[ {"id":"b312dbbe-f52b-11e6-9886-03aaf9824366","type":"article","starttime":"1487347860","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-17T10:11:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487354300","application":"editorial","title":"Download the new QCTimes iPad app","url":"http://qctimes.com/article_b312dbbe-f52b-11e6-9886-03aaf9824366.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/download-the-new-qctimes-ipad-app/article_b312dbbe-f52b-11e6-9886-03aaf9824366.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/download-the-new-qctimes-ipad-app/article_b312dbbe-f52b-11e6-9886-03aaf9824366.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"We want to let you know that we've released a newer, more up-to-date version of our news app, which will work better on both your iPhone and iPad. This app for iPad only will continue to work for some time, displaying news updates as normal. But it will not be updated for newer versions of your device's operating system, nor will it be updated to reflect new content or different features produced by our local newsroom.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["app","qctimes ipad","computer science","software","news","iphone","update","operating system","user"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"002d4e8e-f52c-11e6-9406-73ace91e6b04","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"576","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/02/002d4e8e-f52c-11e6-9406-73ace91e6b04/58a7213c0ade5.image.jpg?resize=576%2C768"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/02/002d4e8e-f52c-11e6-9406-73ace91e6b04/58a7213c0ade5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/02/002d4e8e-f52c-11e6-9406-73ace91e6b04/58a7213c0ade5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/02/002d4e8e-f52c-11e6-9406-73ace91e6b04/58a7213c0ade5.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"b312dbbe-f52b-11e6-9886-03aaf9824366","body":"

We want to let you know that we've released a newer, more up-to-date version of our news app, which will work better on both your iPhone and iPad.

This app for iPad only will continue to work for some time, displaying news updates as normal.

But it will not be updated for newer versions of your device's operating system, nor will it be updated to reflect new content or different features produced by our local newsroom.

We value every mobile app user and hope you'll be interested in downloading and using the new and improved app.

Download the latest QCTimes iPad app today.

"}, {"id":"9f3ed91f-0487-5c16-bbc7-cfa46e54fa13","type":"article","starttime":"1487412900","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-18T04:15:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487711558","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Warm temps mean semi-hardy birds stick around","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_9f3ed91f-0487-5c16-bbc7-cfa46e54fa13.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/warm-temps-mean-semi-hardy-birds-stick-around/article_9f3ed91f-0487-5c16-bbc7-cfa46e54fa13.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/warm-temps-mean-semi-hardy-birds-stick-around/article_9f3ed91f-0487-5c16-bbc7-cfa46e54fa13.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":7,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Alma Gaul\nagaul@qctimes.com","prologue":"Results of the Christmas Bird Count\u00a0in the Quad-City region are in, and they once again show evidence of\u00a0overall warmer weather in the area during December-January. In years past, so-called semi-hardy birds such as robins, winter wrens and eastern bluebirds would not be common\u00a0because they would have flown south, but this year they were counted in large numbers,\u00a0said\u00a0Kelly McKay, the Hampton, Illinois,\u00a0field biologist, who tabulated seven counts in the region. He was helped by Steve Hager, biology professor at Augustana College, Rock Island.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kelly mckay","christmas","mississippi river","buffalo","canada","odessa","lincoln sparrow","national audubon society","harriers","ornithology","waterfowl","bird","count","steve hager"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b","description":"A female eastern bluebird was among the so-called semi-hardy species that was counted in the Quad-Cities during the\u00a0Christmas Bird Count.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b/58a76c9f27d27.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b/58a76c9f27376.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b/58a76c9f27376.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b/58a76c9f27376.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a1ad77-4c97-5e87-a4ec-bbf49ff2397b/58a76c9f27376.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202","description":"About 400 rock pigeons were counted atop this\u00a0giant agricultural processing structure in the Sterling/Rock Falls, Illinois, count.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b0/8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202/58a76c9c3268f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b0/8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202/58a76c9c31919.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b0/8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202/58a76c9c31919.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b0/8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202/58a76c9c31919.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b0/8b0f607b-a173-5299-9741-8e21a7893202/58a76c9c31919.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3","description":"A red-headed woodpecker alights on a utility pole.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3/58a76c9c9e342.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3/58a76c9c9d7e9.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3/58a76c9c9d7e9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3/58a76c9c9d7e9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2eeb858a-097c-547c-97ec-d3de127ccdd3/58a76c9c9d7e9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b","description":"A hermit thrush throws the photographer a\u00a0quizzical look.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/7b/77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b/58a76c9d0e314.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/7b/77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b/58a76c9d0d4e2.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/7b/77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b/58a76c9d0d4e2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/7b/77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b/58a76c9d0d4e2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/7b/77bd3ac3-211b-5b9c-b101-fd4d1db8733b/58a76c9d0d4e2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2","description":"This year's\u00a0Christmas Bird Count in the Quad-City region produced a high number of sparrow species, including this white-throated sparrow counted in the Quad-Cities.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2a/a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2/58a76c9d83cf7.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2a/a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2/58a76c9d82e86.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2a/a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2/58a76c9d82e86.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2a/a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2/58a76c9d82e86.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2a/a2a9ca07-bb3d-5306-a868-da48b31fcae2/58a76c9d82e86.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc","description":"A red-breasted nuthatch sits on a twig.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY STEVE HAGER, AUGUSTANA COLLEGE","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/60/460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc/58a76c9eafb0e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/60/460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc/58a76c9eaefd0.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/60/460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc/58a76c9eaefd0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/60/460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc/58a76c9eaefd0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/60/460e5697-bc51-5ca5-9ac9-8e5da617a5bc/58a76c9eaefd0.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"93a29c0f-d409-50d0-9c20-e672c148348e","description":"Kelly McKay","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"338","height":"512","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/3a/93a29c0f-d409-50d0-9c20-e672c148348e/58a4dfceececa.image.jpg?resize=338%2C512"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"151","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/3a/93a29c0f-d409-50d0-9c20-e672c148348e/56b400bfc731d.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"454","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/3a/93a29c0f-d409-50d0-9c20-e672c148348e/58a4dfceececa.image.jpg?resize=300%2C454"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1551","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/3a/93a29c0f-d409-50d0-9c20-e672c148348e/58a4dfceececa.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":19,"commentID":"9f3ed91f-0487-5c16-bbc7-cfa46e54fa13","body":"

Results of the Christmas Bird Count\u00a0in the Quad-City region are in, and they once again show evidence of\u00a0overall warmer weather in the area during December-January.

In years past, so-called semi-hardy birds such as robins, winter wrens and eastern bluebirds would not be common\u00a0because they would have flown south, but this year they were counted in large numbers,\u00a0said\u00a0Kelly McKay, the Hampton, Illinois,\u00a0field biologist, who tabulated seven counts in the region. He was helped by Steve Hager, biology professor at Augustana College, Rock Island.

\"Their winter range is shifting north,\" he said. \"Here is a piece of evidence that is very strongly connected to climate change.\"

The exception to the \"generally warmer\" scenario\u00a0was the\u00a0period of near zero temperatures the region experienced in mid-December.\u00a0During that time, the Mississippi River froze over, leading to a lower-than-usual number of waterfowl and gulls in the count.

The Christmas census of bird populations has been conducted nationally for 117 years under the auspices of the National Audubon Society. On designated days in December and January, volunteers count birds at feeders and in the field, taking note of both numbers and species. Over time, the data reflect trends.

The seven counting areas compiled by McKay and Hager each\u00a0encompass an expanse of about 117 square miles.

The total number of birds counted this year\u00a0was 146,872, compared to 153,295 in 2015-16, 163,881 in 2014-15 and 159,644 in 2013-14.

McKay offered two reasons for the lower total, first being the frozen river on the days the\u00a0counts were made in the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Iowa/Savanna, Illinois, two\u00a0typically\u00a0high\u00a0water-bird spots.

Second,\u00a0red-winged black birds that have traditionally roosted in the thousands in the wetlands near Barstow, Illinois, are no longer there because of habitat loss, McKay said.

Among the \"best finds\" in this year's count were a golden eagle in the Princeton/Camanche, Iowa,\u00a0count and an osprey and two mountain bluebirds in the Clinton, Iowa/Savanna, Illinois count.

While semi-hardies were counted in good numbers,\u00a0previously common winter birds was a mixed bag, McKay reported. Finches were in poor numbers across the region, but there were large numbers of American tree sparrows and dark-eyed juncos.

"}, {"id":"ee08f6eb-f5eb-5fb0-a229-f0d76118ce4f","type":"article","starttime":"1487268000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-16T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487272030","sections":[{"bettendorf":"news/local/bettendorf"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Mother plans mega birthday bash for autistic son","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf/article_ee08f6eb-f5eb-5fb0-a229-f0d76118ce4f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf/mother-plans-mega-birthday-bash-for-autistic-son/article_ee08f6eb-f5eb-5fb0-a229-f0d76118ce4f.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf/mother-plans-mega-birthday-bash-for-autistic-son/article_ee08f6eb-f5eb-5fb0-a229-f0d76118ce4f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jack Cullen\njcullen@qctimes.com","prologue":"Signs of a busy household \u2014 a child\u2019s pink bicycle and kick scooter \u2014 are scattered across the front lawn at Holly Kay\u2019s rental home in Bettendorf. A closer inspection of the landscape reveals handprints enshrined in five separate decorative stones, which the single mother received as gifts last Mother\u2019s Day from her five children.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["health","holly kay","mitchell","bettendorf middle school","rock island","analog arcade bar","u.s. postal service","lisa reid","social media","bettendorf community center","bettendorf","scott community college","jennifer simmons","autism","post","school","education","invitation","birthday","bash","classmate"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4","description":"Holly Kay looks through some of the hundreds of birthday cards that arrived this week for her autistic son, Mitchell, who turns 14 later this month. In the past, none of Mitchell's classmates attended his birthday parties, so his mother took to social media in hopes of surprising her son with cards from family members and friends.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1294,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/81/881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4/589cb227ec759.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1600","height":"1294","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/81/881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4/589cb227eb8ae.image.jpg?resize=1600%2C1294"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"81","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/81/881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4/589cb227eb8ae.image.jpg?resize=100%2C81"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"243","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/81/881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4/589cb227eb8ae.image.jpg?resize=300%2C243"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"828","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/81/881681ee-9d18-513f-8549-2c0a6011e5e4/589cb227eb8ae.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C828"}}},{"id":"b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c","description":"Holly Kay greets U.S. Postal Service carrier Jennifer Simmons at her front door in Bettendorf and takes delivery of hundreds of birthday cards for her autistic son, Mitchell, who turns 14 this month. Kay reached out to friends on Facebook last month in hopes they would write Mitchell a birthday card. The post since has been shared more than 7,000 times.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1770,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/54/b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c/589cb22773a49.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1770","height":"1171","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/54/b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c/589cb22772bf5.image.jpg?resize=1770%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/54/b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c/589cb22772bf5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"198","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/54/b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c/589cb22772bf5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C198"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"677","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/54/b54162aa-e564-5931-9fe2-1872ee0e983c/589cb22772bf5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C677"}}},{"id":"23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1","description":"Sitting in the living room of her Bettendorf home, Holly Kay goes through some of the hundreds of birthday cards that have arrived this week for her autistic son, Mitchell, who turns 14 this month. On Monday, Kay found 181 letters in a large U.S. Postal Service box outside her front door.\u00a0","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1178,"hiresheight":1759,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/38/23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1/589cb22869a62.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1178","height":"1759","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/38/23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1/589cb22868e0f.image.jpg?resize=1178%2C1759"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"149","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/38/23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1/589cb22868e0f.image.jpg?resize=100%2C149"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"448","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/38/23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1/589cb22868e0f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C448"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1529","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/38/23870458-5d8a-5f13-9bb9-68fd694d94c1/589cb22868e0f.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1529"}}},{"id":"d323c579-32c0-5ba9-a05b-893d9d038b7c","description":"Mitchell Kay","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"480","height":"380","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/32/d323c579-32c0-5ba9-a05b-893d9d038b7c/589cb2274cadd.image.jpg?resize=480%2C380"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"79","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/32/d323c579-32c0-5ba9-a05b-893d9d038b7c/589cb2274cadd.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/d/32/d323c579-32c0-5ba9-a05b-893d9d038b7c/589cb2274cadd.image.jpg?resize=300%2C238"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"811","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/32/d323c579-32c0-5ba9-a05b-893d9d038b7c/589cb2274cadd.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":500,"hiresheight":500,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f6/3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69/589cf386c8882.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"500","height":"500","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f6/3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69/589cf386ccb11.image.jpg?resize=500%2C500"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"100","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f6/3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69/589cf386ccb11.image.jpg?resize=100%2C100"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f6/3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69/589cf386ccb11.image.jpg?resize=300%2C300"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1024","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f6/3f627707-bf84-580c-9664-3a64638b0c69/589cf386ccb11.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"ee08f6eb-f5eb-5fb0-a229-f0d76118ce4f","body":"

Signs of a busy household \u2014 a child\u2019s pink bicycle and kick scooter \u2014 are scattered across the front lawn at Holly Kay\u2019s rental home in Bettendorf.

A closer inspection of the landscape reveals handprints enshrined in five separate decorative stones, which the single mother received as gifts last Mother\u2019s Day from her five children.

Inside, an overwhelmed Kay, 33, has a moment to herself at her kitchen table, where she\u2019s jotting down a list of Quad-City contacts she has made this week in preparation for her teenage son\u2019s upcoming birthday.

In years past, Kay has sent party invitations to her son\u2019s classmates, but no one ever showed. So, for his 14th birthday this month, the devoted mother took to Facebook and asked her network of family and friends to send her son, Mitchell, birthday cards to help lift his spirits.

Within the past week, Kay\u2019s request has gone viral, and the public\u2019s response has blown her away.

\u201cI thought, even if Mitchell ended up with 10 cards, he would be so excited,\u201d Kay said, her phone ringing with notifications.

Since Jan. 9, her initial post has been shared more than 7,000 times, and as of last week, Kay had received more than 800 cards\u00a0in the mail from friends and strangers across the country.

On a single day, Jennifer Simmons, a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, delivered Kay a box of nearly 130 cards for Mitchell.

\u201cThis is the best part of my day,\u201d Simmons told the smiling mother, who plans to surprise Mitchell with the snail mail next week.

The eighth grader turns 14 on Feb. 20, but Kay rented out three rooms\u00a0 Friday, Feb. 17, at the Bettendorf Community Center, where she plans to host a public birthday bash for her son. Several Quad-City businesses and organizations, including Happy Joe's Pizza and Analog Arcade Bar, already have reached out to volunteer their services, Kay said.\u00a0

Because she does not allow Mitchell to use social media, the teenager has no clue what's coming, except that his family is throwing him a party.

\"I know the party is going to be huge, but that protective mom in me makes me worried that nobody's going to come,\" said Kay, a hairdresser who formerly managed the Great Clips in Rock Island.

Last year Kay, whose\u00a0children range in age from 2-16, moved her family from Rock Island to Bettendorf. She is taking a break from work and relying on savings, and the help of the father of three of her children, to support them. In March, she plans to enroll at Scott Community College in hopes of becoming an ultrasound technician.

When Mitchell's new classmates at Bettendorf Middle School noticed Kay's post on social media, they immediately banded together, temporarily ridding the mother's fears of bullying and her son\u2019s loneliness at the lunch table.

\"I've never seen anything like this,\" said Lisa Reid, principal\u00a0of Bettendorf Middle School, who noted the call for help has empowered students.

\"They\u2019re taking on something they read about on social media that wasn\u2019t negative,\" she said. \"It\u2019s really refreshing.\u201d

On Feb. 6, his peers gave Mitchell a cake and\u00a0a tri-fold poster board adorned with dozens of signatures and\u00a0short notes, including one that asks him to connect on Snapchat.\u00a0

Kay praised the students and faculty for their efforts.

She said Mitchell, who enjoys video games and Japanese culture, has struggled to make friends, but she thinks these acts of kindness will give him a boost of confidence \"he's never had before.\"

\u201cIt's so much more than a $2 card,\u201d she said. \u201cHe\u2019s going to wake up in the morning and not be bummed about having to go to school.\u201d

"}, {"id":"23acf094-e58a-580a-8351-46610d0d5c70","type":"article","starttime":"1487184300","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-15T12:45:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487281417","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Grassley: U.S. hands aren't clean","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_23acf094-e58a-580a-8351-46610d0d5c70.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/grassley-u-s-hands-aren-t-clean/article_23acf094-e58a-580a-8351-46610d0d5c70.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/grassley-u-s-hands-aren-t-clean/article_23acf094-e58a-580a-8351-46610d0d5c70.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ed Tibbetts\netibbetts@qctimes.com","prologue":"U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday the idea of Russian involvement in U.S. election is bothersome, but he added the United States doesn't come to the table with clean hands, noting the CIA's involvement in an Italian election in the 1940s. Grassley, R-Iowa, on a conference call with Iowa reporters, was responding to questions about new revelations that the Trump campaign had contacts with Russian intelligence agents before Election Day. The New York Times, citing unidentified sources, reported Wednesday that four Trump aides and associates had contacts with Russian agents. But the newspaper also reported those sources said they had found no evidence of collusion in order to affect the result of the election.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["chuck grassley","iowa","soviet union","italy","michael flynn","russia","russian intelligence","vice president","mike pence","trump administration","national security adviser","dave loebsack","the new york times","central intelligence agency","politics","institutes","parliament","democrat","dianne feinstein","investigation","cheri bustos"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30","description":"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks in February on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.","byline":"AP","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30/58b8a9960e2d0.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30/5892269e07e05.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30/5892269e07e05.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30/5892269e07e05.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64a6f83-e942-537d-9848-27cacee4bb30/5892269e07e05.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":14,"commentID":"23acf094-e58a-580a-8351-46610d0d5c70","body":"

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday the idea of Russian involvement in U.S. election is bothersome, but he added the United States doesn't come to the table with clean hands, noting the CIA's involvement in an Italian election in the 1940s.

Grassley, R-Iowa, on a conference call with Iowa reporters, was responding to questions about new revelations that the Trump campaign had contacts with Russian intelligence agents before Election Day. The New York Times, citing unidentified sources, reported Wednesday that four Trump aides and associates had contacts with Russian agents. But the newspaper also reported those sources said they had found no evidence of collusion in order to affect the result of the election.

For months, Democrats have been raising concerns about Russian involvement in the election. Those concerns have amplified in recent days. In Iowa, the state's lone Democratic congressman, Rep. Dave Loebsack, said Wednesday that Americans are demanding accountability and a new investigation ought to be launched into the matter.

\"It has become clearer with each passing day of the Trump Administration that there must be a full, independent investigation of his administration and campaign\u2019s connection to Russia,\" Loebsack said.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., also has called for an independent investigation.

On the conference call Wednesday, Grassley said that Russian involvement in U.S. elections should be taken seriously, but he also added it's not new that Russia has tried to influence U.S. public opinion. He said the French are worried about Russian meddling, too. And he also told about reading how the CIA supported one political party in Italy's 1948 election, while the Soviet Union backed another.

\"We don't come to this table hands free,\" Grassley said. Still, he added, \"None of this should be going on, so the answer is, yes, it is bothersome to me.\"

Later, Grassley tweeted that \"ANY Russian meddling in US election UNACCEPTABLE.\"

On the conference call, Grassley also expressed concerns about leaks to the news media, which played a part in the abrupt resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The Republican senator also said Wednesday that Flynn also had to be held to account for misleading statements to Vice President Mike Pence, which led to his resignation late Monday.

Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat, requested the Justice Department provide documents and a briefing on the circumstances leading up to Flynn's resignation.

"} ]