WQAD News

Yorkshire terrier left to die in sealed plastic container outside Pennsylvania animal shelter

PHILADELPHIA – A senior Yorkshire terrier was abandoned outside a Pennsylvania animal shelter, flea-bitten and left to die. Now, according to WIVB, she is getting ready to find a new home.

PSPCA said the dog – that they named Gertie – was left outside in a plastic container with the lid on while outside temperatures were around 90 degrees. WIVB said it’s unclear how long Gertie was in the container before a volunteer discovered her.

“An attentive volunteer saw the container and opened it up to find Gertie inside,” the PSPCA wrote on its Facebook page. “Gertie was covered with fleas and a coating of flea dirt, but otherwise spunky and strong. We named her Gertie because Gertude [sic] means “spear of strength.”

According to WIVB, Gertie is currently underweight at about four pounds. The shelter staff hope to help her put on some weight before finding her a forever home.

They are still looking for the person who abandoned Gertie.

Woman turns 107 and shares her secret to longevity: ‘I never got married’

A woman who celebrated her 107th birthday Wednesday shared her secret to living a long life: stay single.

Louise Signore, who lives in the Bronx in New York, maintains a healthy diet and exercises regularly. But she believes the real reason why she’s enjoyed more than a century is that she never tied the knot.

“If they have exercise, I do the exercise. If they have dancing, I dance. I still do a little dancing. After my lunch, I will play bingo, so I had a full day,” Signore told CNN affiliate WCBS.

“I think the secret of 107: I never got married. I think that’s the secret. My sister says, ‘I wish I never got married.'”

The woman’s sister is 102-years-old, WCBS reported, so longevity might run in the family.

Signore celebrated her milestone with a birthday party at the Bartow Community Center in Coop City, according to WCBS. More than 100 people attended.

Alelia Murphy, 114, currently holds the record for being the oldest living woman in the United States. Murphy lives in Harlem in New York, which is also where Signore was born.

When one farmer thought cancer would cost him crops, neighbors stepped in to help with the harvest

RITZVILLE, Wash. – When stage 4 cancer stood in the way of farmer Larry Yockey reaping his wheat harvest for the first time in 50 years, dozens of his fellow farmers stepped up to save his crop.

Yockey is a 64-year-old fourth-generation farmer, working the same land in Ritzville, Washington, as his father and grandfather. He said his wheat crop accounts for nearly 100% of his income, and harvesting is usually a job that he does by himself.

In February, doctors diagnosed Yockey with melanoma, which has spread to his bones. That contributed to a broken hip and broken ribs, reducing the amount of time he can spend working in his fields and how much he can lift. For the first time in decades, Yockey feared that he would not be able to handle the harvest.

After he shared his concern with neighbors, they told him not to worry about it, and he assumed they were organizing some help. But last weekend, dozens of vehicles pulled up to his farm, along with farmers ready run the machines and work the fields.

Working together, they completed three weeks’ worth of harvesting in about eight hours.

Without the help, Yockey said, “it would have been a mess,” leaving his crop vulnerable to wind and rain damage.

Miles Pfaff, one of the farmers who pitched in, said “harvest bees” like this are rare; it is not the sort of help a farmer would ask for or hope to need.

Pfaff also said the help went beyond fellow farmers. The local fire department and mechanics volunteered their time, while people who weren’t working the fields brought food and drinks.

The scale of the operation reminded Yockey of the way he sees other communities come together after natural disasters. The people who helped with his harvest said they do not want to be thanked, but “‘thank you’ really doesn’t even do justice here,” he said.

10-year-old girl crashes mom’s SUV while driving herself to McDonald’s

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City police say a 10-year-old girl went to the hospital Wednesday morning after she crashed her mom's SUV into a minivan and electrical box while trying to go to McDonald's.

Officers were called to 12th and Olive around 7:45 a.m. to the two-vehicle wreck and were surprised to lean that one of the driver's was the 10-year-old girl, WDAF reports.

KCPD learned that when the girl woke up Wednesday morning, she wanted to get McDonald’s to eat. Her mother was still sleeping, so the girl took the family's Chevy Tahoe herself. She drove a couple of miles before getting lost.

She attempted to turn at 12th and Olive, but since she was an unlicensed 10-year-old, she failed to yield to the driver of a Honda coming in the opposite direction.

Police said both vehicles sustained heavy damage. The girl was taken to the hospital with minor injuries before reaching the restaurant, police say.

The other driver was not injured.

More electric car charging stations coming to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa-MidAmerican says it wants to expand electric car charging stations in Iowa.

The company is looking to install stations in more than a dozen cities, including Davenport and Iowa City.

They say each station would charge an electric car in less than 45-minutes.

MidAmerican is taking applications from businesses that are interested in hosting a charging station.

MidAmerican says they will install and maintain them.

YOUR HEALTH: A new way to make a direct attack on pancreatic cancer tumors

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania – 70-year old Darlene Bossola had been intentionally losing weight last year to fight diabetes, but then the mother of three and grandmother of seven became jaundiced.

Doctors diagnosed Darlene with inoperable stage three pancreatic cancer.

"So of course, you want to do something that's going to help you, along with your family, then eventually help others," she said.

Darlene chose to be part of a clinical trial testing a new way of delivering chemotherapy directly to pancreatic tumors.

Every other week for eight weeks, Darlene was wheeled into an operating room at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Doctors treat the tumor using a double balloon catheter called renovocath.

"This new way of treating the tumor has show significant reduction in the bulk of the tumor and the damage the tumor does to other structures."    -Dr. Paula Novelli

Radiologists thread it through the groin into the vessels near the pancreas.   They inflate the balloons then deliver chemo.

"We're actually forcing the chemotherapy into the tumor, as opposed to spraying it on the outside, like we would with the liver," explained Dr. Paula Novelli, Associate Professor of Radiology, Division of Interventional Radiologist at UPMC.

So far, the trial has shown to extend the lives of some pancreatic patients significantly.

"This is huge," said Dr. Novelli.

"We have a patient who is three years out. Our longest survival at this point."

Researchers are enrolling 300 patients at 30 sites in the U.S. through the end of 2021, none are in the Midwest.

And Darlene is seeing a difference.

"All my levels are down, I feel great," she said.

"It needs to be offered to everyone."

NEW TECHNOLOGY:   Dr. Novelli added the procedure allows doctors to continue "to really douse the tumor", drenching it with chemotherapy directly to the site.  It's a process done for primary metastatic diseases, but had not be done to deliver it to the pancreas.  A different type of catheter now makes that possible.

For Darlene, married 48 years to her high school sweetheart, Terry, it's also giving her precious time with the people who mean the most.

So far, the trial has shown to extend the lives of pancreatic patients from 14 months to 26 months.

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.

 

Wheel of Misfortune; Alexander Lucas-McCart

Each Wednesday on News 8 CrimeStoppers of the Quad Cities introduce the community to one of the area's most wanted criminals.

On Wednesday, July 31, 2019, the "Wheel of Misfortune" landed on 27-year-old Alexander Lucas-McCart. He's 6', 195 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. He is wanted by Rock Island Police for possession of a controlled substance and cannabis with intent to deliver.

He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers. Tips leading to an arrest could be eligible for a $500 reward.

United Township boys’ basketball coach moving on

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — The Western Big Six is now on the hunt for two new boys basketball coaches. A few weeks ago, Mike Reynolds stepped down from Galesburg, taking a position at DeKalb. Now, United Township’s head coach Ryan Webber is leaving the Panthers program to pursue an opportunity at the collegiate level.

He says he’s always wanted to take his career to the next level — and now he’s getting that shot.

Coach Webber boasts one regional and one sectional title during his four seasons at UT, and a 77-41 record.

African American leadership society forms in Bettendorf

BETTENDORF- A newly formed African American leadership society is looking to make a positive impact on kids in Quad City schools.

The society is supported by United Way of The Quad Cities.

The group says it will focus on income, health, and education of QC African American youth.

The society's manager says less than 43% of black students are reading proficiently by third grade compared to 74% of white students.

Organizers say they hope to work with other groups to provide mentoring programs for students.

Right now they're looking for 100 volunteers, 100 mentors, and 100 investors to join.

Gov. Pritzker signs bill that bars employers from asking applicants’ wage history

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois workers will no longer have to disclose their salary history to employers under a new state law.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed a law barring employers from asking job applicants how much they made in previous jobs. Illinois lawmakers passed two previous versions of the legislation, but Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed both.

Supporters of the Equal Pay Act say it's designed to close the wage gap between men and women.

Rauner argued there were more business-friendly ways to address the issue.

The measure signed by Pritzker in Chicago, which takes effect in 60 days, allows workers to seek up to $10,000 in damages if employers violate the law. It also protects the right of employees to discuss their salaries and benefits with co-workers.

New leadership society aimed at helping local African American children

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- United Way of the Quad Cities is launching a new organization to help African American students become successful in the future.

On Tuesday, United Way of the Quad Cities launched the African American Leadership Society (AALS).

"This has been six months in the making of planning, preparing and getting ready to introduce it to the community," said Tracy White, the manager for the newly formed society.

AALS plans to address the needs of the African American community with a focus on education, income and health.

"They're last across the board on everything," said White. She said the group has done extensive research and has found that education is the biggest problem area.

"Kindergarten readiness is only at 53%. Third grade reading proficiency is only at 43%. High school graduation rate is only at 83%. Those numbers have to change," White said.

White said the society plans to work with current school programs, but on a smaller scale. She said it will help scale their programs by providing them the resources to expand their reach.

"(Those programs are) already in schools that have high African American population," White said. "But they need people. They need bodies. They need people who care to go into the schools and work with the children."

Interim Superintendent for Davenport, TJ Schneckloth, said the society approached the district prior to do needs assessments. He agrees reading proficiency is the most urgent.

"At first you learn how to read, and right about the third grade time frame you read to learn. So if you haven’t learned to read by third grade, from there on out you have assignments on ‘read this then we’ll talk about it’," Schneckloth said. He said it is an issue that can form into a downward spiral.

Both educators and leaders of AALS agree that a lower reading proficiency leads to a higher drop out rate.

"You start making the correlation and you start building the narrative, and you understand why this is happening," White said. "So if you understand it, now what do you do? Now you know the problem, so what are you going to do about it?"

The final steps of the Society's launch is being called "100/100/100." White said she is looking for 100 investors, 100 volunteers, and 100 mentors to help them accomplish their goals.

 

2019 Bix Jazz festival to spread music along both sides of the river

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Bix Jazz Festival is spreading out the music for its 48th year by playing on both sides of the river.

For the first time ever, the festival will be in Moline as well as Davenport.
The 2019 festival runs from Thursday, August 1 – Saturday,  August 3.

THE CITIES PODCAST: How Bix was saved

Jazz fans can catch free music on Friday at Bass Street Landing in Moline from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.  Free music will also be available in Davenport’s LeClaire Park that day from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Click here to see the schedule of events.

The festival is hosted each year by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society.  Thousands of people take part in the festival each year, and the event is put on by more than 100 volunteers.

Several bands will be playing throughout the weekend, click here to learn more about them. 

Related: What do we know about Bix Beiderbecke? Author lets voices ‘hash it out’ in book ‘Finding Bix’

More security officers on patrol at Mississippi Valley Fair this year

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The Mississippi Valley Fair is ramping up security at the fairgrounds this year.

About 40 more security officers will be on patrol over the weekend.

"For the 100th anniversary, we’re expecting crowds to be a lot bigger and we want people to be safe when they come to the fairgrounds and have fun," said Shawn Loter, the general manager at the Mississippi Valley Fair.

Officers will be split between the fairgrounds and the grandstand. Loter added that security will also increase at night during the concerts at the grandstand.

Security will also search people entering the fair -- looking for prohibited items like weapons and alcohol.

"(Security has) been doing a pretty good job. Last night, we had very little problems with fighting," Loter said. "I just want everybody to know that they can feel safe with their families and have fun tonight."

For a list of entertainment at the fair through this Sunday, read more here.

Moline Police share warning for gun owners after 12 reports of stolen guns

MOLINE, Illinois - Moline Police shared a warning for gun owners on July 31, after a dozen guns had been reported stolen in 2019.

Moline Police Detective Michael Griffin said most of the guns were stolen out of unlocked cars.

Police say thieves target unlocked vehicles.

"They're finding firearms that are legally owned by the owners either in the glove box, in the center counsel, under the seat and they're stealing them," said Griffin.

Griffin calls the stolen guns a public safety concern, saying that the guns are sometimes traded on the street for drugs and money. He adds that the guns can also end up in the hands of gang members.

"These guns are not used for target shooting at the range on the weekend. These guns are used for illegal activities and very dangerous activities,"

Detective Griffin said the most recent stolen gun report was taken on Wednesday, July 31.

He said the thieves broke in to a locked car using a spare key and were able to find a gun.

Gun owner Amber Sharp said that's why, even when her car is locked, she is extra cautious.

She keeps a gun safe, small enough to fit under her seat, in her vehicle.

Sharp says it's a simple and responsible solution to the growing concerns of gun theft.

The gun is tethered, so it can't be pulled out of the car and requires a combination to access the weapon.

"As a gun owner, you should always take every precaution possible to make sure your weapon doesn't get into the wrong hands," said Sharp who said there will always be people breaking the law.

She says it is up to the gun owner to know the best way to protect their weapons.

Now, police are hoping to use surveillance to try and track down thieves, and hope this warning can help remind gun owners to lock-it-up.

"When you lock your vehicles at night, take your keys inside, remove your valuables. Your work computers, your laptops, your I-Pads, and remove your firearms. Don't leave them in there," said Griffin.

Prison riot in Brazil leaves 16 inmates decapitated and dozens more killed

(CNN) — At least 57 people were killed, including 16 who were decapitated, during a vicious gang battle that erupted in a prison in northern Brazil on Monday morning.

The unrest is reported to have begun when a local gang stormed a wing of the facility in Para state controlled by a rival group, state news reported. The majority of the victims are believed to have died from asphyxiation, after gang members set fire to part of the prison complex.

State media said the violence began around 7 a.m., local time in the Regional Recovery Center in the city of Altamira and lasted for several hours. Video of the scene showed prisoners sat on the roof of the building, brandishing knives and with their heads covered, amid smoke rising from the interior.

Two correctional guards taken captive were released, state media reported.

Ten of the 16 prisoners who were blamed for instigating the violence will be transferred to federal penitentiaries, state media reported, citing local authorities. More than 46 other prisoners will be moved to other prisons in Para.

The incident is the latest outbreak of deadly violence in recent months to have taken place in Brazil’s often overcrowded and underfunded prison system.

In May, 55 inmates were killed in gang-related riots at four prisons in western Brazil.

The local prison authorities said at the time the deaths were a result of violent clashes among rival factions within the same drug gang, known as the Family of the North.

Benjamin Lessing, a professor at the University of Chicago who studies Brazil’s prison gangs, said that there were likely local factors at play in Monday’s violence, but the attacks were also part of an ongoing turf war between the country’s two main gangs and a “whole constellation of local gangs.”

“Most of the violence has been in this region, the north and the northeast region, and it’s a place where these gangs are actively fighting each other to achieve some kind of local hegemony or at least carve out space,” Lessing said.

“It doesn’t mean these gangs don’t exist in the rest of Brazil — they do, and there’s violence in other parts of Brazil too related to these gangs. But it seems like where the fighting is very intense right now is in this north-northeast region.”

The gangs used to only exist in Rio de Janeiro, but in recent decades have spread throughout the country, Lessing said.

In turn, the country’s prison population has ballooned to the world’s third-largest, trailing only the United States and China, according to the World Prison Brief.

Brazil’s penitentiary system has for years been plagued by violence due to what analysts have described as systemic failures. The country’s top prison official resigned in 2017 after a series of problems with drugs, corruption, escapes and riots.

Human rights groups have accused the government of doing too little to prevent the violence at prisons that have become recruitment centers for gangs — and even facilitating clashes by allowing the cells to become overcrowded.

“As you start to lock up more and more people, you’re really giving fuel to the fire. You’re putting more people in the hands of these prison gangs, giving them more power to recruit,” Lessing said.

Monday’s clashes pose a challenge to the country’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has previously vowed to crack down on criminal gangs and prison violence.

Wait, so, why is the Fed cutting rates, exactly?

(CNN) — The economy is strong. Unemployment is historically low. Consumer confidence is high. So why, exactly, did the Federal Reserve cut rates Wednesday?

One argument: By cutting rates, the Fed could grow the supply of money, which has been growing too slowly for the past few years. That, more than any tool at the Fed’s disposal, will help keep the economy growing.

“Everyone is focused on interest rates, and that’s the wrong thing to focus on,” said Steve Hanke, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins and a director of the Troubled Currencies Project at the Cato Institute. “It’s all about the growth in the money supply. That’s what drives changes in nominal GDP.”

The number of notes and coins in circulation plus bank accounts is growing at 4.8% per year. Although that’s up from its low of 3.5% per year in October, “a bit more would probably do some good,” Hanke argued.

He argues that the economy is not overheating, which gives the Fed wiggle room to loosen its grip on monetary policy ahead of “international storm clouds” on the horizon — which include uncertainty about trade, a potential no-deal Brexit and slowing growth in China.

Hanke said the US-China trade war and an increase in tariffs, in particular, could damage the global economy, backfiring on the United States.

“The US thinking on this thing is completely wrongheaded,” Hanke said. “We have a president who is a businessman and most businessmen have no clue about international economics.”

Policymakers led by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell voted 8-2 in favor of a small cut in the federal funds rate on Wednesday, and recommitted to their promise to “act as appropriate” to sustain the country’s longest economic expansion in history.

Cutting rates would weaken the dollar, potentially making US exports more attractive to foreign buyers. That’s why the Trump administration has been advocating for devaluing the dollar.

But Hanke cautioned against any intervention on the part of the Trump administration.

“Unilateral interventions are useless unless they’re well planned and well coordinated, otherwise you’re just burning up foreign currencies,” he warned.

Bernie Sanders raises $1.1 million following debate

(CNN) — Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ campaign said Wednesday the Democratic presidential candidate has raised $1.1 million since Tuesday and took in more than 70,000 contributions from small-dollar donors.

The announcement comes a day after Sanders’ fiery defense of his progressive policies, such as “Medicare for All,” during the first night of CNN’s Democratic debate in Detroit.

“He left absolutely no doubt that he is the best candidate ready to take this fight to Donald Trump and finally bring the change we need to America,” his campaign manager Faiz Shakir said of Sanders’ debate performance.

The Vermont senator, who has built on a massive small-donor base from his 2016 campaign, is among the fundraising leaders of the 2020 Democratic field. In a Wednesday news release, his campaign said he has received more than two million contributions since launching his campaign in mid-February.

The second night of CNN’s Democratic debate airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

8 in the Air: Mississippi Valley Fair celebrates 100 years

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The Mississippi Valley Fair has been around for 100 years.

The fair runs from Tuesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 4.  An estimated 300,000 people were expected to visit the 85 acre site during the 2019 fair.  In honor of the big anniversary, visitors will find 100 tractors on display.

Entry into the fair costs $10 per day for adults. Kids get in for $5 per day.  Back in 1945, admission was 75-cents for adults and 35-cents for kids.

Click here for information on the fair, to purchase fun cards and to see who's playing on the grandstand. 

Two years after surviving the deadliest U.S. mass shooting, she was there when the garlic festival gunman opened fire

SACRAMENTO - In the panic following the gunfire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, thousands wondered what was happening. Only a few found themselves thinking, "not again."

“Oh man, this is not happening again,” Alicia Olive recalls thinking Sunday as she escaped the mass shooting in Gilroy - her second.

On October 1, 2017, Olive escaped the mass shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas. She said she entered a deep depression following the tragedy.

“I would go into either - if it’s a bar or sometimes just a crowded area - and something about it, it just, I start to panic,” Olive said.

Olive said it took almost two years after Vegas to start to feel safe in public places again.

Then, she ended up in Gilroy, in the company of two friends she met in a Las Vegas shooting support group.

All three of them are part of a small group of Americans with a distinction none of them wants: they’ve now survived two mass shootings.

“After the Vegas shooting, I felt like I would be there again, and it happened,” Olive said. “Angry. It makes you angry.”

Olive said she was near the concert stage where the shooter entered the festival. She and her friends were leaving, but before they hit the exit, gunshots rang out.

“I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again.’ We were trying to find somewhere to get cover,” she said.

Olive said massacres really can happen anywhere, but accepting tragedy as inevitable isn't enough.

“We can’t tell that to the families that lost someone. Say, ‘oh well that’s life, that’s America,'" she said. "It’s not enough. It’s time to say enough is enough."

Police: Woman snatches dog at 7-Eleven after man suffers seizure, later dies

LONGMONT, Colo. — A woman is accused of stealing a dog from a man who collapsed after having a seizure in a Colorado convenience store and later died, police said Wednesday.

The 59-year-old victim, who had been feeling ill, walked his Chihuahua to the 7-Eleven store at 1650 N. Main St. in Longmont on Tuesday night.

Police said the man suffered a seizure while at the store and was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Surveillance video from the store shows the unidentified woman leading the man’s dog from the scene while officers and firefighters responded.

Police said the family does not know the woman and officials have not been contacted regarding the dog.

Police are asking for the dog to be returned.

“They not only lost a treasured family member, but are also missing his companion,” police said.

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