A look back at what news you might have missed in August 2019

A look back at what news you might have missed in August 2019


United Township High School looks like new

EAST MOLINE (Aug. 2) — One year and almost $10 million later, the new Student Life Center at United Township High School is complete. Read more

I-74 project makes it 'banner year for trucking'

EAST MOLINE (Aug. 6) — If you’ve traveled during the day along River Drive from the Interstate 74 Bridge in Moline to The Bend in East Moline the past two years, you’ve likely seen your share of dump trucks.

That’s because the area on the easternmost edge of The Bend is being utilized as a dumpsite for the I-74 Bridge project, including the dirt hauled from I-74 extended out to Avenue of the Cities and beyond.

“I would say the last two years have been a banner year for trucking,” said Deb Wernick, president/owner of Dan Ash Trucking of Silvis, the main hauler in the project on the Illinois side. Read more

EM welcomes Woodworth home 

(Aug. 7) Louis "Lou" Woodworth, who gave $1 million to help fund the East Moline library's expansion into the TBK Bank building, received a lifetime membership to the library. TBK gifted the building to East Moline and the library a year ago. Read more

Stats hammer home manufacturing jobs' value

MOLINE (Aug. 7) — With the distinctive sound of a hammer-forge in the background, Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, armed with a bevy of statistics, hammered home the value of manufacturing in the state of Illinois on Wednesday at Moline Forge. Read more

'Every job has its ups and downs'

MOLINE (Aug. 9) — More than Chris Brown’s career hangs in the balance when he does his job.

Brown could be seen seated near the top of the floor of the new IHMVCU building Thursday and Friday at 2500 River Drive in Moline, washing windows for Quad City Window Cleaning. Read more

Virtual monastery experience unveiled

ROCK ISLAND (Aug. 9) — The lush greenery of the rolling hills, the spacious open chapel, the incredible overview from the library’s patio to the man-made lake down below — are all featured in the Benedictine Sisters of Saint Mary Monastery's new virtual monastery experience.

You can still visit the monastery, which is tucked away in southwest Rock Island (2200 W. 88th Ave.), in person. Or you can just take a sneak peek online at www.smmsisters.org and click on the virtual monastery and maybe visit in person later. Read more

New kennel law aims to improve animal safety

(Aug. 11) A law signed last week by Gov. JB Pritzker aims to improve animal safety. It requires kennels either to be staffed at all times or to have a fire alarm system connected to emergency responders.

In the Quad-Cities, the law — which takes effect immediately — won’t change business for many big operators that already provide constant care or have alarms tied to fire patrol.

But the law, HB 3390, could cost kennels that lack round-the-clock supervision or fire detection or sprinkler systems. Read more

Niabi Zoo welcomes a new Amur leopard after trade

COAL VALLEY (Aug. 11) — Niabi Zoo has swapped out its Amur leopard for a younger male with plans to breed him.

Zeke, a four-year-old male Amur leopard, moved to the Kansas City Zoo in April. He was a resident at Niabi Zoo since March 2016. Zeke was replaced by Jilin, a one-year-old male Amur leopard from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Read more

What happens when a dog bites?

(Aug. 12) Davenport resident Chris Ullrich will walk to her front door, reach out to her mailbox and grab her mail today.

That may not sound like a big deal, but Ullrich, who lives on North Linwood Avenue, is relieved. She and her neighbors had been without home delivery since a dog bit a mail carrier in the 2000 block of Linwood on May 29. The dog was not fenced in or leashed.

Five days after the bite, Postmaster Anthony Harris notified residents that mail would no longer be delivered. Read more

Lincoln Homes alums to reunite

(Aug. 13) Shellie Guy treasures memories of growing up at Lincoln Homes, the former low-income, public-housing complex at 9th Street and 5th Avenue.

The 37-apartment, six-building complex opened in 1953, a year before Guy's birth, in the heart of Rock Island’s Old Chicago neighborhood. It is scheduled for demolition later this fall. The redevelopment will take up to 2 years to complete. The new neighborhood is intended to attract and retain working families. It will offer a right-of-return to Lincoln Homes residents recently relocated as part of the redevelopment effort.

In an effort to keep the fading memory of Lincoln Homes alive, Guy has organized a group of former residents who've been meeting weekly since early July.

“We wanted to get all of us together and celebrate our lives, and commemorate our lives,” Guy (a poet and co-founder of Polyrhythms) said recently, “understanding that decades of families have lived there. We happen to be some of the children of some of the first occupants.” Read more

Ideas heard on Illinois 92 corridor

(Aug. 15) As Irene Mekus and her fiancé, Angel Munoz, of East Moline, looked over the map of the two-and-a-half mile Illinois 92 corridor that stretches from Rock Island to Silvis the two were pretty much in sync about what they would like to see improved.

Mekus and Munoz were among 25 people who attended a workshop Thursday at the Moline Public Library to discuss possible changes to the corridor. Read more

Iowa takes its first sports bets

(Aug. 15) Tim and Georgia Lightner arrived at about 10 a.m.

The Bettendorf couple knew that sports wagering in Iowa didn’t become legal until noon Thursday, but they had to come over to the Isle Casino Hotel just to take in the scene and revel in the occasion.

“He’s been waiting for this,’’ Georgia said, pointing to her husband of nearly 55 years. “When they first started talking about passing this in the state of Iowa, he was sitting there rubbing his hands together. When they finally gave a date, he was just so excited.’’

The Lightners were among many local residents who were at the Isle on Thursday to celebrate and participate in the opening of legalized sports gambling in the state. Read more

Chamber leader: 'We have to grow' 

EAST MOLINE (Aug. 15) — The Quad Cities Chamber announced an ambitious vision for regional growth at its revamped annual meeting on Thursday night.

This year’s meeting was more cocktail party than board meeting. Redubbed an “annual celebration” it was held at The Rust Belt. Some 850 people attended from various organizations across the metro area. Read more

Niabi Zoo unveils master plan for future

(Aug. 16) Niabi Zoo has released a 10-year master plan that includes expanding into the zoo's existing acreage and the addition of penguins, otters, hyenas, flamingos, prairie dogs and other animals.

Plans call for the zoo to remain open year-round with the addition of warming centers for visitors and expanded indoor animal viewing. The Coal Valley zoo is currently open from April through October. Read more

Geneseo man pedals 2,700 miles

GENESEO (Aug. 16) — There is a good chance Geneseo native Jeff Klavine will win the prize for traveling the farthest to attend his high school class reunion, and he did it the hard way.

Traveling by bicycle, Klavine left his home in Seattle, Wash., on June 21, and arrived in Geneseo earlier this week. After visiting family and attending his Geneseo High School class reunion, he will hit the road again and continue on to his planned destination of Maine. Read more

Clerk killed in attempted robbery in Bettendorf

Aug. 18 — Update: Police have identified the 28-year-old woman who died of an apparent gun shot at a Big 10 Mart in Bettendorf Saturday afternoon.

Brittany M. Wilson, of Donahue, was working as a clerk at the convenient store when an attempted robbery resulted in her death. Story

Bring your own chain saw

SHEFFIELD (Aug. 19) — A new policy will allow people who fill out a volunteer registration form and liability waiver to take their mowers, chain saws and weed trimmers to the Hennepin Canal and do some clearing.

The policy invites members of the public to clear the bank of the canal at their favorite fishing spots.

An email went out from the Department of Natural Resources on Aug. 12 giving people permission to use power equipment — but not motor vehicles — along the canal. The site office at Sheffield has copies of the form people will be asked to use for the liability waiver. For more information, call 815-454-2328. Read more

Moline's new top cop reaches out to residents

On a recent night, Moline’s new police chief was mingling.

Darren Gault moved from group to group, talking, shaking hands, smiling or laughing as a conversation took an amusing turn. Except for the wealth of police and fire uniforms that could be spotted in the crowd, and the fact that the gathering was taking place in a police station, it could have been a mixer anywhere.

There were 30 or 40 people present — elected city officials, city staffers, residents, firefighters, law enforcement officers from several agencies — all there to welcome Gault into his new job, which he started officially on July 31. Read more

Q-C airport a popular fuel stop

MOLINE (Aug. 21) — Ben Leischner’s experience as a pilot is helping him greatly in his decision making as executive director of the Quad City International Airport.

He knows how valuable fuel stops are to pilots, and how pilots pay attention to the price of fuel.

That experience has helped lead the second-year director to making the airport a self-service fuel stop for small planes in transit in the area. Read more

Bustos tours bridge construction

MOLINE (Aug. 22) — Construction of the new I-74 bridge has caused headaches with traffic, but U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said the jobs it has created and future economic opportunities it will bring to the area are worth it. 

Bustos toured the bridge construction site by boat Thursday afternoon with I-74 Corridor Manager George Ryan, Moline Public Works Director J.D. Schulte and Moline Alderman-At-Large Sonia Berg.  Read more

Hazmat needed in house with cats

KEWANEE (Aug. 22) — Firefighters in hazmat gear removed 24 cats and one dog from a residence Tuesday after police were called to check the welfare of a property and residents at 810 N. Burr St.

According to a police department news release, police determined waste from an overwhelming number of cats was causing odor throughout the neighborhood.

Another 16 cats were still being removed Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Read more

United Way gears up for $7.5M campaign

DAVENPORT (Aug. 22) — Mara Downing of Deere & Co. and Mike Parejko of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will lead the 2019 United Way of the Quad Cities campaign to raise $7.5 million. Read more

Don't expect seat belts on Illinois school buses

(Aug. 25) The debate for the need for seat belts on school buses could go on for quite some time in Illinois, which does not have a state law about belts, other than requiring one for the bus driver. Read more

Help wanted! Court reporters needed

(Aug. 26) The string of letters typed on the screen of the stenography machine — y, a, i, r, d — might look like gibberish to most people, but to Becky Todd, their meaning is very clear.

“That’s ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ for me,” the court reporting supervisor of the 14th Judicial Circuit said Friday as she sat at the machine in a Rock Island County Courtroom.

It's not uncommon to see Todd or other courtroom reporters seated next to a judge, furiously typing at a speed of at least 225 words a minute to record every single word uttered during a court proceeding. Their work will be transcribed into the official written transcript of the judicial process. 

Court officials say despite advances in technology, court reporters still play a critical role in the courtroom. However, the eventual retirements of many longtime court reporters has caused and will continue to cause a shortage both locally and across the country. Read more

Arch work slower than hoped

(Aug. 30) The arches for the new Interstate 74 bridge are not out of alignment, despite rumors.

The Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation are using a video on Facebook and YouTube to help put to rest the gossip that claims the arch segments will not meet in the middle. Read more



  • (Aug. 1) The man killed Wednesday when he was struck by two semitrailers on Interstate 74 has been identified as the former director of operations for the Bettendorf Community School District.

    Christopher C. Andrus, 36, of Rock Island, was hit at 8:35 a.m. in the westbound lanes close to mile marker 15 near Colona, according to the Illinois State Police. Read more

  • (Aug. 7) The Triple Crown Whiskey Bar and Raccoon Motel, 304 E. 3rd St., Davenport, will close for a bit, then reopen with a different name and without a stage. Read more
  • ROCK ISLAND (Aug. 12) — County officials are moving forward with the process of selling the Hope Creek Care Center. Read more

  • (Aug. 13) A man shot by a Silvis police officer during a 2018 traffic stop is scheduled for trial in November on federal gun charges related to the incident.

    Devin Michael Lovgren of Davenport was shot Dec. 23 by Officer John VanHyning after VanHyning attempted to make a traffic stop in the north alley of the 900 block of 1st Avenue in Silvis, according to the Rock Island County Integrity Task Force, a special unit formed to investigate incidents such as officer-involved shootings. After being stopped, the driver — identified as Lovgren — turned the vehicle around and sped toward VanHyning, prompting the officer to shoot. Story

  • MILAN — (Aug. 14) MetroLINK is trying out its own version of Uber or Lyft, you could say.

    With the aid of what is called the Microtransit by TransLOC app, riders can now input their location and have a 12-person wheelchair accessible van at their door pretty quickly. The program started in June. Story

  • MILAN (Aug. 15) — Congress may be on summer break, but U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, has not slowed down.

    Bustos brought her 21st Century Heartland Tour to Milan Thursday morning, meeting with 10 agriculture educators at the University of Illinois Extension, 321 West 2nd Ave., in her effort to gather ideas for her Rural Green Partnership, her plan to combat climate change while spurring economic growth. Story

  • (Aug. 16) The extent of the damage caused by an Aug. 1 fire that destroyed two downtown East Moline buildings is making it hard to pinpoint the fire's cause. Story
  • (Aug. 19) A large section of the dam at Lock & Dam 15 on the Mississippi River at the Rock Island Arsenal has been shrouded in tarps as a $14 million maintenance projects gets underway. Story
  • (Aug. 21) An East Moline Republican will challenge U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, in the November 2020 election for the 17th Congressional District seat. 

    Esther Joy King, an attorney and small-business owner, filed her statement of candidacy Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. Story

  • (Aug. 22) A man accused in Rock Island County of reckless homicide after a 2018 fatal crash on Interstate 280 is back in custody for allegedly failing drug tests that were a requirement of his bond.

    Derrek Cribbs, 21, of East Moline, also faces charges of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to county court records. Authorities contend Cribbs caused a Feb. 7, 2018, crash that killed Troy R. Puffinbarger, 46, of Dixon, Iowa. Story

  • CAMBRIDGE (Aug. 22) — Whether a new wind farm will be built in Henry County may depend in part on a lawsuit filed in Henry County Circuit Court last March. Story

  • ALEDO (Aug. 23) — A lawsuit filed against the Mercer County School District by the parent of a student who committed suicide in 2018 has been dismissed. Story

  • BETTENDORF (Aug. 25) — The Warrior Paddlers, a group of four veterans who are paddling their way back to health during a trip down the Mississippi River, made a stop this weekend in the Quad-Cities. Story
  • ALEDO (Aug. 27) — The Mercer County Family YMCA is planning $4 million in renovations as early as next spring, according to CEO Sarah Brown. Story

  • (Aug. 27) A Rock Island man died Monday night in a motorcycle collision with a car in Davenport. Story

IN DEPTH (A deeper look into key topics)


(Aug. 2) Dean lives dream as backup singer to Stevie Wonder Read the column

(Aug. 7) Red Cross will always be there for us Read the column

(Aug. 9) On the road with Kiefer Sutherland Read the column

(Aug. 11) No time to 'futz' around for Moline couple Read the column

(Aug. 14) Will MLB spoil Heaven? Read the column

(Aug. 16) Riding with Ryder Read the column

(Aug. 21) Collector's goal is to amass Cubs baseball cards Read the column

(Aug. 23) Q-C native who opens for Chicago is coming home Read the column

(Aug. 26) Removing hoops at Lincoln Park smart but sad Read the column

(Aug. 28) Tie one on; it's National Bow Tie Day Read the column


(Aug. 31) It might have been a first.

Four high school seniors — with permission to use their cellphones — engaged in conversation for 27 of the 30 minutes allowed for their lunch.

Sans phones.

It was amazing.

We talked, I listened. I asked they answered. We ate, we laughed. From my side of the first-ever Cafeteria Confidential — we had fun.

Cafeteria Confidential is a new, every-other-week sit-down at lunch with a small gathering of students at a high school near you. Read the column


  • (Aug.7) Greenside Grille — relaxing setting and great food Read more
  • (Aug. 21) Argo Corners offers best of rural America Read more


  • (Aug. 6) Hickenlooper defends centrism Read more
  • (Aug. 7) Biden blasts Trump in Iowa Read more
  • (Aug. 12) Harris caps Iowa swing in Davenport Read more
  • (Aug. 19) Sanders visits Davenport Read more


  • Part 1: Census shows RI County's population shrinking Read more
  • Part 2: 'It's pretty darn encouraging' Read more
  • Part 3 (Aug. 5): Why you should care about shrinking population Read more
  • Part 4 (Aug. 7) Why is Q-C losing people and jobs? Read more
  • Part 5 (Aug. 12) Quad-Cities growing in unequal fashion  Read more


Aug. 1 — 'Stubborn' fire burns downtown buildings Story

Aug. 2 — Farmland 'abnormally dry' Story

Aug. 3 — Cables hinder work on arches Story

Aug. 4 — Mercer County Fair honors Hessman Story

Aug. 5 — Sen. Durbin wants to make insulin affordable Story

Aug. 6 — Moline mulls support dogs Story

Aug. 7 — Rock Island rejects offer Story

Aug. 8 — Quad-Citians run in celebration of USA, military Story

Aug. 9 — MetroLINK gets grant to replace dock Story

Aug. 10 — Illinois 'pulls' in Tug Fest title Story

Aug. 11 — Police apprehend naked man untying barge rope Story

Aug. 12 — UnityPoint selects CEO for Trinity Rock Island Story

Aug. 13 — $14M Moline school building in design stage Story

Aug. 14 — Rock Island County drops below 3-month reserve Story

Aug. 15 — Arsenal gets $52M for renovations, IT upgrades Story

Aug. 16 — Deere optimistic despite sales dip Story

Aug. 17 — Meet Ranger, our Pet of the Year Story

Aug. 18 — One dead after shots fired in Rock Island Story

Aug. 19 — Court upholds murder conviction Story

Aug. 20 — Cannabis candy passed out at Rock Island High School Story

Aug. 21 — Where is Trudy Appleby? Story

Aug. 22 — Rock Island County Health fires top nurse Story

Aug. 23 — Moline dog to appear on ESPN contest Story

Aug. 24 — Nudist camp no longer an open secret Story

Aug. 25 — Rally focuses on climate Story

Aug. 26 — Boycott urged for CeeLo's Rust Belt concert Story

Aug. 27 — Moline allows dogs in outdoor areas of bars Story

Aug. 28 — A beautiful ride and more Story

Aug. 29 — Deere names John May as CEO Story

Aug. 30 — Lawmakers grill WIU about president's 'golden parachute' Story

Aug. 31 — Q-C schools cited for suspension rates Story


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