The latest local news

Thieves steal, completely destroy paralyzed student’s wheelchair-accessible truck

WQAD News -

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A University of Missouri-Kansas City student is looking for help after his wheelchair-accessible truck was stolen.

The truck was found, but only after the expensive modifications that allow him to drive it were trashed.

“I’m still just kind of shaken-up," second year business student Ryan Kempker told WDAF. "It doesn’t seem like this is really happening. I don’t see why anyone would target something like that. It’s really no use to most people."

Ever since a car crash in 2006 left Kempker paralyzed from the waist down, he's depended on his customized truck, a four-door GMC Duramax Diesel truck to get him around.

It was a pricey project he estimates costs more than $20,000.

"It has a custom-built seat in it that comes down and picks me up and puts me back in the truck," Kempker said. "It's got a hand-control for the fuel and braking system. It`s got a lift on the back that comes around picks the chair up and sets it on the back."

Kempker said he was on his way to a physical therapy class Tuesday morning when he noticed his truck was missing from the fourth floor of UMKC parking garage on Cherry Street.

He said he immediately contacted campus police, who were able to confirm through surveillance video that his truck was stolen Sunday morning around 6 a.m.

Late Tuesday evening KCPD officers found the truck abandoned and took it to the city tow lot.

The amount of damage left Kempker stunned.

"It is completely destroyed," he said. "They ripped my wheelchair lift off of it. They broke two windows, blew a tire out, ripped the navigation system out of it, ripped the system completely out of it, tore the seats up and completely trashed the vehicle within two days."

His truck wasn't the only thing stolen. The thieves took his arm cycle, located in the back of the truck, that he was using to train for a Spartan race next summer.

Kempker said, without his truck, he doesn't know what to do next.

"It gets me around and does everything I need to do, so I’m kind of lost without it right now," Kempker said.

Thanksgiving travel rush likely to shatter records

WQAD News -

Record amounts of travelers are expected to jam into airports over the Thanksgiving break and airlines are adding hundreds of flights a day in response.

The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that it expects to screen more than 26.8 million passengers between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, a 4% increase over last year.

The busiest days figure to be the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day. The lightest day? That’s expected to be the holiday itself.

TSA says it will offer overtime to screeners to keep checkpoints adequately staffed.

House expected to pass spending bill next week as shutdown deadline looms

WQAD News -

(CNN) — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday, November 13 that the House is expected to pass a spending bill to fund the federal government through December 20, just before a November 21 deadline to prevent another government shutdown.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby and House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey met on Tuesday to figure out a way forward in that chamber.

The new short-term spending bill would kick negotiations squarely into the midst of expected House votes on impeachment. That timing threatens a potential repeat of last winter’s record-breaking shutdown over the holidays, which dragged into January amid a standoff over border spending.

President Donald Trump eventually agreed to reopen the government despite failing to secure billions of dollars for his long-promised border wall.

If passed, the bill would also postpone Congress’ holiday plans. Members were recently told not schedule any travel the week of December 16.

This viral $75 Costco coupon is fake, Costco says

WQAD News -

(CNN) — That $75 Costco coupon floating around Facebook that seems too good to be true is, in fact, too good to be true.

The company debunked the coupon scam that promised users $75 off their purchase at the wholesale warehouse.

“While we love our fans and our members, this offer is a SCAM, and in no way affiliated with Costco,” the company said.

The fraudulent offer cropped up on Facebook earlier this year, prompting users to click on a link unaffiliated with Costco to collect their $75 coupon. To access it, users would need to share the post on Facebook and input some personal information.

Debunking the fake coupon has become something of an annual tradition: One year ago, on the same day, Costco issued essentially the same statement, though that year, the fraud ran under the guise of the company’s 50th anniversary (it was not).

Costco shares legit deals on its website and doesn’t accept any coupons that are not issued by Costco. So if you have to share a suspicious amount of personal information or post the coupon on social media to get the offer, it probably isn’t real.

1) Do not share this fake Costco coupon on Facebook.
2) Tell your friends and family not to share this fake Costco coupon on Facebook.
3) Repeat.

— (@WTHRcom) November 13, 2019

Scam alert!

— (@snopes) November 13, 2019

Cat put in ‘solitary confinement’ for freeing other cats from a shelter, and the internet loves him

WQAD News -

Quilty the cat, welcome to the resistance.

This wily 6-year-old rescue cat has become the newest darling of the internet thanks to his mutinous attempts to free himself and the rest of his cat brethren from the cushy confines of the Friends for Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas.

A set of very angry photos of Quilty serving time for his crimes have caught fire online, an important reminder that cats are lawless creatures who can and will betray us the moment they feel it necessary.

“Quilty can be a little difficult,” said Jennifer Hopkins, the communications lead at Friends for Life.

For the last few months, Quilty has been a resident of the shelter’s cat room. Hopkins says that after he arrived, the door to the room kept mysteriously opening.

“We would come in in the morning and have to collect all 15 of the cats who had had a blast during the night,” she told CNN.

A review of security footage showed the culprit was Quilty, who would jump up and pull the handle down on the door. Three times, he managed to Houdini himself and the dozen or so other senior cats to freedom — or, at least, another room.

Eventually, the shelter’s workers had to put him in “solitary confinement” in the building’s lobby while they Quilty-proofed the premises. This was its own mistake.

Pictures of the unjust confinement won the little insurgent thousands of fans on Facebook. It may be his resemblance to Smudge, the cat grimacing over a plate of salad that has become a well-worn meme. Feline malcontent, after all, is an eternal spring of humor.

Whatever the reason, people are now clamoring to adopt the cat that, may we remind you, can open doors and is absolutely not sorry about it. In fact, according to Hopkins, Quilty’s nickname at the shelter is “spicy a-hole.” You can draw your own conclusions as to why.

Despite it all, Quilty holds a special spot at the rescue. He was born in 2012 and, like the rest of his litter, was named after a character from the Vladimir Nobokov novel “Lolita.” And, like his literary source material, the cat would prove to be problematic.

Hopkins says he was almost immediately adopted to a loving household, but a few months ago his owner needed to move and couldn’t bring Quilty with her. Instead, he ended up back at Friends for Life.

“We have a lifetime commitment for all of our animals to make sure they’re safe. We spend a lot of time and effort on them,” Hopkins said.

“After all, we get the weird ones,” she added.

The shelter has embraced Quilty’s sudden fame on its Facebook page with hashtags like #FreeQuilty and #QuiltyNotGuilty.

Luckily, most people love weird cats, so Quilty has already been matched with a potential adoptive family and is awaiting next steps so he can move in to his new forever home.

And, hopefully, not try to break out of it.

Treasure hunters salvaged 900 bottles of liquor from a 102-year-old WWI shipwreck

WQAD News -

A group of underwater treasure hunters has salvaged hundreds of bottles of rare cognac and liqueur from a ship that was sunk by a German U-boat during World War I.

Divers and unmanned underwater vehicles from Ocean X Team and iXplorer worked around the clock for a week last month to haul up case after case of booze from the Swedish steamer SS Kyros, which has been sitting in about 250 feet of water in the Baltic Sea.

They recovered 600 bottles of De Haartman & Co. cognac and 300 bottles of Benedictine liqueur — a brand now owned by Bacardi, Peter Lindberg with the Ocean X Team told CNN.

“We don’t know yet if it is drinkable. We get a fraction of smell from the Benedictine bottles and it smells sweet and from herbs,” Lindberg told CNN. “We can’t get any sense of smell from the cognac bottles, but that might just be in order since it should not smell through a cork.”

He said they are researching the cognac and talking with Bacardi to try to determine the value of the haul.

“The cognac is of a very unknown brand and we don’t know now how that will affect the value,” Lindberg said. “We certainly don’t want to open a bottle if the value is tens of thousands of dollars. We are trying to find info but it’s not easy.”

They don’t know how many bottles still have their seals intact, he said, but some have had their corks pushed down into the bottles.

“Those bottles that have their corks still in place should be good since there is still air between the level of the content and the cork,” Lindberg said.

The Kyros was on its way from France to the Russian city of St. Petersburg, then known as Petrograd, when it was stopped by the German submarine UC58 in 1917.

Russia was ruled by Czar Nicholas II at the time.

“We can’t tell for sure that these bottles were for the Czar himself, but for the nobility around him for sure,” Lindberg said.

The German submarine captain had the boat sunk because its cargo was considered contraband, putting explosives in the Kyros’ engine room to sink it. The crew was put on nearby ship and returned safely to Sweden, according to the Ocean X team.

Divers also found a holster and what was left of a Luger pistol in the ship, Lindberg said.

The wreck was discovered in 1999 and has been damaged by fishing equipment over the years. The team had to clear away nets so it would be safe for divers to access the wreck.

Lindberg said they eventually plan to sell the bottles, but they are not in any rush.

Supreme Court lets Sandy Hook shooting lawsuit against gun-maker go forward

WQAD News -

In this handout crime scene evidence photo provided by the Connecticut State Police, shows a Bushmaster rifle in Room 10 at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012 shooting rampage, taken on an unspecified date in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo by Connecticut State Police via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Tuesday that a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.

The justices rejected an appeal from Remington Arms, which argued it should be shielded by a 2005 federal law preventing most lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when their products are used in crimes.

The case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country because it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue the makers of firearms.

The court’s order allows the lawsuit filed in Connecticut state court by a survivor and relatives of nine victims who died at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012, to go forward.

The lawsuit says the Madison, North Carolina-based company should never have sold a weapon as dangerous as the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to the general public. It also alleges Remington targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games. Opponents of the suit contend that gunman Adam Lanza alone is responsible for killing 20 first graders and six educators. He was 20 years old.

“I support the Second Amendment and the right to own firearms and guns, but on the other hand there’s reckless advertising and marketing,” said Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, died in the shooting. “There should be accountability and responsibility for that.”

The families’ lawyer, Joshua Koskoff, said the next step will be the discovery phase in which Remington will be compelled to disclose certain internal company documents.

“The families are just universally happy with this result,” he said. “They have wanted nothing more out of this case than to shed light on the conduct of the manufacturer of the weapon that was the source of taking the lives of their loved ones.”

Messages seeking comment were left with lawyers for Remington Arms on Tuesday.

A leading gun industry group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which happens to be based in Newtown, said it was disappointed the Supreme Court declined to review the case but is confident Remington will win in the trial court.

“Nothing in Remington’s advertising of these products connotes or encourages the illegal or negligent misuse of firearms,” the group said in a statement. “We continue to feel sympathy toward the Sandy Hook victims, as NSSF is headquartered in Newtown, but Adam Lanza alone is responsible for his heinous actions.”

Before the school shooting, Lanza shot his mother to death at their Newtown home. He killed himself as police arrived at the school. The rifle was legally owned by his mother.

The Connecticut Supreme Court had earlier ruled 4-3 that the lawsuit could proceed for now, citing an exemption in the federal law. The decision overturned a ruling by a trial court judge who dismissed the lawsuit based on the 2005 federal law, named the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

The majority of justices in the state Supreme Court ruling, however, said it may be a “Herculean task” for the families to prove their case at trial.

The federal law has been criticized by gun control advocates as being too favorable to gun-makers. It has been cited by other courts that rejected lawsuits against gun-makers and dealers in other high-profile shooting attacks, including the 2012 Colorado movie theater shooting and the Washington, D.C., sniper shootings in 2002.

The National Rifle Association, 10 mainly Republican-led states and 22 Republicans in Congress were among those urging the U.S. Supreme Court to jump into the case and end the lawsuit against Remington.

Democratic lawmakers from Connecticut, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Rep. Jahana Hayes, said in a statement that the 2005 federal law needs to be repealed.

“For years, gun manufacturers have been allowed to operate with near-blanket immunity — producing weapons of war and marketing them to the masses with zero accountability,” they said. “This critical victory reinforces the need for Congress to pass legislation repealing the gun industry’s sweetheart immunity deal and unlocking the doors to justice for all victims of gun violence.”

Washington State University student’s death at fraternity house might be alcohol-related, police say

WQAD News -

(CNN) -- The death of a Washington State University student Tuesday morning at a fraternity house might be alcohol-related, police in Pullman said.

Police officers and fire department medics went to Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house to treat a 19-year-old fraternity member who appeared to be unconscious and not breathing, police officials said in a news release.

Fraternity members performed CPR until medics arrived, police said, but the student had died.

The national office of the fraternity said the chapter is working with authorities investigating the death.

"Alpha Tau Omega mourns the death of a member who passed away overnight, Counselors are on site offering assistance and support," the fraternity said. "The national fraternity will have a team on site (Tuesday) to work with chapter members and assist the university and law enforcement as needed."

Authorities did not release the name of the student.

A preliminary investigation indicates the death may be alcohol-related, according to the news release.

The Whitman County Coroner will determine the official manner and cause of death, police said, and the investigation is ongoing.

San Diego State University student Dylan Hernandez, 19, died Friday, several days following an incident at a fraternity event last week. After he was hospitalized, 14 fraternities were suspended by the university.

His death was ruled an accident. Hernandez died of blunt force injuries to the head after he returned to his room following the event and fell from the top bunk, according to a report on the San Diego County medical examiner's office website. A roommate helped him into bed and he was found the next morning without a pulse.

Alex Saint, a spokeswoman for the county, said the autopsy has not finished because toxicology results are pending.

On Monday, a male student was found dead in his room at the Greek Leadership Village at Arizona State University, according to a statement from school officials.

Police are investigating and foul play is not suspected at this point, according to the statement, but officials have not released how the student died.

WATCH LIVE: Impeachment hearings on TV with the 1st witnesses

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The closed doors of the Trump impeachment investigation are swinging wide open.

When the gavel strikes at the start of the House hearing on Wednesday morning, America and the rest of the world will have the chance to see and hear for themselves for the first time about President Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine and consider whether they are, in fact, impeachable offenses.

It’s a remarkable moment, even for a White House full of them. All on TV, committee leaders will set the stage, before the first two people testify.

Seasoned diplomats, William Taylor, the graying former infantry officer now charge d’affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in Washington, are set to tell the striking, if sometimes complicated story of a president allegedly using foreign policy for personal and political gain ahead of the 2020 election.

So far, the narrative is splitting Americans, mostly along the same lines as Trump’s unusual presidency. The Constitution sets a dramatic, but vague, bar for impeachment, and there’s no consensus yet that Trump’s actions at the heart of the inquiry meet the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Whether Wednesday’s proceedings begin to end a presidency or help secure Trump’s position, it’s certain that his chaotic term has finally arrived at a place he cannot control and a force, the constitutional system of checks and balances, that he cannot ignore.

The country has been here just three times before, and never against the backdrop of social media and real-time commentary, including from the Republican president himself.

“These hearings will address subjects of profound consequence for the Nation and the functioning of our government under the Constitution,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee leading the inquiry, in a memo to lawmakers.

Schiff called it a “solemn undertaking,” and counseled colleagues to “approach these proceedings with the seriousness of purpose and love of country that they demand.”

“Total impeachment scam,” tweeted the president, as he does virtually every day.

Impeachments are rare, historians say, because they amount to nothing short of the nullification of an election. Starting down this road poses risks for both Democrats and Republicans as proceedings push into the 2020 campaign.

Unlike the Watergate hearings and Richard Nixon, there is not yet a “cancer on the presidency” moment galvanizing public opinion. Nor is there the national shrug, as happened when Bill Clinton’s impeachment ultimately didn’t result in his removal from office. It’s perhaps most like the partisanship-infused impeachment of Andrew Johnson after the Civil War.

Trump calls the whole thing a “witch hunt,” a retort that echoes Nixon’s own defense. Republicans say Democrats have been trying to get rid of this president since he took office, starting with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference to help Trump in the 2016 election.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was initially reluctant to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. As Democrats took control of the House in January, Pelosi said impeachment would be “too divisive” for the country. Trump, she said, was simply “not worth it.”

After Mueller’s appearance on Capitol Hill in July for the end of the Russia probe, the door to impeachment proceedings seemed closed.

But the next day Trump got on the phone.

For the past month, witness after witness has testified under oath about his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and the alarms it set off in U.S. diplomatic and national security circles.

In a secure room in the Capitol basement, current and former officials have been telling lawmakers what they know. They’ve said an earlier Trump call in April congratulating Zelenskiy on his election victory seemed fine. The former U.S. reality TV host and the young Ukrainian comedian hit it off.

But in the July call, things turned.

An anonymous whistleblower first alerted officials to the phone call. “I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election,” the person wrote in August to the House and Senate Intelligence committees. Democrats fought for the letter to be released to them as required.

“I am deeply concerned,” the whistleblower wrote.

Trump insisted the call was “perfect.” The White House released a rough transcript. Pelosi, given the nod from her most centrist freshman lawmakers, opened the inquiry.

“The president has his opportunity to prove his innocence,” she told Noticias Telemundo on Tuesday.

Defying White House orders not to appear, witnesses have testified that Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was withholding U.S. military aid to the budding democracy until the new Ukraine government conducted investigations Trump wanted into Democrats in the 2016 election and his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter.

It was all part of what Taylor, the long-serving top diplomat in Ukraine, called the “irregular” foreign policy being led by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, outside of traditional channels.

Taylor said it was “crazy” that the Trump administration was withholding U.S. military assistance to the East European ally over the political investigations, with Russian forces on Ukraine’s border on watch for a moment of weakness.

Kent, the bowtie-wearing State Department official, told investigators there were three things Trump wanted of Ukraine: “Investigations, Biden, Clinton.”

On Friday, the public is scheduled to hear from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who told investigators she was warned to “watch my back” as Trump undercut and then recalled her.

Eight more witnesses will testify in public hearings next week.“It takes a lot of courage to do what they are doing, and they are probably just going to be abused for it.”

“What this affords is the opportunity for the cream of our diplomatic corps to tell the American people a clear and consistent story of what the president did,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., a member of the Intelligence panel.

“It takes a lot of courage to do what they are doing,” he said, “and they are probably just going to be abused for it.”

Republicans, led on the panel by Rep. Devin Nunes, a longtime Trump ally from California, will argue that none of those witnesses has first-hand knowledge of the president’s actions. They will say Ukraine never felt pressured and the aid money eventually flowed, in September.

Yet Republicans are struggling to form a unified defense of Trump. Instead they often fall back on criticism of the process.

Some Republicans align with Trump’s view, which is outside of mainstream intelligence findings, that Ukraine was involved in 2016 U.S. election interference. They want to hear from Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine, Burisma, while his father was the vice president. And they are trying to bring forward the still-anonymous whistleblower, whose identity Democrats have vowed to protect.

The framers of the Constitution provided few details about how the impeachment proceedings should be run, leaving much for Congress to decide. Democrats say the White House’s refusal to provide witnesses or produce documents is obstruction and itself impeachable.

Hearings are expected to continue and will shift, likely by Thanksgiving, to the Judiciary Committee to consider actual articles of impeachment.

The House, which is controlled by Democrats, is expected to vote by Christmas.

That would launch a trial in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority, in the new year.

Utah man creates ‘cat coolers’ to help feral cats escape winter cold

WQAD News -

OGDEN, Utah – A Utah man’s passion project turns old coolers into warm, insulated spaces for feral cats to take refuge this winter.

“Normally the cooler keeps things cold. We’re going to use it to keep animals warm,” Philip Rogich told KSTU with a smile.

It’s a do-it-yourself project that only takes five minutes, a little elbow grease and a few cheap supplies.

“I actually have a 6-inch drill bit and then once you drill the hole you just use some pipe insulation to pad it,” he said as he pointed to a small opening in the lower right-hand corner of an old cooler.

Pulling out his drill and materials, he starts with an old cooler.

“Everybody’s got a cooler in their garage that they’re not using,” Philip said.

Holding it steady, he drills down through the first layer of plastic, a layer of Styrofoam and then a final layer of plastic.

“I use three-quarter-inch pipe insulation,” he said as he lined the fresh opening with the adhesive-backed foam.

“And then on the inside you just use straw,” Philip said as he pulled straw from one cooler to his now finished project. “Straw has been used for hundreds of years as bedding for animals and that’s because it has the ability to dry out.”

Just like that, his project is complete.

“And there you go! A cat cooler!” he said as he shut the lid. “Two or three cats could fit in a cooler this size!”

Already, Philip has placed a few of these ‘cat pads’ around the Riverdale and Ogden communities -- providing a safe, warm place for feral felines to take refuge this winter.

“[Feral cats] just disappear, get overlooked,” he said. “They get cold in the wintertime too.”

For Philip, it’s more than a passion project, it’s an act of humanity.

“They’re living creatures… to me, living creatures, they deserve to have their basic needs met,” Philip said.

A few furry customers have already used the coolers, but he hopes more will continue to step out of the bushes and into a new home.

“I’m giving them a second chance, one way or another,” he said.

Philip said people are starting to notice his project - several have already offered to donate old coolers and straw. Savers, a local thrift store, also told Philip he could have any unsold coolers at the end of the season.

He intends to continue making cat coolers throughout the winter and in years to come. If you would like to donate a cooler or get a hold of Philip, you can contact him through Facebook.

Michigan teen who vaped received double lung transplant

WQAD News -

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan teenager was the recipient of what could be the first double lung transplant on a person whose lungs were severely damaged from vaping, health officials said Tuesday.

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit described to reporters Tuesday the procedure that saved the 17-year-old's life and pleaded for the public to understand the dangers of vaping.

The teen was admitted in early September to a Detroit-area hospital with what appeared to be pneumonia. He was transferred to Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and taken Oct. 3 to Henry Ford Hospital where the transplant was performed Oct. 15. The double lung transplant is believed to be the first performed on a patient due to vaping.

Doctors found an "enormous amount of inflammation and scarring" on the teen's lungs, said Dr. Hassan Nemeh, surgical director of thoracic organ transplant at Henry Ford. "This is an evil I haven't faced before. The damage that these vapes do to people's lungs is irreversible. Please think of that — and tell your children to think of that."

Health officials declined to release the teen's name and said he is expected to recover. They also did not specify what the teen vaped or how long he vaped.

"We asked Henry Ford doctors to share that the horrific life-threatening effects of vaping are very real!" his family said in a statement released by the hospital. "Our family could never have imagined being at the center of the largest adolescent public health crisis to face our country in decades.

"Within a very short period of time, our lives have been forever changed. He has gone from the typical life of a perfectly healthy 16-year old athlete - attending high school, hanging out with friends, sailing and playing video games - to waking up intubated and with two new lungs, facing a long and painful recovery process as he struggles to regain his strength and mobility, which has been severely impacted."

The boy had his 17th birthday after initially being admitted to the hospital.

More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teenagers and young adults, and at least 40 people have died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced a breakthrough into the cause of a vaping illness outbreak, identifying the chemical compound vitamin E acetate as a "very strong culprit" after finding it in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients.

Vitamin E acetate previously was found in liquid from electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices used by many who got sick and only recently has been used as a vaping fluid thickener.

Many who got sick said they had vaped liquids that contain THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana, with many saying they received them from friends or bought them on the black market.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices heat a liquid into an inhalable vapor. Most products contained nicotine, but THC vaping has been growing more common.

Henry Ford doctors did not say Tuesday what the lung transplant recipient vaped. They did say that he was critically ill when he arrived at Henry Ford where he was placed Oct. 8 on an organ transplant waiting list. His lung damage due to vaping was so severe and he was so close to death that the teen immediately was placed at the top of the transplant waiting list, they said.

"Vaping-related injuries are all too common these days. Our adolescents are faced with a crisis," said Dr. Lisa Allenspach, pulmonologist and the medical director of Henry Ford's Lung Transplant Program. "We are just beginning to see the enormous health consequence jeopardizing the youth in our country ... these vaping products should not be used in any fashion."

The 17-year-old's case does not open any new ethical considerations about transplants for people how who irreparably damage their own lungs by vaping, Nemeh told The Associated Press.

"It won't change what we do on a routine basis. We will still evaluate every patient as an individual patient," he said. "We hope sharing this patient's story prevents anyone else from experiencing a vaping injury that would require a transplant."

Nemeh added that lung transplants have been considered for ex-smokers who have quit and demonstrated that they quit smoking, but transplants are not routinely done for people over the age of 70.

"Children do receive priority over an adult for a transplant from a pediatric donor," he said. "The United Network for Organ Sharing creates the rules and then offers the organs to recipients who are a match. We don't decide who gets an offer."

COMING SOON: ORA Expanding, New Domino’s Opening, and an Update on Lujack Luxury

WQAD News -

What’s going in here? What’s happening over there? These are questions we all ask as we drive around town and Good Morning Quad Cities’ Coming Soon Segment is about answering those questions.

Here are this week’s updates:

John Deere Road and 7th Street, Moline

We have had several viewers write in and ask us what is COMING SOON to the corner of John Deere Road and 7th Street in Moline.

We reached out to the City of Moline, who said ORA Orthopedics is working on a project in this area. Ken Brockman, the CEO of ORA Orthopedics, confirmed that - saying  they are expanding their physical therapy facilities.

He said crews are building a 12,000 square foot facility for outpatient physical and occupational hand therapy. The building will include a large gym area for sports rehabilitation, 9 private treatment rooms, 22 treatment tables, and a warm water therapy pool.

Brockman said the space will house 25 therapists, who will oversee approximately 35,000 therapy visits every year.

53rd and Eastern Avenue, Davenport

Earlier this year, we told you Lujack's is moving its luxury car line from Kimberly and Welcome Way over to 53rd and Eastern. Construction has moved along over the last nine months. In a press release sent out Monday, November 11, a spokesperson for Lujack's says the company's opening their new luxury car dealership Monday, November 18.

The dealership's right across the street from the Smart Toyota dealership Lujack's already owns.

Blackhawk Road, Rock Island

We have an update on the new Domino's Pizza opening in Rock Island. We first told you about this back in October after crews spent the summer working on a new building between the Pro-Clean Car Wash and Subway on Blackhawk Road.

According to this brand-new Facebook Page, the Domino's on Blackhawk Road is now officially open as of Tuesday, November 12th! This location includes a drive-thru and dine-in seating. The other Rock Island Domino's - on 14th Avenue - will remain open.

Do you have a development you want us to look into? Send an email to with “Coming Soon” in the subject line.  


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