The latest local news

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

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Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have agreed to stop using their “royal highness” titles and will no longer receive public funds after a deal was struck for them to step aside as senior royals, according to Buckingham Palace.

The palace said in a statement Saturday that the couple will repay some 2.4 million pounds of taxpayers’ money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage, their home near Windsor Castle.

As part of the new arrangement, the couple will be required to step back from all Royal duties and can no longer “formally represent The Queen.”

In her own statement on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II said she recognizes the challenges Harry and Meghan have “experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years” and the Queen said she supports their wish for a more independent life.

The Queen added that she is “pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,” the Queen’s statement read.

As part of the deal, Frogmore Cottage will remain Harry and Meghan’s family home in the UK, according to the palace. The couple is expected to split their time between the UK and Canada.

Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world by revealing their plans to step down as “senior members” of the royal family. While the couple’s Instagram announcement made it seem like it was a done deal, the Queen’s office responded with a terse statement that claimed discussions were still at “an early stage.”

A Royal Summit was held earlier this week so the family could come to an agreement on the best path forward.

Meghan and Harry also posted the Queen’s statement Saturday on their official Instagram account.

“With the Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations,” the palace statement said.

Buckingham Palace said the new arrangement will take effect in Spring 2020. It also said it would not comment on what security arrangements will be in place for the royal couple.

The US Space Force has revealed its utility uniform, and the internet has things to say about it

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(CNN) — The new US Space Force has shown off its utility uniform, and it’s bound to look familiar.

Technically, the nation’s freshest military branch revealed its new name tapes, which attach to the uniform. “U.S. Space Force” can be read in blue embroidery, a Twitter entry posted Friday shows.

The larger point is that the name tapes are going on the same kind of camouflage uniforms already in use by the Army and Air Force.

“USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one,” the branch posted in a follow-up tweet.

Plenty of Twitter users responded with wisecracks — or had questions — about a space-focused service using camouflage.

“Camo in space?” one said. “More wasted tax dollars. Great job!”

Others thought more creativity or inspiration was called for, like maybe something inspired by Starfleet.

The Space Force’s Twitter manager noted these, and pointed out that not only was the branch trying to be cost-effective, members aren’t exactly in space, yet.

“Members will look like their joint counterparts they’ll be working with, on the ground,” the branch tweeted.

President Donald Trump created the newest military branch on December 20.

Some active duty airmen currently in the Air Force’s already-existing Space Command will be assigned to the new branch but will remain in the Air Force for the time being, officials have said.

Some 5,000 to 6,000 personnel out of the current 16,000 will eventually be transferred to the Space Force, a senior US Air Force official told CNN last year.

The branch gave no public word about a dress uniform Friday.

Washington Post: National Archives admits to altering photo of 2017 Women’s March

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(CNN) — The National Archives admitted to altering a 2017 photograph of the Women’s March to censor signs referencing women’s anatomy and President Donald Trump’s name, according to The Washington Post.

The photograph, taken by Getty Images’ Mario Tama, shows a sea of people marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2017 — a day after Trump’s inauguration.

In changes to the original photo, Trump’s name is blurred from signs that read: “God Hates Trump” and “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women,” according to the Post. According to the Post, the word p***y is also blocked out from one sign and the word vagina is no longer visible in another.

CNN has reached out to the National Archives for comment. In a statement provided to the Post, the National Archives said the decision “as a non-partisan, non-political federal agency” to blur Trump’s name was to avoid engaging in “current political controversy.”

The National Archives told the newspaper it obscured the references to women’s genitals because the museum gets a lot of young visitors and the words could be seen as inappropriate.

“Our mission is to safeguard and provide access to the nation’s most important federal records, and our exhibits are one way in which we connect the American people to those records. Modifying the image was an attempt on our part to keep the focus on the records,” National Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said in the statement given to the Post.

Kleiman said the National Archives does not alter “images or documents that are displayed as artifacts in exhibitions.”

“In this case, the image is part of a promotional display, not an artifact,” she added.

National Archive officials did not respond to the newspaper’s request for any examples of previous times when the museum edited photos or documents to avoid political controversy.

The picture is on display as part of a National Archives Museum’s exhibit to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s ratification. From one angle, you see the Women’s March photo from 2017, and looking from another side, you see a black and white image from 1913 of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue, according to the Post.

The National Archives told the Post that the decision to edit the photo was made as the exhibit was coming together, and is supported by the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero.

On Twitter, former national security adviser Susan Rice called the alteration “disturbing.”

“The National Archives is now whitewashing history. How disturbing is that?!” Rice wrote in a tweet.

Rudy Mehrbani, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, tweeted that the National Archives “created political controversy in attempting to avoid it.”

“By erasing women’s voices, you insult the suffrage movement & minimize the response to Trump’s actions & election,” Mehrbani, also a veteran of the Obama White House, said.

Devin Nunes aide exchanged information with Lev Parnas about Ukraine campaign, documents reveal

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(CNN) — New documents released Friday evening by House Democrats show communications between indicted Rudy Guiliani associate Lev Parnas and an aide to the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee in which they arrange interviews with Ukrainian officials and apparent meetings at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, including with Giuliani.

The materials draw California Rep. Devin Nunes even further into the efforts undertaken by Giuliani and his associates to dig up dirt on the President’s political rivals.

The WhatsApp exchanges show that Nunes aide Derek Harvey raised questions about foreign assistance to Ukraine in late March 2019.

On March 29, 2019, Harvey asked Parnas, “Can we get materials?”

Parnas told Harvey in an April text message that he would be interviewing “the general prosecutor that got fired by Biden,” who is Viktor Shokin. Parnas also referenced Ukraine’s then-prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko. Both prosecutors also spoke to Giuliani in his effort to dig up dirt on the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

“Let’s do our call at 12 and we can do the first prosecutor at 1 your time?” Parnas texted Harvey on April 17, 2019.

“Okay,” Harvey responded.

Two days later, Harvey texted Parnas: “Lev. I think we are best served by sending the official letter and receiving documentation before any more interviews.”

The text exchanges between Harvey and Parnas included multiple references to John Solomon, the former conservative columnist for The Hill who published columns attacking former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

In one text, Harvey told Parnas in April 2019 that “Solomon needs to get me the material.”

There are multiple references to meetings apparently at the Trump International Hotel, including a May 7, 2019, meeting with Giuliani and Solomon.

“Can you come now,” Parnas asked.

“Yes,” Harvey responded.

A spokesman for Nunes did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee included in their impeachment inquiry report phone records of calls exchanged between Nunes and Parnas and other allies of President Donald Trump.

Nunes admitted Wednesday to speaking on the phone with Parnas after previously saying such a conversation would have been “very unlikely.”

Democrats have released three sets of Parnas documents this week after his attorney provided materials to the committee last weekend, and Parnas did television interviews with CNN and MSNBC in which he implicated Trump and said the efforts were “all about 2020.”

Here’s a list of events celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the Quad Cities

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Monday, January 20th marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the annual celebration and remembrance of the life of the former civil rights leader.

In addition to the many public institutions and businesses observing the holiday, many organizations spend the day commemorating the life of the man who became the figurehead of the Civil Rights movement and helped to change the nation for the better.

News8 is compiling a list of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events being held across the holiday weekend.

Clinton, Iowa 2020 Community MLK Celebration — The 32nd annual community event will be held on Sunday, January 19th at Clinton Community College. Doors will be open at 1:30, with the program beginning at 2:00pm.  The event will feature exhibits, speakers, music, dance, and a civil rights march reenactment.

First Army — – First Army will host the annual Rock Island Arsenal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance on Tuesday, January 14, at 1 p.m., inside Heritage Hall.  Speakers will include Lt. Gen Thomas S. James Jr.  and East Moline Mayor Reggie Freeman.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center — The center will host its 37th Annual Memorial Service and Awards Celebration in honor of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 20, 2020 from 10:30 am to noon. The theme for this year’s event is “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The event will feature speakers, performances, and the presentation of several awards for Rock Island students and community members.

 Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ — The church is holding its 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative March and Day of Remembrance celebration in Monday, January 20th beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the east side of the McDonough County Courthouse. The event will feature a march, refreshments, and many guest speakers.

Did we miss any events? Send us an email at news@wqad.com and let us know!

Brutally cold temperatures move in tonight

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Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the Quad City Metro area. Winter Weather Advisory in effect for areas east and south of the Quad City Metro area.

We have seen a transition to freezing rain, sleet, and rain overnight as temperatures rose above freezing. Last nights snow totals were mainly between 3-5 inches with some localized areas reaching 6″. This morning it may look a little lower as the rain, sleet, and freezing rain put some weight on that snow and weighed it down. It definitely helped roads a little, but you should still use some caution outside today as there will be slick spots.

We saw some snow showers this morning that brought a dusting to many hometowns.  As an arctic front passes later this morning, winds will also increase and become gusty. Temperatures will continuously drop throughout the day with afternoon temperatures in the teens and windchills dropping below zero.

If you have some snow and ice to clear off your driveways and sidewalks, you will definitely want to get out and do it as soon as you can. By noon we will see the arctic airmass move in and everything will become harder to clear as it will freeze to the ground.

A quieter start to the week is set with clear skies as an area of high pressure builds into the area. Single digit highs expect for Sunday and possibly Monday. We will not see a rebound in above freezing temperatures until Wednesday, which will be followed by the next round of snow and rain.

Cities in the QCA eligible for grants funded by recreational marijuana taxes

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ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Illinois — Some area cities are eligible for a social equity grant funded by state taxes on recreational marijuana.

In Rock Island County, Rock Island, Moline and East Moline are included.  Sterling, Illinois and Dixon, Illinois are also eligible for grant money.

On January 1, 2020, recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois.  With the legalization, a program called “Restore, Reinvest, and Renew” (R3) was developed.  

Eligible cities were selected based on community-level data, according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.  They looked at statistics on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment and state prison commitments and returns and combined that with areas that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has deemed disproportionately impacted.

That money will fund community organizations that will help develop the economy, prevent violence, and give youth and civic legal aid.

Click here to see the map of those eligible areas across the state.

Amid hacking fears, Iowa and Nevada to use app for caucus results

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Iowa National Guard expects deployments over next year

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Women for Trump make campaign stop in Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa-- With the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away a group supporting President Trump's 2020 campaign made a stop in Davenport Friday, January 17.

The stop is a part of the Women For Trump Iowa Bus Tour. The campaign press secretary Kayleigh Mcenany reached out to recruit female voters.

Mcenany encouraged voters to caucus for President Trump in February saying that even though he is the sole nominee for the party, they still need support.

Nearly 1,600 flights canceled and over 100 crashes reported as snow and ice start hitting the US

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(CNN) — A strong winter storm began delivering a blast of snow, freezing rain and sleet across the country Friday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Nearly 1,600 flights were canceled as the storm moved over much of the Upper Midwest, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com.

As of Friday afternoon, about 118 million people across the country were under some kind of winter storm warning, advisory or watch, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said.

Significant snow accumulations are likely in parts of Minnesota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and the interior Northeast.

“This has the potential to be one of the most impactful winter storms of the season for the Upper Midwest,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

Motorists in Minnesota were seeing the early impacts of the storm. More than 120 car crashes were reported Friday evening, leaving 19 people injured, the Minnesota State Patrol tweeted.

The storm system will bring more travel misery on Saturday as it continues intensifying, the National Weather Service said.

Track the storm here

Ice prompted a temporary closure at Kansas City International Airport in Missouri, where a plane slid off the pavement, an airport spokesman said. There were no known injuries.

In Guymon, Oklahoma, the ice was so slick that resident Kassidy Stroup couldn’t stand up in her driveway. She shared a video of her futile struggle to open the door to her truck as she slid this way and that on the icy path.

Stroup planned to head into work later, she told CNN, after the ice had thawed a bit.

Jenni Pittman, who works for the National Weather Service, shared a time-lapse video of icicles forming off the roof of her home in Olathe, Kansas, on Friday morning.

Pittman was teleworking, she said, but her husband said the roads were “just barely passable.”

Here’s what to expect this weekend

Friday

• A swath of locally heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected for portions of the Central Plains northeast through the Upper Midwest, resulting in arduous travel.

• The Midwest could experience the highest snowfall totals. Minnesota, portions of Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and northern New England could see 8 to 12 inches of snow.

• These areas could experience blowing snow due to the high winds, which will cause near-whiteout conditions on roadways.

• The Rockies could see heavy snow, with wind gusts of up to 75 mph at lower elevations in the High Plains.

• Freezing rain accumulations are possible across portions of the Southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley. These icy conditions will make travel a problem in Oklahoma City, Kansas City and St. Louis. Accumulating ice will potentially knock down trees and power lines, causing numerous power outages.

• Air travel in the Midwest will most likely experience long delays and roads will be treacherous.

Get the latest extreme weather news

Saturday

• Additional snow and ice accumulations will be possible into Sunday for interior portions of the Northeast and New England, with coastal areas first getting snow, then rain.

• New York City and Boston will get in the mix with snow in the afternoon. About 2 to 4 inches is possible for both cities. The snow will change over to rain in the evening, and it will rain overnight.

• Interior portions of the Northeast will see much more snow: 8 to 12 inches for Upstate New York and up to 6 inches in northern Maine.

“After the storm moves out, the bitter cold will settle in. High temperatures in the region will remain in the single digits Sunday and into the early part of next week, while overnight temperatures will dip to 10 to 20 degrees below zero,” according to Ward.

Bitterly cold temperatures follow winter storm this weekend

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The Winter Storm WARNING has been expanded to cover some areas east of the Mississippi River due in part to some heavier snowfall totals exceeding four inches in these areas.

So far this evening numerous reports of total snowfall amounts exceeding four and even five inches have come in and roads remain quite hazardous. Much of the accumulating snow will come to an end by 10pm Friday evening, with freezing drizzle taking over for the remainder of the overnight hours. Some minor ice accumulations on untreated roads and elevated surfaces will be likely. Much of the icing threat will go away by sunrise Saturday as temperatures rise briefly above freezing.

With colder air working in behind this system, an eventual switch back to a rain/snow mix is likely by mid-morning Saturday with a few snow showers taking over in the afternoon. A few of these snow showers will reduce visibility at times and allow for blowing/drifting snow, especially in open areas. An additional inch of accumulation will be likely with this activity. Winds will begin to increase throughout the day and we'll see our warmest temperature readings during the early morning hours with highs in the middle 30s. Any leftover standing water will quickly freeze by Saturday evening as temperatures drop quickly through the teens and into the single digits. Travel conditions will improve significantly by Saturday evening with all of the precipitation coming to an end. However, be mindful a few slick spots could still occur with the rapidly falling temperatures.

The really serious cold will work in by Sunday as an Arctic high-pressure system moves directly overhead. Our daytime temperatures both Sunday and Monday will be limited to the single digits above zero, but windchills will suffer even more as breezy conditions remain in place. The worst readings will occur Sunday morning and evening dipping down to around -20. Not much improvement follows into Monday morning as wind chills will remain significantly below zero.

In the longer term, we do get some warmth back by Tuesday and into the middle of next week as highs rise back into the 20s.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

Iowa police warn this is what happens when you don’t slow down in snowy conditions

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A  scary scene unfolded on Interstate 80 in western Iowa near Council Bluffs.  A state trooper was helping a delivery truck driver who went off the road when a pickup truck comes off the interstate headed right towards them slamming into the truck.

No one was seriously hurt.

This shocking dash cam video was taken today from a delivery truck on I-80 in Western Iowa. The AMCON Distributing driver, State Trooper, and occupants in the pickup truck were not seriously injured.

If you have to be out driving during inclement weather, please remember to slow down and be aware of the road conditions.

 

States sue USDA over new food stamps work requirement

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(CNN) — The District of Columbia and New York state filed a lawsuit along with 13 other states and New York City against the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday challenging new Trump administration regulations that will require more food stamp recipients to work in order to receive benefits.

The move is a key part of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the food stamp program is formally known. The new requirement, set to go into effect in April, limits states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and could result in 688,000 people losing assistance, according to the USDA.

Citing a federal statute against agency actions that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” the lawsuit alleges that “the Rule conflicts with the federal statute, the purpose of SNAP, and the clear intent of Congress to alleviate hunger and malnutrition while maintaining States’ flexibility.”

A spokeswoman for the USDA said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. When the rule was announced in December, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement that it “lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans re-enter the workforce where there are currently more job openings than people to fill them.”

“We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” he added. “Now, in the midst of the strongest economy in a generation, we need everyone who can work, to work.”

USDA unveiled the proposed rule on the same day that President Donald Trump was slated to sign the 2018 Farm Bill, which had included and ultimately dropped similar stricter work requirements — a point that Trump mentioned when signing it.

Working-age adults without dependents or disabilities are already required to have jobs under the food stamp program, and can receive benefits for only three months out of every 36-month period unless they are working or participating in training programs 20 hours a week.

Currently, states can waive the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor. The new rule would make it harder for states to receive those waivers by tightening the definition of areas where there are insufficient jobs, narrowing the geographic areas of waivers and limiting their duration, among other provisions.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement that “we are bringing this lawsuit to protect SNAP recipients nationwide and to check an administration that is attempting another end-run around Congress to advance its heartless agenda.”

He pointed to how in 2018, the then-Republican-majority Congress opted not to pursue stricter work requirements for food stamps because “they do not encourage work — they just punish vulnerable people struggling to find jobs.”

He and New York Attorney General Letitia James both asserted that the rule would result in higher health care costs.

“The federal government’s latest assault on vulnerable individuals is cruel to its core,” James said in a statement, adding that “states will have to grapple with rising healthcare and homelessness costs that will result from this shortsighted and ill-conceived policy.”

Rollover reported where I-80 and US 61 intersect in Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — A traffic backup was reported where Interstate 80 and Highway 61 intersect, southeast of the Davenport Municipal Airport.

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s traffic maps showed the traffic issue Friday evening, January 17.  The incident was located at Exit 123A where Highway 61 merges onto I-80.

The Quad City Fire Wire was reporting that a bus had rolled over in the southbound lanes.

Click here for the latest road conditions.

Buck stuck in Mississippi draws pictures and concerns

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DAVENPORT, Iowa – It was a sight to see on Davenport’s River Drive Friday morning – a buck stranded on the ice in the Mississippi River.

“We thought it was a statue or something,” says Heather Deters. “All the geese were around it.  And then I saw him move his head and I said, “we need to stop and check it out”.”

A stranded buck in a sea of Canadian geese drew plenty of passersby to stop and snap a photo.  But the buck was a concern for some.

“We came down to see if anything can be done,” says Chasity Dunkin. “Because you can’t leave him there, it’s an animal.”

The Iowa DNR says there’s nothing they, fire department, or police departments can do.  They say it’s not safe for anyone to risk their safety in icy conditions and deer can swim if they fall in.

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