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

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is pleased to offer a $500 Broadcast Scholarship to students pursuing a career in broadcasting.

"For the last four years WQPT has been awarding a scholarship to a student majoring in broadcasting," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.   The annual award can be used for tuition, books and fees in any broadcast curriculum. WQPT will forward the scholarship funds to the student's educational institution.

Interested students may log on to for an application or by calling (309) 764-2400.  The criteria for the scholarship is:

Overall 2.5 GPA

Broadcast Classes 3.0 GPA (not applicable to incoming college freshmen)

Preference given to full-time students although part-timers are encouraged to apply.                                                    

Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2011for this scholarship.  New and continuing students in any broadcast curriculum may apply.  WQPT will select the recipient prior to the fall semester.

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

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is holding two seminars focusing on Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement to coincide with their presentation of "Freedom Riders", a documentary that tells the inspirational story of more than 400 black and white Americans risking their lives for simply traveling together on buses and trains throughout the Deep South. "Freedom Riders" celebrates the 50th Anniversary of this historic event.  WQPT will air the two hour documentary on May 25 at 8 pm.


Part I will provide teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to teach the history of Jim Crow laws, racism, the philosophy of nonviolent activism, the Freedom Rider event, and Civil Rights both nationally and here in the Quad Cities area. Teachers will views a portion of the documentary and discuss ideas of how to disseminate information to their students.

Date:                March 29, 2011

Time:                4:00 - 6:00 pm

Location:          ROE Moline

Presenter:         Dr. Art Pitz

Audience:         Middle/Jr. High and High School Teachers

Cost:                $15

CPDUs:           2


Part 11 will provide teachers with curriculum resources. A computer lab will be made available for teachers to explore resources to enhance unit and lesson plans.

Date:                May 10, 2011

Time:                4:00 - 6:00 pm

Location:          ROE Moline

Presenter:         Dr. Art Pitz

Audience:         Middle/Jr. High and High School Teachers

Cost:                $15

CPDUs:           2


To register contact WQPT at 309-764-2400 or contact Ana Kehoe at


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


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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - Do you enjoy Public Television? Do you like to volunteer? Do you like new and exciting experiences? Then consider becoming a WQPT/PBS Ambassador.

WQPT is seeking energetic college students for an exciting volunteer opportunity. Entering its seventh year, the WQPT/PBS Ambassador program is an opportunity for college students to represent public television at a variety of events throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Ambassadors are a more highly trained extension of the WQPT volunteer force representing the station at fairs, community and fundraising events and on television.

Ambassadors have come from Western Illinois University, Black Hawk College, St. Ambrose University, Illinois College, University of Iowa, Illinois State University, Kaplan University and Northern Illinois.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of the Ambassador program is that the Ambassadors keep coming back each year they are in college," said Bea Brasel, WQPT's Special Projects Coordinator. "It isn't just a volunteer opportunity, but a relationship that continues long after the student has graduated."

For more information and an application log on to Application deadline is May 2, 2011. You may also mail applications to WQPT, Quad Cities PBS, Attn:  Ambassador Program, 3800 Avenue of the Cities, Suite 101, Moline, IL  61265. Inquiries can be made at (309) 764-2400.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - This week on "The Cities" host Jim Mertens is joined by Mayor Gluba of Davenport discussing  the latest Census figures and their impact on the city, downtown development and budget concerns for the coming year. Also, Bob Williams, President of the Quad City Music Guild will discuss their upcoming season and how people can be involved.

"The Cities" airs on Thursday at 6:30 pm and midnight and repeats on Sunday at 5:30 pm. "The Cities" is a local public affairs program produced by WQPT, Quad Cities PBS. taped at Fusion Communications.

To see past episodes of "The Cities" log on to