According to the National Center for State Courts, the salaries of state judges in Iowa and Illinois top the U.S. average. District judges in Iowa ranked 18th among states, appeal judges were 16th, and associate-high-court judges ranked 14th. Illinois appeal, district, and associate-high-court justices were all second in the nation. Iowa trial judges earned about $137,700 last year, and Illinois trial judges earned $189,949. The national average was about $135,000. For more information, visit

A one-year enrollment in the Good Cents program will enter Rock Island residents into an April 30 drawing for $100 in groceries at Rock Island Country Market. The Good Cents program allows residents to round up utility bills to the next dollar, with the difference deposited into a fund to assist participants in the city's Roof Loan program. Authorization forms for the Good Cents program and applications for the Roof Loan program are available at or by calling (309)732-2900.

The 15th Teen Reading Challenge will take place from Sunday, January 10, through Saturday, January 30. Since 1995, libraries across the Quad Cities have challenged teens to "Take Time to Read" during the Teen Reading Challenge. Teens who read to certain levels are entered in drawings for prizes, and the libraries compete to see which can get teens to read the most. A party will also be held on Friday, February 5. Anyone in grades six through 12 can participate. Visit a local library for more information or for a Challenge Reading Log.

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. IPP focuses on tax and budget issues, the Iowa economy, and energy and environmental policy. For more information, visit or its blog at

April 1 is national Census Day - the day the census snapshot of the United States population is taken. Census forms ask questions about households as they were on that date. Census data directly affect how more than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation, and more. They're also used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to redistrict state legislatures. To see the census questionnaire, visit

Residents of Scott County with a child under 21 who is enrolled in Medicaid might benefit from the Iowa Early & Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis, & Treatment program, also known as the Care for Kids program. The program offers many services to provide comprehensive health care for Medicaid-eligible children ages birth through 20 years. There is no cost for families that have a current Medicaid card. For more information, call (563)328-4114.

The State of Iowa is moving toward a paperless justice system, with the first court announcing its electronic-document-management deployment plans. Plymouth County was scheduled to be the first in the state to implement the document-management system on January 4. The 90-day pilot deployment will be used by the state to test the technology on civil cases before moving to criminal cases. All relevant documents will be scanned into the state's computer system, making it easier for legal professionals to access files. There will also be a reduction in the amount of paper files having to be physically stored as a result. The general public will have computer access in the courthouse to non-confidential filed documents. If the Plymouth County trial is a success, the system will be rolled out to other state county courts.

The Moline Public Library offers a group for 12- to 18-year-olds who love to write. The group will meet on Monday, January 11, at 7 p.m. This is an opportunity to learn new skills, get feedback, and share writing. Registration is required for this free event; call (309)736-5737 to sign up. For more information, visit

Body & Soul Personal Training is offering a program geared to walking a half marathon, featuring eight months of weekly group walks and instruction, a full training schedule, a training log, and more. An informational session will be held on January 20 at 6 p.m. Call (563)370-2359 or e-mail for more details.

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