The butterfly season has arrived. Here, a yellow swallowtail butterfly drinks nectar from a milkweed plant.

Users – including one person lying down and one person standing on the transparent "oculus" feature – of the new Interstate 74 Bridge recreation trail wave to the passing Mississippi Belle Riverboat below.

Lee Enterprise, Inc. reports third quarter earnings of $3.74 million, 56 cents per share

Lee Enterprises, Inc. – owner of both daily newspapers in the Quad Cities – reported Thursday (7/5) it earned $3.74 million, 56 cents per share, during the third quarter ended June 27.

That compares with a loss of $727,000, 23 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

On a pro forma basis to reflect acquisition of Berkshire Hathaway Media and Buffalo News last year, total operating revenue fell 4.7 percent and total advertising revenue was down 9.3 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Court of Appeals upholds judge's decision closing Cricket Hollow Zoo for 'deplorable conditions'

Deputy Editor, Iowa Capital Dispatch

The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo were not denied a fair trial by a judge who closed the attraction after citing the “deplorable” conditions she observed there.

The two owners of the Cricket Hollow, Pamela and Thomas Sellner of Manchester, had appealed a 2019 court ruling declaring the zoo to be a public nuisance. In briefs filed with the court, attorneys for the Sellners argued that the trial judge, Monica Zrinyi Wittig, “took an advocacy role” on the side of the animal rights groups that helped a group of Iowans sue to close the zoo by “criticizing and arguing with” the Sellners and their witnesses.

In their appeal, the Sellners cited comments made to their attorney by Judge Wittig shortly after all of the parties visited the zoo on the first day of trial.

CLICK HERE to read entire article on Iowa Capital Dispatch web site.

Bettendorf would add three traffic roundabouts under Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road intersection plan going before city council

Forest Grove Dr. and Middle Rd. corridor improvements projected at $11.46 million; city share estimated at $5.5 million

CLICK HERE to view web site created by project's engineering firm.

Bettendorf was one of the first communities in Iowa to install a traffic roundabout back in 2002.

Now nearly 20 years later, the city is planning to quadruple the number of roundabouts under a traffic plan being proposed for the congested Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road corridor.

New ALDI Food Store to join HyVee and Fareway along Bettendorf Devils Glen and Belmont corridor

A new 19,000-square-foot ALDI Food Store will soon join HyVee and Fareway grocery stores in the busy Devils Glen and Belmont corridor in Bettendorf.

The site plan for the new store will go before the Bettendorf City Council Tuesday (6/1) for approval. The store will be on the southeast corner of Devils Glen and Belmont Roads, part of what was once known as the "Golden Triangle" because of its potential for commercial development.

Disinfection treatment, flood protection required at Davenport/Bettendorf sewage treatment plant under amended consent order with Iowa DNR

Sewage from Bettendorf and Davenport will undergo enhanced treatment beginning early next year under revised terms of a consent order signed in February with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

The revised agreement establishes Feb. 28, 2022 as the deadline for adding disinfection treatment, using ultraviolet light, at the Davenport Wastewater Treatment Plant, which handles sewage from Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park.

Lee reports $600,000 loss for second quarter

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch Argus newspapers – reported a net loss of $600,000 (6 cents per share) for the second quarter ended March 28.

The loss reflects a 16 percent decline in advertising and marketing services revenue for the period compared (on a pro forma basis) with the same three-month period a year ago.

Bettendorf subdivision developer fined $6,000 by Iowa DNR to settle storm water permit violations

Ven Green Land Development LLC – developer of the Spencer Hollow residential subdivision in north Bettendorf – has agreed to pay $6,000 to settle storm water runoff permit violations that occurred in July 2020.

According to the administrative consent order issued March 9, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) received a complaint July 15 of last year alleging water in a tributary to Spencer Creek was brown from silt that had run off from the housing subdivision.

Education department expertise loses out to political power in school voucher legislation

The Iowa Department of Education has 220 staff members and a budget of more than $10 million. But it has zero independence or political power.

That's why school legislation in Iowa is driven by the political agenda of the governor, Republican Party leaders and this year, by the Americans for Prosperity, a right wing organization funded largely by the Koch brothers, and Betsy DeVos, ex-head of the Trump administration's education department.

Iowa's ag college experts on nutrient reduction say their role is to educate, not regulate farm operations

Mandating measures to control and reduce chemical pollution from farm fields should begin, University of Iowa water quality researchers say.

But, don't expect Iowa's land-grant agricultural institution – Iowa State University – to join the call for regulation or any government measures to limit the use of fertilizer on ag land.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Hydroscience and Engineering Department have been analyzing farm field runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus for decades.

Voluntary efforts will never achieve Iowa's goal to curb nitrogen runoff, water quality researcher says

Iowa will never achieve its goal to reduce nitrate runoff from Iowa farm fields relying only on voluntary actions of farm operators, according to a hydrologist who has done extensive research on the state's waterways and water quality.

The state has not only has failed to achieve its goal to reduce nitrogen runoff by 45 percent over the past eight years, the 5-year average of nitrate flowing into the Mississippi River has increased, up more than 100 percent between 2003 and 2019, according to Larry Weber, Ph.D, a research engineer with the University of Iowa's IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Department.

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