The latest local news

Shots fired in Moline, 6th Avenue blocked by police

WQAD News -

MOLINE- Illinois state police and Moline police are at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 23rd Street responding to a shooting.

East Moline police and the Rock Island Sheriff are also at the scene.

We are unable to confirm anything as of 10:15 p.m. but scanner traffic would seem to indicate a shootout over stolen drugs with possible serious injuries.

Police are blocking  traffic down 6th Avenue and for several blocks around the area.

WQAD spoke with a woman who lives near the area that claimed to have heard cries for help shortly before police arrived.

Check back often for updates

Wells Elementary has found its new principal

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE- The East Moline School District has voted unanimously to approve a new principal.

The East Moline School District 37 Board of Education voted unanimously to appointment Kenneth Spranger as the new principal of Wells Elementary School.

Kenneth is the principal of North Ranch Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Kenneth is originally from the Quad Cities. He graduated from Moline High School in 1998, Monmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in 2003, Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in 2006, and Northern Arizona University with a Master of Science in Educational Leadership in 2013.”

According to the release, Kenneth will start the job in July 2019.

YOUR HEALTH: How a new shoe could give the boot to a stroke victim’s limp

WQAD News -

TAMPA, Florida – In the United States every year close to 800,000 people suffer a stroke.

Many are left with a dragging foot.

But doctors are working on an inexpensive way to fix their footing.

"I used to walk three to five miles a day before my stroke and it would be nice if I could just walk a half a mile."

Well Diane Hintz is on the right track.  She's making strides with this patented portable shoe.

It's called the Moterum I Stride device.  It was invented at USF in Tampa.

These doctors have been working for years to get it just right.  And they're almost to the finish line.

"It took a lot of math," said mechanical engineer Kyle Reed.

"A lot of engineering and quite a few different prototypes to get it to work just right."

Many stroke patients are left with a limp because of damage to their central nervous system.  This shoe helps rewire the brain so they can correct their gait.

Doctors say it's more effective and cheaper than the typical split belt treadmill treatment and patients can even bring this home.

"The I-Stride device causes one foot to move backwards while they're walking and this helps to exaggerate one of the feet so it becomes more asymmetric especially when they take it off they have a corrected gait where it's more symmetric afterwards," explained Reed.

"Don't forget the patient is wearing the shoe on their good side," said University of Southern Florida Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation professor Seok Hun Kim.

The shoe is worn on the good side so it forces the bad side to compensate for the irregular walking pattern.
So far the study shows that within four weeks patients can feel a difference.

"The hope is that if you keep doing this every day you train you get a little more equalized in your step length and you're going to start walking faster," said Reed.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Engineer Kyle Reed said the iStride device causes one foot to go backwards and this exaggerates your existing asymmetry so that you have to compensate for it.   And so you get a little bit less of asymmetry.   When you go back to walking without the iStride device then that little bit of asymmetry is gone because you've already started compensating for it so now you have a more symmetric walking pattern.

USF doctors say typical stroke rehabilitation uses a split belt treadmill.   It is expensive and has to be done in an office setting with trained staff to monitor sessions.

The I Stride could be available to the public in a year.

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

State Police to launch online rape evidence tracking tool

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Survivors of sexual assault in Illinois will soon be able to monitor online the progress of DNA evidence related to their case, state police said.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly announced Sunday that the Division of Forensic Services will implement an online sexual assault tracking system by the end of the year.

The system will let survivors track their rape kits as they move through the DNA testing process from the hospital, to the forensic lab and ending at the state's attorney's office. Each case will be assigned a unique number and password to ensure privacy.

"Survivors of sexual assault or violent crime shouldn't be left in the dark while their kit makes its way through a system that can seem cold and indifferent," Kelly said. "They should know that hospitals, police, forensic scientists, and prosecutors care about their case and transparency is the best way to make sure that happens."

Kelly said he hopes that making more data available will encourage those involved in the process to find ways to expedite the collection of evidence from rape kits.

"Delays in DNA testing are greater and more complex than simply speeding up the test itself," Kelly said. "But by completely laying bare the process from start to finish, I know all stakeholders involved will see many steps that can be taken, both inside and outside the lab, which will reduce turn-around time."

Parents who forgot toddler at park didn’t report her missing for 14 hours, deputies say

WQAD News -

HAVERHILL, Fla. – Deputies in Palm Beach County, Florida have arrested the parents of a toddler found wandering around a park alone Friday evening.

Jolanda Larose Alexandre and Makenson Alexandre each face a charge of neglect of a child, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office posted pictures of the girl on the station Facebook page after she was found by herself at Haverhill Park around 8 p.m., in hopes someone would know who she was.

It wasn’t until 11:40 a.m. Saturday that the Alexandres, who have seven other children, called 911 to report the girl missing, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jolanda Alexandre, 27 – whose first name is also spelled Yolanda, according to the Palm Beach Post – told authorities she and Makenson took the children to the park to play for an hour before bringing them home in her SUV. Jolanda said she assumed the girl was playing outside and fell asleep that evening, according to the paper, then woke up Saturday morning and “began looking frantically for” the child.

Sheriff’s officials say Makenson, 34, admitted he hadn’t realized the 2-year-old was missing until Saturday morning while driving back to the park with the other children, the Post reported.

Deputies say the Department of Children and Families went to the home and removed the seven other children.

Both parents were booked Saturday and have been released after posting $3,000 bail.

When suicide makes national headlines, local health professionals say it can impact those already struggling

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa  -- After two Parkland shooting survivors and Sandy Hook father died in apparent suicides, local health professionals are reminding people of the importance of providing support to those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

"Some people who are at risk for death by suicide might be more inclined to go through with it, because they see something," Vera French Mental Health Services Dr. Richard Whitaker said."

Whitaker says when death by suicide makes national headlines, they see more people come through their doors. He says people will come in wanting to talk about warning signs or steps they can take to help someone.

"We do have more of those who come in, talking about their concerns about suicide and that's a good thing," Whitaker said.

Whitaker says it's a good thing because talking about depression can help stop suicide.

"It's not something you are going to encourage by mentioning the word suicide," he said. "You are actually encouraging them to talk about it."

In February 2019, an Illinois House panel approved a plan that would require classes on mental health.

In Iowa, a new bill would require health classes to add mental health topics and suicide prevention.

"If we can get that into the schools and help our young people understand what are the warning signs and how do we help...all of those things can be only helpful," Whitaker said.

Vera French offers same day services. Click here for open hours.

Three teens charged after allegedly attacking 18-year-old with autism, setting his hair on fire

WQAD News -

SEABROOK, N.H – A New Hampshire grand jury indicted three 19-year-olds this week after they allegedly attacked another teen with autism in the fall of 2018.

According to WMUR, police said the crime happened at someone’s home and was recorded on camera by other people there.

The TV outlet identified the suspects as Paul Dustin, Brandon Lemiuex and Israel Rivera.

They are all facing charges of felony criminal restraint and simple assault.

“The criminal restraint is essentially that he was held in a room for a period of two hours while individuals punched, kicked and also lit his hair on fire,” Lead Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Ryan Ollis told WMUR.

Ollis said the three told the teen he would leave in a “body bag” if he tried to run away, according to the Newburyport News.

WMUR reports that the victim is 18-years-old and has a low-level autism disorder.

“The unfortunate reality is, is with violent crimes, the victims often undergo senseless violence. It’s our goal to get justice for them,” Ollis said during his interview with WMUR.

All three suspects posted bond.  It’s unclear how the victim is doing now.

Are these studies a waste of taxpayer money? You be the judge

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON, D.C.- “In the spirit of March Madness, Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and her fellow lawmakers, Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Rand Paul (R-KY), are participating in the Tournament of Government Waste.”

Each senator will have four entries, and anyone can vote.

You can cast your vote now!

There will be four rounds until the champion is crowned Monday, April 1. You can find all of the entries here and vote here. Below are four entries from Senator Joni Ernst:

1.      The Cat’s Meow

Cats that are pampered with treats and classical music every day are less likely to poop outside of the litter box or cough up hairballs. This pawsh study may sound hissterical, except the research was supported with National Institute of Health (NIH) grants totaling $1.3 million, which is likely to make taxpayers furious.

2.      Game Glitches

Classic Nintendo video games like Super Mario Bros. are hard, unless players cheat by taking advantage of programming glitches, according to a study funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Super Mario World, for example, can be beaten in less than three minutes “by performing a sequence of seemingly arbitrary and nonsensical actions, which fools the game into thinking the game is won.”  Supported with funding from three NSF grants totaling more than $1.6 million, these researchers are literally playing games with taxpayer money.

3.      Gambling Pigeons

Pigeons were trained to press, or rather peck, their luck on a bird-sized slot machine, featuring flashing lights just like in a real casino and pellets as the payout, as part of a study to test the birds’ “affinity for gambling.” Supported with grants from NIH totaling nearly $1.3 million, the poker-faced pigeons were found to behave like “pathological gamblers.” With the national debt now surmounting $22 trillion, it is not worth going for broke on more of these bird-brain studies.

4.      Elvis Impersonator

An Elvis sighting reported in Oklahoma inspired a study on false perception funded by a $90,000 NIH grant with additional support from the National Science Foundation. The Elvis impersonator in question was a sour cream and onion flavored potato chip. While the researchers concluded, “the potato chip really does look like Elvis!,” taxpayers may look at both the potato chip and the study with suspicious minds.

Lack of childcare options affecting the US economy

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON- Across the country, parents are struggling to find childcare while they work.

Of the 14 million parents with children under three, 78% are working. Many of them can’t find reliable daycare for their kids.

A recent study from The Council for a Strong America and ReadyNation outlined the impact of poor childcare options in the United States. The report says a lack of childcare options costs the United States $57 billion annually.

On March 26, Representative Cheri Bustos will speak in Washington about how the shortage of affordable, high-quality child care harms economic growth.

The issues

  • Accessibility: 32% of working parents have difficulty finding childcare, especially those who work night shifts or live in rural areas.
  • Cost: In 28 states the average cost of center-based child care costs more than public college, including Illinois.
  • Quality: Only 11% of childcare nationwide is accredited, resulting in a lack of stable care-giving for children.

Impacts on the economy

The report says child care problems distract working parents. The time and stress from finding child care make them miss work, pass up career opportunities,

  • Two-thirds of working parents facing childcare struggles have to leave work early.
  • Over half reported being distracted or missing full days of work to look after their kids.
  • 86% of the primary caregiver said problems with child care hurt their productivity and time at work.
  • One in five have been reprimanded, 8% fired, and just over one in ten have been demoted or transferred.

The issues add up. Less time at work means lower income and worse career prospects down the line. All this, plus the stress working parents face, can have harmful impacts on children.

Furthermore, child-care issues affect the workplace.

  • High turnover reduces workplace morale and increase the need for additional training.
  • Employers lose $12.7 billion annually due to the problems workers have finding reliable childcare.

Reduced pay for working parents also impacts tax revenue.Every year taxpayers lose on average $630 per working parent in lower income tax and sales tax. This adds up to $7 billion lost in tax revenue.

What is being done?

Multiple groups are trying to address what some are calling the “childcare crisis.”

  • A federal grant from the Office of Child Care Support gives low-income families support for child-care needs. The Child Care and Development
    Block Grant aids 24,300 families in Illinois and 9,600 in Iowa.
  • Some businesses are doing their part to help employees find accessible child care. For example, Iowa-based Casey’s General Store has a Child Development Center in Ankeny, IA.
  • A new Illinois law went into effect February 19 to provide more childcare for families with children at risk of entering the child welfare system.

Reliable childcare helps working parents stay focused on their jobs and build successful careers.

New bridges are coming to Scott County

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PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Iowa — About a thousand vehicles cross the steel bridge on Wells Ferry Road over Spencer Creek in Pleasant Valley every day.

Built in 1972, her old age is showing.

“On the deck, you can see some hairline cracking. There’s some spawling.”

Scott County Engineer Jon Burgstrum points to pieces of concrete falling off in parts, showing the tear and wear over time: “Maybe it got hit by a snowplow there.”

The bridge has been given a rating of 4 on the National Bridge Inventory ratings scale from 0-9, meaning it is “structurally deficient.”

“This bridge is a structurally deficient bridge, doesn’t mean it’s gonna fall down,” Burgstrum said.

21 bridges in Scott County out of 115 are considered structurally deficient.

Scott County’s Department of Secondary Roads are working on replacing eight bridges, all projects are currently in the design phase.

The county’s five-year plan calls for a total of 16 bridges to be replaced.

“Usually we can do three or four a year,” Burgstrum said, adding that it all depends on the size of the bridge and the amount of bridge funding there is.

Tearing down the old bridge and building a new one over Spencer Creek costs about $450,000, he estimated. Funds for construction projects come from a mix of federal, state and local coffers

“We are going to be pretty busy building bridges for the next few years,” he said.

Construction on eight bridges in the design phase are expected to start next summer.

Everything announced at Apple’s big event

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Apple is making movies, TV shows and … a credit card.

CEO Tim Cook and a roster of big-name celebrities, including Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, announced the company’s much-anticipated entrance into the crowded video-streaming market at a press event Monday afternoon inside the underground Steve Jobs theatre at its Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The company is producing its own lineup of films and TV shows that will be available via an updated version of the company’s TV app on Apple devices. It is working with a number of existing streaming services, such as HBO, Starz and Showtime, to flesh out what’s available there, in addition to its own streaming subscription. The company also announced its own mostly-digital credit card and a subscription magazine option for its news app.

Apple TV+

As expected, Apple is launching a streaming service called Apple TV+. It announced a number of original shows for the ad-free original-video subscription service coming this fall, but it did not reveal a price.

The company had former Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, whom Apple hired away two years ago, on stage to announce the company’s original content investment. Then the stars showed up after a dramatic black and white video featuring Ron Howard, Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, Sofia Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Hailee Steinfeld discussed the process of making movies and TV.

Spielberg first appeared on stage, followed by Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Jennifer Aniston who were promoting their new Apple series, “The Morning Show.” (Full disclosure: CNN’s Brian Stelter is a consultant on “The Morning Show.”) Meanwhile, actors Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard announced a show called See about a world where everyone is blind after an apocalypse.

“The Apple platform allows me to do what I do in a whole new way,” said Oprah, who is working on two documentaries for the service.

Apple is reportedly spending $1 billion a year on shows and movies from the Hollywood heavyweights.

Apple TV Channels

That original content is one flashy part of Apple’s overall video strategy. The company is updating its TV app and adding access to various cable and streaming subscription services, which will live in one place.

The Apple TV app has been redesigned to look similar to other popular streaming services like Netflix with vertical carousels of content and recommended things to watch next. There are tabs on the top for Watch Now, Movies, TV shows, Sports, Family and Library. Shows from each service you subscribe to -— including Hulu and Prime Video, but notably not Netflix — will appear as if they’re all part of the same service, side by side.

The new version will roll out as a software update in May and as a new app on Macs in the fall.

Apple News+

Apple also announced it was overhauling its news app, which Cook said is the number one news app in the world. He did not clarify if that number relates to readers or downloads. Now called Apple News+, the app is adding more than 300 magazine subscriptions for a monthly subscription price of $9.99. Cook touted the news app’s human editors and tightly-controlled selection of news outlets as something that sets it apart from other online news sources — a pointed comment during a time when other tech companies have been criticized for helping spread misinformation. Apple also said the app would not allow advertisers to track readers.

Apple Card

Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs to make its own credit card due out this summer — no plastic required. Apple Card will be available on all iOS devices in the Wallet app. It has a rewards system that adds 2% of any Apple Pay purchase amount directly back to the Apple wallet as cash. The deposits are made daily, and the reward goes up to 3% for purchases of Apple products and down to 1% for purchases made with the physical card.

Every purchase needs a fingerprint or face-identification confirmation. For privacy reasons, Apple said it doesn’t track where payments are made or for how much. The budgeting features are done on device, and Apple said it will not sell user information to third-parties.

An optional physical card is available, but in typical Apple fashion, it’s a laser-etched titanium rectangle. Apple likes to be minimalistic when it comes to design, so there is no expiration date, card number or security code on the card — only in the app. Cook said he believed the card would be “the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years.”

Apple Arcade

Apple will offer a new ad-free subscription gaming service called Apple Arcade, which lets users access more than 100 games exclusive or new to Apple. The service will be available this fall in 150 countries. The company did not announce any pricing. The games will need to be downloaded, but users will be able to stop a game on one device and pick it up at the same spot on another.

Chicago ‘beer spa’ lets customers soak in a warm tub of suds

WQAD News -

CHICAGO — Beer: it’s not just for drinking anymore.

Beer spas have been hugely popular overseas for years, but the first of its kind just opened in Chicago on the Northwest Side. Piva Beer Spa's co-owner Dino Sarancic says soaking in a tub of warm beer has proven to be good for your skin and soothing for the body.

"It's a thermal soak, so the water's about 98 degrees, there's about 20 percent beer in here," Sarancic said. "The beer spa is something that me and my dad [experienced] together, so [Piva Beer Spa] has been about three years in the making."

The spa even features beer-based skin products and soaps, which they say will help cure what "ales" you.

There's also a warm and colorful salt cave, which promises healing capabilities for asthma and allergies, and yoga classes that take place inside the cave.

Participants say the whole experience feels rejuvenating.

West Liberty PD raising money for Autism Awareness with special patches

WQAD News -

WEST LIBERTY- West Liberty Police are selling what they call “Special Edition Autism Awareness patches” to benefit the University of Iowa.

World Autism Awareness Day is Tuesday, April 2, this year. The West Liberty PD is selling patches for $20 if you want to help spread awareness!

You can get a patch by sending the money in a self-addressed stamped envelope with a check for the $20.

Just send the letter to:

WLPD- Autism patch.

409 North Calhoun Street.

West Liberty Iowa, 52776.

WLPD says “an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States have Autism.”

“The West Liberty PD is proud to offer our support to those affected with ASD”

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