The German American Heritage Center will open an historical exhibit with a regional focus. By focusing on a forgotten institution of the mid-19th century,the German Free School, this exhibit will explore a forgotten idea.  The migrating Germans of the 1850s took their ideas with them, and opened Free German Schools in Austin, Texas, Madison, Wisconsin, and Davenport, Iowa.  But only in eastern Iowa did the school continue in its original form until the 1880s, and enjoyed an attempted revival and an influence until 1910.                       

"This exhibit tells us many things about the original German settlers of eastern Iowa, and their unique ideas about education which impacted public education of today," said Schar Blevins of the Center.

The exhibit traces the powerful ideas of the 1848er generation who moved to America, and Midwestern leaders such as Theodore Guelich who supported the founding of a German Free School in Davenport, in 1853.  Attention is placed on the early teachers who helped make the school a success by the early 1870s, and the interesting interaction of ideas on Iowa's public schools.  The final attempts by Emil Geisler to revive this concept in the 1890s are traced for the first time.

"This is the first time that the whole story has been described, with an analysis of historical forces invovled and the results," said Prof. William Roba, Scott Community College and Executive Director, Roba consulting.  He will be presenting an interpretive talk about the exhibit on April 5, 2009, at 2 P.M. at the German American Heritage Center.

Roba added, "this has been a fascinating project to research and develop, and our staff has done outstanding work with Glen Trute providing imaginative graphics, and student interns making this a truly interactive exhibit."  The GAHC has staged permanent exhibits on historical subjects, but this is the first one to travel to other museums in the Midwest.

The German American Heritage Center, announced the appointment of Angela Hunt as the Center's new director. Ms. Hunt began her position March 16, 2009. She succeeds John Blong, who retired as acting director after five years of service to the Center.

Ms. Hunt is a resident of Bettendorf, Iowa and has lived in the Quad Cities area since 2000. She has worked at Niabi Zoo, Girl Scouts, Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House in the areas of program management, volunteer coordination, fundraising, marketing and public relations. Ms. Hunt also has also worked as a nonprofit consultant. Ms. Hunt has worked on projects as a volunteer for area organizations including the Bistate Literacy Council, The Garden Growers, Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Directors of Volunteers in Agencies, and the United Way. She serves as Communications Director for Public Relations Network of the Quad Cities board.

"I am absolutely thrilled to join the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) team especially at this time when the museum is undergoing new and exciting expansions of the exhibits and outreach, " said Ms. Hunt.

As director of the German American Heritage Center, Ms. Hunt will be responsible for directing staff, volunteers, programs, fund raising and the yearly operations.

About the German American Heritage Center

Founded in 1994 as a non-profit corporation, the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve and enrich for present and future generations knowledge of the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American culture. Today, the Center stands at a crossroads for the generations. The Center is a place where brick and mortar and a living culture are merged to provide experiences to perpetuate the immigrant values and work ethic for our current generations.

Location: 712 West 2nd Street, Davenport, IA 52802

Hours: 1:00-4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours by appointment only

Admission: Adults $3; Seniors (+60) $2; Children (6-18) $1; Under 5 free

Access: The German American Heritage Center is wheelchair accessible.

For more information please call (563) 322-8844.

Poet Laureate of the Quad Cities Dale Haake will read from his new poetry in the Lion In Winter program of  the Independent Scholars' Evening on Thursday March 26, 2009 at the  Independent Scholars' Evenings.  Readings begin at 7.00 pm,  doors open at 6.30 pm.  The event is free and open to the public. Held at The Moline Commercial Club, 513 16th St, 2nd floor, Moline.  Light refreshments will be served. Independent Scholars' Evenings are sponsored by The Institute for Cultural and Healing Traditions, Ltd. A 501(c) 3.

Iowa Public Radio station 90.9 FM is back to full power after experiencing a major transmission line failure Saturday, February 7. Due to the extensive damage to 90.9 FM which serves eastern Iowa repeater stations receiving their signal from 90.9 FM, including 89.7 FM and 98.7 FM in Dubuque, 94.5 FM and 102.1 FM in the Quad Cities, and 88.9 FM and 101.7 FM serving Des Moines, were also affected. 90.9 FM returned to low power on February 17, restoring service to much of eastern Iowa and to repeaters in Dubuque and Des Moines.

The transmission line that extends the length of the 2,000 foot tower west of Walker failed about 1,000 feet above the ground, according to Wayne Jarvis, IPR director of network operations. Last summer, the original thirty year old transmission line was replaced and the February failure in the new line appeared to be due to design and manufacturing issues in the new line components. The manufacturer cooperated with IPR to correct this massive failure.

Before returning to normal power, all one hundred of the transmission line's seventeen foot sections had to be disassembled, replaced or cleaned and inspected. Most sections had to be cleaned on the ground and then reassembled on the tower. High winds, snow and freezing rain had limited work to one or two days a week delaying the return to full power.

A tower crew restored the signal to low power on February 17 through an auxiliary antenna, followed by periods off the air for transmission line repair. After line reassembly, nitrogen was run through the antenna to remove any moisture that had built up during the repair period. Then the entire line and antenna were electronically swept to detect any faults. The crew finished repair and final testing on Tuesday, March 17, returning 90.9 to full power.

Iowa Public Radio informs, enriches and engages Iowans through radio programming and other media. Iowa Public Radio includes the WOI Radio Group (Iowa State University, Ames), KUNI-KHKE (University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls), and KSUI-WSUI (University of Iowa, Iowa City).


Colona, IL - A milestone event occurred for Hammond-Henry Hospital out of Geneseo, IL recently.  At 10:00 a.m. on March 17, 2009 a groundbreaking ceremony was held to commemorate the beginning of construction on the new Hammond-Henry Colona Clinic, located at 1604 Cleveland Road in Colona, IL.

Brad Solberg, Hammond-Henry Hospital's CEO, kicked off the event by welcoming all attendees. Other speakers included: Judith Gilbert, City of Colona Economic Development Coordinator; Sue Gray, Hammond-Henry Hospital's Board Chair and Thomas Fennelly, Russell Construction Senior Vice President in charge of construction on the new facility. Other company representatives in attendance for the ceremony included Blackhawk Bank & Trust and the Geneseo School District.

As a 3,500 s.f. medical office building, the new Hammond-Henry Colona Clinic will house several physicians and other building amenities, such as: a vestibule, waiting area, exam rooms, laboratory space, storage rooms and offices.  Construction is set to be fully underway by Monday, March 23, 2009 and will be completed by October 2009.

Hammond-Henry Hospital was established in 1901, utilizing approximately 82 beds and serves nearly 20,000 residents in the Geneseo, IL area.  The new Colona Clinic will allow them to more effectively reach out and serve residents within the hospital district and county by providing quality care and exceptional service.

Russell Construction, located in Davenport, IA, is serving as the Design/Builder and General Contractor on this new Hammond-Henry Hospital project.  Shive-Hattery, located in Moline, IL will serve as the Architect.  The Colona Clinic is the second project that Russell Construction has completed for Hammond-Henry Hospital. In 2004, Russell Construction served as Design/Builder on a 34,000 s.f. addition and renovation to their hospital in Geneseo, IL.  Now, five years later, Russell has once again been selected by Hammond-Henry Hospital because of their focus on building positive long-lasting relationships while delivering a successful and efficient project.

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Sister Helen Prejean will be the keynote speaker for Churches United's Delegate Assembly to be held on Thursday, March 26th at 7:00pm.  Asbury United Methodist Church in Bettendorf (18th & Mississippi Streets) will be hosting this Assembly.

Each year Churches United holds this annual meeting for its 136 member churches.  Although part of the annual meeting is for its members, the public is welcome to come and hear Sister Helen that evening.

Sister Helen Prejean, is most noted for her work with those on death row and wrote a Pultizer Prize winning book which was made into the award winning movie " Dead Man Walking" starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

Sister Helen resides in New Orleans, Louisiana and earned her M.A. in Religious Education from St. Paul's University in Ottawa, Canada. She has been the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans and the Formation Director for her religious community as well as teaching both junior and senior high school students.

Both of Sister Helen Prejean's books (Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents - each $15 or both for $25) will be available for sale following the Delegate Assembly.  Sister Helen will be on hand to autograph her books.  Proceeds from the book sales go to the Moratorium Campaign.  Petitions will also be available for those who wish to add their name to this effort to call an end to the death penalty.    Also available will be a few copies of "Dead Man Walking" autographed by Susan Sarandan, Tim Robbins and Sister Helen Prejean at a cost of $100.

Sister Helen is an articulate and eloquent speaker whosurely will move you!

For more information, please contact Churches United at 309-786-6494.

As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009, Partners in Job Training and Placement will receive funds to administer a Summer Youth Employment Program. Youth participating in the program will be placed in a variety of public and private sector worksites beginning in June. Jobs will include maintenance, clerical, grounds keeping, and other positions. Youth will receive minimum wage. Work related expenses such as physicals will be provided.  Your Rock Island County Extension unit has requested to secure funding for up to five youth under this program for the summer.  If you know of youth looking for a job and qualifies for the Partners in Job Training and Placement program please ask them to contact  Mr. David Flowers at: 309-736-9621, ext. 101, Mondays through Thursdays, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Individuals appointments will be scheduled.

This program is income based. NOT ALL YOUTH WILL QUALIFY. Youth must be between the ages of 16 and 24 to participate.

German language classes will be conducted at the German American Heritage Center on Tuesday nights from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. starting April 7th through June 9, 2009.

Instructor Kathlyn Hofmann has twenty-seven years of experience teaching beginning-AP levels in the German language within Germany for the Department of Defense Education Activity.

This class will concentrate on commonly used words and phrases and their correct pronunciation.  A conversational approach to teaching will be used with some explanation of basic grammar. Handouts will be made available. Students do not need to purchase a book.  This class is meant for those who know no German or who want to brush up on the basics. Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to pronounce the alphabet and sound out word combinations, read and speak simple phrases, and be able to understand and speak simple sentences. Topics may vary depending on the interest and make-up of the group but will include greetings, introductions & useful expressions;  talking about your family and yourself; numbers, telling time, money, the calendar and weather;  food likes and dislikes; travel, hotels, shopping; going to the doctor. No prerequisite.

Cost for the class is $50 GAHC members; $60 non-members. Deadline for reservations is April 3, 2009.

To make reservations, call the German American Heritage Center at (563) 322-8844 or send reservations to German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second Street, Davenport, IA 52802. You can also email your reservations to

MONTICELLO - Thanks to the generosity of the Monticello Pizza Ranch owners, Brad and Shirley Davis, Camp Courageous will be receiving half of the gross receipts from the Monticello Pizza Ranch on Saturday March 21st.  For example, if a customer purchased $20 in pizza and pop, $10 goes to camp.  The benefit applies to dine-in, carry-out, and delivery; but it does not apply to gift certificates.

This annual event has become a "win-win" situation for the customers of Pizza Ranch.  The customer enjoys a wonderful meal and at the same time half of everything they spend at the Monticello Pizza Ranch will go to benefit over 5,000 special needs campers that are served at Camp Courageous each year.  Pizza Ranch is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  They will be featuring their wonderful buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Camp Courageous' board members, staff, and volunteers will be providing extra assistance during this special day.

Brad Davis, Monticello Pizza Ranch owner, commented, "We are happy to be able to do this for Camp Courageous.  Since the Pizza Ranch has been in Monticello, we have had a wonderful relationship with the camp.  We admire the dedication and work Camp Courageous does for those with special needs."

The Pizza Ranch is located at 505 East Oak St, Monticello. For more information contact Brad Davis, owner, or Beth Oppedal, manager at Pizza Ranch at 319/465-6000 or Camp Courageous at 319/465-5916.

Hot, humid summer weather is quickly approaching. With energy rates increasing across the country, homeowners will see some of their highest energy bills ever. A home and duct performance test helps homeowners find real solutions to increase energy efficiency and lower heating and cooling bills.

Most homes are not nearly as energy efficient as they should be, leading to energy loss and higher than necessary heating or cooling bills. Up to $0.40 of every heating and cooling dollar spent is lost through poor construction, leaky ductwork and improperly sized or installed equipment according to the Department of Energy.

Professional testing of the home to find problems now can save homeowners substantial money on heating and cooling in the long run.

A home and duct performance test will pinpoint exact causes of energy loss, comfort and indoor air quality problems. A qualified comfort consultant performing the test will offer solutions to insure equipment runs efficiently and cost effectively. Many energy loss problems discovered during the checkup in the home can be simply and affordably solved by the homeowner.

"An HVAC contractor is like a doctor for your house," says Comfort Institute President Brendan Reid. "Without diagnostic testing, your doctor would just be cutting you open and poking around. There's a reason doctors don't do that anymore. This test lets us find the problems in a scientific manner so we can offer real solutions."

Homeowners who choose to have a home and duct performance test performed on their home should do research before hiring a contractor for the testing. A qualified contractor will provide the homeowner with a full list of problems and solutions to energy, comfort and indoor air quality problems found during the testing and will offer a money back guarantee if the homeowner does not see value in the information found during the testing.

For more information about whole house comfort checkup, visit and click on "Whole House Comfort Check-up." Comfort Institute Member Contractors are fully trained on performing the testing. Certified Comfort Institute Member companies are listed on the Comfort Institute Web site under "locate a CI contractor."

Comfort Institute provides short educational videos explaining the home and duct performance test to its member contractors. Locate a Comfort Institute Member company to view the videos from that company's Web site.