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Governor Quinn Signs Law to Strengthen Mail Carrier Safety PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:56

New Law Increases Penalties for Crimes Against Mail Carriers

ROCKFORD ­– June 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law that will protect postal workers and letter carriers by allowing judges to consider harsher penalties for violent crimes against employees of the United States Postal Service. The Governor signed the law at Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers’ annual convention in Rockford.

“The hard-working men and women of the United States Postal Service deserve our gratitude,” Governor Quinn said. “This law will help make sure that they are able to continue doing their jobs safely.”

Senate Bill 3665, sponsored by Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) and Rep. Jerry Costello III (D-Sparta), allows judges to consider a victim’s employment in the United States Postal Service (USPS) as an aggravating factor in violent crimes like assault, battery and robbery. Upon conviction, a judge could impose more severe sentences on the offender.

This law is an initiative of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which is working with the USPS to inform postal workers in Illinois about the appropriate steps to take in the event of a crime being committed against them or in their vicinity.

As U.S. government employees, USPS workers are already protected by federal law; however, in the event federal prosecutors don’t pursue cases involving crimes against postal workers, this law will allow state courts to consider USPS employment in their proceedings.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2013.

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Slavery Still Thrives on 150th Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:35
U.S. History Should Compel Americans to Action against
Human Trafficking, Expert Says

This year marks the century-and-a-half anniversary of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln set the date of freedom for the nation’s 3 million slaves.

“As many of us know, slavery did not die when America abolished it in the 1800s,” says Lucia Mann, author of Rented Silence (www.luciamann.com), which explores British Colonial slavery in South Africa, and the victims who survived the institutional brutality.

“The opening statement of the Declaration of Independence is, ‘We believe these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Almost 100 years later, in 1865, the 13th Amendment extended this belief to ‘Negroes.’ To this day, involuntary servitude is outlawed, and yet, it still exists!”

Mann has a personal interest in slavery. Her Sicilian mother was a sex slave and a World War II concentration camp survivor. As a child, Mann was forced to live with her father, who was also her mother’s master, in South Africa.

“According to the United Nations, there are more than 27 million slaves worldwide, which is more than twice the number of those who were enslaved over the 400 years that transatlantic slavers trafficked humans to work in the Americas,” Mann says.

Many slaves today are forced into prostitution while others are used as unpaid laborers to manufacture goods bought in the United States, she says.

“It’s almost impossible to buy clothes or goods anymore without inadvertently supporting the slave trade,” she says.

Mann, a Canadian and British citizen who considers herself an “American at heart,” says Americans should dedicate themselves to opposing modern human trafficking, both worldwide and within U.S. borders, since the nation was largely built on the backs of slaves.

Human trafficking has become the second fastest growing criminal industry worldwide, behind drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s a $32 billion industry, and half of those trafficked are children. Half of the billions spent come from industrialized nations, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

So, what should be done when a U.S. citizen suspects a case of human trafficking? Mann says the following organizations are a good start:

• Catholic Sisters congregations, 888-373-7888: Grand events, like this year’s 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, are reportedly hot spots for prostitution rings involving trafficked slaves. The same was true for the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, which is why nuns throughout the Midwest collaborated in an awareness campaign, which ultimately led to training cab drivers and hotel staff to recognize signs of modern slavery and how to report it.

• Victims hotline and on-line tips reporting: The Modern-Day Slavery Reporting Centre, created by Mann, is the first hotline – 1 (800) 610-7035, Ext. 227 -- in the United States and Canada for victims. It also provides volunteer translators (including Mann) for victims who don’t speak English. The website, www.mdsrc.org, includes a section that makes it easy for third parties to report suspicious activity by clicking “File a Report.” This section allows visitors to volunteer information.

• Federal Bureau of Investigation – report human trafficking, 1-888-428-7581: This number can be used 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST to report concerns to the FBI, which also offers plenty of information about human trafficking on its website.

• Various easy-to-find anti-trafficking organizations: Type in “human trafficking” on any online search engine and several sites will appear promoting various methods of combating modern slavery, Mann says. The important part is following through on an interest to help, she says.

“I have a firsthand account of dealing with national prejudice and human slavery, but I think many people are compelled to help victims of human trafficking because freedom is a universal desire,” Mann says. “Any individual can make a difference in someone’s life. That is the motive behind my books; I want victims to know that, like me, their tragedy can become their triumph.”

About Lucia Mann

Lucia Mann was born in British colonial South Africa in the wake of World War II and lives in West Covina, Calif., and British Columbia, Canada. She retired from freelance journalism in 1998 and wrote three books to give voice to those who suffered brutalities and captivity decades ago, and today.

 
Branstad announces retirement of Larry Noble as Department of Public Safety commissioner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad   
Friday, 15 June 2012 10:29
June 15, 2012

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today accepted the retirement of Larry Noble as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), effective on July 5 of this year. Branstad announced his appointment of Noble prior to taking office on January 14, 2011, and Noble has served in this position in the 17 months since.

“It is with regret that I accept Larry’s resignation, as he was an exemplary commissioner, and will be missed by all who served with him,” said Branstad. “Larry has been a partner in effectively managing the safety needs of Iowans. I am thankful to Larry for his service and dedication to this very consuming job.”

Noble announced his retirement to staff members at DPS this morning.

“I have reached a point where I want to spend more time with my family, and balancing the needs of a 7-day-a-week job with personal responsibilities makes that very difficult,” said Noble. “This position is in service to all Iowans, and I believe someone else should have the opportunity to balance the rigors of this position. This was not a decision I made lightly, but it is the right decision for both my family and the people of Iowa.”

Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds noted the many accomplishments of Noble as DPS commissioner, including:

• Identifying and managing efficiencies while still offering premier performance from the department;
• Improving and strengthening child protection laws;
• Worked with the administration to retain 45 troopers, and working toward ensuring every county has a trooper;
• Offering stricter guidelines and punishment to combat synthetic drugs such as K2 and bath salts,
• Improving the visibility and knowledge of the department throughout the state.

“We are disappointed to see Larry go,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Without question, the state of Iowa is a better place thanks to his service. Iowa is seeing the departure of a great public servant, but his family is gaining the benefit of more of his time and attention, which we can all wholly understand.

Branstad announced that Steve Ponsetto will serve as the interim commissioner while a search for Noble’s replacement takes place.

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THE QUAD CITY WOLFPACK FOOTBALL GAME IS HELPING HOMELESS CHILDREN. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Anne McVey   
Friday, 15 June 2012 10:15
The Quad City Wolfpack semipro football team is playing at the Brady Street Stadium this Saturday, June 16th at
5pm. It is their first home game of the season.

The Quad City Wofpacks are generously donating a portion of their ticket sales to help King’s Harvest keep their
doors open. The money raised will help pay for the fire sprinkler system required by the City of Davenport. King’s
Harvest must raise $57,000 for a fire sprinkler system or shut their doors.

Anne McVey, Fundraising Coordinator for King’s Harvest Ministries stated “It is a fun event for the whole
community. People can attend the football game with their friends and family and help save King’s Harvest and their
Shelter for Homeless Mothers with Children.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Matt McClean, owner and
General Manager of the Quad City Wolfpacks, please call 563-590-3985. If you would like more information on
King’s Harvest please call Anne McVey, Fundraising Coordinator, 563-508-4170.

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When Mom’s To-Do List is Doing Her In PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 June 2012 10:14
Expert Offers Busy Moms Tips for Tackling Their Schedules

“We Can Do It!” was a World War II-era battle cry that empowered women. Today, however, the expression for many women is more like, “We can do it -- if there’s time.”

By their 40s, more than 80 percent of American women are mothers, according to the U.S. census. Meanwhile, they also make up roughly half of the workforce, a percentage that has doubled since Rosie the Riveter’s proclamation.

At least 50 percent of women say they don't have enough free time and 60 percent feel guilty for spending what little time they do have on themselves, according to a survey published in the March issue of Real Simple magazine.

Between motherhood and work, it is crucial that busy women also take time out for themselves, says Saniel Bonder, a wellness coach, Harvard graduate and author of the acclaimed new novel Ultimaya 1.0: The Trouble with the Wishes of Leopold Stokes (www.humansunmedia.com).

“Putting things into a new perspective and realizing that a really good mother and home manager – or a mother who works outside the home -- can’t be chronically tired and cranky is a first step to achieving a healthy balance between a mom and her to-do list,” he says.

Mothering is a marathon, not a sprint, Bonder says. Unhappiness, failure and disappointment are guaranteed when a woman continues to drive competing interests at excessive speeds, he says.

He offers tips for managing a mother’s to-do list:

• Make “me time” a priority every day. Set aside 5 to 10 inviolable minutes for triaging your day’s to-do list — early on, when you’ve got plenty of energy and aren’t already overwhelmed.

• Do it with “Mother Bear” fierceness. Go at it with ferocious intention to protect your “cub”— except in this case, the cub is your own total wellness.

• Serve everyone notice. Let your family, friends, and others who depend on you know that for everyone’s sake, you are going to take better care of yourself and you’re not going to try to be Superwoman any more.

• Ruthless ranking. Rank each item 1, 2 or 3 in order of real importance. Make sure your priority is only the most important, and that you actually can do it.

• Indulge your inner child. Make at least one of your daily No. 1 priorities something to pamper yourself – something you know will really make you feel good but that you think you really don’t have time for and shouldn’t need.

• Talk back to your inner critic. Do this out loud; shout it if you need to! Just say “no,” a lot, to that fault-finding perfectionist in your head. You’re right. It’s wrong!

“Sustainability begins at home, and the true hearth of most homes today is the mother’s well-being,” Bonder says. “Your children need to learn this from how you live, not just what you tell them.”

About Saniel Bonder

Saniel Bonder received his bachelor’s in social relations from Harvard University, partaking in a unique curriculum that focused on the fields of psychology, culture and social behavior. An internationally recognized personal advisor and expert in “down-to-earth” spirituality, Bonder advises busy individuals on managing their daily lives while enhancing their personal fulfillment and also reaching their full potential.

 
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