rotator

Local News and Happenings from...

Effective Thursday 4/26/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled an emergency hydrant repair and water shut off with a boil order to follow.  Work is scheduled for a leaking hydrant at 837 Beach Street.  Residents in the 800 block of Beach Street between West Division and Rockwell Streets will have water shut off during this repair.  Work is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

 

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 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.  

The Henry-Stark counties retired teachers will meet Tuesday May 15, 2018 at OSF Saint Luke Medical Center located at 1051 West South Street Kewanee, IL.  The meeting will begin with a luncheon at noon. Reservations are due to Alice Webster 2241 Township Rd 200 N Toulon, IL 61483 or by calling 309.995.3542 on or before May 8, 2018.   Cost of the meal is $10 payable to HSCRTA.

The program for the afternoon will be Out of Africa...Travelogue by Gary and Lynda DeMoss.  With a reservation, first time attendees will be luncheon guests 

 This year, as every year, the 12th Annual Bettendorf Rotary Lobsterfest will offer the community an evening of quality dining, friendship and support. But according to Tim Lane, President of the Bettendorf Rotary Club, the event has a unique aspect that is rarely discussed. “What many people do not realize about Lobsterfest’s proceeds,” Lane said, “is that 100 percent goes back to the community.”

Lane added that expenses for staging the event do not come out of the proceeds. “Lobsterfest expenses are offset by our generous corporate sponsors,” he said. In addition to ticket sales, event funds are also raised through cash donations, a raffle, live and silent auctions, a Wine Pull, and a ‘Grab for Grub’ competition.

Lobsterfest will be held 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sat., June 9, 2018at Tanglewood Hills Pavilion,4250 Middle Rd., Bettendorf, IA. Tickets to the event are now available at $75 per person, or $520 for a table of eight. Presenting sponsors are Abbey Carpet Gallery and Triumph Community Bank. The event is open to the public. To buy tickets, call (563) 445?4264 or visit bettendorfrotary.com/tickets

“Triumph Community Bank congratulates Bettendorf Rotary on its twelfth edition of Lobsterfest,” said John DeDoncker, Executive Vice President, Triumph Community Bank. “We’re very proud to have been a major sponsor at every Lobsterfest. We support our community and appreciate the great benefits that Lobsterfest bestows upon many worthwhile charities each year.”

“Abbey Carpet Gallery is delighted and honored  to partner with Triumph Community Bank as co-sponsors of this great Rotary event,” said Bill Daley, President/CEO of Abbey Carpet Gallery. “The Bettendorf Rotary Lobsterfest has become a great summer tradition that benefits so many of our local charitable organizations, as well as funding many scholarships for students in Bettendorf. This is a great opportunity for all in attendance to stretch their charitable dollars to benefit so many every year.”

In 2017, Chef James Preszler took the helm as the event’s head lobster chef, and in 2018, he will again oversee the preparation of a delicious Maine lobster dinner – this time, for more than 400 people. In addition to the lobsters and melted butter, the menu will also include corn on the cob, potatoes and fixings. 
  
“This year, our goal is to raise $100,000,’” said Lane. “100 percent of the proceeds from this signature event support the programs, grants, and scholarships of the Bettendorf Rotary Club. With the community’s support, we are also planting trees, providing leadership opportunities to our youth, feeding the hungry, and providing for those most in need.” Bettendorf Rotary Co-Chairs of the event this year are Ann Kappeler and Johanna Blevins. 
  
“Lobsterfest is more than a party with a purpose,” said Kappeler. “We are over 100 Rotarians planning an evening of food, fun and fellowship to raise $100,000, with a commitment to return 100% to the Bettendorf community and beyond.”
   
Last year’s Lobsterfest raised $80,000, and as always, 100 percent of those funds are supporting community efforts. $25,000 of the proceeds went to grants for 15 not-for-profit organizations serving the Quad Cities. Grant recipients included:
    

– 41st Iowa Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol: Youth cyber-security and public affairs project ($500).
– Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley: New Vans for Transportation of At-Risk Youth ($2,000).
– Center for Active Seniors, Inc.: Reception Improvement ($2,000).
– Child Abuse Council: Shaken Baby Simulator Doll for Basic Training for New Dads Classes ($1,100). 
– Christian Care: Caring for Our Community Project ($1,200).
– Dress for Success Quad Cities: Professional Attire and Shoes for Low-Income Women ($2,000).
– From Cover to Cover: Snuggle Up and Read Campaign ($2,000).
– Great Bettendorf Community Foundation: The Agape Center ($2,000).
– Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities: Technology Upgrades for Classroom ($2,000).
– Hope at the BRICK House: Expansion of HBH After School Program Space ($1,500).
– Junior Achievement of the Heartland: JA BizTown: Developing Our Future Workforce ($1,500).
– River Music Experience: Laptops for Outreach ($1,500).
– St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation: Family Burn Group ($2,000).
– Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program: Emergency Assistance to clients of member agencies ($2,500).
– The Sparkle Effect: Providing training to three local Sparkle Effect Teams ($1,200).  
   
Chartered in 1957, the Bettendorf Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at noon. For more information, visit 
www.bettendorfrotary.com. Also, you can ‘Like’ the Bettendorf Rotary Club on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bettendorfrotary.

 High school students could soon be developing career skills designed by potential future employers, thanks to legislation filed by State Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) that passed the Illinois Senate on April 24th.

This program is designed to allow high school students to develop the skills they will need for actual careers here in Illinois,” said State Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria). “The idea is to offer our students a head start toward successful good-paying jobs.” 

Senate Bill 3226 directs the Illinois State Board of Education to set up guidelines that would allow high school students over the age of 16 to take part in registered vocational apprenticeship programs focused on industry-based occupational training. The programs would be reviewed and approved by the United States Department of Labor.

Students would be able to substitute successful completion of the registered apprenticeship program for certain high school courses or graduation requirements.

“This is especially important for students who will pursue careers that require further education after high school, but not necessarily a degree,” said Senator Weaver. “Right now most high school students can earn college credit toward their degrees, but that ignores a large number of specialized, technical careers. This program will offer the types of specific training and education that employers are looking for.”

This legislation passed the Senate unanimously and is now headed to the Illinois House for approval in that chamber.

SB3226 is one of a number of bills sponsored or cosponsored by Senator Weaver to improve educational opportunities for Illinois students. Some of the bills cover topics such as dual credit programs and legislation to help alleviate the current shortage of qualified teachers faced by many Illinois schools.

“We know that we need to give our students every opportunity possible to help them compete in an increasingly competitive global workforce,” said Senator Weaver. “I’m thankful that we’ve been able to find strong bipartisan support and cooperation for many of these ideas.”

The Kewanee Police Department will host a prescription drug take back effort on Saturday at City Hall.

Police Chief Troy Ainley says there is no fee involved and it’s really a very simple process…

listen here

Chief Ainley adds that he will be on hand to receive those unwanted prescriptions no questions asked…

listen here

Citizens can take the labels off of their prescription bottles or they can leave them on and either way will work just fine…

listen here   

Safe Digging Month winding down across Illinois, and Marianne Manko (Man-co) with the Illinois Commerce Commission says there’s a simple way to prevent serious accidents and that’s by locating underground utilities. You can do that through the JULIE system.
Listen Here
The Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators or JULIE is available by dialing 811. This toll-free number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Locate requests have a 28-day life, so it is recommended the digging project begins within 14 calendar days from the call. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

A stretch of warm sunny weather has many in the state thinking about the morel mushroom season. It’s been a slow start due to unseasonably chilly April temperatures, but picking conditions should be getting good and soon says Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. .
Listen Here

Schweizer reminds that mushroom hunting is permitted at state parks and you don’t need a license or have to pay for a permit, but turkey hunters have dibs on those sites until 1 p.m. each day during turkey season. The spring turkey hunting season runs through May 10th in the southern zone of Illinois and May 17th in the northern zone. 

Narrowing the opioid epidemic down to the county or even zip code level. That’s what the Illinois Department of Public Health is doing with the Opioid Data Dashboard. It’s an interactive tool says IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah.
Listen Here 
The dashboard is located at “idph.illinois.gov/OpioidDataDashboard”. State data shows there were 2,054 heroin or other opioid related deaths in 2017. 


 

Effective Wednesday 4/25/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department boil order has been lifted for residents on West 3rd Street west of Jackson Street and at Waunee Estates.  Water was shut off in this area for a hydrant repair at West 3rd and Union Streets on 4/23/18.

Henry County Democrats recently held their County Convention

The results from County Convention include the election of

 

Chairman- Alan Wendt 308 N. Yates St. Alpha, Il. 61413  309-373-2699

Treasurer- Paula Simosky 137 S. State St. suite 101 Geneseo, Il. 61254

Secretary- JoAnne Hillman 1440 Cleveland Rd. Colona, Il. 61241

Dist. 1 Chairman- Bill Womac 16308 W. County Rd. Orion, Il. 61273

Dist. 2 Chairman- Martin Ryan 213 S. East St. Kewanee, Il.61443

The Kewanee Kiwanis Satellite Committee will present a Night at the Races this coming Saturday, April 28 at the Elks Lodge in downtown Kewanee.

Emily Costenson is one of the Satellite Committee members and she recounts how the tradition got started…

listen here

Jolene Barnes is a member of the Kiwanis Club and she says there will be a great selection of food and beverages at the event…

listen here

The best dressed contest will be for both the women and the men and Ms. Costenson describes how the horse racing will work…

listen here

Tickets for the event cost $20 and that includes the dinner and admission to the event…

listen here

 

 

 

Abilities Plus volunteers were recognized at an appreciation luncheon held on April 17, 2018 at PL Damron’s in Kewanee.  Volunteers assist in many program areas, including serving as Board or Committee Members, helping in Day Programs, Special Olympics, and at the Hazel Pettit Abilities Plus Resale Shop.  Success of the organization through the years is dependent on the efforts of a large number of volunteers in many program areas, and their service is greatly appreciated.

 

Special recognition was given to Resale Shop Volunteers, Judy Pettis for 35 years of service, Becky Heaton for 15 years of volunteer efforts, and Donna Rapp, Julie Shafer, and Jerry Scott for 5 years of service.

 

Photo:

 

(Front left to right) Justin Raver, Randy Carton, Karen Bennett, Peggy Hand, Bonnie Verschage.

 

(Back left to right) Karen Neumann, Marilyn Carpenter, Roberta Cinnamon, Jill DeKeyser, Gail Ripka, Judy Anderson, Sherry Yarger, Mary Saylor, Linda Trostle, Sue Herridge, Donna Rapp, Sharron Bess and Steve Johnson.

 

Authorities continue to investigate a high speed chase that occurred last Friday that led authorities through several counties before ending in Kewanee.

40 year old Jon Warner of East Peoria was the driver of a vehicle that was travelling at a high rate of speed through Wyoming and ultimately ended up on the south side of Kewanee.

Information indicates that Warner was travelling northbound in a southbound lane on Tenney Street in Kewanee when a Stark County deputy rammed the Warner vehicle with his squad car and in the process prevented what likely would have been further injuries.

Warner was initially taken to the Stark County Jail facing multiple charges.

As it turns out, Stark County was not able to find a judge to hear the case within 48 hours and Warner was released with only misdemeanor traffic charges.   

State health officials are still dealing with the fallout from a tainted synthetic cannabis epidemic that sickened hundreds and killed 3. Individuals who have taken the drugs and are in recovery have lengthily ongoing treatments to do and those efforts have been given a boost by a big donation. Valeant Pharmaceuticals is giving the state 800,000 tablets of vitamin K. IDPH Director Nirav Shah says the users of laced drugs are in need of help

Listen Here

Those who have been impacted by using the drug could have a long road to recovery. Patients may have to take 30 vitamin K tablets a day for six months. The donated tablets will make the treatment free for those in need.

 

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Illinois Department of Transportation is making $500,000 in federal highway safety dollars available to nearly 100 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to step up distracted driving enforcement through April 30. 

“Too many drivers in Illinois engage in the deadly and illegal habit of using a mobile device while driving,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “These reckless drivers are not only putting themselves at danger but also their passengers, other motorists or pedestrians. Put down the phone until you get to where you’re going. It’s simply not worth the risk.”

As fatalities on Illinois roads continue to increase, distracted driving is a growing concern for IDOT and other highway safety advocates. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. It distracts the driver visually, manually and cognitively, putting everyone on the road at risk. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for the length of a football field.

It is against the law in Illinois to use a handheld mobile device while driving. Penalties for violating this law include a fine of up to $75 for a first offense.

“We want to remind motorists that Illinois is a hands-free state,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Please be mindful that motorists are putting their life and the lives of others at risk when they are driving distracted. Remember, a text can wait. Please keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. your life and the lives of others depend on it.”

The Illinois State Police and AAA are joining IDOT in its effort cut down on distracted driving, along with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association.

The next Patrick Henry Club gathering will be on Saturday April 28 at the Cambridge Community and Youth Center. Area residents are invited to join their conservative friends for coffee and conversation beginning at 9 am.


Scheduled speakers are State Senator Neil Anderson will give an update on the spring legislative session; County Board member Loren Rathjen, Colona will give county board highlights and Jon Zahm, GOP candidate for County Clerk/Recorder will share his plans for that office.


All conservative voters are invited to attend the free event. The Patrick Henry Club meets four times each year to offer area residents the opportunity to learn more about their elected officials and current issues.


Anyone with questions should contact Republican chairman Jan Weber at 309-944-2808.  

Open Line for April 23

Listen Here

OSF Healthcare St Luke Medical Center Community Relations Specialist Carrie Boelens is the guest

listen here

Please be advised that contractors for the Walnut Ridge wind farm are going to begin the process of culvert replacements next week.  It is anticipated that there will be a one-week advance notice for future culvert replacements so that we can keep everyone updated so proper arrangements can be made for necessary travel in that area.  Please be advised that next week’s closing schedule is listed below, and these daytime closures will be from approximately 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.:

 

Install Date

Road Closure

4/23/18

2600 N. Ave between 1600 and 1700 E (Local traffic allowed from 1700)

4/23/18

2600 N. Ave between 1600 and 1700 E (Local traffic allowed from 1700)

4/24/18

2600 N. Ave between 1500 and 1600 E (Local traffic allowed from 1500 and 1600)

4/24/18

2600 N. Ave between 1700 and 1800 E (Local traffic allowed from 1800)

4/25/18

1900 N. Ave between 2600 and 2500 E (Local traffic allowed from 2500)

 

 

We will keep you posted on future culvert replacement schedules as the information is made available, until all necessary culvert replacements have been completed.

Effective Monday 4/23/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a hydrant repair and water shut off with a boil order to follow.  Work is scheduled for a hydrant at West 3rd and Union Streets.  Residents on West 3rd Street west of Jackson Street and at Waunee Estates will have water shut off during this repair.  Work is expected to begin at Monday at 8:00 a.m., weather permitting.  If work is not able to be done that day, the Water Department will continue to have this scheduled for the work to be done as soon as possible within the same week.

 

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 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 Twisted Cat Outdoors Fishing Series will host a Fishing Derby on Saturday May 5th in Davenport.

Brandan Schadt is the Tournament Angler and he says there will be a fee involved and fishermen will be out on the Mississippi…

listen here

Schadt also describes how the tournament will work and he also says depending on the amount of entries, there should be a pretty good payout…

listen here

For further information, phone 217-242-5305      

Effective Monday 4/23/18, the City of Kewanee Water Department has scheduled a hydrant repair and water shut off with a boil order to follow.  Work is scheduled for a hydrant at West 3rd and Union Streets.  Residents on West 3rd Street west of Jackson Street and at Waunee Estates will have water shut off during this repair.  Work is expected to begin at Monday at 8:00 a.m., weather permitting.  If work is not able to be done that day, the Water Department will continue to have this scheduled for the work to be done as soon as possible within the same week.

 

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 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.
 

 As the first wave of the 10-year Firearm Owners Identification card come due for renewal, Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz is urging FOID card holders to apply early to remain active. 
“We expect tens of thousands of renewal applications to come in over the next few months,” Schmitz said. “We recommend gun owners get their renewal applications in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card out before expiration.”

More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and August 1. The General Assembly amended the state’s law that requires gun owners to carry a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card in 2008, allowing the cards to be valid for ten years.

 

The Illinois State Police (ISP) oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards. They’ve already sent renewal notices to people whose cards will expire June 1.

 

Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearm Services Bureau website at www.ispfsb.com to renew online. Anyone who needs assistance with FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, can call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.

 

Applicants should make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State’s Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed.

Workers are finding more jobs in Illinois. The state’s unemployment rate continues to fall. The Illinois Department of Economic Security says that joblessness now stands at four point six percent. Bob Goff with IDES says the number is significant.

Listen Here

Goff says that manufacturing and financial services all picked up more jobs
than they lost last month.


 

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that they may request an extension of time to file their tax return, but certain taxpayers get extra time without asking. The IRS said nearly 14 million taxpayers are expected to get an extension this filing season. 

 

Anyone can receive a six-month extension to file their tax return by using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Even with an extension, taxpayers should remember that the extension does not affect any tax they owe. Tax payments are due on or before the April 17 tax deadline.

 

Taxpayers who are victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, members of the military serving in a combat zone and Americans living and working abroad get extra time to both file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. Here are details on each of these special tax-relief provisions.

 

Victims of natural disasters

Victims of Hurricane Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have until June 29, 2018, qualify for more time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. The June 29 due date also applies to taxpayers who are victims of Tropical Storm Gita in American Samoa.

 

Taxpayers affected by the California wild-fires, flooding, mudflows and debris flows in parts of southern California have untilApril 30, 2018, to file and pay. This relief also includes additional time for making a 2017 IRA contribution, making estimated tax payments, and filing payroll and excise tax returns and corporate income tax returns originally due or on extension during the relief period. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with a deadline falling during this period.

 

For details on available tax relief and information on how to take advantage of it, visit the Around the Nation page on IRS.gov or see IRS Publication 976, Disaster Relief.

 

Combat zone taxpayers

Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. This includes those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones. A complete list of designated combat zone localities can be found in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov.

 

Combat zone extensions give affected taxpayers more time for a variety of other tax-related actions, including contributing to an IRA. Various circumstances affect the exact length of the extension available to any given taxpayer. Details, including examples illustrating how these extensions are calculated, can be found in the Extensions of Deadlines section in Publication 3.

 

Taxpayers outside the United States

U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico have until June 15, 2018, to file their 2017 tax returns and pay any taxes due. The special June 15 deadline also applies to members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, who do not qualify for the longer combat zone extension. Attach a statement to the tax return explaining which of these situations applies.

 

Though taxpayers abroad get more time to pay, keep in mind that interest, currently at the rate of five percent per year,compounded daily, applies to any payment received after April 17. For more information about the special tax rules for U.S. taxpayers abroad, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, on IRS.gov.

 

Everyone else

Taxpayers who don’t qualify for any of these three special situations can still get more time to file, but need to ask for it. Automatic extensions give people until Oct. 15, 2018, to file; tax payments, however, are still due on or before April 17, 2018.

 

An easy way to get the extra time to file is through Free File on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due.

 

Another option for taxpayers is to pay electronically and get an extension of time to file. The IRS will automatically process an extension when taxpayers select Form 4868 and they are making a full or partial federal tax payment using Direct Pay, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or a debit or credit card by the April due date. There is no need to file a separate Form 4868 when making an electronic payment and indicating it is for an extension. Electronic payment options are available at IRS.gov/payments.

The recent basement sale at the Salvation Army Store in Kewanee was a resounding success.

Linda Bolls is the Director of the Salvation Army in Kewanee and she says that customers displayed great patience during that sale…

listen here

Ms. Bolls also notes that she will observe her 20th anniversary with the Salvation Army on Sunday and she will offer some refreshments beginning next Monday at the Salvation Army store…

listen here 

Ms. Bolls adds that the month of April is volunteer appreciation month and she says she has several volunteers that are essential to the Kewanee operation…

listen here

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today the unemployment rate decreased by -0.1 percentage point to 4.6 percent in March and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The February job gain was virtually unchanged from its initial report. (+15,300 jobs versus +15,200 jobs).

Job growth improved in the January to March period posting average monthly gains of +4,000 jobs, an increase over the prior three-month period (October to December 2017) with average monthly gains of +2,200 jobs.

“The number of unemployed in Illinois is at its lowest level since December 2006 and the unemployment rate dipped to its lowest level since March 2007,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The stabilization of the labor force is also an encouraging sign.”

“Professional and Business Services have produced the largest recovery in Illinois, albeit at a lesser rate than the national average,” said DCEO Director Sean McCarthy. “The difference between Illinois and the nation is partly due to significantly slower growth in management of companies and enterprises in the state. This is why the governor and I are on this trade mission to Poland and Germany as we work to improve that standing.” 

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +39,200 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in March: Manufacturing (+18,200); Financial Activities (+7,800); and Government (+6,800). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include: Information Services (-4,600); Professional and Business Services (-2,700); and Other Services (-1,200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.6 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.5 percent over-the-year gain in March.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March 2018, which held at 4.1 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.4 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.0 percent. The Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.6 percent in March 2007.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.5 percent from the prior month to 297,700, down -7.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was unchanged over-the-month, but it was up +0.1 percentage points over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment.

An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine,  IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 59,539 posted resumes with 184,089 jobs available. 

There was a full house at the Elks Club for the Henry County Humane Society election on Thursday, April 19th.

The meeting was called to order at 6:50p by President Lee Eisnebarth. There was a brief welcome and an explanation was given as to the nomination process. Debbie Johnson, Humane Society secretary, took nominations from the floor for the eight spots on the board. Mary Bergren’s term has not expired on the nine member board. Sixteen people were nominated.

185 ballots were cast. Elected were: Christine Gustafson, Breanne Busboom, Sue Sagmoen, Angie Pronschinske, Michelle Welgat, Brenda Weston, Maggie Steen, and Louise Harrison.

After the election there was no further business. At the May meeting, officers will be elected to the Henry County Humane Society board.

After the election a conversation was held with Lee Eisenbarth, outgoing president, with the reporter from WKEI and the Star Courier. A number of concerns regarding the Humane Society functioning were brought up in a Facebook post. The majority of concerns expressed in the posting would likely not have been questioned if an audit had been conducted each year.

There was concern about the mileage expenses. The mileage was not just for the director but all workers at the shelter. However there were still some questions that remained and both media outlets have asked for mileage information. This week alone, six cats were either spade or neutered in the Quad Cities because it was less expensive to be done there.  In addition, there are financial records that are available to the public at the H&R Block office in Kewanee.

Each day, 10 people are killed in distracted driving crashes - contributing to the 37,000 people killed in crashes on U.S. roadways during 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To help bring attention to the dangers associated with driving distracted, the Illinois State Police District 7, announced today it will again participate in Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week (DDAW) and conduct an enforcement campaign of Illinois’ distracted driving laws.


“All too often, when a distracted driving citation is issued, the recipient argues the call or text can’t
wait and is too important to ignore. No distraction- whether texting or talking on the phone - is ever
worth the loss of life on the roadway,” said Captain Jason Dickey. “We all ‘believe’ that call or text is
too important: No conversation is worth a life.”

 

The second annual Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week is a coordinated effort between the
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP), AAA, The Illinois State Police, The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois High School High School and College Driver Education Association (IHSCDEA) and nearly 300 local law enforcement throughout Illinois to educate motorists about the dangers of driving while distracted and enforcing the laws on Illinois’ roadways. Last year’s DDAW efforts resulted in over 18,000 warnings and citations for distracted driving offenses. Contrary to what some drivers may think, hands-free, handheld and in-vehicle technologies are not distraction-free, even if a driver’s eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. The latest AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research found that:


?Drivers who text when behind the wheel more than double their odds of being involved in a
crash;
?Drivers who use in-vehicle technologies, like voice-based and touch screen features, can be
distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or
sending a text message.
?Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash

Violating Illinois’s distracted driving laws can be costly. Know before you go. In Illinois:
?Law prohibits all drivers from texting and driving {FINE}
?Law prohibits all drivers from using a hand-held phone while driving {FINE]
?Law prohibits all teen drivers from using a cell phone while driving [FINE]


For more information on Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week visit www.iddaw.org. These
partnerships have been formed to help further a traffic safety culture in Illinois and to reduce traffic
fatalities and injuries resulting from distracted driving. Please help the ILACP, AAA, and the Illinois State Police, to keep Illinois’ roadways safe and Illinois strong.

The Governor’s race has another possible candidate this fall. State Senator Sam McCann from Plainview announced today that he will run as a Conservative Party candidate.

Listen Here

McCann turned in his resignation from the Senate Republican Caucus today. He and his running mate still need to collect 25,000 signatures to get on the November ballot. The Rauner campaign issued the following statement about McCann. “Sam McCann is the worst kind of political opportunist who is only running for Governor to line his own pockets.”


McCann picked Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn (Marine) from Riverton as his running mate.