Co-Hosted by The Grape Life (Davenport, Iowa) and Fred Astaire Quad Cities
Thursday July 15
At Fred Astaire Quad Cities Dance Studio
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. - Wine Tasting
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Introductory Dance Lesson
No partner required for the dance lesson or the wine tasting :)
Meet lots of new people and enjoy savoring the delightful tastes of exquisite red and white wines
Then learn to dance the Fred Astaire Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, Cha Cha, Rumba and Swing!
This lesson is designed for new dancers to get you up on a dance floor having fun and feeling comfortable!
Limited space available - Don't miss this one-time event!
Space limited to the first 50 people that register in advance
Waiting list thereafter. Registration / reservation strongly suggested
Only $20.00 per person for the entire evening!!
Call now to register
309-755-7871

More than 5,070 Iowa State University undergraduates have been recognized for outstanding academic achievement by being named to the 2010 spring semester Dean's List.  Students named to the Dean's List must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded course work.

Students from our local area who qualified for the Dean's List are listed below:

from Bettendorf:

  • Kristin Alexa Allen, Environmental Science (AGLS)
  • Rachel Marie Ashley, Dietetics (H SCI)
  • Andrea Lynne Baker, Architecture-Professional Degree
  • Ashley Marie Beck, Early Childhood Education
  • Maggie Elizabeth Beckman, Interior Design
  • Carolyn Elizabeth Bennie, Early Childhood Education
  • Jennifer Marie Blaser, Microbiology
  • Stephanie Ann Blaser, Food Science (H SCI
  • Jessica Marie Blaum, English
  • Kaitlin Janaye Bohn, Kinesiology and Health
  • Kimberly Ann Booe, Chemical Engineering
  • Stephanie Suzanne Booe, Advertising
  • Elizabeth C. Brebner, Psychology
  • Benjamin Alexander Britz, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sarah Anne Buck, Psychology
  • Brett T. Bueker, Kinesiology and Health
  • Joseph Stephen Byrnes, Physics
  • Dan Eric Candler, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jonathan A. Carlz, Computer Engineering
  • Brittney Corrine Carpio, Political Science
  • Daniel Norbert Congreve, Electrical Engineering
  • Danielle Lee Cook, Communication Studies
  • Jack Edward Cozad, Mathematics
  • Emily Marcene Doerder, Music
  • Jared Andrew Evans, Political Science
  • Daniel Lawrence Finnegan, Aerospace Engineering
  • Jennifer Ann Garter, Kinesiology and Health
  • Matthew Nicholas Gaul, Architecture-Professional Degree
  • Pierre Luc Gilles, Mechanical Engineering
  • Valerie Sylvie Gilles, Biology
  • Jiyeon Han, Preprofessional Health Programs
  • Jacob T. Hemberger, Chemical Engineering
  • ron Michael Hewitt, Integrated Studio Arts
  • Leah Elizabeth Hodgin, Elementary Education
  • Lindsay Jo Hoffman, Pre-Diet and Exercise (H SCI)
  • Stephanie D. B. Holloway, Veterinary Medicine
  • Bryce Phillip Johnson, Open Option (LAS)
  • Carolyn Anne Johnson, Animal Science
  • Megan Michelle Johnson, Kinesiology and Health
  • Abigail Marie Kline, Child, Adult, and Family Services
  • Deborah Nicole Kraft, Integrated Studio Arts
  • Stephanie Lynne Kraft, Spanish
  • Matthew Douglas Krajewski, Aerospace Engineering
  • Jason Carl Kruse, Architecture-Professional Degree
  • Elizabeth Ilene Larsen, Psychology
  • Jessica Marlo Madsen, Integrated Studio Arts
  • Molly Christine Madsen, Spanish
  • Elizabeth J. Martin, Elementary Education
  • Christopher P. Meadows, Mechanical Engineering
  • Spencer William Mesick, Biology
  • Brock Robert Mills, Psychology
  • Andrew Joseph Morse, Mechanical Engineering
  • Gordon Theodore Mueller, Mechanical Engineering
  • Stefan Juel Nitzschke, Management Information Systems
  • Catherine Erin Owens, Accounting
  • Rachel Ann Potthoff, Construction Engineering
  • Abigail S. Pritz, Graphic Design
  • Emily Paige Rheinhart, Child, Adult, and Family Services
  • Samuel James Russell, Construction Engineering
  • Mindy Jolene Schlueter, Kinesiology and Health
  • Meredith Kim Sherrill, Veterinary Medicine
  • Jana Kristine Stolze, Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management
  • Kelly Ann Wagner, Dietetics (H SCI)
  • Stefani Nicole Williams, Psychology
  • Zhiyi Xu, Management Information Systems
  • David Thomas Zimmerman, Industrial Engineering

from Davenport:

  • Derek Mitchell Adams, English
  • Derek Reid Attwood, Aerospace Engineering
  • Brian Victor Becker, Marketing
  • Nathan Joseph Bierl, Music
  • Elizabeth Ann Borcherding, Elementary Education
  • Nicholas C. Borcherding, Pre-Diet and Exercise (H SCI)
  • Matthew Allen Burmeister, Mechanical Engineering
  • Margaret Marie Carlin, Pre-Community and Regional Planning
  • Carolyn Anne Chrissotimos, Kinesiology and Health
  • Brion Niquan Coleman, Civil Engineering
  • Anthony Patrick Colombari, Chemical Engineering
  • Michael Dolan Connors, Liberal Studies
  • John Michael Crispin, Architecture-Professional Degree
  • Kalynn Dawn Doebel, Biology
  • Joshua M. Dunham, Electrical Engineering
  • Brett Christopher Ebert, Mechanical Engineering
  • Nicholas A. Eisenbacher, Civil Engineering
  • Kelly Jean Goossen, Forestry
  • Alexander Joseph Gowey, Accounting
  • Thomas Winston Hales, Music
  • Anne Marie Harre, Psychology
  • Kathleen Marie Hoil, Performing Arts
  • Lance David Keltner, Civil Engineering
  • Emily Marie Kenneke, Elementary Education
  • Paul Charles Moffit Keppy, Political Science
  • Nicholas Aaron King, Landscape Architecture
  • Laura Beth Klavitter, Horticulture
  • Laura Marie Kleinschmidt, Veterinary Medicine
  • Luke William Klenske, Art and Design
  • Austin Miles Laugen, Computer Engineering
  • Amber Marie Loerzel, Graphic Design
  • Farica Lynnette Lomas, Pre-Business
  • Britney Jean Meier, Child, Adult, and Family Services
  • Alexandra Eleni Menard, Anthropology
  • Anna Elizabeth Mullen, Anthropology
  • Quynh-Nhu M. Nguyen, Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management
  • Alison Margaret Perkins, Design
  • Nathan S. Premo, Software Engineering
  • Mohammed Ashiqur Rahim, Electrical Engineering
  • Kelsey B. Regan, Biological Systems Engineering
  • Stephen Philip Richard, Industrial Engineering
  • Aleah Nicole Salisbury, Finance
  • Bryce Taylor Sandry, Pre-Business
  • Elizabeth Gwen Shorter, Early Childhood Education
  • Matthew J. Skoglund, Chemical Engineering
  • Brian Michael Smith, Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Brittany L. Springmeier, Food Science (AGLS)
  • Michal-Marie Tillotson, Open Option (LAS)
  • Christopher A. Van Buer, Aerospace Engineering

from Moline:

  • Lisa Marie Harmon, Accounting
  • Christina Elizabeth Mital, Interior Design
  • Daniel Joseph Siroky, Architecture-Professional Degree

from Riverdale, Iowa:

  • Amy K. DCamp, Pre-Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration

from Rock Island:

  • Taylor Marie Downing, Food Science (AGLS)
  • Jacob L. Schrader, Mechanical Engineering
  • Eric Steven Schroder, Biology
  • Grant Aaron Vermeer, Computer Engineering

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A Rock Island Hy-Vee dietitian was one of six Illinois dietitians to earn Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the Illinois Dietetic Association.

Chrissy Mitzel, of Davenport, Iowa, was nominated by the Mississippi Valley Dietetic Association, the local Quad Cities area dietetic group, because of her active dedication and participation in the group since she moved to the area, said Vicky Bean, MVDA nominating committee chairwoman.

"Chrissy has helped present education programs to MVDA areas and willingly serves on committees," Bean said.

The award is given to select Illinois Dietetic Association members who are younger than 35 years old. Members who participate in specific dietetic groups, demonstrate concern for the promotion of health and nutrition and demonstrate leadership in careers or association activities are eligible for the award.

Mitzel said she was extremely honored for winning the award. "I'm so young and it's such a big recognition," she said. "I was excited."

Mitzel credited her two-year career at Rock Island Hy-Vee for winning the award. "My job is very exciting and I have many opportunities," she said. "I have a lot of variety and it gives me to opportunity to touch so many people in the community."

Her position at Hy-Vee is Mitzel's first job since she graduated from school and became a registered dietitian.

-30-

 

WASHINGTON - Several U.S. senators today questioned possible plans by the administration to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.  Senator Chuck Grassley was joined by Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jim Bunning of Ky., Saxby Chambliss of Ga., Jim Inhofe of Okla., Johnny Isakson of Ga., Thad Cochran of Miss., and David Vitter of La.

"There's a lot we can agree on when it comes to dealing with the immigration problems in the United States, but this appears to be amnesty in disguise, and is simply an attempt to circumvent Congress," Grassley said.

Here's a copy of the text of the letter to President Barack Obama.


June 21, 2010

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear President Obama:

We understand that there's a push for your Administration to develop a plan to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States.  We understand that the Administration may include aliens who have willfully overstayed their visas or filed for benefits knowing that they will not be eligible for a status for years to come.  We understand that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances.  Deferred action and parole were not intended to be used to confer a status or offer protection to large groups of illegal aliens, even if the agency claims that they look at each case on a "case-by-case" basis.

While we agree our immigration laws need to be fixed, we are deeply concerned about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal alien population.   While deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used to circumvent Congress' constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population in the United States.

The Administration would be wise to abandon any plans for deferred action or parole for the illegal population.  Such a move would further erode the American public's confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.

We would appreciate receiving a commitment that the Administration has no plans to use either authority to change the current position of a large group of illegal aliens already in the United States, and ask that you respond to us about this matter as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Chuck Grassley

Orrin Hatch

Jim Bunning

Saxby Chambliss

Jim Inhofe

Johnny Isakson

Thad Cochran

David Vitter

CHICAGO - June 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

Bill No.: SB 1826

Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act regarding the definition of federal "taxable income" for cooperatives.

An Act Concerning: Revenue

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 2812

Clarifies the Illinois Pollution Control Board's authority to stay permits under the Clean Air Permit Program (CAAPP).

An Act Concerning: Safety

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 3646

Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act regarding how publicly traded companies take certain deductions.

An Act Concerning: Revenue

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

###

Facility will be purchased by the end of the year

CHICAGO - June 21, 2010. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center by the end of the year and fully utilize the entire facility.

In a letter (attached) to Durbin, Quinn and Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), a DOJ official explained that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plans to make modifications to the prison and hire and train a full complement of staff while the Defense Department and Congress continue to work on authorizing and funding a portion of the Thomson facility for housing Guantanamo detainees.

Durbin and Governor Quinn issued the following statement:

"With this letter today, the Bureau of Prisons has reaffirmed the commitment it made earlier this year to fully utilize Thomson Correction Center and upgrade the facility to make it the safest prison in the nation.

The agency has already begun the process of recruiting for positions at the prison, so having the facility operating at full capacity could result in more jobs for residents of Thomson and surrounding areas.

As we have said many times, this move will have an enormous impact on our state -generating thousands of good paying jobs and potentially injecting more than $1 billion into the regional economy. This is an opportunity to dramatically reduce unemployment, create thousands of good-paying jobs and breathe new economic life into a part of Illinois that desperately needs this."

The purchase, activation and operation of Thomson Correctional Center is expected to generate more than 3,000 jobs - roughly half of which are expected to be given to local applicants - and inject more than $1 billion into the regional economy.  Currently, there is a critical need for a facility to address federal prison overcrowding problems nationwide and a particularly urgent need for supermax-type bed space.  More than 209,000 inmates are in the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons, up sharply from 202,000 last year.

The Thomson facility was built in 2001 by the State of Illinois as a state-of-the-art, maximum-security prison to house the most severe criminal offenders.  The facility was never occupied, however, and is sitting vacant.  The facility was constructed on a 146-acre reservation has 1,600 beds with eight compartmentalized units designed for maximum inmate supervision and control.  Security features include :

  • Dual-sided electrical stun fencing capable of carrying 7,000 volts;
  • 312 Cameras on a fiber optic surveillance network with motion detection/remote monitoring capabilities;
  • Armed outer and inner perimeter towers.
###

DES MOINES, IA (06/21/2010)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced today that once again Moody's and Standard and Poor's have affirmed that Iowa has the highest credit rating possible. "We met with both companies last week and both affirmed that Iowa is a Triple A state." Fitzgerald noted.

According to Moody's report, "The State of Iowa, while not entirely immune to the current economic downturn, has fared relatively well compared to similarly rated states. Iowa's financial position has strengthened in recent years allowing the state to be better prepared for the sudden economic shift."

"The experts agree that Iowa is in a good financial position." Fitzgerald stated, "They continue to recognize the first-rate fiscal management and strong economy of our state and we can stand out as a model to other states. Only seven other states have AAA ratings across the board."

Law Caps Loan Interest Rates, Closes Loopholes

CHICAGO - June 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will increase protections for Illinois residents obtaining consumer installment loans. The new law caps interest rates charged by consumer finance companies, which can sometimes be as high as 1,000 percent.

"Many consumers who take out short-term loans are doing so as a last resort to pay their bills and provide for their families. It is all too easy for lenders to take advantage of them by raising interest rates and setting very short repayment periods," said Governor Quinn. "It is important that we do everything we can to protect these consumers who are already hurting, by helping to make these loans more affordable."

House Bill 537 sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester) protects consumers by setting reasonable interest rates for loans. Current interest rates for consumer installment loans can be exorbitantly high. Under the new law, rates on consumer installment loans will be capped at 99 percent rate for loans $4,000 and less and 36 percent for loans greater than $4,000.

"For too long, Wild West lending practices have dominated the marketplace in Illinois and consumers have suffered as a result - saddled with costly loans that they could never repay," said Attorney General Madigan. "Now that has changed. House Bill 537 reigns in abusive and predatory lending practices and protects consumers. I want to thank Senator Lightford, Representative Lang, the Governor's Office and consumer advocates for their hard work on this important consumer protection legislation."

The new law also includes provisions to help borrowers repay loans more easily. For example, lending is based upon the borrower's ability to repay the loan. Monthly payments on consumer installment loans are limited to 22.5 percent of the borrower's gross monthly income. In order to give borrowers enough time to repay the loan, the new minimum loan term will be set at six months - an increase from the previous four month term.

"We look forward to working with licensed lenders and their customers to make sure this law is strictly enforced," said Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation Brent Adams. "For too long, Illinois borrowers have been at the mercy of lenders who were free to charge quadruple-digit interest rates."

The law expands the existing statewide database that tracks payday loans to also track consumer installment loans, which will enable the state to ensure that lenders are complying with the new law.  The law also eliminates balloon payments and prevents lenders from penalizing borrowers for paying off loans early.

House Bill 537 was supported by numerous consumer groups and lenders alike, and it passed through the Illinois General Assembly almost unanimously.

Governor Quinn signed the legislation in Chicago. It goes into effect nine months after becoming law.

###

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are leading a bipartisan group of senators in urging the House of Representatives to take up legislation to end the automatic pay raise system for members of Congress.  In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 20 senators asked that the House vote on a bill passed by the Senate last year requiring members of Congress to pass legislation if they want to give themselves a pay raise.  Currently, members of Congress receive an automatic pay increase unless they pass legislation to block it.  The Senate bill ending automatic pay raises would save roughly $80 million over ten years.  Feingold has regularly introduced legislation over the last ten years to end the system.  The letter was cosigned by Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Bennet (D-CO), Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Coburn (R-OK), Collins (R-ME), Dorgan (D-ND), Enzi (R-WY), Gillibrand (D-NY), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE) Klobuchar (D-MN), McCaskill (D-MO), Merkley (D-OR), Murray (D-WA), Snowe (R-ME) and Vitter (R-LA).

"While many Americans are struggling to find jobs, members of Congress still get a raise unless they act to stop it," Feingold said.  "I'm pleased Congress acted to give up its raise next year but it's time to end this system once and for all.  The House should follow the Senate's lead and end this back-door pay raise system."

"The automatic pay raise sends a bad message to the American people who are already cynical about government. There's no reason, in any circumstance, that members of Congress should automatically receive a bump in pay, but it's a slap in the face to do it when people across the country are tightening their own belts," Grassley said.

A copy of the letter is available here and the text is below:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

H-232, US Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

We urge you to bring up for a vote legislation passed by the Senate last year, S. 620, that would end the system of automatic, annual pay raises for members of Congress.  Passing this bill would save roughly $80 million over ten years, and help demonstrate that Congress is willing to tighten its own belt as we work to reduce record deficits. 

We appreciate your efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving a pay raise in 2011.  While that was an important step, it is time to end a system that guarantees members a pay hike unless they act to block it.  The burden should be on members of Congress who believe they deserve a raise to pass legislation, not on those who want to block one.  Few of our constituents have the power to raise their own pay -- Congress should exercise this power openly, on the record. 

We thank you for considering our request and hope the House will soon take up S. 620.

Sincerely,

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI)

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senator David Vitter (R-LA)

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME)

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)

Senator Robert Casey (D-PA)

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

###

WASHINGTON -Monday, June 21, 2010

Senators Chuck Grassley and Kit Bond have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, reiterating their concerns about possible waste, fraud and abuse in the Department's distribution of stimulus funds to troubled Public Housing Authorities.

"Our oversight is focused on making sure the federal agencies handling the $787 billion in stimulus dollars passed by Congress and signed by the president last year are operating with the highest level of transparency and accountability.  In this case, taxpayers deserve an answer to why the federal agency gave tens of millions in stimulus dollars to housing authorities it found to be 'high risk.'  Is there so much pressure to shovel stimulus dollars out the door that responsible stewardship has been abandoned?" Grassley said.

"When families across the nation are still struggling to pay bills and put food on the table, the Administration owes Americans answers on why they chose to gamble with taxpayer dollars on risky organizations," Bond said.

Grassley initially sent a letter to HUD on March 15, 2010, in which he cited problems with a number of Public Housing Authorities that had been raised by the HUD Office of Inspector General and not adequately addressed in the HUD response.  Today, Grassley and Bond are seeking answers on the accuracy of troubled housing designations and the abuse of stimulus funds.

As ranking member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds our nation's housing programs, Bond has questioned the Administration on their lack of oversight of stimulus funds awarded to troubled PHAs. Bond continues to stress that Congress - and the taxpayer - deserves answers on the benchmarks the Administration is using to hold PHA's accountable for their use of taxpayer dollars. The Senator also has concerns on whether the Administration is putting scarce resources to the best use - including whether they are investing in projects that will address the huge backlog of public housing capital needs. 

In its response, HUD agreed to Grassley's suggestion of posting Public Housing Assessment System scores on the HUD website.  Grassley and Bond also request that HUD post the following information on its website:  location of the Public Housing Authority; fiscal year in which the Public Housing Authority was designated as troubled; categorization of the Public Housing Authority problems (Troubled, Substandard Financial, Substandard Physical, and Substandard Management); the applicable narrative and corrective plan; total number of units involved; level of concern (high, medium, low); stimulus funding risk level; and amount of stimulus funding awarded to Public Housing Authority.

Click here to read Grassley's initial letter.

Click here to read HUD's response to Grassley.

Click here to read Grassley and Bond's June 16 letter to HUD.

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