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Lt. Governor Simon to rally against domestic violence PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 08 October 2012 14:43

CHICAGO – To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will rally Saturday with Chicago Ald. Deborah Graham, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, State Reps. Karen Yarbrough and Camille Lilly and other female community leaders to end domestic violence. Simon will call on churches, schools and community organizations to stand up to violence throughout Chicagoland.

Simon, a former prosecutor and founder of a domestic violence legal clinic at Southern Illinois University, is doing her part to help survivors by conducting a second annual cell phone drive. For each phone collected by Simon’s office through Friday, October 12, Verizon Wireless will donate $10 to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The proceeds will benefit the Virtual Legal Clinic, which aims to connect Chicago attorneys with survivors in underserved areas across the state for free, web-based legal consultations.

In Chicago, used phones can be donated at the rally; at the Lt. Governor’s office, 100 W. Randolph St., Suite 15-200; or at the Chicago Bar Association front desk, 321 S. Plymouth Court. Springfield donations will be accepted at Simon’s capitol office or the Illinois State Bar Association, 424. South Second St. Phones can also be donated at Simon’s Carbondale office or a local Verizon Wireless store.

“We need to raise the awareness of domestic violence in our communities and rally together to end the violence,” Simon said. “Each of us has a role to play in making sure survivors’ voices are heard and their lives are protected.”

DATE: Saturday, October 6

TIME: 10 a.m.

LOCATION: Hope Community Church, 5900 West Iowa, Chicago

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Keeping Government Accountable PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 05 October 2012 13:50

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Civics 101 teaches students about the three branches of the federal government.  Representing Iowans in the United States Senate, I enjoy meeting with students during my annual meetings in Iowa’s 99 counties or when youth groups make a trip to Washington, D.C.

Students ask informed questions.  They understand that Congress writes legislation and holds the tax-and-spending powers of the federal government.  They know the President is America’s commander-in-chief of the U.S. military and has the authority to sign legislation into the law of the land or send it back to Congress with a veto.  But one key function of Congress doesn’t usually register as much attention.  And that is congressional oversight.

Oversight is an essential function of the legislative branch authorized by the Constitution to help keep the federal government accountable to the people.  It requires vigilance and stewardship to keep tabs on a federal bureaucracy that has grown to roughly 500 departments, agencies, administrations, and authorities.  While the President, as chief executive, is ultimately responsible for managing the federal bureaucracy, Congress holds sway through its funding, lawmaking and oversight duties.

The federal government is reaching into more Americans’ lives, especially as social safety nets capture a greater share of the population in our aging society.  The President’s health care law that was steamrolled through Congress in 2010 has cast an even wider federal entitlement net across the country.  Its rulemaking and regulatory policies also impact the hiring decisions of businesses from Main Street to Wall Street.  From administering tax laws to implementing immigration policies, managing food, drug and aviation safety, setting school lunch guidelines, enforcing nursing home standards, and defending national security, Uncle Sam wears a lot of hats in the 21st century.

I made a commitment long ago to keep up a crusade on behalf of taxpayers to bring more transparency, accountability and efficiency to the federal bureaucracy.  It can be a lonely battle, and resolution often takes a long time.

Consider my decade-long effort to secure better management controls for government-issued charge cards used by federal workers.  With oversight work over the years, I exposed fraudulent, wasteful purchases made on Uncle Sam’s tab, from jewelry to gambling to cruises.  Spending abuses occurred within the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Aviation Administration, and elsewhere.  This year, the reform bill sent to the President’s desk in September strengthens measures to thwart misuse of government-issued cards and penalize those who do, including loss of their jobs.

As a fighter for whistleblowers and independent watchdogs within the federal bureaucracy, I continue to shine a bright light on wrongdoing in Washington.  Tragically, it can mean the difference between life and death.

Consider my two-year investigation into a botched gun-walking operation that exposed what can happen when the federal bureaucracy puts itself above the law.  A U.S. border patrol agent’s murder at the U.S.-Mexico border was linked to guns sold illegally under the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” program.  Stonewalling and denial by the Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement official, reflects poorly on the administration’s allegiance to upholding the public trust and thumbing its nose at the rule of law.

There’s more.  This time the questionable use of tax dollars is occurring at the Department of Health and Human Services.  Revelations of expenses for a public relations firm in California indicate the administration has the audacity to pay Hollywood to promote the controversial 2010 health care law on network television.  I’ve called upon the Department of Health and Human Services to account for the $1 billion awarded to states to establish the new health care exchanges across the country.

Congressional oversight is a vitally important responsibility of the legislative branch of government in our system of checks and balances.  It helps to uphold the public trust and unlock mismanagement in the executive branch of our government, which has become massive in scale and scope.

Friday, October 5, 2012

 
Morthland Legislation Streamlines FOID Card Process PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:49

Springfield, IL… State Rep. Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) filed legislation Monday aimed to simplify FOID card procedures in Illinois.

“The bill allows card holders to update their Driver's License or State ID to include their FOID number and expiration date, thus allowing them to be in compliance with state statute and while only requiring them to have one card,” explained Morthland.

House Bill 6232 is a response to an Auditor General report last spring that found the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau’s faulty reporting resulted in ineligible people obtaining FOID cards. The audit also cited lengthy certification delays.

“This is the beginning of our work with the Illinois State Police in the streamlining of the FOID process. I will continue to work with ISP in changing overly burdensome regulation and allowing them to focus on our public safety."

The bill does include provisions to counter abuse by requiring the State Police to notify the Secretary of State when a FOID card holder becomes ineligible and requires the Secretary to confiscate the invalid identification card. Records showed that nearly 20,000 FOID cards were revoked in 2008 and 2010, but the Illinois State Police recovered only 30 percent.

“Allowing the Secretary of State to confiscate revoked cards would strengthen the system and put less risk on the general public,” said Morthland. “I think anytime we can simplify citizens interaction with government is a good thing. It is a smart bill and in the end will save taxpayers and the state money and make it better for Illinois residents who chose to own firearms.”

 
Ready your costumes for Galena's 34th Annual Halloween Parade & Festival PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Celestino Ruffini   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:45

October 27 event features one of the largest nighttime parades in the Midwest

GALENA, Ill. – Ghosts and goblins of all ages will converge on Galena, Illinois for the 34th annual Halloween Parade & Festival. The Galena Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the host of this one-day event in downtown Galena on Saturday, October 27, with festivities taking place from noon until 8:30 p.m.

The nearly two-hour long Halloween parade literally lights up Galena’s historic Main Street. The popular event features spectacular floats, local marching bands, costumed participants and plenty of sweet treats. Making a return to this year’s parade will be several hot air balloons that will light up the night sky, as well as provide a fleeting moment of warmth, as they make their way through the parade. The parade begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Green and Main Streets and continues north until reaching the intersection of Franklin and Main Streets.

A new addition to this year’s events will be the Halloween Festival taking place from noon until 8:30 p.m. at Washington and Perry Streets. Swing by the festival for food and entertainment while you wait for the parade to get started. Local chamber members will be offering several tasty treats for visitors to enjoy. Confirmed festival vendors are Gobbie’s Sports Pub & Eatery/Log Cabin Steakhouse, Galena Arts and Recreation Center, Galena Elks Lodge, Tammy’s Piggly Wiggly, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Culver’s.

To accommodate the high volume of parade goers, there will be three shuttle buses operating between 4:00 - 9:00 p.m., excluding parade times between 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Shuttle parking and pickup, all in Galena, will take place at Walmart (10000 Bartell Blvd.), Signcraft (100 A.J. Harle Dr.), Recreation Park (Field St.) and at the Old Train Depot (99 Bouthillier St.) parking lots.

For further event information or to register an entry into the parade, visit www.galenachamber.com, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 815.777.9050. Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.galena.org or by calling 877.464.2536. While in town, visit the CVB’s Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101 Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) for on-site assistance and countywide information.

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October 20th-November 6th Annual International Prayer and Fasting Campaign PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Christian Newswire   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:00
Prayer and Fasting Movement Gains Speed as Elections Near and Global Tensions Escalate

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The International Week of Prayer and Fasting (IWPF), a Catholic global movement, is launching its 20th annual campaign to pray for the conversion of nations, the building of a culture of life and the promotion of peace throughout the world. The Coalition is asking for people to participate as individuals, families and parishes during this 18 day period (two back-to-back nine day novena prayers): the first novena is to petition God's mercy and the second novena is in thanksgiving for answered prayers.

The campaign begins with an all-day Eucharistic Prayer Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., from 9am-4pm on Saturday, October 20th. Speakers include Dr. Richard Russell, an established international relations scholar; Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel; Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter in Washington D.C.; Bishop George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo Cameroon, Africa; Fr. Chad Partain, founder of the St. Philomena Youth for Purity Program; and Ted Flynn, popular author and speaker.

Pope John Paul II backed IWPF when he said in a message given on October 1, 2001: "As a pledge of an abundance of Divine Blessings upon you and yours, I paternally impart to all participants of the International Week of Prayer and Fasting my most heartfelt apostolic blessing."

The coalition received support from Mother Teresa in its early days. She said, "You must do this, God wants this, prayer is the answer to the world's problems." Blessed Mother Teresa also said "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace in the world is abortion...the fruit of abortion is nuclear war."

Coalition chairperson Maureen Flynn says, "Many news, political and religious commentators speak today about our global financial crisis, but few speak about our rapid spiritual and moral decline. Many people believe that America is now under God's judgment. In addition to the concern over whales stranded on the beach and other unfortunate animal tragedies, there should be outrage and sorrow over the daily destruction of over 4000 unborn babies in America through abortion. Since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, there have been more than 50 million unborn children that have been destroyed by abortion. We must remember, Our Lord is a God of Mercy and He responds to our repentance and prayers. As individuals, as families and as nations we much pray and fast for a global culture of life and peace."

For information or to register for the free prayer vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, please visit our website www.iwopf.org or contact us at 1-888-478-PRAY / 703-707-0799 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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