WQAD News

Wintry mix ending later this evening… Spring temperatures in sight

The wintry mix of weather of rain and snow around the Quad Cities and points north will slowly come to an end later this evening as the system pulls off to the east.   Accumulations up to 3 inches will be seen as you approach the Wisconsin/Illinois border.  Farther west of that toward Waterloo, IA expect amounts to be a few inches higher.  Commuters this evening beware.  Slick roads in spots will be likely, so give plenty of space between you and the driver in front of you.

Skies will slowly improve before sunrise as temperatures dip just below the freezing mark of 32 degrees.

Sunshine is back on Thursday, and with less wind highs will be approaching the 50 degree mark.  Warmer 50s will take over to start the weekend with the mercury still on track to top around the 60 degree mark on Sunday.

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

Win a Makeover from The Acri Company

Does your home need a makeover?  Click here to enter to win!

Here is your chance!  The Acri Company will select one lucky winner to receive their choice of free siding, windows or bath system.

Everyone who enters receives a coupon for $500 off the purchase of siding, windows or a bath system from the Acri Company.

The Acri Company began satisfying customers in 1967. The main office was in the basement of the founder, Chuck Acri’s, home. In 1976 The Acri Company moved into it’s current location in Milan, IL (See picture above)

Today The Acri Company has 20 sales brokers in a 3 state area in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Our knowledgeable sales staff can help you with a variety of different home improvement products including:

– Replacement Windows
– Roofing
– Sun Rooms / Four Season Rooms
– Decks
– Bathroom / Kitchen Remodeling Projects
– Laminate Wood Flooring
– Exterior Entry and Patio Door Systems

Just click the link  to enter to win.

For complete rules, click here.

Dick’s Sporting Goods to destroy all guns pulled from shelves

PITTSBURGH — Dick’s Sporting Goods will be destroying all the guns and accessories that it stopped selling in late February.

In a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier this month, a company spokeswoman said they are “in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories” associated with the policy change.

The retail giant will be destroying the assault-style rifles at the company’s distribution centers and the remaining parts will be sent to a salvage company to be recycled.

Dick’s first announced on Feb. 28 that it will stop selling assault-style weapons like the one used in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting. It also said it will raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21.

The move didn’t come without backlash as the company faces two lawsuits over the age limit requirement.

A 20-year-old in Oregon and an 18-year-old in Michigan are suing for discrimination.

Extremely rare Colt firearm sets sales record for Rock Island Auction Company

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — An extremely rare 19th century revolver drew a new record auction price earlier this month when it fetched $1.84 million during a Rock Island Auction Company sale on April 13-15.

RIAC president Kevin Hogan called the Colt Model 1847 “Walker” a “holy grail” item in gun collection circles. It is believed less than 100 were ever produced for the civilian market and the one sold this month here in the Quad Cities is the only known example in its original case.

“This is a major milestone in the collecting community,” said Hogan. “Not only is this a world record for a singe firearm at auction, but further demonstration that the art and history of in firearms is really catching fire. We value so strongly the aesthetics, history, and craftsmanship of painting, fine automobiles and watches, but firearms that possess those same traits remain remarkably undervalued.”

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This isn’t the first record sale for Rock Island Auction Company. In 2016, the company sold a Winchester rifle with historic ties to Native American warrior Geronimo and has sold other significant items like Teddy Roosevelt’s golden hunting knife and an M1 Garand rifle once owned by John F. Kennedy.

There were some other interesting items in this past auction as well, including a firearm owned by a Danish sea captain and another gun that was buried to avoid detection by Nazis. You can read about those items here.

Win Tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at the TaxSlayer Center

Three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five, Jim Gaffigan brings The Fixer Upper Tour to the TaxSlayer Center.

Known around the world for his unique brand of humor, Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up comedy tour largely revolves around fatherhood and Jim’s observations on life. Don’t miss a night full of laughter with Jim Gaffigan on August 15th at the TaxSlayer Center.

Tickets go on sale April 20th.  For ticket information, visit click here.

You could win tickets to the show.  One winner will be selected to receive two tickets to the show.  One entry per person.  Deadline for entry is Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

For complete contest rules, click here.

Cat walks 12 miles to get home to family – then they ask shelter to euthanize him

RALEIGH, N.C. — A little orange and white cat who was rejected by his family twice has found a happy ending after all.

The SPCA of Wake County shared his story on Facebook earlier this month, and it broke hearts all over the country.

According to their post, Toby’s family decided they no longer wanted him, so they gave him to another family. But, the post says, Toby missed them and walked 12 miles back home.

When he got there, the family took him to a shelter to be euthanized.

Luckily, the shelter contacted the SPCA of Wake County, who took him in and helped him find a new family.

They announced on Monday that he now lives with a cat sibling and two children.

 

Midland Elementary principal parodies “Ice Ice Baby” to announce snow day

MIDLAND, Iowa — When Midland Elementary School principal Angie Watters-Ruley had to announce a snow day as far late into spring as April 18, she thought there was no better way than to rap about it in a parody of Vanilla Ice’s classic “Ice, Ice, Baby” she called “Springter.” Her Facebook video is going viral because it pokes fun at the bizarre nature of seasons in the midwest.

4-year-old Pennsylvania boy summoned for jury duty

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania 4-year-old received a summons for jury duty but unfortunately can't go because "he has preschool that day."

"He's always been a very serious child, but I didn't think he was quite ready for that kind of a thing, there,” Damien Shrader's mom Desiree told WNEP.

It showed up this week in Damien's great-grandmother's mailbox, ordering the preschooler to show up at the Luzerne County Courthouse.

When asked if he understood the summons, Damien sweetly shook his head no.

Damien's own mom has never been summoned for jury duty, and Damien has only ever gotten one other letter in the mail: it was from Santa.

"I was curious to know how they got his information and decided that he needed to come and make some kind of decisions here,” said Desiree Shrader.

Damien's parents went to the Luzerne County Courthouse Tuesday and explained the situation.

There were a few laughs and the little boy was granted a formal excuse, although the court administrator told Newswatch 16 he is certain sure Damien would make "a fantastic juror" in 15 years or so.

"They formally excused him because he has preschool that day. We also tried to make sure they don't request his two-year-old brother come either. We'd prefer to have them wait a little while for jury duty,” laughed Desiree Shrader.

The court administrator believes Damien’s name and information were mistakenly added to a list of potential jurors from tax documents his great-grandmother filed after buying him stocks.

Crash involving schoolbus in north LeClaire

LECLAIRE, Iowa — An SUV crashed into the back of a stopped schoolbus as it was picking up students at 238th St. and Great River Rd. in LeClaire around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18th.

There were three students on the bus at the time, but no one was hurt.

The SUV sustained significant damage while the bus had a dent.

The students were transferred to a different bus and taken to school.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

IRS gives taxpayers extra day to file due to website glitch

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Taxpayers, you’re getting an extra day.

Wednesday is the new deadline to file and pay taxes after the Internal Revenue Service spent hours dealing with technical difficulties on Tuesday.

The service that taxpayers use to file online was partly down throughout Tuesday morning and afternoon.

“A number of IRS systems are unavailable at the moment,” Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said at a Congressional hearing Tuesday morning. “We are working to resolve this issue and taxpayers should continue to file their returns as they normally would.”

The agency said Tuesday evening that its systems were back online, and that taxpayers would now have until midnight on Wednesday, April 18, to file and pay their taxes.

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” Kautter said in a statement. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

Related: Tax-filing tips: 8 tax mistakes to avoid

Kautter told members of Congress the problems appeared to be related to the “transmission” of tax returns from software providers like H&R Block and TurboTax, which is owned by Intuit.

Intuit said that despite the outage, it continued to process tax returns for its customers.

“Taxpayers should continue to prepare and file their taxes as normal with TurboTax,” a company spokeswoman said. “For those that prepared and filed their taxes with TurboTax earlier today, TurboTax is now submitting those returns to the IRS and is currently processing newly filed returns as normal.”

Related: It’s tax day, and you’re scrambling. What’s the penalty for filing taxes late?

H&R Block had similar advice for taxpayers earlier in the day.

“While the IRS system is down, we are completing the returns, which will be sent as soon as the IRS system re-opens and will be considered filed on time,” the company said in a statement. “We are encouraging tax payers to continue to use our retail services or our do-it-yourself products as they normally would.”

Previously, Tuesday was the last day for taxpayers to file their tax returns, unless they filed for an automatic six-month extension. But an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Filers were also rushing to pay any additional money they owed to Uncle Sam for 2017.

The high cost of taking away prisoners’ Medicaid coverage

For Lori Stone, getting out of prison has always been a little nerve-racking.

She’s been in and out of jail since she was 18. Every time she’s been released, she’s lost her disability benefits and her Medicaid coverage. That meant she couldn’t afford her rent or her medication for her bipolar disorder until she was able to re-enroll, which could take weeks or months — even if she went to all her appointments on time.

“That would put me into a bad spell of being depressed, and my moods would be bad,” says Stone, 37, over the phone from the Douglas County Jail in Omaha, Nebraska. “And then I would end up doing something stupid like shoplifting to get alcohol. It’s just a vicious cycle.”

That critical gap in safety net programs, which has set Stone up for failure again and again, is a harsh reality for millions of people released from prison every year — and one that counties are now trying to get fixed.

Local jails and prisons are required to provide prisoners with adequate health care. But the interruption of federal and state programs inmates had been depending on can cause major problems, making it more likely that people will cycle in and out of jail.

Federal rules prohibit states from billing Medicaid for any inmate care unless the covered individual requires a hospital stay of at least 24 hours. They also cut off Social Security and Disability payments and some veterans’ benefits. Medicaid benefits are taken away as soon as a suspect has been booked into jail, whether they’ve been proven guilty or not. If they are convicted and incarcerated, Social Security and VA benefits disappear 30 and 60 days later, respectively.

Some states simply suspend benefits, allowing inmates to pick them back up as soon as they’re released. But 34 states still terminate enrollment either immediately or after the prisoner spends a certain period of time behind bars.

Related: The financial impact of winning (and losing) the birth lottery

With prisons and jails at the front lines of treating mental illness and the opioid epidemic, that has saddled local governments with billions of dollars in medical costs — $8.1 billion total in 2015, comprising roughly a fifth of correctional budgets, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts — and left their inmates lurching in and out of care.

For example: About 85% of the inmate population under the care of the Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Department of Corrections has some kind of substance abuse problem, says Superintendent David Dionne. Out of an average daily population of about 480 people, between one and two dozen are detoxing at any given time.

Dionne spent $330,000 last year on the medications for diseases like Hepatitis C, which is particularly common among drug users who share needles, along with patching up the physical sores that come along with injecting frequently.

The department contracted with an outside company to provide a 60-day in-house treatment program, but most inmates don’t stay long enough to go through with it. And once they leave, treatment ends — at least until they manage to get covered again by Medicaid or other insurance.

“On the outside, if they didn’t get their treatment, they’d come right back through the front door again,” Dionne says.

In order to smooth the path back to the outside world and reduce the strain on state budgets, 16 states and Washington, D.C. simply suspend Medicaid benefits and automatically reinstate them upon the inmate’s release, rather than terminating enrollment entirely. That ensures newly released prisoners have coverage immediately, since re-enrolling can take weeks or months.

Nebraska passed a law allowing for suspension rather than termination in 2015, which means that this time, Lori Stone will be able to seamlessly regain her benefits and join a long-term treatment program once she gets out.

But even in states that automatically reinstate federal benefits, the interruption disrupts lives.

Another Douglas County inmate, Julia Conger, is a single mother of four children who was jailed in January for unlawful possession of someone else’s debit card. She had been supporting her kids with her disability benefits, and they also received health care through her Medicaid coverage — both of which ceased when Conger went to jail.

When her sister took Conger’s daughter to the dentist for a tooth problem, she was no longer covered. (Although new guardians can transfer Medicaid benefits to children in their care, it doesn’t happen immediately.)

“It’s causing my daughter pain,” Conger says. “And it’s terrible for me, not being able to do anything.”

Given the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the cost of health care in jails is a particularly large lost opportunity for local governments. If it weren’t for the Medicaid and Social Security rules, the federal government would cover at least half of their expenses, which would especially be a relief for cash-strapped rural counties that have to bring in doctors from elsewhere and may not have the funding for expensive drug treatment programs.

“They’re going to be in crisis in a few years unless we find some alternative,” says Ron Manderscheid, who heads the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. “What is the trade-off between operating our schools and spending this huge amount of money on the county jails for health care?”

Related: In a small Kentucky coal town, joblessness leads to a health crisis

But spending more on health care for those who’ve run afoul of the law is a hard sell in Washington.

In 2017, legislators introduced a bill that would at least maintain Medicaid eligibility for pretrial inmates, who accounted for 65% of the 740,700 people in jails in 2016, according to the Bureau of Justice StatisticsAnother bill would require states to suspend rather than terminate benefits for juvenile inmates. A third would allow counties to reinstate Medicaid for inmates 30 days before their release.

None of those bills have progressed beyond introduction. The one that appears to have the best chance of passing is a measure sponsored by Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner that would allow Medicaid to cover an inmate’s substance abuse treatments.

“Where we’re seeing current traction is the opioid epidemic,” says Brian Bowden, a health policy expert with the National Association of Counties. “If you were starting folks on treatment before they’re released, then you’re not having that revolving cycle.”

Southwest pilot praised by passengers for ‘nerves of steel’ during emergency

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Things looked grim aboard the Southwest flight.

About 20 minutes after their flight departed from New York, passengers say they heard what sounded like explosions. The emergency from an engine failure appeared to have shattered a window on the plane. And what was most dire was that a female passenger was being sucked into the hole left by the broken glass.

In those tumultuous moments with oxygen masks dangling down the cabin and passengers screaming as they struggled to save the woman, none of the panic came through in the voice of a pilot on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380.

Tammie Jo Shults’ name has not been officially released by Southwest Airlines, but passengers who were on the flight have identified her as the pilot. Many of them are praising her for how she handled the emergency Tuesday.

In air traffic control audio, a female pilot spoke calmly and slowly, describing the emergency that was unraveling more than 30,000 feet in the air — all the while trying to land a damaged plane suffering engine failure.

“We have a part of the aircraft missing,” she told air traffic control.

As they spoke briefly about the emergency landing the plane would have to make in Philadelphia, she asked matter-of-factly: “Could you have the medical meet us there on the runway as well? We’ve got injured passengers.”

Air traffic control responded: “Injured passengers, OK. And is your airplane physically on fire?”

“No, it’s not on fire,” she replied. “But part of it is missing. They said there’s a hole and that someone went out.”

The air traffic controller responded: “Um, I’m sorry. You said there was a hole and somebody went out? Southwest 1380 it doesn’t matter we will work it out there.”

The plane went from an altitude of 31,684 feet to just about 10,000 feet in a little over five minutes time, according to data from FlightRadar24.com.

The plane descended precipitously, passenger Kristopher Johnson said, but the pilot regained control and informed passengers the flight was headed to Philadelphia.

Another passenger Marty Martinez said he heard, “Brace for landing. Brace for landing.”

It was a rough landing, he said, and things were still so chaotic that he wasn’t sure if the plane was going to crash.

“It was just all incredibly traumatic, and finally when we … came to a halt, of course, the entire crowd was (in) tears and people crying and we were just thankful to be alive,” Martinez said.

Kathy Farnan, a passenger said that the crew knew what they were doing and kept everyone calm.

“The pilot was a veteran of the Navy,” Farnan told CNN. “She had 32 years in — a woman. And she was very good.”

When it was all over, the pilot came out of the cabin and hugged everyone, telling them, “You all did a great job. You did a very good job,” said passenger Amy Serafini.

They not only praised her technical skills, but her professionalism after they landed.

Passengers told CNN affiliate WPVI that she walked through the aisle and talked with passengers to make sure they were all right.

Another passenger, Alfred Tumlinson told WPVI: “She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her. I’m going to send her a Christmas card, I’m going to tell you that, with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome.”

Johnson posted a picture of the shredded engine and thanked the crew, calling them #angelsinthesky.

He also tweeted a photo of the crew, calling them heroes. “We lost an engine mid-flight and they guided back to Philly.”

The female passenger, whom witnesses said was pulled back in from the broken airplane window, died at a Philadelphia hospital, authorities said. Seven others were treated for minor injuries.

The plane had departed from New York, bound for Dallas.

E. Moline detour alert: 41st Avenue at 7th Street closed starting today

 

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — The City of East Moline has announced that the first closure in its 7th St. water main replacement project will be 41st Avenue at 7th Street, starting Wednesday April 18th 2018.

The construction will take place along 7th St. from 42nd Ave. to 30th Ave. over the next several months.

Periodically 7th St. and intersecting avenues will have lanes restricted or avenues closed during this construction. WQAD will update accordingly as traffic will be detoured around the construction for periods of time.

Motorists are urged to use a different route when possible.

 

Rain, sleet, snow, and thunderstorms all a good bet today

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for areas north of US-30 today with a Winter Weather Advisory in effect south of US-30 (including the Quad Cities).

Wow! Temperature is 32 with freezing rain, thunder, and hail up to ping pong ball size. #IAWX pic.twitter.com/wH5MiDqobu

— EricSorensen (@ERICSORENSEN) April 18, 2018

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A mix of rain, sleet, and snow will move into the area by mid-morning. By early afternoon, some thunderstorms are expected with the wintry mix. Accumulations of sleet and snow will only be around 1-2 inches for the Quad Cities, so this won't be an epic system. However, road conditions to the north and northwest of the metro will deteriorate considerably, especially into the afternoon. Places like Waterloo and Independence, Iowa could receive more than 6 inches of snowfall today.

The wintry mix will end from west to east by 10pm tonight. Total snow and slush accumulations will be 1-2 inches for the Quad Cities metro with 3-6 inches from Iowa City to Dubuque and Galena. 6"+ are possible on the other side of US-151.

Click on the slideshow below to see the timing of the rain and snow on Futuretrack:

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Temperatures will fall to 30 degrees tonight with improving conditions. We're back into the sun on Thursday with highs in the 40s. 50s are likely on Friday and Saturday with 60s a good bet by Sunday.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Days after considering re-joining TPP, Trump bashes it again

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President Donald Trump has renewed his attack on a huge Pacific trade pact just days after raising the possibility of the United States rejoining it.

Trump wrote on Twitter late Tuesday that he thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) didn’t represent a good deal for the world’s biggest economy.

“While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States,” he tweeted.

“Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers. Look how bad WTO is to US.”

Trump pulled the United States out of TPP in one of his first acts after becoming president in January last year. The 11 remaining countries in the trade agreement have since forged ahead with a new deal without the United States.

Related: Abe faces awkward Trump summit on North Korea

But last week Trump floated the possibility of rejoining the agreement, when he asked his top trade and economic advisers to investigate “whether or not a better deal could be negotiated,” the White House said.

TPP countries including Japan, Australia and New Zealand had responded cautiously to Trump’s rethink, warning that renegotiating the deal would be difficult.

Trump’s latest rejection of the TPP came during a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, where the two leaders are discussing North Korea and trade.

“I suspect that Abe highlighted to Trump the impossibility of a wholesale renegotiation of the TPP agreement at this time,” said Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Centre in Singapore. The US president’s latest tweet “shows that Trump still does not understand the agreement,” she added.

Related: The US may have missed its chance to join the TPP

Trump has been pushing Japan for a bilateral trade agreement that would give American companies better access to the Japanese economy, the third largest in the world. Trump has previously described trade with Japan as “not fair” and “not open.”

Japan’s government, which was dismayed by Trump’s decision to pull out of the TPP last year, has made it clear that it’s in no hurry to sign up for bilateral negotiations with Washington.

It was not immediately clear why Trump mentioned South Korea in the context of TPP. The country is not part of the TPP, although its government has at times expressed interest in joining provided the US also signs up.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend

(CNN) — CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea over Easter weekend for a meeting with leader Kim Jong Un, sources confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

One source said Pompeo took only intelligence officials with him on the trip, no White House or State Department officials.

The White House declined to comment on news of the visit after The Washington Post first reported, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the trip, that Pompeo had made the top-secret visit as an envoy for President Donald Trump.

News of the secret meeting broke as Trump hosted a visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida.

Trump confirmed Tuesday while alongside Abe that the US and North Korea are having discussions at “very high levels” in preparation for an anticipated meeting between Trump and Kim.

“We have had direct talks,” the President said.

Pompeo’s visit to the isolated nation around the beginning of April came amid a major shakeup in the administration. Trump had fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state in mid-March and nominated Pompeo to be the US’ top diplomat shortly after the White House announced the President had agreed to meet with North Korea’s leader at an unspecified date.

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