QCA.news - Quad Cities news and view from both sides of the river

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

OurQuadCities.com Communities ready for holiday festivities in-person and with loved ones this year OurQuadCities.com

Communities ready for holiday festivities in-person and with loved ones this year

Last year, the holiday season saw a substantial spike in COVID-19 cases — forcing many to contain their Christmas cheer, celebrating alone or with family via Zoom. Many missed the personable, community-centric events typically associated with the holidays. "Nothing happened last year because of the COVID, but everything seems to be under control now, so everybody's just out doing their thing, and that's the way we like it." said Jan Hegenbart, a LeClaire resident. Hegenbart looks forward to "Christmas in LeClaire" every year. She and her sisters have a tradition of attending the various events together — a tradition that had to take a temporary hiatus in 2020. Now, while COVID-19 safety measures still remain in place, towns across the Quad Cities are bringing back the holiday spirit, ready to foster those values of fellowship. LeClaire kickstarted this weekend with a craft show at the city's civic center, but that's only the beginning of the Yuletide festivities here in the QCA. "To have Christmas back and enjoy the holidays — its phenomenal," said Jan's sister. "Christmas in LeClaire" continues through Sunday. Learn more here.

OurQuadCities.com With I-74 bridge complete, plans for new I-80 bridge continue to progress OurQuadCities.com

With I-74 bridge complete, plans for new I-80 bridge continue to progress

With both spans of the new I-74 bridge now officially open to traffic, construction for another new bridge in the Quad Cities area could be just around the corner. The Illinois and Iowa Departments of Transportation have plans in the works for a new I-80 bridge, which will replace the current one crossing the Mississippi River in LeClaire and Rapids City. Plans for a new I-80 bridge have been circulating for roughly two years now, but Becky Marruffo, Engineer of Program Development for the Illinois Department of Transportation, says this is still only part one of their plans. "It is really kind of step one. It's kind of your shopping list, per se, where you say, 'Well here's the things that we've identified,'" said Marruffo Marruffo says the latest and most significant development, though, is the Illinois DOT now has funding ready to go for the new bridge. "It is included in IDOT's multi-year program," said Marruffo of the new I-80 bridge plans. "So that currently covers fiscal years 2022 through 2027." Marruffo says some of the main issues with the current I-80 bridge are its age — being built in 1966 — and its narrowness, being only two lanes on each side with hardly any shoulders. "As anybody knows who's driven over the structure, the shoulders are very limited, and that is — generally speaking — a safety concern," said Marruffo. While Marruffo does say the current bridge is still very safe, she says maintaining it has become very costly. In fact, she says the departments anticipate that building an entirely new bridge may be cheaper than maintaining the current one in the long run, even though it will take multiple years to build a new one. "When we have structures that have been in place for many decades, we start to consider the long-term costs of maintaining those structures and whether they're serving their purpose for the motoring public," said Marruffo. "Just like we did for I-74, you get to a certain point where you say, 'Well, the maintenance costs are significant enough that we should start to consider replacing that structure.'" Marruffo says she expects more updates on the new I-80 bridge plans to be announced next summer.

WQAD.com THIS WEEK: A billion dollar Quad City industry is trying to recover WQAD.com

THIS WEEK: A billion dollar Quad City industry is trying to recover

Visit Quad Cities says the region lost $262 million in tourism dollars thanks to the pandemic

OurQuadCities.com University of Iowa students make plans to cheer on the Hawkeyes OurQuadCities.com

University of Iowa students make plans to cheer on the Hawkeyes

Hawkeyes football fans have high hopes tonight in preparation for Iowa taking on Michigan tomorrow for the Big 10 Championship. Everything broke the Hawkeyes' way last week to get the team into the game. Students at the University of Iowa are now making their plans to watch the Hawkeyes with dreams of a conference title. We will provide Hawkeyes game coverage on our sister station, Fox 18, tomorrow. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m., and kickoff is at 7:17. More coverage can be found on the Hawkeye Headquarters website.

WQAD.com WQAD.com

Iowa Department of Education reports increase of teachers during pandemic

Iowa added 455 new full-time public school teachers in the 2020-21 school year, however it's a trend the Muscatine School District is not seeing.

OurQuadCities.com Police: Suspect shot at apartment, narrowly missed toddler inside OurQuadCities.com

Police: Suspect shot at apartment, narrowly missed toddler inside

A 23-year-old Moline man faces a felony charge after police name him as a suspect in a shooting that narrowly missed a toddler inside an apartment. Tyree Williams, who was arrested on a warrant, faces a charge of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, court records say. Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Jan. 19 on the 400 block of 23rd Street, Bettendorf, police say five 9mm Luger rounds were fired into an apartment building's exterior wall from the alleyway behind the building. The setting Two bullets penetrated into the interior of an apartment. One round within a few feet of striking a toddler sitting with her mother on a couch watching TV. A piece of drywall struck the mother. The grandmother also was at home in a different room, an arrest affidavit says. The brother of the victims had moved out of the apartment a few weeks before that. He appeared to be the intended target, the arrest affidavit says. A witness described the suspect vehicle from which the shots were fired as a dark Chevy Malibu. The background Traffic cameras identified a suspect vehicle as a 2010 brown Chevrolet Malibu registered to Williams. The Malibu drove to the victim's residence and was observed leaving from the alleyway onto Grant Street, then heading across the Interstate 74 bridge into Illinois, the affidavit says. The intended victim said Williams and he were close friends, referring to each other as cousins, until recently. Williams had accused him of siding with a mutual acquaintance with whom Williams “was fighting with and spreading false rumors.” The investigation: Text messages tell a story A subsequent search warrant of Williams’ Facebook account yielded a picture of Williams with the intended victim and a third person flashing gang signs, an audio recording about a fight, and screen shots of text messages about the intended victim being disloyal and potential retaliation against him, the affidavit says. On Feb. 2, police conducted a traffic stop on Williams in his Malibu. He consented to a search of his personal cell phone. A subsequent review of the phone revealed text messages to and from Williams’ girlfriend on Jan. 19 and 20. About 30 minutes before the shooting, the girlfriend texted Williams and asked him to be careful. A few minutes after the shooting she texted him again and questioned him about his actions, the affidavit says. She was concerned about the intended victim knowing where they lived, possible retaliation and whether or not he had a gun. Williams replied he wasn't the only one who had a gun. The day after the shooting,  Williams texted the intended victim that he was shot "yapping" and dared him to "pull up" on him and texted his address, the affidavit says. A search warrant of Williams’ phone account showed two phone calls made to the intended victim the day after the shooting. More evidence and a court date According to the intended victim, Williams warned him to watch out or he could "catch a opp.” In an interview on Aug. 12, Williams said it was his vehicle involved in the shooting but denied driving the Malibu, the affidavit says. A preliminary hearing for Williams, who was released on his own recognizance, is set for Dec. 22 in Scott County Court, court records say.

WQAD.com WQAD.com

Dancing Realtor Reindeers: Volunteer bell ringers get creative with red kettle donations

These volunteers went the extra mile in their efforts to help the short-handed Salvation Army this holiday season.

WQAD.com Iowa Department of Education reports increase of teachers during pandemic WQAD.com

Iowa Department of Education reports increase of teachers during pandemic

Iowa added 455 new full-time public school teachers in the 2020-21 school year, however it's a trend the Muscatine School District is not seeing.

WQAD.com WQAD.com

Little slice of Americana: Original 'Model A' Ford preserves Clinton County history

Originally bought as a rural mail-car, the old vehicle has spent nearly a century in DeWitt, IA until this fall, when a new owner was captivated by its history.

WQAD.com Dancing Realtor Reindeers: Volunteer bell ringers get creative with red kettle donations WQAD.com

Dancing Realtor Reindeers: Volunteer bell ringers get creative with red kettle donations

These volunteers went the extra mile in their efforts to help the short-handed Salvation Army this holiday season.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Illinois Attorney General’s task force recovers more than $1M in stolen retail items

Investigators with Raoul’s organized retail crime task force worked with Chicago police to find four semi-trailers full of stolen items worth millions of dollars.

WQAD.com Little slice of Americana: Original 'Model A' Ford preserves Clinton County history WQAD.com

Little slice of Americana: Original 'Model A' Ford preserves Clinton County history

Originally bought as a rural mail-car, the old vehicle has spent nearly a century in DeWitt, IA... until this fall, when a new owner was captivated by its history.

OurQuadCities.com Gov. Reynolds announces appointment of district court judge OurQuadCities.com

Gov. Reynolds announces appointment of district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday announced her appointment of Clinton Boddicker as a district court judge in Judicial Election District 8B.  Boddicker, of Keokuk, Iowa, currently serves as a district associate judge in Judicial Election District 8B. He previously served as the Lee County attorney and has also worked in private practice, a news release says. Boddicker earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.  Boddicker fills the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown, the release says.  Judicial Election District 8B includes Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa counties. 

OurQuadCities.com Moline hires interim department directors as executive searches underway OurQuadCities.com

Moline hires interim department directors as executive searches underway

Moline will welcome three new interim department directors next week to help implement the city’s newly adopted strategic plan in the coming months. The interims will be in place for up to six months, while the city reboots its search for permanent directors, with the assistance of executive search firms. The new interims will head up the Community and Economic Development, Engineering and Public Works departments. Those positions have been vacant since 2019, 2020 and April 2021, respectively, according to a Friday release. Michael Schenk will serve as interim City Engineer. He recently retired as City Engineer in Plant City, Fla. Charles Graves, who has worked in economic development in Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Baltimore, will serve as the interim Community and Economic Development Director. And Brad Fink, with 25 years’ experience, will fill in as interim Public Works director after an 8-year stint as Public Works Director in Wauconda, Ill. All three will start work on Monday, Dec. 6, either onsite or remotely.  Leah Miller, Moline’s Human Resources Director, said internal recruiting efforts to fill those critical vacancies were significantly hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic downturn over the past 18 months, the city release said. While the interims are in place, the city will use several executive search firms to reboot the search for permanent directors and a new assistant city administrator. “We are taking a two-pronged approach, and using executive recruiters will give us the opportunity to look for high-level candidates from a wider geographic footprint and to cast a wider net,” Miller said. “The other prong is utilizing interims until we get those positions filled.” City Administrator Bob Vitas, who himself was recruited through an executive search firm, said it's very important to have interims in place while permanent candidates are recruited. “Given the city’s recently adopted strategic plan and soon-to-be-approved operations budget, we have an aggressive schedule of projects and programs we need to launch and get up to speed," he said. "That requires more hands on deck.” Moline city administrator Bob Vitas with Mercado on Fifth director Anamaria Rocha. Each of the positions being recruited is critically important and need high-level candidates, Vitas said, particularly the Community and Economic Development Director. “We need a director with a wide array of talents,” ranging from business attraction and retention, TIF management, downtown redevelopment and community programs, Vitas said. “It is a mission-critical position and we can’t fill it just to fill it. That would be a disservice to the residents of Moline.” Vitas said the city will employ multiple search firms in order to create a robust, nationwide search. The goal is to have all positions filled by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022. The City Council has budgeted $82,000 to conduct the searches. In addition, the interims will be paid between $75 and $95 per hour in addition to housing and travel reimbursements, from funds already earmarked for permanent director salaries.

Quad-City Times The good walk will soon be spoiled: Quad-City golfers out before typical December weather returns Quad-City Times

The good walk will soon be spoiled: Quad-City golfers out before typical December weather returns

Recent mild temperatures have given local golfers a chance to play afternoon rounds — but by Monday the temperatures are expected to drop as winds start to blow through the Quad-Cities

OurQuadCities.com Inflatables all aglow for a good cause OurQuadCities.com

Inflatables all aglow for a good cause

Local 4 News has been venturing across the Quad Cities over the past couple of weeks as part of the countdown to Christmas. Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray stopped by a Coal Valley neighborhood Wednesday evening to check out a massive inflatables display. The ToneySteph Christmas Yard at 1709 E. 3rd St. made its debut in 2007 with just a few inflatables. This year, the family has 260 inflatables on display. window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202808","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p1","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202808%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyODA4IiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.6T3ojG0hcI013Y2KcbQgBD3ii4BnkA7nALWrdgpCrwM","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202808?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5sHZUS5NSlfZVmmXLloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); Blown-up versions of characters and props from various holiday movies and TV shows are scattered around two different yards, including: Mickey MouseMinnie MouseRudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerFrosty the Snowman Multiple Santa Claus inflatables Mrs. Claus"Despicable Me" MinionsClark GriswoldThe "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" Griswold family station wagon and Cousin Eddie's RVCharacters from "Frozen" (Sven, Elsa, Olaf) window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202812","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p2","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202812%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyODEyIiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.WyYKUEwOHkYCTUELrcKAj81gYBEnTKZUIi8R3THaO7c","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202812?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5sGb0S5NSlfZVmlVLloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); Some of the more unique inflatables on display include a pig, an owl, a mechanical dog, a St. Bernard, a mixer, a candy castle, penguins, a dinosaur, an 18-foot Abominable Snowman, a 26-foot Santa Claus and a 20-foot snowman. window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202905","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p3","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202905%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyOTA1IiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.mosjnfCxL5FctvMFRGGjvLMZoU1kRrO2wvFul3-KE7k","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202905?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5oHaES5NSlfZFumVbloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); Stephanie Genova, the brains behind the Christmas Yard, decided three years ago that she was going to use the inflatables display as a way to give back to the community. Genova started the "Kickoff to Christmas" event, asking for monetary and nonperishable food item donations for Quad City families in need. window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202917","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p4","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202917%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyOTE3IiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.ddrEj4IykaP3oWYiwYKz8nSoVDI3rsjAUWBYQj1M78U","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202917?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5oGakS5NSlfZFimWrloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); This year's event begins Saturday evening. "Kickoff to Christmas is this Saturday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m.," said Genova. "It's free to everybody to come out. We just ask for monetary donations and perishable food items." Donations will then be transformed into food baskets for at least a couple dozen area families — with items such as ham, turkey, pie and all the festive fixings. The goal is to provide full holiday meals to families that otherwise wouldn't get to have them this time of year. window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202932","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p5","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202932%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyOTMyIiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.twRUQu0oI8wexDi_W44oSQ_6TKyvX-wLosMQpTMEP3I","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202932?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5oEb0S5NSlfZFmkVLloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); Genova says people can nominate themselves or a family in need. "It can be neighbors, friends, family. They can nominate themselves if they've had hardships this year," said Genova. "There's a form on our Facebook page that they can fill out." Genova and her husband, Toney, go through the letters and pick families. All meals are given out during the week of Christmas. "This is our third year for it. We did 20 baskets last year," said Genova. "We're hoping for 30 this year, which I'm pretty sure we'll get there." The "Kickoff to Christmas" event will run until 9 p.m. Saturday with special guests and activities for kids. "We'll have Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, crafts for kids," said Genova. Not able to attend Saturday's event? You can still drive by and see the inflatables any night throughout the rest of the month. "We taken them down on Dec. 26, but they're mostly up throughout the season," said Genova. window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"7202941","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p6","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"ourquadcities.com","script":"//w3.mp.lura.live/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"ourquadcities.com","ns_st_st":"whbf","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"News,Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/nx.whbf/news/local_news/landing&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D7202941%26pers_cid%3Dunknown%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003%26pagetype%3Dsubindex"},"nielsen":{"apid":"PE960F05F-339A-432F-86B1-464685BDDB37","sfcode":"dcr","type":"dcr","apn":"Anvato","environment":"production","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"adloadtype":2,"adModel":2}},"segmentCustom":{"script":"https://segment.psg.nexstardigital.net/anvato.js","writeKey":"pHTh01LNodgBw3bclBmxxhrOBUbDktVw","pluginsLoadingTimeout":12}},"accessKey":"Rawk5AaOEXxaRCRo2zCnBckdB3Ky0dnD","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI3MjAyOTQxIiwiaXNzIjoiUmF3azVBYU9FWHhhUkNSbzJ6Q25CY2tkQjNLeTBkbkQiLCJleHAiOjE2Mzg1NzQ4MDl9.-34QXqQUjrVuVkeQ1xt8rCJci2zXzTukdsAu8PkvEao","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://tkx.mp.lura.live/rest/v2/mcp/video/7202941?anvack=26qYwQV3rJ52OI2WxpUdpTDRpVdAMgG1&token=%7E6Sq5c5oDbES5NSlfZFahVbloGseZvo70MQ%3D%3D","enableFloatingPlayer":true},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60}); Learn more about the ToneySteph Christmas Yard here. Check out Living Local's recent interview with Genova here.

OurQuadCities.com Film Critic Linda Cook Reviews "Encanto" and "The Power of the Dog" OurQuadCities.com

Film Critic Linda Cook Reviews "Encanto" and "The Power of the Dog"

Film critic Linda cook took us on a trip to a charmed place in the mountains of Colombia and the stark world of 1920's Montana, as she reviewed the films "Encanto" and "The Power of the Dog." You can check out all of Linda's reviews on our website, OurQuadCities.com.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Large police presence at 4th and Division streets in Davenport

This is a developing story.

OurQuadCities.com Heavy police presence Friday afternoon OurQuadCities.com

Heavy police presence Friday afternoon

Police are in the area of the railroad tracks at 4th and Division streets, Davenport, about 3:45 p..m. Friday in response to an incident. Traffic is being diverted from the scene. Local 4 News and www.ourquadcities.com will provide updates as we learn more information.

Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

COVID-19 kills three in Rock Island County

Three more men from the Quad-City area are dead due to COVID-19.

OurQuadCities.com Furious fans flip out online over football calls OurQuadCities.com

Furious fans flip out online over football calls

Quad Citians are no doubt getting ready for the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis as #13 Iowa battles #2 Michigan. Do you have everything you need to watch the game? Snacks? Check. Drinks? Check. Lucky jersey? Check. Twitter account? Huh??? Collegiate fan bases can be especially supportive of their favorite teams, and social media can be the platform for arguing about bad calls in games. The team at Wetten gathered twitter data collected in the last month, tracking negative tweets about college football officiating in regard to each ranked team. As no surprise, Hawkeye fans are loyal to their team, ranking at #6 in the study. Here are the top 10 fan bases tweeted about bad officiating (based on the number negative tweets in the last month): 1, Alabama - 81382. Michigan - 76253. Arkansas - 60974. Ohio State - 48495. Oklahoma - 32976. Iowa - 20807. Oklahoma State - 14408. Michigan State - 14299. Georgia - 89510. Clemson - 884 (image courtesy of Wetten) Did your team make the list?

OurQuadCities.com Police, sheriff's office, Homeland Security arrest suspect for child pornography charges OurQuadCities.com

Police, sheriff's office, Homeland Security arrest suspect for child pornography charges

A 43-year-old Oregon, Ill., man faces felony charges in connection with child pornography after Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 2 officials arrested him Charles M. Christensen faces five counts of possession of child pornography under 13 years of age (Class 2 felony) and two counts of possession of child pornography over 13 years of age (Class 3 felony).  On Thursday, ISP DCI Investigators, along with ISP District 1 Troopers, Homeland Security, Ogle County Sheriff’s Department, Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office, and Oregon Police, executed a search warrant at Christensen’s residence in the 600 block of Timberlane, Oregon, after an investigation involving child pornography. During the warrant execution, investigators "seized evidence supporting the arrest of Christensen," a news release says.  Christensen was being held Friday at the Ogle County Jail, pending a bond hearing. The investigation remains open and ongoing. 

OurQuadCities.com $13.9-million Wilson Lofts development in Clinton gets $38,856 grant boost OurQuadCities.com

$13.9-million Wilson Lofts development in Clinton gets $38,856 grant boost

The Wilson Lofts development in Clinton has won a boost, thanks to a $38,856 grant awarded to the Gateway Area Foundation by the Clinton County Development Association (CCDA). The money will be used to support the Clinton Culinary and Makers on 5th business incubators on the ground floor of Wilson Lofts, to advance job creation and business activity in Clinton County. The Gateway Area Foundation served as applicant for the Wilson Lofts, working closely with the developers, Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH), to get the grant application submitted. “It is of our belief that the advancement of community and economic development, in downtown Clinton, relies, in large measure on the Wilson Building’s redevelopment," Rich Phelan, Corporate Secretary of the Gateway Area Foundation (GAF), said in a Friday release. “The developer is investing nearly $14 million into the community and creating or supporting over 180 jobs through this redevelopment effort, many of which are from Clinton County," GAF chair Jeff Atkinson said. "With this in mind, the Gateway Area Foundation’s Board of Directors approved application on behalf of the Wilson Building’s rehabilitation and redevelopment effort." Brian Hollenback, CEO of Economic Growth Corporation “We continue to be floored by the amount of community support we receive for the Wilson Lofts redevelopment," Brian Hollenback, President/CEO of GROWTH, said in the release. "The CCDA grant only helps us deliver the quality development everyone is seeking, and we are proud to deploy this precious source into Makers on 5th and Clinton Culinary that will help create new opportunities for Clinton County entrepreneurs who want to start a food, retail, or small business by reducing barriers to entry and give them the tools to thrive within an entrepreneurial setting." A formal acknowledgement of the CCDA’s contribution will be added to the ribbon-cutting ceremony once the Wilson Lofts construction is completed, expected in June or July 2022. The overall development effort consists of creation of 33 residential apartments and the construction of the Makers on 5th and Clinton Culinary business incubators. Entrepreneurs can open within the Makers on 5th or Clinton Culinary while having the option to live all within the Wilson Lofts through its comprehensive, mixed-use redevelopment. Nearly $14 million is being invested in the historic Wilson Building at 210-217 5th Avenue South, Clinton. An entirely new tax base is being created, and additional sales tax will be generated through the incubator spaces once GROWTH starts entering into leases, the release said. The incubators will be leased to entrepreneurs at significantly below-market rates that provides them an opportunity to build a foundation for success. The goals of both incubators are that the entrepreneurs expand into larger locations throughout Clinton and Clinton County. Clinton Culinary provides 5 incubator spaces targets culinary start-ups wishing to open within a storefront space with access directly from 5th Avenue South.Makers on 5th provides 6 incubator spaces targeting start-up retailers and small businesses seeking to share space and resources to establish and grow eventually into a larger storefront Out of the $13.88 million in total project costs, $500,000 has been raised by GROWTH to build out the two incubator spaces. With rising construction costs, the CCDA grant will help toward completion of the buildout for incubators with additional sponsorships being sought. Built in 1914 as Clinton’s largest and most modern office building, the Wilson Building stands six stories high, making it the tallest building in Clinton’s downtown business district. “With more than 40 on the wait list for the apartments, and two businesses already interested in the incubators, we are confident that the Wilson Lofts will make a catalytic impact all while advancing multiple community plans addressing all components by celebrating history, housing, recreation, and a sense of place through the business incubators," said Jon Davidshofer, GROWTH vice president and project lead for the Wilson Lofts. "The CCDA grant only adds to our excitement for this project." For more information, visit wilson-lofts.com.

Quad-City Times For some in Illinois, need to dial 10 digits came as a surprise Quad-City Times

For some in Illinois, need to dial 10 digits came as a surprise

All outgoing calls for land-line users in the 309 area code now require an area code, including calls to other 309 numbers.

OurQuadCities.com Rock Island County reports three more COVID deaths since Wednesday OurQuadCities.com

Rock Island County reports three more COVID deaths since Wednesday

The Rock Island County Health Department on Friday reported three COVID-19 deaths since Wednesday: a man in 40s, a man in his 60s, and a man in his 70s, all of whom were hospitalized. The total number of deaths is now 388. In addition, the health department reports 256 new cases of COVID-19 since its last update on Wednesday. The total number of cases now is 20,718. Currently, 47 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 35 -- including positive cases in 15 girls younger than 13; 19 boys younger than 13; and six infants age 1 or younger. You can visit vaccines.gov to find out how to get a vaccine shot. RICHD offers walk-in vaccines on Tuesdays (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) and Fridays (Pfizer). The hours for both days are 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Boosters or third doses for immunocompromised people are available on the same day as first and second doses. Rock Island County offers vaccines for children ages 5-11 by appointment on Fridays. Pediatric clinics are full until Dec. 17. The link for the Dec. 17 clinic will be posted at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 on the health department’s Facebook page. The F.D.A. cleared the Pfizer vaccine for children, ages 5 to 11, on Oct. 29. According to the C.D.C., about 198 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated (or 60% of the population), and 43 million of those people have received a COVID booster shot.

OurQuadCities.com OurQuadCities.com

Economic Growth Corp. available to help people apply for Illinois rental payment assistance

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is opening its newest rental assistance program, Illinois Rental Payment Program 2.0, on Monday, Dec. 6. The applications are for both housing providers/landlords and tenants, available through Jan. 9, 2022. To apply for the rental payment program, housing providers/landlords and tenants can begin the application process at illinoishousinghelp.org. All applicants must have an active and accessible email account before applying. Housing providers/landlords and tenants can apply simultaneously. Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) is serving as a Housing Stability Service Provider in partnership with IHDA to assist applicants. GROWTH is equipped with internet, laptops, and printer to make it easier for those in need to apply successfully. GROWTH is serving the counties of: Rock Island, Mercer, Henry, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, and Sangamon, and will travel to communities within this service area based on need. GROWTH is available by appointment for those in need of application assistance. Appointments can be made by calling 309-788-6311 or visit https://www.economicgrowthcorporation.com/illinois-rental-payment-program.html. The program offers direct funding to support Illinois tenants unable to pay their rent due to a COVID-19-related loss of income. Approved applicants will receive one-time grants of up to $25,000 paid directly to their landlords on their behalf (payment is matched to tenant need, not fixed). If the landlord chooses not to participate in the program, tenants may receive payments directly. In this application round, assistance will cover up to 18 months of emergency rental payments, including up to 15 months of missed payments and up to three months of future rent payments. Rent owed from June 2020 through April 2022 may be paid for with ILRPP funds. Priority will be given to households earning less than 50% of area median income and to households with one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days. Tenant eligibility requirements: ▪ Household lives in Illinois and rents their home as their primary residence. ▪ Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic. ▪ Household income is below 80% of the area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size. ▪ Household must have an unpaid rent balance. ▪ Proof of citizenship is not required. Rental assistance is not a “public charge” benefit. ▪ Tenants residing in state or federally subsidized housing are eligible to apply. More information including a “how to apply” video can be found at: https://www.economicgrowthcorporation.com/illinois-rental-payment-program.html and more information and updates will be at illinoishousinghelp.org.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Rock Island County reports 3 deaths, 256 new COVID-19 cases over 2 days

The average age of newly infected patients is 35, according to the health department.

OurQuadCities.com OurQuadCities.com

Lee Enterprises fires volley against Alden board move, amidst hostile takeover bid

If a strongly worded announcement from Lee Enterprises Friday is any indication, the Davenport-based media company's position on a hostile takeover bid doesn't look good for the investment firm hoping to buy it. Lee said that a notice submitted by Alden Global Capital, LLC, which sought to nominate three candidates to stand for election to Lee’s Board of Directors at the company 2022 annual meeting, is invalid. New York-based Alden -- the second-largest owner of newspapers in the nation -- on Nov. 22 proposed to purchase Lee for $24 per share in cash, or an estimated total of $141 million. Lee’s board thoroughly reviewed Alden’s notice for board members and found the submission didn't meet several essential requirements clearly set forth in Lee’s publicly available bylaws. The Lee board Friday made the following statement: “Lee’s bylaws provide a very clear and simple procedure for investors to nominate candidates for election to Lee’s Board of Directors. The nomination procedure and information requirements in our bylaws are consistent with those of the vast majority of public companies incorporated in Delaware. Over the past few years, hundreds of investors – including many that have been advised by Alden’s two law firms – have properly fulfilled these types of notice requirements and information requests. “Alden, however, failed to meet the most basic and most important requirement of our director nomination procedure: demonstrating it is eligible to nominate directors. Instead of following the straightforward process outlined in Lee’s bylaws to provide proof that Alden is an eligible shareholder, Alden attempted to circumvent the requirement by having an unrelated, third-party shareholder send a cover letter attaching an incomplete and internally inconsistent nomination notice from Alden. In addition, Alden’s nomination notice does not comply with several other substantive requirements of Lee’s bylaws. “Alden’s hasty and convoluted attempt to work around our simple and common procedure on the eve of the nomination deadline does not meet the clear requirements of Lee’s bylaws. Alden’s failure is entirely of its own making. Alden is not entitled to invent its own process for its convenience." Lee’s board determined that Alden’s attempted nomination notice doesn't satisfy the clear requirements of its bylaws. Because Alden failed to deliver a notice that complies with Lee’s requirements prior to the deadline, Alden cannot nominate any candidates for election to the board at the 2022 annual meeting, which has yet to be scheduled. Accordingly, Lee will not recognize Alden’s nominations, and any proxies submitted, or votes cast, for the election of Alden’s director candidates will be disregarded. The hedge fund owns approximately 6 percent of Lee stock. On Nov. 22, Alden made an unsolicited non-binding proposal to buy the company for $24 per share in cash. In consultation with its financial and legal advisors, Lee’s board is evaluating Alden’s proposal to determine the course of action it believes is in the best interests of the company and Lee shareholders, the company said Friday. Davenport-based Lee Enterprises owns the Quad-City Times, The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and Muscatine Journal, among newspapers in 77 markets in 26 states. Year to date, Lee’s papers have average daily circulation of 1 million. Alden said that its buyout offer represented a "substantial premium" of approximately 30% to Lee’s closing share price of $18.49 on Nov. 19. “We have the ability to fully finance this all-cash proposal and the definitive merger agreement will not include a financing condition,” Alden’s letter to Lee’s board said. On Dec. 3, Lee's share price hit a high of $25.80, above the Alden per-share offer. Some of Lee’s properties expressed outrage following the offer, calling on Lee’s board to reject the deal. The union for the Casper News-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper, tweeted: “We have seen how Alden has systematically slashed staff across its newsrooms, including those acquired from Tribune Publishing earlier this year.” “Over the past few years, our news staff has already been significantly reduced, but the cuts are small compared to what has been suffered at Alden-owned papers,” said the Casper News Guild. “Alden has a history of gouging papers and we cannot afford to lose any other positions. We urge the Lee Enterprises board of directors to decline the offer in the interest of preserving quality local news.” A Lee spokesperson said later Friday that the company did not have any further comment on the evaluation process at this time.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Illinois reports 42,559 new COVID-19 cases over 7 days

As of Thursday, 2,582 people were reportedly hospitalized with the virus.

OurQuadCities.com Ho-Ho-Holiday family fun in the QCA! OurQuadCities.com

Ho-Ho-Holiday family fun in the QCA!

The holiday spirit is alive in the QCA, and here are some family-friendly events to check out! Did we miss any holiday family events? Let us know here. ❄️ HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN IN THE QCA ❄️ December 3 Christkindlmarkt Quad Cities Christmas in LeClaire Candy Cane Hunt Jingle & Mingle - A Holiday Stroll Festival of Lights December 4 Christkindlmarkt Quad Cities Christmas in LeClaire Family Christmas Fun at the Library Christmas Walk - Village of East Davenport Festival of Lights December 5 Christkindlmarkt Quad Cities Christmas in LeClaire Festival of Lights December 6 Festival of Lights December 7 Festival of Lights December 8 Festival of Lights Surprise Christmas Crafternoon December 9 Festival of Lights December 10 A Very Merry Muscatine Festival of Lights December 11 Muscatine Area Farmers Market Presents: A Handcrafted Christmas Festival of Lights December 12 Festival of Lights December 13 Festival of Lights December 14 Festival of Lights December 15 Festival of Lights December 16 Festival of Lights December 17 Festival of Lights December 18 Festival of Lights December 19 Festival of Lights December 20 Festival of Lights December 21 Festival of Lights December 22 Festival of Lights December 23 Festival of Lights December 24 Festival of Lights December 25 Festival of Lights

OurQuadCities.com Handicapped Development Center staff recognized with excellence awards OurQuadCities.com

Handicapped Development Center staff recognized with excellence awards

The Handicapped Development Center (HDC) held its Recognition Dinner November 30 at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport. According to a press release, employee excellence awards were presented to extraordinary staff members who display loyalty and initiative, show above average performance on all job duties, have excellent attendance and punctuality, promote teamwork and maintain a positive outlook. The Handicapped Development Center held its Recognition Dinner November 30 According to the release, here are the award recipients: Roberta Just Roberta Just, Prevocational Supervisor, was the Employment Services Staff Excellence Award recipient.  Roberta has held several different positions during her 14 years at HDC, and with each position, she has dedicated herself to helping participants grow and develop.  She is a committed, hard-working employee with a strong work ethic and optimistic outlook that helps her provide the best possible services. Ashley Farmer Ashley Farmer, Resident Counselor, received the Community Residential Services Staff Excellence Award.  Ashley has helped many people learn to live in the community by teaching them the necessary skills to maintain a household.  During the past year of continually changing circumstances, Ashley was a calming presence who showed patience and understanding to the participants.   Kindra Bates The Residential Center Staff Excellence Award went to Kindra Bates, Resident Aide.  A leader to her coworkers, Kindra establishes an upbeat atmosphere for the residents and a welcoming environment for staff.  She encourages fun while, at the same time, making sure everyone’s needs are met and care is provided. Kathleen Goodall Kathleen Goodall, Mealtime Aide, was chosen as the Personal Independence Services award recipient.  During a very busy part of the day when things could be chaotic, Kathy is organized and ensures everyone gets the attention they need and desire.  She ensures a safe and sanitized environment by cleaning and disinfecting everything in her path.  Kathy is a vital asset to the organization and to the people served at HDC.    Gail Ford Gail Ford was the Gary Ashcraft Memorial Award recipient.  Her persistent and consistent support of the individuals with whom she works is exemplary.  She is an encouraging and reliable presence in their lives, which provides them with predictability and comfort.  Gail encourages participants to try new things, and she provides them with direction and assistance when needed.   The mission of the Handicapped Development Center is to passionately advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities by creating opportunities for them to succeed, to achieve, to grow, and to be happy. For more information, click here.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Iowa high school player arrested in post-game attack

Authorities say an Iowa high school basketball player has been arrested following an apparent assault on an opposing player at the end of a game as the two teams lined up to shake hands.

KIIK 104.9 KIIK 104.9

It’s Christmas in LeClaire With Plenty of Holiday Fun

Continue reading…

OurQuadCities.com Community shows they care with Christmas cards to cancer patient OurQuadCities.com

Community shows they care with Christmas cards to cancer patient

A community has been coming together to make Christmas special for a Muscatine woman. Mindy Shaw, 41, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors said, given her prognosis, this upcoming Christmas will be her last. The family has asked for the community to send Christmas cards. So far, she has received more than 90 cards, each one with a different message, joke or prayer. Shaw has received cards from Muscatine and around the world, with writers from Kansas to Illinois and even New Zealand. If you'd like to get involved, he's the address to send cards: Lesa O'Connell  c/o Mindy Shaw 17781 180th Street Letts, IA  52754

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

Judge denies request to lower bonds for teens charged in death of Fairfield teacher

A judge has denied requests to lower the bonds for the two teens accused of killing a Fairfield teacher last month.

KWQC TV-6 KWQC TV-6

ImpactLife ships blood to region impacted by shooting in Michigan

The request for outside support was made by a fellow member of Blood Centers of America and a provider to hospitals in the affected region north of Detroit, Michigan, ImpactLife said.

OurQuadCities.com QC pizza parlors prepare for Hawkeye football OurQuadCities.com

QC pizza parlors prepare for Hawkeye football

Game day means good food! With just one day until the B1G Ten championship, local restaurants have big plans to feed Hawkeye fans this Saturday. Local pizza parlors are preparing for the highly anticipated Iowa vs Michigan game. Harris Pizza in Rock Island says that they will be all hands-on deck this Saturday. "All of our in-day processes do revolve around sports schedules of different high school sports, college sports, big NFL games, big baseball games and such," Harris Pizza Co-owner Ryan Mosley said. "Usually with the Iowa game there is an influx in people watching the game and wanting to enjoy Harris pizza." They will be fully staffed with normal business hours and anticipate getting orders starting early in the morning. Meanwhile, Happy Joe's pizza in Davenport says that they are already getting calls from excited customers saying that they will be in on game day. “We get hit hard. The lobby and the kitchen is running. Our lobby is full, our bar area is full, over there is full, and the back of the restaurant is ten times pumping hard," Happy Joe’s general manager Shernail Clark said. "We get deliveries and pick-ups. We get all our orders day of the games."

OurQuadCities.com Show OurQuadCities.com your holiday lights! OurQuadCities.com

Show OurQuadCities.com your holiday lights!

Is your home merry and bright? Do your holiday decorations put Clark W. Griswold's to shame?? Is your holiday spirit so dazzling that Santa himself could see it as he zooms across the night sky in his sleigh??? Then OurQuadCities.com wants to see! Click here to send us photos of your outside holiday lights and decorations. Your home might even be featured on a newscast!

OurQuadCities.com 'Holidays with the Symphony' returns after taking a year off OurQuadCities.com

'Holidays with the Symphony' returns after taking a year off

The Clinton Symphony Orchestra's annual "Holidays with the Symphony" concert is back after taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in Clinton High School's Vernon Cook Theater. Conductor Brian Dollinger has chosen the festive Polonaise from Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve Suite” to open the program. Other music includes: Selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto”The overture to the opera “Hansel and GretelSeveral seasonal pieces by Leroy Anderson, including his popular “Sleigh Ride" Bruce Chase, a Muscatine native, has compiled a group of carols from seven countries, which will be featured during the concert. To close the concert, the audience will be invited to join in carol singing. Clinton Symphony Executive Director Robert Whipple says he's glad to see the orchestra return for its 60th concert season. "It's great to be back after having to cancel last year's events," said Whipple. "It's our third concert of this season, and the audience will be invited to join in carol singing to close the concert." Tickets are available at the door of the venue. Regular adult admission is $20, and all students are admitted free of charge. In addition, a student may bring an accompanying adult for half price. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Clinton Symphony Orchestra, made up of approximately 50 area musicians. The nonprofit arts organization operates on ticket revenue, individual and commercial contributions, grants from foundations, civic organizations and bequests. Upcoming performances by the Clinton Symphony Other events of the 2021-2022 season will include a concert of chamber music Sunday, Jan. 16, A family concert will be Saturday, Feb. 19. The indoor finale of the season will be Saturday, April 30. A free outdoor pops concert will be offered Sunday, June 5. Detailed information is available on the Clinton Symphony's website. Parking Due to ongoing construction projects at Clinton High School, parking is in the lot on the north side of 8th Avenue South. Entrance to the theater is through door A2, to the left of the school's main entrance.

OurQuadCities.com Augustana College to name and introduce next president at Lindberg Center Dec. 7 OurQuadCities.com

Augustana College to name and introduce next president at Lindberg Center Dec. 7

Exactly four months after Davenport's St. Ambrose University welcomed its new president (and second female president), Rock Island's Augustana College will announce and introduce its next president on Tuesday, Dec. 7, in a campus ceremony at the new Lindberg Center. The 11 a.m. event will be livestreamed on the college's Facebook page. Steven Bahls will retire as president of Augustana College effective July 1, 2022, after a notable 19-year career leading the private Rock Island school. Originally planning to depart in July 2021, Bahls delayed his retirement last January in order to lead the college through the challenging years of the pandemic. Steve Bahls will retire July 1, 2022, after leading Augustana for 19 years. Amy C. Novak, EdD, became the 14th president of St. Ambrose University on Aug. 7 and was formally installed on Oct. 1. She assumed leadership of the 138-year-old Catholic Diocesan University at the conclusion of the final day of the 14-year term of Sister Joan Lescinski ’21 (Hon.), CSJ, PhD. A native of South Dakota, before Ambrose, Novak had served as president at Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU), Mitchell, S.D., for eight years, during which the university experienced record enrollment, fundraising, and retention. Amy Novak was inaugurated as the 14th president of St. Ambrose University on Oct. 1. The eighth president of Augustana, Bahls started his tenure here in the summer of 2003. Previously, he was dean at Capital University Law School (Columbus, Ohio), the only law school in the nation affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and served as associate dean and professor at the University of Montana School of Law. Since 2003, the Augustana community has benefited from his passion for the liberal arts, his natural gifts as an explorer and collaborator, and his drive for innovation, according to the college. “Steve’s leadership has driven Augustana to new heights, and he’s done that with a steadfast commitment to growth, to innovative programming, to diversity and to the long-term financial strength of the college,” John Murabito, an alumnus and chair of Augustana’s board of trustees, said in January 2021. Augustana President Steve Bahls on January 25, 2021. “At the end of the day, Steve is all about the students and their experience at Augustana, preparing them to be outstanding global citizens and contributors to society,” he added. “Steve’s impact is far reaching, starting with the 2,400 students on campus right now. And then add all of those who have graduated since he’s been at Augie, and one gets an idea of the impact Steve has had on the countless students whom have benefited from his accomplishments.” Bahls’s eye for growth and creativity can be seen throughout the physical campus, with upgrades totaling over $114 million, including: Swanson Commons, new construction, residence hall in 2006Parkander Residence Center, new construction, student apartments in 2008Evald-Carlsson Hall, transformation, academic building in 2008Thorson-Lucken Field, new athletic facility to accommodate new varsity sports in 2011Old Main, update and remodel in 2013Gerber Center for Student Life, transformation and addition to library in 2013Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex, new and improved facilities in 2013Brunner Theatre Center, transformed space for the benefit of the fine arts in 2016Westerlin Residence Center, renovation completed in 2017Hanson Hall of Science, expansion in 2019Brodahl Building, expansion in 2020Peter J. Lindberg M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance, opened this year The new $18-million Lindberg Center opened Aug. 30, 2021 (photo by Jonathan Turner). The new 52,000-square-foot Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance at Augustana not only stands at Rock Island’s intersection of 7th Avenue and 35th Street, but at a key intersection of academics and athletics. The gleaming $18-million building was celebrated and opened on Aug. 30, 2021, the first day of classes for the 2021-22 school year. The Lindberg Center’s primary objective will be to prepare graduates for health-related careers requiring a major in kinesiology or public health. Kinesiology, derived from the Greek word for movement, “kinesis,” is the study of the mechanics of bodily movements. The new center houses a complementary aquatic center and natatorium, replacing the pool in the adjacent Carver P.E. Center, and bringing with it new teams in men’s and women’s water polo. Augie president Steve Bahls spoke at the grand opening of the new Lindberg Center (on 7th Avenue and 35th Street, Rock Island) on Aug. 30, 2021 (photo by Jonathan Turner). Last New Year's Eve, the college also celebrated completing its ambitious “AUGUSTANA NOW” campaign, for for which Augie raised a total of $133,662,743. “Steve Bahls has cemented himself in the history of the college as the leader to raise the most money to benefit Augustana students,”  said Kent Barnds, executive vice president for external relations and the leader for philanthropy at Augustana. Included on the list of many programs, initiatives and innovations, the campaign funds are being used for are: 167 newly funded scholarshipsBack-to-back national awards for commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion$53.5 million investments in campus construction in last 6 yearsNew majors in data analytics and kinesiology to match high-demand careersNew master’s degree program in speech language pathology Bahls has been a dedicated Quad Citizen as well, serving as board chair of the Genesis Health Systems and the Quad Cities Chamber Foundation. He previously chaired the boards of the Quad Cities Cultural Trust, Putnam Museum, the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the Illowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America and also serves on the board of the Quad City Symphony. He was one of the three original tri-chairs of Q2030, the Quad Cities’ regional action plan. His reach expanded beyond the Quad Cities, chairing the boards of the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities, the CCIW Council of Presidents, the Lutheran Education Conference of North America, and the ELCA Council of Colleges and University Presidents. Augustana has a history of all male presidents, starting with the Rev. Lars Paul Esbjörn, who, having previously served as chair of Scandinavian language and literature at the young Illinois State University in Springfield, opened the Augustana Seminary in a small building in Chicago on Sept. 1, 1860. The college moved to Rock Island in 1875. Its other presidents, before Bahls, were: Tuve Nils Hasselquist (1863-1891)Olof Olsson (1891-1900)Gustav Andreen (1901-1935)Conrad Bergendoff (1935-1962)Clarence Woodrow Sorensen (1962-1975)Thomas Tredway (1975-2003) For more information, visit augustana.edu.

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The New Palace Tavern-Where Old Meets the New in East Moline

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OurQuadCities.com Library offers ways to get into the holiday spirit for free OurQuadCities.com

Library offers ways to get into the holiday spirit for free

Need a little encouragement to get into the holiday spirit? Staff at the Rock Island Public Library want to help. All throughout the month of December, the library is offering several free events to the public — in person and online — to help ease those winter blues. No registration is required to attend these events. Masks are required for all patrons over age 2 when inside the library, Saturday, Dec. 4 This Saturday, stop by the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th St., for family Christmas fun. All ages are welcome to attend the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon in the second-floor Community Room. Enjoy the ambiance of holiday music while participating in a multitude of activities at various craft stations. Make cinnamon ornaments, Perler fuse bead crafts and even holiday cards. Want to give holiday cheer back to the community? Make an extra card or two to donate, which the library will deliver to homebound patrons and senior living residents. Tuesday, Dec. 7 The library's Tuneful Tuesdays event next week will feature holiday music by a small group from the River Bend Bronze Handbell Ensemble noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Community Room of the Downtown Library, 401 19th St. The free music series is made possible by sponsorship from Carol and James Horstmann. Wednesday, Dec. 8 Drop in for a surprise Family Crafternoon 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Rock Island Southwest Library, 9010 Ridgewood Road, to complete a fun holiday craft. The event coincides with the Wednesday early-out day for elementary schools in the Rock Island-Milan School District. On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the library's Teen Services department will offer a grab-and-go craft kit for ages 12 and up. Register via the library's event calendar to reserve a kit to make a felt plush toy. Kits will also be available on a drop-in basis while supplies last. Preregistered and drop-in kits will be available for pickup at Rock Island Library locations while supplies last. Friday, Dec. 10 and 17 An in-person storytime for ages 5 and under with a caregiver is available 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Southwest Community Room of the Southwest Library, 9010 Ridgewood Road. Online library events Tuesdays Storytimes — 10:30 a.m.Teen Book Talks — 3:45 p.m. Fridays Children's Book Talks — 2 p.m. All online events air on Facebook Live first and may be viewed as recordings later via Facebook or YouTube. More services and events are available here or by calling 309-732-READ. Follow the library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for further updates.

OurQuadCities.com QC youth teams showcase team-built robots and innovations at FIRST LEGO League Challenge OurQuadCities.com

QC youth teams showcase team-built robots and innovations at FIRST LEGO League Challenge

Quad-City youth teams will showcase team-built robots and innovations Saturday for a youth robotic competition. The John Deere Pavilion will be the stage as 21 teams participate in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge, an internationally-based robotics competition, hosted by the Quad Cities Engineering & Science Council. Teams, ages 9-14, will participate in STEM programming at the Quad Cities – Moline  qualifier event of  FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League, presenting their excellence in design, programming, research and teamwork in a fun, fast-paced environment. The youth will share their research and prototypes as part of their innovation project for improving transportation to be faster, more reliable, inclusive and sustainable, working to qualify to receive an invitation to the state of Illinois championship in January. Teams represent students from the Brimfield, East Moline, Eureka, Galena, Geneseo, Manlius, Moline, Normal, Orion, Tremont and Williamsfield Illinois communities. The teams will have the opportunity to engage with business and industry professionals, who will serve as event volunteers.  The Quad Cities – Moline qualifier event of FIRST LEGO League is Saturday, December 4 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the John Deere Pavilion, located at 1400 River Drive, Moline.

OurQuadCities.com Muscatine artist on expansive quest to "Paint the Pearl" downtown, with colorful, distinctive murals OurQuadCities.com

Muscatine artist on expansive quest to "Paint the Pearl" downtown, with colorful, distinctive murals

Chris Anderson is almost single-handedly altering the landscape of downtown Muscatine, by painting a slew of eye-catching colorful murals, that not only beautify buildings but honor the city's rich history. The 40-year-old painter is an employee of Pearl City Media, where his latest work involves filming and production. He has worked with the Community Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Muscatine, and the Muscatine Community School District. He's done everything from murals and illustrating children's books, to video production and live broadcasting. Anderson calls his quest to transform buildings with indoor and outdoor murals "Paint the Pearl," in tribute to Muscatine's one-time reputation as "Pearl Button Capital of the World." His first official mural was in 2013 on the back of the National Pearl Button Museum, 117 N. 2nd St. Anderson's first mural on the back of the National Pearl Button Museum, Muscatine. "Since I painted the mural in 2013, I started learning the history of Muscatine, going around town, looking for spent shells, to make buttons," the artist said recently. "I'd clean them, make art out of them, sell at the museum." Anderson has turned old pearl buttons into a variety of items, including bracelets and necklaces, which he also sells at Hy-Vee in Muscatine, 510 E. 6th St. At Hy-Vee, he films a weekday morning show every day at 9 a.m., hosted by Ashley Loveless. Before this week, it was only shown on Facebook Live, but now it airs on cable access, Mediacom channel 3. Pearl City Media is Muscatine’s only full-service media and news organization providing the community with local news and information and advertisers, with a full suite of marketing services. It operates the newspaper and website discovermusicatine.com. Chris Anderson is a 40-year-old Waterloo native who's lived in Muscatine for 15 years. So how did Anderson get into murals, with only an art education in high school? The Waterloo native graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School, attended Kirkwood Community College, and has lived in Muscatine 15 years. “I was kind of like a lot of people, I was a having hard time with life,” he said. “I was trying to find something new to do, to benefit me. What could I do to benefit the long-term, of myself and my community? The whole inspiration behind it is my daughter; I just wanted her to be proud of me.” Anderson’s daughter is Chiara, age 13, and he’s painted about a dozen murals so far. “It’s been a joy,” he said, noting one is inside Jefferson Elementary School, where kids and teachers got involved with the art work. “It was so fun. It’s almost not even work when it’s so much fun,” Anderson said. The mural inside Jefferson Elementary School, 1000 Mulberry Ave. He looks around downtown for deteriorating buildings, or just walls that could use some freshening up and new life. While he usually gets paid for the work, a lot of them he just did for the cost of the paint. “I feel like the pandemic really opened people’s eyes to art, and a lot of places started getting murals,” Anderson said. “It was like they could see the value in public art more, all of a sudden.” The wall behind Pearl City Iowa Realty (at 222 W. 2nd St., which dates from 1856) was looking pretty bad and “now it looks like a million bucks,” he said. Anna Mack-Smith, 60, owner of Pearl City Iowa Realty, has known Anderson a few years, and knew he was trying to get cleaned up, a new lease on life. The mural behind Pearl City Iowa Realty, 222 W. 2nd St. “I could see the potential in him then. He has a lot of artistic qualities,” she said recently. “I recognized he was trying to make himself a better person, somebody that really is trying. He asked for my help. We talked many, many times in the last several years.” “The more he cleaned himself up, became his own person, the more creative he got,” Mack-Smith said, noting she saw some of the murals he'd painted, and when she bought her building four months ago (she rented before), she wanted one too. “I think my mural is the best one. It’s a pretty cool mural,” she said. “I think he’s gotten a lot of attention around town because of his artwork. The longer he does it, the better he gets. I think it’s a big stepping stone. We can be known for these big things.” Mack-Smith (who has a 36-year-old son who lives in Eldridge, and a 2-and-½ year-old grandson) has been a realtor for 20 years, and has lived in Muscatine since she was 13. The painted buildings not only enhance the appearance of each one, but boost the civic pride for the whole city. “Why not use our buildings to beautify our downtown and attract attention?” she asked. “I do think they attract attention; that’s why I did it on my building. I highly respect him and his artwork. It’s really something that adds dimension. There are so many buildings that are allowed crumble and become eyesores.” Muscatine has become a forgotten town for a lot of people, especially non-residents, Mack-Smith said. “We have got a lot to offer; there are so many neat things to do in Muscatine and most people don’t know about them.” “I want to promote Muscatine, to promote the historical factor of Muscatine,” she said. “I think Muscatine is coming back a long way.” The mural behind the Merrill Hotel, 119 W. Mississippi Drive, Muscatine. “Chris is pretty awesome. He’s turned his life totally around, doing what he loves, and making money doing it,” she said. Anderson usually charges $10 to $20 per square foot for his murals. One building, above Ruhl & Ruhl, which is owned by his landlord, will completely wrap around the building, covering thousands of square feet. Each mural takes about three to four weeks to finish, he said. In the winter months, Anderson will concentrate on indoor murals, and painting on canvas. “I really love it,” he said, noting he sells more affordable prints of his art, including $3 postcards at the Pearl Button Museum. Another of his murals is at All American Diner, 2300 Park Ave. Anderson on top of the Ruhl & Ruhl building with his sky mural at the corner of 2nd and Cedar streets, Muscatine. “It feels great -- one of my favorite parts, I live downtown, I go for a walk, and I see people who don’t know I did it, taking pictures. There are stopping cars, people enjoying them. To me, it means it’s working. When I started, I was very apprehensive about the size of the murals. I’m not intimidated anymore.” “I operate the best when somebody is telling me what they’d like to happen,” Anderson said. “I prefer giving the property owner of the building what they want. I will sketch something out and we’ll work out the details. That’s why, with Anna Mack from Iowa Realty, she had certain parameters she wanted to see, and she loves it.” One of Anderson's next projects is a new mural on the Jesus Mission at 508 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine. The wall needs fixing, from water damage. For more information on "Paint the Pearl," click HERE, and you can see more of Anderson's work on his Facebook page.

OurQuadCities.com Clinton Symphony Orchestra is back with its annual holiday program on Dec. 11 OurQuadCities.com

Clinton Symphony Orchestra is back with its annual holiday program on Dec. 11

Clinton Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Holidays with the Symphony” concert is back this year. It’s set for 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11, in Vernon Cook Theater at Clinton High School. Conductor Brian Dollinger has chosen the festive Polonaise from Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve Suite” to open the program. Other music includes selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto,” the overture to the opera “Hansel and Gretel,” and several seasonal pieces by Leroy Anderson, including his popular “Sleigh Ride.” An arrangement of carols from seven countries by Muscatine native Bruce Chase (1912-2001) will be featured on the concert, and the audience will be invited to join in carol singing to close the concert. “It’s great to be back after having to cancel last year’s events,” Robert Whipple, executive director, said in a Friday release. “It’s our third concert of this season, and our audiences have been enthusiastic in welcoming us back.” The orchestra is in its 68th concert season. Tickets are available at the door of the concert. Regular adult admission is $20, and all students are admitted free of charge. In addition, a student may bring an accompanying adult for half-price. Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted at the door. Clinton Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit arts organization, and operates on ticket revenue, individual and commercial contributions, grants from foundations, civic organizations, and bequests. The orchestra includes approximately 50 area musicians. Other events of the season will include a concert of chamber music on Jan. 16, a family concert on Feb. 19, and the indoor finale of the season on April 30. A free outdoor pops concert will be offered on June 5. Detailed information is available on the Symphony’s website at www.clintonsymphony.org. Due to ongoing construction projects at Clinton High School, parking is in the lot on the north side of 8th Avenue South, and entrance to the theater is through door A2, to the left of the school’s main entrance.

OurQuadCities.com Foodie Friday: Stevie's Eatz OurQuadCities.com

Foodie Friday: Stevie's Eatz

This weeks featured 'Foodie Friday' guest is Stevie's Eatz. Chef and owner Stephen Dearborn joined the Local 4 News This Morning team to show some of his BBQ dishes. His menu ranges from brisket to chicken and everything else in between. To learn more about Stevie's Eatz click here.

OurQuadCities.com Linda Cook review: 'Encanto' is enchanting Disney movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda music OurQuadCities.com

Linda Cook review: 'Encanto' is enchanting Disney movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda music

Everything about this musical is enchanting, from its gorgeous colors to its message and, of courses, its tunes. The latest from Disney, “Encanto” is the story of the determined Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz,) who lives in a fantastic world with her family in the mountains of Colombia. Mirabel’s relatives each have a gift – her sister Isabela (Diane Guerrero), for example, can make flowers grow in bunches and a riot of colors with a wave of her hand. Mirabel’s sister Luisa (Jessica Darrow) has incredible strength. As for Mirabel … she doesn’t seem to have any special gift at all. They all live in a beautiful villa, where cracks begin to appear. Mirabel seems to be the only one who notices the villa is falling apart ... and so is the magic within it. Mirabel’s grandmother Alma (María Cecilia Boter) doesn’t want to see what Mirabel tries to point out. Alma also refuses to discuss a family member named Bruno (John Leguizamo) who has vanished. It seems Bruno had visions that didn’t always have happy outcomes. Mirabel thinks there is more to Bruno’s tale, but “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the family sings. So Mirabel sneaks off to find more about her absent relative and what is making the family home fall apart. I’m a fan of the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda – he of “Hamilton” fame – and his music fits right in here. The lyrics are clever, the rhythms are intricate and fun. I know people think of Disney as being family fare. “Encanto” certainly is that. But music aficionados, regardless of their ages, will love it too. "Far From the Tree" Remember to get there early, because you don’t want to miss the beautiful short “Far From the Tree,” about an adult raccoon and a younger one who explore and learn together. 4 stars Running time: One hour and 42 minutes. Rated: PG for mildly adult themes. At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine. Watch the trailer here.

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Superintendents Corner: Moline-Coal Valley School District

On another episode of Superintendents Corner, Dr. Rachel Savage of the Moline-Coal Valley School District stopped in to give an update.

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KWQC-TV6 holds annual Toys for Tots drive Friday

The Marine Corps Quad Cities and volunteers will be accepting new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations.

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

OurQuadCities.com Outdoor music lab at Rock Island elementary school teaches, promotes creative play OurQuadCities.com

Outdoor music lab at Rock Island elementary school teaches, promotes creative play

Students at Ridgewood Elementary School in Rock Island are getting hands-on music education this week. The school opened its outdoor music lab for the first time, and fifth-graders were able to try out the new equipment Thursday. The music lab gives the students and the community the opportunity to explore and create music. "We've had neighborhood friends and parents comment, saying on the weekends — when they were installed last weekend — there were so many families over here making music and and creating their own music in this manner," said Mara Goodvin, Ridgewood general music teacher. The project was funded through donations, and the school says the music lab will be used for both teaching and creative play.

WQAD.com Genesis seeks potential partnership with another health care system WQAD.com

Genesis seeks potential partnership with another health care system

Genesis Health System said it will decide by summer 2022 whether it will partner with another health system or remain independent.

Quad-City Times Illinois-bound span of I-74 bridge now open to traffic Quad-City Times

Illinois-bound span of I-74 bridge now open to traffic

OurQuadCities.com It's open! Traffic moves both ways Thursday night across new I-74 Bridge OurQuadCities.com

It's open! Traffic moves both ways Thursday night across new I-74 Bridge

Traffic flowed both ways across the Interstate 74 Bridge on Thursday night, with the Illinois-bound portion open to drivers. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday by the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Quad Cities communities to celebrate opening the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge to traffic. On Wednesday, officials said the bridge would open soon, with four lanes in each direction and improved safety for commuters. The bridge includes a 14-foot wide bike and pedestrian path with a scenic overlook and connections to existing paths in both Bettendorf and Moline. The project, which cost about $1 billion, is the largest in Iowa state history and includes twin river bridges, new interchanges, ramps, and local road re-configurations to improve mobility and operation for safer and more reliable travel for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. The project is about 88.5% federally funded, with Iowa and Illinois DOTs funding their land-based contracts, respectively, and splitting the cost of the river bridge.The I-74 corridor serves as a primary crossing of the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area, carrying more than 45% of total vehicular traffic across the river. The I-74 River Bridge project is part of a regional strategy for improving access across the Mississippi River.Want to know more? Visit the project website here.

WQAD.com After almost 3 decades of work, I-74 Bridge is fully open for drivers WQAD.com

After almost 3 decades of work, I-74 Bridge is fully open for drivers

After a nearly 30-year project, both directions of the new I-74 Bridge are open to motorists as of late Thursday.

WQAD.com As new bridge opens, old I-74 bridge coming to an end WQAD.com

As new bridge opens, old I-74 bridge coming to an end

Drivers in Bettendorf took one of their last passes over the old I-74 Bridge on Thursday before the span closes for good.

WQAD.com After almost 3 decades of work, I-74 Bridge is fully open for drivers WQAD.com

After almost 3 decades of work, I-74 Bridge is fully open for drivers

After a nearly 30-year project, both directions of the new I-74 Bridge are open to motorists as of December 2.

Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

Lottery numbers drawn Thursday

ILLINOIS LOTTERY

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I-74 Bridge EB Span Opens to Traffic

Eastbound span of I-74 Bridge opens to traffic

WQAD.com As new bridge gets ready to open, old I-74 Bridge set to permanently close WQAD.com

As new bridge gets ready to open, old I-74 Bridge set to permanently close

Drivers in Bettendorf took one of their last passes over the old I-74 Bridge on Thursday before the span closes for good in the coming days.

Quad-City Times Davenport Police Association to hold 19th Annual Toy Drive to benefit domestic violence shelters Quad-City Times

Davenport Police Association to hold 19th Annual Toy Drive to benefit domestic violence shelters

The Davenport Police Association will hold the 19th Annual Christmas Toy Drive and Fundraiser to benefit the Family Resources domestic violence shelters and the families they serve, Family Resources Adopt a Family program, and area child advocate programs.

OurQuadCities.com Coffee shop perks back to business OurQuadCities.com

Coffee shop perks back to business

A coffee shop that was closed for almost two years is now back in business. The owner of The Beanhive in Galesburg decided to close down because of the pandemic. The shop is a popular place for students and artists. Before the shop closed, it featured open-mic nights, and it was a way for artists to showcase their work. After being closed for some time, the owners remodeled the inside of the shop, said Patricia Christianson. "The way that people would come in here and use the space, it just wasn't a practical thing to be open at that time," said Christianson, who was concerned for the safety of her baristas and the customers as well. The Beanhive is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. For more information, visit the shop's Facebook page here.

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Iowa deer are being infected with Covid: What does it mean for hunters?

While Covid cases were peaking among humans in November-December 2020, researchers found over 80% of deer tested in Iowa were also infected.

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Pay It Forward: Galesburg man delivers treats, cleans neighborhood

34-year-old Ryan Crane comes out of his own pocket to support local businesses and clean up around his neighborhood on a weekly basis.

WQAD.com WATCH: Iowa deer are being infected with Covid. What does it mean for hunters? WQAD.com

WATCH: Iowa deer are being infected with Covid. What does it mean for hunters?

While Covid cases were peaking among humans in Nov.-Dec., 2020, researchers found over 80% of deer tested in Iowa were also infected.

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Mickey’s Christmas Yard gives back to the community

All donations at the Christmas display go to the Orion Food Bank.

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Humility Homes opens winter shelter, prepares for influx

The end of the eviction moratorium, high energy bills, and the pandemic are all preparing them to house more.

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Village of Milan issues boil order

The boil order has been issued until further notice due to a water main break.

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CRIME STOPPERS: Man wanted for violating probation

Have you seen him?

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CRIME STOPPERS: Woman wanted on charges in several cities

Have you seen her?

WQAD.com I-74 Bridge gallery WQAD.com

I-74 Bridge gallery

Viewer photos of the new and old I-74 Bridges

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CRIME STOPPERS: Davenport police investigating theft at Menards

Police need your help in identifying these men.

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CRIME STOPPERS: Moline police investigating robbery at hotel

Do you know who this is?

OurQuadCities.com Pints for Tykes provides new bikes for kids OurQuadCities.com

Pints for Tykes provides new bikes for kids

The Quad City Bike Club has partnered with Crawford Brew Works for the Pints for Tykes event to provide new bikes for kids. Tina Metz Anderson from the Quad City Bike Club rode in to Local 4 to talk about this event and how the whole family can get involved. You can find out more about Pints for Tykes by heading over to our website, OurQuadCities.com.

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[PHOTOS] New I-74 Bridge Opening Ceremony, Opens To All Traffic Soon

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Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

Former Eldridge city administrator asks court to overturn council vote that ended her employment

In a petition filed in October, Lisa Kotter argues that council member Brian Dockery should have recused himself from the 3-2 vote. A trial-setting conference, a procedural meeting to decide a trial date, is scheduled for early January.

Quad-City Times Matherville sixth grader got a taste of farming with his own sweet corn plot Quad-City Times

Matherville sixth grader got a taste of farming with his own sweet corn plot

Eleven-year-old Steven Hollins, 6th grader at Matherville Intermediate, learned how to manage a plot of sweet corn last summer. He said it all started when he got a text from his dad asking him if he would like to grow…

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WQAD Throwback: Following a letter through the Moline Post Office in 1995

In 1995, there were some 20,000 addresses and 45 mail routes in Moline. Distribution clerks had to memorize all routes and manually sort each letter daily.

OurQuadCities.com Department mourns retired police officer OurQuadCities.com

Department mourns retired police officer

The Burlington Police Department announces the passing of retired Burlington Police Officer Tom Walz. In a news release, the department announces that Walz “exemplified the epitome of what the Burlington Police Department aspires to offer its citizens.” “Tom's selfless dedication, to the people that he served, was on display every day of his career. This dedication did not end after his service in uniform. Tom continued to brighten everyone's day by providing service to the City as its daily mail courier.” “Away from the City, Tom was the pillar of dedication to volunteerism,” the message says. “His civic involvements were unrivaled and have set an example of what truly giving back to one's community should look like.” Walz began his career with the Burlington Police Department in 1980 and served until his retirement in May of 2016. “There are no words to adequately express what Tom Walz meant to this Department and to this community,” the release says. “This is a loss that will be felt indefinitely. We offer our condolences to all who knew and loved Tom.” Arrangements are pending at Lunning Chapel, Burlington.

WQAD.com WQAD Throwback: Following a letter through the Moline Post Office system in 1995 WQAD.com

WQAD Throwback: Following a letter through the Moline Post Office system in 1995

In 1995, there were some 20,00 addresses and 45 mail routes in Moline. Distribution clerks had to memorize all routes and manually sort each letter daily.

OurQuadCities.com Davenport's Mockingbird on Main debuts new holiday musical, opening Dec. 9 OurQuadCities.com

Davenport's Mockingbird on Main debuts new holiday musical, opening Dec. 9

The new Mockingbird on Main theater, 320 N. Main St., Davenport, is premiering a new homegrown holiday musical, to open Thursday, Dec. 9. When a snowstorm hits and the star-studded cast of a radio show can’t make it into the studio those who are now trapped inside the studio -- the janitor, the writer, the assistant station manager and the young frazzled producer must take over and see that show does indeed go on. "Deck the Halls" is a fast-paced, family-friendly holiday musical featuring such popular hits as "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night," "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," a new version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and much more!  “The show is all fun and fluff and is the perfect getaway from the outside world,” Mockingbird co-founder Savannah Bay Strandin said in a theater release. Creator and co-owner Tristan Tapscott added, “We aren’t trying to reinvent any wheels or reimagine what theater can do; we just wanted to bring something fun and happy to the landscape." "Deck the Halls" stars Doug Kutzli (as Doc, the writer); Gary Talsky (as Elias, the janitor); T.J. Green (as Roy, the producer); and Kira Rangel (Loretta, the assistant station manager). The show was written by Tristan Tapscott (who also directs) and features arrangements by Douglas Kutzli (who most recently teamed up on Circa ‘21’s virtual movie musical, "Big Rock Candy Mountain").  Sponsored by QuadCities.com, "Deck the Halls" will play the Mockingbird stage Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and all tickets are $10, available at TheMockingbirdOnMain.com.

OurQuadCities.com Long-awaited "The Sound of Music" to open Friday at Spotlight Theatre, Moline OurQuadCities.com

Long-awaited "The Sound of Music" to open Friday at Spotlight Theatre, Moline

The hills are finally alive again at Spotlight Theatre, 1800 7th Ave., Moline, as its long-awaited “The Sound of Music” opens Friday night and will run for two weekends. Thanks to COVID, the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical was originally planned to bow in December 2020, but got pushed back a year. The classic – which includes standards like “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” and the title tune – was staged by Circa ’21, Rock Island, in 2014 and Quad City Music Guild, Moline, in 2004. The cast for the new version at the three-year-old Spotlight is headed by Lily Maynard as Maria; Victor Angelo as Captain Georg von Trapp; Chris Tracy as Max Detweiller; Kristen Marietta as Elsa Schrader, and Dolores Sierra as Mother Abbess. Spotlight co-owner Sara Tubbs (she runs the place with husband Brent Tubbs) is doing her first solo directing here since summer 2019’s “Matilda” (she and Brent directed the Spotlight first musical, “Hunchback of Notre Dame” in fall 2018). Spotlight co-owners Brent and Sara Tubbs. They’re using the Scottish Rite Cathedral backdrop that was from “Hunchback” again, and another cathedral drop (left when they took over the historic 1930 building) for the Mother Abbess office. There also are a number of photo projections – including one from Brent Tubbs’ parents, when they did a von Trapp tour in Austria. “I’ve actually never seen the pictures,” Maynard said this week of the immortal scene where Maria twirls around in front of the Alps. “Any time I turn around, it’s a joyous moment, so I’ve never seen the mountains.” Photo projections include for the inside of the Captain’s mansion, the terrace and a cemetery. Spotlight used projections for “Frozen, Jr.,” “Gentleman’s Guide,” and some for the beginning of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” “Sound of Music” was originally planned for December 2020, and Sara was to direct then. “I’ve had lots of time to think about it, that’s for sure,” she said, noting she played Liesl in both high school and college productions. “It’s such a beautiful show – the message, the music. It’s such a classic that we all grew up with,” Tubbs said. “I knew it was a beast to take on. It’s a lot of pressure, because you know the audience is gonna expect certain things when they see ‘The Sound of Music.’” One of the main differences between the 1965 movie and 1959 stage version is the placement of “My Favorite Things.” Instead of during the nighttime storm scene in the film (where Maria comforts the kids with it), the stage musical has Maria sing “Things” early on in the abbey, with Mother Abbess. The scene with the children is Maria doing “The Lonely Goatherd.” “What’s really cool is, you have a couple options with the way the show is with the rights holder,” Tubbs said, noting a duet between Maria and Captain was originally “An Ordinary Couple” in the stage version and the more well-known “Something Good” in the film. Lily Maynard and Victor Angelo in Spotlight's "Sound of Music." Spotlight paid a little extra to do the rights to include “Something Good” in the show. “This cast, we’ve got a lot of new people on stage, which is always exciting,” Tubbs said. “I love working with kids; that’s always been a passion of mine. Usually, I choose to direct shows that have kids in them.” “My Favorite Things” is one of those Christmas favorites that never mentions Christmas, but it’s become a holiday standard partly because people used to watch the movie every year around Christmas, she said. The lyrics also mention sleigh bells, packages tied up with strings, and snowflakes that stay on your nose and eyelashes. Sierra first saw the show in Peoria in 1964 shortly before the classic film (starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer) came out. Then, she was 11. “I remember being hugely excited that the movie was coming out,” she said recently. “ ‘Sound of Music,’ I was just over the moon.” Nuns played by (left to right) Dolores Sierra, Yvonne Siddique, Kristine Oswald, and Katie Griswold.  Sierra called the movie “fabulous,” and loved the stage version (which premiered in 1959) as well. She moved to the Quad Cities in 1987, for a teaching job at Black Hawk College, where she taught speech and broadcasting for 26 years. One of her favorite theater roles was playing Golde in Music Guild’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” in 2005, opposite John VanDeWoestyne as Tevye. Her last stage role was as a nun in “Sister Act” in 2019 at Guild, so it was natural to get “in the habit” again for “Sound of Music.” “I’ve gone from ingenue to mother to nun; I’m not sure where that progression happened,” Sierra said. “At least I got a promotion; before I was just the oldest nun in the convent. Now I’m in charge.” Captain in just his second musical Victor Angelo has been acting since 2014, but this is just his second musical, after “The Fantasticks” at Richmond Hill in Geneseo, in 2016. He’s been in a half dozen plays at RHP – his last one was playing the lead McMurphy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" in fall 2019. Both Angelo and Sierra are making their Spotlight Theatre debuts. He works for Springfield Armory in Geneseo and has three kids (ages 13, 11 and 9). “In general, I wanted to do more musicals,” Angelo said. “The Spotlight is such an awesome theater. I’ve helped on a few shows here.” Sierra has really missed performing for audiences, and she’s happy to have met so many new people with “Sound of Music.” Maynard, second from left, was one of the street urchins in Spotlight's "Little Shop of Horrors" this past fall. Maynard was in the chorus for “Little Shop of Horrors” at Spotlight this fall, and her previous role to that was another iconic Julie Andrews part – as Mary Poppins in a Kewanee summer theater in 2017. “Eliza Doolittle is next,” Maynard said of “My Fair Lady.” The first musical she was ever cast in was “The Sound of Music” in 2001 in Hollywood, Florida, when she was not interested in musical theater, during her sophomore year of high school. She got cast as Mother Abbess, and then her mom moved and she had to go live with her father in Anchorage, Alaska, and never got to do the show. “This is coming full circle here,” she said. “I did just about a musical a year since then.” Sierra said her students used to ask how she got paid, and it’s simply from applause. “Getting paid is nice, but just getting that response from the audience – giving them something you know they’ve enjoyed, to me is payment enough,” she said. Maynard (who’s a children’s instructor and director for Spotlight) works as a nonprofit consultant for Forefront – a statewide association to support nonprofits in Illinois, serving as west-central Illinois regional coordinator. Maria in “Sound of Music” is a dream role for her. “It’s such a beautiful role to sing,” Maynard said. “I think it would have been awesome to be a nun. My favorite thing in musicals – I do love the arias, but I love harmonizing. I just love singing with other people. That’s tradition, that’s my favorite.” Lily Maynard as Maria, singing to the von Trapp kids in "The Sound of Music." Sierra sings in the impressive opening nun number – with about a dozen women, four-part harmony, a cappella, in Latin. “It’s gorgeous,” she said. The cast gets to perform without masks, and during rehearsals, it’s been up to individual people to wear masks (most everyone wears them off stage). The youngest child in the show is 7-year-old Betsy Bergthold, who plays Gretl. “If she doesn’t steal your heart, you don’t have one,” Sierra said. “They’re all great; they’re super talented,” Maynard said of the seven von Trapp kids. “The boys get a little rowdy together. They act like siblings. They bonded really well. They were picking on each other, being playful.” Kurt and Gretl are played by real-life brother and sister, Ben and Betsy Bergthold, who are veterans of Spotlight kids’ shows, and their older sister Bella is also in the cast. Spotlight is using pre-recorded tracks for the performance accompaniment, which has helped cast members rehearse at home. “You can get your timing down,” Sierra said. “Having the tracks, you can practice with them.” “A demanding show” “It’s such a demanding show,” Maynard said. “There’s a lot to tell, and a lot happens. From Maria’s perspective and even the Captain, there are huge changes, and we get like a song to experience that growth. I think that’s been the most challenging for me.” Maria in Act II is written very differently, she added. “Her life is very different by that point, so over intermission, I have to experience a month of human emotion and development.” Maynard has loved singing with the kids. “They’re so stinking cute,” she said. Lily Maynard with Betsy Bergthold, who plays Gretl, in "Sound of Music." Sierrra said she had to adjust singing while wearing the nun wimples (or headpieces). “When you put those on, you don’t realize how they change your singing,” she said. “You’ve got your ears covered, and we were talking about how we can’t hear ourselves, and one of the little girls came up and said, ‘I can hear you Mother Abbess, and you sound beautiful.’ She was so sweet, and they’re so encouraging of each other, and of everybody around them. Sometimes, they’re like mini-grownups.” Angelo said the biggest challenge was mostly juggling work and family commitments with rehearsals, plus finding time to take some dance lessons at QC Sparkle in NorthPark Mall (which he did earlier in the fall). They started “Sound of Music” rehearsals in early October. Memorizing the Captain’s part also was tough, Angelo said. “The music is why I wanted to do the show. I get to sing “Edelweiss’; I love that.” Maynard has mainly been music directing the Spotlight children’s shows, like the recent “Frozen Jr.” She will direct “Beauty and the Beast” and “101 Dalmatians” for kids in the spring. “It’s just been a good experience for me – the first time in a new theater, you don’t know what to expect,” Sierra said. With the show’s sunny optimism, sweetness and light (“Climb Ev’ry Mountain” inspiration and outwitting Nazis), some say it’s too saccharine, but we need that now during the holidays, after a very hard two years, Maynard said. The von Trapp children are played by (left to right) Amber Whitaker, Orion Mack, Kaitlyn Baker, Ben Bergthold, Evyn Hassel, Esther Hoffman, and Betsy Bergthold. “It’s a nice reminder of being thankful for what we have, and that life will take crazy turns,” she said. “Lean on your found families and real families.” Angelo said the Captain does change and soften over the course of the story, but he always maintains his principles. He mostly changes in interactions with his family, getting closer to the kids (literally and figuratively). “It’s been wonderful – the cast and staff have been amazing,” Tubbs said. Two Augustana students have taken leadership roles -- Jon Jaworowski is music director and Michael Tarchala is choreographer. “Everybody’s doing their part and doing it so well,” she said. “It makes it just a dream for a director. It’s been fantastic. I’m excited for people to come and see it.” Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4 (plus Dec. 10-11), and 2 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 12. Tickets are $20, available at thespotlighttheatreqc.com or by calling 309-912-7647.

OurQuadCities.com Davenport manufacturer to grant $5,000 STEM award to area graduate OurQuadCities.com

Davenport manufacturer to grant $5,000 STEM award to area graduate

Davenport-based manufacturer American Power Systems, Inc. (APS) has opened up applications for its $5,000 award for new college entrants pursuing education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship is a merit- and need-based, one-time gift, named in honor of the late Thomas Keenan Evans, an area engineer and entrepreneur who founded APS in 2006. The award was created in 2017 to encourage bright, creative young people to achieve and excel and to help them change the world for the better. APS funds the scholarship. To be eligible to apply, a student must be graduating in 2022 from a school located in Bettendorf, Davenport, East Moline, Eldridge, Moline, Pleasant Valley or Rock Island. Additionally, the student must plan to enroll for the first time into an accredited college program in 2022 with a major or specific focus in a science, technology, engineering and/or math discipline. The following required submission materials are available here: Application formScholarship essay requirementsReference letter guidelines Deadline to apply is noon, February 28, 2022. For more information about the scholarship, click here or here. Questions may also be emailed here.

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The Village of Milan under a boil order until further notice

Officials say residents experiencing water loss on Bruce Ave from 4th St to 6th Street in Milan are advised to boil any water before use or consumption until further notice.

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Milan boil order

According to a press release from the Village of Milan Water Department, a boil order was issued until further notice for residents experiencing water loss on Bruce Ave from 4th St to 6th Street. This is due to a water main break. (Google Maps) Any businesses with a food license affected by the water being turned off (restaurants, taverns or any eating/drinking establishments) should contact Misty Sierens, Sanitarian, at the Rock Island County Health Department at (309) 558-5842 (Misty Sierens-sanitarian) must be notified.

WQAD.com Pay It Forward: Galesburg man delivers treats, cleans community WQAD.com

Pay It Forward: Galesburg man delivers treats, cleans community

34-year-old Ryan Crane supports local businesses and cleans up around his neighborhood on a weekly basis.

WQAD.com 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 with Disc Replay WQAD.com

12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 with Disc Replay

Enter to win a Super Nintendo Classic from Disc Replay on wqad.com/contests by 11:59 a.m. Dec. 4.

WQAD.com 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1 with Davenport Guns WQAD.com

12 Days of Christmas: Day 1 with Davenport Guns

Enter to win training classes and a club membership from Davenport Guns on wqad.com/contests by 11:59 a.m. Dec. 3.

OurQuadCities.com Top Christmas episodes in the QCA and beyond OurQuadCities.com

Top Christmas episodes in the QCA and beyond

The Christmas spirit is all around here in the QCA - the lights are up, the tree is trimmed, the presents are wrapped - but what's missing? How about a Christmas episode of your favorite TV show? We all probably have our favorite episodes, but what shows are top for holiday enjoyment? The USDish PR Team wanted to find out, so they calculated the top 15 by looking at IMDb rating and viewership numbers. To determine what each state was watching during Christmastime, they measured search volume by state. (graphic courtesy of USDish) Which TV shows are Illinois and Iowa tuning into for reruns of their favorite Christmas episodes? The Quad Cities are separated by state lines, and both states were separated by their favorites. Illinois gets into the holiday spirit by watching Christmas episodes from The Simpsons the most. The Christmas episode that tops with views is "Marge Be Not Proud." In Iowa, viewers favored The Office, and the episode "Christmas Party" was the top pick overall. Here's a list of the top-searched shows in the survey: (graphic courtesy of USDish) According to the study here are some interesting findings regarding Christmas episodes: Christmas and medical dramas might not go hand in hand, but House scored 5 out of the top 15 episodes.Christmas shows had an average time of 40 minutes, which is longer than the running times for the most popular Thanksgiving and New Year’s episodes.The Office snagged two episodes in the top 15, but it had the highest search volume than any other show. Did your favorite shows and episodes make the list?

OurQuadCities.com Junior League Little Black Dress Initiative helps tackle a big problem in the Quad Cities OurQuadCities.com

Junior League Little Black Dress Initiative helps tackle a big problem in the Quad Cities

Jackie Celske not only started a new job Monday, but the former Junior League of the Quad Cities president started a new marketing campaign to address women's mental health. A public relations "arsonist" with LeClaire-based MindFire Communications, Celske is wearing the same black dress every day for five days (washing it each night), with a button that says, "Ask Me About My Dress." It's part of the Junior League's second-annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) -- to do more to normalize discussions on mental health, increase access to critical services in the Quad Cities, and foster a more intentional awareness of how gender biases impact mental health treatment. About half of the 30 active Junior League members are participating in LBDI, to raise $1,750 for the Vera French Foundation and its Women's Mental Health Endowment Fund, to help with long-term mental health services for women in the QC area. Jackie Celske is former board president of Junior League of the Quad Cities, for which she's volunteered the past five years (photo by Jonathan Turner). “We have women in Junior League who are working remotely and choosing to put the outfit on every day,” Celske said Wednesday. “We all take a picture every day, and that’s the accountability. We all change our profile picture to have a photo with the ‘Ask Me About My Dress’ button. I promise you, it starts a lot of conversations.” “That’s the whole point, really to normalize conversation about mental health,” she said, noting each member posts the same information about the campaign on social media with a new photo every day. Junior League has partnered with Vera French for about a year. The fundraising goal was given to Junior League by the mental health center, to help them fill their gaps, Celske said. “As a woman, most people assume you have a little black dress in your closet, so the concept was let’s not recreate the wheel – let’s grab something we all have in common,” Celske said. “It doesn’t have to be a dress; it has evolved over the years. It’s more what you feel comfortable in. Let’s all wear the same color and wear it consistently for five days to catch people’s attention, start those conversations and raise awareness.” One member has been wearing a black T-shirt that says, “The future is female,” she said. “We’re all kind of making it our own, the same way we do the social posts. Have a consistent message each day, but we put our own spin on it.” Junior League of the Quad Cities is part of a worldwide organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing potential of women and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Little Black Dress started in London The Little Black Dress effort was founded by the Junior League in London in 2014, as a social media campaign to bring awareness to issues that affect women in poverty. Every Junior League around the world (there are about 275 chapters) chooses their own issue to tackle. The Little Black Dress Initiative launched in London by Junior League in 2014. It started in 2020 in the Quad Cities, and raised $1,700 for the QC Haven of Hope (exceeding a $1,200 goal), as part of the Junior League strategic plan to focus on women’s health – including physical, mental, social and financial health, Celske said. Last year, the funds went to cover the cost of transportation for women served by the shelter to get to mental health appointments, such as bus passes and Uber gift cards. She’s been part of Junior League for about five years, and was the local president last year. During the pandemic, Junior League has not slowed down, since a lot of their work can be done online and from anywhere, Celske said. Last year, when many people were struggling financially, the fact that Junior League surpassed its fundraising goal was “really empowering and encouraging for us, and that’s what got us excited o do it again this year and find a new partner," she said. Her new MindFire role has worked out perfectly with the new LBDI campaign. “I think for me, moving into a PR role, it’s been cool to prove that I can run a cause marketing campaign; I can do these things,” Celske said. Women face increased mental health risks Just identifying as a woman in society raises risks for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and it impacts the way therapists treat you, she said. There is a lot of research on unconscious gender bias in mental health treatment. “We can really show the need for the mental health endowment fund that Vera French has,” Celske said. The goal is to become more aware of biases and make sure everyone is being treated equally and has access to proper care, she said. “In the last wo years, what we’ve seen is more women being in double roles – where they’re working and serving in caretaker roles. With the pandemic, that magnified everything. There’s now a disproportionate number of women who are more restricted in the time they have, the financial resources they have.” The pandemic alone took a huge toll on everyone’s mental health, Celske said, noting United Way Quad Cities found that a majority of Quad Citizens ranked mental health as their top concern during COVID. “That’s huge,” she said. Denise Beenk is chief operating officer for Vera French Foundation. “The pandemic has really emphasized these roles – women are often tapped to be caregivers, to be sisters, to be mothers, to be wives. It’s been very difficult, with homeschooling children, with taking care of elderly parents, with really expecting to increase those roles – which are already stressful," Denise Beenk, Vera French chief operating officer, recently told Local 4’s Loving Living Local. “So we’ve seen a rise in anxiety and depression, which women are already more prone to in normal times, and the pandemic has really exacerbated some of those stresses," she said. For Vera French, they’re just trying to grow the fund (invested with the Quad Cities Community Foundation), to always have resources dedicated to researching mental health needs for women, monitoring how they’re evolving, and offering financial assistance where needed, Celske said. That can include for virtual and in-person treatment, or support groups. “We’re leaving the strategy for that up to the Vera French Foundation,” she said. “We feel, Junior League is a women’s health organization, and if we’re trying to build community leaders, we feel like we have a responsibility to stand up for what women here need.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Female gender is a significant predictor of being prescribed mood-altering psychotropic drugs.” Vera French believes in treating the whole person, as per their founder, Dr. Vera French, making the treatments received extremely valuable to those in need. “Unipolar depression, predicted to be the second-leading cause of global disability burden by 2020, is twice as common in women," according to WHO. The Women’s Health Endowment Fund through Vera French has a goal to create and grow a permanent and reliable source of spendable interest to help fund women’s mental health initiatives in perpetuity. Denise Beenk of Vera French and Junior League president Kirby Marcure recently spoke with Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw on WHBF's Loving Living Local. In 1982, the Scott County Community Mental Health Center was renamed in honor of the agency’s executive director from 1968 to 1980, Dr. Vera (French) Bates. Under her tenure, she marshaled the QC community to build a state-of-the-art community mental health center at 1441 W. Central Park Avenue in Davenport. This facility opened in 1971 and just celebrated in 2021 its 50th anniversary serving those in need in our community. Dr. French passed away in 2002, but her core values and belief in treating the whole person remain central to the work of the agency. Each year, the 200+ employees serve approximately 7,500 to 8,000 people. The vast majority of Vera French services are reimbursed through Iowa Medicaid. Their service area is primarily Scott County, and while 51% of the Scott County population is female, over 58% of Vera French’s clients are women. They are a cross-section of our community, with many clients living at or in poverty. How you can help Junior League Here is how you can give to the Little Black Dress Initiative: Via PayPal to JuniorLeagueQC@gmail.comChecks can be made out to Junior League of the Quad Cities, PO Box 1125, Bettendorf, IA 52722 Another project Junior League did last year and will continue next spring is a women’s hygiene drive, Celske said. Last year, they helped collect feminine hygiene products for local high school students. Junior League will partner with the YWCA this spring to serve their clientele. Each member doesn’t have a personal fundraising goal for the LBDI, she said. “A lot of times with the power of social media, you don’t know who is reaching who.” For more information, visit Junior League's Facebook page, or the Vera French website.

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I-74 Bridge to open ‘this week’

All new ramps, including the on-ramp at Grant St and U.S. 67 in Bettendorf and the off-ramp to River Drive in Moline will be open, officials say.

OurQuadCities.com Galesburg Stuff the Bus success, 2,500 items donated OurQuadCities.com

Galesburg Stuff the Bus success, 2,500 items donated

The City of Galesburg's Stuff the Bus event collected non-perishable food items, diapers and wipes throughout the month of November for the FISH Food Pantry and Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank. The Strength Collective, Save-A-Lot, Hy-Vee, and Walmart all joined in the effort by collecting donations and allowing the bus to be parked on their property.  Donations to the Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank were among the 2,500 items collected at the Galesburg Stuff the Bus event (photo courtesy of Mary Foutch, Transit Assistant, City of Galesburg) Thanks to the generosity of donors, Stuff the Bus event generated a total of 2,500 items, which were donated to the FISH Food Pantry and Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank. For more information on these organizations, click here.

OurQuadCities.com ImpactLife seeking blood donors to help replenish emergency supplies OurQuadCities.com

ImpactLife seeking blood donors to help replenish emergency supplies

Now more than ever, your blood donation can help save a life. Because of responding to the recent school shooting at a Michigan high school, local blood supplies for ImpactLife have dwindled. According to a press release from ImpactLife, the organization "has provided units of red blood cells to help support blood inventory needs in Michigan following this week’s tragic shooting at Oxford High School. The request for outside support was made by a member of Blood Centers of America, or BCA, and a provider to hospitals in the affected region north of Detroit, Michigan." “Following a mass transfusion incident, hospitals need to replace units of blood that were used in the initialemergency response,” Mike Rasso, Director, Sales and Inventory for ImpactLife, said. “The type O-positive red blood cells we shipped to our colleagues in Michigan will help replenish the local blood supply in the affected region.” Because of the increased need, ImpactLife is urging donors to schedule appointments at ImpactLife donor centers or mobile blood drives to help ensure the ongoing availability of blood components for hospitals and to help meet emergency needs that may arise locally or around the country. To schedule an appointment, click here or use the ImpactLife mobile app. Donors may also schedule at (800) 747-5401.

OurQuadCities.com Free HIV testing being offered at NorthPark Mall this weekend OurQuadCities.com

Free HIV testing being offered at NorthPark Mall this weekend

Monday was World AIDS Day, and the Scott County Health Department is shedding light on HIV by offering free testing this weekend. Those looking to get tested for HIV can do so 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at NorthPark Mall, 320 West Kimberly Road, Davenport. HIV testing is also available at the health department. More information is here.

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Unvaccinated Germans to be excluded from nonessential stores and venues amid COVID surge

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said people who aren't vaccinated will be excluded from nonessential stores and venues, while the country considers a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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Seeking partner: Genesis looking to collab with another health care system

Genesis Health System said it will decide by summer 2022 whether it will partner with another health system or remain independent.

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Get free diapers, feminine hygiene products Dec. 16 in Rock Island

Hiney Heroes is partnering with the Rock Island County Health Department this month for another diaper drive. Those in need of diapers are invited to pick them up 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at the health department, 2112 25th Ave., Rock Island. There is a limit of 50 diapers per child, and the child must be present in the vehicle during the time of pickup. Diapers in sizes newborn to 6 will be handed out, and period kits with feminine hygiene products will also be available. No registration is necessary — just show up. Items will be given away until supplies last. RSVP to the diaper drive on Facebook to get a reminder the day of the event.

OurQuadCities.com Handicapped Development Center participants recognized with achievement awards OurQuadCities.com

Handicapped Development Center participants recognized with achievement awards

The Handicapped Development Center (HDC) held its Recognition Dinner November 30 at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport. According to a press release, achievement awards were presented to participants in each of HDC’s program areas who have attained their goals, increased their abilities, and put forth extraordinary effort.  The Handicapped Development Center held its Recognition Dinner November 30 According to the release, here are the award recipients: Amber Schebler Amber Schebler earned the Employment Services Achievement Award for her willingness to assist with anything and to lend a hand to anyone.  She recently attained her goal to land a new job in the retail business.   Jim Grove Jim Grove earned the Personal Independence Services Achievement Award for his welcoming attitude and eagerness to participate.  Jim adjusted well to the unusual circumstances of the past year and displayed a positive attitude throughout the challenges. Nate Sanders Nate Sanders was the Community Employment Services Award recipient.  Nate began a new job near the beginning of the pandemic, but he has not missed a day since he started.  Nate works cooperatively with his co-workers and supervisors and has proven to be a valuable and committed employee.  Rhonda Taylor The Residential Center Award recipient was Rhonda Taylor.  Rhonda had a very challenging year that tested her strength.  She persevered and came through her ordeal to enjoy the things in life she had previously relished. Barbara Schulz Barbara Schulz was the Community Residential Services Award recipient.  Barbara shows kindness and a thoughtful manner to all she encounters.  She works to achieve her goals and has become increasingly more independent in her living situation. The mission of the Handicapped Development Center is to passionately advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities by creating opportunities for them to succeed, to achieve, to grow, and to be happy. For more information, click here.

OurQuadCities.com Dawn Schmitt, past interim boss at WQPT PBS, named new general manager OurQuadCities.com

Dawn Schmitt, past interim boss at WQPT PBS, named new general manager

Dawn Schmitt has been named the general manager at WQPT (the Quad Cities PBS station) at Western Illinois University, effective Dec. 1.Schmitt has served as the interim general manager since January 2019. In this role, she is responsible for the station's strategic plan, developing new partnerships with the station, working with donors and other members of the general public, scheduling programming and managing the station's grants. She also continues to serve as WQPT's senior business manager, a position she has held since September 2010. In this role, Schmitt is responsible for maintaining the station's financial records, preparing the station's annual budget, ensuring compliance with federal and state agencies and developing the station's internship program. Before joining WQPT, Schmitt was the senior accounting clerk for IPCS Wireless in Geneseo from 2006-2010. She has also worked as an accounting clerk with IPCS in Davenport (2005-2006).  "Including her most recent role as interim general manager, Dawn brings several years of experience and a dedication to the mission of public television that positions her to lead WQPT into the future," Kristi Mindrup, assistant vice president, academic affairs and Quad Cities Campus administrator for WIU, said in a release. "As permanent director and general manager, Dawn will lead WQPT initiatives and collaborations that connect viewers in the region to national and local education, entertainment and cultural programming; and educational outreach to Quad Cities area youth, educators, and schools." Schmitt earned her master's degree from the University of Illinois-Springfield and her bachelor's degree from Culver-Stockton College. WQPT PBS serves more than 800,000 residents in eastern Iowa and western and north-central Illinois. The station has been a public media service of WIU since 2010. What began as a vision by a small group of dedicated citizens in 1983, with just four hours of daily programming, now provides viewers access to programming delivered across open-air signals, cable/dish providers and on-demand LIVE and on-demand digital delivery. In addition to the primary public television channel, WQPT also broadcasts a secondary channel, Deutsche Welle. For more information, visit www.wqpt.org.

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WQAD.com Genesis Health says it's looking to partner with another health care system WQAD.com

Genesis Health says it's looking to partner with another health care system

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