Des Moines, IA, February 3, 2010 - Now is the time for college-bound students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2010-2011 academic year.  The FAFSA is a standardized federal form used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and in some cases, institutional financial aid.
Filing the FAFSA is easier this year with fewer questions to answer and a simplified online process.  "We encourage students and parents to complete the FAFSA online at because it contains instructions, help features, and built-in edits to reduce applicant error," explained Karen Misjak, Executive Director of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid).  "It is also processed faster than the paper version, which can be an important factor when meeting financial aid deadlines."

Iowa College Aid urges all college-bound students to complete the FAFSA regardless of their financial situation.  "Most families are eligible for some form of financial aid, but they need to apply early to meet the priority deadlines associated with different programs," said Misjak.
To help Iowa families, Iowa College Aid offers the following FAFSA filing tips.

File the FAFSA no matter your financial situation.  Even if you do not think you will qualify for need-based financial aid, you should still file the FAFSA.  Many colleges require that you file the FAFSA to be considered for institutional aid.  In addition, you are required to complete a FAFSA to be eligible for federal Stafford loans.

Never pay to file the FAFSA.  You can file the FAFSA for free at  Reputable resources, such as Iowa College Aid, are available to help you for free.

Meet state and college deadlines.  Many states, including Iowa, have a FAFSA filing deadline for state-funded scholarships, grants and work-study opportunities.  To be eligible for Iowa-funded financial aid your FAFSA must be completed and received at the federal processing center prior to July 1, 2010.  You also need to complete the Iowa Financial Aid Application, which can be accessed through the statewide community web portal,  Keep in mind, most colleges and universities have earlier financial aid deadlines.  Students should check with their college of choice to determine its priority deadline for financial aid and if additional documentation is required.

Double check information to avoid delays.  Review your FAFSA information before you submit it for processing.  Make sure the student's Social Security number and the parent's Social Security number are typed in the correct spaces.  Mix-ups like these will cause processing delays.

Electronically sign your FAFSA.  The electronic application is not complete until both the student and parent electronically sign the FAFSA using their Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Numbers (PIN).  You can apply for student and parent PINs while completing the FAFSA online, or you can go to the Federal Student Aid PIN website at

Students and families who have questions about applying for financial aid, or are interested in learning more about the resources available through the statewide community web portal, can contact Iowa College Aid's Information Service Center at 877-272-4456.  In addition, more information to help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college is available on Iowa College Aid's website at


Audio Available: New Era Expansion Act will invest in clean energy job training

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) introduced legislation today to authorize the Secretary of Labor to invest in clean energy job training at Iowa's community colleges. The New Era Expansion Act would build on the success of Braley's New Era Act of 2007, which established a recurring grant program at the US Department of Agriculture to provide grants to community colleges and advanced training facilities that train the next generation of agricultural-based energy professionals.

"Investing in clean energy job training is an important step to preparing Iowa's workforce for the 21st Century economy," Braley said. "In this difficult economic climate, legislation like this is key to generating job opportunities for Iowa's middle class families.

"The New Era Expansion Act allows Iowa to continue to lead the way in clean energy production by creating a workforce education program in clean energy technology.  This bill is an important step toward equipping our state's workforce with the skills they need to fill clean energy production and manufacturing jobs that are being created throughout Iowa and the Midwest."

The New Era Expansion Act would authorize the Secretary of Labor to award grants to community colleges so they can establish a grant program for community colleges to start wind energy and energy efficient construction workforce training programs.

Under the bill, the Department of Labor would be charged with overseeing the implementation and scope of the training program.  Funding for the program would be determined through Congressional appropriations to the Department of Labor to satisfy the demand for and requirements of the program.

In his recent budget, President Obama requested $85 million for the Department of Labor to prepare more than 120,000 workers for work in the clean energy sector by June of 2012.

In the first year of the original New Era program, Braley was able to secure $276,318 in two-year grants from the New Era Rural Technology Competitive Grant Program for Eastern Iowa Community College and Hawkeye Community College.

Audio of Braley's weekly reporter conference call is available here.

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Navy Seaman Andrew Alvarado, a native of Muscatine, is currently deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) off the coast of Haiti.

USS Carter Hall is presently conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake. USS Carter Hall, with its compliment of helicopters, hospital facilities and an embark of Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU 22), make them well-suited for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response missions.

Seaman Alvarado is a Ship's Serviceman responsible for inventory of ship's store and contributing to the morale and well-being of the crew. Seaman Alvarado also participated in community relations projects in Haiti. His motherCruz Martinez resides in Muscatine.

Nearby stores remain open

Dwight, Ill. (Feb. 2, 2010) - Beginning April 3, ALDI will close its Brady Street store location in Davenport.  The select assortment discount grocer will reopen with a replacement store in the same location this fall.  ALDI continues to offer Davenport grocery shoppers a smarter alternative at its other Davenport stores, located at 5266 Elmore Ave. and 2825 Rockingham Road.  Known for its premium ALDI select brands, ALDI is able to offer high quality grocery items at unbeatable prices.

"As many loyal Davenport shoppers know, our Brady Street location has been in operation since 1976," said Heather Moore, ALDI Dwight division vice president. "We look forward to giving our customers a new, modern shopping experience.  In the interim, we have two nearby locations that will continue to provide customers with high quality products at unbeatable prices."

Customers can expect to find more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased items sold under its select brands for prices up to 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets.  A model of efficiency, ALDI eliminates overhead costs by offering smart and efficient practices including a cart deposit system where shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and get the quarter back upon the cart's return.  Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint, open carton displays and encouraging customers to bring their own shopping bags.

ALDI also saves consumers money by keeping stores open during prime shopping times - typically from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

A grocery retailer that has grown without merger or acquisition, ALDI opened 80 new stores across the United States in 2009 and plans to open another 80 U.S. stores in 2010, including 30 new stores in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.

About ALDI Inc.

A leader in the grocery retailing industry since 1976, ALDI has more than 1,000 U.S. stores located in 30 states primarily from Kansas to the East Coast serving more than 20 million customers each month.  Beginning in the spring of 2010, ALDI will enter the Texas market with approximately 30 new stores planned for the Dallas/Ft. Worth region.  A select assortment discount grocer featuring its own ALDI select brands, ALDI applies smart and efficient operational and business practices to save 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

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(IOWA)? February is American Heart Month, drawing attention to heart disease, America's No. 1 killer, and the strides being taken through research and education to raise awareness of risk factors and to decrease death rates.  Appropriately kicked off on National Wear Red Day (Feb. 5, 2010), the American Heart Association and its Go Red For Women movement urge everyone to support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red that day.

On National Wear Red Day, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, thousands of people, employees at more than 10,000 companies, national and local news anchors and talk-show hosts across the country will wear red to support the cause.  Men and women across the state of Iowa are also encouraged to show their support by wearing red on Feb. 5.  The red dress and the color red symbolize one's support in the fight against heart disease.

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's promise to save women's lives.  Too many women die each year because they are unaware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.  One in three women dies of this largely preventable disease - that's almost one woman every minute.  This year, Go Red is asking women to bring a voice to this silent killer: SPEAK UP TO SAVE LIVES.


* Cardiovascular disease kills approximately 450,000 women each year, about one every minute.

* More women die of cardiovascular disease than the next five causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.

* Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

* Heart disease is largely preventable. In fact, 80 percent of cardiac events in women may be prevented if women make the right choices for their hearts, involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.

Only 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat and that's why the communities in Iowa are trying to educate women by "Going Red" on Friday, Feb. 5, 2010.

Research shows that women who "Go Red" are more likely to make healthy choices. For example:

* More than one-third have lost weight.

* Nearly 55 percent have increased their exercise.

* Six out of ten have changed their diets.

* More than 40 percent have checked their cholesterol levels.

* One third have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.

Women and men interested in "going red" on Friday, Feb. 5th and joining the Go Red For Women movement should visit

February has been celebrated as American Heart Month since 1963 to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease.  A presidential proclamation pays tribute to the researchers, physicians, other public health education professionals as well as volunteers for their tireless efforts in preventing, treating, and researching heart disease. The observation also recognizes the critical importance of developing tools that will increase survival rates from heart attacks and cardiac arrest.  President George W. Bush entered his proclamation on Feb. 1, 2002, and the message continues to ring true today.

For more information about American Heart Month or National Wear Red Day please contact Ciara O'Brien Murray, communications director at (913) 652-1966 or


MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, the area's regional public television broadcaster welcomes Jamie Lange as the new Chief Development Officer for the station. Ms. Lange comes to WQPT from the American Red Cross of Quad Cities Area where she served as the Financial Development Coordinator. A graduate of Pleasant Valley High School and Iowa State University, Ms. Lange began her career in the Quad Cities as the Fund Development Manager for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.  She was honored as one of the Leaders Under 40 in 2005 and she serves on the Leadership Council of The Network: Young Professionals of the Quad Cities. Additionally, she is President for Association of Fundraising Professionals Quad Cities chapter.

"As WQPT prepares to transfer its license from Black Hawk College to Western Illinois University, the station wanted to implement a part of the strategic plan, which was to bring on a full-time development professional, whose duties were focused entirely on fundraising," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.  "We are very excited to have Jamie Lange join WQPT as we head into a new chapter in the history of the station." Mr. Best added that Lora Adams, who served as Chief Development Officer, will become the Director of Marketing and Local Content, retaining her duties regarding marketing and as producer of WQPT pledge drives. Her new duties will also include the creation and production of new local programming.

WQPT is located in Moline, Illinois on the campus of Black Hawk College.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS announces the new PBS Kids Go Writing Contest, which takes the place of the annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. "This new contest builds on the foundation laid by Reading Rainbow and encourages young writers to communicate more effectively through the development of early writing skills" said WQPT Educational Outreach Director, Ana Kehoe.

The contest is open to students in Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade.  Every entrant will receive a Certificate of Achievement.  Stories must be the original work of the child. They may write fact or fiction, prose or poetry. All entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 6, 2010 and mailed to WQPT, 6600 34th Avenue, Moline, Illinois 61265 or delivered to WQPT in Building 2 at Black Hawk College in Moline. Sixteen winners (four selected from each grade) will receive local recognition on WQPT and win special prizes.  First place winners will compete for national prizes. Winning stories will be displayed at the Butterworth Center in Moline, Illinois, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa and the Family Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa. Winners will be notified in late April and a reception will be held to honor the winning stories.

For the last two years Jayda Brunkan of the Ed White School has gone on to win a national prize. As a kindergartener she was a 3rd place finisher in the national competition and last year she was a first place winner. There were 45,000 contest entrants nationwide and Jayda was one of only 12 national winners.

The sponsors are also hosting workshops to help Kindergarten through 3rd grade students with their writing and illustrating skills. Participants are not required to enter the contest. Parents are also invited to learn how to assist children with writing and editing stories.  These workshops are free and will be held at:

° Sat., Feb. 13, 10 am - 11:30 am: The Bettendorf Library, 563-344-4178

° Sat., Feb. 27, 10 am - 11 am: The Moline Library, 309-736-5742

° Mon., March 8, 3:30 pm-5:00 pm: The Family Museum, 563-344-4170

Please contact the museum and libraries to sign up for the workshop.

To find out more about entering the contest log on to

Funding and support for the project has been provided in part by the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Figge Art Museum and Family Museum.

WQPT is located on the campus of Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.–Applications are being accepted Feb. 1 through April 1 for the United States Naval Academy (USNA) Summer STEM Program 2010.  STEM is held in three sessions: June 7-12, June 14-19 and June 21-26.  The academy's Summer STEM Program is an overnight academic camp designed for rising 8th-11th grade students in good academic standing who have an interest in math and science.

The STEM Program gives students the opportunity to experience real-life applications of math and science principles through hands-on practical learning.  Students will learn from distinguished Naval Academy professors in world-class lab facilities that provide a unique learning environment outside the traditional classroom.  The academy's current students, known as midshipmen, help run the Summer STEM Program and act as camp counselors and tutors to students.

Students and parents with questions about the Summer STEM Program and the application process should call (410)293-1858 or visit The deadline for applications is April 1. Applicants will be notified of their application status in the month of May.

MONDAY: Travel and Check-in

TUESDAY: Air and Space Museum/DC Tour

WEDNESDAY: So What Really Happened to the Titanic? the Challenger? the Ford Pinto?  The tragedy of the Titanic, as well as other engineering disasters have served to foster many technological discoveries and innovations. As you learn more, you will break steel and investigate crash mechanics. You'll examine Material Fingerprints to characterize technical crimes. You will visit the USNA Hydromechanics and Fluids Laboratories to study hull designs and structures and in the Aero Laboratories, you will investigate the forces of nature.

THURSDAY: Cryptography, Computers and Code, Forensics and Fingerprints.  Can you break the code? Learn how mathematics, computer science, and engineering have been used throughout history to keep messages hidden and cryptic. Create and program your own video game to solve a crime in 3-D. Use chemical analysis to solve crime and investigate fingerprinting of physical phenomenon.

FRIDAY: Biometrics, Electronics, Robotics. Learn how technological advances in engineering assist in catching criminals, spies and other bad guys. Build and program your robot to master the maze. Wire and solder your own electronic device for voice modulation. A tour of the USNA Biometrics Laboratory will find you performing iris scans and facial recognition techniques.

SATURDAY: Open House and Demonstrations.  Share your new skills with your parents and friends. End the week by putting your projects on display.

Approximately 200 total students from around the U.S. will be invited to STEM.  All students selected to participate will receive a full scholarship to attend this academic summer program.  For more information about the Naval Academy STEM program, visit  For more information about the Naval Academy, visit

Culinary Class February 10th at 6:30

Johnny's Italian Steakhouse will host a culinary class on February 10th at  6:30pm.  Participants will learn expert tips from top notch chefs and will be given an opportunity to sample Johnny's Signature Bruschetta with whipped goat  cheese.  In addition, a door prize, such as meal certificates, will be drawn at the conclusion of the class.  The cooking class is $10 to the public and includes bruschetta samples and a glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage.

For more information or to sign up, please call Johnny's Italian Steakhouse at 309.736.0100.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.–Applications are being accepted Feb. 1 through March 31 for the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS) 2010.  NASS is designed for students who will have just completed their junior year of high school in the summer of 2010.  This program is a fast-paced, six-day experience for high-achievers who may be interested in pursuing an appointment to one of the nation's service academies and serving as a military officer after graduation.  NASS is held in three sessions: June 5-10, June 12-17 and June 19-24.

Summer Seminar introduces students to the opportunities at the Naval Academy where academics, athletics, and professional training play equally important roles in developing our nation's leaders.  Students will live in the dormitory, Bancroft Hall, eat in the dining facility, King Hall; participate in academic and leadership workshops; and experience a variety of other activities at the academy.  Students will have an opportunity to see first-hand what the academy has to offer through its exceptional academic, athletic, extracurricular activities and leadership training programs.

The academy's current students, known as midshipmen, run the Summer Seminar training with oversight by active duty Navy and Marine Corps officers.  Over 2,250 students from around the U.S. attend this rigorous program each year.

According to Naval Academy Summer Seminar officer-in-charge, Lt. John Meise, "If you are a student who wants a summer challenge with the opportunity to sample university-level academics at a first-rate engineering school, the Summer Seminar program will let you discover how the Naval Academy can help you achieve your goals, and give you a jump start on the admissions process."

By applying to the 2010 Summer Seminar, students are also applying for admission to the Naval Academy class of 2015.  There is no need to submit a preliminary application when it becomes available on April 1 for students desiring to apply for admission to USNA.

Students with questions about NASS and the application process should call 410-293-1549 or visit The deadline for applications is March 31, 2010.

For more information about Naval Academy athletics, extracurricular activities and other general information, visit