The Burlington Fire Department is getting $493,000 from Washington for recruitment, hiring and retention. Local Congressman Dave Lobesack says the Department of Homeland Security’s “Safer Grant” will be used to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Continue Reading
THE WEST BURLINGTON CITY COUNCIL VOTED LAST(WED) NITE TO RAISE THE CITY’S TAX-LEVY RATE. NOT 74 CENTS…AS WAS PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER…BUT 35 CENTS…AS PROPOSED BY COUNCILMAN RICK RALEIGH.
IT’LL PUT THE CITY’S PROPERTY TAX RATE AT 10-DOLLARS-AND-10-CENTS PER THOUSAND DOLLARS…BUT MAYOR HANS TROUSIL SAYS WEST BURLINGTON RESIDENTS ARE STILL AMONG THE LOWEST-TAXED, BY THEIR CITIES, IN THE AREA. THE ONLY RESIDENT TO TAKE EXCEPTION WITH A TAX INCREASE AND VOICE HIS OPINION AT THE PUBLIC HEARING DOESN’T SEE IT THAT WAY. JOE SHANNON SAYS IT FEELS LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOING UP AND HE DOESN’T SEE WHY SOMETHING ELSE COULDN’T BE CUT FROM THE CITY BUDGET. Continue Reading
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department is warning of yet another scam targeting older citizens. Sheriff Jim Sholl said a group of ladies from the Jackson Township, near Keokuk, came to the station yesterday about a letter they received… “The letter was promising a sweepstakes win of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if the recipient of the letter only pays a processing fee. The postage and phone number on it indicated it was from Ireland. Our investigator called, they [those who answered] passed the phone around and spoke broken English. Continue Reading
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
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
A local state senator says a case of apparent child sex abuse in Burlington involving a home schooling family highlights the need to reestablish some kind of oversight of home schoolers. The education reform package that became law last year got rid of the requirement that home schooling parents register with their local district. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat, says that was the wrong move. He points to the recent arrest of 20-year-old Andrew Wells of Burlington, who told police he had sexually abused his siblings for years. Wells lived in a home where 10 children were allegedly being home-schooled and his parents have been charged with child endangerment. Continue Reading
The Iowa State Fair has once again lined up a number of very popular music acts for their Grandstand. So far, the fair will welcome the Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Forigner, Styx, Chevelle, Halestorm, Lady Antebellum, Billy Curington, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, the Eli Young Band, and contemporary christian artists, the Newsboys. Marketing Director, Lori Chappel, told us that this year, they seem to be ahead of schedule… “This is one of the earliest that we’ve had our grandstand line-up complete.” The last two acts will be announced very soon. Continue Reading
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
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.
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
Indonesian foundation defends awarding Kim Jong-Un peace prize
JAKARTA - A daughter of Indonesia's founding president has defended honouring North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with an award for statesmanship, dismissing criticisms of his human rights record as "Western propaganda".