Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) will travel to the Gulf Coast Sunday to tour affected areas and participate in a Congressional field hearing on the BP oil spill. The hearing, entitled "Local Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill" will examine the effects of the disaster on communities and the environment in the Gulf Coast region.

"The oil spill in the Gulf Coast has had a tragic and disastrous impact on people's lives, the environment and the economy," Braley said. "As we work to learn more about what caused this, the worst environmental disaster in American history, and to develop preventive measures, it's important we see the damage firsthand to learn the full extent of this crisis."

The hearing will take place in Chalmette, Louisiana on Monday morning. Members will hear testimonies from witnesses including the President of the Institute of Marine Mammal Services, Vice President of the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce, and the President of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.

Prior to the hearing, Braley will tour local beaches that have been impacted by the oil spill and view the clean-up efforts. After the hearing, Braley will fly over the well site with the United States Coast Guard and view the impacted area from above.

Braley discussed his trip with WQAD on Thursday. View the interview here.

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Over $6,000 in grants awarded to three local projects

Davenport, Iowa (June 4, 2010) -- Iowa American Water announced today that three local watershed protection initiatives will receive funding through the company's 2010 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling over $6,000 which the company earmarked for community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.
A panel of judges selected the winners from five grant applications which were evaluated on criteria such as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability. In a ceremony today, Iowa American Water awarded its 2010 Environmental Grants to:
  • Partners of Scott County Watersheds awarded $3,200 for its Infiltrate Iowa Project
  • Waste Commission of Scott County awarded $2,000 for its Operation Medicine Cabinet Program
  • Keep Scott County Beautiful, $1,000 for its Xstream Cleanup 2010

Iowa American Water also recognized Bettendorf student Pavane Gorrepati for a campaign she developed to increase environmental awareness locally and nationally, to inspire conservation efforts by young people, to promote sustainability and to advance environmental education. Gorrepati was presented with a special recognition award and gift certificate for her efforts.  Pavane is a student at Rivermont Collegiate.  She recently was recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for her efforts at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

"The Environmental Grant Program has been very successful in helping local organizations carry out meaningful, sustainable initiatives that benefit our watersheds," said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. "Again this year, the grant recipients along with the efforts by Pavane Gorrepati exemplify the type of environmental stewardship in which we are proud to partner to better protect our drinking water resources."

According to Clare Kerofsky, watershed coordinator for Partners of Scott County, "The funding received from Iowa American Water allows us to install practices that cleanse and reduce stormwater improving water quality and reducing flood levels and occurrences. The funding allows us to use the installation of the practices (soil quality restoration and rain gardens) as demonstration projects for developers, landscape contractors and residents promoting the installation of additional rain gardens and other infiltration practices."
The following describes the 2010 grant recipients' projects:

  • Partners of Scott County's Infiltrate Iowa Project will promote and install infiltration practices that improve water quality, reduce flooding and provide habitat for wildlife such as birds, butterflies and insects.
  • The Waste Commission of Scott County's Operation Medicine Cabinet program is a three-day event to collect pharmaceuticals free of charge from Scott County residents. The program will also educate the public that flushing pharmaceuticals poses a risk to our drinking water.
  • Keep Scott County Beautiful's Xstream Cleanup 2010 represents Chad Pregracke's Living Lands and Waters local annual cleanup of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The effort aims to clean over 30 streams and near stream sites in the Quad Cities.
Established in 2007, Iowa American Water's Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects in local communities served by American Water.  In 2010, American Water's Environmental Grant Program is providing grants totaling more than $128,000 to help support 32 projects in eight states.

Iowa American Water
Iowa American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 200,000 people.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - JUNE 4, 2010 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the Iowa Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Agency will receive a grant of $84,945 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help keep at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system.  Harkin is a senior member of the committee that funds the DOJ.

"It is often said that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' - and this could not be more true when it comes to preventing crimes, especially among at-risk youth" said Harkin. "By acting early and keeping youth from entering the juvenile justice system, today's funding will help lower future crime rates and give these young Iowans an opportunity to change their lives and become productive members of society."

Specifically, the grant may be used to reduce risks and enhance protective factors that help prevent at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system.  It will also help officials intervene with first-time and non-serious offenders to keep them out of the juvenile justice system.

(Bettendorf, IA; June 7, 2010)

What treasures are hidden around the Quad Cities? We are about to find out.  The Gold Estate Roadshow kicks off its 31-city treasure hunt in the Quad Cities June 8-12.  During this free expo, the Gold Estate experts are expecting to see over 1,200 residents bringing in their rare and unusual collectibles! Locals will have a chance to talk antique and collectible experts, and it's all free!

Recent finds include a #1 Richie Rich Comic Book purchased for $24,000! A gold coin collection was purchased from a local resident for over $22,000, a rare Tiffany lamp fetched $8,000, and  a recent estate collection of jewelry was snapped up for $89,000!

What kind of treasures will be revealed during our trip?  The Quad Cities show stands to reveal more incredible rare finds.  You or your next door neighbor just might be the next to find a rare treasure in the attic.  Start digging now and come down to share the excitement and fun of the Roadshow.

The Quad Cities is the first stop on the 2010 Gold Estate Roadshow Tour.  During this event at the Isle of Capri Bettendorf, our representatives are hoping to see items such as gold and silver jewelry, coins issued before 1965 and paper currency issued prior to 1933, vintage toys, dolls, trains, estate and vintage jewelry, old and modern musical instruments, luxury watches, war memorabilia,  costume jewelry, advertising memorabilia, and unusual rare finds!

The Gold Estate Roadshow is the fastest growing collectibles roadshow and provides a place where anyone in the Quad Cities can connect with a worldwide database of collectors.  Our representatives make offers based on up to the minute markets including prices based on the COMEX spot price of gold.  When someone decides to sell, payment is made on the spot.

The Gold Estate Roadshow is a fun and exciting event to attend.  Empty your jewelry box of unwanted gold and silver jewelry, bring down all dental gold, find your gold coins, gold bars, etc., Search for those rare collectibles and heirlooms.  Don't miss out.  Make plans now to attend the The Gold Estate Roadshow during our 1st ever stop in the Quad Cities June 8-12.





Schwiebert Riverfront Park, located on the Mississippi Riverfront between 17th and 20th Streets, will open on Saturday, July 3, 2010 with a dedication at 4 p.m. The new park is being named for former mayor, Mark Schwiebert, for his tireless efforts to promote public use of the riverfront.

Grand Opening Activities

Many activities are planned for Grand Opening Day at the park including a formal park dedication ceremony, salute to the military, live music, children's entertainment, concessions, and fireworks.

The park dedication will begin at 4 p.m. with Mayor Dennis Pauley officiating. Special recognition will be given to Mark Schwiebert during a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on the Main Stage. Following the dedication, the park will be open for the first time.

Live music will start at 4:30 p.m. with family fun and patriotic tunes by the Barehanded Wolfchokers Associated Old-Time Dixieland Jazz Band. The Parks Department is also proud to feature live music act Horizon, a seven-piece contemporary music ensemble from the Navy Band Great Lakes, playing from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Main Stage. Horizon appeals to a wide variety of audiences with current Top 40 hits, classic rock hits, Motown, country, funk, and jazz.

Children's entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. A variety of inflatables, including a Bungee Run, Fun House, Laser Tag Maze, Adrenaline Rush, giant 22' slide, Tyrone T-Rex, and bounce houses will be available for a $5 wristband. In addition, Toto the Clown will entertain children with his juggling act from 6 to 6:30 pm, and strolling balloon art and juggling until 9 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Mark Yeager the Magician will perform in the Upper Shelter. Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase.

The grand opening theme is a salute to military, and special activities will take place throughout the event to honor the armed services including a booth with stationery that citizens can write notes of encouragement and thanks to soldiers. An honor guard will be presented along with a presentation of the national anthem during the event. Also, in order to honor that the park was the former site of the Armory, the National Guard will shoot a cannon to commemorate the opening ceremony.

The event will conclude with the Red, White & Boom fireworks display at dusk over the Mississippi River.

The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Admission is free, and free parking is available in the City's parking ramp and parking lots, as well as on the street; Schwiebert Riverfront Park lots will be closed to the public.

Park Rental Information

Schwiebert Riverfront Park is the perfect place for a wedding, special event, or festival. Available for rental will be the Great Lawn, Main Stage, Triangular Lawn, or the entire park. Base hourly rates are available for weekdays or weekends. A basic wedding rental would start as little as $180. Large events are reasonable as well with a large community festival using the entire park starting at $500. Non profit rates are also available for rentals of the entire park for events or festivals. Some of the extra amenities that may be added to rentals include use of alcohol, tents, vendors, electricity, fencing, and live music. Contact the Park Office at 309.732.7275 for rental information. Private and special event rental applications are now being accepted for 2010 and 2011.

Park Amenities

The downtown park offers spectacular views of the Mississippi River, and includes an open-air stage, playground areas, interactive fountain, observation shelter, waterfront promenade, bike trail, and beautifully landscaped grounds.

The eastern-most portion of the park consists of a 32-space parking lot, designed to accommodate every day park users. The parking lot can be accessed from 18th Street and 1st Avenue.

The Main Stage is the most prominent feature of the eastern part of the park. This 50' x 60' or 3,000 square foot performance area can be used for live music and theatre presentations. The stage includes basement storage areas for use by the Parks Department, along with a dock load-in area for performers. The stage has a sound system, with electrical systems in place for outside companies to bring in a professional sound system and lights if needed. A decorative clock featuring the City of Rock Island's logo will be located adjacent to the bike path and entry road, south of the Main Stage.

Immediately to the west of the stage is a patterned concrete flat surface, perfect for dancing. Further west is the Great Lawn, a beautiful grassy area surrounded by a lighted concrete walking path, making it a great place for blankets and lawn chairs while watching stage entertainment. The Great Lawn, Main Stage, corner planters, and maintenance building trace the silhouette of the former Rock Island Armory structure that was demolished to create the park.

North of the Great Lawn is the lower promenade, just three steps down, along the water's edge. This area provides park goers the opportunity to see the river up close, and provides some of the best views of the bridges, Arsenal Island, and our sister cities. During flooding, this area will be closed, as the removable flood wall will be constructed south of this area.

The main entrance to the park is off of 18th Street, in the middle of the park. In this area is the new park sign on the maintenance building, which also houses restroom facilities. The maintenance building will have a green roof with plantings, along with the storage building. To the east of the main path through the park are steps up to the Great Lawn. To the west is an interactive fountain and Triangle Lawn.

The fountain is at ground level with water sprays. During the warm months the fountain will operate and during the summer heat, the fountain will provide relief for park attendees, as they run through the water sprays. Year round park goers can enjoy the colored, patterned concrete.

To the north of the fountain area is an urban beach feature, a unique checkerboard patterned concrete beach that is at a level closer to the river. This area will also be closed during flooding and is designed for future development.

The western part of the park features the Triangle Lawn, two children's playground areas, two public art sculptures, and an observation shelter. Triangle Lawn is surrounded by trees and a lighted concrete walking path. To the northwest of the lawn are the playgrounds.

The park will feature digital playgrounds, the latest in playground equipment and the first installation in the Midwest. These playgrounds use technology to combine the excitement of digital gaming and the outdoor playground to get kids back outside and playing. The new playgrounds do not come with instructions; kids are encouraged to explore the system and discover all of its innovative features on their own or with their friends. The games and display are designed to be intuitive for the user, regardless of age. For example, in one playground feature called Space, teams compete to beat the clock in four dynamic games by hitting the LED flashing game nodes as fast as they can.

Walk up a few steps from the lawn to the north, through limestone boulders, to the observation shelter. This 20' x 30' shelter provides some of the best views of the river, and will be a fabulous location to watch the eagles, pelicans, and other wildlife. The Upper Shelter is equipped with picnic tables. To the northeast of the shelter, embedded in the concrete, is a compass that will assist out-of-town visitors who may not know the Mississippi River runs east to west in the Quad Cities.

Two public art sculptures are located in the western portion of the park. Journey II by Gary Lee Price, is a bronze sculpture of geese donated by the Thoms Family; this sculpture is located north of the playground. A sculpture to honor Lloyd Schoeneman will be placed at the southwest entry to the park; created by Stuart Morris this 22' sculpture is constructed of concrete, COR-TEN steel, and copper, and was created to honor the former Director of Public Art for Quad City Arts.

The western-most portion of the park has a shared-use parking lot. During weekday business hours, the parking lot will be used by Modern Woodmen of America. During weeknights, weekends, and holidays, the lot will be available for public use. The Great River Trail bike path will run along the southern edge of the park.

Honoring Mark Schwiebert

Mark Schwiebert served as mayor of Rock Island for twenty years. During his tenure, Mr. Schwiebert provided vision and leadership for the creation of this new riverfront park. Naming Schwiebert Riverfront Park recognizes Mr. Schwiebert's tireless efforts to guide the City of Rock Island in the decisions of what should be built on the riverfront, what it should look like, who it should serve, and how it will play a critical role in connecting The District to the Mississippi River. Naming this park for Mark Schwiebert is a fitting tribute for the countless hours he spent on this effort.


In 1996, the National Guard vacated the Armory for a new facility, and the City of Rock Island purchased the property in 1997. After much public debate, the City determined the highest and best use of the riverfront site was to demolish the Armory. After an impassioned, eloquent, and compelling presentation in March 2007 by then-Mayor Schwiebert, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency approved release of a covenant on the property that allowed the City to decide whether partial or complete demolition of the Armory was appropriate. IHPA granted this permission on May 10, 2007. Demolition of the Armory started on April 9, 2009.

Flood Protection

The north façade of the Armory was part of the City's flood protection system. Due to the Armory's demolition, the City designed and installed a demountable flood protection wall to replace the existing structure. This new system will only be installed when directed to do so by the Corps of Engineers. It will provide an unencumbered view of the Mississippi River for the majority of the year. One of the features of the park design extends the normal height of the flood wall providing an additional 3' of flood protection without the demountable flood wall.

RiverVision Project

The Cities of Rock Island and Davenport, together with corporate and community groups, completed a bi-state public planning process in 2003 that resulted in the RiverVision Plan being unanimously adopted by both cities in 2004. This bi-state plan, the only one of its kind in the nation, was the basis for the U.S. Conference of Mayors awarding First Place honors to Davenport and Rock Island in the 2007 City Livability Awards, calling RiverVision "a far-reaching and broadly participatory waterfront plan that provides a coordinated framework for channeling development and configuring urban public open space to improve the quality of living in Davenport and Rock Island."

Creating a Riverfront Park

An important element of the RiverVision Plan in Rock Island was development of a public park on the Mississippi Riverfront. This one-fifth of a mile long park is adjacent to downtown. Much of the area was formerly used to support Jumer's Casino Rock Island riverboat gaming operation, which has now relocated to the City's southwest area, at the interchange of IL-92 and I-280.

The City started working with Schreiber /Anderson Associates Inc. to design concepts for the riverfront park in 2004. Sub-contractors for the design include : Stanley Consultants for structural engineering and permitting, Gere~Dismer Architects as architects, KJWW Engineering Consultants as electrical engineer, and WESCO Fountain, Inc. for fountain mechanicals.

The park has several project goals:

  1. Maximize use and flexibility of the green.
  2. Iconic space on river.
  3. Aesthetically pleasing, creative design.
  4. Water access - physical & visual.
  5. Public boat docks.
  6. Retain flood control.
  7. Capture river views.
  8. Meet park programming needs.
  9. Linkage to downtown and The District.
  10. Enhance downtown and riverfront redevelopment opportunity.

After reviewing many options, holding a series of meetings to gain public comment in 2005-06, and refining the plans, then-Mayor Schwiebert and the City Council selected a preferred concept to move forward with design and development in February 2008. Known at that time as the "Armory Silhouette" concept, it included a main stage area and great lawn that mimics the former Armory building's footprint.

Construction of Schwiebert Riverfront Park

This project has been divided into several construction phases. Williams / Valley Construction Management LLC was hired in June 2008 to assist the City in the overall construction management of the park. They handled all the bids and managed all the sub-contractors on the project.

The project is being paid for from the Downtown Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District funds, a source that can only be spent in the downtown area. Bonds have been issued for $11.1 million, plus TIF revenues of $1.25 million totaling $12.35 million. This covered design, engineering architectural, and construction costs of the park ($10.85 million) and a portion of the new sewer interceptor system ($1.5 million). TIF funds will be used to retire the bonds.


Two students have been chosen to receive 2010 scholarships from the Clement T. Hanson Scholarship Fund administered through The Moline Foundation.

Britta Caldwell is a 2010 graduate of Moline High School.  She will be attending Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, in the fall.

Adrianna Sullivan is a 2010 graduate of Moline High School.  She will attend Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, this fall to major in English Teacher/Education.

The two Hanson Scholarship winners are chosen by a local scholarship selection committee through The Moline Foundation. They will receive $1,500 annually for the next four years with an annual renewal based on satisfactory progress in their post-secondary education.

Since 1985, 83 students have received the Hanson Scholarship Funds as a result of an endowment fund established through the generosity of Clem T. Hanson (1901-1985), a former Moline businessman and community leader.  He was the founder of Hanson Advertising Agency (now Hanson, Watson & Associates) in Moline and was a co-founder of HON Industries in Muscatine.  Mr. Hanson also served as President of Moline Rotary in 1952 and was a volunteer for Boy Scouts, Arrowhead Ranch and United Way. The Clement T. Hanson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established with The Moline Foundation by his family, following the death of Mr. Hanson in 1985.


Kelly E. Rogers and Laura E. Peterson, 2010 graduates of Moline High School have been chosen to receive scholarships from the Maggie Webb Scholarship Fund administered through The Moline Foundation.

Kelly will be attending Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, in the fall to major in Pre-Law:  Communications and Sports Studies.

Laura will be attending Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, in the fall to major in Accounting and Business.

The Webb Scholarship winners were chosen by Maggie's friends and family through the Moline Foundation to receive a $1,000.00 scholarship.

Maggie graduated from Moline High School in 2001. As a senior in high school, Maggie began working at the Von Maur department store in Moline. Upon graduating from college, Maggie became department manager for the Iowa City Von Maur store. She then worked at several other Midwestern Von Maur stores earning acclaim for her sparkling personality and commitment to customer service.

Maggie's life tragically ended in December, 2007 with the mass shooting at an Omaha Nebraska mall. Maggie had recently moved to Omaha to serve as Von Maur Store Manager when she was killed along with five other employees and two customers.


Two students have been chosen to receive the annual scholarships from the Moline High School Class of '59 Scholarship Fund as administered through The Moline Foundation.

Madison Logan is a recent 2010 graduate of Moline High School.  She will be attending Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois in the fall to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Tucker Gritton is also a recent 2010 graduate of Moline High School.  This fall he will attend University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, to major in Aerospace Engineering.

The two Moline High School Class of '59 Scholarship winners were chosen by a Selection Advisory Committee to each receive a $1,000.00 scholarship.  The fund was established by the Class of '59 as a way to commemorate their fiftieth class reunion.  This high school class was also the first class to graduate from the Moline High School building located at 3600 23rd Avenue.

Funds were raised by class members and volunteers over the past three years through a variety of fundraisers including barbeques, yard sales, and individual donations.


Olivia M. Aten, Moline High School, was chosen to receive a scholarship from the Lee Womack Memorial Scholarship Fund,

The fund provides scholarships to deserving Moline High School graduates who plan to obtain a degree in education. Olivia was chosen by a local selection committee to receive a scholarship of $1,000.00.  She plans to study Elementary Education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The scholarship was established by Womack's wife, Peggy and the Lee Womack Memorial Golf Outing Steering Committee. Annually since his death, a golf outing has been held in his memory to raise funds for a local charity. In 2004, the scholarship fund was established and is now administered by the Moline Foundation.


A Moline High School student has been chosen to receive a scholarship from the Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio Scholarship Fund administered through The Moline Foundation.

Miranda Geever, Moline, recently graduated from Moline High School. She plans to attend Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois this fall to major in Chemistry.

Miranda was chosen by a local scholarship selection committee through The Moline Foundation to receive a scholarship of $1,000.

The Dolores A Hulse-DiIulio Scholarship Fund is intended to provide funds to deserving female students graduating from Moline High School pursing a bachelor's degree on a full time basis with studies in the fields of chemistry, physics, engineering or pre-medicine.

Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio was a chemistry teacher at Moline High School for 36 years.  She retired in 1994.

A 1958 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and Physics, Dolores began teaching at Moline when the new high school opened on 23rd Avenue.   She has always wanted females to believe that the field of science was for them not just for men.  Her hope is that this scholarship may help female students and encourage them in their goals.


Shelby Lindaman, North Scott High School, Eldridge, Iowa has been chosen to receive a scholarship from the Charles Curry SMART Bus Scholarship Fund.

The fund provides for a scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior from an Iowa or Illinois High School or a freshman, sophomore or junior from an Iowa or Illinois Community College or 4 year college or university who plans to obtain a degree in education or natural resources. Shelby was chosen by a local selection committee to receive a scholarship of $500.00. She plans to major in Elementary Education at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois.

The scholarship was established in November, 2008 by the SMART Bus committee and the Interstate Resources Conservation and Development Services to honor the hard work and dedication of Mr. Curry. The scholarship fund is now administered by the Moline Foundation.


Founded in 1953, The Moline Foundation is a community-based, non-profit organization which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts, and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of the Quad City region. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and assists donors in making their charitable dreams a reality. For more information contact Executive Director Joy Boruff at (309)736-3800 or visit the Moline Foundation Web site at www.molinefoundation.org.

Be a part of this National Effort!

Quad Cities, USA - Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) has expanded its total number of participating cities from 22 to 27 for The Great Mississippi River Cleanup on Saturday, June 19th. The following cities are participating in this cleanup: St. Paul, MN, Red Wing, MN, Wabasha, MN, Alma, WI, Buffalo City, WI, Weaver, MN, Fountain City, WI, Winona, MN, LaMoille, MN, Cassville, WI, Dubuque, IA, Sabula, IA, Cordova, IL, Buffalo, IA , Andalusia, IL, Muscatine, IA, New Boston, IL, Oquawka, IL, Fort Madison, IA, Keokuk, IA, Nauvoo, IL, Quincy, IL, Louisiana, MO, Grafton, IL, Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO.

Around 800-1200 volunteers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri will take part in a first-ever, multi-state clean-up of the upper Mississippi River. The Great Mississippi River Cleanup will remove debris; such as tires, barrels, propane tanks, appliances, plastic bottles and more. Volunteers will assist in debris collection on the day of the cleanup, from 9:00AM to 1:00PM. We still need volunteers and boaters to assist with transporting  participants  to cleanup locations. If possible, LL&W is also looking for people who are willing to haul debris in their boats to the boat launch where roll-off dumpsters or other disposal facilities will be in place. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit www.livinglandsandwaters.org.

LL&W has removed more than six million pounds of trash through cleanup efforts along the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and Potomac rivers since its launch over 12 years ago. LL&W also coordinated flood relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the historic floods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Lake Delton, Wisconsin in 2008.  LL&W Founder and President Chad Pregracke says, "We've been able to host over 440 community cleanups over the years and this is the biggest effort we've ever put together."  Pregracke adds, "This kind of cleanup has been needed for a long time.  So, we're very excited to be able to coordinate an event of this size and importance."

Living Lands & Waters is a 501(c) (3) environmental organization established in 1998 and headquartered in East Moline, Illinois. Beyond Community River Cleanups such as the "Great Mississippi River Cleanup", LL&W conducts Big River Educational Workshops, the MillionTrees Project, the Riverbottom Forest Restoration and the Adopt-a-River Mile program on both the Mississippi River and the Illinois River.


DAVENPORT, IA (06/02/2010)(readMedia)-- Local youth leader Chantell Lamont, Davenport, received an award recently for making a difference in the Quad Cities. The QC (Quality and Commitment) Award, given by the Council on Community Services of the Quad Cities (CCSQC), recognized Lamont's work with foster youth through Children & Families of Iowa's Elevate program.

The CCSQC is a coalition of nonprofit organizations operating throughout the Quad Cities Area. Elevate is a support group for foster youth, ages 13 and up, that meets regularly to improve the lives of youth in state care.

CCSQC selection committee chair Kathryn Griffith, R.N, M.S., explains why Lamont's nomination drew the committee's attention and ultimately won her the award, "The nomination was very well done. It was obvious that she [Lamont] goes above and beyond. She is committed to making better citizens out of these youth who've had some really tough brakes and that's great for our community."

Lamont was nominated in the Outstanding Individual category by Amy Hartog and Libbet Brooke, health educators at the Edgerton Women's Health Center, located in Davenport. Hartog, a frequent guest speaker at Elevate meetings, educates youth on a variety of health-related topics. "We nominated Chantell for providing quality and commitment to the children in the Elevate program in the Quad Cities area, and she won. We are ecstatic! She is very deserving. We saw firsthand how well she interacts and communicates with these kids. She is a great mentor and role model and helps them make better choices for their futures. Chantell is someone who has been through the system [state foster care], has thrived and has been successful at making a great life for herself," says Hartog.

The majority of youth who reach adulthood while in foster care do not get the chance to develop critical life skills - skills that enable others their age to succeed. Without consistent role models to demonstrate financial management, job preparedness or the basics of personal health, these teens have had to focus on surviving, rather than thriving. According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, a little more than half of those who "age out" will graduate from high school within four years of release from care. By this same four-year mark, fewer than 20 percent will be able to support themselves financially.

In light of these alarming odds, Children & Families of Iowa and the Department of Human Services began Elevate in 2005. The program's mission is to transition foster youth into independent adults and self-advocates who can successfully educate others about the child welfare system.

"We think Elevate is an awesome and much-needed program, and we hope to see more chapters open up across the state," adds Hartog.

Lamont echoes that sentiment. "I'm truly honored and grateful for this award. I view this as a great opportunity to gain exposure and connections in the community for Elevate. I hope that Elevate keeps growing and gains the support needed to open chapters in more communities, reach more youth and continue to make a difference the way we have been.'"

There are currently 10 chapters of Elevate located in the following communities: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Storm Lake and Waterloo. The Davenport Elevate group meets from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of month at the Annie Wittenmyer Complex, 2800 Eastern Ave., Cottage 13. For more information or to volunteer, you can contact Chantell Lamont at 563-381-3741 or chantell.elevate@hotmail.com.

Children & Families of Iowa is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring hope, building futures and changing lives throughout Iowa. With offices in Ankeny, Centerville, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown and Osceola, Children & Families of Iowa is restoring hope for victims of domestic violence, helping teens find their futures, creating safe homes for children, preparing children to succeed and helping people reshape their lives. Last year, Children & Families of Iowa served more than 21,000 individuals in all of Iowa's 99 counties.


Play it safe on the road!

3 Easy and Practical Steps to take to be safe on your motorcycle this summer!

1. Make sure you are wearing proper gear. Many people choose to skip their helmets and other basic safety gear. This can be a fatal mistake. Make sure your helmet is properly rated. Leather jackets also help and look cool at the same time.

2. Confirm all your lights are working and you have other reflective striping on your bike. Cars have a harder time seeing bikes and you want to take every advantage you can to ensure they can catch a glimpse, especially during the night.

3. Drive Passively - although fun to zip in and out of traffic and especially when in a hurry, it's easy to forget the basics. Please don't. It's better to arrive a few minutes late and yield your right away to a car or truck - eventhough it's really frustratin. Give them the benefit of the doubt and don't assume that they are out to cut you off. Remember - you're the one on the Harley enjoying life properly. They are couped up in a the vehicle and it's no wonder they are stressed out.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (06/01/2010)(readMedia)-- Neil Friberg of Rock Island, Ill., will be one of two Augustana students to perform the play, "A Prairie Planting," commemorating the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. The free and public event will take place Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 3 p.m. at Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church in Poplar Grove, Ill.

The short play gives a glimpse into the meeting that led to the signing of the synod's constitution. It includes the perspective of a college student conducting a practice run on a senior research project about ethnicity in 19th-century Protestantism while Lars Esbjorn, Augustana's first president, looks on to help her with the facts. Friberg, a sophomore general studies major, will perform the role of Esbjorn. Dorothy Williams, a sophomore general studies major from Melrose Park, Ill., will play the role of the college student.

The observation of the founding will include the play as well as a signing of the sesquicentennial compact by President Steven Bahls, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; President Rob Oliver, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and ELCA Director of Colleges and Universities Rev. Mark Wilhelm. The three will sign sesquicentennial compact at the same table used to sign the original constitution creating the Augustana Synod.

"One of our chief aims in planning for the observance of the Augustana sesquicentennial was to celebrate and teach the history of the college," said Steven Bahls, president of Augustana College in Rock Island. "As we've done so, we have gained a rich appreciation for the courage and vision of the founders of the school, and for the firm foundation that they left us. We are humbled by the opportunity to return to Jefferson Prairie 150 years later, to honor our founders and the hundreds of faculty and staff members over the years who advanced Augustana to become one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges."

The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod was established in North America in 1860. A group of Swedish Lutheran pastors-Jonas Swensson, Lars Paul Esbjorn, Tuve Hasselquist, Eric Norelius and Erland Carlsson-developed the Augustana Synod during a meeting from June 5-8 at the Jefferson Prairie Settlement near Clinton, Wisconsin.

The synod consisted of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish members. The Norwegian and Danish left ten years later to form their own church bodies. In 1894 the name was changed to Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America and then again in 1948 to the name Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. The synod is credited with founding seven liberal arts colleges, including Augustana College in Rock Island, and today is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church is located about seven miles east of Interstate 90's Beloit exit.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.