The latest local news

Watch: Flames shoot from windows, Fort Madison car business destoryed

WQAD News -

FORT MADISON, Iowa — A building is destroyed and several vehicles are damaged after a fire at a auto sales business on Jan. 21.

Firefighters responded to Hawkins Auto Sales after receiving a call at 10:15 p.m., Captain Eric Kern, with the Fort Madison Fire Department, said.

When crews got to the business, they saw flames coming through the window, Kern said. The fire had spread throughout the attic.

A video taken by a reporter from the Fort Madison Daily Democrat shows flames shooting out of the windows and smoke pouring from the roof.

Part of the one-story building collapsed during the fire, Kern said. Cars parked around the building sustained damage from the heat and the collapse.

Crews were on scene putting out the fire until 3 a.m., Kern said. He said he believes the building is a total loss.

No on was at the business at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

Teen killed in shooting near church in Rockford

WQAD News -

ROCKFORD, Illinois (AP) — Police say a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Rockford.

The boy’s body was in a street Monday, January 21 near St. Anthony of Padua Church. The Register Star says the church had no role in the shooting but was used as a warming center for investigators.

It’s the first homicide in Rockford this year.

An autopsy is planned for Wednesday. Police say the victim was with friends when they were confronted by people in a car.  Shots were fired and the teen was killed, according to a report by WIFR.

No arrests have been made.

Woman accused of abandoning blind, deaf dog in Walmart parking lot

WQAD News -

Agnes (Medina County SPCA)

WADSWORTH, Ohio – A woman accused of abandoning a dog in a Walmart parking lot will soon be sentenced.

The Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a call about the dog, named Agnes, in November.  Wadsworth police called them and said a dog was found abandoned in a box near the clothing donation bin.

The pug was taken back to the SPCA’s animal shelter, according to WJW.

The woman accused in the crime, Rita Swartz, reportedly said she reached out to other shelters for help and was turned down.

The SPCA said Swartz never contacted them.

Agnes, who is 15 years old and blind and deaf, had a double ear infection and one of her eyes was in jeopardy of rupturing; her mouth was also infected with rotting teeth, the SPCA told us.

The vet treating the pup felt it was best not to do surgery as they weren’t sure if Agnes would survive.

Her foster parents adopted her and are letting her live out her days in their home.

According to court documents, Swartz pleaded guilty to abandoning animals. She will be sentenced on January 30.  The SPCA said they are hoping the judge will give her the maximum sentence to set an example.

Unpaid worker wreaks revenge on newly built hotel

WQAD News -

The finishing touches were just being put on the new Travelodge hotel in Liverpool when “some idiot in a mini digger decided to drive through the middle of the building.”

That’s the gist of a story out of the UK, where police are now on the hunt for a man witnesses say was angry because he hadn’t gotten paid. The Guardian reports the man showed up at the almost completed hotel in a red backhoe, smashed straight into the interior, and proceeded to wreak havoc for what one worker on the scene said was “a good 20 or 30 minutes.”

The Sun has footage, which shows the man jumping out of the vehicle after his rampage and running away across the parking lot. The Liverpool Echo reports the driver was heard shouting something about the $775 or so he says he was owed; one worker tells the paper, “I stand by what my colleague did today.”

The Echo also notes that workers kept yelling “John!” at the man in the backhoe, as if they knew him. Local cops say one man suffered eye irritation at the scene due to exposure to diesel fuel. Per the BBC, a GoFundMe has been set up that appears to be raising funds for the driver, both to help him recoup the allegedly unpaid wages and, now, for “any legal fees and expenses which may arise as result of the demolition of the [Travelodge].”

“Many people in the building trade encounter similar situations week in week out,” the creator of the GoFundMe, identified as Jack Wellon, writes. “This is a contractor vs worker situation and guess who usually comes out on top with huge payouts and the worker going short? Not this time.”

The GoFundMe has raised nearly $4,100 as of Tuesday morning. (Read more revenge stories.)

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Positive Parenting: Conversations with babies build toddlers vocabulary

WQAD News -

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- You’ll always remember the first word your child blurts out; whether it’s Mamma, Dadda, cat, dog, or ball. Then in what seems like no time at all, your toddler is forming phrases and sentences. Now, scientists say parents have the unique and critical opportunity to help sharpen their child’s language skills in the very first years of life.

For Oscar Puerto, reading gives him time to bond with two-year-old Odin and six-year-old Rose.

“She tries to read everything she sees and tries to spell this and that,” Puerto told Ivanhoe.

Science now shows us strong vocabulary skills start years before; as early as a child’s first birthday.

Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, PhD, a developmental psychologist at NYU, detailed, “That’s when children transition to saying their very first words. Then they go through an explosion in vocabulary.

Tamis-LeMonda studied 40 pairs of infants and their mothers, recording daily activities, paying close attention to the amount, diversity and content of mom’s conversation, especially responsive language.

“So it would be if I said you looked at the cup, I’d say cup, that’s a cup, just as the baby touched it,” said Tamis-LeMonda.

Tamis-LeMonda said families who had a high level of responsive conversations, or conversations where parents follow up on the child’s lead, had babies who spoke their first words before 11 months. Families who did not, had children who didn’t speak until around 18 months. Researchers say parents should talk to their toddlers during everyday activities. While dressing, talk about the clothing and how it goes on. Talk about food and utensils.

Tamis-LeMonda said, “As parents are talking to children it’s not just that children are acquiring vocabulary. They’re acquiring connections among those words.”

Tamis-LeMonda said with practice, and as children get older it will become much easier for parents to elicit words, phrases, and eventually stories from them, which is important for school readiness.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Kirk Manson, Videographer.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Positive Parenting: Self-control in kids

WQAD News -

BOULDER, Colorado (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Research has shown that a child’s cognitive development, or his ability to learn, is likely influenced by his or her parents. But there are other factors at play, too. New research shows that children’s actions may also be influenced by what their peers do.  

Big sister Bella and brother Logan are great playmates.  

Their mother Heather Lofquist told Ivanhoe, “She’s just very sensitive and likes to make friends, where Logan is a little bit more rambunctious.” 

Like all kids, these two take their cues from mom and dad, but new research shows peer group behavior may have even more influence on cognitive development, specifically self-control. 

“That develops dramatically between three and five years of age,” explained Sabine Doebel, PhD, a cognitive development scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

In a new study, Sabine Doebel used a marshmallow experiment to test self-control. She assigned kids to different groups and watched to see if their actions were influenced by their beliefs about what their group and another group did. Doebel gave kids one marshmallow to eat right away, but said if they waited, they could have two. She then told them that kids in their group waited and kids in the other group did not, or she told them the opposite. 

“Kids who believed that their group waited for two marshmallows are themselves able to wait longer for that second marshmallow,” detailed Doebel. 

Bella was in the study. She waited … patiently.  

“The kids tended to say they waited because their group waited,” said Doebel.  

The study suggests being part of a group affects the ability to delay, or self-control, even from a very young age.  

“She was given a task and given a rule and she just followed it to a T and that’s kind of just how she is,” said Lofquist.  

But Logan?  

“I’m not sure Logan would have sat for 15 minutes and stared at a marshmallow,” said Lofquist.  

Based on this research, Doebel said parents can talk about a child’s role model or hero to improve their self-control. For example, they can point out that the role model likes to be patient when dealing with his little sister.   

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Stacie Overton, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Bruce ManiscalcoVideographer. 

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Winter Storm Warning has expanded… Hazard road conditions to worsen overnight

WQAD News -

Winter Storm WARNING remains in effect for areas north of I-80 for the rest of the afternoon and night.  Along the I80 corridor and points south a Winter Weather Advisory remains.

The light freezing drizzle we’ve seen earlier today will pick up in intensity as a combination of  freezing rain, sleet, and accumulating snow impacts the area.  The change in the past 24 hours has been the column of cold air that is expanding a couple of counties southward.  So, accumulating snowfall and sleet will likely reach as far south as the immediate Quad Cities.

Farther south and east a wintry mix still exist.   However, with the ground still frozen a light glaze of ice is likely before being slightly covered with a dusting a snow overnight.  This too will result in hazardous road conditions.  The entire area will see a light snow the rest of the night.

Lets first breakdown the snowfall.  With temperatures right around freezing mark around the I80 corridor , they’ll be a tight gradient in accumulation.  Approaching Route 30 to Highway 20, 4 to 8 inches is likely.  As you approach the immediate Quad Cities 1 to 4 inches.  Any slight wobble 15 miles south or north will make a huge difference snowfall amounts.  Stay tuned!

The passage of this winter storm is still on track to bring down some brutally cold air on the way later this week. Still expected to see wind chills by Friday morning plummeting to near 30 below zero!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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Pritzker’s executive order demands abortion, reproductive services be included for public employees

WQAD News -

CHICAGO — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order on Jan. 22 ordering state departments to include abortion and other reproductive procedures in their medical benefits.

The law, Public Act 100-0538, which first mandated the change in health coverage, was signed in 2017 and into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The executive order is two-fold. First, state departments are directed submit an evaluation detailing how abortions are currently covered or restricted. Then, these departments will have to make sure they are following the law, which states abortions need to be covered in public health plans.

The law’s 2018 change crossed out all restrictions on covering abortions for state employees and added in this sentence:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, reproductive health care that is otherwise legal in Illinois shall be covered under the medical assistance program for persons who are otherwise eligible for medical assistance under this Article.”

Now, Pritzker is using this executive order to make sure state departments are complying with the law.

“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m proud to declare under my administration, the State of Illinois will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing the right to choose for every single woman,” Pritzker said at the signing ceremony.

Less than a month ago, pro-life activists said the law was unconstitutional and asked Illinois lawmakers to investigate.

Read: Anti-abortion group asks Illinois Supreme Court to nullify abortion law

Semi delivering salt catches fire while arriving to destination in East Moline

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- A semi delivering salt caught on fire after it pulled into the Department of Transportation maintenance yard.

The fire started where the tires connect to the cab of the truck around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, January 22.  According to the Silvis Fire Department, upon pulling into the maintenance yard the driver heard a pop coming from the middle set of tires.

The fire was put out and the salt did not catch on fire.

There were no reported injuries.

Police seek man suspected in fatal shooting at Illinois mall

WQAD News -

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are seeking a man suspected of fatally shooting a teenager and wounding a bystander at a suburban Chicago mall.

Orland Park police say the suspect and the victim were involved in “an altercation” before the Monday, January 21 shooting at Orland Square Mall .

Police say the suspect pulled a handgun, fired multiple times and fled the mall, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

The victim was identified as 18-year-old Javon Britten of Richton Park. He collapsed outside a clothing store and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police say the suspect is believed to be 20 years old and likely knew Britten.

Deputy Police Chief Joseph Mitchell says a bystander suffered a graze wound to the leg. Mitchell calls the shooting an “isolated incident.”

Supreme Court lets military put transgender restrictions in place

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender people while court challenges continue.

The high court split 5-4 in allowing the plan to take effect, with the court’s five conservatives greenlighting it and its four liberal members saying they would not have.

The Trump administration had urged the justices to take up cases about the plan directly, but the court declined for now. Those cases will continue to move through lower courts.

Until a few years ago service members could be discharged from the military for being transgender. That changed under President Barack Obama. The military announced in 2016 that transgender individuals already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly. And the military set July 1, 2017 as the date when transgender individuals would be allowed to enlist.

But after President Donald Trump took office, the administration delayed the enlistment date, saying the issue needed further study. While that study was ongoing, the president tweeted in late July 2017 that the government would not allow “Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” He later directed the military to return to its policy before the Obama administration changes.

Groups representing transgender individuals sued, and the Trump administration lost early rounds in those cases, with courts issuing nationwide injunctions barring the administration from altering course. The Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted those preliminary injunctions.

In March 2018, the Trump administration announced that after studying the issue it was revising its policy. The new policy generally bars transgender individuals from serving unless they serve “in their biological sex” and do not seek to undergo a gender transition.

The policy has an exception for transgender troops who relied on the Obama-era rules to begin the process of changing their gender, allowing them to continue to serve. The military said last year that over 900 men and women have done so.

Snow emergencies issued ahead of Tuesday storm

WQAD News -

The fourth major snowstorm of the season is set to hit the QC area Tuesday, January 22.

StormTrack 8 is forecasting a wintry mix to hit the area, including snow, freezing rain, sleet and rain. Click here for live updates from Meteorologist Eric Sorensen.

In anticipation of treating roads and clearing streets, the following cities have declared snow emergencies:

Blue Grass: Parking is prohibited on city streets from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Wednesday.  The City’s Public Safety Building, at 606 West Mayne Street, will be open to the public in need.

Davenport: A snow emergency is in effect from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 11 a.m. Wednesday.  Parking on posted snow routes is prohibited during this time.  As an alternative to parking on the streets downtown, free spaces are available in any of the city’s three parking ramps between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Eldridge: A snow emergency is in effect from 3 p.m. on Tuesday until 11 a.m. on Wednesday. All parking on city streets is prohibited. Snow Emergency parking lots are available and listed on the city’s website.

Rock Falls: A snow emergency is in effect from noon Tuesday until noon Thursday.  Parking is prohibited on posted snow routes around the city.   The parking ban will stay in effect until snow along the routes is cleared from curb to curb or the snow emergency is lifted.

There is no parking allowed from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m. on snow emergency days on the following roads: West 2nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; East 2nd Street from 1st Avenue to Avenue B; East 3rd Street from 1st Avenue to Avenue B; 200 block of 2nd Avenue 3rd Avenue & 4th Avenue; 1st Avenue from the Bridge to Dixon Avenue.

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