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Braley Survey Shows Strong Opposition to Impending Social Security Cuts PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:48

Report from Congressman’s survey shows 70 percent of Iowans opposed to cuts that begin August 1

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley’s (IA-01) office today issued a report that included the results of a survey of over 2000 Iowans who shared their opinions about upcoming cuts to Social Security field offices in Iowa. Sixty three percent of respondents had used their local Social Security field office, and 70 percent of respondents were opposed to upcoming cuts in services.

Beginning in October 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) planned to stop providing benefit verification letters in local field offices—however, after significant opposition from Braley—SSA announced that those cuts would be indefinitely delayed. Many seniors rely on these verification letters for a variety of services. Last year alone, millions of Americans used SSA offices to request benefit letters.

However, SSA also stated their intention to move forward implementing their plan to eliminate the issuance of Social Security number printouts face-to-face in its field offices beginning August 1—a cut Braley continues to oppose.

“The overwhelming majority of Iowans don’t support these cuts—and they shouldn’t—there’s no indication they save taxpayers money or that those that need them won’t be greatly inconvenienced,” Braley said. “We were successful in eliminating one of these senseless cuts, and I’ll be providing this survey information to the Social Security Administration so they can better understand how Iowans feel about these cuts.”

These survey results stem from a call Braley made for Iowans to share their opinions on these cuts and their experiences with their local SSA field offices.

Iowa’s 19 SSA field offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Dubuque, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Burlington, Coralville, Davenport, Ottumwa, Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Ames, Carroll, Ft. Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City, Spencer, and Storm Lake.

Over 450,000 Iowa seniors received Social Security benefits in 2013.

Earlier this year, Braley introduced the Seniors’ Access to Social Security Act, which would prevent cuts for one year, during which time Braley would seek verification that the proposed service cuts will not adversely affect Iowa’s seniors and will save taxpayers money. This bipartisan legislation quickly gathered the support of nearly two dozen lawmakers.

Colvin’s response came after Braley wrote the SSA Commissioner asking her to provide a series of answers about the proposed cuts, including whether an analysis of cost savings has been done and if public input was solicited prior to the proposed cuts. Braley also sought information from Colvin on how Iowans seeking these services would be informed of cuts.

In June, Braley joined a Congressional push to prevent the elimination of the SSA services in a letter to the head of the SSA, noting that it’s vital that seniors be able to receive these services in person especially given that telephone wait times for SSA services have risen drastically in the last year, and that many seniors lack internet access.

The report can be found online HERE:


Adopting a Child? The Benefits of Going Private PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 09:30

Celebrities Gary and Cassie Chapman Discuss Their Journey

For many married couples, there comes a time when having children becomes the first priority. Often, the urge to create life and see it into the world becomes overwhelming.

But that urge can put many couples on an unpredictable journey, especially when they decide that their love, time and resources can be best put to use through adoption, says award-winning singer-songwriter Gary Chapman. He and his wife, former Nashville Wives star Cassie Piersol Chapman, say they were open to whatever God had in store for them.

“We knew it was time to give our hearts to a child,” says Gary, 56, a five-time Grammy-nominated, seven-time Dove Award-winning artist who recently released his first album in a decade, The Truth, (

But, while the decision to have a child was made, conceiving was taking awhile. Gary, who had reversed a vasectomy and is 23 years older than Cassie, has three grown children.

“During this period, I got a call from a friend telling me about a woman who was four months pregnant and looking for a suitable adoption family,” says Cassie, who is proactive in multiple charity groups which facilitate a legal alternative to going through an agency. “It was as if God knew where this child needed to be after the birth. I immediately understood that this would be our path.”

Through private, or independent, adoption, the Chapmans received their blessing, a baby girl they named Eva Rose. Gary and Cassie talk about the benefits involved in private, or independent, adoption:

• Parents can begin bonding with their child more quickly after birth:Private adoption allows for the newborn infant to bypass foster care, which is typically required by state-run agencies. Most babies adopted between private parties go home from the hospital with the adoptive parents.

“In our case, the birth mother had a 10-day grace period starting from time of Eva’s birth,” Cassie says. “While that was tough, I think it offers more peace of mind for birth mothers.”

• It allows for more control, more collaboration and more choice:Independent adoption gives all parties greater autonomy in making important choices about the baby and each other. For many, the opportunity for the birth mother and adoptive parents to meet adds reassurance that decisions are being made in the best interest of the child. This dynamic doesn’t exist in the more common state-run agencies.

“I think some folks actually prefer a more anonymous approach,” Gary says. “Let’s admit it – these can be some of the toughest decisions in a woman’s life, and she may not want a relationship with adoptive parents.”

• Better access to information: What’s the child’s background? Should you anticipate medical issues down the road? What if a child wants to know more about his biological mother and father, including their spiritual background? Private adoption allows for direct communication between the two parties.

“Birth mothers may not even know if they’ll want contact with their child 20 years later,” Cassie says. “If adoptive families go this route, they ought to collect as much relevant information about the child’s birth parents as they can.”

• Adequate safety measures: Like other types of adoption, private adoption is governed by state laws. In addition, if a child is brought from one state to another, then the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children apply.

“Folks should understand that private adoption isn’t like the Wild West; it’s just a less bureaucratic method of adoption,” Gary says.

About Gary & Cassie Piersol Chapman

Gary Chapman is a veteran musician in the contemporary pop, country, Christian and southern gospel genres. His Dove Awards include Male Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, and he’s written hits including I Prefer the Moonlightfor Kenny Rogers and Finally for T.G. Sheppard along with songs for Alabama and Wynonna Judd. He was the host of TNN’s hit show Prime Time Country for four years and founded the record label that launched current Disney music mainstays Everlife, among many top performers.

Cassie Piersol Chapman starred in TNT’s 2014 docudrama Private Lives of Nashville Wives (from the Real Housewives creators). She grew up on her family’s West Virginia farm and was active in 4H and other agricultural activities. She also sang in a choir, modeled and became a star cheerleader in high school. She won two national cheerleading titles at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has appeared in music videos, commercials and printed work. She works with her husband, Gary, on A Hymn a Week, a popular online devotional.

#DeeperConf14 is just a few days away PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sue Voltz   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 11:08
This is an annual conference hosted by Worship Pastor Rod Querry at Calvary Church of the Quad Cities (4700 53rd Street, Moline, IL) and is free, but registration is required.  Special speakers Pastor Tim Bowman, Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier, and Pastor Rod Querry will be joined by Guest Worship Leader Antonia Lawrence and Comedian Clayburn Cox Wednesday through Saturday, July 30-August 1, 2014.  Night sessions are from 6:30pm-9:30pm and Saturday’s session will be from 9:00am-12:00pm.  The Calvary Café will be open before each session with a limited menu.  For more information and registration, go to

Border Crisis, human trafficking conference PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tony Nassif, Jr.   
Monday, 21 July 2014 11:09

CedarRapids, IA  (July 18, 2014)– Iowa PreventingAbuseConference

Iowa is in a corridor for human trafficking.  New subject will be the border crisis

A unique conference presented by the PreventingAbuse Foundation to help women and children from human trafficking, child abduction, drugcartels, Internet, pornography  and much more.
The two day conference includes speakers locally and from across the country.  Experts,key law enforcement, and organizations, will present ways to help audience members become more aware of the prevalence and danger of human trafficking, drugcartels, child abduction and more pointing to solutions.   The purpose is to educate,  motivate and activate the attendees to be part of the solution.

1,200,000 children reported missing in America, DrugCartels infiltration of America
Pornography addiction/connection to trafficking, Interviews now available.

Tony Nassif, founder and president is now available for interviews.
We also ask for consideration to run our  PSA.  Please reply email to receive it (30 sec)

Iowa is in a corridor for human trafficking.  
New subject will be the border crisis.

Specialremarks by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (video)

  • Border Crisis  Human Trafficking:  · Child AbductionandSafety
  • InternetSafety, Entertainment Media involvement * DrugCartels in America
  • Pornography:  Experts "Expose" the Truth   · Moral collapse feeding thedemand
  • NationalSecurity, and much more

    Space is Limited--Register Today

DATE: August 22, 23, 2014

To register and for information please go to
or call 323-851-3872

Worldwide recognition of group at East Moline Correctional Center PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Donald Wadleigh   
Monday, 21 July 2014 10:42

East Moline Correctional Center Hilltop Toastmasters Club ranked as one of the most accomplished Toastmasters International clubs in the world

SPRINGFIELD - July 18, 2014 – The East Moline Correctional Center (EMCC) Hilltop Toastmasters Club has been recognized by Toastmasters International as one of the highest ranking Toastmasters clubs in the world. Toastmasters International is an organization dedicated to developing public speaking skills for individuals in a variety of settings.

EMCC Hilltop Toastmasters Club #7889 recently was ranked No. 2 in the world as a club for the number of academic awards achieved. The Club earned seven Triple Crown achievements and 42 individual awards from 2013 to 2014. EMCC’s club also was named a member of Toastmasters International’s President’s Distinguished Club.

“The staff, volunteers and inmates involved with this exceptional honor at East Moline Correctional Center are to be commended,” said IDOC Director S. A. “Tony” Godinez. “This is a perfect example that programming is significant in providing invaluable life skills for inmates. Every programming situation in corrections is an opportunity for success. By helping offenders through programming, the outcome is immeasurable and far-reaching. When we make a difference in the lives of inmates, we make a positive impact on their family, friends and our communities.”

“East Moline Correctional Center is honored to receive this distinguished recognition,” said EMCC Warden Mark Williams. “The center’s programming efforts are committed to helping offenders prepare for successful reentry into society as well as contributing to the department’s overall goals and mission.”

“I am pleased to see the success of the Hilltop Toastmasters Program at East Moline Correctional Center,” said EMCC Assistant Warden of Programs Louis Hare. “The interest and growth of this program in the past 2-1/2 years have been inspiring to witness and this ranking has made us all proud. Its high level of success is a testament to the dedication of our volunteers and staff as well as the commitment and passion of our offenders.”

Hare noted that to receive a Triple Crown, a Toastmaster must earn three or more individual awards in a year, including Competent Communicator, Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Communicator Silver. Seven of EMCC’s Toastmasters have achieved a Triple Crown award the year ending June 30. One of the club's goals for the upcoming Toastmasters year is to exceed this number. To become a member of the President’s Distinguished Club, a club must achieve five awards that measure criteria in club growth (new members), club quality (number and type of awards) and administrative compliance (submitting officer lists and dues on time). EMCC’s club achieved six awards.

The Toastmasters Program at EMCC boasts 20 full-time offender members and between 10 and 15 casual participants. Three regular volunteers conduct the program two to three hours per week and hold an average of two major local competitions per year. Competitions involve having two of the best speakers from the EMCC club compete against two accomplished speakers from District 19 (3,000 Toastmasters across Iowa). The Club selects a number from their membership, usually 7 or 8, to compete in the Hilltop Competition. A special session is set up where Toastmasters from the outside come in to help judge the competition. A first, second and third best is judged by both club members and those from outside.

Toastmasters International has more than 292,000 participants in more than 14,350 clubs in 122 countries. In correctional centers, the organization helps offenders develop strong communication skills, focusing on fostering an atmosphere of success. Offenders learn a range of communication skills from job interviews to constructive criticism to public speaking. Toastmasters International additionally helps reduce recidivism by giving offenders confidence and poise and instilling within them a sense of accomplishment.

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