Tracking rising river levels this week

The threat for widespread heavy rainfall is quickly coming to an end this evening, but a renewed threat for river flooding is now back on the table by the middle of the week.

A very moisture-rich air mass thanks to leftover moisture from what was left of Imelda in the Gulf of Mexico and additional moisture from the Pacific produced impressive rainfall totals that exceeded six inches in a few locations. This heavy rain corridor stretched from just south of Kewanee to just north of Peoria. One of our weather spotters, Richard Pinkowski recorded an impressive three-day rainfall total of 6.44″ in Altona, IL, just southeast of Woodhull.

Even though the heaviest rains fell south of the Quad Cities, we’ll still see some modest rises on both the Rock and Mississippi Rivers here by the middle of the week.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER:  (Note: Only minor flooding is expected to occur on the Mississippi River north of the Quad Cities at this time)

As things stand right now, the Mississippi River will rise around a foot and a half in the Quad Cities by Wednesday, putting it near the MODERATE FLOOD stage category at 15.9 feet. At this level, water begins to impact the sidewalks along the river at Le Claire Park. Water also affects Credit Island Lane and Moline’s River Drive in the 4700 block, according to the National Weather Service. The river is then expected to fall below flood stage by Saturday.

In Muscatine and Burlington the river will crest on Thursday rising a little more than a foot and a half reaching just shy of MODERATE FLOOD stage around 17.8 feet.

At this level in Muscatine water begins to impact portions of the Riverside Park parking lot.

In Burlington, the water level is expected to rise to 16.1 feet late Thursday evening. At this level, water begins to impact low lying buildings and homes in Montrose and Niota. Sullivan Slough Road south of the city is also impacted along with significant agricultural flooding in low-lying areas.  Levels are expected to fall below flood stage by early next week.


The Rock River in Joslin will crest at 14.7 feet in MODERATE FLOOD stage by Wednesday evening before falling below flood stage next weekend. At this level, water begins to impact Lundeens Campground along with Barstow Road.

In Moline, the Rock River will crest at 13.2 feet in MODERATE FLOOD stage by Wednesday evening before falling below flood stage next weekend. At this level, water begins to impact parts of 60th street south of John Deere Road in Moline and 75th Avenue from Green Valley Park. Water is also on Canal Road in Big Island. Smith’s Island is affected by floodwaters.

It does appear more chances of rain will lie ahead for us this week and that could certainly change these numbers up a bit depending on how much we see. We’ll be tracking that in the days ahead. Until then, watch out for minor detours as waters begin to rise.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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

Click on the links below to download our free weather app:

American drowns after proposing to his girlfriend underwater in Tanzania

(CNN) — A Louisiana man has drowned after proposing to his girlfriend underwater while the couple was vacationing in Tanzania.

Steven Weber and Kenesha Antoine were staying in Pemba Island, CNN affiliate WBRZ reports, in a wooden cabin with a bedroom submerged in the ocean off the east coast of Africa.

Weber proposed Thursday by swimming underwater and holding a handwritten note against the bedroom windows, according to a video Antoine posted Friday on Facebook, before presenting a ring.

The note, which Weber had placed inside a transparent plastic bag, read, “I can’t hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. BUT…Everything I love about you I love more EVERY DAY!

“Will you please be my WIFE,” the note continued. “Marry me???”

But Weber failed to resurface, Antoine said in a subsequent Facebook post. “You never emerged from those depths, so you never got to hear my answer, ‘Yes! Yes! A million times, yes, I will marry you!!’ ” she wrote.

“We never got to embrace and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives together, as the best day of our lives turned into the worst, in the cruelest twist of fate imaginable,” Antoine continued.

“I will try to take solace in the fact that we enjoyed the most amazing bucket list experiences these past few days, and that we both were so happy and absolutely giddy with excitement in our final moments together.”

CNN has reached out to Antoine for further comment.

Weber’s sister, Mandy Hoffman, told CNN that the family hasn’t talked to authorities in Tanzania yet.

“We know he drowned but we don’t know the circumstances surrounding that,” she said. “He dove down to propose but never came up.”

She said her brother was “a selfless and very giving person.”

“He had an infectious smile and the most beautiful eyes and he loved everybody around him and to say that everybody loved him is an understatement,” she said.

The body has not been returned to the United States.

“What we understand in a country like Tanzania, things shut down over the weekend so we have to wait until Monday to hear anything,” she said.

The Manta Resort, where the couple was staying, issued a statement on Saturday confirming the death.

“Our sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his girlfriend, families and friends impacted by this tragic accident,” said Matthew Saus, the resort’s CEO.

Local authorities were investigating, he added.

The State Department confirmed that a US tourist died in Tanzania but gave no further details.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” the State Department said.

Carl Ruiz, celebrity chef, dies at 44

(CNN) — Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz, the owner of La Cubana restaurant who made frequent appearances on The Food Network, has died, the New York restaurant said. He was 44.

“On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz,” La Cubana posted on its social media sites.

“No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother,” the post said.

La Cubana didn’t post the cause of death.

Ruiz was a presence on both television and radio, and he opened restaurants the world over, according to a biography on La Cubana’s website.

“He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked—with “dancing always” as the most important ingredient,” the La Cubana post said.

Fellow celebrity chef Guy Fieri posted on Instagram that he’s “heartbroken” at the news.

“Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people, but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million,” Fieri posted. “Carl ‘The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.”

The restaurant said it will continue Ruiz’s work in establishing the Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for “aspiring chefs.”

Tire blowout causes I-280 car vs semi-truck crash; one injured

A tire blowout caused a car and semi-truck collidion on Interstate 280 near the interchange to I-74.

According to Illinois State Police, around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 22nd, a tire on the involved semi-truck blew out. At the same time, a Chevy Camaro was passing the truck and struck the debris. The car lost control and crashed into the semi's trailer.

The driver of the Camaro was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the semi was issued a citation for the tire blowout.

Afternoon I-80 crash causes rollover, minor injury

A crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Exit 19 in Geneseo resulted in minor injuries and one car rolling over into a ditch.

The crash happened around noon on Sunday, September 22nd.  The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but it resulted in a Ford SUV rolling over into the ditch. The other car, a Chevy Silverado, also sustained damage, and both had to be towed.  A trooper on the scene confirmed that one person was transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

No other information about the incident is currently available.

Antonio Brown says he won’t be playing in the NFL anymore

(CNN) — Star wide receiver Antonio Brown is saying on Twitter that he “will not be playing in the NFL anymore.”

Brown’s statement, part of a series of tweets Sunday morning, comes just days after he was released by the New England Patriots, the third NFL team to give up on the volatile player in the last year.

His effective retirement comes after a woman who once trained Brown accused him of rape in a federal lawsuit filed in Florida. His attorney, Darren Heitner, posted a lengthy statement to his website, saying: “Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit.”

Amid an NFL investigation into the trainer’s accusation, the Patriots released Brown on Friday after he played just one game with the team.

In other tweets on Sunday, Brown attacked several other NFL figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

In particular, he noted the solicitation arrest of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who pleaded not guilty to the charges. Brown also cited the NFL’s four-game suspension of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — his former teammate — after Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in 2010. No charges were filed in that case.

“4 games for Big Ben crazy world I’m done with it,” Brown wrote Sunday.

He later deleted those tweets about Kraft and Roethlisberger.

Both the Patriots and Raiders have sought to void the millions owed to Brown, setting up a grievance battle over whether he will receive that money.

“(T)hese owners can cancel deals (and) do whatever they want at anytime,” Brown tweeted. “(W)e will see if the (NFL Players Association) hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !”

Long a star with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the All-Pro receiver was traded to Oakland in March and signed a deal worth up to $30 million in guaranteed money. But he quickly wore out his welcome with his erratic behavior, and Oakland then released him. The Patriots offered him a one-year deal with a $9 million signing bonus two weeks ago.

Shortly after his move to New England, Sports Illustrated reported on several lawsuits and allegations of misconduct against Brown. The magazine reported that an artist hired to paint a mural inside Brown’s home in Pittsburgh in 2017 said he appeared naked behind her on her second day of work, holding a small hand towel over his genitals.

Heitner, Brown’s attorney, has denied the artist’s allegations.

Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys for the unnamed artist, alleged that Brown had texted the woman after Sports Illustrated reported her sexual misconduct accusations and his alleged response.

Brown included the woman in a series of group text messages, claiming she was out to get money with her story, they said. In those messages, he asked others to look into the woman’s background and included a photo of her children, Banks wrote in a letter to NFL officials.

Trump says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian president and Democrats threaten ‘new stage of investigation’

(CNN) — President Donald Trump on Sunday acknowledged that he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden in a July call with Ukraine’s president, as Democrats strengthened calls for investigation into Trump’s contact with the foreign leader and party leadership warned of a new lawless chapter in the United States.

Trump, while speaking with reporters before departing the White House for events in Texas and Ohio, continued to defend his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Vologymyr Zelensky, but said the 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate was discussed in the exchange.

“We had a great conversation. The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption — all of the corruption taking place, was largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son (adding to the corruption),” Trump told reporters.

CNN previously reported Trump pressed Zelensky in the call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, according to a person familiar with the situation. That call was also part of a whistleblower complaint submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, another person familiar with the situation told CNN.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

Trump previously branded criticism of the call a “Ukranian Witch Hunt,” while Biden accused the President of abusing his power to “smear” him. On Sunday, the President said he hopes officials release details of the call, but slammed the whistleblower responsible for filing a complaint.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a strong warning later Sunday to the Trump administration, which has refused to hand over the whistleblower complaint, saying it “will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness” if the resistance persists.

The warning, shared in a letter to all House members, comes following a refusal last week by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to turn over the complaint to Congress. In her letter, Pelosi, a California Democrat, said if the administration’s refusals continue, it would constitute a “serious possible breach of constitutional duties by” Trump and would take Congress “into a whole new stage of investigation.”

The Democratic leader’s letter threatens investigation at a time when the White House is already facing House inquiries on multiple fronts and a continuing impeachment investigation by the House Judiciary Committee. The Trump administration has so far split on how to handle the details of the call, but any House-led investigation into the President’s Ukraine contact could meet significant resistance from the White House, as it has stonewalled many of the congressional probes already in motion.

Pressure to impeach

Weighing in on the controversy earlier Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that impeachment “may be the only remedy” to Trump’s refusal to make public the complaint and phone call transcript.

“If the President is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit that is providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents,” the California Democrat told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” stopping short of calling on Congress to immediately launch proceedings.

Schiff, who has so far resisted joining other Democrats in calling for impeachment, told Tapper he has been “very reluctant” to push for proceedings against the President because he sees it as a “remedy of last resort,” but also said Sunday that the President doesn’t have the authority “to engage in underhanded discussions.” The chairman’s apparent edging toward impeachment follows pressure from others in his party — including from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — to start proceedings.

On Friday, Warren, who is vying for her party’s presidential nomination, tweeted that “Congress is complicit” in failing to start impeachment proceedings against Trump after news broke that he had allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden.

Echoing Warren’s sentiments, Ocasio-Cortez suggested in a tweet on Saturday that her party’s “refusal to impeach” Trump was an even bigger scandal than what she said was the President’s “lawbreaking behavior.”

Asked by Tapper Sunday about Trump keeping conversations with foreign leaders private, Schiff said: “Well not if those conversations involve potential corruption or criminality or leverage being used for political advantage against our nation’s interest.”

“This would be, I think, the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office, certainly during this presidency, which says a lot, but perhaps during just about any presidency. There is no privilege that covers corruption. There is no privilege to engage in underhanded discussions,” he said, adding that he’s not certain that the call is the subject of the complaint.

White House split on releasing calls

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters on Saturday that he didn’t think Trump had tried pressuring Zelensky during the July call, but stopped short of saying the subject of Biden’s son wasn’t raised.

The President on Sunday described his conversation with the Ukrainian president as “warm and friendly” and repeatedly urged reporters to look instead at Biden and Democrats, who he said — without providing evidence — have “done some very bad things.”

But while the President suggested he was open to releasing the conversation, telling reporters: “I hope they can put it out,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there’s no evidence such an action “would be appropriate” at this time.

“We don’t release transcripts very often. It’s the rare case,” Pompeo said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Those are private conversations between world leaders, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances. There’s no, there’s no evidence that would be appropriate here at this point.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also weighed in, telling Tapper Sunday that he thinks releasing the transcript “would be a terrible precedent,” arguing that “conversations between world leaders are meant to be confidential.”

An alligator was pulled from a pond behind a Michigan junior high school

(CNN) — The teams at Bedford Junior High School in Temperance, Michigan, call themselves the Broncos. They may need to change their name to the Gators after one was found living in a pond behind the school.

Zoologists wrangled an American alligator from school property Friday after a teacher had spotted it the day before, according to CNN affiliate WTVG.

It took 24 hours to drain the pond where the 3-foot alligator was living, WTVG reported. The reptile was removed from the pond just in time for the school’s homecoming game later Friday evening.

The school had posted multiple notices urging students and staffers to steer clear of the pond until the alligator was safely removed.

The body of water is called the Biology Pond and is used by both junior and senior high school classes for academic study, the school said.

While many observers were puzzled as to how the alligator found its way to the pond, the owner of a nearby zoo said it was most likely a pet.

“It got loose or somebody let it loose — one or the other,” Indian Park Zoo owner Joe Garverick told WTVG.

Garverick said he has removed snapping turtles, owls, and hawks from the same pond. “But this is our first gator,” he said.

The alligator was being taken to Indian Creek Zoo in nearby Lambertville, which is already home to three other gators, Garverick said.

People overdosed on drugs at a Pittsburgh apartment. Now 3 are dead, and 4 are hospitalized

(CNN) — A night of excess at a Pittsburgh apartment ended with three people dead, four people hospitalized and a police department warning how quickly drugs can kill.

Authorities responded to a report of an unconscious man in an apartment complex elevator around 2 a.m. Sunday. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, Pittsburgh Director of Public Safety Wendell Hissrich said.

Shortly later, paramedics responded to another man a few blocks away, outside, who was “somewhat conscious” and had symptoms similar to those of the first man. He was taken to a nearby hospital, Hissrich said.

Police traced both men back to an apartment on the city’s south side. There, they found five other people who also apparently overdosed.

Hissrich said he believed the victims were men between about 30 and 50 years old.

“The victims — including three people who died and four who remain hospitalized — appear to have been at the same venue together, and then to have gone to a second location at a private residence where they apparently overdosed on drugs,” Pittsburgh police said.

“The victims all took the narcotics at the same time and in the same location.”

All seven people were wearing orange wrist bands — stoking initial concerns that the health emergency may have started at a concert or event venue.

“To be clear, this was not a case of a tainted drug being passed around or distributed in large volume at a large venue which could have affected even more people. It appears to have been isolated to a single location,” Pittsburgh police spokesman Chris Togneri said.

“Anyone who attended one of these events (with orange wrist bands) has no cause for concern regarding their health.”

But police said they are concerned about a potentially lethal batch of drugs in the community.

“We remind the public not to use drugs,” the department said. “Simply put: You do not know what’s in that drug.”

A 21-year-old college student worked at a Texas hotel for 32 hours alone during a flood. Guests say he’s a hero

(CNN) — When Satchel Smith’s father dropped him off for his shift at Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas, he expected the day to be like any other: He’d start at 3 p.m. and leave around 11 p.m. that night.

That was until Tropical Storm-turned-Depression Imelda unleashed torrential flooding that trapped him and 90 other guests inside the hotel.

For 32 hours on Wednesday, the 21-year-old was the hotel’s only employee. But to the guests who relied on him for nearly two days, he’s a hero.

Angela Chandler, a hotel guest, praised Smith’s composure in a post on Facebook, where it’s been shared more than 13,000 times. While flooded roads kept his co-workers from getting to work, she wrote, Smith served guests alone.

“He has manned the phones, answered each of our questions, ensured that we have had a hot cup of coffee or tea, and helped serve us a hot breakfast,” Chandler wrote. “He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face.”

For someone trapped at work, he sure seemed cheerful. But privately, the Lamar University track and field star felt overwhelmed, he told CNN.

“It was pretty intense,” he said.

Typically positioned behind the front desk, he was now the hotel’s chef, maintenance man, room service attendant and any other vacant position that needed filling, even when his experience was lacking.

“I’d never worked in a kitchen,” he admitted. “I’m not really a good cook.”

But he resolved to cook anyway. A guest stepped in to help serve breakfast, and a few others joined them to prepare dinner — a simple chicken pasta with garlic bread. He was pleasantly surprised that it tasted good, he said.

“Everyone seemed pretty thankful for it,” he said. “They said it was pretty satisfying.”

Outside, the highways were closed and drivers were stuck in their cars, so Smith and the guests braved the flood to distribute food and water to stalled truckers. After spending so much time together, the group was bound to band together, he said.

“The guests were very helpful,” he said. “It was basically like a big family.”

Finally, after a marathon shift and glowing reviews from guests, Smith’s co-worker made it into work Friday morning. He stayed around for a few hours to help her out, took a brief nap, then woke up and went right back to work until his family could safely drive to pick him up.

The hotel avoided the worst of the storm, with flooding limited to the parking lot, but his car wasn’t so lucky. It’s the second time a storm’s totaled one of his cars after Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. But he’s managed to find the good in it all: His family’s home didn’t flood.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said.

What is the Autumnal Equinox?

Monday, September 23rd marks the first official day of fall! The reason why the season starts on this day specifically is because of the occurrence of the Autumnal Equinox.

Not only is there a day for the start, there is also an exact time that marks the beginning of fall. Here in the Quad Cities, fall will start at 2:50 AM Monday morning. This time tells us when the Sun’s rays are directly in line with the Earth’s equator. The equator is an imaginary line that cuts the Earth in half to show the northern and southern sections. The entire world will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night on the 23rd because of this. The term “equinox” literally means equal night in Latin.

The reason we have equinoxes is because the Earth spins on a tilted axis. As our planet orbits the Sun, we change seasons depending on the position of the tilt. For example, during our summer we are tilted towards the sun to give us more daylight and warmer temperatures.

As we start fall, the Southern Hemisphere will begin spring. In just a couple months areas south of the equator will be tilted towards the Sun and begin their summer, while here we will start winter.

Get ready for pumpkin spice lattes, bon fires, and football because fall has officially been welcomed!



Familiar faces claim victory at 22nd annual QC Marathon

Results from the Quad Cities marathon are in and they might seem familiar to those who’ve paid attention to the even over the years.

Steve Tappa of the Moline Dispatch  and Rock Island Argus has reported the results with the Quad City Times confirming.

In the men’s race, Kenyan runner Philemon Kiplangat Terer won his third title with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 17 seconds, 77 seconds faster than the runner-up.

The women’s race was dominated by Ethiopia’s Hirut Guangul, who claimed her fifth victory with a time of 2 hours, 41 minutes, and 34 seconds, nearly 3 whole minutes ahead of the next runner.  She has won every she has entered in the event.

Tappa notes that rain slowed down the winning times a notable amount.

Tropical Storm Karen forms east of the Windward Islands

(CNN) — Tropical Storm Karen formed just east of the Windward Islands and has sustained winds of 40 mph. A tropical storm warning has been issued for Trinidad and Tobago, along with Grenada and its dependencies.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12 hours. A tropical storm watch has been issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

A tropical storm watch will likely be required for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands later Sunday, and tropical storm warnings may be issued for other areas in the Windward Islands later this morning.

On the current forecast track Karen is forecast to move across the Windward Islands on Sunday afternoon and tonight.

The storm is then forecast to turn to the northwest Monday and north Tuesday. Karen will then approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday as a tropical storm.


‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ aim for records at Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Get the snacks and a scorecard ready for the 2019 Emmy Awards.

As TV academy voters honor what they consider the small-screen’s best, viewers can join in by tallying up wins, snubs and records during the no-host, three-hour ceremony airing Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox. The reward for TV geeks whose predictions pan out at the 71st annual Emmy Awards: no trophy, but bragging rights.

There’s also the fun of cheering your favorites and rooting against their competitors. Conflicted feelings may loom for “Game of Thrones” fans who loved the series, hated its finale. HBO’s fantasy saga headed into the ceremony with a record 32 nominations, collecting 10 awards at last weekend’s creative arts ceremony for technical and other achievements.

If the series adds three more wins on Sunday, it will break its own record for most awards in a season, 12, which it earned in 2015 and again in 2016. If it claims the top drama trophy, it will be its fourth and make it one of a handful of series to achieve that tally. It could also build on its record of the most Emmys ever for a drama or comedy series, now at 57.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is defending the top comedy award it captured last year, when three-time winner “Veep” was on hiatus. As with “Game of Thrones,” the political satire is entered for its final season and could benefit from voter sentiment as well as evident respect.

Same goes for “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose potential seventh Emmy for the show would combine with two others she’s won to make her the most-honored performer in Emmy history.

“Game of Thrones” is competing in six categories besides best drama, including directing, writing and acting — with stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington vying for lead acting honors for the first time, and Peter Dinklage seeking his fourth supporting actor award.

Clarke’s competition includes Sandra Oh of “Killing Eve,” who would be the first actress of Asian descent to win the Emmy, along with Oh’s co-star Jodie Comer and past winner Viola Davis of “How to Get Away with Murder.” A win for Clarke or any of the four “Game of Thrones” actresses competing for a supporting trophy would be the first for a woman on the show.

The best drama actor field includes Billy Porter of “Pose,” who would be the first openly gay man to win the award, and past winner Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us.”

Presenters are set to include Angela Bassett, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hugh Laurie, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Randall Park. Actor-comedian Thomas Lennon has the off-camera job of regaling viewers with factoids and jokes as winners head to the stage.

Halsey will perform during the in memoriam tribute.

Brew enthusiasts power through rain to taste at Brew Ha Ha

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Rainwaters couldn't dilute the excitement at Brew Ha Ha on Saturday, September 21st.

Beer enthusiasts went to LeClaire Park in Davenport at 1 p.m. after a one-hour rain delay to sample over 100 different beers from breweries across the local and regional areas. Event organizers say that they estimated an attendance of about 1100 on the day. With a minimum advance ticket price of $30, they're bound to bring in a lot of money, some of which has a greater purpose.

Jaycees of the Quad Cities holds the event every year to support local brew talent and give back to the community. President of Jaycees,  Nicki Brus, explains the thematic choice of charity, saying, ""We went with the Flood Your Tastebuds theme. So every $1 of every ticket sales is going back to the Community Foundation's Disaster Relief to actually come back home and impact the flood relief down here in downtown"

There was also a People Choice's Best Beer contest, and it was won by "Zoom Doggy Coffee Milk Porter" from Muscatine's Contrary Brewing.

Brewed is a proud sponsor of Brew Ha Ha. New episodes of Brewed will resume in December 2019.    You can catch up on all previous episodes of Brewed, click here. 

FDNY says 3 injured in fire near New York City’s Times Square

(CNN) — Three people were injured in a blaze in ductwork at a building near New York City’s Times Square, the New York City Fire Department said.

The call for the fire at 145 West 45th St. in Manhattan came in at 7:38 a.m., and firefighters were on the scene in four minutes, FDNY said. The fire was under control at 8:50 a.m. The buildings around the fire were evacuated.

There were three civilian injuries in the fire, but no firefighters were injured. Two civilians were treated and released on scene, and one was transported to an area hospital with difficulty breathing, FDNY said.

Some have started vape stockpiling in the US as a federal ban looms

(CNN) — The great “vapocalypse” has begun and the horsemen leading the charge are from New York and Michigan.

The news that both states have banned the sale of most flavored e-liquids set off alarms in the vaping community, and led some vaping enthusiasts to stock up on flavors like Dinner Lady Lemon Sherbet, Vapetasia Killer Kustard and Aqua Sweet Cereal Milk.

The motivation for this vape stockpiling is similar to people who load up on weapons following challenges to the Second Amendment, according to a firearms historian CNN spoke with.

Corinne Gaines, 30, of Maryland, decided to stockpile because of her health and President Donald Trump, who has flirted with the idea of banning flavored vaping products. So far, Gaines has dropped $100 on an assortment of fruity flavors like Apple Twist and Amazing Mango. Her collection should last eight months.

“I’ve gotten sinus infections and walking pneumonia from smoking cigarettes. I tried to quit many times using nicotine products such as the patch and gum and was never able to do so until I started vaping. I have never gotten sick from vaping,” Gaines said. “I believe the Trump administration’s ban on flavored e-liquids and cartridges is ridiculous and unnecessary.”

Gaines was one of a dozen people who shared photos of their hauls on Reddit’s vaping forum over the past two weeks. The photos included one from a 29-year-old Georgia man who has stockpiled 400 milliliters so far thanks to a sale he spotted and another from a Nebraska man who spent $75 on 400 milliliters of nicotine-flavored juice that should last four months.

The cloud of uncertainty surrounding the future of vaping in the US has spurred stockpiling among users afraid of returning to cigarettes. This concern was echoed by Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit advocacy group, who commended nicotine addicts for preparing for the worst.

“It’s a moral imperative to disobey unethical laws and they’re going to fight and not relapse back to smoking,” Conley said. “These are the type of hardcore former smokers who if they can’t access nicotine in a way that they enjoy, they are heavily at risk to going back to smoking.”

The health consequences of vaping remain unclear

While the link between cigarettes and lung cancer has been well documented, information on vaping’s health consequences is nascent. An outbreak of a vaping-related illness in the US has left hundreds sick and some dead.

The CDC says that e-cigarettes should never be used by youth, young adults pregnant women or adults who don’t already use tobacco products. The American Lung Association recently warned that “e-cigarettes are not safe” and can cause irreversible lung damage and disease.

As of September 19, there have been 530 cases of lung injury from vaping reported from 38 states and 1 US territory. Vaping has accounted for seven deaths in six states, according to the CDC. In comparison, cigarette smoking will account for roughly 480,000 deaths this year in the US, the CDC added.

While New York and Michigan hope the ban on certain e-cigarettes will stymie use among children, Mike Helms, a firearms historian, believes these decisions may have unintended consequences. Helms said he suspects that the proposed bans may lead to a rise in a flavored e-liquid black market and accelerate stockpiling. This sort of acceleration has been well documented in the firearms community, Helms said.

The psychology of stockpiling

“Bans often inspire a knee-jerk reaction from the people they affect the most,” Helms said. “I don’t know if the proposed ban on flavored vaping fluid evokes this sort of response. I suspect it does for at least a small number of people. Vaping is not protected in the Bill of Rights, certainly not in the same way that guns are.”

In the 1970s, the movement to ban handguns, and the popularity of the “Dirty Harry” movie franchise, helped boost handgun sales, especially for large-caliber revolvers like the Smith & Wesson used by the “Dirty Harry” characte, Helms said.

In the mid-1980s, the desire to ban Glock pistols was based on the government’s own paranoia that the polymer-based firearms would be “invisible” to X-ray machines at airports, Helms said. This resulted in an unprecedented sales boost for polymer-framed handguns, he said.

The use of an AR-15 during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, saw the price of the rifle skyrocket, Helms said.

Democrat Rep. Tom Suozzi and Republican Rep. Pete King, both of New York, have written federal legislation calling for a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes and a tax on e-cigarette products equivalent to $3 per pack. The bill, titled the Quell Underage Inhaling of Toxic Substances (QUITS) Act, was introduced Thursday.

“Too often our children and adolescents are being exposed to the dangers of nicotine addiction,” King said in a statement. “It is imperative that Congress explore means to end this epidemic and ensure the well-being of our youth. I am proud to work with Rep. Suozzi in this effort.”

THIS WEEK: Is vaping getting a bad rap?

MOLINE, Illinois – Doctors still aren't sure what's making some vapers sick.

But they've got their ideas.

The Centers for Disease Control now says 580-Americans are suffering from respiratory illnesses linked to e-cigarettes.  Eight people have died.

But it's still not clear what's causing it, even though some are finding links to some “adulterant” in vaping devices.

CBS News reports the American Lung Association has said that "e-cigarettes are not safe," but the American Cancer Society said they're "likely to be significantly less harmful for adults than smoking regular cigarettes."

"It possibly can be," said Rock Island County Health Department chief operating officer Janet Hill during News 8's "This Week with Jim Mertens".

"I just think there's a lot of information that we just don't know yet."

Health leaders are still worried about mump and gonorrhea in the Quad Cities.  Janet Hill talk about that on the THIS WEEK EXTRA, on Facebook at WQAD Jim Mertens.  

Though scientists say they need to know why these 580 cases are so severe, Hill says the medical community already knows vaping has plenty of dangers.

"I do know that one vape pod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes," said Hill.

She says the Illinois Department of Public Health is looking for people to share their vaping experiences in an effort to better understand the impact of e-cigarettes.


Reward at least $35,000 for 5-year-old girl who may have been abducted from a New Jersey playground

(CNN) — At least $35,000 is being offered as a reward for Dulce Maria Alavez, 5, who authorities say may have been abducted Monday from a playground in New Jersey.

Dulce Maria Alavez, may have been taken by a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male, the Bridgeton Police department said Tuesday in announcing an Amber Alert. The possible suspect is described as between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, with a thin build, no facial hair and acne on his face. He was wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt, police said.

The man drove off Monday with Dulce in a red van with tinted windows and a sliding passenger side door, the alert says.

Dulce was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala bear on the front, black and white checkered long pants with a flower design, and white sandals, police said. She is 3-foot-5 and weighs 40 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Family spokesman: I believe she is alive

Her family held a vigil Saturday night at the park where she was last seen, CNN affiliate KYW reported.

People could be seen wearing yellow shirts and holding candles.

A man spoke on behalf of the family saying in part, officers are “working around the clock” to find Dulce.

“Dulce will be found. I truly believe in my heart she is alive somewhere,” the man said.

She was playing on the swings

Officers responded to the Bridgeton city park’s ball fields and playground area for a report of a missing child at about 4:50 p.m. Monday. The girl’s mother told police that Dulce was playing on swings with her 3-year-old brother as the mother remained about 30 yards away in her vehicle with an 8-year-old relative, police said.

The mother told police she observed the 3-year-old return to her vehicle without his sister, and she was unable to locate her daughter, police said.

The Amber Alert was issued after police interviewed and re-interviewed people who were in Bridgeton’s city park near the ball fields on Monday afternoon, Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari said Tuesday.

Police searched with more than 50 officers from agencies across the county, city and state. A waterway also was drained by city workers to help in the search, Gaimari said. Law enforcement have searched the city park by helicopter, with divers, K-9s and sonar, and the search continues.

Anyone with tips or information should call 1-800-CALL-FBI, police said.

The FBI said it was contributing $5,000 to the reward money, which as of Saturday was at $35,000 total.

Tracking Sunday’s soaker

A Flash Flood WATCH has been issued for the entire Quad Cities region through Monday morning.

We continue to see heavy rainfall Sunday morning and this will be the story for most of the day today. A very large source of moisture has moved in from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. This has prompted rainfall to have the potential to drop a couple more inches of rain, which is why have a Flash Flood Watch in effect until very late tonight. If you live near creeks, ponds, or rivers be sure to be cautious today. Fortunately, there is no severe weather threat.

It looks like the rain will begin to break by early evening today as the cold front passes through our hometowns. This will bring much more comfortable conditions overnight with lows in the mid 50s.

The first official day of fall is tomorrow and we have gorgeous conditions for it! An area of high pressure will dominate the area and bring low humidity and lots of sunshine to start the week. Monday will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 70s, truly doesn’t get better! Next chance to see some rain will come on Wednesday, so enjoy the couple of dry and comfortable days that we will have.