The latest local news

Netflix raising prices for 58M US subscribers as costs rise

WQAD News -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is raising its U.S. prices by 13 percent to 18 percent, its biggest increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago.

Its most popular plan will see the largest hike, to $13 per month from $11. That option offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously. Even at the higher price, that plan is still a few dollars cheaper than HBO, whose streaming service charges $15 per month.

The extra cash will help to pay for Netflix’s huge investment in original shows and films and finance the heavy debt it has assumed to ward off rivals such as Amazon, Disney and AT&T.

This marks the fourth time that Netflix has raised its U.S. prices; the last hike came in late 2017 . But this is the first time that higher prices will hit all 58 million U.S. subscribers, the number Netflix reported at the end of September.

Previously, Netflix had continued to offer a basic, $8-a-month streaming plan while raising rates on more comprehensive plans with better video quality and options to watch simultaneously on different devices.

This time, the price for the cheapest plan is going up to $9 per month. A premium plan offering ultra-high definition will jump to $16 per month from $14.

The new prices will immediately affect all new subscribers and then roll out to existing customers during the next three months. Customers in about 40 Latin America countries where Netflix bills in U.S. currency will also be affected, excepting key international markets such as Mexico and Brazil.

With Apple also widely expected to join the video-streaming fray, the competition for programming is enabling top directors, writers and actors to charge more for their talents. That has intensified financial pressure on Netflix, which hasn’t been bringing in enough money to pay for all its programming and other business expenses.

The company burned through about $3 billion last year and is expecting to do so again this year. To offset the negative cash flow, Netflix has been borrowing heavily to pay for programming. The Los Gatos, California, company had accumulated nearly $12 billion in debt before borrowing another $2 billion in an October bond offering.

Concerns about the stiffening competition and Netflix’s ability to sustain its current leadership in video streaming has caused the company’s stock price to slide by 21 percent from its peak of $423.21 reached last June. The shares stood at $332.94 heading into Tuesday’s trading session.

Netflix had nearly 79 million subscribers outside the U.S. as of September.

Less sitting, more moving tied to living longer

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Doing less sitting and more moving is tied to living longer, according to a new study.

Replacing 30 minutes per day of sedentary time with 30 minutes of physical activity at a light intensity was associated with a 17% lower risk of early death in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology on Monday.

The study also found that replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise was associated with a 35% lower risk of early death.

Related: How the QC keeps moving

“If you replace 30 minutes of sitting time with 30 minutes of light-intensity physical activity — so something just like a casual stroll down the hall — that still can lower your risk,” said Keith Diaz, a certified exercise physiologist and assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who was first author of the study.

“Obviously, it doesn’t lower your risk as much as exercise, or as much as moderate to vigorous physical activity, but it still can lower risk, and to us, that was somewhat of a new finding,” he said. “Any movement for any length of time is going to give you health benefit, and this is really shifting what we know about physical activity.”

The study included national data on 7,999 people age 45 and older who wore activity monitors to track their sedentary time between 2009 and 2013. The researchers used that data to analyze and simulate the mortality benefits that could be incurred if sedentary time in the data was replaced with physical activity.

The researchers found that replacing sitting time with exercise and movement was associated with a benefit, but replacing prolonged periods of sitting with shorter periods of sitting was not.

“In our previous work, we found that if you take a break every 30 minutes, it will lower your risk from sitting,” Diaz said, but the new study didn’t show that in the data.

“We went deeper into the data to try to understand that more, and why people who took a movement every 30 minutes had a lower risk of death: It’s because they just had more opportunity to move,” he said.

The new study had some limitations, including that the researchers found only an association between physical activity and a lower risk of early death, and the finding was based on simulations.

Overall, Diaz said, he hopes the findings help encourage people to become more active in their daily lives.

“You don’t have to take 10 minutes’ break and go run up and down the stairs,” Diaz said.

“If you take a 1-minute movement break and instead of going to the bathroom closest to your desk, you go to the bathroom furthest from your desk, maybe that’s enough to help you accrue this healthful activity,” he said. “Or, if you have a meeting, walk and talk.”

Gwendolyn Thomas, an exercise physiologist and director of the Exercise Prescription Lab at Syracuse University in New York, called the new study “exciting.”

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that the average adult get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, she said, which can seem daunting for some.

However, “one of the things that really jumps out at me is that the basic message is: Physical activity of any intensity is needed and beneficial,” said Thomas, who was not involved in the study.

“In this article, they talk about replacing 30 minutes of total sedentary time with 30 minutes of light-intensity physical activity, and they saw a drop of 17% of lower mortality risk,” she said. “This is really encouraging and should be very encouraging to people.”

Gillette’s new ad isn’t about shaving. It’s about men in the age of #metoo

WQAD News -

Gillette’s newest advertisement isn’t about shaving, or beards or personal hygiene.

The company’s “We Believe” ad – a one minute and 48 second spot posted to its social media accounts this week – addresses serious issues like toxic masculinity, sexual harassment and #metoo.

Gillette plays on its famous tagline and asks: “Is this the best a man can get?”

Reactions to the commercial have been mixed, and predictably extreme. Some offered praise for the progressive ad while others have threatened to boycott the razor company.

“We expected debate. Actually a discussion is necessary. If we don’t discuss and don’t talk about it, I don’t think real change will happen,” Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s North America brand director, told CNN Business.

He said he hopes men who watch the video will be inspired to act like role models and show younger children how to stand up to bad behavior and treat other people with respect.

Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette, has made progressive advertising before.

The company has won accolades for advertisements such as its Always “Like a Girl” campaign and Pantene’s “Strong is Beautiful” campaign that shows NFL players braiding their daughter’s hair.

The Gillette “We Believe” includes a voice narrating over scenes of bullies, sexual harassment and masculinity.

“We can’t hide from it. Its been going on far too long. We cant laugh it off, making the same old excuses.” Then, in a direct reference to the #metoo movement, it says “Something has finally changed.” It closes with scenes of men breaking up fights, standing up for people, and being attentive fathers.

Gillette’s team consulted men across the country, conducted its own studies, and spoke to experts on masculinity, according to the company.

On YouTube and Twitter, the replies were flooded by people angry about the ad. Some men have said it was insulting, other said it was “feminist propaganda.”

Other people said the reactions to the ad proved why it was necessary in the first place.

“The ad is not about toxic masculinity. It is about men taking more action every day to set the best example for the next generation,” said Bhalla. “This was intended to simply say that the enemy for all of us is inaction.”

The company has more videos lined up as part of the larger branding effort, which includes donating $1 million a year for the next three years to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Pritzker outlines long to-do list, says Illinois is not broken

WQAD News -

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) -- Illinois' new governor is making it clear, he wants to see state government do a lot over the next four years.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's to-do list is long and could grow during his first year in office.

Pritzker told the crowd at his inauguration Monday in Springfield that he sees a century of boundless opportunity ahead.

Watch: J.B. Pritzker sworn in as 43rd Illinois governor

He also outlined a plan to have state government spend more on child care, adopt a climate change strategy, raise the minimum wage, fight gun violence, and raise taxes to pay for it all.

"The future of Illinois depends on the passage of a fair income tax," Pritzker said. "Which will bring us into the 21st century, like most of our Midwestern neighbors, and the vast majority of the United States."c

Pritzker is still not saying, however, what that new tax would look like, or who will pay what.

The new governor also took some jabs at Illinois' old governor. Pritzker said his leadership won't be arrogant.

"I won't hollow out the functions of government to achieve an ideological agenda," Pritzker said to applause. "And I won't make government employees the scapegoats."

Pritzker takes office immediately, but will have some time before he has to work with Illinois lawmakers. Legislators aren't due back at the Capitol until the end of the month.

Related: Galesburg non-profit gets shout-out during Governor Pritzker's inaugural speech

Ag in the Classroom returns Wednesday…with a bit of a twist!

WQAD News -

CAMBRIDGE, Illinois- We are happy to begin another round of Ag in the Classroom, Wednesday, January 16 on Good Morning Quad Cities.

The Illinois Farm Bureau's DeAnne Bloomberg hooked me up with Cambridge FFA teacher Trenton Taber. Through him and his student Bradleigh Schaefer, the two are going to come up with ideas for us every other week on Good Morning Quad Cities. Schaefer will bring in at least one other student every week to help her out. Taber plans on helping out behind the scenes.

Wednesday, Schaefer, is going to show us how to make a garden in glove.

For instructions on the activity, see the information below:

The goal for this project is to teach students about seed germination using gloves and cotton balls.

Materials Needed:
• Clear plastic glove
• 5 cotton balls
• 5 types of seeds, 3-4 seeds of each (examples: lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomato, broccoli)
• Pencil
• Water
• Marker

1. Write your name on a clear plastic glove.
2. Wet five cotton balls and wring them out.
3. Place 3-4 seeds of the same type on each cotton ball (or dip the cotton balls in the seeds to pick them up). You may want to
keep track of which seed is in which finger.

4. Put a cotton ball with the seeds attached into each finger of the glove. Hint: You may have to use a pencil to get the cotton
ball all the way to the tips of the glove fingers.

5. Blow up the plastic glove and close it with a twist tie.
6. Tape the glove to a window, chalkboard, or wall. You may want to hang a clothes line under a chalk tray and use clothes pins to
hold the gloves on.
7. The seeds will germinate in 3 to 5 days. Keep a plant diary and look at the seeds under a microscope.
8. Transplant the seeds about 1 ½ to 2 weeks by cutting the tips of the fingers off the glove. Transplant the cotton ball and small
plants into soil or sphagnum moss.
9. After growing to full size, plants can be made into a salad.

Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident

WQAD News -

For the first time on record, the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the United States are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.

The grim finding comes from the National Safety Council which analyzed preventable injury and fatality statistics from 2017.

The NSC also found the lifetime odds of death for this form of overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire.

Examining a variety of federal and state data the NSC found the lifetime odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose were 1 in 96. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88.

“Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them. Many still do not see it as a major threat to them or their family,” said Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council told CNN in an email. “These data show the gravity of the crisis. We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way.”

The NSC highlights, however, that the odds given are statistical averages over the whole US population and do not necessarily reflect the chances of death for a particular person from a particular external cause. In addition they are lifetime odds, based on dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in 2017.

In 2017 preventable injury deaths were 169,936 — an increase of 5.3% from the year before and a 96% increase compared to the figures in 1992.

“The data really underscore the importance of knowing the biggest risks to our safety,” said Vogel. “The Council calculates the Odds of Dying not to scare Americans but to empower them to make safer decisions and improve their chances of longevity.”

The organization has highlighted these numbers in a bid to help prevent future deaths from preventable causes.

“For too long, preventable deaths and injuries have been called ‘accidents,’ implying unavoidable acts of God or fate that we are powerless to stop. This is simply not true,” it wrote. “In the US, preventable injuries are at an all-time high.”

Comparing 2017 to 2016, home and public deaths saw large increases of 6% or more being driven largely by an 11% increase in poisoning deaths (including opioid overdoses) and a 5% increase in fall deaths (primarily among the older population).

In 2018, unintentional injury was found to be the leading cause of death in the US, with more than 61,000 people aged 1 to 44 dying from this cause in 2016 — nearly twice as many as from cancer and heart disease combined. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these deaths were predominantly a result of motor vehicle accidents and unintentional poisonings.

Last month the CDC reported life expectancy in the United States declined from 2016 to 2017 due to increased drug overdoses and suicides. One study also found that a growing number of children and adolescents in the United States are dying from opioid poisonings.

“What began more than 2 decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of US society,” the researchers wrote.

Overdose deaths reached a new high in 2017, topping 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports. Illegally manufactured fentanyl was suggested to be the driving force.

From 2013 to 2017, drug overdose death rates increased in 35 of 50 states and DC, with significant increases in death rates involving synthetic opioids reported in 15 of 20 states, the CDC said in a previous statement.

A separate December report found that in 2016, fentanyl surpassed heroin as the most commonly used drug in overdose deaths in the US.

Los Angeles teachers union calls for ‘massive presence’ on day 2 of strike

WQAD News -

(CNN) — After 32,000 educators went on strike Monday, the United Teachers Los Angeles union said they want day two of the strike to “show such a massive presence that disrupts business as usual in downtown LA.”

Union leaders called for Tuesday’s demonstration at the California Charter School’s Association to be as big as or greater than Monday’s walkout, during which thousands of educators marched from city hall to the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters, according to CNN affiliate KCBS-TV.

The union and school district have been unable to agree on how to fund smaller class sizes, bigger teacher salaries and more counselors and nurses in the district’s roughly 1,000 schools. Both sides agree that they want to achieve those goals.

The teachers’ strike is the city’s first in 30 years.

Day one of the strike cost the LAUSD $15 million, district superintendent Austin Beutner told CNN affiliate KABC-TV Monday night.

“About $15 million that would have been better spent to reduce class size, to hire more nurses, counselors, librarians… Each day we should be asking ourselves, ‘Why can’t we get this solved?’ Let’s finish this contract, let’s put that behind us, let’s move forward, let’s get back to Sacramento, where I was last week, let’s keep working for more funding so we can do more at our schools,” he said.

“We want to have fully staffed schools,” said Andrea Cohen, who’s taught at John Marshall High School for 24 years. “That means librarians, nurses, psychiatric social workers and their interns. We have 46, 45, 50 students in a class. It’s unacceptable.”

Student calls Monday class a waste of time

While the adults keep struggling to find a resolution, students were still expected to go to school during the strike Monday.

Despite the mass exodus of 32,000 teachers and staff, classes continued at all schools. LAUSD has hired about 400 substitute teachers and reassigned more than 2,000 administrators to help educate the 600,000 students.

Shannon Haber, chief communications officer for LAUSD, said schools worked out the day on a case-by-case, school-by-school basis.

At one high school, KCBS reported, ninth and 10th graders were brought to the auditorium instead of going to class.

Students at an elementary school in South Los Angeles were outside playing board games, KCBS reported.

And at another elementary school in East Los Angeles, only 89 out of 356 kindergarten through sixth graders showed up, KCBS reported. Some classrooms were left dark and students were in the auditorium all day, KCBS reported. One student even told KCBS Monday was a waste of time.

But some students still showed support for the strike.

“I wanna support the teachers and I want to see what happens after the strikes,” Evolet Vazquez told CNN affiliate KTLA-TV.

Numbers and accusations fly

While both UTLA and LAUSD have made some concessions, both the union and the school district accuse the other of giving misleading facts and figures.

UTLA leaders said on Facebook Monday night that superintendent Beutner “continued lying publicly” by saying he was willing to negotiate “around the clock.” They claim he didn’t show up to two of the three sessions teachers set up with the district that were scheduled for last Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In LAUSD’s latest offer to the union Friday, the school district said it “would add nearly 1,200 more educators — teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians — in schools, reducing class size in thousands of classrooms.”

Class sizes in grades four to six would be limited to 35 students, and class sizes in all middle and high school math and English classes would be limited to 39 students, the school district said.

The offer would also “ensure no increase in any class size, increase nurses, counselors and librarians at all schools, along with a 6% salary increase and back pay for the 2017-2018 school year,” LAUSD said.

But union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the offer was good for only one year and that the school district’s proposal was “woefully inadequate.”

The union wants LAUSD to pull from its $1.86 billion in reserves to increase school staffing and boost teachers’ salaries by 6.5%.

But the school district says it’s not nearly as wealthy as the teachers’ union suggests.

“School budgets in California are set in three-year increments, and from July 2018 to June 2021, Los Angeles Unified will spend $24 billion educating students. This includes its entire, existing $1.8 billion reserve,” LAUSD said.

The school district said at this rate, it might not even have enough money to meet a required 1% reserve by the 2021-2022 school year.

“Our commitment to our families is to make sure all of the money we have is being spent in schools. We are doing that,” Beutner said in a statement.

The financial situation is so bad, the Los Angeles County Office of Education is stepping in. Last week, the state-funded regulatory agency assigned fiscal experts to work with the school district on a plan to “eliminate deficit spending and restore required financial reserve levels.”

And the Los Angeles school board has ordered the superintendent to come up with a three-year “enterprise plan” to get more revenue by March 18. That plan “could include parcel tax and school bond measures, as well as strategies for increasing enrollment.”

Beutner blamed the union for the stalemate, saying it rejected the school district’s latest offer Friday and then “walked away from bargaining.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday night he’s been having “productive conversations” with both parties in the strike.

“We need to get this to a conclusion, we need to see a deal and we need to make sure that both parties are well represented in that process,” Newsom said.

Trump buys fast food for Clemson players; White House cites furloughed residence staff

WQAD News -

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is personally paying for the meals that will be provided to the Clemson University football team during their national championship celebration at the White House on Monday night.

Earlier Monday, Trump told reporters, unprompted, that he is serving “McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King’s with some pizza.”

“I think that would be their favorite food, so we’ll see what happens,” he added.

“The President wanted to host a fun event to celebrate the College Football National Champion Clemson Tigers,” deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN in a statement.

Here’s a video I shot of President Trump showing off his 300 hamburgers. pic.twitter.com/P06S6I5w07

— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) January 14, 2019

“Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed — so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” he said.

Returning to the White House on Monday evening from a brief trip to New Orleans for a speech, Trump told reporters that he was providing the Tigers with the fast-food dinner — “paid for by me” — as a result of the shutdown.

“Because of the shutdown, you know we have the great Clemson team with us, the national champions. So we went out and we ordered American fast food, paid for by me,” Trump said. “Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza.”

“We have some very large people that like eating. So I think we’re going to have a little fun,” he added.

Standing behind a table brimming with fast food, Trump promoted the dinner for Clemson as “great American food.”

“If it’s American, I like it. It’s all American stuff,” he added, noting the smorgasbord of pizza, “300 hamburgers, many, many french fries — all of our favorite foods.”

The display included boxes of Big Macs, chicken nuggets and Filet-O-Fish.

Trump closed his brief remarks in the dining room by returning to his message of border security.

“I will say the Republicans are really, really sticking together. It’s great to see because we need border security. We have to have it.”

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Trump continued to try to shame Democrats for not negotiating with him over the shutdown, though it’s not clear he’s offering anything different than when talks crumbled last week.

Trump has been making a point of telling his followers that he’s at the White House waiting — and is clearly frustrated he’s not getting credit for remaining in Washington — as opposed, presumably, to traveling to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The President has repeatedly vowed not to budge from his demand over a border wall, but rejected an idea he floated last week that he would simply bypass Congress and fund a border wall by declaring a national emergency.

The White House is operating with a thinned-out staff caused by the partial government shutdown, now in its 24th day, and snowy Washington weather.

Much of the Executive Residence staff, who are ordinarily responsible for catering such receptions, are either furloughed or at home because of the federal government snow closure.

Walmart bans woman for driving electric cart while drinking wine from Pringles can, police say

WQAD News -

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – A woman has been banned from Walmart after authorities said she rode around the parking lot in an electric cart while drinking wine.

The Times Record News reported that it happened outside a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas on Friday morning.

Police were called to the store where a witness said she had been riding the cart for hours around the parking lot. She was also allegedly drinking wine from a Pringles chips can.

Police found her at a nearby restaurant and told her she was banned from that Walmart location.

At least 30 dogs killed in fire at suburban Illinois kennel

WQAD News -

CAROL STREAM, Ill. – At least 30 dogs died in an early morning blaze at an Illinois kennel Monday, according to WGN. The kennel's owner, along with firefighters, were able to rescue more than 20 dogs.

Officials said the fire started around 5:30 a.m. at D and D Kennel in Carol Stream. The kennel’s owner, Garrett Mercado, lives above the kennel but was not home when the fire broke out.

When he returned to see the flames, Mercado rushed in to save as many dogs as he could, leaving his hands blistered from unlatching the kennel locks. "Whoever could follow me, I was just hoping that they would," Mercado said, his voice shaking.

Mercado lost all but one of his own dogs in the fire.

Mercado has owned the kennel for about year and specializes in dogs that have been abused or have behavioral issues. "I really try to give the behavior-challenged dogs another chance," Mercado said.

The dogs he housed come from other shelters and some private owners.

Mercado and firefighters were about to save 20 dogs.

"What we encountered inside was terrible, it was really sad," said Carol Stream Fire Chief Bob Hoff.

In the confusion, some dogs bit three firefighters. Six dogs ran away but five were later found.

The rescued dogs were taken to the DuPage County Animal Care and Control.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately clear.

In the Kitchen with Fareway: A Lightened Version of Broccoli Cheese Soup

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois -- January is National Soup Month and Fareway Food Store's Caitlyn Ferin is making a Lighter Broccoli Cheese Soup Tuesday, January 15. Here are the ingredients:

* 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

* 1 small onion, minced

* 2/3 cup diced carrot

* 3 garlic cloves, minced

* 1/4 cup flour

* 3 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock

* 2 cups 2% milk

* 3-4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 medium head of broccoli)

* 1 tsp Dijon mustard

* to taste salt and pepper

* 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

Heat butter or olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted. Add onion and carrots and sauté until soft, about 4–5 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Add flour and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in stock until evenly combined. Add milk, broccoli, mustard, salt and pepper and bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese until completely melted.

Pages

Subscribe to I Connect You aggregator - The latest local news