When the Davenport School Board (DSB), in its usual display of arrogance and disrespect for students, parents, and the public at large, voted 6-1 to close Grant and Johnson elementary schools this past January, concerned parents decided to appeal the school board's decision to the Iowa Board of Education.

Aside from being buried in a book few people would ever think to look at, the entry in Who's Who in Davenport 1929 certainly seems unremarkable: "Five writers , who belong to what is called 'the Davenport group,' were drawn together either in Davenport because of their writing, or elsewhere later, primarily because of having coming from there.

In the name of security, Iowa-American Water Company has asked for and received a rate hike without going through the normal rate-case process - and without customers knowing what they're paying for.

Between the terrorist attacks of September 11 and November, Iowa-American spent approximately $900,000 on security measures, according to K.

As if the economy, the Enron debacle, and those crooked Olympic judges weren't enough, there's another crisis brewing: We're running out of macho names for cars.

It's been happening over the past few years.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about two locally owned businesses that I recently discovered. This week I want to talk about three locally and woman-owned enterprises that I have been doing business with for many years, and make for good ideas for Valentine's Day or any occasion.

• The soundtrack to the upcoming film Anne Rice's Queen Of the Damned, starring the late Aaliyah, is due in stores this Tuesday. While she performs no songs on the CD, the Warner Bros. disc features tracks from Papa Roach, Deftones, Tricky, and five songs co-written by Jonathan Davis of Korn.

• According to documents filed by Iowa's U.S. Senate candidates, incumbent Senator Tom Harkin has amassed a large war chest for his re-election bid. Harkin has collected $2.2 million for his campaign, including more than $1.

Last year, the City of Davenport developed and submitted its Vision Iowa application to the state and received a $20 million grant for various components. This weekend, the public will get its first real opportunities to guide portions of the massive downtown-revitalization project.

• This Tuesday the always-tasty Not Lame Recordings imprint releases its long awaited Jeff Lynne tribute project. As the label is home to the finest association of power-pop melody junkies and tender indie balladeers, it's only fitting that this label produced a double-disc salute to the musical visionary.

In the past month, I have found two sources of simple but enormous pleasure, where I feel welcome and pampered as a patron. The first was my discovery of a small Conoco service station at the corner of 2nd and Warren streets in downtown Davenport, just a block west of the Centennial Bridge.