Business & Economy
Loebsack: Will Republicans Jump Off 'Fiscal Cliff' or Work Together to Stop Economic Disaster? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 11:49

New CBO report details dire circumstances of non-action

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack made the following statement today after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that details the effects of Congress failing to pass tax and budget policies by the end of the year.  The report stated that Congress’ inaction would throw the economy into recession and drive up unemployment rates by the end of 2013.

Earlier this month, Loebsack introduced the Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012 to address a significant part of the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ that the economy would go over if bipartisan, commonsense, compromise legislation is not passed and signed into law by the end of the year.

“The release of today’s report underscores the urgent need for the real action that I have been calling for.  We’ve seen time and again that kicking the can down the road and playing political games doesn’t work for Iowans. Commonsense, fiscally responsible tax cuts for middle- and low-income families, small businesses, and family farms, all of which are key to our economic recovery, must be passed.

“Last year the economy was taken to the brink by a group in Washington that is more concerned about rigid ideology than people’s jobs. We cannot allow our economy to be held hostage once again. From tax cuts to stopping the automatic, arbitrary cuts that were created as a political gimmick, Iowans can’t afford more Washington politics as usual. That’s why I’ve introduced an initiative to allow these folks to keep their tax cut.  That’s also why I've repeatedly called on Congress to end its undeserved vacation and work every day until these and the many other pressing issues facing Iowans are addressed.  I continue to stand ready to work with anyone who will put people before politics and support a commonsense compromise to get these tax cuts done; stop the arbitrary cuts; boost the economy; and responsibly reduce the deficit.

Loebsack’s Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012 extends tax cuts for married joint filers making up to $250,000 and individual filers making up to $200,000.  The legislation also includes an exemption for small businesses and family farms.


Bettendorf Company Leaves Consumers Empty Handed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by BBB News   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:32

Card Grading Company in Bettendorf Leaves Sports Fans Empty Handed

The Better Business Bureau serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities and Siouxland Region is issuing a consumer alert about Global Authority of Bettendorf, IA.  According to the company’s website, Global Authority offers “authentication and grading services for a wide spectrum of collectibles.”

The BBB has closed 21 complaints against this company in the last year and has received over 100 inquiries.  Global Authority has earned an F rating with the BBB due to failure to respond to complaints, many of which are considered serious in nature.

Consumer complaints primarily allege that after sending trading cards to the company for authentication and grading, Global Authority refuses to return the cards and consumers are unable to reach the company.

One disgruntled customer stated, “I sent them a 1954 wax pack of Bowman Football cards to be graded and encapsulated by them.  They sent me confirmation that they received the item and would start the grading process.  They did not bill my credit card, but they kept the pack, which is quite valuable.  They would never return my calls or emails regarding this.”

The BBB has made several unsuccessful attempts to reach out to the company both by phone and by mail.

The BBB understands that handing over one’s collectibles can be risky business.  Personal collections can be of value to their owner for both monetary and sentimental reasons; therefore, the BBB offers the following advice when looking for a reputable authenticating service:

ü  If possible, look local. There is always an inherent risk in sending valuables through the mail.

ü  Look for companies with a good reputation in the industry. In the world of sports memorabilia, there are card graders that are known and respected throughout the hobby by the majority of serious collectors.

ü  Take appropriate measures before mailing your treasures. If you decide to do business with a company that requires you mail your goods, make sure you keep a detailed track of your inventory, insure the package and record your tracking number.  Also, make sure your items are adequately covered under your homeowner’s policy, should they not be returned.

Please contact the BBB if you feel you have been a victim of this company.  As always, the BBB reminds you to start your search with Trust.  Find trustworthy businesses and consumer advice at

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.

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