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Trump’s transgender troops ban divides veterans in Congress

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender service in the armed forces drove a wedge through military veterans in Congress, with one camp standing squarely behind the commander in chief and the other decrying his order as an ugly attack on dedicated troops.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a former Army helicopter pilot who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm during the Iraq war, called Trump’s announcement discriminatory.

“When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else,” she said. “All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.”

Duckworth said if a person’s willing to risk their life as a member of the armed forces “and you can do the job, you should be able to serve — no matter your gender identity, sexual orientation or race.”

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., said Trump’s decision is understandable given the mounting concern among members of Congress over the amount of money the Pentagon is required to spend on gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy. Russell, a retired Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said service members undergoing these medical procedures often aren’t ready to deploy.

“I’m not surprised that the administration has come out like this,” Russell said on C-Span’s Washington Journal.

Trump’s tweets announcing the ban came as the administration and House GOP leaders were trying to work out a problem involving medical costs for service members seeking to transition to another gender while serving in the military, an issue that had created problems for a sweeping spending bill.

Social conservatives, led by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., were pressing for an amendment to the spending bill blocking funding for such costs, including reassignment surgery. The House narrowly defeated Hartzler’s measure last week, yet she and other conservatives were trying to revive it. That sparked a battle with Republican moderates who had threatened to block the House from turning to the spending bill.

According to a senior Republican aide, House leaders were taken by surprise when Trump announced the broader ban; they had been pressing for a more narrow response. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to publicly discuss internal talks.

In the Senate, John McCain, R-Ariz., a Navy pilot during the Vietnam war, blasted Trump’s decision and criticized the president for making the announcement over Twitter.

“There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity,” said McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

But Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a former Marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Trump made the right call by reversing an Obama administration directive issued in 2016 that allowed transgender service members to serve openly in the armed forces.

“National security should trump social experimentation, always,” Hunter said. “It’s about time that a decision is made to restore the warrior culture and allow the U.S. military to get back to business.”

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., echoed Hunter’s remarks.

“I think back to my days in the military and wonder how it would work,” Inhofe, an Army veteran, said of the intensely close living and working quarters that service members inhabit.

“It’s a housing problem. There are other problems,” Inhofe said. “Those of us who have been in the service can see that it would be a difficult thing to deal with.”

But Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., called Trump’s transgender ban “a divisive political move” and a “retreat in the march toward equality.”

Reed, a West Point graduate who later served in the 82nd Airborne Division, added that Trump announced the ban on the anniversary of President Harry Truman’s order desegregating the U.S. military.

“This discriminatory policy denies Americans, no matter how skilled and qualified they are, the opportunity to serve,” said Reed, the top ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

Light pole comes down in crash at Dover and Division in Davenport

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DAVENPORT -- A vehicle crashed into a light pole while trying to turn into a neighborhood.

A vehicle heading northbound on Division Street hit a light pole while trying to make a left-hand turn onto West Dover Court.  It happened around noon, Wednesday, July 26th.

The light pole snapped, bringing down some wires from adjacent poles.

MidAmerican Energy was on scene making repairs after the crash.

There were no reported injuries and no impacts to traffic.

Justin Bieber hits paparazzo with truck, police say

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LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Singer Justin Bieber struck a paparazzo with his truck while trying to drive away from an event in Beverly Hills Wednesday night, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Bieber stayed at the scene during the investigation, Lt. Scott Dowling told CNN.

Video from the incident appeared to show Bieber offering assistance to the man who was hit.

Dowling said a 57-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

No citations were issued and no other vehicles were involved.

The accident happened near the Saban Theatre, which was holding a City Church service.

Bieber has been spotted in the Los Angeles area after recently canceling the rest of his worldwide tour due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

After being spotted by TMZ near the beach in Southern California, Bieber said he plans on “just resting, getting some relaxation.”

The world tour for Bieber’s fourth album, “Purpose,” began in March 2016 and showcased hits such as “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?” His concerts grossed $163.3 million last year, according to industry tracker Pollstar.

The musician has been in the global spotlight since he was a teenager, when he was discovered by Usher.

Tragedy at Ohio State Fair as one person is killed after ride malfunction

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(CNN) — A chaotic scene unfolded at the Ohio State Fair after a ride malfunctioned during opening day — killing one person and injuring several others.

A video posted online appears to show several people on the Fireball ride seconds before parts of the structure, including a full row of seats, split up and fell.

Tragedy struck around 7:20 pm (local time) Wednesday, July 26th at the popular fair in Columbus. The Fireball, which consists of at least six rows of seats that spin around 40 feet above the ground as the entire structure moves like a pendulum, broke apart while it was in motion.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride said one person was killed and seven others were injured, two of whom are in critical condition.

‘It’s my worst nightmare’

Rhonda Burgess said one of his sons was standing in line at a nearby ride when the incident took place.

“The ride had four riders per cart. This piece snapped off and the riders came out of the cart,” she said. “At least two (people) flew through the air at least 20 feet before landing on their backs on the concrete.”

Within seconds, Kaylie Bellomy found herself in the middle of a crowd. She had been waiting her turn to get on the Fireball when she watched the turmoil erupt.

“Everybody was running. I got ran over trying to get out of the way,” she told CNN affiliate WCMH. “I just don’t think I’ll ever ride a ride ever again.”

Deputies asked attendees standing near the ride to step back as someone screamed “it’s my worst nightmare,” video footage shows. Workers were also seen placing barriers as medics and staff tend to those injured.

Three patients were taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Eileen Scahill said.

As of Thursday, one was in serious condition and the two others were in critical condition, the hospital said in a statement.

David Evans, the center’s medical director, said it was helpful to see video of the incident that was posted to social media because it helped them look for certain types of injuries.

“Having that video really showed us that this was a great force and a great mechanism, really consistent with a high-speed motor vehicle crash with an ejection, really something more along those lines,” he said.

The other four people injured were taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center. CNN has reached out to that facility for an update on their conditions.

The Fireball

For days, inspectors had overseen the assembly and then inspected around 70 rides ahead of opening day.

“My children, my grandchildren ride this equipment so our guys do not rush through this stuff,” said Michael Vartorella, chief ride inspector of the Amusement Ride Safety Division.

Four rides failed an inspection on Monday, but there were no red flags when inspectors examined the Fireball.

The “aggressive thrill” has become one of the most popular thrill rides since its debut in 2002, Amusements of America, the rides’ operator says on its website.

“It was inspected at couple of different stages and it was signed off today,” he told reporters.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich quickly ordered a full investigation into the incident and ordered all fair rides to shut down.

“The fair is about the best things in life and tonight with this accident it becomes a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Kasich said in a news conference.

The Ohio State Fair draws thousands of people for its deep-fried foods, thrill rides and its unique life-size butter cow sculptures. Last year, more than 920,000 people attended the fair, organizers said.

Most activities will resume Thursday while the rides undergo new inspections, fair officials said.

“Our hearts are heavy for the families of those involved in last night’s tragic accident. We have shut down all rides until the state has inspected each and every ride again and deemed them to be safe,” they said in a statement.

The Columbus Dispatch reported the inspections were delayed by recent rain. It was the first day of the fair.

A similar ride in California was closed when authorities ordered a second inspection, Orange County fair officials told CNN affiliate KABC.

No problems had been reported but officials said they took the decision out of precaution.

Calling all fans! QC Planet Con kicks off this weekend

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All things comics, super heroes, anime and Si-fi are rolling into Rock Island this weekend for the 8th annual Quad City Planet Con.

Marlena Midnite, host of Midnite Mausoleum stopped in during Good Morning Quad Cities to talk about the exciting things happening this weekend at Planet Con. Marlena hosts Midnite Mausoleum on WQAD News 8 and My-TV 8-3 where she and co-host Robyn Graves talk all things horror films and all things creepy.

Guest who head to comic con this weekend will get goodie bags filled with comics and other prizes. There will also be a raffle and silent auction for dozens of prizes, action figures, comic books and more.

Another guest stopped by the show to show off his artistic skills. Bill Douglas is a local artist from Moline who will have a booth at comic con where people can get sketched into cartoon super heroes. He can draw characters in about 20 minutes and has been drawing faces since 1994. He drew Angie, Jon and Eric into superheros during the morning newscast.

See more of Bill's artwork here.

Elizabeth McKinney aka "Luci Furr" was our last guest during our Planet Con segment and she was in talking about the Quad City Rollers. The Quad City Rollers will also be at Planet Con looking for volunteers for their next bout and recruiting anyone who wants to join the derby team.

Planet Con is Saturday, July 29th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Rock Island.

Quad City River Bandits head groundskeeper nationally recognized for artistic skills

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DAVENPORT - Some would say he's the star of the game, but he's not wearing a jersey.  The action starts way before the players take the field.

"When my sister was in high school her softball coach had me out there on a cub cadet tractor training the end field probably the age of 10," said Andrew Marking.

Ever since then Marking knew he wanted to be one the taking care of athletics fields. He got a degree in turf science and was hired as the head groundskeeper for the Quad City River Bandits more than a year and a half ago.

"It`s a hard job and thankfully we got one of the best ones in the game," said Andrew Chesser, General Manager.

Making the field look as good as it does take a lot of time, "I would say a slow week would be at least 70 when the teams here I`m pushing probably 120 hours," said Marking.

He decided to take his dedication to a whole new level by showing off his artistic skills. Marking won the Sports Turf Managers Association mowing pattern contest with his stars and stripes design.

“We just had a little star pattern in the infield that we put in with our walk behind mower and then the outfield we did what's called a diamond cut on either side and then a flag in the middle," said Marking.

However, after a long day of work, Marking says he likes to look at the field before the first pitch is thrown, "The fields are lined with the chalk and it's dragged. It's watered and it just looks pristine. That`s where I kind of sit back and I can get that instant gratification for all the hard work that I`ve put in for the day."

Marking says that's the real home run.

 

YOUR HEALTH: When good drugs do very bad things

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  It's the last thing many of us would expect; something that's supposed to make us better, does the opposite instead.

One family's story is tragic.

"Izzy was passionate, had a huge heart, energetic," says Tasha Tolliver.

She's talking about her 16-year old daughter Izzy: a bright, beautiful teenager who, like many, was put on the antibiotic bactrim to fight acne.

"She had been taking it for almost two weeks when we started noticing some unusual signs."

Izzy was having fevers and broke out in a bad rash.

"She ended up in the emergency room. I didn't understand what was happening to her."

Dr. Elizabeth Phillips from Vanderbilt University's Personalized Immunology Center says it's common to have a mild reaction to an antibiotic.

"This can occur in about five percent of courses of antibiotics, but they're mild and there's no consequences."

But when symptoms like Izzy's show up after starting a new medication, there`s reason for concern.

Izzy's family didn't know she had DRESS syndrome, Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms, a rare but severe drug reaction affecting her organs.

The syndrome is rare and the most common drugs that cause it are anti-epilepsy drugs, the anti-gout drug, allopurinol, and many diverse groups of drugs used to treat infections, the most common of which would be the tetracyclines (minocycline, Minocin) and the sulfa antibiotics (Bactrim).

Drug used to treat HIV such as abacavir and nevirapine have also been associated with severe drug hypersensitivity syndromes.

"She went into sudden heart failure," Tasha remembered.  "Her dad and myself were there with her."

Sadly, Izzy passed away.

Now, breakthrough research at Vanderbilt University is aimed at preventing tragedies like Izzy's from happening.

"We can now test patients to see if they carry a risk gene to develop one of these terrible toxicities," explained Dr. Phillips.

Tasha says her daughter's story can help save others.

"While this doesn't happen to most people who take a drug, it can happen."

Knowing Izzy's amazing spirit and zest for life will live on forever.

Tasha's family is undergoing genetic testing to find out if they also carry the gene that puts them at risk for drug toxicity.   The hope is to one day have these tests available in all doctors offices.

TREATMENT: Drug hypersensitivity syndrome patients are diagnosed by having symptoms of high fever, facial swelling, extensive skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. Diagnostic tests may show abnormalities of white blood cells (eosinophilia, atypical lymphocytosis) and/or organ involvement (liver, kidney, lung, heart). These symptoms occur most commonly two to eight weeks after exposure to the responsible drug. The treatment for drug hypersensitivity syndrome is immediate withdrawal of any medications that has been introduced within the last 3 months. Afterwards, there should be careful monitoring and care. There should be blood tests to check the blood count and organ functions. Antihistamines and topical steroids may control a mild skin rash but if the case becomes too severe, systemic steroids are used particularly when there is organ involvement.

NEW RESEARCH: Genetic tests (HLA typing) have been useful in screening for populations at risk and excluding them from a specific drug. Other testing includes in vivo testing such as prick and intradermal skin testing and also ex vivo testing that can safely measure the response of a patients white blood cells to a specific drug in a test tube.
(Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3626363/ )

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

 

1 dead, multiple people injured after ride malfunctions at Ohio State Fair

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus fire officials have confirmed that one person is dead and 6 have been injured – 5 critically – after a ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair, according to WJW.

The malfunction happened as people rode the Fireball Wednesday evening, officials confirmed.

Ohio Governor John Kasich said in a statement on Twitter that he was “terribly saddened by this accident, by this loss of life and that people were injured.” The governor ordered all rides at the fair to close down while the deadly incident is investigated.

The Ohio State Fair said in a statement on Twitter, “There has been a report of a ride incident. We are investigating and will report information as available.”

What caused the malfunction is not yet clear.

There has been a report of a ride incident. We are investigating and will report information as available.

— Ohio State Fair (@OhioStateFair) July 26, 2017

@nbc4i Fireball ride at Ohio State Fair breaks with riders. pic.twitter.com/J6Dff6gYCn

— Negative Bone (@eckardbills) July 26, 2017

Gov. Kasich's statement on tonight's incident at the Ohio State Fair. pic.twitter.com/PFjfHWMIab

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 27, 2017

Heritage Canyon in Fulton, Illinois still stuck in the mud after last week’s storm

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FULTON, Illinois-- Caretaker Wayne Miller says rain is the last thing Heritage Canyon needs in Fulton.

The historic site is still dealing with at least a foot of mud left behind by last week's storm.

Miller says the problem started just behind the canyon wall, around an old pond.

"It came up so quickly that ......it cut a gully down into the canyon which drained the pond and the rain water," says Miller.

Right now Miller is working with the city to build a barrier between the pond and the Canyon's edge. He's confident that will be enough to hold the at least three inches of rain expected in the area Wednesday, July 26.

Until the water continues to recede, and the mud dries out the city will keep Heritage Canyon closed until further notice.

The city will be looking for volunteers to help them with the clean up.

Family shocked to find new SUV wrapped in plastic, buried in backyard

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POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. - An SUV found buried in an Oklahoma family's backyard may now be two tons of evidence in a crime that's nearly 15 years old, police say.

The 2003 Chevy Trailblazer was discovered in the middle of a trail on the property, according to KFOR.

"We jumped off this car for several years with our ATV and motocross bikes, without ever knowing it," said property owner Fredie Green.

His son, Cody, was trying to adjust the jump when his tractor unearthed something familiar.

"Went down a little deep and the tractor just stopped," Cody said. "I went, 'man, what is this?' Well I end up digging some more and got to the hood of it."

He called his father to let him know.

"(He) alerted me, 'Dad, we got a car buried six-foot underground,' and I told my son, 'Stop right there and leave it alone,'" Fredie said.

He called authorities, fearing the worst. "Just (wanted to) make sure that there were no dead bodies in the car," he said.

Deputies dug it up, dragged it out, and tore the doors off, dispelling suspicion of any possible bodies inside.

However, they were able to use the license plate left on the vehicle to discover it was reported stolen by the previous owner.

"He had reported it stolen in 2003," said Lt. Robert Stewart. "He at one time owned that property that vehicle was located on."

No one has been charged yet, but deputies suspect it could be insurance fraud.

"It's amazing that someone could even go that far to bury a brand new car," Fredie said. "It's amazing."

Luxury hotel, rooftop bar opens in downtown Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A luxury, boutique hotel complete with rooftop bar and restaurant has opened in downtown Davenport.

On Wednesday, July 26, developers and city leaders cut the ribbon on The Current Iowa.

The hotel has 78 rooms, as well as a first floor Mexican restaurant called "Viva." On the ninth floor, there is an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar and restaurant called "Up."

Developers Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration St. Louis say The Current is meant to be an experience.

"The traveler, the Autograph collection traveler that comes to a place like this, he or she is collecting hotels the way foodies collect restaurants," said Amrit Gill.

The hotel also features hundreds of pieces of artwork by Midwestern artists, a basement pool, hot tub, and gym. The building itself is a piece of art, designed by Daniel Burnham and built in 1910.

Quad City leaders say it's much more than a hotel, though. The Current is part of a larger, $60 million project called City Square, which involves the renovation of the Putnam, Parker and Center buildings -- an entire city block between Main and Brady Streets.

"It's the absolute core of downtown, the genuine center. A lot of people said we'd never do it, and it feels really good to see this come to fruition," said Kyle Cater, director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership.

And developers believe there is even more investment still to come.

"This will give other developers even more confidence that downtown Davenport is not going to deteriorate the way it did in the '80s and '90s," said Gill.

Both the bar and restaurant are open to the public.

Is your Roomba actually a ‘creepy little spy’?

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It may be "smart" to put robots to work in your home—but is it wise? Consumers who want the blueprint and contents of their homes kept private may be wary at news coming out of iRobot, which makes the Roomba robotic vacuum.

Per the New York Times, the company is mulling selling data that the Roomba picks up along with dirt during its daily cleanup sessions—everything from the layout of one's home and brands of furniture, to a resident's daily traffic patterns and income (based on those brands), to whether there's a baby in the house—to Amazon, Google, or Apple.

Digital rights experts note this data on consumers and their residences can be used by marketers to bombard said consumers with targeted ads. "Your friendly little Roomba could soon become a creepy little spy," tweeted Canadian nonprofit OpenMedia.

Reuters notes the Roomba is just part and parcel of the 21st-century "smart home," which is already being stocked with internet-linked security systems, lights, and temperature controllers.

In its statement to the Times, iRobot insists consumer privacy is paramount, noting customers can flick a switch and "opt out" of their map data being uploaded, or not connect their Roomba to the internet at all.

"No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers," the statement reads. iRobot also says it doesn't have any imminent plans for data-hawking, but company CEO Colin Angle tells Reuters that a contract to sell Roomba's maps to either Apple, Amazon, or Google could happen within the next couple of years.

Amazon offered a "no comment"; the other two never got back to Reuters. (This Roomba caused a "pooptastrophe.")

This article originally appeared on Newser: Your Roomba May Be Up to No Good

More From Newser:

Moline continues student bus ticket program to help out families in need

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MOLINE--  The student bus ticket program is set for a second year for Moline Township.

The program began after recent school closings resulted in families sending their kids to schools farther away.

It helps with the cost of bus tickets for students during the school year.

The program provides a way for low-income families to safely send their children to school without the worry of the costs.

And it saves parents about $150 dollars per child in bus ticket fares.

"I believe we had one family that had 5 children that were involved. For a family living from paycheck to paycheck that's a lot of money we save these individuals and we're very proud of that," says Don Johnston, Moline Township Supervisor.

Students must meet the program requirements which include

  • be a Moline Township resident
  • Verification of students enrollment in the free lunch program or document form DHS stating the family/child receives LINK OR TANF
  • Student(s) Social Security card
  • Attendance record (report card, or letter from the schools attendance office)

For more information on eligibility requirements or where to apply call the Moline Township office at 764-3558.

For The Application Visit Click Here. 

Iowa woman hopes to use “stand your ground” defense

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines woman charged with murder is seeking a judge’s approval to use a “stand your ground” defense despite the law taking effect nearly two months after she allegedly shot and killed her stepfather.

The law says a person doesn’t have to retreat before using deadly force if they think their life is being threatened, The Des Moines Register reported. Defense attorney Montgomery Brown argues it should apply in 29-year-old Sera Alexander’s case because it’ll go to trial after the law took effect July 1.

Alexander is accused of killing her stepfather, Anthony Hartmann, in the basement of her family’s Des Moines home. Family members have said Hartmann had a history of abusive behavior toward his family, according to Brown.

Assistant Polk County Attorney Kevin Hathaway said prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to prove a first-degree murder case against Alexander even if the law applies. Court documents show that Hartmann was shot in the back and prosecutors argue the shooting was unprovoked.

Brown said the state Supreme Court previously has ruled that a defendant can’t continue to serve a sentence if the Legislature changes the law in order to make a sentence less harsh.

At a hearing Tuesday, District Court Judge Robert Blink compared the date of the law going into effect to how the law treats juveniles who commit crimes.

“It remains undisputed that 18 means 18 and that may be arbitrary, but it is the arbitrary tipping point,” Blink said. “And that may be what applies here, too, that the tipping point is the bewitching hour on July 1, even though it would result in disparate treatment of two people who do the same thing.”

Blink has asked attorneys to write additional briefs before making a final decision.

Alexander has been free on bond since May 19.

Drenching rainfall expected in spots this evening

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Scattered drenching thunderstorms will be the focus of attention this evening, where one or two of these storms could produce a quick 1 to 3 inches.  It still appears that areas more south of the  I80 corridor  has the best chance for those amounts.  Naturally, we’ll need to keep an extra watch on the river and tributaries downstream.  The bottom line, the farther the main rainfall axis the better.  In addition, some wind gusts could be possible but under severe limits.

By Thursday morning, any leftover showers will end before sunrise allowing skies to slowly improve later that day.  Temperatures will slowly drop as well with highs in the lower 80s.

Its gets even better weather wise and just in time for the BIX Weekend.  Sunshine with highs around 80 and low humidity!   In fact, for runners that Saturday morning temperatures will be in the 60s for most of the race!  That’s decent running weather for this time of year.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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