New ten-part series premieres Monday, January 18 at 9pm ET on HISTORY

In the world of antiques, it takes an expert to turn rust into riches...

New York, December 2009 - Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America. Their job: to dig through junk piles, abandoned barns and neglected garages for hidden memorabilia. Sometimes they make a buck; and sometimes they walk away with little more than the history of an item. They love their work, and the open road is their office.

Part sleuths, part antiques experts, and part cultural historians? Mike and Frank, business partners of Antique Archaeology based in Iowa, are professional "pickers," trolling America's small towns to salvage rare collectibles and good junk from regular folks. AMERICAN PICKERS, a ten-part series from HISTORY, follows the adventures of Mike and Frank, through small towns and back roads for a glimpse at this little-known side of the antiques business. The all new series premieres Monday, January 18 at 9pm ET on HISTORY.

Buddies since 8th grade, Mike and Frank have an entertaining rapport and an instinct for unearthing relics of historical, collectible and pop culture value. Although buying and selling is their livelihood, the thrill is in the chase. Each treasure hunt leads them to fascinating, quirky characters - everyday people with stories about their artifacts and themselves that open a window into American life.

AMERICAN PICKERS follows the highs and lows of the "picking" trade as Mike and Frank get their hands dirty in search of weird and wonderful Americana. It takes amazing expertise to tell good junk from bad. Whether tracking down a one-of-a-kind Ferris wheel or sizing up a vintage Harley-Davidson, they must be prepared to verify an object's history and judge its value. The pressure mounts as they strike the ultimate deal, find just the right buyer and turn around the item fast. It's not uncommon for them to contend with a farmer's physical threats and verbal abuse one minute and laughing with him over a beer the next.

"We're caretakers of treasures and the stories behind them," says Mike.  Traveling along with the duo, viewers will meet an assortment of American originals and watch as a patchwork of history unfolds - one treasure at a time.

AMERICAN PICKERS joins the highly successful series, PAWN STARS, as part of HISTORY's powerful new "National Treasures" programming genre in which relics belonging to everyday people tell a history of America.

AMERICAN PICKERS is produced for HISTORY by Cineflix Productions. Dirk Hoogstra and Susan Werbe are Executive Producers for HISTORY. Executive Producers for Cineflix Production are Charles Tremayne and Mark Poertner.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS -- WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will hold their annual Champagne on the Rocks Gala on January 29, 2010 at Jumer's Casino and Hotel.  The Presenting Sponsor for Champagne on the Rocks is The Singh Group, Merrill Lynch-Quad Cities, Global Wealth Management.  "The event will acknowledge WQPT's long relationship with Black Hawk College and will kick off the station's new partnership with Western Illinois University by honoring WIU's Dr. Joe Rives, Vice President Quad Cities, Planning, and Technology, for his efforts in making this transition possible," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.

Champagne on the Rocks is WQPT's major fundraising event featuring dinner, diamonds, live and silent auction and a musical revue featuring Larry Adams and Jessye Wright. Ms. Wright was recently in the Quad Cities as the alto soloist in The Messiah at Centennial Hall. Mr. Adams will have just completed "The Merry Widow" for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The two singers will be performing a series of love songs including "Wunderbar" from "Kiss Me Kate" and "All I Ask of You" from "Phantom of the Opera" among others.

Each guest receives a champagne glass with a gem as they enter the gala. Representatives from Expressions Jewelers will be on hand to appraise the gems. Two guests will win a .25-carat internally flawless cut diamond, donated by Expressions Jewelers.  Guests will also bid on 100 items featuring trips to Cancun, Wisconsin Dells and Las Vegas. Golf for four at TPC and tickets to the Quad City Symphony and Circa '21 are also being offered.  "We're very excited by the variety of silent auction items as well as the live auction items that include a John Deere Home Generator and one-of-a-kind vases from artist Steve Sinner," said WQPT Special Projects Coordinator, Bea Brasel.

To view a complete list of auction items log on to For further information or to make a reservation to attend Champagne on the Rocks call 309-796-2424 or log on to

WQPT is the regional PBS station located in Moline, Illinois on the campus of Black Hawk College.                      

# # #

Des Moines, Iowa (Jan. 11, 2010) - Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch has never met Iowa's farmers! In fact, they will be offering all Iowa residents the chance to win free groceries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - for an entire year!

Beginning today, Iowa residents can register for two grand prizes of "Free Groceries for a Year!"* courtesy of Iowa's farmers, at Upon visiting the site, consumers will be able to register by meeting an Iowa farmer and learning how they produce safe, nutritious and affordable food. Consumers can register with each of the five featured farmers daily through April 11, the end of the 90-day program.

"As Iowa farmers, we're thrilled to offer free groceries for a year to the consumers of our great state," said Jim Brown, a soybean farmer from Churdan, Iowa, who is a featured farmer on "This is an opportunity for us to share what we produce with Iowa consumers and to let them know we share their values - taking care of our families, taking care of our animals and land and giving back to our communities."  

The web site features beef cattle, corn, dairy cattle, hog, and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing information about their farm and their family. In addition to guiding visitors through their registration for free groceries, each farmer also offers a brief online tour of their farm. "I'm proud about how farmers in the state of Iowa produce food," Brown said, "and I want to show people how today's farms operate." Featured farmers include :

· Jim Brown, soybean farmer, Churdan
· Pam Johnson, corn farmer, Floyd
· Stephanie Dykshorn, dairy cattle farmer, Ireton
· Matt Schuiteman, hog farmer, Sioux Center
· Tim Kaldenberg, beef cattle farmer, Albia
Over the course of the 90-day campaign, consumers throughout the state will also see and hear from these farmers as they are featured in advertising and in-store promotions. Consumers will even have the opportunity to interact with these and other Iowa farmers on their blogs and Facebook pages. See and for more information.
Supporting Iowa agriculture groups include Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

*Based on Food Marketing Institute figures, a $5,000 value. 

Contact: Mark Crouser
(816) 556-3134

# # #

Guardian Glass will receive Recovery Act tax credit to re-equip manufacturing facility

Washington, DC - Rep Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today Guardian Glass will receive a $900,000 Recovery Act Advanced Energy tax credit to re-equip their manufacturing facility in DeWitt.  The tax credit will expand Iowa's clean energy economy by allowing the DeWitt facility to expand its production of bent solar mirrors.

"As we continue to work our way out of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, expanding our investments in clean energy manufacturing jobs are the key to real recovery," Braley said. "These are high-quality jobs that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen Iowa's role in the 21st century economy."

The project at Guardian will modify and enhance the existing mirror line to enable the facility to mirror glass in a single throughput on the production line, while at the same time achieving a multi-layer specialized paint coating to protect and preserve the reflective layers of copper and silver. Preservation of these reflective layers is critical to the achievement of long service lives of highly reflective solar mirrors.

For more information about Recovery Act projects in the First District, click here.



The Bettendorf Discovery Shop in Cumberland Square invites you to join them Thursday, January 14th as they debut their cruise wear clothing and accessories. From swimsuits and beach shoes, to colorful and fun accessories for your home, we have something that will brighten your day. If you are planning a vacation, a cruise, or are just plain tired of your winter clothing, join us for a chance to purchase a wonderful fresh spring wardrobe.

The shop welcomes donations of men's, women's and children's clothing, accessories, jewelry, collectibles, and items for the home. Donations are accepted any time the shop is open and a tax receipt is always available.

The Discovery Shop is owned and operated by the American Cancer Society with the proceeds going for cancer research, education, patient services, and advocacy. The shop is an upscale resale shop selling gently used items all donated by the community. They are staffed with over 100 volunteers. All clothing is cleaned and ironed before it is sold. All dry cleaning is donated by Burke Dry Cleaners.

Regular shop hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.



Alliance President Calls for ESEA Reauthorization in 2010 to Attack Dropout Crisis that Claimed More than 7,800 of Iowa's Students in 2009

Washington, DC - Today marks the eighth birthday of the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the most recent version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Reauthorization of the law, which was due in 2007, has yet to occur. For every year that Congress fails to address the unique challenges faced by high schools through a reauthorization of ESEA, approximately 1.3 million students across the nation will drop out of school. In Iowa alone, more than 7,800 students left high school in 2009 prior to earning their diploma.

"In many ways, NCLB is a compact disc in an iPod world," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. "It's still around, but it is in desperate need of an upgrade.

"The best birthday present for Iowa's students is for the Congress and President Obama to enact a new ESEA. It's time to blow out the candles and bake a new cake.

"NCLB rightly deserves credit for requiring schools to report data that focused attention on educational disparities for various groups of students. Unfortunately, due to shortcomings in the law's design and implementation, most improvements in learning outcomes for the nation's elementary school students have not been echoed by their middle and high school counterparts.

"In their brief tenure, President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have actively recognized the high school crisis, focused on turning around the lowest-performing schools, and called on the nation to graduate all students ready for college and careers. Over the last several years, congressional leaders have held hearings and developed legislative proposals based on research and best practice that demonstrate ways to improve the law. However, until research, discussions, hearings, and legislative proposals are actually turned into an ESEA reauthorization, none of these positive changes will reach the countless high school students and teachers in thousands of classrooms.

"This eighth birthday should be a commitment that 2010 is the year to harness the progress and increase momentum around high school reform into a reauthorized ESEA that strategically addresses the high school crisis and begins turning the more than one million dropouts a year into high school graduates who are ready for college and careers.

"Today, our message to the Congress and President Obama is, 'Don't delay. Reauthorize ESEA.'"


The Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI) has elected the following individuals as new Board members with terms beginning January 2010:

  • Major Mike Brown, Scott County Sheriff's Office
  • Mr. Alex Calder, Alcoa
  • Mr. Thad DenHartog, Mel Foster Co.
  • Ms. Sharon Hodson, Deere & Company
  • Dr. Ed Littig, St. Ambrose University
  • Dr. Ed Littig, St. Ambrose University

The following individuals were elected or promoted to serve on the Executive Board beginning January 2010:

  • Dr. Fred Burnham, Dentist
  • Mr. Jim Horstmann, Community Member
  • Mr. Jerry Lack, Illowa Construction Labor and Management Council
  • Ms. Anne McGlynn, Mid American Energy

Ms. Denise Bulat, Bi-State Regional Commission was elected Chair of the QCHI Board and Mr. Jim Horstmann was elected Vice-Chair beginning January 2010. Dr. Bud Phillis was appointed to the honorary position of Past Board Chair.

The Board also extends gratitude to the following retiring Board members:

  • Ms. Karen Dowsett, Community Member
  • Mr. Jerry Jones, City of Rock Island Martin Luther King Center
  • Ms. Jill McLaughlin, Community Member
  • Dr. Bud Phillis, Community Member

The Quad City Health Initiative is a community partnership working to create a healthy community. A 35-member community Board that was established in 1999 oversees the organization. The Initiative seeks to be our community's recognized leader for creating collaborative action on health and abides by the core values of commitment, collaboration and creativity. Major financial support of the Quad City Health Initiative is currently provided by the generous direct and in-kind investments of Genesis Health System and Trinity Regional Health System. In 2010, additional financial support is provided by St. Ambrose University and the McLaughlin Family Foundation. Support is also provided by QCHI Board members including the following member organizations: QC Medical Societies, Community Health Care, Rock Island County Health Department, Scott County Health Department and United Way of the Quad Cities Area.

For more information or to join the efforts of the Quad City Health Initiative, please call 563-421-2815 or visit our website at



The Rock Island County Candidates Forum will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rock Island High School Little Theater, 1500 block of 23rd Avenue (Entrance on the North side of R.I. High School).

Candidates for Rock Island County Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer and District 15 of the County Board are expected to attend.

Moderator: Steve Trainor, CCC; former TV & Radio news reporter

Written questions will be taken from the audience. Candidates will have opening & closing statements and opportunities for rebuttal.

Individuals with Primary opposition, running for Judge, have also been invited to make a short statement and take questions if there are any.

This forum is jointly sponsored by the Community Caring Conference, a neighborhood action agency, and the Rock Island Township.

County Clerk - Karen Kinney, Larry Toppert, "Nick" Leibovitz

County Sheriff - Jeff Boyd, Mike Huff, Dick Fisher

County Treasurer - Louisa Ewert, John Thodos

District 15 - Jim Davies (D), Nick Camlin (D), David Kimbell (R), and Wm. Long (R)

GALENA, Ill. - It's hard to believe that eating this well is actually all for a good cause. On Feb. 5, Galena's finest - ranging from restaurateurs to winemakers to cheesecake bakers to caterers - will gather together at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa from 7-10 p.m. to "Treat your Taste Buds" for the Galena Art & Recreation Center.

Now in its 20th year, the ARC Taste of Galena has become a sought-after event that promises an evening of pleasure for your taste buds. Past years have presented delectable dishes such as: braised veal roast with apple ginger sauce, sliced duck with sour cherry chutney over molasses sweet potatoes, boeuf bourguignon, Crab Louis salad, Grecian pork tenderloin kabobs, Greek salad, spanakopita, candy bar cheesecake and locally produced wines. And there's sure to be chocolate...and lots of it.

Your taste buds won't be the only thing thanking you. Your feet will thank you, too, as they will be keeping rhythm to the catchy beat of the Rob Martin Quartet, a live jazz ensemble, who will perform throughout the evening.

For a complete and up-to-date listing of ARC Taste exhibitors and menus, click on the event's useful website: The site also provides attendees with a quick and convenient way to purchase Taste tickets online. Tickets will be held and distributed at the door the evening of the event. In addition to online sales, tickets may also be purchased at the Galena Art & Recreation Center, 413 S. Bench St., and the Galena Territory Owners' Club. Cost is $30 per person. Tickets are limited; advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended.

"We are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Taste of Galena with Galena's finest establishments and appreciate their continued support. Every year I look forward to the diverse menu, and this year's event is guaranteed to please!'" said Sarah Petersen, the ARC's executive director. "There are many exciting things planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event, including a special digital presentation of photos through the years, a silent auction and a 50/50 drawing. I recommend purchasing your tickets early as this event has sold out in the past."

The ARC Taste of Galena is a core fundraiser for the Galena Art & Recreation Center, a not-for-profit organization that provides programs for all ages. The funds raised at the ARC Taste are included in the ARC annual operating budget and will assist with the ongoing process of balancing the budget and achieving financial security.

For information about room availability, shopping, dining, attractions, events and more, please go to, the Web site of the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, or call 877-464-2536 toll-free.

In 2009, the Galena Art & Recreation Center celebrated its 40th anniversary. Forty years strong...and still growing: visit

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley today said that that he will be holding meetings in 21 counties from January 11 - 15.  The visits are part of Grassley's annual meetings in each of Iowa's 99 counties. The Senate will not be in session for a scheduled congressional recess.

"I've met with Iowans in every county, every year I've represented Iowa in the United States Senate.  It's this exchange of ideas that gives me greater insight directly from Iowans," Grassley said.  "Holding a meeting in each of our 99 counties gives me the opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue with the people I serve in the U.S. Senate."

Grassley's meetings will take him to the counties of Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Van Buren and Washington.

Grassley will hold town hall meetings in Anamosa, Belle Plaine, Bloomfield, Columbus Junction, De Witt, Fort Madison, Kalona, Maquoketa, Mount Pleasant, Muscatine, Sigourney, Traer and Williamsburg.

He will tour businesses and meet with employees at Greystone Logistics Manufacturing Facility in Bettendorf and GE Consumer & Industrial in West Burlington.He will also meet with students at North Cedar Middle School in Clarence.

In addition, he will speak with the Cedar Rapids Rotary in Cedar Rapids, the Grinnell Rotary in Grinnell, the Davenport Kiwanis and the Fairfield Rotary in Fairfield.

He will tour the Reach Out and Read site and speak with doctors and hospital staff at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua.

Here is detailed information about Grassley's upcoming county visits.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Noon - 1 p.m.:  Speak with Cedar Rapids Rotary, The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ballroom, 350 1st Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.:  Jones County Town Hall Meeting, Lawrence Community Center, 600 East Main Street, Anamosa

4:45 - 5:45 p.m.:  Jackson County Town Hall Meeting, Hurstville Interpretive Center, Community Room, 18670 63rd Street, Maquoketa

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.:  Clinton County Town Hall Meeting, De Witt Community Center, 512 10th Street, De Witt

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.:  Speak with students and tour new gym and commons at North Cedar Middle School, 400 Ball Street, Clarence

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.:  Iowa County Town Hall Meeting, Williamsburg Community Recreation Center, Large Meeting Room, 939 South Highland Street, Williamsburg

6 - 7 p.m.:  Speak with Grinnell Rotary, West Side Family Restaurant, 229 6th Avenue West, Grinnell

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

7 - 8 a.m.:  Tama County Town Hall Meeting, Traer Public Library, Kupka Cultural Center, 531 2nd Street, Traer

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.:  Benton County Town Hall Meeting, Belle Plaine Community Center, 1309 5th Avene, Belle Plaine

Noon - 1 p.m.:  Speak with Iowa City Optimist Club, Masonic Lodge, 312 East College Street, Iowa City

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.:  Keokuk County Town Hall Meeting, Keokuk County Health Center, Doug Adam Classroom, 23019 Highway 149, Sigourney

5 - 6 p.m.:  Washington County Town Hall Meeting, Kalona Chamber of Commerce, Meeting Room, 514 B Avenue, Kalona

Thursday, January 14, 2010

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.:  Muscatine County Town Hall Meeting, Muscatine Community College, Strahan Hall, Little Theatre, 152 Colorado Street, Muscatine

10:15 - 11:15 a.m.:  Meet with employees and tour Greystone Logistics Manufacturing Facility, 2601 Shoreline Drive, Bettendorf

Noon - 1 p.m.:  Speak with Davenport Kiwanis, Outing Club, 2109 North Brady Street, Davenport

3 - 4 p.m.:  Louisa County Town Hall Meeting, Columbus Junction City Hall, ICN Room, 232 2nd Street, Columbus Junction

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.:  Henry County Town Hall Meeting, Mount Pleasant Civic Center, Meeting Room, 2nd Floor, 307 East Monroe Street, Mount Pleasant

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 - 8 a.m.:  Meet with employees and tour GE Consumer and Industrial, 510 East Agency Road, West Burlington

9 - 10 a.m.:  Lee County Town Hall Meeting, Fort Madison City Hall, Council Chambers, 811 Avenue E, Fort Madison

Noon - 1 p.m.:  Speak with Fairfield Rotary, Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 North Main Street, Fairfield

2 - 3 p.m.:  Tour Reach Out and Read site and visit with doctors and hospital staff, Van Buren County Hospital, 304 Franklin Street, Keosauqua

4:15 - 5:15 p.m.:  Davis County Town Hall Meeting, Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative, Touchstone Energy Training Center, 22458 Highway 2, Bloomfield