Civic News & Info
Region 6 Homeland Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership Announce Week 4 of “20 Weeks to Preparedness Program” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ross E. Bergen   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:59
Release Date: March 5, 2012
Release Number: 5

Welcome to Week 4 of the 20 Weeks to Preparedness Program brought to you by the Region 6 Homeland
Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership. This program will help prepare you and your family, a little at
a time, over a 20 week period. Each week new preparedness information will be shared including a list of items
to gather or purchase for your disaster supply kit. Sign up at
to receive weekly reminders and announcements related to the 20 Weeks to Preparedness program.

Use this program to gather items for your kit in small steps over a five month period. Remember to change
and replace perishable items by the expiration date. Purchasing the food suggested by this program would last
approximately 3-5 days.

Place in storage bin:

Five gallon bucket with lid
Plastic tarp
Work gloves
Ready-to-eat meals

Personalized Item (if applicable):

Special diet foods

To do:

Arrange for emergency care for children, elders, and/or pets. Remembering to think about all
the “what ifs” will result in better plans and execution in the event of an actual disaster.

Additional assistance is available by contacting your Scott County Emergency Management Coordinator
at 563-484-3050 or visiting their website at Visit Safeguard Iowa Partnership at, on twitter @safeguardiowa or Facebook at

The Region 6 Homeland Security Board is comprised of fourteen counties in eastern Iowa that coordinate homeland security planning,
training, exercise, response, and recovery. The counties included are Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, Clinton,
Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Scott.

The Safeguard Iowa Partnership is a voluntary coalition of the state's business and government leaders, who share a commitment to
working together to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters in Iowa.

Coast Guard protects mariners, environment, maritime transportation system PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Cmdr Chris O'Neil   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 08:14
3 cases demonstrate impact of Coast Guard missions

WASHINGTON — Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, Ore., has since Sunday taken action in three unrelated marine safety cases that has protected the environment, protected mariners and protected the maritime transportation system in the Port of Portland, Ore.

Sector Columbia River’s recent activity began around 11 a.m. Sunday with notification from the 648-foot, car carrier Morning Spruce of the vessel’s loss of engine power while 12 miles southwest of the Columbia River bar, leaving the vessel adrift in 12-foot seas.  The Coast Guard Captain of the Port issued an order directing the owner of the Morning Spruce to immediately contract for tow vessels to hold the ship offshore.  In addition to its cargo the Morning Spruce was reportedly carrying a combined 543,000 gallons of heavy oil, diesel and lube oil.

Engine power was restored around 3:30 p.m. Sunday and the Coast Guard monitored the progress of the vessel, escorted by the tug Kokua, as it cleared the Columbia River bar.  The Kokua and Morning Spruce were joined by another tug, the Vancouver, for the transit to Portland, Ore.  The Coast Guard then made preparations for an inspection of the Morning Spruce as it arrived in Portland.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland’s Port State Control Branch conducted an inspection of the Morning Spruce Tuesday, revealing numerous safety hazards, resulting in the detention of the vessel.  The safety hazards included excessive oil in machinery spaces, inadequate patches made on the vessel’s fire-main piping, heavy hydraulic oil leaks and inadequate fire control boundaries.  The control action will remain in effect until the violations are corrected and verified through follow up inspections.

Meanwhile, a Coast Guard Vessel Boarding and Safety Team from Sector Columbia River boarded the 738-foot freighter Laconia, Tuesday, as part of a port state control boarding.  Alerted by Customs and Border Protection agents already aboard, the Coast Guard team conducted alcohol tests of the master of the ship, suspecting the captain was intoxicated based upon CBP agents’ observations and their discovery of open containers of alcohol found within the captain’s stateroom.

As a result of the breathalyzer test, the Coast Guard boarding team removed the master and transferred him to the custody of Coast Guard Investigative Service agents.  The Coast Guard then required the owner of the Laconia to acquire a replacement for the ship’s captain prior to the freighter’s departure from its anchorage.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port Columbia River issued bar closures Wednesday for Depoe Bay and the Siuslaw River due to dangerous high surf and offshore weather conditions.  The closure protects mariners and the maritime transportation system by reducing the risks associated with bar crossings made under severe conditions.

“Together, the actions taken by Sector Columbia River demonstrate how the Coast Guard preserves the maritime business commons by reducing the risk and uncertainty of the maritime environment and how the Coast Guard’s vigilant maritime safety and security presence enables American prosperity,” said Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, chief of media relations for the Coast Guard.  “According to the Port of Portland, more than 550 oceangoing vessels called upon facilities in the Port of Portland in calendar year 2011, carrying to and from the port more than 13.1 million short tons of cargo, including more than 941,000 short tons of breakbulk cargo, 197,000 containers, 4.7 million short tons of grain, 234,000 autos and 5.2 million short tons of bulk mineral cargo.”

News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Steven Olson   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 09:14

As you may have heard, House Democrats fled the Capitol in protest of two bills, each designed to defend Iowans’ right to bear arms. The first bill amends the Iowa Constitution to include an explicit right to bear arms and the second strengthens your right to self-defense. Both bills passed the House with the support all Republicans and a couple Democrats. The constitutional change would happen by surviving next session and a yes vote by the people. 

The House and Senate are again at odds again over property tax, mental health reform, and education. First, Iowa’s current commercial property tax rate is the second highest in the nation, whereas commercial and industrial property owners pay tax on 100 percent ofmarket value. Republicans want to reduce the taxable value of commercial and industrial property by 40 percent over an eight year period, while Democrats think that proposal will put local governments at risk. Second, the division on mental health isn’t that we should fix the many issues but rather how we should pay for it. As it stands the Republicans would like
to see the State fund this while the Democrats would rather property tax payers shoulder the burden. Third, on education, the House recently passed the Governor’s education bill with some changes while the Senate discarded the Governor’s plan and wrote one of their own.

The Ag Protection Act recently passed the Senate. This bill provides protection for Iowa’s agriculture community from fraudulent activities by prohibiting people from committing fraud to obtain access to an agricultural production facility. This week the floor debate has increased as we are taking up budget issues like IDALS DNR Environmental First Fund (budget target $35.7 mil), Economic Development Budget (appropriates $29.1 mil), Judicial Branch Budget ($156.1 mil), Justice Systems Appropriations Bill (Budget approx. $16 mil). These will probably be amended and sent back from the Senate so these amounts could change. If you have concerns or questions I can be reached at the Capitol by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Governor Quinn Activates State Emergency Operations Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:28

State Prepared to Offer Assistance in Response to Southern Illinois Tornadoes; Governor Will Survey Damage Today


SPRINGFIELD – February 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield following severe storms and tornadoes that struck Harrisburg and other areas in Southern Illinois early this morning. The Governor also announced plans to visit Harrisburg later today.


“At least six people have lost their lives in the wake of these storms, and our hearts go out to their families and the many others who were injured or suffered a devastating loss,” Governor Quinn said. “The state of Illinois is committed to doing everything possible to help these communities respond and recover from this disaster.”


Personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and several other state agencies are at the SEOC assessing the impact of the storms and coordinating with local emergency response officials in the affected areas to determine if any state resources are needed for response and recovery from the storms. Although at this point there have been no requests for state assistance, state officials are ready to respond with personnel, equipment and supplies. Assets from fire, law enforcement and emergency management mutual aid organizations have been deployed to assist with response efforts.


IEMA regional personnel were deployed to Harrisburg soon after the storms and representatives from the Illinois State Police, departments of Transportation, Central Management Services, Corrections, Public Health and Natural Resources, along with the American Red Cross, reported to the SEOC soon thereafter.  The SEOC will remain activated as long as necessary.


March 1 marks the beginning of Severe Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois.  IEMA has a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide on the Ready Illinois website ( that provides information on how to stay safe when severe storms and tornadoes approach.



Iowa Supreme Court to Hold Special Session in Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 07:49

Des Moines, February 28, 2012—On April 10, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Bettendorf. The court proceedings will take place at the Pleasant Valley High School auditorium, located at 604 Belmont Road. The session will begin at 7 p.m.

The court will hear attorneys argue in two cases yet to be announced.

The supreme court hears cases on appeal, which involves the review of a decision of another court. During oral arguments, the court does not conduct trials, hear witnesses, or admit new evidence. The court determines whether legal errors were committed in the rendering of the lower court's judgment or order. The supreme court can affirm—uphold the decision or order of the lower court, reverse—set aside the decision or order, or remand—send the case back to the lower court with instructions, including instructions to hold a new trial.

The Iowa Supreme Court is composed of seven justices, each appointed by the governor from a slate of three nominees selected by the state judicial nominating commission. Court members are: Chief Justice Mark Cady, and Associate Justices David Wiggins, Daryl Hecht, Brent Appel, Thomas Waterman, Edward Mansfield, and Bruce Zager.

For more information, visit


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