WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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.

Ways to Connect

Burlington residents will have several opportunities in the coming weeks to learn about the plan to close one school building and realign several others. The Burlington School District has said it must "right-size" due to declining enrollment.


The Burlington Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation kept confidential numerous documents related to a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred in January 2015. An administrative law judge said that action violated Iowa's Open Records Law.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Mississippi River continues to rise, affecting homes, businesses, and local governments in southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and western Illinois. And the latest projections show that it could be several weeks before the flood waters recede.


All-terrain vehicles (ATV) and similar four-wheel utility vehicles can now be driven legally on gravel roads in Des Moines County. The County Board cast the final vote, this week, in support of the new rule.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Burlington's new trash collection system is already up and running, despite that fact that thousands of new trash carts have yet to be delivered.

An arrest has been made in connection with an incident Thursday morning that prompted a "soft lockdown" by the Keokuk School District.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Economic Development Group kicked off its "Lee County 2023" capital campaign this week. The goal is to raise roughly $1.5 million over the next five years to fund local economic development efforts.

The Iowa Board of Education Examiners has dismissed multiple charges of fraud against two Keokuk educators. The allegations were related to online graduate school courses completed by one of the teachers several years ago.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Roquette America has purchased seven adjoining buildings in downtown Keokuk. The company said it is too early in the process to talk about how the properties might be used in the future.


A federal judge ordered the unsealing of documents related to the shooting death of Autumn Steele by Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill. That is shining more light on what transpired at the scene of the shooting.

Carrie Finch looked across the third floor courtroom of the Hancock County Courthouse in Carthage Wednesday morning and spoke directly to Antonio Sanchez.

"You changed our lives forever"” Finch said. "Because of you, an entire community lost its innocence."

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The University of Iowa has announced plans to stop funding the Iowa Labor Center, which provides education programs and offers research support to labor organizations across the state. Supporters of the center are speaking out across the state to try to stop that from happening.

Lisa Wood

The 18th Annual Tri-State Special Kids Rodeo in Fort Madison on Saturday drew more than 200 participants despite humid conditions and the occasional rain shower. The children and adults in attendance were able to ride horses, take a trolley ride, and experience barrel racing and calf roping.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A few Keokuk High School students created a "pop-up" park in the downtown district over the Labor Day weekend. The project is part of a larger concept aimed at re-imagining how the community views itself.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

City leaders in Keokuk are encouraging residents who have the ability and resources to clean up their own properties following Tuesday night's storm to do so. That is because it could be several weeks before the city can get involved.

A member of the Burlington Police Department was injured Wednesday while investigating a report of a stolen vehicle. The department said in a news release that the unidentified officer was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Courtesy photo / https://precisionenergyservices.net/

The newest addition to Burlington Notre Dame could save the school district thousands of dollars in electrical bills. A solar field with 836 panels is now located next to the soccer field along Terrace Drive in Burlington.

Burlington Fire Department / https://www.facebook.com/Burlington-Fire-Department-1430508677163672/?fb_dtsg_ag=AdwD8jMjc_T611ki5V74_CQskPuCYUqx78-tBQ49LEDtCA%3AAdw4UHX32gel0ieLSjQgBU8YPUKAGC6NfwIMoBUipJWb2A

The Burlington City Council honored the local fire departments that responded to this month's fire at the Tama Complex in downtown Burlington. All told, more than 50 firefighters from six cities were at the scene.

The Central Lee School District’s proposal to borrow millions of dollars to upgrade its campus near Donnellson narrowly failed at the ballot box a few months ago. It appears residents will be asked to reconsider the plan in April 2019.

The Keokuk Police Department is investigating a reported dog attack that occurred on August 12. But the agency is not releasing any information due to the "active" nature of the investigation.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Keokuk's new entertainment barge has been docked on the Mississippi River just south of the dam for nearly one year. The chairwoman of the Keokuk Riverfront Barge Commission is excited about the opportunities it provides.

The first day of classes for the Central Lee School District is August 23. Students, faculty, and staff will notice an extra level of security when they arrive on campus.

A look at the races with a local connection during the Aug. 7 Primary Election in Missouri.

John Lovretta / www.thehawkeye.com

The Tama Building in downtown Burlington is considered a total loss following a fire that started late Saturday night. The building was in the final stages of a multi-million dollar restoration project that included upper-story housing and ground level commercial space.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has identified the body found along a gravel road south of West Point, Iowa Sunday morning as Sadie Alvarado, 20, of Muscatine, Iowa. The agency announced Monday that criminal charges have also been filed in connection with her death.


Warren County was forced this week to close its county jail in Monmouth due to a lack of available correctional officers. That led to the transfer of about two-dozen inmates to the Mercer County Jail in nearby Aledo.


The city of Burlington and Des Moines County have been working together for more than a decade to complete a hiking/biking trail through the county. While the project continues to move forward, it could be several more years until the entire route is complete.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Severe weather ripped through Van Buren County on July 19 with two EF-1 tornadoes touching down near the county seat of Keosauqua. One of the twisters destroyed a piece of the county's history, but not before its image could be captured on canvas.

Lee County is looking to renovate the exterior of the county courthouse in Fort Madison now that work has concluded on the exterior of the county courthouse in Keokuk.  Lee is the only county in Iowa with two courthouses.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Burlington Police Department moved into its new headquarters a few weeks ago. And this week marked the first time the public has had a chance to tour it.