Purple prairie coneflowers add color to Bettendorf's Meier Park.

The new plaza in front of Bettendorf City Hall and the downtown fire station was recently named "Hutchinson Plaza" in honor of former Mayor Ann Hutchinson, who served as the city's top elected official from 1991 to 2003.

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.

Bettendorf's new Devils Glen bridge over Spencer Creek awaits future growth north of Interstate 80

When the new Devils Glen Bridge across Spencer Creek was dedicated in late 2016, the city of Bettendorf was wise to provide directions for the news media and officials invited to the event.

"At the roundabout, head north on Middle Road, continue under I-80. At approximately ½ a mile past I-80, veer left onto Indiana Road. Follow Indiana Road past Hidden Hills Golf Course," the release stated. "The bridge over Spencer Creek is shortly after that. *Not accessible from Utica Ridge Road at this time due to Davenport’s road construction project."

It's also likely those who attended the dedication haven't crossed the bridge since that ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

Former Jumer's Lodge site targeted to become new Home2 Suites by Hilton if tax rebate plan approved

A 109-unit hotel with a new all-suite extended stay concept would be built on the site of the old Jumer's Lodge in Bettendorf if the developer gets a 10-year, 100 percent Tax Increment Financing (TIF) rebate from the city.

The new development would be anchored by a Home2 Suites by Hilton, an extended stay brand that offers a full kitchen in each unit, free breakfast and welcomes pets. Hilton has one other Home2 Suite hotel in Iowa located in Coralville.

Lee reports lower revenues, earnings in 2nd quarter

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch-Argus newspapers – today (5/3) reported lower revenues and earnings for the second quarter despite "strong performance in digital retail."

Second quarter earnings were $2.5 million, 4 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 25, compared with $6.4 million, 11 cents per share, for the same period a year ago, according to the company news release.

Iowa QC sewer system upgrades on schedule and reducing sewage overflows, consultant reports

Sewage overflows in Davenport have fallen from 104 in 2016 to 18 last year thanks to wastewater system improvements in Bettendorf and Davenport mandated under a 2013 consent order with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

In Bettendorf, only two SSO's (sewage system overflows) were reported in 2017, and none have been recorded as of March 30 this year.

U.S. appellate court upholds decision to remove lemurs, tigers from troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo

The federal district court decision ordering the removal of lemurs and tigers from the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, Iowa, last October was upheld today (4/11) by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal appellate court in St. Louis ruled that Lisa Kuehl, Tracey Kuehl, Nancy A. Harvey, John T. Braumann and the non-profit animal rights group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), had legal standing to file the lawsuit to stop the mistreatment of the animals under the Endangered Species Act.

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