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Overloaded with holiday stuff? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by American Red Cross   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 14:59
Dear Friend,

‘Tis the season of stuff. The season of buying stuff, wrapping stuff, wondering if it’s the right stuff.

This year, why not take a break from some of the stuff, and give something that means something?

Visit our holiday catalog now at and you can change lives this holiday season.

Our catalog offers gifts of real hope that live on in the people helped – people like families reeling from disaster, or soldiers deployed thousands of miles from loved ones during the holidays.

I can vouch that there’s sadly never a lack of people in need for such lifesaving aid. Your gift is both precious and enduring.

Send the gift of relief, support, strength and
hope to someone who needs it – visit and give something
that means something today.

Thank you for all that you do.


Gail McGovern
President and CEO, American Red Cross

P.S. Purchase $100 or more from our Holiday Catalog, and we’ll send you a free Red Cross vintage gift to say thanks! Don’t wait – visit and give a gift today.

Safe Holiday Decorating Tips from Amica Insurance PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Laura Meade Kirk   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 14:55

Amica Insurance reminds everyone to take care when decorating for the holidays

LINCOLN, RI Dec. 16, 2011 – Decorating for the holidays is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but Amica Insurance reminds everyone that holiday decorations also can be dangerous.

About 12,500 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries directly related to holiday decorations, lights and Christmas trees, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Candles and Christmas trees also are a leading cause of fires this time of year, according to CPSC statistics. Candles cause about 11,600 fires each year, resulting in 150 deaths, 1,200 injuries and $173 million in property losses. And Christmas trees are blamed on about 300 fires each year, resulting in an average of 10 deaths, 30 injuries and more than $10 million in property damages.

"That’s why Amica Insurance urges everyone to be extra careful with their holiday decorating,” said Lisa Melton, an assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “A few simple precautions can go a long way in keeping your family safe this holiday season.”

The CPSC offers these tips for safe decorating:

  • If you’re choosing a real tree, make sure it’s fresh. It should be green. The needles should be hard to pull from branches, and the branches shouldn’t break when bent. The tree also shouldn’t lose many needles when its trunk is tapped on the ground.
  • If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled “fire resistant.” This doesn’t mean the tree if fire-proof, but it should resist burning.
  • Keep artificial and real trees away from heat sources.
  • Use only flame-resistant decorations to trim your tree.
  • Lights, whether used indoors or outside, should be tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which means they comply with safety standards.
  • Check all lights for broken and cracked bulbs, frayed wires and loose connections.
  • Don’t attach more than three standard-size sets of lights on an extension cord.
  • Do not overload extension cords with any decorations.
  • Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable or that could pose a choking hazard for a young child.
  • Never hang stockings or other decorations above a fireplace with an open flame.
  • Move candles away from anything that can catch fire and never leave them unattended.

"Sometimes people are having such a nice time during the holidays that they forget to extinguish candles," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Always put out lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Always keep burning candles within sight.”

It’s also important to use care when using your fireplace this time of year, Melton said. Make sure there are no decorations near the fireplace when it’s in use, and don’t throw cardboard boxes or wrapping paper into a fire because they can ignite suddenly and burn intensely, creating a dangerous situation.

“It’s also important to never leave lights on or fires burning if you’re leaving the house or going to bed,” Melton said. “You don’t want a fire or injury to ruin your holiday season, so please make sure all of your decorations are safe. “

About Amica Mutual Insurance

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,200 people in 40 offices across the country.

Iowa Supreme Court Opinions December 16, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 14:54
Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 07–1459


No. 09–0724


No. 09–1097


No. 10–1543


News Releases - General Info
Written by Erin Robinson Vorac   
Monday, 19 December 2011 16:19

DAVENPORT, IA—Household waste in the United States increases by more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, creating an extra one million tons per week. But locally, not all of this waste has to end up in a landfill.

Throughout Scott County, many holiday-related items can be recycled through curbside and drop-off recycling programs. Examples include: boxes from electronics, toys, shoes & shirts, wrapping paper tubes, gift/shopping bags made of paper, tissue paper, greeting cards, envelopes, newspapers, advertisements, magazines, catalogs, #1 and #2 plastics, glass food and beverage containers, steel cans, popcorn and cookie tins, aluminum cans & pie plates.

However, not all holiday waste can be recycled. Items such as wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, Styrofoam, plastic film, artificial Christmas trees and Christmas lights are considered contaminants to the recycling process and should not be placed in curbside or drop-off recycling containers.

Christmas lights, along with computers, monitors, televisions, printers, digital cameras and video game systems are considered electronic waste, or e-waste. These items can be recycled weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, 1048 East 59th Street in Davenport. There is no charge to residents from Scott and Rock Island counties. However, fees apply for e-waste from businesses. Call (563) 823-0119 for more information. The cities of Bettendorf and Davenport collect large e-waste items (not Christmas lights) at the curb from residents on bulky waste/recycling day and deliver them to the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility for recycling.

For more information about recycling, please call (563) 386-9575 or visit

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House Passes Defense Bill with Braley Provisions Strengthening Protections for Sexual Assault Victims in Military PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 19 December 2011 16:13

Push for improved sexual assault protections attracted bipartisan support 


Washington, DC – Several provisions introduced by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) to strengthen protections for victims of sexual assault who serve in the military were included in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that passed the US House last night.


“The current system for preventing sexual assault in the military doesn’t work,” Braley said.  “Stronger protections for victims of sexual assault in the military are badly needed.   Today’s vote is the culmination of months of hard work by a bipartisan group of citizens and legislators committed to improving protections for women who serve in the military.”


In March, Braley introduced the Support for Survivors Act, requiring the Defense Department to ensure the secure storage of all documents connected with reports of sexual assaults and sexual harassment across the military branches. The bill would also prevent the military from destroying any records relating to sexual assault.


In April, Braley introduced the Holly Lynn James Act to strengthen the legal process for addressing claims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the military and to improve policies to prevent sexual assault.  The bill is named after Holly Lynn James, a constituent of Braley’s, was murdered by her husband when both served in the military.  James had filed complaints against her husband, and he was supposed to be restricted to his barracks the night he killed her.

Braley’s legislation attracted bipartisan supporters in the House and Senate.  Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chellie Pingree (D-ME),                 Louise Slaughter (D-NY) co-sponsored the Holly Lynn James Act and the Support for Survivors Act in the House; in the Senate, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Claire McCaskill (D-ME) were co-sponsors of the Support for Survivors Act.

After months of negotiations, several provisions from the Support for Survivors and Holly Lynn James acts were included in the Defense Authorization Act.

Specific new protections included in the Defense Authorization Act include:

  • Access to Counsel. Provides military victims of sexual assault advocates and the ability to confidentially consult with military legal counsel within 72 hours of a crime being committed.


  • Improved Training for Service Members. Improves training for service members to prevent sexual assault.  Requires larger numbers of sexual assault prevention coordinators to provide guidance to military units.


  • Elevates the Importance of Sexual Assault Prevention. Language elevates the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention Office to the flag officer level.


  • Improved Preservation of Evidence. Requires Defense Department to work with the Veterans Administration to  preserve documentary evidence of sexual assault for victims’ purposes.


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