A good Friday to all. Wasn't that just a gorgeous near-full moon in the sky last night? It was a beautiful way of saying goodbye to November and hello to December. On to the forecast.

1. December starts off unseasonably warm

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NWS: Weather summary

The National Weather Service is forecasting sunny skies today with another high in the mid-50s.

Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 31 degrees. 

Sunny skies will continue to dominate the weekend with a high of 54 degrees on Saturday and  56 degrees on Sunday.

However late Sunday night will bring a 40 percent chance of rain.

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NWS: Weather summary 2

Rain is likely on Monday and then things begin to look much more December-like as seen in the above NWS graphic.

2. Former director who admitted to school meal program theft may take back guilty plea

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Norma Jean Adams (LaMantia)

Norma Jean Adams (LaMantia)

A former executive for the School Nutrition Association of Iowa has a week to decide whether she wants to take back her guilty plea to stealing money from the organization, a judge said Thursday.

Norma Jean Adams, 74, originally was set to be sentenced in Scott County District Court on one count of commission of specified unlawful activity, a Class B felony that carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. Read more.

3. 38-year-old child murder case still haunts police

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badge

Of all the frustrations police have in their daily jobs, at the top of the list is having a case come to a standstill without resolution, no arrests of the perpetrators and no justice for the victims.

Davenport has its share of what are known as cold cases. But one of these cold cases stands out among the others. The reason is that the investigators of the case for decades say they believe they know the person who committed the crime, but have no evidence to pursue charges.

The case is from 1979 and it involves the death of 12-year-old Roger Warren. Read more.

4. Indoor BMX track in Rock Island is unlike any other

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112917-BMX-TRACK-003

Brady Fugate, 14, of Davenport, jumps a flat top to test out the ramp at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island on Wednesday. The course is the only remaining indoor concrete track in the U.S. and will be used for a series of races throughout the month.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Quad-Cities will host the only indoor concrete BMX race track in the U.S., probably the world, organizers say.

A volunteer crew with the East Moline BMX Speedway installed the temporary course this week in the exhibition hall at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island. The 600-foot track features three table-top jumps and two flat turns, one of which requires racers to navigate an extremely tight corner. 

“In the late '70s and early '80s, this is all you could find,” said Paul DePauw, track operator of Rock Island Indoor BMX. “But as the years went by, this cement stuff just became extinct.”

Concrete courses — cement is an ingredient in concrete — disappeared to make way for permanent dirt tracks. Read more.

5. Hawkeye Hotels acquires downtown Davenport Radisson

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Radisson Quad-City Plaza

The Radisson Quad-City Plaza in downtown Davenport now is under the ownership of Hawkeye Hotels, based in Coralville.

Hawkeye Hotels, an Iowa family owned hospitality firm, has purchased the Radisson Quad-City Plaza in downtown Davenport and is making plans for a complete renovation.

The acquisition marks the 15th hotel property in Iowa for the Coralville-based company and its second Quad-City property. The company announced the real estate deal in a news release Thursday. Read more.

6. 1 river, 3 men, 400 miles

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THE GREAT RIVER-0823

The sunsets on the Great River Bridge between Gulf Port, Illinois and Burlington, Iowa August 9, 2017. Construction on the structure began in 1989, but work on the main tower did not begin until April 1990. The main tower is 370 feet in height from the top of the tower to the riverbed. During the Great Flood of 1993, construction continued despite record crests on the Mississippi below. The final cost of the bridge was $49 million, about 16 percent over budget. The bridge replaced the MacArthur Bridge, an aging two-lane, cantilevered, steel toll bridge built in 1917. At the time, the bridge was in desperate need of repair, or replacement, as it swayed ominously when two semis crossed the bridge at the same time on the two lanes of traffic. After the bridge was dismantled, the engineers discovered that the supports weren't sunk into the bedrock far enough.

It was a good way to spend the summer, chasing the Mississippi River up and down Iowa's eastern border.

The idea came from Quad-City Times photo editor Kevin Schmidt. He long had dreamed of a big project for the newspaper that would dispatch journalists onto the banks of the continent's second-longest river in search of the stories that hide in plain sight.

With the Mississippi River right outside the Quad-Cities' front door, many of us are lulled into thinking we know it. We understand it. We've seen it.

But there is so much more to the Mississippi than our relatively tiny pools.

Schmidt, photojournalist Andy Abeyta and reporter Jack Cullen spent the summer searching for more. And they found it. Along the 400-mile stretch of Iowa border, they found the people and places that tell the river's tales. The trio's work is being featured in a book, "The Great River," being released in early December. Read more.

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Early morning online guy at the Quad-City Times. Muscatine native and Hawkeye fan.