The latest local news

Iowa governor hashes multi-million-dollar plan to prevent school shootings

WQAD News -

(AP) -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is creating a Governor's School Safety Bureau within the Iowa Department of Public Safety in an effort to prevent school violence experienced in other states.

Her plan announced Tuesday, January 21 includes hiring additional officers and creating a digital application and tip line for students to anonymously identify threats.

Reynolds is asking lawmakers for $2 million to start the bureau and an ongoing $1.5 million annually to run it.  She says Iowa can't wait for something to happen to act.

The proposal would add two state agents with cyber training to identify early threats.

Theme park faces uproar after forcing pig to bungee jump

WQAD News -

CHONGQING, China (WTVO) — A Chinese theme park has sparked outrage after workers pushed a pig off a 223-foot platform and forced it to bungee jump. The incident was part of a publicity stunt to promote a new attraction.

Video, taken at the Meixin Red Wine Town theme park, shows the pig wearing a cape and being pushed off the tower screaming. It’s legs are tied during the event.

Local media outlets reported that the pig was sent to a slaughterhouse afterwards.

The stunt caused an uproar among animal activists.

PETA said said the incident was “animal cruelty at its worst,” according to BBC News.

“Pigs experience pain and fear in the same ways that we do, and this disgusting PR stunt should be illegal,” said Jason Baker, PETA senior vice-president of international campaigns.

Animal cruelty is not punishable by law in China.

Dozens become naturalized U.S. citizens at ceremony in Moline

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois -- Dozens of immigrants from around the world took part in a naturalization ceremony to become official U.S. citizens.

Naturalization is a process where immigrants willingly become American citizens.  They have fulfill a set of requirements before becoming naturalized.

The ceremony was held at the Moline Public Library on Friday, January 17 at 11 a.m. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley presided over the ceremony. The group of immigrants, from 17 different countries, took their final oath to becoming U.S. citizens.

Could you pass an American citizenship test? Take our quiz and find out!

Judge Hawley said gaining citizens from different backgrounds is a positive to our lifestyle in the Quad Cities, and can help open a dialogue that may otherwise not have been possible.

"The more diverse a group of people we have, who have different backgrounds and different experiences that we can learn from, the better that dialogue is," he said.

After the ceremony, the new citizens were invited to register to vote.

"I have a right to vote," said new U.S. citizen Bevon Green. "Surely I'll be exercising that, so that's my first step."

Click here to see the pathway to becoming a citizen, as described by the U.S. government.

Light snowfall on tap later in the week

WQAD News -

Great to see full sun throughout the day as temperatures were quite similar to yesterday with the upper teens and lower 20s this afternoon.

This will be the last day we see any real sunshine as the next system slowly creeps in from the west.

Clouds will be on the increase as early as tonight into Wednesday morning.  During this period, temperatures this evening will only drop around the upper teens then slowly begin to rise into the 20s overnight into the morning. Temperatures will continue to rise with highs Wednesday afternoon in the lower 30s.

By then, light snow will be slowly developing from west to east and continue that night into Thursday morning.  Looking at an inch of slushy snow, with an inch or two farther west of the river as you go.

Snow will not only be off and on Thursday into Friday but given temperatures just above freezing some rain will be mix at times in spots.  Right now, light accumulations will be expected during this period as well.  Still want to keep an eye on this nonetheless.  If the air above becomes a bit colder then snowfall amounts could increase.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Here’s a look at the hour-by-hour forecast from the StormTrack 8 Weather App!

Click on the links below to download the free app:

East Moline man charged with attempted murder for October shooting

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa– An East Moline, Illinois man is being charged with attempted murder after a shooting in Davenport sent two people to the hospital back in October.

Odell McCall, 24, was arrested Monday, Jan. 21 for a shooting on Oct. 21, 2019 where two people were hurt. One victim was found walking on 13th Street off of Marquette Street near Jefferson Elementary School.

A second victim later arrived at a nearby hospital with injuries related to the same shooting.

Jason Momoa challenges boy to arm wrestling competition; promises visit to Aquaman set, movie trident

WQAD News -

(CNN) – Actor Jason Momoa, best known for his tough guy roles such as Khal Drogo in “Game of Thrones” or Aquaman, showed a different side on Monday that was anything but.

Momoa took a break from shooting his new Netflix thriller to bring smiles to patients’ faces at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The hospital tweeted four photos of the actor visiting several patients with their families: “Thanks to actor Jason Momoa, for stopping by this morning to visit the patients and families at UPMC Children’s!”

Thanks to actor Jason Momoa, for stopping by this morning to visit the patients and families at UPMC Children’s! pic.twitter.com/SIcMhy8UEy

— UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (@ChildrensPgh) January 20, 2020

This isn’t the first time Momoa met with young fans battling illnesses. Last July, the 40-year-old posted a series of photos from his first time volunteering with the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Momoa is in Pittsburgh to shoot “Sweet Girl,” a new Netflix thriller, according to CNN affiliate KDKA. The film will feature Momoa, who is also producing the film, as a father trying to seek justice for his wife’s death while protecting his daughter and company from corruption, according to KDKA.

More here. 

Skilled to Work: Local 145 helping St. Ambrose University build a new home for its College of Business

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Local 145 NECA IBEW contractors and electricians are putting in all-new electrical feeds at St. Ambrose University's historic McMullen Hall, powering state-of-the-art technology in the classrooms and providing a new centralized home for the university's college of business.

"It’s exciting to see what we’ve designed, starting to be implemented, constructed on this project," said Director of the Physical Plant at the university, Jim Hannon. "Walls are going up, conduits are going in," he said.

He said it's great keeping some of the old look of the building's 1940 vintage architecture as Local 145 hard at work on the new construction.

Skilled workers could be seen on Wednesday using a 16-foot scissor lift to run new conduit in a corridor connecting the old building and the new expansion.

 Foreman electrician Derek Woodruff said it was a juggling act keeping the old building powered up as work on the new side makes strides. But on this day, running feed pipe for new heating and cooling units was a breeze.

"This is the bread and butter for electricians, running the conduit, pulling some wire," Woodruff said. "It’s the fun stuff, it’s fast-paced," he said.

"They offer areas of expertise in technology as well," Hannon said. "Also they’re up on the latest, greatest in energy efficiency."

The university says the new home of the College of Business will be completed in August 2020.

 

49ers’ Katie Sowers to become first woman to coach in Super Bowl

WQAD News -

SANTA CLARA (KRON) – History will be made in Miami when the San Francisco 49ers meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

Katie Sowers, an offensive assistant coach with the 49ers, will become the first woman and first openly-LGBTQ coach to head to the big game.

Sowers has been in the NFL for four seasons serving as an offensive assistant coach.

This is the second season she has been with the San Francisco 49ers, previously working with the Atlanta Falcons.

According to the bio on the 49ers’ team site, Sowers is a former member of the 2013 United States Women’s National Football Team and a player herself in the WFA (women’s football alliance) for eight years total.

The offensive assistant coach earned her master’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.

Recently Sowers has been the focus of a television ad campaign for Microsoft Surface that aired during the playoffs.

The commercial shows her reading from a childhood notebook in which she hoped to be a member of a real football team one day.

The advertisement then transitioned to her using a Microsoft Surface tablet to do her job as an assistant coach for the 49ers.

Unreal night. Takin our talents to South Beach … Niners vs Chiefs … I couldn’t ask for a better game #MiamiBound #kcishome #DreamBig pic.twitter.com/quAb3FgAow

— Katie Sowers (@KatieSowers) January 20, 2020

“I’m not just here to be the token female,” Sowers says in the commercial. “I’m here to help us win.”

While Sowers has found a home in the NFL, the journey has been far from easy.

In an interview with People Magazine, Sowers explained that through the obstacles she’s faced, making an impact and sparking change for those with similar dreams makes it all worth it.

“I see young girls out there almost every game, and someone’s mom or dad is yelling to me, saying, ‘my daughter wants to play football,’ or, ‘my daughter is going to be a coach.’ And those are the moments where it’s worth it,” Sowers said.

The 49ers and the Chiefs will face off at the Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2, in Miami at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Ozzy Osbourne reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis, says 2019 was ‘most painful, miserable’ year of his life

WQAD News -

A fall led to Ozzy Osbourne having the “worst” year of his life.

In an interview with Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America,” the legendary rocker talked about his challenges following a fall last February.

With his wife Sharon at his side, the 71-year-old musician recalled what happened.

“When I had the fall it was pitch black,” he said. “I went to the bathroom and I fell.”

Osbourne said he “just fell and landed like a slam on the floor.”

“I remember lying there thinking, ‘Well, you’ve done it now.’ Really calm,” he said. “Sharon got me an ambulance. After that, it was all downhill.”

He said he’s been recovering for almost a year now.

“Next month, a year,” Osbourne said “Worst, longest, most painful, miserable year of my life.”

There’s been plenty of speculation about the musician’s health since he postponed his concert dates last year.

According to Roberts, Osbourne wanted to go public with his struggles given recent headlines that he was in failing health and “on his deathbed.”

Can a woman win?

Cedar Rapids Gazette -

By Lyz Lenz, The Gazette The night of Nov. 8, 2016, I was at an election party, wearing a suit, drinking and watching the results come in. When the Western states started to be called, I asked my...

WATCH LIVE: Trump impeachment trial to begin Tuesday; McConnell proposes compressed schedule

WQAD News -

On the eve of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate leader proposed a compressed calendar for opening statements, White House lawyers argued for a swift acquittal and the Capitol braced for the contentious proceedings to unfold. Voting the proposal will be one of the first orders of business when senators convene Tuesday.

Trump was impeached last month on charges of abuse of power by withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine as he pressed the country to announce an investigation into Democratic rival Joe Biden, and obstruction of Congress by refusing to comply with the House investigation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday put forth a condensed, calendar for each side to give opening statements. It would allow both House mangers — the prosecution — and White House lawyers — the defense — 24 hours each over two days to present opening arguments. That means unless either side gives up any of its time, the first four days of the trial could last 12 hours each.

The trial is scheduled to take place during the Senate’s afternoon session starting at 1 p.m. each day., so the first week of the trial could last until 1 a.m. this Wednesday – Saturday. Senators would then be allowed up to 16 hours for questions to the prosecution and defense, followed by four hours of debate, according to the Associated Press.

After that, then there could be a vote on allowing new witnesses. A handful of Republicans have said they want to consider witness testimony and documents that weren’t part of the House investigation.

After all arguments and witnesses are heard, there will be deliberations followed by a vote on each article of impeachment. Sixty-seven of the 100 senators must vote in favor to convict.

If more witnesses are approved, the trial could go well into February. But with Senate rules requiring the trial to run six days a week, it’s conceivable that a trial with no witnesses could be finished in less than two weeks.

A speedy trial would appease Trump, based on what Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said to Fox News on Sunday. He said Trump wants the trial finished before the State Of The Union on Feb. 4.

“We are gratified that the draft resolution protects the President’s rights to a fair trial, and look forward to presenting a vigorous defense on the facts and the process as quickly as possible, and seeking an acquittal as swiftly as possible,” said White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland.

It’s not clear if McConnell wrote the proposed rules independently or in coordination with White House counsel. He suggested last month that he would be working with Trump’s team in preparing for the trial.

“Everything I do during this, I am coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position,” McConnell told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last month, adding that there was no chance Trump would be removed from office.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the proposed rules package “a national disgrace” and a “cover-up.”

“It’s clear Sen. McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through,” Schumer said. He vowed to propose votes Tuesday to try to amend the rules package.

House Democrats in their initial court filing over the weekend called Trump’s conduct the “worst nightmare” of the framers of the Constitution. The White House responded, saying the charges against Trump are not impeachable offenses.

With Republicans holding the majority in the Senate and needing only 51 votes to pass, the rules are likely to be approved. Unlike normal Senate proceedings, Vice President Mike Pence will not be involved should there be a tie in the trial. In the case of a 50-50 vote, the tie will be broken by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.

That might also appease four senators who serve as jurors — Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet — because they are running for president and will be forced off the campaign trail just as the primary elections are getting underway. The Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3.

Pittsburgh church gun buyback in honor of MLK runs out of money within first hour

WQAD News -

(CNN) — A church in Pittsburgh is overwhelmed after hosting a gun buyback program that ran out of money within an hour.

The Church of the Holy Cross ran the program in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of nonviolence. Parishioners, other churches in the Episcopal diocese and civic organizations raised $5,100 for the gun buyback program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the church said.

The church gave people $50 or $100, depending on the type of firearm.

“In the first 45 minutes, we actually ran out of money,” the Holy Cross church senior warden Sylvia Wilson told CNN. “Some people were just bringing the guns in and they didn’t want the money. They just wanted to get the guns out of their homes.”

The church posted a sign on its door when it ran out of money, according to CNN affiliate WTAE.

“The gun buyback response has been overwhelming. Thank you,” the sign read. “We have run out of cash for this buyback. Sorry to turn so many away. You can still turn in guns though.”

Even after the money was gone, people were still streaming in the doors to drop off their firearms, Wilson said. Others came to the church with money to give toward the gun buyback.

The church was expecting about 100 guns, but the number they received exceeded that, she added.

At least 146 firearms were surrendered, as of Monday afternoon, according to Rich Creehan, director of external relations for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The gun breakdown included 104 handguns and 42 rifles. Two of those were AR-15s.

Parishioners and community members also donated another $1,000 toward the gun buyback, Creehan said.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and his belief in nonviolence were why the church decided to host the gun buyback on MLK Day.

“It’s very overwhelming but it actually is quite apropos for us because we were doing this to honor Dr. King, who we consider the apostle of nonviolence,” Wilson said.

“We didn’t realize that in Virginia they would be marching today,” she said, referencing a gun rights rally in Richmond on Monday. “We see that as dishonoring his legacy because they’re marching on this holiday representing him. It’s the total opposite of what we’re trying to do today.”

The church was the site of a double homicide recently and keeping its community safe was another reason to get guns off the streets, she said.

“We had a double homicide outside our church about two months ago,” Wilson said. “It’s time for this violence to stop. It’s time for people to stop having a disregard for human life. We want people to live their lives fully without having to fear some unexpected gun violence, which happens all too frequently in many communities.”

The church hopes it can do more gun buybacks in the future.

“We’ve gotten more assault weapons off the street in less than 40 minutes than we would have imagined,” Church of the Holy Cross Rev. Torrey Johnson told WTAE. “And we want to continue to get the efforts going if we can, but we can’t right now because we don’t have the money.”

Bill would create 32-hour workweek in Washington

WQAD News -

SEATTLE — Would you want to cap the workweek at 32 hours? A Washington lawmaker wants to explore lowering the threshold for full-time work.

State Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-White Center, introduced Senate Bill 6516 on Monday, which would reduce the normal workweek by eight hours.

“I think younger folks that are kind of in my age demographic tend to believe in more flexibility in the work schedule,” Nguyen said.

Under the bill, if employees work more than 32 hours per week, they would be required to receive time-and-a-half pay for additional hours worked.

Existing overtime exemptions would also apply, including workers who ask for time off instead of extra pay, some seasonal employees, and some agricultural workers.

Nguyen said he introduced the bill to acknowledge that work dynamics have shifted since the five-day workweek was established more than a century ago and posited that a shorter workweek could result in happier and healthier workers.

"This is a good thing to help workers either reduce mental anguish, stress or give them opportunities to be more free with their time as well and still be just as productive if not more productive," Nguyen said.

Some tech companies, including Microsoft Japan, have tested a four-day workweek with promising results. The Guardian reported in November the company gave its 2,300 workers Fridays off for five weeks, resulting in a 40% increase in productivity.

Nguyen acknowledged the bill might not pass the Legislature the first time around, but said he wanted to bring the issue to the public eye and hear from small businesses or workers who would be impacted.

“The point of this bill is really to start that conversation,” Nguyen said.

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