WQAD News

Moliners invited to open house to discuss plans for I-74 corridor

MOLINE, Illinois -- City leaders are looking for input on how to develop parts of downtown once the old I-74 Bridge is out.

As a way to get Moliners to share their ideas, the city and two development groups planned to hold an open house Wednesday, January 17th at Stoney Creek Inn to discuss plans for the I-74 corridor.

The meet-up will give community members and business and property owners the chance to look at which spaces will be available and give input on how they would like to see the space used.

The open house will be held at 5:30 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m.  Stoney Creek is located at 101 18th Street in Moline.

Hundreds of animals seized from eastern Iowa home

VINTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have seized hundreds of animals from an eastern Iowa residence that's also home to four children.

Officials executed a search warrant around 9:10 a.m. Tuesday at the Vinton house and garage. The animals found included rabbits, rats, mice, hedgehogs, turtles, birds, guinea pigs, gerbils and a hall python. Several carcasses were scattered through the residence in various states of decomposition or stored in a freezer.

No charges have been reported. Officials say the children's parents have been cooperating with state and local authorities.

Volunteers from the Cedar Valley Humane Society and other rescue groups removed animals all day. Many of the animals were malnourished, dehydrated and living in overcrowded areas contaminated with fecal matter.

Ex-doctor’s victims recount sex abuse they experienced as young gymnasts

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One after one, gymnasts and other victims of a disgraced former sports doctor stepped forward in a Michigan courtroom Tuesday to recount the sexual abuse and emotional trauma he inflicted on them as children, including one who warned that girls eventually “grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”

Nearly 100 victims are expected to address the court during the four-day sentencing hearing for 54-year-old Larry Nassar. Many cried as they told their stories on the hearing’s first day, and some requested anonymity. Others unleashed.

“I testified to let the world know that you are a repulsive liar and those ‘treatments’ were pathetically veiled sexual abuse,” victim Kyle Stephens said to Nassar, who often bowed his head and closed his eyes or looked away as she and others spoke.

Stephens, the first victim to speak, said Nassar repeatedly abused her from age 6 until age 12 during family visits to his home in Holt, near Lansing. She said he rubbed his genitals on her and digitally penetrated her, among other abuse.

She said Nassar denied it, and her parents initially believed him. Stephens said she largely blamed her father’s suicide on the shame and self-loathing he felt for defending Nassar.

“Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever,” Stephens said. “They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”

The judge consoled the 29 women and girls who spoke or had their statements read on Tuesday, saying they should not blame themselves. More victims will speak on Wednesday.

Nassar has pleaded guilty to molesting females with his hands at his Michigan State University office, his home and a Lansing-area gymnastics club, often while their parents were in the room. He also worked for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Another statement came from Donna Markham, who told of how her 23-year-old daughter Chelsey killed herself in 2009, years after Nassar sexually abused her during a medical examination.

“It all started with him,” she said, describing her daughter’s downward spiral into drug abuse.

Victims described experiencing “searing pain” during the assaults and having feelings of shame and embarrassment. They said it had changed their life trajectories — affecting relationships, causing them to be distrustful and leading to depression, suicidal thoughts, and anger and anxiety about whether they should have spoken up sooner.

“He touched the most innocent places on my body,” said 17-year-old Jessica Thomashaw, recounting how she was sexually assaulted at ages 9 and 12. “I couldn’t be just a normal girl anymore, and I forever lost a big piece of my childhood due to his abuse.”

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who is expected to order a sentence on Friday, said the system had failed them.

“You shouldn’t be angry with yourself,” she told a 31-year-old victim, who said she was assaulted almost 20 years ago. “You went to him for pain and healing, and you didn’t know. No one faults you or any other victim for that. You were a child.”

Prosecutors are seeking at least 40 years in prison for Nassar, who has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.

Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have said they, too, were victims. Raisman tweeted Monday that she would not attend the sentencing “because it is too traumatic for me. My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together.”

Nassar admitted in November that he digitally penetrated 10 girls, mostly under the guise of treatment, between 1998 and 2015. As part of plea deals in two adjacent Michigan counties, he said his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.

The criminal cases followed reports last year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving him and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse.

Melissa Imrie told the judge she was assaulted in 1997, when she was 12, after breaking her tailbone. She described years of severe depression, sleeplessness and other issues.

“Everybody’s story that I listened to today is just an echo of everything that I’ve went through. They’re just speaking like it’s my voice,” Imrie said.

She said she wants young athletes “to be safe from sexual predators, from this kind of abuse.”

Fire breaks out at Bettendorf home

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- A fire reportedly broke out at a house in a southwest Bettendorf neighborhood.

The fire was reported in the 1500 block of Lincoln Road around 7:45 a.m., Wednesday, January 17th.

Multiple fire crews worked together to put out the flames, focusing on the garage, where the fire is believed to have started.

Neighbors at the scene said a veteran lives in the house by himself.   A spokesperson from the Bettendorf Police Department said he was the only person inside the home at the time and that he made it out safely.

"I saw the flames and didn't realize it was Max's house until I went down there," said a neighbor. "I was just happy that he's okay. I can't wait to just see him, you know?"

The Red Cross is assisting the man who lives in that home.

Can't see the video? Tap here. 

Watch: Puerto Rico school celebrates restored power after 100+ days without


SAN JUAN -- Staff and students at a school in the northeast corner of Puerto Rico erupted with joy in early January when they regained electricity in early January.

The entire island lost power after Hurricane Maria tore through in September of 2017.  Academia Bautista Puerto Nuevo, a school that serves around 1,100 students, waited 112 days for their power to return.

On January 11th, 2018 the joyous video was posted to the school's Facebook page.  Translated from Spanish, the school's post said it was a moment of "Indisputable joy..."

According to a report by Vox, the island wasn't expected to regain all electricity until May 2018.  The island-wide outage was ranked No. 1 on among the "Ten biggest blackouts in US history."

How to soothe a sore throat

(CNN) — Sore throats can be a real pain in the neck.

According to the National Institutes of Health, viral infections cause most sore throats, usually triggered by the common cold or flu.

Antibiotics, of course, don’t work against viruses and therefore can’t soothe the throat, but there are several options you can try.

Make some noise

Gargling with salt water may seem like an old wives’ tale, but experts say it can be very effective way to ease a sore throat. A 2016 study found that rinsing with saline (salt water) helped heal wounds.

Salt draws up moisture and can prevent bacteria from growing; that’s why it was used for centuries to cure meat.

Try gargling at least once an hour with 1 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gargling more often with salt water is just fine, but don’t add more salt. It can dehydrate and, if the throat membranes are too dry, make the pain worse.

Adding baking soda to the salt mixture is another popular recommendation. Baking soda neutralizes acid and inhibits the growth of yeast. The American Cancer Society, which recommends this for cancer patients experiencing mouth or throat pain, suggests mixing a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of warm water. As with salt, gargle, but don’t swallow; too much soda can cause stomach issues.

If you can’t stand salt or soda water, try plain, but keep gargling. One 2005 study split 387 healthy volunteers into three groups and asked the first to gargle three times a day with iodine-laced water and the second with plain water. The third group didn’t gargle at all. At the end of 60 days, the group that gargled with plain water was 36% less likely to get sick.

Drink up

Stay hydrated to thin mucus secretions and soothe your irritated throat. Hot liquids such as tea and broth are good choices, because the warmth soothes pain. Broth-based chicken soup even has a tiny bit of science behind it.

One study in a lab Petri dish found that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory effects, while another study of 15 people found that grandma’s favorite remedy was better than hot or cold water at reducing mucus. A drainage of mucus, called post-nasal drip, is another common cause of sore throats.

Drinking very cold ice water or sucking on something cold may seem counterintuitive, but cold can numb the throat. But don’t choose cold orange juice or other acid-based liquids; they will only intensify the pain.

You can also keep the throat moist by sucking on a piece of hard candy or, better yet, a medicated lozenge. The medicated lozenge will probably contain menthol or benzocaine, which have a numbing effect.

Add honey or herbs

Adding honey to your tea or other hot liquid may also help. Honey has known antimicrobial properties, which speed healing. Studies in children have shown that honey is better than popular over-the-counter cough suppressants and Benadryl for reducing nighttime coughs and sleeping problems.

Chamomile tea is a popular natural remedy due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and mild astringent qualities. It also has sedating effects and is often used as an anti-anxiety and sleep aid. A 1990 study found that inhaling steam with chamomile extract eased common cold symptoms, but experts say further research is needed to confirm those findings.

Peppermint tea is also said to be helpful for sore throats, due to its similarity to menthol. But there’s little science behind those claims. Peppermint has mostly been studied as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

You’ll also find suggestions on the internet to use apple cider vinegar to treat a sore throat, probably because of its antimicrobial characteristics. But the level of acid in vinegar is high — about the same as stomach acid — and might irritate rather than soothe.

Know the danger signs

If your sore throat is severe, meaning extremely painful, and is accompanied by a fever or swollen glands, you might have a bacterial infection and should see a doctor. The most common bacterial throat infection is strep throat, caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. It’s highly contagious and can spread through a home or school quickly. Though adults certainly get strep, children between 5 and 15 are the most likely to develop strep and pass it along to family members.

To diagnose strep, your doctor will do a throat swab and, if positive for streptococcus, start you on a round of antibiotics, which you should finish. Don’t rush back to work or school; you’ll remain contagious for at least 24 hours after beginning the medication.

It’s also important to treat strep because a lingering infection can lead to middle ear infections, kidney inflammation, scarlet fever and even toxic shock syndrome.

There’s even a bizarre reaction that can happen in children with strep, called PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. Overnight, children will begin to exhibit obsessive-compulsive behavior, tics and severe tantrums that seem psychotic as their antibodies attack their brains and not the bacteria. Immediate treatment with antibiotics is key to preventing long-term damage.

QC Chamber looks to Des Moines for economic advice

MOLINE- The Quad Cities Chamber is looking at nearby cities to try and model itself after.

We had Breakfast With...Kristin Glass, the Interim CEO, of the chamber Thursday, January 11.

Glass says the Chamber likes the recent success of Des Moines and wants to model some of their plans in the future. In 2017, Forbes ranked Greater Des Moines as #5 on its list for the best places for businesses and careers.

"We have to create a better community, more of a regional brand that people want to live in and want to be in, so we can create that talent for our employers," Glass said Thursday.

Glass says Des Moines' downtown is thriving and Quad City leaders are making their own progress in each city. She says the Quad City's biggest challenge is creating community pride so people from other areas will want to come here.

Glass says the chamber is down to just a few candidates for its next CEO. Glass, who's not applying, has been the Interim CEO since July of last year, when Tara Barney resigned. Glass says the Chamber is doing much better financially now than it was three years ago, when the group lost $980,000.

Thursday, January 18, Eric is having Breakfast With...Donna Dubberke, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service. We'll show you the center's brand new facility plus discuss improvements that could help you keep you safe during severe weather season. If you have a question for Dubberke, click here. 

High school wrestler with Down syndrome completes ‘undefeated’ season

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio - For many high school athletes, the end of their senior season is bittersweet.

Some will be remembered for their records, but few will have inspired teammates more than Ohio teen Cedric Lehky.

Starting in the 8th grade, Lehky was invited to be a part of the North Royalton wrestling team.

Although he has Down syndrome, he has never been viewed as having limitations.

"If we sprint he sprints. If we do push-ups, he does push-ups. If we do sit-ups, he does sit-ups. It's all the same so in that regard we try to say you are a wrestler, and when he is in here he's just a wrestler. His name is 'Ced,' coach Sean Folk told WJW.

During his high school career he has been embraced by teammates and classmates and voted as the Homecoming King.

Among his wrestling teammates, he has been an inspiration.

"He's a big part of this team. When our morale is at the lowest when we are cutting weight, you know our energy is at its lowest, he brings us up," said Aaron Hertel.

On Friday, Lehky wrestled his final match and, like so many matches before it, he did so to the cheers of parents, fans and members of both teams.

It was his final time on the mat, 'pinning' a cooperative opponent and ending what can be viewed as an undefeated season.

"They would all come up and high-five him and sit down and talk to him and I thought that was really nice too. It wasn't just the North Royalton wrestlers but it was also the other teammates," said his mother, Jeanette Brinkley.

"Some kids came down and sat right next to him and they had some conversations and they were genuinely just happy that Cedric was there and talking to him," she added.

Brinkley says she can see the impact her son has had, not only at the school where he is somewhat of a celebrity, but outside of the school as well.

"Just to give hope to any other parent with special needs. He does everything that everyone else would do and I just never had any expectations that he well exceeded and it's beyond amazing."

Government Bridge closes to drivers Friday morning

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- Bridge inspections will temporarily shut down the Government Bridge from Rock Island to Davenport on Friday, January 19th.

The inspections will begin at 8:30 a.m. and are expected to end at noon, according to a statement from the Arsenal.  Drivers will not be able to cross during this time. The bridge will remain open to pedestrians.

Signs and barricades will be in place during the closure.

Burlington Community Schools continue to see a decline in enrollment

BURLINGTON, Iowa - In the last 36 years the district has lost 1,400 students and just in the last year 170 students.

Parents think there are a variety of reasons.

"If a lot of the families are leaving, I'm guessing it's because it's a lot of the some of the recent crime and also probably jobs," said Corina Shipp, parent.

"The lack of communication between the school and the parent," said Andrea Lane, parent.

Superintendent Pat Coen says there are many factors, one being the poverty rate in Burlington, it's 40% higher than the state average, and the lack of job opportunities for those who have a higher education.

"We're sitting at 20% of our population working with a bachelors degree, so for every 10 kids that we're sending to the University that do very well we only have a job for two of them," said Coen.

It shows in the population, Burlington's lost about 20% of it's residents, the problem is directly tied to state funding.

"In 1981 we had I believe 19 school buildings in Burlington Community School District and now were setting with 5 elementary, there's 2 middle schools a high school and a JMAC so we have less than half the number of school buildings we used to have and that's because of declining enrollment," said Coen.

QC Community remembers the Captain’s Table

MOLINE-- Inside the Rock Island County Historical Society, Meredith Peterson looks through old newspaper clippings remembering the Captain’s Table.

“I’m kind of a river rat and I kind of enjoyed sitting by the river having dinner,” says Peterson, president of the Rock Island County Historical Society.

Originally, the sea food restaurant only opened during boating season, but shortly after it opened in 1974, it became a year-round restaurant.

A local gem, researchers described, as a sea food haven overlooking the Marquis Harbor boating marina.

Tuesday morning’s fire shut the Captain’s Table down, with damage so severe crews were forced to demolish the building.

"I think we lost a landmark…It was a little bit of a concert venue, it was a neighborhood, it was a river destination," says Paterson.

The restaurant changed hands multiple times through the years, but it was owned by Jim Sweet for about 20 years before selling it to Marquis Management in 2000.

Daid Sweet, son of the former owner says the restaurant is currently owned by American Marine, based in Dubuque, Iowa. The Captain’s Table is managed by a local business man from Bettendorf.

Mother of 13 malnourished children was ‘perplexed’ when deputies arrived, captain says

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The mother of 13 malnourished children who were found being held at a filthy, foul-smelling California home, some of them chained to furniture, was “perplexed” when deputies entered the residence over the weekend, a sheriff’s captain said Tuesday.

Louise Anna Turpin, 49, was arrested along with her 56-year-old husband, David Allen Turpin, on Sunday. The Turpins' arrest was announced by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department on Monday, exploding into a story bringing national media attention to the residential community of Perris, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on May 6, 2016.

On Tuesday, authorities answered questions about the case, stressing the investigation was just beginning.

Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows, who serves as chief of Perris police, said conditions in the home were “horrific.” But authorities had never before been called to the Muir Woods Road home, where the family moved in 2014.

After the “courageous” teen got out of the home before dawn and placed her emergency call, deputies came to meet her nearby, the captain said.

She showed the deputies photos that supported her claims that her siblings were being held against their will. The deputies went to the home to do a welfare check.

There, they found three children chained to furniture in a dirty home. The 13 siblings ranged in age from 2 to 29, but the adult children looked like youths.

“If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished … I would call that torture,” Fellows said.

Their mother, however, did not seem to understand why deputies were at the home.

“It seemed that the mother was perplexed as to why we were at that residence,” Fellows said.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on July 10, 2016.

It’s not clear how the husband reacted.

The couple was taken to the sheriff’s Perris Station and arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. Investigators will soon present the case to prosecutors for charges.

The parents, Fellows said, showed no signs mental illness. Investigators have no details as yet on any religious organizations connected to the case, the captain said.

The Turpins are being held on $9 million bail each. The children are being treated at area hospitals.

Pages