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Help Davenport's Volunteer Win Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Richard Martin   
Friday, 27 February 2015 15:06
Did you know that more than 3.4 million cats enter shelters nationwide and only 1.3 million find forever homes each year? Though shelters have staff members to help take care of animals in their care daily, they rely heavily on their local volunteers who tirelessly care for cats as they await their forever homes.

That is why Purina Cat Chow is holding the Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest to recognize and thank those volunteers who work to make cats’ temporary shelter homes safer, less stressful places.

The Humane Society of Scott County is the only shelter in your state to be selected to participate in the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest. From Feb. 23 to Mar. 15, 2015, the Davenport community can support Animal Welfare Society at by voting for Debbie Schmidt’s volunteer story daily.

If Debbie wins the contest – based on consumer votes and a judging panel – the shelter will receive a $25,000 shelter makeover. Each participating shelter will receive a $1,000 donation, Purina® Cat Chow® Gentle Formula brand food and cat care supplies.

Debbie’s ever-present smile, soothing voice, calm demeanor and positive “can-do” attitude creates a gentle environment for cats and everyone who cares for them at the Humane Society of Scott County Shelter.  Debbie gets to know the personality behind each whiskered face, and twitching tail and enthusiastically shares those perks, quirks and nuances with interested potential pet parents.

Below you will find the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest press release where you will find more information. Please let me know if you would like to interview the nominated volunteer or shelter spokesperson.



Keri Tomsic / 770-853-6709 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Actress Kate Walsh asks cat people to support a nominated volunteer by voting in the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest; The shelter of the winning volunteer will win a $25,000 shelter makeover
ST. LOUIS (Feb. 23, 2015) – Every animal shelter has that volunteer – the one who cleans the visiting rooms, goes door-to-door collecting blankets from the community, fosters cats and kittens, and spends countless hours simply petting the cats to keep them calm and happy. Today, Purina® Cat Chow® launched the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest to thank and recognize these dedicated volunteers. The program will donate nearly $100,000 among the 50 participating shelters – one in every state – in recognition of their volunteers in cash donations, cat food and cat care supplies to lessen the stress for cats living in shelters while they await their forever home. 

Purina Cat Chow asked 50 cat-focused shelters – one in every state – to nominate their top volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to create a gentle, less stressful environment for shelter cats.

From Feb. 23 to March 15, consumers nationwide can vote daily for their favorite volunteer story on Consumer votes and a judging panel will determine the top shelter volunteer and four runners-up volunteers.

Well-known actress and cat owner Kate Walsh teamed up with Purina Cat Chow to help honor the shelter volunteers who devote their time and talent to caring for shelter cats and encourage consumers nationwide to vote for their favorite volunteer story. Walsh is the proud cat owner of Billy and Pablo, two cat brothers she rescued 10 years ago.

“The second I saw my cats Billy and Pablo, I knew they belonged with me,” Walsh said. “I’m grateful they had the care of dedicated volunteers before I adopted them. Shelter volunteers give selflessly to support the cats that need the most help. Their time and energy helps lessen the cats’ stress as they await forever homes.”  

Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest Voting and Prizes
The shelter of the winning volunteer will win a $25,000 shelter makeover. The shelter makeover will help create a gentler, less chaotic environment for the cats awaiting their forever home. Renovations and upgrades may include building a free-roam, soundproofed cat room, installing cat cubbies for personal space or painting the walls soothing colors. 

Purina Cat Chow team members will volunteer at the winning shelter for one day to assist with the makeover.

In addition to the shelter makeover, four runners-up volunteers will each win a $5,000 donation for their shelter. Purina Cat Chow will also support each of the 50 participating shelters – one in every state – via cash and cat food donations. Every participating shelter will receive a $1,000 donation, new Purina® Cat Chow® Gentle Formula brand food and cat care supplies.

“Each year, millions of cats enter animal welfare organizations. The dedication and hard work of shelter volunteers are critical to these cats’ care,” said Sarah Johnston, Purina Cat Chow brand manager. “We want to recognize the volunteers who make sure shelter cats have a comfortable place to live, access to high-quality nutrition, and provide unconditional support while they’re waiting to be adopted.”

The Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest is part of the brand’s “Building Better Lives” program, an ongoing commitment to help improve the lives of cats through rescue, nutrition and adoption support. The Brand works to support shelters and help more cats find forever homes. In three years, the Purina Cat Chow will donate nearly $600,000 to more than 100 local cat-focused shelters nationwide and help improve the lives of more than 86,000 cats.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

Lt. Governor Reynolds Launches Statewide “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 12:56

Emphasis on Iowa’s Female Leaders

(DES MOINES) – Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced today that she is embarking upon a statewide tour to celebrate “National Women’s History Month” in March.  The Lt. Governor will be traveling to several communities to meet with female leaders and highlight how women are positively impacting Iowa with their ideas, actions and ingenuity.

“This year’s national theme for Women’s History Month is ‘Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.’  Every year, during my travels to all 99-counties in Iowa, I witness first-hand how women are making a difference in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities,” said Lt. Governor Reynolds.  “Women have played an important role in Iowa’s history and will continue to be trailblazers who serve as role models for current and future generations of Iowans.”

As part of her “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour,” the Lt. Governor will be traveling to Webster City, Aldin, and Atlantic, to name just a few communities during March. The Lt. Governor will use the hashtag #KimTours99 during her travels across the state.

Joining Lt. Governor at the news conference was Renee Hardman, who is principal owner of Hardman Consulting and a 2014 inductee into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.  She spoke on the importance of women making positive impacts on lives, especially through their actions.

“Women play a critical role in helping other women.  As a woman, who was raised by a single parent along with two other sisters, it was female role models - like my mom and my aunts - who helped shape me into the strong, civic-minded person that I have become,” shared Hardman.

She went on to say, “Women need to see role models who have overcome barriers and who face challenges and have made it, in spite of all.  Our life is not measured by the jobs we have or the money we have in the bank, but by the lives we touched.”

According to Molly Murphy MacGregor, executive director and co-founder, chair of the National Women’s History Project, sharing stories about the lives of individual women is critically important.

“The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.  Knowing women’s achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are and what women can accomplish today.”

In 2015, the Women’s History Movement and the National Women’s History Project are celebrating their 35-year anniversaries.  For more information about the National Women’s History Project, visit

A high resolution photo of Reynolds can be found here.


Loebsack Representative will Hold Office Hours PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 10:21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack will have a member of his staff in Clinton County and Scott County for open office hours. Henry Marquard, Loebsack’s District Representative, will be at the following locations. Marquard will be on hand to work with individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, have suggestions for Dave, or would just like to share their concerns. Members of the public are invited to attend. Marquard holds regular office hours throughout Eastern Iowa.

If residents are unable to attend but have a concern to share with the Congressman, please call our district office toll-free at 1-866-914-IOWA (4692).

Marquard’s schedule is as follows.


Tuesday, Feb. 24


DeWitt City Hall

510 Ninth Street

9:00 – 10:00 AM


Clinton City Hall

611 South Third Street, 1st Floor

11:00 AM – NOON


Eldridge Scott County Library

200 North Sixth Avenue

2:00 – 3:00 PM



MADD Urges Iowa Lawmakers to Pass Lifesaving Interlock Law PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Becky Iannotta   
Monday, 23 February 2015 11:42

Des Moines, IA (February 18, 2015) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving will testify in support of HF 186 by Representative Sandy Salmon, which requires ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.  A House Judiciary Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on this legislation at noon on Thursday, February 19, at the State Capitol.

“As a drunk driving victim and MADD volunteer, I call on the House Judiciary Subcommittee members Jones, Branhagen, and Olson to advance HF 186,” said MADD Iowa Volunteer Linda Chapman. “My daughter and her friend were killed almost 11 years ago by a repeat offender drunk driver. If he had an interlock device on his 3/4 ton pickup truck, I firmly believe both of these young people would be alive today.”

Ignition interlock legislation is MADD’s number one legislative priority across the country and in Iowa. Due in part to similar laws passed in other states, drunk driving deaths have declined dramatically and at a better pace compared to the national average decline. New Mexico and Arizona have seen a 40 percent and 45 percent reduction, respectively, in drunk driving deaths since passing all-offender interlock laws. 

“Interlocks save lives. They allow convicted drunk drivers to continue with their daily lives as long as they don’t drive drunk,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, a victim of drunk and drugged driving. “We urge Iowa to join the growing list of states that recognize the effectiveness of interlocks for all offenders.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, ignition interlocks are effective in reducing repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent.  Since 1995 in Iowa, these devices have been required for all first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or greater.  HF 186 would modify the requirement of ignition interlocks to include all first-time offenders with a BAC of .08 or greater who seek driving privileges following a DUI conviction.

Twenty-four states, including Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri, require these devices for all first-time convicted drunk drivers. New Jersey will become the 25th state if Governor Christie signs a bill that passed the legislature earlier this month.

HF 186 follows the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board and every major traffic safety organization, including AAA and the Governors Highway Safety Association. 

Frank Harris, MADD Director of State Government Affairs, will testify at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Thursday. 

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every ten minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Annual commemoration of Clarence Darrow's death takes place March 13 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Tracy Baim   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 09:09


CHICAGO -  On the seventy-eighth anniversary of famed attorney Clarence Darrow's death, this year's annual Darrow symposium on Friday, March 13 explores contemporary activism on the issues of undocumented laborers and immigration. Darrow's attitude is summarized by a quote from a 1929 debate on "Is Immigration Beneficial?" in which he said, "I am a foreigner; my people didn't get here until about 1710. They got here, and now I am asked to close the doors to the people who came over on a later ship."

This year's symposium views the issues through the work of three passionate and outspoken advocates for the undocumented. Tania Unzueta Carrasco is an immigrant queer community organizer and writer who is known nationally for using direct action and civil disobedience to fight against deportations and harsh immigration enforcement practices and policy.  Catholic Sisters Patricia Murphy and JoAnn Persch founded the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, which works in detention centers, a deportation center, the immigration court and the Post-Detention Accompaniment program.

The day begins with a brief ceremony and flower-tossing near the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park at 10 a.m., where Darrow's ashes were scattered after his death and where, as a bet, he once agreed his spirit would return if it turned out communication was possible from the afterworld. The bridge is closed due to construction, so the ceremony will be just to the east of the Darrow tribute marker. For the past 58 years, through the annual commemoration ceremony and lecture, Darrow's spirit has returned-usually to remind us that his work is not yet done.

After the ritual outdoor flower-tossing, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry's Rosenwald Room (formerly the New Columbian Room) for light refreshments and presentations at 10:45 by the featured speakers. The program also includes an appearance by high school junior Marissa Howe, winner of the Clarence Darrow History Award (which is sponsored by the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee) at the 2014 Chicago Metro History Fair.

Darrow, who died March 13, 1938, is remembered for his crusading role as "attorney for the damned" in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.

DIRECTIONS: The Clarence Darrow Bridge is behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Since it is currently under construction, the flower-tossing ceremony will take place just east of the bridge. Drive south on Lake Shore Drive, pass the light at 57th Drive and turn right at the next light [Science Drive]. You will come almost immediately to Columbia Drive. If you turn left and follow Columbia Drive there is parking near the bridge. You may park near the OmniMax Theater and walk south to the bridge.

For more details see


Media contacts: Tracy Baim, 773-387-2394

Nina Barrett, 224-999-7722, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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