WQAD News

No injuries after disturbance in Silvis

SILVIS, Illinois-- Police say no one was injured during a disturbance in Silvis.

There was a heavy police presence at an apartment complex on 16th Street in Silvis at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, January 17. At least seven squad cars were on the scene.

Police were going in and out of several apartment buildings and talking with people standing on the sidewalk.

Silvis Police, Hampton-Rapids City Police and Rock Island County Sheriff all responded. Police say the incident was isolated and there's no immediate danger to the public.

Clinton’s new officer already making a difference for city’s animals

CLINTON, Iowa-- After several high-profile cases of animal abuse, the Clinton Police Department has hired a new officer dedicated to protecting the city's dogs and cats.

Animal Protection Officer Jayci Mulholland has all the same authority as any other officer, but she's the first one to respond to reports of animal abuse or neglect.

"I've always wanted to be in law enforcement and the aspect of the animal control intrigued me," she says.

Mulholland says she hasn't had any major cases of animal abuse.

"So far it's been pretty good," she says. "I haven't had anything drastic."

What she has had a lot of are stray dogs and cats. She estimates she's brought more than 20 into the Clinton Humane Society since she started in September.

"There's been a few of them," she says. "I get attached but I also love seeing them go home because they're great dogs and they shouldn't be here. They should be in a family and be loved."

The Clinton Humane Society says having an animal protection officer has lightened their load. People can now call police if they suspect an animal is being mistreated, freeing up staff at the shelter to take care of their animals and find them homes.

Operations Manager Jennifer Gerdes says there's only so much her staff can do to remove animals from abusive or neglectful situations. They can't go onto people's properties or seize animals. But Mulholland can. She can also write-up search warrants and conduct investigations.

"I think she's getting to the problems before they become huge problems..." Captain Joe Raaymakers says.

Call the Clinton Police's non-emergency line at 563-243-1458. The Clinton Humane Society has dozens of cats and half a dozen dogs up for adoption.

SUV vs semi crash sends one to the hospital with “life threatening injuries”

GLENVIEW, Illinois- A woman was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after she rear-ended a parked semi.

Police say January 17, around 2:58 p.m. a 30-year-old Orland Park woman crashed her gray Toyota SUV into the rear of a semi that had pulled to the side of the road on Interstate 294 SB Willow Road near Glenview, Illinois.

According to police, the semi was parked in the striped gore area and had emergency hazard lights activated at the time.

The woman was life-flighted by helicopter to Lutheran General Hospital.

The driver of the semi was not injured in the crash.

Galesburg PD needs your help finding this “endangered” man

GALESBURG, Illinois- In a post on Facebook, Galesburg Police Department is putting out a call for help. They need assistance finding a man they describe as endangered and mentally disabled.

Joseph V Harper, 22,  was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, blue shoes, and a red and white winter jacket.

Joseph was last seen around 6 a.m. on wednesday, January 16. He was at his home in the 800 block of E North Street in Galesburg.

“Joseph travels by foot and does not he a vehicle or a bicycle. He does sometimes take the city bus. Joseph frequents both Family Videos in town. He does not have a cell phone.”

According to police Joseph’s parents have reported him missing, but at this time they don’t suspect foul play.

If anyone sees Joseph Harper, or has any information about his whereabouts they are asked to please call 911 or (309) 343-9151 to get him back to his family safely.

Maquoketa chapter reflects record participation in the Iowa FFA Association

MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Student participation in the Iowa FFA Association is at an all time high and Maquoketa High School reflects that with membership more than tripling in the last year.

"With world population projections of over $9 billion by 2050, demand for food, fiber, and energy will continue to grow and thus, so will opportunities in agriculture. There is high demand for students to enter the work force that have a combination of technical knowledge learned through STEM-based Ag Education and leadership development learned through FFA involvement," said Scott Johnson, Executive Director of the Iowa FFA Association.

For the 2017-2018 school year the Iowa FFA Association reported record membership: 15,749 students. As of December 27, 2018 there were 14,452 members.

"It is common to add 1,200 - 1,500 members during the spring semester. Thus we are on pace to tie or surpass last year's record membership," said Johnson.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Maquoketa High School had 60 students in FFA. Currently, there are 203 students in FFA, according to data from the Iowa FFA Association.

Maquoketa High School is the oldest active FFA chapter in Iowa, chartered in 1928.  Agriculture Education teacher, Matt Lansing says there are two main reasons for the increase in membership.

"We went affiliation dues, which covers everyone," said Lansing, who is in his 2nd year at Maquoketa High School.

Lansing says the number one thing he heard last year was that students could not afford the $25 membership fee. Now the FFA Chapter covers a lump sum, $3,000 affiliation due.

"That’s one. Number two. We also have kind of encompassed Industrial Tech because it’s so hard to find industrial tech teachers," said Lansing.

Lansing says Maquoketa High School was calling for the position since October, 2017. In May, 2018 the call switched to a second Agriculture Education teacher to fill the teaching job that still allowed students hands on learning opportunities.

After no more than five minutes of students taking their seats in his classroom, Lansing ensures all his students have safety glasses and instructs them to head to the shop, where his 'small engines' agriculture class will work for the remainder of the period.

In the shop, students grab their tools and crank away on engines comparable to the size you might see on a push lawn-mower. Not necessarily what one might picture when they think of an agriculture class.

"Very much so I would disagree a little bit," said Lansing, "If I'm on the farm or an ag industry, like if I work at the local co-op, I have to be able to use my hands and be mechanically inclined to repair things," said Lansing.

He says the class teaches students confidence and problem solving. Students might not be able to mess up on an engine at home, but in Lansing's 'small engine' class, it's all part of the learning process.

"It's more interactive, hands-on learning and a lot less paperwork," said Brendon Koch, a junior who says he has always taken Ag classes throughout high school and plans to go into diesel mechanics when he graduates.

"Northeast Iowa Community College is where I want to go - they have a really good John Deere program," said Koch.

Even with 203 students in FFA, Lansing says he wants to see more students join the program. His goal is to have half the school involved.

"When I grew up they said run away from agriculture, go do anything else. Now it’s completely the opposite. Get involved in it. There are great paying jobs there are great opportunities there are great career paths. So that’s where my passion comes from I guess," said Lansing.

His classroom is a renovated bus barn. The shop where the students work is the old welding shop.

With the addition of a second Ag teacher, and plans to expand the courses offered within the Ag department, the Maquoketa FFA Chapter wants to raise money to build a brand new Ag learning center.

The Maquoketa FFA chapter is working to raise money for a new Ag building adjacent to Maquoketa High School. Its alumni chapter president says 75% of funding is complete. Construction will not start until the project is fully funded.

Its alumni chapter is working to raise money for the new building.

"There’s a lot of people in the community, not just parents that see the benefit to the Ag education program and want to help these kids succeed," said Skott Gent, President of the Maquoketa FFA Alumni Chapter.

He says he expects the new building to cost roughly $1 million - $1.2 million. Of that about $750,000 has been committed by the school and community donors. Construction will not start until the project is fully funded.

"We know that a lot of these kids aren’t destined for a 4-year college career and so if we can have them career ready coming out of high school it’s just going to make them all the more successful," said Gent. "We very much appreciate the community’s support in this project, the school is doing everything they can to support it financially."

Mother charged after video shows toddler tumbling from moving car

MANKATO, Minn. – A Minnesota woman has been charged with child endangerment after her 2-year-old, who was in a car seat, fell out of her moving vehicle earlier this week.

KMSP reports that Maimuna Kunow Hassan faces up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine for the gross misdemeanor. She has also been charged with improperly restraining her child in the car seat and violating her driver’s permit because there was not another licensed driver in the vehicle.

Disturbing dash cam video captured the moment the toddler in the car seat fell out of the rear driver’s side door of the vehicle on Monday morning. The video shows Hassan continuing to drive away.

According to KMSP, Hassan told police that the door opened while she was driving and the child fell out. She said she parked her car a few blocks down and walked back to get the child.

She claimed that the child was properly secured and “must’ve unlocked the door.”

KMSP reports that officers inspected the vehicle, a 2004 Honda Civic, and found that chest straps weren’t latched.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 14.

Mother-son pair charged after missing Iowa teen found in Ohio

PARMA, Ohio– A man and his mother are behind bars after a missing 16-year-old Iowa girl was found in Ohio.

The teen was last seen on Jan. 4 in Colesburg, Iowa. Her grandparents found a handwritten note saying she was moving to California.

Investigators tracked her to Parma, where she was located on Wednesday.

Steven Davis, 21, and Laurie Metot, 49, were charged with interference with custody. They are being held at the Cuyahoga County Jail on $50,000 bond.

“Thanks to the hard work of the ICAC Task Force, United States Secret Service Cleveland Field Office, and Parma Police Department – the girl was safely returned to her family,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley in a news release.

The news release did not explain the connection between the alleged victim and the two suspects, now how the teenager ended up in Ohio.

Fortnite security flaw exposed 80 million accounts

CARY, N.C. – A major security flaw in a popular video game exposed millions of players to hacking risks, according to Forbes.

More than 80 million players around the world are obsessed with Fortnite, a multiplayer game of survival that allows players to use real money to buy video game currency.

Last fall, a security flaw allowed hackers to log into accounts without a password, according to information security group Check Point Research. The group published this video explaining their findings on the smash hit by Epic Games:

Check Point Research said hackers could then make in-game purchases, record in-game conversations and eavesdrop on conversations in the players’ in home.

In a statement to the Washington Post Wednesday, Epic spokesman Nick Chester said hackers “were never able to eavesdrop on conversations.”

Researchers discovered the problem in November. Epic Games says the security flaw has been fixed and urges users to update their accounts with strong passwords.

On Jan. 9, the Better Business Bureau announced that they had assigned parent company Epic Games an “F” rating “due to unanswered customer complaints.”

The North Carolina game maker has 279 complaints on file with the BBB over the last three years, with 271 in the last year. Only 32 have been answered, according to the BBB.

“Epic Games failed to protect customer security, resulting in several unsanctioned charges over mine and my partner’s account,” wrote one person. Another added that, “There is no phone number or proper email response time to return my unauthorized charge of $160. Nobody will answer, and I feel cheated.”

Some Fortnite forums have pages of complaints about Epic Games from players who say they have been hacked multiple times.

Fans of #Fortnite be careful, the company behind the game, Epic Games, was just given a "F" rating for failing to respond to over 250 complaints in the last year alone: https://t.co/bZbQ6cBckI pic.twitter.com/a3d3A2kL8P

— Wisconsin BBB (@WisconsinBBB) January 10, 2019

Health clinic serves those at risk of HIV

MOLINE, Illinois — The Project of the Quad Cities has expanded its HIV services and now includes a PrEP an PEP clinic at its new location in Moline.

PrEP and PEP refer to HIV medications to prevent the transmission of HIV or reduce the chances of transmission after exposure.

“If people are taking PrEP that means we can end HIV easier,” The Project’s Executive Director Andrea Meirick says.

The Project’s new space in the Caxton Building on 1701 River Drive features colorful walls and exposed brick walls.  Meirick says the clinic’s new design came about through client and patient focus groups.

“I was able to get multiple funders to work together, to make the infrastructure improve, to create the for people to want to be tested, to want to receive treatment, and to want to stay in care.”

The non-profit also houses an STD clinic with testing and treatment, counseling and other supportive services to vulnerable communities.

A Schnucks pharmacy is slated to open on-site in the next couple of weeks.

Dixon man arrested after Washington Elementary “soft” lockdown

DIXON, Illinois- After a police chase forced a soft lockdown of Washington Elementary School, a Dixon man faces several felony charges.

January 17, Dixon Police responded to a disturbance call at the 800 block of East Graham Street. They found the car involved in the disturbance leaving the area.

Officers say they attempted to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle sped off.

While in the 500 block of North Jefferson Avenue, the male passenger of the vehicle bailed out while the car was still moving.

The man ran westbound between East Morgan Street and East Chamberlin Street.

During the course of their investigation, officers learned the was Arius Jafar Malone-Ball, 20.

Officers confirmed that Ball had two valid arrest warrants, one out of Whiteside County and the second out of Lee County.

Due to the chase being near Washington Elementary School, 703 East Morgan Street, the school was placed on “Soft Lockdown,” but police say there was no risk to the safety of the staff and students.

A “Soft Lockdown” allows staff and students to move within the interior of the school, but not the exterior. This “Soft Lockdown” was just precautionary.

Arius Jafar Malone-Ball faces the following charges:

  1. Unlawful possession with intent to deliver of a controlled substance within 500 feet of a school, (class x felony)
  2. Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, (class 4 felony)
  3. Resisting or obstructing a peace officer, (class 4 felony)
  4. Criminal trespass to real property, (class a misdemeanor)

People parked on Davenport snow route during emergency say “there were no blue flashing lights”

DAVENPORT, Iowa – As another round of snow heads our way, cities are prepared to issue a snow emergency.  And those parked on a snow route will be towed.

It comes after earlier this week when more than 70 cars were towed from parking on a snow route in Davenport and now they are paying the consequences.

It’s a situation you never want to be in.

“How am I going to get my kid to school? How am I going to get myself to work?” questions Jennifer Garrett, a downtown Davenport resident.

Now, Garrett is driving her daughter’s car after hers was towed during the snow emergency declared Monday night.

“Tuesday morning, we woke up, the streets were empty, and all our cars were towed,” Garrett says.

Garrett has lived at Mississippi Lofts for two months now, and she claims she was never told about the snow emergency in downtown Davenport Monday night.

“Our apartment manager didn’t know, there were no signs outside, there were no blue flashing lights,” comments Garrett.

In a snow emergency, blue lights are supposed to flash traffic lights and warn drivers to park anywhere but the city streets.  But, the city argues the lights were working.

“Honestly, about 20% of those cars that we tow during a snow emergency are people who have been towed before, or have received a snow emergency ticket before,” reports Nicole Gleason, City of Davenport Public Works Director.

Three days after the snow emergency, Garrett’s car is still sitting at Fred’s Towing Service.

“The lady at Fred’s said that even though it wasn’t a snow emergency they decided to tow the cars because they expected the snow on Friday and so they wanted to clear the streets, so they towed everybody’s car,” Garrett says.

Now, Garrett along with close to 80 others must pay a $230 bill plus a daily fee each day after to get their car.

“The residents downtown need to realize that if they want us to come and get that snow out of there we cannot have cars in the way because the cars will either get damaged or they’ll impede us from physically being able to pick up the snow,” says Gleason.

Garrett doesn’t argue that, but she says downtown residents need a better way to know what to do.

“They have parking garages that we would have gladly parked in had we known that we are going to be towed,” Garrett comments.

To be notified of a snow emergency people can sign up for text, phone, or email alerts.

Public works is anticipating another snow emergency possibly starting at 6PM Friday night.

Dog finds home after 525 days in shelter: ‘She has patiently waited’

DAYTON, Ohio – A dog named Cassie has been adopted after nearly a year and a half in an Ohio shelter.

“Every day for 525 days she has patiently waited for that perfect person to walk through the doors and pick her and today was her day!” the Humane Society of Greater Dayton wrote on Facebook. Cassie was the shelter’s longest resident before her adoption.

The nearly 5-year-old black and tan hound-shepherd mix came to the Dayton shelter from another facility in Kentucky, according to the Humane Society’s website.

“She has been adopted from time to time and then returned and with each return, we learned more about her and her personality,” the shelter wrote. Cassie went through training programs and eventually became a therapy dog for visits to nursing homes and elementary schools.

Officials said there may have been “a few tears” and “a few squeals of excitement” after news spread that Cassie was going home.

“She is an extremely sweet and loving girl and has been a rockstar,” the shelter wrote on Facebook.

 

Crash occurs at Avenue of the Cities and Kennedy Drive in East Moline

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — A crash occurred in the intersection of Kennedy Drive and Avenue of the Cities Thursday afternoon, January 17.

According to East Moline Police,  four cars were in an accident with two people sent to the hospital. Police don’t yet know the extent of the injuries.

Eastbound traffic is being diverted onto Kennedy Drive for the time being but should be normal soon. Check back often.

There were at least two vehicles involved, which crews were towing away around 4:45 p.m.

Multiple ambulances responded to the crash.

WQAD News 8 has a crew on scene. Check back for updates.

Boys & Girls Club celebrates 25 years in the QC

BETTENDORF, Iowa — The Boys and Girls Club is celebrating a quarter-century of “building great futures” in the Quad Cities.

Their annual Gala was scheduled for Saturday, January 26 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the QC Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf.

The event is put on every year to benefit the organization.

At the event, leaders planned to lay out their plan to ensure the success of youth in the Quad Cities community.

“We keep hearing that there’s nothing for teens to do, and that’s just not true,” said Elizabeth Zimmer Waldman, Director of Impact and Marketing. “Our programs provide almost everything that youth need – not just education, life skills and career development, but a safe place to go, meals and positive adult mentors.”

She also added that they planned to work with the Davenport mayor’s office to be involved with fighting juvenile crime rates.

Honeywell announces Galena plant closure, city feels “blindsided”

GALENA, Illinois -- Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate company, has suddenly decided to close its manufacturing plant in Galena.

Galena may be known as a popular tourist town, but since 1984 more than 100 local employees have called the Galena Honeywell plant home. However, last week Honeywell decided to close its Galena location by the end of 2019 -- leaving its now 50 employees with the option to relocate to a more competitive market... or lose a job.

Mayor Terry Renner said he heard about the company’s plans to close through a former employee.

“Sometimes you can tell when things are going to happen, before they happen, this - I was totally blindsided," Mayor Renner said. "The city was totally blindsided, the employees were blindsided. That's 50 people without income, that's families without income."

A whole community and its people who never saw it coming - even the Mayor.

"Am I frustrated? You bet I am," Mayor Renner said. "Is it such a benefit to a have a big corporation come into town? Cause as soon as the economy goes south, what do they do? Close up and go south."

Honeywell's Public Relations Manager, Eric Krantz, emailed News 8 a statement regarding the closure:

"Honeywell continually evaluates its operations to drive efficiencies for customers and has decided to consolidate work from our Galena facility to other Honeywell sites later this year," Krantz wrote. "This is part of a streamlining effort that will end up adding about 125 new jobs to our existing Freeport, Illinois, facility. Eligible affected employees can apply for other open positions in Honeywell or will be offered severance."

"We’re hurting up in this part of the state, we don’t have a lot of industries," Mayor Renner said. "You may have some over in Dubuque you have to travel out of state, you may have some in Freeport but you have the long drive on a two-lane road."

A two-way street he says was lacking in communication between the company and the city.

"We’re a small town," Mayor Renner said. "We’re here to help. We get things done by togetherness. We get together, we work things out, we get things done."

Have New Year’s resolutions? Why doing these 3 things can make them stick

NEW YORK – As you rang in the New Year, you probably made some resolutions, such as dieting, or exercising, or saving more money. But, chances are by now you may have fallen off the resolution bandwagon.

Jan. 17 is unofficially considered "Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day." To help you stay motivated, WPIX asked Dr. Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, to share some of his tips to keep your goals throughout 2019.

To set yourself up for success, he says your resolutions should be a positive commitment or change, not a negative one.

"It should start with, 'I want to be better in some way than I am, different in some way than I am now that I think will be good for me and good for the world,'" Muskin said.

Once you change your attitude, he says people should do these three things to make your resolutions stick:

Have realistic resolutions

"Look at [your resolution] before you commit to it," Muskin says. "[Ask yourself], 'is this something I can do?' And think about it and maybe reshape it, so that you go from a wonderful resolution to a real one."

Have a plan

Plotting and writing out how are you going to achieve your goals helps you reach them. For example, if going to the gym more is one of your resolutions, decide what time of day you will go and commit to making it a routine.

Have interim goals

Muskin advises that people make short-term targets to help them stay motivated throughout the year: "Good planning is having markers for yourself that you're on the right track...It has to be concretized [and] it can't be vague, so you know you got to that goal. Why? [Because] that's rewarding."

How to avoid resolution burnout

If you find your resolutions are not sustainable, Muskin says it’s okay to reevaluate what’s important to you. Forgive yourself, and make a different plan to actually achieve your objectives.

And finally, remember that you have the power to make life changes whenever you want to. You don’t need a new year to have a fresh start.

"A resolution can be at your birthday, at an anniversary, at a holiday," Muskin says. "It doesn't have to be a New Year's resolution. Those are not more powerful or more meaningful. A resolution is powerful and meaningful when you make it powerful and meaningful.”

North Scott Jr. High student accused of pointing loaded gun at teacher pleads not guilty

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The student accused of trying to shoot a teacher at North Scott Junior High School has pleaded not guilty.

The 12-year-old entered a written plea of not guilty on Wednesday, January 16.  Police said the student was disarmed by a teacher after bringing a loaded .22 caliber handgun to school on Friday, August 31, 2018.  He was accused of pointing the gun at a teacher and pulling the trigger.

Police said the student forgot to take the safety off and the gun did not fire.

The student was charged with attempted murder, carrying weapons on school grounds and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.  He was scheduled to be in court in March.

K-9 named after fallen deputy nets six arrests in a week

TACOMA, Wash. – Six arrests in one week is good for any K-9. But this Washington state police dog's achievement is extra special.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department officials say a K-9 officer named Dan is named after Sheriff's Deputy Daniel McCartney, who was killed in the line of duty.

K-9 Dan's arrests began on Jan. 7 – one year to the day after deputy McCartney was killed. The help ranged from chasing burglary suspects to sniffing out a stabbing suspect hiding in a house.

"The one-year anniversary that Dan was killed, K-9 Dan was able to get a capture," said Deputy Luke Baker of the K-9 unit. "It was somewhat of a tearjerker for all the deputies on scene. It was really meaningful to us."

"Maybe he had a little extra inspiration from above," a Pierce County Sheriff's Department Facebook post read.

Baker said K-9 Dan's enthusiasm and commitment is almost reminiscent of deputy McCartney.

"He's really strong, he's really fast and he likes to catch bad guys," Baker said. "So we're reminded of Dan McCartney through K-9 Dan every day."

K-9 Dan was actually late for his interview with KCPQ. Why?

He was out helping arrest another bad guy.

The LA teachers’ strike has cost $69m. Now both sides are negotiating again

(CNN) — After three days of an apparent game of “chicken,” the Los Angeles teachers union and the school district are back at the negotiating table.

Talks resumed Thursday for the first time since more than 30,000 educators walked off the job this week to demand smaller class sizes, more school staffing and higher teacher salaries.

“We are having an impact,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union. “That impact is being felt across the city. And we’ve just got to keep it up.”

But while teachers demand millions more dollars in school funding, their school district has lost $69 million — and counting — during the strike. That’s because the state funds schools based on daily attendance, and many students are absent during the strike this week.

Parent Karen Goldman is well aware of the money lost by lower attendance. That’s one reason she’s keeping her fifth-grade son out of school.

“I feel like the message I am sending by not sending him and creating a budget loss is better than if I send him, because that will hopefully bring the strike to a conclusion faster,” she said.

But don’t expect teachers to end their strike anytime soon, the union president said Thursday.

“After 21 months of negotiations, I think it’s an unrealistic expectation to say that this is going to be over after today,” Caputo-Pearl said.

The teachers on strike are not getting paid. But the union leader said it’s critical for them to outlast Superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker who doesn’t have a background in teaching.

“If it goes into next week … we have to last one day longer than Austin Beutner,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We have to last one day longer than somebody who’s never taught in a classroom.”

The school district says kids are still learning

Even though students are supposed to go to school during the strike, many parents have pulled their kids out due to the enormous shortage of teachers.

Some students who did go to school reported playing board games or watching movies all day.

But the LAUSD said students are learning — though sometimes in auditoriums rather than classrooms. At Adams Middle School, an assistant principal filled in and gave a history lecture on Thursday.

Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District said 2,000 reassigned administrators and about 400 substitute teachers would help fill in for the educators on strike. On Wednesday, the school district updated the number of substitutes to 1,400.

That’s for a school district with 600,000 students.

LAUSD has not responded to CNN’s questions about how many teachers are not on strike and are still in classrooms.

Beutner has defended the decision to keep schools running — especially for lower-income families, who can’t afford child care and don’t have a safe place for their children to go.

“While education in classrooms is not the same without teachers, we have a responsibility to keep schools open and provide students with a safe space, shelter from the rain, meals and modified instruction,” he said.

The big fight over money — and one big agreement

This standoff comes down to two issues: how much money to spend on more school staffing and teachers’ raises, and whether the school district actually has that kind of money.

Beutner said there’s no way the district can afford right now to give the union everything it wants. He noted an independent fact-finder agreed that it doesn’t have the money to cover the union’s demands.

The district did offer $130 million toward what the union wants, but UTLA rejected that proposal.

The teachers union said the school district should tap into $1.8 billion in reserves to fund more staff members and increase teachers’ pay.

The superintendent said the $1.8 billion is already earmarked for education spending during this three-year budget cycle. At this rate, the district said, it might not even have enough money to meet a required 1% reserveby the 2021-2022 school year.

But the union president said the school district has “always been wrong in their projections, so we just don’t believe those numbers.”

“Three years ago, they predicted a $105 million reserve; they ended with a $1.86 billion reserve. They were off by $1.7 billion, Caputo-Pearl said.

If there’s one financial matter both sides agree on, it’s that they need more help from the state. About 90% of the district’s funding comes from Sacramento, Beutner said.

Newly elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed an increase to public school funding and wants the stalemate in Los Angeles to end soon.

“This impasse is disrupting the lives of too many kids and their families,” Newsom said in a statement Monday.

“Last week, I submitted a budget to the Legislature that would make the largest ever investment in K through 12 education, help pay down billions in school district pension debt and provide substantial new funding for special education and early education.”

But it’s not clear exactly how much additional money Los Angeles schools might get, or when.

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard apologizes to LGBTQ community for earlier views

(CNN) — Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued a video apology to the LGBTQ community on Thursday, after a CNN report revealing that in the early 2000s she had touted working for her father’s anti-gay organization.

“In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones,” said Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat.

She continued, “Many years ago, I apologized for my words and more importantly for the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today. I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then.”

CNN’s KFile reported earlier this week that Gabbard had told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2002, “Working with my father, Mike Gabbard, and others to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, I learned that real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good. I will bring that attitude of public service to the Legislature.”

Gabbard’s father ran The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, a political action committee aimed at opposing pro-gay lawmakers and legislation that organized and spent more than $100,000 to pass an amendment in 1998 that gave the Hawaii state Legislature the power to “reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” The amendment to the state’s constitution passed.

Following the report, Gabbard issued a statement to CNN saying, “First, let me say I regret the positions I took in the past, and the things I said. I’m grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey.”

She added, “Over the past six years in Congress, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBTQ+ issues, such as the Equality Act, the repeal of DOMA, Restore Honor to Service Members Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Equality for All Resolution. Much work remains to ensure equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and if elected President, I will continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

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