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Quad City Daily News

IEMA Receives $14 Million Grant for Emergency Response Communications Upgrade

The state of Illinois’ efforts to relocate existing emergency response communications systems in preparation for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) got a financial boost recently with a grant totaling more than $14 million from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The award to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) was more than half of the $26.8 million FirstNet awarded to eight recipients nationwide.

The Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program offered an opportunity for public safety organizations across the U.S. to compete for funding for relocating existing radios and systems from Band 14 in advance of the deployment and operation of the NPSBN. The state of Illinois public safety radio network, known as STARCOM21, operates on a portion of the spectrum that will be used in the FirstNet NPSBN. This is the first critical step in paving the way for a FirstNet nationwide buildout. 

“Illinois has long been committed to ensuring two-way, mission-critical communications for our first responders,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “This grant will enable us to replace and update communications equipment needed to become part of a nationwide interoperable public safety communications system.”

FirstNet is an independent authority established by Congress in 2012 to oversee the building, deployment and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal and federal first responders and other public safety personnel.

IEMA has 12 months to complete the project proposed in its grant application, which includes replacing more than 1,000 vehicular repeater systems, replacing more than 1,000 STARCOM21 portable radios, training on the new equipment, retuning STARCOM21 infrastructure and reprogramming more than 4,500 radios. The affected entities include both state and local emergency response agencies working together under one grant to save time and taxpayer dollars.

Other recipients of the Band 14 grants included the Virginia State Police, Arkansas State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Honolulu County (Hawaii) Department of Defense, Marshall (Michigan) Fire Department, Stamford (Connecticut) Fire Department and Post Falls (Idaho) Police Department.


Unemployment Rates Decrease in Twelve Metro Areas-Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 0.2% For The Year

CHICAGO–Twelve of Illinois’ metropolitan (metro) areas experienced decreases in their over-the-year unemployment rate and eight of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
"Our job growth rate is still half that of the rest of the country,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Most of our job growth is concentrated primarily in the northeast corner of the state while downstate job growth continues to lag.”
Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metro areas, in which the largest increases were seen in: Elgin (+2.1 percent, +5,300), Rockford (+1.9 percent, +2,900), and Lake-Kenosha (+1.6 percent, +6,800). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.2 percent or +44,900). Illinois businesses lost jobs in five metro areas including Carbondale-Marion (-2.5 percent, -1,400), the Quad Cities (-2.3 percent, -4,200), and Decatur (-1.5 percent, -800). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas were: Retail Trade (nine of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (nine of 14), Education and Health Services (eight of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 14), and Government (eight of 14).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares July 2016 with July 2015. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.6 percent in July 2016 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in July 2016 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.


River Roots Live

River Roots Live is finally here! Jam out to 14 amazing acts including Alanna Royale, Luke Bell, Booker T. Jones and three of our very own QC acts. Friday night's headliner is Guitar Army, a trio made up of Joe Robinson, Lee Roy Parnell and Robben Ford. Sing your little heart out to their hits like "Shattered" and "That was a Crazy Game of Poker," from Saturday night's headliner, O.A.R.
You can even support the young musicians of the QCA at the Jr. Jam Tent. Be sure to stop at one of the Ribfest vendors for some world-class BBQ. After the festivities are over Saturday night, boogie on down to Ragged Trotter for even more weekend tunes! Weekend passes are still for sale! Get 'em now because they'll be more at the gate.  


RI Police Investigate Shooting


On Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 10:26pm, the Rock Island Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 12th Street and 12th Avenue.


Responding officers located a victim in the alleyway of the 1200 block of 11th Street. The male victim had sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was transported from the scene by the Rock Island Fire Department to Unity Point, Rock Island, where he succumbed to his injuries. At this time the victim’s identity is not being released.


Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at 309-732-2677 or Crimestoppers at 309-762-9500.   


Ag In The Classroom Receives Donation




BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) program will continue its strong legacy of providing free education resources to teachers thanks in part to a $90,000 donation from the Illinois Corn Checkoff, administered by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB). 


With its recent contribution, the ICMB helps IAITC fund its upcoming program year, and continues its long-standing position as the top commodity contributor to the ag literacy program. 


"The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is proud to continue our support of agricultural education efforts by investing checkoff dollars with the IAA Foundation and IAITC," said Tom Mueller, chairman, ICMB. "As there are fewer and fewer of us actively engaged in farming, it becomes even more important to provide quality, science-based education resources to youth so that they might grow up with a more robust understanding of how their food gets to their table. And maybe they'll share what they learn with their parents, too."


The donation directly helps 70 Illinois county ag literacy coalitions engage local educators and students with accurate education about agriculture through lessons and materials based in math, language arts, science and social studies. Last year, IAITC reached more than 550,000 students and more than 37,000 teachers. 


During the last several years, support from the Illinois Corn Checkoff has helped make free resources available to classrooms, including Ag Mags on diverse topics from water and soil, to livestock care and corn. This year, efforts will continue to focus on farmers' role as stewards of the land, incorporating practices from the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. 


"The IAITC program will utilize the new Soil and Water Ag Mags to showcase lessons related to watersheds, cover crops and bioreactors," said Kevin Daugherty, education director, IAITC.  "Often, our teachers and general public hear terms and are confused, and the IAITC program has worked to make the terms and strategies easier to understand."


This year's gift marks 25 years of IAITC support from Illinois Corn Farmers. 


"We are thankful to have the support of commodity groups and the farmers they represent," said Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation. "Through this contribution, Illinois corn farmers can see their dollars directly at work in the classroom, where IAITC continues its successful track record of making important connections to agriculture for students."



Free Webinar

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension will host a free webinar, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies at Work in Illinois,on Thurs., Sept. 15 from noon to 1 p.m.

Darrin Fleener, economic development representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Chicago regional office, will provide an overview of the regional planning process. Prior to EDA, Fleener worked for 13 years with the State of Oregon’s economic development department in project management, program development, government relations, and as a rural affairs policy advisor. His professional experience includes working in both urban and rural distressed communities.  

Also presenting will be Jennifer Daly, CEO of Greater Peoria Economic Development District. Daly will share Peoria’s approach to creating a regionally driven economic development process as well as outcomes that have been achieved through this new strategy.

“Economic development requires effective, collaborative institutions that are focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector,” says Kathie Brown, U of I Extension community and economic development educator. “It’s essential to ensuring the economic future of both rural and urban communities across our state.”

There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. Register online to attend or contact University of Illinois Extension’s Russell Medley, Community and Economic Development Educator for Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties at (309) 756-9978 or email rmedley@illinois.edu




Illinois home prices increase in July; Sales lower amid tight inventory

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Homes sold faster and prices were stronger in July, but lower inventory continues to act as a drag on the market, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2016 totaled 16,108 homes sold, down 6.8 percent from 17,291 in July 2015.

The statewide median price in July was $199,000 up 4.7 percent from July 2015 when the median price was $190,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The drop-off in home sales in July underscores the fact that a continued lack of inventory is plaguing those who are in the market for a new home,”said Mike Drews, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “These homebuyers face limited choices and higher prices as a result."

The time it took to sell a home in July averaged 53 days, down from 59 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 65,998 homes for sale, a 14.4 percent decline from July 2015 when there were 77,069 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.44 percent in July 2016, a decline from 3.57 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In July 2015 it averaged 4.04 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in July 2016 totaled 11,716 homes sold, down 7.3 percent from July 2015 sales of 12,645 homes. The median price in July 2016 was $238,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.8 percent from $225,000 in July 2015.

“In July, median prices continued to experience positive growth while sales recorded their first negative annual change in 2016,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, median prices are forecast to have positive annual growth over the next three months.  In addition, the percentage of foreclosed sales among total sales was 9.7 percent, the lowest July reading since 2009.”

According to the data, thirty-three (33) Illinois counties reported sales gains for July 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Grundy County, up 15.4 percent with 75 units sold; McHenry County, up 7.2 percent with 599 units sold; and Madison County, up 4.0 percent with 334 units sold. Forty-four (44) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Will County, up 11.8 percent to $212,500; Cook County, up 5.3 percent to $249,000; and Winnebago County, up 2.3 percent to $101,250.

The city of Chicago saw an 11.9 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in July 2016 with 2,714 sales, down from 3,082 in July 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in July 2016 was $290,000, up 1.8 percent compared to July 2015 when it was $285,000.

“If you have a home on the market, it's selling at an incredible pace,”said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. "In Chicago, the time to sell was just 38 days, and when you pair that number with double-digit annual decreases in inventory, it's a market where sellers are reaping a premium."

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of August 8, 2016 for the period July 1 through July 31, 2016. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. (Note: Due to a recent switch to a new multiple listing service, data for the Livingston County Board of REALTORS® is not included in the July report).

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.        


Homicide In Rock Island

On Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 10:26pm, the Rock Island Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 12th Street and 12th Avenue.

Responding officers located a victim in the alleyway of the 1200 block of 11th Street. The male victim had sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was transported from the scene by the Rock Island Fire Department to Unity Point, Rock Island, where he succumbed to his injuries. At this time the victim’s identity is not being released.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at 309-732-2677 or Crimestoppers at 309-762-9500.  


Arrest Made in Ascentra Credit Union Bank Robbery

BETTENDORF: On August 22, an arrest warrant was issued for Anthony Javon Brown on charges related to the bank robbery at Ascentra Credit Union, 1710 Grant Street, Bettendorf, IA.

Brown, a 32 year old from Bloomington, Illinois, was located at his residence in Bloomington on August 23. He was taken into custody without incident. Brown is being held at McLean County Jail while awaiting extradition back to Iowa.

Evidence gathered at the scene led to the identity of the subject. The vehicle and other items found at his home connected Brown to the robbery.

Charges include:
Theft 1st Degree                Class C Felony
Robbery 3rd Degree           Aggravated Misdemeanor

This is an active investigation.


Police Investigate Shooting in Moline

Moline Police responded to a shooting in the north alley of the 300 block of 5th Avenue at 11:45 PM Monday the 22nd of August.


Officers patrolling the area heard the shots fired, finding a 30 year old male Hispanic suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the alley.


The victim was transported to Unity Point Rock Island where his current condition is unknown.


Investigators ask anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or who may have information about the events leading up to the shooting call Crime Stoppers (309) 762-9500.


The investigation continues.


Rauner Signs Firearms Bill

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today signed HB 6303 to strengthen laws against gun trafficking in Illinois. The bill enhances penalties for firearms trafficking and aims to reduce the growing gun violence epidemic. This will help keep our kids and communities safe by allowing our law enforcement agencies to take action on those who are trafficking guns.

“We must stand up and help our kids and our communities find safety from violence,” said Governor Rauner. “Children are often in the crossfire. They’re vulnerable and impressionable. They deserve to see better things in the world. They deserve to feel safe in their own homes. They should not fear that guns will take the life of their friends, their family members, or even themselves. They should not live in fear or have their innocence shattered.”

The Governor signed the bill at the Illinois State Police (ISP) crime lab in Chicago and was joined by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), the chief legislative sponsors of the bill.

“425 people have been murdered by firearms in Chicago this year and another 2320 have been shot and wounded. Each weekend in Chicago is bloodier than the last,” House Republican Leader Durkin said. “Many of the shootings involved illegally acquired guns by Chicago street gangs.  It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of guns used to commit violent crimes in Chicago were purchased outside of Illinois. The laws are more focused on holding the shooter accountable, but not the person who armed the shooter. That changes today with House Bill 6303.

“This law targets straw purchasers – those who skirt Illinois firearm laws by buying guns in other states with the intent to resell in the illegal black markets of Illinois,” Leader Durkin added. “The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office brought this legislation to me and I am honored to have sponsored the bill in the Illinois House of Representatives.  I thank the Illinois General Assembly for their bi-partisan unanimous support.”

“The statistics clearly demonstrate a continuing and increasing trend that jeopardizes public safety in Illinois,” Senate Republican Leader Radogno said. “People who cannot legally purchase guns in Illinois are going to states with more lax background check requirements and bringing them back into our state with criminal intent. These weapons are quickly used in the commission of crimes and add to the unconscionable gun violence here. This new law will be another tool to stop the flow of these illegally transferred weapons.”

HB 6303 makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a FOID card to bring firearms into the state with the intention of selling or delivering them. Furthermore, if the individual trafficking in gun sales has previously been convicted of an unlawful use or delivery of a firearm, gunrunning or firearm trafficking, they will face even stiffer penalties. It is important to note that this bill does not take guns out of the hands of anyone that safely and legally has or carries a firearm. It exempts FOID card holders specifically for that reason.

This bill is designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets.

"Gun violence takes innocent lives and disrupts peaceful communities. The Firearms Trafficking Bill enhances penalties for those who choose to support gun violence while protecting the rights of law abiding citizens," said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. "The Illinois State Police is working closely with local, county and federal law enforcement to keep Illinois communities safe.  Together with the help of good citizens, we can keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.  If you See Something, Say Something.”



Upcoming Putnam Workshops



August 22, 2016 (DAVENPORT, Iowa) – Putnam Explorers and Explorers Jr. workshops are returning to the Putnam Museum and Science Center beginning Sept. 10. These workshops are intended to highlight topics in a fun and interactive way for multiple ages and meet monthly to provide informal enrichment activities. “We are so excited to offer our new topics for the 2016-2017 Explorers Season,” says Octavia Houtekier-Boyd, Vice President of Education. “Participants will tour exhibits, have theatre time and meet new friends!”

 Classes will meet the first weekend of the month: Explorers Jr. (Pre-K – 1st Grade) on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Putnam Explorers (Grades 2 – 5) on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required for all programs as there are a limited number of reservations available. 


Sen Grassley To Host Forum

DES MOINES – Sen. Chuck Grassley is bringing national and state anti-human trafficking experts together for an Iowa-based forum on ending human trafficking and modern slavery. The discussion is intended to be a guide for medical professionals, first responders and the public at large in recognizing and combating trafficking.


The event will take place Friday, August 26, 2016 from 1:30-2:30 at the Des Moines University Student Education Center Auditorium.


As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley helped to lead the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Actthrough the legislative process on its way to becoming law. The effort establishes strong anti-trafficking measures that target predators who traffic innocent young people. Earlier this year, Grassley also held a hearing on the new law to keep tabs on the executive branch’s implementation of the bill.


Experts from Iowa as well as national organizations dedicated to ending human trafficking will participate. Panelists includeStephen O’Meara, Nebraska’s Human Trafficking Coordinator and former Iowa assistant U.S. attorney; Cathy O’Keefe, director of Quad Cities-based Braking Traffik; Staca Shahen, Case Analysis Division director for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and Anna Brewer, former FBI special agent with expertise in Iowa human trafficking cases. The event will be moderated by Yasmin Vafa of Rights4Girls.



Juvenile-Justice Reformers: Lawyers for More IL Children a 'Good Start'

An Illinois juvenile-justice reform group says the state's new law to provide lawyers to more young offenders is a good start.

According to the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Gov. Bruce Rauner has advanced justice for children by signing Senate Bill 2370 into law. The move raises the age from 13 to 15 for requiring that a child be represented by an attorney during custodial interrogations for murder or sex crimes. The group's president, Elizabeth Clarke, said the new law will help protect young people's constitutional rights.

"I think this is a key measure to ensure that the youngest in our society receive particular protection," she said, "especially in light of the 50-year anniversary of Miranda."

Clarke was referring to the Miranda law read to people in police custody, explaining their right to remain silent and other rights. She said research shows that many young people end up waiving their Miranda rights without fully understanding what they are. She argued that children should not be allowed to waive their constitutional right to legal counsel without the advice of a lawyer.

According to a Chicago Police Accountability Task Force report from last year, less than 1 percent of children and adults had lawyers during police interrogations. That's why Clarke said she believes the state could do even more for juveniles in the future.

"We do believe that every child deserves the protection of a lawyer during interrogation, and certainly every child that faces any potential of adult prosecution," she said. "But we think this is a really significant step forward."

Clarke pointed to the United Kingdom and Europe which, over the past two decades, have added requirements that all alleged offenders have access to legal counsel while being interrogated by police.

The new Illinois law goes into effect in January. The text of SB 2370 is online at ilga.gov.


Iowa Growers Reap the Benefits of Summer Small-Grain Harvest

Some Iowa farmers are making a practice of the past part of their future.

At one time, small-grain production was an integral part of most agricultural operations in the state and Iowa was a national leader in oat production in the 1950s. However, said Earl Canfield, owner and operator of Canfield Family Farm in Dunkerton, there now are very few acres of oats, rye or wheat.

"Along with the fact that it's not very common, the knowledge base that allows farmers to successfully raise crops like that in Iowa has largely disappeared over the last several generations," he said. "Also disappearing is much of the equipment and infrastructure."

Canfield is among farmers in the state who realize the value of adding small grains. He just completed his oat harvest as a third crop in his corn-soybean rotation. According to Practical Farmers of Iowa, adding small grains as a third crop improves soil structure and water quality while reducing the use of pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers.

Because small grains are harvested at a different time of year than corn and soybeans, Canfield said diverse rotations help spread out labor and provide more steady cash flow throughout the year.

"As any astute business person knows," he said, "any time you can diversify your income streams, it gives you a certain measure of insulation to ups and downs in the market."

Finding a marketing mechanism is among the challenges in small-grain production. Canfield noted that oats are consumed in Iowa, but generally shipped in from the Dakotas or Canada. He encouraged Iowans to see the benefit of purchasing small grains locally.

"Any time they can buy seeds that are produced here in Iowa, it provides direct benefits to Iowa first rather than sending all the benefits out of state," he said. "I think that's a win for everybody in this state."

Another avenue is to sell harvested small-grain seed to other farmers, who can plant it as a cover crop. For the oats he grows, Canfield is exploring the possibility of selling to horse owners and other livestock owners who need feed.

Growers can learn more about small-grain production online at practicalfarmers.org.


Wet weather continues

July and August have been on the wet side this year, capped off the first weekend of this years State Fair when State Climatologist Jim Angel says the same system that caused the massive flooding in Louisiana inundated the fairgrounds and brought up to ten inches of rain to parts of Southern Illinois.

And the rest of August also looks warm and wet.

Jim Angel. He says September looks to be an the warm side, but it’s too early to predict September precipitation. The National Weather service is calling for above normal temperatures to last at least into November. 


First Tune Up for Taming Session – Thursday, August 25th

What: 'Tune Up for Taming' is a series of training sessions allowing participants to test the course. There will be an informational meeting at the beginning of each session. All sessions are open to Taming of the Slough racers and the general public. There will be free canoes and kayaks available for Tune Up participants, but reservations should be made no later than Wednesdays at 5pm.  Taming of the Slough registrants will get priority for canoe and kayak reservations.  Reservations can be made by calling (563-322-2969) or emailing (ntruesdell@riveraction.org) Noah. Tune Up is intended to be a fun & loosely structured event that promotes adventure sports in the Quad Cities.

When: Tune Ups will be held Thursday evenings, 5:30-7 p.m., on Aug 25th, September 1st, and September 8th.

Where: Empire Park, East Moline.

Why: Get prepared for Taming of the Slough or just to enjoy some time on the water or riding trails.

Other details: Volunteers will help watch over equipment but there is not a secured transition area. Bike locks are recommended to secure equipment if you want to be 100% safe.  Safety boats will be on the water surrounding Campbell’s Island.

Call River Action with any questions, 563-322-2969.

To register for Taming of the Slough go to www.riveraction.org/taming.

Background Information

On September 17th, 2016, River Action’s Taming of the Slough will celebrate eleven years of racing as well as increased participation on water trails and off-road (mountain bike) trails in the Quad Cities on Campbell’s Island Slough, Illiniwek Forest Preserve, and East Moline’s bike trail through the McNeal’s Reserve.

Taming of the Slough is an adventure triathlon, which will be held in East Moline and Hampton.  Racers will canoe or kayak around Campbell’s Island, proceed to the Illiniwek forest preserve for a challenging mountain-biking experience, and finish with a cross-country run through McNeal’s Reserve.

The mountain biking and paddling elements set Taming apart from a traditional triathlon.  Triathlons most often consist of a swim, road bicycle ride, and run.  River Action’s not-so-traditional event includes a paddle instead of a swim, off-road bicycle ride, and run, part of which is off-road.  Taming of the Slough is designed to use the river and riverfront in East Moline and Hampton, raise awareness for its unique recreational opportunities, and advance water trail and off-road trail development in our region.

More Quad Cities visitors and residents are participating in Taming and taking to the Quad Cities mountain bike and water trails.  River Action and partners continue to develop trails on river and off-road trails along the river.

The local Friends of Off Road Cycling (FORC) and paddling club Saukenuk Paddlers both report memberships at all-time highs. FORC continues to develop off-road trails at Sylvan Island, Illiniwek, Scott County Park, Sunderbruch Park, and Illiniwek Forest Preserve.  River Action supported FORC’s efforts with a QC Wild Places grant to build the Jubilee Trail at Sunderbruch Park in 2012.

Taming of the Slough is sponsored by River Action, McLaughlin Subaru, Russell Construction, Live Uncommon, Dispatch – Argus / Radish, Active Endeavors, Applestone Homes, Group O, Bent River Brewery, QC Bike Club, Toltec Incorporated, Townsend Engineering, ESI QC Inc, Friends of Off Road Cycling, and Crawford and Company.


River Action's 17th Annual Senior Citizen Riverfront Golf Cart Tour

Senior citizens can participate in guided riverfront golf cart tours on Thursday, September 8, 2016, sponsored by River Action.  The tours will utilize existing riverfront trails and offer participants an opportunity to see and hear from speakers all that the riverfront has to offer from the front seat of a covered golf cart. This is a great opportunity to gain knowledge on the past, present, and future of many of our riverfront amenities in the Quad Cities.


There are six different guided tours from which to choose.  All tours are $12.50 per person and last for two hours (rain or shine). There is still time to register!


IA Tour: Tour Alpha –11:30am-1:30pm – This tour will start at Credit Island and focus on the natural places of the Quad Cities at Nahant Marsh and Carp Lake.


Tour #1 – 2-4pm – Tour the Bettendorf/Davenport riverfront starting at Credit Island and traveling to Leach Park and back.


Arsenal Island Tour: Tour #2 – 9am-11am, 11:30am-1:30pm, & 2-4pm – Tour the Rock Island Arsenal’s beautiful riverfront trail. We will make stops at Memorial Park, the Col. Davenport House, and the Corps Visitor’s Center. You must bring a valid ID to enter the island.


IL Tour: Tour #3 – 9am-11am, 11:30am-1:30pm, & 2-4pm – Visit Rock Island and Moline riverfront starting at and returning to Sunset Park, traveling to Sylvan Island, Moline, and Ben Butterworth Parkway.


IL Tour: Tour #4 – 9am-11am, 11:30am-1:30pm, & 2-4pm – Start and return at the end of Ben Butterworth Parkway, Moline, and ride through East Moline and Hampton. Includes The Quarter, Empire Park, Hampton’s Riverfront Park, Illiniwek State Park, and Lock and Dam #14.


IL Tour: Tour #5 – 9am-11am, 11:30am-1:30pm, & 2-4pm – This tour begins in Rapids City, IL and will go through Port Byron and all the way to Cordova.


Please bring sun protection and water, and enjoy a tour on the riverfront!  This only comes once a year, so come along for the fun!


For a brochure or to register, please go to www.riveraction.org or call River Action at (563) 322-2969. 


Gov Rauner Signs Several Measures Into Law

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today signed five bills aimed at reforming Illinois’ criminal justice system to focus on rehabilitation to reduce recidivism and help low level offenders find a brighter future. This package of bills specifically helps young people who have fallen on hard times find the help they need to get on a better track. 


“We need to approach our criminal justice system with more compassion,” said Governor Rauner. “I want those who did something wrong to face punishment, but we must make sure that the punishment fits the crime. We need to explore new avenues so that we’re balancing punishment with rehabilitation and not needlessly tearing families and lives apart.”


This is the latest step in the Rauner administration’s attempt to reform the criminal justice system in Illinois. Within the first month of the administration, Governor Rauner created the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. Its job was to create recommendations that would transform Illinois' justice system to make it more responsive to the people it served, while also cutting down on the unnecessary incarcerations and costs. These bills, coupled with administrative changes, make reforms in the criminal justice system that will help safely reduce the number of prison admissions, the length of prison stays and reduce recidivism by increasing the chances of successful re-entry.


“Governor Rauner set out to make Illinois a more compassionate state and he is making good on that initiative,” said Illinois Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin. “Today's bills will help ensure that we are giving young men and women a second chance at life. Instead of focusing on the past, we are attempting to rehabilitate people who have been incarcerated and create opportunities for low level offenders to build a future.”


SB 3164 requires review of a pre-sentencing report, as well as an explanation of why incarceration is appropriate for offenders with no prior probation sentences or prison convictions prior to sentencing. Last year, nearly 60 percent of new prison admissions for Class 3 or 4 felonies had no prior convictions for violent crimes. Sending low-level offenders with no prior probation or other convictions inefficiently uses prison resources and potentially makes low-level offenders more susceptible to reoffending. This legislation was sponsored by Sen. Michael Connelly and Rep. Brian Stewart and was a recommendation made by the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.


HB 6291 amends the Juvenile Court Act to change the minimum probation period for a youth adjudicated delinquent. The purpose of the bill is to help bring Illinois in line with other states and the latest research by reducing mandatory minimum lengths of probation and treating low level offenses with treatment. This ensures that youth struggling with addictions will have the opportunity to go through the treatment process before being sent to prison.


HB 5017 allows a juvenile to immediately petition the court for expungement when he or she is charged with an offense that is dismissed without a finding of delinquency. Under current law, the statute only allows for a petition of expungement when the youth has reached the age of 18. This bill will help youth who were arrested but not charged get a fresh start and clear their names.


HB 6200 addresses per minute rates of phone calls for inmates. The bill reduces the rate that the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice can contract for telephone providers.


SB 3005 amends the Park District Code to provide that a park district shall not knowingly employ a person who has been convicted of specified drug offenses until seven years following the end of a sentence imposed including periods of supervision or probation. The previous law stated that park districts could not employ any person convicted of the specified drug offenses. It furthermore scales pack prohibitions on employment for convictions of public indecency to Class 4 felonies.


The Governor also took action on the following bills:


Bill No.: HB 2569

An Act Concerning Criminal Law

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: HB 4515

An Act Concerning Regulation

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: HB 5572

An Act Concerning State Government

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediate


Bill No.: HB 5613

An Act Concerning the Law Enforcement Information Task Force Act

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediate


Bill No.: HB 5771

An Act Concerning Criminal Law

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: HB 5973

An Act Concerning Regulation

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: HB 6037

An Act Concerning Criminal Law

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediate


Bill No.: HB 6324

An Act Concerning State Government

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediate


Bill No.: HB 6328

An Act Concerning State Government

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: SB 2370

An Act Concerning Criminal Law

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017


Bill No.: SB 2885

An Act Concerning Criminal Law

Action: Signed

Effective: January 1, 2017



LULAC Parade Seeks Entries


EAST MOLINE -- Organizers of the annual LULAC Quad Cities Fiesta Parade are seeking more participants for theSept. 18 event.


The parade begins at noon on 15th Avenue, in downtown East Moline. The route runs from 3rd to 10th Streets.


The parade was launched seven years ago by Quad City residents Abel and Juanita Zertuche in honor of Mexican Independence Day. Parade organizer Abel Zertuche described the event as a community-wide celebration of Mexican heritage, culture and traditions. He invites everyone to participate or enjoy the parade as a spectator.


Any organization, club, business or family can register a float in the parade by calling Abel Zertuche at 309-737-5915. Parade organizers are also seeking more floats that represent the various states of Mexico and showcase authentic costumes.  


A Mexican Independence Day Fiesta will follow the parade, starting at 2 p.m. at the intersection of 15th Avenue and 8th Street in East Moline. LULAC Quad Cities is hosting the street celebration and there is no charge for admission. The event will feature food and merchandise vendors, live music and performances that will include the Glenview Mariachi Band.


Last year, more than 2,000 people from the greater Quad City region attended the parade and fiesta.


For more information about the parade, or to register a float, call Abel Zertuche at 309-737-5915.


The two events culminate a series of community activities that begin Sept. 10  in celebration of LULAC Quad Cities Fiesta Week.


LULAC Quad Cities is a partnership between Davenport Council 10, Moline Council 5285, Youth council 600 and the St. Ambrose University Collegiate Council. The 200-plus members have joined efforts to raise funds for scholarships to support the education of local Hispanic American students. Last year, LULAC Quad Cities awarded $33,000 in scholarships to 48 local students.


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future.  For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.




SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistance has announced that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.

LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1, 2016.

Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:

·  Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.

·  A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).

·  A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.

·  Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.

·  Proof that their household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD); or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,485; a two-person household up to $2,003; a family of three can earn up to $2,520; and a family of four can earn up to $3,038. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent. These households must provide proof that their rent is more than 30% of their income in order to qualify for LIHEAP benefits.

Disconnected households and families with children ages 5 or under (includes all children who are not yet 6 years old, that is, up to 5 years and 364 days old) can begin applying for LIHEAP assistance beginning October 1, 2016. Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment can apply beginning November 1, 2016.

PIPP will also be available starting September 1, 2016 for LIHEAP eligible households who are customers of one of the following utilities: Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas utilities. Under PIPP, eligible households pay a percentage of their income towards their utility bill, supplemented by a monthly benefit. Participating households are eligible for a reduction in outstanding bills for every on-time payment they make. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go towww.liheapIllinois.com, or call the energy assistance toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.


MAP Amendment Update

The Redistricting or MAP Amendment measure is currently awaiting a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court to determine whether or not that measure will appear on the November ballot.

If the measure makes the ballot and is approved by voters, the process of drawing up political maps in the state would be taken out of the hands of lawmakers who tend to draw up maps that favor their potential for re-election.

Dave Mellet (Muh-Lay) is located in Chicago  and he is the Campaign Manager for the Amendment movement and he says is the measure becomes law, some might still question or not a new commission would also be impartial…

The decision from the Supreme Court is expected by August 26th so that there will be time to get the measure included in the November ballot.

Mellet adds that if the Amendment becomes law, a specific process would then take place to help make the measure a reality…

Mellet adds that even if approved, it will still be several years before the measure becomes a reality at the ballot box…


Top swimming publication believes future is bright for Olympic swimmer from Springfield

He was a media darling of the early hours of the Rio Olympics, but Springfield's Ryan Held could prove to be much more than a national gold medal winning feelgood story. Swimming World Magazine Publisher Brent Rutemiller believes Ryan Lochte's days as an Olympic swimmer are likely over but he doesn't expect punishment for four swimmers tied to Lochte's false armed robbery report to have much impact on Held's future Olympic opportunities...

Rutemiller says Held's surge from a dark horse Olympic candidate to gold medalist was no fluke..

With 19-year-old Katie Ledecky dominating on the women's side and the likes of Michael Phelps leaving Olympic swimming behind, Rutemiller believes youth, like the 21-year-old Held, will be served at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Don Moffitt - Fire district legislation signed into law by Governor

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) which requires a fire protection district’s board approval to assume duties of an adjacent city/village’s dissolved fire department, has been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

According to Moffitt, the measure was an initiative of the Fire Protection District Association to help ensure that a Fire Protection District can successfully fulfill the additional duties when a municipal fire department dissolves with the intent of transferring its fire service to an adjacent fire district.

Moffitt added although it is likely that in the event of a dissolution of a municipal fire department, that an agreement has been reached for an alternative source of fire service with a fire district or nearby municipality, it is not required by law.


Davenport Officers Respond To Trinity

On Sunday, August 21, 2016 at approximately 11:47 PM Davenport Police responded to Trinity Medical Center in Bettendorf in reference to a subject with a gunshot wound. The victim, an adult male, was subsequently transported to Iowa City with serious injuries. Preliminary investigation indicates the shooting occurred in the 1200 block of Judson St. Officers conducted a canvass
and recovered shell casings in the area. Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division are conducting follow up on the incident. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to “DO WHAT’S RIGHT” and call the Davenport Police Department at 563 326-6125 or submit an anonymous tip via our mobile app entitled “CityConnect Davenport, IA."


Mid Morning in the Cities Election 2016 Update with Karen Caifa

Following another staff shake up Donald Trump is considering a major shift on immigration policy. National News Correspondent Karen Caifa joined me on Mid Morning in the Cities on Monday to discuss the Trump campaign's potential shift on immigration dropping a featured policy some had referred to as 'deportation squads' and potentially a softening on the idea of a border wall. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is also facing negative poll shifts in states once considered battlegrounds but are now considered leaning Democratic. 


Fight for the Homeless Ramps up in Des Moines

A fight for the homeless is ramping up in Des Moines. Eviction notices with a deadline of August 29th went up at several locations where the city's homeless often set up camp. 

Opponents of that strategy will gather outside City Council chambers on Monday afternoon to rally against the evictions. They will also advocate for the city to release information on eviction policies and procedures, according Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, a member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community. He said that so far, the city has failed to release that information.

"We would like to see the complaints that the city says are the driver of the evictions, but the city has not made that information publicly available," Jorgensen-Briggs said. "So, we don't know where the disconnect is. "

Bulldozers and dump trucks have been used in the past to clear out waste after a homeless camp was shut down. City leaders said that when they receive a complaint, they must comply with city code. Advocates for the homeless placed an item on Monday's City Council agenda and plan to speak during the meeting. 

Jorgensen-Briggs said the homeless camp evictions are simply moving the problem around. He said the city's homeless residents should be treated with compassion and provided with places to live before they are forced out of campsites. 

"The city even owns residential property," Jorgensen-Briggs said. "The city has it within its power to go out to these campsites, find out who people are, find out what their needs are, and give them what they need."

City leaders have said that some homeless residents don't want to go to shelters, and cited a shortage of affordable permanent housing. Meanwhile, Joppa Outreach, a homeless services organization, has continued to push the city for approval to build a transitional housing village.

Information on transitional housing in Central Iowa is available here.


Horticulture Workshop

A Harvest of Horticulture: Fall Gardening Workshops, Saturday, September 17, 9 am - Noon, Aledo, IL

University of Illinois Extension Mercer County Master Gardeners have organized the third annual A Harvest of Horticulture Fall Gardening Workshops.  It will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 9 am – Noon in the meeting rooms at Blackhawk Bank, 1308 SE 4th St., Aledo, IL. Three speakers will present programs on Spring Blooming Bulbs, Herbs and their Uses, and Sustainable Landscape Design.  The cost is $10 in advance/ $12 at the door. Includes coffee and pastries.  Register online at web.extension.illinios.edu/hmrs or call University of Illinois Extension -Mercer County at (309) 582-5106 or Rock Island County Extension, (309) 756-9978.

Here are the workshop topics and speakers:

Martha Smith University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator will present: Fantastic, Funky & Favorite Spring Blooming-Bulbs!  Fall is the time for planting spring-blooming bulbs.  Tulips & daffodils are always crowd pleasers but there is a whole world of fantastic and funky spring-blooming bulbs beyond the traditional favorites. Martha Smith, Horticulture Educator will share her favorite uncommon bulbs she has discovered over the years.

Laura McGinnis Master Gardener presents Herbs and their Wonderful Uses Herbs are as beautiful as they are useful.  They are low maintenance and very versatile in their uses.  We are so into pollinators.  Guess what?  So are herbs.  This presentation will touch on the many uses of herbs and some that you may not yet have tried.

Chris Enroth University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator presents Putting the ‘Green’ Back into Landscaping: Sustainable Design  Are you or your clients interested in putting the ‘green’ back into their landscape? Professional landscape organizations have developed a new tool named the Sustainable SITES Initiative to address the sustainability movement for our industry. University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Enroth will introduce participants to the SITES Initiative and several different techniques to incorporate sustainable practices into the lawn and garden. During the session he will discuss sustainable lawns, rain gardens, building healthy soils and more fundamental methods to reduce your client’s eco-footprint. 



BHC Healthcare Program

Considering a career in health care? Not sure which program is right for you?


Come to an informational session Tuesday, Aug. 23 and learn about Black Hawk College’s short-term health care training programs.


Health Care Career Programs: An Overview will be from 4:30-6 p.m. in the new Health Sciences Center at the college’s Quad-Cities Campus in Moline.


Meet one-on-one with instructors and get brief overviews of their programs, such as Assisted Living Professional, Dietary Aide, EKG Technician, Health Care Receptionist, Medical Scribe, Mental Health Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician and Physical Therapy Aide.


This is a FREE event, but registration is required. Call Black Hawk College Professional and Continuing Education at 309-796-8223.



Iowa Unemployment Increases

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.1 percent in July from 4.0 percent in June. The state’s jobless rate was 3.6 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in July.


“Iowa’s economy revealed both strength and weakness in July,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Even as the state’s unemployment rate crept up a tenth of a point to 4.1 percent, Iowa businesses still showed enough confidence to expand payrolls this month. Hiring in health care and professional and business services was particularly strong.” 


The number of unemployed Iowans rose to 70,600 in July from 68,200 in June. The current estimate is 9,000 higher than the year ago level of 61,600.


The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,640,500 in July. This figure was 2,300 lower than June and 3,200 higher than one year ago.   


Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa added 3,400 jobs in July and now rests at 1,584,700. This is the second-consecutive gain for the establishment survey and the fifth for 2016. Monthly declines occurred only twice so far in 2016, in February and May. Service industries added all of the jobs this month; goods-producing sectors shed 200 jobs. State government added 700 jobs, although this segment of government trails last year’s level by 600 jobs. Combined, government is up 4,200 jobs due to hiring at the local level.


Education and health care added 1,700 jobs to lead all sectors. Health care alone added 1,200 jobs due mostly to hiring in ambulatory health care services, which includes dental offices and clinics. Education services also advanced this month, erasing a slight decline last month of 200 jobs. Professional and business services snapped a two-month decline by adding 1,500 jobs in July. Gains this month were mostly focused in professional, scientific, and technical services. Administrative support and waste management pared jobs for the third-consecutive month (-400). The other services sector gained jobs for the second straight month (1,100) and has rebounded following four consecutive declines from February through May. Sector losses were limited to leisure and hospitality (-600), trade and transportation (-600), manufacturing (-400), and financial activities (-300).


Compared to last July, total nonfarm employment remains up 23,700 jobs. Construction continues to sustain job growth in Iowa and is up 12,800 jobs alone. Education and health care also remains markedly up (+4,800) due to unwavering, inelastic demand for these essential services. Other annual gains included leisure and hospitality (+4,700), other services (+4,100), and financial activities (+2,900). Losses continue to plague the manufacturing sector (-7,100) which has lost more jobs than all other super sectors combined. Professional and business services has also pared jobs related to cutbacks (-1,900), and information services continues to trend down due to streamlining processes and reduced demand for print media (-1,200).


CMS Assists In Louisiana

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) is providing assistance to the State of Louisiana’s flood relief efforts. Yesterday afternoon a volunteer from CMS left to deliver 100,000 sandbags and 45 cots to add to Louisiana’s flood relief response efforts. CMS is also sending two water purification systems which left the Springfield warehouse this morning. The donated items will be used to support temporary housing shelters and flood damage mitigation.


Early Wednesday morning, Louisiana State Surplus put out an urgent request to other states’ surplus agencies, including the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, to assist in any way possible with the extreme flooding. The Baton Rouge area has been inundated by severe storms and flooding in recent days and is under a Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Declaration.


The sandbags, cots and filtration system were acquired by CMS through a partnership the agency has with the U.S. General Services Administration. Federal Surplus generally includes equipment such as vehicles, electronics, food service equipment, hand-tools, outdoor equipment, etc.


CMS and other state agencies are standing by for requests to contribute additional equipment and supplies. At this point no other personnel or services have been requested, however, more rain is forecasted for the area.



Quad Cities Field Artillery Battalion Cases its Colors, to Transition to Engineer

MILAN, IL (08/19/2016)(readMedia)-- After nearly a century of service as a Field Artillery unit including multiple combat deployments, the Illinois Army National Guard's highly-decorated 2-123rd Field Artillery Battalion cased its colors on Aug. 13.

The unit will officially inactivate on Aug. 31 and transition to the 123rd Engineer Battalion on Sept. 1.

"It was not the Field Artillery that made the Soldiers great, but rather the Soldiers that made the Field Artillery great," said Lt. Col. Corey Wise of Bryant, Ill., who served as the battalion's commander for three years before relinquishing command on the day of the ceremony. "These same Soldiers are going to make this a great Engineer battalion."

The battalion, with its headquarters in Milan and batteries in Milan, Galesburg and Macomb; originated as the 6th Infantry Regiment. The 6th Infantry served in the Blackhawk War, Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. It became the 123rd Field Artillery just prior to World War I, seeing combat in the St. Mehile, Muse-Argonne and the Lorraine Campaigns.

The battalion saw World War II combat action in the Pacific Theater earning it an Army Meritorious Unit Citation. It served in the Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. It ended its World War II duty as part of the occupation forces of Japan. During the Korean War it served as a training battalion on the West Coast.

The battalion served in Iraq in 2005, where two of its Soldiers - Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Wehrly, 28, of Galesburg, Ill., and Sgt. Brian Romines, 20, of Simpson, Ill. – were killed in action. From May 2010 to June 2011, the battalion was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt as part of the Multi-National Observer Force monitoring the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The battalion was also placed on state active duty on multiple occasions to assist in state emergencies including multiple major floods. The 123rd Engineer Battalion will carry the lineage and honors of 2-123 Field Artillery.

The conversion from Field Artillery to Engineers is part of the U.S. Army's restructuring and addresses its future needs. Additionally, bringing additional Engineer assets into the state will bolster the Illinois Army National Guard's capability to respond to domestic emergencies. Still, Illinois Army National Guard leaders acknowledged the transition was tough for those Soldiers with the Field Artillery for many years.

"Next year the unit would have celebrated 100 years with the Field Artillery," said Col. Rodney Thacker, Commander of the 65th Troop Command, the unit's higher headquarters. "I understand this is bittersweet for many Soldiers who grew up in this battalion."

Wise spent more than 20 years in the battalion including the last three years as its Commander. "It was a difficult change, but one that the battalion's Soldiers have made with the same honor, pride, and commitment that have always made this unit great."

After casing the 2-123rd Field Artillery Battalion's guidon, Wise relinquished command of the battalion to Lt. Col. Krista Soria of Springfield, Ill.

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Storied-Quad-Cities-Field-Artillery-Battalion-Cases-its-Colors-to-Transition-to-Engineer/13971362


Soldiers with the 2-123rd Field Artillery Battalion post the units colors. (U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs.) : http://app.readmedia.com/news/attachment/82414/_DSC0490.JPG
Lt. Col. Corey Wise (left), Commander of the 2-123rd Field Artillery, and Command Sgt. Major Anthony McCormick case the guidon of the 2-123rd Field Artillery Battalion symbolizing the battalion’s impe: http://app.readmedia.com/news/attachment/82413/_DSC0497.JPG



The LeClaire Iowa Civic Center wants to help Louisiana's Flood Victims.  When Katrina struck the Civic Center sent 4 semis of needed emergency supplies from the Quad City area and we would like to do that again for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 
The LeClaire, IA civic club will accept donations August 22nd-26th from 10am to 7pm daily at the civic center.  What is needed is in the attached list.  You can also drop off at any Blackhawk Bank & Trust locations during their normal business hours.  Large drop offs should go to LeClaire civic center.
Contact Dan Morrell 563-579-4126, LeClaire Civic Club or
Kevin Klute 309-798-4803, President Village of Port Byron
These items are needed to help the Louisiana flood victims.  Thank you for your donation!

Cleaning Products
Clean Rags
Dish soap
Disposable gloves              
Laundry detergent
Paper Towels
Rubber gloves
Cleaning supplies

Clothing:  Women, Men, Children
New, unopened packages of underwear (adult & children)
New, unopened packages of socks (adult & children
No other clothes accepted at this time

Storage Totes

Non-Perishable Food
Canned goods
Bottled Water
Baby food & formula

Towels/Wash cloths

School Supplies (due to local flooding in schools)
#2 Pencils
Glue Sticks
Pink Erasers
Washable Felt Markers
Pencil Case
Pocket Folders
Lined Notebooks
Blue or Red Pens
Packets of lined paper
Reams of plain paper

Hygiene Products
Toilet Paper
Combs and hairbrushes
Feminine hygiene products (pads, tampons)

Where to Find More Information:
On the Web:  leclairecivicclub.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/theleclairecivicclub

Donations will be accepted at the Iowa and Illinois Blackhawk Bank & Trust locations or LeClaire Civic Club – Drop off times to be announced.

Monetary donations can be made at Blackhawk Bank & Trust locations in both Iowa and Illinois. People wishing to make a donation  online go to  http://www.gofundme.com/2jtlzss


Stabbing at Leclaire Park

Life saving measures were performed but the victim, an adult male, died at the hospital. The name of the victim is
not being released at this time pending notification of family.
Two individuals have been arrested in relation to this incident and are being held in the Scott County Jail:
 William Crawford, age 42 of Davenport, has been charged with Murder in the First Degree and Willful InjuryCausing
Serious Injury.
 Durell Parks Jr, age 34 of Davenport, has been charged with Murder in the First Degree and Willful Injury –
Causing Serious Injury.
Detectives continue to actively work this case. No additional information will be released at this time so as not to
jeopardize the investigation.
On Thursday, August 18th, 2016 at approximately 2021 hours, Davenport Police responded to 400 W. Beiderbecke Dr
(Leclaire Park) in reference to a possible stabbing victim at this location. One subject was transported to the hospital
with potentially life threatening injuries.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division are on scene and investigating the incident. Further information will
be released when it becomes available.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to “DO WHAT’S RIGHT”, and call the Davenport
Police Department at 563-326-6125 or submit an anonymous tip via our mobile app entitled “CityConnect
Davenport, IA.”


Labor Force Drops Again

CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in July decreased 0.4 percentage points to 5.8 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased by +11,600 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -41,200 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“We’ve seen growth in labor force participation over the last year, but over the last three months we’ve given too much of it back,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. 

"A decrease in unemployment is concerning when it’s the product of people leaving the labor force or giving up on finding a job,” Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “We’re not growing enough jobs for everyone that wants to work. As a result of Illinois’ subpar job growth, every day more than 1,000 people give up looking for work. We owe it to these people to make our economy grow at a more competitive rate.”

In July, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Education and Health Services (+5,400); Other Services (+4,200); and Leisure and Hospitality (+2,100). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Construction (-2,700) and Financial Activities (-1,000).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +43,200 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+18,900); and Professional and Business Services (+13,800). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in July include: Manufacturing (-9,100) and Information Services (-3,000). The +0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the +1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in July.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for July 2016, which held at 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate remains the same as a year ago when it was also 5.8 percent. The unemployment rate declined for the third consecutive month in July, as did the labor force and the number of people unemployed.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -6.4 percent from the prior month to 383,000, up +1.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.3 percent in July over the prior year, but decreased 0.5 percent over-the-month. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engineIllinoisJoblink.com (IJL). IJL recently showed that that 59,700 resumes were posted and 177,416 help wanted ads were available.


IRS Allows Moving Expenses

Some people that are required by their company to move in a job related situation may be able to claim some of those expenses off of their taxes.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis says not everyone can but many people can deduct those expenses…

Devine adds that many Henry County residents have taken advantage of those deductions…


Shave For The Brave Gary Metivier

The Shave for the Brave campaign will be a part of the festivities at the Back Road Music Festival in Galva on Saturday.

Under that program, any volunteer can have a beard shaved off or long hair shorn with a corresponding fund raising effort with proceeds donated to the Honor Flight Program.

KWQC TV 6 News Anchor Gary Metivier has been growing a beard for the campaign and he talks about what it was like to grow his beard for the effort…

Gary adds that it was a bit of a chance encounter that got him involved with beard growing effort…

Gary has been involved with the Honor Flight Program for many years and he adds that it’s just his way of helping out…


Department on Aging presents 2015 Senior Hall of Fame Inductees & 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award Recipients

Springfield – Today, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) presented awards to the 2015 Senior Hall of Fame inductees and the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver award recipients. The department recognizes the special contributions made by older adults in the categories of community service, education, and the labor force, in regard to their employment as well as the compassion and dedication of caregivers throughout our state.

“We are pleased to acknowledge the contributions these individuals have made,” said IDoA Division Manager of Community Relations and Outreach Elizabeth Delheimer. “Their accomplishments have helped make Illinois communities a better place to live and we thank them for their dedication.” 

The Senior Illinois Hall of Fame was created by the Legislature in 1994 to honor Illinois residents age 65 and older for their personal achievement. Since then, 98 people have inducted into the Hall of Fame including the 2015 inductees. Each inductee is chosen through a statewide nomination and selection process. IDoA compiles a list of nominees then consults with the members of the Illinois Council on Aging to determine the winner of each category.

The 2015 Senior Illinois Hall of Fame inductees are:

Robert A. Saddler, M.Ed, Ed.D., 81, of Chicago, is the 2015 inductee of the Education category.  For nearly 60 years, Dr. Saddler has gone above and beyond to build a foundation of educational success for Chicago youth.  Dr. Saddler holds a doctorate in Education Leadership and supports several educational programs aimed at improving the lives of students and preparing them for college. He recently began a mentoring program for young men in 7th and 8th grade to provide moral support and academic guidance.  Through various volunteer initiatives, Dr. Saddler continues to instill his passion for education and commitment to helping students achieve success.

James Thomas Pioth, 68, of Oak Forest, is the 2015 inductee of the Labor Force category.  Pioth has worked close to 50 years for the Oak Forest Fire Department. He started out as a junior firefighter and soon became a full-time firefighter.  Early in his career he found a strong interest in the fire investigation unit, was a founding member of the fire investigation team, and was instrumental in establishing a yearly investigative training program. Pioth is a decorated firefighter who continues to contribute to the Oak Forest Fire Department and serve the residents of Oak Forest.

Martin G. Vilimek, 69, of Bridgeview, is the 2015 inductee of the Community Service category.  Vilimek has dedicated most of his life to volunteering. He is a retired firefighter who was instrumental in making Bridgeview the third community in Illinois to receive certification from the National Weather Service as a storm ready community. In addition, Vilimek has been a volunteer with the Masons and Shriners for more than twenty years, having won the Meritorious Service Award and volunteering at the Shriners Children’s Hospital. His other recognitions include the Community Leader Award for community involvement and civic duty and serving in various leadership roles.

The Outstanding Caregiver distinction is awarded to caregivers in five categories who have been exceptional in their service to their clients. The five categories for Outstanding Caregiver are housing facility, nursing facility, home health services, Community Care Program services and Older American Act services.

The 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award recipients are:

Sandra Foster of Washington, IL—Sandra Foster is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award for a Housing Facility. She has been serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Caregiver for Supportive Living in Washington, Illinois for over 30 years and celebrated her retirement last month. Sandra is passionate and extremely dedicated to her residents, always going above and beyond her expectations as a CNA to ensure residents are receiving the best care possible.

Sharon Rigler of Pekin, IL—Sharon is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award for Nursing Facilities. During her father’s residency at Timbercreek Rehab and Health Care in Perkin, Illinois, Sharon decided to go back to school to pursue a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Upon the completion of her certification, she began serving as a CNA at Timbercreek and has continued to work there for the past ten years. She is incredibly loving, comforting and kind and has impacted the lives of countless individuals through her extraordinary work.

Geraldine Coleman of Melrose Park, IL—Geraldine Coleman is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award for Home Health Services. She has been serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Life Enrichment Aid for the Supportive Living Community Victory Centre in Riverwoods, Illinois for nine years. Geraldine is extremely passionate about her work, always going above and beyond to provide residents with a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

Carol Lane of Joliet, IL—Carol Lane is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award for Community Care Program Services. She currently works at Community Care Systems, Inc., in Joliet, Illinois. Through her service here, she has positively impacted and improved the lives of countless individuals. Carol recognizes the value of each of her clients and constantly strives to help them achieve their dreams, no matter how big or small.

Joyce Schweig of LaGrange, IL—Joyce Schweig is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Caregiver Award for Older American Act Services. She has been serving as a Chore Worker at Aging Care Connections since March, 2008 and has demonstrated exemplary work in her field. Providing 26 clients in their home with companionship and assistance completing household tasks, Joyce is unmistakably dedicated to improving the lives of not only those she serves, but every person she encounters in life as well.

About the Illinois Department on Aging
The Department’s mission is to serve and advocate for older Illinoisans and their caregivers by administering quality and culturally appropriate programs that promote partnerships and encourage independence, dignity and quality of life. For more information, call the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (or TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-888-206-1327), or log on to the website at www.illinois.gov/aging


Local American Red Cross Volunteers Assisting with Louisiana Flood Response

The American Red Cross continues to help thousands of people impacted by the flooding in Louisiana where the situation remains dire. More than 7,000 people remained in Red Cross and community shelters Tuesday night and thousands more are without power in hot, humid conditions.

Twelve volunteers from the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region are on the ground in Louisiana as part of the Red Cross response.

Volunteers from the Central and Southern Illinois Region currently deployed to Louisiana include: Mike McKnight, April Fisher, Diana Patten, Jerry Olden, Dave Stoner and Dan Luthi (virtual deployment) from the Central Illinois Chapter; Allyson Sutton, Pat Johnson, Jack Tumbleson, Judy Tumbleson and Liz Hungerford from the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois Chapter; John Lewis and Lenore Dellamano from the South Central Illinois Chapter.

Red Cross volunteers are helping with immediate needs such as providing safe shelter and hot meals for those affected by the devastating flooding. In the days to come, volunteers will be distributing emergency relief supplies such as comfort kits and cleaning supplies and providing health and mental health services.

Additionally, the Central and Southern Illinois Region is providing virtual assistance with both casework and volunteer registration. Virtual assistance allows volunteers to help provide critical services to those affected without having to travel to the disaster site.

Volunteers from the Central and Southern Illinois Region are part of a team working virtually to help register event-based volunteers—those individuals, in the affected area who are not Red Cross volunteers, but have generously offered to help the Red Cross.

“We have incredible volunteers who are willing to take time away from their own families and lives to help those in need,” said Lyn Hruska, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “We are so proud to have volunteers from our region provide support on the ground and virtually to help the people of Louisiana.”

Officials in Louisiana are reporting that more than 25,000 homes have been damaged affecting as many as 75,000 people. Many areas are still inaccessible and more rain is predicted which could lead to additional flooding. The Red Cross will be on the ground helping people for weeks and months to come as they get back on their feet.

The Red Cross urgently needs the public to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today. Help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the work LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters.


Iowa Improves on Offering "Smart Snacks" in Schools

The USDA said one-quarter of the calories eaten by kids come from snacks, but in this new school year, more of the snacks eaten at school won't be junk food. Iowa's ahead of many other states for making sure sweets, sodas and foods of questionable nutritional value are being replaced with healthier options in school vending machines and at snack counters. When the USDA first proposed itsSmart Snack regulations four years ago, the state was already working on similar guidelines. 

Carrie Scheidel, the team nutrition co-director with the Iowa Department of Education, said that helped make sure Iowa's in line with the now-final federal rules.

"They're required to implement these if they participate in the National School Lunch Program and in Iowa it is a requirement that all public school districts take part in the program," she said. 

The USDA said healthier snacks, specifically those under 200 calories and low in sodium, fat and sugar, lead to better academic performance.

Scheidel explained the final regulations make sure healthy snacks are available at all times, even during extracurricular activities.

"So in the past, schools would just turn their vending machines off during the school day and then they wouldn't have to worry about it," she added. "But now, you know, they want to have options for students that are there for practice or before-school practice. So then, those products do need to meet 'Smart Snacks.'"

She noted the rules are still providing a few worthwhile challenges. Some school districts have had to readjust when selling items made at snack counters or by students themselves.

"They are trying to explore some 'scratch' items that meet, and I know that comes with school stores that are selling things, and cooking clubs that are selling things," she said. "But it's just getting more creative, beyond just being able to sell a wide variety of things."

Foods and beverages sold during school fundraisers and not meant to be eaten at school are exempt under the Smart Snack guidelines.


Rep Bustos Obtains Funds For Headstart

ROCK ISLAND, IL - Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced a $2,249,880 federal grant for West Central Community Services which provides Head Start educational support to children in Henderson, Knox and Warren counties. Head Start promotes the school readiness for young children from low-income families from birth to age five by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed which is why I'm so proud to announce more than $2 million in federal funding to help our children grow, learn and reach their full potential,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.“Early childhood education is critically important in the development of young minds and Head Start is a proven way to make sure all of our children can get the support they need. These dollars will go a long way to help ensure that Henderson, Knox and Warren counties continue to be great places to raise a family.”


Family Planning Program



   The Henry County Health Department reminds area residents of their Family Planning clinic program.


    Through the family planning clinic program, the Health Department hopes to give women the information and means they need to plan pregnancies and make responsible decisions.  The program also hopes to detect other health problems early in their development so that clients can be referred to other health care providers for treatment.


    Clinics are held in Kewanee at the Health Department offices, Route 78 South.  Appointments, which are necessary, may be made by contacting the Health Department.


    The family planning program provides annual physical exams to area women, including a breast exam and pap smear.


    The clinic accepts medicaid payments and private pay.  A sliding fee scale, based on the client's income, had been established to assist low-income families to obtain services.  In addition, grant funds are available for those who meet certain eligibility requirements.


    In addition to contraceptive services, the clinic also offers pregnancy testing.  


    For more information or to schedule an appointment call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 or visit our website atwww.henrystarkhealth.com 


Extension Webinar Series

The University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Team brings this FREE gardening series to your personal computer! Register now to take the Illinois Native Pollinators on August 23 at 1:30 or August 25 at 6:30 p.m.  When it comes to pollination, honey bees get a majority of the attention.  However, many insects play a role in pollination.  Join University of Illinois Extension Educator Ken Johnson as he discusses native pollinators.  Ken will discuss different native pollinators and how to make your landscape attractive to them. Register online atweb.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/4seasons or call (309) 756-9978


Moffitt Legislation Signed Into Law

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) and signed into law by Governor Rauner during Veterans Day at the State Fair on Sunday will allow students an excused absence for sounding ‘taps’ at military honors ceremonies held in the State of Illinois for deceased veterans.


House Bill 4432 was inspired by Jack Bumann, a senior this coming year at Alwood High School in Woodhull, Illinois, in Henry County. Jack estimates that he has played at the funerals of about two dozen fallen soldiers.  Bumann suggested the legislation to Rep. Moffitt.  Bumann, who was in attendance at the State Fair Bill Signing Ceremony, described the significance of his involvement at military honors funerals, saying, “It really . . . it hits you when you hear it (“Taps”). You realize what it means and how many times it’s been played for how many different fallen soldiers. It's a big part of our nation’s history.”


“The most important reason for passage of HB 4432 was to help make available to any family mourning the loss of a soldier or veteran, the option of having ‘Taps’ played as a live tribute as opposed to a recording,” said Moffitt. “The signing of HB 4432 helps deliver an added level of honor and respect for the military person who has passed. Additionally, the playing of ‘Taps’ by a high school student at a military service is an excellent civics lesson for the student. It is a reminder that freedom is not free; it is only preserved by the service and dedication of our American soldiers.”



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