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Governor Terry Branstad's Condition PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jimmy Centers   
Monday, 26 January 2015 16:28

Governor’s Office provides update regarding Gov. Branstad
Gov. Branstad is alert and resting comfortably; will be kept overnight out of an abundance of caution

(DES MOINES) -  Governor’s Office spokesman Jimmy Centers today provided the following update to the governor’s condition after he fell ill at an event earlier in the day:

“Gov. Branstad is currently alert and resting comfortably at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. He is being observed and hydrated after having flu-like symptoms. The governor did have a flu shot this season. The governor has been admitted and will be kept overnight out of an abundance of caution.”

More information will be released as it becomes available. The governor and lt. governor have canceled their public events for Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, to rest and recover from seasonal illnesses.

Earlier:

(DES MOINES)  -  Iowa Governor’s Office spokesman Jimmy Centers today released the following statement after Gov. Terry Branstad fell ill at an event at DuPont Pioneer:

“Gov. Branstad fell ill at an event today at DuPont Pioneer. An ambulance was called and he was transported to Methodist hospital in Des Moines. The governor is conscious and alert and was so during the transport to the hospital. During the transport, paramedics took the governor’s vitals and initial tests indicate that the spell was caused by a seasonal illness. The governor had been suffering from the effects of a cold.”

More details will be provided as they become available.

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Free Speech Victory: Federal Court Orders Illinois College to Cease Censorship, Allow Social Activists to Pass Out ‘Politically Incorrect’ Flyers on Campus PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Monday, 26 January 2015 08:59

CHICAGO, Ill. — At the urging of attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, a federal court has ordered a community college to cease its censorship and allow two social activists to hand out what might be perceived as “politically incorrect” informational flyers on campus. In granting the Institute’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing Waubonsee Community College (WCC) from excluding Wayne Lela and John McCartney from campus, the court found that WCC discriminated against the activists on the basis of the content of their speech when it prohibited them from handing out leaflets for the organization Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment because the speech was not “consistent with the philosophy, goals and mission of the college.” In holding that WCC’s actions inflicted irreparable harm upon the activists, U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman noted, “provocative speech is entitled to the same protection as speech promoting popular notions.” As an attorney, Judge Gettleman successfully defended the Nazis’ right to march in their landmark free speech case against the Village of Skokie.

The U.S. District Court’s opinion in Lela v. Waubonsee Community College is available at www.rutherford.org.

“University campuses once served as the breeding ground for much of the protests that gave rise to needed change in the 1960s—protests that altered the conscience of our nation and created a legacy for future dissenters,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: the Emerging American Police State. “We are pleased that the district court recognized the value of free speech, provocative or not, in our society. If college administrators today were allowed to have their way, college campuses would be little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens content to speak only when spoken to, on politically correct topics guaranteed not to cause disruption or disagreement, and in Orwellian areas designated as free speech zones.”

Waubonsee Community College is a two-year public institution located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. In January 2014, Wayne Lela contacted WCC officials about his desire to distribute informational leaflets on the WCC campus. He was asked to provide copies of the leaflets he proposed to hand out and provided copies of flyers from Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (HOME). The flyers reflect HOME’s views about heterosexuality and homosexuality, their concerns about the impact the political climate has had on religious liberty and free speech rights, and their response to what they perceived as propaganda used to discredit those opposed to same-sex marriage. Lela subsequently received a letter denying his request to pass out flyers based on the fact that WCC “limits campus activities to events that are not disruptive of the college’s education mission.” Later correspondence justified the denial of access because the flyers violate WCC’s policies on solicitation, use of college facilities, and ethics.

In the lawsuit against WCC and the subsequent motion for a preliminary injunction, Rutherford Institute attorneys argued the policy making the campus available for use by non-college groups provided the use is “consistent with the philosophy, goals and mission of the college” constitutes impermissible viewpoint discrimination on its face. Additionally, Institute attorneys asserted that WCC discriminated against Lela and McCartney because it forbade them from passing out flyers on the campus because of the viewpoints expressed in the flyers. The complaint also alleged that WCC’s policies are unconstitutionally vague by giving unfettered discretion to college officials to determine who may or may not speak on the campus.

Affiliate attorneys Whitman H. Briksy and Noel W. Sterett of Mauck & Baker, LLC, are assisting The Rutherford Institute in its defense of Lela and McCartney’s constitutional rights.

This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

 
CASI Offering Free Filing Assistance for 2014 Iowa Rent Reimbursement Claim PDF Print E-mail
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Written by CASI   
Friday, 23 January 2015 12:11

Davenport, IA - It is now time to begin filing Iowa’s 2014 Rent Reimbursement Claim Form and the Center For Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI) is here to help. CASI’s Senior Advocates are now assisting older adults who are eligible to file for the 2014 Iowa Rent Reimbursement. CASI is one of three locations, in Scott County, recognized by the Iowa Department of Revenue to assist with this claim process. Rent reimbursement forms can be picked up at CASI, 1035 West Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA., 52806, Monday through Friday, from 8am – 5pm. Those interested in filing this claim must meet the following eligibility requirements:

·         Lived in Iowa all or part of 2014, and live in Iowa now, and

·         Your household income is less than $22,011, and,

·         The rental unit you lived in is subject to property tax, and

·         You (or your spouse) were born before 1950, or

·         You (or your spouse) were age 18 to 64 as of December 31, 2014, and totally disabled. Totally disabled means you are unable to get a job paying more than $1,070 per month due to physical or mental disability which has lasted, or is expected to last for at least one year. Proof of disability must be included with your claim.

Married couples living together are considered one household and can file only one claim, combining both incomes. If they do not live together, they may file separate claims. Other persons living together who qualify for a reimbursement may each file a claim based on their income and share of rent paid.

CASI’s Senior Advocates will be at several senior living complexes to assist residents during the upcoming month.

CASI’s Senior Advocates are also available to assist older adults who live outside of these complexes and qualify for this claim. Individual appointments must be made in advance by calling CASI, at 563-386-7477. Proof of residency, income, disability (if applicable) and monthly rent amount along with landlord contact information are required at the time of appointment. CASI is located at 1035 West Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA., 52806. For more information on this or any other program or service provided call, 563-386-7477 or visit www.CASISeniors.org

Electronic copies of the 2014 form can be located on the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website, www.tax.iowa.gov. Iowa residents under the age of 50 looking for help may also contact Family Resources and Community Action for assistance.

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Government Effort to Crack Down on Whistleblowers, Sides with Air Marshal Concerned About Public Safety PDF Print E-mail
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Written by John W. Whitehead   
Friday, 23 January 2015 11:04

WASHINGTON, D.C. —In a 7-2 ruling in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the federal government’s attempts to eviscerate protections for employee speech under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). In upholding a federal air marshal’s claim that he was improperly fired by the Transportation Security Administration after he leaked to the media a plan by the TSA to remove air marshals from long distance flights as a cost-savings measure, the justices affirmed a lower court ruling that federal agencies may not issue regulations that remove the protections of the WPA for certain information, requiring exemptions be specifically approved by Congress.

In an amicus curiae brief filed in the case, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute argued that government agencies should not have the power to unilaterally determine what kind of information federal employees are forbidden from disclosing, asserting that this would further tip the balance toward agencies, allowing them to exploit their rulemaking powers to target legitimate whistleblowers acting in the interest of public safety.

The Supreme Court’s opinion and The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in DHS v. MacLean are available at www.rutherford.org.

“Ironically, while the Department of Homeland Security continues to push its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign urging Americans to report suspicious behavior to the police, call it in to a government hotline, or report it using a convenient app on their smart phone, the government doesn’t take kindly to having its dirty deeds publicized and, God forbid, being made to account for them,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Unfortunately, this is par for the course for the Obama administration, whose actions, ranging from its reliance on secret courts, secret laws and secret surveillance in order to sidestep the rule of law to its relentless pursuit of whistleblowers, fly in the face of its claims of transparency.”

Having formerly served in the U.S. Air Force and as a border patrol agent, Robert J. MacLean volunteered to serve as an air marshal in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Air marshals are federal law enforcement agents who travel undercover aboard commercial airliners. In July 2003, MacLean and other air marshals were briefed about a specific and imminent terrorist threat to long-distance flights. Despite the warning, less than three days later, MacLean and other air marshals received a text message from their superiors cancelling all overnight missions, thereby removing air marshals from long-distance flights. Believing the text message to be a mistake, MacLean contacted his superiors who confirmed the message and told MacLean this was being done to save money on overnight hotels, overtime and other travel allowances. After failed attempts to raise his concerns with independent investigators, MacLean alerted an MSNBC reporter to the government’s plan to remove air marshals from many flights. The news report aired without identifying MacLean. The story produced outrage in Congress, and the DHS soon rescinded its order. MacLean’s role as a whistleblower was revealed three years later, at which time, the TSA fired him for disclosing “sensitive security information” (SSI). Although the text message removing air marshals from long distance flights was not classified as SSI when it was sent, the DHS issued an order classifying it as SSI retroactively. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with MacLean, ruling that he was entitled to argue that he was protected by whistleblower laws after he was fired by the TSA in 2006. However, lawyers for the Obama administration disputed that ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that it effectively permits individual federal employees to override the TSA’s judgments about the dangers of public disclosure.

This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

 
Is your family prepared for a home fire emergency? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by American Red Cross   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 16:50
You may not know it, but it’s the biggest disaster threat to people in this country. It happens quickly, devastating lives and homes in just minutes. It’s not always in the news, but it’s happening right now  somewhere in the country.  On average, 7 people die every day from a home fire.

Disastrous home fires leave families with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. An astonishing 93% of all disasters the American Red Cross responds to are home fires, and unlike floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters, home fires can be preventable. More importantly, knowing about fire safety and prevention can save lives. We want to know: How can we help you be more prepared in the face of a home fire emergency?

Take our brief home fire survey now.

Just one out of every ten households is prepared for the worst, including creating a fire escape plan. That’s why we’ve set some ambitious goals for our work over the next five years: reducing deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25%, making sure individuals are testing smoke alarms and practicing fire escape plans.

Working together, we can make sure that more families can prevent home fires and keep loved ones safe.

We know your time is valuable, and we appreciate your feedback. It takes just a minute to complete our survey – will you take some time right now to let us know what you think?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,

Lauri Rhinehart
VP, Humanitarian Services
American Red Cross

 
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