Rick Yutesler


 Two local UPS drivers are putting the Quad-Cities on the map with their stellar driving records on behalf of "brown."

Douglas Anderson, Buffalo, and Rick Yutesler, Davenport, who work out of the UPS Davenport hub, have been inducted into the Atlanta-based company's Circle of Honor. Only UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving join the honorary organization. This year, UPS inducted 1,575 drivers worldwide into the Circle.

"It's quite an honor " said Yutesler, who drives a semi with double trailers into Chicago daily. "You've got to pay attention. You've got to drive your truck and the next guy over's (truck)."

Yutesler, a Lowden, Iowa, native, credits his success, in part, to UPS safety and training programs.

A driver for 29 years, he said "I had few scrapes my first years, but it's almost 26 years without an accident now."

Iowa is well represented with 87 active Circle of Honor drivers who have a combined 2,511 years of accident-free driving. Across Iowa, UPS has 952 drivers including the state's senior-most safe driver, Cleo Underwood, of Des Moines, with 41 years of accident-free driving.

"My thanks go to all of them for their dedication and focus and for the countless lives they've saved," George Willis, president of the UPS West Region, said.

Globally, 9,349 of the 102,000 UPS drivers have achieved the distinction. Collectively, they have 266,554 years of safe driving and have logged 14 billion — that's billion with a B — safe miles. UPS says that's enough to travel to the moon and back almost 29,000 times.

Of all the honored drivers, the most seasoned is Thomas Camp of Livonia, Michigan, with 54 years of driving without an accident. Next in line is Ronald Knight of Bronx, New York, with 48 years of safe driving.

An impressive 91 drivers have traveled at least 40 years accident-free.

Ann's Hallmark closing at Duck Creek

This is the final week for Ann's Hallmark at Duck Creek in Bettendorf.

Owned by Ann and Max Kramer, of Bettendorf, the store will close Friday. The store joined their Hallmark lineup three years ago when the couple purchased the former's Kile's Hallmark store.

Ann Kramer, who first announced the closing in a letter to her customers, said Friday the store has not met its sales projections. They will continue to operate their original Ann's Hallmark at 2876 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, and their East Moline store at 609 Avenue of the Cities.

Kramer said the store's lease had expired and the business faced investing in a new mandatory register system and store remodel.

The store employed seven, a few of whom will transfer to the other stores, she added.

Q-C nurses join Iowa's greatest

The 100 Great Iowa Nurses of 2017 list is out and 13 honorees hail from the Quad-City region.

The list represents many health care sectors from hospitals to long-term care facilities, and school and office nurses. No matter who they care for, they all stand out in their profession for their concern for humanity, the contributions they make, and the leadership and mentoring the offer.

Nominated by colleagues, patients, doctors, friends and family members, the final honorees were selected from a pool of 400 nominees this year. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of nursing professionals and previous honorees.

Local nurses, their hometown and employers are: Jane Abbott Eckhart of Davenport, Eckhart Consulting; Erika Anderson, DeWitt, Genesis Medical Center; Kathy Bollinger, Maquoketa, Genesis Medical Center; Kimberly Chant, Davenport, UnityPoint Health Trinity; Julie Davis, Eldridge, Genesis Medical Center; Robin Graettinger, Muscatine, Muscatine School District; Teresa Grimm, DeWitt, Genesis Medical Center; Alisha Hubler, Tipton, Cedar Manor; Nicole Klemme, Taylor Ridge; Genesis Medical Center; Rebecca Rock, Grand Mound, Genesis Medical Center; Patricia Spooner, Clinton, Mercy Medical Center; Lindsay Vargas, Bettendorf, Genesis Medical Center; and John Wagner, Davenport, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The 100 Great Iowa Nurses celebration will be May 7 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. It kicks off National Nurses Week, May 6 to May 12 (the birthday of Florence Nightingale).

Since its began 13 years ago, the program has honored nurses from 95 of Iowa's 99 counties including Worth County — added for the first time this year.

"Our hope is to eventually reach every county in the state," said Thad Wilson, 2017 chair and interim dean of the University of Iowa College of Nursing.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com