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Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani to join Trump legal team in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining the legal team defending President Donald Trump in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

That’s according to a statement from Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow. The addition of Giuliani adds an experienced litigator and former U.S. attorney in Manhattan. Trump has struggled to add lawyers to his legal team since the resignation of John Dowd last month.

The statement from Sekulow quotes Trump as saying, “Rudy is great” and saying that Giuliani wants to get “this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

Giuliani will be joining a legal team that has been negotiating the terms of a possible Trump interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. Two other former federal prosecutors will also be joining Trump’s legal team.

Big tobacco pays Iowa $50.9 million dollars

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa has received a $50.9 Million payment from tobacco companies, according to the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa.

It is part of a 1998 landmark settlement in which attorney generals of 45 states made a deal with the nation’s four largest tobacco companies to settle lawsuits to recover billions of dollars in state health care costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses.

In the last 20 years, Iowa has received more than $1.2 billion in payments under the settlement. The state will continue to receive annual Master Settlement Agreement payments in perpetuity, based on the number of cigarettes sold in the United States.

About $11.2 million of this year’s payment – or 22 percent – will go to the state.

The 78 percent remainder will be used principally to pay bondholders who bought bonds issued by the Tobacco Settlement Authority.

According to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, the settlement created restrictions on the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes, including a ban on targeting children through advertising.  It also includes prohibitions on outdoor advertising of cigarettes and the advertising of cigarettes in public transit facilities, as well as the use of cigarette brand names on merchandise, and a host of other restrictions.

The central purpose of the agreement was to reduce smoking, particularly among youth.

Since it was announced, cigarette sales in the United States have fallen substantially. Adult smoking rates have fallen from 24 percent of the U.S. population in 1999 to 15 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention.

Only 5.4 percent of teenagers in grades eight, 10 and 12 reported smoking a cigarette in the past 30 days in 2017, according to the Monitoring the Future survey.

Home on 12th Avenue struck by gunfire during early morning shooting

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — Police are looking for information about a shooting incident on Tuesday, April 17 that resulted in a home on 12th Avenue being struck by gunfire.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Tuesday, shortly after 2:30 a.m. when a witness reported that two cars may have been exchanging gunfire in the 1300 block of 12th Avenue. One vehicle was a red PT Cruiser and the second a black passenger car.

When police arrived, they recovered several 40 caliber casings from the north side of 12th Avenue. Two parked vehicles in the area were damaged along with property at a nearby house where police found damage to three windows, deck boards and the house siding. Four bullets penetrated  the home, damaging walls, a refrigerator and a television. There were no injuries reported.

Police ask anyone with information about the crime to call investigators at (309) 752-1547 or Crime Stoppers at (309) 762-9500. There is a cash reward if information provided leads to an arrest.

 

Poop train finally leaves Alabama town after stinking it up for two months

The smelliest train in America has rolled out of Parrish, Ala., and the small town hopes it will never see its like again.

In what Mayor Heather Hall described as “wonderful news,” the train’s load of 10 million pounds of sewage sludge from New York and New Jersey has been transported to a private landfill site 25 miles away after stinking up the town for more than two months, NPR reports.

The 250 tractor-trailer loads of poop ended up in the Parrish rail yard after nearby West Jefferson sued to prevent the sludge from being handled locally. The sludge “smells of dead rotting animals as well as human waste” and caused the town to become infested with flies, West Jefferson’s legal action stated.

Parrish residents say the stench from the waste, which was parked near Little League ballfields, was inescapable and made life in the town of 982 people almost unbearable.

The mayor, who said the sludge smelled “like death,” plans to introduce zoning laws to prevent an encore. She says other small towns in the South are dealing with similar problems on a smaller scale.

“This material does not need to be in a populated area … period,” she said in a Facebook post. “It greatly diminishes the quality of life for those who live anywhere near it.” Parrish residents firmly agree.

“Would New York City like for us to send all our poop up there forever?” one resident tells the AP. “They don’t want to dump it in their rivers, but I think each state should take care of their own waste.”

She documented her exotic trip on Instagram, now she heads to prison

SYDNEY – “She wanted to be the envy of others,” said an Australian judge of Mélina Roberge. There’s little to envy now: The 24-year-old was on Wednesday sentenced to eight years for drug trafficking, in a case that involved $20 million of cocaine, an exotic cruise, and social media.

Roberge and Isabelle Lagacé, 30, left Quebec and set sail on what by all appearances was a glamorous six-week cruise with stops in places like Bermuda, Peru, Chile, and Tahiti, which the women documented via Instagram (photos here).

But when they arrived in Australia on Aug. 28, 2016, sniffer dogs unearthed 30 kilograms of cocaine in their first-class cabin, reports the CBC. More than twice that amount was found in André Tamine’s quarters; the 65-year-old Montreal man had invited the women on the trip.

The BBC reports it’s the the biggest drug seizure Australia has made on a commercial boat or plane. Judge Catherine Traill had harsh words for Roberge’s desire to have an impressive social media presence, reports news.au.com: “She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world. It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency.” The Times of London cites a court affidavit in which Roberge admitted to being “a stupid young woman” concerned with superficial things.

That may not have changed: The court heard that “her main hobby in prison is training at the gym.” Lagacé was sentenced to seven years and six months in November, and Tamine will be sentenced in October.

Homeowner finds naked intruder in her tub, eating Cheetos

MONROE, La. – A Louisiana woman is accused of breaking into a home, stripping naked and taking a bath while eating the homeowner’s Cheetos, according to MyArkLaMiss.com.

Evelyn Washington, 29, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with simple burglary and criminal damage to property in the home invasion.

According to a police report, a woman returned to her Monroe home and found a naked Washington in the bathtub.

Washington reportedly told officers that an unknown man told her to break-in to the house. Both the suspect and victim said they didn’t know each other.

Washington was taken to the Ouachita Correctional Center.

Area high school students plan call for safety during Friday walkouts

ELDRIDGE, Iowa -

Students at North Scott High School are planning a call for safety during a walkout on Friday, April 20.

The 17-minute event will remember each Parkland, Florida, shooting victim and the anniversary of the Columbine High shooting in Colorado.

"For me, it's really important to make sure our schools are safe, so we can learn in an effective way," said Alexis Raleigh, a junior at North Scott, who is helping to organize the event.  "Be able to get the most of our education without being fearful of our safety."

Raleigh, 16, says that the walkout is not necessarily for gun control, but for legislation to address school safety.

"Addressing safety in schools is a lot more complex of an issue than just taking away guns," she continued.

At North Scott, that includes everything from classroom policies to using school resource officers.

"They realize our community is strong believers in the Second Amendment, so they're just looking at how we can promote school safety," said North Scott Principal Shane Knoche.

While participating students will be marked as absent, most won't face punishment.  At  Pleasant Valley High School and Rock Island High School, it will be an unexcused absence without parental permission.

Pleasant Valley students are leading a 90-minute session on Friday.

"It is not our role as a school district to teach students what to think, but it is our role to help develop their capacities on how to think," said Pleasant Valley Superintendent Jim Spelhaug.

Administrators say that participating must be more than just wanting to miss a class.

"It has to be, what are you going to do after this?" Knoche said.

"You are informing yourself," Spelhaug continued.  "You're listening to the views of others.  Most important in this great country of ours is that you're exercising your franchise to vote."

For participants like Alexis Raleigh, it's about thinking and acting.

"Being at North Scott has really taught me how important it is to take a stand for something," she concluded.  "If you believe in something, don't just say that you believe in it.  Do something about it."

 

Doctors are treating teens for video game addiction

Denver, Colo. (KMGH) — More teens are being treated for what researchers are calling “Internet Gaming Disorder.” Research and patient visits over the past few years have some doctors believing gaming addiction is a legitimate problem.

“They wake up in the middle of the night to game or they don’t go to sleep because they are gaming. They are on the internet and cellphone, they’re ditching school and they’re not doing their homework. It leads to lots of conflict at home and arguing,” said Dr. Christian Thurstone, Director of Addiction Services at Denver Health.

Dr. Thurstone said he first started hearing concerns about gaming addiction problems five years ago. Patients came in saying they couldn’t stop being on the Internet. What started as simple texting on cell phones years back has now evolved into multi-player games where people can play against other players around the world, across their gaming consoles, computers and phones.

The recommended treatment for patients with “Internet Gaming Disorder” is 90 days away from the devices or technology they developed an addiction to. After that time, doctors said patients can be re-introduced to what devices they couldn’t leave alone to see if further treatment is needed.

Most recently, a video game that hit the market last fall called Fortnite is pulling in teenagers by the millions. The game growing in popularity is so addictive, many teens can’t put down their controllers or phones.

Dr. Thurstone said teens ages 16-17 are the most at risk for developing gaming addiction; Citing studies showing 5.5% of teens have problems with using the Internet too much and males are five times more likely to develop this type of addiction than females.

Dr. Thurstone also cited new research showing Internet gaming can light up the center of the brain that addictive drugs light up as well.

“There’s a common pathway that lights up when people are using too much internet and using too much of a substance. You start to see there is the biological that starts to go along with what you see in front of you and you start to see that it’s probably a real thing,” said Dr. Thurstone.

Doctors said parents should step in if they notice their kids are spending a majority of their time gaming, especially if their usage is in the 8-10 hour range. Also, be aware if kids are giving up sleep, not caring about school or homework and becoming disconnected from friends and family. These are all warning signs they could be developing an unhealthy addiction to gaming. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum of two hours of screen time per day.

Gaming communities can be a positive atmosphere when used in the right way. They bring friends together and create a fun activity. However, when the gaming becomes a priority and takes away from kids and teens having human contact, then doctors recommend parents stepping in and having a conversation about setting boundaries or seeking professional help.

Oops! Deutsche Bank accidentally sends $35 billion payment

(CNN Money) — Imagine sending someone money you owe them — but with more than a few extra zeros.

That’s what happened to struggling Deutsche Bank in an epic blunder that it quickly corrected.

Germany’s biggest bank said an “operational error” led to the accidental collateral payment to an exchange it does business with.

The size of the mistake? $35 billion, a person familiar with the matter told CNNMoney. That’s $5 billion more than Deutsche Bank’s entire market value.

“The error was identified within a matter of minutes, and then rectified,” a Deutsche Bank spokesman said in a statement.

Deutsche Bank said it was moving the money as collateral to its account at Eurex, a major international exchange focused on European derivatives. Investors are sometimes required to post more collateral as security for repayment. The incident occurred in late March, the person familiar with the matter said.

It’s not clear how much money Deutsche Bank intended to pay — just that it wasn’t nearly $35 billion. Deutsche Bank declined to comment further.

News of the $35 billion blunder, first reported by Bloomberg News, is unlikely to restore confidence in an embattled bank that hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2014. Deutsche Bank got rid of CEO John Cyan on April 8 after less than three years on the job.

“We have rigorously reviewed the reasons why this error occurred and taken steps to prevent its recurrence,” the Deutsche Bank spokesman said.

Deutsche Bank shares lost more than half their value under Cryan, who was made co-CEO in July 2015. Investors had little faith in the bank’s turnaround plan that called for closing hundreds of branches and slashing tens of thousands of jobs. Deutsche Bank’s investment banking business has failed to keep up with the success of its peers on Wall Street.

Dashcam video shows house explode just as Texas officers arrive

HURST, Texas -- Police in Texas released dashcam video showing a home explosion that injured both residents and the responding officers.

The blast happened April 7 after authorities say 40-year-old Arnulfo Castro lost control of his white 2000 Ford Explorer and crashed into a house, rupturing the gas line.

The homeowner reported the accident, telling a 911 dispatcher that someone was trapped in a bedroom, according to a police report.

As officers walked up to the house at 433 Myrtle Drive in Hurst, the leaking gas ignited, sparking a fiery explosion that sent pieces of the structure flying at them.

The force of the blast lifted the roof off of the walls and blew out most of the back wall, with the residents – a couple and their adult son – still inside, police said.

Officers found the wife severely injured, buried under a pile of debris. They managed to clear the rubble and get all three to area hospitals for treatment. Police say the mother and father suffered serious burn injuries, while the son wasn't as badly hurt.

Officer Travis Hiser was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital. Corporal Ryan Tooker suffered cuts and abrasions while helping extricate the victims; he was also treated and released.

"There was definitely some divine intervention that was reaching down and slowing those vehicles down from making scene and then taking a finger and pushing me away from the house and the path that I went," Hiser told KXAS. "Otherwise, I would have been up on the wall and it would have exploded completely into my face."

Police arrested Castro, who lives nearby, for driving without a license. Castro told investigators that he lost control of the SUV when the brakes failed, according to authorities. Castro was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after being placed on an immigration detainer.

"We are thankful that the victims are stable & expected to recover," the department said in a statement on Twitter Wednesday. "Our hearts go out to them & their family."

We've received requests for the video files from the house explosion on 4/7. Here's a brief video clip from Officer Hiser's dash cam footage that we are able to release. We are thankful that the victims are stable & expected to recover. Our hearts go out to them & their family. pic.twitter.com/k7LCOrOtLn

— Hurst PD (@HurstPoliceDept) April 18, 2018

A lot of people wore their oxygen masks wrong during the Southwest emergency landing

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Should you ever find yourself flying in a crippled airliner with an open window at 30,000 feet, knowing how to operate your oxygen mask could be vital.

But many passengers aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on Tuesday appeared to be doing it wrong, social media posts show, despite instructions delivered for years by flight attendants before every takeoff.

Video taken during the flight and posted by Marty Martinez, for instance, shows passengers clearly weren’t putting their noses inside the mask, even though that’s a key part of the pre-flight tutorial.

Why’s it a big deal? Well, there’s less oxygen in the air above 10,000 feet. And without enough oxygen, people risk developing hypoxia. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, tunnel vision and nausea.

Airline and hospital officials haven’t said whether anyone experienced hypoxia when the flight — en route from New York to Dallas with 144 passengers and five crew members — lost pressurization after part of the Boeing 737-700’s engine shot through a cabin window.

The masks deployed as the pressurized air rushed outside the jet. One woman died of injuries she suffered after she was nearly sucked out a window. Seven others were treated for minor injuries, though it’s not clear whether any happened because the passengers wore their masks wrong.

Pre-flight mantra can get ‘robotic’

By now, you’d think the pre-flight safety briefing would be burned into our brains: “If necessary due to a sudden change in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from the panel above your seat. Reach up and pull the mask to your face. This action will start the flow of oxygen. Place the mask over both your mouth and nose and secure with the elastic band and breathe normally. If you are traveling with children, or are seated next to someone who needs assistance, place the mask on yourself first.”

But the mantra can become rote, flight attendants told CNN, both for those who deliver it several times a day and for the passengers whose lives it’s intended to protect.

“It just becomes almost robotic when you memorize it,” said Matt Cochran, who worked as a flight attendant for a regional US airline in the ’90s and who even years later said he clearly remembers the message’s “nose and mouth” part.

While some flight attendants may have a bit of fun by customizing their announcements, that can distract passengers from the message, Cochran said.

“If somebody raps the safety demo, then maybe that’s why some people aren’t putting their masks over their noses,” he said. “It’s about safety, not a talent show.”

Some airlines use videos to make their safety announcements. But it’s not always effective, said Sylvester Pittman, who after serving passengers for 15 years as a flight attendant on Song and Delta airlines now runs the Airline Guys aviation blog.

“People are so entertained or trying to see the next joke, they tune out the important information,” he said.

When Pittman gave safety briefings, he often found that passengers were looking down or tuning out. Instead, he said, fliers should “give the (flight attendants) your undivided attention right now.”

“These are the people who could save your life in an emergency. It’s five minutes out of your day,” Pittman said. “Let’s get back to this being a more serious moment in the flight experience.”

Slow warming on track for the upcoming weekend

Brighter skies not only melted away any left over snow from last night but are allowing temperatures to climb into the 50s.  By tonight, skies will remain clear and with calm winds overnight lows will easily drop in the upper 20s.  Plenty of frost will be noticed on most rooftops and car windshields by sunrise.

Warmer 50s are still on track both Friday and Saturday with a bit more cloudiness come Saturday.  Filtered sun Sunday won’t keep temperatures in check as we’ll push over the 60 degree mark for daytime highs.

We’ll keep it in the 60s to start the new week before scattered showers Tuesday night briefly drops highs in the 50s on Wednesday.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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

Police were called within 2 minutes of black men arriving at Philadelphia Starbucks

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The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week were handcuffed within minutes of entering the store. Records show the men entered at 4:35 p.m. and 911 was called at 4:37 p.m.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday and described their arrest. They said they went to Starbucks for a business meeting that they believed would change their lives.

Nelson thought nothing of it when he and his business partner, Robinson, were approached at their table and were asked if they needed help.

The 23-year-old entrepreneurs declined, explaining they were just waiting for a business meeting.

Two minutes after entering the store, a white store employee called 911.

“I was thinking, they can’t be here for us,” Robinson said of the police. “It didn’t really hit me what was going on, that it was real, till I was being double-locked with my hands behind my back.”

Nelson and Robinson were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed.

Nelson and Robinson, black men who became best friends in the fourth grade, were taken in handcuffs from the Starbucks in Philadelphia’s tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, where Robinson has been a customer since he was 15.

Nelson said they had been working on the business meeting for months.

“We were there for a real reason, a real deal that we were working on,” Robinson explained. “We put in a lot of time, energy, effort. … We were at a moment that could have a positive impact on a whole ladder of people, lives, families. So I was like, ‘No, you’re not stopping that right now.'”

Nelson and Robinson originally were supposed to meet Andrew Yaffe, a white local businessman, at a Starbucks across town.

Yaffe showed up as the men were being handcuffed. He can be seen in the video demanding an explanation for the officers’ actions. Nelson and Robinson did not resist arrest.

“When you know that you did nothing wrong, how do you really react to it?” Nelson said. “You can either be ignorant or you can show some type of sophistication and act like you have class. That was the choice we had.”

It was hardly their first encounter with police, a rite of passage that becomes a regular occurrence for many black men their age. But neither had been arrested before, setting them apart from many of their peers in the gritty southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where they grew up.

Robinson briefly wondered what he might’ve done to bring the moment on himself.

“I feel like I fell short,” he explained. “I’m trying to think of something I did wrong, to put not just me but my brother, my lifelong friend … in this situation.”

Attorney Stewart Cohen, representing Nelson and Robinson, said the men were illegally profiled. He pointed to Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in hotels, restaurants, theaters and other public accommodations.

Robinson said he thought about his loved ones and how the afternoon had taken such a turn as he was taken to jail. Nelson wondered if he’d make it home alive.

“Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” Nelson said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, who is white, said what happened at the Starbucks “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”

On Monday, the two men met with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who apologized.

“I want to make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again,” Robinson said. “What I want is for a young man, young men, to not be traumatized by this and instead motivated, inspired.”

“You go from being someone who’s just trying to be an entrepreneur, having your own dreams and aspirations, and then this happens,” Nelson said. “How do you handle it? Do you stand up? Do you fight? Do you sit down and just watch everyone else fight for you? Do you let it slide, like we let everything else slide with injustice?”

Related: Starbucks has a bold plan to address racial bias. Will it work?

The store employee who called 911 is no longer with the company. Starbucks has not said under what circumstances she left.

Starbucks plans to close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon in May to teach employees about racial bias. The training will be provided to about 175,000 workers.

It will be developed with guidance from experts including former Attorney General Eric Holder and Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Related: Starbucks will close 8,000 US stores May 29 for racial-bias training

On Wednesday, Johnson and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz met with Philadelphia church and community leaders.

Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of POWER, a group that helped organize the meeting, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Starbucks’ response.

In addition to the bias training, Starbucks leaders were pressed in the meeting on raising wages, on hiring workers who have been incarcerated and on their role in gentrifying neighborhoods.

“We are challenging them to take the lead in supporting racial justice organizations and speaking to other companies to join the cause,” Holston said.

Starbucks declined to discuss the meeting, but said through a spokesperson that “we are grateful to have these opportunities to talk with and listen to civic and community leaders this week in Philadelphia.”

Davenport RAGBRAI route, dip site and logo announced

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- When thousands of weary-but-elated cyclists roll into Davenport on July 28 after a week-long sojourn across the Hawkeye State as part of RAGBRAI, they will dip their fires at the base of Marquette Street, smack in the middle of downtown Bix weekend festivities.

The last time RAGBRAI ended in Davenport in 2015, the dip site was at Credit Island. This time, the route in from Iowa City via Blue Grass will take riders close to the Davenport Street Fest, Freight House Farmers Market and a "RAGBRAI Village" in LeClaire Park.

At a press conference on Thursday, April 19, members of the Davenport RAGBRAI committee unveiled the new route and dip site, as well as theme, which for 2018 is "Make it Here." The theme is to connect the ride - one of the most popular in the country - with the Quad Cities "creative, hands-on essence which is full of entrepreneurs, innovators and collaborators," the organizers said in a media release.

Kyle Carter, executive director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership, said the change up in route and dip site will be a fantastic way to showcase many of the positive changes downtown on a big day of celebration.

"We're thrilled to see the dip site at Marquette in addition to the new RAGBRAI Village site adjacent to LeClaire Park on Beiderbecke Drive," Carter said. "Both locations will help bring riders in to the heart of downtown where we'll feature the best of our beautiful riverfront, Street Fest and Bix7 excitement, and dozens of downtown amenities, restaurants, and shops."

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch urged residents to make the riders feel welcome and to take in the hospitality of what is always one of the biggest festival weekend in the Quad Cities.

"We would like to encourage residents along the RAGBRAI route to cheer on the cyclists as they complete the 428-mile ride," Klipsch said.

Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau head Joe Taylor echoed the mayor's comments.

"When cyclists finish the whole ride across Iowa they have a great feeling of accomplishment, and the last day has such a celebratory feel when they dip their tires into the Mississippi River," Taylor said.

One other way to support RAGBRAI Davenport is by purchasing t-shirts that will soon be available at locations around the Quad Cities and online at www.davenportragbrai.com.

CHEF SCOTT: Stuffed Poblano Peppers

BETTENDORF, Iowa – If you love peppers,  we've got a dish for you.

"I've got a dish here today that vegetarians will love," says Chef Brad Scott, director of Scott Community College's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Center.

"You can use it as an appetizer or eat it as a meal."

It's a stuffed Poblano peppers with cream cheese and coconut milk.

1. Cut a Poblano pepper down the center and clean it out
2. Add 1 lb. of softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl
3. Add 1 cup of generic stuffing
4. 3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese
5. Add 1 Tbsp of garlic powder
6. Add 3 Tbsp of coconut milk
7. Mix into a batter
8. Fill each Poblano cavity with the mixture
9. Top with Parmesan cheese
10. Put on a broiler for 3 to 4 minutes
11. Serve with garlic bread and fruit

"This works as a full entree, a vegetarian dish, or an appetizer," says Chef Scott.

"Enjoy!"

What to expect from tomorrow’s massive National School Walkout

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If you think students are done protesting gun violence, get ready for the National School Walkout.

On Friday morning, students from more than 2,500 schools across the country will stream out of class to demand lawmakers take action.

While the theme is familiar, this event is different. Here’s what you need to know about Friday’s student-led movement:

Why is this happening Friday?

April 20 is the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, where 12 students and a teacher were killed.

That mass shooting took place 19 years ago, before today’s high schoolers were even born.

But many students — including current Columbine students — say their lives have been shaped by sporadic school massacres, and not enough has been done to help prevent them.

What exactly will happen Friday?

At 10 a.m. in each time zone, students will walk out and observe a moment of silence for shooting victims.

What happens after that will be up to each school’s walkout leaders.

One sample agenda suggests marching to a local lawmaker’s office; allowing open-mic time for students to share concerns; and helping register those who are eligible to vote.

“For the rest of the day,” the sample agenda reads, “students won’t return to class, but will make calls to their Senators’ offices and flood social media with calls for reform.”

Who started this?

Lane Murdock, a 16-year-old sophomore from Ridgefield, Connecticut, launched the National School Walkout.

She was disturbed by her own reaction — or lack thereof — to the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“When I found out about the shooting at MSD, I remember I didn’t have a huge reaction. And because of that, I knew I needed to change myself, and we needed to change this country,” Lane said.

“We should be horrified, and we’re not anymore. It’s American culture.”

What are the goals of this walkout?

“Empowering students to do the walkouts and become leaders in their communities, speaking up when they see inaction,” Lane said.

The movement also encourages young people to push for legislation at the state level if Congress doesn’t act.

“The federal government can set standards and practices that apply to all states around gun safety. But states have the option of passing additional measures to protect their own residents from gun violence,” the website says.

Such measures could include:

— Banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks

— Mandating universal background checks

— Placing a minimum age of 21 on all gun purchases

— Implementing waiting periods between a gun purchase and gun transfer

— Allowing families to petition a court to remove guns from individuals at risk of injuring themselves or others through extreme risk protective orders (ERPOs)

Didn’t we already have national protests after the Parkland massacre?

Yes. On March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland tragedy, students walked out of school nationwide to honor the victims and demand stricter gun control.

And on March 24, students from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other sites to “March For Our Lives.”

On that day, volunteers registered more than 4,800 new voters at dozens of “March for Our Lives” events.

So why have another walkout?

“This issue needs constant attention if we hope to change anything,” the National School Walkout website says, “so multiple events on multiple days is a productive way to help fight for our cause, a safer country.”

What’s changed since the Parkland massacre?

While there hasn’t been major congressional action, some cities and states have toughened gun control.

In Florida, after Parkland students rallied at the state Capitol, Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun bill called the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The new law:

— Raises the minimum age to buy any firearm in Florida to 21

— Allows certain school staff members to be armed, if they’re trained and if local officials approve

— Bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks

— Adds $69 million in funding for mental health services in schools

And in Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott banned bump stocks; limited the size of magazines; expanded background checks for gun purchases; and the raised the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.

Is Robert De Niro trying to help?

Yes. The acting legend wrote a letter for students to give to their principals, asking to excuse them for the walkout.

“Please excuse ____________ from classes on April 20th to participate in the National School Walkout,” De Niro wrote, as confirmed by his representative.

“I’m asking you to excuse ____________ for the same reasons I’ve asked for my children to be excused in the past.”

Those reasons include health, community service, good citizenship and education.

“What an opportunity to teach these kids history by encouraging them to make history,” De Niro wrote. “Thank you for helping our children discover the power of their voices in our democracy.”

Downtown Davenport YMCA preschool gets extra layer of security

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A Davenport preschool is getting some help keeping its kids safe, thanks to help from a pair of area businesses.

Earlier this week, the YMCA Palmer Early Learning Center received three new door-blocking security devices called Sleeves - made by Muscatine-based Fighting Chance Solutions. The sleeves work by allowing room occupants to slide it over a hinge, securing occupants inside a room from outside intruders. The product has exploded in popularity following the recent spate of school and workplace shootings.

The YMCA preschool in downtown Davenport got its sleeves thanks to a donation from Modern Woodmen of America.

Deb Gustafson, executive director of childcare and family services for the YMCA, said employees and parents are thankful for the donation as it gives them more peace of mind.

“We have great security in all our buildings, but any time we have the opportunity to increase security we’re certainly interested in doing that," she said.

 

Standing Rock & Cheyenne River nations not allowed involvement in court-ordered review of DAPL

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A judge has rejected the request by two American Indian nations to be more involved in a court-ordered environmental review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last June ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to further review the pipeline’s impact on tribal interests, though he allowed oil to begin flowing.

In December, he ordered Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners to produce an oil spill response plan for Lake Oahe, the Missouri River reservoir in the Dakotas from which the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux draw water. Boasberg also ordered a review by an independent engineering company on whether the pipeline complies with federal regulations.

The two nations have said they were being left out of the process and they asked Boasberg to order that they be given more involvement. Corps and company attorneys accused the nations of being difficult to work with.

Boasberg wrote in an order dated Monday that “the parties engage in a lengthy dispute over who is refusing to talk to whom.”

“The court does not believe that further inserting itself into the minutiae of this disagreement is either permissible or wise,” he wrote.

Boasberg also noted that ETP submitted the spill response plan and the independent review on April 2, making any request for additional tribal involvement in that work moot. The Standing Rock nation has started raising money for its own spill response program.

As for the Corps’ additional review of the pipeline’s impact on tribal interests, Boasberg said the nations can continue to press their argument that the study is flawed when that work is completed and presented to him.

The Corps had anticipated an April 2 completion date, but that has been delayed by what the agency maintains is difficulties obtaining needed information from the nations.

Standing Rock attorney Jan Hasselman in a statement to The Associated Press said the Corps “is missing the opportunity to engage with the Standing Rock nation meaningfully on its legitimate concerns about the safety of this pipeline, and continuing to accept without question Energy Transfer’s shoddy technical work.”

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River nations are leading the four-nation lawsuit against the $3.8 billion pipeline that is moving oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. They fear environmental and cultural harm. ETP says the pipeline is safe.

Lawsuit challenges ban of handguns in home day cares

 SHELBYVILLE, Illinois — Several gun rights groups have joined a central Illinois couple in a federal lawsuit challenging a ban on handguns in home day cares. The lawsuit filed against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services contends the prohibition violates the rights of home day care operators. Jennifer Miller operates a licensed day care out of her Shelbyville home. She contends owning a handgun is her Second Amendment right, adding she and her husband have gone through background checks and firearm training.Miller and her husband, Darin, both have firearm owner’s identification cards and concealed carry permits.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring Illinois and DCFS from enforcing the handgun restriction and asks the court to declare the rule unconstitutional.

A spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment on pending litigation.

Student goes from not knowing any English to Ivy League acceptances

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Amal Altareb came to the U.S. from Yemen in 2011 only knowing the phrase, “I don’t speak English,” now she has a bright future after being accepted into some of the country’s most prestigious colleges.

Amal Altareb grew up in Yemen. When she was 11, her dad took a new job in the U.S., according to WREG.

"What was happening in Yemen in 2011 and 2012, with the Arab spring, was one more reason to unite the family in one place. It would be a more stable and safe place," Altareb said.

But once she got to the U.S. she had another problem; Arabic would not help her in Memphis.

"I didn't speak any English except for one phrase: 'I don't speak English,'" Altareb said.

She said learning a new language wasn't easy. She took English as a Second Language, and her classmates became her only friends.

"They were Hispanic and Vietnamese. We couldn't communicate, but we shared the same experience. We would use sign language, drawings and a couple of English words," Altareb said.

But she soon realized she would have to mostly teach herself to learn how to speak English.

She used what she already had: her textbooks.

"I stayed up many nights translating my books so I could understand the lesson and it paid off. By the ninth grade I didn't have to take ESL classes," Altareb said.

By senior year at Central High School, she was taking five Advanced Placement classes and earned the title of valedictorian.

She also started a group called "Speak 901" where she and other students get together to talk about the world.

"What I've learned coming from a different country is to be open," Altareb said.

She said she's also traveled as far as Colorado and Russia for academic trips and knows she represents Yemen, Muslims, and women when she's there.

"You're not yourself. You're a whole country, a whole religion, and a whole culture," she said.

The 17-year-old has now gotten into colleges like Yale and Georgetown.

She will decide in the next two weeks where to attend.

She said she wants to be a surgeon or a political scientist who solves problems around the world and in the Middle East.

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