WQAD News

Mendoza family fighting through the tragedy

Rock Island, Illinois-- On July 7th the tree that killed two people, during Red, White and Boom, was cut down to just a stump.

The Mendoza's lost a husband, father and brother when Daniel Ortiz Mendoza Sr. died that day. They stood by to watch each branch of the tree get torn down.

"That was his favorite spot so seeing that tree fall,it`s hard on us," said his daughter, Daniela Mendoza. "It was apart of his life. It was a part of our lives. So seeing the tree come down is kinda really sad."

They have watched fireworks under that exact tree for nearly five years.

As tragic as it is the Mendoza family is trying to be positive. A trait Daniela got from her father.

"He was always in a laughing mood, always had a smile on his face, and it just hurts us a lot knowing that he`s gone now. I know he`s in our hearts but we would all just want him physically here," said Daniela.

That isn't the only trait her father had.

"He was a hard worker. He worked at Midland Davis Corporation, he was there for 36 years," said Daniela. She says his time there ended last year when he got sick and went on medical leave.

"He was fighting a lot just to be here with us," said Daniela.

Rock Island Sheriff Gerry Bustos was able to save the Mendoza family a piece of the tree. They are planning on using it for a memorial for Daniel.

Sheriff Bustos did confirm the tree was a danger to the community and needed to come down as soon as possible.

 

Apartment Manager Fired After Tennessee Woman Says She and Her Boyfriend Were Profiled at Pool

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee woman says she and her boyfriend were racially discriminated against while hanging out at her apartment building's pool on July Fourth, according to WREG.

Camry Porter recorded parts of the incident on her cellphone Wednesday at the Riverset Apartments in Mud Island – the clip has already been shared nearly 7,000 times.

Porter said she and her boyfriend, who are black, took her godchildren to spend the Fourth of July at the pool when one of the managers, Erica Walker – who is no longer employed at the apartment complex – called police because Porter's boyfriend was wearing socks in the water.

"I think she’s calling the police because he has on socks," Porter says in one of the videos. "She’s walking off making a phone call to whoever she needs to call. I haven’t said anything crazy to her, but I did tell her I was not going to leave."

Porter said Walker told them they had to either take off the socks or leave.

"She was like, 'Well, I’m the property manager,' and she pointed at the rules," Porter said. "The rules say 'proper pool attire.' It doesn’t specify what proper pool attire is."

Porter told WREG that before she started recording, Walker said that hats were included in the list of prohibited pool attire, but several other white men were wearing hats and another was wearing basketball shorts.

"So, she basically said no hats, no shirts, no socks," Porter said in one of the cellphone videos as she panned around the pool. "We have two men, who are her (Walker's) friends, sitting right here in hats. Two hats. We have a man over here sitting in a hat."

In the second video, the two women disagree about what was said before the camera started recording, but Walker tells Porter the problem is that her boyfriend was putting his socks in the water.

"You asked me if you could wear a hat out here," Walker tells Porter in the video. "I said, 'Yes, as long as you’re not dunking it in the water.'"

But Porter believed she and her boyfriend were singled out because of their skin color.

"It does look funny," she said. "It’s 25, 30-plus white people out here and you haven’t said anything — you’re partying with them. You’re partying with them! But when we come, it’s an issue."

 

In a statement Thursday, Trilogy Real Estate Group said:

"Riverset Apartments takes Ms. Porter’s allegations very seriously. We do not support discrimination of any kind."

Three hours later, the company sent another message stating the manager in the video had been fired:

"After assessing statements from Ms. Porter and determining that this former employee’s actions violate our company’s policies & beliefs, she is no longer employed by Riverset Apartments."

Fast-Moving Wildfire Kills One in California, Forces Evacuations

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Several wildfires are scorching the western United States and forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes, with one person killed in a blaze near California’s border with Oregon.

Details on the fatality were not released Friday pending notification of next-of-kin, but the victim was found in a structure in Hornbrook, according to Sheriff Jon Lopey of Siskiyou County.

The Klamathon Fire had grown to 21,800 acres by Saturday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. It’s just one of about 10 fires raging across the state, fueled by rising temperatures and gusty winds.

The blaze, which started Thursday and is spreading fast, is only 5% contained, according to fire officials. About 750 people have been evacuated.

In a Friday afternoon press conference, Lopey said the fire had destroyed 40 structures. But Cal Fire said Saturday morning that the Klamathon Fire had only destroyed 15 structures.

Meanwhile, in Santa Barbara County, firefighters were battling a new “fast-moving and wind-driven” blaze, known as the Holiday Fire. It scorched about 50 acres and prompted the evacuation of about 2,500 people in Goleta, county officials said.

The fire prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in the county on Saturday.

Firefighters have been working in tough conditions, enduring triple-digit temperatures and strong winds that have increased the fire threat. On Friday, many record high temperatures were broken in cities across California. The mercury hit 114 degrees at the Burbank Airport and 117 degrees in Van Nuys Airport, the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office said.

Conditions are expected to ease Saturday, said Tim Chavez of Cal Fire.

The largest fire burning in the state is known as the County Fire, and has scorched more than 88,000 acres in Napa and Yolo counties. The blaze was 48% contained by Saturday morning, but had already burned 10 structures, according to Cal Fire.

Another California blaze, the West Fire, also caused Gov. Brown to declare a state of emergency in San Diego County, saying people and property are under “extreme peril.”

The 400-acre brush fire is swallowing up homes in the densely populated suburb of Alpine. It had destroyed 18 structures and damaged eight others by Saturday morning. But firefighters were making progress, officials said, and containment had risen to 30%. Evacuation orders for hundreds of people living and working in the vicinity remained in place.

Scott McLean, deputy chief of Cal Fire, told CNN that residents need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

“They need to be prepared. They need to take that responsibility on to have their go kits ready to go,” McLean said. “They have to know how to get out of their community or away from their home if a wildfire does strike.”

The state fires are among 60 large blazes burning in 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

We’ll see a warming trend beginning on Sunday

What a gorgeous Saturday! The sky will remain clear tonight, and that will allow our overnight lows to fall back into the upper 50s.

Another round of sunshine is on tap for Sunday, but it will be a touch warmer with highs in the mid 80s. It will be heating up on Monday as highs climb near 90. However, we’ll cool back into the upper 80s on Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to a dry cold front. More sunshine is expected, too.

The heat and humidity are still on track for Thursday and Friday with temperatures back in the low 90s. While many will stay dry for the start of the John Deere Classic, and isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out. There will be a better chance for showers and storms next Saturday and Sunday with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s.

Meteorologist Taylor Graham

Thai Cave Rescue: Storm Clouds Pressure Rescuers to Get Boys Out

THAILAND  —  For the Buddhist monks who keep nightly vigil outside the cave where 12 young boys and their soccer coach remain trapped, the dry weather is a sign their prayers are working.

Members of this tight-knit community in Mae Sai, northern Thailand, know that the return of seasonal monsoon rains will complicate any attempt to rescue the boys, who became stranded deep inside the tunnel network 14 days ago following a sudden flash flood.

The Thai authorities know it too.

Monsoon season typically lasts from July to October. During that time, water levels in Mae Sai, which sits nestled along Thailand’s mountainous border with Myanmar, can rise rapidly, flooding farmland and cutting off entire villages.

The Tham Luang Nang Non caves, where the boys are trapped, act as the town’s natural drainage basin during this period of heavy rains.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach are currently huddled together in a small chamber four kilometers (2.5 miles) inside of the cave network, with a limited supply of oxygen.

To reach them, expert divers must carefully traverse jagged passageways, occasionally narrowing to the width of a person, forcing divers to remove their breathing tanks from their backs and enter like a pencil, taking extra care not to snag their wetsuit. The tunnels are pitch black. The water is muddy and cold. The whole journey can take up to six hours.

For almost two weeks, authorities have been pumping water from the caves, 24-hours a day. Such is the volume of water extracted that entire nearby fields have been transformed into lakes.

The banks along the road leading to the cave’s entrance are now a freshwater stream, used by exhausted rescue workers each morning to bathe.

Earlier in the week, efforts to lower the water levels had generated an air of optimism. During a press conference Thursday, one Thai official suggested that the kids may even be able to “walk out.”

Such hopes have now vanished, replaced instead with a mounting sense of urgency. People at the large makeshift camp that now surrounds the caves liken the mood to that of a hostage situation.

Dark clouds drift ominously overhead. Weather forecasters predict heavy rains Saturday evening and throughout the week.

The chamber in which the boys are located is no longer thought safe. Even if they are given enough food to wait out the rainy season, there is no guarantee that the ledge they are sitting on will not be submerged.

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There are no easy decisions. But with the flood waters expected to rise in the coming days, a decision will have to be made soon.

“The teams there will have a tipping point where they have to make that call to bring them out. To leave them there would almost certainly result in them drowning,” said one British mining engineer and experienced cave diver, who did not wish to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject.

“The tipping point will be related to how much rain is starting to fall, water levels inside, versus how the boys are doing. They’ll be looking at flow rates, recorded rain fall over the past weeks, months to get a rough indicator of where they’re at, they’ll have a deadline in mind, and then they’ll go for the most unpopular way out,” he added.

Each day rescuers at the camp talk of differing strategies. Drilling holes, expanding the tunnels, pumping out water.

Earlier this week, authorities announced that the boys, the youngest of whom is just 11 years old, would undergo a crash course in scuba training in the hopes that they might be able to dive out.

Though fraught with risk, friends and family had warmed to the idea, encouraged by news that diving teams from around the world had arrived on site to lend their expertise.

On Thursday, classmates of the boys at Prasitsart School had talked excitedly about their friends swimming bravely to safety with the help of foreign divers.

It would be “no problem” they assured us, their friends were more than capable, and besides they have the best divers in the world helping them.

On Friday, that option appeared to fade with news that a former Thai Navy SEAL, volunteering in the rescue effort, had died while swimming through the cave passageways.

No one in Mae Sai is prepared to think the worst, let alone say it aloud. But the mood among the community is beginning to shift, as the reality of the situation takes hold.

At a school attended by one of the missing children a teacher asked how the boys could possibly complete a journey that was too tough even for a former Thai Navy SEAL?

News that some of the boys, especially the younger ones, are suffering from malnutrition, has added to those fears.

In the town’s main market, where TVs remain permanently tuned to the news, people chatted nervously of the need to find other options. Surely, they can drill an opening in the roof of the cave, they asked.

A WhatsApp group chat popular with some of the older school kids in the town said that a famous American engineer called Elon Musk was sending help. Maybe that would prove the difference.

But it is the families of the children who feel these questions most keenly.

At the Anubanmaesai primary school, where the youngest of the 12 missing boys, 11-year-old Chanin Viboonrungruang, is in his final year, the school’s principal talked of his concern for the boy’s parents.

“I’m afraid that the parents will begin to think the same thing will happen to their son,” said Radap Tate, of the Navy SEAL’s death on Friday.

Tate regularly visits Chanin’s parents at the site of the cave where they keep a constant vigil. They need good news he tells us. “Rescuers need to find an opening to the roof of the cave.”

The idea of an opening in the roof of the chamber is considered by many the “miracle solution,” a way out that would immediately solve the issue of low oxygen levels and allow the boys to leave without having to navigate moving flood waters.

On Saturday morning, Kamolchai Kotcha, Director of the National Parks Authority, told journalists that the process of looking for openings and holes at the top of the mountain above the caves was still ongoing.

“What we have done so far is not nearly enough, in my personal opinion. So, we must continue more diligently,” said Kotcha.

“Tonight, more than likely we will be spending the night up there in the forest. At the same time, we are still moving equipment as well as maintaining traffic control in the area.”

To date, Thai authorities have drilled more than 100 holes in the mountain. They’ve earmarked 18 as having “potential,” though while some run as deep as 400 meters, non are thought to lead directly to the boys’ cavern.

Thousands of volunteers, members of the Thai military, and international rescue experts are participating in the search effort. The will to succeed is strong and people here will not give up.

But pressure is building.

In a joint letter from the missing children posted to the Facebook page of the Thai Navy Seals on Saturday, the boys attempted to reassure their parents that they are OK and will be out soon.

“I love everybody. I’m happy in here,” writes one of the trapped boys, in neat blue pen. “The seals take really good care of me. I love everybody.”

For the Buddhist monks and the hundreds of others keeping vigil at the site, the message is a shared one, as they enter into Saturday evening, with the hope that by Sunday, their boys will be free.

California Man Gored by Escaped Bull While Looking at Car for Sale

TRACY, Calif. – A man came close to death Wednesday in the California city of Tracy when he went to look at a car for sale parked on the street, and came face to face with an aggressive bull.

It was a pain King's time in the Army didn't prepare him for.

"I remember feeling the horn going through my right side and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground, close to a bush, and I crawled between the bush and the house and the bull stood over me and snorted for about 20 minutes," King told KTXL.

King said his memory is hazy, but he remembers being gored twice before someone stopped and honked his horn.

"He didn't see me, I think," he said. "He had seen the bull."

King said he called out to him for help while he hid. He was rushed to the hospital and, after three hours of surgery, is recovering from wounds on both sides of his stomach too graphic to include in this story.

"It's the worst thing I’ve ever had. I’ve never hurt this bad," King told KTXL. "I've had broken legs, everything, and I’ve never hurt this bad. Never ever."

King said the doctor told him his belly fat saved him from even worse injury. A family member told him he had an angel there to make sure he didn't bleed to death.

"It was karma because back in the 70s, I had pulled a lady out of a burning building, so now I think I’m being paid back, by not dying. I think he might be right. That’s the only thing I can say, I don’t know why else. I shouldn’t be here right now, but I am," King said.

His biggest focus now is recovery. Doctors told King they may not know the full extent of his injuries for six months.

At 69 years old, King said the worst part is that he may never be able to do what he loves -- tend to the dozens of acres he owns. King hopes his story will encourage others to be more aware of their surroundings and is now holding now holding onto words he was told while serving as a sergeant in the Army.

"If you're hurt, just get better," he said. "That's all you can do."

2018 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival kicks off with Ellis Kell tribute

DAVENPORT--Flood waters lapping into LeClaire Park put Blues Fest organizers into a tough spot.

“A week ago, our leadership team was really struggling with what do we do.  Do we try to stay in the park or do we call it and move to second street?” says Rusty Unterzuber, member of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.

A move downtown would have cost more time and money. Organizers banked on the river to returning to its bank, which it did.

“We've got great access to the park and it's going to be the venue we've always liked to use for blues fest,” says Unterzuber.

River levels receded below 15 feet, which is flood stage, a row of yellow barricades separating fans from the remaining flood.

The fest kicked off with a tribute to Ellis Kell.

“He helped create everything with the river music experience, the love of the blues, the teaching of the blues… He was an absolute instrumental to the Quad Cities,” says guitarist Bret Dale.

Musicians also plan to honor longtime music educator Dick Vallandingham, who died from cancer July 5.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society named one of its student music programs “Dr. V’s Bluesskool,” in his honor.

JDC Field Set, Assumption SB, North Scott Baseball Ready for Post Season, YMCA Rowers

The 48th John Deere Classic Field is set with 156 of the best golfers in the world ready to tee it up at the TPC Deere Run July 9-15.

Assumption Softball takes another step closer to making it back to state to defend their title.  The Lady Knights beat Beckman Catholic 6-2.

North Scott Baseball claimed only their second MAC Championship in school history, now the Lancers are ready to keep the momentum going into the post season.

Four Rowers from the YMCA Rowing Club get a big come from behind victory in the Henley Royal Regatta in England.  The team of Carolins Sharis, Taylor English, Emma Mask and Delaney Evans advance to the semifinals with their win.

Stunning turnaround by formerly addicted mom whose baby was adopted by police officer

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The words that saved Crystal Champ’s life were delivered like a spear into the heart.

She had just arrived at a drug treatment facility in Central Florida in December, and a therapist looked in her eyes and said, “This is life or death.”

“That really like hit me hard,” Champ said. “My therapist wouldn’t work with me if I wasn’t going to take it seriously.”

The message worked. Champ has been sober for nearly seven months and has escaped a life of drug addiction and homelessness.

“It’s like a whole different world than where I was on the streets,” Champ said. “I’m starting to make amends with people, like the wreckage of my past. I take it very seriously.”

In September, Crystal Champ was living on the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She had been homeless for two years, and each day was consumed by scrounging for the money to pay for hits of heroin and crystal meth.

Champ, 36, was also eight months pregnant when Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets found her shooting up heroin behind a convenience store.  The breathtaking encounter was captured by Holets’ body camera, and it would change the course of their lives.

Holets and his wife, Rebecca, offered to adopt the unborn baby. CNN first reported the story of this unlikely adoption in December, and it garnered worldwide attention. The story captured the attention of case workers at Mending Fences, a drug treatment facility in Florida.

Baby Hope was born in October and is healthy. Rebecca Holets said she’s starting to communicate and roll over. The baby is gaining weight and developing nicely.

The facility offered to help Champ get sober and sent Kat McLaughlin, a recovering heroin addict, to persuade her to leave the streets and her drug addiction behind. The intervention unfolded along the edge of an Albuquerque highway.  McLaughlin said that she has intervened countless times to help addicts into a treatment program and that Champ’s situation was one of the worst she had ever seen.

“She was completely hopeless,” McLaughlin said. “She was at the deep end of the spectrum. Using the hardest drugs in the most extreme ways.”

Just before Christmas, Champ arrived in Florida and started a harrowing weeklong detox process. McLaughlin described the process for Champ as extreme and ugly. But Champ did not give up and made it through the process.

“I’m so proud of her,” McLaughlin said. “She left everything in her old life behind, and she’s started completely fresh. Not many people have the strength to do that.”

Champ graduated from the Mending Fences drug treatment program in March and now is part of a sober living community working toward living on her own.  Reaching the treatment center was an overwhelming accomplishment for Champ, who had once before been through drug rehabilitation and relapsed. CNN witnessed the first attempt to get Champ on an airplane and into the Mending Fences treatment center.

Champ unraveled inside the Albuquerque airport and refused to board the plane and said at the time she was content living on the streets as a heroin addict. For Ryan Holets, the moment was excruciatingly painful to watch.

But a few days later, Champ changed her mind and boarded the plane, and she hasn’t regretted the decision.

“There is no burning desire for me to even, like, romanticize about going back to that place, because I know I am powerless over my addiction,” Champ said.

Champ has not seen the Holets family since she left for the drug treatment facility in December. But Ryan Holets speaks with Champ weekly, offering advice on finances and planning her future.

Champ described the Albuquerque police officer as a big brother.

The Holets family celebrates each achievement in Champ’s recovery from afar. The adoption of Hope is open, and the Holetses said they will share the child’s milestones with Champ. They also plan to be upfront about this mixed family’s journey and said Champ will always be welcome in their home and welcome to be a part of Hope’s life.

“She is in a great place,” Champ said. “I know she is, and I trust and have faith that she’s going to have a beautiful life.”

Just over the bed in the sober-living home where Crystal Champ lives, she keeps a picture of the Holets family. She’s always called them her guardian angels. And seven months after their story mesmerized millions of people around the world, it all still feels like a dream.

“I, deep down, kind of wished upon a star that something like this could happen,” Ryan Holets said. “But this kind of stuff only happens in movies and books with happy endings. Usually, in real life, you don’t see stuff like this.”

Body discovered in Mississippi River in eastern Iowa

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities say they’ve recovered a body from the Mississippi River in Keokuk.

The Hawk Eye in Burlington reports that Lee County law enforcement officers pulled the body from the river shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday. The body was taken to an Iowa City hospital for an autopsy.

Keokuk Police Chief Dave Hinton says the death remains under investigation, but there’s no threat to the public.

Hinton says police won’t disclose additional details until after authorities positively identify the body. He did not say if investigators suspect foul play. It’s not clear how long the body has been in the water or whether law enforcement has received any reports of missing people in the area.

Chick-fil-A tops U.S. fast food restaurants in customer satisfaction, study finds

When it comes to U.S. fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-A is tops for a second straight year, according to a survey that measures customer satisfaction.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index uses a 0-100 scale, and restaurant grades are composed of several factors that include accuracy and quality of the order, cleanliness, online user experience, behavior of staff and menu variety.

The study found that Chick-fil-A is far outpacing chicken competitor KFC, which wound up in 12th place.

Following Chick-fil-A in the top five are Panera, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Subway.

The study found that people are generally happier with dining out in 2018 than they were in 2017, but not every type of fast food restaurant has experienced a bump. Burger restaurants are flat in terms of customer satisfaction, with Wendy’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box and McDonald’s making up four of the bottom five in the ACSI’s ranking.

“As Millennials gain spending power, their preferences shift the industry landscape — from more demand for fresh, organic ingredients to new ways to order and deliver food,” researchers found. “In response, restaurants are revamping menus and investing in new technology (for example, smartphone apps and automated kiosks), as well as adding curbside and third-party delivery services.”

With revenue from delivery up 20 percent over five years, it’s not surprising that pizza restaurants are cashing in – and the battle is tightening. Pizza Hut made a 5 percent gain in 2018, pulling into a tie with satisfaction leader Papa John’s.

The top five restaurants in the full service category are Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse.

Expected rains rule out immediate bid to rescue trapped soccer team

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(CNN) — Thai officials ruled out any immediate attempts to evacuate 12 football players and their coach trapped deep inside a system of caves in northern Thailand on Saturday despite concerns over low oxygen levels underground and poor weather forecasts.

“No, not today,” Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province, said early Saturday after being pressed by reporters on rescue efforts.

On Friday, Thai Navy SEAL chief Rear Adm. Aphakorn Yoo-kongkaew said oxygen levels in the cave had dropped to 15%, a level that one Thai medic said posed a serious risk of hypoxia, the same condition that causes altitude sickness.

Gov. Osottanakorn said “air is a major issue,” but added that UK experts had confirmed the conditions in the chamber where the children are located were “alright.”

“The kids are still are able to walk around, play around comfortably,” he said. “If (there is) heavy rain and the situation is not good, we will try.”

Some of the children’s parents have sent letters but the governor said he was was not sure if the trapped boys had read them.

Authorities had originally suggested the safest strategy for the stricken team, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach, would be to keep them in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex until the monsoon season had passed in October and water levels had subsided enough for them to walk out.

More heavy rain is expected to fall over the weekend but the governor emphasized that rescuers would only try to free the team if the risk to their lives was minimal.

“We are afraid of the weather and the (lack of) oxygen in the cave but we have to try to set the plan and find which plan is the best.”

Related: What are the options for rescuing trapped team?

One recovery strategy the rescuers have been pursuing includes fitting the group with full-face oxygen masks and accompanying them on a long, dangerous swim through the narrow, pitch-black tunnels. Osottanakorn said the group were already “learning to dive” but that they were not yet ready.

It takes even the most experienced divers up to five hours to swim through jagged, narrow channels from where the boys are to safety outside. The UK divers who first reached the boys described their dive as “gnarly” and full of tight passages submerged in low-visability water.

Rescue teams above ground have drilled more than 100 holes in a bid to find a route to the trapped Thai cave boys, Osottanakorn said, but “it doesn’t look promising.”

Rescuers under pressure

The death of an experienced rescue diver in the cave system underlined the inherent risks in attempting to move the boys.

Former Sgt. Saman Kunan, a Thai ex-SEAL, died at 2 a.m. Friday (2 p.m. Thursday ET), as he returned from an operation to deliver oxygen tanks to the cave where the boys are located. The 38-year-old ran out of air while underwater, an official said.

A military aircraft carried Kunan’s body from Chiang Rai to Satthahip Navy Base, where a funeral service was scheduled to take place, before a second in his home town in the province of Roi Et, northern Thailand.

Finnish volunteer diver Mikko Paasi, a long-term resident of Thailand, said Kunan’s death had changed the mood on the ground and made real for rescuers just how dangerous the mission had become.

“Definitely, you can feel it that it has an effect, but we’re moving on. Everyone is a professional so we’re trying to put it away and avoid it happening again,” he said, adding: “Everybody is focusing on getting these boys out — keeping them alive or getting them out.”

One of Kunan’s longtime friends, Sgt. Anuram Kaewchano, told CNN he was shocked to learn the news.

“I can’t believe this happened,” he told CNN by phone. “He was very fit, he exercised every day, and he was a triathlete. Our last trip together was to Malaysia.”

He said that the last time the two spoke, “we talked about the kids — whether they were out yet.”

The huge operation to rescue the group involves scores of Thai Navy SEALs, in addition to experts and volunteer divers from parts of Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and the US.

Billionaire inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk said engineers from his SpaceX & Boring Co. were headed to Thailand to see if they could help.

International operation

The members of the Wild Boar soccer team were reported missing two weeks ago after they didn’t return from an outing after soccer practice. They entered the cave during fine weather but became trapped when a sudden downpour flooded the narrow tunnels.

The 12 boys and their coach were found deep inside the cave by two British cave divers on Monday, perched on a rock slab above floodwaters, after nine days without food or fresh water.

Rescue teams have been pumping millions of liters of water from the cave in an attempt drain the cave but the impending weekend rains threaten to undermine the work.

Related: Satellite images show rain forecast in Chiang Rai

Thailand’s monsoon season runs from July to October and, while the past few days have been relatively dry, the long term forecast is rain for months.

Eldridge to build industrial park north of Davenport Airport

SCOTT COUNTY, Iowa - The possibilities seem almost endless just north of I-80 in Davenport.

"We have a lot of room to grow here," Eldridge Mayor Marty O'Boyle said. "We're working on keeping it growing that way."

O'Boyle has been working with landowners in his city just north of the Davenport Municipal Airport to try to bring more businesses to his city.

Unlike Sterilite and Kraft-Heinz, businesses that move to the industrial park would be in Eldridge as opposed to Davenport, bringing in property tax dollars to O'Boyle's city.

"It'd be huge," he said when asked whether the park would be a big win for the city. "We have to try to make connections with the Iowa Economic Development group, and they've been here, and we've talked about it a number of times."

O'Boyle says the city has stayed in constant contact with the Quad Cities Chamber to try to bring more business in. He says the industrial park plus Lewis Machine and Tool coming into the northeast part of the city, mean good things in the future both industrially and residential wise.

"We've been growing at a nice steady pace," O'Boyle said. "We've got about four, maybe five developments with housing right now, so it's a nice pace. There's plenty of people interested in investing here as far as development for instance as far as employees perhaps coming here also."

A spokesman for Lewis Machine and Tool says their business in the city will open up at the start of 2019. No word when construction will start on the industrial park though.

YOUR HEALTH: Why one STD can have a lasting impact for women

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Texas researchers searching for a vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease known as Chlamydia made a huge unexpected discovery in a disease that so often goes undiagnosed by the people who are infected.

"When I was with my new partner, he had noticed some I think just some changes in my genital area." admitted one patient at UT Health San Antonio.

Her Chlamydia was easily cured with antibiotics, but this new research aims to prevent it.

It's been called the silent sexually transmitted disease, with more than a million and a half infected in the U.S. alone.

Using mice in a controlled setting, scientists studied Chlamydia transmission and discovered where the bacteria develops in the body makes a difference.

NEW RESEARCH:   Researchers at UT Health San Antonio initially tried to understand Chlamydia biology using the mouse model and accidentally found that first exposure to Chlamydia actually made the mice more resistant to chlamydial infection in the genital tract, just like vaccination.  They are using this finding to develop a live attenuated oral vaccine. In this way, even if the GI tract Chlamydia is accidentally introduced into the genital tract by human behaviors, the attenuated vaccine strain won`t be able to cause diseases in the genital tract. Infecting mice with a mouse strain of chlamydia is an appropriate model for learning information on how human chlamydia strains behave in humans.'

"We have strong evidence showing that if you expose the chlamydia in the gut first, you essentially have vaccination against subsequent chlamydia exposure," explained Biomedical researcher Dr. Guangming Zhong.

But researchers say if the genital tract is exposed to chlamydia first, the disease develops, and can be harmful.

Most people who have Chlamydia have no symptoms.   If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner.

Dr. Zhong says researchers are exploring the idea of some day delivering Chlamydia bacteria as an oral vaccine.   Meaning this STD with hidden dangers, shame and a serious stigma, might someday be eliminated and spare others the uncomfortable conversation that follows the diagnosis.

"The really impactful part was telling the last partner, being we were no longer together, and we didn't have that trust," says one patient.

"We didn't have that caring for one another.   It's an important part of STDs, is telling the last partner you were with, so it doesn't continue to just spread."

Human exposure to the STD can happen through genital or oral sex with an infected partner.

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.

Muscatine library holding public auction

MUSCATINE, Iowa – More than 100 items left over in the Musser Public Library’s move to their new location on 2nd Street have been put up for auction.

All items are available to bid on through the auction website until 3 p.m. on July 20.

Chairs, tables, bookshelves, and even a plant or two are among the items that will be available during this special surplus auction.

Click here to see a full list of the items. 

On top of the smaller items like furniture, entertainment items and plants, the old library building itself is being auctioned off.  The Iowa Avenue building will be auctioned off on July 27th at the City Council Chambers.

The new library was donated by HNI Company.  It had its grand opening on Saturday, June 30, and since then people have been coming to see what's new.

The building has 25% more space, and upgraded the public library from two floors to four floors.

"I’ve always thought the best benefit is we have 120 parking spots," said Muscatine Communications Manager Kevin Jenison.  In addition to the extra parking, the new library has 25% more space than the old one, and upgraded from two floors to four floors.

"It means a lot for the residents," he said. "The people who may want to come live in Muscatine, it gives them a place to come and relax figure out what they want to do next."

Click here to follow the Musser Public Library on Facebook and see what events are happening there.

These Aledo students are fighting bullying in Illinois

Aledo, Illinois - For Mallory, Mikayla and Alexsha bullying hits close to home. They each have experienced bullying in some way but their own bullying experiences aren't the reason they came up with Valerie's Law.

"A classmate of mine, a really sweet girl, was bullied a lot. So she felt the need to take her own life to relieve herself of being bullied and all the pain that she went through," said Alexsha Spangler. Spangler and the rest of the A-B-C group helped raise money for funeral expenses for Valerie's family.

Valerie's memory lives on in the group and their passion to change bullying in schools.

"We brought up the idea of bringing in some new policies because the policy that they have is not enforced. They call it zero tolerance but because it's not enforced the most bullies get is a slap on the wrist," said Mallory Mazzocco.

"We have a three strike policy before we think law enforcement should get involved and if they pass those three strikes they should be charged with a misdemeanor," said Mikayla Thomas. The group believes this will give the bully a chance to change their behavior.

The group was invited to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos office a few weeks ago. She advised them to reach out to all state representatives, and so they did.

Just last week they spoke to a representative with Illinois State Senator Chuck Weaver. He is in support of the bill and will help the bill reach the next step.

"It was very exciting we felt like we were now Valarie's voice since she no longer has one and we're finally able to speak up like she never was," said Thomas.

They know bullying is a nationwide problem and say they won't stop until it is fixed.

Dress for Success Quad Cities has a new program

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Dress for Success Quad Cities introduces a new alumni program this month.

This program is for women who have graduated from the Powerful Women's Group, which helps women develop professional skills.

The new addition offers quartly visits and more training if the graduates want to continue making friends and growing their network.

Dress for Success Quad Cities aims to empower women to achieve economic independence. The non profit will be holding a clothing sale open to the public on August 4th.

Senator to new acting EPA leader: ‘Restore confidence’ in agency’s mission

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(CNN) — Andrew Wheeler, the new acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should do everything he can “to restore the American people’s confidence in the agency’s mission, which is the protection of human health and our environment,” Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote in a letter to Wheeler on Friday.

Carper, a vocal critic of Wheeler’s predecessor Scott Pruitt, wrote according to a copy shared with CNN that Wheeler has been “granted an enormous challenge and responsibility, but an even greater opportunity.”

“The damage Scott Pruitt has done to the Agency will not easily be undone,” he wrote. “While you and I have not always agreed, and will not always agree, on every environmental policy matter, it is my hope and expectation that you will carefully consider the lessons of the past as you prepare to chart the Agency’s future.”

In the letter, Carper also recommended a series of actions he believes Wheeler should take to “restore confidence” in the agency after Pruitt’s tenure. They include responding to congressional oversight letters in a complete, accurate, and timely manner; implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act and withdrawing a proposal to repeal emissions standards for glider trucks.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had accepted Pruitt’s resignation, and that Wheeler would take over the agency on Monday. Wheeler was confirmed as EPA’s deputy administrator in April.

Pruitt’s resignation came a week after several of his top aides spoke to the House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating Pruitt, and revealed new details of some of the ethical scandals that mired his time at EPA.

At the time of his resignation, there were more than a dozen inquiries related to Pruitt’s conduct by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, the House Oversight Committee, the Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted praise of Wheeler, saying that he has “no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”

If Trump nominates Wheeler to lead the agency in a permanent capacity, a Senate vote would be required.

Quad Cities rowing team upsets England home team, advances to semi-finals

HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England – The Y Quad Cities Women’s Junior Rowing Quad defeated the Henley Rowing Club on July 6 to move on to the semi-finals in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup.

This cup, which is a quadruple scull event, pits two teams of four women against each other on a straight stretch of the Thames River. All the participants must be under the age of 18.

“There’s some real quality and pedigree in this American quad up against the strongest contender, I think, from the United Kingdom, the Henley quad,” one of the announcers said.

According to the video, this race took place on the Henley team’s home stretch.

“[The Henley team] are four-time national champions in the sculls,” another announcer said. “This is an experienced boat. They’ve all won Henley before.”

The Henley team took an early lead and stayed a more than a length ahead of the Quad Cities team for a majority of the race. However, with a minute and a half to the finish line, the Quad Cities team began to gain.

“They’ve taken the lead,” one of the announcers said. “They’ve raced an awesome race, really, because Henley had massive control over them, and they were able to steer across in front of them, and they must be so mentally strong.”

“Very good composure for the Quad Cities to be down a length and not to rattle.”

Take advantage of the weekend! Tournament play will be warmer and more humid

Now that’s more like it!!  And just in time for the weekend!!  Turned out to be a beautiful Friday across the area with daytime highs in the lower 80s and low humidity.  Skies will remain clear tonight and combined with light winds temperatures to drop into the mid to upper 50s.

Little change expected this weekend with lower 80s Saturday replaced with mid 80s on Sunday.  The humidity will remain lows right through the weekend!

It will turn a bit warmer and more humid during John Deere Classic week as temperatures return in the upper 80s through Wednesday to lower 90s into the following weekend.  Later day shower chances are there starting on Friday but coverage looks very small.  So, not many will see that chance.  Sunday may be the better coverage.  Stay tuned!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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