WQAD News

How do North Koreans learn about the Trump-Kim summit?

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(CNN) — It may be a day late, but North Koreans finally got news Wednesday of the historic summit between their leader, Kim Jong Un, and US President Donald Trump.

The country’s famous anchor Ri Chun Hee, known as the “pink lady” for bright outfits, told North Koreans of the news in her usual melodramatic manner.

“Thanks to the fixed decision and will of the top leaders of the two countries to put an end to the extreme hostile relations between the DPRK and the US — which lingered for the longest period on the earth in terms of acute confrontation — and to open up a new future for the sake of the interests of the peoples of the two countries and global peace and security, the first DPRK-US summit was held,” she said, using an acronym for her country.

North Korean media, tightly controlled by the state, usually refrains from reporting on Kim’s immediate diplomatic moves and typically delivers news of major events the day after they happen.

Other media detailed a blow-by-blow breakdown of the day’s events, calling the talks “epoch-making,” and lavishing praise on Trump’s “enthusiasm to resolve matters in a realistic way through dialogue and negotiations.”

The front page of the state newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, splashed photos of the two leaders, under the headline: “A meeting of the century that opened a new era in history of North Korea-US relations.”

In its first report on the summit, the official KCNA news agency on Wednesday attributed the apparent breakthrough in relations to Kim’s “proactive peace-loving measures” earlier in the year, and applauded Trump’s willingness to negotiate despite longstanding hostility between the two countries.

Related article: These sanctions will keep squeezing North Korea’s economy

Trump and Kim met on the Singaporean resort island of Sentosa on Tuesday — the first time a sitting US President has met with the leader of the reclusive state.

joint statement signed by the two leaders committed to “establish new US-DPRK relations,” reaffirming Kim’s “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and offering security guarantees to Pyongyang.

‘Shared opinions’

The KCNA report stated that the two leaders shared their “opinions about the practical measures that are important to accomplish peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and finish the hostility between North Korea and the US.”

It was a far cry from September last year, when KCNA published a statement authored by Kim describing the US President as “mentally deranged.”

Wednesday’s report made special mention of Trump’s apparent readiness to halt US-South Korean military drills, a declaration that apparently took Seoul and Tokyo — as well as at least some corners of the Pentagon — by surprise.

It also urged that the two countries “make decisions to cease the military actions that provoke each other” — an apparent reference to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests as well as the US and South Korean joint military drills — and that both sides create “a law or regulations … that affirm (that intention).”

The agency concluded its report by stating that Kim and Trump had “gladly accepted” invitations to visit their respective countries at a later date.

Singapore letter

In a separate dispatch KCNA also reported that Kim received a letter from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, praising the “successful conclusion of the historic summit” between Kim and Trump.

“The joint statement signed by Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump is a dramatic advance and the first step of very important significance in the long course toward permanent peace and stability on the denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” the letter said, according to KCNA.

The letter also stated that the Singaporean Prime Minister wishes to meet Kim again “in the near future.”

In a further sign of Pyongyang’s attempts to normalize its relations with the outside world, another KCNA article reported that ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam had departed Pyongyang for Moscow to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Giant Mars dust storm threatens oldest working Mars rover

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA rover on Mars has been knocked out by gigantic dust storm that envelops the planet and blots out the sun.

Officials said Wednesday they’re hopeful the Opportunity rover will survive the storm, which already covers one-quarter of Mars and is expected to encircle the red planet in another few days. It could be weeks or even months, though, until the sky clears enough for sunlight to reach the Martian surface and recharge Opportunity’s batteries through its solar panels.

For now, Mars’ oldest working rover is stuck in the middle of the raging storm, in complete round-the-clock darkness.

“By no means are we out of the woods here,” said John Callas, the Opportunity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “This storm is threatening, and we don’t know how long it will last, and we don’t know what the environment will be like once it clears.”

All flight controllers can do is wait for the storm to pass and the sky to clear, officials said, and hope Opportunity calls home.

Flight controllers tried late Tuesday night to contact Opportunity, but the rover did not respond. The storm has been growing since the end of May with unprecedented speed.

Opportunity’s batteries are likely so low that only a clock is still working, to wake the spacecraft for periodic power-level checks, according to officials.

NASA launched the twin rovers Opportunity and Spirit in 2003 to study Martian rocks and soil. Spirit hasn’t worked for several years. Opportunity, however, has kept exploring well past its expected mission lifetime.

“Keep in mind, we’re talking about a rover that’s been working at Mars, hanging in there, for 15 years and designed just for 90 days. It just doesn’t get any better than that,” said Jim Watzin, director of NASA’s Mars exploration program.

-CNN contributed to this article

Senate panel OKs farm bill, but House wants work provisions

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel approved a modest, bipartisan rewrite of federal farm and nutrition programs on Wednesday, sidestepping a fight for now but setting up a clash with House Republicans intent on beefing up work requirements for food stamps.

The legislation, approved by a bipartisan 20-1 vote, would renew farm safety-net programs such as subsidies for crop insurance, farm credit, and land conservation. It also would extend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as food stamps, which helps feed more than 40 million people.

The panel’s approval comes as farm country is struggling with low prices and a potential trade war that could depress farm commodities prices further.

The legislation was drafted along traditionally bipartisan lines to ease its passage through the closely divided Senate, where Democrats have significant influence over most legislation.

Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., worked closely with top panel Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to produce the legislation, which aims to reduce fraud in the food stamp program but avoids controversial efforts to impose stricter work requirements and provisions to restrict eligibility.

“We’ve put our political differences aside,” Stabenow said.

The House measure, which failed last month because of an intra-GOP battle over immigration, promises greater job training opportunities for recipients of food stamps, a top priority for House leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan. Democrats say the House measure is poorly designed and would drive 2 million people off of the program. A re-vote is likely in coming weeks.

The current food and farm bill expires at the end of September and Roberts acknowledged that enacting the legislation this year will be difficult. A short-term extension is a likely option.

“To those who say passing a farm bill in this environment is a daunting task, I say together we can get it done,” Roberts said. “We must embrace the attitude of our producers — optimism and ingenuity.”

The measure includes legislation by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would legalize the production of industrial hemp, which is generally barred because hemp is related to marijuana, even though it contains little of that drug’s key psychoactive ingredient, known as THC. McConnell secured a hemp pilot program in the most recent farm bill in 2014 and views the crop as a good replacement for tobacco.

McConnell hopes to bring the measure to the Senate floor before the July 4 recess.

The measure would limit subsidy payments to farmers earning less than $700,000, down from $900,000. It seeks to block states from gaming the food stamp program to win additional funding, and reauthorizes two subsidy programs that form the backbone of the farm safety net.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was the sole “nay” vote. He objected to the measure’s hemp provision, saying it should have been handled within the Judiciary Committee that he chairs. He also wants to tighten eligibility standards for farm subsidies to target them to working farmers — closing a loophole that allows family members who do not work on farm to claim them as well.

One more comfortable day and then high heat blows in

Expect a few clouds tonight, otherwise  we’ll experience one of the coolest nights in a good week as overnight lows drop into the upper 50s.

Sunshine will be more filtered for your Thursday but still a dandy of a day as temperatures will return to the lower 80s.   There’s a chance for a few showers and storms late that night as we prepare to transition into The heat and humidity for the upcoming Father’s Day weekend.

No doubt, it will be a scorcher!   After seeing highs around 90 on Friday temperatures will soar to the mid and upper 90s both Saturday and Sunday.  Throw in the humidity in place, and it will easily reach in the triple digits on the heat index.

This type of weather is tough on the body if your out in it for a long period of time.  Take those breaks, drink plenty of water, find plenty of shade and by all means, don’t forget your pets.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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World Cup 2026: US-Mexico-Canada bid chosen as host

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(CNN) — It has been a year of increased political tension between the United States, Mexico and Canada — but in eight years’ time the three countries will unite to host one of the world’s biggest sporting spectacles.

At a FIFA association member vote in Moscow Wednesday, the joint North American bid won the right to host the 2026 World Cup, comfortably beating rivals Morocco in the vote.

It will be the first time the World Cup will be shared by three host nations, but since the unified bid was announced in April 2017 political relationships between the US and its proposed co-hosts have been touchy at times.

US President Donald Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “meek and mild” in a tweet over a tariff dispute following a G7 meeting earlier in June, while tariffs imposed on Mexico along with plans for a border wall have also ruffled feathers south of the border.

Soon after the result was announced, Trump tweeted: “The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!”

INTERACTIVE: World Cup in numbers

READ: The secrets to Germany’s World Cup success

READ: Spain sacks coach after he takes Real Madrid job

The United Bid promises to bring all three nations closer together for what will be the largest edition of the tournament to date — 48 countries will compete — and the most lucrative. The North American bid’s revenue forecast was $14.3 billion, with a record profit of $11 billion for FIFA, the sport’s governing body.

“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport,” said Carlos Cordeiro, President of US Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, in Moscow.

The last time the US hosted a men’s World Cup was in 1994, and Mexico in 1986. Canada has never previously hosted World Cup matches, though it has staged a women’s World Cup.

READ: From headbutts to the ‘Hand of God’: 11 moments that shook the World Cup

Russia votes for North American bid

The vote, in which all FIFA associations were, for the first time, eligible to vote for the host, was cast at the 68th FIFA Congress on the eve of the 2018 edition of the tournament, which begins Thursday.

The United Bid won by a 134-65 margin, with one vote for “neither” host. Seven federations — the four bidding nations along with three US dependent territories — recused themselves.

After the controversial award of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively, FIFA promised a “more open and transparent” vote this time.

Previous hosts had been decided by the FIFA Executive committee, now known as the FIFA Council.

Russia voted for the North American bid, as did South Africa — the only African nation to host a World Cup.

Football powerhouses Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and France backed the losing bid, as did China, while Iran was the country that voted for “neither,” while Spain, Slovenia and Cuba abstained.

Under the North America proposal, 60 of the tournament’s matches will be held in the US, including everything from the quarterfinals onwards, while Mexico and Canada will host 10 games each.

Fraught relations

As well as trade tensions, there had also been worries that President Trump’s travel ban blocking immigration from several Muslim-majority countries — which is being challenged in the US Supreme Court — could affect fans, officials and players.

However, Trump has promised FIFA that foreign teams, officials and fans will be able to travel to the US.

The United bid shared with CNN Sport a letter sent to FIFA in March by the US government which said it “intends to issue visas, subject to eligibility under U.S. law, without regard to race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, disability, wealth, birth or any other status, or sexual orientation.”

The statement said that the bid organizers were confident that “every eligible fan and member of our FIFA family will have unhindered access to our country to experience and celebrate the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

And despite political differences, the World Cup bid has given the US, Canada and Mexico a common cause, with the North American bid having received the full support of their governments.

Indeed, Trump courted controversy in April with comments made about the vote.

“The US has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump tweeted.

“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid.

“Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”

The tweet caused FIFA to direct attention to the organization’s ethics rules governing the bid process and “to the Bid Rules of Conduct incorporated therein,” a spokesman said.

READ: How Diego Maradona redefined football in the space of less than five minutes

One-sided race

The outcome of the vote had been expected, despite a tightening of the race in recent days.

Ahead of Wednesday’s ballot, the “United” bid from North America came out on top in a FIFA evaluation, with various aspects including stadiums, accommodation, transport and organizing costs factored in.

Out of five, the joint bid got a score of four, while the Moroccan bid scored just 2.7, with the North African bid deemed “high risk” in three areas because of a lack of infrastructure to host the 80-game tournament.

The United Bid also estimated double the profits that the Morocco bid had calculated — $10 billion to $5 billion for the North African nation.

Morocco had said it needed to spend almost $16 billion on infrastructure while the North American bid’s revenue forecast ($14.3bn) far outstripped what Morocco had to offer ($7.2bn).

Labor board: Taxpayers owe union workers $412 million in unpaid step increases

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Illinois News Network) — As early as this fall, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois’ lawmakers could see a $412 million hole added to a budget that many say was unbalanced to begin with.

The Illinois Labor Relations Board Tuesday evening denied Rauner’s request to send a ruling on $412 million in step increases that an Illinois court says is owed to 14,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 to an administrative law judge for another hearing.

Rauner froze automatic compounding pay hikes when he took office in 2015, saying lawmakers never appropriated the money. After AFSCME challenged Rauner’s freeze, Illinois courts said those step increases were owed.

Rauner’s office estimates it will cost $412 million for just the four years of higher pay if the state is forced to pay all of the past years’ frozen step increases in the fiscal 2019 budget.

In a news release, AFSCME says it will petition for a “make-whole remedy” after the Labor Relations Board meets in July, when it is expected to refer the matter to a compliance officer. The officer then will have 75 days to act.

“Our union will keep doing everything possible to make sure that employees are placed on the correct step and made whole for the increases they’ve been denied,” AFSCME Executive Director Roberta Lynch said.

Step increases, an automatic pay increase not based on merit or performance but based on provisions of AFSCME’s contract with the state, are calculated as a percentage increase in each additional year of seniority up to a maximum of 11 years. In 2015, the cost of the raises was $38.7 million, but that balloons to more than $170 million by the coming fiscal year.

Illinois state workers are among the highest paid in the nation, averaging $63,000, not counting benefits.

Rauner’s office was not immediately available to respond to requests for comment.

Necker’s Gift of Giving salutes Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities

EAST MOLINE -

Round and round the school bus barn in East Moline, it's the simple joy of riding a bike.

For Rawley Sisson, 10, each lap builds a brighter smile.

"It has changed our life," said Rawley's mom, Jana Rose Summers.  "Amazing."

Hosted by the Children's Therapy Center of the Quad Cities, this is the annual iCan Shine Bike Camp.

"This completely conquered the fear for him and helped him get that bravery to do it," said Summers.

Born prematurely at just two pounds, Rawley knows what it's like to beat the odds.  Now, overcoming obstacles and gaining confidence at the Children's Therapy Center.

"My son went from a child who couldn't put on his own shoes and tie them or get dressed himself," Summers continued.  "He's doing all that now."

A portion of June sales at Necker's Jewelers will benefit the Children's Therapy Center in this Gift of Giving.

"We help kids that are referred to us by their doctors, regardless of their situation," said Chris VanSpeybroeck, vice president of development.

During the week-long camp, there are kids with all kinds of conditions.  Nearly all of them will master the art of riding.

"These poor volunteers are just sweating up a storm and working so hard for these kids," Summers said.

By Day Three, Rawley is off the training bike and pedalling like a pro.

"He's already on two wheels doing it," Summers said.

With each lap, there's more freedom.

"They have wonderful therapists that really help their lives," she said.

The outdoor course offers exercise, independence and a break from doctor's offices.  It's a chance to be a kid.

"He's getting so much more strength and confidence again just from being at Children's Therapy Center," Summers said.  "They do so many things to help our kids out."

Round and round, this ride comes full circle for Rawley Sisson.

"This will open up a whole new world of us being able to go places," Summers concluded.

For more information: http://www.ctcqc.org

Honor Flight plans 45th flight for veterans, receives $50,000 donation from Hy-Vee

BETTENDORF, Iowa - In 10 years, Honor Flight of the Quad Cities has organized 45 honor flights for local veterans.

The flights carry veterans from the Quad City International Airport to Washington D.C. for one day.

While visiting the nation's capital the veterans, who spent part of their lives fighting for American freedom, tour military monuments and attend the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Each of the day trips costs about $90,000.

On June 13, grocery chain Hy-Vee announced that they would donate $50,000 to the organization to help sponsor the 45th flight.

This is not the first time Hy-Vee has donated such a large amount of money to this veteran focused organization.

In fact, over the years, Hy-Vee has sponsored 10 flights and has donated approximately $450,000.

The store also sponsors a pre-flight dinner for the veterans and their guests.

After the flight on August 30, the entire community is invited to head over to the Quad City International Airport in Moline.

There, they will welcome home the veterans. A moment that organizers say is one of the most emotional and meaningful parts of the trip.

Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot

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(CNN) — An initiative that would divide California into three separate states qualified Tuesday to appear on the ballot in November’s general election.

Californians will vote whether to separate into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California — subject to approval by US Congress.

The proposal by venture capitalist, Tim Draper to break up California in a campaign called “Cal 3,” received more than 402,468 valid signatures — surpassing the amount required by state law.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will certify the initiative as qualified for the November 6th ballot on June 28.

The reasons for wanting to split California up?

Draper has said that partitioning California into three states would allow regional communities to make better and more sensible decisions for their citizens to address the state’s most pressing issues, including the school systems, high taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.

“The California state government isn’t too big to fail, because it is already failing its citizens in so many crucial ways,” Citizens for Cal 3 campaign spokeswoman Peggy Grande said in a Tuesday statement. “The reality is that for an overmatched, overstretched and overwrought state-government structure, it is too big to succeed. Californians deserve a better future.”

“It will simply divide the state into smaller, more manageable populations. Think of North Carolina and South Carolina; North Dakota and South Dakota; West Virginia and Virginia — California is already known for its Northern and Southern identities,” according to the Cal 3 website.

But critics have slammed the partition effort as a distraction and say that breaking up the state would cost billions of tax dollars.

Under the proposal, each state would have about 12.3 million to 13.9 million people.

California- This would include six counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.

Southern California- This would include 12 counties: San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties.

Northern California- This would include 40 counties including the San Francisco Bay Area and the remaining counties north of Sacramento.

What are the chances of this happening?

If the measure is approved by voters, the governor will transfer the notice of state approval to Congress, which will vote to ratify the creation of the new three-state structure.

Constitutional lawyer and professor Jonathan Turley had told CNN that congressional approval is not impossible, but not likely to happen, as Democrats could feel they have too much to lose.

“Dems consider California to be a single golden empire, it would be hard for them to accept it as three golden empires.”

California gets 55 electors in the Electoral College — a powerful number that has been a huge unmovable bloc for the Democratic candidate. Three smaller states would change that equation, which could make a lot of Democrats just as nervous as the idea of four new senators would make Republicans nervous.

Cal 3 sees this as an advantage: “Electoral College votes will be divided among the new states based on population, roughly the same as they are apportioned today, but with the additional recognition that comes with more direct and proportional influence over the Electoral College totals.”

It says that the California states will have more of the region’s influence within the federal government with more seats in the US Senate.

A CNN analysis in April found that even if California split into three states, it would still be underrepresented in the Senate compared with most of the US.

California is rife with ideas on separation and secession

This isn’t the first time that Draper attempted to get an initiative to break apart the most populous state. He backed a proposal to turn California into six states in 2014 but it failed to get the required number of signatures to qualify and the measure was not presented to voters.

Last year, an effort dubbed Calexit sought to bring the question of whether California should secede from the US to this year’s ballot. But the Russia-based leader of that campaign backed off.

Plenty of ideas about splintering California into smaller states have popped up — including an effort by rural, more conservative northern counties that seek to break away to become “State of Jefferson.” Another group proposes the creation of another state called New California, comprising mostly inland counties, over grievances of high-state taxes, regulation and single party politics.

While proposals about separating California have been bandied about for years, Golden State voters will have their say on this particular initiative in November.

Two Indian Bluff golfers make back-to-back holes-in-one on the same hole, on the same day

The odds are 17 million to 1, but two ladies beat those odds yesterday at Indian Bluff Golf Course in Milan, Illinois.

On Tuesday, June 12th, 2018, Sharon Kundel and Debby Wheeler pulled off a rare feat – each making a hole-in-one on the same hole within minutes of each other.

“Both aces came on the 5th hole, which is 126 yards for females and a par 3,” said a press release from Rock Island County Forest Preserve Director Jeff Craver. “Kundel was using a 7-iron and Wheeler a driver. Both had three witness with them.”

The holes-in-one were made as the women were golfing on Ladies’ Day, just one group apart.

According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of two amateur golfers getting aces on the same hole at the same golf course on the same day are about 17 million to 1. 16% of holes-in-one made are by women and the average hole-in-one length for females is 111 yards.

East Moline Police Officers to play basketball with community tonight

On Wednesday, June 13th, East Moline Police Officers are trading in their uniforms for basketball jerseys.

The 3rd Annual Hoops 4 Hope takes place tonight at Hereford Park, 400 13th Street, East Moline. The goal of the event is to bring families in the Hereford Park community together with the police officers who serve them.

The event was created through a partnership with the East Moline Police Department and United We Ball, led by Kannon Burrage - an East Moline native and United Township graduate who played basketball overseas. It's sponsored by East Moline Main Street and will also include bounce houses, giveaways, free books, freed food, a cheer clinic, and new this year - kickball.

The event starts at 4pm and the main basketball game starts at 5pm.

One person injured in officer-involved shooting in Viola, Illinois Tuesday evening

One person is hurt another person has been arrested after an officer-involved shooting in Viola, Illinois

It happened during the evening hours on Tuesday, June 12th when Mercer County Deputies were conducting an investigation involving illegal firearms and drugs in the rural Viola area, according to a press release from the Mercer County Sheriff's Department.

The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital. The other person was taken into custody and was transported to the Mercer County Jail. Both people are facing several charges including felon in possession of a weapon, possession of stolen firearms, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The officer involved in the shooting is being investigated by the Mercer/Henry County Major Crime Task Force. This is an ongoing investigation and all names are being withheld pending the investigation. Mercer County Deputies were also assisted by first responders from both New Windsor and Viola.

A sweltering Father’s Day is still on track

It’s going to be a perfect 10 today! Drier air moving in by the afternoon will help to drop the humidity, and highs will only make it to the low 80s. On top of that, we’ll see plenty of sunshine.

More cloud cover will move in from the west later tonight, but most of the rain looks to stay west of us. Lows will drop into the upper 50s.

We’ll warm back up into the low 80s on Thursday, and there is a chance for a few showers and storms late that night. The heat and humidity will begin to crank up on Friday with highs in the low 90s. A few more isolated showers and storms are possible as well.

Our Father’s Day Weekend will be sweltering! Highs will easily soar into the mid to upper 90s with plenty of sunshine on Saturday and Sunday. With the humidity in place, the heat index will surpass 100 at times. Be sure to take plenty of breaks and drink plenty of water if you plan on being outdoors this weekend!

Meteorologist Taylor Graham

Parent speaks out against the use of isolation rooms in public schools in Davenport

DAVENPORT-- Nicole Wallace says she will never forget the day her son told her he was put inside, what his teachers called the “Skills Room,” at Smart Intermediate School.

Her son Keagan was diagnosed with ADHD and was placed in a special education program at Davenport’s Smart intermediate.

The room was initially a place where Keagan could go to get away from bullies, but instead his mom says it was used as a punishment.

“His mind is racing a thousand miles a minute and they would lock him up for it...I’ve watched those kids being put in that room I’ve seen them kick the crap out of that door I’ve seen them go to town on each other in that room,” says Wallace.

Seclusion rooms in Iowa Schools are legal and are supposed to provide a safe place for special education students, but now U.S Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are calling for a federal investigation into them after schools in Iowa City Violated State and Federal law.

The Skills Rooms at Smart Intermediate were shut down in October 2017 because administrators say they did not meet the districts standards, but the district still uses what’s called a crisis intervention room for students.

Keagan spent the last year home-schooled and will now enter his freshman year of high school. Although Wallace says she is glad to hear rooms at Smart were shut down she says rooms like them should be shut down as well.

Polls now closed in South Carolina, Virginia and Maine as 5 states hold primary elections

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(CNN) — Polls are closed in South Carolina, Virginia and Maine as voters there choose candidates in key primaries ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Polls will close at 10 p.m. EDT in Nevada. All polls in North Dakota will be closed by 9 p.m. EDT.

CNN has projected the primary winners in three House races where Democrats are hoping to unseat Republicans in the fall.

In Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, Democrat and veteran Elaine Luria will face incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Taylor, also a veteran. Taylor, who has been critical of Trump in the past, overcame a primary challenge to win the nomination.

Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative, won her primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District to face incumbent Rep. David Brat in the fall.

And in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton won the Democratic nomination to unseat Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock, who also overcame a primary challenge. Comstock is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican members of Congress in November.

Hours before the first polls closed, President Donald Trump tweeted out his picks in two primary races.

Trump urged South Carolina voters to pick Republican candidate Katie Arrington over incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford, whom Trump attacked in a tweet by invoking the congressman’s 2009 extra-marital affair.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA,” Trump tweeted. “He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”

The race between Sanford and Arrington provides the latest test of just how willing Republican voters are to stomach congressional criticism of Trump.

The race is perhaps the most closely watched matchup in Tuesday’s slate of primaries, which also include Virginia selecting a Republican to take on Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and choosing nominees in several competitive House races, Nevada and North Dakota choosing their Senate candidates and Maine for the first time trying — and voting on whether to keep — a new voting system in which voters rank their preferences, rather than only selecting one.

Trump also tweeted his endorsement of Adam Laxalt, Nevada’s attorney general, just after noon Pacific time. “I strongly endorse Adam Laxalt for Governor of Nevada,” he tweeted. “Adam is smart, works hard, and knows how to win. He will be a great Governor. Also, will fight hard to lower your taxes and is tough on crime!”

Tuesday’s House races

Sanford’s seat is likely to remain in Republican hands no matter the winner of Tuesday’s primary.

But in Virginia, Democrats are selecting House candidates to run in some of the nation’s most competitive races.

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in northern Virginia’s 10th District will face the winner of a six-way Democratic primary. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton is the establishment preference, but veteran Dan Helmer’s viral ads — one of which compares the threat Trump poses to Osama bin Laden — have gained some national attention.

Democrats will also be watching the outcomes of Virginia’s 2nd District (GOP Rep. Scott Taylor), 7th District (GOP Rep. Dave Brat) and 5th District (retiring GOP Rep. Tom Garrett), where they hope to be competitive in the fall.

Another House race worth watching is in South Carolina, where Archie Parnell is poised to win the Democratic primary in the 5th District despite admitting to domestic abuse in the 1970s. Local, state and national Democrats have called on him to drop out of the race in the deep-red district and say they won’t support him if he wins.

In Nevada, the parties will choose their nominees in two competitive open seats. In the 4th District, vacated by retiring Rep. Ruben Kihuen, two former congressmen — Democrat Steven Horsford and Republican Cresent Hardy — are the favorites.

And in the 3rd District, philanthropist Susie Lee is favored in the Democratic primary, while Republicans could choose Danny Tarkanian, the son of the legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, who dropped his Senate bid at the urging of Trump.

Three states pick Senate candidates

The Senate landscape will become more settled Tuesday night as well.

Republicans in Virginia are picking between Corey Stewart, who has built his public profile on defending Confederate monuments, state delegate Nick Freitas, the favorite of the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity and a Rand Paul ally, and minister E.W. Jackson, who has taken a series of hardline conservative positions on social issues.

National and state Republicans are hopeful that Freitas will win, but don’t see any of the candidates as likely to pose a real threat to Kaine.

That’s in part due to Virginia’s changing demographics, particularly the northern part of the state becoming more dense, more diverse and more progressive. None of the three Senate candidates appears to match that region.

“They keep running Alabama candidates and Alabama campaigns, and they’ve just quit communicating with the northern Virginia suburbs,” former GOP Rep. Tom Davis told CNN when asked about Virginia Republicans’ struggles in recent elections.

In Nevada, Democrats are set to nominate Rep. Jacky Rosen to take on Republican Sen. Dean Heller. And in North Dakota, Republicans will pick Rep. Kevin Cramer to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. The primaries are sleepy, but the two states will be among the nation’s most competitive Senate battlegrounds in the fall.

Governor races take top local billing

In most states voting Tuesday night, the governor races will get the most local attention.

In South Carolina, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster — an early and vocal supporter of Trump who replaced former Gov. Nikki Haley — faces challenges from Haley administration veteran Catherine Templeton, businessman John Warren and others. If he fails to top 50%, it would catapult him into a one-on-one runoff.

Democrats, meanwhile, could nominate state Rep. Jason Smith, a Joe Biden ally, to take on the Republican winner there.

In Nevada, the race to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval features primaries in both parties.

Democrats will choose between two Clark County commissioners — Steve Sisolak, a moderate backed by former Sen. Harry Reid, and Chris Giunchigliani, who was endorsed by Hillary Clinton and is a woman, which has proven to be a decisive advantage in earlier Democratic contests this year.

Republicans, meanwhile, appear poised to nominate Adam Laxalt, the state’s attorney general and the son of former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici and Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of former Nevada governor and senator Paul Laxalt. He faces a field of candidates that also includes state treasurer Dan Schwartz.

Kitchen towels are dirtier than you think, study finds

There's a decent chance your kitchen towels are hiding bacteria linked to food poisoning and other infections, according to a new study, though some are urging caution before tossing those towels in the trash.

The finding is based on a University of Mauritius study of 100 kitchen towels used unwashed for one month, roughly half of which were found to have bacterial growth. Of these—typically towels associated with children, larger families, multiple uses, higher humidity, and diets containing meat—37% contained E. coli and the same percentage had Enterococcus, bacteria linked to infections of the gut, urinary tract, and bloodstream, reports US News & World Report.

Another 14% contained Staphylococcus aureus, which, if it gets into food, can produce toxins triggering food poisoning, per Live Science.

But staph being "[on] the towel isn't as concerning as [it being in] food," an expert tells Live Science, noting researchers failed to find the types of bacteria typically associated with foodborne illnesses, like salmonella and O157:H7, a particularly harmful strain of E. coli. "What's listed here doesn't initially raise concerns with me," he says.

Still, researchers say people should be careful when using towels in the kitchen. "Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene," says Susheela Biranjia-Hurdoyal, lead author of the research presented at an annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, per USA Today. And while washing towels frequently is a good habit, "humid towels and multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged," Biranjia-Hurdoyal says. (Bacteria also likes rubber ducks.)

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Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant in Stockton, Illinois is a bucolic links course

STOCKTON, Illinois — Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant is an 18-hole links course in Stockton, Illinois. The grounds crew prides itself on immaculate greens and well-manicured fairways.

“If you take a look around there is always a panoramic view of Jo Daviess County," said Sam Stoddard, General Manager of Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant.

The clubhouse at Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant.

"The restaurant is very diverse," said Stoddard, adding that a lot of ethnic food is available on the menu. The restaurant offers prime rib on Saturday nights and a fish and seafood buffet every first Friday of the month. "Every day of the week there is something different."

Prime Rib is served on Saturday nights and there is a fish and seafood buffet every first Friday of the month.

The signature hole at Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant is the 18th hole. It's a 475-yard par-5 with a creek that cuts the fairway about 80 yards short of the green.

The signature hole at Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant is the 18th hole. It's 475 yards from the tips.

Stoddard says whether a golfer is just starting or very good, the course has something to offer everybody.

“The new golfer, if you’re going to slice it you’re rewarded because you’re in another fairway, it’s still a good shot.”

The 18th hole has a creek about 80 yards short of the green.

The 18th hole has a large green and several bunkers along the way. Stoddard says a big hitter can make it on the green in two.

"As you can see behind me, the greens are in impeccable condition," said Stoddard, motioning to the green on the 18th hole. "The grounds crew really takes a lot of pride in their work."

The WQAD Golf Deal for Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant is $25 for an 18-hole round of golf including a cart, a $50 value. To redeem the deal Click Here.

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Car ferry connects Savanna, Illinois and Sabula, Iowa until bridge opens

SAVANNA, Illinois-- There's a new service to get across the Mississippi River between Savanna, Illinois and Sabula, Iowa. It's a car ferry.

Starting on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 people can take a car ferry across the river.

It holds up to 15 cars and 82 people at a time. It takes about 15 minutes to get to Sabula and about 25 minutes to get back to Savanna.

This will help cut out a 40-mile detour since the bridge connecting the two communities is still under construction.

"Its just connecting these two communities together where the connection was severed abruptly," says Savanna Mayor Chris Lane.

"Yes, we rely quite a bit on each other," echoes Sabula Mayor Paul Figie.

The ferry runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. It's free to passengers.

Iowa Department of Transportation workers say the bridge should be open by Labor Day.

 

 

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