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Chad Olsen and his Olsen Custom Farms harvesting team are no strangers to the John Deere combine.

For his Hendricks, Minnesota-based custom harvesting operation, these big green machines are the workhorses that enable crews to harvest 600,000 to 700,000 acres of crops each year for farm customers stretching from Texas to Watson, Sasketchewan, Canada.

Even with his 25 years in the business, Olsen had a quiet excitement about him as he climbed into the cab of a new John Deere combine last week as it moved along the manufacturing line at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline.

It marked the first time the farmer/entrepreneur accepted the honors of starting his new combine as part of the plant's Gold Key Tour. \"Usually I let the employees do it,\" Olsen said. \"I can walk out of my shop anytime and start a combine.\"

But this particular visit to Harvester Works' Station 220 \u2014 the Gold Key Tour stop where a customer conducts the machine's first set of systems checks \u2014 held special significance. This was the 500th John Deere combine Olsen has purchased.

As he tested the machine's operating systems, Olsen had an entourage of 28 family members and Olsen Farms employees standing below to witness the momentous occasion. Taking the controls, Olsen checked some 30 different systems of the machine with a John Deere employee's guidance \u2014 watching for updates on a flat screen television monitor outside the machine.

The process checked everything from the engine to its hydraulics, the separator, lights, monitors, and even the horn. The whole checklist would get inspected again later down the line by members of Deere's quality team.

Olsen's crowd, who he brought overnight by charter bus from Minnesota, snapped photographs as he marked the occasion. Among his guests were two of his five children, son Charlie and daughter Ellie, longtime employees and a group of employees from South Africa, who join the harvesting crew each year.

The 500th machine is part of an order of 13 combines and eight pieces of front-end equipment that Harvester is building for Olsen. By year's end, Olsen said he will purchase 34 new combines from John Deere.

\"We don't grow our fleet until we have the jobs,\" Olsen said. With a total fleet of about 75 combines, he said the size of the fleet has been stabilizing over the past few years. \"We're playing it safer because we don't know what the farm economy is going to do. We're trying to stay efficient.\"

The bus trip, which included a luncheon at John Deere World Headquarters in Moline, provided a good distraction and break for the Olsen Farms team before its heavy lifting kicks off again in April.

Among the employees was Travis Schrick, who was on his second Harvester tour with his employer of 11 years. A semi-truck driver, Schrick said his job is to pick up and deliver the team's combines to its different harvesting jobs across the United States and Canada. \"We follow the harvest,\" he said, adding the combines begin shipping April 1. \"By mid-May or June 1, they are cutting.\"

Crews will start with the small grain first and wrap up with the large grains harvests, he said. Crops include wheat, canola, mustard, barley, milo, corn, beans, sunflowers and field peas, Schrick added.

Production excitement

Inside the manufacturing plant, Olsen and his team's presence could be felt from the time they entered the Visitor Center doors to the applause of more than a dozen John Deere team members to the reaction of dozens of employees on the factory floor. As the two dozen visitors toured the plant on trams, production employees greeted the group with cheers, \"thank yous,\" applause and an occasional thumbs up.\u00a0

On one of the very first stops, one worker walked to the tram and asked \"Which one of you guys is Chad?\" and proceeded to walk over and shake his hand.

\"You could feel the buildup of this all week long knowing this machine was coming,\" said Haley Franks, a Harvester Works production supervisor, or module leader. \"We have a lot of people do the Gold Tour experience here, but this is the first time I've been part of a 500th customer.\"

Deere officials were hesitant to confirm Olsen to be the first 500th combine customer. Given all the attention showered on the Olsen team, it was nonetheless an occasion of note.

\"It's just been a special experience,\" said Franks of Walnut, Illinois, a six-year Deere employee. \"When you think of how much money Olsen Farms has spent with us and invested in us, that says a lot about our product.\"

Jane Freeburg, an assembler for the past 10 years, said a 500-combine customer helps validates the work she and her co-workers do every day. \"What we try to do here is put out the best quality machine so the customers can do their best job at harvest.\"\u00a0

Her co-worker, Kari Bormann, an 11-year employee, added that every customer who comes in for a Gold Key Tour \"is a privilege to meet.\" \"Every machine we make is sold and has a name. But to see a face with it is uplifting and gratifying.\"\u00a0

Deere executive Doug Roberts, who is the director of Deere's global combine business, also was on hand at the plant for the milestone customer.

\"That is some kind of loyalty that allows a customer to buy 500 combines. You can see how excited our employees are,\"\u00a0 he said.

That level of purchasing also takes a sophisticated business operation like Olsen's, Roberts said. \"He runs 40 combines brand new every year and 40 from the year before for his rental business... \"

In addition to custom farming, Olsen has his own farm operation in Minnesota and rents out equipment to other farmers.

'Stayed green'

For Olsen, his dedication to Deere runs deep. In fact, he said other companies have offered to bring their machines for his crews to try. \"But we've stayed green.\"\u00a0

\"When we first started, we had no money, no financial backing and John Deere Financial took us on, so we've stuck with them,\" he said.\u00a0

Olsen did not set out to do custom combining, but was led down the path after a devastating fire on Dec. 19, 1990, destroyed the then young farmer's dairy barn. With his head of 48 cattle and their calves killed, and 3,500 bales of hay and other contents destroyed, Olsen faced his $100,000 investment gone up in smoke, and at 22 years old, had to start over.\u00a0

Olsen said the business, which now employs as many as 70 during peak harvest, began with him \"and a worn-out combine\" working for other neighboring farmers to make ends meet in 1993. Over the next decade, the operation grew to a fleet of 21 combines, 13 semis, four service trucks and four grain carts.

Today with a fleet of 75 to 80 combines, the team harvests\u00a0\u2014 and custom plants, too\u00a0\u2014 hundreds of thousands of acres across the United States and Canada. Beginning in spring, crews harvest small grains in the south and work north until October, or later, finishing up the Midwest's corn harvest.

\"We'll do any size farm from a 300-acre farm to a 30,000-acre farm,\" he said. \"My wife always reminds me we do small jobs as well as big jobs because it was the small guys that got us started. Every job makes a difference at the end of the year. They're all just as important. Size doesn't matter.\"

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Spencer and Emma Hicks and their three kids, who are 1, 4 and 7 years old, will star in a new TV show, called \"Small Town, Big Pick.\"\u00a0 The pilot episode is set to air at 9 p.m. Sunday on\u00a0Great American Country, a sister network to HGTV that\u00a0airs country music videos as well as original programs such as \"Betty White's Smartest Animals In America\" and \"Flea Market Flip,\" hosted by\u00a0\"Good Morning America\"\u00a0anchor Lara Spencer.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["pilot","one","emma hicks","iowa","united states","john deere","series","american pickers","television","emma","entrepreneur","sister network","calamus","p&k midwest","dixon","good morning america","online boutique","spencer hicks","rapids","eastern iowa","north scott high school","america","small town","midwest","camp climb","big pick","lara spencer","sales 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A Dixon, Iowa, family has been picked for their 15 minutes\u00a0\u2014 at least\u00a0\u2014 of fame.

Spencer and Emma Hicks and their three kids, who are 1, 4 and 7 years old, will star in a new TV show, called \"Small Town, Big Pick.\"\u00a0

The pilot episode is set to air at 9 p.m. Sunday on\u00a0Great American Country, a sister network to HGTV that\u00a0airs country music videos as well as original programs such as \"Betty White's Smartest Animals In America\" and \"Flea Market Flip,\" hosted by\u00a0\"Good Morning America\"\u00a0anchor Lara Spencer.

\"Small Town, Big Pick\" follows the Hicks family on their \u201cpicking\u201d adventures throughout Iowa and the Midwest, making it more comparable to \"American Pickers,\" for example, than the home-flipping show \"Fixer Upper.\"\u00a0

In July, camera crews visited Dixon to spend a few days filming the family.\u00a0

Emma Hicks, a 26-year-old \"junk lover\" and entrepreneur, said Sunday's screening will be her first time seeing the pilot.

The episode will feature footage of her and her family \"getting down right dirty in barns,\" renovating their own barn/workshop as well as rescuing and repurposing items to sell to clients and at craft shows.\u00a0

After several months of waiting, Emma Hicks shared news of the pilot air date on Tuesday via Facebook. Her post has been shared nearly 100 times.\u00a0

\"It's kind of crazy. I'm sure it will be a little weird to see myself on TV,\" Hicks said. \"It's very exciting. We're just anxious to see where it goes from here.\"\u00a0

Hicks invited her family friends to attend a viewing party at Steffen's Tap, the bar her mother owns in Calamus, Iowa. She encourages\u00a0others to tune in on Sunday to better the chances of \"Small Town, Big Pick\" being picked up for a full series.

Hicks said she's optimistic, but won't be too caught up in the numbers.\u00a0

\"We've done a good job of putting it in the back of our minds so far,\" she said. \"We'll just keep living our lives.\"\u00a0

They keep plenty busy.

Emma Hicks, who operates\u00a0an online boutique and blog called Main & Second, is the creative one in the duo.

This past year, she launched a popular vintage and craft vendor fair series, called Iowa Gathering, that showcases an array of Midwest\u00a0pickers, makers and interior decorators.

Her last two ticketed events, held in barns in Wilton and DeWitt, each sold out at least two weeks in advance.\u00a0

On the couple's adventures, Spencer Hicks, 26, who works as a sales representative for P&K Midwest, a John Deere dealership, and coaches football at North Scott High School, ends up handling more of the \"manual labor\" side of things.\u00a0

\"The show is kind of like a walking billboard for all we do,\" Emma Hicks said. \"We think it could be a positive light for people ... to watch something good and show that positive families are out there.\"\u00a0\u00a0

And filming more episodes, Hicks said, would provide even more family time.

\"We're family-oriented, so if it did take off, it might mean spending more time together as a family doing the things we love to do, which would be great,\" she said.\u00a0

For those who are unable to watch the pilot on Sunday, Hicks has already come up with another watching opportunity. She plans to play the episode during the next\u00a0Iowa Gathering, set for Saturday, March 3, at Ashton Hill Farm in Cedar Rapids.\u00a0She is also planning a retreat for creatives, what she\u2019s calling Camp Climb, set for August.

Along with emphasizing family values, Hicks said she hopes the show shines a light on small towns and the \"beauty\" of eastern Iowa.\u00a0

\"We really believe that big things can come from small towns,\" she said.\u00a0

"}, {"id":"508a2268-5f3a-5c23-9771-8399a3e39adb","type":"article","starttime":"1516406940","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-19T18:09:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1516458227","sections":[{"obituaries":"news/local/obituaries"}],"application":"editorial","title":"James 'Jimmer' Masterson","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_508a2268-5f3a-5c23-9771-8399a3e39adb.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/obituaries/james-jimmer-masterson/article_508a2268-5f3a-5c23-9771-8399a3e39adb.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/obituaries/james-jimmer-masterson/article_508a2268-5f3a-5c23-9771-8399a3e39adb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"DAVENPORT\u00a0\u2014 James \u201cJimmer\u201d Masterson, 27, a resident of Davenport, died unexpectedly Thursday, January 18, 2018, in Davenport. A Mass of Christian Burial for Jim will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Davenport. The family will greet friends Monday from 4 until 7 p.m. at\u00a0 Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c072c292-a1d6-59be-b13a-e86d00fa76e2","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"491","height":"673","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/07/c072c292-a1d6-59be-b13a-e86d00fa76e2/5a628a44d0985.image.jpg?resize=491%2C673"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"137","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/07/c072c292-a1d6-59be-b13a-e86d00fa76e2/5a628a44d0985.image.jpg?resize=100%2C137"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"411","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/07/c072c292-a1d6-59be-b13a-e86d00fa76e2/5a628a44d0985.image.jpg?resize=300%2C411"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1404","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/07/c072c292-a1d6-59be-b13a-e86d00fa76e2/5a628a44d0985.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"508a2268-5f3a-5c23-9771-8399a3e39adb","body":"

DAVENPORT\u00a0\u2014 James \u201cJimmer\u201d Masterson, 27, a resident of Davenport, died unexpectedly Thursday, January 18, 2018, in Davenport. A Mass of Christian Burial for Jim will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Davenport. The family will greet friends Monday from 4 until 7 p.m. at\u00a0 Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport.

Among those to honor his memory are his mother, Jamie (Jerry) Ezard, Dave (Maria) Masterson and siblings, Zach, Joe, Chelsea, Cassandra, Thomas and Jared. There will be a complete obituary in Sunday's Quad-City Times.

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"}, {"id":"3afe5940-73bd-533e-83c9-9b86b3312c9e","type":"article","starttime":"1516037345","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-15T11:29:05-06:00","lastupdated":"1516549805","priority":0,"sections":[{"simplemost":"lifestyles/simplemost"}],"flags":{"hot":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Two More Young People Have Died From Sepsis \u2014 Here's What You Need To Know","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/simplemost/article_3afe5940-73bd-533e-83c9-9b86b3312c9e.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/simplemost/two-more-young-people-have-died-from-sepsis-here-s/article_3afe5940-73bd-533e-83c9-9b86b3312c9e.html","canonical":"https://www.simplemost.com/sepsis-deaths-teenagers/?utm_campaign=lee_email&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=partner&utm_partner=lee_email","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"A few weeks before Christmas, 12-year-old Alyssa Alcaraz was not feeling like her usual bubbly self. The normally energetic and vibrant girl who loved singing, cheerleading and making people laugh was feeling lethargic and ill. Her mother, Keila Lino Alcaraz, took her to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, California,","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","simplemost","health","news","fever","flu","infection","influenza","sepsis","septic shock","medicine","anatomy","psychology","greg martin","symptom","pippa","hospital","immunology"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"fa624879-f2ce-5725-a62d-8b1e25bf8fee","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"750","height":"500","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a6/fa624879-f2ce-5725-a62d-8b1e25bf8fee/5a5f9326f0644.image.jpg?resize=750%2C500"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a6/fa624879-f2ce-5725-a62d-8b1e25bf8fee/5a5f9326f0644.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a6/fa624879-f2ce-5725-a62d-8b1e25bf8fee/5a5f9326f0644.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a6/fa624879-f2ce-5725-a62d-8b1e25bf8fee/5a5f9326f0644.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":368,"commentID":"3afe5940-73bd-533e-83c9-9b86b3312c9e","body":"

A few weeks before Christmas, 12-year-old Alyssa Alcaraz was not feeling like her usual bubbly self. The normally energetic and vibrant girl who loved singing, cheerleading and making people laugh was feeling lethargic and ill.

Her mother, Keila Lino Alcaraz, took her to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, California, for treatment, according to ABC News. There, she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home with instructions to rest, drink fluids and take ibuprofen.

Three days later, Alyssa was dead and the bright light of the Alcaraz family was extinguished. The culprit behind this tragedy was not the flu at all. In fact, Alyssa\u2019s death was caused by septic shock and cardiac arrest.

Sadly, this is not the first time that parents have lost a child to overlooked sepsis, which Dr. Greg Martin, a critical-care physician at Emory University School of Medicine, called \u201cthe great masquerader.\u201d This is because the symptoms of sepsis can mimic the symptoms of the flu, pneumonia and other illness, leading doctors to miss sepsis until it is too late.

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis is caused by the body\u2019s own immune system when it \u201cgo[es] into overdrive in response to an infection,\u201d according to Healthline. When a person has an infection (bacterial, fungal or viral), the body\u2019s natural reaction is to fight it. But the chemicals released while fighting the infection can cause a chain reaction of inflammatory responses throughout the body.

Adobe

Symptoms of sepsis include shivering, a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, extreme pain, sleepiness, confusion, shortness of breath, rash, and pale or discolored skin, as highlighted in this helpful visual from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

After sepsis, the next stage of the illness is severe sepsis, when organ failure can occur. Lastly comes septic shock, which is a medical emergency.

Adobe

People with weakened immune systems and vulnerable patients (such as the very young, the very old or those with chronic diseases) are those who are most likely to develop sepsis. However, the Sepsis Alliance calls sepsis \u201can equal-opportunity killer impacting people of all ages and\u00a0levels of health.\u201d

Sadly, deaths from sepsis have been on the rise in the United States and elsewhere, with some doctors warning that this was due to growing antibiotic resistance. Severe sepsis strikes more than a million Americans a year, according to the National Institutes of Health\u2019s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, with a 15-30 percent mortality rate.

Other Deaths From Sepsis

Sepsis has the ability to take lives from otherwise healthy individuals.

Such was the case for 21-year-old Kyler Baughman of Penn., a bodybuilder who was studying to become a personal trainer. He had a fever before Christmas and as his symptoms worsened, he went to the emergency room. There, he was airlifted to a larger hospital as the medical staff realized they were dealing with something very serious. In an almost unbelievable turn of events, the young man who took impeccable care of his health died within just 24 hours. The cause? Septic shock brought on by influenza.

Sepsis can also be caused by seemingly small injuries. This was the case for the Staunton family from New York who lost their healthy, active son Rory after he got small cut on his arm in gym class\u2026 and died four days later due to a\u00a0sepsis infection.

In 2014, a 3-year-old named Pippa was wrongly diagnosed with pneumonia at the hospital, but died just hours later from her true ailment: severe sepsis.

\u201cPippa went in at 7 p.m. and she died by 4 a.m. That\u2019s how quickly it takes a life,\u201d said her heartbroken father, Peter.

JustGiving

Preventing Sepsis

According to Sepsis Alliance, sepsis affects over 26 million people worldwide each year and is the largest killer of children in the world.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

You can prevent sepsis in yourself and your family by practicing good hygiene.\u00a0Cleaning any cuts and scrapes (no matter how small) is important, as is staying current with vaccinations.

It is also important to spread awareness about sepsis and to teach parents and medical staff to recognize the signs of sepsis before it is too late.

If you are concerned you or someone you know may be at risk for having developed sepsis, contact your doctor right away.

RELATED: This family portrait has a beautiful, bittersweet backstory:

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.


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Family and friends of Jescie J. Armstrong cried as they recounted the 15-year-old\u2019s short life to a Rock Island County judge Wednesday.

They talked about his humor, his love of fishing and catching frogs, and his willingness to help anyone in need.

His grandmother, Debbie Armstrong, said the teen\u2019s father had gotten him a car and that the two had been fixing it up together.

She and other family members said that\u00a0Jescie Armstrong, who was fatally shot during a drug deal gone bad in April 2016, will never get his driver\u2019s license, graduate from high school, get married or start a family.

\u201cJescie\u2019s life was taken by a senseless crime by a person who calls herself a mother,\u201d Debbie Armstrong said at the sentencing hearing of Chelsea M. Raker, 23, who admitted to playing a role in his death.

\u201cHow could a mother kill someone else\u2019s child?\u201d

Raker, of Columbus, Ohio, who pleaded guilty in October to armed robbery, was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison. She must serve 85 percent of the sentence before she can be considered for parole.

She also was given credit for time served and was ordered to serve three years of mandatory supervised release when she completes her prison sentence. As part of the plea, prosecutors dropped two counts of first degree murder, and one count of aiding a fugitive to flee.

Raker declined to make a statement in court during a lengthy hearing at the Rock Island County Justice Center. However, Judge Norma Kauzlarich read aloud a letter that Raker had written.

In the letter, she apologized and said \u201cmy heart weeps for everyone involved, especially for the family of young Mr. Armstrong.\u201d

\u201cI cannot imagine the pain Jescie\u2019s mother had endured,\u201d she said in the letter. \u201cFor this, I am deeply sorry.\u201d

Rock Island police were dispatched just before 2 p.m. April 27, 2016, to the 500 block of 20th Avenue after receiving a report of shots fired inside a home.

Officers found Armstrong with a gunshot wound to the head. He later died at Trinity Rock Island.

According to prosecutors, Raker and co-defendants Kire G. Carr and Trey B. Gustafson went to Armstrong\u2019s home to buy about $150 worth of marijuana.

Gustafson went into a separate room of the home and could not provide an eyewitness account of the shooting, according to prosecutors.

During the drug deal, Carr pulled a handgun from inside his clothing, threatening the imminent use of force to take the marijuana without paying, according to prosecutors.

A physical fight ensued between Carr and Armstrong and they went to the floor. Raker was standing right next to where the two were fighting, according to prosecutors.

A teen who is friends with Carr had come along to Armstrong\u2019s house but remained in the car outside during the drug deal and shooting.

The teen said he saw Raker with a gun in her possession immediately before going into the house, according to prosecutors.

Armstrong\u2019s brother, Mark Snyder, was also at the house at the time of the shooting and was in close proximity to the fight.

He could not provide an eyewitness account of whether it was Raker or Carr who shot his brother, which created reasonable doubt as to who was the actual shooter, according to prosecutors.

Carr later provided a statement that Raker had a different firearm from him and that she fired it during the robbery. After the shooting, Raker, Carr and Gustafson left the home with the marijuana, according to prosecutors.

Raker, Carr and his teen friend drove to an apartment in Columbus, Ohio, where they were found the following day.

Police recovered two handguns from the apartment, according to prosecutors.

Carr, 19, of Rock Island, was immediately taken into custody. Raker was arrested in May 2016 in Georgia.

Gustafson was arrested in July 2016.

In a letter read aloud by court personnel Wednesday, Snyder said that he not only lost his brother, he lost himself that day.

\u201cI watched my 15-year-old brother get shot,\u201d Snyder said in the letter. \u201cI watched his lips turn cold, his eyes roll to the back of his head, and his last words to me were, \u2018Mark, I love you.\u2019\u201d

Rock Island County State\u2019s Attorney John McGehee recommended a 45-year sentence and said that Raker was \u201cnot on the periphery of this case.\u201d

\u201cShe was highly responsible for this armed robbery, which resulted in this terrible tragedy,\u201d he said. \u201cThis crime also involved planning. Bringing a gun to a robbery of a 15-year-old kid is premeditated.\u201d

Defense attorney Dora Villarreal asked for the minimum 26-year sentence and said that Raker did not think that she would walk out of the house that day and \u201cthere would be a dead person in that house.\u201d

She also argued that Raker accepted responsibility for her actions, was remorseful and did not have a prior record.

\u201cThere are many factors in mitigation,\u201d Villarreal said. \u201cAll the factors and reasons behind them truly show that this was a one-time incident. It was a big cluster of stupid decisions that were made that led to one awful, awful mistake. But, they are not who she is.\u201d

Kauzlarich rejected the defense\u2019s claims that Raker did not contemplate that her actions would cause serious harm to Armstrong or that she acted under strong provocation.

\u201cYou came to some place you\u2019re not even from and went along with whatever it was, and I refuse, I do not believe for second, that either of these two people, Kire Carr or Mr. Gustafson, or the juvenile that was in the car held any sort of influence or control over you,\u201d she said. \u201cI think it was the other way around.\u201d

The judge said that while she did not agree with Armstrong\u2019s choices that day, he didn\u2019t deserve to die.

\u201cI believe you are remorseful, but on that date, your choice was to enter a residence to rob somebody of a small amount of weed, $150 doesn\u2019t get you much, with a firearm and immediately upon it happening, instead of calling 911 or get help, you took off,\u201d she said. \u201cFlight is an indication of guilt, Ms. Raker.\u201d

Carr is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in Armstrong\u2019s death. In August, he agreed to testify against Raker and will plead guilty to felony murder in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence.

He will have to serve 100 percent of the sentence.

A formal plea hearing has not yet been set. Carr will be back in court Feb. 1 for a status hearing.

Gustafson, 20, of Rock Island, who was shot in the buttocks during the incident, is charged with one count of first-degree murder. He has a status hearing Feb. 2.

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A Davenport commissioner, citing a busy schedule, has resigned more than eight months after he was found to have followed a city employee into the first-floor women's bathroom at City Hall.

Surveillance footage provided to the Quad-City Times by the city captured Bishop Jimmie Horton, a longtime member of the Affirmative Action Commission, walking into the women's bathroom on April 24, 2017, shortly after Civil Rights Director Latrice Lacey.\u00a0

Horton was attending a mediation conducted by the Civil Rights Commission and remained in the women's bathroom for approximately 25 seconds until another city employee approached the door.

Lacey reported the incident to City Attorney Tom Warner three days later, but it wasn't until recently that a decision was made to take substantive action.

\"They offered him the opportunity to resign or be removed from the commission,\" Lacey said.

The Quad-City Times spoke to Horton, a pastor at Gospel Mission Temple, shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. At the time, he was still a commissioner.\u00a0

\u201cThe allegations that have been made toward me are absolutely false,\u201d Horton said. \u201cI have an impeccable reputation in the areas to what I have been accused of. I pray for the accuser.\u201d

Two hours after speaking with the Quad-City Times, he tendered his resignation citing his busy schedule.

\u201cFor the past two years, I have been fiercely considering not serving another term because of my demanding schedule,\u201d Horton said.

Lacey is also sharing the story with the nonprofit Love Girls Magazine, as part of a joint venture between the Civil Rights Commission, the magazine and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, in light of a growing number of sexual harassment and assault stories nationwide.

The campaign, which will be pushed primarily through social media, will focus both on informing victims of their rights and providing helpful training in the workplace.\u00a0

Lacey said the commission discussed the venture a few months ago, but she was not initially going to share her story. That changed, she said, after she experienced and reported more alleged inappropriate behavior by Horton in November.

This compelled Lacey to step forward and publicize the allegations.

\"It's important that we don't sweep things like that under the rug or ignore that kind of behavior because it could lead to someone being seriously injured,\" Lacey said. \"Women are forced into making things not a big deal that truly are. It's important for all us to share our experiences.\"

In the surveillance video, Horton is seen walking past the men's room as he turns the corner toward the women's bathroom. The door to the men's bathroom is directly in front of the hallway that leads to both restrooms.

The men's bathroom decal is partially visible in the bottom left corner of the footage.

Lacey, who was the only other person in the bathroom at the time, reported that Horton never used the bathroom and remained until secretary Beth Badillo approached the door.

\u201cHe went into the stall next me and was just standing there,\u201d Lacey said.

After Badillo directed Horton to the proper restroom in the video, he does enter and exit the men's bathroom.

Data from the video file Warner provided to the Quad-City Times indicates it was initially accessed on April 28, 2017.

Because the incident involved an employee, Warner said the city will not comment, as it constitutes a personnel matter.

Horton had been allowed to remain on the commission until Lacey rehashed the subject along with more allegations during a meeting she and Civil Rights Commissioners Helen Roberson and Susie Greenwalt had with Mayor Frank Klipsch on Jan. 2.

Lacey also alleged that Horton made inappropriate comments about her daughter after Lacey rebuffed an attempted hug from him at the Nov. 30 Affirmative Action Commission meeting.

Citing the incident as a personnel matter, Klipsch said he could not comment about it.

\"I want to be as open as I can, but we have specific administrative policies,\" Klipsch said.

While Klipsch was limited to what he could say, Roberson confirmed that the conversation happened with the mayor, after last week's Civil Rights Commission meeting.

After informing Klipsch this month, Lacey met with Human Resources Director Dawn Sherman and Warner about the complaints.

\"Dawn said that she was going to investigate, but Tom said that there was nothing to investigate because he had followed me into the bathroom,\" Lacey said.

While Warner could not comment on this particular incident, he said if a commissioner needed to be removed, the city could seek to do so through the public process in Iowa Code.

Iowa Code Chapter 372.15 outlines the steps for removing appointees and includes a public hearing within 30 days of the request.

Horton was reappointed to the commission at the July 26, 2016, City Council meeting by Klipsch.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that\u00a0Civil Rights Commissioners Helen Roberson confirmed that a conversation between Lacey and Mayor Klipsch occurred, She did not confirm the accuracy of the comments made in the conversation.\u00a0

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Weather news dominates Rick's Six on this Martin Luther King Jr. Monday holiday. Here are the details from the National Weather Service.

1. Winter weather advisory until noon

\"NWS:
NWS: Snowfall

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the Quad-City region until noon today as a fast-moving storm system is impacting the area with widespread 1 to 2 inch snow totals so far. Another half inch to 1 plus inch of snow is possible before ending this morning. Total snowfall accumulations of 2 to 3 inches are expected with isolated 4 inch totals by the time the snow ends by late morning.

A northwest wind gusting at times to around 35 mph will produce blowing and drifting snow in open areas, continuing through Monday morning.

Bitterly cold air will move into the area behind the front, and will produce wind chills of 15 to 25 below zero. The coldest wind chills are expected Monday night into Tuesday morning.

2. Blustery with blowing snow

\"NWS:
NWS: radar

There will be patchy blowing snow between 10 a.m. and noon. Skies will be mostly cloudy and blustery with a temperature falling to around 3 degrees by 5 p.m. Wind-chill values will be as low as -15 degrees as a northwest wind between 15 to 20 mph will gust as high as 25 mph.

Monday night: There's a 20 percent chance of snow before 3 a.m. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low around 1 degrees and wind-chill values as low as -20 degrees. West winds between 10 to 15 mph will gust as high as 25 mph.

Tuesday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 17 degrees and an overnight low around 0. Wind-chill values will be as low as -10 degrees.

3. Wind chill advisory from 5 p.m. until noon, Tuesday

\"NWS:
NWS: Wind chill

After that fast moving storm system moves through the region a northwest wind gusting at times to around 35 mph will produce blowing and drifting snow in open areas.

Bitterly cold air will continue to move into the area behind the front, and will produce wind chills of 15 to 25 below zero. The coldest wind chills are expected Monday night into Tuesday morning.

The cold wind chills will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin.

Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.

4. MLK interpretive center inches forward in Davenport

\"011218-MLK-Interpretive-Center-007\"

A mural depicting Martin Luther King hangs on the wall of the new MLK Interpretive Center, Friday, January 12, 2018, located at 5th and Brady Streets in Davenport.

Plans are moving forward at Davenport's 5th and Brady streets for an interpretive center\u00a0chronicling the civil rights movement and a memorial plaza honoring\u00a0the\u00a0legacy of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The interpretive center's physical space is already built, and the group leading the remaining work \u2014 developing content and programming for the center and building the plaza \u2014\u00a0has scheduled its\u00a0first major fundraiser gala\u00a0for Jan. 27 at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport. Read more.

5. Two arrested in Long Grove methamphetamine bust

\"siren\"
siren

A Long Grove man and woman were arrested Friday after officers discovered three one-pot methamphetamine labs, methamphetamine-making materials and paraphernalia, and a shotgun in their home. Read more.

6. Prep basketball: Coss' ballot

\"120517-PV-Assumption-BB-009\"

Assumption's Dylan Peeters drives against Pleasant Valley's Brian Dayman during a game earlier this season. The Spartans (10-1) are ranked eighth on Quad-City Times sports editor Matt Coss' ballot this week in Class 4A.

The fifth Iowa high school Associated Press boys basketball poll of the season is scheduled to be released this afternoon. Check out how Quad-City Times sports editor Matt Coss voted.

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Dec. 12, 1981 \u2014 Jan. 10, 2018

DAVENPORT \u2014 Benjamin (Ben) McAndrews, 36, of Davenport, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at the University of Iowa Hospitals.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Runge Mortuary from 4-6 p.m. Following the visitation will be a Celebration of Life at 7 p.m.\u00a0at Thunder Bay Grille, Davenport. Please bring a favorite photo of Ben to share. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rungemortuary.com.

Ben was born in Davenport, on Dec. 12, 1981, to Mark and Tara McAndrews. He graduated from Davenport Central High School in 2000.

Ben was employed by Heartland of America for 10 years and was a manager at Thunder Bay Grille and Grandma's Kitchen. Ben loved being a manager at Thunder Bay Grille and considered the people he worked with family.

Ben was a shy little boy who grew up to be the most outgoing, caring, loving and giving man. He was a friend to many and touched the lives of everyone he met. He always had a smile on his face and love in his heart. His passion was movies. He had a vast collection of DVDs and was especially fond of horror movies. Ben was also an avid fan of Mariah Carey, as anyone who knew him would tell you.

Left to cherish his memory are his parents, Tara and Terry Herum; brothers, Paul McAndrews, Erik and Justin Herum, all of Davenport; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and special friends.

Ben will be reunited with those who preceded him in death; his father, Mark McAndrews; grandparents Ed and Winnie McAndrews, Fred and Elsie Drebenstedt; and an aunt.

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