Handwriting analysis will show what handwriting reveals about the writer and German script at the German American Heritage Center Museum in Davenport on Sunday, April 11 at 2 p.m.

DAVENPORT, IOWA (April 6, 2010) What does your handwriting say about you? Join handwriting analysis Giles Weigandt as he explores how a sample of handwriting reveals more about the writer than just the level of haste in which the writing was done. In addition, German Gothic script will be discussed. This presentation, "What Your Handwriting Reveals About You & A Look at Gothic Script" will be held Sunday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m. The program is free for members and free with museum admission for nonmembers.

In addition to the presentation visitors can explore the museum's 4,000 square feet of permanent and special exhibits. Visitors will enjoy an interactive experience as they learn about immigrants' journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sundays from noon - 4 p.m. Admission is as follows: Adults: $5; Seniors: $4; Children: $3 (5 - 17 years old); Family: $12; Free for children under 5; and free for museum members.

Visit the museum's website at www.gahc.org and find them on facebook. The German American Heritage Center is located at the foot of Centennial Bridge at 712 West Second Street, Davenport, Iowa. For more information call 563-322-8844.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Iowa will receive more than $18 million to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"When a school continues to perform in the bottom five percent of the state and isn't showing signs of growth or has graduation rates below 60 percent, something dramatic needs to be done," said Duncan. "Turning around our worst performing schools is difficult for everyone but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids."
The $18,710,222 made available to Iowa is being distributed by formula to the state and will then be competed out by the state to school districts. In order for a school district to apply for these funds, it must have a state-identified "persistently lowest achieving" or a Tier III school -- a school that has failed to meet annual yearly progress for two years and is not identified as a persistently lowest achieving school.
However, Tier III schools can only receive funds once all of the state's persistently lowest achieving schools have received funds. Iowa's application, which includes its list of persistently lowest achieving schools, as defined by the state, can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/summary/index.html.
School districts will apply to the state for the funds this spring. When school districts apply, they must indicate that they will implement one of the following four models in their persistently lowest achieving schools:
  • TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
  • RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
  • SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
Once schools receive SIG funds, they will be able to begin to spend them immediately to turn around schools this fall. States may apply to the Education Department for a waiver to allow them to spend funds over a three-year period. An additional $545,633,000 has been provided for SIG in 2010 and will be awarded to states to fund additional schools in the 2011-12 school year. The department has also made a request for an additional $900 million for the program in the 2011 budget.

    Davenport Parks and Recreation Presents:

    Roosevelt Community Center - Senior Club Membership Drive

    Friday, April 9th, 2010

    Davenport, IA, April 6th, 2010: Davenport Parks and Recreation's Roosevelt Community Center- Senior Club would like to invite all seniors and their families to the Roosevelt Center on Friday, April 9th from 5-7 PM for a sloppy joe supper and membership drive.  This event will offer a "taste" of what the center has to offer.  Event includes free tours of the new weight room, programmers that work in the center will be present to talk about their classes, Davenport Parks and Recreation's Mobile Playground will be onsite with activities for all to enjoy, and don't forget to stop by the senior room to participate in a cake walk for $.50.

    The Senior Club meets at Davenport Parks and Recreation's Roosevelt Community Center:

    The cost for the supper is $3 and will include a sloppy joe or hot dog, chips, veggie and dip and a drink. All additional activities are FREE!

    Mondays and Fridays from 9-10am

    Tuesdays/ Wednesdays/ Thursdays from 9am - Noon.

    The seniors enjoy daily exercise activities, guest speakers, games, environmental programming, tours and social time.  Join us Friday to learn more!!!

In 1979, the game Trivial Pursuit was created by Canadian Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press, and Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette. They created the game when they could not find all the pieces to their Scrabble game. Trivial Pursuit was released in 1982 and has been popular ever since.

This is a good example of trivia. Trivia can be defined as information of little importance. However, to those who enjoy trivia, it can be an exciting, fun, and competitive cranial exercise.

On Saturday, April 17th beginning at 7pm, Camp Courageous will host its 3rd Annual Trivia Night. The event will be held at the comfortable and atmospheric top floor of the Sill Barn at the camp located at 12007 190th St., Monticello, IA 52310. Participants can come as a group of 5-8 participants or come solo and join a group when you arrive. The cost of $10 per person is a donation to the non-profit, year round camp for people of all ages with disabilities.

Prizes will be given for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Door prizes and other games will also be played. Snacks will be available or you can bring  your own.

To reserve a table for a team or find out more contact Amatullah Richard, 319-465-5916 or amatullahrichard@yahoo.com. There is a limited amount of space so please RSVP.

Camp Courageous is an alcohol and tobacco-fee environment.

Monday, April 5, 2010

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley is asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services to account for the fact that the agency that runs Medicare failed to respond for over a year to credible information about fraudulent pharmacies bilking Medicare.

The pharmacies in question included empty store fronts that successfully billed millions of dollars to private insurers, where they were identified, yet Medicare officials completely ignored the warnings, despite repeated warnings.

"Every Medicare dollar that's lost to fraud is a tax dollar wasted and a dollar that doesn't go to serve Medicare beneficiaries, as intended," Grassley said.

Here is Grassley's letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This information comes on top of Inspector General reports last year about the Department's repeated failure to respond to formal reports about programmatic flaws that led to Medicare fraud, waste and abuse.

Conservative estimates say that at least $60 billion in Medicare dollars are lost every year to fraud, waste and abuse.  Earlier this year, Grassley introduced a comprehensive bill, the Strengthening Program Integrity and Accountability in Health Care Act, to combat this loss in federal health programs including Medicare.  It includes better screening requirements to keep fraudulent providers out of Medicare, as well as a stop-gap to prevent the federal government from paying first and asking questions later about whether claims for payment are legitimate.


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) decision to award $2,712,118 in disaster relief funds to Iowa, and to provide an $18.9 million loan to construct a 19-bed critical access hospital in Clarinda.  The funding was competitively awarded through the USDA's Rural Development Community Facilities Program, and goes to parts of the state that have been declared national disaster areas by President Obama.  As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations committee, Harkin worked to help appropriate these funds.

"2008 is still fresh in the minds of thousands of Iowans whose communities were damaged by floods and storms," Harkin said. "These funds will help communities recover, increase disaster readiness and improve medical care.  I congratulate those who went through the competitive application process to receive these funds, and hope this gives our rural areas some much needed relief."

(Kansas City, Kan., April 6, 2010) - Proposals for Wetland Program Development grants to develop effective, comprehensive programs for wetland protection and management will be accepted through May 20, 2010, from states, tribes and local governments.

EPA Region 7 anticipates $1,176,000 in federal funding to be available to fund approximately three to six awards. Awards will likely range from $100,000 to $500,000.

Parties interested in applying for the grants may contact Mandy Whitsitt, EPA Region 7, at whitsitt.mandy@epa.gov, or by calling (913) 551-7311, or toll-free, (800) 223-0425.

Proposals should be mailed to Mandy Whitsitt, Watershed Planning and Implementation Branch, Affairs, EPA Region 7, 901 N. 5th St., Kansas City, KS 66101. They must be received by

5 p.m. (CST) May 20. Proposals received after the due date will not be considered.

# # #

Grant application materials are available at: http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/pdf/epa_r7wwpd_10_002.pdf

Learn more about the Wetland Program Development Grants: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines/

Monday, April 5, 2010

Senator Chuck Grassley today made the following comment regarding the release of the first report on the President's Executive Order on Ethics.

On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order that prohibited former lobbyists from serving in his Administration, or recuse themselves from work they did as a lobbyist.  However, the Executive Order included a loophole that allowed former lobbyists to obtain a waiver or recusal allowing them to circumvent the revolving door ban.  White House staff said the use of the waiver or recusal would be limited and transparent.  After questions from Grassley, White House staff said that the waivers and recusals for lobbyists would be in a year-end report from the Office of Government Ethics.

A copy of the report can be found on the Office of Government Ethics' website:  http://www.usoge.gov/directors_corner/reports/rpt_exorder13490.pdf .

Here is Grassley's statement.

"This administration's promise that lobbyists would not have a place in the executive branch is losing credibility.  The report from the Office of Government Ethics shed some sunlight on how many lobbyists were appointed, contradicts the prior statements that lobbyists weren't welcome in the administration, and outlines that the administration has welcomed lobbyists through waiver, recusal and even no check at all.  It's this type of double-talk that breeds cynicism and distrust at the grassroots."

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 - Senator Chuck Grassley recently met with Jonathan Daters of Eldridge in Washington, D.C.

Daters, a junior at North Scott High School, was in Washington, D.C. attending the National Youth Leadership Conference.  The conference provides opportunities for students to discuss issues with private and public sector leaders, meet members of Congress and visit Washington's historical landmarks.  During their visit, students take part in group discussion and decision-making exercises to further prepare themselves for leadership roles.

Grassley discussed the opportunity that students have to intern in one of his offices.  "Being an intern is a valuable experience that allows students to get an inside look at politics and become more involved in representative government."

"It was great to meet with Jonathan," Grassley said.  "I enjoyed hearing his views and answering his questions about government.  During his time in Washington, he received a first-hand look at the federal government in action.  I'm glad Jonathan was able to see some of my day-to-day activities."

Meeting with young people has been a priority for Grassley throughout his career in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  He enjoys meeting with nearly 60 groups of students every year.  To schedule a meeting with Grassley, visit http://grassley.senate.gov and click on Scheduling Requests under the Info for Iowans tab.


Ronald Wilson of Bettendorf has been selected as a winner in Monsanto's America's Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM Project, which gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite non-profit organizations in each of Iowa's 99 counties. Wilson has designated the North Scott FFA, located in Eldridge to receive the award in Scott County. A special check ceremony will take place during the North Scott FFA Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Media are invited to attend.  Interview and photo opportunities available.

WHEN:             Thursday, April 8

6 p.m. - Banquet

7 p.m. - Awards Ceremony

WHERE:           North Scott High School

200 S. 1st Street

Eldridge, IA 52748

Overview:  The America's Farmers Grow Communities Project was offered throughout Iowa and in parts of Missouri and Arkansas. It is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto Company to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by helping them grow their local communities. More than 7,500 farmers participated in the program, which is designed to benefit non-profit groups such as ag youth, schools and other civic organizations. For more information, visit www.growcommunities.com.