The latest local news

Stay Alert! Tracking the potential for strong thunderstorms tonight for parts of the area

WQAD News -

Not only are we building some sunshine across most of our afternoon skies but increasing the warmth and humidity as well.  These ingredients have been enough to set off a few isolated showers and storms just south of the Quad Cities.

These same skies will become quite active this evening and overnight as a boundary sitting right across the area will be the focal point for more scattered showers and thunderstorm development.  Given the amount of moisture and instability available a couple of these storms could be strong with a heavy downburst of rain and wind, possibly some hail too.

This boundary will continue to linger around the area for the next couple of days allowing for at least an isolated coverage of showers and thunderstorms. Depending on where this boundary positions itself will determine how warm or cool our temperatures will be.  Farther north of the Quad Cities , highs will only be in the 50s and 60s.  Farther south, temperatures will peak around the 80 degree mark.  Around the immediate Quad Cities, 70s will be common.

By Saturday night into Sunday, area of low pressure associated with this boundary will drift across the area.  Not only will this increase the shower and thunderstorm coverage but the possibility of severe weather as well.  We’ll be tracking this in the days ahead.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Crash closes I-80 westbound near West Branch

WQAD News -

WEST BRANCH, Iowa — A crash on Interstate 80 has prompted the westbound lanes to be closed over about a 10-mile span.

The crash happened between Exit 259 and Exit 249, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.  That area spans between West Branch and Iowa City.

A detour was set to move traffic around the area.

Eastbound traffic was moving smoothly.

Mick Jagger’s dancing video after his heart surgery sends fans into a frenzy

WQAD News -

Maroon 5 sings about “Moves Like Jagger” in their hit single by the same name. They may need a sequel called “Moves Like Jagger … After Heart Surgery.”

Just weeks after undergoing a procedure to replace his heart valve, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger posted a video of himself practicing some very energetic dance moves Wednesday in an empty studio.

In the 22-second video, the 75-year-old dances to The Wombats’ song “Techno Fan,” sending excited fans into a frenzy.

“Go Dadda!” his daughter, Georgia May Jagger, posted under the video.

“Bravo, the king is back,” veteran music executive Tommy Mottola added.

Jagger underwent a heart procedure to replace a valve last month, prompting the Rolling Stones to postpone their North American tour set to kick off April 20 in Miami Gardens, Florida. At the time, the band said doctors advised Jagger that he needed medical treatment.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this causes those who have tickets to shows but wish to reassure fans to hold onto these existing tickets, as they will be valid for the rescheduled dates,” the band said.

Jagger also apologized to his fans last month, and said he was devastated about postponing the tour.

“I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can,” he said.

By the looks of the video, he sure is.

Dad whose wife died giving birth says ‘living miracle’ baby will be taken off life support

WQAD News -

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A newborn baby who was called a ‘living miracle’ after his mother died during childbirth will be taken off life support after several complications.

People reports that Matthew Jr. was born April 29 to Lauren Accurso and her husband, Dr. Matthew Accurso. A Facebook post shared by the family’s pastor said the baby suffered significant brain injury due to a prolonged period without oxygen during his birth.

People reports his mom died while giving birth. She was 37 and had three other children with her husband.

A GoFundMe page for the family said Matthew Jr. had been making progress. But that changed this week. His father said his family would take the baby off life support.

Matthew Sr. in the post that his son has several serious complications related to cognitive function and development. Doctors attempted to wean him off life support machines, but the results were not positive.

He continued:

“TODAY, I was faced with something no father should ever have to face. The decision to place Matthew on endless life supporting contraptions and medications or allow God to carry him where He will. So many thoughts have run through my head. “What more can I give Lord, you have my soul mate and now my son? That is all I can bear. Please shower your mercy over me. This weight is too great!”

Despite the outcome, his father said Matthew Jr. is a “living miracle.”

“Without an ounce of oxygen he made it in an ambulance, to an emergency room, through an emergency c-section and into a NICU. Matthew then defied all odds and opened his eyes, breathed on his own, pumped blood through his strong heart, moved his limbs without rigidity and even made coo noises. His body slowly began to function, and he even gripped my finger when from what we were told, that should have been impossible.

Often times we consider things miracles when the miracle looks how we want it to look. What I’ve learned is that miracles are miracles whether we choose to see them or not. My miracle was having my soul mate by my side for almost 20 years and then being so blessed to give her 4 gorgeous babies.”

People reports Matthew Sr. and Lauren were high school sweethearts who got married in 2004. They have three daughters, ages 2, 5 and 8.

Missing Chicago woman found dead weeks after she went to meet someone to pick up baby items

WQAD News -

(CNN) — A 19-year-old pregnant woman who vanished last month was found dead in a Chicago home, authorities said. Police said they believe she was killed and her unborn baby was forcibly removed.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was nine-months pregnant when she disappeared on April 23. Her body was found this week, and the cause of death was homicide by strangulation, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.

The day she was reported missing, a call for help for a baby came from the same address where Ocha-Lopez’s body was later found.

“We believe that she was murdered, and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.

Detectives have detained four people for questioning, he said. Authorities declined to confirm any other details, citing an open investigation.

Call about a newborn in distress

The day Ochoa-Lopez disappeared, the Chicago Fire Department got a call about a newborn in distress at the same address where her body was later found.

The baby was taken to the hospital along with a woman who claimed to be the mother, said CFD spokesman Larry Langford.

“It’s to my knowledge that she is not the mother and that’s all I have for you,” he said.

Local media have reported that the baby is Ochoa-Lopez’s. Her family has received confirmation that the newborn is her baby, said Jacobita Cortes, a pastor at Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church in Chicago, where the family sought help.

Ochoa-Lopez vanished last month after she went to get baby items from a woman she met on a Facebook group, Cecelia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the victim’s family, told CNN affiliate WGN.

Authorities asked for Ochoa-Lopez’s dental records from her family to identify her body, and also matched the baby’s DNA to that of the father, the pastor said.

Family mourns and prays

Ochoa-Lopez was last seen on April 23 after leaving Latino Youth High School. She was supposed to pick up her 3-year-old from day care that evening, but she never showed up, authorities said.

As family members mourn the teen, they are praying for a miracle that the baby survives, the family’s spokeswoman said.

“It just seems surreal. You see this stuff on the movies. You never get to know someone, people actually are this evil,” Garcia told CNN affiliate WLS.

Gas line break in Bettendorf closes portion of Devils Glen Road

WQAD News -

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Nearly a mile of Devils Glen Road in Bettendorf has been shut down.

The road is shut down between the 1000 and 2000 blocks.  A gas line in the area broke around noon Thursday, May 16, according to a statement from the City of Bettendorf.

The road was expected to remain closed for several hours.

Click here too see traffic information, anytime. 

 

Young Blues fan battling rare disease gets surprised with game tickets

WQAD News -

ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- A young St. Louis Blues fan battling a rare disease was brought to tears when she found out she was going to see the team play in person.

Laila Anderson's mom surprised her with tickets to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, according to a report by KSDK. The reaction from this well-deserving child was, well, priceless.

According to KSDK, Anderson has a disease called HLH, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

The disease typically occurs in infants and young kids, according to John Hopkins Medicine.  It's where your immune system does not work as it should; certain white blood cells attack others, collect in the patient's spleen and liver and cause the organs to enlarge.

For four months Anderson was only able to go from her home to the hospital and back, so being able to actually be at the game was clearly a dream come true, according to her reaction.

It’s been one year since the shooting at Dixon High School

WQAD News -

DIXON, Illinois -- Seniors at Dixon High School were getting ready for graduation practice when they heard gunshots.

A student recalled one hero of the day was first-year gym teacher Andrew McKay.

Officer Mark Dallas

"Coach McKay was the one that turned the corner and got shot at, instead of him coming into the gym and shooting at us," said graduating senior Alan Hopp in a previous conversation with News 8. 

As gunshots rung out, School Resource Officer Mark Dallas confronted 19-year-old student Matthew Milby, who police say exchanged gunfire with the officer.  Milby was hit in the shoulder and later arrested.  That officer was also hailed a hero.

That was May 16, 2018.

One year later, the school has thousands of dollars in security upgrades and a rule has been enacted to lock the outside doors as soon as classes start each day.

As for Officer Dallas, he's been honored on numerous occasions, even by former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.   Officer Dallas was given the Medal of Valor for his bravery that day.

Matthew Milby

Related: Community thanks “hero” Officer Dallas who shot HS shooter, then took him into custody

Read More: Matthew Milby found unfit for trial in Dixon school shooting case

Bill in Iowa would limit power of attorney general to take part in lawsuits against presidential administration

WQAD News -

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Current and former attorneys general from both major parties and several states are imploring Iowa’s Republican governor to veto a measure meant to prevent the state’s attorney general, currently a Democrat, from being able to file or join lawsuits challenging Trump administration policies.

Iowa would be the only state with such limits on the power of an independently elected attorney general if Gov. Kim Reynolds signs off on the bill, which would require the attorney general to get the permission of the governor, Legislature or state executive council, which includes the governor and other statewide elected officials, to file any out-of-state court action.

“There is no question that Iowa would be the only state that has done this to itself, and that the only losers are the people of Iowa,” said Jim Tierney, a Harvard Law School lecturer who served as Maine attorney general from 1980 to 1990.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has done his best to argue on his own behalf and persuade Reynolds to veto the language inserted by a GOP lawmaker into a justice system budget bill in the last days of the legislative session.

Miller met last week with Reynolds to discuss the measure, which is aimed at stopping him from filing or joining lawsuits challenging Trump administration policies. His spokesman, Lynn Hicks, said Miller “thought the meeting went well and he explained the reasons we think this legislation is a bad idea for the state and Iowans.”

Reynolds said recently that she would examine the bill’s language and determine what the Legislature’s motivation was for including it. She has until May 27th to act on remaining bills that the Legislature sent to her before adjourning.

State attorneys general often join multi-state lawsuits to recoup monetary losses or to stop companies from engaging in consumer fraud, deceptive practices or other misconduct. They also join in lawsuits against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of policies when the attorney general believes they harm citizens or infringe on their rights. It’s common for a group of Democratic attorneys general to sue Republican administrations and vice versa.

State Rep. Gary Worthan, a Republican, defended the language he added to the bill, saying the Republican-run Legislature and governor set the agenda for the state and the attorney general’s actions have conflicted with those priorities with his challenges to Trump.

The GOP has tried unsuccessfully to unseat Miller, who was first elected in 1978, is serving his 10th four-year term and is the longest serving attorney general in the country.

Miller has said he joins out-of-state cases only when the law and the interest of Iowans indicate that he should. Cases he joined against the Trump administration involved internet access, immigration policies including the separation of children from their parents, and safeguarding the federal health care law’s guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Miller also said Iowans overwhelmingly re-elected him in 2018 after he took on some Trump administration policies during the president’s first two years.

He asked fellow attorneys general to write to Reynolds and explain why the limitations are a bad idea.

“As a nation of checks and balances, it is essential that we retain as many of our inherent checks and balances as possible to ensure the our offices function as that envisioned by our states’ founding fathers, instead of according to political cycles,” wrote Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who is a Republican.

In another letter to Reynolds, a group of former Democratic and Republican attorneys general asked her to veto the measure.

“Our office holders should cultivate — not impede — elected officials’ ability to work together and independently for the good of us all,” they wrote. The signers included Republican Jon Bruning of Nebraska, Betty Montgomery of Ohio and Democrats Dustin McDaniel of Arkansas, and Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island.

In December, then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who is a Republican, vetoed a bill that the GOP-controlled Legislature passed during a lame duck session that would have granted lawmakers the power to intercede in any court cases challenging the constitutionality of their laws. It was aimed at undermining the power of the incoming Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel.

Iowa soccer player overcomes deafness, plans to play in college

WQAD News -

NORWALK, Iowa -- For all the noise there is in soccer, Ethan Froehlich experiences a silent sport.

“The only limitation I have is the fact that I don’t hear,” Ethan said.

Ethan has Goldenhar Syndrome, a rare congenital condition in which parts of the face don’t develop properly or at all.

Each case is different, and Ethan had additional problems beyond the developmental.

“A heart murmur,” Ethan’s mother, Traci, said. “He has scoliosis of the spine, he has a little hemivertebrae. His esophagus wasn’t connected to his stomach, so he wasn’t able to eat after he was born. All these things that are in addition to the facial abnormalities.”

The most noticeable: Ethan’s ears never developed, leaving him deaf.

“We could correct a lot of those other things, and the deafness just became the forefront, because that’s the one thing that probably has to be dealt with on a daily basis,” Traci said.

Ethan communicates with his hands, but lets his feet do the talking on the field.

“I started playing soccer by watching my brother. I was much younger,” Ethan said. “He noticed I liked to touch the ball, play with the ball, kick the ball, and from there I just kind of fell in love with soccer.”

And that passion has only grown. Now a senior for Norwalk, Ethan is happy to play for both the varsity and junior varsity squads because he really loves soccer.

“It helps me focus. It helps me relax. It helps me forget about other situations in life,” Ethan said. “It makes me think of nothing else but the game.”

To play that game, Ethan gets help from a different kind of teammate; an interpreter provides a line of communication that coaches and players can only begin to understand.

“To us, it feels like a struggle, trying to communicate, and we can’t even imagine the struggle that he’s going through trying to communicate with us, and take in what we’re saying back to him,” Norwalk head coach Dustin Kralik said.

“You can say it was a challenge, but it isn’t a challenge, because this is a learning experience that they can use later in life,” Ethan said. “It isn’t just about communicating with a deaf student in high school. This is something they can use throughout life.”

“He’s not afraid to fail,” Ethan’s father, Dave, said. “He’s more afraid not to try. Whether you’re deaf, or regular normal hearing, that’s a special characteristic for a young person to have.”

Ethan’s been involved with the USA Deaf Soccer and has signed on to play college soccer at Galludet, a private university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

But his impact won’t be measured by goals, assists or wins.

“It’s humbling sometimes to see how many lives a person like that can touch,” Traci said. “We’ve had family members whose careers have changed, friends, just because of meeting him.”

“I was born deaf, and I’ve never seen myself as limited in any way,” Ethan said.

For Ethan, Norwalk is noiseless. And that’s fine by him.

“I love playing soccer, and will play soccer no matter where I am,” Ethan said. “I just love soccer.”

Pay It Forward recognizes woman who fills her week with charity

WQAD News -

STERLING, Illinois--Dozens of plastic bags, filled with oatmeal, crackers, and anything else a child could need. Everything inside the Wesley UMC in Sterling filled and bagged thanks to Mary Jo Edge.

Mary Jo is packing up lunches for elementary kids to take home with them on the weekend. The program is called Buddy Bags, which Mary Jo now runs once a week on top of helping out with the free breakfast program, Loaves and Fishes.

“She does so much she is such an inspiration she does so much I call her mom and she don't get recognition for anything that she do and I thought it's time someone says thank you to her,” said Josephine Smith.

So Josephine nominated Mary Jo for the Pay it Forward contest, sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union.

“Josephine, thank you for nominating Mary Jo for Pay it Forward. At Ascentra Credit Union we believe in listening, caring and doing what's right," said Travis Kershaw, an employee at Ascentra Credit Union, "and her work in the community really exemplifies those principles, so that's why we are excited to give you $300 so that you can Pay It Forward to Mary Jo, congratulations."

A few feet away, Mary Jo and the other volunteers are hard at work, not knowing who is walking through the doors.

“On behalf of WQAD and Ascentra Credit Union we would like to present you with $300 for the Pay It Forward award for all the work that you do Mom, thank you,” said Smith.

As grateful as she is, none of this would have been possible without Mary Jo's husband, who passed away eight years ago.

“I've always worked I've worked in nursing homes I worked for home health care I've done this kind of work since I was 18 years old. Taking care of people is just a natural part of my life and when I lost my husband to cancer it was like I needed something else help fill that gap of not having him around anymore," said Mary Jo.

Mary Jo's loss was the town of Sterling's gain, getting her giving heart day in and day out.

If you know of someone doing good things in your community, someone who shows the core values of Ascentra Credit Union, which are Listening, Caring and Doing What's Right, nominate them for the Pay it Forward Contest here.

Take a Stroll, Celebrate Heart Health, and Save Lives This Saturday

WQAD News -

You can do all three of those things – and more – at the same time in one place.

The 2019 Quad Cities Heart Walk is on Saturday, May 18th at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island. This is the 25th anniversary of the event, which is organized by the Iowa Chapter and Illinois Chapter of the American Heart Association.

Heart Walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes to improve their heart health and encourages others to take those first steps. The event also raises the funding needed for lifesaving research and education.

The walk itself is a 1-mile or 3.5-mile route that begins at 9:30am. It’s non-competitive and pets are welcome! Festivities begin beforehand at 8am with the Opening Ceremony at 9am.

For more information about the Quad Cities Heart Walk, click here.

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