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The clothing brand she designed had just dropped and the 23-year-old couldn\u2019t wait to get her eyes on how it all looked. When she saw the clothes and the brand\u2019s name, Wild Fable, on display, a couple of \u201coverwhelming\u201d feelings came over her: Excitement. 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One morning earlier this month, Cassidy Glynn woke up extra early before work and made the 15-minute walk to her local Target store in downtown Minneapolis.

The clothing brand she designed had just dropped and the 23-year-old couldn\u2019t wait to get her eyes on how it all looked.

When she saw the clothes and the brand\u2019s name, Wild Fable, on display, a couple of \u201coverwhelming\u201d feelings came over her: Excitement. Pride.

And, then, relief. Glynn could finally share what she and a small of team of female designers at Target had been working on for the past year.

\u201cIt\u2019s going to sound so cliche, but it was the most surreal feeling,\u201d she said. \u201cI was so excited to see everything. And I was just excited for everyone else to see it.\u201d

Following two \u201cnerve wracking\u201d months of post-college job searching, Glynn, a Bettendorf native and Bettendorf High School graduate, landed a dream gig as an associate designer at Target Corporation, which is headquartered in Minneapolis.

At her interview, she was told, \u201cWe\u2019re working on this new brand. You\u2019re not allowed to know about it, but it\u2019s a youthful collection.\u201d

That\u2019s basically all she could tell her family and closest friends when they asked how her new job was going.

Glynn kept the secret until Aug. 3 when Wild Fable launched at Target\u2019s 1,835 stores across the country.

Passion for art and fashion

Art has been part of Glynn\u2019s life for as long as she can remember.

When she was in kindergarten, her family turned a small storage closet underneath the staircase into Glynn\u2019s drawing room. She covered the walls with color.

Around that same time, she began taking classes and attending art camps with Pat Bereskin, or Mrs. B, a Bettendorf-based artist and teacher who now owns Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy. Glynn took weekly classes with Mrs. B until she started at Iowa State University in 2013.

\u201cWith her artwork, she always had her own voice and style,\u201d Bereskin said. \u201cI could always pick her art out from all the others.\u201d

Bereskin felt the same way after getting her first look at Wild Fable on Target's website.

\u201cWhen you look at it, you can just tell it\u2019s Cassidy,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s pretty amazing.\u201d

Bereskin sent her former student a congratulatory text and shared the news on social media, telling her Facebook friends this: \u201cEvery time you go in Target, look at that line of clothing and say, \u2018She is from Bettendorf, she grew up here, and with hard work, she is living the dream!\u2019\u201d

Glynn has long categorized art\u00a0\u2014 and fashion \u2014as much more than a hobby.

\u201cIt was my way of expressing myself,\u201d she said. \u201cIt was just something I always wanted to be going and I couldn\u2019t get enough of.\u201d

As Glynn said, her life\u2019s circumstances sort of pushed her in that direction.

Because of a heart defect she was born with, Glynn, who had open-heart surgery when was 2, couldn\u2019t participate in sports or most gym classes. But she found plenty else for her at Bettendorf High School.

\u201cI couldn\u2019t run fast or do other things like my friends could, but that freed me up to take every art class that was offered,\u201d Glynn aid. \u201cIt really was a blessing in disguise.\u201d

She spent her free time sketching and getting inspiration from fashion magazines and would often remodel her clothes, adding jewels to plain shirts, for example, to make them her own.

\u201cI thought it was so cool that I was wearing something no one would else had,\u201d she said. \u201cIt probably wasn\u2019t the cutest, but I was really proud of it.\u201d

At Iowa State University, Glynn\u2019s passion and eye for fashion flourished. She was accepted into the school\u2019s revered apparel, merchandising and design program and she spent a summer studying abroad in London, where she took classes at the London College of Fashion.

\u201cIt was a lot of hard work, but I learned so much,\u201d Glynn said of her college years. \u201cI was figuring out who I wanted to become as a designer.\u201d

A brand for 'every girl'

Glynn and her team\u2019s work on Wild Fable started with finding inspiration\u00a0\u2014 in part on Instagram\u00a0\u2014 for current and upcoming apparel trends for young women, specifically teenagers and those in their early 20s.

\u201cWe\u2019re trying to get young people and new people to shop at Target,\u201d she said. \u201cThat\u2019s the goal. So we did a lot of research and we asked young women, \u2018What do you want to wear?\u2019\u201d

The result is, as described by Target, a \u201ctrendy, mix-and-match brand that allows young women to make each look their own.\u201d

\u201cThe hope is that this brand will be around forever,\u201d Glynn said. \"We just want to keep it going from here.\"\u00a0

At the Target store on Elmore Avenue in Davenport, the Wild Fable section is\u00a0 placed near the front right of the building. It has the look and scope of a store within a store.

The retro-inspired line is comprised of hundreds of items, each costing less than $40, such as eclectic denim, an oversized yellow rain coat, a red leather-looking jacket, basic tops, patterned sweaters and mini-skirts, floral dresses, sweatpants, rompers and accessories such as scrunchies, a cheetah print backpack and hoop earrings. Sizes range from 0 to 26W.

That last point is something Glynn is \u201creally proud of.\u201d

\u201cIt was really important for us to be all inclusive,\u201d she said. \u201cThis is a brand that\u2019s new, cool, creative and for every girl. We feel like that\u2019s really needed and unique.\u201d

And, by every girl, Glynn includes herself.

Glynn can \u201cshamelessly\u201d say that she has been to Target\u00a0\u2014 luckily there\u2019s a retail store inside the corporate office\u00a0\u2014 each day since Wild Fable hit stores.

Her family members, friends from high school and college have visited too, and sent texts Glynn\u2019s way detailing their favorite looks.

Glynn said she\u2019s planning a trip to the Quad-Cities to see Wild Fable in her hometown Target.

\u201cI grew up going to Target with my friends, and I\u2019m still obsessed with it,\u201d she said. \u201cWhen I see (the Wild Fable) clothes there, I\u2019m just speechless.\u201d

To celebrate the line's launch, Glynn went out for drinks with her friends, wearing a Wild Fable outfit she designed and purchased earlier that day at Target.

Has she bought more since?

\u201cYes,\u201d she said. \u201cLiterally so much.\u201d

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"}, {"id":"630e293d-598d-5b04-9eda-ce112cefce08","type":"article","starttime":"1534222800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-14T00:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"obituaries":"lifestyles/announcements/obituaries"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Jason Bunch","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/article_630e293d-598d-5b04-9eda-ce112cefce08.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/jason-bunch/article_630e293d-598d-5b04-9eda-ce112cefce08.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/jason-bunch/article_630e293d-598d-5b04-9eda-ce112cefce08.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"September 23, 1982-August 10, 2018 LeCLAIRE\u00a0\u2014 Services to celebrate the life of Jason Bunch, 35, of LeClaire, formerly of Orlando, Florida, will be 5 p.m. Thursday, August 16, 2018, at Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport. Visitation will be from 3:30 p.m. until the time of the service Thursday at the funeral home. Jason passed away unexpectedly Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["jason bunch"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{"customer-number":"292"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3785f2c1-1653-5101-9203-d56a4afee613","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"368","height":"487","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/78/3785f2c1-1653-5101-9203-d56a4afee613/5b71fab817d0a.image.jpg?resize=368%2C487"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"132","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/78/3785f2c1-1653-5101-9203-d56a4afee613/5b71fab817d0a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C132"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"397","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/78/3785f2c1-1653-5101-9203-d56a4afee613/5b71fab817d0a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C397"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1355","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/78/3785f2c1-1653-5101-9203-d56a4afee613/5b71fab817d0a.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"630e293d-598d-5b04-9eda-ce112cefce08","body":"

September 23, 1982-August 10, 2018

LeCLAIRE\u00a0\u2014 Services to celebrate the life of Jason Bunch, 35, of LeClaire, formerly of Orlando, Florida, will be 5 p.m. Thursday, August 16, 2018, at Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport. Visitation will be from 3:30 p.m. until the time of the service Thursday at the funeral home. Jason passed away unexpectedly Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.

Jason David Bunch was born on Sept. 23, 1982, in Davenport, a son of Kevin M. and Debra L. (Graue) Bunch. He graduated from Pleasant Valley in 2001 and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Central Florida.

He was united in marriage to Erika Leskody on March 21, 2014.

Jason attended the police academy at Valencia College in Florida and had worked for the Sanford (Florida) Police Department.

Jason had an infectious personality, always willing to try something new. His adventures included running marathons, hunting alligators, owning a DJ business, line dancing, skydiving, piloting airplanes, attending concerts, and Canada fishing trips, just to name a few. He had a passion for UCF Football and Cubs baseball. Jason also enjoyed putting on large fireworks displays on the Fourth of July. He enjoyed many dedicated and loyal friendships throughout his life and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Memorials may be made to the family to establish a memorial at a later date.

Jason is survived by his parents, Kevin and Debra Bunch, LeClaire; a brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Laura Bunch, Ballwin, Missouri; niece and nephews, Alexis, Conner, and Gavin; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by an infant brother, Jeremy, and grandparents, Vernon and Beverly Graue, Howard Bunch and Betty Sage-Kertai.

Online remembrances may be expressed by visiting www.hmdfuneralhome.com.

"}, {"id":"7e191e13-8a37-5fc8-9b0a-4f8cc4823b39","type":"article","starttime":"1534192200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-13T15:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534265078","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Niabi Zoo director: 'It was a mistake; I take full responsibility'","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_7e191e13-8a37-5fc8-9b0a-4f8cc4823b39.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/niabi-zoo-director-it-was-a-mistake-i-take-full/article_7e191e13-8a37-5fc8-9b0a-4f8cc4823b39.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/niabi-zoo-director-it-was-a-mistake-i-take-full/article_7e191e13-8a37-5fc8-9b0a-4f8cc4823b39.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Barb Ickes\nbickes@qctimes.com","prologue":"Memorial plaques on donated benches at Niabi Zoo have been removed over the past year without notification to the donors, and the zoo's director said the handling of the situation was a mistake. \"We had a plan,\" director Lee Jackson said Monday of the dismantled memorials. \"We just didn't communicate it. The mistake was in communication.\"","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["niabi zoo","lee jackson","kelly kennedy","niabi zoological society","kai swanson","forest preserve commission","jeff craver","peggie kennedy"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6","description":"Peggie and Kurtis Kennedy hold a photo of their late son, Kelly Kennedy, and the memorial plaque for him that was removed from a bench at Niabi Zoo in Coal valley.","byline":"JESSICA GALLAGHER / Lee News Network","hireswidth":6128,"hiresheight":3939,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b5/bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6/5b720c16a0569.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1796","height":"1154","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b5/bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6/5b720c1659cbb.image.jpg?resize=1796%2C1154"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b5/bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6/5b720c1659cbb.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"193","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b5/bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6/5b720c1659cbb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C193"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"658","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b5/bb5e6e18-4b10-51d7-bca0-03386c0d80b6/5b720c1659cbb.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C658"}}},{"id":"9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e","description":"Memorial plaques removed by staff from benches at Niabi Zoo.","byline":"TODD MIZENER / Lee News Network","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/83/9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e/5b71f02b57d8e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/83/9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e/5b71f02b37482.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/83/9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e/5b71f02b37482.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/9/83/9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e/5b71f02b37482.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/83/9834f82a-93fb-5af4-8194-58eb98cb3c2e/5b71f02b37482.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":11,"commentID":"7e191e13-8a37-5fc8-9b0a-4f8cc4823b39","body":"

Memorial plaques on donated benches at Niabi Zoo have been removed over the past year without notification to the donors, and the zoo's director said the handling of the situation was a mistake.

\"We had a plan,\" director Lee Jackson said Monday of the dismantled memorials. \"We just didn't communicate it. The mistake was in communication.\"

But some say multiple mistakes were made.

Jackson said he first ordered zoo staff to remove broken plaques or those in poor condition, but ultimately ordered them all removed. Those that were broken were discarded, though zoo staff kept a record of all the names appearing on the dedications. The zoo maintained a list of all engraved names.

The memorials were sold by the Niabi Zoological Society, Jackson said, which formerly served as the fundraising arm of the zoo. But relations between the Society and the zoo have been strained for nearly two years. The Society has not done any fundraising for Niabi for more than a year, and the two parties have not reached a Memo Of Understanding to define and seal their obligations to one another.

It appears those problems contributed to the mishandling of the memorials.

Since the Society and zoo staff rarely communicate, Jackson said, he assumed a partial list of plaque and bench donors in the zoo's possession came from the Society. He did not ask the Society's volunteer board members whether a complete list of donors exists. No other effort was made to locate donors, he said. Of the 77 plaques that were taken down, the zoo had information for only 15. But they weren't contacted, either.

\"We did not put a full-court press on it,\" he said Monday. \"We figured we'd have it resolved before it became an issue. We wanted to do something nice; in a centralized location. It just wasn't done right, and I take full responsibility for that.\"

The zoo now plans to create a memorial garden east of the carousel, adjacent to the domestic animals exhibit. However, Jackson acknowledged no such plan existed when the plaques were removed and, in some cases, thrown out.

\"If you had a name out there, you're going to be in the memorial garden,\" he said, adding that detailed plans for the garden have not yet been confirmed.

Some memorial trees with engraved stones remain at the zoo. Jackson said he doesn't know whether the Society had a contract with donors or supplied them any promises, regarding how long their tributes would remain on display or whether the plaques and stones would be maintained. He does not know how much was paid for memorials, but he has heard of both $750 and $500.

One hurt and angry donor said it would have been simple for the zoo to find out who paid for the plaques, because she spoke with the trophy company that did the engraving and was told all the records from Niabi are intact.

Peggie and Kurtis Kennedy made their annual visit to Niabi Zoo with their grandchildren last week when they were stunned to see their plaque on a bench missing. They bought the memorial in their son's name after his death more than six years ago. Kelly Kennedy, 30, had loved the zoo, and his parents have pictures of him there as a boy.

The Kennedys went to the zoo office, Peggie Kennedy said Monday, and were told the plaques were removed because the zoo director did not approve of them.

\"I said, 'You can't do that without notifying us. We bought those,'\" she said. \"It's gut-wrenching. We were healing. It takes a long time, and we'll never be fully over his death. This feels to us like our son is being disrespected.

\"The bench and plaque were a way of keeping his memory alive, and we visited and took pictures. Now it's gone, because an arrogant man didn't like the looks of it. It'd be like going out to a cemetery as a new curator and getting rid of all the broken or untidy headstones.\"

The day after learning of the removal, the Kennedys posted about their experience on Niabi Zoo's Facebook page. Since the Aug. 7 post, it has been shared more than 700 times and viewed more than 1,400 times.

\"We don't want people to stop going to the zoo, though,\" Peggie Kennedy said. \"We love the zoo. What's been done here was heartless and insensitive. This is something you just don't do. It's cruel.\"

Despite the number of upset zoo patrons, Jackson's actions did not violate any Niabi Zoo policies, according to Rock Island County Forest Preserve District Director Jeff Craver.

\"The situation's unfortunate,\" he said Monday. \"We do not have a policy in place in regards to memorials or gifts, so there was no violation.

\"He didn't break any policies.\"

Forest Preserve Commission president and county board member Kai Swanson said he will continue to support Jackson, though he said the handling of the memorials was \"regrettable.\"

He also was critical of the seemingly defunct Society.

\"This is a case where we're not the only partners at the dance table,\" Swanson said of the Society's prolonged absence. \"I have nothing but great sympathy for those (donors) feeling left in the lurch. These are very unfortunate missteps. I'm not diminishing the experience of these families.\"

But he praised the work Jackson has done, especially in the absence of contributions and other efforts by the once-active Society.

\"(Jackson) is the leader this zoo needs right now,\" he said. \"The (Forest Preserve) Commission supports Lee in what he is trying to do. Regrettable instances will occur from time-to-time.\"

"}, {"id":"bd076eb4-6ce9-563b-936f-1ae7fd723ca9","type":"article","starttime":"1534464720","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-16T19:12:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534478529","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Murder suspect captured in Davenport","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_bd076eb4-6ce9-563b-936f-1ae7fd723ca9.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/murder-suspect-captured-in-davenport/article_bd076eb4-6ce9-563b-936f-1ae7fd723ca9.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/murder-suspect-captured-in-davenport/article_bd076eb4-6ce9-563b-936f-1ae7fd723ca9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"LAUREN CROSS\nLee News Network","prologue":"A 23-year-old alleged member of a street gang from Gary, Ind., is awaiting extradition after he was captured in Davenport by the U.S. Marshals early Thursday morning in connection with a 2015 murder at a Gary gas station. The U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, which includes Gary officers, was assisted by the Scott County Sheriff's Department in the arrest of Dontrall \"Trall\" Phillips.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977","description":"Phillips","byline":"","hireswidth":400,"hiresheight":500,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/27/a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977/5b7614f0c04af.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"400","height":"500","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/27/a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977/5b7614f0bba48.image.jpg?resize=400%2C500"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"125","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/27/a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977/5b7614f0bba48.image.jpg?resize=100%2C125"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"375","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/27/a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977/5b7614f0bba48.image.jpg?resize=300%2C375"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1280","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/27/a27ebbe1-f9fc-5268-9d3c-9fd5e2436977/5b7614f0bba48.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"bd076eb4-6ce9-563b-936f-1ae7fd723ca9","body":"

A 23-year-old alleged member of a street gang from Gary, Ind., is awaiting extradition after he was captured in Davenport by the U.S. Marshals early Thursday morning in connection with a 2015 murder at a Gary gas station.

The U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, which includes Gary officers, was assisted by the Scott County Sheriff's Department in the arrest of Dontrall \"Trall\" Phillips.

Phillips was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. at a residence in the 2600 block of North Pine Street in Davenport, said Mark Gregoline, inspector with the U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Phillips was reportedly staying with a relative to evade police. He had previously appeared on Lake County's Most Wanted list for homicide.

Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said Phillips initially fled into another residence and barricaded himself. A Gary police dog assisting the U.S. Marshals that day was sent in to apprehend Phillips, who suffered a dog bite as a result, Hamady said.

Phillips was taken to Genesis Medical Center in Davenport to be treated for the K-9 bite before he was booked at 4:10 p.m. into the Scott County Jail.

Phillips' charging information was not immediately available in Lake Criminal Court records on Thursday. However, a co-defendant, Walter A. Rondo III, was charged with murder and attempted robbery in June in connection with the case.

Rondo's charging documents detail how Phillips was one of two gang members allegedly involved in the ambush and botched robbery on April 12, 2015, at the 23rd Street gas station near Broadway.

Rondo told police he served as a lookout for Phillips and a second gang member while they robbed Donald Fuzzell, 21, and ultimately killed him in a shooting at the gas station, records show.

Rondo said he initially didn't come forward because he feared retaliation from Phillips and others involved.

A break in the case came through conversations with a woman jailed on burglary charges in May 2015, records state. She told police a day or two after the murder her boyfriend and his two friends confessed they attempted to rob a man at a gas station, but he fought back so they shot him twice.

When police first interviewed Phillips in June, he denied his involvement, instead telling police he heard of the murder only after it happened.

In a subsequent interview that same month, Phillips allegedly lied and said he only served as a lookout and that he was supposed to split proceeds with three other people.

However, a man also involved allegedly told police he and Rondo served as lookouts while Phillips and a second man carried out the armed robbery, records show.

Hamady commended the hard work of detectives who worked the case and members of the U.S. Marshals Service that assisted in his arrest.

\"These individuals, they try to flee the area, but we tracked this guy down all the way to Iowa, and it was our Gary dog that bit him inside that closet,\" Hamady said. \"Our detectives worked hard to put a good case together.\"

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President and CEO Jim von Maur said \"growing where you were planted\" is another way the company bucks national retail trends.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"722","height":"740","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/fe/8fe19a0e-b48e-5cfc-a95f-29aeec5bf6f6/5b74aadfd5a82.image.png?resize=722%2C740"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"102","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/fe/8fe19a0e-b48e-5cfc-a95f-29aeec5bf6f6/5b74aadfd5a82.image.png?resize=100%2C102"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"307","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/fe/8fe19a0e-b48e-5cfc-a95f-29aeec5bf6f6/5b74aadfd5a82.image.png?resize=300%2C307"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"1050","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/fe/8fe19a0e-b48e-5cfc-a95f-29aeec5bf6f6/5b74aadfd5a82.image.png"}}}],"revision":17,"commentID":"26156742-f095-51b6-80d8-f31f5151328a","body":"

As it defies national trends and continues to grow, Von Maur has been viewed as a tortoise in a retail industry filled with hares, its CEO said.\u00a0

Rather than rushing to open a certain number of stores each year, President and CEO Jim von Maur said the Davenport-based company has taken a slow and steady approach.

\"We're 100 percent family-owned, which allows us to grow at the pace that we want rather than being forced to grow. That means doing what's smart,\" von Maur said. \"For us, it's not just about the bottom line. It's about pride. It's that our name is on the building. And it's treating all of our associates like they're part of one big extension of our family. I think that's the competitive advantage we have.\"\u00a0

The strategy\u00a0helped Von Maur continue to open new locations during the 2008 recession. And today, as big box retailers\u00a0\u2014 including national competitor Younkers \u2014 close stores or declare bankruptcy, Von Maur is readying to open its 34th location in 15 states, von Maur said.\u00a0

And its subsidiary, junior women's clothing store Dry Goods, also has been taking off since the first store opened eight years ago in Aurora, Illinois. Dry Goods opened at NorthPark Mall in Davenport last month, as part of a 12-store expansion this year, bringing the total to more than 35 stores in 11 states.\u00a0\u00a0

Britt Beemer founded American Research Group in 1979 and has been studying the retail market ever since. He agreed Von Maur is out-performing other chains because of its commitment to its 4,500 employees.\u00a0

\"Happy employees make happy customers. Unhappy employees make unhappy customers,\" Beemer said. \"I think retailers today are stupid because most CEOs look at the employees as an expense rather than an investment in their firm. Von Maur looks at their people as key assets. And they treat their customers like family and they respect their customers. They go all out to make their customers feel good.\"\u00a0

While online shopping continues to transform the retail industry, Beemer argued brick-and-mortar retailers are also at fault for store closures. Bad in-store experiences, he said, drive longtime customers to shop online.

Stick to your roots

Visiting a Von Maur store is like walking into a home, the fourth generation company leader, von Maur, said.\u00a0

\"Jim

Jim von Maur

\"I think right when you walk in, you're going to sense that you're not walking into a loud environment, where you have a lot of signage or sales signs hanging everywhere,\" he said. \"We have a very relaxing, calm environment. We're not going to cram the aisles full of tables and fixtures. We want you to see the merchandise and touch it.\"\u00a0

But what really sets the store apart, von Maur said, is the \"warm welcome when you walk in.\" Visitors are greeted by sales associates, wearing skirts or coats and ties, and often live piano music.\u00a0

At the core, he said the company operates with the same principle it was founded on in 1872, when Von Maur first rented a 20-by-50-foot storefront in downtown Davenport. And it's a value his father taught him early on: \"Always put the associate first.\"\u00a0

\"He (my dad) always appreciated the commitment from our associates and the dedication they had,\" he said. \"He was always thanking them and wanting to do more for them, because he saw how hard they worked. He really taught me the appreciation for everything they do for the store and the family.\"

Don't fear change

As Von Maur sticks to traditional values\u00a0\u2014 that includes offering free shipping, an interest-free charge card and free gift wrap\u00a0\u2014 von Maur said he's not afraid to change as the industry does.\u00a0

\"Retail is fine. The people out there are buying the same amount, but they're just doing it differently,\" he said. \"If you're not afraid of change and willing to adapt to it and what the customer wants and is expecting, then there's plenty of business to be done out there.\"

He said the company has been working to regularly update its website and over-the-phone customer service. And he highlighted keeping the shopping experience convenient, such as in-store pick-up, or the option to have packages brought outside to a customer's car.\u00a0

Associates at Dry Goods trade skirts for jeans and trendy, youthful attire. The boutique setting guides customers to the back of the store, as associates help them piece together outfits along the way.

\"081418-qct-qca-vonmaur-003\"

Entrance to the Dry Goods store inside NorthPark Mall, Davenport.

Evolving also means, he said, updating existing stores.\u00a0

\"I think it's been a mistake of a lot of other competitors out there that they didn't reinvest in their existing locations, and those got kind of stale or boring,\" he said.\u00a0

Beemer argued Von Maur's potential downfall is continuing to place stores inside malls, as shopping centers close or look to reinvent what they offer.\u00a0

\"I think the good malls will get better; the mediocre malls will get worse; and the bad malls will go away completely or be repurposed,\" von Maur said. \"We think there's a lot of synergy to being a part of a whole kind of shopping development, with the food and coffee and other apparel.\"

Often compared to the private national company Nordstrom, von Maur said he's thinking long term\u00a0\u2014 about \"what's best for business, rather than what's best for Wall Street.\"\u00a0

\"As you grow too fast, you can lose what makes the company special,\" von Maur said. \"You can open as many big box stores as you want. But if you're going to have true selling associates, who know the product and care about the customer, that takes training. That takes a good store manager. That takes leadership. And that's not easy. It's not easy.\"

"}, {"id":"8827d170-068f-5e5d-849f-b17ff7d70c15","type":"article","starttime":"1534500900","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-17T05:15:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534524730","sections":[{"columnists":"sports/columnists"},{"football":"sports/high-school/football"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Death of freshman stuns Moline football program","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/columnists/article_8827d170-068f-5e5d-849f-b17ff7d70c15.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/columnists/death-of-freshman-stuns-moline-football-program/article_8827d170-068f-5e5d-849f-b17ff7d70c15.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/columnists/death-of-freshman-stuns-moline-football-program/article_8827d170-068f-5e5d-849f-b17ff7d70c15.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":1,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The start of the high school football season is just a week away, and players and coaches are totally focused on preparing for the coming season. They\u2019re getting into shape, competing for playing time, developing game plans. In the midst of all that preparation, the Moline football program received a dose of perspective this week.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"personality","images":[{"id":"ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f","description":"Bunch","byline":"","hireswidth":540,"hiresheight":540,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d0/ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f/5b76063372416.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"540","height":"540","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d0/ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f/5b7606336ce93.image.jpg?resize=540%2C540"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"100","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d0/ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f/5b7606336ce93.image.jpg?resize=100%2C100"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"300","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d0/ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f/5b7606336ce93.image.jpg?resize=300%2C300"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1024","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d0/ed00e1ed-6b0e-5596-8119-1f5a9db3ad1f/5b7606336ce93.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"8827d170-068f-5e5d-849f-b17ff7d70c15","body":"

The start of the high school football season is just a week away, and players and coaches are totally focused on preparing for the coming season.

They\u2019re getting into shape, competing for playing time, developing game plans.

In the midst of all that preparation, the Moline football program received a dose of perspective this week.

One of its players died.

Freshman Christopher Bunch succumbed to an ailment called ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), which in the course of a week evolved from a seemingly ordinary headache into something much worse.

It left a program full of players, many of whom barely had a chance to get to know Bunch, stunned and grasping to make sense of it all.

\"We talked about it at practice (Tuesday),\" Moline varsity coach Mike Morrissey said. \"It puts things into perspective obviously as adults, but it also puts things into perspective for the kids.

\"It\u2019s like \u2018OK, there\u2019s a young man who\u2019s a freshman who doesn\u2019t even get the opportunity to do the things that you guys are doing.\u2019 You kind of hit on those things, like, \u2018Try to take advantage of the opportunities that you have, in athletics, in your social life, at home, whatever it may be. Don\u2019t let those opportunities go to waste because you just don\u2019t know when they\u2019re going to be taken away from you.\u2019\"

Chris Bunch, 14, had waited a long time to get to play football for Moline. An older brother had attended the high school, and a cousin is on the Maroons\u2019 varsity squad. A 2013 photo on Bunch\u2019s Facebook page shows him with some of his buddies in the Jr. Maroons program.

This is something he eagerly anticipated.

He got to be a part of it for only two days.

A week ago Monday he had a headache, but he was determined to go to his first high school football practice. After he complained to the coaches that his head hurt, they had him sit out the remainder of the workout.

He slept from 7 o\u2019clock that night until about 2:30 p.m. the next day, got up and went to practice again, according to a Facebook post by Bunch\u2019s father, Elijah Mendoza. This time the headache was accompanied by some vomiting.

\"Our coaches told him 'You\u2019re not doing anything. Go home. Get rest. Do whatever you have to do,\u2019\" Morrissey said.

Bunch went home, went to bed again at 7 p.m. and this time slept for more than 24 hours.

At that point, his parents took him to the emergency room, and he eventually was transported to the University of Iowa Stead Children\u2019s Hospital in Iowa City.

It was there that he was diagnosed with ADEM, a rare autoimmune disease that causes fast-moving inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and attacks the central nervous system.

Only eight people in a million are afflicted with ADEM, and most survive.

\"The doctors in Iowa City told the family it\u2019s the worst case of ADEM that they\u2019ve ever seen,\" Morrissey said.

Bunch battled the disease for several days, but by Tuesday the struggle was over, prompting a tortured Facebook post from Elijah Mendoza: \"We are so upset to say this, but our gorgeous son Christopher Bunch has gone to be with God at 1:02 p.m. Please Lord look over my son and take good care of him. My son I love you so much, and I will always and forever love you and keep you in my heart.\"

A few hours later, the family still was struggling to come to grips with what happened. There was another Facebook post from Mendoza: \"My heart is so torn into pieces. I am just broken now.\"

Morrissey said that he can tell how well-liked Chris Bunch was by friends, classmates and others in the community.

Friends described him as an energetic, upbeat kid. One of his former teachers wrote on Facebook that he was \"one of the sweetest kids I know\" and another wrote that he was \"a bright light to my day.\"

\"It\u2019s hard,\" Morrissey admitted. \"The family now is in a position where they\u2019ve got to figure things out, which you can\u2019t wrap your head around. It\u2019s a parent\u2019s worst nightmare to lose a child, and now you have to go through that process.\"

Not surprisingly, the Moline community is doing everything it can to ease the pain of this loss as well as the medical costs.

By 6 p.m. Thursday, 551 people had donated $19,734 through a Facebook fundraising page set up by Mendoza. Morrissey has talked to former NFL star Kurt Warner about donating an autographed football that will be auctioned off to benefit the family.

The outpouring of support, both financial and moral, will undoubtedly continue.

\"Everybody is doing their part to help out the family as much as possible,\" Morrissey said.

"}, {"id":"e85f3913-582a-5beb-9cf6-1d37fd7446ba","type":"article","starttime":"1534197600","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-13T17:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534328325","sections":[{"local":"news/local"},{"education":"news/local/education"}],"flags":{"alert":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"EICC revamps nursing program after wave of resignations","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_e85f3913-582a-5beb-9cf6-1d37fd7446ba.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/eicc-revamps-nursing-program-after-wave-of-resignations/article_e85f3913-582a-5beb-9cf6-1d37fd7446ba.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/eicc-revamps-nursing-program-after-wave-of-resignations/article_e85f3913-582a-5beb-9cf6-1d37fd7446ba.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":1,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Linda Cook\nlcook@qctimes.com","prologue":"Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is revamping its nursing program after a wave of resignations from staffers who say the college overworked faculty, failed to invest in new equipment and ignored teachers when they tried to force improvements.\u00a0 The nursing program is the college's largest career program, with\u00a0314 students, offered at all three EICC campuses, Clinton, Muscatine and Scott. There are 670 students in the pre-nursing pipeline preparing to enter it.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["joan kindle","dawn boettcher","lori haugen","nicole tucker","eastern iowa community college","nursing program","scott community college","clinton community college","muscatine community college"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"abd81579-0ada-5d53-a4dd-9c24ee0e0498","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"688","height":"102","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/bd/abd81579-0ada-5d53-a4dd-9c24ee0e0498/5b725400a0c1e.image.jpg?resize=688%2C102"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"15","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/bd/abd81579-0ada-5d53-a4dd-9c24ee0e0498/5b725400a0c1e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C15"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"44","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/bd/abd81579-0ada-5d53-a4dd-9c24ee0e0498/5b725400a0c1e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C44"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"152","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/bd/abd81579-0ada-5d53-a4dd-9c24ee0e0498/5b725400a0c1e.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":11,"commentID":"e85f3913-582a-5beb-9cf6-1d37fd7446ba","body":"

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is revamping its nursing program after a wave of resignations from staffers who say the college overworked faculty, failed to invest in new equipment and ignored teachers when they tried to force improvements.\u00a0

The nursing program is the college's largest career program, with\u00a0314 students, offered at all three EICC campuses, Clinton, Muscatine and Scott. There are 670 students in the pre-nursing pipeline preparing to enter it.

Former staffers say the resignations are a sign the program is in jeopardy, pointing to a recent internal review that highlighted their complaints. But college officials say otherwise. A week after four staffers resigned within 30 minutes on Aug. 1, EICC announced in an email to students it had hired a new nursing program director and would share news this fall about new, \"state-of-the-art\" equipment.\u00a0

\u00a0It's too little, too late for\u00a0Nicole Tucker of Morrison, Illinois, who also resigned Aug. 1.

\u201cWe really needed administration to wake up,\u201d Tucker said. Ultimately, \u201cEight full-time members resigned in a department of 11. That has to send up some red flags.\u201d\u00a0

Tucker said resigning was their only recourse after administrators ignored their concerns. Instructors, who often worked seven days a week, Tucker said, pleaded for new or even functioning equipment, saying students were learning on broken or outdated devices. But those requests were denied or treated as low-priority,\u00a0\u201cresulting in stonewalling of any hope of program improvement or forward movement,\" Tucker said.

For example, in the nursing lab, the students were expected to work with a computerized drug dispenser similar to those used in local hospitals. But, Tucker said, the system wasn't connected to a server, so \"there was no way for it to go live.\u201d

In other cases, instructors often asked students to pretend a machine worked or to imagine hospital-room basics like privacy curtains because the equipment either didn't work or the college lacked it. Former staffers say the requests for upgrades weren't extravagant\u00a0\u00a0\u2014 just the basics needed to teach nursing students how to perform in real-world settings.

\u201cWe asked for refurbished hospital beds,\u201d Tucker said, and an intravenous pump to teach students how to program such a device.

\u201cHealth care is ever-evolving. It is constantly changing, so our ability to educate must continue to evolve,\" Tucker said. \"We have a strong duty to help develop their critical thinking and enhance their practical learning experience, to prepare them to care for patients after graduation, but we can\u2019t do it with imaginative role play.\u201d

College says program remains strong

For its part, EICC says the staff turnover is normal and the program is in good health.\u00a0It is fully accredited, fully enrolled and fully staffed, producing 63 registered nurses and 30 licensed practical nursing graduates this past year, according to the college. Its graduation rate hovers around 76 percent.

EICC said it completed a review of the nursing program in the spring, prompting some of the changes.\u00a0

\"Even successful programs need to continuously improve and adopt to changing conditions, including changing technologies, changing demands of the industry, and changing student demographics and expectations,\" the college said in a statement. \"EICC\u2019s program review process regularly takes a close look at each of its programs, listening closely to its students, surveying employers and examining curriculum and classroom technology.\"

Ninety-percent of program graduates are working locally,\u00a0 said Vice Chancellor for Education and Training Joan Kindle. And EICC has a 95-percent pass rate on the national licensure examination for registered nurses, one of the highest rates in the state.

Lori Haugen, the new nursing program director, and\u00a0Dawn Boettcher, associate dean for health programs, \"Both bring many years of experience as nurses, and a great familiarity with your program,\" the college said in its letter to students.\u00a0

The letter goes on to say that \u201ca variety of new instructors\u201d will come on board this fall in many programs, including nursing. \u201cOur incoming nursing faculty join Eastern Iowa Community Colleges with long lists of qualifications and vast experience in the field,\u201d the letter reads. \u201cThey are committed to working closely with all of you to provide you with the high-quality instruction and personal attention you need to be successful in your classes.

\u201cFinally, the program will soon be receiving new, state-of-the-art equipment; you will be hearing more about those new additions to enhance your classroom and practical experience throughout the fall semester,\u201d the letter says.

The college plans to spend $28,000 on new equipment, including simulation software. EICC said it also is shifting its curriculum to better match expectations from EICC partners and employers.\u00a0

\u201cThere is no question that change is happening at the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges,\" Kindle said, \"and these changes, all focused on the needs of our communities and the success of our students, are bringing a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm to our programs.\"

"}, {"id":"47e7d416-b5d1-5973-9ee4-dfab1a7c10f3","type":"article","starttime":"1534271400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-14T13:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534328515","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Bettendorf native will appear tonight on 'America's Got Talent'","url":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/article_47e7d416-b5d1-5973-9ee4-dfab1a7c10f3.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/bettendorf-native-will-appear-tonight-on-america-s-got-talent/article_47e7d416-b5d1-5973-9ee4-dfab1a7c10f3.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/bettendorf-native-will-appear-tonight-on-america-s-got-talent/article_47e7d416-b5d1-5973-9ee4-dfab1a7c10f3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Hancock\nahancock@qctimes.com","prologue":"Tuning into tonight\u2019s episode of \u201cAmerica\u2019s Got Talent\u201d? Look out for a Quad-City native, who is competing in the live quarterfinals of the reality TV show, airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday on NBC. Melissa Mooney, who graduated from Bettendorf High School in 2000, is a member of the Angel City Chorale, the Los Angeles-based 160-person choir that\u2019s one of 36 acts competing in the quarterfinal round over three live shows.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["competitions","quad","melissa mooney","america","television","broadcasting","bettendorf","iowa","judge","angel city chorale","bettendorf high school","indiana university","artistic director","www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent","energy","l.a.","advertising industry","los angeles","vocal coach","simon cowell","america's got talent","olivia munn","baba yetu","sue mink","sue fink","advertising job","choir director","singing","show","music","broadcasting events","angel city","choir","chorale"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"02f2b404-eb60-5817-93dd-bc14f2e059b5","description":"Bettendorf native Melissa Mooney a member of the Angel City Chorale, a group scheduled to perform on Tuesday during a live episode of \"America's Got Talent.\"","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1080","height":"810","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/2f/02f2b404-eb60-5817-93dd-bc14f2e059b5/5b73200551f8e.image.jpg?resize=1080%2C810"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/2f/02f2b404-eb60-5817-93dd-bc14f2e059b5/5b73200551f8e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/2f/02f2b404-eb60-5817-93dd-bc14f2e059b5/5b73200551f8e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/2f/02f2b404-eb60-5817-93dd-bc14f2e059b5/5b73200551f8e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd","description":"I went away to college at Indiana University for Voice Performance after graduating from BHS in 2000, and lived there off and on for the few years following. I\u2019ve been living in LA permanently since 2011 (with a short stint after college as well) When did you first get into singing? I first got into singing when I was a little kid - my parents put me in so many activities and singing was a passion early on. In high school, I sang in Concert Chorale, was a member of the Iowa All-State Chorus, toured through Europe with the Iowa Ambassadors of Music, and participated in local community shows. I also worked as a Bootlegger at Circa 21 for awhile, and was Cinderella in their children\u2019s show.\u00a0","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":1233,"hiresheight":1850,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/14/71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd/5b73200798615.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1175","height":"1762","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/14/71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd/5b73200785ae7.image.jpg?resize=1175%2C1762"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/14/71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd/5b73200785ae7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/14/71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd/5b73200785ae7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/14/71497445-1cef-50af-83f9-aa18623ad4fd/5b73200785ae7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"47e7d416-b5d1-5973-9ee4-dfab1a7c10f3","body":"

Tuning into tonight\u2019s episode of \u201cAmerica\u2019s Got Talent\u201d?

Look out for a Quad-City native, who is competing in the live quarterfinals of the reality TV show, airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday on NBC.

Melissa Mooney, who graduated from Bettendorf High School in 2000, is a member of the Angel City Chorale, the Los Angeles-based 160-person choir that\u2019s one of 36 acts competing in the quarterfinal round over three live shows.

During their second appearance on \u201cAmerica\u2019s Got Talent,\u201d that aired in late July, they performed a rendition of \u201cBaba Yetu,\u201d known for serving as the theme song of the video game, \u201cCivilization IV.\u201d The act received a golden buzzer from guest judge Olivia Munn, which sent Angel City Chorale straight to the live show round.

Mooney, who had never watched the show before auditioning, said via email that the experience has, so far, been \u201cawesome.\"

\u201cWe have been so thrilled to spread our joy and message of building community one song at a time\u00a0\u2014 to share music which unites us all,\u201d she said.

Sharing music\u2014 and singing\u00a0\u2014 has been Mooney\u2019s passion since she was a little kid.

She was heavily involved in choir during high school and joined the Bootleggers, Circa \u201821 Dinner Playhouse\u2019s performing wait staff.

Mooney moved away from the Quad-City area to study voice performance at Indiana University and later landed in Los Angeles with a job in the advertising industry.

Still, she worked with a vocal coach, Sue Fink, who founded Angel City Chorale in 1993 and serves as the group\u2019s artistic director.

Fink encouraged Mooney to audition for the choir. And in 2015, after leaving her advertising job, the Bettendorf native did.

\u201cSue is a powerful force,\u201d Mooney said. \u201cShe tells it like it is, but in a hilarious way, and I loved that energy.\u201d

Mooney, who has called L.A. home since 2011, also wanted to join the group, because she \u201cwanted to feel a sense of community\u201d in the big city.

\u201cAmerica\u2019s Got Talent\u201d judge Simon Cowell pointed out Fink\u2019s energy, calling the choir director a \u201cLittle dynamo,\u201d in response to her brief introduction of the group and their \u201cBaba Yetu\u201d performance.

\u201cI wanted to start something to give back to the community,\u201d Sue Fink said on the show. \u201cWe try to represent diversity, different religions, different ages. We\u2019re black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight. Even the Republicans and Democrats can sit next to each other.\u201d

Along with moving on to the semifinals, Mooney said the group, a nonprofit, has other goals for their time on \u201cAmerica\u2019s Got Talent.\u201d

\u201cWe\u2019re hoping it leads to more exposure for our philanthropic efforts, that we\u2019re able to raise more for our various causes and that people are inspired to join or form their own community choirs,\u201d she said.

For more information on how to vote for Angel City Chorale following their Tuesday performance, visit www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent.

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