WQAD News

70-year-old man reported missing south of the Quad Cities

LITTLE SWAN LAKE, Illinois — A 70-year-old man has been reported missing south of the Quad Cities area and the public is being asked to come forward with any information.

Marty Thurman was reported missing on Saturday, March 23, according to a statement from the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.   His family members reported him missing; he was last seen at his home on Friday evening.

The sheriff’s department said Thurman’s car was found Saturday morning at the Little Swan Lake club house.

Little Swan Lake is located about 70 miles south of the Quad Cities.

“Search and water rescue teams were in the area Saturday and Sunday,” said the statement from the sheriff’s department.   Search efforts were expected to resume on Monday.

Authorities say no foul play is suspected.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 309-734-8505 or the Monmouth Dispatch center at 309-734-8383.

 

‘My God is awesome!’: Grandmother’s prayer closet withstands E4 tornado in Alabama

LEE COUNTY, Ala. – Recovery efforts continue in Alabama where an E4 tornado touched down earlier this month, destroying everything in its path.

But, there was one thing that managed to withstand the powerful storm: a grandmother’s prayer closet.

Chaplain Jason Smith was out with Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team when he made the discovery, according to 11 Alive.

He wrote about it on Facebook saying the whole family survived.

“Are you kidding me? My God is awesome! Shout somebody!” he said.

The post has now been shared more than 96,000 times.

 

Trump signs proclamation marking Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

(AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The document reverses more than a half-century of U.S. policy as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.

Trump had previewed the move in a tweet last week that it was time for the U.S. to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.

Netanyahu has pressed for such recognition for months. Trump’s action gives him a political boost just weeks before what’s expected to be a close Israeli election.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over the territory is not recognized by the international community.

Watch Live: President Trump hosts Prime Minister of Israel at White House

(CNN) — President Donald Trump will provide Benjamin Netanyahu both temporary refuge from ongoing scandal and a de facto campaign venue at the White House when he hosts the embattled Israeli prime minister for talks Monday.

The meeting, which was announced last week, comes as Netanyahu faces new allegations of corruption, which are piled on top of accusations he used his position for personal gain.

Legal plights have been a shared burden for Trump and Netanyahu over the past several years. But Trump is entering the week with some of his troubles lifted: special counsel Robert Mueller has ended his investigation and found no evidence Trump or his associates colluded with Russia, according to the attorney general.

The investigation was less determinative on whether Trump obstructed justice. But nevertheless the President plans to use the conclusion to ambush Democrats and his opponents for leading a fruitless probe.

In mounting his own self-defense, Netanyahu has employed some of the same tactics as Trump, decrying his accusers as politically motivated, lambasting “fake news” and even using the term “witch hunt” to describe the various corruption cases.

The claims of misconduct come as he’s facing the toughest re-election bid of his political career. Trump discarded past US practice by agreeing to meet with Netanyahu within weeks of election day.

Initially scheduled over two days, including dinner with Trump on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu announced on Monday he was cutting his trip short to return home after a rocket fired from Gaza struck a house in central Israel.

But even the truncated visit is meant to bolster his political standing in Israel, where Trump remains popular. Already, the President has handed Netanyahu a victory: declaring his intention to formally recognize the contested Golan Heights — considered Israeli-occupied territory by the international community — as part of the state of Israel.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter last week, and is expected to formalize it during Netanyahu’s visit.

At the same time Netanyahu is meeting Trump at the White House, his main opponent in the April elections, retired Army chief of staff Benny Gantz, will be addressing the yearly conference of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, held at the Washington Convention Center across town.

Netanyahu was also scheduled to address the gathering on Tuesday but his announced return to Israel will preclude him making an appearance that has been a traditional centerpiece of the conference. US Democrats this year have been reckoning with whether to appear at AIPAC, which has come under criticism for advocating against the Iran nuclear deal.

In recent weeks, Trump has harshly criticized his political opponents as being anti-Israel, citing comments he claims are anti-Semitic. In addition to aiding Netanyahu in his election bid, the Golan Heights move also appeared designed to give Trump a boost among pro-Israel voters in the US.

“The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel, and it’s a disgrace,” Trump claimed on Friday morning at the White House. “I don’t know what has happened to them, but they are totally anti-Israel. Frankly, I think they are anti-Jewish.”

Trains Expert: Amtrak project dependent on Illinois capital bill

DECATUR, Illinois-- An expert on trains says passenger rail funding will need to be re appropriated in this year's capital bill.

A state senate subcommittee met in the city Monday, March 18 to talk about what could be put in the bill. Friday, February 15, State House Rep Tony McCombie released this statement to News 8.

"Rep Halpin, along with Senator Anderson, and myself believe in the project, however the State has already allocated these funds in previous fiscal year budgets. Since the funds have already been promised, they should be outside of any capital plan drafted this session."

Rick Harnish of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, says there will be even more of a holdup on the Amtrak project, if the funding isn't re appropriated though, in a capital bill.

"This is the opportunity to persuade [Governor J.B.] Pritzker's administration and your local lawmakers that you want trains," he said Thursday, February 14 during our Breakfast With interviews. 

The subcommittee is meeting at Bradley University in Peoria Monday, April 8. That's the closest they're meeting to the Quad Cities. The group's also meeting in Chicago, Tuesday, April 16 and Elgin, later in April.

Watch Live: Governor J.B. Pritzker to discuss the Illinois ‘move over’ law

Can’t see the stream? Click here.

CHICAGO — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker plans to talk about the state’s “move over” law.

The “move over” law, otherwise known as Scott’s Law, is in place to force drivers to move over for emergency vehicles who are pulled over on the side of the road. The law states that drivers must give a lane of space for any emergency or maintenance vehicle that is stopped.

Despite the law, more than a dozen Illinois State Police troopers’ squads have been hit throughout the state since the beginning of 2019.  The most recent crash before the governor’s address happened on Wednesday, March 20 when a semi hit a trooper and his squad car on Interstate 55.

 Illinois trooper struck by semi, squad car demolished

Read More:
Illinois police see rise in crashes with parked squad cars
Illinois State Police cracking down on ‘Move Over’ violators with hidden troopers
5 cars damaged and officer injured after semi hits police car

Studio 8 Live Session: Grant Maloy Smith

American roots artist Grant Maloy Smith made his way to the Quad Cities from his east coast home Rhode Island, introducing fans to his latest album.

The singer/songwriter composes music with country-roots, a blend which he describes as a mix of country, bluegrass, folk and pop.

His new album "Dust Bowl - American Stories" was on the Billboard charts for 17 weeks, landing in the top 10 on the Americana/Folk Album Sales chart for several weeks.

Click here to follow Grant Maloy Smith on Facebook

Learn more about Grant Maloy Smith, here

To keep up on what's happening in the QC music scene, join Studio 8 on Facebook

Tracking heavy rain potential this week

Rain, rain, go away! While this weekend's rainfall was on the lighter side, it was still more rainfall that we didn't need as the ground remains saturated. Thankfully, the pattern early this week will encourage dry conditions and hopefully allow some area floodwaters to recede.

A large area of high pressure sinking south from Canada will provide a beautiful three day stretch of weather through at least Wednesday. Temperatures will be cool on Monday, but by Tuesday and Wednesday we'll make a nice recovery and send temperatures well into the 60s as warm front moves through the region.

The return to warmer temperatures will also signal the return to a more active pattern that brings rounds of showers and thunderstorms through the Quad Cities on Thursday and Friday. The two long-range models we look at agree that an axis of heavy rainfall will be produced across a good chunk of the Midwest, including areas that have already been devastated by extreme flooding.

Both the GFS (American model) and EURO (European Model) have signals of heavy rains measuring at least an inch by Saturday, with both models outputting nearly two inches of rain.  Three other computer models that we reference don't go beyond a few days, so we'll have to wait another 48 hours for additional model data to roll in. If these other models agree with the two long-range models, trouble will be likely this weekend and beyond.

Many of the tributary rivers are now slowly falling, but the Mississippi River will continue to remain in major flood stage with another crest likely incoming by next weekend. The snowmelt to the north continues, though it will be at a slower pace early this week with the cooler temperatures settling in. We'll see that pace pick up again by the second half of the week as the more substantial warmth moves in.

Depending on how much rainfall we receive from the late week system, river levels will likely rise even further into next weekend. Something we will certainly keep tracking in the days ahead.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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

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

Half-naked man with a knife shot by police after setting car on fire at NYPD precinct

NEW YORK CITY — A half-naked man with a knife was shot by police in Queens on Sunday afternoon, NYPD officials said.

He crashed his vehicle into a marked police car at the 111th NYPD Precinct house around 3 p.m., NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said. The man, identified as 33-year-old Jarrell Davis, got out of his vehicle and poured accelerant onto it and the police vehicle. Then he set his vehicle on fire. He was naked from the waist down.

Police recovered this kitchen knife at the scene. (NYPD)

Officers came out of the station house and Davis pulled out a 12-inch kitchen knife and charged at the cops, police said. Two officers fired eight rounds, hitting the man in his torso and a leg, according to WPIX.

"Someone crashes his car and lights up other vehicles, there's a possibility there's mental issues," Chief Harrison said.

Davis suffered serious injuries that are not considered to be life threatening, officials said.  He was taken to NewYork–Presbyterian/Queens hospital.

He faces charges of arson, attempted arson, four counts of menacing a police officer, three counts of reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.

The officers were also taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Officials recovered a bloody knife at the scene. It is not yet clear whose blood was on the knife.

Polar Plungers make the plunge in Rock Island for Special Olympics athletes

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The Polar Plunge season has raised $2 million so far in Illinois.

On Sunday, March 24, people gathered at Wick's Lake for the annual Polar Plunge, which benefits the Special Olympics.   The water was a chilly 46 degrees that day, but that didn't stop people from getting involved and helping to support the organization.

One participant, Mary Schreiner, said the 2019 plunge was her sixth year participating.  She and three others participated as "Team Maddox," dressed as sharks and making the plunge on behalf of a loved one.

All proceeds benefit thousands of Special Olympics athletes.

YOUR MONEY with Mark: The Madness of Venezuela’s Economy and Basketball Bracket Bets

When it comes to YOUR MONEY, we want to take it a step further. That's why Mark Grywacheski appears on Good Morning Quad Cities every Monday to give us his analysis of the latest business, economic, and financial news.

On Monday, March 25th, Mark told us about the economic and humanitarian crisis happening in Venezuela right now and explained why 94% of the population now lives in poverty. He also gave us some fun facts when it comes to March Madness - how many brackets have been filled out, how many bets have been placed, and how much productivity is being lost at work (sorry boss)!

Click the video above to see our complete conversation.

Woman stabbed during fight near entrance of Davenport Walmart

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A woman was stabbed during a fight near the entrance of  Davenport Walmart.

There were about 10 to 12 people involved in a fight on Sunday, March 24 around 10:10 p.m., according to a statement from the Davenport Police Department. Police were called to 3100 block of West Kimberly Road to respond to the fight, but the crowd broke up before officers arrived.

Police said one woman was stabbed during the fight.  She was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-6125.

 

‘It was like she was speaking to me’: Mom gets message from daughter killed in accident

NEENAH, Wis. – While mourning the loss of her teen daughter after a fatal car accident, a Wisconsin mother got an unexpected text that left her stunned.

Alyson Peters told WBAY she got the message as she visited the site where her daughter, 17-year-old MacKenzie Leeman, died Feb. 26 when her car slid off a highway overpass during a snowstorm.

The high school senior, known as Kenzie to her loved ones, was driving home from a part-time job as a nursing assistant when the fatal accident happened.

“They sent me a picture of a door, and it was crazy. It was Kenzie’s old door from her old room,” Peters said. “How in the world can that happen that I’m sitting right there and I get this quote from my daughter? It was like she was speaking to me.”

On the door Kenzie had written in erasable marker, “Someday you will look back and know exactly why this had to happen to you.”

Peters said the photo showed the high school senior’s door in their previous home in Menasha, before they moved to the city of Neenah. Apparently, the new owner had invited over a neighbor who knew that the door was from Kenzie’s room.

Peters said she spoke to the new owner and went back to the old house to see the door. “I laid on the floor and cried,” she told WBAY.

The new owner agreed to give the door to Peters, who said it will be used as part of a memorial for her daughter.

“I don’t know if it was a premonition or what it was, but it’s certainly helping us get through this time,” Peters said.

Peters has set up a scholarship fund in her name to benefit nursing students at Fox Valley Technical College.

Iowa man sought in shotgun slayings of 2 people in Nebraska

Otoe County Court records say 36-year-old Brindar Jangir is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.

An affidavit in support of an arrest warrant says Jangir used a stolen shotgun to kill Randal and Annette Grimes on Saturday morning in the village of Douglas. Their bodies were discovered by a sheriff’s deputy who was checking on an aborted call to 911.

The affidavit says Randal and Annette Grimes were the parents of a woman Jangir was living with in Sioux City, Iowa, until she moved out March 12. The affidavit says she told officers Jangir threatened to kill her and her parents if she ever left him.

134 killed in attack on Fulani villagers in Mali

(CNN) — Armed men reportedly dressed as traditional hunters have killed 134 people, including women and children, during an attack on a village in central Mali, according to the United Nations.

A further 55 civilians were hurt in the attack in Ogossagou in the Mopti region.

The region’s Fulani ethnic community is frequently targeted and accused of having ties to jihadist organizations in the area, according to the UN.

The Malian government said it “reiterates its determination to make every effort to hunt down the perpetrators of this barbarity of another age and to punish them, in accordance with the laws in force.”

“In the same spirit, the government will continue to ensure the protection of the people, to recreate the conditions of true social cohesion and to promote national reconciliation,” it added, saying the “government condemns with the utmost severity this heinous act and expresses its compassion to the families of the innocent victims.”

On Sunday, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar and the Council of Ministers announced the dissolution of a so-called self-defense group, according to a government communique. The communique did not note whether this group was to blame for the attack in Ogossagou.

The group, called Dan Na Ambassagou, is composed of members of the Dogon ethnic group. Last year, Human Rights Watch accused Dan Na Ambassagou of targeting members of the Fulani ethnic group and attacks that “led to dozens of civilian deaths and injuries.”

UNICEF said it was providing assistance to victims of the attack.

“Many of the injured children have been evacuated to health facilities for treatment. UNICEF is on the ground helping provide first aid, medicines and therapeutic food,” Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

“Mali’s children are paying the highest price for the intensifying violence in central Mali. Since 2017, rising insecurity has led to an increase in the killing, maiming and recruitment of children. Gender-based violence is on the rise,” Fore added.

The Mopti region of Mali has seen repeated instances of violence in recent months.

Several soldiers were killed in Dioura last week, while 10 people from the Dogon community were killed in an attack on the village of Gondogourou in February.

A UN spokesperson said the organization’s secretary general António Guterres was “shocked and outraged” by Saturday’s attack.

“The Secretary-General condemns this act and calls on the Malian authorities to swiftly investigate it and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the spokesperson said, adding that he “calls on the Malian authorities to redouble their efforts to bring back peace and stability to central Mali.”

There are nearly 3 million Fula people in Mali, who are traditionally nomadic and mostly Muslim.

Health worries smolder for residents after the massive fire at a Texas petrochemical facility

(CNN) — Thick black smoke filled the sky surrounding the Houston suburbs last week as a massive fire burned at a petrochemical storage facility for four days. Residents of two Texas cities were told to shelter in place as hazardous chemical vapors escaped the foam blanket put in place to extinguish the industrial fire.

“We were held hostage in our own homes,” longtime Deer Park resident Steve Michels said. “It’s just been horrendous.”

Concerns for the health risks facing residents of Deer Park were exacerbated over the weekend. A containment wall at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) facility broke Friday,sparking another fire and sending chemical waste into waterways that lead to the Houston Ship Channel. The Coast Guard shut down a stretch of that busy shipping channel, with no timetable for when it will reopen.

On Saturday, ITC officials and local authorities continued to assure Deer Park residents that the city is safe. “Our community-monitored programs generated no levels of immediate health concerns,” said Alice Richardson, ITC public information officer.

Some area residents like Brian Williams don’t trust these assurances. He lives 10 miles from the ITC facility that first caught fire a week ago. “I have a garden in my backyard. I’m about to take it up,” he says. “I’m not going to eat anything out of it anymore.”

Tests performed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality over the weekend found nine specific chemicals that “exceed their health-protective concentration level,” in water from a ditch at the ITC facility that flows into the channel. But TCEQ says there’s no threat to the public drinking water.

‘It’s not good for you, we know it’s not’

Last Tuesday, smoke blew over the roof of Williams’ home. He started feeling ill by Wednesday and he vomited on Friday. He says he’s confident the symptoms he felt “didn’t have anything to do with the pollen in the air.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tested the air quality in the area over the weekend, finding low levels of benzene, one of the potentially cancer-causing chemicals they also found in the ditch water. The levels detected weren’t high enough to cause health concerns, TCEQ says.

Nevertheless, Williams’ skepticism continues. “They say we can’t smoke cigarettes, it’s bad for your lungs, it’s bad for your health,” he says. “So when you put heat on any type of chemicals it’s not good for you, we know it’s not.”

Acute exposure to benzene can cause headaches, dizziness or loss of consciousness, the World Health Organization says. Chronic exposure can lead to cancer.

Michels, who’s lived in the area for more than 20 years, felt his eyes burning and had shortness of breath this week. He went to a local clinic for help. He wanted his blood tested specifically for benzene, but his insurance wouldn’t cover it. He says he was told it would cost him approximately $350 out of pocket.

“A lot of us can’t afford to go to the doctor,” Williams explains. “So we have to live with this.”

‘It is always hard to tell’

Complaints of itchy skin, stuffy and bloody noses, and tightness in the chest have been brought to Dr. Umair Shah’s attention in the days since the fire began.

Shah says the Harris County Community Building has become “something akin to a health fair.” Shah, the executive director of Harris County Public Health, has set up a mobile health clinic there.

“People come to us and they say, ‘This is related to something in the exposure.’ We are certainly keeping that in mind, but doctors are making that evaluation,” he explains. “The question about whether those symptoms were related to the fire, it is always hard to tell.”

“Conditions are changing, daily. People are very stressed, and (stress) can exacerbate their symptoms” says Elena Craft, senior director of the Climate and Health Program at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Her nonprofit has been working side by side with federal and local agencies taking both air and water samples.

Her biggest concern — the material inside the tanks that has yet to be disposed of. ITC continues to pump chemical waste from the charred tanks and contaminated waterways. The company announced Sunday that significantly less remains in the tanks and in the contaminated drainage ditches.

Meanwhile, as the smoke dissipates, concerns mount for those who call this part of Texas home.

“This kind of incident should’ve never happened,” Craft lamented.

Western Illinois professor gets 2nd in forecasting challenge

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — A Western Illinois University professor has won an award for the third time in seven years in a national meteorological forecast competition.

Marcus Buker is associate professor of meteorology at WIU . He placed second in the recent WxChallenge for forecasting weather in Nashville, Tennessee.

The competition requires forecasters from higher education to predict high and low temperature, maximum sustained wind speed and total precipitation from locations across the U.S. Buker competed against 200 meteorology faculty in the U.S. and Canada.

Buker says winning the award “takes a combination of forecasting skill, experience and luck.”

Scoring is done by assessing error points for the degrees of accuracy between the forecasts and the verified meteorological measurements.

Buker finished second in 2013 for Billings, Montana, forecasts and won an award in 2016.

More than 1,000 Ebola cases reported in outbreak

(CNN) — The deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has surpassed 1,000 cases, according to the country’s health ministry.

The number of confirmed cases stands at 1,009, of which 944 are confirmed and 65 probable, in an outbreak that started in August. The death toll is at 629 — 564 are confirmed from Ebola and 65 probable.

It is the second-deadliest and second-largest Ebola outbreak in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

“We use words like ‘cases’ and ‘containment’ to be scientific, but behind every number is a person, a family and a community that is suffering,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general in a statement Saturday. “This outbreak has gone on far too long.”

Last week, the WHO had reported a rise in the weekly rate of confirmed Ebola cases after several weeks of decline. The organization cited “increased security challenges, including the recent direct attacks on treatment centers, and pockets of community mistrust” as causes for the uptick.

Those security challenges include attacks on treatment facilities. Earlier this month, militants attacked an Ebola treatment center, killing a police officer. In February, two attacks on Ebola treatment centers in the province of North Kivu forced Doctors Without Borders (also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF) to put some humanitarian efforts on hold.

So far, Ebola cases haven’t spread outside of DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, nor have any cases crossed international borders, according to the WHO.

And it reported that more than 96,000 people have been vaccinated against Ebola in DRC, along with health workers in Uganda and South Sudan. More than 90% of those eligible for vaccination accept it, according to the WHO.

“As we mourn the lives lost, we must also recognize that thousands of people have been protected from this terrifying disease,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, in a statement. “We are working in exceptionally challenging circumstances, but thanks to support from donors and the efforts of the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners, we have saved thousands of lives.”

Two miles of River Drive in Davenport closed due to flooding

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- The Mississippi River is expected to crest on Monday, March 25 at eighteen and a half feet. The river is three and a half feet above it's 15 foot flood stage and that water isn't expected to go down anytime soon.

Downtown Davenport is seeing the worst of the flooding here in the Quad Cities.

Large portions of River Drive in Davenport is closed because of the high flood waters. River Drive is closed from Warren Street to Bridge and more closures are around Fourth Street forcing drivers off of River Drive to avoid the water. REMEMBER: Do not drive through flood waters.

According to the City of Davenport, westbound River Drive is being detoured north on Bridge Avenue. Eastbound 3rd Street is being detoured north on Iowa Street.

"Mississippi River is high and is expected to remain high likely into May, at this point. And this is a a result of snow melt across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The snow crest peak along the Mississippi river from Dubuque down to the Quad Cities and Gregory Landing is projected right now in that heading into mid-to late April timeframe," said Mike McClure, National Weather Service Meteorologist.

The river will hover around the major and moderate flood stage for the next week.

The American Red Cross is urging people who could be impacted by the flood to pack an emergency kit and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in case of a flood.

Iowa Falls to Tennessee Recap

Iowa trailed by as many as 25 in their second round NCAA Tournament game against Tennessee.  The Hawkeyes rallied in the second half to tie the game at 71 sending it into overtime.  Iowa would eventually fall to Tennessee 82-77 ending their 2019 season.  Hear what the players had to say after the loss and how they say good bye to their lone Senior Nicholas Baer.

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