Hear a poet's perspective on a uniquely articulate president when Brian "Fox" Ellis portrays American poet Walt Whitman in an Evenings at Butterworth performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 11th at the Butterworth Center, 1105 8th St., Moline. No charge for admission; refreshments following.

President Abraham Lincoln was particularly fond of Whitman's work. Following the president's assassination, Whitman gave regular lectures on Lincoln, weaving in his Civil War poetry. The lectures also included recollections of a misty morning encounter with the President during the war.

A renowned storyteller, author and educator, Ellis has gained an enthusiastic following in the Quad Cities. Previous local engagements include the Butterworth Center, where he performed as Austin Gulihur, Lincoln's boyhood friend, and at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, where he performed as naturalist and artist John James Audubon. As a storyteller, author and educator, Ellis has done extensive research on many historic figures. A museum consultant, he's also worked with the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Looking for Lincoln Tourism Board.

Event funded by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. For more information, call (309) 743-2701; www.butterworthcenter.com


Trees are hardy plants, and their roots fight back against man-made limits around them. In the urban and suburban landscape, tree roots often are forced to grow between buildings or under driveways and walkways. As roots grow, they will break walls, pipes and patios, causing damage to properties.

Plan before you plant
"Before you plant a new tree in your yard, you need to understand how a tree could damage your property and take appropriate measures to prevent that damage," advises Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association.

Woody tree roots thicken as they grow, gradually pushing shallow roots toward the surface. Since soil near the surface is best suited for root growth, most tree roots are just below the surface - putting them in conflict with man-made obstacles. Where the soil is covered by a solid driveway or patio, upward growing roots don't experience the normal signals (increased light and air) that they are reaching the surface. As a result, they often grow against the underside of pavement.

"Most damage is found six feet or less from the tree," notes Andersen, "since roots become smaller and less damaging the further they are from the trunk. Keep this in mind before you plant. That small sapling could become a large shade tree with roots spreading 30 or 40 feet outward from the trunk."

Fixing the problem
Some homeowners, masons and landscapers deal with intrusive roots by grinding down or removing them. This can be expensive and is very harmful to the tree. Wounding a tree's roots creates points of entry for pathogens, leaving a tree vulnerable to disease. Cutting major roots also reduces a tree's ability to take up nutrients and water, leaving it more susceptible to drought. Finally, reducing a tree's structural support from the roots increases the danger the tree will topple onto your house in high winds.

Keep these cautions in mind when dealing with a problem tree:

  • The farther you cut from the trunk, the less threat to the tree's health, and the less danger of creating a hazard.
  • Try not to cut roots greater than 2 inches in diameter.
  • Roots recover better from being severed when you: cut them cleanly with a saw instead of breaking them with a backhoe; mulch and water well after pruning; and fertilize in early fall or spring.
Deciding what to plant
TCIA advises selecting trees for your landscape that will cause less damage, that match species with site conditions and - most importantly - that you do not plant large shade trees within 12 feet of hardscapes (sidewalks, driveways). Since the health of trees in your yard is put at risk whenever root systems are cut back or damaged, anything that can be done to reduce the damage caused by tree roots will also benefit your trees.

In areas within 5 to 7 feet of a paved area or structure, plant trees that grow to a mature height of less than 30 feet. In areas within 7 to 10 feet of a paved area or structure, plant trees that grow to a mature height of less than 50 feet. Reserve trees that mature higher than 50 feet for areas with at least 12 feet of clearance. This allows adequate space for the roots. Also, before you plant check for overhead utility lines and leave adequate space for that tree to mature.

Find a professional
A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best trees to plant. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a 71-year-old public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture. It has more than 2,000 member companies who recognize stringent safety and performance standards and who are required to carry liability insurance. TCIA also has the nation's only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the "Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies" program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP code search at www.treecaretips.org.

Braley introduced legislation creating "Clunkers" program in March

Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) will hold a press event in Bettendorf to discuss the success of "Cash for Clunkers" on the widely popular program's last day.

At the event, Braley will be joined by John McEleney, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, and Gary Thomas, President of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association.

"Cash for Clunkers" gives consumers rebates of up to $4,500 to trade in old gas guzzlers for new, fuel-efficient cars. Braley introduced the original "Cash for Clunkers" legislation with Ohio Rep. Betty Sutton in March. Visit www.cars.gov for additional details.

WHAT: Press event on Cash for Clunkers

WHO: Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) along with John McEleney, Chairman, National Automobile Dealers Association, Gary Thomas, President, Iowa Automobile Dealers Association and Craig Miller, General Manager, Lindquist Ford

WHEN: TODAY, Monday August 24, 2009 @ 11:00am CDT

WHERE: Lindquist Ford, 3950 Middle Rd, Bettendorf, Iowa.

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MONTICELLO, IA - On August  29th Gayla Drake Paul will perform in the Sill Barn at Camp Courageous in Monticello Iowa as part of a the Bear River Creek summer concert series.  She will perform with Eric Douglas on drums and Dan Johnson on base. Together they form GDP 3.

GDP3 is a group performance that music lovers will not want to miss. Gayla Drake Paul is ranked as one of the top 100 acoustic guitarist on the planet by digitaldreamdoor.com. They also recommend her solo guitar CD in their top 10 Suggested Listening for Acoustic Guitar and recently chose her Broken Blues as one of the top 100 acoustic CDs of all time.

Eric Douglas has been a drummer for over 25 years.  In 2008 Eric was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Musician Dan Johnson is fast approaching the 6,000 gig mark- that's an average of 250 concerts a year, proving his status as one of the most in-demand musicians in the Midwest. In the 1980's Dan toured with Terry Lawless and is currently the keyboardist for U2. In 2007 Dan was inducted into the Iowa Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Doors for the August 29th performance open at 6:15 with concert starting at 7 PM at Camp Courageous.  The camp's Sill barn is an awesome place to experience a concert.  It is a  post and beam barn that looks like it was built 100 years ago yet it has central air conditioning, a bathroom and is handicapped accessible. Musicians loves the acoustics. There is a $10.00 per person suggested donation for the event with proceeds to benefit Camp Courageous and the Grant Wood Country Foundation for the Arts. A portion of this concert has been underwritten by a grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Camp Courageous is located at 12007 190th Street  Monticello, Iowa 52310.  For more information go to www.campcourageous.org. Please call 319-465-4069 to reserve a seat.

Olivia Grubbs, a sixth-grade student at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport, will receive a second place award from the national level of Modern Woodmen of America's 2009 School Speech Contest on Friday.

For her achievement in the fraternal organization's annual contest, Grubbs earns a $1,500 savings plan and two award plaques - one for herself and one for her school. Modern Woodmen Representative Ruth Ahnen, Davenport, will present the award. Grubbs is the daughter of Steve and Kelli Grubbs of Davenport.

The topic for this year's nationwide contest was "A person who has touched many lives." Modern Woodmen's tagline reads "Touching Lives. Securing Futures.®" This year Modern Woodmen asked each student speaker to help uncover and tell the story of an individual who embodies the spirit of the tagline.

Grubbs chose to discuss Jerry Galloway, the late doctor and missionary who spent 20 years in the Congo. "He has touched many people through his medical work and his passion to live what he believed," she said. "He is the reason I've been inspired to be a more selfless person." Galloway left behind his family, friends and all possessions to touch lives in Africa. He set up a healthcare system, taught others how to perform surgeries and developed schools. "What defines Jerry Galloway is the contrast between the life he could have lived and the life he chose to live," said Grubbs.

The School Speech Contest, one of six Youth Educational Programs sponsored by Modern Woodmen, is provided to schools across the country at no charge. For more than 60 years, students have gained confidence and improved their communication skills by participating in this contest. More than 100,000 young people competed in 2009, of which 23 advanced to the national judging in June.

Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that a total of $1,990,572 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the Economic Recovery Package, has been released to Davenport and Bettendorf from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  Harkin is a senior member of the Senate Subcommittee that funds transportation initiatives.

"Strengthening our municipal transit systems helps our citizens get around more efficiently and, at the same time, boosts the growth of Iowa's economy," said Harkin.  "These funds will allow the people of the Quad Cities to more easily get to work and run errands."

The Economic Recovery Package, signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, includes $36 million for transit capital improvements in Iowa.  This law implements the transit formula program related provisions of the ARRA and provides program and grant application requirements for these funds, to be made available through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assistance programs.

Details of the grants are below.

Bettendorf- $539,497 to purchase three 30 foot ADA compliant, medium duty buses
Davenport- $1,451,075 to purchase four 35 foot light duty transit buses


DAVENPORT, IOWA (August 18, 2009) Join the German American Heritage Center for a bus trip to historic Potosi and Platteville, Wisconsin on Saturday, October 24. Itinerary includes visits to the National Brewery Museum & Potosi Brewery and the Platteville Mining Museum-Rollo Jamison Museum.

The day trip includes a buffet luncheon in the National Brewery Museum restaurant, guided tours of both museums, a tour of a lead mine and a short train ride (weather permitting). An opportunity to tour the museum gift shops will also be available. The tour of the lead mine is the only portion of the day trip that is not handicapped accessible.

(More on the Platteville Mining Museum-Rollo Jamison Museum: The trip into the mine and back in time, involves descending 90 steps down into the 'bowels' of the earth. This involves a wooden walkway with hand railings on each side made up of 9 steps and then a level landing for a breather, followed by another 9 steps and another level landing, etc. It may be cool and damp in the environment so those making the trip should be prepared to wear a sweater or jacket and shoes with tread to maintain a firm footing.)

The bus will depart from the German American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa at 7:30 am (boarding at 7:15 am), and return at 5:45 pm. Cost for the trip is $50 for members or $60 for nonmembers. To register contact (563) 322-8844 or director@gahc.org. You may also register in person at the German American Heritage Center.

For a preview the museums that are included in the bus trip, visit their websites at:

National Brewery Museum & Potosi Brewery

Mining Museum-Rollo Jamison Museum

About German American Heritage Center's plans for the future
In October 2009, GAHC will have a re-grand opening where they will debut their newly expanded space to the community. The space will include a new large permanent exhibit, two traveling exhibit spaces, large program facilities, and an improved parking lot. The GAHC will create new programs based on the new permanent exhibit and two new temporary exhibit spaces. This exhibit is highly interactive, audiovisual and intergenerational.


MILAN, IL - The University of Illinois Extension Office Teens from the 4-H Companion Animals Club will hold a Dog Wash/Car Wash on Saturday, August 29th from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to benefit the Quad City Animal Welfare Center. The Dog Wash/Car Wash wil be held in the University of Illinois Extension Office parking lot at 321 West 2nd Avenue in Milan. For a suggested donation of $5.00, the 4-H Companion Animal Club teen will wash your car and pamper your pooch. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Quad City Animal Welfare Center.

The Quad City Animal Welfare Center is the only full service no-kill animal shelter located in the Quad Cities. Our mission is a shelter for homeless animals, to support a spay and neuter program and to provide humane education. QCAWC Adoption Center is open Monday-Saturday from 12:00 Noon until 5:00 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesday until 6:00 p.m. Our Low Cost High Quality Wellness Clinic is open every Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Low Cost High Quality spaying and neutering is offered by calling 309-787-6830 for an appointment. QCAWC is located at 724 West 2nd Avenue in Milan.


Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers - Growing Iowa's Communities One Farmer & One Neighbor At a Time

Des Moines, Iowa ? Aug. 18, 2009 ? Iowa agriculture puts healthy, affordable choices of food on the table for today's consumers and brings jobs and economic development to the state according to a just-completed economic analysis sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers (CSIF).

The tally of agriculture's impact, based on 2007 Census of Agriculture data, reveals farming is tightly linked to many Iowa industries.  Production agriculture and ag-related industries directly and indirectly employ one of every six Iowans (or 17 percent of the state's workforce).  They're also responsible for adding $72.1 billion to the state's economy, or 27 percent of the state's total.  This represents a two percent increase over a previous analysis utilizing 2002 Census of Agriculture data.

That's good news during a time of economic adversity and shows Iowa agriculture continues to grow.  In fact, the strong presence of ag production, processing and manufacturing in Iowa helps buffer the state from the severity of national economic downturns.  Iowa's unemployment rate is 6.1 percent compared to the national total of 9.4 percent.

"What impresses me," says Dan Otto, Iowa State University extension economist who helped prepare the study, "is that when you consider the growth and diversification of Iowa's economy over recent years, agriculture is still a very dominant player. For certain counties, it is the dominant industry.

"The diversification of farming has made agriculture the leading industry in more than a quarter of the counties in our state," he adds.  "One could say that this study shows Iowa is as dependent on farming as Detroit is on car manufacturing."

Craig Floss, chief executive officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and CSIF board president, says the purpose of the study was to find out how much the state's current economy is being helped by farming today.  The findings are good news for Iowa.

"It's clear that farming, food and feed processing, and every other area agriculture touches, is critical to Iowa," he says.  "The continued support and growth of farming is vital to the long-term economic health of our state."

The CSIF-sponsored analysis shows that farming and ag-related industries in Iowa account for nearly $23 billion in value-added, (19 percent of Iowa's total), which takes into account the process of producing and converting agricultural commodities into products suitable for use by consumers both in and outside Iowa.  

The study also reaffirms the importance of livestock and poultry farming's contribution to individual families.  Statewide, livestock and poultry production contributes nearly $1.1 billion to   household income.  Raising livestock and poultry alone generates 43,324 jobs in Iowa.  When meat processing is factored in, research shows a contribution of 80,278 jobs to the state with a total economic value of $19.5 billion in Iowa.

The analysis included a review of data from several sources including the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the U.S. Bureaus of Economic Analysis and Labor Statistics, the Iowa Department of Workforce Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the IMPLAN economic modeling software.

Additional details, including a complete county-by-county breakdown of the analysis results (including jobs and household income), are available at the CSIF website, www.supportfarmers.com.


(Rock Island, IL)?Jacob Lundquist, Moline, has been awarded a $2000, Making A Difference, renewable scholarship by Royal Neighbors of America.

As a non-profit fraternal organization, Royal Neighbors of America exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance products to fulfill a variety of needs for growth, savings, and protection. Members also receive valuable member benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization's local chapters to make a difference in their communities. The organization's philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, Royal Neighbors serves nearly 220,000 members and is

licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762 or visit www.royalneighbors.org.