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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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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.

Jordan Heston, 20, of Fort Madison was scheduled to go on trial this week for his role in a single vehicle crash in rural Lee County on December 2, 2016 that left one person dead and another severely injured. But the trial was put on hold after Heston accepted a plea agreement.

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Burlington is moving ahead with a significant reconfiguration of Mount Pleasant Street. The city said the goal of the project is to improve safety.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Fort Madison School District will hold a special election on April 3. Residents are again being asked to approve a plan to borrow $30 million to build a new elementary school and new high school baseball and softball fields.

The Central Lee School District has a long list of facility improvements it wants to complete in the next few years. But it needs the support of its constituents to make that happen.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A couple hundred Burlington High School students staged a walkout.  They did so as part of an effort to raise awareness about the need to improve school safety and to put an end to the deadly school shootings that continue to plague the nation.

The city of Fort Madison is acknowledging that it took disciplinary action against some members of its police department. But what exactly led to the disciplinary action remains unanswered.

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Fort Madison is turning over management of its outdoor swimming pool to the Fort Madison YMCA. The city council signed off on the one-year contract this week.

Two teachers at Keokuk Middle School are accused of fraud by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). The board is asking the two to surrender their teaching licenses.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

IowaWorks will hold a targeted job fair Friday, Feb. 16 from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. at Comfort Inn & Suites in Fort Madison. The workforce development agency said it will only be open to employees who were laid off last month from Siemens-Gamesa’s wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison.

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The Central Lee School District is being accused of not stopping the harassment and bullying of one of its student by another student.

John Lovretta / Burlington Hawkeye

The former owner of Midwest Academy will be sentenced on May 10. Ben Trane was convicted in December of child endangerment, sexual exploitation by a counselor, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

A former employee filed a lawsuit against Iowa Fertilizer Company, claiming sex discrimination, unequal pay, and sexual harassment. She also claims her termination from the production plant in Lee County violates state law.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The City of Keokuk said a data breach on Jan. 30 resulted in the release of personal information of current and former city employees and elected leaders. The city said it is working with law enforcement to determine who is behind the breach.

Janet Smith / Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

The effort to restore the Keokuk Union Depot has crossed a major milestone. The depot'a foundation announced this week that it has exceeded its goal for a capital campaign to restore the building's roof.

A special election will be held Tuesday, February 6, for residents of the Harmony and Van Buren School Districts in southeast Iowa. They are being asked to decide whether the districts should reorganize into a single school district.

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State Rep. Jerry Kearns (D-Keokuk) announced Tuesday afternoon that the 2018 legislative session will be his last. He said the time is right to step aside and allow a new voice to speak for southeast Iowa in Des Moines.

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A Burlington man was sentenced this week to 50 years in prison for shooting a man at point blank range in February 2017 and dumping his body in a park in Lee County.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The organization that owns the land where the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk once stood is now suing the company that tore down the church in December.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Siemens Gamesa announced Wednesday morning that it is permanently laying off 195 hourly workers and 7 salaried employees at its wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison.

John Lovretta / Burlington Hawkeye

The prosecution and defense are now asking the court to set a new date for the sentencing of Ben Trane. Trane was convicted last month of child endangerment, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist during his time as owner and operator of Midwest Academy.

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Des Moines County continues to inch closer to building a brand new indoor sports complex. Just what that complex will look like remains to be seen.

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The Fort Madison Area Arts Association's downtown gallery is filled with the works of some of the youngest artists in southeast Iowa as part of the organization's annual "Budding Artists Exhibition." A reception will be held Saturday, January 20, from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at the gallery.

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The city of Burlington is delaying the potential sale of its soon-to-be former police station for a couple weeks at the request of the buyer.

The Central Lee School District's facilities advisory committee recommended about $13.3 million in additions and upgrades to the campus outside Donnellson. It appears voters will have the final say in whether the proposal becomes a reality.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Governor Bruce Rauner wrapped up a week-long stay at the Illinois Veterans Home (IVH) in Quincy Wednesday morning with a news conference. He used the platform to show his support for the residents and the staff and to call for some significant infrastructure improvements at the facility.

Stacy Weber

Ross Braden experienced deja vu Tuesday morning as he took the oath of office as Lee County Attorney for the second time in less than twelve months. Braden said he is excited for the opportunity to return to the job.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said the entire community is proud of the Illinois Veterans Home and the care its residents receive from the facility's more than 500 employees. He said that's evident from the more than 12,000 volunteer hours donated to the state-run facility last year.

John Lovretta / Burlington Hawkeye

Ben Trane was found guilty Friday morning of child endangerment, sexual exploitation of a child by a counselor, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He is the former owner of Midwest Academy, a boarding school for troubled teens that was located near Keokuk.  He will be sentenced in about eight weeks.

Jury deliberations will resume Friday morning in the criminal trial of Ben Trane. He is the former owner of Midwest Academy, a shuttered boarding school in Lee County for troubled teens, who is charged with sexual abuse and child endangerment.

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