WQAD News

Peterson weighs in on Tiger’s return

JDC Tournament Director Clair Peterson says Tiger Woods is ultimately good for the sport of golf.  But in his absence, several young guns have stepped up including 2 time JDC Champ Jordan Spieth.  Peterson would of course love to see Tiger return to the JDC someday as well.

Muscatine man turns home into haunted house; collects hundreds of pounds of food for people in need

MUSCATINE, Iowa-- On this Halloween night, trick or treaters are lining up to get into a Muscatine haunted house. The entrance fee is a donation to a local food bank.

Troy "Stinky" Phillpot turns his home into Stinky's House of Horrors.

Dozens of volunteers work for the entire month of October to put together a house filled with haunted clowns, aliens, animals and even an execution room.

Volunteers estimate they'll collect thousands of pounds of food this year. All the food will be donated to the Muscatine Salvation Army Food Pantry.

"He does this for charity, but he puts a lot of his own time and effort into it, so it's really neat he does this for the community," says one haunted house goer.

This is the 22nd year the haunted house has been going. It's the tenth year admission has been canned goods for the community.

 

Legislative activist claims Illinois senator harassed her

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A crime-victims advocate told an Illinois House committee Tuesday that a powerful state senator sexually harassed her last year as they were working together on legislation, causing her so much mental anguish that she dropped 20 pounds and lost her hair.

Denise Rotheimer, who's running for a House seat in 2018, told the Personnel and Pensions Committee that Chicago Democrat Ira Silverstein, the Senate's Majority Caucus Chair, sent her unwanted social media messages, called her late at night, described her as "intoxicating" and told her, "I like having meetings with you, because you're pretty to look at." It led to such emotional distress, she said, that she considered admitting herself to a hospital.

Rotheimer testified in Chicago on House Speaker Michael Madigan's legislation to require annual sexual harassment training for lawmakers, staff members and lobbyists working in the Capitol. She said Silverstein played "mind games" and "had so much power over me" while he sponsored legislation she championed that would have provided free legal representation to crime victims maneuvering sometimes-byzantine courts.

Silverstein, who is married, told The Associated Press that he could not remember whether he did the things Rotheimer alleged, but also suggested that she might have been unhappy because the legislation has not yet passed.

"There were no mind games, no power struggle," Silverstein said. "I was working the bill. That was my job, to work the bill. She might not like how bill was proceeding. Maybe that's the issue here."

"I apologize if I made her uncomfortable," he said.

Rotheimer said she complained to the Office of the Executive Inspector General, leading to a referral to Senate President John Cullerton. The Chicago Democrat's spokesman, John Patterson, said the office was made aware of the complaint in late November 2016.

"Senior staff (members) met with Sen. Silverstein to let him know such allegations are taken seriously and that this would be reported" to the Legislative Ethics Commission and its executive director.

"It is our understanding there is an open investigation," Patterson said.

But the position of legislative inspector general has been vacant for several years. Madigan said during the hearing that complaints in the interim have been handled by the ethics officer on his staff or referred to the legislative ethics commission.

Rotheimer, an Ingleside resident who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Grayslake Democratic Rep. Sam Yingling, formed a group called Mothers on a Mission to Stop Violence after her 11-year-old daughter was raped in 2001 by a man who plied the child with alcohol. Jasmine's Law in 2010 made alcohol, along with illicit drugs, an aggravating factor in extending sentences for sexual predators using it to intoxicate victims. Her daughter has spoken publicly about the assault.

The committee that heard Rotheimer's testimony Tuesday endorsed Madigan's legislation to require annual training on acceptable behavior . Madigan's bill emerged last week after an open letter demanding an end to harassment and intimidation under the Capitol dome garnered more than 200 signatures amid increased attention on allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful people such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

"Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace. This is particularly true in our Capitol, a building that belongs to every woman and man in Illinois," Madigan said in a statement released after the hearing. "Legislative changes are a critical step, but far from a final step. Ultimately, eliminating sexual harassment will require cultures to change."

Madigan announced he was assembling a task force chaired by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a Democrat from Chicago, to "recommend further changes to combat workplace harassment both in our government and in the private sector."

Davenport teen turns to boxing to stay out of trouble

DAVENPORT - The boxing ring has become a second home to 15-year-old Eleazar Diaz, who started boxing at Pena Davenport Boxing Club two months ago.

He's been using it as an outlet, a way to stay out of trouble, "I did have a grip on me a couple times, I had some pocket knives but that stuff changed," said Diaz.

In just the last week, a dozen teens have been arrested for committing crimes, most of them car thefts. "One of them was my friend," said Diaz.

Diaz, disappointed to hear of his friends arrest, doesn't want his life to go down the same path.

"I thought to myself, this attitude is not gonna get me no where and you know, I'm just gonna go and do what I love best and that's boxing," said Diaz.

He's found a home at Pena Davenport Boxing Club.

"This is why we come here at 3:30 to try and keep them as soon as they get out of school from getting into trouble," said Patrick Pena, Owner of Pena Davenport Boxing Club.

He's learning from others who also have a troubled past.

"It's something that you're not thinking about right now because you're young  the only thing you're focused on is doing what you want to do when you get older to my age, I'm 23 and look back at the things I've done and it's just, I wish I would've taken it more serious," said Robert Calvin, boxer.

For Diaz, he hopes working hard in the ring will pay off not only in boxing but his every day life, "I just wanted to show my mother there's still hope for this one kid."

Pena Davenport Boxing Club is open every weekday after school, they are currently in the Lincoln school but will be moving to the J.B. Young Center.

The club will be holding it's annual Fight Night on November 11th, 2017 at Col Ball Room.

Private insurance company to leave Iowa’s Medicaid program

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An insurance company that helps run Iowa's new privatized Medicaid program is withdrawing its participation after less than two years, state officials announced Tuesday, a move that highlights failed negotiations between the company and the state over future coverage expenses.

AmeriHealth Caritas will end its Medicaid coverage in Iowa at the end of November, the company confirmed in a press release. It offered no details on why a new contract with the state, through the Iowa Department of Human Services, could not be reached. DHS officials also declined specifics and focused attention to new contracts with the remaining companies, Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare.

"From the very beginning I've said, 'If we keep all three, terrific. If we can't keep all three, that's OK, we'll find somebody else to fill in that gap," said department director Jerry Foxhoven at a press conference. "That's what we're going to do."

Still, the move will require a flurry of activity from the state. About 215,000 Medicaid enrollees had coverage through AmeriHealth Caritas, a company with corporate offices in Philadelphia. They must now be switched to the other companies. DHS then plans to hire another provider to offer coverage beginning next summer.

DHS spokesman Matt Highland said the state is focused on "a smooth transition" for affected Iowans, noting they'll get more information in the mail. He emphasized there will be no gap in coverage for them.

The agency confirmed it would spend more money as part of the new contracts. It was described as a 3.3 percent rate increase, but officials did not provide more specifics at the press conference. Foxhoven said the extra spending will be funded through existing agency dollars, though he did not break down how such a setup wouldn't impact other services.

Separately, the agency has sought what it's described as cost containment initiatives. The federal government recently approved a plan for the agency to reduce retroactive Medicaid benefits that help some new enrollees afford coverage after a sudden illness. Health care groups in Iowa have criticized the plan, arguing it will shift costs to patients and providers. The state expects to save more than $9 million.

Iowa privatized its Medicaid program in 2016 after DHS agreed to the switch without legislative approval. Democrats have since criticized its rollout, which has included reports of inadequate coverage and delayed payments for local health care providers. DHS and the three companies have repeatedly said such reports are not systemic. A disability rights group claims in a lawsuit filed this summer that the switch has violated the rights of disabled patients.

Amid that, changes could be coming. Foxhoven confirmed the new state contracts with the remaining companies include some updates over coverage. He called the contract changes "significant" but he declined to offer examples. He directed the press to review the documentation online.

Democrats in the Republican-controlled Legislature criticized Tuesday's announcement. Des Moines Sen. Janet Petersen, the party's new minority leader, said in a statement it's "more proof that Medicaid privatization is a horrible disaster."

GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds was lieutenant governor under former Gov. Terry Branstad when he oversaw the Medicaid shift. Reynolds has repeatedly defended the privatization since she became governor in May. Brenna Smith, a spokeswoman for Reynolds, didn't acknowledge the criticism in an emailed statement.

Kansas City officer creates dream costume for 9-year-old with special needs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A Kansas police officer tapped into his creative side to build a special costume for a special kid, according to WDAF.

Eric Hetlage was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 1. He's been in a wheelchair ever since.

“He has a lot of difficulty with seeing other kids being able to run and play and stuff like that; he wants to be able to do the things he sees all the other kids doing,” mom Sarah Scharschell said.

But for one day, he got to be surrounded by "fellow officers" from the police department.

Detective Parker says he had a lot of help and many local businesses donated to help make this special costume, but, by the time he was done, Eric had his own uniform and even his own squad car.

“It makes me want to cry, because for my son being in a wheelchair, he doesn't have a lot of friends and a lot of people don't do things for him – people look at him different,” Scharschell added. “It's a life changing event for my son, especially how he's become such good friends with officer Parker ... I pray officer Parker continues to stay in his life.”

Captain Tom Joyce with the KCK Police Department says detective Parker has a history of building cool things. Parker spent hours building the special police car just for Eric.

The 9-year-old who used to be scared of police now wants to be one himself, and refers to Parker as "my cop buddy.”

“That's all he talks about is officer Parker," said Sarah Scharschell. "He has a little fake cellphone, and he's on the phone all the time: 'I'm talking to Parker!'”

Hetlage went trick-or-treating at Kansas City, Kan., police headquarters Tuesday in his new Halloween costume.

“There's enough ugliness in the world, it's good to be able to share something positive,” Parker said.

Can Japan burn flammable ice for energy?

(CNN) — Japan’s relationship with the energy sector is, at best, complicated.

Having virtually no oil, coal or natural gas to fire its power plants, Japan was forced to import over 90% of its energy in 2014. It is the world’s third largest importer of oil and coal, and the number one importer of liquefied natural gas.

In 2016, its gas bill was $28.9 billion.

Furthermore, its 50-plus nuclear reactors, once considered a brilliant solution to its energy resource dearth, today mostly stand idle following the devastating Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown, in 2011.

But Japanese scientists may have found an innovative end to the country’s energy woes.

They are pioneering a new technology that could reshape the global energy industry. Even better, a technology that revolves around a resource which Japan has in abundance buried under the ocean.

The Japanese government wants to burn “flammable ice” for energy.

A new type of energy

Worldwide there are up to 2,800 trillion cubic meters of methane-bearing gas hydrates — a frozen mixture of water and natural methane — according to the United States Energy Information Administration.

Vast reservoirs of this resource are found where high pressures and low temperatures combine — i.e. buried inside thick Arctic permafrost and under deep ocean floors.

Possibly the planet’s last great source of carbon-based fuel, gas hydrates are thought to contain more energy than all the world’s other fossil fuels combined.

So far though, no one is close to being able to extract it commercially.

Japan is trying. Between 2002 and 2017, its government spent around $1 billion on research and development, according to the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry.

“There are two reasons the government wants to develop this technology,” says Ryo Matsumoto, professor of geology at the Gas Hydrate LaboraStory at Tokyo’s Meiji University.

“The first is to secure energy resources — if they can exploit a domestic resource they will increase their energy security. The second is that they are trying to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.”

Natural gas consumption emits roughly half the amount of carbon dioxide that coal does.

“Because natural gas is a cleaner source of energy, Japan wants to increase the proportion of natural gas used in the entire energy structure.”

What is flammable ice?

Flammable ice doesn’t look that different from something you might use to chill a cocktail, but the similarity stops there.

These ice crystals hold a remarkable quantity of natural methane gas. It is estimated that one cubic meter of frozen gas hydrate contains 164 cubic meters of methane.

Hold a match to the ice and the gas ignites so that instead of melting, it burns. The problem with gas hydrates is that the gas is hard to extract.

The first step, however, is to find the hydrates. In Japan, that’s not hard.

“Japan is rich in reserves within its exclusive economic zone on both the western Pacific Ocean side and along the eastern margin on the Japan Sea side,” says Matsumoto.

Engineers have so far focused on Nankai Trough, a long, narrow depression 50 kilometers off the coast of central Japan, which had been extensively surveyed over many years.

Analysis of extracted core samples and seismic data, Matsumoto says, has revealed that 1.1 trillion cubic meters of methane — enough to meet Japan’s gas needs for more than a decade — lies below the floor of the trough.

First extraction

In 2013, MH21 (Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources), a Japanese government-funded research group that brings together industry experts, scientists and policymakers, conducted the world’s first extraction tests.

The team positioned the drillship, Chikyu, over a formation called the Daini Atsumi Knoll that lies 1,000 meters under the sea, south of the Japanese city of Nagoya.

“To extract gas, the hydrate must first be melted so that it separates into gas and water,” says Dr. Koji Yamamoto, leader of the research group for field development technology at MH21.

The hydrate melts if it is nudged out of its stability zone, which can be achieved by either raising the temperature or lowering the pressure. Pumping hot water under the seabed to heat the hydrates would require a lot of energy, explains Yamamoto.

“We chose depressurization as the most effective method”.

The engineers drilled a well in the sea bed and used a submersible pump to suck water out of the sediments. “As the water level in the sediments drops, the pressure drops. This triggers the surrounding gas hydrates to start separating,” says Yamamoto.

The water is discharged into the sea, and the freed gas is piped to the surface.

Getting closer to gold

Yamamoto’s team became the first in the world to extract natural gas from offshore gas hydrate reserves. But their operation was short-lived. The venture was shut down after a few days when sand got into the pipe.

Earlier this year, the team made a second attempt.

They constructed two production wells and coated the pipes with a special polymer to reinforce them against sand intrusion. One well was still shut down by sand but in the other, the gas kept flowing.

A total of 235,000 cubic meters of gas was extracted, according to MH21.

“We produced a lot of gas but we haven’t found a reliable solution for the sand problem yet,” says Yamamoto.

Rivalry with China

Japan, of course, is not the only country with its eye on flammable ice.

Its old rival China is also hoping to find a relatively clean substitute for smog-producing coal.

After promising reserves were discovered in the South China Sea in 2007, the country successfully extracted offshore gas hydrates in May 2017.

The United States has extracted natural gas from hydrates locked under the frozen tundra of Alaska’s North Slope, but with its current glut of cheap shale gas, there is less incentive there to invest heavily.

Long term, however, gas hydrates could have a dramatic impact on the global gas market.

“If natural gas could be extracted economically from gas hydrates, it would reshape the energy world,” says Christopher Knittel, professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. “The implications are astounding. The price of natural gas, throughout the world, would be pegged to the price of extracting the hydrates.”

A trial mining of flammable ice at Shenhu area of the South China Sea in Hainan, China, and flammable ice mined from this area.

Despite a number of technological hurdles still having to be cleared, Yamamoto remains cautiously optimistic.

“Twenty years ago, nobody believed that shale gas could be used as an energy source. Now it can. With the techniques we currently have available, it’s less economical than imported natural gas. But in the future, that could change.”

Environmental impact?

So what are the environmental risks of this technology?

One possibility is that extraction could destabilize the sea floor and send sediment tumbling down the continental slope. In the worst-case scenario, an underwater landslide could trigger a tsunami.

Yamamoto says that the possibility of this happening is very low.

“The gas hydrate doesn’t melt by itself — we need to use an external energy source. When we stop the energy input, the process is automatically stabilized.”

The area Japanese scientists are focused on is seismically active, and the team has also spotted the scars of old landslides on the sea floor. Yamamoto says they have addressed these issues by installing “monitoring devices around the test area to detect subsidence, allowing us to investigate the ongoing level of risk.”

Matsumoto is less convinced.

“If a disaster takes place, we couldn’t guarantee that we’d be able to control it by ceasing to inject energy or closing down the depressurization process. The risk is higher in Nankai Trough because seismologists are warning of the possibility of a ‘megathrust earthquake’ within a few decades.”

A megathrust earthquake occurs at destructive plate boundaries, and is the most powerful of its kind with magnitudes that can exceed 9.

Gas leakage?

Another frequently cited concern is that methane could be accidentally released into the atmosphere. Methane is up to 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, over a 20-year timeframe.

Carolyn Ruppel, chief of the United States Geological Survey’s Gas Hydrates Project, says that a gas leak on the sea floor is unlikely to cause a catastrophe.

“People imagine it would lead to increased methane concentrations in the atmosphere and exacerbate global warming. But we have found that methane emitted at the sea floor, below a few 100 meters, very rarely makes it all the way up through the water column.”

Instead, the methane dissolves in seawater and is consumed by bacteria that convert it to carbon dioxide.

Ruppel points to evidence gathered during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

“A very large amount of methane was emitted at the seafloor. Studies carried out afterward determined that the methane did not reach the sea-air interface and was not injected into the atmosphere.”

That’s not to say a methane leak would be innocuous, she adds. “It could increase carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean.”

Furthermore, although cleaner than coal and oil, natural gas is still a fossil fuel that produces carbon dioxide when it undergoes combustion.

Green campaigners are concerned that a new source of cheap, abundant natural gas might slow the adoption of renewable technologies such as solar and wind power.

Knittel hopes that natural gas could act as a bridging fuel. “In some ways renewables and natural gas are complements, since the reliability of natural gas can counteract the intermittency of renewables.”

The future

Until this year’s tests, Yamamoto says, the Japanese government was hoping to see commercial production up and running by the late 2020s.

According to Yamamoto, it now looks as if this date will have to be put back by about a decade because current costs are too high to make gas hydrate extraction commercially viable.

His focus is not the economics, though.

“The government’s task is to develop the techniques, collect the data and provide the information that private companies will need.”

The mission to extract natural gas from hydrates is not just about reducing energy bills.

“It’s a domestic energy source and for that reason it’s very important for Japan’s future energy security.”

Wisconsin mom tied son to roof of minivan so he could hold plastic pool down, police say

FREDONIA, Wis. – A 28-year-old Wisconsin woman is accused of driving with her young son strapped to the roof of her minivan.

Investigators say Amber Schmunk had her child ride on top of her minivan to hold down a plastic pool.

She's now been charged with a felony for the incident, which happened September 9.

"That woman needs to think about the safety of her children," neighbor Barbara Sellin told WITI. "To put a kid on top of the car is beyond ridiculous."

Amber Schmunk

Officers were dispatched to the area of Hillcrest Road and Claremont Road in Saukville for reports of a child riding on top of a minivan, holding down a plastic pool.

The criminal complaint says Schmunk eventually pulled over and took her 9-year-old son off the roof, folded the pool and put it inside the van. She then pulled into her sister's driveway.

Schmunk told responding officers "she believed it was OK as her father let her do things like that when she was that age," according to the complaint.

Police say she told them there wasn't enough room inside the minivan for the pool she had picked up.

The complaint says Schmunk stated she, "had no way to strap it down so she had her (son) climb on the roof to hold it down while she drove." Schmunk later told police she did strap the boy down inside the pool.

Schmunk was charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony. She faces 10 years behind bars. She's due in court for her initial appearance on November 14th.

YouTuber apologizes after iPhone X video goes viral, father gets fired

Apple has fired an engineer after his daughter posted a video of a top-secret iPhone X. The Verge reports last week’s sneak peek on YouTube of the latest iPhone went viral and got Brooke Amelia Peterson’s dad sacked.

Sites such as 9 to 5 Mac urged readers to view the hands-on demo — “probably our best look yet” — at the much-anticipated device that TechRadar notes will hit stores on Nov. 3.

In a teary mea culpa, Peterson confirms the firing and says her father takes “full responsibility for the one rule that he broke.” On a visit to Apple’s HQ in Cupertino, Calif., Peterson shot the spot showing her dad’s phone in Caffe Macs, which Gizmodo notes is the swanky employee cafeteria.

“I made this little innocent video that was just supposed to be a fun memory,” she says. Peterson explains she took it down immediately at Apple’s request—but it wasn’t fast enough to stop it from triggering a sensation.

(Reposts of it are still available.) Apple hasn’t commented, but Engadget notes the tech giant generally bans all filming in its public spaces. Other tech companies, too, are touchy about early views of new products: Microsoft wasn’t happy about a worker who shared pre-release shots of the Xbox 360.

And Peterson’s iPhone X was no ordinary phone, but a specialty employee unit with sensitive info like code names. Peterson says she’s upset by the insults that followed her first viral video.

“Hate on me all you want, but please don’t hate on my father,” she says, calling her dad “the most honest, most loving, most caring.” (Sold-out pre-orders may not be an indication the iPhone X is all that.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Her iPhone X Video Went Viral. Then Her Dad Was Fired

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Manhattan terror attack suspect ID’d as Sayfullo Saipov, Uzbekistan native from Florida

NEW YORK — The suspect in a deadly terror rampage in lower Manhattan has been identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, a high-ranking police source told  WPIX.

Sayfullo Saipov

Saipov, a Tampa, Florida resident, arrived in the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan and is on a green card, sources told the New York City station.

Described as a "lone wolf," Saipov, police said, deliberately drove a rented Home Depot truck into a West Side bike path in lower Manhattan, killing at least eight people and injuring 11 others in the first terror attack in New York City since 9/11, just blocks from the World Trade Center.

A law enforcement official says that witnesses told police the driver shouted "Allah' Akbar, " Arabic for God is great, when he exited the truck after plowing into dozens of people.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill, when asked at a news conference whether the suspect shouted the phrase, said: "Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle," though he declined to elaborate.

O'Neill says the method of attack and the suspect's statement prompted officials "to label this a terrorist event."

He said the 29-year-old man entered the bike path and drove south, hitting pedestrians and cyclists. He then hit a school bus, injuring at two adults and two children.

He says the man exited the vehicle brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun. He was then shot in the abdomen by a police officer and is being debriefed, WPIX was told.

Sayfullo Saipov identified as suspect in NYC terror attack https://t.co/lOAgSQGNiX pic.twitter.com/SFZJPOUJ3S

— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) October 31, 2017

A Home Depot confirmed one of the company's rental trucks from New Jersey was part of an incident in lower Manhattan and said the company is "cooperating with authorities" in the investigation, CNN reported.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident "looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person." In a later tweet, he wrote, "My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!"

Alex Cruz, the pedestrian who snapped the now-viral photo of authorities surrounding the suspect, told WPIX, "After I heard the shots, I saw this big commotion and everyone was trying to find the perp ... I took my camera out and I saw him on the floor and took the picture."

The attack happened on Halloween as the city ramped up for celebrations big and small, including the annual Greenwich Village parade, which will go on under enhanced security.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed One World Trade Center to be lit in red, white and blue in honor of freedom and democracy, his office said.

Clinton Community Schools ease job requirements due to shortage of substitute teacher’s aides

There's a statewide shortage of substitute teacher's aides, so the Clinton Community School District decided to relax the education level required for the job.

Substitute teacher's aides will no longer need a college education. The job now requires a clear background check and a high school diploma.

"If we could get 20 to 30 people more than what we currently have, that would be huge for us. Since the first of September, I don't think there hasn't been a day where we haven't been short of paraeducators" says Superintendent Gary DeLacy.

Substitute teacher's aides are considered a category of paraeducators.

"Paraeducators are the ones that will work alongside teachers in special education rooms, that provide support. They could (provide) one on one (assistance,)... they could also be the ones that are supervising the hallways or at lunchtime or they might be an assistant in the library. It also does include your bus drivers and your secretaries," says DeLacy.

In the past three months alone, paraeducator services in the Clinton Community School District have been down by almost half.

He hopes the change in job requirements will attract more people to the job.

“It's a problem because it really ultimately hurts students. When you're shuffling people around or you have positions that are not filled, it affects the operations of the school and in some cases it's affecting direct instructions of the students,” DeLacy says.

There is a shortage of substitute teachers in the district as well.

For those jobs, the state requires at least a four-year degree and a substitute teaching license.

 

Seen as a win-win, the first TIF district in the city of Moline is coming to an end

MOLINE -  Autumn Trails, a retirement center and 34 independent living units first built in 2006 but the 13 acres of land became unique a year earlier.

Ray Forsythe is the City of Moline's Planning & Developmente Director.

"The city agreed to create the TIF district to help with the property put in some of the infrastructure and do the demolition of the orphanage that was on site," said Ray Forsythe, City of Moline Planning & Development Director.

Although the city now has 12 other TIF districts, Autumn Trails is becoming unique again.

For the first time ever, a Moline TIF district is ending, this one actually returning tax dollars to the community a full decade sooner than first expected.

"It was definitely worth the money for the city because it's new housing opportunities, it was a good example of how TIF districts are supposed to work."

"We didn't need the money, the developer has been paid in full so that money needs to go back to the taxing district," said Forsythe.

That adds up to a lot of money. The value of this property was just over $100,000 when the project was proposed, it's now worth more than $2 million.

The tax money that was re-invested in the TIF district, now returns to other agencies, the biggest winner, Moline Schools.

Sixty cents out of every tax dollar reserved for Autumn Trails now will go to the Moline School District, school districts often lose out the most when TIF districts are created.

"It will help us offset the half-a-million dollars that the state reduced our funding for this year," said Dave McDermott, Moline Schools Chief Financial Officer.

Sixty cents out of every tax dollar reserved for Autumn Trails now will go to the Moline School District, school districts often lose out the most when TIF districts are created.

However, Moline Schools say this development will pay dividends down the road.

"This TIF was a very successful TIF, they took a blighted area turned it around used it for economic development and twelve years later the value increased from $100,000 to $2.2 million," said McDermott.

In fact, Moline expects this property will generate $200,000 a year to be divided among taxing districts in Rock Island County and that's just Autumn Trails.

"We'll start to see them gradually dropping off now because they were put into place in the late 80's, late 90's when the downturn of the farm economy, when incentives were necessary to get projects to move forward," said Forsythe.

The downtown TIF district, the city's largest, is to expire in about three years and the old Moline High School TIF is set to expire in ten years.

"Anytime our local property value increases, it benefits the school districts and taxing bodies," said McDermott.

Moline Schools say they'll invest that money directly back to the classroom, so while it took money from the schools for the past decade, it's seen as a win-win for the long term health of the area.

"It was definitely worth the money for the city because it's new housing opportunities, it was a good example of how TIF districts are supposed to work," said Forsythe.

Moline believes this was both an effort to build better places to live and a better city to live in.

Former hostage speaks survival at Rock Island Arsenal

ROCK ISLAND - A former captive during the Iranian  hostage crisis says he relied on God, family, and country to survive his 444 days locked up in the Embassy in Tehran.

Dr. Paul Needham said he was placed in solitary confinement much of the time during the ordeal. To fill his day and stay sane, he exercised and did math problems.

"I joke about how I used to do 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit ups a day. You could do ten, then take a break. You had 24 hours to do it.I would sit in the corner sometimes and I would do calculus problems," he said.

"We went through mock firing squads where they lined us up against the wall. You learn about the resiliency you have within yourself," he said.

Dr. Needham was a 28-year-old Air Force captain when he was among those taken hostage on November 4, 1979 during the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

He was on a temporary duty assignment at the time.

Speaking today at the Rock Island Arsenal on the topic of resiliency, he received a standing ovation at the start and end of his one hour presentation.

He teared up talking about the failed 1980 mission named Operation Eagle Claw to try and rescue Needham and the others.

"Eight men died, they're buried in Arlington Cemetery, Section 46,"he said.

The hostages were released on January 20, 1981, the day of Ronald Reagan's inauguration. And his, mother's birthday.

"I celebrate that day. And, I got to say Happy Birthday to my mom. It was pretty special," he said.

Davenport’s juvenile program is needed now more than ever

DAVENPORT -  A program aimed at keeping kids out of the criminal system is expanding.

It comes as police receive more reports of teenagers stealing cars. Since last week a dozen teens have been arrested some as young as 13.

Davenport's Diversion program now has more room to grow. On Tuesday, October 31st, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate its new space located on W 4th Street in Davenport.

"It`s going to allow us the opportunity to work in a more treatment-type setting," said Jeremy Kaiser, Director of Scott County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Program.

With the new space, the program will be able to provide more detention alternative programs designed to keep juveniles from re-offending.

"We`re unfortunately filling beds all the time and there`s only so many beds available," said Scott County attorney Michael Walton.

Some say the growth of the program is needed now more than ever.

"I think it`s obvious we have a problem with juvenile crime right now going on in the Quad Cities," said Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane.

There's been an uptick in juvenile crime, especially with car thefts.

"I feel like a lot of these juveniles are good kids. They have good hearts, they`ve either just been caught up in the wrong people or they`ve just made a very poor decision and we don`t just want to lock them up and throw away the key. We want to talk to them about their future," said Kaiser.

Some of these kids will enter into the program. Instead of sending first-time offenders to juvenile court, they are diverted to the program that emphasizes education.

"If you take someone and you put them in a room and you put them in a room for a week, you take them out what did they learn? Other than they don`t want to be in that room. It`s not that effective. What`s effective is working with them and teaching them new patterns of thought and teaching them good new habits," said Kaiser.

Kaiser hopes this new way of thinking will not only keep crime down but turn someone's life around.

"I really feel like we can do so much more out in the community to help these kids learn, new ways of thinking and how to develop more positive behaviors," said Kaiser.

The program also helps teens with life after detention. It offers a program that helps them transition back into the community.

Police look to identify persons of interest in Downtown Davenport homicide

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Davenport Police Department needs the public’s help in identifying persons of interest in the murder of 29-year-old Dimitrius Summers in Downtown Davenport.

The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 18th in the 300 block of East 2nd Street.

Police urge anyone with information about the identity of the below individuals to call 563-326-6125. You can also submit an anonymous tip via the mobile app “CrimeReports by Motorola” or contact Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at http://www.qccrimestoppers.com or call 309-762-9500 in reference to “Can You Identify? Subjects #35.

Missing Attachment

You can see the full release from Davenport Police here.

 

8 killed by New York motorist in ‘cowardly act of terror’

NEW YORK (AP) — A man in a rented pickup truck drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight people and injuring several others in what the mayor called "a particularly cowardly act of terror."

The 29-year-old driver was shot by police after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand, officials said. He was taken into custody. His condition was not immediately disclosed.

Witnesses described a scene of panic and blood, with people screaming in fear and the path strewn with bodies and mangled bicycles.

Cities around the globe have been on alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and Britain, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.

Police said the vehicle, a rented Home Depot truck, entered the bike path on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center and mowed down several people. The truck also slammed into a small yellow school bus, injuring two adults and two children.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said.

"This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

At least two bodies could be seen lying on the path beneath tarps, and the front end of the pickup was smashed in.

Tom Gay, a school photographer, was on Warren Street and heard people saying there was an accident. He went down to West Street and a woman came around the corner shouting, "He has a gun! He has a gun!"

Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running southbound on West Street holding a gun. He said there was a heavyset man pursuing him.

He said he heard five or six shots and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.

The attack closed roads across the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River and sent uniformed officers rushing to the neighborhood as people prepared for Halloween festivities, including an annual parade through Greenwich Village.

Eugene Duffy, 43, a chef at a waterfront restaurant, said he was crossing West Street when he heard something, turned back and saw the white pickup on the bike path.

After seeing the mangled bikes, he ran south, seeing the school bus that appeared to have been T-boned, and officers at the scene, guns drawn, ducked behind patrol cars.

"So many police came and they didn't know what was happening," Duffy said. "People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs."

Uber driver Chen Yi said he saw a truck plow into people on a popular bike path adjacent to the West Side Highway. He said he then heard seven to eight shots and then police pointing a gun at a man kneeling on the pavement.

"I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground," Yi said.

Video footage of the school bus showed its right side bashed in, and firefighters surrounding it as they worked to free children inside.

The White House said President Donald Trump was briefed on the attack.

‘Kill them all’ — Russian-linked Facebook accounts called for violence

(CNN Money) — Facebook accounts run by Russian trolls repeatedly called for violence against different social and political groups in the U.S., including police officers, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants.

Posts from three now-removed Facebook groups created by the Russian Internet Research Agency suggest Russia sought not only to meddle in U.S. politics but to encourage ideologically opposed groups to act out violently against one another. The posts are part of a database compiled by Jonathan Albright, the research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, who tracks and analyzes Russian propaganda.

For example, “Being Patriotic,” a group that regularly posted content praising Donald Trump’s candidacy, stated in an April 2016 post that Black Lives Matter activists who disrespected the American flag should be “be immediately shot.” The account accrued about 200,000 followers before it was shut down.

Another Russia-linked group, “Blacktivist,” described police brutality in a November 2016 post weeks after the election, and stated, “Black people have to do something. An eye for an eye. The law enforcement officers keep harassing and killing us without consequences.”

The group “Secured Borders” had the most violent rhetoric, some of it well after the presidential election. A post in March 2017 described the threat of “dangerous illegal aliens” and said, “The only way to deal with them is to kill them all.” Another post about immigrants called for a draconian new law, saying, “if you get deported that’s your only warning. You come back you get shot and rolled into a ditch… BANG, problem solved.” And a post about refugees said, “the state department needs to be burned to the ground and the rubble reduced to ashes.”

Related: Facebook estimates 126 million people were served content from Russia-linked pages

More than two dozen messages encouraging violence are among thousands of controversial posts from Russia-linked Facebook accounts that analysts say sought to increase hostility — both ideological and physical — in the U.S. in an effort to further divide American society along political, religious or racial lines.

Mark R. Jacobson, a Georgetown University professor and expert on Russian influence operations, said Russia strategically seeks to undermine U.S. political cohesion by promoting extremist views within opposing political or social groups, and hoping chaos—and violence — ensues.

“The Russians don’t want groups like Black Lives Matter [and] the Alt-Right to sit there and have discussions and debates about the future of America. They want violent clashes,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson noted that, during the Cold War, Russia sought to enhance extremist ideas within the civil rights movement in hopes of sparking race-based warfare in the U.S.

“If we start to see violent rallies… we should start to look for the hidden hand of Russian influence behind it,” he said.

Columbia University’s Albright said even if only a fraction of the accounts’ posts called for physical violence, the overall messaging sought to push audiences toward more radical viewpoints that they would act on.

“These posts contained psychological calls to action toward both online and physical behavior,” he said.

Some of the violent posts received tens of thousands of likes, comments, shares, or reactions, according to a database of messages Albright compiled from six now-deleted Russia-linked accounts, which included the accounts that posted the violent messages reviewed by CNN.

One post by Secured Borders shared in October 2016, which was interacted with more than 100,000 times, stated, “if Killary wins there will be riots nationwide, not seen since the times of Revolutionary war!!”

Albright said this post was likely amplified through paid advertising because the overwhelming majority of Secured Borders’ messages received only a few thousand interactions.

Facebook has said it identified 3,000 ads tied to the Russian troll farm that ran between June 2015 and May 2017, though it’s unclear if those ads included any of the messages calling for violence. Facebook shared those ads with Congress, but they have not yet been publicly released.

Related: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort

Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, said violent messages like this could increase the possibility of audiences condoning or participating in violence against members of targeted groups.

“People can be heavily influenced by content online even when they don’t know where it comes from,” Benesch said. “In these cases, we can’t know if anyone was actually influenced toward violence, but this type of speech could increase that risk.”

Facebook’s terms of service prohibit content that is “hate speech, threatening, or… incites violence.”

Asked for comment, a Facebook spokesperson told CNN, “We don’t allow the promotion of violence on Facebook but know we need to do better. We are hiring thousands of new people to our review teams, building better tools to keep our community safe, and investing in new technologies to help locate more banned content and bad actors.”

Facebook’s Vice President of Policy and Communications, Elliot Schrage, has said the company is working to develop greater safeguards against election interference and other forms of abuse. In a blog post earlier this month, Schrage said Facebook is “still looking for abuse and bad actors on our platform — our internal investigation continues.”

The Internet Research Agency, a secretive company based in St. Petersburg, which the US intelligence community has linked to the Kremlin, appears to be the source of 470 inauthentic Facebook accounts that shared a wide range of controversial messages. Documents obtained by CNN show the IRA included a “Department of Provocations” that sought to spread fake news and social divisions in the West.

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