Efforts to prevent lenders from exploiting people with spotty credit histories are gaining momentum on a national level, as well as in Illinois and Iowa.
Last week, the Federal Reserve Board agreed to tighter regulations on "predatory lending," in which financial institutions use a combination of high interest rates and unusual terms to make it difficult for borrowers to build equity in their homes.

The Five Star Restoration Program has named Nahant Marsh in Davenport a Five Star Restoration Site. The program is organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish & Wildlife Federation, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, the National Association of Counties, and the Wildlife Habitat Council, and it supports restoration projects involving contributions from multiple and diverse partners.

Clad in his signature bow tie, standing before approximately 150 members of Daven-portOne at a breakfast last week, Brian Vandewalle sketched out his vision for revitalizing downtown Davenport. The presentation included a slide show and plenty of colorful buzzwords, from the "golden rectangle" to "economic constellations" to "the silicon prairie.

Moline: Renew Moline currently has three contracts with Vandewalle & Associates. The first, worth $35,000, is an update of the Moline Center Plan, which is expected to be finished by late winter. The second, also worth $35,000, is for implementation of the Moline Center Plan.

A recent fire at Olson Engineering in Eldridge did substantial damage to the 27-year-old pins-and-bushings machining company. Two of the company's four buildings were gutted in a fire that took seven fire departments more than four hours to put out.

Two weeks ago, the Riverboat Development Authority announced $1.55 million in grants for its fall cycle. The list of awardees follows.
• Aids Project Quad Cities (endowment match): $15,000
• American Legion Post 548 (repairs on building): $6,900
• Bettendorf, City of, Department of Parks and Recreation (skatepark development): $15,000
• Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society (sponsorship and marketing): $25,000
• Boy Scouts of America Illowa Council 133 (dining hall/kitchen improvements): $20,000
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley (Power Hour): $10,000
• Buffalo Bill Museum of LeClaire (museum expansion): $20,000
• Cassandra Manning Ballet Theatre (Introducing: Ballet Quad): $25,000
• Center for Active Seniors (carpet replacement): $16,000
• Center for Active Seniors (St.

The Iowa Utilities Board is finalizing plans to make 563 the new area code for eastern Iowa, including the Quad Cities, Muscatine, Clinton, Elkander, and Decorah. Optional use will begin March 4, 2001, and mandatory use will start in September.

Earlier this year, the City of Davenport made a last-ditch effort to get a grant from a federal environmental program whose future was uncertain.
"We prepared the application in a bit of a rush," said Len Adams, an economic-development specialist for the city.

The potential departure of Jumer's Casino Rock Island from that city's downtown riverfront to another location in Rock Island could have been seen as a devastating blow to revitalization efforts the riverboat helped spark, and to businesses in The District.

Floating through the Internet via e-mail is a warning titled "Area Code '809' Phone Scam" warning that you shouldn't respond to e-mail messages, phone calls, pages, or Web pages instructing you to call a number in the 809 area code.

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