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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

Rock Island County Board members Kai Swanson (D) and Drue Mielke (R) talk with Jim about next steps now that the law enforcement tax was defeated in November. Joedy Cook of Ballet Quad Cities discusses their 20th anniversary and The Nutcracker.

 
 

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 2014–15 archives.

 

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The Cities 2016

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 2014–15 archives.

December 2016

DEC

02

#701

 

Rock Island County Board members Kai Swanson (D) and Drue Mielke (R) talk with Jim about next steps now that the law enforcement tax was defeated in November. Joedy Cook of Ballet Quad Cities discusses their 20th anniversary and The Nutcracker.

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November 2016

NOV

24

#650

 

Jim talks with Carmen Darlandand Margot Day of Quad City Arts talk about Festival of Trees and Visiting Artists. Staff Sgt. Carl Pedder discusses Quad City Toys for Tots. Plus Kelly Lao of the German American Heritage Center discusses their Santa exhibit.

 

NOV

17

#649

 

Cheryl DeCap Festival of Trees Co-Director and Megan Schoff of Quad City Arts about this years' festival. Isabel Bloom Co-Owner Donna Young talks about their move from the Village of East Davenport and their creation for Festival of Trees.

 

NOV

10

#648

 

What does the election mean? Jim sits down to talk with Doug House, Rock Island County Democratic Chairman and Bill Bloom, Rock Island County Republican Chairman. Plus, Michael Carton, WQPT's Education/Outreach Director invites veterans to share their stories of service.

 

NOV

03

#647

 

Join host Jim Mertens for this election special featuring interviews with Cheri Bustos (D) and Patrick Harlan (R) for the Illinois 17th District: Michael Halpin (D) and Brandi McGuire (R) for the 72nd Illinois Assembly; and Representative Mike Smiddy (D) and Mayor Tony McCombie (R) for the 71st Illinois Assembly.

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October 2016

OCT

27

#646

 

Jim talks with Rock Island County's Sheriff Gerry Bustos (D) and Don Johnston (D) Board Member about the proposed half cent sales tax increase as a way to fund essential services for their county. United Township Superintendent Jay Morrow and Rock Island School Board member Kevin Nolan talk about the pros and cons of another try at a 1 cent tax increase to help with school infrastructure.

 

OCT

20

#645

 

The Cities presents the third in a series of election conversations. Jim talks with Republican Congressional candidate Dr. Christopher Peters who is challenging incumbent Representative Dave Loebsack for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. Plus, Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz discusses what you can expect when you vote.

 

OCT

13

#644

 

The Cities second election special features a conversation between Savanna, Illinois Mayor Tony McCombie (R) and Representative Mike Smiddy (D) both running for the 71st Illinois Assembly.

 

OCT

06

#643

 

The Cities begins a series of political conversations. This week Jim talks with 72nd Illinois Assembly candidates Brandi McGuire (R) and Michael Halpin (D).

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September 2016

SEP

29

#642

 

Jim is joined by Nisha Ladlee and Kelly McReynolds of Family Resources to discuss SafePath and sexual assault. Lisa Powell Williams of the Moline Public Library talks about Banned Books Week.

 

SEP

22

#641

 

Jim talks with President Jack Thomas, Western Illinois University about enrollment and the Illinois budget impasse and its effect on higher education. Jamie Horst of CROP walk, the annual fundraiser providing food for those who might otherwise go hungry.

 

SEP

15

#640

 

Jim talks with Steve King of the Iowa Historic Preservation Office about the upcoming Preserve Iowa Summit. Jessica Malcheff from the Vera French Foundation discusses mental health. Jamie Lange of the Davenport Jaycees talks about Brew Ha Ha.

 

SEP

08

#639

 

Jim talks with Mike Mickle, producer of "If You Only Knew" and Christine Schmidt, founder of It's All Love, Only Love, as they discuss the issue of teen suicide and depression. Pam Hauman of Christian Care discusses the organizations 100th anniversary and their work in the community.

 

SEP

01

#638

 

Jim talks with Mike Wolfe of American Pickers about the future of the show and his views about LeClaire, Iowa. Susan Kloewer from the Iowa State Historical Society talks about a traveling exhibit that brings valuable historic Iowa artifacts on a statewide tour.

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August 2016

AUG

25

#637

 

Jim is joined by Davenport Schools Superintendent Dr. Art Tate to discuss the start of a new school year, lessening drop-out rates and spending one-on-one time with students. Also, Stephanie Sellers, an organizer of this year's EAST FEST in the Village of East Davenport talks about this year'’s event.

 

AUG

11

#635

 

Jim talks with Chief Paul Sikorski of the Davenport Police Deptarment and Vera Kelly, President of Davenport NAACP about whether police can enforce the laws of the community if the officers don't mirror the community they serve. Kristy Ketcham Jackson talks about the John Deere Classic charitable program, Birdies for Charity.

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July 2016

JUL

28

#633

 

Jim talks with Jeff Kaufmann, Iowa Republican Party Chairman about his thoughts about the Democratic National Convention. Josh Duffee, music director of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival brings us up-to-date on the upcoming festival.

 

JUL

21

#632

 

Jim talks with Iowa Democratic Party Chairperson Dr. Andy McGuire about the Democratic convention, and what to expect from Sanders supporters. Karin Ciaccio with the Mary Little Deere-Fort Armstrong chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution discusses the 202nd Anniversary of the battle of the War of 1812 and funding the upkeep of the monument. Plus Todd DeDecker of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association talks about their new Music Festival.

 

JUL

14

#631

 

Thom Hart Scott County Democratic Chairman and Judy Davidson Scott County Republican Chairwoman discuss the upcoming political conventions. Chris Cashion of "The Radish" Magazine and Jeani Mackenzie from the Davenport School of Yoga talk about the upcoming Yoga Fest.

 

JUL

07

#630

 

The Cities host Jim Mertens interviews Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Then JIm discusses the Genesius Guild, an adult community theatre organization specializing in free classical drama, with Doug Tschoop and Don Wooten.

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June 2016

JUN

30

#629

 

Project Now Executive Director Maureen Hart talks about challenges due to the Illinois Budget impasse. Dougal Nelson of Habitat for Humanity discusses breaking ground on the 100th home. Plus Tim Schiffer Executive Director of the Figge Art Museum talks with Jim about their “Wizard of Oz” exhibit.

 

JUN

23

#628

 

Jim has a full table with Brian Ritter of Nahant Marsh and Kraig McPeek of the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the Pollinators Conference. Plus Lori Hopper talks about the Quad City Air Show and its future. Karen McFarland from the Mississippi Valley Blues Society who discusses the upcoming concerts in LeClaire Park.

 

JUN

16

#627

 

Jim sits down to talk with Reverend Troy Winder of Churches United about the recent attack in Orlando. Illinois State Representative Mike Smiddy brings us up-to-date on the Illinois budget impasse. And Neil West discusses automobiles.

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May 2016

MAY

26

#625

 

Jim talks with Rock Island Alderwoman Katie Hotle and Rock Island Urban Planner Brandy Howe about designs to upgrade the Great River Plaza.

 

MAY

12

#623

 

Rock Island County Administrator Dave Ross talks about his plan to raise taxes, cut staff, and dig the County out of a fiscal hole.

Becoming a better Senior. Iowa's AAPR Director Kent Sovern says older Americans need to get more involved, not less, as they get older.

 

MAY

05

#622

 

Iowa Representative Dave Loebsack talks with Jim about politics. Roger Ruthhart, co-author of Citadel of Sin discusses the jazz age and prohibition.

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April 2016

APR

28

#621

 

We look deeper into the tragedy of child abuse and why perpetrators are so good at being so bad. Plus, fighting the Emerald Ash Borer while helping out Emeis Park.

 

APR

22

#619

 

Rock Island Community Caring Conference members Phillip Dennis and Mattie Seward talk with Jim about re-invigorating the CCC and "block clubs," and trying to get people to have a greater stake in their neighborhoods. Dan Breidenstein of Living Lands and Waters discusses their emphasis on removing invasive species and volunteers needed for the upcoming Acorn Planting.

 

APR

07

#618

 

Latrice Lacey of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission sits down with Jim to talk about housing discrimination. Lisa Powell Williams of the Moline Public Library discusses the libraries “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” exhibit and special events in April.

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March 2016

MAR

31

#617

 

Pastor Daniel Teague, Jr., Founder of “Boots on the Street” talks about his new program geared at creating relationships with area youth. What is happening as the grassroots group reaches the 6 month mark? Plus, Kim Findlay from the Putnam Museum discusses the King Tut exhibit and kids programming for the summer.

 

MAR

24

#616

 

Jennifer Streets from the Vera French Community Mental Health Center and Christine Schmidt from the "It's All Love, Only Love" talk about teen suicide and depression. Charlotte Doehler-Morrison talks about "Quad City Live" month-long celebration.

 

MAR

17

#615B

 

Jim talks with Gena McCullough, Bi-State Regional Planning Commission about our transportation needs in the future. Benjamin Loeb, Executive Director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra brings us up-to-date on all of the music coming in April.

 

MAR

10

#615

 

Jim talks Doug House, Rock Island County Democratic Chairman and Bill Bloom, Rock Island County Republican Chairman about the Illinois primary results. Tony Knobbe of the "Gathering of the Green" brings us up-to-date about this weekends event for John Deere enthusiasts. Kim Riley-Quinn, Quad Cities United Program Director discusses the upcoming concert at the Adler Theatre.

 

MAR

03

#614

 

Jim chats with Dr. Al Goldfarb, Western Illinois University President Emeritus about his upcoming lecture "The Greatest Influences on My Academic and Administrative Career." Plus Blair Brown of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Service Gambling Treatment talks about "Problem Gambling Awareness Month."

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February 2016

FEB

25

#613

 

Jim talks with Rock Island County Board Members Drue Mielke and Kai Swanson about the proposed new courthouse addition. Steve Heston, Mississippi Valley Blues Society President announces that the Blues Fest is back and better than ever.

 

FEB

18

#612

 

Jim talks with Davenport School Board Vice President Rich Clewell about students recent visit to Des Moines and Governor Branstad and their “We aren’t Worth Less” initiative. Adam Cerny and Thomas Alan Taylor, stars of “Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story” discuss the musical and their research into the real Leopold and Loeb and the “Crime of the Century.”

 

FEB

11

#611

 

Jim is joined by Moline Mayor Scott Raes to talk about Amtrak, road construction and how the state budget impasse is effecting Moline. DeAnne Bloomberg of the Rock Island County Farm Bureau discusses the state of farming. Sean Moeller of Daytroller talks about the new studio, and Daytrotter Downs.

 

FEB

04

#610

 

Jim talks with Rock Island County Republican Party Chairman Bill Bloom and Porter McNeil about the early caucus states and upcoming Illinois primary. Plus, Melissa Mohr, Figge Museum Director of Education talks about Grant Wood's 125th birthday.

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January 2016

JAN

28

#609

 

Jim is visited by Dr. Jack Thomas Western Illinois University President to talk about how Illinois’ failure to pass a budget is impacting the University. Sharon Patten from Intouch Adult Day Care discusses how the program was set to close due to the Illinois budget crisis but has now been purchased.

 

JAN

21

#608

 

Jim sits down with Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to talk about the Governor's "Condition of the State" address, STEM education and more. Jamie Lange and Michael Carton of WQPT discuss Champagne on the Rock and the upcoming Kids Writers Contest.

 

JAN

14

#607

 

Jim talks about the approaching deadline to sign up for health insurance with Thea Hansen from "The Project of the Quad Cities", an organization coordinating counseling for Marketplace health insurance enrollment for Illinois residents. Also, Kurt Liske of the Iowa Firearms Coalition discusses why existing gun laws are enough.

 

JAN

07

#606

 

Jim sits down to talk with Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson and Illinois State Representative Mike Smiddy about the upcoming legislative session and whether or not a budget can be passed. Also, Niabi Zoo Education Director, Jill Rodderick talks about Bald Eagle Days.

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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.