The latest local news

Siemens laying off 125 workers in Burlington

WQAD News -

BURLINGTON, Iowa -- Siemens has announced that it is laying off 125 employees in Burlington as it plans to cease all operations there.

The closures end Siemens' 148-year run as a major employer offering quality wages (average $25 an hour) and benefits in the community.

"This difficult decision was made as part of a necessary global plan to enable Siemens to meet the competitive pressures in the energy market by reducing costs while best serving our customers," said company spokesperson Andrew Gumbiner.

In November, Bloomberg reported Siemens planned to cut 6,900 jobs worldwide, with most of the layoffs coming from its power and gas division.

The job cuts will take place in a two-phase process over the next year.

Siemens says it will help identify opportunities at other companies in the area to provide support to those affected.

The employees will receive a severance package and career counseling services.

The news comes just three months after Siemens laid off 200 employees in Fort Madison.

 

 

 

Rock Island Arsenal launching “Run the Rock” race on Armed Forces Day

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The Quad Cities is getting another annual race for running enthusiasts this year.

The Rock Island Arsenal is launching a yearly race on its premises on Saturday, May 19th, to honor Armed Forces Day.

Registration for "Run the Rock 5k/10k" costs $35 per adult before May 14th and $10 per child. The fee will incrase by $5 from May 14th through May 17th. All pre-registered participants will receive a custom race t-shirt and finishers medal as well as access to the post-race party.

Click here to register for the race.

Waffle House shooting suspect jailed on murder charges

WQAD News -

(CNN) — The gunman accused of killing four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House was arrested Monday after a frantic manhunt, police said.

A tip from the community led to Travis Reinking’s arrest shortly after 1 p.m. in a wooded area near his Nashville apartment, Metro Nashville Police said. He was booked into Metro jail Monday night on four counts of criminal homicide. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The arrest came roughly 35 hours after Reinking unloaded an assault-style rifle on customers and employees at the Antioch restaurant early Sunday morning. All of those killed were under 30. Two others were injured.

The shooting raised questions about Reinking’s previous law enforcement encounters, and whether his father should be charged for giving him guns when he was barred from possessing them.

“Yesterday was a horrible day for the city of Nashville,” Mayor David Briley said in a Monday news conference. “Today is a day where we can start to move on as a community.”

Tragedy and heroism

The shooting set off a cycle of shock, grief and anxiety in the Nashville metropolitan area. Nashville public schools initiated “lock-out” procedures Monday while Reinking was on the loose. Police warned residents to keep their doors locked.

Reinking did not resist when a detective drew a gun on him, Lt. Carlos Lara said. Reinking was carrying a backpack that contained a firearm, ammunition and a flashlight. He declined to give a statement and requested a lawyer, Lara said.

It’s not clear what Reinking did during his time on the run. And the motive for the attack remains a mystery.

Reinking arrived at the Waffle House in Antioch, part of the metro Nashville area, just before 3:20 a.m. Sunday.

He sat in his pickup truck for nearly four minutes “looking at people inside the restaurant,” police spokesman Don Aaron said.

Wearing only a green jacket, the gunman drew an “assault-type rifle” and fatally shot two people outside the Waffle House, police said. He continued his rampage inside the restaurant, killing two more people.

The carnage stopped when a customer monitoring the gunman’s moves from afar jumped into action when he saw an opportunity.

James Shaw Jr. said he seized a moment of opportunity when the gunman had stopped firing. He charged at the shooter and the two tussled for a bit before Shaw managed to wrestle the firearm away. Shaw tossed it over the counter, and the gunman fled, he said.

“I was like ‘I have to go now because if I don’t go now then I’m not going to have have another window of opportunity,” he said.

Shaw denied that he was a hero. He visited two survivors of the attack in the hospital on Monday and started a GoFundMe account to assist victims of the shooting, a spokeswoman for the fundraising platform told CNN.

“Heroes seem kind of like they’re not touchable,” he said. “If I’m looked at as a regular person, if somebody else is in this situation they have that same thing within them that they can project out also.”

What we know about the suspect

Reinking is from Morton, Illinois, and police believe he moved to the Nashville area last fall. He worked in construction but was fired from a job about three weeks ago, police said. Reinking started with another construction company last Monday, but did not show up for work Tuesday.

The 29-year-old has a history of delusions and run-ins with the law.

In May 2016, Reinking told first responders that he believed pop star Taylor Swift was stalking him, according to a police report. Reinking’s family also told police he made comments about killing himself.

Last summer, Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service for trespassing near the White House.

Reinking said he wanted to meet with US President Donald Trump. He told a Secret Service officer at the northeast entrance that he was a “sovereign citizen” who had a “right to inspect the grounds,” according to a Metropolitan Police Department incident report dated July 7, 2017.

He was charged with unlawful entry, but the charges were dismissed after he completed community service. At the FBI’s request, Reinking’s Illinois firearms authorization was revoked, and four weapons — including the AR-15 style rifle used in Sunday’s shooting — were seized.

After the firearms seizure, Reinking was legally prohibited from possessing guns, Matthew Espenshade, an FBI agent located in Nashville, said Monday. Authorities in Tazewell County, Illinois, gave the weapons to Reinking’s father, who police believe later returned them to his son.

His father, Jeffrey Reinking, could potentially face charges for transferring weapons to a person knowingly prohibited from possessing them, ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson said.

Police said that Reinking visited a car dealership in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood last week and somehow obtained a key fob for a 2018 BMW X6 without providing identification. He stole the car and led police on a brief chase, Brentwood Police said.

Using the car’s GPS, officers tracked the car to Reinking’s apartment complex and recovered it. Because they didn’t know the thief’s identity, no one was arrested.

The lives lost

Waffle House employee Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, of nearby Goodlettsville, and customer Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville, were shot outside the restaurant:

Inside, the gunman killed 23-year-old Akilah DaSilva of Antioch and 21-year-old DeEbony Groves of nearby Gallatin.

DaSilva’s cousin said the world lost a talented young man who excelled in computer science and music — a hard worker who never gave up and was quick to learn. ”

“He was a genius. He was super smart. Smarter than me,” Kareem DaSilva said. “He was very impressive.”

YOUR HEALTH: Destroying the heart to improve your life

WQAD News -

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than five million Americans have heart failure and many of them will also suffer atrial fibrillation.

David Shepherd is one of them.

He is an active guy, so when his job delivering bread got tough, he knew something was wrong.

"Every time I'd come in, I was so exhausted and so winded that I had to sit down in the backroom of these grocery stores for ten or fifteen minutes to catch my breath," he recalled.

David had heart problems for years and now he was in atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Nassir Marrouche used a catheter to destroy areas in the heart that were causing the irregular heartbeats.

Dr. Marrouche's trial for patients like David, with heart failure and A-fib, shows remarkable results after five years.

"We showed that for the first time ever, that catheter ablation for A-fib does improve mortality by almost 50-percent reduction."

The Castle A-F study also showed that hospitalizations dropped 47%.

"Showing such a striking mortality and heart end point benefits was, as you can imagine, great great news for our patients and for us as treating physicians," said Dr. Marrouche.

ATRIAL FIBRILLATION: Atrial fibrillation is an often rapid and irregular heart rate that increases a patient's risk of stroke, heart failure, and other complications related to the heart.   During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers will beat irregularly and chaotically, out of coordination with the two lower chambers.   Symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, general feeling of weakness, reduced ability to exercise, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and lightheadedness.   Episodes may come and go, or a patient may develop atrial fibrillation that does not go away and requires treatment.   Alone, this condition usually isn`t life-threatening, but it is a serious medical condition that can sometimes require emergency treatment.  (Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/symptoms-causes/syc-20350624)

Dr. Marrouche says this is good news for the health care system, too, as cost of care should drop.

David's just glad it worked.

"I like to bike ride, I like to hike, I like to camp. I like to get out and do things."

Both David and Dr. Marrouche hope this study will help more heart failure patients soon.

Patients in the study had significant heart weakness, an implanted defibrillator, and any type of A-fib.

Dr. Marouche says 30% of heart failure patients get A-fib.   He hopes the study findings will change standard of care for these folks quickly.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

Woman faces $500 fine over free apple from Delta flight

WQAD News -

ARVADA, Colo. -- A Colorado woman said she's facing a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Protection after she stashed a free apple during her flight home from Paris, according to KDVR.

Crystal Tadlock said that flight attendants were passing out apples in plastic bags, and she took one. She wasn't hungry at the time so she threw the snack in her bag and planned to eat it during the second leg of her trip back to Denver.

Tadlock said when she went through customs, her bag was randomly searched.

She said the customs agent pulled out the apple in the plastic bag with Delta's logo on it.

Tadlock said she had just received the snack from the airline and asked if she could throw it out or eat it. She said the agent told her no, and handed her a $500 fine instead.

"He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, 'Yeah.' I didn’t really get why he was asking that question, and then he said 'It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500,'" Tadlock said.

Tadlock said she's frustrated that an innocent mistake could amount to a large fine and the loss of her Global Entry Status.

Tadlock said Delta shouldn't have passed out apples to customers or at least reminded passengers not to take the fruit off the plane.

She also said she's frustrated that customs would ticket her when the agent clearly saw the snack came from an airline.

"It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit," Tadlock said.

"We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols," a Delta spokesman said.

"Privacy policy prohibits CBP from discussing the details of any individuals specific inspection, however all agriculture items must be declared," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

Tadlock can pay the $500 or fight the charge in court. She said she plans to fight the ticket in front of a judge.

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Former President George H.W. Bush, who just buried his wife first lady Barbara Bush on Saturday, is in intensive care, CNN has learned.

“President Bush was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital yesterday morning after contracting an infection that spread to his blood. He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering. We will issue additional updates as events warrant,” spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

Bush, 93, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning with an infection that led to sepsis, which can be life-threatening, according to a source close to the former Republican President. He was in critical condition, the source said.

The source added that Bush’s blood pressure kept dropping and a couple of times there was serious concern about whether he was going to come through, but that he had been stabilized.

But with Bush’s age, his health and with this infection, this is very serious, the source explained.

Bush revealed several years ago he suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease, which has left him unable to walk, so he gets around either in a wheelchair or a scooter.

The former President’s hospitalization is especially upsetting for his family because it follows so closely on the death of his wife of 73 years last Tuesday. The family had been worried about how he would deal with her death and such an emotional week, according to the source.

“Right after a big loss — certainly like he has had — there is some data that shows that some people can develop problems with immunity and become more susceptible to infections,” CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said. “Infections they otherwise would have been able to fight become more serious.”

The day after his wife’s death, the former President paid tribute to her in a statement.

“I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex relationship about that fact. But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up,” he said, using her nickname. “We have faith she is in heaven, and we know that life will go on — as she would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list.”

Zoo visitors kill kangaroo with rocks while trying to make it hop

WQAD News -

FUZHOU, China – One kangaroo is dead and another is injured after visitors at a Chinese zoo hurled rocks and other objects at them in two separate incidents.

The Straits Times reports the first pelting happened at the end of February (though China Daily says it happened in early April), when gawkers decided to throw bricks and pieces of concrete at kangaroos at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian province to get them to hop around.

A 12-year-old female marsupial was struck on her left foot, per ABC Australia, but although zookeepers tended to the animal’s bleeding limb, they apparently didn’t account for internal injuries. The kangaroo died a few days later, and a vet’s report says it was probably from a ruptured kidney.

Then, in mid-April, a repeat of the projectile-throwing, this time resulting in minor injuries to a 5-year-old male kangaroo who is expected to be OK. Per AsiaOne, the zoo’s breeder says the kangaroos tend to rest for most of the day, with only a window of a few hours where they’re active, and so visitors have on occasion thrown objects at them to spur them out of sleep or just get them to move around.

The zoo does have cameras near certain animal enclosures, but they’re usually turned toward the animals, not the visitors; staff is now vying for money for high-def surveillance cameras after these incidents.

Meanwhile, the zoo will now only allow three kangaroos out at a time for public viewing, and it plans on stuffing the dead kangaroo and putting her on display. (A UK zoo had to put all of its mammals on birth control.)

Former NFL kicker apologizes after prom photo with daughter, handgun goes viral

WQAD News -

Prom season is officially in full swing, with photos of dresses and tuxes being posted all over social media.

But one young man got to go to both a prom and a gun show over the weekend, and the photo of his experience has gone viral.

Former NFL player Jay Feely took to his Twitter account to wish his daughter and her date a great time at prom. It looks like a simple enough photo until you look closely at his right hand.

Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom #BadBoys pic.twitter.com/T5JRZQYq9e

— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018

The photo sparked a heated debate online, with some saying it was all in good fun while others said he went too far.

Feely later tweeted that the photo was intended to be a joke and that he takes gun safety seriously. The gun wasn’t loaded and didn’t have a clip in it, he said.

The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking.
I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue

— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018

 

 

Two sentenced in shooting death of 15-year-old

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND - Two young men have been sentenced in connection with the deadly shooting of a 15-year-old boy from Rock Island.

Kire Carr, 19, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the death of Jescie Armstrong in April of 2016. He will have to serve 100 percent of his sentence.

Armstrong was shot in the head when Carr and two others set out to rob him during a marijuana deal.

"What a waste. I don't know what is going on with you kids," said Judge Norma Kauzlarich during Monday's sentencing.

Trey Gustafson, 21, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He must serve half of that. Gustafson today admitted he set up the drug deal, and knew it was going to be a robbery.

Armstrong was killed for $150 worth of pot.

Both accepted plea deals with the state.

A third defendant, Chelsea Raker, 23, plead guilty in October to armed robbery, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

"They took a life, they should have gotten life, but it's the system. That's how it works, we just have to be thankful, they'll be in prison for awhile," said Debbie Armstrong, the victim's grandmother.

"Nobody's gonna bring Jescie back to us. I hope this will send a message to the kids. It's terrible anymore. The deaths, and the guns and the violence," she said.

 

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