A warm spring evening along Mississippi River shoreline.

Judge orders lioness exam by animal rights group vet; sets expedited trial on lion removal from zoo

A federal judge today (July 21) ordered the examination of a Cricket Hollow Zoo lioness and set an expedited trial date for August 1 to determine if the two African lions should be permanently removed from the roadside zoo.

In an unusual telephone hearing, Chief Judge Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids ordered the zoo allow a Colorado veterinarian with experience in the care of lions examine the lioness Njarra.

Special telephone court hearing set in legal effort to help sick lioness Njarra at Cricket Hollow Zoo


Click on image above to view the video showing the two African lions at Cricket Hollow Zoo. The video was submitted as part of a court filing seeking immediate removal of the lions from the roadside zoo.

A special telephone hearing will be held Thursday (July 21) to determine if a lioness at Cricket Hollow Zoo should be removed immediately from the troubled roadside zoo, or if a "qualified veterinarian" should be allowed to examine, diagnosis and treat the animal.

The endangered African lion is one of two at the zoo, and a video taken June 24 shows the sick and emaciated lioness named Njarra in her cage at Cricket Hollow.

Animal rights group, Iowa residents appeal Cricket Hollow Zoo ruling over attorney fees request, animal relocation site and illegal trafficking claim

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Iowa residents who won their federal court case in February against Cricket Hollow Zoo have now appealed the judge's decision to not award attorney fees, allowing the zoo owners to choose where the zoo tigers and lemurs were relocated, and for failing to address one of the lawsuit claims the zoo engaged in unlawful trafficking of endangered animals.

Group seeks emergency court order to remove African lions from troubled roadside zoo

An Iowa man visiting the Cricket Hollow Zoo with his two children June 24 says in court documents one of the roadside zoo's two lions "was in such a terrible condition that both children and myself feared that she would die at any moment."

"We didn't need to get too close to her cage to know that there was something terribly wrong with her, because she just stood in one corner of her cage shivering even though she was in direct sunlight," Jeff Marlin, of Hiawatha, Iowa, testified in a court filing seeking immediate removal of the now-endangered animals from the troubled zoo near Manchester.

Bettendorf casino revenue up slightly in fiscal 2016, but number of gamblers falls to 16-year low

Bettendorf's gambling casino posted a slight increase in revenue in fiscal 2016, but the number of gamblers frequenting the Isle of Capri riverboat fell to 823,000, a 16-year low.

The slight uptick in revenues and decline in casino gamblers at the local casino reflected a similar pattern statewide.

Adjusted gross revenues at the state's 19 casinos were up 1.5 percent to $1.437 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, while admissions fell by .04 percent to 21,538,433 during the 12-month period.

Jumer's Castle Lodge owner seeks 100% tax rebate for 10 years for redevelopment of hotel property

The owner of the vacant and dilapidated Jumer's Castle Lodge in Bettendorf would be given a full rebate of all property taxes for 10 years under a proposed development agreement scheduled for consideration at next week's (July 5) city council meeting.

The agreement and proposed Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) ordinance have been given aldermen for review and the council is expected to set a date for a required public hearing on the redevelopment plan.

Cricket Hollow's animals to be relocated by July 17; new locations seen as having similar shortcomings

The endangered tigers and lemurs ordered removed from Cricket Hollow Zoo will be sent to new facilities by July 17, but both locations face some of the same shortcomings cited by animal rights advocates in their federal lawsuit against the Manchester roadside zoo.

Chief Magistrate Judge Jon Stuart Scoles ordered the endangered animals be removed from Cricket Hollow Zoo while the case is on appeal with the tigers going to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center near Centerpoint, Indiana, and the lemurs relocated to the Special Memories Zoo, near Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Bettendorf's new Forest Grove Park: six years and $4.7 million later first public amenity takes shape

Bettendorf's newest park – Forest Grove – will finally welcome visitors sometime late this summer with the opening of a small "Community Corner" consisting of a picnic shelter, restrooms, a children's playground and a 24-car parking lot.

The first usable feature of the park on the city's far north edge will be a notable event, but the long road to the first amenity hasn't been cheap: $1.8 million to date, not including $2.92 million the city paid for the 92-acres back in 2010.

QC area first in Iowa to exceed new ozone pollution standard; Scott County Park records exceedance

The Iowa Quad Cities achieved the dubious distinction earlier this week as the first metro area in Iowa to exceed the new, tougher health standard for ozone pollution.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported Tuesday (6/14) the air monitor at Scott County Park, north of Davenport, recorded an 8-hour average for ground-level ozone (O3) of 71 parts per billion (ppb) Monday, June 13. The ambient air quality standard for ozone was lowered to 70 ppb from 75 ppm last December.

Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. earnings up for 4th quarter, fiscal year; lower debt, higher profits boost stock

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. – operators of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri Casino – reported improved earnings Tuesday (6/14) for the fourth quarter and fiscal year despite flat revenues for the 12-months ended April 26.

After company officials finished discussing the Isle's lower debt levels and improved profit margins in a conference call with analysts, the firm's stock price jumped nearly $1 per share (6 percent) to $17.32 in early trading.

The company reported fourth quarter net revenue of $265 million compared with $269 million for the same period last year. For the 12-months ended April 24, the Isle had net revenue of $979 million compared with $977 million for fiscal 2015.

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