Civic News & Info
Governor Quinn and Illinois Tollway Honor Fallen Servicemembers during Memorial Day Weekend PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:19

“Portrait of a Soldier” Memorial Exhibit on Display at Illinois Tollway Oases Through Independence Day


HINSDALE – May 27, 2012.  To commemorate Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn today joined officials from the Illinois Tollway to unveil the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit at the Hinsdale Oasis and announce the summer exhibit schedule at multiple Tollway Oases in Northern Illinois. Currently, the exhibit features a series of hand-drawn portraits of 288 of the 300 Illinois men and women who have fallen in service to our country since September 11, 2001.


“With ‘Portrait of a Soldier,’ we pay a special tribute to our state’s brave servicemembers who gave their lives to protect our freedom,” Governor Quinn said.  “From Memorial Day to Independence Day, visitors to Illinois Tollway Oases will have the opportunity to view the faces and read the names of our state’s true heroes who remain in our hearts every day.”


The exhibit, on display at the Hinsdale Oasis Friday, May 25 through Sunday, June 3, will then travel to the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis through Sunday, June 10. The exhibit will also be on display at the Des Plaines, DeKalb, Belvidere and Lake Forest Oases, ending shortly after July 4.


“We are honored to display the portraits of Illinois’ remarkable men and women whose bravery serves as an inspiration to us all,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur.  “We invite Tollway customers to see this poignant exhibit and join us in commemorating the lives – the sacrifice – of our servicemembers.”


Governor Quinn founded the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit to honor fallen servicemembers in 2004, when artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait of Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, after he was killed in Iraq.  In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling committed to drawing a portrait of every Illinois servicemember who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.


“Memorial Day is a great opportunity to reflect on and express thanks for the sacrifice that thousands upon thousands of military men and women have made in serving our country,” said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Borggren. “This sacred day also reminds us of our shared obligation to honor and remember our fallen heroes and their families.”


Governor Quinn has long made commitment to veterans' affairs, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service.  He has led programs including the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program and the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, which has awarded more than $10 million to non-profit organizations across the state that provide health care and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, housing assistance, disability benefits and other services to Illinois Veterans.


As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, establishing a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help service members and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expense they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.


Governor Quinn launched “Operation Home Front” while he was Illinois State Treasurer to give National Guard members and reservists a tool informing them about their rights during the Gulf War. Today, the Governor has expanded Operation Home Front to be a place where active servicemembers and veterans can learn about the resources available to them and their families, and a place for the public to learn about different ways they can support our troops.

Portrait of a Soldier Memorial Exhibit Schedule


Sunday, May 27 – Sunday, June 3                Hinsdale Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-294)

Monday, June 4 – Sunday, June 10              Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis (South Holland), Tri-State Tollway (I-294/80)

Monday, June 11 – Sunday, June 17            Des Plaines Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24            DeKalb Oasis, Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)

Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 1                Belvidere Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

Monday, July 2 – Sunday, July 8                    Lake Forest Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-94)


NOTE: Beginning June 4 -- the exhibit will open at noon on Mondays at each oasis, and for the rest of the week during the dates listed above, will remain open 24/7.

For more information on the “Portrait of A Soldier” exhibit or to view the portraits online, please visit

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).  More than 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway system every day.

Schilling Announces Upcoming Mobile Office Hours PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:51
Moline, Illinois – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) has announced the schedule of upcoming mobile office hours.  His staff will travel throughout the 17th Congressional District to meet with constituents and address any questions or concerns they may have.  No appointments are necessary. 

“As your representative in Congress, it’s my job to keep in close contact with folks across the district, asking for your input on issues before Congress or notifying you of upcoming events and how we can help,” Schilling said. “My staff and I prioritize constituent service and communications, and will continue working to keep in touch with folks in all corners of our area.  We work for you.”

A field representative will be available in the following locations at the following times:

June 6, 2012
Monmouth City Hall - Council Chambers
100 East Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462
9:00am - 12:00pm

Albany City Hall
102 S Main St.
Albany, IL 61230
1:00pm - 4:00pm

June 20, 2012
Oquawka Village Hall
507 Schuyler St.
Oquawka, IL 61469
9:00am - 12:00pm

Aledo City Hall – Council Chambers
120 North College Ave.
Aledo, IL 61231
9:00am - 1:00pm

June 27, 2012
Kewanee City Hall
401 East Third St.
Kewanee, IL  61443
9:00am – 4:00pm

Constituents are also encouraged to visit the Moline, Galesburg, Canton, and Rock Falls offices during normal office hours:

Moline District Office
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
3000 41st St., Suite B
Moline, IL 61265
P: (309) 757-7630

Galesburg District Office
Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 8:30am - 5:00pm
Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce
185 South Kellogg St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
P: (309) 343-2220

Canton District Office
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30am - 5:00pm
8 South Main St., Suite 200
Canton, IL 61520
P: (309) 649-3307

Rock Falls District Office
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 9:00am - 4:00pm
1600 First Ave., Suite A
Rock Falls, IL 61071
P: (815) 548-9440

# # #

To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

Sen. Franken Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Families and Students Understand the True Cost of College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 15:04

The “Understanding the True Cost of College” Act Will Ensure Families Know Exact Cost of College When Deciding Which School to Attend


WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/24/12]— U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said families and students will gain a more accurate picture of exactly how much college will cost them before deciding which school to attend under bipartisan legislation he authored and introduced today. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Tim Johnson (D-S. Dak.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined as original cosponsors.


Sen. Franken’s "Understanding the True Cost of College Act," introduced Thursday, would create a universal financial aid award letter so that students can easily compare financial-aid packages between schools.  It would clarify what financial aid families will receive from a school and create standard terms for the aid offered so that students can accurately compare offers from different schools. Right now, schools do not use standard definitions or names for different types of aid, so students and families often report having difficulty figuring out the differences between grant aid—which does not need to be repaid—and student loans, which do need to be repaid.

“The amount of debt students in Minnesota graduate with has skyrocketed, and part of the problem is that students often don’t have a clear picture of how much their education is going to actually cost them,” said Sen. Franken. “My legislation will require schools to use a universal financial aid letter so students and their families will know exactly how much college will cost, and will help them compare apples to apples when deciding what school a student will attend.”


“This commonsense legislation helps empower students and families with necessary information to make an informed choice about college,” said Sen. Harkin. “Faced with soaring tuition and mounting debt, students lack the consistent, clear and useful financial aid information they need to compare their options and make the decision that is right for them.  As Congress grapples with the pressing and complex issue of college affordability, this bipartisan legislation addresses a key piece of the puzzle and will help millions navigate the maze of financial aid information thrown their way through a standardized, comprehensive, consumer-friendly form.  This is not about more information, but about the right information that students need when making such an important decision about their future.”

“I am proud to help lead the Understanding the True Cost of College Act, which would mandate fairer and more accurate disclosure in financial aid offers to students,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “It would provide for clearer terminology and definitions colleges use in their financial aid letters. Students would better understand the differences in the financial aid packages they receive from each institution, and make more informed decisions in choosing college.”

“College affordability must be a top priority for the federal government so that millions of students  and future students at America’s colleges and universities can graduate with a diploma and not a pile of debt,” said Sen. Schumer. “I am proud to have partnered with Senator Franken to create a requirement that all higher education programs inform consumers about their financial aid options in a uniform manner, which allows them to make apples-to-apples comparisons when considering a college’s price tag. This proposal will help ensure that students receive a top-notch education that is as affordable for families and students as possible.”

“This initiative will empower students and parents with the information they need to make the best financial decision for their families and to avoid taking on more debt than they will be able to repay,”said Sen. Grassley. “This is one way to address the problem of student debt on the front end rather than after the fact.  Also, the more we can help students and parents become savvy shoppers, the more colleges will be forced to rein in rising costs to compete for students.”

“I believe in America’s opportunity ladder, and higher education is an important rung on that ladder,”said Sen. Mikulski.“This legislation will help families who are stressed and stretched to make an informed financial decision by requiring all colleges to provide basic information on the costs of enrolling at the school of their choice. Higher education is part of the American dream – it shouldn’t be a financial nightmare.”

“Not all student aid is created equal and students deserve to know exactly what kind of debt they are taking on and how much they will have to pay back,” said Sen. Wyden. “Student aid packages vary from school to school and are often difficult to compare with each other. The difference between a $20,000 grant and a $20,000 high interest loan can mean the difference between an affordable and an unaffordable education for many students, yet often times this distinction may not be readily apparent. Students deserve to know as simply and clearly as possible what they are taking on and the choices they have.”

“Students today have enough obstacles keeping them from a quality education, deciphering the paperwork shouldn’t be one of them.  We need to make it easier to understand the options for financial aid and exactly what the full cost will be,” said Sen. Cardin. “I am proud to be a cosponsor of legislation that requires uniform, consumer-tested financial aid award letters with standard definitions.  This will go a long way toward helping students fully understand their funding options and commitments.”


The "Understanding the True Cost of College Act" would:

  • Require institutions of higher education to use a uniform financial aid award letter.
  • Call on the Department of Education to work with colleges, consumer groups, students, and school guidance counselors to develop standard definitions of various financial aid terms for use in the uniform financial aid award letters.
  • Establish basic minimums of information that must be included in the uniform financial aid award letters, such as: cost of attendance; grant aid; the net amount a student is responsible for paying after subtracting grant aid; work study assistance; eligible amounts of federal student loans; expected federal loan monthly repayment amounts; and disclosures including disclosures related to private loans, treatment of scholarships, and the terms and conditions of federal financial aid.
  • Require the Department of Education to establish a process to consumer test the uniform financial aid award letter and use the results from the consumer testing in the final development of the uniform financial aid award letter.


In Minnesota, Sen. Franken’s bill is supported by the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State University Student Association, the Minnesota State College Student Association, and the Minnesota College Access Network. Nationally, the bill is supported by the American Federation of Teachers-AFL-CIO, the National Consumers League, Campus Progress Action, the Institute for College Access and Success, Education Trust, and the National College Access Network.



Scott County Board of Supervisors' Tentative Agenda PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 15:04
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 8:00 am
Conference Room 638, 6th Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch


2. Discussion with the following Authorized Agencies:

8:00 A.M. -

8:30 A.M. -

9:00 A.M. -

10:00 A.M. - EMA - Ross Bergen

10:30 A.M. - Quad Cities First/Chamber - Bill Martin and Tara Barney

11:00 A.M. - Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau - Joe Taylor

Generations - Christa Merritt

Medic - Linda Frederiksen/Kevin Greenley

Community Action of Eastern iowa - Roger Pavey

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 12:00 pm

1. Roll Call: Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch, Cusack, Earnhardt

2. Discussion with the Center for Aging Seniors, Inc.

3. Other items of interest.

Page 1 of 1

Reclaiming the American Dream PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 15:02
Expert Calls for ‘Economic Disobedience’

The national mood remains anxious, worried.  We have millions of Americans out of work, many of them Baby Boomers who’ve seen what they worked for these past 30 years disappear:  a predictable career, financial security, home equity, retirement savings. The foundation they’ve worked so hard to build seems to have collapsed before their very eyes.

“They feel lost. They see hedge-funders and investment bankers as having hijacked the American Dream from the middle class,” says Peter Weddle, former CEO of Job Bank USA, Inc., and author of A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream (

“Boomers – and all working Americans, for that matter – feel as if all of the opportunity has been sucked out of the land of opportunity, and they don’t know how or even if they can succeed in this changed world.”

But America is still the leader of the global economy and its future is as bright as it ever was, Weddle says. Why? Because Americans are individually prone to innovation and creativity, and collectively, the most diverse pool of workers in the world, he says.

“For all the unresolved immigration issues we have in the United States, we still have the best workforce on the planet.  Our diversity gives us a huge advantage over the competition in the global economy,” Weddle says. “We have every kind of talent the world has to offer, while other countries such as China, India and Japan have very homogenous cultures so everyone basically brings the same talent to the table.”

That talent, however, is being wasted.  The U.S. workplace has become an investor-driven market, a place where workers are treated as disposable cogs who are costs to be minimized rather than capabilities to be maximized on-the-job, Weddle says. The only way out, therefore, is something he calls “economic disobedience.”  If every American stands up and demands their right to be employed as a person of talent – and if they then elevate that talent and bring it to work with them – they can reclaim the American Dream, Weddle says.

He sees Baby Boomers already beginning to do this. The number of 50- to 64-year-olds enrolled in college jumped 17 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“These are the people who see this time as a moment of liberation – a chance to reinvigorate their talent so they can perform at their peak on-the-job,” Weddle says. “And that self-reliance and individual determination is how our country will recapture its mojo.”

A national human resources expert, Weddle says people don’t necessarily have to go back to school or reinvent themselves. But they do need to identify their talent – their innate capacity for excellence – and take a proactive approach to integrating it into their career.

“It may be a gift for getting things organized, for resolving conflicts, for explaining complex topics in simple terms,” he says. “Every single one of us has a talent and when we apply it at work, our job satisfaction – and our pay – goes up.

“Instead of work being a four-letter word, it becomes something to get excited about and to feel good about. We rekindle our self-confidence, self-respect and determination and we produce an economic revolution that restores democratic capitalism.”

About Peter Weddle

Peter Weddle, a former recruiter and human resource consultant, is the CEO of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, a trade organization. He has written or edited more than two dozen non-fiction books regarding careers and employment; “A Multitude of Hope” is his first work of fiction. Weddle is the founder and former CEO of Job Bank USA, Inc., one of the largest electronic employment services companies in the United States.

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