WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA had taken the first step toward implementing a plan to address veterinary shortages throughout rural America by repaying the student loans of qualified veterinarians in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians.

"USDA can help ensure there is a first line of defense against animal diseases across the United States by placing qualified veterinarians in areas where there is a critical need," Vilsack said. "This program will help reduce veterinary shortages, especially in the area of food animal medicine, which will reduce stress on producers and improve the health of the livestock industry."

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) administers the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which was established in the National Veterinary Medical Services Act of 2003. NIFA issued an interim rule for the program on July 9, 2009. Implementation of the program began on Jan. 22, 2010 when NIFA released a Federal Register notice asking for comments and nominations for shortage situations from the chief animal health official from each state and insular area and appropriate federal animal health officials. Guidance on what constitutes a shortage situation and nomination forms can be found on the NIFA Web site. Nomination forms are due March 8, and can be returned via email to vmlrp@nifa.usda.gov .

NIFA will convene a panel of federal and state animal health experts to recommend submitted nomination packages for official designation as a veterinary shortage situation. The public will be able to review designated veterinary shortage situations in list and/or map form, along with information describing the nature of the shortage situation.

NIFA expects to begin accepting applications from veterinarians wishing to participate in the program on April 30, 2010. In return for a commitment of three years of veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area, NIFA may repay up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent. NIFA projects applications will be due June 30, and that offers will be made by September 30.

Veterinarians are critical to the national food safety and food security infrastructures, and to the health and well-being of both animals and humans; however, major studies indicate significant and growing shortages of food supply veterinarians and veterinarians serving in certain other high priority specialty areas. A leading cause for this shortage is the heavy cost of four years of professional veterinary medical training, which can average between $130,000 and $140,000. Congress established the VMLRP as a way to remedy this growing need.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.


Quad Cities, IA, February 8- Average retail gasoline prices in Quad Cities have fallen 9.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.51/g today. This compares with the national average that has stayed flat, moving just 0.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.66/g, according to gasoline price website QuadCitiesGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Quad Cities during the past week, prices today are 62.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 76.1 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.

About QuadCitiesGasPrices.com

GasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including QuadCitiesGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and to PC World's 100 most useful websites of 2008.

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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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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 www.aldi.us.

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Survey project finds Main Street small business owners at odds with big banks and DC business lobby on financial reform, consumer protection agency

IOWA - On Thursday, on the heels of a State of the Union address certain to feature the Obama Administration's new proposals for Wall Street reforms, the Iowa Main Street Alliance will hold a press conference call to release a new report on small business experiences with the financial crisis and views on financial reform. The call will begin at 1:30 pm, conferencing details below. The report is based on a survey of more than 1,200 small business owners from 14 states, including Iowa.

Small businesses, key to job creation strategies and economic recovery, could prove a pivotal voice in an unfolding debate where the DC-based business lobby has sided with the country's biggest banks in opposing financial reforms even as small businesses continue to pay the price in lost business and frozen credit for the reckless Wall Street activities caused the financial crisis.

The House of Representatives has passed a financial reform bill, HR 4173, the "Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act of 2009." The Senate Banking Committee is readying a bill for markup in the coming weeks.

Gordon Hester - Business and Financial Management Specialist

Monday February 1st at 6:45PM
3841 Utica Ridge Road @ Healing Heart Center, Inc.

Bettendorf, IA

You are welcome to a Nutritional Educational Experience

This session is geared to inform you and make available to you a wellness solution to improve your life.

For more information contact:

Byron ( B+...) Gaskins




Rochel Rittgers




Always 24/7: 1-800-942-1260 Listen and Learn

DHCU Community Credit Union recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest location at Southpark Mall in Moline.

The new office has a fesh look with updated technology, including eight drive-up and four lobby service windows. HomeBranch, DHCU's Internet banking service, is available along with a self-service Change Exchange machine.

"We're excited about the new location," says Terry Brahm, President and C.E.O. of DHCU. "It is more convenient for our members and highly accessible to people traveling on John Deere Road. After more than 25 years inside of Southpark Mall, this mondernized facility combines DHCU's traditional service delivery with today's electronically oriented consumer, mixing the best of both worlds in one conveniently located facility."

Hours at the new location are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and DHCU offers extended drive-thru hours on Friday night until 6:00 p.m.


Program Ensures Students Benefit from Highly Qualified Educators

CHICAGO - January 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that creates the "Gateways to Opportunity" program, which will award credentials to educators who go above and beyond in making sure they are able to provide the highest quality of education for Illinois' young minds.

"Today's students will be tomorrow's workforce, which is why it is critical that our children get top quality educations," said Governor Quinn. "By making sure our educators have learned the latest skills and techniques, we can accelerate children down the path of learning at an early age."

"Gateways to Opportunity" is a professional development system that aims to enhance children's learning by improving the quality of services they receive in learning environments, increasing positive outcomes, and expanding the availability of coursework and training available to educators.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) will administer the program and award "Gateways to Opportunity" credentials, as symbols of professional achievement, to educators who have completed approved college or university programs or who have compiled a portfolio that documents education and experience. "Gateways to Opportunity" also provides educators access to scholarships and wage supplements so that they can continue their own educations and professional development.

Also under the new law, children who attended a non-public preschool, a non-public kindergarten, were taught kindergarten by a certified teacher or will be 6-years-old on or before Dec. 31 of the upcoming school year may attend first grade once they have successfully passed evaluations to determine their readiness.

House Bill 806, sponsored by Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), goes into effect immediately.


Fromthe smooth feel of hand-sanded surfaces to the inviting look of finished furniture crafted from rich northern hardwoods, the new Simply Amish store is
more than a day at the store; it's a journey for your senses. Now open at 3711 Northwest Blvd, Davenport, Iowa.

Simply Amish furniture is made by authentic Amish craftsmen, working on more than 50 family farms scattered throughout the heartland of America. Most are small family shops with only four or five craftsmen, while some shops might employ as many as 30 skilled workers. Six days a week, Simply Amish craftsmen make some of the most beautiful handmade furniture known to man. And seven days a week, they struggle to refrain from unseemly pride.

Simply Amish - you'll find 100 different styles. And almost every piece of furniture can be custom-ordered with more than 75 combinations of rich woods and stains. Hardware is available in wood, porcelain and 11 different metals, ranging from Weathered Copper to Black Nickel.

Vignettes have been constructed throughout the store allowing customers to view Amish-made furniture in room settings. Bedroom furniture, dining room
furniture, and family room furniture is the core of Simply Amish Furniture.

When others may say it's not a good time to open a new business, Simply Amish is boldly opening a store in Davenport.

MILWAUKEE, WI. (January 13, 2010) - Younkers announced that its semi-annual Community Day event will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Non-profit groups may sign up now by logging on to communitydayevent.com to request event booklets and begin raising funds for their organization. The savings booklets can be used at Younkers on Community Day. Successful organizations have raised thousands of dollars by participating in this event. View testimonials on communitydayevent.com and find out first hand what groups are saying and learn more about how non-profits can benefit from this event. In 2009, over $10 million was raised by participating nonprofit organizations through Younkers semi-annual Community Day events.

Eligible Community Day organizations include local 501C-3 nonprofit organizations and schools. Non-profit groups sell savings booklets for $5 and in return, the purchaser receives a $10 off coupon, plus more than $50 in special savings on products as well as coupons valid on regular and sale price merchandise on Saturday, February 27. The organization keeps 100% of the $5 donation. The Community Day event provides an opportunity for local 501C-3 organizations to raise the funds needed to support their missions.

"Providing this fundraising opportunity is extremely important to our company," said Bud Bergren, president and chief executive officer of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "It enables us to make a difference in our communities and provide exclusive shopping offers to reward those who purchase a booklet to support their community."

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. operates 278 stores, including 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates and, under the Parisian nameplate, stores in the Detroit, Michigan area. The stores offer a broad assortment of brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.

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