WQAD News

You’re not doing it right: shoveling tips from Genesis

QUAD CITIES- Just one day after the November blizzard, Genesis Medical Center tells WQAD they have dealt with; four people with chest pain from shoveling, at least one heart attack, and several patients with broken bones and dislocations from falls on the ice.

Genesis West is also reporting several patients that fell, and in Silvis, one chest pain patient, one hand injury patient related to snowmobile use and Several more with injuries from falls.

So to prevent injury while clearing show, Dr. Dierks and Genesis Health suggest the following tips:
  1. Warm up first “Be sure your muscles are warm before you start shoveling. Warm up a little by walking, doing a few squats or walking stairs a few times. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain or strain than warm, relaxed muscles.”
  2. Warmed up your muscles? Then stretch — “Once your muscles are warmed up, you’ll want to stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in your calves and lower back.” 
  3. Dress in layers and protect your extremities – “Wear clothing that will wick sweat away from you so you won’t get cold. Cotton tends to keep moisture trapped next to your skin, so it’s better worn as an outer layer that can be easily removed. Polypropylene and other synthetic fabrics designed to wick away moisture are good choices for inner layers. Wear a hat and gloves. Warm, waterproof boots with a thick tread will help you stay on your feet on ice and snow.”
  4. Lift safely — “It’s less tiring and safer to lift several lighter loads than it is to lift one heavy load. It’s also important to keep the load as close to your body as possible.”
  5. Communicate — “It’s a good idea to alert someone in your household before you go out to shovel snow in case you fall and need help. In extreme weather, carry a cell phone, whistle or car keys outside with you to use to signal if you need help.”
  6. Drink plenty of water “Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water before and after snow shoveling and avoid beverages that can cause dehydration, such as those with alcohol and caffeine.”
  7. Listen to your body — “If you experience any warnings signs for heart attack, stop what you are doing immediately and call 9-1-1. If you’re overweight, have high blood pressure, smoke, or are out-of-shape, you’re at higher risk for a heart attack during exertion, and should get your doctor’s ‘OK’ before shoveling any snow.”

South Rock Island Township is giving away free winter essentials

ROCK ISLAND- Due to an unusually high number of donated items, South Rock Island Township is having a free all day giveaway.

They say they will have clothing, coats and other winter essentials.

The giveaway will be on Tuesday, November 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Please help us get the word out to your friends and neighbors.-Grace Diaz Shirk

Mike’s Floorpro Flooring Giveaway

Get your home ready for the new year! Win FREE flooring this holiday season.  Mike’s Floorpro in Eldridge and LeClaire wants to give one lucky homeowner  $1000 of free flooring.

Mike’s Floorpro, in Eldridge, IA, is your hometown flooring dealer.  They specialize in carpet installation, hardwood floor installation, carpet sales, tile flooring, hardwood floor sales and more.

Mike’s Floorpro has two convenient locations:

215 North 2nd Street in Eldridge, IA
510 North Cody in LeClaire, IA

Just fill out the form below to enter to win!  Deadline for entry is December 23, 2018.  Everyone who enters receives a special offer from Mike’s Floorpro.

For contest rules, click here.

Man caught after Geneseo child porn sting, multiple victims affected

GENESEO- Tristan Blank, 21, has been arrested in a child porn sting after he arranged to meet with an officer posing as a juvenile.

According to the Geneseo Police on November 14, they arrested Blank after he met with an undercover officer posing as a minor. Police say Blank had the intent of engaging in sexual activities with the “minor”.

Mr. Blank is being charged with:

  1. solicitation of child pornography
  2. solicitation of a minor
  3. traveling to meet a minor
  4. grooming, and sexual abuse of a minor

The investigation continues as officers say they have identified numerous juveniles who may also be victims.

Chief Casey Disterhoft says:

“Officers of the Geneseo Police Department, Kewanee Police Department, and the Illinois State Police will be continuing this investigation in an attempt to determine the extent of this incident. Anyone with additional information or concerns please contact Detective Sergeant Benjamin Sleaford at the Geneseo Police Department, 309-944-5141.”

Teacher allegedly murdered ex-husband’s girlfriend in front of suspect’s twin children

MIDVALE, Utah -- Police say a Utah woman arrested for murder Sunday night shot and killed her ex-husband's girlfriend in front of the suspect's 3-year-old twins, according to KSTU.

The victim was identified Monday as 26-year-old Lisa Vilate Williams.

Chelsea Watrous Cook.

Chelsea Watrous Cook, 32, was booked into jail on one count of aggravated murder after the shooting, which occurred just before 7 p.m. Sunday.

Cook taught health and yoga at Skyridge High School in Lehi, according to the Alpine School District.

A statement of probable cause indicates police arrived at the residence and found Cook's ex-husband pinning her against the wall.

Williams, who is dating Cook's ex-husband, was found with at least two gunshot wounds to her torso and ultimately died.

Police learned Cook had come to the apartment to deliver cold medicine for one of the twin 3-year-old children the couple had from their previous relationship.

Cook remained in the apartment unlawfully after being asked to leave, and locked herself in a bathroom.

The woman eventually left the bathroom and walked toward her coat, but suddenly pulled out a handgun and fired three to five rounds at Williams, according to the statement of probable cause.

Williams fell to the couch after being shot.

Cook's ex-husband took the handgun away from her and went to help Williams, and Cook sat down on a chair. When Cook got up moved back toward her coat, he pinned her against the wall until police arrived.

He told police his 3-year-old twins were present during the ordeal.

Skyridge High School sent a letter to students and parents Monday following the arrest of Cook.

The letter states in part:

"This morning we learned about a situation involving one of our Skyridge teachers, Ms. Cook. She was arrested and charged with a serious crime. We know there will be information in the media regarding this incident. We want you to be aware of what we have learned, so we can help you process and provide support to any of you who may be in need.

This type of news is hard to comprehend and we want you to know that teachers, counselors and your parents can help provide support in this difficult time."

A North Carolina couple was pulled over for speeding. Minutes later, the officer helped deliver their baby


When Sgt. Brian Maynard pulled over Laura and Jimmy Baker, he was preparing to deliver a ticket. Instead, the state trooper summoned an EMS team, which delivered the couple’s baby girl on the side of North Carolina’s US-64 highway.

It all began Saturday night in suburban Raleigh when Laura Baker got in a minivan with her husband for a visit to the hospital to check on some contractions she’d been having. Then, 10 minutes into their drive, she suddenly went to labor.

“I said, ‘I can not control this, we’re not going to make it there,'” Baker said.

So when her husband spotted Maynard’s patrol car, he did everything he could to get the officer’s attention, speeding and flickering his lights.

“As soon as we pulled over, my water broke,” Baker said. “And my husband jumped out with his arms up, saying, ‘my wife’s in labor and I really need help.'”

All three of them knew they didn’t have time to get to a hospital. Maynard called the EMS team in nearby Wendell but was prepared to do the job himself.

“I said, ‘OK, well, we’re going to do this right here, me and you,'” he told CNN affiliate WSOC TV.

So Baker’s husband and Maynard held the mother’s hands and urged her to wait for the EMS team.

“My husband and the trooper were nervous, because they certainly weren’t prepared,” she said. And when the EMS team arrived, everyone realized they couldn’t get Baker on a stretcher. So she delivered in the front seat of the van.

It was this team — as well as the trooper’s assistance — that Baker said she’s most thankful for.

“Without them, I don’t know how successful it would have been,” she said. “It was maybe a five-minute experience, but a vital five-minute experience. [The EMS team] did everything to make sure it was sanitary and healthy.”

Baker was taking her baby, Halyn, home Monday and was planning on paying a visit to the EMS team that helped keep her infant daughter healthy throughout the delivery. She doesn’t know much about the EMS crew, but she’ll be looking for Charlie and Danny, who held her hands throughout the birth and walked her through every step.

“She was born outside in 40-degree weather, but she’s a perfect, healthy little girl,” she said. “They did everything perfect.”

November blizzard makes Quad Cities history

The blizzard that came through from Sunday to Monday, November 25 and 26 left a record impact.

With a grand total of 13.8-inches it became the snowiest November storm on record for the Quad Cities, beating November 1974.

1974 went on to become the snowiest winter in Quad City history, bringing in 69.7-inches of snow.

Moline neighbors help each other during heart attack snow

MOLINE - After the snow, the shovel goes into motion.

"It was really heavy-feeling, real thick and heavy," recalled Joline Hunter, on Monday, November 26.  "It wore me out."

When Hunter became a casualty of the climate, neighbor Cassie Alaniz stepped into action.

"Helping other people out is nice to do," she said.

"I was shocked," Hunter added.  "I had tried earlier, but I hurt my back."

It's a kind gesture after this so-called heart attack snow.  First responders and emergency rooms were busy with heart-related problems due to snow shoveling.

The elements are especially tough on those with prior heart attacks or even high blood pressure.  The strain of shoveling or pushing a snow blower can trigger a potentially deadly heart attack.

"You've got to pace yourself," said Alaniz.  "That's what I was trying to do."

Those with heart problems, smokers or inactive lifestyles should think twice before shoveling snow.  Talk to a doctor before even starting.

This snow can lead to a variety of injuries, from falls to injured backs, hips and knees.

"A lot of times, I tell my patients to try to break up the task," said Genesis Physical Therapist Alyssa Gillund.  "If you know it's going to snow 12 inches, try to get out there early and get some of it done."

Scoop-by-scoop, that strategy is working for Cassie Alaniz.

"I just take my time," she said.  "As long as you make sure that you use your legs a lot, and then take breaks as you can."

It just might be a life-saver.

"The first snow, and it's a doozy," Hunter concluded.

Good Samaritan returns wallet left on plane, adds money to it just because

DENVER – A good Samaritan who found a lost wallet on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver returned it to its rightful owner – and threw in some extra money just because.

The wallet belonged to 20-year-old Hunter Shamatt who was on his way to his sister's wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month. The wallet contained his ID, $60 in cash, a debit card and a signed paycheck.

The good Samaritan sent the wallet back to Shamatt and his mom, Jeannie Shamatt, took to Facebook to post a picture of the package containing a nice note.

“Found this on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver-row 12, seat F wedged between the seat and wall. Thought you might want it back. All the best. PS: I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!” the mystery sender wrote.

The letter was signed with only initials "TB" and had an address out of Omaha.

After an interview with a TV station in Omaha, the Shamatt's were able to meet the man who returned the wallet.

"I personally want to thank Todd Brown and his wife for restoring faith that there are amazing people out there, the world is not as grim as it’s being made out to be," she wrote in a follow-up Facebook post.

Brown said that he thought about giving the wallet to the flight crew, but wanted to make sure he got it back. So when they landed in Denver, they did some digging.

"I saw he was just a kid, 20 years old, he had a paycheck in there, so I figured, ‘Well, he’s doing his best to make ends meet,’ but I was 20 once, and that’s a lot of money for a kid," Brown told Yahoo.

"I imagined what it would be like to get your wallet back, so I added a little bit so he could celebrate," Brown said.

He said he never expected to get so much attention, "I just wanted to do the right thing, it always feels good to do the right thing," Brown told Yahoo. "It’s really not that hard to be a good person."

Weather disturbances we’re tracking later this week

The historic snow event has come and gone around the area as skies will slowly improve overnight into tomorrow morning.  Snow-covered ground will enhance the coldest air so far this season with overnight lows in the single digits.

By Tuesday, a bright but cold day will be highlighted with daytime highs only in the lower 20s with just enough wind to produce single digit wind chills.

Temperatures will improve in the days ahead with upper 20s on Wednesday replaced with 30s starting on Thursday.

After Thursday is where I see a couple of weather disturbances passing through the area.  The first may produce a passing flurry Thursday night with the second a rain or a rain/snow mix on Saturday.

Looking even further, by this time next week is another snow maker to keep  on eye on.  It will cross over a portion of the Midwest.  Track will be the key.   Stay tuned!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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

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

Deputies stop 13-year-old girl driving van at 100 mph in Iowa

BLUE GRASS, Iowa (AP) —  Police say a 13-year-old joyrider led officers on a chase that hit speeds of 100 mph in eastern Iowa.

She and five other young people in the van were taken into custody early Sunday, November 25 after the minivan was stopped on the west side of Davenport.

Blue Grass Police Chief Garrett Jahns says the chase began in Blue Grass after the minivan was spotted by an officer checking a report of vehicle break-ins.   Jahns says the minivan was stolen in Rock Island, Illinois.

Scott County sheriff’s deputies stopped the minivan by using deflation devices to puncture all four tires, according to Jahns’ statement. 

Dramya Holt, image from Scott County Jail

Two people sustained minor injuries in the incident, were treated and released.

The 13-year-old driver was held in the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center.  One adult in the vehicle, 18-year-old Dramya Holt, was taken to the Scott County Jail and was held on $11,000 bond.  She was charged with first-degree theft and third-degree attempted burglary.  The other people in the car were between 13 years old and 15 years old and were all released to their parents with pending charges.

GM to slash up to 14,000 jobs in North America

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DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will lay off up to 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Some U.S. factory workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.

Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year, including the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable gas-electric hybrid. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. Their futures will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.
The salaried reductions amount to 15 percent of GM’s North American white-collar workforce of 54,000. At the factories, 3,000 workers could lose jobs in Canada and another 3,600 in the U.S.

GM, the largest automaker in the U.S., which sells the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands, said the moves will save $6 billion in cash by the end of next year, including $4.5 billion in recurring annual cost reductions and a $1.5 billion reduction in capital spending.
Those cuts are in addition to $6.5 billion that the company has announced by the end of this year.

GM doesn’t foresee an economic downturn and is making the cuts “to get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong,” CEO Mary Barra told reporters.
Barra said GM is still hiring people with expertise in software and electric and autonomous vehicles. Many of those who will lose jobs are now working on conventional cars with internal combustion engines.

Barra said the industry is changing rapidly and moving toward electric propulsion, autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, and GM must adjust with it.

The company, she said, has invested in newer architectures for trucks and SUVs so it can cut capital spending while still raising investment in autonomous and electric vehicles.

GM has offered buyouts to 18,000 retirement-eligible workers with a dozen or more years of service. It would not say how many have accepted the buyouts, but it was short of the company’s target because GM said there will be white-collar layoffs.

The company expects to take a pretax charge of $3 billion to $3.8 billion due to the actions, including up to $1.8 billion of asset write downs and pension charges. The charges will take place in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of next year.

The factories up for closure are part of GM’s effort “to right-size our capacity for the realities of the marketplace,” as consumers shift away from cars to trucks and SUVs, Barra said.
Among the possibilities are the Detroit/Hamtramck assembly plant, which makes the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Impala and Volt, and the Cadillac CT6, all slow-selling cars. LaCrosse and Volt production will end March 1, while CT6 and Impala production would stop June 1.

The plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car also is on the list, and Barra said the Cruze would no longer be sold in the U.S. Production would stop March 1.

Work on six-speed transmissions made at the Warren, Michigan, transmission plant would stop Aug. 1, while the Baltimore transmission plant would stop production April 1, GM said.

Meanwhile, GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups in the fourth quarter of next year.

Barra said tariffs on imported aluminum and steel have hit the company, but she stopped short of saying they had anything to do with the restructuring.

Migrant mom falls off border fence, is impaled in front of her kids, officials say

SAN DIEGO – A migrant mother who was trying to illegally enter the United States while scaling a border fence fell off and was impaled.

KFMB reported that the 26-year-old from Guatemala fell onto pieces of rebar and concertina wire which were being used to replace a border fence.

The wire and rebar pierced the woman’s side and buttocks in front of her children, ages 3 and 5. U.S. Border Patrol contacted paramedics and took her to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Her children also were checked at a hospital and turned over to immigration authorities.

“Entering our country illegally, particularly over our walls, is not only dangerous, but also very foolish,” said Rodney Scott, San Diego’s Chief Border Patrol Agent, according to KFMB. “This woman placed her own life and her children’s lives in peril. She could have easily died if not for the quick response by our agents and EMS.”

US Customs and Border Protection closed road and pedestrian bridges on Sunday at the San Ysidro port of entry, one of the largest land border crossings between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Groups of Central American migrants have been converging on the Mexican border city for days in their quest to gain entry to the United States. Their presence has drawn Mexican troops, protesters and fiery rhetoric from President Donald Trump and Mexican officials.

As crowds amassed at San Ysidro, around 500 migrants overwhelmed federal and local Mexican police blockades and rushed toward the border, said freelance reporter Alfredo Alvarez, who is in the crowd.

Mom running for office told she could not use campaign funds for child care

A Louisiana mom, running for office for the first time, thought about taking her kindergartner and her 1½-year-old along with her on the campaign trail. But she realized that probably wouldn’t work.

So, Morgan Lamandre asked the board that oversees election rules if she could use political donations to cover child care expenses that wouldn’t exist if she weren’t running. Those might include times she’s headlining a fundraiser and her husband is with her or traveling for work.

Candidates in other states, particularly mothers, have made similar bids this year and won.

Not only was Lamandre’s request rejected, but the response she got reflected “some veiled sexism” and perhaps an outdated take on politics and the American family, the 35-year-old attorney told CNN.

“Child care … should come before public office or anything else,” Lamandre was told by 76-year-old board member Charles Emile “Peppi” Bruneau Jr., a retired legislator who steered the debate before the matter was denied, 5-2.

“Life is full of choices, and that’s one of them,” Bruneau said, according to the official recording of the November 16 board meeting. “Nobody forces you to run for public office. But you have a child, and that is your primary responsibility, to provide for that child.

“I don’t think you need to be raising money to run for an office to do that,” he continued. “I just think it’s a misplaced priority.”

Bruneau, a grandfather who recalled his experience in the 1970s as a state lawmaker with small kids, also pressed Lamandre on her appreciation for the demands of the Legislature, asking, “If you get elected, are you going to quit your regular job?”

To Lamandre, a lawyer in Baton Rouge for a nonprofit that serves sexual assault survivors, the line of questioning exposed a bias rooted in old stereotypes but still in play today.

“I still don’t think men have the same barriers as women to running because maybe the women in their lives just pick up” parenting obligations, she said.

‘An important bridge to cross’

Already, Lamandre’s case has spurred a push among Louisiana lawmakers to write an allowance for child care expenses into state election law.

“Having kids doesn’t ‘disqualify’ you from serving when we’re constantly making decisions (affecting) families w/ small kids,” tweeted state Sen. J.P. Morrell, along with an image of himself and his young son, Alexander, at a statehouse dais, with the note, “Due to my wife being in Nursing School, my kids were underfoot EVERYWHERE during last session.”

The episode follows similar requests in at least six states from mothers hoping to use political contributions to hire sitters while they worked to get elected. In those cases, opponents echoed arguments similar to Bruneau’s, along with fears of broad fiscal abuse. Bruneau did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

But candidates and advocates, who already are beyond the midterms and looking ahead to 2020, say allowing campaign dollars to be spent for child care directly related to campaign work is critical to making sure elected bodies more closely reflect their constituencies.

“This is an important bridge to cross because women don’t feel like the opportunity is there for them because they have a family, they have responsibilities. A lot of women feel like the door isn’t open to them,” said Danielle Noelle of Emerge America, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office.

“We don’t feel like being a mother should limit your ability to serve your country in this way,” she said.

This isn’t for ‘babysitting on date night’

The spate of official inquiries came during an election season in which women, many of them rookie candidates spurred by opposition to President Donald Trump, made historic political gains, including winning a record number of seats in Congress.

“As a single mother, my primary concern when considering a run for office was how it would affect my child,” Cynthia Kaump tweeted in June after ethics officials in Wisconsin approved her request to use campaign contributions to cover child care related to her bid for state treasurer.

Another request made its way to the Federal Election Commission, which in May allowed New York congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley, who appeared before the panel with her 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, to use campaign dollars to pay for the children’s care in limited circumstances related to campaigning. Her appeal was backed by 26 members of Congress and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, among others.

“We’re not creating a wholesale carve-out for child care,” FEC Vice Chair Ellen Weintraub said during a public meeting. “You still can’t use campaign funds for babysitting on date night.”

In Alabama, state House candidate Jennifer Gray’s campaign hinged in part on her experience as a mother. “But I defy you to go have an hour (campaign-related) meeting … with a 10-year-old on the autism spectrum,” she told CNN. “Nothing productive is going to happen.”

So, Gray asked for permission to use campaign dollars to pay for qualified sitters.

The Ethics Commission director reportedly countered the notion that an expense as intimate as child care should only be paid from a candidate’s personal coffers by citing other bills that can be covered by a campaign kitty, including car expenses, hotel and meal costs, and legal expenses, when they are tied directly with campaign activity.

“For my commissioners, the need for child care in limited circumstances was at least equally important with these other uses which no one really argues about,” Tom Albritton told AL.com in discussing the board’s June ruling in Gray’s favor.

Iowa ethics officials made a similar comparison in a case there but punted the decision to lawmakers.

In Texas, as elsewhere, ethics officials weighed the chance loopholes could be exploited when they considered Wichita County Commission candidate Catie Robinson’s argument that letting political donations pay for child care might “help a lot of other women and just parents in general in Texas who either are running or want to run for office,” CNN affiliate KLBK reported.

Officials’ voted in June to let her expense child care costs to her campaign.

“It’s kind of just where the law is catching up with the times,” Robinson told the TV station.

And Gayatri Agnew won her bid to use political funds to pay for sitters midway through her Arkansas House race. She spent less than $200 of it toward the care of her children, ages 2 and 4, so she and her husband both could attend key campaign events, she told CNN.

But even having to make the request, she said, sent the message: “This is not your club.”

“When you still have people writing the rules that are of a different time, it’s very hard for a 30-something mom who’s choosing to seek public office while working full time and raising kids to do that,” Agnew said. “If we want our political system to evolve and we want to have the voice of moms … something’s got to give.”

‘I’m clutching my pearls, y’all’

In Louisiana, Lamandre’s case has rankled not only lawmakers. Columnist Chelsea Brasted of The Times-Picayune | NOLA.com penned a snarky piece with this opening: “I had to take off my apron and stick my Jell-O mold in the ice box to come talk to you about this.”

Brasted noted that the Louisiana Ethics Board’s own staff attorney reminded members weighing Lamandre’s appeal that the same panel in 2000 allowed a male lawmaker to pay for “childcare (babysitting) expenses … from campaign funds since they are related to your campaign.”

“But a woman asking for the same treatment?” Brasted wrote. “I’m clutching my pearls, y’all, I am!”

For her part, the decision won’t derail Lamandre’s campaign to win a state House seat next year, she told CNN, though it has forced her to defend a role that normally goes unquestioned.

“I love being a mother,” she said. “This is not about me not wanting my responsibility as a mother.”

She’s also using social media to make sure others who might be affected by the board’s ruling know they can ask for it to be reconsidered, in hopes more working parents might get involved in politics.

“There’s already certain opportunities for a certain class of people to be able to run for office that others wouldn’t, so this gives the opportunity for two working parents to be able to run for office that wouldn’t otherwise have the extra funds to be able to run for office,” Lamandre told the Ethics Board.

“This allows more people to represent who is in our state, who is in our communities,” she said. “It gives more people a chance to actually have reflective representation.”

‘I’m not ready to leave’: Father of three hoping to find kidney donor

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - The gift of time is one of the most important things for Chris Coleman as he waits and works to manage a disease he was diagnosed with ten years ago.

The Virginia husband and father of three has been living with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disorder passed on from his mother. She died from it and so did his grandfather.

“It afflicts 200,000 people. You don’t see outward signs. It’s a slow, progressive disease,” Coleman explained to WTVR.

Chris Coleman and family.

PKD attacks the kidneys until they no longer function. Coleman says he has since learned that offspring of someone with PKD have a 50 percent chance of developing the disease.

His own children will have to wait until they are around thirty years old before a test indicates whether they are impacted by PKD. Coleman says that is the standard age for detection of the disease. Coleman has a brother who isn’t affected by PKD.

The disease has left a number of cysts on Coleman’s kidney, causing pain almost daily. Soon, he must start dialysis.

Coleman says his name has been put on the transplant list. He prays a kidney donor can be found immediately and tries to manage the disease through a strict dietary regimen.

Cysts on Coleman's kidney.

Coleman was told it could take years to get a kidney.

“I was told it is about a five or six-year wait. There are about 20,000 done yearly, so you’re looking at a 20-percent rate of donation for kidneys," Coleman explained. "I put it on social media. I was hesitant, but I wasn’t left with a lot of options.”

That move prompted a few potential doors to complete a blood test, but they did not have the O-positive match.

“They have to be a blood match. Then, they have to do additional testing and to see what shape their kidneys are in,” Coleman explained.

While speaking candidly about his dire need for a kidney, Coleman hopes that many people will consider how great the need is for organ donations and get educated on what it entails.

“We need people to donate. A lot of people are on the list that won’t make it while waiting for an organ," Coleman said. "You can function with one kidney as long as you’re not doing anything extreme. You can function and have a normal day-to-day life.”

Chris Coleman

That is something he prays for as he waits for a donor to help make that dream a reality.

“It would mean the world to me to watch them grow up. I’m not ready to leave. I want to see them achieve things in their life, so it means everything to me..." Coleman said. "My wife and my kids—keep me going. It means everything."

Potential donors who want to see if they are a match will need to connect with Coleman and his transplant team.

 

Winter storm slows travel at Quad City International Airport

MOLINE, Illinois - Frustrated passengers waited in long lines Monday, trying to figure out what their next move would be after dozens of flights were canceled or delayed at the Quad City International Airport.

On November 26, the morning after the blizzard blew through the area, only half a dozen flights were cancelled out the Quad Cities.

However, passengers were likely to be met with additional delays and cancellations when if they had a successful flight to a connecting flight to places like Chicago, where thousands of additional flights were grounded.

Now airlines are working with passengers to accommodate them, as airport crews clean up the mess left behind by the snow.

 

Chinese researcher claims first gene-edited babies

HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.

Many mainstream scientists think it’s too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have — an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.

He said the parents involved declined to be identified or interviewed, and he would not say where they live or where the work was done.

There is no independent confirmation of He’s claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it would be vetted by other experts. He revealed it Monday in Hong Kong to one of the organizers of an international conference on gene editing that is set to begin Tuesday, and earlier in exclusive interviews with The Associated Press.

“I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He told the AP. “Society will decide what to do next” in terms of allowing or forbidding such science.

Some scientists were astounded to hear of the claim and strongly condemned it.

It’s “unconscionable … an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible,” said Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene editing expert and editor of a genetics journal.

“This is far too premature,” said Dr. Eric Topol, who heads the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California. “We’re dealing with the operating instructions of a human being. It’s a big deal.”

However, one famed geneticist, Harvard University’s George Church, defended attempting gene editing for HIV, which he called “a major and growing public health threat.”

“I think this is justifiable,” Church said of that goal.

In recent years scientists have discovered a relatively easy way to edit genes, the strands of DNA that govern the body. The tool, called CRISPR-cas9, makes it possible to operate on DNA to supply a needed gene or disable one that’s causing problems.

It’s only recently been tried in adults to treat deadly diseases, and the changes are confined to that person. Editing sperm, eggs or embryos is different — the changes can be inherited. In the U.S., it’s not allowed except for lab research. China outlaws human cloning but not specifically gene editing.

He Jiankui (HEH JEE’-an-qway), who goes by “JK,” studied at Rice and Stanford universities in the U.S. before returning to his homeland to open a lab at Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen, where he also has two genetics companies. The university said He’s work “seriously violated academic ethics and standards” and planned to investigate. A spokesman for He confirmed that he has been on leave from teaching since early this year, but he remains on the faculty and has a lab at the school.

The U.S. scientist who worked with him on this project after He returned to China was physics and bioengineering professor Michael Deem, who was his adviser at Rice in Houston. Deem also holds what he called “a small stake” in — and is on the scientific advisory boards of — He’s two companies.

The Chinese researcher said he practiced editing mice, monkey and human embryos in the lab for several years and has applied for patents on his methods.

He said he chose embryo gene editing for HIV because these infections are a big problem in China. He sought to disable a gene called CCR5 that forms a protein doorway that allows HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to enter a cell.

All of the men in the project had HIV and all of the women did not, but the gene editing was not aimed at preventing the small risk of transmission, He said. The fathers had their infections deeply suppressed by standard HIV medicines and there are simple ways to keep them from infecting offspring that do not involve altering genes.

Instead, the appeal was to offer couples affected by HIV a chance to have a child that might be protected from a similar fate.

He recruited couples through a Beijing-based AIDS advocacy group called Baihualin. Its leader, known by the pseudonym “Bai Hua,” told the AP that it’s not uncommon for people with HIV to lose jobs or have trouble getting medical care if their infections are revealed.

Here is how He described the work:

The gene editing occurred during IVF, or lab dish fertilization. First, sperm was “washed” to separate it from semen, the fluid where HIV can lurk. A single sperm was placed into a single egg to create an embryo. Then the gene editing tool was added.

When the embryos were 3 to 5 days old, a few cells were removed and checked for editing. Couples could choose whether to use edited or unedited embryos for pregnancy attempts. In all, 16 of 22 embryos were edited, and 11 embryos were used in six implant attempts before the twin pregnancy was achieved, He said.

Tests suggest that one twin had both copies of the intended gene altered and the other twin had just one altered, with no evidence of harm to other genes, He said. People with one copy of the gene can still get HIV, although some very limited research suggests their health might decline more slowly once they do.

Several scientists reviewed materials that He provided to the AP and said tests so far are insufficient to say the editing worked or to rule out harm.

They also noted evidence that the editing was incomplete and that at least one twin appears to be a patchwork of cells with various changes.

“It’s almost like not editing at all” if only some of certain cells were altered, because HIV infection can still occur, Church said.

Church and Musunuru questioned the decision to allow one of the embryos to be used in a pregnancy attempt, because the Chinese researchers said they knew in advance that both copies of the intended gene had not been altered.

“In that child, there really was almost nothing to be gained in terms of protection against HIV and yet you’re exposing that child to all the unknown safety risks,” Musunuru said.

The use of that embryo suggests that the researchers’ “main emphasis was on testing editing rather than avoiding this disease,” Church said.

Even if editing worked perfectly, people without normal CCR5 genes face higher risks of getting certain other viruses, such as West Nile, and of dying from the flu. Since there are many ways to prevent HIV infection and it’s very treatable if it occurs, those other medical risks are a concern, Musunuru said.

There also are questions about the way He said he proceeded. He gave official notice of his work long after he said he started it — on Nov. 8, on a Chinese registry of clinical trials.

It’s unclear whether participants fully understood the purpose and potential risks and benefits. For example, consent forms called the project an “AIDS vaccine development” program.

The Rice scientist, Deem, said he was present in China when potential participants gave their consent and that he “absolutely” thinks they were able to understand the risks.

Deem said he worked with He on vaccine research at Rice and considers the gene editing similar to a vaccine.

“That might be a layman’s way of describing it,” he said.

Both men are physics experts with no experience running human clinical trials.

The Chinese scientist, He, said he personally made the goals clear and told participants that embryo gene editing has never been tried before and carries risks. He said he also would provide insurance coverage for any children conceived through the project and plans medical follow-up until the children are 18 and longer if they agree once they’re adults.

Further pregnancy attempts are on hold until the safety of this one is analyzed and experts in the field weigh in, but participants were not told in advance that they might not have a chance to try what they signed up for once a “first” was achieved, He acknowledged. Free fertility treatment was part of the deal they were offered.

He sought and received approval for his project from Shenzhen Harmonicare Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which is not one of the four hospitals that He said provided embryos for his research or the pregnancy attempts.

Some staff at some of the other hospitals were kept in the dark about the nature of the research, which He and Deem said was done to keep some participants’ HIV infection from being disclosed.

“We think this is ethical,” said Lin Zhitong, a Harmonicare administrator who heads the ethics panel.

Any medical staff who handled samples that might contain HIV were aware, He said. An embryologist in He’s lab, Qin Jinzhou, confirmed to the AP that he did sperm washing and injected the gene editing tool in some of the pregnancy attempts.

The study participants are not ethicists, He said, but “are as much authorities on what is correct and what is wrong because it’s their life on the line.”

“I believe this is going to help the families and their children,” He said. If it causes unwanted side effects or harm, “I would feel the same pain as they do and it’s going to be my own responsibility.”

Man involved in Moline standoff to appear in court

MOLINE, Illinois -- A man was expected in court, two days after being involved in a standoff with police.

Police said 27-year-old Christian Ramirez waved a gun at neighbors off 16th Street near 19th Avenue on Saturday, November 24.

Ramirez fled to his own house once police arrived on scene.  Police said he refused to come outside after police asked him to.  The Moline - East Moline Crisis Containment Unit was called to the house.

Eventually Ramirez walked out and surrendered.

Ramirez was held at the Rock Island County Jail awaiting charges.

Video shows pregnant woman attacked in mall parking lot on Thanksgiving

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – A pregnant woman and her boyfriend want justice after they said they were attacked on Thanksgiving at the Spotsylvania Towne Center in Virginia.

Rosalinda Cunningham and boyfriend Vincent Pace said it happened around 9:30 in the parking lot outside of The Guitar Center.

"My mind was going a million different ways," Pace told WTVR.

Cunningham is nine months pregnant.

Vincent Pace and Rosalinda Cunningham

"Of course my life -- but not only that but the baby's life -- and seeing him pretty much getting jumped," said Cunningham. "...It just keeps running through my mind."

The two said they were shopping when Cunningham began having contractions, but as they pulled out of the parking lot to leave for the hospital, they were surrounded.

"They literally just stood in front of the car - started banging on the car - kicking the car telling him to get out of the vehicle," said Cunningham

"And they tell me to get out of the vehicle - my doors are locked her doors are unlocked. They tried to drag her out," Pace added.

He said he got out of the car to protect Cunningham when a group of what looked like teenagers began to attack him.

"Every time I got up they pushed me - knocked me back down," said Pace.

Cunningham said when she tried to fight back to get the attacker off her boyfriend, a woman who appeared to be related to one of the attackers ran over and began hitting her.

Pace said he watched as the woman hit Cunningham in the back

"My heart dropped - because I thought it was her stomach. My heart dropped. And I lost it," said Pace.

After the attack, fears for their unborn child continued.

"When we got to the hospital that night it took us two and a half hours to find a heartbeat -- which kind of messed me up because this is my first child, too," said Pace.

But Cunningham said they were relieved to find the ultrasound came back normal and their baby is OK.

"This was not only one life at risk but three," said Cunningham

The couple said they want to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. They said they reported the incident to the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office who were called to the scene after the attack.

"I want them to get charged and be where they're supposed to be. Which is behind bars," said Cunningham.

 

Crimestoppers’ Wheel of Misfortune: Michael Lewis

MOLINE, Illinois -- Each week the Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities spin the "Wheel of Misfortune" to determine which wanted person will be highlighted.

Tips leading to an arrest are eligible for a $500 reward.

On Wednesday, November 21, the wheel landed on Michael Lewis.

Lewis, a 31-year-old man, is described as bald with brown eyes, standing five-feet, one inch tall, and weighing 205 pounds.

He is wanted for six counts of parole violation and five warrants.

If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers or use their new free app.

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