URBANA - Tony Franklin was recently named University of Illinois Extension Director for the multi-county unit comprised of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, and Stark counties.

"While there will be many challenges as we transition into the multi-county system," Franklin said, "the initial challenge will be to establish relationships with key stakeholders and volunteers, but it's one I'm really looking forward to."

Franklin was Associate Dean of Students at Knox College before joining University of Illinois Extension in 2001. He has served on numerous regional and statewide committees.

My vision for Unit 7 is to provide quality high impact programs that address critical issues and provide public value.  Goals and program initiatives will be implemented by a team of Educators in the following subject areas:  4-H Youth Development and Military Youth; Family and Consumer Sciences; Horticulture; and Community Development.  Specific programs will be determined based on local needs

The change in leadership came as the result of a restructuring of Extension due to a reduction in state funding.

"Even though Units are larger, we want to reassure everyone that the help you need from Extension will be just as accessible as it has been in the past" said Robert Hoeft, Interim Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach.  Hoeft says "People can still call the same phone numbers or use the same emails they have in the past to reach their local Extension staff."

The Extension educators who have been also been named are:  Jennifer Garner, Community Development; Cheryl Geitner, 4-H Youth and Military; Martha Smith, Horticulture; and Janice McCoy, Family Life.

An educator in Expanded Food and Nutrition Education has yet to be named.

For more information about how to find your local Extension office or personnel, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/.


CHICAGO - November 24, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today approved 20 and denied 48 clemency petitions. This action marks another step in a series of clemency decisions aimed at ending a massive backlog of nearly 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.

The 68 clemency petitions acted upon by Governor Quinn are from the October 2003, January 2004, April 2004 and July 2004 dockets.  Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police's Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has acted on 810 clemency petitions. Governor Quinn has granted 317 pardons, authorized eight persons who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions, granted one commutation and denied 425 petitions.

For further information on the approved clemency cases, please contact the Prisoner Review Board at (217) 502-0948.



(Kansas City, Kan., November 24, 2010) - EPA Region 7 has ordered Heartland Plating Co., of Bettendorf, Iowa, and its owners to immediately address a series of issues related to the improper storage and management of hazardous wastes at the metal electroplating facility.

Last month, EPA representatives inspected Heartland Plating's operations at 3900 Elm Street in Bettendorf, and documented throughout the facility spilled and abandoned materials for which the company's representatives could not provide complete and accurate hazardous waste determinations.

Based on container labels and information provided by Heartland employees, EPA inspectors were able to determine that the company was storing or treating a number of wastes, including chromium, zinc, cyanide, cobalt, potassium permanganate, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide.

A unilateral administrative order issued today in Kansas City, Kan., requires Heartland Plating and its owners, Marion Patigler and the Estate of Gerhard Patigler, to take several immediate actions to address violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The order directs the respondents to refrain from removing or relocating materials currently located at the facility until EPA determines the waste is being handled safely; immediately certify compliance with hazardous waste regulations or halt the generation and management of wastes until such certification can be made; identify all solid and hazardous wastes currently being treated, stored or disposed at the facility; and restrict access to areas of the property where solid and hazardous wastes have been stored or disposed, and to areas where hazardous material has been released.

Additionally, the respondents are ordered to formulate a plan for proper management or disposal of all solid and hazardous wastes at the facility in compliance with RCRA regulations, and to conduct an investigation to determine if wastes have migrated off the site. They must also undertake an immediate cleanup of any hazardous releases on the property, as well as a cleanup of the building and any surrounding areas that may be contaminated.

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Learn more about EPA's civil enforcement of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act:


December Events and Music at Cool Beanz Coffeehouse
1325 30th Street Rock Island Illinois

Tuesdays 14 & 28 Open Mic (6:30-9): Come on down and hear some great local talent performing their favorite songs.  Or come share some of what you have been working on with us. All acts welcome, PA provided.

Friday 3 Betty Z (6-9pm): Betty sings with unmatched power, emotion, and talent.  There is not a doubt that when Betty Z sings, she connects and has entered in behind the veil.  She ever remains thankful to God for all she has, and for all she has come through in this life.

Saturday 4 Kevin Grastorf (6-9pm): Kevin Grastorf is a Singer-Songwriter who will be performing songs from his first album "Courting the Muse" and more.You can listen to "Courting the Muse"at www.myspace.com/kevingrastorf.

Friday 10 Angela Meyer (6-9pm): Angela is an up-and-coming QC native who not only plays guitar and sings, but also writes her own songs.  While mostly on an acoustic country/pop feel, Angela uses influences from all across the musical spectrum.
are sponsoring a free family event with Holiday Tree lighting by Rock Island Mayor Denis Pauley, live music, pictures with santa, Ice sculptors, holiday crafts, raffles and prizes

Saturday 11 Sarah Allner (6-9pm): Sarah Allner is a local musician from Orion, who plays acoustic Americana-folk.  Not only does she play old-time tunes you will love to remember, but also original songs from the heart.

Friday 17 NSAI (6:30-9pm): Come listen to songwriters perform their own original music and reveal what sparked the song genesis... Songwriters are all are welcome to perform and original song or two.

Saturday 18 The Tangents (6-9pm): This duo plays fun music for all ages and always promises a great time.  This will be a night bursting with fun!

The Chordbuster Chorus present:  "An Old Fashioned Christmas", a Christmas musical variety program featuring: The Chordbuster Chorus, 2nd Baptist Church Brotherhood Male Chorus, Davenport North High School Chamber Singers, and quartets:  A Touch of Fun, Possible Side Effects and Choir Boys.
Saturday, December 11th, 2 p.m.
Second Baptist Church, 919 6th Ave., Rock Island.
Tickets: $5.
12 and under: free.
Information:  (563) 332-4810.

The Chordbuster Chorus promotes a cappella, barbershop-style harmony singing as a way of enriching people's lives.

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center will be closed for a controlled deer hunt from Saturday, December 4 thru Wednesday, December 8.  As a result, the Eagle View Eco Center and its displays will be closed on Saturday, December 4.

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center can be found 6 miles south of Wheatland or 1 mile northwest of Dixon, Iowa by taking County Road Y4E.  Then turn north at 52nd Avenue and follow the signs for about 1 mile.

"I can't think of a better way to get into the Christmas Spirit."  Patrick Stinson, Showboat Artistic Director and star of It's a Wonderful Life continues, "With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping we get lost in looking for deals and making sure our list is completely checked and we forget about the spirit of the holiday season.  It's A Wonderful Life is a fantastic reminder of why we go through the hassle to find the deals and the right gift for our loved ones.  In fact the first gift one should give is the gift of the Christmas spirit by attending our show."

Before It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play begins the audience is welcomed in with Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters and as the show starts the applause sign flashes and all are transported to a 1940's radio studio complete with a foley artist creating live sound effects and a children's choir proving background music.

A local cast of over 40 performers fill out the ensemble. "Rehearsals have been going great.  We started working on the show the first week of November and since early in the rehearsal process moments have been coming together and it's like I'm on the set with of a 1940's radio studio." says cast member and the show's music director Doug Kutzli.

Tickets for It's A Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play are available at the Showboat Box Office, hours are Fridays 4- 7 and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 or by calling (563) 242-6760, and anytime online at www.clintonshowboat.org.  Tickets are $15.00 and season tickets for the 2011 Summer Season are available at a $20 discount until the show closes.

The Showboat is also kicking off its 2011 fundraising drive with this show.  "Tickets only cover about 70 percent of our operating costs.  Being a non-profit organization with the mission to bring quality professional theatre to Clinton we cannot do this without the community's help."  states Stinson.

The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre has been in residence on the City of Clinton Showboat for over 20 years bringing the area tomorrows stars today.  Many of today's Broadway stars have graced the Showboat's stage in the last 20 years including 2000 and 2001 alum Jill Paice (Broadway's Curtains) and the 2003 alum Bryan Lefeber (Cirque's Love).  The Showboat has several sponsorship levels with many great incentives.  "Anyone can sponsor any amount and it will be used wisely to bring great theatre and arts education to the Showboat."  said Stinson.  The Showboat's website www.clintonshowboat.org has more information about sponsorships, incentives, and even a link to pledge online as well.

Figge tour focuses on works that are popular with children.

Take a break from the hectic holiday season at the Figge Art Museum, where you can enjoy a special family-oriented tour. "Celebrating Family" is offered the first three Sundays in December at 1:30 pm (Dec. 5, 12, 19).  The tour begins in the Family Gallery with Doris Lee's print Thanksgiving, which depicts women preparing Thanksgiving dinner during the Great Depression. Families will then be introduced to colorful and whimsical works in the College Invitational exhibition, and several paintings and sculptures by famous artists Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Deborah Butterfield. The works were selected for the "Celebrating Family" tour because they are popular with both children and adults.  After the tour, participants can enjoy free hot chocolate.

Thanksgiving is now up in the Family Gallery, so if you can't wait for the tour, bring your family into the Figge today or anytime through the holiday season and enjoy art activities in the gallery with your loved ones!

Tour is free with price of admission.  Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children. Open Sundays : Noon-5pm.



MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT premieres a brand new public affairs program on November 25th at 6:30 pm. "The Cities" will be a weekly look at issues, events and newsmakers in and around the Quad Cities. The program will be hosted by Jim Mertens. Guests for the first show includes newly elected Illinois State Representative Bobby Shilling and his wife, and 'Mr. Thanksgiving', Bob Vogelbaugh.

"This show has been the pipeline for some time, but first we had to get through the license transfer and move our offices before we could get it on the air," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.  "Now that everything is in place, we are very excited to begin production on "The Cities."  The program is being supported in part by a grant from the Victor and Doris Day Foundation.

"The Cities" joins other new local programs on WQPT including "WIU Presents," an hour long performance program provided by Western Illinois University; the second season of "Get Movin'," a children's exercise and healthy living program hosted by Jennifer Neal and "Out and About"  a weekly look at events coming up in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

Host Jim Mertens is known in the Quad Cities as the morning anchor for WQAD.   "I think this type of longer format public affairs programming is missing in the Quad Cities.  We hope the audience will help us form the show so we can showcase the important issues... and great community programs... that we either don't realize exist or simply take for granted," said Mertens. "Not to be Pollyanna about it, but each week we hope to discover not only what is happening in the Quad Cities, but what could happen to make it a better place."

"The Cities" will be taped at Fusion Communications in Davenport, Iowa and will air on WQPT Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Starting in mid December WQPT will also repeat the program on Sundays at 5:30 pm.

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

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Peer support is powerful, especially when it comes to your health.   For example, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found people with diabetes who managed their symptoms together had better outcomes than doing so on their own.  And for the increasing number of people living with hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and cancer, the combination of skills development and peer support can make a difference in how they cope with their condition and the pain, anxiety and fatigue that often comes with it

Based on the work of Stanford University researcher Kate Lorig, DrPH, Better Choices, Better Health™, (available at selfmanage.org) is an online workshop that teaches self-management management skills in the context of a virtual group.  Rigorous studies have demonstrated that this program helps individuals decrease their fatigue, exercise more, expand their self-confidence and improve their health.

The National Council on Aging is currently piloting Better Choices, Better Health in Iowa. While the program is valued at approximately $200 per person, it is now provided free of charge to participants, thanks to pilot funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Better Choices, Better Health:  How It Works

Throughout the six-week workshop, individuals interact with peers and trained facilitators - many of whom have a chronic condition themselves. They come together and set their own goals and build action plans to achieve them.  Participants discuss ways to reduce stress, find and use community resources, and learn better ways to talk to their doctor and families about their health.

Available Online and In the Community

Better Choices, Better Health is the online version of Stanford University's internationally recognized Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP), which takes place in-person in community-based settings.

Iowa also offers the community-based program, called Iowa Healthy Links available at www.iowahealthylinks.org or (617) 624-5440, which is provided through the state Department of Public Health.  Both Iowa Healthy Links and Better Choices, Better Health programs are effective in addressing a wide range of chronic health conditions.

You can view a video of the community-based version of the program here: http://www.ncoa.org/improving-health/chronic-disease/healthier-lives.html

I'd like to put you in touch with Jay Greenberg, SVP of Social Enterprise at NCOA, Kate Lorig, founder of CDSMP and director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center, or a program instructor or participant to further discuss how Better Choices, Better Health and Iowa Healthy Links are impacting the local community.