Nation’s largest teachers unions call to end active shooter drills over fears they’re traumatizing students

(CNN) — Since Columbine, active shooter drills have become an increasingly normalized practice in schools.

During the 2015-2016 school year, for example, about 95% of schools drilled students on lockdown procedure, according to a report from the US Department of Education.

But on the other end of the spectrum, some psychologists have said these practices can be traumatizing for students depending on how they’re conducted. And now, two teachers unions are speaking out.

The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety, a coalition working to end gun violence, to publicly condemn active shooter drills in schools.

“Given growing concern among parents, students, educators, and medical professionals about the impact that active shooter drills can have on student development, Everytown, AFT, and NEA do not recommend these drills for students,” they wrote in the report, “and believe schools should carefully consider these impacts before conducting live drills that involve students and educators.”

The report also went on to specify that student drills shouldn’t be the only plan in place regarding school shootings.

And instead of active shooter drills, the trio recommends a more comprehensive approach that doesn’t involve students — like enacting Extreme Risk laws, which don’t allow people who demonstrate risk of harming themselves or others to buy a firearm, or staff training on lockout procedures and emergency medical procedures.

Active shooter drills may do more harm than good, report argues

There has been limited research affirming the value of these active shooter drills despite their ubiquity, the report claims.

It recounts one instance at an Indiana elementary school, where law enforcement officers lined teachers up and shot them with plastic pellets using an airsoft gun.

“Stories abound in the media of incidents where students, educators, and staff have experienced distress and sometimes lasting trauma as a result of active shooter drills,” the report states.

For schools that will continue to implement active shooter drills, Everytown and both of the unions oppose unannounced drills and “all simulations that mimic or appear to be an actual incident.”

They also recommend that information regarding the drills should be given to parents ahead of time, and the content of the drills should be created by a team that includes mental health professionals.

Wendy’s workers fired after video of sink bath shared on social media

GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Several employees at a Michigan Wendy’s were fired after video surfaced online of a young man submerged in one of the kitchen sinks.

The video, posted to a community Facebook page, had been viewed tens of thousands of times as of Wednesday. It shows the person taking a bath in the sink while an employee walks by and talks with him as a third person records.

The images left some customers with a bad taste in their mouths.

“I brought someone here last week to eat here so I laughed at it and thought it was pretty nasty all at the same time,” said Michael Guerra, who lives in the area.

“My first date with my daughter’s mother was at that Wendy’s. Do you think I’d ever go back there?” said customer JohnMichael Molinares. “They should be held accountable.”

In a statement  Wednesday, franchise owner Team Schostak Family Restaurants called the incident “completely unacceptable” and said everyone involved was fired right away.

The statement added the restaurant on N. Lafayette Street at Summit Avenue had been thoroughly cleaned and visited by the health department after the incident.

“This egregious behavior is completely unacceptable and counter to our safety, training and operational standards. Upon learning of this situation, all employees in the video were terminated immediately and the restaurant has been completely sanitized. The health department visited the restaurant today and no violations were reported,” according to the statement from Team Schostak.

How Tom Steyer’s spending spree could reshape the South Carolina primary

(CNN) — A few months ago, South Carolina political activist Johnnie Cordero took the stage at a historically black college in Rock Hill for a presidential town hall and delivered impassioned remarks about a subject that long has troubled him: the killing of young black men at the hands of law enforcement officials.

When he glanced over at the Democratic candidate on the stage with him, he was surprised by what he saw: tears gathering in the eyes of Tom Steyer, a billionaire who is staking his presidential bid on a strong showing among African Americans in South Carolina.

“The perception is that he has true empathy,” said Cordero, who last month endorsed Steyer in the Californian’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination — part of a growing number of African Americans in the state to lend their support to a candidate viewed as a long shot for the presidency.

“We know that no president is going to walk into the Oval Office and wave a magic wand, and all of a sudden, everything’s going to change,” said Cordero, who is chairman of the Democratic Black Caucus of South Carolina. “But what we want is someone there who understands our issues and who is willing to address them.”

Steyer is lavishing his time and money on South Carolina — spending millions on televisions ads, building a substantial staff and picking up endorsements from African American activists like Cordero as he courts the black voters who will make up roughly 60% of the Democratic primary electorate when the state votes on February 29. Those are the same voters who former Vice President Joe Biden is counting on to right his struggling campaign.

Steyer, a former hedge-fund manager with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, already has spent more than $18.7 million on advertising to target South Carolina voters, swamping all of his rivals, according to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. The No. 2 candidate in ad spending in South Carolina as of Tuesday: former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at just $1.4 million.

Biden, who has staked his presidential ambitions on a strong showing in the state, had spent about $857,000 in South Carolina as of Wednesday morning.

In addition, Steyer’s South Carolina staffers now number 102, more than twice the 44 people Biden’s camp says it now employs in the Palmetto State. Biden officials say that number is expected to grow in the days ahead.

There are signs the investment might be paying off. While there’s been little recent public polling in the state, a Fox News poll early last month showed Steyer battling with Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders for second place in South Carolina. And his campaign on Wednesday touted a RealClearPolitics polling average that puts him between Biden and Sanders, who won Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire.

“There’s a tendency to dismiss Steyer as simply a billionaire who can spend lots of money on TV ads,” said Jordan Ragusa, a political scientist at the College of Charleston and co-author of the new book “First in the South: Why the South Carolina Presidential Primary Matters.”

“Certainly, the ads are important,” he said. But Steyer “is working the ground probably better than any of the candidates that are still in the field.”

Steyer is hoping for strong results in South Carolina and Nevada, which votes February 22, to build momentum for his unorthodox bid.

As the nominating race moves to those two states, “we’re now looking at the real Democratic Party, the wonderful diversity of the Democratic Party and the American people,” Steyer said Wednesday on CNN, the day after his sixth-place showing in New Hampshire’s primary.

“Whoever is going to be the Democratic candidate has to pull together the Democratic Party across all differences,” he said. “I think Nevada and South Carolina will be a very good test of that, and I look forward to that test.”

Biden also views South Carolina as a crucial springboard, following disappointing fourth- and fifth-place results in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. In one sign of the state’s importance to his presidential ambitions, the former vice president on Tuesday night abandoned his planned primary-night event in New Hampshire and jetted to South Carolina for a launch party there.

“It ain’t over, man,” Biden told supporters in Columbia as the New Hampshire results rolled in late Tuesday. “You can’t be the Democratic nominee and you can’t win a general election as a Democrat unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters.”

No new polls of South Carolina voters have been released since Iowa and New Hampshire, but Biden still sits atop the Democratic field in support from black voters nationally.

Ground game

South Carolina Democratic strategist Tyler Jones said it’s too early to write off Biden’s flagging campaign. But he acknowledged that Steyer has made significant inroads in the state.

There’s “only been one person or one campaign who has knocked on my door in Johns Island in Charleston, South Carolina, and it’s been Tom Steyer’s campaign,” Jones told CNN on Tuesday. “Yeah, that spells serious trouble.”

“Who knew Tom Steyer would be Biden’s biggest rival in South Carolina? It’s crazy,” Jones added. “Biden better get up on TV soon and remind voters why they love him or else it’s going to be a very embarrassing finish in South Carolina.”

Political observers say Steyer also is making other savvy choices behind the scenes, such as traveling to rural parts of the state and hiring local activists to reach out to African Americans and younger voters, rather than relying on out-of-state operatives to drive his campaign in South Carolina.

“He’s giving people opportunities who’ve never been involved in politics,” said state Rep. JA Moore, who previously endorsed California’s Sen. Kamala Harris. On Wednesday morning, Moore backed Buttigieg after weighing a Steyer endorsement.

“He’s giving people jobs,” Moore said of Steyer. “I don’t know if people are looking at it about what he’s able to do nationally, people are just so grateful that he’s investing real resources here in South Carolina.”

A recent Steyer ad features Edith Childs, an African American county council member from Greenwood, South Carolina, who is credited with inspiring then-Sen. Barack Obama’s “Fired Up! Ready to Go” campaign slogan. She’s now endorsed Steyer.

“My guy Tom’s fired up, and Trump’s got to go,” Child says in the ad.

Controversial moves

For all the attention Steyer is getting in South Carolina, he remains a long shot for the nomination.

He’s polling in low single digits nationally. And despite a long history as a political donor, he has a mixed record in elections. In the 2014 election cycle, for instance, he spent $70 million to influence congressional contests and lost more US Senate races than he won.

Steyer’s campaign also has had a high-profile stumble in South Carolina.

Last November, a top aide in the state resigned after accessing volunteer data from the campaign of Harris, who had built a strong field operation before ending her campaign in December.

Another controversy erupted earlier this month after a prominent Biden supporter, Columbia lawyer and state legislator Dick Harpootlian, suggested that Steyer had paid off a prominent African American lawmaker for his support by hiring him as a consultant.

Black legislators called on Biden to disavow the comments — a demand Steyer repeated twice on the debate stage in New Hampshire last week. Biden responded that he had spoken with Harpootlian “and he in fact is, I believe, sorry for what he said.”

Despite Steyer’s spending spree, the race still favors Biden at the moment, said College of Charleston’s Ragusa. And a Biden endorsement from a prominent figure, such as South Carolina’s US Rep. Jim Clyburn, could further cement the former vice president’s standing, Ragusa said.

Clyburn, one of the most influential politicians in South Carolina and highest-ranking African American in the US House of Representatives, has not ruled out endorsing a candidate but has said he won’t do so before the February 25 presidential debate in Charleston, four days before the primary.

And Steyer faces doubts about his electability. The Californian spent a combined $36 million on advertising in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire and failed to secure a single delegate in either.

“Electability matters to the state’s African American voters in a way I don’t think it does to white voters — although I think all Democrats are concerned about finding someone who can beat Donald Trump,” Ragusa said.

“It’s why it’s still Biden’s firewall,” he added. “He’s got a good reputation in the African American community. He’s visited here, and he has that connection to the nation’s first African American president.”

YOUR HEALTH: Saving transplant organs that would have been tossed away

SEATTLE, Washington – Some of the top transplantation programs in the country are now addressing the shortage by accepting hearts from donors who had active Hepatitis C.

Recipients know they'll get the disease, but so far they've all been cured.

That included Kerry Hayes who has had a faulty aortic valve since he was born.

"I wasn't getting the oxygen I was supposed to get," he said.

"Blood would flow back and forth instead of all one direction."

He got an artificial heart a year and a half ago, which is almost as long as he was on the list for a donor heart.

His doctor found Kerry a heart from a donor who had Hep C.   It could be cured with antiretrovirals after surgery.

Kerry got his heart and just found out his Hep-C is gone.

"I felt that I was probably going to be cured, but you know, it feels good to have somebody tell you, 'Yes, you are for surely cured'."

Right now, as many as 4000 people in the United States are waiting for a heart or heart and lung transplant.

And more than 25% will die before they get a donor organ.

University of Washington transplant surgeon Dr. Jorge Reyes says 20 livers and hearts from donors with circulating Hepatitis C have gone to patients so far.

"They're Hep C negative," Dr. Reyes explained.

"They have never been exposed to Hep C, but the risk of dying of their liver disease or their heart disease, etc., is very high."

Twelve patients have been cured of Hep C, seven are still getting treatment and one died of transplant complications.

Not one of the potential recipients said no to the procedure.

"If we have a donor who is Hepatitis C positive, and with healthy organs, all those organs should be used," said Dr. Reyes.

Kerry`s still taking a lot of anti-rejection medication, but he's delighted to get back to his normal life with Rina, and his family.

"All the signs are pointing to getting back to being like everyone else."

Dr. Reyes says his team is looking at expanding the program to include kidneys from Hep C-infected donors but he wants more study done first.

In an initial study, 20 patients at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia were cured of Hep C after kidney transplants from infected donors.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

Martinko 40-year cold case brings national media coverage to the QC

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Opening statements took place Wednesday in a Scott County courtroom for the trial of Jerry Burns, who is accused of killing a Cedar Rapids woman more than 40 years ago.

Michelle Martinko was killed back in 1979 when she was 18 years old.  She was stabbed in her parent’s car outside the Westdale Mall.  Police arrested Jerry Burns back in 2018 after investigators say they matched his DNA to the crime scene.  Authorities say they collected a straw Burns used and connected DNA on it to blood on the coat Martinko wore the night she was killed.

His trial was moved to Scott County because of publicity.

The trial has gained national coverage and media outlets from all over the country have traveled to Davenport for a case that went cold for 40 years. About 8 statewide outlets and 2 national outlets, including Dateline, will be in the Scott County courthouse everyday for the next few weeks.

It’s gaining high media coverage because the trial could be one of the first high-profile cases based on information uploaded to Ancestry.com.

“When it takes you 40 years to make an arrest, it doesn’t matter where you are, people are going to be interested in that,” says Aaron Scheinblum, a reporter with KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids.

Scheinblum wasn’t alive when the murder took place, but he’s covering it for KCRG the next few weeks.

Burns was arrested two years ago after a DNA sample connected him to Martinko’s murder. Investigators say they were able to do draw this conclusion after Burns’ cousin uploaded information to a database from an Ancestry.com account.

“DNA forensic analysis eventually led to the answer that evaded investigators for years,” says Nick Maybanks, Assistant Linn County Attorney in his opening statement to the jury. “In other words, the probability of finding this profile will be less than one in a billion.”

The connection was made decades later with modern technology that didn’t exist until recently. But the defense claims Burns is an innocent man and this accusation is random.

“The likelihood of the intersection of trails of complete strangers, demonstrate that the trails do not inevitable lead to Jerry Lynn Burns,” says Burns’ defense attorney, Leon Spies.

“When you’re in court for two weeks at least and you have the responsibility to cover all the facts that happened in an eight-hour span in one day … you got to be honest and treat the facts the way they are,” says Scheinblum.

Some media outlets are staying in town for the duration of the trial, while others will be making the trip from Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Iowa City each day.

Cows tell each other how they’re feeling, new study finds

LONG GROVE, IOWA -- Cows tell each other how they're feeling through their moos according to a new study.

Research out of Australia found cows have individual voices and change their pitch depending on their emotions.

Only dairy farmer Gene Newell can "commooonicate" with his cows.

Researchers have found cows are able to give cues in certain situations and express different emotions, including excitement, arousal, engagement, and distress.

Gene says when one of his girls bellows he knows something's up.

So gene is basically the google translate for cows.

Meanwhile, over at cinnamon ridge, it sounds a lot different.

Farmers can tell from cows emotional cues how they're feeling. The quieter the cow the happier the cow. These girls are super quiet, meaning they're very happy.

Researchers hope this study helps farmers understand what their cows are telling them.

More than 300 samples of cow vocalizations were captured... and analyzed using acoustic analysis programs.

Remembering Dr. Walter Bradley: first responders share their love for the “Swat Doc”

MOLINE, Illinois -- Family and friends of Dr. Walter Bradley are honoring his life with a visitation and funeral this weekend. The former Trauma and Emergency Services Director at Trinity Medical Center died Sunday at the age of 63.

In the early 2000s, he was a regular on News Eight's Good Morning Quad Cities, answering viewers' questions. It was also around that time that now-retired Moline Police Officer Jerome Thomas saw a need for medical capability on the police SWAT Team.

"We had decided at that point that it is easier to take somebody with a heart for emergency medicine, a paramedic, and make him a tactical operator, than try to make a tactical operator a paramedic," said Thomas.

"And that was Dr. Bradley," said Moline Patrol Officer Patrick Moody. "And he ended up being a member of the SWAT Team as well during that time period when we made that transition."

Hundreds of people reacted to Officer Moody's post on Facebook, expressing his regrets that Dr. Bradley had died. Comments flooded in from people remembering the doctor's impact in their lives.

A Harley Davidson enthusiast and member of the Renegade Pigs Motorcycle club for more than ten years, Dr. Bradley took satisfaction in supporting the national group for its charity work benefiting first responders.

"And he loved being a part of that because it was just another way for him to give back to the community," Officer Moody said. "And his nickname, obviously when he came into the club was 'Swat Doc.'"

People from all over the country shared a photo of his badge with the nickname as a final goodbye to the "Swat Doc." The people who knew him best agree that his loss was a loss for the Quad Cities.

Iowa Democratic Party chair resigns amid Iowa caucus controversy

DES MOINES, Iowa-- The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party announced his resignation Wednesday after a disastrous caucus process beset by technical glitches led to a dayslong delay in reporting the results, inconsistencies in the numbers and no clear winner.

The embarrassing episode also threatened Iowa’s cherished status as the first voting contest of the presidential primary season and led both front-runners to request a partial recanvass of the results.

“The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party,” Price wrote in a resignation letter a week and a half after Iowa’s caucuses.

“While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.”

He said his departure would occur as soon as the state party elects a replacement, and he called an emergency Saturday meeting to do so.

After a breakdown in tallying the results on Feb. 3, it took until Feb. 6 for the state party, which operates the series of roughly 1,700 local meetings statewide, to issue what it said are complete results.

In those figures, released by the party, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points.

The Associated Press said it was unable to declare a winner, based on the available information. The results as reported by the Iowa Democratic Party, the AP believes, may not be fully accurate.

Price had called the delays in reporting results “unacceptable.” He said the party would conduct a “thorough, transparent and independent examination” of what caused the delays. He apologized for the breakdown in the process.

Both Buttigieg’s and Sanders’ campaigns requested a partial recanvass of the Iowa results, which the Iowa Democratic Party approved. The party says it expects the recanvass of more than 80 precincts to begin on Sunday and last two days. A recanvass is not a recount, but a check of the vote count against paper records created by caucus leaders to ensure the counts were reported accurately.

The party has said it will not change mistakes in the math and the only opportunity to correct it would be a recount, which would be the candidates’ next option after the recanvass is completed.

Price was elected to his second term as chairman of the state party in December 2018. In a statement released after his reelection, he noted that he was “incredibly proud” of the success that Iowa Democrats had in the 2018 midterms and looked forward to building on it.

“I cannot wait wait to work with them again on what could very well be one of the most consequential Iowa Caucuses of our time,” he said.

Price previously was part of several Democratic campaigns in Iowa, including those of former President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Price also had served as the party’s executive director and led One Iowa, an LGBT advocacy group.

The Iowa Democratic Party instituted new rules for the 2020 contest that were meant to enhance transparency in the process.

In previous years, the Iowa Democratic Party reported just one number: the number of state delegates won by each candidate. For the first time, the party this year reported two other numbers — who had the most votes at the beginning and at the end of the night.

The additional data is a nod to Sanders and his supporters, who argued that the previous rules essentially robbed him of victory in his 2016 race against Clinton. That contest ended in a narrow delegate victory for Clinton in Iowa.

In a letter addressed to IDP State Central Committee and Secretary Don Ruby Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price announced his resignation.

The letter is as follows:

Dear Members of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee,

Serving as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

When I took over this party, we were still reeling from a bruising 2016 election cycle. Many people locally and across the country believed that Democrats in Iowa were dead, and that we would never see victories again.

Over the course of 2017 and 2018, I was so proud to work with the members of our state central committee, our county chairs, activists, and volunteers to build real momentum across the state. In the end, we proved the naysayers wrong by flipping seven seats in the Iowa House, winning three statewide seats, and winning three of four congressional seats - sending the first women from Iowa to the House in the process.

While we could have rested on our laurels, we got back to work. Over the last 15 months, Democrats across the state came together to build out our 2020 caucuses. Our amazing staff fanned out across the state to build infrastructure in all 99 counties – even in places where local parties had gone dormant or didn’t exist at all. We worked to implement sweeping changes to our process that increased accessibility and participation for Iowans across the state and the globe.

By all accounts, the precinct and satellite caucus meetings themselves went well. Over the last week, we have received positive feedback on these meetings – how smoothly they ran, how the new procedures helped to make the night move more quickly and efficiently, and how more Democrats of all backgrounds came together united in the goal of defeating Donald Trump and electing new leadership for our country.

However, there is no doubt that the process of reporting results did not work. It was simply unacceptable. It is why I called for an independent review of the decisions and processes that lead to this failure. While this process is just beginning, know that the IDP is not the only party to blame for what happened last week. We worked collaboratively with our partners, our vendors, and the DNC in this process, and I am confident the review will be able to determine exactly what went wrong, what went right, and how we can avoid this from ever
happening again.

In the days following the caucuses, our staff worked under immense pressure to produce a complete report of results from the caucuses and was able to do so in 72 hours. Enduring threats to personal safety, taunts, and anger from people around the globe, our staff worked in a professional manner to produce a final result. I am incredibly proud of the work they did in those three days. These are people who are working hard towards our common goal of electing Democrats in November, and I deeply regret that these dedicated employees of our party had to endure such abuse.

The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party.

While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.

Therefore, I will resign as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party effective upon the election of my replacement.

I will be calling for an emergency meeting of the State Central Committee on Saturday at 1pm to elect an interim chair. Whomever is elected will oversee the completion of the recanvass and recount process and begin the process of healing our party.

Our paramount goal must remain to elect Democrats at all levels of office that will bring the voice of the people to our government.

In spite of the challenges these last few days, I leave knowing that the party is in a strong position to move forward. Thousands of new Democrats joined our party through our caucus process. The Iowa Democratic Party currently has more money than ever before at this point in an election cycle. The infrastructure built through these last few months will allow us to build an organization that will turn Iowa Blue in November. And Iowa still has the best-elected officials, candidates, volunteers, and activists of anywhere in the country.

Leadership requires tough decisions, and this is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Throughout my tenure as chair, I have always said I would do what is in the best interest of the party. With my decision, I hope the party can regain the trust of those we lost and turn our attention to what is most important – winning in November.

Sincerely, Troy Price Chair, Iowa Democratic Party.

KFC and Crocs created a clog that’s covered in fried chicken with a charm that smells like it, too

(CNN) — It was only a matter of time.

Crocs, the footwear company and frequent collaborator with unusual artists and brands, has joined forces with KFC, the fast food company that does the same (fire log, anyone?), for a perfect match.

The two brands teamed up to create the KFC X Crocs Bucket Clog, a limited edition shoe covered in a fried chicken print.

“Combining the unmistakable look of our world-famous fried chicken and signature KFC bucket, with the unparalleled comfort and style of Crocs, these shoes are what fried chicken footwear dreams are made of,” KFC CMO Andrea Zahumensky said in a news release.

Crocs CMO Terence Reilly added they were “thrilled with this ‘bucket list’ partnership with Kentucky Fried Chicken that will bring fans an unbelievably fun and fashionable take on our classic clog.”

The uniquely designed shoe has the iconic KFC red-striped bucket on the base of the Croc and comes with two attachable charms that could easily be mistaken for the real deal — they look and smell like fried chicken.

Yes, right there on the shoe.

The Crocs will be available in unisex sizes this spring. The chicken smell could very well linger into the heat of summer.

All can be yours for $59.99.

On A Mother Level: Bamboo Baby

Sara Sampson, owner of Bamboo Baby Boutique, is pregnant with Baby #3. She’s anxious to find out the gender, while living that boy mom life as a local business owner. But pregnancy after loss comes with complex emotions. Sara had what’s called a “molar pregnancy”, and she’s sharing her experiences with miscarriage, the health complications that followed and the emotions that came on what should have been her “due date”.


Moline police search for woman suspected of stealing from Walmart

MOLINE-- Moline police are asking for the public's help identifying a woman they say stole $100 from Walmart.

Here is the official statement from police:

"On 02/10/2020, at approximately 11:36 am, a theft of mislaid property occurred at Walmart, 3930 44th Av Drive.  The victim provided the following information -

The victim utilized the self-checkout to purchase groceries.  The victim used their debit card for the transaction and requested $100.00 in change. The victim bagged their groceries and left the self-checkout, but forgot to retrieve the $100.00 cash they withdrew from the till.  The victim returned to the till several seconds later and discovered the cash was no longer there.

Loss Prevention pulled up video of the register the victim was at. Upon reviewing the video, it shows the victim bagging their groceries and using their debit card at the self-checkout. The register till then pops out the $100.00 in change (5 - $20 bills) and the victim forgets to grab it. There are several red blinking lights, prompting the customer to retrieve the money; however, the victim departs the register, leaving the money in the change dispenser.

Another customer, described as a Hispanic female, approximately 40 years of age, wearing a tan jacket and blue shirt is observed in the self-checkout directly across from the register the victim was in. The female was scanning her own groceries, then casually walked over to the register the victim had been in and grabbed the cash from the change dispenser, which turned off the red blinking lights. The female returns to her register and continues to scan her items, placing the $100.00 cash under a bundle of bananas that was on the counter. Once the female scanned her last item, she uses a debit/credit card and pays for the groceries and pockets the cash.

Anyone with information on the female is asked to call the Moline Police Department 309-797-0406 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities 309-762-9500/P3 Tips app."

A kindergartner with Down syndrome pointed a finger gun at her teacher – the school called 911

(CNN) – A Pennsylvania elementary school called the police after a kindergartner with Down syndrome made a finger gun at her teacher. Officials concluded there wasn’t a threat, but the girl’s mother said they went too far.

Maggie Gaines called on the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District to update its threat assessment policy after her 6-year-old daughter Margot was questioned by administrators for making a gun gesture at her elementary school teacher and pretended to shoot her.

Gaines said it was a harmless expression of anger. But Margot’s school in southeast Pennsylvania determined her actions appeared threatening, so they conducted a threat assessment.

Administrators concluded that Margot made a “transient threat” and didn’t intend to harm anyone, but they still called Tredyffrin police.

The district said calling law enforcement is part of its safety protocol. But Gaines said that in her daughter’s case, the district misinterpreted its own policy.

“It was very clear from the beginning that she didn’t understand what she was saying,” Gaines told CNN affiliate KYW. “Her having Down syndrome is one aspect of it, but I’m sure most six year olds don’t understand what that means.”

She said police filed a report on the incident that mentioned Margot by name. Tredyffrin police didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment, but the school district told CNN that police didn’t create criminal or juvenile records for Margot.

Her mother wants clearer school safety protocol

The incident occurred in November, but Gaines didn’t take her grievances to the school board until late last month. An organization that advocates for local children with learning disabilities shared her statement to the school board.

“I am well aware that we live in a time when parents are concerned for their children’s safety in school,” she wrote in her letter to the school board, citing the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “But I also think our society and our schools across the country have overreacted with respect to perceived threats, resulting in even finger guns wielded by kindergarteners being viewed as cause to alert authorities.”

Gaines asked board members to clarify the district’s current threat assessment protocol.

Per the threat assessment materials the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District has made available online, a team of administrators, counselors, school psychologists and other staff will oversee the assessment and consult with law enforcement to determine the risk.

The district doesn’t define what constitutes threatening behavior other than that it “appears to be a threat to students or others.”

The district said police didn’t investigate

The school district told CNN it agreed to review the safety practices after Gaines brought them up at the school board policy meeting, though it disputed her characterization of how police were involved in her daughter’s case.

“Requesting a police consultation allows agencies to confer and use the information they have to plan for appropriate supports,” the district said in its statement to CNN. “It is not the same as making a police report and asking for an investigation.”

The consultation didn’t involve police with Margot, and her school didn’t request a further police investigation, the district said.

In 2019, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill that required all schools in the state to establish threat assessment teams. According to state guidelines to help schools develop their own safety measures, the most commonly reported incidents can be handled by school personnel, without law enforcement intervention.

ACLU suing Hampton, East Moline police and Rock Island sheriff’s office for false arrest and excessive use of force against college athlete

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Illinois--Lawyers for Jaylan Butler, the only Black member of the Eastern Illinois University swim team, say he was "wrongfully arrested alongside an Illinois highway, held face down on the snowy ground with a gun to his forehead, and threatened by a group of police officers without justification."

Even when police officers realized they were mistaken in arresting Jaylan, they continued to detain him before forcing him to produce an identification card. Throughout the process, officers refused to identify themselves or give him any information about his arrest that would assist him in filing a formal complaint.“My dad taught me at a young age what to do when you are stopped by police officers – stop instantly, put your hands up, drop anything you are holding, and drop to your knees,” said Jaylan. “I hoped I would never have to use this advice in my life, but all that changed in seconds.”

According to the lawsuit, on February 24, 2019, Jaylan was traveling with his swim team by bus from a tournament in South Dakota.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., the bus pulled over on a frontage road off Interstate 80 near East Moline, Illinois. Jaylan and several teammates left the bus to stretch their legs. One of Jaylan’s coaches asked if he would take a photo of a roadside sign for the team’s social media account. Jaylan took the photo and began walking back to the bus.

The lawsuit paperwork states that several law enforcement vehicles pulled up, and officers exited the cars with their guns drawn. They allegedly began yelling and swearing at Jaylan. Jaylan put his hands up, dropped his cell phone, and dropped to his knees.

Police officers swarmed around Jaylan with their firearms pointed at him, and pushed him facedown onto the snowy ground. Jaylan had no idea why the officers had appeared. While one officer handcuffed him, other officers pinned him to the ground by pushing a knee into Jaylan’s back and pressing down on Jaylan’s neck. Another officer then held his gun to Jaylan’s forehead and threatened to “blow his [expletive] head off” if he moved. The team bus driver and Jaylan’s coach were alarmed and exited the bus to tell the officers Jaylan was part of the EIU swim team.

The lawsuit states that officers quickly realized that Jaylan was not the suspect they were looking for and had done nothing wrong, but instead of releasing him and apologizing, the officers searched his pockets and placed him – still cuffed – in the back of a police vehicle. After several more minutes, the officers released him, but only after forcing Jaylan to provide photo identification.

“What happened to Jaylan is an example of the harmful police interactions that people of color experience far too often, but which receive much less attention. These officers forcibly arrested and searched Jaylan without reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or any other lawful justification. They never told Jaylan why he was being arrested, even after they realized their mistake. Instead, it’s clear they based their decision to arrest and harm Jaylan on the fact that he was a young Black man,” said Rachel Murphy, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Illinois.

His lawyers say Jaylan has struggled with the effects of this incident and begun seeing a therapist to address his trauma and depression.

“I was scared and depressed. I remember sitting in class the next day, looking at the bruises on my wrists and replaying the events of that night,” said Jaylan. “Now whenever I see a police officer, I don’t feel safe—I feel scared and anxious.”

Jaylan Butler is suing officers from the Hampton Police Department, the East Moline Police Department, and the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office for false arrest, excessive detention, and excessive use of force. Jaylan is represented by attorneys at the ACLU of Illinois and Sidley Austin LLP. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Rock Island has responded to the lawsuit with this press release which reads as follows:

The Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office was served with a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Jaylan Butler against East Moline Officer Staes, Hampton Officer Bush, and Rock Island County Sheriff’s Deputies Pena and Asquini alleging excessive force stemming from an incident on February 24, 2019. The State’s Attorney’s Civil Division has entered their appearance and will be defending Deputies Pena and Asquini.

The receipt of this complaint was the first time this Office or the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department was made aware of any incidents involving the alleged allegations. Upon receipt of the lawsuit, a preliminary fact-finding was conducted, which determined that Deputies Pena and Asquini arrived after Mr. Butler had already been detained by officers from other agencies. Deputies Pena and Asquini only had brief interactions with Mr. Butler and the other officers, leaving shortly thereafter to continue the manhunt for a fugitive in the area.

The complaint filed by the ACLU is not considered evidence and merely initiates legal proceedings. It is, at this point, an allegation that warrants serious inquiry. The State’s Attorney’s Civil Division is committed to defending the Office of the Sheriff and the deputies involved in this litigation and anticipates that a thorough discovery process will develop a more complete picture of the events that occurred on February 24, 2019.

You can read the complaint in full here.

Davenport Central graduate creates GoFundMe to erase district’s school lunch debt

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- In an effort to erase the Davenport Community School District's school lunch debt of $8,800, a Davenport Central High School graduate created a GoFundMe to raise money for the cause.

"Nobody can be their best when they're hungry," Kevin Carlson, who created the fundraiser, says. "There's no kid that deserves to go without breakfast or lunch."

It's Iowa law that students can always eat at lunch, even if they don't have the money to pay for their meal.

"We don't take their tray away, and we don't shame any students," Coni Dobbels, food and nutrition services supervisor, says. "It's so important for them to have a well-balanced meal in order to sit in a classroom and be educated and successful."

For the Davenport school system, if a student doesn't pay for lunch, that amount goes on their student account as a negative balance. Dobbels says there are a variety of reasons that the debt increases.

"(Parents may) simply forget to fill out the free or reduced lunch program application at the beginning of the school year," she says. "Some parents are maybe not computer literate, so maybe they're intimidated by the application because it's online."

Dobbels says sometimes parents do forget to send money with their students for lunch, but usually, those parents pay back their balance.

If the district had to absorb the school lunch debt into its budget, it would affect special programs within the food services fund, like treats during holidays and parties.

"This was so heartwarming," Dobbels says. "I went onto the GoFundMe this morning and I told our intern, 'Oh my gosh this almost makes me cry!' You have no idea how much of an impact this has, not just on me personally, but also our staff and how it'll help students."

Carlson hopes the impact stretches farther than the current debt of $8,800, which the district expects to increase as the school year wraps up.

"I'd like to raise more than $10,000," he says. "I don't think, given the amount of people we're trying to involve, that $100,000 is out of the realm of possibilities."

If more money is raised, Carlson wants to make sure that money would pay for school lunch debts.

"The goal there would be to make a fund, and grow, and each year Davenport can pull from that fund," he says.

Gobbels says that every person donating is making a difference for the district.

"Some people are donating $10 and I want them to know that $10 will feed 4 people in one day," she says.

Carlson, who has a son in the district, says the fundraiser is all about helping people in need.

"You never know when someone in need. The could cover that up very well and they're holding that inside and you don't know it," he says. "This is a way to help that's not necessarily visible but it's going to help them on the back end."

Three high school girls track athletes file suit after males win their events

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — Three high school track athletes and their mothers have filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge Connecticut’s policy of allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Hartford, said the state’s policy robs female athletes of opportunities because of the physical advantages of males.

Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell claim they were deprived of honors due to boys competing in girl Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference events.

“CIAC’s policy and its results directly violate the requirements of Title IX, a federal regulation designed to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls,” the suit said.

Mitchell said she would have won the 2019 state championship in the women’s 55-meter indoor track competition if not for two males who took first and second place. She said she was denied the gold medal.

Soule and Smith have similar stories. They claim they have been denied medals and/or advancement opportunities.

“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said Christiana Holcomb, ADF legal counsel. “Having separate boys’ and girls’ sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition. And forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics. Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”

Louisiana funeral home to host Valentine’s movie night

METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) – With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, many people are rushing to make reservations at intimate restaurants. But if you’re dying for a more offbeat Valentine’s event, head to Tharp-Sontheimer Funeral Home.

This year,  Tharp-Sontheimer is hosting its first Valentine’s Movie Night, with a free family-friendly viewing of “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Funeral home director Yami Reina said the themed movie night, which will be held Thursday, will be held in the parking lot, with the main building open for guests to use the bathroom, the kitchen or take a tour of the caskets on display.

Reina has hosted other themed events in the parking lot of the funeral home, from Halloween trunk-or-treats to a car show.

Attendees to the Valentine’s event will enjoy free popcorn, flowers and chocolate. They are also encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.

Mobile World Congress canceled because of coronavirus outbreak

(CNN) — Mobile World Congress, one of the technology industry’s biggest annual events, has been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement comes after more than a dozen major tech companies said they would not attend the event as the deadly outbreak continues to spread.

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” MWC organizer and mobile operator lobbying group GSMA said in a statement Wednesday.

MWC had been scheduled to take place in Barcelona from February 24-27. It typically draws more than 100,000 attendees and over 2,400 companies, including the sector’s biggest players who use it to launch new products and showcase their latest innovations.

The event’s cancelation is a “huge disappointment,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said in a statement.

“It’s the highlight of the mobile industry calendar,” Wood said. “The impact on small companies who have invested a disproportionate amount of their budgets and time on this event should not be underestimated. MWC is an anchor event for many and now they face the challenge of having to figure out what the best way to salvage something from this difficult situation.”

GSMA had initially planned to go forward with the event despite the coronavirus scare.

It said in a February 9 statement that it would conduct health checks and do additional cleaning around the venue, and would not allow entry to any attendees who had been to China in the previous two weeks. About 5,000 to 6,000 people typically attend the event from China, according to GSMA.

But by Wednesday, a slew of major tech players had announced they would not attend the event, including Amazon, Ericsson, Facebook, Sony, Intel, Cisco and LG, among others.

“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020,” Amazon said in a statement Monday. Amazon’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, was due to host a dozen sessions covering topics such as 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence.

The latest company to withdraw from the world’s biggest mobile event was Nokia, which on Wednesday said it had made the “prudent decision” to cancel its participation rather than potentially expose its employees to the coronavirus.

The summit would have had a difficult time going forward without some of its headline participants. The loss of Nokia and Ericsson, the two European suppliers of 5G equipment, was particularly damaging for a conference focused on the development and use of the next generation mobile networks.

Coronavirus fallout

The MWC cancellation is yet another example how the coronavirus is affecting the business world.

The outbreak has already led to the cancellation, relocation or postponement of a number of events in Asia. A Formula 1 race scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai has been postponed. Art Basel Hong Kong, scheduled for mid March, was canceled.

The technology industry is particularly vulnerable to disruptions in China because the industry’s manufacturing is largely centered in the region. Many production facilities rely on highly trained workers and crucial infrastructure that cannot easily be shifted to another country.

GSMA will now be faced with the challenge of ensuring that companies don’t lose sight of the importance of MWC, CCS Insight’s Wood said.

“The GSMA now needs to be careful that there is not a knock off effect from this year’s cancellation,” Wood said. “Major companies and many attendees will be reviewing the importance of MWC to their business and the GSMA must work hard to have a clear path forward.”

Huawei and 5G

The cancelation of MWC comes as countries around the world prepare to roll out 5G wireless technology amid an intense debate over the role that China’s Huawei should play in building 5G networks.

The United States has been pressuring allies to drop Huawei as a supplier over national security concerns; Huawei denies that its products pose a risk. A spokesperson for Huawei confirmed earlier this week that the company had planned to attend the conference.

Ericsson and Nokia are Huawei’s big global rivals in 5G, and the conference in Barcelona would have been an important opportunity to promote their products.

— Chris Liakos contributed reporting.

Report: Man tells police he targeted Trump campaign volunteers because he does not like the President

(CNN) — The man who police say drove a van through a tent in a Walmart parking lot on Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida, where Trump campaign volunteers were gathered told officers he doesn’t like President Donald Trump, according to newly surfaced redacted arrest report obtained by CNN.

In an interview conducted by police at Gregory Timm’s residence, police say Timm said that before going into the Walmart to get food and a pack of cigarettes, he noticed the tent set up in the parking lot, according to the redacted arrest report by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department. The arrest report, which was filed in the Duval County Court system, describes Timm showing police a video he took of himself driving toward the tent with the campaign volunteers standing out front.

In the report, police say the video cuts out prior to Timm actually striking the tent, and officers describe Timm as being upset that the video ended before “the good part.” After showing the video to the officers, Timm advised them that “he does not like President Trump.” According to the arrest report, Timm goes on to say, “It’s like someone s–tting on your grave” — what Timm was referencing was unclear due to redactions in the report.

Six Trump campaign volunteers said they were targeted while registering people to vote, according to the Duval County Republican Party and the Trump reelection campaign. No injuries were reported.

Timm does not presently have an attorney of record. His arraignment is scheduled for March 3, so no plea has been entered at this time. He faces charges including aggravated assault, criminal mischief and driving on a suspended driver’s license.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Saturday that it was investigating whether the incident was politically motivated. On Monday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told CNN the investigation is now being handled by the FBI.

The incident has drawn criticism from Republicans, including the President, who tweeted on Saturday, “Law Enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with!”

Sen. Rick Scott said he was thankful no one was hurt.

“This appears to be a politically-motivated attack on hard-working volunteers in Duval County. Thankful that no one was hurt,” the Florida Republican posted Saturday on Twitter. “@DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state!”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called the incident “outrageous” on Twitter and said “the hate is toxic and dangerous.”

The Duval County Democratic Party condemned the incident.

“The @DuvalDEC condemns this cowardly act of violence,” the group said in a statement on social media. “No one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their first amendment rights. As Democrats but more importantly residents of this great city of Jacksonville, we call on our fellow citizens to act with dignity, civility and respect for one another during this election cycle and beyond.”

This story has been updated with background and more details.

Bernie Sanders would ‘ruin our economy,’ former Goldman Sachs CEO says

(CNN) — Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein thinks Bernie Sanders would be a bad president. That’s not a surprise, considering that the Vermont senator has spent much of his campaign criticizing Wall Street and billionaires.

In the wake of Sanders’ New Hampshire primary win Tuesday night, Blankfein sent out a tweet that took shots at both Sanders and President Donald Trump.

Sanders’ proposals include major increases in corporate taxes and taxes on the rich, breaking up big tech companies that have helped lift the overall marketcurbing stock buybacks and instituting Medicare for fall to provide government-run health care for all Americans.

Sanders wasn’t too heartbroken over Blankfein’s criticism when asked about it by CNN on Wednesday.

“Let me see, a billionaire executive on Wall Street doesn’t like me. Hmm, I am shocked by that, Annie. I am really shocked,” he told CNN’s Annie Grayer.

Many of his supporters responded on Twitter, and cheered the fact that Blankfein was saying bad things about their candidate.

Blankfein hasn’t donated money to any presidential candidates this election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks campaign finance records. He has given money to both Democrat and Republican candidates and political action committees in the past. The last time he backed a presidential candidate financially was in 2007 when he gave the legal maximum donation of $4,600 to Hillary Clinton.

This isn’t the first time Blankfein criticized a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s potential harm to the US economy. He also criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren, another vocal critic of the rich and Wall Street, telling CNN that he believed she would bring “cataclysmic change” to the economy. Warren was a front runner when he made that statement. But she finished a distant fourth in Tuesday’s primary vote.

Still investors do not appear to be worried about the possibility of a Sanders presidency, despite his success in New Hampshire and a strong showing last week in the Iowa caucus. Market analysts say investors seem to be betting that Sanders can’t win the presidency, despite his early success. They may also believe that even if he wins he won’t have the support in Congress to pass major parts of his agenda.

Blankfein retired as Goldman CEO in 2018.

The S&P 500 is up 4.5% so far this year and was higher in early trading Wednesday. Investors are encouraged by the strength of the US economy and hopes that the worst has passed on the coronavirus that has already killed more than 1,000 people.

Burlington Police arrest man accused of stealing over $10,000 from Hy-Vee

BURLINGTON, Iowa-- Burlington Police say they have the man who stole more than $10,000 from the Agency Street Hy-Vee.

On Saturday, February 8 the Hy-Vee Grocery Store, at 3140 Agency Street in Burlington, reported a theft in excess of $10,000.

Police say after investigating the incident they made an arrest on Wednesday, February 12. They arrested Christopher Allen Hartley, 45, of Burlington, for theft 1st degree.

During the investigation, a search warrant was executed on Hartley’s property and several items, including a large sum of U.S. currency, were located and seized.

Christopher Hartley is being held at the Des Moines County Correctional Center on a $10,000 bond.