Dog bite prevention tips

CHICAGO ? Fifty-four Chicago U.S. Postal Service letter carriers were among the 2,863 postal employees attacked by dogs last year, yet that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans bitten annually ? the majority of whom were children.

According to the City of Chicago's Commission on Animal Care and Control, nearly 2,000 Chicagoans are bitten annually. Fortunately, dog bites are preventable through training, proper control of dogs and education.

These statistics are part of the reason the Postal Service recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, an annual event designed to provide consumers with information on how to be responsible pet owners while increasing awareness of a public health issue.

"We often hear two tall tales at the Postal Service ? 'the check's in the mail,' and 'don't worry, my dog won't bite'," said Delores Killette, Postal Service vice president and Consumer Advocate. "Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Working with animal behavior experts, we've developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership."

To spread the word that dog bites are preventable, the Postal Service is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Other organizations include the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS) the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) and Prevent The Bite.

"Warm and wonderful relationships are shared between more than 72 million pet dogs and their owners in the United States," said Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA's Animal Welfare Division. "To protect those relationships, everyone must take responsibility for preventing dog bite injuries."

"Any dog can bite," Golab added. "Even the gentlest dog, if it is physically or mentally unhealthy, is in pain, feels threatened, or is protecting its food or a favorite toy, can bite. Not only is it important to understand how dogs behave, it is important to understand how our behavior may be interpreted by a dog. To prevent dog bites, we need to find a common language. Finding that common language is the focus of effective dog bite prevention educational efforts."

"Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they're high school seniors," said Dr. Alison Tothy, chair of the committee on injury and poison prevention of AAP's Illinois chapter. "It's so important for parents to supervise young children around dogs at all times, and it's just as important for children to be taught from an early age how to keep from being bitten."

Plastic surgeon Loren Schechter of Morton Grove, IL, knows all too well how devastating injuries from dog attacks can be. "More than 30,000 reconstructive procedures after dog bites were performed last year, up eight percent since 2008. Unfortunately, many of these surgeries were performed on children," said Schechter, member of the ASPS, ASRM and ASMS. "Children are frequently bitten on the face, which can result in severe lacerations, infection or scarring."

Kelly Voigt, 18, was the victim of a savage dog attack when she was seven years old, and needed 100 stitches to her face as part of her recovery.
"Dog bite prevention education cannot begin early enough," said Voigt. The experience was the catalyst behind the creation of Prevent The Bite, a non-profit organization that promotes dog bite prevention to young children. To date, Voigt has spoken before more than 10,000 elementary school students.

To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA developed a brochure, "What you should know about dog bite prevention," offering tips on how to avoid being bitten, what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting and how to treat dog bites.

Tips include :  Pick a dog that is a good match for your home, consult your veterinarian for details, socialize your pet and  avoid aggressive games with your pet. To access the brochure online, visit

The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. Letter carriers fearing for their safety due to a loose or unrestrained pet may curtail delivery and ask homeowners to pick up their mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet is restrained. In cases where carriers see the dog roaming, delivery could be curtailed to the neighborhood.

The Postal Service offers these tips as well:

How to Avoid Being Bitten
  • Don't run past a dog. The dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
  • If a dog threatens you, don't scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
  • Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tethered or confined.
  • While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
  • If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
  • Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs.
  • When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room.
  • Don't let your child take mail from the carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog's instinct is to protect the family.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite.
  • Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.

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WHEN: Wednesday JUNE 2, 2010


2103 West Third Street

Davenport, IA

Phone: 563-322-2959

TIME: 6:30 p.m.

An evening of ministering to the hurting in our community.

Everyone welcome!

A community comes together to support Family Literacy Program

(Rock Island, IL)  With the recent influx of immigrants, many children and families are struggling to understand the new culture and language.  But thanks to many community partners coming together sharing resources, families from nine different countries speaking six different languages are learning English and nineteen community partners supporting them.

A news event highlighting the first year's success of the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy Program is being held Thursday, May 20th at 11:00 am at the Church of Peace (1114 12th Street in Rock Island) in the Fellowship Hall.   The program began with three families in the fall and at year's end there are now over forty adult students and 25 pre-school children participating.

Attending the news conference will be Rock Island Mayor, Dennis Pauley, Rock Island Schools Superintendent, Mike Oberhaus, the former Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, Joe Vermeire, as well as representatives from the various community partners who are the backbone of this program.  The teachers and the families involved in the program will also be available for interviews.

The program is from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the Church of Peace.  A typical day at the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy program consists of English as a Second Language tutoring, lunch and activities with their children, parenting and life skills, and computer and library skills training.


Scott County Republicans will be hosting a forum / debate for the two candidates vying in the June 8th primary to emerge as the Republican nominee for the First District Congressional race against incumbent Bruce Braley. The two candidates are Will Johnson from Dubuque and Ben Lange from Independence.

The forum / debate will take place in the Bettendorf High School auditorium on Tuesday, May 18 at 7 o'clock in the evening. The event is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

The program involves a series of questions of a topical nature allowing the candidates to both express their views and challenge and differentiate their views from those of their opponents.

Each candidate's contact information is available at the following:

Will Johnson:

Ben Lange:

Scott County Republican Chairman Judy Davidson has stated in advance of the event: "We are looking forward to a spirited presentation by the candidates and are confident a strong contender will emerge from the primary to challenge Bruce Braley."

Scott County Republican Party contact information: Judy Davidson, Chairwoman

563-355-8887, or 

Over $13 Million Available to Local Governments

SPRINGFIELD - May 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the availability of $13.1 million in federal stimulus funds through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program to help local governments with populations under 35,000 implement energy efficiency and conservation efforts.

"The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program is a great example of how we're using our investments in the green industry to grow our economy and create jobs, while creating a more sustainable living environment," said Governor Quinn.

The competitive grant program is being made available through the State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and will be administered by the Illinois Association of Regional Planning Councils (ILARC). Applications must be submitted to the ILARC by June 11.

Federal EECBG program dollars have been allocated by population to regional planning agencies, to serve cities and counties not entitled to direct grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Each regional agency will provide a local Request for Application (RFA) for the program to interested grantees, tailored to that region's needs. Possible projects, depending on region, include creation of a strategic energy plan, residential and commercial building audits, energy retrofits, or purchasing hybrid, electric or alternative-fueled vehicles.

"These stimulus grants will help small and medium size cities throughout the state invest in energy solutions that are clean, reliable and affordable while creating needed green sector jobs," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley.

To find out which categories are available in your area, find your regional planning agency online at

The regional councils and planning commissions in the ILARC membership were created to study regional conditions and needs, and develop strategies which enhance each region's communities. They provide advocacy, planning, technical assistance and project development in areas such as community development, transportation, housing, land use, energy efficiency, sold waste and natural resources.

For more information about the state's energy efforts, please visit the Illinois Energy Office Web site at


Deputy General Counsel John Schomberg Gets Top Legal Post

CHICAGO - May 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Deputy General Counsel John Schomberg as Acting General Counsel for the Office of the Governor effective May 21. Schomberg is replacing General Counsel Theodore T. Chung, who is returning to private practice.
"John Schomberg is an essential member of my office's legal team, and I look forward to working with him as Acting General Counsel," said Governor Quinn. "In addition, I want to thank Ted Chung for all he's accomplished as General Counsel and wish him every success in the future."
Schomberg has been with the Office of the Governor since 2009, when he was hired as Deputy General Counsel. During his tenure, Schomberg has been involved with the major issues the Governor's legal team has managed and worked on.
Prior to joining the Office of the Governor, Schomberg, 37, was an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the City of Chicago Department of Law and an Associate at Chicago-based Mayer Brown LLP (see attached background information).
Before being named General Counsel to Governor Quinn in February 2009, Chung, 43, served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Chicago Mayor's Office, the First Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City's Law Department, and a partner at a private firm in Chicago.

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 17, 2010 – The representative group for the Iowans who employ more people and generate more jobs today named a new state director. In selecting Kristin Kunert, the National Federation of Independent Business has chosen someone who brings to the job that vital blend of skills all associations need in this modern era, according to Dave Brasher, NFIB's regional state public policy director.

"The speed at which information travels in our hyper-communicative age, and the much greater transparency and public accountability of official proceedings, have required a variety of talents from people representing associations such as ours," said Brasher, "and I'm delighted we found them all in Kristin Kunert. She brings a mix of legal, policy, lobbying, and communications experience that will supremely aid our members."

Prior to joining NFIB, Kunert had been director of government relations for the Iowa Telecommunications Association for three years. Along her professional path, she has been an assistant general counsel for West Bank and a research analyst for the Iowa House Republican Caucus.

A native Iowan, Kunert was born in Dubuque. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1997 with a double major in journalism and English, she took a job with the Temerlin/McClain advertising agency in Dallas and worked numerous states for one of its major clients, American Airlines.

After returning home, Kunert attended Drake University to study law and graduated with her J.D. Degree in 2004 and passed the Iowa Bar Association that same year. Kunert's husband, Mitch, is also an attorney, and together with their two children make their home in Ankeny.

For NFIB/Iowa she will direct its lobbying, public affairs, and political operations, as well as member requests.


Is there educational value in your Saturday night trip to the cinema?  Though some may hesitate to admit it, films are a significant influence on today's students and compete with books as the primary mode of storytelling.  In today's society, how often does anyone sit still and focus on one thing for two full hours?  That's part of the magic of film! Film can be a powerful educational tool - bringing to life characters, settings, and events that can seem very foreign and remote from a student's world.   Films tell stories in images, color, movement, sound, and light - going immediately to the senses.  For this reason, it can be argued that students register a stronger emotional intensity from film than from text.  The same skills a reader can be taught to bring to a written text are those that a viewer can be taught to bring to a visual text - exploring details of character, theme, plot, mood, conflict, and symbolism.

Local students at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf will be "locked-in" overnight and immersed in the educational value of film on Saturday, May 22nd.  Students in grades 9-12 will gather in the auditorium on the Rivermont campus to view Academy Award winners and nominees including Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Sherlock Holmes, Crazy Heart, and Young Victoria.  To enhance the educational value of the evening and avoid distractions - all cell phones and electronic devices will be confiscated!  Though the value of books and the written text cannot be denied, these students plan to absorb the lessons offered by the best in directing, editing, visual effects, writing, and costume design - and have a little fun, of course!

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Cindy Murray at(563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only private, independent, non-sectarian PS-12th grade college preparatory school.  Visit us online at!


Law Follows Superintendent's Indictment on Public Corruption Charges

CHICAGO - May 16, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation into law that eliminates the Suburban Cook Country Regional Office of Education in the aftermath of its superintendent being arrested and indicted on 16 counts of official misconduct, theft and misapplication of funds.

"When it comes to the vital task of educating our children, we can never tolerate any doubts about the ethics and practices of public servants," said Governor Quinn. "In this situation, the new law will put to rest any concerns taxpayers have about the operations of the Suburban Cook Country Regional Office of Education, while enabling the system to move forward."

The legislation (House Bill 16) closes the Suburban Cook Country Regional Office of Education and transfers its responsibilities to three intermediate service centers throughout suburban Cook County. Those responsibilities include : processing teacher certifications; providing bus driver training; and performing background checks on employees. The office was the largest of its type in Illinois and served more than 140 school districts and approximately 25,000 teachers.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) and Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest). It goes into effect on July 1.

The legislation was spurred by the January 16 arrest and indictment of Suburban Cook Country Regional Office of Education Superintendent Charles Flowers on 16 counts of official misconduct, theft and misapplication of funds. The indictment alleges that, in the span of two years, Flowers skimmed nearly $400,000 from the office. In March, Flowers pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On May 7, Flowers resigned as superintendent and agreed to be relieved of his administrative certificates for the next four years, preventing him from holding any administrative positions in Illinois public schools. The agreement was approved by the Illinois State Teacher Certification Board. If convicted of a felony, Flowers will permanently lose his teaching and administrative licenses in Illinois.


Presents Medals at Annual Hines Wheelchair Games

MAYWOOD, IL - May 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today honored local veterans for their service and sacrifice at the 30th annual Hines Wheelchair Games at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Governor Quinn's visit was part of the 60th Armed Forces Day, a day set aside to recognize the men and women fighting to preserve democracy.

"On this day, and every day, we proudly salute the brave men and women of the armed forces who served our county," said Governor Quinn. "And during this sixtieth observance of Armed Forces Day, I am especially honored to present awards to our wounded heroes, who served on the frontlines and deserve our unwavering and grateful support."

Governor Quinn joined more than 50 wheelchair veteran-athletes who participated in the day's activities, which included wheelchair tennis, basketball, horseshoes, bowling and air rifles, among other events. During the surprise visit, Governor Quinn presented medals to winners of individual races.

"These veteran-athletes, wounded while serving their country, show us the strength of the human spirit and the will to succeed and serve," said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Dan Grant. "As a fellow veteran, I'm proud to be here on Armed Forces Day to honor the service of today's participants and all veterans."

On August 31, 1949, U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to honor Americans serving in five military branches: the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force.

President Harry S. Truman then proclaimed that Armed Forces Day would be observed every third Saturday in May. The first Armed Services Day was observed on May 20, 1950 "to praise the work of the military services at home and across the seas," said President Truman.