News about the Quad Cities and surrounding region.

School children and the homeless will be the beneficiaries of some major grants. Wednesday, the Quad Cities Community Foundation awarded 100,000 dollar Transformation Grants - to the United Township and East Moline school districts, and to Humility Homes and Services.

Foundation Vice President Kelly Thompson says the two school districts will use their grant to begin the process to insure students have WIFI access in their homes.

John Buford

Jan 13, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

If you have ever visited the Battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, you may have seen the statue of John Buford at the northwest entrance. An inscription reads: In memory of Major General John Buford, commanding the First Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, who with the first inspiration of a cavalry officer selected this battlefield July 1, 1863.

War Eagle vs. Itasca

Jan 12, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

The most famous steamboat race ever chronicled on the Upper Mississippi River was between a tortoise and a hare in 1856. And as you learned in the pages of your third-grade reader, such a race is not always a foregone conclusion.

Rock Island County will hold the its first drive-through COVID vaccination clinic Tuesday. It's only for health care workers and will be held at the Greater Quad City Auto Auction in Milan.

Nita Ludwig, Administrator of the county health department, says anyone getting the vaccine will have to show the appropriate identification. The next group eligible will be what's called "essential workers," that includes police, fire, teachers, bus drivers, day care workers, and employees of the Post Office.

Brooms and Antlers

Jan 11, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Even the Mississippi River seems to know when it has crossed the Mason-Dixon line. The Upper Mississippi is a Yankee protestant-work-ethic river, always busy. The lower Mississippi below Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio comes in, is a grander, more leisurely affair—a world of colonels and judges and mint juleps. No wonder that Currier and Ives chose to immortalize the steamboat race between the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee rather than between the small, plain packet boats north of St. Louis.

(Update: 2/23/2021)

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the Quad Cities has reached 506, with 304 in Rock Island County and 202 in Scott County. The number of confirmed cases is 29,707, with 12,792 in Rock Island County and 16,915 in Scott County.

Today's 7-day moving average test positivity rate reported by each state's public health department is 4.0% in Rock Island County and 3.8% in Scott County.

On Feb. 18th, the Iowa Department of Public Health changed the way it calculates the test positivity rate. Instead of  individuals with positive results, it now reflects all tests completed with positive results. You can see the artificial drop in the percentage (light green, vertical line) in the graph below. 


A state agency says 26 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported at the East Moline Correctional Center. Today, the Illinois Department of Corrections reports a total of 37 inmates have active infections, compared to last week's 11 active cases. Five staff members have active infections today, compared to six last week.

The confirmed case total at the East Moline prison since the pandemic began is 460 (4% of Rock Island County's total), with 383 infections among prisoners. The rest, 77 cases, were staff members. Four inmates died of COVID-19 last fall.  

(Previous version: 2/3/2021)

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the Quad Cities is 477, with 295 in Rock Island County and 183 in Scott County. The number of cases is 28,693, with 12,322 in Rock Island County and 16,371 in Scott County. The overall test positivity rate in Rock Island County is 8.5% while in Scott County it's 21.3%. 

Today's 7-day moving average test positivity rate reported by each state's public health department is 5.6% in Rock Island County and 9.7% in Scott County. 

Here's a look at Scott County's 7- and 14-day moving averages.

And the next graph shows 7-day rolling averages for Rock Island County and Illinois Region 2. 

(Previous versio: 1/22/2021)

Four additional COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the Quad Cities with 170 more confirmed cases. That brings the totals to 460 deaths and 27,622 cases. 

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health reports four deaths of Scott County residents for a total of 171. The county's case total is now 15,710 with 24 residents in the hospital. Today, the county's seven-day moving average test positivity rate (TPR) for individuals is 10.3%.

To help put positivity trends in context, Scott County's 14-day moving average TPR for individuals is now 11.9% compared to 13.6% one month ago (12/22/2020) and 24.8% two months ago (11/22/2020). 

Here's a look at the beginning of the vaccination process in Scott County.

Rock Island County reports no deaths today, so its total is 290. Sixty new confirmed cases have been identified for a total of 11,912, and 27 Rock Island County residents are in the hospital being treated for COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average test positivity rate in the county is 6.4%. For comparison, one month ago, that rate was 11.0%, and 18.6% two months ago (12/22/202 and 11/22/2020). 

Vaccination data is also available for Rock Island County.

The state also tracks COVID-19 in public schools.

(Previous version: 1/20/2021)

After three days with no COVID-19 deaths reported in the Quad Cities, the county health departments report eight more people have died. As in the past, the timing of the reports may have been affected by the federal holiday. Quad Cities deaths now total 454 with 27,312 confirmed cases. 

The Cities - Pgm #1107

Jan 9, 2021

Galena, the Backwards

Jan 8, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Galena, Illinois, a hundred miles upriver, must be one of the more unusual small towns along the Upper Mississippi River. When Galena found herself further and further behind in the frantic race toward the twenty-first century, with wider streets, brighter lights, more super stores and mega malls, she stopped for a breather, and then began running backwards toward the nineteenth century.

City of Davenport

An effort by Davenport to stabilize and strengthen its neigborhoods appears to be working. Since it began nearly one year ago, 65 groups have joined the Good Neighbor Project.

Glorious Fourth

Jan 7, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

If you are old enough, you may remember the good old days when the 4th of July was still called "The Glorious Fourth"—those days when it was still possible to set off rockets and cherry bombs and make some real noise. Sparklers and cones that give off six seconds of green smoke are hardly glorious.