Business & Economy
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Monday, 20 August 2012 15:35
Rock Island, IL/August 20, 2012 – Please welcome Courtney Boothe to the Media Link team! Courtney is a recent college graduate with a great love of the Quad Cities. She will serve as the Office Manager and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Manager for the full service advertising agency.

Courtney says “I am so happy to have this opportunity to work at Media Link. The Quad Cities is home to me and it is a dream come true to be able to help out a locally owned business such as Media Link Inc and the clients they help.”

Courtney is a 2011 graduate of Carthage College, where she was a double major in Public Relations and Communication. Courtney has gained a wide range of knowledge through her studies. Classes ranged from Rhetoric and Persuasion to Managerial Accounting to the Principles of Marketing. While at Carthage, Courtney was a four year varsity swimmer and member of the social fraternity, Tau Sigma Chi. One summer during her college career, Courtney actually served as a Marketing Intern for Media Link. She is looking forward to getting back into the swing of things in the office and utilizing her previous knowledge. After college, Courtney brought her love of swimming back home to the Quad Cities where she Assistant Coached the Moline Middle School Swim Team. In her spare time, Courtney is a college sports junkie; spending her Saturdays in the fall at Northwestern Football games.


“Courtney is an amazing addition to our team.  She is so driven, precise and creative.  It was a dream having her intern with us while she was in College and we’re fortunate to have the chance to bring her on board and keep her in the Quad Cities,” exclaims Natalie Linville-Mass, President of Media Link, Inc.

Media Link is a full-service integrated marketing firm specializing in strategic media buying and placement. Media Link works with businesses in the Quad-Cities and around the country to develop and execute customized marketing strategies to help them more effectively reach their customers. Media Link recently developed and launched its own media buying software system, Media Link Software.  This company is also one of the only marketing firms in the region to have obtained an 8(a) SDB certification, a designation of significance to clients who contract with the federal government.


Youth Livestock Enthusiasts Awarded in 4-H, FFA Dairy Cattle Shows PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:57

DES MOINES, IA (08/19/2012)(readMedia)-- Young competitors from across Iowa earned breed championships in the Youth Dairy Cattle Show judged Thursday, August 9, at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Exhibitors were also judged on their showmanship skills. The Showmanship award is given for the exhibitors' ability to present their livestock in the show ring and answer any questions the judge may ask about their animal.

Breed division winners in the Youth Dairy Cattle Show included:


Junior Champion: Logan Worden, Oelwin

Junior Reserve Champion: Brad Arthur, Maynard

Senior Champion: Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville

Senior Reserve Champion: Sammie Rathjen, Walcott

Grand Champion: Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville

Reserve Grand Champion: Sammie Rathjen, Walcott


Junior Champion: Lars Sivesind, Waukon

Junior Reserve Champion: Landon Sivesind, Waukon

Senior Champion: Carley Kammerude, Dubuque

Senior Reserve Champion: Austin Knapp, Epworth

Grand Champion: Carley Kammerude, Dubuque

Reserve Grand Champion: Austin Knapp, Epworth


Junior Champion: Scott Stempfle, Maynard

Junior Reserve Champion: Isaac Lyons, West Union

Senior Champion: Riley Demmer, Peosta

Senior Reserve Champion: Ashley Bushman, Calmar

Grand Champion: Riley Demmer, Peosta

Reserve Grand Champion: Ashley Bushman, Calmar


Junior Champion: Brian Arthur, Maynard

Junior Reserve Champion: Cole Kruse, Dyersville

Senior Champion: Ross Wedewer, Epworth

Senior Reserve Champion: Eric Metzger, Lester

Grand Champion: Ross Wedewer, Epworth

Reserve Grand Champion: Eric Metzger, Lester


Junior Champion: Ashley Bushman, Calmar

Junior Reserve Champion: Megan Bushman, Calmar

Senior Champion: Halie Gruenwald, Lost Nation

Senior Reserve Champion: Bradley Byers, Milo

Senior Grand Champion: Halie Gruenwald, Lost Nation

Reserve Grand Champion: Bradley Byers, Milo


Junior Champion: Regan Demmer, Peosta

Intermediate Champion: Jessica Stempfle, Maynard

Intermediate Reserve Champion: Mitchell Hanson, La Porte City

Senior Champion: Austin Knapp, Epworth

Senior Reserve Champion: Michael Lyons, Castalia

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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EPA's hazy outlook threatens to bankrupt coal-fired power plants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by By Rebekah Rast   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:23

The nearly five million visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona each year stare in awe at the canyon's long 277 river miles that can be up to 18 miles wide and about a mile deep.

However, even amidst this beauty, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on the haze in the national park and says it is coming from a very important electricity source in the area.

The Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity for the 14 pumping stations required to move water to southern Arizona—to about 80 percent of the state's population—is being blamed for creating poor air quality in the national park.

Currently, this power plant meets all federal clean air guidelines—except the EPA's interpretation of the Regional Haze Rule.

The goal of the EPA's Regional Haze Rule is the "remedying of any existing impairment of visibility" at 156 National Park and Wilderness areas throughout the U.S.  Congress approved of this amendment to the Clean Air Act in 1977, however, power to set standards of emissions was left to the states—not the EPA.  The EPA's role was to simply provide support.

Now the EPA seems to be trampling on the state's authority to control emissions standards by creating its own set of standards.  Is the EPA really that concerned about cleaning up haze or is this just another aggressive move to push out the coal industry?

If the EPA decides that the NGS power plant needs additional emissions control technology, owners of the power plant can expect to invest $1.1 billion, with no promise of improved air quality in the national park.

Furthermore, the plant is located on land owned by the Navajo Nation.  Its long-term lease with the tribe expires in 2019.  If the power plant operators can't guarantee a renewed lease beyond 2019, investing more than $1 billion into the plant isn't a viable option.  Depending on the EPA ruling, NGS might shutdown—costing 1,000 jobs, 90 percent of them belonging to the Navajo tribe.

Not only would this hurt the local economy, already plagued with high unemployment, but it would effectively destroy the water source to southern Arizona—leading to skyrocketing water rates.

How does the EPA get away with destroying communities like this one?

A political game.  It is no secret that many environmental groups ally with the EPA.  But what if these groups don't think the EPA is doing its job or going far enough? They sue.  The EPA then settles agreeing to fix the problem. Therefore a court-imposed deadline on the EPA leaves it with no other option but to override the state's regulations and enforce its own controls.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a report titled, "EPA's New Regulatory Front: Regional Haze and the Takeover of State Programs," highlights how the EPA, along with court-mandated deadlines, has wheedled its way into state territory by delaying state plans for emission control.

"By combining this tactic of delaying approval of the state plans with Sue and Settle and a court-imposed deadline to act, EPA has manufactured a loophole to provide itself with the ability to reach into the state haze decision-making process and supplant the state as decision maker. EPA has, effectively, engineered a way to get around the protections of state primacy built into the Regional Haze statute by Congress."

Get full story here.

Taxpayer money to faltering battery manufacturer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 15:12

Thune, Grassley Question Obama Administration on Taxpayer Funding of Faltering Battery Manufacturer Following Planned Chinese Investment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a letter to the Obama administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) questioning the use of taxpayer dollars to shore up another faltering stimulus-funded company, A123 Systems Inc. Last week, a Chinese-based company, Wanxiang Group Corp., announced a substantial investment in the U.S. battery manufacturer, which could result in Chinese ownership of the company that could still receive over $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds.

Thune and Grassley sent a letter to the DOE on June 25th requesting more information on Stimulus money transferred to A123 as it related to the taxpayer-backed loan guarantee to the troubled auto company Fisker. The Obama administration failed to address the senators’ questions in a response letter.

The text of the senators’ letter sent today is included below.


August 14, 2012


Dr. Stephen Chu


Department of Energy

1000 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20585


Dear Secretary Chu:

We write today in regards to the Department of Energy (DOE) grant to A123 Systems, Inc., and the recent announcement of Wanxiang Group Corp, a China-based company, to heavily invest in the U.S. battery manufacturer.

In 2009, A123 was awarded a $249.1 million grant through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).  In a letter dated June 25, 2012, we asked you how much of this grant has yet to be transferred to A123.  Although you failed to answer this straightforward question, media reports indicate that A123 has approximately $120 million of the $249.1 million grant currently outstanding.

Recently, A123 and the China-based Wanxiang announced a $450 million deal to save the struggling battery manufacturer.  According to media reports, Wanxiang will purchase $200 million of A123’s secured debt and provide up to an additional $250 million in financing.  A key part of this transaction gives Wanxiang the option to transfer some of this debt into ownership of the company, which could result in Wanxiang owing 80 percent of A123.

Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed to foreign companies through the Recovery Act, and we are concerned that the recent announcement could lead to even more taxpayer dollars going overseas.  Given that A123 could soon be owned by a Chinese company, please answer the following questions with regards to this transaction and A123’s outstanding Recovery Act grant:

1.         How much of A123’s $249.1 million Recovery Act grant is still outstanding?

2.         Considering that A123 has already received millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and could potentially receive up to $450 million from a foreign company, does A123 need additional taxpayer dollars to continue its operations?

3.         If the A123-Wanxiang transaction is approved, how will that impact future distributions of A123’s Recovery Act grant, if at all?

4.         If the A123-Wanxiang transaction is approved and Wanxiang exercises its option to convert A123’s debt into equity, does DOE still plan to distribute the unused portion of A123’s Recovery Act grant?  If so, why?

5.         What assurances does DOE have that Wanxiang will not simply wait until the additional grant money is awarded and then exercise its option to convert A123’s debt into ownership of the U.S.-subsidized company?  Would DOE view that as an appropriate outcome?  If so, why?

6.         What assurances, if any, does DOE have that the A123-Wanxiang transaction and additional DOE funding through the Recovery Act will not lead to a transfer of taxpayer-funded intellectual property to a China-based company, or that the taxpayer funded manufacturing jobs will remain in the United States?

7.         With the recent announcement that Wanxiang will be investing in A123, will the DOE place additional milestones on A123’s progress before awarding the additional Recovery Act grant dollars, and if so, what would those be?   What assurances does DOE have, if any, that A123 has solved its technical problems and that A123 will become profitable in the near future?

8.         In an August 3, 2012, letter to us, Acting Executive Director of DOE’s Loan Program Office David Frantz wrote that, “(t)he Department is in constant dialogue with A123 to stay abreast of progress, challenges, plans and developments to assure that the project is meeting the objectives as defined in the grant.  DOE is also continually monitoring risk and financial conditions.  As part of this “continual monitoring” when did DOE become aware of A123’s pending transaction with Wanxiang?

9.         Did DOE raise any objection to this transaction?  If so, when?  Please provide documents supporting any objection raised by DOE to this transaction.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention in this matter.  We would appreciate a response by August 21, 2012.



John Thune

Charles Grassley


Loebsack Welcomes New Report Highlighting Growth of Wind Energy Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 13:32

Renews call for extension of Wind Tax Credit

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed the release of a report from the U.S. Energy Department that highlights the surge in manufacturing and jobs directly related to the wind energy sector.  Loebsack has been a longtime supporter of wind energy programs and has been leading the fight in Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC).  He has visited wind energy plants across Iowa to see firsthand the need for stability that an extension of the PTC would provide and has repeatedly urged the House and Senate leadership to protect these good Iowa jobs.  Loebsack was also named a USA Wind Champion by the American Wind Energy Association for his ongoing support of wind energy in Iowa and working to extend the PTC.

“The release of this report confirms what many Iowans already know – that the wind energy industry across the state is strong and provides good jobs in our local communities,” said Loebsack.  “Congress must get its act together and pass a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit and not block the continued growth of the wind industry here in Iowa.  If the tax credit is not extended on a long-term basis, it will create uncertainty and put Iowa jobs and the Iowa economy in jeopardy.”

A copy of the report can be found here.


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