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New Novel Draws Heavily from Author’s Survival Story PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Author House   
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 08:51

Author Judith Rose shares her account of overcoming domestic abuse

OMAHA, Neb. – Looking back on her life, Judith Rose wonders how she was able to survive. So many people she loved over the years had died, and she had experienced as much – if not more – pain than all of them. Crediting her strength to escape abuse and hoping to help other women find the strength to do the same, Rose pens Blonde Rose and the Men Who Wandered Through Her Life (published by AuthorHouse), her new novel based on her life.


Blonde Rose and the Men Who Wandered Through Her Life is a fictional novel based on Rose’s life. She has changed the names to protect the innocent – and the guilty. It tells a story of abuse, sex, love, betrayal, secrets and survival. “I collected men as some would collect rare stamps,” says Rose. “Some men are like rare stamps to be held in our hearts, but others should be stuck to an envelope and sent to the ends of the Earth with no return address.”


Rose suggests that many women who are hurt by an abuser will turn to drugs and alcohol, or even the streets. Rose says she turned to the thing that hurt her the most – the men who wandered through her life. This story describes a woman with a powerful sex drive who brings men in and out of her life, and – despite being abused by them – maintained a level of control and power that allowed her to eventually escape abuse.


“I felt that writing this book of my violent and abusive marriages and how I was able to survive would be a way to help other women know there is a way out,” explains Rose. “Women have a strength within them that men do not posses, use this strength for you, not for him. If I could do it, so can you.”


About the Author

Judith Rose, who writes under the pen name Jewelya, is a native Iowan. She grew up in a small town called Council Bluffs. Rose earned her GED, going on to business school and eventually to Bellevue College where she studied personnel management and psychology. She has two daughters, five sons, and she has 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She has been an avid reader and book collector for many years. Rose is a domestic abuse survivor, and she hopes her survival story helps other women find the strength to survive and to escape domestic abuse situations.


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Governor Quinn Encourages Working Families to Apply for Tax Relief PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:01

Tax Preparation Assistance Program Helps Working Families File on Time

CHICAGO – April 10, 2012. One week away from the April 17 tax filing deadline, Governor Pat Quinn today urged working families to learn about tax relief available to them in Illinois and get the assistance they need to file their taxes. The governor continued his drive to get the word out about Illinois’ EITC at Harold Washington College, which serves as a tax assistance center organized by the Center for Economic Progress (CEP). CEP President and CEO David Marzahl joined the governor and representatives from Walmart, who also announced a major donation to CEP to provide free financial services to working families.

““Too many families do not receive the tax relief they deserve simply because they don’t have the information and means to access it,” Governor Quinn said. “We want our working families to know about the Center for Economic Progress and Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit, which will support economic growth and help them keep more of what they earn.”

Earlier this year, Governor Quinn championed and signed a tax relief law to help working families across the state and grow the Illinois economy. The Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit law doubles the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) over two years, saving low-income workers an extra $105 million per year and helping almost a million families who filed it. The new law also benefits all Illinois taxpayers by raising the value of the personal exemption and indexing it to inflation.

To benefit from Illinois’ EITC, also known as the Earned Income Credit (EIC), taxpayers must include it on their tax returns. While more than 2.5 million state residents benefited from the Illinois EITC in 2010, many people who are eligible for the state’s EITC don't file for it. The not-for-profit CEP estimates that between 10 and 20 percent of eligible taxpayers did not file for EITC last year. At the event, representatives from Walmart announced a $50,000 donation to CEP to provide more free tax preparation and other financial services to low-income working families.

“At the Center for Economic Progress, it’s our mission to continue providing important tax and financial services to hard-working, low-income families in Illinois,” said Dan Nielsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the CEP. “That’s a mission made possible because of the investments of companies like Walmart and the ongoing support of Governor Quinn.”

“Giving back to the communities where our Illinois associates live and work is part of our commitment at Walmart. We know we can make the greatest impact on our communities through the support of causes right here in our own backyard,” said Walmart Vice President and Regional General Manager Karisa Sprague. “We are pleased to support the Center for Economic Progress and the work they do in assisting low income working families. The free financial assistance they provide to families is an invaluable service.”


The CEP Tax Counseling Project provides free tax preparation assistance at tax assistance centers across the state. Their services are provided free of charge to families making less than $50,000 annually and to individuals with yearly incomes under $25,000. More than 28,000 Illinois taxpayers filed returns through the program in the 2010 tax season, with more than $50 million in state and federal tax refunds returned to clients.

For more information on the Tax Counseling Project, contact the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago at 312-630-0273, or its toll-free statewide number 888-827-8511 or visit its website For information on the Tax Assistance Program call 312-409-1555 or 312-409-4318 (Spanish). Details are also available on the IDHS website at and the Department of Revenue website at Information about filing federal taxes online can be found at

About the new Illinois EITC Law:

The new law marked the largest increase in Illinois’ EITC since its inception in 2000, by phasing in a 5 percent increase over two years. The law boosts the state’s EITC from its current level at 5 percent of federal EITC, to 7.5 percent in tax year 2012 and 10 percent of federal EITC in tax year 2013. More than 2.5 million state residents benefited from the Illinois EITC in 2010.

Under the new law, a single mother with one child, earning minimum wage ($12,800 a year), will save $154 on her taxes. A married couple with three children earning $30,000 a year will save $199 on their taxes this year.

Uniquely pro-growth and pro-family, the EITC is available only to those with earned income and provides incentive to work as well as much-needed tax relief to the lowest-income families. EITC also boosts local economies through increased consumer demand. A 2006 Brookings Institution study found that every dollar a family saves through this tax credit translates into $1.58 of activity in local economies.


The law also improves the value of the standard personal exemption for all taxpayers in Illinois and ties its continued growth to the rate of inflation. The personal exemption will increase by $50 (to $2,050) in tax year 2012, and the value of the exemption will be indexed to the cost of living adjustment each tax year thereafter. The personal exemption change benefits all taxpayers, regardless of income.



Animal Family Veterinary Care Center Receives AAHA Accreditation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amy Plett   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:10

APRIL 6, 2012…Animal Family Veterinary Care Center (Animal Family), Davenport, IA, has again received accreditation following a comprehensive evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The evaluation includes a quality assessment review of the facility, medical equipment, practice methods and pet health care management.

Only 15 percent of all small animal veterinary practices in the U.S. have achieved accreditation by the AAHA. In order to maintain accreditation status, Animal Family must continue to be evaluated regularly by the association’s consultants.

Animal Family belongs to a select group of practices that are committed to meeting the standard of veterinary excellence,” says Gregg Takashima, DVM, AAHA president. “AAHA hospitals pass a stringent evaluation of over 900 standards covering patient care, client services and medical protocols.

“By attaining accreditation, Animal Family is demonstrating its dedication to offering the best care to its patients and clients,” continues Takashima.

Established in 1933, the AAHA is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices throughout the U.S. and Canada for dedication to high standards of veterinary care. Approximately 3,200 AAHA-accredited practices pass regular reviews of AAHA’s standards.

“We are proud to offer our clients consistent, comprehensive and compassionate health care for their pets. The AAHA accreditation gives clients peace of mind in knowing we have been held up to meet the highest standard of care.  It is an accomplishment we take very seriously and clients should expect," says Dr. Scott Bernick, senior partner at Animal Family.

Animal Family Veterinary Care Center offers a full range of veterinary services, including the most up-to-date diagnostic, surgical, dental, and imaging tools and techniques. Animal Family also provides the very best in pet grooming, dog training, pet boarding and Camp Canine. Camp Canine is a day care that offers a safe place to socialize your 4-legged family members.

For additional information, please call Animal Family Veterinary Care Center at 563-391-9522 or visit





The Hawkeye Caucus Weekly PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hawkeye Caucus   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:01

Growing strong STEM students

University of Iowa College of Education Assistant Professor Cory Forbes is helping teachers use existing curricular materials to promote inquiry-based science education. His research will help teachers improve their students’ learning in the critical fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).


Forbes is working with elementary teachers in Davenport, one of Iowa’s largest high-needs districts. The project, “Promoting Inquiry-Based Elementary Science through Collaborative Curriculum Co-construction,” or PIESC3, helps educators adapt their current curricular resources to meet National Science Education Standards and the Iowa Core Curriculum.


Forbes works with teachers to evaluate videos of their own teaching to identify examples of inquiry-based instruction, that is, teaching structured around questions concerning scientific concepts and processes. Teachers involved in the project also participate in professional development courses to improve their science teaching.


Lori Bates-Heithoff, a first grade teacher at McKinley Elementary, said the process has made her a better teacher and made her students better scientists.  “They are much more enthusiastic about science when their curiosity drives the lesson,” she said.


UI College of Education faculty members are involved in STEM-related research and projects statewide. For example, Brian Hand and Bill Therrien are helping 7,000 Iowa students in grades 4-6 in 48 elementary schools located in Loess Hills (southwest Iowa) and Keystone (northeast Iowa) AEAs to improve their science literacy.


Reese Saunders, a fourth grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School in Davenport and PIESC3 participant: “One of the big things we’re focusing on is 21st century skills. Students need to be able to adapt, to problem solve, and to have critical-thinking skills. I think that comes from inquiry-based learning.”


Education Grads Inspire Iowans, Improve Iowa Communities

When Alison Provin (BA ’84, MA’92) saw her community struggling and students labeled as “troubled,” she created an opportunity for both to shine and grow through service.


Provin, chair of the foreign language department at Newton High School, created an annual Community Service Day, when students and community volunteers work together to improve their town.


“Newton has gone through tough times,” she said, noting that when Maytag, the town’s largest employer left, many of the students’ parents lost their jobs. “Not only does Community Service Day benefit the community in the obvious ways, but it also gives a visual boost of morale to the citizens of Newton.”


“It is an excellent model for students in terms of cooperation, involvement, and practical application of skills,” said Chris Noel (MA ’74), Newton High visual arts teacher. “I’m always glad to be a part of the day.”


Provin said that each year the project grows and the sense of pride and service builds at her school. “There is no greater gift to give than to inspire and create something that outlives you,” she said. “I hope that is what we are doing.”



Almost 400 UI students annually complete the required course work for certification and teacher licensure with almost 4,500 teachers graduating from the UI in the past 10 years.



Susan Lagos Lavenz, associate dean for Teacher Education, said there’s no doubt College of Education students serve as area role models and provide leadership. “By providing our students with a cutting-edge preparation program with certification in the core competencies of assessment, technology, and school community, our graduates generate new ideas and create opportunities that bring communities together.”

Braley Announces Effort to Renew, Expand Adoption Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:21

Braley joins family who benefited from tax credit in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines 


Washington, DC – On Monday in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will announce a legislative effort he’s launching to renew and expand a tax credit for families that choose to adopt children.


Braley will introduce the Making Adoption Affordable Act, a bill to permanently extend a federal tax credit for qualified adoption expenses.  The legislation also expands the tax credit to $13,360 and makes refundable, allowing more families to take full advantage of it.


Braley will be joined at the stops by Jonathan and Kayla Craig and their son Joseph, a Des Moines-area family who appealed to Braley’s office for help when the adoption of Joseph nearly fell through because of bureaucratic red tape.  The Craigs are claiming the adoption tax credit on their 2011 federal tax return.  The deadline to file federal income taxes is April 16th.


Monday April 9th, 2012


9:00am                 Braley Joins Craig Family to Announce Adoption Tax Credit Bill

Home of Scott and Regina Porter (parents of Kayla Craig)

1033 Nancy Rd.

Waterloo, Iowa


11:15am               Braley Joins Craig Family to Announce Adoption Tax Credit Bill

Hillcrest Family Services

United Way Building, Suite 401

317 7th Ave. SE

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


3:00pm                 Braley Joins Craig Family to Announce Adoption Tax Credit Bill

Des Moines Central Public Library, Meeting Room #2

1000 Grand Ave.

Des Moines, Iowa

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