The latest local news

Puppy that survived euthanasia attempt gets adopted

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The puppy that survived a euthanasia attempt has found his forever home.

Rudolph, the eight-month-old Lab/American Pitbull mix, was adopted on Saturday, January 19, according to a post on the Kings Harvest Pet Rescue Facebook page.

The puppy came from an overcrowded shelter in Oklahoma.  He was selected to be put down, but the procedure didn’t take.  When the veterinarians walked in, Rudolph was still awake, getting a second chance at life.

Click here to read Rudolph’s astounding story.


Farmington, IL Casey’s evacuated after suspect reportedly runs into cooler

WQAD News -

FARMINGTON, Illinois — A Casey’s General Store southeast of the Quad Cities was evacuated after someone who was thought to be armed came inside and ran into one of the coolers, police said.

Police were called to the Casey’s, at 84 North Main, around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, January 19, according to a statement from Chief Chris Darsham.

Officers helped get workers and customers out of the store safely, and closed off the streets surrounding the store, said Chief Darsham’s statement.

Chief Darsham said shortly before 8 p.m. the suspect, Clinton J. Shaffer, came out of the store peacefully, with his hands up.

“The store was not robbed and there were no injuries or shots fired during this situation,” said Chief Darsham. “Also, no firearms were recovered from the scene.”

He was charged with felony disorderly conduct and was set to appear in court on February 28 at the Fulton County Courthouse.

What changes are coming to Tour de Brew in 2019

WQAD News -

RIVERDALE, Illinois -- Some changes are coming to the 2019 Tour de Brew Quad Cities.

The new route was announced, to start at the Front Street Taproom in Davenport.  Organizers said that location could bring more attention to their cause, battling cancer.

If we can provide information and showcase the charities we represent like Camp Kesem, children's cancer connection, the Livestrong at the Y program, and the Livestrong Foundation that if anyone does hear those words you have cancer you know there is resources here in the quad cities," said ride director Tina Anderson.

Another new addition to the race will be a 5k, so people who don't bike can still take part.

Registration for the event, held on Saturday, May 4, is open. Click here. 

How the federal government shut down could impact expecting mothers

WQAD News -

GENESEO, Illinois-- The partial federal government shutdown is affecting hundreds of thousands of government workers and that includes employees at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency in charge of making sure the food we eat is safe. Now the shutdown could impact expecting mothers.

Making the last minute touches on the baby nursery is a first for expecting mother Jenna Panicucci.

"I am eight-months pregnant. I'm due March 5. We're having a boy," says Panicucci.

Some things for baby are obvious like the crib, changing table and car seat. But other things may be less apparent but maybe even more important.

"It's not something I'm totally freaked out about, but I think it's always better to be safe than sorry," says Panicucci.

Because of the government shut down, some routine food safety inspections have stopped. The FDA is now doing "high risk" assignments only, inspecting things like baby formula, sea food, and fresh produce.

On twitter,  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says "taken together, it's smaller than our usual footprint but we're targeting the riskiest products." Gottlieb tweets out of 550 investigators with the Office of Human and Animal Food Operations, more than 200 are currently working.

Knowing fewer eyes are inspecting, Panicucci airs on the side of caution, rinsing each piece of fruit individually.

"We're talking about food, this is stuff you put in your body. So that's pretty important, and you would want someone to be there to make sure they are checking what's going out there," says Panicucci.

The FDA agrees. They suggest people wash and rinse all produce properly, stick to brands you trust and cook at home as much as possible. They say to be especially diligent if you're pregnant, have kids, or have a compromised immune system.

"Since I have another life to think about now, I make sure I'm thorough because you can never be too safe," says Panicucci.

About 150 FDA employees currently working right now are doing so without pay. Gottlieb says more staff could be on the way in the upcoming weeks depending on the need.

One night in North Korea: Davenport man shares his experience in one of the world’s most isolated countries

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- As the White House has announced a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a Davenport man who made a rare trip to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang says he hopes the dialogue will warm relations between the cold war adversaries.

Brendan Iglehart will share his travel experience at the DeWitt Operahouse Theater on Tuesday, once at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. for the Noon Lions Club travelogue series, an educational fundraiser.

"I just have this interest in traveling to places that my mom doesn't like me to go," said Inglehart, who now runs a travel company in the Quad Cities. He said he's also been to offbeat destinations like Cuba and next plans to go to Chernobyl, Urkraine, the site of a catastrophic nuclear disaster.

He traveled to North Korea in 2014 with Young Pioneer Tours, the same group that American college student Otto Warmbier hired on his fateful trip. The U.S. State Department banned American travel to North Korea after Warmbier returned to the United States in June of 2017 with fatal injuries after 17 months in detention there.

Iglehart said Warmbier's story made him rethink how dangerous his own trip was.

"You just have to be respectful of local laws and realize that if you step out of line, you may not have due process like you would expect in the U.S. or other similar countries," Iglehart said.

But in June of 2018 there was an apparent breakthrough in Washington-Pyongyang relations. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made history in Singapore, marking the first time leaders of the two countries ever met face to face.

Iglehart said in his experience, North Koreans are a lot more savvy about the world than Americans give them credit for.

"Even though they live in this very controlled country, the people aren't stupid," he said. "They know about the U.S., they know about the prosperity of other countries around the world."

The U.S. extended it's travel ban for another year last September, so the North Koreans won't be welcoming American tourists again any time soon. Still, Iglehart said he is hopeful that dialogue will improve relations over time.

"I think that we can all agree that even if the governments don't get along, we're all people," Iglehart said. "And I got to really gain respect for the people that I met."



Iowa has highest risk of radon exposure; recognizes January as ‘Radon Action Month’

WQAD News -

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa, the state that has the highest risk for elevated levels of radon, now recognizes January as “Radon Action Month.”

Radon is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that can cause lung cancer after long-term exposure, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

In mid-January 2019, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared January as “Radon Action Month.”  It’s meant as a way to remind Iowans to test their homes for the gas.

The Environmental Protection Agency has set an action level of 4 picoCuries per liter of air, or 4 pCi/L.  That means, property owners who find levels that meet or exceed that number are urged to hire a radon mitigation contractor to fix their radon problems.

According to the EPA, the State of Iowa has “a very high potential for elevated levels of radon gas,” reported the IDPH.  A survey found that Iowa has the largest percentage of homes above the acceptable radon level.

Radon comes from nature, and tends to be higher in Iowa because the soil has elevated levels of radium.  According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, this dates back to the state’s glacial history.   Radon seeps into homes the same way air does: from soil around the home, through cracks in the foundation, floor or walls, through openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps or through hollow-block walls.  It can be found in old and new homes alike, and having a basement, or not, makes no difference.

Click here to see the EPA’s Radon Zones map

All of Iowa is listed as being in “Zone 1” which are counties predicted to have radon levels of more than 4 pCi/L. Illinois has a mix of “Zone 1” and “Zone 2” areas.  “Zone 2” is counties that are predicted to have radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.

The university reported that about 400 Iowans die from radon exposure each year.

For more information about radon, or ordering a test kit, click here. 

OSF competition recycles a ton (and a half) of Christmas lights

WQAD News -

MONMOUTH, Illinois- Five Illinois OSF hospitals held a friendly competition amongst themselves to see which hospital could save the most Christmas lights from clogging landfills.

"It is estimated household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding an extra six tons of trash to landfills nationwide."

Steve Looney, Western Region Director of Facilities Operations for OSF HealthCare, predicted this year’s unwanted Christmas light drive would collect 500 pounds.

The usual competition had three hospitals participating but in 2018 two other hospitals joined the recycling effort.

Together they saved 3,061 pounds of Christmas lights from the landfill.

Eagle Recycling in Galva partnered to accept the lights which can be stripped down to raw materials including plastic, glass, and copper to make new products. The collection drive was held from December 3, - January 11.

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford won the friendly competition with 925 pounds collected. Facilities Manager Mike Mader was impressed by the response.

“The final tally from our efforts far exceeded our wildest expectations, especially because it was our first time participating here at OSF Saint Anthony. It’s a tremendous feeling knowing that we could serve as a valuable community resource,” said Mader.

Here are the finals numbers:
#1   OSF Healthcare Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, IL- 925 Lbs.
#2   OSF Healthcare Saint Paul Medical Center, Mendota, IL- 816 Lbs.
#3   OSF Healthcare Saint Luke Medical Center, Kewanee, IL- 594 Lbs.
#4   OSF Healthcare St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg, IL- 515 Lbs.
#5   OSF Healthcare Holy Family Medical Center-Monmouth, IL- 211 Lbs.

Netflix to reboot ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ to ‘haunt a new generation’

WQAD News -

Netflix is rebooting the show “Unsolved Mysteries,” the streaming service announced Friday.

According to Netflix, the original creators of the show have teamed up with the producers of “Stranger Things” for a modern take on the series.

As with the original series, investigators will be looking to the viewers for help in solving cases.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, unlike the original series, each episode will focus on a single case rather than multiple cases.

The original series debuted in the late 1980s and ran for 14 seasons with almost 600 episodes.

Each episode of the show covered a different real-life mystery, usually of a true crime variety and occasionally even a paranormal one.

Netflix has not given viewers a release date yet.

“Unsolved Mysteries” is coming back to haunt a new generation! The original creators have teamed up with the producers of #StrangerThings for a modern take on the series that will once again look to viewers to help aid investigators in closing the book on long outstanding cases.

— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) January 18, 2019

Eye doctors offering free eye exams for NFL referees after New Orleans Saints loss

WQAD News -

NEW ORLEANS — Eye doctors are offering free eye exams for NFL referees after the New Orleans Saints loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

An eye care business in Covington, La. is offering free exams for the officials:

“We will GLADLY provide no cost eye exams to all NFL officials prior to next season to prevent the atrocity that occurred tonight,” Louisiana Family Eyecare posted on Facebook. “We would hate for someone else to feel our pain.”

Another eye center, in Texas, is also offering free eye exams to NFL referees.

“In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game, we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need. You know who you are,” CrystalVisionCenter tweeted after the game.

In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need.

You know who you are.

— CrystalVisionCenter (@CrystalVisionCS) January 21, 2019

The Saints’ lost Sunday night 26-23 in overtime after a very disputed non-call.

If the Rams win, these refs are gonna be run outta town with torches and pitchforks because of this no call on a clear Pass Interference #NFCChampionshipGame #LARvsNO

— That Blind Ref (@ThatBlindRef) January 20, 2019


Bangladesh’s ‘tree man’ is back in the hospital and needs more surgery

WQAD News -

Abul Bajandar, a 28-year-old father from a small town in southern Bangladesh, made headlines three years ago when he underwent a series of complex operations to remove lesions which resemble tree branches from his hands and feet. (Sugam Pokharel/CNN)

A Bangladeshi man who suffers from an extremely rare genetic disease known as “tree man” syndrome is back in hospital and faces more surgery after the condition returned after multiple operations in 2016.

Abul Bajandar, a 28-year-old father from a small town in southern Bangladesh, made headlines three years ago when he underwent a series of complex operations to remove lesions which resemble tree branches from his hands and feet.

Bajandar has been living with the disease, epidermodysplasia verruciformis, for more than two decades, resulting in extreme wart-like growths across his body.

The condition is caused by a defect in the immune system which increases one’s susceptibility to HPV, or human papilloma virus, often leading to chronic HPV infection, skin lesions and an increased risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. It is so rare there have only been a handful of reported cases around the world.

Doctors told CNN that Bajandar has had more then 25 surgeries since 2016 but skipped out of further treatment in May.

“It’s a complicated case and we were making progress but he left to go home. I requested him many times to come back but he didn’t,” said Dr. Samanta Lal Sen, co-ordinator at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.

“He came back to the hospital on Sunday with his mother. He should have come here six months back. He came too late.”

Bajandar’s condition has now worsened, with lesions on his hands around one-inch long. The warts have also spread to his feet and other parts of his body, doctors said.

Sen’s team are now working on a plan for Bajandar’s future treatment and said he will need five to six more operations.

Sen told CNN in 2016 that Bajandar first noticed the lesions when he was 10. Over time, the growths completely encompassed his hands, stealing his livelihood as a rickshaw driver and making him the subject of international news.

Before the surgeries, Bajandra could not eat, drink, brush his teeth or take a shower by himself.

“I want to live like a normal person. I just want to be able to hold my daughter properly and hug her,” he told CNN at the time.

In 2017, the surgeries had left him in “very good shape,” enabling him to eat and write using his own hands, Sen told CNN in a previous report, but now more treatment is needed.

The government bore the cost of his treatment in 2016 and Sen said this will extend to any new surgeries Bajandra now needs.

The top 26 billionaires own as much as 3.8 billion other people – $1.4 trillion

WQAD News -

The world’s billionaires are growing $2.5 billion richer every day, while the poorest half of the global population is seeing its net worth dwindle.

Billionaires, who now number a record 2,208, have more wealth than ever before, according to an Oxfam International report published Monday. Since the global financial crisis a decade ago, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled.

The annual study was released ahead of the yearly World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together some of the wealthiest and most influential people on Earth. The 106-page report is meant to call attention to the growing gap between rich and poor.

The combined fortunes of the world’s 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

Most of these mega-wealthy are American, according to the Forbes list of billionaires used by Oxfam. The names include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who collectively are worth $357 billion, according to Forbes.

Oxfam recommends that nations tax wealth at fairer levels, raise rates on personal income and corporate taxes and eliminate tax avoidance by companies and the super-rich. It also advocates providing universal free health care, education and other public services — and ensuring that women and girls also benefit. And it suggests investing in public services — including water, electricity and childcare — to free up women’s time and limit the number of unpaid hours they work.

Tax systems questioned

The report echoes policy positions embraced by the newly empowered Democrats in the United States, who are advocating for similar reforms.

“There is going to be a broader and increasingly energized public conversation in the US and globally on what a fair and effective tax system looks like that will be very different from today,” said Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s vice president of policy and advocacy.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman lawmaker from New York, has proposed taxing the wealthy as high as 70% to fund a climate change plan she’s pushing called the “Green New Deal.”

And a growing group of lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are pushing for Medicare for All to expand the number of Americans with health insurance.

Those issues are global.

“In many countries, a decent education or quality healthcare has become a luxury only the rich can afford,” Oxfam said. “Every day, 10,000 people die because they lack access to affordable healthcare.”

The impact is disproportionately felt by women.

“Girls are pulled out of school first when the money isn’t available to pay fees, and women clock up hours of unpaid work looking after sick relatives when healthcare systems fail,” the organization said, estimating that “if all the unpaid care work carried out by women across the globe was done by a single company, it would have an annual turnover of $10 trillion.”

The problem is felt acutely in places like India, the world’s fastest growing major economy. The country has one of the world’s lowest female labor participation rates. Recent data from the World Bank showed only 27% of women aged 15 or older were classified as working or actively seeking a job.

A report last year by the McKinsey Global Institute said India could add $770 billion to its economy by increasing gender equality, while Asia as a whole could boost its gross domestic product by as much as $4.5 trillion if more women are brought into the workforce.

Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday… Find out what wintry mix you’ll see

WQAD News -


A fairly cloudy and down right cold day as temperatures are only in the teens.  Winds have remained in check so thankfully no dangerous wind chills to worry about.

Clouds will thicken and lower tonight and into tomorrow as another winter storms creeps toward the Midwest.  With its progress, southeasterly winds ahead of the system will allow temperatures to hold steady in the teens through the evening before slowly rising in the lower 20s before dawn.

Area of low pressure associated with this storm will track right across the area.  That means a mix of precipitation will fall from snow, freezing rain, sleet and rain as temperatures climb around the freezing mark of 32 degrees.  Along the Highway 34 corridor we’ll see a mostly rain event, where areas between the I 80  and Route 30 corridor will see a wintry mix in the morning followed by a mostly rain event by afternoon.  The farther north of Route 30 and you’re talking all snow, where 2 to 5 inches is likely late that night.  Along I80 an inch or less of snow and slush with areas farther south being a light slush.

Much colder temperatures are on the way especially by the upcoming weekend with high temperatures approaching zero and wind chills as cold as 30 below!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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