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Local. Relevant. Informative.

Thursdays at 7:00pm.
(Encore presentation on Sundays at 4:00pm.)

Hosted by Jim Mertens, The Cities has aired more than 300 episodes. Each installment brings viewers both regional and national guest who discuss a variety of topics—all of which provide a unique, and often regional, perspective. Each episode features upcoming regional events and activities during the Out and About segment.

Recently on The Cities

In this episode of The Cities, Jim talks with Drue Mielke (R) and Kai Swanson (D) Rock Island County Board Members about construction of the new court house and options for the old court house. Plus Samantha DeYoung of QC Paws discusses what you should know before you get a pet for Christmas.

 
 

Program Archives

Looking for a specific guest or topic? Simply use the search tool (located at the top right of this page), enter your search criteria and click the appropriate link.
View the 2016 archives or our 2014–15 archives.

 

The Cities is sponsored by:

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The Cities 2017

Looking for a specific guest or topic? Simply use the search tool (located at the top right of this page), enter your search criteria and click the appropriate link. View our 2016 archives or 2014–15 archives.

December 2017

DEC

07

#802

 

Jim talks with Drue Mielke (R) and Kai Swanson (D) Rock Island County Board Members about the new court house and options for the old one. Plus Samantha DeYoung of QC Paws discusses what you should know before you get a pet for Christmas.

 

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November 2017

NOV

30

#801

 

In this episode of The Cities, Jim talks with guests Captain Alex Velasquez and Major Scott Shelbourn of the Salvation Army.

Plus Kelly Hendershot, Gilda's Club Quad Cities Program Director.

 

NOV

23

#752

 

Guests include Carmen Darland, Executive Director of Quad City Arts and their involvment in the Quad Cities; Gunnery Sargent Alice Ramos of Toys for Tots; and Kyle Dickson of the German-American Heritage Center discusses holiday events.

 

NOV

16

#751

 

Jim talks with Cheryl DeCap, Festival of Trees and Monta Ponsetto about the annual event. Plus Jason and Erin Platt discuss their performance in It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

 

NOV

09

#750

 

Jim talks with Kyle McEwen, of Mercer County: Better Together about helping rural communities. Plus, Adam Holland and Terri Smith from Moline Centre discuss the new Holiday Hop event.

 

NOV

02

#749

 

Jim talks with Tom Bowman, (Community Health Center CEO) and Doug Cropper (Genesis Health System President/CEO), about how viewers can sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Ryan Wille of the Quad City Botanical Center talks about keeping things "green" at the Botanical Center.

 

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October 2017

OCT

26

#748

 

Jim talked with Captain Alex Velasquez, (Davenport Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center), Maureen Hart (Project NOW), plus Heather Aaronson (Figge Museum) and Tar Macias (Hola America).

 

OCT

19

#747

 

Jim talks with Mike Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer about (often unkown) insurance payouts.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month—Jim visits with Michael Glanz Executive Director, The Arc of the Quad Cities Area.

 

OCT

12

#746

 

Jim talks with Joedy Cook, Executive Director Ballet Quad Cities and Domingo Rubio dancing the title role in "Dracula."

Jennifer Boedecker, Western Illinois Area Agency, discusses Medicare Open Enrollment.

 

OCT

05

#745

 

Loredia Nunn-Dixon, Executive Director of Open Doors (A safety net for families in crisis) explains the purpsose of the agency.
Daniel Sheridan, Davenport Junior Theatre Director discusses a recent face lift.

 

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September 2017

SEPT

28

#744

 

Pleshette Butler, Veterans Administration Center Director and Shane Kern, Outreach Specialist discuss helping area veterans as they watch the PBS series The Vietnam War. Plus, Gregory Schmidt of the Greater Quad Cities Renaissance Fair.

 

SEPT

14

#742

 

Dr. Lloyd Kilmer discusses the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walk and resources for people dealing with mental illness. Sarah Stevens, Executive Director of Lead(h)er, discusses mentoring opportunities for professional women.

 

SEPT

07

#741

 

Amber Wood, American Red Cross Executive Director talks about relief efforts after recent hurricanes.
Diane Nelson, Girls Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois discusses new initiatives for the organization.

 

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August 2017

AUG

30

#740

 

Guests Dr. Mike Oberhaus, Rock Island-Milan School Superintendent and Dr. Jay Morrow, United Township School Superintendent talk about state funding. Plus, Roger Ruthhart, President, Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix.

 

AUG

23

#739

 

Pastor Larry Conway of Trinity Lutheran Church discusses Hate groups. Plus, Tyson Danner, Artistic Director QC Theatre Workshop and playwright Aaron Randolph III talk about a new theatrical play.

 

AUG

17

#738

 

Augustana Physics and Astronomy professor Dr. Lee Carkner talks about the Solar Eclipse. Plus, Mark Schwiebert (former Rock Island mayor) discusses a new fund he established for Environmental Studies.

 

AUG

10

#737

 

Howard Braren and Carol Schaefer discuss the new Bix Beiderbeck exhibit located at the River Music Experience.

Tagen Tiptonof the Backwater Gamblers discusses the group’s new shows.

 

AUG

03

#736

 

Jim talks with Mike Mickle and Christine Schmidt to discuss the issue of teen suicide and depression.

Pam Hauman of Christian Care discusses the organizations efforts in the region.
(REPEAT)

 

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July 2017

JUL

27

#735

 

Guests Frank Perez, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 669 and Mike Haney, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299 discuss The Wall That Heals exhibit coming to the Quad Cities. Mary Pruess of WQPT discusses the Embracing Our Military initiative and the upcoming documentary on The Vietnam War.

 

JUL

20

#734

 

Jim talks with Steve Garrington about the next Honor Flight taking Vietnam veterans to Washington, DC. Gloria Menzer of "Bridging the Gap" discusses upcoming event for veterans. Lora Adams shares information about The Wall That Heals exhibit.

 

JUL

13

#733

 

The Illinois budget passed. What happens next? Jim talks with Illinois Representatives Mike Halpin (D) and Tony McCombie (R).

Kristy Ketcham Jackson Executive Director of Birdies for Charity discusses the annual fundraising event.

 

JUL

06

#732

 

Jim talks with East Moline School District Superindent Kristen Humphries about the Illinois budget. Plus, Philip Wm. McKinley of Mississippi Bend Players introduces us to their inaugural season at the Brunner Theatre on the Augustana College campus.

 

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June 2017

JUN

29

#731

 

Jim talks with Doug Cropper (Genesis Health System) and Kirk Norris (Iowa Hospital Association) about the national healthcare debate and possible affects of new legislation. Michael Carton discusses WQPT's event, The Wall That Heals.

 

JUN

22

#730

 

Jim talks with Western Illinois University President Dr. Jack Thomas about the impact the budget impasse is having on higher education. Learn how Western Illinois University is helping students with food security.

 

JUN

15

#729

 

Hal Reed of the Mississippi Blues Society sits down with Jim to discuss an upcoming event. Emily Shenk-DeMay, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center discuss the centers new initiatives.

 

JUN

8

#728

 

Rabbi Henry Karp and Pastor Richard Hendricks discuss a new initiative—One Human Family QCA. Ryan Collins of Midwest Writing Center talks about the upcoming writers conference.

 

JUN

01

#727

 

Jim talks with Regional Development Authority president Matt Mendenhall and Scott County Regional Authority president Barry Anderson. Plus, River Action program director Laura Morris discusses the 13th annual "Explore the River" series.

 

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May 2017

MAY

25

#726

 

Jim talks with Bishop Martin John Amos of the Davenport Catholic Diocese on his retirement. Plus KwikStar Criterium organizer John Harrington of the Quad City Bicycle Club and Robin Rollins, organizer of the Koehler Electric Kids' Race talk about this year’s races.

 

MAY

18

#725

 

Regional law enforcement officials discuss the recent increase of car thefts. Plus, explore the current trend of consumers buying directly from food growers.

 

MAY

11

#724

 

East Moline and Rock Island-Milan school superintendents discuss balancing school budgets during the state of Illinois budget standoff. Plus Georgia Stear of the Putnam Museum and Ray Wolf who will be a Pollinator Presenter talk about pollinators and their value to our ecosystem.

 

MAY

04

#723

 

Jim talks with Illinois State Representatives Tony McCombie, Savanna, and Mike Halpin, Rock Island about budget talks in Springfield. Plus Cheri Stanton and Rick Schomer, discuss an event to help veterans dealing with depression.

 

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April 2017

APR

27

#722

 

Jim talks with Scott Crane, United Way President and Denise Beenk of Vera French Mental Health Center about the Independent Health Assessment report for the Quad Cities. Plus Jason Gilliland, Downtown Davenport Partnership.

 

APR

20

#721

 

Jim talks with Mary Pruess, WQPT General Manager and Jay Pearce, WVIK General Manager about funding for PBS/NPR stations and the potential impact on local stations. Plus Lavetta Morgan of the Blong Technology Center.

 

APR

13

#720

 

Jim talks about Child Abuse Prevention Month with Mark Mathews, Executive Director and Michael Terry, Director of Programs of the Child Abuse Council. Daniel Sheridan, Executive Director of the Davenport Junior Theatre talks about summer classes and workshops along with funding to modernize the theatre.

 

APR

06

#719

 

Jim talks with Rock Island Mayor-elect Mike Thoms and Moline Mayor-elect Stephani Acri. Plus, it's time to play ball at Modern Woodman Park when Jim is joined by Andrew Chesser of the Quad Cities River Bandits.

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March 2017

MAR

30

#718

 

Jim talks with the candidates running for Mayor of Rock Island, Steve Tollenaer, Mike Thoms, Terry Brooks and Andy Rowe.

 

MAR

23

#717

 

Meet Moline, Illinois mayoral candidates Stephanie Acri and Scott Raes. Plus Gary Rowe talks about the Autism Society of the Quad Cities.

 

MAR

16

#716

 

Iowa Govenor Terry Branstad discusses the state's financial situation, and his nomination as US Ambassador to China. Also, Kurt Liske of Waste Commission of Scott County discusses a new kind of Xstream Cleanup and how viewers can get involved.

 

MAR

09

#715

 

Jim sits down to talk with Reggie Freeman, East Moline Mayor-Elect Reggie Freeman talks with Jim about his vision for East Moline. Reverend P. Wonder Harris (The Village of a Thousand Elders) and Detective Scott Williams (Moline Police Department) talk about the ongoing mission to improve race relations and limit racial bias by police in the Quad Cities.

 

MAR

02

#714

 

Jim talks with former Iowa State Senator Maggie Tinsman about getting more women involved in government. Plus Ben Crabb and Johnnie Cluney of Daytrotters kick of a weekend of music.

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February 2017

FEB

23

#713

 

Jim talks with Dr. Art Tate, Superintendent of Davenport Schools to talk about his fight with the State to get more money for Davenport students. Tar Macias, Vibrant Neighborhoods Coordinator for WQPT discusses the new initiative.

 

FEB

16

#712

 

Jim sits down with DeAnne Bloomberg, Rock Island County Farm Bureau Manager and Jeff Kirwan, Illinois Farm Bureau Board Member to talk about new trade deals and how that might impact the American farmer. Kirk Marske of Career Cruising Quad Cities discusses the grant and scholarship opportunities.

 

FEB

09

#711

 

Jim talks with Imam Saad Baig of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities about the Muslim faith, the current political climate and how we can all work together for better understanding.

 

FEB

02

#710

 

Jim talks with "Suspect Convictions" journalist Scott Reeder and producer Lacy Scarmana about their podcast dealing with the murder case of Jennifer Lewis. Ryan Collins of the Midwest Writing Center discusses Iowa's budget cut plan will affect the arts in Iowa.

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January 2017

JAN

26

#709

 

Jim talks with the two candidates for Jim Lykams seat in the Iowa House of Representatives: Mike Gonzales (R) and Monica Kurth (D,) for the Iowa 89th House Seat discuss the issues. Alan Campbell of CommUniversity encourages you take advantage of the courses offered during the month of February as they kick off their 37th year.

 

JAN

19

#708

 

Jim sits down with Sean Moeller about the upcoming GAS Feed and Seed Festival, a three day music fest coming to the Village of East Davenport. Plus, Lora Adams, co-founder of the new Black Box Theatre in downtown Moline talks about the upcoming season.

 

JAN

12

#707

 

Jim discusses the Illinois budget crisis with Dr. Jack Thomas of Western Illinois University President and how it affects educational institution. Raschel Biagioli from Two Rivers YMCA provides insight into how you can keep those New Year’s resolutions for better health.

 

JAN

05

#705

 

Jim talks with Bettendorf Police Department Chief Phil Redington about human trafficking here in the Quad Cities. Illinois Representative Elect Tony McCombie (R) Savanna, and Illinois Representative Elect Mike Halpin (D) Moline, talk about their plans as they prepare to represent the QCA in Springfield.

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About the host

Jim MertensAlong with his duties on The Cities Jim Mertens is a news anchor on WQAD (ABC affiliate) in the Quad Cities.

Before coming to the Quad Cities, Jim worked at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo, Michigan as an anchor and reporter for six years. Prior to that, Jim was an anchor and reporter for seven years at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Jim started his career in radio in 1978 at WFON-FM in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He later joined WAXX/WAYY Radio Stations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he would worked as an overnight Country music announcer before joining the station’s radio news department as a reporter and anchor.

Jim has received numerous reporting awards from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. His long-form reporting earned him first place awards with the Iowa Associated Press, the Iowa Broadcast News Association, and the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. Jim has been president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association, as well as the Northwest Broadcast News Association.