The new prison's interior

FM Prison Documentary Could Win Oscar Tonight

Fort Madison prison officials will be closely watching the Academy Awards ceremony tonight. A short documentary film shot in 2006 at the prison is up for an Oscar. “Prison Terminal” by director Edgar Barens focuses on the hospice care given by inmates to fellow prisoners in their final days. The 42-minute long film is a nominee in the Best Documentary Short category. “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” was produced in association with HBO and will premiere on the network March 31st. Continue Reading


Burlington Man Arrested for Selling Meth

A 29-year-old Burlington man was arrested today on meth related charges. The Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force had received information about meth production occurring at a home in rural Des Moines County. Tyler Lees of 6529 115th Avenue in Burlington, was taken to the Des Moines County Jail after authorities found items consistent with meth production and sales in the home. During their investigation they determined that Lees was allegedly actively seeking meth precursors in exchange for finished narcotics product. Lees is being held on $100,000 bond, pending a court appearance. Continue Reading


A Taste of New Orleans in Burlington Friday

It may be cold here, but tomorrow at the Art Center Gallery in Downtown Burlington, you can at least pretend to be somewhere warm, like New Orleans. President of the Art Guild Board of Directors, Tammy McCoy, says it will even taste like the Mardi Gras city… “We’re going to give you a taste of New Orleans food and drinks. There will be kings cake for dessert, and we’ll have live jazz and blues music.” The funds raised will go to the art center… Continue Reading


Pot Holes Galore in Burlington

It’s a problem most people in the Midwest have to endure during the winter seasons: large pot holes. Chris Clements with Burlington’s Public Works Department says this year they’re filling more holes than last year due to the amount of snow we’ve had. He says there’s no telling how much money the city will have to spend… “I couldn’t really put a good number on it. Like this year, it’ll be much higher than last winter, with the little snow and fewer freeze cycles [last year]. Continue Reading


Oquawka Needs Bottled Water

It’s been a rough winter so far for the Village of Oquawka. They’ve had a water main break and a number of homes have frozen pipes. Oquawka’s Volunteer Fire Department Chief Troy Jern says they are asking for bottled water for their residents…. “Due to frigid cold weather, some of the residents of Oquawka have frozen water lines. I think there are about 30 that don’t have water.” Continue Reading


Burlington Family Arrested for Child Endangerment and Child Porn

Burlington Police have arrested three members of the same family on sex abuse charges involving children. 20-year-old Andrew Wells of 532 Summer Street turned himself in Monday evening, telling detectives that he had molested children and downloaded hundreds of videos and photos of children engaged in sexual acts with adults and other children. He was charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and is being held in the Des Moines County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Upon further investigation, police yesterday charged Wells’ parents, 49-year-old Brian and 39-year-old Janelle Wells of the same address, with two counts each of Child Endangerment. They allegedly allowed younger children in the home to be molested repeatedly by an older sibling over the last 8-9 years, without trying to stop it, even though the children asked for help. Continue Reading

Obits for Feb 26, 2014

Patricia Ann Reynolds, 79, of Burlington, Iowa, died at her home under the loving care of Great River Home Hospice on Monday, February 24, 2014. Born on August 21, 1934 in Fort Madison, Iowa, she was the daughter of John and Hazel Wilson Junkins. She married Richard W. Reynolds on April 3, 1954 in Burlington, Iowa. Patricia was a seamstress at Burlington Tent & Awning for many years. She enjoyed short day trips to antique stores and garage or yard sales. Continue Reading


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


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