A lone white pelican plies the Mississippi River just upstream from Lock & Dam 15, Davenport.

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.

Iowa Farm Bureau finances revealed by Investigate Midwest and Watchdog Writers Group reporting

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and the Watchdog Writers Group reported Thursday (10/7) on the Iowa Farm Bureau and how it has profited from funds generated by its insurance subsidiary.

"The political activities of farm bureaus at the state and federal level are well-documented. But the scope of the Iowa Farm Bureau’s sprawling financial operations is less understood. Through expanded investments, it has reaped massive profits. Over the past decade, its total revenue has increased about 200 percent. And, lately, about 80 percent of it comes from investments, according to tax documents. No other farm bureau even approaches that ratio."

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

Developer of senior housing in Muscatine agrees to $8,000 fine for allowing runoff to pollute Mad Creek

A former LeClaire developer now living in West Des Moines has agreed to pay an $8,000 fine for storm water runoff violations at a senior housing site in Muscatine that polluted the nearby Mad Creek.

James Bergman, of JNB Oak Park LP, signed the administrative consent order with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) last month. Bergman was one of the developers of Thomas Place Senior Housing in Bettendorf.

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners ordered to pay $70,000 or serve jail time for violating court order

The owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo have been ordered to pay $70,000 or serve five months in jail for violating court orders regarding the relocation of animals at their roadside attraction.

The ruling this week in the contempt-of-court case against Pamela and Thomas Sellner comes three days after the Iowa Supreme Court declined to review a lower court decision in the case that led to zoo’s closure in 2019.

In that case, a group of Iowans assisted by animal rights advocates sued the Sellners, alleging numerous violations of Iowa’s animal neglect laws. A judge ruled in their favor and effectively ordered the zoo closed with many of the animals to be relocated to wildlife sanctuaries in other states.

READ MORE from the Iowa Capital Dispatch

Reynolds office least transparent in 30 years

A journalist is arrested and put on trial for doing her job. The governor’s office and state agencies defy the law without consequence by ignoring or refusing requests for public records. A veteran state employee claims she was fired for complying with the law and providing a public record to a reporter.

It sounds like some banana republic that we might hear about on the news. Sorry to say, these and other assaults on the First Amendment, press freedoms and public access to their government have all happened right here in Iowa. And it’s costing all of us, the taxpayers.

In my years as a journalist in Iowa, I’ve covered five gubernatorial administrations. (Only four governors, because Gov. Terry Branstad served twice.) I can say without hesitation that Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has been the absolute worst in terms of secrecy and outright denial of public access to information.

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.

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