Civic News & Info
Braley Works to Stop Closures of Iowa Post Offices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 14 October 2011 11:41

House panel passes bill allowing Postal Service to advance plans to close 178 Iowa post offices 

 

Washington, DC – October 13, 2011 - Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement as the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considers the Postal Reform Act, a bill that, in part, allows the Postal Service to move forward with plans to close up to 178 small town Iowa post offices.  Braley is a member of the panel.

Braley was able to successfully amend the bill to require the Postal Service to report on the number of jobs eliminated by their proposed post office closures, including the number of veterans jobs eliminated.  Braley’s amendment was passed with unanimous, bipartisan support.

“I grew up in a small town, and I know how important post offices are to these communities,” Braley said.  “It may not seem like much to a bureaucrat in Washington, but a post office is the centerpiece of a small town.  If not for the post office, what else would provide the spark for economic development?  What business would open in a town without one?

 

“No question, the Postal Service needs to change to survive.  But it doesn’t have to build its recovery on the backs of small town Americans.  That’s why I’m working to improve this bill and prevent post office closures in Iowa.  I’m disappointed that the bill we’re considering today doesn’t protect small town post offices.”

 

If passed by the panel, the Postal Reform Act of 2011 would move to the full House for consideration.  If passed by the House, it would advance to the Senate for consideration.

The Postal Reform Act:

  1. Allows the Postal Service to eliminate Saturday delivery.
  2. Establishes a commission to close post offices and postal facilities.
  3. Reduces rural mail delivery.
  4. Allows the Postal Service to sell advertising space on property and vehicles.
  5. Allows the Postal Service to raise the price of bulk mail delivery.

 

Braley has sponsored an alternative postal reorganization plan that would prevent post office closures by allowing the Postal Service to reclaim billions of dollars in overpayments it has made in recent years to its employees’ retirement system.

 

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USDA Designates 27 Counties in Iowa as Primary Natural Disaster Areas, with Assistance Also to Surrounding States PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Tanya Brown   
Friday, 14 October 2011 10:21

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2011—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 27 counties in Iowa as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by the combined effects of severe storms, excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, hail, high winds, lightning, tornadoes, landslides, mudslides, excessive heat and drought that began April 1, 2011, and continues.

 

Those counties are:

 

Clarke               Jones     Mahaska           Montgomery        Van Buren

Davis                 Keokuk   Marshall            Page                    Wapello

Decatur             Lee        Mills             Polk                    Washington

Fremont            Linn        Monona             Tama                   Wayne

Henry                Louisa    Monroe             Taylor                 Woodbury

Jefferson            Lucas    

 

“Iowa producers can continue to count on USDA to provide emergency assistance during difficult times,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow and out-compete the rest of the world. President Obama and I are committed to using the resources at our disposal to reduce the impact these disasters have had on Iowa producers and help to get those affected back on their feet.”

 

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Iowa also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:

 

Adams                Cedar                Dubuque   Jasper                Pottawattamie

Appanoose         Cherokee           Grundy      Johnson              Poweshiek

Benton                Clinton  Hardin                Madison             Ringgold

Black Hawk        Crawford           Harrison             Marion               Story

Boone                 Dallas                 Ida                     Muscatine          Union

Buchanan            Delaware   Iowa                  Plymouth Warren

Cass                   Des Moines        Jackson

 

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:

 

Illinois                               

Hancock                      Henderson                   Mercer                         Rock Island

Missouri

Atchison                       Mercer                         Schuyler

Clark                          Nodaway                        Scotland

Harrison                       Putnam                         Worth

Nebraska                      

Burt                           Dakota                         Sarpy

Cass                           Otoe                           Thurston

South Dakota                        

Union

 

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Oct. 12, 2011, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

 

USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

 

FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the “News and Events” link.

 

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The Role of Judges in our Constitutional System PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 10 October 2011 15:37

Opening Statement of Ranking Member Chuck Grassley

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

The Role of Judges in our Constitutional System

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding today’s hearing.  I appreciate your efforts to secure the testimony of our distinguished witnesses.  I hope that this hearing will be an enlightening experience in which we will discuss the role of judges in our constitutional system.  This is a question as old as the Constitution itself and it will always be debated.

I extend a welcome to each of our witnesses.  Justice Breyer, let me extend a welcome back to the Senate Judiciary Committee to you.  As the chairman stated, you are a former chief counsel of this Committee.  I remind you of your statement in your recent book, “Criticism of judges and judicial decisions traces back to our founding.  It is a healthy thing in a democracy.”  I hope you will feel that way as much at the end of the hearing as you did then.  We know that you did not have to appear before us, and that your schedule is very busy, so we appreciate that you both have agreed to speak to us.

Justice Scalia, I’m also glad to see you here today.  As Judge Posner recently remarked, you have “a real flair for judging.”  I think that is an understatement.  You as much as anyone have strongly advanced the traditional view that a judge’s role under the Constitution is to interpret the law according to its text and history.

For my own part, I believe that the role of judges under the Constitution is an important but limited one.  Unless the Constitution provides otherwise, the people through their elected representatives govern themselves.  In determining the meaning of the Constitution, judges are to apply the intent of the Framers, since that is the extent of the limitation on self-government that the people have agreed to impose on themselves.  When judges change the meaning of the Constitution and create new rights, or grant the government powers that it was not intended to have, they reduce the right of the people to govern themselves through the representative government process.  Historically, these are the circumstances in which judges and their decisions have been fairly criticized.

It is rare for sitting Supreme Court Justices to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  I look forward to your testimony as well as the chance to discuss these important questions with you.-30-

 
Kraft Foods to Help The Salvation Army PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Holly Nomura   
Monday, 10 October 2011 15:24
Paints and Restores part of the century old building that houses the homeless and provides evening meals to the community.

Davenport Oscar Mayer Plant Supports The Salvation Army of the Quad Cities’ Family Service Center @ 301 W. 6th Street, Davenport

QUAD CITIES, USA – Twenty Kraft Foods employees from the Davenport Oscar Mayer plant will roll up their sleeves this Thursday to help The Salvation Army of the Quad Cities brighten up an entire section of their building. The 20 volunteers will be using their time and energy to assist the less fortunate as part of the company’s annual “Delicious Difference Week.” The benefactor is the Family Service Center, a Salvation Army program working to help the homeless and displaced population and feed an average of 100 people from the community each evening. The Oscar Mayer staff will mend, restore and paint the 2,600 sqft. area referred to as the “Meal Site.”

“The Meal Site program has been uncommonly busy this summer and fall. This renovation provided by Kraft Foods will be an enormously noticeable difference. Dignity is fostered in clean orderly surroundings.” said Major Gary Felton, Quad Cities Coordinator.

The Family Service Center, the only family shelter in the Quad Cities area, 301 W. 6th Street, Davenport provides housing to approximately 32 families every night. Right now, there are 47 children living at the Center. Over a year’s time, over 40,000 meals will be served and 19,000 nights of shelter provided.

About the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information about local programs, go to http://www.salvationarmy.org/quadcities. –###### –

 
Governor Quinn Announces Volunteer Fire Assistance Program Grants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 03 October 2011 12:41

Federally-Funded Grants will Boost Public Safety Throughout Illinois by Supporting 90 Rural and Small Town Fire Departments

CHICAGO – September 30, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that 90 Illinois communities will benefit from more than $677,000 in federal grants to rural fire protection districts and fire departments. The Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program is a federally-funded program that provides matching funds to aid fire departments in the purchase of new equipment and training.

“This important program boosts public safety by helping many of Illinois’ rural and small town fire departments upgrade their equipment and training,” Governor Quinn said. “Homeowners and business owners throughout the state will benefit from this assistance to their local firefighters.”

The Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program reimburses 50 percent of the recipients’ costs for providing training and acquiring equipment to assist local firefighters. Grant recipients must make the initial financial outlay for the projects before being reimbursed. The grants announced today are supporting more than $1.3 million in local projects.

The U.S. Forest Service grant program is administered in Illinois by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), however no state funds are involved.

“Local firefighters will be able to do a better job of protecting property and lives in their communities thanks to the federal funds being used for the new equipment and training these grants support,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said.

A list of the 90 grant recipients is attached.

 

Volunteer Fire Assistance Program Local Agency Grant Awards

 

Volunteer Fire Department Name         Grant Amount    County






Alto Pass FD

$  7,331.50

Union

Amboy FPD

$15,000.00

Lee

Anna FD

$11,500.00

Union

Ashland VFD

$  1,375.75

Cass

Bath FPD

$  4,420.00

Mason

Bismarck Comm. FPD

$  6,000.00

Vermilion

Blackhawk FPD

$  7,105.00

Rock Island

Bourbonnais FPD

$ 2,400.00

Kankakee

Brighton Betsey Ann FPD

$  2,878.00

Macoupin/Jersey

Cerro Gordo

$  2,985.00

Piatte

Chadwick FPD

$  6,876.85

Carroll

Cobden VFC, Inc.

$14,959.50

Union

Crete FD

$  1,500.00

Williamson

Crete Township

$14,850.00

Williamson

Divernon FPD

$  5,647.00

Sangamon

Dixon Rural FPD

$  4,120.00

Lee/Ogle

Dowell FD

$  1,441.00

Jackson

Easton Rural FPD

$  4,750.00

Mason

Fairbury, City of

$10,262.28

Livingston

Fillmore Comm. FPD

$  3,316.00

Montgomery

Fox Lake FPD

$14,770.00

Lake

Freeport Rural FPD

$  5,019.75

Stephenson

French Village FPD

$  7,200.00

St. Clair

Godfrey FPD

$15,000.00

Madison

Grant Park, FPD

$  5,000.00

Kankakee

Greater Wabash FPD

$13,365.00

Wabash

Greenville FPD

$  7,061.50

Bond

Hebron/Alden/Greenwood FPD

$  3,750.00

McHenry

Hull-Kinderhook FPD

$  4,804.00

Pike

Jonesboro FPD

$  7,500.00

Union

Kankakee Twp. FPD

$  4,975.00

Kankakee

Keyesport FPD

$  9,490.00

Bond

Lake County Wildland FTF

$     459.00

Lake

Lake Egypt FPD

$  7,399.00

Williamson

Lena FPD

$10,385.00

Stephenson

Leonore VFD

$15,000.00

LaSalle

Lexington FPD

$ 0,800.00

McLean

Liberty FPD

$12,000.00

Adams

Limestone, FPD

$  4,300.00

Kankakee

Lincoln FPD

$  7,314.00

Coles

Loami, FPD

$  2,901.00

Sangamon

Lostant FPD

$15,000.00

LaSalle

Maeystown

$  2,500.00

Monroe

Magnolia FPD

$  2,000.00

Putnam

Massac FPD

$15,000.00

Massac

McClure/East Cape Girardeau

$  7,982.50

Alexander

Metropolis FD

$  5,765.00

Massac

Mid_Piatt FPD

$  2,325.00

Piatt

Milledgeville FPD

$  2,475.00

Carroll

Morris FPD

$15,000.00

Grundy

Mt. Hope Funks Grove

$  5,012.50

McLean

Mulberry Grove

$  3,960.00

Bond/Fayette

Neoga FPD

$  3,967.50

Cumberland

New Athens

$  7,463.00

St. Clair

Newport

$  3,500.00

Lake

Niota FD

$  6,000.00

Hancock

North Clay FPD

$12,370.00

Clay/Effingham

Northern Piatt FPD

$  8,077.00

Piatt

Oakland FD

$15,000.00

Coles

Odin FPD

$  7,497.50

Marion

Oglesby FD

$  6,600.00

LaSalle

Olmsted FD

$  2,160.00

Pulaski

Olney FPD

$ 5,000.00

Richland

Park Forest FD

$  2,102.00

Cook/Will

Petersburg FPD

$  9,574.50

Menard

Pleasant Plains

$ 5,000.00

Sangamon

QEM

$14,200.00

Jersey

Rapids City FPD

$12,500.00

Rock Island

Roanoke FPD

$     915.00

Woodford

Rural Pope County

$12,608.00

Pope

Salina Township FPD

$  2,565.00

Kankakee

Scales Mound FPD

$  6,347.78

Jo Daviess

Secor FPD

$  4,079.00

Woodford

Sheridan Comm. FPD

$  8,750.00

LaSalle

Sherman FPD

$  1,617.00

Sangamon

South Jacksonville FPD

$15,000.00

Morton

Spring Valley  FD

$  2,402.12

Bureau

St. Libory FPD

$  7,287.50

St. Clair

Standard FPD

$  4,625.00

Putnam/LaSalle

Stockton FPD

$14,408.00

JoDaviess

Timber Hollis, FPD

$  8,115.00

Peoria

Union FPD

$14,824.50

McHenry

Utica FPD

$  6,810.00

LaSalle

Valier FPD

$  7,600.00

Franklin

Valmeyer FPD

$  8,720.00

Monroe

Vergennes FD

$     400.95

Jackson

Ware-Wolf Lake FPD

$  2,850.00

Union

Williamson County FPD

$  6,590.00

Williamson

Williamsville, FPD

$10,464.00

Sangamon

Woodland FPD

$  4,990.00

Iroquois






Grand Total                          $677,211.48

 
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