Runners, walkers and bikers enjoy the Mississippi Riverfront Trail thanks to the unusually warm February weather.

Sketch of apartments proposed for Twin Bridges Motor Inn site.

After 4 days of testimony at Davenport hearing, USDA administrative law office judge to decide if Cricket Hollow Zoo certificate should be yanked

After four days of testimony pitting U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials against Cricket Hollow Zoo owners, an administrative law judge will decide later this spring if the roadside zoo near Manchester, Iowa will retain its federal license.

The hearing before the administrative law judge was held in Davenport beginning Tuesday (1/24) and included testimony from USDA Veterinarian and Inspector Heather Cole, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Compliance Investigator Doug Anderson, zoo owners Tom and Pamela Sellner and Robert Gibbens, Western Regional Director of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Fort Collins, CO.

The USDA complaint against Cricket Hollow runs more than 20 pages and cites dozens of violations of the Animal Welfare Acts (AWA) by the zoo in 2014 and 2015.

Cricket Hollow Zoo faces criminal investigation over treatment of lion removed from Manchester facility

An animal rights group has asked the Delaware County Sheriff to file criminal animal cruelty charges against the Cricket Hollow Zoo owners over care of a lioness rescued from the roadside facility near Manchester, Iowa last August.

QC Times Sunday edition falls below average weekday circulation for first time; half 2001 level

Subscribers to the Quad City Times Sunday newspaper have fallen to 37,473, half the paper's circulation just 15 years ago.

And, for the first time, according to the Lee Enterprises, Inc. annual report to shareholders, Sunday circulation fell below that of the average circulation for its weekday editions.

Historically, Sunday papers typically have had much larger circulation than weekday editions. More advertising, ad circulars and more space for news have attracted readers to purchase single copies or opt for a Sunday- or weekend-only subscription.

New ice-skating rink to cost city $447,000; includes $20,000 for 'festive' artificial Christmas tree

The full cost of the new, temporary Bettendorf ice-skating rink will balloon to nearly $450,000 once the annual operating expenses and a $20,000 artificial Christmas tree are included in the pricetag.

The city council is expected to sign off on the anticipated $137,000 in operating costs and 30-foot artificial tree at its Tuesday (12/6) meeting. The city had earlier approved acquisition of chiller equipment and other ice rink furnishings (including a supply of used ice skates) for $250,000.

Isle 2nd quarter earnings double last year's results; big tax benefit on asset sales offsets revenue decline

Thanks to a $17.8-million income tax benefit, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Thursday (12/1) reported second quarter earnings of $23.7 million (57 cents per share), more than double the gambling firm's earnings for the same quarter last year.

Consultant: Invest $1.8 million for new six-hole pitch-and-putt and grass putting courses to keep city owned Palmer Hills Golf Course competitive

Bettendorf's Palmer Hills Golf Course needs a $1.8-million upgrade – including a new six-hole pitch-and-putt and a grass mini-putt course – to attract younger golfers seeking a less expensive and time-consuming experience than the traditional 18-hole layout.

That's the recommendation made to the park board and city council recently by Richard Singer of National Golf Foundation (NGF) Consulting.

Bettendorf alderman submits resignation effective year-end; Mohr elected to state house in November

Bettendorf Alderman Gary Mohr will step down from his at-large council seat Dec. 31 following his election to the Iowa House of Representatives in last November's general election.

The resignation creates a one-year vacancy, which can be filled by either an interim appointment by the council or by a special election.

In accepting Mohr's resignation letter at its Nov. 15 meeting, the council did not discuss which method the city would choose to fill the opening.

Interest rates on bonds to finance Bettendorf's capital improvements come in higher than expected; post-election expectations cited as factor in hike

The election of Donald Trump may have many meanings around the country, but in Bettendorf one of the most immediate impacts will be higher interest rates on new city debt.

And, that translates into higher costs for the coming slate of capital improvements, ranging from a new $250,000 ice-skating rink to $1.4 million in downtown redevelopment to $700,000 for a Great Lawn in the new Forest Grove Park.

The higher interest rates also prompted the city to scrap a $28-million General Obligation (GO) bond refinancing plan, at least temporarily.

Group issues scathing report on EPA, states' efforts to reduce nutrient pollution of Mississippi River; cites 2015 'close call' involving QC water supply

Voluntary initiatives by the U.S. EPA and 10 states bordering the Mississippi over the past 20 years have largely failed to rein in harmful nitrogen and phosphorus pollution by cities, farms and industry, according to a scathing report issued today (11/17) by an environmental and legal group focused on protecting the Mississippi River watershed.

"Though the EPA has consistently and emphatically urged states to take measures to combat nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, its encouragement has come without enforceable regulations, specific deadlines or funding for implementation," the report by the Mississippi River Collaborative says. "Not surprisingly, the problem persists, especially in the Mississippi River, despite a variety of Clean Water Act tools and viable regulatory options available to states."

The analysis of nutrient pollution of lakes, rivers and streams in the Mississippi River watershed – entitled "Decades of Delay" – says the 10 states bordering the country's longest river have failed to establish any numeric limits for nitrogen discharges and only two states have set numeric limits for phosphorus pollution.

Commercial development finally arrives at highly visible Crow Creek and Middle Road intersection

The long vacant and highly visible southeast corner of Middle and Crow Creek Roads would be developed into a retail hub with a drive-up bank, restaurant and offices under a plan approved by Bettendorf planners and set for city council approval Tuesday (11/1).

AMF Realty, owned by the same company that has developed the Wyndham Hills subdivisions on both sides of Middle Road south of Crow Creek, is seeking approval to build Wyndham Town Center with four commercial buildings at the busy intersection.

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