Grassley Releases Report on Lack of Inspector General Oversight

at the International Trade Commission

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today released a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the lack of Inspector General (IG) oversight at the International Trade Commission (ITC).  Although, the Inspector General Act requires that agencies appoint an IG to detect waste, fraud, and abuse, the ITC failed to fill the position for more than four years.  Instead, the GAO report found, ITC relied on "acting" and "temporary" appointments for most of the period between November 2005 and December 2009.  For 17 months during that time, ITC operated with neither an acting nor a temporary IG, according to the GAO report.

"Agencies need to understand that Inspector General oversight is not optional," Grassley said.  "The law requires that they have an IG on the job and that the IG be given the resources and access to information necessary to do the job.  The ITC needs to finish implementing the GAO's recommendations for corrective action as soon as possible to ensure that there is adequate oversight of the agency from now on."

GAO also found that the ITC failed to support the temporary and acting IGs with policies and procedures to ensure access to agency records.  The ITC failed to provide notice and coordination with the temporary IG on a criminal referral to the Justice Department.  And, the ITC kept the IG's budget flat while its own budget increased by 23 percent.

Grassley is ranking member of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, and a long-time advocate for inspectors general.

The GAO report on the ITC is available here.

October 28, 2010

Contact: Public Information Officer at 563-326-8618

Since July 2010, there have been 103 cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) reported in Scott County and the number of cases continues to grow. As a result, the Iowa Department of Public Health has declared Scott County a Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Outbreak Area.

During a Pertussis Outbreak, anyone who has had a cough for more than two weeks, without another known reason (asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc) and has either coughing "spells or fits", or a whoop with their cough, or vomits after coughing is considered to be a case of Pertussis and needs to see their doctor for testing and treatment.

Pertussis is easily spread to others when someone who has it coughs germs into the air and other people breathe them in. School age children and healthy adults who have Pertussis may not look very sick, but can still spread the disease to other people when they cough.

It is very important for people who have Pertussis to stay at home the entire time they are taking their medicine. That means no school, no work, no grocery shopping, no church, etc. Pertussis can cause babies, people with weak immune systems and older people to get very sick or even die.

For more information call the Scott County Health Department at 563-326-8618 or visit www.scottcountyiowa.com/health.

Nashville, TN (October 28, 2010) - Soles4Souls, the international shoe charity proudly announces its partnership with The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) for a pre-holiday boot trade-in event.  The retailer will be collecting customers' gently worn boots for charity while offering a discount on a new pair from its fabulous assortment.

Beginning on November 3rd, customers will be invited to drop by any of The Bon-Ton Stores 277 locations, including Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, Younkers, and Parisian (Detroit, MI area) to donate their 'gently worn' pair of boots in exchange for $15 off a new boot purchase of $50 or more.  The $15 off coupon is also valid online through any of the nameplates.  To find a participating location visit  http://www.bonton.com/content/find-a-store/brandcontent.html.

"We are very pleased to partner with Soles4Souls to provide free shoes to people in need," said Bud Bergren, President and CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "We can all make this simple yet important difference in the lives of people all over the world."

"We are excited to be partnering with Bon-Ton for this boot event," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Customers will have the opportunity to give back and thousands of people will be the recipient of the gift of shoes because of their efforts." he said.
For more information on how to get involved and to find a recycling location near you, visit www.giveshoes.org.

About Soles4Souls®
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects, recycles and reuses shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you.  We distribute usable shoes to people in need around the world (we recycle less than 2% of donated footwear). Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away nearly 12 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 7 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org <http://www.giveshoes.org>  for more information.

Introducing Clothes4Souls™
Soles4Souls is proud to announce the launch of their new division, Clothes4Souls.  We strive to increase dignity and hope for hurting people through the gift of new clothing from manufacturers, designers, and retailers.  Those who graciously donate (rather than destroy) unused inventory will be assured the clothes will be given to people around the world living in desperate need.  Visit www.clothes4souls.org <http://www.clothes4souls.org> for more information.

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 277 stores, including 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates and, under the Parisian nameplate, stores in the Detroit, Michigan area. The stores offer a broad assortment of brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.  The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc is an active and positive participant in the communities that it serves.-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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State's $62 Million Investment Package Will Save Nearly
2,000 Jobs, Boost Illinois' Automotive Industry
CHICAGO - October 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Chrysler Group LLC is planning to invest $600 million over the next three years to expand its Belvidere Assembly Plant and prepare it for production of future vehicles. The state is providing a $62.1 million business investment package to save 1,950 permanent jobs and generate 700,000 construction hours. Governor Quinn proposed, helped to pass and signed legislation into law in December to expand the EDGE tax credit to benefit the auto industry, which was critical to Chrysler's decision to stay and expand in Illinois.
"Illinois has some of the best and most productive workers in the nation, so it's no wonder Chrysler has chosen to remain in Illinois for the production of future vehicles," said Governor Quinn. "This significant investment will save nearly 2,000 Illinois jobs and is a clear indication that Illinois is continuing our economic recovery."
The state's investment will help Chrysler build a 638,000 square-foot body shop, in addition to installing new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work began this summer, and the project is expected to be completed next year.
The improvements will facilitate the production of the next generation of Chrysler vehicles in 2012, incorporating advanced components and systems technologies. The Belvidere facility currently produces the Dodge Caliber, Jeep® Compass and Jeep Patriot.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the state's business investment package. The package consists of EDGE tax credits, Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company's workforce, and Large Business Development Program funds for capital improvements.
Chrysler will also benefit from being located in an Enterprise Zone. The enhanced EDGE tax credit enables auto manufacturing companies, which are among Illinois' largest group of employers, to retain employee income tax withholdings as an alternative to the current EDGE corporate tax credit and reinvest those funds into operations that create more jobs.
"Governor Quinn has stood by Chrysler since day one because he knows how important this company is to Illinois and the people of this region," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. "Today, we are seeing the benefits of our investments as we help usher in a new era of manufacturing excellence in Illinois."
Illinois leads the Midwest in job creation with more than 50,000 jobs being added this year, including more than 10,000 manufacturing jobs. Illinois' economic growth in 2010 also nearly doubles the nation.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (10/28/2010)(readMedia)-- The Augustana Choir will showcase pieces from diverse musical traditions at its annual fall concert on Friday, October 29, at 8 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport (2136 Brady St.).

Choir members from your area include :

Carrie Duke from East Moline, IL. Duke is a sophomore majoring in accounting.

Halley Stearns from Sherrard, IL. Stearns is a sophomore majoring in anthropology.

Hannah Barney from Bettendorf, IA. Barney is a sophomore majoring in business administration advising.

Edwin Fonseca from Moline, IL. Fonseca is a junior majoring in international business and accounting.

Sheila Ahuja from Rock Island, IL. Ahuja is a first year majoring in liberal studies.

Rebecca Anderson from Moline, IL. Anderson is a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Gregory Donley from Silvis, IL. Donley is a first year majoring in liberal studies.

Darshan Hullon from Moline, IL. Hullon is a first year majoring in liberal studies.

Eryn Maccabee from Moline, IL. Maccabee is a first year majoring in liberal studies.

Katie Rea from Rock Island,, IL. Rea is a first year majoring in liberal studies.

The concert will open with two modern religious works: Damijan Mocnick's Latin hymn "Christus est natus" and Krzysztof Penderecki's a cappella piece "Song of Cherubim." The remainder of the choir's musical selections will be divided into three programmatic sections: Songs of the Night, selections from Mozart's Requiem, and American Music. The selections from Mozart's Requiem have been arranged by Augustana's Dr. Jon Hurty for organ and string chamber accompaniment. Other pieces from these programmatic sections include Eric Whitacre's "Sleep" and Undine Moore's arrangement of the spiritual "Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord."

The Augustana Choir is the college's premiere vocal ensemble. Since its establishment in 1931, the choir has sung at numerous prestigious venues across the nation and the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The choir also performs regularly in churches and concert halls throughout the Quad Cities.

Hurty, a music professor and department co-chair, directs the Augustana Choir. He received his doctorate in choral conducting and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to his responsibilities at Augustana, Hurty directs several community and church ensembles in the Quad Cities and serves as a guest conductor throughout the United States.

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 members 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.

MUSCATINE, IOWA - Bickford of Muscatine invites the community to a vendor based shopping event called Shopper's Showcase on Thursday, November 11 from 4 to 7PM. Vendors include but is not limited to Beauty Control, Tastefully Simple, Partylite, Lia Sophia, Scentsy Candle and Judy's Candyland. This event is open to the public and admission is free.

Bickford's Shopper's Showcase creates an environment where people can do all of their holiday shopping conveniently under one roof with affordable, unique, and high-end gifts available for purchase. Each shopper will receive a free Bickford Reusable Shopping Bag and can be entered in a drawing to receive giveaways from participating vendors.

For more information on Bickford of Muscatine Shopper's Showcase, please call (563) 263 - 6600.

Andy Eby, President of Bickford Senior Living said, "Our Shopper's Showcase event is by far one of our favorite events!  It gives our residents and the community a chance to celebrate the holiday season together through a fun and festive shopping experience."

Bickford Senior Living manages and operates over 40 Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care branches in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Michigan, with headquarters located in Olathe, KS. The company was created when owners, Don & Judie Eby, were unable to find a quality assisted living residence for their mother, Mary Bickford who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The Bickford story is told in more detail at www.enrichinghappiness.com

The Iowa Machine Shed is hosting the "Iowa Pork Tailgate Challenge" on Saturday Nov. 6th with all proceeds going to the Child Abuse Council. Starting at 11am at the Iowa Machine Shed, up to 12 amateur grill contestants will be grilling and competing for a panel of judges and a people's choice award as they prepare their own specialty recipes using Pork Tenderloin or Pork Loin. People can show their support and purchase a $2.00 ticket to sample the contestant's entrees and vote for their favorite amateur cook. "The Shed enjoys celebrating Pork Month and what better way then to have a tailgate competition and partner with the Child Abuse Council," states Jeff Grunder, manager of the Iowa Machine Shed.

For more information on the event or to be compete as an amateur cook, please call the Machine Shed Restaurant at (563) 391-2427 or visit  www.machineshed.com. The Machine Shed is located at I-80 and Northwest Blvd in Davenport.

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Grant Wood Scholar to Talk about the Man behind the Artist

 Join us at the Figge Art Museum Thursday November 4th at 7 PM for a lecture and reading by R. Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life.  Ever since Wood's now-iconic American Gothic caught the nation's attention in 1930, his work has become a blank canvas for audiences?who see what they will in his dream-like landscapes, unconventional history paintings, and forbidding portraits, with little sense of the man who created these images. In his lecture, Evans will discuss some of the sources for Wood's powerful imagery?including a number of important examples from the Figge Museum's extensive collection?and will examine Wood's public image as an uncomplicated "farmer-painter," a persona that has often obscured the far more interesting dimensions of Wood's life; his sexuality, artistic identity and relationship with his family.

R. Tripp Evans, PhD is Professor of Art History at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. He is the author of Romancing the Maya: Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination, 1820-1915 (2004). He received his doctoral degree in the history of art from Yale University and has served as a visiting lecturer at Yale, Wellesley College, and Brown University.

Evans will be signing books in the store prior to his lecture; beginning at 5:30 pm. Copies are currently on sale in the Museum Store. Admission to the museum and lecture is $7. Admission is free to members, college professors and students. The Figge Arts Café and Bar will be open before and after the lecture.

-end-

Intercity Rail Project will Create 2,100 Jobs, Boost Regional Economy

MOLINE - October 27, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted $230 million in federal funds to build passenger rail service between Iowa City, Moline and Chicago. Service between Chicago and Moline is expected to begin in 2013 with full service to Iowa City to follow in 2015. The project is expected to create more than 2,100 jobs in Illinois. Governor Quinn was joined at today's announcement by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Representative Phil Hare and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.

"Passenger rail is important to our state's continued economic recovery, creating jobs and stimulating economic development throughout the region for many years to come," said Governor Quinn. "I want to thank Senator Durbin and Congressman Hare for their leadership in helping make this project possible."

Awarded jointly to Iowa and Illinois on Monday through a competitive process, the $230 million will fund the development of a new corridor of rail service and mark the return of passenger train service to the Quad Cities for the first time since 1979.

In addition, Governor Quinn is investing $45 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program for the line's construction and Iowa is contributing $20.6 million. Last week, Governor Quinn, Senator Durbin and Congressman Hare announced $16.6 million for a new multi-modal station in Moline, which will serve as a stop along the new corridor.

"This new train line is just the beginning," said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "The route from Chicago to the Quad Cities will pave the way for new train service across the Midwest and give us the opportunity to show the world that we can build our trains and locomotives right here in America. I thank Secretary LaHood, Governor Quinn, Congressman Hare and the Iowa Delegation for seeing the potential in this route becoming an integral part of the Midwest rail network."

Nicknamed "The Green Line," the new corridor will set the standard for environmentally-friendly rail service, including the use of biofuels and soy-based lubricants produced in Illinois and Iowa.

"The good news keeps pouring in for the Quad Cities. This funding will effectively complete the Quad Cities-Chicago Amtrak route," Representative Hare said. "This project is a winner for our entire community. It will create jobs, spur economic development, and provide a safe and convenient transportation alternative. I couldn't be prouder to have played a role in making this a reality."

In addition, the Chicago-to-Detroit corridor will receive $161 million to rehabilitate tracks on a portion of the route to allow for high-speed service to Detroit. The Midwest also received funding to improve travel times and reliability on both the Chicago-to-Milwaukee and Chicago-to-St. Louis corridors.

The Midwest system has received more than $3 billion in competitive federal awards in 2010. When completed, the system will connect more than 40 of the largest cities in the Midwest with passenger rail, including 60 daily roundtrips out of Chicago.

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Benefit included in Health Care Reform Bill

Washington, D.C.?Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today more than 2500 First District seniors have received $250 checks to help cover the cost of prescription drugs when they fall into the Medicare Part D "donut hole." These checks were included in the health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, which was passed earlier this year, and is one of the first immediate benefits of the law.  As of October 1, 2010, 2,520 seniors in the First District have received a $250 check to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs.  By the end of this year, an additional 8,480 First District seniors are expected to fall into the "donut hole" and receive the benefits. 

"One of the greatest benefits of the health care bill is that Iowa's seniors will no longer be left hanging in the Medicare Part D 'donut hole,'" said Braley.  "By the end of the year, more than 11,000 seniors across the First District will receive these checks,  helping them defray the costs of life-saving drugs. The Medicare Part D donut hole put a terrible burden on many Iowa seniors and I'm proud to have supported this legislation that provides a direct benefit to Iowa's seniors."

The numbers were released Monday as part of a report issued by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Braley is a member of the Committee. The report is available here.

Beginning in January 2011, all seniors in the donut hole will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. These discounts will save seniors in the First District $5.8 million next year.  The discount on brand-name drugs increases to 52.5 percent in 2013 and to 55 percent in 2015. The savings continue to grow until the donut hole is completely eliminated for both brand-name and generic drugs in 2019.

For more information, visit http://braley.house.gov.

 

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