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Niabi Zoo Sets Annual Attendance Record PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Marc Heinzman   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:40
Coal Valley, IL – December 5, 2012 - Niabi Zoo announced today that it has smashed its existing record for annual attendance. For the 2012 season, which began on March 5th and ended with the Zoo’s last event on December 1st, a total of 256,243 people passed through its gates. This figure represents an increase of nearly 27,000 zoo visitors from 2011, which was a record year for Niabi Zoo at the time. This is also the first time zoo attendance has officially surpassed a quarter of a million people.

Zoo Director Marc Heinzman attributes this new record to a variety of factors, including favorable weather conditions for much of the year and strong continued support from the community. “I’m amazed at how many people came out this year,” said Heinzman, “and I am very grateful to everyone for their support of Niabi Zoo during my first year as Zoo Director.” Zoo officials hope to set yet another new record during the upcoming 2013 season.

Niabi Zoo will reopen for the 2013 season on March 11th. Zoo visitors should expect a full schedule of events, programs, and activities, in addition to a variety of improvements to zoo facilities.

The Prepper’s Guide to Holiday Shopping PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:32
4 Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future

Corrupt bankers, a practically valueless dollar, hyper-unemployment and underemployment, home-grown terrorism, the uptick in natural disasters and the overall lack of trust in our most important institutions – these are some of the reasons all Americans should be very, very concerned, according to Peter Dash (, a world-traveled researcher for Harvard University's Center for International Affairs.

“I predict a brutal world ahead of us,” says Dash, author of “ZUrabia,” (, a book about rogue forces taking over the world’s most important institutions. “Unfortunately, I have been right since my research at Harvard in 1986, when I questioned the viability of government institutions to meet general needs and growing problems, both domestically and abroad.”

The pragmatic holiday shopper this year will purchase items to safeguard their families against these threats, which have been long in the making and won’t disappear quickly, he says.

“Terrorism wasn’t inaugurated with 9-11; extremism in Muslim sects has been growing for decades, and Neo-Nazi groups are starting to flourish in failing states like Greece,” he says. “The dollar has been steadily losing its value since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913; climate change has been on the radar for quite a while; and there have been greedy bankers since, well, banks have existed.”

“If you’re confident that everything is sure to be okay, then you’re not paying attention,” he says.

He offers a four-point survival strategy for holiday shopping:

• Gold is good: The dollar has lost 95 percent of its value in 100 years, and it will continue losing value. As the Reserve continues to flood money into the system, thereby reducing current or potential value, more inflation is inevitable, acting as yet another tax on wages. So, collect and buy any gold that you can and consider spending federal notes while they’re still worth something to businesses. Think about your jewelry, and buying more. Silver is a good option if gold is too expensive, and there are Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs, that are backed by physical gold. A reputable banker or broker can help explain for those who are interested. “TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab may be good places to start getting information on gold and silver ETF trading,” according to Dash.

• Inflation: Spend your money now or smartly invest it before you lose it. Remember, banks often give clients less than one percent on many accounts, but inflation on food and real items we use, like gasoline, are going up by much more. In essence, your banker is stealing your money through the assistance of the Fed, which is killing your savings rate by cheapening money. As if to pour salt on this wound, the bank, in many cases, lends money at four percent or higher. Rerouting some bank savings/wages by investing in canned food, for example, may protect you against the scourge of food inflation, as well as other disasters.

• Worthy purchases: With food and water, a failed society puts a premium on additional goods. They include home insulation, gardening tools and materials, computer programs and language learning kits – perhaps Spanish or Chinese – because of the increasing prominence of other cultures. Guns, security systems and other measures to protect one’s home will likely prove extremely valuable should law enforcement be spread too thin, or fail as an institution.

• Buy in bulk: Places like Wal-Mart or Costco will help you get the most value with large purchases of food. It’s important to be well-stocked if something happens that results in the emptying of grocery markets, but remember to have adequate space in your house, apartment or cabin for a “safe” room, which is part of a sound strategy for protecting you and your family.

About Peter Dash

Peter Dash has been a teacher, professor and corporate trainer for the last 17 years, working in Saudi Arabia, the former Soviet Union and China. He has an applied science degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in applied teaching from Southern Queensland in Australia. He was a researcher in world (dis) order and youth groups at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs, started by Henry Kissinger. He follows the investment field intensely, focusing on commodity funds and trends. Fifteen percent of his book’s royalties will go to needy students consistent to the many years Dash has worked in assisting voluntary youth organizations. He lives on a small tropical island that is stocked with the finest well water, fish and food. Dash invests in Gold ETFs and commodity trading companies.

Can Americans Really Afford 4 More Years of Entitlements? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 03 December 2012 15:41
Former Liberal Says Loyalties of the Poor are Misguided
By: Virgil Brannon

With young mothers being showered with expensive poverty and bouquets of dependency; when too many males are making more babies and not raising them; when a large percentage of our youth are graduating from high school not prepared for college, and when the doors of the unemployment office are open, but no one is willing to hire, how can we afford four more years of entitlements?   

How can this government raise taxes on the rich -- the ones who create jobs? This will stop businesses from growing and expanding. If you raise their taxes, the community programs they support – the Little League teams and the civic projects -- will suffer. Students who have put in hard work to get to college, who rely on business-funded college scholarships, may not be able to go. If these businesses fail to produce jobs, more people will fall into poverty and the need for entitlements will prevail.

When you raise taxes on businesses and the rich, you prevent companies from hiring new faces, and force them to turn away the old ones. With no jobs and no recognizable alternative presented by this administration, how can Americans become self-sufficient? As long as the Democratic Party is buying the votes of the economically poor households with free money, poverty will become the new norm because the party is using entitlements to sway votes.

How can America survive if she refuses to stand with her founders on what has always made her great? America is the super power of the world, but now it has been downgraded by entitlements to maintain a status quo? There are Americans struggling to make ends meet; they are struggling to put food on the table. With no focus on any solutions, how can there be any progress? The quick way out of poverty is a job and education. A job gets you out of poverty, and education elevates you to the next level. But how can people remove themselves from poverty when the Democratic Party’s system has been a failure from the start? What is so hard about showing those who think they cannot make it without entitlements that they can? What is so hard about showing them the long-term effects and consequences that Food Stamps and Welfare have on a them, and what is so hard about showing those who do not need entitlements the right way to stand on their own, without taking from others who are really in need? I know that most Americans would rather have a hand up than a hand-out.

When you make people believe they cannot achieve anything; make their goals become impossible to reach; and train them to believe that nothing is possible for them, failure thrives.  This leadership would rather we have less, settles for less, and be satisfied with receiving less. Struggling families and single parents who have just a little are not thinking that entitlements will kill their dreams, progress and growth while creating laziness. A young male without money or knowledge turns to crime and tries to take all that he lacks.

We have to show those who do not believe that they have a purpose; that there is something special about each of us in America and that there are plenty of opportunities for them to succeed. They need to know that America is the greatest country in the world, built on the belief that man can do anything and be anything, as long as he is willing to acquire the knowledge to put ideas into action. There is nothing that we cannot do when our minds are focused. We are all human beings, born for greatness, created by the greatest Scientist and Creator of the universe to be the most important species on this planet. We are the only species that has so many unique capabilities and talents. We have the ability to change things to make them better, and we can accomplish anything  because there  is  really  nothing  holding  us back.

But with 46 million people and rising still on food stamps and without hope and 60 million American votes without knowledge, when will the rest of us receive any Change? Either way, America cannot afford four new years of Entitlement while our neighbors suffer from choice in the Democratic Coma.

About Virgil Brannon

Virgil Brannon is the author of “Democratic Coma,” He is also a private investigator and the founder of I Am Vision Inc., a non-profit program that embraces and empowers youth with academic and leadership challenges. His goal is to promote the personal growth of socio-economically disadvantaged youth and their families by encouraging their dreams and providing members with a roadmap for success. Brannon attended Shepherd’s Care Bible College and received his master’s and doctoral degrees in ministry religious counseling.

Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds celebrate State Historical Building’s 25th Anniversary Gala this month PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 03 December 2012 11:17

(DES MOINES) – More than 25 years ago, Governor Terry Branstad led the effort to build the new State Historical Building, where Iowans and visitors interact with historic artifacts and engage in educational and cultural experiences.

On the 25th Anniversary in December, Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will serve as honorary chairs for the State Historical Building 25th Anniversary Gala, an event to celebrate this milestone and to raise funds for new exhibits in the State Historical Museum.

“I love Iowa and I love Iowa history,” Governor Branstad said today during his weekly press conference. “In the late 1970s, when I was Lieutenant Governor, it was very clear that we needed to build a new historical building. After I became Governor, we took on that challenge and I’m now very pleased to celebrate this anniversary. I encourage all Iowans to join Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and me in supporting Iowa history.”

The Gala will be at 7 p.m., Friday, December 14, 2012, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. RSVPs are required by contacting the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs at 515-281-7471 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Holiday cocktail attire requested. Tickets are $100 per person or $75 per young professional (35 and younger). Gala Presenting Sponsors include Frantz-Hobart Management Services, Hy-Vee, John Deere, MidAmerican Energy and Musco Lighting.

As part of the Gala, an exhibition of 25 objects from the State Historical Museum’s permanent collection will be on display – one artifact representing each year of the building’s past 25 years. Photos, video and archived materials will be shown throughout the night to give Iowans a look a back, and two new interactive exhibits 99 Counties and Iowa History IQ also will be on display.

In addition, the Gala will feature Iowa entertainment including performances by Hot Club of Des Moines, Flying Pig Fiddle & Banjo and Decoy, while artists Gabriel Lueders and Van Holmgren will showcase works. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds will offer remarks, and legendary opera singer Simon Estes will give a special performance during the evening.

The State Historical Building opened in December 1987 and is home to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its two divisions – the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa, along with the State Historical Museum, the State Historical Library & Archives, the State Historic Preservation Office, the State Records Center and eight historic sites across Iowa.

Since its construction, the building has been a catalyst for investment and improvements in Des Moines’ Historic East Village, bridging the capitol complex to the river and igniting the development of businesses and neighborhoods.

It also serves as a forum for cultural and civic engagement and is a hub for hands-on educational opportunities. It has hosted presidents and politicians, advocates and enthusiasts, and learners of all ages. And, it is a one-of-a-kind destination where Iowans and other visitors engage in meaningful experiences rooted in history and the cultural arts.

“Over the past 25 years, the State Historical Building has provided Iowans and other visitors with a wide range of resources ranging from academic and genealogical research materials to educational programs and cultural arts performances,” DCA Director Mary Cownie said. “Today, however, people are searching for and receiving information in new and exciting ways. That presents challenges and opportunities for how we document and present Iowa history, and how we nurture and support the cultural arts throughout Iowa.

“Our goal with this celebration is to create a new platform that incorporates modern technologies into interactive museum exhibitions and programs,” Cownie said. “We also want to engage students and other Iowans through the cultural arts in ways that ignite their imaginations and encourage them to be more innovative in thinking of the next big thing that will position Iowa as a leader in this highly competitive global environment.”

More information about the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa can be found on-line at


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at

Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Passing of Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 03 December 2012 10:35

COLLINSVILLE – November 30, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the passing of Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage, 32, of Highland who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week.

“The loss of Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage is a tragic reminder of the danger our sworn officers face every day as they enforce the law and make all of us safer.

“It is important that motorists always take every precaution to ensure our roads are as safe as possible for everyone.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Trooper Deatherage during this very difficult time.”


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