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News Releases - General Info
Written by Laurie Johns   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:29

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 21, 2012 – Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, two lucky Iowans from Ottumwa and Osceola will enjoy “Free Groceries for a Year!” from the Iowa Farmers Feed US grocery sweepstakes offered by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and grocery partner, Fareway Stores, Inc.  The two winners, whose names were drawn at random from more than 93,000 Iowa consumer registrations during October, are Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa and Mark Mason of Osceola.

Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa may be a teacher, but she’s also an Iowan who is always open to learning. She visited the Iowa Farmers Feed US website ( after learning about the opportunity to win $5,000 in free groceries. Once there, she also learned more about the people who raise the food she finds at the store.

"I was very impressed with the website and I liked being able to learn more about the families and farmers featured there,” said Manternach. “I liked learning about their histories and being from Iowa, I have the upmost respect and appreciation for our farmers. I started by visiting the farmer closest to me, which was Tim Kaldenberg who raises cattle near Albia.”

The website features beef cattle, corn, dairy cattle, hog and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing information about their farm and family. The campaign also featured the farmers on Facebook and Twitter.

“My family was involved in the Iowa Farmers Feed US project because we understand that while not everyone is involved in raising food, nearly everyone is interested in seeing how animals are cared for, how crops are raised and how we protect Iowa’s soil, air and water,” explained Justin Dammann, who raises cattle, corn and soybeans in Page County. “The website offers that opportunity for people throughout Iowa, many of whom have never been on a farm.”

Manternach agreed, “I didn’t know a lot about farming before this and it was neat to learn how Iowa leads the nation in many areas.” She also is thinking about how she can use the site and its information in her classroom. “I have so many students who are interested in farming and agriculture, I would like to find some classroom opportunities to use this information,” she said.

Although the winners have been chosen, Iowans can still visit to learn about Iowa agriculture and take virtual tours of different types of family farms. Additional Iowa agriculture groups supporting this initiative include the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Midwest Dairy.


About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at

Penny Vacek's scheduled Listening Posts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:28

Penny Vacek -- Senator Chuck Grassley’s Regional Director based in Davenport -- will be holding open office hours in Cedar and Scott counties on November 26 and office hours in Louisa, Des Moines and Lee counties on November 27. These open office hours are designed for Iowans to have local access to casework assistance and an opportunity to express points of view or concerns directly to a staffer for Senator Grassley.

More Information about Penny Vacek’s schedule follows here:

Monday, November 26, 2012

8:00-9:00 a.m.                Cedar County, Lowden City Hall, 501 Main Street, Lowden

10:00-11:00 a.m.            Scott County, Walcott City Hall, 128 West Lincoln Street, Walcott

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8:30-9:30 a.m.                Louisa County, Columbus Junction City Hall, 232 2nd Street, Columbus Junction

10:30-11:30 a.m.            Des Moines County, Mediapolis Public Library, 128 North Orchard, Mediapolis

12:30-1:30 p.m.              Lee County, Fort Madison Public Library, 1920 Avenue E, Fort Madison

Grassley's offices in Iowa regularly help constituents contact federal agencies to sort through problems with Social Security payments, military service matters, immigration cases and other matters. His state offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City and Waterloo.

Here is a comment from Senator Grassley about the staff open office hours:

“Open office hours are designed to help more Iowans access the assistance that is available from the office of their United States Senator.  I hope anyone with federal agency-related casework will take advantage of Penny’s visits.”

For more information please contact Senator Grassley’s Davenport office at 563-322-4331.


Former Mortgage Pool Servicer Indicted on Federal Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Charges PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Val Quast   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:15
DAVENPORT, IA - On November 19, 2012, Thomas Richard Jager, age 64, of Bettendorf, Iowa, made an initial appearance in federal court on an indictment charging thirty-two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. United States Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields set trial for January 7, 2013, and the case was assigned for trial to Chief United States District Judge James E. Gritzner.

The indictment alleges that starting on approximately January 1, 2008, and continuing to on or about July 31, 2010, Jager and his mortgage servicing company, Whitehall Funding, Inc., then located in Davenport, Iowa, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud in connection with his certain mortgage pools serviced by Jager and Whitehall. The indictment further alleges that Jager drafted and faxed false remittance reports to investors in the mortgage pools and submitted false end of the year reports to mortgagors. The indictment also alleges that Jager improperly transferred funds received from mortgagors to Jager’s personal accounts, and in one instance used mortgagor and investor funds to make a payment of $137,660.97 to pay off Jager’s own home equity loan. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of certain real and personal property.

The indictment is merely a charging instrument. Jager is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, Jager faces a penalty on each wire fraud count of up to thirty years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment, a period of supervised release of up to five years, a special assessment of $100, restitution to victims, and forfeiture of assets. If convicted on the money laundering count, Jager faces a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment, a period of supervised release of not more than three years, a special assessment of $100, restitution, and forfeiture.

This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Muscatine Man Sentenced to 188 Months in Prison for Marijuana Offense PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Val Quast   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:10
DAVENPORT, IA – On November 19, 2012, Jorge Luis Melendez, age 58, of Muscatine, Iowa, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute marijuana, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. United States District Judge John A. Jarvey also sentenced Melendez to six years supervised release.

Melendez agreed with others to distribute marijuana from January 2011 through May 2011. Melendez directed co-conspirators to transport multiple loads of marijuana from Rockford, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa. Melendez was responsible for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the conspiracy.

The case was investigated by the Davenport, Iowa, Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Around the Nation, Communities Come Together to Support Troops, Veterans, this Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Move America Forward   
Monday, 19 November 2012 16:14
All over the country you can read about how local communities are doing wonderful things, coming together, to support the troops around the Thanksgiving holiday. 

At the Bob Hope USO room at LAX International Airport "about 300 military troops deploying across the U.S. and around the world will celebrate an early Thanksgiving dinner. The USO Thanksgiving dinner for members of all branches of the military is sponsored by USO supporter, The Gary Sinise Foundation, which is dedicated to honoring veterans, first responders, their families and those in need."

In Virginia,the USO is supporting the families of troops. "Through donations to the Turkeys for Troops program, the United Service Organizations' USO-Metropolitan Washington will prepare Thanksgiving gift baskets for military families in need."

In Dana Point, California, an annual event called "Turkey Trot for the Troops" helps raise money with a race.

"Event organizer, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, has earmarked proceeds to go toward supporting the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group's efforts to show our active duty 5th Marines the community's appreciation and lend support to them and their families whether in-country or deployed."

These are all great things that supporters are doing across the country to support their local troops and military families.

But remember that while it's wonderful to do something for troops returning from war, or their families, there is nothing the average citizen can do to help the 67,000 troops who are thousands of miles away, unable to be home for Thanksgiving, because they're DEPLOYED in Afghanistan.

Not to worry, there is good news! You CAN help those troops overseas, by send care packages, offered by Move America Forward.

It's the only way to send support to the troops who are in harm's way, ON TURKEY DAY!

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