QCA.news - Quad Cities news and view from both sides of the river

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

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'Is it a swimming pool?': Answer to massive hole near pizza restaurant in Bettendorf

A massive hole is being dug next to Quad City Pizza Company.

WQAD.com Local teacher puts grant money towards digital equity in rural Illinois classrooms WQAD.com

Local teacher puts grant money towards digital equity in rural Illinois classrooms

ALEXIS, Illinois - A teacher at United North Elementary School is working to put technology in the front of students using money she received from a charitable grant. Vanessa Witherell is a library and technology teacher. She recently received about $5,500 from the Looser Lake Charitable Foundation to help implement additional technology into the classroom. Witherell says she is on a mission to create more screen time, which is a persistent challenge in rural Illinois communities. Witherell tells News 8 that many of her students struggle accessing internet and computers at home. "Because of where they live, they can't get access," said Witherell. When Mrs. Witherell started at United North Elementary School even connecting to the internet was hard. Now, four years later, there has been significant progress with the implementation of computers and faster internet. "When we have chrome books coming in for us, and we have high speed internet, we can start to access things that other schools have had for a while," said Witherell. Now, her students are able to start with the basics - like typing and using internet browsers. However, while playing games and learning the basics, they are being introduced to life-skills they will need for the future. "There are so many reasons that they need to learn how to communicate digitally early on," said Witherell. She and her district are also working to purchase more robots, computers, and tools that will help teach kids about coding. She hopes to create more "technology maker spaces" inside the district's schools. "The technology maker space gives the kids a space to just go in and just try things that they`re interested in," said Witherell. "Digital equity is a big issue. We don`t have enough internet access widespread around our community for every student to be in an equal spot with growing up with different tools." The Looser Lake Charitable Foundation was able to give away more than $120,000 to several school districts. Sherrard School District and Mercer County School District also received grants to help fund technology in the classroom.

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Element Moline offers perfect space for guests to relax after work

MOLINE, Illinois — The Element Moline isn’t just a place to stay. It’s a place for guests to gather after a long day at work. The hotel’s only been open for less than a year, but it’s finding its niche as the ideal place for long-term guests visiting the Quad Cities. Four days a week, the hotel staff offers a happy hour style event complimentary for guests. It features local beers, wine and snacks including warm bread, olives and cheeses. After winding down with some social time in the lobby, guest retreat back to their suites. The hotel specializes in extended stay rooms. They are very large; some up to 800 square feet, and each room is equipped with a kitchen. The exposed brick gives guests the historic feel only the Element can provide. The Element Moline is located at 316 12th St.

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Fine At Your Face, Frost At Your Feet!

Temperatures can vary WIDELY in just a few feet!

WVIK Kamala Harris Holds Davenport Town Hall WVIK

Kamala Harris Holds Davenport Town Hall

The second presidential candidate in as many days made a stop in Davenport on Thursday. California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at a town hall at St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center, fielding questions from the audience.

Quad-City Times East Moline council could vote on marijuana zoning as early as Monday Quad-City Times

East Moline council could vote on marijuana zoning as early as Monday

East Moline city officials could vote to allow legal adult-use cannabis businesses to potentially operate in East Moline as early as Monday night.

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On A Mother Level: Mother Daughter

Katy Miller never intended to go into the soap business. But her mother-in-law’s sugar scrub recipe changed all her plans. It’s a future her teenage self never would have envisioned. “I would love to see my 16-year-old face if someone would say, ‘Hey little girl, not only are you going to move back to the Quad Cities one day, but you’re going to make soap with your mom, and this whole thing will have been your idea.’ No way. This is a case of mistaken identity. Not me. I am moving away forever. Family business? No, thank you.” But that’s exactly what she’s doing. Today Katy is the owner of Lillie & Pine, a natural skin care business based out of Moline, Illinois. Lillie & Pine refers to the streets Katy called home growing up in Davenport. When the business started, she worked out of her basement. Now she creates, packages and ships orders out of her space in the Spotlight Theater and Event Center in downtown Moline. Katy’s mother Kathy recently joined the business as a full-time partner. I invited them on the podcast this week after meeting Katy in her shop back in August. Lillie & Pine generously participated in a fundraiser I helped organize through The Market benefitting Dress for Success Quad Cities. Her shop smells like a dream, but what really attracts you to her is her radiant smile. That day I bought her “Bath Bomb in a Jar” in a soothing marigold and lemon scent. She actually mixed it up special for me and delivered it to the newsroom. My 3-year-old Abram loves to help me scoop the light yellow powder into his bath water using the little wooden scooper. I love how fresh and clean it smells. My other favorite is the Body Balm. I keep it at my desk, and I’m instantly rejuvenated when I roll it on. Katy and Kathy walked into the podcast studio looking and smelling like they just stepped out of an ad for a laundry detergent. They won me over with their positive energy. They often looked to one another to make sure each could share their part in the stories they told. I learned that Katy is a mentor for women in the Scott County Jail, in addition to being a wife, mom and business owner. I watched Kathy’s eyes beam with pride as Katy talked about her “triplets” – running 2 businesses and a baby that came all in the same year. Mother-daughter relationships can be challenging, and I sensed that their journey together hasn’t always been smooth. But I admire the way they acknowledged they’ve both had to work hard to keep their partnership successful. “We have this relationship now where we can call each other out and still sleep at night,” Katy explained.  

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Rock Island police officer helps children move to safety during fire

The Rock Island Fire Department is giving a shout-out to their brothers and sisters in blue.

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‘Click to Pray eRosary’: The Vatican’s new phone app

The device made of black agate and hematite rosary beads and a “smart cross.”

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Quad City Storm welcome returning players, introduce new additions during Media Day

Opening night for the Quad City Storm is quickly approaching.

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Scott County screening tool determines whether juvenile will be detained or not

The number of kids held in the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center as of Thursday is eight. It is the lowest number in months.

Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

Davenport schools turned down high-dollar offers for Lincoln School, including several for more than a half-million dollars

Six groups offered to buy Davenport’s Lincoln School for more than $700,000, and another offered $675,000.

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TV6 INVESTIGATES: Haunted house owners take steps to make sure the danger isn't real

They are scary and fun and it is the season for thousands to visit haunted houses across the Quad Cities.

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East Moline police searching for man wanted on drug charges

East Moline police are asking for the public's help in finding a man wanted on drug charges.

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East Moline police looking for wanted man; considered "sexually violent predator"

Have you seen this man? Police are looking for him for violating his sex offender registration.

WQAD.com Rock Island’s $5 lot program not bringing homebuyers WQAD.com

Rock Island’s $5 lot program not bringing homebuyers

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – “Home Ownership Made Easy” (H.O.M.E) is a program through the City of Rock Island where people can buy a vacant lot for $5. The city now has about 30 lots available for people to purchase, but the program hasn’t been as successful as city workers hoped. The offer was one future homeowners, Charles and Valerie Kiel, couldn’t pass up.  They're building a home on 12th Street in Rock Island, on the city’s west side. “There’s an opportunity for this area to be built up – revitalized,” Charles explains. The process hasn’t been as clean cut as the Kiel’s hoped for.  They bought three empty lots to build their new home last summer.  One of those lots they purchased for $5 through the city’s home ownership program. “The $5 lot, width was only 33 feet,” says Charles. “So, we needed enough room to build anything of significance on, that you had to expand it.” Once the Kiel’s bought the $5 lot, they ran into problems with the plumbing. The lot wasn’t connected to the city’s sewer line, an issue the city ended up spending $42,000 rerouting. “It was a bad situation no one wanted to happen and obviously no one saw that,” explains Tarah Sipes, Rock Island Economic Development Manager. Sipes took charge of the program back in March and of the 30 lots up for sale, only two have been sold. “It can be hard to obtain financing to build your own home rather than purchase one that exists,” Sipes comments. “Personally, I think the city could push it a little more,” says Charles. “That’s just me, because a lot of people don’t even know that we are building here, they don’t even know that these $5 lots are available.” “They see the signs that say “Lot Available” but they don’t know what they are,” Charles points out. Charles and Valerie were supposed to move into their home back in June, they’re now hoping to move in the next six weeks. The city added six new lots to their program this year.

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Moline police asking for help in Quick Mart robbery investigation

Moline police are asking for help in their investigation of a robbery that happened in October.

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East Moline police looking for suspects in aggravated battery at Circle K

Do you recognize these people? If so, East Moline police want to hear from you.

WQAD.com Carl Sandburg student uses new tool to turn a challenge into an opportunity WQAD.com

Carl Sandburg student uses new tool to turn a challenge into an opportunity

GALESBURG, Illinois-- A young man from Galesburg born with Spina Bifida just did something he never dreamed possible thanks to a new took and his drive to never give up. He says it's simple, if you want to do something, do it. For a lot of people, Michael Martinez's wheelchair is the first thing they notice. "I would think what happened? Why are you in a wheel chair?" questions student Alyssa Hopson. But the attention makes Mike uncomfortable. "They always glance at my chair first, which is really annoying," says Martinez. He's a sophomore psychology major who loves sports. He was born with a condition. "Spina Bifida is when you're born, there's a hole in your spine," explains Martinez. He needs help getting around and doing the things he loves, like playing basketball. But it was the misunderstanding from others that lead to a feeling of isolation that hurt most. "In my past there was a lot of bullying and being excluded. That's hard to talk about sometimes," says Martinez. But he's not making excuses. Now he's being noticed with intention. "You can sit back in a room and wait for people to invite you, or you can walk in a door first and invite them to come to join you," says Martinez's academic advisor Anthony Law from Carl Sandburg College. Now Michael is speaking in front of his peers, answering any questions they might have, turning a challenge into an opportunity to teach others. "If I'm going to have these struggles, I might as well use it as a story to inspire everyone," says Martinez. Now the things Michael is able to do surprise others. "I don't even think about him being in a wheel chair. I just think you're a rock star. That's what I say," says Hopson. But lately, Michael has been surprising himself. With the help of a wheelchair that allows him to stand, he's overcoming his condition by shooting free throws, something he never thought possible. "To be able to not have to sit on the sidelines and be able to come out and shoot like everybody else does, it's pretty incredible," says Martinez. Michael just got the chair a few weeks back. Now with the help of the community, he's raising money to buy it for himself. "How many of us go around in life envisioning things but we're still scared to try?" says Law. Mike is standing up to challenges. It may not be the first thing people notice, but he hopes it's what they'll remember. "If I'm going to have these struggles, I might as well use it as a story to inspire everyone to say if I can do all these things, so can you," says Mike.

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Sherrard woman charged with animal cruelty

SHERRARD, Illinois — Mercer County deputies arrested a Sherrard woman last week on accusations of animal cruelty in connection with several horses found in poor condition. Karen Plambeck, 56, was charged with one count of cruelty to animals and four counts of violating animal owner duties. She was released after posting $1000 bond. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is investigating. Krista Lisser, the department’s public information officer, told News 8 the animals stay under the owner’s care as the investiation is still open, barring additional information to warrant taking them away. Neighbors say they have been worried for the welfare of the horses, and other animals on the Mercer County farm, for quite some time. Duane Foster, who lives across from Plambeck, told News 8, the problems started years ago. “First the dogs, that’s what started the whole thing, five, six years ago. The dogs started barking. It just seemed to get louder and louder,” he said. Other neighbors echoed the concern, saying they hear large numbers of dogs barking throughout the night. In the last one to two years, they started noticing the condition of the horses. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that’s something that’s malnutrition. Skinny, you can count all the ribs. It’s a bad situation,” Foster said. Several horses were still seen Thursday, October 17, grazing on the short grass on the Plambeck property. 8.23 There’s more grass in my driveway than there is in that pasture,” Foster said. “They’re skinny, you can tell they’re hungry, they eat the leaves off the trees. There’s nothing to eat for them.” News 8 reached Plambeck by phone, but she would not comment on the charges. For his part, Foster said, “I hope maybe she’s learned her lesson maybe, maybe she’ll pay more attention to what needed to be done.” He said he hopes the animals get the care they need for everyone’s peace of mind: “If they can’t manage them, afford them, take them somewhere else they can get fed properly and taken care of properly. That’s what they need.” Karen Plambeck’s first court appearance is scheduled for November 4 in Mercer County Court.

Quad-City Times Churches United announces return of Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Quad-City Times

Churches United announces return of Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

Quad-City Times One Human Family presents Raise Your Voice, Change the World Quad-City Times

One Human Family presents Raise Your Voice, Change the World

All teenagers in the Quad-Ciites are invited to raise their voices.

WQAD.com Man shot in Davenport after “escalated argument”, police say WQAD.com

Man shot in Davenport after “escalated argument”, police say

DAVENPORT, Iowa- A man was shot after what police describe as an escalated argument. Officer Jeff Bladel says around 3:42 p.m. shots were fired at the 1700 block of Iowa Street in Davenport. One adult male was shot. The unidentified man was rushed to the hospital. No word on his condition yet. Multiple units from the Scott County Sheriff and Davenport Police are in the area. Our team at the scene says police are looking for shell casings around a car and searching a home.

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One person shot in Davenport; portions of Iowa Street shut down

Information is very limited at this time but once TV6 has learned more information we will update this story with those details.

Quad-City Times Creative Arts Academy holds long-awaited ribbon cutting Quad-City Times

Creative Arts Academy holds long-awaited ribbon cutting

Over a year ago, the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities moved just three-tenths of a mile to its current home in the Charles J. Wright Transit Center at 306 W. River Drive. But a special ceremony on Thursday…

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Video shows day care worker hit child in the face

The child's mother says he was scared to tell her what happened at first.

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Special delivery: Identical twin babies are delivered by identical twin nurses at Georgia hospital

By chance, the twin nurses Tori Howard and Tara Drinkard got to help deliver twins Addison and Emma Williams.

Quad-City Times Quad-Cities workshop focuses on women's professional development Quad-City Times

Quad-Cities workshop focuses on women's professional development

DAVENPORT — More than 100 women gathered Thursday morning for the first Quad Cities Women Connect (QCWC) workshop, an interactive session focused on professional development.

WVIK Project Bundle Up WVIK

Project Bundle Up

As winter approaches, the Salvation Army is preparing to help needy children dress warmly. Project Bundle Up, the annual effort to collect new winter coats, gloves, hats, scarfs, and boots, will be held Friday.

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Weather Service says winter will be warmer for many, wetter in the North

Expect big swings in weather this winter, government forecasters say.

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Police say North High teen charged after hitting officer in the face with bag and textbook

Police say the teen was eventually placed into custody and turned over to a parent.

WQAD.com Temperatures rebound…  Showers to dodge to start the weekend WQAD.com

Temperatures rebound… Showers to dodge to start the weekend

A beauty of a fall day with bountiful sun and less wind.  Highs this afternoon will be approaching 60, though may feel a bit warmer given the lack of wind.  Bonus!! Mostly clear skies will prevail tonight with overnight lows dropping into the upper 30s. Winds will return on Friday but more out of the south which will lead to a nice boost in temperatures with highs approaching 70. Clouds will be on the increase that night as our next weather system pulls in for the west. Scattered showers are still on track for Saturday, especially later in the day.   Amounts will pretty much stay under a tenth of an inch with highs in the lower 60s. Sunday is still your weekend’s best with middle 60s under mostly sunny skies. A more potent storm system arrives late that night into Monday with showers and even a few thunderstorms likely that day. Chief meteorologist James Zahara Here’s a look at the hour-by-hour forecast from the StormTrack 8 Weather App! Click on the links below to download the free app:  

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Who wore it best? Dogs model famous celebrity looks

Click through these photos for some Halloween inspiration with your pup.

Quad-City Times Noon update: High in the upper 50s Quad-City Times

Noon update: High in the upper 50s

Here's the afternoon forecast from the National Weather Service.

WQAD.com GOP presidential candidate, former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh says Trump should be impeached WQAD.com

GOP presidential candidate, former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh says Trump should be impeached

MOLINE, Illinois-- Former Illinois congressman and longshot Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh is joining the growing public opinion that President Donald Trump should be impeached. Citing the Mueller Report and the Trump–Ukraine controversy as indicators that impeachment is necessary, Walsh said he originally began his campaign back in August because he believes Trump is "unfit" to lead. "I don't think he gives a damn about the country," Walsh said in an interview with News 8. "He's betrayed America. He actually told a foreign government, Ukraine, to screw with our elections. That's disloyal, that alone should be impeachable and that alone should piss off every American voter." Walsh voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election and said the current president "picked some good judges, gotten rid of some government regulations, he's done some good things right." Creating a campaign to challenge Trump as the Republican nominee in 2020, Walsh is hoping voters agree with his thinking that Trump is "a danger to this country." Walsh said if elected, he would focus on creating a stronger border and reducing the national debt. The former congressman won a House seat back in 2010 representing Illinois's 8th congressional district, but lost a 2012 reelection bid. Since then Walsh has hosted a conservative talk radio show.

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Chicago teachers strike, say issue simple: ‘It’s the kids’

Chicago teachers went on strike Thursday, marching on picket lines after failing to reach a contract deal with the nation’s third-largest school district in a dispute that canceled classes for more than 300,000 students.

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Indiana toddler dies after handling gun that went off

Authorities say the shooting happened around 6:30 Thursday morning.

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Boxer dies after sustaining head injuries after fight

Promoter Lou DiBella said Day died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was 27.

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Utah rule likely to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy despite objections of influential church

A Utah commerce chief is refusing to hit the brakes on an LGBTQ conversion therapy ban for kids despite objections from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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"Students could be out of school until next week" following Mendota teacher strike

The Mendota Education Association (MEA) held a press conference early Thursday morning to talk to community members to call on the school district to come back to the table "as soon as possible."

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Shots fired in Davenport Thursday morning; police looking for suspects

Police in Davepnort are investigating after a shots fired incident that happened early Thursday morning.

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Judge said she gagged on "horrible stench" while touring Cricket Hollow Animal Park

A judge overseeing a trial to determine whether an eastern Iowa roadside zoo should be closed says she gagged on the 'horrible stench" while touring the facility.

WVIK Sacred Heart Catholic Church Celebrates A Centennial WVIK

Sacred Heart Catholic Church Celebrates A Centennial

Moline's Sacred Heart Catholic Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary this weekend.

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Parents and students have mixed reactions to teacher strike in Chicago

Parent Jamel Boyd yelled "I am so with you all" to picketing teachers as she dropped her kids off Thursday at school, where administrators are staffing buildings.

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Moline police want help solving old case; looking for suspects after 2017 armed robbery

If you have any information on this crime you're asked to call Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 306-762-9500 or the Moline Police Department at 309-524-2140,

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Woman wanted after armed robbery in Moline; police need help identifying her

Anyone with information is asked to call the Moline Police Department at 309-524-2140 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500 or by using the P3 Tips app.

WQAD.com Moline police ask for help identifying armed robbery suspect WQAD.com

Moline police ask for help identifying armed robbery suspect

Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment MOLINE, Illinois– The Moline Police Department is asking for help identifying the suspect of an armed robbery at a gas station in Moline. A female suspect reportedly used a stun gun or other electronic device on a customer while stealing their wallet at a gas station in the 5200 block of 25th Avenue Ct on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, according to a post on the Moline Police Department Facebook page. The suspect is being described as a black female with short hair in her late teens to early 20’s, according to the post. At the time of the robbery, she is described as wearing a white t-shirt, a black or gray Nike jacket and black pants, the post said. The suspect was last seen traveling southbound on 53rd Street as a passenger in a light colored Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Police ask those with additional information to call the Moline Police Department at 309-524-2140 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500.

WQAD.com Frost without a freeze: How it works WQAD.com

Frost without a freeze: How it works

Frosty mornings don't always necessarily have to occur when temperatures drop below freezing. We can actually see frost when temperatures are well-above freezing, too! Frost isn't limited to just one form either, but we'll get into that a little bit later. First, we look at how and why frost forms. When it comes to the different air masses we experience on a weekly basis, each one is unique and different in that the density associated with it is always changing. We know that cold air is denser compared to warm air, even when you factor in the moisture associated with it. The reason? With cold air, more molecules are able to fit inside a set space. These same molecules expand in warmer air, leaving less space and fewer molecules to occupy that space. So, on nights when the air temperature is just above freezing, say in the middle the to upper 30s, the temperature at ground level can actually be a bit colder, in some cases, below freezing! That thin layer of cooler air sinks to the ground because it is denser compared to the surrounding air. This can often lead to temperatures at or just below freezing at the surface. Varying amounts of water vapor are still left in the air, typically in liquid form to begin with then transforming to a frozen state once it sinks to the ground forming the frost. Air temperature is always measured at a height ranging from five to ten feet above the ground since this is the level that we live within on a daily basis.  This makes sense because according to the CDC, the average height for males is 5'6" and 5'2" for females. At night when that more dense, colder air sinks towards that surface, that's when the magic occurs. While the air temperature just above the surface remains above freezing, the surface temperature itself often falls below freezing, allowing the frost to form under these given conditions on the ground. Most elevated surfaces like car windshields and patio furniture will also be vulnerable to frost, too, especially when winds are calm. There are also different types of frost, including hoar and rime frost that vary in their appearance and formation. This past winter we had quite a brilliant display of hoar frost, which is the spiky looking frost that sticks up quite a considerable distance from the surface it is attached to. As we go through cool and even downright cold nights in the weeks and months ahead, see if you can spot the different types of frost as you venture out in the morning. Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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Crews respond to fire Thursday morning in Rock Island

Firefighters say the home appears to be vacant.

WQAD.com Vacant Rock Island home catches fire WQAD.com

Vacant Rock Island home catches fire

House fire in Rock Island, Illinois on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 just after 6:30 a.m. ROCK ISLAND, Illinois– A Rock Island house went up in flames early Thursday morning. A house in the 1500 block of 12th Street was reported on fire just after 6:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2019. Heavy flames were coming from the rear of the home. The fire was under control just after 7 a.m. There are no people currently living in the house and there were no reported injuries, according to the Rock Island Fire Department. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

WVIK 'Award for Advocacy' for Friends of Hauberg WVIK

'Award for Advocacy' for Friends of Hauberg

The Friends of Hauberg will be recognized for preserving a local landmark. The civic center foundation will receive an "award for advocacy" this Friday in Chicago. Landmarks Illinois will honor the non-profit for restoring the Denkmann-Hauberg Estate in Rock Island.

WQAD.com Iowa farmers blame Trump for biofuels rule they view as betrayal WQAD.com

Iowa farmers blame Trump for biofuels rule they view as betrayal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Agriculture commodity groups and some farmers expressed frustration and anger Wednesday with a rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency that they said fails to uphold a promise President Donald Trump made 12 days ago to fulfill the intent of an ethanol law passed by Congress. Since Trump became president, the EPA has given 85 oil refineries exemptions from blending ethanol into the gasoline they sell. That has removed 4 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol from the market, angering farmers who rely on the ethanol industry to buy nearly 40% of the corn crop produced to make the renewable fuel additive. After months of pressure from farmers, trade groups and lawmakers and governors in farm states, Trump on Oct. 4 announced plans to require oil refineries to replace the ethanol gallons lost through the exemptions. Farmers and lawmakers say the EPA had agreed to add waived ethanol back into the fuel supply by calculating the amount waived over a three-year period, which would add about 1.3 billion gallons (2.5 billion imperial gallons) of biofuels back into the nation's fuel supply next year. That would ensure that beginning in 2020 the government would comply with the 15 billion gallon (12.5 billion imperial gallon) standard already required under federal law. The deal would not restore the already lost biofuels, a compromise the industry was willing to make in exchange for an EPA promise to change policy going forward. On Tuesday, the EPA released the draft rule that would use a three-year average of gallons the Energy Department recommended waiving instead of the actual waived amount, increasing biofuels blending by about 770 million gallons (641 million imperial gallons), about half of what the industry expected. "I thought a deal was a deal. When Donald Trump makes a deal isn't it a deal?" said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for the 43 ethanol plants and 11 biodiesel refineries in Iowa, the nation's largest biofuels producer. The exemptions were designed to ease the burden on small refineries that might not be able to economically blend required ethanol amounts, but the EPA under Trump has allowed exemptions for profitable larger refineries. The exemptions have led to the closing of 20 ethanol plants nationwide, Shaw said. "My personal perspective is that President Trump has lost a lot of support," said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, a farmer in Primghar in northwest Iowa and board president of an idled ethanol plant in Sioux Center. "Pretty much everyone I have talked to that's involved in agriculture and the biofuels industry have really lost trust and are really frustrated." Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss said corn farmers are outraged. A spokesman for the EPA said in response to an email seeking comment that the draft rule "is the text of the agreement negotiated by President Trump, USDA and EPA that was announced on October 4." The EPA will take comments for 30 days, hold a public hearing on Oct. 30, then release a final rule. Shaw said Trump could regain some trust by forcing the EPA to stand by the deal that was made on Oct. 4. "I don't think it's too late to get this back on track and restore some of that confidence," he said. "But if it's finalized as it is it becomes Trump administration policy and the buck stops at the Oval Office."

WQAD.com Sexual harassment findings increase in Iowa executive branch WQAD.com

Sexual harassment findings increase in Iowa executive branch

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The number of known cases of sexual harassment committed by employees in Iowa's executive branch spiked last year after responsibility for conducting investigations was shifted to a central agency. The increase may be welcome news for advocates for sexual harassment victims, who had expressed disappointment at the state's handling of the issue in the past. Department of Administrative Services spokeswoman Tami Wiencek said the agency concluded there were 10 founded complaints of sexual harassment in the last fiscal year that ended June 30. The agency told lawmakers earlier this year that it knew of only three founded sexual harassment complaints in the prior three fiscal years combined. The department now has responsibility for the investigation of all sexual harassment complaints involving the executive branch's roughly 16,000 full-time employees. Before last year, it only assisted in investigations if other agencies requested help. "I believe the policy is working, but the data also shows there's more work to do and we should always see how we can do better," Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement Wednesday. The recent investigations confirmed allegations of unwanted touching of co-workers, sexual comments and jokes and other inappropriate behaviors. Multiple employees, including workers from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Revenue, were dismissed as a result. Multimillion-dollar settlements of earlier cases prompted calls for the state to overhaul its procedures for handling complaints and investigations. The state paid $4.15 million earlier this year to two women who had been sexually harassed by the director of the Iowa Finance Authority, Dave Jamison. An investigation found that for years nobody reported his behavior , in part because it was unclear who would investigate an agency director. The case was politically sensitive for Reynolds, a longtime friend, who abruptly fired Jamison after one of the women complained to her office. The governor has pursued a zero-tolerance approach toward workplace sexual harassment and the new rules make clear that supervisors who are aware of misconduct but don't report it can also be fired. Details of complaints and investigations are confidential under the rules to protect the privacy of complainants. But some of the cases have become public after fired employees appealed their terminations to the Public Employment Relations Board. At least four have argued that the state's crackdown has gone too far, complaining that investigations were not conducted fairly and the punishments were too harsh. "When they weaponize the #MeToo movement, if they want you out, they can take you out," fired DOT employee Scott Illingworth said. "It's a modern day 'scarlet letter' and it makes it impossible for me to keep working in public administration anywhere." Illingworth came under investigation in April after he was accused of making an inappropriate remark to an intern during a fire drill. The inquiry found that he had "made unwelcome contact and made inappropriate comments to female co-workers on multiple occasions," records show. He had been counseled in 2018 after managers told him a remark about a female employee's pants was unacceptable. Illingworth, 64, said the comments and contact that interns objected to were "benign" and not sexual. He said he wasn't given a meaningful opportunity to defend himself during the investigation. "My generation is a much different generation than what's coming up now," he said. "The interns were triggered by me saying things like, 'Hi, how are you doing, that's a nice outfit'. Literally patting someone on the back for doing a good job was considered inappropriate touching." Among the others fired include a Department of Revenue agent accused of unwanted touching and asking co-workers a "question of the week" that often had sexual overtones, and a prison worker accused of improperly grabbing colleagues. The board will consider their requests to be reinstated with back pay. In July, the board ordered the reinstatement of a Department of Human Services worker fired for texting an unwanted photo of a penis to a female state vendor, ruling that a suspension was a more appropriate punishment. State lawyers are appealing that ruling in court.

WVIK Good Morning from WVIK News for Thursday, October 17, 2019 WVIK

Good Morning from WVIK News for Thursday, October 17, 2019

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) comments on Turkey conflict and Illinois flooding

Gray DC heard from the Illinois Senator Wednesday afternoon.

WQAD.com BREAKING: U.S. Representative Elijiah Cummings dies after longstanding health complications WQAD.com

BREAKING: U.S. Representative Elijiah Cummings dies after longstanding health complications

CNN — Rep. Elijiah Cummings of Maryland died Thursday morning at age 68, according to his office. He died of “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office said in a statement. The Democratic congressman has represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996 and served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is one of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. As chairman of the Oversight Committee, Cummings oversaw a range of investigations into the Trump administration, from issues relating to the impeachment inquiry to the treatment of migrants at the southern border to the use of personal email for official use by White House officials to how the citizenship question was considered for the US census. And it was his committee that grilled Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in a blockbuster hearing this past February. Cummings was born and raised in Baltimore — the city that is home to his district. The son of former sharecroppers, Cummings was born in 1951 and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1969. He practiced law and served for 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, where, according to his congressional website, he became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. In 1996, he was first elected to the US Congress. Cummings was reelected last year in the 7th Congressional District with 76% of the vote. This story is breaking and will be updated.

Quad-City Times Rick's Six: Eastern Avenue closure, Halloween happenings, North student charged with assault, and U-Haul transforms RI eyesore Quad-City Times

Rick's Six: Eastern Avenue closure, Halloween happenings, North student charged with assault, and U-Haul transforms RI eyesore

A good Thursday to all. Here's the latest from the National Weather Service.

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Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at age 68

The Democrat from Maryland died from complications of longtime health challenges.

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Fall Foliage Peaking This Weekend North Of QC

If you're looking for something to do this weekend just head outdoors and look at fall foliage

Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

Births for Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

GENESIS BIRTHCENTER SILVIS

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

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QC voters react to Joe Biden’s stop in Davenport

Presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigned at the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport on Wednesday.

WQAD.com Joe Biden to Davenport voters: “Donald Trump has failed as commander-in-chief” WQAD.com

Joe Biden to Davenport voters: “Donald Trump has failed as commander-in-chief”

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A thin but friendly crowd on Wednesday afternoon warmly welcomed former Vice President Joe Biden to the stage at the River Center in downtown Davenport. Biden said the most consequential and sacred role of the president is as commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. He came out swinging at President Donald Trump in the role. "I feel uncomfortable to say this about a president, but he is a complete failure, a complete failure as commander-in-chief," Biden said. The former vice president sharply criticized the president's decision to pull support from U.S. allied Kurds in Syria. "And now, Turkish forces invading and attacking our Kurdish allies," he said. "He tweeted, tweeted their withdrawal," Biden said. He also talked up his own policy credentials, referencing his time as Vice President. But the biggest applause lines came from repeated blows against the president. "Trump's 'great, unmatched wisdom,' my God, what a delusional man," Biden said to applause. On stage, Biden never referenced Trump's attacks on his son Hunter Biden for his work with a Ukrainian natural gas company. But asked about whether the criticisms affected their view of the Biden family, several supporters said not at all. "I believe that their good people, I'm not worried about that whatsoever," said teacher Megan Rucker. "In fact, it actually benefits Joe, because Trump isn’t cooking up lies for anybody else, he’s only worried about Joe," said retired pension actuary David Maki.

WQAD.com Davenport alderman hear flood cost update, mayoral candidates react WQAD.com

Davenport alderman hear flood cost update, mayoral candidates react

DAVENPORT, Iowa - City council members heard an update on how much flooding has cost the city of Davenport this year during the October 16th Committee-of-the-Whole meeting at City Hall. "We wanted to kind of give city council an update on where we are right now with costs related to the fund," said Brandon Wright, Davenport's Chief Financial Officer. "It ended up that our flood costs were about $1.5 Million." With record-setting crests and flood plans in place for more than three months, expenses added up quickly. The Public Works department released a statement saying the breach cost an estimated $500,000 lost equipment and employee overtime. The expenses did not stop there. "There were six crests during the last year and three of them were over 20 feet," said Wright. With more repairs still in the works, public works leaders believe the final price tag could near $3.5 Million. They hope FEMA will reimburse some of that money. The city does set aside about $600,000 per year in a Flood Reserve Fund. With that money now spent, both of the people who hope to be Davenport's next year say it is time for that reserve fund to grow. "Depending on what we end up with a flood plan, that number needs to be larger, said Davenport mayoral candidate Rita Rawson. " We do need to be more aggressive as far as our flood plan and by aggressive, I mean try to speed up the process of getting something in place sooner rather than later and of course the real sticky part of the situation will be the budget." Candidate Mike Matson agreed that putting more money into the reserve can help cover the cost of future floods, which he says he believes will be more frequent. "If we all agree, and I do kind of tend to agree with it, that this is going to happen more often, then we need to put more money in (the fund)," said Matson. Both candidates also say it's time to think more about the long-term flood fighting efforts. "Staff has a good handle on the flood. But, we of course need a permanent updated flood plan moving forward," said Rawson. "My commitment , if i am mayor, is to find a way to find a permanent flood protection system," said Matson. An expensive year that Davenport's mayoral candidates are paying close attention to.  

WQAD.com ACT to allow students to retake individual sections of their test WQAD.com

ACT to allow students to retake individual sections of their test

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- New changes are coming to one of the oldest standardized tests and it could improve a student's overall score. Earlier this month, the maker of the ACT test announced new changes to their exams. Come September 2020, students who have taken the ACT will have the option to retake individual sections of the test instead of the entire exam. Those who take the test more than once will be given an ACT “superscore” that averages their highest possible ACT composite score. "If they’ve already demonstrated they’ve done well in science and they’re satisfied with their score, we can just go over here and focus on the English section now," said owner of Tutor Doctor, Jill Evola Vokt. "It’s going to allow students to really push their scores higher." Tutor Doctor offers programs for students wanting one-on-one help. Jill Evola Vokt said doing well on the test requires several strategies. And those tips are ones Bettendorf High School Junior, Ava Abbott, wants to learn. "I don’t like standardized testing," Abbott said. "It stresses me out." For the past month, Abbott has been studying for her ACT exam scheduled in December. Although she knows the changes will not better her own fate, she said she is glad something is being done to ease students' stress. "I've known people that have taken it several times, the whole test, just to improve one section," Abbott said. A student's ACT scores can define their chances to be accepted into college, class placement, and even scholarships. "It’s a big deciding factor for us," said Allie Conklin with St. Ambrose's Freshmen Admissions. She said the higher the student scores on the test, the better the scholarship, too. "They work really hard for years and that one test date shouldn’t be their only deciding factor," Conklin said. "We hope it benefits them and we hope we're able to give them more scholarships and make college more affordable for them." "That’s what I’m really trying to get," Abbott agreed. "Because college is expensive. So I’m really working to do good on the ACT so that I can get scholarships." Also starting September 2020, students will also have the choice of taking the ACT online during national test dates, with test results delivered in as little as two business days.

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Chicago officer convicted of murder resigns from department

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Jason Van Dyke formally resigned last week.

Quad-City Times Coal Valley seeks to ban sale of cannabis in city limits Quad-City Times

Coal Valley seeks to ban sale of cannabis in city limits

COAL VALLEY — It was a night of lively discussions but few actual decisions Wednesday at the Coal Valley Village Board meeting at the Village Hall.

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Galesburg police looking for man wanted for failing to register as sex offender

If you have any information, you're asked to contact Galesburg police.

Quad-City Times Cycling fans fear future of RAGBRAI tradition Quad-City Times

Cycling fans fear future of RAGBRAI tradition

CEDAR RAPIDS — Rick Paulos, a Cedar Rapids man who has ridden every RAGBRAI since its spontaneous inception in 1973, said despite the surprise resignation this week of its four-person marketing staff and plans for a rival ride, the annual…

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7-year-old caught vaping CBD oil at school

A Wisconsin second-grader busted for vaping CBD oil in the middle of class was sent to the hospital before being returned to his mother.

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Iowa man finds 5 inches of animal blood flooding basement

Blood may be thicker than water, but it'll still flood your basement.

Quad-City Times Quad-City Times

State orders 21% increase in multi-residential property values in Scott County

Multi-residential properties across Scott County will increase 21% in value after the state issued an equalization order, the county assessor said.

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Quad Cities area is home to best bagger in Illinois

The Quad Cities area is home to a best bagger, something you'll appreciate the next time you visit the grocery store.

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It's coming, it's coming. The Holiday Train is coming BACK!

The CP Holiday Train will visit Davenport and Clinton this December

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RAGBRAI staff leaves and creates a competing bike ride

Bike riders can expect some changes to RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa. The ride's organizers split from the Des Moines Register after the paper's handling of the Carson King story with one of their reporters revealing an old tweet from King.

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Two Illinois child welfare workers sued over boy's death

In April, the child's body was found buried near his family's Crystal Lake home.

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Abandoned newborn found in plastic bag in Indiana

A police investigation is underway in Seymour, Indiana after a newborn infant was found alive in a plastic bag outside along a fence.

WQAD.com LeClaire Police Department will undergo $500,000 renovation – no more condos WQAD.com

LeClaire Police Department will undergo $500,000 renovation – no more condos

LECLAIRE, Iowa – The building that's housed the LeClaire Police Department for the past 20 years, was originally designed to be condos but will soon undergo a renovation. If people are coming to LeClaire on South Highway 67 the LeClaire Police Department is the first building to greet visitors, which is what the officers want to keep after a new $500,000 renovation. The first floor will get new flooring, walls, and a more functional design.  But it’s the upstairs that will see the most change. “This is condo number two; we use this as a conference room,” explains Chief Shane Themas, on a tour around the department. He says the department needs a home that is meant to be a police department, not one that was built for condominiums. “We have bedrooms and offices and numerous bedrooms and bathrooms that all amount to a lot of wasted square footage,” Themas says. “The flooring is becoming destroyed because of the heavy foot traffic and so on.” For example, the Chief’s office is one of the master bedrooms, complete with a master bathroom where he stores his fire gear – and there’s a Jacuzzi included. Themas says the bedrooms are wasted space on top of the four bathrooms on the second floor alone. “Unfortunately, the upkeep and the maintenance now is becoming expensive enough to the point that we need to do some major renovations,” mentions Themas. Themas says changing the department's location was never a question. “Location is a main reason, so that we are visible for the public,” Themas explains. “We are in the downtown corridor, we are accessible – the most accessible area of the city for the police department.” Once the renovation is complete, the department will look different on the inside, but the outside will look the same and will welcome all visitors. “We will have a new police department in an old building,” says Themas. The city says they will be accepting bids from architects for the renovation until Nov. 14th The police department will remain open during the renovation.  Police say they hope to be in the new space for the next 30 years.

WVIK Biden Talks Foreign Policy in Davenport WVIK

Biden Talks Foreign Policy in Davenport

One day after the Democratic debate in Ohio, former Vice President Joe Biden brought his presidential campaign to the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport.

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No one hurt in apartment fire in Burlington

No one was hurt in an apartment fire in Burlington Wednesday afternoon.

WQAD.com Wheel of Misfortune; De Jay Thorpe Jr. WQAD.com

Wheel of Misfortune; De Jay Thorpe Jr.

Each Wednesday on News 8 CrimeStoppers of the Quad Cities introduces the community to one of the area's most wanted criminals. On Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the "Wheel of Misfortune" landed on 22-year-old De Jay Thorpe Jr. He's 5' 5", 181 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. He is wanted by Davenport Police for assault with a dangerous weapon and escape on original charges on criminal mischief, eluding, car theft, controlled substance violation. He is considered armed and dangerous with violent tendencies. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers. Tips leading to an arrest could be eligible for a $500 reward.

WQAD.com Davenport releases price tag of record flooding, $3.5 million WQAD.com

Davenport releases price tag of record flooding, $3.5 million

DAVENPORT, Iowa- Record flooding cost the city of Davenport about $3,500,000. Officials say that million-dollar total takes into account clean up and flood-fighting efforts. However, it does not take into account the extensive damage to businesses. The costs include labor, overtime and flood damage.  About half a million was related to the temporary floodwall breach in late April. "Our final numbers on clean-up and flood fighting efforts are expected to go to FEMA by the end of the year, so this number is approximate.  Some clean-up has been done on contract, while other clean-up has been done by City staff and we are still reconciling these.  Costs related to employee labor, overtime, materials, loss replacement, contract work and equipment depreciation that are known are conservatively $3.5 Million, some calculations as far as amount that can be claimed for vehicle depreciation, etc. are still being worked on which is why the number is approximate. For further context, around $500,000 of that total is directly related to the breach (overtime, lost equipment), the rest of the cost is related to the multiple clean-ups, extensive overtime and flood damage to facilities/roads due to height/duration of the flooding."