The second in a trilogy of ghost stories set along Route 66, Ghostly Tales of Route 66: Arkansas to Arizona from Connie (Corcoran) Wilson was published October 2. 2009, from Quixote Press. Volume II is a solo project. Connie was the featured speaker at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Second Annual Route 66 Festival on October 3rd in St. Louis, Missouri (see article below). A website ( is up, and the book is available there or by contacting Quixote Press at 1-800-571-2665 ($9.95 plus postage). It should be "up" on soon (I hope) and it will obviously be available on October 24th from 1 to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Davenport (North Park Mall). It contains 13 ( a lucky 13) different stories and numerous photos, including one that para-normal investigators swear depicts "ghostly orbs."

I took all the pictures myself with a Nikon D90 and I have no explanation for the "ghostly orb" photo on page 47. (Come see for yourself.) It's a very small book (150 pages) and takes almost no time to read. The second volume is much better than the first volume, as it is laid out better and has "real" pictures that Craig and I took while on a 2,000 mile whirlwind trip from Oklahoma City to the coast last November. (The first book started in Chicago and ended in Oklahoma). Lots of stories from the last "Ghost Tour" of the season at Fort El Reno, Oklahoma.) and then moving on to the Cadillac Ranch, New Mexico, etc.

If you are a friend now or a former friend or someone who would like to pretend to be my friend for about 120 minutes: I'll be there at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, October 24, from 1 to 3. This has been a Connie Wilson public service announcement.

The author---"good-and-faithful-friend" material for a lifetime, not just a mere 40 years--- comes with a lifetime guarantee of loyal friendship and a track record of providing same, along with many nice things done for others, voluntarily or by request. Others can vouch for this, if they're being honest.  I'll gladly provide a guarantee of satisfaction on Volume II (although not on Volume I).  If you are dissatisfied with Volume II for any reason after purchase, email me and I will gladly provide you with a FREE copy of Volume I (I'm trying to get rid of them from my basement anyway!).

--- Connie Wilson

The Iowa Machine Shed is hosting the "Iowa Pork Tailgate Challenge" on Saturday October 24th with all proceeds going to the Child Abuse Council.  Starting at 11am at the Iowa Machine Shed, up to 12 amateur grill contestants will be grilling and competing for a panel of judges and a people's choice award as they prepare their own specialty recipes using Pork Tenderloin or Pork Loin.  People can show their support and purchase a $2.00 ticket to sample the contestant's entrees and vote for their favorite amateur cook.  "The Shed enjoys celebrating October Pork Month and what better way then to have a tailgate competition and partner with the Child Abuse Council," states Jeff Grunder, manager of the Iowa Machine Shed.

For more information on the event or to be compete as an amateur cook, please call the Machine Shed Restaurant at (563) 391-2427 or visit The Machine Shed is located at I-80 and Northwest Blvd in Davenport.

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IT Expert Offers Tips To Protect Your Network

From Social Network-Based Bugs

By Tony Panaccio

News & Experts Syndicate

Facebook isn't just a place to hook up with ex-girlfriends from high school anymore. Companies large and small are now using it for networking and legitimate business tasks. Unfortunately, it can also be a place to hook your company's network up with some nasty viruses.

The latest one, a worm called Koobface, has hit all the social networks, including Facebook, MySpace, hi5, Bebo and Twitter, and can riddle your network with malware, spyware and can steal sensitive data right from your workstations' hard drives. Like past generations of computer bugs, Koobface wants to not only infect your computer, but then use you as a jumping off point to infect others. But unlike past viruses, Koobface and similar new malware programs are leveraging your company's social network account to reach out and infect your online friends and business associates.

"Somewhere in the world there are some guys sitting around and dreaming up things that will make you click on a link," said Chip Reaves, global director of Computer Troubleshooters, the largest international network of outsourced IT providers that offers onsite computer services to small businesses. "Koobface's most effective way to spread is to send links to your friends with text like 'I can't believe it's you in this video - were you sober? LOL!' Koobface combines state-of-the-art software which can infect your computer in multiple ways with these creative lures designed to make you want to click on the infected links. It's pretty insidious."

According to an analysis by malware research firm Trend Micro, Koobface is composed of as many as 26 separate functional pieces, each of which is designed to use you and your computer in different malicious ways.

Reaves suggests these tips to protect your office network:

  • Anti-virus, Anti-spyware
    First and foremost every computer user on the Internet needs professional, up-to-date protection software. This should at a minimum include both anti-virus and anti-spyware support (some free packages do not include anti-spyware), and ideally should also include a link scanner component to minimize the risk of visiting websites which are known to be infected.
  • Claim your name, Check your fame
    If you are using social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, do periodic searches for yourself. This is especially helpful with small businesses to see what people are saying about you, but if you're infected you may find updates from yourself - which you never sent.
  • Use a 3rd party Twitter application or your phone
    Third party applications such as Tweekdeck or Twhirl can help block certain exploits that would otherwise infect you from the Twitter website. They can also help by showing where a "shortened" URL will take you before you click. Using your cell phone for updates is also safer than using the Twitter or Facebook websites directly.
  • Secure Your Browser
    Make sure your web browser is the most up-to-date version, since many vulnerabilities in older browsers (even ones from just a few months ago) are often used by malware creators to infect your computer. Chrome and Firefox are generally considered safer than Internet Explorer, but any browser with its security setting set to "High" and with the most recent updates should be fine. For the highest level of security consider using Firefox plus to block most potential points of vulnerability.
  • Ask to Include Social Media protection in your IT Management Plan
    Many small businesses and home users today are outsourcing all their computer management to a local computer service provider through what's called a Managed Services plan. Ask your local Computer Troubleshooter or other service provider to include social media protection in your computer management plan.

"If your IT department or outsourced support doesn't take all those elements into account, it's not a matter of if you'll experience downtime - it's a matter of when and for how long," Reaves said. "It's not right to be held hostage by your computer troubles or by your IT support by proxy. Uptime is not a luxury - it's a necessity for any home or business. Make certain that your IT company guarantees it. If they don't, look for another firm."

(Tony Panaccio is a staff writer for News & Experts Syndicate.)

On October 23rd & 24th, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm, Davenport's Credit Island Park will become the HAUNTED ISLAND for Halloween. This first annual family event is tailored for all ages that love Halloween yet don't want a hard scare. There will be hay rack rides and concessions in the Lodge where you can warm up with hot chocolate, cider and snacks.

If you want to wear your costumes, make sure you dress warm, because there are 430 acres of surprises for everyone to enjoy.

A donation of $2.00 for youth and adults will make this an affordable family adventure.

Credit Island Park is located on West River Drive in Davenport, nestled along the Mississippi River between the Oscar Mayer plant and South Concord St.

Sponsored by the Friends of Credit Island Park. Contact Robin Enoch at (563) 529-3082 or Shonnie Holmes at (563) 823-0902 with any questions.

2010 Congressional Page applications now available

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today that applications are now available for 2010 Congressional Page positions in Washington D.C. High school juniors are encouraged to apply.

"This is an outstanding opportunity to gain knowledge, experience and a first-hand look at the workings of our federal government," Braley said. "It's aimed not only at those interested in politics and public policy, but any student looking to challenge themselves, meet new friends and expand their horizon.

"Students gain insight, outstanding networking skills and long-lasting friendships. Not to mention a great love and understanding for our nation's capitol. I look forward to welcoming a student from the First District to Washington D.C."

The internship begins on January 24th, 2010 and concludes on June 4th.  The applications are due by November 9th and should be submitted to the Waterloo District Offce, at 501 Sycamore St., Suite 610, Waterloo, IA 50703.

Applications are available at and are due on November 9th.

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Davenport, IA, October 15, 2009:  Davenport Parks & Recreation is teaming up with the Roosevelt Community Partnership (RCP) to hold a Health  Families event.  This event will include tips on families spending quality time together, how to manage work and families, and being healthy by exercising and eating right.  The event promises to be hands-on experience  for the whole family, including: games, family craft ideas, presentations, facility tours, and a glimpse into all the Roosevelt Community Center has to offer families.

    Date:  Saturday, October 17th, 2009

    Age:  All Ages

    Time: 10:00am-2:00pm

    Fee:  FREE

    Location: Roosevelt Community Center, 1220 Minnie Ave., Davenport

Join us both days as we celebrate our 1st Anniversary. Light refreshments and birthday cake will be served.

Oct. 19th

Roosevelt Community Senior Activity Open House 5:30pm - 8:00 pm

Vintage Voices will perform "My Friend Irma" at 6:00 pm.

Oct. 21st

Exercise 9:00a.m

Musical performance "Steenbach" 10:00am - 11:00am

Sing-a-long with Dave Layton 11:00am. - 12:00pm

FREE for all ages.

Location: Roosevelt Community Center, 1220 Minnie Ave., Davenport.

For questions regarding event, please contact 563-326-7812 or

Governor's 10 Percent Budget Cut Hits Iowa Property Taxpayers Hard

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - Oct. 9, 2009 -Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members are disappointed with the Governor's decision to make a 10 percent across-the-board cut for the fiscal year 2010 budget because members know it equals a $251 million property tax hike.  "Although the Governor said he will not burden Iowans with a tax hike to balance the budget, that's exactly what he's doing," said IFBF President Craig Lang.

"A $251 million property tax hike now looms over the head of hardworking Iowans and there is no relief in sight," said Lang.

Farm Bureau members will ask Governor Culver and state leaders to redesign the state's budgeting process during next year's legislative session.  "We have to make the necessary changes to avoid the budget disruptions we are seeing today.  The state's budget default process of leaning on property taxpayers has to stop.  Homeowners, farmers and main street businesses simply can't afford a tax increase and a property tax increase is a tax increase," said Lang.

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to Benefit Winnie's Place Women's Shelter

Last chance to sign up for Friday's match!

Trivia Questions, Silent Auction, Food & Drinks,

Friendly Competition and Fellowship!

Friday, October 16 beginning at 6:00 pm

@ First Congregational UCC, 2201 - 7th Ave, Moline.

$10 per person, teams of eight players.

Sign up by calling Jo at 309-786-6494.

Will visiting Iowa take home the "trophy" or

will Illinois play the not so hospitable host?

Winnie's Place is a ministry of Churches United of the Quad City Area

Davenport, IA, October 12, 2009: Discover the truth and dispel the myths about bats just in time for Halloween!  Find out why these creatures are so important to our environment and how we can protect them.  Vera Blevins, local wildlife rehabilitator, brings her live bats and discusses valuable information regarding the animals.  On this spooky hike, you will learn about Halloween myths and legends.  Crafty bat ideas will be inside after presentation for a fee of $1.  Registration is not necessary.

Date:  Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Time:  6:30pm

Age:  All Ages

Fee:  Presentation and hike are free; bat crafts are $1

Location: Wiese Building -  1757 W. 12th St. Davenport, IA 52804

For questions regarding event, please contact 563-326-7812 or