Friday, June 24 - Sunday, June 26

We cordially invite you to join us for the official Grand Opening Celebration of Bettendorf's newest indoor country club.  The fun begins at 4:00 for the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce, followed by a celebration with complimentary food and beverages while supplies last.  We also hope you test your skills on one of The Clubhouse's four PGA Tour Golf Simulators for a chance to win prizes for the closest to the pin and long drive contests.

If golf isn't your thing you can enjoy other activities The Clubhouse has to offer including darts, pool, foosball, ping pong, video games or just relax with a cold drink in the full service bar and lounge area.  

Celebrations will continue Saturday and Sunday from 10:00a.m. - 2:00a.m.

DES MOINES, IA (06/21/2011)(readMedia)-- The following local students have been named to the President's List at Drake University. This academic honor is achieved by earning a grade point average of 4.0 during the Spring 2011 semester at Drake.

Lauren Brandt of Bettendorf, IA

Amanda Cleppe of Bettendorf, IA

Jared Dammann of Bettendorf, IA

Erika Milas of Bettendorf, IA

Caitlin Pryor of Bettendorf, IA

Jordan Porter of Eldridge, IA

Marshall Phares of Princeton, IA

The following local students have been named to the Dean's List at Drake University. This academic honor is achieved by earning a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher during the Spring 2011 semester at Drake.

Kelsey Berneking of Bettendorf, IA

Stuart Bildner of Bettendorf, IA

Leah Christensen of Bettendorf, IA

Nicholas Oestreich of Bettendorf, IA

Steven Soseman of Bettendorf, IA

Stephanie Merrick of Eldridge, IA

Steven Merrick of Eldridge, IA

Eric Hartmann of Davenport, IA

Daniel Pelletier of Davenport, IA

Katherine Foley of Davenport, IA

Alise Farrell of Davenport, IA

Chelsea Rink of Davenport, IA

Ryan Hendricks of Rock Island, IL

Claire Vandercar of East Moline, IL

Kayla Pearson of Milan, IL

Drake is a private, independent university in Des Moines, Iowa, with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 full-time undergraduate students from 50 states and 50 countries. Drake University's mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation.

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley today said that firearms data released last week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was a selective release of certain statistical data that inaccurately reflects the scope and source of the problem of firearms in Mexico and the drug trafficking organization violence.

Grassley's letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson cited additional statistical breakdowns and a Department of State cable that dispels myths about the source of weapons trafficked to Mexico.  The unclassified cable includes sections such as: "Myth: An Iron Highway of Weapons Flows from the U.S." and "Myth: The DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations) are Mostly Responsible."

Grassley said when looking at a breakdown of the numbers, it's clearly inaccurate to assert that 70 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico can be traced to a United States based gun dealer.

Grassley cited additional statistics in his letter to Melson.  In the letter, Grassley said that by looking at more specific data provided to his office, it was clear that of the 26,813 weapons traced in 2009, only 5,800 actually traced back to Federal Firearms Licensees. 

"The implication made by the ATF and various press reports is that the firearms come directly from U.S. manufacturers or U.S. Federal Firearms Licensees selling guns to drug trafficking organizations.  Not only does this paint a grossly inaccurate picture of the situation, but it appears that the State Department disagrees with this portrayal," Grassley said.

In his letter, Grassley provides a further break down of data of firearms tracing information, including a catchall category called "No Final Sale Dealer" in the ATF's own eTrace system, which means the firearms did not trace back to a Federal Firearms Licensee.  Astonishingly, nearly 78 percent of firearms traced in 2009 and 66 percent of firearms traced in 2010 were not traced to a United States licensed gun dealer.  Grassley points out that these guns instead are likely sold to foreign countries or militaries requiring approval of the State Department and Homeland Security.

To make matters worse, this category includes firearms in the ATF's Suspect Gun Database - a category which would include the nearly 2,000 firearms that are known to be part of the ATF's ill-advised Fast and Furious strategy where the ATF knowingly authorized firearm sales to straw purchasers before the weapons were trafficked to Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

"The ATF needed a distraction before last week's hearing.  Unfortunately, nobody looked closely at the numbers to determine that this was a very selective release of information intended to distract people from the disastrous policy to let guns fall into the hands of straw purchasers, only to be often found on the other side of the border," Grassley said.  

Grassley has led the oversight efforts into the ATF's reckless strategy to allow guns to fall into the hands of straw purchasers.  He began his investigation in January and has yet to receive any substantive information from the Justice Department and the ATF.  Grassley has been joined by Congressman Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate Operation Fast and Furious.

A copy of the text of the letter can be found below.  A signed copy of the letter can be found by clicking here.

Amana - Dinner and a show, what can be better? Especially if the dinner is a delicious buffet and the show a bittersweet love story performed by The Old Creamery Theatre Company at Fireside Winery, in rural Marengo.

Sounds too good to be true, but come Saturday July 23 at 6:30 pm, Fireside Winery will serve up a dinner buffet complete with assorted salads, shrimp scampi, bacon wrapped pork loin in a plum sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds and a mixedberry stack for dessert. The menu on Thursday, July 28 will consist of all of the above with chicken pasta carbonara and roast beef replacing shrimp scampi and pork loin as the entrees and mini cheesecakes will be the dessert.

The Old Creamery Theatre will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. for Love Letters, a love story that traces the lifelong correspondence of Andrew and Melissa, two very different people who care deeply for one another. Their relationship spans decades and comes to life through their letters to one another. Love Letters features Tom Milligan and Deborah Kennedy of The Old Creamery Theatre.

Tickets for dinner and the show are $40 per person and will include a free glass of wine of choice. To purchase tickets and make reservations, call Fireside Winery (319) 662-4222. Tickets are non refundable and the event will be held rain or shine.

Fireside Winery is a locally, family owned winery located in rural Marengo on P Avenue(County Rd V77) between Highway 6 and the I - 80 Williamsburg exit, across the road from the Conroy First Lutheran Church. Complete directions can be found on the website at
The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating 40 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

Help Spark the American Red Cross Blood Supply this Summer

The Independence Day holiday will surely ignite many spectacular fireworks extravaganzas, and the American Red Cross is also counting on a spark of donors to boost the blood supply. All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients in need. During the holiday week and throughout the summer donations tend to dip, but the need for blood is constant.

While all blood types are needed during the critical summer months, Rh negative blood types are always in high demand because they potentially can be transfused to patients with Rh positive or Rh negative blood types.Type O negative, the universal blood type, can potentially be transfused to patients with any blood type.
To show appreciation to those who help save lives near the upcoming Independence Day holiday (June 27 - July 6), all presenting donors at Red Cross blood drives and blood donation centers in the Heart of America region will automatically be entered for a chance to win a portable GarminGPS unit. This is a part of the Red Cross' summer-long Good to Give. Good to Go. promotion that features holiday-themed raffles and a chance for one lucky donor (21 and older) in the Mid-America Blood Services Division to win a trip for four (4) to Orlando, Florida.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information.
A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation's blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in life saving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

Blood Donation Opportunities

11:00 am- 4:00 pm
DHL Global Forwarding
3100 69th Ave #2


8:00 am-11:00 am
Old Fulton Fire Station
912 4th Street
Get a chance to win a portable GPS unit when you present to donate between June 27th & July 6th, 2011!

12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Rock Falls Blood DonationCenter
112 W.Second St.
Get a chance to win a portable GPS unit when you present to donate between June 27th & July6th, 2011!
Rock Falls

1:00 pm- 5:15 pm
Old Fulton Fire Station
912 4th Street

10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Rock Falls Blood Donation Center
112 W. Second St.
Rock Falls

3:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Fairfield Amish Mennonite School
29467 425 E.Street

1:30 pm- 6:30 pm
Sterling Education Center
1 First Avenue

Mrs. Mary Arnold served the students of Jordan for over 20 years. Her dedication and love for her students was always evident. Mrs. Arnold not only taught her young students to read and do math, but she introduced them to Jesus. Mrs. Arnold has been a blessing to Jordan and she is wished the best in her retirement.

Mrs. Linda Johnson has graced the halls of Jordan Catholic School for 18 years with her loving, compassionate spirit and faith-filled example. Linda sparked a strong curiosity for science in her fifth grade students through hands-on chemistry. We will miss this kind, patient, and loving teacher and wish her blessings in her retirement.

For 18 years, Mrs. Diane Hansen has led Jordan middle school students with humor, story-telling, and hands-on learning. Mrs. Hansen challenged her students to "think" outside the box, and taught that this was the link to exploring one's imagination, opening new worlds of opportunity. She has been an inspiration and will be greatly missed.

Following is Senator Grassley's schedule this week in Washington, D.C.  The Senate is in session.   

Grassley will meet in Washington with Iowans from the American Health Care Association, eCybermission, the Genetic Alliance, Hike to Help Refugees, the Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Retail Federation, the National Stroke Association, Pioneer, and Results.

Grassley also will meet with Iowans from Ames, Ankeny, Audubon, Cedar Falls, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, De Witt, Hiawatha, Ionia, Le Mars, Manchester, Marion, Pleasant Hill, and Sioux Center.

Grassley will meet with the Iowa Pharmacy Association Karbeling Award winners, Andrew North and Courtney Gent.  They are being recognized for their contributions to professional organizations and the political process.  The Karbeling Award is given annually to Iowans who have demonstrated successful activism for the improvement of rural health and a commitment to community service.

Grassley will present Jefferson Awards to Iowans Kay Graber and Chuck Cavanaugh.  The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America.  Graber is being recognized for starting the Brain Injury Association of East Central Iowa, and for being an advocate to change state legislation to benefit victims of brain injuries.  Cavanaugh is being recognized for his extensive volunteer service, including volunteering for Sisters of Mercy, the Knights of Columbus, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, pre/post flood of 2009 work in Cedar Rapids, The Arc of East Central Iowa, and the St. Patrick's Day Parade Society.

Grassley will meet with Presidential Scholar David Huang of Iowa City.  The Presidential Scholar Program is a government program that provides leadership development opportunities for outstanding graduating high school seniors.  The scholars travel to Washington, D.C. where they attend lectures, meet with government leaders, and receive the Presidential Medallion.

Grassley will meet with the Iowa winner of the U.S. Institute of Peace's National Peace Essay Contest, Stephanie Wenclawski of Cedar Rapids.  The National Peace Essay Contest is designed to promote discussion among high school students, teachers and national leaders about international peace and conflict resolution.  Each year, over 1,000 students submit essays and the first place winners from each state are invited to Washington, D.C. to receive their awards and meet with government leaders.

Grassley also will meet with Central Iowa 4-H youth.

  •  On Wednesday, June 22, at 8 a.m. (CT), Grassley will meet with Brigadier General John McMahon, the Army Corps of Engineers Division Commander for the Northwest Division, which covers western Iowa.  Grassley and McMahon will discuss the current flooding in western Iowa and the Corps of Engineers' performance in anticipation of and reaction to that flooding.   
  •  On Wednesday, June 22, at 9 a.m. (CT), Grassley will participate in a Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of intellectual property law enforcement efforts.  The hearing will focus on federal agencies' efforts to enforce intellectual property rights, including the coordination among agencies, as well as coordination with industry.  Grassley recently introduced legislation with the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, to crack down on websites dedicated to the sale of infringing or counterfeit goods.  
  • On Wednesday, June 22, at 9:30 a.m. (CT), Grassley will participate in a meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate.  Grassley will focus on the availability of FEMA funds for those affected by the Missouri River flooding.
  • On Wednesday, June 22, at 1:30 p.m. (CT), Grassley will participate in a Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of: Christopher Droney, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit; Robert D. Mariani, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Cathy Bissoon, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania; Mark R. Hornak, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania; and Robert N. Scola, Jr., to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.
  • On Thursday, June 23, at 8:30 a.m. (CT), Grassley will participate in an Agriculture Committee hearing on farm bill accountability and the importance of measuring performance while eliminating duplication and waste.  The Senate Agriculture Committee recently began holding hearings to explore ideas and options for the 2012 farm bill.  Grassley recently introduced legislation that will likely be considered during debate of the upcoming farm bill.  The bipartisan Grassley-Johnson Rural America Preservation Act would limit the total amount of farm-program payments that a single farmer could receive to $125,000 and would narrow the guidelines used to define who is considered actively engaged in farming in order to close a loophole that non-farmers have used to improperly receive farm payments.
  • On Thursday, June 23, at 9:00 a.m. (CT), Grassley will participate in a Judiciary Committee executive business meeting.


LINCOLN, NE (06/20/2011)(readMedia)-- The following local students qualified for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Deans' List/Honor Roll for the spring semester of the 2010-11 academic year.

Bettendorf: Hannah Marjorie Kurth, junior, College of Fine and Performing Arts, music.

Bettendorf: Nathaniel Robert Sullivan**, sophomore, College of Fine and Performing Arts, music.

Qualification for the Deans' List varies among the eight undergraduate colleges and the Honor Roll for the Division of General Studies. Listed below are the minimum grade-point averages on a 4-point scale (4.0 equals A) for each entity and the name of its respective dean. All qualifying grade-point averages are based on a minimum of 12 or more graded semester hours. An asterisk (*) following a student's name denotes a 4.0 grade-point average. Students can be on the Dean's List for more than one college.

* College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, 3.75; Dean Steven F. Waller.

* College of Architecture, top 10 percent of the students in the college; Dean Wayne Drummond.

* College of Arts and Sciences, 3.7; Dean David Manderscheid.

* College of Business Administration, 3.6; Dean Donde Plowman.

* College of Education and Human Sciences, 3.75; Dean Marjorie Kostelnik.

* College of Engineering, 3.5; Interim Dean James O'Hanlon.

* College of Journalism and Mass Communications, 3.7; Dean Gary Kebbel.

* Division of General Studies Honor Roll, 3.6; Dean of Undergraduate Studies Rita Kean.

* Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, 3.7; Dean Giacomo Oliva.

The full list of students on the Deans' List/Honor Roll can be found at

Washington, DC -Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe demanding answers about the United States Postal Service (USPS) reduction of service at the Eldridge post office.

"I'm very concerned that my constituents in Eldridge will not receive the same quality of service they've come to rely on once these changes go into effect," said Rep. Braley. "Small communities depend on their local post office and I know how much this service means to Eldridge. That's why I'll continue fighting to protect access to this post office and I'll work to make sure we all receive timely and accurate information about how these reductions in service will affect the community of Eldridge."

The USPS confirmed last week that the delivery operations at the Eldridge Post Office will be relocated to the Northwest Station in Davenport, IA as part of the Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) process. The DUO initiative involves moving city and/or rural letter carriers from one Post Office, station, or branch to another nearby postal facility. 
Services such as purchasing stamps, mailing packages, Post Office boxes, passports, and any other service currently available at local postal facilities will continue to be offered at the Eldridge facility and ZIP Codes will remain the same.

A copy of the letter is available here:


Visitors to state increase by 5 percent, generating $29.3 billion for economy

CHICAGO - June 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois' tourism industry generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of more than $2.2 billion as visitor spending continued to provide a strong economic impact for the state, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"The gains we experienced in 2010 clearly show that the tourism industry continues to play a critical role in our state's ongoing economic recovery," said Governor Quinn. "With our world-class destinations and accessible locations, more people from around the world are coming to Illinois and staying longer, which is creating new jobs and bringing additional revenue throughout the state."

The economic impact of tourism in Illinois has grown by more than $3 billion during the past five years. Additionally, the travel industry generated 287,500 jobs in Illinois in 2010, directly and indirectly supporting one in 10 jobs in the state. On average, visitors spend nearly $80 million with Illinois businesses every day.

State and local tax revenues from tourism totaled more than $2 billion in 2010, an increase of $93.5 million. The total tourism tax revenue (federal, state and local) saves the average Illinois household more than $1,000 in taxes each year.

Illinois hosted nearly 84.7 million visitors in 2010, according to D. K. Shifflet & Associates. This is up 5 percent from 2009. Both business and leisure travel saw increases in visitor volume, with leisure travel up 6 percent and business travel up 2.5 percent. Overnight leisure travel to the state was up 13.8 percent, increasing market share by 11 percent in this category and ranking Illinois 10th in the U.S.

Chicago was relatively flat in visitor volume, down less than one percent, drawing 38.11 million visitors. Business travel was up 4.9 percent while leisure travel was down 2.9 percent. Both overnight business and leisure travel increased 8.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

"Chicago's economic vitality is driven by its visitor industry, which generates more than $11 billion in direct spending, $616 million in tax revenue, and sustains more than 124,000 jobs for our city's economy," said Don Welsh, President and CEO, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau. "It is essential that Chicago continues to grow as a preeminent convention destination as well as a premier choice for visitors from around the globe. Success requires thoughtful branding, messaging, and coordination of the entire visitor experience - efforts in which the CCTB plays a critical role."

Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director of Chicago's Office of Tourism and Culture, said she is pleased with Chicago's tourism numbers.

"We are very encouraged that overnight leisure travel to Chicago has increased 7.4 percent, outpacing the U.S. average of 6.6 percent," Coyle said. "Visitors continue to be drawn to Chicago as a premier leisure destination that offers great value. Hundreds of free events and one-of-a-kind attractions keep visitors coming back and lengthening their stay."

Visitor volume outside the City of Chicago was up 10.8%, with leisure travel leading the way with an increase of 13.3%. Overnight leisure travel outside of Chicago was up 22.3%

Illinois maintained its ranking as the 7th most popular state for overseas visitors to the U.S. in 2010, hosting 1,186,000 such visitors, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism Industries. The City of Chicago, the 10th most popular U.S. city for overseas visitors, hosted 1,134,000 international visitors in 2010, a 2 percent increase over 2009 arrivals.