Civic News & Info
Grassley, Harkin urge Corps to factor in damaged levees in its water release plans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:52
WASHINGTON --- Led by Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, a group of 10 U.S. senators today called on a top official for the Army Corps of Engineers to carefully consider the weakened level of flood protection caused by damaged levees and other river infrastructure when deciding on water releases this winter and next spring.

In a letter to the Corps commander responsible for the Northwestern division, the senators said the Corps plans for an aggressive approach with winter and spring releases is encouraging, but that infrastructure damage also must be a major factor in the Corps management decisions because repairs will not be completed before possibly high water flows in 2012.    The reality of damaged levees means that water releases before March need to be above normal levels and that reservoir reserves need to be maximized, the senators said, noting the risk to communities and farmland.

Click here to read today’s letter.

Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Kent Conrad and John Hoeven of North Dakota, and John Thune and Tim Johnson of South Dakota signed the letter, along with Harkin and Grassley.

The Iowa senators are active participants in a Missouri River Working Group, which is comprised of the senators representing states along the river from Montana to Missouri.  Yesterday, the working group asked the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office for a formal review of the 2011 Missouri River flood and the actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as recommendations for improving flood control operations along the river system.

In yesterday’s letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the senators detailed the record flooding that occurred this summer.  “There are varying viewpoints surrounding the recent flooding of the Missouri River. Various parties have suggested that more water than necessary was being held back in the upstream reservoirs.  Corps officials, on the other hand, contend that the unprecedented amount of rain changed their picture completely, forcing them to release record levels of water through the system.  Given the varying viewpoints on this issue, we are requesting that GAO examine key issues related to the Missouri River Flood of 2011,” the letter said.

Click here to read yesterday’s letter.

 
MADIGAN SUES AUTO PARTS COMPANY FOR DEFRAUDING CONSUMERS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Maura Possley   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:48

Springfield Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against a central Illinois company for selling consumers aftermarket auto parts online that were damaged, the wrong parts or never shipped at all.

Madigan filed the lawsuit in Macon County Circuit Court against Pershing Auto Body Parts, and co-owners Kevin W. Sliney and Matthew W. Sliney, all of Warrensburg, Ill.

“Anyone can set up shop on the Internet,” Madigan said. “That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’re working with a reputable company. Check to see if any complaints have been filed against the company with my office’s Consumer Fraud Bureau or the Better Business Bureau before making any significant purchasing decisions.”

Madigan said Pershing Auto Body sold car parts on third-party bidding sites, such as eBay, to consumers for prices ranging from $50 to $1,000. Her lawsuit alleges consumers who received wrong or broken parts never received refunds. In some instances, consumers never received their orders at all.

Nearly 40 consumers nationwide, including Illinois consumers living in Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Kankakee, Kane, Macon, McHenry and Rock Island counties, filed complaints with Madigan’s office against Pershing Auto Body. In addition, the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois has received 92 complaints. In total, consumers reported losing more than $14,000, Madigan said.

Madigan is asking the court to ban the defendants from the business of selling auto parts online. The suit also seeks to cancel pending contracts with consumers, obtain restitution for affected consumers and impose civil penalties on the defendants.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Van Hise is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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HOTEL BLACKHAWK IS PRESERVATION SUCCESS STORY AWARD WINNER PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Glenn Kass   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:28

Historic Hotels of America recognizes “creative rehabilitation efforts”

Davenport, IA – Hotel Blackhawk has just been named a Preservation Success Story Award Honorable Mention winner by the Historic Hotels of America – a part of the National Trust For Historic Preservation. The award was officially announced Dec. 1st.

According to organization Executive Director Thierry Roch, the award exemplifies “creative rehabilitation efforts undertaken to recapture, promote and glorify the property’s original use in a preservation sensitive manner.”

This caps a year of recognition for Hotel Blackhawk. It earned a “Smart Meetings” Platinum Choice Award for 2011 marking excellence in service and amenities among meeting facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Then, management was informed it would be featured as a must-see destination in a book from The New York Times entitled “36 Hours, 150 weekends in the USA and Canada.”

“It’s thrilling to see the vision of Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration Saint Louis and the City of Davenport rewarded by Historic Hotels of America, Smart Meetings and The New York Times,” said General Manager Tim Heim. “It was the vision of restoring a jewel which has been realized by me and my staff. It provides great satisfaction that preservationists, industry observers, guests and clients have recognized this gift as well.”

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 95-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, eight meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is part of the Summit Hotels & Resorts group (www.summithotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org).

For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).

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IOWA FARM BUREAU MEMBERS CAN PURCHASE EXCLUSIVE “ANF” GEAR PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Monday, 12 December 2011 16:13

Portion of proceeds donated to Iowa food banks

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Dec. 7, 2011 – The exclusive ANF (America Needs Farmers)/Farm Strong gear has been in demand for months and now Farm Bureau members can purchase newly-offered apparel offered at a discounted price, just in time for the holidays.  The special offering of ANF/Farm Strong gear is announced in conjunction with Iowa Farm Bureau Week, Dec. 4-11.

A portion of the sales’ proceeds will be directed to Iowa food banks.

Items available for purchase include short- and long-sleeve t-shirts for adults and children, sweatshirts, baseball hats and stocking caps.  Members can order the merchandise by logging on to the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s website’s (www.iowafarmbureau.com) “Members Only” section and clicking on the “ANF Merchandise” rotating window.

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the University of Iowa Athletics Department formed a five-year partnership this summer to raise awareness of the ANF logo’s history and help consumers understand the immense challenges and opportunities today’s farmers face.  “America Needs Farmers” was created by former UI football coach Hayden Fry during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s and embraced today by the Hawkeyes’ current head coach, Kirk Ferentz. For more information about ANF, visit http://www.americaneedsfarmers.org.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
SCOTT AREA LANDFILL DEBUTS NEW IMPROVEMENTS FOR CUSTOMERS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Robinson Vorac   
Monday, 12 December 2011 14:34

DAVENPORT, IA—The Scott Area Landfill, operated by Waste Commission of Scott County, is debuting new improvements for landfill customers on Thursday, December 8. The new improvements include an automated scale and a citizens’ convenience area.

The new automated scale is for customers who frequently use the landfill, such as the City of Bettendorf and City of Davenport. These frequent customers will be given a code, which they will type into a keypad and the truck’s weight will automatically be recorded. This will save the truck drivers time by not having to wait in the regular scale line or get out of their vehicle to go in to the scale office. Because the frequent customers will be diverted to the automated scale, other landfill customers will have shorter wait times in line. This improvement will greatly reduce vehicle idling, thereby reducing air emissions.

The citizens’ convenience area includes a new trash unloading area for small loads and updated areas for drop-off recycling, appliances, scrap metal, oil, oil filters, antifreeze and car batteries. The new trash unloading area was designed for customers in cars, vans or pickup trucks with small loads of garbage. These small loads will be diverted to a concrete bunker near the office for unloading, rather than the actual landfill. The new trash unloading area is of benefit to these customers in that it will take less time for unloading, is safer due to not being around other large trucks or heavy equipment and they will not have to drive into the landfill.

The Scott Area Landfill is located at 11555 110th Avenue (County Road Y-48) in Davenport and is open 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency whose mission is to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management for Scott County. The Commission (Board) is comprised of the mayor of Davenport, a Davenport alderman, mayor of Bettendorf, chair of the Scott County Board of Supervisors and the mayor(s) of an outlying community in Scott County. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 381-1300 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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