Rick in on a needed break this morning. I'll be your guest host.

Big Brothers Big Sisters honored

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley President Jay Justin speaks before the group on Thursday at the River House in Moline, celebrating the national Gold Standard award achievement.

Standing before a crowd of about 70 staff and volunteers of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley at the River House in Moline on Thursday, Jay Justin, who is president and CEO of the organization, informed them that they had reached a major milestone in the local chapter’s history.

In May, he said, the Quad-City chapter received a Gold Standard Award from the national organization of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for 2016. Read the rest here.

Hidden treasures

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Off Limits: Figge Art Museum

Andrew Wallace, manager of collections and exhibitions, shows a favorite painting, believed to connected to, Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck, in a storage area at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

Davenport's Figge Art Museum has 4,000 objects in its collection. In a storage area about 5,400 square feet, exquisite paintings hang in neat rows from movable wire walls.

Many pieces in the collection have been together far longer than the 12 years they have spent at the Figge. Many came from a generous Davenport donor who collected much of the artwork in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Columnist Barb Ickes takes you inside that collection this weekend. 
 
Illinois to make small school payments

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office announced Thursday she has directed $429 million to be paid to school districts across the state, a bit of a boost for educators stuck in the middle of a funding impasse in Springfield.

The past-due payments, which cover categorical expenses for such things as transportation and special education, went out this morning, her office said. Reporter Ed Tibbetts explains the plan.

Charity cookout

Rock Island police officers and firefighters will cooking up the brats and hotdogs outside of the Moline Walmart on Saturday to raise money for the annual Cops and Firefighters for Christmas Program.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with cops and firefighters and volunteers also collecting money for the program that has been a joint effort between the departments for 15 years.

Weather

All signs point to a beautiful and clear day in the Quad-Cities with temperatures in the mid-70s.

Traffic

Sinkhole repair continues to stymie parts of traffic in downtown Davenport. 

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