Education & Schools
Braley Op-Ed: Iowa Should Be National Leader in School Bus Safety PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:09

Kadyn Halverson, age 7, saw her school bus slow to a stop in front of her family’s home near Northwood, Iowa, one morning last May.  She crossed the street to climb aboard.  Like my own three kids and many other Iowa children, she took the flashing red lights of the bus as an article of faith that it was safe to cross.


But that morning, it wasn’t. A pickup truck driver traveling at 60 miles per hour ignored the warning signs and passed the stopped school bus, striking and killing Kadyn. The driver fled and later was convicted of vehicular homicide.


Since the tragedy, Kadyn’s family has worked tirelessly to honor her legacy by pushing the Iowa Legislature to strengthen penalties for drivers who ignore warning lights and illegally pass school buses.


Last month, Gov. Terry Branstad signed “Kadyn’s Law,” which mandates fines of at least $250 and up to $675, plus the possibility of jail time, for first-time offenders of school bus traffic safety laws. For a second conviction within five years, repeat offenders face up to a year in jail and fines up to $1,875. These strong penalties tell drivers to take school bus warning lights seriously.


The obvious next step is to make Kadyn’s Law the new national standard. Under a federal version of Kadyn’s Law I’ve introduced in Congress, if a state doesn’t pass a law that matches the standards set forth in Iowa this year, that state will face a 10 percent cut in federal highway funding.


Without this sort of motivation, the status quo is never going to change. Consider this: In North Dakota, the fine for passing a stopped school bus is $50 — less than some parking tickets!


Across the nation, drivers illegally pass stopped school buses 13 million times each year; in Iowa, 138,600 times every year.  If we cut that number, we’ll reduce the number of children killed and injured by reckless drivers. The best way to do that is to eliminate a weak, ineffective patchwork of state laws and replace it with a strong national standard that provides a real incentive for drivers to follow the law.


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News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by TheLink Delivery Service   
Friday, 06 April 2012 09:05

:Kenosha, Wis. - Carthage College has named outstanding scholars to its Dean's List for academic excellence during the fall semester of 2011.

Dean's List honors are accorded Carthage students who achieve a 3.5 grade point average while carrying at least 14 credit hours during a semester.

Students from the local area receiving Dean's List honors include:

Anne Marie Boyler and Erin Holst, both of Bettendorf

Jennifer Lynn Fyfe of Davenport

Pace Raymond Bennett and Nathan Andrew Moore, both of Moline.


Established in 1847, Carthage is a college of the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The College enrolls 2,500 students and is situated on the Lake Michigan shore in Kenosha, Wis., midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. The Collegiate Learning Assessment has ranked Carthage among the top eight percent of colleges and universities nationwide for the academic gains of its students.


Iowa Supreme Court to Visit Eight High Schools in the Quad Cities Area PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Steve Davis   
Friday, 06 April 2012 08:28

Des Moines, April 4, 2012 — On Wednesday, April 11, the Iowa Supreme Court will visit eight high schools in the Quad-Cities area to talk with students about the role of the courts. The justices will visit with students at West, Central, and Assumption High Schools in Davenport; Bettendorf, and Pleasant Valley High Schools, and Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf; North Scott High School in Eldridge; and Clinton High School in Clinton.


High school visit schedule for April 11:

7:45 a.m.—Justice Daryl Hecht will visit Davenport Central High School

8:40 a.m.—Justice Edward Mansfield will visit North Scott Senior High School

9:00 a.m.—Justice David Wiggins will visit Davenport West High School

9:00 a.m.—Justice Thomas Waterman will visit Pleasant Valley High School

9:00 a.m.—Justice Bruce Zager will visit Clinton High School

9:20 a.m.—Justice Brent Appel will visit Davenport Assumption High School

10:00 a.m.—Chief Justice Mark Cady will visit Bettendorf High School

11:00 a.m.—Justice Thomas Waterman will visit Rivermont Collegiate


News media wishing to cover a justice visit to either Davenport West or Davenport Central High Schools must first contact Davenport Community School District Communication Specialist Dawn Saul at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 563-336-5088.


The school visits are in conjunction with a special session of the supreme court in the Quad Cities on the evening of April 10. The court will hear oral arguments in two cases in the Pleasant Valley High School auditorium. This session begins at 7 p.m. As always, oral arguments are open to the public.


Special Session

Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m.

Pleasant Valley High School auditorium

604 Belmont Road

Bettendorf, Iowa


The court will hear attorneys argue in two cases.


11-0834 Lewis vs. The City of Dubuque

Plaintiff appeals the decision of the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County dismissing her claim that she was illegally evicted from her apartment. Plaintiff often used her gas oven, with door open, to heat her apartment and left water running for extended periods. Acting under a Dubuque City Ordinance, the landlord changed the locks to the apartment and moved plaintiff's possessions to the front step. Plaintiff contends the city ordinance violates her due process rights and is preempted by Iowa's Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA). Defendant argues that Iowa's URLTA was not meant to prohibit cities from addressing such emergency situations.


The attorney representing the appellant is Raymond Johnson, West Des Moines, and the attorneys representing the appellee are Cory Thein, Dubuque, and Leslie Reddick, Dubuque.


11-1581 Dier vs. Peters

Should Iowa recognize a cause of action for paternity fraud? Plaintiff seeks reimbursement from the mother of a child plaintiff financially and emotionally supported, claiming the mother knew plaintiff was not the father of the child. The parties were never married. Plaintiff claims the mother led him to believe he was the child's biological father, and that only after a custody evaluation was favorable to him did the mother announce that he was not the father. The mother argues the court should reject such claims when the plaintiff declined paternity confirmation and voluntarily supported the child. Plaintiff appeals the Iowa District Court for Grundy County decision dismissing plaintiff's claim.


The attorney representing the appellant is Barry Kaplan, Marshalltown, and the attorney representing the appellee is Lynn Wiese, Iowa Falls.


Public Reception

There will be a public reception sponsored by the Scott County Bar Association in the Pleasant Valley High School cafeteria immediately following the court proceedings.


More Information

Attorneys' briefs for the two cases and a "Guide to Oral Arguments" are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at:


Note to Editors: News media are invited to attend the oral arguments. Court rules regarding expanded media coverage apply.




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Treasurer Fitzgerald Announces Deadline to Apply for Robert D. Blue Scholarship Draws Near PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:02

DES MOINES, IA (04/03/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald reminds students the deadline to apply for a Robert D. Blue Scholarship is drawing near. Applications must be submitted online at by May 10 in order to be eligible for this year's award.

"Over the years we've helped thousands of Iowa students meet their college costs with this scholarship," Fitzgerald stated. "Awards are based on financial need, academic achievements, written recommendations and an original essay." In 2011, seven Iowa students received a $1,000 Robert D. Blue Scholarship.

The Robert D. Blue Scholarship is awarded by the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation to honor Iowa students attending college in Iowa. The Foundation was created in 1949 to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Iowa's acceptance into the union. Governor Blue wished to encourage the youth of the state to continue their education at one of Iowa's fine institutions of higher learning. In 1990, the Foundation officially named the scholarship to honor the late Governor Blue.

Robert D. Blue Scholarship applications are only accepted online at, and the winners will be announced during the summer. Those who would like more information on the Robert D. Blue Scholarship should visit the website, or call the treasurer's office at (515) 242-5270.

Schilling's Office to Accept Entries for Congressional High School Art Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 08:15

Moline, Illinois – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today announced that his offices will soon be accepting entries for the 30th Annual Congressional Art Competition.  Each high school in the 17th Congressional District has been invited to nominate up to five students to participate in the competition, an opportunity to acknowledge and promote artistic ability in each Congressional District and ultimately throughout the country.

“This is a great opportunity to show our area’s young people that their hard work and creativity are valued,” Schilling said.  “The talent and imagination among our district’s young people blew me away last year, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this year’s entries.”


For this year’s judging, a total of three votes will determine the winners.  Two local art experts will be the core judges, with the third vote cast by a compilation of spectator votes at the Art Competition reception to take place on Saturday May 5 from 1-3pm at Augustana College’s Art Museum in Rock Island.  Sponsored by the Congressional Institute, the first place finisher and one guest will receive a free flight to Washington, DC to attend the 2012 Congressional Art Competition Reception on Capitol Hill, where their artwork will be displayed for the next year in a corridor of the United States Capitol Building dedicated to the talent of today’s youth.  It will represent the 17th Congressional District of Illinois among hundreds of pieces from other congressional districts all over the country.  The remaining four artists are invited to have their pieces featured in the Schilling's district offices for the remainder of the year.


The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 as a way to recognize and encourage the artistic talent of our country’s youth.  Since it was launched, more than 650,000 students have participated nationwide.  Interested students or parents can contact Claudia Ridenour with questions at (309) 757-7630.

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