The latest local news

Parents relieved to see kids safe after lockdown at UTHS

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- Parents of students at United Township High School rushed to the school Friday morning, August 17 when they heard about a lockdown.

The lockdown was prompted after a threatening phone call.  There was no word on the specifics of that threat.

Related: Authorities search for person who threatened United Township High School

Police first instructed parents to wait across the street at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds.  That's where they were told all of their children were safe and that they could take them home.

Parents were instructed to go to the east side of the building.  After an additional wait outside the school, students started being released. Parents and their kids hugged and talked about what had been going on.

Adorable, high maintenance fat cat Bruno seeks a permanent home

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MORTON GROVE, Ill. — A fat cat in the Chicago suburbs is getting a lot of attention after a shelter posted an adoption ad describing the unique feline.

Bruno came to Wright-Way Rescue in Morton Grove in April and has been stealing hearts ever since, according to the shelter at 5915 N. Lincoln Ave.

The 7-year-old polydactyl cat tips the scale at 25 pounds. He likes to walk on his hind legs and is described as “a chatty kitty” who meows often and likes to be pet while he eats.

Bruno has a rather refined lifestyle that comes with a list of likes and dislikes that must be observed.

He’s happy to play, but only with his feather wand toy.

If you’re going to give him food, don’t just fill the bowl and walk away – Bruno likes pets while he eats. If you forget, he’s happy to meow and stare until you remember.

He’s a big boy who drinks lots of water, but never from a bowl in the kitchen where his food is, only from a dish in a separate room.

“I like to be pet on the top of my head and spine only,” according to the shelter. “Yes, I know I am EXTRA.”

The shelter says that, aside from the quirks, Bruno is “a pretty laidback, lazy cat” who just wants to be around his owners.

Sound like a good fit?

Reach out to the shelter at or 847-728-5434.

SAU women’s soccer fights back with self defense

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The new school year has athletes training before classes and the season even start.  However, players on St. Ambrose University's womens soccer team is getting extra training that could potentially save their lives.

This year the team partnered with Nick Tarpein's Martial Arts during the preseason to learn some self-defense techniques.

The workshop was the idea of the coaches who want the women to apply these skills in any real-life situation.

"Women can learn how to defend themselves especially on campus when it's late at night walking back to our dorms, or the gym, or the field, or anywhere," says Madison Volpert, a senior on the team.

The Bee's soccer season starts next week with two exhibition games before the season home opener later this month against Missouri Baptist University.

Deere posts mixed third quarter results

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MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. on Friday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $910.3 million.

On a per-share basis, the Moline, Illinois-based company said it had profit of $2.78. Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, were $2.59 per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.77 per share.

Deere also reported better-than-expected revenue for the quarter, however. Sales totaled $9.286 billion versus an estimate of $9.211 billion. The company's revenue got a boost from strong sales in its agricultural and turf business, which came in at $6.29 billion.

Deere shares have fallen 12 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 6 percent. The stock has risen 8.5 percent in the last 12 months.

YOUR HEALTH: Helping Gulf War veterans

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MIAMI, Florida – Sgt. First Class Jimmy Arocho is a Gulf War veteran.

"I was seven months in the desert."

Shortly after coming home, his health took a turn for the worse.

"Full body pain, muscle and joint pain."

He's not alone.

"In 1990 and 91, we sent 800,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to fight in the first Gulf War," explained Dr. Nancy Klimas, medical director of the Gulf War Illness program at the Veterans Administration in Miami and hospital director of the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Klimas says those soldiers were exposed to a number of chemical toxins including organophosphate in their uniforms.

"Out of 800,000 troops some 300,000 veterans are now ill 27 years later, so one in three came back ill and stayed that way."

The symptoms include severe fatigue, stomach problems and body aches just to name a few. One out of three soldiers who fought in operation desert storm are affected.

Dr. Klimas and her team at Nova Southeastern University and the Miami V.A. went to work to find a treatment for Gulf War illness and the debilitating symptoms.

They put study participants on bikes and measured their body's responses and found their systems were off balance.

"In this particular study we're using a biologic intervention," she said of one test underway.

She says the goal is a healthy homeostasis, bringing the immune, endocrine and autonomic nervous systems back in balance.

The study has moved to phase one in humans.

CAUSES:   Dr. Klimas says many U.S. troops that were sent to the Middle East to fight in the first Gulf War were exposed to toxicity in the environment.  "They were wearing pesticide impregnated uniforms which turned out to be very toxic and there were very toxic organophosphates.   Whenever the SCUD missiles went over and the chemical alarms went off they had to jump into a chemical protection suit which caused them to sauna in their organophosphate.   They were using DEET at a hundred percent which you can`t buy even eight percent now."   They were exposed to many other toxins such as depleted uranium through the armaments, and an untested anthrax vaccine.

Jimmy hopes this research will finally lead to some relief for his fellow soldiers.

"I really want to see an effective treatment across all of what is causing the Gulf War illness."

Despite his own pain, Jimmy travelled to Puerto Rico to help hurricane victims.

Once a soldier always a civil servant.

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 or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Cards Against Humanity is hiring! Get paid to write new cards from home

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CHICAGO – Calling all fans of Cards Against Humanity – the makers of the “party game for horrible people” are looking for writers.

(Cards Against Humanity)

The job pays $40 an hour and the lucky new contributor will be able to work remotely, according to the Cards Against Humanity post.

For those who haven’t played, the game consists of white cards that players use to fill in the same blank created by one of the black cards. The combination can be silly, vile, shocking or hilarious, and the player who chose the black card gets to judge the white cards, selecting a winner. There are other variations of the game as well.

“If your cards are solid, you’ll join our pool of remote contributors and make $40/hr writing poop jokes as needed — which is ‘sometimes,'” the post reads.

Those interested in applying are asked to send their best 15 white cards and five best black cards by August 31.

People from “historically marginalized communities” are encouraged to apply, “particularly people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Oh, and they are “also looking for hot single dads.”

For more information see the Cards Against Humanity job listing.

Doctor caught watching child porn at work will get his license back

WQAD News -

SAN DIEGO – A former San Diego Kaiser doctor who was caught watching child porn at work will have his license reinstated, according to KGTV.

The news of the reinstatement became available this week, in documents provided by the California Medical Board.

Former psychiatrist Mark Zweifach went in front of the board three weeks ago for a hearing on reinstating his license. A video of the hearing recently became available to the public.

For the first time on-camera, Zweifach describes his own shocking acts that still haunt him.

“Eleven years ago, on three occasions, I briefly viewed child pornography at my workplace,” he said.

It was more than a decade ago that the admitted sex addict turned in his white coat, but the District Attorney’s office didn’t have enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

California Medical Board paperwork reveals that the alarming discovery was made at a Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in El Cajon. Some of the paperwork reads, “While at work, on his Kaiser-issued computer, [he] viewed inappropriate images, including child pornography.”

“I didn’t collect it. I didn’t produce it. I didn’t distribute it, but I viewed it,” he told the board during his recent hearing.

Iowa governor seeking disaster declaration to provide funds for tornado recovery

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WHOtv)— Governor Kim Reynolds is asking President Trump to declare parts of four Iowa counties federal disaster areas following an outbreak of tornadoes on July 19.

The request covers damage suffered in Lee, Marion, Marshall and Van Buren Counties. The cities of Marshalltown and Pella suffered the most significant damage during those storms. Vermeer, Inc. in Pella took a direct hit from an EF3 tornado. Another EF3 tornado hit downtown Marshalltown moments later, causing millions in damage to hundreds of homes and businesses.

A Presidential Disaster Declaration would allow federal money from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to be used. The Governor’s office says the storm caused an estimated $6 million in damage that would be eligible under that program.

Authorities search for person who threatened United Township High School

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE, Illinois –

Authorities are following several leads after a threatening phone call put United Township High School into lockdown for 90 minutes on Friday, August 17.

“If we figure out who made this phone call, then we will make an arrest,” said East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds.

So far, the threat remains unsubstantiated.

The school went into lockdown just before 9 a.m. on Friday.  Soon after, frightened parents like Valerie Vargas were trying to monitor the situation across the street.

“You see this on TV,” she said.  “You never think this is going to happen until here it is right in front of you.”

Her son, Antonio, a senior at UTHS, was able to text her during the lockdown.

“My son says he’s with his best friend,” she continued.  “They’re just holding onto one another because they can’t believe it,”

Parents received a robocall from the school during the incident.  Students and staffers had to remain in their classes.

“They were on lockdown in the locker room,” said Tammy Miller, whose daughter, Raven, 14, is a freshman.  “The lights are off, can’t get on the internet or find out anything.”

State, county and local officers tried to determine if the threat was real.

“Everything is fluid, so there’s going to be decisions made that are going to be second guessed,” said East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds.  “But that’s just part of the job.”

Finding nothing after 90 minutes, authorities lifted the lockdown.  Students were allowed to leave with a parent or return to classes.

“Our students were safe at all times,” said Dr. Jay Morrow, UTHS superintendent.  “Our job as educators is to make sure they’re safe at all times.”

On Friday, 90 minutes of uncertainty, fear and relief.

Vets use fish skin to treat bear cub burned in California wildfire

WQAD News -

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Veterinarians at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife used tilapia skins to help heal a black bear's paws that were burned in the Carr Fire.

"She was lying in a tiny little patch of ground that was the only piece that wasn’t burned. Everything around her was burned," CDFW veterinarian Deana Clifford told KTXL.

The bear's paw pads were burnt raw. If she were a dog or a cat, veterinarians would put new bandages on every day or so and they’d physically stop her from chewing the bandages off because they’re made of plastics and other unhealthy materials.

"We can’t do that with a wild bear. Every time we work with them, we have to immobilize them and anesthetize them," Clifford said. "And that’s traumatic for them."

That's where the dressings of tilapia skin, corn husks, and rice paper come in, and it's working.

Veterinarians say the goal is to get the bear healthy enough to get back into the wild in time to hibernate.

Outdoor plans this weekend still looking good… Rain to start the new week

WQAD News -

Can’t rule out a few more passing showers out there as we head through the afternoon and early evening hours.  Coverage will be spotty, so not everyone will see that chance during this period.  The rest of the rest of the night will remain partly cloudy with overnight lows dropping around the mid 60s.  Likes past nights, patchy fog will return in some spots.

Still looking warm and humid for your outdoor plans this weekend with highs in the middle 80s.  One lonely shower may pop up well east of the river during the Saturday afternoon hours, but other than that we should be looking pretty dry during this period.

Next round of organized rainfall is still on track for Monday.  Still appears to be a widespread event with amounts in some spots approaching an inch.  Stay tuned!!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

15-year-old boy’s organ donation saves 9-year-old girl’s life

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A Missouri couple is raising awareness about organ donation after their 15-year-old son saved a little girl's life.

Bret and Eula Motelet said they're able to better cope with the loss of their son because his heart beats on in someone else.

“Just a real joy. I called him my sunshine. He was always happy,” Eula Motelet told WDAF.

Brian Motelet's mother said he was the perfect baby. Then he came down with the flu when he was 8 months old. His mom said it developed into a seizure disorder by the time he was 1 year old.

“He had a full life physically, but mentally he had the mind of a 15- to 36-month-old,” Eula Motelet said.

Brian died at the age of 15 on Aug. 4th this year, but the Motelets said their son's spirit lives on. He was an organ donor - and his heart went to a 9-year-old girl in Texas.

“I knew it was them because they posted when they found out they were getting a heart. It was at the same time we found out somebody was a match,” Bret Motelet said.

Belle and Kaycee Kelm

“I could do nothing but cry,” Kaycee Kelm told WDAF in a FaceTime interview.

Kelm said her family got the call they'd been waiting for at 8:15 p.m. the night Brian passed.

Her 9-year-old daughter Belle had an over-sized heart that couldn't function well enough on its own - and she was getting Brian’s heart.

“I was amazed and happy that my daughter, of course, had a heart, but I knew what that meant for another family,” Kelm said.

Kelm said the Motelets found her on Facebook almost a week later.

“Brian's legacy is living on by helping this young girl continue with her life, and her parents and all the lives that are being touched as a result,” Bret Motelet said.

The Motelets said they want to raise awareness about organ donation. Despite losing his own life, Brian saved countless others.

One kidney and pancreas went to a 26-year-old woman in the Midwest, and the other kidney and his liver went to a 62-year-old woman in the Midwest, but the Motelets said they can't find them.

“I want my child's memory to live on, and I just want the world to know he was my son, and I`m proud of him,” Eula Motelet said.

“Why not, why not save a life?” Bret Motelet said.

And they said if Brian couldn't live a long, prosperous life, why not give another family that chance?

“I like to think everything happens for a reason, so maybe this did,” Bret Motelet added.

“It gives me peace knowing that Brian`s still here,” Brian's mother said.

They've already made plans to meet Belle once she`s healthy and her immune system builds up.

A Go Fund Me page has been started to help the Motelet family pay for Brian's funeral arrangements. Additionally, friends of Kelm's are selling t-shirts with all funds raised going to Belle's medical expenses.

NAILED IT OR FAILED IT: Fun With “Felting”

WQAD News -

We learned a new word today - "felting!"

Liz Kegebein was our Special Guest on WQAD News 8 at 11am's Nailed It Or Failed It Segment on Friday, August 17th. She showed me and Eric how to "felt" a creation. Check out the video above to see how to make felt cacti and click the video below to see where you can learn how to make other felt creations with Liz at Crafted QC in downtown Davenport!

Cocktail of the Week

Since Liz took care of the craft, I took care of our Cocktail of the Week. "Call Me A Cab" is basically a vodka/lemonade with wine. It sounds weird and looks weird, but click below to find out how it tastes:

Architect of bin Laden raid issues stunning rebuke of Trump

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Watch Video

(CNN) — Retired Adm. William McRaven, the man who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, issued a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Thursday, defending the former spy chief as “one of the finest public servants I have ever known.”

In an op-ed published by the Washington Post, McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who led US Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, not only called Brennan “a man of unparalleled integrity,” but volunteered to have his own security clearance revoked in an act of solidarity.

“Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him,” McRaven wrote.

“Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency,” he added.

His comments come just one day after Trump announced his decision to revoke Brennan’s security clearance, marking an unprecedented use of a president’s authority over the classification system to strike back at one of his prominent critics.

“This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,” Brennan tweeted after the announcement.

McRaven, who resigned as chancellor of the University of Texas in Austin earlier this year, is widely respected among the tens of thousands of active and retired special operators and his message will likely resonate within that community.

“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” McRaven said of Trump.

“If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be,” he added.

Ohio State University faces federal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by school doctor

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(CNN) — The US Department of Education has opened an investigation into The Ohio State University’s handling of former students’ allegations of sexual misconduct by a school doctor, according to the university.

The federal investigation will be conducted by the department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which oversees Title IX complaints, the school said in a statement Thursday.

The inquiry, led by the OCR’s regional office in Cleveland, Ohio, “will examine whether the university is responding promptly and equitably to complaints and reports by former students,” the statement said, “including allegations that employees knew or should have known about the sexual misconduct and allowed the abuse to continue.”

The scandal surrounding the alleged actions of the late Dr. Richard Strauss has grown since the university first announced in April its own investigation, headed by the law firm Perkins Coie, to look into claims made by male former athletes on 14 sports teams.

Since then, more than 100 former Ohio State University students have reported firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss, the school said last month.

Some of the accusers, mostly former student athletes, have come forward to publicly claim that Strauss sexually abused them under the guise of a medical examination.

Some accusers have said the OSU athletic staff — including Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a one-time assistant coach for the wrestling team — were aware of Strauss’ actions.

Jordan, who is running to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the House, has repeatedly denied that he had any knowledge of the abuse.

In a statement, Liz Hill, press secretary for the Department of Education, said the investigation began August 8.

“This new Title IX investigation will examine the university’s handling of reports of sex-based incidents involving Dr. Strauss, including allegations that university employees knew or should have known about the sexual misconduct and allowed the abuse to continue,” Hill said.

According to the school, the alleged abuse took place between 1979 and 1997.

“We welcome the involvement and careful oversight of OCR and look forward to providing any information we can,” said Gates Garrity-Rokous, the school’s vice president and chief compliance officer, in a statement about the US Department of Education’s investigation.

“We responded promptly and appropriately to the allegations received in April about Dr. Strauss,” Garrity-Rokous continued. “We are confident in the independence and thoroughness of the investigation we launched then as well as our ongoing commitment to transparency.”

Illinois lawmakers hear complaints about children staying in mental hospitals longer than needed

WQAD News -

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) – Illinois lawmakers heard sharp criticism from mental health providers for allowing at-risk youth to stay in mental health facilities longer than they should.

The Senate Human Services Committee invited several providers to talk this week about the issue of Illinois’ youth-in-care finding themselves in facilities beyond medical necessity, commonly called BMN.

In 2017, more than 300 youth-in-care had found themselves staying in these facilities longer than they should have. Doctors said it delays development and causes other behavioral issues.

Dr. Peter Nierman with Lakeshore Hospital said some of these kids would rather go to jail than stay in mental institutions and they know that’s what will happen if they attack an employee or another resident.

“They knew they could get out of jail quicker than they could get out of the hospital,” he said.

Many of the speakers told the committee that they needed more money from the state for more facilities, more psychologists and more programs for the state’s mentally ill.

Because so many state agencies are involved with providing mental health services, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much the state spends on those services. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that Illinois spent $72 per capita on mental health in fiscal year 2013. That was 38th in the nation.

Illinois’ agencies are under multiple consent decrees requiring a level of spending in these areas after lawsuits decided they were being shortchanged.

Providers agreed that the Rauner administration should be credited with successfully attaining a Medicaid waiver to spend federal funds on mental health services.

Department of Child and Family Services Director Beverly Walker told lawmakers that the problem is systemic, but her department often is dealing with the after-effects of a flawed system.

“All of these things together, while they are a movement in the right direction, they are not a systemic solution yet,” she said.

The state has been trying to place these kids in facilities in other states but has been refused due to Illinois’  poor record of payment.

External threat forced hour-plus lock down at UTHS, all clear given around 10 a.m.

WQAD News -

UPDATE, 10:00 a.m.: EAST MOLINE, Illinois – Police have lifted a lock down at United Township High School after reports came this morning of an external threat.

No further information is available. There will be a press conference at 11:30 a.m. We will keep you updated.

Jennifer Webster, dean of students for UTHS, announced to the students’ parents gathered there that they could pick up their students if they want. No penalty would be given for those who chose to leave. However, doors will remain locked, so no one can enter. The school would not be evacuated or closed for the day.

@EastMolinePD received a threat via phone this morning of violence at UT. UT went on immediate lockdown , following normal security procedures. Authorities believe it is an unsubstantiated threat. We're back in session. Increased police presence. Thank you – more to follow.

— Jay C. Morrow (@UTHS_DrMorrow) August 17, 2018

EARLIER: United Township High School is on lock down. A heavy police presence is on the scene. Some officers are carrying rifles.

A spokesperson for the UTHS superintendent said the school received an “external threat” and they put the school on a soft lock down. The school is working with police to assess the situation.

“They’re on lock down in the locker room and the lights are off and they can’t use internet,” one parent said. “They were going to class and they told them to get in a classroom.”

Some parents are being directed to the Rock Island County Fairgrounds.

Moline High School is also on lock down as a precaution.

A UTHS parent greets her child after a lock down at the school ended this morning.

Fill The Boot is raising funds for children with muscular dystrophy

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois - Firefighters are putting their boot on the ground to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Tomorrow on August 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Moline Fire Department will be asking for donations on the corner of Avenue of the Cities and 41st Street by the Walgreens and CVS. The donations get put in one of their massive boots, which they hope to fill.

Their goal is to raise $6,000, which would beat last year's donations by $1,000.

You can sign up to help collect by contacting Cole Nicely-Green by calling (563) 650-6900 or at

All the money collected supports local MDA programs.


Teen wants friend who pushed her off bridge to ‘sit in jail’

WQAD News -

The Washington 16-year-old whose friend pushed her off a 60-foot bridge says that friend should “sit in jail and think about … what she did.”

So says Jordan Holgerson, now home from the hospital but still recovering from six broken ribs, two punctured lungs, and other internal injuries, in an interview with Today.

She says she at first didn’t want 18-year-old Taylor Smith punished, but she has thought about it more and changed her mind.

“I kind of got mad because the rest of my summer’s gone and I’m probably going to be recovering for the rest of the school year,” she says, adding that Smith’s apology to her wasn’t enough.

The girls were with other friends at Moulton Falls Regional Park, at a spot popular with daredevils who want to jump from the bridge to the water below despite signs barring such antics. Holgerson says she went up on the bridge because she thought she wanted to jump, then changed her mind when she saw how high it was.

When people jump, they try to go into the water feet-first; Holgerson, instead, belly-flopped after being pushed. Doctors say entering the water the wrong way could feel like smacking into concrete.

Holgerson says she’s still in a lot of pain. As for potential criminal charges, police have passed their findings onto the county prosecutor’s office for review. (Smith says she “feels really bad.”)

Texting while driving could lead to license suspension under new Illinois law

WQAD News -

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois) – A new law in Illinois enhances the punishment for texting behind the wheel.

Starting in July 2019, drivers caught using cell phones while driving will not only get fined, but it will count as a moving violation that could lead to license suspension.

The new law signed this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner now makes the first ticket for texting and driving a moving offense. That means it goes on the offender’s record and can lead to a suspension if they commit two other violations in the next year.

The $75 fine would still apply on the first offense.

Jesse White’s office fought for the stricter penalties. The bill passed with wide margins.

“With the increased use of technological devices, distracted driving has become a serious problem on the roads of our state and throughout the nation,” White said. “This important legislation will make our roads safer. No driver should be texting while driving.”

The issue has become ubiquitous in recent years.

“You see so many people, instead of focusing on driving, they’re texting or looking at their phones,” said Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt.

Texting and driving has been shown to be more dangerous than drunken driving.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, at least 25 percent of police-reported crashes involve some form of distracted driving. They say driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Only nine states in the nation don’t have laws against texting and driving.


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