The latest local news

Video shows man swimming in Mississippi River during Tropical Storm Barry

WQAD News -

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Musician Glen David Andrews came across a man swimming in the Mississippi River near the French Quarter during Tropical Storm Barry.

Andrews was walking up to the river across from Jackson Square when he spotted the unidentified daredevil.

“Man, you gotta be crazy swimming in that river,” Andrews said.

Despite his misgivings about the stunt, Andrews streamed the man’s quick dip on his Facebook page.

Swimming in the Mississippi River is not advisable under even the calmest conditions and getting into swirling waters could be deadly, especially combined with the effects of Tropical Storm Barry.    Nevertheless, the shirtless man persevered and eventually calmly exited the water.

“Swimming in the river, I done seen it all,” he said.

East Moline police take the high road over distracted drivers

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EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- Area police have hopped into cars once again to crack down on distracted driving, but this time, they're not in the normal black and white.

On Friday, July 12th, the District 7 Illinois State Police began a new program called "Trooper in a Truck" in cooperation with the Illinois State Police Commercial Vehicle Section. Troopers climbed into the passenger seats of semi-trucks to get a better view of what drivers are doing at the wheel. When noticing a violation, the passenger trooper would notify other troopers in the area and move in to catch the distracted driver.

This coincides with the recently passed Illinois state law prohibiting the use of mobile devices without the use of a hands-free system while driving.

RELATED: Illinois is cracking down on phone use behind the wheel starting July 1st

This program also has another beneficiary effect in reminding drivers to be more careful when driving close to large vehicles like semi-trucks.

According to District 7 Police, they were able to issue over 17 tickets and warnings within hours of the program's launch. The department is planning to continue the campaign as more local trucks are outfitted with police equipment.

In a statement posted to the the District Police's Facebook page, Captain Jason Dickey explains the necessity of increased awareness and policing of distracted driving by saying, "I can say with confidence that nearly every driver on the road has either seen the reckless actions of someone on a phone, been the driver distracted by their phone, or both. We all need to do better to keep our roads safe."

JDC: Volunteer of the Day Friday

WQAD News -

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC-  How would you like to be in charge of more than 700 volunteers at the John Deere Classic?

It's not easy but someone's gotta do it.

Our volunteer of the day is Harvy Green, this year, marks his forty-first year volunteering at the JDC.

He is the head of the marshal's, the group that holds the quiet signs to control the crowds.

Green says the job keeps him on his toes all week. Green is a retired teacher, he worked at Geneseo High School for 35 years.

JDC: Fan of the Day Friday

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JOHN DEERE CLASSIC- The JDC fan of the day is Michael Boeh.

Michael came with his wife and her cousins from Clearmont, Missouri to watch golf Friday, July 12.

They got lucky with front row seats to hole 10.

Michael says they came to the tournament because they are 'John Deere people', and wanted to watch golf.

North Scott Jr. High School teachers testify about being held at gunpoint

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa - During an emotional day in court on July 12, a teacher and a former student teacher testified about the day they say 13-year-old Luke Andrews held them at gunpoint inside of a classroom at North Scott Junior High School.

Police reports say it happened on August 31, 2018.

Student Teacher Kaitlyn MacDonald told the court she was taking attendance when she noticed Andrews walk into the classroom late.

She said he pulled out a gun and pointed it at her.

"I had a moment where I accepted the fact that I was going to die," said MacDonald as a jury listened to her testimony.

While being held at gunpoint, the student teacher tried to get social studies teacher Dawn Spring's attention. They were standing in Spring's classroom.

Both MacDonald and Spring testify that Andrews then pointed the gun at Spring.

"He puts the gun up at face level and pulls the trigger," said Spring.

The gun did not go off. Police say the gun's safety was still on.

Spring said Andrews gave the gun a weird look, then pointed the gun at her a second time.

"At that point, my mind said 'oh my gosh, he just tried to shoot me and I better not let that happen again," said Spring while sitting at the witness stand.

Spring worked to get Andrews calmed down, then took him to the school counselor's office.

Working with a counselor, Spring grabs the gun out of Andrews hands and runs it to the main office.

"I have a gun! I have a gun! It's a real gun it's loaded," she says she yelled to the building secretary.

They unloaded the gun and placed the gun in a freezer in a teacher's lounge.

Andrews is charged with attempted murder.

The defense claims he never meant to hurt anyone and was only looking for attention.

Other witnesses on July 12 included students who were in the classroom with Spring and MacDonald on August 31 when the incident unfolded, and professionals who work for the district, and for Davenport Police Department, who gave insight into Andrews online behavior leading up to the incident.

Andrews had reportedly searched images of firearms in the days leading up to the shooting, and bragged to his peers that he was bringing a gun to school.

Trial is set to resume Monday, July 15 at 9:00 a.m. at the Scott County Courthouse.

A 96-year-old WWII veteran came into a Chick-fil-A with a flat tire, so the manager rushed out to fix it

WQAD News -

A manager at a Maryland Chick-Fil-A was quick to help when he saw a regular customer needed more than his usual chicken biscuit and coffee.

Daryl Howard was taking orders Thursday morning at the restaurant in Severn when a 96-year-old WWII veteran, known to employees as Mr. Lee, came to the register and said he had a flat tire.

“He was shaking, almost in tears saying he barely made it to the store on three tires because one was bad,” Rudy Somoza, another manager, told CNN.

Lee was able to park but had no one to help change his tire.

“As soon as he finished his sentence, Daryl informed me he needed to help this gentleman right now,” Somoza said. “So, Daryl jumped into action without hesitation.”

It took Howard about 15 minutes to change the tire. He didn’t know Somoza had taken pictures until later.

Somoza said he’s worked with Howard about five years.

“His action of kindness was beautiful. Daryl has always been so helpful to anyone in need and deserves this recognition,” Somoza said.

Somoza said Lee came back Friday and was very thankful.

Almost 20% of nonsmoking workers are exposed to secondhand smoke on the job, study finds

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People who don’t smoke can still be at risk for heart disease, lung cancer and stroke after they’re exposed to secondhand smoke. Almost 20% of nonsmoking workers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke while on the job, according to a study published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During 2013 and 2014, 1 in 4 US nonsmokers reported a secondhand smoking exposure and an estimated 41,000 adult nonsmokers’ deaths were linked to secondhand smoke.

“Secondhand smoke exposure is an important public health issue … and has been recognized as one of the top occupational hazards that contributes substantially to the prevalence of occupational cancer among nonsmokers,” Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, a study author and preventive medicine physician in Cincinnati, said in an email. Luckhaupt is also a medical officer for the CDC.

Just over 10% of people reported frequent secondhand exposure at work, defined as twice a week or more. But some jobs have it worse than others.

In the commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair industry, 65% of people reported secondhand smoke exposure, the most of any industry measured. The construction industry had the highest number of exposed workers at 2.9 million.

“The industries with the highest prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure and the highest number of exposed workers include outdoor workplaces and other settings that are unlikely to be protected by smoke-free laws,” Luckhaupt said.

People who lived in states with stricter smoke-free workplace laws had less frequent secondhand smoke exposure.

The study looked at states with smoke-free policies in three venues: bars, restaurants and private worksites. Nonsmoking workers in states with smoke-free laws in all three venues were least likely to report frequent exposure to workplace secondhand smoke — 8.6%. In states with a smoke-free policy in only one venue, 12.2% reported frequent exposure to workplace secondhand smoke.

In states with no restrictions, 11% of people reported frequent exposure to secondhand smoke.

Previous studies have shown similar secondhand smoking exposure. “There are marked disparities in secondhand smoke exposure,” said Brian King, a deputy director for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, who was not involved with the study. “There are geographical variations … and higher rates of secondhand exposure in areas with lower number of smoke-free policies.”

For the new study, researchers analyzed responses from 15,998 US employees, ages 18 and older, who took the 2015 National Health Interview Survey with the Occupational Health Supplement.

The study had some limitations, including smaller sample sizes in some jobs and the different distribution of industries by state. Participants self-reported their secondhand exposure, which could bias findings. Studies on secondhand smoke exposure are also limited to burned tobacco products and don’t include e-cigarettes, according to King.

But the study’s findings show that the “implementation of workplace smoke-free policies” can help reduce secondhand smoke exposure among workers and protect public health,” the researchers wrote.

“Secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for over 40,000 deaths per year in this country,” King said. “Even brief levels of exposure can be harmful.”

‘Lights for Liberty’ vigil planned in Moline, aims to speak out against migrant detention camps

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois — People in the Quad Cities are expected to join a nationwide effort to stand up human detention camps.

On Friday, July 12, thousands of Americans planned a vigil called “Lights for Liberty,” aimed at speaking out against conditions in migrant detention centers along the southern border.   A vigil was organized near Moline’s Floreciente neighborhood at the intersection of Fifth Avenue Place and 12th Street at 7 p.m.

A program of speakers and music was set to begin at 9 p.m., with participants lighting cell phones and candles to honor people in U.S. detention camps.

The organization is holding several other national protests across the country with the same goal. The biggest protests are planned in El Paso, Texas, Homestead, Florida, and San Diego.

ICE has mostly been silent in the face of the criticism, but President Donald Trump has spoken up in recent days, commending Border Patrol and ICE officers while downplaying the complaints.

“Our Border Patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors or nurses,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Great job by Border Patrol, above and beyond. Many of these illegal aliens are living far better now than where they…came from, and in far safer conditions.”

CNN contributed to this report

The reason Hole 11 keeps volunteers coming back for more at Deere Run

WQAD News -

DEERE RUN-- At Deere Run spectators flock to certain spots. Hole 18 is the finishing hole, and Hole 16 is known for its spectacular Rock River views. But Hole 11 has a different type of appeal. For some volunteers, it's the only spot they want to be.

Hole 11, Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois; it takes more than a dozen volunteers to man this par four on the back nine.

"As marshals our job is to control the crowd and to help the players. That's why we're here," says Hole 11 Marshal Captain Bob Akaki.

But manning the hole isn't the only reason he's here.

When he's here, his address might as well be Hole 11. That's because the marshals working with him on the hole are just as close as family.

Every few hours, he walks the entire hole making sure every member of his John Deere Classic family is hydrated, making sure each one knows he appreciates them.

"Every year it's "Hey how ya doin'?" He knows me, I know him. He goes to all these other tournaments," says longtime Hole 11 volunteer Larry Forbes.

For as close as this family is, you might be surprised to find out this isn't Bob's only golf home. Bob has seven homes, seven different tournaments he volunteers at every single year. While most of his tournament spots are in the Midwest, he travels coast to coast, watching golf, spreading his love of giving back.

"The best feedback I can get is to see you back on the volunteer bus, on this hole, another hole but somewhere here," says Akaki.

His mission is working.

"We went to a couple different holes. And when we got here with Bob, we don't go any place else. Every year we're going to Hole 11 with Bob," says Forbes.

Hole 11, Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois; mark this location on your map. This week someone special lives here.

"He is the spirit of the volunteer golf," says Forbes.

This year for the John Deere Classic, Bob Akaki won the Outstanding Volunteer award.

After the Classic, he's heading to Omaha to volunteer at the Pinnacle Bank Championship.

A golf tournament for people overcoming a specific type of loss

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- For the second year in a row, people who have experienced a specific loss were invited to come together for a day of friendly competition.

The Amputee Golf Classic, held Friday, July 12 at Palmer Hills Golf Course, is way to support those who have experienced and overcome the loss of a limb.  Organizers say the event helps with rehabilitation and gives golfers a chance to have fun.

Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics hosted the event.  According to the event listing on Facebook, the goal of the day is to "promote friendship, fitness, fun and rehabilitation through active participation in golf for amputees of all ages."

"So many times they go through the process and they're not able to have fun," said Stacy Powers, the area practice manager. "Today is a day where they can celebrate and come out and enjoy what they're doing."

Military, public invited to funeral of veteran with no family attending

WQAD News -

MADISON, Ind. — An Indiana funeral home is asking members of the armed services, veterans and the public to attend the military burial of a 64-year-old man who died Thursday at a nursing home.

According to a post on Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre’s Facebook page, the unnamed man was a specialist 4 soldier and a Vietnam veteran with no family attending the services.

The Facebook post says Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre firmly believes no veteran should be put to rest alone.

“The individual qualifies for burial and military protocol at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery here in Madison, and that certainly will happen,” said funeral director Alan Burnham.

Morgan & Nay said they have donated a casket and traveled to Greencastle to pick him up, but those are only materials things.

“Only his cohorts, regardless of branch or rank, know the realities and commitment of military service, with or without war. We thus issue an invitation to all veterans who can accommodate the Tuesday time frame, to please come and honor a comrade who like you sacrificed much for our country. We hope you can join us to create a spirit of family and a closure of dignity,” said the statement.

Services will be held Tuesday, July 16 at 1 p.m. in the cemetery chapel at Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery off Lanier Drive on Madison’s hilltop.

According to the statement, the public is also welcome to show respect and attend the service.

Disturbing charges against a JonBenet photographer

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A 66-year-old Oregon photographer known for taking images of JonBenet in the months before her 1996 murder has been arrested on child pornography charges, reports KEPR.

Police in Springfield say Randall Simons downloaded images using the WiFi of an A&W restaurant near his home, per the Register-Guard. The arrest is getting attention because Simons famously was hired by the Ramsey family in June 1996 to take photos of the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant. She was killed in December.

After her death, Simons came under fire for selling a portfolio of “glamour” JonBenet images.

“I’ll probably never work again,” he said at the time, according to an AP story.

The Register-Guard notes that Simons was arrested in 1998 and accused of walking nude down a street in the town of Genoa, Colo.

He allegedly said to the arresting deputy, unprovoked, “I didn’t kill JonBenet.” (The brother of JonBenet sued CBS after a damning investigation of the still-unsolved murder.)

More From Newser:
Cops Thought He Killed His Parents. He Was Dead All Along
Here’s What Scott Peterson Looks Like Now
You’re All Going to Die,’ Cruz Laughs in Chilling Video

Flesh-eating bacteria kills a Memphis man who visited Florida waterways

WQAD News -

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. – A Tennessee man died Sunday after he became infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a type of flesh-eating bacteria, while vacationing in Okaloosa County, Florida, his daughter said.

“Flesh Eating Bacteria sounds like an urban legend. Let me assure you that it is not. It took my Dad’s life,” Cheryl Bennett Wiygul wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post confirmed by CNN affiliate WCYB.

Vibrio causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government’s public health agency. People with vibriosis become infected either by consuming raw or undercooked seafood or by exposing a wound to seawater.

A weakened immune system

Wiygul begins her description of her family’s ordeal by noting that her father had a compromised immune system due to cancer.

“He’s battled cancer for many years and has been in the water several times so it didn’t seem like a risk,” she wrote.

Yet due to recent reports of infections in people who visited Florida beaches, Wiygul said, she researched the topic and took precautions when her parents visited from Memphis in early July. Her father “didn’t have any open wounds,” and she made sure the few small scratches on his arms “were super sealed up,” she wrote.

During their visit, she and her parents spent time in a boat on the bay, rode watercraft and swam in a bayou, splashed around a creek, swam in a pool and went to the Destin beach.

“Daddy stayed up late Friday night and watched a movie,” Wiygul wrote, adding that he “seemed to feel fine as he did all week.”

Yet, at 4 a.m. Saturday — just 12 hours after their last swim — he woke with a fever, chills and cramping.

He got worse on the way home to Memphis, Wiygul wrote: “His legs started to hurt severely. He was becoming extremely uncomfortable.”

Baptist Hospital in Memphis admitted him at 8 p.m. and saw a “terribly swollen black spot on his back.” Wiygul’s mother informed medical attendants that they’d been in the water in Florida and so she believed the spot could be necrotizing fasciitis.

The hospital started him on IV antibiotics, his daughter said.

More black spots appeared on his skin, and “he was in a great deal of pain,” she wrote. “At 1 a.m. he became septic and they moved him into ICU. … They said his organs were too damaged and his blood was too acidic to sustain life. He was gone by Sunday afternoon.”

Wednesday’s lab results confirmed Wiygul’s suspicion’s: “Vibrio vulnificus which manifests into necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) ultimately leading to sepsis,” she said.

The hospital confirmed Wiygul’s father was treated there but did not provide further details about his condition; Wiygul has not responded to CNN’s request for further comment.

How Vibrio can be deadly

Most Vibrio infections occur between May and October, when water temperatures are warm. Flesh-eating bacteria stop blood circulation and cause tissue to die and skin to decay, according to the CDC.

More than one type of bacteria can eat the flesh in this way; public health experts believe that group A Streptococcus bacteria are the most common cause of these infections. Vibrio infections occur when someone eats raw or undercooked seafood or when an open wound is exposed to seawater or brackish water.

Blunt trauma that doesn’t tear the skin can also permit entry of flesh-eating bacteria, according to the CDC. Several antibiotics can treat these injuries, though when cases become severe, skin grafts and surgeries may be necessary.

Good wound care is the best way to prevent any bacterial skin infection, according to the CDC. It is important to clean even minor cuts and injuries that break the skin with soap and water. Always clean and cover draining or open wounds with dry bandages until they heal. And see a doctor for puncture and other deep or serious wounds.

The Florida Department of Health also suggests that people “who are immunocompromised, e.g. chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system, should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach.”

Wiygul said that people “need to know how to be more cautious and how to recognize symptoms,” and she hopes they pass along the information so that “it can help someone else.”

“I am absolutely not trying to scare people from the beach or swimming,” she wrote. “I love the water and so did my Dad.”

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