Media & Communications
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to be LIVE on RFD TV and RURAL TV to Discuss Drought Assistance for America's Farmers and Ranchers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:43

WASHINGTON, August 15, 2012 - TOMORROW, August 16, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join RURAL TV and RFD-TV live at the Iowa State Fair to discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture's continuing efforts to assist farmers and ranchers impacted by drought.

As part of continuing steps by the Obama Administration to assist livestock producers in response to the historic drought, USDA will utilize nearly $16 million in financial and technical assistance to immediately help crop and livestock producers in 19 states cope with the adverse impacts of the historic drought. In addition, USDA will initiate a transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program. These funds can be used to assist in moving water to livestock in need, providing emergency forage for livestock, and rehabilitating lands severely impacted by the drought. Together these efforts should provide nearly $30 million to producers struggling with drought conditions.

Most recently, Secretary Vilsack signed disaster designations for an additional 44 counties in 12 states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat. Counties designated today are in the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. During the 2012 crop year, USDA has designated 1,628 unduplicated counties across 33 states as disaster areas-1,496 due to drought-making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

Secretary Vilsack will be taking questions from Twitter on USDA drought assistance efforts. Questions may be submitted in advance by using the hashtags #askUSDA and #Iowastatefair.


Thursday, August 16, 2012
7 p.m. CDT

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be LIVE on RURAL TV and RFD-TV to discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture's continuing efforts to assist farmers and ranchers impacted by drought.

WHERE: Penningroth Media Center*
Iowa State Fairgrounds
East 30th Street and East University Avenue
Des Moines, IA

* Please enter the Penningroth Media Center from the west side of the Cattle Barn.

All media should arrive by 6:30 p.m. CDT.  A member of RURAL TV and RFD-TV or USDA staff will be there to assist.

Please note, the fair charges a $7 fee to enter the fairgrounds.

Lt. Gov. Simon names Kati Phillips new chief of staff PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:14

CHICAGO – August 14, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today announced that Kati Phillips will serve as her new chief of staff effective August 15. Phillips has served as the deputy chief of staff for communications in Simon's office since January 2011 and will continue to fulfill that role. She replaces DK Hirner who plans to work in Missouri.

As chief of staff and communications director, Phillips will work as a senior policy advisor, manage office operations and execute the administration's internal and external communications. She replaces DK Hirner who resigned after successfully re-establishing the office that had been vacant since 2009.

“Kati Phillips shares my commitment to transparency and accountability, and she will serve taxpayers well in this expanded role,” Simon said. “I thank DK Hirner for her leadership in starting the office from scratch, and look forward to working with Kati to move our office and state forward.”

Phillips formerly served as deputy director of communications for State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Prior to entering public service, she was an education and news reporter at the Daily Southtown and Star Newspapers in the south suburbs of Chicago and Elmira Star-Gazette in upstate New York. Her watchdog coverage of school districts in Calumet Park and Sauk Village received local and national awards. Born and raised in Bloomington-Normal, Phillips graduated from the University of Iowa and resides in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

“I appreciate this opportunity to serve as chief of staff and maintain continuity in our leadership,” Phillips said. “I have great respect for Lt. Governor Simon and am excited to pursue meaningful education and ethics reforms that will make a difference for Illinois students and taxpayers.”

Among her accomplishments as chief of staff, Hirner lists the Lt. Governor’s Complete College tour of the state’s 48 community colleges and the resulting policy report, “Focus on the Finish.” As a result of Simon’s attention to education reform, Illinois was chosen by the Lumina Foundation to participate in its Postsecondary Productivity Strategy Labs, a network that is providing guidance on performance funding for community colleges and universities and higher education affordability and completion issues.

“Now that the office is fully operational and positioned to make a difference in the education of Illinois children, I feel my work in the Illinois Lt. Governor’s office is complete,” said Hirner, who previously served as the chief of staff and policy director for former Missouri Lt. Governor Mel Carnahan and deputy chief of staff for former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. “I plan to put my experience to good use in helping my friend of 33 years, Mary Still, in her run for the Missouri Senate. It has been a pleasure serving Illinois, and I wish Lt. Governor Simon and her staff all the best and continued success in the remainder of her term.”


Glenn Beck's Live Debate "Unelectable 2012" in Movie Theaters Nationwide on Sept. 20 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Fathom Events   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 10:03
This election season, media personality Glenn Beck brings his own political comedic debate to movie theaters nationwide with “Glenn Beck’s Unelectable 2012 Live” on Thursday, September 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT (tape delayed) / 8:00 p.m. PT (tape delayed); followed by a second showing in select theaters on September 25 at 7:30 p.m. local time. Beck will unleash his no-holds-barred political commentary when he faces off against Brian Sack, host of The B.S. of A., and his "say anything to get elected" candidate character. NCM Fathom Events and Mercury Radio Arts present this live broadcast event from the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, TX.
Tickets for “Glenn Beck's Unelectable 2012 Live” are available at participating theater box offices and online at
Glenn Beck’s Unelectable 2012 Live will be playing at the following theaters in your area on September 20 (click here for a full list of participating theaters):
RAVE Davenport 53 18 with IMAX 3601 E 53Rd St Davenport IA 52807 7:00 P

Walcott native debuts her first comics series PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Andy Shearer, SCAD   
Friday, 10 August 2012 13:46

Davenport West High School grad Grace Allison launches "Wander," a comedic fantasy epic

SAVANNAH, GA (08/10/2012)(readMedia)-- Grace Allison, 2007 graduate of Davenport West High School and 2011 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, has just released the first installment of her digital-only comic series, "Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom," a comedic fantasy that follows perpetual grad student Olive Hopkins as she finds herself transported to the Ninth Kingdom, a World of Warcraft-style fantasy land straight out of that section of the Barnes and Noble Olive has always avoided. Grace is the artist and colorist for the series.

Having graduated with a B.F.A. in Sequential Art from SCAD, Grace was accepted into the prestigious artist collective, Periscope Studio, in Portland, OR, where she currently lives and works.

Comic calls "Wander" a "terrifically entertaining book....Allison's art is stylized to the book in a way that's perfect."

"Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom" is available on Comixology, part of publisher Monkeybrain's new initiative to offer a digital comics line, available cross-platform, meaning one purchase will allow readers to enjoy the comic on computer, iPhones, iPads, etc.

The second installment in the epic series will be out in early September.

News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Lora Adams   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 08:44

MOLINE, ILLINOIS – WQPT is delighted to announce that Leigh Geramanis has been named the WQPT Volunteer of the Year 2012. The “Hawaiian themed” award ceremony was held at Western Illinois University QC Riverfront Campus on August 7, 2012.

Leigh, who was joined by her daughter Abbie, was given the award by Jerry Myers, WQPT Program Manager, who was an instructor at Black Hawk College and taught Leigh when she was a student and intern at WQPT.  Mr. Myers noted that Leigh was known as “Ginger” during her college career.

“We are very fortunate to have someone like Leigh be a part of WQPT.  Her history with the station and her ability to serve in so many capacities is a real bonus for the station,” said Interim General Manager and Chief Development Officer Jamie Lange.

During the past year Leigh not only served on various community committee’s but also served as the host and moderator for an hour long television special dealing with the drop out crisis here in the Quad Cities.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.


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