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How to Fulfill Something Missing: Research on Lost Loved Ones PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:54
4 Tips for Recovering Lost Relationships

The loss of a child is the worst experience of a lifetime, say many parents; but, for children, the loss of a parent can lay the foundation of a lifetime of grievances, says Karolyn Rogers.

“I was only 5 when I lost my father and, while there’s no good time to lose a loved one, it was a tender age to lose him; the circumstances of his death – and how my family dealt with it – left a palpable void,” says Rogers, author of the new book, “When Daddy Comes Home,” (, which details her journey of healing through researching her father’s death while serving his country in World War II.

The way her family dealt with the devastating loss was by not talking about it, she says.

“I simply adored my daddy, Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth, and I’d never received closure on his passing. I lived knowing that my children and grandchildren would never know their granddaddy, and I probably would have made better decisions earlier in my life if I had him growing up – or, at least, better understood his passing,” says Rogers, who reviews how researching his life and death finally provided what was missing in her heart.

•  Pay attention to spiritual signals. On Feb. 17, 2001, Rogers was brushing her teeth, hurriedly trying to get to a friend’s wedding on time, when, “I remember it clearly; out of nowhere, a white light surrounded me,” she says. “I heard something tell me that I was supposed to tell what it was like to be an orphan with a widowed mother as a result of war.”

•  Start investigating what you know. While she knew her mother had two boxes of letters from her father that were kept throughout the years, it felt like there was an invisible boundary between Rogers and those letters. “This exemplifies why so many remain unfulfilled decades after the loss of a loved one; it’s like there’s a scab there that’s protecting you and others,” she says. The process of reviewing the letters was so emotionally fraught that it took nearly a year to complete.

•  Ask yourself, “Are there others in my position?” Pfc. Wilmeth died during the waning days of WWII – in Patton’s secret Third Army – a surprise Rogers found out while finally doing the research in her 60s. She figured out she was one of 183,000 American orphans from the war; she wasn’t alone and was able to reach out to many others. Even those family members involved in isolated missing-person cases can find support groups and possibly be guided to helpful resources.

•  Preserve materials involving your loved one. Over the past century, the media for storing family memories have changed and changed again. They include pen-and-paper letters, emails, and taped voice recordings and videos, as well as digital records. A basic internet search will lead browsers to local and national companies that can professionally save and restore old materials. There are also companies that can help preserve digital files, although a basic external hard drive is an easy way to save them.

About Karolyn Rogers

Karolyn Rogers lost her father when she was a small child. Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth was killed during Gen. Patton’s advance on Berlin in the waning days of World War II. The loss devastated her family and left Rogers with a lingering void, until she began researching her father’s life. She learned her dad earned the Purple Heart and many other decorations, he was a loving and caring husband and father, as evidenced by the many letters he sent from Europe to his family in Oklahoma. With the hope of inspiring others who’ve suffered loss, Rogers has built a chapel in memory of Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth and has recently published “When Daddy Comes Home,” (

Gov. Branstad announces appointments to Iowa’s Electrical Examining Board PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:44

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced appointments to Iowa’s Electrical Examining Board.  The Board is responsible for adopting wiring standards that protect public safety, issuing licenses, handling disciplinary matters, setting continuing education standards and determining inspection fees.

The following individuals’ appointments are effective June 17, 2014, and are subject to Iowa Senate confirmation. The positions are not paid.

Electrical Examining Board

Allen DeHeer, Winterset

Marg Stoldorf, Red Oak

Emily Wuebker, Afton


Rutherford Institute Attorneys Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Citizens Against 4th Amendment Violations by Police Officers Ignorant of the Law PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Nisha Whitehead   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 14:17

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Insisting that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” when it comes to police officers being permitted to violate American citizens’ constitutional rights, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold law enforcement officials accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law. Specifically, in filing an amicus curiae brief filed in Heien v. State of North Carolina, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that courts must suppress evidence seized as a result of an improper stop of a motorist even though the police officer reasonably, but mistakenly, believed he was authorized by law to stop the vehicle.

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Heien v. State of North Carolina is available at

“It’s a toss up which is worse—law enforcement officials who know nothing about the laws they have sworn to uphold, support and defend, or a constitutionally illiterate citizenry so clueless about their rights that they don’t even know when those rights are being violated,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Thomas Jefferson recognized that an educated citizenry is the only real assurance that freedom will survive. At the very least, anyone taking public office or working for the government in any capacity—whether it’s a police officer, a school teacher, or a member of Congress—should be required to have a working knowledge of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, and should be held accountable for upholding their precepts. At heart, that’s what this Heien case is really all about: ensuring that ignorance of the law, especially the Fourth Amendment, does not become a ready excuse for government officials to routinely violate the law.”

In April 2009, a Surry County (N.C.) law enforcement officer stopped a car traveling on Interstate 77, allegedly because of a brake light which at first failed to illuminate and then flickered on. The officer mistakenly believed that state law prohibited driving a car with one broken brake light. In fact, the state traffic law requires only one working brake light. Nevertheless, operating under a mistaken understanding of the law, during the course of the stop, the officer asked for permission to search the car. Nicholas Heien, the owner of the vehicle, granted his consent to a search. Upon the officer finding cocaine in the vehicle, he arrested and charged Heien with trafficking. Prior to his trial, Heien moved to suppress the evidence seized in light of the fact that the officer’s pretext for the stop was erroneous and therefore unlawful. Although the trial court denied the motion to suppress evidence, the state court of appeals determined that since the police officer had based his initial stop of the car on a mistaken understanding of the law, there was no valid reason for the stop in the first place. On appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that even though the officer was wrong in concluding that the inoperable brake light was an offense, because the officer’s mistake was a “reasonable” one, the stop of the car did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the evidence resulting from the stop did not need to be suppressed. In weighing in on the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn against allowing government agents to “benefit” from their mistakes of law, deliberate or otherwise, lest it become an incentive for abuse.

Affiliate attorney Christopher F. Moriarty assisted The Rutherford Institute in advancing the arguments in the amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Over 1600 Iowans Join Braley in Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry to Help Resolve Stalled Congolese Adoptions PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:40

Iowans sign open letter as hundreds of US adoptions continue to be needlessly delayed

Washington, D.C. – After months of advocacy aimed at resolving hundreds of stalled adoptions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry calling on him to make solving this issue a top priority. Over 1600 Iowans from across the state signed the letter in support.

Braley highlighted the case of Michael and Erin Peat of Dubuque, who are still waiting on an exit visa from the Congolese government to bring home their two children.

“I was overwhelmed with the amount of support my office received from Iowans on this issue,” Braley said. “I’m going to make sure that Secretary Kerry knows that the people of Iowa care deeply about this issue and we aren’t going to let up until the Peats and hundreds of other families like them are able to bring their rightfully adopted children home.”

“No child should be denied a loving home because of bureaucratic paperwork,” the letter reads.

Last month, the State Department announced that the Congolese government would issue a total of 62 ‘exit letters’—15 of which would be issued to American families—but the overwhelming majority of U.S. families have received no update from the Congolese government and their adoptions remain in limbo.

Approximately 460 families have had their adoptions suspended, but the Peats are one of only about 50 families that have had it occur at such a late stage in the process. They were granted their adoption visa by the United States. However, the DRC suddenly refused to issue exit letters, which is the final step allowing families to bring their children to the United States.

Braley has written the Congolese Prime Minister, the Congolese Ambassador to the United States, and Secretary of State John Kerry calling for a resolution to this issue.

The letter to Secretary can be found HERE.

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Braley: Protect Social Security & Medicare PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:32
Braley hosts Retirement Security Roundtables with Iowans in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines

Des Moines, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley hosted a pair of Retirement Security Roundtable events in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines today to meet with Iowans and discuss the future of Social Security and Medicare and how to safeguard the programs for current retirees and generations of workers to come.

Braley said, “Social Security and Medicare are a promise that if you work hard, the benefits you’ve earned will be there for you when you retire. We need to protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure their promise is honored for current and future generations of workers.

“That’s why I’ve fought against schemes to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, because gambling Social Security on the stock market and giving Medicare vouchers to seniors puts current retirees at risk. We should strengthen these programs, not undermine them.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 530,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicare in 2012. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare calculates that Iowa has more than 584,000 Social Security beneficiaries, with the average senior receiving a monthly benefit of $1,131.

Braley has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare into a voucher program. Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation.

Janice Laue of Des Moines said, “Social Security and Medicare ensure a more secure retirement for thousands of Iowa seniors who’ve worked hard to earn their benefits. We need a Senator who will protect these benefits for current seniors and future generations of retirees. Bruce Braley has long fought to protect Social Security and Medicare for Iowa seniors, and he’ll keep fighting to preserve these programs in the Senate.”

State Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.

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