Stage & Theatre
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ryan Workman   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 13:46

Coe athletics can be followed on the college's website: Located near the heart of Cedar Rapids, Coe is a selective, private, nationally recognized liberal arts college providing superior quality educational experiences for students since 1851.

Christina Grimm of Bettendorf, volleyball, 2009, Pleasant Valley High School, daughter, Chris and Mary Grimm, junior, 3rd-year.  The volleyball team is under the direction of sixth-year Head Coach DeAnn Woodin, the 2011 Iowa Conference Coach of the Year. Coe won its first Iowa Conference Championship in school history this fall, finishing the year with a 31-4 record, the most wins in school history. The Kohawks were a perfect 8-0 during the Iowa Conference season.

Keenan McLaughlin, also of Bettendorf, cross country, 2010, Pleasant Valley High School, son, Patrick and Melinda mcLaughlin, sophomore, 1st-year,    , The cross country team is under the direction of 18-year Head Coach Elaine Rydze.

Tom Wakeland, also of Bettendorf, men's soccer, 2008, Bettendorf High School, son, Mark and Jean Wakeland, senior, 3rd-year.  The soccer team is under the direction of tenth-year Head Coach Homer Screws.

Hannah Helms of Moline, women's tennis, 2010, Moline Senior High School, daughter, Michael and Jodi Helms, sophomore.  The women's tennis team is under the direction of 23-year Head Coach Eric Rodgers, the 2011 Iowa Conference Coach of the Year. The Kohawks won their fourth Iowa Conference Championship in school history this fall. Coe will host the IIAC Automatic Qualifier Tournament this spring as the regular season champion. Coe finished the fall season 13-0 in dual meets.

Governor Quinn Announces Nearly $43 Million in Race to the Top Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:34

Federal Funding Award to Advance K-12 Reforms, Improve Student Achievement and Boost Science Technology Engineering, Math (STEM) Learning Across Illinois

CHICAGO – December 23, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced Illinois earned a $42.8 million federal grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RTTT) program to help bolster Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education across the state and other work to close the achievement gap. Half of those funds– about $21 million –will go directly to the state’s local districts that agree to accelerate education reform. Illinois is one of seven states in the nation to be awarded a portion of the $200 million in federal funds, which will be distributed through the 2013-14 school year to benefit K-12 students.

“The best long-term economic tool is a good education,” Governor Quinn said. “As Illinois continues to pursue a strong education reform agenda, this grant allows us to continue to reach for improved scores, higher graduation rates and a system that produces graduates who are well prepared for the 21st century job market.”

“Education in Illinois is undergoing a sea change aimed to ensure new generations of students become better prepared for college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “These federal funds will help support the many efforts under way so that children across the state will have greater access to a quality education.”

Illinois applied for the grant and was declared eligible for funds as one of nine finalists in the second round of RTTT. The grant application reflects the priorities of the previous two RTTT applications and ongoing work under the state’s current reform agenda, which includes implementing the new rigorous Common Core Learning Standards in Math and English Language Arts, advancing teacher and principal effectiveness and providing educators with data that can better inform and improve classroom instruction. Among the initiatives is advancing STEM programs of study and developing a system of induction and mentoring for STEM educators.

“These federal funds will help support Illinois’ ongoing work to implement new practices in the classroom during the next several years that aim to improve student learning and close the achievement gap,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “An investment in education and our long-term reforms is an investment in children’s well being and our state’s economic future.”

Other projects to be funded include the oversight and delivery of professional development to help align district curriculum to the new Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Math and high quality student assessments that can be used to measure student growth and be incorporated into educator evaluations.

Funds will also be used to bolster ongoing development of a data system that supports personalized learning and access to high quality resources. Specifically, Illinois has been selected to be one of the first states to implement the Shared Learning Infrastructure, a multi-state collaborative to develop a next-generation technology system that will enable teachers to easily find high-quality and highly-customizable curriculum and classroom resources aligned to the Common Core Standards.

The six other states awarded funds under the third Race to the Top Competition are: Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Race to the Top and Illinois’ plan for the $42.8 million, please visit .


Indoor Golf Range opens at Rivers Edge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ron Summers   
Friday, 23 December 2011 16:21

Davenport, Iowa, December 21, 2011 – An indoor golf driving range will open to the public at 7am on Monday, December 26 at the River’s Edge, 700 W River Drive in downtown Davenport. The indoor golf facility will offer an option for golfers to practice their swing indoors throughout the winter. With the loss of the indoor golf dome on Brady Street earlier this year, the River’s Edge will now fill that gap by offering the only public indoor golf facility on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities.

Golfers may purchase 35 balls for $3 or 70 balls for $5. The indoor golf range will be available from 7am – 3pm on weekdays only. There will be 9 stations available. “We’ve already seen tremendous interest and excitement for this new indoor range,” according to Troy Evans, Superintendent of Revenue Facilities. “We’re pleased that the River’s Edge can fill this gap for golfers in the area.”

Ron Paul to Hold Major Salute to Veterans Rally in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Gary Howard   
Friday, 23 December 2011 14:44
Alongside Iowa Chair Drew Ivers and Rep. Glen Massie, Air Force veteran Ron Paul to assembleveterans, discuss their issues, and thank them
ANKENY, Iowa – Air Force veteran and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul will hold a major veterans rally in Des Moines, demonstrating his commitment to veterans, active-duty military men and women, and their families.

The event, which is open to supporters of all ages regardless of veteran status, will be held on Wednesday, December 28th at the Knapp Learning Center, located on the State Fair Grounds in Des Moines.  Doors will open to the public at 6:30 p.m.  To enter 30 minutes early and secure a seat near the front of the room, RSVP for the veterans rally featuring Dr. Paul by clicking here.

The salute to veterans rally is of particular importance as U.S. troops are returning from Iraq, and are deserving of a warm welcome home.  Another function of this event is to answer the growing demand of the “Veterans for Ron Paul” nationwide coalition, which is among the strongest voter associations benefiting Dr. Paul in Iowa.

“My country called and like Ron Paul I left my family, friends, and career behind, in my case serving in Vietnam.  Now Dr. Paul is again offering himself to serve our great nation as president in a time of urgent need,” said Ron Paul 2012 Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers.

“I’ve never met a more humble, honest, and capable patriot in my lifetime.  As Ron Paul salutes his fellow Veterans here in Iowa, I’m proud to return that salute,” said Mr. Ivers, himself a combat-wounded U.S. Army veteran awarded a purple heart for injuries he sustained while serving in Vietnam.

“Like many other veterans and active-duty military men and women, officers and enlisted alike, I wholeheartedly support Ron Paul for our President and Commander in Chief,” said Iowa House Rep. Glen Massie (R-Des Moines).

Rep. Massie is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and was the first Iowa legislator to endorse Dr. Paul for the Republican nomination. 

During the 1960s, Dr. Ron Paul proudly served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon.  Today, the 12-term Congressman from Texas has stood up in defense of veterans benefits and as a friend to veterans has helped returning veterans receive honors and awards never bestowed them

In recognition of Paul’s own military service, his promotion of a strong national defense, and his service to veterans, active-duty military personnel contributed more to Paul’s campaign than to those of all Republican presidential candidates combined, and more than that of incumbent President Barack Obama, in 2Q and 3Q of 2011.

As a first basic step, those wanting to join the “Veterans for Ron Paul” nationwide coalition should visit the official page by clicking here.  Those residing in the Hawkeye State should email Iowa Voter Outreach Director Meghann Walker at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Due to strong demand and space limitations, members of the media are asked to RSVP for the event by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Details of the event, which is free of charge and open to the public, are as follows.  Time is Central.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

7:00 p.m.
Knapp Learning Center
State Fair Grounds
E. 33rd Street and University
Des Moines, Iowa 50317


Grassley, Colleagues Press USTR to Appeal Country of Origin Labeling Ruling from WTO PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 19 December 2011 16:21

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the Obama administration to appeal a World Trade Organization panel decision that, while validating the U.S.’s authority to have Country Of Origin Labeling for meat products, strikes down the Country of Origin Labeling regulations which implement the law.  Grassley joined 18 senators to send a letter to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

“Family farmers take pride in the fact that the crops they harvest make it to dinner tables around the world.  People want to know where the food on their tables comes from, and makes Country of Origin Labeling a no-brainer,” Grassley said.  “Nearly all products sold in the United States show where the product was made.  In fact, other countries label where their meat originated.  It’s completely legitimate for us to show if the meat we buy originated in the United States.”

The senators wrote in their letter, “We request that your agencies take appropriate actions to appeal the DSP’s ruling and to work to ensure that our COOL program both meets our international trade obligations while continuing to provide such information to consumers.”

From here, the panel decision will either be adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body or the decision can be appealed to the WTO Appellate Body.

Grassley joined senators Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso of Wyoming, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jon Tester of Montana, Carl Levin of Michigan, Dianne Feinstein of California, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kent Conrad and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and John Thune of South Dakota in signing the letter.

Here’s a copy of the text of the letter.  A signed copy can be found here.

November 14, 2011


Secretary Tom Vilsack                        Ambassador Ron Kirk

U.S. Department of Agriculture                    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

1400 Independence Ave., SW                             600 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20250                          Washington, DC 20508


Dear Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Kirk:


We write regarding the November 18, 2011, World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Panel (DSP) finding affirming arguments made by Canada and Mexico over the implementation of the United States Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law.  The DSP validated the statutory authority for the United States to require such labeling; however, the panel also found that the manner in which the program was implemented treats cattle and hogs from those countries less favorably than U.S.-origin livestock.  While we are pleased that the DSP affirmed our right to require such labeling, we are concerned about the impact that the DSP’s ruling will have on our ability to continue providing such information to consumers.


As you are aware, included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) was a common sense plan for implementing a food labeling program to provide consumers with information about the origins of the food they purchase.  It was the intention of Congress in developing this provision that such labeling would be nondiscriminatory in its treatment of imported products by requiring the labeling of both domestic as well as imported products.


With that goal in mind, we appreciate the thoughtful rulemaking process undertaken by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of USDA in developing the rule implementing COOL.  While we believe that improvements should have been made to the final rule, we believe that it appropriately establishes a labeling system which provides important and useful information to consumers while not placing an undue burden on the industry.  Additionally, we believe that the labeling system continues to provide the same opportunity for imported livestock to compete in the domestic marketplace as was the case prior to USDA’s implementation of COOL.


We appreciate the work you have done in defending both the COOL statute and its implementation before the WTO’s dispute settlement proceedings.  As you know, many of our major trading partners, including Canada and Mexico, themselves impose their own country of origin labeling requirements for imported meats.  As such, it is clear that it is within our authority under our WTO obligations to implement such a program.


We request that your agencies take appropriate actions to appeal the DSP’s ruling and to work to ensure that our COOL program both meets our international trade obligations while continuing to provide such information to consumers.  We appreciate your attention to this matter, and we look forward to working with you moving forward.

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