WASHINGTON – FBI toxicology tests have determined that the deaths of three American tourists in the Dominican Republic were due to natural causes, a US State Department official said Friday.
The findings are consistent with those presented by Dominican authorities.
The FBI assisted with the toxicology tests of three of at least nine Americans who died there in recent months. The spate of deaths has left vacationers to wonder if they should cancel their trips to the Caribbean tourist destination.
The bureau assisted in the investigations of the deaths last Spring of Nathaniel Holmes, Cynthia Day and Miranda Schaup-Werner.
Schaup-Werner, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania resident, died in May at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana, as did the 63-year-old Holmes, and the 49-year-old Day, a couple from Maryland.
“Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time,” the State Department official said in a statement, adding that relatives of the deceased have been informed of the FBI test results.
There was no immediate response from the family members.
The State Department official said the deaths were tragic but called them unrelated, isolated cases. The US has not seen an increase in the number of deaths of American citizens in the Dominican Republic, the official said.
Schaup-Werner died in her hotel room after having a drink from the minibar, family spokesman Jay McDonald told CNN affiliate WFMZ. She suffered a heart attack, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure, a preliminary autopsy cited by the Attorney General’s Office of the Dominican Republic showed.
Holmes and Day were found dead days later in their hotel room on May 30. Both had internal bleeding, including in their pancreases, according to Dominican authorities. Holmes had an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver — both signs of significant pre-existing disease, the Dominican authorities said. Day had fluid in her brain, they said.
Holmes and Day also had fluid in their lungs, Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez Sanchez’s office said in a statement at the time.
The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s top tourism destinations, with more than 6 million stopover tourists last year, including 2.2 million Americans, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
LABADEE, Haiti – A woman was removed from a cruise ship and banned for life by the cruise company after she climbed onto her room’s balcony railing to pose for a dangerous photo shoot over the ocean.
The incident happened on board the Royal Caribbean ship Allure of the Seas as it was approaching Labadee, Haiti earlier this week.
The unnamed woman was spotted by a fellow passenger, Peter Blosic, who alerted the crew.
“While on my balcony, I saw the woman climb on her railing. It happened so quickly. Not knowing what her intentions were, I alerted the crew. If I said nothing, and she was going to jump, that would be horrible,” he told CNN.
Blosic later posted a picture of the woman wearing a blue bathing suit with hands over her head on social media.
The ship’s crew later tracked down the woman and removed her when the ship docked in Falmouth, Jamaica, Blosic said.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirmed the incident, telling CNN in a statement:
“Earlier this week on the Allure of the Seas a guest was observed recklessly and dangerously posing for a photo by standing on her stateroom balcony railing with the help of her companion. Security was notified and the guests were later debarked in Falmouth, Jamaica as a result of their actions and are now banned for life from sailing with Royal Caribbean.”
On its website, Royal Caribbean explains that “sitting, standing, laying or climbing on, over or across any exterior or interior railings or other protective barriers” is not permitted, for guests’ own safety.
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The number of car thefts committed by juveniles in Scott County has seen a sharp decrease this year, but a program to keep first-time youth offenders from re-offending is being expanded.
Scott County supervisors on Thursday, October 17, voted unanimously to expand the Auto Theft Accountability Program, a program implemented this May in response to the spike in car thefts seen in the Quad Cities in recent years.
Juvenile crime and car thefts in particular were identified as public safety issue, addressed by Mayor Frank Klipsch at a youth summit last year.
"First-time offenders, that was the big scare," recalled Major Shawn Roth, a chief deputy at the Scott County Sheriff's Office. "Our scare was when your first offense isn’t the stealing of something small from a store, its’ the stealing of a vehicle, driving extreme speeds, shots fired."
The number of car thefts committed by juveniles peaked in 2017 and has gone down drastically since, numbers from Scott County's Juvenile Court show:
- 2016: 58 cars stolen by juveniles
- 2017: 237 cars stolen by juveniles (19.75 thefts per month)
- 2018: 225 cars stolen by juveniles
- 2019: 70 car stolen by juveniles through August (8.78 thefts per month)
The numbers include first-time offenses and repeat offenses, Hobart said, crediting the decline to a community effort to provide diversion programs for youth and their families.
Since the Auto Theft Accountabilty Program began in May, there have been only seven first-time offenders, he said, while in 2018 there had been about 100 first-time offenders.
"That's a good thing,for sure" said Jeremy Kaiser, Director of the Juvenile Detention and Diversion Programs. But it has meant that the Auto Theft Accountablity Program, designed to target first-time offenders, hasn't been able to reach many kids as he had hoped: "We had seven referrals in five months, averaging just over one a month."
The program brings youth offenders face to face with their victims in a restorative justice approach that includes mediation and requires the youth to show accountability and make amends through their actions.
"We want to be very careful about who we’re offering the program to. We’re diverting felonies," Kaiser said. "[The youth] have the opportunity to have this charge dismissed."
Two juveniles have completed the program and another two are currently going through it. Three others became ineligible when they reoffended before the program began.
Kaiser has now received Scott County supervisors' approval to expand the program to first time juveniles who have committed other nonviolent property crimes.
"We were specifically targeting auto theft with this program, because it was such an issue," he said. "But now we have the budget capacity and we have the staffing ready to go, we feel like we can do more. This allows us to take a look at juveniles that come in on burglary charges or criminal mischief charges or other theft offenses. There’s no violent offenses in this, it’s all about property."
The expanded program would not include burglaries where people are in the house at the time of the crime.
Major Roth said the Sheriff's Office was fully behind that expansion.
"We are trying different multi-disciplinary ideas to come up with something, whether it's juvenile court service, or law enforcement, or the court system," he said. "The commmunity is coming up with different ideas. How do we get through to these kids to make better decisions. Every little bit helps. It takes a community to raise kids."
He and Kaiser were cautious about celebrating the decline in car thefts too soon.
"We still have work to do," Kaiser said. "Our juvenile detention numbers have been down, but the number of juveniles held at the jail has been up. It’s a wash. There's till work to be done, addressing other violent crime and such."
Funding for the Auto Theft Accountability Program comes from the Iowa Department of Human Services and was allocated earlier this year when it started and will cover the expanded scope.
MUSCATINE, Iowa -- A Muscatine man is accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman.
David J.S. Hatfield, age 23, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Kaitlyn Palmer from Muscatine, according to Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren.
On Wednesday, October 16, Hatfield called 911 to report that his girlfriend had shot herself at the Saulbury Recreation Area, which is a campground in a rural part of Muscatine County, said Ostergren. In an interview with Hatfield after the shooting, police said Hatfield admitted to shooting Palmer, and "further admitted having fired a practice shot before doing so."
Palmer sustained a gunshot wound to the head and was taken to the hospital in Iowa City, said Ostergren. She passed away from her injury on Thursday.
Hatfield was initially charged with attempt to commit murder and was held in the Muscatine County Jail on $1 million bond. The first degree murder charge was filed on Friday. A preliminary hearing is set for October 28 at 9 a.m.
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- One man was stabbed after getting into a fight with his co-worker at Pancheros Mexican Grill.
The stabbing was reported shortly before 10 a.m. on Friday, October 18, at the restaurant on Utica Ridge Road, according to a statement from the Davenport Police Department. Both men involved in the fight were injured; one sustained stab wounds to his abdomen and the other had injuries to his face.
Police said the man who had abdominal injuries was taken to a nearby hospital; he was last listed in critical condition.
The worker whose face got hurt did not need medical attention, said police, and was taken to the Davenport Police station for questioning.
If you have any information on this incident, you are asked to call the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-6125.
SEATTLE — Police seized military-style firearms from an avowed neo-Nazi in Snohomish County in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind case in Washington state.
“We actually, I firmly believe, prevented a massacre,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, whose office was involved in the investigation.
Records filed in King County court show officers from the Arlington and Seattle police departments seized five military-style rifles, three pistols, and other gun parts from a residence on Jordan Trails Road in Arlington.
According to court documents, the weapons belong to Kaleb J. Cole, who is the suspected leader of The Atomwaffen Division in Washington state.
Authorities claim Cole has been amassing firearms and training with weapons in western Washington. Online videos show Atomwaffen members firing guns and moving through rooms at “devils tower,” a graffiti-scarred building at an abandoned cement plant near the City of Concrete.
“This is a hate-filled human being but one who, unfortunately, possesses a large number of weapons,” Holmes said. “There’s no other mechanism like our firearms unit that’s in existence. There’s no one else in the state that’s doing this.”
Cole is not charged with a crime but is named in an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) filed earlier this month in King County court. In the civil paperwork, prosecutors and the FBI convinced a judge that “Kaleb Cole poses a serious threat to public safety by having access and possession to firearms and a concealed pistol license.”
The judge issued an order requiring Cole to surrender all firearms to the police.
Atomwaffen, which is a German for “atomic weapon,” is a small but extreme organization that seeks inspiration from Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson, who ordered mass murders to attempt to trigger a race war.
Its white supremacist members claim they will not start the war, but they are arming themselves in preparation.
Atomwaffen members have been charged in five murders in other states.
The FBI has clearly been watching Cole, although a spokesperson for the bureau’s Seattle office declined to comment.
Documents filed in court show that Cole traveled to Eastern Europe in December of 2018 on a trip to honor the sites of some of World War II’s most horrific scenes.Cell phone photos retrieved by Customs and Border Patrol agents when Cole re-entered the U.S. show him posing in front of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. In the photos, Cole is holding up the Atomwaffen flag at other locations, and other photos show him holding guns.
“Cole has been permanently banned from entry into Canada as a result of his [admitted] membership/affiliation with the Atomwaffen Division,” the Border Patrol report stated.
Earlier this year, the Seattle FBI approached Seattle/King County’s Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit operated by the Seattle City Attorney, King County Prosecutor, and Seattle police.
Agents sought an ERPO to disarm Cole, but the federal government has no such tool.
“The fact is the federal government came to us. There’s no other mechanism like our firearms unit that’s in existence. There’s no one else in the state that’s doing this,” said Holmes.
It’s the first time the Feds have sought an ERPO in Washington state, and it’s believed to be one of the first instances in the nation.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, whose deputy prosecutor Kim Wyatt argued the ERPO case before the judge, said the order to surrender guns is the right tool when law enforcement does not have enough evidence to file a criminal charge.
“In this case, the joint terrorism task force had assessed Mr. Cole and said he was somebody who was doing more than thinking and talking about his extremist, violent beliefs, but that he was actually acting on it,” Satterberg said.
Holmes said the case marks an important milestone since he started working with his domestic violence prosecutor, Chris Anderson, on the pilot project that formed the firearms enforcement unit.
That unit has now seized nearly 1,100 firearms since 2017, mostly from accused domestic abusers.
The fact the FBI recognized an ERPO’s ability to stop a threat is significant.
“We can actually prevent some of these massacres,” said Holmes.
KING 5 has been unable to reach Cole for comment. The order that he does not possess any firearms remains in effect for one year.
MILKWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) — Anheuser-Busch is suing MillerCoors over its confidential recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.
In a heavily redacted court filing Thursday, Anheuser-Busch claims MillerCoors illegally obtained the recipes through one of its employees, who used to work for Anheuser-Busch.
Anheuser-Busch says MillerCoors wanted the recipes because it was planning to retaliate for Anheuser-Bush’s Super Bowl ads, which chided MillerCoors for brewing beer using corn syrup.
Anheuser-Busch seeks damages from MillerCoors.
The filing was the latest in a legal fight that began in March. MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch over the corn syrup ad campaign, which it says is false and misleading.
Last month, a federal judge in Milwaukee ruled in MillerCoors’ favor and ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using packaging that implies rival contain corn syrup. Anheuser-Busch is appealing that ruling.
“Anheuser Busch has lost three major federal rulings in this case and now they are simply trying to distract from the basic fact that they intentionally misled American consumers,” MillerCoors spokesman Adam Collins said of Anheuser-Busch’s claims.
A nice warmup but a breezy one as temperatures have climbed into the 60s. Skies will remain fair overnight and breezy with overnight lows in the upper 40s.
On Saturday, few light scattered showers will interrupt our outdoor plans for one or two hours as a system quickly slides through the area. Timing is still on track around the midday or afternoon hours but the coverage looks quite scattered, so not everyone will experience it. Highs that day will only climb around 60 degrees.
Your weekend’s best is still Sunday with scattered clouds and highs around the mid 60s.
Early next week a stronger system will impact the area with wind and rain followed by several days of dry but slightly cooler than normal temperatures.
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:
The bad news keeps coming for Johnson & Johnson: The company on Friday announced a voluntary recall of its popular baby powder after some bottles were found to contain small amounts of asbestos.
Shares of J&J fell 5%, making it the worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The drop in J&J, along with a slide in Boeing, dragged down the broader market Friday.
J&J’s stock is now up less than 1% in 2019. The company, along with other health care stocks, has lagged the broader market due to a series of legal concerns.
But J&J has arguably the greatest risk of all the top Big Pharma firms.
The company already has been dealing with lawsuits about whether it knew of asbestos in talcum powder. Shares plummeted more than 10% in mid-December — their worst one-day drop since 2002 — after Reuters reported that J&J knew about an asbestos problem for decades.
Some women have alleged that their ovarian cancer was caused by exposure to J&J products with asbestos. Prolonged exposure to asbestos has also been linked to cases of mesothelioma and lung cancer, according to some medical studies.
J&J said in a statement Friday that it “has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA’s own testing on prior occasions — and as recently as last month — found no asbestos.”
“Thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos,” the company added.
Still, asbestos allegations aren’t the only legal headache for J&J.
Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania jury also ruled that J&J must pay $8 billion in punitive damages following a man’s claim that the company didn’t warn young men that they could grow breasts after using the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
J&J says in its earnings releases — including its third-quarter results reported earlier this month — that it will not provide earnings guidance “because the company is unable to predict with reasonable certainty the ultimate outcome of legal proceedings.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yostalso announced Thursday that J&J agreed to pay nearly $117 million in a multistate settlement to resolve allegations about deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices that are used to treat bladder problems. The company was sued by women who allege they were injured by the devices.https://s3.amazonaws.com/cnn-newsource-image-renditions-prod/MED_JOHNSON_BABY_POWDER_RECALL/S115872282_thumbnail.JPG
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — A man accused of driving an SUV through a suburban Chicago shopping mall has been indicted on charges of terrorism and criminal damage to property.
The Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports Cook County prosecutors announced the indictment Friday against 23-year-old Javier Garcia of Palatine.
No one was seriously injured in the Sept. 20 disturbance at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg that authorities estimated caused more than $110,000 in damages. They say Garcia drove more than halfway through the mall, striking columns and kiosks before coming to a stop.
Defense attorney Amil Alkass says Garcia has mental health issues. Co-counsel James Doerr said Garcia has no ties to terrorist groups.
Garcia is being held without bail in Cook County jail.
He’s due to be arraigned on Oct. 30.
Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Frosted Mini Wheats in the same box?
The new concoction isn’t just a kid’s breakfast dream — it’s an anti-bullying campaign.
Kellogg’s is partnering with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to release a cereal called “All Together,” mixing cereals and their mascots to support anti-bullying and LGBTQ advocacy work.
“We all belong together,” the company said in a statement. “So for the first time in history, our famous mascots and cereals are offered exclusively together in the same box for All Together Cereal. It’s a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love.”
The cereals are packaged individually inside a purple box.
All Together is available for a limited time in honor of Spirit Day, an anti-bullying campaign that has millions of people wear purple to stand up against bullying.
Along with the cereal campaign, Kellogg’s also pledged to donate $50,000 to GLAAD in support of the group’s efforts.
MOLINE, Illinois -- The Element Hotel in Moline is one of the newest hotels in the area.
On Thursday, October 17, News 8's Denise Hnytka got a tour of the space and amenities the hotel offers on News 8 at 6:30 p.m.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) - A California high school football coach went in for a routine medical procedure and nearly died.
Life is a lot different these days for 49-year-old Casey Cagle.“I walked into that hospital at 6-foot-5-and-a-half, you know, 261 pounds. I came out at 4-foot-6 and 191 pounds. You realize at that point how fast things can change.”
“I'm vulnerable for the first time in my life,” the Bradshaw Christian assistant football coach told KTXL. “I walked into that hospital at 6-foot-5-and-a-half, you know, 261 pounds. I came out at 4-foot-6 and 191 pounds. You realize at that point how fast things can change.”
That was this past May when Cagle went in for a four-hour procedure on his heart.
But complications almost cost him his life.
“For the boys, dealing with losing a coach would be difficult,” said Bradshaw Christian Athletic Director Kurt Takahashi. “So, we all braced ourselves for it and then it comes out as a miracle.”
“It was really like shadowy gray around,” said running back Jeremiah Bonner. “Nobody really had the energy to go practice. It made things a little harder.”
Coach Cagle ended up spending close to 100 days in the hospital.
During that time, doctors were forced to amputate both of Cagle's legs, his left hand and several fingers.
But he never lost his sense of humor or his positive outlook on life.
“You realize one digit can do a lot for you,” Cagle said holding up his pinky. “Every time we score now, the kids put a pinky up. Whoever scored run over and I get my hug out of it.”
Cagle said he has received endless support from his family, his team and the entire Bradshaw Christian community.
“Those are the kinds of things, the support from your family and the people you know in the community, that's what really makes you go forward and want to live,” he told KTXL.
“He cooks, he does laundry, he cleans his house,” said Cagle’s brother, Michael. “I mean, he really enjoys being independent. If anything, we are through the hard part now and things will continue to get better as we go.”
The assistant coach returned part-time to the program just last month.
“You can sum it up in one word - adversity. It's what we try to teach these kids in school, in life, in general,” Takahashi said.
“You realize you've got to be the same person you were. I can't bring them down and I can't bring myself down or else it's going to be a long life,” Cagle explained. “I'd rather go about this the way I used to. It makes me feel like I am still the person I used to be.”
Coach Cagle already has big plans for next year. He’s hoping he will get prosthetic legs come January and then he'll be right back at Bradshaw Christian School coaching the defensive line come the summer.
Fall is FALLING... and that includes leaves, pine cones, and - acorns!
On Friday, October 18th during Nailed It or Failed It, we showed you how to celebrate the season and test your taste buds with a sweet treat that everyone in the family can make and enjoy.
Acorn Donut Holes - All you need for this "recipe" is glazed donut holes, some Nutella or chocolate frosting, sprinkles, and small stick pretzels. To make, follow these instructions or just click the video above!
We went ON LOCATION for our Cocktail of the Week! The Axis Hotel, 1630 5th Avenue, opened this week in Moline and it includes the Fifth Avenue Syndicate Bistro and Bar. You will step back in time when you step into this restaurant! We had one of their masterful bartenders, Michael Tonneson, make us one of their 1920s culture cocktails - the Mary Pickford. Click below to hear the story behind it and why it's a drink you won't find anywhere else in the Quad Cities: