Sen. Chuck Grassley asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a copy of an audit of the Omaha Housing Authority, following a series of Nebraska Watchdog stories.  HUD has released the audit at Grassley's urging.  Grassley is a long-time advocate for government transparency and for making sure HUD conducts proper oversight of the billions of federal dollars deemed to provide safe, affordable housing for those in need.  Grassley made the following comment on the audit and its release.

"The audit has damaging findings about the housing authority that require correction, as HUD says.  It's unclear why the audit hasn't seen the light of day, but now that it has, HUD should continue to make sure the Omaha Housing Authority is in compliance with rules for spending federal tax dollars.  In the future, HUD should be more transparent with audits conducted at taxpayer expense in the public interest."

The audit is available here.

'In the Arms of God' shares true stories from author's experiences with God


BELLA VISTA, Ark. - Author Ira E. "Ed" Delk believes that whenever he has needed help, God has intervened in his life and been a constant presence. In his new memoir, "In the Arms of God: A Testimonial" (published by WestBow Press), Delk shares his experiences to showcase how God truly does work in mysterious ways.


"In the Arms of God" traces Delk's life from childhood to the present. The fifth child in a family of nine children, Delk enlisted in the Air Force and served during the Korean War. When he returned, he earned a J.D. from the University of Iowa and practiced law for 32 years before getting an MBA. When he retired, he and his wife moved to Arkansas.


Throughout these events, Delk says that in order to save his life or change his direction, God intervened in his life. In one example, Delk's physician, who usually prescribed pain medication for regular pains, changed his usual routine and ordered an x-ray on Delk's lower back. The x-ray found an aortic aneurism.


This event inspired Delk to look back on his other life experiences and see God' work. Through his book, Delk hopes to illustrate that God is present and relevant to daily life. He also hopes to encourage readers to examine how God has affected their own lives.


"In the Arms of God"

By Ira E. "Ed" Delk

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 52 pages | ISBN 9781490881805

E-Book | 52 pages | ISBN 9781490881799

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Ira E. "Ed" Delk served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He practiced law for 32 years in Sioux City, Iowa, and earned an MBA. He retired as senior vice president and general counsel of Midwest Energy Company. He has previously published "The Second Time Around," "Tess's Tale," "Deadman's Run," "The Plight of the Common Man" and "The View from the Hilltop." More information is available at


and follow @westbowpress on Twitter.


Comptroller moves forward with paying state employees

CHICAGO - Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Thursday in response to a Circuit Court verbal order authorizing her office to process state payroll:

"Today's Court ruling gives my office the authorization it needs to begin processing payroll for all state employees. It is a welcome development that advances my goal of complying with federal mandate and doing everything in my power under law to compensate workers for the services they are already providing the state. It also ensures that Illinois will rightly continue to pay those who are on the front line in assisting our most vulnerable residents. While there will most certainly be additional legal action, I am confident that the Court will ultimately determine that paying state employees for their work is the right, and legal, thing to do."


The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 218-208 in favor of Trade Promotion Authority, the process seen as necessary for entering new trade agreements, including the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership.  The vote sends the proposal back to the Senate for consideration.  Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the vote.

"A Des Moines Register editorial said, 'The value of open markets is well understood in Iowa.'  What's less understood to all of us who support free trade and the good-paying jobs that exports make possible is the opposition to a process.  Trade Promotion Authority is only a process.  It leaves the decision on whether to vote up or down on any trade agreement to Congress.  If we don't like a trade agreement, we don't have to vote for it.  It's as simple as that.  I'm looking forward to voting in favor of Trade Promotion Authority again."

Two opportunities to attend this not-to-be-missed presentation


DAVENPORT, IA (June 18, 2015) - Senior Star at Elmore Place is pleased to host national speaker and author, Jolene Brackey, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1 at 4500 Elmore Avenue.

Eager to help those in an Alzheimer's caregiving role navigate the journey and challenges they face each day, Brackey established the company, Enhanced Moments.  Her presentation, "Creating Moments of Joy" delivers a message of hope and encouragement, along with generous doses of humor that has been warmly embraced by family members and professional caregivers alike.  Attendees will be inspired to look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease and focus more energy on creating moments of joy.

Brackey's presentation parallels Senior Star's trademarked Purposeful Moments®philosophy which is inherent to their mission of providing a community lifestyle that inspires people to embrace senior living.  "Our residents are here because we are more than caregivers ... we are caregivers to the human spirit," said Marc Strohschein, executive director of Senior Star at Elmore Place.  "Assisting our residents in fulfilling their desire for a sense of purpose influences everything we do.  Bringing in speakers such as Jolene also reinforces our internal programs that support caregivers' needs."

Quad City community members are encouraged to attend this uplifting presentation filled with practical advice.  In addition to Brackey's insights, Senior Star associates will also be available for personal discussions with anyone who wants to see how the retirement community is designed to create those Purposeful Moments® in daily life for its residents.

Both events are free to the public.  Refreshments will be served at the June 30 presentation and lunch will be provided for those attending on July 1.  Please call 563.359.0100 by June 28 to reserve your spot today and indicate which presentation you would like to attend.

For more information about Senior Star at Elmore Place or to schedule a tour, call 563.359.0100 or visit the website at

About Senior Star at Elmore Place

Senior Star at Elmore Place, a Senior Star community, features 236 modernly decorated apartments spanning across 20 acres of beautifully landscaped property with many customized amenities to offer its residents three distinctive living experiences:  independent living, assisted living and memory care.  For more information, visit


Wanda Reu pens story of acceptance, respect between English family, Arabian servant

DONNELLSON, Iowa - From the wetlands of Louisiana to the hot sands of Saudi Arabia, author Wanda Reu's new historical novel places readers "Between Two Worlds" (published by AuthorHouse).

Reu's fascination with Louisiana's culture and people began when her uncle brought back stories of living in the southern state. Now, Reu uses this interest in Louisiana's rich culture to create a fictional story about two families - worlds apart - whose lives are equally changed by each other's influences.

"I chose to write this book to reveal my concern about the complex, ever-existing problems that are part of our world scene today," Reu says. "I hope some fresh ideas are revealed that will challenge us to strive to do what we can to change our global situation."

In "Between Two Worlds," Bowregard Le Faye - a resident of the Lake Charles La Blue estate in Louisiana - meets his future wife Catherine after she decides to leave "boring old England" and seek adventure and success in New Orleans. Upon settling down in a house, the Le Fayes give birth to a son, James. James is introduced to one of the house servants - a young Arabian man named Abu - who teaches James about the culture, traditions and lifestyle of his native land.

As the two learn from each other, an unbreakable bond is created that fosters both young men's respect for their differences, ultimately inspiring James to one day live in Arabia himself.

"Between Two Worlds"

By Wanda Reu

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 578 pages | ISBN 9781496961648

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 578 pages | ISBN 9781496961631

E-Book | 578 pages | ISBN 9781496961624

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Wanda Reu was born and raised in Midwestern America. She grew up in a rural area, and her father was a tiller of the land and a guardian of the animals that helped provide income for his family. By the time Reu reached the sixth and seventh grades, it was nothing for her to read 100 books each winter. As an adult, she wondered what it would be like to write her own books. She loves historical dramas, mysteries, humorous stories and stories of faith. She also enjoys reading children's stories and has written a number of children's books. In the years since her retirement, she has enjoyed writing all sorts of stories and poetry.

. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.


Iowa House Hunt Initiative Showcases Homeownership Bonuses and Chance to win $5,000

DAVENPORT - The Iowa Finance Authority, the Iowa Association of Realtors and local lenders and Realtors announced a new initiative today, spurred by strong home sales. The program, aims to educate Iowans about all of the bonuses available to them when purchasing a home. One grand prize winner will win a $5,000 gift card.

"Homeownership is alive and well here in Iowa, where our housing market is solid. From January to June 2 this year, 14,620 homes have already been sold across the state," said Iowa Association of Realtors CEO Dave Bert.  "In May the number of sales climbed 5 percent and days on the market dropped 15 days from last year at this time."

The Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Association of Realtors have partnered to create the Iowa House Hunt campaign to educate buyers about affordable mortgages, down payment assistance, including a special program for military service members, federal tax credits of up to $2,000 each year, Iowa Title Guaranty and much more.

"Iowa's housing market is strong and we want to ensure all buyers are armed with the knowledge of all of the resources available to them," said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. "I encourage all Iowans to visit to review the programs available and enter for a chance to win the grand prize."

The Iowa House Hunt campaign asks any Iowan to visit to learn more about these bonuses by watching a series of seven short videos. Each video watched on the web site provides a chance to win the grand prize of a $5,000 gift card. Each entrant can win up to seven chances to win! The grand prize winner will be drawn randomly on September 4.

"U.S. Bank Home Mortgage assisted 92 home buyers through Iowa Finance Authority programs last year and our staff looks forward to helping many more Iowans discover the many bonuses available to them this summer," said Rick DeLeon of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage. 

"Now is a great time to buy," said Deanna Seibel with Mel Foster Co. "I'm excited to promote this fun opportunity to my buyers for a chance to win $5,000, which will be useful in any new home."

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The Riverboat Development Authority has awarded a $30,000.00 grant to Churches United, in support of its Hunger Program the Quad City Area.  We are especially grateful for this very kind and generous grant.  This gift will greatly benefit those who hunger in our area.

Churches United has a 53-year history of reaching out to our community.  Its 134 member churches represent 50,000 people from the Quad City Area.  As well as 26 food pantries and 3 hot meal sites, Churches United also operates Winnie's Place, a shelter for women (with or without children) who are homeless and/or victims of domestic violence.  For information about services offered, or ways to support Churches United, call 563-332-5002, or visit our website at


The Scott County Regional Authority has awarded Churches United of the Quad City Area a grant in the amount of $5,000.00 to be utilized for a technical filter upgrade to our computer system, which will certainly aide us in helping those in need through our Hunger and Shelter ministries.

We are extremely grateful to the Scott County Regional Authority for its support in this endeavor.

Churches United has a 53-year history of reaching out to our community.  Its 136 member churches represent 50,000 people from the Quad City Area.  As well as Winnie's Place, a shelter for women (with or without children) who are homeless and/or victims of domestic violence, Churches United operates 26 food pantries and 3 hot meal sites in the Quad City Area.  For information about services offered, or ways to support Churches United, call 563-332-5002, or visit our website at


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement regarding Senate passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation:

"Today the Senate helped move America closer to securing responsible agreements that open markets for America's farmers, ranchers and agribusiness and create jobs and improve wages across the country. Over 70 organizations representing America's farmers and ranchers, and past secretaries of agriculture in both parties dating back to the Carter Administration all support trade promotion authority because export sales are vital for U.S. agriculture. Last year, agricultural exports totaled more than $150 billion and for many of our products, foreign markets represent half or more of total sales. Those exports supported approximately 1 million U.S. jobs last year. The economy is strengthened and better paying jobs are created in rural America and communities throughout the country by the additional economic activity that flows from expanded farm and food businesses.

"Standing still is not an option. Our farmers and ranchers face exorbitant tariffs and others barriers in important foreign markets, and if we do not act to maintain and gain market share in these places, our competitors will. U.S. agriculture's interests are best served by ensuring America is at the table with strong negotiating authority."