A little wintry mix is on track Friday night into St. Patrick’s Day

You can definitely feel more of a chill in the air this evening. We’ll keep the breezy winds in place tonight, along with some wet weather. Rain moving in this evening will switch to a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and wet snow late tonight and early Saturday morning. This wintry mix will mainly fall along and north of I-80, and accumulations will be light. Around a tenth of an inch of ice and up to an inch of snow is possible, especially on elevated and grassy surfaces. Temperatures will be right at or a little below freezing.

The wintry mix will linger into Saturday morning, but it’s on track to move out just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day parade! Temperatures for the parade will be in the upper 30s. Cloud cover will slowly clear through the afternoon, and we’ll warm up into the mid to upper 40s.

More sunshine is on tap for Sunday with highs near 50. We’ll cool back down into the 40s by Monday and Tuesday with more cloud cover in place.

-Meteorologist Taylor Graham

Scam alert: Iowa American Water warns customers about imposters

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Iowa American Water is warning customers to watch out for imposters posing as employees of the utility company to gain access to their home.

A customer in Davenport recently reported that two individuals knocked on her door claiming to be water utility employees. The customer allowed the imposters in, and while one distracted the customer, the other stole property from the home. Davenport Police Department are investigating the incident.

“For the safety of our customers, we are reminding them that our employees always carry company-issued photo ID badges and will never come to a customer’s home demanding access or a payment to avoid water shut off,” said Randy Moore, Iowa American Water president.

“There is no need to feel uneasy about making someone wait outside while you confirm that person is a legitimate utility worker,” added Moore. Iowa American Water employees care about customers’ safety, and our employees don’t mind the wait. We believe it’s worth the peace of mind for our customers.”

Customers are encouraged to contact Iowa American Water’s at 1-866-641-2108 or at 563-468-9201 if they are unsure of the identity of someone who comes to their home as a representative of Iowa American Water.

Iowa American Water recommends customers take the following steps to ensure their safety against imposters:

Stop and think: Are you expecting anyone to come to your home? Iowa American Water does not typically send a service worker to your home unannounced. They usually will have an appointment before showing up. An exception would be if there were a water main break in the neighborhood. Water company distribution workers routinely knock on customers’ doors to provide an advance notification if water service will be temporarily interrupted during main repairs; however, they typically do not request entry to a customer’s home.

All Iowa American Water employees have company-issued photo ID cards to verify their employment. However, if you cannot see an ID card without opening your door; you should call the company’s customer service center at 1-866-641-2108 or the local office during normal business hours at 563-468-9201 for verification.

Iowa American employees drive company vehicles with an Iowa American logo printed on the side and have a uniform, jacket or hat with the company logo. For a customer service call, the vehicle would be visible to the customer and parked outside their home.

Iowa American Water employees do not request entry to your home after dark unless it is an emergency call requested by the customer or an appointment for service work that has been scheduled in advance by the customer.

Iowa American Water employees will NEVER come to a customer’s home demanding payment of an unpaid bill to avoid water shut off. Field employees are not allowed to accept payments from customers.

If in doubt, you should always contact the water company for employee verification or contact the local police department. You should always have the person wait outside behind a locked door while this is done. A legitimate worker won’t mind waiting while you verify their employment information.

Iowa American Water advises customers to never admit a person into their home if they are doubtful of that person’s identity. It is always much better to be safe than sorry.


“Your Money with Mark” on Monday: Toys-R-Us, Amazon, and Feb. Retail Sales

Every Monday on Good Morning Quad Cities, investment adviser Mark Grywacheski joins us to share his insight on finance matters that impact the Quad Cities community.

On March 19th we’re talking with Mark about the latest on Toys-R-Us closures and where consumers in the market for toys are taking their business.  Mark will also parse the February Retail Sales report that was released this week–taking an especially close look at Amazon’s numbers compared to Wal-Mart and Target, and its sustained success at a time when other big retailers are failing.

Click here at 6:00am on Good Morning Quad Cities to see what Mark has to say about these topics and more!

NAILED IT OR FAILED IT: 1 Craft, 1 Game, 1 Dessert, 1 Drink for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day is TOMORROW! If you haven't figured it out yet, we are very excited about it. So, it shouldn't come to a shock to anyone that we celebrated all things St. Pat's during our weekly Nailed It Or Failed It segment on WQAD News 8 at 11am.

First, two fun things for the kiddos (and kiddos at heart)! The first thing we made were these Marshmallow Rainbows. All you need are big marshmallows, pipe cleaners, and Froot Loops! Next, using your Froot Loops, you can play this "Minute To Win It" game that is just as challenging as it is hilarious. Click the video above to see who won - Jon or Eric?

Second, Fareway showed us how to make a delicious meal for St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday during Good Morning Quad Cities, but what about dessert? I made this Mint Poke Cake to celebrate St. Patrick... and someone else (wink!). Click the video below to see who is turning one year older this weekend!

Also, our Producer - Charlie Whiteman - shares his favorite St. Patrick's Day drink recipe for our Cocktail of the Week: Genius Kitchen's "Wicked Little Leprechaun"

Everything you need to know to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the QC

The Quad Cities’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Grand Parade will start at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, beginning at the corner of 4th Ave. and 23rd St. in Rock Island.


The nation’s only bi-state St. Patrick’s parade will march through downtown Rock Island, across the Mississippi River via the Centennial Bridge to West 3rd St., and east through downtown Davenport, along an expanded route to the RiverCenter at East 3rd and Perry Streets.


Our meteorologist Eric Sorensen has helpfully forecasted temperatures throughout the parade, down to the minute–between 38 and 43 degrees. It’s warm enough to tempt thousands of Quad Citians to go outside after a harsh winter, but still relatively chilly, so dress in layers.


Iowa-bound lanes on the Centennial Bridge will be closed from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Police will shuttle traffic between Rock Island and Davenport on the Illinois-bound lanes.

Parts of 3rd St. between North Division and LeClaire Streets in Davenport will be also be closed from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. No parking will be allowed along that section and along 2nd St., between Ripley and Brady Streets.

Parking will be available, however, in three garages:

  • RiverCenter Parking Ramp, 102 E. 2nd St.
  • Redstone Parking Ramp, 101 Main St.
  • Parking Ramp, 331 W. 3rd St.


Viewing areas for people with disabilities have been designated by the City of Davenport: on the southside of the intersection of Ripley and West 3rd Streets, and inside the lobby of the RiverCenter.


A special Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 2208 4th Ave., Rock Island.

The St. Patrick Society will host a post-parade bash including food, drinks, and live Irish music and dancing from 1-4 p.m. at the RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St. Entrance is free for members. Non-members will be charged $15 at the door.


How important is Chicago and its suburbs to the state of Illinois?

MOLINE- Party leaders are trying to stress the importance of downstate Illinois ahead of the primary on Tuesday, March 20.

We had Breakfast With...Doug House, chair of the Rock Island County Democrats, Friday, March 16, on Good Morning Quad Cities. House says getting Democratic support in downstate Illinois is critically important, even though democrats don't carry all parts of the downstate.

"The way Illinois voters are somewhat identified would be, Cook County being one third of the state, the collar counties that surround Cook County, Kane, DuPage, Will Lake County, those counties would make up another third of the state," House said Friday. "Then the rest of the state is what they call the downstate."

House says the controversy surrounding the Quincy veterans' home has made downstate Illinois more important this year. He says voters in that part of the state don't feel neglected like they have in years past.

First year teacher making her mark on Jordan Catholic students

Mary Nonnenmann cautiously walked up to her classroom at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island, where Sister Clementia is standing in front of the class.

"Sister? I would like to give you this reward, because you're my favorite teacher," she said quietly.

Sister Clementia's cheeks turned bright red as she smiled brightly back at Mary. She accepted the plaque Mary was holding with a warm, "Thank you". Sister noticed the crowd forming in her room, while her students loudly cheered.

"Wow, there's a lot of people in here," Sister Clementia said.

Sister Clementia may be shy in front of strangers, but in front of her students she is right at home. She is comfortable enough to be vulnerable, letting them in on a personal part of her life when her father died last month.

"Yesterday their only homework was to go home and tell their parents they love them," she said. "They took it to heart. It was very beautiful."

Sister Clementia took time off to say goodbye to her father. But when she returned to work about a week later, she found colorful messages of love and support written on her classroom whiteboard. There was a bouquet of flowers and a stack of handwritten cards. The students had also raised money to gift her a palm cross with her father's name on it.

"When I called my dad to tell him I was teaching, he cried," she remembered. "It meant so much to him."

Sister Clementia spent years working as an accountant for her parish. She knew her true calling was in the classroom, and finally decided to speak up. Her superiors gave her the opportunity to teach religion for the first time this year at Jordan Catholic. As it turns out, the shy teacher who blushed when a crowd walked into her classroom is actually quite bold.

"At the beginning of class, Sister plays a song of the day," said Mary. "One class the song was Joyful Joyful from Sister Act 2, and she sang along to the entire song. It was hilarious."

The class demands a repeat performance. After some hesitation, she starts to rap.

Joyful, Joyful Lord we adore Thee An' in my life I put none before Thee...  By the end of the verse, Sister Clementia's students are loudly singing along, finishing with huge applause. "She's very spunky and fun and thinks outside the box and makes people feel comfortable in her classroom," said Mary.

"I've fallen in love with teaching and the students and everything," said Sister Clementia.

Quad Cities’ only minute-by-minute forecast for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Quad Citians really know how to celebrate! And St. Patrick’s Day may be one of our biggest gatherings. Tens of thousands of spectators will line the streets of Rock Island and Davenport as the annual parade begins at 11:30am Saturday morning.

It looks like we’ll have quite a few clouds in the morning with increasing sunshine for the afternoon. As far as rain goes, we’ll have rain and a wintry mix during the early morning hours, but by 9am, most of that should be done. Dry skies are expected for the parade this year.

Dress warmly though! Temperatures will likely be right around the 40-degree mark.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Climate change affecting taste and cost of beer

On St. Patrick’s Day, many celebrate with good music, food, and drinks. According to research by one investment firm, March 17 ranks fourth behind New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Christmas Day in the amount of daily alcoholic drinks consumed in the U.S.

As the world’s climate warms, an interesting effect is happening on beer’s core ingredients: hops, water, and barley.

Hops are affected by heat and drought, and with 99 percent of U.S. hops grown in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho (with over 70 percent grown in Washington alone), the drier climate developing in the West will impact production.

Water available for irrigating the hops largely comes from annual melting of winter snowpack from the mountains. A warming world means more rain versus snow in the winter, meaning irrigation may depend more on ground water, which has a higher mineral content and affects the beer’s taste.

Barley, the most common grain used in fermentation, is primarily produced in the Upper Midwest and Northern Rockies, and like many cereal crops, it is particularly susceptible to heatwaves and droughts. U.S. farmers are planting less of it to reduce their financial risk. Last year, Montana farmers planted 23 percent less barley for the beer market than in 2016, meaning the final cost of beer at the pub or market may be going up.

Beer is also big business. Increasingly, locally owned craft brewers are having an impact on the industry landscape and on the economies in which they are located. According to the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers, a craft brewer produces six million barrels of beer or less a year, with less than 25 percent of the brewery controlled by a larger organization. In 2016, sales of craft beer were up 10 percent, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total U.S. market. Local craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, representing more than 456,000 jobs.

Adult Iowans spend $388.77 per year on craft beer. The amount is slightly lower for people in Illinois where $283.70 is spent annually.

METHODOLOGY: Economic statistics provided by the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers. Statistics for 2017 will be released by the end of March. Their full economic impact methodology can be found here.

Jordan Delp hosting a basketball camp to help two local families

Jordan Delp, a coach with Pure Sweat Basketball, will be hosting a camp on March 30th with all proceed going to two Quad City families.  Stephanie Rangel is battling breast cancer while Sara and Brandon Nau recently lost their 1 year old son to a rare genetic disorder.  The camp will be held at Augustana College from 1-3.

VanHyfte’s hoop it up in a barn

Sisters Celina, Morgan and Jayde Vanhyfte spend plenty of time in their family barn.  Five years ago they renovated the barn and put a basketball hoop inside of it so they can improve their game.

Former Rhythm City Casino riverboat burns in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – A river boat that used to be home to a casino here in the Quad Cities caught fire in Memphis on March 15.

WQAD’s sister station WREG reports that The old Rhythm City Casino riverboat went up in flames today.

Owner and Captian William Lozier with “Memphis Riverboats” says it was being deconstructed by workers when some debris caught fire.

Reports say that originally wanted to use the former casino boat to host weddings, proms and other events.

In 2016, the city of Memphis spent $1.7 million on a new firefighting barge for river fires but that barge hadn’t been deployed Thursday afternoon.

No Injuries were reported.

I-80 Equipment bankruptcy documents show a trail of lost equipment and a reason for further investigation

COLONA, Illinois - Fire crews fought the fire at I-80 Equipment for hours back in February. The business, which refurbished bucket trucks and sold them nationwide, burned to the ground.

The fire came two months after owner Erik Jones filed for bankruptcy. News Eight pulled those bankruptcy documents, they show he took out a $12 million loan from First Midwest Bank in 2015.

Three years later in November of 2017, the bank found 115 pieces of equipment valued at more than $5 million missing.

"The Iowa 80 Equipment getting burnt down, how did it get burnt down? Why is nobody ever around to take care of things here? Why is there nobody there to answer the phones? The questions always there," said tenant.

Jones also owns rental homes and apartment complexes. News Eight spoke with a woman who rents an apartment from Jones.

She says she's had problems with maintenance and can't get in contact with anyone from the company to help.

The fear of losing her apartment kept her from disclosing her identity and she isn't alone, several people reached out the News Eight, both tenants and former I-80 Equipment employees, afraid to speak out.

"It's very unsettling with this whole bankruptcy business now knowing what's gonna happen, nobody's even let us know anything," said tenant.

Jones ran all of his businesses out of the Colona building. After the fire, all that was left was a laptop and 'Jones Electronic Records.'

According to court documents, those records could show that Jones illegally shifted money between his businesses.

Now, the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.

News Eight reached out to Jones and have yet to hear back.

Jones is set to have another bankruptcy hearing later this month, at that hearing he will be asked to release over a dozen titles to customers who allegedly never received them.

Children exposed to violence conference aims to train locals on what to look for and how to handle child abuse

MOLINE, Illinois - Child abuse prevention month is less than a month away, and today teachers and child care workers got lesson and information on how to help stop you.

The 15th annual "children exposed to violence conference" was held at the Tax Slayer Center in Moline.

Locals have the chance to come together and learn what to look for and how to handle child abuse and addiction in the community.

"Its essential that we get training on what to look for... how we can stay ahead of current trends.. offering the very best to in research and opportunities to learn here in the quad cities." said Angie Kendall, director of development and communications.

According to the child abuse council, one in five girls and one in ten boys experience sexual abuse before they turn 18 years-old.


Woman spends $19K on kidney transplant for beloved 17-year-old cat

BALTIMORE, M.D. – What would you do with $19,000? Buy a car or a new house? Pay off overdue bills? A University of Baltimore professor used the money to save the life of her senior cat, and she says every penny was worth it.

If cats come with nine lives, Stanley is now living off of nine more.

“He’s seen me through the worst moments of my life,” Stanley’s owner, Betsy Boyd, said. “He’s an old cat. He doesn’t run around as much as he used to.”

When the frisky feline wasn’t feeling well because of kidney problems, Boyd didn’t think twice about making him purrfect again.

“He seems almost human to me,” she explains. “He’s a friend, and I believe that this friend wanted to live, so I paid for the surgery.”

The price tag for a new kitty kidney? Try nearly $20,000.

Boyd says she and her husband paid for the surgery out of their limited savings. They had to ditch plans for a new car.

The mother of two wrote about her choice online. Her story quickly took off.

While there has been some support, not everybody agrees with her.

“People who have commented online in some cases have been tacky and cruel. That’s their right,” Boyd said.

She says saving Stan has given her a new perspective on money and life. She says she would do it again, as she’s still focused on the one she calls her soulmate.

“He purrs all the time. He begs for poultry. He wakes me up at 4 a.m. for a snack. He’s happy, and we’re still very good friends,” she said.

On the road to recovery, Stanley celebrated his 18th birthday Saturday.

“Happy birthday, Stanley! You don’t look a day over five, but you’re 18 today,” Boyd said.

She now hopes this cool cat will stick around a bit longer — a present Boyd and her family says comes without a pricetag.

“Twenty-five would be great. I had always hoped for 30,” she said.

The family also adopted the 2-year-old donor cat that provided Stan’s kidney.

Boyd says she still spends hundreds of dollars on drugs and bloodwork to make sure his body doesn’t reject his new kidney.

River cleanup underway after Savanna-Sabula implosion

SAVANNA, Illinois-- Although the Savanna-Sabula bridge was imploded last week, pieces of the bridge still remain in the water.

IDOT crews have been working all week since the implosion to remove the debris from the river. Their work has been drawing attention from locals.

"I see people here everyday there’s some regulars here all the time come and walk their dogs and watch the bridge," said Irve Shrake, Savanna resident.

Shrake says since the explosion, he's spent almost every morning watching crews pull out large chunks of metal from the river, excited for what's next after the construction and cleanup is complete.

"I like what we got now that’s pretty nice that’s a much nicer looking bridge wider and nicer all the way around," said Shrake.

According to IDOT official Guy Tridgell,  the main parts of the bridge were cleared  from the main channel a few days after the implosion so barge traffic could get through.

Crews will be using cranes to pull the remaining pieces from the water then placed on barges to be trucked to Chicago. Tridgell says the plan is to take the pieces to be salvaged.

The piers from the main truss and other parts supporting the structure will be taken down in the next couple of weeks.

Work is expected to be completed sometime in May, around the same time the new Savanna-Sabula Bridge is expected to open. Drivers are expected to use a detour using U.S 67 to IA 136 in the City of Clinton to IL 84. 

Mayor of the City of Savanna, Chris Lane, says the city is considering building a monument from the old bridge.




Illinois Governor Rauner responds to critics on how his administration is handling the state’s veteran’s home Legionaries Disease epidemic

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is exploring the possibility of building a new Illinois Veterans Home.

This comes after the current home, in Quincy, has been dealing with outbreaks of Legionaries Disease.

The Governor is now even answering critics who say his administration has been slow to act.

"The narrative for political purposes that somehow i'm too slow and 'why did this take so long.' Nothing has taken us long. We have implemented immediately, immediately everything that has been recommended." said Rauner.

Since 2015, 13 people have died of the disease. Just last month, four new cases have been reported.

Family survives fire in Princeton, Iowa

PRINCETON, Iowa - Multiple fire departments responded to a structure fire at 1340 Highway 67 in Princeton, Iowa on March 15 just before 5:30 P.M.

Princeton police say the fire started in the home's attic.  A family, who had just moved into the rental home five days earlier, was home at the time.

Several adults and children were able to get out of the home without injury.

The LeClaire Fire Chief says an investigation is underway into what caused the fire.

Drop in demand from big customers forces Sivyer Steel to sell

BETTENDORF, Iowa -  The president of Sivyer Steel in Bettendorf says that company is not closing, but will soon change hands.

Keith Kramer says a drop in demand from big customers since 2015 has forced  the company filing for reorganization in bankruptcy court, including loss of assets.

He said the reorganization will position the company to meet more recent demand from the mining industry.

Sivyer Steel employs 230 people, and makes steel casings.