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A Lifelong Commitment to Iowa: Zachary Michael Jack, July 21 at the Bettendorf Public Library PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 14 July 2011 07:24

Zachary Michael Jack

Author Zachary Michael Jack is a seventh-generation Iowan – the son of a farmer – who lives in Jones County, and like many people with deep roots in the Hawkeye State, his identity is intertwined with his home.

“It’s a state that we imprint very strongly on where we’re from and [that] we consider a lifelong commitment,” he said in a phone interview this week. “Each person manifests that advocacy in different ways. ...

“If you do love a place, part of that love ultimately evolves into advocacy for that place. ... Kind of put your weight behind things that are homegrown.”

The 37-year-old Jack – who will speak and read from his creative-nonfiction book Native Soulmate (scheduled for September release) at the Bettendorf Public Library on July 21 – is throwing his weight around in writing. An associate professor of English at North Central College, he has edited Iowa: The Definitive Collection and Letters to a Young Iowan: Good Sense from the Good Folks of Iowa for Young People Everywhere.

But with last year’s What Cheer, Jack started on a new path. It was his first novel, and a mystery wrapped around a love story – in the conventional man-and-woman sense, but also reflecting a love of the Midwest and of traditions and things nearly lost to time.

 
THIS IS THE POLICE. DROP THE CAMERA: Illinois’ Eavesdropping Law Turns Smart-Phone Owners Into Felons PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Larry McDonald   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 05:47

In Illinois, you could get a lighter sentence for killing a cop than recording one.

Section 14-4 of the Illinois criminal code reads: “The eavesdropping of an oral conversation ... between any law-enforcement officer ... while in the performance of his or her official duties ... is a Class 1 felony.” Under Illinois law, a person is “eavesdropping” when he or she “knowingly and intentionally uses an eavesdropping device for the purpose of hearing or recording all or any part of any conversation” without the consent of all parties to the conversation.

A Class 1 felony is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. My irreverent sense of the humor often gets me in trouble, but I just can’t contain it here: You could get a lighter sentence for killing a cop than recording one. When Jonathan Posey was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2001 dragging death of Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot in Rock Island, he only got a five-year sentence for that crime. Good for Mr. Posey, he wasn’t videotaping.

 
Goin’ Fishin’: QC Audience Hooked on “The Jim Fisher Show” PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 12 May 2011 05:49

Talk radio is one of the few places in American broadcast media that give voice to “regular people.” But because local programs have largely been replaced by nationally syndicated hosts, the format rarely provides insights into the thoughts, concerns, and opinions of a local area.

Perhaps this is what makes Jim Fisher, talk-show host for WOC 1420AM for more than three decades, such a valued contributor to the genre. Whether you agree with him or not, he is one of us.

The Jim Fisher Show, heard Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 5:30 p.m., is a rarity. Not only has he maintained his program for 31 years and counting, but his show continues to be a commercial success. Clients get on waiting lists to be endorsed by Fisher, who has final say on which local advertisers he will pitch for. And his show consistently generates local advertising revenues that compete with nationally syndicated heavy-hitters such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who also air on WOC.

In an interview with this Quad Cities icon, Jim was charmingly frank in his assessment of his own success: “I have been blessed or cursed with a certain voice. I have never applied for a job. The Armed Forces Radio & Television Service asked me to work a volunteer shift while I was enlisted in the military in Asia. I ended up taking the licensing test here in the U.S. in the 1960s for commercial broadcasting.”

 
Nora DeJohn, RIP (1940-2011) PDF Print E-mail
In Memorium
Written by Karen Anderson   
Thursday, 05 May 2011 14:04

Nora DeJohnOn May 21, Nora DeJohn’s children will bring their mother back to Davenport for burial. Nora died in Pennsylvania on January 10 after a five-year battle with breast cancer. This will be a funeral to remember with a mass at St. Ambrose Chapel, Celtic bagpipers leading the way to the cemetery, and live Celtic music at an afternoon luncheon/reunion at the German American Heritage Center.

Her early career as a public-school teacher, community organizer for Eastside Development Corporation, and nutritional counselor for the Iowa State Extension service took her to all corners of the central city and familiarized her with many diverse public causes. Friends from a broad spectrum of community groups will be attending her Davenport memorial to help celebrate the indelible mark she left upon our town.

 
Collecting Stories: Aledo’s Deb Bowen Makes the Holocaust – and Its Survivors – Real to Children with “A Book by Me” PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 14 April 2011 08:27

Deb Bowen is the first to admit that she didn’t have a plan for what has become A Book by Me, a series of short books for children, mostly about Holocaust survivors, written and illustrated primarily by middle- and high-school students.

“I don’t really know why I took the initiative to do it [initially], except that I felt their stories were so important,” she said last week.

The seed was planted in 2003, when she attended a Yom HaShoah event so her daughter could get extra credit at school. There, she learned that three Holocaust survivors in the Quad Cities were all named Esther. “I’d never been to a synagogue before” that Holocaust remembrance, said Bowen, who’s a Christian.

 
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