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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Trinity Regional Health System and the Rock Island Area Regional Council of Make-A-Wish will hold a family movie night fundraiser featuring the animated film "Fantastic Mr. Fox" on Sunday, July 25, at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport.  Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with the movie playing at 6 p.m. on the ballpark's big screen. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets to spread out on the outfield.  Stadium seating also is available.

Based on the Roald Dahl children's novel, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" stars the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.  The film was nominated for numerous accolades, including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 82nd Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2010 Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards.

Advance tickets may be purchased for $4 per person or $12 for a family of four at any Trinity hospital campus cashier in Moline, Rock Island, or Bettendorf; The Grape Life in Davenport; or DMW Design, 5000 Tremont Ave., Davenport.  Tickets purchased at the gate are $5 per person or $15 for a family of four.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy. Since 1985, the Foundation has granted more than 9,000 wishes in Illinois.  According to event organizer Beth Darnell, the event's goal is to raise enough money to sponsor one wish, which averages $5,000 in cash costs.

"A child's illness can take its toll both physically and emotionally on the entire family," Darnell said.  "Granting a wish to that family helps to ease that burden, if even for a little while."

The event is hosted by the Rock Island Area Regional Council, a group of local volunteers active in bringing the Make-A-Wish mission to the Illinois Quad Cities community, and presented by Trinity Regional Health System.  Additional support is provided by Serv-A-Lite, East Moline Glass, Printing Unlimited, Quad-City Times, DMW Design, the River Cities Reader, The Rock Island Argus and the Moline Dispatch Publishing Company.

For more information, go to www.trinityqc.com/facebook.

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John Taylor Salon and Day Spa will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary by putting on a Fashion Show.  Miss Iowa Contestants, including Miss Iowa, will be modeling the latest trends in Hair, Make-up, Nails and Fashion on the runway.  This event will be judged by a panel of fashion experts and one former runway model.

Event begins at 5:30 on Thursday, July 15th at John Taylor Salon and Day Spa, 4102 Black Hawk Road.

1,2, FREE!!!!  Now through July 31st, buy 2 Pureology, Redken, Bioelements or Identity Cosmetics and Receive the 3rd for FREE (must be of equal or lesser value).  Come in today and save.  You Deserve it!!!

Health Care Reform Continues to Benefit Iowans by Supporting Transition to Electronic Health Records

Washington, D.C. - July 13, 2010 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on the announcement of final rules that pave the way for the expanded use of electronic health records (EHR) in America.  In March of this year, Harkin joined 37 other Senators in commending a proposed rule to distribute Recovery Act funds for health information technology (HIT), and urged improvements to increase flexibility and encourage participation among providers.  Today's announcement includes those recommendations, and completes the ground work for an incentive-based transition program.  

"This news is nothing short of a breakthrough in strengthening health information technology in this country," said Harkin.  "It draws on the best advancements across the full spectrum to improve Americans' health, increase safety and reduce health care costs -- all of which are critical steps to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.  I am encouraged that the Secretary worked with us to allow physicians and hospitals to qualify for incentives as they make incremental investments in adoption and use of this technology and that the rule allows physicians working in hospital outpatient settings to qualify for the incentives. I will continue to monitor the implementation of these incentives to ensure that providers have sufficient flexibility as they take steps to adopt this important technology."  

Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.  One of the two regulations announced today defines the "meaningful use" objectives that providers must meet to qualify for the bonus payments, and the other regulation identifies the technical capabilities required for certified EHR technology.
As much as $27 billion may be expended in incentive payments over ten years. Eligible professionals may receive as much as $44,000 under Medicare and $63,750 under Medicaid, and hospitals may receive millions of dollars for implementation and meaningful use of certified EHRs under both Medicare and Medicaid.

Today's regulations contain two specific rules that will have a direct effect on Iowa providers. One defines the minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology in order to qualify for the payments. This rule provides more flexibility for providers in meeting these requirements, and allows physicians and hospitals to qualify for the incentives as they make incremental investments in adoption and use of HIT.  The second rule allows physicians working in hospital outpatient settings to qualify for the HIT incentives.  

A CMS/ONC fact sheet on the rules is available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

Technical fact sheets on CMS's final rule are available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

A technical fact sheet on ONC's standards and certification criteria final rule is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/standardsandcertification.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that a total of $9,225,998 has been awarded to Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Iowa City, Sioux City and Waterloo under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) programs. Harkin is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds housing initiatives.

"In these tough economic times, these funds go directly where Iowa families with modest incomes need it the most: to obtain quality housing and pursue economic opportunities," said Harkin. "It gives me great pleasure to announce this funding and applaud these cities for receiving these necessary and vital grants."

CDBG funds develop viable communities by providing housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income.

HOME funds provide formula grants to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy and rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct assistance to low-income people.

The ESG program provides homeless persons with basic shelter and essential supportive services.

Details of the annual formula grants are below.

Davenport
CDBG- $1,883,503.00
HOME- $713,195

String players, are you ready for your Quad City Youth Orchestra and Youth String Ensemble auditions? Will you be at your best?  Get free professional coaching on the required musical excerpts on July 15 courtesy of the QCSO. The sessions are 60-minutes long and be sure to bring your own music stand.

Date:Thursday, July 15, 2010
Location:Grace Evangelical Free Church, 5520 Eastern Avenue, Davenport
Times:
Youth Orchestra excerpts: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
String Ensemble excerpts: 1-2 PM

Please bring a wire music stand with you to the clinic.

Those students who are unsure of which group they should be auditioning for should prepare both sets of excerpts. They are encouraged to come to both clinic times.

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Amendatory Veto Eliminates Requirement that Voters Publicly Declare Party Affiliation in Primary

 

CHICAGO - July 13, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today acted on legislation to encourage citizen participation in Illinois government by eliminating the requirement that Illinois residents must declare a party affiliation when voting in a primary election.

"This bill is an important step towards making our primary elections fairer and more competitive, but it does not go far enough," said Governor Quinn. "We cannot allow party affiliations to stand in the way of meaningful choice. Today's action will protect the privacy of voters' party preference and encourage greater participation in primary elections."

Today Governor Quinn issued an amendatory veto of House Bill 4842 to create a fairer primary election system in Illinois. The Governor's amendatory veto eliminates the requirement that a voter publicly declare political party affiliation when voting at a primary election. Under current Illinois law, a voter must declare a party affiliation before voting in the primary election, which is then recorded as public record.

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, House Bill 4842 requires the Illinois State Board of Elections to produce an Internet voters' guide prior to the primary election, as is already required for general elections.

The Internet guide would include a photograph and short statement written and submitted by each candidate. Governor Quinn supports the use of electronic voter guides and the amendatory veto maintains all elements of the original bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Sen. Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago).

From Governor Quinn's amendatory veto message:

"Voting is a sacred right and as long as I am Governor, I will do everything within my power to protect each citizen's ability to cast a ballot. With my recommendation today, a voter's partisan preference will no longer be known to others. The decision to cast a primary ballot for one party or another will be strictly a matter of personal choice."

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Senator Chuck Grassley's regional director, Penny Vacek, will be holding open office hours in Scott and Clinton counties on Tuesday, July 20. These office hours provide an opportunity for Iowans to obtain casework assistance or to express views.

Vacek's schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1 - 2 p.m.

Scott County

Eldridge

Eldridge City Hall

Council Chambers

305 N. 3rd St.

Grassley's offices in Iowa regularly help constituents contact federal agencies to sort through problems with Social Security payments, military service matters and immigration cases.  His state offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City and Waterloo.

Here is a comment from Grassley about his staff's upcoming office hours:

"These open office hours are designed to help more Iowans access the assistance that is available from the office of their United States Senator.  I hope any Iowan with federal agency-related casework will take advantage of Penny's visits."

Should constituents have any questions please contact Grassley's Davenport office at 563/322-4331.

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today a total of $5.1 million in grants for cities in Iowa's First District. The grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will be used to stimulate the local housing markets.  

"These grants invest in eastern Iowa's economic future at a very critical time," Braley said. "As Iowa continues to recover from the economic downturn, investing in the housing market and Iowa's local economies is key to achieving successful growth. This grant will directly benefit middle class families in Iowa and help our local economies get back on track."

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program is sponsored by HUD and aims to develop housing and expand economic opportunities specifically for low to moderate-income workers.  The HOME grant program helps expand housing available to low and very low-income families by providing grants that meet local needs and priorities.

The grants will be distributed as follows:

CDBG

Davenport          $1,883,503

Waterloo             $1,507,033

Cedar Falls          $335,659

HOME

Davenport          $713,195

Waterloo             $673,556

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This Saturday, July 17th, representatives from Churches United of the Quad City Area will have an informational booth at the Freight House Farmers' Market, downtown Davenport.  The booth will be open from 8am until 1pm, the usual Saturday hours for the Farmers' Market.  The booth will be located inside the market building, near the patio side entrance.






Churches United would like this opportunity to "Raise Awareness" - to educate and inform the general public about the programs, resources and services provided to the community by our organization.

Hunger Ministries

  • 26 area food pantries

  • 3 meal sites

  • Souper Bowl of Caring

  • C.R.O.P. Walk

Shelter Ministries

  • Winnie's Place for women

Jail Ministries

CareLINK

Week of Christian Unity

Festival of Thanksgiving

Yom HaShoah

Pacem in Terris Award

For more information on Churches United, please contact us (309)786-6494 or visit www.cuqca.org.

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