GALENA, Ill. - The Galena Area Chamber of Commerce once again plans a special weekend for "girlfriends" of all ages from Friday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Sept. 12. This annual Galena Girlfriends' Getaway will feature sales, contests, spa specials, Quartermania and more - just for the ladies - in beautiful, historic Galena in scenic northwest Illinois.

A pre-registration fee of $15 includes a martini glass, soy wickless candle, and a chance to win a fabulous shopping spree. Girlfriends may pre-register for all activities, $70 per person, which includes the martini glass, candle, shopping spree drawing, admission to the scavenger hunt, belly dancing class, yoga class, Quartermania auction, slipper party, and Sunday brunch. Participants may also register for as few or as many activities as they choose.

The Galena Girlfriends' Weekend gets underway with the scavenger hunt from 4-7 p.m. It will be a challenging test to see just how well you know Galena. Each participant will receive a clue bag that includes hints, tips & tidbits that will aid in completing all of the questions.

The ever-popular Quartermania auction will happen once again, this time Saturday night at DeSoto House Hotel starting at 6 p.m. Ladies can buy a roll of quarters, bid on a variety of interesting items, and see who gets the fun and great bargains. A Saturday night "Slipper Party" at the Wal-Mart Supercenter beginning at 9:30 p.m. will feature games, refreshments, coupons and a gift card.

Saturday's events will also include the second half of the scavenger contest from 12-4 p.m., a belly dancing class at A Wild Clover on Main beginning at 3 p.m. (limit 25 people); and a yoga class beginning at 4:30 p.m. (limit 25 people).

Sunday's finale at the DeSoto is a brunch with your "girlfriends" as the weekend will wrap up by announcing the winners of the scavenger hunt, shopping spree and gift baskets.

Throughout the entire weekend, there are more than 55 businesses throughout Galena and Jo Daviess County that are offering specials, drawings, and events to participants of the Galena Girlfriends' Getaway.

For more event info, including venues and fees, call the Galena Area Chamber of Commerce at 815-777-9050 or visit Pre-registration is also available online at Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau by calling 877-Go Galena or at While in town, visit the CVB's Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101 Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) for on-site assistance and countywide information.

Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of rural Jo Daviess County

GALENA, Ill. - August 25, 2010 - Celebrating the fruits of their labor, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery and the Galena Cultural Arts Alliance are excited to announce their partnership in planning a new Fall Harvest & Art Festival.

The first annual two-day event will take place at Galena Cellars Vineyard, 4746 N. Ford Road, Galena, on Saturday and Sunday, September 25th and 26th, with activities spanning from noon until 6 p.m. both days.

Nestled in the vineyard clearing will be tents of area artists, each demonstrating their talents. Artist wares will range from watercolors to pottery, textile arts to exotic wooden pens. "We think this partnership will create a great weekend for everyone. Our artists participate in our shop 'Hello Galena!', as well as in galleries, museums and art fairs throughout the year, but to be able to exhibit and sell in such a beautiful setting is a real treat," said Toni Klingler, Galena Cultural Arts Alliance president.

"In addition to showcasing the amazing work of our local artists, we have a full weekend of fun for the entire family: food booths, hayrides, pumpkin painting and grape stomping," said Rob Steger, events and tours coordinator for Galena Cellars.

The Jo Daviess County Beef Association will be grilling up succulent steak and chicken sandwiches along with beef brats and hot dogs. Locally produced cheeses and fruit will also be featured. And of course, there is always the opportunity to sample wine, explore "tasting" through all of your senses and tour the vineyard.

Visitors are also invited to "kick up their heels and have a little fun" as the vineyard barrel room comes to life with music - rags, waltzes and hoe downs - with more local talent, the Fever River String Band.

Admission to the event is free. Vineyard tours are $5 each and include a sensory tour and wine tasting. An art auction will be held a 5 p.m. on Saturday, with proceeds benefiting the Galena Cultural Arts Alliance, a 501©(3) not-for-profit organization.

For more information, visit Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau by calling 877-Go Galena or at

Galena Cellars, a Lawlor family winery, offers more than forty varietals of wine produced in Galena, Illinois. Many Galena Cellars wine utilize Illinois-grown grapes from the recently appointed Upper Mississippi River Valley Area Viticulture Area, the largest designated AVA in the world. Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery is proud to offer three tasting room locations: 515 S. Main and at the Vineyard at 4746 N. Ford Road in Galena, and in 477 S. Third Street, Dodson Place in Geneva, Illinois.

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WASHINGTON - August 25, 2010 - Senator Chuck Grassley said that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded four grants totaling $1,868,364 and one cooperative agreement totaling $237,597 to Iowa medical facilities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will distribute the money as shown below.

  • St. Ambrose University in Davenport will receive a $594,000 grant for health care and other facilities from the Division of Grants Management Operations

  • Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines will receive a $495,000 grant for health care and other facilities from the Division of Grants Management Operations· Mercy Foundation in Des Moines will receive a $495,000 grant for health care and other facilities from the Division of Grants Management Operations

  • The University of Iowa in Iowa City will receive a $284,364 grant for pharmacology, physiology, and biological chemistry research from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

  • The University of Iowa in Iowa City will enter into a $237,597 cooperative agreement for human genome research with the National Human Genome Research Institute

Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants from the federal government.  The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual's ability to meet criteria set by the federal entity administering the funds.


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that $1 million in quick release emergency funding is coming to Iowa to help repair roads damaged by the rain and flooding of June and July, 2010.  The funds, which the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration has made available to the Iowa Department of Transportation, will be used to restore essential traffic byways and protect roads from further damage.  

"June and July's storms severely damaged our roads, stopping many Iowans from traveling and limiting our ability to deliver goods and services to the people who need them," Harkin said. "This funding will help repair and restore our roadways and get us back on track."

On June 1, 2010 and continuing, severe storm systems moved across Iowa causing damage, flooding and related impacts to the Federal-aid highway system in Iowa.  Typical damage included shoulder erosion, pavement undermining, landslides, and bridge and road closures on both the state and local system.  Flooding forced the closure of several primary roadway systems and caused substantial damage.  The secondary road system also suffered substantial damage.  Governor Culver proclaimed 51 of Iowa's counties to be a disaster area, along with requesting a Presidential Declaration for an additional 7 counties not included in the Governor's proclamation.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (08/25/2010)(readMedia)-- Five Augustana faculty and 80 students will spend the fall term of 2010 living and learning in East Asia. The term is one of the longest running international programs at the college; nearly 1,000 students have participated in the 12-week program since it began in 1974. The faculty-led term includes traveling to the culturally diverse countries of Japan, Taiwan and China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and concluding in Hawaii.

From your area this includes:

Angela Congrove, a sophomore from Davenport, IA majoring in liberal studies.

Regina Jarrell, a junior from Davenport, IA majoring in art.

Aubree Payne, a junior from Moline, IL majoring in psychology.

James Sales, a senior from Rock Island, IL majoring in biology.

Audrey Waner, a senior from Davenport, IA majoring in art.

Ian Williams, a junior from Moline, IL majoring in biology and pre-medicine.

"These students will see for themselves the dynamic growth of the Chinese economy, now number two in the world, and its rapidly modernizing cities and lifestyles even as the culture highlights its history and uses its traditions," said Dr. Norman Moline, one of the East Asia term founders and term co-director. "Many students experience the need for learning more Japanese or Chinese language if their future jobs in any way might be linked to these cultures. Also, as we are exposed to these different cultures and reflect on contrasts and similarities with our own, we learn more about ourselves."

Students started preparing for the term last spring with a seminar class and are now taking three or four additional courses, including Japanese Art, East Asian Markets, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Population Problems. These classes involve reading, lectures and field experiences at different sites relevant to the coursework, such as the Japanese Embassy, Hiroshima, Tiananmen Square, Great Wall of China and Chengdu, one of China's largest and most densely populated provinces, and home to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. The group will meet with Augustana alumni Dr. Sarah Bexell '91 and Phillip Hoffmann '73. Bexell, originally from Freeport, Ill., is director of conservation education and communications at Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, and Hoffmann, a Peoria, Ill. native, is the minister-counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Term co-director Dr. Marsha Smith says although students face the challenge of studying and living in a country where they can't speak the language, she is excited about the opportunities the experience offers them. "I hope they not only learn but realize that there are a lot of differences between places," said Smith. "Many people tend to lump all of Asia together, but really each aspect of Asia has its own unique culture and language."

Moline says Augustana's term trips through the years have created lasting relationships with the people of China.

"Some of our special program features stem from the fact that Augustana's 1977 fall term group was the first one from any American college or university admitted into China after its 'doors were open', which is important because Chinese people appreciate and make good things happen for 'old friends'," said Moline.

Dr. Ann Ericson of business administration, Dr. Naoko Gunji of art history and Dr. Robert Tallitsch of biology also will accompany Moline and Smith on the trip. The students return November 10.

For more information, contact Kamy Beattie at or (309) 794-7721.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WASHINGTON --- Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa have asked Inspectors General from 29 government agencies to review whether federal agencies are taking new steps to limit responses to Freedom of Information Act requests from lawmakers, journalists, activist groups and watchdog organizations.

The request from Grassley and Issa is based on what was reported earlier this summer about Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano requiring FOIA requests to be given more scrutiny, depending on who the requestor was.  The Inspectors General also have been asked to determine the extent to which political appointees are systematically made aware of FOIA requests and their role in decision-making.

"The question is to what extent an effort has been made to inhibit the accountability that's established through the Freedom of Information Act with new hurdles or by making politically appointed officials part of the FOIA review process within the various federal agencies.  These requirements could delay disclosures, and that's a disservice to the public," Grassley said.

"Getting through a non-partisan bureaucracy to obtain information through FOIA is difficult enough without political appointees inappropriately injecting partisan political considerations into the process," said Rep. Issa.  "There's a clear public interest in finding out if what happened at Homeland Security is also taking place in other federal agencies.  This inappropriate interference by political appointees in FOIA requests further undermines President Obama's promise to create an unprecedented level of openness in government."

Click here to read a copy of the letter that was sent to the 29 Inspectors General, including those from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Elections Assistance Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the General Services Administration, the Government Accountability Office, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa and Iowa Department of Management are pleased to announce Bright Beginnings Home Visitation Program
operated by Genesis VNA and Hospice is only the fourth program in the State of Iowa to receive Iowa Family Support Credential. The comprehensive credentialing process reviews data and receives input from community stakeholders, program participants, funding and oversight commission, internal and external financial records, program files, policies and procedures, and staff interviews.

Bright Beginnings program provides home visitation services to high-risk families who have children under the age of six and live in Scott County. Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa provides funding for the Bright Beginnings program and last year the program impacted the lives of over 350 children and families who live in Scott County. Marcy Mendenhall, Executive Director Scott County Kids states that Bright Beginnings staff have worked incredibly hard to receive the Iowa Family Support Credential which validates and recognizes their ongoing quality with work children and families.  Scott County families will continue benefit as this credential will only enhance the services offered by the Bright Beginnings programming program.

For additional information concerning the Bright Beginnings Program
Tera Weets, Program Supervisor
2894 AAA Court
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

For additional information concerning the Iowa Family Support Credential
Janet Horras, Family Support Coordinator
Iowa Department of Management, Office of Early Childhood Iowa

For additional information concerning the Scott County Early Childhood
Iowa contact:
Marcy Mendenhall, Executive Director Scott County Kids
600 W 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa

DAVENPORT, IA - August 24, 2010

Scott County residents assembled Tuesday evening in downtown Davenport and nominated three independent Non Party Political Organization (NPPO) candidates to appear on the general election ballot for Scott County Supervisor. There are three open Supervisor positions.

John Riley (Blue Grass), Jesse Anderson (LeClaire), and John Greene (Davenport) were unanimously supported by the thirty-five precincts represented by fifty six people attending the convention.

The group also unanimously supported the title for the NPPO as Iowans For Accountability.  In addition, the Iowans For Accountability debated a county-wide issues platform. Agreed upon were the following primary issues:

* Increasingly high property taxes
* Corporate & individual welfare
* Personal property rights  
* Unchecked spending
* Transparent courts
* Cronyism

Organizers will file the paper work with the Scott County Auditors office, Wednesday, the final day for filing for county candidates.

Candidate Profiles & Contact Information

John Riley
(563) 514-3388
Blue Grass, IA
Age: 63
Married, 6 children
Structural Engineer
Iowa State University graduate 1972 / Civil Engineering  
Vietnam veteran, US Army 1967-69; Purple Heart
Provided structural engineering services for:
New Scott County Court House and Jail
Seven story 7th Judicial District Building, Davenport
Nearly every school expansion in QC's
Ground Transportation Center, Davenport
Numerous commercial buildings in QC's
The only structure erected in over 100 years on the Arsenal Island, the Naval Marine Corps Training Center

John Greene
(563) 499-8786
Davenport, IA
Age: 51
Single parent, 2 children
Small business owner
Construction and landscaping company, 18 years
Heavy equipment technician
Former US Marine
Cancer survivor

Jesse Anderson
(309) 235-5813
LeClaire, IA
Age: 28
Married, 1 child
Operations Director, family run pet food processing company
Augustana College graduate, 2007 / Political Science
Experience in restaurant management with Isle of Capri, River Music Experience, and the QC Freight House

Iowans For Accountability
Chairman, Michael Elliott
(563) 570-5395

Secretary, Michael Angelos
(563) 324-4716

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT hosts their annual fundraiser, Brew Ha Ha at LeClaire Park in downtown Davenport on Saturday, September 18th from 1 to 5 p.m.  A wide variety of ales, pilsners, and porters are available for tasting as well as cheeses provided by Cabot Creamery Cooperative of Vermont.

Musical performances for the 11th annual event will be performed by Corporate Rock, while Comedy Sportz returns to provide their own brand of improvisational merriment at 2:30 pm.   New this year is a variety of games for attendees to try their hand at, like the Beer Bottle Ring Toss and the Golf Ball Stack. Admission to Brew Ha Ha includes an event program, unlimited tasting, and a commemorative tasting glass.

Presenting Sponsors for Brew Ha Ha are Old Chicago, Rock 104.9, River Cities Reader, Rhythm City Casino and Riverboat Development Authority, along with Dimitri Wine & Spirits, Inc., Glazer's Distributors of Iowa, Miller Lite, Budweiser, KWQC, City of Davenport, Mediacom, and Cabot Creamery Cooperative. With additional support from Comedy Sportz, Hawkeye Ice, Iowa American Water, Iowa QC Chamber Downtown Partnership, Millennium Waste, Quad City Golf Cars and Sunbelt Rentals.

Tickets for Brew Ha Ha are $20.00 prior to the event and $25.00 at the gate. "We are continuing our tradition of keeping ticket sales capped so that our attendees are able to try as many of the tastings as possible," said WQPT Special Projects Coordinator, Bea Brasel. Tickets may be purchased at the WQPT offices at 3800 Avenue of the Cities, Suite 101, Moline, Old Chicago in Bettendorf, CO-OP Records in Davenport and Moline (add a $1.00 service fee at CO-OP locations) or at Attendees must be 21 or older. Children in strollers and animals will not be admitted. Feel free to bring your own lawn chair.

Brew Ha Ha is a fundraising event to support WQPT, the local public television station serving eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

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Names Secretary of Department of Human Services Michelle R.B. Saddler to Key Administration Post

CHICAGO - August 24, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Michelle R.B. Saddler as his Chief of Staff. Saddler previously served as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). Prior to serving as Secretary of DHS, Saddler was the Director of Policy for the Quinn Administration and has held a number of key management and policy positions in the public and private sectors.

"Michelle Saddler is one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated members of my cabinet, and I look forward to having her serve as my Chief of Staff," said Governor Quinn. "There is no one better-suited to continue my mission of creating jobs, supporting Illinois' economic recovery and protecting our most vulnerable residents."

Saddler was appointed by Governor Quinn to be Secretary of DHS on Oct. 11, 2009. The agency, one of the state's largest, provides integrated services to individuals, families and communities for developmental disabilities, mental health, rehabilitation services and alcoholism and substance abuse, among others.

While at DHS, Saddler was charged with implementing a number of Governor Quinn's top initiatives, including the Put Illinois to Work program. The program was one of the largest and most successful in the nation and has put more than 26,000 people to work in subsidized temporary jobs. Additionally, under Saddler's leadership, the agency drew down an additional $250 million in federal funds for human services.

Before being named policy chief for the Quinn Administration, Saddler served in a number of policy and management positions in both the public and private sectors. Her past positions include Vice President for International Adoptions for the Lifelink Corporation and Executive Director of the Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund. She also served as Director of Investments with then-Illinois State Treasurer Quinn and is a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Protestants for the Common Good.

Saddler earned her bachelor's degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and has a master's in management from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where received the F.C. Austin Scholarship - the school's highest merit award. (Additional background information is attached.)

"I look forward to continuing to serve and care for the people of Illinois as Governor Quinn's Chief of Staff," said Saddler. "I will work to continue the important partnerships with our legislators, employees, providers and advocacy groups."

Current DHS Assistant Secretary Grace Hou will serve as the agency's Acting Secretary. Prior to her work at DHS, Hou was Executive Director of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, a non-profit social service agency that serves Chinese immigrants and refugees.