Davenport, IA - The Quad City Symphony Orchestra's annual Listening Olympics was held on Friday, April 24, at Asbury United Methodist Church. Nearly 50 fifth grade students, in teams of three from Quad City area schools, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals at this friendly competition that challenges students' knowledge of classical music.

Schools participating in this year's competition included Butterworth, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jane Addams from Moline; Matherville from Sherrard, and Colorado and Madison from Muscatine.

This year's winners were:

Gold (Pictured left to right; click on photo for print quality version.):
Franklin School, Moline
Emily Johnson
Noah Fabiano
Alexis Willey
Classroom Teacher: Maureen Dittmer
Music Specialist: Emily Roberts

Butterworth Elementary, Moline
Quinn Daley
Michael Dombrock
Zane Nelson
Music Specialist: Valeree Pieper

Jane Addams Elementary, Moline
Chase Austin
Divya Badri
Megan Medinger
Music Specialist: Valeree Pieper

"Listening Olympics" is offered annually at no cost to schools and participants and is supported by funding from Volunteers for Symphony.

Van Nuys, CA - May 20, 2009 - On Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Weekend, May 23-24, 2009, hundreds of dedicated Operation Gratitude Volunteers will assemble and ship 20,000 Care Packages to U.S. Military personnel deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and on ships at sea, during the signature weekend of the organization's 2009 Patriotic Drive.  Additional assembly days will take place during the weekend of June 13-14 to complete the goal of shipping 40,000 Patriotic Packages this season.

In addition to the Assembly Line activity, the formal program on Saturday May 23 will include an emotional Ceremony presenting Official Commendations from the U.S. Army to all Operation Gratitude Volunteer Supervisors.  The Ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Media are invited to attend.
In further celebration of "Military Appreciation Month" and the upcoming July 4th Holiday, and to increase awareness and funding for Operation Gratitude's care package program, the non-profit organization is participating in two major Patriotic initiatives through partnerships with generous Corporate Sponsors.

Embracing the patriotic theme of "Voting," Operation Gratitude is one of 10 charities selected by Target to receive a portion of $3 Million based on a percentage of votes received in its online "Bullseye Gives" contest hosted by the social-networking giant, Facebook.  

Helping Americans express their Patriotic pride, Operation Gratitude and CafePress released this month two unique, special designs for T-shirts and Tank-tops that highlight traditional emblems of freedom: the Stars and Stripes and fireworks.  Cafe Press is donating ten percent (10%) of the proceeds from the sales of these items to benefit Operation Gratitude's care package efforts. The shirts will be on display at the Armory on May 23rd and are available for purchase online.

Operation Gratitude will send its 450,000th care package during this Memorial Weekend.
Financial Donations and Personal Letters for the packages should be mailed to:
Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude (www.operationgratitude.comis the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages of items and letters addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile overseas regions.  Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and to express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $11 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 430,000 packages to American military deployed overseas.
MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is launching an on-line auction beginning May 29 and concluding June 8.
The WQPT on-line auction can be accessed at www.wqpt.org. It features a variety of trips, restaurant gift certificates, services and PBS items.

"We have one-of-a-kind items like a ride in a vintage 1929 automobile and picnic, or a Chicago get-away," said Special Project Coordinator, Bea Brasel.

On June 5 at 7:00 p.m. WQPT will air a preview program that will give potential bidders a sneak peek at many of the on-line auction items up for bid.

The auction is a fundraising event for WQPT. "The auction is a great way for people to find unique gift items and support WQPT, all at the same time," said Chief Development Officer, Lora Adams, who also hosts the preview special.

Auction items include : a Lobster Feast for two with the Lobsters flown in from Maine; gift certificates for massages at the Institute of Therapeutic Massage and Wellness; summer session dance lessons from Illinois Ballet Theatre; Chicago White Sox Autographed photo and book; Rockford IceHogs Hockey tickets; trips to Maine, Chicago, Florida, St. Lucia, San Antonio and more.

WQPT has been the local public television station serving western Illinois and eastern Iowa since 1983

# # #


Tuesday May 19, 2009
CONTACT: Jeff Giertz/ Nicole Buseman jeff.giertz@mail.house.gov/ nicole.buseman@mail.house.gov 202.226.4026 / 202.226.0572

Washington, DC - During a markup hearing today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee formally adopted a compromise reached between the White House and Congress to include a "Cash for Clunkers" program in the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. Braley, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), and others formally introduced the amendment to the energy and climate bill that would implement the "Cash for Clunkers" compromise, which would provide consumers with incentives of $3,500 or $4,500 to purchase new, fuel-efficient vehicles to replace old gas-guzzlers. The amendment passed this afternoon 50-4-1. "Cash for Clunkers is a common-sense idea that can have a big impact on the economy," Braley said. "The 'Cash for Clunkers' concept will help boost our economy, save families money, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. By including this compromise in the new energy bill, we can accomplish many goals at once: consumers will get a break to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles; we will all benefit from a reduction of greenhouse gases; and we will save American jobs by jumpstarting the auto industry." In March, Braley introduced the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act with Reps. Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Candice Miller (R-MI). The bill created a "Cash for Clunkers" program that would take older, gas-guzzling vehicles off the road and spur new car sales by providing consumers with a $3,000 to $7,500 incentive to buy more fuel-efficient cars or trucks. The CARS Act provided graduated incentives based on greater fuel efficiency. A summary of the compromise adopted today is attached to this message. # # #


May 5, 2009

Fact Sheet:  Cash for Clunkers

Committee on Energy and Commerce

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Consumers may trade in their old, gas-guzzling vehicles and receive vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help pay for new, more fuel efficient cars and trucks.  The program will be authorized for up to one year and provide for approximately one million new car or truck purchases.  The agreement divides these new cars and trucks into four categories.  Miles per gallon figures below refer to EPA "window sticker" values

  • Passenger Cars:  The old vehicle must get less than 18 mpg.  New passenger cars with mileage of at least 22 mpg are eligible for vouchers.  If the mileage of the new car is at least 4 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $3,500.  If the mileage of the new car is at least 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

  • Light-Duty Trucks:  The old vehicle must get less than 18 mpg.  New light trucks or SUVs with mileage of at least 18 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500.  If the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 5 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

  • Large Light-Duty Trucks:  New large trucks (pick-up trucks and vans weighing between 6,000 and 8,500 pounds) with mileage of at least 15 mpg are eligible for vouchers.  If the mileage of the new truck is at least 1 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500.  If the mileage of the new truck is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

  • Work Trucks:  Under the agreement, consumers can trade in a pre-2002 work truck (defined as a pick-up truck or cargo van weighing from 8,500-10,000 pounds) and receive a voucher worth $3,500 for a new work truck in the same or smaller weight class.  There will be a finite number of these vouchers, based on this vehicle class's market share.  There are no EPA mileage measures for these trucks; however, because newer models are cleaner than older models, the age requirement ensures that the trade will improve environmental quality.  Consumers can also "trade down," receiving a $3,500 voucher for trading in an older work truck and purchasing a smaller light-duty truck weighing from 6,000 - 8,500 pounds.

Summary of Cash for Clunkers Agreement
Passenger Car Light-Duty  Truck Large Light-Duty Truck

(6,000 - 8,500 pounds)

Work Truck

(8,500 - 10,000 pounds)

Minimum Fuel Economy for New Vehicle 22 mpg

(EPA combined)

18 mpg

(EPA combined)

15 mpg

(EPA combined)

$3,500 Voucher Mileage improvement of at least 4 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 1 mpg or trade-in of a Work Truck. Trade-in must be at least pre-2002
$4,500 Voucher Mileage improvement of at least 10 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 5 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg

For Immediate Release: Contact: Press Office May 19, 2009 (202) 479-7070

Washington- Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), are allowing a climate bill to impose new and burdensome regulations on the power and manufacturing industries in America that could cause electric utility rates to skyrocket, killing American jobs and costing American families even more on their energy bills each month. Bruce Braley voted to kill an amendment that aimed to protect struggling families from soaring utility rates. This amendment would have ensured that electricity rates for residential customers couldn't increase by more than ten percent over 2009 rates, or else the harmful regulations of U.S. industries contained in this climate bill would no longer be in effect. "Bruce Braley failed to protect struggling families in Iowa from crippling utility rates that are inevitable under this Democrat National Energy Tax bill," said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. "Bruce Braley's refusal to put safeguards in place for American families will only prolong and increase the burden of soaring energy costs across this country."

There is mounting evidence that under the Democrats' National Energy Tax plan utility rates will skyrocket and American families and businesses will suffer as a result. There is no mistaking that this bill will drastically burden already struggle families with increased energy costs. How much more can Iowa families take?: The average Iowa household already pays nearly 9 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity (Energy Information Administration, Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government, Electric Power Monthly with data for January 2009, http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html) 12.3% of people in Iowa are past-due on their electric utility bills by about $102.09 (2008 Individual State Report by the NARUC, Consumer Affairs Subcommittee On Collections Data Gathering, http://www.naruc.org/Publications/2008%20NARUC%20Collections%20Survey%20Report.pdf) President Obama Even Admitted Utility Rates Would "Skyrocket": "Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket ... that will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers ..." (President Barack Obama, Meeting with the Editorial Board at the San Francisco Chronicle, January, 2008)

Deep Concern over Increased Costs: An overwhelming majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the drastic increase in cost they would bear as a result of the National Energy Tax. Seventy-seven percent of Americans said they are concerned that federal regulation of greenhouse gases could substantially raise the price of things they have to pay for. (Source: ABC News/Washington Post; conducted April 21-24, 2009; Survey of 1,072 Adults Nationwide) A new study shows the devastating effects the National Energy Tax will have on the economy: * Electricity rates would spike by 90 percent (after adjusting for inflation) * The annual energy bill for an average family would increase by $1,500 (William W. Beach, David Kreutzer, Ph.D., Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and Ben Lieberman, Heritage Foundation WebMemo #2450, "Son of Waxman-Markey: More Politics Makes for a More Costly Bill," May 18, 2009) View the text of the amendment offered by Rep. Roy Blunt here: http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090519/hr2454_I_blunt.pdf ###

DAVENPORT, Iowa (May 19, 2009) - The Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy is set to take place on the Mississippi River May 28-30. This prestigious championship, hosted by the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, annually shines an international media spotlight on the nation's best weekend anglers.


"The Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy is a championship event unlike any other," said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. "This championship gives the best weekend anglers from all across this great country the chance to compete on one of the best fisheries, the Mississippi River, and ultimately vie for the chance to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, the crown jewel of bass fishing."


In addition to incredible fishing, the All-American will feature a Free Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show with children's rod and reel giveaways courtesy of Cumulus Quad Cities and a home entertainment package giveaway on the final day of competition. For full details, visit www.flwoutdoors.com/allamerican.


The three-day show will be held at the RiverCenter located at 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa. The Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show will open at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29. On Saturday, May 30, the show will open at noon. Daily takeoffs will be conducted at 7 a.m. from Sunset Park Marina in Rock Island, Ill., and weigh-ins each day will be held at the RiverCenter at 4 p.m. The home entertainment package winner will be drawn from the crowd during the final weigh-in. Admission and all activities are free.


Prior to the event, Team Chevy will be in town for Chevy Pro Night at Lujack Chevrolet, located at 3700 N. Harrison St. in Davenport, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27. The team, consisting of Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon, Luke Clausen, Kim Stricker, Dion Hibdon, Anthony Gagliaradi and Jay Yelas, has accumulated seven tour-level victories in FLW Outdoors competition alone. This team also boasts combined FLW Outdoors earnings of more than $4.5 million. Hibdon and Clausen also are two of only five anglers in the history of the sport to have won both the Forrest Wood Cup and the Bassmaster Classic.

The first 100 fans attending Chevy Pro Night will receive a free FLW Outdoors hat. Additionally, fans can register to win fishing rods, fishing tackle, a die cast Ranger boat and children 14 and under can register to win youth rod and reels.

In BFL competition, boaters and non-boaters are randomly paired each day, with boaters supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other boaters. Non-boaters fish from the back deck against other non-boaters. The full field competes in the two-day opening round for one of 10 slots in Saturday's competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. The top 10 boaters and non-boaters continue competition Saturday, with the winner from each determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.  

Coverage of the BFL All-American will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air Aug. 23 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.


FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also has taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player's Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

(ROCK ISLAND, IL) - The Royal Neighbors Foundation continues its efforts in Parkersburg, IA by sponsoring a "Remembrance & Renewal" breakfast on Monday, May 25 from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Parkersburg Veterans Building at 205 Cemetery Street.  Iowa Governor Chet Culver will speak at this special event marking the 1-year anniversary of the F5 tornado that damaged or destroyed over 400 homes in this small Iowa town.

Royal Neighbors began their relationship with Parkersburg in October 2008 by announcing its Foundation will assist two women as they rebuild their lives after a tornado destroyed their homes.  Construction on one home began earlier this month.

"We're pleased to have the opportunity to help these women rebuild their lives after such a devastating disaster," said Judith Tshibangu, Vice President of the Royal Neighbors Foundation. "Our organization's Foundation is dedicated to changing women's lives.  In Parkersburg, we are doing this by assisting two individuals in starting over in their newly built homes."

Royal Neighbors of America is a non-profit fraternal life insurance corporation 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.

The Royal Neighbors Foundation is an independent philanthropic arm of Royal Neighbors of America.  As a 501(c)(3) public charity, it was established to promote charitable and educational causes that align with the organization's mission.  Its focus is changing women's lives by supporting programs such as scholarships for women veterans and building homes.

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


West Family YMCA Invites Community to Military Appreciation Day

Davenport, Iowa - May 18, 2009 - Area veterans, military personal and their families are invited to attend a special flagpole dedication and Military Appreciation Day cookout on Wednesday, May 27, at the West Family YMCA.

The YMCA recently installed a 40 foot flagpole and will dedicate it to area service men and when and their families. A special American flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capital will be presented to the YMCA and will be raised during the dedication. Following this ceremony, community members are invited to attend a celebration cookout and are encouraged to take part in special military appreciation activities at the West Y.

The flagpole, flag, lighting and landscape have been made possible through generous contributions from the following community partners; Humana MarketPoint, Runge Mortuary & Crematory, Weerts Funeral Home, Wal-mart, Hy-Vee Food Stores, Rick Hollingsworth and Darrel Doss, Davenport West High School and YMCA members Doug Scovil and Larry Axtell.

YMCA Military Appreciation Day begins with an 11am cookout followed by the flagpole dedication at 12:15pm. Special military memberships are available for those who have loved-ones currently serving our country. The West Family YMCA is located at 3503 West Locust Street, Davenport. For more information about YMCA Military Appreciation Day call (563) 386-4414.

The YMCA: A Long-Standing Commitment to Health of Spirit, Mind and Body

The Scott County Family Y is one of the area's largest community service organizations. Serving more than 2-million people in 2008, the Scott County Family Y offers a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening and health and well-being for all. The YMCA unites men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels - proudly serving the Quad Cities for nearly 150 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. For more information visit the Scott County Family Y website, www.scottcountyfamilyy.org.

On Thursday, May 21st from 4pm-6pm, Purple Polka Dotted Hippo will hold a Grand Opening at its new location in Davenport's Old Town Mall on Kimberly Road.  The event will start with a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. and there will be plenty of child friendly refreshments on hand as you browse our new site. To show our appreciation of your support, all attendees are eligible to win a custom designed diaper cake and a Purple Polka Dotted Hippo Basket.

Purple Polka Dotted Hippo opened in 2009 at 3601 North Division in Davenport to provide affordable quality clothing and accessories for children and to give mothers the opportunity to sell and consign their gently used children's and maternity clothing.  "After providing so many children with a new look, we decided the Purple Polka Dotted Hippo deserved a new look as well," Melanie Schneckloth said.  "The new location has more room and parking for our customers, while still maintaining its warm and welcoming surroundings to parents and children alike." Schneckloth adds, "We're excited to get the opportunity to provide a more central location for our local customers."


Contact: Melanie Schneckloth

Telephone: 563-388-5076

Mississippi Valley Paranormal is sponsoring the Quad Cities Most Haunted Contest. We are looking for
the most haunted location in the Quad Cities area. We have heard all the stories and urban legends and
now we want someplace new. All that we ask is that the location is public property or permission is
easily obtained. Also, private residences may only be entered by someone currently living there.
The person who submits the winning entry will then be able to investigate with the Midwest's Premier
Paranormal team, Mississippi Valley Paranormal for the night at their location. All entries must be
received by no later than midnight, June 30th 2009. To submit a location to Mississippi Valley
Paranormal and to read the complete contest rules, please go to our website at www.mvparanormal.org
Mississippi Valley Paranormal is a paranormal research team that was formed to help further the field of
paranormal research through scientific techniques. Mississippi Valley Paranormal covers the Quad Cities
and surrounding areas. We are non-profit group and offer our investigation services to the public for
We would also be open to members of media investigating the chosen location with the team.
Sarah Knowlton
Mississippi Valley Paranormal
phone: 309-235-4868
Fax: 928-223-4868