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    To celebrate the ten-year papacy of Pope Francis, St. Ambrose University will host its first-ever papal conference starting Thursday, March 16 to Saturday, March 18. The 3-day event is titled "Francis at 10: A Papacy of Possibilities" and will feature a series of globally-renowned keynote speakers, breakout sessions and liturgy. Early bird registration costs $75 and is open now through Jan. 31 for those interested in attending. 

    Davenport marching band students will be celebrating their New Year's festivities overseas—Central High School's "Marching Blue Devils" will join around 8,000 from across the globe to perform at the London New Year’s Day Parade 2023. Over 500,000 spectators are projected to fill the parade's iconic 2-mile route for the first time since January 2020—WQPT will air the parade live on Jan. 1 starting at 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

    Reflecting on growing community mental health needs, Mercer County Mental Health Action Program (MHAP) director Krissy Dixon is thankful for the Looser-Flake Charitable Foundation's three-year, $156,000 grant to the program last year. MHAP saw its highest case numbers in the 2021-2022 school year, providing individualized case management to 142 clients—a 25 percent increase from the prior year. Of those, 82 were students.

    Students and community members alike rolled up their sleeves and donated blood at Bettendorf High School on Tuesday—but it wasn't a typical blood drive.  In memoriam of lifelong Bettendorf student and 2022 graduate Charly Erpelding - who passed away in October after her second bout with cancer - the school district, friends, members of the Erpelding family and ImpactLife joined forces to host the first-ever "Give Like Charly" blood drive. 

    St. Ambrose University signed a memorandum of understanding with Augustana College, creating a pathway for Augustana students to meet degree requirements for the Master of Science in Exercise Physiology (MSEP) program at SAU. With the new partnership, Augustana students may transfer up to eight undergraduate credits to satisfy specific MSEP course requirements.

    Findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have uncovered historic declines in student performance nationwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local school districts have worked to address these historic slides, through measures like increased interventions and re-imagining Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) frameworks.

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    The Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Black Hawk College aims to prepare people to work in the building trades and to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged persons working on Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) projects. A new HCCTP session begins Monday, Feb. 27, offering instruction and hands-on training 36 hours per week for 13 weeks.

    Anyone passing by can now take a sled ride on a whim at two Mason City parks, thanks to new "sled sheds" installed Wednesday.

    Western Illinois University graduate student Ashley Danner was awarded this year's WIU-Quad Cities Core Values Award for Personal Growth, which recognizes her leadership in implementing and expanding WIU-QC's student government association. WIU-QC was also recently awarded a $39,700 grant from the Quad Cities Community Foundation for a part-time Spanish Bilingual Family Resource Specialist to serve WIU-Qc's upcoming Learning Lab Site, "Rocky's Play Space." 

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