The latest local news

A sorority canceled its convention because of Hurricane Barry. Members donated 17,000 meals to storm victims

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NEW ORLEANS – As Hurricane Barry approached Louisiana, Delta Sigma Theta sorority scrambled Friday to wrap up its national convention early to escape the storm’s impacts in New Orleans.

But the service organization and its caterer, Centerplate, weren’t about to let the meals that had been prepared for members go to waste.

The group donated 17,000 meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank of South Louisiana, which will store them in a cooler through the storm, and then give them to residents who weather Barry, the food bank said Friday in a Facebook post.

“We are delighted that Centerplate donated the food we purchased making it available as a result of us terminating our convention early,” the sorority’s national president and CEO, Beverly Smith, said in a statement. “With 16,000 attendees and two food functions canceled — our Sisterhood Luncheon and closing Soiree Celebration — there was inordinate amounts of food that would have been wasted. Kudos to Centerplate.”

The convention was supposed to last until Sunday. Founded in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta is a predominantly black sorority with more than 200,000 members nationwide.

But as Barry strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday, the sorority had to re-consider. More than 77,000 Louisiana residents are without power and some towns are already experiencing heavy rainfall and flooding.

Second Harvest Food Bank spokesman Jay Vise thanked the sorority for its donation.

“It’s really heartwarming for these ladies … when their major conference gets canceled, the first thing they thought of was to help other people,” Vise said.

Others are stepping in to prepare for the incoming hurricane, as well. Chef Jose Andres announced his organization, World Central Kitchen, is preparing meals to deliver to residents and shelters in New Orleans. The relief group is providing updates on Twitter about its efforts to reach people in need.

UPDATE: Missing Clinton teen found

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UPDATE: Zavius Washington has been found.

CLINTON, Iowa — An area teen with a serious medical condition is currently missing.

The Clinton Police Department has sent out a notice on social media asking for help in locating Zavius Washington.

He was last seen on Saturday, July 13th, wearing stone-washed jeans, a gray t-shirt, and black Adidas shoes. He is 15 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, and has brown eyes and black. He has a serious medical condition that requires medication.

He may also be found in the area of Dewitt, Iowa.

If anyone has information to Zavius Washington’s whereabouts, please call the Clinton Police Department at 563-243-1458 or dial 911 in case of emergency.

ICE has begun raids to round up undocumented immigrants, official says

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(CNN) — Immigration authorities have begun conducting raids, a senior administration official said Sunday, in an operation expected to target about 2,000 undocumented immigrants ordered by courts to be removed from the country.

The raids, which will focus on recent arrivals to the country, are slated for Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco, a senior immigration official said. New Orleans is also on the list, but the city tweeted last week that US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said it would suspend operations through the weekend in areas hit by Tropical Storm Barry.

Mayors ‘in the dark’ on raids

Acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli took issue with referring to the targets of the raids as undocumented.

“They’re not undocumented. They’ve got a court order on a piece of paper — federal order — that says they’ve gotten due process, and (there are) over a million people with removal orders. That’s the pool that ICE is drawing from,” he told CNN.

ICE will not comment on operational details of the raids, Cuccinelli said, adding that the priority will be apprehending violent criminals and aggravated felons. ICE agents are not “utilizing” allegations of crossing the border illegally, a misdemeanor, as cause for arrest in the raids, he said.

Explaining the raids

Asked if children would be separated from their parents, Cuccinelli said that information constituted an operational detail. But he did say families are among the 1 million people facing removal orders.

News of the raids has left many undocumented immigrants frightened. They’ve been stocking up on groceries and making plans to stay in their homes with the lights off and the blinds down. Some are staying home from work. Others are posting signs inside their homes reminding them what to do if ICE agents show up. Unsure of where to turn, they’re flooding hotlines with calls.

Cuccinelli characterized the raids as normal ICE business and pointed to statistics showing ICE has deported fewer people under President Donald Trump than it did under President Barack Obama.

“This is their job every day. We’ve got compassionate, loyal ICE agents who are just doing their job,” he said. “It shows you how far we’ve fallen in that it’s become news that they would actually go deport people who have removal orders.”

ICE had planned to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in late June, according to the senior immigration official, but Trump delayed the raids to give Congress time to “work out a solution” on what he said were asylum and loophole problems with the country’s immigration policy.

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection who was acting ICE director at the time, said the raids were postponed because operations details had been leaked. Former acting ICE director John Sandweg also expressed concern.

“You never want the target to know you’re coming. You want that element of surprise because it keeps you safe,” he said. “From an effective perspective, that’s why you don’t announce these things.”

While Trump has repeatedly tweeted about the impending operation, he hasn’t jeopardized officer safety, Cuccinelli said, explaining that the situation in June was different than what is happening now.

“The level of detail in the information that came out publicly (last month) was way beyond these general comments the President is making,” he said.

In February, ICE sent around 2,000 letters to families who already had received final orders of removal by judges in absentia, asking them to self-report to ICE offices by March. The upcoming operation is expected to target approximately 2,000 people, the senior immigration official said.

Despite reports of overcrowding at some ICE detention facilities along the southern border, Cuccinelli said ICE has made preparations in anticipation of the raids.

“ICE plans these things superbly,” he said.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement statistics, 256,085 people were deported in fiscal year 2018, up from 226,119 removals in fiscal year 2017.

WATCH LIVE as the 2019 JDC champion receives his trophy and check at the end of Round 4

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-Video will play here – time of broadcast to be determined-

SILVIS, Illinois — Right after sinking their last putt, the 2019 John Deere Classic champion will receive his trophy and check.

You can watch the trophy presentation live, right here.

Time of broadcast is yet to be determined.
Download the News 8 app | tap here for iOStap here for Android | and enable push notifications to be alerted when the presentation begins. 

Motorcyle and car nearly collide; passenger injured

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ELIZABETH, Illinois — A woman was injured after a motorcycle and a car nearly crashed into each other travelling down Highway 20 Saturday afternoon.

The bike was driven by a 36-year old man from Oswego, Illinois with a 35-year old female passenger, travelling west on the highway near Elizabeth, Illinois. The two were travelling behind a passenger car being driven by a 79-year old man from Lanark, Illinois.

According to a press release from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, the motorcycle had pulled into the eastbound lane in order to pass another vehicle that had just pulled out of a nearby gas station. At the same time, the car merged into the lane with the same intention. The two vehicles did not collide, but the motorcycle rider hit the brakes, which caused the bike to lose control and crash.

The sheriff’s office responded to the call at 12:40 p.m. The female passenger sustained injuries and an Elizabeth ambulance rushed her to a nearby hospital.

The crash will remain under investigation.

 

Parents charged with child abuse for missing follow-up appointments after baby had liver transplant

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SANTA FE, New Mexico (KOAT) — A child who had a liver transplant missed several doctors’ appointments and didn’t get his medication, and now his parents are charged with child abuse.

According to court documents, Kyla and Jason Witterman were arrested Monday for failing to take their 1-year-old son to his medical appointments after he had a liver transplant in April 2018. Court documents said the boy’s parents also didn’t give their son his medications, which transplant experts say is critical after the surgery. The Wittermans are both charged with child abuse.

“They are basically sentencing themselves to death,” said Maria Sanders, an educator with New Mexico Donor Services. “They need to continue taking anti-rejection medication, and the anti-rejection medications keeps your body, the person who receives the transplant, from rejecting that valuable organ that was transplanted to them.”

Documents show that the boy’s doctor reported the family to authorities for missing appointments. It wasn’t until police went to check on the family at their San Juan County home that the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department was notified of the situation. While Sanders isn’t directly connected to this case, she said situations such as this are drastic.

“It’s very disheartening to hear about situations where a person who receives a transplant isn’t taking care of that organ,” Sanders said. “It is an extremely precious gift.”

A spokesperson with the San Juan District Attorney’s Office told KOAT that the 1-year-old and his 13-year-old brother are in state custody and currently staying with a family member. The toddler is reportedly in good health.

Currently, there are about 48 infants in the country waiting for a liver transplant.

Company avoids paying sexual harassment lawsuit by changing company names

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Indianola, IA (CNN) — After losing in a sexual harassment lawsuit, a company in central Iowa is now avoiding paying the millions of dollars they owe.

“I felt hopeless because it didn’t matter what I would say to them,” said Tammie Ackelson.

In 2010, Ackelson sued her employer Manley Toy Direct after she said her supervisor regularly sexually harassed her and four other employees.

“They were touching people,” Ackelson said. “They would rub our backs. It just got worse and worse and worse.”

She sold Banzai water toys, a trademark of Manley Toy, while working at a call center in an Indianola office.

Court documents show she and four women won their case in Iowa court against the Chinese-based toy company. However, before they could collect the estimated $2.4 million, they learned Manley Toy Direct and Toy Network suddenly no longer existed in the United States.

“Every time they get sued, they change their name,” Ackelson said. “It’s sickening what they do.”

KCCI has found state and federal lawsuits claiming all of the different company names are all connected to Manley Toy.

“Several companies in Hong Kong, in California and in Iowa have established a criminal enterprise to evade U.S. judgements and U.S. laws,” said Stephen Weisbrod, an attorney.

Ackelson’s attorney Bruce Johnson said the company changed their name right after the first judgement.

“They’re there doing business same general manager, same employees, same building at 700 New York Avenue, only now they’re MGS International, LLC,” Johnson said.

KCCI tried to talk with someone from MGS International. When we arrived, they had already moved, but the building’s owner gave us photos from when MGS International was using the building. Manley Toy claimed in federal court filings they had never done business at the address, but in photos a box shows their logo.

We then went to MGS International’s forwarding address in the East Village. While a few employees came out, they did not want to do an interview. The employees remembered Ackelson’s lawsuit against the company but said the company she sued no longer exist. They are now called Toy Box.

“They’re not being stopped,” Ackelson said. “So, they just shut down one business and open up another business and another name.”

A larger lawsuit is now targeting the people who allegedly owned all the different companies.

Manley Toy’s attorneys claimed in federal court filings to have no connection to these new businesses. A company called Toy Quest filed their own lawsuit in Hong Kong claim they are not an alter ego for Manley Toy or Toy Network and have never had anything to do with Ackelson and her coworkers.

“I’m tired of reliving it,” Ackelson said. “I’m tired of having to relive it.”

She’s uncertain if she will ever see any money. Weisbrod said one company executive told him after a deposition that the company will never pay.

“He said, ‘Look, you’re never going to catch us. You’re never going to be able to collect our assets. The guys in Hong Kong are always going to stay one step ahead of you,’” Weisbrod said.

KCCI has reached out to several companies and attorneys connected to the people listed in these multiple lawsuits. After two weeks, we have not heard back.

12-year-old Clinton, Iowa boy killed in off-roading rollover crash

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BELLEVUE, Iowa — A 12-year-old boy from Clinton, Iowa was killed in a rollover crash that happened while off-roading.

The rollover happened on Saturday, July 13 on private property where a “large group of 4-wheelers” had gathered, according to a statement from Deputy Russ Long with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.  The gathering included ATVs and vehicles like trucks and SUVs used for “off roading.”

Around 4:45 p.m. a Chevrolet Suburban, driven by a 15-year-old, rolled twice and a 12-year-old passenger was thrown from the vehicle, according to Deputy Long.  The 12-year-old had been sitting in the rear third-passenger seat which faced backward.  He was pinned underneath the vehicle.

Deputy Long said the 12-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.  The 15-year-old and two other passengers were unharmed.

The name of the 12-year-old is being held until family is notified.  An investigation is underway.

A deputy pulled over a car for speeding. That traffic stop saved a 12-day-old baby’s life

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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. – When Deputy Will Kimbro stopped a car for speeding last month, he didn’t know he would end up saving a newborn’s life.

The dramatic episode, which took place during a routine patrol in Berkeley County, South Carolina June 11, was caught on a newly released video recorded by the officer’s body camera.

As Kimbro stopped the vehicle, the driver got out of the car and shouted that the baby stopped breathing after drinking from a bottle, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

Her body was limp and blueish from lack of oxygen, the sheriff’s office said.

After asking the mother, who was sitting on the passenger’s seat, for the baby’s name, the deputy puts the baby on her lap, checks the pulse, and starts massaging her heart as part of lifesaving first aid.

“Come on baby, cry for me, cry for me,” he can be heard saying. “Open those eyes, sweetheart.”

As the baby starts crying, Kimbro says: “As long as she’s crying like that she’s breathing. I want you to cry. Come on.”

“I think she’s gonna be OK. She’s breathing,” the officer says to reassure the mother.

He keeps performing CPR because her breathing goes on and off, Kimbro says in the video.

Finally, the baby’s chest starts moving, meaning that she’s breathing again on her own. An emergency medical team arrives, and Kimbro and the mother recount what has happened.

The baby was taken to a local hospital for observation and released, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Carli R. Drayton.

“As far as we know, the baby has been doing well,” Drayton said.

“Because of Deputy Kimbro’s steadfast, professional and heroic response, the 12-day-old baby was able to live,” the sheriff’s office said on Facebook.

Kimbro was awarded a medal for his heroic actions.

CNN has reached out to Kimbro for comment.

Woman hunts down thief who stole her car, steals it back

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — Danielle Reno isn’t an investigator, and she doesn’t work for the police department, but she used her best sleuthing skills to bring her car back home.

“Did I park somewhere else? No. I know I parked here. Somebody stole my car! And it was all downhill from there,” Reno, car theft victim, said.

It was a full investigation for Reno. She filed a police report for her missing 4Runner, then took things into her own hands.

“I got out of my car, grabbed my daughter, and my car was gone,” Reno said.

The non-stop hunt for her car started at a QuickTrip close to her house.

“We stalked this lady for 48 hours. She had no idea what we were doing,” Reno said.

Reno tracked purchases on her debit and credit cards, as well as the activity of her phone, which had been taken. An attendant at a gas station told Reno the car thieves said they were headed to Applebee’s. Reno decided it was time for dinner too.

“Got our waters and she walked in the door. I about had a heart attack,” Reno said.

Reno took the opportunity to slip out the front door and take back what was hers.

“Oh my gosh, before I call the cops, I wanted to show you all what we just found, by doing our own stalking. At Applebee’s, my heart’s racing,” Reno said on video. “She has my wallet in her hand and my keys in her hand.”

Getting her car back isn’t the end of this crazy story.

“Look at my back seat. Beer in my back seat,” Reno said on the video.

The thieves trashed her car to the point she won’t drive it.

“There’s stuff on the car seat. There’s stuff on the seat. It’s just gross,” Reno said.

Not to mention the smell that hits you when you open the doors.

Now, the people arrested in the video are in the hands of Clay County deputies.

Reno said the car is practically a loss with the damage to the interior. So, she’s shutting the door on this part of her life to begin a new chapter.

KCTV5 News wanted to know how police felt about Reno’s detective work. They said they don’t recommend citizens do this, but added Reno never put herself in harm’s way.

‘The worst is yet to come’ as Barry threatens 11 million people with flooding

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(CNN) — A day after Tropical Storm Barry crashed into the US as a hurricane, it’s wreaking even more havoc as it spins farther inland.

As of Sunday morning, Barry was creeping north at just 6 mph — slower than a bicyclist. That means it’s still hovering over Louisiana, where it made landfall, dumping copious amounts of rain on cities already submerged under water.

“This storm still has a long way to go before it leaves the state,” Louisiana Gov. Edwards said late Saturday night. “The worst is yet to come.”

More than 11 million people are under flash flood watches Sunday from the Gulf Coast all the way to the southern Midwest, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

“Even though the bulk of the heaviest rain is still over the Gulf of Mexico this morning, the system is expected to track — slowly — north over the coming days, bringing heavy rain with it along the Mississippi River,” Brink said.

And many storm victims are sweltering without electricity. As of Sunday morning, more than 131,000 power customers in Louisiana had no electricity, according to poweroutage.us.

‘The house was under water’

In the Louisiana city of Mandeville, Ludovico Torri woke up Saturday to a surprising sight: Lake Pontchartrain was suddenly at the door of his house.

“The entire street and area under the house was underwater,” Torri said.

It took just 90 minutes for the water to rise another foot. Torri’s car nearly flooded. And his family, including four children, were stranded in their home.

In St. Mary Parish, about 60 miles east of where Barry made landfall, 64-year-old Joyce Webber hunkered down with about 20 other people at a community center when she learned a large tree branch had fallen on her mobile home, and her storm door had blown off.

“Trailers don’t hold, no matter what type of storm,” Webber said Saturday. “They just don’t hold.”

Others, like Ollie and Hazel Jordan, struggled to find a place where both they and their pets can stay safe. The couple, both in their early 70s, walked a mile in the rain from their trailer to a shelter at a Baton Rouge middle school — only to be told they couldn’t in their two cats and small dog.

But officials learned after Hurricane Katrina that some residents wouldn’t evacuate because they couldn’t bring their pets. That led to tragic outcomes.

This time, officials set up a mobile disaster pet shelter, where the Jordans were able to safely house their dog and cats.

Some levees were overwhelmed

In Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans, multiple levees were overcome by floodwater Saturday.

The overtopping happened in less populated areas. But officials worry that Highway 23 could flood, trapping more residents.

“Don’t let your guard down if you are in Louisiana,” CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

The Big Easy can breathe a bit easier

Fears of catastrophic storm surges overwhelming New Orleans’ levee system didn’t materialize this weekend. But that doesn’t mean Barry is done thrashing the Big Easy.

All eyes were on the Mississippi River, as forecasts showed a possible storm surge of 2 to 3 feet that could have raised the river’s level to 19 feet in New Orleans. The levees protect up to only 20 feet.

But the storm surge was lower than expected. And even with the heavy rain ahead, the National Weather Service is now only predicting the river will rise only to 17.1 feet, with the next crest expected to happen on Monday.

The beloved JDC Bridge Troll is back

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DEERE RUN-- After calling it quits, one of the most memorable John Deere Classic volunteers is back at her post.

You may remember Mary Jean Ferguson, the self-proclaimed Bridge Troll. She monitors traffic near the 15 fairway at Deere Run during the Classic.

Mary Jean and her husband, Mike, had been fixtures here for 15 years, but after he passed away, it just wasn't the same.

But this year, she's back. And she used Saturday to honor her husband.

Once the ball flies on Hole 15, the players advance. But the swarm of people can't proceed until Mary Jean gives them permission.

"This is her spot. This is Mary Jean's corner right here," says long time volunteer Bill Anderson.

But last year, Mary Jean abandoned her post. She had to. She says volunteering without her husband Mike of 47 years, was just too hard.

But this year, she's back. The Bridge Troll just couldn't stay away from her post and her people.

"It's just like a second home, and this hole in particular, is why I keep coming back. I really like the people," explains Mary Jean.

She's back with a solution for every traffic jam and an answer to every question. She's back for another reason too, especially on Saturday.

During the John Deere Classic 7 years ago today, Mike left this world and his forever partner. But ask Mary Jean. Mike is still with her at the place they loved. Now she volunteers for him.

"I think its a way to honor him," says Mary Jean.

With every fly of the ball and fan on the path, stop sign in hand and memories in her heart, the Bridge Troll is back.

"In some ways I'm hoping he's with me. I feel closer to him doing something like this."

Despite spring flooding, we’re still in need of rain right now.

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Heat and humidity are once again being felt across the Quad Cities this weekend. The strong July sunshine does more than power warmer temperatures though, it also evaporates a significant amount of moisture!

 

Rainfall has been fairly localized across the region in the last few weeks which has left some of us high and dry, actually needing a good rain shower for once! You may have noticed that some of your plants have looked a little less than beautiful as they continue to bake in the hot summer sun. Watering in the evening or at night will become an important routine in the next week as temperatures soar even higher. Any chance for widespread rainfall looks to hold off until Thursday and Friday. Before then, remnants from Hurricane Barry will work northward providing an isolated shower/storm chance on Tuesday.

We've done remarkably well with moisture since the beginning of the year logging nearly consecutive months of above-normal rainfall.  That streak has ended again as we currently sit with a nearly one-inch rainfall deficit for the month of July. You may be thinking to yourself the last thing we need is rain right now with all the flooding we just went through, however, we often forget how much water the sun actually evaporates this time of year. It doesn't take long for us to go from a surplus of rainfall to a significant deficit this time of year.

Evaporation is the process in which the sun's energy is used to move water from the surface of the soil to the atmosphere. The top of the soil begins to dry out during this process and that can actually lead to some problems, especially when it comes to your landscaping and gardens. The peak evaporation rates, which are occurring now, can remove as much as a quarter of an inch of water out of the soil each day in both June and July.  When you add up that amount over a months time, that's a staggering six and a half inches of water! For the month of July, the Quad Cities sees an average of four and a half inches of rainfall. It is because of this evaporation that rainfall becomes even more important during the summer months. When you go several days with no observed precipitation, things begin to dry out in a hurry!

So, if it's been a while since your hometown has seen the raindrops, make sure and startup that watering routine to keep your plants and gardens in tip-top shape! Hopefully, Mother Nature will provide a little watering for you later in the week.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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

Truckers across the country compete in truck ‘beauty contest’

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WALCOTT, Iowa -- Truckers from across the country gathered at the World’s Largest Truck Stop off I-80 for the Truckers Jamboree.

On Saturday, truckers were awarded for keeping their trucks in top shape in the event’s beauty contest.

Truckers had their vehicles on display the past three days and on Saturday they were awarded first through third place in 30 different categories.

Some drivers walked away with a trophy and some pride in their ride.

“Lots of patience and money,” says one of the first-place winners, Phil Swanson. “No, it’s just a desire to keep you truck looking good.  I had a few other hobbies, but just keeping my truck looking good and going up and down the road is the big one. When you love what you do you never work a day in your life.”

This was the 40th year for the Truckers Jamboree.

JDC: ‘The 19th Hole’ Saturday, July 13th

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SILVIS, Illinois — News 8 sports crew Matt Randazzo, Kory Kuffler and Celia Palermo bring the latest and greatest John Deere Classic coverage right from the course after each round of play.

Here’s the full show from Round 3, Saturday, July 13th:

WQAD News 8 is the official media sponsor of the John Deere Classic.

Fans of the Day: Des Moines men wake up early to snatch the perfect viewing spot on the course

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SILVIS, Illinois -- Two men earned the John Deere Classic "Fans of the Day" title, sponsored by RIA Federal Credit Union.

On Saturday, July 13, Troy Krueger and Ben Harshbarger drove from Des Moines, Iowa to get a glimpse of the annual tournament.

For them, it's not just about getting there, but making sure they get the perfect viewing spot.

"The strategy is to wake up really early, have a first coffee, and hit the road and get there before most people set up shop on 18," said the fans.

Both golf fans said they try to make to to at least a couple tournaments each year.

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