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

Courtesy

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.

Google Maps

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.

Courtesy

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.

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.

Google Maps

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.

http://www.fortmadison-ia.com/Index.aspx?NID=233

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.

SalFalko/Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Pages