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|Bettendorf Fire Department Gets Truck, No New Firefighters|
|News/Features - City Shorts|
|Tuesday, 20 March 2001 18:00|
• The Bettendorf City Council recently
approved a budget that includes purchase of a new $600,000 fire truck but doesn’t include any money for new personnel. This is despite an $85,000 study last year that recommended adding at least four paid firefighters and a captain to the department, which currently has 37 volunteers and 18 paid members.
Mayor Ann Hutchinson said that while the budget has money for new positions, those funds could go toward hiring in other city departments. Could the $85,000 for the study have been better spent hiring a couple firefighters considering that Bettendorf isn’t following the results of the study taxpayers paid for?
• March is National Eye Donor Month and honors past eye donors and their families, while placing special emphasis on the importance of sight-saving techniques. It also draws attention to the ever-present and growing need for eye donors. The Iowa Lions Eye Bank and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are working to educate the public on the significance of organ donation with specific emphasis this month on cornea and eye donations. You can find out more about how you can help by calling toll free (866)435-7733 or looking at the Iowa Lions Eye Bank Web site at (http://www.ialeb.org).
• Swamped by spam? You can reduce the amount of unwanted commercial e-mail by signing up with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) E-mail Preference Service. A special Web site has been established at (http://www.e-mps.org/en/) at which businesses and consumers that do not want to receive such solicitations can register their e-mail addresses. DMA members using commercial e-mail will be required to check the E-mail Preference Service and delete the Internet addresses of those who have registered, except for people who have requested information. This probably won’t eliminate junk e-mail, but it’s a step in the right direction.
• Clerks from 30 businesses were in volved in a tobacco sweep recently conducted by the Davenport Police. The clerks were ticketed for selling tobacco to a group of 17-year olds sent into stores as part of a statewide enforcement program. Clerks cited in such sweeps can face fines of up to $100 each with business owners facing civil penalties of up to $300 each. The sweep was conducted with the aid of students from Davenport North High School.
• Legislation now in the Iowa Senate would order the immobilization of a motor vehicle by using a device on a front tire in an attempt to collect delinquent child-support payments. The car would only be freed if offenders arrange to start repaying their child support debt. The bill was recently approved by the Senate Human Resources Committee and is now in the full Senate for debate.
• The effort to amend the federal Higher Education Act’s drug-war provision, which denies financial aid to students convicted of a drug offense, recently got started again with legislation introduced by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) to repeal that part of the law. Under the provision, added in 1998, more than 8,000 college students lost access to grants, loans, and work assistance this school year. The Internet is the medium by which news and information about this campaign is being spread. You can find out more about the Higher Education Act Reform Campaign, organized by DRCNet, at (http://www.raiseyourvoice.com) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (http://www.ssdp.org).
• Iowa’s high percentage of traffic deaths involving young drivers and alcohol has prompted Mothers Against Drunk Drivers to target the state for more chapters – including the establishment of one in Davenport. MADD says that more than 38 percent of Iowa’s traffic fatalities among 15-to-20-year-olds were alcohol-related. Only seven states had higher percentages, while the national average was 35 percent. You can find out more about MADD and its efforts to establish chapters in Iowa by looking at the group’s Web site (http://www.madd.org).
• If you notice smoke hanging over the Rock Island Arsenal, don’t panic – it might be the Arsenal Fire Department conducting several open burns. The burns will be conducted as training and also in plots of prairie and wildflowers to promote healthy conditions for seed germination. The burns will be taking place as the weather permits over the next several weeks.
• The Davenport Public Library Teen Board has begun a teen writing contest titled “Living in the Present.” Writers may choose from four topics: What is the most important necessity? Who or what has the most impact in our world? Are we progressing or turning back? Or writers can choose a fictional or historical character and place them in the Quad Cities and then describe that person’s typical day. Entries must be received by April 7 at the Main Library at 321 Main Street; the Anne Wittenmyer Branch at 2804 Eastern Avenue; or the Bookmobile. Winners will be announced at the end of April. Grand prize is the entry fee and payment for one class at the annual Mississippi Valley Writers Conference. Second, third, and fourth places will receive payment to attend the Young Adult Writers Conference on June 6. The library will print the winning entries in its newsletter and display them at the three library sites. For an entry form, call the library at (319)326-7832.
• Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in North America. Unlike other health problems of this magnitude, however, sudden cardiac arrest is treatable. The cure for most cases of sudden cardiac arrest is immediate treatment with a defibrillator, a device that shocks the heart out of a fatal rhythm, allowing a normal, healthy rhythm to resume. In most communities, fewer than 5 percent of victims survive because of inadequate access to defibrillators. In contrast, some communities with strong response systems have achieved survival rates of 50 percent or higher. The National Center for Early Defibrillation at the University of Pittsburgh is a not-for-profit information resource center, dedicated to improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest through public and professional education, advocacy, and research. NCED aspires to provide comprehensive cutting-edge information and customized consultation services, while working collaboratively with other organizations sharing a common interest in saving lives. NCED is manufacturer-neutral. You can find out more about the group at (http://wwww.early-defib.org).
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