[ {"id":"b740222a-beda-5b11-9a7b-47639bb4be77","type":"article","starttime":"1531870200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-17T18:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1531886649","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Building balance: Iowa, Illinois agencies offer fall prevention programs for seniors","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_b740222a-beda-5b11-9a7b-47639bb4be77.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/building-balance-iowa-illinois-agencies-offer-fall-prevention-programs-for/article_b740222a-beda-5b11-9a7b-47639bb4be77.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/building-balance-iowa-illinois-agencies-offer-fall-prevention-programs-for/article_b740222a-beda-5b11-9a7b-47639bb4be77.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jack Cullen\njcullen@qctimes.com","prologue":"Even with the help of two other people, Earl Edwards is slow to get out of his chair and even slower to take his first step. Standing at 6 feet, 2 inches, the wobbly 85-year-old Rock Islander uses a cane for assistance as he shuffles carefully across the room. \u201cThe last two falls frightened me,\u201d said Edwards, who stumbled twice in recent months, scraping both sides of his face. \u201cBut I don\u2019t like sitting around the house; I\u2019m used to doing things.\u201d","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["western illinois area agency on aging","centers for disease control and prevention","rock island","dave sonneville","dianne edwards","milestones area agency on aging","iowa falls prevention coalition","iowa","earl edwards","falling","a matter of balance","illinois","davenport"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf","description":"Earl Edwards, 85, left, and his wife, Diane Edwards, 66, of Rock Island, perform an upper-body stretch during an A Matter of Balance class Monday at the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging in Rock Island. The federally funded program offered in both Iowa and Illinois is designed to help seniors prevent falls, reduce the fear of falling, manage falls and increase activity levels.\u00a0","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2060,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0c/50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf/5b4e7d2da7a86.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1737","height":"1192","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0c/50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf/5b4e7d2d86cc3.image.jpg?resize=1737%2C1192"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0c/50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf/5b4e7d2d86cc3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"206","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0c/50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf/5b4e7d2d86cc3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C206"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"703","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0c/50c4fb3d-2d67-5332-9064-8d3ec05c31cf/5b4e7d2d86cc3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C703"}}},{"id":"b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061","description":"A group of 60-plus-year-old seniors who have concerns about falling go through a series of exercises Monday during A Matter of Balance class at the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging in Rock Island.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1a/b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061/5b4e7d2de51a6.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/b/1a/b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061/5b4e7d2dc755f.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/b/1a/b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061/5b4e7d2dc755f.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/b/1a/b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061/5b4e7d2dc755f.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/b/1a/b1a2aca3-d335-5fb3-9414-a17b9348d061/5b4e7d2dc755f.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f","description":"Sonneville","byline":"","hireswidth":1966,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cc/0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f/5b4e7d2e2c62a.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1165","height":"1777","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cc/0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f/5b4e7d2e0f024.image.jpg?resize=1165%2C1777"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"153","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cc/0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f/5b4e7d2e0f024.image.jpg?resize=100%2C153"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"458","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cc/0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f/5b4e7d2e0f024.image.jpg?resize=300%2C458"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1562","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cc/0ccb66d6-59e9-5306-931a-4aa60c013c7f/5b4e7d2e0f024.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1562"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"b740222a-beda-5b11-9a7b-47639bb4be77","body":"

Even with the help of two other people, Earl Edwards is slow to get out of his chair and even slower to take his first step.

Standing at 6 feet, 2 inches, the wobbly 85-year-old Rock Islander uses a cane for assistance as he shuffles carefully across the room.

\u201cThe last two falls frightened me,\u201d said Edwards, who stumbled twice in recent months, scraping both sides of his face. \u201cBut I don\u2019t like sitting around the house; I\u2019m used to doing things.\u201d

To overcome his fear and increase his mobility, Edwards is participating in group fall prevention and management classes this month at the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging in Rock Island.

One in four Americans age 65 and older falls each year, and the risk of falling surges with age, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for people in that 65-plus age group, falls are the leading cause of all unintentional injury deaths and non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions.

But falling is not simply a symptom of aging and most spills are controllable, according to providers of the federally funded and research-backed program, A Matter of Balance, attended by Edwards and others.

\"A

A group of 60-plus-year-old seniors who have concerns about falling go through a series of exercises Monday during A Matter of Balance class at the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging in Rock Island.

\"People often fall because there's something that they're lacking,\" said Dave Sonneville, program coordinator of the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging. \"Their sense of balance begins to waver after sitting too much, their ankles are weak or their legs aren't toned.

\"Through exercise, they can improve\u00a0their physical ability, and through an attitude change, they can improve their outlook.\"

Monday marked the third two-hour session in the free eight-class series, and their first introduction to a sequence of simple exercises, including leg extensions, hip circles and calf raises, designed to build balance, flexibility and muscle.

\"So when I leave here, I won't need my cane?\" joked Edwards, a former butcher at Oscar Mayer's old Davenport plant, who has survived two strokes and has dementia. He is debating switching to a walker.\u00a0

Dianne Edwards, 66, is accompanying her husband to the classes to support him and better her own flexibility.

Two volunteers help Sonneville lead the class. They encouraged the group of eight seniors age 60 and older to do the exercises slowly, with purpose.

\"Some people say, 'Well, I fell because I was thinking one thing and moving somewhere else,'\" Sonneville said. \"Don't get ahead of your skis; When you focus on what you're doing, you're less likely to fall.\"

\"Dave

Sonneville

The Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, which serves 10 counties, has held 126 A Matter of Balance classes within the last eight years. Of the 1,147 people who enrolled in the program, 994, or about 87 percent, completed it, Sonneville said.

Milestones Area Agency on Aging in Davenport hosts the same program and follows a similar mission.\u00a0

Sonita Oldfield-Carlson, program facilitator for Milestones, which covers 17 counties, believes age is just a number.

\"When you're inactive, your body becomes deconditioned, and then it is truly harder to get out of your chair,\" she said, stressing the importance of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. \"It doesn't necessarily have to be tai chi or running a marathon; it could be as simple as taking a walk every night.\"

And regular movement spurs confidence, said Oldfield-Carlson, who is going to an annual symposium Friday in Ankeny, Iowa, organized by the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition.\u00a0

Milestones and the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging offer tai chi, a slow-moving meditative and physical exercise, too.

"}, {"id":"26803ac0-b383-5788-9b32-3053bcab879e","type":"article","starttime":"1531692000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-15T17:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1531761181","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Mr. Lewis: 'Things have gotten worse for me'","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_26803ac0-b383-5788-9b32-3053bcab879e.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/mr-lewis-things-have-gotten-worse-for-me/article_26803ac0-b383-5788-9b32-3053bcab879e.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/mr-lewis-things-have-gotten-worse-for-me/article_26803ac0-b383-5788-9b32-3053bcab879e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jack Cullen\njcullen@qctimes.com","prologue":"His positive outlook on life\u00a0\u2014 even when it seems bleak\u00a0\u2014 is tough to match. Last week, Usular Lewis Bell, aka Mr. Lewis, picked up the phone at the North Family YMCA in Davenport and said he is \u201cliving the dream.\u201d Even though he recently missed about three weeks of work due to his failing cadaver kidney, Bell was telling the truth; he is grateful to be alive.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["medicine","dialysis","lewis bell","kidney transplantation","organ transplantation","kidney","nephrology","kidney diseases","iowa","high blood pressure","rare disease","kidney transplant","diabetes","genesis medical center","kathie heaps","upper iowa university","u.s. department of health and human services","focal segmental glomerulosclerosis","university of iowa hospitals and clinics","davenport"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"4e87d181-30a9-5322-a158-d1355d078b76","description":"Davenport North YMCA employee Usular Lewis Bell, left, talks with members Denise and Willie McNeal in April 2017 about equipment at the facility. 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His positive outlook on life\u00a0\u2014 even when it seems bleak\u00a0\u2014 is tough to match.

Last week, Usular Lewis Bell, aka Mr. Lewis, picked up the phone at the North Family YMCA in Davenport and said he is \u201cliving the dream.\u201d Even though he recently missed about three weeks of work due to his failing cadaver kidney, Bell was telling the truth; he is grateful to be alive.

\u201cThings have gotten worse for me,\u201d he later said. \u201cI\u2019m back on dialysis, and I\u2019m currently waiting for a transplant.\u201d

On Friday, Bell underwent his 10th session of dialysis in the last month. The four-hour procedure connects him to a monitoring machine and a dialyzer, sometimes called an artificial kidney, which filters toxins and excess fluids from his blood.\u00a0

He is all too familiar with the time-consuming process. Bell endured five years of tri-weekly dialysis treatments before receiving a new kidney on Jan. 1, 2013.\u00a0

The 53-year-old father of two and grandfather of three later was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS. The rare disease attacked his transplanted kidney's filters and caused serious scarring, which ultimately led to the organ's failure.\u00a0

After his shift behind the front desk Wednesday, June 13, Bell admitted himself to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, which has an inpatient dialysis center. He spent a little more than two weeks there before returning home June 29. Bell, who has worked at the Y for 14 years, went back to his part-time job a week ago.

\"Lewis

Usular Lewis Bell

He now receives treatments Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons\u00a0at DaVita E.A. Motto Dialysis, across East Rusholme from Genesis. He is taking immunosuppressants, or anti-rejection drugs, to reduce his body's ability to attack his already weakened organ. He sticks to a fairly strict diet, too.

Later this month, Bell will undergo a kidney transplant evaluation with a team from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, his second in two years.

As of July 2, 544 people were on the Iowa waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor, according to the Iowa Donor Network. As many as 100,000 people are on the national waiting list for a kidney, experts say, and the waiting period for most areas is estimated at three to five years.

African-Americans have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than Caucasians, increasing the risk of organ failure. Bell, who is black and has said he never was a heavy drinker or illicit drug user, suffers from both type two diabetes and high blood pressure. While they represent 13 percent of the population, African-Americans make up 34 percent of those waiting for a kidney, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports.\u00a0

Although he has no idea how long he will have to wait to receive another kidney, Bell finds comfort knowing he survived a similar battle before.

\"The outcome may or may not be the same, but at least the path is pretty much the same,\" he said.\u00a0

Y member Kathie Heaps, a 65-year-old white woman, volunteered last year to give Bell one of her healthy kidneys. Despite their differences in age and race, the interested donor passed all the prerequisite tests, except for one. In March, Heaps was told the level of creatinine \u2014 a waste product in the bloodstream from the normal breakdown of muscles\u00a0\u2014 was normal for her age, but it did not meet the necessary threshold.

\"Kathie

Benefit organizers Linda Garrett, left, and Kathie Heaps load the last of 200-plus raffle prizes into a trailer outside of Heaps' rural Eldridge home in April 2017. The items were transported to the Davenport North YMCA for the Lewis Bell fundraiser.

The transplant eventually could have reduced functioning of her healthy kidney by 25 percent, she said.\u00a0

\"Everything had gone well, and then boom, I learned it could put me in trouble later,\" Heaps said. \"It took the wind out of my sails for several days.\"\u00a0

Because he spends about 12 hours on dialysis each week, Bell refers to that part of his life as his second job. To pass the time and relax during his visits, he usually listens to a mix of blues, jazz, hip-hop, R&B and reggae. His choice of music depends on his mood.

Bell is happy to be back at work Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. In his free time, he studies social psychology; he is pursuing a liberal arts degree from Upper Iowa University.\u00a0

His condition feels debilitating at times, but Bell does not let that bring him down. He wants others to learn from his perspective and is hopeful maybe someone from his community feels inspired to help him.

\"I don't think we understand how precious life really is until there's a life or death situation,\" Bell said.\u00a0\"This is a life-saving moment.\"

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Going first in anything takes guts, especially if the activity scares the person trying it for the first time.

Allana Hill-Baker, 11, of Cedar Rapids, fears falling from high places, but this week at Camp Liberty, she attempted the high ropes course before any of her friends in Girl Scout Troop 5313.

\u201cMy dad told me, \u2018If you\u2019re nervous, go first,\u2019\u201d Allana said Tuesday after she zip-lined to the ground from a 40-foot-high stand. \u201cI have a problem with overthinking things; I think of every possible thing that could go wrong, so this is an opportunity to get rid of my fear of falling.\u201d

If she would have been surrounded by some of her male peers, one Girl Scouts official in attendance predicted there might have been a different outcome.

\u201cI think activities like this show that girls are much more likely to take risks and try new things in a single-gender environment,\u201d said Maura Warner, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

In February, girls Allana\u2019s age and older (11-17) may join Boy Scouts of America, soon-to-be-called Scouts BSA, and begin earning the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. The move has motivated the regional Girl Scouts council \u2014 maybe more than ever \u2014 to promote its wide range of female-led programs and associated benefits before the school year starts.

A common misconception, Warner said, is that Girl Scouts does not offer a comparable amount of opportunities to explore the outdoors as Boy Scouts. When she hears someone say that, Warner invites that person to Camp Liberty, formerly Camp Conestoga, in the northwest corner of Scott County in New Liberty.

New, improved digs

In addition to the high ropes course, girls who visit the 245-acre site may try archery, fishing on Flint Lake, geocaching, hiking, horseback riding, paddling a variety of watercraft, rock climbing, swimming and camping-related activities.

\u201cThey\u2019re not just selling cookies,\u201d Warner said. \u201cThere are tons of badges they can earn in the outdoors.\u201d

\"Camp

Taylor McClusker, 12, of Cedar Rapids, waits for other riders to go on a trail ride earlier this month at Camp Liberty in New Liberty, Iowa.\u00a0

And the mission at Camp Liberty, she said, is to gradually introduce girls \u2014 some of whom are new Scouts\u00a0\u2014 to the wilderness, where they develop independence and an appreciation for nature.

The property, about 25 miles from the metro Quad-Cities, has undergone quite a makeover in recent years. The council spent about $5 million in donations on a 16,795-square-foot lodge, an indoor horseback riding arena and the high ropes course, which were completed in 2016, among other upgrades.

Members of the public also may reserve the facilities for events, including weddings and retreats. More than 5,000 Scouts and 1,500 community members used the space in 2017.

Last month, Warner organized One Tough Cookie, a 3-plus-mile mud run and obstacle course that drew almost 500 people to Camp Liberty. After the fundraiser run, a group of children with epilepsy checked into the camp.

\u201cI don\u2019t think there\u2019s a weekend it sits empty,\u201d Warner said.

Four weeks of summer Scout camp are in the books, but girls, grades 2-12, may still sign up for one of the three remaining five-night sessions. As of this week, about 1,250 girls had registered for camp, staffed by about 50 women throughout the summer.

\u201cIt\u2019s good because the girls have female role models to look up to,\u201d Warner said.

Younger attendees bunk in climate-controlled cabins attached to the lodge, while older Scouts sleep in \u201cmoderate\u201d non-air-conditioned areas with bathrooms or tents for the more rustic experience.

More adventure badges

Camp Liberty Director Ashley Arnold touted the Girl Scouts\u2019 well-rounded program offerings, which involve members in community service, STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Science) and arts and crafts activities, to name a few.

The night before she attacked the high ropes course, for example, Allana enjoyed tie-dying and candle making with her troop mates.

As for the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Arnold said, it helps participants learn entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills.

The ramped-up focus on outdoors skills stems from a recently formed partnership between the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and The North Face. The collaboration will produce 12 new adventure badges in the coming year. Scouts throughout the country may earn them by learning new skills, including trail running, mountaineering, rock climbing and backpacking.

While Camp Liberty provides a solid platform for some of those pursuits, Scouts already are venturing to other areas for more challenging excursions.

Last month, Girl Scout Troop 1337, Davenport, went whitewater rafting, rock climbing and zip-lining in Colorado, where they visited Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park, Seven Falls and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

\"Camp

Eleven-year-old Josie Schwartz of Iowa City was a little anxious as she slid down the zip line earlier this month at Camp Liberty in New Liberty, Iowa.

Another group of Scouts associated with Camp Liberty has a backpacking trip planned later this month at Yellow River State Forest in northeast Iowa.

Growing membership

Back at the high ropes course, 11-year-old daredevil Brooke Rouw of Cedar Rapids navigated the tall structure after Allana.

\u201cThis was the thing I was looking forward to the most,\u201d Brooke said after her turn, taking big gulps of water. \u201cI feel like I just had a really good workout.\u201d

This week marked her third consecutive summer at Camp Liberty, but her first time on the high ropes course, open to sixth-graders and older.

\u201cI don\u2019t get to be out in the wilderness too often, so it\u2019s fun for me to be out here,\u201d Brooke said.

As of June 11, families were able to enroll their daughters, age 6-10, in Cub Scouts associated with the Illowa Council, which oversees 5,700 members in 82 troops across Iowa and Illinois.

More than 9,000 girls, age 6-10, have enrolled in Cub Scouts across the country, according to the latest data provided by Boy Scouts of America.

Meanwhile, the regional Girl Scouts council, which serves 16,000 girls in 38 Iowa and Illinois counties, is on track to see an uptick in membership, according to Warner.

\u201cWe\u2019ve been experts in the outdoors for years, but we're trying to keep programming up with the times and take it to the next level,\u201d she said. \u201cOur focus always is going to be girls.\u201d

Photos: Girl Scouts at Camp Liberty
"}, {"id":"39e6a909-cce6-543c-b76e-b587dead315f","type":"article","starttime":"1531432800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-12T17:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1531499028","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Updated: Funding cuts could challenge health insurance enrollment in Quad-Cities, rest of Iowa","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_39e6a909-cce6-543c-b76e-b587dead315f.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/updated-funding-cuts-could-challenge-health-insurance-enrollment-in-quad/article_39e6a909-cce6-543c-b76e-b587dead315f.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/news/local/updated-funding-cuts-could-challenge-health-insurance-enrollment-in-quad/article_39e6a909-cce6-543c-b76e-b587dead315f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jack Cullen\njcullen@qctimes.com","prologue":"Enrollment for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace begins soon, and eastern Iowa/western Illinois consumers likely will not have access to enrollment services previously supported by the federal government. The Trump administration announced this week it will slash grants to organizations that answer questions and help people sign up for the Obama-era program.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["davenport","genesis health system","illinois","mateo tiry-ortiz","brian boesen","medicare","community health care inc.","jennifer busch","iowa","trump administration","tom bowman","rock island","henry marquard","health insurance","medicaid","centers for medicare and medicaid services"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d","description":"Former Genesis Health System navigator Jennifer Busch, center, helps Maquoketa, Iowa-area residents re-enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act in 2016 at a temporary enrollment site in the Jackson County Regional Health Center. Genesis eliminated Busch's position in January because of a lack of federal funds. President Donald Trump has cut funding for the navigators two years in a row.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES FILE PHOTO","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1816,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/92/f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d/5b47a6d82794e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1850","height":"1119","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/92/f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d/5b47a6d80baa7.image.jpg?resize=1850%2C1119"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"60","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/92/f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d/5b47a6d80baa7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C60"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"181","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/92/f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d/5b47a6d80baa7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C181"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"619","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/92/f92250ad-def0-5f7e-89ef-a9eaf361287d/5b47a6d80baa7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C619"}}}],"revision":12,"commentID":"39e6a909-cce6-543c-b76e-b587dead315f","body":"

Enrollment for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace begins soon, and eastern Iowa/western Illinois consumers likely will not have access to enrollment services previously supported by the federal government.

The Trump administration announced this week it will slash grants to organizations that answer questions and help people sign up for the Obama-era program.

Funding for these experts, called \u201cnavigators,\u201d will be cut from $36.8 million last fall to $10 million for the six-week enrollment period that begins Nov. 1, marking the second major reduction in two years. The government provided $62.5 million to insurance counselors in late 2016.

\u201cWe\u2019re presuming this will end the program for us,\u201d said Henry Marquard, government and community affairs officer for Genesis Health System in Davenport. \u201cIn our opinion, that\u2019s a really unfortunate thing, because those navigators were really an excellent resource for our patients.\u201d

'Not just a hotline'

From 2013-2015, Genesis received $269,000 each year for two navigators, who directly enrolled and provided assistance to about 2,000 Iowa and Illinois residents. In year two, for example, they enrolled 1,406 individuals and aided 671 others by setting up accounts, advising on plans and locating providers\u00a0\u2014 a complicated process, Marquard said.

\u201cGetting access to health care often is pretty intimidating for the average person,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s not just a hotline to call and troubleshoot, \u2018Why won\u2019t this button click?\u2019 They (navigators) were being so proactively helpful.\u201d

In 2016, funding for Genesis dropped to $200,000, and navigators enrolled 958 individuals and helped 989 others. From 2013-2016, about 60 percent of the people enrolled by Genesis\u2019 helpers signed up for private insurance in the marketplace; the remaining 40 percent, people with low incomes, signed up for Medicaid, Marquard said.

In turn, \"We saw a tremendous reduction in the amount of charity care and unreimbursed care we've had to provide,\" he said.

Then there was one

Last year, the enrollment period was slashed in half, and Genesis saw its navigator funding plunge to $20,000, reducing availability to just one navigator for both states.

Navigator Jennifer Busch enrolled more than 145 people and helped more than 90 others, exceeding her goals set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marquard said.

However, Genesis did not meet its advertising goal for marketing the program. Budgeted promotional dollars, separate from the grant, were instead used to supplement Busch\u2019s income,\u00a0Marquard said. The position was eliminated at the beginning of this year.

Federal officials also will cut 90 percent of a related budget for advertising and other outreach activities to foster Affordable Care Act enrollment. They said navigators failed to meet their sign-up targets, while agents and brokers performed better in the marketplace.

Applications for navigator funding are due Aug. 9, and Genesis does not have a plan to submit a request, given the start-up expense. Awards are expected to be announced Sept. 12.

\u201cWe are currently moving forward as if we don\u2019t have that program,\u201d Marquard said. \u201cIf we get a grant that allows us to change that, we\u2019ll certainly do so, but seeing that the administration just axed funding by more than one third, it seems unlikely.\u201d

Additional programs cut

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which had operated a navigator program in 78 counties in Iowa, announced last September it was shutting it down.

A third navigator program in Iowa, run by Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, a Des Moines-based medical and social service organization, is closing out its navigator program at the end of August, officials said.

Nicole Kock, navigator services program coordinator and the only navigator on staff at Visiting Nurse Services, confirmed the program will close once its federal grant of $171,304 runs out Aug. 30. Until then, Kock will only be providing assistance to those \u201cwho have a critical need or face significant barriers accessing health care coverage.\u201d

But even with these cuts and the shortened enrollment period, the agency\u00a0 navigator program saw an increase in the number of individuals signing up for insurance through the marketplace last year.

The agency's navigator program assisted 249 consumers, 129 of whom enrolled in marketplace plans, during last year's six-week enrollment period. Throughout the 12-week enrollment period in 2016, the navigator program, which received $180,891, assisted 302 consumers and helped enroll 117 people in marketplace plans.\u00a0

\u201cWe know people out there need health insurance, they want health insurance, they want it to be affordable for themselves and their families,\u201d Kock said. \u201cThey recognize the need and importance of that and they really just need an organization or an entity that is willing to and can provide that in-person assistance to sit down with them one-on-one, take the time to go through and educate them on health insurance literacy, how it works, how the plans can best benefit the families and their medical needs.

\u201cIt\u2019s a very important service and Iowans have proved to us, year after year, that\u2019s it\u2019s a want and it\u2019s a need,\u201d she said.

Other enrollment services

Despite the cuts, there still will be help available. Certified counselors who are not federally funded have been working to help enroll people since the marketplace first took applicants in the fall of 2013.

UnityPoint Health\u2019s team of nine counselors helped 2,258 people in the Quad-City area navigate the enrollment process in 2017, interim regional marketing director Brian Boesen said.

Genesis employs non-federally funded consumer helpers, too, but the number of these positions was not available Thursday.\u00a0

Community Health Care Inc., which has facilities in Davenport, Rock Island, Moline and East Moline, also helps with enrollment. It is not in the federally funded navigator program, either, so it will continue to operate as usual, said CEO Tom Bowman.

Mateo Tiry-Ortiz, outreach and enrollment coordinator for Community Health Care, spends a lot of time helping people during the enrollment period, but that is just one part of his job.

\u201cMore people are getting comfortable with navigating the system,\u201d Bowman said. \u201cIt may not be as crucial of a position as it once was.\u201d

(Gazette reporter Michaela Ramm contributed to this report.)

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Warmth from a roaring fireplace on the back wall primed the room for a hot yoga class.

Instead of stretching on mats in workout clothes, though, the group of 16 participants \u2014 many of whom use walkers and wheelchairs\u00a0\u2014 remained seated as they followed the lead of their certified personal trainer.

Monday marked the third offering of a new fitness class at Country Manor Memory Care, 900 W. 46th St., Davenport, and both staff and residents already are realizing the benefits.

\u201cI\u2019m surprised I enjoy it as much as I do,\u201d said resident Janice Zinger, a widow who sat in the front row during the 45-minute session. \u201cIt gives us something else to think about and practice.\u201d

Senior Housing Management, a Cedar Rapids-based company that oversees 24 assisted living centers in Iowa and one in Galena, Illinois, assumed control of Country Manor on July 1. Representatives from one of Senior Housing Management's partners, Live 2 B Healthy, a nationwide franchise committed to senior fitness, introduced the program to Country Manor residents July 2.

The classes, designed to improve participants' balance, mobility and mental health, are held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. While they are geared toward residents with cognitive impairments, other seniors in the Quad-Cities may join for free.\u00a0

\"Country

Using an elastic resistance band, resident Jim Castrey works his arms during a fitness class Monday at Country Manor Memory Care in Davenport.

Physical activity, specifically strength training, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer\u2019s disease and slows the effects of dementia, said Chris Pipkin, who manages Live 2 B Healthy\u2019s programs in eastern Iowa.\u00a0

Plus, he added, \"Endorphins are released in the brain when we exercise, and that improves your mood.\"

Exercise elevates a person\u2019s heart rate and increases blood flow to their brain and the rest of their body. That lessens the potential growth of dementia risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, according to the Alzheimer\u2019s Association.

Exercising also helps patients maintain independent living skills as well as reduce stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia, the nonprofit funder of Alzheimer\u2019s research reports.

\"A lot of our residents struggle with understanding why they're here, so this is good for their focus,\" said\u00a0Lori Bader, sales director at Country Manor.

EXERT, an ongoing clinical trial led by the National Institute on Aging in collaboration with the YMCA, aims to determine the type and frequency of exercise needed to support memory and thinking skills.

Serving as the sole standalone memory care center in Davenport, Country Manor, which opened in 1998, has 24 residents and 14 available spots, Bader said. The monthly cost of living begins at $3,900, but the total amount varies depending on the level of care required. The facility currently does not accept Medicaid recipients; many residents are covered by long-term care insurance plans or qualify for Aid and Attendance pension benefits as military veterans or spouses of military veterans.

\"Country

Live 2 B Healthy certified personal trainer Steph Thomas, left, demonstrates how to use an elastic resistance band to a group of seniors during a fitness class Monday at Country Manor Memory Care in Davenport.

At Monday's class, instructor Steph Thomas distributed elastic resistance bands to each of the residents, who performed a variety of activities, including shoulder rolls, bicep curls and a rowing exercise.

Julie Morrison of Davenport stood beside her seated mother, Ellen Mortenson, an Alzheimer's patient, for part of the period.

\"Look at you go!\" Morrison said. \"Good job, mom.\"

Mortenson recently moved to Country Manor from a community in Wisconsin. So far she has made it to all three fitness classes.

\"It's awesome,\" said Morrison,\u00a0director of the daycare program at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Davenport. \"She's been in exercise classes at other facilities, and she always said, 'You don't do anything,' but after this, she's a little winded.\"

Before lunch, the smiling mother-daughter duo sat together on a bench in the courtyard.\u00a0

\"I'm mothering her now,\"\u00a0Morrison said. \"She deserves some pampering.\"

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In the middle of a pitch-black night in June, the cold on a snow-covered Mount Rainier pierced through three layers of gloves and hand warmers protecting John Byrne's hands.

\u201cI was scared I might lose several of my fingers,\u2019\u201d Byrne, 53, of Bettendorf, said. \u201cI thought, \u2018Well, if I do, I do.\u2019\u201d

The temperature was not going to rise until dawn, but quitting was not an option. On a rope team with two others, Byrne was committed to a guided group climb. They were on a mission that morning to reach the 14,410-foot top of Washington\u2019s Mount Rainier \u2014 the tallest volcano and most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States.

Bearing heavy packs on their backs and ice axes in hand, the crew trekked on, traversing steep icy slopes and gaping crevasses while keeping watch for other hazardous obstacles in their path.

50/50 success rate

A year ago this weekend, fellow Bettendorf resident Rick Fountain and experienced Seattle-based mountaineer Daren Falter attempted to summit Rainier, but 50-60 mph winds forced them down prematurely.

Falter, who was diagnosed with Parkinson\u2019s disease in 2015, cited his condition for turning around at 12,600 feet while the others, including Fountain, made it to 13,000 feet. Falter fell short in 2016, too. Hoping to advance farther this year, the 49-year-old trained harder than years past and assembled a crew of capable and supportive friends to join him on his third try.

In September, he booked a reservation for eight with International Mountain Guides, a Washington-based outfit, to lead them up\u00a0\u2014 and back down\u00a0\u2014 the Disappointment Cleaver route in 2\u00bd days.

\"Above

The guided group of climbers trek above the clouds Friday, June 22, toward the top of Mount Rainier, the tallest volcano and most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States.

The popular course, which hosts close to 7,600 climbers per year, begins at Paradise Ranger Station, 5,420 feet, and ascends to Columbia Crest, 14,410 feet, according to the National Park Service. About 50 percent of attempts are successful.

Fountain, 48, felt honored to receive invitations two years in a row. He works for Yoli, a health and nutrition company Falter co-founded. There were open spots for this expedition, so even though Byrne had no prior snow climbing experience, Fountain thought his buddy\u2019s confidence and motivational presence could really improve their chances.

\u201cIf I was going make it, John would be one of the guys I wanted by my side,\u201d Fountain said.

Paying it forward\u00a0

The fitness fanatics have a history of helping each other accomplish challenges.

Last August, Fountain paced Byrne during the Leadville Trail 100 Run, a 100-mile race through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. They each had completed what some consider one of the toughest races on the planet twice before then, but in 2016, a dehydrated and exhausted Byrne lost track of the route near mile 62.

The \u201cRace Across the Sky\u201d weaves in and around Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated city in the country at 10,152 feet. With Fountain by his side in 2017, Byrne finished in 28 hours and 13 minutes.

\"Climbing

From left, Daren Falter, John Byrne and Rick Fountain pose for a photo Wednesday, June 20, at Paradise Ranger Station, 5,420 feet, before ascending Mount Rainier.\u00a0

Although summiting Mount Rainier never was on Byrne\u2019s bucket list, he figured he owed Fountain a favor. Plus, he wanted to help Falter achieve his goal of summiting Washington\u2019s highest peak, so he signed on for the ride in November.

The two Quad-Citians prepared by hiking with 75-pound backpacks at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf. They also ran up and down the TouVelle Stadium stairs at Bettendorf High School, one of their Leadville training exercises.

\u201cI tried to prep him (Byrne) as much as I could because I knew how hard it was going to be,\u201d Fountain said.

Climbing costs

On June 18 they flew to Washington to meet up with the rest of their crew, which included Falter and two of his friends, Tom Matzelle and Grant Drees.

They met with their guides the next day to review their equipment as well as their safety and strategy plans for the excursion.

While Falter provided most of the gear for Byrne, Fountain and Matzelle, they rented boots, crampons\u00a0\u2014 metal spikes strapped to the bottom of their boots\u00a0\u2014 and jackets from International Mountain Guides.

Five guides, two of which were trainees, led the team up the mountain. Each climber paid about $1,500 for the service.

Prior to this trip, Byrne, a marketing professor at St. Ambrose University, had summited three of Colorado\u2019s 14,000-plus-foot peaks, but Rainier is a \u201ccompletely different beast,\u201d Falter said.

\u201cI wasn\u2019t scared, but it was certainly out of my wheelhouse,\u201d said Byrne, who trusted his physical fitness, mental resolve and bravery to push him to the top.

When it comes to total vertical climb, Rainier often is compared to Mount Everest, Falter said. However, Everest Base Camp is about 3,000 feet higher than the summit of Rainier.

\u2018It\u2019s not child\u2019s play\u2019

They launched their ascent the morning of June 20 with the goal of summiting two days later.

Accustomed to running in high altitudes, Byrne and Fountain never found themselves sucking for air. \u201cI cannot remember our heart rate ever getting super high,\u201d Fountain said. \u201cIt was just a constant grind.\u201d

\"Rough

The climbers traversed steep icy and rocky terrain during their 2\u00bd-day expedition on Mount Rainier.\u00a0

They hiked for 90 minutes, rested for 10 minutes and repeated the cycle.

\u201cIn part of the areas we went through, there\u2019s danger of rock falls and avalanches, so they want you to move through quickly to minimize your risk of getting hit,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s not child\u2019s play.\u201d

About 10,000 feet at Camp Muir, guides gave them a glacier-climbing lesson and showed them how to use their gear to stop themselves in case they stumbled in the snow. They stayed there Wednesday night before hiking to Ingraham Flats, 11,100 feet, on Thursday.

One step at a time

Their final assault on Rainier began in complete darkness at 2 a.m. Friday, June 22.

Led by light from headlamps strapped to their helmets, each climber concentrated on the steps of the person in front of them, placing one foot in front of the other.

\"Climbing

The climbers began their final push up Mount Rainier before dawn Friday, June 22.

Parkinson\u2019s reduces Falter\u2019s lung capacity, hurts his balance and delays his steps. Sometimes his brain fails to send marching orders to his legs.

\u201cBy the time you make that step, it\u2019s just exhausting,\u201d he said. \u201cThen you have to make another one; it burns your energy.\u201d

Falter maintained his focus, though, and he battled through the most technically challenging part of the climb, navigating treacherous terrain and narrow paths in \u201cno-fall zones\u201d the entire way.

Despite Byrne\u2019s issues with the cold, they had pretty favorable conditions and his fingers eventually warmed. Falter\u2019s drive, coupled with Byrne\u2019s confidence, inspired the rest of the team as they rose above the clouds.

\u201cHe (Byrne) was positive the whole time,\u201d Fountain said. \u201cHaving him constantly tell you over and over, \u2018There\u2019s only one option, and that is to summit,\u2019 you eventually start believing it.\u201d

The pinnacle

Emotions overflowed about 6:30 a.m., when Falter crested the rim of Rainier.

\u201cI had my sunglasses on, so they couldn\u2019t see the tears in my eyes, but I was bawling like a little girl,\u201d he said. \u201cAfter years and years of dreaming about this summit, finally having that come through was huge.\u201d

They celebrated and snapped photos together before making their descent.

\"Daren

Mountaineer Daren Falter, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2015, smiles early Friday, June 22, as he summits Mount Rainier, a longtime goal.\u00a0

Falter plans to book the same adventure next year, and he hopes his friends from the Quad-Cities join him.

\u201cI think it would be hard to say no if Daren asked me again,\u201d Fountain said. \u201cIt\u2019d be really hard if both Daren and John asked me.\u201d

But Byrne, who is proud of the achievement, did not catch the mountain climbing bug.

\u201cI\u2019m looking at other physical challenges,\u201d he said. \u201cI like to help inspire other people, and this is a way I can do it.\u201d

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Mexicans in the Quad-Cities may not all support their native country\u2019s newly elected president, and they still may be grieving their national soccer team\u2019s loss to Brazil on Monday in the FIFA World Cup. But two East Moline boys are bringing a taste of their culture here this summer most everyone can get behind: authentic Mexican Popsicles, also known as \u201cpaletas\u201d in Spanish.

With help and guidance from their English language teacher Margarita Mojica and several generous community members, Glenview Middle School students Jes\u00fas Gutierrez, 13, and Sergio Garcia, 12, are selling fruit-flavored frozen treats from a pedal-powered trike. By doing so, they will become two of the first established \u201cpaleteros\u201d\u00a0\u2014 Spanish for mobile ice pop vendors\u00a0\u2014 in the area.

The aspiring entrepreneurs are on a mission to sell close to 2,000 frosty desserts this summer at $2 a pop. This is not a typical enterprise, though. Jes\u00fas\u00a0and Sergio hope to raise at least $1,600 each to pay for their respective spots on a class trip next June to Washington, D.C. They officially kick off their venture Wednesday on 15th Avenue in East Moline at the 60th annual AMVETS 4th of July Parade.

Students first laughed at the idea this spring when it was suggested as a fundraising project during a brainstorming session in Mojica\u2019s class. \u201cWe imagined the kids out in the neighborhoods, pedaling and screaming out, \u2018paletas! paletas!\u2019\u201d Mojica said. But when they realized the shortage or nonexistence of paleteros in East Moline and the Quad-Cities, plus an interest from customers, they saw an opportunity to corner the market. Their Facebook group, East Moline Paletero Project: D.C. Bound, now has 450-plus members.

\u201cI really wanted to go to D.C., and this was my only chance,\u201d\u00a0Jes\u00fas\u00a0said last week after assembling their commercial cargo cart. \u201cWe\u2019re excited, happy, all those good feelings.\u201d

\"East

Glenview Middle School students Sergio Garcia, 12, left, Jes\u00fas Gutierrez, 13, and volunteer Daniel Calderon, right, begin piecing together their pedal-powered Popsicle cart last week at a shop in Moline.\u00a0

A smiling Sergio, the shyer and shorter of the two boys, nodded in agreement. They both have learned a lot in the last month, from introducing themselves with solid eye contact and a firm handshake to working with tools in a garage.\u00a0

\"They\u2019re not waiting for this bike to be built,\" Mojica said. \"They\u2019ve been putting the work in; they\u2019re part of the bike.\"

Mechanic Abel Zertuche, who owns Zertuche One Stop Auto Repair in East Moline, taught the boys how to sand their rig, among other technical skills. He worked 35 years at the John Deere North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan. When he was about the same age as\u00a0Jes\u00fas\u00a0and Sergio, Zertuche dropped out of school. However, a mentor offered him a job as an incentive to stay in school, and Zertuche jumped on it. He shared his personal story with the boys.

\u201cSomebody made a difference in my life, and I think I\u2019m paying it forward,\u201d Zertuche said. \u201cI like to help out people, especially the kids.\u201d

Earlier this month,\u00a0Jes\u00fas and Sergio met with Greg Aguilar of the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce to learn about business management.\u00a0

Mojica\u2019s former students are pitching in, too. Imad Majid, whose family moved to East Moline from Morocco, now works as a flight readiness technician for Boeing Co. in South Carolina. He donated $400 for startup costs.

\"East

Auto and bicycle detailer Daniel Calderon, 20, pieces together the East Moline Paletero trike last week at his cousin's auto body shop in Moline. Glenview Middle School students Jes\u00fas Gutierrez, 13, and Sergio Garcia, 12, are using the cart to sell authentic Mexican Popsicles this summer to raise money for a class trip next June to Washington, D.C.

Glenview alumnus Daniel Calderon, who runs D&K Bicycle Customs with Kayne Debrobander, painted the three-wheeler. \u201cMs. Mojica helped get me started on what I like to do, and I just thought it would be good to give back to the community,\u201d Calderon said.

Feeling inspired, Jos\u00e9 Nu\u00f1ez, a maintenance engineer at John Deere Davenport Works, and his friend, Gerardo Velazquez, contributed and rehabbed the set of wheels customers will see the boys riding.

The owner of Paleteria Y Dulceria San Jose in Moline connected\u00a0Jes\u00fas\u00a0and Sergio with his wholesale supplier in Chicago. The students recently received delivery of 1,400 La Real Michoacana Popsicles, the \u201cmost recognized and popular brand in Mexico,\u201d Mojica said.\u00a0

Country Style Ice Cream in East Moline is storing the goods in its freezer. On Monday, the boys hosted a soft opening for their business outside the shop, selling 10 unique flavors: pecan, coconut, rice pudding, milk-based strawberry, cookies and cream, bubblegum, lime, mango with chili, water-based strawberry and tamarind.

\"East

The Glenview Middle School students are selling paletas (Popsicles) to raise money for a class trip to Washington, D.C., next year.\u00a0

Cristina S\u00e1nchez-L\u00f3pez, owner of Country Style in East Moline and Davenport, does not view the paleteros as competition.

\u201cIt\u2019s for a good cause,\u201d she said, noting the partnership\u2019s cross-promotional perks. \u201cIt\u2019s going to benefit them in the long run.\u201d

Mojica, who is approaching her 23rd year at Glenview, called the public's response \"beautiful.\"

\"I'm so grateful to them for giving back,\" she said. \"We live in a caring community.\"

When Jes\u00fas\u00a0and Sergio have the ability to help others someday,\u00a0Mojica hopes they follow suit.

Photos: East Moline Paletero Project
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Running on fumes after a full night of Mississippi River fishing, a strong tug on his line sent a surge through Donald Goering.

It was about 5 a.m. Friday, and this was the moment the 53-year-old Davenport man was waiting for.

Positioned near Credit Island in Davenport, Goering hooked a hefty flathead catfish with 30-pound test line and live green sunfish as bait. The lifelong river rat and his 16-year-old nephew, Malakia Townsley, spent the next 20 minutes roping the bottom feeder into their anchored 16-foot boat

\u201cIt was doing everything it could to shake that hook out of its mouth,\u201d Goering, a union iron worker, said Saturday. \u201cHe was giving me hell.\u201d

After reeling it in as close to the boat as possible, the angler tried to bring the catfish aboard with a walleye net, but its wide head would not fit. Goering then handed his pole to Malakia, dropped to his knees and tried to pull the fish up by its gills.

It was ready for more of a fight, though, and Goering, who weighs about 150 pounds, almost fell overboard. \u201cI thought I was going in with him,\u201d he said. \u201cI dropped him three different times.\u201d

Malakia then secured his uncle\u2019s calves and feet, so Goering could lean out over the edge of the boat and bag the catch. It worked.

The longtime fisherman was shaking with excitement by the time he lifted the squirming beast into his boat.

\u201cIf it wasn\u2019t for him (Malakia), I wouldn\u2019t have landed that fish,\u201d Goering said. \u201cThe big ones always get away, but not this one.\u201d

They eventually released the catfish back into the river, but not until after they recorded its weight and length. The duo arrived at Credit Island Bait Shop about 6:45 a.m. to weigh the fish, according to manager Lisa Benningfield, who lives on site with her family.

\u201cI\u2019d never seen a fish that big until Friday,\u201d she said.

Benningfield snapped photos and shared them on the business\u2019s Facebook page. She wrote the fish maxed out the shop\u2019s 75-pound scale, and as of Saturday evening, the post had been shared 350-plus times. Curious commenters wondered if Goering broke the record for the largest flathead catfish ever registered in Iowa, which was caught in 1958 in Chariton. The fish weighed 81 pounds and measured 52 inches, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

However, when Goering plopped the fish on his scale at home, it weighed 55 pounds. \u201cThe bathroom scale don\u2019t lie,\u201d he said. It turns out the instrument at Credit Island Bait Shop needed new batteries.

Benningfield fixed the issue as soon as she heard the news Saturday.

It was an easy decision for Goering to release the catfish he worked so hard to catch.

\"It was too magnificent of a creature to kill, giving me a battle like that,\" he said. \"I'm in the 50-pound club now, and that's a big deal to a lot of fishermen.\"\u00a0

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The Geneseo High School Bass Fishing Team may have a new recruit.

During an outing May 1 on a small private farm pond in Henry County, four-year-old Kale Eaton of Geneseo landed a largemouth bass bigger than his torso. \u201cHe could barely lift it,\u201d his mother, Courtney Eaton, said of the \u201cmonster\u201d she estimated to weigh 4-5 pounds and measure 18 inches. (They did not have measuring tape or a scale.) But the little man did all the work.

\u201cI reeled it in by myself,\u201d said Kale, who used a 2\u00bd-foot pole, 4-pound test line and a green beetle spinner lure.

The catch impressed fellow anglers, who picked the smiling preschooler to win the youth division of the Quad-City Times\u2019 Best Fish Photo Contest, sponsored by K&K True Value Hardware and R&R Sports. Kale received 97 votes, beating out 72 other entries.

Matt Baeder, 29, of Davenport, won the adult division with 137 votes, beating out 42 other entries. The contests drew a total of 1,263 votes. Each angler will receive a prize valued at $100.

Successful youth (17 and younger) and adult (18 and older) anglers in Iowa and Illinois may submit their photos at qctimes.com/bestfish in July and August for a chance to win $100 prizes from the pair of Bettendorf businesses.

Rounds two and three run July 1-17 and Aug. 1-20, respectively. Voting will take place July 18-24 and Aug. 21-27. The winners also will be featured in the July 28 and Sept. 1 editions of the Outdoors section. Entrants must comply with state fishing regulations, and only fish caught during the 2018 season will be eligible. Contestants may submit multiple entries, but they are limited to fish taken in Iowa and Illinois.

At the end of the summer contest series, a grand prize valued at $200 will be awarded to each of the two anglers (one youth, one adult) who garnered the most votes.

\"Matt

Angler Matt Baeder, 29, of Davenport, reeled in this stringer of fish June 2 during the fifth annual Fishing Has No Boundaries outing at Rock Creek Marina in Camanche. He received 137 votes and won the adult division of the Quad-City Times' Best Fish Photo Contest, beating out 42 other entries.

Baeder caught a \u201cnice stringer of fish\u201d June 2 at the fifth annual Fishing Has No Boundaries outing at Rock Creek Marina in Camanche. Volunteer boat captain Tom Hasken submitted the photo of Baeder with the caption, \u201cWhat a good morning.\u201d

Co-hosted by the Fishing Has No Boundaries Eastern Iowa Chapter and Clinton County Conservation, more than 100 volunteers at the event helped 54 people with disabilities fish the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Baeder, who has participated the last five years, always strives to accomplish the same goal of \u201ccatching river monsters.\u201d

And he usually finds success, organizers say.

\u201cEverybody wants him on their boat because he always catches fish,\u201d Clinton County Conservation Naturalist Jill Schmidt said. \u201cHe\u2019s the luckiest guy out there.\u201d

Back in Henry County, Kale's 73-year-old great-grandfather, John Cahalan, \"couldn't believe how big\" the fish was when it jumped out of the water. But he never touched Kale's pole.\u00a0\u201cI just said, \u2018Keep the (rod) tip up, keep the tip up!\u2019\u201d said Cahalan, who wondered how much line was on the pole. \"He kept winding it in all by himself.\"

As it approached the water's edge, Cahalan grabbed the heavy fish by its lip and pulled it to shore before handing it to his great-grandson for a photo. They later released it.

\"I think I was more excited than he was,\" he said.

\"John

John Cahalan, 73, of Geneseo, poses May 1 with a largemouth bass and his great-grandsons, Kale Eaton, 4, left, and Tanner Eaton, 2, both of Geneseo. Kale caught and released the fish at a small farm pond in Henry County.\u00a0

More than two decades ago in Ontario, Canada, Cahalan\u00a0bagged a 32-pound, 50-inch musky, \"the best fish I ever caught.\"

\"But that's nothing compared to this,\" he said. \"This was the best moment of my life.\"

The widower, who lost his wife, Sandra, to cancer in 2013, serves as a crossing guard at Millikin Elementary School in Geneseo. During the summer months, he takes advantage of every babysitting opportunity he can get. Cahalan has three sons and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including Courtney and Jake Eaton and their four children.\u00a0

\"If I don't see them every day, it feels like I missed part of their life,\"\u00a0Cahalan said. \"They know they have me wrapped around their finger.\"

The rest of Kale's summer schedule is packed with baseball, hockey and swimming, but the family plans to make time for more fishing. Cahalan received measuring tape and a scale for Father's Day, just in case somebody reels in another lunker.\u00a0

Photos: Quad-City Times' Best Fish Photo Contest
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Hitchcock died June 10 from head trauma he suffered in a crash with a car at that intersection.\u00a0","byline":"John Schultz, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2611,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/e9/1e903573-ca81-577c-9f27-158d860b7b10/5b35555a55a41.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1543","height":"1342","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/e9/1e903573-ca81-577c-9f27-158d860b7b10/5b35555a2c8a2.image.jpg?resize=1543%2C1342"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"87","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/e9/1e903573-ca81-577c-9f27-158d860b7b10/5b35555a2c8a2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C87"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"261","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/e9/1e903573-ca81-577c-9f27-158d860b7b10/5b35555a2c8a2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C261"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"891","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/e9/1e903573-ca81-577c-9f27-158d860b7b10/5b35555a2c8a2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C891"}}},{"id":"d03d37dc-8240-5279-9415-099da13515dc","description":"Casey Hitchcock","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"679","height":"800","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/03/d03d37dc-8240-5279-9415-099da13515dc/5b219ab212e28.image.jpg?resize=679%2C800"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"118","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/03/d03d37dc-8240-5279-9415-099da13515dc/5b219ab212e28.image.jpg?resize=100%2C118"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"353","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/03/d03d37dc-8240-5279-9415-099da13515dc/5b219ab212e28.image.jpg?resize=300%2C353"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1206","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/03/d03d37dc-8240-5279-9415-099da13515dc/5b219ab212e28.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921","description":"Daniel Lang, left, of Davenport\u00a0stapled his black leather \"cut\" or vest to the light pole where his friend, Casey Hitchcock was killed in a motorcycle crash. He and his\u00a0 friend, Keith Blum of Bettendorf, also added an American flag and flowers.\u00a0","byline":"John Schultz, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":2447,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9e/09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921/5b35555aa88ac.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1300","height":"1593","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9e/09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921/5b35555a8765d.image.jpg?resize=1300%2C1593"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"123","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9e/09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921/5b35555a8765d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C123"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"368","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9e/09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921/5b35555a8765d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C368"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1255","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9e/09e638e8-4a64-581f-8e84-42530fbb5921/5b35555a8765d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1255"}}},{"id":"013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3","description":"Daniel Lang, left, of Davenport adjusts his black leather \"cut\" or vest he affixed to a light pole at 4th Street and River Drive in Bettendorf as a roadside memorial for his friend, Casey Hitchcock. Keith Blum of Bettendorf contributed an American flag and flowers and Zeb Schmacht of Davenport (not pictured) installed the cross.\u00a0","byline":"John Schultz, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1988,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/13/013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3/5b35555ae7ecf.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1768","height":"1171","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/13/013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3/5b35555acb1cd.image.jpg?resize=1768%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/13/013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3/5b35555acb1cd.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/13/013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3/5b35555acb1cd.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/13/013ae934-a6e3-56e1-8394-a3acb985fbe3/5b35555acb1cd.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}},{"id":"a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3","description":"An orange cross and a sign on the north side of South Cody Road (U.S. 67) in LeClaire honors motorcyclists William Bruce Griffith, 57, of Davenport, and Ronald Gene Fox, 59, of Blue Grass, who died Sept. 10, 2016, in a fiery head-on crash with an SUV. The now-deceased driver of the SUV, Darryl Wilson, 52, of Silvis, was traveling north in the 3100 block of South Cody Road when he crossed the center line and struck both the motorcyclists. Investigators determined the now-deceased driver of the SUV was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medications at the time of the crash.","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/8e/a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3/5b35555b56f2a.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/8e/a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3/5b35555b370e4.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/8e/a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3/5b35555b370e4.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/a/8e/a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3/5b35555b370e4.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/a/8e/a8e3a2e3-6003-5f2d-a04d-b1a7f93331d3/5b35555b370e4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83","description":"A cross, plants and other items make up this memorial that honors Bettendorf High School graduate\u00a0Natalie Munoz, 18, who died March 25, 2014, in a three vehicle collision on River Drive in Davenport. The site is located at the top of a staircase between McClellan Boulevard and Forest Road. Munoz was headed west on River Drive when she lost control, crossed the center line and struck two eastbound vehicles. Police did not determine what caused the crash.","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/99/f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83/5b35555bcd887.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/99/f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83/5b35555baa5c3.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/99/f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83/5b35555baa5c3.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/f/99/f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83/5b35555baa5c3.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/f/99/f99e2083-2d94-5b07-b8d9-3f44aa63ef83/5b35555baa5c3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf","description":"A cross and flowers near East River Drive and Tremont Avenue honor Fannie Mae Brown, 74, of Davenport, who died Oct. 8, 2014, in a pedestrian-auto accident. Police said the light at the intersection had just turned green for east-west traffic on River Drive when the pedestrian stepped into the street and was struck by an eastbound Ford SUV.","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf/5b35555968956.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf/5b3555594ac91.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf/5b3555594ac91.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/0/33/0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf/5b3555594ac91.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/0/33/0336e3eb-c089-5ddd-8a06-00e5ecedd9bf/5b3555594ac91.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a","description":"A white cross and flowers honor 28-year-old Donavon Ray Sammon of Scott County, who was killed Sept. 11, 2016, by a 2001 white Ford Expedition in a hit-and-run crash at West 3rd and Cedar streets in Davenport. Randal Ray Brocksieck of Rock Island was sentenced to up to five years in prison for failing to stop at the scene of a hit-and-run crash that resulted in a death.\u00a0","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/37/2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a/5b35555c5f9d4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/37/2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a/5b35555c47399.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/37/2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a/5b35555c47399.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/2/37/2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a/5b35555c47399.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/2/37/2374bcfe-3072-5b6c-b2c0-093125bc693a/5b35555c47399.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674","description":"A cross and flowers honor motorcyclist Justin James, 27, of Davenport, who died Aug. 12, 2015, from injuries he suffered in a crash with a Ford pickup at the intersection of West 3rd and Cedar streets in Davenport. The driver of the pickup, Cory Linville, 48, of Davenport, also later died. Police say Linville was crossing 3rd Street as James was heading east on 3rd Street in the north lane. The motorcycle struck the left side of the truck as Linville crossed through the intersection and into the lane James was driving in, police said. It is believed Linville was driving while impaired and the speed of the motorcycle was a factor in the crash, according to police.","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/8c/78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674/5b35555cda147.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/8c/78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674/5b35555cb98e5.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/8c/78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674/5b35555cb98e5.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/7/8c/78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674/5b35555cb98e5.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/7/8c/78c44c94-c875-52cf-9539-25c4458ad674/5b35555cb98e5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d","description":"The crosses, flowers and other items at 12th and Brady streets in Davenport honor Andrew Scott Adams, 21, and Danny DeBacker, 22, both of Orion, Illinois, who were killed in a fatal drunken driving accident Sept. 28, 2014. Kai Miller of Davenport was sentenced for a total of up to 55 years.\u00a0","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/d4/8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d/5b35555d5634d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/d4/8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d/5b35555d35e73.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/d4/8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d/5b35555d35e73.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/8/d4/8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d/5b35555d35e73.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/8/d4/8d4aaf88-31d2-5cb7-8a7d-c3bf2b75783d/5b35555d35e73.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2","description":"A cross and flowers at West 13th Street and Waverly Road in Davenport honor Lois Keeney, 79, of Davenport, who died April 27, 2003, after suffering injuries in a three-vehicle accident at the intersection. Witnesses said Keeney's husband, Delbert, did not stop for a posted stop sign and continued southbound on Waverly into the intersection. The Keeney's vehicle collided with one driven by a teenager, who was attempting a left turn onto westbound West 13th. The impact pushed the teen's vehicle into an eastbound vehicle.","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":4032,"hiresheight":3024,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e2/2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2/5b35555de3c60.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e2/2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2/5b35555dc4dd9.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e2/2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2/5b35555dc4dd9.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/2/e2/2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2/5b35555dc4dd9.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/2/e2/2e2da66a-8d3f-5016-9c02-81a277eddcb2/5b35555dc4dd9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":45,"commentID":"aa3e8c9c-4407-5f07-b34b-c5fb5ce82090","body":"

A Davenport man\u2019s eyes welled with tears as he walked across River Drive to the site of a friend\u2019s fatal motorcycle crash. Markings on the busy four-lane highway from the Bettendorf Police Department\u2019s late-night investigation made it all too real.

\u201cThat\u2019s where it really hit me hard,\u201d Daniel Lang said of the experience. \u201cIt was painful.\u201d

Casey Hitchcock, 40, of Davenport, died June 10 from head trauma he suffered in a crash with a car the night before at 4th Street and River Drive (U.S. 67) in Bettendorf.

Multiple people vow that Hitchcock, the married father of Kori and Jacob, was the type of guy to \u201cgive you the shirt off his back.\u201d To pay his respects to the man known as \u201cShrek\u201d in the motorcycling community, Lang gave him the black leather motorcycle club \u201ccut,\u201d or vest, off his back.

\u201cThe most valuable possession to a biker is his cut, and it\u2019s really all that I had that was worthy of leaving as a memorial,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s got a lot of memories on it, and a lot of those memories were shared with Shrek.\u201d

'Pay attention'

Lang, who recently stepped down as vice president of the Quad-Cities chapter of Full Tilt Riders Motorcycle Club, painted a white cross, \u201cR.I.P. SHREK\u201d and \u201c2:19\u201d on the vest. The numbers, Lang said, represent the second and 19th letters in the alphabet for Broken Spokes, the Davenport-based motorcycle club Hitchcock co-founded in 2011.

Lang asked the club's permission before he stapled his dirt-covered vest to a light pole on the south side of River Drive to honor his former mentor and role model. After making it back to the north side of the roadway, he returned to the impromptu memorial to further secure the piece. Lang ignored the evidence of the crash on the ground as he crossed River Drive for the final time June 10.

\"I was going to keep it (the vest) forever, but I wasn\u2019t expecting a real close friend to pass away either,\u201d Lang said. \"I don\u2019t think you'll find a person who is as loved as that man was.\"

\"Casey

Daniel Lang, left, of Davenport\u00a0stapled his black leather \"cut\" or vest to the light pole where his friend, Casey Hitchcock was killed in a motorcycle crash. He and his\u00a0 friend, Keith Blum of Bettendorf, also added an American flag and flowers.\u00a0

Earlier that day, Keith Blum of Bettendorf positioned flowers and an American flag on the grass near the scene. Worried the items could get mowed over, he later moved them next to the vest.

\u201cI wanted to pay my respects to him as I know he would me,\u201d said Blum, who was \u201cdumbfounded\u201d when he heard what happened to his friend, Hitchcock, a \u201cvery experienced rider.\u201d

\u201cBut it doesn\u2019t matter how experienced you are, stuff can happen,\u201d he said. \u201cPeople just need to pay attention.\u201d

Investigation continues

Brett G. Geist, 24, of Davenport, was driving a 2008 Chevy Cobalt about 10:20 p.m. June 9 when a westbound 2016 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide struck the car's left rear bumper area, police said.

Police say the motorcyclist lost control, his bike slid on its left side and he was ejected. Hitchcock, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and his motorcycle landed in the eastbound lanes of River Drive. A Medic EMS crew lifted him onto a stretcher about 10:30 p.m. and took him to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport. He eventually was transported to University Hospitals, Iowa City, where he was pronounced dead the following day. Some of Hitchcock\u2019s organs were donated, according to family and friends.

\"Casey

Casey Hitchcock

Geist did not suffer any injuries, police said.

Bettendorf Police Chief Keith Kimball said this week the incident remains under investigation and his department is waiting for autopsy results.

In a public post on Facebook two days after her husband\u2019s death, Mandy Hitchcock requested that \u201cno one contact, blame or threaten\u201d the motorist. It was shared almost 200 times.

Later that day, Zeb Schmacht of Davenport planted a homemade wooden cross into the ground next to the leather-vested light pole. He left behind a black Sharpie marker so others could share their thoughts and messages. The front of the cross is mostly covered now, and there are more flowers, too.

Wife 'can't ... go down there'\u00a0

Mandy Hitchcock has seen photos of her husband\u2019s roadside memorial, but she has not visited the site.

\u201cI can\u2019t bring myself to go down there,\u201d she said, before releasing this statement to the Quad-City Times:

\u201cThank you to my family, friends and co-workers of Casey for all the acts of thoughtfulness shown to our family during this difficult time. We are overwhelmed by the love and support you all have shown us. We are so blessed and honored to see all the items placed at Casey\u2019s memorial. He was truly loved and will be missed by so many people.\u201d

She also recognized the following people for their contributions to the memorial: Sandy and Dan Schmidt; Samantha Moeller (Hitchcock's niece); Paula and Rich Garnette; and Pam and Chad Harrington.\u00a0

Hitchcock worked for TRACO Fire Protection LLC of Milan.

Paul \u201cFozzy\u201d Fosdyck, president of Broken Spokes, who called Hitchcock his best friend and brother, cannot bear to look at the memorial when he passes it.

\u201cI understand where she (Mandy Hitchcock) is coming from,\u201d he said. \u201cPeople tell me it\u2019s there, they tell me what\u2019s there, but I really don\u2019t care to see it.\u201d

Distraction debate\u00a0

Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn worries roadside memorials may cause traffic safety issues.

\u201cThe concern is how much those items distract motorists while they\u2019re driving 45 mph on a state highway,\u201d he said. \u201cIt draws people\u2019s attention away from what they\u2019re doing.\u201d

Because the memorial is located on state right-of-way and MidAmerican Energy Company\u2019s light pole, Ploehn suspects there to be future discussions between the three entities.

The Iowa Department of Transportation prefers memorials not be placed along the highway for the safety of motorists and the safety of those wishing to create or visit a memorial. \"However, in recognition of the sensitivity of the issue, we do not typically require removal unless they are causing safety or other issues,\u201d\u00a0said Sheila Lee, engineering operations tech at the agency\u2019s District 6 Field Office in Davenport.

\"William

An orange cross and a sign on the north side of South Cody Road (U.S. 67) in LeClaire honors motorcyclists William Bruce Griffith, 57, of Davenport, and Ronald Gene Fox, 59, of Blue Grass, who died Sept. 10, 2016, in a fiery head-on crash with an SUV. The now-deceased driver of the SUV, Darryl Wilson, 52, of Silvis, was traveling north in the 3100 block of South Cody Road when he crossed the center line and struck both the motorcyclists. Investigators determined the now-deceased driver of the SUV was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medications at the time of the crash.

If an issue arises, \u201cWe work with families involved to try to find a solution that allows them to still have a way to honor their loved ones,\u201d Lee said. \u201cIn some instances, the memorials have been removed at the request of the family.\u201d

Within three miles of Hitchcock\u2019s memorial, there are two others with crosses, flowers and colorful ornaments on River Drive in Davenport, each of which was erected after traffic deaths in 2014. Fewer than 10 miles upriver on South Cody Road (U.S. 67) in LeClaire, an orange cross, a sign and empty beer cans recognize a pair of motorcyclists who died in a fiery crash in 2016 when an SUV struck them head-on. The sign, created by A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education, or ABATE of Iowa, reads: \"PLEASE BE AWARE\" and \"MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE.\"

Investigators determined the now-deceased driver of the SUV was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medications at the time of the crash.

Breaking the stigma

Standing at 6 feet, 3 inches and about 280 pounds, Hitchcock may have intimidated some people with his size, but he was just a \u201cbig Teddy bear,\u201d Blum said. \u201cHe was always there for me.\u201d

He wishes people did not judge motorcyclists by their appearances.

\u201cThey think we\u2019re all bad, but if people knew what Broken Spokes does for the community, they would understand us,\u201d Blum said.

The charitable nonprofit organization based on W. 4th Street in Davenport, will host benefit rides for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital on July 14 and Gilda's Club Quad-Cities on Aug. 19.

The first event raises money for cleft palate treatment services, which Hitchcock promoted a lot because his daughter, Kori, was born with the defect. \"That hit very close to home for Casey,\" Fosdyck said.\u00a0

Every time he rides by Hitchcock's memorial, Blum honks his motorcycle's horn and flashes a peace sign with his fingers.

\u201cIt\u2019s sad, man,\u201d he said. \u201cHe died doing what he loved, though.\u201d

Photos: Roadside memorials in the Iowa Quad-Cities
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