(Milan, IL) - Mulligan's Valley Pub, located at 310 West 1st Avenue in Coal Valley, will host a fundraiser for the Quad City Animal Welfare Center (QCAWC) on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010, beginning at 5:00 pm.  Enjoy tacos with a $5.00 donation.  There will also be raffle items and a 50/50 drawing.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the homeless animals at the QCAWC.

The QCAWC is the only full service, no-kill animal shelter located in the Quad Cities.  Our mission is a shelter for homeless animals, to support a spay and neuter program, and to provide humane education.  Please cal 309-787-6830, ext 10, for more information.

DAVENPORT, IOWA (July 16, 2010) - Julie Wall of Trinity Lutheran School is bringing a German Tradition to the Quad Cities with German School Cones. The event will be held at the German American Heritage Center on July 25th at 2:00 PM. Cost is free with museum admission and free for museum members.

Since the early 19th century, the rite of passage for children in German speaking areas as they entered formal schooling was celebrated with the gifting of School Cones (Schultuten). Julie Wall is the artist in residence at Trinity Lutheran School and is working with her students to bring this tradition to the Quad Cities. School Cones are also referred to as Zuckeruete meaning sweet cone. In Germany, children attend the first day with their parents and grandparents, often dressed in their best outfit. The older students put on a performance followed by an short introduction, class photographs, and individual photographs with the children's school cones. School Cones are made with paper and ribbon and often times end up being as tall as the child. They can be filled with small gifts, school supplies, and plenty of candy and chocolate. Join us on Sunday, July 25th and make your child a traditional German School Cone to make their first day of school bitter sweet.

For more information on the museum's exhibits, programs, events, classes, and workshops, visit www.gahc.org or call 563-322-8844. General Admission is: Adults: $5; Seniors: $4; Children (5-17 years old): $3; Free for children under 5. Museums members are free. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturday open 10 am- 4 pm; Sunday open 12 pm- 4 pm.


What would you do to earn free food? Take your picture in front of a restaurant? Submit a picture standing in front of your city's population sign? Taco John's is hoping its customers will do all those things and more as it rolls out a new online rewards game called "My Town Mania."

Customers are rewarded for engaging with Taco John's online by posting photos and videos of themselves, family members and friends eating Taco John's menu items and interacting with the brand through various missions. These missions will feature local settings and community landmarks beyond the Taco John's restaurants. Customers earn free food, coupons and merchandise, like retro t-shirts featuring some of Taco John's historic logos, as they reach higher point levels.

"Taco John's customers have deep connections to their communities. This is a fun, natural next step for our 'My Town. My Taco John's' campaign to go digital," states Renée Middleton, Vice President of Marketing for Taco John's. "We want it to be easy for customers to play, so we've made My Town Mania available at www.MyTacoJohns.com and on Facebook." After joining, they will receive a coupon good for FREE Potato Olés®.

Customers will be able to join an online community and see other players from their hometown. A leader board will track who has the most points and how many missions have been completed. Integration with Facebook makes it easy to share the game with friends on the social media super site.

"To keep customers engaged we're also offering bonus missions," says Middleton. "These missions will be time sensitive and reward first responders. But most of all, we hope all Taco John's customers will try My Town Mania and have fun earning free food and awards."

Signup for My Town Mania is available at www.MyTacoJohns.com and http://apps.facebook.com/mytacojohns/

Fast Facts:

  • The first Taco John's opened in 1969. Today more than 400 Taco John's restaurants are located in 24 states, primarily in the Great Plains and Midwest.
  • One of Taco John's signature products is Potato Olés - crispy, round golden potato nuggets lightly seasoned with secret seasonings.
  • Taco Tuesday® is one of the most successful and recognizable Value Days offered by Taco John's. Each Tuesday, crispy tacos are sold at a special discount price. Taco Tuesday started in 1983.

DES MOINES, IA (07/15/2010)(readMedia)-- The world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will share the spotlight this year with characters from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Both the butter Jersey cow and Seuss characters will be on display in the Agriculture Building's 40-degree cooler throughout the Fair, August 12-22.

Butter sculptor Sarah Pratt of West Des Moines plans to take Fairgoers young and old through the story of Green Eggs and Ham, the witty children's book published by Seuss in 1960.

The Butter Cow starts with a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and about 600 lbs. of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter. Once inside the 40-degree cooler, layers of butter are applied until a life-size butter cow emerges - measuring about 5-1/2-ft high and 8-ft long. While a real dairy cow weighs more than 1,000 pounds, a 600-lb. butter cow would butter 19,200 slices of toast and take an average person two lifetimes to consume. Much of the butter is recycled and reused for up to 10 years. Next year will mark the 100th year of sculpting the Butter Cow at the Iowa State Fair.

The Iowa State Fair is set for "Non Stop Fun" August 12-22, 2010. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

* * *

MAE Summer Landscape Workshop

Ellen Wagener    Cloudscapes in Pastel    August 20-22, 2010

This three-day summer landscape workshop with Ellen Wagener is geared to both beginning artists and "seasoned masters."  The workshop will cover working processes including photography, sketching, idea-generation, compositions, and color palettes. Special emphasis will be given to pastel technique in the creation of cloudscapes.

Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to join Ellen on Thursday, August 19th in Cedar Rapids for a visit to the Cedar Rapids
Museum of Art for the Marvin Cone exhibit, "The Sky's the Limit." Throughout his entire career, Marvin Cone (Grant Wood colleague
and Stone City member) was fascinated by clouds and he demonstrated his awe of and reverence for cloud formations in his many paintings and
drawings.  In some of his works, majestic clouds are so much of the subject that those paintings are more correctly called, "cloudscapes"
than landscapes.  This exhibition of thirty works from the 1910s to the 1940s traces the many ways and styles Cone used to capture the ethereal
and transitory qualities of clouds, as well as their majesty and power.  We will also visit the studio of Grant Wood, called Turner Alley, near the
Cedar Rapids Museum, and dinner in CR will follow. The fee for the workshop is $295. Visit the Maquoketa Art Experience website for more information or call 563-652-9925.

Maquoketa Art Experience
124 S. Main Street
Maquoketa, IA 52060
(563) 652-9925

New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, recently named 1,901 undergraduate students to the Dean's List for the Spring semester of 2010.

Among those awarded is Anup Parikh of Coal Valley, IL.  Anup is pursing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.

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."


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.


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

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.


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.