The latest local news

Weekend looking pretty wet… Heavy rainfall is possible in spots

WQAD News -

Brighter skies prevailed today and temperatures are certainly responding with highs on track to reach well into the 80s.   Temperatures will rise into the upper 80s.  Do have some humidity to play with allowing the heat index over 90 degrees.

Do see a couple of  thunderstorms north and west of the Quad Cities which continue to move to the east.  Likely most of these storms will fade before reaching the river as it runs away from its main dynamics.

By Thursday, a disturbance will be riding along a cool front to our west which may lead to a few showers and thunderstorms.  At this point, the better chance is expected well west and north of the Quad Cities.  This could lead to a few more clouds for your Thursday and thus resulting in lower 80s than upper 80s.

Upper 80s return for Friday under partly cloudy skies.  No real trigger nearby, so any showers and thunderstorms later in the day will be isolated.

Soggy conditions are still on track for the upcoming weekend as remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda crawls north toward the area.  With tropical moisture heavy rainfall is possible with amounts 1 to 4 inches possible for parts of the area.  It still appears the farther south  of the Quad Cities as the potential for seeing the higher amounts.  Stay tuned!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Here’s a look at the hour-by-hour forecast from the StormTrack 8 Weather App!

Click on the links below to download the free app:

In wake of Sandy Hook attack, distressing PSA attempts to prevent school shootings

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Warning: This content depicts graphic scenarios and may be unsettling to some readers

(CNN) — It begins with a smiling teen boy, opening his locker to retrieve the “perfect” backpack that his mom bought him.

It ends with a young girl, in tears, texting a goodbye to her mother as a door opens and foot steps approach.

The “Back to School Essentials” public service announcement, which debuted Wednesday morning, purports to show off the items every student needs to have in the new school year. But in reality, it’s a chilling battle cry against school shootings which stresses that these acts of violence can be prevented.

You can watch it here. But be warned: it’s upsetting.

The PSA was created by Sandy Hook Promise, the nonprofit formed after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 students and six adults.

In addition to the teen with the backpack, the PSA features cheery music and students showing off their new binders and headphones.

But then the PSA then takes a turn, showing a student running through a hallway.

“These new sneakers are just what I needed for the new year,” the student says as screams and gunshots are heard in the background.

Other students extol the virtues of jackets (to help secure doors), skateboards (to break windows), socks (to use as a tourniquet) and scissors and colored pencils (to fight off attackers).

It’s supposed to be emotional

But the PSA’s most distressing image is the last one. A girl hides in a bathroom, clutching her sparkling pink phone.

“I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom,” she says tearfully, just after texting an “I love you” message to her mother. Then the sound of a door creaking open is heard, followed by footsteps entering her hiding place.

The spot ends with this ominous tag line: “It’s back to school time. You know what that means.”

The emotional starkness of the PSA is intentional.

“It’s meant to be an intense video,” Nicole Hockley, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, told CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday. Her son, 6-year-old Dylan Hockley, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. “This is what our kids are experiencing now in school.”

Hockley said Sandy Hook Promise puts out a new PSA at the start of every school year to teach people that school shootings and gun violence can be prevented.

“We wanted to focus on this back-to-school time because parents still think of it as this rosy time where you’re getting your staplers, shoes, folders and binders,” she said. “Whereas, it’s back to a time of violence for a lot of kids.”

The PSA fits Sandy Hook Promise’s mission to empower America’s school kids with tools so they can look after themselves and their peers.

She hasn’t given up hope

Asked if she was surprised that the latest mass shootings in California, Ohio and Texas hadn’t spurred Congress to act on gun violence, Hockley said the conversation around guns is slowly changing.

“I think each time, sadly, we are moving closer to the time that it’s going to be different (after a shooting). A lot has changed since Sandy Hook,” said said. “The recent back-to-back shootings are so heartbreaking. The conversation continues to happen. More people are getting involved. Legislation is available in Congress right now that can start to chip away at these acts of violence. Prevention, plus legislation, that’s the cure to this.”

She adds that a universal background check bill that passed the House but is stalled in the Senate isn’t controversial legislation. She feels the people want it so Congress should respond.

She remains confident that the work that Sandy Hook Promise and others are doing to address gun violence can reverse the “new normal” in America’s schools.

“I always have hope. I absolutely know that we can prevent this,” she said. “I know we can stem this tide. We just need to keep chipping away.”

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Sterling, Illinois

WQAD News -

STERLING, Illinois -- Batches of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in Sterling, according to the Whiteside County Health Department.

The batches were pulled from the west side of Sterling in mid-September 2019, according to the statement.  Jeff Deets, who is the department's environmental health director, said the reason these mosquitoes are testing positive so late in the season is likely due to the wetter and cooler spring the area had.

"It should serve as a reminder that West Nile virus related disease is still a threat and will remain so until the first hard frost” Deets said.

According to the department's statement about the positive test, the public should take precautions to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.

Remember the three 'R's: Reduce, Repel, and Report.

Reduce: The health department advises limiting your exposure to mosquitoes by avoiding the outdoors between dusk and dawn when they are most active.  Ensure the screens around your home's doors and windows are snug and free of tears or other openings.   Eliminate sources of standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed.  This would be flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, clogged rain gutters, old boats, etc.  If you have a birdbath, be sure to change the water weekly.

Repel: Cover exposed skin with clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.  The health department advises using insect repellent that has DEET insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.  Ask your doctor before using on infants.

Bug repellent tests: Which one works the best?

Report: If you see any dead birds report it to your local health department.  Also report areas where you see standing water in roadside ditches, flooded yards or other places where mosquitoes may breed.

Click here for more information on West Nile virus. 

Related: Iowa reports 1st confirmed 2019 human West Nile virus case

Image from the Illinois Department of Public Health

 

Jury deliberating woman’s fate in 1992 murder case

WQAD News -

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Jury deliberations are expected to resume Wednesday in the eastern Iowa trial of a woman accused of killing of her former boyfriend in 1992.

The case against 56-year-old Annette Cahill was turned over to the jury Tuesday afternoon following closing arguments. Prosecutors say she used a baseball bat to kill 22-year-old Corey Lee Wieneke, whose body was found in October 1992 on his bedroom floor in rural West Liberty.

Cahill’s first trial ended in a mistrial in March 2019 when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

The Muscatine Journal reports that a prosecutor said Tuesday that Cahill killed Wieneke a day after seeing him leave a bar with another woman.

His attorney, Clemens Erdahl, said prosecutors lacked proof against his client, saying, “What evidence is there that Annette struck Corey?”

A witness came forward in 2017, saying Cahill had implicated herself in the death in 1992, prompting authorities to re-examine the case. Cahill is now a mother of three adult children and a grandmother.

Must watch: Human chain helps rescue stranded dolphins in Florida

WQAD News -

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Four dolphins stranded in a canal in St. Petersburg are free after days of being trapped.

The four dolphins, that included two calves, were stranded in a canal near Fossil Park neighborhood off 4th Street North and the 78th Avenue bridge.

According to wildlife officials, the dolphins were stuck in the water since Sunday but did not appear to be in distress. ABC Action News learned that they wanted to wait a day to see if the dolphins would exit on their own with the tides, however they did not.

On Monday, FWC officers went to map out the canal and the waterways nearby to come up with a plan of action to push them to freedom.

Authorities were able to form a human chain where they used sounds, and vibrations of the water to push them away from the canal and into Riviera Bay.

I-80 crash in Davenport blocks westbound traffic near Northwest Boulevard

WQAD News -

Missing Attachment Missing Attachment

Update: Vehicles are being allowed beyond the crash area in the left lane.  The right lane remains blocked by emergency vehicles.

As of 11:20 a.m., traffic was backed up toward Brady Street.

At 12:15 p.m. traffic remained slow-going through the area, with cars forced into the left lane near Brady Street.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A crash is blocking traffic in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Northwest Boulevard.

The crash was reported around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, September 18.  The Iowa Department of Transportation said the road is blocked and Google is reporting a delay for drivers.

Emergency vehicles were on scene and traffic was not moving as of 10:45 a.m.  There is no word on a detour as of yet.

Click here for information about traffic and bridges, anytime.

Air pollution particles may reach fetuses in the womb, study finds

WQAD News -

(CNN) — New evidence has been found that air pollution can breach a mother’s placenta and potentially reach fetuses in the womb, raising the possibility of future health problems.

Researchers found that when pregnant women breathe in black carbon pollution — created by the combustion of fossil fuels, such as in diesel-powered cars or the burning of coal — harmful particles can make their way from the lungs to the placenta and may reach fetuses directly.

Dirty air has previously been linked to increased miscarriages, premature births and low birth weights among infants, as a result of the effects of pollution on the mother.

However, the placenta — an organ that attaches itself to the womb during pregnancy, allowing oxygen and nutrients to pass from the mother’s blood supply to the fetus through the umbilical cord — was previously thought to be an “impenetrable barrier.”

A study last year was the first to suggest this wasn’t the case, after pollutants were found in the placentas of five pregnant women in the United Kingdom.

New research by scientists at Hasselt University and published Tuesday in the Nature Communications journal examined 25 non-smoking women who were giving birth in the Belgian city of Hasselt. Immediately after birth, the researchers collected the women’s placentas to study the side facing toward the fetus — where they found black carbon had accumulated.

The more black carbon the women were exposed to during pregnancy, the more black carbon was found in the placenta.

Black carbon particles come from a range of sources as well as cars and power plants — biomass and coal stoves in households, kerosine lamps, and open burning of farmland for agriculture.

The study cautions that more research is needed to show whether once inside the placenta, the particles can travel to the fetus directly, but the results prove that placentas do in fact allow through particles like black carbon, providing “compelling evidence” for this theory.

It’s the latest step in research into the link between pollution and birth — a 2017 report also found that exhaust fumes and soot from road traffic in London could be causing low birth weights in babies. The 2018 study, also conducted in London, found similar results to the Hasselt study — but the particle composition hadn’t been identified, and researchers could only speculate the pollution particles were carbon.

Davenport Police looking for work release escaped inmate

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa — An inmate in a work release program did not report back to the Davenport Work Release Facility Tuesday night, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Roylee Richardson Jr., 29, is described as being 5-feet 4-inches tall, weighing 159 pounds.

He was convicted of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and other crimes in Scott County. He was admitted to the work release facility on June 3, 2019, according to a statement from the department of corrections.

The department is asking those with information on Richardson’s location to contact local police.

Cost to clean up Grant Park after Lollapalooza over $600,000

WQAD News -

CHICAGO (AP) — Organizers of the Lollapalooza music festival have received their largest bill in years to restore Chicago’s Grant Park after damages caused by last month’s event.

The Chicago Tribune reports Lollapalooza received a $645,000 bill this year to clean up Grant Park. It’s the highest amount incurred by the festival since 2011 when promoter C3 Presents spent over $1 million to revive Grant Park. That year, the four-day festival was battered by frequent storms.

The work to restore the park to its condition before this year’s festival includes re-sodding grooves where stages and sponsored tents were installed and mulch installation.

Other expenses include aeration, temporary irrigation and consistent watering of the grounds and replanting of shrubs that were removed for ease of access to the festival.

Risk of a global pandemic is growing — and the world isn’t ready, experts say

WQAD News -

(CNN) — The chances of a global pandemic are growing — and we are all dangerously under prepared, according to a new report published Wednesday.

The panel of international health experts and officials pointed to the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example of a global catastrophe. That killed as many as 50 million people — if a similar contagion happened today, it could kill up to 80 million people and wipe out 5% of the global economy.

“The world is not prepared,” the report from the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), co-convened by the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), warned. “For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there is a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides. It is well past time to act.”

Between 2011 and 2018, WHO tracked 1,483 epidemics worldwide, including Ebola and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the report said.

These epidemics and pandemics devastated many of their host countries — the West Africa Ebola outbreak resulted in a loss of $53 billion in economic and social cost. These huge economic costs translate to severe real-life consequences — lost jobs, forced displacement, inaccessible healthcare, and greater mortality.

While disease, epidemics, and pandemics have always existed, greater population density and the ability to travel anywhere in the world within 36 hours means disease can spread rapidly through a country and then go worldwide.

Climate change is also having an effect. Global warming means mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and dengue could spread to Europe, the United States, and Canada — placing a billion more people at risk, a study found earlier this year.

Poorer countries, especially those without basic primary health care or health infrastructure, are hit the hardest by disease outbreaks. In these places, the problem is often compounded by armed conflict or a deep distrust in health services, as seen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has been ravaged by an Ebola outbreak for more than a year. Community mistrust has led to violent, sometimes fatal attacks on heath care workers.

Scientific and technological advancements have helped fight these diseases — but the WHO report warns they can also provide the laboratory environments for new disease-causing microorganisms to be created, increasing the risk of a future global pandemic.

“All parts of society and the international community have made progress in preparing to face health emergencies, but current efforts remain grossly insufficient,” the report said.

It highlighted several persistent problems, including a “lack of continued political will” — meaning national leaders aren’t devoting enough energy and resources to disaster preparation.

Although there are existing guidelines under the International Health Regulations, many poorer countries can’t afford to comply with the requirements, and they aren’t getting support from the international community — even though the wealthier G7 countries had previously pledged their support.

The WHO called for world leaders to take seven concrete actions to lessen the risk, including monitoring progress during international summits, creating multi-year disaster plans, strengthening United Nations coordination, and building preparation systems across all sectors.

Justice Department files lawsuit against Snowden over memoir

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, alleging he violated nondisclosure agreements by publishing a memoir without giving the government an opportunity to review it first.

The Justice Department is seeking to "recover all proceeds" from Snowden's book, which was released Tuesday.

Snowden published his book , "Permanent Record," without submitting it for a pre-publication review, in violation of non-disclosure agreements he signed with both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency, the Justice Department alleges.

In his memoir, Snowden tells his life story in detail for the first time and explains why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time. It offers an expansive account of how he came to reveal secret details about the government's mass collection of emails, phone calls and Internet activity in the name of national security.

Newly released "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden is displayed on a shelf at Books Inc. on September 17, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The U.S. Justice Department has filed suit against Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency employee and contractor for the National Security Agency, alleging the book violates non-disclosure agreements. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Snowden was charged under the U.S. Espionage Act. He now lives in Russia in order to avoid arrest.

"The United States' ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees' and contractors' compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations," Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said in a statement. "We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations."

In a tweet, Snowden said it is "hard to think of a greater stamp of authenticity than the US government filing a lawsuit claiming your book is so truthful that it was literally against the law to write."

Snowden's publisher, Macmillan, said in a statement that it was proud to publish Snowden's "uncensored" story and disappointed that the government had decided to sue him.

The Justice Department is not attempting to limit the book's distribution, but is asking a federal judge to allow the government to collect all the proceeds from the book. The book's publisher was also named in the lawsuit. The government is suing the publisher to ensure that no funds are transferred to Snowden while the case plays out, the Justice Department said.

Snowden's attorney, Ben Wizner, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the book does not contain any secrets that haven't previously been reported by news outlets.

"Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified," Wizner said in a statement.

The ACLU and the Knight First Amendment Institute filed a lawsuit earlier this year challenging the constitutionality of the government's pre-publication review process, arguing that it gives the government too much power to suppress free speech.

A former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden agreed to pay the government more than $6.6 million in 2016 for violating nondisclosure agreements and publishing without getting the book cleared by the Defense Department.

COMING SOON: A new building could soon be coming to downtown Davenport

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- A new multi-use apartment building could soon be built in downtown Davenport.

Merge LLC is offering to buy a property just south of the RiverCenter for $250,000. It's right off East 2nd Street near the intersection with Pershing Avenue. There will be a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, according to the Davenport City Council Committee-of-the-Whole agenda,

Merge has drawn up some designs for a 50,000 square foot building. It would have retail space on the first floor with 60 apartments upstairs and green space around the back.

After closing the deal, Merge would have 12 months to start construction and 30 months to finish the building.

City council members are expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday night. If it passes, the council will take a second vote during a regular city council meeting to finalize the proposal.

Merge currently has construction projects underway in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa. They also have future projects planned in Des Moines, Iowa as well as a few cities in Wisconsin.

Moline nonprofit helps animals in need, hits four-year milestone

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois-- Rescued off 16th Street in Moline is coming up on a huge milestone this weekend.

"This is something we never thought would take off," Erin Granet co-owner of the nonprofit said.

Since 2015, Rescued has been a hub for all things animal-related. The nonprofit is completely donation-based, collecting money to pay vet bills and provide animal care in the community.

Last year, 240 pets were helped by Rescued and that's not just dogs and cats, a horse got some help too.

"We get to decide exactly where our money goes," Granet said. "We pay vet bills directly to the vets, we get to see the animals that we help. We know where every single penny goes."

Since opening up, they've made over $170,000, but it's not just customer support they are thankful for; dozens of local businesses have stepped up too.

"I'm just blown away by the amount of donations we get on a daily basis," Granet said. "It's just amazing the support that we've had."

Now that they've gone this far, all they hope is to continue to grow.

"Last year we donated twice as much as we were able to the year before, so it would be nice to continue to be able to donate more and more because there is definitely a need out there," Granet said.

Rescued will be having their fourth anniversary sale Sept. 21 and 22. For more information visit their Facebook page.

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