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The 7-year-old health care law has been in Republican crosshairs since its birth. But now that the GOP has actually taken power, the consequences of the Affordable Care Act's demise no longer are mere political campaign promises but a near-term reality that will play out in the lives of millions of Americans.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["medicare","iowa","health insurance marketplace","patient protection and affordable care act","health","medicaid","congress","urban institute","cheri bustos","united states senate","joni ernst","obama administration","chc","senate","doug cropper","aviva aron-dine","nick gerhart","iowa insurance division","medica","america's health","sylvia mathews burwell","genesis","theresa felger","kellie sharp","coventry","unitypoint health","kim reynolds","lt. gov.","health care law","republican party","tom bowman","marylin tavenner","illinois","sabra rosener","davenport","hillary clinton","chuck grassley","connie mangler","unitedhealthcare","politics","insurance","economics","parliament","public and administrative law","institutes","democrats","obamacare","premium","cost","subsidy","republicans"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"59f2cc48-e866-5454-aa6c-b2f49fd190ee","description":"Nurse Practitioner Sarah Jauron, right, talks with Yolanda Ashley of Davenport at the Community Health Care Clinic.","byline":"Kevin E. 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If there was anything certain coming out of Election Day it was this: Obamacare was doomed.

The 7-year-old health care law has been in Republican crosshairs since its birth. But now that the GOP has actually taken power, the consequences of the Affordable Care Act's demise no longer are mere political campaign promises but a near-term reality that will play out in the lives of millions of Americans.

In the Quad-Cities, thousands of people gained coverage because of the law. Nationwide, the figure is 20 million.

They\u2019re either on expanded Medicaid programs, or they have used government subsidies to buy private insurance plans. Others, who had insurance, have been forced to buy greater levels of coverage. And for those not fortunate enough to qualify for subsidies, they\u2019ve shouldered big premium increases, particularly this year.

Hospitals have seen a boost in patient numbers and revenues, and the amount of unpaid-for care they have been forced to provide has dramatically declined.

Offsetting some of the charity-care savings are reduced federal reimbursements in other areas, such as Medicare.

Community health care centers have seen an expansion in the number of patients, as their lower-income clientele has eagerly sought to get family members to the doctor.

But now that the time for repeal is at hand \u2014 and with little clarity on when the Republicans may produce the replacement they have promised \u2014 there is a mountain of uncertainty over what\u2019s to come.

What follows is a peek into the different corners of the Affordable Care Act\u2019s impact in the Quad-Cities and worries \u2014 as well as hopes \u2014 for what could be on the horizon.

Premiums going up

Connie Mangler was shocked.

Last month, she got a letter from an insurance company that said she was being enrolled in an insurance plan that carries a premium of $1,735 per month.

Mangler's previous insurer, UnitedHealthcare, decided to exit the ACA marketplace in Iowa. And, Mangler said, the letter offered a plan that was similar to one she had previously.

\"I thought, 'You've got to be kidding,'\" Mangler said.

Mangler posted a copy of the insurance letter to her Facebook page and got a torrent of response from others who also saw sharply higher premium costs.

\"Something's got to be put in place better than what's being done,\" she said.

Mangler qualifies for tax credits, so she and her agent went shopping. After weeks of research, they came up with a plan that they estimate will cost her $648 per month, almost $90 higher than what she paid last year. However, the deductibles that went with the plan are more than with her previous coverage.

On average, premiums for mid-range Affordable Care Act plans jumped 25 percent this year. In Iowa, the rise was less stark. But premiums for plans sold on the marketplace still jumped on average 12 percent, according to data from the Iowa Insurance Division.

The tax credits, which rise with premiums, can offset some of the additional cost. But the Obama administration estimates that of the 18 million people in the individual (non-employer) insurance market, 7 million buy coverage off the exchange. There, premium costs for individual policies in Iowa rose even more.

Theresa Felger, an insurance agent who works on both sides of the river, said, \"I've had several people tell me, 'I'm just going to take the penalty.' And I had one kid tell me, 'You can't get blood out of a turnip.'\"

Obamacare critics have lambasted the premium increases, and even Democrats said something needed to be done. Hillary Clinton proposed expanding the availability of a \"public option,\" or government-administered insurance plan, that would compete with private plans.

Republicans have not offered an alternative yet, but Iowa GOP lawmakers say they hear constant complaints about affordability.

\"Throughout my 99-county tour across Iowa, I hear countless stories from Iowans facing premium increases, as well as skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and co-pays that they simply cannot afford,\" Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said recently.

On a conference call earlier this month, Obama administration officials say despite the premium increases \u2014 which they predict will moderate next year \u2014 marketplace enrollment still is higher than it was the year before, adding that claims the marketplace is in a death spiral are false.

\"These data show that this market is not just stable, it's currently on track for growth,\" said Aviva Aron-Dine, an economist and senior counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

In the Quad-Cities, 5,770 people had signed up for or renewed their marketplace plans through Dec. 24. That's slightly higher than the 5,753 who had done so through the first nine days of January 2016.

Fearing coverage loss

It didn't take long for Republicans to begin acting to repeal Obamacare. Nine days after going into session, the U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution that puts repeal into motion. The House passed its own resolution a day later.

As is often the case in Washington, however, it's more complicated than that.

Republicans are promising swift action to repeal and say it won\u2019t lead to widespread calamity. They say they will come up with a replacement plan. At the same time, Democrats are warning that repeal, without a clear plan for replacement, is a recipe for disaster.

For most, the technicalities of repeal \u2014 along with the politics \u2014 are less important than the implications. Kellie Sharp, a para-educator in the Davenport school system, is worried the Medicaid coverage she now qualifies for will be lost if the law is repealed.

Twenty-eight years old, Sharp said she was born with a condition called hydrocephalus, an accumulation of fluid on the brain. Sharp said she had a device put in to relieve the pressure, called a shunt. However, it requires monitoring.

\"If I lost that insurance, I wouldn't be able to be monitored,\" she said. She added she also has expensive medications to treat the migraines that result from her condition.

Critics of the repeal effort say what's at stake is the health of millions of Americans who will lose coverage.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., argued on the House floor this month, \"Again and again, we've heard that repealing Obamacare will make America great again. Well, I say it will make America sick again.\"

The Urban Institute estimated that, in 2019, 230,000 Iowans would lose coverage under repeal. In Illinois, it's 1.1 million people.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said on a conference call about a week ago that, regardless of how quickly a replacement plan is approved, people won't be abandoned.

\"Either way, I think the idea is to make sure that people on the exchange now continue on the exchange through the transition period,\" he said.

Republicans have indicated that elimination of the subsidies that lower the cost of care would not happen immediately.

Critics of the repeal effort, however, fear that insurers concerned about the unpredictability of the situation will simply bail out of the marketplaces. Already, companies have left the exchanges because of big losses. Last year, UnitedHealthcare announced it would reduce its Obamacare offerings, including in Iowa.

Currently, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Coventry and Medica sell policies on the marketplace statewide.

Insurers are scheduled to submit rates to state regulators this spring. And although companies have not yet given an indication what they will do, Marylin Tavenner, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade association, wrote in an opinion piece last month that subsidies for consumers, as well as help for insurers that enroll \"high cost individuals,\u201d should continue through Jan. 1, 2019.

Putting in place clear \"rules of the road\u201d will be important to insurance executives who are, by nature, risk averse, said Nick Gerhart, the former insurance commissioner in Iowa.

\"That\u2019s the key: Sending a message of predictability to the industry,\" he said.

Gerhart has said Congress should keep a reinsurance program in place, which would assist insurers with high-cost claims.

Grassley said there is sentiment in the Senate toward providing some help for insurers to keep them in the marketplaces. He didn't say definitively whether he would support it but added, \"I see a problem that's got to be dealt with.\u201d

Hospitals wait for change

With 20 million new people gaining insurance coverage nationwide, it would follow that more people are getting care.

And for health care providers, such as hospitals and health clinics, it has meant more patients who can pay.

Both Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Trinity saw significant drops in the charity care they provided.

At Genesis, for example, that number shrunk from $17.8 million the year before the Affordable Care Act took full effect to $8.8 million last year.

Some of that was offset by lower federal funding in other areas, such as Medicare. But the decreases, hospital officials say, have allowed them to put more money into programs that seek to educate people about how to better manage their health.

That\u2019s meant hiring people to help patients navigate their way through the health system and coach them on their care. The money that was freed up by lower charity care is only part of the funding that goes into the programs, but it has helped, officials say.

At Community Health Care, the share of its patients without coverage dropped to 10 percent. Tom Bowman, chief executive at CHC, said that when he started, in 2007, that figure was about 35 percent. Most of that decline was driven by the ACA, he said.

\u201cThat\u2019s had a big impact for us,\u201d he said.

The moves toward repeal now have hospital and CHC officials wondering what will happen with people who gained coverage, especially through an expanded Medicaid program.

Hospital officials say they\u2019re fairly confident those people won\u2019t simply be dropped.

Congress is moving swiftly to pass legislation repealing the ACA, but Republicans have said they expect revocation of the funding, such as what pays for the expanded Medicaid program, will be delayed while a replacement is put together. They also have tried to assure people they won\u2019t just yank away their coverage, although Democrats have warned it\u2019s a promise they might not be able to keep.

\u201cI certainly hope, and I don\u2019t believe, the government is going to turn its back and go in a different direction,\u201d said Doug Cropper, Genesis\u2019 chief executive officer.

Cropper and a representative for UnityPoint Health said repeal and replace may mean Medicaid patients paying more for their coverage. But \u201cI\u2019m optimistic that in Iowa, that they\u2019re not going to drop people off of coverage,\u201d said Sabra Rosener, vice president for governmental and executive affairs at UnityPoint.

When she was in the Quad-Cities last week, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state\u2019s intent is to make sure that people on Iowa\u2019s expanded Medicaid program will maintain coverage.

Still, that doesn\u2019t mean the current uncertainty isn\u2019t disconcerting for hospitals and other providers.

\"The biggest problem for us right now is uncertainty,\u201d Rosener said. \"The uncertainty that is caused by not knowing what your reimbursement structure is going to be in six months is a big problem.\u201d

At CHC, Bowman said the organization is putting money into reserves that it otherwise would have used to hire people or expand.

\u201cIt makes us very uneasy about expanding the services we currently provide,\u201d he said.

The Affordable Care Act, in addition to trying to increase coverage, also took some modest steps aimed at changing the way care is delivered and paid for. And the move toward repeal has created questions about just how much of the law\u2019s provisions will be thrown overboard.

UnityPoint is part of what is called Next Generation ACO, a program that seeks to test whether strong financial incentives, coupled with better patient engagement and care management, results in better health outcomes and lower costs.

About 75,000 Medicare patients at UnityPoint, including in the Quad-Cities, are part of the model, whose management falls under a federal agency created by the ACA.

Killing the effort and moving back toward a fee-for-service method would be a step backward, Rosener said.

\u201cIt\u2019s a pretty big deal to our health system,\u201d she said.

What\u2019s next

This is expected to be an important week in the health care debate. The resolutions that were passed in the Senate and House on Jan. 12 and 13 instructed committees in both bodies to come up with a repeal bill by Jan. 27, which is Friday.

This process, called \u201creconciliation,\u201d prevents Senate Democrats from using a filibuster to stop the repeal. That means a simple majority vote, not 60 votes, are needed to kill the law.

The key question is what will happen next and how fast. The \u201creconciliation\u201d process can revoke only the parts of the law dealing with spending and taxes. So, killing other parts of the law \u2014 such as the requirement that individuals buy insurance and coming up with a replacement \u2014 will not be as easy.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, not long after being sworn in on Friday, signed an executive order giving federal agencies the power to make changes, to the extent that they're permitted by law.

The potential impact of the one-page order is still being sorted out.

"}, {"id":"5fb68057-2349-5224-a2b1-47bf70a834d5","type":"article","starttime":"1484969280","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-20T21:28:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484974228","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Two escape car that falls through Mississippi River ice","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_5fb68057-2349-5224-a2b1-47bf70a834d5.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/two-escape-car-that-falls-through-mississippi-river-ice/article_5fb68057-2349-5224-a2b1-47bf70a834d5.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/two-escape-car-that-falls-through-mississippi-river-ice/article_5fb68057-2349-5224-a2b1-47bf70a834d5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Thomas Geyer\ntgeyer@qctimes.com","prologue":"Two people were able to safely escape the vehicle they were riding in\u00a0Friday\u00a0 after it fell through the ice on the Mississippi River, Davenport police said. Police and firefighters were called to the area of South Concord Street and Miller Avenue at 6:34 p.m. on a report of a car in the river. Authorities arrived on scene to find a Ford Focus had gone through the ice and was stuck in the river.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["car","motor vehicle","transports","police","ford focus","tow truck","vehicle","ice","driver"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c","description":"Davenport firefighters Scott Ossowski, left, and Brian Wood attach a cable to a Ford Focus in an attempt to pull the car from the Mississippi River after it fell through the ice Friday night.\u00a0","byline":"Thomas Geyer, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1850,"hiresheight":1120,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/68/1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c/5882d94356621.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1850","height":"1120","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/68/1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c/5882d94355afb.image.jpg?resize=1850%2C1120"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"61","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/68/1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c/5882d94355afb.image.jpg?resize=100%2C61"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"182","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/68/1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c/5882d94355afb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C182"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/68/1688f374-9bf2-59cf-b417-54f4588f927c/5882d94355afb.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C620"}}},{"id":"7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2","description":"Davenport firefighters Brian Wood, left, and Scott Ossowski inspect\u00a0a Ford Focus after it fell through the ice on the Mississippi River on Friday in the area of South Concord Street and Miller Avenue.\u00a0","byline":"Thomas Geyer, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1757,"hiresheight":1179,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/bc/7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2/5882d9429f1b0.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1757","height":"1179","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/bc/7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2/5882d9429e48a.image.jpg?resize=1757%2C1179"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/bc/7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2/5882d9429e48a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/bc/7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2/5882d9429e48a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C201"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"687","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/bc/7bcc4368-8184-5e5a-a501-83b8d6a380b2/5882d9429e48a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C687"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"5fb68057-2349-5224-a2b1-47bf70a834d5","body":"

Two people were able to safely escape the vehicle they were riding in\u00a0Friday\u00a0 after it fell through the ice on the Mississippi River, Davenport police said.

Police and firefighters were called to the area of South Concord Street and Miller Avenue at 6:34 p.m. on a report of a car in the river.

Authorities arrived on scene to find a Ford Focus had gone through the ice and was stuck in the river.

Police said the\u00a0driver was showing his wife the river and did not know he had driven onto the ice when it caved in.

Fortunately the car was not far from the bank and was in an area where the two could make it to safety.

However, it took a tow truck with a boom to lift the car out of the river\u00a0because the vehicle\u2019s wheels became stuck under the thick ice whenever tow operators attempted to drag it to shore by attaching a cable to the axle.

"}, {"id":"37e1c963-ec53-55b3-8add-bd4ab33f8831","type":"article","starttime":"1484957700","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-20T18:15:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484971330","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Cleaning up after the 'apocalypse'; Rock River flowing again after ice jam","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_37e1c963-ec53-55b3-8add-bd4ab33f8831.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/cleaning-up-after-the-apocalypse-rock-river-flowing-again-after/article_37e1c963-ec53-55b3-8add-bd4ab33f8831.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/cleaning-up-after-the-apocalypse-rock-river-flowing-again-after/article_37e1c963-ec53-55b3-8add-bd4ab33f8831.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Brian Wellner\nbwellner@qctimes.com","prologue":"Loud cracking noises woke Moline's North Shore Drive resident Gerri Atkins early Friday. An ice jam forced the Rock River to jump from 13.7 feet to 15.07 feet in about an hour around 2 a.m. It fell just as rapidly to 13.93 feet. \"It was like the apocalypse, and it sounded like it, too,\" Atkins said.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["flood","moline","rock river","national weather service","gerri atkins","steve vyncke","len brown's north shore inn","debbie ferry","gretchen deluca","bill nichols","hydrography","meteorology","resident","ice jam","flash flood"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b7cbde48-21af-5084-b2f4-a7c5c31d34b2","description":"Dylan Fogel, 14, cleans up around his home Friday on North Shore Drive in Moline after an early morning ice jam caused the Rock River to rise more than a foot in an hour before dropping just as quickly.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY 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Loud cracking noises woke Moline's North Shore Drive resident Gerri Atkins early Friday.

An ice jam forced the Rock River to jump from 13.7 feet to 15.07 feet in about an hour around 2 a.m. It fell just as rapidly to 13.93 feet.

\"It was like the apocalypse, and it sounded like it, too,\" Atkins said.

A resident of the area for four years, she's used to flooding and ice jams. But Friday's flash flood was the worst.

A neighbor's dock washed ashore, and Atkins' basement took on\u00a04 feet of water. Thick slabs of ice covered the neighborhood for hours.

\"It looks like a giant glacier pooped around here,\" Atkins said.

The jam broke up a few hours later, with the river dropping to 13.78 feet by 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, Davenport.

The Rock at Moline stood at 12.68 feet at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

\u201cWith the temperatures we\u2019ll be having over the next several days, things will slowly get better,\u201d National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Nichols said.

\u201cThat doesn\u2019t mean there won\u2019t be more ice jams,\u201d he said. \u201cIce is very hard to predict.\u201d

Dozens of North Shore Drive\u00a0residents spent Friday afternoon bleaching and scrubbing surfaces and hauling away debris, long after the river had receded to its banks.

A few trees had saved Steve Vyncke's house from getting slammed with ice early Friday, he said.

Vyncke lives within 30 feet of the river. He said that after hearing what sounded like a freight train rolling by, he looked out the window and watched ice floes approaching his house.

\"Trees are the only thing that saved my house from getting it,\" he said.

Gretchen Deluca rode out the early morning flood with her husband and son. Before it was over, she had adopted a new pet.

Deluca spotted neighbors' docks floating by with animals stuck on top. When she spotted a bunny, she ran out to save it.

\"That was a smart bunny to go to a high point,\" she said. \"I put a blanket on it and brought it in. I gave it to my son.\"

Deluca is new to the area, having moved to Moline from Florida in October. She never expected \"Antarctica,\" which is how she described her ice-covered neighborhood on Friday.

Several residents gathered at Len Brown's North Shore Inn later in the day. The TV behind the bar showed President Donald Trump's inauguration, but the conversation was about the flooding.

\"It's a lot of ice,\" Debbie Ferry said. \"I've seen it flood, but never like this.\"

(Thomas Geyer contributed to this story.)

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It wasn't long ago that there was a move afoot to do away with Fejevary Park.

Now, it may become of one of Davenport's signature areas as\u00a0residents have one more reason to look forward to visiting.

Parks and Recreation director Scott Hock said his department is moving closer to building a nature-based play area this spring revolving around the Mother Goose nursery rhyme theme and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department received a $139,700 Building Better Communities grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association four months ago, and now those funds are ready to be put into use.

The Davenport City Council is set to approve $120,000 for engineering costs\u00a0using those funds at its Wednesday meeting. That would pave the way for construction this spring.

Hock said the grant will allow to city to build an interactive play area, interactive signage to hear sounds of water and an Itsy Bitsy Spider crawler in addition to small dry creek.

The American Water Charitable Foundation said Fejervary Park was chosen based upon criteria including water components, play value, educational value, proximity to American Water's service areas and use of natural play materials.

Already distinguishing itself as Iowa's only city with an accredited parks and recreation department, Davenport was one of two communities receiving the community grant. A city park in Hopewill, Virginia, received a $150,000 grant for a nature-based play area along the Appomattox River.

As a parent, Davenport Alderman Maria Dickmann, 2nd Ward, said she was particularly excited about the new play area.

\"It's fantastic to have it on the west end, especially with the Putnam, which is another great anchor,\"\u00a0she said.

Besides the Itsy Bitsy Spider-themed area, the City Council also recently approved close to $20,000 for a Hickory Dickory Dock-themed musical garden playground at Fejervary Park.

Dickmann said she and Alderman Kyle Gripp, at large, have spoken at length about the need for a signature park, and the latest developments will help make Fejervary a popular destination.

\"This is really going to be a place that people are excited to go,\" Dickmann said. \"They're going to talk about why they want to live on the west end of Davenport. This is going to be one of the reasons why they want to bring their kids there.\"

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Joni Ernst, R-Iowa,\u00a0answers questions from members of the media last month after touring the Rock Island Arsenal.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1615,"hiresheight":1283,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9f/09ffc397-4d17-52e8-8ae8-945b75be4122/57fe8c7397fa3.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1615","height":"1283","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9f/09ffc397-4d17-52e8-8ae8-945b75be4122/57fe89db15889.image.jpg?resize=1615%2C1283"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"79","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9f/09ffc397-4d17-52e8-8ae8-945b75be4122/57fe89db15889.image.jpg?resize=100%2C79"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"238","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9f/09ffc397-4d17-52e8-8ae8-945b75be4122/57fe89db15889.image.jpg?resize=300%2C238"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"813","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9f/09ffc397-4d17-52e8-8ae8-945b75be4122/57fe89db15889.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C813"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"d38b2d10-f9ed-5493-846c-ce43febeb732","body":"

President Donald Trump's inauguration speech Friday was a dark and depressing view of America that doesn't portray the progress made under the Obama administration, Democrats representing the Quad-Cities in Congress said on Friday.

Republicans, however, said the new president shares the peoples' priorities, and they are ready to get to work achieving them.

The day few people would have predicted a year ago, before the Iowa caucuses, came to pass on Friday with the inauguration of Trump as the nation's 45th president.

Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., didn't skip the event\u00a0as about 60 of their Democratic colleagues did. But it was clear they weren't impressed with the new president's inaugural speech, in which he described \"rusted-out factories\" and \"children trapped in poverty\" but promised that this would all come to an end and the people, not Washington, would benefit from his presidency.

\"I just thought it was real negative look at our country. Not inspirational, not visionary,\" Bustos said in an interview afterward.\u00a0\"He had a very different view of our country than I have.\"

In a statement, Loebsack said, \"While one speech does not make a presidency, I had hoped Mr. Trump would have spoken less from a place of darkness and would have done more to reach out to those concerned about the tone he has used throughout the past year.\"

Both lawmakers have said they are willing to work with the president in areas where they agree, but both also noted they would take part in marches Saturday that are seen as a response to Trump's presidency.

Republicans, meanwhile, had a different take on the day's events.

In his own statement, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said \"nobody should be surprised at the priorities laid out in President Trump's speech. It focused on the same ideals that got him elected. President Trump has given hope to many Americans who have long felt forgotten.\"

Grassley said Trump is empowering Americans to believe government \"can work for them again.\"

Sen. Joni Ernst did not mention the speech in her statement, but the Iowa Republican urged that \"as we head into a new administration, Washington must put the will of the people ahead of partisan politics. This is an opportunity for folks to come together on a path forward to keep our nation safe and secure and to grow our economy.\"

"} ]
[ ]
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Audiences are going to be \u201cSplit\u201d on the latest from M. Night Shyamalan. Do the final moments of the movie \u2013 and no way am I going to hint as to what they are \u2013 portend a franchise?

Other Shyamalan nerds may gasp at the end of the film, just as I did. And those who do may agree that \u201dSplit\u201d is not only the director\u2019s best work in years, but ever.

Last year\u2019s \u201cThe Visit\u201d was a pleasant surprise fans who watched Shyamalan\u2019s films dissipate into garbage that includes \u201cLady in the Water\u201d and the mind-numbingly awful \u201cThe Last Airbender.\u201d I kept waiting for him to return with something memorable such as \u201cThe Sixth Sense,\u201d \u201cUnbreakable\u201d and \u201cSigns,\u201d and now he has.

The premise of this science-fiction thriller is that a criminal (played wonderfully by James MacAvoy) who abducts three teenage girls from a mall parking lot.

The creepy guy has multiple-personality disorder \u2013 and no, that\u2019s not a spoiler, because it\u2019s established early on. The girls are imprisoned in a kind of cell, which contains only cots and a working bathroom.

Depending upon which of his personalities \u201csteps into the light,\u201d the abductor can be friendly, fierce or playful. Among the personalities are a fashion designer, a child and a strict woman.

After the kidnapping, one of the personalities sends a desperate email to a therapist (Betty Buckley, \u201cThe Happening\u201d) who wonders exactly which personality sent the message and, in fact, which personality sits before her.

The kidnapping sequence, which is one of the more eerie in the movie, sets the tone for the movie in which the three girls can\u2019t always comprehend which character is interacting with them.

The multiple personalities, who bicker among themselves, provide a disconnect. And so does the relationship between the three girls. Anya Taylor-Joy (\u201cThe Witch\u201d) is terrific as the quiet, troubled girl who is the first to realize what is going on with her captor. She manages to communicate on a friendly level with one of the personalities while she desperately looks for a way of wherever she is being held. In flashbacks, we learn more about this girl, and why she may be able to survive her confinement.

This is a dense movie, with layer after layer of depth being revealed as it moves along. Shyamalan certainly deserves a best-director nod at the end of the year, and MacAvoy delivers an Oscar-worthy performance. To see a film of this caliber released in January is almost unheard of; possibly Shyamalan shrewdly recognized that would be part of its surprise.

And a welcome one it is, particularly for those familiar with the filmmaker\u2019s other works.

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If there was anything certain coming out of Election Day it was this: Obamacare was doomed.

The 7-year-old health care law has been in Republican crosshairs since its birth. But now that the GOP has actually taken power, the consequences of the Affordable Care Act's demise no longer are mere political campaign promises but a near-term reality that will play out in the lives of millions of Americans.

In the Quad-Cities, thousands of people gained coverage because of the law. Nationwide, the figure is 20 million.

They\u2019re either on expanded Medicaid programs, or they have used government subsidies to buy private insurance plans. Others, who had insurance, have been forced to buy greater levels of coverage. And for those not fortunate enough to qualify for subsidies, they\u2019ve shouldered big premium increases, particularly this year.

Hospitals have seen a boost in patient numbers and revenues, and the amount of unpaid-for care they have been forced to provide has dramatically declined.

Offsetting some of the charity-care savings are reduced federal reimbursements in other areas, such as Medicare.

Community health care centers have seen an expansion in the number of patients, as their lower-income clientele has eagerly sought to get family members to the doctor.

But now that the time for repeal is at hand \u2014 and with little clarity on when the Republicans may produce the replacement they have promised \u2014 there is a mountain of uncertainty over what\u2019s to come.

What follows is a peek into the different corners of the Affordable Care Act\u2019s impact in the Quad-Cities and worries \u2014 as well as hopes \u2014 for what could be on the horizon.

Premiums going up

Connie Mangler was shocked.

Last month, she got a letter from an insurance company that said she was being enrolled in an insurance plan that carries a premium of $1,735 per month.

Mangler's previous insurer, UnitedHealthcare, decided to exit the ACA marketplace in Iowa. And, Mangler said, the letter offered a plan that was similar to one she had previously.

\"I thought, 'You've got to be kidding,'\" Mangler said.

Mangler posted a copy of the insurance letter to her Facebook page and got a torrent of response from others who also saw sharply higher premium costs.

\"Something's got to be put in place better than what's being done,\" she said.

Mangler qualifies for tax credits, so she and her agent went shopping. After weeks of research, they came up with a plan that they estimate will cost her $648 per month, almost $90 higher than what she paid last year. However, the deductibles that went with the plan are more than with her previous coverage.

On average, premiums for mid-range Affordable Care Act plans jumped 25 percent this year. In Iowa, the rise was less stark. But premiums for plans sold on the marketplace still jumped on average 12 percent, according to data from the Iowa Insurance Division.

The tax credits, which rise with premiums, can offset some of the additional cost. But the Obama administration estimates that of the 18 million people in the individual (non-employer) insurance market, 7 million buy coverage off the exchange. There, premium costs for individual policies in Iowa rose even more.

Theresa Felger, an insurance agent who works on both sides of the river, said, \"I've had several people tell me, 'I'm just going to take the penalty.' And I had one kid tell me, 'You can't get blood out of a turnip.'\"

Obamacare critics have lambasted the premium increases, and even Democrats said something needed to be done. Hillary Clinton proposed expanding the availability of a \"public option,\" or government-administered insurance plan, that would compete with private plans.

Republicans have not offered an alternative yet, but Iowa GOP lawmakers say they hear constant complaints about affordability.

\"Throughout my 99-county tour across Iowa, I hear countless stories from Iowans facing premium increases, as well as skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and co-pays that they simply cannot afford,\" Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said recently.

On a conference call earlier this month, Obama administration officials say despite the premium increases \u2014 which they predict will moderate next year \u2014 marketplace enrollment still is higher than it was the year before, adding that claims the marketplace is in a death spiral are false.

\"These data show that this market is not just stable, it's currently on track for growth,\" said Aviva Aron-Dine, an economist and senior counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

In the Quad-Cities, 5,770 people had signed up for or renewed their marketplace plans through Dec. 24. That's slightly higher than the 5,753 who had done so through the first nine days of January 2016.

Fearing coverage loss

It didn't take long for Republicans to begin acting to repeal Obamacare. Nine days after going into session, the U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution that puts repeal into motion. The House passed its own resolution a day later.

As is often the case in Washington, however, it's more complicated than that.

Republicans are promising swift action to repeal and say it won\u2019t lead to widespread calamity. They say they will come up with a replacement plan. At the same time, Democrats are warning that repeal, without a clear plan for replacement, is a recipe for disaster.

For most, the technicalities of repeal \u2014 along with the politics \u2014 are less important than the implications. Kellie Sharp, a para-educator in the Davenport school system, is worried the Medicaid coverage she now qualifies for will be lost if the law is repealed.

Twenty-eight years old, Sharp said she was born with a condition called hydrocephalus, an accumulation of fluid on the brain. Sharp said she had a device put in to relieve the pressure, called a shunt. However, it requires monitoring.

\"If I lost that insurance, I wouldn't be able to be monitored,\" she said. She added she also has expensive medications to treat the migraines that result from her condition.

Critics of the repeal effort say what's at stake is the health of millions of Americans who will lose coverage.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., argued on the House floor this month, \"Again and again, we've heard that repealing Obamacare will make America great again. Well, I say it will make America sick again.\"

The Urban Institute estimated that, in 2019, 230,000 Iowans would lose coverage under repeal. In Illinois, it's 1.1 million people.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said on a conference call about a week ago that, regardless of how quickly a replacement plan is approved, people won't be abandoned.

\"Either way, I think the idea is to make sure that people on the exchange now continue on the exchange through the transition period,\" he said.

Republicans have indicated that elimination of the subsidies that lower the cost of care would not happen immediately.

Critics of the repeal effort, however, fear that insurers concerned about the unpredictability of the situation will simply bail out of the marketplaces. Already, companies have left the exchanges because of big losses. Last year, UnitedHealthcare announced it would reduce its Obamacare offerings, including in Iowa.

Currently, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Coventry and Medica sell policies on the marketplace statewide.

Insurers are scheduled to submit rates to state regulators this spring. And although companies have not yet given an indication what they will do, Marylin Tavenner, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade association, wrote in an opinion piece last month that subsidies for consumers, as well as help for insurers that enroll \"high cost individuals,\u201d should continue through Jan. 1, 2019.

Putting in place clear \"rules of the road\u201d will be important to insurance executives who are, by nature, risk averse, said Nick Gerhart, the former insurance commissioner in Iowa.

\"That\u2019s the key: Sending a message of predictability to the industry,\" he said.

Gerhart has said Congress should keep a reinsurance program in place, which would assist insurers with high-cost claims.

Grassley said there is sentiment in the Senate toward providing some help for insurers to keep them in the marketplaces. He didn't say definitively whether he would support it but added, \"I see a problem that's got to be dealt with.\u201d

Hospitals wait for change

With 20 million new people gaining insurance coverage nationwide, it would follow that more people are getting care.

And for health care providers, such as hospitals and health clinics, it has meant more patients who can pay.

Both Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Trinity saw significant drops in the charity care they provided.

At Genesis, for example, that number shrunk from $17.8 million the year before the Affordable Care Act took full effect to $8.8 million last year.

Some of that was offset by lower federal funding in other areas, such as Medicare. But the decreases, hospital officials say, have allowed them to put more money into programs that seek to educate people about how to better manage their health.

That\u2019s meant hiring people to help patients navigate their way through the health system and coach them on their care. The money that was freed up by lower charity care is only part of the funding that goes into the programs, but it has helped, officials say.

At Community Health Care, the share of its patients without coverage dropped to 10 percent. Tom Bowman, chief executive at CHC, said that when he started, in 2007, that figure was about 35 percent. Most of that decline was driven by the ACA, he said.

\u201cThat\u2019s had a big impact for us,\u201d he said.

The moves toward repeal now have hospital and CHC officials wondering what will happen with people who gained coverage, especially through an expanded Medicaid program.

Hospital officials say they\u2019re fairly confident those people won\u2019t simply be dropped.

Congress is moving swiftly to pass legislation repealing the ACA, but Republicans have said they expect revocation of the funding, such as what pays for the expanded Medicaid program, will be delayed while a replacement is put together. They also have tried to assure people they won\u2019t just yank away their coverage, although Democrats have warned it\u2019s a promise they might not be able to keep.

\u201cI certainly hope, and I don\u2019t believe, the government is going to turn its back and go in a different direction,\u201d said Doug Cropper, Genesis\u2019 chief executive officer.

Cropper and a representative for UnityPoint Health said repeal and replace may mean Medicaid patients paying more for their coverage. But \u201cI\u2019m optimistic that in Iowa, that they\u2019re not going to drop people off of coverage,\u201d said Sabra Rosener, vice president for governmental and executive affairs at UnityPoint.

When she was in the Quad-Cities last week, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state\u2019s intent is to make sure that people on Iowa\u2019s expanded Medicaid program will maintain coverage.

Still, that doesn\u2019t mean the current uncertainty isn\u2019t disconcerting for hospitals and other providers.

\"The biggest problem for us right now is uncertainty,\u201d Rosener said. \"The uncertainty that is caused by not knowing what your reimbursement structure is going to be in six months is a big problem.\u201d

At CHC, Bowman said the organization is putting money into reserves that it otherwise would have used to hire people or expand.

\u201cIt makes us very uneasy about expanding the services we currently provide,\u201d he said.

The Affordable Care Act, in addition to trying to increase coverage, also took some modest steps aimed at changing the way care is delivered and paid for. And the move toward repeal has created questions about just how much of the law\u2019s provisions will be thrown overboard.

UnityPoint is part of what is called Next Generation ACO, a program that seeks to test whether strong financial incentives, coupled with better patient engagement and care management, results in better health outcomes and lower costs.

About 75,000 Medicare patients at UnityPoint, including in the Quad-Cities, are part of the model, whose management falls under a federal agency created by the ACA.

Killing the effort and moving back toward a fee-for-service method would be a step backward, Rosener said.

\u201cIt\u2019s a pretty big deal to our health system,\u201d she said.

What\u2019s next

This is expected to be an important week in the health care debate. The resolutions that were passed in the Senate and House on Jan. 12 and 13 instructed committees in both bodies to come up with a repeal bill by Jan. 27, which is Friday.

This process, called \u201creconciliation,\u201d prevents Senate Democrats from using a filibuster to stop the repeal. That means a simple majority vote, not 60 votes, are needed to kill the law.

The key question is what will happen next and how fast. The \u201creconciliation\u201d process can revoke only the parts of the law dealing with spending and taxes. So, killing other parts of the law \u2014 such as the requirement that individuals buy insurance and coming up with a replacement \u2014 will not be as easy.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, not long after being sworn in on Friday, signed an executive order giving federal agencies the power to make changes, to the extent that they're permitted by law.

The potential impact of the one-page order is still being sorted out.

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Major drag racing will return to Cordova International Raceway in August, but whether it will be called the World Series of Drag Racing is yet to be seen.

\u201cI understand Cordova International Raceway will host the return of a major drag racing event Aug 25-26, 2017, although a formal announcement is yet to come,\u201d Joe Taylor, President and CEO of the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Friday night via email.

\u201cThe event will in all likelihood have a new name to match the new excitement of the return of a major drag racing event to the Quad-Cities,\u201d Taylor added.

At the Rod and Custom Show being held this weekend at the QCCA Expo Center, a placard at the Cordova Raceway booth informed patrons to \u201cSave the Date. August 25 & 26, 2017. It\u2019s coming back.\u201d On the placard is a photo of a drag race. Late August is the traditional weekend for the World Series of Drag Racing.

\u201cOur child was gone for a year, but now it\u2019s coming back home,\u201d said Brenda Stuart, office manager and bookkeeper at Cordova International Raceway.

\u201cI keep hearing people here say it\u2019s going to be bigger and better than ever because they wanted it back here so badly,\u201d Stuart added.

A more formal announcement will be made in a couple of weeks, she said.

Seeking a bigger market, the World Series of Drag Racing that entertained racing fans for 62 years at Cordova International Raceway was moved to Memphis International Raceway last year by the raceway\u2019s parent company, IRG Sports + Entertainment. However, the event drew few fans and poor reviews.

The move was met with a firestorm of protest both in the Quad-Cities and throughout the national drag racing community.

Dragzine magazine referred to it as \"one of the all-time great flubs in drag racing history.\u2019\u2019

According to IRG Sports + Entertainment, the World Series of Drag Racing began in Lawrenceville, Illinois, in 1953 and moved to Cordova International Raceway in 1954. The event drew thousands of fans annually to the Quad-Cities area until it was moved to Memphis.

IRG Sports + Entertainment owns both Cordova International Raceway and Memphis International Raceway.

"} ]
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\u00a0Do you know a Quad-City area woman making a difference in her business or profession, impacting her community and helping to inspire and mentor the next generation of women leaders?

If so, you know an Athena.

Women's Connection and the Quad-Cities Chamber are seeking nominations for the 2017 Athena Award program. Affiliated with Athena International, the program will recognize the 2017 Athena honorees at a luncheon March 30 at Rhythm City Casino Resort, Davenport. During the signature event, the Athena Award recipient will be named.

The annual awards program also recognizes the Male Champion of Change. The award is presented to a Quad-City area man who exhibits a commitment to the acceleration of women in leadership and whose leadership is helping to enhance gender diversity.

To nominate a deserving candidate for the Athena or Male Champion award, visit womens-connection.org/athena. Deadline is Feb. 10.

RNA helps volunteers stretch their charity

Royal Neighbors of America is helping others who make a difference have more impact.

Through its Difference Maker Fund project, the Rock Island-based Royal Neighbors donates mini-grants to help members organize or complete community service projects. Each quarter, the project receiving the most online votes receives $500 to donate to the charity affiliated with the project.

In the most recent quarter, there was a tie between two volunteer projects,\u00a0 the Quad-City-based Dog Days of Summer project and Handy Hands in North Dakota. \u00a0

Dog Days of Summer, led by Jamie Humenick, was a fundraiser for King's Harvest Ministries' animal and human shelters that raised $1,617 with a luncheon, bake sales, silent auction, raffles, famous dog trivia and other projects. The volunteers also collected shelter items such as pet supplies, household items and personal care products. With the extra $500 grant, Dog Days further assisted King's Harvest.\u00a0

Handy Hands is a group of volunteers who crocheted and made fleece blankets, hats and scarves for the Perry House, a home for unwed mothers and their children in Fargo, North Dakota. It split its grant between the Perry House and Churches United.

\"It's amazing how the kind and earnest efforts of our Difference Maker Fund volunteers are changing their communities for the better,\" said Matt Mendenhall, Royal Neighbors' philanthropy director. \"Even small contributions are having a big impact.\"

For more information, visit www.royalneighbors.org/more-than-insurance/difference-maker-fund.

Palmer Hills honored by SeniorAdvisor.com

Palmer Hills in Bettendorf, a Holiday Retirement community, has won a Best of 2017 Awards from SeniorAdvisor.com.

The largest ratings and reviews site for senior care and services honored Palmer Hills for its consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2016. This marks the second consecutive year Palmer Hills has received the award.

To qualify, communities must offer either assisted living, Alzheimer's care, independent living, low-income senior housing, skilled nursing or in-home care in the United States or Canada.

\"This award is not something that just happens,\" said Lilly Donohue, CEO of Holiday Retirement. \"It is a direct result of the Holiday Retirement team at Palmer Hills and the associates' hard work and compassion for our residents.\"

Palmer Hills was one of 91 communities owned by Holiday Retirement to be honored. The Denver-based Holiday Retirement operates 300 retirement communities, ranking it as the second largest U.S. senior housing operator.

"}, {"id":"b3782e2e-4950-5f46-a74a-e2e5f25438a2","type":"article","starttime":"1485035820","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T15:57:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485041945","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa Democrats select Eadon as new party chair","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_b3782e2e-4950-5f46-a74a-e2e5f25438a2.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-democrats-select-eadon-as-new-party-chair/article_b3782e2e-4950-5f46-a74a-e2e5f25438a2.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-democrats-select-eadon-as-new-party-chair/article_b3782e2e-4950-5f46-a74a-e2e5f25438a2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Rod Boshart\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"\u00a0DES MOINES\u00a0\u2014 West Des Moines political consultant, activist and organizer Derek Eadon said he believes his election Saturday as the Iowa Democratic Party's state chairman for the next two years signals\u00a0party members\u00a0want to heal the internal divisions and chart a fresh course to reverse losses in the past two election cycles.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["derek eadon","politics","institutes","democrats","party member","chairman","republicans","activist","campaign"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7","description":"Eadon","byline":"","hireswidth":470,"hiresheight":594,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e9/5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7/5883e77c9e9f2.hires.png","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"470","height":"594","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e9/5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7/5883db116dec1.image.png?resize=470%2C594"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"126","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e9/5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7/5883db116dec1.image.png?resize=100%2C126"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"379","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e9/5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7/5883db116dec1.image.png?resize=300%2C379"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"1294","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e9/5e91a246-7c9c-588e-88cf-b1b3547c02d7/5883db116dec1.image.png"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"b3782e2e-4950-5f46-a74a-e2e5f25438a2","body":"

\u00a0DES MOINES\u00a0\u2014 West Des Moines political consultant, activist and organizer Derek Eadon said he believes his election Saturday as the Iowa Democratic Party's state chairman for the next two years signals\u00a0party members\u00a0want to heal the internal divisions and chart a fresh course to reverse losses in the past two election cycles.

\"I think that new approach is something that appealed with folks,\" Eadon, 33, told reporters after emerging as the winner in a seven-way contest to succeed ongoing chairwoman Andy McGuire as the party's new leader.

Eadon, a party organizer and activist who served as state director for former President Barack Obama's 2012 Iowa campaign, attributed Saturday's success to the positive vision for the party he laid out to central committee members split in the 2016 campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

\"I think my approach appealed to both sides,\" said Eadon, who noted his first order of business would be to create an inclusive, \"positive culture\" within the party, focus on outreach to rural areas and hold Republicans accountable for their attacks on collective bargaining, health care and public education.

\"Folks are frustrated with the way things have been going, that the Democratic Party really hasn't learned our lessons, and I think today's vote shows that there is unity behind a candidate that is interested in moving forward and also being very aggressive. The issues we face with Republicans are far bigger than the differences that we have.\"

Eadon said building a successful organization is more than just putting field staff on ground and knocking on doors, saying more focus has to be placed on listening and building relationships.

Other Democrats who sought the party's top leadership post included Sandy Dockendorff of Danville, Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, Bob Krause of Fairfield, Blair Lawton of West Des Moines, Kurt Meyer of St. Ansgar and Kim Weaver of Sheldon.

Eadon said he thinks Democrats failed last election cycle in tapping the economic frustration voters feel, especially in rural areas, over stagnant wages and job opportunities that are at the core of his party's message. \"

\"I think as Democrats we need to make sure that we're always framing our message through that economic lens, and not just saying we're not the Republicans,\" he said. \"I think we got a little bit too focused on our opponents in 2014 and 2016. We give lots of reasons to vote against Republicans but we need to give people reasons to vote for Democrats.\"

Eadon's company, Blueprint Strategies, focused on campaign issues and digital outreach, which included work on climate change, clean energy, gun control, child poverty, early childhood education, workplace issues, campaign finance reform, fair courts, anti-fraud, and anti-smoking efforts. He said he planned to terminate the business to focus his full attention on his new paid position as Democratic state party chair.

"}, {"id":"d881b93a-a947-5cd8-8b6b-56d79a5b78bd","type":"article","starttime":"1485032400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T15:00:00-06:00","sections":[{"business":"business"},{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Tax Man cometh, but refunds could be delayed","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_d881b93a-a947-5cd8-8b6b-56d79a5b78bd.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/tax-man-cometh-but-refunds-could-be-delayed/article_d881b93a-a947-5cd8-8b6b-56d79a5b78bd.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/business/tax-man-cometh-but-refunds-could-be-delayed/article_d881b93a-a947-5cd8-8b6b-56d79a5b78bd.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jennifer DeWitt\njdewitt@qctimes.com","prologue":"With the opening of the 2017 income tax filing season Monday, Quad-City tax preparers are warning that one of this year's key changes will affect those who depend most on their tax refunds.\u00a0 As part of the IRS' ongoing battle against fraud and identity theft, a new law will delay tax refunds for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, the EITC, or the Additional Child Tax Credit. To give the IRS more time to verify these returns, Congress is requiring the agency hold back these refunds until at least Feb. 15.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["jim fromi","internal revenue service","tax return","affordable care act tax provisions","tax refund","tax preparation","earned income tax credit","fran christiansen","iowa department of revenue","h&r block","amerifile","economics","refund","finance","commerce","irs","revenue","direct deposit","tax","preparer"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7","description":"Bill Daley prepares a tax return for Jennifer Martinez and her daughter, Torin, 2, at AmeriFile Inc. in Moline.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1806,"hiresheight":1148,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/91/7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7/5882936474458.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1806","height":"1148","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/91/7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7/5882936473387.image.jpg?resize=1806%2C1148"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/91/7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7/5882936473387.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"191","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/91/7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7/5882936473387.image.jpg?resize=300%2C191"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"651","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/91/7917528c-690a-529b-a42b-d0dd0d59d8d7/5882936473387.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C651"}}},{"id":"123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e","description":"A tax preparation\u00a0form used by\u00a0Daley.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1717,"hiresheight":1207,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/23/123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e/5882936530077.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1717","height":"1207","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/23/123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e/588293652ecd8.image.jpg?resize=1717%2C1207"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/23/123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e/588293652ecd8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"211","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/23/123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e/588293652ecd8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C211"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"720","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/23/123bf37c-4c97-541b-98d7-a26c7938c53e/588293652ecd8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C720"}}},{"id":"9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c","description":"Jim Fromi is the owner of AmeriFile Inc.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1718,"hiresheight":1206,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/77/9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c/5882936717d50.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1718","height":"1206","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/77/9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c/5882936716e36.image.jpg?resize=1718%2C1206"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/77/9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c/5882936716e36.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"211","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/77/9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c/5882936716e36.image.jpg?resize=300%2C211"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"719","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/77/9773a9a9-0275-5382-a323-14510429571c/5882936716e36.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C719"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"d881b93a-a947-5cd8-8b6b-56d79a5b78bd","body":"

With the opening of the 2017 income tax filing season Monday, Quad-City tax preparers are warning that one of this year's key changes will affect those who depend most on their tax refunds.\u00a0

As part of the IRS' ongoing battle against fraud and identity theft, a new law will delay tax refunds for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, the EITC, or the Additional Child Tax Credit. To give the IRS more time to verify these returns, Congress is requiring the agency hold back these refunds until at least Feb. 15.

But taxpayers already are being cautioned it could be as late as the week of Feb. 27 before these refunds begin arriving.

The delay \u2014 a result of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes, or PATH, Act \u2014 is designed to give the IRS more time to help detect and prevent tax fraud.

\"It's a shock to those people who typically get their refunds the first of February. They'll now be waiting two to three weeks later,\" said Jim Fromi, the owner of AmeriFile, Moline, with offices in Davenport and Clinton.

The taxpayers who claim these credits traditionally are the first in the door, he said. \"The typical EITC filer may have two to three kids and a couple W-2s and they can get in here early. They get all excited.\"

For those who prefer more time to file and pay, this year has an three additional days. The deadline is Tuesday, April 18, due to April 15 being a Saturday and Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday, being observed April 17.

Fran Christiansen, a tax analyst and office manager with H&R Block, Bettendorf, said the IRS also has gotten stricter with the EITC, a credit for families with earned income and up to three children. \"Now they have to have a little more documentation to prove the children live with them \u2014 a school record or a medical record \u2014 and it all has to match up.\"

Despite the inconvenience of the delay, she said at the heart of the law is reducing fraud and identity theft. \"There's been so many claims of someone getting someone else's return,\" she said.

Christiansen, a 13-year tax preparer,\u00a0said the delay's impact will be widespread. \"The people who usually receive the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit really depend on their refund.\"

To assist customers, she said H&R has a Refund Advance that helps a customer get part of their refund back early. The loan product, which is approved by a bank, is available at no cost and no interest for customers who pay for tax preparation.

The loan is re-paid with the taxpayer's tax return, Christiansen said.

Fromi said health care reporting rules also still are causing confusion. \"Last year was the first year we had to 100 percent report people's health insurance situation because of the Affordable Care Act.\"

This year, he said, taxpayers who receive health insurance from their employer or purchase their own do not have to wait for Forms 95-B or 95-C to arrive in order to file a return. \"But if someone got insurance through healthcare.gov, the marketplace, or Obamacare\u00a0\u2014 they call it a lot of names\u00a0\u2014 they must wait until they get Form 95-A to file.\"

In addition, the penalty for not having health insurance is rising. \"Last year, it was $325. This year, a single taxpayer will pay $695 for not having health insurance,\" he said. A family with children who do not have insurance face a maximum penalty of $2,085.

\"Next year it gets more serious,'' Fromi said, adding \"Some know paying the penalty still is cheaper than getting insurance.\"

But some uniformed taxpayers have been surprised to see a $695 deduction from their refund, he added.\u00a0

Taxpayers also could face delays in processing and receiving refunds if their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) has expired. The PATH Act required certain numbers expire as of Jan. 1.

According to the IRS, any ITIN number not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years as well as any number with middle digits of either 78 or 79 (i.e. 9NN-78-NNNN) must be renewed. The process can take as long as 11 weeks during tax filing season.

Christiansen said the area district's 20 H&R offices have about seven preparers specially certified to assist taxpayers with obtaining ITINs.

These numbers are used by people who have tax-filing or payment obligations, but are not eligible for a Social Security number.

Even with the known delays, Fromi suggests taxpayers file as early as they can. The first day to electronically file a federal return is Monday.

Iowa and Illinois taxpayers also should expect delays in their state returns this year. \"It's likely the Iowa returns that include the EITC also could be delayed until the first of March,\" Fromi said, adding that the Iowa Department of Revenue is reaching out to many taxpayers by letter.

\"If you receive that correspondence there will be a callback number to the examiner listed,\" he said, warning taxpayers that neither the IRS or Department of Revenue will ever call a taxpayer.

As a fraud prevention measure, the Illinois Department of Revenue anticipates direct deposit refunds to be issued four weeks from the time of filing.

\"Once you have your stuff ready there's no reason to delay having it prepared or filing it,\" Fromi said. \"If (the IRS) opens it earlier, you're going to want to be in.\"

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Davenport's $208 million budget for the next fiscal year is close to completion after the City Council wrapped up a series of Saturday morning\u00a0budget work sessions.

As part of the final meeting, city staff reviewed the budget for outside agencies before presenting a recap of the city's finances.

Davenport has set aside $674,000 during the next fiscal year, which will be split between six recipients.

Funding for the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau accounts for more than half of those funds with $375,000 budgeted. But next year\u00a0could bring another reduction in funding.

Last year, Davenport budgeted $400,000 for the bureau, which was $50,000 less than the previous year.

Quad-Cities First and the Putnam Museum were the next largest recipients with $122,000 and $117,000 budgeted, respectively.

Center for Active Seniors Inc., the Hilltop Campus Village and the Quad-City Air Show also are budgeted to receive funds next year, but there may be some changes.

It is still unknown whether the air show will occur, but City Finance Director Brandon Wright said that may require distributing the $25,000 budgeted for the air show to the other recipients.

The big picture

While Davenport's budget has grown more than\u00a03 percent this year, solid economic growth has allowed the city to avoid cuts to city services and provide those which were most requested in the city's citizen survey.

Wright said the tax base has grown 2.4 percent, which was one way to provide jobs and the economic development requested by Davenport residents.

The city saw an increase of 3.4 percent in residential valuations while commercial values grew 2.2 percent.

If not for the state mandated multi-residential rollback, Wright said overall value would have been up closer to\u00a08 percent.

\"If you look at all the development downtown, all of that used to be taxed at the commercial rate,\" Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, said. \"The state has changed the playing field and said 'No, you will tax that at a residential rate.' That takes a lot of wind out of our sails because you would normally expect that amount of development to really help our tax base.\"

Increased overall property tax values have also allowed the city to avoid a decrements list, which resulted in $900,000 in cuts last year.

\"We maintained services and improved on some of them through this process,\" Mayor Frank Klipsch said.

Public safety expenditures, which consume the majority of municipal budgets, accounts for 65.6 percent of Davenport's budget.

Streets and sewer projects also were highlighted by survey respondents and the city has committed $26.4 million this year, which is more than 60 percent of its capital projects budget.

As a result of city's healthy financial outlook, Wright also said the city was able to maintain its tax levy, which is $16.78\u00a0 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The city will a hold public hearing regarding its 2018 budget at its Feb. 15 committee-of-the-whole meeting before the City Council considers approval at its Feb. 22 council meeting.

"}, {"id":"03dc35fb-bb39-54b5-bce3-b2c275cafaff","type":"article","starttime":"1485031260","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T14:41:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485044652","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hall overflows with women's rally participants","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_03dc35fb-bb39-54b5-bce3-b2c275cafaff.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/hall-overflows-with-women-s-rally-participants/article_03dc35fb-bb39-54b5-bce3-b2c275cafaff.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/hall-overflows-with-women-s-rally-participants/article_03dc35fb-bb39-54b5-bce3-b2c275cafaff.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Brian Wellner\nbwellner@qctimes.com","prologue":"A small union hall in Bettendorf could not contain hundreds participating in a local version of the national Women's March on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. The hall at the United Steelworkers Local 105 headquarters quickly filled to capacity until there wasn't even standing room.\u00a0Participants spilled outside, lining Devils Glen Road and State Street to chant and hold up signs.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["donald trump","politics","bettendorf","annette hutto","vicki tyler","lisa killinger","hall","henry karp"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59","description":"Participants in Saturday's\u00a0Quad-Cities Equity Rally spill onto the sidewalk outside\u00a0United Steelworkers Local 105 union hall in Bettendorf.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":2127,"hiresheight":974,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5d/15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59/5883f8d86f564.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"2127","height":"974","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5d/15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59/5883f8d86e4b5.image.jpg?resize=2127%2C974"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"46","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5d/15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59/5883f8d86e4b5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C46"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"137","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5d/15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59/5883f8d86e4b5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C137"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"469","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5d/15d91dc0-4cc1-5ba8-8726-72a3bab68f59/5883f8d86e4b5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C469"}}},{"id":"30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee","description":"Melisa Marroquin, left, and Regina Tsosie, with Sage Sisters of Solidarity,\u00a0share a message of equality during the Quad-Cities Equity Rally on Saturday in Bettendorf.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1739,"hiresheight":1192,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/0a/30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee/5883f8d8e3848.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1739","height":"1192","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/0a/30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee/5883f8d8e2a45.image.jpg?resize=1739%2C1192"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/0a/30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee/5883f8d8e2a45.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"206","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/0a/30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee/5883f8d8e2a45.image.jpg?resize=300%2C206"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"702","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/0a/30a34d4b-53a2-5f34-bbb9-66f11ef9beee/5883f8d8e2a45.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C702"}}},{"id":"f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2","description":"Saturday's Quad-Cities Equity Rally at the United Steelworkers Local 105 hall in Bettendorf spills outside along Devils Glen\u00a0Road.","byline":"Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1814,"hiresheight":1142,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2/5883f8d7dcecc.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1814","height":"1142","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2/5883f8d7dbbc6.image.jpg?resize=1814%2C1142"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2/5883f8d7dbbc6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"189","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2/5883f8d7dbbc6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C189"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"645","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f40bedea-a811-51bf-9dbd-c231bd1533f2/5883f8d7dbbc6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C645"}}},{"id":"b0980b3b-3b94-5e7e-9fcf-863fb3278adc","description":"Saturday's Quad-Cities Equity Rally fills the\u00a0United Steelworkers Local 105 union hall in Bettendorf. 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A small union hall in Bettendorf could not contain hundreds participating in a local version of the national Women's March on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.

The hall at the United Steelworkers Local 105 headquarters quickly filled to capacity until there wasn't even standing room.\u00a0Participants spilled outside, lining Devils Glen Road and State Street to chant and hold up signs.

Emilyne Slagle, one of the rally organizers, said she was \"overwhelmed\" at the sight of the packed hall.

Lisa Killinger, past president of the Islamic Center in Bettendorf, was the first of multiple speakers. But she was without her head garb.

\"When a Muslim woman takes off her scarf, you know we got work to do,\" she said.

The \"sad truth\" about American history, Killinger said, is that there has always been a group that it is OK to hate, and this time it is Muslims. She referred to the latest presidential campaign as having \"brought out some ugliness\" and said that since Trump was elected hate crimes have been on the increase.

Speakers touched on civil liberties, gay marriage and abortion rights. Statements were often punctuated with a call to action.

\"When you fight fire with fire, all you get are ashes,\" said the Rev. Christine Isham of Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ, Davenport. \"Fight with love, justice, compassion and non-violence.\"

Isham mentioned the Women's March on Washington, D.C.,\u00a0happening at the same time to cheers from the crowd and then shared how she came to Iowa after it allowed same-sex marriage.

\"The government has finally come to realize that love is love is love,\" she said. \"We are not going back in time.\"

Rabbi Henry Karp of Temple Emanuel, Davenport, said he's concerned what's happening in the country under a Trump presidency.

\"There's a dark, ominous cloud of prejudice engulfing our nation,\" Karp said.

There were calls for women to join forces to fight discrimination, regardless of background or political preference.

\"You need to unite with one another,\" Vera Kelly, president of the Davenport chapter of the NAACP, said. \"You are somebody. Don't let anybody put in your head that you're nobody.\"

Melisa Marroquin of Davenport, a member of Sage Sisters of Solidarity, thanked the Trump administration, sarcastically, for \"uniting us.\"

It was estimated that at least 300 attended the Bettendorf rally.

Annette Hutto, who owns Cool Beans coffee shop in Rock Island, was among the demonstrators outside. She opposed calling the event an \"anti Trump\" rally.

\"I think it's important given the rhetoric after the last election that people express their distaste for targeting certain groups while sharing we want to support continual equality for all,\" she said.

Hutto said all were welcomed to attend the rally. \"I saw on social media women posted, 'If I'm pro life, can I attend?' Absolutely,\" she said.

But the head of one local women's group felt excluded from the rally. Vicki Tyler, executive director of the Women\u2019s Choice Center, an anti-abortion organization in Bettendorf, said in a phone interview that she wasn't invited.

\"They're purporting it's about women's rights,\" Tyler said. \"Who knows. I'm sure it will come out what, really, they're all about. Obviously, they have a pro-abortion agenda.\"

Jamie Fetty Ward of Silvis, who was outside the union hall with her husband, Dustin, and son, Isaac, 4, said Trump does not represent the views of the majority of Americans as 3 million more voted for Hillary Clinton.

\"We're here to remind (Trump) and local officials there are multiple issues that unite us, not just a single issue,\" she said. \"I feel very united.\"

Christa Axnix of Rock Island held up a sign stating, \"Beware of\" next to a picture of a cat. Underneath it stated, \"If you grab her, she bites.\"

\"I believe in equality for all and hope we get it,\" Axnix said.

"}, {"id":"13a0a5e4-1b9b-5842-9169-e234cee6a5e4","type":"article","starttime":"1485022500","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T12:15:00-06:00","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"A very special Jazz Sunday planned","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_13a0a5e4-1b9b-5842-9169-e234cee6a5e4.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/a-very-special-jazz-sunday-planned/article_13a0a5e4-1b9b-5842-9169-e234cee6a5e4.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/a-very-special-jazz-sunday-planned/article_13a0a5e4-1b9b-5842-9169-e234cee6a5e4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"MUSCATINE, Iowa - The Wesley United Methodist Church annual Jazz Sunday celebration (one service at 10:00 a.m.) on Sunday, January 29, will take on an added visual element. In addition to all the great music attendees have come to expect, artist Paul Oman will give us a Drawn to the Word worship and artistic experience.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["paul oman","christianity","painting","bible","wesley united methodist church","mural","jazz","beatitude","attendee","program"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":3,"commentID":"13a0a5e4-1b9b-5842-9169-e234cee6a5e4","body":"

MUSCATINE, Iowa - The Wesley United Methodist Church annual Jazz Sunday celebration (one service at 10:00 a.m.) on Sunday, January 29, will take on an added visual element. In addition to all the great music attendees have come to expect, artist Paul Oman will give us a Drawn to the Word worship and artistic experience.

Artist and Pastor Paul Oman will paint a larger-than-life sized mural of Christ\u2019s Beatitudes before the eyes of the congregation. The Beatitudes will unfold artistically, musically, narratively and scripturally as the music and readings from scripture are offered.

After the service, Pastor Paul will offer a follow-up program at 11 a.m. that he calls Seeing Our Way Through the Gospels. Participants will \"see\" the stories unique to each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) come to life as Artist and Pastor Paul Oman shares his sequential paintings of the gospels.

Through these watercolor depictions, the gospels will be engaged visually and through brief study of one encounter after another. Participants are encouraged to bring Bibles.

Please plan to come and make a morning of it.

For more information on Paul Oman, visit www.paulomanfineart.com

Wesley United Methodist Church is at 400 Iowa Avenue. For more information call 263-1596

"}, {"id":"5812cf9b-580d-59ed-9cc8-893cab658e7f","type":"article","starttime":"1485021600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T12:00:00-06:00","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Students write narratives on being part of a group","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_5812cf9b-580d-59ed-9cc8-893cab658e7f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/students-write-narratives-on-being-part-of-a-group/article_5812cf9b-580d-59ed-9cc8-893cab658e7f.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/students-write-narratives-on-being-part-of-a-group/article_5812cf9b-580d-59ed-9cc8-893cab658e7f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Lisa G. Powell MCC Instructor of English For my Fall 2016 Composition I course, I had students write a two-page double-spaced paper telling a story about how they joined a group or realized they were a part of a group. The idea was for students to attempt to organize a short narrative as well as begin to consider writing an \"auto-ethnography\" -- a self-study and reflection of how one belongs or fits in with a larger cultural or social group and the implications this has on society as a whole.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["school","student","education","work","sociology","essay","certificate","paper","career","instructor","stephen brugman"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":2,"commentID":"5812cf9b-580d-59ed-9cc8-893cab658e7f","body":"

Lisa G. Powell

MCC Instructor of English

For my Fall 2016 Composition I course, I had students write a two-page double-spaced paper telling a story about how they joined a group or realized they were a part of a group. The idea was for students to attempt to organize a short narrative as well as begin to consider writing an \"auto-ethnography\" -- a self-study and reflection of how one belongs or fits in with a larger cultural or social group and the implications this has on society as a whole.

I typically try to have students develop long papers, but for this paper, I wanted them to have the task of keeping the writing short and tight. The essays turned out wonderful. Many of the students were quite moved by the stories of their peers. The stories ranged from joining a tribal cultural group in Liberia, to joining church groups in the states, to students expressing how they straddle two or more cultures, to deciding to attend college and choose a career.

I found that these essays really showed something special about the diverse student population that we have at MCC, and I wanted to share my students\u2019 hard work with the community.

The first essay is written by Stephen Brugman on \u201cFusing Education and Effort.\u201d The second is from Sam Flomo on \u201cTradition and me\u201d.

Fusing Education and Effort

By Stephen Brugman

I was told if you worked hard enough in life you will have a successful career. But honestly, solid labor is not necessarily the key to a successful career. It all started when I was seven years old. My father wanted me to come help him with trimming bushes in the backyard. He told me I was doing a great job and that I would be quite satisfied someday in the future with those hardworking skills I was acquiring. He also told me I am going to be successful like him if I continued to follow his path. I believed him and continued to acquire more labor skills by helping him out around home.

One day, I overheard him talking to my siblings who were deciding to apply for college. He said, \u201cIt takes time and money to go to school and you need to work as much as you can if you want your life to progress.\u201d When I heard that I was thinking to myself: Why doubt a person\u2019s dream when education can get yourself another step further in accomplishing a successful career? Yes, I do believe it takes time and money to get an education, but I don\u2019t believe work is the top priority over an education, especially when some jobs provide very little income to people who are struggling against the tide of debt. Fast-forwarding to the present, I see how my siblings have progressed through that conflict and discovered a way to enter college and balance work and school.

My father\u2019s uncertainty towards the advantages of college has changed, and he is very proud to see how my siblings have progressed through college. Once I entered my final years of high school, my father asked me if welding would be an interests for me, since that\u2019s what he currently does and I told him it sounds like an interesting career path. One day a college representative came to my school and told me all about Muscatine Community College. What got my attention was they have a welding program that paired well with my work schedule. Later that night, I told my dad all about it and surprisingly he told me, \u201cI went there when I was your age and got a welding certificate. I strongly suggest you go there if you want to work with me someday.\u201d I took that into consideration, so later that summer I completed high school and got a part time job in West Branch working for a dealership.

That job was very flexible with my school schedule and they look forward to me getting a higher education. Later that fall I began my academic career, and unknowingly, the instructor I had was teaching his final year. Additionally, my father had this very instructor when he was my age. I learned a lot from my teacher and completed the course with a certificate. My father then asked me if I want to work with him. I told him that I wanted to expand my education so I could be better skilled to enter the work force. He liked my thinking and now I am currently working to achieve higher education. So in the end, I believe both work and education are equally important. When they are balanced, you will have more opportunities towards a successful career.

Tradition and me

By Sam Flomo

I sat there that night under the moon light thinking about a tough decision I had to make, after a tough day at the farm. My parents had all gone to bed but since the moon was up, they allowed me to stay outside for a while. I was thinking about going to the \u201cZoe Bush\u201d, a traditional cultural group which involves rituals boys go through when they reached the age of fifteen in our village. I was fifteen and in just a few weeks we were to go in that bush. I had friends who told me they were going and friends who had been there, and they couldn\u2019t tell me anything about that place, because they said they would die in their sleep if they told anyone about it. People who came from there had markings all over their body, which looked like they were either whipped with a wire or some sort of animal teeth marks. Some people never came back. Once you came from there, you were given a new name and only people who had been there could call you by that name. They could stay outside when everyone was ordered by the town chief to go inside immediately during the day or night time. I asked everyone how they got these terrible markings on their bodies, but no one could tell me anything, including my parents.

In making this decision, I couldn\u2019t help thinking about what a Christian missionary said to me when he came to our village. He was a tall man with long hair and blue eyes. He always wore a long white garment, so clean and pure as if no one had ever worn it. He talked to us about God and I sat there listening to him even when everyone had left. People rejected him, because they didn\u2019t believe what he was saying. I could listen to him all day because what he said always seemed to get to my understanding. He said to me one day, \u201cBeing part of these traditional ritual groups is against the will of God and engaging in anything like that would bring you a terrible life and you would end up in the grave\u201d. This had been jingling in my mind since the day I heard it. It was never in my mind to engage in anything like that. But my dad would always look at me and tell me, get ready to be a man, because that\u2019s all joining the group was about. Tradition said it teaches you to be a man.

I told my parents I didn\u2019t want to go. I talked to them about what the missionary had told me but they said nothing to me in return. One night I overheard my parents talking in their room. They were talking about me going into the zoe bush. Their room was next door to mine and I wasn\u2019t really sleeping that night. I heard mom ask dad, \u201cDo you think Papay (me) is going to feel good about this, and is he going to make it back?\u201d Dad said, \u201cAll boys at his age are to go, so he\u2019s got no choice and we can\u2019t go against the traditional rules.\u201d At this point I felt more and more concern about this place and the fear kept raging in my mind as if I was in the middle of a ghost town. I was really scared.

A few weeks passed and we were to leave the next day. I felt so empty that night. My mind was floating with emotions and fear that my life was coming to an end. In the morning hours when the sun had just shown his face, a multitude of people, young men and women gathered in front of our house singing traditional songs. Some were crying. I was tied in a \u201clappa\u201d, traditional clothing made from wooden cloth with the end tips tied around my neck. I stood at the door and didn\u2019t want to get out.

There was nothing I could do about this and in my heart I knew I would never forgive myself. So I had to go.

My dad came, held me by my hand, took me outside and handed me over to a guy whose face was all painted in white mud with palm leaf in his mouth. As I stepped outside, my mom burst into tears and other people in the crow started crying too. Then suddenly it began to rain as we left for the forest.

The decision I made wasn\u2019t really my choice, tradition demanded it. Joining the group didn\u2019t really make me a man. I lost my parents when I came back which seemed like what the missionary told me earlier, wasn\u2019t just a saying. And yes, you don\u2019t tell people who haven\u2019t been there anything about it. Traditional groups are just based on ancient beliefs and there\u2019s no significance of being part of them.

"}, {"id":"3a4adc24-6f4c-55b1-8b36-1e2d282318d0","type":"article","starttime":"1485008100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T08:15:00-06:00","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"A whole new book for the Martz family","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_3a4adc24-6f4c-55b1-8b36-1e2d282318d0.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/a-whole-new-book-for-the-martz-family/article_3a4adc24-6f4c-55b1-8b36-1e2d282318d0.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/a-whole-new-book-for-the-martz-family/article_3a4adc24-6f4c-55b1-8b36-1e2d282318d0.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"JAN TOUNEY\njtouney@gmail.com","prologue":"MUSCATINE, Iowa - Jeff Martz, who has watched his son, Devin, battle cancer since June, said he doesn\u2019t see 2017 as just a new chapter in the life of his family. \u201cI want to start a whole new book,\u201d he said. And, really, he has begun to do that. Putting words to paper in a blue composition book, Jeff is working on the first piece in what he hopes is a series that tells the stories of children fighting cancer through the persona of animals.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["jeff martz","anatomy","zoology","literature","devin","art","eye","cancer","bear","excerpt","arm"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc","description":"Lindsay Martz, left, along with sons Devin and Daine, listen as her husband, Jeff, reads his first story about children fighting cancer using animals as the characters. Jeff hopes to make it into a series of stories.","byline":"BETH VAN ZANDT/MUSCATINE JOURNAL","hireswidth":2523,"hiresheight":1566,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/5b/65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc/5881b3974e564.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1827","height":"1134","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/5b/65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc/5881b396ea826.image.jpg?resize=1827%2C1134"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"62","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/5b/65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc/5881b396ea826.image.jpg?resize=100%2C62"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"186","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/5b/65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc/5881b396ea826.image.jpg?resize=300%2C186"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"636","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/5b/65b3dc56-d5f1-5738-a381-23fbb64b7fdc/5881b396ea826.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C636"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"3a4adc24-6f4c-55b1-8b36-1e2d282318d0","body":"

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Jeff Martz, who has watched his son, Devin, battle cancer since June, said he doesn\u2019t see 2017 as just a new chapter in the life of his family.

\u201cI want to start a whole new book,\u201d he said.

And, really, he has begun to do that.

Putting words to paper in a blue composition book, Jeff is working on the first piece in what he hopes is a series that tells the stories of children fighting cancer through the persona of animals.

He said he has enjoyed writing poetry since high school and participated in spoken word competitions.

A talented artist, he also is sketching pictures of the animals to illustrate his work.

His first story is about a bear and is based on Devin\u2019s story.

Here\u2019s an excerpt from his first draft:

\u201cMy run was fast and, my stance is tall

just the sight of me you see I\u2019m strong.

To understand what I face

you will give an arm or a leg,

and only then your eyes will see.

It\u2019s a bear to bare what is wrong with me.

It\u2019s a bear to bare what is wrong with me.\u201d

"}, {"id":"8b131296-dfd2-11e6-8026-134151bd8409","type":"article","starttime":"1485000600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T06:10:00-06:00","sections":[{"local":"news/local"},{"weather":"weather"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Foggy start to the weekend","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_8b131296-dfd2-11e6-8026-134151bd8409.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/foggy-start-to-the-weekend/article_8b131296-dfd2-11e6-8026-134151bd8409.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/foggy-start-to-the-weekend/article_8b131296-dfd2-11e6-8026-134151bd8409.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Times online staff","prologue":"A good Saturday to all. Here is the latest from the National Weather Service. This morning widespread dense fog will hang over the region until 9 a.m. Otherwise the \u00a0day will be mostly cloudy with a high near 51 degrees. South wind around 10 mph will become southwest in the afternoon. Tonight more widespread fog after 4 a.m. Otherwise, it will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 34 degrees. \u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["meteorology","fog","low","south wind","southwest","national weather service","weekend","latest"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"cad2593c-dfd2-11e6-8e9a-6b7885db5e56","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"960","height":"740","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ad/cad2593c-dfd2-11e6-8e9a-6b7885db5e56/588350333c3fd.image.png?resize=960%2C740"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"77","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ad/cad2593c-dfd2-11e6-8e9a-6b7885db5e56/588350333c3fd.image.png?resize=100%2C77"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"231","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ad/cad2593c-dfd2-11e6-8e9a-6b7885db5e56/588350333c3fd.image.png?resize=300%2C231"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"789","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ad/cad2593c-dfd2-11e6-8e9a-6b7885db5e56/588350333c3fd.image.png"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"8b131296-dfd2-11e6-8026-134151bd8409","body":"

A good Saturday to all. Here is the latest from the National Weather Service.

This morning widespread dense fog will hang over the region until 9 a.m. Otherwise the \u00a0day will be mostly cloudy with a high near 51 degrees. South wind around 10 mph will become southwest in the afternoon.

Tonight more widespread fog after 4 a.m. Otherwise, it will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 34 degrees. \u00a0

Sunday we can expect widespread fog before 7 a.m., mostly cloudy skies with a high near 45 degrees.

Sunday night will be mostly cloudy with a low around 33. degrees.

Have a great weekend.

"}, {"id":"7036a6d1-c0c6-5cac-a3a9-a29ee6e2a1e5","type":"article","starttime":"1484978400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-21T00:00:00-06:00","sections":[{"publicrecords":"news/local/publicrecords"}],"application":"editorial","title":"DAILY RECORD: births, fire calls","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/article_7036a6d1-c0c6-5cac-a3a9-a29ee6e2a1e5.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/daily-record-births-fire-calls/article_7036a6d1-c0c6-5cac-a3a9-a29ee6e2a1e5.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/daily-record-births-fire-calls/article_7036a6d1-c0c6-5cac-a3a9-a29ee6e2a1e5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Daily Record routinely publishes public records available through government agencies. BirthsTRINITY BETTENDORF Shelby Schaeffer and Zachary Mum, Davenport, boy, Jan. 18. Corrinne Gibbs and Kipp Ray, address not listed, boy, Jan. 17. Fire callsBETTENDORF Thursday False alarm: 1. Investigation: 1. EMS calls: 14.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["music","ems","bettendorf","moline","accident","davenport","false alarm","investigation"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":5,"commentID":"7036a6d1-c0c6-5cac-a3a9-a29ee6e2a1e5","body":"

Daily Record routinely publishes public records available through government agencies.

Births

TRINITY BETTENDORF

Shelby Schaeffer and Zachary Mum, Davenport, boy, Jan. 18.

Corrinne Gibbs and Kipp Ray, address not listed, boy, Jan. 17.

Fire calls

BETTENDORF

Thursday

False alarm: 1.

Investigation: 1.

EMS calls: 14.

DAVENPORT

Thursday

3:01 a.m., 3646 Johnson Ave., assist.

3:06 p.m., 310 S. Hazelwood Ave., assist.

False alarms: 3.

Investigations: 7.

EMS calls: 52.

EAST MOLINE

Thursday

8:41 a.m., 1800 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, vehicle accident.

EMS calls: 9.

MOLINE

Thursday

10:50 p.m., 3545 49th St., assist.

Investigation: 1.

EMS calls: 21.

ROCK ISLAND

Thursday

12:04 p.m., 1801 27th St./18th Avenue, vehicle accident.

3:46 p.m., 1830 2nd Ave., assist.

5:37 p.m., 645 38th St./7th Avenue, vehicle accident.

5:57 p.m., 1820 30th St., assist.

False alarm: 1.

Investigation: 1.

EMS calls: 17.

"} ]
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