1. Paper deal
We're used to reporting the news, not making it, but the owner of the Quad-City Times, Lee Enterprises, made a big splash last week. On Monday, the company announced that it was acquiring The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, long competitors of the Times on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. The purchase is expected to close at the end of the month, and Lee officials say both the Times and the Dispatch-Argus would retain separate editorial voices.
2. New leader
The Diocese of Davenport has a new bishop, after Thomas Zinkula's ordination and installation Thursday at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf. If was a ceremony steeped in tradition. For his part, Zinkula brought self-deprecating humor to the event, as he talked about when he told his siblings that he was going to be a bishop and asked them to pray for him. "Pray for you?" they said. "We should pray for the people of Davenport." And if you didn't see Deirdre Cox Baker's profile of the bishop in last Sunday's newspaper, along with Jeff Cook's photos, you should check it out.
3. Ready to run
The Quad-City Times Bix 7 season is kicking into high gear with the start of the Bix at Six training runs last Thursday. Three more prep runs are scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursdays, June 29, July 6 and July 13, before the real deal starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 29. You can sign up to take part in the fun by going to qctimes.com/bix.
4. Presidential rally
President Donald Trump returned to Iowa on Wednesday for a rally in Cedar Rapids. He drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to the U.S. Cellular Center and touted the "amazing progress" he is making in improving the economy, lowering unemployment, curtailing illegal immigration and delivering on his promise to "Make America Great Again." The rally drew supporters from a wide area, including the Quad-Cities.
5. Complex development
Work is beginning at the Interstate 80-Middle Road location for a $45 million, 79-acre sports complex and entertainment center in Bettendorf. The City Council is giving the go-ahead to a final plat and site development plan for BettPlex, which will include indoor and outdoor athletic facilities when completed in August 2018. More development at the site is expected after that.
6. On the trail
Meanwhile, Bettendorf celebrated the completion of another project last week. The last section of the Mississippi Riverfront Trail in Bettendorf officially opened with a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday. Walkers and bicyclists already were using the section of trail, but Bettendorf officials and other community leaders turned out to mark the milestone. The portion of trail runs along U.S. 67 and includes a trail bridge over Crow Creek.
7. Fight violence
On Wednesday, we told you about a run and walk scheduled for today to bring more awareness to gun violence and its victims. Family members of more than a dozen gun violence victims are taking part in the second annual Walk/Run Against Gun Violence in Memory of Dwight McCall Jr. The event begins at 11 a.m. today at Vander Veer Botanical Park at West Central Park Avenue and Brady Street in Davenport. Organizers are hoping for a turnout by the public and also invite families of other gun violence victims to participate.
8. VA report
Brandon Ketchum's family still is waiting for answers about the events that led up to the Davenport man's suicide nearly a year ago. The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said it would have its delayed report finishing by spring, but the first day of summer came last week with nothing released publicly. Ketchum, who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, shot himself hours after asking to be admitted to the psychiatric unit at the VA hospital in Iowa City. He was told there was no room for him. Columnist Barb Ickes updated us on the situation last week and is staying on top of the story.
9. No privacy
On Tuesday, Barb brought us a disturbing story out of East Moline. The Forest Hill Health & Rehab center folded in 2013 and has been vacant since. But it was abandoned as if people would be returning any moment. City officials had to get a court order to be allowed to go in to secure medicine and sharps that were left behind. But other things remain, including people's medical records. Teens have been breaking in and rummaging around the place. Some of those medical records have been passed around among schoolchildren. Still, nothing seems to be done about it. The owner isn't around, and the state and federal governments can't agree on who is responsible.
10. Sugar high
Our resident foodie, Amanda Hancock, was back at it on last Wednesday's Food page, giving us a rundown on the sweet treats available each week at the Freight House Farmers Market. Just reading the story will get your taste buds dancing, so be sure to check it out before heading to the market, which is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at 421 W. River Drive, Davenport.