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Jason Parrott

Southeast Iowa Correspondent

Jason is the Southeast Iowa News Correspondent. He established Tri States Public Radio's news bureau in Keokuk in September 2003.  The bureau has moved from his apartment to the Hotel Iowa before landing in its current location at the Daily Gate City newspaper at 1016 Main.  Jason provides short- and long-form news coverage from southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and portions of west-central Illinois. Jason covers multiple governmental boards including the Keokuk City Council, the Lee County Board of Supervisors and the Burlington School Board. Jason was born in Burlington, IA and grew up in neighboring Henderson County before graduating from Monmouth High School.  He graduated from WIU in 2002 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications and History.  While in Macomb, he was a member of the WIU Track & Field team, serving as Captain during his senior year. Jason received his Master’s Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield in 2003. He and his wife Jamie, a middle school teacher, have called Quincy home since 2007.  They have two dogs (Howie and Sadie), one nephew and several god-children. During Jason’s free time, he enjoys watching sports, spending time with friends, playing fantasy football and traveling to the Lake of the Ozarks with his wife.

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Lisa Schaefer (D-Burlington) is running for Des Moines County Attorney. She said one of her top priorities, if elected, is to improve transparency and accountability.

It appears students involved in the "senior prank" at Fort Madison High School one week ago will be able to participate in graduation after all. That's according to a post on the district’s Facebook page.

Keokuk has narrowed the field in its search for a new city administrator. The 5 finalists are expected to be in the city June 8-9 for their official interviews.

Annette Peevler

The Rand Park Pavilion Commission in Keokuk is gearing up for a busy few months of live music and other events in one of the city’s largest parks.  Chairman Jeff Fuller said the commission has organized seven free concerts this summer and fall. The first, scheduled for Saturday, May 26 from 7:00p.m. to 9:00 p.m., features Leaving Abbey.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The President of the Fort Madison School Board is weighing in on the "senior prank" at the high school over the weekend. He said he expected better from the students involved.

The Fort Madison Police Department is providing details of what's being described as a "senior prank" at Fort Madison High School. The incident could result in criminal charges and the possiblity that about 20 FMHS students will not be allowed to participate in graduation.

BPD Chief Dennis Kramer

The Burlington Police Department will move into its new home this week. The roughly two block move is expected to take about three days to complete.

Hancock County Sheriff's Office

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday that it arrested Corey Johnson, 34, of Hamilton on Friday, May 17 for Possession of Child Pornography with intent to disseminate.

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Tim Goodwin (R-Burlington) is running to represent District 87 in the Iowa House of Representatives. He said he entered the race to provide a conservative voice for southeast Iowa in Des Moines.

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Christopher Peters (R-Coralville) is running to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in Congress. He said he’s running to try to end the political divide he says has plagued Washington D.C. for decades.

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Ginny Caligiuri (R-Osceola) is running to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in Congress. She said she entered the race to bring biblical foundations back to the United States.

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Jeff Kurtz (D-Fort Madison) is running for the District 83 seat in the Iowa House of Representatives. He said he brings to the race a willingness to serve plus experience working on legislative issues.

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Bob Morawitz (D-Fort Madison) is running for the District 83 seat in the Iowa House of Representatives. He said if elected he would carefully consider every issue that comes before him and do what is best for all of his constituents.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A judge sentenced Ben Trane to the maximum penalty possible for the crimes he was convicted of committing while in charge of Midwest Academy, a now-shuttered Lee County-based boarding school for troubled teens.

Some Lee County employees will be working under new contracts during the fiscal year that begins July 1. But not everyone is on board with the final agreements.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Fort Madison City Council this week signed an amended agreement related to the planned relocation of Amtrak to the historic depot in Riverview Park. There is still some work to do, though, before passenger rail service is offered downtown.

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The federal government will help Keokuk in its attempt to find a new use for a shuttered manufacturing plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the city a $200,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk will work with a search firm to identify candidates to replace Aaron Burnett, who is stepping down as City Administrator on June 22. He is leaving Keokuk after 2 ½ years on the job to take the same position in Mason City, Iowa.

Tanner Cole / The Hawkeye

Siemens announced Monday that it will close its manufacturing plant in Burlington, Iowa. The closure will take place in phases over the next year and will leave approximately 125 people out of work.

The Lee County Auditor's Office has scheduled a recount of the ballots cast in the Fort Madison School District's April 3 Bond Referendum. The recount will take place at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 23 at the Lee County Jail.

Two southeast Iowa radio stations are in jeopardy of permanently signing off. But there is an effort underway to try to keep them on-air.

Des Moines County GIS

The Des Moines County Conservation Office officially opened its newest public conservation area Wednesday afternoon.  The Harold and Mildred Lindner Conservation Area is located along 170th Street, near Highway 61 south of Sperry, Iowa.

Ben Trane is asking the court to grant him a new criminal trial. Trane was convicted last December of child endangerment, sexual exploitation by a counselor, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.  Prosecutors said he committed the crimes during his time in charge of Midwest Academy, which was a Lee County-based boarding school for troubled teens.

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Keokuk City Administrator Aaron Burnett has reached a preliminary agreement to become the next city administrator in Mason City, Iowa. Burnett said pending approval by the Mason City City Council, his last day on the job in Keokuk will be June 22.

It's been several days since the polls closed for the Fort Madison School District’s $30 million bond referendum for a new school and new athletic fields, and votes are still being coming in. As it turns out, the late arrivals are making the already close results even closer.

John Lovretta / www.thehawkeye.com

Major Dennis Kramer joined the Burlington Police Department on Jan. 1, 1988 as a Communication Operator. 30 years later, he's been tapped to lead the department.

A majority of voters in the Central Lee and Fort Madison School Districts supported plans during Tuesday’s special elections to borrow millions of dollars for new construction or facility improvements. But the majorities were not large enough to claim victory.

Results from contested races in Tuesday's Municipal Elections in Clark and Lewis Counties.

Clark County Ambulance District - District #1 – 3 year term (Choose 1)

  • Steven Howell – 85%
  • Keane Morrison – 15%

Clark County Ambulance District - District #4 – 3 year term (Choose 1)

  • Gary Whitaker – 45%
  • Connie Handyside – 55%

Clark County Nursing Home District - District #2 – 3 year term (Choose 1)

The upcoming Keokuk School Board meeting might draw a larger crowd than normal. The additional observers are in response to the district's recent contract offers to its employees.

Hundreds of candidates from across Iowa claimed their spots on the June 5th primary ballot by filing their nominating petitions on or before the March 16 deadline. The result is that southeast Iowa residents will have plenty of decisions to make at the polls with some crowded fields up and down the ballot.

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