The latest local news

Jobless claims are the lowest since 1973

WQAD News -

(CNN Money) — America’s job market is red hot.

Only 222,000 Americans filed jobless claims for the first time last week, the fewest since March 1973.

It’s another sign of a healthy economy. Millions of Americans have been hired in recent years, unemployment is at a 16-year low of 4.2%, and wages might finally be starting to rise meaningfully. Emphasis on “might.”

Related: U.S. unemployment hits lowest level since 2001

The economy did lose 33,000 jobs in September, but that was mostly because of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Job growth is expected to rebound in October and later this fall. Until September, America had added jobs for 83 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.

Claims for unemployment insurance are one of the indicators most watched by economists as a barometer of the job market.

But collecting accurate figures on claims in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida is more difficult than usual because of the hurricanes. Much of Puerto Rico is still without electricity.

Still, the overall picture is bright. When unemployment peaked at 10% in 2009, shortly after the Great Recession, initial jobless claims were over 650,000.

Warmest air yet to come! Showers still on track for the later weekend

WQAD News -

Love these weather patterns! Or what I like to call the ‘What you see is what you get’ weather pattern.  Won’t be quite as cool overnight as temperatures will only dip around the lower 50s.

By sunrise, winds will pick up even more out of the south allowing temperatures to top around the upper 70s with lows that night only dropping in the upper 50s.

This will likely be the warmest air we see until spring as a front approaches from the west.  This will not only bring a few showers in the forecast later Saturday and Sunday but slowly drop our temperatures as well.  Highs in the lower 70s Saturday will be replaced with lower 60s on Sunday and Monday.  Still well above normal!  That will change in a big way in the days to follow as a strong polar front sweeps in for both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Brisk northwest winds will allow highs to climb just over the 50 degree mark with lows in the upper 30s.  Touch of frost still a good bet for towns especially north of the Quad Cities.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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

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

Iowa special education student scores memorable touchdown in football game

WQAD News -

ANKENY, Iowa  - Medical issues prevent Jack Downing, the team manager and junior special education student at Ankeny High School, from playing a sport he loves. "I have toe braces and I've had a couple surgeries and a shunt," he told WHO.

But heading into Ankeny's final home football game of the season, Jack knew his number might get called.

"If you are in a crummy mood, Jack will get you feeling good," Ankeny High School football coach Rick Nelson said.

"Thursday he came out with his gear on, and he might have slept with it on.  He didn't take it off," said Nelson.

When the Hawks sent Jack into the game late in the second half, he knew exactly what to do. "They made me an open gap and I just ran up the middle," he said.

Like any great running back, Jack improvised.

"We were just going to run a stretch play, but he cut it back. He's more an inside runner," said Nelson.

Jack also proved elusive in the open field. He said, "After I got done jumping over that guy, I kept on running and then I had an open gap to the end zone. And everybody came out and they were just surrounding me."

The 30-yard touchdown run ended with the perfect exclamation point. "It was a two-handed spike because I figured a one-handed spike wasn't good enough," said Jack.

The opposing team's sportsmanship added to the heartwarming highlight.  "I do want to thank Des Moines North for putting on a good fight," said Jack.

The Ankeny Hawks have a history of excellence on the field, but many in the stands Friday believe Jack's touchdown was one of the most memorable moments they have been a part of.

"I hope that kids look and see how much that meant to Jack and they understand that they get to go out there and play every snap, I mean just how important and how precious that is to them," said Nelson.

It is a feeling Jack said he will always hold onto.  "The feeling of scoring was awesome.  Everybody crowded me in the end zone."

Jack's favorite football team is the Iowa State Cyclones. He says the touchdown made him feel like Cyclone running back David Montgomery.

Geneseo parks employee accused of sexual assault on a minor

WQAD News -

GENESEO, Illinois — A Geneseo man is facing predatory sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse charges for an assault on a person aged 13-years-old or less, according to police.

Seth A. Shipley, 38, was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 18 following an investigation by the Geneseo Police Department.

Further details about the nature of the crime or number of victims is not being released at this time, because the crime is still under investigation, police said.

Shipley is an employee of the Geneseo Park District, according to a release from the district, but officials say the incident in question took place outside the park district. Police could not confirm or deny that claim, because of the ongoing investigation.

Below is the full transcript of the park district’s media release:

The Geneseo Park District has recently been informed that on Wednesday October 18, 2017 an employee of the Geneseo Park District was arrested for Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse for an incident that took place outside of the Park District.

At this time, the specific facts and circumstance surrounding this event have neither been fully substantiated nor confirmed. The Geneseo Park District will fully cooperate with the Geneseo Police Department during its investigation.

Out of respect for the investigative process and in fairness to the families and parties involved, we are unable to provide further details at this time. However, we are committed to providing further facts and developments as they become known and confirmed. In the interim, anyone wishing to provide further information should contact Officer Ben Sleaford or Officer Mike Chavez at the Geneseo Police Department 309-944-5141.

Dispute between two workers involving gun prompts lockdown of nearby Colona school

WQAD News -

COLONA, Illinois — Police responded to a scene around I-80 Equipment in south Colona after a dispute between two employees involving a gun was reported.

According to Henry County Sheriff Kerry Loncka, police were called to I-80 Equipment around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 19th for a dispute between two male employees.  One of the workers reportedly had a handgun and was using it to threaten the other person.

Both workers were taken out of the situation and detained without incident.  There were no shots fired, no injuries, and potential charges were pending.

East 550th Street was blocked while police handled the situation. That’s in the southeast corner of where Illinois Route 6 and I-80 intersect.

As of 1 p.m., police were still on scene. Officers from the Illinois State Police, Geneseo Police Department, Colona Police Department and the Henry County Sheriff’s Department responded.

Officials said a nearby school was placed on lockdown during the ordeal, but that is standard protocol.

Parents create awesome ‘Wheel of Fortune’ costume for son in wheelchair

WQAD News -

MELROSE PARK, Illinois– The Alfano family in Illinois has created some pretty awesome Halloween costumes for their 8-year-old son Anthony, who has cerebral palsy.

This year, they have turned their son’s wheelchair into the popular game show, “Wheel of Fortune.”

Deanna Alfano told Inside Edition the game show is one of Anthony’s favorites and they watch it every night. “He loves hearing the alphabet, but he has a love for most game shows,” she said.

Alfano explained to Inside Edition that she used a PVC board and LED lights so the costume lights up.

The family has created costumes for Anthony since he was one. Some of his past costumes include the Lincoln Memorial, Pinocchio and a hockey goalie.

CHEF SCOTT: Ribs and Kraut

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa – We're taking a trip to Germany.

"You know not everybody likes sauerkraut but I think you'll love this dish when we get done," says Chef Brad Scott, head of Scott Community Colllege's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management center.

It's a simple recipe:

1. Put sliced bacon into a frying pan
2. Cut back ribs (one slab for three people, two ribs per person)
3. Add salt and pepper
4. Put ribs into frying pan
5. Rough cut carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions
6. Add vegetables once the ribs are browned
7. Cut an apple into slices, add to the frying pan
8. Add 2 cups beef broth
9. Add 3/4 cup of cider vinegar
10. Add 4 cups of sauerkraut with juice
11. Cover and lower heat, simmering for three hours.

"I like to serve it with a little corn," admits Chef Scott.


Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center collects 190,000 units of blood yearly

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT- It's the best time of the year to give blood, and a local organization wants you to give.

We had Breakfast With the leaders of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Thursday, October 19 on Good Morning Quad Cities. Their headquarters, north of 53rd Street and near the Bettendorf border, provides blood to patients who need it.

Hospitals like Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health Trinity buy the blood that's drawn at the center, but leaders say their donations go further than just the Quad Cities.

"Urbana, Illinois, Springfield, St. Louis, we cover a pretty large territory," Donor Services Director Pete Lux said Thursday morning. "We have many great donors that come in and help do that."

MVRBC collects about 190,000 units of blood throughout the year, and it's free for donors. Ross' Restaurant provided breakfast for us Thursday morning.

If you love Halloween, circle November 17th on your calendar. Thursday, October 26, we are having Breakfast With... one of the co-founders of Horror Fest, which takes place at the Holiday Inn in downtown Rock Island. The Breakfast With... will take place at Skellington Manor. If you have a question for the co-founders, click here.

Iowa City bans smoking, chewing tobacco in all city parks

WQAD News -

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa City Council has voted to make smoking, chewing tobacco and e-cigarette use illegal in all of the city’s parks.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the council voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday to finalize the ban.

Clay Claussen, chairman of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, says the ban was a public health issue. The city already had banned smoking in some city parks but hadn’t extended the restriction to chewing tobacco until now.

Mayor Jim Throgmorton opposed the ban, saying smoking was already prohibited in many parks.

More from WQAD: Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst talks healthcare, gun control and Trump
Age to buy tobacco in Chicago goes up to 21 July 1st

10 hours on the run: How the suspect in the Maryland shooting got caught

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(CNN) — A massive manhunt that started with a man allegedly killing three people in Maryland ended with the suspect’s arrest hours later as he smoked a cigar near a high school in Delaware.

Police arrested Radee Labeeb Prince, 37, Wednesday evening, hours after he allegedly opened fire at his workplace in Edgewood, Maryland.

In addition to the three people killed in the shooting rampage in Maryland, an additional two others were wounded, authorities said.

But that was just the first incident in a deadly mayhem that started in Maryland and ended with another shooting about 40 miles away in Delaware.

In the 10 hours that Prince was on the run, he drove across state lines, shot a sixth person at a Delaware car dealership and led police on car and foot chases, officials said.

8:58 a.m.: Shooting rampage in Maryland

The series of shootings started shortly before 9 a.m.

Prince was working as a machine operator for Advanced Granite Solutions, a home remodeling business in Edgewood. The city is roughly 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.

He started working there about four months ago and was scheduled to work Wednesday, according to Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.

But what could have been a regular work day turned deadly.

At 8:58 a.m., police were called to the business. When they arrived about four minutes later, they found several employees shot.

Three victims Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 53, of Virginia; Jose Hidalgo Romero, 34 of Aberdeen, Maryland; and Enis Mrvoljak, 48, of Dundalk, Maryland were killed.

Two others were injured and remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday night, officials said.

Prince shot the five victims with a handgun and acted alone, officials said. It was unclear why he did it.

“Unfortunately, like most suburban counties in America, we are not immune to workplace violence,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said after the shooting.

10:46 a.m.: A second shooting

Prince fled after the shooting, prompting a massive manhunt.

He drove about 55 miles away to a car dealership in Wilmington, Delaware. At 10:46 a.m., he opened fire on a man who knew him.

The victim was shot several times and took a gunshot to the head, police said.

Despite his injuries, the man was conscious when officers arrived and he gave them Prince’s name and a description of his vehicle, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy said.

Police, who had received an earlier alert about Prince from Maryland officials, spotted the vehicle leaving the scene and briefly chased it, before losing it.

“This individual knew the people he wanted to go shoot,” Tracy said earlier of the six victims. “This wasn’t a random act of violence where the person went out indiscriminately and was shooting people up.”

The police chief said Prince and the Wilmington victim have “had beefs, and they’ve had history together,” but did not elaborate.

Prince has a lengthy criminal history, including 42 arrests, mostly for probation violations, and 15 felony convictions, Tracy said.

5:35 p.m.: A key tip

The search for the suspect quickly intensified.

Prince’s photo was put up on FBI billboards along Interstate 95 from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. and over Atlantic City, CNN affiliate WBAL reported.

Schools in both Maryland and Delaware were locked down and photos of him and of his vehicle — a 2008 black GMC Acadia SUV — emerged on social media.

“There’s an individual out there on the loose who committed one of the most heinous acts we’ve ever seen in our county. Certainly, we consider him armed and dangerous,” Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

Local, state and federal agencies searched for Prince’s SUV unsuccessfully for hours.

“We were everywhere. There was no stone that wasn’t unturned in what we had covered,” Tracy said.

Then at 5:35 p.m., a tip came, according to Tracy.

Prince had traveled about 15 miles from the scene of the second shooting and a bystander spotted him.

The tipster saw Prince leave the SUV and walk toward Glasgow High School in Newark, Delaware, according to Tracy.

7:05 p.m.: The arrest

Authorities set up a perimeter and desperately tried to find him.

Three agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who were among other authorities searching for the suspect spotted Prince walking near the school and smoking a cigar, a law enforcement official involved in the investigation told CNN.

Agents briefly chased Prince before they arrested him at 7:05 p.m., Tracy said.

During the chase, he tossed a .380-caliber gun that matched the caliber of the shells at the Maryland crime scene, the law enforcement source said.

“This brings somewhat closure and conclusion to a brief manhunt,” Tracy said.

Prince never made it onto the high school grounds.

California restaurant ‘proudly’ serves Popeyes chicken as its own

WQAD News -

LONG BEACH, Calif. — One California restaurant took the slogan “Love that chicken from Popeyes” quite literally after a Yelp reviewer accused the establishment of using the popular Louisiana kitchen’s chicken in several of its dishes.

Tyler H. called out Sweet Dixie Kitchen, a “southern inspired” restaurant in California, in a scathing Yelp review on Oct. 9.

Here’s the review:

“Before my friends and I got seated we saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen. I wanted to believe that this was just a snack for the workers, but alas it was not. I ordered the Chicken and Waffles to see whether or not they were serving Popeyes to their customers. I thought the chicken tasted suspiciously like Popeyes and was also rather like Popeye’s and was also rather stale. I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes.”

Sweet Dixie Kitchen owner Kim Sanchez responded to the review, saying the restaurant “proudly serves Popeyes’ spicy tenders.” She continued to say Popeyes has the “best fried chicken anywhere.”

“We promote usually small batch local producers in our menu,” she wrote. “The exception is Popeyes – we can’t fry at this location – and it the fried chicken I love so much and I ate a ton of it in the ATL. So I serve it.”

Sanchez told Fox News that she started using Popeyes chicken two months ago and claims she’s been upfront about it ever since.

“We wrote it on our board in the restaurant, ‘Imported from Louisiana this week, thank you Popeyes.’ It wasn’t a secret. We use the chicken as an ingredient in a menu item we made, we don’t use their sauces or anything else,” she said.

Sanchez posted on Facebook Tuesday morning a strongly worded response to people questioning her decision (the post has since been deleted). The post said:

“The owner of Sweet Dixie has a message to share with all our customers.On our menu- roughly 95% is house made- starting with a potato lets say- which we cut, season and cook- and make potato salad. We make quiche- as in crack each egg and measure spices and cream, and I put it in a pie crust that was made elsewhere (isn’t made here) We use the best product I can buy to make the items on the menu- some of them again, come from other companies, vendors, establishments just like any other place you eat at. Because that’s how the chicken works too. We use a ready made chicken – and always have – even before we decided to go with a certain chain as opposed to a food distributor brand fried chicken.Your local coffee place in Long Beach maybe selling you (does sell actually) Rossmore pastry or Babettes pastry and breads you had that lunch sandwich on and if you ask where it comes from they tell you- but it isn’t on their menu. We have sold biscuits to places and those places used them as their ‘made from scratch’ biscuits. Integrity- despite this wave of ‘Popeyegate’, is what my food is about – no matter what you want to say. I outsource very few items. Outsourcing is when a restaurant brings in a fully cooked or ready made product which if you count all the frozen things Sysco provides to pop in an oven and serve, is alot. The things we say we make from scratch, we do and that is most of what we serve. We always have said where we get the things we don’t make here- who ever is claiming we didn’t isn’t being honest. And we have never claimed we make each and every item. We do use some ready to go products as ingredients for items on our menu.The yelp person was not only told where we source our chicken from, when he said he didn’t like it, we bought his meal. As for ‘plastering it on the menu’, we don’t, just like every other place you eat – that doesn’t mean it isn’t transparent- we don’t list the ready made Kielbasa or hot links or puff pastry or pie shells or baguette- I could go on – because we bring the items in- ready made- and then use them as ingredients in a dish – like the chicken – and make something that is then made here – an original dish we thought up- like the chicken slider with a head of cabbage we grated to make the wasabi cole slaw and the raw tomatoes we cooked down for 3 hours to make the tomato jam and flour that went into a mixer and became a biscuit and the chicken we bring in to put with all that.And we charge for the ingredients and labor that goes into that dish. We will continue our business the same way we have always done- honest that we make nearly all from scratch, saying what we do make from scratch, and when we can’t, we will use the second best thing available to us. And we will be glad to let you know which is which- just like we always have.”

Illinois out of running for Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant

WQAD News -

ROCHELLE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will not be the home of a $1.6 billion manufacturing plant the automakers Toyota and Mazda plan to build in the United States.

Intersect Illinois, the nonprofit economic development corporation set up by Gov. Bruce Rauner, informed Rochelle city officials of the news on Wednesday.

Related: Chicago submits formal bid to be home of Amazon’s HQ2

Sauk Valley Media reports Rochelle Economic Development Director Jason Anderson says Intersect Illinois CEO Mark Peterson noted no formal announcement of the decision has been made. But said the automakers’ decision was based largely on site readiness shortcomings and the state’s failure to institute a right-to-work law.

Toyota and Mazda are not commenting on the site selection process, including which states are still in the running.

Anderson said he was disappointed by the news, but not discouraged. Rochelle is working on two other significant manufacturing projects, and those companies are still requesting information.

4-mile trail added to the Muscatine Trail System

WQAD News -

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Muscatine residents are getting a new trail to explore within the Muscatine Trail System.

On Friday, October 20th a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held to welcome the new trail, which enters Deep Lakes Park on 41st Street.  The City Council was expected to accept the new trail at their meeting Thursday.

The four-mile trail, “Kent Stein to Deep Lakes Park Trail,” will be available to all walkers, bicyclists, dog-walkers, and nature lovers. It will run from Kent Stein Park entrance on Houser Street through Deep Lakes Park, ending at 57th Street.

Trail highlighted in yellow is the new trail “Kent Stein to Deep Lakes Park”

According to the City of Muscatine, it took only two months to clear the trail, but it has been years in the making.

“Discussions and negotiations over various route plans took nearly 10 years to resolve with the chosen route extending the trail network south towards Louisa County,” read a statement from the city. “The $1.2 million project had approximately 30 route changes during the design phase.”

The city said that signs marking the trail will be added in the future.  They are also considering adding traffic warning lights where the trail crosses at Grandview Avenue, Dick Drake Way, 33rd Street and Stewart Road crossings.

Click here to see the full map of Muscatine’s Trail System


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