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Since first learning the clarinet as a child, Steve Stoltenberg has had the music in him, and his life's work has helped pass that on to generations of other musicians.

Busy now with a new school band instrument rental season, the owner of Northwest Music quietly marked the 45th anniversary of his Davenport store. "I opened around August 20, I can't quite remember,'' said Stoltenberg, who considers the whole month to be his anniversary. 

The store at 1411 Washington St., where he has operated 43 of his 45 years, is a full-line music store. "Band, orchestra, drums, amps, guitars, pianos and organs, I have it all. And if I don't have it, I can get it,'' he said.

Stoltenberg, 67, who remains a one-man shop, got into the business strictly as a repair shop after graduating from a music repair program at Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City. He opened the business on Locust Street, but soon expanded into the instrument rental business and bought his current location — a former Nesbitt pop bottling operation.

Stoltenberg said his is the last of the area's small family-run music stores. "When I started in the business, there were six full-line music stores and all family-run. So I did repairs for a lot of those stores."

When not repairing instruments or outfitting a new generation of band students and local band members, he keeps busy playing his clarinet in community bands in Durant, Iowa, and Orion, Illinois, as well as the CASI New Horizons Band.

Northwest Music can be reached at 563-322-2746.

StorageHub opens temp-controlled facility

A longtime family business in Rock Island now is emerging with a new life as StorageHub, the first temperature-controlled self-storage facility in Rock Island.

The 230-unit StorageHub is located at 2820 Blackhawk Road in the building that long housed Herman's Inc., a wholesale distributor and manufacturer. Scott Stroud said the company — launched 70 years ago by his grandfather, Herman Segal — closed last year.

"This is an excellent location and an outstanding opportunity for the Herman's Inc. family to develop a new business that continues to serve the local community," said Stroud, StorageHub's planning and operations director. "Instead of leaving the building, we decided to make it an asset."

Stroud said it marks the first StorageHub, but the goal is to expand the brand throughout the Quad-City region. The venture is owned by the Stroud and Segal families.

With 40,000 square feet of rentable storage, the retrofitted facility offers a drive-up access point, loading and unloading bay, state-of-the-art security and a retail office stocked with packaging supplies. It also features energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, wi-fi access, video surveillance, electronic access security systems, keypad access, among other amenities.

"Our biggest challenge was to transform the former Herman's Inc. building, built in 1953, into a modern storage facility," Stroud said. He thanked the efforts of Russell, American Bank & Trust, the city of Rock Island and others.

Herman's Inc. traces its history to 1946 when it provided hosiery and underwear to customers across the country. It later began distributed and produced embellishments, corporate apparel and other promotional items before becoming a global distributor and manufacturer of corporate apparel and collegiate licensed goods, Stroud said.

StorageHub can be reached at 309-788-9568.

CRST increases new truck drivers' pay

Faced with an industry shortage of qualified truck drivers, CRST Expedited Inc. rolled out a pay increase for its new student drivers.

CRST Expedited, with Quad-City operations, announced a 15 percent pay increase effective last Monday for new contract student drivers receiving CDL training through the company-sponsored program. Many drivers train at CRST's North American Training Academy in Cedar Rapids.

The largest operating company of Cedar Rapids-based CRST International Inc., CRST Expedited assisted 3,740 new drivers in joining the transportation industry last year. The company employs 22 people at its Eldridge facility. 

"Our student drivers are a critical part of our team," said Cameron Holzer, CRST Expedited president. "Ensuring they are successful in starting out their professional driving career is a top priority to us."

One of the nation's largest privately-held transportation companies, CRST employs more than 8,000 and projects 2017 annual revenues of $1.3 billion.


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