Local News and Happenings from...

The Stark County School District recently held a raffle for a Polaris Ranger and District 100 Supt of Schools Mr. Jerry Klooster says the winning ticket belonged to a Kewanee man…

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Needless to say, but it certainly had to be a great pleasure for Mr. Klooster to make the announcement to Mr. Bickers…

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Mr. Klooster says the raffle and other fund raising efforts are going to a good cause at Gary Johnson Field in Wyoming…


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The Henry and Rock Island County Farm Bureaus will host a Market Outlook Seminar on Thursday, March 8th at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona.

Henry County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says one of the main topics for the evening will be weather…

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Council Chambers

                                                                                                                  401 E Third Street

Kewanee, Illinois 61443

Special Meeting – Workshop.

Open Meeting starting at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


1.    Work session only to review Strategic Goals.  There will be no final action taken.


2.    Adjournment

The Illinois State Treasurer is announcing a trio of programs designed to free up money for predominantly rural parts of the state. The Community Uplift Program is designed to support communities that struggle with unemployment, poverty and business closings; Ag Invest partners with family farming operations; and Finally Home will help individuals purchase a home or help refinance in cases of hardship.

Treasurer Mike Frerichs announced these programs at the National Great Rivers Museum Tuesday morning. He says the treasurer’s office has partnered with lending institutions to provide below-market loans to start, expand or add value to family farming operations for more than 35 years.

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The Community Uplift Program provides capital to lending institutions at below-market rates so they can increase lending activities, fund local development efforts, and assist local communities and their residents. Qualified applicants for Finally Home typically have marginal credit scores. The program also helps to stabilize neighborhoods through increased home ownership. For more information on these programs, go to

You can still get ready to vote in the March primary even if you haven’t registered. The State Board of Elections says start online at elections dot il dot gov. Matt Dietrich says registrations there will be taken through early March.

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Or you can go in person and register and vote early – that’s called grace period registration. 

The City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a water shut off for a hydrant repair in the 600 block of Willard Street on Thursday 2/22/18.  Work is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m., weather permitting.  Residents on Willard Street from East South to College Streets will have water off during this repair.


Any residents, whose water has been shut off during this repair, will be under a boil order for 48 – 72 hours following the restoration of water service.


Residents in these areas may experience low pressure, rusty water, or no water.  If the water has been turned off, take precautions when using water until the water runs clean.  Only flush the system by running cold water, running hot water may draw rust into the water heater. 


If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 852-2611.

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that February kicks off the observance of American Heart Month.  The Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) note during the month of February we tend view the human heart as the symbol of love, admiration and affection.  But this February show yourself the love. Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones.

RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Health Departments states, “Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.”

Truth is many CVD deaths could have been prevented through healthier habits, healthier living spaces, and better management of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.  The staff of the Health Department reminds area residents to take control of a number of risk factors for Heart disease:

·         Diet

·         Physical activity

·         Tobacco use

·         Obesity

·         High blood pressure

·         High blood cholesterol

·         Diabetes

Tucker adds, “It helps if you have a plan and carry out some strategies for better heart health:

Work with your health care team. Get a checkup at least once each year, even if you feel healthy. A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional can check for conditions that put you at risk for CVD, such as high blood pressure and diabetes—conditions that can go unnoticed for too long. 


Monitor your blood pressure & get your cholesterol checked. The Department reminds area residents that our Family Nurse Practitioners in Kewanee and Colona can help with the management of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you don't know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers; we have services that can help you see where you stand.

Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid CVD and its complications. Limiting sodium in your diet can lower your blood pressure. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least five servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for CVD.

Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. .

Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for CVD. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure.

Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your health care team about treatment options.

Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or another condition, follow the instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don't understand something.

So remember, this February show yourself some love, and lower your risk of heart disease.  For more information on the “Heart Healthy” services available through the Henry and Stark County Health Department call (309) 852-5272  Kewanee or (309) 792-4011 (Colona)  or visit our website at or find us of Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.  Together, we all can prevent and manage heart disease, one step at a time.

Henry County Democratic Chairman John Sovanski is calling a special meeting to be held this Wednesday, February 21st at Bella’s Pizza in Cambridge starting at 6:30 pm.

A couple of subjects will be discussed including the upcoming County tax referendum and the primary Election.

Any other topics of discussion will also be addressed at the meeting.

Further information by contacting Henry County Democratic Chairman John Sovanski   

llinois FFA boasting numbers during National FFA week. There are 17,000 members in Illinois with 321 chapters says Illinois FFA’s Katie Burns…
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Burns grew up in the FFA, served as a section president and also earned her American FFA Degree. She attended Sparta High School. 

The City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a water shut off for a hydrant repair in the 600 block of Willard Street on Thursday 2/22/18.  Work is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m., weather permitting.  Residents on Willard Street from East South to College Streets will have water off during this repair.


Any residents, whose water has been shut off during this repair, will be under a boil order for 48 – 72 hours following the restoration of water service.


Residents in these areas may experience low pressure, rusty water, or no water.  If the water has been turned off, take precautions when using water until the water runs clean.  Only flush the system by running cold water, running hot water may draw rust into the water heater. 

If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 852-2611.

The turn on red law at intersections has been in effect for quite some time now and generally speaking it has been a good law.

But as safety expert Doug Sommer from Pekin points out, that law is also at times being abused by the motoring public…

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Sommer also points out that a left turn on red is also permissible in one scenario only…

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Black Hawk College East Campus is proud to host the 2018 Lincoln Trail Conference Scholastic Bowl Meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.


This will be the eighth year Black Hawk College has hosted the event, which pits students from different high schools against each other to answer questions from a variety of categories, such as history, literature, mathematics, music and science.


More than 100 high school students from 10 schools in the Lincoln Trail Conference will be competing. The participating schools are AlWood, Annawan, Cambridge, Galva, Mercer County, Princeville, ROWVA, Stark County, West Central and Wethersfield.


The public is invited to attend. Admission is free. There will be nine, 45-minute rounds starting at 8 a.m. with awards at 5 p.m.


Black Hawk College East Campus is located at 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva (five miles south of Kewanee). Visitors should park in the lot next to Building A. The event will be in Building B.








KEWANEE, IL   61443


6:15 PM



A.        Roll call by the Secretary


II.        CLOSED SESSION: * (C) (1) to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the District and (C) (2) to consider collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees (C) (5) the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body (C) (8) Security Procedures (C) (9) Student Disciplinary Cases  (C) (11) Litigation  * 5ILCS 120/2 Open Meetings    The School Code of Illinois/2017


7:30 PM





            A.        Matthew Kauffman – Cypress Creek Renewables



A.        District #229 Open Meeting – January 16, 2018

B.        District #229 Closed Meeting – January 16, 2018



A.        District #229



A.        District #229





A.              Superintendent

1.        Foundation Auction is Saturday, April 28th

2.        Community Black History Extravaganza – KHS Choir Performed

3.        SB1947 & SB444 (20 fixes left) and Enrollment Data

4.        Professional Development for FY19 will include Ruby Payne

5.        National School Lunch Program Grants

B.              Mr. Bryan – KHS Principal

1.              Speech/Debate – Sectional & State Qualifiers

C.        Mr. Anderson – Central Principal

            1.        PARCC Testing – Preparation

            D.        Mr. Atwell – KHS Athletic Director

                        1.        Sectional & State Wrestling

                        2.        Girls Basketball Regionals

                        3.        Boys Basketball Regionals

                        4.        Girls Bowling Regionals/Sectionals

                        5.        Boys Swimming Sectionals





            A.        KHS Soccer Field/Parking Lot Update



            A.        Consideration and Approval of 2018-2019 School Calendar

            B.        Consideration and Approval of Resolution authorizing the issuance of general obligation alternate bonds                    in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $2,700,000 for the purpose of improving the sites of,              building and equipping additions to, and altering, repairing and equipping school buildings and facilities                  of the District



A.              Resignations

1.              Brandon Ince – KHS Assistant Boys Basketball Coach – Effective 1/22/18

2.              Susan Colgan – Central Playground/Cafeteria Supervisor – Verbal Resignation Effective 2/5/18

B.              Retirements

C.              Hires

1.              KHS Assistant Boys Basketball Coach

2.              Competitive Theater Assistant

3.              Substitute Custodian

4.              Substitute Playground Supervisor

5.              Substitute Cafeteria

6.              Belle 21st Century Student Assistant

7.              KHS Substitute Cheerleading Advisor

D.             Leaves

1.        Sarah Milnes – Maternity Leave – Began 2/8/18

E.               Long Term Sub

1.        Penney Grabbe – Maternity Leave for Sarah Milnes – ISS Supervisor at KHS

F.               Transfers

G.             Volunteers

1.              Lyle School

2.              KHS Group Interp

H.             Renewal/Non-Renewal of Stipend Positions

I.                Other Action

1.        To Be Determined



            A.        Moment of Silence for Linus “Lynn” Bruning (father of Laura Nolan, father-in-law of Dan Nolan)

            B.        Other



The center piece of Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget blueprint is a cost shift for pensions. The move would involve Chicago and downstate schools as well as state universities and would save the state a billion dollars, but critics say it will result in a spike in local property taxes. The other big piece of the governor’s budget plan calls for removing health insurance from collective bargaining discussions with state employee unions and making some cuts in retiree health insurance premiums. Rauner estimates the move would save another half-a-billion dollars, but it’s a tough sell says Jack Tichenor, host of Public Media’s Illinois Lawmakers.
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Tichenor says another issue presented in the Governor’s budget plan is rolling back part of last year’s income tax increase. 

Governor Bruce Rauner is responding to last week's school shootings in Florida....
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Rauner says he will continue to focus on the mental health issue as a part of criminal justice reform...
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United States Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois had plenty to say after the school shooting in Broward County, Florida that has left 17 dead so far. Durbin gave Congress a poor grade for its handling of the issue of gun violence....
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While Durbin said there has been inaction on gun violence concerns, he takes issue with one area where action was taken...

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Durbin also remembered the victims of the Northern Illinois University shooting ten years ago.



The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) today announced the creation of a toll-free sexual harassment hotline to provide resources to the public, including referrals to counseling and legal services. The hotline, and accompanying website, will also allow for the reporting of sexual harassment allegations in both private and public places of employment.

In establishing and maintaining the hotline, IDHR enlisted the support of The Chicago Lighthouse, which provides employment opportunities to the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veteran communities. Staff at The Chicago Lighthouse were trained by IDHR management on legal definitions of sexual harassment and resources available for reporting it, including filing of a charge of discrimination.

“This hotline will allow for a more centralized process for the public to find necessary resources and assistance in the filing of sexual harassment complaints,” said IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn. “I am proud to establish this partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse to provide essential information to those who are facing sexual harassment. Through this service, our agency can better enforce laws that protect Illinois residents and prevent acts of sexual harassment.”

The Sexual Harassment Hotline Call Center can be reached Monday through Friday with the exception of state holidays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 877-236-7703. By statute, all communications received by the Department via the hotline or accompanying website are confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

For more information, please visit


Winter storms and the flu don’t just mean a lot of people are missing work and school – it also means they can’t keep their American Red Cross blood and platelet donation appointments. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need.


In 2018, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, widespread flu across the U.S. has resulted in lower turnout at blood drives.


Blood and platelet donations are needed in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply and ensure patients continue to receive lifesaving treatments. Donors can help even more patients when they invite a loved one, friend or co-worker to give with them.


Make an appointment to donate this winter by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Upcoming blood donation opportunities





3/6/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 214 N. W.  Second Ave



3/1/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church South Campus Building, 302 N. State Street



3/2/2018: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Kewanee High School, 1211 East 3rd Street


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

The Patrick Henry Club met on Saturday to discuss a few topics, including the Public Safety Sales Tax. The event was hosted by Republican Chairman Jan Weber. Jan had this to say about the Patrick Henry Club.




I spoke with Sheriff Kerry Loncka about the Public Safety Tax. Public Safety Sales Tax would be fifty cents ($0.50) for every one hundred dollars ($100) spent on fuel, restaurant food, and hotel stays. In other words, the tax is for a half of a percent. The county has laid off officers and the jail has aged. Recently, the Henry County Jail had a motherboard go out. The motherboard cost is $175,000. Sheriff Loncka also discussed the lack of officers and the aging of their vehicles.  The interesting note about the tax is most counties already have this tax in place besides Whiteside County. If someone gets gas in these areas, they are already paying this tax. Sheriff Kerry Loncka explained with the tax is so important.




Roger Gradert (Chairman of the Henry County Board) also spoke about the tax and why it is important.




State Representative Dan Swanson then spoke about the other options the crowd asked about money saving options. Representative Swanson then discussed what is going on in Springfield and fielded questions from the audience.




The Patrick Henry meets four times a year at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center and is open for everyone to attend.


If you would like to listen to the entire meeting, LISTEN HERE for all the speakers.



President’s Day will be observed on Monday and while a holiday for some people, more on the national or governmental level, it will not be a holiday for all workers.

In Kewanee, City Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, however there will be no change in the garbage pickup schedule for next week in Kewanee.

The United States Post Office will be closed on Monday and most banks will be closed but best to check with your financial institution to get their particular schedule. 

The Henry County Court System and other county offices will be closed on Monday and back open once again on Tuesday.      

Secretary of State Division of Motor Vehicles in Kewanee will be closed tomorrow on Saturday, February 16 and will re-open on Tuesday, February 20th.       Most schools, including Kewanee and Wethersfield will be closed on Monday.  

Black Hawk College facilities will also be closed on Monday.

Henry and Stark County Health Department offices will be closed on Monday  with homemaker staff still working where necessary to provide in home care.  

The Henry County Senior Citizen Center in Kewanee will be closed on Monday in observance of President’s Day. 



The Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club is seeking nominations for the 43rd Annual Outstanding Citizen Award.  The Ambassadors serve as the Public Relations arm of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce and are responsible for activities such as ribbon cuttings at new businesses, coordinating the Hog Festival parade, acting as official hosts at Chamber events and have had the responsibility of selecting the Kewanee Outstanding Citizen.


Nominations this year will be open to the entire community with nomination forms available at the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce office.  Nominations will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:


            1.        Resident or former resident of the Kewanee area.


            2.        Areas of service should be well known to the community.


            3.        Personal community service in areas such as:

                                    Education, charitable, business, government, chamber of                                            commerce, senior citizens, youth, disabled, environmental,                                           economic development, community relations and heroic acts.


            4.        How service may have been demonstrated?

                                    By solving a significant problem.

                                    Longevity of excellent service to the community.

                                    Helping others... youth, seniors, disabled etc.

                                    Improving understanding of community concerns.

                                    Exceptional efforts in community service.


All nominations must be on the official nomination form and prior nominees MUST be resubmitted for consideration.


Deadline for nominations will be Friday February 23, 2018.  Announcement of Outstanding Citizen will follow the regular meeting of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors March 1st , 2018.  A community Outstanding Citizen banquet will be held at a later date. 

The public is reminded of the annual Salvation Army appreciation breakfast that will be held on Saturday morning.

Salvation Army Director Linda Bolls says if you helped the Salvation Army in any way during the last year or so, you are invited to attend…

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Black Hawk College offers computer classes at the college’s Community Education Center in downtown Kewanee.


Coming up are:

·       iPad: Beginner – Monday, Feb. 26 from 3-5 p.m. Cost is $25.

·       iPad: Intermediate – Monday, March 5 from 3-5 p.m. Cost is $25.


The instructor is Jodee Werkheiser, computer science applications professor at the Black Hawk College East Campus.


To register, call Black Hawk College Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223 or visit


Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the Better Business Bureau has tips so you don't fall for online romance scams. Whether you are searching for a partner at a dating site, or are contacted randomly through the various messaging services, you need to keep your guard up for some warning signs, according to an investigator with the agency. Scammers often use these scams to steal large sums of money from their victims. Even if targets realize they have been victims of a scam, BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says the fraud may continue with a new scam pretending to help them get their money back, or the tried-and-true blackmail angle.

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The spread of online dating sites and apps has made this fraud even easier to commit. Victims in the US and Canada have reported losing nearly $1 billion over the last three years, and BBB estimates there may be more than a million victims in the U.S. alone. Because most people do not file complaints about romance scams with BBB or law enforcement, this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Galva Arts Council has raised $14,000 in cash of their $25,000 goal for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series as of Friday February 16. More donations and grants are pending and will be added as the money comes.


Special thanks to sponsors: City of Galva, State Bank of Toulon, Community Foundation of Central Illinois Opportunity Grant, Galva Pharmacy, Bishop Hill Bakery and Eatery, Wiley Park Production, Mel Foster Co. of Kewanee, John H. Best and Sons, Inc., Megan Sloan, Shawn Kendall, Geneseo Chamber of Commerce, Marge Dickinson, Station House Restaurant, Crescent City Tap and Delta on the Square and their staff,  Brian “Fox” Ellis Porter Hay Insurance, and Gustafson Ford. Without their help and the help of numerous community members making donations of various sizes, we would not have been able to reach 56% of our goal!


Fundraising for the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series continues throughout the concerts. But for your donation to be matched by the Levitt Foundation, They need it by March 18. If you’d like to make a donation, mail a check or money order to Galva Arts Council, PO Box 29, Galva, Illinois. Please put “Levitt Grant” in the memo line. You can also donate through Facebook (Galva Arts Council – Galva, Illinois) or through their webpage


State Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) released the following statement after Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his 2018 budget address:

“The Governor provided us exactly what we needed, a proposal for a truly balanced budget and a glimpse at the choices that will have to be made to get the state spending within its means.

“I thank the Governor for proposing what I believe is a realistic path forward. Not everyone will be happy with the plan. We can’t keep piling up unpaid bills and we can’t ask the struggling families of this state to give us any more of their hard-earned money.

“The Governor has also continued his commitment to funding our schools which is absolutely vital to the future of this state. We can’t expect families to remain here nor for our students to have successful careers if our schools don’t have the necessary resources to provide an adequate education.

“I think this budget offers us the opportunity to get our state back on a solid financial footing. I am optimistic that the General Assembly can work together in good faith to pass a balanced budget as soon as possible.”

The Bureau County Highway Department is announcing that Spring Road Postings will continue to be lifted until and including Saturday, February 17, 2018.  Road postings will go back into effect on Sunday, February 18th, and shall remain in effect until further notice thereafter.

The Henry County Farm Bureau is putting out the reminder of the On the Road seminar that will be held on Friday in Annawan.

Farm Bureau Manager Katie Laleman says it’s a free program that will provide great information about farming and trucking…

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Ms. Laleman also reminds students that application deadlines are rapidly approaching for several ag related scholarships…

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Two more cases of Legionnaire’s disease were announced this week at the Quincy Veteran’s Home. Today in his budget address Governor Bruce Rauner is asking for millions to improve the home in Quincy and completion of a vet’s home in Chicago.

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Construction of the veteran’s home in Chicago was delayed in part due to the lack of a state budget for the first two years of Rauner’s term as Governor. 

Effective Wednesday 2/14/18, the City of Kewanee will have the 800 block of North Elm Street closed for a sewer repair.  The road will be closed to through traffic Wednesday and Thursday.  Residents in this area will have access to their driveways Wednesday, with limited access on Thursday while work is taking place.  Work is expected to begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday 2/15/18 by the City of Kewanee and Ratliff Brothers.


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


If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 852-2611.