Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today that he has secured over $11.5 million in funding for Iowa programs in the 2009 omnibus bill, which pass in the House by a vote of X-X. This bill provides funding for the entire US Government's operations during the 2010 fiscal year.

"The Iowa funding in this bill will help create jobs in Iowa and will directly benefit the people I represent," Braley said. "I'm pleased to have secured funding for these critical Iowa priorities. This funding will help expand access to healthcare, improve Iowa infrastructure, and save and create jobs throughout eastern Iowa."

A list of Braley-secured projects follows:

  • $2 million for Iowa National Guard in Davenport. This project will fund additions and alterations to the Army Aviation Support Facility, providing space needed for all personnel to train to mission standard and to provide maintenance of the assigned aircraft to the facility.

  • $2 million for the city of Parkersburg to improve the intersection of Highways 14 and 57.

  • $1.6 million for projects at the University of Northern Iowa. This includes funding for National Institute for Early Math and Science Education, the Center on Literacy, Language and Disability Studies in Early Childhood Education, the National Ag-Based Lubricants Center and MyEntreNet, a national rural entrepreneurship development system.     

  • $1 million for the I-74 Corridor Construction leading up to the I-74 bridge. This project extends from 53rd Street in Davenport, Iowa to Avenue of the Cities in Moline, Illinois.      

  • $681,800 for the design and construction of a transit maintenance garage in Davenport, as recommended by the 2002 transit study of the Iowa Quad Cities.   

  • $600,000 for St. Ambrose University to construct a Center for Health Sciences Education. The money will also help equip the facility for occupation and physical therapy and nursing programs that will allow for interdisciplinary learning, research and clinical practice.

  • $500,000 to complete the extension of the 10th Avenue South Corridor in Waverly

  • $500,000 to complete the "Rivers to the Sea" museum as part of the National Missisissippi River Museum and Aquarium for the Great Rivers Center in Dubuque. This is one of the top priorities of the City of Dubuque and the number one priority for the Envision 2010 process.

  • $400,000 for Clarke College to transition to a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, mandated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing by 2015 for advanced practice nurses.

  • $400,000 for Hawkeye Community College to develop and deliver training to additional instructors, to provide tuition assistance for qualified trainees, to procure training equipment and supplies and for staff development to train and certify through its program. 

  • $400,000 for a Flight Training Device for the University of Dubuque's Aviation Degree program. This will ensure the pilots are provided with sufficient training on the most current technology available.

  • $389,600 for Dubuque's Southwest Arterial. This will help fund the final design and development of final construction documents, complete property acquisition and to complete the archaeological and cultural resource mitigation work. 

  • $340,900 for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank to construct a food warehouse and distribution center to house a regional Food Bank and its multi-county programming efforts. 

  • $250,000 for the Iowa Dental Association's Dental Home Demonstration Project in Scott County.

  • $200,000 for Loras College to strengthen student faculty research by upgrading and equipping the environmental microscopy and human physiology/anatomy research and teaching center in the school's science hall.

  • $194,000 for Homeward, Inc. to expand a construction finance program that has provided low interest loans to communities to encourage development of new housing in rural communities.

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Author Linda Louise Book Signing Event

WHEN: 12/19/09

TIME: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Barnes and Noble, 320 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA   

WHAT: Louise will be available to sign copies of her Christian living book, "Longing for Wholeness."

In response to the obesity epidemic in America, a Davenport inventor has filed a provincial patent for a weight loss device that he claims will cure obesity if used according to instructions.

Michael Grady, who invented the device in October, said that the device helps flush the body of undigested substances, which contribute to obesity. The body is inundated by processed food additives, medication, sugars and other substances that often cannot be digested when the body is dehydrated, or lacking water. The body requires water as a solvent to carry the undigested substances out of the body before they are stored in fatty tissue deposits.

The patented device, called the hydromotivator, is based on the written recommendation of a physician, Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, author of "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" (www.watercure.com). It acts to monitor the body's hydration levels throughout the day. Users are prompted to flush the body with water when the device indicates a dehydrated state. Toxins that would otherwise remain undigested in the body, and which contribute to obesity, might then be flushed out.

According to Grady, in addition to helping solve the obesity epidemic, the device also reduces the incidence of migraine headaches, hypertension, and high blood pressure, while relieving symptoms affiliated with diabetes. For more information, Grady can be reached at his water spa laboratory located at Atlantispa (www.atlantispa.com), 235 W 35th St. in Davenport at 563-445-7331.

MT. UNION, IA - This week, Iowa author Regina Payne Turner celebrates the nationwide release of her new kids' book, "The Greatest: Little Prairie Dog Makes a Big Difference," a charming story packed with valuable lessons.

In the book, Prairie Dog feels left out. All of his forest friends are strong or big or can fly, but he can't do any of those things, and Grizzly teases him. One day a hunter captures Grizzly, and all of the forest friends are scared to help. Turner reveals how Prairie Dog helps Grizzly and proves to be The Greatest!

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available at any bookstore nationwide or can be ordered through the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore or by visiting barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com or target.com.

This is also an eLIVE title, meaning each copy contains a code redeemable for a free audio version from TatePublishing.com. eLIVE - Listen, Imagine, View, and Experience!

Turner lives in Mt. Union, Iowa, with her husband, Kelly, and their two dogs, Daisy and Sophie. She is a librarian and loves stories of all kinds.


On Saturday, December 12th, Ganson's will open up their restaurant for a Kid's Holiday Christmas Party.  Santa has committed to making this celebration and tells us that he will be happy to give rides to any kids who want to see what it's like in Santa's red, horse-drawn hitch wagon.  To make this party complete, Ganson's will also offer kids face painting, a cooking activity, give them a chance to make some reindeer food and there will be plenty of hot Mulled Cider, hot Chocolate and Cookies while all of this is going on.

"This is my favorite time of year.  I enjoy seeing the wonderment in children's eyes, because Christmas is such a magical season," says Chris Thompson, co-owner of Ganson's Neighborhood Bakery and Café.

There will be two parties, one at 5:30pm and one at 7:00pm this Saturday.  This is open to the public and the cost is $35.00 for one adult and one child.  Any additional guests are $7.00 per person.  Please give us a call at 309-786-6600 to RSVP for this event.

Two families are departing from the Quad Cities; they are among the more than 1,300 Snowball Family Members traveling tto North Texas via American Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas - More than 1,300 spouses and children of fallen military personnel will receive a Texas-sized welcome when they arrive in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on Dec. 9, as part of the annual Snowball Express event. This is the first time Snowball Express has traveled to North Texas.

Each year, Snowball Express, a volunteer, not-for-profit organization, arranges an all-expenses-paid trip to provide hope and new memories for the children and spouses of military men and women who lost their lives while defending our nation. Mayors and governors across the U.S. have proclaimed Wednesday, Dec. 9, as "Snowball Express and American Airlines Day."

"For the families of these fallen heroes, it is a remarkable experience that can greatly help in their grieving process after sustaining such a profound loss," said Micki Sander, Snowball Express Chairperson. "It is extremely moving to hear participants talk about their experience with Snowball Express and what it has meant to them and their families."

American Airlines returns as the official airline of Snowball Express and is providing eight chartered aircraft for the Snowball families, who will be traveling from around the United States. BP is generously donating fuel for the Snowball Express aircraft.

"All of us at American Airlines are truly grateful to our military servicemen and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made to protect the freedom our country enjoys," said Roger Frizzell, Vice President Corporate Communications and Advertising at American Arilines. "This year, we are particularly excited to fly the Snowball Express families to Dallas/Fort Worth - our hometown - where they will be able to enjoy all of our area's top attractions and, of course, get the biggest and best welcome in true Texas style."

This year's Snowball Express trip runs Dec. 9-13.  The families will enjoy numerous activities, including:

· Ranch & Rodeo Day - Visits to the world-famous "Dallas" South Fork Ranch, as well as the Mesquite Championship Rodeo.

· "Day in the Life of Texas" event at the Dallas Convention Center.

· Day with the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks, which includes meeting with the Dallas Cowboys football players and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for football and cheerleading clinics. Entertainment will be provided by award-winning actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

· The Dallas Mavericks have also generously donated American Airlines Center seats for Snowball families to attend the Mavericks' Dec. 12 game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

· Several restaurants including Eddie Dean's, Mi Cocina, Humperdink's, and Chili's-as well as Ben E. Keith Company-are donating meals to feed Snowball families

Including volunteers and donors, this year's Snowball Express event in North Texas will bring together nearly 2,000 people to pay tribute to these fallen American heroes and to create new memories for their families.  To find out more about becoming a sponsor, or to view the list of all Snowball Express corporate and non-profit sponsors, please visit http://www.snowballexpress.org/partners/partners.html

About Snowball Express

The mission of Snowball Express, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is to provide hope and new memories for the children of fallen military heroes who have died in active duty since 9/11.  Since 2006, Snowball Express has hosted an annual event that brings children of fallen military heroes together for a few days of fun.  In 2007, nearly 800 children and more than 300 surviving spouses attended the annual Snowball Express event.  Snowball Express has no paid staff.  It has approximately 25 volunteers who work year round on the "main event."  Ninety-seven percent of all collected cash donations go directly to the event.  When in-kind donations of more than $3 million are included, the total percentage of funds expended for fundraising and general administrative costs is less than one percent. www.snowballexpress.org

Holiday events to be held at two of The Arc of Rock Island County's facilities this week may determine who has more pull?Santa Claus or the Quad City Mallards.  Individuals enrolled in The Arc's Developmental Training and RAP (Retired and Proud) programs at the Opportunity Center in Moline will kick off the holiday season with a special visit from the Quad City Mallards during a Meet-and-Greet event on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, from 1-2 p.m.  The event, the highlight of this year's annual Christmas party, will take place at The Arc's Opportunity Center located at 5101 52nd Avenue in Moline.  Individuals will also enjoy lunch, activities, and making holiday crafts.  The Arc Holiday Choir will circulate with Santa and serenade participants with Christmas carols in each of the classrooms as the QC Mallards join them in spreading the holiday cheer.

On Friday, December 11, 2009, individuals working at Arc Industries and those enrolled in The Arc's Work Services, Developmental Training, and day programs in Rock Island will celebrate the season with a Christmas lunch followed by a holiday program beginning at 1 p.m. The program features Santa's guest appearance, a concert performance of The Arc Holiday Choir, and a Christmas Dance.  The luncheon, concert performance, and dance will take place at Arc Industries, 610 37th Avenue in Rock Island.

The winter weather is not likely to impact the fun this week as Santa's sleigh is equipped to handle the snow and the Mallards are experts on ice.  Both events are closed to the public.  For more information about these holiday celebrations, contact Maureen Dickinson, director of development and communications for The Arc of Rock Island County, at 309-786-6474 or dickinsonm@arcric.org.

Founded in 1952, The Arc of Rock Island County serves more than 300 individuals with developmental disabilities daily.  Day programs are offered in both Moline and Rock Island.  The mission of The Arc is living and working in partnership with the community to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.


Write Letters, Letters and More Letters!

Our care package recipients often tell us that their favorite item in the package is the personal letter written by a fellow citizen from home.  Operation Gratitude strives to include several letters of appreciation in every package that we send...which means we need hundreds of thousands of letters! Teachers and Parents: We especially ask for children's letters. Please include your address or e-mail in each letter so the recipient can choose to write back. For more information about our letter writing campaign, click here or email opgrat@gmail.com

(ROCK ISLAND, IL) - Royal Neighbors of America is hosting a special presentation to deliver cash donations to area families.  The check presentations will take place at the Community Center, December 5, 1:00 p.m. in Durant, Iowa.

"It is as neighbors that we have the most direct and personal influence on each other's lives," said Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America.  "By using our insurance earnings to support these efforts, Royal Neighbors is changing one life at a time."

In the past two years, Royal Neighbors has given over $650,000 to more than 500 individuals or families in need across the country. It is a tangible expression of neighbor-helping-neighbor, the philosophy the organization was founded on. Hundreds of nominations have been received from Royal Neighbors members and its independent insurance agents.

Royal Neighbors of America is a non-profit fraternal life insurance organization dedicated to helping women and their families for close to 115 years. It insures lives, supports women, and serves communities by offering insurance and annuity products. Its members receive valuable benefits and can participate in a variety of local volunteer activities.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, Royal Neighbors serves nearly 250,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762, or visit www.royalneighbors.org.


Governor Culver Addresses Delegates, Answers Farmers' Questions

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - Dec. 4, 2009 --Farm Bureau members from across Iowa gathered in downtown Des Moines December 2 and 3 to discuss innovations which can help farmers remain viable through these tough economic times.

Governor Culver visited with members at the start of the meeting and discussed the budget shortfall and possible impacts on a variety of state programs.  Culver is required to propose his new fiscal budget by January and Farm Bureau members let the Governor know that agriculture is already being negatively impacted during this economic downturn, noting that additional regulations and restrictions would compound the problem and break the backs of family farmers and other small businesses.  The Governor had declared the week of November 28 - December 5 as "Iowa Farm Bureau Week," in honor of the work done by IFBF supporting the people, progress and pride of Iowa.

Seed genetics which can boost the drought and pest-resistance of corn and soybeans were discussed during one of several forums for farmers during the IFBF meeting.  The executives of Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto discussed new seed development of "stacked" corn seeds containing herbicide and corn pest resistances. The seed developers agreed that the time needed to get government approval for distribution has increased at least six-fold in the last five years, and farmers are waiting and needing that seed technology. The seed breeders also discussed the important role Iowa farmers will continue to play in developing drought, pest and disease-resistant strains to help meet the growing food demands of India and China. "We need to increase production, both globally and locally. They're not making more land," said Bill Niebur, Pioneer Hi-Bred vice president for crop genetics research and development.

Another popular forum was the discussion of electric power regulation, generation and distribution. Roger Tjarks, director of Heartland Power REC, Greg Watkins of the Iowa Office of Energy Dependence and Kenric Scheevel of Dairlyand Power Cooperative led a lively discussion with farmers. Since Iowa is now second in the nation in wind energy production, the subject of how to sustain or build on that success was a hot topic. "There will be a buildup of wind (energy generation) in two years, but wind energy is not cheap," said Tjarks. "As long as we can't get it out of here, we'll pay the price in Iowa."

The issue of renewable energy and technology is tantamount to overcoming economic obstacles that threaten the continuation of many good, Iowa family farmers.  IFBF President Craig Lang told members during his annual address that embracing innovation is the key to family farm survival.  "Iowa can be so much more than a commodity-driven economy. We shouldn't be satisfied with only food, fiber and energy from our soils.

We must reach into the creative minds of our farmers and universities to create a 'Living Economy'--- one that is renewed --- not mined and harvested from a shrinking global supply. Iowa's future is in capturing the renewable value of the sun, soil, and rain that falls freely from the sky," said Lang. "Combining these resources with a strong and growing livestock and poultry industry will add millions to rural communities, now in search for new revenue because of declining rural opportunities."

For more information about IFBF's 91st Annual Meeting, including a detailed list of award winners, photos and IFBF President Craig Lang's Annual Meeting address, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.

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