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Local Flooring Retailer Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home Helps Homeowners Create Beautiful Homes with Online Video Series Announces Premier Episode with Decorator Tracy Bross PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Douglas Patch   
Friday, 02 November 2012 08:59

Thursday, October 25, 2012 (Davenport, IA) — Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home helps customers find beautiful floors for their home every day, but through an online effort, they aim to help them create beautiful homes as well. Their Beautiful Design Made Simple podcast series available through Carpet One Floor & Home’s YouTube channel at provides customers tips and design advice. The most recent episode introduces Tracy Bross, Principal Stylist for Tracy Bross Decorating and Styling.

Bross has partnered with Carpet One Floor & Home to produce a series of Beautiful Design Made Simple episodes that help homeowners make design decisions without hiring a decorator or interior designer.  Bross comments, "I have worked with clients on the east coast, west coast and everywhere in between, and now I am excited to bring that knowledge to a much larger audience."  The partnership with Bross is part of a long-standing program from Carpet One Floor & Home designed to help customers simplify the process of redecorating their homes.

"We're excited to be able to provide a resource to our customers that gives them credible design advice from a veteran of the style industry.  With Tracy's knowledge of style and our expertise in flooring, we feel like we have all the bases covered for our customers." comments Douglas Patch, of Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home.

In her premiere Beautiful Design Made Simple episode, Bross shares her secret for creating a room that her clients will love – finding the perfect inspiration.  The episode includes tips on finding that perfect inspiration for a room and examples of how to turn inspiration into a beautiful design.

“Not everyone can afford to have a decorator or designer to make their home beautiful,” says Bross. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a home that you love that speaks to your personality.” 

Carpet One Floor & Home plans to release several more episodes with more advice from Bross throughout the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.

Bross’ inspiration video can be viewed in the Beautiful Design Made Simple playlist on Carpet One Floor & Home’s YouTube Channel.

About Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home
Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned flooring retailer serving the Davenport area. They are part of North America’s leading floor covering co-op. Their showroom is known for carrying a broad selection of beautiful carpet, wood, laminate, ceramic, vinyl, and area rugs including exclusive brands like Bigelow and Lees. They offer a unique customer experience with the exclusive SelectAFloor merchandising system that simplifies the shopping experience and The Beautiful GuaranteeTM, which guarantees that the customer will be 100% happy with their floor. Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home is also the home of the exclusive Healthier Living Installation system. For more information visit NORTHWESTCARPETONEDAVENPORT.COM.

Grassley Presses Holder to Refer Whistleblower Reviews to Inspector General PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 02 November 2012 08:29
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, today pressed Attorney General Eric Holder to delegate a presidential-mandated review of FBI whistleblower protections to the department’s Inspector General.

Grassley said that the Justice Department has an abysmal record when it comes to rectifying FBI whistleblower cases.

The letter from Grassley to Holder comes after an October 10 directive from the President that is intended to protect whistleblowers with national security clearances against retaliation.  The directive requires a review within 180 days from the Attorney General in consultation with the Special Counsel and FBI employees.  The letter questions the potential conflict of interest created by having the Attorney General review the department’s performance.

“There is no logical reason to empower people who have such a horrendous record on whistleblowers with the responsibility to determine whether the current process helps FBI whistleblowers,” Grassley said. “The Attorney General and his Deputy have already allowed cases to languish for far too long.  One case has been sitting at the Justice Department for more than 10 years, with no end in sight.  That’s unacceptable.”

Grassley is a strong supporter of whistleblower protections.  He is an original cosponsor of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act which bolsters the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act after it had been weakened by rulings of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.  An amended version of this bill passed the House of Representatives on September 28, and may be considered by the Senate after the election.  Grassley had co-authored the 1989 law with Senator Carl Levin for government employees who stand up and speak out against fraud, waste and mismanagement.  He also pushed then-Attorney General Janet Reno and President Bill Clinton to implement whistleblower protections for FBI employees that were authorized by Congress, but never implemented.  As a result of Grassley’s work, President Clinton issued a presidential memorandum in 1997 ordering the Attorney General to create a whistleblower adjudication and appeals process.

Grassley also authored the 1986 update of the False Claims Act with qui tam provisions to empower private citizens who had information about fraudulent activity by government contractors to bring wrongdoing forward and sue in the name of the government.  To date, these whistleblower provisions have recovered more than $30 billion for taxpayers that otherwise would be lost to fraud.

In 2009, Grassley and Senator Patrick Leahy won passage of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act which made the most significant improvements to the False Claims Act since 1986.  The law restores the scope and applicability of the False Claims Act where it had been limited by court decisions.  This effort also revised criminal laws to help prosecute mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and complex financial crimes that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

In addition, Grassley authored the 2006 overhaul of the IRS whistleblower program to fight major tax fraud.

Here’s a copy of the text of the letter.  A signed version of the letter can be found here.


November 1, 2012

Via Electronic Transmission

The Honorable Eric H. Holder

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20530


Dear Attorney General Holder:

I write today regarding the recent Presidential Policy Directive, PPD-19 (herein Directive), entitled “Protecting Whistleblower with Access to Classified Information” that was issued by the President on October 10, 2012.[1] This Directive is intended to protect whistleblowers with national security clearances against retaliation.  Section E of the Directive requires you, in consultation with the Special Counsel and employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to provide a report to the President assessing the effectiveness of the regulations that protect FBI whistleblowers.  While I welcome the Directive and the effort to provide some level of whistleblower protection to government employees in the Intelligence Community, I am deeply concerned about the current state of these protections for FBI employees and the Justice Department’s role in adjudicating retaliation claims brought forward by FBI whistleblowers.

As you are aware, Section 2303 of Title 5 defines prohibited personnel practices in the FBI, and Part 27 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations lays out the process for investigating and adjudicating claims of retaliation filed by FBI employees.  This process was created following a Presidential Memorandum issued by President Clinton in 1997.[2] These regulations detail an investigatory phase conducted by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) or the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an adjudicatory phase conducted by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM), and an appeal phase conducted by the Deputy Attorney General.  The regulations also proscribe timelines for each phase of the process to ensure that cases do not linger without a resolution.  Unfortunately, as history has shown, the Department has been woeful in meeting these timelines.

Specifically, I remain concerned about the treatment of two FBI whistleblowers whose cases have languished for years at the Department, namely, the cases of Jane Turner and Robert Kobus.  In 2002, Special Agent Turner exposed misconduct by FBI agents when she revealed that they removed “souvenirs” from New York’s Ground Zero, the site of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.  A decade later, and after a federal jury has ruled in her favor finding discrimination on the part of the FBI, Agent Turner’s case has been continually stalled with appeals and is still open—most recently after Deputy Attorney General Cole remanded the case for additional proceedings before OARM.  Mr. Kobus’s case has also faced unwarranted delays.  Kobus blew the whistle on timecard fraud in the FBI in 2007 and the OIG found that the FBI retaliated against him for his actions.  Despite the unequivocal findings of the OIG, Kobus’ case remains unresolved after five years.  Simply put, the delays in both of these cases call into question the Department’s ability, and willingness, to follow through on FBI whistleblower cases in a fair and timely fashion.

The Directive requires you to complete the review of the FBI whistleblower process within 180 days.  Given the lengthy delays in retaliation cases that are still pending before the Department, and given the role that the Deputy Attorney General has played in these cases, I have serious misgivings about the ability of the Department to fairly review the FBI whistleblower process and to do so within the 180 day timeframe.

The Directive’s requirement that the review involve the Special Counsel and FBI employees—which should, at the very least, include those who currently have whistleblower complaints pending before OARM—creates the possibility of a conflict of interest in reviewing the Department’s performance.  Accordingly, I ask that you delegate this review to the Department’s Inspector General.  The OIG would offer a more objective and accountable analysis of the regulations prescribed in the Directive. Further, it would allow you to continue to focus resources on closing these cases that continue to languish before the Department, instead of devoting resources to this review.

I strongly support whistleblower protections and will continue to work hard to see that all FBI employees who reveal fraud, waste, and wrongdoing receive fair and equitable treatment at the FBI and within the Department.  This Directive, if implemented properly, could provide temporary relief for whistleblowers within the Intelligence Community.  However, the Department has a lot to prove to FBI employees, the Congress, and the American people that whistleblowers will be treated fairly.  As a first step toward this, I encourage you to strongly consider my request to designate the OIG to conduct the review of FBI whistleblower protections as outlined in the President’s Directive.


Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member


Cc:       The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice

The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairman

[1] The White House, Presidential Policy Directive 19: Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information, (October 10, 2012),

2 Memorandum on Delegation of Responsibilities Concerning FBI Employees Under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 62 Fed. Reg. 23,123 (April 14, 1997), available at

[1] The White House, Presidential Policy Directive 19: Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information, (October 10, 2012),

[2] Memorandum on Delegation of Responsibilities Concerning FBI Employees Under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 62 Fed. Reg. 23,123 (April 14, 1997), available at

Governor Quinn Announces Executive Appointments PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:54

Manny Flores to Lead Department of Financial and Professional Regulation; Humanitarian Merri Dee Named to Human Rights Commission 



CHICAGO – November 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced Manny Flores as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and former journalist and philanthropist Merri Dee to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. The governor also announced a number of other executive appointments to various boards and commissions that will continue his commitment to making state government more accountable, transparent and effective.

“Mr. Flores and Ms. Dee are proven public servants who have been strong advocates of everyday people,” Governor Quinn said. “The stellar citizens I am appointing today will make our state stronger.”

Manny Flores most recently served as director for the Division of Banking at IDFPR. He was previously appointed by Governor Quinn as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. He is a former Chicago alderman and prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He holds a J.D. from George Washington University.

Merri Dee is former Chicago journalist and is the current president of the Illinois chapter of AARP. She was previously appointed by Governor Quinn to the Serve Illinois Commission and played a key role in drafting Illinois’ first-ever crime victims’ rights legislation. She has spent many years advocating for the United Negro College Fund and other charities.

Other appointments made by Governor Quinn today are below. For more information about Illinois’ boards and commissions or to apply for a position, visit

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission: Amber Smock of Chicago is a Director of Advocacy at Access Living and has received several awards for her work as a disability rights advocate. She received her MA in Writing from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in English from University of California Berkley.

Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council: Dae Kim is the second generation of his family to work in the dry cleaning industry. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Paul Kwak has owned a dry cleaning business and has been a member of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council since 2005. John Bredenkamp works at Wabash Independent Oil Co. in dry cleaning supply distribution, and has been a member of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council since 2002. Jerome Anthony Lewicki has been on the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council since 1998.

Early Learning Council: Vanessa Rich is the Deputy Commissioner of Children Services at the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. Daniel Fitzgerald is the Deputy Director of Service Intervention at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.


Electric Vehicle Advisory Council: Josh Milberg has been actively involved in the development of Electric Vehicle strategy for the city of Chicago and is an advisor to the Citizens Utility Board on Electric Vehicle policy and strategy. He holds an MBA from Yale University.

Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness: Clersida Garcia is a leading member of the Midwest and National American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). Garcia has also published books on the topics of physical development and health and physical education.

Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service: Giraldo Rosales of Champaign was appointed to the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service by the Governor in 2009. He is a former Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with over 30 years of experience working in K-20 education.

Illinois Geographic Information Council: Angela Brooks has an extensive background in urban planning, affordable housing and advocating for homelessness. She received her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional planning from the University of New Orleans. Bishnu Prasad Phuyal has received a Ph. D from Ohio State University in the spatial and geographical field. Phuyal has vast experience in community service, and was awarded the Humanitarian Service Award in recognition of his service to the Illinois Secretary of State. William Dickson has experience with GIS data analysis and has been a county Transportation Planner for nearly fifteen years. Kristen Amaya is a U.S. Navy Veteran who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Illinois and a Master of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University. Keith Yearman has served as the Director of the Illinois Geographical Society for the past six years. He is an assistant professor of geography at the College of DuPage. Michael Rizzitiello is the Director of Information Services at the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and has an extensive background in urban planning and geospatial technologies. Joseph Hinton received his Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Illinois and has been employed as a Community Relations Specialist with the Center for Economic Success.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission:  Maria Saldana is the chief operating officer at The Resurrection Project and previously served on the Illinois Toll Highway Authority and as president of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. She is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a J.D. from the University of California-Berkeley.

Illinois Sports Facilities Authority: Dr. Quentin Young is the former president of the Chicago Board of Health and served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Cook County Hospital. A nationally renowned physician and civil rights activist, he previously served as president of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Young founded the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group and co-founded the Physicians for a National Health Program.

Juvenile Justice Commission: Rick Velasquez is the Executive Director at Youth Outreach Services, Inc. He holds a Master’s degree of Social Work from Jane Addams College at University of Illinois-Chicago, and a BA in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University. Patrick Nelson is a Cook County probation officer in Cook County with a BS in Business Administration from Lane College, and his Teaching Certificate from Citywide Colleges. Lisa Jacobs is the Program Manager for Models for Change Initiative at Loyola University and holds a J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law. George Hill, Jr. is the President of Mid-States General and Mechanical Contracting Group and holds a BS in Civil Engineering and Business Administration from University of Minnesota. Shelley Andrea Davis of Chicago is a Lecturer at University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a National Advisor for Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, with over 20 years of nonprofit and philanthropic work experience helping to improve public policies. She holds an M.A. of Urban Planning with an emphasis in Community Development and Economic Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a B.A. in Psychology from Lawrence University. Dr. Toni Irving is a deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to Governor Pat Quinn. She is co-chair of the Illinois Human Services Commission and holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. Arthur Bishop was appointed by Governor Quinn as director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice in 2010 following a 35-year career in child welfare and community health administration.

Mid-America Medical District: Roy Lantry has worked in Biopharmaceuticals at Amgen Inc. and has over 30 years of experience in the health care field. He is currently working towards a PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Health Care Finances at St. Louis University, and has received an MBA from Southern Illinois University and a BA from Quincy College. Larry McCulley works at the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation and has over 20 years of experience in health care, with extensive experience in the development, expansion and positioning of health care services in the Southwestern Illinois area. He received his MA in Gerontology and BS in Health Studies from Eastern Illinois University.

Municipal Clerks Training Institute Committee: Jo Anne Ragona is the City Clerk of Darien and has 23 years of experience in municipal government. She holds a BA from DePaul University.

P-20 Council: Jane Anne Russell is a union president and a Professional Development Instructor at Governors State University. She has served as Chair of Illinois Federation of Teachers P-20 Education Policy Council.

Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board: Salvador J. Lopez of Chicago is an attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation, helping low-income residents, minorities and senior citizens in real estate and consumer rights related cases. He received his B.A. from University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and is also a U.S. Navy veteran who assisted in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sex Offender Management Board: Shawn Albert is a Bloomington police officer with experience working on sex offender cases in collaboration with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Taskforce: Valerie Lies is the president and CEO of Donors Forum, an association that promotes philanthropy and a strong nonprofit sector in Illinois. She was named by the Nonprofit Times as one of the sector’s “Top 50 Power and Influence Leaders” in the United States. Chinwe Onyeagoro is the co-founder and CEO of O-H Community Partners, an economic development firm. She is also the co-founder and editor of New Equity Business, a small business financing portal. She is also a graduate of Harvard University and is an active member of several Chicago-area civic organizations. Patricia Morrissey, a manager at Groupon, a board member of the Corporate Responsibility Group of Greater Chicago and an advisor to Impact Engine, an accelerator for impact entrepreneurs. Brandon Bodor is the executive director of the Serve Illinois Commission and is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served in in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of West Point and is pursuing his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

State University Retirement System (SURS) – Paul R. T. Johnson Jr. is an investment expert and owner of LSU Trading. He is a former CEO at Boston Cabot LLC and a former member of the board of directors for the Chicago Board of Trade. Craig McCrohon is a partner at Burke, Warren, MacKay and Serritella where he specializes in corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions law. He is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a JD/MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business. Richard Figueroa is the director of Capital Markets for The Opus Group. He is a graduate of Yale University and holds a MBA and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Tri-City Regional Port District Board: Edward Hagnauer is a current member of the Tri-City Port District Board and is the Mayor of Granite City. He served on the Madison County Board for seven years, and worked as a Granite City firefighter and fire chief for nearly 30 years.

Tri-County River Valley Development Authority: Laraine E. Bryson has served as president of the Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League for nearly 20 years and holds a J.D. from the St. Louis University School of Law. Michael Thomas Everett is the business manager for IBEW Local #34 and serves on the board of directors of several Peoria-area community organizations including the Heart of IL United Way and the Peoria Economic Development Council.


Lt. Governor Simon to address new lawyers at swearing-in PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:37

COLLINSVILLE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will address 113 new licensed Illinois attorneys on Thursday at the swearing-in ceremony conducted by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier of the Fifth Judicial District.


Simon, a former professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, taught many of the new lawyers and looks forward to welcoming them into the profession. The oath will be administered to 2,125 men and women across the state’s five Supreme Court judicial districts. All of the new lawyers passed the Illinois State Bar Examination in July as well as a mandatory ethics examination. They have also been certified by the Committee on Character and Fitness.


“I’m honored to participate in such an important moment for my former students and future colleagues,” said Simon, who was sworn in as a licensed Illinois attorney in 1987.


The Fifth Judicial District includes the following counties: Alexander, Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, St. Clair, Saline, Shelby, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson.


There are now approximately 91,600 licensed attorneys throughout Illinois, including those to be sworn in Thursday.


DATE: Thursday, November 1

TIME: 2 p.m.

PLACE: Gateway Convention Center Ballroom C-D, One Gateway Drive, Collinsville



Christmas 2012 Bikes for Brains PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by M. McNeil   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:53

Christmas 2012 Bikes for Brains

On December 10 at the Martin Luther King Center, we are hoping to give bikes to over 100 needy children selected by Head Start, the Early Childhood Centers, Children’s Therapy Center, Youth Hope, Winnie’s Place and The Project.

Each donation of $50 grants a young child a bright, shiny bike, training wheels and a helmet!

Give whatever fits your budget. All donations are appreciated!

Please make your check payable to

Bikes for Brains
c/o Queen’s Parlour
171-19th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

For more information, call Sandy at 797-1160.  Thanks!

Sponsored by
Bike ‘N Hike
The Pilot Club of Moline
Queen’s Parlour
The Rock Island County Regional Office of Education

Announcing the Launch of the 2012 Bikes for Brains Campaign

A proud dad watches his son ride a new blue bike complete with training wheels. The four year old has a smile as big as the moon. He can’t believe the shiny new bike and Spiderman helmet is his. How could that happen? Mom and dad are struggling each month to pay the bills; they can barely afford to put food on the table, how they can afford a new bike? The answer: Bikes for Brains.

Thanks to the joint effort of Bike ‘N Hike, Queen’s Parlour, The Pilot Club of Moline, and the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education (ROE) more than one thousand children have received their first bike because of this project. Sheila Burns, with the ROE, says this special program is successful because of a loyal group of folks who donate every year. As soon as the fundraising goal is announced each year donations start coming in. A bike with training wheels costs about $50, but as the commercial for a popular credit card says, the memories made on the bike are “priceless”.

Chris Swanson, a local dad who knows how priceless a bike is, says his son loves to ride his bike and he calls the Bikes for Brains program awesome. “My son got his bike two years ago and still rides it. I love that he gets outside and moves around rather than sits inside all the time. I know there are many families that cannot afford a bike right now and this program makes it possible”. Swanson says it may be time to get his son a new, bigger bike, but instead he asks where he can make a donation to help another boy get the thrill of his young lifetime. “I want to donate this year to help another kid get a bike because I know what it feels like to receive the free bike and helmet”.

Donors can contribute any amount toward a bike. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to Queen’s Parlour located at 171-19th Avenue in Moline.

Monday, Dec 10th is the day the bikes are given away to families in need. 66 bikes will go to children in the ROE’s 33 Early Childhood Classrooms and the bulk of the remaining to Rock Island Head Start families. Some of those families are recent immigrants and refugees from war torn nations. Children in those families tend to be slightly older and need bigger and more expensive bikes. The group will also be gifting qualified children identified by the Children’s Therapy Center, Youth Hope, Winnie’s Place, and The Project. The giveaway is from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the Martin Luther King Center located @ 630-9thStreet in Rock Island. Anderson’s Bookfair Company in Aurora, Illinois will also provide several gently used books for each of the children. And the Pilot Club of Moline will provide helmets and safety lessons via a puppet show throughout the bike giveaway day.


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