The latest local news

Tama Building owner outlines plans to rebuild

WQAD News -

BURLINGTON, Iowa-- More than three months after a fire ravaged the historic Tama Building in downtown Burlington, the owner is now sharing his plans for the building.

Owner Doug Wells told the Burlington city council Tuesday, November 13, he plans to rebuild one way or another on the corner of Jefferson Street and N 3rd Street. But he says he doesn't know if he'll try to salvage some of the building.

"Rightfully so the structural engineers are nervous that (the southeast) corner could fall down," Wells says.

The facade of the building is still standing but is unstable. Wells says he could try to reinforce it, tear down the rest of the building and rebuild with the original walls.

His other plan would demolish the building and start from scratch.

"I think it's a very historic, substantial building in downtown Burlington. It seems a shame to lose it," he says.

But Wells says reinforcing the original walls would take more time, keeping the streets blocked off.

Several local business owners told Wells Tuesday night that the street closures are hurting their businesses and stopping people from coming downtown.

"Businesses around there, in terms of being able to get back and operational, there's a lot of value to getting the street open," City Manager Jim Ferneau says.

Wells says the streets should reopen by December 19, regardless of which plan he pursues. He says he'll get back the subcontractor bids for the projects by the end of the week and will pick his path based on the costs.

"I think his timeline is fairly aggressive," Ferneau says. "I hope that he can hit that but I can see him not getting that open."

Wells says he lost nearly $13 million worth of construction in the August fire. The Tama Building was three weeks away from opening when it caught fire.

"It's a project we started, and I'm not inclined to want to walk away from it," he says. "I think it's an important piece in downtown. And I think the building's important but also having those functions there would help the economy."

Wells says he hopes to be able to open new apartments and retail space on the site by April 2020.

4-year-old girl left in van overnight after vehicle towed to city lot

WQAD News -

MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee family is speaking out after city workers towed a van with a 4-year-old girl inside and left it in a lot overnight amid frigid temperatures, according to WITI.

Milwaukee police stopped the minivan near 39th and Forest Home Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday and arrested the driver of the minivan – who they suspected was intoxicated.

Officers took custody of a 10-month-old child, but apparently didn't notice the 4-year-old before the vehicle was towed to the Department of Public Works Tow Lot.

Around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, officials said they found the girl crying inside the minivan. An officer called in the fire department and emergency personnel evaluated the girl. Officials said she seemed to be "OK" but was taken to an area hospital for a more thorough review.

The minivan was towed to the city lot, where it received another quick inspection. DPW officials said when a vehicle comes to the city's tow lot, it is usually on a flatbed truck and vehicle information is taken and a walk-around with a flashlight is done.

"This is something that none of us would like to have happen to any of our children," said Jeff Polenske, City of Milwaukee DPW engineer. "As a father of three, this is something that -- very upsetting to me personally and certainly upsetting to all that were involved with this."

Family members said the child was sleeping in the back seat the whole time.

"I'm frustrated right now because I'm trying to figure out why the whole van wasn't searched," said Dynasty Davis, the girl's great aunt. "She's in good spirits, coloring, eating good, being a child."

Davis said her niece is strong to survive the freezing overnight temperatures.

"I couldn't even understand myself lasting that long. All those hours," said Davis.

The National Weather Service reported temperatures at Mitchell International Airport were around 25 degrees around midnight -- with a wind chill of 14 degrees. The temperature dropped to as low as 19 degrees with a wind chill of five degrees around 7 a.m. When the girl was found, the temperature had edged up to 22 degrees with a wind chill of nine degrees.

"Whatever it is that we can do we will be doing, definitely, to make sure there is not a person in a vehicle we are parking in our tow lot," said Polenske.

Officials said obviously this should not have happened -- and they want to make sure it never happens again. They will be doing a review of their processes.

Milwaukee police had not yet returned WITI's requests for comment as of Tuesday evening.

Video shows McDonald’s drive-thru customer attack manager over missing ketchup, police say

WQAD News -

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was captured on video beating the manager of a California McDonald's recently, and police released the footage Tuesday as they intensified their efforts to catch the assault suspect.

Santa Ana police released this image of the suspect.

The incident began around 11 p.m. on Oct. 27, after the woman went through the drive-thru of the McDonald's restaurant in the 1500 block of North Bristol Street in Santa Ana, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.

After getting her food, she apparently became enraged when she discovered there was not enough ketchup in the order, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The woman then entered the employee entrance of the McDonald's restaurant in the 1500 block of North Bristol Street and asked for ketchup, according to a police news release.

When told by the manager she couldn't be in the building, the woman "became combative" and began pushing, punching and choking the employee, police said.

The physical altercation took place inside the store near the drive-thru window, according to the footage. Another employee attempted to intervene, and eventually called other over workers to help, the footage showed.

A man believed with the attacker eventually came in through the back door entrance and pulled the woman off the manager, according to police.

He then appeared to escort her out of the restaurant.

Police are searching for the man as well, hoping to speak with him about the incident. They emphasized he is not in trouble.

"We're actually grateful for the service he provided, he stopped the assault. But ... we believe if you don't know her, but you might know him -- our intent is to get her identified," Bertagna said. "She's the one that committed the crime. There's no reason to physically assault someone because you didn't get enough ketchup."

The woman is described by police as Hispanic, about 20 to 25 years old, with brown hair. She was seen wearing a light pink short-sleeved T-shirt and gray pants at the time.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Santa Ana police at 714-245-8647, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-847-6227.

Quad Cities group kicks off first annual veterans Christmas tree drive

WQAD News -

MOLINE, Illinois -- A Moline man is teaming up with Quad Cities veteran organizations to make sure no veteran's family goes without a Christmas tree this year.

Starting small and operating out of the back of his pick-up truck, Leo "Doc" Kaalberg said his family and friends donated the first couple of trees and ornaments.

But he has big aspirations for his first annual Christmas tree drive.

"If a hundred more veterans sign up or a thousand more sign up, we'll do something, we'll figure it out," he said. "We'll find a way to get a tree to every single veteran who wants one."

Kaalberg helped found a Quad Cities-based group, "Random Acts of Veterans," with some others who wanted to help both active duty military and vets in the area.

Black Hawk College Military Students and Veterans Club President Lillian Schatz said the donation could really help veterans around the holidays when budgets tend to get tight.

"They can spend the money on their kids or their families for presents or food to have around the table," she said.

So far, Kaalberg says Random Acts of Veterans has been able to provide three veterans' families with a donated tree and ornaments, but the Quad City Veterans Outreach Center has pledged at least 20 to 30 more trees.

He is also accepting donations of new and gently used artificial trees and ornaments through the Random Acts of Veterans Facebook page. He said he won't accept cash donations.

"This is really just about [veterans] being able to smile this holiday season and not have to worry about the cost of a tree or some ornaments," he said.





Science shows hugs really do make you feel better

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Feeling down in the dumps? Stressed? A little off-kilter because of some disagreement?

Hug it out! A new study suggests that just reaching out and touching someone — consensually, of course — can reduce bad feelings associated with the typical ups and downs of our social interactions.

The study from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, published this week in PLOS ONE, looked at the social interactions of more than 400 people over two weeks. A summary of their daily activities, moods and physical interactions revealed a causal link between emotional states, conflicts and the number of hugs a person gave or received.

“Results indicated that there was an interaction between hug receipt and conflict exposure such that receiving a hug was associated with a smaller conflict-related decrease in positive affect and a smaller conflict-related increase in negative affect when assessed concurrently,” the study reads.

In plainer English, hugging helped people feel less poorly after some kind of conflict or negative event during their day.

This effect was seen across all genders and ages in the study, although women reported more hugs than men.

“Our results are consistent with the conclusion that both men and women may benefit equally from being hugged on days when conflict occurs,” the study reads.

Interestingly, it did not seem to matter if the huggers were in a romantic relationship at the time of said hug — the mood-related benefits still stood.

The study was authored by Michael Murphy, a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon. In the study, he says the research could be improved upon by pinpointing exactly what kind of social relationships were involved in a hug — a stranger or someone you were arguing with, for example, as opposed to a lover or an all-healing embrace from Mom.

“The lack of specificity regarding from whom individuals received hugs also restricted our ability to identify whether hugs from specific types of social partners were more effective than those from others,” Murphy wrote.

Either way, there doesn’t seem to be a downside to consensual hugging.

Village of Tampico under boil order after house fire

WQAD News -

TAMPICO, Illinois- The village of Tampico is under a boil order until further notice.

The decision came after a large house fire at 202 Canal Street required much of the towns available water. Officials with the fire department say the fire started around 1 p.m Tuesday, November 13.

No other information is available at this time.

WQAD will keep you updated as we receive more information

Old Norcross building set for demolition

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND- The old Norcross building in Rock Island is coming down, after nearly eight years of being empty.

City Mayor Mike Thoms says the building is an "eyesore" along the highway. The building is also considered a danger to the community.

They hope to have the entire building down in a month.

All of the wood from the building has already been sold and will be repurposed.

Earlier this year the land was chosen as an opportunity zone. Which is a tax-free incentive for builders.

The area is also an enterprise zone, which the city hopes will draw in buyers quickly.

Madigan supports Pritzker efforts on marijuana, income tax

WQAD News -

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he supports Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s plans to legalize recreational marijuana and create a graduated income tax.

Related:  Watch: J.B. Pritzker answers 8 questions about his plans as Illinois governor

The Chicago Democrat said Tuesday he’s had several “very friendly and very productive” conversations with Pritzker since the Democrat beat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in last week’s election.

Madigan said he believe Pritzker would pursue the marijuana and tax platforms he campaigned on. Pritzker believes taxes on legalized marijuana could bring in $700 million to $1 billion a year. The graduated tax plan which would tax the wealthier at higher rates would require a constitutional amendment.

Madigan repeatedly clashed with Rauner over the budget and other matters during the Republican’s one term.

Madigan declined to speculate on Rauner’s legacy. He says, “I’m just happy that he’s leaving.”

Local shelter speaks out against breeders after nearly 170 dogs rescued from Iowa puppy mill

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa  --   Nearly 170 dogs showing signs of neglect in filthy kennels were rescued from an overcrowded puppy mill in northern Iowa. Kings Harvest Pet Rescue in Davenport said that puppy mills stay in business because people aren't adopting animals.

"By adopting, you are kind of voting with your wallet," Rochelle Dougall, Kings Harvest Pet Rescue said. "It's saying you would prefer an animal from a shelter that didn't have a home versus an animal that's bred."

Dougall said puppy mill conditions are extremely harmful to the dogs and that the animals are not usually cared for medically. She said the number one way to stop puppy mills is by adopting from shelters.

"You know that it is mostly volunteer-based," Dougall said. "it's here for the community and the animals, whereas the breeders are there for the money."

Dougall also said that shopping online for pets can increase puppy mill business.

"Don`t buy online," Dougall said. "Don`t buy from pet stores. That`s how millions of puppy mill puppies get sold each year."

Kings Harvest Pet Rescue currently has over 100 animals up for adoption.

Staff with the Humane Society of Scott County say they will head to Worth County to help with the rescue efforts.

Once the puppies are healthy, ASPCA Field Investigator, Tim Rickey, said the ASPCA will have to resolve ownership through court, then place the dogs up for adoption.

Officials say as of now there are no plans to bring the puppies back to the Quad Cities. The involvement of the humane society is to help assist with the sheltering efforts by providing medical and behavioral assistance.

Bethany for Children & Families gives local kids a smile

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa  --  Bethany for Children & Families 'Give Kids a Smile' Mobile Dental Program provides dental care to children who do not have access to oral health care.

The mobile dental bus travels to over 120 elementary, middle, and high schools in  Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Scott, Jackson, and Clinton counties. 12 volunteer licensed dentists and staff members provide exams, cleaning, and sealants. The services are free to the students.

"As a providing dentist, unless they walk into our office, we don't have connection with them," volunteer dentist Dr. Fred Burnham said. "This is a great mean to screen, provide care to patients, and find patients."

"We take the dental care directly to the kids to their schools, Director of development and communication for Bethany Dylan Davis said. "We can serve throughout the entire school year. We serve now between 3,000 to 3,500 kids a year."

Burnham said 40% of the children they see are in need of dental care. Bethany partners with the school nurses to find the children in need of the dental bus.

"If they are uninsured or under-insured," Davis said. "We strive to serve as many children who would not otherwise have dental care."

Kids can receive dental care on the bus however many times they need. Bethany will also provide transportation to follow up appointments if needed.

"It's great," Burnham said. "You couldn't ask for more. It's a niche that is needed. If you start with them when they are young, then they will have fewer problems when they are older."

Bethany is looking for more dental staff and schools that would like to join the program can contact Bethany for Children & Families. 

Students at Monmouth College learn from Stan Lee’s legacy

WQAD News -

MONMOUTH, Illinois-- We all have power, just ask Monmouth College instructor Chris Goble.

"Because we all have power, we have a responsibility to act properly with it," says Goble.

This teacher and his students learn about their super powers through cartoons.

"We analyze comics and apply them to situations in the real world," says student Matthew Needham.

The course, down to its very title, was inspired by Marvel creator Stan Lee. It's called Great Power, Great Responsibility which comes from Lee's Spiderman story.

Fans gathered on Lee's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in Los Angeles on Tuesday, a day after Lee died at age 95. Lee dreamed up Marvel superheroes like Spiderman, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The X-Men.

Lee's legacy is the characters and lessons he created that now help students at Monmouth find power within themselves.

"Maybe we get them to think about the power they have and perhaps start to process where can I use this for some good?" says Goble.

It's true for Needham.

"It's not all about me. It's about helping others, especially the ones I care about. Making sacrifices no matter if they're big or small, and genuinely trying to make the world a better place," says Needham.

Students realize no matter who you are, you have power. Just remember to use it wisely.


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