Business & Economy
USDA Addresses Veterinary Shortages with Education Loan Repayment Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Tom Vilsack   
Monday, 15 February 2010 08:57
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA had taken the first step toward implementing a plan to address veterinary shortages throughout rural America by repaying the student loans of qualified veterinarians in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians.

"USDA can help ensure there is a first line of defense against animal diseases across the United States by placing qualified veterinarians in areas where there is a critical need," Vilsack said. "This program will help reduce veterinary shortages, especially in the area of food animal medicine, which will reduce stress on producers and improve the health of the livestock industry."

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) administers the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which was established in the National Veterinary Medical Services Act of 2003. NIFA issued an interim rule for the program on July 9, 2009. Implementation of the program began on Jan. 22, 2010 when NIFA released a Federal Register notice asking for comments and nominations for shortage situations from the chief animal health official from each state and insular area and appropriate federal animal health officials. Guidance on what constitutes a shortage situation and nomination forms can be found on the NIFA Web site. Nomination forms are due March 8, and can be returned via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

NIFA will convene a panel of federal and state animal health experts to recommend submitted nomination packages for official designation as a veterinary shortage situation. The public will be able to review designated veterinary shortage situations in list and/or map form, along with information describing the nature of the shortage situation.

NIFA expects to begin accepting applications from veterinarians wishing to participate in the program on April 30, 2010. In return for a commitment of three years of veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area, NIFA may repay up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent. NIFA projects applications will be due June 30, and that offers will be made by September 30.

Veterinarians are critical to the national food safety and food security infrastructures, and to the health and well-being of both animals and humans; however, major studies indicate significant and growing shortages of food supply veterinarians and veterinarians serving in certain other high priority specialty areas. A leading cause for this shortage is the heavy cost of four years of professional veterinary medical training, which can average between $130,000 and $140,000. Congress established the VMLRP as a way to remedy this growing need.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

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Quad Cities Gas Price Update from QuadCitiesGasPrices.com PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Patrick DeHaan   
Monday, 08 February 2010 14:08
Quad Cities, IA, February 8- Average retail gasoline prices in Quad Cities have fallen 9.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.51/g today. This compares with the national average that has stayed flat, moving just 0.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.66/g, according to gasoline price website QuadCitiesGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Quad Cities during the past week, prices today are 62.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 76.1 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.

About QuadCitiesGasPrices.com

GasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including QuadCitiesGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and to PC World's 100 most useful websites of 2008.

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Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Chairman and Founder Bernie Goldstein Passes Away PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Monday, 06 July 2009 22:09

ST. LOUIS, July 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., today announced that the Company's founder and chairman of the board of directors, Bernard Goldstein, passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2009.

 

"Bernie was a true visionary, an entrepreneurial spirit. He will be remembered fondly as a man who stood by his word, who cared deeply about all those who worked for the many companies he led and loved his family with all of his heart," said James B. Perry, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer. "He founded and built this company with his outstanding dedication and constant desire to help improve communities and create good jobs. He will be missed dearly by his family, friends and those who knew him, but his legacy will live on each day through the thousands of individuals who proudly go to work in a company Bernie built."

 

Complete Obituary of Bernard Goldstein:

 

Bernard (Bernie) Goldstein, chairman of the board of the Alter Companies and Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2009 surrounded by his family. A Quad Cities native and Florida resident, Bernie will be remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit and extraordinary commitment to his family, to the communities where his companies operate and to all those who worked with him at the companies he led.

 

Born in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1929 and raised in the Quad Cities, Bernie married his high school sweetheart Irene (Renee) Alter in 1949. Graduating from Rock Island High School at age 15, he earned a law degree from the [] in 1951 the same year he became a full-time employee at Alter Company, a Davenport, Iowa scrap metal company owned by his father-in-law, Frank R. Alter.

 

His career was marked by his innovative business spirit. Bernie always focused on his co-workers, his customers and his communities; over the course of his career Bernie created thousands of jobs essentially producing lifelong careers for many of his employees. In addition to building Alter Company into a multi-state scrap recycling business, he went on to found Alter Barge Line, River/Gulf Grain, Rock Island River Terminal, Azalea Fleet in Louisiana, Blackhawk Fleet in Davenport, Iowa and Green Bridge Company. He remained chairman of the board of Alter Companies until his death.

 

Following a successful 40-year career in scrap metal recycling, river freight transportation and affiliated businesses as leader of the Alter Companies, Bernie tested retirement in Florida before he started a second career. At that time in the early 1990s, many industrial towns found themselves in a recession and like today, were diligently looking for new sources of revenue. With strong ties to the Quad Cities region, Bernie became a pivotal figure lobbying for the original legislation for riverboat gaming in Iowa and opened the nation's first riverboat casino the M/V Diamond Lady, which opened in Bettendorf, Iowa, at 6:00 a.m. on April 1, 1991.

 

Bernie went on to found Casino America and opened the first riverboat casino in the South, Isle of Capri Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi on August 1, 1992. Under Bernie's leadership as chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. owned and operated regional casinos in Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Florida. He retired from his role as CEO in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until his death.

 

He also served as chairman of the board and president of Casino Cruises, Inc., which opened and managed the gaming operations of the Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino in Peoria, Illinois, through March 1993.

 

Bernie was often referred to in the gaming industry as the Father of Riverboat Gaming. His strong community commitment is illustrated in his pledge to a provision in the Iowa gaming legislation that requires the funding of community non-profit organizations, in effect creating a lasting legacy to support community needs. His community spirit was tapped once again in 2005 when three hurricanes wrought havoc on the lives of so many. His guidance and leadership led Isle of Capri to keep its employees in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida on the payroll until operations were repaired and reopened.

 

In addition to his interests in the gaming industry, Bernie Goldstein served as chairman of the board of Goldstein Group, Inc. The affiliated Goldstein companies include Alter Barge Line, Inc; Alter Trading, Inc; River/Gulf Grain Company, and Green Bridge Company.

 

The author of "Navigating the Century," a book published by the History Factory (1998), Bernie earned recognition from various organizations for his community spirit. He twice received the Simon Wiesenthal Distinguished Community Award. In 1993, he was selected Outstanding Business Leader by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Florida. In 1995, Passenger Vessel Association presented him the Compass Award, and in 1999, he was inducted into the National Rivers Hall of Fame. He was also honored in 1999 as Louisiana Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2004 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the [] College of Law at Champaign-Urbana, where he served on the Board of Governors. In 2007, the Goldstein Family Foundation honored Bernie by establishing a scholarship fund at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at []. In 2008, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and was named to the American Gaming Association Hall of Fame.

 

Bernie's charitable donations included gifts to philanthropic and community organizations, including the Jewish Federation and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

 

Bernie is survived by his wife, Renee; his children, Jeffrey Goldstein (Regina) of Bettendorf, Iowa; Robert Goldstein (Susan) of St. Louis, Missouri; Kathy Goldstein of Bellevue, Washington and Richard Goldstein (Isabel) of St. Louis, Missouri; and his nine grandchildren, Michael Goldstein, Josh Millan, Marc Goldstein, Nathan Millan, Samantha Goldstein, Lauren Goldstein, Jeremy Goldstein, Alex Goldstein and Jesse Goldstein. He will be remembered by his lifelong friends and thousands of employees.

 

Services and burial will be held at the Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island, Illinois on Tuesday, July 7 at 11:00 am. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, Jewish Federation of St. Louis, or the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

 

About Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., founded in 1992, is dedicated to providing its customers with an exceptional gaming and entertainment experience at each of its 17 casino properties. The Company owns and operates casinos in Biloxi, Lula and Natchez, Mississippi; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Bettendorf, Davenport, Marquette and Waterloo, Iowa; Boonville, Caruthersville and Kansas City, Missouri, two casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado. and a casino and harness track in Pompano Beach, Florida. Isle of Capri Casinos' international gaming interests include a casino that it operates in Freeport, Grand Bahama, a casino in Coventry, England, and a two-thirds ownership interest in casinos in Dudley and Wolverhampton, England.

 

This press release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to change. These forward-looking statements may be significantly impacted, either positively or negatively by various factors, including without limitation, licensing, and other regulatory approvals, financing sources, development and construction activities, costs and delays, weather, permits, competition and business conditions in the gaming industry. The forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the statements herein.

 

NOTE: Other Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. press releases and a corporate profile are available at http://www.prnewswire.com. Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.'s home page is http://www.islecorp.com.

 

 

    CONTACTS:
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.,
Dale Black, Chief Financial Officer-314.813.9327
Jill Haynes, Director of Corporate Communication-314.813.9368
http://www.islecorp.com
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.

CONTACT: Dale Black, Chief Financial Officer, +1-314-813-9327, or Jill
Haynes, Director of Corporate Communication, +1-314-813-9368, both of Isle
of Capri Casinos, Inc.

Web site: http://www.islecorp.com/

 
APAC Customer Services, Inc. in Davenport is Expanding PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Bobbi Chester   
Friday, 12 June 2009 09:57

June 11, 2009APAC Customer Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: APAC) a leading provider of quality customer care services and solutions, is excited to announce the expansion of its Davenport, Iowa customer care center.  APAC will be hiring 150 customer care agents and support professionals within the next several weeks.

Overall, APAC employs over 10,000 contact center professionals throughout nine domestic and four Philippine locations, and is recognized as an industry leader in inbound customer care. Agents hired will be answering calls from consumers and assisting with product features, usage, billing and general support.

The ideal candidate should have excellent communication skills, a strong knowledge of the computer, a positive attitude coupled with a professional demeanor, and an ability to type at least 18 WPM.  Candidates with customer service and college education are encouraged to apply.  APAC offers excellent compensation and benefits. First and second shifts are available.

To apply for one of these full-time positions, go to www.APACjob.com/Davenport.  You can also apply in person at 250 East 90th Street.  The Davenport recruiting office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

APAC Customer Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: APAC) is a leading provider of customer care services and solutions for market leaders in healthcare, publishing, business services, financial services, communications and travel and entertainment industries.  APAC partners with its clients to deliver custom solutions that enhance bottom line performance.  For more information, call 1-800-OUTSOURCE.  APAC’s comprehensive web site is http://www.apaccustomerservices.com.

 
TAG Communications Formed, Senior Management Team Announced PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Susan Weber   
Friday, 05 June 2009 14:28

Davenport, IA – The Ad Group is pleased to announce the creation of TAG Communications, an umbrella corporation that will serve as the parent organization for the specialized agencies working from the company’s Davenport, Iowa, headquarters. TAG Communications will provide senior management oversight as well as shared technology and logistical resources to current divisions. The following entities, founded as The Ad Group, will continue to operate as divisions of TAG Communications;

The Ad Group will maintain the direction established over its nearly 20-year history, with efforts focused on service to local, regional and national retail and Business-to-Consumer clients. It will also provide an entry point for new ventures as well as offering marketing services to companies in all stages of development. (http://www.adgroup.biz)

 TAG Healthcare Marketing was formed in 2008 to serve the growing communication needs of The Ad Group’s healthcare partners nationwide. Since its inception, TAG Healthcare Marketing has broadened its reach and service to include relationships with clients in Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois. (http://www.taghcm.com)

TAG Yellow Pages is a Yellow Pages Association “Certified Marketing Representative” that places advertising for clients nationwide directly with the publishers of thousands of online and print directories throughout the United States and Canada. This allows TAG clients who rely on print and online directories to ensure cost-effective performance consistent with their marketing plan. Certification is given only to those select agencies that have met the industry’s strictest qualifying criteria. (http://www.tagyp.com)

TAG Legal Marketing is a full-service marketing firm dedicated to providing state Bar Association-compliant advertising and communications campaigns to law firms nationwide. (http://www.taglegalmarketing.com)

According to TAG Communications President and CEO, Mike Vondran, a key to the company’s reorganization was the ability to secure senior management for the new entity. He’s pleased to announce the appointment of three new members of the senior management team;

Randy (RJ) Jacobs has been named Senior Vice President. He most recently served as CEO/partner of Jacobs Thoms LLC from 2007-2009, Vice President and Account Director for Charleston Orwig (Milwaukee) from 2003-2007, and President, Managing Partner with Henry Russell Bruce from 1991-2003. RJ has more than twenty-six years of leadership experience in marketing, sales and operational management from successful start-ups to turnaround companies. Throughout RJ’s career, he has been instrumental in leading strategy and brand initiatives for clients such as global elevator and escalator manufacturer KONE, Trinity Regional Health System, national healthcare equipment leader Hill-Rom, Genesis Health System, General Electric Major Appliance and Amica Wireless.

Tim Crosby has joined TAG Communications as Vice President Creative/Brand Management. Tim has more than 25 years of experience as the principal creative and marketing strategist for a list of clients that includes Haworth, HarperCollins, John Deere, Rockwell Collins, and Amana. Over the course of his career, he has guided successful product launches for several clients in publishing, the hunting/outdoor industry, the automotive aftermarket, telecommunications and healthcare. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “Best of Show” Addy from the Quad Cities Ad Federation in 2001. Tim is the former owner of Crosby-Kirchhoff Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has worked with The Ad Group for several years as a consultant. Tim will oversee the creative and branding efforts of all TAG Communications divisions.

David Blake has joined TAG Communications as Vice President, Accounts Management. David brings a high level of strategic planning as well as sales and marketing leadership to the company. Being a proactive leader and coach, David has spent the last several years consulting for companies throughout the United States focusing on business development and overall business strategy.  He served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for i Wireless™  where he was instrumental in creating a pre-paid product as well as increasing the company’s overall market share. David also brings experience as Operations Manager for a commercial real estate development firm along with a background in franchise management.

“Our common sense, results-oriented approach has become increasingly valuable to marketers in recent years,” notes Vondran. “We’re pleased and excited to find a management team that shares that commitment and vision, while providing seasoned, proven leadership. We believe we’re building something special, both for our industry and the region. It is an exciting time.”

TAG Communications is a complete advertising, marketing and public relations firm with divisions serving a variety of regional clients as well as healthcare, legal and Yellow Pages clients nationwide. TAG Communications is based in the Quad Cities, with offices in Cedar Rapids, IA, Rockford, IL, and Oklahoma City, OK. Founded as The Ad Group in 1990, the company specializes in strategic analysis and creative solutions that deliver results through creative, responsive and cost-effective communication for clients throughout the nation.

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