Rendering of new $9-million Ascentra Credit Union headquarters proposed for part of city's Town Square block. Source: Legat Architects

An architectural rendering of one of three retail/commercial buildings proposed for the northwest corner of Forest Grove and Middle Roads, Bettendorf, part of the sports complex under construction at that same location.

A Great Blue Heron rests on a log in the Mississippi River above Lock & Dam 15, Davenport on a foggy fall morning.

Construction work on support piers for the new Interstate 74 bridge between Bettendorf and Moline now is under way.

Falling coal-fired power plant use helped lower state-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent in 2016

Falling electric production from coal-fired power plants during 2016 helped lower state-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the second year in a row, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

We should not forget the strangers in need

Each summer at schools across Iowa, a new batch of kindergartners heads in the front door for the first time. Not surprisingly, there are occasional tears.

Some flow from the new students who are apprehensive about what may await them inside. Some come from the parents who are emotional about this milestone in their young children’s lives.

When the 2016-2017 academic year was concluding last spring, there were more tears, this time from an unexpected source – a 23-year-old man.

A decade after initial animal welfare violations and two years of legal proceedings, USDA revokes Cricket Hollow Zoo license, fines owners $10,000

A decade after animal welfare violations were initially documented and more than two years of legal proceedings, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revoked the license of Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, Iowa, and fined owners Thomas and Pamela Sellner $10,000.

The USDA decision announced November 30 would appear to spell the end of operations at the troubled facility since the zoo must have a USDA license to continue to operate.

A fast track is the wrong track for water quality

Editorial from Cedar Rapids Gazette. Used with permission.

We read news this week that water quality legislation may be placed on a fast track when lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey wants it to happen. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she hopes “it’s the first bill I get to sign as governor of the state of Iowa.”

That sounds like good news. That is, until you dig into the details.

Mayor would give up power to appoint police, fire chiefs under proposed city ordinance change

The power to appoint future police and fire chiefs in Bettendorf would switch from the mayor to the city administrator under an ordinance change expected to be approved by the city council this week.

The current city ordinance gives the mayor the power to appoint (with city council concurrence) those positions. The new ordinance, up for the first reading at Tuesday's (11/21) council meeting, would give the city administrator authority to appoint, with council approval, future fire and police chiefs.

A news release we'd like to get someday from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2019

Iowa DNR investigating discharge and likely fish kill in Gulf of Mexico

RACCOON RIVER WATERSHED – A pipe draining water from a corn field about five miles southeast of Adel in Butler County sent Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) staff to the farm Saturday to investigate.

Eldorado Resorts – new Bettendorf Isle of Capri owner – reports big jump in operating income

Eldorado Resorts, Inc. – the new owner of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri Casino – reported (11/2) third quarter net income of $29.6 million, or 38 cents per share.

Eldorado Chairman and CEO Gary Carano told analyst during a conference call the company "could not be more pleased with our progress (integrating the Isle of Capri casino properties) to date."

While total revenues at the Reno-based firm fell 1 percent compared with the third quarter a year ago, operating income at the company's casinos was up more than 40 percent compared with the same three-month period in 2016.

Plan submitted for first commercial development at sports complex; Middle and Forest Grove Road intersection upgrade yet to be finalized

Plans for two commercial buildings and a restaurant – part of the sports complex at Middle and Forest Grove Roads – are headed for Bettendorf City Council approval, but improvements to that key intersection have yet to be finalized by the city.

City/Ascentra Credit Union eye Town Square deal; includes 10-year, $2-million TIF and land swap

Bettendorf's vacant Town Square block – between State and Grant Streets and 20th and 21st Streets – would become the site of a new four-story, $9-million Ascentra Credit Union headquarters under a development deal before the city council.

Iowa awards up to $2.5 million in sales tax rebates to sports complex; annual sales projected at $7 million

The Bettendorf sports complex under construction at I-80 and Middle Road was awarded up to $2.5 million in state sales tax rebates recently (10/11) based on the developer's estimate more than $66 million in sales will be generated over the next 10 years by the project.

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