The latest local news

Zombie Burger to close Iowa City location

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Zombie Burger and Shake Lab in Iowa City is set to close in early February.

The undead-themed eatery made the announcement on their Facebook page on January 19th, saying the restaurant would have its final day of service on Saturday, February 3rd.

In their Facebook post, the restaurant did confirm that their nearby location at the Coral Ridge Mall would remain open.  All of the Zombie Burger locations will continue to accept gift cards.

YOUR HEALTH: How you can prevent ACL injuries

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DURHAM, North Carolina – Hattie Cutcliffe has loved gymnastics since she was a little girl.

"I was one of those kids who was rough and tumble just bouncing around everywhere."

That was until one day on the balance beam.

"I was doing a skill called an aerial cartwheel, which is essentially a cartwheel with no hands."

She landed off balance and tore her anterior cruciate ligament or ACL.

"There are over 400,000 ACL tears in the US each year," said researcher Dr. Louis DeFrate.

Many people may hear or feel a "pop" in the knee when the injury occurs.  They may also feel unstable, see swelling of the knee, and find it too painful to put any weight on it.   Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help regain strength and stability.

DeFrate and his research team at Duke University are studying the causes of ACL tears.

Hoping to prevent this type of injury, DeFrate and his team created a "stress test", combining MRIs of the knee with high tech X-ray imaging.

"We can see which positions the ACL is stretched the most and when it's most likely to fail," explained Dr. DeFrate.

Which can lead to better training programs for athletes and weekend warriors.

WOMEN AT RISK:  Women are more likely than men to have an ACL injury than men who participate in the same sports.  Studies have suggested some reasons for this.  Women athletes overall exhibit a strength imbalance in their thighs; with the muscle with the front being stronger than those in the back.  The hamstrings help prevent the shinbone from moving too far forward, a movement that can cause an overextension of the ACL.

"Perhaps working certain muscle groups to prevent the injury from happening," added Dr. DeFrate.

Hattie now coaches young girls gymnastics and teaches them the proper way to land and keeping young athletes active and their knees safe from injury.

COMPLICATIONS: People who experience an ACL injury may be at higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, which occurs when the joint cartilage deteriorates and its smooth surface becomes rough. Arthritis may occur even if someone has surgery to reconstruct the ligament. Multiple factors can influence the likelihood or risk of arthritis, such as the severity of the original knee injury, the presence of another related injury in the knee, or the level of activity after treatment.  (Source:

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 or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Unity Christian in Fulton cancels school Tuesday due to illness

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FULTON, Illinois — A school in Whiteside County is closing its doors for a day due to illness.

Unity Christian School will not hold classes Tuesday, January 23rd, giving staff and students a day to “stay home, rest and recover” as they sanitize the school. The closure was announced both on the school’s website and Facebook page.

On Monday, January 22nd, more than 18% of the school’s population was out sick; that amount included students and several teachers.

Though school is cancelled, preschool and daycare will remain open Tuesday, but there will be no K-12 classes, no in-service, and no athletics.

“Please be in prayer for healing for our students and staff so that we can get back to doing Christ’s Kingdom work at Unity,” the announcement said.

The school was expected to open back up on Wednesday, January 24th.


Rauner will ‘step-down’ tax hike to close gap

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he will propose reversing 2017’s income tax increase in a “step-down” process that will cover several years.

Rauner pledged the rollback Monday, January 22nd when asked about how he would pay for more than $2 billion in state spending that never received appropriation authority from the General Assembly.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s first monthly report on the state’s pile of overdue bills revealed that the state will spend $2.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30 that was never appropriated in law.

The Republican governor gives a budget address next month. He says Democrats in the Legislature who increased income taxes from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent last summer over his veto also approved a budget with too much spending.

Rauner says he will back that tax hike down over “a few years” and cut “wasteful spending in government” to close the gap.

Bioreactors are a new tool Iowa Farmers are looking at to improve water quality

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MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers say improving the state's water quality will be near the top of the agenda as the legislature meets in Des Moines. Senate File 512 aims to make more money available and speed up the process for farmers to install water cleaning technology, such as bioreactors.

Bioreactors use wood chips to filter-out nitrates found in farm water run-off.

A bioreactor is installed at Robb Ewoldt's farm in Muscatine County. Ewoldt says it filters about 55-60 acres of his farmland and cost $18,000. He expects it to last upwards of 15 years.

"They're very expensive and to be honest, as farmers, we don't get economic value out of [bioreactors]," said Robb Ewoldt, who farms 1100 acres of land in Muscatine and Scott counties.  "We get to feel good that our water is cleaner leaving our farm than it was coming on, but the economics aren't there to build one unless you can get some assistance from a federal or state agency."

Ewoldt installed a bioreactor on his land in April, 2017. He did so with the financial partnerships of the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. In total, the bioreactor cost $18,000 to install, split between Ewoldt, the NRCS and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Ewoldt expects it to last upwards of 15 years.

The process for Ewoldt to install a bioreactor was quick; it took less than two months from conception to fruition. The NRCS was already at Ewoldt's farm working on another waterways project and the Iowa Pork Producers Association was interested in doing its own testing on the new technology, so Ewoldt says he was able to get the ball moving really quick on a bioreactor.

Today, Ewoldt says his bioreactor filters 55-60 acres of land and nearly eliminates the already low amount of nitrates found in water run-off on his farm.

The process for another farmer, David Scott of Muscatine County has been much different.

"In my mind very slowly, we started the process this spring and it's still involved in the engineering part of it," said Scott, who farms 950 acres of corn and soybeans as well as 25 acres of hay.

Scott reached out to his local NRCS office in the spring of 2017 because he was interested in installing a bioreactor. He says the NRCS looked around at his farmland and chose a site. Water samples were taken and now, Scott says, the NRCS is doing engineering studies and the process is slowly moving ahead.

It's the red tape that Senate File 512 hopes to streamline and make it easier for farmers to install technology like bioreactors.

Scott says he is opting to go through the NRCS because he wants help on how to install a bioreactor. He doesn't know how much his bioreactor will cost or how big it will be, but he's not interested in waiting for politicians in Des Moines to pass a water quality bill.

"If we all sit around and wait till somebody either pays us to do something or prods us with a stick, why, nothing happens and the problem will continue to get worse," said Scott.

The Iowa Farm Bureau supports Senate File 512. It would take taxes Iowans already pay on metered water and earmark them for a Water Quality Fund to subsidize the cost of clean water technology, like bioreactors.

Jerry Anderson, Regional Manager of the Iowa Farm Bureau, estimates if the state were in charge of the process, the timeline of putting in a bioreactor could go from three years down to one year. He says farmers would work with the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship to install them.

Boil order issued for some Hampton, Illinois residents

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HAMPTON, Illinois — A boil order has been issued for some residents after a water main break.

According to Village of Hampton leaders, residents in the 700 block of 6th Avenue, and the 500 block of 7th Street and 8th Street are included.  These residents are being notified with door hangers and the boil order information is also listed on the village website.

The boil order was expected to last until Wednesday, January 24th, but village leaders said residents would be notified when the order is lifted.

Watch: Bird’s-eye view of Bettendorf development plans

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BETTENDORF, Iowa — This virtual video shows developments that are expected to take shape starting summer of 2018.

The video, which was posted to Facebook on Monday, January 22nd, takes you over developments like the new I-74 Bridge, Bridge Lofts, Ascentra Credit Union’s headquarters, the Riverfront Jetty, and City Hall Plaza.

“This video is considered a working document, and other projects will be added in the future,” read a the city’s Facebook post.

The developments that appear in the video carry the following timeline:

  • Bridge Loft: 1st building June of 2018 / 2nd building December of 2018
  • City Hall Plaza: July of 2018
  • Riverfront Jetty: Summer of 2018
  • Ascentra Credit Union Headquarters: 2019
  • I-74 Bridge: 2021

Budweiser ousted from list of 3 favorite beers in the U.S.

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NEW YORK – Budweiser is no longer one of three most popular beers in the United States.

Before 2001, Budweiser was the top-selling U.S. beer, but it relinquished that crown to Bud Light. Coors Light knocked Budweiser out of the second spot in 2011.

Now Miller Lite has taken over third place, relegating Bud to No. 4, according to sales estimates from the trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights, which has kept track since the mid-1970s.

Though Miller Lite is now part of the top three, its sales dipped in 2017 — they just didn’t fall as far as Bud’s. In fact, all four top-selling beers slipped last year.

Bud Light’s shipping volume from the U.S. fell by 2 million barrels last year, the biggest yearly drop the trade publication has recorded. Miller Lite shipments fell by “just” 375,000 barrels.

Corona Extra remained in fifth place. Michelob Ultra and Modelo Especial both jumped ahead of Natural Light to become the sixth and seventh best-selling beers.

Overall, beer sales were down slightly in the United States last year.

The rise of craft beers, drinkers’ changing tastes and a booming wine and spirits industry have pressured global brewers like Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light and Busch, as well as Coors Light and Miller Lite parent Molson Coors.

Big brewers have suffered “injury by a thousand cuts” as “consumers have been bitten by the flavor bug,” said Duane Stanford, the editor of trade publication Beverage Digest.

A decade ago, the top 10 brands made up nearly 66% of the beer industry. Their share has shrunk to 50% as craft beers have gained, according to the trade publication.

But there are signs that craft beers are starting to slow down, too.

Pabst expanded too quickly and had to cut jobs last year. So did Summit Brewing and Green Flash. Magic Hat and Pyramid parent North American Beverage shipment volume is down 14% over the past five years. Smuttynose, New Hampshire’s largest independent brewer, is being auctioned off.

Shipments fell at Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada, the two largest craft breweries. Six of the top seven craft brands’ shipments fell in 2017, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

The craft industry is maturing and may not have much more room to expand. Craft drinkers may also be starting to settle into their favorite brands.

“You can only take so much choice. There is a limit at some point,” Stanford said.

Severe thunderstorm warning east of the QC has expired

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A severe thunderstorm warning issued east of the Quad Cities expired at 4:15 p.m.  Bureau County was in the warning area, according to the National Weather Service.

A hazardous weather outlook from the NWS said that isolated, severe thunderstorms with damaging wind, hail and isolated tornadoes were still possible through 5 p.m. Monday, January 22nd.

“This threat is mainly east of a line from Princeton, Illinois to Freeport, Illinois,” read the NWS Statement.

Minor flooding was happening along small creeks and ditches in parts of Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties because of the rainfall and snow melt.  Click here for flood advisory information.

As Chief Meteorologist James Zahara explains in today’s forecast, remaining rainfall is expected to change to snow, with little accumulation possible.

Click here for StormTrack 8 radar

Click here for the forecast

Two dogs rescued from basement of burning Moline home

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MOLINE, Illinois -- Two lucky dogs were rescued after a Moline home caught on fire.

Firefighters were greeted with flames and heavy smoke when they were called to a fire at 29th Street and 12th Avenue around 11 a.m. Monday, January 22nd.

There were no people home at the time, but two dogs were found in the basement and rescued.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.


North Carolina donut shop creates Tide Pods you can safely eat

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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. – A North Carolina donut shop created a Tide Pod you can actually take a bite out of.

Wake N Bake Donuts in Carolina Beach created Tide Pod donuts to counter a dangerous social media trend where people post videos of themselves eating the pods.

The shop posted pictures of the Tide Pod donut on Facebook Sunday.

The post read, “One of our Millennial employees (Caitlin) decided to take a moment to teach they youth the difference between what to eat and what not to eat. This is a Donut….you can eat this! Tide is for laundry silly. Available at our Carolina Beach location today!”

Tide’s parent company, Proctor and Gamble, has released numerous statements about the danger over the last several weeks.

What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.

Eating a Tide POD is a BAD IDEA, and we asked our friend @robgronkowski to help explain.

— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018

TSA investigation separates passengers and families at Quad City Airport

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Just back from a Disney vacation in Florida,  James Uhlenhake and his family weren’t expecting another adventure in the airport.

But that’s just what they got in the Quad City International Airport on Monday, January 22.

“We got split up,” he recalled.

TSA shut down a checkpoint after detecting suspicious items in a carry-on.  That brought things to a standstill for over an hour, separating families and delaying a departing flight.

“We got the stroller,” he continued.  “By the time we got to security, they told us to turn around and wait there.”

That was after his family, along with Megan Baltes and her kids,  had to wait it out in baggage claim.

“We weren’t really sure what to do,” Megan said.  “Should we stay here or try to go to our vehicle if it was safer there? We weren’t really sure.”

Officers checked out the items from another departing passenger, which looked like explosive components,  but turned out to be a surveillance camera and viewing device.

Just after 10 a.m., passengers were back on the move, and the two families reunited.

“The kids and I are all split up, and the baby needed formula,” James said.  “But we got through it.”

As Megan Baltes prepared her family for the long drive back to New Hampton, Iowa, she looked back on the experience.

“You hear about it every day on the news, and you don’t think you’ll be a part of it,” she concluded.  “But we were today.”



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