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Illinois, Iowa Judges’ Salaries Top National Average PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 10:14

According to the National Center for State Courts, the salaries of state judges in Iowa and Illinois top the U.S. average. District judges in Iowa ranked 18th among states, appeal judges were 16th, and associate-high-court judges ranked 14th. Illinois appeal, district, and associate-high-court justices were all second in the nation. Iowa trial judges earned about $137,700 last year, and Illinois trial judges earned $189,949. The national average was about $135,000. For more information, visit

Figge to Feature Deere Art Collection PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 06:18

The Figge Art Museum in April will open a gallery of works on loan from Deere & Company's corporate art collection. These will be on view for the general public for the first time. The gallery will debut on the fourth floor of the museum on April 24 with an exhibition of works by Grant Wood, Edward Curtis, Joan Miro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Rufino Tamayo, Sofu Teshigahara, and Matazo Kayama. The exhibition will include Grant Wood's iconic Fall Plowing, as well as his Fruits of Iowa series.

Rock Island Police Chief John Wright has announced that he will retire effective January 29. Wright, a Rock Island native, has been with the Rock Island Police Department for more than 30 years and has served as chief since 2005. Rock Island City Manager John Phillips said that he would start the recruitment process immediately and plans a nationwide search for Wright's successor. Phillips said that he hopes to have the next chief appointed by June.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was listed as one of 100 individuals who this year "impacted the world of business ethics in ways that will continue to resonate for many years." The Ethisphere Institute describes itself as "a leading international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement, and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption, and sustainability." Its citation reads: "Grassley's is a leading voice in the Senate speaking out against corruption and financial fraud. Even before the financial crisis of last year, Grassley's name always seemed to come up in financial-fraud stories. He is aware of what's going on and is aggressively going after those that commit fraud." Grassley is ranking member and former chair of the Committee on Finance. The full Ethisphere list is available at

The state of Iowa has updated various documents related to the Iowa Film, Television, & Video Project Promotion program that was suspended earlier this year because of inadequate administrative controls. For more information, frequently asked questions, and a list of approved projects and those under contract, visit

St. Ambrose University will receive $600,000 for facilities and equipment, and Palmer College will receive $400,000 to expand a model integrative-health-care program for the treatment of pain as part of the federal Fiscal Year 2010 Labor, Health, & Human Services appropriations bill. The legislation was signed into law on December 16.

Poets Robyn Schiff and Nick Twemlow read from their work in The River Readings at Augustana on Thursday, January 21. Schiff is the author of Revolver (2008) and Worth (2002), is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, and is a co-editor of Canarium Books. Twemlow's writing has appeared or will appear in A Public Space, New American Writing, Filmmaker, Stop Smiling, Boston Review, jubilat, Fence, and Best American Non-Required Reading 2009. The reading is free and open to the public and takes place at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall, inside the Denkmann building (3520 Seventh Avenue in Rock Island). A reception follows the reading.

At a recent study session, the Rock Island city council explored security options for downtown. Two options include using private security and privatizing the Great River Plaza; however, there is no funding source available to assist with these options at this time. City staff will look at several short-term proposals instead. A nightlife safety report is available at

Bettendorf offers a weekly e-mail on city events, holiday schedules, garbage collection, job openings, and more. Information can be sent as plain text or as a PDF, and e-mail addresses will not be shared with or sold to any third parties. To sign up, visit

Iowa Medical-Marijuana Decision Delayed PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 05:41

After being swamped with opinions, and instead of making a decision this December, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy will hold a special one-day meeting in February to make a recommendation to the state legislature on whether to legalize medical marijuana. The delay is to give board members time to read 12,000 pages of written comments. The public meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, in the auditorium of the Iowa State Historical Building, 600 East Locust Street in Des Moines. For more information, visit

Nominees Sought for Athena Awards PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Monday, 14 December 2009 16:43

The deadline for nominations for the Athena Business Woman's Awards is January 18. The awards honor area business women who have achieved a significant level of success, are leaders and role models, and contribute to the community. For more information, visit

Bigger, But Better? The Quad-City Times Dwarfs the Argus/Dispatch’s News Coverage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 08:00

On December 1, the Quad-City Times ran 29 square inches of copy on the not-for-profit organization Skills Inc. shutting down at the end of the year. The Rock Island Argus ran an eight-square-inch brief on its front page.

This can be seen as a microcosm of the Quad Cities' two daily newspapers. A River Cities' Reader analysis found that last week, the Quad-City Times devoted 80 percent more space to local news content than the twin Illinois papers, the Rock Island Argus and the Moline Dispatch.

For the week of November 29 to December 5, the Times had 91 articles, editorials, and columns written by staff members or Lee Enterprises bureau reporters concerning local and state issues and news, totaling 2,300 square inches. The Argus/Dispatch had 69 such articles, totaling 1,274 square inches.

Including letters to the editor, the Times had more local news content each day last week than the Argus or Dispatch. Outside of Saturday's paper -- in which the amount of local news content was nearly the same -- each day the Times devoted at least 23 percent more space to local news content than the Argus/Dispatch did. On Monday, the Quad-City Times featured 307 square inches of local news content; the Argus/Dispatch had 30 -- all letters to the editor.

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