Tampa, Fla. (July 15, 2010) - As insurers and homeowners keep a close watch on the Atlantic Basin for hurricane activity this summer, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) cautions people across the nation not to underestimate the destructive and deadly force of thunderstorms and lightning, which occur far more often and directly affect more of the U.S. than hurricanes.

According to the National Weather Service, every thunderstorm produces lightning. On average, 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year in the U.S. by lightning.

"Thunderstorms are a dangerous weather event and their destructive capabilities should not be taken lightly," said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. "Property losses related to lightning strikes exceed $1 billion annually, according to insurance industry data. These losses can range from damage to expensive electronic equipment fires that destroy an entire house or business."

For lightning protection, a whole-house/building surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of damage. It is important to make sure that it is either a secondary surge arrestor tested to IEEE C62.11 or a transient voltage suppressor that has been tested to UL 1449, 2nd Edition. A number of power companies have programs to provide and install the whole-building surge protection. If this is not available in your area, consult a licensed.

However, for best results, the protection should extend beyond the whole-building surge protection. IBHS strongly recommends the following:

· Install additional protection for important or expensive electronic equipment. This should include localized surge protection for power cords to the equipment and any telephone and cable/satellite TV lines connecting to the equipment. These devices are available at most home improvement and electronics stores.

· Have a licensed electrician or competent home/building inspector review the power, telephone, electrical and cable/satellite TV connections to your building. Have them check to make sure that you have adequate grounding of the power line connection and your power distribution panel. All of the utilities should enter the structure within 10 feet of the electrical service entrance ground wire and be bonded to that grounding point.

"Thunderstorms do not receive as much notoriety as hurricanes or the other perils of Mother Nature, but they are a force to be reckoned with," Rochman said. "Preparing your home or business will you give you peace of mind knowing that you will be better protected when thunderstorms strike."

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By huge demand, four more slots open up as 48 filmmaking teams register for this year's event.

The Des Moines 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) continues its record-breaking year as all 48 filmmaker slots have been filled for this year's event. Due to overwhelming demand, four more slots are now available, super-sizing to a possible 52 filmmaking teams for 2010. Registe r today on the 48HFP website at www.48hourfilm.com/desmoines. Also on the website is the schedule of all filmmakers in their screening groups so the public can reserve their tickets for the Fleur Cinema & Cafe public screenings on MidwesTIX.com.

"We couldn't be more proud," remarks 48HFP Producer Sam Tuomi. "Iowa's talented filmmakers are driving the 48 Hour Film Project to become the premiere short film competition and festival of Iowa."

On July 19 at 7pm, the 48HFP hosts a Casting Social at the Lotus Moments Events Center (2134 E Grand Ave - DSM), including a free Workshop for Actors by well-known Casting Director Kimberly Busbee. The session will cover a variety of techniques for actors with limited experience acting for the camera. It will also focus on helping filmmakers get the best results from new talent. Make sure and bring copies of your headshot or contact information on paper to be given out to the film team representatives.

The Des Moines 48HFP kicks-off July 23 with filmmakers receiving their required elements - genre, character, prop, line of dialogue. Filmmakers have just 48 hours to produce a short film in the hopes to win the "Best of City" award along with its $1000 cash prize. To help all filmmakers in their search for music in their films, the 48HFP is pleased to announce that international touring acoustic alternative band The Speedbumps (http://www.thespeedbumps.com/) is making available three songs from their latest album, "The Moon is Down."

Public screenings of the films are at Fleur Cinema & Cafe on July 28 & 29. Once judges have made their decisions, the Top 12 of the 2010 Des Moines 48HFP will be shown August 12 at Fleur Cinema during the Best of City Celebration and Awards followed up by a Special After Party at the Des Moines Social Club, including an exclusive concert by The Speedbumps. Tickets for the screenings are available at Midwestix.com or at the Fleur Cinema box office on the day of show.

DES MOINES 48HFP IMPORTANT DATES:

July 19, 2010 @ 7pm
* Casting Social - Lotus Moments Event Center (2134 E Grand Ave - DSM). Includes Free Workshop for Actors with Kimberly Busbee.

July 23-25, 2010
Des Moines 48HFP competition weeken d
* July 23 Kick-off Des Moines Art Center for filmmakers only
* July 25 Completed films must be dropped off by 7:30 pm

July 28 & 29, 2010
* Public screenings of all completed 2010 Des Moines 48HFP entries and vote for your favorite
Fleur Cinema & Cafe (4545 Fleur Dr - DSM)
Tickets are available at MidwesTIX.com or at the Fleur Cinema box office on the day of show

August 12, 2010
* Best of City Celebration (open to the public) - includes screenings of the top 12 judged films from the 2010 Des Moines 48HFP entries
Fleur Cinema & Cafe (4545 Fleur Dr - DSM)
Special After Party at the Des Moines Social Club (1408 Locust St - DSM) including exclusive concert by The Speedbumps

STAY UP-TO-DATE ONLI NE:
facebook: www.facebook.com/desmoines48
twitter: www.twitter.com/48hfpdesmoines

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which filmmakers make a short film - write, shoot, edit and score it - in just 48 hours. On Friday night, they are assigned a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, all to include in their film. 48 hours later, the film must be complete. In 2009, some 30,000 filmmakers made films in 70 cities worldwide, including over 40 filmmaking teams in the Des Moines competition. Since 2005, the Des Moines 48 Hour Film Project has showcased over 170 films.

The Des Moines 48 Hour Film Project is sponsored by The Fleur Cinema & Cafe, Put It On Video, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Social Club, Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau, Iowa Motion Picture Association, Iowa Scriptwriters Alliance, Lotus Moments Event Center & Printing, and MidwesTIX.

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Washington, DC (July13, 2010) = "A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit today declaring unconstitutional the Federal Communications Commission's indecency policy seems foolish on it face," said Patrick A. Trueman, former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in Washington, D.C. "How is the American public to understand that federal judges don't know that use of the "F-word" is indecent during prime-time television?"  This ruling only increases the public's belief that government is out of touch with the public and out of step with the U.S. Constitution, Trueman added.

The court found that FCC policy was, "unconstitutionally vague" and creates a "chilling effect" on broadcasters. Trueman said, "There is nothing vague about federal indecency law which has been in effect for decades and has always been though to prohibit the "F-word on primetime television. Trueman predicted that there will be no chilling effect on broadcasters if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds this bad ruling. "Broadcasters will have a green light to pump indecent language and perhaps much more into the homes of families at will."

"Rock singer Bono has no more right to shout, "f***ing brilliant" in the homes of unsuspecting American families than we would have in his," Trueman said. "He made himself an uninvited guest of those families that believed honorees at the Grammys would respect the norms of civilized discourse on broadcast television. Similarly, the indecent comments of singer/actress Cher and actress Nicole Richie are out of place in the homes of those families who thought that network television represented a safe haven for family viewing.

Trueman represented the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family in filing a "friend of the court" brief in this case; Fox Television Stations v. Federal Communications Commission. He is currently heading up the War on Illegal Pornography, a national coalition effort to get federal laws against illegal adult pornography enforced. His websites include http://pornharms.com and http://www.youtube.com/user/PornHarms.

The opinion in Fox Television Stations v. Federal Communications Commission may be found here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/indecency.pdf

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Grocer to dare shoppers to compare savings, average family to save nearly $2,000 annually

Batavia, Ill. (July 15, 2010) - Starting Monday, select assortment discount grocer, ALDI, will boldly launch a "one week challenge," daring consumers to shop ALDI for one week and compare the cart-to-cart savings to their typical weekly shopping bill.  The new campaign comes with its own reward for shoppers: a family of four can save approximately $1,996.80 per year - each year - compared to traditional supermarkets' store brands, or $998.40 compared to big box store brands.

"Everything we do is designed with one goal in mind - to help our customers stretch their grocery dollars," said Joan Kavanaugh, ALDI vice president of corporate purchasing.  "Competitors may offer specials or sales on an item here or there, but cart-to-cart, no one matches the quality and value ALDI offers everyday."

Known for offering high quality grocery items, fresh meats and produce at up to 50 percent less than the competition, customers can expect to find more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased items sold under its exclusive select brands.

The grocer's streamlined, efficient approach eliminates hidden costs (such as in-store banking, pharmacies, bagging clerks, check cashing, photo processing or other non-essential grocery store services), and passes on the savings to customers in the form of lower prices.

ALDI stores' efficient layout makes it easy for shoppers to get in, get out and get on with their day, and the smaller store footprint uses less land and utilities, all helping keep prices low on the high quality items offered every day.

"We know that anyone who shops ALDI will save money, but there's nothing like seeing those receipts for yourself and feeling the satisfaction of having more money left in your pocket," said Kavanaugh.

Quality, taste and satisfaction are always double guaranteed at ALDI. If for any reason a shopper is not 100% satisfied with any product, ALDI will replace the product and refund the money.

[Note: Estimated savings based on the average $416 monthly grocery shopping bill for a family of four, according to Consumer Reports, 2009.  ALDI prices are typically 30 to 40 percent less than store brands at traditional supermarkets and 15 to 20 percent less than big box store brands.]

About ALDI Inc.

A leader in the grocery retailing industry since 1976, ALDI has more than 1,100 U.S. stores located in 31 states primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. In the spring of 2010, ALDI opened a new division in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  A select assortment discount grocer featuring its own ALDI select brands, ALDI applies smart and efficient operational and business practices to save more than 20 million monthly customers up to 50 percent on their grocery bill.  ALDI, named 2009 Retailer of the Year by PL Buyer, sells more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items in manageable, non-bulk packaging.  For more information about ALDI, go to www.aldi.us.

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To combat rising healthcare costs, the County offers a valuable resource for its residents

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, ILLINOIS, July 14, 2010? Launched in April 2009, the Coast2Coast Rx free discount card program has saved Rock Island County residents more than $491,154.38, for an overall average savings of almost 50% off of their prescription medications!

Edward W. Rahn, President of Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the issuer of the Coast2Coast Rx free discount card, says "We are pleased to work with the County to help individuals, their families, and pets, combat the rising cost of healthcare." Rahn added "We appreciate all that the County and local pharmacies are doing to help those in need."

More than 60,000 medications are eligible for a discount under the Coast2Coast Rx program, which is offered at no cost to the county or its residents, and is available to everyone regardless of age, income, or medical history.  The cards are available at most major pharmacies, many independents, on the website (www.coast2coastrx.com/rockislandil), at local libraries and at county offices.

RICO Board Chairman James E. Bohnsack, says that the Coast2Coast Rx card program has been welcomed by area pharmacies and residents.  "Our citizens deserve the opportunity to save on prescription costs.  We are pleased to offer this program."

Quad City Arts is proud to facilitate Public Sculpture in the Quad Cities for the ninth year. Six new sculptures have been added to downtown Bettendorf and Rock Island, with two sculptures from 2009 consigned on 2nd Street in Davenport for another year. Works by professional regional artists were selected by competition as follows:

 

Davenport: Artists and Sculpture Locations:


Bilhenry Walker, Milwaukee, WI: "Circum-Zoidal V" on 2nd St. & Main

Bilhenry Walker, Milwaukee, WI: "Inuite's Bone Sequi III" on 2nd St. in front of the parking garage

 

Rock Island: Artists and Sculpture Locations:


Donald Horstman, Fenton, MO: "Tsunami" on the corner of 1st Ave & 18th St.

Carol Sue Horstman, Fenton, MO: "Spring Fling" on the plaza in the District

Paul Bobrowitz, Colgate, WI: "Playing Mantis" in Arts Alley in the District

 

Bettendorf: Artists and Sculpture Locations:


Paul Bobrowitz, Colgate, WI: "Directions" at Martha's Point

Nicole Beck, Chicago, IL: "Asteray" at the Waterfront Convention Center 

Brian Alexander, Douglas, MI: "Keyway" at the Waterfront Convention Center 

Lynette Power, Chicago, IL: "River Spirit" near Splash Landing at 23rd St. and Middle Road

 

The Quad City Arts Gallery is located at 1715 Second Avenue in the Arts and Entertainment District of Rock Island. Gallery hours are Tuesday- Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 11-5 pm on Saturdays. All Quad City Arts programs are funded in part by Festival of Trees; Quad City Arts Partners; and operating grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Quad City Arts is a nonprofit local arts agency dedicated to the growth and vitality of the Quad City region through the presentation, development and celebration of the arts and humanities.

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July is the month of celebrations for Tastee-Freez! In addition to kicking off its 60th anniversary this month, Tastee-Freez will also be celebrating National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 18In 1984, dessert-lover President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.


Tastee-Freez commemorates this special day and its 60th anniversary with two delectable Celebration Sundaes - the "Chocolate Oreo Blast Sundae" and the "Strawberry Cheesecake Sundae" - available at all Tastee-Freez LLC locations now!

A Journey of Hope to Enhance the Quality of Life

DAVENPORT, Iowa (July 14, 2010) - On Thursday, July 22, a team of cyclists participating in the Journey of Hope, presented by KRG Capital, will arrive in Davenport as part of a nine-week, 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

The team will arrive for a sponsored lunch at Happy Joe's on Welcome Way at noon. The public is invite to come out and meet the cyclists.  That evening, they will have dinner and a Friendship Visit at Seduary Pool at 6:30 p.m.

At stops across the country, the three routes (North, South and TransAmerica) will distribute grants directly to assist organizations in serving people with disabilities along with spending time with the new friends in events called Friendship Visits which are events such as dances or barbeques in which everyone can participate in. The time spent with the people for whom these young men ride is what makes the trip special; an afternoon spent together can make both team members and participants look past any disabilities and focus solely on the person.

Journey of Hope is a program of Push America, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, which raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The Journey of Hope team consists of men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day, from San Francisco and Seattle to Washington, D.C., where they will arrive on August 14.

Push America was founded in 1977 with the hope of committing its members to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. With the combined efforts of sponsors and individual team members, this year's Journey of Hope has raised more than $500,000 on behalf of people with disabilities. Push America and Pi Kappa Phi have raised more than $13 million to date and continue to be on the cutting edge of the disability movement.

For more information about this event or more on Push America's summer programs, please contact Joey Haynes at (704) 504-2400 ext. 159 or log on to www.pushamerica.org.

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Figge outreach program is awarded grant from the NEA

The Figge Art Museum received announcement this week that its arts education initiative, The Big Picture, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  "Receiving NEA support is a huge victory for the Figge, as well as for the Quad Cities Area. This grant confirms that the Figge's arts-integration initiatives can compete at the national level and it shows that Washington recognizes the Quad Cities as a community that values keeping art in its schools." - Melissa Hueting, outreach coordinator

The Big Picture connects K-12 curriculum topics with art to teach "big picture" ideas from a visual perspective.  Figge staff members visit classrooms to deliver 45-minute PowerPoint presentations that are focused on Iowa and Illinois curriculum requirements in math, science, language arts, social studies and visual arts.  Each of these presentations includes guided student discussion and, in some cases, art objects are brought to the classroom for a hands-on experience.

During its first two years, The Big Picture reached nearly 20,000 students and this number is expected to increase during the 2010-2011 academic year as more and more teachers spread the word. "As an art educator, I am so grateful to The Big Picture for providing such a wonderful learning opportunity for our community and I extend my highest recommendation for this program. This is a great opportunity to bring the art world to thousands of students." - Craig Lennon, art instructor, Bettendorf Middle School.

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Davenport, Iowa (July 14, 2010) -- Free grounds shows and attractions are part of the draw of the 91st Great Mississippi Valley Fair, set for Aug. 3-8 at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St., Davenport.

New shows and attractions this year will join a lineup of perennial favorites, according to fair manager Bob Fox, who books the acts.

"The main thing is, you don't want people coming into the fairgrounds saying, 'Aw, I've seen that before,'" says Fox.

New shows and attractions include :

The Caboodlestoppers -- They are a mother and father and some of their children who sing, dance and do comedy for people of all ages. They describe themselves as America's funniest country family. "It's a great show," says Fox, who saw the Caboodlestoppers perform at the Louisiana State Fair. "It's a family-oriented show, but it's not cheesy. When I saw it, I thought, 'Boy, this would be great for Iowa."

Galaxy Girl -- This aerial superstar performs breath-taking stunts more than 127 feet in the air on an aerial space needle without nets or safety devices. Fox saw her perform at an International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention in Las Vegas and booked her "in keeping with the tradition of trying to have new and fresh acts every year at the fair."

Granpa Cratchet -- "Granpa Cratchet is a brand new puppet show," Fox says. Granpa also will be driving his little Model T around the fairgrounds during the day and chatting with people.

The World's Largest Traveling Horse Wheel -- This is a device that allows people to ride on Percherons, world famous draft horses.

Some returning grounds attractions and shows are:

Gym Bob's Jamboree -- This popular show will be back for its third year. "These guys are really, really talented," Fox says.

Dallas, the Fire Guy -- Fox says Dallas, the Fire Guy is a big crowd pleaser who returns with his fire-breathing act and "irreverent humor."

Globe of Death -- Multiple daredevil motorcycle riders circle inside a 16-foot-wide steel sphere. Says Fox: "This is a jaw-dropping show."

The Diamonds -- This is the third year at the fair for the Diamonds, a vocal group that had 16 hits between 1956 and 1961. "Fair-goers love the Diamonds, so I brought them back again," Fox says. "They just put on a really good interactive show. I get a lot of e-mails about the Diamonds."

Todd the Stiltwalker -- This roving performer is an act you have to look up to. His 10-foot renditions of characters and comedy routines are always a hit. "Todd is my mainstay," says Fox.

Also returning for 2010 are the Frisco Elephants and Petting Zoo, Great Cats of the World and a chainsaw artist, whose week's work will be auctioned off Sunday, Aug. 8, at 4 p.m. in the Genesis Variety Tent.

Grounds admission to the fair is either by ticket, sold daily at the gate, or by Fun Card, on sale at the fair office and select area businesses.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children 4-12. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Fun Cards are $40 and include admission to the fair each day and to the 8 p.m. grandstand show each night. Admission to the grandstand is by Fun Card only. Children 3 and under are admitted free to the grandstand.

For more information, go to www.mvfair.com or phone (563) 326-5338.

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