1. Showers possible early today

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A good Friday to all. Flood-related watches and warnings have been issued for area streams and rivers, including up and down the Mississippi River.

Here's the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Today there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before noon. Then skies will be mostly cloudy with a high near 84 degrees.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 64 degrees.

Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 84 degrees.

Saturday night there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 a.m. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low around 67 degrees.

Sunday brings a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a high near 80 degrees.

Sunday night there's a 30 percent chance of showers before 1 a.m. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low around 59 degrees.

2. 17-foot crest possible next week on the Mississippi River

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The Mississippi River in the Quad-Cities is rising and now expected to hit 17 feet by possibly by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Flooding is expected to occur locally on the Mississippi River over the next week as recent storms north of the Quad-Cities dropped heavy rains over a wide area of northeast Iowa, Minnesota and western Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

The Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 15, Rock Island, is expected to reach its 15-foot flood stage late Monday afternoon, said meteorologist Tom Philip of the National Weather Service, Davenport.

It is expected to reach 17 feet late Wednesday or early Thursday. The weather service is unable to forecast whether the river will go higher than 17 feet, Philip said. Read more.

Related

DES MOINES  — Authorities say flash flooding is occurring across several counties in northea…

3. Brandon Ketchum inspires 'Never Again Act'

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U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, on duty in Afghanistan. He also served with the Marine Corps and was twice deployed to Iraq.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Times columnist Barb Ickes writes, "The people who love him say Brandon Ketchum would be pleased. Though too late for Brandon, his suicide now stands to help other broken veterans. "

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, this week introduced legislation that could just as easily be called the Brandon Ketchum Bill. The "Never Again Act" would require VA medical centers to provide in-patient psychiatric care for any veteran who asks for it. It's the kind of common-sense policy that many of us will be surprised to learn does not already exist. Read more.

4. 2,400 United Way volunteers pitch in on projects

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Dan Cox, a manufacturing engineer at Deere & Co., spreads mulch on the playground at Hand-in-Hand during United Way's Community Day of Caring event in Bettendorf.

Jeff Cook, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Grasping a shovel, Dillon Smith of Deere & Co., Moline, jammed the blade under a stubborn stand of weeds growing in a raised vegetable bed at the Skip-A-Long day care center in Rock Island.

At Family Resources Center in Davenport, Andrea Nitzel, of Wells Fargo mortgage services, Davenport, swept a paint roller across a concrete block wall, leaving a fresh coat of white in a dorm room.

And at the Hand-in-Hand Center in Bettendorf, Debby Schaller, of the American Rental Association, Moline, sat cross-legged on the floor with a preschooler in her lap, helping to build a Lego structure.

Smith, Nitzel and Schaller were three of the 2,400 volunteers who participated Thursday in the annual Community Day of Caring event sponsored by United Way of the Quad-Cities Area. Read more.

5. Hawkeyes look to clean up blitz protection

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Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard sits on the field after recovering a bad snap during the second half of the Hawkeyes' loss to North Dakota State last weekend at Kinnick Stadium.

The Associated Press

Defensive pressure and timely blitzes created issues for quaterback C.J. Beathard and the Hawkeye offense last week against North Dakota State. During Iowa’s 2-1 start, six sacks have slowed or stalled Iowa drives.

One of the blitzes by the Bison resulted in Beathard getting blindsided as he threw, leading to an interception by MJ Stumpf for a pick-six during the first half.

This Saturday whenever the Rutgers Scarlet Knights send a blitz his way, Beathard expects to be ready for it. Read more.

6. Douglas said he's earned spot on Globetrotters roster

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Former Clinton High School standout Devan Douglas has won a spot on the Harlem Globetrotters roster.

Kevin E. Schmidt, Quad-City Times

Devan Douglas isn’t sure yet where he will be going, but he will be off to see the world in a few months as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Davenport resident and former Clinton High School star said he just received word within the past week that his summer tryout with the world’s most famous touring basketball team was successful. Read more.