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|Iowa Helps Record Number of First-Time Home Buyers|
|News/Features - City Shorts|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2008 02:08|
Nearly 3,500 Iowans became new homeowners in 2007 with the assistance of the Iowa Finance Authority's low-interest loan program FirstHome. The program offers qualified first-time home-buyers affordable mortgage financing with a low, fixed interest rate and charges no discount points or origination fees. In calendar year 2007, a record 3,485 Iowans used FirstHome. This was an increase of nearly 500 loans from 2006 and was almost 1,000 loans greater than in 2005. In Scott County, 217 loans were closed for a total of more than $20 million. For more information, look at (http://www.iowafinanceauthority.gov ).
Rock Island-based music Web site Daytrotter.com last week announced the sale of a majority stake to Wolfgangsvault.com, which administers the archives of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Daytrotter founder Sean Moeller remains minority owner and will retain creative control over the site. Daytrotter was launched in 2006 and is best known for offering free downloads of exclusive live sessions with up-and-coming and established indie-rock artists.
Recently, more than $15 million in Assistance to Firefighter Grants were awarded to 182 fire departments throughout the United States. The Silvis Fire Department in Illinois received $148,105 for operations and safety.
The first forum of this legislative session with the state senators and representatives of Scott County will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, at the Rogalski Center on the St. Ambrose University campus. The public is invited. Future dates for the forums are February 23 and March 29.
Bird-watchers across North America are poised to take a snapshot of where the birds are during the 11th-annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15 through 18. Anyone can count birds wherever they are and enter their tallies online at (http://www.birdcount.org). These reports contribute valuable information for science and conservation, spotlighting changes in bird population and distribution from year to year. The count is led by Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participation is free, and no registration is required.
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chair of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees heating assistance, has announced that he has secured an additional $9.3 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for Iowans who rely on the program. Iowa has already received $36 million in LIHEAP funds this year. The additional funds are part of $450 million in contingency funding the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released last week. Before these funds were announced, the state was forced to cut the program's regular grant by 7 percent this year compared to last. Last year, nearly 90,000 Iowans received LIHEAP assistance. Because household heating costs are running 10 to 20 percent higher than last year, state officials are projecting an increase in participation this year.
Four public school districts in Scott County currently receive funds from the county-wide Local Option Sales & Services Tax, a voter-approved special revenue fund that helps districts pay for significant capital improvements. Although the current tax doesn't expire until 2009, the district is recommending the tax be extended for another 10-year period and has asked that the tax be put on a special ballot on March 4. The Davenport Community School District has scheduled public meetings to discuss the tax, including past projects and proposed projects: January 24 at noon at ASC Board Room,1606 Brady Street, Davenport ; February 11 at 3:30 p.m. at Harrison School (PTA Meeting); February 12 at 6:30 p.m. at West High School cafeteria; and February 20 at 4 p.m. at ASC Board Room. There is also information on the district Web site (http://www.davenportschools.org/losst.asp).
Regan Hatfield and Bob Brehmer are now a part of the Bucktown Center for the Arts, appearing in the Hands On Gallery and Eclectic Eye, respectively. The Bucktown Center for the Arts is located at 225 East Second Street in downtown Davenport. The galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
During December 2007, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa gave away birth control to more than 900 women in Iowa. The promotion included methods of birth control that are considered long-term and reversible, lasting from three to 12 years. Planned Parenthood expects to repeat the promotion in late spring.
The challenges and victories of Haitian women are the themes of the fourth-annual Ambrose Women for Social Justice lecture on Tuesday, February 5, in the Rogalski Center, located at the corner of Ripley and Lombard streets in Davenport. Following the 3:30 p.m. lecture will be the Midwest film premiere of The Sugar Babies: The Plight of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Katy Strzepek at (563) 333-6210.
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