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News Releases - General Info
Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:35

PORT BYRON, Ill. — Reaffirming his commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of local residents and fighting overly restrictive legislation out of Chicago, state Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) is hosting two concealed carry permit classes on Sunday, June 2 at the Cordova Civic Center located at 910 3rd
Avenue S. in Cordova, with the first class from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the second class from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“As the legislature drags its feet on passing strong concealed carry legislation that respects the rights of gun owners, residents can get a head start on applying for a carry permit that is valid in every state that borders Illinois,” Smiddy said. “Chicago gun-grabbers are losing the fight on concealed and carry, so they’re trying another gun restriction by banning certain firearm magazines -- we won’t let them. They will continue trying to take away the guns of law-abiding citizens and I will continue fighting them tooth and nail.”

These classes are taught by SAFE Gun Permits, LLC, who will take the necessary photographs, fingerprint
students, and mail the student applications after the course is completed. Students will be eligible for a concealed carry license through the State of Utah. The Utah license is recognized in Utah and 30 other
states, including every state that borders Illinois.

Smiddy is a vocal gun rights advocate and a sponsor of concealed carry legislation that respects gun owners’ rights, Senate Bill 2193, which passed the House overwhelmingly. Smiddy is opposing a new highly restrictive measure introduced in the Illinois Senate that would prevent many law-abiding gun owners from carrying in public and create burdensome, extensive gun-free zones throughout the state.

“I am opposing all proposed concealed carry legislation that makes it difficult for gun owners to obtain a permit and legally carry,” said Smiddy. “This new Senate plan creates a patchwork of localized concealed carry laws so confusing that it would be impossible for gun owners to obtain a permit and legally carry as they travel throughout the state. Illinois and its law-abiding citizens do not want a watered-down, ineffective bill passed in Springfield.”

The fee for the concealed carry permit classes is $100 plus a $51 processing fee to the State of Utah.

Residents can sign up online at For more information, contact Smiddy’s office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (309) 848-9098, or toll free at (855) 243-4988.


Iowa 80 Truckstop Nominated as 8th Wonder of the World PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Heather DeBaillie   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:23

WALCOTT, IOWA – Iowa 80 Truckstop has been nominated by the Quad Cities Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as the 8th Wonder of the World in Virtual Tourist’s current online contest..

Voting is open until September 30th.

Entries have been received from all over the world.  Anyone can vote. Voters can help put the Quad Cities on the map by voting for Iowa 80 Truckstop at


CAP’s photo assessment of every house damaged in Oklahoma tornadoes helps homeowners PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Steve Cox   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:54

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. –  “I don’t think we’ve ever had a mission like this one,” said Lt. Col. Dave Roberts of the door-to-door ground team sorties Civil Air Patrol is performing for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The mission, which began on Wednesday, is to photography up to 12,000 home sites damaged by the Oklahoma tornadoes.

“We’ve had boots on the ground and have been right in the middle of it from day one,” said Roberts, CAP’s incident commander on Friday, of the organization’s role in providing photographic assessment of every house damaged by the tornadoes.

Half of the members conducting the ground team mission are CAP cadets 12-20 years old, Roberts noted. To date more than 100 members from the Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas wings have contributed to CAP’s air and ground missions following the tornadoes. “We’ve got some really sharp people working and they are doing a great job,” he said.

The system for working the ground team mission is ingenious. CAP’s aerial photo tracks taken for FEMA and the Oklahoma Division of Emergency Management, which documented the depth and width of the damage, were added to Google Earth images from Moore and Oklahoma City to determine where streets had been located and where houses were supposed to be, creating a grid to guide CAP’s pilots. On the ground, GPS trackers are being used to locate housing sites within 30 feet of their location, allowing CAP to photograph each home site.

CAP is taking an average of 500 photos per day, but is planning to triple that number beginning today with the addition of more volunteers and more cameras.

“It really drives home what I’ve seen on the news the last couple of days,” said Capt. Brian Summers of the Oklahoma Wing, a ground team leader for the door-to-door photography. “I feel bad for the people affected by the storms and am amazed at the positive attitude of homeowners. All have said thank you for our support.

“CAP is happy to be able to provide the pictures to allow everybody to see how severe the damage was and to assist FEMA and others in planning for the future and to support the people affected.”

“CAP gets the job done. We don’t have to worry,” said Linda Pryor, emergency management officer with ODEM, which is using the images “to compare which houses were there and which weren’t so FEMA can get recovery money to the homeowners.”

“I am honored to work with such am amazing team,” said Chris Vaughn of FEMA. “Thank you for everything you do. You are really making a difference in the way that we support survivors.”

Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1941 with a 501(c)3 designation and pre-dates the Air Force. CAP consists of 61,000 unpaid professional members nationwide, and operates a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP is a force multiplier to the Air Force CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.

Convoy of Hope and Bass Pro Shops Partner to Bring Aid to Moore PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Katie Mitchell   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:53

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (May 24, 2013) —Convoy of Hope and Bass Pro Shops partnered once again to bring aid to the survivors of Monday’s devastating EF-5 tornado in Moore, Okla.

“When we respond to disasters we are empowered to do so by trusted partners like Bass Pro Shops,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope, which, like Bass Pro Shops, is headquartered in Springfield, Mo. “Our partnership with Bass Pro Shops is long standing and valued by our entire team. They are a retailer known for excellent products but also for reaching out to communities that are hurting.”

Currently, Bass Pro Shops is shipping cases of water, batteries, headlamps, jerky and meals ready to eat to Moore.   The shipments will arrive at the Convoy of Hope point of distribution located at 8900 S. Shields Blvd. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Friday, May 24 starting at 9 a.m.

Two years ago, Bass Pro Shops partnered with Convoy of Hope when the organization responded to the Joplin, Mo., tornado. In 2011 Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and his wife, Jeanie, received Convoy of Hope’s Legacy Award, which is given annually.

“Our partnership with Bass Pro Shops will impact the people of Moore in a tremendous way,” adds Donaldson.

About Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope, founded in 1994, has a long history as a first responder in times of natural disasters and has been a Four Star Charity as recognized by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years. Convoy of Hope, a faith-based organization, has a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Convoy of Hope:

Jeff Roman, 417-942-7570
Public Relations Desk
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jeff Nene, 417-860-2196
National Spokesperson
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bass Pro Shops Contact:
Katie Mitchell, 417-873-5618
Communications Manager

Loebsack Public Schedule for Memorial Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 24 May 2013 14:44

Speak at Rock Island National Cemetery Service


WHAT Congressman Dave Loebsack will join other elected officials, families and community members to honor veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation

WHERE Rock Island Arsenal

National Cemetery

TIME 10:30am


Attend Trail Dedication Memorial Day Service


WHAT Congressman Dave Loebsack will attend the service to induct veterans into the Trail

WHERE East Overlook picnic area on the east side of the Coralville Dam

TIME 1:30pm


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