The latest local news

Davenport high schoolers get hands-on experience building a home from the foundation up

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Some Davenport high schoolers are getting a hands-on education in the trades, building a new home from the foundation up. Under the guidance of an instructor with years of experience in construction, about a dozen teenagers are getting a feel for a promising career path.

"I love seeing the work we did," said senior Garcia Thomas. "I love coming here and seeing that we put this together," he said.

The high schoolers were seen Friday working out how to get a piece of wood counter top out for the kitchen sink without breaking it or ruining the finish. They were also sanding surfaces to paint and installing the handles on cabinets and drawers.

"This class and all the classes leading up to it really opened my eyes up and gave me a really good opportunity to actually do this for a living," said Jordan Gravert, who is also a senior. He said he was 50-50 about whether he would pursue a career in the trades or go to college after he graduates this year.

At a job site in East Moline, union carpenter Collin Medley said he got his start building houses in high school, too.

"They're actually across the street from each other in Geneseo," he said. "I'll show my kids someday, 'hey I built those houses in high school,'" he said.

Medley became a homeowner himself a few weeks shy of his 23rd birthday. He said it was a fixer-upper -- but his skills as a carpenter would come in handy.

The Davenport high schoolers said they were starting to recognize the potential for a career in the trades, and the satisfaction of a job well done.

"I'll drive past it and wonder who's living in it," said Thomas. "I'll drive past it and have that pride that yeah, I helped build that," he said.





Calling all princesses! Family offering $53K for nanny to dress up as Disney princess

WQAD News -

BROOKMANS PARK, United Kingdom – Have you ever wanted to be a professional Disney princess?  Well, one family may have the perfect job for you.

A couple posted an ad on a U.K childcare website for a part-time nanny to babysit their twin daughters during the week. The stipulation: the nanny must dress up as a different Disney princess every month.

The couple said their five-year-old girls are “obsessed” with Disney and dressing up “would be the best way to communicate some important values.”

“The right person will have a real creative flare as well as a passion for all things Disney and will be able to share that love of those characters with our girls,” the couple wrote in the ad.

The position involves picking the twins up from school four days a week and arranging a variety of Disney-related activities such as arts and crafts, baking and singing.  The nanny would also be responsible for cooking dinner and assisting with their bedtime routine.

Candidates must be looking for a long-term job as the couple wants to keep the nanny in their daughters’ lives “for the foreseeable future.”

The nanny will receive £40,000 a year, which is approximately $53,000 U.S., as well as compensation for the cost of Disney costumes. The nanny will also receive 25 vacation/holiday days.

Candidates must have a clean driving record, valid license, first aid training and a minimum of two years’ babysitting experience.

Click here for more information on the position.

Man faces felony charges for possessing 216 Venus flytraps

WQAD News -

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina man faces felony charges after officers found him with 216 Venus flytraps, WWAY reports.

Archie Lee Williams Jr., 41, of Bolivia, N.C., is looking at 73 counts of felony taking of a Venus flytrap.

The Venus flytrap is listed as a special concern and vulnerable plant on the North Carolina Protected Plant Species list.

North Carolina Wildlife Master Officer John White said tips came in for a month before they were able to catch the suspect, adding that it is difficult to track suspects down when they travel from area to area, WWAY reports.

On Saturday, White learned that Venus flytraps were being poached at the Brunswick County Game Land, near Bolivia, and found Williams getting into his vehicle.

Stock image of Venus flytraps (Getty Images)

Williams is being held at the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $750,000 bond.

Driver leads police on chase from Whiteside County to Lee County and back

WQAD News -

ROCK FALLS, Illinois — A driver led police on a chase through two counties before stop sticks ended the pursuit.

According to a statement from Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker, police tried to pull over a white 2019 Nissan pickup around 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20.  The vehicle had been reported stolen to the Sterling Police Department on March 6.

The pursuit went from Route 78 to Interstate 88, said Sheriff Booker.  The pursuit continued through Rock Falls, Sterling, into Lee County and then back through Sterling and Rock Falls, which is where the chase ended.

Sheriff Booker said Rock Falls police threw down stop sticks, which punctured the pickup’s tires, ultimately ending the chase.

Police said 29-year-old Heather N. Stafford, formerly of Morrison, Illinois, was arrested and taken to the Whiteside County Jail, held on $250,000 bond.  Stafford was charged with aggravated fleeing or eluding, disobeying a traffic control device, disobeying a stop sign, and speeding 35 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Young people on amphetamines for ADHD have twice the psychosis risk compared to other stimulants, study says

WQAD News -

Teens and young adults with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, who receive amphetamines such as Adderall for treatment have a higher risk of developing psychosis, compared to those who receive methyphenidates stimulants, such as Ritalin, according to a large new study.

Using two national insurance claim databases, the authors followed 221,486 teens and young adults ages 13 to 25 with ADHD who were prescribed a stimulant for the first time between the years 2004 and 2015. Half received amphetamines such as Adderall and half received methylphenidates such as Ritalin.

A total of 343 of the teens and young adults who were followed — or one out of every 660 young people — developed an episode of psychosis in the few months after starting on a stimulant. The risk for this rare but serious side effect was twice as high — 0.21% — for those taking amphetamine, compared to 0.1% for those taking methylphenidate, according to the results published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We’ve seen cases of people coming in without much of a psychiatric history who are developing this sort of first episode of psychosis in the setting of stimulant use, most commonly Adderall,” said Dr. Lauren Moran, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, practicing psychiatrist at McLean Hospital, and lead author of the study. Moran said her observations caring for young people experiencing psychosis prompted the research.

ADHD is a developmental disorder, and its symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, and restlessness or impulsivity that is more severe, frequent or debilitating than normal. Stimulants have been shown to be effective in controlling these symptoms. Since 2007 the US Food and Drug Administration has required manufacturers to add a warning to drug labels, stating “stimulants may cause treatment-emergent psychotic or manic symptoms in patients with no prior history.”

Current guidelines recommend either methylphenidate or amphetamine as first line treatment of ADHD when a medication is required. Teens and young adults were four times more likely to receive a prescription for amphetamine such as Adderall in 2015 compared to 2004, and 1.6 times more likely to receive one for methylphenidates such as Ritalin, according to the new research.

“There are subtle differences in the way Adderall and Ritalin affect dopamine systems in the brain,” Moran said. Both stimulants work through dopamine pathways in the brain, but Adderall is more likely to cause a release of dopamine, whereas Ritalin is more likely to block the re-uptake, allowing it to linger. The surge of dopamine during a psychotic episode most closely mimics that seen after stimulant use like Adderall, which may explain some of the findings, Moran added.

Dr. Rebecca Baum, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio who was not involved in the study, says she worries the results may alarm parents and scare them away from effective treatments for their children.

“Any time we use a medication we are certainly thinking about what is the benefit of the medication versus the risk,” said Baum, stressing that ADHD can be a debilitating condition when symptoms aren’t well-controlled, and while psychosis is a real and potentially serious side effect, it is still very rare.

“The vast majority of my patients have ADHD and I have the benefit of being able to treat many patients quite successfully,” said Baum. “Thankfully in my practice it is not a side effect that we see very often,” she added.

Moran also adds that she and her team focused the study on teens and young adults who were taking stimulants for the first time, emphasizing that for those who have been on these medications and have been taking them as prescribed, the risk is likely even lower.

As for parents and young adults weighing whether to start a medication, Moran hopes the research will prompt a conversation about risks, benefits and alternatives such as behavioral therapy and non-stimulants.

Jimmy Carter has just become the oldest living former president ever

WQAD News -

Jimmy Carter was the first US president to be born in a hospital. Today, he marks a new milestone as the oldest living former president ever.

At 94 years and 172 days old, Carter has passed the previous record held by the late President George H.W. Bush.

“He and Mrs. Carter take walks, and they have followed a healthy diet for a lifetime,” Deanna Congileo, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center, told CNN.

“Both President and Mrs. Carter are both determined to use their influence for as long as they can to make the world a better place, and millions of the world’s poorest people are grateful for their resolve and heart,” she added.

The center is not planning a special celebration.

“But we at The Carter Center sure are rooting for him and grateful for his long life of service that has benefited millions of the world’s poorest people,” the center said in a statement.

As the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and three separate Grammys, President Jimmy Carter can now add being the oldest living US president to his long and impressive resume.

Kentucky governor says he exposed his children to chickenpox rather than getting vaccine

WQAD News -

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said he made sure all his nine children were exposed to chickenpox and caught the disease instead of giving them a vaccine.

“They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine,” Bevin said in an interview with WKCT, a Bowling Green radio station.

Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children between the ages of 5 and 16, according to his campaign website.

The governor says he supports parents who choose to get their children vaccinated and also those who decline to do so. But he said the decision shouldn’t be up to the government.

“This is America,” he said. “The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t.”

CNN has reached out to Bevin for comment.

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can spread by touching or breathing in virus particles. It can be especially serious for babies, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Bevin’s remarks come several days after a teen in Kentucky sued his local health department, which had temporarily barred students who aren’t immunized against chickenpox from attending school after an outbreak at a Catholic school.

There have been 32 cases of chickenpox reported.

The teen and his father allege that he’s being discriminated against because of religious beliefs. Some Catholics worry about vaccines derived from cell lines associated with abortion.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department argued the ban “was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness.”

Chickenpox has not gone away since the vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1995, but each year, more than 3.5 million cases are prevented by the chickenpox vaccination, the CDC said.

Initially, only one dose of the vaccine was recommended for children. But when experts realized that a small percentage of children didn’t mount robust immunity after the first dose, the recommendations were changed. Two doses are currently recommended: one at 1 year of age and a second around 4. The two-dose vaccination program has resulted in a smaller number of outbreaks, according to the CDC.

United Township teacher wins prestigious Golden Apple Award

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE, Illinois – A teacher at United Township High School is now the recipient of the highly respected Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

History teacher Heather Monson was surprised with the award when her family, friends and bosses filled her classroom at around 10 a.m. on March 21.

Out of more than 550 unique nominees, Monson is one of 10 recipients who is being awarded by the nonprofit Golden Apple.

Golden Apple is a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to recognizing exemplary educators and developing future educators.

A press release about the award says, “The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching honors outstanding teachers for their roles in having lasting, positive effects on students’ lives and building stronger communities.”

Award recipients are selected by educators who understand and recognize the best teaching practices and who utilize professional standards to evaluate exemplary teachers and school leaders.

This was the first year the award was offered throughout the entire state of Illinois.

“The historic opportunity to bring the recognition of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching to all of the schools and teachers in Illinois is thrilling and we are delighted to honor Heather Monson this year,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple.

Monson’s principal said in a statement, “She is an outstanding teacher who champions the improvement of her students, her colleagues, the school culture and her own professional development.”

Monson, who teaches several history courses at the high school level, is also recognized for her volunteer work in the community, her chaperone work on different school trips and her volunteer and charitable support in opportunities that bring forth scholarships for her students.

It is estimated that Monson helped her students attain an estimated $200,000 in scholarships in the last five years, according to Golden Apple.

As a highly-valued component of this recognition, Northwestern University also provides a Spring Sabbatical to award recipients at no cost.

Each Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient also receives a $5,000 cash award and award recipients become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

For more information about Golden Apple, click here.

Facebook left millions of passwords readable by employees

WQAD News -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook left millions of user passwords readable by its employees for years, the company said Thursday , an acknowledgement it offered after a security researcher posted about the issue online.

“Security rule 101 dictates that under no circumstances passwords should be stored in plain text, and at all times must be encrypted,” said cybersecurity expert Andrei Barysevich of Recorded Future. “There is no valid reason why anyone in an organization, especially the size of Facebook, needs to have access to users’ passwords in plain text.”

Facebook said there is no evidence its employees abused access to this data. But thousands of employees could have searched them. The company said the passwords were stored on internal company servers, where no outsiders could access them. But the incident reveals a huge oversight for the company amid a slew of bruises and stumbles in the last couple of years.

The security blog KrebsOnSecurity said some 600 million Facebook users may have had their passwords stored in plain text. Facebook said in a blog postThursday it will likely notify “hundreds of millions” of Facebook Lite users, millions of Facebook users and tens of thousands of Instagram users that their passwords were stored in plain text. Facebook Lite is designed for users with older phones or low-speed internet connections and is used primarily in developing countries.

Facebook said it discovered the problem in January. But, according to Brian Krebs, the security researcher, in some cases the passwords had been stored in plain text since 2012. Facebook Lite launched in 2015 and Facebook bought Instagram in 2012.

Barysevich said he could not recall any major company caught leaving so many passwords exposed internally. He said he’s seen a number of instances where much smaller organizations made such information readily available not just to programmers but also to customer support teams.


Subscribe to I Connect You aggregator - The latest local news