This year’s rules for the Reader's Short-Fiction Contest stipulated 300 words or fewer and the piece had to include one of 10 sentences pulled from Mark Twain’s 1889 comedic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Thank you and congratulations to all who entered!

Our 2017 short-fiction contest features 10 prompts from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, first published in 1889.

Education funding is a complicated topic anyway, but it’s especially difficult to understand in Illinois given the heated rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans.

The situation is actually pretty simple, however: Pretty much everybody agrees on the problem and the solution, and additional money has already been budgeted to start the process.

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2017 Summer Guide – featuring more than 1,400 events from June through August – is on stands now. Pick up a copy wherever you find the River Cities’ Reader!

You can also browse it online or use our online calendar to find everything happening in the Quad Cities this summer!

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Traffic-enforcement cameras have been a common sight in Davenport for 13 years, but now the city is using new cameras for a different purpose: to help prevent and solve violent and property crimes.

Davenport in the past month has begun a pilot project with 18 cameras at four intersections on Washington Street south of Locust Street. The city purchased the cameras for nearly $54,000 as part of a larger neighborhood-revitalization program that also includes street and sidewalk improvements.

The idea is to see to what extent the cameras prevent crime, and how much they assist police in solving crimes that do occur.

But police surveillance cameras, in general, are not particularly good at deterring crime. They can be effective in certain circumstances, but not in the way Davenport is using them.

The Spring+Summer 2017 edition of the Quad Cities Dining Guide – featuring more than 800 restaurant listings – is on stands now. Pick one up wherever you find the River Cities’ Reader!

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The pendulum swung swiftly.

House File 291 was introduced in the Iowa legislature on February 9, was passed by the House and Senate on February 16, and was signed by Governor Terry Branstad the next day.

Despite that speed, this was not some emergency measure. Instead, it was part of a pent-up agenda being unleashed, as Republicans enjoyed – really enjoyed – their first unified control of the legislative and executive branches of state government since 1998.

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It’s admittedly difficult to get your head around Illinois’ recently passed Future Energy Jobs Bill – a massive, long-gestating piece of legislation that touches on many aspects of energy policy.

Yet the legislation is worth exploring. It will be a major change in Illinois energy policy when it takes effect on June 1. And it’s an instructive study of the give-and-take of the legislative process – a case that was absolutely green and utility-friendly, but one that might not be nearly as kind to consumers as has been promised.

The 2016-17 Winter Guide

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2016-17 Winter Guide – featuring more than 1,300 events through March – is on stands now. Pick up a copy today!

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2016 short-fiction contest, presented with the Bettendorf Public Library, received more than 130 submissions. Here are the winners and some of our favorites.

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