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Create a New You - with a New Job - for the New Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:54
Corporate Exec-Turned-Novelist Says It’s Never Too Late

With 7 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits, and many counting the years – instead of months – since their layoff, author Darlene Quinn says now is a good time to reinvent yourself.

She cites James Sherk, a senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, who says the jobs people held two or three years ago often simply aren’t there anymore.

"People are trying to find jobs similar to what they had previously, when those jobs completely don't exist,” he told Reuters recently. “So they will spend a good portion of their period unemployed looking for jobs that they are unlikely to find."

Quinn is a master of personal reinvention. She started her career as a teacher, then became a contractor, developing self-improvement and modeling programs for hospitals and a store. That segued into a position as a top executive at Bullocks Wilshire department store and “retirement” as a freelance journalist.

And now, the 74-year-old is an award-winning novelist. She published her third book, Webs of Fate (, this fall, continuing her series about deceit and intrigue in the high-end retail industry.

She says she was always a story-teller; she just never thought about putting her stories on paper.

“Being a victim of the short-lived educational phenomenon called sight-reading, which did not include phonics, I had always been intimidated by the written word,” she said.

“Somehow none of my teachers appreciated my creativity when it came to spelling.  Therefore, my creative writing efforts were sprinkled with so many red marks, they appeared to have broken out with the measles.”

Maybe, she added, she just needed a great story to tell and a passion to tell it that was stronger than her fear.

Quinn became a schoolteacher after earning a bachelor’s at San Jose State University. Much later in life, while working as a department store executive during a time of tremendous upheaval in the retail fashion industry, she found her story. But before she tried to tell it, she first sharpened her wit and her pen by writing articles for trade journals, magazines and newspapers.

That led to her being drafted by actor Buddy Ebsen to help him with his first novel, a love story called Kelly’s Quest. Ebsen was working on a second, a mystery based on his popular TV persona detective Barnaby Jones, when he died in 2003. His widow asked Quinn to finish the book, Sizzling Cold Case, which was published in 2006.

By now, Quinn was ready for her own tale.

“I felt compelled to tell the story of our vanishing department stores,” she said. “Instead of writing a dour tell-all about the business, I decided to chronicle my experiences in one of my fictional worlds and I filled that landscape with the realistic and dynamic characters that inhabited my daily life.

“The age of computers with spell-checking software helped me get over my fear of a red-inked manuscript.”

By 2008, Quinn had finished her story of intrigue in the retail fashion business. Webs of Power won a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award the following year.  Twisted Webs followed in 2010.

“One thing I’ve learned in my life is that things change,” Quinn said. “People change and, sometimes, their dreams have to change with them.

“To be releasing my third novel at age 74 is the fulfillment of a dream I never knew I had. Until now.”

About Darlene Quinn

Darlene Quinn is an author and journalist from Long Beach, Calif., whose novels about deceit, intrigue and glamour in the retail fashion industry were inspired by her years with Bullocks Wilshire Specialty department stores. Her newest, Webs of Fate, won the 2011 Reader's Favorites Award before it hit the bookshelves.
It provides the back story for the characters in the first two novels in the series: Webs of Power, winner of a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award, and Twisted Webs, winner of 2011 International Book Award for General Fiction and the 011 National Indie Excellence Awards for General Fiction.

Iowa Supreme Court Requests for Further Review PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:40


December 19, 2011











Currie v. State



State v. Moon



Rouse v. Durant Cmty. Sch. Dist.



State v. Moritz



State v. Strough



Davison v. Dubuuqe County Sheriff’s Office



State v. Bender



UPS v. Slaymaker



Gray v. Harding



In re Marriage of Larson



State v. Jackson



State v. Atkinson


Palo Alto

Whitacre v. Brown



State v. Robinson



State v. Chest


Des Moines

State v. Ringold



In re M.L.



In re C.B.S. & K.M.B.



In re M.M.



In re A.R.A.-C. & A.A.A.-C.
















State v. Becker



Pitts v. Farm Bureau



In re Marriage of Vaughan

NFPA Issues Winter Fire Warning PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lorraine Carli   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 13:40

Holiday tragedies prompt warnings on winter fires

NFPA reminds the public to take action to be safe this winter

December 28, 2011 – In the aftermath of a number of deadly holiday fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges the public to take simple steps to protect their family and property from fire. According to NFPA, December, January and February are the top months for home fire deaths.

“Recent fire deaths during this holiday season are tragic reminders that we are at the time of year when home fires peak,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “Taking simple steps to prevent fires and making sure you have working smoke alarms can save lives.”

NFPA suggested ten things you can do this winter to stay safe from fire:


  • All heaters need space.  Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container with a lid. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan that includes two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.


The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and NFPA 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, “

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.

Subscribe to NFPA RSS News feeds




Local Union 25 Makes a Difference this holiday season PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
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
News Releases - General Info
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.

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