News about the Quad Cities and surrounding region.

On The Road

Apr 12, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

The Mississippi is one of those rivers that takes on all comers. Children are easy marks. Just standing them along the shore with a stick to wrinkle the water is all it takes. Fishermen are easy, too. All fishing poles have hooks at both ends, and who pulls in whom is an open question.

The Cities - Pgm #1120

Apr 10, 2021


Apr 9, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

My wife, Margaret, made me promise never ever to use her in these Lines. Of course, I took that to mean she was hoping I would. She's hard to figure out.


Apr 8, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

It is hard in our cynical age to imagine the kind of patriotism which made George W. Kinkaid of rural Muscatine, Iowa, leave his wife and plow and march off to the Civil War in 1862.

Boepple Buttons

Apr 7, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island. 

Here's a short course on the history of work in America. In about 1884, John F. Boepple immigrated from Germany to Muscatine, Iowa. One day he stopped along the Mississippi to watch a dredge boat in operation. The clam shells in the dredged material excited him. He had been a button maker in Germany, and these Mississippi shells were perfect for pearl buttons.

Galvanized Yankees

Apr 6, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

In August of 1863, Union troops arrived on Rock Island to build a prison camp for Confederate prisoners. Beginning with 468 prisoners captured in the Battle of Lookout Mountain, who arrived in December of 1863, the Rock Island Barracks eventually housed more than twelve thousand Confederates. In Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell called it "the Andersonville of the North."

George Barnard

Apr 5, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Muscatine, Iowa, a few miles down the Mississippi from here, must have made an impact on George Grey Barnard. Barnard lived there briefly as a teenager from 1877 to 1885 before going on to become an internationally acclaimed sculptor. Late in life, with his work in many museums, Barnard claimed that his inspiration came from Muscatine.

The Cities - Pgm #1119

Apr 3, 2021

The Calliope

Apr 2, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Before you pick up the phone and call in, trust me on this one. No steamboat on the Upper Mississippi River ever had a calliope. On the river, it was always pronounced cally-ope. Steamboat men had minds of their own, and seldom took direction from people on land.


Good morning, this is your Wellness Wake Up Call with Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition and wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

Question for you: Would you take a shower that lasts 42 minutes? What about 6 hours? You might be thinking that sounds like an absurd question because who would waste that much water?