Perfect weather for start of Channel Cat Water Taxi service on Mississippi River in Quad Cities.

Yellow cornflowers sway in the summer breeze as bees flit from flower to flower seeking pollen.

Artist John Bloom's "Waiting for the Ferry" sculpture of two young boys graces the Mississippi Riverfront near Lindsay Park, Davenport.

Construction work on support piers for the new Interstate 74 bridge between Bettendorf and Moline now is under way.

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.

Bettendorf poised to approve 20-year TIF, $750,000 forgivable loan to entice Twin Bridges redevelopment

A Des Moines developer would tear down the deteriorated Twin Bridges Motor Inn in downtown Bettendorf and construct two five-story apartment buildings worth a total of $22 million under a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal worked out with city officials.

The development agreement would provide Twin Bridges Associates LP, a unit of Newberry Living, with a $750,000 forgivable loan and rebate 100 percent of the incremental property taxes from the 135-unit apartment project for 20 years.

At the current tax rate, the 20-year TIF would be worth approximately $12 million. The property currently is assessed at $799,780 and pays $24,139 annually in property taxes.

[The public hearing on the TIF and forgiveable loan is on the Tuesday, Dec. 6 city council meeting agenda.]

City administrator, five council members rack up $684 food tab at swank Des Moines restaurant

After hearing presentations on "The Leadership Role for City Officials" at the annual Iowa League of Cities conference in September, Bettendorf's city administrator and five aldermen adjourned for dinner at the 801 ChopHouse Restaurant, a downtown Des Moines steakhouse "modeled after the classic New York steakhouses of the 1920's," according to its website. Very expensive also would describe the restaurant.

Isle sells Marquette casino to employee-owned gambling firm, CQ Holdings, Inc. for $40 million

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. said today (10/13) it has agreed to sell its Marquette, Iowa casino to CQ Holdings, Inc. for $40 million, less an adjustment for working capital.

The deal with CQ Holdings' affiliate Casino Queen is specifically permitted under the agreement announced September 19 in which the Isle agreed to be acquired by Eldorado Resorts, of Reno, Nevada, in a $1.7 billion transaction, according to the company's news release.

EPA cracks down on motorcycle defeat device for muffler emissions; takes aim at aftermarket makers

Residents annoyed and awakened by loud motorcycles might hope the recent federal crackdown on Harley-Davidson for selling equipment to bypass air pollution control units would carry over to aftermarket muffler manufacturers whose products fail to meet either national air pollution or noise standards.

But, don't get too optimistic.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials say they're focused on enforcement of air pollution regulations, not motorcycle noise standards, while Bettendorf police wrote just two tickets for loud motorcycle mufflers over the four-year period 2010 through 2014.

Consequently, motorcyclists with illegal mufflers – two to four times as loud as the federal limit of 80 decibels – operate with impunity throughout the city, often late at night and early in the morning.

37 communities in northeast, north central Iowa bypass wastewater treatment after rains, flooding

Heavy rains and flooding has forced more than three dozen communities in north central and northeast Iowa to release untreated sewage into nearby streams and rivers, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Resident living near those communities with private wells for drinking water are being cautioned by the IDNR about using those sources.

The rain and the resulting flooding caused overflows to a total of 37 wastewater treatment plants, forcing the facilities to bypass treatment to prevent backups of sewage into homes and businesses.

Dumping of sewage into Mississippi River remains common summer occurrence, but system upgrades appear to be reducing frequency, quantities

As Davenport and Bettendorf complete the third year of a court-ordered sewer system improvement program, dumping of raw sewage into the Mississippi River remains an issue during summer months after heavy rains.

However, there are signs the effort to seal leaky sewer lines and fix blockages in riverfront interceptors is reducing the volume of raw and partially treated sewage that is pumped into the river.

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. to be acquired by Nevada casino firm, Eldorado Resorts, in $1.7 billion deal

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. – owner of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri Casino – announced this morning (9/19) it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Eldorado Resorts of Reno, Nevada in a stock and cash transaction valued at $1.7 billion.

Eldorado would acquire all the outstanding Isle stock for $23 per share, or 1.638 shares of Eldorado common stock for each share of Isle stock. The $1.7 billion value includes the assumption of the Isle's $929 million of long-term debt.

Public input on Alcoa water permit change extended after some initial notices had wording mix-up

The public will now have until the end of September to comment on Alcoa's request to increase by 24 percent the amount of oil/grease, chromium, zinc, cyanide and other suspended solids it is allowed to discharge into the Mississippi River each month.

The higher volumes of chemicals contained in wastewater from the Riverdale plant are generated by the recently completed expansion of the facility to serve the automotive aluminum market.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) ordered the notice be republished because of a mix-up in wording in some of the initial notices. The result was another 30-day period for the public to submit comments on the proposed change. Citizens can submit comments until Sept. 30 by email to: linda.hoehn@alcoa.com, or in writing to the company at 4879 State St., Bettendorf, IA 52722.

Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. revenues down, but earnings beat last year's first quarter results

First quarter revenues at the Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. – owner of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri gambling operation – fell 2.4 percent in the first quarter, but the St. Louis-based firm managed to post a $10.3 million profit, 25 cents per share, for the three-month period ended July 24.

Revenues at the gambling firm totaled $240.9 million for the first quarter, compared to $246.9 million for the same period a year ago.

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