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Officials Lobby for Iowa Gas Tax Increase Today

Dozens of county officials from around the state are at the capitol in Des Moines today, lobbying legislators on issues — like the gas tax. Carl Mattes of Humboldt, a member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, supports an increase in the state gas tax…. “We’re going to have to do something or our bridges and roads are going to fall apart. We need to kick and scream until we get something done — some kind of financing.” Mattes faults the governor for failing to “step up” and call on legislators to pass a gas tax increase. Continue Reading

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Riot in Fairfield

Authorities in southeast Iowa say they’re investigating why dozens of people at a campus that practices meditation allegedly attacked a county sheriff inside a car. The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office says a group of at least 70 people surrounded Sheriff Gregg Morton while he was in his marked patrol vehicle Tuesday morning at a pandit campus near Fairfield. Morton says the group pushed the car back and forth and threw rocks at it. Morton and responding officers were not injured in the incident. The Fairfield Ledger reports that¬†authorities were assisting personnel in escorting a pandit leader off the property. Continue Reading

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One Problem with SCC Renovation

Southeastern Community College is in the process of renovating their campuses a couple sections at a time. Their first projects to tackle on the West Burlington Campus, are the health and science programs. In Keokuk, the industrial maintenance program is their main focus for renovation. Vice President of Administrative Services, Kevin Carr, says they are meeting with the architects today. One problem they have run into, is a high pressure gas line that runs through the campus in WB. They can put a parking lot over it, but not a building. Continue Reading

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Old Perkins School Could Be Apartment Complex

The Burlington City Council heard from Planning and Parks Director Eric Tysland last night about a plan to transform the old Perkins School into apartments. Sunshine Builders has a purchase offer on the building and have asked to rezone it, which would restrict the number of units in the building to 32 and require off-street parking. The planning commission is convinced it’s a worthy project, but not all the neighbors are. Tysland says some of the concerns have to do with parking, traffic, and low-income housing. ¬†

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5-Year Plan for Burlington’s Roads

Burlington’s Public Works Director and Engineer presented their 5-year street plan to the City Council last night. Steve Hoambrecker says the biggest project, the Mt. Pleasant Street Overpass, won’t happen until fiscal year 2018. Steve Hartman agrees that the bridge will be a “biggie”… “We’ve called it rehab, but at this time, we’d be unsure whether it would be a major rehabilitation or a reconstruction. Continue Reading

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Kids Film Themselves Walking on Mississippi River in Burlington

With all the snow and freezing temperatures we’ve had this winter, several people have risked their lives attempting to walk across the Mississippi River in Burlington. A couple months ago, authorities were called about a man walking on the ice in Downtown Burlington, and now a video has emerged on Facebook of 3 young boys filming themselves, attempting to do the same thing. Burlington’s Police Chief, Doug Beaird, says if you fall through the ice, it will be hard to save you… “That weak point, depending on where the current is at the time, could be 5 feet from the bank, let alone in the middle of the river. As we know, if you were to fall through the ice, and there’s current underneath the ice, it will be a very difficult situation to perform a rescue.” Continue Reading

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Meth Arrest in West Point

A West Point man was arrested on felony drugs charges Friday. 38-year-old Gregory Beach of 119 5th Street was arrested at his home and charged with Possession of Precursors with Intent to Manufacture Meth. If convicted, he faces 5 years in prison. Beach’s arrest stems from allegations and an investigation. During a search conducted by the Lee County Narcotics Task Force, items supporting the charges were discovered. Continue Reading

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Upcoming Meetings

Even though it’s budget has already been published, the West Burlington city Council will hold a work session tonight at 6 to talk more about the 74-cent property tax hike. Mayor Hans Trousil, who doesn’t get a vote, says he won’t be there. The Burlington City Council will hold one of it’s every-other-week work session today. Public Works Director, Steve Hoambrecker, will present his 5-year Street The meeting starts at 4;30pm. The Southeastern Community College Board meets today at 5 and will hold a public hearing before voting on the next year’s budget. Continue Reading

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SCC Basketball NOT in National Tournament

The Southeastern Community College Mens Basketball Team will not participate in the NJCAA Division 1 National Tournament. The qualifiers, which this year include four at large schools, were named yesterday, and SCC is not one of them. The Blackhawks were ranked 17th nationwide in their division when the regular season ended. The teams that made the at-large list were #3 Columbia State, #4 Harcum, #5 South Plains, and #8 Trinity Valley. The Blackhawk’s arch-rival, Indian Hills of Ottumwa, will represent this area as the regional and district champion. Continue Reading

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More Studies Needed Before Iowa Marijuana Approved

Governor Terry Branstad is warning there are too many “unintended consequences” to legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Iowa. Branstad met recently with the mothers of children who suffer from a severe form of epilepsy — mothers who say an oil derived from marijuana is a treatment that’s working for epileptics in other states… “I think we have to be careful about drafting our laws just for a few people that have a particular problem or ailment.” The governor says medical marijuana — in whatever form — can easily fall into the hands of “people that don’t have prescriptions.”… “Already the biggest increase in drug abuse has been where you have unauthorized people using other people’s prescriptions. Continue Reading