Civic News & Info
Grassley Nominates Young Iowans to U.S. Service Academies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 16 December 2010 15:36

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today said that he has nominated outstanding young Iowans to serve in the United States service academies.

“Nominating students to the service academies gives me the opportunity to see some of the highest caliber young men and women our state has to offer.  Every year I’m impressed with these young Iowans who are interested in serving their county,” Grassley said. “I’m confident that these nominees will represent our state well, and I’m happy to nominate them.”

Grassley nominates several young Iowans each year for a select few spots.  Each academy then selects students based on the number of vacancies for the 2011-2012 school year. Often, because of the high quality of nominations from Iowa, several students are selected to attend each academy.

Grassley said each of the Iowa students who applied for academy nominations were exceptional and he encouraged eligible students to consider submitting applications in the future.  “The academies are some of the best options in our country for a higher education,” said Grassley.

Grassley will issue announcements when appointments to the academies are offered.


Here are Grassley’s nominations.


U.S. Air Force Academy
Dylan Bechen, Woodbury Central High School, Moville

Daniel Deakins, West Harrison Community School, Mondamin

Daniel Eichman, Dulwich College (Beijing), Dubuque

Brett Heithusen, Williamsburg High School, Williamsburg

Isaac Kinrade, Maquoketa High School, Maquoketa

Felix Knutson, Hubbard

Peighton MacLeod, University High School, Cedar Falls

Jesse Phillips, North Mahaska High School, New Sharon

Alec Stenzel, Valley High School, Cumming

Mackenzie VanDenBerg, West High School, Waterloo

U.S. Military Academy
Shawn Burrows, Bondurant-Farrar High School, Bondurant

Charles Godwin, Exira High School, Exira

Levi Horsley, Carroll High School, Carroll

Travis Mallo, Mason City High School, Mason City

Jedidiah McCoy, Climbing Hill

Thomas McGuire, Gilbert High School, Ames

Kalie Plasier, Randolph Macon Academy (Front Royal, VA), Sioux Center

Sean Raes, Ballard High School, Slater

Caleb Titus, Danville High School, West Burlington

Wyatt VandeVoort, MOC-Floyd Valley High School, Orange City

 

U.S. Naval Academy
Erik Bergstrom, Johnston High School, Johnston                      

Andrew Chudzik, City High School, Iowa City

Morgan Clutter, Indianola High School, Indianola

James Cox, Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids

Mary Dougherty, Bishop Heelan High School, Sioux City

Sarah Eikenberry, Roosevelt High School, Des Moines

Andrew Foster, West High School, Waterloo

Joseph Gallet, Iowa State University, Washington High School (Cedar Rapids), Atkins

Tyler Husar, Muscatine High School, Muscatine

Knute Klinker, South O’Brien High School, Primghar

Scott Pate, Clarke Community High School, Osceola

Alex Peschang, Waverly-Shell Rock High School, Waverly

Andrew Peterman, Bettendorf High School, Bettendorf

Andrew Pick, Dowling High School, Clive

Kristin Reichert, Indianola High School, Indianola

John Russell, St. Albert High School, Council Bluffs

Conner Sprague, Wayne Community High School, Derby

Jakob Stoner, Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls

Colton Van’t Hof, Sioux Center Community, Sioux Center

Daniel Yehieli, Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls

 

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Tobias Gassman, Ames High School, Ames

Miranda Walz, Central High School – Elkader, Elkader

 

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Rock Island Announces Online Survey to Seek Public Input on Budget PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jennifer Fowler   
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 13:26

The City of Rock Island is seeking the views of Rock Island residents on the proposed 2011–2012 General Fund budget. City departments have prepared options to help close a $1.1 million gap in the budget for next year. In addition to the series of public meetings being held, citizens can now register their opinions on the options online at www.rigov.org.

The online survey asks citizens to agree, disagree, or no opinion on each of the 37 options. At the end of the survey, citizens can provide any additional comments or suggestions.

Options being considered range from keeping City vehicles longer before they are replaced to eliminating a police officer with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG). The options also include an increase in the property tax rate and parking fees and fines.

City Manager John Phillips noted, “Not all of the options will be needed to eliminate the difference between the projected revenue and expenses for next year, but it is clear that difficult choices will need to be made by the Mayor and City Council.”

City staff has been working on budget planning since September and closed the budget gap from $2.4 million to the $1.1 million level. Three positions have been eliminated and budget cuts have been made in training, supplies, and services. Phillips noted that most local governments are facing challenging times due to decreasing revenues and increasing costs.

Responses from citizens will be shared and reviewed by the Mayor and City Council over the next 60 days. The budget is scheduled for adoption in March 2011 and the City’s fiscal year begins on April 1, 2011.

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Renaissance Rock Island Announces 2010 Hard Hat Award Recipients PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Carl McClaskey   
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:41

Renaissance Rock Island hosted the 22nd Annual Hard Hat celebration today at the new Comedy Sportz. The event is designed to recognize investment in the community and thank those who have helped strengthen Rock Island. The organizations of Renaissance Rock Island - Development Association of Rock Island (DARI), Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH), and The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District (The District) – are pleased to present the following awards.

Golden Brooms - Golden Brooms are awarded for outstanding maintenance.

§  Big Catz House of Chrome

Located on the corner of First Avenue and 16th Streets in Rock Island, Big Catz House of Chrome receives more than their share of traffic. Tending not only to their existing property, the owners work to improve and maintain the landscape of surrounding parking lots, sidewalks and green space.

§  Illinois Casualty Insurance

Having just celebrated their 60th Anniversary, Illinois Casualty Insurance, located at 225 - 20th Street, consistently maintains their property to spotless perfection.

Golden Paintbrush - New in 2010, the Golden Paintbrush is awarded for outstanding painting improvements.

§  El Patron Bar & Grill

Step into this establishment, which opened in March of this year, and you feel as though you have entered another country. No surface has been left untouched, with hand painted original murals throughout.

§  Phil Scott

A lot of paint and imagination went into painting the wall of an adjoining property to create an undersea view for patrons of Cabana’s outdoor patio. This larger than life aquatic mural can be seen by passers-by as well, enhancing the landscape along Fourth Avenue.

§  Regalia Manufacturing

Located at 2018 Fourth Avenue, and family owned since 1897, Regalia Manufacturing recently repainted the entire façade of their historic building.

§  Fanth Curry Home Improvement Company

Located at 4515 - 6th Avenue, Fanth Curry sits at the gateway to Rock Island. Extensive exterior painting has improved the look of this business, and offers a much improved first impression.

Golden Hammers - Golden Hammers are awarded for outstanding business investment.

§  RILCO – Rock Island Lubricants

The Golden Hammer was awarded to RILCO for brush removal, cleanup and concrete work. Located at 1320 - 1st Street RILCO also underwent a major expansion project.

§  Realm Wellness Spa

A new business that opened in March 2010, located at 150 - 16½ Street, Realm Wellness Spa offers a wide array of spa services, a natural juice bar and other wellness services. Since their opening, Realm Wellness Spa has expanded both in space and services.

§  Lundgren Chiropractic

Located at 2965 and 3012 - 13th Avenue, Lundgren Chiropractic updated 3 buildings with painting, signage, awnings and lighting, creating a cohesive look.

§  Mainstream Commercial Group Ltd. - for Watchtower Plaza

Located on 11th Street, Watchtower Plaza repaired the existing parking lot and applied new asphalt, a major project with noticeable impact. In addition, management has been diligently working to fill spaces.

§  Dial Properties – for Rock Valley Plaza

Located at 4800 Blackhawk Road, Rock Valley Plaza has a new front façade, a major upgrade

§  Lundgren Chiropractic

Located at 2965 and 3012 - 13th Avenue, Lundgren Chiropractic updated 3 buildings with painting, signage, awnings and lighting, creating a cohesive look.

§  City Limits Saloon and Grill

This property has undergone major exterior work, including decks and a new addition. Located at 4514 - 9th Street, City Limits recently completed this work and is now open for business.

§  Bill’s Moving & Storage

Bill’s Moving & Storage added foam insulation, coping and EFIS, greatly improving the facility and property value located at 104 - 10th Street.

Green Hammers - New for 2010, Green Hammers are awarded for outstanding business investment utilizing a “green” initiative.

§  Steve’s Old Time Tap

A long time Rock Island establishment recently installed new, energy efficient windows and dramatically improved the appearance of the façade with new awnings. Located at 223 - 17th Street.

§  Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tavern

A new façade , new awnings and new “green” windows and door are just some of the recent improvements to this business, which has been working on several improvements over the past few years.

§  Klauer Heating & Air Conditioning

Three commercial buildings have been installed with new windows and doors. Many of the upgrades to these buildings are energy efficient.

Mayor & City Council Trophy

The Mayor & City Council’s Trophy is awarded for the most strategic new investment.

Finalists:

  • Rock Island Center for Math and Science

Located at the former Villa de Chantal property, this 64,000 square foot building holds 550 students from pre-K through 6th grade. The facility includes a science lab, state of the art technology, a community room, music room , media center and production room, and separate gymnasium and cafeteria. 

The school is situated in the heart of Rock Island, on almost 10 acres of wooded nature trails. It is a place where creative, innovative ideas are encouraged to challenge students and make learning exciting, where teachers can be flexible in meeting students’ needs. It is a place where parents and teachers are partners in helping their students to learn and grow.

  • Rock Island Hydroelectric Plant

With an investment of $2.2 million dollars, The City of Rock Island rehabilitated an aging powerhouse that now offers significant environmental benefits for all. City utility customers and taxpayers will benefit directly in the future due to lower costs for the electricity needed to operate city facilities. The Rock Island Hydroelectric Plant operates as an enterprise fund, like the city’s water and sewer utilities. 95% of its revenue is earned by selling electricity to the largest City-owned users, such as the water and sewage treatment plants. The remainder is earned by selling excess electricity to Mid-American Energy.

Winner:

  • Schwiebert Riverfront Park

Officially opened in July of this year,  this 1/5 of a mile long park is the former site of the Jumer’s Casino Rock Island riverboat gaming operation and National Guard Armory building.  The new demountable flood protection wall provides continued protection when necessary, while maintaining an unencumbered view of the Mississippi River. The main stage area and great lawn mimics the former Armory Building footprint.  In keeping with the RiverVision Plan, Schwiebert Riverfront Park has reconfigured urban public open space into a park-like setting that includes a state of the art playground, interactive water feature and performance stage that  are sure to improve the quality of living in Rock Island. 

CC Wilson Trophy for the Most Dedicated – Kevin Koski

Kevin Koski has served on the Renaissance Rock Island Exec Board for the past 17 years. With a goal of making Rock Island a better place to work, live and play, Kevin’s own family is a testament to the success of his efforts. His children returned to Rock Island and have made it their home.

He has a proven track record that includes being a vital force in the clean-up of discarded tires for many years. His dedication and contribution to the betterment of the community has earned Kevin this year’s award for being the most dedicated DARI member. 

Mo Payton for the Volunteer of the Year – Jan Masamoto

Jan Masamoto has served on countless boards and committees, including DARI and GROWTH as well as her current role as Chairman of The District Board of Directors.  Jan is intelligent, tireless, entrepreneurial, passionate and well respected throughout the Quad Cities. In addition to running her own company, JTM Concepts, Jan does more than her part to support many charitable organizations throughout the community.

The Renaissance Rock Island Vision Award – John Phillips 

John Phillips has the vision necessary to move forward.  In his role as City Manager, John Phillips has devoted more than 20 years with a vision and a single purpose -the betterment of the city of Rock Island. Through leadership, hard work, attention to detail, and an unwavering commitment, John has steadfastly worked to make this community the best it can be.

 
City of Rock Island Hosts Four Public Budget Meetings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jennifer Fowler   
Thursday, 09 December 2010 08:40
The City of Rock Island will be seeking the views of Rock Island residents on the proposed 2011–2012 General Fund budget. City departments have prepared options to help close a
$1.1 million gap in the budget for next year.

Options being considered range from keeping City vehicles longer before they are replaced to eliminating a police officer with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG). The options also include an increase in the property tax rate and parking fees and fines. These and other suggestions are included in a report that will be presented at each of four public meetings (attached). The meeting schedule is noted below:

Thursday, December 9 at 9 a.m. at the Establishment Theater/Comedy Sportz, 220 19th St.
Thursday, December 9 at 6 p.m.  at the Establishment Theater/Comedy Sportz, 220 19th St.
Tuesday, December 14 at 3 p.m. in the Community Room, Downtown Library, 401 19th St.
Tuesday, December 14 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room, Downtown Library, 401 19th St.

City Manager John Phillips said that those attending the meetings will have the chance to indicate their preference for the actions that should be taken to balance the City’s General Fund budget. “Not all of these actions will be needed to eliminate the difference between the projected revenue and expenses for next year, but it is clear that difficult choices will need to be made by the Mayor and City Council.”

 
Governor Quinn Names New Executive Director of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 06 December 2010 14:13
Eileen Mackevich Previously Headed National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
SPRINGFIELD – December 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Eileen R. Mackevich as the new executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).  Mackevich is the former executive director of the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
“Eileen Mackevich’s proven track record and work coordinating the nation’s observance of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday make her the best person to oversee one of the most popular presidential museums in the nation,” said Governor Quinn. “I thank Director Jan Grimes for her service as museum’s interim acting director, as well as her continued work as director of the state’s Historic Preservation Agency.”
Mackevich previously served as executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, was co-founder and president of the Chicago Humanities Festival and spent 18 years as a broadcast journalist and talk show host on Chicago Public Radio. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by Dominican University and Lincoln College, and is invested as a Member of the British Empire.
“It is an honor to be appointed to direct this institution that honors a man who is an inspiration and guiding light for our nation and the world,” said Mackevich. “Lincoln draws out the best from all classes and political persuasions, and he binds us together as a people and as a nation. I look forward to working with the Library and Museum’s talented and hardworking staff to attract many more people to Springfield to experience the real Abraham Lincoln.”
Mackevich earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, holds a master’s degree in British history from Northeastern Illinois University, and has completed additional graduate course work in British history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After conducting an in-depth interview process of several nationally-renowned historians and museum professionals, Mackevich was the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Trustees for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s (IHPA). IHPA Director Jan Grimes has been serving as interim acting director of the ALPLM since 2008.
“The members of the board were deeply impressed with Eileen Mackevich’s strong vision to ensure the continued success of an already wonderful institution,” said Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Chair Sunny Fischer. “Rarely have we read such glowing references from a wide variety of people in the field. She has a national and global network that will clearly help to increase awareness about Lincoln and the Museum.”
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum has welcomed 2.5 million visitors since opening in April 2005. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, adjacent to the Museum, is the state’s chief genealogical and historical research facility. Its collections of more than 15 million items are available to researchers of all ages. Visit www.presidentlincoln.org for more information about the Museum and Library as well as exhibits and special events at both facilities.
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