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Governor Quinn Names Miguel del Valle to Illinois Commerce Commission PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:32

Lifelong Public Advocate to Help Protect Illinois Consumers; 

New Leaders Named at Illinois Schools for the Deaf and Visually Impaired

CHICAGO - February 8, 2013. Following an announcement made in his recent State of the State address, Governor Pat Quinn today appointed lifelong public advocate Miguel del Valle to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The governor also announced the appointment of Janice Smith-Warshaw as superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) and Serena Preston as superintendent of the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI). Today’s appointments continue the governor’s commitment to making state government more accountable, transparent and effective.

“Miguel del Valle has devoted his life to serving others across Illinois, and he will be a strong voice for consumers on the Illinois Commerce Commission,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “The extensive experience Janice Smith-Warshaw and Serena Preston will bring to two of our most important schools will help ensure students at ISD and ISVI achieve their full potential.”

Miguel del Valle previously served one term as City Clerk of Chicago and was the first Hispanic elected to the Illinois State Senate, where he represented his constituents for 20 years and held chairmanships of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and the Senate Executive committee. He is the co-founder of the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees and the Illinois Latino Advisory Council on Higher Education. Because of his work to improve education for all Illinois students, he was appointed by Governor Quinn to chair the Illinois P-20 Council in 2009. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and Guidance from Northeastern University.

Janice Smith-Warshaw will become the first deaf superintendent of ISD since the school opened in 1839. She has served at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside since 2000, where she has risen from elementary teacher to principal and now as curriculum supervisor for the school, which serves students ages three to 21. She has also taught at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington D.C. and the Delaware School for the Deaf. She holds a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel College and is a doctoral candidate in Leadership for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands.

Serena Preston, of Jacksonville, Illinois, has served as Acting Superintendent of ISVI since February, 2012, where she has overseen all school operations and been a strong voice for improving education for students with special needs. During the past 16 years, she has worked as ISVI as a vocational principal, behavior specialist and high school math teacher. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Illinois State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Learning Disability’s and Social Emotional Disorders from MacMurray College in Jacksonville. She is an extensively licensed Illinois educator and is an active member of the community, serving as superintendent of the 4-H county fair show for 22 years, as well as vice chair of the Jacksonville Area Transition Planning Council.

For more information about Illinois’ boards and commissions or to apply for a position, visit    


Driving After 60? Learn driving tips from the AARP PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Rock Island Library   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:25
Keeping Your Most Important Accessory, Your Keys
image from AARP driving program2:00 to 3:00 pm,
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Rock Island Main Library, 401 19th Street


This free program with tips on safer driving for retirees and seniors is presented by AARP Driver Safety program instructor Caryl Altemus. The program also includes an overview of what is included in the full AARP Driver Safety programs, with information about upcoming courses. No registration is required. Drop by!

Caring for your collections PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:30

Are you responsible for the historic documents, photographs and objects belonging to your organization, church or family? The Muscatine Art Center and Musser Public Library are teaming up to provide a basic overview to caring for collections.

Attendees will learn about ways to provide basic collections care on a small budget and without professional training. Discussion topics will include organizing materials, storing materials in a more stable environment, handling and exhibiting materials to limit the risk of damage, and digitizing records and photographs. Art Center Registrar Virginia Cooper will cover the basics of working with acid-free materials for storage. She will examine storage for textiles, books, and historic documents. Sheila Chaudoin, Photo Archivist at Musser Public Library, will discuss photograph and photo negative storage and scanning and managing digitized images.

The free session will take place on Thursday, March 7th at 5:30 p.m. in the Music Room at the Muscatine Art Center. The session will last approximately 1 hour plus time for questions.

To register in advance, call 563-263-8282 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.


Managing Outdoor Cats PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grant Sizemore   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:25

A newly released study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has attracted media attention for its estimate of cat-caused wildlife mortality. In particular, birds and mammals are among the two hardest hit groups. The median estimate of deaths for birds and mammals combined each year in the United States as a result of outdoor cat predation is 14.7 billion individuals. This new estimate settles any argument as to whether or not outdoor cats impact native wildlife and demands from the public a serious look at how we can protect biodiversity from this introduced predator.

Please consider writing in support of responsibly managing outdoor cats, and urge cat owners to keep their cats indoors.

Key Points:

Outdoor cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually in the United States

Outdoor cats have been implicated in the extinction of 33 species

Outdoor cats are the #1 source of direct, human-caused bird mortality in the United States

Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs have been shown to be ineffective in reducing outdoor cat populations and do nothing to reduce predation pressure on local wildlife

Feral and free-ranging cats pose a health risk to humans and wildlife for their ability to transmit rabies, toxoplasmosis, and other diseases

Outdoor cats live traumatic and dangerous lives that average 3-5 times less than those of indoor cats; risks include being struck by cars, eaten by predators, and disease.


The only sure way to protect wildlife, cats, and people is for domestic cats to be permanently removed from the environment. TNR is a failed strategy being implemented across the United States without any consideration for environmental, human health, or animal welfare impacts and can no longer be tolerated. Local governments need to act swiftly and decisively to gather the 30-80 million un-owned cats, aggressively seek adoptions, and euthanize those cats that are not adoptable. Furthermore, pet cats should be spayed/neutered and kept indoors. For their own safety, owned cats need to be licensed and microchipped. Only through proper identification can lost cats be consistently returned to their homes, and no owners need worry about accidental adoption or euthanasia of their beloved companion. It is also time to treat cat owners like we treat dog owners by enforcing anti-abandonment laws and requiring leashes or enclosures for cats outdoors. Lastly, society needs to recognize that excellent pets in need of good homes may be found at local animal shelters and rescue organizations.

American Bird Conservancy Press Release:

Governor Pat Quinn Signs House Bill 190 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:22

CHICAGO – February 7, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 190. The governor called for passage of this legislation in yesterday’s State of the State address, and has pushed to restore funding to the Department of Children and Family Services for months. Sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), the bill passed the General Assembly earlier today.

“I applaud the General Assembly for taking action to pass and send a bill to my desk that will put people to work and protect the most vulnerable among us,” Governor Quinn said.

“This important measure will allow us to begin construction projects this spring, putting Illinois workers back on the job repairing bridges and improving roads. The bill is part of my agenda to strengthen our economy while rebuilding transportation networks across the state.

“As a result of today’s action, hard-working employees at the Department of Children and Family Services will continue their critical work of protecting vulnerable children who have been abused and neglected.

“Thank you Speaker Madigan and Senator Kotowski for your work to pass this important bill.”


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