The latest local news

Rock Island to introduce new regulations for Airbnb users

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- With some local homeowners using Airbnb to earn extra money, disagreements over how the popular online booking service should be regulated has put some neighbors at odds.

The city of Rock Island in considering new rules for home sharing platforms like Airbnb. City Manager Randy Tweet said city staff would present a proposal to city council sometime next month.

Airbnb host Debbie Freiburg said she loved having guests in the lower unit of her home.

"It's been the most exciting thing I've ever done in my life," she said. "I love it. Love the people. And I hope to continue someday."

She advertised it as a "Private Hideaway in the Woods" on the platform until recently -- she's been barred from using it since Rock Island city council voted 4-3 in January to deny her a special use permit.

"My view is that it's just a bad idea," said Rock Island 4th Ward Alderman Stephen Tollenaer. "I'm here to protect the neighborhoods. That's what the special permit does, it's the perfect system the way it is," he said.

One of Debbie's neighbor's started a petition, signed by seven people, complaining about the traffic coming down their dead-end street and the strangers coming to stay on their block. The neighbor declined to be interviewed by News Eight, but said that most people wouldn't want such a business on their block.

Debbie says her guests are wonderful people.

"They want to stay with a family. They want to stay in a home," she said.

She's hopeful that the city will rethink how it handles the gig economy and services like Airbnb. But until then, her private hideaway is an empty nest.

 

 

Local veteran gets free car

WQAD News -

 

MOLINE- A local car salesman gave a two-time Purple Heart recipient the gift of mobility.

Local army veteran Leo Kaalberg is the proud new owner of a Honda Accord.

Kaallberg served 4 combat tours in Iraq and has since come upon hard times, he says he couldn't transport his family around town.

But now automotive Central in East Moline gifted him a car.

The first thing Kaalberg says he will do with his new car is to pick up his kids from school.

 

Brewed: How New Glarus Brewing Co. came to be

WQAD News -

Brewed Host Dave Levora joined us in the studio to talk about his visit to New Glarus Brewing Company in Wisconsin.

He said the episode about the brewing company was so important that it had to be split into two part.

They talked with Dan Carey from New Glarus and he talked about how they got started and how everything they do starts with taking care of their community.

Catch the episode on WQAD Saturday, March 23 at 10:35 p.m.

Rep. Bustos addresses Rock River flooding

WQAD News -

 

MOLINE- The Rock River in Moline is expected to be back under flood stage by March 29.

The Rock River hit its crest over the March 16 weekend. Floodwater still surrounds homes and covers streets.

March 22, Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos toured the QC area to get a better idea of the impact from the rising waters.

Bustos says it's important to see and hear the needs of communities on both the Rock and Mississippi Rivers.

The Quad City National Weather Service is predicting a higher risk of flooding this spring, as well as wetter conditions at the end of March.

Floods are expected to last until the first half of April.

Iowa snags comeback win in first round of NCAA tournament

WQAD News -

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Iowa Hawkeyes survived round one in the NCAA tournament, after trailing at halftime.

The celebration on Friday, March 22, however, will be short lived, because the team is set to face second-seed Tennessee on Sunday.

Nicholas Baer, Joe Wieskamp, and Jordan Bohannon all made plays down the stretch, giving the Hawks a come-from-behind win against the Cincinnati Bearcats: 79-72.

A win on Sunday would put Iowa in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 20 years.

Woman claims mother is being mistreated at Rosewood Care Center

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois -- A woman staying at Rosewood Care Center in Moline says she has been mistreated by staff.

Rosewood Care Center is a place where people can go through rehab with the goal of going back home. So Angie Huff thought her mother, Glenda, would be home by now.

"In an ideal world we were hoping she would be there maybe 4 to 6 weeks," Huff said.

Instead, Angie says her mother is missing scheduled appointments, not getting her proper medicine, and staff is being too rough getting her in and out of bed.

"When she told me that they had mistreated her with the hoyer, and dropped her in her chair too hard and she lost her breath," Huff said. "I just, I felt frantic because I don't know how to stop this stuff."

Since 2016, Rosewood Care Center has been fined more than $54,000 after several patients reported verbal abuse and neglect.

"I don't understand how a facility that helps people can do things like that and get by with it," Huff said. "I want to go stay there all day and watch to make sure they don't do anything like that... but I can't."

News 8 reached out to Rosewood Care Center for comment. Administrator, Janet Holmberg, said our inquiries would need to go through corporate. News 8 has not yet heard back.

White House again claims defeat of ISIS caliphate in Syria as fighting continues

WQAD News -

(CNN) — The White House announced Friday that the ISIS caliphate in Syria has been 100% defeated, but CNN’s team on the ground reported that US-backed forces are still working to clear final pockets of fighters holed up in tunnels alongside the now-cleared village of Baghouz, the group’s last stronghold.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had briefed President Donald Trump on the development as he flew to Florida on Friday and additional information would “soon” come from the Pentagon.

Hours after the announcement the Pentagon had not commented.

Later Friday, a US Defense official told CNN that the Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the US-led coalition are still fighting the last remnants of ISIS in eastern Syria.

“The SDF is still encountering fighting in the caves under Baghouz. The fighting is still going on,” the official said.

The CNN team on the ground in eastern Syria said Friday that it continues to see airstrikes and hear heavy gunfire.

“There has been gunfire coming out of the ISIS positions, which are, admittedly, a very small piece of territory on the edge of a hill outside the eastern end of this town of Baghouz,” CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman reported from his position overlooking the village.

“If you were to look at the amount of territory, it is very small indeed, but the fighting goes on,” he added.

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali told CNN that while the battle is all but over, some final ISIS holdouts remain.

“The WH statement doesn’t contradict ours: we also believe that ISIS was defeated. There are some groups that refuse to surrender. Our Forces with the assistance of the Coalition forces are working to force them to surrender and defeat them,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump declared that US backed-forces had retaken 100% of the territory once claimed by ISIS in Syria, an announcement that surprised US officials and regional allies leading the fight, who told CNN at the time that the battle was not over.

“We just took over, you know, you kept hearing it was 90%, 92%, the caliphate in Syria, now it’s 100%. We just took over 100% caliphate, that means the area of the land we’re just have 100%, so that’s good,” Trump said while addressing US troops at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska on his return trip from Hanoi, Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the President had pulled out a sheet of paper to demonstrate the success against ISIS, showing two maps of the terror group’s territorial control in Iraq and Syria, maps he said: “just came out 20 minutes ago.”

“Election night in 2016, everything red is ISIS,” Trump said, pointing to the red on the map.

“Now on the bottom, there is no red,” he said, adding, “Actually, a tiny spot, which will be gone by tonight.”

Sanders showed reporters aboard Air Force One a similar map Friday depicting ISIS-held territory in Syria in 2014 compared with today.

Earlier this week, Trump also disputed the characterization that he had changed his strategy in Syria by leaving some US troops there for a period, despite previously announcing that all US troops would be withdrawn.

“No, no. We’re leaving 200 people there and 200 in another place closer to Israel,” he told reporters Wednesday on the White House South Lawn when asked if he had reversed course.

One contingent of troops will be stationed in northeast Syria, where they will be part of a multinational force tasked with helping to prevent an ISIS resurgence and helping to prevent clashes between Turkey and America’s Kurdish-led Syrian allies.

The remainder will be at At Tanf, Syria, a base near the Syria-Jordan border that allows the US to monitor and target some of the ISIS remnants who operate west of the Euphrates River. The US presence there also denies Iran and its proxies access to a strategic highway connecting Syria and Iraq that runs near the base, a US presence that Iran’s adversary Israel is seen as keen on keeping in place.

Appeal halts movement on Rock Island County Courthouse demolition

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — The pending demolition of the Rock Island County Courthouse remains on hold because of an appeal.

In early February, a handful of preservation groups filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island County Public Building Commission and the Rock Island County Board.  

Click here to see the lawsuit. 

But on Tuesday, March 19 a Peoria County Judge dismissed all counts against the Rock Island County Board and Public Building Commission.  According to County Attorney John McGehee, the lawsuit claimed the county and the building commission violated the Historic Resources Preservation Act, but the judge ruled the county is not subject to that act.

In response, Landmarks Illinois, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed an appeal; it was filed Thursday, March 21 in Peoria County.   The appellate court has five days to decide how to move forward.

According to Rock Island City Manager Randall Tweet, should an application for demolition be filed, the city has all the paperwork needed to approve it.

As the appeal remains in limbo, there is a hold on any activity regarding the courthouse, so the demolition will not be allowed for the time being.

Woman who was smallest baby born in Texas now works at NICU that saved her life

WQAD News -

TEMPLE, Texas – When Tammy Lewis was born, she was 3½ months early and weighed in at only 1 pound 4 ounces. Her family faced the harsh reality their newborn’s survival rate was 5-10%.

But Lewis beat the odds and now, 34 years later, she works in the same NICU that saved her life.

“I was the smallest surviving baby in the state of Texas, at the time,” Lewis said. “I was born at 24 weeks. Normal gestation is 40 weeks.”

When Tammy Lewis was born, she was 3 1/2 months early and weighed in at only 1 pound 4 ounces. (Courtesy of Tammy Lewis)

Lewis spent the first 3½ months of her life in the NICU at Scott and White Hospital, now named McLane Children’s Medical Center Baylor Scott & White. She was a micro-preemie and had tubes hooked up to her to help her tiny lungs breathe.

Years later, she works alongside some of the same doctors and nurses who treated her as an infant.

“I wanted to be able to give back to the patients and families in the same situation that I was in,” said Lewis.

When deciding what career she wanted to pursue after high school, it was between teaching and the medical field.

“Once I started researching the medical field, I talked to a program director and immediately fell in love with it,” said Lewis.”This is where God was leading me to be.”

Tammy Lewis (Baylor Scott & White Health)

in 2009, Lewis started working as a respiratory therapist at McLane, in Temple, Texas, which serves central Texas. It’s home to a level four NICU, which is the highest level of care.

In her daily job, she connects ventilators and breathing tubes, just like the ones that helped her breathe as a baby.

“As I work, I get daily remainders of how blessed I am to be here today,” she said.

Lewis has two children, 6 and 3, but neither was a micro-preemie. “My oldest threatened to be a preemie at 37 weeks.”

As she treats patients, she brings hope to the families as she shares her story of survival and motherhood with them.

“You see parents get rough news and need some brightness and hope in the day,” she said. “There are success stories and I am one of them.”

The hospital features her on its “Hall of Hope,” where it highlights babies with difficult journeys who have survived. Lewis said workers in the NICU become like a part of the patients’ families, because they work so closely monitoring the infant, all with the goal of getting the babies healthy enough to go home.

“There are lots of long hard days that everyone puts in and it’s very rewarding to see them grown up.”

A highlight of her work, Lewis said, is seeing those babies come back to visit. She said that process has come full circle for the doctors and nurses who took care of her.

“It doesn’t get much better than to take a 1 pound baby and then watch it grow up to a little human being.”

‘The Scream’ may not actually be screaming, museum says

WQAD News -

Edvard Munch’s The Scream may be one of the most recognizable images in art history, but the British Museum thinks most people have got it all wrong.

The figure isn’t screaming—he’s hearing a scream, the curator of a new exhibit tells the Telegraph.

Have we made a howler with the Scream? https://t.co/R5xPRPhNLa

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 21, 2019

This debate has actually been going on for years, but the museum says Munch’s own words make things clear. As Quartz explains, the museum is featuring a rare black-and-white lithograph that predates the more famous later painting.

Below the lithograph, Munch wrote: “I felt the great scream throughout nature.” He was referring to the anxiety he felt one day while walking in nature when the sky turned red. Basically, the figure is hearing, or sensing, a scream from nature, according to this interpretation.

If you see a man screaming when you look at Edvard Munch's The Scream, you may have been looking at it all wrong – and here's why https://t.co/TiPsCHqtUh@BritishMuseum pic.twitter.com/OWMOz9Mr4n

— ITV News (@itvnews) March 21, 2019

The inscription “makes clear that Munch’s most famous artwork depicts a person hearing a ‘scream’ and not, as many people continue to assume and debate, a person screaming,” says Giulia Bartrum of the museum.

“He was trying to capture an emotion or moment in time. Through the inscription we know how he felt. People think this is a screaming person, but that’s not what is going on.”

Both the Telegraph and Quartz stories include the views of those who aren’t entirely convinced. “It is a question of interpretation,” says the former head of the Munch Museum in Oslo. (Read more Edvard Munch stories.)

More From Newser:
Cops Thought He Killed His Parents. He Was Dead All Along
Here’s What Scott Peterson Looks Like Now
You’re All Going to Die,’ Cruz Laughs in Chilling Video

Mistrial declared in trial for Davenport civil rights commissioner accused of sledgehammer attack

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Jurors were unable to come to a conclusion in the Latrice Lacey trial, a Davenport Civil Rights Commissioner accused of having attacked her ex-boyfriend with a sledgehammer.

Lacey was charged with three counts of domestic abuse and one count of first-degree harassment. Her case went to jurors at 11 A.M on Friday, but the day ended in a deadlock, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

In trying to get a guilty verdict on all counts, Scott County Assistant Attorney Samuel Huff needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lacey attacked her ex-boyfriend Clyde Richardson last April 30 outside his workplace on Pershing Avenue, with intent and with a dangerous weapon.

"She showed up there for one reason, to confront him, not talk to, to confront," Huff told jurors in closing arguments.

"You swing a hammer at someone’s head, you mean to cause injury."

He urged jurors to review the video that recorded it all: "You see exactly how she swings it."

But Lacey's defense attorney, Murray Bell, said it was Richardson who had been the aggressor: "He couldn't control himself. In fact, what you see is  pattern: rage, rage, rage, 'I’m sorry let me apologize to you.' Rage, rage, rage, 'I'm sorry let me apologize to you.'"

Witnesses testified Richardson choked Lacey and damaged her car in the months leading up to the confrontation.

"He couldn't control himself, he couldn't control his rage. So she goes to a public place with a witness, with the security camera, to meet his request to talk to her, to get it stopped. And he attacks her," he said.

Bell says she acted to protect herself and a friend who was with her.

"She was acting in self-defense. She was justified," he said. "She got the hammer after he was on top of her, in the car, and said, 'I'm gonna kill you!'"

Richardson, Lacey's ex, never took the stand.

But Huff told jurors, "From day one I told you he wasn't gonna be here."

"That makes things difficult. What makes things less difficult is the video recording of this incident," he said.

The prosecution had the opportunity to leave jurors with the last word: "This was not justification, it was retaliation, plain and simple. She had had enough and she was going to handle it the way she wanted to."

Lacey could face several years in prison if convicted.

Police looking for man who kicked 78-year-old woman in the face on New York City subway

WQAD News -

NEW YORK — Authorities are searching for a man seen in cellphone video kicking a woman’s face and body several times on a New York City subway train, police said Friday.

On Sunday, March 10, at about 3:10 a.m inside of the Nereid Avenue/ White Plains Road subway station in the Bronx, a man approached a 78-year-old woman who was seated, and began to punch and kick her numerous times in her face and her body, police said.

The horrendous assault was captured on cellphone video.

The disturbing footage shows the man kicking the seated victim six times, twice in the head and four times in her upper body, before walking off the subway yelling, “Now Worldstar that!”

The woman, who was seen with several bags, tried to block the kicks with her left hand, while stunned passengers watched, the video showed.

  • Warning: Video of the attack, seen below, may be difficult to watch for some viewers.

The man left the No. 2 train at the station and fled on foot.

The woman rode the train one more northbound stop and exited at the Wakefield-241 Street /White Plains Road station, where she was met by EMS.

She suffered multiple bruises and was bleeding from cuts to the face, police said.

She was treated on scene by EMS and refused further medical attention, according to police.

Many who saw the clip posted to Twitter by @BKLYNRELL1 blasted the passengers on the train for recording the incident instead of coming to the woman's aid.

"For everybody asking me if this is my video. No, and if I was there it was not going down like that. He was not getting away," @BKLYNRELL1 tweeted. "New York City has to get better with 'minding our own business.' See something say something goes for everything."

The man is described as being 40 years old, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with a black goatee.

He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black knit cap, long black and white checkered scarf, metal framed glasses and black pants.

City offers bounty to anyone who cuts down Bradford pear trees

WQAD News -

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas — The City of Fayetteville is offering a bounty on Bradford pear trees this spring.

Bradford pear trees are considered an invasive species in Northwest Arkansas. They spread quickly and choke out the area’s native trees, shrubs, and flowers. The city says native tree species are more beneficial to the environment and wildlife.

To spread awareness and discourage the spread of invasive trees, the city will give one native tree to each person who cuts down a Bradford pear on their property within city limits.

The City of Fayetteville says they will not be able to cut down your tree. They say property owners should cut their own tree or hire a company.

To qualify, residents should take a picture of their cut-down Bradford pear tree while they are in bloom from mid-March to early April. Then bring the photograph to one of two locations (listed below) or email the picture to urbanforestry@fayetteville-ar.gov. The city asks that you include your name, address, and phone number.

Trees will be given away on a first-come-first-serve basis. One hundred native trees will be available; species include American plum, flowering dogwood, eastern redbud, hawthorn and serviceberry.

Amtrak to Burlington, Mount Pleasant delayed as a result of “historic” floods

WQAD News -

Starting March 21, Amtrak will be suspending trains to Burlington and Mount Pleasant as a direct result of "historic" flooding.

Amtrak has detoured its California Zephyr onto Union Pacific Railroad tracks in order to keep trains running between Omaha and Chicago.

They have not released an estimate for when trains will be running in Southeast Iowa again.

Amtrak says the suspensions are due to historic flooding affecting railroad tracks throughout the state.

The suspensions are also affecting other Iowa and Illinois communities, customers can contact Amtrak to change or cancel their train reservations without fees.

"Amtrak will gladly waive additional charges for customers looking to change their reservation during the modified schedule by calling our reservation center at 800-USA-RAIL." 

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