Civic News & Info
The Cities, a local public affairs program, debuts on WQPT PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Lora Adams   
Monday, 22 November 2010 16:14
MOLINE, ILLINOIS – WQPT premieres a brand new public affairs program on November 25th at 6:30 pm. “The Cities” will be a weekly look at issues, events and newsmakers in and around the Quad Cities. The program will be hosted by Jim Mertens. Guests for the first show includes newly elected Illinois State Representative Bobby Shilling and his wife, and ‘Mr. Thanksgiving’, Bob Vogelbaugh.

“This show has been the pipeline for some time, but first we had to get through the license transfer and move our offices before we could get it on the air,” said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.  “Now that everything is in place, we are very excited to begin production on “The Cities.”  The program is being supported in part by a grant from the Victor and Doris Day Foundation.

“The Cities” joins other new local programs on WQPT including “WIU Presents,” an hour long performance program provided by Western Illinois University; the second season of “Get Movin’,” a children’s exercise and healthy living program hosted by Jennifer Neal and “Out and About”  a weekly look at events coming up in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

Host Jim Mertens is known in the Quad Cities as the morning anchor for WQAD.   “I think this type of longer format public affairs programming is missing in the Quad Cities.  We hope the audience will help us form the show so we can showcase the important issues... and great community programs... that we either don't realize exist or simply take for granted,” said Mertens. “Not to be Pollyanna about it, but each week we hope to discover not only what is happening in the Quad Cities, but what could happen to make it a better place.”

“The Cities” will be taped at Fusion Communications in Davenport, Iowa and will air on WQPT Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Starting in mid December WQPT will also repeat the program on Sundays at 5:30 pm.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University, located in Moline, Illinois.

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New online workshop in Iowa offers powerful combination of skills and support PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Emily Geesaman   
Monday, 22 November 2010 16:12

Peer support is powerful, especially when it comes to your health.   For example, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found people with diabetes who managed their symptoms together had better outcomes than doing so on their own.  And for the increasing number of people living with hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and cancer, the combination of skills development and peer support can make a difference in how they cope with their condition and the pain, anxiety and fatigue that often comes with it

Based on the work of Stanford University researcher Kate Lorig, DrPH, Better Choices, Better Health™, (available at is an online workshop that teaches self-management management skills in the context of a virtual group.  Rigorous studies have demonstrated that this program helps individuals decrease their fatigue, exercise more, expand their self-confidence and improve their health.

The National Council on Aging is currently piloting Better Choices, Better Health in Iowa. While the program is valued at approximately $200 per person, it is now provided free of charge to participants, thanks to pilot funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Better Choices, Better Health:  How It Works

Throughout the six-week workshop, individuals interact with peers and trained facilitators – many of whom have a chronic condition themselves. They come together and set their own goals and build action plans to achieve them.  Participants discuss ways to reduce stress, find and use community resources, and learn better ways to talk to their doctor and families about their health.

Available Online and In the Community

Better Choices, Better Health is the online version of Stanford University’s internationally recognized Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP), which takes place in-person in community-based settings.

Iowa also offers the community-based program, called Iowa Healthy Links available at or (617) 624-5440, which is provided through the state Department of Public Health.  Both Iowa Healthy Links and Better Choices, Better Health programs are effective in addressing a wide range of chronic health conditions.

You can view a video of the community-based version of the program here:

I’d like to put you in touch with Jay Greenberg, SVP of Social Enterprise at NCOA, Kate Lorig, founder of CDSMP and director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center, or a program instructor or participant to further discuss how Better Choices, Better Health and Iowa Healthy Links are impacting the local community.

Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta Receives Medal of Honor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by various sources   
Monday, 22 November 2010 15:07
Braley Statement on Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta Receiving Medal of Honor

Washington, DC – Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement today after Hiawatha native Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta received the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Giunta is the first living soldier to receive the military’s most prestigious combat medal for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Braley attended the ceremony.

“Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta represents the absolute best our military has to offer and all Iowans should be proud of his service,” Braley said. “At a time when any other person might have taken cover, Staff Sgt. Giunta put himself directly in the line of fire to rescue a fellow soldier. While Staff Sgt. Giunta has described himself as ‘average’ and ‘mediocre,’ his courage, leadership and selfless action paint a more accurate picture of the man we honor today. On behalf of all First District Iowans, I want to congratulate Staff Sgt. Giunta on this tremendous honor and thank him for his extraordinary service.”

According to the White House, Giunta is recognized for the following action:

Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.

When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security.  His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.

WASHINGTON - November 16, 2010 - Senator Chuck Grassley paid tribute to Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta, a native of Hiawatha, at his ceremony to receive the Medal of Honor.  The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces.  Giunta received the Medal of Honor for valorous actions performed on October 25, 2007, during combat operations in Afghanistan.   Giunta, a graduate of Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

“It was humbling to watch as Staff Sgt. Giunta received the Medal of Honor.  While he would probably be the last to say so, Staff Sgt. Giunta’s selfless and honorable actions are truly deserving of the highest honor given to an American service member. May God bless him and all those protecting our nation.”

Click here to watch the video of the Medal of Honor ceremony.

Click here to watch a video blog Senator Grassley taped after the Medal of Honor ceremony.

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Give Thanks: Iowa’s Bounty Keeps On Giving PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 15 November 2010 09:27

The beauty and bounty of Iowa’s own natural resources are too often underestimated.  Driving through 14 counties in Iowa this week, the harvested landscape greeted passersby as far as the eye could see.  Windshield farming is a favorite pastime I’ve long enjoyed.  As a lifelong Iowan, I very much appreciate our “beautiful land between two rivers.”  During this season of Thanksgiving, I appreciate even more its bountiful gifts that keep on giving.

Consider how Iowa’s agricultural abundance has made important contributions to global food security, humanitarian relief, economic growth, job creation and national security.  Harnessing Iowa’s natural resources -- from traditional row crops to biomass and wind -- bears untold potential to help achieve America’s goal to increase the supply and demand for clean, renewable, homegrown energy in the 21st century.

Without a doubt, agriculture helps anchor the state’s economy, supporting tens of thousands of jobs, from transportation, to farm machinery, manufacturing, seed, financial services and the emerging renewable energy industries, including 39 ethanol refineries and dozens of wind farms.

The modern “windmills” dotting Iowa’s landscape are helping the state lead the country in the percentage of wind-powered electricity consumption, 17-20 percent in 2010.  Iowa’s booming wind energy industry shows how good public policy can achieve a public good.  In the U.S. Senate, I wrote the original federal tax incentives to encourage private sector investment and growth of this emerging industry.  Today, Iowa wind farms boost local property tax receipts; provide new income for landowners; support hundreds of manufacturing jobs, from Newton, to Cedar Rapids and Fort Madison; and generate a growing source of clean energy.

Before “green jobs” and “green energy” became politically popular, Iowa farmers for generations have honored a culture of conservation and conscientious stewardship.  Maintaining and improving water and soil quality is fundamental to a farmer’s livelihood, land values and long-term prosperity.  From reduced tillage, to installing terraces and cover crops, farmers look for ways to protect valuable natural resources.  The federal government also encourages producers to maintain and expand their conservation practices through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  The 2008 farm bill authorized funds that in the last year dedicated more than $20 million to Iowa farmers, covering nearly 800,000 acres.  To be considered for the next round of funding, farmers must apply before January 7, 2011.  Check in with the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation field office or its website: to learn more about eligibility requirements.

Iowa’s agricultural abundance once again set a high bar this harvest season.  According to the USDA, Iowa’s corn crop is estimated to reach over 2.1 billion bushels, averaging 167 bushels per acre compared to the national average of 154 bushels.  Corn yields slid behind last year’s average due to unseasonably wet conditions in July.  The USDA estimates the soybean harvest in Iowa will average 52 bushels per acre.  With Mother Nature’s cooperation and commitment to sound stewardship, Iowa farmers stand ready to feed a growing world population and displace a growing percentage of fossil fuels with clean-burning renewable energy.

Wrapping up my 30th annual road trip across Iowa, I’ve met face-to-face with constituents in each of Iowa’s 99 counties at least once every year since 1980.  I appreciate the opportunity to listen and discuss the issues that matter the most to Iowans.  The factory floor, classrooms, hospitals, coffee shops and Main Street businesses provide an unrivaled exchange of ideas to help me better represent Iowans in Washington.

As Iowans gather around their Thanksgiving table to recount their blessings with friends and family, Barbara and I join in giving thanks to farmers whose hard work puts food on our tables 365 days a year and to Iowa’s agricultural bounty that keeps on giving year after year.  I also give thanks for the trust that Iowans have placed in me to serve our state in the United States Senate.  It’s an honor and a privilege that I work to uphold every day of the year.

by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA, Friday, November 12, 2010

Governor Quinn Highlights Veterans Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 11 November 2010 08:51

Encourages Support for Programs that Help Illinois Veterans, Servicemembers and Their Families

CHICAGO – November 10, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted programs that benefit Veterans, servicemembers and their families throughout Illinois. At an event in Chicago, Governor Quinn was joined by representatives from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Illinois National Guard and the USO of Illinois.

“We must do everything we can to support our Veterans and servicemembers,” said Governor Quinn. “It is our duty to honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our state and country.”

At today’s event, Governor Quinn highlighted a number of programs that he has established or supported during his time in public service.

Helmets to Hardhats is a national initiative modeled on Illinois’ program which connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military servicemembers to high-quality construction industry training and employment opportunities. The program seeks to ease the challenging transition to civilian life for servicemembers and their families. For more information please visit

The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund allows residents to donate to Illinois military families in need of financial assistance while loved ones are deployed overseas. Since its launch in 2003, the program has distributed nearly $12 million dollars to families across the state. Donations may be sent to Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, 1301 North MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, IL 62702.

Operation Support Our Troops is devoted to sending care packages with items that are not readily available to servicemembers overseas. Beginning on Veterans Day 2010, OSOTIL will be accepting donated items at MB Financial locations across the Chicagoland area. For a list of needed items and drop-off locations, visit

Operation Hero Miles makes airline tickets available to military families for travel related to a servicemember’s medical condition. Servicemembers being treated as a result of an injury can also request a ticket to travel home while on medical leave. To donate airline miles for families to visit wounded military personnel at medical centers, please visit

For more information about programs for our Veterans, visit or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at 217-782-6641 or 312-814-2460.


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