The low winter sun casts shadows on the new blanket of snow in Devils Glen Park, Bettendorf.

One of the main support piers for the new I-74 bridge span rises out of the Mississippi River.

Bettendorf sports complex infrastructure costs reach $4.6 million; city has yet to seek any reimbursement for $760,000 overrun of development agreement

Eight months after the Bettendorf sports complex opened for business, the city has yet to determine how much developers will contribute to the $760,000 cost overrun for streets, sewers and storm water detention for the facility.

The city has paid $4.63 million for the project's entry roads, interior walkways, sewer and storm water facilities to date. That's $760,000 more than the city agreed to pay under its development agreement with BettPlex developers Doug Kratz and Kevin Koellner.

Sewage overflows return as flood water, heavy rains infiltrate lines; exceed treatment plant capacity

Flooding and heavy rains early this month once again forced Bettendorf to pump raw sewage into the Mississippi River.

That's because the Davenport Sewage Treatment Plant wasn't able to handle inflows to the facility and closed gates to the main interceptor along the Mississippi riverfront, requiring Bettendorf to pump sewage from its riverfront lines into storm water pipes that flow into the river.

If the city did not use the pumps, sewage could back up into riverfront businesses and homes.

Grain Processing to pay $50 million to compensate Muscatine residents harmed by plant's air pollution

Grain Processing Corporation (GPC) has been ordered to pay $50 million in damages to settle a class action lawsuit over air pollution from its Muscatine corn-milling plant that harmed thousands of nearby residents.

Iowa District Court Judge John Telleen gave preliminary approval of the settlement Monday (October 22), concluding six years of litigation over air pollution from the GPC facility.

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners facing another legal challenge over alleged mistreatment of animals

Cricket Hollow Zoo is facing another legal challenge from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) over alleged mistreatment of animals remaining at its rural Manchester "animal park."

The roadside zoo was forced to give up its endangers lemurs and lions after a federal court ruling a year ago, and now ALDF has filed suit against zoo owners Pam and Tom Sellner in Iowa District Court alleging "persistent neglect of its animals," and "flagrant disregard for federal and state animal protection laws. . ."

Bettendorf becoming ground zero for more Kwik Star/Kwik Trip gas stations and convenience stores

The Kwik Trip/Kwik Star group based in LaCrosse, Wisconsin must view Bettendorf as a gold mine for future gas and convenience food sales.

With two existing locations in the city (along 53rd Street and State Street) and one under construction at Devils Glen and Belmont Roads, the company is now seeking city approval for two additional stations – along Middle Road in the new Bettendorf sports complex development just off I-80 and off Spruce Hills Drive on land where Jumer's Hotel once stood.

Developer seeking rezoning of city owned land adjacent to Bettendorf sports complex

A Bettendorf sport complex developer is seeking to rezone land adjacent to the facility – and currently owned by the city – for commercial and multi-family residential uses.

Kevin Koellner, one of the developers of the sports complex, obtained approval to rezone the land from the city's planning and zoning commission at the group's Aug. 15 meeting. Commissioners apparently were unaware the city purchased the land in August 2017 from the developers for $600,000 (or $60,000 per acre).

Lee Enterprises operating revenue falls 4.8 percent in third quarter; per share earnings decline 27 percent

Despite gains in its digital advertising revenues, Lee Enterprises, Inc. today (8/3) reported overall operating revenues in the third quarter fell nearly 5 percent and net income per share was off 27 percent compared with the same period a year ago.

Lee – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch-Argus newspapers – had net income of $4.75 million (8 cents per share) for the three-month period ended June 24, compared with $6.29 million (11 cents per share) a year ago.

Cost of BettPlex sports complex roads, sewers and stormwater detention to exceed $4.6 million; development agreement cap set at $3.87 million

The sreets, sewers, stormwater detention and walkways being built as part of the new I-80 and Middle Road sports complex are now expected to cost over $4.6 million, $760,000 more than the city's initial commitment outlined in the development agreement with BettPlex LLC, owner of the TBK Bank Sports Complex.

Most of the cost overruns beyond the $3.87 million cap are likely to be picked up by taxpayers, according to a cost summary provided by the city to bettendorf.com.

Lee Enterprises signs deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper, digital operations

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and 48 other media properties – today (6/26) announced it has agreed to a five-year deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspapers and digital operations in 30 markets.

Davenport-based Lee would be paid $5 million a year by GH Media, plus "a significant percentage of profits over benchmarks," according to the company's news release.

Lee stocked jumped 62 cents, nearly 26 percent, to $3.03 per share in early morning trading.

Ag industry, state ag department claims at odds with scientific study findings on nitrogen pollution runoff

You wouldn't know it listening to Iowa agricultural industry groups or state ag department officials, but a new report from University of Iowa researchers makes it clear: state farm operators are doing a lousy job of keeping nitrogen fertilizer out of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

How bad a job are ag businesses doing in preventing nitrates-nitrogen from seeping from their farm field drain tiles into state waterways?

In the Upper Mississippi River Basin, Iowa contributes 21 percent of the water, comprises 21 percent of the land area, but is responsible for nearly half (45 percent) of nitrate-nitrogen pollution that flows into the Mississippi River.

In the Missouri River Basin, Iowa contributes 12 percent of the water, comprises only 3.3 percent of the watershed land area, yet is responsible for more than half (55 percent) of the nitrate-nitrogen polluting the Missouri River.

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