Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today announced that $1 million for the replacement of the I-74 Bridge in the Quad Cities he secured is included in the FY2010 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill.  Specifically, the bill provides $1 million for the city of Bettendorf to acquire the right-of-way and prepare for construction of the new I-74 bridge.  The House Appropriations Committee approved the Transportation Appropriations bill earlier today.

"The replacement of the I-74 Bridge will have huge economic benefits for the Quad Cities region," Braley said.  "This funding will help speed construction of the bridge project, which will create construction jobs, boost the local economy and improve highway safety in the Quad Cities."

Braley has long been a supporter of the I-74 bridge project.  Earlier this year, Braley and Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) sent a letter to Chairman Oberstar encouraging him to include a "mega project" grant fund in the upcoming Highway Bill that could help expedite construction of the new I-74 bridge.

The Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill now moves to the full House for consideration, and will likely be scheduled for a vote before the first week of August.

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Annual PBS KIDS Event Fosters Reading, Writing and Creativity.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is pleased to announce that the 15th Annual READING RAINBOW Young Writers & Illustrators Contest has awarded Jayda Brunkan, a first grader from Eldridge, Iowa, a national First Place in the first grade level for her story. The Contest encourages children to use their imagination to author and illustrate their own "book." Jayda is one of only 12 authors selected from more than 35,000 Contest entrants nationwide. This is the second year in a row that Jayda has been a national winner. As a kindergartener at Ed White Elementary she was a Third Place national winner.

For her original story, Jayda wrote, and drew pictures for "Gus and the Garbage Mountain," the tale of a mouse named Gus and his friend, Cuddles who recycle, reduce, reuse and repair in order to save the planet.

"We are thrilled that Jayda has once again placed as a national winner," said WQPT Educational Outreach Director, Ana Kehoe.

Conducted by the acclaimed PBS KIDS television children's series READING RAINBOW with funding from presenting sponsor Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Inc. and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the national Contest is produced by WNED-TV/Buffalo and Smarterville Productions LLC. The Contest is public television's longest running and most successful outreach effort.

WQPT was one of 95 public television stations participating in this year's Contest, with support from the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Figge Art Museum and Family Museum.

Contest entries from Kindergarteners through third graders are first judged at the local level, with local winners advancing to the national competition. There were two rounds of national judging culminating in a final judging by a distinguished panel that included representatives of children's television programming, educators, a literacy expert, a librarian and university professor.

This year's national Grand Prize Contest winners were given flat-panel TVs with DVD players. Each also receives three READING RAINBOW library sets (DVDs and books) for their home, school and library.

The illustrated stories of national Contest winners can be found at pbskids.org/readingrainbow. In mid August, the newest winners will be posted. The website also features fun, engaging activities and games for kids and information about READING RAINBOW for parents and teachers.

Just as READING RAINBOW generates excitement about reading, the Contest engages children in the process of creating stories that are uniquely their own," said Donald K. Boswell, WNED's President and CEO. "Every child who participates learns what it is like to be an author."

READING RAINBOW airs on WQPT on Saturdays at 10 am and Sundays at 9:30 am. Designed to encourage children to develop a love of reading and books, the series is now in its 26th season, making it the second-longest running PBS KIDS series still in production. The series has been honored with 26 Emmy Awards, including two in 2007 for "Outstanding Children's Series "and "Outstanding Writing In A Children's Series."

WQPT has been the local PBS station for 25 years located in Moline, Illinois.

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Camp Courageous of Iowa is a year-round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities. Campers with mental and physical disabilities, head injuries, hearing or visual impairments, autism and other special needs are served.

Working with adults with disabilities is often a very real challenge. Campers may need help with personal care including feeding, dressing, and toileting. Some campers exhibit behavior problems.  Patience, energy, good judgment and enthusiasm are important attributes for a position at Camp Courageous.  The hours are long.  An unselfish attitude and an emphasis on teamwork are needed. Staff members are expected to put the campers' needs before their own. If you possess these skills, consider applying for a position.

Volunteer positions, internships, and paid positions are available.

Paid counselors and activity specialists receive the best camp employment package around. Room and board are provided which includes an air-conditioned staff dormitory affording separate living quarters from the campers.  Staff share cabin duty on a rotating basis.  Other benefits include a restricted medical plan for seasonal staff and health insurance for year-round Program Specialists.

Year-round positions begin the first day of the fall season and require at least a one-year commitment.  Candidates for year-round positions must have previous experience with individuals with disabilities. Seasonal positions are for one or more season. Feel free to apply on line by accessing our website at www.campcourageous.org.

ALL CAMPERS IN THE FALL ARE ADULTS. Dates in the fall are August 19 to November 25, 2009. This includes staff training. Weekly sessions are from Monday through Friday. Positions include Counselors & Activity Specialists. Non-tobacco users please.

For more information on volunteering contact Shannon Poe by email at shannon@campcouargeous.org or call 319-465-5916, ext 2320. For more information on program employment contact Jeanne Muellerleile by e-mail at jeanne@campcourageous.org or call 319-465-5916, ext 2300. Camp Courageous is located at 12007 190th Street, PO Box 418, Monticello, IA 52310-0418.

This coming Wednesday your chance to meet Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith at Barnes and Noble, NorthPark Mall, Davenport. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is hosting a bookfair at Barnes and Noble on July 22 and a percentage of the proceeds from items purchased in the store that day - everything from CDs to coffee - will be directed to the QCSO.

Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith will be meeting with music lovers and hosting a presentation of next year's Masterworks repertoire starting at 5:30 PM. Barnes and Noble is also stocking recordings of much of next year's repertoire so you can spend more time with the music before hearing it live. Maestro Smith's presentation will last about a half-hour with time for questions and photos after the presentation. Present a voucher at check-out and a percentage of the proceeds from the items purchased will be directed to the QCSO. Vouchers can be downloaded at www.QCSymphony.com.


DAVENPORT, Iowa - July 15, 2009 -- Cancer does not only impact the patient. Children, grandchildren, spouses and other loved ones can also be involved in the cancer fight.

Cancer can disrupt families and disrupt their financial situations, making vacations more difficult.

From Aug. 2-Aug. 8, Genesis Health System, Gilda's Club of the Quad Cities and the Scott County Family Y will provide an opportunity for children coping with cancer in their families to enjoy time together at YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln.

Camp Genesis will provide children ages 8-12 with an outstanding resident camp experience with special cancer education programs provided by Gilda's Club and Genesis to help kids better cope with the effects of cancer in their family. The usual $450 camp fee will be donated by Genesis. There will be no charge to campers or their families.

"This camp will provide a much-needed opportunity for kids to just be kids,'' said Sally Werner, Director, Genesis Cancer Care Institute. "This camp will be a relief to parents who may be facing illness and financial concerns because of the illness.  They will be able to share the joy and fun their children and grandchildren are having by enjoying an active, safe camp experience. Camp Genesis will provide a unique camp experience specifically designed for children who are dealing with cancer in their families.''

Camp Genesis will provide youth impacted by cancer in their family with a great Y camp experience - from campfires and canoeing to horseback riding and swimming - at Camp Abe Lincoln. Mixed in with the fun will be 30 minutes of support and education each day from the experts at Gilda's Club. The Gilda's Club staff will help campers cope with the new stresses on their families caused by cancer.

New this year will be a Parent Night for camper parents to let them see what their child or children have been doing. There will be a presentation on Parent Night about the services available at Genesis to serve the needs of cancer patients and their families.

The Genesis Cancer Care Institute in Davenport has transformed cancer care in the region with new cancer-fighting technology, renovated facilities and an expanded focus on treating the "whole'' cancer patient and families.

Gilda's Club has an office at the Genesis Cancer Care Institute and offers its special support services throughout the Quad Cities from the Gilda's "clubhouse" at 1234 E. River Drive in Davenport.

"It is especially difficult for children affected by cancer to talk to their family and friends, to express fears, to ask questions, and explore their feelings,'' said Claudia Robinson, CEO of Gilda's Club of the Quad Cities. "Because it is impossible for children to change things that are beyond their control, it is important to help them identify and express what they realistically do control. Camp Genesis will help children learn to overcome obstacles in a fun and enriching environment.''

"Camp Abe Lincoln is the perfect location for our children to forget about their worries and just have fun,'' said Frank Klipsch, President and CEO of Scott County Family Y. "Camp is where children can step outside of their shells and experience something new. YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln was recently voted Best Camp by River City Readers and offers year-round character development programming at its 250-acre site located just outside Buffalo, Iowa. Camp Abe Lincoln has been serving Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois for more than 85 years.

Anyone who knows a child affected by cancer in their family is encouraged to call Gilda's Club Quad Cities at (563) 326-7504 for more information and applications. Information can also be found at www.ScottCountyFamilyY.org or by calling YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln at (563) 381-3053.


Ankeny, Iowa - Established in 1926 in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines, Mrs. Clark's has grown from a family-owned local enterprise to its current status as one of the leading food manufacturers of its type in the country.

In addition to Mrs. Clark's-brand salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, marinades and juices, the company does a big business in private label and co-packed food products. The business of food marketing is highly competitive, with many companies vying for limited space on supermarket shelves and in restaurant distribution facilities.  In that crowded scene, the Mrs. Clark's brand stands out in its home state, thanks to Iowa consumers who know and trust the familiar brand.
Now owned by AGRI Industries, a farmer-owned cooperative, Mrs. Clark's production facilities in Ankeny and Hendersonville, North Carolina, serve supermarkets, restaurants, schools, and other wholesale customers in the Midwestern and Southeastern states, Canada, the Caribbean, and other overseas markets.

"But even with those new and expanded product lines and markets, Mrs. Clark's heart is still in Iowa," says Michael Vaughn, sales and marketing manager.

"Our Iowa connection is a natural result of the way Mrs. Clark's does business," said Vaughn. The company is community-oriented, and has made major investments in the Ankeny production plant - a business philosophy that dates back 80 years. When Mrs. Clark first began to bottle her specialty dressings, she depended on local suppliers and distribution. As the company grew, it made sense to capitalize on that foundation of excellent local ingredients and top-notch suppliers. Mrs. Clark's location near rich Iowa farm fields and orchards ensures an abundant supply of quality ingredients like soybeans, vegetables, fruits and eggs for the Ankeny production plant.   It's important for Mrs. Clark's to maintain this competitive edge in light of the fast changes and intense competition in the food industry.

For example, the company's first product, dressings, are still a core category, but in an impressive variety that Mrs. Clark would never have imagined in the 1920s. Today's product line includes an array of traditional and trendy flavors, with spoonable and pourable salad dressings in many sizes, from familiar retail sizes to individual serving cups to large institutional packs.

In addition, the company makes mayonnaise and flavored mayonnaise, sauces, marinades, and salsa. And, in the growing juice category, Mrs. Clark's offers an array of shelf-stable juices, from familiar options like apple juice and grape juice, to blends that incorporate fruity flavors such as cranberry and pomegranate. The company's juice line also includes tomato and vegetable juices.

In the food and beverage business, however, great taste is the ultimate requirement. Mrs. Clark's staff insists on only the finest ingredients, and also works hard to develop just the right flavor profile for every product.  Often this requires striking a fine balance between traditional tastes and newer consumer trends. Vaughn says this painstaking process helps explain the popularity of Mrs. Clark's products, and he points to their barbecue sauce as an example: "It isn't too spicy, it isn't too smoky," he said. "The flavor is balanced for both cooking and dipping."

Vaughn says Mrs. Clark's is poised for the future with three corporate commitments: dedication to quality, commitment to innovation and focus on the customer.  Those goals wouldn't be possible without a strong foundation in place. With Mrs. Clark's deep Iowa roots, and with the exceptional resources the company draws on from across the state, those commitments serve as the blueprint for long-term success.

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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (July 9, 2009) - More than a year after floodwaters did massive damage to Theatre Cedar Rapids' home in the Iowa Theater Building, the Vision Iowa Board voted Wednesday to award $1.5 million toward renovation and expansion of the downtown facility.

Funds will preserve and upgrade the historic Iowa Theater building in downtown C.R., with the reopening expected to be in February 2010.

In addition to repairing flood damage, the project will give the theater a massive facelift, creating more space for its patrons, adding modern facilities and helping to inspire reinvestment in downtown Cedar Rapids.

"I think this is a linchpin for Cedar Rapids' recovery," Vision Iowa Board Chairwoman Regenia Bailey told the media Wednesday. "Theatre Cedar Rapids comes back downtown (and) the restaurants will be motivated to come back."

Pat Deignan, President of the Theatre Cedar Rapids Board of Directors, agreed.

"The Vision Iowa Board believes, as we do, that bringing TCR back as soon as possible after the flood will help bring people back downtown, and will be a catalyst for further redevelopment of downtown Cedar Rapids," said Deignan, of Bankers Trust.

The $7.8 million project by Theatre Cedar Rapids received a major boost from the announcement of Vision Iowa's support. The new funding will combine with over $3 million pledged to the Next Act Capital Campaign and several FEMA grant applications that total more than $3 million.

Together, these funds will complete the renovation and re-opening of the Iowa Theatre Building, Deignan said.

"When we embarked on this redevelopment plan in earnest last fall, we set an aggressive goal of being back in the theatre by the end of February 2010 with the musical The Producers," said Deignan. "That remains our goal, although the timeframe is getting very tight. We are currently working diligently with FEMA on completing their review process so we can commence full-scale construction in order to get TCR back into its home, and start bringing patrons back to downtown Cedar Rapids."

Located at 102 Third St. SE in the heart of downtown, originally the Iowa Theater Building had served as a movie theatre. Last renovated in 1983, it is currently home to Theatre Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and the Cedar Rapids Harmony Hawks, as well as touring companies and corporate events. The 500-seat auditorium provides a key piece of the city's venue portfolio.

However, the building's age had already created difficulties before the flood. Many of the building's plumbing and heating systems were still original, and were in poor condition even before they were decimated by the floodwaters. The theatre also struggled with small lobby and restroom space.

Among the elements of the new Iowa Theater Building design:

  • More than 30 additional seats for audiences.
    • A wider, more modern lobby that accommodates more patrons, shows photos and updates on TV monitors and restores original architecture from the building's construction in 1928.
    • A digital marquee on the building's exterior that evokes the design of the original Iowa Theater marquee from 1928.
  • A lounge that extends out to the windows along 1st Avenue.
  • Larger and more accessible restrooms.
    • Renovated dressing rooms, additional classroom space and better facilities for volunteers.
    • Relocating new electrical and HVAC systems to higher levels as a protective measure against flooding.

The value of arts in the community was recently illustrated by the Americans for the Arts study, which found that more than $63 million is generated by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations like TCR each year in the Corridor. With more than $31 million in spending by local organizations, local nonprofit arts organizations support 1,986 full-time jobs; generate almost $34 million in household income to local residents; and deliver more than $6 million in local and state government revenue

TCR brings more than 30,000 people downtown each year, playing a vital role in the rebirth of downtown Cedar Rapids. Improvements to the Iowa Theater Building could create a drastic increase in that number, said Casey Prince, TCR Managing Director.

"I can tell you there is more enthusiasm and excitement about the future of live theatre among the board, our volunteers, actors and patrons than we have sensed for several years," Prince said. "This initiative will create perpetual support for our storied organization, improve an historic and unique downtown community structure, more efficiently use existing space for educational programming and ensure that this venue remains a source of local pride as well as a home for Theatre Cedar Rapids."

"Family Dynamic" is a new dramatic docu-reality series that always ends with a bang.  The series is intended for air in the US this year. Each episode revolves around the Kelly Family, the imploders, and mixes the stress of family life on the road with on-the-job pressure of designing and implementing complicated implosions & demolitions.

We are interested in sending a film crew to Iowa to film the imploders, the Kelly family, of Advanced Explosives Demolition (AED) as they setup and implode (or trip) a large structure.  To film the structure permission from the owner of the propert y will be needed. We have a one-page location release to be signed by the owner once details have been sorted out. Our available schedule for filming falls between the months of August through November 2009.

The crew is very small and non-intrusive.  We can ensure all parties involved that this will not hinder the demolition in any way and can provide copy of our production insurance upon request.

Please contact Jen Hutchins anytime with further questions about the show and/or the location release.  I'm confident you will find the show to be both beneficial to the future property and to the city.


Independent filmmaker looking for an experienced film sound designer/mixer for REBIRTH, a short HD fiction film shot in Iowa. REBIRTH tells the story of two women in a small town in Iowa.  The project was awarded a major grant by the Iowa Arts Council in 2007 and is currently in post-production.

The Sound Designer must have experience designing and mixing sound effects tracks for fiction or nonfiction film / video projects.  Experience with and access to Pro Tools or other professional sound editing software needed.

Contact Francesca Soans at soansf@yahoo.com with resume in PDF or .doc formats.


This Sunday, July 12, a group of Quad Citians will be collecting handprints for, and displaying the progress of, the "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project." This local grassroots project highlights the expanding health care crisis and how it affects American lives. Each year some 22,000 people in America between the ages of 25 and 65 die, due to a lack of health insurance. These victims of a broken system delayed seeking medical care because they could not afford the medications or treatment they needed.

The "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project" was started in 2005 as a way to engage our communi ty and elected officials in a discussion about comprehensive health care reform. Each participant places a painted handprint on our canvass to symbolize one American who has died because he or she didn't have coverage. To date, over 6,800 people have participated, including President Barack Obama, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Dick Durbin, and Dr. Howard Dean.

The project will be on display, and handprints will be collected, at the Augustana College Pepsico Center in Rock Island. The event will go from 1:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday, July 12. At 3:00 p.m. there will be a brief program about the handprint project and updated information on the health care proposals being discussed in Washington, DC this year. We will also discuss ways we can make our voices heard now in support of real health care reform.

What: "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project" event
When: 1:00 - 5:00 pm Sunday July 12th (with program at 3:00)
Where: The Augustana College Pepsico Center, 30th St. and 11th Ave. in Rock Island
Who: Progressive Action for the Common Good, Change That Works, Campaign for Better Health Care