law

Judge Orders Juvenile Home Reopened

A district court judge has ruled the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo should be reopened. The judge ruled Governor Branstad over-stepped his authority when he ordered the home closed in mid-January. Four Democrats in the legislature and the president of the union that has represented the home’s workers filed the lawsuit challenging the closure. AFSCME president Danny Homan says the governor should “immediately comply” with the judge’s order and reopen the home. House Democratic Leader Mark Smith is calling on Branstad to work with legislators on a bill that would improve services for the state’s most troubled teens, including girls sent to the Juvenile Home. Continue Reading

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2014 Mississippi Valley Calling Classic Saturday

Duck callers from around the country will swarm to Burlington this Saturday for the 2014 Mississippi Valley Calling Classic. Organizer of the event, Curt Diewold, says this Saturday’s Calling Classic is one of the nations’s top calling contests and attracts people from all over… “We pull people from coast to coast, border to border. We have a group of gentlemen traveling from Canada. They’ve been coming down 10 years in a row to this event.” Continue Reading

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An Evening of Snow Plowing Tonight in Burlington

Countless crews are out and about today, plowing snow and trying to keep our streets, roads, and parking lots clear. In Burlington, Chris Clements of the City’s Public Works Department brought us up to speed… “We’re probably looking at late this evening and tomorrow morning before we get through all the streets. We’re in emergencies right now and the secondaries.” Residential areas will be plowed this evening and early tomorrow morning. Continue Reading

Trail Through Corn Field

Farm Bill Passes Senate, Ready for Obama’s Signature

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a five-year Farm Bill on a vote of 68-32. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is relieved the measure is finally headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law… “It’s certainly a relief to finally have a Farm Bill after a long run. It could’ve and should’ve probably been done in 2012.” The $500 billion Farm Bill will end direct payments to farmers… Continue Reading

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Facebook Turns 10, Local Businesses Benefit

It’s been 10 years today since the popular social media site “Facebook” was launched. The site had around 1 million members by the end of its first year, and now has more than 1.2 billion monthly users. One of those billion users is the PAW Animal Shelter located in Fort Madison. Without the use of social media like Facebook, Director Sandy Brown says adoption numbers wouldn’t be what they are today…

“It’s been amazing. We have almost 5,000 likes from all over the United State. Continue Reading

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Here Comes the Snow

Forecasters say much of Iowa is seeing snowflakes fly today while south-central Iowa could get as much as eight or nine inches of snow by Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Jim Lee at the National Weather Service says there will be snow off-and-on much of the day, with heavier snow late this afternoon. By this evening, he says the big problem will be the winds whipping up the new-fallen flakes… “We’re looking for increasing northwest-to-north winds tonight, particularly after sunset, reaching speeds of 15 to 25 miles an hour with higher gusts tonight,” Lee says. “We’re not expecting blizzard conditions but we will see some blowing and drifting of snow that will primarily effect travel.” Continue Reading

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Part Time SRO Approved by WB School Board

The decision has been made. The West Burlington School Board will look to hire a school resource officer. However, Superintendent David Schmitt says it will only be part time… “When we set out on this, the board was interested in a part time position. We started having discussions with the city, and they started favoring a full time position. Continue Reading

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Lighthouse Memorial Stalled Due to Weather

The project keeps getting pushed back, and you can blame mother nature. Last year, the River Rat Safety Awareness Organization was able to purchase a lighthouse in memory of the four young Southeast Iowa adults who lost their lives in a 2012 boating accident. Louise Butherus, is the Vice President of the River Rat Group, and is also the mother of Matt House, one of the young adults who died in the accident. She says the organization has had the lighthouse for months now, but can’t catch a break with the weather… “We have the lighthouse and it’s ready to be set up. Continue Reading

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School Shooting Numbers Unchanged

An Associated Press analysis finds there’s been no real reduction in the number of U.S. school shootings despite increased security put in place after the rampage at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. There have been at least 11 school shootings this academic year alone, in addition to other cases of gun violence, in school parking lots and elsewhere on campus, when classes were not in session. Experts say the rate of school shootings is statistically unchanged since the mid- to late-1990s. Continue Reading

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Final Decision Tonight on SRO in WB Schools

Tonight is the night that the West Burlington School Board decides to move forward, or scrap the idea of a School Resource Officer. Superintendent Dave Schmitt included a list of proactive measures the district has already taken to secure their buildings. A few examples include a “buzz-in” system, a surveillance system, and are currently working to install panic hardware. The board will first meet behind a closed door at 6:30pm to discuss negotiating strategy. The regular meeting begins at 7pm. Continue Reading