Davenport Sewer Repair Could Cost $144 Million Print
News/Features - City Shorts
Tuesday, 06 February 2001 18:00
Consultants have told Davenport City officials that $144 million needs to be spent over the next 50 years for sewer repairs. An estimated $18 million will need to spent on 16 projects in the next five years, with most of them aimed at preventing raw sewage from backing up into homes. After 2006, proposed projects will allow Davenport’s sewer system to accommodate new growth. Currently, Davenport spends $2 million to $3 million on sewer repairs a year.

The Free Expression Network (FEN) is an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and the values it represents, and to opposing governmental efforts to suppress constitutionally protected speech. FEN members meet on a quarterly basis to share information and strategies. FEN maintains a Web site, the Free Expression Network Clearinghouse, to provide information – including important links and news stories – to the public at-large about First Amendment issues. See for yourself at (http://www.freeexpression.org/).

Declaring the suit filed by the City of Gary, Indiana, against firearms manufacturers an unconstitutional attempt to regulate interstate commerce in Lake County, Superior Court Judge James J. Richards on January 12 dismissed the city’s case against 18 manufacturers, one distributor, and six retailers. In a strongly worded opinion, Richards described the city’s suit as a “radical departure” from established law and said the suit was an effort by the city and mayor at “arbitrary social reform” that sought to create a body of “judge-made gun laws.” Gary joins a number of local governments – including Chicago, Miami, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia – that have had lawsuits dismissed that tried to hold the firearms industry accountable for the criminal use of firearms. To view the entire press release concerning this decision, visit the National Shooting Sports Foundation Web site at (http://www.nssf.org).

A bill raising the speed limit on Iowa’s interstate highways, including divided highways, from a top speed of 65 miles per hour to 70 has been introduced in the Iowa House and Senate. Supporters of the bill say Iowa should join other Midwest states by adopting a more sensible speed limit. On the other side, opponents worry that increased speed limits will cause more traffic-related deaths and encourage motorists who already exceed the speed limit to go even faster. Governor Tom Vilsack says he opposes the bill. The debate will be tempered by a recent tragic weekend in Iowa in which 17 people were killed on the state’s roads.

If you have some free time and are interested in natural-resource protection and enhancement, consider becoming an Earth Team Volunteer at the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are needed to participate in activities to help conserve, improve, and sustain Scott County’s natural resources and the environment. For more information on how you can help, call the district at (319)391-1403.

The Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area – a six-state methamphetamine task force – is shifting its focus to include club drugs such as Ecstasy, a drug also known as X and MDMA that is sold in capsules or tablets and acts as a stimulant and mild hallucinogen. There are three main hurdles in increased club drug enforcement: The pill form makes the drug easy to hide; informants are difficult to find; and police dogs aren’t trained to react to Ecstasy. Law-enforcement officials claim that medical research indicates that the drug, which is often pitched as harmless by dealers, can cause brain damage, strokes, seizures, heart or kidney failure, and even death. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is also stepping up enforcement with what they say are numerous cases being investigated and prosecuted in Iowa.

The goal of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State is to convince Americans that education can be improved by liberating all schools from politics by ending state-, local-, and federal-government involvement in all aspects of schooling. Parents re-asserting and re-assuming their traditional, historic duty to provide for the education of their own children will accomplish this “School Liberation,” the group says. The Alliance is the first organization to concentrate on full “School Liberation,” has no political or religious affiliations and is strictly educational, allowing others to pursue any ballot initiatives, lobbying, or litigation needed to realize the ending of government involvement in education. The Alliance does not take a position on many of the issues and options confronting educators. Intrigued? See the group’s Web site at (http://www.sepschool.org/) for more information.

Genesis Medical Center has filed an appeal with the State of Iowa over Trinity Medical Center being allowed to build a proposed $58.5 million hospital. The state had overruled Genesis last month in a move that would have allowed Trinity to proceed with construction. The appeal was filed after a unanimous vote by the Genesis board of directors and means an expensive and lengthy process before Trinity can begin construction. The previous process had delayed plans for five months.

Marycrest International University, 1607 W. 12th St. in Davenport, is offering free tax services. Federal and state returns will be processed from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. each Monday beginning February 12 in Walsh Hall, Room 123. The IRS has granted Marycrest permission to be the electronic-returns originator for the region and to prepare IRS E-file personal tax returns for 2000. IRS E-file tax returns will be prepared by Marycrest accounting students who have completed a tax course. All of the students’ work will be supervised by Jim Lessner, an assistant processor and chairperson of the Marycrest Business Department.
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