The latest local news

National softball tournament deals with summer scorcher in the Quad Cities

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa - As a heat wave invades the Quad Cities, The TBK Bank Sports Complex is hosting the United States Specialty Sports Girls Softball Midwest National Championships.

The softball tournament started July 18 and runs through the weekend.

Teams comes from all over the Midwest to bring the heat to the field during these national championship games.

At the same time, the temperature continues to rise and in the coming days, temperatures are expected to hit near the 100 degree mark or higher.

That means families, staff, coaches and players have to get creative when thinking of ways to beat the heat.

Some bring fans and coolers full of ice water and Gatorade, while others bring umbrellas to shade themselves.

One group of children even decided to have a midday water gun fight to try and stay cool.

Cara Nevdal and her daughter Rachel say they sometimes use ice cold rags to help lower their body temperatures.

Athletic Trainer Briana Barnes with Genesis Health Systems was on the scene in Bettendorf on Thursday.

She said there had been no reports of heat-related injuries at the tournament on July 18. Those injuries include heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Still, the heat must be taken seriously.

Rico Navarro, an assistant softball coach, brought a wagon full of fans to keep his players cool in the dugout and an assistant manager at the concession stand said he saw an uptick in sales of water, sports drinks, and ice cream.

As temperatures continue to rise, families say they're prepared to do what it takes to keep cool, even if that means taking a break in the air conditioning.

Former deputy arrested with gloves, knife, zip ties after allegedly going to meet young girl

WQAD News -

CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. – Oklahoma authorities say a former sheriff’s deputy drove nearly two hours to meet who he thought was a 14-year old girl he befriended on social media.

The Canadian County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 45-year-old Cullen Jones, and confirmed that he did work for the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Department.

“During the conversation, it went downhill quick, talking about various sexual acts,” Capt. Adam Flowers, with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, said. “Things that go to 50 Shades of Gray-type, like bondage. You know it, he was wanting to do it.”

Jones also told the girl that he wanted to act out a “Daddy-daughter” sexual relationship.

Instead of a teenage girl, however, Jones was met by two deputies and was arrested quickly. In his truck, investigators say they found gloves, a knife, and zip-ties.

”I have no reason to believe this wasn’t Jones‘s first time, and believe there could quite possibly be real live victims out there,” said Chris West, Canadian County Sheriff.

Investigators say Jones allegedly had plans to do more than just have sex with the underage girl.

“He also wanted to film and video everything,” Capt. Flowers said. “He wanted to take photos and have me pose in different ways. He was very dominant in this type of conversation and the sexual acts he wanted.”

For one Canadian County family, this scary situation hits close to home.

Valarie Williams has two teenage daughters, and she says she regularly checks their phones.

“I let them know how serious so many things are, so they know my mom needs this peace of mind. She needs to see and know,” Williams said. “Yeah, we’ve definitely had to delete some apps, it is scary.”

Valarie’s daughter, Olivia, understands why her mom needs to check her phone. She says she actually wishes more parents did the same.

“It scares me because some of my other friends, they have no problem and they talk to older guys. It scares me for them because it’s so dangerous,” Olivia said. “ I don’t think they understand how dangerous, and they can be taken so quick and never see anybody they love ever again.”

United Way day of action making sure kids are ready to go back to school

WQAD News -

QUAD CITIES-  United Way Of The Quad Cities is making sure kids are ready to go back to school in the fall.

The organization hosted a drive Thursday, July 18 in Rock Island and Davenport to collect school supplies.

United Way says they surpassed their original goal of collecting 50,000 supplies and more than $10,000.

According to the final figures, they collected more than 91,000 supplies and more than $13,000!

Tractor rollover in Illinois City burns mother and son

WQAD News -

ILLINOIS CITY, Illinois- A mother and son were flown to Iowa City hospitals after a tractor rollover left them both severely burned.

July 18 around 3:15 p.m police responded to a tractor that had rolled over and caught fire in rural Illinois City.

Police say the juvenile boy was driving the tractor and was pulled from the flames by his mother.

The mother and son were burned in the process and the mother drove them to Unity Point.

After arriving they were flown to Iowa City for treatment.

Their names have not yet been released.

Dixon man says justice was not served after man who beat his wife to death gets plea deal

WQAD News -

DIXON, Illinois-- A Dixon man says justice was not served after his wife, a DCFS worker, was beaten to death on the job.

Last week 26-year-old Andrew Sucher admitted to killing Pam Knight. But the case never went to trial. Instead, Sucher took a plea deal and received 21 years behind bars.

Pam Knight was checking on the welfare of a 2-year-old when Sucher hit her, knocked her down to the ground, and then kicked her repeatedly in the head. Pam's husband, Don Knight, says he never had a say in how her killer's case was handled.

Looking back, Don Knight would have wanted things done differently.

"They already plea bargained this before I even knew about this," says Knight.

He wanted a jury to decide the fate of Andrew Sucher, the man who beat his wife to death.

"I would want to go to trial. I think if we would have went to trial, I think we would have got 60 years for him," says Knight.

Instead, Sucher took a plea deal and 21 years in prison.

"It's very devastating because it's not even justice," says Knight.

Now Don is dedicating his life to try to keep other Department of Children and Family Services workers safe. Don says workers like Pam are at risk every time they do child welfare checks.

"When a policeman goes to a house, they have a taser and a gun. When a DCFS worker goes to a house, they have a paper and a pencil," says Knight.

Right now the penalty for someone who harms a DCFS worker like Pam on the job is 2-5 years in prison. Don says that's not enough.

Illinois State Representative Tony McCombie is pushing for a law that would bring harsher penalties for assaulting a DCFS worker.

"To have these workers feel the state doesn't have their back is mind blowing," says McCombie.

McCombie says the sentence handed down last week is proof this change needs to be made.

"They've agreed to a plea because of this loophole," says McCombie.

It's change for the next worker protecting a child. And it's justice for the woman who died doing it.

"I made her a promise that night. If it took the rest of what I had and the rest of my life, I would protect the workers, and I'm not going to stop until I do," says Knight.

This legislative session, Pam's Bill passed in the House but it died in the Senate. McCombie says she'll try to push it through during a veto session in October, and if that doesn't happen, she's ready to start back at square one.

Sucher will serve the next 19 years behind bars. He has already served two of his 21. He also had three felony aggravated battery charges against him. As part of the plea deal, when he gets out, those will be wiped clean.

Court records for Luke Andrews case to be sealed in juvenile court

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Court records will be sealed for a 13-year-old who was convicted of assault with intent to commit serious injury at North Scott Jr. High School.

After being tried in adult court, Luke Andrews’ case has been moved back to the juvenile court system.  According to the clerk of courts, at a hearing on Thursday, July 18, a judge granted a request from the teen’s lawyers to seal the juvenile court records.

Andrews was 12 years old when he was accused of trying to fire a gun inside his school back in August of 2018.  During testimony in July of 2019, a teacher and a former student teacher said Andrews held them at gunpoint inside a classroom. The student teacher said Andrews pulled the trigger but the gun didn’t go off because the safety was on.

After two days of deliberation, a jury found him guilty of assault with intent to commit serious injury, which is a lesser offense than the attempted murder charge he was initially facing.  Andrews was also found guilty of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and guilty of carrying weapons on school grounds.

A Deeper Dive: Defense argues teen was seeking attention when he brought a loaded gun to North Scott Jr. High School

Man arrested after allegedly raping 4-year-old inside Oklahoma McDonald’s

WQAD News -

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – A man was arrested after he allegedly raped a 4-year-old inside an Oklahoma McDonald’s bathroom while the little girl was on a field trip with her daycare Tuesday.

Joshua Kabatra (Midwest City Police Department)

Midwest City police said they responded to the restaurant near SE 15th and Air Depot to investigate a call about a disturbance.

When officers arrived, they spoke with daycare employees who said a 4-year-old girl had gone to the bathroom in the play area and they went to check on her after noticing the child had “been gone for a while.”

The daycare employee said the door was locked, and, after knocking for a while, a man answered and came out with his arms raised, saying “I was just washing my hands.”

The 4-year-old was asked if she was touched by the man and she said “yes,” pointing to her genital area, police said.

The man, identified as 37-year-old Joshua Kabatra, said he was in the playground area when he started to feel sick and went to the bathroom, knocking on the door, according to police.

He said when he opened the door, a female was sitting on the toilet. He says he then threw up in the sink, washed his hands and left the bathroom.

After speaking with the 4-year-old, police arrested Kabatra on two complaints of Rape 1 and one complaint of lewd acts with a child in connection to the incident.

Living arts to once again liven up Rock Island`s Establishment Theater

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The Establishment Theater in Rock Island has new tenants. The Center for Living Arts, a studio theater space owned by husband and wife team Dino and Tina Hayz, is preparing to move in.

On Thursday, Creative Director Dino was still rehearsing with dozens of students at the center's old location on 4th Avenue. High School Students from around the Quad Cities area were gearing up for their big summer production of the musical "Legally Blonde."

"It’s bittersweet knowing that this will be the last performance here," he said.

The couple just celebrated the theater's thirteenth anniversary, and the move just a few blocks away to 220 19th Street, the location known until recently as "The Establishment," was a long-awaited milestone.

"We are going into our 14th season with 200 students," Dino said. That number grows to about 300 when the center hosts the Penguin Project, a program that includes young performers with special needs.

But Dino and Tina said they and the students were excited about the move. "Most of them are excited. We took them over to the new space last week," he said. "It’s a real theater, it’s historic."

"I’d be lying if I didn’t say, I’m a little bit scared. This place (on 4th Avenue) we built, we built completely at our own whims, not having to worry about the history."

The new space first opened as Rocket Cinemas 80 years ago and last housed ComedySportz.

"I can’t tell you how moving it is to be tenants of that space and stewards of that space moving forward," Dino said. "To know that it was a real theater in its beginning and we’re going to continue that, bringing live theater to that area."

Dino and his wife and managing director Tina have big plans for their new space. They plan to double the square footage of the stage from what they currently have, and double the number of seats to about 300.

"Right now with our limited seating, we pretty much sell out to our families and friends of our cast members. Now we'll be opening up our seating to community as well," Tina said.

The duo is just imagining the possibilities.

"We want to make our off-show nights, to have a location where kids can come, have some drinks and snacks, and do theater karaoke and just hang out, have a place for them to go and geek out with their other theater friends," Dino added.

City blares ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat to drive homeless from pavilion at night

WQAD News -

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida city is trying to keep homeless people from sleeping near a posh waterfront patio by playing popular children’s songs “Baby Shark” and “It’s Raining Tacos” on a loop.

The director of Parks and Recreation, Leah Rockwell, told The Palm Beach Post the city took the unorthodox approach to protect the Lake Pavilion, an event space that is expected to generate more than $240,000 this year.

“People are paying a lot of money to use the facility,” Rockwell said, adding that staffers and guests shouldn’t have to navigate between sleeping bodies as they come and go.

Rockwell said the music is a temporary measure while the city works to formalize official hours for Lake Pavilion, which would allow officers to enforce trespassing laws.

“Music is also played overnight on a loop by our pavilion to discourage congregating and, if appropriate, to encourage people to seek safer, more appropriate shelter through the many resources that are available,” a city spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News.  “The music volume complies with City code, and we are exploring the possibility of having set hours for the Great Lawn and pavilion.”

Some are speaking out as news of West Palm Beach’s tactic spreads.

“(It) shows a lack of concern for our community members who are struggling through a very tough time,” said Megan Hustings, interim director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

It’s apparently not the first time the city has tried this approach, the paper reports. Fifteen years ago West Palm Beach police experimented with piping classical music onto a street frequented by drug dealers. The experiment came to a sudden end when someone reportedly destroyed the electrical source to the speakers.

A Utah woman died after her blood was drained into a garbage can, lawsuit says

WQAD News -

MILLCREEK, Utah – The family of a Utah woman is suing a hospital after they say doctors left an open tube in her body, causing her heart to drain into a garbage can, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Donnamay Brockbank had surgery at St. Mark’s Hospital in June 2018 to remove a medical device causing an allergic reaction, according to court documents. During the procedure, Brockbank had a cardiopulmonary bypass – blood left her body through a tube in her neck and re-entered in her femur.

After the surgery, as the equipment was being broken down and Brockbank’s heart was beating on its own, the re-entry tube to the femur was closed; the needle draining blood from the woman’s neck, however, was not, according to the lawsuit.

At that time, blood was pumping directly from Brockbank’s heart into a medical garbage can, the lawsuit stated.

When Brockbank’s blood pressure dropped, transfusions were performed and live-saving measures were taken, but, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, nobody addressed the tube in her neck still leaking blood into the trash can.

Two days after the surgery, hospital employees told Brockbank’s family a “reservoir of blood” had been found in a medical garbage can, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The family Brockbank left behind, as well as their lawyers, have been working through what they call some of the worst medical records they have ever seen in order to figure out what went wrong.

Millions of people threatened by a potentially deadly heat wave in the coming days

WQAD News -

A dangerous and potentially deadly heatwave threatens much of the continental US, with dozens of record high temperatures both in the daytime and in the evening expected this weekend.

More than 150 million people in nearly 30 states were under a heat watch, warning or advisory on Thursday morning, according to CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

Over the next few days, more than 85 percent of the lower 48’s population will see temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Hennen said, and more than half will see temperatures in excess of 95 degrees.

Much of the heat expected for Thursday was forecast to descend on the Midwest and Mississippi, before making its way to the Northeast on Friday and Saturday, Hennen said.

On Thursday, cities under excessive heat warnings included Chicago, Oklahoma City, Omaha, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit and Philadelphia.

Minneapolis, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville and Raleigh were all under heat advisories.

Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, New York and Boston were all under excessive heat watches and expected to see high temperatures this weekend.

Nighttime cooldown? Not much

The extreme temperatures overnight are an important and dangerous threat, because it means peoples’ bodies and homes will not have the opportunity to cool off.

“Even after the sun goes down, the temperatures will not drop much below 80 degrees,” said Rich Guidice, executive director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management, “offering little to no relief.”

The heat wave has prompted the city of Chicago to open cooling centers throughout the city for anyone looking for relief.

Chicago officials warned residents to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including cramps, feeling weak and nausea.

Residents should not hesitate to call 911 if they believe they are suffering from heat stroke, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the acting commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

According to meteorologists, the heat wave will encompass much of the eastern half of the country into the weekend, before a cold front should bring relief late Sunday and into early next week.

Heat wave made worse by climate crisis

Experts say the heat wave is only made worse by the ongoing threat of climate change. According to last year’s National Climate Assessment, the number of hot days in the US is increasing.

Heat waves have also increased in frequency, rising from an average of two per year to six per year in the last five decades. The threat is especially pronounced in the Northeast, where “the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves is expected to increase” due to climate change.

By 2050, the Northeast can expect approximately 650 more deaths each year because of extreme heat, the assessment found.

King Tut’s coffin to be restored for the first time since it was discovered

WQAD News -

Tutankhamun is one of the best-known figures of Ancient Egypt, and now his coffin is getting restored for the first time in decades.

The boy king’s gilded coffin has been moved from his tomb in Luxor to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) for restoration work, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced.

This is the first time the coffin has been restored since it was discovered in 1922.

The coffin was moved from Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings Sunday, according to a Facebook post from the ministry. It will be displayed at the museum alongside other treasures from the tomb itself.

“The coffin has suffered a lot of damage, including cracks in the golden layers of plaster and a general weakness in all golden layers,” said Dr. Eissa Zidan, head of the first aid restoration and transportation of antiquities at the museum.

“Before sending the coffin to the GEM, a complete report on the condition of the coffin was written highlighting all the damages.”

The restoration will take around eight months, according to the statement, while journalists will be invited to see the coffin at the museum in two weeks. Work on the coffin follows on from the restoration of the tomb itself.

Countless tourists have visited the tomb since 1922, taking their toll on its historical treasures.

In January 2019 a nine-year conservation project concluded, returning the tomb to its former glory.

And the Grand Egyptian Museum marks another stage in Egypt’s preservation of its ancient treasures.

The 5.2-million-square-foot structure, near the ancient pyramids of Giza, is still under construction.

Costing more than $1 billion, the museum will rehouse and restore some of the country’s most precious relics.

Its expansive, glass-fronted building offers sweeping panoramas of the Giza plateau and Great Pyramids, which stand just two kilometers (1.2 miles) away.

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