WQAD News

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.

Thief steals California dog’s surfboards just before competition

POMONA, Calif. - Residents in the Philips Ranch neighborhood of Pomona say someone prowling around vehicles late at night broke into one woman's van - making off with her dog's surfboards.

Susan Gan's dog, Giselle, loves to surf, and she's made it more than a hobby. Giselle is a competitive surfer, and she already has a few wins to her name.

After a thief broke into Gan's van early Monday morning, it looked like Giselle might end up landlocked.

A homeowner caught a man lurking around her vehicle on surveillance footage that night. Later on, Gan's van was hit just down the street. Residents believe it was likely the same man.

The thief stole two surfboards, and it could not have come at a worse time for Susan and Giselle. The dog was set to compete this weekend in Northern California.

Fortunately, Giselle's sponsor was able to loan her a few boards.

"We will not be able to completely customize it before we leave on Wednesday night. We'll do it well enough where we can compete," Gan said.

Gan is happy Giselle will still be out on the water this weekend, but for her, those boards are important.

"The board holds a lot of memories for us. She has won many championships with those boards," Gan said. "All I want is for the people who took those boards to bring them back. No questions asked."

Rare photograph shows sea lion trapped in mouth of humpback whale

Photographer Chase Dekker has been watching whales his whole life but does not expect to see this ever again. (Courtesy Chase Dekker)

MONTEREY, Calif. – This sea lion found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Chase Dekker has been photographing wildlife for nearly a decade but has never captured a shot like this. He was on a routine whale-watching boat trip last week in Monterey Bay, California, when he noticed a sea lion stuck on the nose of a humpback whale.

He immediately started photographing.

“I didn’t even look at my camera,” Dekker said. “I just leaped up and was screaming to everyone aboard.”

The results were incredible, as Dekker was able to capture the moment when the sea lion fell into the whale’s mouth.

Don’t worry, that sea lion managed to escape to open waters, though it was probably a little shaken up.

Humpback whales are filter-feeding animals who have no interest in consuming sea lions. In fact, that whale’s esophagus is only about the size of a grapefruit or small melon, making it impossible to swallow such a creature.

To feed, these humpback whales open their mouths wide and take in large amounts of water. They filter out tiny ocean creatures such as plankton and krill, pushing the water back out. A humpback whale can hold up to 5,000 gallons of water in its mouth, according to the Maui Ocean Center.

Because the two animals are often feeding together, it makes sense that a whale accidentally catches a sea lion now and then, but up to this point, no one is known to have captured the moment.

The feeding congregation Dekker came across in this photo was made up of only three whales and maybe 200 sea lions. This was a relatively small one, according to the photographer, who has seen groups as large as 100 whales and 3,000 sea lions.

He is a native of Monterey Bay and works often as a marine biologist and photographer on Sanctuary Cruises. He is now heading to Tonga to photograph more humpback whales — but he doesn’t expect to see a sight quite like this one ever again.

Twins’ dad asked wife to pick up babies before finding their bodies in hot car

BRONX — Juan Rodriguez, the father of 1-year-old twins who were left in a sweltering car while he did his eight-hour shift at work, was talking to his wife on the phone as he left the VA Hospital last Friday.

Phoenix and Luna Rodriguez are seen in a photo posted to Facebook before their deaths on July 26, 2019.

“He made a phone call as he was leaving the hospital,” a law enforcement source told WPIX, “asking his wife to pick up the kids at day care. He was supposed to pick up a uniform for his reserve duty. He truly believed they were at the day care.”

When the 39-year-old dad made the left turn out of the hospital parking lot onto Kingsbridge Road, he drove two blocks and that’s when “he saw the seats in the back,” according to the source.

The car seats were “rear facing.”

Rodriguez normally would have carried his 1-year-old son, Phoenix, and daughter, Luna, in their car seats into the day care.

He instantly realized he had made a terrible mistake.

The father jumped out of the car, finding the lifeless bodies of Phoenix and Luna, foaming at the mouth and still strapped in their car seats.

“I blanked out,” Rodriguez screamed on the street, as nearby pedestrians called 911. “I killed my babies.”

“They were dead for quite some time, at that point,” the source said. It was later revealed the internal body temperature of both babies was 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toxicology tests were also performed on both children, to see if they ingested any toxic substance, and results are not expected for a couple of weeks.

But investigators are inclined to believe this was a terrible tragedy.

“Everybody talked highly of him,” the source said, “at work, the neighbors, his ex-wife. His ex-wife said he’s a great father to their children.”

Rodriguez also has a 4-year-old son with his current wife, Marissa, who is the mother of the deceased twins.

Phoenix and Luna had just celebrated their 1st birthday on July 9, and their parents threw a big party for them, complete with a bouncy house.

Marissa Rodriguez put out a statement Sunday night saying, in part, “I still love my husband. This was a horrific accident and I need him by my side to go through this together. Luna and Phoenix will always live in our hearts and memories and we are working hard to come to terms with what has happened.”

Juan Rodriguez is a military reservist who told law enforcement he had done a tour in Kuwait and Iraq.

“He counsels guys who come back,” the source noted about Rodriguez’ work at the VA hospital.

Rodriguez himself was apparently not taking any medication at the time of the tragedy.

Rodriguez’ family was able to post $100,000 bail, so he’s awaiting his next court date at home in New City, Rockland County.

Once the toxicology testing is done, a grand jury will consider the charges he is facing — second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty.

Wounded veterans teach children with missing limbs how to play ball

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A group of wounded veterans from all over the country are helping children with disabilities this week in Virginia Beach.

The group USA Patriots is teaching kids who live with congenital limb loss or have suffered amputation from illness or injury the basic fundamentals of playing ball sports.

Mother of six Kristy Filbrun drove 12 hours from Ohio with her six children to attend the group's Kids Camp, which is formerly known as the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team.

Her 9-year-old son Wyatt and 12-year-old daughter Jemma both participated in the camp.

“My injury is honestly one of the biggest blessings in my life,” Josh Wege told WTKR.

Wege said he signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 18 years old. He said he lost both legs in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit a 200-pound IED. He said his injuries put life into perspective.

“I don’t put socks and shoes on in the morning. I literally have to strap legs to my body to be able to walk,” said Wege. “It changed my perspective, and I could share that with anybody else that comes out.”

Wege and the other veterans are sharing that positive perception with 17 kids.

“They deserve to be kids. We get to bring them out to teach them how we’ve gone through it and also learn from them, too,” said Wege.

Organizers say Virginia Wesleyan University allows them to use the fields and stay on campus for free, which saves the organization about $30,000. They said they fundraise all year to pay for the kids and one parent to be flown to Virginia Beach. They said they pay for all activities and meals while they are here.

“We want them to come here carefree and simply have a great time,” said Ellison.

“We’re here to pop that bubble that society has put on them that they’re disabled. They’re not. They’re just kids - they just got a couple more challenges to go through,” said Wege.

Filbrun said it is a powerful example for the kids to see and learn from the veterans who know the challenges they're facing.

“We got knocked down, but we got right back up and we’re still leading by example. That’s what the military taught us to do, so we're going to keep doing that,” said Wege.

The camp runs from July 29 until August 3 at TowneBank Park on the Virginia Wesleyan campus. This is the seventh year the group has hosted the event.

Dow plunges after Powell says not to expect further rate cuts

The Dow fell as much as 450 points Wednesday afternoon after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the quarter-point rate cut that the Fed had approved earlier in the day was a one-off.

“We are thinking of it as a mid-cycle adjustment to policy,” Powell said during a press conference Wednesday. “I’m contrasting it with the beginning of a lengthy cutting cycle.”

The market had initially interpreted the Fed’s statement about the rate cut, its first since 2008, to mean more cuts were coming, but dropped after Powell threw cold water on that.

“The market is concerned this might be one rate cut and done, as opposed to an extended cycle,” Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust, told CNN Business. “It’s a bit of a knee- jerk reaction. We’ve had a big run-up. The market is not getting exactly what it wanted.”

The Dow regained about 200 points after Powell clarified that he meant the Fed could cut rates again soon, but the cycle of cuts wouldn’t last for a long period of time.

“What I said was it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts,” Powell said. “We’ll be taking a somewhat more accommodative stance over time.”

Engineering grad’s clever electronic cap decoration almost caused a bomb scare

A computer engineering graduate got his diploma and one heck of a story because the DIY electronic decoration on his graduation cap looked a bit like a bomb.

Can Cevik told CNN that police stopped him on Monday evening at a security entrance as he was walking into Florida International University’s graduation ceremony.

They were suspicious of the gadget, which had a flashing, digital display that was connected to a 9-volt battery and electronic boards with red, black, yellow and green wires.

“They said ‘hold on, we need to see what that is on your head,'” and told him to put the cap on the floor and step away, Cevik said. Then they had him empty his pockets and briefly took his cell phone.

“They were just basically trying to figure out what sort of a threat this could be, is it a bomb, that sort of thing,” he said.

Cevik explained to the officers that he made the device with an Arduino Uno, a palm-sized computer micro-controller that can be used in all sorts of electronics projects.

He had programmed it to make the display say “FIU 2019.”

“Initially, I did feel nervous, because I honestly was not expecting this. I probably should have, given the state of the socio-political climate with all these dangerous shootings and everything, which unfortunately does happen,” he said. “To me it was fair for them to assume the worst.”

Cevik said that he made the decoration last month for fun from about $20 worth of parts he’d bought from Amazon.

“I just threw it all together and then I sort of forgot about it until the day of graduation and then I taped it on my graduation cap and went to graduation,” he said.

The officers were very calm, he said, and it took them about 10 or 15 minutes to decide that he wasn’t a threat.

“You have to err on the side of caution,” FIU Police Capt. Delrish Moss told CNN.

The incident didn’t delay the graduation and Cevik got to graduate with his classmates, but he was a few minutes late and missed the singing of the alma mater and national anthem.

Cevik got his hat back, but Moss said bomb technicians took apart the Arduino device as a precaution. “I don’t really care that much because it wasn’t that expensive and that’s their job to make sure the community’s safe and that sort of thing,” Cevik said.

Moss said officers were concerned that someone in the crowd might be scared if they saw it from a distance.

After the ceremony, Cevik posed for a photo with the officer who stopped him.

“She was definitely cool about the whole situation, that’s for sure,” he said.

Cevik said he’s now trying to find a job as a software developer in South Florida.

“I’m on my job search right now, so that’s what I’m focused on,” he said.

Moss said it is the first time he’s aware of something like this happening.

“It’s not that big of a surprise because the students are so doggone talented with what they’re able to do,” he said.

Illinois stiffens penalties for violators of Scott’s Law

ROCKFORD, Illinois -- Violators of Scott's Law in Illinois will now face tougher penalties.

Scott's Law requires drivers to move over for any emergency vehicles on the road.  The law was named in honor of Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a crash.

The legislation that Governor J.B. Pritzker signed on Tuesday, July 30, increases penalties for violators.  Initially, a fine for Scott's Law would be at least 100.  The new legislation increases the fine for a first violation to be at least $250 and at least $750 for any further violations.   The maximum fine someone would be could be up to $10,000.

Click here to read the full bill.

Maintenance workers are also protected under the new legislation.

Basketball event aims to bring East Moline community closer together

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — An annual activity is bringing police and the community together for a fourth year.

Hoops 4 Hope is an evening of playing basketball and strengthening relationships within the community.  According to a statement about the event, the event started with a vision to unite communities within East Moline.

“We believe that bringing people together through a celebration like Hoops 4 Hope is a great way to unite our different communities into one,” read a statement from the organizers.

The event doubles as a fundraiser, with proceeds going to help neighbors in need.  For the 2019 event, the goal was set to raise $2,500. Running the event costs about $1,500; organizers said the extra $1,000 will go towards improving Hereford Park, located at 400 13th Street in East Moline.

Hoops 4 Hope was set for Wednesday, July 31 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.  They will accept monetary donations as well as school supplies.

Inching temperatures a bit in the coming days… Humidity, too

What you see is what you get.  What we call ‘persistence’ in the methods of forecasting and the weather pattern the past few days. Highs today will make their way back in the upper 70s to lower 80s this afternoon with the humidity once again staying in check.  Tonight will once again cool off those temperatures quickly with overnight lows in the upper 50s.

We’ll inch up those high temperatures a degree each day as we slowly increase just a touch more humidity through the upcoming weekend.  Daytime highs are still on track to peak by Sunday and Monday with highs around the 90 degree mark.

Could see a lonely shower or thunderstorm Sunday night before an approaching front scheduled to arrive later Tuesday pops a few showers and thunderstorms.  Still not impressed with the coverage during that period.  Hopefully, that will change in the coming days.  Fingers crossed!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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

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

River Bend Foodbank opened pantry in NorthPark Mall following SouthPark

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Following an expansion to SouthPark Mall in March, River Bend Foodbank opened a food pantry in NorthPark Mall.

The pantry is open Tuesdays from  4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

River Bend food pantries can be found on their website. The organization serves 23 counties in Iowa and Illinois with 114,480 adults and children experiencing food insecurity, the limited access to proper food, according to an annual ‘Map the Meal Gap’ study from Feeding America.

A map of the counties River Bend Food Bank serves. Photo from 2018.

The food bank set a personal record in the past year delivering over 17 million meals to those in need. However, the meal gap study claims more than 19 million meals are needed for the River Bend coverage area.

“The new food pantries in NorthPark and SouthPark will help us close the gap in Scott and Rock Island Counties, just as we seek to do in each of the communities we serve,” Michael Miller, President & CEO of River Bend Foodbank said in a statement.

Need to fight the emerald ash borer? Local business can help

ELDRIDGE, Iowa-- Charles Ray, the owner of Tree Medics LLC, said the infestation of the emerald ash borer has rapidly progressed as of late.

Ray said the borer was first discovered in the Quad Cities and May through October is the best time to treat your trees. Ray joined us Wednesday, July 31 during News 8 at 11 to discuss his business.

The majority of the general public is not aware of the borer, according to Ray, and as a result, many trees have died before the owners became aware of it.

Tree Medics LLC is located in Eldridge, but they serve the greater Quad City area. Their phone number's 563-579-8733 (TREE). You can also learn more about them by visiting their website. 

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