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SEC chairman to step down, Grassley on track record, challenges ahead PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:40
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the news that Mary Schapiro will step down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission next month.

“The SEC has proposed some weak settlements with Wall Street firms, including one that a judge called ‘chump change.’  The SEC has to crack down harder, especially on repeat offenders.  I have some sympathy for the idea that current law limits the agency’s enforcement abilities, as Chairman Schapiro has said, although the SEC also hasn’t always used its existing penalties to the fullest.  To remove barriers to strong enforcement, Sen. Reed and I introduced legislation to increase the SEC’s penalties.  I’ll pursue that in the next Congress.  Chairman Schapiro supported the SEC whistleblower provisions that I helped to develop, although the implementing regulations have been problematic.  I’ll continue to ride herd over the agency in getting the whistleblower office going.  It’s disappointing that Chairman Schapiro is leaving the commission without having a permanent inspector general in place, since her departure may delay the commission in filling that important position even further.  The SEC, like any agency, benefits from a strong, independent inspector general.  The sooner the recent turmoil in the inspector general’s office is overcome, the better for the agency and the investing public.”

 
Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit now sold-out; Iowans encouraged to watch online PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:39

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit tomorrow is at capacity, and tickets are no longer available.

The Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit will have nearly 1,200 attendees, including students, educators and parents from across the state.

Iowans wishing to participate in the conversation may still do so via Twitter, using the #NoBully hash tag.

JDL Horizons, using its flagship Internet streaming solution EduVision, will produce and stream all of the plenary and breakout sessions in cooperation with the governor’s office. eSchool Media will accept the stream and deliver the events to a national audience of nearly 1 million K-12 educators throughout North America and around the world. Streaming of the entire summit will be available at: https://educateiowa.eduvision.tv.

More information can be found on the summit’s web site at https://preventbullying.iowa.gov

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Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:10

CHICAGO – November 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today granted 81 and denied 88 clemency petitions. This action marks another step in a series of clemency decisions aimed at eliminating a backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.

The 169 clemency petitions acted upon by Governor Quinn are part of dockets ranging from 2005 through 2010. Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police’s Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).

A granted clemency request for a pardon with expungement allows the petitioner to seek expungement of their conviction through the court system.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has acted on 2,237 clemency petitions. Governor Quinn has granted 842 and denied 1,395 petitions. Those actions include granting 825 pardons and authorizing 17 people who had previously received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions.

For additional information on the granted clemency cases, please contact Ken Tupy at the Prisoner Review Board at (217) 782-7274 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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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
Description: Medellion_c_letterhead

(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 www.royalneighbors.org.

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IOWA FARMERS SPRING ‘FREE GROCERIES FOR A YEAR’ ON TWO LUCKY IOWANS PDF Print E-mail
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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 (www.farmersfeedus.org/ia) 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 www.farmersfeedus.org/ia 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.

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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 www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
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