WASHINGTON - Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin today announced that the United States Senate Youth Program has begun its statewide selection process.  The two selected Iowa students will join 102 other delegates March 5 - 12, 2011, for the program's 49th Annual Washington Week, an intensive week-long program educational program.

The United States Senate Youth Program brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Schools overseas to Washington, D.C.  Student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and meet with Senators, cabinet officers, government leaders and policy-makers.

"The program gives students a first-hand look at all three branches of the federal government," Grassley said.  "It's a great learning opportunity for the students."

"The Washington trip gives students a birds-eye view of American government, and I encourage all eligible students to apply," Harkin said. "When smart, talented students take an interest in government it benefits all of us."

Student delegates will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship.  The leadership program is fully funded by the Hearst Foundations.

Delegate selection is coordinated by each state's chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals.  Delegates must be junior and senior elected student officers for the 2010-2011 academic year and reside in the state where they attend school.

The selection deadline is October 4, 2010.  Interested students should visit www.ussenateyouth.org and contact:

Ms. Cheryl Mullenbach

Social Studies Consultant

Grimes State Office Building

400 SE 14th Street

Des Moines, IA 50319



Since its establishment in 1962, nearly 5,000 students have participated in the United States Senate Youth Program

Mark Your Calendar!  Tom Cordaro , author of "Be Not Afraid," is presenting a Seminar: Be not Afraid: An Alternative to the War on Terror, Living Unafraid: a Biblical Path to Freedom.

Tom has worked for many years at the National level of Pax Christi. He organized anti-war disarmament, economic justice and peace campaigns. Tom has a Masters Degree in pastoral studies from St. Thomas University, Miami, Fl.

  • Seminar Date: Sat. Sept 11, 2010 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Place: St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa in the New Hall Building lower level at the corner of Gaines and Lombard Streets. Parking is available across Gaines St.

  • Early registration: $8.00. Call Ollie 563-332-1007 - at the door $10.00 Students with ID free.

  • Sponsors: Pax Christi QC, Sisters of Humility, Davenport, IA, Sisters of St. Benedict, Rock Island, IL, Ambrosians for Peace and Justice, Davenport, IA.

Be Not Afraid;  An Alternative to the "War on Terror", Tom Cordaro

Grounded in history and a faith tradition, Be Not Afraid invites us to overcome the narrative of fear in our country promoted by the "War on Terror" and the attacks of September 11, 2001. Instead, we are called to embrace an alternative narrative of hope and freedom. This alternative requires that we, as individuals and as community members, act to reclaim the civic and religious principles at the core of our national story, principles that can build genuine peace rooted in justice at home and around the world

Named "Best Book by a Small Publisher" in 2008 by the Catholic Press Association and "Peacemaker of the Year" award from the Independent Publishers.

We are often told that the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, changed everything and that we must support an endless, ongoing "War on Terror." But is this what we are called to as Christians? What if we chose a different path? What if the fear-based story?the narrative?we are asked to believe is not the only alternative?

In this challenging book, long-time peace activist Tom Cordaro helps us first to understand terrorism in a historical context and to examine the story we are told we must believe after 9-11. Then, he outlines what the creation of an alternative story might look like.

We need to tell such a different story, one grounded in the underappreciated and often unacknowledged U.S. history of a democratic republic founded on principles and ideals now under attack by the "War on Terror," a story that continues the work-in-progress of our country, a nation continually striving to more fully live up to its ideals. This alternative story is based not on fear or on a view of peace as enforced order, but on the concept of peace as an enterprise of justice. We need to tell this different story, a story linked to our great Christian narrative: the hope and promise of God as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

This book invites us to overcome the narrative of fear in our country. It invites us instead to embrace a narrative of hope and to play an active role, as individuals and as members of a community, in reclaiming our U.S. story from those who would seek to delete it.

Updated and reissued 2010--with a new preface addressing the Obama Administration.

DES MOINES, IA (08/23/2010)(readMedia)-- Bettendorf's Norita Solt took top honors in The Flying Mangos contest judged Saturday at the 2010 Iowa State Fair. Solt's Mango Mojo-Grillled Shrimp Wrap earned first place and a $100 gift certificate to The Flying Mango restaurant in Des Moines.

Second place was awarded to Diane Rauh, and Rebbecca Howe took second. Both competitors are from Des Moines.

Entries were judged on use of mangos, appearance, taste and adaptability to a restaurant menu.

The Iowa State Fair Food Department is the largest of any state fair in the country. Food Department judging is held in the recently-renovated Elwell Family Food Center sponsored by Blue Bunny.

Will Tour ADM corn-based plastic factory

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) will visit ADM's corn-based plastic facility in Clinton today to discuss the importance of a strong manufacturing economy in America.  Earlier this month, President Obama signed the US Manufacturing Enhancement Act, part of House Democrats' Make it in America national manufacturing strategy.

Last week, Braley visited Sivyer Steel in Bettendorf and the UNI Metal Casting Center in Cedar Falls to discuss the work he has been doing to strengthen America's manufacturing industry.

Details of Braley's visits are below.

MONDAY, August 23

WHAT: Rep. Braley tours ADM corn-based plastic facility, discusses importance of manufacturing in America                       

WHEN:           Media Availability at 11:00 am  

WHERE:          Main gate, 410 18th Avenue South, Clinton

# # # 

DAVENPORT, IA - August 23, 2010

A growing number of Scott County residents are working towards establishing an independent slate of candidates, comporting with the Non-Party Political Organization (NPPO) criteria, to be on the November ballot under the name Iowans For Accountability.

A nominating convention for Iowans For Accountability candidates for the Scott County November ballot is being held Tuesday evening, August 24th 2010 at the Bucktown Arts Warehouse in downtown Davenport, Iowa.

[Meeting Location: 225 East 2nd Street, Davenport, IA 52801; 4th floor loft, Suite 400; free parking on Pershing, 2nd Streets and in private lot east of building. ]

Organizers are hopeful to see the three-letter acronym "IFA" on the ballot this November, along with challengers for the three open Supervisor seats as well as the un-opposed County Attorney and County Treasurer positions.

To do so, Iowans For Accountability must secure the participation of more than 50% of Scott County's 63 election precincts, which translates into the support of voting age residents from at least 32 precincts throughout the county.

Tuesday's meeting marks the third and last effort to confirm nominations, as the deadline for filing is Wednesday.  The group of non-partisan supporters convened their first meeting on August 12th and documented 21 precincts. Last Friday 25 precincts were represented by 38 delegates at the meeting.

"The two meetings so far, have been healthy training wheels for the non-party affiliated tax payers of Scott County," said Mike Angelos, one of the organizers. "We've had people who've never met each other before, attend from Blue Grass, Buffalo, Eldridge, LeClaire, Davenport and Bettendorf."

On August 12th, Michael Elliott, former candidate for Scott County Auditor, was voted Chair of the convening nominations. And Michael Angelos, retired electronics engineer at the Arsenal, was elected Secretary. A central committee was also elected by the original delegates at this first meeting. Said committee is made up of John Riley (Blue Grass), Diane Holst (Eldridge), Jesse Anderson (LeClaire), Thomas Rutherford (Davenport) and Todd McGreevy (Bettendorf).

"We've defined our issues, both local and national. We've developed a strong field of nominees for the supervisor positions. And, we've defined our brand, Iowans For Accountability," says Eliott. "We just need to ensure we reach 32 precincts Tuesday night and our slate will be able to ensure the critical issues for Scott County are actually discussed this Fall."  

On August 20th the attendees discussed and confirmed the NPPO name would be: Iowans For Accountability (IFA).

In addition, the following county-wide issues were identified as priorities for investigation by those nominated:
* Unchecked Property Tax Increases
* Unchecked Spending, ex. SECC911
* Non-Transparent Justice System
* Cronyism and Fast Tracking

The unifying theme for the assembling delegates regarding national priorities included opposing un-declared and imperialistic wars, fiat currency via the Federal Reserve system, individual and corporate welfare and bailouts, and invasion of privacy via the so-called Patriot Act.

The IFA supporters seek to nominate and get elected representatives who are, "engaged in the evaluation and decision making process of the business of the county in which we live," says Elliott, chairman of the wanna-be NPPO. "The Republicans and Democrats bring no new scrutiny or problem solving to any of the common sense issues that the people of Scott County deal with every day."

While organizers are confident they have a qualified slate of Supervisor candidates in mind for Tuesday's convention, they admit that the propositions for challenging the currently un-opposed County Attorney and County Treasurer incumbents have been very few.

The Iowans For Accountability nominating convention is open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with a 7pm planned start time, with people from at least 32 Scott County precincts represented.

For more information contact:

Michael Elliott, Chairman

Michael Angelos, Secretary

# # #

The Quad City Flute Association is excited to announce Jill Felber as our guest artist for the 2010 Fall Flute Festival on Sunday, September 26 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Jill Felber has been hailed for her "beautifully finished performances" by The Detroit News and has been praised by Musical America for her "handsome performance."  The British journal PAN writes, "Felber was stunning...not only refined but also full of fun."  "The incredible flutist...the dazzling flutist...the radiant flutist Jill Felber" (The Independent, Santa Barbara ), is known to excite audiences everywhere in concerts and recitals "played with flair" (The Los Angeles Times). "The outstanding American flutist Jill Felber" (Gazeta Rybnicka , Poland ) is acclaimed worldwide for her "consummate musicianship" (Fanfare).   Ms. Felber has performed solo recitals, chamber music, and concertos on four continents and has held residencies in Hong Kong , Taiwan , Australia , Mexico , France , Switzerland , Great Britain , Italy , Canada and the United States . Also a tireless promoter of new music, Ms. Felber has inspired many composers to write solo and chamber works for her and for her flute duo ZAWA!, and is currently engaged in several commissioning projects. She has premiered over three hundred works for the flute and has released world premiere recordings for Centaur Records, CRI, Neuma Records, and ZAWA!MUSIC.

In demand as a guest clinician because of her extraordinary motivational teaching style, Felber is currently Professor of Flute at the University of California , Santa Barbara . Holding degrees from University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University , Ms. Felber has taught on the faculties of Ohio University , Capital University , and Wright State University . Her teachers include Keith Bryan, Judith Bentley, Samuel Baron, and James Galway.

Jill will present an All-State Clinic for Illinois and Iowa High School students, a masterclass for students, amateurs, and professionals in Extreme Makeover: Flute Edition, and present her beautiful musicianship in a recital. Ginny Broffitt from Western Illinois University will be our guest for a Flute Choir Reading Session to start off the day. Cost is $15 for non-members and $5 for QCFA members. For more information, contact QCFA President Lynne Stukart at lynnestukart@yahoo.com.


Schedule of Events:

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.   Check-in/Registration/Booth shopping

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.   Flute Choir Reading Session with Ginny Broffit, Flute Professor, WIU

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.   Recital with Jill Felber, flute and Diane Frazer, piano

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.   Extreme Makeover: Flute Edition   For all flutists! Bring a stand and Taffanel & Gaubert's 17 Daily Exercises

4:30 - 5:45 p.m.   All-State Clinic (IA and IL) for High School Flutists with Jill Felber


New Law Requires Pet Stores to Provide Animal's Health History Before Sale to New Owners

CHICAGO - August 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will protect pet owners throughout Illinois by requiring pet stores, animal shelters and control facilities to disclose important information, including health history and name of breeder, before selling dogs or cats.

"This new law will make sure consumers have all the necessary information before buying a pet," said Governor Quinn. "Pet owners have a right to know where an animal was bred and if there are any past medical issues to help them make an informed decision."

House Bill 5772 requires pet stores, animal shelters and control facilities to disclose certain consumer information on or near the animal's cage. Consumers must also receive a copy of the information prior to purchase.

Pet shops, animal shelters and controls will be required to disclose the following information prior to sale: retail price, including adoption fees or other charges; breed, age, date of birth, sex and color of the dog or cat; details of vaccinations and health history; name, address and identification number of the breeder; and any known diseases or other health conditions (applies to animal shelters and controls only).

Currently, pet stores are required to disclose this information when it is requested by the consumer. However, the law does not specify when the information must be disclosed. As a result, many pet stores do not disclose information until after the sale is final.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago) and Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.

"There are too many stories of Illinois consumers buying a puppy from a pet store only to find out that the dog came from a puppy mill and it has substantial physical and emotional issues. This bill is about giving consumers information about a pet before they buy a dog or cat," said Rep. Mendoza. "This is a great day for consumers who will no longer have to guess about where the puppy in the window came from, or what medical issues the puppy has."


Law Ensures High Quality Advanced Critical Care Transportation

CHICAGO - August 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to ensure the highest quality of emergency medical transportation for Illinoisans who are critically ill. The new law will establish minimum standards for ambulance services that provide advanced critical care transportation.

"When critically ill patients are being transported to receive the care they need, we must do everything possible to ensure they receive the highest quality of care," said Governor Quinn. "This new law will ensure that the staffs in advanced critical care ambulances are properly educated, trained and licensed."

Under the new law, the Illinois Department of Public Health will establish standards to ensure that those who provide advanced critical care transport have the advanced staffing and equipment needed to properly care for critically ill patients. The standards will include staffing, licensure, education, medical equipment, vehicle standards, and treatment and transport protocols.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will also have the ability to license "reserve" ambulances. This makes it possible for ambulance providers to quickly replace any ambulances taken out of service, and continue to provide emergency medical care. The law also allows IDPH to continue to administer the Illinois' emergency medical technician (EMT) exam, instead of requiring EMTs to take the more expensive national exam.

House Bill 5183 was sponsored by Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R-Gilsen) and Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria) and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.

"This law will ensure that people are given the best care possible by trained emergency medical staff when critical care ambulance transport is needed," said Rep. Moffitt.

This legislation further amends the Emergency Medical Service Systems Act to authorize IDPH to suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew the license of an emergency medical service professional who has been convicted, pled guilty or pled no-contest to certain felonies. Currently, IDPH can only revoke the license of a felon if the crime was committed while the person was providing emergency medical services.

"I'm thankful that the Governor signed this important law that will ensure the safety and well-being of critically ill patients," said Sen. Koehler.


Illinois Safe Children Act Helps Law Enforcement Stop Sex Traffickers; Ends Criminal Prosecution of Innocent Child Victims

CHICAGO - August 20, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed the Illinois Safe Children Act into law. The new law protects children in Illinois from being forced into the sex trade and gives law enforcement additional tools to fight the human-trafficking groups that exploit them. It also stops the criminal prosecution of victimized children and ensures they receive the necessary protective services.

"For too long, exploited children have been treated as criminals, while the adults who stole their innocence go free," said Governor Quinn. "Illinois does not tolerate exploitation of our children. Today, we give important new tools to aid law enforcement in this fight and help our victimized children to heal."

The Illinois Safe Children Act makes Illinois one of the first states to pass comprehensive legislation to address the human trafficking of children under the age of 18. The new law ensures that innocent children who are lured or coerced into prostitution will now be immune from criminal prosecution and will be placed in the child protection system instead of the criminal justice system.

Victims under the age of 18 will now be presumed abused or neglected and can be placed in a secure setting until a proper placement is found. Law enforcement must now report an allegation of human trafficking of a child to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), which must conduct an investigation within 24 hours.

Illinois' laws regarding the sexual exploitation of children will now recognize that anyone under the age of 18 is a child victim, conforming to federal law and state's human-trafficking laws. The act removes references to "juvenile prostitutes" in Illinois' criminal code, recognizing that children have no capacity to consent to their own commercial sexual exploitation and are victims of a serious sexual offense.

The new law allows the same legal tools used to fight groups selling drugs to be used against groups who traffic children. It supports investigations of these organized crime rings by adding the offenses of human trafficking and juvenile pimping to the list of offenses subject to court-ordered interceptions (wire taps). Additionally, it allows officer-safety recordings to protect undercover officers during dangerous sex-trafficking investigations.

The act allows law enforcement to impound any vehicle used for a variety of human-trafficking and prostitution-related crimes, creating a funding mechanism to support victim services and police operations. The act also limits the defense argument of pimps or traffickers who say that they "believed" that a prostituted child was at least 18 years old.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez was instrumental to passage of the legislation and her office has led the charge in efforts to proactively address the issue by forming a specialized Human Trafficking Initiative and creating partnerships with social service providers to offer services for children who fall prey to sex trafficking.

"Many people consider the sex trafficking of children to be an international issue and not a problem that impacts us here right in our own communities, but that is not the case at all," Alvarez said. "The Illinois Safe Children Act is landmark legislation that will provide police and prosecutors with the tools that we need to aggressively tackle this crime. This new law will also put Illinois at the forefront of states who have enacted new laws to protect children from the horrors of sex trafficking."

In addition to the new law, DCFS is currently establishing an allegation of Human Trafficking of a Child in child protection investigations. Law enforcement officers and mandated reporters of abuse and neglect will be required to report to the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline whenever they have reason to suspect that a minor has been exploited by traffickers, and DCFS will investigate the allegation and provide protective, supportive and therapeutic services to these child victims.

House Bill 6462 was sponsored by Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) and Rep. Will Burns (D-Chicago) and takes effect immediately.


Mandus Group / Spirit Partners plans to expand in Rock Island. On August 23, Rock Island City Council will vote on an agreement between the City and Mandus Group / Spirit Partners that will help foster a significant expansion by the company at their 2408 4th Avenue location in the city. The project involves two phases that in total could result in close to $4 million in new investment and 60 jobs.

The first phase involves construction of a 7,500 square foot addition to support assembly of mobile military vehicle maintenance units by Mandus Group and their associated company Spirit Partners. In support of the project the City will sell property it owns to the east and west to the company's current facility for $1. The property to the east is a vacant lot. The property to the west is the site of a former fuel station/auto repair business. The site is currently undergoing an environmental clean-up through support from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Development plans call for the lot to be redeveloped as a landscaped parking lot to help support the anticipated increase in employment at Mandus Group / Spirit Partners. Additional City support during the first phase will be through City programs such as: Commercial / Industrial Revolving Loan Fund, Bi-State Revolving Loan Fund, Enterprise Zone, Sustainable Improvements Loan Fund, and the Façade Improvement Program.

Sam Kupresin, President of Mandus Group / Spirit Partners stated, "We are very excited to be expanding our business in Rock Island, due in part to the location of the Rock Island Arsenal, which is important to our business of dealing with military equipment. Working with the City of Rock Island was pleasant and enjoyable because the staff was supportive in helping us. The City's pro-business attitude, especially in helping a small business grow, is appreciated."

Mayor Dennis Pauley said "This project offers many positives for our community. It supports the growth of a small business in Rock Island, complements other investment in this neighborhood, adds much needed jobs to the economy and leverages significant private investment. Since locating in Rock Island in 2007, the City has worked to support the growth of Mandus Group / Spirit Partners and we are pleased that the company will continue its investment Rock Island."

A second phase of the project involves acquisition of the property at 2435 5th Avenue. This is an approximate 26,000 square foot building which currently houses the Rock Island Register Company. Mandus Group / Spirit Partners plan to renovate the building for their use as well as for use by tenant businesses. City support for phase two includes a $50,000 loan and $83,600 in façade improvement funds to support installation on new widows and tuck pointing of the exterior brick surface. In addition, the City will reconstruct 25th Street between 4th and 5th Avenue and cover one-half the cost to replace sidewalks on 4th Avenue and 24th Street. It is expected this work will take place over the next five years as the company's primary focus will be on constructing the new building.