Rock Island, IL - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Rock Island District has teamed with New Orleans District and other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices to design and construct the greater New Orleans area Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). This $14.3 billion project is designed to reduce storm surge risk to the greater New Orleans area and be completed in 2011.

Rock Island District opened the doors to its Rock Island New Orleans Support (RINOS) Office and will celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 1 at 1 p.m. on Rock Island Arsenal, Building 68, third floor.

Congressman Phil Hare Joins Corps for May 1 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony  

 

The RINOS office is responsible for providing New Orleans District with project management, engineering, design, contracting, real estate and other support for four specific HSDRRS projects totaling nearly $1 billion of construction, and includes the world's largest interior drainage pumping station. The four projects are on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the greater New Orleans area. The Rock Island District plans to bolster its workforce by hiring more than 100 government employees and contractors in 2009, mostly engineers and scientists, to help complete the four projects and meet other increased workload requirements. Half of those will be working full-time in the RINOS office.

 

Recognizing that a tremendous amount of work must be completed in a very short timeframe, Corps leadership is leveraging the expertise of all six Corps Districts in the Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) and other Corps and professional organizations to include the Engineer Research and Development Center, which has a major laboratory in Champaign, Illinois associated with the University of Illinois.

 

A top domestic priority for the nation, the HSDRRS incorporates 350 miles of levees and floodwalls designed to reduce the risk of flooding during a storm event that has a one percent chance of occurring any given year in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005, flooded approximately 80 percent of New Orleans. With post-Katrina design criteria and full federal funding, the Corps is on track to provide this level of risk reduction in 2011. The RINOS office is helping the Corps meet that objective.

 

Col. (Ret.) Tom Hodgini, formerly the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District, has been chosen to lead the RINOS team. Stanley Consultants of Muscatine, Iowa, is working with New Orleans District contractor ECM-GEC JV of Metairie, Louisiana, to provide engineering support to the RINOS Office.

 

"We are honored to be able to provide some of our expertise in this part of the Mississippi Valley and Midwest to assist the nation in accomplishing this important mission in New Orleans," said Col. Robert Sinkler, Rock Island District Commander. "We will still be able to accomplish the New Orleans mission, complete 2008 Midwest flood recovery efforts, and meet all of our other responsibilities within the five 300-mile river basins of the Midwestern state area we serve."

For more information about the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System visit the web @ http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/hps2/

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Celebrity Chef Donates Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Treats To Local Shelter

When: Friday, April 17th at 10:30AM

Where: Quad Cities Adoption Center, Inc. (9525 New Liberty Road, Maysville, IA)

What: The economic downturn that started on Wall Street is beginning to take a serious toll on the backyard doghouse. Many apartment complex owners are no longer allowing dogs due to fear of increased "wear and tear" and in general many families no longer have the ability to provide for food, toys and costly medical bills. The result: an escalated amount of pet owners relinquishing their dogs to local shelters.

Heartbroken by the thought of millions of animals taken in by these shelters, celebrity chef Rachael Ray will be donating dog food and treats from her new premium pet food line Rachael Ray Nutrish. This is on top of Rachael's Rescue, through which all of Rachael's proceeds from the dog food line sold in stores goes directly to no-kill animal shelters.

Why:

  • Animal rescue groups and shelters across the country have seen an increase in the number of pet owners forced to give up their dogs because of the ailing economy and a decrease in adoptions.

  • Iowa ranks 3rd in the nation in the commercial dog breeding industry and puppy mill operations, for animal lovers, that statistic is not a good thing.

  • Approximately 7 million dogs enter shelters each year across the nation.

  • Recently, Rachael's Rescue donated $50,000 to North Shore Animal League, and there is much more to come.

Visual and Interview Opportunities:

Rochelle Buskirk, Fundraising Coordinator, Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption, Inc. speaking about the donation and the importance of animal nutrition.

Rachael Ray Nutrish workers donating 7 tons of treats to Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption, Inc.

Dogs enjoying Rachael Ray Nutrish treats like Isaboo Booscotti at the shelter.

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Public awareness campaign showcases "Worlds connect @ your library®" theme

CHICAGO - The Moline (Ill.) Public Library is the winner of the 2009 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant.

The $3,000 grant, sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by the American Library Association's (ALA) Public Awareness Committee, is awarded annually for the best public awareness campaign in support of National Library Week (April 12-18, 2009).   This year, libraries were asked to develop a proposal using the 2009 National Library Week theme, "Worlds connect @ your library."

The Moline Public Library's campaign will be a community "kaleidoscope" of library programs to promote National Library Week, as well as the library's entire year of programming and promotions in 2009. Librarians Lisa Powell Williams and Christina Conklin said the library is like a kaleidoscope, having many different shapes, colors and ideas that connect the community.

Each day will focus on a different "kaleidoscope" themed program such as a visit from Skylab, a traveling planetarium provided by the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education for children and families, author appearances by Chris Crutcher and James Loewen organized through the Quad City Arts' Super Author program for teens and educators, and a jazz appreciation program for adults.

Throughout the spring, the library will advertise on some of the city's Metrolink buses. The library will also create a commercial that will be aired on Moline's local ABC-TV affiliate, WQAD, during the program, "Good Morning, Quad Cities" throughout National Library Week. Outreach to area press is also planned for the weeks leading up to National Library Week.

"Moline Public Library has created a unique program built around the energy of National Library Week but that incorporates a sustainable momentum designed to carry the library into the future," said Lisa R. Rice, chair of the National Library Week Subcommittee.

Members of the 2009 National Library Week Subcommittee are: Lisa R. Rice (chair), Bowling Green (Ky.) Public Library; Elliot L. Appelbaum, Lexington (Ky.) Public Library; Gordon Baker, Clayton State University, Morrow, Ga.; Darlene Basone, school library consultant, Maineville, Ohio, Renee DiPilato, Alexandria (Va.) Public Library - Duncan Library; Susan Kowalski, Pine Grove Junior High School, East Syracuse, N.Y.; Amanda Murphy, Warren-Trumbull County (Ohio) Public Library - Liberty Branch; and Tony Tallent, Boulder (Colo.) Public Library.

The Campaign for America's Libraries (www.ala.org/@yourlibrary) is ALA's public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.  Thousands of libraries of all types - across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign's @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA's Library Champions (http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/contactus/librarychampions/index.cfm), corporations and foundations who advocate the importance of the library in American society

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic Library Publishing, a division of Scholastic, creates a multitude of products, both in print and online, for the school and public library market under the imprints of Grolier®, Children's Press®, Franklin Watts®, and Grolier OnlineTM.

"MAP EVERY PLACE TO PLAY IN AMERICA!"

Two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champion and Mercury Nashville recording artist Julianne Hough has partnered up with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit, to map and rate playspaces everywhere online. Once it has this comprehensive user-generated playground audit, KaBOOM! will know which areas of the country have a great place for kids to play every day and which areas fall short. Toward this end, Julianne will donate $1 to select charities every time someone uploads a new place to play (up to $100,000).

The challenge runs 100 days, from March 23 - June 30, or until Julianne gives away $100,000 to national non-profits that have teamed up with KaBOOM! for this project: the YMCA of the USA, National Wildlife Federation, Shaping America's Health, Jumpstart, and America's Promise Alliance. To participate, users go online to the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder (kaboom.org/playspacefinder), pick a great charity to earn money for, then post a picture they took of a place to play, and rate it. Julianne will then give the non-profit they selected $1 each time they load a new playspace to the map. In addition to benefiting charity, every playspace loaded counts as an entry in a sweepstakes to meet Julianne or win autographed merchandise. By using online technology to activate and engage individuals, the 100,000 Playspaces in 100 Days Campaign will alert communities of the importance of play, and motivate individuals to start taking action.

"In the U.S. childhood obesity numbers have tripled since I was little. Statisics say that nearly a third of our nations kids are overweight or well on their way. I have joined with KABOOM to try and make sure that kids have a place to play and run around every day," say Julianne. When complete, the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder will serve as a national audit of playspaces, allowing communities to evaluate how many there are, their quality, and how accessible they are.

Growing up in Utah, Julianne had a very active childhood. She and her siblings were always outside playing together as well as dancing and singing. She wants to help other kids have some of the same opportunities as she did.

To do something about the situation, Julianne teamed up with KaBOOM! to help them complete an online map of playgrounds, the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. "I want to help parents know where all the great places are to play in their neighborhood," Julianne said. Once 100,000 new playspaces are entered onto the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, KaBOOM! will have a national map full of places to play, parents can see where to take their kids, and KaBOOM! can spot areas that need attention.

The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder is a Google-based map that currently shows more than 16,000 user-generated entries with photos, amenities, and ratings of places kids play.  The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder includes all different sorts of places to play: playgrounds, athletic fields, ice rinks, basketball courts, skateparks, and swimming pools, even nature trails and community gardens. When complete, the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder will serve as a national audit of playspaces, allowing communities to evaluate how many there are, their quality, and how accessible they are.
Since 1995, KaBOOM! has constructed almost 1,600 playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also created the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play.
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Five Quad City area employers have been nominated for the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.  The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

The nominees are:

 Bettendorf Police Department

Civil Constructors Inc., East Moline

Kelly's Medical Equipment and Supply, Davenport

Springfield Armory Inc., Geneseo

Superior Labels, Davenport.

More than 3,200 National Guard and Reserve members from across the country nominated their employers for their outstanding support. Many employers, for example, provided continued benefits, differential pay, family assistance and additional support. A national selection board comprised of senior defense officials and business leaders will select up to 15 recipients for this year's award. The Department of Defense will announce the 2009 Freedom Award recipients this summer. The 2009 Freedom Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., September 17th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Center.

 

About ESGR

 Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. We recognize outstanding support, increase awareness of the law, and resolve conflicts through mediation. For more information, please visit www.esgr.mil.

About the Award

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. Previous honorees include American Express, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Sears, Home Depot, the State of Tennessee and the Winner School District of South Dakota. For more information, please visit www.FreedomAward.mil.

(Moline, IL)  Some of the county's newest voters are holding a news conference asking voters to approve the one percent sales tax referendum on the April 7th ballot.  These students have been in area schools for years and they know first hand the buildings need major updates.

The news conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 26th at 3:30 pm in the King Plaza strip mall in Moline.  The event will take place in front of Kinetic Fitness at 3620 Avenue of the Cities.

Student leaders from Moline, United Township and Augustana will be available for questions after the news conference.

The Musser Public Library in Muscatine will host the Iowa Egg Council's 2009 White House Easter Egg display throughout the month of April.  The exhibition can be viewed until April 30th and then it will move on to another city.

The 19 beautifully decorated eggs in this display are the creations of various Iowa artists.  The eggs were entered in the 2009 White House Easter Egg Decorating Contest, held during the 2008 Iowa State Fair. This contest invites Iowa artists to decorate an egg to depict a special feature, theme, icon, or location in/of Iowa. The winning egg is then sent to Washington, D.C. to be on display at the White House during the Easter season. 

At this year's contest, Marjorie Nedjl of Ely won first place, winning a cash prize plus traveling expenses to see her decorated egg displayed at the White House. Second place went to Carolyn Klein of Norwalk, and Marion Smith of Eagle Grove won third place. 

Each year the Iowa Egg Council sponsors the White House Easter Egg Decorating Contest during the Iowa State Fair. Entry forms can be requested each year by calling 1-877-IOWAEGG, Ext. 11 or be accessing the website at www.iowaegg.org.

Contact Info: Irene Warschauer, Office Manager, Musser Public Library, Ph: 563-263-3065, iwarschauer@muscatinelibrary.us

(March 23, 2009) -- Each year, The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, recognizes state legislators across the country who have initiated path-breaking animal protection legislation and demonstrably advanced reform in the policy-making arena. The organization is pleased to announce that Iowa state Rep. Jim Lykam is a Humane State Legislator Award winner for 2008.

Rep. Lykam is being honored for introducing and passing anti-dogfighting legislation. That bill, HF 2381, increased the penalties for being a spectator at a dogfight.

Continuing his leadership on animal protection policies into this legislative session, Rep. Lykam is also currently the sponsor of HF 486, which would allow the state to conduct inspections of USDA-licensed puppy mills in Iowa.

"Ending animal fighting in Iowa will only happen with penalties that serve as a deterrent," said Rep. Lykam. "It is my hope that we have taken a step towards this goal by enacting tougher penalties."

"Iowa Representative Jim Lykam has been a champion of animal protection since he came into office," said Carol Griglione, Iowa state director for The HSUS. "He has advanced the protection of animals in Iowa in a very meaningful way, and we are pleased to honor him with this award and acknowledge his dedicated public service."

Media Contact: Martin Montorfano, 301-258-3152, mmontorfano@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization - backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty. On the web at humanesociety.org .

As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009, Partners in Job Training and Placement will receive funds to administer a Summer Youth Employment Program. Youth participating in the program will be placed in a variety of public and private sector worksites beginning in June. Jobs will include maintenance, clerical, grounds keeping, and other positions. Youth will receive minimum wage. Work related expenses such as physicals will be provided.  Your Rock Island County Extension unit has requested to secure funding for up to five youth under this program for the summer.  If you know of youth looking for a job and qualifies for the Partners in Job Training and Placement program please ask them to contact  Mr. David Flowers at: 309-736-9621, ext. 101, Mondays through Thursdays, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Individuals appointments will be scheduled.

This program is income based. NOT ALL YOUTH WILL QUALIFY. Youth must be between the ages of 16 and 24 to participate.

DAVENPORT, Iowa–It took three years for St. Ambrose University Occupational Therapy alumna Angie DeLost to convince ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to choose her client's family for a home makeover. On Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m., St. Ambrose will hold a "Lunch and Learn" featuring DeLost, along with eight-year-old client Jake Grys, who suffers from the genetic disorder Osteogenesis Imperfecta. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Rogalski Center, located at the corner of Ripley and Lombard Streets, one block west of Harrison Street. Reservations are recommended and those who attend are invited to bring a sack lunch.

Following a viewing of the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Grys family episode, DeLost will discuss her work with show producers and her involvement in the home's modifications. Grys, along with his mother, Jean, will share their experiences with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, often referred to as "brittle bone disease," as well as answer questions about the home makeover process.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Rhonda Lane at 563/333-6277 or LaneRhondaL@sau.edu.

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