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Royal Neighbors to name $10,000 surprise Nation of Neighbors recipient during special Rock Island High School awards ceremony PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lynnette Meincke   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:30
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(Rock Island, IL)— Royal Neighbors of America will make a surprise visit to Rock Island High School to present a check for $10,000 to Teresa Babers and her daughter, Jasmine. The funds from the organization’s Nation of NeighborsSM Program will help Jasmine enhance the magazine, “LOVE Girls,” which she publishes with her fellow students. Jasmine and her team are dedicated to empowering young women through the quarterly magazine.

Jasmine, a junior, founded the magazine last year when she decided to start a non-profit to help girls with self-esteem. In the past year, she has not only published her magazine, but also has been involved in several community service projects. LOVE stands for “lead,” “overcome,” “value,” and “empower.” The magazine features articles on topics such as careers, fashion, hair care, makeup, and community service.

Cynthia Tidwell, Royal Neighbors President/CEO, and staff from the Royal Neighbors Home Office will present the check to the Babers and the editorial team during a special awards ceremony at the school.  Rock Island School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Oberhaus and High School Principal Tim Wernentin will also be in attendance to present the school’s “Whatever It Takes” award  to the young magazine entrepreneurs.

What: Surprise $10,000 check presentation

Where: Rock Island High School, 1400 25th Avenue

When: Monday, November 26, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Contact: Sarah Reemtsma, (563) 343-7770

Focusing on its history of standing strong for women, Royal Neighbors has given more than $1 million to assist 900-plus families and individuals in reaching their goals and rebuilding their lives through its Nation of Neighbors Program. The program, which was launched in 2007, demonstrates the neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy on which Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895.

Through the 2012 program, determined women of strength and courage are empowered with financial assistance to achieve their full potential, realize a sense of renewed personal growth, and give back to their communities. Each year, Royal Neighbors members and sales agents across the country are asked to nominate individuals they know who want to change their lives for the better. A panel reviews each nomination and determines the recipients and the monetary amounts awarded.

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurance companies, exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance products to fulfill financial needs of growth, savings, and protection. Members receive valuable benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization’s local chapters to help make a difference in their communities. The organization’s philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs, including the Nation of NeighborsSM Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with branch offices in Mesa, AZ, and Austin, TX, Royal Neighbors serves more than 200,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762, or visit


News Releases - General Info
Written by Laurie Johns   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:29

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 21, 2012 – Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, two lucky Iowans from Ottumwa and Osceola will enjoy “Free Groceries for a Year!” from the Iowa Farmers Feed US grocery sweepstakes offered by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and grocery partner, Fareway Stores, Inc.  The two winners, whose names were drawn at random from more than 93,000 Iowa consumer registrations during October, are Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa and Mark Mason of Osceola.

Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa may be a teacher, but she’s also an Iowan who is always open to learning. She visited the Iowa Farmers Feed US website ( after learning about the opportunity to win $5,000 in free groceries. Once there, she also learned more about the people who raise the food she finds at the store.

"I was very impressed with the website and I liked being able to learn more about the families and farmers featured there,” said Manternach. “I liked learning about their histories and being from Iowa, I have the upmost respect and appreciation for our farmers. I started by visiting the farmer closest to me, which was Tim Kaldenberg who raises cattle near Albia.”

The website features beef cattle, corn, dairy cattle, hog and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing information about their farm and family. The campaign also featured the farmers on Facebook and Twitter.

“My family was involved in the Iowa Farmers Feed US project because we understand that while not everyone is involved in raising food, nearly everyone is interested in seeing how animals are cared for, how crops are raised and how we protect Iowa’s soil, air and water,” explained Justin Dammann, who raises cattle, corn and soybeans in Page County. “The website offers that opportunity for people throughout Iowa, many of whom have never been on a farm.”

Manternach agreed, “I didn’t know a lot about farming before this and it was neat to learn how Iowa leads the nation in many areas.” She also is thinking about how she can use the site and its information in her classroom. “I have so many students who are interested in farming and agriculture, I would like to find some classroom opportunities to use this information,” she said.

Although the winners have been chosen, Iowans can still visit to learn about Iowa agriculture and take virtual tours of different types of family farms. Additional Iowa agriculture groups supporting this initiative include the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Midwest Dairy.


About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at

Penny Vacek's scheduled Listening Posts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:28

Penny Vacek -- Senator Chuck Grassley’s Regional Director based in Davenport -- will be holding open office hours in Cedar and Scott counties on November 26 and office hours in Louisa, Des Moines and Lee counties on November 27. These open office hours are designed for Iowans to have local access to casework assistance and an opportunity to express points of view or concerns directly to a staffer for Senator Grassley.

More Information about Penny Vacek’s schedule follows here:

Monday, November 26, 2012

8:00-9:00 a.m.                Cedar County, Lowden City Hall, 501 Main Street, Lowden

10:00-11:00 a.m.            Scott County, Walcott City Hall, 128 West Lincoln Street, Walcott

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8:30-9:30 a.m.                Louisa County, Columbus Junction City Hall, 232 2nd Street, Columbus Junction

10:30-11:30 a.m.            Des Moines County, Mediapolis Public Library, 128 North Orchard, Mediapolis

12:30-1:30 p.m.              Lee County, Fort Madison Public Library, 1920 Avenue E, Fort Madison

Grassley's offices in Iowa regularly help constituents contact federal agencies to sort through problems with Social Security payments, military service matters, immigration cases and other matters. His state offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City and Waterloo.

Here is a comment from Senator Grassley about the staff open office hours:

“Open office hours are designed to help more Iowans access the assistance that is available from the office of their United States Senator.  I hope anyone with federal agency-related casework will take advantage of Penny’s visits.”

For more information please contact Senator Grassley’s Davenport office at 563-322-4331.


Former Mortgage Pool Servicer Indicted on Federal Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Charges PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Val Quast   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:15
DAVENPORT, IA - On November 19, 2012, Thomas Richard Jager, age 64, of Bettendorf, Iowa, made an initial appearance in federal court on an indictment charging thirty-two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. United States Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields set trial for January 7, 2013, and the case was assigned for trial to Chief United States District Judge James E. Gritzner.

The indictment alleges that starting on approximately January 1, 2008, and continuing to on or about July 31, 2010, Jager and his mortgage servicing company, Whitehall Funding, Inc., then located in Davenport, Iowa, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud in connection with his certain mortgage pools serviced by Jager and Whitehall. The indictment further alleges that Jager drafted and faxed false remittance reports to investors in the mortgage pools and submitted false end of the year reports to mortgagors. The indictment also alleges that Jager improperly transferred funds received from mortgagors to Jager’s personal accounts, and in one instance used mortgagor and investor funds to make a payment of $137,660.97 to pay off Jager’s own home equity loan. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of certain real and personal property.

The indictment is merely a charging instrument. Jager is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, Jager faces a penalty on each wire fraud count of up to thirty years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment, a period of supervised release of up to five years, a special assessment of $100, restitution to victims, and forfeiture of assets. If convicted on the money laundering count, Jager faces a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment, a period of supervised release of not more than three years, a special assessment of $100, restitution, and forfeiture.

This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Muscatine Man Sentenced to 188 Months in Prison for Marijuana Offense PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Val Quast   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 09:10
DAVENPORT, IA – On November 19, 2012, Jorge Luis Melendez, age 58, of Muscatine, Iowa, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute marijuana, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. United States District Judge John A. Jarvey also sentenced Melendez to six years supervised release.

Melendez agreed with others to distribute marijuana from January 2011 through May 2011. Melendez directed co-conspirators to transport multiple loads of marijuana from Rockford, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa. Melendez was responsible for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the conspiracy.

The case was investigated by the Davenport, Iowa, Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


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