The latest local news

Davenport first responders saw increase in calls and injuries during Fourth festivities

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, -- Fourth of July may be over but you might still hear the pops and booms of the fireworks.

The law says no fireworks can be set off after 10 p.m. but not everyone is following the rules.

Davenport Police say they've received more calls this year than they did last year during the festivities.

Last year police got a total of 282 complaints during the Fourth of July.

This year they received more than 300 calls during July 1st- July 4th after 10 p.m alone.

And it's not just police that have seen an increase but medical professionals as well.

Genesis Health System reports they've had in increase of patients being treated and released for firework related injuries.

"One is too many as far as we're concerned," says Craig Cooper, Genesis Health System.

Cooper says they also had three patients with firework injuries that needed additional major surgery...a number that is rarely seen at Genesis Health.

"To have three injuries that required major corrective action was a lot for us," says Cooper.

Although the numbers have increased, it's too early to tell if the fireworks law is to blame.

"We don't know if it's related to the new law or if it's just a coincidence ...Just a one year trend...if we see this over the next 5 or 6 years then you would begin to believe it has to do with the new law," says Cooper.

 

Police officers issue stern warning after saving dog from hot car

WQAD News -

(CNN) — In the hot summer months, an errand run can quickly turn deadly if a pet is left alone in a car. This may seem obvious, but some well-meaning owners just don’t get it.

Allow police in Boynton Beach, Florida, to explain in no uncertain terms.

Officers recently rescued a pit bull whose owner had stepped into a bank, leaving the dog alone with the windows rolled up. A concerned onlooker called the police, who spent 10 to 15 minutes looking for the dog’s owner (don’t worry — they say an officer stayed with the dog during this time to make sure it was okay).

When they couldn’t find the owner, they smashed the car’s window, led the suffering dog to safety and gave it some water.

They then posted a serious warning to citizens on their Facebook page.

“Repeat after us…it is never OK to leave your pet in an unattended vehicle,” they wrote in describing the rescue. They also pointed out that such a practice is illegal in Boynton Beach, as it is in plenty of other cities around the country.

The episode Monday morning may make animal lovers livid, but the police department pointed out it’s often a question of ignorance, not malice, that leads to incidents like this.

“Investigator [Liz] Roehrich said most of the time she encounters dogs left in vehicles, the owners are otherwise responsible, loving and good caretakers. They just don’t know the law or they think that it’s OK if it’s only for a minute,” they wrote.

“We are here to tell you that it is not. Ever.”

Police also posted videos of an officer breaking into the car and of the dog recuperating safely after the ordeal.

Even in 85-degree weather, a car’s interior can climb past 100 degrees Fahrenheit in a mere 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature in the area Monday was 91 degrees.

If the horrors of that equation aren’t enough to bring the point home, research from Michigan State University’s Animal Legal and Historical Center shows at least 26 states have laws that make it, in some way or another, illegal to leave an animal in a parked vehicle.

In addition, Good Samaritan laws, which offer legal protection to people who intervene in emergency situations, may also cover someone who sees a pet in a hot car and intervenes to save its life.

Pregnancy centers sue Illinois over new abortion notice law

WQAD News -

CHICAGO (AP) — Christian crisis pregnancy centers in some Chicago suburbs are challenging a change in an Illinois law that now requires medical professionals to notify pregnant patients of all their available options, including abortion.

The lawsuit against state officials, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, claims the clinics’ constitutional free-speech rights are violated by the changes to the right-of-conscience law because they have to offer advice they find morally wrong, the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/2sMXdN4 ) reported.

The clinics also say the new law violates federal laws banning discrimination against doctors and other health care workers who don’t provide or refer patients for abortions.

Supporters of the law say informing patients of all their options is a standard practice of care in the medical field.

The law was originally passed after the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion to shield physicians opposed to performing the procedure. Modifications to the law, designed to protect patients who didn’t know all their options, were signed into law by Rauner last year after an emotional Illinois Senate subcommittee hearing.

Under the new law, which went into effect Jan. 1, providers must inform patients of their medical options, such as contraception or abortion, even if the physician is opposed to it for moral or religious reasons. If the patient seeks a particular treatment, the medical professional must give them a list of providers.

The two Christian clinics — 1st Way Pregnancy Support Services and Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs — and Dr. Ronald Schroeder, who works at various crisis pregnancy centers, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Springfield earlier this year. The case recently was transferred to federal court in Chicago, and then to Rockford, where it will be consolidated with another lawsuit over the law.

The governor’s office has said that it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Port Byron man frustrated by disappearing garbage cans

WQAD News -

PORT BYRON, Illinois -- A Port Byron man says he's stuck in the middle of a trashy situation because of some missing garbage cans.

This spring, Ken Brown noticed his trash cans were disappearing from the bottom of his driveway.

"I'm thinking that the wind blew them into the ravine, and after I searched the ravine, my cans were not there," said Brown.

At first, he thought it was a prank. After it happened five times, though, he set up a trail camera to catch the culprit.

As it turns out, Brown's cans were being dumped right into the Republic garbage truck.

"It shows [the arm] going up, and it shows it coming down empty. No can there. It's very obvious that can ended up in the truck," said Brown. "I was like, 'Oh my god, I cannot believe this guy took my trash can and never left a note or anything.'"

Brown filed a report with the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department, and the next day, Republic left a new, company-standard garbage can in his driveway.

However, Brown is still looking for answers and seeking reimbursement for the other four cans. He says he was never notified that his cans were ending up in the truck or about any size requirements for personal trash cans.

"Here's a garbage man who is paid to pick up my garbage, and he's doing trashy work! And I'm paying for it," said Brown.

A Republic spokesperson says when customers set up service, they are encouraged to use Republic Services carts, which are made specifically for the type of truck that collects the bins each week. The company guarantees replacement or repairs for customers using Republic carts.

If customers, such as Brown, choose to use their own bin, it is at their own risk/liability.

Iowa governor’s campaign aide says public intoxication arrest was “a mistake”

WQAD News -

DES MOINES (AP) —  Phil Valenziano, the new campaign manager for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, has pleaded guilty to public intoxication after an officer found him urinating outside a suburban Des Moines shopping center last month.

A criminal complaint shows Valenziano was arrested late June 23 outside the West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines, where he was “caught in the act” by an officer.

The complaint says the 32-year-old attempted to walk away when officer Cody Jacobsen confronted him but was grabbed and became cooperative. It says Valenziano had slurred speech, poor balance, smelled heavily of alcohol and admitted to being very drunk. He pleaded guilty to a simple misdemeanor.

The arrest came days after Reynolds and acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced that Valenziano would manage their campaign for the 2018 election.

Valenziano says in a statement he made a mistake and is “disappointed in myself for letting down the governor and her team.” He says he pleaded guilty and “will ensure this never happens again.”

He says he informed Reynolds after his arrest, which came days after she announced he would manage her 2018 campaign. He says he will “be remaining in my current role as her campaign manager.”

Reynolds’ office referred questions to Valenziano, calling it a campaign matter.

 

Muscatine residents urged to take precautions after non-treated wastewater discharged into Mississippi river

WQAD News -

MUSCATINE - People who are out enjoying the Mississippi river should take precautions downstream from Muscatine.

The city releases about 4 million gallons of treated wastewater per day into the river, part of that is now untreated after a gate malfunctioned at the city's water pollution control plant.

"When there was this malfunction with the gate, we had to divert the flow away from the ultraviolet lights until we could get the gate fixed," said Kevin Jenison, Communications Manager, city of Muscatine.

The ultraviolet lights help the disinfection process, if people using the river drink or swallow the water they could get sick.

"The E. coli, which you can get from any type of run off or waste water, from any point along the river," said Jenison.

Warnings also went out to Burlington and Keokuk but city officials there said they don't believe it's a concern for them because the water is at acceptable levels for discharge into the Mississippi River.

"It's actually 98% pure, there`s just a little bit that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources would like to have eliminated," said Jenison.

For the people who will be out spending time in the water, they said they'll be more aware.

"Oh yeah, yeah definitely, I mean we do anyways, but it`s something you think they`d tell everybody, especially it being a holiday weekend a lot more people on the water," said Jol Taylor, boater.

The city said the hope is to have the system back up and running by Friday.

The Score Sunday – Assumption SB, Cubs Baseball, NASCAR and FCA story of the week

WQAD News -

The Score Sunday features the Assumption Softball team.  The Lady knights have won 38 straight games as they get ready for post season play.  Corey Fineran from Ivy Envy talks about the Cubs and their podcast.  Anthony Sandoval takes a look at the NASCAR season at the midway point.. The FCA story of the week features the Muscatine Basketball Camp.

44 states and DC have refused to give certain voter information to Trump commission

WQAD News -

Watch Video

WASHINGTON, DC — (CNN) Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.

State leaders and voting boards across the country have responded to the letter with varying degrees of cooperation — from altogether rejecting the request to expressing eagerness to supply information that is public.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which President Donald Trump created by executive order in May, sent a letter to all 50 states last Wednesday requesting a bevy of voter data, which he notes will eventually be made available to the public.

The order came months after Trump claimed without evidence that millions had voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. When states began to express concerns about the legality of his administration’s efforts to investigate voter fraud, Trump called them out on Twitter on Saturday, questioning whether they were hiding something.

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” Trump tweeted.

Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017

The information the commission is seeking includes registrants’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas.

The vice chairman’s letter twice requests only “public” voter information, and Kobach clarified the specifics of his request Friday: “Every state receives the same letter, but we’re not asking for it if it’s not publicly available,” he told The Kansas City Star. Kobach also told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week, “Whatever a person on the street can walk in and get, that’s what we would like.” Kobach cited a Pew Center on the States study from February 2012 that called for revisions of state voter registration lists.

“The Pew Center estimated last year that 1.8 million deceased people are still on the voter rolls throughout the states,” Kobach told Cooper. “They said that’s an estimate. They think it’s a low estimate. Now, for the first time, we can actually bounce the states’ voter rolls against the Social Security administration’s own database to find out how many of those people actually are on the voter rolls.”

The Kansas secretary also addressed the criticism from several secretaries of state over the past few days that the commission might be seeking to legitimize Trump’s assertions that widespread voter fraud cost him votes last November.

“First of all, the commission is not to prove or disprove what the President speculated about in January,” Kobach said. “The purpose of the commission is to find facts and put them on the table. Importantly, it’s a bipartisan commission.”

But the commission, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to misunderstand voter privacy laws nationwide. Every state that responded to the commission’s letter said it could not provide Social Security numbers, for example. Others said they consider information such as birth dates and party affiliations to be private.

What’s more, Kobach asked states to supply the information through an online portal. Many states have rejected this specific request, noting that the commission should file a voter information request through established state websites, as any other party would.

As of Tuesday afternoon, two states — Florida and Nebraska — are still reviewing the commission’s request. Another two states — Hawaii and New Jersey — have not returned CNN’s request for comment. And while six states are still awaiting a letter from the commission, four of them — New Mexico, Michigan, South Carolina and West Virginia — have already pledged not to provide voters’ private information. The other two of those six states, Arkansas and Illinois, have not released statements ahead of receiving the letter.

Just three states — Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee — commended Kobach’s attempt to investigate voter fraud in their respective statements

Bettplex breaks ground on regional sports complex in Bettendorf

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF -

Heavy equipment in action on Wednesday, July 5, symbolizes the start of Bettplex construction.

The regional sports center along the Interstate 80 corridor could be hosting its first games in about a year.

"It's pleasing, and yet, a little nerve-wracking because we want to get it done," said developer Doug Kratz.

Kratz pitched the idea for the $57-million project after researching other regional sports centers around the country.  Now, he's taking that idea and making it a reality.

"We asked a lot of other people that run these facilities what they would do differently," Kratz continued.  "What we were pleasantly surprised to find out is that a lot of what they told us they'd do differently, we had already accounted for in our planning," he continued.

Youngsters and adults from local teams joined Kratz and city officials to break ground on the project.  The site and location should attract a variety of teams and tournaments nearly every weekend of the year.

"They're looking for another central area around here," said Larry Miller, president of the Quad City Pickleball Club.  "We are right in the middle of that.  This is a great opportunity for pickleball here."

Bettplex will offer year-round activities on its 78-acre site.  The competitions should also spark demand for amenities like a hotel and restaurants nearby.

Bettendorf, which is offering TIF incentives, plans to make its money from the tourism.

"We will have thousands of visitors to the Quad Cities each and every weekend," said Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher.  "We all win with this type of development."

This is all about the future of regional sports in the Quad Cities.  Construction is already moving along on schedule.

"It'll be exciting," said Kratz.  "I just hope we're not fully exhausted to the point where we won't enjoy it.  But it will be a wonderful thing."

For athletes and fans, a wonderful Bettplex that's preparing for all the action.

 

Des Moines area sees air pollution spikes on Fourth of July

WQAD News -

WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — A rise in particle pollution is typical on the Fourth of July, but officials from the Department of Natural Resources said the Des Moines area saw an unusual spike in 2017.

The DNR released a statement Wednesday, July 5th that said fine particle pollution started around dusk on Tuesday, July 4th, and stuck around overnight.  It wasn’t expected to clear the area until around noon.

An air quality report generated by the Environmental Protection Agency listed the area as having “moderate” air quality.  Having a “moderate” status means air quality is “acceptable” but might have negative affects on people who are more sensitive to pollution.

A member of the DNR’s air quality staff explained that pollution spikes are detected in many places on July Fourth, but after midnight the levels will typically start to fall. That wasn’t the case for the Des Moines area this year; those heightened levels lasted through the night.

Davenport did see some spikes, the staffer explained, but fell back to normal levels in a reasonable amount of time.

Toasty Thursday… Strong thunderstorm may follow

WQAD News -

The weather of late has been rather persistent with warm, humid conditions and a few stray thunderstorms passing briefly across the area.

A few clouds will be lingering around tonight, and so will the humidity.  Overnight lows will drop around the upper 60s.

Still expected to be a toasty Thursday with highs around the 90 degree mark. Throw in some of that high humidity and you’re looking at upper 90s on the heat index.   That night, a cold front will be approaching from the north popping a few strong thunderstorms along it. The main threats with one or two of these storms will be heavy rain and strong winds.

As planned, we’ll trim down the heat and humidity just in time for the upcoming weekend with highs in the lower 80s.  Not totally dry this weekend as I do see a passing shower on Sunday.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Stay ahead of the weather! 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

Flint airport stabbing suspect indicted

WQAD News -

(CNN) — A Canadian man has been indicted in a stabbing attack last month at the Flint, Michigan, airport.

Amor Ftouhi, 49, faces charges of committing an act of violence at an international airport and interference with airport security. Authorities say he stabbed a Bishop International Airport police lieutenant in the neck with a knife on June 21.

Ftouhi referenced killings in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” while stabbing the uniformed officer, said the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.

Ftouhi’s defense attorney, Joan Morgan, declined to comment.

On Wednesday, June 21, Ftouhi arrived at Flint’s Bishop International Airport carrying two bags, and he lingered for about 40 minutes in the airport’s public areas — including a restaurant and a bathroom where he dropped his bags — before the attack, a criminal complaint said.

Authorities said Ftouhi yelled “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — and used a roughly 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade to stab Lt. Jeff Neville.

After stabbing Neville, Ftouhi continued to yell “Allah” several times followed by something similar to, “You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,” the complaint said.

“Lt. Neville got him to stop stabbing him,” said Chief Chris Miller of the Bishop Airport Safety Division, who was nearby during the attack and handcuffed Ftouhi.

An FBI special agent said Ftouhi then asked the officer why he did not kill him, the complaint said.

Ftouhi is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Wednesday afternoon.

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