Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the City of East Moline present the theme for the 52nd Annual AMVETS 4th of July Parade

Moline, Illinois? The Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the City of East Moline are proud to present the 52nd Annual AMVETS 4th of July Parade to take place on Sunday, July 4th at 1:00 pm in downtown East Moline.  This year's theme is "Hats Off to the Red, White & Blue."

The 52nd Annual AMVETS 4th of July Parade will carry on a tradition for the Quad Cities community of saluting all of the veterans that have served our country.  With the theme, "Hats Off to the Red, White & Blue," the parade will be a spectacular tribute and celebration to those who served.

The Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting entries for the parade.  To learn more or to enter your business or organization into this parade, contact Anne Spoden at (309) 757-5416 or email aspoden@quadcitychamber.com.

Over 15,000 people are expected to line 15th Avenue in East Moline to watch this salute to our country and our community.  The parade will begin at 3rd Street and 15th Avenue, go down 15th Avenue, and end at 13th Street.

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Part of Comprehensive Plan to Aid Riders during Tough Economic Time


 

CHICAGO - June 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law to help protect mass transit service riders and transit jobs in the Chicago-area.

 

The new law enables the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which oversees the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace, to better manage its cash flow and funding requirements despite revenue fluctuations or payments delays. This new law also continues Governor Quinn's efforts to stabilize and improve Chicago's mass transit system.

"Access to affordable and reliable public transportation is imperative for Chicago-area transit riders," said Governor Quinn. "This new law is part of our comprehensive plan to stabilize public transit by keeping fares flat, services running and employees on the job."

The new law amends the Regional Transportation Authority Act to allow the RTA to issue, sell, and deliver additional Working Cash Notes that do not exceed $300 million before July 1, 2012. This authorization is in addition to the $100 million authorization currently allowed.

 

Prior to this new law, delays in funding payments and fluctuations in the receipt of tax revenues were jeopardizing the stability of the RTA system's finances. As a result, RTA's ability to provide stable funding to the CTA, Metra and Pace to provide adequate transit service and pay transit workers was severely limited.

 

Giving the RTA the authority to issue $300 million in additional Working Cash Notes will help the RTA respond to short-term payment needs without increasing spending. The increased authority will allow CTA, Metra and Pace to continue paying their workers, buying fuel, and running buses and trains. The RTA will pay off the notes once taxes or other revenues are collected.

 

Last November, the Governor announced an agreement that prevented fare increases for the CTA and Pace paratransit services in 2010 and 2011. Together, these actions are keeping rider fares flat, ensuring services are running as scheduled and that transit employees are being paid.

 

The current Working Cash Note authority of $100 million was established 30 years ago when the system was significantly smaller.  In January 2008, the RTA's authority to issue Working Cash Notes was temporarily increased to $400 million but returned to $100 million when the law expired on July 1, 2009.

 

Senate Bill 941, sponsored by Sen. Antonio Muñoz (D-Chicago) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines), goes into effect immediately. Together, the CTA, Metra and Pace employ over 15,000 people and operate services for 2 million daily riders.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - JUNE 4, 2010 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the Iowa Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Agency will receive a grant of $84,945 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help keep at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system.  Harkin is a senior member of the committee that funds the DOJ.

"It is often said that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' - and this could not be more true when it comes to preventing crimes, especially among at-risk youth" said Harkin. "By acting early and keeping youth from entering the juvenile justice system, today's funding will help lower future crime rates and give these young Iowans an opportunity to change their lives and become productive members of society."

Specifically, the grant may be used to reduce risks and enhance protective factors that help prevent at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system.  It will also help officials intervene with first-time and non-serious offenders to keep them out of the juvenile justice system.

The Rock Island Beautification Commission is looking for the most beautiful yards in the city.

The 36th annual "Tell On Your Neighbor" residential beautification awards contest has opened nominations for the most attractive and best-kept lawns in Rock Island. Anyone can submit a nomination and they will be accepted through Friday, June 25th at 5:00 p.m. Nominations after this date will not be accepted.

This awards program recognizes residents who make the extra effort to beautify their yards beyond the norm. The Beautification Commission believes these citizens should be honored for their efforts and for encouraging others to keep well-groomed yards that are an asset to the city.

The Commission is looking for well-maintained yards with attractive, colorful displays of flowers, bushes and plants. The commission wishes to honor residents who take the time to show pride in their homes and neighborhoods. In the past 35 years, over 530 residents have been recognized. All winners will receive a certificate of recognition at a City Council meeting (date to be announced).   Award recipients after 2005 are not eligible.

The Beautification Commission is a group of Rock Island citizens appointed by the Mayor and City Council to encourage individuals and groups to beautify Rock Island.

Presents Medals at Annual Hines Wheelchair Games

MAYWOOD, IL - May 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today honored local veterans for their service and sacrifice at the 30th annual Hines Wheelchair Games at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Governor Quinn's visit was part of the 60th Armed Forces Day, a day set aside to recognize the men and women fighting to preserve democracy.

"On this day, and every day, we proudly salute the brave men and women of the armed forces who served our county," said Governor Quinn. "And during this sixtieth observance of Armed Forces Day, I am especially honored to present awards to our wounded heroes, who served on the frontlines and deserve our unwavering and grateful support."

Governor Quinn joined more than 50 wheelchair veteran-athletes who participated in the day's activities, which included wheelchair tennis, basketball, horseshoes, bowling and air rifles, among other events. During the surprise visit, Governor Quinn presented medals to winners of individual races.

"These veteran-athletes, wounded while serving their country, show us the strength of the human spirit and the will to succeed and serve," said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Dan Grant. "As a fellow veteran, I'm proud to be here on Armed Forces Day to honor the service of today's participants and all veterans."

On August 31, 1949, U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to honor Americans serving in five military branches: the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force.

President Harry S. Truman then proclaimed that Armed Forces Day would be observed every third Saturday in May. The first Armed Services Day was observed on May 20, 1950 "to praise the work of the military services at home and across the seas," said President Truman.

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WASHINGTON - Chuck Grassley today said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded competitive grants totaling $3,146,657 to the state of Iowa, Iowa cities and Iowa businesses through the Freight Rail Security Grant Program, the Port Security Grant Program, the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program, the Buffer Zone Protection Program, the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, the Driver's License Security Grant Program and the Emergency Operations Center Grant Program.

"The federal government has a responsibility to defend the homeland," Grassley said. "This funding will help prevent future emergencies and protect Iowans."

DHS will distribute the money as shown below ordered alphabetically by town.

Through the Freight Rail Security Grant Program:

· Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd. in Cedar Rapids will receive $100,000

Through the Port Security Grant Program:

· Davenport Fire Department in Davenport will receive $200,000

Through the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program:

· Royal Charter, Inc. will receive $20,627

· Windstar Lines, Inc. will receive $273,353

Through the Buffer Zone Protection Program:

· Iowa will receive $200,000

Through the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program:

· Iowa will receive $452,000

Through the Driver's License Security Grant Program:

· Iowa will receive $800,677

Through the Emergency Operations Center Grant Program:

· Benton County Emergency Management Commission will receive $500,000

· Ames will receive $600,000

The Freight Rail Security Grant Program encourages sustainable, risk-based efforts to protect travelers and surface transportation infrastructure from acts of terrorism and other emergencies.

The Port Security Grant Program provides grant funding to port areas for the protection of critical port infrastructure, particularly from attacks using explosives or non-conventional threats that could cause major disruption to commerce.

The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program funds sustainable protection of travelers and intercity bus systems from acts of terrorism. 

The Buffer Zone Protection Program provides funding to increase preparedness of departments responsible for the security of communities near critical infrastructure and key resources.  These include chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear and electric power plants, dams, stadiums, etc.

The Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program funds initiatives carried out by states, territories, and local and tribal governments designed to improve communication and cooperation during collective emergency response.

The Driver's License Security Grant Program advances public safety by improving the security of state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards.

The Emergency Operations Center Grant Program identifies and corrects weaknesses in current emergency response programs.

Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants from the federal government.  The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual's ability to meet criteria set by the federal entity.

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WASHINGTON - Katelyn J. Flynn, daughter of Sandy and Joel Flynn of Davenport, has just finished spending the spring semester in Washington, D.C. working as a legislative intern for Chuck Grassley. Flynn is a graduate of Bettendorf High School.  She is a junior studying English at Olivet Nazarene University.

"Interning in my office in Washington, D.C. is a valuable experience for any student who wants to get a first-hand look at how the Senate works," Grassley said. "Interns play an important role and are given the chance to take full advantage of their surroundings.  An internship is a unique opportunity for students to gain professional experience that will help them in their future endeavors."

"My internship this semester has been a memorable learning experience of limitless value for me.  I have had wonderful opportunities to learn from Grassley.  Working in this office has been very inspiring.  I feel that my hard work has been a reward in itself, and has not only taught me a lot about politics and work ethic, but I have learned the most about myself.  I have been challenged in ways that have taught me what my strengths and weaknesses are.  The people I met and worked with, the lessons I learned, and the memories I made are all unforgettable," Flynn said.

College students interested in becoming interns for Grassley in Washington, D.C. or any of his state offices should visit Grassley's website at http://grassley.senate.gov.

 

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The City of Rock Island is preparing for a busy season of road construction projects throughout the city. A total of $7,755,844 will be spent on street construction projects using funding sources such as a Federal stimulus grant, State grant funding, and gaming revenue.

"The past few winters have been very hard on our streets. We ask for patience and understanding as we work to make repairs," stated City Manager John Phillips.

"These are difficult times financially for all cities, however we want our citizens to know that street projects are still a priority. We were able to secure Federal and State funding to help with many projects," stated Mayor Dennis Pauley.

"We understand that barricades and street construction are an inconvenience, but are necessary to fix our streets. We appreciate your patience and caution as repairs are underway," Mayor Pauley continued.

Some of the major street projects include 30th Street resurfacing, 38th Street pavement patching, and Turkey Hollow Road resurfacing.

This is a significant increase in the amount spent on street construction projects this year, mainly due to the additional funding sources from the State and Federal grants. City Council determined that streets were a priority in reviewing the capital budget this year, and the funding was allocated accordingly.

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Grassley Legislation to Promote Greater Public Access to Federal Courtrooms Clears Committee

WASHINGTON - Legislation introduced by Chuck Grassley to allow federal trial and appellate judges to permit cameras in the courtroom today passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Grassley, along with Senator Charles Schumer of New York, have led efforts over the last several years to ensure the sun shines in on the federal courts.   The bill has broad bi-partisan support and has passed the Judiciary Committee several times.  The legislation has the support of the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

"Our judicial system is one of the best kept secrets in the United States.  Letting the sun shine in on federal courtrooms will give Americans an opportunity to better understand the judicial process.  This bill is the best way to maintain confidence and accountability in the judicial system and help judges do a better job," Grassley said.  "Cameras in our federal courts will be a tremendous learning tool for the American people and with the safeguards in place we have really good bill to help bring our courts into the 21st century."

Grassley said that states, including Iowa, have had great success in allowing the sun to shine on the court system.  Grassley also noted that the bill has safeguards in place to protect vulnerable witnesses, to exclude jurors from broadcast, and to allow a judge to use his or her discretion in determining whether to allow cameras in the courtroom.

During the confirmation hearings for the three most recent Supreme Court Justice nominees, Grassley asked the nominees about their support for allowing cameras in court proceedings.  The nominees indicated that they would consider having cameras in the courts.  Grassley expects to ask the President's next nominee as well.

The bipartisan "Sunshine in the Courtroom" bill allows the chief judge of federal trial appellate courts to permit cameras in their courtrooms.  The bill also directs the Judicial Conference, the principal policy-making entity for the federal courts, to draft nonbinding guidelines that judges can refer to in making a decision pertaining to the coverage of a particular case.  It also instructs the Judicial Conference to issue mandatory guidelines for obscuring vulnerable witnesses such as undercover officers, victims of crime, and their families.

Forty-eight states currently permit some form of audio-video coverage in their courtrooms and at least 37 directly televise trials.  Studies and surveys conducted in many of those states have confirmed that electronic media coverage of trials boosts public understanding of the court system without interfering with court proceedings.  Fifteen states have conducted studies aimed specifically at the educational benefits that are derived from camera access to courtrooms.  They all determined that camera coverage contributes to greater public understanding of the judicial system.

In order to provide a mechanism for Congress to study the effects of this legislation on the judiciary before making this change permanent, a three-year sunset provision is included in the bill.

The "Sunshine in the Courtroom" bill does not require a federal judge in a federal court to allow camera access to judicial proceedings.  The bill gives federal judges the discretion to allow cameras or other electronic media access if they see fit.  The bill also protects the privacy and safety of non-party witnesses by giving them the right to have their faces and voices obscured.

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Residents invited to attend meeting and share their concerns

DES MOINES- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that his aide, Alison Hart, will host a "listening post" for local residents in Scott County, May 13, 2010. Iowans are invited to come and learn about how Harkin's new Chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will benefit the state. 

Harkin staff members will hold the listening posts at area community colleges, private colleges and universities and community school districts to supplement the regular office hours at Harkin's five regional offices in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, and Sioux City.  These meetings ensure all Iowans have easy access to constituent services and information from the Harkin office.

"In order to better serve Iowa in the Senate, my office must hear firsthand from Iowans about how current laws impact them and their families," said Harkin. "This mobile office tour expands the reach of my state offices to connect us with residents and bringing information and assistance to the people of Iowa."

Each meeting will focus on the priorities for the Committee in the coming months, including efforts to strengthen K-12 education policy as well as higher education.  Last month, Harkin traveled across Iowa with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to hear from local education leaders, parents, students, business and community leaders on their ideas for a revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 


Scott County Tour Details - May 13, 2010

7:30 am       
JB Young Intermediate School
1709 Harrison Street
3rd Floor Conference Room
Davenport, IA

9:00 am       
St. Ambrose
518 West Locust Street
Ambrose Room
Davenport, IA

10:30 am       
Scott Community College
500 Belmond Road
Student Life Center
Davenport, IA

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