The health departments of Scott and Rock Island counties along with Trinity Regional Health System and Genesis Health System are asking for the help of businesses and school districts to reduce traffic to doctor offices during flu season. In a memo sent last week to area chambers of commerce and school districts, the health-care organizations asked school districts and employers to temporarily relax their policies and not require a doctor's note prior to returning to school or work. Doctor offices are receiving large numbers of requests for signed forms for patients returning to work and returning to school. These requests bring people to offices for routine visits at a time when many clinics are already seeing larger volumes from those seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms. This not only increases exposure risk for patients but also strains the resources of already busy offices.

The Joy of Life Weekend Retreat, led by Persian yogi and meditation master Kambiz Naficy, will be held December 4 through 6 at the Satva Center (1918 Seventh Avenue in Rock Island). The event includes four sessions and costs $300, with a $50 discount for registration by November 6. For more information, visit or contact Julie Skoff at (563)209-7167 or

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has announced that applications for Harkin Grants, which fund school construction and safety projects in Iowa, are now available. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are available to Iowa public-school districts, with more than $5.3 million authorized. Applications must be postmarked by December 30. For more information, visit or contact Gray Schwartz at (515)281-4743 or

Iowa's Emergency Management Division has been awarded nearly $350,000 to improve response to transportation incidents involving hazardous materials. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Administration. Specifically, these funds will help train first responders to react to incidents involving hazardous materials and to meet the safety challenges posed by new chemicals and alternative-energy products such as ethanol.

A third show will be added to the usual two-show Everyone's a Critic Wednesday-night schedule at the Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre. Starting October 28, tickets will go on sale at 4 p.m. for show times at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and include the movie, soda, and popcorn. The series runs through November 18. For more information, e-mail, visit, or call (563)324-1933.

The Moline Public Library will offer the program Super-Couponing on Saturday, November 14. Jill Cataldo, the "Coupon Queen," will offer a morning session at 10 a.m. and an afternoon session at 1 p.m. Jill will teach how to maximize grocery savings and purchase hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for pennies. For more information, visit

The Iowa Child Advocacy Board is currently seeking people interested in becoming court-appointed special advocate, or CASA, volunteers for some of the thousands of Iowa children currently under the juvenile court's jurisdiction because of abuse and neglect. The Iowa CASA Program trains and supports community volunteers to serve as a voice in court for these most vulnerable children. For more information on how you can help an abused or neglected child in the Iowa juvenile-court system, call (866)448-4608, e-mail, or visit

The Martin Luther King Center's ACTIVE Club is sponsoring a Driver's Safety Program conducted by the AARP Driver Safety Program. This will be for motorists 50 and older. The eight-hour course will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, and Wednesday, November 11. The program will be held at 630 Ninth Street in Rock Island. The cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. Register by Friday, November 6, by calling (309)732-2999.

The Amy Helpenstell Foundation awarded nine organizations a total of $137,250. Grants were given to Ballet Quad Cities, Christian Care, Churches United of the Quad Cities Area, Habitat for Humanity, Martin Luther King Center, Project Renewal, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Rebuilding Together Quad Cities, and Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation. For more information on the foundation, including information about awards, visit or call (563)326-2840.

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