A Rock Island County candidate forum will be held Thursday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rock Island High School Little Theater. Candidates for Rock Island County sheriff, clerk, and treasurer are expected to attend, along with candidates for District 15 of the county board. Written questions will be taken from the audience. Candidates will have opening and closing statements and opportunities for rebuttal.

Part sleuths, part antiques experts, and part cultural historians, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz -- business partners in LeClaire, Iowa's Antique Archaeology -- are professional "pickers," trolling America's small towns to salvage rare collectibles and good junk from regular folks. American Pickers, a 10-part series from the History channel, 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 series premieres on Monday, January 18, at 8 p.m. Central on the History channel. The debut will also be shown at the Capitol Theatre (330 West Third Street in Davenport), with doors opening at 7 p.m.

In February, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend administered a survey to the not-for-profit community gauging its health in the current economic climate. A follow-up survey found that 18 percent of the respondents have had to eliminate programming to offset budget shortfalls, and 55 percent said they anticipate expanding services to meet the increasing needs of their constituents. Additional information can be found at CFGRB.org/publications.html.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (630 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Rock Island) will host the 27th-annual Memorial Service & Awards celebration honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The keynote speaker is the Reverend Joseph D. Williamson III of Second Baptist Church in Rock Island. For more information, contact Gerald Jones or Ida Robinson at (309)732-2999.

Bethany for Children & Families is the new home for Give Kids A Smile , a children's dental-access program. Give Kids A Smile links schoolchildren in need of dental care to local dentists. This year, 92 Quad Cities dentists will donate care to children. If you have trouble accessing dental care for your children, contact Chris Allers at (309)736-6650.

The City of Rock Island has draft copies of the 2010-11 One Year Action Plan available for public review. The Action Plan serves as the city's annual funding application for the Community Development Block Grant program. A public hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, January 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, on the third floor of City Hall. Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on February 8. For a copy of the action plan, visit http://www2.rigov.org/pdf/ced/actionplan/2010-2011ActionPlan.pdf.

Iowa has been awarded more than $1.1 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the Emergency Food & Shelter Program. Funds are used to supplement food-, shelter-, rent-, mortgage-, and utility-assistance programs for people with non-disaster-related emergencies. The state set-aside allows Iowa to address pockets of homelessness or poverty, particularly to help areas that undergo economic hardships such as plant closings, or to assist communities where levels of unemployment or poverty do not meet the threshold for a direct allocation. Scott County will receive $80,851, and the State Set-Aside Committee for Iowa will receive $559,529.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $77,200 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant to Scott County. According to the Department of Energy, the grant funds will be used to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy and fossil-fuel use in Scott County. Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals, and state agencies apply for competitive grants and loans from the federal government.

The Rock Island County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force has established a 2010 schedule for its Hope for Homeowners workshop series. The series is part of a foreclosure-prevention effort designed to give homeowners the tools they need to stay in their homes. The workshops and classes are held in private rooms to respect people's privacy. To learn about class schedules, visit QCDollarwise.org or call 2-1-1 or (563)355-9900. The classes last approximately 90 minutes.

Recently, Iowa received a match grant of approximately $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications & Information Administration to support a comprehensive broadband mapping and planning initiative through the Connect Iowa (ConnectIowa.org) program. The grant includes $1.7 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period.

The Blackhawk Chapter of the American Guild of Organists has announced "Harpsichord & Violin in 18th Century France," a program featuring Gregory Hand (assistant professor of organ at the University of Iowa) and Allison Guest Edberg (concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra). The duo will present French music from the baroque to the early-classical period at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, at First Presbyterian Church (1702 Iowa Street in Davenport). There is no admission charge.

Guardian Glass will receive a $900,000 Recovery Act Advanced Energy tax credit to re-equip its manufacturing facility in DeWitt. The tax credit will allow the DeWitt facility to expand its production of bent solar mirrors. The project will 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.

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