WQAD News

Women for Trump make campaign stop in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- With the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away a group supporting President Trump's 2020 campaign made a stop in Davenport Friday, January 17.

The stop is a part of the Women For Trump Iowa Bus Tour. The campaign press secretary Kayleigh Mcenany reached out to recruit female voters.

Mcenany encouraged voters to caucus for President Trump in February saying that even though he is the sole nominee for the party, they still need support.

Nearly 1,600 flights canceled and over 100 crashes reported as snow and ice start hitting the US

(CNN) — A strong winter storm began delivering a blast of snow, freezing rain and sleet across the country Friday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Nearly 1,600 flights were canceled as the storm moved over much of the Upper Midwest, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com.

As of Friday afternoon, about 118 million people across the country were under some kind of winter storm warning, advisory or watch, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said.

Significant snow accumulations are likely in parts of Minnesota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and the interior Northeast.

“This has the potential to be one of the most impactful winter storms of the season for the Upper Midwest,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

Motorists in Minnesota were seeing the early impacts of the storm. More than 120 car crashes were reported Friday evening, leaving 19 people injured, the Minnesota State Patrol tweeted.

The storm system will bring more travel misery on Saturday as it continues intensifying, the National Weather Service said.

Track the storm here

Ice prompted a temporary closure at Kansas City International Airport in Missouri, where a plane slid off the pavement, an airport spokesman said. There were no known injuries.

In Guymon, Oklahoma, the ice was so slick that resident Kassidy Stroup couldn’t stand up in her driveway. She shared a video of her futile struggle to open the door to her truck as she slid this way and that on the icy path.

Stroup planned to head into work later, she told CNN, after the ice had thawed a bit.

Jenni Pittman, who works for the National Weather Service, shared a time-lapse video of icicles forming off the roof of her home in Olathe, Kansas, on Friday morning.

Pittman was teleworking, she said, but her husband said the roads were “just barely passable.”

Here’s what to expect this weekend

Friday

• A swath of locally heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected for portions of the Central Plains northeast through the Upper Midwest, resulting in arduous travel.

• The Midwest could experience the highest snowfall totals. Minnesota, portions of Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and northern New England could see 8 to 12 inches of snow.

• These areas could experience blowing snow due to the high winds, which will cause near-whiteout conditions on roadways.

• The Rockies could see heavy snow, with wind gusts of up to 75 mph at lower elevations in the High Plains.

• Freezing rain accumulations are possible across portions of the Southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley. These icy conditions will make travel a problem in Oklahoma City, Kansas City and St. Louis. Accumulating ice will potentially knock down trees and power lines, causing numerous power outages.

• Air travel in the Midwest will most likely experience long delays and roads will be treacherous.

Get the latest extreme weather news

Saturday

• Additional snow and ice accumulations will be possible into Sunday for interior portions of the Northeast and New England, with coastal areas first getting snow, then rain.

• New York City and Boston will get in the mix with snow in the afternoon. About 2 to 4 inches is possible for both cities. The snow will change over to rain in the evening, and it will rain overnight.

• Interior portions of the Northeast will see much more snow: 8 to 12 inches for Upstate New York and up to 6 inches in northern Maine.

“After the storm moves out, the bitter cold will settle in. High temperatures in the region will remain in the single digits Sunday and into the early part of next week, while overnight temperatures will dip to 10 to 20 degrees below zero,” according to Ward.

Bitterly cold temperatures follow winter storm this weekend

The Winter Storm WARNING has been expanded to cover some areas east of the Mississippi River due in part to some heavier snowfall totals exceeding four inches in these areas.

So far this evening numerous reports of total snowfall amounts exceeding four and even five inches have come in and roads remain quite hazardous. Much of the accumulating snow will come to an end by 10pm Friday evening, with freezing drizzle taking over for the remainder of the overnight hours. Some minor ice accumulations on untreated roads and elevated surfaces will be likely. Much of the icing threat will go away by sunrise Saturday as temperatures rise briefly above freezing.

With colder air working in behind this system, an eventual switch back to a rain/snow mix is likely by mid-morning Saturday with a few snow showers taking over in the afternoon. A few of these snow showers will reduce visibility at times and allow for blowing/drifting snow, especially in open areas. An additional inch of accumulation will be likely with this activity. Winds will begin to increase throughout the day and we'll see our warmest temperature readings during the early morning hours with highs in the middle 30s. Any leftover standing water will quickly freeze by Saturday evening as temperatures drop quickly through the teens and into the single digits. Travel conditions will improve significantly by Saturday evening with all of the precipitation coming to an end. However, be mindful a few slick spots could still occur with the rapidly falling temperatures.

The really serious cold will work in by Sunday as an Arctic high-pressure system moves directly overhead. Our daytime temperatures both Sunday and Monday will be limited to the single digits above zero, but windchills will suffer even more as breezy conditions remain in place. The worst readings will occur Sunday morning and evening dipping down to around -20. Not much improvement follows into Monday morning as wind chills will remain significantly below zero.

In the longer term, we do get some warmth back by Tuesday and into the middle of next week as highs rise back into the 20s.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

Iowa police warn this is what happens when you don’t slow down in snowy conditions

A  scary scene unfolded on Interstate 80 in western Iowa near Council Bluffs.  A state trooper was helping a delivery truck driver who went off the road when a pickup truck comes off the interstate headed right towards them slamming into the truck.

No one was seriously hurt.

This shocking dash cam video was taken today from a delivery truck on I-80 in Western Iowa. The AMCON Distributing driver, State Trooper, and occupants in the pickup truck were not seriously injured.

If you have to be out driving during inclement weather, please remember to slow down and be aware of the road conditions.

 

States sue USDA over new food stamps work requirement

(CNN) — The District of Columbia and New York state filed a lawsuit along with 13 other states and New York City against the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday challenging new Trump administration regulations that will require more food stamp recipients to work in order to receive benefits.

The move is a key part of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the food stamp program is formally known. The new requirement, set to go into effect in April, limits states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and could result in 688,000 people losing assistance, according to the USDA.

Citing a federal statute against agency actions that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” the lawsuit alleges that “the Rule conflicts with the federal statute, the purpose of SNAP, and the clear intent of Congress to alleviate hunger and malnutrition while maintaining States’ flexibility.”

A spokeswoman for the USDA said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. When the rule was announced in December, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement that it “lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans re-enter the workforce where there are currently more job openings than people to fill them.”

“We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” he added. “Now, in the midst of the strongest economy in a generation, we need everyone who can work, to work.”

USDA unveiled the proposed rule on the same day that President Donald Trump was slated to sign the 2018 Farm Bill, which had included and ultimately dropped similar stricter work requirements — a point that Trump mentioned when signing it.

Working-age adults without dependents or disabilities are already required to have jobs under the food stamp program, and can receive benefits for only three months out of every 36-month period unless they are working or participating in training programs 20 hours a week.

Currently, states can waive the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor. The new rule would make it harder for states to receive those waivers by tightening the definition of areas where there are insufficient jobs, narrowing the geographic areas of waivers and limiting their duration, among other provisions.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement that “we are bringing this lawsuit to protect SNAP recipients nationwide and to check an administration that is attempting another end-run around Congress to advance its heartless agenda.”

He pointed to how in 2018, the then-Republican-majority Congress opted not to pursue stricter work requirements for food stamps because “they do not encourage work — they just punish vulnerable people struggling to find jobs.”

He and New York Attorney General Letitia James both asserted that the rule would result in higher health care costs.

“The federal government’s latest assault on vulnerable individuals is cruel to its core,” James said in a statement, adding that “states will have to grapple with rising healthcare and homelessness costs that will result from this shortsighted and ill-conceived policy.”

Rollover reported where I-80 and US 61 intersect in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A traffic backup was reported where Interstate 80 and Highway 61 intersect, southeast of the Davenport Municipal Airport.

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s traffic maps showed the traffic issue Friday evening, January 17.  The incident was located at Exit 123A where Highway 61 merges onto I-80.

The Quad City Fire Wire was reporting that a bus had rolled over in the southbound lanes.

Click here for the latest road conditions.

Buck stuck in Mississippi draws pictures and concerns

DAVENPORT, Iowa – It was a sight to see on Davenport’s River Drive Friday morning – a buck stranded on the ice in the Mississippi River.

“We thought it was a statue or something,” says Heather Deters. “All the geese were around it.  And then I saw him move his head and I said, “we need to stop and check it out”.”

A stranded buck in a sea of Canadian geese drew plenty of passersby to stop and snap a photo.  But the buck was a concern for some.

“We came down to see if anything can be done,” says Chasity Dunkin. “Because you can’t leave him there, it’s an animal.”

The Iowa DNR says there’s nothing they, fire department, or police departments can do.  They say it’s not safe for anyone to risk their safety in icy conditions and deer can swim if they fall in.

‘Bad Luck Chuck’ isn’t taking any chances for Chiefs’ upcoming AFC Championship game

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (WDAF) –  What a difference a week makes.

Last Sunday, Chiefs fan Charles Penn walked out of Arrowhead, fearing he was bad luck. After he left, the Chiefs came from behind to earn their second-straight trip to the AFC Championship game.

And now Penn, better known now as "Bad Luck Chuck," is a social media star.

This Sunday, Arrowhead will be filled with fans as the Chiefs take on the Titans in the AFC Championship. But Penn will be watching the game elsewhere. Instead of cheering on his team and risking the game, "Bad Luck Chuck" said he'll be at a local Jack Stack watch party.

"This was too good of a chance for the Chiefs to not make the Super Bowl this year," Penn said.

He's willing to do anything to make sure the Chiefs go all the way.

"I want the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. It's been too long," Penn said.

He said he's never believed in superstitions -- that is, until Sunday's divisional game.

You've may have seen the viral video by now that Penn posted to Twitter – he shot it as he walked out of the stadium when the Chiefs fell behind the Texans 21-0.

Penn said he couldn't take any chances.

"I was just like, 'Maybe it's not the Chiefs. Maybe it's me. So I need to leave,'" he told WDAF.

And some might wonder if he was right. After all, after he left, he watched the Chiefs' make a historic comeback and get the win from home. Penn said he didn't mind taking one for the team this year.

"I went to the Steelers playoff game; they lost. The Titans Wild Card game, they lost. I skipped out on the Colts game last year, they won. But I come back to the Patriots game, and they lost. So I'm 0-3 in the playoffs," Penn said.

The Chiefs fanbase now knows Penn as "Bad Luck Chuck." He's become so popular, he's even selling T-shirts. The graphic tees run for $20.

"Chiefs Kingdom has mostly been positive. There's a small bunch, the haters, but that comes with the territory," Penn said.

If the Chiefs go to the Super Bowl, Penn said he's definitely going to Miami, but he'll catch the game from a sports bar instead of from inside Hard Rock Stadium.

YOUR HEALTH: The treatment that directly targets colon cancer

DURHAM, North Carolina – Patients with colon cancer that spread to the liver had few options if standard chemotherapy stopped working.

Now, a treatment that pumps chemo directly to the tumor is doubling the survival rate.

Rita LaFlamme has 57 years of memories and counting with her husband Bob.

"We have two sons and two grandchildren."

But both were stunned when Rita was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2018.

Every year, nearly 140,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  In up to a quarter of those, it has spread to the liver.

When standard chemotherapy stops working many patients are left with few options.

Now doctors at Duke University are offering a treatment called hepatic artery infusion using a pump.

"The pump which is a battery powered motorized pump is surgically implanted into a pocket in the abdominal wall," explained Duke University surgical oncologist Dr. Michael Lidsky.

The pump provides a direct dose of concentrated chemo to the liver.

"Those concentrations actually reach somewhere between three and 400 times the concentration that we would be able to get if we gave it intravenously," added Dr. Lidsky.

So far, the results have been dramatic.

Dr. Lidsky says the treatment is used in combination with standard chemo and has been shown to double the survival rate.

"The estimated five-year survivals for patients that have surgery combined with chemotherapy are somewhere between 50 and 60%" he said.

"But now that we have hepatic artery infusion, we can actually increase the likelihood of survival.   And now we're seeing survival 10 years after surgery, which is just as good as what we previously saw at five years."

Rita LaFlamme is living proof.

"It's pumping on the tumor and I'm not feeling a thing."

Rita says the treatment is working to shrink her tumor and she hopes to have surgery to remove it soon.

"I know I can beat this, I have no doubt in my mind that I will, I will beat it."

Dr. Lidsky says hepatic artery infusion is not a cure but can be used pre- or post-surgery to shrink tumors in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver.

The pump stays in the patient for years and can be used again if the disease recurs.

Right now, the treatment is only being offered at a handful of centers around the country including Duke Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.

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.

 

California mother acting as surrogate for another family dies while giving birth

SAN DIEGO (WJW) — A California mother of two who was carrying a baby for another family died this week while giving birth.

According to KSAZ, Michelle Reaves died from complications but the baby survived.

Reaves leaves behind her husband and two children, Gage and Monroe.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what her husband Chris and her two babies are going through so I want to start this page to help raise money for help with the kids, for Chris as they all adjust, funeral services or anything at all to make it as easy as we can on them,” wrote Jaime Herwehe, who organized a GoFundMe for the family.

She went on to explain how the couple wanted to help another family who couldn’t have kids of their own. This was Michelle’s second time acting as a surrogate for them.

“She will always be known for the love she had for her family,” Herwehe said, adding that her “heart breaks for (Gage and Monroe), knowing they won’t grow old with their mama.”

If you’d like to help with her funeral expenses, Click  Here.

Tow bans issued across Iowa

Tow bans have been issued across the area amid a winter snow storm.

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, towing has been banned in the following area counties: Scott, Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Clinton and Jackson Counties.

This means that towing services are prohibited in these areas.  When a tow ban is issued, it simply means that conditions have been deemed too dangerous for towing companies to operate.

There was no set time for towing services to return.

Click here to check the status of your Iowa county. 

Pig farmers say tariffs killed the opportunity of a lifetime

WALCOTT, Iowa -- Pig farmers across the country say they missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

They missed out on selling pork to China after an epidemic wiped out thousands of the country's pig population.

Mike Paustian, who is a sixth-generation hog farmer, said his family sells 28,000 pigs each year.

After tariffs stopped exports to China, Paustian said he's looking at it as a missed opportunity.

According to the Department of Agriculture, about 575 million pounds of pork is sitting in refrigerated storage warehouses across the country.  Trade disputes between America and China, plus the 68% tariff on imports, means producers like Paustian couldn't sell to a market screaming for product.

So China went shopping elsewhere.

Farmers suggest lawmakers, even the President himself, make the trip out to their farms, to see how their choices impact lives.

Farmers hope 2020 will see a reversal of fortunes.  They say the signing of the "Phase One" deal and the trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico are a step in the right direction.

This year, China reported reported its weakest annual growth in almost three decades.

Rural road in Taylor Ridge blocked off due to police presence

TAYLOR RIDGE, Illinois -- A police presence blocking part of a roadway was reported in a rural part of Rock Island County.

Multiple squad cars and a mobile police station were spotted around 98th Street.  Police had the road blocked off and were turning drivers back around.

WQAD News 8 has a crew on scene. Stay with us for updates as information becomes available.

Watch: The Beast out and about checking out the Friday snow levels

News8’s Morgan Strackbein is out in The Beast taking a look at the snowy conditions currently engulfing the Quad Cities and answering your questions!

The snow began to come in around 1 p.m. and has been steady in the following hours. 

Check here for a list of snow emergencies declared by various QC area cities and here for the growing list of weather-based cancellations, closings, and delays. 

Budweiser, Chiefs tackle repay fans whose beers were used in celebration — and then some

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – In what will go down as one of the greatest $20 investments in recent memory, two Chiefs fans definitely got their money’s worth when Budweiser and Bud Light repaid them in cases for a couple of “borrowed” beers.

Last Sunday, to the delight of Chiefs fans everywhere, Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher gave himself a beer shower behind the end zone in a now viral touchdown celebration.

It came after tight end Blake Bell caught a pass from Patrick Mahomes to boost the score to 47-31. It was Bell’s first touchdown of the season.

“I ran over there to celebrate with Blake, and I don’t know why but my eyes were just drawn to them,” Fisher said of two fans’ beers. “And I was like, ‘OK, I gotta pick these up,’ and then I was like, ‘What do I do?'”

pic.twitter.com/IzE8JpMHfm

— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) January 12, 2020

Fisher was apparently so excited he decided to harness wrestling star Steve Austin’s iconic move.

“Stone Cold!” the Chiefs tackle said, laughing.

After the game, Fisher posted on Twitter that he tracked down those fans, Alex and Troy, and told Chiefs fans he wants to “thank them ‘Big Fish’ style.”

Budweiser also tweeted that they were planning “something special” for them — and they definitely weren’t kidding.

The Chiefs brought the two men in to meet Fisher, and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch repaid them for those borrowed beers.

Only they didn’t just give them one or two beers. Alex and Troy each got a whole tower of beer of their choosing. It might not come as a shock that the two men chose Budweiser and Bud Light, the same beers that Fisher took.

Twitter: you helped us find the fans who sacrificed their beers for @Big_Fish79's epic celebration. 

We're proud to report that Budweiser and @BudLight have repaid them in full. And then some. #ChiefsKingdom https://t.co/d2xPoEkaa6

— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) January 17, 2020

But it didn’t even stop there. Fisher provided each of them with signed jerseys, and then the Chiefs gave them extra jerseys, too.

Even without all the beer and Chiefs gear, Alex and Troy will have an unbelievable memory to hold onto for years to come.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and that was by far the coolest thing that has ever happened in that end zone,” Alex said.

And they weren’t the only fans who loved it. Videos and photos of the moment have gone viral — so Bud Light and Budweiser are capitalizing on the hilarious moment.

They tweeted that Chiefs fans should be on the lookout for beer shower Koozies and “Fisher 3:72” t-shirts at the AFC Championship this weekend.

Forecast for the AFC Championship and #ChiefsKingdom: beer showers.

Keep an eye out at Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC Championship. cc: @Big_Fish79 @Chiefs pic.twitter.com/8EGyoVvA0U

— Bud Light (@budlight) January 17, 2020

Royal Caribbean says video proves grandfather knew window was open before dropping toddler

PUERTO RICO (WXIN) – Royal Caribbean says a northern Indiana man knew a window was open just moments before he picked up his step-granddaughter and lost his grip.

18-month-old Chloe Wiegand fell to her death in July. Her family is suing the cruise line for negligence.

According to court documents, Royal Caribbean says video shows Salvatore Anello knew the window was open, even saying he leaned his upper body out that window before picking up Chloe.

Court documents say: “This is not a case of an unknowing child approaching an open window and falling out because the window was defective or improperly positioned. Rather, this is a case about an adult man, Chloe’s step grandfather who, as surveillance footage unquestionably confirms: (1) walked up to a window he was aware was open; (2) leaned his upper body out the window for several seconds; (3) reached down and picked up Chloe; and (4) then held her by and out of the open window for thirty four seconds before he lost his grip and dropped Chloe out of the window.”

Royal Caribbean also included images from their surveillance video in the lawsuit. They say there were two closed-circuit television cameras which captured the events leading to the fall.

According to Royal Caribbean, the still shots taken from the videos show Anello, wearing a dark short sleeve shirt (see red circle) following Chloe, wearing a white hat (see second red circle), towards the open window on Deck 11.

Photo from court documents filed on January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises in the United States District Court of Southern Florida

When he arrives at the open window, and while Chloe is on the floor, Anello leans his upper-torso over the wooden railing and out of the window frame for approximately eight seconds.

Photo from court documents filed on January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises in the United States District Court of Southern Florida

Next, Anello leans down and picks Chloe up, lifting her over the wooden rail towards the open window.

Photo from court documents filed on January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises in the United States District Court of Southern Florida

Photo from court documents filed on January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises in the United States District Court of Southern Florida

Anello stays in front of the open window, which was 11 decks high off the ground, while holding Chloe for approximately 34 seconds before she fell.

Photo from court documents filed on January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises in the United States District Court of Southern Florida

Royal Caribbean says the "only reasonable conclusion from the video" is that Anello knew the window was open before lifting Chloe over the wooden rail and holding her out the open window for a "considerable period," thus "recklessly endangering her life."

Anello says he's colorblind and didn't realize the 11th story window was open, but Royal Caribbean says video evidence proves it doesn't matter because he knew the window was open.

Anello is charged with negligent homicide in Puerto Rico.

The Wiegands' attorney Michael Winkleman issued this statement:

The Wiegands are in the process of responding to Royal Caribbean’s Motion to Dismiss.  In short, Royal Caribbean’s Motion to Dismiss is baseless and deceptive.  It is clear that Royal Caribbean’s tactic is to blame Chloe’s grandfather rather than to accept that Royal Caribbean did not implement industry standards for toddler safety aboard its ships which ultimately led to Chloe’s tragic death.  Royal Caribbean has premised its defense in this case and its blame on Chloe’s grandfather by supplying two deceptive views from its CCTV cameras to the court and the Puerto Rico authorities.  However, the Plaintiffs were first permitted a vessel inspection of the scene of the incident on January 10 – less than a week after Royal Caribbean first informed the Wiegands that they are making modifications to the ship that will destroy the subject area where the incident occurred.  That inspection has revealed that Royal Caribbean’s Motion to Dismiss neglects to tell the Court and, presumably, the authorities that there were no less than THIRTEEN CCTV video cameras in the area of the incident.  The Wiegands will ask the Court to compel Royal Caribbean to produce all the video from those nearby cameras.

Further, the Wiegands’ response to Royal Caribbean’s Motion to Dismiss will definitively show what the Wiegands have said since day one: that Chloe’s grandfather never knew there was an open window and never knowingly put Chloe in harms way.  Had Royal Caribbean simply abided by industry standards designed to protect toddlers, this tragedy would not have occurred.

Finding success in the cannabis industry sometimes means not mentioning cannabis

(CNN) — High Style Brewing had big expansion plans for its cannabis business. But it hit a major snag: Its name wasn’t legal in Nevada.

Instead of spending the past year expanding, the San Diego crafter of cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beers underwent a rebrand and a major extension of its product line. The brewery relaunched this month as Outbound Brewing.

Outbound’s overhaul reflects the lengths cannabis companies go to establish brand recognition amid a patchwork of state laws and no interstate commerce.

“We figured we would be running into this [type of] issue with more and more states,” said Lyden Henderson, the brewery’s chief operating officer and co-founder. “We did not want to fracture our brand.”

This time last year, High Style had a good plan mapped out for the business. The company landed distribution deals across California to put its Coastal Haze on dispensary store shelves, focused on proof-of-concept efforts in local markets, and started chatting with licensed operators in other cannabis-legal and beer-savy states including Colorado and Oregon.

Henderson and co-founders Marty Reed and Greg Haap figured more states would follow in short order.

They worked for more than a year on research and development to dial in a proprietary process to craft a good-tasting, non-alcoholic beer that then is infused with a dash of THC, the psychoactive cannabis compound, to result in a drink that mimics the early onset effects of drinking a beer. The crew then spent several months ensuring those brews passed muster with California cannabis and alcohol regulators.

Nevada was a logical next step because it, like California, had a recreational cannabis program in place, and in close enough in proximity to test a potential operational strategy of working with contract brewers and cannabis licensees in that state to replicate the recipes and processes for the brews.

But crossing state lines is tricky: Nevada’s cannabis regulations were different from California’s and included a provision that prohibited the use of cannabis slang like “bud,” “pot,” “420,” “weed” … and “high.”

So High Style spent a good chunk of 2019 brainstorming brand names. The brewery relaunched this month as Outbound Brewing and concurrently released a slate of non-alcoholic, non-infused beers and a line of CBD-infused, non-alcoholic beers that will allow the brewery to both latch onto growing consumer trends and potentially achieve a nationwide reach that’s often elusive for cannabis companies.

Navigating a tangled web of laws

“There are ways to get around this through strategies,” said Olivia Mannix, co-founder of Cannabrand, a cannabis-centric branding and marketing agency founded in 2014 in Denver. “But it’s still not a walk in the park to reach a broader demographic. It’s something that is tricky.”

A common practice has been the licensing of brand names and intellectual property to regulated manufacturers outside of their home states. Other firms with deeper pockets — such as MedMen, Acreage Holdings and Harvest — went on a land grab, buying up licenses in newly legal states to then erect vertically integrated operations there.

The United States is witnessing federalism in action as states across the nation establish programs to regulate the cultivation, possession and sale of federally illegal cannabis. Each of those states operate in a silo and boast a unique slate of laws that often are subject to frequent tweaks as officials learn on the fly in creating first-of-their-kind regulations.

“We are straddling two very different segments of products,” said Charlie Reed, the brewery’s director of impact and business development. “At this point, there will not be something that works in every single recreationally legal state.”

Creating a new brand

In California, developing a product that plays in two heavily regulated industries of alcohol and cannabis created some interesting challenges. The labels couldn’t be too colorful or cartoonish, so as not to appeal to children. But Outbound also couldn’t call its concoctions “beers” or identify them using any common beer styles, such as IPA, pale ale, or sour. So Outbound’s labels instead say “craft malt beverage.”

States like Colorado have labeling rules that require information such as potency and contaminant testing statements and a specific THC symbol. Illinois requires Surgeon General-esque health warning statements. In Washington state, cannabis products can’t mimic alcohol products including using phrases like “0% ABV” and “not a beer.”

“We’d like to remain as consistent as we can be state to state,” Henderson said. “I’d love to see the same brand in different states and see something familiar, so I know there’s consistency there.”

Outbound’s rebranding process and new product extension took eight months and included closely reviewing each state’s alcohol and cannabis laws in addition to scouring trademarks in the crowded craft beer landscape.

“There were a couple ones that just totally broke our hearts when we found a tiny brewery in the middle of nowhere,” Reed said.

The beverages are breaking convention, and the Outbound name and imagery are meant to reflect that, said Kyle Merwin, co-founder of Born & Bred, the San Francisco-based branding agency behind the Outbound redesign.

“Regulation should never limit creativity; it should only inspire it,” Merwin said.

And even if the the beverage can’t be called a beer, there are clever ways of pulling in familiar language such as “flavor profile,” “hoppy,” “malty,” and “earthy,” he said.

“They’re going to feel it before they necessarily read it,” he said.

The rebranding efforts continued in the background as the company still had to continue business as usual, including exhibiting the brews under the High Style name at the inaugural Cannabis Drinks Expo that took place July 2019 in San Francisco.

“We’re trying to find our spot in cannabis; we’re trying to find our spot in craft beer,” Reed told CNN Business two weeks before the event.

As Reed poured samples of the non-infused, no-alcohol beer bases for the Grapefruit Haze, Pale Haze and Blood Orange Haze, she said she wasn’t breathing a word of the rebrand to any who approached the booth.

Now Outbound is shouting it from the rooftops, and the brewery’s officials are finding a silver lining in a major roadblock to national expansion.

“I’m grateful for that initial conversation with Nevada, so we’re diving into this sooner rather than later,” she said. “Of course, this would have been great to start as Outbound.”

New virus prompts CDC to screen passengers arriving from Chinese city

More than 100 staffers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are being deployed to three US airports to check passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, for fever and other symptoms of a mysterious new virus that’s killed two and infected dozens in China, the CDC announced Friday.

It’s a highly unusual step. The last time the CDC did routine passenger health screening was during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, according to Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s division of global migration and quarantine.

“I’ve been here since 1996, and that’s the only other time we’ve ever done this — for Ebola,” Cetron said.

The screenings at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will start tonight, and screenings at San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport will begin Saturday. The CDC will look for symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing and check temperatures of each passenger with an infrared thermometer.

The CDC took these steps after travelers from Wuhan recently arrived in Thailand and Japan infected with the new virus. There have been two cases in Thailand and one in Japan.

“Considering global travel patterns, additional cases in other countries are likely,” the World Health Organization stated in a press release Thursday.

Last year, more than 60,000 passengers flew into the United States from Wuhan, a city 700 miles south of Beijing. The vast majority flew into the three airports where the checks will take place, according to the CDC.

January is the peak travel season from China to the United States because of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Cetron said.

Cetron described the airport screenings as part of a set “proactive preparedness precautions.”

“We believe the current risk to this virus is low,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a press conference on Friday. “For families sitting around the dinner table tonight, this is not something they need to worry about.”

At this point, it appears most people caught the virus directly from animals, and the infection does not spread very easily from person to person.

“This is not a time for people to freak out and be overly concerned,” Cetron said. “This is a time for vigilance and awareness.”

He added that much more common illnesses, such as the flu, are “much bigger threats” to Americans than the new virus from China.

“I’m fully aware that the unknown is more of a source of anxiety than that which is already defined,” he said. “But we should not freak out.”

What we know about the new virus

So far, two people in China have died from this new virus, officially called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Some 45 people in China have become infected. Some have developed pneumonia.

Coronaviruses, such as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, are common in many species of animals, including camels and bats. Sometimes — but rarely — they evolve and infect humans as well.

Chinese health authorities have reported that most of the patients in Wuhan had visited a large seafood and animal market. However, some patients in the outbreak reportedly had not been to animal markets, which suggests that “some limited person-to-person spread may be occurring,” according to the CDC.

At least for now, that spread appears to be quite limited. Cetron said it’s “reassuring” that Chinese authorities report that no health care workers who’ve cared for the patients have become infected, and that some 700 other contacts of patients have also not become ill.

“This isn’t anywhere near in the same category as measles or flu,” Cetron said. Those two infections spread easily from person to person.

To learn more about this new virus, health authorities are taking a close look at SARS.

In 2003, SARS spread to more than two dozen countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Worldwide, more than 8,000 people became sick and 774 died. In the United States, there were 29 SARS cases and no deaths, according to the CDC.

SARS did spread person to person through close contact such as kissing, sharing utensils or talking to someone within 3 feet.

Cetron emphasized that this new virus may be different from its cousin and behave in unexpected ways.

“We have to have humility and appreciate that it may be different. We can’t just assume that what we know from previous viruses will always apply,” he said.

New screening procedures

Cetron said he expects that “the vast majority” of passengers arriving from Wuhan will be healthy. CDC will give them information in English and Mandarin about what symptoms to look for over the next two weeks.

After further investigation, travelers that are symptomatic will be sent to local hospitals that work with the CDC.

Cetron said the symptoms of the new virus are so common that he expects the screenings will catch many more people with the flu or other winter viruses than with the new coronavirus.

If it turns out someone does have the new virus, they’ll be isolated in the hospital.

He added that while there are still many questions about this new virus — its incubation period, for example, or how easily it spreads from person to person — the progress on it in such a short time has been impressive, including a sequencing of the virus’ genome.

“It’s quite remarkable to me that from a cluster of pneumonia detected just a little over a month ago in Wuhan, China, we have fully sequenced the virus and have some diagnostic capability to test for it,” he said.

Over 100 piglets die in semi-trailer crash near Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 100 piglets died Thursday when a semi-trailer carrying about 1,700 of the animals overturned on a freeway just north of Des Moines.

Tom Colvin, chief executive officer of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, said Friday about 100 piglets were found dead at the crash site. Crews had to euthanize another 17 that were injured.

“They were suffering,” Colvin told The Des Moines Register.

The crash happened Thursday afternoon when a livestock trailer overturned on a ramp to Interstate 35.

The surviving animals were loaded onto other trucks and driven to a livestock operation.

A jury has been selected in the Harvey Weinstein trial

(CNN) — A jury has been seated in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial, capping a selection process that began last week in New York State Supreme Court.

The jury is made up of seven men and five women. Three alternates — two women and one man — were also selected.

The 67-year-old film producer faces five felony counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault, based on claims by two women. He has denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors had accused Weinstein’s team on Thursday of systematically eliminating young white women from the pool of prospective jurors. Seven jurors were seated Thursday, none of whom were white women. Defense attorney Arthur Aidala told reporters the team had “very sound reasons.” The debate carried into Friday.

On Friday there was disagreement between the two sides about the 11th juror, who is writing a book about young women involved in sexual relationships with older men and the power dynamic associated with those relationships.

The defense fought for challenges on this but was denied. Weinstein could be seen mouthing the word “wow” when it was announced she would be a juror.

Among the jurors who were dismissed was 24-year-old supermodel Gigi Hadid.

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