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Quad City Daily News

Senate File 508 would allow Iowa residents to possess and use fireworks, such as firecrackers and Roman candles. Currently, only novelty items such as sparklers are legal in the state. 

The bill passed a Senate committee last week, but one group says the effort poses a threat to Iowa's veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. 

Bob Krause is president of the Veterans National Recovery Center, a group that focuses on the health of returning veterans.

"They can be quite debilitating," he says. "Some PTSD veterans that I know, if they hear a loud retort, like a muffler backfiring or something like that, they will actually fall into a fetal position."

He says the chance of getting PTSD from the first combat-zone experience is now between 20 and 25 percent, but that likelihood jumps with the second and third combat tours to between 90 and 95 percent.

Krause notes the problem is extensive, and involves more than just combat veterans.

"We've got 5,000 veterans in Iowa that have PTSD just from the wars that have occurred since 9/11, not counting our Vietnam veterans," he says. "There's a lot of them, and that doesn't even include the police and fire and other people that have been around gunfire."

He says PTSD is a chronic excitement of the amygdala, the "fight or flight" center of the brain. If the condition lasts too long, it can cause scarring and a permanent short circuiting of the brain.

Krause says expanding sale and use of fireworks in Iowa means those suffering from PTSD will have to be in a heightened state of paranoia year-round, not just around the Independence Day holiday. 

"We don't need that," says Krause. "These veterans are being ignored enough. It's like kicking a guy in a wheelchair. You just don't want to do that, even if it's unintentional, and that's kind of what you're doing with this bill."

Both the Iowa House and Senate passed separate bills expanding fireworks in Iowa last session, but the chambers could not agree on a single version to send to the governor for signature.

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The City of Bettendorf will hold information meeting regarding the City budget on February 18th. Bettendorf residents are invited to Bettendorf City Hall, in the council chambers, for the meeting which will lay out elements of City budget and individual department budgets. Get more information about this information meeting by contacting Bettendorf City Hall at 563-344-4033. 

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An independent investigation by the Auditor's Office of the State of Iowa has tuned up allegations of improper use of bank accounts by members of the Davenport Fire Department. According to a release from the Auditor's office the investigation stemmed from concerns raised by members of Davenport City Government regarding private bank accounts that were controlled by the DFD with funds that were not properly monitiored. The report claims that more than $4000.00 dispersed from these accounts went for purchases of food or clothing items that could not be verified by Auditors. The investigation of records dates back to January of 2009 and tracks through October of 2014. You can read the Auditor's finding here.  

 

The City of Davenport released this statement regardin the matter... 

 

"In October of 2014, the Davenport Finance Department was made aware of 13 accounts set up at The Family Credit Union utilizing the City's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) by Fire Department employees for their own private and personal use. During the City's investigation, no public funds were unaccounted for and the unauthorized accounts were either closed or had the City's FEIN removed. The February 5, 2016 report completed by the State Auditor's Office confirms that "the City did not disburse funds to any of the 13 accounts." After identifying these accounts and prior to the involvement of the State Auditor's Office, the City of Davenport instituted new controls to prevent the opening of unauthorized accounts. The City instituted Administrative Policy 4.8 that prohibits City employees or elected officials from setting up financial accounts without proper authorization. Additionally, the City began confirming with area banks during its audit process that the City's FEIN is not associated with any accounts at their institutions. The 2015 verification confirmed that no unauthorized accounts existed. The City cooperated fully with the State Auditor's Office during their review and appreciates the agency's efforts to produce this report."

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Representative Cheri Bustos is in Rock Island today (Friday) meeting with students at Rock Island Academy and encouraging constituents to write Valentine's Day cards. These aren't just any Valentines however, they are specialized Valentine's intended to honor our best and bravest, our military veterans. If you would like to participate simply pick up an appropriate Valentine's Day Card, sign it with love for our local military veterans and send it to Representative Bustos' offices in either Rock Island, Peoria or Rockford by February 10th. Representative Bustos will then distribute the Valentine's Cards to area veterans on Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14th. 

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Illinois' longtime budget impasse means hundreds of senior home-care workers could see their paychecks cut in half as soon as Friday.

The state owes about $1 million in payments to Family Home Service in Chicago. Since the impasse began in July, FHS office manager Marsha Holmes said, she's been partly relying on loans to pay employees, who make about $10 an hour. That line of credit has run out, however, and now her options are limited. Holmes is asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to end the budget battle with state lawmakers.

"We're looking twofold," she said. "We have employees that may be in threat of losing their jobs or not having a job at all. Then, we have a threat of seniors not having essential services for their everyday existence."

Holmes said her employees serve about 500 Chicago-area seniors who need in-home assistance. At least one home-care service in Peoria was forced to shut down last fall when the state failed to make its payments.

Some state lawmakers also are urging Rauner to lighten his stance on the budget impasse. In addition to Family Home Service, said Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, the budget problems are affecting hundreds of agencies and companies that rely on state funding. As a possible solution to the budget shortfall, he is urging his colleagues to explore new revenue options including a tax hike on Illinois' highest earners.

"The very wealthiest people in our state, the 'Bruce Rauner class,' and the biggest corporations in our state are paying next to nothing in taxes," Guzzardi said, "and working families are getting squeezed awfully hard already."

Rauner, however, is sticking by his decision to not consider any new revenue until state lawmakers agree to a property tax freeze and limits on union bargaining. This comes just days after state Comptroller Leslie Munger said Illinois will spend about $6 billion more than it takes in this coming fiscal year.

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Singer Don McLean dubbed February 3rd 1959 "The Day the Music Died." That was the day that legendary performers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper perished in plane crash just hours after a concert in Clearlake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom. Jeff Nicholas from what is now the Surf Ballroom and Museum joined Sean Patrick on Mid Morning in the Cities on Wednesday to remember that fateful day in 1959 and the legend that has grown since that night. The Surf Ballroom will be celebrating all weekend long with a series of performances to commemorate Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper...

 

 

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Davenport Police are investigating a late night shots fired incident. At approximately 12:48 Pm Davenport Police received a call about shots fired in the area of the 1900 Block of East 38th Street. At the scene Davenport Police found shell casings and property damage indicating the shooting incident. No one was harmed in the incident. No other information is being released at this time. Davenport Police are continuing to investigate and are asking anyone with any information to please contact Davenport Police at 563-326-6125. 

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A study found surgery patients fared just as well when junior doctors worked longer than mandated hours. It was first major rigorous test of regulations many physicians say hurt medical education. Nationwide limits on work hours were established more than a decade ago because of concerns that sleep-deprived medical residents were a threat to themselves and their patients. To test that, researchers randomly assigned 4,000 surgery residents to regulation hours or a more flexible schedule that allowed them to continue with a case after their shifts ended. The researchers looked at how many patients died or had serious complications in the month after surgery and found the same low rate, about 9 percent, in both groups. The study was published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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National News Correspondent Jim Roope joined Sean Patrick today on Mid Morning in the Cities live from Santa Clara, California home of Super Bowl 50. Jim had the inside scoop on the halftime show (#Beyonce!), the big game commercials, and the storylines headed into Sunday's match up between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Jim Roope was Sean's guest on Mid Morning in the Cities on Thursday... 

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A Davenport man has been arrested on charges that he sexually assault 6 children over a period of 12 years. According to Davenport Police 54 year old Donald Lee Sims of Telegraph Road in Davenport has been charged with three counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault and three counts of Indecent Contact with a Child. The charges stem from an investigation last November that turned up evidence that Simms had such contact with 6 different children over a period of more than a decade. If convicted Simms faces up to 25 

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