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Grassley Seeks Insurance Clarification

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter asking the Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12) about steps it is taking to include medical devices' unique device identifier (UDI) on health insurance claim forms. ASC X12 is the body responsible for setting standards for and recommending any changes to the standard electronic claims forms. Including UDI on these forms will help strengthen the post-market tracking of medical devices.

Senators Warren and Grassley wrote, "Collecting device identifiers on insurance claims forms would allow device performance and safety concerns to be tracked and evaluated at the model level, enable the collection and analysis of detailed device and patient data, facilitate outcome comparisons across device models, and protect the integrity of the Medicare program by allowing for faster identification of poorly performing and recalled devices and ensuring that proper reimbursements take place with regard to these devices."

The senators ask ASC X12 to provide a staff briefing on the actions the committee is taking to finalize the next version of standards associated with electronic claims forms, and its discussions related to the incorporation of UDI information. 

In March, Senators Grassley and Warren wrote to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt and FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to inquire about progress that had been made in adding the UDI of medical devices to health insurance claim forms.  Last month, in a reply to their letter, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell stated that "HHS affirmatively supports adding the device identifier (DI) portion of the UDI for claims for implantable devices." Additionally, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf recently expressed their support for including UDI on claims forms.

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Disney On Ice


Moline, IL 8/30/16 -Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream is bringing Disney's princess stories and most beloved fairytales to the ice in a sensational live production coming to your hometown!This ice spectacular featuring scenes from Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella,and The Princess and the Frog,visits Molinefrom December 1-4 for 7 performances at the iWireless Center. Tickets go on saleTuesday, Aug. 30 at 10:00am.

Join your hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they share the heroic stories of four of your favorite Disney Princesses. Laugh along with Disney's hair-raising escapade, Tangled, as Rapunzel, Flynn and Maximus embark on an uproarious expedition that soars to new heights! Travel to the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as she escapes from the Evil Queen. Watch as Cinderella's dreams come true with a little help from her animal friends and the Fairy Godmother. Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from Disney's The Princess and the Frog, in a magical, musical journey.Nothing can stop a princess from a courageous adventure when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream skates into to your hometown.

 

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7:00p

Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:00p

Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11:00a, 3:00p, & 7:00p

Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1:00p & 5:00p

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream range from $12.00 - $55.00.All seats are reserved, and tickets are available at the iWireless Center box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com. For group rates and information, call Lindsey at 309-277-1356.

Stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce

Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #DaretoDream

YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

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ISP To Conduct Night Time Patrols

The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 7, will conduct Nighttime Enforcement Patrols (NITE) in Rock Island County during the month of September 2016, according to Lieutenant Victor Markowski.

            The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired drivers.  Therefore, officers working NITE patrols will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and are not properly buckled up. 

            Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  These nighttime patrols are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road and ensuring all vehicle occupants are buckled up.  This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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Bustos, Durbin Acquire Airport Funding


 

ROCKFORD, IL - Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced $455,869 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Chicago Rockford International Airport. These funds will be used for the construction of a 30,000 square yard cargo apron to provide aircraft parking to meet the demand of existing users of the airport. The grant will also provide funding to reimburse the apron construction. This is phase 10 of a 10 phase project.

 

“The Chicago Rockford International Airport is a critically important part of our regional transportation network and our local economy which is why I’m so proud to announce this investment in Rockford’s future,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “By delivering these federal dollars, we’re making necessary improvements to our infrastructure system that will make Rockford a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

 

“Northern Illinois’ economic growth depends on our airports, and Chicago Rockford International Airport is no exception. Today’s funding will help create jobs and ensure that RFD can keep up with air travel demands,” said Durbin. “With continued federal investment, we can guarantee that Rockford’s airport will continue to provide reliable air service and create new economic opportunities for local residents.”

 

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Iowa in Top Tier for Community College Systems

As they dig into the fall semester, Iowa community college students can take comfort in knowing their education comes from a top-rated community college system. 

A new study from the online research site WalletHub ranks Iowa 15th among community college systems in the nation. 

Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College, credits the state's board system, in which elected members represent the needs of local colleges. 

He adds community colleges are well integrated into the business community, so they're seen as workforce drivers for the state. 

"Knowing that 60 percent or more of all the jobs in this state require more than high school, but no more than a two-year degree," he points out. "So, our responsiveness to the government, the parents and students, the businesses that hire our students, is exceptional."

In fall 2015, more than 93,000 and students were enrolled at an Iowa community college, including 33,000 jointly enrolled high school students. 

Denson says community colleges also work with local high schools on Career Colleges that combine two years of secondary education with an associate's degree in a career preparatory program. He maintains it's a great partnership.

"Because of pooled funding and community college funding, we can get the equipment, so it's state of the art," he says. "And because all of our academic programs have advisory committees of businesses, we're teaching competencies that are absolutely current.

"And then, it's easier for us to find an academically-qualified college instructor to teach that class."

One area that Denson says needs to be addressed is rising tuition. When the community college system was created 50 years ago, operating costs were to be split equally between the Legislature, property taxes and student tuition. 

But he says increased enrollment and shifts in the economy have left the funding formula off balance. 

"Property tax is now only about 6 percent of our budget, because that rate has not changed," he explains. "State aid is right around 24 percent, and student tuition is very close to 60 percent."

According to the Iowa Department of Education, tuition at two-year colleges in Iowa averaged about $4,200 annually, a 50 percent increase from 2005.

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Bustos Announces USDA Economic Development Funding for Jo-Carroll Energy and Stephenson Service Company

ELIZABETH, IL - Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) was joined by officials from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency to announce $126,665 in grants to Jo-Carroll Energy and a $770,000 Economic Development loan to Stephenson Service Company. These funds will be used to help these businesses continue growing and succeeding in our 21st Century Heartland.

“I’m so excited to announce these funds to keep Jo-Carroll Energy and Stephenson Service Company growing and succeeding in our community,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Over the last month, I’ve traveled across our region on a 21st century heartland tour to listen and learn about the challenges we face and the opportunities that lie ahead of us. By making investments that strengthen our local economy and partnering with our businesses, we’ll build a better future for all of our families.”

Background on the funding:

Jo-Carroll Energy:

Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. received a $36,665 grant through the Rural Energy for America Program. They will use these funds to install a ground source heat pump system at their newly expanded and current facility, which will be around 6,800 square feet. They will also be replacing their current fluorescent lights with new LED lighting. Lastly, they will add a minimal amount of wall and ceiling insulation to their current building. The project is expected to save them around $18,000 in energy costs and save approximately 174,000 kWh (85% savings) per year, which is enough electricity to power 16 homes. These energy efficiency improvements are expected to have less than an 8 year payback.


Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. received another grant from the Rural Energy for America Program for $90,000. These rural Development funds will be used to assist Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. to provide energy audits for rural small businesses and agricultural producers in northwestern Illinois and neighboring counties in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Stephenson Service Company:

Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. received a $770,000 loan through our Rural Economic Development Loan Program. They will be relending these funds to Stephenson Service Company to construct a new unmanned, standalone fueling station. The new station will consist of 7 dispensers, including gasoline dispensers with flexible fuel upgrades. The remaining dispensers will be for diesel fuel. The station will be located on the west side of Elizabeth, IL, just off of US Highway 20.

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Davenport Civil Rights Commission and Boots on the Ground Coalition to Receive Update on Traffic Stop Data

On September 12, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at United Neighbors, 808 N. Harrison, Davenport, Iowa 52801, the Boots on the Ground Coalition and Davenport Civil Rights Commission will host St. Ambrose University Professor Chris Barnum as he releases the analysis conducted by his research team of the 2015 traffic stop data collected by the Davenport Police Department.

The Boots on the Ground Coalition and Davenport Civil Rights Commission would like to encourage community members to attend the 2015 traffic stop data collection presentation.  St. Ambrose University Professor Chris Barnum will be releasing the analysis conducted by his research team of the 2015 traffic stop data collected by the Davenport Police Department.  This team analyzed raw traffic stop data from the Davenport Police Department with a focus on assessing racial disproportionality in the stops and stop outcomes.

Boots on the Ground would like to encourage all community members to attend to the meeting to encourage a healthy dialogue about the importance of community involvement and the steps that we as a community can take to make the Quad Cities a community of opportunities.


Questions regarding this release should be directed to Elder Daniel Teague at 563-320-1310 or Davenport Civil Rights Director, Latrice Lacey at 563-326-7888.

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School Bus Accident on Monday


BETTENDORF: At approximately 3:39 p.m. today, Bettendorf Police were called to an accident at Middle Road and Indiana Avenue. A dump truck did not maintain control while turning a corner and hit a Pleasant Valley School District school bus.

 

There were 12 elementary school students on the bus. There were no injuries. Students were released to their parents.

 

Driver of the dump trunk was issued a citation for control of vehicle.

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Regional Media-Virden Broadcasting set to "Jack Up" Quad Cities Radio!

 

Regional Media will switch its signal in the Quad City market to bring the highly popular “JACK” radio format beginning on September 1, 2016.

WYEC, which will become KQCJ, at 93.9 on the FM dial, serves Peoria to Eldridge with its majority listenership in the Quad Cities region has been planning a major change for months!

JACK FM is the most successful radio programming approach in North America. It offers upbeat and unconventional “Playing What We Want” branding. The JACK FM Adult Hits format presents an energizing presentation of hit songs from the late 1960s through the 2000s that has attracted a significant following, reaching more than 20 million listeners weekly.

”Regional Media is excited to launch the highly successful JACK format in the Quad Cities,” commented President and CEO Fletcher M. Ford  “Our signal, at 93.9, will carry the distinctive sound of JACK FM to the entire Quad Cities and surrounding regions, and the unique playlist and music mix is perfectly suited to our midwest lifestyle. Both listeners and advertisers will love the new JACK FM at 93.9 on the FM dial.”

The new Jack FM will continue in Regional Media's legacy of dedication to local high schools programming, local and national news, and local interviews.

“We are just simply JACKED to the max, to launch the new JACK FM format on 93.9. The music and the energy that it brings to the table will literally change the Quad Cities!”, said Jason Gilbraith, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Regional Media.

“The JACK FM format is unlike anything in the Quad Cities market,” said Regional Media Operations Manager Sean Patrick. “I am very excited to be part of bringing JACK FM to the Quad Cities because I know people will love it.”

Regional Media-Virden Broadcasting is an Iowa based locally owned company that owns and operates multiple media outlets in Iowa and Illinois.

For more infomation on Regional Media visit www.RegionalMedia.info

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63rd Annual Farm Progress Show Returns to Boone, Iowa

 


 


Penton Agriculture’s Farm Progress Show, the nation's largest outdoor farm show, returns to Boone, Iowa for its 63rd annual event. The show is scheduled forAugust 30, 31 and September 1.

 

 

BOONE, IOWA – (08-19-2016) -  Farm Progress Show, the nation's greatest ag showcase, is nearly ready for visitors, the show will be held August 30, 31 and September 1 on its permanent show site in Boone, Iowa (a few minutes west of Ames) just off Hwy 30. 

 

The annual event showcases the latest technology in agriculture, including new products to be unveiled at the show by many of the industry's largest manufacturers and suppliers.

 

A staple of the Farm Progress Show has always been the field demonstrations. This year is no exception with a full line up of demonstrations scheduled. The combines fire up at 11 a.m each show day. Additionally, you will see auger carts collecting grain on the go, and more. Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day from 2 to 3 p.m. This gives visitors an opportunity to view all of the competitors in each segment running side by side.

 

There will also be a tillage class for tools that want to run faster to show their performance features. Most of the new tillage tools, with nearly a dozen on the market, are recommended to run at 7 to 9 miles per hour. When they are run at slower speeds, you don’t always get a true picture of how these machines work. The advent of vertical tillage has made it necessary to change the rules, and boost the longstanding speed limit on the demo field. Vertical-tillage tools can operate at their optimum speed once more traditional tillage tools have made their passes. 

 

Another favorite attraction for Farm Progress Show visitors are the Ride ‘n Drives. This year, visitors can test drive a new truck, ATV and tractor tires. Yamaha, Ram Trucks, Michelin, Chevrolet, and Titan Tire are all participating in the Ride ‘n Drives. All Ride ‘n Drive participants will be located east of exhibit field by Tram Loading.

 

As in 2014 and 2015, this year’s show will also have an Annex located outside the main entrance. The Annex was created to accommodate companies who wanted to participate in the Farm Progress Show but the main exhibit field was sold out. Companies like Becks Hybrid and Iowa State University can be found in the Annex. Antique Row was also re-located to the Annex to give the antique tractor clubs more space to display vintage tractors and equipment.

 

Syngenta is sponsoring Syngenta Square at the Annex. It’s a place where visitors can stop for a beverage, including a range of brews from Iowa Craft Brewery members and listen to live music. A great meeting place at the end of the day! 

 

A second Varied Industries Tent has been added this year. This new North VIT is located between Fourth and Fifth Street, in the northwest quadrant of the show exhibit area. A diverse group of twenty-six companies will be set up in the north VIT and range from high-tech exhibitors to parts services. 

 

Plan to attend the show

The 2016 Farm Progress Show takes place east of Boone, Iowa, August 30, 31 and September 1. The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The public is welcome. Advance tickets can be purchased on the show's website, for more event details, visit www.FarmProgressShow.com

 

 

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Red Cross Helps in Louisiana

 

MOLINE, IL, August 29, 2016 – The American Red Cross remains on the ground in Louisiana, with volunteers across nearly half of the state helping the thousands of people who have lost everything they own in the devastating flooding there.

 

“The situation in Louisiana remains critical,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “The Red Cross response is really just getting underway as we will be in Louisiana to help people recover in the weeks and months to come. We ask people to please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people of Louisiana.”

 

Currently there are 33 volunteers from the Central and Southern Illinois Region assisting with the Red Cross relief effort in Louisiana. Many of the volunteers are serving on location, while others are assisting virtually staffing call centers and doing casework. In addition to the volunteers, two staff members from the region are on the ground in Louisiana. Alyssa Pollock, Regional Disaster Officer and Amber Wood, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Serving the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois are serving in leadership roles as part of the Red Cross relief operation.

 

More than 90 Red Cross response vehicles are fanning through affected neighborhoods to distribute food, water and relief supplies. Disaster mental health and health services volunteers are providing emotional support and helping to replace things like lost eyeglasses, wheelchairs and medications.

 

As of August 26, more than 2,500 Red Crossers have provided the following services:

·         Served more than 466,000 meals and snacks.

·         Distributed more than 210,000 relief items.

·         Provided more than 55,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters.

·         Handled nearly 27,000 calls from people seeking information and help.

·         Provided 12,000 health services and emotional support contacts.

·         Mobilized four kitchens.

 

Each day, the Red Cross is able to get into more and more neighborhoods, and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide assistance. In some areas, residents are still experiencing flooding, while other neighborhoods are facing the challenge of cleaning up. Where possible, the Red Cross is beginning to distribute food and relief supplies.

 

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

 

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To join us, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App now to be ready in case of a disaster in their community. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to connect with their loved ones. The Emergency App can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.

 

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Church's Rally Day on Sept. 11

Rock Island, Ill. – The Church of Peace in Rock Island, Ill., marks its annual Rally Day on Sunday, September 11, 2016.  Rally Day signals the return from the summer schedule to the beginning of Sunday School classes.  All are welcome.  Breakfast served 8:30-10 a.m. with an opportunity to look at the church’s historic scrapbooks.

Then at 10:15 a.m. there will be a skit to introduce the worship service with influential past religious figures who have advice for modern Christians.  Then the worship service begins at 10:30 a.m. with time for remembering and church members who will share favorite church memories.

On Sunday, September 17, Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m. for kids and at 9 a.m. for adults, followed by fellowship time at 10 a.m., and worship at 10:30 a.m.

The Church of Peace is located at 1114 12th Street, Rock Island, Ill.  Phone number is 309-788-6357 or visit www.ChurchofPeaceUCC.org

The Church of Peace United Church of Christ has been located in Rock Island since 1895.  Founded by German immigrants, the church was originally called Deutsche Evangelicalische Friedens Gemeinde or German Evangelical Peace Church.  In 1912, the congregation built the church at its current location on 12th Street and 12th Avenue.  The church is involved in outreach efforts through its Book Nook, Meal site program, after-school reading program, ESL Classes, Immigrant Cancer Education, Diapers for Baby Jesus, and Saturday food pantry.

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Illinois State Police to Conduct Nighttime Enforcement Patrols

East Moline, IL  – The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 7, will conduct Nighttime Enforcement Patrols (NITE) in Rock Island County during the month of September 2016, according to Lieutenant Victor Markowski.
The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired drivers.  Therefore, officers working NITE patrols will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and are not properly buckled up. 
Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  These nighttime patrols are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road and ensuring all vehicle occupants are buckled up.  This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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ISP And Compliance

The tensions between police and certain members of society and different situations around the country has been well documented over the last several years.

Without question, there have been cases where the suspect or suspects in a given situation have been more at fault, and there have been other situations where some police officers have been more at fault.

Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says police do make mistakes at times, but he also says that if suspects would be more compliant, a lot of problems could be averted…

Trooper Wilson again emphasizes that if suspects will be compliant, they will get their day in court…

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Truck Tax Due End of Month

Commercial semi-truck drivers and owners are reminded of the federal highway use tax which is due by the end of August.

Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis says taking care of the tax is fairly easy…

Devine adds that most of the larger fleets are in general aware of the situation and this reminder is more for the independent driver…

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Bustos Busy Today

 

On Monday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos will continue her 21st Century Heartland Tour with stops in northwestern Illinois. At these events, Bustos will be joined by officials from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency to discuss efforts to strengthen our rural communities.

 

First at 10:45 AM in Morrison, Bustos and USDA officials will visit Resthave Home which has provided skilled nursing and assisted living services to the residents of Whiteside County for more than 50 years. To keep Resthave Home modernized, they worked with the USDA’s Rural Development Agency to secure loans to improve the facility.

 

Then at 2:15 PM in Savanna, Bustos and USDA officials will visit Neumiller Farms which received a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan to expand their potato handling facility in support of more than 40 jobs.

 

At 3:45 PM in Elizabeth, Bustos will announce a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan to Jo-Carroll Energy for Stephenson Service Company to construct a new unmanned, standalone fueling station.

 

At 4:40 PM in Elizabeth, Congresswoman Bustos will announce funding to Jo-Carroll Energy through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program to provide energy audits for small businesses and ag producers in the Jo-Carroll service area and make energy efficiency improvements at their newly expanded, current facility.

 

 

STOP #1: Resthave Home in Morrison

 

Who: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, officials from the USDA’s Rural Development Agency

What: Discussion on the importance of providing modern care for seniors in Whiteside County

When: Monday, August 29 at 10:45 AM

Where: Resthave Home, 408 Maple Ave, Morrison, IL

 

 

STOP #2: Neumiller Farms in Savanna

 

Who: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, officials from the USDA’s Rural Development Agency

What: Site tour of facility expansion supported by USDA Rural Economic Development Loan

When: Monday, August 29 at 2:15 PM

Where: Neumiller Farms, 7389 IL-84, Savanna, IL

 

STOP #3: Rural Development Announcement in Elizabeth

 

Who: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, officials from the USDA’s Rural Development Agency

What: Announcement of a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan for construction of a new business.

When: Monday, August 29 at 3:45 PM

Where: Stephenson Service Company 1478 US Highway 20, Elizabeth, IL

 

STOP #4: Jo-Carroll Energy in Elizabeth

 

Who: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, officials from the USDA’s Rural Development Agency

What: Announcement of USDA funding for rural energy efficiency

When: Monday, August 29 at 4:40 PM

Where: Jo-Carroll Energy, 793 U.S. Route 20 West. Elizabeth, IL

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Bettendorf Bulldogs Drop Season Opener to West Des Moines

The Bettendorf Bulldogs opened their season on the road on Friday night against West Des Moines Valley and things did not go as planned for the Bulldogs. Four fumbles by the Bulldogs offfense combined with a stellar debut for West Des Moines Quarterback Rocki Lombardi led to a 49 to 13 Bulldogs loss. Lombardi, who is committed to play at Michigan State next year, led Iowa's top ranked team by going 10 of 17 with two touchdowns and 188 yards and likely would have thrown for more had West Des Moines not began running the ball more in the second half as the score got out of hand. Bulldogs Quarterback J. Michael Young was valiant in his debut, running for and throwing both of the Bulldogs touchdowns. The Bulldogs open their home season next Friday against Davenport Assumption. 

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ISP Driving Zero Fatalities to Reality

EAST MOLINE, IL  – Illinois State Police District Seven announced that during the month of July 2016, Troopers handled 1386 calls for service and assistance.  Of these calls, 185 were to help motorists whose vehicles were disabled on area highways.

Criminal activities during the month included 1 person apprehended for being wanted on outstanding warrants and 12 arrested for other criminal offenses.

Traffic enforcement activities resulted in 217 drivers arrested for speeding and 42 cited for seat belt violations.  Driving under the influence arrests totaled 15, while 6 apprehensions for other alcohol related offenses were recorded.  Troopers issued a total of 453 traffic citations and 472 written warnings to motorists during the month.

Troopers and weight inspectors issued 53 citations for overweight loads and issued zero written warnings for overweight violations.

District Seven Troopers handled 37 traffic crashes within the four county area of Rock Island, Henry, Knox, and Mercer. There was one fatal crash handled by District 7 Troopers.

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Republican State Representative Candidate Dan Swanson Call for Political Reforms

Democratic Party leaders have rigged the system and it is destroying the Illinois economy. Business leaders want to do business in Illinois, but cannot afford the instability and unpredictability of the Illinois political climate.
Democratic Party leaders pick the voters for their candidates and then back them with huge amounts of special interest cash. Reformers secured 500,000 voter signatures to get a remapping reform amendment on the November ballot, but late yesterday the Illinois Supreme Court blocked it from being included. The 4-3 opinion, written by Democratic Justice Thomas Kilbride and decided on partisan lines, denies the people of Illinois the right to keep the state legislature from acting in it’s own self interest and against what is best for the people of Illinois.
Blocking the effort to reform the electoral process will almost certainly intensify the call to action from proponents of better government in Illinois.
Dan Swanson, candidate for 74th District State Representative, reiterated his call for critical political reforms. ““This decision to deny Illinoisans the right to vote on redistricting doesn’t help us fix the perception that the system is rigged and corrupt. We must have citizen control over state government. We must break the stranglehold of self-serving politicos in the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is broken and we can no longer afford the rigged system built by the Democratic Party’s supermajority in Springfield,” Swanson said. ““A fair map, term limits, or term limits on legislative leadership in Illinois are long overdue. I agree with Governor Rauner when he says that what drives people away from Illinois is the sense that our political system is broken and our government is unaccountable to the people. He’s right when he says the Illinois system only works for the political insiders who benefit at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class.”
Swanson continued, “The people of Illinois deserve better, smarter and more effective government. Speaker Mike Madigan has been in office since 1972 – 45 years. And for 31 of the past 33 years, he has held control of the Illinois House. Entrenched politicians like Mike Madigan prove the case for a fair map, term limits, or at least term limits on legislative leaders. We must have legislators who work together to fix our problems instead of working to hold onto their offices. Democratic and Republican voters agree on this issue, and it is time to unite behind reforms that protect the people, not the political class. We must have reforms to ensure that state government in Illinois will be run by the people and for the people,” Swanson concluded.

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Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for 'The Great ShakeOut' Earthquake Drill

 Earthquakes occur without warning and can have devastating effects, as the world witnessed this week after a deadly earthquake in Italy. With two seismic zones in the southern part of the state and Illinois residents who travel throughout the world, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies encourage people to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on Oct. 20 to learn how to stay safe when the earth starts to shake.

“We never know when or where the next catastrophic earthquake will occur,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “But we do know steps people can take to stay safe. The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill is a quick, easy way for people to practice steps that could save their lives. We encourage Illinois residents to join millions of people across the U.S. and around the globe in the Great ShakeOut on Oct. 20.”

Joseph said the ShakeOut drill, which will occur at 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 20, centers around the Drop, Cover and Hold On actions: drop down to the ground, take cover under a table or other piece of heavy furniture and then hold on until the shaking stops.

Illinois has participated in ShakeOut drills for the past six years. In October 2015, nearly 667,000 Illinoisans took part in the nationwide earthquake drill. To date, nearly 328,000 people in Illinois are registered for this year’s event.

Joseph noted that some of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the U.S. happened a little more than 200 years ago in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which reaches into southern Illinois. That series of earthquakes lasted for several months and shaking was felt as far away as the East Coast.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness. While the international drill will take place on Oct. 20, individual drills can be conducted anytime within two weeks of that date.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. 

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Upcoming Bloom Arts Festival

 

14th annual John Bloom Arts Festival

Saturday, September 17, 2016

10:00 a.m. -  3:00 p.m.

DeWitt’s Lincoln Park (by the downtown water tower)

512 – 10th Street, DeWitt, Iowa

Local artists and vendors have their creations for sale. 

Food, musical entertainment and children’s activities also available in the park.

Free admission

Sponsored by the DeWitt Area Fine Arts Foundation

 

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Stolen Vehicle In Accident in Bettendorf

At 1:43 p.m. today, Bettendorf Police spotted a 2004 silver Pontiac Sunfire that was reported stolen out of Davenport yesterday.

 

Police attempted to stop the vehicle at I-74 and Spruce Hills Drive. The vehicle tried to flee, which resulted in an accident with another vehicle.

 

The driver, a juvenile female age 16 from Davenport, along with two passengers, juvenile males both age 15 from Davenport, tried to escape on foot.  Upon the arrival of other officers to the scene, all three were apprehended and taken into custody.

 

One of the juvenile males was transported to Genesis East with a complaint of pain.

 

The juveniles were released to their parents. The case will be turned over to juvenile court.

 

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Health Care Rate Filings


CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) has submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) health care rate filings recently received from Illinois insurers for the 2017 on-exchange marketplace.  In Illinois and nationwide, 2017 premium rates are increasing for consumers, and in many cases, these increases are significant. The DOI has submitted the 2017 rate filings to federal CMS; however, these rates will not be finalized by federal CMS until October. In addition, network and specific premium information will not be available until October.

 

“Washington’s failure to fulfill its financial obligations to payers under the Affordable Care Act limited the Department’s ability to fulfill its mandate of protecting families buying insurance on the exchange while fostering a competitive and financially sound marketplace for health consumers in Illinois” said Acting Director AnneMelissa Dowling. “The Department is releasing this rate information in order to provide consumers as much information as possible, as early as possible, so they can better make decisions for their families’ healthcare needs. The amount of financial help individuals qualify for depends on the cost of the plans available in their service area, as well as their ability to pay.  While these rate approvals result in a very difficult outcome for consumers, they were necessary to ensure that all Illinois consumers actually have an option for coverage when the 2017 Open Enrollment begins on November 1, 2016.”

 

The nationwide and Illinois premium increases are due to several factors, including the absence of payments promised by the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act and an overall increase in medical and pharmaceutical costs.  Additionally, in 2013, the prior administration chose to permit policyholders to keep non-ACA compliant plans through 2017, which continues to impact ACA compliant plans’ risk pool and contribute to the upward pressure on costs. These factors also forced several carriers to entirely withdraw their on-exchange plans in Illinois and other states.  It is important to note that the Department cannot reject or modify rates under the Affordable Care Act as long as the proposed changes, including significant rate increases, are actuarially sound.

 

The DOI will continue to work with consumers to assist with obtaining coverage.  It is important for those who are re-enrolling in coverage to look at any options that may be available to them on the Marketplace starting on November 1, 2016.  There will be some new plans available and they may offer better coverage at a lower cost.  DOI reminds consumers that cost should not be the only factor in selecting coverage.  Consumers should also consider matching their plan with a preferred provider.  We encourage consumers to pay close attention to any options available and work with an in-person assister who can help them find a plan for them and their family.

 

Consumers are encouraged to visit our Get Covered Illinois website (https://getcovered.illinois.gov/) for further information and assistance.  The Get Covered Connector lets consumers search by ZIP code to find local, free application help and is available in Spanish as well as English. Consumers can also use this tool to schedule in-person assistance appointments with navigators and certified application counselors.  Consumers can also call866-311-1119 to get assistance in choosing a plan and also can visit Healthcare.gov.

 

The rates will be published on the Illinois Department of Insurance’s website here under the ‘latest feed’ tab.  Off-exchange rates are not yet published as their review is being completed by DOI.  DOI will publish them once review is complete.

648**16

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IEMA Receives $14 Million Grant for Emergency Response Communications Upgrade

The state of Illinois’ efforts to relocate existing emergency response communications systems in preparation for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) got a financial boost recently with a grant totaling more than $14 million from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The award to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) was more than half of the $26.8 million FirstNet awarded to eight recipients nationwide.

The Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program offered an opportunity for public safety organizations across the U.S. to compete for funding for relocating existing radios and systems from Band 14 in advance of the deployment and operation of the NPSBN. The state of Illinois public safety radio network, known as STARCOM21, operates on a portion of the spectrum that will be used in the FirstNet NPSBN. This is the first critical step in paving the way for a FirstNet nationwide buildout. 

“Illinois has long been committed to ensuring two-way, mission-critical communications for our first responders,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “This grant will enable us to replace and update communications equipment needed to become part of a nationwide interoperable public safety communications system.”

FirstNet is an independent authority established by Congress in 2012 to oversee the building, deployment and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal and federal first responders and other public safety personnel.

IEMA has 12 months to complete the project proposed in its grant application, which includes replacing more than 1,000 vehicular repeater systems, replacing more than 1,000 STARCOM21 portable radios, training on the new equipment, retuning STARCOM21 infrastructure and reprogramming more than 4,500 radios. The affected entities include both state and local emergency response agencies working together under one grant to save time and taxpayer dollars.

Other recipients of the Band 14 grants included the Virginia State Police, Arkansas State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Honolulu County (Hawaii) Department of Defense, Marshall (Michigan) Fire Department, Stamford (Connecticut) Fire Department and Post Falls (Idaho) Police Department.

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Unemployment Rates Decrease in Twelve Metro Areas-Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 0.2% For The Year

CHICAGO–Twelve of Illinois’ metropolitan (metro) areas experienced decreases in their over-the-year unemployment rate and eight of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
"Our job growth rate is still half that of the rest of the country,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Most of our job growth is concentrated primarily in the northeast corner of the state while downstate job growth continues to lag.”
Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metro areas, in which the largest increases were seen in: Elgin (+2.1 percent, +5,300), Rockford (+1.9 percent, +2,900), and Lake-Kenosha (+1.6 percent, +6,800). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.2 percent or +44,900). Illinois businesses lost jobs in five metro areas including Carbondale-Marion (-2.5 percent, -1,400), the Quad Cities (-2.3 percent, -4,200), and Decatur (-1.5 percent, -800). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas were: Retail Trade (nine of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (nine of 14), Education and Health Services (eight of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 14), and Government (eight of 14).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares July 2016 with July 2015. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.6 percent in July 2016 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in July 2016 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

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River Roots Live

River Roots Live is finally here! Jam out to 14 amazing acts including Alanna Royale, Luke Bell, Booker T. Jones and three of our very own QC acts. Friday night's headliner is Guitar Army, a trio made up of Joe Robinson, Lee Roy Parnell and Robben Ford. Sing your little heart out to their hits like "Shattered" and "That was a Crazy Game of Poker," from Saturday night's headliner, O.A.R.
 
You can even support the young musicians of the QCA at the Jr. Jam Tent. Be sure to stop at one of the Ribfest vendors for some world-class BBQ. After the festivities are over Saturday night, boogie on down to Ragged Trotter for even more weekend tunes! Weekend passes are still for sale! Get 'em now because they'll be more at the gate.  

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RI Police Investigate Shooting

 

On Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 10:26pm, the Rock Island Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 12th Street and 12th Avenue.

 

Responding officers located a victim in the alleyway of the 1200 block of 11th Street. The male victim had sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was transported from the scene by the Rock Island Fire Department to Unity Point, Rock Island, where he succumbed to his injuries. At this time the victim’s identity is not being released.

 

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at 309-732-2677 or Crimestoppers at 309-762-9500.   

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Ag In The Classroom Receives Donation

 

 

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) program will continue its strong legacy of providing free education resources to teachers thanks in part to a $90,000 donation from the Illinois Corn Checkoff, administered by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB). 

 

With its recent contribution, the ICMB helps IAITC fund its upcoming program year, and continues its long-standing position as the top commodity contributor to the ag literacy program. 

 

"The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is proud to continue our support of agricultural education efforts by investing checkoff dollars with the IAA Foundation and IAITC," said Tom Mueller, chairman, ICMB. "As there are fewer and fewer of us actively engaged in farming, it becomes even more important to provide quality, science-based education resources to youth so that they might grow up with a more robust understanding of how their food gets to their table. And maybe they'll share what they learn with their parents, too."

 

The donation directly helps 70 Illinois county ag literacy coalitions engage local educators and students with accurate education about agriculture through lessons and materials based in math, language arts, science and social studies. Last year, IAITC reached more than 550,000 students and more than 37,000 teachers. 

 

During the last several years, support from the Illinois Corn Checkoff has helped make free resources available to classrooms, including Ag Mags on diverse topics from water and soil, to livestock care and corn. This year, efforts will continue to focus on farmers' role as stewards of the land, incorporating practices from the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. 

 

"The IAITC program will utilize the new Soil and Water Ag Mags to showcase lessons related to watersheds, cover crops and bioreactors," said Kevin Daugherty, education director, IAITC.  "Often, our teachers and general public hear terms and are confused, and the IAITC program has worked to make the terms and strategies easier to understand."

 

This year's gift marks 25 years of IAITC support from Illinois Corn Farmers. 

 

"We are thankful to have the support of commodity groups and the farmers they represent," said Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation. "Through this contribution, Illinois corn farmers can see their dollars directly at work in the classroom, where IAITC continues its successful track record of making important connections to agriculture for students."

 

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Free Webinar

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension will host a free webinar, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies at Work in Illinois,on Thurs., Sept. 15 from noon to 1 p.m.

Darrin Fleener, economic development representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Chicago regional office, will provide an overview of the regional planning process. Prior to EDA, Fleener worked for 13 years with the State of Oregon’s economic development department in project management, program development, government relations, and as a rural affairs policy advisor. His professional experience includes working in both urban and rural distressed communities.  

Also presenting will be Jennifer Daly, CEO of Greater Peoria Economic Development District. Daly will share Peoria’s approach to creating a regionally driven economic development process as well as outcomes that have been achieved through this new strategy.

“Economic development requires effective, collaborative institutions that are focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector,” says Kathie Brown, U of I Extension community and economic development educator. “It’s essential to ensuring the economic future of both rural and urban communities across our state.”

There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. Register online to attend or contact University of Illinois Extension’s Russell Medley, Community and Economic Development Educator for Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties at (309) 756-9978 or email rmedley@illinois.edu

 

 

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Illinois home prices increase in July; Sales lower amid tight inventory

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Homes sold faster and prices were stronger in July, but lower inventory continues to act as a drag on the market, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2016 totaled 16,108 homes sold, down 6.8 percent from 17,291 in July 2015.

The statewide median price in July was $199,000 up 4.7 percent from July 2015 when the median price was $190,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The drop-off in home sales in July underscores the fact that a continued lack of inventory is plaguing those who are in the market for a new home,”said Mike Drews, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “These homebuyers face limited choices and higher prices as a result."

The time it took to sell a home in July averaged 53 days, down from 59 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 65,998 homes for sale, a 14.4 percent decline from July 2015 when there were 77,069 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.44 percent in July 2016, a decline from 3.57 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In July 2015 it averaged 4.04 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in July 2016 totaled 11,716 homes sold, down 7.3 percent from July 2015 sales of 12,645 homes. The median price in July 2016 was $238,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.8 percent from $225,000 in July 2015.

“In July, median prices continued to experience positive growth while sales recorded their first negative annual change in 2016,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, median prices are forecast to have positive annual growth over the next three months.  In addition, the percentage of foreclosed sales among total sales was 9.7 percent, the lowest July reading since 2009.”

According to the data, thirty-three (33) Illinois counties reported sales gains for July 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Grundy County, up 15.4 percent with 75 units sold; McHenry County, up 7.2 percent with 599 units sold; and Madison County, up 4.0 percent with 334 units sold. Forty-four (44) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Will County, up 11.8 percent to $212,500; Cook County, up 5.3 percent to $249,000; and Winnebago County, up 2.3 percent to $101,250.

The city of Chicago saw an 11.9 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in July 2016 with 2,714 sales, down from 3,082 in July 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in July 2016 was $290,000, up 1.8 percent compared to July 2015 when it was $285,000.

“If you have a home on the market, it's selling at an incredible pace,”said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. "In Chicago, the time to sell was just 38 days, and when you pair that number with double-digit annual decreases in inventory, it's a market where sellers are reaping a premium."

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of August 8, 2016 for the period July 1 through July 31, 2016. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. (Note: Due to a recent switch to a new multiple listing service, data for the Livingston County Board of REALTORS® is not included in the July report).

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.        

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Homicide In Rock Island

On Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 10:26pm, the Rock Island Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 12th Street and 12th Avenue.

Responding officers located a victim in the alleyway of the 1200 block of 11th Street. The male victim had sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was transported from the scene by the Rock Island Fire Department to Unity Point, Rock Island, where he succumbed to his injuries. At this time the victim’s identity is not being released.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at 309-732-2677 or Crimestoppers at 309-762-9500.  

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Arrest Made in Ascentra Credit Union Bank Robbery

BETTENDORF: On August 22, an arrest warrant was issued for Anthony Javon Brown on charges related to the bank robbery at Ascentra Credit Union, 1710 Grant Street, Bettendorf, IA.

Brown, a 32 year old from Bloomington, Illinois, was located at his residence in Bloomington on August 23. He was taken into custody without incident. Brown is being held at McLean County Jail while awaiting extradition back to Iowa.

Evidence gathered at the scene led to the identity of the subject. The vehicle and other items found at his home connected Brown to the robbery.

Charges include:
Theft 1st Degree                Class C Felony
Robbery 3rd Degree           Aggravated Misdemeanor

This is an active investigation.

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Police Investigate Shooting in Moline

Moline Police responded to a shooting in the north alley of the 300 block of 5th Avenue at 11:45 PM Monday the 22nd of August.

 

Officers patrolling the area heard the shots fired, finding a 30 year old male Hispanic suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the alley.

 

The victim was transported to Unity Point Rock Island where his current condition is unknown.

 

Investigators ask anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or who may have information about the events leading up to the shooting call Crime Stoppers (309) 762-9500.

 

The investigation continues.

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Rauner Signs Firearms Bill

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today signed HB 6303 to strengthen laws against gun trafficking in Illinois. The bill enhances penalties for firearms trafficking and aims to reduce the growing gun violence epidemic. This will help keep our kids and communities safe by allowing our law enforcement agencies to take action on those who are trafficking guns.

“We must stand up and help our kids and our communities find safety from violence,” said Governor Rauner. “Children are often in the crossfire. They’re vulnerable and impressionable. They deserve to see better things in the world. They deserve to feel safe in their own homes. They should not fear that guns will take the life of their friends, their family members, or even themselves. They should not live in fear or have their innocence shattered.”

The Governor signed the bill at the Illinois State Police (ISP) crime lab in Chicago and was joined by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), the chief legislative sponsors of the bill.

“425 people have been murdered by firearms in Chicago this year and another 2320 have been shot and wounded. Each weekend in Chicago is bloodier than the last,” House Republican Leader Durkin said. “Many of the shootings involved illegally acquired guns by Chicago street gangs.  It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of guns used to commit violent crimes in Chicago were purchased outside of Illinois. The laws are more focused on holding the shooter accountable, but not the person who armed the shooter. That changes today with House Bill 6303.

“This law targets straw purchasers – those who skirt Illinois firearm laws by buying guns in other states with the intent to resell in the illegal black markets of Illinois,” Leader Durkin added. “The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office brought this legislation to me and I am honored to have sponsored the bill in the Illinois House of Representatives.  I thank the Illinois General Assembly for their bi-partisan unanimous support.”

“The statistics clearly demonstrate a continuing and increasing trend that jeopardizes public safety in Illinois,” Senate Republican Leader Radogno said. “People who cannot legally purchase guns in Illinois are going to states with more lax background check requirements and bringing them back into our state with criminal intent. These weapons are quickly used in the commission of crimes and add to the unconscionable gun violence here. This new law will be another tool to stop the flow of these illegally transferred weapons.”

HB 6303 makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a FOID card to bring firearms into the state with the intention of selling or delivering them. Furthermore, if the individual trafficking in gun sales has previously been convicted of an unlawful use or delivery of a firearm, gunrunning or firearm trafficking, they will face even stiffer penalties. It is important to note that this bill does not take guns out of the hands of anyone that safely and legally has or carries a firearm. It exempts FOID card holders specifically for that reason.

This bill is designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets.

"Gun violence takes innocent lives and disrupts peaceful communities. The Firearms Trafficking Bill enhances penalties for those who choose to support gun violence while protecting the rights of law abiding citizens," said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. "The Illinois State Police is working closely with local, county and federal law enforcement to keep Illinois communities safe.  Together with the help of good citizens, we can keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.  If you See Something, Say Something.”

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Upcoming Putnam Workshops

 

 

August 22, 2016 (DAVENPORT, Iowa) – Putnam Explorers and Explorers Jr. workshops are returning to the Putnam Museum and Science Center beginning Sept. 10. These workshops are intended to highlight topics in a fun and interactive way for multiple ages and meet monthly to provide informal enrichment activities. “We are so excited to offer our new topics for the 2016-2017 Explorers Season,” says Octavia Houtekier-Boyd, Vice President of Education. “Participants will tour exhibits, have theatre time and meet new friends!”

 Classes will meet the first weekend of the month: Explorers Jr. (Pre-K – 1st Grade) on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Putnam Explorers (Grades 2 – 5) on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required for all programs as there are a limited number of reservations available. 

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Sen Grassley To Host Forum


DES MOINES – Sen. Chuck Grassley is bringing national and state anti-human trafficking experts together for an Iowa-based forum on ending human trafficking and modern slavery. The discussion is intended to be a guide for medical professionals, first responders and the public at large in recognizing and combating trafficking.

 

The event will take place Friday, August 26, 2016 from 1:30-2:30 at the Des Moines University Student Education Center Auditorium.

 

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley helped to lead the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Actthrough the legislative process on its way to becoming law. The effort establishes strong anti-trafficking measures that target predators who traffic innocent young people. Earlier this year, Grassley also held a hearing on the new law to keep tabs on the executive branch’s implementation of the bill.

 

Experts from Iowa as well as national organizations dedicated to ending human trafficking will participate. Panelists includeStephen O’Meara, Nebraska’s Human Trafficking Coordinator and former Iowa assistant U.S. attorney; Cathy O’Keefe, director of Quad Cities-based Braking Traffik; Staca Shahen, Case Analysis Division director for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and Anna Brewer, former FBI special agent with expertise in Iowa human trafficking cases. The event will be moderated by Yasmin Vafa of Rights4Girls.

 

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Juvenile-Justice Reformers: Lawyers for More IL Children a 'Good Start'

An Illinois juvenile-justice reform group says the state's new law to provide lawyers to more young offenders is a good start.

According to the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Gov. Bruce Rauner has advanced justice for children by signing Senate Bill 2370 into law. The move raises the age from 13 to 15 for requiring that a child be represented by an attorney during custodial interrogations for murder or sex crimes. The group's president, Elizabeth Clarke, said the new law will help protect young people's constitutional rights.

"I think this is a key measure to ensure that the youngest in our society receive particular protection," she said, "especially in light of the 50-year anniversary of Miranda."

Clarke was referring to the Miranda law read to people in police custody, explaining their right to remain silent and other rights. She said research shows that many young people end up waiving their Miranda rights without fully understanding what they are. She argued that children should not be allowed to waive their constitutional right to legal counsel without the advice of a lawyer.

According to a Chicago Police Accountability Task Force report from last year, less than 1 percent of children and adults had lawyers during police interrogations. That's why Clarke said she believes the state could do even more for juveniles in the future.

"We do believe that every child deserves the protection of a lawyer during interrogation, and certainly every child that faces any potential of adult prosecution," she said. "But we think this is a really significant step forward."

Clarke pointed to the United Kingdom and Europe which, over the past two decades, have added requirements that all alleged offenders have access to legal counsel while being interrogated by police.

The new Illinois law goes into effect in January. The text of SB 2370 is online at ilga.gov.

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Iowa Growers Reap the Benefits of Summer Small-Grain Harvest

Some Iowa farmers are making a practice of the past part of their future.

At one time, small-grain production was an integral part of most agricultural operations in the state and Iowa was a national leader in oat production in the 1950s. However, said Earl Canfield, owner and operator of Canfield Family Farm in Dunkerton, there now are very few acres of oats, rye or wheat.

"Along with the fact that it's not very common, the knowledge base that allows farmers to successfully raise crops like that in Iowa has largely disappeared over the last several generations," he said. "Also disappearing is much of the equipment and infrastructure."

Canfield is among farmers in the state who realize the value of adding small grains. He just completed his oat harvest as a third crop in his corn-soybean rotation. According to Practical Farmers of Iowa, adding small grains as a third crop improves soil structure and water quality while reducing the use of pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers.

Because small grains are harvested at a different time of year than corn and soybeans, Canfield said diverse rotations help spread out labor and provide more steady cash flow throughout the year.

"As any astute business person knows," he said, "any time you can diversify your income streams, it gives you a certain measure of insulation to ups and downs in the market."

Finding a marketing mechanism is among the challenges in small-grain production. Canfield noted that oats are consumed in Iowa, but generally shipped in from the Dakotas or Canada. He encouraged Iowans to see the benefit of purchasing small grains locally.

"Any time they can buy seeds that are produced here in Iowa, it provides direct benefits to Iowa first rather than sending all the benefits out of state," he said. "I think that's a win for everybody in this state."

Another avenue is to sell harvested small-grain seed to other farmers, who can plant it as a cover crop. For the oats he grows, Canfield is exploring the possibility of selling to horse owners and other livestock owners who need feed.

Growers can learn more about small-grain production online at practicalfarmers.org.

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