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Loebsack Calls on Pentagon to Explain Decision to Overturn Sexual Assault Case PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:35

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack and a bipartisan group of Members that serve on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) have demanded answers from the Secretary of Defense after a sexual assault conviction and sentence were overturned.  Loebsack is the only member of the Iowa delegation to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, which has oversight of policies concerning sexual assault prevention and prosecution.  As a member of the committee and the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, Loebsack has worked to strengthen sexual assault and harassment prevention and response policies, including provisions signed into law as part of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requiring independent reviews of how sexual assaults are prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

“As a parent of a step-son and daughter-in-law who serve our nation in the military, ensuring their safety on both the battlefield and on base is one of my top priorities. Sexual assault in our Armed Forces is unacceptable.  A zero-tolerance policy must include effective prosecution and support for victims.  I have worked to make improvements to sexual assault and harassment prevention and response policies in our military, but we still have a long ways to go to protect victims and to better prosecute these cases.

“I have very serious questions that remain unanswered in the recent case where a sexual assault conviction and sentence were overturned.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I will work to ensure adjudicated cases cannot be overturned without proper oversight and evidence and to ensure better prosecution of these cases.”

The letter was in response to the overturning of a conviction of an Air Force officer for sexual assault.  Last year, Air Force Lt Col James Wilkerson was found guilty of sexual assault by a panel of military officers and a judge sentence him to a year in prison and dismissal from the Air Force.  However, Lt Gen Craig Franklin, who was the convening authority for the court-martial and reviewed the finished case and sentence, dismissed the charges against Lt Col Wilkerson under a rarely used provision of the UCMJ.

A copy of the letter sent to the Department of Defense can be seen here.

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Speedway Fire-Rescue will hold its annual Motorsports Conference (training) this coming weekend, March 16-17 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Phil Roberts   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:30
Davenport, Iowa (March 13, 2013) -- The crash that sent debris into the stands, injuring spectators at this year’s Nationwide Series race in Daytona, is a reminder that injuries can occur in racing -- and not just to participants -- despite major advances in safety equipment and track barriers.
A group of Quad-Cities area volunteers who have been working hard to protect life and property around area speedways since 1966 are holding their annual training session this weekend so they’ll be ready for the 2013 racing season.
Speedway Fire-Rescue (speedwayfirerescue.com) is a non-profit 501C3 organization based in Davenport. Roughly 40 volunteers, who are trained in firefighting, vehicle extrication and emergency medical service, serve at a drag strip and more than half a dozen dirt race tracks in the area every weekend from April through October. They also work at the Quad City Air Show each year in Davenport.
The SFR volunteers will undergo two days of classroom and hands-on training in all pertinent aspects of fire and rescue at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St., Davenport.
Classes and roundtable presentations take place in the Keppy 4-H Building, located west of both the grandstand and Expo Building. Much of the outside training, including a large burn planned for around 2 p.m. Sunday, takes place on the south side of the fairgrounds along the backstretch of the half-mile race track.
For more information, contact: SFR’s Secretary and Training Coordinator, Capt. Karri Coyne, at (563) 370-6446, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
DIG to DONATE Plant Sale PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:20
Iowa State University Scott County Extension Master Gardeners presents the DIG to DONATE Plant Sale on May 4th, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach Office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf.

Pick from a wide selection of perennials, many of which are grown and donated by Master Gardners who will be available to answer your plant questions. Demonstrations will be held throughout the day.

Great prices. Good variety. Expert advice. Cash or check. Support the Master Gardener program and its horticulture education programs in Scott County. To learn more about the group or plant sale call (563) 359-7577.

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Finding Ways to Save on Home & Auto Loans PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Emily Caropreso   
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 14:47

CONSIDER THIS: Polk, an auto research firm, forecasts that new vehicle registrations in the U.S. will increase by 900,000 in 2013. According to more than 900 credit union members surveyed by the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL), Iowa is no exception to the trend. The report revealed 10.1 percent of respondents plan to purchase a car in 2013. Additionally, 4.1 percent of respondents say they are planning to purchase a house this year.

It can be difficult to afford large down payments so finding the best financing option is more important than ever. The survey showed 46.6 percent of respondents in ICUL’s survey report said they would use money from savings for a down payment on a car, and 40.5 percent on a house. While the current market offers favorable rates, MyFICO.com says the best options are usually only available to borrowers with “tier one” credit, which generally requires a credit score ranging from 760 to 850. Without research and planning, consumers outside of tier one may find themselves paying more than necessary for their loans.

“Too often consumers finance a loan without understanding the actual financial impact,” said Emily Caropreso, Director of Communications & Marketing, Iowa Credit Union League. “Length of the loan and the interest rate are only part of the equation. Your credit history, fees, and down payment influence what you will pay each month, and ultimately the costs associated with the entire life of the loan.”

ICUL suggests the following tips:

  • Check your credit history. Your credit union can provide you with a copy of your credit report. If not, you can get a report each year for free at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Check your report for inaccuracies, and look for areas to improve. If you have existing balances, consider paying them down to lessen your debt-to-income ratio, a big factor in your credit score.
  • Shop around for the best financing deal. Consider the entire financing package when shopping for a loan. Calculate the cost of the loan through its entire term and include up-front charges, taxes and fees. You may find a low-interest loan without fees costs less than a zero-percent-interest loan with fees.
  • Put money down. If possible, take the time to save up for a down payment. The more money you put down, the less you have to finance, saving you thousands of dollars in interest charges. This can also allow you to pay for any loan costs up front, rather than rolling them into your monthly payment.
  • Adjust your monthly budget. Adding a new loan payment can put a dent in your monthly budget. Bills that you typically paid in the middle of the month might need to be moved, possibly subjecting you to late fees. Try budgeting an estimated mortgage or car payment a couple of months in advance to avoid the shock.
  • Ask questions. The more questions you ask, the better informed you are. Sit down with a consumer lending specialist at your credit union and ask: how much house/car can I afford? What fees/charges are avoidable? What interest rate can I expect to pay? How much should I put down? In the end, how much will the loan cost me?

 
Loebsack Named to Henry M. Jackson Foundation Council of Directors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 13:31

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that he was chosen by Rep. Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), to sit on the Council of Directors of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF).  Each year, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee both appoint a member of the Committee to serve on the HJF Council of Directors. HJF is a global organization dedicated to advancing military medical research.  They serve military, medical, academic and government clients by administering, managing and supporting preeminent scientific programs that benefit members of the armed forces and civilians alike. Congressman Loebsack has been a member of the HASC since being elected to Congress and has served on the Military Personnel Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over military health care, since 2009.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve on the Henry M. Jackson Foundation Council of Directors by Ranking Member Smith,” said Congressman Loebsack. “As a military parent, it is one of my top priorities to make sure our service men and women, as well as our Veterans, have access to the greatest medical care and advancements in the world.  The Henry M. Jackson Foundation strives to advance military medical research and I am proud to help lead them.”

“The hard work and dedication to our service members that Dave has demonstrated as a leader on the House Armed Services Committee will make him an important voice for our troops on the Council of Directors,” said Congressman Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member. “I am pleased to appoint Dave to the Foundation and look forward to seeing the results that they will produce.”

"We are most pleased to welcome The Honorable Dave Loebsack to the Council of Directors of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.  We eagerly look forward to working with Congressman Loebsack and his staff as the Foundation advances medical research and education at the Uniformed Services University and throughout the military medical community.  The mission for the Foundation is as relevant today as it was when the Legislation which authorized the establishment of the Foundation was enacted in 1983,” said John Lowe, President and CEO, Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

The not-for-profit Foundation is authorized by Congress to support research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and throughout military medicine. Since its founding in 1983, HJF has served as a vital link between the military medical community and its federal and private partners. The Foundation’s support and administrative capabilities allow military medical researchers and clinicians to maintain their scientific focus and to accomplish their research goals effectively and efficiently.

The council consists of nine members, in addition to Congressman Loebsack, the other serving members of the Council are Chairman Philip Odeen, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin , U.S. Sen. John McCain, U.S. Rep. John Fleming, M.D., The Honorable Beverly Byron , John Dressendorfer, General (Ret.) Gordon Sullivan, Charles Rice, M.D., President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

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