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DAVENPORT WOMAN WINS $10,000 LOTTERY PRIZE PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amy Garringer   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:40

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Davenport woman was casually scratching her “Pinball” ticket while waiting for her change and discovered she’d won a top prize of $10,000.

Nita Aurthur, 49, said she couldn’t believe what she was seeing when she won. She asked the clerk at Kwik Shop, 2805 Telegraph Road in Davenport to double-check for her.

“He told me to use the checker, and my hands were shaking I was so nervous,” Aurthur said. “Then it said, ‘Congratulations!’”

Aurthur said a few weeks ago, one of her friends had won a $100 prize playing Pinball, so she was curious about playing the game herself. She said she’s not sure it has really hit her yet.

“It probably won’t until I get the money in my hands,” Aurthur said as she claimed her prize April 19 at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Aurthur said she told her family about her big win.

“At first my mom said, ‘You’re joking!’ But now she believes me,” she said.

Aurthur, who’s the kitchen manager at Jersey Ridge Assisting Living in Davenport, said she plans to use some of her winnings to pay bills.

Pinball is a $2 scratch game. Players win a prize by matching any of the “target numbers” with either of the “pinball numbers” to win the prize shown for that number. If players find a “lightning bolt” symbol, they win that prize instantly. The overall odds for winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Eleven top prizes of $10,000 are still up for grabs in Pinball, as well as 95 prizes of $500 and more than 720 prizes of $100.

Players can enter eligible nonwinning scratch tickets online to earn “Points For Prizes™” points. The point value will be revealed to the player on the website upon successful submission of each eligible valid ticket. There is a limit of 30 ticket entries per day. To participate in Points For Prizes™, a player must register for a free account at ialottery.com. Registration is a one-time process. Merchandise that can be ordered by using points will be listed on the website in the Points For Prizes™ online store. Players can choose from items in categories such as apparel, automotive, jewelry, sporting, tools and more.

Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.8 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.3 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

 

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The J. Jilll Compassion Fund PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Debra Fernandes   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 08:49
In Honor of Mother’s Day and with the Message “Compassion, Pass It On”

The J.Jill Compassion Fund Will Raise Funds For Programs That Support Women in Need

April 30 – May 13

April 23, 2012 -Quincy, MA – In honor of Mother’s Day, and with the overall message “Compassion, Pass It On,” J. Jill will launch a two-week initiative to raise funds and build awareness of its mission to support programs that combat issues of poverty and homelessness that affect women and children. With a goal to raise $150,000, J.Jill will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their exclusive J.Jill Spring 2012 Compassion tee to $100,000, to the The J. Jill Compassion Fund ; as well as $1 per transaction, up to $50,000, on any sale in stores, online or via catalog, April 30 through May 13.

In addition, to illustrate the theme Compassion, Pass It On, J.Jill has collaborated with longtime charitable partner Women in Need’s Homework Helpers, an afterschool educational program for homeless children in New York City, on a very special art project. The children of WIN’s Homework Helpers created imaginative and colorful fingerprint artwork with messages of compassion for e-cards that consumers can “pass on” to friends and loved ones. The e-cards are free to consumers, and for each e-card sent The J.Jill Compassion Fund will donate $1 directly to Women in Need’s Homework Helpers, up to $50,000. The e-cards are available beginning April 30 at www.jjill.com/compassion.

For the past decade, The J. Jill Compassion Fund has been unwavering in its mission to support organizations that help disadvantaged and homeless women become self-sufficient. Today, as these issues are affecting a growing number of women from all walks of life, J. Jill is even more committed to helping women in need overcome these challenges and find permanent solutions. With the generous support of J.Jill customers, the Compassion Fund has donated more than $3 million to over 60 local organizations that help women in need regain their self-sufficiency.

About J.Jill

J.Jill is a leading multichannel fashion retailer of women’s apparel, accessories and footwear. The perfect balance of fashion and comfort, J.Jill offers exclusive designs through their specialty retail stores nationwide, as well as their website and catalog  businesses. Founded in 1959 and based in Quincy, Mass., J.Jill is a growing cross-channel business with more than 230 retail
stores in 44 states, in-house production of more than 26 catalogs a year, an ever-growing website business, and a state-of-the-art distribution center in Tilton, NH.

About the J.Jill Compassion Fund

Founded in 2002, the J.Jill Compassion Fund is committed to providing support to community-based organizations that help disadvantaged and homeless women become self-sufficient.  J. Jill is honored to give to local organizations that help women in need regain their independence through programs that focus on education, job skills, and transitional and affordable housing. A donor-advised fund of the Boston Foundation, the J.Jill Compassion Fund has donated more than $3 million to over 60 organizations nationwide.

About Women In Need and Homework Helpers

Women In Need, Inc., has been serving homeless families in New York City for nearly 30 years, offering housing, help and hope to women and their children. J.Jill has been a friend to WIN for nearly 15 of those years. In 2001, Women In Need, with J.Jill as a full partner, created its Homework Helpers program for schoolage children in their shelters. Homework Helpers staff works with the NYC Board of Education to help stigmatized and often traumatized children excel in their schoolwork in a fun and nurturing environment.

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Concerns with Providing DHS More Authority Given Track Record PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 08:35

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee

Executive Business Meeting

Thursday, April 26, 2012

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

On the agenda today are three nominations ready for committee action – Curiel, Shea, and Shelby.  I believe a roll call may be requested for Mr. Shea’s nomination.

 

Before we consider the nominations, I would like to speak about yesterday’s hearing and a serious matter I raised with Secretary Napolitano.  I asked Secretary Napolitano about the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to approve a single chemical facility site security plan under the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS).

 

The CFATS program was passed by Congress in 2006 to provide baseline security for chemical facilities that store certain types of dangerous chemicals.  Regulations were issued in 2007 that required sites to submit security plans for approval.  To date, 4,200 sites have submitted plans to DHS.  However, DHS has not approved a single one despite operating the program for more than five years and spending nearly a half-a-billion taxpayer dollars.  As implemented, this program is a disaster.

 

Secretary Napolitano admitted that the program is not operating as they would like.  I think that is a major understatement and an internal review of the failures of the program underscores how this is an understatement.

 

This memorandum, dated November 10, 2011, is one of the most candid assessments of an agency’s failure I’ve ever seen. The authors found, among other things, that no site plans have been approved and that even if they were, DHS is not prepared to conduct compliance inspections.

 

Additionally, the memorandum paints the picture of an agency that has lost control.  Specifically, the authors found:

 

·         The Department had hired “people who do not have the necessary skills to perform key mission and essential functions.”

 

·         “While the vast majority of employees are talented, hardworking people, there are numerous exceptions.”

 

·         “There is a catastrophic failure to ensure personal and professional accountability” among agency employees.

 

·         The “lack of focus and vision has resulted in problems with how we have spent our money, and how we are managing those funds.”

 

There are other major problems, including car fleet management problems, lack of oversight and accountability for purchase cards, travel cards used for unauthorized expenses, property management issues, and records management.

 

While I appreciate the candor in this memorandum and the significant detail included by those tasked with completing this analysis, it raises serious questions about how DHS uses taxpayer dollars.  It also raises questions about DHS’s ability to implement the policies Congress has entrusted it with.

 

I’m also concerned with what this entails for those who are currently seeking to give DHS more regulatory authority and hundreds of millions more in taxpayer money to oversee cybersecurity.

 

For example, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy last night on the cybersecurity legislation the House is currently addressing.  One of the major reasons the statement was allegedly issued was that the bill “fails to provide authorities to ensure that the Nation’s core critical infrastructure is protected.”  In other words, the President won’t sign the bill into law because it doesn’t give DHS the power to regulate the private sector.

 

I’ll admit I have been skeptical of giving DHS the power to regulate cybersecurity from the outset.

 

But, I do believe the threat to our country from cyber-attacks is real.  That is why I have cosponsored S.2151, the SECURE I.T. Act.  This legislation will enhance cybersecurity without creating a new bureaucracy at DHS and without stifling innovation in the private sector with burdensome new regulations.

 

After reading this DHS memorandum, my initial skepticism against DHS’s role in cybersecurity has turned into outright concern.  Based upon the failures of CFATS to date, such an approach would surely lead to more wasted taxpayer dollars with nothing to show for it.  Given the fiscal situation we face, this is an unacceptable option.

 

Despite the failures outlined by DHS’s own internal review, Secretary Napolitano did her best yesterday to say the program is moving forward.  I have my doubts, given the level of failures cited in this memorandum.  I’d be surprised if DHS has been able to turn this program around overnight.  So, I’ll be requesting a briefing from DHS to find out what is being done to fix these problems.

 

Regardless of what DHS has done to address these problems, the fact remains that the American taxpayers are out nearly a half-a-billion dollars with nothing to show for it.  We have a duty to conduct oversight on the failures and problems mentioned in this memorandum.  We have a duty to our constituents and all taxpayers to ensure these problems are fixed and that they don’t continue.

 

Absent proof, and not just assurances, that the problems are fixed, we should not even consider giving DHS another ounce of regulatory authority or additional layers of bureaucracy to deal with Cybersecurity.  I believe Cybersecurity is an important topic that we need to address, but not at the expense of throwing more taxpayer dollars at an agency with the sort of problems this internal review details.

 

Thank you.


 
Braley Urges Congressional Panel to Renew Adoption Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 30 April 2012 10:27

Republican subcommittee chair endorses adoption tax credit after Braley testimony

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged a Congressional panel to include an extension of the adoption tax credit in a tax extension package being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.  If Congress fails to act, the adoption tax credit will expire at the end of 2012.

“Deciding to adopt a child is one of the most compassionate decisions a couple can make,” Braley said.  “Unfortunately, it also carries with it significant financial costs.

 

“Renewing and expanding the adoption tax credit will help remove a barrier to more families deciding to adopt.    It’s a small investment that provides a big return: getting more children into loving homes and out of the costly foster care system.

 

Rep. Pat Tieberi (OH-12) endorsed the adoption tax credit after Braley delivered his testimony, speaking of his experience with the Dave Thomas Foundation in Ohio.

 

Two weeks ago, Braley introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act, legislation that would permanently expand the federal adoption tax credit to $13,360 and make it refundable -- allowing more families to take full advantage of it.  More information on Braley’s bill can be found at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/yo0

YouTube video of Braley testifying before the committee can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWSI7_9XKAI

720p high-definition video of Braley testifying before the committee can be downloaded here: http://www.mydigitalmanager.com/index.php?a=ViewItem&i=7117

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Think You Know World Word II? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 30 April 2012 10:22
The Unknown Brutality & Savagery

In 10 countries, men, women and children are being killed as part of systematic “genocide, ‘politicide’ or mass atrocities,” according to Genocide Watch’s recently updated list.

In Syria, pro-democracy protesters and civilian bystanders are being bombed, shot and starved by their government’s security forces; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 3 to 5 million civilians, mostly women and girls, have been raped and murdered; and in North Korea, labor camps house 500,000 domestic and political prisoners, and non-party members are starved and undergo forced abortions.

“Many people don’t realize that genocide is occurring every day all over the world,” says Renata Reinhart, author of In the Course of My Life (www.rexvita.com), an account of the little-known Soviet genocide of 2 million Eastern Germans in 1945, committed with the complicity of England and the United States.

“It’s something we should all be deeply concerned about – any of us can become the next victims,” Reinhart says.

One hallmark of genocide is that the perpetrators deny it, says Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and the International Association of Genocide Scholars. They use tactics such as questioning and minimizing the statistics; blaming renegade forces; claiming self-defense; and/or claiming deaths were inadvertent and not intentional.

Allowing the killers to deny the massacres ensures future slaughters, Stanton says.

“Studies by genocide scholars prove that the single best predictor of future genocide is denial of a past genocide coupled with impunity for its perpetrators,” he says. “Genocide deniers are three times more likely to commit genocide again than other governments.”

In the case of the 1945 ethnic cleansing of Eastern Germany, Russian soldiers were given license to launch a “Revenge without Mercy” on the civilian populations of East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania and other parts of Eastern Europe, Reinhart says.

“It’s documented; it’s just been ignored, concealed and forgotten,” she says, noting Nobel Prize-winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a captain in the Red Army who witnessed the atrocities and recounted them in his poem, “Prussian Nights.” A survivor of the slaughter, Margot Serowy, tells her story in paintings at MargotSoweryFineArt.com.

Anticipating Germany’s defeat in World War II, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin considered the territories he would eventually claim and decided they should be cleared of all Germans, Reinhart says. Soldiers in the Red Army were encouraged to burn, loot, pillage, rape and kill to drive the Germans out of those areas beginning in January 1945.

“England’s prime minister, Winston Churchill, was informed of the plan and referred to it – approvingly – in 1944 as ‘these population transferences,’ ’’ Reinhart says.  “Churchill personally ordered the massive bombing and destruction of East Prussia’s capital Konigsberg for no justifiable strategic reason and a few months later, the British bombed and leveled Dresden, killing 30.000 to 40.000 civilians. These attacks helped pave the way for Stalin’s genocide.”

The “revenge” soldiers, she added, were supplied with food, trucks, Jeeps and other vehicles by the United States.

“Because the victims were German, it was all right to rape children and murder women. No one tried to stop it,” Reinhart says. “And, apparently, it’s all right to kill men, women and children in  Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma – the rest of the countries on the Genocide Watch list.

“We need to hold the perpetrators accountable. That’s the first step to stopping these atrocities.”

About Renata Reinhart

Renata Reinhart is the pen name of the author, a scholar of World War II history who spent years researching the Red Army’s march across Eastern Europe in 1945. While the book is fictionalized as a memoir, the historical elements are accurate and based on numerous documented sources.

 
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