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WB Elementary Open Today Despite Fire, Smoke

West Burlington Fire Chief Mike Heim got a 2 o’clock wakeup call this(Mon) morning to West Burlington’s elementary school, where a heater motor in Room 213 had caught fire. The flames went out by themselves, but Heim says smoke filled the whole wing. Just one room…213…is not being used today(Mon). Those students were moved to the teachers’ work room. No one was hurt fighting the fire and the chief says without the automatic alarm system, the school could’ve gone up in flames. Continue Reading

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Bald Bluff Home Being Rehabbed Catches Fire

A Henderson County man and his girlfriend had to rely on the local Red Cross chapter this(Fri) morning, when their house caught fire at 1600 Bald Bluff Road and they were left without a safe place to live. Oquawka Fire Department spokesman Troy Jern says the call for help came in just before 7:15 and crews from Gladstone, Biggsville and Keithsburg (with Seaton on standby) had the flames under control in about an hour. A preliminary investigation by the state fire marshal’s office revealed some smoldering construction materials improperly disposed of…and the fire was ruled accidental. Austin Chandler told authorities he had been making improvements to the home and that’s when the 2-story A-frame began to burn. No one was hurt. Continue Reading


First-Half Tax Payments Due Tomorrow in Des Moines County

If you own property in Des Moines County, your first-half payment is due tomorrow(Tues). You can pay in person at the Treasurer’s Office in the courthouse until 4:30 tomorrow afternoon or on-line at “” until 11:59 tomorrow night. There are fees for on-line payments. If you’d like to mail your payment, be sure it’s postmarked no later than September 30th; 1 1/2% per month interest will be added to your bill beginning Wednesday. Continue Reading


School District Official Response to Matt Murray Resignation

He’d wanted to be a school administrator, but after achieving his goal, Matt Murray has resigned after only a few weeks. Murray…a former member of the city council and for the past 17 years a history & sociology teacher at Burlington High School…just started his new job as Assistant Principal of Aldo Leopold Middle School at the beginning of the school year. He’s been accused of violating the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. A statement issued late this(Fri) morning through the Human Resources office says Murray made the district aware of some personal issues that did not involve any students. Following several meetings with district officials, he determined that it was in his best interest to resign and pursue other opportunities available to him. Continue Reading

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Montrose Teen, Keokuk Couple Injured on Southbound 61

((( UPDATED AT 12:30 PM )))

Two Keokuk residents and a Montrose teen were injured shortly after 8:30 this(Thur) morning when their pickup and van…respectively…collided on Highway 61 where it meets Highway 218 south of Montrose.  

The driver of the Chevy truck…18-year old Morgan Westermeyer of Montrose…had to be airlifted to Blessing Hospital in Quincy…while the two occupants of the Grand Caravan…61-year old Larry and 58-year old Patricia Randall of Keokuk…were both taken by ambulance to Ft. Madison Community Hospital. The State Patrol says the Randall’s van was southbound on 61, when Westermeyer apparently pulled away from a stop sign…hoping to go north…and the Randalls hit the truck in the driver’s side door. The accident is still under investigation. Continue Reading

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Feds Bust Four in Henderson County Meth Conspiracy

Four people have been arrested on federal indictments for Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth in Henderson County.  

Marvin Kaywood Jr…Catherine Williams…Andrew Bruner…and Chelsea Forrester were taken into custody on the 9th by agents from the West Central Illinois Task Force and Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies. Authorities say the investigation continues and more indictments are being issued. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.   Continue Reading


Shockley Resigns from Burlington City Council

The Burlington City Council will soon be one member short. At the end of tonight’s work session, Councilwoman Becky Shockley announced that she’s been offered an unspecified business and educational opportunity that will require travel, and she’ll no longer be able to properly serve the needs of her constituents nor attend council meetings.   She didn’t give a resignation date, but said her new job will begin this December.  It’ll be up to the remainder of the Council to decide when and how to fill the seat. Shockley, who along with her husband owned and operated the former Tom’s Market & Meats, used the occasion to challenge the citizens of Burlington to demand that their city become a place to be proud of. Continue Reading

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Year-Round School Closer to Being Dropped in WB for Now

An update on the so-called “balanced calendar” concept in the West Burlington School District. Supt. Dave Schmitt recommends in his notes to the School Board for tonight’s(Mon) special meeting that members make it clear to the public that they won’t pursue the change for the 2015-16 year.  

Schmitt goes on to say that the Board needs to decide if it wants to continue collecting data and communicating with focus groups and stakeholders. Tonight’s(Mon) meeting is at 7 o’clock in the Great Prairie AEA’s 21st Century Classroom. Continue Reading