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Simon to testify in support of ethics reform measure PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:39

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Simon will testify in support of legislation that will improve the disclosures made by elected and high-ranking government officials. Senate Bill 1361, sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) will be heard in the Senate’s Executive Committee today.

“This legislation will improve disclosure forms that are confusing to filers and do not give Illinois residents adequate information about whether state leaders hold conflicts of interest,” Simon said. “I encourage the committee to help us continue to increase government transparency by passing this bill.”

SB 1361 proposes a revised disclosure form, known as a Statement of Economic Interests, which must be filed with the secretary of state’s office or county clerk’s office, or postmarked annually by May 1. The current forms, which are filed by elected officials, high-ranking government employees and candidates, have not been updated since being introduced 40 years ago.

The revised form would require filers to list outside sources of income, lobbyist relationships and loans made or accepted on terms not available to the general public, for the first time. Simon, who served on the Illinois Reform Commission, worked with government watchdog groups to draft Senate Bill 1361. The legislation is Simon’s top transparency initiative of 2013.

DATE: Wednesday, May 8

TIME: 2 p.m. – committee begins

PLACE: Room 212, State Capitol, Springfield

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Attention local teens – JOIN NOW – applications for youth philanthropy accepted until May 31 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Natalie Anderson   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:17
May 6, 2013

Bettendorf, Iowa, Teens for Tomorrow (T4T), the only program in the Quad Cities that gives high school students the opportunity to grant money to nonprofit organizations, is accepting members for the 2013-2014 school year. The deadline for applications has been extended to May 31, 2013.

T4T participants make a positive impact in the lives of our community members by distributing annual grants totaling $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations. The teens make these distributions after thorough evaluation of grant requests and learning about various nonprofits who applied – their role, what they do, how they help people.

“By getting involved in T4T, you meet a lot of new people. With $10,000 you have a great experience helping a lot of nonprofits and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime,” says current T4T student director and alum Brady Frieden.

By joining Teens for Tomorrow, members become part of a nationwide trend of young people who are making their voices heard in the community through philanthropy and service. Through the T4T program, high school students will learn about the grantmaking process and develop teamwork, communication and leadership skills, as well as become better informed about community issues and how youth can address these needs. T4T is open to 9-12 grade students attending high school in Rock Island County, IL and Scott County, IA. Meetings are held one Sunday a month from September – May at local nonprofits.

Student applications must be postmarked by Friday, May 31, 2013 and should be sent to the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, 852 Middle Road, Ste 100, Bettendorf, IA 52722. Applications can be found at the Community Foundation’s website, http://www.cfgrb.org.

For more information about Teens for Tomorrow, contact the Community Foundation’s T4T manager, Kodie Wittenauer at (563) 326-2840 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Treasurer Fitzgerald Adds More Names to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:57

DES MOINES, IA (05/07/2013)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald's Great Iowa Treasure Hunt spring publication is scheduled to be released soon. The upcoming list is the latest names of unclaimed property owners with undiscovered treasures. This is part of Fitzgerald's continuous promotion of the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.

"In upcoming weeks, we will be publishing names of people who have had funds turned over to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt," stated Fitzgerald. "You don't have to wait for the publication, go to greatiowatreasurehunt.com and search the entire list anytime. I encourage everyone to search for their name; a lot of individuals will be pleasantly surprised."

The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $160 million in unclaimed property to more than 394,000 individuals since Fitzgerald started it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property's owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the state treasurer's office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits, safe deposit box contents and many other types of property.

Check the unclaimed property database to see if the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt has property belonging to you. Simply visit greatiowatreasurehunt.com to begin your search.

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May Marks Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Staff Sgt. Jaime Witt, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:46

SPRINGFIELD, IL (05/07/2013)(readMedia)-- As summer approaches and temperatures rise, more than 350,000 registered motorcycles in Illinois will emerge from their garages. The Office of Safety and Occupational Health would like to remind the motorcyclists of the Illinois Army National Guard of safety expectations and requirements.

Maj. Jayson Coble of Springfield, Ill., the safety and occupational health manager for the Illinois Army National Guard, said motorcycle safety is important because motorcycling is inherently more dangerous. According to the Division of Traffic Safety, there were 145 motorcyclist fatalities in 2011, an increase from the previous year.

"You're riding on two wheels instead of four," said Coble. "An experienced rider once told me that when you're on a motorcycle you've always got to watch out for everyone else around you, because they're not watching out for you."

Soldiers are reminded there are specific requirements for riding a motorcycle when on duty, which includes travel to and from training, as well as riding on any military installation. In order to ride, Soldiers must have the "M" designator on their Illinois driver's license and must have completed the Basic Rider Course within the last three years. Coble said the 15-hour course is offered free of cost at many sites throughout the state from February through October every year. A refundable $20 deposit is required to hold a seat, and the course provides a helmet and motorcycle for student use.

"The course teaches a person who has never ridden a motorcycle before, by the end of the weekend, to ride by themselves confidently," Coble said.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ladd of Seymour, Ill., a driving instructor with the 129th Regimental Training Institute out of Springfield, Ill., has been an avid rider since graduating high school and said the Basic Rider Course is essential.

"I am a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-trained rider from the beginning," Ladd said. "I asked my father to teach me how to ride his bike. He told me when I turned 18, I could take a class from the state. I enrolled in the class after graduation and have been riding ever since."

Coble stated even experienced riders benefit from taking the basic rider course.

"The course teaches you things you may not have thought of before," Coble said. "Instructors talk about bad habits people get into after they've ridden for a while, and things certainly change over the course of time. After you've been riding for a long time, you can become complacent and complacency kills."

In addition to the course and licensure requirement, Soldiers must wear a helmet, eye protection, full-length pants, jacket, gloves and reflective gear. Coble said appropriate personal protective equipment is not only required, but will help save you in the case of an accident.

"I think the most important thing is a helmet," Coble said. "You have only one head, and that's probably the most vulnerable part of your body to injury and head injuries are the hardest to recover from if you survive."

Ladd echoed this sentiment.

"Buy a helmet that you'll wear," Ladd said. "It is the most important thing I've picked up as I became a more seasoned rider. I wouldn't wear a helmet if it was uncomfortable."

Ladd also said proper maintenance is another important part of safety, as well as riding alert.

"If there is any one thing to point out, don't ride when you're impaired," Ladd said. "If you make a mistake, there is no forgiveness."

More information can be found at http://safety.army.mil and http://www.msf-usa.org.

 
Loebsack Announces 2013 Art Competition Winner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 08:50

“Daddy Knows Best” by City High’s Jordan Adams named winner

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced at a ceremony over the weekend that a painting by Jordan Adams, a 10th grader at City High in Iowa City, was named the winner of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition.  Jordan’s painting was chosen by judges Leslie Grossman, Curator and Gallery Director at St. Ambrose University and Rima Girnius, Curator at Figge Art Museum to represent Iowa’s Second District.  His painting will be hung in the U.S. Capitol and Jordan will receive a free trip to Washington to attend a reception held to honor all of this year’s winners.  A full list of the honorees and photos of their artwork is below.

“Every year I am amazed at the creativity, ingenuity, and talent of our local high school students from across the District.  I send my congratulations to all of the young artists whose excellent submissions made it a very close contest this year.  I especially want to congratulate Jordan and look forward to seeing his artwork hanging in the U.S. Capitol,” said Loebsack.

 

Winner:

Jordan Adams, 10th grade, Iowa City- City High

Daddy Knows Best

 

First Runner-up:

Emily Miller, 11th grade, Fairfield

Work

 

Second Runner-up:

Amy Beattie, 10th grade, Ottumwa

Bridge

 

Honorable Mentions: (listed alphabetically)

Katlin Hart, Agency

Hippo

 

Karen Jorgenson, Davenport

"Appearance vs Reality"

 

Sarah Lange, Iowa City

Love is Love

 

Jessie McElderry, Batavia

Portrait of a Turtle

 

Amy Van Fossen, Bettendorf

Iowa in Spring

 

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