebook then goes on to inform the public when they should call 911: When you see flames and When you certain what you are seeing is smoke. To know the difference between steam and smoke, steam dissipates while smoke does not. Be mindful before calling emergency services. The message concludes by reminding everyone to thank farmers for their hard work and long dangerous hours. You can see the post for yourself by liking the Henry County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook, linked here

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Kentucky Becomes Latest State to Try to Lure Businesses from Illinois

Indiana and Wisconsin have each launched campaigns in the past in an attempt to lure away Illiinois based businesses and now it is Kentucky's turn. The state of Kentucky has launched a billboard campaign intended to lure away businesses from Illinois to the Bluegrass state. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more on Kentucky's effort to steal Illinois businesses... 

 

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Ethics Reform Centering on Giving More Power to Investigators

Further ethics reform is coming to Springfield but what shape will it take? While Democrats have expressed support for ethics reform, Republicans have a few ideas that they are building on. One of those plans includes increasing the investigatory power and protections for the Legislative Inspector General. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke to State Senator Jason Barickman for this report... 

 

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Downstate Lawmaker Talks College Pay Debate

If Illinois Democrats get their way, Illinois will become the second state in the United States to allow college athletes to get payments for use of their names and likenesses. California this fall passed a similar law and in the recent veto session in Springfield, lawmakers took up the issue as well and Governor JB Pritzker has said he'll sign it upon reaching his desk. Senator Chapin Rose, who says he falls on the side of the athletes in most cases, does not believe this is something to be rushed into.

The idea sounds good in theory but Sen. Rose believes there could be lots of unintended consequences. Men's basketball and football are the biggest revenue generators and he points out the distribution of money could leave schools unable to afford some programs.

Among a few issues with the measure the Senator expressed was why the legislature has decided to take this up during the veto session which is a time to refine or reject existing measures, not create new ones. The NCAA has indicated they would look into paying athletes for the use of their names and likenesses.

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Pritzker Looking for Disclosures From Lobbyists

The Governor wants further ethics reforms at the state house in the wake of three separate scandals this summer and fall. Democrat JB Pritzker says that as the legislature comes back for the final three days of fall veto session they should take up new rules concerning lobbyists and their connection to lawmakers.

Pritzker notes that lobbyists that work on issues in the city of Chicago have to disclose how much they are being paid. Right now lobbyists don’t have to disclose that information for working on issues at the state house.

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Improvements Continue for Fairgrounds

Millions of dollars of improvements are continuing on the Illinois State Fairgrounds this fall and it will allow for a smooth ride around the fair in 2020. Roads are being repaved around the junior livestock building this week as long as weather will permit. Improvements are also coming to parking lots says IDOA’s Krista Lisser.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is handing the paving projects.

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Councilman Yaklich Calls for More Public Meetings on Recreational Marijuana Before Ordinance is Introduced

Kewanee CIty Councilman Mike Yaklich was our guest on People to People on Tuesday morning, the day following the City of Kewanee forum on the legalization of recreational marijuana. In the interview, Councilman Yaklich praised the information presented by City Attorney Justin Raver but also stated that more discussion is needed on the pros and cons of a potential city ordinance and whether the City should allow for the placement of a recreational marijuana dispensary... 

The meeting was not as well attended as many had hoped with only perhaps just over 50 people in attendance. Councilman Yaklich hopes that more citizens will get in touch with their council members and express their thoughts to shape the the decsions that the council has to make in the next several weeks... 

Asked where he stands right now on the idea of a recreational marijuana dispensary in Kewanee, Mr Yaklich told WKEI that he is currently opposed to the idea but open to listening to more information... 

You can hear our complete interview with Councilman Mike Yaklich in our People to People Podcast linked here

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Father Jerry Rafalko Elected Bishop in the Polish National Catholic Church

Father Jerry Rafalko was our guest on Tuned In on Tuesday on WKEI and announced some big personal news.... 

The new position will, unfortunately, take Father Jerry away from Kewanee on a regular basis but the Holy Trinity Parish will remain under his jurisdiction and he will be back for big events at the church in Kewanee. While also being a guest on Tuned In on Tuesday, Father Jerry promoted the upcoming Quarter Madness Auction taking place at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Galesburg. Father Jerry explains that the funds from this Quarter Madness Auction will go to pay for expenses for hospice patients whose families may not be able afford certain amenities... 

The cost for the Quarter Madness Auction is $10.00 per entry into the auction and will then follow the standard operation of a Quarter Madness Auction. Rules will be posted at the door at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Galesburg, located at 1556 East Freemon Street in Galesburg. Food will be served at 6 Pm and the Quarter Madness will begin at 7 Pm. You can hear our entire Tuned In interview with Father Jerry Rafalko in our Tuned In podcast linked here

 

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Illinois Public Worker Retirement Funds to Require More Tax Dollars in 2020

Despite record market returns, the fund for Illinois Public Worker Retirement money will need even more tax dollars in 2020 than in 2019. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke to Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski about the filings from 5 public pension funds in the state of Illinois last week that show that needed pension contributions from the state will increase next year... 

 

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Lawmakers to Introduce Bill to Suspend Gas Tax During Economic Downturns

Thus far, lawmakers who oppose the Gas Tax that was imposed back in June of this year have had no traction in trying to get the tax repealed. Now, some of those lawmakers are taking a different approach. Several Illinois lawmakers are now suggesting a bill that would suspend the gas tax during times when the national economy is in a downturn. Reporter Scot Bertram has more...

 

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Galva American Legion Post to Host Veterans Breakfast Saturday

The Galva American Legion Hagberg-Hamlin Post 45 will host a Veterans Breakfast on Saturday morning, November 9th. According to the American Legion Post 45 Facebook page, the Veternan's Breakfast will get underway at 7:30 Am on Saturday and will feature Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy, Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potatoes, Coffee and Orange Juice. The breakfast is all you can eat for $7.00 and the proceeds benefit the American Legion Post. Veterans attending the breakfast on Saturday will eat for free courtesy of Courtyard Estates in Galva and Galva: Ready to Grow. 

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Cold Temperatures and Dry Conditions for Remaining Days of Harvest

Chilly temperatures should prevail over Illinois through the next ten days, but the weather pattern should be dry—aiding a late harvest.

Those words from DTN Chief Agriculture Meteorologist Bryce Anderson during a Tuesday morning visit with the RFD Radio Network.

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Illinois Lawmakers Ready to Move on Ethics Reforms

It seems that the Illinois Senate won’t be standing pat on possible reforms to ethics. Senate President John Cullerton understands that the public could be losing faith in lawmakers after a year when a Senator is indicted on federal charges, another’s home and offices were raided by the FBI and a member of the House resigned his seat after being arrested on federal
bribery charges.

The Illinois Senate has three more days of work in second session of the fall veto session.

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Illinois State Police Identify Body Found in Illinois River Near Starved Rock State Park

The Illinois State Police have identified a body found in the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park. According to Illinois State Police Investigators, the body was that of 37 year old Joseph Warmerdam of Wheaton, Illinois. Warmerdam's body was discovered by Illinois DNR Officers at approximately 2 Pm on Saturday afternoon. The body was transported to the McLean County Coroner's office on Sunday where an autopsy was performed and identification of Joseph Warmerdam was made. No other information regarding the victim or the investigation is being released at this time. Illinois State Police Investigators are asking anyone who may have information regarding the victim, Joseph Warmerdam to contact the Illinois State Police Special Agent Novotney at 815/224-1171 ext 139.

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IL State Police Arrest Department of Corrections Employee Alleged to Have Sexually Assaulted Parolees

The Illinois State Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Department of Corrections employee Garrick Randolph of Monmouth. According to the release from the Illinois State Police, the arrest of Garrick Randolph, who had been working as a Parole Officer in Knox County under the employment of the Illinois Department of Corrections, stemmed from a complaint by a parolee to the Galesburg Police Department in August of 2019. The unnamed parolee alleged at that time that Randolph had sexually assaulted her in her home while under the guise of performing his duty as a Parole Officer. Galesburg Police took the allegation to the Illinois State Police Department of Internal Investigation which launched a further probe of Randolph. The DII uncovered a second allegation of sexual assault from another parolee who had been supervised by Randolph. On October 23, 2019, DII agents obtained two arrest warrants from the Knox County State’s Attorney’s Office for the charges of two counts of Custodial Sexual Misconduct and two counts Official Misconduct. Subsequently, Randolph voluntarily reported to the Galesburg Police Department where he was taken into custody. Randolph was held at the Knox County Jail, posted bond and was released the same day. The bond amount was set at $75,000 for each warrant arrest. The Knox County States Attorney's Office has indicated that further charges could be pending against Garrick Randolph. For now, Randolph is out on bond awaiting further disposition of his case. 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Announces Diabetes Support Group

A new resource is arriving in January for those who have diabetes. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is beginning to spread the word about their upcoming Diabetes Support Group to coincide with November being Diabetes Awareness Month. Registered Nurse and Diabetes Educator Kerry Blume spoke to WKEI about the group on Monday's edition of Tuned In... 

The Diabetes Support Group at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will be free and open to anyone who would like to attend... 

The brand new Diabetes Support Group at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center will begin meeting in January of 2020. 

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Opioid Related Deaths Declining in Illinois

Illinois residents are learning to be more careful regarding opioid use. Numbers released regarding opioid related overdoses and death in Illinois indicate that opioid related deaths are on the decline in the state. The decline in opioid related deaths in 2018 ended a frightening trend that saw such deaths increase for 5 straight years prior to 2018. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Illinois State Board of Education Releasing Statistics Including Per Student Cost

The Illinois State Board of Education is releasing new statistics related to the cost of education in the state of Illinois. The data is broken down to the district level and includes the cost per student of education in each district and in the state as a whole. Reporter Cole Lauterbach spoke to Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Carmen Ayala for this report... 

 

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OSF Saint Luke Medical Center Launching Winter Coat Drive

Do you have a winter coat you no longer wear? What about coats that your kids have grown out of? OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is launching a winter coat drive to collect warm, winter coats and other winter clothing items for those in need as Amber Wood, representative for OSF Saint Luke Medical Center explains... 

The winter coat drive is in conjunction with the Kewanee Salvation Army and runs through October 25th so take your donation to OSF Saint Luke Medical Center by that date. Amber Wood was our guest on Tuned In on Monday and you can hear our entire view with Amber, along with the Diabetes care team at OSF in our Tuned In Podcast linked here

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Two Galesburg Men Arrested in Meth and Heroin Bust

A pair of Galesburg men are under arrest related to a search warrant executed in Galesburg on Monday. According to the release from the Galesburg Police Department, officers of the Galesburg Special Response Team executed a search warrant in the 400 Block of Cedar Street at an unattached garage in a residential neighborhood. Outside the garage were a series of video cameras linked to monitors inside the garage. Also inside the garage, were amounts of Crystal Methamphetamine, Heroin, and various weapons. Arrest at the scene was 51 year old Gilbert D  Bicknell of Galesburg, charged with Criminal Fortification of a Residence, Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Possession with Intent to Delivery Methamphetamine between 5 and 15 grams, Possession of Methamphetamines Between 5 and 15 Grams, Manufacturing and Delivery of Heroin less than 1 gram, Theft or Unauthorized Control of Stolen Property, and a Knox County warrant for other unspecified charges. Also arrested at the scene was 44 year old Jay A Murdock of Galesburg. Murdock is charged with Felony Obstruction of Justice and was also arrested on a pair of warrants, one from Knox County and one from Mercer County, both for unspecified charges. Both men are being held in the Knox County Jail. 

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One Year Away from Vote on Governor Pritzker's Tax Plan

We are just under one year away, November 3rd, 2020, from voting on changing the state tax plan from the current flat tax to a progressive tax designed by Governor Pritzker and his advisors. Adam Schuester from the Illinois Policy Institute joined WKEI on Monday and talked about the many promises that Illinois politicians have made and broken over the years. The point he was making is that many promises are being made regarding the Progressive tax, which he laid out... 

Schuester says that whether you agree or disagree with the idea of a Flat Tax system, it does virtually guarantee that lawmakers are held to the promise of not raising income tax, something that having a Pogressive Tax system cannot guarantee. 

Voters go to the polls November 3rd, also the Presidential election day, to cast their vote for or against Governor Pritzker's tax plan. 

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Register and Vote for Galva in Levitt Amp Competition

The organizers of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series are asking for your help in bringing the Levit Amp Concert series to Galva for the third year in a row. According to a release from John Taylor, one of the organizers of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series, all you need to do is go to Grant.LevittAmp.org. There you will be asked to create an account before casting your vote. This does not take long and once you do, you will be able to cast your vote. Voting for cities to earn the Levitt Amp concert grant runs through November 20th. Getting this matching grant from the Levitt Amp group will bring another 10 weeks of free concerts to Galva in the summer of 2020 and continue what has been an incredible community uniting effort. 

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Late October Rains Made Month Wetter Than Average

A little summer. Some fall. And a taste of winter highlighted the month of October from a weather perspective. Chris Geelhart from the National Weather Service indicates October started with record highs in some places in Illinois with a good taste of fall weather in the middle and then record snowfall on the final day of the month.

Thanks to some late rains from the remnants of a tropical storm, the month ended up wetter than normal. Geelhart indicates there was also a day of rain ahead of the snow that fell for Halloween.

Farmers were concerned about being frosts and freezes beating them to the completion of the harvest, there weren't any of those types of nights until later in the month.

Geelhart calls the snowfall in the range of two-to-five inches was very rare for October, as most areas records were just traces of snow.

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Private Jet Companies Tax Breaks In Spotlight

Do private jet facilities deserve a tax break dating back to 2014 worth $50 million? The Illinois House thinks so and voted in veto session to approve a retroactive tax break to aid companies that update and repair private jets. An East Alton area lawmaker says a business in her district benefits and has added workers and improved facilities because of it. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker disagrees.

There are 14 private jet facilities that would get the break. The taxes are owed after a state law in 2014 ended all permanent tax breaks. Those facilities didn’t collect or pay sales tax from that point on and it’s estimated that the total amount of unpaid taxes is close to $50 million.

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Pork Producers Looking For Young Leaders

The Illinois Pork Producers are looking for new members of a leadership class that will help them grow new leaders for the agriculture industry. IPPA Executive Director Jennifer Tirey says that they are looking for anyone with a connection to the pork industry.

The class will start in 2020, but the application deadline to apply for the no-cost program is November 15th. All the details are on Illinois pork dot com.

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Kewanee Salvation Army Angel Tree Sign-Up Open Now

The Kewanee Salvation Army Angel Tree's will be going up soon across Kewanee. But first, kids need to get signed up to receive gifts from the Angel Tree. Amber Patch Troxell is among the driving forces behind the Angel Tree and she tells WKEI that sign up began on Friday and the number of participants has grown year after year which is a blessing and also a bit nerve-wracking... 

Amber tells WKEI that it doesn't take much to make a great Christmas for a needy child and she and her elves are ready to help you help a child in need... 

You should begin to see Angel Trees popping up at locations across Kewanee beginning on November 17th due to the late Thanksgiving this year... 

Again, you can register a child to receive a gift from the Angel Tree by going to the Salvation Army in Kewanee. 

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Kewanee Recreational Marijuana Forum Tonight at Kewanee High School

If you want to have your voice heard in the debate over how the City of Kewanee should handle the imposition of the legalization of Recreational Marijuana on January 1st of 2020, you need to come to the forum being held this evening at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School. The public will be given the chance to comment and help shape the approach of the Kewanee City Council in terms of localized ordinances that could keep a dispensary out of Kewanee or invite one to be established. Kewanee City Attorney Justin Raver will be heading up the meeting and wants everyone to know that his approach is impartial and that he has not shared his opinion, even in the anonymous poll recently conducted by WKEI on Facebook... 

The unscientific WKEI Facebook Poll indicates strong support for allowing a marijuana dispensary to be placed in Kewanee. That poll however, may not be completely indicative of how most citizens feel regarding marijuana and thus why it is important for people to come to tonight's meeting. Another reason tonight's meeting is so important is because recreational marijuana is coming whether the citizenry approves of it or not and the City of Kewanee needs to have ordinances in place as Justin Raver points out... 

The informational powerpoint presentation by Justin Raver will start the meeting at 7 Pm and will be followed by comments from anyone who attends tonight's meeting and would like to be heard on the issue. The meeting is at 7 Pm at the Petersen Auditorium at Kewanee High School. 

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Galesburg Police Release Identity of Man in Police Standoff Friday

On Friday, Galesburg Police were part of a nearly 10 hour stand off with a resident in the 1700 Block of Main Street. According to Galesburg Police, the man had a gun and was threatening to harm his family before Police were able to get him to release them. The man then threatened police and threatened to harm himself as the standoff went on through the morning from approximately 2:30 Am until nearly Noon when when Galesburg Police were able to convince the man to put down his weapon and leave the home peacefully. The man in question has now been identified as 29 year old Michael J McCabe of Galesburg. McCabe is now in custody and stands charged with Domestic Battery, Aggravated Unlawful Restraint, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Interfering with a Report of Domestic Violence. McCabe is being held at the Knox County Jail. 

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Black Hawk College Foundation Announces More than $96,000 in Scholarships

On Friday, Black Hawk College announced that 100 East Campus students would be receiving more than $96,000 in scholarships from supporters of the Black Hawk College foundation. According to the release from Black Hawk College, the college recently held its 2019 Scholarship Recognition Banquet at which they honored the people who created the numerous scholarships in parthership with Black Hawk and announced the students who would receive the remarkable number of scholarships. All told, 100 students received scholarships totaling $96,702 with plans to honor more students in the Spring and increase the outlay of scholarships to more than $110,000. Below is the list of students receiving scholarships and where they are from... 

 

Alexis

Blake Ryner – Dean L. Bates Scholarship
 

Alpha

Haley Brooks – BHC East Foundation CNA Scholarship
 

Altona

Benjamin Gelaude – Ken Maguire Liberal Arts & Sciences Scholarship, Smith Scholarship
 

Annawan

Hannah Croegaert – Erickson Family Endowment Scholarship, Lyle and Marie Blodgett Memorial Scholarship
Bailey Roselieb – CHS Foundation Scholarship (Sophomore), Harriet McCarthy Scholarship, Nancy & Wayne Hier Scholarship
 

Atkinson

Nicole Haverback – Dan Hoge Livestock Judging Scholarship
 

Belvidere

·       Chloe Gustafson – CHS Foundation Scholarship (Sophomore), Walter H. Shreck Scholarship

 

Bunker Hill, IN

Wyatt Willson – CHS Foundation Scholarship (Freshman), Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Cascade, IA

Holly Beringer – Peoples National Bank Scholarship
Madison Strief – Black Hawk College Endowed Equine Scholarship
 

Castleton

Shelbie Eklund – 25 for 25 Scholarship
 

Danville, IN

Emily Fry – Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Dawson

Sarah Tarr –Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Des Lacs, ND

Peyton Sundsbak – Livestock Judging Scholarship
 

Edmore, MI

Teresa Brun – Robin Moreland Memorial Equine Scholarship
 

Fairview

Johnathon Lock – Holmquist Scholarship
 

Fishers, IN

Paulette Jones – Holmquist Scholarship
 

Fort Madison, IA

Caitlin Griffin – Holmquist Scholarship
 

Galva

Charla Bates – Peterson-Martin Engineering Scholarship
Rachel Russell – Debbie Kitterman Memorial Scholarship, Harriet McCarthy Scholarship
Josie Williams – William & Elizabeth Dolieslager Scholarship
Ashley Withrow – Amelia Wallen Memorial Scholarship, Joan Eastlund Scholarship
 

Geneva

Emily Lightner – Giertz Brothers Scholarship, Verlin & Joan Jackson Livestock Judging Scholarship
 

Gilson

Lukas Walker – Dean L. Bates Scholarship
 

Good Hope

Mason Engnell – Cory Lowderman Memorial Scholarship
 

Gridley

Sophia  Otto – Cargill Equine Scholarship
 

Hamilton

Abagail Schmit – Dean L. Bates Scholarship
 

Harmon

Seth Schmitt – Holmquist Scholarship, Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Heyworth

Lauren Neuleib – Black Hawk East Alumni Club Scholarship, CHS Foundation Scholarship (Sophomore)
 

Kappa

Shelby Trunnell – Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Kewanee

Evan Becker – Dean L. Bates Scholarship
Lovie Christion – Dr. Glenn I. Luymes Veterinary Technology Scholarship
Nolan Cone –  Dave Lapan Memorial Scholarship
Soledad Estrada –   Kewanee Rotary Club Scholarship, Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
Emma Hughes  –  Dale and Helen Swanson Scholarship
Sydney Imes  –  Dr. Glenn I. Luymes Veterinary Technology Scholarship
Sydney Krause  –  Bea Haines Endowed Scholarship, Darlene Collinson Endowed Scholarship, Kewanee Kiwanis Club Scholarship, Ron & Teresa Brown Memorial Scholarship
Taylor Lay  –  Jeff Owens Memorial Scholarship, Theodore and Penny Vlahos Scholarship
Carrie Luciani – Kewanee Area Business Women's Scholarship
Jocelyn Martinez –  Black Hawk East Foundation Scholarship, Dean W. Stoner Scholarship
Stephanie Martinez  –  Demmler Business/Technology Scholarship
Tayiah Murphey  –  David Bradbury Scholarship, Kewanee Rotary Club Scholarship, Otto Schwefel Scholarship
Cole Sawickis  –  Robert H. & Bernice Eastman Memorial Scholarship
Madisen Winter  –  CHS Foundation Scholarship (Freshman)
Carter Zarvell  –  CHS Foundation Scholarship (Freshman)
 

Lake Butler, FL

Joshua Worten –  Black Hawk East Foundation Scholarship, Colwell Scholarship, Susan Shipp Memorial Scholarship, Verlin & Joan Jackson Endowed Equine Scholarship
 

Macomb

Ruth Buren – Piper Scholarship
Malory Moon – Dr. C. Scott Dickinson Scholarship, Elmer Brose Scholarship
 

Milan

Anna Marolf – Cargill Equine Scholarship
Nicole Welsh – Kandis Family Endowed Equine Scholarship
 

Neponset

Tytus Rashid – Black Hawk East Welding Scholarship, George & Mary Lee Wilsey Endowed Skilled Trades Scholarship
 

North Liberty, IN

Cody Toth – Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Oneida

Mackenzie Steward – GROWMARK Scholarship
 

Pekin

Emily McGowan – Spoon River Antique Agricultural Association Scholarship
 

Rock Island

Teresa Doukoure – Eleanor Washburn Scholarship
 

Ruthven, IA

Mackenzie Berkland – Brick Lundberg Scholarship
 

Sheboygan, WI

Grace Wolfington – Agri-Business Club Alumni Scholarship, Peoples National Bank Endowed Equine Scholarship
 

Sheffield

Jaidyn Miller – CHS Foundation Scholarship (Freshman), Henry County Association of Independent Insurance Agents Scholarship
 

Sparta

Laural Almquist – John L. Haines Jr. Memorial Scholarship, Mehaffey Memorial Scholarship
 

Sterling

Brooklyn Linton – Janssen-Ewoldsen Family Agriculture Scholarship
Katelyn Smoot – Walter H. Shreck Scholarship
 

Sumava Resorts, IN

Dacota Hurn – Agricultural Fund Scholarship
 

Toulon

Sarah Hansard – Amelia Wallen Memorial Scholarship
Makenzie Snyder – Amelia Wallen Memorial Scholarship, Bill & Betty Hyer Memorial Scholarship, CHS Foundation Scholarship (Sophomore)
 

Viola

Kaitlyn Adams – Amelia Wallen Memorial Scholarship, Anderson Memorial Scholarship
 

Wadesville, IN

Michaela Weiss – Brick Lundberg Scholarship
 

Warrenton, MO

Dustin Toedebusch – John Ott Pork Production Scholarship
 

Waterloo

Nicholas Heimos – Denny Orr Scholarship
 

Woodhull

Alex Hand – Dave Lapan Memorial Scholarship
 

Wyoming

Trayton Jones – Dale and Helen Swanson Scholarship

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Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Announce Plans for Lighted Christmas Parade

The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is now taking parade entries for the annual Kewanee Lighted Christmas Parade. According to information from the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, the annual Lighted Christmas Parade is set for Sunday, December 8th beginning at 5 Pm. You can register your parade entry by contacting the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce at chamber@kewanee.com or by callng 309-852-2175. Businesses, churches, and other organized groups are encouraged to participate and build lighted parade entries to delight the families, and especially the kids, who will line the parade route on December 8th in Kewanee. 

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Number of Traffic Fatalities in Illinois on the Decline

The overall number of traffic fatalaties in the state of Illinois is on the decline. It's part of a national trend. Traffic fatalities on a national scale have declined and Illinois reflects that trend according to the information from the National Safety Council. Reporter Scot Bertram has more on a good trend toward safer driving... 

 

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State Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Program Continues to Return Millions

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs continues to tout the state’s unclaimed property program.


And it’s not just cash, but valuable and sentimental personal property as well. Since Frerichs has been in office, his office has returned seven Purple Hearts to their rightful owners or surviving family members.

 

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Grant for Alternative Refueling Studies on I-80 Corridor

Believing that there must be many more places to charge an electric vehicle before people are willing to buy them, the state will use federal funds to try to get more charging stations. Compressed natural gas is in the plan, too. Illinois and five other states where Interstate 80 runs are getting $70,000 and will each add $10,000 of their own money for studies. Illinois Department of Transportation Air Quality Manager Chris Schmidt says the goal is to show where alternative fuel stations should be and then recruit companies to build them.

Schmidt says people have “range anxiety”, a fear of buying alternative fuel vehicles because they can’t yet refuel them as easily as a gasoline-powered car.

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Property Rights Key For Broadband Expansion

The second part of the fall veto session is coming in a few weeks and as the first three days passed the Illinois Farm Bureau says for now it doesn’t seem to be a period where much that was done will impact agriculture. Mark Gebhards, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs with the IFB, says one key issue right now is the planned expansion of broadband. According to Gebhards they are working closely with telecommunications companies to make sure that property rights can be kept as internet speeds improve.

There is a broadband expansion working group that is preparing a report on the best way to move forward. The IFB is a part of the group.

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Illinois Reverses Course in Children's Health Care Coverage

After several years of trending downward, the number of children without health care insurance in Illinois and the nation is on the rise again, according to a new report. The study, released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, finds that there were 20,000 more uninsured children in Illinois in 2018 compared with 2016 - a 24% increase.

Stephanie Altman, director of health care justice and senior director of policy at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, says children need health insurance to access routine medical care.

"Well-child visits are really important for things like developmental screening or for pediatricians to be able to catch any problems at the earliest possible time and prevent things that are more costly or could cause a much larger health condition," she stresses.

Nationally, the number of children without health insurance increased 11%.

The report says there are multiple causes for the downturn, including efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), delays in funding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and inadequate oversight of state Medicaid programs.

Altman notes that the loss of coverage was most pronounced for white and Latino children, and the report suggests a climate of fear could be preventing families from enrolling eligible children in Medicaid or CHIP.

"We are afraid that immigration policies at the federal level, including the proposed 'public charge' rule, which has been stayed by the courts for the moment, is causing a lot of fear in the community about enrollment in health insurance," she states.

In 2016, the same researchers reported the lowest number of uninsured children in a decade, but Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, says that trend has now reversed.

To get back on track, Alker says federal and state leaders need to make children's health a priority.

"Start reducing those red-tape barriers, start funding more outreach and enrollment efforts, so that families know they can get coverage - and then, how they can get coverage, and they can do it easily," she urges.

Illinois's uninsured child rate is 3.4%. The national rate is 5.2%.

 

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Galesburg Police Bring Peaceful End to Nearly 10 Hour Standoff with Man with a Gun

Galesburg Police ended a standoff with a man with a gun peacefully after nearly 10 hours on Friday. According to the release from the Galesburg Police Department, the incident began when Police responded to a call regarding a Domestic Disturbance in a residential neighborhood just after 2 Am. Police found a scene in which a man with a gun was threatening members of his family and law enforcement. Residents of the home, aside from the gunmen, were evacuated while the gunmen threatened to harm anyone who attempted to enter the home. The gunman also threatened to harm himself. The standoff with Police lasted until approximately 11:50 Am when the gunman exited the home peacefully and was taken into custody by Galesburg Police. Charges against the gunman have not been announced as of yet but are expected. 

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Kewanee Police Seeking Help Identifying Retail Theft Subjects

Kewanee Police are seeking help in identifying a pair of retail theft suspects. According to the release from the Kewanee Police Department, the two suspects, one male, one female, were last seen at the Menards in Kewanee on October 24th. Surveillance footage, below, captured images of the suspects who are believed to have stolen items from the store. The two were seen leaving the Menards parking lot in a Silver Subaru SUV or Station Wagon. If you have any information on the identity of either of these two suspects, please contact Kewanee Police at 309-853-1911. A second video of the suspects leaving Menards can be viewed on the Kewanee Police Department Facebook page.

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Osco Man Charged in Move Over Accident Near Geneseo

An Osco man is facing charges related to a move over accident on Thursday. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, an Illinois State Trooper was tending to an accident near the Big X in Geneseo and was out of his squad car when the squad car was struck by another vehicle. That vehicle, a Chevrolet Sedan was driven by 55 year old David L Norberg of Osco. Norberg failed to move over for the emergency vehicle and ended up making contact with the squad car. Thankfully, no one was injured in the accident and the damage was minimal enough that both vehicles were able to be driven from the scene. That said, Norberg faces a fine in the range of $100.00 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the accident. The accident is a strong reminder that no matter what the conditions are, drivers must slow down, be patient and the MUST move over when they see emergency lights on the side of the road. 

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Freedom House Seeking Volunteers to Sponsor Families in Need this Christmas

In an effort to give a Merry Christmas to families fleeing abuse, Freedom House is seeking volunteers who are able to help donate Christmas presents this holiday season. According to Freedom House representatives, volunteers are needed to help provide Christmas presents for famiies in need. If you are able to help get presents for kids and families being cared for by Freedom House you can contact Freedom House representatives at 815-872-0087. Of you can go to FreedomHouse.org for further information. 

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Dozens Volunteer to Clear Snow at Wethersfield Memorial Stadium

On Thursday night, dozens of volunteers came together with snow shovels and strong backs to help clear Wethersfield Memorial Stadium of snow ahead of Saturday's home playoff game against Lewistown. According to the Facebook account for Wethersfield mascot Victor E Goose, students, parents and Wethersfield alumni came together in the volunteer effort with the goal of making the field is playable as possible for Saturday afternoon's playoff game at 1 Pm against visiting Lewistown. The snow removal had to be done using shovels to avoid doing damage to the turf below the snow and that meant a need for as many volunteers as possible. Clearing the snow away on Thursday evening should help make the field a little easier to play on on Saturday. 

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Galva Making Progress on Rehab of Galva Opera House

The old Galva Opera House that has sat moribund for several years is coming back to life. Galva Mayor Rich Volkert told WKEI this week that the roof has been repaired and the City is now in the process of finding tenants and filling the retail space in the historic downtown structure... 

One question that many in Galva are asking as progress is being made is how much of the history of the Opera House can be maintained. Mayor Rich Volkert addressed that question with WKEI... 

If you are a business owner or you know of a business looking for a unique space, contact the City of Galva for further information on the historic Opera House. 

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Bill Allowing Illinois College Athletes to Make Money off of Name and Likeness Passes First Hurdle

College athletes in Illinois are now one step closer to being allowed to profit from the use of their name and likeness. The Illinois State House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday and it will soon be heard in the Senate. Governor J.B Pritzker is a supporter of the billl and our reporter Kim Howard discusses where this legislation appears headed...

 

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Time Once Again to Set Your Clock Back this Weekend

It's time to fall back! Daylight Savings Time arrives this weekend and that means setting your clock back by one hour this weekend. It's also a good reminder that now is the time to change the battery in your smoke detector. It's a safety precaution that many take for granted but one that the Illinois State Fire Marshall is hoping you will take seriously. Reporter Kim Howard has more... 

 

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Exelon May Close Four Illinois Nuclear Plants As Corruption Probe Continues

Energy company Exelon is being investigated for corruption that went up high in the chain of command at the company. The investigation is costing Exelon millions of dollars and because of that, the company appears to be preparing to shutdown four nuclear power plants. The corruption probe into Exelon has slowed legislation that could make nuclear power more profitable and without the movement on that legislation, Exelon may have no choice but to shutter plants. Reporter Cole Lauterbach has more... 

 

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Hearings Are Moving Forward to Remove State Representative Luis Arroyo

Following the arrest of State Representative Luis Arroyo earlier this week, state lawmakers are moving forward with hearings intended to remove Arroyo from office. For his part, State Representative Arroyo has resigned his committee chairmanship but has stated via a lawyer that he intends to remain in office for the time being. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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Illinois Lawmakers React to News of Lawmaker Wearing a Wire

Part of the reason that State Representative Luis Arroyo was caught was that a lawmaker he is alleged to have attempted to bribe, was wearing a wire. According to law enforcement sources, the still unnamed State Senator agreed to wear a wire in order to catch Arroyo attempting to influence the unnamed State Senator's vote on a bill that would have affected one of Arroyo's lobbying clients. Now, the revelation that a State Senator wore a wire is reverberating through Springfield and drawing reactions from fellow lawmakers. Reporter Greg Bishop has more... 

 

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