The latest local news

Meet Karli, the new ‘Sesame Street’ muppet in foster care

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“Sesame Street” has introduced a new Muppet with the aim of highlighting the stories and unique love of foster families.

The center of the new initiative is a Muppet named Karli, a yellow-haired friend of Elmo’s who introduces viewers to the concept of “for-now parents.”

In one video, Karli’s foster mom explains to Elmo that Karli’s mother is “having a hard time” and that they will “keep her safe until her mommy can take care of her again.”

Elmo innocently asks when that will be, to which Karli’s foster mom explains they’re not sure. But “what we do know is that Karlie belongs here now.”

“We want her here with us,” she says.

Karli’s appearances contain within them both lessons for foster families — like the importance of stability and a sense of belonging — and explanations for children, told through the eyes of Elmo.

With the initiative and the introduction of Karli, “Sesame Street” continues to prove why it’s been one of television’s greatest teaching tools for more than half a century.

May is National Foster Care Month in the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Children’s Bureau, there are more than 440,000 children and youth in foster care.

Police presence in Moline neighborhood

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MOLINE, Illinois — A heavy police presence was on scene in a Moline neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Squad cars were on scene at 20th Avenue and 4th Street around 1:30 p.m.  Officers were on scene canvasing the area.

One neighbor said police may have been there in reference to a possible shooting.

There was no official confirmation on what the situation entailed or if there were any injuries.

Meeting to discuss flood recovery to be held in LeClaire Wednesday

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LECLAIRE, Iowa — A town hall meeting has been scheduled to discuss the aftermath of Mississippi River flooding.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 and is hosted by the Scott County Emergency Management Agency.  The meeting will cover flood aftermath, what residents need now, and the next steps of recovery.  The meeting will also cover Wapsipinicon River flooding.

Residents in LeClaire, Princeton, and other areas of Scott County are all invited.

The meeting will be held at the LeClaire Fire Station at 201 N. 15th Street at 6 p.m.

Related: Where to go for help with flood relief May 20-24

Drinking too much fruit juice (or any sugary drink) linked to premature death risk

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(CNN) -- Many sugar-sweetened beverages have little to no nutritional value and lots of calories, and their harmful health effects have been well-documented. Now, a study links drinking too many sugary beverages -- and even 100% natural fruit juices -- to an increased risk of early death.

Specifically, drinking an excessive amount of fruit juice could lead to an increased risk of premature death ranging from 9% to 42%, according to the study, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Overall, the sugars found in orange juice, although naturally occurring, are pretty similar to the sugars added to soda and other sweetened beverages, the study suggests.

"Sugary beverages, whether soft drinks or fruit juices, should be limited," Jean A. Welsh, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, wrote in an email.

Cardiovascular disease link

Seven US cities, including New York and most recently Philadelphia, have levied taxes on sweetened drinks with added sugar in an effort to reduce consumption. These laws often highlight how soda and other sugary beverages contribute to the obesity epidemic among kids and high rates of diabetes among adults.

The new study defined "sugary beverages" as both sugar-sweetened thirst-quenchers, like soda and fruit-flavored infusions, and 100% natural fruit juices that have no added sugar. So how does fruit juice stack up against soda?

"Previous research has shown that high consumption of sugars like those in soft drink and fruit juices is linked to several cardiovascular disease risk factors," Welsh explained. Obesity, diabetes and elevated triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) are among the risk factors linked to excessive sugar intake. "Few studies have been able to look at how this consumption might impact mortality risk," she said.

To address this issue, she and her colleagues repurposed data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study, which seeks to understand why more African-Americans die from strokes than other races and why people in the Southeast have more strokes than those in other areas of the United States.

Drawing from this multiethnic study, Welsh and her coauthors analyzed data from 13,440 adults 45 and older, nearly 60% men and almost 71% of them overweight or obese.

People who consumed 10% or more of their daily calories as sugary beverages had a 44% greater risk of dying due to coronary heart disease and a 14% greater risk of an early death from any cause compared with people who consumed less than 5% of their daily calories as sugary beverages, the study showed.

Each additional 12-ounce serving of fruit juice per day was associated with a 24% higher risk of death from any cause, and each additional 12-ounce serving of sugary beverages per day was associated with an 11% higher risk. A similar relationship between sugary beverages and death due to coronary heart disease was not found.

"In looking at our results for sugar-sweetened beverages and juices independently, we need to be clear that the risk presented is relative to that present in the lowest consumers of each," Welsh explained.

She was not surprised by the the findings. She and her co-authors said "a number of possible biological mechanisms" explain the elevated risk of death. For example, research suggests that sugary beverages increase insulin resistance, which is known to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, while fructose consumption may stimulate hormones that promote weight gain around the waist -- another cardiovascular disease risk factor.

Recommended amounts of fruit juice

This is one of the first studies to examine the relationship between sugary drinks, including 100% fruit juices, and early death, wrote Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in an editorial published alongside the new study.

However, the study is limited in what it can tell us, noted Guasch-Ferré and Hu, who were not involved in the research. Because so few coronary heart disease-related deaths occurred, the analysis here is considered weak; more time and a higher number of participants would probably give a stronger signal either way. Also, each participant's sugary drink consumption was recorded at the start of the study only, based entirely on self-reporting, which is not considered reliable.

"Although fruit juices may not be as deleterious as sugar-sweetened beverages, their consumption should be moderated in children and adults, especially for individuals who wish to control their body weight," Guasch-Ferré and Hu wrote.

The recommendations for kids between 1 and 6 years old are to limit fruit juice consumption to 6 ounces per day, while children 7 years and older, teens and adults should limit fruit juice to 8 ounces per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"Further research is needed to examine the health risks and potential benefits of specific fruit juices," Guasch-Ferré and Hu said.

Welsh said we need to consider both fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages when we think about how much sugar we consume each day. Between the two, she tipped the scales in favor of fruit juice: "Given its vitamin and mineral content, fruit juice in small amounts may have a beneficial effect that isn't seen with sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages."

Firefighters rescue ducklings stuck in storm drain in Burlington

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BURLINGTON, Iowa -- Thanks to members of the Burlington Fire Department, three baby ducks were rescued from a storm drain.

On Saturday afternoon, May 18, a citizen found the baby ducks in a storm sewer, according to a Facebook post on the fire department's page.  The ducklings were found near A & B storage off of Flint Ridge Drive.

Battalion Chief Kirk Logan, Captain Luke Sneller, and Firefigher Robert Griesman got into the storm drain and rescued the ducklings.  The babies were safely returned to their mother.

Judge won’t delay sentencing for 2015 ‘The Bachelor’ star; back in court Tuesday

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INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has refused to delay sentencing for a northern Iowa farmer who appeared on ABC's "The Bachelor" and who was involved in a fatal crash.

Thirty-seven-year-old Chris Soules pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to a reduced charge of leaving the scene of a serious injury accident. His lawyers had sought the sentencing delay, citing the prosecution's lack of response to a motion regarding a pre-sentence investigation. The judge denied the request last week and said the sentencing will be held Tuesday as scheduled in a Buchanan County courtroom in Independence.

Soules appeared on "The Bachelor" and "Dancing With The Stars" in 2015. He was arrested after he rear-ended a tractor on April 24, 2017, killing 66-year-old Kenny Mosher.

Audio Released: 911 call Chris Soules made after crash with tractor

Soules called 911, performed CPR on Mosher and waited for first responders but left before officers arrived.

Eiffel Tower evacuated as man seen climbing the landmark

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PARIS – The Eiffel Tower is being evacuated after a man was seen climbing up the side of the structure on Monday afternoon, officials told CNN.

Visitors began tweeting pictures and videos of the individual climbing up the tower, which is 1,062 feet tall.

“The Eiffel Tower has been closed and is in the process of being evacuated because a person is scaling it,” a spokeswoman for the landmark said.

Firefighters are at the scene and have established contact with the man climbing the tower, a spokesman for the fire brigade said.

Irish tourist Claire Murphy, who is on vacation in Paris, told CNN that the lockdown began at 2:15 p.m. local time and that she was still stuck on the tower’s top floor.

Almost seven million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year. Completed in 1889, it was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel as part of a “Universal Exposition” marking the centenary of the French Revolution. It celebrated its 130th anniversary last week.

This isn’t the first time someone has tried to scale the tower — three people were spotted climbing the landmark in 2015. It was also evacuated twice in 2010 due to bomb threats, once in 2013 over security concerns and was closed for two days following the terror attacks in 2015.

In 2017, a protective glass wall, 2.5 inches thick and resistant to bullets, was erected around the base of the tower to provide increased security.

Van passenger impaled after tripod thrown from freeway overpass

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SACRAMENTO - A Caltrans tripod was stolen Thursday in Old Sacramento before it was thrown through the windshield of a van traveling on Interstate 5, injuring the people inside.

The van was a shuttle for Military Families Support Group.

"I was picking a veteran up from the Sacramento Airport heading to Mather to pick up another veteran. That's what we do" driver Tim Page said.

The California Highway Patrol says around 10:30 a.m., someone stole a Caltrans survey team's tripod from the corner of Neasham Circle and Front Street.

Minutes later, investigators determined the tripod was deliberately thrown from the 2nd Street overpass. It pierced a windshield on the passenger side of a passing Chevrolet van heading south on I-5, according to the CHP.

"And out of the corner of my eye I see this yellow thing and the next thing I know, my rider has this thing stuck in his chest," Page said.

Page said his passenger was impaled by the tripod. He pulled onto the shoulder and admits he panicked, but Page said his passenger remained calm.

"And there was no blood or anything," Page said. "And I didn’t realize that that spike had  gone into his chest into his lung, and broke four ribs."

Page says his passenger didn't even think they should call 911.

"He says, 'Nah, I'm okay.' I look at the windshield and I said, 'We can't drive out of here anyway. I'm calling 911,'" Page told KTXL.

(Credit: CHP South Sacramento)

While waiting for an ambulance in the rain, Page says his passenger suggested they move under an overpass so first responders wouldn't get wet.

"You know he's very experienced in what he did before he retired," Page said.

Investigators say officers used a local business's surveillance footage to determine the suspect was a man wearing dark-colored shorts and a dark-colored shirt, as well as blue sneakers.

Around 1:20 p.m., a sergeant spotted a man matching the suspect's description walking in the area where the theft took place. The 32-year-old transient man ran and struggled with the sergeant before he was detained.

The man was arrested on suspicion of resisting a peace officer and for an active warrant. The CHP is still investigating the incident, but if the man is found to be responsible for the crime he could face a felony charge for attempted murder.

Page says his passenger is recovering in the hospital, but is in good spirits. Had the tripod hit him just a few inches to the left, he would have been in much worse shape.

"He could have been dead. If that thing would have hit over here in his heart, I mean that spike is that long," Page said. "And it went all the way in."

Little Caesars testing out an “Impossible” pizza

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Little Caesars is joining the plant-based protein trend with a pizza topped with non-meat sausage.

The pizza chain said Monday that it is testing out the Impossible Supreme pizza — topped with a meatless sausage made by Impossible Foods — in Florida, New Mexico and Washington state.

Consumers are increasingly interested in eating plant-based protein for health and environmental reasons, and the market for meat-like, but meatless, protein is growing. By 2023, the US meat-substitute retail market could reach $2.5 billion, compared to $1.4 billion last year, according to the research firm Euromonitor International. Globally, the market could grow from about $18.7 billion in 2018 to $23 billion in 2023, according to Euromonitor International.

Restaurant chains are hoping to get a piece of that pie. Burger King, White Castle, Qdoba, Carl’s Jr., Bareburger and others sell items featuring plant-based protein in US markets. McDonald’s is selling a meatless burger in Europe, and Tim Horton’s recently announced that it is testing out three breakfast sandwiches with plant-based sausages made by Beyond Meat, Impossible’s competitor, in Canada.

The plant-based sausage is a first for Impossible, and was designed to appeal to Little Caesars customers.

Little Caesars started working with Impossible to develop a menu item featuring a plant-based protein in October, Ed Gleich, the pizza company’s chief innovation officer, told CNN Business. The company started paying attention to the trend earlier, when it noticed that more meat eaters were swapping out meat for vegetarian alternatives.

“These kind of flexitarians have been growing in nature,” he said. “They’re not hard core” vegans or vegetarians, but “they’re more adventurous” in their choices. The Impossible Supreme pizza is designed to appeal to meat eaters, and isn’t vegan (it’s topped with cheese, along with the fake sausage and other items).

Every Little Caesars product has to appeal “to our loyal, mostly carnivorous, fans,” said Little Caesars president and CEO David Scrivano in a statement, adding that “this is likely just the beginning of plant-based menu items from Little Caesars.”

At first, the plan was to add Impossible’s signature plant-based beef patty to Little Caesars pizzas. But Little Caesars shared with Impossible that more customers order sausage-topped pizzas than beef-topped pizzas, so Impossible came up with a new product. Gleich said he was pleasantly surprised.

“Normally companies want to sell you the product they have,” he said, “not a product they’ve got to get out and put some R&D time in, and put resources against and develop.”

Impossible customers have been asking the company to make a sausage product for years, Impossible CEO Patrick Brown said in a statement, adding that Impossible came up with 50 prototypes for Little Caesars.

Impossible’s protein is designed to be flexible and customizable, Impossible CFO David Lee told CNN Business. Seasoning and cooking methods can help make the protein taste and feel like a sausage, a burger, or something else.

Little Caesars plans to test the product for about four weeks in the three markets where it is available before deciding whether to roll out the product more broadly, Gleich said. If the chain, which has stores in 50 states, does decide to add the menu item to all locations, Impossible could struggle to fill the orders.

Impossible said last month that it is running out of product because demand for its patties is so high. Impossible serves about 7,000 locations, and that figure is expected to at least double this year as Burger King makes its Impossible Whopper available nationally.

To help meet demand, Impossible plans to open more manufacturing facilities and hire more employees. Recently, the private company announced that it has raised another $300 million in funding. It has raised over $750 million since launching in 2011.

But “we haven’t solved the problem,” of shortages, Lee said, adding that he thinks Impossible will continue to struggle to meet “sky-rocketing” demand for some time.

“We are continuing to spare no expense and attempt to add capacity every day,” he said.

Rocky Resource Room receives funds from the Three Degree Guarantee

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Tom Pospisil  from Eriksen Chevrolet was on-hand to present a check for $420 for the April Three Degree Guarantee to the Spring Forward Learning Center.

Accepting the check were Danielle Kilberry and Robbie McIntyre representing the Spring Forward Learning Center.

Since its inception in 1999, Spring Forward has supported thousands of students in kindergarten through sixth grade, helping them to increase literacy, academic and social skills through fun and engaging out-of-school programming. What started as homework help at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church has grown to include after-school and summer programming at seven Rock Island and Milan, Illinois sites, as well as a family literacy program for adults new to the United States.

If you would like to learn more about Spring Forward, please click here.

If your charity or organization would like to be considered for the Three Degree Guarantee, please click here.

East Moline officer gets behind the mic in song called ‘Thin Blue Line’

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Can’t see the video? Tap here

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — A sergeant with the East Moline Police Department worked with a local production studio to create a musical piece in honor of National Police Week.

The music video “Thin Blue Line” was shared on the East Moline Police Department’s Facebook page on Sunday, May 20.  It was created as a way “to pay tribute to all police officers across the country.”

Sgt. Anthony Frankowski worked with music producer Tayvian Johnson with Eastside Sound to put the piece together.

Related: Two QC brothers join together to open recording studio

Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks found dead at 37

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Austin Eubanks, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine shooting, has died. He was 37.

Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg said Saturday that Eubanks died overnight at his home in Steamboat Springs.

The death was reported early Saturday morning. Authorities have not yet provided further details regarding the circumstances of Eubanks' death.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed Monday.

Eubanks was one of 21 people injured in the massacre. The perpetrators shot both him and his friend Corey DePooter in the library. DePooter was killed.

As part of the 20th anniversary of the shooting, Eubanks shared his story of addiction following the shooting with KDVR.

He said an over-prescription of opiates led to a decade of addiction to Oxycontin, Adderall, illicit drugs and alcohol.

About eight years ago, Eubanks said he decided to make a change.

"When I finally decided to do whatever it took to recover, I knew it meant changing everything about my life. And so I walked away from a career in advertising, I went back to school to study addiction, I finally got my foot in the door working part-time for a treatment center. And so I went down and took all of the negative influences out of my life, and I replaced them with people places and things that held me accountable for being the best version of myself," Eubanks said.

Eubanks also told his story during this TedX Mile High "Ted Talk" a couple of years ago.

While Eubanks' cause of death has not yet been determined, a family spokesperson sent the following statement:

“Unfortunately, Austin lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face. Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”

Men missing from Davenport Work Release Facility

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — Two men who are in custody at the Davenport Work Release Facility are missing.

Micah Bates Jr., age 31 and Shawn T. Jones, age 27, were both reported missing from the facility, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Jones was expected back at the facility on Saturday, May 18, but did not return.  Bates was due back Sunday evening, May 19 and failed to report back.

Bates was convicted of intimidation with a dangerous weapon in Scott County.  He’s been at the facility since March of 2019.  He is described as a black man, standing 6-feet, 1-inch tall, weighing 186 pounds.

Jones was convicted of first-degree burglary in Clinton County and was admitted to the facility in January of 2019.  He is described as a black man standing 5-feet, 8-inches tall, weighing 169 pounds.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of either of these men, you’re asked to call your local police department.

Work Release Escape Notice: Davenport pic.twitter.com/yT74G7kBcA

— Iowa Corrections (@IowaCorrections) May 18, 2019

Work Release Escape Notice: Davenport pic.twitter.com/PyUECKvp9D

— Iowa Corrections (@IowaCorrections) May 20, 2019

How this sticker could help protect your pet

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GENESEO, Illinois  -- A Geneseo animal shelter is taking additional steps to protect animals in emergency situations.

"Anybody who has a pet should probably have this in their home," Tracy Diehl with Henry County Humane Society Geneseo said.

They are pet alert stickers that go inside the window to alert first responders that there are animals inside. The stickers have a spot to say what kind of pet is in the home and how many. There is also a spot to say if the pet has special needs. Diehl says the most important part of the sticker is including your pet's name.

"In an emergency situation, any animal that is going to respond to a name, you should put that on there." Diehl said. "It's going to make them really nervous and scared, so if they can hear their name, it sometimes helps."

The Henry County Humane Society Geneseo is selling the stickers for $5. All the money will go to the non-profit.

Miller Vet and My Moon Creations in Geneseo are also selling the stickers.

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