Two major issues will dominate discussion in the Illinois General Assembly this year, but one will probably knock the other out of the picture for a few years. Uncertainty surrounding re-drawing Illinois' state and federal legislative districts will probably scare the General Assembly away from passing bills of much significance or controversy, said State Senator Denny Jacobs (D-Moline).

If you're a member of a young rock-and-roll band, that first show supporting somebody big can be nerve-wracking. So imagine being Miles and Daxx Nielsen of Harmony Riley on January 12, opening for the first time with Cheap Trick and ... dad?
Yes, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's two sons will be setting the table for him on eight East Coast dates in January.

Starting next week, some taxpayers in Illinois are actually going to have some rights with their municipalities.
On January 1, home-rule municipalities in the state will be required to have a Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights ordinance on the books because of state legislation passed earlier this year.

Thom Yorke is clearly the king of 2000.
Looking over my list of favorite albums of 2000, I notice that the vocalist shows up three times: leading Radiohead through Kid A (obviously) but also doing duets on albums by Björk and PJ Harvey.

Efforts to prevent lenders from exploiting people with spotty credit histories are gaining momentum on a national level, as well as in Illinois and Iowa.
Last week, the Federal Reserve Board agreed to tighter regulations on "predatory lending," in which financial institutions use a combination of high interest rates and unusual terms to make it difficult for borrowers to build equity in their homes.

As misnomers go, Wicked Liz & The Bellyswirls is a doozy.
First of all, there’s very little wicked about the vocal work of Wicked Liz, who goes by Liz Townsend when not on stage. She can growl in a most unmenacing way, but her voice generally runs from pop sweet to hearty.

Clad in his signature bow tie, standing before approximately 150 members of Daven-portOne at a breakfast last week, Brian Vandewalle sketched out his vision for revitalizing downtown Davenport. The presentation included a slide show and plenty of colorful buzzwords, from the "golden rectangle" to "economic constellations" to "the silicon prairie.

Moline: Renew Moline currently has three contracts with Vandewalle & Associates. The first, worth $35,000, is an update of the Moline Center Plan, which is expected to be finished by late winter. The second, also worth $35,000, is for implementation of the Moline Center Plan.

One of the interesting things about alternative weekly papers is that, no matter how old they get, they still carry the spirits, interests, and concerns of their founders.
The River Cities' Reader celebrates its 300th issue this week, and although I've only been around for 20 or so issues, it's evident that the paper is an accurate reflection of Publisher Todd McGreevy and Editor Kathleen McCarthy, who started it more than seven years ago.

The second album from Shane Johnson’s Blue Train, Big Legged Women, starts off with a song that exists primarily as a framework for hot-licks blues. The words and vocals serve primarily as a break from the fiery work of the guitarist who lends his name to the band.

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