WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2015 - On Jan. 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will honor Bob Stallman's tenure as President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will proclaim Jan. 6, Bob Stallman Appreciation Day, presenting the honoree with an official proclamation in recognition of Stallman's commitment to strengthening rural American families and communities.

Stallman, a recognized champion of agriculture, has served as President of the American Farm Bureau Federation for 16 years, tirelessly supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers as they help feed the world, protect and preserve the environment, provide jobs, and contribute to the nation's economy.

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will proclaim Jan. 6, Bob Stallman Appreciation Day.


WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016

10 a.m. EST

WHERE: U.S. Department of Agriculture - Whitten Patio

1400 Jefferson Ave SW, Washington, D.C.

For questions, please email gwen.sparks@oc.usda.gov.



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) released the following statement today after the President signed S. 1461 into law. Loebsack joined with Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) to introduce the House version of the legislation, which prevents Medicare's enforcement of unreasonable and inflexible direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small, rural hospitals. This legislation was introduced this summer, passed the House and Senate this fall and was signed into law on December 18th.

"I am pleased that the President has signed this important legislation into law to ensure all Iowans have access to high-quality health care no matter where they live," said Congressman Loebsack. "Critical Access Hospitals play an important role in rural communities by providing access to primary, emergency, and acute care services. I have visited multiple CAHs across my District that have struggled to meet the direct supervision requirement, and by becoming law, this legislation will provide them with certainty that they deserve."

Item to Note:

·       There are 1,332 CAHs across the country, 82 in Iowa.

Examples of direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services: 

·       Application of cast to a finger

·       Blood transfusions

·       Application of a splint to a finger

·       Demonstration and/or evaluation of a patient utilizing a nebulizer or metered dose inhaler

·       Alcohol and/or substance abuse (other than tobacco) structured assessment and brief intervention (such as advising of health risks and counseling for 15-30 mins)

·       Pulmonary rehabilitation, including exercise of one hour per session - up to two sessions per day


Repudiation Comes As President Leaves Paris, Heartland Arrives for COP-21

Within days of President Barack Obama's speech at the COP-21 climate conference, House lawmakers voted to repeal key aspects of the administration's climate change platform, the Clean Power Plan. The regulations are intended to limit the amount of carbon emissions from new and existing power plants.

The Heartland Institute arrived in Paris today for COP-21, the United Nations climate conference - a meeting press and world leaders are calling the last chance to "solve" the global warming crisis. The contingent of climate realists led by Heartland will be there for a week to prove with globally accepted scientific data that there is no human-caused global warming crisis to solve.

A day-long program on Monday, December 7 - called the "Day of Examining the Data" - will be held in the San Francisco Room at the Hotel California, 16 Rue de Berri, 75008 Paris, France. The program begins with a press conference at 9:00 a.m. CET, followed by panel presentations and a keynote luncheon address. Presenters will make the compelling case that an objective examination of the latest climate science shows humans are not causing a global warming crisis, and the United Nations' plans to restrict fossil fuel use in emerging economies will keep the world's poor from rising out of poverty.

The event is open to the public. Credentialed media should RSVP by contacting Heartland Institute Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org or 312/731-9364.

The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute - a free-market think tank - may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Donald Kendal, new media specialist, The Heartland Institute, at dkendal@heartland.org or 312/377-4000.

"The House is to be applauded for following the Senate's lead in exercising their authority under the Congressional Review Act to block the Obama administration's costly, ineffective Clean Power Plan regulations. The administration has admitted the CPP will do nothing to prevent rising temperatures or sea levels. And every independent analysis conducted thus far shows the rules will raise energy prices substantially, leaving people and businesses with less income, resulting in lower economic growth and higher unemployment - and, because higher energy prices hurt the poor the most, increased poverty.

"Because President Obama has promised to veto the resolutions should they reach his desk, Congress's action is largely symbolic - but it's a powerful symbol, showing world leaders gathered at the United Nations climate summit in Paris the president's ability to follow through on any commitments the U.S. makes in Paris to enact meaningful domestic climate legislation is sharply limited. By acting now, forcing a presidential veto in the midst of climate negotiations in Paris, the House has reinforced the message to Paris climate negotiators Congress does not back the president's climate pledges."

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment and Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

(DES MOINES) - Gov. Branstad today joined twenty-seven other governors from around the United States in calling on President Obama to pause his plan to resettle Syrian refugees until further improvements can be made to the vetting process.

In the letter, the governors express serious concerns about recent comments made by Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey in which he admitted that the U.S. does not have the capacity to adequately screen all Syrian refugees who attempt to enter the U.S..

A copy of the letter can be found here.

SEIU Local 199 members: Clinton supports our movement to build a better future for working families

VIDEO: Watch SEIU members speak about why they support Hillary Clinton

IOWA CITY, IA?After members conducted a rigorous endorsement process for the past several months, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling her a leader who will stand up for the working moms and dads building a movement to secure a better future for their families.

"Hillary Clinton supports working people who are trying to provide a good life for their families," said Tim Martens, a high school head custodian in Dubuque. "She stands with us on the issues that matter to our families the most."

"The members of SEIU Local 199 are proud to support Hillary Clinton for president," said Cathy Glasson, SEIU Local 199 President. "We are concerned about the same things as people across the country: earning a fair wage for a fair day's work and the ability to take care of and provide a better life for our families. We cannot afford four years of policies that will hurt working families while lining the pockets of big corporations.

SEIU's national months-long member engagement process included a 1,200-member conference in March, three national tele-town hall meetings in which more than 80,000 members participated, three national member polls from the fall of 2014 through the fall of 2015 and more than 200 local executive board debates and discussions with thousands of local union officers and elected member-leaders.

Hillary Clinton will fight to raise wages and has stood up for the rights of workers to join together in a union.  She has spoken out in support of the Fight for $15 movement: on the movement's April 15 national day of action, during the New York wage board fight that resulted in $15 for all fast food workers in the state, for the $15 victories in Los Angeles city and county and again just last week, on Nov. 10, during the biggest day of action yet.


"As cleaners, we roll up our sleeves every day and get the job done without complaint. When Hillary Clinton is president, she will do the same. She will fight tirelessly for working families. I like that she is not running to prove a point, she is running to make our country better," said Pam Johnston, a cleaner, member of 32BJ SEIU in Pittsburgh and executive board member.


Once elected, Hillary Clinton will have the opportunity to address the epidemic of low wages and poor training standards for our nation's airport workers, who keep travelers safe and airports clean. "Airport jobs should be good jobs ? and together, we can make sure they are," she wrote to airport workers gathered at a national convention last month in Washington.

Clinton has recognized the value of care work in our nation, particularly the home care providers and child care teachers who help educate our future generations and allow our seniors and those with disabilities to live with dignity at home. In many places, these workers earn poverty wages with no sick or vacation time and few if any benefits. "One of the things I'm trying to do in this campaign is put raising wages at the center," Clinton said at an August roundtable meeting in Los Angeles with SEIU home care providers. "I think your skills deserve a lot more pay and benefits than what's currently being made available to you."

"Hillary Clinton understands that child care teachers need living wages and that the care has to be affordable for people," said Marites McLean, a child care provider and member of SEIU Local 509 in Massachusetts. "She gets it and she's going to do something about it."

Clinton is also a leader on the core issues SEIU members care about in this election, including fighting for commonsense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, standing up for voting rights and criminal justice reform that prioritizes ending mass incarceration and supporting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Clinton's commitment to quality, affordable healthcare goes back decades to her courageous efforts in 1994 to ensure coverage for all. SEIU members know she will fight hard to strengthen the ACA so we never go backward.

"I'm very excited about our endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president," said Ann Byrne, a member of SEIU Local 199 and registered nurse at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. "I'm going to caucus for her, door-knock for her and phone bank for her. As a nurse for 26 years, I know that Hillary Clinton will defend and strengthen the Affordable Care Act so our patients get the care they need."

"Hillary Clinton has proven she will fight, deliver and win for working families," said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. "SEIU members and working families across America are part of a growing movement to build a better future for their families, and Hillary Clinton will support and stand with them. This movement for economic, racial, immigrant and social justice is poised to turn out to vote in November with their families and communities and keep pushing elected officials to deliver once in office."

SEIU's 2 million members will join hands with community partners in a broad movement for economic, social, immigrant and racial justice. Along with the 64 million people who work at jobs paying poverty-level wages, they will be a powerful force during the 2016 elections. Hundreds of thousands of face-to-face and door-to-door contacts, millions of phone calls, robust digital engagement and other activities to get out the vote will counteract the efforts of billionaires and corporations to elect leaders who would answer only to the wealthy few.


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.

DES MOINES, Iowa, Nov. 4, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Presidential Candidates Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Mike Huckabee, and Governor Bobby Jindal will address National Religious Liberties Conference attendees on Nov. 6 at the Iowa Events Center. Freedom 2015 is a gathering of over 1,700 Christians celebrating the religious liberties codified into the founding of our country. Speakers and attendees alike will encourage those who have been persecuted for their religious beliefs and discuss religious liberties for Christian business owners, teachers, evangelists, chaplains, employees and churches. The conference is sponsored by over a dozen evangelical organizations including American Family Association, Liberty Institute, Samaritan Ministries and Generations.

"Despite the bedrock of religious liberty upon which this nation was founded, we've seen a marked erosion of these liberties over the past few years," explained Kevin Swanson, the conference organizer. "It's more than bakers being forced to make cakes they don't want to make and photographers forced to photograph weddings they don't want to attend or risk losing their family businesses. Last week, a high school football coach in Washington was suspended and threatened to be fired for praying privately." Swanson cited other issues including the Iowa newspaper editor who was fired last year for religious beliefs expressed in a personal blog and several years ago a public school official in Texas who was denied a promotion because she refused to remove her children from a private Christian school.

"We're thankful for presidential candidates who affirm religious liberties in our nation. We want to encourage Christians in their homes, churches and workplaces by helping them understand the freedoms that are theirs by the grace of God and by the law of the land," added Swanson.

In addition to the presidential candidates, conference speakers include :
  • Persecuted Christians David and Jason Benham, Richard & Betty Odgaard, SMSgt Phillip Monk, Aaron & Melissa Klein and Randy Pfaff
  • Religious freedom advocates Kelly Schackelford, Rafael Cruz, James Lansberry, Brigadier General Douglas Lee, USA (ret), Bob Vander Plaats, Bradley Pierce and Chuck Hurley
Conference speakers will address religious liberty in the military, medical care, parenting, education and the workplace.

Conference registration and livestreaming is available at Freedom2015.org. Media contact Blair Watkinson, Director of Media Relations, for more information: 720-778-1517 or media@freedom2015.org.
Wednesday, Nov. 11th
QCESC & ASM Society President's Reception & Hockey Night
Everyone is invited: Join us for a special evening combining our professional societies with professional hockey. This event provides a great opportunity for you to network in social setting, so invite your family, friends, co-workers, suppliers and customers.  Greg Smith from Davenport West High School will be providing a presentation on "FIRST Robotics 101".

If you are interested in regular updates on the Quad City Engineering and Science Council or getting involved, please consider following/joining us using: Facebook (QCESC), Twitter (@QCESC), LinkedIn, and the recently upgraded website at www.qcesc.org which includes a calendar of events & a volunteer page that is updated on-going with new volunteer opportunities.

DES MOINES -AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding AFSCME's endorsement of Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States:

"It's an exciting day for AFSCME members in Iowa, as our union proudly endorses Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States. Nobody will work harder for the working families of our state than Hillary Clinton. We all know the stakes for working families in 2016 couldn't be higher. Every day as I drive across the state talking with fellow Iowans, I hear the same thing: it's getting harder to get by because our economy is totally out of whack. We all see corporations and CEOs writing new rules that favor their bottom line, but make it harder for us to provide for our families."


Des Moines, Iowa – AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa, a Medicaid managed care health plan that will serve Iowa Medicaid beneficiaries as part of the state's new IA Health Link program beginning January 2016, today announced that it named Cheryl Harding as its market president. A longtime health care professional with more than 20 years of leadership in Iowa health, dental and life insurance companies, Harding brings to the team a significant understanding of and appreciation for Iowa health care issues.


Harding most recently served for eight years as chief operating officer for Delta Dental of Iowa, where she managed the company's government programs, strategic plan development and execution, finance, operations, technology and compliance areas, and served as secretary/treasurer of its foundation. Before joining Delta Dental in 2007, Harding served as vice president and controller for American Enterprise, a life and health insurance company. Harding is a board member and secretary/treasurer of the Iowa Health Foundation, as well as a board member of Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. She holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from The Ohio State University.


"Cheryl is an accomplished health care leader who shares our passion for serving Iowans who are most in need," said Russ Gianforcaro, regional president for AmeriHealth Caritas. "Cheryl has extensive experience in public insurance programs and trusted relationships across the state, both of which are critical to ensuring that AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa helps Iowa become an even healthier state."


The new IA Health Link program will serve the majority of Iowa's Medicaid population, or about 600,000 Iowans, through four managed care plans.


"IA Health Link is an innovative program that will enhance the quality of life for Iowans in greatest need," said Harding. "I'm excited to join AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa as its market president and lead our team as we work with our partners across the state to provide access to quality health care for all of our members."


For more information about the IA Health Link program, visit: http://dhs.iowa.gov/.

About AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa
AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa, part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, is one of four Medicaid managed care plans that will participate in IA Health Link beginning in January 2016. AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa will help Iowans get proper care and stay well, working with communities in need to achieve positive health outcomes throughout the state.


About AmeriHealth Caritas

AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation's leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 15 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves more than 6.9 million Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, behavioral health services and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.



Author Leonard V. Kalkwarf shares his experience visiting the official libraries of former presidents

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Author Leonard V. Kalkwarf shares the joy and passion he experienced visiting the 13 official presidential libraries in "Exploring the Libraries of the U.S. Presidents" (published by WestBow Press).

Kalkwarf states, "There are 13 official libraries of our US presidents and each one has a museum attached to it.  These, through posters, newspaper clippings, displays, relate the story of that particular presidency." These museums also include interesting information about their lives, for example, the museum and library of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois contains a replica of his boyhood cabin, which is smaller than most modern efficiency apartments.

Kalkwarf shares that people can learn a lot about U.S. history by visiting these libraries and museums. People can also learn a lot about the former presidents themselves by visiting the libraries and museums. He hopes to share his passion and enjoyment with readers. Lovers of U.S. history and the history of the presidents can take an in depth look into the libraries of presidents with this book.

"Exploring the Libraries of the U.S. Presidents"

By Leonard V. Kalkwarf

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 126 pages | ISBN 9781512711226

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 126 pages | ISBN 9781512711219

E-Book | 126 pages | ISBN 9781512711202

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Leonard V. Kalkwarf began his hobby of studying presidential history seriously when he retired. Since 2006, he and his wife, Beverly, have visited all 13 presidential libraries and have also visited historical sites associated with each of the former 43 U.S. presidents. Since January 2010, he has been a White House volunteer in the Presidential Correspondence Department. This is the sixth book that he has written.