Nicholas Skaggs of Davenport, IA graduated from Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky, with a Bachelor of Arts degree during the 2010 Winter Commencement cermony.


Trent Carlson, Bachelor of Science, Business Economics and Kevan Kadavy, Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Sciences, both of Davenport, along with Matthew Noe, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration and Tara Vandygriff, Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations, both of Rock Island, were named to the Dean's List at Marquette University, Milwaukee, for the Fall 2010 term.  Also, Andrew Czachowski of Bettendorf has graduated from Marquette University with a Master of Arts degree in English.


Adam Ryan Eaker, School of Engineering & Computer Science; Blake Matthew Rauba, Hankamer School of Business, both of Moline, IL, were named to the Dean's Academic Honors List at Baylor University, Waco, TX.


The following local students have been named to the President's List at Drake University, Des Moines. This academic honor is achieved by earning a grade point average of 4.0 during the Fall 2010 semester at Drake.

Kelsey Berneking of Bettendorf, IA, Kelsey Brandt of Bettendorf, IA, Lauren Brandt of Bettendorf, IA, Amanda Cleppe of Bettendorf, IA, Jared Dammann of Bettendorf, IA, Caitlin Pryor of Bettendorf, IA, Abby Sheehan of Bettendorf, IA, Chelsea Rink of Davenport, IA, Erika Sevigny of Davenport, IA, Stephanie Merrick of Eldridge, IA, Jordan Porter of Eldridge, IA, James VanEchaute of Moline, IL, Claire Vandercar of Port Byron, IL, and 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 Fall 2010 semester at Drake.

Caitlin Araujo of Bettendorf, IA, Stuart Bildner of Bettendorf, IA, Leah Christensen of Bettendorf, IA, Bret Larson of Bettendorf, IA, Erika Milas of Bettendorf, IA, Elizabeth Shoemaker of Bettendorf, IA, Kathryn Hamilton of Blue Grass, IA, Evan Clark of Davenport, IA, Scott Copeland of Davenport, IA, Alise Farrell of Davenport, IA, Luke Hansen of Davenport, IA, Eric Hartmann of Davenport, IA, Kristin Stopulos of Davenport, IA, Taylor Bender of Eldridge, IA, Karmen Rocker of Hillsdale, IL, Taylor Odegard of Le Claire, IA, Kayla Pearson of Milan, IL, Christine Hoegner of Moline, IL, Andrew Olson of Moline, IL, Hailey Shelton of Moline, IL, Ryan Hendricks of Rock Island, IL, and Sarah VanLandegen of Rock Island, IL.


The following area students graduated from Creighton University, Omaha, NE during the winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.

Chris Cameron of Davenport earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Diane Ferry of Eldridge earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Adminsitration degree.


Tate Kapple, a resident of Parnell, Iowa, made the Dean's List for the fall 2010 semester at the University of Montana Western, Dillon, MT.


Dr. Nancy Erickson, vice president for academic affairs at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, has announced the names of students who have qualified for the 2010 fall semester Dean's List. Local students achieving this honor are:

Brittany Kahler, a Senior majoring in Studio Art from Marengo, IA

Ayla Serrano, a Sophomore majoring in Life Science from Rock Island, IL

Sarah Voss, a Freshman majoring in Physical Education from Marengo, IA

SPRINGFIELD - Thursday, January 13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: SB 2505

Provides revenue needed to stabilize the state's budget and sets unprecedented limits on state spending.

An Act Concerning: Revenue

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Friday, January 14, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: SB 3514

Authorizes financing for the state's pension funds.

An Act Concerning: Finance

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately  


DES MOINES, IA (01/13/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants every second and third grade teacher in the state to take advantage of the free pencils being offered through Prepare for the Basics. This no-cost program, which provides pencils for students to use during the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, supplied almost 13,500 students with pencils during the 2008-09 school year. "Any teacher interested in participating in the program has until April 1st to submit their requests," stated Fitzgerald. "I really hope all teachers take advantage of this program. It is a small gesture of appreciation for all that they do."

The Prepare for the Basics program also provides information to families about College Savings Iowa, the state's 529 plan that is designed to give them an affordable way to save money for college. "Families who begin saving early are better prepared to meet the educational needs of their children. Any little bit that can be saved now will offset what has to be borrowed in the future," stated Fitzgerald.

College Savings Iowa lets anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - invest for college on behalf of a child. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,865 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011.* Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information about College Savings Iowa, go to or call 1-888-672-9116.

Teachers who would like to take part in the Prepare for the Basics program can register online by visiting and clicking on the financial literacy tab. Materials should be requested at least two weeks prior to testing to ensure timely arrival and will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax on the earnings, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Opening this Saturday, January 15th, at the Figge Art Museum is the Young Artists at the Figge exhibition. Each year, the museum presents six exhibitions of elementary schoolchildren's artwork in its Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery. Through this museum-school partnership, more than 500 area students, from six different school districts, have the opportunity to display their artwork at the Figge and share the walls with Pablo Picasso, Grant Wood and Jackson Pollock. These annual exhibits encourage the creative activities of the children and the museum is able to recognize and promote quality visual arts programs in the schools and the importance of its role in intellectual development. This past year, nearly 2,000 people attended these events; many were first time museum visitors. The recognition ceremonies introduce young artists and their families to the Figge exhibitions and collections, providing further inspiration for their artistic endeavors.

The exhibition schedule, beginning this Saturday:

Geneseo Community Schools
January 15-30, 2011
Recognition Ceremony:
1 pm Sunday, January 16

Moline Community Schools
February 5-20, 2011
Recognition Ceremonies:
6 pm and 6:30 pm Thursday, February 10

Davenport Community Schools

February 26-March 13, 2011
Recognition Ceremonies:
12:30 pm and 1:30 pm Sunday, March 6

North Scott Community Schools
March 19-April 3, 2011
Recognition Ceremonies:
12:30 pm and 1 pm Sunday, March 27

Bettendorf Community Schools
April 9-24, 2011
Recognition Ceremony:
1 pm Sunday, April 17

Pleasant Valley Community Schools
April 30-May 15, 2011
Recognition Ceremonies:
12:30 pm and 1 pm Sunday, May 1


For more information and museum hours, contact the Figge Art Museum at 563.326.7804 or visit

A worship service for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held Sunday afternoon, January 23, 2011 at 4:00pm hosted by St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church at 916 E. Rusholme Street, Davenport, IA.

The theme for the 2011 celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "One in the Apostle' Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread and Prayer". It comes from the Book of Acts chapter 2 verse 42.

It is generally held that the 1910 World Mission Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland marked the beginnings of the modern ecumenical movement.  Now 101 years later we continue to celebrate that the message of unity is still central to the Christian calling.  This worldwide celebration is sponsored and developed each year by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute based in Garrison, NY.

The Quad City area planning committee is composed of both area Catholic and Protestant churches, including from Moline: First Congregational United Church of Christ and Hope United Church of Christ, from Rock Island: St. Pius X Catholic Church, St. James Lutheran Church ELCA, and 15th Avenue Christian Disciples of Christ; and from Davenport St. Paul the Apostle Catholic and Faith United Church of Christ; along with Churches United of the Quad City Area.


The speaker for this unity service will be the Rev. David Geenen, Pastor of 15th Avenue Christian Church, Rock Island.  Rev. Geenen is one of the younger members of the clergy in the Quad Cities and will bring that perspective as he looks at ecumenical involvement both that which has gone before since the 1910 World Mission Conference and looking ahead to what may be the future involvement of congregations and church bodies working as one to bring the message of justice and love to the world.  David is a 2007 graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Peace and Justice.  David is currently the Vice President of Quad Cities Interfaith and he serves on the National Board of Disciples Home Missions in Indianapolis.  He is also the Co-leader and founder of theplace2be - a faith-based as well as community services effort to create a safe haven for our communities' displaced/homeless youth.

Extraordinary things happen at Rivermont Collegiate!  Join us at two special events to explore our approach to learning!  Observe Rivermont students and faculty in action at the Family Math Night and Open House on Thursday, January 20th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Family Math Night, a tradition at Rivermont, engages students from Junior Kindergarten through Fifth Grade and their families in a variety of math activities and competitions.  This special night will be accompanied by a casual open house, giving local families the opportunity to tour campus and explore our philosophy and programs!  In addition, local families are invited to join us for a cup of coffee and a tour at an Open House Coffee on Saturday, January 22nd from 8:30-11:00 a.m. Rivermont will be hosting the BESTS Test (Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search), accompanied by an open house to allow parents of students taking the test, as well as local families, to drop in and explore Rivermont!  Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, will be on hand to provide tours and answer questions.

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only private, independent, nonsectarian college prep school for preschool through twelfth grade.  Featuring a 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio, our small class sizes ensure individualized attention and a supportive, family-like environment.  Rivermont turns traditional education inside out, encouraging students to explore unique opportunities and programs - to design their own Rivermont Experience!  At the heart of the Rivermont Experience is an unwavering dedication to academic excellence, with 100% of graduates accepted to 4-year colleges and universities and 90% earning renewable college merit scholarships.  What are you waiting for?  Discover Rivermont!  Join us for Thursday's Family Math Night or Saturday's Open House Coffee - or both!

Rivermont is located at 1821 Sunset Drive, directly off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.  Visit us online at!

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Cindy Murray at  (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or


For additional information on the BESTS Test, visit

January 12, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today responded to comments from two senators that a tariff on ethanol imports likely violates international trade rules, as Brazil argues in opposition to U.S. ethanol policy.  Grassley comment:

"This isn't a question for debate.  The highest authority on U.S. trade policy said more than two years ago that the U.S. ethanol tariff is clearly permitted under World Trade Organization rules.  Besides, the United States already provides generous duty-free access to ethanol from Brazil and other countries imported under the Caribbean Basin Initiative, but the CBI cap has never once been filled.  In fact, as of December 20, Brazil and other countries filled the cap for 2010 less than 1 percent."

A letter from then-United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab to Grassley concluding that the U.S. ethanol tariff is WTO-compliant is available here.  A letter from Grassley to Schwab is available here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led an inspiring life, encouraging the best in all of us and working for a more just America - an America where as Dr. King said, "people are not judged on the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  He was a man of courage and a man of service who once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?"  Today, I ask all Iowans to answer this question.    

More than 40 years after his death, we still celebrate his life and his contributions on the third Monday in January with a holiday in his honor.  In fact, 2011 marks the 25th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Day.  In 1983 legislation was signed establishing this day as a federal holiday, and it was first celebrated in 1986.  The holiday was given new meaning when, in 1994, Congress designated it as a national day of service.

To honor the contributions of Dr. King and further his dream of a nation where we help one another, I encourage Iowans to treat Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 17,  as "a day on, not a day off."   That is, if you have the day off from work, or even just an hour to spare, consider volunteering or giving back in some way in our community.  I applaud the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service for coordinating service projects all over Iowa on January 17th.  

There are so many issues facing our state and nation and so many people in need.  And there are countless ways to get involved - from food and clothing drives to building homes for the needy, mentoring a child or even just helping the disabled or the elderly with their taxes.  I am proud that Iowans are well-known for our community involvement.  In fact, our state ranks second in the nation for volunteering according to the Corporation for National and Community Service's latest Volunteering in America Report.  

To continue Dr. King's legacy, I encourage all Iowans to get involved.  If you are looking for ways to contribute, just visit to find an opportunity that you will enjoy and that will make a difference in our community.  For more information, you can also contact the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service at or (800) 308-5987.

I hope you all have a wonderful Martin Luther King Day.


Moline, IL; January 11, 2011 - The Black Hawk College men's basketball team will host an Alumni Celebration at their game versus Carl Sandburg College on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

All former BHC men's basketball players will receive free admission to the 3:00 p.m. game.  Alumni are also invited to a post-game reception at 5:00 p.m. at the River House Bar & Grill, 1510 River Drive, Moline.

For more information on the Alumni Celebration, please contact Assistant Men's Basketball Coach David Burke at

All BHC men's home basketball games are played at 6600 34th Ave., Building 3, Moline.  Their complete schedule can be found online at

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January 12, 2011

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley today said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will award nine grants totaling $860,292 to Iowa fire departments.

The Department of Homeland Security will distribute the money as shown below.

  • Chickasaw Township Fire District will receive $35,150 to purchase a complete air-fill system and thermal imaging devices.
  • Davenport Fire Department will receive $131,184 to purchase a mechanical chest compression device and fund training.
  • Elkhart Fire Department will receive $39,140 to purchase monitoring and sampling devices and other supplies.
  • Jackson Township-Ollie Fire Department will receive $169,575 to purchase a fire truck.
  • Janesville Fire Rescue will receive $196,427 to purchase a fire truck.
  • Latimer-Rural Fire Department will receive $8,550 to purchase medical and rescue supplies.
  • Pomeroy Fire Department will receive $30,416 to purchase communication devices and a complete air-fill system.
  • Pulaski Volunteer Fire Department will receive $64,600 to purchase a brush truck - a fire truck capable of fighting fires in rough terrain.
  • Stockport Volunteer Fire Department will receive $185,250 to purchase a fire truck.

"Iowa's firefighters must have access to training and equipment in order to do their job to the best of their ability.  Their lives - and ours - depend on it," Grassley said.

Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants from the federal government.  The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual's ability to meet criteria set by the federal entity administering the funds.