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Muscatine City Council members react to Freedom of Information request

WQAD News -

Earlier this week, we first told you of the struggle it’s been to get documents from the City of Muscatine in relation to the how much money has been spent on trying to remove Mayor Broderson.

After several unsuccessful attempts, WQAD’s Jenna Morton went to the Muscatine City Council meeting to see what the council members thought of how the city handled News 8’s Freedom of Information request and if they thought taxpayers have the right to know how much the city has spent so far trying to remove the mayor.

The rest of the councilmen and city administrator declined to comment but Jenna was able to speak with Mayor Broderson, who said she wishes the city would be as transparent as they legally can.

You can see the full attempt to get an answer below.


Muscatine woman presents petition to lift ban on pit bulls

WQAD News -

MUSCATINE -- A Muscatine woman presented a petition at tonight's Muscatine City Council meeting to lift a 14-year ban on pit bulls in the city.

Vanessa Lopez's petition, which was started in August, says the current pit bull ban unfairly discriminates against the breed.

A similar petition to lift the ban came through last year but was unsuccessful.

Lopez's petition currently has around 1,000 signatures.



Drew Peterson case “likely” headed to Supreme Court, says his lawyer after Thursday ruling

WQAD News -

BOLINGBROOK, Illinois-- Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court weighed in on the murder conviction of Drew Peterson, dashing his hopes of an early release.

After a unanimous verdict, Drew Peterson will remain in prison for killing his third wife. But, an attorney for Peterson says this ruling will likely be appealed, taking it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This is the ultimate vindication!" a jubilant state's attorney could be heard exclaiming, reacting to Thursday's ruling.

The Court ruled that the use of hearsay testimony in Peterson's 2012 trial for Kathleen Savio's death didn't violate his cross-examination rights.

63-year-old Peterson was found guilty of murdering Savio both then and now; he's currently serving a 38-year prison sentence.

Savio was found dead in a bathtub in 2004. At the time, the death was ruled an accident, but the case was reopened in 2007 after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared.

"When Drew Peterson was telling these women, ' I can kill you and make it look like an accident,' he never imagined those statements would survive once he killed them," James Glasgow, Will County State's Attorney said.

To this day, Peterson remains the prime suspect in the unexplained disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

Last year, Drew Peterson was convicted of plotting to kill the prosecutor in his murder case, which he received 40 years for, on top of the 38 he's already serving for Savio's murder.

Earlier this year, Peterson was transferred from a state prison is Chester, Illinois to a federal prison is Terre Haute, Indiana after Illinois prison officials cited concerns that he posed a security threat.

Snake Alley in Burlington named a Ripley’s “Odd Spot”

WQAD News -

BURLINGTON, Iowa -- In an effort to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the world-famous Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon, Ripley's is naming 100 "Odd Spots" as part of their Ripley's Guide to the Curious Corners of America.

But residents of the Quad Cities won't need to travel very far to visit one of these "Odd Spots."

Snake Alley in Burlington has been selected as the first spot to be dedicated.

The unbelievably crooked street, which was constructed in 1894, is composed of limestone and locally-fired blueclay bricks.

"The uniqueness of this street makes it the perfect place for our very first Ripley's 'Odd Spot,'" said Edward Meyer, VP of Exhibits & Archives for Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Meyer referred to Snake Alley as a perfect match, odd and unusual, and a must see in the area.

The "Odd Spot" will receive a bronze plaque for permanent installation, and the mayor's office will receive and original Ripley's Believe It or Not! commemorative frames cartoon.

The dedication for Snake Alley will take place on Tuesday, September 26, at 5:30 p.m.

‘No we are NOT the bridesmaids’: 6 wedding guests accidentally wear same dress

WQAD News -

Debbie Speranza posted about the coincidence on Forever New’s Facebook page. (Debbie Speranza/Forever New/Facebook)

SYDNEY – Debbie Speranza was surprised when she met up with her cousin at a Sydney wedding reception recently and they were wearing the same dress.

But both women were even more surprised when they kept bumping into other women also in the same dress—a total of six women at the Australian wedding, which was attended by about 200 people total, showed up in the A$160 (about $128 USD) dress from Forever New.

“No we are NOT the bridesmaids just the guests,” Speranza wrote on the brand’s Facebook page alongside a picture of the six women with the bride, Julia Mammone. She did dub the group #backupbridesmaids when the post went viral on social media, the BBC reports.

“Then another walked in … then another one … and another one,” Speranza tells the Telegraph.

“A couple of the women were a little bit ‘ahhhhh’ but then we all saw the fun in it.” She adds, “It wasn’t a setup, I swear. I only knew one of the six women. Three were from the bride’s side and three from the groom.” The six women and Mammone are scheduled to appear on an Australian morning show Wednesday to discuss the viral incident.

This article originally appeared on Newser: 6 Women Accidentally Wear Identical Dresses to Wedding

More From Newser:

Arby’s manager murdered at suburban Illinois restaurant; person is in custody

WQAD News -

HICKORY HILLS, Ill. – A man is dead and a person is in custody after a murder in a suburban Illinois fast food restaurant, according to WGN.

Johnny Franklin Price, 35, had just started his shift as the overnight manager at Arby’s on 95th Street in Hickory Hills when he was killed. Officials wouldn't specify how he died.

Johnny Franklin Price

Hickory Hills police will only say there was an altercation inside the restaurant and they have a person in custody.

Price had worked as a manager at the Arby's for about five years.

A hazmat cleaning crew, covered in protective gear from head to toe, spent hours cleaning up the crime scene.

Price’s family members say they are devastated and want answers.

“They said he was dead but not if he was shot, stabbed or what happened,” Price’s aunt Wendy Lewis told WGN. “It’s horrible because you don’t know and all we want is some answers.”

Price lived with and cared for his ailing mother.

An autopsy is expected Friday.

The family has set up a YouCaring page .​

Wife told judge husband would be murdered if deported — and he was

WQAD News -

AUSTIN, Texas — Juan Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife told a federal judge that her husband would be murdered if he was forced to return to Mexico, the birthplace he’d fled because of gang violence. And he was—perhaps by the very people he’d hoped to evade.

Deported three months ago after federal agents took him into custody for entering the country illegally, Coronilla-Guerrero was found dead of gunshot wounds on the side of a road in San Luis de la Paz in Mexico’s Guanajuato state on Sept. 13, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

According to Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife, four suspected gang members had entered her family’s home the night before, pulled the 28-year-old from the bed he was sharing with his son and led him away with a gun to his head.

“I knew that if he came back here, they were going to kill him, and look, that’s what happened,” she says from Mexico, where she herself has now returned (she says she didn’t have the funds or paperwork to return to the US after his funeral).

First deported in 2008, Coronilla-Guerrero had been at an Austin, Texas, courthouse to face misdemeanor charges of family violence and marijuana possession when he was taken into custody in March in a move heavily criticized by a City Council member as likely to strike fear in immigrant victims, defendants, and witnesses, per the Fresno Bee.

Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife, who says her husband’s family violence charge was a misunderstanding, notes her pleas that he would become a victim of gang violence were ignored.
ThinkProgress mentions seven other cases in which people deported from the US were later murdered, including five children.
This article originally appeared on Newser: Wife Warned He’d Be Murdered If Deported. He Was

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Fire at “hoarder home” in Davenport extinguished Thursday

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Firefighters battling a house fire on W. 47th Street on Thursday, Sept. 21 had to contend with a home full of debris that made fighting the blaze harder than expected.

"It just makes it dangerous for everybody," District Chief Neil Gainey, said of the house.

Officials said the house had signs of being a "hoarder home", forcing them to attack the fire primarily from the home's exterior.

Fortunately, they said, no one was home at the time of the fire and no one was injured. The blaze broke out around 11 a.m. and caused heavy smoke damage. They believe the fire may have started in the garage, which is where heavy smoke was pouring out when they arrived on scene.

The fire cause remains under investigation.

Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Pats

WQAD News -

BOSTON (AP) — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player’s daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport was safe.

In a news conference at his offices, Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez said the testing showed one of the most severe cases ever diagnosed.

“We’re told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron’s age,” Baez said.

Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the CTE Center at Boston University, concluded that the New England Patriots tight end had stage 3 of 4 of the disease, and also had early brain atrophy and large perforations in a central membrane.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston on Thursday claims that the team and league deprived Avielle Hernandez of the companionship of her father. It is separate from a $1 billion settlement in which the league agreed to pay families of players who suffered brain damage because of repeated head trauma while playing football.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment, saying the league had not seen the lawsuit.

Baez said Hernandez had been playing football because the NFL led him to believe it was safe.

“Those representations turned out to be false,” Baez said.

CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties. Hernandez killed himself in April in the jail cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for a 2013 murder. His death came just hours before the Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.

CTE can only be diagnosed in an autopsy. A recent study found evidence of the disease in 110 of 111 former NFL players whose brains were examined.

CTE has been linked with repeated concussions and involves brain damage particularly in the frontal region that controls many functions including judgment, emotion, impulse control, social behavior and memory.

“When hindsight is 20-20, you look back and there are things you might have noticed but you didn’t know,” Baez said.

A week before his suicide, Hernandez was acquitted in the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston. Prosecutors had argued that Hernandez gunned the two men down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him in a nightclub, and then got a tattoo of a handgun and the words “God Forgives” to commemorate the crime.

Baez said he deeply regretted not raising the issue of Hernandez having CTE during his murder trials. He said they did not blame CTE for the murders because Hernandez’s defense was actual innocence.

A star for the University of Florida when it won the 2008 title, Hernandez dropped to the fourth round of the NFL draft because of trouble in college that included a failed drug test and a bar fight. His name had also come up in an investigation into a shooting.

In three seasons with the Patriots, Hernandez joined Rob Gronkowski to form one of the most potent tight end duos in NFL history. In 2011, his second season, Hernandez caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns to help the team reach the Super Bowl, and he was rewarded with a $40 million contract.

But the Patriots released him in 2013, shortly after he was arrested in the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison; the conviction was voided because he died before his appeals were exhausted, though that decision is itself being appealed.

Basketball standout back on the court one month after having part of his brain removed

WQAD News -

INDIANAPOLIS, In. - This season high school basketball fans in Indianapolis will witness a miracle on the court. Cathedral High School standout James Franklin Jr. is ready to play again after having a part of his brain removed.

The surgery was to prevent seizures, a condition he's dealt with since birth.

"They like how are you living to this day? They didn't expect me to be here to be honest with you, " the 17-year-old point guard told WXIN.

James is a walking, basketball playing miracle. He had a stroke shortly after birth. That left scar tissue on his brain that caused seizures, meaning mom and dad always had to watch him. James had a seizure on the court last December as his dad looked on.

"And I ran down the bleachers and got him before he fell and I just said, 'Hey man, Riley it is.' It's not even a question that's where we're going," James Sr. said.

After years of seeing another doctor who said the seizures were stressed-related and none of the medicine was working for James, the family finally decided to head to Riley Hospital for Children. That's where they met Dr. Jodi Smith and Dr. Kelly Kremer.

"We wanted to find that area of the brain that was causing seizures and if possible take it out,"  said Smith, a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Tests showed removing the part of the brain with seizure activity shouldn't affect his motor skills. James' biggest concern was being able to play basketball after surgery.

A month later a 17-year-old has his life back. James hasn't had a single seizure since the surgery.

"I'm thankful for that and feel like I'm at the point where I don't have to worry about anything and so do my parents and it's a happy life right now," James said.

James Sr. and his wife Tamieka say they never realized how much of an impact James' seizures had on the family because it was their definition of normal. Now the entire family is looking forward to a successful recovery and this year's basketball season.

James already has an in-state scholarship offer. However, his dream is to play for the University of Kentucky.

Baby born to mom who refused cancer treatment has died

WQAD News -

DETROIT — A baby born earlier this month to a Michigan mother who died after she refused brain cancer treatment so her child could live, has also died, the family said on Thursday.

Life Lynn DeKlyen, who was born on Sept. 6 at 24 weeks, died overnight, the family posted on Facebook:

“It is with great sadness and a absolutely broken heart that I tell you Life Lynn passed away last night. Carrie is now rocking her baby girl. I have no explanation of why this happened, but I do know Jesus loves us and someday we will know why. The grief we feel is almost unbearable, please be praying for our family.”

The baby’s mother, Carrie DeKlyen, made national headlines when she found out earlier this year she was pregnant with her sixth child only weeks after she had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressively malignant brain tumor, according to

For DeKlyen to continue cancer treatment she had begun as part of a clinical trial, DeKlyen would have had to terminate her pregnancy.

“She didn’t want to do that,” her sister-in-law told People, even though her husband, Nick, says her doctor told her she would die if she didn’t receive immediate treatment.

Life Lynn was expected to remain in the intensive care unit for at least four months but she was not gaining weight as quickly as she should. On Sept. 18, the family said doctors found a “small brain bleed” that is sometimes found in 24-week babies.

A GoFundMe page for the family has raised over $150,000.

More record breakers possible in the days ahead… Dry until early next week

WQAD News -

Took a while but this afternoon we were able to scour away the same clouds that was responsible for breaking the drought in parts of the News 8 viewing area.  Naturally, the rain has left behind a humid feel in the air.  One that will be well noticed in the days ahead.

With no disturbances or fronts expected to pass through for the next several days conditions won’t change much.  Expect daytime highs to average around 90 degrees with overnight lows around 70 right through the weekend.

The next front is still not expected to arrive until Tuesday when scattered showers and thunderstorms will give way to more seasonal lower 70s for daytime highs.

Chief  meteorologist James Zahara

Stay ahead of the weather! Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

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