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The 15 most dangerous human foods for dogs


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The majority of American households make pets part of their family. In 2018, it’s estimated that 68% of households own a pet (more than the percentage with children), which adds up to 84.6 million homes nationally. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most common pets are dogs, which can be found in roughly one out of every two U.S. homes.

Every dog owner knows that while owning a dog can be rewarding, keeping his or her aromatic curiosity in check can be a real challenge. When a dog chews up a new pair of sneakers, it’s annoying, but when he breaks into the pantry, it can be dangerous. In 2017, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 199,000 poisoning cases, almost one-fifth of which were the result of ingesting human foods. As strange as it might seem, everyday human foods are the most common cause of pet poisoning cases apart from prescription and over-the-counter medications.

That said, not all human foods are dangerous for dogs, so understanding which are and aren’t are key to creating a safe environment for your pup. Researchers at NomNomNow, a pet company that creates healthy and fresh dog food, compiled the following list of human foods to avoid giving your dog. While some foods (like chocolate) might be obvious, others are certainly not. Here are the most dangerous human foods for dogs.

Methodology

Researchers at NomNomNow compiled the list of dangerous foods for dogs using information from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Pet ownership statistics were obtained from the American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey (2017-2018). Pet poisoning statistics were obtained from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. If you have reason to suspect your pet has consumer something toxic, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.


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1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a compound known as theobromine. Derived from the cacao tree, theobromine is the primary alkaloid in chocolate and contributes to its mood-altering effects. Theobromine is a member of the methylxanthine family, which includes other stimulants like caffeine. For humans, the amount of theobromine found in chocolate is low enough to not be a risk; but for smaller animals like dogs and cats, it can be toxic. When ingested, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, panting, seizures, and in some cases, death. Dark chocolate (like baker’s chocolate) contains the most theobromine, making it more dangerous than milk chocolate or white chocolate.


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2. Coffee, Tea & Caffeine

Similar to chocolate, products containing caffeine are also harmful for dogs due to their effects as stimulants. Like theobromine, caffeine can also cause rapid heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, hypertension, seizures, and even death. This applies to whole coffee beans, brewed coffee, tea leaves, and also coffee grounds. So be careful not to let your pup get into the compost pile!


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3. Alcohol

The same effects that alcohol has on people apply to dogs, but the results are amplified due to their smaller size. Alcoholic beverages and foods containing alcohol can cause central nervous system depression, inhibited motor function, vomiting, coma, and death. Pets should never be given alcohol of any kind.


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4. Xylitol

Xylitol is a common food additive in the U.S. It is categorized as a sugar alcohol, and most commonly used as a low-calorie artificial sweetener in gum, candy, toothpaste, and other sweets. While xylitol has no known toxicity to humans, it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs as a result of its effects on insulin regulation. Initial signs of exposure include vomiting, loss of coordination, and fatigue.


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5. Grapes & Raisins

While the exact cause is not fully understood, grapes and raisins are considered highly toxic to dogs. Even very small amounts can lead to severe negative reactions. In the worst cases, consuming grapes or raisins results in sudden kidney failure for dogs. Until the mechanisms behind their toxicity are better understood, it is extremely important to keep grapes and raisins away from your pets.


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6. High-Salt Foods

There’s something about salt that makes almost anything taste better. And while salt is a necessary component of our diet, too much of it can cause issues for dogs and humans alike. Salt poisoning can occur if your dog ingests a large amount of salt in a short period of time. The effects are worse if the dog doesn’t have access to freshwater. Symptoms range from gastrointestinal (thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea) to neurological (tremors, seizures, and convulsions). In extreme cases, salt poisoning can lead to kidney damage and death. Keep high-sodium household items far away from your pets. Things like playdough, soy sauce, table salt, and ocean water are common culprits of salt poisoning in dogs.


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7. Gum and candy

Many brands of gum and candy contain xylitol, which as discussed above, can be fatal to dogs. However, even gum and candies not containing xylitol still pose a risk to canines. When ingested, gum and chewy candies can lead to choking or blockages in the digestive tract. Additionally, hard candies are a common culprit for tooth fractures in dogs. So next time Halloween rolls around, make sure your bag of candy is well beyond Fido’s reach.


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8. Yeast Dough

When making bread or other foods requiring raw dough, make sure to let the dough rise in a safe place (not in your dog’s stomach). When consumed before it has fully risen, dough can continue to expand in the stomach causing discomfort, gas, and bloating. In the worst cases, consuming yeast dough can cause a dog’s stomach to twist or intestines to rupture, which are both life-threatening situations. Something less obvious is that when yeast rises, it also produces alcohol, which as discussed earlier, has its own harmful effects on dogs. Once the dough has been cooked, the risks are far lower. So breaking off a small piece of bread for your pup shouldn’t be a problem.


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9. Milk and Dairy

In humans, lactose intolerance is usually caused by a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose, which is the sugar in milk. Similarly, most pets don’t have sufficient amounts of lactase to digest milk and other dairy products adequately. As a result, dairy can give your dog an upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Dairy products that are higher in protein and fat, like cottage cheese and certain cheeses, might be easier on dogs’ stomachs since they are usually lower in carbs (lactose); however, their high-fat content can be problematic, so moderation is advised. It’s also important to note that some dogs will naturally tolerate lactose better than others; don’t be surprised if that’s the case for yours.


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10. Nuts (especially macadamia nuts)

While certainly delicious and nutritious for humans, nuts generally contain high concentrations of oils and fats. When consumed in large quantities, these fats can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes pancreatitis in dogs. Additionally, macadamia nuts have their own unique, negative effects on dogs. When ingested, they can cause weakness, hyperthermia, vomiting, tremors, and other bad symptoms, which typically last 12 – 48 hours.


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11. Fatty foods

Dogs are very good at using fat for energy, which is why it’s common to see high-fat content in many pet foods. Dogs transport cholesterol as “HDL”, the good cholesterol, so no worries about atherosclerosis and heart disease. Problems arise when dogs experience quick changes in either the amount or type of fat in their diet. Foods that are high in fats — for example, bacon, sausage, ribs, and fried fast foods — can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. In certain cases, eating unhealthy, high-fat foods like these can even cause pancreatitis. While it’s often difficult to say “no” to a begging puppy, it’s best to avoid sneaking your dog any of these unhealthy treats.


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12. Citrus

Citrus fruits contain citric acid. In extremely large quantities, citric acid can be problematic for dogs, resulting in central nervous system depression. However, most dogs don’t like the taste of citrus fruit and avoid these fruits on their own. It’s also important to note that many pet foods contain a low dose of citric acid, which is used as a preservative. This is a very beneficial natural preservative with no side effects. The small amounts present in these foods shouldn’t be of concern.  A little bit of citrus fruit likely won’t hurt either – but a citrus binge isn’t advised.


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13. Raw Meat, Eggs and Bones

While throwing a dog a raw bone might seem like a harmless idea, bones can actually be quite dangerous for domestic pets. This is because bones often splinter, and when that happens, the sharp pieces can rupture your dog’s digestive tract or lead to choking. Additionally, raw foods (such as raw meat and eggs) can contain E. coli and Salmonella, which present similar risks to dogs as they do to humans.


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14. Onions, Garlic, Chives

It’s a common misconception that dogs should never consume onions, garlic, or chives. The misconception stems from the fact that at extremely high doses, these foods can cause gastrointestinal issues and red blood cell damage in our four-legged friends. That said, the amounts typically added to pet foods and treats for flavor should not be problematic.


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15. Avocados

Another common misconception is that avocados should be kept away from dogs at all costs. Avocados contain a toxin known as persin, which at high doses can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The concentration of persin is highest in the leaves and bark of the avocado tree and the skin and pit of the fruit. The relatively low concentrations of persin in the ripe pulp, however, shouldn’t be dangerous. Birds and rodents are much more sensitive to avocado poisoning than dogs.

Former First Lady Barabra Bush has died at age 92

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

Statement by the Office of @GeorgeHWBush on the passing of Barbara Pierce Bush this evening at the age of 92. pic.twitter.com/c6JU0xy6Vc

— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 17, 2018

Mrs. Bush brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, often appearing in her trademark fake pearl chokers and displaying no vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

"What you see with me is what you get. I'm not running for president — George Bush is," she said at the 1988 Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.

The Bushes, who were married Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

"I had the best job in America," she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. "Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun."

On Sunday, family spokesman Jim McGrath said the former first lady had decided to decline further medical treatment for health problems and focus instead on "comfort care" at home in Houston. She had been in the hospital recently for congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 2009, she had heart valve replacement surgery and had a long history of treatment for Graves' disease, a thyroid condition.

Funeral arrangements weren't immediately released.

The publisher's daughter and oilman's wife could be caustic in private, but her public image was that of a self-sacrificing, supportive spouse who referred to her husband as her "hero."

In the White House, "you need a friend, someone who loves you, who's going to say, 'You are great,'" Mrs. Bush said in a 1992 television interview.

Her uncoiffed, matronly appearance often provoked jokes that she looked more like the boyish president's mother than his wife. Late-night comedians quipped that her bright white hair and pale features also imparted a resemblance to George Washington.

Eight years after leaving the nation's capital, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned four years later when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams did not live to see her son's inauguration. She died in 1818, six years before John Quincy Adams was elected.

Mrs. Bush insisted she did not try to influence her husband's politics.

"I don't fool around with his office," she said, "and he doesn't fool around with my household."

In 1984, her quick wit got her into trouble when she was quoted as referring to Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, as "that $4 million — I can't say it, but it rhymes with rich."

"It was dumb of me. I shouldn't have said it," Mrs. Bush acknowledged in 1988. "It was not attractive, and I've been very shamed. I apologized to Mrs. Ferraro, and I would apologize again."

Daughter-in-law Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president, said Mrs. Bush was "ferociously tart-tongued."

"She's never shied away from saying what she thinks. ... She's managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment," Laura Bush wrote in her 2010 book, "Spoken from the Heart."

In her 1994 autobiography, "Barbara Bush: A Memoir," Mrs. Bush said she did her best to keep her opinions from the public while her husband was in office. But she revealed that she disagreed with him on two issues: She supported legal abortion and opposed the sale of assault weapons.

"I honestly felt, and still feel, the elected person's opinion is the one the public has the right to know," Mrs. Bush wrote.

She also disclosed a bout with depression in the mid-1970s, saying she sometimes feared she would deliberately crash her car. She blamed hormonal changes and stress.

"Night after night, George held me weeping in his arms while I tried to explain my feelings," she wrote. "I almost wonder why he didn't leave me."

She said she snapped out of it in a few months.

Mrs. Bush raised five children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. A sixth child, 3-year-old daughter Robin, died of leukemia in 1953.

In a speech in 1985, she recalled the stress of raising a family while married to a man whose ambitions carried him from the Texas oil fields to Congress and into influential political positions that included ambassador to the United Nations, GOP chairman and CIA director.

"This was a period, for me, of long days and short years," she said, "of diapers, runny noses, earaches, more Little League games than you could believe possible, tonsils and those unscheduled races to the hospital emergency room, Sunday school and church, of hours of urging homework or short chubby arms around your neck and sticky kisses."

Along the way, she said, there were also "bumpy moments — not many, but a few — of feeling that I'd never, ever be able to have fun again and coping with the feeling that George Bush, in his excitement of starting a small company and traveling around the world, was having a lot of fun."

In 2003, she wrote a follow-up memoir, "Reflections: Life After the White House."

"I made no apologies for the fact that I still live a life of ease," she wrote. "There is a difference between ease and leisure. I live the former and not the latter."

Along with her memoirs, she wrote "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book," based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. Laura Bush, a former teacher with a master's degree in library science, continued her mother-in-law's literacy campaign in the White House.

The 43rd president was not the only Bush son to seek office in the 1990s. In 1994, when George W. was elected governor of Texas, son Jeb narrowly lost to incumbent Lawton Chiles in Florida. Four years later, Jeb was victorious in his second try in Florida.

"This is a testament to what wonderful parents they are," George W. Bush said as Jeb Bush was sworn into office. He won a second term in 2002, and then made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Sons Marvin and Neil both became businessmen. Neil achieved some notoriety in the 1980s as a director of a savings and loan that crashed. Daughter Dorothy, or Doro, has preferred to stay out of the spotlight. She married lobbyist Robert Koch, a Democrat, in 1992.

In a collection of letters published in 1999, George H.W. Bush included a note he gave to his wife in early 1994.

"You have given me joy that few men know," he wrote. "You have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro to be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara's husband."

Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. After attending Smith College for two years, she married young naval aviator George Herbert Walker Bush. She was 19.

After World War II, the Bushes moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune and raise a family. It was there that Bush began his political career, representing Houston for two terms in Congress in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In all, the Bushes made more than two dozen moves that circled half the globe before landing at the White House in 1989. Opinion polls taken over the next four years often showed her approval ratings higher than her husband's.

The couple's final move, after Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, was to Houston, where they built what she termed their "dream house" in an affluent neighborhood. The Bush family also had an oceanfront summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

After retiring to Houston, the Bushes helped raise funds for charities and appeared frequently at events such as Houston Astros baseball games. Public schools in the Houston area are named for both of them.

In 1990, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at all-women Wellesley College. Some had protested her selection because she was prominent only through the achievements of her husband. Her speech that day was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century.

"Cherish your human connections," Mrs. Bush told graduates. "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent."

Teacher says he was suspended for making students breakfast during state test

LANCASTER, Pa. – A teacher at a Pennsylvania middle school said he was suspended and expected to lose his job after making breakfast for his students while they took state tests last week.

LancasterOnline.com reports Hand Middle School teacher Kyle Byler brought an electric griddle and made a whole-grain pancake for each student to eat during the test.

Less than 24 hours later, the eighth-grade social studies teacher said he was told the school board would be voting at a Tuesday meeting to decide whether or not to terminate him for causing a distraction during the tests. He was suspended without pay, but the school board said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that “there was never any dismissal action on the Board’s agenda,” and that he’s due back in the classroom this week.

District officials added that “no teacher can be dismissed without the School Board first approving a written notice that offers the opportunity for a School Board hearing, and that step has also not occurred.”

“I don’t understand what I did wrong, to be honest with you. There was no infraction whatsoever,” Byler, 38, told LancasterOnline.com. “At no point was it any distraction for any of the students. They worked their butts off.”

School officials said in the statement that they already provide food for the students, and that “the Pennsylvania Department of Education strictly requires that teachers who proctor PSSA testing focus their full attention on monitoring students during the test.”

Nicole Reigelman, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, told the paper that while no rules are in place to keep teachers from preparing a meal for students during a test, doing so would “likely interfere with ‘actively monitoring’ the assessment, which is a key task.”

Meanwhile, Byler’s students have come to his defense and even protested for two hours outside the school Friday.

Lancaster Education Association President Jason Molloy told the newspaper that the situation should have been handled differently. He said that losing Byler would be “a terrible injustice to his students,” and that many of them are from economically distressed households and often come to school hungry.

“For some, whole-grain pancakes may be the only hot meal they’ve gotten that day,” said Molloy.

See the full response from the school district below:

There is an inaccurate news report that the School Board is scheduled to take action tonight to dismiss a teacher. That is wrong. There was never any dismissal action on the Board’s agenda. In any event, no teacher can be dismissed without the School Board first approving a written notice that offers the opportunity for a School Board hearing, and that step has also not occurred. Nor will it occur in this situation, as the personnel matter has been resolved with the employee, who is scheduled to return to work.

Regarding the incident addressed in the news report, the School District provides a free breakfast and lunch for all students every day, including PSSA testing days. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Department of Education strictly requires that teachers who proctor PSSA testing focus their full attention on monitoring students during the test. All teachers serving as PSSA test proctors receive specific training on testing protocol. Had permission been sought by a teacher to cook in the classroom during PSSA testing and serve food to the students, the response would have been that such activities would distract the teacher from the required duties as a test proctor. PDE has requested information about this incident for its review.

We acknowledge, appreciate and support the many SDoL educators who go above and beyond to meet the needs of our students every day, and we thank the community for advocating on behalf of our students.

[PHOTOS] Here’s what a new Captain’s Table restaurant may look like

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MOLINE, Illinois — Management is pushing to rebuild the Captain’s Table restaurant to replace the original, which was destroyed in a fire.

In mid-April 2018, three months after the accidental fire, renderings of a bigger and better design were unveiled to the public.

Watch: Captain’s Table in Moline being torn down after fire 

General Manager Robert Egger said the new design would make better use of its surroundings, like the Marquis Marina or the bike path.  He described it as having an “Ozark-y” feel.

“It’s more about having a place that’s going to be more utilized,” he said.

The design plan includes two floors.

The first floor would have the same amount of seating as the original restaurant.  Egger said the goal is for each seat to be placed in view of the river.  The first floor includes an outdoor patio, encased in glass and the ability to open up to the outside as well as a lounge.

The second floor includes an observation deck, a glass room for private parties or meetings, a second patio, and a fire pit.  Egger said the second floor would also have space for guests to wait for tables.

Egger said the design was morphed from plans he had previously made for the Paddle Wheel in Bettendorf, which he used to own.  In April of 2017, after the Paddle Wheel closed, Egger started running the Captain’s Table.

“We worked really hard to rebuild the business,” he said.   When he took over, about $50,000 to $100,000 was invested in the Captain’s Table as part of a renovation project “to give it a new look and feel.”  He said they only got about halfway done before the fire.

The property that houses Captain’s Table is leased from the City of Moline, management has to get approval from the council before going ahead with construction.  Egger said they hope to be up and running by the first quarter of 2019, with the goal to break ground by summer.

Husband of beaten DCFS worker asks lawmakers to explain themselves

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - The husband of a DCFS worker killed in the line of duty says he wants to know why lawmakers have not advanced a bill calling for harsher penalties who hurt DCFS workers on the job.

Don Knight, of Dixon, was in Springfield Tuesday in support of House Bill 4586.

The bill, co-sponsored by State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna, didn't make it  out of committee last week. McCombie has said the bill died, without discussion, because the Democratic majority says it isn't in line with their criminal justice reform.

"The ones that vote no on this, I would appreciate if they would send us a letter stating why they feel this not important for us to have in place," said Knight, who attended a news conference with McCombie, and other supporters.

"We've spent 7 months with the loss of Pam and I know she would want us to pass this bill," Knight said.

Investigators say Pam Knight was kicked in the head repeatedly last September while checking on the welfare of a 2-year-old child.

She died in a Chicago hospital in September.

Andrew Sucher is now charged with murder.

The bill would enhance the penalty for injuring a DCFS worker to 4 to 15 years, much like a firefighter and police officer, boosting the charge from a battery to a felony aggravated battery.

"To send a strong message. Attacks on people who are carrying out the work of the people of the state of Illinois to help protect vulnerable children from situations of which they're in danger, that we stand with them and have no tolerance for those who commit violent acts against them, " said State Rep. Tom Demmer, a Dixon Republican.

"Over the course of the week, we've seen some politics at play with this bill. If any bill should be above politics, its this one," Demmer said.

State Rep. McCombie said there have been several other attacks on DCFS workers statewide. The bill, she says, would not deter crimes, but would ensure perpetrators receiver more than probation, and give "some sense of justice to victims and their families."

McCombie says there are at least 50 bi-partisan votes if the bill ever gets to the House floor, calling support for it, "a no-brainer."

"We're all here today, to ask for your help," she said.

Two East Moline men sentenced to prison after invading a Rock Island home, firing a gun and attempting robbery

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – Two East Moline men were sentenced to prison on April 17 in connection to an armed robbery attempt at a Rock Island home last November.

Officials say 25-year-old Dalvent Jackson will serve 30 years in federal prison. Deaunta Tyler, 30, will serve 27 years and six months in prison.

A third person, Ledell Tyler, 36, of Silvis, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29.

A press release said a jury determined that the men fired a gun during an attempted robbery after invading a family home on November 15, 2017.

According to Police, during the attempted robbery, the defendants threatened to shoot various occupants of the home, including two pregnant women and several young children.

About five hours after the attempted robbery, officers of the Rock Island Police Department arrested the men after they fled from a traffic stop and crashed their vehicle.

 

New life for old Moline Spiegel building

MOLINE-- Sounds of the new I-74 bridge project and sites of the old bridge can be seen from River Drive in Moline. And nestled in between, is a little bit of both, the Spiegel building.

"It was Spiegel Moving and Storage. It was a moving company, but they also had a lot of storage space in here. It was that for almost 50 years before we owned it," says Moline Property Management Coordinator Chris Mathias.

Land and some buildings had to be leveled to accommodate the bridge project, but not the Spiegel building.

"It was something they were able to fit in, and that's the cool thing about it," says Mathias.

After the four story, 32,000 square foot building stood vacant for almost two years, city leaders in Moline have a new plan for the old building.

"One of the proposals we talked with the developer thought they could get 30 to 40 apartments in here. That's a desirable thing right now in Moline. I think there's not enough of that product in Moline, a new market rate apartment. We've seen a younger crows looking for apartments, so this continues that growth," says Mathias.

On Tuesday night, city council members will review two proposals from different companies. The city is looking to sell the building for $327,500. They want to close on the property by July 31, 2018.

With reminders of the past around every corner, the promise of a future is building.

"It's got that historic element to it. It's going to survive and live on."

One killed after vehicle struck by train in Galesburg

GALESBURG, Illinois — A driver was killed after the vehicle they were driving was struck by a train at a crossing near the Hill Correctional Center on Linwood Road around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.

A spokesperson for the Galesburg Fire Department and the Knox County coroner’s office confirmed the fatal crash details, but are not releasing the identity of the victim.

The incident forced the closure of Linwood Road between Monmouth Blvd. and Main Street for approximately two hours.

Galesburg Fire Chief Tom Simkins told the Register-Mail that the driver of the car that was struck drove around other vehicles stopped at the tracks prior to the collision.

The vehicle started on fire after being struck and had to be extinguished by firefighters. It also forced the derailment of one of the train cars.

 

New Orleans teen accepted to more than 80 colleges

NEW ORLEANS – Darrin Francois takes the win when it comes to the number of congratulatory letters from schools across the country – more than 80 colleges accepted the New Orleans high school senior.

"I just applied, applied, applied. I didn't know how many it was, so once they started to come through the mail, I was like oh my gosh, this many? Then, they started coming more and more. Now, today, I have 83 now," Francois told WGNO.

The acceptance letters include more than $3 million in scholarships.

This is a pleasing number to Francois' mom, Bridget.

"Eighty-three colleges? That is wonderful, that is a blessing from God. I'm very proud, a proud mother to see my son go forward into his success and go forward into his goals," said Bridget.

It doesn't stop with Francois, other students have their options of universities as well. When it comes to college applications, International High School of New Orleans has it covered.

About a dozen students have received at least 20 acceptance letters that are accompanied by hefty scholarships.

Many students say that the scholarship money is a big deciding factor, along with life goals.

"I started to focus more on my career choice and schools that would promote me in that area," said senior, Thalneisha Weston.

The school's faculty is considering this to be a banner year, as it's the most scholarships they've ever seen.

They attribute these statistics to their daily routine of getting their students to fill out multiple applications.

"I think we got on some of their nerves to be honest with you, but we continued to hammer at them to let them know that the world is yours if you reach out and get it," said the director of student support services, Rufus Mcgee.

"We're doing it, we made it. We've accomplished a lot and it's exciting. To know that it's not just one person, or two, it's multiple people. That is really a blessing," said Weston.

"Just stay true to yourself, if you know you're going to get in, you're going to get in," said Francois.

Francois said he hasn't officially chosen a school yet.

Right now, he's considering several law schools.

He says whichever scholarship gives him the most financial coverage will definitely sway his decision.

The International High School of New Orleans is hosting a gala on Saturday, April 21st.

For more information on this fundraiser, like how to donate to this school, click here.

Hope Creek Care Center wants to cut expenses by filling nursing jobs

EAST MOLINE -

Hope Creek Care Center hopes to cut expenses by filling some 15 nursing positions at a Job Fair on Thursday, April 19.

It will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 4343 Kennedy Drive in East Moline, Illinois.

Executive Director Cassie Baker warns that the nursing shortage is reaching a crisis situation.  It's a shortage that's also increasing Hope Creek's debt.

"Our biggest expense is agency costs," she said, on Tuesday, April 17.  "It's something we can control."

But with 250 employees, there aren't enough nurses to go around.  The care center must cover those shifts with an outside agency.  Per job, that can cost $44 per hour.

"Some months can average $80,000 for agency costs," Baker said.

Reason enough for it to hold a Job Fair.  It's looking for Registered Nurses (starting at $25 per hour), LPN's (starting at $19.57) and CNA's (starting at $12.46).

Hope Creek is also offering shift incentives and excellent benefits.

"We'll obviously do on-the-spot interviews for anybody that is qualified for the positions," she said.

Baker is trying to reverse the stigma surrounding Hope Creek.  She says that some nurses are reluctant to apply because of the center's hard times and past history.

"We want to make sure that we have these resources for our community members," she said.  "But it's very difficult to do that when you have these expenses that are so high."

Hope Creek continues to face money troubles. It can ease some of that burden by filling vacant jobs.

"We're looking to get some people on our books this Thursday," she concluded.

 

Oklahoma students join teachers at Capitol for lesson on democracy

The teachers’ walkout is officially over — so one school district is sending its students to the state capital.

For two weeks, Blanchard Public Schools were shut down as teachers swarmed the Capitol in Oklahoma City to demand more school funding and higher raises.

They didn’t get what they wanted. But they got a huge wake-up call on how the Legislature actually works — a lesson Superintendent Jim Beckham wants students to witness, too.

“Our teachers are in the process of taking field trips each day to Oklahoma City … taking groups of students each day not to lobby lawmakers, but just to view the legislative process,” Beckham said.

“There were teachers that actually did not know what happens at the Capitol when bills are drafted and made into law. They can explain to students how that happened. Kids need to see how that happened.”

Oklahoma approves more school funding and some raises, but teachers say it’s not enough

The first busload of students — a group of seniors — arrived at the Capitol on Monday, the first day of classes since the walkout.

Blanchard High School student Kathryn Stacy said sending students to the Capitol “is one of the most brilliant ideas that I’ve heard.”

“Students need to be more involved in their government process,” she said.

Beckham’s goal is to get every Blanchard student there before the end of the school year, which has been extended several days due to the walkout.

He realizes the walkout was a hardship for some parents who had to scramble to find day care plans. But he said about 90% of the parental feedback he’s received has been positive, as students feel the pinch of tight budgets every day.

Stacy said her trigonometry textbook this year was so dilapidated, the entire first chapter was gone.

“It had fallen out because it’s been used for so many years,” the 18-year-old said.

The senior said she’s excited for her class to go on the field trip May 1 because many students are frustrated.

“It will show legislators that they’re fighting for a real cause,” she said. “They’re fighting so that students can go to school and read from a textbook that wasn’t made in 2005.”

The IRS’ online filing system is having problems … on tax day

(CNN Money) — It’s tax day — and the IRS is experiencing technical difficulties.

The service that taxpayers use to file online is partly down, according to Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter.

“A number of IRS systems are unavailable at the moment,” 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.”

In a statement, the IRS confirmed that the problems are ongoing.

The agency did not provide details on the nature or extent of the technical issues.

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

H&R Block said that despite the outage, it’s still processing tax returns for its customers.

“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.”

Intuit had similar advice for those using TurboTax.

“Taxpayers should go ahead and continue to prepare and file their taxes as normal with TurboTax,” a company spokeswoman said. “TurboTax has uninterrupted service and is available and accepting e-filed returns. We will hold returns until the IRS is ready to begin accepting them again.”

Tuesday is the last day for taxpayers to file their tax returns, unless they’ve filed for an automatic six-month extension. But an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Filers must pay any additional money they owe to Uncle Sam for 2017 today.

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

Lawmakers are calling on the IRS to avoid penalizing those affected by the glitches.

“Tax Day is already a stressful time for millions of Americans, even when everything goes right,” Richard Neal, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement. “Given this news, I hope that the IRS will make accommodations so that every taxpayer attempting to file today has a fair shot to do so without penalty.”

Starbucks will close 8,000 US stores on May 29 for racial-bias training

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Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.

The announcement follows an uproar over the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week. The store manager called the police.

The racial bias training will be provided on May 29 to about 175,000 workers.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

Starbucks says the training will be developed with guidance from experts including former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will also help design the program, as will executives from the Equal Justice Initiative and Demos, the progressive think tank.

The experts will also review the effectiveness of the training, Starbucks said.

Related: Starbucks CEO meets with two black men arrested at Philadelphia store

The two men entered the Starbucks on Thursday and asked to use to the bathroom. An employee told them it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed.

Johnson met with the two men on Monday and apologized for how they were treated, a company spokesperson said.

The company says the manager who called the police is no longer working at that store. Starbucks would not comment on other reports that she has left the company by mutual agreement.

Separately, a Facebook video taken in January at a Starbucks in California shows a black customer saying that he was not allowed to use the bathroom when a white customer was.

‘Chaos all around’: 1 killed as Southwest jet makes emergency landing

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(CNN) — Passengers aboard a Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday heard an explosion before seeing oxygen masks drop from the ceiling and a woman sucked toward a broken window in the plane, a witness said.

One person died in the incident, according to National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt. The person has not been identified.

“Everybody was going crazy, and yelling and screaming,” passenger Marty Martinez said of the flight, which left New York and was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

“As the plane is going down, I am literally purchasing internet just so I can get some kind of communication to the outside world,” he said.

The plane had suffered damage to one of its engines, and according to passenger Kristopher Johnson, who was sitting near the front of Flight 1380, debris from the engine flew into the window, breaking it and injuring a woman sitting nearby.

“Shrapnel hit the window causing a serious injury. No other details about that. Several medical personnel on the flight tended to the injured passenger,” Johnson said.

The crew reported damage to one of the aircraft’s engines as well as the fuselage and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The injured woman’s arms and body were sucked toward the opening in the plane, Martinez recalled in a phone interview. Objects flew out the hole where the window had been, and “passengers right next to her were holding onto her. And meanwhile, there was blood all over this man’s hands. He was tending to her,” said Martinez, who was sitting a row or two away from the woman.

Other passengers began trying to plug the hole with jackets and other objects but to no avail. Those items, too, were sucked out of the plane, he said.

Martinez said he didn’t think he would survive. Nor did his colleague in an adjacent seat who was scrambling to write one last message to his wife and unborn son, he said.

“We could feel the air from the outside coming in, and then we had smoke kind of coming in the window. Meanwhile, you have passengers that were in that aisle, trying to attend to the woman that was bleeding from the window explosion,” he said. “That was just chaos all around.”

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

“The crew did a great job,” he said.

The flight tracking website FlightRadar24 estimated the Boeing 737-700 descended from 31,684 feet to about 10,000 feet in a little over five minutes.

It was a rough landing, Martinez said, and things were still so chaotic that he wasn’t sure if the plane was going to crash. The jet could have been landing on a freeway for all he knew, he said.

“I didn’t know if we were going to be running into a building. I didn’t know what state the plane or even the pilot was in, if we were in condition to land,” he said. “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.”

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said earlier that one of the 149 passengers and crew members on board was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Seven others were treated for minor injuries.

“We are in the process of gathering more information,” Southwest said in a statement.

Video from the scene showed the plane on the tarmac surrounded by emergency vehicles. The engine on the left wing was badly damaged.

Philadelphia International Airport said the plane landed safely. Passengers using the airport should expect delays, it said.

The NTSB sent a team to Philadelphia to investigate the incident. Boeing said it is providing technical assistance in the investigation.

The NTSB’s Sumwalt said the plane carrying his team will return to Washington with the airliner’s flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. The agency expects to have preliminary readouts by Tuesday night.

Sumwalt said part of the inquiry will look at the CFM International 56 turboprop engine. Last year the FAA issued an airworthiness directive on the CFM56-7B version that would have required inspection of the fan blades.

“There are various iterations of that (engine) and so I can’t say exactly what that air worthiness directive might have applied to at this point, but that will be part of our investigation,” he said.

The directive says the proposal came after an inflight failure.

In August 2016, a Southwest Airlines 737 flying from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, when an engine failed.

Tracking next round of rain for some, snow for others come Wednesday

Not great but a nice improvement from yesterday’s cold and gloomy weather as brighter skies are allowing temperatures to approach the 50 degree mark.

Clouds will overspread the area tonight as another weather system pulls in from the west.  This too, will not only carry some light rain but for some areas accumulating snow as well.

Winter Weather Advisories will go into effect on Wednesday in areas north of US 30 for Jones, Jackson, Jo Daviess, and Carroll County for accumulating snow. This is where a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will quickly change to all snow with 1-3 inches expected.

Areas south, amounts will be under an inch but not enough to cause slick road conditions.

This will be the last organized weather system we see for a while as temperatures will slowly improve in the coming days.  In fact, temperatures will be approaching 60 as early as Sunday with warmer 60s anticipated for next week.  Can’t wait!

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

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

Multiple media outlets – including the Des Moines Register and KCRG in Cedar Rapids – are reporting that the pending liquidation of Younkers will lead to the closure of a number of the company’s department stores in Iowa.

The Register story indicates that all 15 Younkers stores in the state, including the one at NorthPark Mall in Davenport, will shutter when the store’s parent company, Milwaukee-based Bon-Ton Inc. moves through bankruptcy.

However, as KCRG reported, at this point the company has only officially identified the impending closure of eight Iowa stores in: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Coralville, Dubuque, Mason City, Sioux City and West Des Moines. The Davenport store is not included in that list, nor on the Iowa Workforce Development’s spreadsheet of companies expecting large layoffs.

WQAD has left voicemail and email messages with Bon-Ton’s corporate spokesperson inquiring about the future of the Davenport and Moline stores. We will update this story when information becomes available.

Younkers was founded in Keokuk, Iowa in 1856 and opened its flagship store in Des Moines in 1874. The department store chain was sold first to Equitable of Iowa in 1978 and then to Saks INc. in 1996. Saks sold the chain to Bon-Ton in 2006.

Around 635 employees work at the stores already identified as closing soon.

New measure would craft economic development plan for Illinois border towns

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A state senator whose district borders Indiana wants the state to highlight economic development tools to grow businesses in Illinois, but only for bordering communities.

State Sen. Elgie Sims’ Senate Bill 3285 would have the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity develop a plan to help municipalities located geographically close to bordering states compete for businesses.

He said it’s a great first step.

“Many baby steps. I think we should have an economic strategy that protects homegrown businesses from being poached from wherever,” Sims said.

But why not the whole state?

“We can certainly use this as a pilot to grow out for an economic development strategy for the entire state, but I want to make sure I’m protecting my constituents,” Sims, D-Chicago, said.

Sims’ measure doesn’t address Illinois’ highest-in-the-nation property taxes, something state Rep. Sheri Jesiel said taxpayers in her border community are being hit with.

“The same is true for the businesses in my district that are forced to reconsider their location, or who won’t come to my district at all because of the tax burden,” Jesiel, R-Winthrop Harbor, said last week about the state’s tax burden. “This is just property taxes that we’re talking about.”

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Vice President Mark Denzler has repeatedly said Illinois’ business climate as a whole is overly burdensome to the point where businesses such as manufacturers go to other states.

“Everyone of our neighboring states have added at least twice the number of manufacturing jobs as Illinois,” Denzler said earlier this month during a news conference opposing overregulation.

Republicans have for years been pushing for a variety of reforms to grow more businesses in Illinois like property tax reduction, regulation overhaul and reforms to lower Illinois workers’ compensation costs, which are higher than surrounding states.

via Illinois News Network

Japan is heading for a trade showdown with America

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The United States and Japan trade $200 billion in goods and services each year. It’s a vital relationship President Donald Trump wants to overhaul, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe isn’t so keen.

The two leaders are expected to talk about trade and other top issues such as North Korea during Abe’s visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort that starts Tuesday.

Japan is the United States’ fourth biggest trading partner and a key military ally in Asia. But Trump is unhappy about trade between the two countries, which he has described as “not fair” and “not open.”

Japan ‘has hit us hard’

Japan sells far more goods to the United States than it buys back, creating a surplus of nearly $70 billion at the end of last year. Countries that run big surpluses with the United States — especially China, which has by far the biggest — have been frequent targets of Trump’s ire.

He tweeted Friday that the United States is “working to make a deal” with Japan, which he said “has hit us hard on trade for years.”

That’s a reference to the US government’s desire to start talks on a free trade deal that would give American companies better access to the Japanese economy, the third largest in the world.

But Japan’s government, which was dismayed by Trump’s decision to pull out of a huge Pacific free trade deal last year, has made it clear that it’s in no hurry to sign up for bilateral negotiations with Washington.

“When two countries negotiate, the stronger country gets stronger,” Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said late last month, predicting that a bilateral trade deal would cause “unnecessary” pain for Japan.

Related: Abe faces awkward Trump summit on North Korea

That’s because Japan is eager to shield important industries like farming from foreign competition, experts say. Under current rules, agricultural imports into Japan face significant tariffs.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the regional trade deal Trump pulled out of last year, would have helped lower those barriers for American farmers.

Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and governors from farm states last week, Trump asked his top economic advisers to take another look at the TPP, which Japan and other countries revived after the US exit.

Experts say the Trump administration would face big hurdles trying to get back into the pact, and Japan and other member countries responded cautiously to the idea last week.

Threat of more tariffs

Flirting with the idea of returning to the TPP could be part of Trump’s efforts to pressure Japan into bilateral talks.

The United States may also use the “threat of additional import duties as a bargaining tool to force Japan to sign a bilateral free trade agreement,” said Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at research firm Capital Economics.

One way the Trump administration could inflict pain on the Japanese economy is by making it harder for Japanese automakers to export cars to the United States, according to Thieliant.

But that may not make a big difference, since Japan’s top car companies have huge factories in the United States, where they have been increasing investment for decades.

There are other levers Washington could also seek to use.

Unlike many American allies, Japan is still subject to new US tariffs on exports of steel and aluminum to the United States.

Thieliant said the United States could use a possible exemption for Japan as a bargaining chip to move forward talks on trade. After renegotiating a free trade deal with South Korea, the Trump administration said South Korean exporters would be largely exempt from the new steel and aluminum tariffs.

‘Japan is an open and free marketplace’

Even a new trade agreement may not reduce America’s trade deficit with Japan by much.

Last year, the United States imported $40 billion worth of Japanese vehicles. Roughly $500 million of US-made vehicles went the other way.

That yawning gap isn’t the result of traditional trade barriers like tariffs. Experts say Japan has a fiercely competitive auto market where sales are declining and American cars have long been seen as ill-suited for Japanese consumers.

Related: It’s not tariffs keeping American cars out of Japan, it’s Japan itself

Fiat Chrysler, which has recently increased sales in Japan, says its success is the result of adapting to the local market. That includes adding features to its vehicles, such as wing mirrors that fold in quickly when parking.

Pontus Haggstrom, the CEO of the company’s Japan operations, said the country does have some unique requirements for testing and certification of imported vehicles.

“It’s a bit time consuming, but it isn’t a sales inhibitor for us,” he told CNNMoney. “The import tariffs were dropped in the 80s, so for all intents and purposes, Japan is an open and free marketplace.”

Eastern Iowa native Maddie Poppe wows American Idol judges, makes top 14

A 20-year-old Eastern Iowan singer-songwriter with a penchant for ukulele and The Muppets has moved on as one of this season’s American Idol final 14 contestants.

Maddie Poppe is from Clarksville, Iowa,  a town of around 1,400 located between Waterloo and Mason City. American Idol’s first look at her was a unique one, when she sang “Rainbow Connection”, the song made famous by Kermit the Frog on the Muppet Movie, accompanying herself on the guitar.

This isn’t Poppe’s first go-around with big time singing competitions. Back in 2016, she auditioned for The Voice, but told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier “I was a terrible singer” at the song she was given to sing. “I’m not making excuses, I just wasn’t ready.”

She is getting a decidedly warmer reception from this year’s American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie. Her performance Sunday of “Brand New Key”, which vaulted her into the finals, resulted in Bryan calling her an “All-American” with Perry adding that her authenticity was “infectious.”

.@MaddiePoppe is roller skating her way into the Top 14! #AmericanIdol pic.twitter.com/GM5EMx3vCf

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) April 17, 2018

You can watch American Idol on Sunday and Monday nights at 7 p.m. on WQAD.

Starting next week, the public will be able to vote for their favorite artists. You can vote by downloading the American Idol app, online at ABC.com, and via text.

Two people sentenced for burning Madison County bridge

WINTERSET, Iowa — Two people have been given probation for setting fire to a historic Madison County covered bridge featured on the cover of the novel "The Bridges of Madison County."

Court records say 19-year-old Joel Davis and 20-year-old Alivia Bergmann were sentenced Monday to five years of probation and given deferred judgments. Both had pleaded guilty to arson charges stemming from the fire last April.

Under deferred judgments, the convictions can be wiped from their records if the two successfully complete their probation terms.

A third person, Alexander Hoff also has pleaded guilty. He's scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

The bridge near Winterset also was featured in the 1995 movie adaptation of "The Bridges of Madison County."

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