Michael Cohen takes ‘full responsibility’ for actions, including ones involving Trump

(CNN) — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, said he takes “full responsibility” for the actions that he has previously pleaded guilty to during his appearance in a New York federal court on Wednesday.

Cohen is in court to be sentenced as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to: The personal ones to me and those involving the President of the United States of America,” he said.

“This may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life,” Cohen added. “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired.”

In court Wednesday morning, Cohen’s attorney, Guy Petrillo, offered a sweeping case for leniency, comparing the significance of Cohen’s actions and the work of the special counsel to the Watergate investigation.

“The cooperation here should be viewed against a non-standard framework,” Petrillo said. The special counsel’s office “investigation is of utmost national significance, no less than seen 40 years ago in Watergate.”

Petrillo described the stakes of Cohen’s cooperation with Mueller to the courtroom, saying that when Cohen came forward to help the special counsel, “he knew the President might shut down the investigation,” and later describing Cohen’s work working for Trump as a “misfortune.”

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” Petrillo said.

However, Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Roos, who spoke on behalf of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, told the courtroom Cohen’s campaign finance crimes carried a “tremendous societal cost.”

“In committing these crimes, Mr. Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law,” Ross said.

Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty in August to two campaign finance violations tied to payments he had made or orchestrated to women during the campaign to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump, five counts of tax fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank.

In that filing, prosecutors say that Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump in executing the payments.

Cohen also pleaded guilty last month to a charge from Mueller’s office of lying to Congress about how long discussions involving a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow had extended into the 2016 campaign.

Petrillo added that Cohen couldn’t “anticipate the full measure of attack that would be made against him — not only by the President, who continues to say that people who cooperate like Mr. Cohen are weaklings … but also attacks by partisans and citizens who happen to be aligned with the President. And those attacks include threats against his family.”

During his remarks, Cohen addressed the President’s comment referring to him as “weak,” but said it was “for a much different reason.”

“Recently the President tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.

Additionally, without naming Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Petrillo appeared to offer up a stark comparison between the two men, who are currently at the center of the investigation by the special counsel.

“His action stands in profound contrast to the decision of some others not to cooperate and allegedly to double deal while pretending to cooperate,” Petrillo said.

Following Petrillo’s remarks, Jeannie Rhee spoke for the special counsel. She only appeared for a minute or two, and summarized what was in their memo released Friday and said of Cohen: “He has told the truth.”

Cooperation with Mueller

In addition to the disclosures from the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan about Trump’s participation in the payments to silence women, Mueller also supplied fresh revelations on the President on Friday, disclosing new information on a set of efforts to communicate between Trump, his associates and the Russian government.

In one instance, prosecutors said, Cohen told the special counsel he had consulted with Trump about his interest in contacting the Russian government before Cohen suggested in a radio interview in September 2015 that Trump meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during Putin’s visit to New York that fall.

Cohen had previously claimed his comments on air were spontaneous, the court papers said, but he admitted to prosecutors that they came about after his discussion with Trump.

Cohen’s sentencing underscores the scope and breadth Mueller’s probe has taken as it’s investigated the ties between Russia and Trump’s team, an examination that often has consumed the President for the first half of his term.

Several senior Trump officials have pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation, including Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, but none were as close to the President for as long as Cohen.

Pritzker begins planning for inaugural weekend, swearing-in

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is starting to plan his inaugural festivities.

Pritzker and Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton announced Tuesday they’ve formed an inaugural committee that will plan events surrounding their Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony.

Events will begin Jan. 12-13. A schedule and ticket information will be available on the committee’s website .

The committee will be led by future Illinois first lady M.K. Pritzker and Bryan Echols, who serves as senior adviser to the Illinois treasurer. The executive director will be Mary Urbina-McCarthy, who was operations director for Pritzker’s campaign.

The committee is made up of more than two dozen political and civic leaders. They include former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar and his wife Brenda and Chicago artist and professor Theaster Gates.

Nickelback joins lineup for 2019 Mississippi Valley Fair

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Nickelback has joined the main stage lineup for the 2019 Mississippi Valley Fair.

The rock band is set to play Saturday, August 3.  The act was announced nearly a month after the rest of the lineup was announced.

Here’s who’s playing at the 2019 Mississippi Valley Fair

The fair runs Tuesday through Sunday, July 30 through August 4. Wednesday’s band was still to be determined.

Watch: Robber uses excavator to rip out bank wall

TONGALA, Australia — Investigators are asking for help catching a pair of bank thieves, one of which used an excavator to rip out the wall of a bank.

The incident happened shortly before 3 a.m. on Dec. 12, according to a statement from Victoria Police. Security footage shows one man drive up in a white pickup truck followed by another driving an excavator. The construction vehicle stops in front of the bank, swivels toward the wall and extends the arm, smashing the bucket through the glass.

Police say the pair stole several cash boxes before activating the alarm and driving away in the truck. It’s unclear how much was stolen.

Tongala is a town located north of Melbourne in the southern Australian state, Victoria.

Iowa county wants custody of animals taken from ‘puppy mill’

MANLY, Iowa (AP) — County officials in northern Iowa are trying to maintain custody of nine dogs and four cats that were taken from a commercial breeder accused of neglecting the animals.

The Des Moines Register reports that court records describe overcrowded and filthy conditions at the Manly, Iowa property. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is caring for the animals and calls the operation a “puppy mill.”

Officials seized 154 Samoyeds and four cats from the property last month. In several visits to the property, a Worth County sheriff’s deputy says he saw kennels covered with feces and mud and visibly skinny dogs with no water and little food.

The owner denies animal neglect allegations, but says she struggled to maintain the operation after her husband’s 2017 death.

Demolition for Tama building delayed

BURLINGTON, Iowa -- Demolition of the historic Tama building in Burlington has been delayed.

According to the Burlington Hawk Eye, the demolition was pushed back in order to hang on to millions of dollars in grant funding.  The building has to meet specific state requirements to prove it's still historically relevant.

 The owner of a 122-year-old building in southeast Iowa that was damaged by a fire last summer said he planned to tear down the structure and build something new.

Related: 911 call: “Oh, my God, I’m stuck in a building. Help me please.”

Search expands for 3 missing at West Virginia coal mine

CLEAR CREEK, W.Va. (AP) — Workers are removing water and pumping fresh air into a nonoperational coal mine in West Virginia as they search for three people stuck inside.

The state Office of Miner’s Health, Safety and Training said Tuesday that a man who emerged on his own from the underground Rock House Powellton mine provided details about the location of the three, who he said were alive.

The state said rescue teams explored the mine overnight, but came out Tuesday after oxygen reserves were depleted.

No coal has been extracted from the mine for two years.

State officials said the four people were reported missing late Saturday and an all-terrain vehicle they were believed to be riding was found near the mine in Clear Creek.

Oakland sues NFL, Raiders over move to Las Vegas

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The city of Oakland has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit trying to recover damages for the Raiders’ upcoming move to Las Vegas.

The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the Raiders, the NFL and the other 31 clubs seeks lost revenue, money Oakland taxpayers invested in the Raiders and other costs. The suit does not ask the court to prevent the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas but asks for damages that will help pay off the approximately $80 million in debt remaining from renovations on the Coliseum.

The city says the defendants violated federal antitrust laws and the league violated its own relocation policies when the teams voted in March 2017 to approve the Raiders’ decision to move to Las Vegas.

“The Raiders’ illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers and dedicated fans with the bill,” Oakland city attorney Barbara Parker said in a statement. “The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”

The Raiders are planning to move into their new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020. The team hasn’t signed a lease for 2019. The Raiders had been in talks with Oakland about a lease for next season but they might now look for another option following the suit.

The NFL and the Raiders didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

19-year-old arrested for murder after woman found stabbed to death in Muscatine

MUSCATINE, Iowa — A man has been arrested on a murder charge after a prosecutor said police found a woman stabbed to death.

Darian Drew Lensgraf, 19, of Muscatine was arrested for first-degree murder, according to a press release from Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren. Lensgraf’s arrest came shortly after an incident early in the morning on Dec. 12.

Police responded to a call at 3:33 a.m. reporting that a woman had been stabbed to death at 2109 Breese Avenue, the press released states. Sixteen minutes later, a clerk at a convenience store a few blocks away called 911, reporting a man with a bloody knife was at the store.

Police arrested Lensgraf at the store. According to the release, the suspect told police after he was read his rights that he had taken the knife to the victim’s house with the intent to kill her.

Lensgraf’s first appearance at the Muscatine County Courthouse is at 9 a.m. on Dec. 12.

Strasbourg gunman cried ‘Allahu Akbar,’ prosecutor says

(CNN) — A gunman who opened fire near a popular Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg shouted the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is greater,” at the time of the attack and was also carrying a knife, a Paris prosecutor said Wednesday.

The suspect, identified as Cherif C, born February 24, 1989, killed two people and left one on life support with no chance of recovery, said Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz. Police had previously said three people were killed and 13 injured in the attack Tuesday.

The gunman – who remains on the run – has an extensive criminal background that includes 27 convictions in France, Germany, and Switzerland, said Heitz, mainly for acts of robbery and violence.

More than 350 police gendarmes and soldiers supported by air units have been mobilized to find the suspect, who was already known to security services as a possible threat, police said.

The attack prompted France to raise its national security threat level to its highest “emergency terror attack” status, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said at a news conference.

“What happened last night is unquestionably an attack, a form of terrorist attack,” Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told CNN by phone.

A curfew in the eastern French city, which lies on the border with Germany, was lifted overnight but law enforcement urged everyone to remain vigilant. Border security has been tightened, authorities said.

Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez earlier told Inter radio station that authorities could not confirm that the suspect had “terrorist motivations.”

Nunez added that while authorities had secured the border and set up a perimeter around Strasbourg, they are unsure if the suspect is still in France.

Strasbourg’s famed Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Europe and draws millions of visitors each year. The suspect entered the perimeter of the market by the city’s Corbeau Bridge, and began shooting at passers-by on the Rue des Orfèvres at 8 p.m. local time, when many were in the middle of their Christmas shopping.

Anti-terror police descended on the market and attempted to apprehend the suspect, who exchanged fire with security forces on at least two occasions between 8:20 p.m. and 9 p.m. Strasbourg police confirmed that the gunman was injured in one of the exchanges. He is then believed to have jumped into a taxi and fled the scene.

Eight people were seriously wounded, Strasbourg police said Wednesday, with five others suffering from minor injuries.

After you deck the halls, Sterling group wants you to deck the bikes

STERLING, Illinois– As we gear up for the holidays, we’re not necessarily thinking about hopping on our bikes.

A group, led by Mead’s Bike Shop in Sterling, Illinois, is inviting others to come along for a special ride this Saturday. It’s their annual “Winter Solstice Ride,” and will take place in Sterling-Rock Falls Saturday between 6pm and 10pm.

According to their Facebook event page, participants are encouraged to dress themselves and their bikes with Christmas attire.

It’s a casual ride for adults and bills itself as a great way to “spread holiday cheer while having a few beers.”

Be sure to click here for more information and RSVP on their Facebook page and a special thank you to Dawn Spangler for the photos from last year.

The weather looks great for your ride on Saturday. It will be partly cloudy with temperatures in the 30s. Have fun, everybody! Looks like a great time.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen


Eastern Tennessee records state’s second-strongest earthquake

DECATUR, Tennessee-- Early this morning, the Volunteer State of Tennessee saw the second-strongest earthquake on record. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck eastern Tennessee and could be felt as far away as Atlanta.

The earthquake occurred Wednesday around 4:14 a.m. about 7 miles northeast of Decatur. About 13 minutes later, a 3.3 magnitude aftershock struck.

We're following breaking news from Tennessee where a magnitude 4.4 #Earthquake jostled people out of bed. pic.twitter.com/8ICx4JyQ59

— EricSorensen (@ERICSORENSEN) December 12, 2018

This is strong enough to cause cracks in foundations and walls, but no widespread damage is expected. According to the National Weather Service, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck Eastern Tennessee in 1973.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Thieves pose as volunteers to steal thousands of toys from Toys for Tots

AKRON, Ohio -- Police in Akron, Ohio say thieves signed up as volunteers for Toys for Tots, but ended up stealing thousands of gifts meant for kids, according to WJW.

“Right now, we have over 15,000 children in Summit County and the surrounding areas. It means a lot, for some of the kids, this is all they have,” said Traci Higgenbottom-Williams, director.

Williams has run the program in Akron for 20 years but what happened late Monday night is a first.

She says the thieves signed up as volunteers so they could steal thousands of toys.

“This is our first year we opened it up to volunteers; usually we have a small staff that does this. Around 10:40 at night, I noticed some things were gone that shouldn’t have been gone,” said Williams.

Surveillance cameras were rolling outside the First Faith Development Corporation on Easter Avenue as the men stole bags upon bags and even boxes of toys and took them out the back door.

“It tears me up. Because this process just doesn’t start in December. I start in January to make sure the kids get the best. I don’t give them anything I wouldn’t give my kids when they were small. So when you take from them, it hurts me. Makes me angry,” said Williams.

Williams says the loss is estimated at $5,000, but it is much more than money.

“Because you stole from kids who did nothing to you. They are innocent. They are our future and we are trying to help them, encourage them and be a blessing to them and you are robbing that from them,” said Williams.

CLICK HERE, if you would like to help.

Trump threatens shutdown in wild encounter with Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a wild Oval Office confrontation, President Donald Trump heatedly threatened to shut down the U.S. government Tuesday as he and Democratic leaders bickered over funding for his promised border wall and offered a grim preview of life in Washington the next two years under divided government.

Trump and House and Senate Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer squabbled for more than 15 minutes in the stunning, televised encounter. Each of them, especially Trump, interrupted the others to question facts, quibble over election results and lob insults.

Trump questioned Pelosi’s ability to count votes in her own House. She questioned his manhood — after she left the building.

The public clash marked Trump’s first meeting with the newly empowered Democrats since their midterm victories that put them in control of the House, laying bare the tensions on both sides and suggesting how divided government might work — or not — as the 2020 presidential election nears.

Neither the public nor the private face-to-face portion of the meeting appeared to resolve the wall-funding dispute with a partial shutdown looming on Dec. 21. However, Pelosi said Trump called her later in the afternoon and told her the White House was looking at options she and Schumer had laid out.

In the public debate, Trump sounded more determined than ever to allow a partial government shutdown unless he gets the billions he wants for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,” he declared.

Pelosi later crowed that she and Schumer had goaded the president to “fully own that the shutdown was his.” She told Democratic lawmakers back at the Capitol, according to an aide who was in the room, that the wall was “like a manhood thing for him … as if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing.”

The aide was not authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of anonymity.

While Trump has suggested he may be willing to trade with Democrats and has publicly praised Pelosi, he was focused Tuesday on reinforcing his hardline immigration promises, repeatedly stressing border security and the wall as a critical part. Democrats were in no mood to sympathize, emphasizing their newfound political strength.

“Elections have consequences, Mr. President,” said Schumer.

Trump later called it a “friendly meeting,” saying “I’ve actually liked them for a long period of time and I respect them both. And we made a lot of progress.” The Democrats said they had given Trump two options to keep government open and the responsibility lay with him and Republicans who control Congress.

The wall remains the main sticking point in talks. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged Tuesday that the GOP-led House has yet to pass legislation that includes the $5 billion in border wall funds that Trump has been requesting. Ryan likely lacks sufficient votes from Republicans who will lose their majority at the end of the month.

Trump is seeking far more for his long-stalled border wall than the $1.6 billion the Senate has agreed to for border security, including physical barriers and technology along the U.S. southern border.

Should the two sides not make a deal by Dec. 21, about three-quarters of the government would continue to have enough money to operate. But departments affected absent a deal include Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks.

Both sides came into the negotiating session primed for battle. After a few niceties, Trump dug into Democrats on the border wall, prompting a stern rebuke from Schumer that the issue at hand was “called funding the government.” Trump soon started scrapping with Pelosi, when she said there should not be a “Trump shutdown.”

“Did you say Trump?” the president said, as the two argued over whether Trump had enough Republican votes in the House to support his border wall plan.

“The fact is that you do not have the votes in the House,” Pelosi declared.

Trump shot back, “Nancy, I do.”

Also in a fighting mood, Schumer accused Trump of threatening a shutdown “because you can’t get your way.”

Trump heckled Schumer over a previous shutdown, saying “the last time you shut it down you got killed” politically.

Pelosi and Schumer both repeatedly asked to make the conversation private, without success, as Trump argued that the public meeting was a good thing: “It’s called transparency.”

Trump repeatedly returned to his argument that the border wall is needed for security reasons. He also argued that “tremendous” portions of the wall have already been built. In fact, some barrier renovation has happened, but little wall construction has been completed under Trump.

If Democrats refuse to support the wall, the military will build the remaining sections, Trump said. “The wall will get built,” he insisted.

Hours after the meeting ended, a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that “there is no plan” for the military to build sections of a border wall. But Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis added that the military may have the power to fund “barrier projects” in national emergencies or to counter the drug trade.

Pence, a former House member, sat silently as Trump and the two Democrats bickered. He later called the meeting a “good discussion.” Asked to describe the atmosphere in the private meeting that followed the public quarrel, Pence said, “candid.”

Pelosi and Schumer have urged Trump to support a measure that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that would fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The homeland bill includes about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures at the border.

If Trump rejects that, Democrats are urging a continuing resolution that would fund all the remaining appropriations bills at current levels through Sept. 30.

“We gave the president two options that would keep the government open,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement after the meeting. “It’s his choice to accept one of those options or shut the government down.”

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker when the new Congress convenes in January, said she and many other Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive.” She noted that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, an idea Mexico has repeatedly rejected.

In fact, Trump declared during the presidential campaign two years ago, “That wall will go up so fast your head will spin.”

Pelosi’s willingness to stand up to Trump won praise from Democrats. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California told CNN that she “may have sealed her speakership by going toe-to-toe with the president.”

Despite the rancor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hadn’t given up hope that a shutdown can be averted. The Kentucky Republican said “magic” sometimes happens in Congress ahead of Christmas, when lawmakers are eager to leave Washington.

“I’d like to see a smooth ending here,” McConnell said at the Capitol.

CNN contributed the video in this story.

Most Illinoisans live in ‘child care deserts,’ report says

About 58 percent of Illinois residents live in a “child care desert” with few or no options for licensed daytime care for kids while parents work.

The Center for American Progress’ annual report listing every licensed daycare and home daycare in the nation shows there are very few places for a dual-income family to send their children when they’re at work.

Child care, the report said, has become a necessity for working parents.

“Two-thirds of U.S. children who have not started school have all parents in the workforce. At the same time, the cost of childcare is out of reach for the average family; in most areas of the country, it exceeds the costs of rent or in-state college tuition,” according to the report.

In Illinois, parents pay about $13,000 a year per child for daycare on average, putting the state near the top in the nation in terms of average annual cost.

Rasheed Malik, who wrote the report, said two-thirds of rural U.S. Census tracts in Illinois have at least 50 kids living there with a demand of at least three kids per available daycare spot. That means two of the three children don’t have the option, even if their parents can afford it.

“About 70 percent of the rural population lives in a childcare desert,” he said.

A significant blind spot in the report data is child care provided by family, friends and neighbors. About one of every four kids younger than 6 is in that category.

“Family, friend and neighbor care will always be there to help people bridge those gaps and to help people patch things together and have flexibility,” Malik said. “It’s certainly very large, in part, because the licensed and regulated child care market is not where it needs to be.”

These relatives and family friends are not required to go through training, safety checks, and periodic licensing inspections for renewal, a significant cost of running a daycare.

“[Family, friend and neighbor] providers must be equipped with the supports necessary to ensure that the care they provide is safe and enriching,” the report said.

About 24 percent of children younger than 6 are in home-based childcare with a relative, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.

The report recommends more spending to make the schools more widely available. It lauded Connecticut’s plan to reimburse up to $17,000 in childcare costs per year. The report didn’t offer specifics on how to do that while lowering the cost, whether it’s paid by parents or taxpayers. The Child Care Aware of America study estimated Connecticut’s child care costs at more than $15,000 a year per child.

Davenport residents approve tax levy increase

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- Unofficial results show over two-thirds of voters approved renewing and increasing the "Physical Plant and Equipment Levy" fund (PPEL) for the new 10 years.

People living in Davenport will see a tax increase. The money will sustain PPEL, a fund used to cover maintenance and upgrades at Davenport schools.

“Thank you to our community for approving the renewal of our Physical Plant & Equipment Levy for another 10-year period," Interim Superintendent TJ Schneckloth said in a statement. "We also appreciate the increase in the levy amount. It will allow us to continue the maintenance and renovation needed on our schools to provide a good learning environment for our students and staff.”

Over 2,300 voters (64.59 percent) approved of the renewal and increase. Just over 1,285 people (35.41 percent) voted against the levy increase.

With the increase tonight, the levy reaches the same levels as in Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley.

The increase stops the district from having to dip into the general fund, money used for things such as employee salaries and benefits and instructional materials.

The district already had to cut $13 million from the budget for next school year. That budget was accepted by the School Budget Review Committee Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Bettendorf voters reject $30 million bond referendum

BETTENDORF, Iowa-- Over two-thirds of people voted against the proposed bond referendum in Bettendorf Tuesday, Nov. 11, according to unofficial results from the Scott County Auditor's Office.

The $30 million bond referendum would have increased property taxes in Bettendorf.

The proposal needed 60 percent of the vote to pass. About 1,000 people (or 35 percent) of voters supported the bond referendum, while more than 1,800 people (or 64.4 percent) of voters opposed it.

The money would've gone towards completing athletic facility, classroom and building upgrades over the next three to six years.

The Bettendorf School District says it will continue with those plans even though the bond referendum didn't pass. The school board will meet on Dec. 17 to prioritize project moving forward. It could take 12-15 years to finish all the projects.

"We remain dedicated to continuing to be a fiscally responsible district as well as provide our students with high-quality learning environments that last for generations..." Bettendorf Superintendent Mike Raso said in a press release. "Working in partnership with the family and community, we will instill and nurture in all students the knowledge, skills, creativity, and confidence to pursue their dreams and to succeed in a global society.

Polling places in Bettendorf saw long lines. The high turnout also caused the results to come in later than expected, according to the Scott County Auditor's Office.

More than 15 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the special election Tuesday. During the last special election in the city in 2014, only 7.6 percent of eligible voters turned out.

Had the vote passed, people living in Bettendorf would've seen their property taxes increase.

Davenport Firefighters rescue drowning dog from the Mississippi

DAVENPORT, Iowa- Davenport firefighters saved a German Shepard from the mighty Mississippi Monday, December 10.

According to their Facebook page, they pulled the drowning dog out near Modern Woodmen Park.

The Firefighters who pulled of the dramatic rescue were on Truck 1, C Shift, their names are Doug Ripperger, Packy Dolan, and Kurt Blackburn.

The dog’s owner was visiting from out of town and told firefighters the dog, chased after seagulls and jumped through the railing west of the ballpark and into the river.

“With the river running low, firefighters realized it was a long way from the top of the wall to the river where the 50-lbs. dog was clinging to the wall as best it could with his head out of the water, Ryan said. Dolan, using a 12-foot pike pole, hooked the dog by his collar and pulled the pike pole hand-over-hand as the dog clawed at the wall to safety.”

The dog was safely turned over to his owner.

Leaf pickup extended to late December

MUSCATINE, Iowa- Due to weather, The Department of Public Works will be picking up leaves late into December.

The DPW says two trucks are continuing the leaf pickup program for the City of Muscatine while the weather remains dry.

According to Brian Stineman, DPW Director:

  “the current plan for leaf pickup is to finish Zone 7 and 8 with the two trucks that are out as soon as possible.”

Stineman says that the City will be shutting down all leaf collection for 2018 on Friday, December 21.

The city’s compost site will remain open through Sunday, December 16, 2018.

The compost site is open 12-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.

The site will close for the season on Monday, December 17, 2018.

Robert Young receives six figure grant for suicide prevention

QUAD CITIES- The Robert Young center has received a $100,000 grant, to create a youth suicide and self-harm support program.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24.

The program will offer therapy groups for kids and teenagers as well as support for their parents.

People in both Iowa and Illinois can use the program, the grant was awarded from the Quad Cities Community Foundation.