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Iowa Judicial Branch Receives Two Federal Grants PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Friday, 18 January 2013 09:07

Des Moines, January 17, 2013 - The Iowa Judicial Branch, along with the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Governor's Office on Drug Control Policy, recently received one of seventeen new federal Regional Partnership Grants to address the safety and well-being of children whose parents have substance-related disorders and are involved with the child welfare system.

Des Moines, January 17, 2013 — The Iowa Judicial Branch, along with the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Governor's Office on Drug Control Policy, recently received one of seventeen new federal Regional Partnership Grants to address the safety and well-being of children whose parents have substance-related disorders and are involved with the child welfare system. The five-year grant is for $500,000 a year and will serve 350 families.

The grant will fund the development of a pilot project in Wapello County that provides individualized care plans for families based on specific needs identified through trauma-informed assessments. The services will focus on the well-being of the children and families. Children and parents will take two parenting skills and family functioning classes and receive post recovery support services. The Wapello County project partners are the Iowa Department of Human Services, First Resources, and Four Oaks.

The grant will also fund both multidisciplinary and profession-specific training. The multidisciplinary training will prepare members of the child welfare and substance abuse treatment fields for collaborative efforts. The profession-specific trainings will target child welfare professionals, substance abuse treatment professionals, and judicial and legal professionals. All trainings will be statewide and continue after completion of the grant.

An evaluation will be conducted by Drs. Jody Brook and Becci Akin from the University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare in Lawrence, Kansas. The evaluation plan incorporates a multi-method approach to collect data that will be used to assess the extent to which the project is implemented as planned and objectives are achieved.

The Iowa Judicial Branch also received a two-year continuation of a Parents and Children Together: A Family Drug Court Initiative (PACT) grant originally awarded in November, 2007. The grant funds family treatment courts in six counties. The continuation is for $500,000 a year for two years. The two-year continuation grant will fund family treatment courts in Wapello, Polk, Linn, Scott, and Woodbury counties, and the combined court in Cherokee and Ida counties. Family treatment courts offer a comprehensive approach to treating parents with substance-related disorders, while maintaining the goal of reuniting the family.

PACT grant activities will focus on continued implementation of the six family treatment courts with ongoing training and information sharing between the sites and state level partners. The grant also funds case planning that involves entire families to promote family self-sufficiency, family treatment services, increased family support, and additional children's services

The original PACT grant was for parents with younger children, from birth to five years old. The continuation grant is for children from birth to 10 years old. The family treatment courts plan to serve an additional 180 families over the next two years. Iowa was one of only eight states to receive a continuation grant.

Through the original five-year grant, the six family treatment courts served 399 families comprising 481 parents or caregivers and 773 children. More than half the children were in foster care or staying with other family members for safety reasons prior to their parent or parents enrolling in treatment court. Of those children, nearly 80 percent were reunited with their families when their parent or parents completed treatment court. Estimates show that the family treatment courts have generated more than $2 million dollars in cost avoidance for the state in their first five years of operation.

Both of these grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau entitled: "Targeted Grant to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse."

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Common Yard and Garden Questions Answered on New ISU Website PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:53
AMES, Iowa – Iowans have gotten their lawn and garden questions answered by Iowa State University horticulturists for three decades by calling Hortline at 515-294-3108, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach hotline. With the expansion of the Internet, an email option was added in 1997 with inquiries directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Now the Iowa State horticulturists who support Hortline have assembled frequently asked questions on a Yard and Garden FAQs website at

“The website lets individuals find answers to common garden questions whenever they wish,” said Richard Jauron, ISU horticulturist and author of the weekly Yard and Garden column. “Hortline hours are limited to 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, so the Yard and Garden FAQs website allows people to look for answers at other times of the day, evenings and weekends.”

The website currently has answers to more than 750 commonly asked questions on a wide range of gardening topics. The FAQs cover topics on vegetables, fruits, annuals, perennials, roses, bulbs, lawns, trees, shrubs and indoor plants. Searching the site is as easy as typing in one or more keywords or browsing the subject categories.

“Answers are specific to Iowa gardeners,” Jauron said. “The information may not be appropriate for individuals in other regions of the country because of different weather and soil conditions.”

Jauron is the horticulture specialist behind the scenes answering many of the more than 3,200 phone calls and 1,400 emails each year. He has been instrumental in building the database for the new website, calling on his extensive history with the horticulture help line and his understanding of the most common questions asked. Assembling answers to common questions on a website may cut Hortline contact numbers – but it will definitely expand the horticulturists’ reach to even more people looking for answers.

“With the addition of the website, gardeners now have a full range of options for having questions answered by an Iowa State University horticulturist,” Jauron said. “Some questions will be resolved by the website questions and answers. Other gardeners will want to talk to someone and will call Hortline; while others may want to send a photo and prefer using email.”

Jauron also answers yard and garden questions in his weekly news column published on the ISU Extension and Outreach website


Simon issues statement regarding President Obama’s gun control proposals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:31

CARBONDALE – January 16, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s proposals to increase gun safety.

“Today President Obama introduced gun safety reforms that merit our full consideration. As Lt. Governor I have sworn to uphold or constitution, and as a mother I cannot help but see the need to better protect our children.

‪“Keeping guns from falling into the wrong hands is in the best interest of all Illinoisans, including law-abiding gun owners. Whether we are from large cities or rural southern Illinois, we are united in a desire for safety. I look forward to working with the President on federal controls and the Governor and General Assembly as Illinois undergoes the court-ordered crafting of a concealed carry law.”


Great library programs: Jan. 17 - 31! PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rock Island Library   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:09


Read to Survive, Survive to Read Teen READ challenge is Jan. 6-Jan. 26. Forms are available all Rock Island Library locations. Read, survive and win!


Please note that this month's Teen Gaming Night is at the Main Library.


More teen fun in January:

Jan. 17: Teen Trivia Night, 6:00 pm, Main Library

Jan. 22: Teen Gaming Night, 6:00 pm, Main Library

Jan. 31: Teen Iron Chef, 6:00 pm, Main Library.



Friday, Jan. 18 is an early dismissal day for Rock Island/Milan school. If you're looking for something to do, bring them to our Friday Fest movie at the Main Library.  "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" starts at 1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Community Room. It's rated PG.




Readers will be in the winner's circle, with the "Driven to Read" winter reading challenge at the Rock Island Public Library.


Challenges are available for both children and adult readers from Tuesday, Jan. 22 to Friday, March 1. Children from pre-school to 6th grades can pick up a Driven to Read reading log and choose to read either 16 books or for six hours of accumulated time. Prizes will be awarded at the halfway point and finish line.


Adults ages 18 and up may participate by completing one entry form for each adult book, eBook or audiobook completed during the Jan. 22 to March 1 challenge period. Entries will go into a random drawing for the grand prize of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, or secondary prizes of gift cards and passes to restaurants, merchants and attractions.


Children's reading logs and adult reading challenge entries are due back to the library by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 1. Children may pick up prizes as they earn them; Adult winners will be called. Forms will be available starting Tuesday, Jan. 22 at all Rock Island Library locations.


Winter reading prizes are sponsored by the Friends of the Rock Island Public Library.

Statement from Governor Quinn Regarding President Obama’s Strong Action to Protect Our Children PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:06

CHICAGO – January 16, 2013. After participating in a call with the White House, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and governors across the nation, Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding President Barack Obama’s public safety plan:

“I stand with President Obama in calling on Congress to adopt strong policies that will reduce gun violence. We must act now to protect the children and people of America.

“The President’s action today is the first step of a comprehensive public safety plan that Congress must act upon. We all have a responsibility to ensure that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines do not fall into the wrong hands.

“The American people should not have to go about their lives in fear of the kind of mass violence that can be inflicted by an assault weapon.

“The horrific tragedies that occurred in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut have cost our nation too many precious lives. While gun violence cannot be completely eliminated, we should not wait one more day to enact common sense measures that will save lives and help prevent these violent massacres.” 


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