Winter storm alerts out for the area… Check out how much snow you’ll see

A Winter Storm WATCH has been issued for the News 8 viewing area beginning Friday afternoon and lasting until 3pm Saturday.

Plenty of broken cloudiness heading overnight but we’ll keep it dry with overnight lows around the upper teens.

The snowfall I addressed yesterday for the area is still on track for the start of the weekend.  Widespread amounts of 4 to 6 inches looks likely, with some areas north of the Quad Cities along Highway 20 expected to close to 8 inches.  The snow begins by mid-afternoon Friday (3pm) for areas north and then become more widespread later that night into Saturday morning before tapering that afternoon.  Strong winds will begin pushing into the area Saturday creating significant blowing and drifting of snow.

Bitterly cold temperatures follow by Sunday with highs likely not leaving the single digits above zero for most. Wind chills will be below zero for much of the day.

Chances for snow will return early next week with more accumulation likely. Temperatures will only reach the upper teens to lower 20s for daytime highs.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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Mechanical trouble leads to a fiery 3-car crash outside Woodhull

WOODHULL, Illinois- Three cars traveling west on Interstate 74 ended up in an accident after one experienced “mechanical trouble” while another car tried to pass.

According to Illinois State Police, three cars, a Mercury passenger car, a Chevrolet SUV, and a Ford Pickup, were driving near mile marker 37  on Interstate 74 near Woodhull.

The Mercury moved into the left lane to pass the  Ford Pickup. However, the Chevrolet SUV “experienced mechanical trouble and slowed down.”

The Mercury rear-ended the  SUV. Police say both cars lost control and crashed into the median. The Mercury then caught fire.

The truck swerved to miss the accident and crashed into the ditch on the right side of the road.

Traffic was temporarily shut down to extinguish the fire and recover the vehicles. But has since been reopened.

The driver of the mercury, a 44-year-old Zearing, Iowa native, was transported to a Galesburg hospital for
non-life threatening injuries. He was cited with failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

With snow on the forecast, these cities have declared snow emergencies

A Winter Storm WATCH has been issued for the News 8 viewing area beginning Friday afternoon and lasting until 3pm Saturday.

James Zahara says widespread amounts of 4 to 6 inches looks likely, with some areas north of the Quad Cities along Highway 20 expected to close to 8 inches.

Out of caution the following cities have declared snow emergencies:

Coal Valley has issued a snow emergency from 6:00 pm Friday, January 18th 2019 through noon on Sunday, January 20th 2019.  No cars are allowed on any Village Street, the city will be towing cars that block the roadways.

Davenport The Snow Emergency will go into effect beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 18 through 6:00 p.m. Saturday, January 19.

Vehicles parked on Posted Snow Routes will be ticketed and may be towed.

As an alternative to on-street parking in the Downtown, residents, and visitors to the area may park for free in any one of the City’s three parking ramps beginning at 5pm, Friday, January 18th through 7am, Sunday, January 20th.

Check back often as more cities follow suit

Subway rider searching for good Samaritans who resuscitated him on train

NEW YORK CITY - What started out as a typical day for Abraham Puthota turned into anything but that.

On Dec. 6th, the engineer was at the end of his morning commute from his home in Harriman, New York to Penn Station when he boarded a Queens-bound E-train.

“I was playing a game on my phone and that’s the last thing I remember,” Puthota told WPIX.

The 64-year-old slipped into cardiac arrest and collapsed in a nearly packed subway car.

Fortunately, five of his fellow straphangers quickly jumped into action where they performed CPR on Puthota for nearly 27 minutes until EMS arrived.

“They revived me essentially,” he said. “They are guardian angels to me, if it wasn’t for those people I [would] not be here today.

Six weeks after the incident, his family is still in disbelief, amazed by not only the kindness of strangers but their timing.

“The doctor said even if he was on the bed sleeping and if it had happened he wouldn’t be here today - we are so lucky that he was in the right place at the right time,” Abraham’s wife Vimala told WPIX.

As his doctors still try to determine what sparked Puthota’s cardiac episode, he is well aware that he’s been given a second lease on life.

He’s now on a mission to find those guardian angels.

“There are really good people out there - people who are concerned with strangers like me and hopefully one day I could reciprocate that.”


Michael Cohen paid thousands to rig polls in Trump’s favor, report says

President Donald Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen paid the head of a small technology company thousands in 2015 to rig online polls and elevate Cohen’s character to benefit Trump’s presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to the paper, Cohen paid John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, between $12,000 and $13,000 for activities related to Trump’s campaign, including “trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump’s favor” and creating a Twitter account called “@WomenForCohen” that “praised (Cohen’s) looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting” Trump’s candidacy.

In making the claim, Gauger told the paper he wasn’t fully paid for the work, though the Journal said Cohen was reimbursed $50,000 — the amount the two originally agreed on for Gauger’s services — by the Trump Organization. Gauger, according to the paper, also received a boxing glove “worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter” along with the cash payment.

The paper said that Cohen denied paying Gauger in cash, instead telling the Journal that “all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check” and declining to comment further. The Trump Organization did not comment. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, told the paper that the allegation that Cohen received more money than what he paid to Gauger shows he’s a “thief.”

As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.

— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 17, 2019

In a statement to CNN Thursday, Cohen said his actions were “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”

The Journal said that Cohen’s reimbursement was made around the same time that he received a $130,000 reimbursement from Trump for expenses incurred during the 2016 election. CNN has previously reported that Cohen used the $130,000 as a hush money payment to a woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump, which Trump denies.

Gauger told the paper that Cohen asked him in early 2014 to help Trump score well in a CNBC online poll of business leaders and a 2015 Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates. Gauger’s efforts for the CNBC poll were unsuccessful, according to the paper, and Trump ranked low in the Drudge Report poll.

Cohen has publicly broken with Trump since cooperating with the Mueller investigation. He is expected to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month and is prepared to discuss topics related to hush money payments and aspects of the Trump Organization, including the roles of the President and his children, a source familiar with the matter has said.

Suspect has unlikely story of how 11-year-old had his baby

A 33-year-old man accused of raping and impregnating an 11-year-old girl claims it was all the work of a piece of cloth.

Robert Cronin of Niskayuna, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child on Wednesday—the same day he told WTEN‘s Anya Tucker that the girl became pregnant only after touching a piece of clothing on which he’d ejaculated.

“Do you understand why it would be hard for people to understand the reasoning behind this conception that you’re offering?” Tucker asked, with Cronin responding “yes.”

Per WTEN, Cronin says “the Niskayuna Police who arrested him are just lacking in scientific knowledge.”

Fox News reports that Cronin, held without bail in Schenectady County jail, has five children with a fiance. He did not deny he is father to the child born recently to the 11-year-old, which a DNA test has confirmed, per WTEN.

A preliminary hearing is set for Friday, per the Albany Times Union.

More From Newser:
Cops Thought He Killed His Parents. He Was Dead All Along
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You’re All Going to Die,’ Cruz Laughs in Chilling Video

Man jumps from Royal Caribbean ship, gets banned for life

A 27-year-old from Washington has been banned from Royal Caribbean ships for life after video posted online shows the man leaping from the 11th deck of the cruise ship while it was docked in Nassau, Bahamas.

Nick Naydev, 27, posted video on Instagram that shows him jumping from the ship.

Naydev said he could “barely walk for 3 days” after bruising his neck and tailbone when he struck the water, according to Fox News.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement after the video surfaced online:

“This was stupid and reckless behavior, and he and his companions have been banned from ever sailing with us again We are exploring legal action.”

In the comments on the video, Naydev said he was “still drunk from the previous night” when he decided to jump.

A small boat picked up Naydev and brought him to shore. Local police were called but no charges were filed.

Naydev and his friends were immediately booted from the cruise and had to find their own way home, according to USA Today.

TSA agents keep strong attendance at QC International Airport amid government shutdown

MOLINE, Illinois -  As the longest government shutdown in United States history continues, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Quad City International Airport are feeling the impact.

Leaders now have a growing concern about the effects that this shutdown could have on the airport, if it carries on much longer.

Across the nation, the number of TSA agents calling-off of work is on the rise.

On January 16, the TSA reported that 6% of agents called out, compared to 5% the year before.

A press release form the TSA said more agents are calling off because of "financial limitations."

At the Quad City International Airport, absences have not yet been a problem.

"No Call-outs! Everyone was able to make it into work and do it with a smile," said Executive Director of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority, Ben Leischner. "The next pay period is this weekend, so I think that is where it is really going to start to compound."

Leischner says that at some point, TSA agents will be forced to make some really tough decisions.

"As the director of the airport, I get kind of worried thinking about the sustainability (of the government shutdown)," said Leischner. "If we loose the ability to screen passengers and integrate with the rest of the national transportation system, it is going to eventually lead to some level of shutdown for air transportation for the rest of the country."

Still though, the TSA agents in Moline are showing up to work with good attitudes, according to flyers at the airport.

Lines are short, and according to the TSA, in most the nation passengers are waiting less than 30 minutes in nearly 100% of the cases.

97% of passengers are waiting less than 15 minutes and passengers with TSA Pre-Check are waiting even less.

Still though, leaders at the airport still advise passengers to arrive at least 90 minutes before take-off to ensure ample time getting through security.

President Trump signed legislation into law Wednesday, affirming that the roughly 800,000 federal workers who have been going without pay will ultimately be compensated for their lost wages.

Davenport work release prisoner with weapons charge escaped

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Police are looking for a man who failed to report back to the Davenport Work Release Center on Nov. 17.

Nicholas James Oliver Hebdon was admitted into the facility just two days ago on Nov. 15. He is convicted of Intimidation With A Dangerous Weapon and Conspiracy to Commit a Forcible Felony in Clinton County.

Hebdon is a 30-year-old white male who stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 2017 pounds.

Authorities are asking for anyone who knows where Hebdon is to contact their local police.

Pritzker signs gun control bill, local democrat votes against it

CHICAGO, Illinois- The Illinois legislative session is just a few days old, but there is already a major change in the state.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new gun control bill into law Thursday, January 17. The bill targets illegal gun trafficking and requires firearm dealers to be licensed by Illinois State Police instead of the state agency that regulates professions and occupations. 

Former Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a similar measure last year. The bill was approved in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the killing of Chicago Police commander Paul Bauer. 

"Too many Illinoisans know the pain of that violence," Pritzker said Thursday. "Today is a long overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands."

Supporters of the bill say federal regulators are stretched too thin, but opponents like State House Rep. and Democrat Mike Halpin, say the new licensing is expensive and could force small dealers out of business.  We had Breakfast With...Halpin Thursday on Good Morning Quad Cities. He says there could have been a better way lawmakers and the Governor could have agreed on the bill, but he didn't like the way it was written.

"There was certainly concern for me when mom and pop shops were included. Locally owned dealers were included and big businesses like Cabela's and Walmart were not."

Halpin though, says Pritzker is willing to have more conversations with lawmakers than former Governor Bruce Rauner, calling the mood different in Springfield than it was before.

Vehicle on fire in multiple vehicle crash south of Woodhull

KNOX COUNTY, Illinois — Several vehicles are involved in an accident and one of them is on fire five miles south of Woodhull.

The crash happened on I-74 westbound. Illinois State Police are responding to the crash, according to an email they sent News 8 at 9:48 a.m.

The ISP are expecting lanes to be blocked off. No injuries have been reported so far.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated when more information is available.

Here’s how you can honor Martin Luther King Jr. in 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Jan. 21, and the Quad Cities and surrounding areas are honoring his memory through services and ceremonies.

Here’s a running list of all of the ways you can honor this great civil rights leader in areas near you:


  • Clinton Community College – Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
    • Sunday, Jan. 20,  Food: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Program at 2:45 p.m. at 1000 Lincoln Boulevard


  • Davenport Library – “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle to Close the Income Inequity Gap” Discussion
    • Tuesday, Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m. at 321 Main Street

Rock Island

  • Augustana College – Voice recital in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Friday, Jan. 18,  7:30 pm at Wallenberg Hall
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center – Annual Memorial Service and Awards
    • Monday, Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 630 Ninth Street
  • Rock Island Arsenal – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance
    • Thursday, Jan. 24, 1:00 p.m. at Heritage Hall

This post was created from viewer submissions. Did we miss something? Send us an email at News@wqad.com, or send us a news tip, here.

This post will be added to as Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches. Check back for updates.

Police: Man constructs grenade while sitting in Des Moines sushi restaurant

DES MOINES, Iowa  -- A man allegedly called police to tell them he made an IED while sitting at an Iowa sushi restaurant, which officials say could have killed customers if it went off.

It happened around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, January 15 at Japanese restaurant called Akebono in Des Moines. The owner of the restaurant said he had no idea what was going on.

"Cops talked to my host and said somebody called 911 over here, talking about a bomb," Nam Tran, the restaurant's owner, told WHO-TV. "And the host asked me, and said not that we know of. We don't know nothing about (it), so after that a few cops come in and I asked, "Can I help you? What's going on here?" And, he said, "Well, somebody called over here and said, you know, a bomb over here. I said not that I know of."

40-year-old Ivory Washington called the police himself and told them he'd made an improvised explosive device while sitting in the restaurant. Washington described the explosive device to police as being fake, but police say in fact it was real.

"Obviously, you`re going to treat this thing like it's the real deal until you know something different," said Sergeant Paul Parizek, Public Information Officer for the Des Moines Police Department. "We were able to separate him from the device without incident, take him into custody and we got the bomb squad there. They did their diagnostic on this device and found out that it basically is a homemade hand grenade. It was legit. When they tested it to see if it would explode, it did."

Had the device gone off in the restaurant, it could have been deadly.

"They said anybody basically within about 25 feet of this would have been injured," said Parizek. "Somebody within a ten-foot radius, had it gone off, might have been killed."

Police said Washington was trying to make a point.

"He gave us a story where he is extremely frustrated with our world today," said Parizek. "And, believes that people that don’t take these types of threats seriously. So, he was going to make a point that he could sit somewhere and construct a device and hopefully somebody would call the police. He said that he attempted this in one of the suburbs and nobody cared. So, he got more frustrated, came downtown, sat there, built it while he was sitting in the restaurant and finally called the police on himself."

Washington is charged with possession of explosive or incendiary material with intent. He is being held on a $10,000 bond in the Polk County Jail.

Tiny prize, big check for Iowa lottery player

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Tyler Heep was not a big winner, but he still wanted the big check.

He cashed in some change from his car last week and used it to buy some scratch-off lottery tickets.  When he scratched off a $1 winner he decided to cash it in just like the jackpot winners do, so he headed to Iowa Lottery headquarters.

When he asked for a big check for his 'big' prize, he was surprised when the Lottery agreed to it.

"They decided to treat me like a million dollar winner," Heep told WHO, "The guy came down the stairs and they took me into the back room where the camera was with the Iowa Lottery logo. Sure enough they wrote me the one dollar check and had me hold it up and took the picture."

Heep used his winnings to pay for half of a gallon of gas.

Couple may face citation after trying to save freezing deer

A Pennsylvania couple thought they were doing the right thing when they helped rescue a freezing deer, but had no idea it might result in a citation.

"You don’t want to see anything like that. For us personally, that was just heart wrenching to see, and it just seemed like it was taking so long,” Terri Stoll told WPMT.

They jumped into action after learning of five deer stuck in a York County lake. They showed up with supplies until game wardens arrived. One deer drowned, and another got out on his own.

Three more were pulled out with the help of game wardens and the public, but one was in especially bad shape.

That’s when John and Terri decided to take him home to try and nurse him back to health.

"We wanted to do everything we could to give him a good chance, a better chance, at survival," said Terri.

They say no officials at the scene tried to stop them, but they are now learning they broke the law.

“A lot of times when people intervene with wildlife and people end up unlawfully bringing in wildlife or possessing wildlife, they’re well-intentioned people. They want to help these animals out, give these animals a second chance, but it’s outside the confines of the law,” said Travis Lau, spokesman for the PA Game Commission.

John and Terri are now facing a number of potential citations and subsequent fines.

Even though this deer sadly died about 12 hours after his rescue, John and Terri say their efforts to save him and the consequences are all worth it.

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind. It’s so easy but so many people don’t do it and don’t feel that way and don’t think like that. But just a simple act of kindness can save somebody’s life. Even an animal,” said Terri.

John and Terri say they hope the game commission will reconsider the citation, but if not, they say they plan to fight back and plead not guilty.

First look at snowfall potential for Friday night and Saturday

Confidence continues to increase when it comes to how much snow we will likely see as a potent storm system beings to move through the region late Friday and early Saturday.

The timing has moved up a little bit compared to the previous model runs now bringing accumulating snow to areas north of the Quad Cities by Friday afternoon.

The rest of us will wait until Friday evening, likely after 6pm or so, for the rest of the snow to arrive. This initial band will likely cause some light accumulations before strengthening later in the afternoon. The snow will quickly reduce visibility and create slick travel.


By Friday evening widespread light to moderate snow will move in area-wide. Reduced visibility and accumulation on roads will be likely with temperatures remaining in the 20s. This will create lightweight snow that will easily blow around with any sort of wind, which will be increasing as we head into Saturday afternoon and evening.

Here's the general timing of when you can expect road conditions to be impacted. The heaviest snow will fall between midnight Saturday morning until around 6am Saturday morning before gradually tapering off by mid-morning. This is when accumulation on road surfaces will be likely. Travel should be avoided during this time frame.

Snowfall totals will generally be around 4 to 6 inches across much of the Quad Cities, with higher amounts of 6 inches or more located along the US-20 corridor. This heavier band could still shift a little north or south in the next 24 hours, but as of right now this appears to be the likely scenario.

.Because this system has much colder air associated with it compared to last weekend, the snow will be able to accumulate more efficiently. When temperatures are warm, the snow will also weigh more causing it to compact on the ground. With the lighter snows, like the one we will see this weekend, it will fluff up a bit more and create more problems for travelers, especially as the stronger winds arrive later on Saturday.

BOTTOM LINE: Snow begins for areas north of the Quad Cities by the mid-afternoon Friday, followed by the rest of the area after 6pm Friday evening. The heaviest snow will arrive between midnight Saturday morning and taper off to lighter snow by 6am Saturday. Total accumulations of 4-6 inches are likely with blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas, taking place Saturday evening into Sunday morning. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle has a winter weather survival kit should you become stranded.

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

Ohio man’s handicap-accessible snow fort melts hearts

CINCINNATI – When Greggory Eichhorn’s friend posted a picture of the handicap-accessible snow fort he built for his daughter, he had no idea the impact it would have.

Since it was posted to Reddit on Monday, it’s been upvoted more than 71,000 times. Nearly a thousand people have left comments.

My buddy Gregg built this handicap accessible snow fort for his daughter from pics

Eichhorn and his wife have nine adopted children – all with special needs.

So when Gregory decided to build a snow fort last weekend, he knew he had to make it accessible for his two children who are in wheelchairs.

“We built a bigger igloo, one that had a handicap-accessible hole so Elijah and Zahara could experience it. Because I did when I was a kid,” Eichhorn told WXIX in Cincinnati.

One person on Reddit called Eicchorn an “A+ dad. Another wrote, “I wish I had a dad like that when I was a kid.”

Eicchorn said he just wanted to have some fun with his children.

“I didn’t feel like a big deal. All of our kids, since they come from different places, we love adoption and kids with special needs,” he said.

He hopes someone considering adoption sees their story and opens their heart to other children in need.

“Our family is getting kind of full and it would be great if people stepped up, took on the same roles and enjoyed the kind of joy that we do” he said. “Because yeah, we get a lot of joy out of life.”

Giant Kentucky snowman gives would-be vandal dose of instant karma

PETERSBURG, Kentucky – A driver was dealt a dose of instant karma when the person tried to topple a snowman with their vehicle on Monday.

Cory Lutz of Kentucky told WJW that his fiancee, Lucy, was visiting from Mississippi this past weekend with her sister, Laura.

Lutz said that Lucy was “elated to experience the biggest snowfall she’s ever seen!”

The three had a weekend filled with sledding, snowball fights, and even some canoeing. Lutz said they wanted to make the most of the winter wonderland. And, of course, that included building a snowman.

They used a stump in Lutz’s front yard as the base for their towering 9-foot tall snowman called Frosty.

Frosty was “decked out in a top hat, and smiling at the neighbors,” Lutz told WJW.

According to Lutz, they thought the community loved their snowman – people would even wave and honk their horns as they drove by.

“However, evidently not everyone was a fan!” Lutz said.

He came home Monday to find a set of tire tracks in his yard that abruptly ended at the base of the snowman.  The stump was exposed and featured a snowy imprint of the bumper, which appears to have come to a sudden stop when it hit the massive stump just beneath the snow.

“Apparently Frosty had been handing out life lessons to surprised 4×4 vandals. ‘You reap what you sow!’ Still standing, and still smiling – He certainly had the last laugh!” Lutz said.

Iowa school bus drivers join fight against human trafficking

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) - Nearly 250,000 children ride on school buses in Iowa everyday, and now school bus drivers are going the extra mile to keep kids safe.

Drivers are now required to learn how to identify warning signs that a child is being trafficked.

The United Nations International Children's Fund says that human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world and up to half of the victims are children.

The Iowa Department of Education responded to that alarming trend by pushing Iowa to become the first state in the nation to require school bus drivers undergo training to recognize warning signs.

Bus drivers are now watching videos, reading literature and being quizzed on signs of human trafficking.

They are being trained to look for bruises, changes in clothing and behavior, abnormal absences and unexpected gifts.

A responsibility that some bus drivers say they're happy to take on and leaders say is very practical.

"Unfortunately we have seen human trafficking cases that can be as young as 10, 11, 12 years old," said Dave Lorenzen, Chief of Motor Vehicle Enforcement for the Iowa Department of Transportation. "These bus drivers see these kids every day, and they can tell if there is something not going right."

In addition to this new requirement, Governor Kim Reynolds is expected to sign a proclamation declaring January Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month on January 17.

Democratic control in the Illinois statehouse: What it means for 2019

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois- We are having Breakfast With…Illinois State House Rep. Mike Halpin Thursday, January 17 on Good Morning Quad Cities. We’re having it at the City Limits Saloon & Grill.

Halpin is the Democrat representing the state’s 72nd district, which covers much of the Illinois Quad Cities. Halpin recently won re-election to his second term in office and along with that, were many from his same party.

Democrats now hold a super majority in both the state house and the state senate. Democrat J.B. Pritzker won the Governor’s race.  The billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel chain defeated first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in November. Pritzker was sworn into office Monday, January 14.  

We’ll ask Halpin about the issues he wants to see addressed in the new legislative session. We’ll also him about the possibility of passenger rail service or Amtrak coming to the Quad Cities.