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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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The Lee County Board on Tuesday accepted the resignation of County Attorney Clinton Boddicker, who is stepping down after being appointed a District Associate Judge in southeast Iowa. Boddicker told the board that his successor should be Assistant County Attorney Ross Braden.

John Lovretta / Burlington Hawkeye

The sexual abuse and child endangerment trial of Ben Trane enters its 6th day Tuesday in the south Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk. Jurors heard from seven witnesses Monday, including state employees and law enforcement agents who investigated Midwest Academy.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Questions about the future of the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk were settled Wednesday morning when the operator of a large, yellow backhoe started crunching the building's brick exterior with a giant metal claw. The city said a clean demolition was the most feasible option, compared to trying to salvage aspects of the more than 125-year-old structure.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Denise Timmins sat up from her chair and walked in front of the newly seated jury at about 3:00 p.m. Wednesday in the south Lee County Courthouse's district courtroom. She proceeded to read the criminal charges against Ben Trane and then begin her opening statement.

The criminal trial of Ben Trane began Tuesday morning with a standing-room only crowd of roughly 85 potential jurors in the second floor courtroom in the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk. At the end of the day, the selection process was not complete and the jury pool was significantly smaller.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk said Wednesday afternoon that the demolition of the former Unitarian Church would get underway as soon as the firm hired to tear down the building is ready. This comes roughly 48 hours after a judge dissolved the temporary injunction blocking the demolition of the vacant, run-down church at the corner of 4th and High Streets.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The former owner of Midwest Academy said the shuttered boarding school near Keokuk has no money and no assets. Ben Trane said he had to sign everything over to his landlord shortly after the school closed in early 2016.

Courtesy

Michael Greenwald won Tuesday's run-off election for the 5th Ward seat on the Keokuk City Council with 85 votes, defeating Steve Rairden, who received 34 votes.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A member of the Lee County Board says he's frustrated by the rising cost to repair one of the county's courthouses. Ron Fedler is even suggesting that residents should be allowed to vote on future improvements.

District Court Judge John Linn, Tuesday, rejected the prosecution’s request to move the trial of Ben Trane out of south Lee County. Trane is accused of child and sexual abuse during his time as owner and operator of Midwest Academy.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

CEO Mark Richardson jokingly said Tuesday that the groundbreaking ceremony for Great River Health Systems' new nearly $7 million clinic in Keokuk was supposed to be held the day before, but he thought it would be too warm. That drew laughter from the roughly 30 people in attendance who huddled together as a bitter wind whipped around them.

www.dmcounty.com & Jason Parrott

Gary Noneman, who serves as District Associate Judge for South Lee County, is retiring next month after 30 years on the bench. Seven people applied to replace him, including a pair of southeast Iowa prosecutors.

Ben Trane is scheduled to stand trial December 12 on sex and child abuse charges related to his time in charge of Midwest Academy. The prosecution wants the court to move the trial out of Keokuk; it's worried about being able to seat an impartial jury.

Ben Trane will not be allowed to leave the state ahead of his upcoming trial on sexual and child abuse charges. A judge denied his request following a hearing Monday afternoon in Keokuk.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

District Court Judge John Wright has granted a temporary injunction against the city of Keokuk, prohibiting it from demolishing the former Unitarian Church at the corner of 4th and High Streets. No further hearings have been scheduled at this time regarding the temporary injunction.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Conservation Board (LCCB) announced this month that it is willing to re-examine its policy regarding the use of permanent duck blinds with help from a new committee.

The Iowa Court of Appeals has reversed the 2016 conviction of Michael Pieper. He was accused of misconduct in office while serving on the Green Bay Levee and Drainage District Board of Trustees.

The results are in for the 2017 city elections in southeast Iowa. There will be several new faces in city government throughout Des Moines and Lee Counties.

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Four people are running to be the next mayor of Keokuk: Carl Morgan, Tom Richardson, Patricia Whiteside and Dan Winn. Whiteside said she entered the race to help Keokuk move forward while also protecting its past.

John Lovretta/The Hawkeye

The defense rested its case Thursday afternoon in the 1st Degree Murder trial of Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, minutes after Sanders-Galvez took the stand. He’s one of two men accused of killing Kedarie Johnson, 16, of Burlington on March 2, 2016.

Courtesy

Tom Marion is completing his final months as mayor of Keokuk after choosing not to seek a fifth term in office. He said while he enjoys leading his hometown, he knew the time was right to step aside.

Des Moines Register

The prosecution has called more than a dozen witnesses to the stand as it makes its case in the first degree murder trial of Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23. He’s accused of killing of Burlington teenager Kedarie Johnson, 16, last year.

Michael Zamora/Des Moines Register

The third day of trial began with Amy Beavers, Des Moines County Attorney, reading the official charge of Murder in the 1st Degree against Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, of Missouri and then informing the court of his previous plea of not guilty. Sanders-Galvez is accused of killing Kedarie Johnson, 16, of Burlington in March 2016.

John Lovretta/The Hawkeye

Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, of Missouri is charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of Burlington resident Kedarie Johnson, 16, in March 2016. Sanders-Galvez’s trial got underway this week in Keokuk.

John Lovretta/The Hawkeye

Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, of Missouri is charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of a Burlington teenager Kedarie Johnson, 16, in March 2016. Sanders-Galvez’s trial got underway Oct. 24 in Keokuk.

Four people running to be the next mayor of Keokuk: Carl Morgan, Tom Richardson, Patricia Whiteside, and Dan Winn. Morgan said he entered the race to provide new ideas and new perspectives to city government in Keokuk.

https://www.facebook.com/richardsonformayor/photos/a.122047105101370.1073741825.122047071768040/122586005047480/?type=1&theater

Four people running to be the next mayor of Keokuk: Carl Morgan, Tom Richardson, Patricia Whiteside, and Dan Winn.  Richardson said he entered the race because he loves the city and is ready to work for its residents.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201084832357591&set=a.1293052821045.34003.1672021631&type=3&theater

Four people running to be the next mayor of Keokuk: Carl Morgan, Tom Richardson, Patricia Whiteside, and Dan Winn.  Winn said he is doing so because he wants to be the voice for all of the city's residents.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Two people are running for the Ward 1 seat on the Keokuk City Council: Incumbent Mike O'Connor and Dianne Stanley. O'Connor said public service has always been a part of his life and he wants to continue to serve the city.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207972908398969&set=a.1268460650038.38741.1785498545&type=3&theater

There are two people running for the Ward 1 seat on the Keokuk City Council: Incumbent Mike O'Connor and Dianne Stanley. Stanley said Keokuk was a welcoming town when she lived there growing up and since she returned about ten years ago, so she said serving on the city council is a way to give back to the city.

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