WQAD News

Top 34 bestselling ‘fruit’ drinks for kids deemed unhealthy

Americans spent $1.4 billion on the most popular brands of children’s fruit drinks and flavored waters last year. Yet according to nutritional guidelines, none of the drinks were healthy.

Why would loving parents do this? Perhaps because US beverage companies spent $20.7 million to advertise fun, fruity drinks with added sugars to families in 2018, according to Children’s Drink Facts 2019, a new report from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

“I know that parents want their children to be healthy, but the sweetened drink market is just incredibly confusing to parents,” said lead author Jennifer Harris, the principal investigator for the three-year study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is alarmed that children consume so much added sugar,” said Dr. Natalie Muth, a pediatrician and lead author of the AAP policy statement on ways to reduce sugary drink consumption in children and teens.

“Added sugars increase the risk of many health harms including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and childhood obesity,” said Muth, who was not involved in the study. “Labels on drinks are confusing and misleading, causing parents to think they are providing their children a healthy drink when in actuality they are not.”

Confusing marketing

Two-thirds of the 34 sweetened drinks analyzed in the Children’s Drink Fact report contained no juice, yet images of fruit appeared on 85% of the packages. Most drinks which did contain juice capped the amount at 5%.

“Most of the sweetened drinks say, ‘good source of vitamin C’ or ‘100% vitamin C’ but they have no or little juice,” Harris said. “A lot of them say ‘low sugar,’ ‘less sugar.’ But they don’t say it’s because there’s added low-calorie artificial sweeteners in there. It’s just very confusing.”

It’s not just parents. Children are being exposed to advertising, the report found. Kids between the ages of 2 and 11 saw twice as many ads for sweetened drinks than ads for beverages without added sugars, and four times as many ads as adults.

Two of the most popular drinks — Kool Aid Jammers and Capri Sun Roarin’ — advertised their drinks directly to kids on children’s TV programs, the report said.

Both drinks contain 0% juice but have pictures of fruit on the front of the packaging. CNN reached out to Kraft Heinz, who manufactures both products, and did not receive a response.

Many major drink manufacturers have pledged to change how they advertise to children.

The American Beverage Association (ABA), which represents some of the drink manufacturers, provided this statement: “Our companies strictly follow guidelines established by independent monitors that limit the marketing of beverages to children to 100% juice, water or dairy-based beverages and monitor TV, radio and digital advertising to confirm compliance.”

There are several loopholes in their responsible marketing policy, Harris said. For example, children do see ads when watching TV with their parents.

“Also, the ABA does not consider packaging designed to appeal to children as marketing to children,” Harris said. “Both Hi C and Tum E Yummies are Coca-Cola children’s sweetened fruit drinks with packaging clearly aimed at children.”

Added sugars and artificial sweeteners

One third of all the sweetened fruit drinks contained at least 16 grams of sugar, more than half of the maximum amount of sugar a child is supposed to get each day. A few are even worse, like Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Lemonade fruit drink.

“The small 6-ounce juice box has 21 grams of sugar,” Harris said. “Children are not supposed to consume more than 25 grams of sugar a day. So that one juice box would use up most of that allowance for the day.”

When contacted by CNN for comment, Coca-Cola provided a link to recent efforts to reduce sugar across their portfolio.

Research shows that parents don’t want to give their child drinks with artificial sweeteners. Yet 74% of the tested sweetened fruit drinks and flavored waters contained low-calorie sweeteners. Both sugar and artificial sweeteners were in 38% of the beverages.

“If you look at the packaging of the products, it’s impossible to tell what’s inside the product just from the front of the package,” Harris said. “You have to turn it over and look at the ingredient list to see how much juice is in it, or to see if it has added sugar or low-calorie sweeteners.”

Starting on January 1, major brands with $10 million or more in sales must now disclose added sugars on the nutrition label on the back of all products, according ot new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration. Smaller manufacturers have an extra year to comply.

But the new label will not list low-calorie artificial sweetener, Harris said. Those will remain hidden in the list of ingredients, requiring sharp-eyed parents to search them out.

One worry, she said, is that parents may not recognize the chemical names for sweeteners, such as aspartame, acesulfame-potassium, sucralose, stevia, neotame or saccharin.

Yet avoiding sweetened beverages, especially those that are extra sweet because they are artificially sweetened, is critically important for children under age 5.

“That’s the age when kids’ taste preferences are developing,” Harris said. “So, if they get used to really sweet products, and artificial sweeteners can be overly sweet, then when you try to get your child to drink plain water or plain milk, it just doesn’t taste good to them. Under 5 is a really critical time.”

Stevia, made from a plant leaf, is often considered by parents to be “healthy,” but Harris said there’s no evidence that “it’s any different from the other sweeteners except that it’s made from a leaf as opposed to chemicals.”

“Nobody knows the impact it may have,” Harris said. “Nobody has been able to do the research, especially with children.”

Reaction to the report was negative from health groups

Reaction to the Children’s Drink Fact report from national health and nutrition organizations was cutting.

“As a nation we have to say ‘no’ to the onslaught of marketing of sugary drinks to our children,” said registered dietitian Rachel Johnson, former chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee, in a statement.

“We know what works to protect kids’ health and it’s time we put effective policies in place that bring down rates of sugary drink consumption just like we’ve done with tobacco,” Johnson added.

The report recommends manufacturers clearly label all added sugars, including low-calorie sweeteners, and display the percentage of juice on the front of the drink package, where it is more likely to be seen by consumers.

The report also suggests that the FDA prohibit the misleading use of fruit images on drinks with little to no juice and require manufacturers to meet the nutritional claims on their packaging.

Finally, the report says state and local taxes on sugary drinks should widen to include children’s fruit beverages and flavored waters, with the hopes that higher prices would discourage use.

“This may include sugary drink taxes combined with increase education on health harms, such as through warning labels,” said the AAP’s Muth. “Parents also play an important role by modeling healthy drink choices and refusing to purchase sugary drinks.”

Healthier choices

The American Heart Association joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to publish a consensus statement in September that lays out what children 5 and under should drink.

“All kids 5 and under should avoid drinking flavored milks, toddler formulas, plant-based/non-dairy milks, caffeinated beverages and sugar- and low-calorie sweetened beverages,” the recommendations say, “as these beverages can be big sources of added sugars in young children’s diets and provide no unique nutritional value.”

Babies under six months only need breast milk and formula. As for juice, the group says it’s best to avoid juice for children under 1. “Even 100% fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit.”

That’s because the natural sugars in juice contribute to weight gain and dental decay as much as other sugars, say pediatricians. While juice does contain some vitamins and a bit of calcium, the overall lack of protein and fiber make it a poor choice for a healthy drink.

The drinks of choice for a child’s second year of life should be water and whole milk, the groups advises. “A small amount of juice is OK,” the recommendations say, “but make sure it’s 100% fruit juice to avoid added sugar. Better yet, serve small pieces of real fruit, which are even healthier.”

Between age 2 and 5 parents should move to skim or low-fat milk and keep pushing water to hydrate their children. Juice should be kept to a minimum and “remember adding water can make a little go a long way,” the guidance says.

And as the child grows, “water and milk are the preferred go-to beverages for all kids,” said Muth.

For parents who plan to provide 100% juice, the Children’s Drink Fact report had a bit of good news.

Beverage manufacturers have made some strides: there were 33 different brands of either 100% juice or juice-water blends.

But be careful with 100% juice boxes and pouches, the report said, because most contained more than 4 oz, which is the maximum daily amount of juice recommended for toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3. A few even contained more than 6 oz., the max recommended for preschoolers aged 4 to 6.

Most of the juice-water blends, the report said, contained less than 50 calories, and were lower in total sugars and calories than 100% juice.

Camera records sanitation worker going out of his way to help 88-year-old woman

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A kind gesture led to an unlikely friendship between a sanitation worker and an elderly woman in Missouri.

Colette Kingston often monitors movement around her 88-year-old mother’s home in Independence. She had a Ring camera installed to check on her mother, Opal Zucca, who has dementia.

On Monday, she saw something that she could only describe as “sweet.”

“I actually got a little teary eyed,” Colette told WDAF.

She noticed a sanitation worker walking her mom - arm’s locked - carrying her trash can up her driveway.

“A little walking ain’t never hurt nobody,” the man is heard saying in the video.

“I’ve kind of seen him off and on, on different videos but never really paid attention, but he was so gentle with here,” Colette said.

In January, Opal tripped and hit her head while trying to retrieve her trashcan. The same man seen in the video was there when it happened and hasn’t left her side since.

He’s also heard in the video joking with Opal.

“You are looking good. I like that hair,” he said smiling. “You got it down. I got to work on mine.”

Opal’s family wants to thank the man for his kindness.

“Maybe if he has something fun he would like to do, like a Chiefs game or a Sporting game, something like to make sure he got tickets,” Colette said.

They know he works for Waste Management. The company later told WDAF that employees identified the man as Billy Shelby.

“Most of the time you don’t even know their face, let alone a name with them,” Colette said of how often sanitation workers go unnoticed.

Opal said she whispers a short prayer for the man every time she sees him.

“He’s just a very wonderful person, and I really appreciate,” she added.

Her family said they're touched that a stranger would go the extra mile to make sure their mom is taken care of.

“It’s just so sweet that somebody that doesn’t have any gain in this would be just extra nice to her,” Colette said. “It just reminds you that there are still a whole lot of good people out there.”

Child reported dead at a home in Monmouth

MONMOUTH, Illinois– A child was reported dead at a home in Monmouth.

Monmouth police and fire departments responded to a call at a home in the 700 block of East Third Avenue around 3:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 14, according to Monmouth Police Chief Joe Switzer.

No foul play is suspected and no other information is being released out of respect for the family.

The investigation is ongoing.

One person dead after motorcycle crash in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa– The driver of a motorcycle is dead after a crash in Davenport.

The motorcycle was traveling from Rockingham Road onto West River Drive Tuesday, Oct. 15 just after 7:30 p.m., according to a statement from the Davenport Police Department.

The Victim is identified as Donald C. Barton 52, from Rural Muscatine County.

The motorcycle crashed on the ramp and Barton was declared dead at the scene, the statement said.

Barton was the only rider and there were no other vehicles involved.

The ramp was briefly closed while officials investigated the crash.

‘I’m devastated,’ says neighbor who called police before Atatiana Jefferson was shot, killed by officer

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FORT WORTH, Texas — James Smith never thought a simple call to police to check on his neighbor would lead to her death.

“I am devastated,” he said. “And people say, ‘Well, James, it’s not your fault.’ But I made the call. I made the call because I thought they were going to do what I called them to do, check on my neighbor, and they didn’t do that.”

He said he was sitting on his porch at about 2 a.m. Saturday when he noticed his neighbor’s doors open, which he said was unusual.

He said before he called police, he crossed the street to check for himself.

“I noticed all the lights were on,” he said of when he got to Atatiana Jefferson’s driveway. “It was bright and I didn’t hear or see anything.”

Smith said since he wasn’t armed and unsure of what, if anything, was happening, he decided to call police.

He says he waited for a squad car and planned to talk officers when they got there.

“I sat on the porch and waited for police to explain why I called and no car pulled up,” he said.

Police said officers parked down the street and walked up to the house.

“Out of the corner of my eye I see two people coming across the street with flashlights and I think, ‘Who is that?'” Smith said. “When they got to the front door I am thinking they are police and they are going to knock on the door and this is going to be over with and we will find out if they are OK.”

Smith says instead of the officers going in or ringing the doorbell they walked around the back.

“They open the gate and as soon as that gate opens, pow,” he said.

Officer Aaron Dean didn’t announce himself. Jefferson, 28, was standing near a window.

Body camera footage showed Dean shouting for Jefferson to get her hands up. Within seconds, he fires his gun, killing Jefferson.

Photo Credit: Rev. Kyev Tatum

Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her own home by a Fort Worth police officer early Saturday morning.

“This is the most tragic thing in my life,” Smith said. The most tragic thing in my life and there is no erasing that. It can’t be erased.”

He’s lived on the same street for 50 years and says he’s always watched out for his neighbors because that’s how he was raised.

“I was taught to be a concerned citizen,” he said.

He says some people have criticized him for calling police but he says he thought he was doing the right thing. He says he told his family not to pay attention to the negative comments about him on social media.

“I told them there are difficult days ahead, to quote MLK, there are difficult days ahead, and don’t take it personally,” Smith said.

He says he wishes things had turned out differently.

“I’ve prayed and I’ve cried and I’ve prayed and I’ve cried,” Smith said. “And not to quote a song, but I have prayed and cried, and now I am going to fight. I am ready.”

He says he’s now going to fight for change and justice.

He says he believes there are good officers that do good work every day.

“You tell us if you see something say something,” Smith said. “Well, if you have a bad cop on the force or you think he’s a bad cop, then you should say something.”

https://video.wfaa.com/assets/WFAA/videos/d9d5528f-4efc-435c-bee4-03c73edbb004/d9d5528f-4efc-435c-bee4-03c73edbb004_2000.mp4

Chipotle will cover tuition for employee’s tech and business degrees

(CNN) — Chipotle will pay for its employees to get business or technology degrees at certain colleges, the company said Tuesday. The new program, which kicks off on November 15, is the restaurant chain’s latest effort to attract and retain talent in a highly competitive labor market.

Employees who have been at the company for at least 120 days and work a minimum of 15 hours per week can choose from 75 different degree programs at five schools: the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Wilmington University and Southern New Hampshire University.

Chipotle will cover tuition only if employees remain at the company, and ask that they stay for at least six months after they earn their degrees. The new benefit is an expansion of Chipotle’s existing programs. The chain already offers up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement as well as other education assistance programs.

Unemployment is at 3.5%, a historically low level. Competition for workers is fierce, and companies are fighting for them in a variety of ways. Starbucks is improving its mental health benefits. McDonald’s has partnered with AARP in a bid to hire older employees. And Taco Bell threw “hiring parties” to attract new talent.

With so many good options, companies have to make a good case for their employees to join their companies and stay.

The debt-free degree program is a way for Chipotle to show current employees that they are committed to helping with their personal and professional development, said Marissa Andrada, chief people officer for Chipotle. It’s also a way to attract new employees who are concerned about college debt.

“For young people to have the ability to afford an education — what a great way to attract new talent,” she said. Andrada explained that when Chipotle polled its general managers through an engagement survey, many said that educational benefits were important.

They also reported interest in the company’s business and tech developments, Andrada said, which is why Chipotle selected those two degree options.

Chipotle has made reducing turnover a priority to improve customer service and efficiency in stores.

“We are focused on team stability and development,” CEO Brian Niccol said while discussing the company’s first quarter earnings in April.

He stressed the importance of holding on to restaurant managers “through better leadership training, providing a clear direction on career progression to ensure long-term success and great benefits.”

Former First National Bank in Rock Island faces uncertain future

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- A 60-year-old building in downtown Rock Island is set for demolition, but that plan is facing opposition from a preservation group who says there is architectural significance left to save.

The former First National Bank on 17th Street needs a new HVAC system, boiler and windows, among other repairs, according to Sharon Snawerdt, a spokeswoman for Modern Woodmen of America, which owns the building.

Snawerdt said the needed updates and renovations aren't cost-effective. Due to the price of restoration, Modern Woodmen Bank had planned to demolish the building later this year and keep the land for redevelopment, according to Snawerdt.

Now, the Rock Island Preservation Society is stepping in. It's filed an application with the City of Rock Island to make the building a landmark.

Though the building is already on the National Register of Historic Places, it isn't protected from demolition, according to Linda Anderson with the preservation society.

But, with a landmark status, any changes to the building's exterior must be approved through the city's preservation commission, Anderson said.

That includes demolition.

"In the 1960s, the international style was really new and it was coming here with architects from Chicago," she said.

The landmark application will first be reviewed by a subcommittee of the preservation commission. That subcommittee is expected to be formed at the commission's meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

After that, there will be a public hearing on the application before the commission votes on it. If approved, Modern Woodmen of America would have the opportunity to appeal the status with the city council.

Snarwerdt said demolition will likely be held up until early next year while they work through this process.

Huge cruise ship squeezes through Greek canal to claim record

(CNN) -- Cruise passengers held their breath as a 22.5 meter wide cruise liner became the largest boat to pass through Greece's narrow Corinth Canal, according to its operator.

Carrying 929 passengers on board, the Braemar cruise liner narrowly managed to squeeze through the rocky walls of the canal -- which measures a maximum of 25 meters wide at the water's surface -- making it the longest boat to make the journey, cruise company Fred Olsen said.

The Corinth Canal is a tidal waterway connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf, dividing the Pelopónnisos from mainland Greece.

Ships have been navigating through the narrow waterways since 1893, but on Wednesday, Fred Olsen claimed to have captained the longest cruise ship through the canal. The ship weighs 24,344 gross tons, and is 195.82 meters long.

"Today Braemar made history as the longest-ever ship to cruise through the CorinthCanal," Fred Olsen cruise liners said on social media.

At 6.3km (3.9 miles) long, the Corinth Canal shortens the sea route from Italian ports to the port of Athens.

"This is such an exciting sailing and tremendous milestone in Fred Olsen's 171-year history, and we are thrilled to have been able to share it with our guests," Clare Ward, director of product and customer service for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said in a statement.

"At Fred Olsen, we strive to create memories that last a lifetime, and with guests on board Braemar able to get so close to the edges of the Corinth Canal that they could almost touch the sides, we know that this will be a holiday that they will never forget," she added.

Talk about a tight squeeze.

Mexican Lasagna is a thing and it’s delicious!

As the weather turns colder, we're always looking for a great recipe that warms the kitchen and our stomachs.

This recipe for Mexican Lasagna comes from one of my friends, Laura Magolan, who is a TV news producer in Milwaukee. She's super clever in the kitchen so I decided to put this recipe to the test this past weekend.

We talked about this on Monday's Good Morning Quad Cities and so many people asked for the recipe. I asked Laura and because she's so nice and you're well-deserving, here it is:

Laura’s Mexican Lasagna
-2 cans of medium red enchilada sauce
-1 lb ground beef
-1 8oz tube of pork chorizo
-1 can black beans rinsed
-12 lasagna noodles (cooked)
-cilantro
-scallions
-1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
-1 cup pepper jack cheese (shredded)
-1 cup chipotle cheddar cheese (or another cheese of your choosing) (shredded)
-3 jalapeño peppers
-2 poblano peppers
-corn kernels (half a bag of frozen)
-1.5 palmful of hot Mexican Chili powder
-1.5 palmful of cumin
-.5 palmful of garlic powder

Brown ground beef & chorizo in a pan and add the Chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Add frozen corn to the meat and set aside.

Then, roast the poblano and jalapeños over an open flame until skin is charred & black (I did this on the gas grill, set on high). Let cool. Then peel that charred skin off, slice in half, and take scrape out the seeds.

*NOTE* I asked the friendly deli people at Hy-Vee for some food gloves and used those when working with the peppers.

Chop your roasted peppers up into a small dice. Boil the lasagna noodles to al-dente doneness.

Now it’s time to assemble!

Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and then spread a little bit of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Put three lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan. Then spread half of the corn & meat mixture on the noodles. Toss a little cilantro on top, spread some black beans, and cover with a little bit of all the cheese to make the first layer. Add a little of the enchilada sauce to help bind everything together. There’s your first layer!

Next layer: put down three noodles, spread some enchilada sauce on the noodles, spread all of the chopped poblano and jalapeño peppers, add a little bit of the black beans, some chopped cilantro, more of the cheeses, and layer two is done!

Final layer is same as the first: meat, beans, cilantro, cheese & a little enchilada sauce! Now throw those last noodles on top, pour the rest of the sauce to cover the noodles & spread out your cheese to cover like you would with a traditional lasagna!

Cover your lasagna with aluminum foil and pop in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes! Top with chopped cilantro, scallions and you can put a little sour cream on top and enjoy!

Of course, like any lasagna, you can make revisions to leave anything out or put other things in. I made the lasagna using plant-based chorizo and added olives. You certainly could use peppers in a jar, instead of the fire-roasted ones, but it won't be as much fun to put together.

Have a good time and post your completed photos on my Facebook page!

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Three assisted living facility employees accused of encouraging elderly residents to fight

(CNN) -- Three employees at a North Carolina assisted living facility are accused of allowing elderly residents to fight one another, encouraging them to fight, and, in one case, assaulting a resident.

Marilyn Latish McKey, 32; Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20; and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26, have been arrested and charged, according to a police report.

A report of elder abuse made to Winston-Salem police in June accused employees of allowing residents to fight one another, the police report said. Police and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services then learned that employees were also encouraging the fighting.

One employee, police say, physically shoved a resident.

According to the police report no injuries were reported or discovered.

Tyson and Jordan are facing one count each of assault on an individual with a disability for the June incident at the Danby House assisted living facility in Winston-Salem, according to the report. McKey is facing two counts of the same charge.

All three are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 14. CNN has attempted to reach out to the defendants. It is unclear if they have legal representation.

Danby House spokesman James Harvey denounced calling the incident a "Fight Club," saying the investigation was related to one isolated incident.

The facility said that the three employees were fired immediately and that administrators are working closely with police.

"Danby House has a zero-tolerance policy for the mistreatment of those in our care," the facility said in a statement. "Additional staff training and a more rigorous vetting process for all new and existing employees at Danby House has been implemented."

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ordered the facility to stop admitting residents in August after determining that conditions were "detrimental to the health and safety of the resident."

The suspension of admission will be lifted after Danby House enacts a plan of correction and the department returns for an unannounced inspection, the health and human services department said in a statement.

Brazen thief steals $20,000 Dali artwork in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A brazen thief stole a Salvador Dali etching valued at $20,000 from a San Francisco gallery, then walked off down the street with the work in his hand.

"Burning Giraffe," a 1960s hand-colored, limited-edition surrealist work, was stolen in seconds Sunday afternoon from Dennis Rae Fine Art off Union Square.

Rasjad Hopkins, a gallery director, said he was working alone and may have turned his back away from the front of the store, where the piece was displayed on an easel facing the window.

"He was in and out of there in a shot. He probably did it in less than a minute," Hopkins said Monday.

The gallery has a video camera, but it wasn't on at the time, Hopkins said.

However, surveillance video from another business showed the man strolling down Geary Street with the artwork in his hand, KGO-TV reported .

The etching normally was secured with a tether, but it wasn't at the time of the theft, Hopkins said.

KGO-TV said the etching would have been secured with a lock and cable that are missing and may have been cut off by the crook. But Hopkins said he doubted that. He suggested the tether might have been removed a day earlier for a showing and not replaced.

Although art thieves sometimes have clients who pay for certain pieces, "I think it was a theft of opportunity," Hopkins said.

The etching was insured, he said. It was one of about 30 pieces on display for the gallery's ongoing Dali exhibition.

Hopkins said the etching is relatively rare. "I'd say it's one of the most desirable pieces out of that period," he added.

It is very well-known and is also numbered, Hopkins said.

That made it unlikely to be sold online, another director, Angela Kellett, told KGO-TV.

Anyone with information on the theft can contact police.

Dozens attend first ever ‘rage yoga’ class, which includes cursing and alcohol

KANSAS CITY, MO (WDAF ) -- Yoga is about finding your center. There's a new trend to track down tranquility in the metro, but it’s a more alternative twist to the usually peaceful exercise.

Amanda Kauffman strolled into the back room at Cinder Block Brewery Monday night with a beer in one hand and a yoga mat in the other. She was there to teach the first ever rage yoga class in Kansas City.

“It’s a little bit different than your traditional yoga," she said. "You have dim lights, you have soft music. This is the complete opposite. It’s yoga with an attitude basically.”

She started practicing yoga seven years ago, but two years back, she came across a new technique she said is more her style.

“A lot of people stay away from yoga because they think, 'Oh well, you know, I’m not good enough for that, or what are people going to think about my poses,'" she said. "And in here, you can just be yourself.”

Kauffman now teaches rage yoga.

“The technique is different. Instead of calming your mind, you’re bringing everything out instead," she said. "Instead of just trying to push it out quietly, you’re going to push it out, and it’s going to be loud!”

Monday night’s class participants each got a beer that they drank throughout their time on the mat, and traditional hand motions and positions were replaced with gestures and sounds you’d more likely see at a rock concert.

“I’ve never done rage yoga before," attendee Hillary Luppino said. "I had recently seen something online about it, and then I saw that it was available here, so I just jumped on the opportunity.”

She appreciated the alcohol twist, but also “the idea of also kind of incorporating the stress release of like yelling or screaming or flipping somebody off, you know what I mean?”

Kauffman described the scene before the 7 p.m. class began.

“We’ll be listening to loud explicit music, we will be cussing, using profanity, yelling, screaming, just letting all the negative energy out tonight. That’s the goal," she said.

The instructor said mental health is as critical as physical maintenance, and the combination of these two things appealed to her.

“In my house, I practice yoga to rock music, to metal music, to loud music," Kauffman said. "That’s just what I enjoy. So when I saw the teacher training program for rage yoga, it spoke to me. It’s the perfect combination of anyone who’s into yoga and into an alternative lifestyle as well.”

The rage yoga practice began in Canada, and there have been two instructor training courses so far. The next class here in the metro is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Anytime Fitness in Excelsior Springs.

Former NASA scientist says they found life on Mars in the 1970s

(CNN) -- We may have already discovered the essence of life on Mars 40 years ago, according to a former NASA scientist.

Gilbert V. Levin, who was principal investigator on a NASA experiment that sent Viking landers to Mars in 1976, published an article in the Scientific American journal last Thursday, arguing the experiment's positive results were proof of life on the red planet.

The experiment, called Labeled Release (LR), was designed to test Martian soil for organic matter. "It seemed we had answered that ultimate question," Levin wrote in the article.

In the experiment, the Viking probes placed nutrients in Mars soil samples -- if life were present, it would consume the food and leave gaseous traces of its metabolism, which radioactive monitors would then detect.

To make sure it was a biological reaction, the test was repeated after cooking the soil, which would prove lethal to known life. If there was a measurable reaction in the first and not the second sample, that would suggest biological forces at work -- and that's exactly what happened, according to Levin.

However, other experiments failed to find any organic material and NASA couldn't duplicate the results in their laboratory -- so they dismissed the positive result as false positives, some unknown chemical reaction rather than proof of extraterrestrial life.

"NASA concluded that the LR had found a substance mimicking life, but not life," said Levin in his article. "Inexplicably, over the 43 years since Viking, none of NASA's subsequent Mars landers has carried a life detection instrument to follow up on these exciting results."

But now, decades later, there are more and more promising signs. NASA's Curiosity rover found organic matter on Mars in 2018, and just last week it found sediments that suggest there were once ancient salty lakes on the surface of Mars.

"What is the evidence against the possibility of life on Mars?" Levin wrote. "The astonishing fact is that there is none."

Levin, a maverick researcher who has often run afoul of the NASA bureaucracy, has insisted for decades that "it is more likely than not that we detected life." Now, he and LR co-experimenter Patricia Ann Straat are calling for further investigation.

"NASA has already announced that its 2020 Mars lander will not contain a life-detection test," Levin wrote in the Scientific American article. "In keeping with well-established scientific protocol, I believe an effort should be made to put life detection experiments on the next Mars mission possible."

He proposed that the LR experiment be repeated on Mars, with certain amendments, and then have its data studied by a panel of experts.

"Such an objective jury might conclude, as I did, that the Viking LR did find life," he wrote.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover is set to launch next summer and land in February 2021. It carries an instrument that will help it search for past signs of life on Mars -- the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals instrument, dubbed SHERLOC.

The rover will look for past habitable environments, find biosignatures in rock and will test those samples back on Earth.

But if scientists fail to find evidence of life, that won't end the hope for human exploration. Mars 2020 will also test oxygen production on the planet and monitor Martian weather to evaluate how potential human colonies could fare on Mars.

Dutch police find family who lived for years in isolation on a farm

This aerial picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a farmhouse near the village of Ruinerwold, where Dutch police discovered a hidden staircase behind a cupboard leading to a cellar where a man and five others believed to be his children aged between 18 and 25 were hidden and reportedly spent years “waiting for the end of time”, officials said. Police arrested a 58-year-old man at the scene for failing to cooperate with the investigation, but he was not the father. Many questions were unanswered and police are investigating “All scenarios”. (Photo by WILBERT BIJZITTER/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Police in the Netherlands are investigating after finding a family on a farm who had been living in isolation from the outside world for years.

Authorities in the town of Ruinerwold, about an hour and a half north of Amsterdam, say they made the discovery after receiving a tip from “a young man,” who was concerned about the conditions “his family” were living in. 

Officials said they found five siblings, ranging in age from 18 to 25 years old, and a man they identified as their father, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that the police said in a statement that they found them living in a small space in the house which could be locked and it’s unclear if they were there voluntarily. Police added that the individuals may have been there for 9 years.

Local news reports indicated the family had been waiting for the end of time.

A nearby bar owner, Chris Westerbeek, told RTV Drenthe he called police after one of the siblings, a 25-year-old man “with a confused look in his eyes,” with unkempt hair, a long beard and old clothes walked in to his bar and ordered five beers for himself. 

“He said where he came from, that he’d run away and that he needed help urgently,” Westerbeek said.

Mayor Roger de Groot said the group apparently had not had contact with the outside world for years and the siblings’ mother is believed to have died a number of years ago, according to Reuters

“Police found makeshift living quarters where the family was living in hiding,” de Groot said. 

The farm that the group was hold up on sits over 600 feet from the road and is hidden by dense trees.

Police said they arrested a 58-year-old man who rented the property, but it wasn’t immediately clear why or what his relationship was to the family. Police said he wasn’t the father.

According to Dutch media, a resident in the area was quoted as saying, “The whole neighborhood knew that things were not right.”

Dutch police and local news outlets are still not sure if the family was being held on the farm against their will and have not released details yet if anyone has been charged with a crime, under Dutch law.

Police are asking the media to be patient while they continue their investigation to try and find out more details on why the group was isolated for so long, how they came to be on the property and how they are related to one another.

AP FACT CHECK: Claims from the Democratic debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twelve Democrats seeking the presidency tussled Tuesday night in a wide-ranging debate featuring the largest number of qualifying candidates on the same stage.

Here’s a look at how some of their claims from Westerville, Ohio, stack up with the facts:

JOE BIDEN: “I would not have withdrawn the troops, and I would not have withdrawn the additional 1,000 troops that are in Iraq, which are in retreat now being fired on by Assad’s people.”

THE FACTS: The former vice president is wrong. There is no evidence that any of the approximately 1,000 American troops preparing to evacuate from Syria have been fired on by Syrian government forces led by President Bashar Assad. A small group of U.S. troops came under Turkish artillery fire near the town of Kobani last week, without anyone being injured, but there is no indication that Syrian troops have shot at the withdrawing Americans. Also, Biden was addressing the situation in Syria, not Iraq.

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PETE BUTTIGIEG: “We are at the cusp of building a new American majority to actually do things that congressmen and senators have been talking about for my entire life — on guns, we are this close to an assault weapons ban, that would be huge.”

THE FACTS: No, the U.S. is not close to enacting an assault-weapons ban. Congress is not on the verge of passing one. Prospects for such a ban are bound to remain slim until the next election at least.

Legislation under discussion in the Senate would expand background checks for gun sales, a politically popular idea even with gun owners. But even that bill has stalled because of opposition from the National Rifle Association and on-again, off-again support from Trump. Democrats and some Republicans in Congress say they will continue to push for the background checks bill, but movement appears unlikely during an impeachment inquiry and general dysfunction in Congress. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he won’t move forward on gun legislation without Trump’s strong support.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was citing the chance for an assault-weapons ban as a reason for not supporting the more radical proposal by Democratic presidential rival Beto O’Rourke to force gun owners to give up AR-15’s and other assault-style weapons. But the ban is not coming together as he stated.

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KAMALA HARRIS: “Five million assault weapons are on the streets of America today.”

THE FACTS: The California senator’s statistic on the number of AR- and AK-style firearms is not accurate. Even the gun industry estimates there are now 16 million “assault weapons” in circulation in the United States today. In 1994, President Bill Clinton enacted an assault weapons ban, at a time when there were an estimated 1.5 million of them in circulation. Current owners were allowed to keep them, however, and once the ban expired a decade later, sales resumed and boomed.

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ELIZABETH WARREN: “The data show that we’ve had a lot of problems with losing jobs, but the principal reason has been bad trade policy. The principal reason has been a bunch of corporations, giant multinational corporations who’ve been calling the shots on trade.”

THE FACTS: Economists mostly blame those job losses on automation and robots, not trade deals.

So the Massachusetts senator is off.

Let’s start by acknowledging that the U.S. economy has been adding jobs, just that the nature of those jobs has changed as factory work and other occupations have become less prevalent.

Trade with China has contributed to shuttered factories and the loss of roughly 2 million jobs, according to researchpublished in 2014.

But the primary culprit that accounted for 88% of factory job losses between 2000 and 2010 was automation, according to researchers at Ball State University.

There is also a bigger threat from automation for workers outside factories. These are secretaries, bookkeepers and a wide array of professions. Automation can displace these workers and put downward pressure on their wages, forcing them to find other jobs.

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WARREN: Buttigieg’s Medicare buy-in option is “Medicare for all who can afford it.”

THE FACTS: Warren ignored the fact that Buttigieg would provide subsidies to help people pay premiums for the plan.

She was jabbing at Buttigieg’s proposal to create an optional health insurance plan based on Medicare. Individual Americans could join it, even those covered by employer plans.

Buttigieg calls it “Medicare for all who want it.”

His plan tracks with Biden’s health care proposal . Biden would also provide subsidies for those who pick his “public option.”

Details are unclear on who would get financial assistance, and how much that would be. But Buttigieg and Biden have said they want to provide help to a broader cross section of Americans than are currently helped by the Affordable Care Act.

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JULIAN CASTRO, former U.S. housing secretary: “Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania actually in the latest jobs data have lost jobs, not gained them.”

THE FACTS: Nope.

Figures from the Labor Department show that the former Housing and Urban Development secretary is wrong.

Ohio added jobs in August. So did Michigan . Same with Pennsylvania .

So Castro’s statement is off.

However, these states still have economic struggles. Pennsylvania has lost factory jobs since the end of 2018. So has Michigan . And Ohio has shed 100 factory jobs so far this year.

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WARREN: “Mueller had shown to a fare-thee-well that this president obstructed justice.”

THE FACTS: That’s not exactly what special counsel Robert Mueller showed.

It’s true that prosecutors examined more than 10 episodes for evidence of obstruction of justice, and that they did illustrate efforts by President Donald Trump to stymie the Russia investigation or take control of it.

But ultimately, Mueller did not reach a conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice or broke any other law. He cited Justice Department policy against the indictment of a sitting president, and said that since he could not bring charges against Trump, it was unfair to accuse him of a crime. There was no definitive finding that he obstructed justice.

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Associated Press writers Cal Woodward, Robert Burns, Josh Boak, Matthew Daly, Lisa Marie Pane, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Eric Tucker and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.

More than slides and swing, this Galesburg playground challenges students

GALESBURG, ILLINOIS  --  A new playground is open at Lombard Junior High School in Galesburg, Illinois.  It doesn't include your typical swing and slide, it's giving students a challenge.

"They were over the moon when they saw it," Life Skills teacher Jake Murdock said. "I think any kid benefits from walking away from school work all day. It's something to look forward to."

The playground is based on the show 'American Ninja Warrior' and also has elements of the NFL Combine.

"It allows kids to compete with each other and get flexible and use mobility skills," Tony Oligney-estill, Galesburg Parks and Rec Director said.

"When kids got back to school they thought it was a water park at first," Principal Nick Young said. "I see the smiles on their faces and that's what it's all about."

The playground is also ADA accessible, with ramps for students of all abilities.

"I also like that so many of my kids, regardless of their abilities, are able to use so many things in here," Murdock said.

The city and the school teamed up to build the $280,000 playground. They received a grant for the project in January 2019.

Members of the city and public are allowed to use the playground after school hours.

The school will also add a basketball court to the campus next school year.

Formerly homeless single mom becomes Knox County’s first female African American Mortician and Deputy Coroner

GALESBURG, Illinois - Monday, Oct 14, was the first day of work for a woman making history in Knox County.

Saudia Carson, a funeral director at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home located on North Seminary Street in Galesburg, is Knox County's first African American deputy corner and is the first female African American mortician.

Her job is to help make people look beautiful on the saddest of days. However, her ability to find the beauty on sad days began years ago.

"I never would’ve thought I would ever be working here," said Carson about the Watson Thomas Funeral Home.

"I used to ride by this place when I was younger and to me it was always a rich man's funeral home," said Carson.

Carson said she was just 12-years-old when she left an abusive home.

She went on to spend most of her childhood homeless.

"I ended up wherever I could lay my head. Sometimes that was on people couches, sometimes that was in abandoned cars, sometimes it was just outside," said Carson.

Saudia Carson's brother was murdered on Nov. 20, 1998. He died just five days before her 19th birthday.

Just before her 19th Birthday, her brother was murdered.

In the two years that followed that tragedy, Carson would give birth to two daughters.

By 1999, she was a single mother of two with an 8th grade education.

"I was just trying to show my daughters that anything is possible," said Carson.

So, Saudia Carson decided to pack up her kids and head to Washington with nothing more than $20 in her pocket.

During that time, Carson obtained her GED and worked as a CNA for about 12 years.

She also gave birth to a set of twins and worked to provide a stable home for her children as a single mom.

However, her dream of becoming a mortician never died.

"One day I just packed everything I own and put it in a van and drove to Illinois and signed up for school," said Carson about the year 2010. "When I got into that schooling, I didn`t bull-crap. I wanted it and I was hungry for it."

Saudia Carson graduated from Carl Sandburg College with a degree in Mortuary Science in 2012.

Carson went on to graduate from Carl Sandburg College with a degree in Mortuary Science.

"When they called my name I didn’t expect the reaction I got from the crowd. I didn’t realize how many people knew me. You would’ve thought I was a celebrity when they called me up," said Carson about her graduation day.

She would spend the next three years trying to land a job.

The first year, she was an apprentice who worked for free.

Then, she went on to work for "pennies or trade" working at funeral homes all over the State of Illinois.

By year three, she said she finally landed a "real job" in Decatur, Illinois.

Then, when her mentor was ready to retire from Carson's dream funeral home job in Galesburg, Carson knew it was an opportunity she could not pass up.

"I applied, not really thinking that I would get it. I knew I really wanted it and, so, I went for it and here I am," said Carson.

Today Saudia Carson is a deputy coroner, a funeral director, and a proud single mom.

"I`m becoming a triple threat. This is what I`ve always wanted to do," said Carson.

She is also proof that dreams should never die.

Instead, hard work and determination can be used to achieve those dreams.

"There were times where I would have given up on myself but, for some reason I kept pushing," said Carson.

A woman making history and leaving a legacy for the next generation.

Rock Island holds first walk in flu shot clinic

ROCK ISLAND- The Rock Island County Public Health Department held it's first walk-in flu shot clinic on October 15.

It was the first of seven clinics at the Rock Island location this season.

The clinic is accepting most major insurances but if you don't have insurance the vaccine is only $30 dollars without insurance.

The department is also hosting clinics across Rock Island County through October. Including Milan and Andalusia.

Ex-convicts returning to work get free haircuts in Eastern Iowa

IOWA- Ex-offenders in Eastern Iowa got a confidence boost before re-entering the workforce.

A new program is giving free haircuts to people who are now out of prison and looking for work. The program is through the Iowa Work Release Center.

They provide free resume building workshops and connect ex-cons with potential employers.

The organizers say they believe in order to do good, you first have to feel good.

Iowa Works will hold a mock interview to further help prepare people looking for work on October 16.

Osaka Moline pays $80K in back wages

MOLINE, Illinois- Osaka Buffet in Moline Illinois has now paid nearly $80,000 in back wages according to a US Department Of Labor investigation.

The restaurant was found in violation of wage and overtime violations for 33 current and former employees.

Officials say the investigation took place from September 2016 to September 2018. The back wages are now paid in full.

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