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King Center opens the Ida Robinson Banquet room PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Inc.   
Monday, 30 January 2012 08:59
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is pleased to announce the opening of the Ida Robinson Banquet Room honoring 40 years of dedicated service from Mrs. Robinson to the King Center and the City of Rock Island. Ida Robinson will leave the King Center for the final time as a full time employee on Tuesday January 31. Ida has been essential in establishing the King Center as a trusted resource due to her diligence, dedication, honesty, and integrity. Ida earned a reputation as a community legend by surpassing any duties in her job description in pursuing her desire to enrich our community. She leaves behind a legacy honored with a brand new plaque dedicating the room.

This beautiful new banquet and conference center, created with the King Center's renovation and expansion in 2011, is available for rent. The 3,700 square foot room is ideal for weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, corporate meetings, fundraisers, or other celebrations.

The room has natural lighting and a neutral color palate, making it easy-to-adapt for any occasion. The room can be divided in half creating two separate event areas or kept open to accommodate 450 people using theatre style seating or 200 people using round tables that seat 8 people each.

A full-service kitchen with commercial stove, warmers, freezer, and refrigerator

is also available. The King Center welcomes clients to provide their food as well as its preparation in our kitchen. They are also able to help select a caterer from a list of preferred partners provided upon request or clients can select their own.

Alcohol service is allowed with proper licensure, insurance, and notifications. A list of approved caterers of alcohol can be provided by the King Center

The King Center offers the following rental rates commiserate with the quality of the new facility yet still highly comparable to similar Quad City facilities:

• $ 250 per 3 hours to groups (3 hour minimum); $100 per each additional hour.

• $ 200 per 3 hours to nonprofit organizations with proof of valid and current 501 c(3) status; $75 per each additional hour.

• An additional and separate $100 required as a refundable cleaning and security deposit.

• Usage of the kitchen is an additional flat rate of $50.

The Ida Robinson Banquet Room is available Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm and Friday – Sunday 8:00 am - 12:00 am.

Please call the King Center at 732-2999 to make your reservations or for more information

 
DAVENPORT MAN SENTENCED FOR MAINTAINING A DRUG HOUSE PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kevin E. VanderSchel   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 16:28
DAVENPORT, IA – On January 26, 2012, Roger Dengler, age 55, of Davenport, Iowa, was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment for maintaining a drug house announced United  States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Chief United States District Judge James E. Gritzner also sentenced Dengler to two years supervised release following imprisonment and to pay $100 to the Crime Victims Fund. On March 7, 2011, Dengler pled guilty to maintaining a drug house.

During the summer of 2006, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group conducted an investigation into the distribution of marijuana and cocaine in the Davenport area after seizing 80 pounds of marijuana from a hotel room.

During the course of the investigation, police learned that Dengler, a 36 year employee of the United States Postal Office, allowed various members of the conspiracy access to his home to store cocaine and marijuana. Marijuana was transported from Denver, Colorado to Dengler’s home concealed in tires. Once it arrived in Davenport, Dengler, and others, would break down the tires, retrieve the marijuana, weigh and repackage it, then distribute it to various customers in the Davenport area. Cocaine was also transported from Denver to Davenport and stored in Dengler’s home. In exchange for the use of his home, Dengler received cocaine and marijuana.

During the course of the conspiracy, Dengler stored at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in his home.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s
Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

 
DaVinci Study by Harris Interactive Focuses on Homeowner Preferences PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kathy Ziprik   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 16:12

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Harris Interactive©, one of the world’s leading market research firms, has completed a comprehensive study on homeowner preferences for roofing and exterior home features. Sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes®, the color leader in the polymer roofing industry, the nationwide study of homeowners age 40 and older with household incomes of $150,000 or more and who own a single-family home valued at $400,000 or more, finds that homeowners* are eager to select durable exterior products for the home that complement their personalities and that color is important to them when deciding to replace those exterior features.

Conducted between November 22 and December 13, 2011, the Harris Interactive survey was commissioned by DaVinci to establish a benchmark for monitoring homeowners’ color attitudes and product opinions related to the exterior of the home. The extensive survey questions dealt with gaining insights into the overall exterior of the home along with specific information on the roof, windows, siding, doors, trim and garage doors.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

v  A vast majority of homeowners (88 percent) across all regions of the country see the exterior of their homes as one entity and not a sum of its separate components.

v  Color preference for exterior features on the home is driven mostly by homeowners’ individual sense of style (45 percent) and their desire to blend in with their surroundings (42 percent).

v  One-third of surveyed homeowners (32 percent) indicate that they are restricted on the color palettes they are allowed to use on exterior features of their homes, usually by a homeowner association or by historical area requirements.

v  Curb appeal is considered extremely/very important to higher end homeowners, particularly those in the Northeast where one-third mentioned curb appeal as being “extremely important” to them.

Colorful Roofs

“We were especially interested to learn what role color plays in the homeowner’s mind

when planning for major home improvement projects,” says Ray Rosewall, CEO and President of DaVinci Roofscapes. “What we discovered is that color does play an important role when deciding to replace exterior features. In addition, color availability from manufacturers for different exterior features plays a role in what brand a homeowner will purchase.

“At DaVinci, we offer 49 standard colors of polymer slate and shake roofing tiles that can be used to create a virtually infinite variety of color blends for a roof. Hearing these study results confirm that we’re on the right track with our color offerings and that homeowners are gravitating to companies that offer a variety of colors for the home exterior.”

Survey results indicate that shades of black, gray and brown are currently the most popular colors of roofing products on homes. “These results match up with our ongoing sales records,” says Rosewall. “When we talk about color in roofs, we’re not talking about orange, pink or purple. We’re speaking about dozens of different gradations and shades of brown that we offer, from light clay to dark autumn, or a multitude of gray shades from light gray to dark weathered gray.”

Roofing Desires

When considering a new roof purchase, homeowners are far more interested in purchasing a roof that lasts than cutting corners by purchasing a low-cost product. Durability was identified as the number one factor when determining which new roof to purchase, followed closely by longevity. Key factors that received the most mentions as having “a lot” of influence in the decision on what type of roof to purchase include:

·       Durability (88 percent)

·       Longevity (83 percent)

·       Low/no maintenance (72 percent)

·       Resistance to weather (71 percent)

·       Has a warranty (69 percent)

·       Fire resistancy (57 percent)

·       Material the roof is made of (55 percent)

·       Price (50 percent)

“Fortunately the family of DaVinci polymer roofing products satisfies the needs ranked

highest by homeowners in this study,” says Rosewall. “Durable and resistant to weather, insects, rot and mold, our recyclable tiles have a 50-year warranty and we offer the most affordable polymer tile on the market today.”

One of the other interesting elements of the survey results include influencers that will encourage homeowners to purchase a new roof on an existing home. Not surprisingly, 65 percent of respondents indicated that they would replace their roof if it became damaged from severe weather. After that, significantly lower numbers of people said they would replace their roof soon because it is old and worn out (23 percent), the roof is near the end of its warranty (13 percent), they want a roof that’s more energy efficient (12 percent) and their current roof looks bad, is stained or discolored (11 percent).

Study Methodology

This 15-minute survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of DaVinci Roofscapes among 1,005 U.S. homeowners age 40+ with household incomes of $150,000 or more and who own a single0family home of at least $400,000 in value in the South and Midwest, at least $500,000 in the Northeast and West (excluding California) and at least $700,000 in California between November 22 and December 13, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through its North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help its company --- and its clients --- stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

About DaVinci Roofscapes

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning polymer slate and shake roofing since 1999. The roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. DaVinci proudly makes its products in America and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit www.davinciroofscapes.com.

###

 
FCC chairman asked to make key staff member available on LightSquared PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 15:53

Grassley Seeks Fulfillment of FCC Chairman’s Commitment to Make Staff Available to Discuss LightSquared

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has asked the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to fulfill his commitment to make agency staff available to discuss the LightSquared wireless project with Grassley staff.

Grassley wants his staff to have a conversation with Paul de Sa, a top FCC staff member who is described as the “father” of the LightSquared project, before de Sa leaves the agency next month.  When Grassley staff asked to meet with de Sa, the FCC’s legislative affairs director responded that he was “not available.”

In a letter to agency chairman Julius Genachowski, Grassley reminded Genachowski of his written statement to Grassley in October that he would “continue to make staff available to discuss this matter further” with Grassley and his staff at their “convenience.”

“The FCC chairman should make this staff member available to fulfill his commitment,” Grassley said.  “Otherwise, the words weren’t meaningful.  And the FCC’s lack of transparency on LightSquared and the questions it raises will continue.”

An FCC official is quoted in reaction to Grassley’s request to have his staff meet with de Sa as calling it a “witch hunt.”  Grassley said, “Asking to meet with the ‘father’ of this project before he leaves the agency in a few weeks is due diligence, not a witch hunt.  Besides, if this top FCC official has time to meet with the hedge fund owner behind LightSquared, he should have time for a meeting with Senate staff trying to shed some light on a controversy created at the FCC.”

Since last April, Grassley has been reviewing why the agency rushed approval of the LightSquared project without adequately exploring what turned out to be  widespread concerns of interference with the Global Positioning System devices widely used by the military, first responders, aviation, precision agriculture, and consumer navigation.

The text of Grassley's letter to Genachowksi is available here.  The chairman's letter from last October is available here.

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Looking for 2011 Tax Relief? There’s Still Time PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 15:34
Tips for Saving on Your Income Tax

If you’re just beginning to think about your 2011 income tax return, you’ve got a late start – but it’s still not too late to cash in on some savings.

“A lot of the deductions associated with the economic stimulus package will disappear in 2012, so if you want to take advantage of them, you’ve got only until Dec. 31,” says Jessica James, CPA and author of Justice for None (www.AuthorJessicaJames.com), an insider look at IRS tactics in a tax fraud investigation and trial.

But, she says, there’s still plenty of time for some other measures to ease your share of the tax burden. Now is also a good time to resolve to start earlier in 2012 to minimize that year’s tax bill. Here are some tips for both 2011 and 2012 savings:

• Contribute to retirement accounts. If you haven’t already put money into your traditional or ROTH IRA account for 2011, you’ve got until April 17 to do it. If you have a Keogh or SEP (Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement for businesses), and you get a filing extension to Oct. 15, you’ve got until then to make your 2011 deposits. The maximum IRA contribution for 2011 is $5,000, or $6,000 if you’re 50 or older by the end of the year. For self-employed people, the maximum for SEPs and Keoghs for 2011 is $49,000.

• Don't fear the home office deduction. In the past, many tax filers didn’t claim a home office deduction because it was seen as an IRS red flag. But the requirements and forms have been clarified so people can do that properly – and not make mistakes that can lead to an audit. Also, the rules have been expanded so more people can claim the deduction. If you use a home office exclusively for business, even if you don’t meet your clients there, you’re eligible. For instance, a handyman who does his work other people’s houses can claim the deduction if he does his paperwork at his home office. Another change is that, in the past, if you claimed 10 percent of your home as an office, that amount would not be included in the $250,000 tax-free profit from the home’s sale that’s allowed for an individual by the IRS. Be sure to make your claim reasonable, or it will get questioned; a $25,000 home office deduction for a business with $50,000 annual gross revenue is not reasonable.

• Maximize your Flexible Spending Account. The Health Care Act will limit the maximum you can put into these pre-tax medical expense accounts in 2013. So 2012 is the last year to use an FSA to pay for orthodontics and other large medical expenses using pre-tax earnings. A medical expense flexible spending account, or FSA, allows you to use before-tax earnings to pay for medical or health care expenses not covered by your health insurance. Assuming a 25 percent tax rate, you avoid $25 in taxes for every $100 you spend from your FSA.

• Need to sell an investment? Next year may be the time. The Tax Relief Act maintains the tax rate cap on capital gains and dividends at 15 percent through 2012. In 2013, the cap for capital gains will increase to 20 percent and for dividends, 39.6 percent. The Health Care Act also created a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on investment income, effective in 2013. Given those scheduled increases, plan to take advantage of the rates next year.

James is an author pseudonym used because she fears her novel may provoke IRS retaliation. It’s a fictionalized account of her experience as a minor player swept up in an IRS probe that included anyone associated with the primary target, a corporation. She says that, though she was innocent of any wrongdoing, she was coerced into accepting a plea deal by the IRS, which was bent on amassing adjudications of guilt to justify the investigation’s expense. She pled guilty to a count of falsifying a tax return and continues to work as a CPA.

About Jessica James

Jessica James is a CPA and the author of a novel, Justice for None, about her experiences as a minor target in a major federal tax fraud case.  After her ordeal, she decided to write about it as a warning to others who think they can take on the government and win.

 
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