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Written by Amy Garringer   
Monday, 06 February 2012 08:59

Sandra Speer Wins Top Prize of $50,000 Playing “Super Crossword” Scratch Game


DES MOINES, Iowa – A Davenport woman said she and her husband were expecting to get a $5,000 check right up until they claimed their prize at an Iowa Lottery regional office.

Sandra Speer, 58, said she and her husband, Bob, were sure she’d won a $5,000 prize on her “Super Crossword” scratch ticket, but soon learned she’d actually won a top prize of $50,000.

“Until we got up here we thought we won $5,000, so I’m still in shock,” Speer said.

Speer said even when she thought it was a $5,000 prize, Bob didn’t believe her. She even took the ticket to a local retailer to have it scanned, but still was unable to clearly understand what she’d won.

“Well, she printed up a receipt, but there’s no commas, so we thought it was five thousand,” Speer said.

Speer said when she claimed her prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Cedar Rapids, she could’ve fallen over when she heard what she’d actually won. She hadn’t yet told anyone the news about her big win.

“I don’t know who I want to share it with first,” she said.

Speer said she plans to use some of her winnings to take a vacation. She purchased her winning ticket at Casey’s, 3700 W. Locust St. in Davenport.

Super Crossword is a $5 scratch game. Players win a prize by scratching the "your letters" then scratching the corresponding letters found in Puzzles 1 and 2 and the "bonus word." If players have scratched at least three complete words in Puzzle 1 or 2, they win the corresponding prize shown in the prize legend for that puzzle. If players uncover all six letters in the "bonus word" by scratching the letters that match the "your letters" they win the prize shown in the prize box.

Ten top prizes of $50,000 are still up for grabs in Super Crossword, as well as eight prizes of $5,000, 120 prizes of $500 and more than 865 prizes of $100.

Players can enter eligible non-winning scratch tickets online to earn “Points For Prizes™” points. The point value will be revealed to the player on the website upon successful submission of each eligible valid ticket. There is a limit of 30 ticket entries per day. To participate in Points For Prizes™, a player must register for a free account at Registration is a one-time process. Merchandise that can be ordered by using points will be listed on the website in the Points For Prizes™ online store. Players can choose from items in categories such as apparel, automotive, jewelry, sporting, tools and more.

Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.8 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.3 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.


Iowa Supreme Court Opinion PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Monday, 06 February 2012 08:58
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions

February 3, 2012

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. 10–1932


Grassley amendment to STOCK Act passes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 06 February 2012 08:51

Alert:  The Senate just passed Sen. Grassley’s amendment 60 to 39.  Video of Sen. Grassley’s remarks just prior to the vote is available here.



Thursday, February 2, 2012


Grassley seeks same transparency from political intelligence professionals as lobbyists


WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today offered an amendment to require political intelligence operatives to register and disclose affiliations in the same way that lobbyists are required to do.


“Political intelligence professionals aren’t considered lobbyists, so they don’t have to disclose that they’re seeking information and are paid for it,” Grassley said.  “As a result, members of Congress and congressional staff have no way of knowing whether such meetings result in information being sold to firms that trade based on that information.  My amendment would shed sunshine on this kind of political intelligence gathering.”


According to an October 2011 Wall Street Journal story, political intelligence has become an approximately $100 million industry that employs over 2,000 people in Washington.  Political intelligence professionals seek information from members of Congress and congressional staff and then sell the information they gather to hedge funds and other firms that trade stocks and equities based on the information.


Grassley said transparency will help make members of Congress and congressional staff more aware of whether the people they are meeting with are selling information to others who trade on that information.


The Iowa senator offered his amendment, #1493, during Senate debate on the STOCK Act, S.2038.  The Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge bill would clarify that current prohibitions of the Securities and Exchange Commission on insider trading on non-public information extend to members of Congress and congressional staff.  It also would speed disclosure by requiring those who file annual financial disclosure statements to report stock and bond transactions within 30 days of the transaction, among other measures.


Here is the text of the floor statement Grassley delivered this afternoon regarding his amendment:


Mr. President, I would like to call up amendment #1493 and make that amendment pending.


Mr. President, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that political intelligence is an approximately $100 million industry.  The article also says that expert networks employ over 2,000 people in Washington, DC.


I say approximately because no one really knows how many people work in this industry, who they seek information from, what happens to that information, and how much they get paid.  This is the problem.


You have a growing industry with no transparency.  If a lobbyist has to register in order to advocate for a school or church, shouldn’t that same lobbyist have to register if they are seeking and getting inside information to make a profit on?


This is especially true if that information would make millions for a hedge fund or a private equity firm.


Under current law, this is not the case.


My amendment merely brings some sunlight to this area.  It defines what a political intelligence lobbyist is and requires them to register – the same as any other lobbyist.  I understand that some will say that there have not been hearings on this subject and that it should be studied first.  But there isn’t much that’s complicated about this amendment.


If you seek information from Congress in order to make money, the American people have a right to know your name and who you’re selling that information to.  That’s just basic good government.


This amendment isn’t just helpful to the American people, it also helps members and staff who are trying to decipher their duties under the STOCK Act.  Senators have raised the question, “How will we know if the people we speak to trade on what we say?”


By requiring lobbyists who sell information to stock traders to register, members and staff have an easy way to track who they are and who they sell information to.  This strengthens the bill and helps members and staff comply with its requirements.


Mr. President, I hope we can consider this amendment soon and bring light and transparency to this growing industry.  I yield the floor.



Never Say Never… Life Coach Reveals How to Get Over The Worst When It Happens To You! PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 06 February 2012 08:25

We never imagine ourselves as the victims, but sometimes, the things we think could never happen to us find a way of happening.

Too many of us replay in our minds the events that led to those circumstances, but life coach Teri Johnson believes that reviewing the past isn’t the answer. What we do next is what matters the most.

“All the things you never thought you’d experience, but did, leave behind lingering after effects that can stop us in our tracks,” said Johnson, author of Overcoming the Nevers ( “Shame, guilt, anger and resentment start to sink in. We start to believe lies about ourselves, such as ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m undeserving.’ We escape our pain and these toxic feelings by retreating into unhealthy behaviors and addictions. But there is freedom from the struggle. There is hope in discovering the truth. There is a way to fall in love with who we are to experience a joy-filled life.”

Johnson shares a solution to overcome those feelings in a series of 12 simple steps that she feels can be practically applied to our lives – if we are ready to do the work.  Here are five of the these steps…

• Willingness – Freedom starts with willingness. You have to want this for yourself. There is no one who can decide for you, or do the work on your on your behalf. Willingness is readiness.

• Acceptance – Do you have the strength to make the changes necessary to turn a situation around through an attitude of acceptance? Or will you remain powerless, remain in the state of non-acceptance and let everything around you dictate how you feel? I can’t change somebody else. Period.

• Surrender – All of us are surrendered to something.  What we surrender ourselves to ultimately becomes our god, what we worship, turn to, or rely upon.  The question is, what are we surrendered to? Is it something firm, solid and long-lasting, or something that can slip away, burn to ashes or be swallowed?

• Courage – We cannot overcome an issue we do not know exists, we need to search. We cannot become who we were created to be, without embracing our strengths and uncovering our God-given gifts and talents. So we need to look through our lives carefully to find the answers. How do we do this? Without fear with courage, boldness and bravery.

• Responsibility – We have a responsibility for ourselves in all areas of our lives in all of our roles. No one can attempt to change us or to control us, unless we give them the power. We need to be the change. Admitting opens this door. Will you walk through it?

“Many people just want a quick fix and aren’t willing to put in the work required,” she added. “I believe that, in this economy, everyone is experiencing ‘nevers’ they didn’t believe they’d ever encounter. Some are affected by the loss of job, foreclosure or even bankruptcy. People who hold down two or more jobs may find their health diminishing, or even joining the ranks of the millions of Americans who suffer from obesity. Divorce, drugs, addictions, workplace issues – they can all creep up on us if we aren’t diligent. The key thing is to understand how to handle those ‘nevers’ when they occur, and not be daunted. It’s never easy, but always worth it.”

About Teri Johnson

Teri is a writer, inspirational speaker, and sought-after personal growth expert. Her unique strategies have helped transform the lives of her clients, enlightening, guiding and motivating them to achieve even their most deeply desired goals. Teri is the President and Founder of Keeping It Personal (, a company that specializes in self-development training and discovering your life purpose.

Grassley Seeks FDA Answers on Targeting of Agency Whistleblowers on Medical Devices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 03 February 2012 15:41

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley has asked the Food and Drug Administration to account for its treatment of a group of agency scientists who questioned approvals of medical devices in communications with Congress and the White House.  The FDA appears to have punished the employees for expressing safety concerns about radiological devices used to detect diseases such as breast cancer and colon cancer.

“The FDA has a poor track record of retaliating against whistleblowers.  This situation appears to be more of the same,” Grassley said.  “Federal law explicitly protects the right of federal employees to provide information to Congress.  I reminded the FDA of the relevant law in January 2009 after this came to my attention.  Still, even after that letter, the FDA appears to have persisted in a long campaign to punish a group of employees for talking to Congress.   I’m pursuing this matter with the FDA to get answers and ensure that whistleblowers aren’t singled out and retaliated against for protected disclosures to Congress.”

Grassley wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, asking for a description of whether each of the staff members involved still works at the agency and if not, for an explanation of the circumstances of the employee’s departure.  Grassley also sought details of who authorized the monitoring of the employees’ e-mail and to what extent such monitoring occurred.  The agency engaged in extensive monitoring of the employees’ email accounts, apparently to try to justify its case for retaliation.

Grassley also reminded Hamburg that any retaliation against whistleblowers “directly contradicts” her promise during her 2009 confirmation hearing that she would protect whistleblowers by “creating a culture that enables all voices to be heard.”

“The FDA has a huge responsibility to protect public health and safety,” Grassley said.  “With all the important work that needs to be done on that front, it’s hard to see how managers apparently thought it was a good use of time to shadow agency scientists and monitor their email accounts for legally protected communications with Congress.”

Grassley also sought answers from Hamburg on what the agency is doing in light of the retaliation inquiry to reassure employees of their right to provide information to Congress.

“Without federal whistleblowers, I wouldn’t be able to perform my constitutional oversight of the executive branch,” Grassley said.  “Whistleblowers come forward to shed light on matters that affect public safety or the public purse.  They expose incompetence and malfeasance and promote reform that leads to better government.  Their perspective has done a lot of good.  I’ve seen this kind of behavior from the FDA before, and it’s troubling to think there might be a pattern.  The FDA needs to make an immediate effort to reassure employees of their freedom to talk to Congress.  Muzzling is inappropriate and illegal.  Retaliation of this kind is intolerable by any federal government agency.”

Grassley, a long-time advocate for whistleblowers, works to strengthen whistleblower protections for all government employees.  Certain employees, including members of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps within the Department of Health and Human Services, are not covered under the Whistleblower Protection Act, which leaves employees vulnerable to retaliation.  This is a loophole in current law that needs to be closed.  Grassley is actively working to ensure that employees of the commissioned corps are given necessary whistleblower protections.

Grassley’s letter to the FDA is available here.  His 2009 letter to the FDA is available here.  Washington Post articles on the matter are available here and here.


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