MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS invites the public to a special screening of the documentary "Freedom Riders" and to hear Diane Nash, one of the leaders of the Freedom Rides Civil Rights movement, at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island Illinois on October 15, 2011 at 10:00 am. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. The event is free to the public.

In April WQPT held a similar event at the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre for junior high and high school students with special guests Dion Diamond and Joan Trumpaur-Mulholland, both Freedom Riders. "The event was so successful that the community committee we had formed felt we should do it once again," said WQPT Chief Development Officer, Jamie Lange. Diane Nash will speak at the morning event at the Martin Luther King Center and again at the Statewide Illinois NAACP banquet at the i wireless Center in the evening on October 15th.

Ms. Nash was featured on Oprah in May 2011 when the program celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Diane Nash emerged as one of the most respected student leaders of the sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee. Nash attended Howard University before transferring to Nashville's Fisk University in the fall of 1959. Shocked by the extent of segregation she encountered in Tennessee, she was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. In February 1961 she served jail time in solidarity with the "Rock Hill Nine"?nine students imprisoned after a lunch counter sit-in. When the students learned of the bus burnings in Alabama, Nash argued that it was their duty to continue. "It was clear to me that if we allowed the Freedom Ride to stop at that point, just after so much violence had been inflicted, the message would have been sent that all you have to do to stop a nonviolent campaign is inflict massive violence," says Nash in Freedom Riders.

For more information on the Freedom Riders, log on to WQPT will re-air the documentary on Tuesday October 18th at 7:00 p.m.

The event at the Martin Luther King Center has been made possible by the Rock Island Community Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, Hotel Blackhawk, Act II Transportation and the Rock Island NAACP.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University in Moline, Illinois.

WQPT Calendar of Events

Title: "A Class Apart": Special Screening and Discussion

Moderated by Alfred Ramirez with panelists Bob Ontiveros, Ernie Rodriquez and Henry Vargas

Where: Moline Public Library, 41st Street, Moline, Illinois

When: October 4, 2011  - 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

What: American Experience's "A Class Apart" tells the little known story of how a band of underdog Mexican-American lawyers take the Hernandez v. Texas case to the Supreme Court, challenging Jim Crow-style discrimination.

Admission: Free

Sponsored by: Ascentra Credit Union with additional support from The Moline Public Library, Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Western Illinois University.


Title: WQPT presents Freedom Riders with special guest, Diane Nash

Where: Martin Luther King Community Center, Rock Island, Illinois

When: October 15, 2011 - 10:00 am

What: The public is invited to a special screening of the documentary "Freedom Riders" and then listen to Diane Nash - one of the leaders of the Freedom Rides Civil Rights movement. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Admission: Free

Sponsored by: Rock Island Community Foundation and Illinois Humanity Council


Title: Taco Tuesday WQPT Fundraiser at Mulligan's Valley Pub

Where: Mulligan's Valley Pub in Coal Valley, Illinois

When: October 25, 2011 - 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

What: Help support WQPT when you purchase $5.00 tacos. Enjoy a great meal with 100% of the proceeds benefitting WQPT. Viewers, friends and others are invited to show their support for the station while enjoying great tacos.

Admission: $5 per order of tacos

Sponsored by: Mulligan's Valley Pub and Royal Neighbors of America


Title: WQPT Trivia Night

Where: North Hall at the Highland Park Bowl, 4202 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, IL.

When: November 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

What: Enjoy a friendly competition testing your smarts at the 4th Annual WQPT Trivia Night. Bring your own snacks. Beverages are available for purchase.

Admission: Tables of 8 must be reserved. $80.00 for a table.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT hosts the 12th annual Brew Ha Ha at LeClaire Park in downtown Davenport on Saturday, September 17TH from 1 to 5 p.m.  A wide variety of ales, pilsners, and porters are available for tasting as well as cheeses provided by Cabot Creamery Cooperative of Vermont.

Musical performances by Wicked Liz and the Belly Swirls take place at 1 - 2:30 pm and 3:15 to 4:15 pm. The comedy will be provided by The Blacklist Improv Comedy Troupe.  They perform from 2:30 - 3:15 pm. Games return for attendees to try like the Beer Bottle Ring Toss and the Golf Ball Stack, with prizes from everyone. Admission to Brew Ha Ha includes an event program, unlimited tasting, and a commemorative tasting glass.

Presenting Sponsors for Brew Ha Ha are Old Chicago, Rhythm City Casino,  River Cities Reader, Rock 104.9, Star 93.5, 97X Classic Hits, KJOC 1170AM, along with Dimitri Wine & Spirits, Inc., Glazer's Distributors of Iowa, Coors Light, Budweiser, KWQC, Mediacom, Downtown Partnership,and Cabot Creamery Cooperative. With additional support from The Blacklist Improv Comedy Troupe,  Hawkeye Ice, Iowa American Water, Iowa QC Chamber Downtown Partnership, Millennium Waste, Quad City Golf Cars and Sunbelt Rentals.

Tickets for Brew Ha Ha are $20.00 prior to the event and $25.00 at the gate. "We are continuing our tradition of keeping ticket sales capped so that our attendees are able to enjoy as many tastings as they like," said WQPT Special Projects Coordinator, Bea Brasel. Tickets may be purchased at the WQPT offices at 3800 Avenue of the Cities, Suite 101, Moline and  CO-OP Records in Davenport and Moline (add a $1.00 service fee at CO-OP locations) until 5 pm on Friday, September 16th and until midnight at Old Chicago in Bettendorf.  Attendees must be 21 or older. Children in strollers and animals will not be admitted. Feel free to bring your own lawn chair.  For more information log on to

Brew Ha Ha is a fundraising event to support WQPT, the local public television station serving eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - In 1961, black and white students deliberately violated Jim Crow laws in an effort to end segregation in the Deep South. This first group of 'Freedom Riders' were beaten and their bus burned. Should they continue? The answer came from a young civil rights leader from Fisk University. She said "It was clear to me that if we allowed the Freedom Ride to stop at that point, just after so much violence had been inflicted the message would have been sent that all you have to do to stop a nonviolent campaign is inflict massive violence." That young woman was Diane Nash.

The Rock Island Community Foundation has generously donated $2,000 to WQPT to help bring Diane Nash to the Quad Cities to speak at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island on October 15th at 10:00 a.m.  This event is free to the public, though donations are accepted at the door. Seating is on a first come/first served basis. She will also be the keynote speaker at the Illinois NAACP's Freedom Fund Banquet taking place at the i wireless Center that same night.

"After we aired 'Freedom Riders' in May and held public viewings of the film for junior high and high school students we wanted to expand the reach of the project," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best. Original Freedom Riders who spoke at the April events were Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland and Dion Diamond.  "Having Ms. Nash appear to speak is especially important because of her role as a leader in the civil rights movement," Mr. Best said. Ms. Nash is prominently featured in the film and was a guest on Oprah in April when she aired a special on the 50thAnniversary Freedom Rides.

"As the school year starts WQPT has made available to 100 area schools a DVD of the film and a study guide for teachers. Earlier in the year we conducted teaching seminars to help prepare instructors to teach this part of our civil rights history," said Ana Kehoe, WQPT Educational Outreach Director.  "The response to our April event was remarkable and the WQPT Freedom Riders committee, made up of area educators and civil rights leaders, felt that we should continue our efforts."  WQPT will also be airing an interview with Ms. Nash on "The Cities with Jim Mertens" on October 20th at 6:30 p.m.

WQPT is a public media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - Inspired by his attorney father and following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Justice Charles M. Waterman, who served on the Iowa Supreme Court from 1898 to 1902, newly elected Justice Tom Waterman sits down to talk with Jim Mertens on "The Cities." The program will air on Thursday, July 7th at 6:30 pm and Sunday, July 10 at 5:30 pm.

Speaking about his appointment, Justice Waterman said "I was thrilled to land the position for the Quad Cities. We haven't had a resident justice here since Linda Neumann retired in 2003..." he went on to say "...It's important both for the court and for the Quad Cities to have a resident justice here again. It improves communications, and a lot of what our Supreme Court does is to administer the rules and the personnel in the judicial branch..." Justice Waterman said he was honored to have been appointed to the court and "After 9-11, like many American's, I felt an impulse to give back to the community." He feels strongly that this job fulfills that goal.

Host Jim Mertens asked if it bothered him how the court was politicized the way it was prior to the 2010 elections. Waterman responded "Well, it was a shock to the judicial system, and one thing I've seen now that I'm serving on the court is the backlog the new justices have inherited because the court was at barely over half strength for a number of months and very distracted before it.  It had never happened before, and normally the Supreme Court changes one justice at a time, normally through retirement. It never lost three and never had three new members join all at once. At the same time, that made the need all the greater and the opportunity to serve all the more important..." he went on to say "I think it's very important to our system of checks and balances that our court not get politicized, and two of the downsides to what happened are the risks that justices and judges will get intimidated and base a decision on what they think is popular rather than what the law requires."

Among his plans on the court, he wants more of Iowa's citizens to see how the court works." I hope to bring the court to Davenport within the next year or so. It provides the public with an opportunity to come to a local auditorium, see the court in action and one of my favorite parts of the job is the oral arguments," Waterman said.

Other innovations on the court, is the videotaping of arguments before the court. By archiving the cases, people can go to the Iowa Supreme Court website and be better informed about the cases before the court and their outcomes. Justice Waterman feels that it is the job of the justices to "protect the integrity of the system" and said that upcoming cases include civil, criminal and constitutional issues. To find out more about Justice Tom Waterman, tune in to WQPT Thursday at 6:30 pm.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is pleased to introduce their 2011 WQPT/PBS Ambassadors, an elite volunteer corps made up of college students.

The WQPT/PBS Ambassador program, in its seventh year, provides an opportunity for college students to represent their local public television station at a variety of events throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois. "Ambassadors are an elite volunteer team that serves as an extension of the WQPT staff," said WQPT Special Projects Coordinator, Bea Brasel. This year the WQPT/PBS Ambassadors are:

Front Row: Michele Moreno-Black Hawk College
2nd Row: Karri Folks-Western Illinois University, Melissa Gravert-Western Illinois University
3rd Row: John Bosco Munyengabe-Black Hawk College, Kristi Phillipson-Black Hawk College, Irene Cruz-Northern Illinois University, Kelly Libberton-Western Illinois University, Onder Badur-Northern Illinois University
Not in Photo: Daniel Brasel-Illinois College & Shanen Norlin-Western Illinois University

"Our Ambassadors are an important part of our volunteer corps and many of them return to volunteer long after their college years end because they believe in the work that WQPT does in the community," said Ms. Brasel. WQPT is the public media service of Western Illinois University - Quad Cities located in Moline, Illinois


MOLINE, ILLINOIS - Looking for something to do with the kids that doesn't cost anything? WQPT, the local PBS station will be bringing the much beloved Dr. Seuss character The Cat in the Hat to the Quad Cities. The Cat in the Hat will be greeting children at the Bettendorf Public Library on June 21

st from 1:30 to 3:00 pm and the Moline Public Library on June 23rd from 10 to 11:30 am.  The Cat will also appear at Blossoms at Butterworth on June 26th at the Butterworth Center in Moline, Illinois between 12 and 5:00 pm.

"'The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That' is one of our newest programs and focuses on math and science. We know kids will enjoy spending some time with this very well known character," said Ana Kehoe, WQPT Educational Outreach Director.  At each of the appearance by The Cat in the Hat, children will be able to take part in games and activities. Admission to the venues is free.

For more information call 309-764-2400 or log on to WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is delighted to announce that Paul Strater has been awarded the 2011 WQPT Broadcast Scholarship.

"It's an honor to be recognized by WQPT-TV with the award of this scholarship," Strater said.  "As a nontraditional student, the financial realities of later life such as mortgages and car payments and the challenges of funding a college education without parental help or the loans available to parents are quite a challenge.  This scholarship will be a great help as I finish my degree at Western."                     

"Each year it is our pleasure to present this award. We were impressed not only by Mr. Strater's grades but he exemplifies WQPT's mission of life-long-learning," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.

Mr. Strater is completing several news internships this summer. They are at Peoria's WEEK-TV 25(NBC), WHOI-TV 19(ABC) and Chicago's WGN-TV 9(CW).  After graduation, he hopes to be a full time television reporter at a station where he can also work in the technical realm. For the last two decades Mr. Strater worked as a broadcast engineer in television and radio. "Most broadcast students are starting a career.  I want to embark on the second half of mine," Strater said.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is happy to announce recent grants awarded to the station to help support equipment upgrades, membership acquisition and retention, and the station's literacy initiatives.

The Scott Regional Authority granted WQPT $20,000 for broadcast equipment. "With existing equipment being beyond its life expectancy, and with new technology moving towards an all IT-based environment, the timing of this grant couldn't be better," according to WQPT's General Manager, Rick Best.

The Riverboat Development Authority presented a challenge grant to the station in the amount of $15,000 to bring new members to the station and to encourage existing members to increase their contribution. WQPT is currently in their June membership drive and any new member's donation will be matched using this grant. "We're pleased that the RDA recognizes the importance of developing our member base," said Jamie Lange, WQPT's Chief Development Officer. "This grant will help us bring in new members that will support the station for years to come."

WQPT's First Book Club, which supplies books to low-literate and low-income families in the Quad Cities has received several grants. Among the grantors are: 3M Foundation - $500, Rock Island Arsenal Welcome Club - $100, Rock Island Rotary Club Literacy Fund - $500, Junior Board of Rock Island - $400  and  Modern Woodmen of America - $1,500.  "The First Book Club has been in existence for 15 years and we currently distribute about 5,000 books per year through selected schools," said Ana Kehoe, Educational Outreach Director.  "These grants will allow us to maintain our current level of service to the schools." The station also provides hands-on workshops for students, teachers and parents to encourage students and families to be more involved in reading.

"All of these grants come at a crucial time for WQPT," according to Best. "Until space becomes available to move into a WIU facility, the station is incurring considerable additional costs for leased space and utilities. These grants help us maintain our programs during this time of transition."

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University in Moline, Illinois.


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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - May 2, 2011 - WQPT received 378 stories from students in kindergarten through third grade for their annual PBS Kids Go Writers Contest. Sixteen winners (four from each grade) were recently selected by educators and sponsors of the contest. The winners and their families will be honored and awarded prizes at Deere-Wiman House on Sunday, May 22 at 3 pm.

Stories were judged on such criteria as: Is the story written clearly? Does it have interesting details? Is there a conflict, lesson or information learned? Do the illustrations enhance the story? How well did the author follow the guidelines?

"It's evident that many of these young authors spent a great deal of time and effort on their stories and illustrations," said Ana Kehoe, WQPT Educational Outreach Director. "The judges were pleased there were so many excellent stories, and it was a challenge to select the final 16 winners."

Sponsors for the contest were Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Family Museum, Figge Art Museum, Midwest Writing Center and WQPT, Quad Cities PBS. Winning stories will be on display from May 22 - June 5 at the Butterworth Center in Moline, Illinois; from June 6 to June 21 at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa; from June 22 to July 5 at the Midwest Writing Center; and from July 6 to July 20 at the Family Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University - Quad Cities located in Moline, Illinois.



First Place: Andrew Skinner, Alan Shepard Elementary, Eldridge, IA

Second Place: Isabel Kann, Winfield-Mt. Union School, Winfield, IA

Third Place: Juanita Lopez, Longfellow Elementary, Rock Island, IL

Honorable Mention: Aneesa Saldivar, Longfellow Elementary, Rock Island, IL


First Grade

First Place: Calla Brunkan, Ed White Elementary, Eldridge, IA

Second Place: Allen Catour, C.R. Hanna Elementary, Orion, IL

Third Place: Dalton Morrow, Harrison Elementary, Davenport, IA

Honorable Mention: Riley Packer, Erie Elementary, Erie, IL


Second Grade

First Place: Baylor Verbrugge, Ed White Elementary, Eldridge, IA

Second Place: Angela Jones, Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf, IA

Third Place: Ilese Rodeffer, Bushnell Elementary, Bushnell, IL

Honorable Mention: Ezra Olson, Homeschooled, East Moline, IL


Third Grade

First Place: Jayda Brunkan, Ed White Elementary, Eldridge, IA

Second Place: Faith Catour, C.R. Hanna Elementary, Orion, IL

Third Place: Liberio Mukdani, Jane Addams Elementary, Moline, IL

Honorable Mention: Nichole Taets, C.R. Hanna Elementary, Orion, IL