WQAD News

Child’s car with ‘sentimental value’ stolen out of Moline yard

MOLINE, Illinois — Amid a rash of car thefts in the area, another type of vehicle has been stolen: a child’s car.

Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities is asking for help in finding the old toy car, which holds sentimental value to the family.  It was taken out of a yard the 2800 block of 53rd Street on either Sunday or Monday, October 15th or 16th.

The owner said that the car is 25 years old and had been restored and converted from a pedal car to battery powered for his kids.

If you have any idea where the car is or who took it, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500. You can also submit your tip online, click here. 

Man struck by train and killed in Galesburg

GALESBURG, Illinois — A  Galesburg man was struck by a train and killed on Monday, Oct. 16 at a rail crossing on Peck Street, according to the Galesburg Police Department.

WQAD is not releasing the name or other identifying information about the victim because police determined it was a suicide.

The incident happened shortly after 11 a.m. in the 800 block of Peck Street, near Peck Park.

The victim was transported to Galesburg Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Three roofers put work aside to stand for National Anthem

WATERVILLE, Maine — A photograph of three roofers standing during the National Anthem is making the rounds online.

The picture was taken by Michelle Lyons Cossar.  According to a report by WTVR, Cossar was attending a high school football game Saturday, October 14th, when she turned around and saw the three men standing with their hands over their hearts.

“When I looked over the fence, I saw them standing and respecting the flag even though they didn’t have to,” she said.

The three men in the photo are Dwayne Harrison, Danny Thyng, and James Scraggs, WTVR reported.

“We were raised to respect and honor our country,” said Harrison. “Instead of making lots of noise during the National Anthem, we all reacted together and stood.”

According to the report, the men had no idea anybody even noticed, but now it’s captured the attention of the nation.

Google Maps pulls cupcake calorie counter after backlash

(CNN Money) — Google Maps is removing a new calorie counter feature that sparked controversy online.

The tool, which rolled out as a test for some iOS users, shows how many calories users would burn if they decided to walk to their destination. Then it converts those calories into mini cupcakes.

“This walk burns around 313 Calories — that’s almost 3 mini cupcakes,” reads a message within the app’s walking directions.

While the company likely intended the feature to promote healthy living, it ignited backlash on social media sites. Some Twitter users called the calorie counter a trigger for those with eating disorders. Others said Google was shaming them for opting to take alternative routes, rather than walking.

There doesn’t appear to be an opt-out function.

“Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey,” wrote one Twitter user.

A Google spokeswoman on Tuesday told CNN Tech it has pulled this feature due to the strong user feedback.

Although the spokeswoman said the tool should no longer be appear on the Google Maps app for iOS as of Monday evening, several CNN Tech reporters could still see the feature on Tuesday.

Related: Google Maps now remembers where you parked your car

It’s also unclear how accurate the calorie estimates are for individual users, considering the tool doesn’t take into account factors like weight and height.

On the Google Maps app, it says the “average person” burns 90 calories by walking one mile, but it doesn’t elaborate further on that definition.

Calorie counter features are not new. Transport app CityMapper already shows how many calories walking would burn. However, the app is not as widely used as Google Maps and doesn’t include a cupcake comparison.

NAILED IT OR FAILED IT: Trying the String Art Trend

All you need is a bunch of nails, some string, and a great teacher to create beautiful works of art.

On Friday, October 13th, Shawna Fibikar from Strung by Shawna was our Special Guest on WQAD News 8 at 11am for our weekly "Nailed It Or Failed It" segment. She showed Jesyka Dereta and Jonathan Ketz how to hammer nails to make a design and wrap string to create something unique for your home or a great gift for a loved one. Check out what they did by clicking the video above and see if they "Nailed It Or Failed It" in the video below:

For information on classes and parties Strung by Shawna offers or her custom art pieces, click here.

Meteorologist Eric Sorensen created our Cocktail of the Week this week. Here's his recipe for Kentucky Mulled Cider:

1 Shot of Maker's Mark Bourbon

1 Cinnamon Stick

Dash of Allspice

Warm Apple Cider

Directions: Add a shot of bourbon, pinch of allspice and one cinnamon stick to each glass, then fill with apple cider. Top with a lemon slice for garnish.

Cheers!

 

Truck crashes into Moline PD substation in Floreciente neighborhood

Image from Moline Police Department

MOLINE, Illinois — A truck crashed into a building in the Floreciente neighborhood and left a pretty big dent, but police have found a way to laugh it off.

It happened Monday, October 16th at the Moline Police Department’s Community Oriented Policing-Floreciente substation.

A photo shared on Facebook showed that structural damage was done to the building, but the Moline Police took a light-hearted approach to the incident:

“Officer Victor and Officer Hoover always appreciate visitors at the COP office, they just ask in the future that everyone parks out front and uses the door.”

There were no injuries reported and the building will be repaired.

Lawsuits seek changes to University of Iowa sexual assault policies

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The law firm that won a landmark gender discrimination case against the University of Iowa athletics department will challenge what it calls the school’s biased handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints next.

Des Moines-based Newkirk Zwagerman filed two lawsuits Monday seeking changes to how the school responds when female students report assault and harassment, arguing that a culture of “victim blaming, implicit gender bias and gender stereotypes” hinders how cases are investigated and resolved.

The lawsuits highlight an issue that has put universities on the defensive nationwide over their practices, including how they balance the rights of the accuser and the accused.

In one University of Iowa case, a graduate student claims school officials treated her harshly after she reported being sexually assaulted while improperly reducing sanctions against her perpetrator to avoid ruining his career in political science. In the second, a student activist claims the university failed to reprimand its now-retired assistant public safety director for allegedly making lewd gestures toward her after a campus protest, an allegation he denied.

The cases argue the school is failing to “deliver on its legal and moral obligation” to protect students from assault and harassment and the emotional backlash that occurs after such incidents. They seek orders requiring the university to make several changes, including surveying students about its handling of complaints, analyzing investigations and decisions to monitor for bias, and boosting training on gender-based violence.

University spokeswoman Jeneane Beck declined comment Monday.

In May, Iowa agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle discrimination lawsuits brought by former athletics administrator Jane Meyer and her partner, former women’s field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum. The payment included $2.68 million for Newkirk Zwagerman, which represented both women. A jury ruled that Iowa discriminated against Meyer based on her gender and sexual orientation, retaliated against her and paid her less than a male counterpart. The firm raised issues of implicit bias and gender stereotypes in those cases, and the university has launched reviews of its employment practices.

The new lawsuits recount Iowa’s struggles to confront sexual assault during the last decade, starting with a 2007 case in which two football players took turns assaulting an intoxicated female athlete. Two administrators were blamed for mishandling that investigation and fired by then-UI President Sally Mason, who promised changes.

Mason caused protests in 2014 after she told an interviewer that sexual assault probably couldn’t be eliminated because of “human nature.” Amid the ensuing outcry, Mason launched a widely-praised plan to crack down on offenders, increase support for survivors and better train employees.

But the lawsuits argue Iowa’s response remains inadequate because the changes didn’t address biases that can lead to institutional hostility against female accusers and support for perpetrators.

A graduate student in political science alleges university officials pressured her to withdraw from classes or risk failing when she struggled after reporting that a department colleague sexually assaulted her at his home. Her lawsuit claims the university initially decided to suspend her assailant until she graduated, but the graduate school dean later reduced the punishment to a one-year suspension to allow him to graduate.

When her assailant returned in 2014, the lawsuit claims the university made accommodations so he could go to the political science building and that his presence disrupted her work. She eventually reported the assaults to police, and he was convicted of aggravated misdemeanor charges.

The second lawsuit claims the university botched its investigation into claims that then-assistant public safety director put his hands in his pockets and made lewd gestures toward a graduate student following a 2015 protest.

The student claimed that he made the gestures after she accused him of being condescending toward her during the event because “he doesn’t like women.” A university investigation was inconclusive on whether the gestures were made but said even as described they wouldn’t amount to sexual harassment.

Viral video claims Mississippi River is draining into the New Madrid Fault

Thanks to viewer “Jake” for letting me know about a video online that claims that the contents of the Mississippi River are draining into cracks in the New Madrid Fault. The video, uploaded to YouTube, has received more than a third of a million views, in just the past few weeks!

Take a look.

Instead of using scientific evidence, there are little bits of plausible theories and then one, big conclusion: the river is draining into the New Madrid Fault and an earthquake is imminent.

Within the YouTube video, photos of a nearly-empty riverbed are given as evidence that the river has run completely dry. A quick check of the river gauges from the Quad Cities to Memphis shows that while the river is quite low, there are no stretches of dry river and barges are still traversing the river. Looking at historical records, the Mississippi River was at a much lower level in the late Fall and early Winter of 2012.

What is happening on the Mississippi River has happened before and will happen again during times of drought. Not to mention, late-Summer and Fall are typically the area’s “dry season.”

Magnitude 3.7 Earthquake shakes New Madrid Fault this past Sunday 

If the river isn’t draining into the fault-cracks of the New Madrid Fault, where is the water going? There are actually two reasons: It’s not only been unusually dry across much of the Midwest, it’s been extremely sunny. Sunny, dry conditions accelerate evaporation of the water in the river. It’s illogical to conclude that the water is escaping into the earth. The scientific explanation: the water’s escaping into the atmosphere.

As a Meteorologist whose emphasis in college was hydrology and stream-flow management, I’m not aware of a situation where the Mississippi River has lost water due to a crack in the earth.

Waterfall in Minnesota drains into the earth

Below the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at Cairo, Illinois, the water also remains lower-than-normal. That is due to drier than normal conditions in the Ohio River Basin, upriver to Louisville and Cincinnati.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Sky turns orange across UK

(CNN) -- The sky turned orange across parts of the UK on Monday as dust and smoke from fires in southern Europe swept north.

The reddish tint was a side effect of the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia and the wildfires that have been raging across Portugal and northwest Spain since Friday.

Smoke and debris from the fires -- along with sand from the Sahara desert -- are being carried north by the storm's strong winds. Particles of smoke, dust and sand bend light to give it a reddish hue.

A red-hued sun has been seen before in the UK, but it's this combination of events that has made Tuesday's phenomenon particularly striking.

The trail of smoke spans over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers). The health risks are minimal in the UK as the smoke is mostly limited to higher altitudes in the atmosphere.

With the wind expected to change by Tuesday, the air is likely to clear.

Social media users have taken to Twitter and Instagram to document the strange phenomenon.

"Loving the weather in London today," wrote martinjsylvester.

"Saharan dust & tropical air from #Ophelia has brought the #redsun to Loughborough!" Loughborough University posted on its Twitter account.

Journalist Rupert Myers shared this image of a yellow sky above the Thames in London. "Britain has returned to sepia colour," he wrote.

Google drones will drop burritos into people’s yards in Australia

(CNN Money) — Drones bearing piping hot burritos are about to start swooping down on the Australian countryside.

At least, that’s the plan for Google affiliate Project Wing, which on Tuesday announced new tests of its drone delivery service with two Australian businesses, a Mexican taqueria chain and a drugstore company.

It’s not the first time the Project Wing team has used drones to send people burritos. It did that last year with Chipotle at Virginia Tech University, but that was “in an open field, not to a specific address or location,” said James Ryan Burgess, one of Project Wing’s managers.

Related: Domino’s delivers pizza by drone in New Zealand

The Australian tests are taking place in a rural community near Canberra, the national capital, where residents “face a 40-minute round trip in the car for almost anything, whether it’s a carton of milk, veggies for dinner, or a cup of coffee,” Burgess said in a company blog post.

Flying goods right into their yards is a great deal more complicated than navigating a field at Virginia Tech.

“With each delivery, we encounter a new yard space with its own layout of trees, sheds, fences, and power lines,” Burgess wrote.

The issues range from programming the devices to maneuver safely around obstacles like parked cars or outdoor furniture to following customers’ wishes to set down perishable food items close to their kitchens.

By bringing in Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez and drugstore company Chemist Warehouse, Project Wing is adding to the challenges.

Its ordering and delivery system will need to handle hot food from Guzman y Gomez and retail goods of all different shapes and sizes from Chemist Warehouse’s extensive catalog of products.

“The information we gather from both of these test partners will help us build a system so that merchants of all kinds can focus on what they’re good at — like making food or helping people feel healthier — rather than being distracted by complex delivery logistics,” Burgess said.

Related: East Africa is leading the world in drone delivery

Project Wing is the drone delivery unit working out of X, Google parent Alphabet’s so-called “moonshot factory” that explores emerging technologies.

Its endeavors in Australia are the latest move in the drone delivery race heating up among big brands.

Last year, Domino’s announced it would start using the devices to drop pizza off to customers in New Zealand. Amazon pulled off its first drone delivery in the U.K. last December with an Amazon Fire device and a bag of popcorn. And innovative drone initiatives are also in the works in Rwanda, Tanzania and Reykjavik in Iceland.

Chicago tops list of cities with the most rats

CHICAGO, Illinois -- The Windy City has made the top spot of Orkin's "Top 50 Rattiest Cities List" for the third straight year.

The list was released Monday, October 16th and is based on how many rodent treatments Orkin performed over the course of a year. Both residential and commercial jobs are considered when the list is made.

(Scroll down to see the full list)

Orkin's Technical Director of the Midwest Region, John Kane , said that rats start looking for warmer places to get them through the winter, and he said it's not hard for them to get inside your home.

"Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime," he said. "Even if they can't find an opening, they can often chew their way in."

There are a few ways you can prevent rats from getting inside your home or business: Look for rodent droppings and burrows to catch them early, look for possible entry points around your home and seal any cracks or holes, install weather strips around entryways, store food properly, clean up crumbs and spills immediately, cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from your home.

Here's the full list:

 

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles (+1)
  4. San Francisco – Oakland (+1)
  5. Washington, DC (-2)
  6. Philadelphia (+1)
  7. Detroit (+2)
  8. Baltimore (-2)
  9. Seattle – Tacoma
  10. Dallas – Ft. Worth (+4)
  11. Denver (-1)
  12. Minneapolis – St. Paul (-4)
  13. Cleveland – Akron (+2)
  14. Atlanta (+2)
  15. Boston (-3)
  16. Hartford – New Haven (+1)
  17. Portland, OR (+3)
  18. Miami – Ft. Lauderdale (-5)
  19. Indianapolis
  20. Houston (+1)
  21. Milwaukee (+2)
  22. Pittsburgh (-4)
  23. New Orleans (+15)
  24. Cincinnati (+10)
  25. Richmond – Petersburg
  26. Sacramento – Stockton (+6)
  27. Kansas City (+3)
  28. Charlotte (-1)
  29. Norfolk – Portsmouth – Newport News (-5)
  30. Buffalo (-1)
  31. Columbus, OH (+6)
  32. St. Louis (-4)
  33. Raleigh – Durham (-11)
  34. Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo (-1)
  35. San Diego (+12)
  36. Albany – Schenectady (-10)
  37. San Antonio
  38. Tampa – St. Petersburg (-7)
  39. Rochester, NY (-4)
  40. Nashville (-1)
  41. Champaign – Springfield – Decatur
  42. Greenville – Spartanburg (-2)
  43. Memphis
  44. Phoenix (+1)
  45. Syracuse
  46. West Palm Beach (-10)
  47. Orlando – Daytona Beach (-1)
  48. Madison (+1)
  49. Flint – Saginaw (-8)
  50. Green Bay – Appleton (-6)

 

 

Free flu shot clinic

Hundreds of thousands of people die or end up in the hospital from flu related cases every year.

To help stop people from potentially getting the flu, WQAD News 8 and Genesis Health Systems are teaming up to offer free flu shots on Tuesday, October 17.

The flu shot clinic will be held at the WQAD studios at 3003 Park 16th street, Moline from 6 a.m. To 10 a.m.

Last year, Genesis gave about 200 vaccines in just three-hours. Doctors recommend everyone 6months and older get vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control says even if you think the shot won’t work, the vaccine helps reduce against other changing viruses and lessens the severity if you do happen to get it this year.

A typical flu season starts in November and ends around May, so health experts say now is a valuable time to get the shot.

Even if you never get the flu, that doesn’t mean you can’t carry the virus around. You don’t get the flu shot for yourself exclusively, you get it for the people you love as well,” said Ken Croken with Genesis Health Systems.

Genesis will be back again on November 7th for a second round of flu shots from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Henry County Courthouse Lost All Phone Lines

The Henry County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department tells WQAD News 8 they have lost all phone lines at the Courthouse Complex.

911 is still available, but the non-emergency phone line has been impacted.

For those living in Geneseo and need to make a non-emergency call, you are asked to call 309-944-5141

For those living in Kewanee and to need to make a non-emergency call, you are asked to call 309-853-1911.

1 on 1 with Fran McCaffery

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery will have a unique challenge this winter. The Hawkeyes boast 13 players that couls all see meaningful minutes.  Fran talks about that, Nicholas Baer, and high expectations with WQAD Sports Director Matt Randazzo.

Nicholas Baer eager to lead Iowa back to tourney

Nicholas Baer didn't like the way last season ended.  The Hawkeyes fell just short of the NCAA tourney and the junior from Bettendorf is eager to get the Hawkeyes back there.  Baer says talks about finishing the game is more important than starting in his 1 on 1 interview with Kory Kuffler.

Bettendorf working to change fireworks ordinance

BETTENDORF - The city of Bettendorf is putting new limits on when people can set off fireworks in the city after receiving many complaints this summer.

The new ordinance would only allow people to set off fireworks on July 3rd and 4th from 2 p.m. till 11 p.m. and on December 31st from 10 p.m. till 12:30 a.m.

If set off any other time people would face a simple misdemeanor, first offense would cost $250, second offense $400 and third offense $625.

People could also be charged for not cleaning up any fireworks debris.

"Way too much activity, way too long people were firing these off well into the night and multiple nights and so the council's clamping down," said Decker Ploehn, city administrator.

The city has been working with Davenport, Eldridge, Le Claire and Scott County on restricting fireworks use in the Quad City area.

The first reading for the new ordinance will take place on Tuesday, October 17th at the Bettendorf city council meeting.

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