After being swamped with opinions, and instead of making a decision this December, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy will hold a special one-day meeting in February to make a recommendation to the state legislature on whether to legalize medical marijuana. The delay is to give board members time to read 12,000 pages of written comments. The public meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, in the auditorium of the Iowa State Historical Building, 600 East Locust Street in Des Moines. For more information, visit

The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa declined in 2009 for the first time in a decade, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension. Mike Duffy, the farm economist who conducts the survey, said the statewide average as of November 1 this year was $4,371 an acre, down 2.2 percent or $97 from the 2008 figure. While land values on average declined slightly in 2009, the survey reported that 14 counties showed increases. The value of Scott County farmland increased from $6,310 to $6,361 an acre. For more information, visit

Trinity's Seventh Street Campus in Moline and Terrace Park Campus in Bettendorf have each been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. For more information, call Women's Imaging at Seventh Street at (309)779-5186 or Terrace Park at (563)742-4150.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 Illinois Quad Cities Citizen Police Academy, which starts on Wednesday, January 13. The academy is an 11-week course that meets every Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Instruction is by police officers from the participating agencies and will provide participants with basic information on how area police departments operate. Applications are available at the Rock Island Police Department, or online at

The Davenport Public Library's Fairmount Branch (3000 North Fairmount Street) will on Tuesday, December 29, host its first-ever "Snow-a-thon" from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will feature hot cocoa and marshmallows, movies such as Frosty the Snowman, and winter crafts. Registration is not required. For more information, visit

Modern Woodmen of America's Gatherings with Purpose contest has recognized the Sparkles cheer team, a partnership between Pleasant Valley High School cheerleaders and Davenport's Hand-in-Hand, a not-for-profit organization providing services to families with special needs. On December 21, Hand-in-Hand and the Sparkles each received $2,500 as contest winners.

The Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense appropriations bill includes funding for multiple Rock Island Arsenal programs, including $7.6 million for the Arsenal Support Program Initiative. The initiative encourages commercial use of underutilized facilities at the Arsenal. The Natural Gas Firetube Boiler Demonstration would receive $800,000; the project promises 15 percent higher efficiency, 90 percent lower emissions, water savings, and multi-fuel capability. The bill still must be signed by the president.

On November 18, the Quad City Health Initiative marked its 10th anniversary with a community celebration. The initiative has posted a video on its Web site noting its accomplishments and thanking the community. You can see it at

Genesis Health System has been selected as a silver-award recipient of the 2009 Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence Awards, which recognizes higher performance-management principles. Genesis received a bronze award the past two years. Only four Iowa organizations received gold or silver recognition for 2009. The Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence awards were established to recognize those businesses and organizations in the state that have completed a strenuous review and evaluation of their organizational performance management. Genesis Health System and the other Iowa organizations recognized for 2009 will be presented their awards on May 6 in Des Moines.

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