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.

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.

Farm bureau crows about water quality progress; nutrient reduction report stats show otherwise

The Iowa Farm Bureau unleashed its public relations machine after release of the 2018-19 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) Report July 2, heralding what it called "clear and significant strides" on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from farms fields into state streams, rivers and lakes.

Problem is the farm bureau either failed to read the report statistics on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff, or simply chose to ignore the research results and spin the findings.

Admissions, revenues at Bettendorf casino plunge as pandemic shutters facility for more than two months

Admissions and revenues at Bettendorf's Isle of Capri Casino fell to lows not seen since the launch of its predecessor Lady Luck Riverboat Casino in 1995 after the COVID-19 virus shuttered the facility for two and half months this spring.

For the 12-months ended June 30, the Isle – now owned by Eldorado Resorts, Inc. – reported gross revenue of $51.2 million and admissions of 627,436. That would be the lowest revenue and admissions since the fiscal 1995 results when the Lady Luck Riverboat generated $10 million in revenue and attracted 325,698 gamblers in operating less than three months.

Lee Enterprises reports $5 million 2nd quarter loss

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Argus – has reported a $5 million loss (9 cents per share) for the second quarter ended March 29. That was nearly double the loss ($2.3 million, 5 cents per share) for the same period a year ago.

Lee President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mowbray in the company's earnings news release June 18 stated he was "pleased to announce our solid second quarter financial results."

Decision on fitness center delayed until October

The Bettendorf City Council Tuesday (June 16) voted to delay a decision on closing the Life Fitness Center until October when the city will have better information on the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council also agreed to cancel the annual July 4th parade, delayed the July 4th fireworks display until a later (undetermined) date and put on hold the hiring of additional firefighters until this fall.

Life Fitness Center sale among options being discussed to help offset pandemic revenue losses

As Bettendorf city leaders confront revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Life Fitness Center appears to have a big "sell me" target on its back.

In his presentation to alderman Tuesday (4/21), City Finance Director Jason Schadt listed "Divest of Loss Generating Enterprises" as one of the possible short-term objectives to trim city expenses.

And, in discussions earlier this month, city officials had a more specific phrase for "loss generating enterprises" – close and sell the Life Fitness Center.

Ten years after Animal Welfare Act violations surfaced, USDA reaches 'consent decision' to revoke Cricket Hollow Zoo license

More than 10 years after Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations began surfacing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a 'consent decision' Friday (April 10) to permanently revoke the Cricket Hollow Zoo license.

The order filed last Friday in Washington, D.C. came four months to the day when workers removed nearly 100 animals from the facility after a Delaware County District Court ordered the troubled roadside zoo closed.

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