‘Code word’ helps save girl from would-be kidnapper at Arizona park

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – An Arizona girl’s “code word” helped her avoid a strange man who tried to lure her into his vehicle Wednesday, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

The girl was walking with a friend near a park in San Tan Valley, about 45 miles east of Phoenix, when a man in a white SUV pulled up to them around 3:45 p.m.

He told the girl her brothers had been involved in a serious accident and said she needed to go with him, according to the sheriff’s office.

The quick-thinking girl asked him what the code word was, and when he didn’t know it, he drove off.

KNXV reports that the girl is 10 years old, and the code word was something her mother read about in a story.

“We just came up with that a few months ago,” said the girl’s mother, Brenda James. “This one time, it saved my daughters life.”

Other children have also reported seeing the man circling repeatedly during the day, according to the sheriff’s office. Officials are now trying to warn other families living in the area.

“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation.”

He’s described as being in his 40s with a short beard – but officials say he used his hand to cover much of his face while talking to the girl.

Child battling cancer is granted dying wish – to escort mother down aisle

STOW, Ohio - Weddings are a time of great joy but for one Stow family the celebration was bittersweet.

"He said, 'Well momma I would like to walk you down the aisle before I die,' and then I was like you know what, we're making it happen," said Taylore Woodard.

A rare cancer returned for a fourth time, only this time it spread across her 12-year-old son Keith Burkett's frail body. In home hospice care for weeks, Keith's family leaped at the chance to honor one of his final wishes.

Wednesday, a few days ahead of the scheduled wedding ceremony, Taylore and her husband Adam wed inside their living room with Keith in a wheelchair by their side.

"I would have never thought I would sit and beg God to take my child but I would rather him be with God then suffer the way he is, it's not fair," said Taylore through tears.

While the family knows they don't have much time left together, Taylore says she is praying for peace after so much pain and finds comfort knowing she gave and received a lifetime of love from her son, one of her most precious gifts.


YOUR HEALTH: Putting your body back together to get rid of the pain in your gut

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Darcy Lamond loves a good game of basketball with her kids, but four years ago a sharp pain in her abdomen nearly sidelined her.

"It felt like someone had driven a stake through my center and it was coming out the back."

Each of those episodes would last 12 to 18 hours.

"I wasn't able to go to work. I certainly wasn't driving the kids to school. I wasn't able to take care of the household. I wasn't able to do anything."

Darcy found out her pain was caused by intestinal malrotation, a condition she was born with where her intestines did not form correctly inside her abdomen.

Intestinal malrotation affects one out of every 500 or more babies born in the u-s. it can cause abdominal pain and cramping.

After she was diagnosed at age 26, she went from doctor to doctor for nearly 15 years to get her symptoms under control.

Then she met Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagd at the Cleveland Clinic.

"The solution is to reconstruct the whole gut the way it is supposed to be. Like you are arranging your kitchen and your bathroom," said Dr. Abu-Elmagd, the director of Cleveland Clinic's Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation Center.

Dr. Abu-Elmagd pioneered the new surgery, where he moved the intestines to secure them inside the abdomen after rotating the bowel 180 degrees. after the procedure, Darcy felt immediate relief.

NEW TECHNOLOGY:   Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagdsaid his surgery puts "everything in its anatomical position which is like doing a transplant. It's a combination of how to dissect the organs from the way they are now and then put them back together."

He also has advice for other doctors:

"The take home message is for a physician to listen to the patients.  It's hurting me that the patients know more than a lot of physicians particularly when it comes to innovative procedures."

"The Ladd procedure to me it's obsolete; it does not solve the problem," he said.

"Hopefully the innovative technique we developed will be published and be available to everyone."

It helped Darcy.

"Now I feel like more of a complete person," she said.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.


Three World War II Veterans receive Quilts of Valor

PRINCETON, Illinois -- Three World War II veterans received a surprise honor today during the Annual Veterans Luncheon at Liberty Village of Princeton.

Charles Smith, Bob Levitt, and Frank Dinkleman each received their own "Quilt of Valor" as a thank you for their service.

The quilts were handmade by the Illinois Valley Quilts of Valor. Each quilt has a unique pattern and takes 100 hours to create.

Lynn Olds, Director of Marketing at Liberty Village, and Penny Lusietto, Event Coordinator, said they try to make each year's luncheon different to show their gratitude to the veterans who have served for them.

"It's humbling," Olds said. "Because what we do, is nothing compared to what they've done."

Charles Smith said he was shocked and humbled to receive his quilt.

"I was part of the first 18 year old's drafted," Smith said. "101 of us left Bureau County here in '42, and I'm the only one left."

More than 2,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded across the nation.

Teen forced to change shirt showing Marilyn Monroe’s bare shoulder

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — A Utah mom is frustrated after she said her daughter was forced to change shirts at school for a dress code violation, apparently over the famous person depicted on the shirt.

When the mother asked the school why the sweatshirt violated the code, their explanation left her in disbelief.

Katie Fabert said her daughter loves Marilyn Monroe and owns a couple of sweatshirts with the female American icon on them.

The 13-year old wears the sweatshirts to school at South Ogden Junior High, Fabert explained, including one that features Marilyn Monroe and rapper Tupac Shakur sitting next to each other.

On Wednesday, she said her daughter came home from school saying that a school employee made her change into a South Ogden Junior High shirt.

"She basically just said, 'I got dress coded for this shirt,'" Fabert told KSTU, indicating that "dress coded" means that her daughter got in trouble.

When she asked her daughter why the sweatshirt broke dress code, she said her daughter didn't know. Thursday morning, Fabert went with her daughter to the school to figure out why the sweatshirt was a problem.

"I said, 'Is this not in dress code?' And he said, 'No, it's not,'" Fabert recounted, of her conversation with the vice principal. "And I said, 'Well why isn't it?'"

Fabert explained that the vice principal took issue with the way Marilyn Monroe was dressed. Her shoulder was exposed. Monroe's outfit in the picture violated the dress code, he told her.

"He just said, 'If Marilyn Monroe on the shirt isn't in South [Ogden Junior High's] dress code, then the shirt isn't in South's dress code,'" Fabert said.

She said the situation was confrontational, and the vice principal acted unprofessionally.

"He just got kind of in her face, and I just kind of looked over at her-- and she just looked like she was on the verge of tears," Fabert said, of her daughter. "I was like, 'Alright let's go.'"

She said her daughter took the day off school Thursday. Later in the day, the principal called her to say the sweatshirt wasn't actually violating the dress code, and Fabert said he told her that he would go over dress code policy with the staff.

"Instead of enforcing what is actually dress code... these teachers are coming in and bringing their own opinion," she said.

Fabert said the principal didn't say if her daughter can wear the sweatshirt again.

"This whole thing just got out of hand," Fabert said. "It was a sweater, and they made it something... and she felt bad. I mean, it's something that she really loved."

The Weber School District sent this statement to KSTU on the situation:

"We did have an issue yesterday with a student wearing a shirt that an employee thought was in a violation of the dress code. The student was asked to wear something different. The principal is in the process of reviewing that decision. We will work closely with the student and their family to appropriately resolve the matter."

Hospital fires man who wore T-shirt with noose, Confederate flag to Mississippi poll

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — A Memphis hospital has fired an employee who was recorded in a viral photo wearing a T-shirt with a noose and a Confederate flag to the polls in Mississippi.

Another voter at the polling station in Olive Branch shared a photo of the man, identified by WREG as Clayton Hickey, wearing the shirt, which read, "Mississippi Justice."

On Thursday, Regional One Health in Memphis confirmed the man in the photo was an employee at the hospital and that he had been fired after a thorough investigation.

The hospital released a statement saying:

"As of today, November 8, 2018, we have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question. Regional One Health holds employees to a high standard. We are committed to upholding our mission to provide compassionate care and exceptional services to all. This includes fostering a safe and protected work and care environment for all. Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

They say they're taking the matter seriously and are "committed to a safe, secure and comfortable environment for its patients, guests and employees."

"He's nice as far as I have seen," one of Hickey's neighbor's told WREG. "He came out and helped me do some stuff. I don't think he's wanting to start trouble. He gets caught in a lot of trouble."

The neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, was apparently referring to an incident years ago when Hickey resigned from the Memphis Police Department. He was caught in a car with a 17-year-old girl and alcohol.

"He just gets caught in all the wrong situations," the neighbor said.

When asked if he thought Hickey's shirt was racist or not, the neighbor only replied, "It's hard to say for me."

Many social media users felt it was clearly racist, however, calling it "sickening" and "shameful."

"They try to intimidate you to keep you away from the polls, and I think that's the exact reason we need to go," the voter who took the photo said. "What makes you feel that comfortable? He knew what he was doing."

While some found the shirt deeply offensive, Mississippi election officials said no laws were broken and that the only clothing you can't wear to the polls is clothing that shows a candidate's name or face.

Photographer defends ‘A Christmas Story’-themed picture of ‘Baby Ralphie’ with a toy gun

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – An Indiana photographer is defending a photo based on the popular film “A Christmas Story” after some suggested it was inappropriate.

In the photo, a newborn dressed up as the main character Ralphie is seen holding a replica of the BB gun that plays a pivotal role in the holiday film set in a fictional Hoosier town called Hohman.

Amy Haehl from Shelbyville’s Coffee Creek Studio said she has wanted to create a photo based on the film for years and she was excited to share something positive “in contrast to all of the negativity out there.”

However, Haehl says she knew she was taking the chance that someone would be offended by the photo and she took that into consideration.

“So, of course this photo couldn’t be perfect without representing the Red Ryder BB gun,” wrote Haehl in a statement. “I searched and searched for one that would be small/newborn-sized and obviously not a real gun to avoid controversy.”

But as expected, as the photo gained traction online, some people shared their concerns.

“Will now unfollow you. Who the hell would take a picture of a baby and a gun just for money. Such a waste since you are so talented. Think hard about your lack of principles,” someone commented.

In response to the criticism, Haehl said “this photo is in no way meant to encourage gun violence or offend anyone who has been affected by gun violence.”

While there are some who criticize the photo, a majority of the comments are positive and supporting.

Further into her statement, Haehl said the intention of the photo was to bring a smile to people’s faces and remind them of a time when life was more simple and people were more focused on the important things in life.

“This photo is not about a baby posed with a ‘gun’… it is about love, tradition, family, and happiness,” wrote Haehl. “This movie has encouraged smiles, laughter, and happiness for 35 years.”

Read the photographer’s full statement here.

Father tried to kill family by pouring hot oil on them, setting home on fire: police

NEW YORK — A man is in custody after police say he attempted to kill his entire family by pouring hot oil on them and setting their New York City home on fire Friday morning, according to WPIX.

The FDNY responded to the fast-moving fire at an apartment building near the intersection of East 236 Street and Furman Avenue in the Bronx just after 10:30 a.m.

When they arrived, they found several family members with burns to their bodies, police said.

Police say the 41-year-old man – who officials had not identified as of Friday afternoon – got into an argument with his 19-year-old daughter and poured the hot oil on her. She was holding her 2-month-old son. Both sustained burns.

The man also threw oil on his 18-year-old son, police say, then ran to another part of the fifth-floor apartment and threw hot oil on his mother, who is in her 60s, and his 87-year-old grandmother.

Investigators believe he then set fire to a couch and used it to trap the family inside.

His daughter, son and grandson were able to escape the fire and were rescued by neighbors who described their skin as burning off.

"[The baby] His back is burned from his neck, down," one neighbor said through tears.

The suspect attempted to flee, but was taken down by neighbors and held until police arrive.

The mother and grandmother were rescued from the building and all were transported to the hospital where they are in stable condition.

The man was taken into custody, police said.

The man's son told WPIX that his father was down on his luck and could not find a job.

Quad Cities first ever transgender rights rally

DAVENPORT, Iowa- The Quad City transgender community came together in Davenport Wednesday, November 7, for the first ever Quad Cities rally in support of transgender rights.

QC Pride says they hope to host another rally in support of transgender people in the Quad Cities.

John Deere honors veterans with challenge coins

MILAN, Illinois -- John Deere on Friday honored dozens of its employees who have served the country in uniform.

The company presented the more than 80 veterans working at the North American Parts Distribution Center with military challenge coins.

"They're really cool," said Sam Spitzmiller, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who works as a picker at the Milan facility. "I've never heard of companies doing this."

The coins are a time-honored tradition of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, often given to members in honor of years of service, graduating boot camp and other accomplishments.

"It's something that people can be proud of," said Kim Beardsley, the Vice President of Worldwide Parts Services. "It's about pride in the branch that they served in."

The unique challenge coins presented on Friday are emblazoned with the seals of all five military branches on one side, with the U.S. flag on the other.

"It's going to hold a place in the man cave," said UAW Safety Rep Lonnie Hostens. "Just with the other ones I have from my service in the Marine Corps."

The company said that veterans play a very special role at the distribution center thanks to their unique skill sets and work ethic.

"They come to work," said Spitzmiller. "I didn't even know what calling into work was; I mean it's just not something you could ever do."

Pritzker inherits fiscal mess while groups warn of disaster

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (INN)-The incoming administration inherits a fiscal mess that some experts have said is beyond repair.

“One metaphor that comes to mind is some people have the best seats on the Titanic,” said Bill Bergman, research director at Truth in Accounting.

Bergman said the state is saddled with more than $200 billion of unfunded state employee retirement liabilities and more than $7 billion in backlogged bills.

After a 15-point victory over incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that he wants “responsible budgets.”

Bergman said that could be code for tax increases. Pritzker said during the campaign that he wanted to lower taxes for the middle class, but repeatedly refused to say who would have to pay more to straighten out the state’s financial problems and fund his plans for new spending.

“One of the challenges facing any – quote – responsible budget – unquote – looking ahead is the possibility that raising taxes and raising tax rates is like squeezing blood from a stone if people are leaving because they’re concerned about future tax increases,” Bergman said.

Bergman said Illinois has led the nation in outbound migration because “taxpayers aren’t stupid.”

Illinois had a temporary tax increase that kicked in in 2011. It scaled back in 2015, the year Rauner took office. Lawmakers then passed a budget that was billions in the red, which Rauner vetoed. That began a historic two-and-a-half year budget impasse. Only after lawmakers gathered enough votes to override Rauner’s budget veto and pass a permanent tax increase in 2017 did the impasse end. Rauner then enacted a budget in 2018 that used all of the revenue from the $5 billion income tax increase he had vetoed. That budget still was unbalanced, despite the additional revenue.

On the campaign trail, Pritzker blamed Rauner for the budget impasse, even though Democrats were responsible for holding things up for part of that time.

Pritzker also campaigned on ushering in a progressive income tax, also known as a graduated income tax, where the rates differ on how much the taxpayer makes a year. Pritzker called it a fair tax, saying it should increase taxes on the wealthy and cut taxes for the middle class. He refused to provide details about what the rate structure would look like despite repeated questions.

The state is constitutionally required to tax income at a flat tax rate, right now 4.95 percent, that is set by the legislature. To make the rates tiered, 60 percent of voters would need to approve a constitutional amendment.

Financial analysis website Wirepoints crunched numbers on Pritzker’s proposed initiatives and estimated the extra cost to the state would be $10.7 billion annually, on top of the backlogged bills and pension debt. To pay for that with a tiered income tax rate structure, Wirepoints estimated that only increasing taxes on income over $1 million would require a rate of 24.3 percent. Even when including higher taxes for those making $150,000 or more a year, Wirepoints found the rate would need to be 13.6 percent, higher than the tax rate in California for income over $1 million.

Wirepoints Founder Mark Glennon said the outcome of Illinois’ election – which also gave Democrats, who have mostly backed the idea of a progressive income tax, strong one-party control over the legislature – likely means the issues of the state’s horrible finances won’t be addressed.

“It will be a question of how much further do we need to get to look like Detroit or Puerto Rico before people start demanding real reforms,” Glennon said.

Bergman said there is one silver lining in having one-party rule: Accountability.

“As opposed to blaming gridlock and the lack of a budget, now we have accountability more clearly identified and that may be a positive,” Bergman said.

Bergman said tax increases could repel residents to other states.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can’t afford an apartment in DC before job in Congress starts

NEW YORK — Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, can’t afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. before she's sworn in come January.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to her supporters during her election night party in Queens (Getty Images)

Before her election, she worked as a bartender at a New York restaurant. She spent some of that time "squirreling away" money for rent.

"I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real," she told the New York Times. “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.”

After the article was published, Ocasio-Cortez noted on Twitter that "our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead." She said not to worry, she's already working it out.

There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead.

This is one of them (don’t worry btw - we’re working it out!)

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 8, 2018

"Last year I was bartending, and I bought my first couch two weeks ago - shortly after I got health insurance," she tweeted. "So don’t worry, growth doesn’t happen in a straight line! We’re all closer than we believe."

Whats closing for Veterans Day in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa- The City of Davenport will observe Veterans Day as a holiday on Monday, November 12th, 2018.

Several Offices and City locations will be closed for the holiday.

Here are the closures:

  • All City of Davenport offices & the Public Works Center will be closed.
  • Police Department front desk and records office will be closed.
  • Library Main, Fairmount and Eastern branches will be closed.
  • Parks and Recreation administrative offices will be closed.
  • Rivers Edge will be open with normal business hours.
  • Vander Veer Conservatory will be closed.
  • Compost Facility will be closed.
  • No changes to solid waste collection. Pickup will occur on regularly scheduled days.

The city says CitiBus service will run as usual.

“In appreciation of their service, active military and veterans may ride Davenport CitiBus for free from Sunday, November 11th through Saturday, November 17th. A military card must be presented to ride for free.”

Broadway ditches age-old processes to run shows with ipads

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(CNN) — From Elsa’s magic in Frozen — and those gigantic ice shards that rise from the stage — to social media taking on a nearly principle role in Dear Evan Hansen, the Great White Way produces some of Broadway’s most elaborate and technical stage spectacles two times a day.

But behind the stage, it’s a different scene: Directors and stage managers are still lugging around 10-pound production books filled with paper that’s often swapped out for script and choreography changes, especially during pre-production and previews. And when understudies and new ensemble members are added hours before the curtain raises — some of whom have never seen that scene before — there’s a steep learning curve to teach it fast.

Now, backstage is catching up to the innovation we see in the seats.

Several shows, including Kinky Boots and Pretty Woman: The Musical, are shifting to a paperless system that packs the script, lyrics, videos, and costume and prop notes, into one spot for the director, crew and cast members.

The productions are leaning on an app from startup ProductionPro, which is already used at companies such as Walt Disney Studios to help produce film and TV shows.

During a recent rehearsal of Pretty Woman: The Musical attended by a handful of reporters, production stage manager Thomas Recktenwald ran lines with three cast members subbing in for an evening performance. Swiping through the ProductionPro app on an iPad Pro, Recktenwald showed off recent changes made to the script. It had notes scribbled into the margins via an Apple Pencil, and he tapped his way through videos that highlight blocking, broken down scene by scene.

On the choreography side, the dance captain might show the newer actors or understudies how a scene may look when a palm tree crosses from side of the stage to another, and where they’ll need to stand nearby.

For last minute changes, productions like Pretty Woman are not only saving time but cutting down a significant amount of paper waste. Production associates typically sprint to copy machines to give the cast and crew a look at what’s new. (On average, the show changed about 30 pages a day during its 12-week pre-production period — and about 50 people received those copies daily). But Recktenwald or director Jerry Mitchell now pushes the update to anyone who’s been given a ProductionPro log-in.

“We’ve gone through pages and pages of paper that have been printed, distributed multiple times a day and then recycled or discarded in the same day — and even in the same hour — to improve the show to what we see on stage today,” he said.

ProductionPro founder Alex Libby, who started as a Broadway stage manager, came up with the concept to simplify the process five years ago when he was a producer alongside director Stephen Daldry, known for his work on The Crown and Billy Elliot on Broadway.

“We were working on a brand new show at his kitchen table in the Meatpacking District,” Libby told reporters. “There was paper everywhere — costume designs, set designs and script pages constantly changing. He looked up from this mess and was like, ‘I need a way to see this almost like a musical score; where I can see the entire opus in one place. I need a window into the world that we’re creating.'”

Libby transitioned from the musical world to launch his own software company, which now has 10 employees working out of its Brooklyn, New York, office. While ProductionPro is focused on rolling out the technology to even more shows on Broadway, it’s also currently being used by 400 US high schools working on theatrical productions.

David McQueen, research director at tech advisory firm ABI Research, says the move to streamline large-scale productions to tablets makes sense.

“Tablets are gaining traction in many industries and businesses, from education and healthcare to lawyers and restaurants, so it is of no surprise that Broadway is also turning to them for ease of access to vast amounts of scripts and videos,” he told CNN Business.

He emphasized how tablets enable real-time long-distance sharing in a relatively easy-to-use form factor has broad appeal.

“And of course, there are also the immediate benefits of reducing paper waste and literal storage space,” he said. “Bye-bye, filing cabinets.”

Or in Broadway’s case, farewell 10-pound production books.

Prairie Farms shells out $100K for pollution violations

DES MOINES, Iowa- The Iowa dairy farm Prairie Farms has paid a steep fine after “violating air quality limits for 12 years.”.

According to the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, The Iowa cheesemaker has paid a $100,000 penalty and agreed to install $1.4 million in pollution-control measures.

According to the release, Prairie Farms uses a whey dryer in the production of Swiss cheese that emits whey particles to the outside air.

The state says in 2014  the dairy removed a baghouse, which is an air pollution control device to remove particulate matter. The DNR later discovered in 2013 that the dairy had removed the baghouse without seeking a construction permit, putting them in violation.

In 2016, the dairy installed equipment that reduced emissions, and it has remained in compliance with applicable emission limits since then.

As part of a deal, Prairie Farms agreed to install equipment costing $1.4 million to reduce emissions below permitted limits.

The plant formally operated under the name Swiss Valley Farms. Prairie Farms and Swiss Valley merged in April 2017.

Rock Island Justice Center expansion readies for December opening


The $28-million Justice Center annex is on track to open for business on December 10 in Rock Island.

As workers continue with finishing touches, the project already looks like a secure step into the future. It’s coming a long way from the health and safety issues at the nearby 1896-era courthouse.

“It’s going to be a safe facility for everybody to be in,” said Capt. Darren Hart, Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department.

Safety that starts at the new main entrance.

“There will be an X-ray machine and a magnetometer that people will walk through,” he continued.

The first floor also features the Circuit Clerk’s office, where everything is designed for customer service and safety.

After observing the project from start to finish, Capt. Hart is ready.

“It seemed like it was going to go so long as a project of this magnitude,” he said.  “It’s great to be able to see it come to fruition so quickly.”

On the second floor, there’s a brand new family courtroom.  Since the buildings are connected, prisoners will be walked from the jail down a secure, separate passageway. The State’s Attorney’s offices are also on this floor.

The third floor will be a busy place.  Traffic court will take place in one of the larger courtrooms.  From the windows, you can see secure parking at ground level.

“I think the flow within the building will be quite inviting for individuals that do need to come here using the courthouse,” he said.

While legal issues are at least temporarily slowing plans to demolish the century-old courthouse next door, it won’t affect plans to open the new expansion.  They expect to start moving on December 7.

“The money that was used for the facility – we put a lot of effort into making sure the money was worthwhile,” he concluded.


Moline appoints interim police chief

MOLINE, Illinois- With a permanent appointment still several months out, Moline has announced the interim police chief that will serve in the meantime.

Moline City Administrator Douglas K. Maxeiner says Lieutenant Dave Gass has been serving as the acting Chief for the Moline Police
Department since September 8.

However, he says that due to being short-staffed they need Lt. Gass to return to his regular assignment in the Services Division.

I appreciate Lt. Gass’s willingness to accept the added responsibility of the Acting Chief role during the last several weeks and want to commend him on what he has been able to accomplish during this time period.-Administrator Maxeiner

The city expects the search for a permanent replacement to last well into February 2019. In the meantime, they are appointing Robert T. Finney of Champaign, Illinois as the interim Chief of Police for Moline which will be effective November 19, 2018.

“Mr. Finney has over 30 years of law enforcement service including Chief of Police for Carbondale for approximately four years (1999-03) and Champaign where he retired after serving as Chief from 2003-12. Finney has a Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University”

The city says Finney will live in Moline during this appointment and be paid around $2,600 a week.

Quad Cities musician back from European tour with EP, ‘Lungs’

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- Local musician Matt Van is back from touring Europe with his new EP, "Lungs."

Van recently spent five weeks touring in Europe, according to his Instagram account. He returned to the Quad Cities in late October and promptly set up a show at the same place he released "Lungs" just two months prior.

Van is a musician, songwriter and music producer from the Quad Cities. He first started as a pharmacist. However, his music started becoming popular online, and he left his job to pursue music full-time.

"Lungs" features a more subdued tone, contrasting several of his upbeat songs in his album, "Please, Respond," with a melancholy series that maintains his signature electro-accoustic mix.

Check out his music, here.

See more Studio 8 stories about local music.

Join the Facebook group, QC Music News - Studio 8.

$1M Mega Millions winner claims prize in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Illinois man has claimed the $1 million prize he won the same day someone else won $1.54 billion in the Mega Millions lottery game.

Iowa Lottery officials say 73-year-old Bob Hollenback, of Milan, Illinois, bought the ticket at a Hy-Vee gas station in Davenport. He said Thursday he already had a ticket for the Oct. 23 drawing, but something told him to go ahead and buy another.

It matched the first five numbers drawn but missed on the Mega Ball number. Another ticket bought in South Carolina matched all the numbers for the jackpot.

He and his wife, Jeanne, say they plan to share the winnings with family, take a trip and buy some land.