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Local Union 25 Makes a Difference this holiday season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lou Ann Goral   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 13:41

MOLINE, IL– Local single mom Amanda Cunningham, 25, has never had it easy. As a young child she became a ward of the state when her mother went to prison and her father was absent in her life. After being abused as a child, Cunningham knew she could only count on herself if she was ever going to make it as an adult.

When her pipes recently started leaking in the home she bought on her own after years of working, and there were signs of possible mold that could make her five-year old daughter ill, she knew she had to do something. “I didn’t even know exactly what was wrong with the plumbing, but I knew I couldn’t afford to have the work done,” said Cunningham.

United Way of the Quad Cities was initially contacted by Skip-a-Long  Child Development Services where Cunningham’s daughter attends pre-kindergarten. They were willing to pay for all the supplies needed to address the plumbing issues, but needed to find a qualified plumber to make the repairs. That’s where Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 25 immediately stepped in to help. Plumbers Dave Keefer and Chuck McKnight heard her story and volunteered their time, expertise and services to fix the issues. “We put in a new garbage disposal, reworked the plumbing under the kitchen sink and bathrooms, installed two new toilets and had the drains snaked,” says Keefer.

For more than 111 years Local Union 25 has guaranteed the professionalism of its journeymen, and the value of their work through a training program that is thoroughly unique in the plumbing and pipefitting industries. Local 25 has continually shown their commitment to the community through charitable efforts such as golf tournaments in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters and donating time and services to help people like Cunningham.

Cunningham currently works full-time and goes to school online towards her Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science. “I never ask or expect help from anyone, so to have the plumbers at Local Union 25 donate their time to help me is the perfect Christmas present. They are caring professional people who have made my life a little easier this holiday season.”

For more information on Local Union 25 please visit:


Grassley and other senators urge extraordinary effort by Justice Department in MF Global case PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:38
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, along with 16 other senators, today wrote the Attorney General urging him to bring justice to the actions of MF Global executives for the potentially illegal misappropriation of funds from the segregated accounts of its commodity customers.


“If the (Justice) Department’s ongoing investigation uncovers illegal actions, criminal prosecution should be pursued without hesitation … we urge federal agents to use every legal resource available,” the senators’ letter said.


Grassley has participated in oversight hearings of the Senate Committee on Agriculture seeking information and accountability for the loss of up to $1.2 billion in customer funds, including money from Iowa farmers, grain coops and brokers.


“Establishing the specifics of what happened is key to figuring out how the system failed and how to fix it going forward.  That’s in addition to the immediate task of helping to minimize the damage for farmers and other investors caught in the MF Global debacle,” Grassley said.  “Both the brokerage firm that’s now in bankruptcy and top federal officials in charge of enforcing commodity trading and securities law, including the Commodity Futures Trading Corporation, need to be held accountable.”


Today’s letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was signed by Senators Max Baucus of Montana, John Thune of South Dakota, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Grassley, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, John Barasso of Wyoming, Jon Tester of Montana, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Tim Johnson of South Dakota.


Click here to read the letter.

Post-holiday safety for peak fire months PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lorraine Carli   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:06

NFPA reminds the public to properly store and dispose of seasonal decorations

December 21, 2011 – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home structure fires in the cooler months than any other time of year. As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.


“It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”


Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.


In 2005-2009, holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an annual average of 150 home fires, 8 civilian deaths, 14 related injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage. To reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year, follow these storage suggestions:


  • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
  • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. In fact, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February, according to NFPA's Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment (PDF, 723 KB) report.


NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. Learn more information about the organizations’ joint safety campaign, “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.”


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 for more information.

Jan Karski Presidential Medal of Freedom Campaign Gains Momentum PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Alex Storozynski   
Friday, 23 December 2011 16:31
Dear Friends of the Kosciuszko Foundation,

Many of you remember that Jan Karski was a member of the Kosciuszko Foundation for decades. The photo above shows Karski during one of his many talks at the Kosciuszko Foundation. While Karski is known as the man who tried to stop the Holocaust by urging Roosevelt and Churchill to take action, he was also a diplomat, resistance fighter against the murderous regimes of Hitler and Stalin, and a Professor at Georgetown University. Ever vigilant as a champion of justice, he was a true Polish hero.


On April 7, 2011, the executrix of Jan Karski's estate, Kaya Mirecka-Ploss and I wrote to President Obama asking him to award Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We are pleased to announce that the campaign is gaining momentum, and so far, 11 United States Senators and 66 Members of the House of Representatives have signed on to a letter in support of President Obama awarding this posthumous honor to Professor Karski.


Members of the steering committee that have been pushing the campaign include: Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter; Robert L. Billingsley, Co-Chair, Georgetown University Jan Karski Centennial Campaign; David Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee; Andrzej Rojek, Kosciuszko Foundation Trustee; and Wanda Urbanska, Director of the Jan Karski U.S. Centennial Campaign.


As a beneficiary of Karski's estate, the Kosciuszko Foundation believes it is important to keep Karski's legacy alive. If you have time, please take a moment and call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask the President to confer this long-overdue honor on Dr. Karski. If the line is busy, please keep trying.


To learn more about the campaign to honor Jan Karski visit:


I wish you all a very Merry Christmas,

Happy Chanukah,

and a fantastic New Year!


Alex Storozynski

President & Executive Director

Amica Insurance offers accident checklist for the holidays PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Amy Duquette   
Friday, 23 December 2011 16:10

LINCOLN, RI   Dec. 20, 2011 – If you’re traveling for the holidays, please drive safely. But if an accident occurs, remember Amica Insurance offers a handy accident checklist on and on the Amica mobile app for most smartphones.

“We hope everyone makes it to their holiday parties safely,” said Lisa St. Onge, an assistant vice president with Amica. “But accidents do happen, even on those last-minute trips to the mall, so it’s important to be prepared. That’s why we have an Auto Accident Checklist, with a list of what to do – and not do – if you’re involved in an accident. We hope you never have to use it. But, just in case, you may want to print a copy to keep with your vehicle or download the Amica mobile app so you’ll have it on your phone.”

Amica Insurance Auto Accident Checklist

If you are involved in an accident

• Remain calm and clearheaded.
• Turn on your hazard lights.
• If safe to do so, move your vehicle away from traffic.
• Do not discuss who is at fault or your insurance limits.
• Do not leave the scene of the accident.

Contact emergency personnel

• If anyone is injured, call 911 for medical assistance.
• Do not move an injured person.
• Give police your version of what happened.
• Obtain the police officer's name, department and incident number.

Exchange information

• Vehicle owner's name, address, telephone and/or email address
• Insurance information (company and policy number)
• Other vehicle information (year, make, model and registration plate)
• Driver's name, address, telephone and/or email address (if different from the vehicle owner's information)
• Obtain contact information from passengers and/or witnesses.
• Note the accident location.

Take photos/video if safe to do so

• Accident scene
• Traffic controls
• Street names
• Road conditions
• Vehicles and other property damage

“Also, remember to buckle up, pay attention and stay fresh and alert when driving,” St. Onge said. “And, if you’re going to a party or event where alcohol will be served, make sure there is a designated driver.”

With so many people on the roads and so many holiday parties, motorists need to be extra vigilant this time of year, St.Onge said. We hope everyone has a safe, happy holiday season.

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.

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