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Loebsack Welcomes Quad Cities Chamber to Washington DC PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:46

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed leaders from the Quad Cities Chamber to Washington for their annual trip to discuss economic development, transportation issues such as the I-74 Bridge, infrastructure, as well as the importance of the Rock Island Arsenal and the possible effects of sequestration.   Each year, Loebsack meets with community leaders and local Chambers of Commerce groups from around the state to discuss issues important to their region.

“Meeting the members of the Quad Cities Chamber in Washington gives me a very important opportunity to continue to the conversation we have when I am in the district,” said Loebsack.  “There are many important issues that have a direct impact on the Quad Cities region being discussed in Washington.  I am glad the Chamber could come and discuss these topics.  I look forward to working alongside them to move the region forward and be a strong voice for their priorities.”

 
Lt. Governor Simon’s Firearms Working Group meets with health care professionals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:06

Simon, members hear how gun laws intersect with trauma, health care and mental health fields

SPRINGFIELD – February 27, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon's Firearms Working Group met today with experts in trauma, mental health care, domestic violence prevention and public health fields to learn how gun laws affect quality of life issues.

The working group, comprised of freshmen Senators and Representatives from across the state, is meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the gun safety debate as the General Assembly considers Illinois’ first law to allow Illinoisans to carry concealed firearms.

“The intersection of guns and domestic violence can be tragic,” said Simon, a lawyer who has prosecuted domestic battery cases. “As the General Assembly considers gun legislation, it is important that we balance public safety with our Second Amendment right.”

The working group met with experts from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, the Illinois Association of Court Clerks and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The meeting comes one day after the House began discussing significant gun reforms, including dozens of firearms-related amendments filed to House Bill 1155. Illinois has until June to pass a law that permits people to carry concealed guns in public spaces.

Currently Illinois is the only state in the nation with a law that bans carrying concealed firearms. The law was declared unconstitutional in December by a three-member panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the state was given 180 days to pass a constitutional law.

Over the next month, the working group will continue meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the debate – from hunters to law enforcement to education professionals – to promote dialogue and work toward consensus on pending legislation. Please visit www.ltgov.il.gov/guns for additional information about the working group.

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Veterans Workshop Announces Blind US Veterans to Help Deaf US Veterans Make Phone Calls in New National Relay Service PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hilary Snyder   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:05

The Veterans Workshop announces that training of blind veteran relay operators begins March 4th, with six Blind Oklahoma Veterans training on a Google+ platform to make phone calls for Deaf Veterans.

Washington, DC, February 27, 2013

Imagine for one minute you are deaf and you are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces. You can't hear anything because an IED has left you deaf. You want to call your mom at home and wish her a "Happy Birthday", but that task is next to impossible. Maybe you want to call your daughter at college and wish her well on her exams, but again, that task is too difficult. But now, with the help of the Veterans Workshop, all of that is about to change. A core group of Blind veterans from the state of Oklahoma are in training starting on March 4th with a mission. They are learning how to be "relay operators", where they can actually make relay phone calls for the veteran who has lost their hearing. http://www.VeteransRelay.com

With funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) of Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma, Department of Rehabilitation Services, six Blind veterans are embarking on a training that will change the way that deaf veterans communicate.

Ken Coppinger, lead instructor for the training says "These veterans are my brothers, and teaching them how to use Google plus hangout technology to assist deaf veterans in communication is not a job to me, it's a mission".

One Blind Veteran is 90 Year Old, WWII Veteran Emory Finefrock - a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific. When asked why he has requested to join this training, Emory said, "These are fellow veterans, and if I can help just one, then I will have done my job."

The Veterans Workshop, a national veteran’s charity that has programs to teach Blind, Deaf and Paralyzed veterans, has developed a unique and challenging work assignment for the tens of thousands of Blind American veterans who have an unemployment in the low 90% range. This initial group of blind veterans is excited about the training and the opportunities it will bring to them.

About the Veterans Workshop: With offices in Rhode Island and Washington, DC, the Veterans Workshop has developed unique training programs for a subset of the disabled veterans community to include blind, deaf and paralyzed veterans. Training for Blind veterans is underway, with training for Deaf and Paralyzed veterans expected in early fall.

Veterans Workshop Infographic90 Year Old WWII Veteran Emory Finefrock

 
PAY DAY COMES AFTER WORK FOR DAVENPORT MAN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Any Garringer   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:24

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Davenport man scratched a “Crossword” ticket to unwind after work, but ended up feeling more excited than he had all day.

Matt Gilmore, 36, claimed the 29th of 97 top prizes of $30,000 in Crossword at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Cedar Rapids on Friday.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Gilmore said. “I was in shock.”

Gilmore said he had trouble sleeping before claiming his prize. He called his mom to tell her the big news, but she had a hard time believing him.

“Not at first, anyway,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said news spread quickly at UPS in Davenport where he is a sorter and everyone is happy for him.

Gilmore hasn’t yet made plans for how to spend his winnings. He purchased his winning ticket at Sub Xpress & Gas, 4307 W. Locust St. in Davenport.

Crossword is a $3 scratch game. Players win a prize by uncovering at least three complete words in the ticket’s puzzle. If a player uncovers 10 words, he/she wins $30,000. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Sixty-seven top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Crossword, as well as 96 prizes of $3,000, more than 1,330 prizes of $300 and more than 6,400 prizes of $100.

Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $3 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.4 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

 

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Loebsack Column: Reflecting on African American History Month PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:21

By Congressman Dave Loebsack

Throughout the month of February, Iowans gathered for different events and celebrations across the state to honor and pay tribute to the many contributions African Americans have made to our great state and nation.  Iowa has always had a proud history of leading the way in advancing civil rights.

As we reflect on the long history of African Americans and their struggle for freedom and equality, we must also take the time to commemorate the great achievements of African Americans right here in Iowa.  From the Civil War to the 21st Century, some of our country’s greatest African American leaders have called Iowa home.

As a graduate of Iowa State, I have long appreciated the story and achievements of George Washington Carver.  Born on a plantation in Missouri, Carver came to Iowa and became the first African American to enroll at what would later be known as Iowa State University.  Completing his bachelor’s degree in 1894, he became the school’s first African American faculty member.  After graduating with his master’s, he joined Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, where his work resulted in hundreds of new products from peanuts and other crops.  Today, he is remembered for improving farming practices and being one of the first prominent African American scientists.

I’m proud to represent an area that is home to many great African American leaders.  Born in Ottumwa, Archie Alexander went on to study engineering at the University of Iowa.  He later became a renowned architect and designed a variety of projects around the country.   One of his most well-known endeavors was the design of airfield where the legendary Tuskegee airmen trained during the Second World War.

In 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt overruled his top generals and ordered the creation of an all African American flight training program.  These pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance, and support staff became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.  They served with distinction during World War II despite facing segregation both inside and outside the military.  A few years ago, I had the great honor of presenting the Tuskegee Airmen Bronze Medal to a constituent in the Second District in honor of his service during World War II as one of the first African American military pilots.

I am proud to be an Iowan and I hope that over the last month you have found a way to commemorate the great achievements of African Americans here in Iowa and across the United States.  Our state and our country have made great advances in equality and we must honor those who struggled so long against injustice and discrimination.  As we have done in the past, it is my hope that Iowa will move forward together and continue to fight for equality for all our people.

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