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Board Gets Serious About a 4-Lane Highway 61

Des Moines County Board Chairman Bob Beck announced this morning that the Highway 61 Coalition has decided to get serious about making their voices heard in the state capital… “The coalition has money in its treasury and decided to hire a lobbyist to work on 61, and letting the name be known. We’ve had word come down that people in the governor’s staff didn’t even know there was a 61 Coalition. So we are going to do that…” The need for a 4-lane Highway-61 heading north from Burlington has become a more pressing matter with the impending opening of the Iowa Fertilizer Plant south of Wever, and all the truck traffic that will involve. Continue Reading

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Car Rear-Ends LaHarpe School Bus

A car rear-ended a LaHarpe School Bus on Webster Road in Hancock County this morning. No one, including the 12 children on the bus, was hurt. It happened just before 7:30 just north of County Road 2400 North. Illinois troopers say the bus driver, 50-year-old Donna Nell of Blandinsville, had stopped at the railroad tracks to make sure it was safe to cross, when a 2012 Chevy, driven by 28-year-old Travis Sanderson of Carthage, slid on the snowy road into the back of the bus. The bigger vehicle suffered minor damage, but Sanderson’s car had major damage to it’s front end and had to be towed from the scene. Continue Reading

Obits for Feb 25, 2014

Evelyn Grace Thompson, age 93, of Burlington, passed away Sunday afternoon, February 23, 2014, at the GreatRiverMedicalCenter in West Burlington.  She was born to Chester Alan and Minnie Clara Wunnenberg McKeown in their home near Newport.  She graduated from MediapolisHigh School and BurlingtonBusinessCollege.  Evelyn married the late R. Kenneth ‘Ken’ Thompson on January 1, 1941 at Northfield where they raised their family on the farm until they sold the farm and enjoyed travel and volunteer work with group homes for youth in Iowa and Texas.  Ken preceded her in death on September 30, 2003. Evelyn was an avid reader and was part of several Bible study groups.  She enjoyed square dancing, singing in the Rural Women’s Choir and is best remembered for her homemade bread and knitting projects.  She also enjoyed gardening and canning.  She was a member of the First United Presbyterian Church in Mediapolis and attended HeritageBaptistChurch after moving to Burlington. She is survived by her son Lee (Nancy) Thompson of Burlington; four grandchildren, Dr. Dale (Kim) Thompson of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Mary Thompson of Little Rock, Arkansas, David (Kim) Thompson of Stronghurst, Illinois, and Randy Thompson of Burlington; four great grandchildren; and two nieces in Wisconsin.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Ken; a son, Alan; and a sister, Lucille. The family will receive friends from 10:00 to 11:00 AM on Friday, February 28, 2014, at the Hagele and Honts Funeral Home in Mediapolis with the funeral to follow at 11:00 AM.  Rev. Deb Kinney will officiate.  Burial will follow at the KossuthCemetery and a lunch gathering will follow at the Apron Strings in Mediapolis. A memorial fund has been established for the Mediapolis Public Library. Continue Reading

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BHS May move Graduation to SCC Gym

There wasn’t much to report at tonight’s Burlington School Board Meeting, but Superintendent Jane Evans did mention a possible venue change for BHS Graduation. Normally, if the weather is nice, graduation takes place at Bracewell Stadium. If it rains, they move it to the Burlington High School Gym, which can be uncomfortable on a hot, muggy summer day when there is no air conditioning. Evans informed the board tonight of possibly moving graduation to Southeastern Community College’s Gym…. “This year, depending upon future board action, we might be in the beginning stages of the press box construction on Sunday, May 25th.” Continue Reading

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Dead Animals Found in Van of Southeast Iowa Man

A Drakesville man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the discovery of more than 20 animals in a van. 45-year-old Roger Blew entered his plea Friday in Wapello County district court. He was charged with improperly confining animals and three counts of animal cruelty after an officer responding to a complaint found the animals in the van owned by Blew. One animal in the van was dead, one died while police were inspecting the vehicle and another had to be euthanized. The animals prompted police to check Blew’s home, where they found at least 100 goats, pigs, mice, turtles and other animals living inside. Continue Reading

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What the Spray Paint on Your Ash Tree Means

One by one, Ash Trees around Burlington are being cut down due to the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer. If you’ve noticed colored markings on a tree near your sidewalk, chances are you have an Ash Tree. Administrative Assistant for Burlington’s Parks Department, Tabetha Miller, says it’s part of a tagging system the city has started since the Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in Burlington this past summer… “If you have an orange or red mark on your tree, which could just be a dot, an “X”, or an “R”, it means that tree will be coming down this year. If you have a blue marking on your tree, which should just be a dot, it will be treated. Continue Reading

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Miller-Meeks to Challenge Lobesack

 Mariannette Miller-Meeks says she’ll seek the Republican nomination to Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in her third try for the House seat. Miller-Meeks announced Sunday night that she’d seek the seat now held by Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack. Miller-Meeks, of Ottumwa, ran against Loebsack and lost in 2010 and 2008. In announcing her campaign, Miller-Meeks called Washington a “dysfunctional mess” that needs someone with her experience to bring people together. She also criticized the Affordable Care Act. Continue Reading

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Rash of Break-Ins in Fort Madison

Fort Madison Police are investigating (what could be described as) a rash of break-ins and thefts. Areas hit over the weekend include the 1500 block of 18th Street, 1400 block of 39th, 1200 block of 35th, 600 block of Avenue G, 500 and 2300 blocks of Avenue E, 2200 block of H, and 2300 block of Avenue J.

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OBITS for Monday Feb. 24th, 2014

Robert Leroy Hand, 70, of Burlington, died at 1:20 AM Wednesday, February 19, 2014, in Marco Island, FL. Born January 19, 1944, in Burlington, IA, he was the son of Kenneth Leroy and Alberta Edna Warner Hand. On December 31, 1986, he married Sally Jo Schwerin in McAllen, TX. Bob worked at Winegard Company for 47 years and retired as the purchasing manager. He was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge #579, Fraternal Order of the Eagles Burlington Aerie 150, and the Carthage Lake Club. Continue Reading

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Hundreds of Animals Saved from SE Iowa Hoarder

A nonprofit animal group says it’s assisting authorities in the recovery of hundreds of animals from a small southeast Iowa city. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa said yesterday that nearly 300 living animals and more than 50 dead animals have been taken from Drakesville in Davis County. Many are barn animals and include 30 different species. Stephanie Filer with the rescue league tells The Des Moines Register that the situation appears to be in connection to a hoarder. Additional information was not released. Continue Reading