The latest local news

YWCA Quad Cities hosts Race Against Racism run

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois  -- YWCA Quad Cities hosted it's first Quad Cities Inaugural Race Against Racism. The 5k run was in downtown Rock Island.

Participants could walk, run, or do the one mile fun run. It was $30 to run and $25 to walk. All the proceeds from the race benefits YWCA Quad Cities.
10 people were also recognized by the organization for their actions against racism in the community.

"It's just really to get everybody together in our community," YWCA President Julie Larson said. " Stand up against racism, walk together, and have a good time."

With over 300 runners this year, they plan to hold another run next year.

Volunteers clean up Rock Island neighborhood

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois  -- Volunteers grabbed trash bags and gloves for the annual Greenbush neighborhood spring cleaning. Half a dozen volunteers spread out and cleaned up 7th street in Rock Island.
The annual spring cleaning is usually done in May, but this year volunteers came out early. Organizers said it's to make the neighborhood clean for next weekend's NFL draft.

"It's a good view for people traveling through," Rock Island Township supervisor Alan Carmen said." It gives an indication about how people care about their neighborhoods and homes. Just like you keep the inside of your house clean, you'd want to keep the outside clean as well."

The supplies came from the City of Rock Island and Keep Rock Island Beautiful.

New attraction at Snowstar that doesn’t require any snow

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ANDALUSIA, Illinois  -- There's a new attraction at snow star sports in Andalusia, but it doesn't require any snow. It's the new sky flyer zip line.

Saturday, April 20th, was opening day. Snowstar sold out tickets for the day, over 60. The zip line will be up year round, meaning people can zip line over skiers.
At the highest point, the zip line hits up to 100 feet above ground. Zip liners can gain some speed on it, going up 35 miles per hour.

"It's a great time," Snowstar marketing manager Rod Leatherman said. "It's a great way to see the hills, valleys, and nature. Our longest run goes 1,300 feet."

There are 4 different lines and the total ride takes about an hour.

Tickets for the new zip line are $40.

The liquor industry is incredibly male dominated. She’s helping to change that

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(CNN) — When Tiffany Hall conducts tastings for her Empower Cocktails Cosmopolitans she’s often asked the same question.

“At first, people at these tastings ask me who I work for or work with,” said Hall. “When I tell them I’m the founder, they’re excited to meet the person who started a company of their own.”

The alcohol industry has historically been dominated by men, she explained. “It’s across-the-board from employees to executives and salespersons. They decide what products are developed and which products go on the shelf in stores.”

Hall said she wants to change that.

She came up with the idea for Empower Cocktails while she was working as legal counsel for French liquor giant Pernod Ricard, where she reviewed marketing and commercial contracts. When it came to developing new products, she noticed that women were often an afterthought.

“Men are the primary target consumers for brands in this industry and women are second tier,” said Hall. “Women should have the opportunity to have multiple choices for the drinks they want to buy, other than wine.”

In 2013, Hall left her job to create a cocktail she hoped women would like.

“I wanted to redefine what this category looked like for women,” she said. She settled on a Cosmopolitan as her first cocktail because, as she had observed, “it is one of the top five ordered drinks in bars.”

Hall set out to create a Cosmopolitan that was low in calories but still flavorful. “The number one goal for me was to not sacrifice the taste for the caloric content.”

For two years, Hall worked on developing the recipe. A major breakthrough came when a friend told her about D&S Farms, a 100-year-old farm in Atwater, California, that produces vodka from sweet potatoes.

“I originally sent them my recipe and they sent back samples of the drink,” said Hall. “I tried it and said: ‘This is it.'”

About a year later, in September 2015, Hall launched Empower Cocktails with its first ready-to-drink cocktail: a Cosmopolitan martini, made from sweet potato vodka with white cranberries, Triple Sec and lime.

The drink is now sold online and in 35 wine & spirits stores in five states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Hall has used $25,000 of her own savings to fund the production, bottling and packaging of Empower’s cocktail and says she is working on a plan to raise funds so she can expand to other locations and work on launching new cocktails. In the meantime, she continues to work full-time, as a vice president and senior managing counsel for Mastercard, while also running her liquor business.

The mission behind the cocktails
Tom Geniesse, owner of Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit in New York, met Hall about three years ago when she came into his store to pitch Empower Cosmopolitans.

“She talked about this drink she created and how she focused on creating a great recipe for it,” recalled Geniesse. He was skeptical. “I’m not particularly fond of premade cocktails. For me, they tend to taste very manufactured.”

Geniesse said he was pleasantly surprised by the taste. “I hadn’t heard of any other ready-to-drink Cosmopolitan brand, but this one tasted fresh and I could really taste all of the ingredients,” he said.

He said the Cosmopolitan has been selling well at his store and has a fan base that’s steadily growing. “I’m excited to see what she comes up with next,” he said.

Hall wants to inspire other women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. She has been mentoring women and helping to raise funds for female-focused non-profits, such as Dress for Success Boston and Kicked it In Heels.

“This brand was created with women in mind,” said Hall. “I called it Empower Cocktails because I want women to be celebrated and empowered.”

Wake up, people: You’re fooling yourself about sleep, study says

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(CNN) — Hey, sleepyheads. What you believe about sleep may be nothing but a pipe dream.

Many of us have notions about sleep that have little basis in fact and may even be harmful to our health, according to researchers at NYU Langone Health’s School of Medicine, who conducted a study published Tuesday in the journal Sleep Health.

“There’s such a link between good sleep and our waking success,” said lead study investigator Rebecca Robbins, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health. “And yet we often find ourselves debunking myths, whether it’s to news outlets, friends, family or a patient.”

Robbins and her colleagues combed through 8,000 websites to discover what we thought we knew about healthy sleep habits and then presented those beliefs to a hand-picked team of sleep medicine experts. They determined which were myths and then ranked them by degree of falsehood and importance to health.

Here are 10 very wrong, unhealthy assumptions we often make about sleep, an act in which we spend an estimated third of our lives — or, if we lived to 100, about 12,227 combined days.

Stop yawning. It’s time to put these unsound sleep myths to bed.

1. Adults need five or fewer hours of sleep
“If you wanted to have the ability to function at your best during the day, not to be sick, to be mentally strong, to be able to have the lifestyle that you would enjoy, how many hours do you have to sleep?” asked senior study investigator Girardin Jean-Louis, a professor in the Department of Population Health.

“It turns out a lot of people felt less than five hours of sleep a night was just fine,” he said. “That’s the most problematic assumption we found.”

We’re supposed to get between seven and 10 hours of sleep each night, depending on our age, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a third of Americans sleep fewer than seven hours a night. According to World Sleep Day statistics, sleep deprivation is threatening the health of up to 45% of the global population.

“We have extensive evidence to show that sleeping five hours a night or less, consistently, increases your risk greatly for adverse health consequences, including cardiovascular disease and early mortality,” Robbins said.

In a longitudinal study of 10,308 British civil servants published in 2007, researchers found that those who reduced their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night were almost twice as likely to die from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.

Science has also linked poor slumber with high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, weight gain, a lack of libido, mood swings, paranoia, depression and a higher risk of diabetes, stroke, dementia and some cancers.

2. It’s healthy to be able to fall asleep ‘anywhere, anytime’
Falling asleep as soon as the car/train/airplane starts moving is not a sign of a well-rested person, sleep experts say. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

“Falling asleep instantly anywhere, anytime, is a sign that you are not getting enough sleep and you’re falling into ‘micro sleeps’ or mini-sleep episodes,” Robbins said. ‘It means your body is so exhausted that whenever it has a moment, it’s going to start to repay its sleep debt.”

You feel sleepy because of a buildup of a chemical called adenosine in the brain, which happens throughout the day as you head toward night. Sleeping soundly reduces that chemical so that when you wake up, the levels are at their lowest, and you feel refreshed.

But the longer you stay awake and the less sleep you get, the more your adenosine levels rise, creating what’s called a sleep load or sleep debt.

Want to check your level of sleepiness? Look at the Epworth sleepiness scale, and if you’re worried, check in with a sleep doctor who can do more extensive testing in a sleep lab.

3. Your brain and body can adapt to less sleep
People also believed that the brain and body could adapt and learn to function optimally with less sleep. That too is a myth, experts say. That’s because your body cycles through four distinct phases of sleep to fully restore itself.

In stage one, you start to lightly sleep, and you become disengaged from your environment in stage two, where you will spend most of your total sleep time. Stages three and four contain the deepest, most restorative sleep and the dreamy state of REM, or rapid eye movement sleep.

“During REM, the brain is highly reactive,” Robbins said. “It almost looks like your brain is awake if we hook you up to two more electrodes and were able to monitor your brain waves.”

REM can occur any time during the sleep cycle, but on average, it starts about 90 minutes after you’ve fallen asleep. REM is when your body and brain are busy storing memories, regulating mood and learning. It’s also when you dream. Your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed during REM sleep, so you can’t act out your dreams and injure yourself.

Because a good night’s sleep gives your sleep cycle time to repeat, you’ll go through several REM cycles, which take up about 25% of your total sleeping time.

Another important stage of sleep is deep sleep, when your brain waves slow into what is called delta waves or slow-wave sleep. It’s the time when human growth hormone is released and memories are further processed.

“The deeper stages of sleep are really important for generation of neurons, repairing muscle and restoring the immune system,” Robbins said.

It’s tough to wake a person from deep sleep. If you do wake, you can feel groggy and fatigued; mental performance can be affected for up to 30 minutes, studies show.

4. Snoring, although annoying, is mostly harmless
In your dreams, maybe. In fact, “loud, raucous snores interrupted by pauses in breathing” is a marker for sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder that, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, increases risk for heart attacks, atrial fibrillation, asthma, high blood pressure, glaucoma, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and cognitive and behavior disorders.

“Sleep apnea is extremely exhausting,” Robbins said. “These patients sleep and then they wake up over and over; then they are fighting sleep all day long because they’re so exhausted. It’s also very underdiagnosed. We believe it affects about 30% of the population, and around 10% are diagnosed.”

5. Drinking alcohol before bed helps you fall sleep
Do you think a nightcap before bed will help you fall asleep and stay asleep? Dream on.

Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but that’s where the benefits end, Robbins said. Instead, it traps you in the lighter stages of sleep and “dramatically reduces the quality of your rest at night.”

“It continues to pull you out of rapid eye movement and the deeper stages of sleep, causing you to wake up not feeling restored,” Robbins said.

6. Not sleeping? Stay in bed with eyes closed and try and try
You have to admit, it makes sense: How can you fall asleep if you’re not in the bed trying? Yet sleep experts say that continuing to count sheep for more than 15 minutes isn’t the smartest move.

“If we stay in bed, we’ll start to associate the bed with insomnia,” Robbins said. She equates it to “going to the gym and standing on a treadmill and not doing anything.”

In reality, Robbins said, it takes a healthy sleeper about 15 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re tossing and turning much longer than that, you should get out of bed, change the environment and do something mindless: “Keep the lights low and fold socks,” she suggested.

Some people also believe that it’s just as refreshing to your body to lie in bed with eyes closed but not sleeping. Nope. That’s another pipe dream, experts say.

7. It doesn’t matter what time of day you sleep
Sleep experts say that’s another myth that can negatively affect your health.

“We recommend that people have a regular sleep schedule because it controls what we call the biological clock, or circadian rhythm, of the body,” Jean-Louis said. “That controls all the hormones of the body, body temperature, eating and digestion, and sleep-wake cycles.”

When your inner clock and the outside world are out of phase, you can feel disoriented, mentally foggy and sleepy at times when you need to be functioning at optimal levels. Just think of what happens when you travel across time zones or when daylight savings time kicks in.

Studies of shift workers, who work unusual hours and live out of sync with their normal biological rhythm, show that they are at increased risk for heart disease, ulcers, depression, obesity and certain cancers, as well as a higher rate of workplace accidents and injuries due to a slower reaction rate and poor decision-making.

8. Watching TV in bed helps you relax
Come on, we all do it — or we check our laptop or smartphone before we power down for the night. Unfortunately, that sets us up for a bad night.

“These devices emit bright blue light, and that blue light is what tells our brain to become alive and alert in the morning,” Robbins explained. “We want to avoid blue light before bed, from sources like a television or your smartphone, and do things that relax you.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, blue light affects the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone, more than any other wavelength of light. Watching TV or using an electronic device within two hours of bedtime means it will take you longer to fall asleep, you’ll have less dream state or REM sleep, and even if you do sleep eight or more hours, you’ll wake feeling groggy.

If you or your children can’t make that two-hour cutoff because of homework or late-night work demands, experts suggest dimming the brightness of the screen or installing an app that can warm the screen to the sunset colors. Red and yellow have higher wavelengths and don’t affect melatonin.

9. Hitting snooze is great! No need to get up right away.
Raise your hand if you hit the snooze button. Why not, right?

“Resist the temptation to snooze, because unfortunately, your body will go back to sleep — a very light, low-quality sleep,” Robbins said.

As you near the end of your sleep, your body is probably nearing the end of its last REM cycle. Hit that snooze button, and the brain falls right back into a new REM cycle. Now, when the alarm goes off a few minutes later, you’ll be in the middle, not the end, of that cycle, and you’ll wake up groggy and stay that way longer.

Having trouble kicking the snooze button habit? Put the alarm on the other side of the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

And no, you can’t tell Google or Alexa to turn it off. That’s cheating.

10. Remembering your dreams is a sign of good sleep.
“That’s a myth, because all of us do experience dreams four to five times a night,” Jean-Louis said. “And we don’t remember because we’ve not woken up and disrupted our sleep.”

A study out of France showed that people who frequently remember their dreams have higher brain activity in the information-processing hub of the brains. They also woke twice as often during the night and were more sensitive to sounds when sleeping and awake.

“Now, I will tell you if you have a dream with a strong emotional context, it may come back to you at say, two o’clock in the afternoon, when you have some downtime to relax,” Jean-Louis said. “Sometimes, something would trigger that. But if it is a weird little mundane dream, most of us who sleep well don’t remember those.”

More myths
The research team found more myths that we tend to accept as fact, Jean-Louis said, such as “more sleep is always better” (no, you really can sleep too much and harm your health), “taking a nap in the afternoon can fix insomnia” (actually, if you sleep long enough to enter a REM or deep sleep cycle, it can mess up your body clock even more), and “it’s better to have a warm than cool bedroom” (no, you sleep better in cooler temps).

Which means that we could all use a bit of education about good sleep hygiene, a set of habits to form that will set you up for a lifetime of healthy sleep. The National Sleep Foundation has tips, as does the CDC.

After all, there’s no amount of caffeine that can help you deal with the adverse implications of insufficient sleep, nor can you train yourself to adapt to sleep deprivation, Robbins said.

“Sleep is a highly active process,” she said. “It’s crucial, actually, in restoring the body and is in fact the most efficient, effective way to do so.”

Sweet dreams!

Freight House restaurant uses fish fries to fight flooding

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- The flooding in downtown Davenport has been keeping some customers away from the businesses and restaurants on River Drive. But one restaurant is hoping its Friday fish fries can bring them back.

"Mostly just with river drive being blocked off, it just affects people coming to see us," says Joe Dennis, co-owner of Fresh Deli by the Nostalgia Farms. "So this year with the flood going on, we decided to try to drag people down here on Friday nights so we started a fish fry."

For less than $10 a basket, diners can get fried fish (cod, catfish, and shrimp), French Fries and coleslaw. Fresh Deli boasts fresh, made to order meals.

"People have been responding really well to an old fashioned fish fry," Dennis says. "It's a full plate of food, and it fills you up."

Dennis' husband and co-owner Ed Kraklio says there's just something about a fish fry that brings people together.

"That's what a fish fry is all about: community coming together and enjoying a meal," Kraklio says.

Kraklio says business has been slow throughout this winter and spring. But he says his regulars have helped them get through.

"With the support of our community, we're going to be just fine," he says.

That's why people like Kristen and Steve Bergren stopped in Friday night.

"(We) try to support businesses that have been affected by the flooding because I know you can still get there but you sort of have to figure it out," Kristen says.

The water's not expected to go away anytime soon. It's been hovering right at the same level all week. But the fish fries aren't going away soon either. Dennis says they'll continue the weekly tradition through the summer.

Pitzen imposter pleads not guilty in missing child hoax

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CINCINNATI (AP) — A 23-year-old man authorities say impersonated a long-missing child pleaded not guilty Friday to lying to federal agents.

Brian Michael Rini, of Medina, Ohio, was arraigned after his indictment this week on those charges and charges of aggravated identity theft.

He was initially arrested on a single false statement count after DNA testing proved he wasn't Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Illinois, boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. Rini had been found April 3 wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky, where police say he claimed to be the Pitzen boy at age 14 and told them he escaped captors who sexually abused him.

federal magistrate earlier this month cited Rini's lack of a permanent address, past mental health issues and "a lengthy criminal history" that goes back to age 13 as she ordered him held without bond.

He was released from a state prison in March after serving more than a year on burglary and vandalism charges. Prison records show he was accused of making up stories during his time there.

Rini's story had briefly raised hope among Timmothy's relatives that the youngster's disappearance had finally been solved. When confronted with the DNA results, Rini said he had watched a story about Timmothy on ABC's "20/20" and wanted to get away from his own family, the FBI said.

He twice earlier portrayed himself in Ohio as a juvenile victim of sex trafficking, authorities said.

In 2017, Rini was treated at an Ohio center for people with mental health or substance abuse problems, according to court papers.

Timmothy, of Aurora, Illinois, vanished after his mother pulled him out of kindergarten, took him on a two-day road trip to the zoo and a water park, and then killed herself at a hotel. She left a note saying that her son was safe with people who would love and care for him, adding: "You will never find him."

Paris prosecutors investigating if short-circuit caused Notre Dame fire

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(CNN) -- Paris prosecutors are investigating if an electrical short-circuit caused the fire that ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral.

A judicial source told CNN on Thursday that "we are not excluding any hypothesis at this stage," saying that this is not their only line of inquiry.

Since Tuesday, Paris prosecutors have been investigating what could have turned the Gothic masterpiece into an inferno.

At least 40 employees at the Paris landmark have been questioned so far.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office said that in addition to interviews, forensics teams and the central laboratory for the police department had been able to access some areas of the site and begin inspections. Officials are continuing to pursue the theory that the cause of the fire was accidental but have not ruled out other scenarios at this stage, the prosecutor's office added.

"While the prosecutor's office does not rule out any hypothesis, we remind that at this stage, nothing in the investigations highlights a criminal origin. Accidental causes remain our privileged lead," the prosecutor's office said.

The cathedral was undergoing renovations at the time of the fire, with some scrutiny fallen on the firms undertaking work on the 150-year-old spire, which collapsed Monday as the flames raged around it.

Of the four companies contracted to carry out renovations at Notre Dame, two companies, scaffolding firm Europe Echafaudage and art conservationists Socra, had work in progress there at the time of the fire. Neither company had workers on site when the fire broke out.

The fire devastated large parts of the 850-year-old building before it was finally extinguished after a nine-hour battle.

The Paris fire service said the operation was one of the most complex it had ever undertaken, where, at one point, it was feared that the entire structure might be lost.

Scores of priceless artifacts were rescued from the flames, and were taken to the Louvre museum for safekeeping.

The cathedral was home to a selection of sacred relics including a fragment of the Wood of the Cross -- believed by many to be a part of the "true cross" on which Jesus was crucified -- and what is supposedly one of the nails that the Romans used to crucify him.

The Crown of Thorns and the Tunic of Saint Louis were among the venerated artifacts saved from the blaze on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants Notre Dame rebuilt in five years.

Donations toward the restoration have poured in from across the globe; the total raised so far for the reconstruction of the Gothic masterpiece has topped 800 million euros ($904 million), including gifts of tens of millions of euros from some of France's wealthiest families.

Tim Ryan stops in Muscatine

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Muscatine, Iowa- The Ohio congressman Tim Ryan is campaigning for president in Muscatine.

Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan met with voters the morning of April 19 at the Coffee Belt in Muscatine.

He's represented Ohio in the US house since 2003 and announced his candidacy earlier in the month.

The congressman says his campaign is about rebuilding the middle class, by extending access to things like education and health care.

Congressman Ryan has also expressed support for a single national health insurance program.

Rock Island viaduct to close

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-  The Rock Island viaduct will be closed during the night for repair work.

From Sunday April 22 to August 1, The Rock Island viaduct will be closed for repairs.

According to the city, it will be nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday night through Thursday.

The viaduct will be open like normal between 5 a.m. on Friday through 8 p.m. Sunday.

"The work includes removal and replacement of the parapet wall and street lighting."

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