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“The Biggest Shedder” Pet Weight Loss Contest Launched PDF Print E-mail
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Written by James P. Judge   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:07

National competition helps growing population of obese pets shed pounds and be healthy

TAMPA, Fla. – BluePearl Veterinary Partners announced Wednesday the start of The Biggest Shedder, a nationwide pet weight-loss competition  to encourage and motivate pet owners to help their furry companions get to a healthy weight. Open to any pet owner with an overweight cat or dog, the first weigh-in deadline is February 13.

“Pets are part of the family and share problems maintaining a healthy weight, just like people do,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your pet’s life are paramount to helping your pet live a long and healthy life while preventing avoidable ailments.”

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 54 percent of cats and dogs in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. Animals who are overweight are at risk for shortened life spans due to knee and joint injuries, heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and other serious disorders.


Step 1) Pet owners are encouraged to take their pet to their family veterinarian to see if their pets are indeed overweight, determine how much they may need to lose, come up with a plan to lose the weight and figure out a realistic goal to reach by the contest end date of June 14.
Step 2) Pet owners take their cat or dog to their family veterinarian for a quick weigh-in every couple of weeks and post their pet’s progress. Prizes are given away at each weigh-in and those who reach their goal by contest end are entered to win the grand prize.


The grand prize for the contest will be one-year worth of Hill’s pet food for the winning pet and an iPad provided by Trupanion Pet Insurance for the owner. Additional prizes for progress weigh-ins will be provided by Pfizer Animal Health.
(Note:  Winners information will be verified by the pet’s veterinarian.)

For more information and to participate visit:

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.


Immigrant youth shares his dreams PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hector Salamanca   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:39
We stand at the brink of a new America, one that stands up for those millions like me who are American in all but legal status.  As an undocumented immigrant, I cannot just sit and hope that a knight in shining armor will rise and fight for my cause.  Too many of us undocumented people sit in the shadows and do not stand to fight for what is fair.

I understand that some of us don’t act because we are afraid: Afraid that our mother or father will not be there to pick us up from school. Afraid of an immigration officer knocking on our doors. Afraid of letting others know of our situation and afraid how they will respond once we tell them.

I am here to tell you, do not be afraid. I am also here to tell our friends and neighbors, classmates and coworkers, “Do not be afraid” of me and the millions like me who want only to live the American Dream, to work hard, build better lives for our families and a brighter future for our communities and our country.

I, too, was once afraid. When my father broke the news to me in 2010 that my undocumented status meant that my chances for a driver’s license, a college education and a good job were slim, I felt stuck and alone. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), which would help people like me, has stalled in Congress since 2001.

But I persevered. I began volunteering with the American Friends Service Committee, a non-profit group providing legal services to immigrants. I finished high school and began study at a community college, where I’m an honors student.

So now I am motivated by a dream, a dream similar to the civil rights activists and the community organizers who have fought for immigration reform before you and I were born. I dream of one day having comprehensive, fair immigration policies that set a path to allow me -- now a Deferred Action participant with my Social Security number and work permit -- to affordably attend college, receive a driver’s license, drive my girlfriend around for a change, and to eventually become a citizen, among other things. I dream that one day, I will see Dreamers and our allies organize in all 50 states to make that path a reality. In order for my dream to come true, my generation needs to take the lead and move our country forward.

This plea does not apply to just the country’s estimated 1.9 million Dreamers, but to all members of our generation. We cannot allow ourselves to grow content with the way things are, for when we are old, the next generation will ask us why we stood by as the rights of others were trampled.

I, too, have faith in the American Dream, because I am living it. Through hard work, I have been given opportunities for success, which is the American Dream. As a child, I read history books filled with great men and women who all struggled to keep that dream alive for all those who called the United States home.

I and many others strive to continue the fight for the American Dream, but we need help. To continue building upon the legacy of those before us, we need to stand up and fight for the rights of the oppressed. For we are the generation of hope and change. We cannot allow the flame that is the American Dream to be extinguished.

We the Dreamers, in fact, represent the American Dream for the 21st century because many of us have risen out of the abyss of despair to achieve success. We are honor students, graduates from universities and hardworking; above all else, we long to contribute to the country we call home.

The American Dream has always been to rise from nothing and become successful through hard work. For me, I want to continue my education and be the first in my family to graduate from college and to continue to contribute back to my community. I want to prove to our opponents that they can try and deny us opportunities, but we shall overcome our obstacles and surpass our goals.

If you are a Dreamer reading this, I urge you to go and start volunteering. Every time you  volunteer, you are making a positive impact on someone’s life and taking down misconceptions as well. Take courage in knowing you are not alone, for I and many others are right beside you, fighting for our opportunity to contribute and move our country forward.

I also ask those who are not Dreamers to help out in any way you can. We need a coalition of friends, neighbors, Democrats, Republicans, young and old, black, brown, yellow and white, to pass not just the Dream Act, but comprehensive immigration reform. Stand in solidarity with us, and together we can keep the American Dream alive for all those who just want an opportunity to give back to this great nation we call home.

Bath Fitter Expands into eastern Iowa and Western Illinois PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Zahn   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 16:14
Davenport, IA-Iowa Bath Solutions, LLC dba Bath Fitter,, announces expansion of
it’s Des Moines location into eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Due to increased demand, Bath Fitter
will offer its services in the following counties in Iowa: Clayton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware,
Dubuque, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Clinton, Cedar, Scott, Muscatine, Louisa, Henry, Des Moines and Lee.
In Illinois, Bath Fitter will service the following counties: Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry and Mercer.

Bath Fitter® is North America’s premier acrylic bath, shower and wall-system company.

  • Fast, Clean and Affordable
  • Less hassle and mess than conventional bathroom remodeling
  • Exclusive one-piece seamless walls, custom made for each individual installation
  • Custom acrylic tub and shower liners installed right over your existing unit…in just one day
  • Fiberglass replacements also available, installed in two days
  • FREE in-home estimate with absolutely no obligation
  • Financing is available

For over twenty nine years, Bath Fitter® has been working to meet the custom needs of homeowners, as
well as, commercial businesses and residencies. Bath Fitter® provides specialized bathtub and shower
solutions with unique products, allowing for a precise, completely individual look that is custom made
to fit the business or home’s exact specifications. Numerous accessories available such as shower seats,
storage options, and a variety of modern acrylic finishes. When safety or ease of access is a concern,
Bath Fitter® can even convert an existing tub into an easy access shower.

Customers can call to schedule a free, in-home estimate. At the in-home estimate, a Bath Fitter®
representative will review the current situation and answer any questions. The company offers an
Exclusive Limited Lifetime Warranty on all of its work. Bath Fitter® manufactures its own products
and provides their own Certified Technicians, so they can stand behind every single job. No part of the
process is subcontracted.

Customer service is one of Bath Fitter®’s top priorities. At the eat job completion, the customer receives
a customer satisfaction survey, allowing customers to express their satisfaction or offer any suggestions.

Bath Fitter® has received the award for Top Performer in bathroom remodeling from Qualified
Remodeler for 11 years in a row.

For a FREE in-home estimate, please call 1-800-594-8776. For employment opportunities visit

Fast, Clean and Affordable
Less hassle and mess than conventional bathroom remodeling
Exclusive one-piece seamless walls, custom made for each individual installation
Custom acrylic tub and shower liners installed right over your existing unit…in just

Fiberglass replacements also available, installed in two days
FREE in-home estimate with absolutely no obligation
Financing is available


State partnering with Dwolla to provide innovative electronic payment option PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 16:01

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today joined Dwolla founder Ben Milne to announce a new partnership to provide Iowa taxpayers with an innovative electronic payment option.

Dwolla is a cash-based payment network that provides real-time, low cost, online and mobile payments. Instead of charging a floating percentage and fixed fee per transaction for goods and services or the administrative headaches of checks, Dwolla’s easy-to-use network costs a flat 25-cent fee on any payment over $10.

Branstad said he was pleased to announce another step for innovation in state government, saying, “Iowa is always looking for better ways to do business, and this is a step in the right direction.”

“Dwolla is a safe, secure payment method, and we are proud as a state to be partnering with such a great Iowa company,” said Branstad. “This new method is an efficient, effective means of payment for Iowa taxpayers, and I look forward to expanding this service into additional areas within state government.”

From collecting property taxes to issuing refunds, from renewing vehicle registrations to paying government contractors, Branstad and Reynolds say the state will be identifying the potential impact Dwolla’s open, social, online and mobile payment technologies could have on every level of state government.

Today’s first integration will focus on the Iowa Department of Revenue, allowing businesses, who already pay more than $100 million in cigarette stamp taxes, the option of paying via Dwolla. The option is cheaper and safer than mailing and processing a paper check. The speed and efficiency of the system also allows participating businesses to receive their tax stamps quicker.

“Our announcement today shows there is no geographic monopoly on innovation,” said Reynolds. “Dwolla is a fantastic Iowa company that is providing dynamic solutions for consumers, businesses and now the state of Iowa.”

“The number of state and federal payments are in the billions with transactions totaling in the trillions, meaning even a fraction of savings could have a profound effect on the economy,” said Ben Milne, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Dwolla. “This partnership is about creating a more sustainable, responsive, and convenient business climate for the state and its taxpayers, both today and tomorrow.”

Eligible vendors and retailers interested in participating in today’s announcement may go to to learn more.

# # #

Loebsack Statement on the Inauguration of the President of the United States PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 15:59

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after Barack Obama was sworn in for the second time as the President of the United States.

"As we look forward to the next four years, we have many issues that must be addressed, and none is more important than boosting the economy and setting our country on a sustainable path.  It is days like today where one sees such bipartisan camaraderie that always helps to restore our faith that we can tackle the big issues and move past the partisan politics that have for too long paralyzed Congress.  I will continue to reach beyond party lines, as I always have, to move policies that help middle class Iowans who have been struggling.  It is critical for our nation's future that we rebuild our economy from the middle out.

"The peaceful reaffirmation of power that was again displayed today highlights the truly exceptional nature of our country. I believe that our best days are in front of us and with hard work and commonsense, we will be able to move our great country forward."


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