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Former Davenport Builder Sentenced for Bank Fraud PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Val Quast   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:21

DAVENPORT, IA – On November 16, 2012, Walter R. Zimmerer, III, age 70, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, formerly owner of Zimmerer Custom Homes in LeClaire, Iowa, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stephanie M. Rose to one-month imprisonment and 12 months home confinement, having previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Zimmerer was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release following the home confinement, pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $379,533, and pay a $900 special assessment to the crime victim fund.

In 2007 and 2008, Zimmerer took out loans from Northwest Bank & Trust Company and Great River Bank & Trust to construct homes in Bettendorf and LeClaire, Iowa. The loans were on a draw system, so that Zimmerer could draw funds on the loans at various stages of the construction process provided he proved he was current on payments to subcontractors.

Zimmerer, who had fallen behind on earlier construction projects, diverted the money to pay debts in connection with those projects. In order to deceive the banks and continue to draw funds, Zimmerer created false documents (mechanics lien waivers) purporting to show that he was current on his payments to subcontractors.

Zimmerer eventually defaulted on the loans. Although the banks completed the construction projects and sold the homes, they still suffered a net loss of over $379,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

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Well-known Terrorist Released from Iraqi Prison PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:15

Friday, November 16, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after learning that terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq was released from an Iraqi prison.  The U.S. government turned over the well-known terrorist to the Iraqi government less than a year ago.  Grassley sent several letters to the Obama administration urging them to try Daqduq before a military tribunal.  Those letters can be found here.  Grassley is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

“Daqduq has one of the most significant records of terrorist activity with Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, even training them.  Yet, the Obama administration decided to turn him over to the Iraqi government knowing that it likely would result in his freedom.  Now, it appears that our fears have been realized and Daqduq has been released from the Iraqi government’s custody and is in Lebanon. The United States does not have an extradition agreement with Lebanon, so there’s little recourse for the U.S. government and Daqduq is expected to remain free.  A military tribunal would have been a far better avenue to bring this terrorist to justice.  Instead, it’s probably just a matter of time before he finds his way back to the battlefield where undoubtedly innocent people will be killed.”

 
Happy Thanksgiving, From Our Family to Yours PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:13

By Dave and Terry Loebsack

Thanksgiving is a time when families across America come together to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.  We would like to take this chance to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for as a family and as Iowans.

We have so many things to be thankful for here in Iowa.  We live in a country where we are free to speak our minds and practice our religion as we see fit.  We also live in a country of opportunities, where anyone can succeed with hard work and dedication.

This family holiday always reminds us of those who have served in our Armed Forces, particularly those who are currently serving overseas.  Many of our servicemembers and their families will spend the holidays apart.  I hope you will join us in sending our thoughts and prayers not only to those who are serving overseas but also to their families here in the U.S. who sacrifice so we can live in freedom and peace.  Terry and I are planning on spending time with our veterans and thanking them in person at the VA Medical Facility in Iowa City on Thanksgiving Day.

While the holidays are a festive time for many of us, it is important to remember that for some it is the most difficult time of year.  Far too many Iowans are still out of work and struggling to make ends meet and may not be able to serve a bountiful holiday meal.  Growing up, I remember not knowing if we’d be able to afford Thanksgiving dinner, and as we all see in our communities, Iowa families’ need for food assistance continues to grow.  The holidays are a great time to stop in at a local food pantry or soup kitchen and give some of your time to those less fortunate.

Terry and I are looking forward to Thanksgiving Day, when we will be serving meals to needy families. If your time is tight, and you are able to, this is also a particularly good time to make a donation to your local food bank.  If you would like to make a donation, volunteer, or if you are in need of food aid this holiday season please visit www.foodbankiowa.org or call 211 from a land line to get additional information about services in your area.

Lastly, it is our hope that the Thanksgiving tradition of coming together and working to help others can carry over as Congress returns to Washington to address the many challenges facing our country.  Now more than ever, Washington needs to come together as so many families will this holiday season to provide certainty to the American people.  I look forward to returning to work and finding bipartisan solutions to move our country forward.

From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

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Battery maker got nearly $1 million from feds day of bankruptcy filing PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:08
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012


Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. John Thune made the following comment on information provided by A123 Systems, Inc., in response to the senators’ Oct. 9 inquiry about a federal stimulus grant provided by the Department of Energy:

“The very day A123 filed for bankruptcy, the Department of Energy sent the company a check for nearly $1 million. The Department of Energy was aware of A123’s pending transaction with a foreign company, Wanxiang.  In fact, the Energy Department was informed on August 3 and still gave the company more federal tax dollars. In addition, A123 confirms it has a federal government contract with a ‘secret’ security classification.  All of this paints a disturbing picture.  One, the Department of Energy is writing checks to a company literally as it is declaring bankruptcy.  Two, a private company and federal grant recipient has provided more disclosure about its operations and assurances about intellectual property and national security than our own Department of Energy.  The Department of Energy needs to answer for why it appears to put federal grants on auto-pilot to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers.  This can’t stand.”

A123 Systems, Inc.’s response to the senators is available here.

The senators’ letter to A123 Systems is available here.

 
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lorraine Carli   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:05

Three times as many fires occur on Thanksgiving

November 16, 2012 – While most people consider overeating the greatest peril of Thanksgiving, cooking the day’s feast presents its own risks, too.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. In 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase over the daily average.

“Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”

Video – “Kitchen for Trouble” stars cartoon character Dan Doofus. Dan has to learn the hard way how to prevent cooking fires.

Sparky’s Safety Spots – Kitchen Fires – World renowned chef (the late) Julia Child cooked up some memorable advice about how to prevent fires in your kitchen.

Home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally include cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and Easter.

Overall, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 156,400 home fires involving cooking equipment in 2010. These fires caused 420 civilian deaths, 5,310 civilian injuries, and $993 million in direct property damage.

By recognizing the risks of the holidays and making simple adjustments, people can greatly reduce their chance of home cooking fires.

NFPA recommends the following safety tips:

1.       Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

2.       When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

3.       Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

4.       Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire…

1.       Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

2.       Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.

3.       If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home, and that someone has called the fire department.

4.       Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

5.       For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.

 
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