The latest local news

Boys & Girls Club celebrates 25 years in the QC

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa — The Boys and Girls Club is celebrating a quarter-century of “building great futures” in the Quad Cities.

Their annual Gala was scheduled for Saturday, January 26 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the QC Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf.

The event is put on every year to benefit the organization.

At the event, leaders planned to lay out their plan to ensure the success of youth in the Quad Cities community.

“We keep hearing that there’s nothing for teens to do, and that’s just not true,” said Elizabeth Zimmer Waldman, Director of Impact and Marketing. “Our programs provide almost everything that youth need – not just education, life skills and career development, but a safe place to go, meals and positive adult mentors.”

She also added that they planned to work with the Davenport mayor’s office to be involved with fighting juvenile crime rates.

Honeywell announces Galena plant closure, city feels “blindsided”

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GALENA, Illinois -- Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate company, has suddenly decided to close its manufacturing plant in Galena.

Galena may be known as a popular tourist town, but since 1984 more than 100 local employees have called the Galena Honeywell plant home. However, last week Honeywell decided to close its Galena location by the end of 2019 -- leaving its now 50 employees with the option to relocate to a more competitive market... or lose a job.

Mayor Terry Renner said he heard about the company’s plans to close through a former employee.

“Sometimes you can tell when things are going to happen, before they happen, this - I was totally blindsided," Mayor Renner said. "The city was totally blindsided, the employees were blindsided. That's 50 people without income, that's families without income."

A whole community and its people who never saw it coming - even the Mayor.

"Am I frustrated? You bet I am," Mayor Renner said. "Is it such a benefit to a have a big corporation come into town? Cause as soon as the economy goes south, what do they do? Close up and go south."

Honeywell's Public Relations Manager, Eric Krantz, emailed News 8 a statement regarding the closure:

"Honeywell continually evaluates its operations to drive efficiencies for customers and has decided to consolidate work from our Galena facility to other Honeywell sites later this year," Krantz wrote. "This is part of a streamlining effort that will end up adding about 125 new jobs to our existing Freeport, Illinois, facility. Eligible affected employees can apply for other open positions in Honeywell or will be offered severance."

"We’re hurting up in this part of the state, we don’t have a lot of industries," Mayor Renner said. "You may have some over in Dubuque you have to travel out of state, you may have some in Freeport but you have the long drive on a two-lane road."

A two-way street he says was lacking in communication between the company and the city.

"We’re a small town," Mayor Renner said. "We’re here to help. We get things done by togetherness. We get together, we work things out, we get things done."

Have New Year’s resolutions? Why doing these 3 things can make them stick

WQAD News -

NEW YORK – As you rang in the New Year, you probably made some resolutions, such as dieting, or exercising, or saving more money. But, chances are by now you may have fallen off the resolution bandwagon.

Jan. 17 is unofficially considered "Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day." To help you stay motivated, WPIX asked Dr. Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, to share some of his tips to keep your goals throughout 2019.

To set yourself up for success, he says your resolutions should be a positive commitment or change, not a negative one.

"It should start with, 'I want to be better in some way than I am, different in some way than I am now that I think will be good for me and good for the world,'" Muskin said.

Once you change your attitude, he says people should do these three things to make your resolutions stick:

Have realistic resolutions

"Look at [your resolution] before you commit to it," Muskin says. "[Ask yourself], 'is this something I can do?' And think about it and maybe reshape it, so that you go from a wonderful resolution to a real one."

Have a plan

Plotting and writing out how are you going to achieve your goals helps you reach them. For example, if going to the gym more is one of your resolutions, decide what time of day you will go and commit to making it a routine.

Have interim goals

Muskin advises that people make short-term targets to help them stay motivated throughout the year: "Good planning is having markers for yourself that you're on the right track...It has to be concretized [and] it can't be vague, so you know you got to that goal. Why? [Because] that's rewarding."

How to avoid resolution burnout

If you find your resolutions are not sustainable, Muskin says it’s okay to reevaluate what’s important to you. Forgive yourself, and make a different plan to actually achieve your objectives.

And finally, remember that you have the power to make life changes whenever you want to. You don’t need a new year to have a fresh start.

"A resolution can be at your birthday, at an anniversary, at a holiday," Muskin says. "It doesn't have to be a New Year's resolution. Those are not more powerful or more meaningful. A resolution is powerful and meaningful when you make it powerful and meaningful.”

North Scott Jr. High student accused of pointing loaded gun at teacher pleads not guilty

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — The student accused of trying to shoot a teacher at North Scott Junior High School has pleaded not guilty.

The 12-year-old entered a written plea of not guilty on Wednesday, January 16.  Police said the student was disarmed by a teacher after bringing a loaded .22 caliber handgun to school on Friday, August 31, 2018.  He was accused of pointing the gun at a teacher and pulling the trigger.

Police said the student forgot to take the safety off and the gun did not fire.

The student was charged with attempted murder, carrying weapons on school grounds and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.  He was scheduled to be in court in March.

K-9 named after fallen deputy nets six arrests in a week

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TACOMA, Wash. – Six arrests in one week is good for any K-9. But this Washington state police dog's achievement is extra special.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department officials say a K-9 officer named Dan is named after Sheriff's Deputy Daniel McCartney, who was killed in the line of duty.

K-9 Dan's arrests began on Jan. 7 – one year to the day after deputy McCartney was killed. The help ranged from chasing burglary suspects to sniffing out a stabbing suspect hiding in a house.

"The one-year anniversary that Dan was killed, K-9 Dan was able to get a capture," said Deputy Luke Baker of the K-9 unit. "It was somewhat of a tearjerker for all the deputies on scene. It was really meaningful to us."

"Maybe he had a little extra inspiration from above," a Pierce County Sheriff's Department Facebook post read.

Baker said K-9 Dan's enthusiasm and commitment is almost reminiscent of deputy McCartney.

"He's really strong, he's really fast and he likes to catch bad guys," Baker said. "So we're reminded of Dan McCartney through K-9 Dan every day."

K-9 Dan was actually late for his interview with KCPQ. Why?

He was out helping arrest another bad guy.

The LA teachers’ strike has cost $69m. Now both sides are negotiating again

WQAD News -

(CNN) — After three days of an apparent game of “chicken,” the Los Angeles teachers union and the school district are back at the negotiating table.

Talks resumed Thursday for the first time since more than 30,000 educators walked off the job this week to demand smaller class sizes, more school staffing and higher teacher salaries.

“We are having an impact,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union. “That impact is being felt across the city. And we’ve just got to keep it up.”

But while teachers demand millions more dollars in school funding, their school district has lost $69 million — and counting — during the strike. That’s because the state funds schools based on daily attendance, and many students are absent during the strike this week.

Parent Karen Goldman is well aware of the money lost by lower attendance. That’s one reason she’s keeping her fifth-grade son out of school.

“I feel like the message I am sending by not sending him and creating a budget loss is better than if I send him, because that will hopefully bring the strike to a conclusion faster,” she said.

But don’t expect teachers to end their strike anytime soon, the union president said Thursday.

“After 21 months of negotiations, I think it’s an unrealistic expectation to say that this is going to be over after today,” Caputo-Pearl said.

The teachers on strike are not getting paid. But the union leader said it’s critical for them to outlast Superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker who doesn’t have a background in teaching.

“If it goes into next week … we have to last one day longer than Austin Beutner,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We have to last one day longer than somebody who’s never taught in a classroom.”

The school district says kids are still learning

Even though students are supposed to go to school during the strike, many parents have pulled their kids out due to the enormous shortage of teachers.

Some students who did go to school reported playing board games or watching movies all day.

But the LAUSD said students are learning — though sometimes in auditoriums rather than classrooms. At Adams Middle School, an assistant principal filled in and gave a history lecture on Thursday.

Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District said 2,000 reassigned administrators and about 400 substitute teachers would help fill in for the educators on strike. On Wednesday, the school district updated the number of substitutes to 1,400.

That’s for a school district with 600,000 students.

LAUSD has not responded to CNN’s questions about how many teachers are not on strike and are still in classrooms.

Beutner has defended the decision to keep schools running — especially for lower-income families, who can’t afford child care and don’t have a safe place for their children to go.

“While education in classrooms is not the same without teachers, we have a responsibility to keep schools open and provide students with a safe space, shelter from the rain, meals and modified instruction,” he said.

The big fight over money — and one big agreement

This standoff comes down to two issues: how much money to spend on more school staffing and teachers’ raises, and whether the school district actually has that kind of money.

Beutner said there’s no way the district can afford right now to give the union everything it wants. He noted an independent fact-finder agreed that it doesn’t have the money to cover the union’s demands.

The district did offer $130 million toward what the union wants, but UTLA rejected that proposal.

The teachers union said the school district should tap into $1.8 billion in reserves to fund more staff members and increase teachers’ pay.

The superintendent said the $1.8 billion is already earmarked for education spending during this three-year budget cycle. At this rate, the district said, it might not even have enough money to meet a required 1% reserveby the 2021-2022 school year.

But the union president said the school district has “always been wrong in their projections, so we just don’t believe those numbers.”

“Three years ago, they predicted a $105 million reserve; they ended with a $1.86 billion reserve. They were off by $1.7 billion, Caputo-Pearl said.

If there’s one financial matter both sides agree on, it’s that they need more help from the state. About 90% of the district’s funding comes from Sacramento, Beutner said.

Newly elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed an increase to public school funding and wants the stalemate in Los Angeles to end soon.

“This impasse is disrupting the lives of too many kids and their families,” Newsom said in a statement Monday.

“Last week, I submitted a budget to the Legislature that would make the largest ever investment in K through 12 education, help pay down billions in school district pension debt and provide substantial new funding for special education and early education.”

But it’s not clear exactly how much additional money Los Angeles schools might get, or when.


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) apologizes to LGBTQ community for earlier views

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued a video apology to the LGBTQ community on Thursday, after a CNN report revealing that in the early 2000s she had touted working for her father’s anti-gay organization.

“In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones,” said Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat.

She continued, “Many years ago, I apologized for my words and more importantly for the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today. I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then.”

CNN’s KFile reported earlier this week that Gabbard had told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2002, “Working with my father, Mike Gabbard, and others to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, I learned that real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good. I will bring that attitude of public service to the Legislature.”

Gabbard’s father ran The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, a political action committee aimed at opposing pro-gay lawmakers and legislation that organized and spent more than $100,000 to pass an amendment in 1998 that gave the Hawaii state Legislature the power to “reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” The amendment to the state’s constitution passed.

Following the report, Gabbard issued a statement to CNN saying, “First, let me say I regret the positions I took in the past, and the things I said. I’m grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey.”

She added, “Over the past six years in Congress, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBTQ+ issues, such as the Equality Act, the repeal of DOMA, Restore Honor to Service Members Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Equality for All Resolution. Much work remains to ensure equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and if elected President, I will continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

Winter storm alerts out for the area… Check out how much snow you’ll see

WQAD News -

A Winter Storm WATCH has been issued for the News 8 viewing area beginning Friday afternoon and lasting until 3pm Saturday.

Plenty of broken cloudiness heading overnight but we’ll keep it dry with overnight lows around the upper teens.

The snowfall I addressed yesterday for the area is still on track for the start of the weekend.  Widespread amounts of 4 to 6 inches looks likely, with some areas north of the Quad Cities along Highway 20 expected to close to 8 inches.  The snow begins by mid-afternoon Friday (3pm) for areas north and then become more widespread later that night into Saturday morning before tapering that afternoon.  Strong winds will begin pushing into the area Saturday creating significant blowing and drifting of snow.

Bitterly cold temperatures follow by Sunday with highs likely not leaving the single digits above zero for most. Wind chills will be below zero for much of the day.

Chances for snow will return early next week with more accumulation likely. Temperatures will only reach the upper teens to lower 20s for daytime highs.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Mechanical trouble leads to a fiery 3-car crash outside Woodhull

WQAD News -

WOODHULL, Illinois- Three cars traveling west on Interstate 74 ended up in an accident after one experienced “mechanical trouble” while another car tried to pass.

According to Illinois State Police, three cars, a Mercury passenger car, a Chevrolet SUV, and a Ford Pickup, were driving near mile marker 37  on Interstate 74 near Woodhull.

The Mercury moved into the left lane to pass the  Ford Pickup. However, the Chevrolet SUV “experienced mechanical trouble and slowed down.”

The Mercury rear-ended the  SUV. Police say both cars lost control and crashed into the median. The Mercury then caught fire.

The truck swerved to miss the accident and crashed into the ditch on the right side of the road.

Traffic was temporarily shut down to extinguish the fire and recover the vehicles. But has since been reopened.

The driver of the mercury, a 44-year-old Zearing, Iowa native, was transported to a Galesburg hospital for
non-life threatening injuries. He was cited with failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

With snow on the forecast, these cities have declared snow emergencies

WQAD News -

A Winter Storm WATCH has been issued for the News 8 viewing area beginning Friday afternoon and lasting until 3pm Saturday.

James Zahara says widespread amounts of 4 to 6 inches looks likely, with some areas north of the Quad Cities along Highway 20 expected to close to 8 inches.

Out of caution the following cities have declared snow emergencies:

Coal Valley has issued a snow emergency from 6:00 pm Friday, January 18th 2019 through noon on Sunday, January 20th 2019.  No cars are allowed on any Village Street, the city will be towing cars that block the roadways.

Davenport The Snow Emergency will go into effect beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 18 through 6:00 p.m. Saturday, January 19.

Vehicles parked on Posted Snow Routes will be ticketed and may be towed.

As an alternative to on-street parking in the Downtown, residents, and visitors to the area may park for free in any one of the City’s three parking ramps beginning at 5pm, Friday, January 18th through 7am, Sunday, January 20th.

Check back often as more cities follow suit

Subway rider searching for good Samaritans who resuscitated him on train

WQAD News -

NEW YORK CITY - What started out as a typical day for Abraham Puthota turned into anything but that.

On Dec. 6th, the engineer was at the end of his morning commute from his home in Harriman, New York to Penn Station when he boarded a Queens-bound E-train.

“I was playing a game on my phone and that’s the last thing I remember,” Puthota told WPIX.

The 64-year-old slipped into cardiac arrest and collapsed in a nearly packed subway car.

Fortunately, five of his fellow straphangers quickly jumped into action where they performed CPR on Puthota for nearly 27 minutes until EMS arrived.

“They revived me essentially,” he said. “They are guardian angels to me, if it wasn’t for those people I [would] not be here today.

Six weeks after the incident, his family is still in disbelief, amazed by not only the kindness of strangers but their timing.

“The doctor said even if he was on the bed sleeping and if it had happened he wouldn’t be here today - we are so lucky that he was in the right place at the right time,” Abraham’s wife Vimala told WPIX.

As his doctors still try to determine what sparked Puthota’s cardiac episode, he is well aware that he’s been given a second lease on life.

He’s now on a mission to find those guardian angels.

“There are really good people out there - people who are concerned with strangers like me and hopefully one day I could reciprocate that.”


Michael Cohen paid thousands to rig polls in Trump’s favor, report says

WQAD News -

President Donald Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen paid the head of a small technology company thousands in 2015 to rig online polls and elevate Cohen’s character to benefit Trump’s presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to the paper, Cohen paid John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, between $12,000 and $13,000 for activities related to Trump’s campaign, including “trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump’s favor” and creating a Twitter account called “@WomenForCohen” that “praised (Cohen’s) looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting” Trump’s candidacy.

In making the claim, Gauger told the paper he wasn’t fully paid for the work, though the Journal said Cohen was reimbursed $50,000 — the amount the two originally agreed on for Gauger’s services — by the Trump Organization. Gauger, according to the paper, also received a boxing glove “worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter” along with the cash payment.

The paper said that Cohen denied paying Gauger in cash, instead telling the Journal that “all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check” and declining to comment further. The Trump Organization did not comment. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, told the paper that the allegation that Cohen received more money than what he paid to Gauger shows he’s a “thief.”

As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.

— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 17, 2019

In a statement to CNN Thursday, Cohen said his actions were “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”

The Journal said that Cohen’s reimbursement was made around the same time that he received a $130,000 reimbursement from Trump for expenses incurred during the 2016 election. CNN has previously reported that Cohen used the $130,000 as a hush money payment to a woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump, which Trump denies.

Gauger told the paper that Cohen asked him in early 2014 to help Trump score well in a CNBC online poll of business leaders and a 2015 Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates. Gauger’s efforts for the CNBC poll were unsuccessful, according to the paper, and Trump ranked low in the Drudge Report poll.

Cohen has publicly broken with Trump since cooperating with the Mueller investigation. He is expected to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month and is prepared to discuss topics related to hush money payments and aspects of the Trump Organization, including the roles of the President and his children, a source familiar with the matter has said.

Suspect has unlikely story of how 11-year-old had his baby

WQAD News -

A 33-year-old man accused of raping and impregnating an 11-year-old girl claims it was all the work of a piece of cloth.

Robert Cronin of Niskayuna, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child on Wednesday—the same day he told WTEN‘s Anya Tucker that the girl became pregnant only after touching a piece of clothing on which he’d ejaculated.

“Do you understand why it would be hard for people to understand the reasoning behind this conception that you’re offering?” Tucker asked, with Cronin responding “yes.”

Per WTEN, Cronin says “the Niskayuna Police who arrested him are just lacking in scientific knowledge.”

Fox News reports that Cronin, held without bail in Schenectady County jail, has five children with a fiance. He did not deny he is father to the child born recently to the 11-year-old, which a DNA test has confirmed, per WTEN.

A preliminary hearing is set for Friday, per the Albany Times Union.

More From Newser:
Cops Thought He Killed His Parents. He Was Dead All Along
Here’s What Scott Peterson Looks Like Now
You’re All Going to Die,’ Cruz Laughs in Chilling Video

Man jumps from Royal Caribbean ship, gets banned for life

WQAD News -

A 27-year-old from Washington has been banned from Royal Caribbean ships for life after video posted online shows the man leaping from the 11th deck of the cruise ship while it was docked in Nassau, Bahamas.

Nick Naydev, 27, posted video on Instagram that shows him jumping from the ship.

Naydev said he could “barely walk for 3 days” after bruising his neck and tailbone when he struck the water, according to Fox News.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement after the video surfaced online:

“This was stupid and reckless behavior, and he and his companions have been banned from ever sailing with us again We are exploring legal action.”

In the comments on the video, Naydev said he was “still drunk from the previous night” when he decided to jump.

A small boat picked up Naydev and brought him to shore. Local police were called but no charges were filed.

Naydev and his friends were immediately booted from the cruise and had to find their own way home, according to USA Today.


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