05172018KS6121LEWISTOWN – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is urging caution among Fulton County residents in order to avoid scams in the wake of the tornado that rolled through southern Fulton County over the weekend.

“After these disasters happen, some people will inevitably prey on those most affected,” Koehler said. “I urge all residents in Fulton County to proceed with caution and do their due diligence when accepting help.”

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity can report it to the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline in Springfield by calling 1-800-243-0618.

Saturday’s tornado moved through the Lewistown area, causing damage to structures and trees. No one was reported as hurt or missing,

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging local area residents to follow these steps to avoid scams:

  • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
  • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-243-0618 in Springfield) to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
  • Visit the Better Business Bureau’s central Illinois , St. Louis or Chicago websites to see if a business is a member and whether any complaints have been lodged against it.
  • Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
  • Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
  • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
  • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
  • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag. Please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s website to search licenses. Contact the Department of Insurance at (866) 445-5364 to verify that the public adjuster is licensed and in good standing.
Category: Press Releases

05232018KS6261PEORIA – One of nation’s largest steel manufacturers has reached a deal to purchase a Peoria steel mill that has served the area since 1889.

The Dallas-based parent company of Keystone Steel and Wire, which is located on the south side of Peoria and employs nearly 1,000 people, announced this week that it will become part of Liberty Steel USA.

“The news today is great for the thousands of employees of Keystone Steel and the entire Peoria area,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “We have always been and will continue to be immensely proud of our manufacturing traditions in Peoria as well as the thousands of workers that make it possible.”

Liberty Steel USA is owned by GFG Alliance, a UK-based company which has a presence in more than 30 countries. Its chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said Keystone is a key piece to the company’s sustained success.

“The Keystone acquisition is a core part of GFG’s GREENSTEEL vision to become a leading U.S. producer of high quality, cleanly produced steel,” Gupta said. “As we look ahead to the future, GFG will benefit from Keystone’s century-long history, its robust operations, and its reputation for producing top quality steel.”

Koehler, who has a long track record of fighting for Keystone Steel and its workers, said he is excited at the Peoria plant’s prospects.

“GFG Alliance has a goal of becoming the nation’s leading steel producer, and a track record of reinvigorating local steel operations,” Koehler said. “The bottom line is this is good news for our area.”

The steel workers at KSW are represented by the Independent Steel Workers Alliance, an independent union based in Bartonville.

Category: Press Releases

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Free counseling assistance is available locally through Dec. 7 for Medicare-eligible residents and their caregivers during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.

During open enrollment, eligible adults can adjust Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage, move from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan – or vice versa, switch between Medicare Advantage plans, join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or switch or drop existing drug plans without penalty.

Because these can be overwhelming and confusing decisions, assistance is available to help clients find the closest State of Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office, where they can schedule appointments to get help with open enrollment.

Those offices are at the following area locations:

  • Central Illinois Agency on Aging, 700 Hamilton Boulevard, Peoria – 309-674-2071
  • Central Illinois Agency on Aging, 304 Morgan St., Peoria – 309-674-2071
  • Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visibly Impaired, 2905 W. Garden St., Peoria – 309-637-3693
  • Heartland Community Health Clinic, 1701 W. Garden St., Peoria – 309-680-7632
  • Advocates for Access, 4450 N. Prospect Road, Suite C8, Peoria Heights – 309-682-3500
  • State Senator Dave Koehler, 551 S. 14th St., Pekin – 309-369-1648

SHIP counselors work through the Medicare.gov system to help seniors and people with disabilities make the best choices for their individual situation. Residents can contact SHIP by calling 800-252-8966 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, including a complete list of SHIP locations, visit http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx.

To compare 2019 drug and health plans or to find out more about Medicare options, including preventive services now covered, visit the federal website at medicare.gov. Medicare customer service representatives are available around the clock at 800-633-4227.

SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance. SHIP counselors in the field help seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare understand the options available to them. They also educate and answer questions about Medicare plans and options.

Category: Latest

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PEKIN – Hundreds of residents were able to clear their homes of obsolete computers, dusty old televisions, broken video game systems and small appliances that went kaput long ago thanks to an electronics recycling event hosted by State Senator Dave Koehler Saturday.

Some people waited upward of an hour and a half to responsibly dispose of unwanted electronics during the free annual event.

“This is a good thing to do. We came all the way from Washington (Illinois) to do this,” one participant said. “It’s worth the wait.”

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The event took place at Area Recycling in Pekin with the help of Kuusakoski Recycling, an e-waste recycler with a site in Peoria. Numerous employees of the companies were on hand to unload pickup trucks, trailers and car trunks of electronics waste and haul it away in the eight semi-tractor trailers that were made available for the event.

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Koehler said it’s quite an effort and complimented the crews for keeping the popular event running like clockwork.

“It’s really important to not only the environment, but we hear from our township supervisors a lot. What happens is, if people don’t have somewhere to store their TVs they throw them in a ditch. So the townships are constantly sending crews out to pick up TVs, and that costs taxpayer dollars,” Koehler said.

“So this is a nice way of disposing of TVs and knowing that they’re going to be recycled, and I think people appreciate it.”

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Koehler said he intends to continue hosting the event – which always takes place the first Saturday in October – as long as there is a need.

“Every year – until there are no more TVs to be thrown out,” he said.

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Category: News

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Springfield Office:
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120