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RIVER BARON VODKA NAMED ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mississippi River Distilling Company   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:21

New York, NY, August 29, 2011 – A local favorite has been recognized as one of the best in the nation when it comes to fine vodka.  TheFiftyBest.com recognized locally crafted River Baron Vodka as one of the top 10 vodkas made in the United States.

River Baron, which is distilled at Mississippi River Distilling Company in Le Claire, Iowa, was named as eighth best in a sampling held in New York City.  A panel of 28 judges participated in a blind taste test to determine the nation’s 50 best handcrafted vodkas.

River Baron Vodka was one of the highest scoring spirits in the competition and was awarded a silver medal.  Judges comments included:  “Full sweet nose, butterscotch, vanilla, buttery, cotton candy, banana, nutty, sweet butter, pepper, light spice, smooth, velvety, assertive, very light, really good, perfect.”

The vodka is made from 100% local ingredients.  Corn from Le Claire, Iowa and wheat from Reynolds, Illinois are used to make this handcrafted vodka. Distillers say the honor is a big thrill.  “We’re a tiny distillery in little old Le Claire, Iowa.” said owner and distiller Garrett Burchett.  “To have aficionados in New York City even taste our vodka, let alone call it one of the best, is a real thrill.”

The small distillery has come a long way in a short time says distiller and owner Ryan Burchett.  “It’s been a wild ride.  In eight months, we’ve seen over 10,000 tourists visit our distillery.  We’ve launched three products with two more on the way before the year is out.  Now to be recognized as one of the best in the country, is somewhat surreal.  It’s been so much fun to watch this thing grow in such a short period of time.”

TheFiftyBest.com is an award winning website that provides rankings for various products and services including gourmet dining, wine & spirits, travel, and luxury goods.  The site bills itself as, "A good taste guide to things that taste good."

Mississippi River Distilling Company is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free tours are offered to the public daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process.  Tours end in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples of products for those patrons over 21 years of age.

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King, Grassley, Harkin Ask USPS to Delay Consolidation of Sioux City Mail Processing Facility PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:17
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King (R-IA), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announce that they have formally requested that the United States Postal Service delay the implementation of its plan to consolidate mail processing operations in Sioux City with a mail processing center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The request was made in a letter sent by the three members of Congress to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe this afternoon. The letter notes that a delay in the final implementation of the consolidation proposal is warranted and necessary because the USPS has spent weeks stalling the release of information sought by Sioux City officials attempting to prepare a counter proposal in advance of the September 16 deadline.

"It is clear that the USPS is attempting to 'run out the clock' on Sioux City's efforts to develop a counter proposal to the USPS consolidation plan, and they should not be given a free pass to do so," said King. "The Postmaster General promised me, Senator Grassley and Senator Harkin that Sioux City would be given sufficient time to analyze the AMP data and to develop a counter proposal, but for three weeks the USPS undermined this commitment by stalling the data's release. The request for a delay is reasonable, and the USPS should grant it to honor the Postmaster General's promises to the community."

“Up to this point, the Postal Service’s response to questions and concerns from the congressional delegation and Sioux City community leaders has been disappointing," said Grassley. "Yesterday's meeting, for the first time, provided some information to the community, but it’s too little, too late, and puts Sioux City in a difficult situation.  Sioux City deserves better treatment than what it’s gotten from the Postal Service. The least the Postal Service can do is provide additional time for the community to adequately respond.”

“After yesterday's meeting, it is abundantly clear that USPS is slow-walking this process," said Harkin. "The only reasonable option at this point is to try to delay any closure until sufficient information is available from all relevant groups."

The text of the letter sent by Congressman King, Senator Grassley and Senator Harkin follows:

August 26, 2011

Mr. Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General &
Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW Room 10022
Washington, DC 20260-0010


Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

We are writing to request a delay in the final implementation of the consolidation of Sioux City’s mail processing operations into those of the mail processing facility located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

On August 1st, when we met with you in Senator Grassley’s office, you committed to us that Sioux City’s community and business leaders would have the opportunity to present the Postal Service with a counter proposal to avoid closure of Sioux City’s processing plant, and you assured us that these leaders would be given the information needed to develop such a proposal.  Yesterday, more than three weeks after our meeting, Postal Service officials traveled to Sioux City in an effort to fulfill your commitment. It was the first time that city and community leaders were given any additional information about the rationale for the proposed consolidation and the type of counter proposal that would be necessary to keep Sioux City’s mail processing plant open. In light of this fact, we believe that it is reasonable to ask the Postal Service to delay the final implementation of this consolidation to allow sufficient time for city and community leaders to develop a competitive counter proposal.

We also understand that in the coming days the Postal Service will be announcing plans to further reduce its nationwide mail processing network through the closure of a significant number of other processing facilities across the country. We believe that a delay in the closure of Sioux City’s mail processing center will allow the Postal Service the opportunity to better consider the value of a processing center in Sioux City in light of a nationwide mail processing network that will soon undergo profound changes.

While we appreciate the efforts on behalf of the Postal Service that went in to arranging yesterday’s meeting, yesterday’s meeting was more than three weeks overdue and specifically excluded Postal Service employees who were best able to assist the community in analyzing the data presented. This is of significant importance because we have been told that any counter proposal from the city must be submitted by September 16th. Given the delay caused by the Postal Service in convening yesterday’s meeting, the importance of the information provided yesterday regarding what a successful counter proposal might look like, and the impact that the soon to be announced realignment of the Postal Service’s processing network might have on processing operations in the tri-state area, we believe that a delay in the final implementation of this consolidation is both warranted and necessary.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,


Congressman Steve King
Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Tom Harkin

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Friday, August 26, 2011** PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:13

CHICAGO – August 26, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:  

   

Bill No.: HB 212  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Provides that two adjoining municipalities may enter into an intergovernmental agreement to form a business corridor if they meet the definition of a “disadvantaged municipality”.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: HB 224  

An Act Concerning: Insurance  

Brings Illinois health insurance internal and external review laws into conformity with federal law and regulation standards by enhancing consumer appeal rights and protections.   

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediate  

   

Bill No.: HB 1079  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Allows Central Management Services (CMS) to require public universities to give an inventory of all items valued over $1,000.00 and requires public universities to submit an annual report to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the General Assembly on tuition increases, cost-saving measures, programs created or altered, and programs with low performance.  

Action: Amendatorily Vetoed  

   

Bill No.: HB 1253  

An Act Concerning: Sex Offenders  

Amends the Sex Offender Registration Act in several sections and provides that a sex offender or sexual predator, who has never previously been required to register under the Act, must register if the person has been convicted of any felony offense after July 1, 2011.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  


Bill No.: HB 1716  

An Act Concerning: Government  

Provides additional time to process FOIA requests made by “recurrent requesters”, allows entities to charge for the actual costs of retrieving information and amends provisions related to the Public Access Counselor.    

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 2860  

An Act Concerning: Transportation  

Allows the driver of a motorcycle or bicycle to proceed through a red light if the signal fails to detect them. Exempts City of Chicago.  

Action: Amendatorily Vetoed  

   

Bill No.: HB 2927  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Provides a temporary wage subsidy for private sector employers who create new jobs for unemployed persons seeking jobs.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 2972  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Sets limits on the amount of time that temporary or expired appointees can continue to serve in their position.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 3425  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Expands the Mid-America Medical District to include the municipalities of Belleville and O’Fallon and grants the District bonding authority.   

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 3440  

An Act Concerning: Service Dogs  

Allows for reasonable accommodations to be made by a school for a student who uses a service animal.   

Action: Amendatorily Vetoed  


Bill No.: HB 3635  

An Act Concerning: Public Aid  

Removes any potential fiscal liability the State might accrue absent federal approval of the recently enacted nursing home assessment and payment enhancements and also creates an appeals process for ground ambulance service providers serving citizens receiving medical assistance from the State.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 63  

An Act Concerning: Elections  

Creates a new 23rd judicial circuit and changes the composition of the 16th circuit.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 83  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Allows a public utility water system to be acquired by a majority of the municipalities it serves through eminent domain and requires such municipalities to sustain the collective bargaining power of all water system employees.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 109  

An Act Concerning: Revenue  

Creates "manufacturers representatives" of cigarette manufacturers, and requires them to be licensed by the Department of Revenue.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 122  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Requires the Illinois Board of Higher Education to collect data on first generation college students and submit this data in its annual report to the General Assembly.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 123  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Allows physicians to issue public health standing orders and allows health care personnel to provide medical services within a public health clinic in conformance with standing orders issued by a public health standing orders physician without prior establishment of a physician-patient relationship.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  


Bill No.: SB 269  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Provides greater opportunities for minority-owned businesses, female-owned businesses, businesses owned by persons with disabilities, and small businesses to participate in the State procurement process.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 539  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Allows two or more municipalities to designate a joint redevelopment project area under certain guidelines.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 673  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Requires that up to $500.00 annually in smoking cessation programs be covered by an insurance policy.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 675  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Transfers authority over care funds from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to the Comptroller.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 745  

An Act Concerning: Gaming  

Allows certain fraternal and Veteran facilities to operate video gaming machines in Hamilton County.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 959  

An Act Concerning: Transportation  

Adds an airport concession fee to the list of charges a motor vehicle renter company may assess to a renter.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  


Bill No.: SB 1122  

An Act Concerning: Human Rights  

Creates a civil rights violation if a person is discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and modifies procedures for cases in which both the EEOC and IDHR have jurisdiction.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1228  

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law  

Amends the Criminal Code of 1961 to reorganize provisions relating to theft.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1310  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Extends the sunset of the Interior Design Title Act from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2022.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1394  

An Act Concerning: Civil Law  

Updates the Self-Storage Facility Act to make changes to late charges, liens, and other provisions.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1435  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Extends the TIF District for the City of Lawrenceville by 5 years.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1436  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Adds areas owned by a conservation district to definition of conservation area in regards to municipal annexation of territory.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1539  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Creates the Appraisal Management Company Registration Act and extends the repeal date of the Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  


Bill No.: SB 1544  

An Act Concerning: Insurance  

Establishes a filing fee cap for forms submitted to the State by insurance companies.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1557  

An Act Concerning: Government  

Changes the requirements for when physical and occupational therapy will be included under state employee insurance health benefits.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1631  

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law  

Allows counties to use the probation and court services fund to pay the salaries of probation officers and other court personnel whose salaries are reimbursed by the State if the amount of money appropriated to the counties for probation salaries for the fiscal year is less than the amount appropriated to the Supreme Court for these purposes for State Fiscal Year 2002.   

Action: Amendatorily Vetoed  

   

Bill No.: SB 1651  

An Act Concerning: Civil Law  

Makes several changes to the Common Interest Community Association Act.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1782  

An Act Concerning: Liquor  

Clarifies that a brewer may only sell the beer it produces on the premises.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1799  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Creates a new Article of the School Code and a new system for educator licensure.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1824  

An Act Concerning: Civil Law  

Requires life insurance policies to be allocated equitably between spouses at the time of the dissolution of marriage and allows the court to use life insurance to secure a maintenance obligation.   

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  


Bill No.: SB 1831  

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits  

Makes a number of reforms and technical changes to the pension code.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: January 1, 2012, except certain provisions take effect immediately.  

   

Bill No.: SB 1883  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Requires universities to report to the Illinois Board of Higher Education on changes or terminations of academic programs and those programs which have low enrollment or duplicative services, who will then compile an annual report with this information.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1907  

An Act Concerning: Transportation  

Allows townships to abolish township road districts by voter resolution in an election, and to assume all previous duties and powers of the road district.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1918  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Removes oversight from distribution of incentive grants.  

Action: Veto  

   

Bill No.: SB 1943  

An Act Concerning: Public Health  

Clarifies requirements for warning statements under the Lead Poisoning Preventions Act.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1968  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Adds an immediate effective date of changes concerning the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund as a trailer bill to SB 335, the budget implementation bill.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 2015  

An Act Concerning: Civil Law  

Provides new circumstances in which a court may appoint a temporary guardian of a minor or extend that temporary guardianship.         

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  


Bill No.: SB 2062  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

This bill creates the Clean Coal FutureGen for Illinois Act of 2011 and re-organizes the Illinois Power Agency.  

Action: Amendatorily Vetoed  

   

Bill No.: SB 2133  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Allows the South Suburban Community College District to issue bonds.   

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 2288  

An Act Concerning: Safety  

Changes the definition of municipal waste incineration to exclude the combustion of alternative fuels as governed by federal biomass combustion regulations.  

Action: Veto  

   

   

 

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Eastern Avenue Library receives a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Davenport Library   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:12

This has just been announced by the U. S. Green Building Council, and we are thrilled that the building has been recognized.  LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

“Davenport Public Library Eastern Avenue Branch’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U. S. Green Building Council.  “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and the Eastern Avenue Branch serves a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

The Eastern Avenue Branch Library achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies.  By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses, and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community.

The Eastern Avenue Branch Library has received four prominent awards for its construction, design and green building strategies.   Those awards are: named as a New Landmark Library by Library Journal, a national award; Midwest Construction Award for Cultural Buildings for the Midwest Region; Master Builders of Iowa Award; and the Lorraine D. Wright Award of Excellence from the National Association of Women In Construction, Quad-Cities Chapter.

The primary architect for the building was Engberg Anderson, Inc. from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Joe Huberty as the primary architect, Debra Sider, Project Manager, and Shaun Kelly, who submitted the project to the US Green Building Council.  Bush Construction, Davenport, Iowa, was the general contractor.  A.J. Loss is President, Rob Davis is Project Manager, and Ryan Schertz is Project Superintendent. Mark Blackwood of River Place Technologies is the Commissioning Agent for the project.   All of these plus the Library Board of Trustees Buildings and Grounds Committee chaired by Greg Lundgren; the City's Project Manager, Greg Albansoder; and library staff spent many hours coordinating the project.

"We are pleased to have the Eastern Avenue Branch Project recognized as such an outstanding project for our Davenport community", said Library Director, LaWanda Roudebush.

For more information regarding the Eastern Avenue Branch LEED certification, please contact LaWanda Roudebush, Library Director, at 563.326.7837.

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Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Protect Consumers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:11

New Laws Strengthen Repossession Regulation, Security Deposit Safeguards

CHICAGO - August 26, 2011. As part of his ongoing commitment to consumer protection, Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will enhance safeguards for borrowers and tenants. The new laws will give the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) increased oversight of entities that repossess collateral in the case of defaulted loans. They will also strengthen tenants’ rights to their security deposits after a change in property ownership.

“In these tough economic times, many people are struggling to fulfill a loan or are living in a foreclosed property,” said Governor Quinn. “Today’s action will increase regulation of repossession businesses and create greater safeguards for tenants following foreclosure.”

Senate Bill 1306, sponsored by Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) and Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago), creates the Collateral Recovery Act and allows the ICC to regulate entities that repossess collateral should a debtor become delinquent on their loans. The new law establishes procedures and sets fees for license application, as well as permits for repossession business employees.

The license and permit procedure will include a criminal background check and will ensure that repossession agencies’ names cannot be designed to misrepresent themselves to consumers. The law also includes a number of new consumer safeguards, such as owner notification when personal property is found in repossessed vehicles. 

House Bill 1574, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) and Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), protects tenants in foreclosed properties by requiring a mortgagor to transfer security deposits and accumulated interest to the purchaser of rental properties with five units or more.

Prior to this legislation, the security deposits of tenants in foreclosures that became bank-owned were not protected under Illinois law. The new law requires all new owners of rental properties – including banks following a foreclosure – to assume liability for any transferred security deposits. Residents of the purchased property must be notified within 21 days that their security deposit has been transferred to the purchaser. The legislation was proposed by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

“This legislation represents an important step towards protecting innocent tenants in foreclosed properties,” said Sam Tuttle, Housing Staff Attorney from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Senate Bill 1306 takes effect July 1, 2012; House Bill 1574 is effective immediately.

 

 

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