The latest local news

Warm weekend here, big snows just west

WQAD News -

We are now headed into our second January thaw. Temperatures will go above freezing beginning at 10 o’clock today and last into the evening hours. A few hometowns (where snow has melted) could see temperatures rise into the upper 40s to near 50 degrees!

More mild weather is anticipated tonight into tomorrow as well when temperatures will rise into the 40s once again. There will be one difference though. Clouds will thicken up as we go through our Saturday with a few showers possible by dinnertime. Rain will be present in our forecast through Sunday when temperatures will surge up to 50 degrees in the Quad Cities. As low pressure scoots right overhead, some rumbly rain is also possible.

On the other side of Iowa, Winter Storm Watches are in effect. For the area of Northwestern Iowa, near the Sioux City area, as much as a foot of snow is possible. Some blizzard conditions could be possible as well! If you’re traveling west of Des Moines late in the weekend, be ready for dangerous weather conditions.

Colder temperatures will move in after a cold front comes through Sunday night. If there’s enough moisture still present, some of the light showers could switch over to some light snow on Monday. Little to no accumulation is foreseen at this time.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

“Juntos” program prepares Hispanic students and their families for a future education

WQAD News -

MOLINE - It's a roll of the dice whether students will decide to move forward with their education.

"Some people don't go, especially like Hispanics because we don't have the money or whatever, I think it's important that at least they be well informed," said Sally Galindo, parent.

A new program called "Juntos" aims to change that.

The University of Illinois Extension and the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley gives eighth grade Latino students and their parents an opportunity to explore education and career goals.

Sally Galindo and her son are taking part in the next five weeks of the program that will help them prepare for the future.

"You don't think about it until you're like oh my gosh this is coming, it's coming up soon ya know," said Galindo.

According to the student report card at John Deere Middle School in Moline 35% of students are Hispanic with only 11% are meeting or exceeding 'The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.'

"It's certainly high enough that it's an issue that we want to address," said Diane Baker, 4-h Youth Development Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension.

In the program students and parents learn how to succeed in school, attain and prepare for a college education and how parents can be involved through a variety of different activities.

"For families to develop those communication skill sets early, that's what we spend a lot of time on tonight," said Baker.

Even though Sally's son isn't quite sure what path he wants to take yet, through the program he'll be prepared to have a successful future.

The first five week session still has a couple more openings and runs on Thursday nights, a second five week session will start in March.

You can register online in English or Spanish at the University of Illinois Extension’s web page or call (309) 756-9978.

New report recommends lowering blood alcohol limit for drivers nationwide

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois-- Some may enjoy the occasional drink or two when going out.

And that could possibly be the maximum number of drinks a person could have if they're driving.

A new report from a panel from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is calling for the blood alcohol limit be changed from .08 to .05 nationwide to reduce alcohol impaired driving fatalities. 

"The way it's measured out is (...) a drink 80 proof whiskey,  one beer or 6 ounce pour wine would equal one drink so if somebody weighs 160 pounds if they have two drinks that would put them at the .05 limit," says Barrel House Manager, Tom Knocke.

According to the report more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired deaths occur every year and this would used as a preventing measure.

But some here in the Quad Cities aren't so sure lowering the threshold is the solution.

"I think it's still going to be out there. People have problems with drinking and driving  I don't think lowering the level is going to solve it the only thing it's probably going to do is get more tickets," said Milan resident, Pat Hartmann.

In all 50 states drivers over the age of 21 are prohibited to drive at BAC levels past or at .08.

Recently Utah passed a law to lower the level to .05 which is set to take effect in December of 2018.

Rock Island Police say DUI's have decreased over the past few years with awareness efforts and emerging technology apps.

They're waiting to see studies that show whether or not lowering the BAC levels would impact drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

"Nobody is going to support drunk driving. With new Uber and the taxis that are out there everyone has the abilities to get a ride so we're not seeing as many people drive (drunk) as well," said Lieutenant Timothy Steines.

Steines says it's still too early to tell what the impact  in the area could be if the  law is changed.

" I guess the numbers would be how many accidents or fatalities we have where people are between .05 and .08 currently," said Steines.

Other recommendations the report stated is increasing state alcohol taxes and making alcohol less available by reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in stores bars and restaurants.

Research from the report advises doubling alcohol taxes could lead to an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths.






Woman confesses to a killing after police spot murder weapon in her Facebook photo

WQAD News -

SASKATCHEWAN, Canada – On the evening of March 24, 2015, Cheyenne Antoine and Brittney Gargol posed for a selfie and posted it on Facebook before heading out for the night.

Within hours, 18-year-old Gargol was dead, her body found lying on the side of a road in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Nearly two years later Antoine, now 21, confessed to the murder after police identified the belt she used to strangle and kill Gargol.

It was the same belt Antoine was seen wearing in that photograph on the last night of her friend’s life.

A woman confessed this week to killing her friend during an argument in 2015 after police spotted the murder weapon in her Facebook photo

— CNN (@CNN) January 18, 2018

A match

Saskatoon’s Senior Crown Prosecutor Robin Ritter told CNN the wide webbed black belt Antoine was wearing in the photograph matched some marks left on Gargol’s car.

“[The car] was dirty and it had dust, and you could see on the side of the car — you could see marks, and the marks were consistent with that black belt,” Ritter told CNN. “And it also looked like there was a struggle.”

Story falls apart

Police interviewed Antoine about her friend’s death several times, but Ritter said Antoine, who was also 18 at the time of the killing, “manufactured evidence and false statements to police.”

“She told police they went out drinking and met up with a white male,” Ritter said. Afterward, Antoine said she went to her uncle’s.

However, when Saskatoon Police talked to Antoine’s uncle, the story fell apart.

There was no white male to speak of, and Antoine’s uncle eventually admitted to police that Antoine had asked him to lie for her and say “two black men” killed Gargol.

The confession

Antoine was arrested in March 2017 and charged with second degree murder and causing an indignity to a body.

On Monday, she entered a plea deal in court and admitted to the murder.

According to her confession, Antoine and Gargol were intoxicated and got in an argument, and she strangled Gargol with the belt before leaving her body.

The sentence

Because she admitted to the killing and appeared remorseful in court, Antoine was convicted of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder. She will spend seven years in jail.

“Seven years… is in the range of sentences for manslaughter,” Ritter told CNN, “In that it strikes an appropriate balance between the need to protect society and the need to rehabilitate offenders.”

Teens killed deer to use as bait to hunt eagles, Washington police say

WQAD News -

WDFW Police

KLICKITAT COUNTY, Wash. — Police detained three Washington state teenagers suspected of killing deer to use as bait to hunt eagles.

“The animal was then placed near the other carcasses in an effort to bait in and shoot eagles.”

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police said a sheriff’s deputy on Monday found a loaded rifle, fresh blood and deer hair in a car near the Klickitat River in Klickitat County.

“Officer Bolton and the deputy searched the area for downed wildlife and soon discovered a relatively fresh doe deer on the hillside near where the suspects had parked. Four older deer carcasses in various stages of decomposition were found in the same location. The officers learned that one of the young men shot the doe the night before by using a high-powered spotlight,” police wrote in a Facebook post. “The animal was then placed near the other carcasses in an effort to bait in and shoot eagles.”

Officers found another teenager on the hillside above police. They said the boy had been searching for an eagle he admitted to shooting.

Police were not able to find the eagle. They seized two rifles and forwarded the case to the county prosecutor’s office; charges are pending.

WARNING: Graphic image below

Rape lawsuit against city of Muscatine and police department thrown out

WQAD News -

MUSCATINE -A lawsuit filed against the city of Muscatine and its police department over a police officer who raped a woman on duty has been thrown out by a judge.

Officer Tom Tovar was convicted in 2017 of raping an intoxicated woman after her boyfriend was arrested for driving under the influence.

A judge this month ruled that Tovar can be sued, but the city and police department can not.

"While other states have reached the decision that cities may be held vicariously liable for sexual assaults committed by on-duty police officers, the Iowa Supreme Court has not yet made that determination," wrote Stuart Werling with the Seventh Judicial District of Iowa.

"The ruling did not go our way. My personal opinion is I'd like to see the police department held liable for officers who rape women or do criminal acts on duty," said attorney Leanne Tyler, who filed the civil lawsuit.

In his ruling, the judge said while Tovar had a history of disciplinary problems and suspensions while working for the Muscatine police department, none involved sexual assault.

He said there was no evidence the city or police department had reason to know Tovar would sexually assault someone.

The judge however, said there was evidence that Tovar had sexually assaulted another woman while on duty. He said the woman was at the police station to sign paperwork regarding a car accident. He said the woman says Tovar grabbed her and "handcuffed her to the desk" and sexually assaulted her.

But, the woman never reported the assault because she was afraid, and didn't come forward until after Tovar had been arrested for rape.

Tyler says she plans to appeal to the Iowa State Supreme Court.

"I hope Iowa comes down on the side that police departments are responsible if they have an officer who commits a crime on duty of this nature," she said.

Tovar remains in prison.


California siblings chained ‘as punishment,’ taunted with food and given 1 shower a year: DA

WQAD News -

PERRIS, Calif. – The children of David and Louise Turpin endured years of severe child abuse, including being tied up with ropes and chains for weeks, denied food and only allowed to shower once per year, the Riverside County district attorney said Thursday.

The dozen oldest children were so severely malnourished they faced muscle-wasting, DA Mike Hestrin said, and have suffered cognitive impairment and nerve damage as a result of “extreme and prolonged physical abuse.”

This photo was posted on a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on July 24, 2016.

“One of the children, at age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old,” Hestrin said. “The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds.”

The Turpins have been charged with 12 counts of torture and other criminal counts, and they face 94 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, according to KTLA. David, 56, and Louise, 49, are being held on $13 million bail each.

Their arraignment is expected at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Riverside.

The youngest of the 13 children, a 2-year-old, was not starved and thus was not included in the torture charges, Hestrin said.

The parents would buy food for themselves, including apple and pumpkin pies, and allow the children to see it but not eat it, the DA said.

"This is severe physical, emotional abuse," Hestrin said. "This is depraved conduct."

One of the victims, a girl under age 14, was "touched in a lewd way" by David Turpin, who used force or fear, Hestrin said. The children range in age from 2 to 29.

Hestrin’s morning news conference in Riverside provided new details of the allegations in a case that has drawn national attention to Perris, a suburban town some 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Hestrin called the new information "just a snapshot."

Members of the media camp out in front of the Perris home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin on Jan. 16, 2018. The couple was arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment after their 13 children were found shackled and malnourished. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The children were found in the Turpins' home Sunday after a 17-year-old sibling escaped through a window, called 911 on a deactivated cellphone and summoned deputies. Authorities have praised her courage and said she was so emaciated she looked like a 10-year-old.

Hestrin said the teen had worked with her siblings on a plan to escape for more than two years. One of the teen's sisters escaped with the 17-year-old but turned back in fear, Hestrin said.

Many years ago, the children said they began being tied up with ropes “as a punishment,” Hestrin said. One victim escaped being hog-tied and then the parents allegedly began using chains and padlocks to chain them to their beds.

They were locked in different rooms and were frequently beaten, Hestrin alleged, also describing "strangulation." He stressed the investigation is ongoing.

The children were so poorly educated in their state-registered homeschool that many of them didn’t know what a police officer was nor what medication was, Hestrin said. Religion, he said, did not have a role in the treatment of the children.

When deputies knocked on the Turpins’ door on Sunday morning, the Turpins unchained two of the three children, but one – a 22-year-old – remained chained, according to the DA. An 11-year-old and 14-year-old were unchained as deputies stood at the door, Hestrin said.

The punishments would last for weeks or months, and the victims were not allowed to go to the bathroom, the DA said, citing evidence in the home. If they were found to have washed their hands above the wrist, they were accused of playing in the water and then were chained, Hestin said.

The family slept during the day, going to bed before dawn, and was awake through the night, Hestrin said. That helped the Turpins' behavior escape detection by neighbors.

The abuse began when the family resided in Fort Worth, Texas – where the children lived apart from their parents, who dropped off food for them. The treatment continued after the family moved to Murrieta – also in Riverside County – in 2010. They moved to Perris in 2014.

“The abuse and severe neglect intensified over time and intensified as they moved to California,” Hestrin said. "It was what started out as neglect – became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse."

None of the children have ever seen a dentist and they have not been to a doctor in four years, though they are believed to have been born in hospitals. They were denied toys, though toys were found in the house in their original packaging, Hestrin said.

At least one of the older male victims attended classes, and Louise Turpin waited outside class for him, Hestrin said. It's not clear where he took the courses or when.

The children were permitted to write in journals, and investigators are looking through “hundreds of them,” he said. They are expected to provide "strong evidence" of what happened in the home, Hestrin said.

Asked if the parents have indicated why they treated their children this way, Hestrin said he couldn't comment about that.

Burlington man accused of sex crimes against minor

WQAD News -

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — A 21-year-old Burlington man was arrested and charged with multiple sex abuse crimes on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Jaydin R. Johnson is charged with two counts of sex abuse third degree and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was arrested by West Burlington Police on the felony warrants shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday.

The charges came as a result of an ongoing investigation by West Burlington police into accusations of sexual misconduct.

Johnson is being help in the Des Moines County Correctional Center without bond, pending his first appearance.

Galesburg’s J.C. Penney store at Sandburg Mall to close in spring

WQAD News -

GALESBURG, Illinois — The J.C. Penney store at Galesburg’s Sandburg Mall is the latest victim of the so-called “retail apocalypse.”

Company officials confirmed to WQAD that the store will be closed and a liquidation of its merchandise will begin on March 5. The store is expected to be completely shut down by early May.

This is tough news for the mall, which has been under new ownership and undergoing renovations since late 2016.

“As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to achieve sustainable growth and long-term profitability, we continually evaluate our store portfolio to ensure our locations offer the best expression of the J.C. Penney brand,” said J.C. Penney spokesperson Joey Thomas. “During this review, the decision was made to close the Galesburg location.”

The department store chain closed 127 stores during the second quarter of 2017, representing more than 10% of its locations.

Thomas added that store associates will be assisted in finding new jobs at nearby J.C. Penney stores and those who do not will receive separation benefits and on-site career training.

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch to push for river projects at White House

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT , Iowa -- Mayor Frank Klipsch hopes to make his best pitch for river towns at the White House next week.  He's part of a coalition that will have a face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump and White House staffers on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018.

Mayor Klipsch is co-chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, which represents towns from Minnesota to Louisiana.

Since President Trump is promising to beef up the nation's infrastructure, the visit could be timely.  When it comes to the Mississippi River, there's a lot on the to-do list.

The wish list includes aging bridges, flood control and protection, even insurance.

"We'll look at riverfront projects and riverfront development projects that are green initiatives," Klipsch said.  "That will help sustainability, but it also improves the riverfronts.  That's coupled with a collaboration with the Corps of Engineers and the Lock and Dam system."

Mayor Klipsch has become a key spokesman for the group.  He made recent trips to Europe and Canada to promote the Mississippi River.

"When you think that the Mississippi River carries 70% of all the corn, soybeans and wheat in the United States, it's an important link," Klipsch continued.  "20 million people a day drink water from the river."

Donald Trump’s exercise regimen will amaze you

WQAD News -

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(CNN) — President Donald Trump likes to eat fast food. And he doesn’t like to exercise. Like, at all.

“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both,” White House physician Ronny Jackson acknowledged to reporters in a press briefing on the President’s overall health earlier this week. (Jackson said Trump weighs 239 pounds and could stand to lose 10 to 15 pounds over the next year.)

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Trump tried to make the case that he actually exercises more than people (including Dr. Jackson) know.

“I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that,” Trump told Reuters. “I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think.”

So. To summarize Trump’s exercise regimen:

  1. Walking
  2. This
  3. That
  4. Run to building next door
  5. Unspecified number of repetitions

The truth of Trump’s view on exercise is more complicated than just his pretending that he “get[s] more exercise than people think.” And, he gives us a glimpse into his exercise beliefs in that same Reuters interview.

“A lot of people go to the gym and they’ll work out for two hours and all,” Trump said. “I’ve seen people … then they get their new knees when they’re 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don’t have those problems.”

That’s very similar to how Trump described his reservations about exercise in a 2015 New York Times magazine profile:

Trump said he was not following any special diet or exercise regimen for the campaign. ”’All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements — they’re a disaster,” he said. He exerts himself fully by standing in front of an audience for an hour, as he just did. ‘That’s exercise.'”

And that’s in keeping with Trump’s broader view of working out — which I affectionately like to call the “battery theory.”

This, from the  book “Trump Revealed,” explains that nicely:

After college, after Trump mostly gave up his personal athletic interests, he came to view time spent playing sports as time wasted. Trump believed the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depleted. So he didn’t work out. When he learned that John O’Donnell, one of his top casino executives, was training for an Ironman triathlon, he admonished him, “You are going to die young because of this.”

You only have so much life force. Exercising depletes that life force. Therefore, exercising is bad.

While the belief within the medical community is, contra Trump, that exercise is good for you, I did find one study from 2015 published in Circulation magazine that suggested people who exercised strenuously 4-7 times a week were at increased risk for vascular disease when compared to those who exercise strenuously 2-3 times a week.

Of course, that study’s findings don’t apply to Trump, who exercises strenuously roughly zero times a week — unless you count the time he spends golfing. But, Trump doesn’t even like to get too much exercise on the golf course — choosing to ride in a cart rather than walk the course. “I don’t want to spend the time,” to walk, he explained to Reuters.

Trump’s annual physical — conducted by Jackson last Friday at Walter Reed — only seemed to affirm the President’s exercise beliefs.

“I was on a treadmill for the first time actually in quite a while, and it was at a very steep angle, and I was there for a very long time,” he recounted. “They were surprised. And they said, ‘Well you can stop now, that’s amazing.’ And I said, ‘I can go much longer than this if you want me to.'”

Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid

WQAD News -

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials vowed Thursday to step up the competition to lure Amazon’s headquarters after the company named the city among the top 20 locations in the running for a facility that promises 50,000 jobs.

Amazon narrowed the list of 238 proposals from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, to 20 finalists, also including Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest. The Seattle-based company plans to announce the winner later this year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago offers “unparalleled opportunities” with its qualified workforce, higher education institutions and quality of life.

“We are prepared to compete at the next level and the next level after that,” he said in a statement.

Chicago, which teamed up with state officials for the bid, has only released some details, touting the possibility of 10 different sites in the region. One in the city’s downtown core includes space in the Willis Tower. Two are in the suburbs.

However, officials have kept details on possible tax breaks and incentives quiet. The city denied Freedom of Information Act requests from The Associated Press, sending 82 pages of non-disclosure agreements between Chicago, its nonprofit economic development arm and companies.

The competition has been fierce among cities.

State and local governments have tried to showcase amenities they think would best lure Amazon’s second headquarters, called HQ2. Some cities pulled off stunts like Tucson, Arizona, which sent a 21-foot tall cactus to Seattle. The city didn’t make the cut.

Chicago hired actor William Shatner to narrate the city’s accompanying video pitch to get the attention of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who’s a known Trekkie and played an alien in the 2016 movie “Star Trek Beyond.”

Other finalists include tech-strong cities such as Boston, New York, Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, which was the only West Coast city on the list.


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