Sports & Recreation
Governor Quinn Tours Mud-to-Parks Site in Chicago PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brooke Anderson   
Friday, 12 July 2013 14:43

Innovative Project Turns Illinois River Silt into Chicago Lakefront Park

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today visited an old steel mill site to showcase the final phase of the innovative Mud-to-Parks program, which makes use of reclaimed topsoil dredged from the Illinois River to create a new park near Lake Michigan. Mud-to-Parks is a component of Governor Quinn’s Millennium Reserve Initiative to restore habitat, rehabilitate brownfields and create green space in Chicago’s South and Southeast Side and south suburbs.

“Mud-to-Parks is helping return the soil to where it belongs while providing habitat and boosting recreational opportunities,” Governor Quinn said. “Some of the richest soil on the continent originally came from the watershed. We’ve put people to work taking sediment that was clogging the Illinois River and putting it to good use on this magnificent site.”

The last of 79 barges filled with sediment dredged from the Illinois River near Peoria have traveled 163 miles to the old U.S. Steel (USX) South Works site at 86th Street and Lake Michigan. There, the sediment has been unloaded and spread out, providing tons of rich soil for green space and community recreational use along the shoreline.

The Mud-to-Parks project is the latest phase of a project begun in 2004 during which 232,000 tons of Illinois River mud have been shipped and spread over 25 acres at the USX site. Native grasses and small trees are now sprouting on land that was largely steel mill slag.

The silt taken from the Illinois River’s Peoria Lake has the consistency of toothpaste when dredged and loaded onto barges. After the two-day trip up the Illinois River, Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, Calumet Sag Channel and Little Calumet River to a Lake Michigan slip, the mud is off-loaded and spread on the slag. The mud then dries and develops a granular soil structure prior to final grading on the park parcel.

“Mud-to-Parks is a true green initiative. Removing silt from the Illinois River opens shipping lanes, enhances habitat and improves recreational access,” said Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which administers Mud-to-Parks.

The innovative idea was first conceived in the 1990s by Dr. John Marlin, then an IDNR scientist. Grasses now grow from a pilot project he ran in 2002 in which sediment collected near Peoria was barged to a Chicago landfill and spread out. In 2003, Dr. Marlin approached then-Lt. Governor Pat Quinn in his role as chair of the Illinois River Coordinating Council and the Mud-to-Parks project at the USX site was underway.

“Reclaiming soil from the river is a far-better alternative which can be used to address reservoir sedimentation in many other areas,” said Marlin, now with the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. Dr. Marlin plans to meet soon with authorities responsible for Shanghai’s silt-choked Huangpu River to share the lessons of Illinois’ Mud-to-Parks Initiative.

“There’s enough sediment in Peoria Lake to fill a football field 10 miles high,” observed University of Illinois soil expert, Dr. Robert Darmody. “It was eroded from some of the best farmland in the world. After drying, it regains its favorable structure and is an excellent media for growing a variety of plants.”

Sedimentation is the biggest problem facing the Illinois River, and was particularly evident during last year’s drought. Each year, 14 million tons of sediment goes into the river basin, the equivalent of 17,808 truckloads daily. This reduces navigability of barge traffic, hinders recreational boating and destroys habitat. Meanwhile, Chicago has many distressed properties and old industrial sites needing restoration. Since each barge hauls the equivalent of 75 dump-trucks of soil, the barges are saving wear and tear on state highways and city streets.

The project will enhance the 589-acre Chicago Lakeside project – a joint venture of McCaffery Interests, Inc., and U.S. Steel – which will include 13,000 new residential units, 17.5 million square feet of commercial and institutional space, the new Lake Shore Drive extension and 130 acres of lakefront parkland to continue the 18-mile Lakefront Trail.

Mud-to-Parks is funded by $8 million in bond funds appropriated in 2009. Recipients of Mud-to-Parks funds include the Litchfield Park District, Chicago Park District, City of East Peoria, City of Decatur and Fox Waterway Agency. University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute scientists have worked on the concept of beneficial reuse of sediment for years. Dredged soil has been also used for cover at a Pekin landfill and a strip-mined portion of the Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Sportsmen, boaters and bird-watchers in Peoria and Chicago will benefit from the project. The dredging improves fish habitat, and migratory birds using the Illinois River flyway or Lake Michigan shoreline will find better-protected habitat and food sources.

To learn more, please visit


Davenport East Little League All Stars heading to State PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Doug Darland   
Friday, 12 July 2013 13:59

(Davenport, IA) - With a superior pitching performance backed by bats, gloves and speed, Davenport East Little League took down Davenport Northwest Little League with a score of 8-3 to win the District 2 Championship. Coached by Rob Langeneckert, Tony Valainis and Doug Darland, Davenport East (District 2) will now be heading to the Iowa State Little League tournament in Boone, IA beginning on Saturday, July 20.  To help offset the costs for this week-long tournament, the team will be hosting the following fundraisers:

Saturday, July 13

12 – 4 p.m.

Car Wash

Hy-Vee Gas Parking Lot

3850 Elmore Avenue, Davenport


Thursday, July 18

5 – 8 p.m.

Rookies Sports Bar

2818 N Brady St, Davenport

A burger bar will be available for $3 with $1 going back to the league.

$10 raffle tickets are being sold to win prizes including:  LG 50" Plasma TV, LG 32" LED TV, LG Smart TV Blu Ray player with built in Wi-Fi, or a Kindle Fire HD.

The team consists of Ely Adams, Dezmund Craig, Spencer Darland, Caleb Evans, Nick and Will Fleming, Jadrien Laird, Brady Miller, Adam Quested, Will Reemtsma, Anthony Valainis, Spencer Wakeland, and Zack Wirt.  Many of the players are no strangers to winning District and State Championships.  In 2012, many were a part of the winning team that took home the titles of District 2 of Eastern Iowa and Iowa State Champions.

Tax deductible donations may be made payable to Davenport East Little League and sent to Quad City Bank & Trust, 4500 North Brady Street, Davenport, IA  52806.  For more information, to donate raffle items, or  to purchase raffle tickets, please contact Tony Valainis at (563) 570-2738 or Doug Darland at (563) 508-2671.

Money-Saving Bargains on Midway Fun at the 2013 Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:17

DES MOINES, IA (07/10/2013)(readMedia)-- "Nothing Compares" to the adrenaline pumping rides on the Midway at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. With a new thrill ride and a variety of savings packages, Fairgoers can enjoy even more entertainment. The Fair is set August 8-18.

The Iowa State Fair welcomes back Belle City Amusements for 11 days of twists, turns and thrills that are guaranteed to delight Fairgoers of all ages. Hang on tight as the Midway's hair raising Moonraker-the only one in North America-sends you flying over 70 feet into the sky. Newly restored and out of retirement, try to catch your breath as the giant spinning disc picks up speed, lifting you into the air at angles upwards of 90 degrees.

Fairgoers can save big on the new Moonraker ride as well as 40 other exciting Midway rides by planning ahead for this year's Fair. Purchase a set of five Midway tickets for $14; each ticket is good for one ride. For an even bigger day of Midway excitement, purchase a Mega Pass wristband for unlimited rides. Weekday Mega Passes are just $25 and are good for unlimited mechanical rides any one weekday from open to close.

Or, purchase an Any Day Mega Pass for $30, good for unlimited mechanical rides any one Fair day (including weekends). These Midway special savings must be purchased by August 7 and are available while supplies last at or the Iowa State Fair Ticket Office.

If you missed these deals, more bargains are in store during Fair time. Weekdays only, $25 each day buys a wristband good for unlimited mechanical rides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Available during the Fair at Midway ticket booths only.

There is something for everyone at Belle City Amusements, from the famous Double Ferris Wheel and the Rock N Roll Himalaya, to kiddie rides and games of skill. For a complete list of all rides and rules please visit

"Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Iowa State Fair, August 8-18. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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New Fun at the 2013 Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:12

DES MOINES, IA (07/10/2013)(readMedia)-- "Happiness Is" all the new and thrilling things to see, do and taste at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. New Fair entertainment, attractions and contests are available in addition to the many Fair favorites like the Ye Old Mill, Hog Calling Contest and classic corndogs. "Nothing Compares" to the array of exciting adventures that await Fairgoers August 8-18.


Audiences will be wowed with the many new high energy attractions available all 11 fun-filled days of the Fair. Fairgoers of all ages can find something to make them happy.

The Budweiser Stage has found a new home, and is now located directly west of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center. Music fans can rock out with an even larger crowd. This year's Budweiser Stage will feature rock stars like Foghat, Blue Öyster Cult, Skid Row, L.A. Guns and more!

Two new acts performing at Expo Hill will amaze audiences with their advanced skills. Team Rock is a group of national champion extreme breaking experts. Prepare to be amazed as street-performing circus duo Mango and Dango combine technical skills, comedy, chance and circumstance into acts of hilarity and dexterity. Watch as the pair blends acrobatics, dance and danger to create a circus experience no one will want to miss!

More family fun is not hard to find in the expanded Kids' Zone – a special area with rides, games and entertainment, all planned to excite our young Fairgoers! The Timberworks Lumberjack Show highlights talented tree choppers who offer feats of strength like axe throwing, underhanded chopping, log rolling, cross-cut sawing, hot sawing and chainsaw carving. Join in the hands-on weekday activities at one of the many Blue Ribbon Kids' events, or roll up your sleeves to enjoy daily crafts for kids at the newly relocated Art Attack. Kids can even enjoy the new Kangaroo Jumper and Krazy Maze, both at an extra cost.

Even a Fair classic like the Midway has been improved for 2013. In addition to the 40 thrilling and exciting rides in the Belle City Amusements Midway, the newly restored Moonraker offers a unique spin on fun. The only one in North America, the Moonraker sends Fairgoers 70 feet into the sky at angles upwards of 90 degrees.

Opening Day

Fairgoers will have a chance to give back to the community by packing meals on Opening Day, August 8. In partnership with Meals from the Heartland, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Food and Family Project and GROWMARK, the Fair is hosting an event to package 250,000 meals. To reach our goal, the Fair needs approximately 1500 volunteers to package meals for one hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. To make a monetary donation or to sign up to volunteer your time, please visit

Ag Education and Livestock

Not only does the Iowa State Fair pride itself on showcasing some of the finest livestock and crops in the country but also for providing Fairgoers with quality education on the importance of agriculture in Iowa's future.

Two new equine events join the Fair's already large host of horse competitions and entertainment. Cowboy mounted shooting demonstrations, one of the fastest growing equestrian sports in the country, will come to the Fair on Friday, August 9. Fairgoers can also cheer on their favorite team at the Supreme Six-Horse Hitch on Tuesday, August 13, and Sunday, August 18 at the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center.

The newly expanded AgVenture Discovery Trail features ten stops that will impress young Fairgoers and teach them about Iowa's agricultural commodities. Kids can begin their journey at any of the 11 Information Booths throughout the Fairgrounds, at the Food and Family Project booth in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building or at the USDA booth in the Agriculture Building.


The Elwell Family Food Center is home to the largest foods department in the nation with 890 contests, 41 of which are new this year. New contests include Blue Ribbon Baked Beans, My Tractor Cake, Grandma's Corn Casserole and more. The first place chef in the Kenmore Honored Harvest Time Recipes Contest will win a $5,000 kitchen makeover, a trip to the New York City Wine and Food Festival to cook with celebrity chefs and their recipe in the Kenmore 100th Anniversary Cookbook.

More Improvements

The 127-year-old Fairgrounds received a few updates for the 2013 Fair as well. As part of its ongoing renovation, the Cultural Center will now be partly air conditioned, with full completion of the project in 2014. A family restroom was also added to the building, which houses the largest art show in the state. The building is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A new restroom located near the North Lot will also be completed in time for this year's Fair.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Iowa State Fair, August 8-18. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:43

Mick Foley appearance, bobblehead giveaway, fireworks show headline

DAVENPORT, Iowa (JULY 10, 2013) – The Quad Cities River Bandits host the Bowling Green Hot Rods and Dayton Dragons for a six-game home stand from Wednesday, July 10, through Monday, July 15, at Modern Woodmen Park. Below are the highlights of promotions and events for the home stand.


Fans attending the 2013 John Deere Classic can receive a coupon at the tournament, redeemable at the River Bandits box office for $2 off general admission for any game during the home stand.


Wednesday, July 10, 7:00 p.m. (Gates 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: US Bank, Mix96

John Deere Classic Celebration – The River Bandits will give away any-day passes to the John Deere Classic throughout the game.

Golf Night – Golf-themed prizes and music throughout the night.

Pay Your Bill Wednesday – Fans can enter a copy of an unpaid bill into a drawing on the concourse, and if it is selected, the River Bandits will pay the bill up to $100.

IHMVCU BOGO Kids Tickets – By presenting a membership card or debit card at the box office, IHMVCU members can receive two free kids general admission tickets with the purchase of one adult general admission ticket.


Thursday, July 11, 7:00 p.m. (Gates 5:30 p.m.)

Sponsors: Quad-City Times, The Quad Cities’ CW, River Cities’ Reader, Rock 104-9

Mick Foley Appearance – WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Mick Foley will be at the game to toss out a first pitch and sign autographs for fans in the Sports Lounge on the concourse.

Pro Wrestling Night – Wrestling-themed music.

Thirst-Day Thursday – Fans can enjoy $2 drink specials during the game.

IHMVCU BOGO Tickets – By presenting a membership card or debit card at the box office, IHMVCU members can receive a free general admission ticket with the purchase of one general admission ticket.


Friday, July 12, 7:00 p.m. (Gates 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: Eastern Iowa Toyota Dealers, Bridgeway Auto Parts, WLLR, WQAD

- Beach Ball and Koozie Giveaway presented by Bridgeway Auto Parts – The first 500 adults will receive a free koozie, while the first 500 kids will receive a free beach ball.

- T-Shirt Giveaway presented by Susan G. Komen – For the first 1,000 fans.

- Game Show Night – Enter-to-win prizes for Michael’s Fun World, Annie Wittenmyer Pool, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chuck E. Cheese, Pepperjacks, and the classic board games Candy Land and Sorry.

- Friday Fireworks presented by Eastern Iowa Toyota Dealers – following the game.


Saturday, July 13, 7:00 p.m. (Gates 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: EmbroidMe, Quad-City Times

- Billy Wagner Bobblehead Giveaway presented by EmbroidMe – For the first 2,000 fans.

- Fan Appreciation Saturday


Sunday, July 14, 5:00 p.m. (Gates 3:30 p.m.) Sponsors: HyVee, KWQC, B100

- Flat Screen Family Sunday – fans can enter a drawing on the concourse to win a free flat-screen TV. Winners will be announced during half-inning breaks of the game.

- HyVee Tote Bag Giveaway – for the first 1,000 fans through the gates.

- Bark in the Park – Dogs are welcome to the game on the Modern Woodmen Berm in left field.

Kids Run the Bases – Kids can run around the bases at Modern Woodmen Park after the game.

Post-game Kids Club Event – Kids Club members will join River Bandits players in making Dirt Cups with oreo crumplings, pudding and gummy worms.


Monday, July 15, 1:00 p.m. (Gates 11:30 a.m.) Sponsors: 97X

- Munchie Monday – All-you-can-eat hot dogs, nachos, peanuts and popcorn is available with a $15 wristband at the box office.

- Senior Day – preregistered senior citizens will receive a box lunch and a ticket to the game in the Sky Deck for $11. The Sky Deck is a climate-controlled room on the suite level along the left-field foul line.

Kids Camp Day – Campers receive a box seat ticket plus a hot dog and soda voucher for $7.

Funtown Gone Crazy – fans can purchase a wristband at the Zip Line or Mediacom Frog Hopper for an all-you-can-ride pass to both rides for only $10.


Tickets are available at the Modern Woodmen Park box office, by calling 563-324-3000 or online at


ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is planned for next spring, along with a carousel and other new games and attractions. This season, the team just unveiled a new 300-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, a Mediacom Frog Hopper, and a number of new bounce houses . The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans can see the first team in Minor League Baseball history with back-to-back No. 1 overall draft picks – 2012 top pick Carlos Correa and 2013 top pick Mark Appel, as well as 2012 first-round draft choice Lance McCullers. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, the second half of this season is one every fan will not want to miss!



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