Denise Coiner, Scott County Board of Health Chair and Dee F. Bruemmer, Scott County Administrator jointly announce that Edward Rivers has accepted an offer of employment as Scott County Health Director. The appointment was approved by the Board of Health at their meeting today. Mr. Rivers will start work on August 30, 2010.

Mr. Rivers has 24 years experience in Public Health. Mr. Rivers has spent the majority of his career in Catawba County, North Carolina. He currently serves as the Environmental Health Administrator for the county. Mr. Rivers was the recipient of the Best Leadership Project award by the Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute in 2009. He has a Master's in Public Health Administration from the University of North Carolina. The selection committee was impressed by the similarity of issues in the
communities and Mr. Rivers knowledge of Scott County. Ms. Coiner indicated that the selection panel and Board were pleased with Mr. River's recent work focus and projects involving program standards, quality assurance, public health accreditation, and the use of technology to increase program efficiency and improve customer service. They are confident that he will develop strong relationships with local leaders which will assure that the County maintains its quality services and regional leadership role.

Mr. Rivers was selected from a field of 24 applicants following a national search. He was the unanimous recommendation of an interview panel of 7 members representing the Board of Health, County Administration, staff and contractor of the Health Department.

The opening is created by the announced retirement of Lawrence Barker, Health Director in September

Additional questions can be directed to Edward Rivers at 828-320-3068 or Denise Coiner at 563-324-4384.


WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - July 29, 2010 -Country Maid, owner of the Butter Braid® brand and strong contender in the fundraising industry, wins the July Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur award for its sound business model and commitment to the communities they serve.

What started 21 years ago as a pastry-making project to help a West Bend, Iowa couple with six children make it through the Farm Crisis has now grown into a successful manufacturing and service company with approximately 80 independent dealerships in 44 states. All of the dealerships are dedicated to employee ownership, creative marketing approaches and a strong commitment to keeping rural Iowa vital. Country Maid now has 61 employees in the West Bend area and many more in their other dealerships.

The Butter Braid® pastry product line has a dedicated following which spans generations. "A big part of the experience is that the customer bakes the product themselves; it's not just something they warm up," said Darin Massner, Chief Executive Officer of the company. Country Maid has grown over the years and continues to strive for excellence. "We're in the process of moving into a new building that is adjacent to our old facility on the north side of West Bend. The move will give Country Maid more space and will allow for the enhancement of food safety standards well beyond federal and state requirements," said Massner.

"A number of Iowans are familiar with the good deeds Country Maid has done over the years, not just by employing local residents, but also by providing a quality product that many area kids rely on to raise funds for our schools and community projects," said Dan Chism, Palo Alto County Farm Bureau president. "Their motto suits them well: 'Helping Others Help Themselves,'" said Chism.

Providing business planning is just part of the expert help available through Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa program. For more information about Renew Rural Iowa or upcoming VentureNet Iowa business mentoring seminars, call 800-254-9670 or log on to the Renew Rural Iowa website at


Prepared Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary

FBI Oversight Hearing

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chairman Leahy, thank you for calling this hearing.  I thank Director Mueller for coming up here today to discuss some very important matters.  Since the Director was last before the committee in January, there have been a number of high profile issues at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Most of these issues are related to the FBI's continuing mission to address the national security threats our nation faces.  This includes the failed bombing in Times Square and the recent arrest and subsequent deportation of a number of Russian spies.  The FBI has done a commendable job in continuing to face these threats, but there are still areas the FBI needs to address.  I hope to discuss a number of important topics with the Director and look forward to candid answers.

The FBI's Sentinel Case Management Computer System

The FBI continues to have problems with the nearly decade long upgrade of its case management computer system.  The current iteration, known as Sentinel, follows the failed taxpayer boondoggle of the Virtual Case File system that cost taxpayers over $100 million and provided no usable system.  The Sentinel system was announced in March 2006 and the contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin to develop the $425 million system.  Sentinel was projected to be completed by December 2009.  However, delays and cost overruns have increased the projected cost to $451 million and the project completion date was pushed back until September 2010.

In March, I first learned that the development timeline and cost of the project were in jeopardy.  That month, the FBI issued the first "stop-work" order to Lockheed Martin halting their ongoing work on phases 3 and 4 of the project to refocus efforts on completing a now delayed phase 2.  I wrote to FBI Director Mueller asking a number of questions about this development and what the delay would do to the final timeline and cost of the project.  The FBI responded to some questions but deflected a number of key questions related to the timing and cost.  Following my letter, the Inspector General for the Department of Justice issued a report on the FBI's progress with Sentinel.  The Inspector General stated, "We have serious concerns about the progress of the FBI's Sentinel project."  He added, "As of March 2010, the FBI does not have official cost or schedule estimates for completing Sentinel."  Finally, he found, "FBI officials have acknowledge(d) that the project will cost more than its latest revised estimate of $451 million and will likely not be completed until 2011."  This is absolutely unacceptable for large scale procurement and is particularly egregious given the FBI's previous failure on Virtual Case File.

Compounding matters, I recently wrote for a second time to FBI Director Mueller because the FBI issued another stop-work order to Lockheed Martin extending the previous order.  This second stop-work order should be a concern to all members of this committee and taxpayers alike. While I appreciate the FBI cutting off work on a project before it completely fails, it is starting to appear that the FBI and Lockheed Martin are not going to be able to complete Sentinel in the near future.  Further, it appears that completing this project will take millions more taxpayer dollars.

The FBI and Lockheed Martin are at a crossroads on the Sentinel project.  Director Mueller must take ownership of this project which has spiraled out of control and off budget.   The FBI continues to negotiate with Lockheed Martin about the projected timeline to finish Sentinel, but the Director must provide answers to a number of questions and not simply provide the standard bureaucratic answers if he wants to regain the trust of Congress on Sentinel.  I plan to ask him what has happened with the negotiations with Lockheed, how much more taxpayer money they intend to ask Congress for, whether Lockheed Martin is the best contractor to finish the job, why the cost has spiraled out of control, why the FBI has modified the contract hundreds of times via contract modifications and "change orders" within those modifications, and whether it'll ever be possible to finish this never ending procurement.  There are a lot of questions that need answering before Congress should consider providing one additional dollar to the FBI for Sentinel.

FBI Cooperation with the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

I also want to ask the FBI Director about the FBI's cooperation with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The GAO initiated a review of FBI counterterrorism vacancies at my request, joined by a bipartisan group of Members from both House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The review is human capital focused and is similar to prior work GAO conducted at the FBI from 2002-2004.  The objectives of the current review are to assess: (1) the extent of FBI counterterrorism vacancies and the reasons for the vacancies, (2) the trends in these vacancy rates over time, (3) implications of these vacancies for the Bureau's mission, and (4) the authorities and strategies the FBI is using to address the vacancies

Unfortunately, the GAO has been repeatedly denied access to information it needs from the FBI.  In follow-up questions on this topic following the last hearing, Director Mueller stated that "aspects of the review...constituted intelligence oversight" and that "it is the longstanding position of the intelligence community to decline to participate in GAO reviews that evaluate intelligence activities."  I find it curious that the FBI did not have this reaction to the same sort of GAO request in the past.  In fact, the FBI worked closely with GAO when it conducted its previous FBI reviews in 2002-2004.  Unfortunately, the GAO has encountered bureaucratic roadblocks from the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) which claimed that GAO lacks the authority to evaluate most FBI counterterrorism positions, as these positions are scored through the National Intelligence Program (NIP) Budget.

I am alarmed at this effort to cut off GAO access to information that they have previously collected in the past.  I am also concerned that this lack of cooperation is part of a greater initiative to limit the ability of Congress to conduct oversight.  Further, I have serious concerns that the reliance on the OLC opinion at issue here could have greater impact on the Judiciary Committee as a whole and our ability to adequately evaluate the management and performance of critical FBI components.  I will ask the Director a number of questions related to this matter and hope he will be responsive.

Finally, I want to ask the Director about the recent supplemental budget request submitted to the Congress by the Department of Justice and the White House.  This request seeks an additional 44 FBI agents and an additional 34 full time employees.  I want to know why the FBI needs the additional agents in light of the 145 agents deployed to the border, as the Director discusses in his written statement.  I'm concerned that temporary accounting via supplemental funding could lead to serious problems in the FY2011 budget.  I want to know how the FBI will account for these additional personnel in future years to ensure that agent positions in critical counterterrorism and national security areas are not left vacant because of these new positions.  Given the current fiscal constraints of the federal budget and the swelling deficit, I want to know if the FBI is best suited for this mission or if these resources are best directed to the Border Patrol or other federal agencies with a more permanent presence on the Southwest Border.

I look forward to Director Mueller's testimony and his responses to these important matters.


Professor and historian Dr. Art Pitz will discuss the tumultuous history of the Middle East in his presentation, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History in Four Parts.

****DR. Pitz just returned from a month in Israel where he was briefed by the Foreign Ministry, visited Sha'ar Hanegev and Sapir College, and traveled to the West Bank and to a Palestinian refugee camp.

The series will be held at the Rock Island Main Library,  401 19th Street, on Mondays, August 2nd and 9th, and at the Moline Public Library, 3130 41st Street, on Mondays, August 16th and 23rd.

Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Dr. Pitz will provide a balanced, in-depth portrayal of the tumultuous history of this region.  The series of presentations is free and does not require registration.

The schedule is as follows:

Part 1: Late 19th Century to WWI

Monday, August 2nd at Rock Island Main Library,6:00 p.m.


Part 2: WWI to the U.N. Partition Resolution of 1947

Monday, August 9th at Rock Island Main Library, 6:00 p.m.


Part 3: 1948 Israeli War for Independence/Naqba (Catastrophe) for Palestinians to the Six Day War of 1967

Monday, August 16th at Moline Public Library, 6:00 p.m.


Part 4: 1967 to Present

Monday, August 23rd at Moline Public Library, 6:00 p.m.


****These presentations are sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, the Rock Island Main Library, and Friends of the Moline Public Library.

For more information call Jennifer at (309) 524-2475, Kris at (309) 732-7341, or the Jewish Federation at (309) 793-1300.

The District presents the nineteenth annual Ya Maka My Weekend Festival on Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14, 2010. The event starts at 5 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. Ya Maka My Weekend, the original district festival, features two days of reggae, steel drums, and tropical music on two stages. Enjoy authentic Caribbean food and shop the open air marketplace. Play in the sand beach and dig for buried treasure or make your own sand sculpture. Add some palm trees, tiki torches and some cold Red Stripe, and you will feel like you are on a tropical island ... no passport required!

Ya Maka My Weekend is held on the Great River Plaza, 2nd Avenue between 17th & 19th Streets, in downtown Rock Island, IL. Admission is $8 for a one-day pass, $12 for a two-day pass and children 12 and under are free. For more information visit and or call 309.788.6311.

Reggae, Steel Drums, and Tropical Music

Jamaica is in the heart of the Caribbean and is known as a country of relaxation and individuality, and innovative music has always been the norm. Reggae grew out of several musical styles, including traditional Jamaican music, Ska and R&B and is characterized by a heavy back-beat that reflects the beating of the heart.

14 bands and performers will take to the two stages at this year's festival, and will feature a variety of musical styles from around the world.

Friday, August 13

Jumer's Casino & Hotel Stage

5:00 - 6:30: Kingly T

7:15 - 8:45: Mr. Myers

9:30 - 10:15: Now Generation Band

11:00 - 12:30: Pato Banton with the Now Generation Band

Plaza Stage

6:00 - 7:30: Jumbies

8:15 - 9:30: The Ark Band

10:15 - 11:15: Dis N Dat

11:30 - 12:30: Ardie "Cuban Cohiba" Wallace


Saturday, August 14

Jumer's Casino RI Stage

1:15 - 3:45: The Ark Band

4:30 - 7:00: Natty Nation

7:45 - 10:15: Yabba Griffiths

11:00 - 12:30: Indika

Plaza Stage

12:30 - 3:00: Rude Punch

3:45 - 6:15: Kingly T

7:00 - 9:30: Rebel Roots

10:15 - 12:30: Dub Dis

***For complete band information and website links, please visit

DJ Jason De La Cruz - 5pm - 11pm on the Jumer's Stage - between bands.

The Fiyah Band - in Arts Alley from 4pm - 6pm  - Saturday only

Zumba Demonstration at 4:45pm on The Plaza - Saturday

Caribbean Food and Culture

Live palm trees, real-life pirates, and a sand-filled beach will help turn Rock Island into an island getaway.

Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, French, Indian, Spanish, and other cuisines. A typical dish is "jerk" seasoned meats, which originally referred to the process of rubbing spices and acidic hot peppers onto strips of meat in order to tenderize and preserve them. Rice is a staple food eaten with various sauces and beans.

Four Caribbean-style food vendors will be at the event. Caribbean Kitchen, Hot Spot Island Cuisine, and Jamaican Jerk Hut will return with specialty Caribbean dishes, including jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk wings, Jamaican meat pies, red beans & rice, rasta lemonade, and Jamaican sodas.  Many other styles of food will be offered as well, to appeal to those with less adventurous tastes.

In the open air marketplace find all kinds of unique items including tie dye clothing, sarongs and other apparel, cowry shell and hand-crafted jewelry, incense & oils, wood carvings, drums, African wares, and sunglasses. Official Ya Maka My Weekend t-shirts will be sold for $12.

Activities for Children

The sand beach is the place to be between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday. A variety of interactive activities will be available, including limbo, hula hoops, a treasure hunt, buried treasure and beach ball volleyball. Sandcastles can be built at any time throughout the event.

Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. activities for kids will be available on the sand "beach". Children can build sand castles, dig for treasure and participate in games.

Ya Maka My Weekend is sponsored by Jumer's Casino & Hotel, Euclid Beverage, Red Stripe Beer, Valley Construction, Earth Works, Builders Sand & Cement Co., Guitar Center, County Waste, Holiday Inn Rock Island, CBS4,  Dispatch - Argus, B100, 97X, Rock 104.9, Star 93.5, dphilms, Quad City International Airport, Rexroat Sound and

The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District (The District) is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization established in 1992 by local downtown merchants.  The District's mission is to establish and manage downtown Rock Island as a creative and innovative experience by focusing on the development of the arts and quality special event management.  It features retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and several entertainment venues.  Rock Island is located on the Mississippi River, three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, IL.



River Cleanup Crusader in Final 10 for "Hardest Working _____ in America" Contest

Pregracke Receives Nomination from Dirtiest Jobs host, Mike Rowe

East Moline, IL - July 22, 2010 - Chad Pregracke, President & Founder of Living Lands & Waters, a Quad City-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to cleaning up the Mississippi River, has been nominated as the  "Hardest Working Do-Gooder in America" by Discovery Channel star, Mike Rowe.

The contest is sponsored by Mitchum Deodorant and designed to find, highlight and reward the hardest working man or woman in the country. Contestants submitted videos to the campaign's site and the winner of the contest will be selected by the American public through on-line voting.   To view the contestants and vote for Pregracke, visit the Mitchum website at, select "Meet the Finalists", and click on "Chad Pregracke" and then "I Vote for Chad".  On-line voting will continue through August 15, with one vote per day, per computer allowed.

"This guy has given his life to cleaning up our rivers, getting dirty and loving every minute of it.  Let's do everything we can to help keep him happy and get him some much needed money," says Mike Rowe.

Since starting Living Lands & Waters in 1998 at the age of 23, Pregracke has worked tirelessly to clean up the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and over a dozen other major rivers.  He, his crew, and over 60,000 volunteers have removed over 6 million pounds of debris including over 60,000 tires, 5,000 barrels, 1,200 refrigerators, cars, trucks, and more.  His organization has helped plant over 200,000 native trees and has taught over 10,000 students and teachers about the value and importance of our rivers.


Healthcare Tax Credit a Big Question Mark for Small Business; the Iowa numbers that supporters toss out just don't add up

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 28, 2010 - "We're from Washington and we're here to help" never had a more hollow ring or was more factually baseless than in the claims made by some health reform supporters in the number of small businesses that would qualify for the new health insurance tax credit passed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"Supporters claim 4 million small businesses are eligible for the temporary credit, but the fact is less than 2 million small businesses will receive it," said NFIB tax counsel Bill Rys. "This recently-released research shows how many small businesses will be eligible, but it doesn't take into account whether the firms even offer health insurance."

The research referred to by Rys was put out by Families USA and the Small Business Majority. But the small business authority, NFIB, paints an entirely different picture. In Iowa, the Small Business Majority/Families USA data claim 51,100 small businesses would benefit from the new tax credit. The NFIB Research Foundation, however, pegs the real number at 17,651, using data from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Kaiser Foundation.

"Will a temporary credit help some of the smallest, lowest wage businesses? Sure," said Rys. "Is it the 'saving grace' it's being made out to be? Probably not. The minimal benefits of this tax credit are easily outweighed by the new and expensive burdens of this law."

"Of the four required criteria to receive a credit, they [SBM/Families] only looked at two pieces (firm size, average wage). They leave out whether the business offers insurance and pays for half (both are required to receive a credit)," Rys continued. "The truth is about one-third of firms under 25 employees offer insurance. And, the lower the average wage of a firm, the less likely it is to offer insurance."

None of the talk over the putative benefits and very real drawbacks of the national legislation even takes into account what states have been doing to ensure small businesses can't insure, reminded NFIB/Iowa State Director Kristin Kunert. "States, and Iowa is no exception, continually add more and more requirements onto the basic plans businesses can buy, and each one raises the cost of premiums and pushes affordability further and further out of the reach of small business owners. Having the option of low-cost plans tailored to the needs of each, individual business would do more to bring the uninsured into coverage than some elusive tax credit out of Washington, D.C."

[Business owners can see if their enterprises qualify for the healthcare law's new small business tax credit on health insurance, and if they do, how much it is, by going to]


(Washington DC) -- Two new laws that took effect in Iowa this month are designed to make travel on that state's 114,000 miles of roads a whole lot safer. While one change affects all drivers, both laws specifically target young drivers who are most at risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle crash.

The first law prohibits all drivers, regardless of age or license type, from texting while driving. Additionally, this law makes it illegal for teens holding a restricted driver's license to use any electronic entertainment or communication device (not built into the vehicle) while driving; this includes, but is not limited to, cell phones and iPods.

Iowa's teen restricted driver's license types are a graduated driver's license (GDL) instruction permit, GDL intermediate license, minor school license, and special restricted license.

The second new law requires persons under age 18 to wear a safety belt or harness, or use a safety restraint system, while seated in the front or back seat of a moving vehicle. This new law is in addition to the previous Iowa laws that require all drivers and front-seat passengers, regardless of age, to wear a seat belt.

In a new Two Minute State DOT Update video, Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Nancy Richardson tells Transportation TV that her department supports the new laws because, "Every injury inflicted or life taken in a vehicle crash is someone's child, mother, father, sister or brother. No one should be injured or killed because he or she wasn't wearing a seatbelt or because someone was texting or otherwise distracted while driving."

(Watch it now:

In the video, Richardson discusses the importance and specifics of the new driver safety laws that the Iowa DOT and their safety partners had been working for years to implement. "Law enforcement officials in Iowa now have two more tools to make Iowans a whole lot safer," Richardson said. "We're seeing the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities decline in Iowa, but we're still not satisfied. We have a goal to reduce fatalities by 10 percent over a 10-year period and these laws will help. The bottom line is that - One Death is One Too Many.

Iowa is making the issue of driver safety a top priority. While the campaign against distracted driving is leading the charge, the Iowa DOT has also implemented projects to improve driver behavior through effective safety education programs.

"We know distracted driving is an important challenge for Iowa drivers because last year more than 6,000 people nationally died in accidents related to it," Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said at a press conference rolling out the new laws. "Law enforcement will be offering warnings this year, but every Iowa driver should know there are real penalties in this law because keeping drivers safe on the roads is a priority of this administration."


Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, named 313 students to the Dean's List for the Spring Semester. The following students from the Quad Cities area were named to the list:

Christine Nguyen of Davenport, earned Highest Honors.

Michael Welvaert of Moline, earned High Honors.

James Wohrley of Dixon, earned Honors.

A grade point average of at least 3.6 on a 4.0 scale is required for this designation. "Highest honors" are granted to students with 4.0 averages; "high honors" are awarded to students with 3.8 to 3.99 averages; and "honors" include grade point averages of 3.6 to 3.79.

Cornell is distinctive in U.S. higher education in offering the combination of liberal arts and science study within the One-Course-At-A-Time framework in an active residential community. Cornell is featured as one of 40 institutions in Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives" and was cited by the New York Times as one of 20 "stealth powerhouses" among more than 2,500 four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

On Cornell's One-Course-At-A-Time calendar, students study a single subject for a 3 1/2-week term. The average class size is 16. Nine terms are offered each year, enabling students to pursue multiple internships and international domestic off-campus programs during the year.

For details, go to

Celebrating "The Canticle" at The Canticle - An evening with planetary poets

Thursday, August 5, 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., Clinton, Iowa

The Canticle, home of the Clinton Franciscans, is named for "The Canticle of Creation," a mystical poem / song written by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century.  In it, Francis addresses "Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire, and Sister Water," and praises God for all creation.

"Celebrating the Canticle" is an evening with Francis as well as contemporary poets such as Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver whose great works are dedicated to preservation of the planet.

The evening of reflection on Thursday, August 5, will begin at 4:00 pm, conclude at 8 pm and includes dinner.

"'The Canticle of Creation' sings of the whole of creation as a cosmic incarnation," says Sister Mary Smith, director of retreats at The Canticle, who will lead the discussion.

"This genre of poetry offers us a vision of 'reconciled space.' We will explore the power of poetry to awaken us to a greater sense of our oneness with all creation and thereby transform our choices and patterns of daily life.  Only through such transformation can we begin in earnest the work of restoring the devastation that we humans have brought to the Earth."

"Poetry," said Sister Mary, "is a primary wellspring of reality.  It can be the doorway to the world, providing entrance into the marvelous mystery of creation.  Coming into contact with poets - 'expert see-ers' - we can begin to connect with creation and taste the joy and beauty of that intimacy."

The evening with the planetary poets is the second "Peace through Poetry" program to be held at The Canticle.  It will include times of stillness in the beauty of God's creation on The Canticle grounds as well as group reflection and ritual and will conclude with dessert.

For details and to register, call Sisters of St. Francis, 563-242-7611, or see