The State of Illinois is in the middle of its typical election-year budget stalemate, but the matter is made worse this year by a financial situation that begs for major budget cuts or a tax increase but will probably get neither.
The 2002 Iowa legislative session adjourned on April 12, ending two weeks early as predicted. Both sides of the aisle admit it was a grueling session, with many hard decisions to make due to the serious budget deficits facing Iowans.
An Iowa program that was the first of its type in the country is putting the finishing touches on a study of lending practices and predatory loans in the state, but the harder work still remains. Now, the Community Lender Partnership Initiative must use its research as a springboard to educate the public and encourage lenders to adopt more fair-lending practices.
The largest contingent of Quad Cities' private business and public sector leaders ever assembled flew to Washington, DC, last week and spent three days meeting face-to-face with all eight of our region's elected federal legislators.
The saga of the Davenport Community School District's decision to close Johnson and Grant elementary schools took several twists on Monday and Tuesday. At a hearing last week before an Iowa State Department of Education hearing panel, both the school district and parents who appealed the January closing decision agreed to a continuance so that the board could re-consider its vote.
In Rock Island County, the Democratic primary is almost always the toughest battle, with the general-election result nearly a foregone conclusion. There hasn't been a Republican sheriff in Rock Island County in 20 years, and that makes the March 19 primary for the office especially important.
Editor's note: This story went to press before the Davenport Community School District agreed to re-visit at its March 11 meeting the issue of closing Johnson and Grant schools. The hearing on the appeal was continued to April 5.
Central High School's Scholastic Journalism Week (SJW) is an imaginative program that began in 1995, thanks to the vision of Central's preeminent journalism teacher, Deb Buttleman Malcom, and her dedicated students.

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Supporters of cultural organizations will descend on Des Moines this week to lobby Iowa legislators for a $10 million trust fund that could be a long-term - albeit relatively minor - funding source for arts groups.
Adam Zelsdorf and Jason Held aren't your typical high-school seniors. Well, they are in some ways: They throw things at each other and don't try to hide their youthful enthusiasm and itchy feet. But teenage mannerisms aside, Zelsdorf and Held are unusual.