New $6.5 million vet tech center for East Campus

Black Hawk College East Campus will become the home of a new $6.5 million veterinary technology program next year, according to school leaders.
“Demand for the vet tech program is greater than can be supplied,” declared Chanda Dowell, vice president of the East Campus, which is located just north of the Stark County line and south of Kewanee. housed in the new facility that is to be completed by June 2016.

Dowell and Dr. Bettie Truitt, president of Black Hawk College, spoke recently at the annual meeting of the Kewanee League of Women Voters held at the Dunes golf course
between Galva and Kewanee 

The challenging 80 credit-hour vet tech program (significantly more than two normal years of full-time study) will be housed in the new facility that is to be completed by June 2016.

The East Campus program will be different from the few other such programs that exist, in that it will feature both large and small animal components; most programs focus on small animals.

This makes sense because of the distinguished animal science and equine programs at the college. 

The new facility will include a working animal hospital clinic.

East Campus a great asset to area

Begun in the 1960s under the leadership of the late Gust (Brick) Lundberg, Ted Vlahos and several other Kewanee-area leaders, the East Campus of Black Hawk College now enrolls almost 1,000 students in agricultural, college transfer (to fouryear universities), and numerous certificate and two-year associate degree
Stark County students make extensive use of the East campus offerings. In 2013 (last year for which data available), one third of Stark County High graduates (20 of 61) enrolled at Black Hawk East.
In that same year, 125 Stark County residents were enrolled in Black Hawk College programs.
There is also a new $4.5 million welding and skilled trades center in downtown Kewanee, adjacent to the college’s community education center.
A popular development in recent years has been the dual-credit program, in which high school students take advanced courses either at their own schools or on the East Campus.
Successful completion of these courses results in both high school and college credit.
Indeed, this spring a graduating Kewanee High student will receive both her high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree from Black Hawk College East Campus. This means that the highly motivated student will enter college as a junior, saving two years of college tuition.
This student, who has not yet been named publicly, took both dual credit courses, summer and on-line courses during her high school years to achieve her feat.
Ten percent of all enrollment at Black Hawk East is in dual-credit courses.
Because of the many varied programs offered to Stark County students through Black Hawk College, any motivated student can become educated and trained for a successful career.

State dismisses weapons charge against King

Travis L. King, 23, of Wyoming heard in Stark County Circuit Court Friday that State’s Attorney James D. Owens was dismissing a felony weapons charge against him. The reason for the dismissal is so the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) can proceed with the unlawful possession of a weapons charge against King.

King was on parole from prison when an IDOC parole officer conducted a search and found 250 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition in King’s vehicle.  This is a felony offense for a convicted felon to possess weapons or ammunition.

 IDOC will automatically revoke King’s parole status for this violation and add the charge to his sentence, but must wait until Stark County charges of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to a building are conducted in court.
King was on parole since October of last year from the IDOC where he was serving a four year sentence from Stark County for a 2010 burglary he was found guilty of committing.  It is alleged according to court documentation,that King on April 23 of this year knowingly damage property of Justin R. Gillespie, to wit, the door frame of a building…damage not in excess of $300.  This is a Class A criminal misdemeanor. Also King, knowingly entered into a building…without the consent of the owner, a Class B criminal misdemeanor.
King pled not guilty to both charges and demanded a December 7 jury trial. Bond was set at $10,000 and King was ordered not to have contact with the Gillespie family. Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include one year in jail and a $2,500 fine, while a Class
B misdemeanor include six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.

Mental health funding in Stark County is threatened

In an effort to save the special project funding for mental health services, representatives from both Stark and Marshall Counties met with Representative David Leitch in Lacon on Saturday, May 2.  The loss of such funding would significantly reduce the access to mental health services in Stark and Marshall Counties.  Called the “Innovative Solutions for Rural Mental Health Access,” this special project was the result of collaboration with the citizens of Stark and Marshall Counties, elected officials, and the Illinois Department of Human Services.  The project has won both state and national awards and serves as a model program in Illinois.
Representing Stark County at the meeting were Sharon Sager, President of the Stark County Health Board and Doris Bogner, member of the Stark County Health Board along with Gail Ripka of the Stark County Citizen’s Mental Health Task Force.
The Stark County Citizen’s Mental Health Task Force was established in 2004.  With the award of State funding in 2005, full time mental health services became available in Stark County.  In addition to access to mental health services, both advocacy and education are components of the program.  With the success in Stark County, the project was expanded to Marshall County in 2007.

LaFayette village schedules clean-up day; sidewalk repair




The LaFayette village board of trustees held a three item agenda meeting Monday to discuss the village’s clean-up day, sidewalk repair and an ordinance issue.
LaFayette’s clean-up day is scheduled for Friday, May 22 this year for all residents.  According to the board of trustees, large items such as sofas, may require an extra fee.  Otherwise many items may be placed out for collection.

New Stark County School Board members seated

The Stark County School District has three new faces on the school board following the recent election.  During the April meeting, board president Brian Rewerts swore in newcomers Matt Nagode, David Steward and Bruce West.  They will replace Skip Turnbull and Keith Knobloch who did not seek reelection and Robin Nowlan who was appointed to finish out the term of Dave Turner.  Nowlan had said when appointed that he did not plan on running for the seat.  Turnbull and Knobloch had both served 12 years on the board.
After the new board was seated, the board voted to elect Rewerts as president, Rob Groter as vice president and Elizabeth Rumbold as secretary.  Barb Loane will continue as the recording secretary for the board.