When the new building for the Rock Island Center for Math & Science (RICMS) opens in August 2010, suddenly there will be a lot more than concrete trucks and contractors headed to 2101 16th Avenue. With the unique situation of placing a new elementary school adjacent to two designated residential historic districts, plus the challenges of terrain, brick streets, arterial streets and new travel patterns for hundreds of families, the Rock Island-Milan School District turned to the Neighborhood Partners' School-Community Task Force for assistance. Together, the two organizations have been working on a draft travel plan that will be rolled out for review and comment on Wednesday, January 27 to parents, neighborhood residents and other interested parties.

The forum will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library Community Room 401 19th Street, Rock Island. Free childcare for forum attendees will be provided in the Children's Library in the basement of the main library building. Refreshments will be offered.

The RICMS travel plan includes components related to crosswalks, signage, direction and flow of traffic both internal and external to the RICMS campus, walkability due to terrain, car queuing areas, satellite parking, and on-street parking. Strategies to encourage walking, safety education and enforcement of rules and regulations were also identified. Minimizing the influx of automobile traffic into the adjacent neighborhoods was also a key concern.

The forum will include an overview of the process the School District must follow in order to access state and federal funding support to implement travel objectives, then the specific infrastructure strategies for RICMS will be presented. There will also be discussion of specific ideas to encourage children to walk to school and to educate the parents and neighbors about the travel plan. These short presentations will be followed by a Question, Answer & Comment period.

More details at www.rockislandschools.org.

One of the largest indoor wine tasting events in Illinois

GALENA, Ill. - Now in its fifth year running, Galena Wine Lovers' Weekend on March 26-28, 2010, is a community-wide celebration of good wine, good food and good friends. Wine lovers of all sorts are invited to enjoy three event-filled days of fine wine, culinary delight, celebrity chefs, wine makers, pampering packages and all of the stops Galena can possibly pull out.

Galena Wine Lovers' Weekend is a spirited way to warm the winter and add romance - whether it is for vino, gourmet cuisine or the love for a town with history and charm all on its own. Wine-inspired dinners, spirit tastings, spa experiences, history tours, cooking demonstrations and shopping welcome and enchant visitors.

Kicking off the weekend on Friday evening is the Grand Tasting and Wine Auction - which has grown to be one of the largest indoor wine tasting events in the state of Illinois. This year at the Grand Tasting, choose to sample from 300 varieties of hand-picked wines and spirits. Cost is $30 in advance (purchase online at wineloversweekend.com) or $35 at the door, while supplies last. Admission also provides you with a keepsake wine glass and an opportunity to win a wine-themed trip to San Francisco. Additional trip chances may be purchased for $15 each. Auction items include vintage wines, artwork, large format wine bottles and related items of interest.

Lodging specials and package deals fuel the passion. From dining packages to pampering in luxurious accommodations and the warmest of hospitality, Galena's finest provide a variety of options to cater to every taste and budget.

Visit wineloversweekend.com for a detailed listing of weekend activities, links to lodging and an opportunity to purchase tickets online. Additional area offerings may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau at galena.org.

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Pancake Breakfast

Rock Island High School's Parent/Teacher/Student Assocation (PTSA) will be hosting a pancake breakfast for the

general public as a fundraiser for the upcoming Post Prom Celebration. This alcohol & drug free event is offered to

Juniors and Seniors at no charge and will offer students an evening of games, food & prizes. Proceeds from the

pancake breakfast will be used to help provide a safe & secure evening of fun. So come out to help support

this great cause.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Evening Lions Club

44th Street & 8th Avenue, Rock Island

7:00am - 11:30am

Ticket Cost: $5

Advanced Tickets: contact JoEllen Sloan

at 309-235-5398 or risloan@mchsi.com

Tickets will also be sold at the door

(DAVENPORT) - Although 'American Pickers,' a new reality series debuting on the History Channel on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. local time, follows its stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz across the country as they scour for hidden antique gems, it has a longstanding history in the Quad Cities.

The show started in Le Claire, Iowa, with nothing but Wolfe's handheld video camera documenting his and Fritz's unique finds, quirky characters met along the way and amazing stories never-before captured. Numerous junkyards, basements, garages and barns later, the pair had accumulated hours of amateur footage that would later be used to create the 'American Pickers' pilot by local film production company,  
Crazy Eyes Productions.

Wolfe and Fritz crossed paths with Crazy Eyes Productions' owner Justin Anderson in a chance-happening meeting at a Bettendorf coffee shop. Of their first meeting, Anderson recalls, "I thought their back-story was really interesting, and knew it had potential to become something even bigger."

Crazy Eyes Productions quickly got to work thereafter, producing more than a dozen shorts and a full 22-minute pilot for the show. Wolfe's box of 20-something unlabeled tapes quickly became a unique look into the business of finding, selling and buying antiques in America.

"When we met Justin, the project starting coming together," remembers Wolfe. "He created the stories and gave it a professional look with interesting graphics to make it ready for T.V."

Anderson is thrilled that Wolfe, Fritz and their company, Antique Archaeology, will now be nationally recognized for their hard work and creativity.

"It was my first big project when I started Crazy Eyes Productions and has definitely been a favorite to work on. I'm very excited to watch the premiere with Mike and Frank," he details.

Crazy Eyes Productions invites all of the Quad Cities to watch the series premiere of American Pickers with its staff and the show's stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz on Jan. 18 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Davenport. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the show airing at 7 p.m.

For more information on American Pickers, visit  

About Crazy Eyes Productions

Crazy Eyes Productions is a video production and creative media company based in downtown Davenport, Iowa.  Owner Justin Anderson and T.V. Producer Frank Otero specialize in creative marketing, animation, and video production. Other related credits include graphic titles for a show that premiered on the History Channel in September 2008.  Currently, the company is working on the development of two new scripted comedy pilots for T.V., among other area ventures. For additional information, visit www.CrazyEyesProductions.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beginning today, Iowa residents can register for two grand prizes of "Free Groceries for a Year!"* courtesy of Iowa's farmers, at www.FarmersFeedUS.org. Upon visiting the site, consumers will be able to register by meeting an Iowa farmer and learning how they produce safe, nutritious and affordable food. Consumers can register with each of the five featured farmers daily through April 11, the end of the 90-day program.
"As Iowa farmers, we're thrilled to offer free groceries for a year to the consumers of our great state," said Jim Brown, a soybean farmer from Churdan, Iowa, who is a featured farmer on FarmersFeedUS.org. "This is an opportunity for us to share what we produce with Iowa consumers and to let them know we share their values - taking care of our families, taking care of our animals and land and giving back to our communities."  

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

Over the course of the 90-day campaign, consumers throughout the state will also see and hear from these farmers as they are featured in advertising and in-store promotions. Consumers will even have the opportunity to interact with these and other Iowa farmers on their blogs and Facebook pages. See www.facebook.com/iafarmersfeedus and www.twitter.com/iafarmersfeedus for more information.

Supporting Iowa agriculture groups include Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

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

Contact: Mark Crouser 
(816) 556-3134

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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