WASHINGTON - Chuck Grassley today said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded competitive grants totaling $3,146,657 to the state of Iowa, Iowa cities and Iowa businesses through the Freight Rail Security Grant Program, the Port Security Grant Program, the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program, the Buffer Zone Protection Program, the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, the Driver's License Security Grant Program and the Emergency Operations Center Grant Program.

"The federal government has a responsibility to defend the homeland," Grassley said. "This funding will help prevent future emergencies and protect Iowans."

DHS will distribute the money as shown below ordered alphabetically by town.

Through the Freight Rail Security Grant Program:

· Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd. in Cedar Rapids will receive $100,000

Through the Port Security Grant Program:

· Davenport Fire Department in Davenport will receive $200,000

Through the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program:

· Royal Charter, Inc. will receive $20,627

· Windstar Lines, Inc. will receive $273,353

Through the Buffer Zone Protection Program:

· Iowa will receive $200,000

Through the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program:

· Iowa will receive $452,000

Through the Driver's License Security Grant Program:

· Iowa will receive $800,677

Through the Emergency Operations Center Grant Program:

· Benton County Emergency Management Commission will receive $500,000

· Ames will receive $600,000

The Freight Rail Security Grant Program encourages sustainable, risk-based efforts to protect travelers and surface transportation infrastructure from acts of terrorism and other emergencies.

The Port Security Grant Program provides grant funding to port areas for the protection of critical port infrastructure, particularly from attacks using explosives or non-conventional threats that could cause major disruption to commerce.

The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program funds sustainable protection of travelers and intercity bus systems from acts of terrorism. 

The Buffer Zone Protection Program provides funding to increase preparedness of departments responsible for the security of communities near critical infrastructure and key resources.  These include chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear and electric power plants, dams, stadiums, etc.

The Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program funds initiatives carried out by states, territories, and local and tribal governments designed to improve communication and cooperation during collective emergency response.

The Driver's License Security Grant Program advances public safety by improving the security of state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards.

The Emergency Operations Center Grant Program identifies and corrects weaknesses in current emergency response programs.

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.

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Much attention has been given in recent years to reinvigorating history education in our nation's schools - updating curriculum, exploring effective teaching strategies, and increasing training and professional development for our history teachers.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), publishers of The Nation's Report Card, report America's twelfth and eighth graders know more U.S. history now than in the past, with performance improving on the most recent assessment (2006) compared to 2001.  Still, only 43% of twelfth grade students performed at or above the Basic achievement level (as defined by NAEP), with 11% at or above Proficient and only 1% at Advanced.

National History Day is one program aimed at addressing this issue - making history come alive by engaging youth in hands-on discovery of the experiences of the past.  Students conduct primary and secondary research on their selected topic, then present their work at local, state, and national levels.  National History Day inspires students through exciting competitions while teaching essential historical literacy.  The 2010 National Contest will take place June 13th -17th at the University of Maryland and feature 24 Iowa students!  Among those representing Iowa will be the teams of Christopher & Christine Mbakwe and Meghana Pagadala & Joann Weeks from Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf.  2010 is a national year for the NAEP U.S. history assessment, meaning it was administered country-wide in select schools between January and March, with results to be released in 2011.  With programs like National History Day in place, it is expected performance will continue to improve!

The community is invited to attend a fundraising history-themed Trivia Night on Friday, May 21st in support of Rivermont students' trip to the national competition!  Trivia Night is open to the community - adults and students (grades 6 and up).  Pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m. and competition will get underway at 6:00 p.m.  Cost for adults is $10 and for students is $5.  Participants may register a whole team (6-8 people) or just themselves and they will be assigned to a team (and make some new friends!).  Participants are asked to register by Wednesday, May 19th.  The competition will take place in the auditorium on the Rivermont campus, located directly off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.  For additional information on Trivia Night and to register, contact Leigh Ann Schroeder at schroeder@rvmt.org or (563) 359-1366 ext. 343.

For additional information on National History Day, visit www.nationalhistoryday.org

For additional information on The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and The Nation's Report Card, visit http://nationsreportcard.gov

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

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Doctor Reveals How Diet and Supplements Can Prevent And Treat Diabetes

The ranks of those who suffer from diabetes are rising, and the tragedy is that it is largely preventable.

That's the opinion of Dr. Sherrill Sellman (www.syntra5.com), who saw one of her own cousins die tragically primarily because they did not manage their illness correctly.

"The news about diabetes isn't good," she said. "The incidence of Type 2 diabetes in adults is reaching epidemic levels, which is not easy to achieve for a disease that is not contagious. Moreover, children are becoming diabetics at a faster rate than ever before. One in three children born today will become a diabetic in their lifetime. Over the course of the last 10 years, there has been a 1,000 percent increase in these cases."

The statistics from Wellness International Network tell a tale of a disorder that is running rampant in the U.S., which has been designated the most obese nation on the planet.

Between 8 percent and 45 percent of newly diagnosed cases of childhood diabetes are Type 2, associated with obesity. Whereas 4 percent of childhood diabetes was Type 2 in 1990, that number has risen to approximately 20 percent in 2010. Of children diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, 85 percent are considered obese,

One in four overweight children is being diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance, an early sign of Type 2 diabetes.

"I watched two of my cousins suffer dramatically from diabetes-related blindness and then amputations," Sellman said. "One of my cousins eventually died from those complications. What still makes me cry is the fact that neither of them had to suffer. If they could have simply managed their blood sugar through diet and lifestyle choices, they'd both be living happy, fulfilling quality lives today."
Three myths that Dr. Sellman wants to debunk include :

  • It's JUST a fat person's disease -- "Being fat is not a cause of diabetes," she said. "Obesity is an indicator that someone isn't managing their diet and blood sugar correctly. You can be relatively average in terms of your weight, but still be at risk.

  • If I get diabetes, the meds will keep me healthy -- "Most people think diabetes is treated with insulin, and as long as you take your shots, everything is okay," she added. "But that's Type 1. Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with oral medications that have their own issues, including risk of congestive heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, chest pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and indigestion.

  • Diabetes can't be prevented or controlled just through diet and lifestyle -- "In most cases, diabetes can be prevented entirely through diet and lifestyle choices," Sellman said. "Moreover, research studies indicate that proper diet and exercise can help control other symptoms of diabetes like elevated cholesterol and hypertension.  Certain combinations of natural ingredients can boost those effects, such as the combination of nutrients found in Syntra-5 (www.syntra5.com), which was proven in a clinical study to reduce blood sugar levels three times greater than traditional diabetes pharmaceuticals."

Sellman is motivated by her family's stories to convince everyone that blood sugar that isn't controlled is an issue for everyone, and not just diabetics.

"At the rate we are going, simply being an American will place you in a high risk group for diabetes," she said. "I cannot stress firmly enough that people should do everything they can to get and stay healthy, and manage their blood sugar so that they don't have to suffer the way my family did."

About Dr. Sherrill Sellman

Sherrill Sellman, N.D., Naturopathic Doctor (Board Certified in Integrative Medicine), is an educator, women's natural health expert, psychotherapist and journalist in the field of women's health. She is also a much sought after international lecturer, radio host, senior editor and contributing writer to numerous health publications.  Dr. Sellman is the best-selling author of Hormone Heresy: What Women MUST Know and What Women MUST Know to Protect Their Daughters from Breast Cancer.


Harkin Statement on the Clean Energy Legislation Introduced Today


WASHINGTON, D.C.
(May 12, 2010) ? Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today in reaction to clean energy legislation introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) this afternoon.

"I applaud Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their tireless and resolute campaign to bring us an approach to addressing our climate change challenge.  It is important that we pass legislation to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources- an addiction that sends money to unfriendly nations rather than invests it in America.  We must, as the most recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reminds us, protect our natural treasures, our sources of food and the air we breathe.  And we must make investments in clean energy technology in the United States to make us a true competitor in the global economy and create jobs here at home.  The bill proposed today is a great start towards these goals and as we move forward with this legislation, we must ensure that it includes even more provisions to promote the production and use of renewable sources of energy, as well as promote energy efficiency.

"With this new draft in hand, we'll now have to evaluate whether we can garner sufficient support to pass this, as well as whether there will be sufficient time yet this year to give it full consideration on the Senate floor.  It is my hope that we can pass a bill that will address our energy and climate issues in the near future."

By Senator Tom Harkin


Iowa's farmers and landowners have a deep connection, commitment and respect for our state's land, water and resources.  To help them meet the challenges of conserving Iowa's rich natural heritage for future generations, I have long believed that our U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs should reward agricultural producers not just for what they grow, but for how they grow it.

That is why as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I worked so hard to author the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in the 2002 farm bill and then to improve and strengthen it in the current farm bill, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.  In order to protect the environment and conserve productive farm land for years to come, CSP provides financial incentives to farmers and ranchers who maintain and adopt sound conservation practices.  Earlier this week, USDA announced that the signup period for CSP will begin June 11, 2010 and I encourage producers in Iowa - and across the country - to consider applying for this program.

What is CSP?

CSP is a voluntary program delivered by the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) that financially rewards producers who conserve resources in a comprehensive manner by:

•    Adopting and carrying out new, additional conservation activities; and
•    Improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

The program is designed to recognize and reward producers for adopting and maintaining sound stewardship on their land and to provide financial incentives for increasing conservation efforts.

CSP is offered to support conservation on private and tribal agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 states and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands areas.  The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced or geographic location.

What are the basic features of CSP?

CSP offers participants five-year contracts that provide annual payments to producers who install and adopt additional conservation activities and improve, maintain and manage existing conservation activities as specified in the CSP contract and conservation stewardship plan.

How do I apply for CSP?

Potential applicants are encouraged to use the CSP self-screening checklist to determine if the new program is suitable for their operation.  The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments.  It is available from local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offices or on the NRCS web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.

If the program seems right for you and your operation, download and fill out the Conservation Stewardship Program Application  (available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/special_pdfs/Blank_CSP_CCC1200.pdf), and deliver it in to your local NRCS office.  To find your nearest office please visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

For more information on enrolling in CSP please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.

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Video Available: Congressional hearing examines cause of catastrophic disaster in Gulf Coast

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) participated today in a hearing examining the cause of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf Coast. As Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Braley questioned leaders of the companies involved, including BP America, Inc.,Transocean Limited, Halliburton and Cameron International.  Braley's opening statement, as submitted for the record, is attached.

"These are the questions I want answers to," Braley said in his opening statement. "How did this happen? Why did this happen? Who is responsible? Most importantly, what have we learned? What are we?Congress?going to do and what are we prepared to do to make sure this never happens again? Finally, who will bear the cost? Because despite the assurances we received at the briefing from Secretary [Ken] Salazar and others that BP has made repeated assurances to stand the full cost of this recovery, some of the actions that are taking place in response to this catastrophe would give us the indication otherwise. And that's why, as we look at these serious issues, I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses in answering those questions."

Watch Braley's opening statement here.

Watch Braley's first round of questioning here.

Last week, Braley introduced the Big Oil Company Bailout Prevention Act with Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) to ensure that taxpayers are protected from paying for the disastrous effects of this spill.  Currently, the responsible party in an oil spill must pay for all the economic damages up to $75 million, including lost revenues from fishing and tourism, natural resources damages, or lost local tax revenues.  This legislation would raise the cap to $10 billion and would also eliminate the current $500 million cap on natural resources damages.  This legislation is critical to ensuring that if big oil companies are responsible for a disaster, big oil companies pay for the clean-up and damage.

Braley also introduced legislation, along with Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), to establish an independent, nonpartisan commission to investigate the causes and impact of the explosion and uncontrolled release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico that will ultimately affect the seafood industry, tourism, and the environment.

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Illinois Institute of Technology Receives Federal, State Awards

CHICAGO - May 12, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) will receive a total of more than $5 million to train and develop workers in smart grid technologies.

It is expected that over 49,000 power industry employees, union workers, teachers and students will be trained in the first three years of the program. The funding is made possible through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Illinois Jobs Now! program, the job and capital construction plan signed into law by Governor Quinn last year.

"Illinois' economic recovery must include the development of a more robust green sector that supports job creation and sustainable economic growth," said Governor Quinn. "With the help of this funding, Illinois will have a pipeline of workers who are trained in 21st century green careers and smart grid technology, further addressing our energy independence goals."

IIT will receive nearly $5 million in funding to develop a World-Class Smart Grid Education and Workforce Training Center, including a $2.5 million funding commitment by the state through the Illinois Jobs Now!.

The Center will use IIT's strong Smart Grid and power engineering infrastructure to engage utilities, corporations, labor, veterans, K-12 educators and community colleges in a collaborative, statewide initiative to train the strongest workforce in the world to meet the global challenges in Smart Grid, energy independence, clean tech and sustainable energy.

Illinois Jobs Now! is a $31 billon program which will revive the state's ailing economy by creating and retaining over 439,000 jobs over the next six years. For more information go to jobsnow.illinois.gov.

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Senator seeks distance between regulators and industry

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley has filed an amendment to the Senate financial regulation bill to create a new registration requirement for certain employees at all major financial regulatory agencies who leave the agency.  The amendment would also establish a two-year ban on these former employees from representing clients before their former employer.  The ban is similar to revolving door ban the Senate places on its own members and would apply to employees that are paid a salary that is statutorily authorized above the standard government pay scale.

"The revolving door is a real issue, and we've seen situations where someone is a high-level government official one day and representing a major player in the financial world before their former agency just days later, without any public disclosure whatsoever," Grassley said.  "In addition to making things transparent, my amendment also would create a reasonable waiting period that's similar to those applied to members of Congress, congressional employees, cabinet level officers and other high ranking employees in the executive branch."

The agencies impacted by this amendment include the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Farm Credit Administration, National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Commodities Future Trading Commission.  Congress has exempted certain employees at these agencies from the government pay scale, and the agencies are empowered to increase pay.  Annual salaries exceed $200,000, in some instances.

Grassley has co-sponsored a number of amendments to the financial regulation bill which focus on greater transparency and accountability for both regulators and financial institutions, including audit authority over the Federal Reserve.

Last week, Grassley won passage of an amendment to provide whistleblower protections to employees of credit-rating agencies.  "People who know of wrong-doing and speak up should be able to do so without fear of retaliation.  These protections are similar to those I won for corporate employees after the Enron scandal," he said.  "The credit-rating agencies contributed to the financial crisis of 2008.  They were too cozy with the industry that they were supposed to be assessing in an independent and credible way."  Separately, Grassley has cosponsored an amendment offered by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota that would create a firewall so that a credit-rating agency can be selected independent of an issuer.  This amendment goes after conflicts of interest between rating agencies and issuers.

 

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Regan Hatfield, abstract artist and musician, announces the opening of the new Star Dog Gallery and Studio for Regan, Suite 102, Bucktown Center for the Arts, 225 East 2nd, Davenport. Regan has remodeled the spacious gallery space, formerly occupied by Unique Art, adding new lighting and additional studio workspace. The Star Dog Gallery is open Wed. - Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the public is invited to a grand opening celebration on Friday, May 28th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during Bucktown's Final Friday event.

In addition to Regan's work more than 12 painters, photographers, ceramic and mixed media artists are represented in the sales area.  The gallery features two and three-dimensional artwork by Marty Kiser and Dee Schricker, photography by Dee Oberle, Heidi Brandt and Ashley Razo, and paintings by Gene Brack, Judy O. Gray, and Karen Grabowski.

"We hope everyone will help us celebrate the opening of our new gallery on Friday, May 28th." The party theme for the evening is wine and Roses,  "Refreshments and music are planned, TBA as well as a chance to meet a group of talented artist and learn more about them and their work.

For more information on Regan Hatfield and his work go to. http://www.reganart.net/.  For information about the Star Dog gallery e-mail stardog66@live.com or call (563) 514 - 5886.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is proud to announce that Hilary Osborn, a broadcast student at the University of Illinois is the recipient of the WQPT 2010 Broadcast Scholarship. The $500 award can be applied to tuition, books and fees.

Miss Osborn said "I am truly honored to be a recipient of the WQPT scholarship. From the time I was in middle school, I have known that I wanted to be in the field of broadcast journalism."   She also shared a story about WQPT, "When I was a young child, I remember watching the children's programs on this very station. Those programs were a great supplement to my early childhood education. For that, I am so grateful. It is reassuring to know that these programs are still available for young minds. Long Live WQPT and PBS!"

"We are delighted to be able to award this scholarship to Hilary and to know that WQPT helped play a role in her early childhood education," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.

WQPT is a broadcast service of Western Illinois University-Quad Cities located in Moline, Illinois.

 

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