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Des Moines Independent Community School District Finds Lost "Treasure" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 09:02

DES MOINES, IA (07/02/2013)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald was pleased to present a check for nearly $66,000 from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt to Superintendent Thomas Ahart of Des Moines Public Schools at Smouse Opportunity School in Des Moines on Tuesday. "We are all partners in ensuring that we take care of our students and teachers," Fitzgerald said. "I am happy to get this money back into the hands of Superintendent Ahart and the Des Moines Independent Community School District."

Treasurer Fitzgerald encourages all Iowans to check the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt website at for forgotten treasures. "We have over a million names in our database with over 197,000 of them in Polk County alone," said Fitzgerald. "Unclaimed property isn't just for individuals. I encourage people to search for their local churches, schools, and businesses."

"In public education, we cannot afford to leave any stone unturned in making the best use of our resources in educating our students and supporting our teachers," said Superintendent Ahart. "We appreciate this effort by Treasurer Fitzgerald and the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, and hope it is a reminder to other public entities to check for unclaimed property."

Corporations, business associations, financial institutions and companies across the nation report millions of dollars in unclaimed property to the state treasurer each year. Common examples of unclaimed property include money in forgotten savings and checking accounts, uncashed insurance benefit and payroll checks, lost stock and dividends, abandoned safe deposit box contents, gift cards, utility refunds or deposits.

Go to to search for your treasure today.


News Releases - General Info
Written by Richard Martin   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 08:48

Iowa Flag Officer will advocate for energy policies that will strengthen national security

MASON CITY, IOWA – Ret. Army Major General Gary Wattnem, a distinguished flag officer residing in Iowa, is traveling to Washington, D.C. on July 9-11 to meet with Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin to discuss the importance of energy security and how it impacts national security.

Wattnem, with his decades of Army experience, will provide the Senators with the first-hand knowledge they need to truly understand the risk the United States will face unless significant changes are made to energy security policies.

The most pressing item on Wattnem’s agenda is the permit approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline that will contribute to U.S. energy independence by transporting desperately needed domestic and Canadian oil to American refineries.

“The United States and Canada have an established and friendly trading partnership and this pipeline would eventually provide us with twice of what we currently import from the Persian Gulf,” Wattnem said. “If Washington is serious about increasing our economic, energy, and national security then it needs to act fast and get this pipeline built.”

The State Department has conducted four separate environmental impact assessments that repeatedly conclude that the pipeline would not have significant impacts on the environment. Despite the overwhelming public support for the pipeline, a final approval for its permit has been put on hold.

Wattnem will also press the Senators to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard, a series of mandates for the production of renewable fuels established in the Energy Independence Act of 2007.

In order to comply with RFS mandates, American fuel supplies have been blending 10 percent ethanol content into fuel. They are approaching the point at which refiners are no longer able to meet the ethanol blending mandates. This will put refiners in the situation of either having to produce 15 percent ethanol or 85 percent ethanol, which could cause engine damage in military vehicles and hurt the economy.

“We need to avoid these unrealistic regulations that severely impact our economic and energy security,” Wattnem said.

Wattnem is a member of Vets4Energy, a group of volunteer veterans from a variety of branches and ranks of the military. Dozens of other Vets4Energy are joining Wattnem on Capitol Hill to meet with their Senators. They hail from 25 other states and have fought in every U.S. war or engagement since Vietnam.

About Ret. Army Major General Gary Wattnem

Wattnem served a tour of duty at the Eastern Area Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service in Brooklyn, N.Y. During 1970 and 1971 he served in Vietnam with the 71st Transportation Battalion at Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam.

He entered the Active Reserve in November of 1971. His assignments included Company Commander of the 404th Signal Company in Waterloo, Iowa, and Signal Officer of the 394th Ammo Battalion in Ames, Iowa.  He then was assigned to the 103rd COSCOM at Fort Des Moines where he served in a number of assignments including Battalion Commander.  He was then selected as Commander of the 56th Material Management Center at Fort Snelling, Minn.

In September of 1993, he became the Chief of Staff of the 19th Theater Army Area Command in Des Moines, Iowa. In August of 1996, he assumed command of the 3rd Corps Support Command in Des Moines. He was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics at the Pentagon in 1999.  He retired in 2004.

Nominations Open for 2013 Caring Awards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Natalie Anderson   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 08:44

BETTENDORF, Iowa – Nonprofit organizations in Scott and Rock Island counties are invited to nominate their top volunteers for the 2013 Quad City Caring Awards. The awards are presented each year by the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend to honor a select group of volunteers who have demonstrated their commitment to the betterment of our community.

This year, five volunteers will be honored. One of the awards will be given to a young volunteer under the age of 21.

“Nonprofits depend on volunteers,” said Susan Skora, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “These generous people give the community something very valuable – their time and hard work. Recognizing them for this gift is one of the happiest events of the year.”

Nonprofits are encouraged to submit their nominations. A citizen committee of community leaders will select the winners. Each nonprofit that nominates an award recipient will receive a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation in honor of the winner.

Quad City Caring Award winners will be recognized at the Community Foundation’s Annual Celebration on September 10, 2013. The event will be held at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf.

Nomination forms are available at the Community Foundation office, or on the website in the News Section. Completed forms must be submitted by August 1 to the Community Foundation, 852 Middle Road, Suite 100, Bettendorf, IA. Can also be faxed to 563-326-2870 or emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To learn more, call 563-326-2840 or visit


Governor’s office releases appointments made to boards and commissions since March 1 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Friday, 05 July 2013 11:45

(DES MOINES) – The governor’s office today released a list of all appointments that have been made to boards and commissions since March 1, 2013.


The appointments are as follows:


Agricultural Development Board (Senate confirmation required)

Lyle Borg, Pella

Stacie Euken, Wiota

John Fredrickson, Gowrie

Mark Leonard, Holstein

Annette Townsley, Louisa


Council on Agricultural Education

April Hemmes, Hampton

Robert Martin, Ames

Paul Skartvedt, Radcliffe


Iowa Arts Council

Alan Hilsabeck, Spencer

Molly Kotval, West Des Moines

Kenneth Sidey, Greenfield

Terri Steinke, Urbandale

Ann Wilkinson, Pella


State Banking Council

Barbara Miller, Maquoketa

Peg Scott, Fontanelle


Advisory Council for Brain Injuries

Patrick Costigan, Cedar Rapids

Megan Henning, Waverly

Walter Johnson, Denver

Rhonda Jordal, Forest City

Renee Moravec, Marion

Jerry Sebert, Spirit Lake

Deborah Tell, Windsor Heights


Capitol Planning Commission

Matthew Anderson, Des Moines

Carol Grant, West Des Moines

Elizabeth Isaacson, West Des Moines


Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation

Arvid Hulsman, Ankeny

Wayne Marty, Le Mars


College Student Aid Commission

Michael Ash, Burlington

Roger Claypool, Le Mars

Crystal Ford, Cedar Falls


Consumer Advisory Panel

Mary Rathje, Marion

Karen Swalwell, West Des Moines


Dependent Adult Protective Advisory Council

Douglas Johnson, Grimes

Timothy Leathers, Wilton

Maribel Slinde, Clive

Joann Young, Des Moines


Development Disabilities

Aaron Anderson, Mason City

Amy Carter, Council Bluffs

Roger Girard, Marion

Charlene Joens, Des Moines

Nathaniel Pierson, Marion

Ryan Render, Storm Lake

Rick Samson, Des Moines


Iowa Council for Early ACCESS

Gladys Alvarez, Des Moines

Jeffrey Anderson, West Des Moines

Paula Connolly, West Des Moines

Chad Dahm, Pella

Gretchen Hageman, Marshalltown

Stacy Kramer, Hawarden

Debra Runau Matzat, Cedar Rapids

Joshua Tessier, Des Moines


State Board of Education – Student Member

Edgar Thornton, Iowa City


Iowa Emergency Response Commission

Terry Jackson, Marion


Environmental Protection Commission (Senate confirmation required)

Chad Ingels, Randalia


Fire Service and Emergency Response

Ellen Hagen, Jewell

Gabriel Haugland, Clear Lake

Wayne Sawtelle, Marshalltown


Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board

Michael Kettwick, Buffalo Center


Iowa Great Places Advisory Board (Senate confirmed on 4/30/2013)

Brent Matthias, Waverly


Board of Health

Ron Abrons, Coralville

Norman Pawlewski, Des Moines

Maggie Tinsman, Bettendorf

Michael Wolnerman, Des Moines


State Historical Record Advisory Board

Daniel Daily, Orange City

Amy Groskopf, Davenport

Laura Sullivan, Ames

Rachel Vagts, Decorah


State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees

Kitty Green, Sioux City

William Jackson, Des Moines

Candy Streed, Waterloo



Benjamin Brustkern, Waterloo

Christina Canganelli, Iowa City

Mariliegh Fisher, Cedar Falls

David Hagen, Cedar Rapids

Ann Hearn, Cedar Rapids

Barbara Kellogg, Mason City

Stefanie Munsterman-Robinson, Cedar Rapids

Amy Rawhouser, Cedar Rapids

Ashley Schwalm, Davenport

Anthony Timm, Windsor Heights

Timothy Wilson, Mount Vernon


Hospital Licensing Board

Joan Headington, Waverly

Pat McDermott, West Des Moines

Kay Runge, Davenport


Humanities Board

Lynne George, Ankeny

Larry Simmons, Mount Vernon

Edgar Thornton III, Iowa City


Human Rights Board

Anna Brown, DeWitt

Jason Glass, North Liberty


Statewide Independent Living Council

Rebecca Criswell, Prairie City

Gary McDermott, Clinton

Michele Meadors, Des Moines


Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board

Kerry Devine, Cedar Falls

Kelly Groskurth, Treynor

Michael Kasper, Fairfax


District 1A Judicial Nominating Commission

Justin Vorwald, Elkader


District 6 Judicial Nominating Commission

Lance Horbach, Tama


Juvenile Justice Advisory Council

Andrew Allen, Huxley

Candice Bennett, Cedar Rapids

Jason Dively, Pleasant Hill

Dillon Malone, Dow City

Bill Ocker, Polk City

David Thompson, Marshalltown

Jeralyn Westercamp, Cedar Rapids


Commission of Libraries

Patricia Laas, Bettendorf

Betsy Thompson, Sioux City

Dale Vandehaar, Des Moines


Local Food and Farm Program Council

Marcy Billings, West Des Moines


Board of Massage Therapy (Senate confirmed on 4/30/2013)

Khrystyne Napolitano, Harlan


Medical Assistance Advisory Council

Paula Connolly, West Des Moines

Lori Reynolds, Anamosa

Douglas Sample, Davenport


Medical Assistance Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee

Bruce Alexander, Iowa City

Carole Frier, Des Moines

Linda Gehrke, Iowa Falls

Jolene Kelly, Ames

Gregory Neyman, Amana

Heidi Price-Eastman, Urbandale

Holly Randleman, Des Moines

Stephen Richards, Spirit Lake

Charles Wadle, West Des Moines


Mental Health Risk Pool Board (Senate confirmation required)

Patrick Schmitz, Kingsley


Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Olivia Omadison, Ames

Brent Siegrist, Council Bluffs


Mississippi River Parkway Planning Commission

Glenn Pelecky, Bettendorf

Daniel Petersen, Muscatine

Jane Regan, Harpers Ferry

Lori Roling, Bellevue

Jay Schweitzer, Columbus Junction

Lori Wallace, Guttenberg


Mississippi River Partnership Council

Amy Echard, Farmersburg

Teri Goodmann, Dubuque

Sarah Lande, Muscatine

Richard Zarwell, Lansing


Nonpublic School Advisory Committee

Julie Delaney, Davenport


Northeast Regional STEM Advisory Board

Jane Bradley, Waterloo

Kelly Cooper, Dubuque

Jason Martin-Hiner, Strawberry Point

Wendy Mihm-Herold, Fort Atkinson

Michelle Temeyer, Waterloo

Norma Thiese, Guttenberg

Mark Wagner, Bellevue


North Central Regional STEM Advisory Board

Julie Graber, Ames

Ben Petty, Conrad

Kathy Rogotzke, Charles City

Sarah Rosenblum, Marshalltown

Rich Wrage, Boone


Northwest Regional STEM Advisory Board

Barbara Den Herder, Sioux Center

Cheryl Heronemus, Alton

Nancy McDowell, Sheldon

Jody Still Herbold, Kingsley

Wade Weber, Spirit Lake

Mark Zabawa, Emmetsburg


Organic Advisory Council

Tamra Garman, Williamsburg


Board of Parole – Alternate Members (Senate confirmation required)

Nancy Boyd, Urbandale

Jacklyn Romp, Des Moines

W. Ray Richardson, Waterloo


Iowa Comprehensive Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Fund Board

Douglas Beech, Ankeny


Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board (Senate confirmed on 4/30/2013)

Robert Kunkel, Clarence


Board of Podiatry (Senate confirmation required)

K. Linda Bratkiewicz, Clive


Preserves Advisory Board

Lynn Alex, Iowa City

Inger Lamb, Polk City


Prison Industries Advisory Board

Jennifer Gardner, Douds

Yvonne Winther, Waterloo


Property Assessment Appeal Board (Senate confirmed on 4/30/2013)

Jacqueline Rypma, Clive


Iowa Public Broadcasting Board

Jason Giles, Urbandale


Rural Health and Primary Care

Jim Atty, Humboldt

Shari Burgus, Waukee

Sheila Frink, Martelle

Angela Halwassen, Jewell

Dennis Mallory, Toledo

Patrick Pucelik, Whiting

Gregory Randolph, Gladbrook

Susie Roberts, Ankeny

Jon-Michael Rosmann, Polk City


South Central Regional STEM Advisory Board

David Barajas, Ottumwa

Joan Corbin, Pella

Kari Hensen, Ankeny

Karen Patison, Garden Grove

Rosemary Peck, Mt. Pleasant


Southeast Regional STEM Advisory Board

Joseph Crozier, Robins

Linda Fischer, Vinton

Jason Hutcheson, Burlington

Ellen Kabat Lensch, Bettendorf

Tonya Peoples, Coralville

John Tursi, Cedar Rapids


Southwest Regional STEM Advisory Board

Steven Adams, Red Oak

Kimberly Carter, Council Bluffs

Barbara Crittenden, Creston

Alan Ladd, Atlantic

Thomas Lesan, Creston

Lane Plugge, Council Bluffs


STEM Advisory Council

Mary Andringa, Mitchellville (Co-Chair)

William Ruud, ­­­­­­­­­­Cedar Falls


Student Loan Liquidity Corporation

Robert Denson, Ankeny

Lorraine Groves, Sioux City

Robert Sackett, Okoboji


Terrace Hill Commission

Elaine Estes, Des Moines

Nicole Peckumn, Des Moines

Robert Reinard, West Des Moines


Vocational Rehabilitation

Joan Bindel, West Des Moines

Kathy Joblinske, Waterloo

Doug Keast, Altoona

Rosemary Thierer, Mitchellville


Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service

Lucas Beenken, West Des Moines

Jerry Drake, Clinton

Shelly Jordan, Des Moines

Traci Kirtley, Huxley

Matt McGarvey, Ankeny

Emily Moon, Cedar Rapids

Michael Pearson, Cedar Rapids

Loraine Trollope, Des Moines

Jordan Vernoy, Cedar Falls

Tammy Wawro, Cedar Rapids


Watershed Improvement Review Board

Robert Ballou, Monticello

Carrie Keppy, Davenport

Carolyn Sweeting, Iowa City

Lisa Walters, West Des Moines


Workforce Development Board (Senate confirmed on 4/30/2013)

Caroline Hicks, Osceola




Loebsack: House Leaders Hang “Closed for Business” Sign on Capitol PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 13:28

Go on Vacation Leaving Farmers and Students Without a Way Forward

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after House leaders sent Congress home for a vacation without a plan on how they will move forward a farm bill that can be signed into law and also ensure student loan rates don’t increase on July 1st.

Last week, House leadership failed to pass a farm bill and have not made any progress finding a way to move the bill forward.  Earlier this week, Loebsack worked to push the farm bill process forward by introducing the Senate farm bill in the House (HR 2498).  Loebsack supported the House version and has worked to find a compromise to make sure farmers and rural communities get the certainty they deserve.

"It is inexcusable that the House is going on a week vacation without a clear plan on how to move a farm bill forward.  I introduced the Senate farm bill in the House because it passed with strong bipartisan support - including from both Senators Harkin and Grassley.  After voting down the farm bill last week, the House should find a commonsense way to move a farm bill forward by taking up the bipartisan Senate legislation. I, along with others who supported the House bill last week, have called on the Speaker to bring the Senate bill up for a vote so Congress can get a bill to the President that can be signed into law."

Loebsack also continues to pressure House leaders to act to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st.  Student loan interest rates are currently 3.4 percent, but are set to double to 6.8 percent on Monday due to the lack of Congressional action.  Today, Loebsack cosponsored legislation (H.R. 2574), which is fully paid for, to halt the increase.  He also spoke on the House floor urging House leaders to stay in session until an agreement was made to stop the increase.

“When the House leadership hung a “Closed for Business” sign on the House chambers, they sent a strong signal to students that Congress just doesn’t get it.  I have heard from many Iowans that they would not be able to attend college without this assistance. I could not have gone to college and would not be where I am today without the availability of student loans and other financial assistance programs.  It is shameful that Congress left town leaving our students to face the consequences of their inaction.”


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