School district executives in the city of Davenport have recently gotten a pretty substantial increase in their pay.  The president of the school board says that the new pay structure would help bring the district in line with others in Iowa.

Board president Dan Gosa stated that each of the eight cabinet members will now receive a $180,500 salary compensation putting them "in the higher end of the middle" of school administrator salaries in the state of Iowa says Gosa.

Davenport actually has the third largest district in the state with a total of nearly 15,500 students, that's a lot of kiddos! Cedar Rapids takes the cake for the second largest with over 16,000 students and Des Moines sweeps everybody by a long shot with nearly 33,000 students in their district.

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Usually, salaries in Davenport either match or exceed those in the two larger districts mentioned above. The superintendent defended this pay raise saying that it was a direct result of leadership restructuring. However, not everyone is on the same happy boat.

DEA president John Kealey says that the increased administrative pay is "highly problematic" as the significant salary increases are going to top level management while "screaming poverty at the same time". Board member Kent Paustian also cast the only vote against the pay raise saying "we're talking about huge increases here. We hear 'we don't have the funds' yet we're making these kinds of increases.

More information can be found here.

Hotel Davenport Demolition

The Hotel Davenport is located at 5202 Brady St. and was reportedly built in the early 1970s. Earlier this year it was decided that this hotel was no longer set to have guests.

According to the Quad Cities times, the Davenport hotel has faced a number of fires, along with safety and health code violations. This has led to the call for its demolition. I've driven past it many times and have seen that the building had clearly began to deteriorate.

It was scheduled for demolition earlier this year, and said demolition began in April. Many involved in this project are excited to see what the future holds for this lot in Davenport.

I drive past this spot every day for work, and over the last month have snagged some pictures of the demolition.

Iowa's Island City

There is something unique about every town, but there is really something special about Sabula, IA. Known as "Iowa's Island City," Sabula is the only town in the state of Iowa that is entirely on an island. While not a lot of people have been to, or live in Sabula, it is a quaint little town nestled right on the Mississippi River.

Before we show you around "Iowa's Island City," let me give you the history of Sabula. Sabula was established in 1835, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis. Isaac Dorman and a man named Hinkley crossed the river from the Illinois side on a log and decided to settle on what is now Sabula. An Ohio couple, James and Margaret Woods would settle on Sabula about a year later in April of 1836. Their son, Dr. E. A. Woods would purchase Hinkley's interest in the claim. Charles Swan and W. H. Brown would soon purchase Dorman's interest. The three men, Woods, Swan and Brown later had the land plotted in 1837.

The idea behind plotting the land was because there was no town between Lyons (north Clinton) and Bellevue. The plot of the new town was recorded in Dubuque as this area was part of Dubuque county at the time, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

According to Island City Harbor's website, Sabula went through a few names before landing on the official town name. In 1837, Sabula was first called Carrollport. Residents of the town didn't like the name because there was a man's name who was Carroll who had a bad reputation. The town changed its name to Charleston, after early settler Charles Swan. The only issue was that there was already a town called Charleston in Iowa which caused much confusion.

In 1846 the settler’s decided to find a name. Island City Harbor's website says that because of it’s sandy soil, William Hubble suggested the town be called "Sabulum" which is Latin for sand. A party was being held around the time the town name was being discussed, when a woman, supposed to be Miss Harriet Hudson, suggested the town be called Sabula as it was easier to pronounce and sounded more elegant, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

Sabula did not actually become an island until 1939. According to Wikipedia, in the 1930's, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the lock and dam system. In 1939, Lock and Dam No. 13 between Clinton, IA and Fulton, IL was built which caused the bottomlands west of the town permanently flooded. With the Mississippi River east of the town, this created the "Island City." A levee was built around Sabula in 1957 for protection, according to Island City Harbor's website. This also allowed for the south sand pit to be turned into a boat harbor.

I would like to thank my mom Beth, her fiancé Matt, my brother Nolan and my wife Ellie for accompanying me to Sabula. We always have a blast on our trips and this one was no exception.

It's now time to introduce you to Sabula, Iowa, Iowa's Island City.