Final Day of Kewanee Hog Days

September 1st, 2014


It’s the final day of the annual Hog Days Celebration in Kewanee. The event features the world’s largest outdoor pork barbecue and the tallest portable Ferris wheel in the United States. There’s also a craft show and flea market among many other activities. Today’s main stage events include the band Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets. For more information and a detailed schedule of activities, go online to

Tri-County Fair wraps up in Mendota

September 1st, 2014


The Tri-County Fair wraps up its four-day run with the demolition derby this afternoon. Other events today include the open beef show and the chainsaw carving auction. The fair is happening at the fairgrounds in Mendota. For more details, go online at

Illinois Briefs – 9/1/14

September 1st, 2014

Quinn Living On Minimum Wage

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn is on a very tight budget this week. He’s planning to live on just 79-dollars until Saturday. That’s the estimated amount that minimum wage workers have left over once they pay taxes, rent, and the cost of transportation. Quinn has been pushing to get the minimum wage raised to ten-bucks an hour but the plan has stalled in the legislature. Voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether the wage should be raised in the November election.

Oberweis Closing Gap On Durbin

(Chicago, IL) — It looks like U.S. Senator Dick Durbin may have a fight on his hands. A new poll reveals his GOP contender Jim Oberweis is closing the gap on him. “We Ask America” asked just over a-thousand people to who they’d be voting for in November. About 48-percent say they’ll be backing Durbin while 41-percent say they’re supporting Oberweis. Oberweis is a state senator who has spent much of his time campaigning in black communities on the south side of Chicago. Several high profile black pastors who usually vote Democrat say they need to see change in their communities, so they’re backing Oberweis for Senate.

Baby Found Alive In Dumpster

(Jacksonville, IL) — Police in Jacksonville are trying to find out who dumped a newborn baby in a trash bin. The baby was found alive early Saturday morning, less than 12-hours after it was born. No word on whether it was a boy or a girl but officials say the baby was taken to an area hospital in good condition. Several officers reportedly offered to keep the baby but it was placed in the care of DCFS.

Quincy Attorney Accused Of Murder

(Quincy, IL) — A high profile attorney and former school board member in Quincy are being charged with murder. Curtis Lovelace is accused of killing his wife back in 2006. The case had been closed after an original autopsy ruled the cause of death was undetermined. But police received new information last year and reopened the case. A new autopsy revealed the death a homicide. A grand jury indicted Lovelace last Wednesday and he was taken into custody shortly afterwards.

Woman Trapped In Mud For Hours

(Carmi, IL) — A Carmi woman is safe after spending a night trapped in mud. Officials say the woman fell into a thick pile of mud near a boat ramp on the Little Wabash River sometime Saturday night. She broke her hip when she fell and was unable to get herself out. She was in the mud for hours before police got a call and showed up to rescue her, just before 10:00 yesterday morning. The woman was rushed to a hospital in Mount Vernon and is expected to survive.

Illinois Briefs – 8/30/14

August 30th, 2014

State Issues Proposed Fracking Regulations

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has finally released the set of proposed rules for the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking. Environmentalists have criticized draft versions of the rules as being too lenient, while industry groups have bemoaned the delay that has meant no drilling permits have been issued for sites in southern Illinois. The IDNR report has been delivered to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which has 45-days to act or let the rules take effect as they are.

Second Defendant Convicted In Joliet Murder Plot

(Joliet, IL) — A Will County judge today found 20-year-old Bethany McKee guilty of murder for her role in the gruesome murder of two Joliet men in January 2013. McKee is one of four people accused of conspiring to lure the two victims to a Joliet house to rob them, and then strangling them and abusing their corpses. A second woman has already pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for her testimony. Two men are awaiting trial, accused of the actual killing of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover.

Chinese National Sentenced For Casino Scam

(Arlington Heights, IL) — A federal judge has sentenced a 59-year-old Chinese national to two-years in prison for scamming Illinois casinos out of 50-thousand-dollars. Xueliang Li allegedly used fake credit cards to buy “comp checks” from casinos in Kane, Will and Tazewell counties last year and then cashed those checks. Li could be free in about a year with good behavior, but faces possible deportation upon his release.

Peoria Civic Center Awash In Red Ink

(Peoria, IL) — The taxpayer-supported Peoria Civic Center showed an annual operating loss of 875-thousand-dollars, nine times more than projected. The loss comes in the wake of an attendance drop of some 23-percent from the previous year. The Civic Center board has approved a new three-year contract with a management firm and ended a long-standing relationship with a food and beverage service in an effort to save money.

U Of I Students From West Africa Getting Ebola Information

(Urbana-Champaign, IL) — University of Illinois students arriving at the Urbana-Champaign campus from West African countries are being warned about the dangers of the Ebola virus. As part of the normal health screening for international students, those from nations affected by the Ebola outbreak, including Nigeria and Sierra Leone, are told about the symptoms of Ebola and what to do if they start to feel ill. Other campuses across the country are following similar procedures, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.

First Clue Released In Heartland Bank’s Great Medallion Hunt

August 30th, 2014

It’s official; the 2014 Heartland Bank Great Medallion Hunt is underway! The first clue was announced earlier today by Tracy Makransky on 1490 WZOE-AM:

It’s that time of year for the adventure to begin,

Heartland’s Great Medallion Hunt will have a new spin.

Some clues will tell you where it is not,

Please stay away from trees, bushes and flower pots.

Twenty-seven years we’ve been hiding the disc,

You won’t need to dig, climb or put yourself at risk.

Hunters need to decipher the clues to find the hidden medallion which is approximately 3 and half inches in diameter and one eighth of an inch thick. The medallion is hidden on public property within the city limits of Princeton and will not pose any dangers to hunters. Nothing needs to be broken into, dug up, or torn apart to find it. The medallion is not hidden at City County Park, the Bureau County Fairgrounds or at any of the local cemeteries. If you are the lucky finder of the medallion, call the number attached to it.

The winner will receive $1,000 in Princeton Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. Listen to WZOE 1490 AM every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until Homestead Fest after 6:30am for clues.

Illinois Briefs – 8/29/14

August 29th, 2014

Rain Expected To Stick Around

(Lincoln, IL) — The rain is expected to stick around for the next several days. The National Weather Service reports scattered thunderstorms could hit much of central Illinois between now and next Tuesday. Officials say it’s too soon to say if there will be any severe weather risks but with plenty of rain in the forecast, people should keep an eye out for standing water. Never try to walk or drive through standing water because doing so increases the odds of drowning.

Rauner, Quinn Lay Out Plans At Forums

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn and his GOP opponent Bruce Rauner are starting to make the rounds and lay out their plans on how to restore the state’s economy. They’ve both appeared at forums over the past couple of days hoping to woo voters with their ideas on taxes, the minimum wage, and education funding. Rauner wants to freeze property taxes, lower the state’s income tax, and add taxes on certain services. Quinn disagrees with taxing services and says it’ll hurt the hardest working people in the state, those who live paycheck to paycheck.

Durbin Wants To Tackle Social Security Shortfall Now

(Bloomington, IL) — The Social Security system could face a huge shortfall in the next 20 years or so, but U.S. Senator Dick Durbin doesn’t want to wait that long to address the problem. He says he and his colleagues need to get around the table and come up with a solution to fix the system right now. Some suggest privatizing the program but Durbin is not on board with that plan. He says that’ll fail to fund the current obligations and could cause more harm than good to those who depend on the system.

Some Construction Suspended During Holiday Weekend

(Springfield, IL) — People who are hitting the road for the holiday won’t have to worry about too much construction. IDOT says they’re lifting all non-emergency road work for the weekend. That’ll help reduce some of the congestion and improve traffic flow. The construction will be lifted at 3 o’clock this afternoon and will go back into place Midnight Monday night into Tuesday morning. Drivers are still required to obey the posted speed limit signs or they risk getting a ticket worth at least 375-dollars.

>>K-9 Dog Dies Of Heat Stroke

(East St. Louis, IL) — The excessive heat has gotten the best of a K-9 officer in East St. Louis. Officials say the dog, better known as Officer Simmie, had a heat stroke after doing training exercises in the park. Simmie started having trouble walking when he got home and was rushed over to the veterinarian. That’s where he went into cardiac arrest and died.

Annual Hog Days Celebration Gets Underway in Kewanee

August 29th, 2014

It’s the opening day of the annual Hog Day Celebration in Kewanee, featuring the world’s largest outdoor pork barbecue, the tallest portable ferris wheel in the United States. Also featuring a craft show and flea market and the featured performers tonight are the Cook & Belle Band playing country rock. Hog Days runs through Labor Day in Kewanee. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, go online to

Illinois Briefs – 8/28/14

August 28th, 2014

Fracking Rules Available To Public Tomorrow

(Springfield, IL) — The state’s new fracking rules are slated to be available to the public tomorrow but oil and gas drillers will have to wait a while longer before applying for a permit. That’s because a legislative committee will need to sign off on the rules first. The fracking issue has been the center of intense debate in Springfield over the past couple of years. Supporters say it could lead to an oil boom, which would boost the state’s economy and put people to work. Opponents argue there are too many health risks associated with fracking.

Oberweis Throwing Jabs In Final Push Before Election

(Bloomington, IL) — State Senator Jim Oberweis is throwing jabs at U.S. Senator Dick Durbin in the final weeks before the election. He says Durbin is a thug and a bully who hasn’t done much to improve the quality of life in Illinois since his last election. Oberweis says he’ll keep the peoples’ needs first if he’s given a shot to replace Durbin. He says his main priorities are to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, simplify the tax code, work to implement term limits at the congressional level, and get a balanced budget.

Durbin Tries To Won Over Farmers

(Bloomington, IL) — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is trying to win over Illinois farmers to keep his job. He says he’s been a friend of Ag ever since he was elected to Congress, some 30 years ago. Durbin says he’s kept an impartial view and tried to get things done for Illinois farmers, no matter what political party they affiliated with. He says he’s earmarked millions of dollars to bring Ag research centers and ethanol plants to parts of central and southern Illinois. He says he also acted quickly when the water levels were falling on the Mississippi River a couple of years ago, which was impacting barge traffic and ultimately the state’s ability to get goods to market.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Being Sued

(East St. Louis, IL) — The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department is facing legal scrutiny. A lawsuit was filed yesterday claiming deputies forced a teenager with the mental capacity of a nine-year-old to confess to an armed robbery back in August of last year. Several Chicago lawyers are behind the suit. They say there’s no evidence that links the teen to the crime and when you take a look at the taped testimony, it shows he was in tears, begging for his mom to be with him. The young man spent nine months behind bars before the charges against him were dropped.

Supreme Court Building Rehab Project Complete

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois Supreme Court building is back in commission. The justices have been working out of a temporary home in Chicago while the 100-year-old Springfield building was being renovated. The year-long rehab project cost 16-million-dollars and included upgrades to the heating and cooling systems. There are also new H-D cameras set up to record oral arguments and many of the murals in the building were also restored.

Police Stepping Up Patrols For Holiday Weekend

(Springfield, IL) — Police are beefing up their patrols now through the holiday weekend. The end of summer push will focus on catching drunk drivers, people who are speeding, and those who aren’t strapped in. Drivers can expect to see extra patrols on the streets and more roadside safety checks. More than 560-people have been killed on Illinois roadways this year.

Illinois Briefs – 8/27/14

August 27th, 2014

Top Quinn Aide Resigns

(Chicago, IL) — One of Governor Quinn’s top aides is calling it quits. Deputy Chief of Staff Sean O’Shea has just two more days on the job. He’s held the post for three years and is responsible for keeping watch over which senior officials are hired at IDOT. The transportation agency has been under scrutiny in recent months for hiring people based on political connections instead of skill. Quinn’s office insists that O’Shea is not leaving because of the ongoing hiring controversy.

School District Shuts Down Ferguson Talks

(Edwardsville, IL) — Teachers in Edwardsville aren’t allowed to talk about what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri. Superintendent of Schools Ed Hightower says it’s too soon to talk about the shooting, the protests, and anything else related to the unrest in Ferguson. He says there are still too many unknown facts surrounding the case and everyone has an opinion. Hightower doesn’t want teachers to find themselves in the middle of a heated discussion or playing moderator in an intense debate. Edwardsville is about 25-miles outside of Ferguson.

Granite City Recycling Plant Had Violations

(Granite City, IL) — The company that blew up in Granite City the other day apparently had prior marks against it. Reports indicate Totall Metal recycling had been cited quite a few times in the past five years for things like exposure to lead, fumes and dust. The OSHA citations also involved a plant in Fairmont City. Two people were killed when a live mortar exploded Monday morning. The facility will be opening back up today and counselors will be on hand to meet with grieving employees.

Law Protects Pregnant Women In The Workplace

(Chicago, IL) — A new law gives pregnant women more protections in the workplace. It allows them to sit down if they need to and take more bathroom breaks and water breaks when necessary. It also requires employers to make sure the moms-to-be have help lifting heavy objects. The new law takes effect in January.

Forensics Lab Opens In Belleville

(Belleville, IL) — There’s a new, state of the art forensics lab in the Metro-East. The Belleville-based facility will offer crime scene services and forensics like DNA, latent print, drug chemistry, and firearms testing. Police departments all over the region will have access to the lab.

Small Town Mayor Calls It Quits

(Kincaid, IL) — The mayor of Kincaid is stepping down after months of public scrutiny. Doug Thomas has been arrested several times since February on charges of violating an order of protection and drug possession. The village board accepted Thomas’s resignation on Monday and agreed to give him just under 12-hundred bucks for leaving before his term is complete. A new mayor has been appointed for now and a permanent replacement will be elected next April.

Illinois Briefs – 8/26/14

August 26th, 2014

Quinn Hires Tech Chief

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Quinn has hired a new digital director for his re-election campaign. Christopher Hass once worked for President Obama’s re-election campaign. He will be responsible for a nine-person crew, which is one of the largest in-house digital teams for a statewide race.

Galesburg Teachers Walkout Continues

(Galesburg, IL) — The teachers strike in Galesburg is entering its 13th day. Union leaders are hopeful that a deal can be reached today. The two sides are expected to meet again this afternoon. One of the sticking points is recall rights, which is how districts decide who to bring back when there are layoffs. Health insurance for teachers runs out on August 31st.

Bell Wants Three Debates With Representative Scherer

(Springfield, IL) — Republican candidate for state representative Mike Bell is challenging the incumbent to three debates in the 96th District. He sent a letter to Decatur Representative Sue Scherer requesting that they discuss the issues in Macon, Sangamon and Christian counties. Bell added in the letter that voters need to be informed about both candidates and hear how they both differ on the issues.

Power Outage Affects Close To 17-Hundred Customers

(Peoria, IL) — Power has been restored to the Peoria area after 17-hundred homes and businesses were left in the dark. Ameren Illinois officials say crews responded to a large outage in West Peoria Monday afternoon. The cause of the power loss has not been determined, but a downed branch may have been responsible. Electricity in the area was restored just after 6 p.m., even though a small section of 130 customers in South Peoria were still without power.

ADM Moves Headquarters From Decatur To Chicago

(Chicago, IL) — After residing in Decatur for 45 years, the Archer Daniels Midland Company has completed the move of its headquarters to Chicago. Officials with the agricultural processing firm say close to 70 employees will be working out of the global headquarters and customer center on West Wacker Drive. Fifty of the ADM workers will be from Decatur and the rest will be new hires. Even with the move of the corporate office to the Windy City, the company plans to continue to have a major presence in Decatur. Currently, two processing facilities remain there.